Raven's Wing 2: Chapter 1

"These warriors have saved Japan several times from annihilation. Why is it so important that we hunt them down now while it is peaceful? If they have not shown themselves to the public, then maybe they don’t want to be found." The young male voice sounded over the table as pictures of warriors in unknown samurai armor were spread across the table.

"Because." The smooth feminine voice replied. "If they are able to take this armor and do this much damage to a city with it, then we have to find out what they are about and if they plan on doing anything else with that armor. You saw how the city was practically destroyed. Who knows what they are capable of? We, the operatives in this section are sworn to Japan’s protection. If that means finding these people and questioning them in depth about their abilities, then so be it."

A door swung open at the far side of the room and another figure entered. A man, older by a couple of decades than the younger man and he was carrying a folder with him. Looking at the two he nodded. "It can only be assumed that they know each other fairly well and have stayed in contact. We will have to be careful about this. We think we know what city they are all in or around, so we are canvassing the area for information as we speak."


Indeed, as the meeting progressed operatives were practically combing Toyema for any indication as to the whereabouts of the five people with the armor. It would be hard to miss since armor like that would be easily remembered. Unfortunately for the operatives, it turned out that most of the city’s population had no idea what they were talking about. It was as if they never existed, or the population was under mass hypnosis to forget the events that had destroyed their city a few years ago.

One of the operatives got a lucky break as he was walking by a school, a sharp eyed youngster saw the picture sticking out of their pockets and ran up to them. Looking up at them he asked. "Why do you have a picture of the armors?"

"Why do you want to know? Do you know them?"

"Kinda, I was left behind in the city when it was practically leveled. I saw them once in a while, while I was in hiding and I would remember armor like that anywhere." Now one thing could be said about the kid. He may have been young, but he was smart and something about the men told him that if they were after the armors that saved his life and the city, then something wasn’t right.

Yulie was that way and he knew that the Ronins did not want to be found. They just wanted to live in peace when they could; it was a full time job defending the world from the evils that the rest of mankind wasn’t ready to face. And Yulie was ready to keep their secret for a long time.

At Han'a High school some students were preparing the school for the graduation. Some banners were being set up although there were still some weeks left before the end of the year. Shary reached up and hung up another banner on the wall in the hallway. She leaned against the wall as she tried to get her balance on the tall ladder before she decided to climb down.

~I can't believe this. After all I’ve been through I’m still afraid of these dumb heights.~ She groaned inwardly and forced herself not to look down as she slowly made her way down the ladder. ~At least that was the last one.~

Kento was at the bottom of the ladder holding it steady as she pinned up the banners. Smiling up at her he still couldn’t believe that they had been going out for almost a year.

Cale had moved to the Mortal realm full time to move in with Shary and after they had talked to Sage’s family, they were living together as a family in her house. As they worked out the kinks in the relationships with each other they found that the common bond of having family to rely on was the biggest push for all of them to work through.

Sage had opened up a little more, but he was still very formal in school and when the guys asked him why that was he smiled slightly. "Can’t have the ladies flocking over me now can I?"

Ryo’s comment about it already being too late for that was laughed at. They finished a guys night out and Sage had to be home early to help Shary with homework and rehearse for another round of competitions.

Sage and Rowen were on other ladders about the school hanging banners and preparing for the senior class bash. While they were there, Ryo and Cye were selling tickets for the prom. The senior class advisor had gotten smart about having two of the best looking boys sell tickets to the event as they had sold more than any other pair of sellers except for Carrie and Nikki. The two girls were selling the tickets to the guys faster than the class advisor could keep up.

Carrie and Cye were going to the prom as a couple and it was obvious to everyone that Kento and Shary were going. Sage hadn’t decided whom he was going with but he had purchased a pair of tickets from Nikki anyway to be prepared. Ryo had received permission to bring Kayura to the dance and so was already prepared to have to take her out shopping for a dress since he wasn’t sure if she would have something for the evening.

Even Rowen had a date for the night. A girl from one of his advanced classes asked him to go with her and he of course turned the invitation around so that he could buy the tickets. The only one of them that didn’t have a date was Nikki. She claimed that she wasn’t going and none of them could figure out why.

