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Chapter 36

After an entire day of constant grinding, Shyla rattled the bar. It budged a little, and Shyla beamed with excitement. She wobbled it a little more, and it loosened under her hand. She left that bar alone, and began methodically grinding the bar next to it. Essie became very excited when Shyla showed her the loose bar. “At this rate,” she murmured excitedly, “we’ll be out of here by tomorrow night.”

Shyla smiled. “I can’t wait. If I know Master Wong, he will have a plan to get us out, while making it clear the ninjas are at work.”

Essie paced to the end of the cell. “Your people, they value you a lot, to do this.”

Shyla sat down against the wall. “It’s not about Shyla Joanne Evans. It’s about preserving the ninjas and their secrecy. Before the reformation in the sixteen hundreds, ninjas were lower-class people with no honour. They worked for money, or just because they wanted to cause discord. The reformation changed the way we work. Now, we are taught loyalty, and we never leave one of us behind.”

Essie sighed and sat next to Shyla with her legs stretched out. “So they plan to get you out, and then break Liborio Fragale for daring to take one of theirs?”

Shyla shook her head. “They are getting us out, and then destroying Liborio Fragale forever.”

Essie started. “Us?”

Shyla nodded. “Master Wong, my trainer, he was alerted to the fact that a girl was taken by Liborio Fragale. He was talking about you, said you knew something about ninjas.”

Essie shrugged. “My mother may know somebody who knows a ninja, but I don’t know anything. Nothing recent anyway.”

Shyla frowned. “How recent is your information?”

Essie looked at her. “About seven years.”

Shyla felt her blood run cold.

Groups of black-clad individuals roamed the streets. The police had been receiving reports for most of the night of fires and general disturbances in and around the CBD of Rutherford. The fires had all been targeted attacks on businesses owned by Liborio Fragale and the contacts within the police department were frantic, trying to give Vinnie the new information whenever it came in.

One of those individuals involved in the attacks was Henry. He had three glass bottles filled with kerosene, and paused in the shadow of an office building. The business opposite the street from his position, a Laundromat, was a front for a drug hub. The drugs were bought and sold by Liborio Fragale agents, and Justin had told him this was a prime target to hit.

Henry pulled out a bottle, lit the rag stuffed into the neck, and held it steady. The ninja next to him, Anthony, fired his gun through the plate glass window. The glass shattered, and Henry tossed the bottle into the empty space. The building began to blaze, and the two ninjas disappeared out of the area before anybody could see them.

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