It's been a few days since she brought the child back home, the child who warmed her heart by actually staying with them for the time being. Emiko found the girl adorable, with her big round eyes which always held a curious glint to them and her cute expressions, or lack thereof to be more accurate.
Zen-chan was very quiet - opting to speak only when she had a question. Even when she was asked a question, she'd usually stare silently, and would only answer if it's a yes or no question by shaking her head or nodding. Emiko realized that the kid is not normal - she has a tail for goodness' sake - but accepted her along with her strange quirks.
Kenta seemed a lot less skittery and nervous around her, sometimes even taking her with him fishing. They made sure to not get too far anymore, staying near the shores as they spent time together quietly.
Emiko was horrified when she heard that the two encountered wolves on the way back once, and felt even more nervous when her husband told her that the child slaughtered them all with her bare hands, never damaging them too much since she knows the pelts can be sold.
What a smart child, she thought. Zen-chan, while very quiet, has shown intelligence and maturity that's far above that of normal children. The couple knew it was due to her powers most likely - a child this young being able to casually use Chakra like this?
Emiko and Kenta made sure that the child doesn't show her powers around other villagers or Samurai, especially seeing how the latter looks a lot more nervous than usual. She heard rumors that a lot of Samurai went missing recently, and they seem to be true.
She had a bad feeling about this - they knew there was a bandit camp nearby. Some of the villagers encountered them hunting at some point, before scurrying back to the village as they begged the Samurai to send a message that they needed assistance.
And they have, thankfully. The reinforcement arrived recently, and from what she's seen, there's a lieutenant that came along as well, which reassured the whole village. High-ranking Samurai coming over only means good things.
But seeing a toddler shooting beams of energy and casually slaughtering wolves is bound to alert them, and Emiko came to adore the little girl. She wasn't able to have her own children with Kenta - she was infertile, so Zen-chan getting dropped off on her doorstep like this…
It felt like a blessing, really, as if she was finally given the chance to be a mother, even if her child wasn't a regular human.
She also seems to have a very big appetite, even bigger than hers and Kenta's combined. Zen-chan eats a lot of food, far more than any human should be able to. It was difficult to help her in that regard, but not as much as she thought.
While not exactly the best solution, Zen-chan eats everything just fine. Sometimes, Emiko would mention that they were running out of food, and after a few minutes, the little girl would return from the backdoor with a goddamned bear on her back, telling her she went hunting.
At first, it shocked Emiko. Seeing all that blood on her little girl almost made her pass out, but then Zen-chan would assure her with a calm tone that the blood isn't hers. It still shocked her, but for another reason entirely.
She and Kenta tried to convince her that Bear meat isn't exactly… well, good, but she quickly replies 'I don't care' with the most monotonous voice one could muster. So with how much of a pushover Emiko is, she sighed and relented, cooking bear meat for the girl not even reaching her knees.
And Zen-chan being Zen-chan devoured all of it with a smile on her face.
Emiko sighed fondly, glancing at the girl as she watched her cook with a curious look. She squealed happily when the child asked for cooking lessons, finally giving her a chance to act like a normal mother for once. The girl is strangely independent most of the time.
A weird child, but one that captured her heart all the same. She loved Zen-chan a lot.
The girl listened to her attentively, her white, furry tail swishing behind her as it was free from its confinement - the overly large coat that she wore when she left the house. Emiko had brought her up on the counter as she looked at the mixed stew being cooked in the pot.
"Once the vegetables are that color, it means you're done," She explained. "You can wait a little longer if you want, add salt, pepper, or sugar and give it a few more minutes."
"Sugar?" Zen-chan tilted her head adorably.
"It gives it a nice, sweet aftertaste," Emiko smiled. "It's my favorite and I'm sure you'll like it too."
"Hm…" She turned to look at the pot again. "Can we eat it now?"
"Yes, but let's give it a moment to cool down," She chuckled, turning off the stove. "Wouldn't want to burn your tongue now, do we?"
Not like I've ever seen that happen to you, She thought. The girl can eat straight out of the fire without flinching.
It doesn't mean she's immune - she's seen injuries on her before, but Zen-chan just doesn't care, as if she's completely used to the pain. It horrified her, if she's being honest. What kind of horrible things did this tiny girl go through to show no reaction to pain like that? Unnaturally powerful or not, everything can feel pain.
She frowned sadly, giving the girl a glance.
They should at least…
She shook off that thought and smiled again, taking the pot to the table. "Alright, let's see what Chef Zen-chan made~ Aren't you excited?"
