Tenchu: Shadows of Azuma – 4. Shadows in the Rising Sun

The door flies open without any trouble. She walks inside and the natural sunlight illuminates everything. Along each wall are different types of tools and resources for farming. Ayame notices a small closet along one of the walls and opens it; an entire cache of weapons fall out of it. Swords and spears spill out onto the floor next to her.

“Damn, all of this stuff looks freshly forged. Somebody is trying to start a war, and I bet it’s this Akechi person.”

Ayame looks at the weapons for a second, and then looks inside of the closet. On the back wall, there’s a piece of paper stuck to the wall with a shuriken. She dislodges the shuriken from the wall and takes the paper. It’s a set of instructions for where and when the weapons are suppose to be delivered.

“Strange. A blacksmith’s forge, but no blacksmith.”

A young woman’s voice follows after Ayame’s, “It is strange, isn’t it?”

Ayame looks at the note, and then puts it in her pocket. She then crosses her arms and lets out a sigh, “If you’re here to put in an order for tools, you have to come back later. He’s not in at the moment.”

The sound of a sword being unsheathed is loud and swift, “I’m not here for an order. I’m here for somebody’s life.”

Ayame slowly reaches for her dual kodachi, “Sorry, but if you’re here for mine, you’re not gonna get it.”

In one swift motion, Ayame draws her kodachi and spins to attack the assailant behind her; a clash of metal rings through the shop. The assailant blocked with a ninjato of her own. Ayame can now see who’s attacking her; the woman is wearing the typical female ninja outfit; a dark red, short sleeve robe-like outfit that cuts off half way up her legs that’s tied with a large belt around her waist. Just around her hip is a small belt with various items hanging from it. Scale and metal gauntlets wrap around her forearm. Covering her face is a red and orange fox mask. Just staring at it would fill a normal civilian with fear. However, Ayame remembers seeing that mask before.

But now’s not the time to focus on the past. The two of them break their clash and rearm. The masked woman goes in for a downward strike, but Ayame easily repels the attack and counters with a strong spinning kick to the chest, sending the woman out of the shop. Ayame gives chase. They’re both fighting in broad daylight, but they’re far enough away to avoid being seen. The woman gets back on her feet and takes up a defensive stance.

Ayame rushes at her with a fury of attacks. The woman manages to block most of them, but the last one lands directly on the mask, leaving a deep cut along the nose ridge. After the successful attack, they both jump back and take an offensive stance, leading into a stare down. After a moment, the woman drops her head and lets out a loud sigh, sheathing her ninjato.

“Damn, you’re just too fast.”

The woman removes her mask, revealing her face. With short black hair cut into a small side swept bang, hired assassin Rin crosses her arms and looks at Ayame with a sad look on her face.

“You keep getting faster, don’t you?”

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