Tenchu: Shadows of Azuma – 9. Base of Operations

“I just love it when everything falls into place.”

Inside a large, empty room with large windows on the sides, Lord Akechi keeps her gaze upon her catch, eying every small detail about the prey hanging in front of her. She folds her arms and slowly walks around it to see everything from the front and back. She walks back to the front and continues talking.

“I’m a little bit surprised that your father hasn’t tried to come and find you so quickly. Perhaps he doesn’t love you like you think. It would truly be a shame now wouldn’t it,” Lord Akechi extends her hands out and gently wraps her hand around the throat of her prey, “Princess Kiku?”

Bound by her wrists and lifted off of the ground by a chains from the ceiling, Princess Kiku tiredly looks back at Lord Akechi. Although the grip around her neck isn’t very tight, Kiku can feel her pulse beating hard through her neck.

Weak, Kiku tries to speak to her kidnapper, “My father loves me… I never doubted it…”

“Oh? Are you sure? I mean, he is a lord after all. He has a duty to protect those who swore allegiance to him, which is the main priority of any feudal lord.” A sly smile slowly appears on Akechi’s face. She changes her grip so that the tip of her false nails are lightly pressing into Kiku’s neck, “I’m sure being a father wouldn’t fall high on his priority list.”

Kiku tries to shake her head, but it seems that Akechi’s nails are hitting direct nerves, so whenever Kiku wants to move her head, a quick jolt of pain shoots through her spine. She tries to be as still as possible while she’s forced to look at Akechi, “My father knew how to balance his duty with his parenthood. Besides, my father isn’t the only family I have.”

“Is that true?” Interested in Kiku’s words, Akechi moves her hand away from Kiku’s neck, bringing it to her side. “I bet you consider that Ayame as part of your family, don’t you?”

Kiku doesn’t respond; she simply keeps her gaze on Akechi.

Disappointed, Akechi lets out a small sigh and walks towards the window, “You’re so young, so naive. Here’s a piece of advice: true assassin’s don’t have family. They only get in the way.” Akechi folds her arms behind her back and looks down at the massive town below her. The moon shines bright in the clear sky.

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