Ninja Chronicle: Path of the Shinobi by gmsephiroth

Disclaimer: I do not own Dead or Alive, Ninja Gaiden, or any related articles and characters present in this writing. They are property of Tecmo and Team Ninja (but you already know that).

I present to you the modified version of Chapter 1. I decided to rewrite it since the previous version was sub par by my own standards. I hope you enjoy this one.

Chapter 1: Resurfacing Darkness

It was a cool winter morning when Ryu Hayabusa had received the letter. As he walked into his shop, he took in his surroundings, making sure that it had not been disturbed since his visit just yesterday. Everything seemed to be in order, and then he saw it. The letter. Upon opening it, he discovered it was a summons from the Emperor himself. The letter requested that Ryu to make his way to the Imperial Palace as urgently as possible. Rereading it to make sure he did not miss any details, Ryu decided to take action. At that moment, Ryu dropped everything he had planned on doing and dressed himself in his traditional shozoko, given to him by his father after he had become a full-fledged ninja, just before the incident in Vigoor. He rushed outside, and after receiving a few stares from the public, He disappeared in a whirlwind of leaves…

Ryu observed the perimeter of the Imperial Palace of Japan, from his hiding position in the trees. He looked at the guards posted there, and wondered again what the urgent summons was about. Ryu had never been summoned to the Imperial Palace before, so it had to be something of great importance. While in today's day and age the Emperor is technically nothing but a figurehead, shinobi were traditionally spies of the emperor, and they served him loyally. This had not changed even now. Finally deciding to make his way in, he jumped from his hiding position and landed in front of two guards. The guards were temporarily stunned as Ryu simply stood there and stared at them. Quickly regaining their composure, they crossed their spears in front of Ryu, not allowing him to pass.

“This is the Imperial Palace of Japan. No one is allowed beyond these gates without permission from the Emperor himself. Please leave.” One of them said, looking ready to fight Ryu if need be. Ryu, however, did not have time to discuss his situation, and simply pulled out the letter he had been sent. He showed it to the guards. After looking at it closely, they both straightened.

“My apologies. You may proceed.” The same guard said. Upon saying this, the other guard knocked in precise pattern on the large wooden door. Both guards stepped away from the door, and it opened. Inside were two large rows of guards. They all appeared to be highly skilled warriors. Ryu briefly thought of how difficult it might be to fight them. Hopefully he would never have to find out. Another set of large wooden doors stood before Ryu. He stared at them for a minute, and they opened. As Ryu stepped inside he could see more guards, and the Emperor himself sitting at his throne. Finally within the Emperor's presence, Ryu began to speak.

“I have come by your request, my lord.” Ryu said as he bowed to the Emperor. The Emperor stared at him thoughtfully, and proceeded to make a quick hand gesture. He then spoke.

“Rise, young Hayabusa. I never formally met with you, and I had planned to after hearing of your clan's destruction all those years ago. My apologies…”

Ryu visibly flinched as the Emperor said this, but he did not move from his place.

“…But you had already run off to the Holy Vigoor Empire by the time I found out. A shinobi from the Mugen-Tenshin clan I sent as a spy told me all about your exploits there…” he continued.

Ryu figured it must have been Ayane. He quickly pushed the thought aside as the Emperor continued to speak.

“…But enough small talk. The urgent business I have summoned you for regards the Holy Vigoor Empire and the Dark Dragon Blade, which appears to have resurfaced there.” The Emperor said.

Ryu's eyes went instantly wide. He could not believe what he had just heard. The Dark Dragon Blade, which he himself had destroyed, was once again appeared in the Holy Vigoor Empire? Ryu decided it would be best to gather all the details before making such assumptions.

“My lord, you did say the Dark Dragon Blade, correct? Are you sure what you're saying is accurate?” Ryu inquired skeptically, He just could not believe the Emperor's words.

