Fuusenkunoichi, Chapter 3: Danger Becomes the Next Lesson

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It had been a couple of weeks since Kamiko began her training with Tomoko-sensei. During this period, she refined her skills at a rapid and efficient rate that impressed Tomoko. By the end of the first week, Kamiko was able to not only inflate and deflate herself with hardly any mishaps, but she could do so in half the amount of time it took her on her first try. Tomoko-sensei would start off each day at six in the morning sharp. If Kamiko didn’t get up in time, Tomoko would just roll the groggy girl out of bed and have her quickly eat her plain breakfast of fried rice and miso soup.

The first part of Kamiko’s daily workout involved a thirty-minute stretching session where she contorted and stretched her limbs and body to warm it up. Then she slipped into the tight shiny rubber dark blue suit that covered her entire body, except for her head. Inflation and deflation exercises were the next step in Kamiko’s daily start-up. It was like stretching but in this case, Kamiko blew herself up larger with each puff of breath she took, and then she’d quickly deflate back to normal size. The larger she got each day; the quicker she would be able to attain that size. After the warm-up regimen was complete, Tomoko-sensei would take Kamiko outside to practice more flying and floating maneuvers. Kamiko learned how to fly stably and quickly as the days passed, and by the middle of the second week, Tomoko let Kamiko do more complex moves, such as diving, rocketing into the air, loops, and even barrel rolls. As Kamiko kept learning more about her newly-found and uncanny abilities, she enjoyed them much more than she used to.


It was a calm and clear summer Friday night at the old temple. Tomoko was staring up into the sky at a large floating shiny blue orb. This orb was a heavily inflated Kamiko whom had actually managed to inflate herself to a record twenty feet in diameter within less than forty-five seconds.

“My, I did not know they made young girls so elastic these days!” Tomoko joked.

The proud yet focused inflatable kunoichi above just grinned slightly at her sensei’s witty remark.

“Well I have to admit, you have come a long ways ever since that bumbling day I first met you! Thankfully you have the spirit and gusto that many girls lack! Anyways, deflate yourself and come back down to earth, its dinnertime.”

Kamiko’s eyes instantly perked up at the mention of supper, so she immediately let the air within her giant voluminous body exit her and a brisk yet steady rate. After about twenty seconds, all the air was out of her body. The newly thin and slender Kamiko stood before her teacher.

“Hmmm, you deflated quite well! But soon I will have you inflate to the size you just were in the amount of time it took you to let all that air out.”

“Yes sensei.” Kamiko replied.

“Now, come into the dojo, let us prepare a nice hearty meal. I went to town and bought some pork to put into our rice.”

“Really?! Pork? You are too kind sensei!” Kamiko beamed.

“Please do not make a big deal of it! It makes sense that since you have been such an able student for the past two weeks that I keep your morale up by rewarding your exploits.” The stately sensei lectured.

Both the red hakama-wearing woman and her blue rubber clad student entered the temple. Kamiko closed the door behind her.

A mile from the temple, a group of four disheveled bandits strolled among the towering bamboo stalks of the forest. One was a short grungy fellow with hairy legs and a brown robe that carried a large hammer over his right shoulder. He walked in front of the group, obviously acting as the leader. On both sides of him followed a pair of medium-sized lanky twins. The brother on the left of the gang leader wore grey clothes while the one on the right was in red. Walking at least six feet behind the threesome was a huge fat bald man in green cradling a stone club within his beefy tanned arms. They were a motley-looking group all right…

“We’ve been wandering around this damn forest for a couple of days! I want to get the hell out!” the twin in red groaned.

“I told you that the rock pile we saw a while back was the same one we saw before, and before, and before, and…” the twin in grey added.

“Shut up Yoshiro!” the diminutive leader snapped. “We don’t need you to make this mess sound even worse than it does now!”

“We haven’t seen that same rock in a while.” the elephantine behemoth in back grunted. “Looks like we’re going somewhere now.”

“You know Goro? I’ve always said that you’re smarter than what you look like.”


“But I’m still going to call you a fat dumb nitwit!”

“Oh, so I’m the one who everyone needs to be angry at?”



“Say Mori.” the red twin interrupted. “Look to the left here, it looks like there’s a big pocket of light coming from that cluster of stalks over there.


