Raven's Wing 2: Chapter 2

The above-mentioned Nikki was at that moment in the process of inhaling a rather large meal at the expense of a good-looking young man in a suit. About half way through her meal she looked at him carefully and asked in a quiet voice. "Why are you being so kind?"

"Please do not take this the wrong way, but you looked hungry, as well as intelligent. I wish nothing more than to ask you a few questions over your meal." The gentleman sat back and watched her digest that last little bit of information.

Nikki looked at him very carefully and slowly brought up her other world sight. She could sense nothing off him except careful neutrality. A man to be watched for certain. Nodding that she would agree to listen to the questions she kept her eyes on the man as she ate.

"I merely wish to know if you have seen any thing like this in the last few years." Pulling a picture out of his pocket he slid it across the table to her. As she picked it up she had to viciously suppress her start of wonderment at how he had managed to get this shot of the ronin. Fortunately they were all in full armor and fighting so it made it harder to identify them. But she nodded slightly. "I have seen the legends about these armors. What do you want to know about them?"

Her carefully neutral stance was cultivated to draw information out before the giver realized what he had said. Fortunately this young man seemed too young to know how she was using this trick. Unfortunately for her, he knew about the trick, and was using a version of it on her. She had just tagged herself to be watched by her admission that she knew about the legends of the armors. That in itself had given a valuable piece of information to the operative.

As they continued to talk the food and polite conversation started to wear at her carefully raised shields and she started to relax. She still watched what she had said, but the operative knew that he was well on his way to gaining a valuable informant.

Ryo and Rowen were walking down the street when they felt something. Being around Nikki had made them sensitive to her type of shields. They peeked into the window of a restaurant and saw their friend talking to a stranger in a suit. They looked at each other.

"So what now? If we just go in and get her it'll bring attention to us," Rowen said quietly. He narrowed his eyes some as he thought. "That guy... I don't like him. He might be connected to the ones looking for you know..."

Ryo nodded back. "I know, thatís why we have to trust her for now and hope that she doesnít let this guy get to her head. We can try to get a hold of her through Dais or Kayura a little later. We have to warn her some how." Looking up at the sign on the restaurant he smiled. "Hey Rowen, you hungry?"

The archer looked at him strangely before breaking into a smile. Together they entered the restaurant and sat as a table near the one that Nikki and the suited young man sat at. They looked like ordinary customers as they looked through the menus.

Nikki had been watching the man so carefully even as she was relaxed now that she didnít even notice Ryo and Rowen enter the restaurant until Rowen nudged her with his mind. Excusing herself to the restroom she walked by Ryo and Rowenís table. Casually glancing at them she knew that had something to tell her and it was important enough for them to track her down.

As she headed for the rest room Ryo took out a pad of paper and started writing in dynastic script the warning and that she was to either contact them or Dais and Kayura as soon as possible. As she came back out looking a little more alert she palmed the message as Ryo stood and accidentally bumped into her as he headed for the restroom.

Rowen studied the young man who was sitting with her. He looked slightly older than them; maybe a year or two but his attitude and posture suggested that he was trying to act much older than he appeared. He looked up as the waitress came back with his and Ryo's orders and decided to wait until his friend got back before eating.

Another thing that bothered him about the guy was that he was wearing a sharp suit that he only saw high executives in businesses where. Or even those agents like in National Security or such. Those thoughts made him think twice. Maybe he was just getting paranoid but with someone trying to find them they couldn't risk overlooking anything.

Ryo came back and they started eating. As the meal progressed Nikki wrapped up her conversation with the man and stood up. Paying the bill she walked out of the restaurant and down the street. The man tried to follow her, but as soon as she hit a busy intersection of people she melted into the crowd of people and opened a small gate and walked back to the dynasty.

It was dark there as it was in the mortal realm and she looked around for Kayura, who always seemed to know when she was there. She didnít have to look much as the sober faced last of the ancientís clan came forward and drew the young priestess out of the entry room and farther into the castle to talk.

Ryo and Rowen finished their meal and as they passed the table where Nikki sat they found that the man was gone as was expected, but something did not sit right with them as they headed back to Sharyís. Ryo pulled out his cell phone and called Sage who was sitting at the phone to take messages through the night.

He relayed the all-clear message and everyone relaxed for a little bit. Now all they had to do was wait for Rowen and Ryo to come back for a full report as to what happened at the restaurant.

It was later when the two Ronins returned back to their friends. Everyone grew tense at the mention of the stranger and immediately did not like it one bit but they trusted Nikki to be safe since Ryo had given her the note. But something still wasn't right. Like who the man was and why was he questioning their friend.

Shary looked out the window as the others began to talk about what to do. So far what they did know was that these people only knew of the Ronin armors and not the Warlords or her's and Carrie's. That was a good point for them but they still had to be very careful. She absently traced the bands on her wrists, feeling them grow warm to the touch.

Carrie was uneasy about the whole situation and was all for haring off to the dynasty for a vacation. She couldnít do that however as she knew that if she left, it would leave her mother vulnerable to whomever was looking for their friends. However, if Shary, Kayura, Cale, Sekhmet, Dais and herself were to be found out. They would all have to go to the dynasty just to be able to live in peace.

The troubled look haunted the edges of her eyes and she thought of plans and counter plans for a group of people, they did not even know who were looking for them for an unknown purpose. Somehow, the need to know what they wanted the Ronin armors for niggled at her mind and she stood and quietly walked out to the back yard. In the quiet darkness she quietly donned her subarmor only to be scared out of her skin by a hand on her shoulder.