“I placed spies in Vigoor after its collapse seven years ago, to monitor the Empire's situation over time. They reported that a large, black dragon appeared in the sky one day, and a man, a scientist of Vigoor, said the Emperor was not dead, and that the Empire would soon be restored. He was wielding a blade identified as the Dark Dragon Blade. This situation concerns me, and so, I decided to summon you, since you already have some experience in the Empire. However, despite your previous efforts, I want to be absolutely certain that the mission I'm about to give you is completed, so I am giving you the liberty of selecting three other shinobi from any clan of your choosing. Like all shinobi missions, this is to be kept in the dark, young one, and I want you to remember that. You will be sent to the Vigoorian border and then make your way into Vigoorian territory. From there, you will make your way into the Vigoorian capital, Tairon, where the scientist is said to have appeared, and eliminate him, along with the Dark Dragon Blade and anything connected to it.” The Emperor explained.

Ryu allowed all of the information to sink in. He reviewed the information in his head, and gathered it together.

“Basically, my lord, you're telling me that out of seemingly nowhere, a giant black dragon appeared in the skies of Vigoor. At the same time, a man wielding the Dark Dragon Blade appeared, claiming that Vigoor, both the Emperor and the Empire, would soon be restored. And so, you summoned me here to go to Vigoor and investigate the situation with three other shinobi of my choosing. We will sneak into the Empire by crossing the border secretly, and make our way to the capital city of Tairon . If the facts appear to be true, I am to secure and neutralize the Dark Dragon Blade, as well as anything connected to it in some way.” Ryu summarized.

The Emperor simply stared at him for a moment. He then answered.

“Yes, that is the basic gist of the mission. You are to begin preparations immediately. I will give you three days to prepare yourself and gather a team. You are to meet my men at the airport in Tokyo when you are ready.”

Without another word, Ryu stood, bowed slightly, and walked out of the palace. Ryu could feel a dark omen wash over him. A resurfacing darkness appeared in his heart, and he knew that this mission would not have a happy ending like his last visit to the Vigoorian Empire. He would have to search for comrades to assist him in his mission as well. But who? He decided not to ponder the question too much right now, as he had one major task to complete before he could do so.

Later that day…

Ryu had made his way into his old home. The Hayabusa Village was intact, the way he had left it when he last visited. The ruins would serve as a constant reminder of his family and friends, who had all died defending the Dark Dragon Blade, but to no avail. Ryu, however, did not weep, as he had avenged their deaths when he destroyed Doku as well as the Dark Dragon Blade when he went to Vigoor all those years ago. Ryu approached the Graveyard.

Ryu stood before the grave of Kureha once more. He unsheathed the Dragon Sword, and pulled the Dragon Eye from its resting place on the necklace hanging from the grave. He never thought he would ever be doing this again. As he placed the glowing gem into the small indentation on the sword's hilt, the Dragon Sword began to glow in the same way as the gem did. It had once again transformed into the True Dragon Sword. If the Dark Dragon Blade had truly been restored, then Ryu would require the True Dragon Sword to complete this mission. Ryu already had the rest of his equipment ready. On his back were perched the Vigoorian Flails, which also served as a constant reminder of his battles in Vigoor. The weapon itself, however, proved most effective in combat. On his legs he had strapped Incendiary Shuriken. On his arm was the Windmill Shuriken. He was as prepared as he could possibly be for this mission.

After paying his respects, Ryu dashed out of the village. After turning once he had exited the village to give it one last look before the mission, he disappeared from the ruined village in a whirlwind of leaves. He had to search for allies, as the Emperor had requested. Though Ryu preferred to work alone, he had the undying feeling that he would need all the help he could get…

The next day…

Ryu awoke in his shop. He had spent the night there pondering who to bring on the mission. There were many ninja clans with suitable candidates, but Ryu needed someone he could trust, and would be useful during the mission. His thoughts always wandered back to the Mugen-Tenshin clan. Ayane was already familiar with the Vigoorian Empire. He could also ask Hayate. Though Hayate might be unwilling to go, it was a direct order from the Emperor, so he could not turn it down. Ryu did not want to force anyone into doing this, but he felt he had no choice, and finally having made up his mind, he decided to pay a visit to the Mugen-Tenshin clan's village, located deep in the mountains. Time was of the essence, and of extremely short supply. There was none to waste. And yet again, Ryu charged outside, weapons at the ready, and disappeared into a whirlwind of leaves.

To be continued…

I hope you like version two of my first chapter. I made it longer and corrected a few mistakes in the writing. Hopefully this one is better.

