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Prologue: In His Natural Nature

---

The region of Ransei was screwed.

It wasn't a natural disaster that was causing the problem. (Although, later Inari considered the thought that it was a disaster, and it was Masamune's natural nature.) It was a certain Warlord.

Masamune Date, of the kingdom of Avia, was planning to break just about every rule set down since Nobunaga was defeated. The Warlord was going to try and conquer all of the kingdoms of the region.

Inari could remember the night she had first heard of this plan perfectly. The Yaksha native had been trying to sleep when Magoichi had practically broken down her door. A summons had been set out to all of the advisors and Warriors in the kingdom to meet at the floating castle. Masamune was planning something, and it was something big.

She remembered being guided through the halls by Magoichi, and bumping into things she was sure weren't previously there. A furniture change, maybe? Weird, she was usually given notice ahead of schedule.

Magoichi pulled out a chair on the far right of the table, Helping her sit down. "You alright, sweetheart?" Magoichi, always the flirt, was still trying to pull his charms on her even after she had lived in the castle for four years. She couldn't actually see who was sitting at the table, but then again she couldn't see anything, but she could identify most by their voices. Babbling about the irregular time of day across the table and to her left was Chacha. Inari blushed, touching her hair. She could only imagine the state she was in. She was still wearing her sleeping kimono, and hadn't had time to brush out her hair.

Fortunately, Inari didn't have very long to worry about her appearance. "Quiet!" Masamune's voice rang out, the notable tone of irritation silencing everyone.

"I know its very late..." Here, Inari was rather amused when she heard agreeing grunts. "But, I have made a decision that involves all of you." Inari could feel the intrigue rippling through the room.

"I have decided that we will take over Ransei," the Warlord bluntly stated.

The room was perfectly silent for a second, and then all heck broke loose. Roars of protest came from the Warriors and counselors gathered.

"Quiet!!!" For the second time, the young Warlord's voice commanded absolute attention. "If you wish to accompany me on my journey, please raise your hand now."

Inari's ears heard it. Her mind couldn't compute it. She knew that Magoichi would raise his hand. Masamune and the playboy were too close to do anything as major as this without eachother. She knew that Takatora would go with them, maybe Chiyo as well.

To her horror, she felt her left arm raise up of its own accord. What was she thinking? Even though Masamune had been so kind to her the past four years of her life, she couldn't believe the treachery she had signed herself onboard for.

She heard Magoichi hiss in frustration. "Its me, you, and Takatora..." Inari's head fell onto the table. They only had four people. Only four people to conquer the entire region.

Even if Ransei wasn't screwed, their crack team of four was.
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Chapter 1
Why? Just, why?

~~~

Inari sat on her bed, leaning against the wall. The other Inari did the exact same thing. The second Inari looked at the first Inari and grinned like a fox. The first Inari sighed and patted the second Inari's shoulder, shattering the illusion. Her faithful Zoroark sat on the bed next to her, pouting slightly as her fun was ruined.

"Aargh! Why would he do this?" With a hiss of frustration, Inari leaped off of the bed and crossed to her closet. From there, she began throwing things onto the floor, with the occasional article of clothing landing on the bed. Before long, almost half of her closet was on the floor. An outfit for flying lay on her bed beside a full suit of armor. She threw off her sleeping kimono quickly, and switched into the outfit for flying. She pulled the drawstring tight on the waistband of her black pants and let her shirt slip over her head. The sleeves fluttered in the wind from the open window. Inari took an emerald green kimono from her closet and tossed it onto the bed.

Sighing again, Inari sat down in the chair, holding her head with her hands. "Masamune is insane. Takatora and Magoichi are insane. I am insane... Why, just why are we doing this?" Her Zoroark gave a yip of agreement. Inari glared at her Zoroark, her line of sight off by about three inches to the left. She was good, but not that good.

Stuffing all of her clothing on the bed into her large satchel, she added a small first aid kit. She grabbed her blindfold from the bedside table and tied it tight across her eyes. The effect of the toxic green completely covering her eyes was startling, and she didn't need anyone thinking she was a freak. So she used a blindfold.

Aggression once again overtook her, and she screamed. Once she heard footsteps clattering down the hall, she knew she had made a mistake. Her attendants burst through the door to find Inari curled up on her futon, trying not to throw up.

Her maid began picking up the clothes and putting them back in her closet. Inari's aid ushered her to the bathroom and held back her hair as the blind retainer threw up. Inari shivered as she dry heaved and the pain went up and down her throat. "Mi'lady shouldn't be traveling if she is sick," her aid said to her, comfortingly rubbing her shoulders.

Inari shook her head no, trying hard not to cough up more bile. "No... No, I made a promise to Lord-" She dry heaved again, and whimpered in pain, two wet splotches forming on her blindfold. "Its just nervousness, I must go..."

Her aid sighed motioning to the maid to fetch a heavy coat and their lady's bow and quiver. "Very well mi'lady, but I will be packing you herbs incase it gets worse..."

Her aid rubbed her shoulders more as Inari dry heaved one last time. Then she helped her stand and pulled the winter coat over her arms. Inari's Zoroark lept from the bed and stood infront of Inari, trying to make as concerned a yip as possible.

"I... I will be fine. I just need to commit myself to the plan..." She walked unsteadily to the door and walked out towards the landing for the bird pokemon. Inari felt the steady pace of raindrops on her skin. Her maid ran to slip a bundle of something in her satchel, probably healing herbs... She whispered a prayer for luck under her breath then slipped back into the palace.

"Bad weather, isn't it?" Inari commented on the steady rain. Her Skarmory, apparently ready and saddled, wouldn't do good in rain.

Masamune tried to keep a cheerful tune in his voice as he spoke. "Just a bit of rain! It'll probably die off before we cross the Terrera border." Inari wished she could remain that cheerful as she swung onto her Skarmory.

