With the shadow landing right between the guards, they’re thrown off by the sudden appearance of another body and quickly back step out of pure instinct. Rikimaru quickly rushes forward and swings his blade, landing a clean strike right across one of guard’s chest; the guard barely had time to defend himself and falls back, dead on the spot. The other guard manages to draw his sword and charges at Rikimaru. The guard goes for a downward strike, trying to catch Rikimaru from behind. Rikimaru holds his ninjato over his head, clashing with the attack. He repels the attack and quickly spins around, slashing the guard right across his throat. Trying to speak, the guard chokes on his own blood before bleeding out and falling face first to the ground.
Cleaning off his ninjato before sheathing it, Rikimaru looks at the guards for a moment, “Looks like word about the Limestone Caverns has spread quickly. This will easily cause them to go on the offensive. We need to find their base quickly before a war breaks out.”
Without time to waste, Rikimaru looks around for a sign of his informant. Lord Gohda received word that an undercover ninja has information that could lead to the discovery of the Akechi army’s main base of operations. Rikimaru was sent to meet with the ninja to collect this information. Due to the severity of the issue at hand, the closest area was the enemy controlled checkpoint.
Slowly walking along the path, he keeps an eye open to make sure he catches any approaching guards before they can see him; the sound of sandals slowly comes towards him. Rikimaru quickly dives into a nearby bush to avoid any confrontation; an enemy ninja is patrolling the path. The ninja approaches the bush Rikimaru is in, but isn’t able to spot him due to the lack of light. The ninja looks around for a moment before turning back to return along the path.
After the ninja turns around, Rikimaru lunges forward and grabs the ninja by the collar of his jacket, violently pulling him into the bush. Forcing him to the ground, caught in a choke hold, Rikimaru snaps the ninja’s neck, laying the body out under the bush. Rikimaru leaves the bush and continues traveling down the path.
He reaches a small elevated cliff next to the path. He jumps up and climbs over the ledge, giving him a much further view over the entire area; just off in the distance, he can see the wide open gate that leads out of the checkpoint. Between him are more elevated areas, a watchtower with an archer on top, a few guards patrolling, and the stream that separates it all. He sees the small bridge that leads over; no guards are standing on it.
“There’s too much exposed area surrounding that bridge. There must be something upstream that would make it easier to cross.”
Rikimaru searches up and down the stream. On his left is the cliff that it reaches. On his right, he notices a small hidden walkway within a dense patch of bushes. Following that path, he sees that it leads further through the checkpoint, just below an open stretch of unguarded brush; there’s something sticking out from underneath the bush.
Eyes set on a route, Rikimaru travels from cliff to cliff, avoiding any guards that may remain on his side of the checkpoint. When he reaches a cliff that overlooks the stream, he leaps high into the sky, jumping over the stream in a single bound and landing right at the edge of the other side. Rikimaru crouches down and looks inside of the bush.