Failure No Longer



Date: Month Day, Year


None given.

"Failure No Longer"

Unknown location

Its a cold night in February. Kiku has just returned form a mission where
a merchant had specifically asked for her to accompany him back to his
homeland. She turned in her token at the Kirigakure office, and made her
payment to the village. She recieved her reward for a successful mission.
The woman walks home. As she walks into the room, her older sister, Kaguya
Noriko as well as her father, Kaguya Hiko stand there seem to be waiting
for her.

"Father. Sister. I returned from a successful mission.", she tells. Hiko
makes a motion, lowering his hand to the floor. Kiku walks over, and
lowers herself to the floor. A table is brought into the room by servants,
and tea is brought in. Kiku raises an eyebrow before her sister gives her
a look. Hiko speaks first though.

"Kaguya Kiku. You have been assigned a special mission. Your sister shall
prepare you quickly. You will be briefed about your mission as you are
being prepared. And you will not be wearing that stupid armor of yours.
This mission requires…a more delicate touch. It is an assassination. You
will be killing a merchant in the Land of Fire. And yes, you will be doing
this in the Land of Fire, by yourself. You will not be recieving aid from
us until your escape.", he says. The man pours a cup of tea for Kiku.
"Failing this mission will be end in your death. Either the enemy will
kill you, or I will kill you."

With that, the man gets up, and gives a nod to Noriko. Noriko nods her
head as she gets up. "Drink your tea.", she instructs. "Your mission is to
go to the Land of Fire. Your target is a merchant who has on several
occasions made insults about Sand Ninjas while drunk in Sunagakure. He is
well known in the lands as a merchant. As Father said, failing this
mission will kill you. Under normal conditions I would do this mission,
but this target prefers younger women that have only recently come of age.
You will kill the target, using a knife found only in Sunagakure. After
that, my dear sister, it is your mission. Do what you need to do.", she

Noriko starts to remove Kiku's armor, and fixes up Kiku's hair in a noble
fashion. The Older sister smiles, and claps her hands once. After a
minute, a younger girl, Kaguya Hime enters the room in a richly embrossed
western style dress with both sides cut highly up, and a 'V' line cut down
the center. It is cut fairly low. Kiku stares at the dress. "I will warn
you, you will need to move carefully in this dress.", Noriko says with a

After an hour of fussing, and preparing Kiku, Noriko smiles at her work.
Hime brings out a mirror, and holds it up in front of Kiku. Kiku gasps a
bit as she looks in the mirror. The heavily armored girl has been turned
into a very exotic and noble looking woman. Kiku fidgets a little bit
before taking a few steps back. "I-I can not do this! This is something
that goes beyond my skills.", she says.

Noriko appears in the mirror behind Kiku. A vicious looking dagger
lightly pressed against the side of the neck. "You will do it. And you
will not fail. Utter one more word, and it will be your last. I will not
allow my sister to continuely dishonor me and my family by being a
failure. You do know how to dance as apporiately, right?", Noriko asks as
she taps the dagger on collar bone in front of Kiku's throat. Kiku nods
her head a bit, gulping. "Good.", the Older sister says. Hime is shaking a
little bit, cause she's scared of Big Sister Noriko.

With…'motivation' from her older sister, Kiku learns how to walk in the
dress, and move her hips apporiately so that she does not do anything to
really embrass herself in public. It takes only about thirty minutes. Kiku
does practice a little bit of dancing with Noriko, if only to satisfy
Noriko's expectations. The whole time, Hiko watches carefully. He frowns
heavily, but leaves his piece to himself. Noriko is a Jounin herself, and
considered an expert in these types of clandstine operations. "You are
behind schedule, Kiku. Your coach is waiting for you.", he growls. Kiku
nods her head, and quickly gets out into a coach thats been prepared. A
very elegant and expensive coach…

Its a long ride to the estate of the target. A manservant comes out to
the coach, and opens the door. "My lady. You look delightful upon this
night. I am sure the Master will be most overjoyed to have such a vision
with him to the dance.", the manservant comments as he offers an arm to
Kiku. The woman wraps her arm around his arm, and her hand on his bicep as
she was taught to do. The woman is led into the estate.

