Chapter 8: The Haunted Past
Shadow was being tended to by the Ancient though from the look of things it looked like the Ancient One gave her something to make sleep. The Ancient One quickly clean and tended to any open wounds but also took notice of any old scarring that covered most of her body. Shadow was sleep somewhat peacefully on a futon, her tatter clothes were taken away from the Ancient One and were replaced with a basic grey yukata.
The Ancient One walked out of the room with the bandages and bowl of water with a blood soaked towel and returned with a clean bowl of water and towel. The Ancient One kneeled down beside Shadow’s head and began to ring out the towel and place it on top of her forehead. Shadow winced a bit and her knitted her brow but she slowly started to relax and fall into a deeper sleep.
~Two days later~
Shadow woke up to the sun light creaking its way into her room from an open window, warming her cheek. Turning her head around she could see she was lying on a futon in a Japanese style room. Shadow tried to sit up but a shooting pain from her chest forced her back onto the futon. Just as Shadow fell back on the futon did the sound of sliding door catch her attention, immediately Shadow went on the defensive when she saw a very large man with a red vest, loincloth, and a straw hat dangling on his neck by a string.
“Do not worry young one I am a friend. Do you not remember me from before?” The man asked. Shadow shook her head.
“Well kumquat I am called the Ancient One now tell me are you feeling alright I worry that the bandages are too tight.” Ancient One said.
Shadow looked down at her bandaged torso; touching slightly with her fingertips she shook her head.
“No they are just fine. My name is Shadow and I am forever in your debt.” Shadow said slightly bowing her head.
The Ancient One shook his head.
“No need to thank me, now get some rest after this we will talk about what is to come in the near future.”
Shadow nodded her head and quickly got back under the covers. For once Shadow was able to let down her guard and fall into a somewhat peaceful sleep. Still towards the middle of the night she got up and placed her back against the corner of the wall and stared at the sliding doors to her room. Unarmed Shadow readied her fist to fight off anyone that tried to come into her room.
The Ancient One knew of this but remain silent over her actions for the next few nights. Shadow was able to take off her bandages and move without feeling any pain, she was back to a normal weight from eating the Ancient One’s food. She was starting to eat regularly which made the Ancient One happy.
Shadow opened up to the Ancient One about what happened to her over the past five years, from the murder of her parents and her kidnapping to the towards the tortures and death of her new family by the hands of Yasha.
Ancient One’s heart broke as Shadow told her tale but he had to remain stronger in front of her. The Ancient One decided to take Shadow under his wing and try and show her the compassion and goodness of humans. Though Shadow was at first apprehensive about this she could see what she could trust him.
For the next two years Shadow lived and trained with the Ancient One. From learning about all the martial arts and discipline of the Bushido code to everyday life and control of her powers. Shadow grew with knowledge of what it took to be a kunoichi and a human being. Through Shadow knew she would never belong in that kind of world the Ancient One did tell her of his extended family that lived in New York who were also not human.
The Ancient One didn’t tell Shadow too much about them but he still told great tales of them from letters he received back and forth from one of them.
Then one day while Shadow was mediating on the porch she could hear the Ancient One talking to someone. Shadow got up from her spot and walked back into the house, Shadow was about to knock on the Ancient One’s door but stopped when she heard the him speak.
“Yes, I believe that she must go to you my old friend. She needs to grow and believe in people. Because I fear that even with all of my help her hatred towards humans could make a turn for the worst.”
Shadow took a step back from the door before running back outside. As Shadow ran outside the Ancient One continued to speak.
“My wish is that Shadow can learn to trust others and I am hoping that with your help that she could start to open up more. Just like my son, Yoshi I hope leaving on her own journey will help. I pray that this message gets to my friend and that Shadow will come to know what human compassion feels like. My one regret is that I have grown so attached to her that once again I feel a part of me cracking at the steam. I will truly miss her but this is the best.”
But Shadow never heard the rest of the message and at that very time the Hamato family was being attacked by mousers and their home was destroyed. After Shadow ran out of the house she went to visit the graves of Yoshi and Tang Shen. She prayed for their guidance and their help with her decision.