Surprisingly, she nodded, but her verbal response wasn't what Emiko expected. "I'm hungry."
Of course, you are…
"Could you tell Kenta that the food is ready?" Emiko put the pot on the table, where the wide array of food like rice and fish even made her stomach growl.
Zen-chan nodded and went to do that, silently pulling on her husband's pants as he was on his chair, reading something. He looked down at the girl, who silently pointed at the table in the other room. Emiko saw the whole event unfold from afar, and she couldn't help but smile at the girl's sheer adorableness.
Kenta followed her to the table, pausing as he saw the amounts of food before giving the little girl a glance. He sighed as he took his seat while Zen-chan climbed up the table sitting between the plates and pots.
She didn't even wait for Emiko to sit as began digging in, stuffing her face with food as she smiled. The only times Zen-chan would show any kind of emotions, it'd be when she's having a meal. It melted her heart whenever the girl squealed in joy, no matter how much food she's eating.
Large bowls of steaming rice, ramen, whole chickens, eggs, fish - it didn't matter. Even after seeing it so many times, it astonished her. Food that's enough to last five grown men for a week is finished in a few minutes. Her appetite isn't natural, but her smiling face is enough for Emiko to never question it.
"She's the cutest thing I've ever seen in my life," She whispered.
"I can't look away," Kenta said, looking at her in amazement and disgust.
It took a moment for them to start eating, just a minute before the little girl finished. Zen-chan let out a sigh of content before jumping off the table, prompting Emiko to speak.
"Did you enjoy the food?"
She nodded silently, heading towards her room. Kenta shook his head with another sigh, and while a lot more accepting of the girl, he seems still a little worried.
"Are you sure keeping this child here is a good idea, Emiko?"
"For the last time, we're not abandoning her," Emiko scowled. "Stop bringing this up."
"No, I don't mean it that way," He said. "It's… well, I just think keeping her here is dangerous for her too."
Her expression softened.
"We know what the Samurai do to people like these, Emiko." He continued. "They may be protectors, but they're cruel. I know the child is strong, but I doubt she can fight off veterans."
"We have no choice but to keep her here," She argued. "It's in the middle of the winter, Kenta, and we have no way of sending her off to other countries. We're struggling enough as it is."
As he was about to argue, the little girl came out of her room, wearing her older outfit. The goggles, coat, and scarf. Without giving the two a glance, she left through the front door, closing it behind her. Emiko and Kenta looked at each other and blinked.
It's common for her to simply leave the house whenever she feels like it, and while Emiko doesn't know for what purpose, she has some ideas. She thinks the girl goes hunting or something. She tried to stop her once, but Kenta quickly prevented her from doing that, telling her it might not be a good idea.
Zen-chan could likely kill her in an instant if she wanted to, so angering her is out of the question for now. She clearly knows what she's doing if she comes back every time. It usually takes her very long, though.
"Why do you think she keeps leaving?" Emiko asked.
"I don't know," Her husband shook his head. "And something tells me it's better we keep it that way."
Emiko glanced at the door with a small frown.
Hope she's alright…
I knew spending time with the woman would be a good idea. Aside from the incredible food and its great AP gain, she has a lot of stuff I've admittedly missed. Warm and soft bed, warm water, and cooking lessons. I like sleeping, so sleeping in discomfort is annoying, and the smell of blood, flesh and sweat was distracting. Taking baths helped with that.
I've already learned enough to not make 'horribly cooked meals' and instead consistently being able to make 'decently cooked meals' which gives more than double the usual amount. Her food is still leagues above what I can make, but it's enough for now.
I've made a bit of a routine while living with that woman, and it's been steadily giving AP, more than what I was getting due to her food really. I've been saving up AP for a bit, see what I can buy rather than use them on my stats.
And that was the right thing to do; I have 6800 AP, more than enough to buy the Ki Flight skill. Getting that will leave me with 4000 AP, and I'll save them for now. I'm aiming for the Ikari form because a x10 increase is immense.
Hunger Gauge: 85/100
Body: 14 (10/75)
Mind: 8 (20/25)
Spirit: 13 (50/75)
Tech: 2 (0/15)
Charm: 1 (0/10)
AP Stored: 4000
Power Level: 84
I know there's the age and stat requirements, but those are fine. Simply spending time training, eating and killing will be enough, I'm still starting out, after all. I'll give it two months of intense training and I'll reach the requirements.
Once the skill was bought, I float above the trees, scanning the forest using my eyes and ki sense to find anything I can kill. A couple of wolves here and there, who were sniped by my ki blasts and a few deer I could use for food. I'm far away from the village right now, so I don't have to worry about them noticing me.
