The nameless swordsman and the renowned warrior

MadPinacolada

The Ghost Neighbor
“Fuck it…” she muttered and simply drifted off into the lands of dreams. It had taken her a whole night of waking and sleeping. Time to time she rolled onto her wrist and jerked away from her rest. It had her pissed off. This damned wrist! She should have cut it off the moment it even started getting a problem! With her hand! Though she preferred her world and reality with two functional hands.

A few or one hour before the rays of the sun would kiss the earth and announce the new day, the birds started chirping like always. It had her in a slumber. However as soon as her wrist slammed a wave of pain through her whole body, Chiyoko was wide awake. Blinking, she noted the bed on the opposite side. Yama Tsubame’s bed.
It was empty, cold and abandoned. The moment she wondered where the male could’ve been, she heard the tent-entrance slightly flapping. Of course, it woke none of those snoring men.

“Where the hell is this ass going again,” Chiyoko muttered underneath her breath before she pushed herself upon her limps. Immediately they ached terribly and almost caused her to fall. Gladly, the female handled her injury just fine and tip-toed after the man. Was he going to betray them? Chiyoko had never heard a damn about him! Curiosity was the only friend she had this early morning.

Tsubame trailed off, further and further with her sticked to his heels. However, at some point he just began to swing his sword. That’s when it clicked. He trained!
Chiyoko, though, decided to not interfere with it. After all this must had been her fault. Yama Tsubame got bored at their training just because she could not cover the pain. Yet this was foolish, so so foolish. What was his goal?! Be exhausted when the mission starts?

With care she leaned against a tree and kept herself perfectly hidden behind the bushes. Tsubame kept swinging, until a little feathered friend landed on the first rays of the sun. He really practiced until sunrise. His eyes landed upon the tiny creature, too. So little, so peaceful … exactly what one needed in a morni—

Her eyes widened. He— what was that?! A movement she had never seen before! Too rapid for her to notice what he exactly did! All she saw was how it he struck three times in one swing! How could he do that? Where did he learn something like that? And how would she ever deal with this? Perhaps if she kept watching, perhaps if— there was no observing. There was nothing to observe. She didn’t even know when he attacked. He just did! And it was all just a load of bullshit! Nothing more than a flash of steel and the silent death of his victims— that was his damned move. For once in a long while, Chiyoko felt like vomiting, felt her getting sick to the core. Yet… something was not right.

“W-what,”she mumbled. Her heart raced itself, and every other being on this world. She knew she breathed, but was the forest breathing, or her spinning world? And the bir— the bird! Her eyes almost fell out of their sockets. This accurate cut… Speed and accuracy… great. Just great. It had gotten worse! Was Yama Tsubame human at all? Did others knew about this trick? How would she ever counter that exactly now? Did he held back the whole time? She underestimated him, she underestimated him so much…
“Fuck,” she rasped too loud and almost hit herself in disbelief. Would he…

Time to expose herself and play it all cool…

Emerging from the shadows, Chiyoko didn’t let her facials warn him, nor did they do so much as move either. Gazing at the cut-a-half bird, it softened a bit before freezing once again. That poor creature.

“It’s so early! Do you want to be exhausted before the mission starts already,” she growled at him and didn’t realized how her hand wrapped around her wrist. “This is madness, Yama Tsubame.”
But this move… Biding her groan back was the only thing she could do. If Chiyoko pissed him off more, he would just shut down, or shut her head down. “That—,” she began and gawked at the bird instead of him, “That move, where did you learn it?”
And how can I encounter it…? And what was it?
 
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Hylius

Dragons are just bigger swallows.
"..." Even after his apology, he still felt bad killing the little bird. But there was no point grieving for just a little bird for eternity, and so he moved on. Besides, there would be no more time to grieve anyway, as there was a certain someone appearing from the bushes.

"Hmm? Early? This is about the time I wake up normally, you see. I still feel very much refreshed. There's no point practicing slashing birds if they have already flown off, you see," Tsubame said to Chiyoko, who appeared to be in a little bit of a shock. Even if she tried to hide it, he was able to tell. But could anyone blame her? Anyone that would see him do what he just did would be dazzled, what he did should be impossible. What made it even worse was the fact that he wasn't even seeming to break a single drop of sweat. In fact he was not even remotely out of breath. He just stood there, calmly, breathing normally as if he had only been standing there the entire time.

"Oh? The move I did to strike down that bird, you mean?" Tsubame smiled. Perhaps he could give her a small little backstory indeed... But he would give her a short explanation first. "Well... The short explanation would be... Training." He put heavy emphasis on that word. But in the end it was true. He did master such a ridiculous move by mere training alone.

"But I guess what you really want is the long explanation, right?" Tsubame put the bird he cut down in one of his pockets. Not exactly the cleanest thing he could do, but he certainly couldn't put it anywhere else. "Fine, I'll tell you. If you don't mind though, I will continue training a little bit. I'm still not finished, though I'm almost there." He once again firmly held the tsuka (the hilt of a japanese sword) and took a bit of distance, to make sure he would not hit her with his sword.

"You see, I only have one goal in life." He once again started doing basic swings. One would argue that, considering the ability that he had just demonstrated prior to being approached by Chiyoko, he would not need to practice basic swings anymore. After all, what was the point of doing that if you are already that advanced in your technique? "My sole goal is to become as good at the sword as I can possibly get. That is all I ever want from life, nothing else. Well, aside from some nice cups of tea, that is."

But there was something about these basic swings that seemed... Unnatural. Not in the way that it looked sloppy or odd... In fact it was the exact opposite. It was too... perfect. Way too perfect for a human to ever perform, that is. The strikes were all so precise... The blade was going in the exact direction he wanted it to go, showing full control. The slashes were all perfectly straight, at a perfect angle... His stabs were going perfectly forward, his blade never being unsteady, not even a little bit at the end. It was what one would call "robotic" in the current age. "Well, what is the perfect method to get better at swordsmanship? Well, training, of course. And so I did. I trained. I guess I could give you a little insight of my life until now... I will warn you though, I've lived a rather boring life. Try not to fall asleep, okay?" Of course, even if his life story was uninteresting, there was no way that anyone would lose attention listening to the explanation of such a move. "When I was nine I first started to swing the blade, my old man being my teacher. First with a bokken, of course, as it would be highly irresponsible to let a child practice with an actual sword. Quickly though, he realized I had a talent for it, giving me this old nodachi only three years later as he thought I was ready. I continued to train with him, until he had nothing left for me to teach. And as such, at the age of sixteen, I left my parents to live on mount Haku, to dedicate my life there to the sword. And so, I trained there. Every single day. Doing nothing else but eat, drink and sleep. Only training. The least I have trained in a single day while being there was thirteen hours straight with no breaks. The most... Well, I'll leave that up to your imagination."

He told all this while still remaining his perfect form. He even started to increase his speed a little now, too. "Unfortunately though, on mount Haku, I was the only human to live there. So I had nothing like a sparring partner or a rival to train with. That tournament that you and I entered... The first fight I had there was the first time I actually fought an official duel. Prior to that I've never fought anyone before, with the exception of sparring with my father. But anyway, we're getting off-track... So the only way to really improve aside from training is challenging yourself. So I had the idea to try and learn how to cut down a swallow mid-flight. I quickly realized... Only one strike was not going to cut it. The swallow would simply fly to the side and dodge the attack. However, if you add more strikes... For example, were you to strike two or three times, you would cover the swallow's escape route, which would allow you to kill it. However, swallows are swift little things... If you would strike once, the bird would already fly away and begone before you would even be able to do your second strike. As such, theoretically speaking, you would need to strike two... No, at least three times at the exact same time. Yes, if you had three people strike down at the same time, it might be possible. But I was not in such a fortunate position, so I would have to strike three times at once by myself. And of course, for a mere human, that is impossible to achieve."