That night Shadow gather her bag with all the necklaces and some spare clothes and food and left the Ancient One’s house and care. All she knew is that she had to get away, leaving a note Shadow snuck onto a boat that was leaving Japan to New York. Shadow’s new goal was to find the ones the Ancient One would tell great tales and hold highly. But she had no clue who they were, all she knew that their last name was Hamato and that she had a small carving of what the clan symbol looked like from the Ancient One. Along with the small knowledge of them living in Manhattan Shadow lived on the streets for one year until that faithful night that their paths crossed.
The Hamato family was pushed out of the portal and back into the endless space of Shadow’s memories. Everyone was silent as they exited the dream realm and returned to their world.
“My sons it seems that we must discuss something together as a family.” Splinter stated.
“Hai sensei.” The boys said.
Splinter bowed and left his sons to return to his room to mediate.
Don left and shut himself in his lab while Mikey and Raph left to go watch television. Leo on the other hand went to see Shadow. April left them a note saying that Casey and herself had to leave due to work in the morning and Shadow was upstairs resting in her room. Leo slowly opened the door to Shadow’s room. Peering into the dark room Leo flicked on the light switch near the door. The room was dimly lit making everyone still barely visible, Leo looked around the room to see Haku curled up on his little bed with a small chew bone near his feet. The little pug had tired himself out chasing Klunk around the lair today and even in his sleep his legs were still kicking in the air.
Shadow was sleeping in her pjs with the blanket pulled up to the bottom of her neck, a damp rag was on her forehead to try and help with her fever. Leo gently took the rag off her head and rewet it in a bowl by her bedside table. As Leo rang out the rag the sound of the eater splashing back in the bowl caused Shadow to stir.
“Shhhh, imotto it’s me Leo. Everything is ok.” Leo said softly
The brows on Shadow’s face burrowed deeper, Leo feared that their uninvited journey into Shadow’s memories was causing her to see her unforgettable past. Leo took the rag into his hands and placed it on her forehead, moving his hands away from her face he placed his left hand onto of Shadow’s head and slowly stroked her head.
Leo talked to Shadow in a soft calming voice about his past with his brothers. Leo talked to Shadow for hours until the tension in Shadow’s face disappeared and her breathing calmed. Leo let out a breathe of relief. Leo was about to leave until a small voice called out to him,
Leo looked back to see Shadow staring at him with sad eyes, she stretched out her arm out to try and stop Leo but when she tried to sit up Leo quickly ran over and stopped her. The wounds on her chest and Leo’s hand stopped Shadow but caused her a bit of pain. Leo slowly helped Shadow back into bed and placed the blanket back over her.
“Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere.” Leo said taking Shadow’s hand into his own. Squeezing it slightly to reassure her. Shadow squeezed back and slowly closed her eyes.
Leo rested his bed on the edge of the bed and whispered to Shadow as sleep over took both of them
“I promise to protect you even if it cost my life.”
While at the same time Shadow thought of the same thing,
‘I swear to protect you and everyone else no matter what happens to me.’
~Two days later~
Shadow was finally out of bed and all the bandages were removed. While Shadow was able to heal all the wounds she still had to rest from the use of her powers and from an old injury to her shoulder that was causing her great discomfort to a point she had to wear a sling and use Splinter herbs to help with the pain.
Shadow didn’t have much to tell them about her attack but she knew that she told them that they were the same people that attack them a week ago that they would go ballistics so she lied and told them they could have been the foot soldiers but she wasn’t 100% sure.
But with this little lie came the trouble of calming Raph from having him run out of the lair to go and get revenge. While Shadow left that to Leo and Splinter, Shadow left to visit April and Casey until she got called back to the lair.
Shadow was visiting for two reasons, she wanted to talk to them about the attack and talk to them about what to do and she was able to send a letter to the Ancient One and asked him to send her the chest she left behind.
