Chapter 6: Revelations I
A white hawk soared through the sky with grace and dignity, flapping his wings. His glazed dark eyes darted across the land as he swiftly and elegantly flew over the treetops. Upon seeing his owner, he let out a loud screech and dived, trying to get to him fast. Mineo, who had been watching, held out his arm as high as he could for his hawk to land on. When the hawk gripped Mineo’s lower arm with his talons, he brought his arm down slowly. The hawk screeched again, letting his master know he was back.
“Well done, Zeeko,” Mineo smiled and reached for the strap around the hawk’s leg. Taking the scroll, he read the message and turned to Zeeko who was clinging onto his arm. “Seems like Yoroi and Bekkou caught up with them.”
“What’s happening?!” Yoroi asked, strangling Bekkou, “Why are her eyes glowing?”
“Doesn’t that always happen when Hisa-sama is having a vision?” Bekkou scratched his head in doubt.
Kazu watched Hisa in some kind of a trance and wondered if he had to do something. What could she possibly be having a vision about in this deserted forest, as far he knew she needed to be close to something related to the vision…unless…
“It’s not me!” Tama protested, “It takes skill to feel my presence, even you didn’t at first!”
“Then what else could it be?” Kazu wondered.
“Hisa-sama!” Yoroi and Bekkou leaned in to see her face from up close. Bekkou waved his hand in front of her eyes but didn’t touch her. “Are you okay?”
Dog barked, feeling the growing tension and bit into Hisa’s dress. Snapping out of her trance, Hisa fell to her knees, panting for air.
“Hisa-sama!” Yoroi and Bekkou sank to their knees as well, “What did you see?” Yoroi asked.
Hisa furrowed her brows in confusion, what did she see? She had no idea herself, it was very unusual and this time she couldn’t even try to make something out of it. It wasn’t just one vision, she had seen at least three of them. All different, but somehow related. When had her visions started becoming so weird? Maybe she didn’t have these kinds of visions before, because she had never been outside her own village. But how could she make sense out of this…
“I…I …” Hisa tried finding the right words to describe what she had seen. If it was confusing for her then it would definitely confuse people who had to imagine it. “A voice…”
“…I swear it’s not me,” Tama commented, thrilled by the possibility.
“A voice?” Bekkou cocked a brow. “What did it say?”
“Something strange,” Hisa brushed her hair out of her face before patting Dog who tried to cuddle her, “It told me …not to go to the Bridge of Eternity tonight.”
Kazu turned his gaze to the ground, “Bridge of Eternity?”
“Uh oh…” Tama gulped.
“You told me to go there. What are you up to?” Kazuhiko demanded an answer. This was getting a little too suspicious for him. First a voice appears telling him to go to the Bridge of Eternity and now there was another voice telling Hisa not to go.
“Nothing,” Tama laughed, fear clearly visible in the tone, “Nothing at all. I thought it’d be a nice place to chat ya’no.”
“Hey!” Bekkou shouted catching everyone’s attention. “If we keep going like this we’ll be reaching the bridge tonight!”
“Are you sure?” Yoroi questioned, even though he knew it was unnecessary. Bekkou was a little slow with understanding things but his sense of direction and distance were outstanding.
“What are you planning?!” Bekkou pointed at Kazu accusingly. “You didn’t wanna take a break till we reached the bridge you said. You better not be up to something or I’ll kick your butt so hard you’ll never be able to sit again.”
“I’m on a mission and I will complete it by bringing your princess where I am supposed to.” Kazu retorted, he didn’t appreciate being accused but then he could understand where their doubts were coming from. Their clans were already trying to make up for the gaps in their trust for each other, this would add nothing to their attempts of tightening their bonds.
Bekkou walked closer to Kazu but kept his distance still. “Our princess? What’s that supposed to mean? Isn’t she going to marry your next leader, is that the respect she’ll be getting there? And how do we know this wasn’t planned by the Sakurai from the start?”
