Shadow and Thunder

Prologue: An Iron Wolf

All in all, Busomo couldnt remember having ever had a worse day. He had woken up groggy from the sake the night before, and woken up late at that. Yanti hadnt been pleased.For such a small woman, the boss had a vicious kick and the things she screamed at him had made him feel weak, made him wish he had never left his village. Sure, life as one of Yanti’s enforcers was a huge step up. Busomo was respected here in Ryoko Owari, even if it was just because of Yanti’s name. That’s why he was so surprised when he saw the man sitting in his seat at the sake house. The stranger had a half empty bowl of rice in his hand and was talking to one of the serving girls and when Busomo walked into the room, he could have sworn the man looked at him and smirked. A ronin smirked at him. At Busomo, agent of motherfucking YANTI. This was the last straw. Whoever this man thought he was, he would learn tonight that there were people in Ryoko Owari who you did not fuck with. And everyone else in the bar would learn it to.

He walked over to the man.

“Move. Youre in my seat.”

The man looked up at Busomo. His hair was died white in the way of the Crane, but he clearly wore no mon or the clan colors, so a disgraced Crane. The Crane smiled, but didnt respond.This pissed Busomo off even more. The table shook with a tremendous force as Busomo slammed his fist down, causing many of the cups and bowls already on the table to tumble over. The Crane moved swifty and retrieved his own glass of sake before any could spill, but still ignored the angry man.

Busomo’s nostrils flared. “Oh you think youre funny do you, ronin piece of trash?!” And he grabbed the Crane’s kimono, looking to bring the man forward to knock the dye out of his hair. But instead there was the loud crack of clay shattering and Busomo found himself spiraling away onto the ground as a sharp pain blossomed on the right side of his head and rice flew through the air in slow motion.

He crashed to the ground and looked back at the Crane just in time to see the broken shards of the rice bowl falling from his attackers hand. Busomo’s eyes were drawn to the image of a Crane holding a yari with snake wrapped around it tattooed on the ronin’s wrist as he brought the sake up to his lips, finished it, and calmly placed it back down on the table. Then the Crane spoke with a clear voice. “You dont get to touch my clothes… trash.”

Busomo snarled and tried to get up, but his legs wouldnt obey.The ronin took a couple coins out of a purse and placed it on the table.

“I only came here as a courtesy to your employer. Tell Yanti that Im coming for her.”

“Tell her who is coming for her, Daidoji?” Busomo hated how weak his voice sounded.

The ronin’s voice was disdainful. “You’ll all know soon enough.”

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