When Shadow entered the apartment from the roof, she could hear April and Casey talking from the hallways. Shadow pressed her ear against the door and listen to them talk,
“Come on babe we need to talk her.”
“Two things, one stop calling me babe and second until Shadow opens up more we aren’t asking. You know Shadow is already wry of humans and it has been a long journey to get her to trust us. You need to be patience, Shadow will do it one day but you can not push her.”
“I know that I’s just so frustrated, I wanna know what happened to her cause not knowin’ is killin’ me. I wanna show whoever did that crap to her ta feel what she felt fer all those years and more.”
Shadow took her ear away from the door, she could tell from the sound of Casey’s voice that if she told them what happened it could cause more trouble than tell her family. Deciding to leave, Shadow looked around the room and saw the chest she sent for from the Ancient One. Shadow wrote a note to April and Casey to tell them she came by to see them and get the chest she asked the Ancient One to send and because she didn’t see them and thought they were working still she left and took the chest with her.
It was a medium size chest that held parts of her past and her time with the Ancient One hidden inside. Carefully picking up the chest and minding her shoulder Shadow carried the chest back the lair and hoped that everything and everyone was calmer.
When Shadow entered the lair it had an eerie silence, Shadow placed the chest down on the floor of the lair and looked around for everyone. Shadow walked into the kitchen to see a note on the table. Opening the note to see that Leo had written;
Raph still wouldn’t calm down so with Master Splinter we decided to go on a run and see if that calmed him down a bit. We called April and Casey to come and help out with his anger so don’t worry about him. After a run and maybe a sparring match with us and Casey should calm him. We’ll be home around midmorning so don’t wait up.
We’ll see you in morning
Shadow chuckled at bit at the note Leo wrote. Between Leo and Don Shadow wondered how they treated the others. Raph on the other hand was the most overprotective of her and while Mikey was protective of her like Leo and Don, tonight was just another time that she had to be careful of what would happen if Raph knew about what happened earlier or the other secrets she kept closed off in her heart.
Shadow placed the note in her pocket and left to carry the chest back to her room. Haku who was sleeping on the couch in the living room perked his head up when he hear Shadow moving the chest again. Wagging his tail he ran over and started to jump around Shadow in a circle as she carried the chest up the stairs to her room. With Haku hot on her tail Shadow watched as Haku bolted into their room and jumped onto his bed. Shadow placed the chest on the floor of her head then moved over to pick up Haku and place him on her lap. Shadow placed Haku on his back with his belly facing up and gave him a few belly rubs. After a few kicks from Haku against her stomach Shadow picked Haku up and placed him on her bed before lowering herself back to the ground in front of the chest.
Shadow moved her fingers slightly over the lock on the chest before squeezing it slightly in her hands. The lock melted quickly in the heat radiating off her hands, with a melted lock Shadow through the lock into a jug of water she kept on her desk then threw it away in her trash bin. Shadow slowly opened the chest to reveal everything she left behind still in perfect condition, beside the dust from the year and a half of being untouched.
Shadow looked over everything with a small smile. There was three swords that she was given to by the Ancient One. Just like Leo the Ancient One and herself created the swords themselves and even designed them. But unlike the swords she made with Leo these were made with the help of the Ninja Tribunal. Taken and created from the Spirit Forge and Juto-Shisho Shadow received three swords each depicting a dragon and phoenix clashing on the cover, Shadow’s main sword resembling “Gunshin” the sword that commands the “White flame of the dragon king”.
The difference between the two swords was that Shadow’s sword commanded the “Black flame of the Dragon of Darkness”, the sword if touched by someone other than Shadow would be consumed by a never ending black flame that could never be quenched. Her second sword was just like the one she made with Leo, Shadow was adamant with Leo about the look of the sword because it had the same design as the one the Ancient One personally made and design for her but for difference was that the Ancient One had the Ninja Tribunal transfer the icy breathe of the Dragon Queen’s breathe into the blade. When the blade was taken out and shined into the light it looked like it was made out of ice and one touch of the blade would turn a person to ice.
