Chapter 13: Mutant ninja
“Y-you…Tama-san,” Hisa stammered, feeling uncomfortable in his arms, “I…sorry, I thought you were someone else.”
It had been about a week since she had last seen him. He was probably still mad about her rude and accusing behavior, but it surprised her that he was still here. By now she had met or at least seen most of the guards, but she couldn’t remember meeting him and seeing he was positioned this close to the house meant he was not only very strong but also part of the royal guards.
Kazu didn’t bother with formalities, his biggest worry wasn’t being caught, but doing the job he was appointed to do. Eiji was a man who liked thinking ahead and he had known the attacks on Hisa’s life would double, that is why he had appointed Kazu to guard Hisa’s room especially. Normally, guarding wasn’t a hunter’s job, but Kazu was one of the strongest ninja, if not the strongest. That was also the reason it was easy for him to visit her chambers without any difficulty or suspicion.
Kazu forcefully pushed her behind him, blocking the sight of the enemy ninja he was facing. Dog jumped out of Hisa’s arms and ran inside. Hisa, not liking the feeling of her arms suddenly being empty, backed away behind a tree, she thought Kazu would have more space to move around this way as well.
As Kazu engaged in a fight with the attacking ninja, Bekkou and Yoroi came outside, with their weapons already drawn.
“It’s the ninja that were following us!” Yoroi shouted before he too attacked one of the ninja that had appeared as soon as he and Bekkou had walked out.
“Following you?” Kazu asked as he pushed the ninja off him and threw a few shurikens, “Why didn’t you warn the guards?”
“We thought they were just small burglars,” Yoroi dodged a few punches that were thrown at him, his skill that allowed him to speed up was really useful in these situations, “But they seem a lot stronger now!”
“Their strength is increasing,” Kazu tried to fight off the ninja that he was being attacked by with a little more difficulty than in the beginning of the fight. “Look out, they might rapidly grow in strength.”
Hisa watched most of the fight through her fingers. She knew she was pretty useless but she also knew it would cause them a lot more trouble if she decided to pity herself now. She had to try to stay out of their way at least. She hadn’t discussed it with anyone yet but she had been thinking about giving physical training another try. She probably wouldn’t even get as strong as a mere Sapphire scout, but maybe she could pick up a few tricks to stay out of danger as long as possible. That was a lousy goal, but it was a start.
She squirmed and gulped, feeling the heavy wind when someone landed behind her. Her eyes widened when she heard the clinking of kunais, but she was too afraid to turn around and look. She took a few deep breaths to gather enough courage and as she turned around she came eye to eye with one of the enemy ninja. His eyes were slightly bulging and were focused on the sky, it didn’t take long before he coughed blood and fell to the ground. Hisa watched him in horror before she felt a strong yet gentle grip on her upper arm.
“Did you want to count to hundred before turning around?” Yutaka joked, a smile gracing his face, but didn’t stand still for any more chatter. He took her by the wrist and pulled her towards the house but came to a quick halt, making Hisa bump into him, when the sound of an explosion filled the air and not soon after smoke emitted from the roof and windows. “Okay…maybe it isn’t so safe in there either.”
“Who are these people?” Hisa asked, catching her breath.
“I don’t know,” Yutaka breathed as he mercilessly swung his sword and slashed the chest of an enemy ninja open, “But they got nothing on u-,” He didn’t finish his sentence because the supposedly dead ninja jumped to his feet and his hands and feet started transforming into claws. His eyes turned from brown to a brilliant green and white fur crept over his skin. He bared his fangs in a hiss.
“Woah, didn’t see that one coming.” Yutaka commented dumbfounded before he grabbed Hisa around the waist and dragged her with him.
“He just turned into a cat!” Hisa commented excited, not caring about being carried away, she was starting to get used to it. “He’s following us!”
Yutaka ran in the most ungraceful manner ever as he was more than just a little freaked out. “What kind of mutants are these ninja! I swear he was dead!”
“He’s a cat so he has nine lives?” Hisa thought out loud.
“Yeah, that makes perfect sense, nothing weird about that.”
“What the hell is going on?” Kazu jumped between the mutated ninja and Yutaka and Hisa. “The others are starting to change too.” He threw a few kunais but the ‘cat’ dodged them with ease.
Yutaka put Hisa down before he looked around to see what Kazu meant. The other ninja were starting to get animal traits too.
“He got faster!” Hisa exclaimed, for some weird reason she was thrilled by all of this. Maybe it was because she was the kind who liked adventure even though she hated the adrenaline rush she got from it.
Kazu rolled his eyes, “Really, Captain Obvious…”
Hisa narrowed his eyes at him, but didn’t turn it into an argument, she really wasn’t sure whether she liked this guy or not.
“You bring Hisa-sama to a safe place, I’ll handle this here,” He ordered Kazu and ran off to attack the mutated ninja.
Kazu’s arms sneaked around Hisa’s waist and he picked her up, nonchalantly throwing her over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. Hisa’s eye twitched in irritation at the way she was being treated by him but then she’d figured this Tama guy wasn’t exactly well-mannered.
“Where is Kazuhiko-san?” Hisa managed to ask Yutaka before Kazu jumped up a roof.
Yutaka raised a brow at the question but shrugged it off, he had no time for that.
Kazu was made to stop after jumping from roof to roof several times. One of the enemy ninja’s allies had appeared and blocked the way.
Kazu put Hisa down and his arm wrapped tighter around her as he tried to estimate how many ninja could be hiding.
“I’M BACK!!!!” Tama announced cheerfully, “MISS ME?”
Agitated at Tama’s timing, Kazu silently heaved a sigh, “You were gone?”
“That’s not funny miste-,” Tama paused to analyze the situation and chuckled, “Ooooh, are we having an intimate moment?”
“Not exactly. “
“Masaru-sama!” Tama shouted in Kazu’s head, making him close his eyes at the loudness.
“Hello brother,” Masaru grinned, “I came to take you back.”