He looks on both sides and sees the bodies of the guards face down, each one in a small pool of blood. “Somebody’s here…”
Tesshu takes a few steps inside and is right in the middle of a small room. On each wall is a screen door, most likely leading into a different room of the house. Tesshu looks at each door, trying to see if it’s possible that somebody is hiding right behind it. As he’s observing, he can hear a faint creaking sound coming from up above.
“You’re hiding spot is blown. I’m not one of ‘them.’”
A few seconds later, Tesshu hears footsteps landing behind him. He turns around and sees a slender woman; her hair is a dark brown color, reaching half way down her back and pulled back to keep from getting in her eyes. Her light blue kimono is ripped a bit from the bottom and has a large, red stain along her chest and arms. In one hand, she has a single kodachi that’s stained red.
“What do you want?”
“Are you the former kunoichi that fled from the Akechi army?”
Hearing that put the woman on edge, making her go into a defensive stance, “So you are one of them…”
“I’m not here to take your life. I’m just here to get any information in regards to your former allies.”
“And if I refuse?”
“Then innocent men, women, and children will be killed. Can you live with that on your conscience?”
The woman keeps her gaze glued on Tesshu. As she replays the last few he spoke, she breaks eye contact with him and takes a deep breath, “That’s exactly what Akechi would do…”
Seeing that his words broke through to the woman, Tesshu lowers his guard, “Why did you flee from the Akechi?”
The woman looks at the guards she kills as she speak, “They’re ruthless killers; nothing but assassins and people who won’t hesitate to kill. We would go into towns and villages trying to take them over through brute force and stealth tactics when needed… I saw too many people die with my own two eyes and I couldn’t take it anymore. On my last mission, I killed my squad leader and escaped to this town, hiding among the townspeople. I had no idea that this town was under Akechi control, too. When I saw guards coming every few nights, I knew that I couldn’t hide much longer in this town, so I planned to escape on one of their shipping boats during the night.”
“You would be hiding away on an enemy ships. Did you really think that you would make it?”
“I was trained as an Akechi kunoichi. We’re taught to do whatever is necessary in order to achieve our mission objectives. I’m ready to try and take over a boat to escape.”