Little Mori looked over his left shoulder and noticed the light his companion pointed out.

“Well dammit! Looks like we’re finally getting somewhere Toshiro!” Mori gleamed.

The group of belligerent banditos waltzed right towards the light. It began to look more and more like an exit and finally they stepped out into the clearing.

“Hey! This is just a clearing!” the disappointed Goro said.

“Hmph! And just to think we were actually getting somewhere!” noted Toshiro.

“Hey boss! You think that old temple there might have something?” Yoshiro pointed out the old temple at the far end of the clearing.

“Eh, most of the time temples don’t have nothing.” Mori rebutted.

“What about a gold Buddhist statue Mori?” Goro asked.

“Um, this is a Shinto joint here you lummox.”

“Hey, we might as well stay there Mori. Its getting dark and we could spend rummage around a bit and see if there’s anything worth swiping.” Yoshiro said.

“Eh, we don’t have any choice. Plus if there’s a bum living in there we can beat the daylights out of him just to let off some frustration.”

“Hee hee, I haven’t had the luxury of doing that for a while!” laughed Goro.

“Well, let’s go in!” Mori commanded.

Inside the temple, Kamiko and Tomoko sat at the small dinner mat facing each other. Both of them had a bowl that was filled to the brim with fried rice and pork bits.

“You should enjoy this Kamiko-chan. It’s a simple yet treasured recipe passed down by my family.”

“I can tell! It smells so good sensei! It reminds me of the food Yoshi-san used to serve me.”

“He was the man you took you in, correct?”

“Yes! He was so kind. I can’t believe he passed away. Me and the girls were all heartbroken to tears for almost half a year.”

“That is understandable. He seemed to be a very good man. Someone I wish I could have met in person.”

“Yeah, anyways, let’s not dwell on the past so much, I’m starving!”

Kamiko and Tomoko began their meal. Kamiko was inhaling the bowl of rice and pork in front of her at a rapid pace.

“Slow down my girl! You keep eating like that and you’ll become a blimp!” Tomoko scolded.

“But I already do that everyday!” Kamiko replied.

“Oh yes, you do. But anyways, you shouldn’t eat like such a slob! Did Yoshi ever teach you proper eating etiquette?”

“Eh, we did grow up on a farm. It wasn’t a big deal for us.”

“Ah, go figure.”

“Sensei, are you still a member of a samurai family?”

“In essence, yes. But unfortunately my master and superiors have all passed away. It was tragic, and even more so since I did not have any other houses to turn to. So I guess you could call me a wandering woman warrior.”

“A female ronin?”

“Yes, but like you said, we should not dwell on the past right now. I will tell you more as time passes and you become better with your skills as a fuusenkunoichi!”

The elegant Tomoko and rubber suited Kamiko kept on eating, oblivious to Mori’s gang looming a few feet away from the walls of the temple.

“Food! I smell food!” Goro whispered.

“And good food too!” Toshiro added. “I can pick up traces of pork!”

“Ah meat, how I miss thee!” lamented Yoshiro. “Let’s run in there, bump off whoever’s inside, and have a feast!”

“Now hold on you two!” cautioned Goro. “Before we carry out this plan, we need to think it out. Toshiro! Yoshiro! Put your ears up to the wall and try to determine who’s in there!”

The twins both went up to the wall of the temple and placed their ears flat upon the hard wooden surface. After about thirty seconds of careful listening, they knew what was going on inside.

“Okay, there’s a pair of women in there, and I’d say they are probably in the middle of the room.” said Yoshiro.

“You know how big the main area is within these temples boss.” Toshiro added, “We should probably have one guy on each side of this building and get in through the window, that way we can overwhelm the two gals inside.”

“Peh, a pair of women in this part of the woods!? They must be insane! We can take them out, rob them, and of course have our way with them!” Mori chided. “We don’t even need that plan, but it will make things more fun!”

“By the way boss.” Goro spoke up. “The windows are boarded up, but we could probably break them down easily.”

“Hey, you’re the big muscle around here Goro. Besides, when the two waifs in there see your big blubbery mug, they’ll be frozen with fright too!”

“That’s mean boss. Girls like me for my robust looks.”

“You’re about as robust as a overfed pig, that’s the problem fatty.” Mori sneered. “Well gang, let’s get this plan going! Goro takes the opposite side, and you two can take any of the remaining two! I’ll just take the grand entrance here.”

