Ninjas, both feared and revered for their amazing assassin skills are without equal in the world. Many have heard the story of The Foot - an organization made up of skilled and lethal ninjas. What few know is its origin.
In times long forgotten, there were The Five. The Five were at the highest echelon of skill and knowledge. They were the assassin's assassin. And like all ninja's, they were always for hire, though few could afford such talent. Although it is not known what the ninja lords did with their wealth, it is clear that The Five only needed the occasional client to lead a lavish lifestyle.
It is no surprise then, that The Five also accepted alternative payments from time to time. Such was the case when a very wealthy Shogun hired them to slay all of the Roujuu. Although wise and politically powerful, the Roujuu could never have defended themselves even had they known their Shogun betrayed them. For their services, the Shogun gave The Five a mystical kibutsu that was in the Roujuu's possession. As is so often true with those who seek political dominance, the Shogun was blind to all other forms of power. Not so for The Five.
They studied the kibutsu until they learned what it contained. For their effort, they were granted the secret of the An'yaku, a powerful source of conjuring magic. So powerful, that the An'yaku only conjure a single type of entity, the Doragon! Each of The Five now possessed the ability to conjure a single Doragon to do the bidding of its master. While The Five always possessed the skill to match twenty times their number, they could now defeat ten times that.
Wielding such power though had a strange affect upon The Five. There no longer was an assignment that they could not handle. And everyone knew it. It became obvious when The Five were at work, for where they operated with stealth, secrecy and precision, the Doragon did not. Smoldering carnage had become the new trademark of The Five and gone were the days where they were dared mentioned only in whispers. So complete was this transition, that The Five even adopted a battle cry, Kikku Ketsunoana!!, which was always uttered before the summoning of the Doragon. No might could match The Five and soon villagers began leaving contributions to them in the hopes that they would spare their village from destruction.
A number of Shogun began to conspire with each other as the protection of the villagers fell to them and no ninja, regardless of their power, were going to unseat them. Cunning was the only weapon left with which to battle The Five. First, the Shogun acquired the shunmin, an ancient mystical stone that was said to be able to preserve someone indefinitely in a state of sleep. They enchanted the shunmin to activate when a certain phrase was spoken and only this phrase, once uttered for a second time, could release the suspended occupants. The Shogun then chose amongst themselves who would be offered as the target of The Five, knowing that if anything went wrong, his life would be forfeit as would all of those who lived within his place walls. The risk had to be taken. The Shogun, Kantou, willingly volunteered.
So that the plan of the conspiring Shogun was not revealed, the Shogun created a politically charged situation between themselves and Kantou over a four month period. The Five were not surprised when the Shogun retained their services to remove Kantou. Within a few days, The Five paid Kantou a visit.
Kantou sat in deep meditation within his private chamber. Kantou actually sensed a slight change in the air a fraction of a second before The Five appeared before him and shouted, "Kikku Ketsunoana!! " But in that instant, a green glow filled Kantou's chamber and just as quickly, it disappeared - along with The Five. Since the shunmin could not be destroyed by the Shogun, Kantou's responsibility was to then burry it where even the other Shoguns could not know.
After a generation, The Five passed into Legend and from there into Myth. It was then that a group of Ninja's dedicated themselves to the teachings of The Five. Following in The Five's footsteps, they decided to call themselves The Foot.
Ironically, the story does not end here. For over two millennia had passed since that fateful night in Kantou's chamber and a group of student archeologists were excavating an old ruined palace. It so happened that the shunmin, long since passed from the knowledge of man, was discovered by one of the students. In her excitement, like many of the youth today, she yelled out a common expression - "Kikku Ketsunoana!!" In doing so, an ancient green glow appeared around her and before she could even gasp, The Five appeared. Not understanding what just transpired, The Five vanished in the way only ninja can.
While no one believed her story of the ninja, her find was of intense interest to the archeology world and is now on display in the National Museum of Japanese History. As for The Five...who can say?
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