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Young Adult
白髪の少女 | The Girl with White Hair
by Bexx Matthews

During the day, blood-relatives of the Shiraga family may appear to just be ordinary hunters, but under the moonlight, they become white-haired warriors; a beacon of hope and protectors of those under their care. 17-year-old Tsukiko is the youngest of the current Shiraga generation. Perceptive, gentle-natured and dedicated to family, she is the very image of what a protector she be. But when her clan is attacked and thrown into disarray, Tsukiko suddenly becomes taken with the idea of revenge against the Emperor. A life for a life. And he took many lives that night... "Sounds interesting!"

Chapter 1: On the Mountain

The mountain was quiet that night.

Tsukiko had always been sensitive to her surroundings, the prickle of a colder wind that meant winter was on the way or the aroma of the first tiger lily blooming in the summer. Tonight felt the same. It wasn't uncommon for t...

Chapter 2: Family

Tsukiko kept her position until her brother excused her.

"You may stand, Tsukiko." She did so carefully and slowly, still hesitant to meet his eyes. Of her three brothers, it was the oldest, Taro, that she was most frightened of and it had been a fear that had...

Chapter 3: Ambush

The way back to the village was long and painful. Tsukiko led the way, her brother's bow in hand with an arrow knocked, resting against the bowstring. Her eyes ploughed through her surroundings as she kept her form poised, ready to strike at any assailants that trie...

Chapter 4: Blood of Blood

The Shiraga Clan had taken sanctuary in a secluded area that was home to a grand waterfall that obscured the sounds of any type of village. At first it had only been the descendants of the first Shiraga generation, but over the years it had become the home of any fa...

Chapter 5: Beneath the Moonlight

And so the fighting had begun. Tsukiko could hear it; the clash of steel, the grunt of effort from both parties. Her father and brothers were putting up a good fight.

It was growing dark. Soon the moon would be here, and when that happened, the Shiraga family ...

Chapter 6: Alone

The next time Tsukiko set her eyes upon her brother, the blackness of his hair had been washed away; replaced with the pure white that showed that he was Blessed.

This was the blessing that no longer protected her. She confirmed it herself with disappointment....

Chapter 7: The Rogue Shinobi

After an hour of shuffling through darkness, Tsukiko finally found an end to the low, dark tunnel. Her arm had screamed in protest every step of the way, and the makeshift bandage that she'd tried to make out of the remaining scraps of her haori had already been sta...

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