Monday, June 21, 2010

Taro Awakes From His Battle

Taro awoke in a bed.
He looked around and noticed Master Komatsu hunched over a small bowl grinding some herbs by candle light. He had already taken off his uniform, but still wore a stern look on his face. Taro imagined that in his mind, he was always sparing.
He appeared much less threatening in this position than when he is towering of Taro in battle. Usually when Master Komatsu is around, Taro feels anxious and careful, but at the present moment, he felt ease and comfort.
Even though Master Komatsu hadn’t said a word, Taro understood that he knew he was awake already. Master Komatsu was always alert, even when he had nothing to fear. Taro often wondered what had tempered this man into the fine warrior he saw before him. Was the path of the ninja so frightening that he must always wear such a look on his face? He quietly amused himself to the idea of Master Komatsu smiling, but he quickly erased the thought from his mind for fear that Master Komatsu would somehow know what he was thinking.
Pain set in. His head was throbbing from the fight, and his side hurt even more. He had come so close to beating his master that time, but he let his guard down for too long. Looking back at the fight, he began to scorn himself for not holding his ground sooner. He knew it was a trick. Of course it was! Master Komatsu had always been hard on him. Even when he was young, he swears Master Komatsu never held back.
He began to wonder some more about what his master had said about him being ready for his first real mission, but the thought was interrupted by another layer of pain. Resigned, he decided to think about it more some other time.
Master Komatsu stood up and walked over to the bed where Taro was laying.
“Take this,” he said, handing Taro the bowl. “It will make you feel better.”
Taro took the bowl, and without another word, Master Komatsu turned around and left. Taro’s ease had left him and his imagination ran wild as to what Master Komatsu’s true intentions were. He took all the medicine, despite its awful taste and shut his eyes again. He decided he’d answer these questions later after he had gotten some rest.
When he woke up, Taro felt much better. The throbbing in his head had diminished to a tolerable nagging, and the pain in his side was almost completely healed. Confident at his new found strength, he got right out of bed and headed out of the room. He decided he would go find his friend Michio to tell him about his recent almost-victory over Master Komatsu.
Like Taro, Michio was a young ninja training to go out in the field one day. Ninja were often trained from birth to do many tasks, but they were also trained to specialize in areas as their masters saw fit. Michio was training to become a clan master. Michio was also much more skilled than Taro, even ignoring the fact that Michio was one year older. Taro always felt that they had picked a good path for Michio, but never could help feeling some jealousy.
Taro was being trained as a field ninja, specializing in information. It was a very difficult task that requires a lot of keen observation and quick thinking. Often times, it can be very difficult to gather information on targets, especially very guarded ones. Taro felt challenged enough with the training he was receiving, and being trained for field situations, Taro was exceptionally good at hiding his jealousy of Michio.
Taro wondered between tents in the dimly lit cavern. Most of the clan, even with as late in the day as it was, were off training and honing their skills. Many of them were away on missions, and so there weren’t too many peering eyes that watched Taro as he passed by.
He passed by several more tents undisturbed. But then, a man came from the other direction towards him. As he got closer, he could see it was Master Hayashi. It was unusual for him to approach Taro, so Taro was a little thrown off by the encounter.
“Master Hayashi,” Taro said, bowing politely.
“Taro,” he said, “I have a message to deliver from Master Komatsu.”
Taro lifted his head to look at the unusually tall clan master. His face was frightfully similar to Master Komatsu’s, which sent shivers down Taro’s spine. He wondered if Michio would look like that someday, too, but he cut the thought short, realizing there were more important matters at hand.
“Yes, Master Hayashi,” he said, respectfully bowing his head.
“He wants to meet with you as soon as possible.” Master Hayashi gave a short bow out of politeness and wondered back into the blackness without a sound.
What could Master Komatsu want with him, he wondered. He saw him no less than ten minutes ago. What could he have needed to say that he couldn’t have said in that room? His mind began to race with ideas. He started to imagine that Master Komatsu was a rebel ninja and that he wanted Taro to join is rebel gang and was being watched closely. He laughed out loud on accident, but quickly stopped himself. He didn’t feel like making a scene. Still, he couldn’t possibly imagine why he was being summoned.
He knew that Master Komatsu would be expecting him immediately, but he decided he would continue with his plan to go see Michio. Perhaps he would have a better perspective on the whole situation. Besides, he still had to recount to him his recent fight with Master Komatsu.

Read Next: "Taro's Best Friend Michio" >>>>> 

What did the Master call Taro for? And how about his friend Michio? There is still a lot left to learn about our young ninja Taro. Let me know what you think in the comment sections and find out on the next exciting chapter of Taro's Ninja Spy High school.

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What is a Ninja?

There is a lot of misconception about what a ninja is.

A ninja is a weapon. A ninja is a warrior.

First appearing in writing as early as 4th century according to some history, though it is hard to place the beginning of the ninja, and most scholars agree that they emerged around the 7th-10th century. According to most Asian historians, the ninja first developed in opposition to the elite samurai during the Heian Dynasty (794-1185).

By the 15th century, the role of the ninja was primarily hired mercenary or espionage. By this time, there was already boundless myths about ninjas, calling them demons and giving them mystical powers which were widely believed to be true, but in all reality, ninjas were very trained in silence and stealth and could easily hide or slip away quickly and unnoticed in a way that would lead others to believe they were magical.

Our story presupposes a modern Japanese society where ninjas have managed to survive and continue traditional methods of teaching and hired by clients and used as weapons and tools of espionage and mercenary. Taro is one such ninja, growing up in a civilization of ninjas long-thought to be extinct. But when Taro begins his first ninja mission, his whole world gets turned upside down.