When he said that last sentence, he stopped swinging his sword, and just stared right into Chiyoko's eyes. "However, unfortunately... I was bored and had nothing better to do. I mastered a technique that would seem to be impossible just by mere repetition and practice alone. You cannot imagine how ecstatic I felt when I first pulled it off. I felt really proud of myself, for once. But of course, I'm not just gonna stop when I do it once... I kept practicing it until I could pull it off consistently. As such, this technique was born."

Tsubame then just smiled it off, closing his eyes. But then soon, he approached Chiyoko. "How are your injuries? Do your wrists and your limbs still hurt?"
 

MadPinacolada

The Ghost Neighbor
"Oh? The move I did to strike down that bird, you mean? Well... The short explanation would be... Training."

That ass— it couldn’t have come from simple training! Chiyoko was everywhere and nowhere to learn the handlings of a sword. And none ever pulled off a show like that without even panting or sweating! Abnormal. Extraordinary. Whoever Yama Tsubame was, she would be more cautious around him.

"But I guess what you really want is the long explanation, right?"

Her lips slopped as he basically just tucked the bloody thing in his pockets. As far as she knew he had no other luggage with him— He didn’t plan on walking around with bloodsoaked pockets, did he?
Her… dinner almost dashed out of her stomach, gladly she kept the food where it was.

“That’s disturbing you know? Just toss it into the~”

"Fine, I'll tell you. If you don't mind though, I will continue training a little bit. I'm still not finished, though I'm almost there."

Pinching the back of her nose, Chiyoko exhaled. “It’s not like I would stop you.”
She would never. It was his decision what to do. If it weren’t for his tiny trick, Chiyoko would had never approached him in the first place.
Either way, the male already tightened his grip upon his sword-hold. As if nothing happened, he just began swinging it once again. As if he couldn’t pull off such trick with this irritating speed. Whatever this man was, she would stay cautious around him.

"You see, I only have one goal in life."

“Oh for fucks sake no, spare me your life details. I didn’t come by to listen to it,” Chiyoko groaned. However! What did she expect? Yama Tsubame listening to her? Hah… then she made a fool of herself.
With it her arms simply crossed, while her sight fixated on his frame.

"My sole goal is to become as good at the sword as I can possibly get. That is all I ever want from life, nothing else. Well, aside from some nice cups of tea, that is."

That— was her wish of life as well… Get better than anyone she ever met. Get better at something everyone told her to drop. Yet it had a slight difference: The reason.
Except the tea. It was wanted at some certain points, but not often. She loved her daily chocolate milk.

“Getting better than everyone? Hah! Let’s see how you want to beat me one day,” she mumbled before he continued.

"Well, what is the perfect method to get better at swordsmanship? Well, training, of course. And so I did. I trained. I guess I could give you a little insight of my life until now... I will warn you though, I've lived a rather boring life. Try not to fall asleep, okay?"

“I already am,” she chimed unamused, “But go on, it’s not like I care.” She hadn’t slept the whole god damn night! This wrist of hers made it almost impossible. However, somehow she was convinced that something flared her interest in him. How did the mysterious man, who came out of the nowhere, lived before?

"When I was nine I first started to swing the blade, my old man being my teacher.”
Nine?! He started two years after her… and was yet to be considered as the best out of the two of them. Her heart plumped and ached at the mere thought of his move. Nine… Two years after her and Chiyoko couldn’t pull any signature move off. “Rather early age, hm?” Who said she would offer him a truth?

“First with a bokken, of course, as it would be highly irresponsible to let a child practice with an actual sword. Quickly though, he realized I had a talent for it, giving me this old nodachi only three years later as he thought I was ready.”

“A natural talent , huh,” she commented with raised brows, “But fine, a good start.”
She gestured him to continue. Chiyoko’s father had never believed in her, just like so many other. Countless times they had told her to stop. And he? He got his support! She gritted her teeth, but soon relaxed it again. No need to get all messed up because of some lousy fact…

“I continued to train with him, until he had nothing left for me to teach. And as such, at the age of sixteen, I left my parents to live on mount Haku, to dedicate my life there to the sword. And so, I trained there. Every single day. Doing nothing else but eat, drink and sleep. Only training.”


Chiyoko expanded her eyes. That was all he had ever done? Leave his parents and train? Had he no… no youth to celebrate, or to remember? All about swords… Either it was madness or obsession, perhaps even both.
“You did nothing else? Only that? Did you visit your parents, at least?”
Argh! She had to get off this trip immediately. It wasn’t like she had interest in his tiring life… right?

“Unfortunately though, on mount Haku, I was the only human to live there. So I had nothing like a sparring.”

Chiyoko broke in soft chuckles. “Is that why you are socially shit? Explains a lot…” He was! She never saw Tsubame engaged in a conversation with anyone else. Nor did he seem to be familiar about the society they lived in. Yet it fit him well, in her eyes. Those precise blows were not made by a simple human being…


“That tournament that you and I entered... The first fight I had there was the first time I actually fought an official duel. Prior to that I've never fought anyone before, with the exception of sparring with my father. But anyway, we're getting off-track...”

“The first—” Chiyoko inhaled deeply. His first fight was at the tournament?! She glanced at the lightening forest, before rubbing her back of the head. “You never fought before, are you being honest right now or try to fool me?” He wasn’t, she knew it. However, if that had been his very first combat, then how much would his abilities expand in the following training sessions and fights? She had to keep up with him or else—

“So the only way to really improve aside from training is challenging yourself. So I had the idea to try and learn how to cut down a swallow mid-flight. I quickly realized... Only one strike was not going to cut it. The swallow would simply fly to the side and dodge the attack. However, if you add more strikes... For example, were you to strike two or three times, you would cover the swallow's escape route, which would allow you to kill it. However, swallows are swift little things... If you would strike once, the bird would already fly away and begone before you would even be able to do your second strike.”

“Wow, are the mountains that boring so you worry about stuff like that?” He could knock everyone out without missing a beat, even without his little special surprise in his sleeve. Yet he… tried to even beat that?
Poor birds, though. How many had served as his little training objects?


“As such, theoretically speaking, you would need to strike two... No, at least three times at the exact same time. Yes, if you had three people strike down at the same time, it might be possible. But I was not in such a fortunate position, so I would have to strike three times at once by myself.”
He fought like three men in total with his strike? Impressive, honestly. It was impressive. Tsubame had challenged himself and the humanity. Such move… was basically not even possible and yet he managed to pull it off.

“And of course, for a mere human, that is impossible to achieve."
Chiyoko chuckled. “So, you are not human? What are you then, Yama Tsubame? A legend? A myth?”
She was convinced he came from the mountains itself, a creation from nature and meant to be absolutely strange and extraordinary. Perhaps… he was meant to be more than a simple Swordsman.

Just then, his soft blows stopped and he took a little break. His sight bored into her eyes. It had a shiver running down her spine. A voice whistled her to run, flee and never to turn around. Yet she didn’t, and never would. In the matters of facts, she needed to know how he did this move, so she could think about a way to counter it. In their next fight, if everything went terribly wrong, he would make use of this move to cut her down— or that was what she imagined their next duel to turn out.


"However, unfortunately... I was bored and had nothing better to do.”
Chiyoko scoffed, “Oh so you were that bored, huh?”
Great! Go learn that move out of sheer boredom!

“I mastered a technique that would seem to be impossible just by mere repetition and practice alone. You cannot imagine how ecstatic I felt when I first pulled it off. I felt really proud of myself, for once. But of course, I'm not just gonna stop when I do it once..”

She inhaled. Of course not. He was not even satisfied with one time! No one would, if he could move like that. “Of course you feel proud of yourself when you just pull off something such inhuman,” she growled before crossing her arms. Alone the imagination of Yama Tsubame standing somewhere in those mountains and just smiling over the fact he managed to achieve something that incredible, made her lips twist upwards a bit. Chiyoko grinned at the male, “Did you squeak like a little child?”

