Shinobi 7 Excerpt

Hello there! For those of you who are curious about the Shinobi 7 Series, here's a small excerpt for you to read. The series is written in first person and switches points-of-views with the six main characters. 

Note: Meet the main characters here

This excerpt is from the first book of the series Trials of a Warrior: 

~*~*~*~
I can’t believe I finally made it here,” Cassie said as we reached the entrance to the school. She had the biggest smile on her face that I've seen yet. There was a huge stone wall, at least twenty stories high, which surrounded the entire perimeter with matching stone doors. It seemed like no weapon could penetrate this wall, like the wall protecting the school was unstoppable!
Never in my life have I ever imagined a wall so tall and thick.
How are we going to climb it?” I asked.
Luna, we’re not climbing that wall,” Yami answered.
How come?”
It’s suicide! Plus we could get in trouble and get kicked out of the school before we join it. That wall is lots of stories high and the wind could blow us off like we were ants.”
Hanran spoke up. “I’m going to try it.”
After that, all eyes were on him. Hanran disregarded our stares and put one foot on the stone wall to hoist himself up. The stones jutted out from the wall, it wasn’t all flat and we could use the uneven stones to climb it. He was six or seven feet up the wall already.
There was no way I was going to stand there and watch him climb a wall without getting in on the action. “Yami, please! Just stay down here with Cassie-Chan and let me climb up with Nigaru-San!” I pleaded. He sighed but relented, nodding hesitantly. “Thank you!” I exclaimed, beginning to scale the great wall myself.
Be careful! Take your time! Don't look down!” Yami called up. He stood beside Cassie and watched me climb up.
It didn’t take long for me to catch up to Hanran. I was a few feet behind him and we were already one story up. “Don’t look down!” I called up to him.
He sighed when he noticed that I was beneath him. “Go back, Luna.”
How dare he tell me what to do. “No! I want to climb with you!”
Then be quiet. Don’t distract me. We’re not even halfway to the top.” His voice was stern, like I was a little kid he was scolding. Wait, I am a little kid. Well, whatever!
Great. Another person who thought just because they were older than me that they could tell me what to do. Not to mention, assume that they're in charge. Hanran obviously didn't understand how important all this was to me.
I know,” I told him. “I’m not trying to be annoying, Nigaru-San, I’m just excited and, well, nervous.”
One of his eyebrows quirked. “Nervous?” he asked. His voice had a twinge of interest.
Yeah. I’m an eight-year-old kid. They might turn me away for being too young. Then I’d have nowhere to go. Or they might tell me I’m too young for training and to return in a few years… or maybe not to return at all. I'm hopeful that they'll accept me, but on the other hand, everyone is telling me it's unlikely.”
Who's everyone?”
You know, like all the villagers that we met while we traveled here. We mainly stayed in the forests but when I had the flu we had to find a village to rest at.”
Hanran didn’t answer but he slowed his pace and allowed me to catch up to him. Now we were side to side and climbed the wall. I didn't expect him to say something, but he surprised me and did so. “Look kid, you’re so determined to get into this school, you’re willing to scale a twenty-story wall. They won’t turn you away.”
He was giving me encouragement?
You really think that?” I asked.
Hanran sighed. “Somewhat... to some extent. At least you want to train. They don't need to instill ambition into you. Now watch your step, focus on what you’re doing, and don’t look down.”
Hey, I already told you not to look down from the beginning!”
Hanran smirked and resumed his climbing.
Climbing certainly was fun, but after ten or fifteen minutes, something didn't seem right. “Hey Nigaru-San, I know we’re fast climbers, but there’s no way we’re this fast,” I said with unease.
He nodded. “The wall is an illusion.”
I giggled at his explanation, until I realized what he actually said. “Huh? So wait, is there really a wall?”
Hanran rolled his eyes. “Yes. They made the wall seem taller than it really is.”
Oh, so that was what he meant by illusion. Because if he meant that there wasn't really a wall, then I'd call him crazy. “How tall do you think it is?” I asked.
Ten, maybe eleven stories. I’m not sure.”
How are they able to do it?”
He disregarded me. “Enough questions, climb.”
I growled a couple times to myself but listened to him. Five more minutes passed and Hanran hoisted himself on the top rim of the wall, which was a foot thick and wide enough for him to sit on the edge. He helped me sit next to him and we peered down inside the school. If the wall really was twenty stories high, or however tall it appeared to be, it would have taken us much longer to climb it. We scaled to the top in twelve minutes, but that's just my guess.
From the very top of the wall, we saw pagoda styled buildings placed along the perimeter of the wall with a long stretch of green grass fields. The school and its walls extended way beyond what the eye could see. For a few minutes, only the howling wind made noise between us, as Hanran and I looked out to what could be our future home.
So… now what?” I finally asked him.
