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Grasscutter II Chapter 1

A Whisper of Wings

Grasscutter II: Prologue <-- --> Grasscutter II Chapter 2: Scent of the Pines

General Info

First Published: August 2000 by Dark Horse Comics

Comics Which Contain This Story

USAGI YOJIMBO Volume 3, Number 40

USAGI YOJIMBO Book 15: Grasscutter II, Journey to Atsua Shrine
(Pages 31-54)

Characters in This Story

A Neko Ninja Takao makes a report to his superiors, Kagemaru and Clan leader Chizu: His partner Shubei was discovered and ran. Takao followed at a distance, trying to find Shubei's pursuer, to no avail. Shubei led his pursuer though booby-trapped areas, yet none of the traps were sprung. Believing he had eluded his pursuer, Shubei paused to rest at the rendezvous point and was set upon by a creature whose like the reporting ninja had not seen before. The creature - a kitanamono - killed Shubei before carrying the body away.

Takao followed at a distance to a house where the eight conspirators met (see the first grasscutter series). He finishes his report, stating that the conspirators plot has failed, as has their determination. Chizu asks about the plot and it becomes clear that while Takao had sent regular reports to Kagemaru, the reports were not passed on. Takao explains about grasscutter and the now defunct plot before making himself scarce as his superiors 'have words'.

Kagemaru explains that he has suspects grasscutter to be in a temple in Suo province. The two argue whether or not grasscutter should be retrieved, moving outside as they do so. Chizu is against it, believing it to be too risky whether or not they succeed or fail. The matter is decided for them as they find Takao's body on the roof and hear the receding whisper of wings - the Komori Ninja. Now that their rivals know about grasscutter, the Neko Ninja have no choice but to go after it.

Meanwhile, Usagi, Gen and the priest Sanshobo discuss the route they will take to Atsuta shrine, drawing their options on a rough map - the coast road or the mountains. They decide the mountains will offer more safety, much to Gen's annoyance. Sanshobo retrieves the sword from the temple well where he kept it safe and the trio set off upon their journey.

Several days later, night has fallen at the temple and Neko Ninja swarm over the walls - to find it deserted. A thorough search reveals the map that Usagi, Gen and Sanshobo used to decide their route. They piece together the intentions of the trio, but are unsure which route they have taken - the coast road or the mountains. They decide to split up and cover both. At that point, the Komori Ninja arrive, and after a futile exchance of words and blades, they take off again in search of grasscutter. It becomes a race - the Komori Ninja having the advantage of speed, but the Neko Ninja knowing the final destination of the sword.

Usagi, Gen and Sanshobo continue on unaware of the danger only a few days behind, and gaining.

Grasscutter II: Prologue <-- --> Grasscutter II Chapter 2: Scent of the Pines

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Usagi Yojimbo, including all prominent characters featured in the stories and the distinctive likenesses thereof are trademarks of Stan Sakai and Usagi Studios. Usagi Yojimbo is a registered trademark of Stan Sakai. Names, characters, places, and incidents featured in this publication either are the product of the authors imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons (living or dead), events, institutions, or locales, without satiric content, is coincidental.