“I kept practicing it until I could pull it off consistently. As such, this technique was born."

“I guess I could say that this move is indeed impressive,” she pressed thorough her gritted teeth. That was the first and last praising she would offer Tsubame!

“How are your injuries? Do your wrists and your limbs still hurt?"

He— “Blueberry,” this time is sounded so much happier, so much softer. “I think the General will call us soon. We shall head back.” She avoided his concern, of course she did! It was shame enough that he noticed… Did others took note of her pain as well? She had to cover it more… and yet, somehow she was grateful that he held back. It would’ve made things worse.
Swalloing her ‘thanks for yesterday’, she pivoted on her heels and stopped. Chiyoko coldly glanced over her shoulder. “Don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate the matters of you telling me your story, but don’t expect me to tell you mine…” She bit her lower lip and in her turning away, Chiyoko mumbled, “Please.”

She was not ready to talk about that one yet… her story, her own misery and joy. Unlike him, she had crossed a much worse path.

“Now come, before the General will punish us both,” she huffed and made her way back to the tent.
 
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Hylius

Dragons are just bigger swallows.
“That’s disturbing you know? Just toss it into the~”

"I know it is. But just tossing it into a bush would be disrespectful to its death. If I killed it for no reason, I'd just be a cruel human being. So I'll keep it so that I can eat it later, because then at least his death served a purpose: my survival. I know it's disgusting to just keep it in my pockets like this, but there's no time to roast it right now, and I don't have any other means to carry its corpse." Tsubame was very appreciative of life, and killing things himself always felt wrong to him. Even so, he wanted to get better, and sometimes that means going against even your own ideals.

“Getting better than everyone? Hah! Let’s see how you want to beat me one day.”

"Oh, just to clarify... I don't care about being better than others. All I want is to be the best that I can possibly become. If that means being better than everyone else, then that's just a nice bonus alongside it." He thought back on the tournament. Looking back on it, if he truly did not care about being better than others, then he would be rather hypocritical for lashing out against the judges for not winning. Perhaps there was more to it than just becoming the best he could become... Though he quickly found an explanation why.

"I entered that tournament to challenge myself. I wanted to see where I would be currently, to see if I still had much yet to learn. So you can imagine my disappointment when these so-called "swordmasters" were all pushovers. Was that all it takes to become a swordmaster?"

"And then, our duel came..."


He smiled once again. Yes, their duel... The duel that already has become a legend now, with people still talking about it. "You see, when I finally found someone that could keep up with me... No, someone that might even be equal, or perhaps even greater than me, I felt relieved. That battle was so satisfying... I don't think I ever had more fun in my life than back in that single moment. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. But then the battle was cut short. It felt like an insult to my efforts, to cut a battle that intense so shortly because "it was taking too long". I was so upset... Why did things have to end? I just wanted to continue having the time on my life fighting someone that I enjoyed fighting against, but then that moment was taken away from me. I was declared the loser, which only threw more salt in the wounds. And then I couldn't contain myself... Oh well. I still want to have a rematch with you, though. Maybe after all of this is over."

“You did nothing else? Only that? Did you visit your parents, at least?”

"As much as I hate to say it... No, I did not visit them. I haven't seen them in the time I lived on mount Haku. I was planning to visit them again after our rematch, so about a week after the tournament had ended... But that was cut short thanks to this gods forsaken war." He stopped smiling. In fact, he was scowling... It was obvious he was not pleased with this whatsoever. He left it at that, though. If she wanted to know why he did not enjoy war despite being a swordsman, she would need to ask him herself.

“I guess I could say that this move is indeed impressive.”

"
Oh my! Well, thank you for your compliment, dear Chiyoko-chan. I will make sure to write it down and hang it on my wall in my good ol' hermit treehouse on mount Haku, once I return there. Make sure you don't regret saying that." He chuckled at his little joke. At the very least, it was apparent that he did not hate her or anything like it.


“Don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate the matters of you telling me your story, but don’t expect me to tell you mine… Please.”

Tsubame found the way she phrased it a little curious, but he would not pry. "That's alright. I won't ask if that is not what you want. I only told you mine because my life story is boring anyway. I'm sure yours is much more interesting than mine... But that is not always a good or fortunate thing. I'd much rather be boring, in that case. Don't worry, I won't stick my nose where it does not belong."

"Yes, let's return. I just about finished with my training anyway. Are you sure you want to join the battle in your current condition, though? Even if you managed to cover it up pretty well with your raw ability, I wouldn't want you to make your injuries so severe that they would be permanent. I wouldn't want to have a rematch with you if you were in a worsened condition, after all."
He winked towards her as he started moving towards the tent. Of course, that was not the full story as to why he did not want her to be injured, but even he had his pride. He was not about to admit that he was worried about her safety that easily.

They soon approached the tent. It appeared that most soldiers were about to wake up. That was fortunate for them, they wouldn't be able to tell that they were out an about so early in the morning, so no rumors would start. Tsubame still kept the bird in his pocket, hoping that there would not be too much blood in there.

Soon later, they went outside, to gather up around the general. "Good morning, soldiers. With our reports, we have determined which role you will fulfill. We will call out your name, and then we will tell you your role."
 

MadPinacolada

The Ghost Neighbor
"Oh, just to clarify... I don't care about being better than others. All I want is to be the best that I can possibly become. If that means being better than everyone else, then that's just a nice bonus alongside it."

Was he for real? A nice bonus, he said. A nice bonus... It made Chiyoko sigh. A nice bonus, who could believe this man anymore. A nice, little bonus- topping everyone and everything? For sure, this had been just a nice bonus.

"I entered that tournament to challenge myself. I wanted to see where I would be currently, to see if I still had much yet to learn. So you can imagine my disappointment when these so-called "swordmasters" were all pushovers. Was that all it takes to become a swordmaster? And then, our duel came..."

She couldn't help but chuckle at his hatred for the other opponents. Though, she only could agree. They were nothing even close to a challenge. "Considering that everyone tries to avoid you, I guess is enough demonstration that they were only mere pushovers."
This- How would she ever figure him out? Only a week ago she couldn't stand his hair, and now she participated in a simple conversation with the same person. Perhaps she didn't only underestimate Yama Tsubame but also misjudged him.

"You see, when I finally found someone that could keep up with me... No, someone that might even be equal, or perhaps even greater than me, I felt relieved. That battle was so satisfying... I don't think I ever had more fun in my life than back in that single moment. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. But then the battle was cut short. It felt like an insult to my efforts, to cut a battle that intense so shortly because "it was taking too long". I was so upset... Why did things have to end? I just wanted to continue having the time on my life fighting someone that I enjoyed fighting against, but then that moment was taken away from me. I was declared the loser, which only threw more salt in the wounds. And then I couldn't contain myself..."

Ah yes, the duel that hauled in the alleys until the countless days. It remained as one of the popularest events in this country, probably. He remained in right, though. Chiyoko herself found it abstract that she was declared as the winner, without her winning. In mid-fight, her wrist had twisted, only a mere injury. However, if the combat would have continued with the same and containing dynamic, she would have lost for sure. Only the adrenalin in her veins covered her pain in those bones. He should have been titled as the victor. Would she ever confess her theory of her own father paying the judged...? Probably, but now was not the right timing.

"Yes," she coughed and glanced to the side, "You went pretty hardcore on those judges. Though they deserved it."

"Oh well. I still want to have a rematch with you, though. Maybe after all of this is over."

A grin played with her lips. "Next time I will beat you without the interruption of those damn judges!" If she survived this war... She never doubted him surviving, not with whatever tricks he could play. Though, it felt strangely okay to be praised by him. She was a match for him, that was all Chiyoko had needed to continue.