The thugs ran off to their respective sides and started their break-in.

Kamiko and Tomoko just finished up their meal and were now cleaning up their dining mat. They both walked towards one of the rooms in the back if the temple when suddenly Tomoko stopped dead in her tracks and turned her head to the left.

“Sensei? What is wrong?” Kamiko asked.

“Kamiko, when we get to the closet, put the dining set away and hide there! Do not come out!” Tomoko ordered.

“Is someone outside?” asked the frightened Kamiko.

“Just go!” Tomoko commanded.

Both Kamiko and Tomoko ran briskly towards the closet in the back of the temple, Tomoko threw the mat she was carrying into it and then ran off into a room next to the closet. Kamiko heeded her teacher’s words and hid within the closet. She closed the door, but left it slightly ajar so she could observe what was happening in the main hall. Thumping sounds emitted from the room next to the one Kamiko was in. It sounded like Tomoko was changing her clothes.

“Why on earth would Tomoko-sensei be changing her clothes at a time like this?” Kamiko thought.

Kamiko also heard what sounded like rubber being stretched. This puzzled her even more.

Finally, the wooden front doors exploded in a shower of splinters and dust. Mori then steadied the huge hammer he just swung with and ran into the middle of the room yelling like a madman. Shortly thereafter, Yoshiro broke in through the boarded up window on the east side of the temple while his brother Toshiro followed suit on the west side. They both used their powerful fists to punch through the rotting wood that weakly kept the windows shut up. They walked to the middle of the room to meet with Mori.

“Hey boss, where did the girls go?” said the puzzled Toshiro.

“You got me! I guess the little slags knew we were coming!” fumed Mori.

“Maybe Goro’s wonderful ‘stealth’ abilities alerted them.” Yoshiro snarled.

“It figures, that Goro would make even a Taiko drum seem low-key.”

Suddenly, the ceiling above the trio suddenly burst into a rainfall of wood and tile, and Goro fell belly first onto the floor, with his enormous club still grasped within his right hand.

“I thought we told you to take the back end you dip!” yelled Mori.

“I couldn’t find a window back there boss, so I just decided to do the roof.” coughed Goro.

“Well thanks to your wonderful dance on the rooftop there, the ladies we could have so easily subdued in here have flown the coop.”

“Not quite!” yelled a voice from the front of the temple.

“Who’s there!?” yelled Mori.

The thugs immediately turned towards the now doorless front entrance of the temple to find Tomoko standing there. She was not in her traditional robe and hakama ensemble, but instead she was dressed up in a full body crimson red rubber suit, just like Kamiko’s. This suit however covered Tomoko’s mouth, nose, and back of her head. She grasped what looked like a short katana in her right and also had some sort of grappling arrow device attached around her left wrist.

Kamiko was still watching everything behind the small crack in the door. She knew that her mentor was about to demonstrate the art of the fuusenkunoichi in full force.

“Heh it looks like we’ve got a kunoichi challenging us Mori!” said Yoshiro.

“Wow, that thing she has on looks really tight.” remarked Toshiro.

“All right woman…” announced Mori. “Just to let you know, we’ve decided to crash by here for a bit. We’ve had a tough day of wandering around this damned forest.”

“Somehow I do not think shattering the doors open is an appropriate way to invite yourselves.” Tomoko snarled.

“Hey, it gets doors open for us. The owners don’t usually appreciate it, but they are usually either beaten into submission or killed. You don’t tend to notice those details when that happens to you.” Mori said.

“Well, tonight we are going to have a bit of poetic justice. You will now assume the roles of your victims.”

“Look lady, four guys against one weak woman in a very erotic, yet bizarre red outfit does not sound like good odds, is that right boys?”

Mori’s cronies cheered him on in support.

Suddenly, Tomoko started sucking in air. Her body began to plump and round out rapidly. Kamiko and the thugs could only stare in awe as Tomoko inflated herself to a large fully round orb within a period of three seconds. As Kamiko witnessed Tomoko’s ultra-fast expansion, she could not believe that she too would have to match her sensei’s feat.

“B… b… boss! That woman just blew herself up like a balloon!” stuttered Goro.

“How the hell did she…” gawked Yoshiro.

