Rise of the Nakamura

Part 5 - Edo Burns

April, 1563

Nakamura Eiji‘s army marched quickly to the west, penetrating into Hojo’s recently acquired province of Musashi. Ninja reconnaissance had confirmed that the castle town of Edo, their first target, was guarded by only a few squads of men, the majority of the enemy clan’s forces being concentrated to the West.

Following his usual tactic of direct assault, Nakamura‘s forces stormed the castle by simply marching in through the front gate. There, they were met by several squads of bowmen, samurai, and the noble left in charge of Edo’s defense, fully armed for battle. Eiji, riding at the front of his formation, watched with detached amusement as the leader raised his arm and brought it down in a cutting sweep, ordering the bowmen to release a thick volley of arrows onto the exposed Daimyo.

No sooner had the noble’s arm finished its arc, than Nakamura Eiichi sprang from the nearby buildings and, with a wet splattering noise, cleanly severed the commander’s head with his katana. Ken Suna, meanwhile, worked a magical shield to protect her lord from the incoming swarm of arrows. Eiji merely smiled as only a single arrow struck him, rebounding harmlessly off his skin before embedding itself in the ground. After this display, the remainder of the guarding forces immediately surrendered, granting the Nakamura clan ownership of Edo.

Eiji decided to stay in the castle for the coming night before mobilizing his troops to continue their invasion in the morning. He and the army took quarters in the castle, with Junko silently standing watch on one of the towers throughout the night. Unseen by her, a throng of furtive black figures infiltrated the castle walls under the darkness.

The residents of the town as well as those garrisoned in the castle were awoken by the first explosion, as Hojo’s ninja revealed themselves, hurling bombs throughout the castle that destroyed and lit aflame the structures caught in the blast. In the barracks, Nakamura’s army was panicking under the sudden assault. It was only Nakamura Eiji, crashing through the ceiling in a shower of flame, gesturing and shouting affirmative orders, that kept the casualties to a minimum. The Daimyo evacuated his forces from the castle, ordering his squad of demons to spread out through the town and hunt down the ninja.

After they escaped, with only a few dead or missing, several squads volunteered to return to the town and assist the civilians. Nakamura Eiichi also disappeared back into the flames, intent on rescuing those trapped by the burning lumber.

Once the town had been evacuated, little was left of Edo but a smoldering ruin. Eiji spoke with the civilians from the city, promising them shelter in his provinces in the East, and to rebuild Edo after his assault on the responsible Hojo clan. With the peasants traveling away to the East, Nakamura Eiji set up camp near the burning ruin, dispatching Junko and several squads of ninja to gather intelligence about their next target.

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