Deep in the forest, not a soul is wandering through; both civilians and trained guards know about the dangers of shadows in the forest. On this night, the clouds continue to hang high, blocking out most of the light from the moon trying to shine down on the forest.
In a small cut out area in the forest, Rikimaru and Tesshu patiently await the arrival of two more shadows. Rikimaru is quietly leaning back against a tree, while Tesshu is sitting down with his arms and legs crossed. As the time passes, both of them exchange a quick glance at each other and start speaking about the situation. Rikimaru speaks first.
“Where were you when the Akechi were attacking the town?”
“When I got to the town wall, I already saw a few unknown ninja scaling the wall. At first, I assumed that they were hired ninja for the Azuma, but then I saw one of them turn their weapon on a civilian. I went around trying to reduce casualties as much as possible.” After Tesshu finishes his sentence, he falls quiet for a moment. He looks at the ground to try and collect his thoughts before speaking again, “I did whatever I could to make sure people stayed safe.”
After hearing Tesshu’s answer, Rikimaru keeps his eye on him as he begins to speak, “It just shows that you’re ready to assist an ally in a time of need, regardless if you have a specific reason for doing so. And it’s also a sign that you want to help Lord Gohda in the war against this new threat.”
Tesshu nods his head, getting back onto his feet, “An enemy of the Azuma is my enemy as well. You all do what you’re told to do and never have ill intentions. I’d gladly assist you whenever it’s needed.”
The sound of bushes rustling is loud, coming from behind Tesshu. Although Tesshu quickly goes on the defensive and turns around to face whatever it s that’s approaching, Rikimaru calmly waits. The rustling grows louder and then comes to a sudden stop.
“You can put your guard down.”
Hearing a female voice coming from up above, Tesshu looks up and sees Ayame and Rin traveling through the trees; each of them are standing on a branch high up. They jump down one at a time, landing in the small area set aside for their meeting. Ayame walks up to Rikimaru.
“Did I miss anything?”
Rikimaru simply shakes his head, “Nothing of great importance.”
“Alright. Since everybody is here, let’s get this strategy meeting started.” Ayame quickly brings her attention to Tesshu, waving her hand at him. “Since you’re the one with information you were trying to pass along to us, you should be the one to start the meeting.”
Tesshu nods. “I came to Gohda territory to pass along some information that would be useful in locating the Akechi army and their leader. From what I’ve overheard in my town, there’s a former ninja who managed to flee from the Akechi and is currently hiding out somewhere in a small home inside of a major trading port town.”
Rin cuts in after hearing about the town, “It’s the town that has an increase in incoming shipments, right?”