• “I don't think he's here.”

    His companion was busy knocking on the walls, looking for hiding spaces.

    “Well, we saw someone come in here.”

    The small room was mostly bare, offering very few good hiding spaces. A low table, set with tea things for two, cushions placed beside it, a tea chest, locked, and a large wardrobe, strangely out of place, and also locked, filled it almost to overflowing.

    Their female compatriot, a good assassin in her own right, was regarding the wardrobe curiously. There were soft noises coming from inside, though that could have been something as innocent as rats.

    “Do you think that can be locked from the inside?”

    “I don't know.” The taller of the two men said, pausing mid tap.

    “I wouldn't think so. The latch is wrong.” The other said, shaking his head, but taking a step towards it anyway, intent on investigating.

    At that point, two things happened at once. First, a group of four masked men, covered from head to toe in black cloth that muffled feet and hid form until it was impossible to tell one from another, charged in through the door, breaking it down in their hurry. Second, a small, pretty young woman, her long blonde hair, looking more white than yellow in the soft, diffused light, braided back with blood red ribbons, and haphazardly dressed in a fancy, stolen kimono, burst out of the wardrobe and ran for the door.

    One of the masked men caught her arm, and she spun in his grasp, trying to free herself, instead using the momentum to get her hand, fingers twisted into claws, into and through his throat when that didn't work. His blood spurted out, spattering across the walls and his companions, somehow missing her dress, though it wouldn't have shown up anyway, as momentum spun them another complete rotation as he gave one last, dying gurgle and fell, nerveless fingers releasing her arm.

    The whole room paused and stared at her, as she smiled, a tiny, sadistic smile, and brought her bloody fingers to her lips.

    “Ninja.” One of the remaining masked men said coldly. She looked up, startled, pausing halfway through licking her hand clean.

    “No.” She raised an eyebrow at him, clearly confused. “Why would I want to be that?” She asked, a tone of professional disgust coloring her words. “In my experience,” she said, licking her fingers between words, “ninja tend to be messy, incompetent fools who lack the basic skills to keep themselves out of harm's way.” She gestured disdainfully at the corpse, blood still oozing sluggishly from the gaping hole in his neck.

    She smiled again, and lowered her hand, clean, now, staring at the speaker with a disconcerting intensity that, had he been any less trained, would have made him take a step back.

    There were smears of blood on her lips, like morbid lipstick, mirroring the color of her kimono and hair ribbons, and her smile, sadistic and stained red, grew as he shivered involuntarily.

    She turned her head to the side, the knife that would have gone between her eyes thudding into the wall behind her. She moved, then, surprising them all with how fast she was, a switchblade flashing between her fingers, and then, he, like his dead friend, fell to the floor, his intestines trailing from the yawning slash in his abdominal cavity.

    She stood over him, face oddly blank, before a razorblade smile, somehow even more cruel than anything she had worn before, slid over her face as she watched his eyes dull. And then, as suddenly as she had started, she had wiped off the blade and made it vanish again, and turned to walk out of the room again, feet splashing carelessly in the blood puddles on the floor.

    One of the black swathed ninjas made a move towards her, and she stopped, straightening the folds of her deep red kimono, the same color as the blood on the walls and floors, and her feet, now, embroidered with chrysanthemums and koi in gold thread, neatening the fall of the cloth with as much care as if she was going somewhere when she might been seen, before speaking.

    “Don't attack me.” Her voice was flat, emotionless, but something burned under it, as hot as a forest fire and just as deadly.

    She took another step forward, then slid sideways, avoiding the man, one of the two remaining from that group, who had thrown himself at her. She spun, as graceful as a leaf in the wind, and wrapped her arms around his shoulder as if she meant to break it, though her hands were in the wrong position for that.

    “If anyone else attacks me,” She said, voice dry and almost amused, “I will rip off his arm and beat the offender to death with it.” She leaned her head lightly against his shoulder, as if she was his lover, and there was a unmistakably feminine smile in her voice when she spoke again.

    “And he can hope someone finds him before he bleeds to death.” She sounded so serious, though her kimono was sliding off one shoulder, and her hair was disheveled, the ribbons coming loose from one braid, that the three would-be assassins, standing near the far wall, all but forgotten, didn't doubt a word.

    Apparently, what remained of the hired security did.

    He made a motion that she obviously took as threatening, because there was a sickening pop as his bones separated, and then an even more nauseating tearing sound as the arm came entirely off, blood pouring out as tendons and stringy ligaments, and the pearly white ends of bone swayed in the blood flow.

    She started forward, her feet stained red to the ankles now, detached arm held at the wrist. The man swallowed audibly.

    Being what they were, they were used to brutality, to a much further extent than most people could ever hope to encounter, or survive.

    This was a bit much.

    Watching the small, delicately featured girl, no more than 16 years of age at most, advance on what was, by rights, their opponent, the arm she had ripped off raised threateningly, a bloody, insanely sadistic smile on her face, was much more than disturbing.

    The taller of the two men threw up in the corner, keeping his head bent to avoid looking again. His shorter companion squeezed his eyes shut and turned to look at the wall, face ashen. The woman, much as she would have liked to, couldn't look away, the bloody proceedings, the dying screams of the man, his life's blood flying and splattering on everything and pooling on the floor, fascinating her as a cobra's gaze fascinates all but the strongest. She swallowed against the bile in her throat and fought to turn away, failing miserably.

    Finally, when the girl was finished, and had dropped the shattered remains of her gruesome club, she turned to them, smiling as the two men looked up and around, the taller retching again as a drop of someone's blood trickled down the side of her face.

    “Don't look like that.” She said kindly, smile turning bemused. “I have no quarrel with any of you.” The man behind her, still bleeding profusely from where his arm used to be, whimpered.

    “You-” The woman started, swallowing again.

    The girl's smile vanished. The look of utter revulsion and horror on the other woman's face as she all but was sick all over the floor made her sigh.

    “I don't know what you think I am,” she began calmly, smoothing her hair and wiping blood off her face, “but I'm certainly not nice.” Her eyes were glaciers, as blue as deep ice and just as cold. “I'm not kind, or sweet, or demure, or anything else expected of a woman here.” She paused, eyes flat, and slid the heavy folds of miraculously unsullied fabric back up onto her shoulder, straightening the crisp pleats of her hastily tied obi.

    “I have no quarrel with you.” She repeated. “And I'll be leaving now.”

    She turned on her heel and glided noiselessly towards the door, ignoring the gore that stained her hands and feet a sick red. She glanced back at them, eyes dead, one bloody hand on the doorframe, and vanished around the corner like a vengeful ghost.

    The remaining masked man fell backwards in a dead faint.

    The assassination team looked at each other, and began to smile. Their kill would probably be blamed on this event, and would also turn it into a local legend, moving suspicion even farther away from their home country.

    This would work nicely.

    They ran off in search of their target.

    (And that was how Suzanna, lost, frightened, and angry enough to kill innocents, became the deranged spirit of a devoted concubine, who had taken poison after her beloved lord was killed, bent on revenging herself on his killer, the current lord.

    Needless to say, she was very disgruntled when she discovered this.)