Jin was watching the younger ninjas as they trained with his father and brother. He was perched on the mat above the training room. HIs bare feet brushed the polished wood floorings. His fingers were twined with the red ribbon as he cooled down from his earlier trainng session. Behind him his mother was stitching a small cut together. His mother was feared for her skills within their clan. Today she was dressed in a pale blue kimono, loosely tied, her leather armor beneath it spoke of her own training. "Ah, an invite from the Houses of flesh eh?" She mused. His mother was once a working woman, trained as a black widow. Until his father visited and decided he was goign to marry her. He bought her from her master and she'd been a Black Raven since. "Careful, they might want to drain you dry."
"As they should!" Rin walked over and plopped himself next to them. "Drain you until you pass out."
"Shut up." Jin rubbed his face and his father plucked the ribbon from his hand as he approached. The students continued their training with one another for a few moments.
"Smells like the House of Euphoria." Dai said as he looked it over. "I've never seen a red one before, tons of other kinds though."
"Sakura's ribbon is pink, is this from Lady Io?" Rin asked.
"Oh, how precious." His mother sighed. "The ninja and the cripple, that sounds like a song."
"Lady Io is a rough woman," Dai said and handed the ribbon back to Jin. "I didnt think that was your type son."
"She's not, gods, lay off all of you." Jin rubbed his face annoyed.
"Oh, but Jin a woman like Lady Io deserves respect, she'd very...worldly as I've heard." His mother said as she started to bandage his minor wound.
"You irritate me, I'm not going, thats all." He huffed and jerked up to stand.
"Why not? Lady Io is unrivaled as I've heard it. You couldnt find a better whore." Rin called.
"She's not-" Jin glared at his family. They meant well, but they were raised like this, they knew station, they knew their places. Jin just didnt see Lady Io that way. She carried herself with the elegance of a royal, and the violence of a ninja. But she was sultry, sexy, alluring like a whore. But she was compassionate like a commoner. He respected that. "She's more than just a whore."
With that he stalked off and into the main portion of the manor. He walked along the wooden floors until he came to the inner rooms. He found his room and slid the rice paper door open. Once inside he looked at the ribbon in his hand. He had a chance to see if Lady Io was as perfect as rumored. She never took clients so it wasnt like he'd be taking left overs. She was known for being selective, her last customer had been months ago. Perhaps he could persuade her away from her station. He shook his head and rubbed the bridge of his nose. He was getting ahead of himself.
Io was sitting in the middle of the main room. They were closed for a few hours. Her meditative stance was broken when she felt a few of the girls move around her and place candles in strategic places around her. She listened until the girls moved off and away. Sakura came up next and set the small short katana before her. She felt the blind fold wrap around her head twice and she let Sakura finish. She tapped Io's arm and walked away. Slowly, Io lifted the sword, the rope wrapped around her arm and she tugged the sheathe off of the blade. She whirled the blade out.
Instead of taking an offensive as she had so long ago, she kept the blade relatively close, all defense around her in a spiral. The sword was used to maintain a protective place at her side. She swept out one of her legs as she twirled the sword. She swept candles out as she trained, her blade slicing the wicks of others. She moved in a crane swirl, her missing arm altering the basic form. she slid down her legs bent and braced for movement. With a practiced movement she sheathed the sword with her single hand. Tugging down her blind fold she came face to face with only one candle still lit. The farthest on her right side. She snarled and stomped over kicking the candle childishly.
"Thats no way to set an example Io." Sakura hissed. Io looked over and gave them an enraged look.
"Shut up." Io glared at the offending candle and gripped the end of her stump. "I cant get that last candle no matter what I do."
"It's only a matter of-" Sakura started.
"Time?!" Io looked at her best friend and glared in dark anger. "All I have is time! I'm never going to get that candle, I'll always have this weak spot, I will always be a vulnerability!"
She twisted and stomped off, her eyes shut with anger as she walked. She made it to her room before she sank to her knees and clutched her stump closer to her body. It was one thing to fake having an arm when she went out, but to be constantly reminded of her weakness. It was too much for her. Tears streamed down her face as she stared at the arm. She never regretted losing it, she was glad to have honored her goal, to have upheld her word. But now, years later, seeing the stump, the disgusted looks men gave her when they saw the scars that leeched up her upper arm. The bandages she wrapped around it werent enough. She sighed and rubbed her face angrily. She wasnt weak, it was just a small thing she needed to over correct. Stripping as she walked she entered her bathing room. It was behind her dressing room and it was small. She needed a few moments to relax. But her eyes caught the small scrap of black Black Raven Jin had left behind. It was a piece of his hood, she'd found it in her bed after he'd vanished.
She lifted it and smiled, he certainly was the only man that hadnt looked at her with revulsion yet. She sighed, she missed the days when all her worries wereof her clan. When she was focused on training, missions, being the best of the best. Now she was maintaining a whore house. Lusting after a man who was living the life she was unable to anymore. She shed her clothing and set herself at the bench where the water basin was. She set about washing herself first. She decided she wasnt going to mope about her shortcomings. She was going to take the hand delt to her, ignore Sakura's over bearing attempts to coddle her. And be who she wanted to be.
The first thing she wanted to do with her new lease on life, was to seduce one Kazuma Jin.