~~~

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Chapter 2:
In Which the Wind Blows Southeast

---

Inari clung to her Skarmory. Her Zoroark clung to her.

The dark type Pokemon was terrified of heights. Masamune often joked that Inari could not be the best choice as a retainer if her main Pokemon hated flying high.

The four Warriors flew in a tight formation, just giving their Pokemon enough wing space. Even with this, they had to yell to be heard over the rain.

"I recall someone saying something about the weather clearing up," Inari hollered to Masamune.

The one-eyed dragon gritted his teeth. "I recall saying that it could possibly clear up. Anyhow, I didn't say which side of the Tererra border, now did I?" His Braviary squawked his agreement, much to chagrin of Inari.

Every minutes, she would squeeze her knees tight against Skarmory's sides to check that her quiver and bow were still securely fastened. Her arrows had been transferred into her pack, as soon as she realized that the storm would get rough. The blind girl was always cautious, and she didn't want her only weapon blown away in the wind.

"I think I can see the Ignis Mountains from here, my Lord!" Takatora called back from his position as point.

With a sigh of relief, Inari patted her Skarmory. Masamune would let them go down, possibly let them find shelter from the rain. That thought was like the thought of heaven. She was soaked to the skin, and starving. Even with her recent dry-heaving, she felt like she could eat a Tauros.

As the four bird Pokemon began a steady spiral downwards, Inari began to be able to visualize better the area they would be descending into. It was a forest, seemingly untouched by the firy grasp of the volcano on which Ignis castle made its home. They would be touching ground in a small clearing, as green as Inari's own eyes.

Inari shuddered with delight as her feet hit the hard earth.

Even with the rain still pouring, a very uncommon occurance in the Fire Kingdom, the ground was a blessing in its own way. As Magoichi and Takatora searched for a decent shelter, Masamune and Inari began to take care of the Pokemon. Braviary had faced an overload of passengers; Masamune, Magoichi, and the playboy's Sceptile. Skarmory, in the meantime, was beginning to rust. Inari could feel it under her fingers, and she knew the dull red color from her time of sight as a child. But without the proper tools, she couldn't help her poor Pokemon.

Magoichi soon returned with the news that they had found a cave, and that Takatora was clearing it out for their use. The lady clung to Magoichi's shoulder, stumbling over her feet slightly as they trampled through the thicket of harshly raised undergrowth. As they neered the cave, Inari could feel the undergrowth beginning to fade, replaced by the rocky ground of the Ignis mountains.

As the settled into the cave, they almost immediately began planning on how to confront Hideyoshi. With no army to back them up, (It would have been impossible to cart a full blown army through Cragspur and Tererra without either sensing something was going on) they would have to rely more on ingenuity and skill. And as each plan was produced, it boiled down to simply one thing; knowledge of Ignis Castle. And while Masamune was occasionally invited there, accompanied by Magoichi, and Takatora had obtained his Lampent and Charizard there, Inari simply knew it best.

While occasionally prone to frustration-induced temper tantrums, Inari was the most diplomatic of all of Masamune's retainers. She was invited to Ignis Castle at least three times a year on matters of war and peace, famine and prosperity.

"I don't like the idea of sending her in there... Its risky, and she knows it best, but..." These words brought Inari out of her drowsy semi-awareness. Their pathetic campfire was crackling, trying weakly to stay alive. And in that barely warm state, Inari, with her back facing the men, listened to them arguing over her welfare and their honor.

How just like men, she thought. To put a lady's safety and their own pride before a plan that they themselves agreed to.

And with that thought, the blind warrior closed her eyes and fell asleep.

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