As he told her of his destroyed plan of visiting his parents, her grin faded. They... had they seen him fight? Were they there in the tournament? Had they cheered for him? Tsubame had no chance of asking them, neither if they were alright or not. Chiyoko imagined not seeing her little imp daily, not hearing his voice neither seeing him fail or success. It broke her apart. The missing piece of her- her brother. Gods, if he was alright with the asshole of father alone? Hopefully, or she would not hesitate to remove some lousy bodyparts and lives.

"Oh my! Well, thank you for your compliment, dear Chiyoko-chan. I will make sure to write it down and hang it on my wall in my good ol' hermit treehouse on mount Haku, once I return there. Make sure you don't regret saying that."

She scoffed, "Oi! Blueberry, I never regret what I say, you know?" Ah yes, how much she regretted saying it. Praising others... Others except her brother felt strange. However, in this case, Chiyoko guessed it was alright.

He paced beside her, and for a long while, she had not the urge to stab him.
"Are you sure you want to join the battle in your current condition, though? Even if you managed to cover it up pretty well with your raw ability, I wouldn't want you to make your injuries so severe that they would be permanent."
That had her lift her brow and gaze at- holy shit, he was huge. With huge, she meant this, hugely huge. A huge Blueberry that could cut anyone in perfect halves with a technique no human-eye could follow. Perhaps she could slightly get off her ross and be a tiny bit nicer to him then.

"Imagine I would already say I am injured," she laughed, "They would send me away again on an instant, Blueberry. And either way, you are not worried are you?" She wickedly smirked up to him. If he was, she found a way to piss him off. Perhaps pushing her luck was not the best idea. However, no risk no fun, right?

"I wouldn't want to have a rematch with you if you were in a worsened condition, after all."

A exhale escorted itself. "Oh you insufferable bastard," Chiyoko chuckled. That rematch was that important, huh? Ah, if he had known her past he might have known that a twisted wrist was not even the worst she had been put through.
Soon, they arrived at the tent. A low growl rumbled through her throat as those lazy asses still slept all peacefully. They had only gotten up a bit after both arrived. She supposed that was good enough. That way they could be convinced that Chiyoko, as well as Tsubame, had an earlier schedule and trained before the sun even greeted the sky.
"Good to see you all awake," she grumbled and returned to her bed to grab her swords. "Now go get ready before I am the one who kicks your butts!" That had them widely awake.

Not too short after the men were ready, the shouts of the genera had the troop collected. As he read the names, Chiyoko sighed silently before kindly-slapping Tsubame's arm. As soon as she got his attention, she rattled at her words. "About the bird, I bet your pocket is full of blood. I will clean it later on and you..." Her mind stopped for a minute. "... ask the others for a pair of clothes meanwhile. Don't get me wrong, I just do it so the tent won't have a weird smell."

Well, at least that was what she told herself...
 
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Hylius

Dragons are just bigger swallows.
"And either way, you are not worried are you?"

Tsubame chuckled a little when she said that. He decided to keep himself vague, to tease her a little and also to keep his pride intact. "Hehehe, maybe. Maybe not. It's up to you to figure that out."

As the general was reading up the names of the soldiers, Chiyoko proposed to clean his kimono, telling him to ask the others for another pair of clothing while she cleans it. "I guess we could do that... But that would have to wait until after dinnertime, after I have roasted the bird. Thank you." He made sure to talk as softly as he could, so the general would not hear him.

The general continued calling out names and their position, until eventually he was done. "Alright, that's everyone! Go to your respective carriage, you will get taken to your mission site shortly."

Tsubame was shocked... His name was not called at all. He was sure Chiyoko must be shocked as well, because her name was not called out either. What was the meaning of this? Why were their names not called? Were they not going on this mission? Were they banished from the army for some reason...? None of this made sense, he had no doubt that his raw ability was far higher than the other soldiers and the same could be said for Chiyoko, despite being injured...

And so, he immediately went to the general, to ask what was going on.
"Excuse me, Yotei-sama... My name was not called, nor was Chiyoko's. Was there a mistake? Or were we not put into a division?"

The general then turned around, looking at Tsubame. "Ah, Tsubame... Don't worry, you were put into a division. It's just not either of those divisions. You and Chiyoko are getting a different mission from me."

Tsubame was confused... A different mission? What would they need to do? Well, all they could do was listen to whatever the general had to say. And soon the general started speaking.


"Alright, so... I think this might be obvious, but you two are our greatest weapon. I was there watching the tournament and I do not think history will every see a fight as great as yours. It truly was splendid. Trust me when I say that the fight will go down the history books." The general gave them a smile and a nod of approval. "Obviously your raw ability will help us greatly, but there is something else about you two that brings us an advantage... The enemy does not know that you two are on our side. They think they still have the better troops, not counting on the fact that two of the greatest warriors of all time are among ours. As such, it is important that we keep that as a secret for as long as possible."

"Now... Chiyoko, you must be extra careful that you do not reveal yourself to the enemy, as you already are known to be a great fighter. The moment you are spotted is the moment that they are aware that there is a strong warrior on our side. However, you, Tsubame... Don't take this as an insult, but you do not have such renown. Almost nobody knows of your name, let alone your battle prowess. That brings us another huge advantage, as even if you are spotted, people will not take you that seriously yet. So the strategy is as follows..."

"You two will go together to assassinate the general of their troops, Tohitatsu Ryouhei. It is of utmost importance that you are not spotted, or at least not thought of as an enemy to them. The general can be recognized by his kabuto. You two will travel with only yourselves, but there will be shinobis to support you. If you need their assistance, call them. They will respond to the code "For lord Raijin". Once you say the word, one of them will appear in front of you. A shinobi will also appear if, somehow, the enemy either retreats or the general already has been slain, to tell you to return to our base."

"Remember, your only goal is to slay the general, so try to stay hidden. Fortunately, the forest close to where the battlefield takes place offers many hiding places. That is all. You two will be taken by a different carriage to the military site of squad 3. They will leave in about an hour, so make sure to be ready by that time." He nodded towards and turned around, ready to leave to join the other soldiers. Before he left though, he said one more thing. "Oh, something else... We will be telling the other soldiers about your mission, so they will not approach you amidst the battle. Likewise, you should not approach them either, as once the enemy sees you among them then surely your alliance will be betrayed. Good luck on your mission."

Tsubame was left pretty much shocked. They would need to do a mission THAT important? He wasn't sure how to handle it... But he had no choice but to just do it. He wondered if it would go well...
 
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MadPinacolada

The Ghost Neighbor
"Hehehe, maybe. Maybe not. It's up to you to figure that out."
"W-what?! Don't just," Chiyoko groaned and let the situation stay like that. Fine, fine. Did he want to play? This game needed two participants, and she was ready to fire everything.
He mentioned the "roasting the bird" thing as she declared to wash his clothes. She simply rolled her eyes. "You and your strange habits."

And soon, the divisions were made. Well, except for her and Tsubame. The only thing that rushed through her blank mind was that she might have disappointed the military and her father's reaction. Her heart sunk to her knees. Failing... Failing! She couldn't- wouldn't! How could they- did they noticed her injury? Was someone backstabbing her? Had the bastard of bluehead told her off? No. How? When?
Had someone saw and heard them?

Chiyoko saw her world fading black, and the master of swords moving. Automatically her limps heaved after him. The surroundings muted, the birds halted their songs, and the others, who she remarked moving their lips, had not spoken a tone. Only the blankness in her whole body, as if something burned her bones, her energy, everything.


"You and Chiyoko are getting a different mission from me."

Her head snapped up. The birds had never halted their hummings, and the men had been the most excited than ever.

"A different mission," she whispered underneath her breath, and could have slapped herself for losing control like that! Chiyoko guessed this had been her lack of sleep, as well. When this continued like that, she had to fix the problem with her wrist and ankle sooner than expected.


