Chapter 12

Chapter 12: Tailing ninja

“I see the gates of Zenith!” Bekkou threw his fists up in the air, overwhelmed with joy because he was finally out of the sticky rain. “Warm meals and a soft bed here I come!” He waddled towards the gates with Dog following him right at his heels.

“And to think he’d be used to it by now,” Yoroi sighed and went after them, shrugging off his own comment.

“Hold on,” Mineo called after them, making them both come to an immediate stop. “Imai-sama wants to say something before we enter.”

“Imai-sama?” Bekkou asked from a distance as he walked closer. “What is it?”

“When you’re in the village, be careful,” Tetsuo warned in a low whisper, “Since yesterday some ninja have been tailing us.”

Bekkou and Yoroi turned to look at Mineo, who nodded in response. “Three of them. One is over there right now.” He made a gesture with his eyes.

“How come we didn’t sense a thing?” Yoroi frowned. He was a Dark opal just like Bekkou and Mineo, but it was weird that he hadn’t noticed a thing. His power was indeed speed, but he was trained enough to feel presence of ninja that were near.

“I didn’t either!” Bekkou said, sounding slightly startled.

“He’s been using something to make sure we didn’t notice him,” Mineo explained, “I only figured when I was on watch last night. I went to check out the surroundings and I think I ended up outside their range. I don’t know what they are using to stay hidden, but they are not very strong.”

“Why are they following us?” Yoroi asked.

Bekkou gasped, “Are they by any chance looking for Hisa-sama? In that case we led them straight to-”

“We don’t know,” Mineo interrupted, “They might just be burglars.”

“Either way,” Tetsuo said, “Be cautious, but inconspicuous.”

“Wake up,” Kazu’s voice rang in Yutaka’s ears, making him cringe and roll over.

It was his first day off in years, he wanted to sleep a little longer for once. “Why?”

“I have something to ask.”

“Ask.” Yutaka yawned and hugged his pillow, starting to drift off to sleep again.

Kazu inhaled loudly, signaling the already rising irritation. If there was one thing he hated then it was how people pretended to listen, but actually weren’t. “Fight me for Hisa-sama’s hand.”

Yutaka shot up from his bed and before Kazu could even blink Yutaka was clinging on his collar, with his eyes as wide open as he possibly could. Kazu looked at his irises, they were the darkest blue he’d ever seen. He’d always thought Yutaka’s eyes were dark brown like Eiji’s.

“What?!” Yutaka pulled Kazu closer by his collar, “WHAT?!”

Kazu rolled his eyes and pushed Yutaka’s hands away. “Do you know anything about mages?”

Yutaka stared at Kazu for a few moments in complete silence, trying to grasp the situation, “…Mages?”

“Yes, mages.”

“I…I swear I thought you said something about…” Yutaka scratched his head in confusion, “Didn’t you ask …”

Kazu cocked an eyebrow, “What?”

“Nothing,” Yutaka thought maybe he’d just imagined it, “So, mages…what am I supposed to know about them?”

Kazu grunted in response before he threw himself onto Yutaka’s bed. He closed his eyes and massaged his forehead, wondering if mages still existed.

Yutaka sat down next to him and leaned in all the way until he was only inches away from Kazu’s face. “You look sick.”

Kazu grabbed Yutaka’s face and pushed him away to create distance, “Just didn’t get enough sleep.”

“Why are you researching on mages anyway?” Yutaka asked as he unbuttoned his shirt, getting ready for a shower. “I thought they didn’t exist anymore.”

“HISA-SAMA!!!” Bekkou barged in and looked around, ready to hug-cling the first person he saw.

Kazu pulled his shirt over his face, covering most of it as Yutaka blinked at the man who’d just given them the most unusual greeting ever. “Who are you people?”

“Imai-ninja,” Kazu said, sitting up.

“Eh! It’s a dog!” Yutaka picked him up and instead of smiling as he was intending to, he knit his brows. “Where is his face?”

“That’s his rear-end.” Kazu replied casually.

“Ah!” Yutaka carefully turned the dog around and again failed to smile as he wanted to, “…I don’t see a difference…”

“You get used to it,” Bekkou rubbed his head, laughing sheepishly, “Takes some time. Just make sure not to hold him to close to your face, because when you get the wrong end he fart-”

Yoroi whacked him over the head, “No need to give so much detail!”

Yutaka laughed, “So what’s his name?”

Yoroi and Bekkou looked at each other before they looked at Kazu. They still found it a weird name. Kazu looked back at them and stood up to leave the room, he didn’t like awkward situations.

Hisa cuddled Dog as she walked down the hall. She was happy to see everyone again, she had missed their silliness to bits. As she passed the door to the garden she saw a faint figure, which made her walk back in curiosity. It was Kazu, she hadn’t seen him in days.

“Should we go say hi?” She asked Dog and smiled when he let out a small sound. “Let’s go then!”

She sneaked up on him and right before she could surprise him, he twirled around grabbing her around the waist, “Watch out!”

Hisa closed her eyes startled as she heard a kunai hit the ground, making a clinking sound. Just as she was recovering from that, her eyes fell on something that surprised her even more.

The pendant held by a dragon claw around Kazu’s neck.

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