The man stops a few feet away from Rikimaru and points to the woman behind him. Rikimaru signals the woman to step back; she moves away, heading towards one of the sheds. Rikimaru and the man are now caught in a stare down, the snow being their battlefield. The man points is sword at Rikimaru.
“When you’re dead, I’m selling that woman over there to a nice man. He’s been in need of a new ‘play thing’ for quite some time.”
Rikimaru doesn’t respond, taking an offensive stance with his ninjato. After a moment of silence, the two men charge at each other, their footsteps crunching in the snow. Their weapons clash, sending a ringing sound throughout the forest. They both take a step back before exchanging blows again, resulting in a chain of clashing metal. Face to face, the men give each other a determined look on their face before back stepping again.
The man takes a leap back, charging toward Rikimaru with the edge of his sword cutting through the snow, “You’re finished!”
Rikimaru quickly switches to a defensive stance, waiting for his opponent. The man lets out a ferocious battle cry, lifting the sword over his head and bringing it down for an overhead slash. Rikimaru swiftly brings his ninjato up, stopping the strike. When they clash again, Rikimaru can see how much force the man put into that attack; the man’s arms are shaking, as if he’s trying to cut through something. However, even with the extra power behind the attack, Rikimaru’s arms are still and unwavering like stone. With a perfect stance and barely any strength used, Rikimaru repels the attack forcing the man to lose his footing and stumble back without any chance to defend himself.
Rikimaru executes a forward step and goes on the offensive, landing two rapid slashes across the man’s torso. With his arms still raised over his head, the man drops his sword in the snow, blood spraying out from his chest. Rikimaru flicks his wrist, the blood sliding off his ninjato before sheathing it. As he turns to walk towards the shed, the man’s body collapses, falling back into the snow.
“Not only was your honor destroyed, your form was basic at best. You didn’t stand a chance.”
Rikimaru slowly opens the shed door; the woman is crouched in a corner, shaking from both fear and the cold. He then extends his hand out again.
“Let’s get you home. We need to hurry before you suffer from the cold weather.”
The woman slowly nods and gets up, making her way out. She notices the new dead body as she walks behind Rikimaru back through the mountain pass.