I’m thinking.”
About what?”
Just be quiet.”
Why?”
Because I’m thinking.”
About what?”
Hanran released a heavy sigh. “Okay,” he said finally. “We’ll climb down into the school, but at the first sign something goes wrong we climb back up, okay?”
Kay.”
He nodded and started to climb down the inside of the wall. I followed him and slowly but surely we made our way down. Hanran may not be the nicest guy in Shaaku Den, but at least he cared enough to look out for me. At least, I think he cared. He obviously doesn't want to see me fall off the wall and splat on the ground. Maybe I shouldn’t be too wary of him. Maybe.
We reached the bottom of the wall in the same time we climbed it. I briefly wondered what Yami and Cassie were doing to pass the time while they waited for us. We've been gone a half an hour, at least.
The pagoda houses blocked us from being in plain sight and we were covered by the shadows.
We won’t be killed for intruding, will we?” I whispered.
I expected Hanran to say no. Instead he said, “We might.”
What?!” I shrieked.
This isn’t a public place, Luna. We just intruded into a private and ancient shinobi clan run by Master Kitsune himself. We’re intruders even if we want to be students.”
His words sunk in. Hanran was right. “Well if it's so private and ancient, why was it so easy for us to get in?”
For all we know we could have already been spotted and they're letting us believe that we're safe.”
Oh no, please let that not be the case! Gah, I should have listened to Yami. Once in awhile he does know better than me, and this would have been one of those times!
So what’s the plan?” I asked, my voice cracking at the end from nerves.
Don’t get caught.”
And if we do?”
Stay alive.”
And if we can't?”
... then we're dead.”
Oh. Right.”
Hanran slowly paced along the side of one of the pagoda buildings. He pressed himself against the wall for cover. I followed him with the same aloofness and we were both as quiet as we could be. Hanran then held his palm up to tell me wait, hurried to the corner of the building, and peeked his head out towards the center field of the school.
I watched as he stood still and then he suddenly flinched. I flinched when he did, it surprised me. Hanran hurried back to me. “What’s wrong?” I whispered.
We need to hide, now.”
What’s going—hey!”
Hanran snatched my arm and flung me into a bush. He dived into a bush across from me. I heard footsteps coming closer and closer. My heart pounded faster and faster. Were we discovered?
Was this really it for me? To die a horrible death before living out my dream? Not like this; I always thought if I died it would be engaged in an epic ninja battle with swords. That would be a great way to go down, not for being caught in a school and dying in some bushes. Worst. Death. EVER.
The bush I hid in was so thick I could hardly see, but I was able to make out a man from between the twigs and leaves. His height stood out to me the most. I thought I saw that he had black hair, too. What caught my attention was the bright orange uniform that he wore and the black belt tied around his waist. His back was to me and I couldn’t see his face, really all I saw were the colors of his uniform and his hair.
The man chuckled. “So you two were able to climb the great walls of my school, were you?”
That voice. Why was it so familiar? Where have I heard it before? It's almost like...wait... did he say his school? Was he...
I’m afraid you two will have to wait until tonight.” With that, the man bent his knees, extended his arms, and suddenly...
WHAM!
A torrent of energy surged through me. I closed my eyes from the impact as the ground around me started to shake and rumble. It was like I was caught in the middle of an earthquake and everything around me was going to crush onto me.
Then, the pressure released. My eyes opened.
Yami and Cassie sat in the grass and played a card game. Yami turned around and noticed me on the grass, no doubt noticing the surprised expression on my face. Well, surprised is an understatement. I'm shocked. Appalled. Speechless. Hungry. Everything happened so fast!
Oh, hey Luna, I didn't notice you climbed down,” Yami said. “You look like you've seen a ghost. Are you all right?”
I whipped my head to my right side and saw Hanran lying on the grass beside me. Cassie seemed to notice something was up. “Are you two okay?” she asked with concern.
What happened?” I asked back.
You and Nigaru-San just appeared on the grass. You two didn’t climb down?”
No!” I exclaimed, jumping to my feet and examining myself. My body was fine. No cuts, no bruises, even the same scab was on my knee from climbing the tree. “Nigaru-San… what happened? Who was that man?” I asked.
Hanran stood on his feet and dusted himself off. His eyes went to the wall of the school and he shook his head lightly. “That was Master Kitsune.”
Yami and Cassie were just as surprised as I was. “You met Master Kitsune?” Cassie asked.
We didn't meet him,” I answered. “But... I don't get it, Nigaru-San, why didn't he kill us for intruding? Or at least punish us?”

Hanran slowly shook his head. “I don't know,” he finally mumbled. “I don't know.”

Thanks for reading! You can buy Shinobi 7: Trials of Warrior in paperback or download to Kindle on Amazon.com! Follow these links: 

Amazon: HERE
Goodreads: HERE
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