Move Like Smoke

Hey everyone! That time of the week again, story day! This week I’ve got a fictional story set in a world filled with anthropomorphised animals. I don’t explicitly say where and when the story is based but seeing as it involves ninja, and Samurai are mentioned, you might be able to guess. That’s all I’m going to say on the story front apart from its 8,700 long and hope you enjoy!

Keeping to the dark shadows made more intense by the stormy night sky, Ru continues to climb the mountain. His goal is the peak, or close to it, where there is a shrine and by all accounts his former Master.

Those details are the only ones he knows for certain. What he does not know is how many bandits will greet him when he arrives. Much like he does not know how they captured Master Ento or their reasons for doing so, seeing as it certainly cannot be for wealth. Training is the only possibility but somehow that too seems unlikely.

At one time Ru would have wondered if this was some sort of test set out by his Master, but after so many winters as a ninja, too many to recall in truth, he seriously doubts it. Especially as a good while ago Master Ento made it clear that the only trials Ru would face from now on would be ones presented to him by life itself. His old mentor has not been wrong about that, not at all.

Because of that the Red Kangaroo is hurrying as best he can; climbing with semi-reckless abandon up the steep craggy rocks, rather than using the long winding path that leads, roughly, from the base of the mountain to the shrine near its jagged tip.

At this time of the year, the peak is capped in thick white snow, which during the daylight hours reflects what sunlight is afforded out like a mirror, meaning that it can be seen for miles around.

When he was younger, Ru would gaze out at the snow capped mountain and marvel at its size, its beauty, it’s everything really. Alas, when he first ventured to the mountain, as a child, he found that the peak had lost a great deal of its earlier allure. It was because he was no longer a wide eyed child new to its shape but rather a seasoned veteran well versed in the appearance of the towering edifice which he saw each and every day of his life.

Without warning a large bolt of forked lightning cracks the air, leaving a fizzle in its wake. The Kangaroo feels the fur all over his body drawn toward the static discharge. He bristles and shakes in hopes of warding off the pull it has upon his fur. The outcome is semi successful.

Yet mercifully, the bolt did not strike danger close. If it had Ru would either have been roasted alive or been forced into jumping clear of the section of rocks he has, thus far, been scaling. Whether he’d have successfully reattached to the rocks following such a daredevil move would’ve been anyone’s guess.

He himself is not so arrogant as to declare for certain that if such an occurrence would have transpired that it would have resulted in a positive outcome. Rather, he feels his fate would have been odds similar to that of a flip of a coin. Not something you would wish for at several thousand metres up. And definitely more than enough to make even the most hardened climbers head spin.

Feeling this line of thinking will lead him nowhere of use he puts the thoughts, dubbing them irrelevant, aside and continues his ascent.

Thunder can be heard rumbling in the wake of the flashes which illuminate the dark sky, made darker still by the thick clouds which are threatening to unleash another bout of…

At that precise moment the heavens open and rain begins to hammer down on the world below, and as you can imagine the rain reaches the mountain first of all. It means that Ru, being on the other of said mountain, quickly finds himself bathed in water. So much so that he feels he would be drier if he were to stand under a waterfall; which is something he has done many a time.

While continuing to be battered by rain, but not so much wind which is mercifully meagre at this time, he sighs, shakes his head, checks again that his sword is in place across his back and then tightens his grip on the rocks in hopes of avoiding any potential mishaps.

With the rain beating down as it is, unless it stops in the next few seconds which the Kangaroo thinks is unlikely, it won’t be long until this surface is super slippery. So, now more than ever Ru will need to concentrate. Thankfully, no bandits, if they are positioned around the mountain, will be capable of seeing him during this section of his climb. Regrettably, that won’t be the case later on, when he is higher up the near seven thousand metre mark. For even he is not capable of consistently keeping himself adhered to the rocks when the angle is past vertical, and in some places it goes way past that.

In his eyes to achieve such a feat you have to be a monkey or an ape of some kind. He is neither. He is a Kangaroo; strong legs, strong tail, upright, but lacking in arm strength by comparison. And had he not wished to become a ninja he would not be so capable at ‘simple’ climbing like he is currently doing either. Yet, alas there are limits for what can be overcome regardless of training put in, for the failures of evolution are unbeatable past a certain point.

Yet that same failing, if it can be called as such, was one of a small handful of occurrences that saw Master Ento accept a limitation. Not a soul known for such things usually and as a result when he did mutter words to such an affect Ru found himself profusely shocked. It even led him to standing, mouth agape in eyed disbelief. That was until his master decided to initiate a combat practice, without warning, which forced him to react lest he wish to lose before the practice had technically begun.

Master Ento, Ru remembers, always did like spontaneous lessons. These ‘lessons’ were the sort that would interrupt an already methodically planned period of teachings, simply because it would “build character and better prepare for the real dangers faced in life.” Those were his exact words. The Kangaroo can recall them as if they were last spoken not even a minute ago.

In reality it has been many years since his Master has said such a thing, to him at least.

Remembering all of this and much more, the Red Kangaroo cannot help but pause and smile.

 Memories of his mentor and the ways in which he liked to ‘teach’ bubble to the forefront of his mind. Though none of them ring louder, with him back on this mountain, than the last of the trials he faced. It was the one that turned his dreams into a reality, handing him the future he had always wanted, for it was the day he became a fully fledged ninja.

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