The Moonlit Corridor

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 39 (v.1) - sisters

Submitted: August 28, 2019

Reads: 24

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Submitted: August 28, 2019

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Silence and the samurai rode side by side, her Mongolian horse dwarfed by his black Arabian. Although reluctant to admit it, the ninja girl liked having a traveling companion, especially one skilled at catching and roasting fish.

“What are you thinking?”

Sung Ji turned her direction when he heard the sound of her voice.

“You’ve been smiling for the last mile,” she said. “I was just wondering what thoughts would bring a smile to your face.”

“Perhaps the warm sun and pleasant weather, or maybe I’m enjoying present company.”

“If I didn’t know better I would think you are flirting…” she said with the wink of an eye.

Her reply caught him off guard. Silence laughed. It was like music to his ears. “I see you have a sense of humor after all,” he said.

“At times,” she admitted.

“Tell me something that makes you smile,” Sung Ji requested.

“I smile when I think of my ‘sisters’ and old Chiharu.”

“Chiharu?”

“An aged nun. She was the sole inhabitant of the mountain retreat Sensei Hawk reconverted for his training camp. He kept her on. She was trained in ‘bu-do’ (martial way), but she seldom talks about that part of her past. I’ve seen a Chinese straight sword in her room, but have never asked her about it. She’s passive, perhaps because she is a nun, which may explain why she didn’t resist Sensei Hawk when he first arrived at her ‘Shrine of Autumn Mists’. She helped raise me, and my elder ‘sisters’, Water, Sky and Storm, my same-age ‘sister’ Wind, and the twins, Fire and Ice. Chiharu is like a mother, we girls are family and live apart from Sensei and his children of the night.”

“Are your ‘sisters’ as skilled as you?”

“We each have our individual strengths and limitations. Water is good with the short sword, which she never draws unless intent on using it. She moves like flowing water, but attacks fiercely like ocean waves against the rocks. Her sword is black like the night and those who feel its sting sleep eternal. Ice, the younger of the twins favors the long, double edge straight sword, and uses as secondary weapons her large hoop earrings. She dislikes men after one of the boys tried molest her. Her sister, Fire, caught him in the act and immediately killed him with her curved blades. They resemble flames, and are just as deadly. None of the boys dared come near us after that.”

“And the others…?” the samurai inquired.

“There is Wind, who has mastered twin straight swords, one of which she often holds underhand. Sky dislikes blades and bloodshed. Her expertise is the short wooden tanto. Then there is Storm. She needs no weapons, and prefers to use her arms and legs. Although she wears leather, metal studded gauntlets that cover her wrists and top of her hands. She deflects or blocks sword or knife attacks with them, or use them to strike. Like Water, she has some depth to her, but is not as deep. They’re both quiet in nature, but extremely decisive when it comes to conflict, and there is no negotiating with them. They will not stop until their opponent can no longer stand or breathe; depending on the severity of the situation.”

“They sound like true ‘mu-sa’ (warriors).”

“Hai,” said the girl. 

“What brought them to Sensei Hawk?”

“They’re orphans, like me. I was the first. It was long ago and my thoughts get confused if I try to recall those times, but I remember Water joined us before we arrived at the mountain temple. Soon Sensei brought the twins, and workers came to the mountain and reconstruction began. When the work was completed the builders left. In the meantime more children arrived, some of them boys. Sensei called them ‘children of the night’. Although we often trained together, they were housed in a different building. Chiharu cared for the girls, nursing our injuries and soothing our bruised bodies. She still cares for us. She dislikes Sensei. I’m not certain why.”

“Perhaps,” surmised the samurai. “It offends her to have a shrine and temple turned into a ninja training camp.”

“Of course,” she replied, “but there is more to it than that. I’m determined to discover the truth, about everything.”

“Good,” said the samurai. “I love solving mysteries. Let’s race.”

“Na-ni’ (What)?”

Ignoring her exclamation, Sung Ji prompted his horse to pick up the pace, then gallop forward, leaving the girl and her small Mongolian in a cloud of dust. In an instant she gave chase, determined to beat him at his own game.

 

From her vantage point on a wooded hillock, Minori wondered what motivated the samurai to suddenly take off. She was certain as Silence followed suit, that neither of them knew they were being followed. Knowing them as she did, if that were the case they would already have confronted her. That was the last thing Minori wanted. She had no grievance with either of them. Her objective was the elimination of Sensei Hawk.

She had no idea why Silence and the samurai were traveling together, unless like her, Sung Ji was using the ninja girl to lead him to Hawk. That was a possibility, since he was a warrior of justice, while Hawk was an evil thorn in the side of honest society. ‘Enough introspection’, she told herself, as she urged her horse to move. She didn’t want to lose sight of the hasty riders.


© Copyright 2019 C Wm Bird. All rights reserved.

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