"The Legend of FuuRinKaZan" is a short story that I wrote and drew for Inktober 2017. Inktober is a world-wide art movement, where basically you challenge yourself to make a traditional ink drawing every single day for the month of October.
This year, I decided to follow the Inktober prompt list that Jake Parker, the founder of the Inktober movement, created. The list is basically 31 different words, and the words are meant to help you get inspiration for your drawing if you're stuck. I decided to write a short story about ninja and borrowed elements from Japanese folklore, Japanese TV shows, and American comics.
So the word "FuuRinKaZan" (風林火山) is actually a Japanese phrase made up of four characters — wind (fuu, 風), forest (rin, 林), fire (ka, 火), and mountain (zan, 山). It's apparently what was printed on the battle flag of a Sengoku era feudal lord, Takeda Shingen. It's actually an adaptation of phrases from Sun Tze's The Art of War, to be "as swift as wind, as gentle as the forest, as fierce as fire, as immovable as the mountain".
As Inktober is still underway, at the end of the month, I hope to eventually compile and make a book out of this story that I've written. It will be available on my store as soon as this is ready.
Ninja are swift and deadly.
The ninja were once one. But over time, they were divided into five clans, each specializing in different weapons - the sword, the kunai, the sai, the axe, the shuriken.
The ninja are very skilled. They are adept in using poisons...
...and are able to make the most of any terrain, be it on land or underwater.
Ninja training is a long, ardous process.
Our story begins with a legendary sword. The sword clan had a sacred sword - FuuRinKaZan. FuuRinKaZan was a blade so powerful that its power was split into four parts, for no one ought to wield such power.
The Kunai Clan, Sai Clan, Axe Clan, and Shuriken Clans each wielded one part of the blade's essence. Without the four powers combined, FuuRinKaZan was just like any ordinary blade.
FuuRinKaZan was only to be wielded by the greatest of ninja. The next wielder of FuuRinKaZan was a young ninja named Yousuke. While Yousuke was just shy of 18, he showed tremendous potential in the ninja arts.
Now, the ninja's purpose is to protect the world from the crooked and villainous Youkai Clan. 500 years ago, the ninja had sealed away the Youkai Clan's leader, the Great Oni. Because the ninja clans were divided, without the full power of FuuRinKaZan, the Great Oni could not be destroyed.
Day after day, the seal of the ninja would weaken...
One day, the silence of the mid-day was broken with a blood-curdling screech
A gigantic evil had returned. The Sanzu River had overflowed. The seal on the Great Oni was broken!
With renewed hatred, the Youkai Clan attacked the nearby village. The villagers had to run for their lives.
The peace of the world was shattered. The only way to destroy the Great Oni was for the five clans to unite as one.
The influence of the Youkai Clan was spreading throughout the world. The whole world was teeming with evil. Yet no one could stop them.
With fierce determination, young Yousuke sought to unite the five clans, to restore the powers to FuuRinKaZan, and to destroy the Youkai Clan once and for all.
Yousuke first sought out the help of the Sai Clan. The Sai Clan was a reclusive clan, led by a mysterious kunoichi, Kasumi. She told the young ninja to give up on his quest.
Unfazed, the young ninja went to the Axe Clan and sought their help. The leader of the Axe Clan was a fat ninja named Tetsu. He, too, told Yousuke to give up the cause.
Disappointed, Yousuke headed to the Kunai Clan. Now the Kunai Clan's leader was Nanami, a kunoichi who believed that ninjutsu had the potential to be a beautiful art form.
She gave Yousuke a challenge: "If you can put up a graceful performance, I will give you what you seek."
Nanami thought that the other ninja clans were but filthy ruffians who couldn't understand the beauty of ninjutsu. But Yousuke proved her wrong. His swordsmanship was so exquisite, unlike anything Nanami had seen. Nanami, thus, kept her end of the bargain.
With renewed confidence, Yousuke set out to the Shuriken Clan. Now the Shuriken Clan was located on a mountain cave, high above the clouds.
After a long climb up the mountain, Yousuke made his way into the deep cave of the Shuriken Clan. To his surprise, Kasumi and Tetsu were waiting inside the cave alongside Jiraiya, the leader of the Shuriken Clan. Hearing of his potential from Nanami, the other clan leaders decided to bet everything they had on Yousuke.
Now with all the powers combined, FuuRinKaZan was restored, and a flash of light tore through the dark sky. Seeing that light, the Great Oni became very furious, for he knew that the only thing that could destroy him had been restored.
Yousuke was now ready to face the Great Oni. It wasn't difficult to locate the Youkai Clan, for they left a trail of great destruction behind.
Standing before the Great Oni, Yousuke was trembling with fear.
"Oh, you look juicy!" the Great Oni exclaimed.
But Yousuke knew he could not afford to lose. With a swing of FuuRinKaZan, a great light lit up the darkness, blinding the Great Oni.
Seeing their leader blinded, the other Youkai jumped off their ship and started to help their leader back onto the ship.
Yousuke knew that this was his chance to defeat the Great Oni. But he also knew that it was going to be difficult to beat all the youkai. He tried to stealthily get around, but...
Yousuke was spotted by the other youkai! He jumped and climbed up the mast, hoping to get to a good vantage point...
...but he slipped! As he was about to fall into the hands of the angry youkai...
...the other ninja clans had come to his rescue! Seeing Yousuke's bravery, the other clans knew they could not be idle. For the first time in 500 years, the ninja clans were united!
With new-found strength, Yousuke struck the finishing blow to the Great Oni! The Great Oni was destroyed, and the ninja were victorious! Seeing their leader fallen, the Youkai Clan ran.
As the ninja clans celebrated their victory, they were too distracted to notice a shadowy figure at work. Someone had picked up the Great Oni's mask... for the Great Oni's essence was contained within the Mask of Malice.