A NIGHT IN JAPAN
by Samurai 1300
On the Road towards the village of Icharo
Maki was strolling along; she had been traveling for 3 days so far, and she was perhaps an hour or so away from the first meeting she had arranged by hawk. Sudden shifts in the weather had caused her to hold up in a small inn for 2 days till the rain let up. Maki was making good time all things considered and the brief detour had given her a chance to think over Aiki's actions along with what her next move might be--after attacking Hana and her household, of course, assuming that it was Aiki, alone or with others from the Red Ninjas was unknown at this point.
The road was pretty deserted, save for pilgrims and merchant families carting their wares from town to town, village to village. Maki had spoken little to any of them save for a few polite greetings; she had been warned of increased bandit activity in the area prompting her to carry a dagger in each sleeve in quick drop sheaths. So far though things were quiet. By the sun, it was nearing midday and Maki stopped at the first road side establishment she came across: The Ox Cart was the name burned into the sign hanging from the front of the building. As she approached just outside the front sliding door which was half open, Maki caught a glimpse of a pair of bound feet. She slowed her pace and slipped into the bushes.
Inside The Ox Cart
5 ladies sat bound and gagged; they were 20 to 30 in ages and all of them looked really mad at the current situation. Which apparently was a robbery, by a pair of slender figures with large bust lines clad in blood red clothes, with equally red masks that stood amongst them.
"We will be on our way shortly. If no one moves, you shall all simply remain tied and gagged until we leave; if some one tries anything…" This was the obvious leader, for she had a black sword stitched over her left breast. The captives nodded and grunted their assent.
They were bound wrists, elbows, ankles, knees and thighs, and gagged with black clothes tied over their mouths. That is, all but the owner: a 30 year old woman in a green kimono was flat on her stomach in the center of the main table with her wrists pulled up to the small of her back in a prayer position, with cords binding her arms to her body. Her ankles were attached to a rope over the top rafter which was looped back through her gag pulling her head back arching her back in an almost v shape.
Maki saw all of this and more from the uppermost rafters after climbing the wall silently and slipping into the attic. Maki made a leap of faith and figured out that these were Red Ninjas. Well, she found them… now what? She could kill them or take them with the restraint weapons she carried. But where there more than 2, at this point the best option was to--
Maki's turn at last
Maki, a fully ranked Ninja Master for almost 5 years, never saw it coming: a blinding flash of white light and the next thing she knew, was hanging by her shoulders from the ceiling of The Ox Cart.
Maki was bound wrists folded up in reverse prayer tie like the poor soul on the table, but with considerably more cords. She was webbed entirely in ropes; her upper body was in a complex weave of ropes above and below and around her breasts. Her legs were pulled back up to her wrists, her arms equally trussed in cords. Her gag was attached to the rafters as well, completely suspending her off the ground and making almost all her joints ache; it had been quite a while since she had been tied up this tightly.
Not that she usually minded… well, she did because the other times it was a prank; this time was not good. The only positive, Maki reflected, was that she had left her kit hidden in the woods and only carried a single knife in her waistband to keep her ninja identity a secret, and under the current case well it was good. Because the ninjas were gone. At least now she understood somewhat the feeling Hana and the others had felt following the Red Ninja visit almost a week ago. It was incredible: all she had felt was cords tightening and tightening around her limbs and moving her body to position her as she now was.
Maki looked down at the others and simply shrugged the best her bounds would allow, which wasn't much. It took Maki 4 hours to get free. And only with aide of the knife and the others, after swinging around to get the knife to fly free and sever the rafter ropes holding the Hostess in that v shaped Hogtie. The blade landed next to Yoko, the only customer to be in the Ox at the time. After that it was easy for her to cut her bonds and those of the others.
After the all the bound Damsels had been freed the Owner who went by Mena thanked her for her "help" and set to work preparing a meal for them all. After a couple hours of talking and resting, they all retired to bed. Maki had decided to stay the night since being trussed in the ceiling had taken up the rest of the day, with no desire to travel during the night sleeping in the Ox was the best idea.