"Alright, so... I think this might be obvious, but you two are our greatest weapon. I was there watching the tournament and I do not think history will ever see a fight as great as yours. It truly was splendid. Trust me when I say that the fight will go down the history books."
Her chin jerked at the praising. Indeed, Tsubame had mentioned something like that earlier as well. And that meant she was not just good, but excellent, outstanding! Had she finally showed them all that she could do? That not stopping was the best?

"Now... Chiyoko, you must be extra careful that you do not reveal yourself to the enemy, as you already are known to be a great fighter. The moment you are spotted is the moment that they are aware that there is a strong warrior on our side."

Chiyoko sucked on her teeth. Of course, her reputation dived her into a hole of disguising. Yet, she was familiar with it and knew how to fulfill any tasks without everyone knowing that Nagushi Chiyoko had been in the area. However, she understood their point in this situation. Either way, sh had to hold herself back anyway.

"However, you, Tsubame... Don't take this as an insult, but you do not have such renown. Almost nobody knows of your name, let alone your battle prowess. That brings us another huge advantage, as even if you are spotted, people will not take you that seriously yet. So the strategy is as follows..."
She would mock him with it later on. Though, in such missions, Tsubame turned out to be rather useful. Chiyoko, on the other side of the coin, also believed in the loudmouths of the folk. At least every 5th person had a different image of Tsubame in their head, according to which story someone told them. It had started like that in her career too. Yet a bit mockery had never hurt anyone...

"You two will go together to assassinate the general of their troops, Tohitatsu Ryouhei."

The vein popped. A rival general?! They?! Assassinating him?! How in the world- why? Why should they do it? Of course, they had been the best of the bests, and needed to remain as an ace in the sleeve of their own army, but still! Such an important matter... In fact, Chiyoko had never murdered anyone. All her opponents remained alive, only a few injuries, and some lasted for two lifetimes.

"It is of utmost importance that you are not spotted, or at least not thought of as an enemy to them. The general can be recognized by his kabuto. You two will travel with only yourselves, but there will be shinobis to support you. If you need their assistance, call them. They will respond to the code "For lord Raijin". Once you say the word, one of them will appear in front of you. A shinobi will also appear if, somehow, the enemy either retreats or the general already has been slain, to tell you to return to our base."

Shinobi? They would get them, not only for emergencies but for the general to get reports of how Tsubame and Chiyoko would fulfill this mission. Another test, probably. A test where every mistake could have cost them their head...
Chiyoko grunted silently. Just great.
Why couldn't it had been... any other things but such?


"Remember, your only goal is to slay the general, so try to stay hidden. Fortunately, the forest close to where the battlefield takes place offers many hiding places. That is all. You two will be taken by a different carriage to the military site of squad 3. They will leave in about an hour, so make sure to be ready by that time."
One hour... She was ready, though. Her luggage had remained the way it was. She simply needed to tag it along and sort some things out. Perhaps she wouldn't even take that much with her. Just the basics.
"Sir, yes, Sir," she hummed as the general rotated away from them. Her head thundered like a storm. Butchering a rival general... As their first mission and a test. How fortunate.

He had spoken about informing the other squads and how they shouldn't interfere with each and other. She didn't really listen to that point anymore, as she had already gazed up toward Tsubame. "Oi, Blueberry, who of us will end this
Tohitatsu Ryouhei?"
 

Hylius

Dragons are just bigger swallows.
Suddenly, Tsubame got really energetic and raised his voice. "One hour? Perfect! Chiyoko, help me find some firewood! I still have a flint and steel somewhere, I think..." He immediately started running towards the forest to go and get some firewood. After all, an hour was more than enough to prepare roasted bird.

Soon after, he had a campfire going and pierced the bird with a twig, so that he could roast it with ease.
"Well, that is fortunate... We can have breakfast before we leave. Or well... At least I can. I don't think this will be enough to fill us both... You'll have to cut down a bird yourself, I suppose." He chuckled a little once again as the bird slowly was starting to get roasted.

"Anyway, regarding your question... I don't know. I have never killed someone before, nor do I really want to kill anyone, really. I don't like murder." He took a bite from the roasted bird. It was decent enough for breakfast. At least he wouldn't fight on an empty stomach... "So to be fair, I'm kind of glad we get a mission like this, where we only need to kill just one person. I want to kill as few soldiers as possible, so having to remain hidden until the general appears is fine with me. Even if I don't have a clue on how we will do this at all..."

A few moments later, he finished up the bird. "Well, that wasn't too bad, I suppose. I most certainly had worse..." He got up and buried the leftover bones. "I hope you may rest in peace," he said to the remains of the bird. And then, he got ready to leave... "Well, shall we go? I suppose the carriage is about ready to leave."

Soon after, they arrived at the carriage. It was pretty big for just two people, but that was to be expected as a carriage was supposed to take a large group with them. Not that Tsubame minded, though. He didn't like sitting too close to people. He wondered where Chiyoko would sit, though... Would she sit next to him? Or opposite of him?
 

MadPinacolada

The Ghost Neighbor
Out of nothing, this bastard just shouted something from firewood and rushed into the forest. Some turned to him, while Chiyoko simply hurried after him. It wasn't really because of the bird, was it? "O-oi! Now, wait a moment you asshole!" Not as if he ever heard her. Grunting, she collected some wood and just tossed it before him.
"If that's about the bird... I will turn this travel into a suffering journey for you."
Surprise, surprise. It was about the fucking bird he had just cut to halves.


"Well, that is fortunate... We can have breakfast before we leave. Or well... At least I can. I don't think
this will be enough to fill us both... You'll have to cut down a bird yourself, I suppose."

Chiyoko grunted at his chuckle, well knowing that she couldn't cut a bird like he could. Her fist bumped into his arm as she settled beside him. "You are a mean bastard, you know? Maybe I should just eat your next meal."

"Anyway, regarding your question... I don't know. I have never killed someone before, nor do I really
want to kill anyone, really. I don't like murder."

"I bet the bird can say otherwise," she chuckled. "And who knows, maybe we can just send a shinobi. Though, I doubt that. This is just another test, to see if we can kill."
A sigh escorted itself before she gazed to the sky. Her appetite wasn't the best, nor had her stomach signaled her any sign of hunger. She could eat later on, too. While... he just ate his roasted little birdie.


"So to be fair, I'm kind of glad we get a mission like this, where we only need to
kill just one person. I want to kill as few soldiers as possible, so having to remain
hidden until the general appears is fine with me. Even if I don't have a clue
on how we will do this at all..."

"Ah, let's wonder about that on the way to the enemy. I am sure we will figure something out," Chiyoko said and observed the happy chirping birds, which were still alive and not cut to two halves for matters of practice. It was entertaining at some point. Considering that he had come from the mountains... his point of view must have been so different! Chiyoko huffed as he finished his breakfast. "You know, if you would have lived alongside others, I bet every girl would have a crush on you." Perhaps not. Perhaps he would have grown up differently and not to a walking riddle. "I don't count to them, though. Don't build up your hopes, I definitely am a strange woman."
She fought like a fine piece of art! Of course, she was different. Her whole life she was occupied with swords and traveling, and after this incident, she had never even wasted a thought of men or romance. Fighting. That was her life, and now she used this to serve her lord!

Tsubame simply gave the birdie a grave and wished it a peaceful rest. Silently, Chiyoko excused its death. It just happened to be at the wrong spot, the wrong time. Sometimes this had gotten some murdered.


"Well, shall we go? I suppose the carriage is about ready to leave."
"Is it?" How fast time could pass, too! She sighed and tried to calm her numbing body. It really had gotten no rest this night. As if she participated in some kind of heavy fight, and was covered in wounds. Chiyoko decided to leave her things where they were. All she had needed was already with her. Her swords and her tunic. More the female had never needed.
"Let's go slowpoke," she hummed and made her way to the carriage. He certainly was faster than her, and had already sat the moment she arrived. When had he passed her...?