Chapter 2: Reemergence of the Fiends

The Mugen-Tenjin village, which lay deep in the mountains, was enjoying a peaceful afternoon. Women were cleaning and cooking, the men working on the nearby farms and building small houses that appeared to be large huts. The children were outside playing, and the shinobi were busy training. And higher up in the mountains, the Hajin-Mon branch of the village was veiling itself in secrecy, as was their job to do. Support the main village from the shadows.

Hayate had been peacefully drinking his tea with Ayane, taking in his surroundings appreciatively, when the first signs of an attack had begun. Smoke billowed from the huts and the dying screams of men, women, and children alike could be heard in the distance. Without a moments hesitation, the both of them were up and running, along with other members of the Mugen-Tenjin Clan which were attending to their chores at the time. Hayate made sure to grab his sword on the way out. As they ran, they eventually came upon ash and trickles of blood, but a scene quite devoid of any corpses, with the exception of a few bodies strewn about here and there.

“What happened here?” Hayate asked to himself. Ayane could not bring herself to say anything, an act that was quite contrary to her usual front. All she could do was wonder why anyone would attack the Mugen-Tenjin Clan. There surely had to be some kind of motive. She also wondered where the bodies were. Surely there were more people here than this during the attack.

Hayate rushed over to one of the huts to check for survivors. After checking about three huts, he came up to one where a woman lay on the floor. She had a deep puncture wound penetrating her left lung. She was bleeding profusely, and Hayate believed her to be dead. As he approached her to check and make certain, her eyes sprang open, and then dulled a little. Hayate had immediately recognized her as one of the women that regularly cleaned the counsel chamber found within his own residence. She spoke softly; the very act of whispering alone seemed to severely strain her.

“Hayate-sama…” she said. Hayate could tell her life was rapidly being drained from her. Despite how inappropriate it was, Hayate would have to find out who had done this before she gave out. He would avenge her death, as well as the death of most certainly many others. That was all he could do for her now before she moved on to the next life.

“Please…tell me who did this.” He told her compassionately. He did not want to sound harsh and scare her, especially not in the state she was in. She replied almost instantaneously.

“A man…holding a large, black blade. There were markings on it, red marks like the color of blood. He was accompanied by a large group of beasts, one of which gave me this wound before I escaped.” She told him. She closed her eyes, and tried to open her mouth. She could not.

Hayate could tell that she was not yet dead. However, she no longer appeared to have the strength to even speak. She would continue to suffer an agonizing death. Hayate could not bear to see her in this state. He unsheathed his sword, and stabbed her. She died instantly. It was the least he could do to relieve her of her pain. Hayate stepped outside.

Ayane approached him and spoke.

“We checked all the quarters in this area. We couldn't gather much information, except that the attackers claimed they were from the Holy Vigoor Empire, and they were searching for ‘the one that could tell them where to find the last of the Dragon Lineage'.”

Ayane stood there for a moment while Hayate contemplated the information.

“Holy Vigoor Empire? Last of the Dragon Lineage? What does it all mean?” He inquired. Ayane looked at him in disbelief for a second, but quickly regained her composure.

“You mean you don't know? Well, actually, I don't blame you. You weren't the clan leader yet when it happened.” She said.

Hayate became suddenly curious as to what exactly Ayane was talking about. He discarded all thought of the woman to whom he had just spoken to. He had to know.

“When what happened?” he asked. Ayane looked at him for a minute. She could tell he was anxious. However, he was taking the disappearance and apparent deaths of the entire clan quite calmly. It reminded her of that man.

“A few years before the first Dead or Alive tournament, when you were still in training to become the clan leader, the Hayabusa ninja clan was attacked and slaughtered by a group of attackers from the Holy Vigoor Empire. They were in search of an evil blade which resided there. It was the Dark Dragon Blade, which the Hayabusa clan protected from generation to generation. The one from the Dragon Lineage, meaning from the Hayabusa ninja clan of course, is none other than your best friend…”

“Ryu…” Hayate whispered, his voice barely audible.

“Correct. After his clan had been obliterated, Ryu was furious. He went to Vigoor to seek revenge. Of course, he succeeded. I'm unfortunately unable to give you the details for reasons beyond our control. You understand.” She told him.

