Shigeru shakes his wrist and the sleeve of his yukata slides back; his entire forearm is covered in a thick sheet of metal, “My weapon is too heavy to try go defensive with, but I still have another arm to guard with.”
Taking a good look at Rikimaru, Shigeru shakes his head and begins to walk towards him. However, he simply walks past him, “I was given orders not to kill you. I’m not sure why, but I don’t disobey orders if it leads to peace.”
He stops walking and looks back at Rikimaru, “If I was you, I’d hurry back home. You might make it in time to save it.”
Rikimaru’s one good eye widens when he hears Shigeru’s words, “What do you mean by that?”
Shigeru readjusts the cleaver on his shoulder and continues to walk away. Getting back to his feet, Rikimaru takes a moment to reflect on the assignment: the informant was dead, but Tesshu says he has information that will help.
“I need to get back.”
Sheathing his ninjato, Rikimaru breaks into a full speed sprint, leaving out of the checkpoint and through the forest. Dodging past trees, leaping over streams and potholes laid out as traps, Rikimaru rushes back to Gohda territory. Breaking through the last wave of trees, he comes to a stop and looks at the sight before his eyes.
Within the town’s walls, there’s a large cloud of smoke rising into the sky. It’s not coming from the main castle, but it seems to be some kind of small shed near the edge of town. Near the town gate, he can see two ninja corpses lying motionless. He jumps to the wall to get a better look of the inside of town. In a few narrow passages, he sees more corpses of ninjas.
Rikimaru turns and sees an out of breath Ayame rushing towards him; her face has a large cut across her cheek.
“Ayame? What happened?”
“Did you seem them?!”
“Who are you talking about?”
“Akechi! She took Pricness Kiku!”