There were five new Samurai that came over recently, and one of them was very powerful. I heard that he's a lieutenant or something, I think the equivalent of a Jounin. I can't beat him right now, and I'd rather get more skills and technique before power leveling my regular stats.
I can tell he's gonna give me a lot of AP once I'm through with him, but rushing in like an idiot is not a good idea. I know showing my tail is gonna alert them too, they'll think I'm part of a shinobi family spying on them or something. My white hair is strange enough already.
I pause as I feel human ki in the distance. I glide down and approach it, getting a better image of what I sensed before realizing that there are multiple humans in the distance, and lots of them are… hm, no, one is fairly powerful.
Not as strong as the Samurai, but should prove to be a decent challenge. Who are they, though?
Once I'm close, I hide behind a tree for a moment, processing what I should do next. Well, the answer is obvious, but how do I go about it? It's a rundown tower with around a dozen people guarding it. Bandits?
I believe so. I heard that there were some bandits nearby from the Samurai when I went on a walk. Guess luck favors me if I found them so early. A bunch of AP is always welcome.
As I approach, one of the bandits spots me and calls out. "Hey, what are you doing here?!"
Then promptly blow his head off with a ki wave.
Enemy defeated! +50 AP!
Ugh, even less than the wolves. What a disappointment.
This alerted the other bandits of course; ki isn't exactly silent, and the red beam must've been visible for them. The bandits begin aiming their bows and arrows at me, which I easily evade before jumping over to them, smashing my fist against one of the archer's face and crushing his skull instantly.
I turn to the other ones as fear freezes them in place, rushing towards them as ki forms in the palms of my hands. I release two waves, piercing one's heart and vaporizing the other's head. More bandits rush out to the top of the tower where I am, brandishing their weapons as they looked at the corpses with worry and concern.
With speed faster than they can trace, I rip them apart one by one - limbs flew as heads rolled, painting the whole top of the tower with blood. Innards spilled all over the ground, half burnt from the power of my ki, and their screams were cut short as I mercilessly killed them.
Now, where's the strong one?
As I go down the stairs, a fireball comes flying at me, making me blink. I casually aim an arm towards it and disperse it with a ki wave, glancing at the assailant before raising a brow. He wore regular winter gear, but I noticed the headband wrapped around his arm with a scratched symbol. Oh? A missing nin out here?
"I knew they'd sent someone after me," He mumbled. "But a literal child? What the fuck is wrong with them?"
I slowly walk down the stairs, forcing him to back out as he's seemingly intimidated by my presence. I tilt my head, a little confused. I know I made a show here, but aside from me looking like a toddler, my Charm is level one. Shouldn't he be a little braver than that?
But I suppose a four years old slaughtering an entire bandit camp is more frightening than an adult doing it.
The bandit doesn't make another move, merely backing off as I approach him step by step. I smile behind the scarf, something inside me relishing the fear he's feeling. My conqueror nature- my Saiyan nature demands I terrorize him more. Those bandits were worthless, but this nin here.
I suppose I can spend a few minutes playing with my food.
Before he could even finish, I unleash a small ki blast that hits his leg, making him yelp in pain. He stumbles back before scrambling to get on his foot again, trying his jutsu once more, only for another ki blast to interrupt him.
He growls in annoyance, but I can tell he's growing more afraid by the second. He doesn't realize that I could kill him any second, and he would've given me a good fight if he wasn't so terrified. His fear is preventing him from thinking clearly.
I vanish and appear in front of him in a burst of speed, delivering a punch to the gut and sending him to the other side. He smashes into a wall, coughing and hacking as he struggles to breathe.
"What are you so scared of?" I ask tonelessly. "Get a hold of yourself, or you'll die. Painfully."
He flinches, quickly getting as he before glancing at the fall behind him. We're at the second-highest floor of the tower right now, and the wall stopped his momentum and prevented him from falling off. He's even more terrified right now, which only makes my smile widen.
"W-who sent you?" He questions.
I don't answer, letting him come up with his own conclusions and possibilities. I step forward, and every time he tries to run, I shoot him with a ki blast. Every time he tries to use a jutsu, I interrupt him with a ki blast. Every time he throws a kunai, I counter with a ki blast.
Slowly weakening him as he starts to panic, clearly terrified of death. He can't do anything as I approach him, and when I'm close enough, he tries throwing a kick, to which I side-step away from, grabbing his leg, then breaking it in one hit. He screams and falls on his butt, inches away from the edge.
