As the sun turned from red to golden, I caught a glimpse of Master Kaemon fighting someone. Subconsciously, I inched closer to that side of the training ground that had now turned into a battlefield.
“Minoru, you and I could make peace,” Master Kaemon was suggesting, while fending his opponent off.
The man named Minoru had dark, short hair, but there was one strand at the side that was tied with a relatively short and thin red ribbon. I recognized him as the man who was first to make his way to Master Kaemon when the master and Mistress Nara first announced their presence. His eyes were a mocking gray; his lips too, were curved into a smirk the whole time that he was battling Master Kaemon.
He scoffed. “Your previous leader killed my father,” Master Minoru said. “It is only right that I kill you.”
“War will never cease if our clans keep taking revenge on one another,” Master Kaemon pointed out.
“I will decide that after you are dead, Kaemon.” Despite their savage blades, the two seemed to have been friends, though it might have been long ago. Otherwise, they probably wouldn’t address each other by name.
“Every generation claims that.”
Both masters’ clothes were a bloodstained crimson. I couldn’t tell where the blood even came from anymore. Nevertheless, neither of them had lost control of their posture. They stood firmly on the ground, fighting for their clans’ dignity.
From the side, I saw that a woman in pink clothes—the one that had been standing with Master Minoru earlier—approach Master Kaemon from behind, smiling sweetly, dagger in hand. Master Minoru saw this, and his grin grew ever wider. “This is the end, Kaemon,” he announced. “I’ll consider peace after ensuring the magnificence of your funeral.”
Without thinking, I dashed in between the masters and the woman. “Are you…?!” I was about to ask if she was the one who had intruded the Haki territory that night. I blocked her dagger’s advancement with the blade of my katana. The woman smiled, but did not answer.
“She is not,” came an unexpected voice. It was the voice of that ninja. When I looked in the direction, however, it was Suzu.
I must have heard wrong.