“The red house near the castle gates. I just hope this one doesn’t try to cry his way out.”
The village takes one more quick glace before turning around, heading back down the path. When he turns, a sheathed blade becomes visible. Now is the perfect moment.
“Don’t take too long, Rikimaru.”
The female shadow leaps from atop of the wall, eyes set on the villager. Her partner, Rikimaru, simply shakes his head as she leaves.
“You don’t have to worry about me, Ayame.”
Following in Ayame’s plan of action, Rikimaru leaps from the top of the wall as well, marking the beginning of tonight’s assignment.
Blending into the shadow of night, Rikimaru travels through the air with ease, nimbly landing on a rooftop. Those who would have developed such a mastery of stealth would tend to show off that skill in their movement, such as doing flips or doing complicated actions. For Rikimaru, anything that would slow him down from completing an assignment is useless to him. Simply scaling across rooftops at a wind-like pace is all that is needed.
After traveling a great distance, he stops at the edge of a rooftop and couches down, surveying the area. Off in the distance, he can see Ayame; she jumps off of a rooftop, landing on top of a wandering night guard. Dropping him to the ground, she takes the razor sharp edge of one of her swords and quickly runs it across the guard’s exposed neck. Blood sprays out from the wound, leaving a small puddle. Ayame leaps back onto a rooftop and continues to gain distance. Rikimaru changes the direction of his gaze forward.
A few homes away, there’s a brightly lit, two story house. Unlike the usual wood colored homes, this one is colored a dark red. Walking around the perimeter are two guards, both dressed in different colored yukata. Resting on their hips, they both have a sheathed blade on their person. They stop at the front door of the house and begin having a conversation with each other.
“Those two can be a problem if Echigoya decides to cause a panic. It seems like a cowardice retreat runs in their blood.”
Traveling through the sky to get a closer look, Rikimaru lands on a rooftop closer to the red house. He crouches down again and places his hand on his blade, watching the two guards. As they’re talking, they begin laughing. Using this distraction, Rikimaru launches himself into the air. Releasing the sword from its sheath, he arms himself and lands right in front of the guards.
Before they have a chance to notice the sudden appearance of a shadow, he does a wide swing of his sword, reaching across the chest of both guards in a single, fluid strike. He sheathes the blade, looking at the guards; a spray of blood flies through the air as each guard lets out a sudden cry of pain before falling to the ground. Immediately after, Rikimaru can hear the sound of footsteps landing behind him. He doesn’t have to look back to know who it is.
“It looks like I made it here before you, Ayame.”