He looks at me, eyes wide and filled with horror as I grab him by the collar. He stutters and stammers, begging for mercy and to let him live as I'm the only thing stopping him from falling to his death.
"P-please, I don't want to die," He chokes back a sob. "I-I have a family back home. Please spare me."
"Why should I care?" I tilt my head.
His breath hitches as his blood runs cold. He can't do any signs like this, and he knows the moment he tries to do anything I can just drop him. With a broken leg, he won't survive the fall. What a shame.
Had he cooled down and strategized, I might've gotten a good fight. His fear was his own downfall.
"You're worthless," I state with no emotion. "You've had the chance to fight and die like a warrior, but you chose to beg like a coward instead."
The palm of my free hand touches his chest as an orb of energy swirls in it.
"I have no use for you," I say. "Die."
Ki explodes from my hand and pierces his heart, making a hole inside his chest as he spends the last remaining seconds of his life in pure agony. I throw him off the tower, gazing down as he plummets to his death, feeling nothing but slight satisfaction.
Enemy defeated! +230 AP!
"Pathetic," I mutter.
With that done, I leave the tower and fly back to the village, making sure to remain unseen. Well, this has been fun. A good time waster I suppose, better than doing nothing. I've already finished my training and could look around for more things to kill.
But I'm hungry. I want food, and the woman makes good food.
I freeze as I sense something, spotting two Samurai patrolling the forest. A smile takes over my face as I charge at them from behind.
Maybe once I deal with that. I'm still not satisfied.
"More food?" The woman looks at me in amazement. "But you just ate a few hours ago."
"And?" I narrow my eyes. "I'm hungry now."
"I-I, uh well," She sighs. "Alright, I'll whip up something quick. Just wear something else, please?"
I blink and look down at my white coat, painted red from the blood of my enemies. No guts stuck this time thankfully, but it's pretty annoying that it needs to be washed every time. I like this coat, it's comfy.
I nod silently and go to my room, taking off my whole outfit before wearing the yukata she gave me. I throw the bloodied outfit and put it in the bathroom for the woman to wash later, going to the kitchen so I can observe her cook.
I made sure to make a mental note for every little thing she does. She notices my interest and decides to explain what she's doing and why she's doing it, helping me understand the whole process. I can tell she's happy with how much interest I'm showing, but I couldn't care less.
If it means teaching me how to cook, then so be it.
"We're running low," She frowns a little. "And Kenta's out fishing."
I blink and was about to go get some before she looked at me with a smile. "It's been a while since I've gone shopping. Would you like to come along?"
I stare at her silently before nodding.
"Great! Wait for me here, I'll go wear something a bit warmer and we can go together."
I stare at her as she goes to her room, coming out after a minute with a more colorful Yukata as she takes my hand. I wrap my tail around my waist, under my clothes to keep it hidden as she leads me outside.
The cold wind makes the woman shiver a little, chuckling nervously at my blank stare. She clears her throat as the two of us go to the market, her warm hand holding my smaller one tightly.
My adaptability made me used to the cold fairly quickly - I could survive naked at this point, though my fighting capabilities will likely suffer. Is there environmental training I could buy? Train in a cold environment or something similar?
A check told me that there is, but I feel it would be a waste seeing how I can fly right now. Once I'm done with this place, I'll head to the Fire Nation, as it's the best place to grind and train. With how many Shinobi are around, I'll level up fast there.
And flight will make it easy for me to escape when I need to. I just want to learn more about cooking first.
I'll just grind for better training quests later. It's hard to think when I'm hungry.
"How many went missing?" He asked his subordinate quietly as they walked through the village's market.
"A dozen, sir," He answered. "We've found the corpses of a team not very far away from here, they seem to have been attacked by a bear."
"A bear took out a whole damned team?" The lieutenant, Arata, growled, making him flinch. "You expect me to believe that?"
"T-the wounds tell as such, sir," His subordinate cleared his throat. "Wild and unclean, they likely died painfully. One even bled to death."
He sighed, rubbing the bridge of his nose.
"However, the leader of the team was different."
"He was bleeding, but it didn't kill him," He answered. "A stab to the throat with a blade did."
He frowned. "A bandit finished the job?"
"I don't think so, sir. Their belongings weren't plundered," He said. "Do you think it could be a mercy kill?"
"A stab to the throat is mercy?" Arata questioned. "The samurai likely died in pain, even if it was brief. This was no mercy, there's something out there killing our men."
Arata was on a mission before getting to this remote village, dealing with a bandit lord down south as they kept harassing one of their more important villages. Pushing them back was easy, forcing them to stay down wasn't, so it wasn't exactly an emergency.