“Um, that is quite bizarre.” Mori replied.

Tomoko’s huge red and shiny blimp-like body began to move backwards and outside. She creaked a slight grin through her puffed-up cheeks clad in red rubber and shot off straight up into the sky.

The band of thugs ran out the door, stopped, and looked up into the spot in the sky where Tomoko had just flown off into. They could not see her anywhere.

“Well that was a waste of our time.” Toshiro remarked.

“Heh, a woman that can blow herself up like a pufferfish and fly around… That’ll get you somewhere.” giggled Goro.

“Eh, she probably flew off to leave us alone.” Yoshiro added.

“Uh, guys? She was talking about fighting us…”

Mori’s words were suddenly cut short when a sharp whizzing sound pierced the air and a arrow attached by a string wrapped around Mori’s neck. Just as Mori gagged and tried to grab his snagged throat, he dropped his huge hammer and was towed up into the air. Right above the roof of the temple was Tomoko. She had floated there unnoticed and fired her grappling arrow at Mori.

“Boss! Boss!” yelled Goro.

All Mori could do was heave and wretch uncontrollably. He was getting choked by the string wrapped around his neck as Tomoko reeled him in like a fish. After a moment, Mori was now dangling and wiggling a few feet below the spherical floating Tomoko. She began to spin herself around, flinging the hapless Mori alongside her. Faster and faster she spun like a magical flying top, swinging Mori like a tetherball until she finally strained her thumb over to a button on the grappling device on her wrist and pressed it. The arrow and string instantly unraveled, and Mori careened off into the distant forest screaming. He flew faster and faster into the distance until he disappeared into the orange glow of the setting sun.

Goro, Yoshiro, and Toshiro could only stare with their jaws on the floor at what just happened to their boss.

Goro however bellowed out a war cry and began to wind up for a swing at the out-of-reach Tomoko.

“You will pay for this you bloated witch!”

Tomoko fired her grappling arrow device at Goro’s stone club and firmly snared it. Goro stopped his swing and just muttered, “Huh?”

Immediately Tomoko began to inflate herself again. She quickly stretched her body out to about an unbelievable diameter of almost forty feet. Now she looked like a giant globe in the sky, with just tiny hands and feet sticking out of their respective sides. Her cheeks were puffed up enough to effectively obscure half of her face. This increase of lifting gas gave Tomoko enough leverage to lift the corpulent Goro and his great stone club into the sky. All the oafish Goro could do was dangle at the end of his club. He was too shocked and dumb to do the smart thing and let go of his prized club. Tomoko just kept lifting him higher and higher into the sky until he was at least fifty feet off the ground.

“P… p… pleeeeeeease! Quit it! I’m afraid of heights!”

Goro’s plea fell on deaf ears, as Tomoko began to spin around again, swinging the bald giant around just like she did to Mori beforehand. She had to spin around a little longer to allow the proper force to propel Goro into the same flightpath that Mori traveled. Finally, Tomoko let her grappling arrow loose and Goro flew off hollering into the golden sunset.

After sending Goro on a one-way ticket to oblivion, she turned towards Yoshiro and Toshiro on the ground. She deflated herself to a diameter of fifteen feet within a matter of seconds. She unsheathed the small katana around her right wrist and began to charge towards the frightened twins on the ground.

“You know brother; I really don’t feel like flying today.” Yoshiro said.

“Me neither. Let’s just run instead.” Toshiro answered.

The two twins turned their backs to the mistress balloon ninja and ran as fast as they could into the bamboo forest. Tomoko stopped her advance and stared at the area where the duo ran off into.

“Cowards” She thought.

Tomoko then heard a voice call out “Sensei?” behind her and she turned around to find Kamiko standing at the gaping hole that used to be the front door.

The rotund ninja-lady in red looked at Kamiko briefly before she began to slowly deflate herself back to her normal self. After she touched down back onto solid ground she walked towards Kamiko.

“Now you know how the art of the balloon ninja can be used. It is a great power that not only takes time to master, but the wits to use in a dangerous situation.”

“I was terrified back there. But I was in awe of your skill sensei. Please teach me to have more courage whenever I have to fight like that.” Kamiko pleaded.

“Well, we still have plenty of time to learn my pupil. That is all you need to have in order to reach your new expectations.”

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