Somehow Chiyoko climbed inside. It was enormous, indeed. A carriage for a whole squad, now used by two persons who were a squad by themselves. Weapons, had the general called them. Weapons... However, an overtired weapon had no use, hadn't it?
Snarling, she tried to suppress the urge to simply let her frame fall and sleep. Until her silent mind became a last idea.

"Blueberry, if you are uncomfortable, then I don't care. It's just for a moment..."
With her mumblings, she simply sad beside the male and leaned her head against his shoulder. Immediately, her eyes shut down.
"Just a second..."
 

Hylius

Dragons are just bigger swallows.
"You know, if you would have lived alongside others, I bet every girl would have a crush on you. I don't count to them, though. Don't build up your hopes, I definitely am a strange woman."

"You think so? Honestly, I might disagree with that statement... I don't think anyone could stand to be next to me after about ten minutes of dating me. I'm very boring, you see." That was what he honestly thought of himself. He did not really consider appearance a factor in his likability, even if he might be slightly more handsome than the average man.

"Blueberry, if you are uncomfortable, then I don't care. It's just for a moment... Just a second..."

And then, she fell asleep right on his shoulders. Well that most certainly was something he wasn't expecting at all... That she would already trust him enough to use him as her bed. But he did not care. He knew that she was injured, so she most likely couldn't sleep properly thanks to the pain. "Yeah, yeah... Just get some good rest, okay? You don't have much time to get refreshed." In the mean time, he gazed at the sky, his mind dwelling off a little bit. It was nice weather. The sun was out, and the temperature was pleasant thanks to the summer breeze. It might be better for a battlefield to have clouds so that the heat would not be as bad, but this was not the worst. Besides... They would not be actively participating in the battle anyway. They would most likely only need to hide for now.


A few hours later, they arrived at their destination: The camp of squad 3. It appeared that they were losing the battle, and so reinforcements were most definitely needed. Though they still barely managed to defend their area, many of their troops were injured, and it would be only a matter of time before they would lose. But squad 7 was now sent to reinforce them, to turn the tides in their favor. Tsubame woke Chiyoko up, to tell her that they arrived. "Hey, sleepyhead. We're here."

Tsubame looked around the camp. Everything was... Bleak. Everyone appeared to either be in sorrow or in rage, none of them seemed to want to be there. Which was understandable... War is not meant to be fun or enjoyable. Even so... Tsubame did not feel at home whatsoever. To him, swordplay was something beautiful. Two swordsmen slamming their metal sticks against each other in an elegant fashion, as if they were doing some kind of enchanting dance... A true form of art, something that was pleasant to look at. But this... This was the opposite. This was ugly, disgusting, horrendous... A bunch of men stuck in a camp fighting with their lives for someone else's success... Many men injured in a cramped up little camp that was covered with the stench of blood, alongside the feeling of hopelessness and despair... How could anyone see this as a form of art? The only thing this is, is depressing.
 

MadPinacolada

The Ghost Neighbor
"Hey, sleepyhead. We're here."
Yeah, no, they weren't. She just decided that one. Her tired head found that as an amazing idea. "No," she protested, "Let's not..." And right when she was about to fall asleep once again, this ass had just moved. Lighting struck her body and she dashed up to her legs.
"Oi! Blueberry, I said no."
As if he ever heard of anything she said... Tsubame just kept moving into the camp. Grunting, Chiyoko had nothing better to do than follow him.

However, soon her own pain was forgotten as her lays fell on the wounded men. It was obvious that troop three lost a few battles, and it wouldn't take long until their camp burned either. They were unable to fight the enemy off. So that's why we are here, Chiyoko thought and bid her vomit back. She had seen injuries from deep to light, yet this was on some levels above it.
A few lost their body parts, or it was disabled. And oh gods, how many fought for their life at this moment?! Light eyes then fell into hers- she saw emotions she wished were never there. Emptiness, despair, hopelessly. And yet... as they saw her and the bluehead striving through the camp, something of relief sorts softened their facials.
It was complete chaos... Everyone who could walk rushed from one side to another. Why weren't they sent earlier...?

Of course, they had to keep cover for now. However, this scene should have never happened. It was a moment where Chiyoko realized what war actually meant. Nothing with honor nor joy, nor any games- no, families lost their beloved ones, people lost themselves, people were sent into their own misery. For what? To win something others had started? Even if it was for the lord, this was delusion! Sheer delusion...

Chiyoko gulped and soon was to walk at Tsubame's side. Her head kept low as she mumbled,
"This is madness... Why didn't they sent us earlier? This could have been prevented, couldn't it...?"
How many families, how many children, and women had lost their loved one alone on this day? How many would they lose? They had no choice of... biting goodbies at each other. Perhaps the lust kiss had stayed for a farewell... Would she ever see her brother again? The last thing she said to him was "Yah, you dumbass! Don't do stuff I wouldn't do." The last time she told him her concerns about him and how much she cared for him, had been a while, too. Her heart crumbled into many pieces. Alone the imagination of... never seeing this little imp again, or hear his voice... Chiyoko couldn't die. She wouldn't.
 

Hylius

Dragons are just bigger swallows.
"Tch, what a vile sight... This sickens me. I want to leave." Tsubame looked away, scowling and closing his eyes. It was obvious that he was not pleased with this sight. But he knew he could not leave... So instead, he would strive to end this war as quickly as possible... So that all of this pointless suffering would end. Why weren't people just able to talk their issues out? Oh well... In the end, politics were not his thing.

The general approached them. "Good, you have arrived. As you can see, the situation is rather dire. Most of squad 3's troops have already been eliminated... We will need you to finish this as soon as you can. We still do not know the location of their main camp, but we're having our shinobi working on it. I wish you luck on your journey." The general nodded to them and then walked back to the general of squad 3. Tsubame nodded back and then walked back towards Chiyoko.


"This is madness... Why didn't they sent us earlier? This could have been prevented, couldn't it...?"

"Yeah... It is... Death truly is ruthless in who it picks, huh?" He looked down and closed his eyes. For once, Tsubame was not smiling or laid-back. He was... Sorrowful. He never had encountered death himself, with the exception of the birds he killed, but still he was as sorrowful as someone who had lost someone that was close to him. Maybe it was a little strange for him to be like that, but it was obvious; He did not like death or murder.

"Well... I suppose we should go. We need to end this quickly, before more lives will be lost." And so, Tsubame headed off into the forest. He had no idea where they would be going... But they needed to be going somewhere. Just... Somewhere. Standing still would be moving backwards in this case. He scanned the area to see if the general was anywhere, but nothing as of yet.
 

MadPinacolada

The Ghost Neighbor
His mask had somehow dropped, that Chiyoko saw without even trying. Of course he would! This was bullshit, such a huge bullshit.

Lifes for a life. She hoped it wouldn’t end up with others of the folk being needed— that her brother would never see such shit. It was the worst of the worsts. She saw men with injuries not even she could imagine of. This was nothing but madness, just because one thought it would be something to fight them. How could anyone be so cruel and just sent other lifes to a risk? Her’s, too, was on the line… When her injury wouldn’t get better any soon, it would be hard on a real battlefield. Gladly, they were kept hidden until they were truly needed.

"Well... I suppose we should go. We need to end this quickly, before more lives will be lost."
Her head snapped towards him. “Y-yes,” she muttered before strolling aside of him. Of course, he fled to the forest.
Other thoughts, they had to calm down. Both of them. The lives were now in their hands, and one mistake could have cost more than any of her dresses.