Once inside, Kiku has to take several deep breathes to keep from going
into a stupor. There's rich, like the Shinobi clans, and then there's RICH
for Merchants. The house is has luxuries that Kiku has never even heard of
before. The woman would bite her lip, but well, the thought of Noriko's
dagger comes back fresh to her mind, and ruining the makeup. No. She's not
about to do that.

An older man comes down the steps to the hall. Kiku looks at him a bit
more carefully. The man is in his 60's, and has a full head of hair thats
been cut short. A small white bit that has also been cleanly shaven as
well. If one where to guess, outside the white hair, he could pass for a
40 year old man. He moves down, and takes Kiku by the hand. He kneels
down, and kisses the girl's hand before moving up, and giving her a kiss
on the cheek. "You are most enchanting, my dear Himiko.", he states.
Kiku's cheeks turn bright red before the elder man offers a warm smile.
"Shall we go?"

It only takes about an hour before Kiku and the Target make it before a
large hall. The older man steps out of the coach, and offers Kiku a hand
in which to exit as well. She is careful as she steps out of the coach,
accepting the hand. They are led inside by staff members, to a large
gathering of Merchants making contracts and deals while enjoying
themselves. Many of them have wives and daughters who are attending, and
some have brought sons with them. As Kiku and the Target walk into the
hall, there is a loud horn played to garner the attention of everyone
there. "Oda Mitchihara, and his Lady, Watanabe Himiko.", an announcer
cries out. Many people in the crowd bow politely, as does Mitchihara. Kiku
goes into an elgant curtsey.

The woman takes a deep breath as they walk down the stairs together into
the large open area. There's the normal exhanges and greetings. Many
people look at Kiku, and then laugh at her bashfulness. There's a lot of
questions why she choose to wear a dress like that if she was so bashful.
Somewhere, deep in Kiku's mind, there's a loathing for her older sister.
Other girls her age gossip about her, and the target. Its not long before
drinks are served.

Kiku holds onto a glass of wine, lightly sipping it.The girl takes a
moment to watch her target as he talks about a silk trade that he's
working on. There's a few slips though where he makes comments about
having to go through a dust bowl of a city, and complaining that he will
lose wears on the travels. The woman leans up, and pulls lightly on her
target's arm. "May I take a leave to freshen up?", she asks Mitchihara. He
nods his head, frowning slightly at the interruption. Kiku leans up, and
kisses Mitchihara on the cheek. The girl heads off to the restroom.

Kiku catches her breath in there, panting a bit, and looks in the mirror.
How can her sister do this? Its nerve wrecking, and she's only barely
keeping her sense about her. She pulls out a small tube from a hidden
pocket in her dress. San Sara sleeping pills. Noriko made sure that Kiku
had the right tools. One pill is much smaller then the other, and they'll
dissolve. The woman takes a deep breath, and heads back out after
disposing of the tube properly.

Kiku gets two more glasses of wine from a serving girl that passes her on
the way back to Mitchihara. The drug gets slipped in, and fully dissolved
before she gets back. The woman hands over the stronger glass to
Mitchihara. "Thank you, Himiko. I was about to offer to get us refills.",
he says with a warm smile. Though, there's a dark look in his eyes. The
girl gulps a little bit. She can feel that he's not very happy. She took
too many liberities, and interrupted a conversation. The woman looks away
before moving to his side, silent.

The night goes on, and there's a bit of dancing. Kiku dances extremely
well, and it seems that Mitchihara is pleased enough that he lets the
slips go. During a slow dance, he leans down, and whispers in her ear. "At
the next dance, you will freshen up before we come, and dare not interrupt
me again. And you will not presume to get me drinks. I will fetch them
myself. That was very unkind of you to make me look so bad in front of a
customer.", he growls in the whisper.

Its not long after that, that the drug starts to take its effect. Kiku's
drug is a bit rougher on her, and she misses a step, but then Mitchihara
shakes his head, a little bit. The two look around to see if they were
caught, and then Mitchihara laughs a little bit. "My friends. I must
apologize, but this night of merry making seems to has tired out my young
lady, and she wishes to adjorn for the night. I wish all of you a merry
festive night.", he says. The man escorts Kiku out of the hall, and
towards a small building off to the side. It is guest rooms for those
attending the dance to stay for the night.