Hayate, of course, was not satisfied. However, before he could say another word, explosions could be heard in the distance. The Hajin-Mon branch of the Mugen-Tenjin clan was under attack. Diverting all of their attention in that location, they all sprinted towards the explosion.

After running through the forested areas surrounding the Hajin-Mon branch of the village, Hayate, Ayane, and the Tenjin-Mon ninjas arrived in time to see their comrades fighting strange creatures. The creatures circled the Hajin-Mon ninjas, waiting for the perfect opportunity. Screams could be heard in the distance. Hayate figured it was from the nearby waterfall. However, in that one moment that the screams were heard, the ninjas concentration were broken, only for instant. That instant allowed the creatures to attack, killing off three Hajin-Mon ninjas.

“Those are…Fiends of Vigoor…” Ayane whispered. Hayate heard what she said, however, and quickly sprang to action. The others followed suit. Hayate slashed at the first Claw Fiend, opening a deep wound on its chest. It fell with a sickening thud, and its body evaporated in a quick, blue flame. The battle had begun as the Tenjin-Mon ninjas attacked the Fiends. Their teamwork proved effective, as the vast majority of the Claw Fiends fell to the ground and burst into flames, disappearing.

After defeating the Fiends, the ninjas ran for the waterfall area, where screams could be continuously heard. After running for about a minute or so, they arrived at the scene of a complete slaughter. Two large Ogre Fiends crushed Hajin-Mon ninjas while a short figure in a black hood, carrying a mysterious black blade, sliced another ninja in half. The Tenjin-Mon ninjas were quick to act, as they attacked the Ogre Fiends head on. What happened next, however, shocked Hayate.

As the ninja's body fell to the ground, it slowly disappeared, releasing a mist-like red substance that the mysterious blade quickly absorbed. Hayate was unable to move for a moment. Ayane and the other ninjas were busy engaging the Ogre Fiends, however, and did not take notice. The mysterious robed figure shifted his gaze over to Hayate.

“Who are you?” Hayate asked, a pointless question that he knew would not be answered, but he felt he should ask nonetheless. The robed figure, however, gave him an answer in the form of a question.

“Where is the descendant of the Dragon Lineage?” he asked. Hayate disregarded the question and attacked the man head-on. He slashed once, a horizontal cut, but it was a clean miss. He slashed again, but to no avail. The figure approached him and performed a vertical slash, which Hayate easily avoided. As Hayate prepared to attack once again, he nearly fell back. When he looked over, he saw that he was on the edge of the waterfall drop. As his gaze shifted back to the robed figure, he was taken by surprise as the figure slashed horizontally. Hayate blocked, but was pushed back and off the cliff by the force of the blow, and he let out a scream as he fell backwards into the waters below.

Ayane, who was being pushed back by the Ogre Fiends, who had gone berserk after their masks had been destroyed, took notice when Hayate had been pushed off the cliff.

“Hayate-sama!” she yelled out, diverting her attention from the Ogre Fiends, and without hesitation, she jumped off the waterfall after Hayate.

The Tenjin-Mon ninjas, which were left to fight the Ogre Fiends alone, were quickly slaughtered by the beasts. The figure removed the hood, and the face of a seemingly middle-aged man appeared from under it. He looked over the edge of the waterfall and chuckled. Without a word, he turned around to search for survivors that could give him the information he required…

Later that day…

Ryu Hayabusa had not expected what he saw. The Mugen-Tenshin village was in shambles, a battle apparently having taken place there. A battle, or perhaps a slaughter. Ryu sprinted through the village to see if he found any survivors. He went straight for Hayate's residence in search of his friend. As he walked in, he noticed everything had been strewn on the floor and otherwise destroyed. He searched all the rooms and found nothing. He dashed back outside, and giving the vicinity one final look, he decided to check elsewhere. If memory served him, the Hajin-Mon branch was located nearby. Perhaps there would be survivors there. He ran for the forest behind Hayate's residence.

