Sunday, February 5, 2012

Secret Mission: No One Must Know!

After his meeting with Master Hayashi, Taro was determined to do anything but return to his tent as he was instructed. In fact, more than anything he wanted to find Michio. Now looking over his shoulder, he was certain that his blatant disobedience in trying to find him would go unnoticed, but even with eyes and ears lurking beneath the surface of the cold hard rock he walked on, he decided that nothing was more important than knowing where Michio was. It seemed very unusual that he wasn't anywhere to be found--even for as good of a ninja as he was.

He made his way through the winding paths directly to master Komatsu's cabin. As the structure came into full view, he slowed his steps and carefully made his way to the entrance.

He knelt respectfully next to the door and gave a few quiet knocks on the wood.

"Master Komatsu?" he called quietly. "It's Taro. I wish to speak with you."

He placed his hands on his knees and waited... but there was no answer.

He knocked again.

"Master Komatsu?" he called a little louder. "Master Komatsu?"

He took in a deep breath and was about to let out a loud scream, feeling desperate and hopeless, but the action was all-together interrupted by the door abruptly swinging open and Master Komatsu standing over Taro with a concerned look on his face.

"Taro, come inside," Master Komatsu instructed.

"Master," Taro said, bowing his head and then clamoring to his feet to follow his master inside.

"Sit," his master instructed him. And he did.

He continued. "Taro, I have been expecting you. I have no doubt you are here about Michio."

"Master!" Taro gasped, nearly losing his balance. "I am afraid he may be in trouble. I have looked everywhere and--"

"Shh," Master Komatsu said, hushing is young student.

Taro held his tongue but was no less eager to speak than before.

"You are indeed correct, Taro. Your friend Michio is in danger."

"Master, we must save him!"

"Wrong!" said Master Komatsu.

Taro could hardly speak. It was as if all breath had been stolen from his lungs. Master Komatsu continued.

"The council has strictly forbidden anyone to attempt any kind of rescue mission for Michio. He has been trained in our sacred ways and he will not give any secrets to his captors. He will die with honor if he has not already taken his own life to conceal our secrets. I have tried to convince the council that Michio is too much of an asset to our clan, but they sternly stand by the position that we have much more to lose by trying to save him."

By this point, Taro could feel his fists digging deep into his palms. His eyes were clenched, drawing moisture from below. And the world suddenly felt heavy and out of balance.

"Master, we have to save him," Taro pleaded.

"No, Taro. You must save him."

Taro's eyes lit up and he felt a surge of hope flow through his heart, even though the tears still flowed like a water fall down his cheeks.

"Taro," the master continued. "I know how much Michio means to you. I have lost friends in the past, and there are days when I still wish I had done more to save them. The council has done its job. It has decided what is best for the clan, and you shouldn't blame them for their decision. As for myself, it is much too difficult for me to pursue Michio unnoticed. And so it is you who must sneak away into the night, find Michio, and save him."

"Master, thank you!" Taro said throwing himself on the ground at his master's feet.

"Stop!" Master Komatsu shouted. "You have no more time for tears. You must prepare now. Time is of the essence. So much of it has already been wasted."

Taro nodded not saying a word.

"This mission will be very dangerous and you must go alone. Michio has been captured by a crime syndicate that is heavily armed and probably knows that we are coming so you must make the decision to give your life to save Michio because that is a realistic possibility. If Michio means that much to you, then you must go and save him because you are the only one who can now."

Michio has been captured and may even be dead. Now our young ninja must make the decision to go and save his friend and risk his own life, or lose Michio forever. Find out what happens next time on "Taro's Ninja Spy High School" and don't forget to comment!

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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.