The man holds the door open, and then walks in. He leads Kiku in. "We
leave at first light. You will stay at my estate. I will see to the
arrangements. I have not met such a fine dancer in all my life. Do what
you need to do in the bathroom, and then come back out.", he orders before
laying down on the bed.

Once inside the bathroom, Kiku takes a deep breath. Its not long before
the drug takes its full effect. Kiku is having a hard time standing, but
the man is fully out. She puts on a glove, and then pulls out a Sunagakare
glove out. It belonged to the owner of the dagger she's about to use. The
woman pulls out the dagger, and slowly stumbles about the room. The woman
takes a moment to crawl up on the bed, and puts a pillow over the man's

Kiku leans against the pillow, and slashes the man's throat, and stabs
him in the heart. She stabs herself just above the kidney, but in a spot
thats not fatal, making it look like a miss. Blood covers her, and she
runs over to the window. She opens it, and slashes the window sill with
the knife, while henged as a sand ninja. She stands in the window for a
second before tossing a smoke bomb, and dropping the knife and glove. Kiku
uses the smoke to jump back down and unhenge. After a few more seconds,
Kiku lets out a scream out of the window before she walks to the door, and
stumbles out.

People come running out of their rooms, as Kiku stumbles into the
hallway. Guards and ninjas come out of the woodwork, looking at Kiku. An
older ninja goes into the room, and sees a little bit of sand near the
window, and the bloodied knife. Kiku is outside, crying, and bleeding as
medical ninja come to the scene. There's a heavy frown as the older ninja
comes back out.

"Mitchihara has been attacked, and killed. I will not say by whom. Miss,
did you see anything?", he asks. Kiku shakes her head, and a medical ninja
checks her for foreign substances. "Sire…She's under a San Sara sleeping
drug.", he tells. The older ninja growls, and bangs his fist against the
wall. "ALL NINJAS! Disperse and find the assassin!", he orders. "All
guests, after being checked out will be escorted home. Treat her, and get
her on her way. She has seen a lot tonight at a young age. We will speak
with her more in the morning.", he declares. With that, the Mednins bring
her to her coach, and treat her. They send her back to Mitchihara's estate.

Kiku is escorted to the coach, and placed inside. Two ninjas settle into
the couch with her, as well as a full escort. The coach quickly moves away
from the area. Kiku keeps looking on the window, and is honestly, scared
out of her flipping mind. She's got 10 ninjas around her. Two of them in
front of her. "It'll be fine ma'am. We're certain that he was their
target. We're just here to ensure that you get home safely, and that they
don't elimate you before we can talk to….", one of the ninjas says.
There's an explosion that rocks the coach, and sends it to its side. The
escort ninjas inside the coach come out.

"Report!", he barks. "REPORT!", he yells out louder before a kunai finds
his throat. The ninja's partner checks on Kiku a bit before he notices his
partner's death. He stands in front of Kiku, guarding her. Kiku has never
been so scared in her life as for right now. She reaches up, and gets two
of the ninja's own kunai. She then stabs him in the groin and kidney
before stabbing him in the throat. The man is dead even before Kiku
stabbed him in the throat.

Kiku comes out of the coach, and looks around. Two Kaguyas come over to
her. "Failure.", one growls at her. The woman winces a bit. Then he looks
around. "I guess…after this, we can no longer call you that, Kaguya
Kiku.", he says. Noriko is behind the man, and removes her mask. She
smiles wickedly. She hands Kiku some clothes as she gets a dead body out.
"Change quickly, and no bashfulness. They'll be here soon.", she says.
Kiku does as she's ordered. Noriko dresses the dead girl's body before
putting it in the coach. They set the coach on fire, and race back to

Noriko smiles at Kiku. "Dear sister…I took pictures of you in that
dress.", she winks, and cackles. "I wonder what the boys back home will
say when they see them." Kiku's face loses all color…This truely was her
hardest mission, and the lowest reward, but she is no longer the Failure.

(The End.)

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