“You like the forest, huh,” Chiyoko chuckled and held a brench away from her face. They needed a plan, too. How would two master swordsman, who were disgusted by death, kill anyone?
 

Hylius

Dragons are just bigger swallows.
"Hmm... I certainly don't hate the forest, at least. Considering that there are many trees on mount Haku and I practically lived in a treehouse I built there..." Even if this mission was incredibly tense and nerve-wrecking, there was no point in having your succumb to the pressure that was on them. Else they would never be able to do it. So he still tried to be as relaxed as possible. He hoped that his relaxed attitude would cause her to be more relaxed, too.

Though the area was not exactly helping them. Though they were not actively participating in the battlefield themselves and were walking in what seems like a relatively peaceful forest, the presence of a battlefield most certainly was there. Aside from the stench of blood that also could be smelled in their military camp, one could also hear the battlefield. The clashing of swords, the war cries, the screams of men getting killed... Those also were very much present. If one did not know there was a battle going on, one would say that this forest is haunted.

They continued to walk, not leaving the forest to interfere with the battle. Suddenly he heard a rustle, coming from behind them. He turned around and stood in a stance, ready to fight... But it was nothing more than a squirrel, getting out of a bush to climb onto a tree. It was apparent that even Tsubame was not fully relaxed, even if he tried to be.
"This is making me paranoid... Say, how are you feeling? You think you'll be okay with your injuries?" Even if he was a little paranoid himself, that didn't mean he would suddenly stop caring about others. Even in these times he still was rather selfless.

They continued to walk for hours and hours, without any success. The whole time the presence of the battlefield was still there. It was a wonder that neither of them had gone mad yet. But then again, even if they were not truly familiar with an actual battlefield, at least the clashing of swords was something that they knew. At least they could cling on to that... But even so, this clashing of swords was far different than what they had experienced. The clashing of swords from those who only duel was elegant, smooth, flowing like a stream of water. The clashing of swords that they heard was merely destructive and ruthless. After all, people were fighting for their lives here.
 

MadPinacolada

The Ghost Neighbor
"Hmm... I certainly don't hate the forest, at least. Considering that there are many trees on mount Haku and I practically lived in a treehouse I built there..."
Chiyoko chuckled lowly. Indeed, a forest was nothing to hate. Not did it only spent cover, no, it also gave her sole quiet moments.
“Personally,” she mumbled and overthought it once again, “… Well, I love the forest. I had a load of training sessions in several ones, and sometimes I had some quality alone time with myself.” Or with the imp.
Yes, her brother had a fond toward the forest. He loved the nature dearly, and so did she. The fact, that it also got destroyed by the war at some points was even more irritating.

Chiyoko listened to the cries of misery and death. It was not real… It hadn’t felt real. People were dying barely a few meters away from them.
She inhaled for a time. It was now up to them wjo pulls the rop—

Tsubame suddenly fidget to the side, ready to attack. Out of reaction, the female landed her hands on her swords. It turned out that a squirrel had frightened the calm warrior beside her.

"This is making me paranoid...”

“Maybe you will cut squirrels from now on,” Chiyoko slightly chuckled. Sometimes even a Yama Tsubame could lose his mind, though she knew her rhythm beaten with his. She always was able to adapt to others around her. Due to her figuring, it would have been wiser to keep a clear mind.

“Say, how are you feeling? You think you'll be okay with your injuries?"
Chiyoko sighed. Right, he knew. And for some reasons, Tsubame kept on asking over her injuries. She had to give him credit for that, at the beginnings she thought of him as an outsider who didn’t care. Apparently she was terribly wrong.

“Honestly,” she began, “It won’t get any better. I guess I need to avoid fights or when someone challenges me, the only option is to end him before he can fire any blows at me.”

She saw no point in lying. Not when they were on a mission. A partner had to know when the other one was not in the best states. It was only a fair game to play— Chiyoko guessed.

Her eyes glanced over to him, with a slight grin, “Say Blueberry, are you turning to a little softie?”
Chiyoko gazed into the depths of the forest and its shadows, as she said, “Don’t worry. I won’t die because of a twisted wrist! I’ve had it worse.”

And they wandered around, the cries of a battle, of agony and pain in their backs. This was madness, nothing else. A waste of time, too. Too many had left their lives at the fields already …
 

Hylius

Dragons are just bigger swallows.
“Say Blueberry, are you turning to a little softie?”

Turning into a softie, huh...? He guessed he always had been a softy from the start, then. Tsubame was always quick to worry about others, even as a child. He did not really have an explanation as to why he was so quick to feel like that. He just... Did. It was in his nature to worry, something that was not quickly apparent to people because he often distanced himself from them. Chiyoko just happened to be lucky, he supposed. "A softie? Hmm, I guess if you say that I'm turning into a softie, you could say that I've always been one. But in the end, is that natural? I don't like killing at all!"

After walking for a while, the sounds of the battlefield were less apparent. They were strolling away from there, it seemed. They were currently walking on a defile, but there still were enough bushes and trees to hide in should an enemy spot them.

They still hadn't encountered the general. However, Tsubame noticed something in the distance... It appeared to be an enemy camp. And so he ducked and hid behind one of the bushes. "Duck, and stay put," he told Chiyoko, trying to analyze the area. He looked through the bushes, to see if there was any way around the camp which would allow them to not get spotted easily... But unfortunately it was a large open area, and because they were on a defile the camp was on a choke point. However... The soldiers there appeared to be drunk. It was not too big of a surprise, really... Many soldiers drank alcohol to raise their courage, as many were scared to fight on the battlefield. Drinking alcohol helped with getting rid of those nerves, in exchange for accuracy. "There is an enemy camp in the distance... It is definitely not the main camp, so the general we are looking for most definitely is not there... The camp is in an open area and on a choke point, as it is guarding the only way to go past."

"I'd say the only realistic way we could go past them is either by fighting and killing all of them on our own or having some sort of decoy to distract them while we go right through the passage... Wait... Decoy...?"


He suddenly had an idea. "I have an idea... And it could maybe even help us out if we're lucky. For Lord Raijin." One of the shinobi appeared, kneeling in front of Tsubame. Tsubame spoke to him. "I want you and some other shinobi to distract the camp up there. Make as much mayhem as you can so that every single soldier out there is alerted and tries to chase you. Once we have trespassed the area and think we are safe, I will raise my sword up in the sky, as a sign that you may stop distracting them." The shinobi nodded and jumped back up in one of the trees. "Alright... I want to try and look for something in their camp. I hope the shinobi will hold out... They appear to be drunk, so I think they will be okay, but let's wait and see."
 

MadPinacolada

The Ghost Neighbor
"A softie? Hmm, I guess if you say that I'm turning into a softie, you could say that I've always been one. But in the end, is that natural? I don't like killing at all!"
A tiny scoff ran over her lips. Birds clattered with their wings above them. The more distance they grew to the battlefield, the more her muscles relaxed. Chiyoko couldn't end anyone's life either, at least not with a particularly good reason. Sure, injuring was somewhat of fine. Because they lived after it. Wounds heal. Death doesn't- what a surprise.
Her eyes trailed to the said birds. If you'd know what this ass beside me did to your sister, you wouldn't sin-

But before her thoughts found an end, he dashed to the bushes. Perplexed Chiyoko scanned the spot before she actually laid her sight onto the possible threat. A camp- not one of theirs. Immediatly she postured herself behind those bushes. "Duck, and stay put."
Chiyoko simply nodded, though she hated it when someone gave her orders... On the other hand, she didn't want to end up like those tiny birds. And yet... she had slowly begun to doubt that would ever happen... She trembled her stellar- bullshit. Who was she to drop her defenses already?


"There is an enemy camp in the distance..."
"Yes, I can see it," she whispered in her normal arrogant ways. She had her own eyes, he knew right? Apparently not. And either way, the faint scent of alcohol that now flooded her nostrils and the half loud voices gave the camp away now.

