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My Friend Yoko
Another short glimpse into Kagemaru's ninja camp and what crazy things ninjas do while nobody's watching. Flexibility is the No.1 requirement for any good shinobi, not only it allows them to hide in the most unexpected places, but also makes them immune to torture racks and a lot of other deadly devices in case they're captured for interrogation. Ninjas could normally beat the ass of any contortionist, sadly they never get the well deserved applause as very few people really notice the show, and if they do, they usually never survive for long enough to offer a comment or critique XD;;
The following text is a translation from Kage's diary in Japanese. It seems like a description for a drawing that he probably did, but the drawing was seemingly on some other page that was lost, so the drawing you see above is an attempt to "restore" the lost drawing sorta ^_^;;
This is my friend Yoko and it's the night right before the exam. This semester we were taught 12 new tricks, including some new stretches, on the exam we will have to do 2 tricks and a special task. I've already failed the exam two times, both times because my legs were too stiff for the positions I picked. The teacher compared me to a plank of cheap wood walking on two bamboo sticks that would fall apart in any serious mission. That was very humiliating! This time I got to try my best and prepare myself well! And prove I'm a man, not a plank of wood!
My friend Yoko here agreed to help with the legs. He's usually always busy but I really needed someone to help me, so I lured him in with some sushi and sake. I call him Yoko because he wants to be a sumo wrestler when he grows up. The name is girly but he doesn't mind, he's a very kind soul. But at the same time Yoko is very strong: he could bend an iron rod into a knot. He is very hard-working and doesn't mind helping me because in sumo it's important to apply all your force but avoid breaking the enemy's bones. In the real battle it's ok to break them but during the training and festivals it's totally against the rules and a good sumo wrestler must be able to control not only his strength but also the way it is applied to the opponent's body. He's the master of control and always does such great massage to my back that it makes me feel like a jello. Too bad he's always so busy, I wish he could be my roommate.
Two years ago I bumped into him on the way to class and we had an argument and then something like a friendly duel just to challenge each other. He was a young guard still in training. All trainees in the camp were required to show a lot of respect for each other, but a bit of sparring every now and then wasn't forbidden. So during our battle he ended up locking me on the floor for a painful bend that was meant to make me instantly surrender but he didn't know I was trained to be so flexible that I didn't care. He seemed to forget that such tricks are useless against spies, and at the time I thought he was a bit soft in the head because everyone in the camp knows spies work on their pain threshold for many hours a day!
So he ended up bending my back in half backwards, still trying to make me surrender. At first I concluded that he's really that dumb, but after a moment I figured he was just simply teasing me in a friendly way. Well, I liked him and I liked being stretched by him, so I stopped struggling, relaxed and let the air out of my lungs, so my upper back drowned under his weight into the space between my spread legs until my shoulders lay on the floor next to my knees. That felt good for me, though my backbone felt like a catapult being drawn back as far as it would go, and the skin on my belly was really tense. If I were a farmer's kid I'd probably scream and die in agony, but as a skilled shinobi I was filled with pride that my body was so excellent I could easily do almost everything I could think of. Maybe Yoko was just curious about my abilities, anyway I asked him later if he wanted to stretch me again, but he said he was too busy with his own training. However, later in the evening he paid a visit, since then we met at least once a week and I'd always learn something new from him. I think it's him who helped me become a good spy.