PART IV: Sibling Rivalry
With dangers closing in all around them, the ultimate showdown begins when our heroes face the three Sons of Sato in this, the fourth installment of Cave of the Shadow Ninja.
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Part IV Sample:
Sensing the man’s pulse and the pressure in his veins, the samurai had no doubt it was true. He read about as much tension and fear in Sendai’s style as a man lazily whittling a piece of wood. I’d be insulted if I wasn’t so impressed, Ozo thought to himself.
“Is it true what they say about you and the genie?” he asked.
“Some rumors about me are true,” Sendai came back as he deflected Ozo’s three-part advance. “And some are not.”
“It’s too bad,” Ozo complained. “If we met under different circumstances, I believe we could have been friends.”
Sendai let a grin through his stony gaze as he brought Ozo’s sword into the wet rocks beside them. “It’s not too late for that,” he said.
Ozo broke the hold and swung again. “You’re famous for your mercy, no?” he asked.
A slight tilt of Sendai’s head answered the question.
“Tell me,” he continued, “have you ever been in need of mercy yourself?”
“It’s been quite some time,” the Metecian answered truthfully as they moved below a large gap in the ceiling.
The muscle tension through Sendai’s blade was perfectly honed, almost flawless. There was something lacking, however, something Ozo hadn’t expected in one so accomplished. Perhaps he’s toying with me? the samurai wondered.
Ozo tested the Metecian by drawing his next block past his shoulder, pinning Sendai’s sword to the floor and forcing him to throw a punch. The moment his fist connected with Ozo’s jaw, he had his answer, plain as the shining sun . . .
The young samurai stepped back, creating some distance between himself and his opponent. “You’re every bit as good as they say,” Ozo complimented.
“A lot of men say that, too,” Sendai responded with gratitude.
“Tell me,” the samurai prodded, “have you ever fought without your sword?”
“Of course,” Sendai’s answered.
As Ozo paced in a wide circle around Sendai, he felt through the stone floor the telltale shudder of the Metecian’s pulse revealing a lie.
“You’ve faced a lot of men,” the samurai continued, “but you’ve never faced me. And I’ve learned something just now.”
“Which brother are you?” Sendai asked suspiciously.
“The one that can feel your heartbeat rising,” Ozo answered with a smile.
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