The next morning
Maki questioned the others about what happened before she arrived and while she was in the flash of light. The others all told the same story: one minute the staff was preparing for midday meal, and the lone customer Raki had just taken off her shoes and entered the Ox Cart as she had chosen to stop on her trip just like Maki had. Then suddenly there was a blinding flash of light and the feeling of thin chain being wrapped around their limbs and bodies pulling their limbs into the positions of restraint. No one could recall the touch of a single hand or of anything other than the cords themselves moving around. Hatome explained that she had been cranked into that v-shaped tie after kicking the leader in the knee, when she got too close to her trussed legs. However, to bind her, they simply tossed her onto the table and used a lariat to lasso her ankles, tossing it over the support rafters, hooking it into the gag. But other than that, all the restrain seemed to be by enchantment.
Maki had been walking for about an hour thinking on all of this and finally came to the clear conclusion that the Red Ninjas were using a slightly more advanced enchanted hemp, along with some other powerful magical chemicals.
"Great," said Maki aloud. "Just what we need."
The Lair of the Red Ninjas
Deep in the forest, dug into the western mountains, a small wooden cabin stood on the slope pressed close against the mountain's side, was Aiki Sochi, the head of the Red Ninja's elite Wolves, which comprised the 30 best ninjas in there clan. Aiki, along with others from Hana and Maki's Clan the Shadows, had picked the best from the rank and file, training them up to standards above those of the average warrior. Wolves were silent, deadly, and insanely loyal and… well, crazy. They followed any order without hesitation just like the rest of the Reds… and maybe just a touch more.
Aiki tested her wolves daily, pitting them against one and other, or in groups sealing them in a room with 20 feet of ropes and ordering them to catch the other, the winner trussing up the loser in escapable bonds. If, after 2 hours they had both escaped, Aiki went in and bound both in the cruelest and tightest ropes in the clan… a nice perk to her job, since she has a thing for trussing up other beautiful ladies.
Two days ago she reflected on the last test. Wolves 1 and 5 were in the ring; wolves lost their own names until they had 10 successful missions and 10 kills. 2 of the newest replacements were very promising, with long powerful legs and lithe figures clad in red training clothes with their glossy black hair in tight braids as was the standard for the Wolves in respect to their leader and founder Aiki Sochi. Wolves 1 and 5 had been in the ring for an hour or so, and Aiki along with other Wolf veterans had heard a lot of noise: at least one chair was broken and some one had stubbed a toe and bashed a shin. Aiki was not a calm person when it came to teaching the new wolves. So 30 minutes later she opened the door to find Wolf 1 with Wolf 5 nearly bound securely, but not quite, and below Aiki's scales.
"Well, ladies good try, except for the NOISE!!!! You're Wolves, the best of the best. You should be able to subdue another ninja silently and correctly."
Both women had come to attention… well, Wolf 1 had; Wolf 5 had sat up cross-legged, wrists bound to her ankles when Aiki had entered. Wolf 1 nodded in bowing in assent, while Wolf 5 bowed as best she could.
Aiki smiled and motioned to her second in command, Saki, along with her second, Taki. Both women, clad in Red Ninja clothes, masks on, nodded and produced a small 3 cm tube of grey metal from among their clothes' many concealed pockets. Both took a step into the room and at Aiki's closed fist tossed the tubes at Wolves 1 and 5, the resulting flash blinded the recruits, but leaving the veterans unscathed, for they all spent hours and hours becoming used to the light-bender weapon developed from the misting balls of the Shadow clan Aiki and the others that had been used in training. On impact, the weapon broke open, enacting the charm that allowed them to fling 30 feet of steel-like hemp cords at the targets, following the enchantments' settings, to bind the target in a strict tie of the weapons/sorceress design. Each Light-bender had a character on its side, stating what it would do. There were varying positions, and ones with and without a gag marker. Saki's landed at Wolf 1's feet. Following the flash, she was on her back, legs crossed, arms bound at the wrists and elbows to her ankles and chest in a tight fold-tie. Taki's landed on Wolf 5's already bound form and unleashed the ropes all around her, completing the tie she was in and packing her into a dense ball-tie.
"That's better," Aiki said, taking a step back to admire her subordinates' work. "Very good. Saki and Taki are the best of you, and this is how is should be done."
Wolves 1 and 5 looked at one another, and Aiki, bowing sort of in understanding.
"Good," Aiki said. "In three hours, I will come see if you have made any progress. If not, you will have to take on ten candidates to join binding and gagging all of them in one hour or you will be used for rope practice for the others for a month. Bye."
With that Aiki closed and locked the door. It was time for her midday meal, and she was ready for a drink.
Amatuers, she thought to herself.
To Be Continued...
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