: The characters in this story do not belong to me, but are being used for amusement only and all rights remain with Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, the writers of the original episodes, and the TV and production companies responsible for the original television shows. BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER ©2002 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved. The Buffy the Vampire Slayer trademark is used without express permission from Fox. 'The Mikado' was created by W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan; the copyright on the opera expired long ago. 'The Princess Bride' is the property of William Goldman. 'House' was created by David Shore. 'Lone Wolf and Cub' was created by writer Kazuo Koike and artist Goseki Kojima. 'Paddington' was created by Michael Bond.
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Angel bowed low before the Shogun. “The wandering minstrel is dangerous, Giles-sama,” he counseled. “He is more than he appears. He is a Ninja assassin. It is said that once he accepts a commission his target is as good as dead. He has fought two samurai sword-masters and killed them both.”
Giles folded his fan and frowned. “What is this minstrel called, Angel-san?”
“He is sometimes called Chopstick, because he slays those who criticize his haiku by driving chopsticks through their ears into their brains. Another name he uses is Willi-san the Bloody.”
“That Chopstick guy doesn’t scare me,” Buffy declared. The ninja girl rose to her feet. Angel gazed lustfully at her, his eyes particularly dwelling on the tiger tattoo that could just be seen peeking from under the edge of her kimono. Buffy’s hand went to her wakizashi and she drew it in a lightning Iaijutsu move, struck at an imaginary opponent, and whirled the sword back into its scabbard in a continuation of the same motion.
“Uh, I kinda think you should watch out, Buffy-chan,” Willow the Shugenja sorceress cautioned the swordswoman. “I got a bad feeling about this. Like I’m gonna end up hiding in a closet with that geisha Cordelia, or something. This Chopstick guy sounds pretty tough, you know?”
“No-one can beat the Buffster,” grinned the court Taikomochi jester, Xander. “Lighten up, Will-chan. If all else fails, Buffy-chan can always get her mom to hit this Chopstick guy with a naginata. Hey, anyone want sushi?”- - - - -
Angel held Xander helpless with a Hadaka-Jime strangle hold. “This one serves your enemies, Willi-san,” Angel said. “He can be your first victim.”
Chopstick fixed cold eyes on the other ninja. “Don’t trust you, Angel-san,” he said. “You were my Sensei, my Yogi, but you sold yourself to the Shogun and left our clan. Not gonna take this gift, ‘cos I don’t trust you as far as I can sacrifice-throw you. Anyway he’s only a Taikomochi. Not exactly a worthy adversary, is he?”
“I’m good with that,” Xander said. “I am not worthy! I am not worthy!”
“Sod off, then, unworthy one,” Chopstick said contemptuously.
Angel released Xander, who sucked in a deep breath and glared at the Sold Ninja. He opened his mouth for a sharp retort but was interrupted by one of Chopstick’s retinue of ronin.
“I have no problem with slaying a Taikomochi,” the ronin announced, drawing his katana. Angel drew his own weapon and moved to attack the ronin. Xander dashed towards the doors, another ronin followed, and in seconds a chaotic fight was raging.
Chopstick ignored the chaos and strode on into the castle buildings. Before long he reached a stall selling sake. A small blonde girl stood beside the stall.
“When life gives you rice, make sake,” the girl said. “Hey, are you Chopstick-san? I thought you weren’t going to attack until the Chrysanthemum Festival.”
“Got bored,” Chopstick admitted. “Dishonorable, but so what? As a ronin and a ninja I’m already dishonored. Bit more dishonor won’t do any harm. Yeah, I’m Chopstick. You must be the renowned ninja girl Buffy Summers, right? A worthy adversary at last. Wrote a haiku in your honor.” He bowed and then struck a pose.
Bright deadly sharp katana
Hot tin roof
Buffy frowned. “Guess you’d better stick your chopstick in my ear, ‘cause hey, that kinda sucked. ‘Katana hot tin roof?’ You so have to be kidding.”
Chopstick bridled. “Your unworthy ears shall soon be lying on the ground.”
He drew and struck in one move. Buffy parried, but only barely, and she was driven back away from the sake stall. His blows came fast and furious and Buffy began to feel that she was overmatched. “Do we really need weapons for this?” she suggested.
Chopstick stepped back for a moment. “A samurai’s honor lies in his sword.” He twirled the katana back into its scabbard. “But then, I’m not a samurai any more.”
Buffy sheathed her own weapon and adopted an Aikido stance. Chopstick advanced once more, and drove her back with a barrage of punches and kicks. Eventually she caught his right hand and began to apply a sankyo lock; but he somersaulted with the hold, freed himself, and reversed the position.
“You’d be a fair match for me in a year or so,” he told her. “Pity you won’t make it. Gonna chop your head off now.” His free hand went to the hilt of his katana, but suddenly he released her and stepped back with a cry of pain.
Buffy’s mother stood behind him holding a naginata. “Get away from my daughter!” Joyce Summers cried, and struck out at him once more.
Chopstick ducked under her blow and leaped away. He put his hand to his head and brought it away again with a smear of blood on his palm. “A ninja with family and friends? Shimata! That’s not in accordance with Bushido.” He turned and ran from the castle.- - - - -
“What shall we tell the peasants?” the Shogun asked his Chamberlain, Snyder.
Snyder’s brows furrowed. “Yakuza on opium?”