Ladders were being put away as the group met up at the storage facility to walk the route home. Looking at Shary, Sage was surprised to see Cale waiting for them at the door. The look on his face wasn’t good and he knew that he wasn’t going to get anything out of his dark counterpart until they all got home and had time to talk.

Shary just silently nodded to him. Something was up and it didn't seem like good news. Then she smiled at Kento as they linked hands. Everyday she kept thanking the high heavens for letting her live to experience this life. She turned to her friends and asked what the plans were for the prom once more. She and the girls still had to go shopping for dresses later.

As they all replied Nikki just shook her head. "I am just going to curl up with a good book in my chair and read the night away." There was a despondent tone in her voice as she turned to start walking home. She always did that alone, no one usually thought anything of it until today. Ryo and Rowen looked at each other and shrugged. No one knew why she was so insistent on not going to the prom.

Kento looked after her worriedly. He had never known his friend to act like this before and it was starting to scare him that there were times that he couldn’t get her to laugh. He desperately wanted to know how he could help her, but he had no idea how to go about it for the time being.

"I'm worried about her," Shary said softly, voicing everyone's thoughts. "I've never seen her act like this."

"We know but she refuses to say what's wrong," Cye said softly. "Maybe... she needs to work this out on her own. She knows we'll be there for her no matter what."

The others nodded in agreement and started walking home. It was getting late in the evening and they all had homework and tests to work for. Sage thought about Kento’s friend and everything that had happened recently when her change of mood became noticeable.

Not understanding everything that had happened in that last few weeks the group was startled as Ryo’s cell phone began to chatter. Picking it up he answered and a surprised look washed over his face after a few moments of listening. As the familiar troubled look settled over his eyes he thanked the caller and hung up.

Looking at the others he sent a piercing look at the triplets as his gut feelings were telling him that Cale already knew what he had just found out. "I think we all need to go to Shary’s house for a study session."

"But, I promised Ma, that I would be at the restaurant," Kento was cut off as Ryo repeated himself.

"I think we need to go to Shary’s for a study session." Kento thought a moment and nodded. "Alright. Let me call them when we get there k?"

Sage nodded to Kento as they walked up the front walk to the Manor house. Entering, Sage and Shary headed to the kitchen to start preparing snacks as Kento headed for the phone to call his folks to tell them that he wouldn’t be there. The others got settled into the living room for what seemed to indicate a very long discussion.

Soon the two returned from the kitchen and passed the tray of snacks and drinks around to everyone and settled down. Everyone was as comfortable as they could get and they turned their attention to their friend/leader. "Ryo... what was the call about?" Rowen asked.

"That was Yulie. I swear that kid just stands there and attracts trouble. Fortunately for us, this was a good thing for him to get into this time. Turns out that there are some guys out wandering around the city looking for five people dressed in unknown Samurai Armor. Three guesses who they are looking for." Ryo’s face darkened as his voice dropped.

Cale nodded to Sage and Shary. This was what he needed to talk to them about. None of them were safe now as these looked like men that could cause more trouble for their civilian selves than any one of them wanted to take on.

Shary silently spoke to her brothers, saying that afterwards they would all talk and try to figure something out. There was no way she was going to let these unknown people find out who the Ronins were.

"Not good. This is not good at all," Cye said quietly. He was hoping no one would ever try to look for them but he knew the day would happen.

"So what do we do now?" Kento asked him and everyone else in the group. He knew that these people were definitely interested in the armors but for what purpose was the main issue. This was a secret that had to keep among themselves only.

"Well, Yulie has already alerted Mia and I can only assume that Cale here has alerted the other Warlords in the Dynasty." Ryo paused as Cale nodded his affirmative.

"Then the only one that knows about us and doesn’t know about this situation would be Nikki." Ryo's eyes got really big as he realized the import of what he just said. "Damn, we have got to find her and fast!"

That got everyone on their feet. Some decided to see if they could catch her before she reached home while the others stayed here. It occurred to Shary though that for as long as she had known them all she knew very little about Nikki. She hoped that her friend was all right. And she hoped that they would find her in time.