The Enemy of My Enemy

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"Retreat! Don't look back!" Shinpachi ordered his men, evacuating them from the frontlines. "Run!" He turned when he heard the sound of war cries approaching from the other side. "Fresh forces?" he thought aloud, furrowing his brow. Is that why the enemy had pulled back?


Meanwhile, Kazama was calmly observing the battle from afar, sitting atop a tree on the side of one of the surrounding hills so he could have a bird's eye view of the entire affair. So far, there was no sign of Koudou, just more humans and their foolishness, bringing death and destruction.

"Hm?" he said, glancing over to the side, away from the battle when he caught something moving out the corner of his eye. He looked down and saw that Nagumo Kaoru was running along a path through the woods. If that brat was working with Koudou, then he might be able to follow him to his location...


"Hah!" Sano shouted as he thrust his spear at Shiranui. Shiranui dodged and fired two shots at Sano.

BANG! BANG!

Sano dodged them both and attacked again without hesitation. Shiranui fired another round as he had to jump up and flip out of the way of his spear.

"Man, can you move!" Shiranui commented as he landed at a safe distance to reload his gun. "Looks like you've been trainin' some."

"Thanks to you," Sano retorted as he shifted his position, getting ready to attack again.

BANG!

A bullet whizzed past Sano's face from off to the side. He turned to see who had fired, and saw that they had company, lots of it. And  unfortunately for him, the troop of new arrivals were all clad in the uniform of the Imperial Army. The first line of men drew their swords  and charged.

"Tch!" Shiranui clicked his tongue in annoyance and furrowed his brow, irritated that their fight had been interrupted. "And this was just gettin' good!"

"Don't mess with me!" Sano shouted as he charged in to meet his new opponents, slashing and stabbing them with his spear. "Hunh!" Sano turned and thrust his spear into the belly  of a man trying to sneak up on him from behind. "!" he gasped in astonishment when the man not only grabbed onto his spear, but began pulling it to the side with extraordinary strength, widening the cut, until it the blade had been completely dragged out from his side. The man yanked the spear from Sano's hand despite the tight grip he had on his weapon  and threw it away. Sano gasped as he took a step back and prepared to draw his sword. "What the hell are these guys!?" he demanded as the gutted man raised his sword to attack, moving as if his mortal wound were nothing, while another soldier that he had just cut down started to stand back up behind him. His eyes widened as he watched the wound in the advancing man's side heal almost instantaneously.


"Eh! Hah!" Shinpachi shouted as he proceeded to cut down the new soldiers that had just arrived, trying to buy more time for his men to escape. "What!?" he exclaimed, shocked when the supposedly mortally wounded men he had just attacked suddenly got back up again. One of them raised their heads and stared back at him with glowing red eyes. "They're rasetsus!?"


SLASH!

"Go!" Saito urged Chizuru and Kondo as he cut down some of the rasetsus that had come to surround them, locking swords with another.

"H-Hai!" Chizuru said determinedly, glancing at the commander, whom she was standing back to back with. "Kondo-san!"

"Nn!" Kondo nodded in understanding, and they both hurried away so Saito could focus on fighting and not have to worry about their safety while doing so.


SLASH! THRUST! SLICE! SLASH!

BANG! BANG! BANG!

"Shiranui, what's going on!?" Sano demanded as he and the oni fought to fend off the indiscriminate attacks from the Imperial rasetsus. "What are rasetsus doing out in broad daylight!?"

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