As she whipped around she saw Cale looking at her with concern. "Going after them now is not something we can risk. Give them time to show their hand first, then we will be able to gauge their abilities better and know how to combat this threat to our existence." He murmured quietly

"You arenít a guardian Cale. And you of all people in this house should know what the Ninja are capable of. I just plan on finding out a few facts before I do anything that would cause the trouble I had in mind." Cale let her go knowing that if he caused a ruckus now, he would either a) get his ass kicked, or b) have Cye out there in a flash ready to kick his ass.

As she disappeared into the shadows she thanked him and kept going as the warrior of shadows walked back into the house.

The group all looked at Cale as he came back in with no Carrie. He just nodded to them, saying in his own way that she would return and she would be careful. They all trusted her to be careful but they still couldnít' help but worry. She was their close friend and even more. Raven would watch over her as well.

"Our best bet is just stay on our guard and keep our eyes and ears open," Ryo told everyone. It was the only thing they could do right now. "And if one of us finds something out just try to get a hold of one of us and we'll pass it down. And once in a while we'll meet here. Agreed?"

The others nodded. This was a completely different enemy to face. This one was human on the outside and on the inside. Rowenís mind was going as fast as it had when he was in the Dynasty. He had suspicions as to who was looking for them, but since he did not have enough evidence he was going to have to be careful as to how he gathered his evidence. That and a discussion with Yulie was going to prove interesting.

For a kid he had a good memory, most likely from having to keep his own eyes open for danger to not only him, but for the Ronins as well. It was a circle, they all protected each other. But now the game was raised to higher stakes and Yulie had talked to Mia and now knew what the stakes were in this mammoth game of hide and seek. As everyone dispersed for the night no one noticed the person watching them from a distance away.

Everyone chose a room in the large mansion and were all already in bed or preparing to do so. No one touched the room that had been stained all those years ago. Instead they had turned it into a type of storeroom with furniture it once held somewhere else in the mansion. No one spoke of what happened that year ago but they never forgot it either.

Shary was just lying in bed with the lights off. She couldn't sleep no matter how hard she tried. So much was happening right now and they all had a new enemy. But the only problem was that it was human like them and they didn't know why they were searching for the Ronin. She sighed and rolled onto he other side, staring out her window. The moon was high in the sky and as she gazed at it her eyes became heavy. Soon she closed her eyes and was fast asleep. One of the silver bands around her wrists shone when the moonlight touched it and began to glow. The other began to glow as well. They pulsed softly with the hidden power behind it as the kanjis in the hemispheres flickered.

Sage and Cale went to their rooms, which were on either side of Sharyís, and as they went to bed Sage too stayed awake, the air in the room seemed to weigh down on him for some reason. Why did people have to do this to them. They were protecting the world and in the between times they just wanted to live as normal lives as possible.

But people were curious creatures and as he thought about the general curiosity he couldnít help but wonder if fear was a result of curiosity or if curiosity was a result of fear. Running these thoughts in a circle in his mind he fell quickly to sleep.

Cale slept quietly almost immediately. It was dark in his room and it was here he was most comfortable. However with the knowledge that he was being hunted, he slept lightly and stirred fitfully at the abnormal sounds of the city that he still had not had time to get used to from his days in the Dynasty.

The others were in the same position except Ryo who had decided to head out to Miaís and give White Blaze a new set of instructions and update Mia as to what was going on. This was going to take a full team effort on their part. But as everyone slept, no one noticed their orbs glowing softly with the Kanji, softly lighting each room.

As the grandfather clock struck the midnight hour the soft chimes echoed throughout the mansion. Normally it never bothered the three main occupants of the large place but this time it was different. Slowly and one by one they all opened their eyes only to find themselves not in the bedrooms. They were in a large field that was covered in golden sand. The sky was an unnatural color of blue with what looked like a moon and a sun shining at the same time. And what was more was that they were all in full armor, faceplates locked down in place.

"Everyone!" Ryo called to his friends and they all gathered in a large circle, looking around warily. "Man where are we?"

"I think... we're in the Dream Zone," Shary said quietly. "Someone, or thing, brought us here but why put us in full armor. I don't get it." She looked at her armor and her bands. They were glowing softly.

Sage nodded confirming that suspicion. "Looks like it is time for another lesson. Remember the last time we dreamed like this?" Sage referred back to the days of the battle with Talpa when their former mentor, the Ancient One, sent them on training lessons.

Rowen nodded, but something still didnít feel right. Carrie wasnít there for one and he could plainly see Cye looking for the warrior of SilverRaven. ~Not all of us are accounted for.~ He sent along the armor link. There was no way he was going to set this all out in the open until they knew exactly what they were dealing with.

~Not good. Why didnít Carrie come also? Why just us?~ Kento thought back.

~There has to be a reason for this. Could it be because you five are the ones in danger?~ Cale thought to the Ronins.

~If so then why are you and Shary here? This doesn't seem 'right.'~ Ryo said as he frowned.

~Wait a minute guys.~ Cye piped in. ~Carrie is a night owl, remember? She is probably awake still which would account for her not being here.~ Turning to Cale he continued. ~You mentioned that she went out for the evening. I have a feeling that it will be the crack of dawn before she even looks at a pillow for sleep.~

~Now the question is who brought us here and why.~ Kento noted quietly. They were on sand and with his last experience not being the best for him he was doubly wary.

"We brought you here." Everyone looked at Shary who had her head bowed. When she lifted it up though her eyes were intense silver gray. The bands were glowing even as brightly as her eyes as well. Her voice sounded like an echo of a man and woman speaking.

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