Forty-seven of them, to be exact.
Her hip-length, dark brown hair danced like fire while her silky, green kimono twirled like water; she was managing to knock her enemies off their feet before any of them could strike her with their bamboo-swords.
Her parents, King Makino and Queen Junko, stood on the edge of a high cliff that overlooked the area, where they were watching her with the utmost admiration. This battle was a test administered by the two of them: Naruko, Princess of the Kitsune Kingdom, was expected to knock down at least twenty of the samurai.
If she were to fail, she would be given another year of training and would be forced to take this test again next year.
Were she to succeed, then she would have to continue battling until one of the remaining twenty-seven could knock her down. Whichever samurai did so would be entitled to marry her on her eighteenth birthday. Since the battle had begun, Naruko had been keeping track of how many warriors she’d defeated.
She struck a samurai in the gut with the butt of her staff, causing him to buckle over; she kneed him in the face. When he hit the ground, Naruko thought to herself:
Another samurai charged at her, and, immediately, her competitive nature got the best of her. This man was about to be Samurai #20. He raised his bamboo-sword and then brought it down on her.
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