When Mifune-sama repositioned him here, he thought it was an exaggeration. First, there was some sort of monster that lurked in the forest, one he never saw as it apparently vanished the moment he got here, then some bandits led by some Rogue Ronin that were barely a handful.
He understood why; abandoning the samurai way leads to a death penalty, especially if you had a master beforehand. It was a serious offense, and seeing that this Ronin was still alive, he was put here to deal with it.
There weren't many bandits, at least not compared to the ones south and close to the borders, so he could easily deal with it and go back to his previous mission. That's how he thought it would go.
But this seems to be far more serious than he thought. Something is deliberately hunting Samurai for a purpose unknown. They'd go on a patrol for a few days and never return, and just as his subordinate revealed, there was someone killing them.
He could excuse it with the rest of the team dying to a wild animal, but that stab is too suspicious. Could it be related to the Samurai suddenly vanishing? Is it a different case? What kind of enemy are they dealing with here?
There were too many questions, but no answers.
"Sir!" Someone called out, prompting Arata to look behind. "Sir, I have news."
Another soldier approached the two, looking a little concerned. "Speak. Quietly."
"We found two Samurai dead near the village," He said, getting close.
"Cause of death?"
"Holes in their chests, hearts completely incinerated," He answered. "It seems like they were hit by a fire jutsu, but the holes are perfectly shaped. Wounds were cauterized instantly from the looks of it.
"Their belongings were left alone, too. One of them had his helmet smashed in, his face was completely unrecognizable."
Alright, they aren't dealing with a regular bandit here, that's for sure. Not like this answered anything important, though. Only that they're dangerous if they were able to hunt down Samurai like it's nothing.
"What's this about the holes in their chests?"
"I don't know, sir," He shook his head. "Like I said, it was as if they were hit by a fire jutsu from the inside, but it's too perfect."
"Could it be a bloodline limit?"
"Possibly, but we're not sure," He said. "I don't know what a Shinobi would be doing here, or why they're targeting Samurai."
Arata frowned as something caught his eye: A small child with pure white hair and blood-red eyes. They were with their mother or caretaker, hand in hand as they went about their business. He raised a brow but quickly ignored it - not a lot of people have white hair around these parts, it's likely nothing.
He was about to move but froze when the child's eyes locked on his. He resisted a flinch as the empty look triggered his fight-or-flight response. It felt as if he was staring at a corpse, and as he took a step, the child tensed and their look switched completely.
Instead of the dead and soulless eyes, they sharpened, and Arata suddenly felt like he was gazing at a predator instead of a child. Their expression did not change a bit, still a blank stare, but his experience made him notice the shift in the atmosphere.
He calmed himself but did not dismiss the child or his gut feeling. Something was definitely amiss about this - this kid is not normal. Their frozen stature as they gazed at him made it clear that they were expecting a fight, but he moved instead.
He glanced back and noticed the child relaxing their posture, apparently losing interest as they turned back to their guardian who patted their head, ignorant of what could have happened just now.
"Sir?" One of his subordinates looked concerned. "Are you alright?"
"Keep an eye on that child," He ordered. "Something's odd about them."
"But sir, it's just a child."
"Did I stutter?" Arata glared at him. "Shut your mouth and do as I say."
Arata scoffed as his soldier saluted, looking a little nervous.
If he didn't have enough self-control, he would've attacked the child there and then, but he knew better than to jump to conclusions like this. He will not attack a toddler unless he's sure they're a threat, and only going off gut feelings is not a good idea.
Does he trust it? Yes, it saved his life countless times before. Is it the only factor? No, and overreliance on instinct makes him no better than an animal. If he's going to kill a child, then he'll be sure that it's for the greater good.
What would happen on the off-chance he was wrong and the child was normal? He'd rather not kill a kid if he didn't have to. He'll keep an eye out until they show more suspicious behaviors. Then he can act.
Arata sighed deeply.
Now he needs to capture this Samurai murderer and keep an eye on the weird child.
He wants his old mission back…
A moderately-sized announcement: This fic won't actually be that long since I've realized that Zenith going around killing everything and/or training will get pretty repetitive very fast, but that's her character. I'm planning a bunch of long and short time-skips - sometimes a few months, other times years.
And this isn't confirmed yet, but a lot of the fic would be from the PoV of other characters reacting to Zenith's actions. I'm not sure how to go about it yet, but that's the current plan. probably.
If you want to chat with me, ask me about future plans, or see real art I paid for of my characters (Reid, Akane, Zenith), join the Discord server: (Discord . gg / wd3tUYWVCd) No spaces.
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