The finally blade was a short blade that Shadow used the most, this one was used by Yoshi when he was younger and was training with the Ancient One, Shadow loved this blade not only because it was used by Yoshi but Shadow worked better with short range attacks than anything. While Shadow’s other blades had magic in them this one was a normal blade that was kept well and fixed on a regular basis. This was the only blade Shadow didn’t leave in the chest and had the Ancient One watch over it until she returned. Shadow took the blades to place them into a spare holder she had on her wall. Looking back into the chest Shadow’s small smile grew a bit bigger.
Not only was the bag with all the necklaces from her other siblings still in the chest but also the a framed picture of all the kids and another with her and the Ancient One sitting under a cherry tree sipping tea by a lake as the sun rise over the mountain tops. The picture was taken by a passerby who was visiting Japan at the time. While Shadow didn’t even look at the passerby the Ancient One got up and asked if he could have the picture developed and given to him. The other picture of the kids was one a rare day that Yasha was out the kids were left alone in their cell taking care of their injuries and trying to feed the younger kids. While everyone was preoccupy the doors to the cell opened, quickly Kai, Akane, Riki, and Riku got up from where they were and ran over to the other kids and shielded them as a man came into the room.
Everyone knew that it was just another soldier and doctor, the soldier to protect the doctor while the doctor came to observe, never treat them. But this time was different, the soldier came in with a bag over his shoulder and the doctor came in with a medical bag of his own. The doctor explained to everyone that he didn’t agree with Yasha and what he was doing so he decided to help them out a bit. The soldier was revealed to be his older brother and they were the reason Yasha was gone. At first no one believed them and believed that the food was poisoned and the doctor was going to try and experiment on them. The doctor and soldier could see the damage Yasha did to them and slowly tried to show the kids that they meant no harm, they even took small pieces of each of the items of food they brought and ate them. They even took each of the things of the doctor out and show them that everything was just bandages, scissors and tweezers for the thread that the doctor was going to use to stich their wounds. Along with antibiotics and needles there was nothing else in the bag beside a small camera.
Each kid slowly walked over to the doctor and soldier, while one by one was treated by the doctor the soldier handed out the small boxes with simply rice, a few vegetables and two slices of meat. While to most people the box had nothing and was something to laugh at the kids saw it as a five star course, savoring each bite. The doctor took out the camera and explained to the kids he wanted to take a picture of all of them so that they could capture a bit of happiness in hell. They couldn’t help them escape but they wanted them to look back at the picture and remind themselves of a time of good. The picture was taken outside of the cell with the Kai, Akane, Riki, and Riku stand in back shoulder to shoulder with Shadow, Kyoga, Kenji, and Sora standing in front of them with their arms around their shoulders. When the picture was taken, developed, and hidden everyone thought that this would continue but later that week they found out the same doctor and soldier were killed for trying to get the kids out. No one knew what happened to them but they prayed that they at least had a painless death but with Yasha they knew that was only a prayer with no answer.
Shadow carefully took the pictures out of the chest and placed them on her desk with the picture of herself with the Hamato family and Haku in Shadow’s arms. The picture of the Hamato family was still in the middle but on the left beside the frame held her time with the Imperial Dragons and the other side held her time with the Ancient One and her transition back into humanity.
The finally thing left in the chest was the same thing she made with Don, armor. The difference between the two was that the one she had with the Ancient One was lighter and had more of a traditional kunoichi feel to the design.
But Shadow still loved the one she made with Don and would be her main armor she wore out fighting, the other one would be secondary and would stay in her drawers to keep it safe.
Shadow closed the chest and placed it under her bed, getting ready for bed and Haku his chew bone, looked around the room to see her past self-coming out in the person she was trying to be. Though Shadow thought this would upset her but thanks to the Hamato family, April and Casey the little things she had made the room feel more like home. Turning off the light and getting undercovers Shadow went into to a peaceful sleep for the first time in a long time.
If only Shadow stayed awake or left to find her friends and family. Then maybe what happened could have been avoid. But the sad part is that the past will always come back to haunt you, if only Shadow’s past wasn’t this violent.