After a few minutes of dashing through the forest, Ryu came upon the ruins of the Hajin-Mon quarters. Dead bodies were strewn about of both Tenjin-Mon and Hajin-Mon ninjas. Ryu carefully inspected the bodies in an attempt to find out what kind of attack had killed them. All of them had similar wounds, inflicted in a manner he had seen before. ‘But where?' he thought to himself. Suddenly, a loud stomp was heard in the distance. Ryu could feel the earth vibrating beneath him. His head sprang up. He rose from his crouched position and looked in the general direction of the noise. He looked up and saw birds flying into the sky. Ryu ran for that location, expecting to find the source of the noise…and indeed he did. An Ogre Fiend stood there, its back facing Ryu.

“A Fiend…” he said to himself as his eyes narrowed and he unsheathed his True Dragon Sword. Ryu tossed a rock as hard as he could at the beast, and got into an attack position. As the rock hit the beast, it turned around quickly, and took notice of Ryu. It let out a harsh battle cry as it dashed for Ryu. Just as the Fiend was about to hit Ryu, he unleashed his True Dragon Gleam attack. The Ogre Fiend let out a painful roar as it stumbled a few steps, stopped next to the nearby waterfall, and let itself drop. Ryu ran over to the waterfall edge to make sure the Fiend was dead. Ryu quickly noticed a fire at the edge of the water at the bottom. He saw a figure stir, though the could not make out its features.

“Who could that be?” he asked himself thoughtfully. Deciding to observe the situation more closely, Ryu begins to climb down the rock face next to the waterfall. It dawned upon him that the sun had already set and it was nighttime. He had not noticed before. He quickly disregarded the thought, however, as he reached the bottom. He sprinted for the location of the fire, which was now apparently gone. More than likely it had been put out by the person who had started it when the Ogre Fiend had crashed into the water. Whatever the reason, Ryu approached cautiously. He saw a figure that lay on the ground. As he neared it, a kunai flew through the air, aimed directly at this face. He caught it just before it hit him, and he tossed it to the ground. Another figure burst out of the trees and attacked him. Thought it was difficult to see because of the darkness, he could tell simply by the fighting style that it was Ayane.

“Ayane, it's me. Ryu.” He told her as he blocked a well placed punch. She stopped dead in her tracks with the sudden realization she apologized, feeling rather awkward.

“Gomen-nasai, Ryu-sama.” She said respectfully.

“Where is Hayate? I need to speak with him urgently. I need to speak with you as well. It's very important that we do so as soon as possible, Ayane.” He told her. Ayane made a hand gesture and pointed behind her, towards the figure he had seen earlier. Ayane walked over to the dying embers of the previous fire she had started and lit a new one. As the fire burned brilliantly, Hayate's figure became clear. He was apparently unconscious.

“He fell over the waterfall edge earlier during the attack. A man wielding the Dark Dragon Blade did it. I recognized the sword from when you fought Murai.” She said to Ryu's back. He turned around and observed her for a minute. He then approached the fire and sat across her. He gathered his thoughts and spoke.

“Ayane. I'm going to get right to the point, as there is no time to spare. Yesterday, the Emperor requested that I pay him a visit regarding an urgent matter. I did as requested, and went to see him. He told me that a man wielding the Dark Dragon Blade claimed that Vigoor would soon be restored. He ordered me to make preparations and find three shinobi to accompany to the Holy Vigoor Empire, so that we might take and destroy the Dark Dragon Blade and anything connected to it. I have chosen you two to come along.” He explained. Ayane just sat and stared at the fire. After what seemed like an eternity, Ayane met Ryu's gaze and spoke.

“Very well. I'll come along. More than likely Hayate will come along as well. Like you, he will want to seek revenge for what happened to the clan.” She told him thoughtfully.

“Don't you want to do the same?” Ryu asked.

“I'm not sure.” She answered simply. Ryu continued to stare, but eventually got up. He had a feeling she needed to be alone to gather her thoughts.

“Regardless, if you're coming along, then meet me at Tokyo International Airport the day after tomorrow. I will be there with our final ally for this mission.” He said as he turned away from the fire.

“Who is the last one going to be?” Ayane asked curiously.

“If you must know, it's Kasumi.” And with that said, Ryu disappeared into a whirlwind of leaves.

‘Kasumi…' she thought to herself. The mere sound of the name angered her. She continued to stare into the fire as it burned away into the night…

Well, that's it for chapter two!