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The Kiko Ninja Showdown

by tambourine_chimp


The Kiko stood alone in the dimly-lit room, the moonlight peeping though the gaps of the slatted wooden walls. The Kiko was clothed entirely in black, a red bandana tied round his head above the eyes which were the only part of his face visible. On his back was tied a sheath, in which a sword was nearly always carried, as it was now.

      The Kiko stood silently, waiting patiently for something it obviously knew was coming. It hummed in a meditating tone, eyes reduced to calm slits.

      He knew he had company long before the sound of Neopets landing on the wooden floor met his ears. There were four of them, he could tell; one in each corner. They were Kikos too, and though they too were clad in black, they sported no bandanas.

      "You took your time," the Kiko in the center grunted reproachfully as the other four began to circle around him. "You needn't have taken so long on the roof, either. You were loud enough for me to hear even though you were taking your time."

      "Mock us while you can, Niten Hiroru," one of the four hissed back menacingly as it reached to unsheathe the sword from it's back. The other three followed suit, all four drawing their blades at once.

      "Okay," the center Kiko - who was indeed the legendary Niten Hiroru - replied conversationally. "I will. Just how many hours did you spend practising the collective unsheathing? Impressive, but hardly intimidating."

      "Why have you not gone for your blade, yet?" another asked, ignoring Niten's sarcasm completely.

      "Ought I to?" Niten asked, slightly amused.


      "And why is that, may I ask?"

      "Because we are about to attack!"

      Suddenly, as one, the four Kikos lunged forward, their swords aimed at Niten who was standing calmly in the middle…

      Only he wasn't, and the four swords met in the middle around thin air. For a while the attackers didn't move, confused. A voice above them tutted disapprovingly, causing all four to jump back in alarm. Looking up, the four Kikos saw Niten framed in the moonlight, sitting on one of the rafters of the ceiling.

      "A Four-Pointed Inwards Star," he announced with little concern at the attack upon himself. "Been a long time since a group's attempted that on me, I must say…didn't work for them, either. Oh, you may have gotten me if you hadn't announced the assault…have you any other fancy tricks you wish to show me, or can we start fighting now?"

      Without waiting for an answer, Niten Hiroru leapt back down, sword unsheathed before he touched the floor.

      "And so it begins," one of the Kikos behind him muttered darkly as they resumed their circling around Hiroru.

      "For us four, it does, yes." Niten answered the speaker calmly. His sword shot out with a blur that caught the first Kiko off-guard, a sharp crack and the attacker was sent reeling across the room where he landed in a heap, not moving. Niten had struck down his enemy in the blink of an eye…all without turning around. "But you'll be sitting this one out."

      There came a low moan from the fallen Kiko, but it did not get back up.

      "Now, who's next?"

      As one, the three remaining Kikos attacked Niten ferociously, and though their blades seemed to move at incredibly fast speed, Niten's appeared to be going at twice the speed. Not a single blow landed on him, the nearest strike getting within mere inches of him before it was blocked and batted away.

      Within moments Niten had managed to catch the second Kiko with a strong uppercut to the chin, sending the unfortunate Neopet crashing into a corner where it too didn't rise.

      "Still two-on-one?" Niten muttered conversationally again, as he continued to deflect the other two Kiko's blows. "Those are really bad odds…for the majority, that is. Let's make it even, shall we? Eeny-meeny-miny-you!"

      Another sharp crack, another Kiko was sent hurling into the wall where it remained on the floor, muttering darkly but not moving. Niten looked the last Kiko in the eyes as they continued to battle.

      "Just you and me, now," he told it cheerfully as he lazily fought-off his opponent's assault. "All that stands between you and your goal is me…take your best shot."

      The Kiko rose to the bait and swung upwards with his sword, just as Niten anticipated he would. Yawning, Niten struck the sword at the hilt, where it jolted out of the surprised Kiko's grip and flipped over Niten's head, clattering on the floor behind him.

      "Strike three," Niten muttered with exasperation as he hit the Kiko across the face with what he hoped was restrained force. As the Kiko swayed slightly, the ninja Neopet muttered, "And you're out," as the Kiko crashed to the floor in a daze.

      Walking over to a set of candles, Niten lit them and surveyed the scene they helped shed light on. The four would-be attackers were scattered around the room, their wooded swords not far from them. Sighing, Niten gathered up the four sparring swords and, tutting softly under his breath, locked them back up in the cupboard.

      "Dear me," he sighed deeply, seating himself down on a mat, "you four were Top of the Class this year?" There were three mumbles of confirmation. "Ah, must've hit Korobu a bit too hard with that last sword-butt," he reasoned out loud to himself. "Anyway, that is beside the point! You all came highest in Kiko Fu, and yet together you could not subdue me? Explain, please."

      A garbled reply was given and Niten sighed. "You can get up now, Mirimatu, the Test is over and you have all failed."

      " - weren't to know!" the young Kiko finished in defence of himself and his friends. "Teachers don't tell us who is going to take Test with us…sometimes it's someone hard like you, other times someone easy. Just our luck to get you."

      Niten laughed. "Where did you get the idea that different persons create the Tests? It's been me for over ten years now!

      "And surely a Test as easy as Single Contact Swordplay isn't the most difficult thing in the world for four great students to defeat me in! You should be glad I hadn't chosen to base the Test around stealth this year."

      "Give us another try!" Korobu pleaded, finally regaining his consciousness.

      "Sure, you can have another go!" Niten agreed with a mischievous glint in his eye. As the four students looked around eagerly for their practise swords, Niten laughed loudly. "Next year," he finished to their collective disappointment, "and that's even assuming you're still Top of the Class by then."

      "Oh, we will be!" one promised determinedly. "Or at least I will! Anything to finally become a real Kiko Ninja…and not just a student."

      "Glad to hear it," Niten smiled as he rose from his mat to shake each of the young Kiko's hands as they left the room silently to bed. "I won't be able to be the only 'real' Kiko Ninja for much longer, and I could use some comrades only - "

      "Yes?" all four students stopped and turned, hoping to hear something wise and educational.

      "Only next time," Niten finished thoughtfully, "think of the Test as the real thing, okay? That way you'll work better."

      "Okay, Master Hiroru!" the four called back as they walked towards their dormitories. "Good night!"

      "Good night, students," Niten murmured affectionately as he saw them off. They would be Kiko Ninjas soon. If not next year, then the year after that. And if not that year…well, time will tell. Patience was a ninja's best friend, after all.

      Speaking of patience, he'd been waiting ages for the chance to finally get something to eat. "To the kitchens, Niten Hiroru!" he whispered to himself. "And let it fear the coming of the hungry ninja!"

      And, with that, he slipped back into the shadows he loved so much…

      The End

Author's Note: For those of you about to say that the character of Niten Hiroru is a serious character, I say that indeed he is when faced with serious situations. But when he's with friends, I tend to think that he likes to just be himself.

If I've shattered someone's vision of a mysterious, noble Niten, let me just say this: We are all entitled to interpret things in our own funny little ways. Maybe you can write a story with a serious Niten Hiroru. I must say, I'd look forward to it very much.

Neomails and comments are, as always, very welcome! Take care.

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