“The Sakurai would never sink that low.”
“Low as the Imai?” Yoroi joined in, offended.
Kazu rolled his eyes in frustration, this was going the wrong way. He really needed to consider some communicating lessons once this mission was over.
“Stop it,” Hisa ordered, though she was having an odd feeling about the whole situation as well. Her eyes pierced into Kazu’s, she might not be strong but there was nothing wrong with her sense of poise or rationality. “Kazuhiko-san said he’d bring me back unharmed.”
“Hai…” The duo dropped the subject, they didn’t backtalk or question their superiors.
“Indeed.” Kazu nodded, thinking it was better to end it like this.
“But…” Bekkou turned to Hisa, seeking permission to continue. She looked back attentively which he took as a sign to proceed. “I think we should rest here. The vision might be something serious, we can’t take the risk.”
Yoroi silently agreed. Even if the vision was wrong there was definitely something not right about reaching the bridge tonight and they were with only the two of them to protect Hisa, because they weren’t sure if they could count on Kazu no matter what he said.
“That butter bun is going to ruin it!” Tama exclaimed, “Whatever happens, you have to get there tonight!”
“And why is that?” Kazu could see the logic in their thinking, but he was starting to feel that Tama was trying to make him do something he normally wouldn’t do.
“Is that okay?” Hisa asked Kazu whilst she decided to keep the other two visions to herself for now. It’d only provide them of more material to argue about and this could turn out really ugly.
“No! Say no it’s not ok!” Tama screamed, “You don’t understand, this is very important!”
“That’s fine.” Kazu responded, “We will camp here tonight and continue early in the morning. I will look for a different way to get back to the village if that makes the Imai ninja feel better.”
Bekkou and Yoroi nodded.
Hisa smiled, appreciating that he understood them, “Thank you.”
“You ruined everything!” Tama sighed.
Kazu ignored his complaint, “We need to talk.”
Nightfall came and they had set up their camps. Hisa sat on a mossy tree trunk with Yoroi and Bekkou in front of her on the ground near the fire. Kazu was sitting a few feet away from them on a rock, not bothering to get involved with their conversation about their journey to find Hisa.
“So, if I got this right…” Kazu tried summing up everything Tama had told him, “There is some clan out there that wants my help and instead of asking me they put a crazed voice in my head that’s supposed to lead me to a sword they need to …to do what?”
“I already told you! They were banned so they want to count as a part of the ninja world again. With the lost sword in their possession they can prove their strength.”
“How come they were able to seal you in my head without my leader finding out? You’re either leaving out details or these people are dumb. If I get the sword it will be in my possession why would I give it to them?”
“Because…you have to ask their leader these questions! You could’ve done it tonight but no, mister had to do the right thing!”
“Wait, what?” Kazu thought, realizing something. “They were there…you mean they were going to ambush? Why ambush me if they want my help…unless they wanted to kidnap Imai-sama’s granddaughter?”
“…I didn’t say that!”
“No, no, wait…this isn’t about me. This is about her.” Kazu looked in Hisa’s direction. “They need her.”
“Well, she is the only one who can find out where the sword is…” Tama murmured.
“You go back to your cowardly leader and tell him I’m not doing this,” Kazu refused to take part in the whole plan, “If he wants to count as a fearless ninja, he should start acting like one first. They plot something against the heir of a clan and then ask a stranger –who not only has a pact with them but is also on a mission to bring her back to the village so she can marry my stepbrother –to help them carry it out.”
“You’re not a stranger,” Tama interrupted. Kazu didn’t seem like someone that could be convinced easily, it was better to tell him what was really going on. “You’ve had me sealed in your head since birth.”
“What …no,” Kazu didn’t want to believe anything anymore. It was starting to get outrageous now. He had a mission and he was intending to complete it. “How is that even possible?”
“You’re the heir of the Gensai clan.”