Arc IX Chapter 5
Her lips grinned. Her opportunity had appeared.
Asami approached the group, accompanied by the watchful gazes of the masses. The eyes of the people followed her. The street watched her.
The vendors, the passerby, the inhabitants observed her from afar. A girl, an outsider, intervened and messed with forces beyond her age and capabilities.
Asami welcomed the attention. Every performance required a stage. Every stage an audience. Art was nothing without the attention of the masses.
Asami strolled ahead. Her elegance bewitched. Every step was deliberate. Every step conveyed conviction, determination. Gone was her former playfulness.
“Who are you?“
Asami ignored his question and countered with an amused giggle. “Greetings, gentlemen, I witnessed your display, and what I witnessed dismayed me.“
The girl shook her head in disappointment. “Mistreating a poor boy. Threatening an innocent maiden. Such despicable acts. I doubt that's the proper way. Where are your manners, gentlemen?“
A lackey exploded. “You little wrench! Just wait until we are done with you ...“
Tetsuya intervened. His arm blocked the Iwao's way. “Calm down, Iwao. Don't act rashly.“
Tatsyua didn't take the bait. He analysed the girl. Her bearing radiated confidence. Her attire suggested a wealthy background. The girl dressed like nobility.
Was she the pampered daughter of an important family? The girl might have connections. Could they afford to offend the little ojou-san?
Tetsuya wasn't sure. He didn't recognise her face. “Who are you? What's your name?“
The girl deflected with a polite smile, a smile colder than ice. “My name is ... immaterial. I am more interested in what you are doing.“
The girl tilted her head. “What are you doing here in a dark alley, removed from the prying eyes of the public, my friends? I hope you harbour no ill intentions.
Tetsuya clicked his tongue. The ojou-san annoyed him. “This is not your business. This is something between us and them ...“
“Au contraire, this is most definitely my business, as is everything else below the heaven.“
Tetsuya staggered backwards. His hands trembled. His hair stood on end. Her eyes shimmered luminescent in the dark. An otherworldly purple greeted them.
“Are you still questioning my authority, Tetsuya?“
Tetsuya gritted his teeth. The brat didn't know her place. “Iwao. Orochi.“
His men approached the girl. The former ninja easily towered over her, but the girl showed no sign of intimidation. She didn't feat his men in the slightest.
Tetsuya scoffed. “Listen, lass, this is the real world. This is no playground for little ojou-sans like you. So sod off!“
“Wisdom and virtue are like the two wheels of a cart. Unfortunately, you, my friends, appear to lack both.“
Are you threatening me, Tetsuya? I warn you, even my benevolence is limited.“
Tetsuya fumed. His eyebrow twitched. The girl taunted them with surprising effectiveness.
“Stop ridiculing us! We aren't some random nobodies! We are Tsuyoshi's men! You and your family will regret the day you made enemies out of us!“
The girl titled. Confusion was written all over her face. “Tsuyoshi ... Tsuyoshi ... Never heard of him. So you guys are actually somewhat important? What an unexpected turn of events “
The girl smirked. Her words were soaked in theatrical pathos. “I thought you are the typical scum of earth. Amegakure is full of your kind. But apparently I was wrong, you are a special type of scum.“
Tetsuya clenched his fists. The girl was going too far. This was an open provocation. The girl had crossed a line.
“Mind your tongue, you brat. I demonstrated much good will. More than can be reasonably expected, you little rascal.
Fuck off! This is your last chance! Your family, your name, your wealth won't protect you here. The streets are our kingdom!“
The girl folded her umbrella and placed her cat on the ground. An ominous giggle accompanied her. “Be a good kitten, and wait for your mistress. These guys won't last long.“
The girl opened her arms, welcoming them. “What are you waiting for? Attack me! Defend your petty kingdom, or are you scared? Are Tsuyoshi's precious men not man enough to face a little girl?“
Her words rang loud and clear through the streets. The people of Amegakure listened. All gazes were directed at the girl.
Tetsuya was lost for words. This arrogance. This vanity. The girl had gone mad. She must be tired of living. That was the only reasonable explanation.
“Iwao. Orochi, deal with her. Teach her a lesson she will understand. They are never too young.“ Tetsuya showed his disdain. The girl had it coming.
“Understood.“ Iwao grinned and unsheathed his sword, a simple short sword. The girl raised an eyebrow.
Iwao threatened her, “Run, little kitten. You didn't listen. Now it's too late ...“
“Your stance ... is off.“ The girl studied Iwao from head to toe. Her words startled them.
“...“ Tetsuya blinked.
Tetsuya, nor Yuji, nor Mayumi. They all stared. They were all bystanders.
“What?“ Iwao didn't understand.
The girl looked displeased. Her expression turned grim. “Your stance ... is atrocious. Your footwork ... terrible. Sloppy grip. Unfocused eyes. Distracted mind. A poor excuse of a swordsman. You are an utter disgrace to the art of swordsmanship.“
The girl narrowed her eyes. “Where did you pick up your bladework? Which country bumpkin taught you?“
Iwao exploded. “YOU FUCKING BITCH!“ He attacked. His strike didn't even come close.
Iwao overextended in his rage, and the girl struck in retaliation. They thought her unarmed. How wrong they were.
The girl was fast. Her strike was executed with an uncanny degree of precision. The fight was over the moment it had begun.
The lower wooden end of her umbrella struck Iwao from below with such a force that his chin shattered. Bone cracked and splintered.
Silence. Only the rain continued.
Iwao wriggled on the ground in pain. “Aaarrrrgghhhhhh. Aaargh. Aaaaarrgh. You fucking bitch, I will kill you ...“
The girl rammed her umbrella into his kidneys. Her brutal strike prolonged his agony. “Silence. You are a man, so stop pestering me. An amateur like you shouldn't wield a blade to begin with.“
Iwao fell silent, and the girl's gaze wandered across the alley.
Tetsuya froze. Her cold demonic gaze returned. His blood froze and fear gripped his heart. Her purple orbs of calamity glowed in the dark alley.
Tetsuya gulped. They had awakened a force beyond their control.
Her ruby lips moved. The girl spoke, “Unless I am mistaken, your name is Tetsuya.“
Tetsuya merely nodded. He didn't dare to speak,
The girl offered a suave smile. “Tetsuya, lead me to Tsuyoshi. I desire to speak with him. We have important matters
The syndicates have acted far too long with delusions of impunity. Such behaviour won't be tolerated anymore.“
Tetsuya complied, not daring to defy the little ojou-san. Her words were his command.
The girl clapped her hands, pleased with the progress. “Excellent. Lead the way, Tatsuya, but first ...“
“Yuji, Mayumi, do you mind if I lend you a hand? Onee-san will settle your little debt issue. That's the least I can do for you.“