It is definitely not the main camp, so the general we are looking for most definitely is not there... The camp is in an open area and on a choke point, as it is guarding the only way to go past. I'd say the only realistic way we could go past them is either by fighting and killing all of them on our own or having some sort of decoy to distract them while we go right through the passage... Wait... Decoy...?"
Her head tilted before she smiled. It clicked now. He meant the~

"The Shinobis," Chiyoko huffed underneath her breath. A decoy, and since they were strictly instructed to stay hidden, it was the closest to let a shinobi do the wicked work. And in the next second, Tsubame had summoned one of them. He gave the companion clear orders. Clever, she admitted. He had a quick mind, apparently. For sure, Chiyoko would have gotten the idea too. Though, she wouldn't have raised a sword, perhaps the whistles as a signal? Probably.


"Alright... I want to try and look for something in their camp. I hope the shinobi will hold out... They appear to be drunk, so I think they will be okay, but let's wait and see."
The female's eyes narrowed. Searching? "What are you looking for in particular?" She would accompany him, of course. That's why they had been teamed up, to watch the back of the other one. Even if she disliked or actually enjoyed her partner, she never let anyone fall. Not once, and she would never start. Especially in times of such horrible war. Right... what was Yama Tsubame for her now? A friend? An Enemy?... Neither of both? What was he for her?
 

Hylius

Dragons are just bigger swallows.
"What are you looking for in particular?"

"A map. Particularly a map that they own. That way we might figure out the location of their main map. I'd assume that if their general would still be at a camp, it would be the main one. Having a map would help us find it easier, don't you think?" He continued to observe the camp to see whatever the soldiers were doing. Nothing noteworthy was happening as of yet, so it was best to remain hidden until they would make their move.

But soon, he saw enemy move. He also could hear someone scream, though it was a bit tough to hear out what they were saying because they were not speaking properly thanks to their drunk state. Even so, he tried...

"...Make sure those damn shinobi bastards don't get away!" The soldiers then all seemed to gather up and walk away from the camp. Seems like the distraction plan would be a success, the camp was completely open now. Honestly they were quite the fools for falling for a bait like that, but then again they were drunk and probably did not think straight. But he did not mind that whatsoever.


"Alright, let's go." Quickly they sneaked into their enemy camp. Indeed, nobody was still at the camp, it was only the two of them. Did nobody of their troops have their mind still intact? Well, whatever... "Alright, I'm going to need you to guard me while I'm looking for the map. If you can see them returning, make sure you share that knowledge with me as soon as possible, okay? We should go for the escape." And so, he started looking.
 

MadPinacolada

The Ghost Neighbor
"A map. Particularly a map that they own. That way we might figure out the location of their main map. I'd assume that if their general would still be at a camp, it would be the main one. Having a map would help us find it easier, don't you think?"

That seemed- yup. A map was indeed helpful. "Of course, a map has never been not helpful," Chiyoko mumbled, her eyes glanced around. Nothing had happened until the shouting and yelling began. The ground shook as the soldiers dashed after the shinobis. Ah, drunk bastards. She could smell their reeking even in their hideout. How disgusting.
"Ugh, seriously, they should shower," she hissed underneath her breath. With all shit piling up, they probably had kept the bloody clothing as well. Some sort of sign of their victory... At least it was easy to lurk them away, coax them into a nice trap.


"Alright, let's go."
"Huh-"

She barely registered his movement, and yet she was soon stuck on his heels. The camp was indeed empty, not a single soul remained. They hadn't even left an overseer here... Just, what poorly coordinated army did they encountered again? It was like they merited it, somehow in some circumstances.
Her brow cracked. "What a chaos," she commented on their messy camp. If their own camp ever looked like that she would release her inner monster and make them all clean it, nonetheless from their injuries. Not only that, but it had also made her almost vomiting her last meal. Usually, Chiyoko enjoyed the scent of alcohol. But that? Gods above, no.


"Alright, I'm going to need you to guard me while I'm looking for the map. If you can see
them returning, make sure you share that knowledge with me as soon as possible, okay? We should go for escape."

"Ah, I got your back you worried Blueberry," she chuckled, and even though she tried to calm her adrenaline and racing heart, her hand had still rested on her sword. "Try to hurry up a bit," Chiyoko grunted and took a gawking around, "...I am getting hungry." Right, hungry. A meal. Yes... That must have been what turned her stomach.
The soldiers were still yelling, audibly yelling. All shinobis that participated in the bait offered excellent work. Hopefully, they would give them enough time to find that one damn map. The female rather depended on her ears and nose. Drunkards were the loudest things in a muted forest. Of course, she kept her eyes open as well.
 

Hylius

Dragons are just bigger swallows.
"Ugh, where is this damn thing..." Much like how the soldiers from this camp were a disoriented mess, so were the tents from this camp. If someone's mother would see this, they would complain that nobody ever tidies their room. The floor was filled with all kinds of trash. It was as if a small typhoon had manifested inside the tent and wreaked havoc in there... How was he ever going to find a map in here? He hoped he wouldn't take much time...

He did find two other things he thought might be useful, though. First off, a flint and steel. That would be useful for later, if they had to start a bonfire at night. He didn't take his own flint and steel with him from back home, so he would definitely find this useful. It was obviously apparent that Tsubame was not above stealing. Besides, who would care if a single pair of flint and steel was missing? And so, he put the two of them in his pocket.

Secondly, bandage. True, bandage on itself wouldn't really do too much, but at least it was better than nothing. He wondered why they kept bandage in this chaos of a tent instead of the medical tent, though... Oh well, he was not going to complain. He'd rather find it here than enter the medical tent and all the injured soldiers would spot him. He put the bandage together with the flint and steel. He would keep it a secret from Chiyoko for now, though. Maybe she would get upset if he continued to show worry.

But finally, after searching for a while, he found what he was looking for: A map. "Took me long enough..." He hid the map and got out of the tent. He approached Chiyoko. "I found the map... Now, let's get out of-"

Before he finished his sentence, his eyes widened and he started to frown, putting his right hand on the hilt of his nodachi. He then turned around.

Something felt amiss... And then he sensed it. He could hear people drawing weapons somewhere. They were coming from a different tent, and soon there were people approaching him with weapons drawn. There WERE people who stayed to protect the camp... Though it was obvious they would be a pushover. They were drunk and could barely even walk straight. Even so... If Tsubame did nothing, he would be cut down, so he quickly drew his sword and disarmed them. He did not kill them, though. Instead he knocked them out with a quick jab on their throats, rendering them unconscious rather than killing them. "!!!" There still was another guard, though... And he put a letter on the talon of a bird. So he rushed towards the guard at very fast speed. However the bird had taken off... No human would be quick enough to reach the bird in time, unless they had some very fast reflexes.

Which Tsubame of course had. Seems like gaining the ability to cut down a swallow mid-flight was useful for something.

There it was again. That insanely fast technique of his. He rushed towards the bird, and once again pulled it off. Except... It was slightly different this time. When he was practicing while Chiyoko was watching, he did it with three lines. This time, he did it with four. Three for the bird, one for the other soldier to disarm him. Well, disarm... It was not quite disarming. In the process, the sword of the soldier was destroyed, shattered into pieces, leaving him defenseless. However, as Tsubame had mercy, he once again just knocked him out instead of outright killing him. He took the letter from the corpse of the bird and took it with him, as he once again approached Chiyoko.

"Phew, that was close... Alright, they're all down... I found the map and I managed to kill the messenger bird just in time, and the other soldiers are unconscious... Fortunately they were drunk, so I doubt they'll remember our appearances. Still though... We should get out of here. Let us go." He quickly ran away from the camp and as soon as he saw cover he hid behind it. He raised his sword as a sign for the shinobi to halt their actions and retreat.
 
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