(If you haven't read the first part of Ninja, you can find it here.)
So, without further ado, I present to you:
In Which I Become a Ninja and Wear a Fedora
"So," I said, walking behind Baldersot. "Can I come with you?"
He didn't look back. "Why?"
"Because..." I hesitated for a moment. "Because I'm nice?"
Baldersot snorted, stopping and looking back at me. The cloth around his head wiggled again. "And what will you do if I say no?"
I grinned. "I'll follow you anyway."
"Fair enough!" Baldersot resumed walking, adjusting his fez. "Come along, and try not to lag behind. The caterpillars will get you otherwise."
I followed him down the brick road.
It was a half-hour before I spotted anything. Far ahead of us was a bump. And the bump grew bigger, like an itchy mosquito bite (or not), and soon became the figure of a large stonewalled city, with a single spire jutting out over the walls, glaring down the brick road.
"Oh, katana," Baldersot said. He stopped and dropped his bag. "They're on blue alert."
"And blue alert is?" I questioned. I peered down the road. Two blue flags hung on either side of the gate.
"It's an acronym," Baldersot said. "And blue's a good color."
"Never mind the acronym," I said. "What does it mean?"
"No non-ninja people allowed." Baldersot opened up his bag. "The Reds are coming, so we'd better get inside. Or become jelly."
"But I thought you said...?"
"I have an extra pair of ninclothes. They'll have to do." Baldersot tossed a wad of black clothing at me. "Put 'em on over your clothes."
I started putting on the clothes. "So you just carry extra clothing around? To change into?"
"According to the Official Ninja Handbook," Baldersot said, "it's one of the essential things to have if you ever encounter someone who needs to be ninjatized or if you have an emergency."
I poked my head through the top of a dark, rough shirt. "What sort of essential things?"
"Instant coffee, a battle and/or cooking pan," Baldersot recited, digging through his bag, "three socks, a stick of dynamite, and a spoon. Except, I misplaced the spoon. A caterpillar ate it."
"Socks?" I had heard some weird things in my life, but...
"Yup," he said. "Three left socks. 'Cause sometimes, creatures steal your socks, but only the left ones. So I have a stock of 'em locked up in a metal can." He took out a can and opened it, peering inside. "Oh, blast it. They're gone. I'll have to restock in Sneaking."
I finished putting on my clothes and sized myself up. Not bad. Except, it seemed to be missing something.
"Here," Baldersot said. He threw a long piece of black cloth at me. I caught it. "That's to wrap around your head."
Oh. I tried wrapping it around my face, but it unraveled itself.
Baldersot made a face. "Oh, never mind, let me do it. We ninja have special schools for this sort of thing. And I got an A+ in Head Wrapping Class." He wrapped it tightly around my head, until my entire head was covered, except for my eyes and the very top of my head. The cloth was thin enough to breathe through, thankfully.
"And, to finish it off," Baldersot said, taking out a pair of black gloves and a hat, and handing the gloves to me, "The touches of an artist."
I put on the gloves. They appeared to be some sort of black leather. They were a little rubbery on the inside, which would be good in case I had to climb a wall. Or a pole. But they looked cool, anyway.
"And last," Baldersot said, "the hat!" He gave me the hat he had pulled out of his bag. I looked it over.
A black fedora. Epic. I had left mine at home, something I did far too often.
I put it on and struck a ninjalike pose, imagining myself wielding a deadly ninja pole or a double-edged sword. "How do I look?"
"Like an Elf pretending to be a ninja," Baldersot said. "And Elves don't understand the delicacies of ninja grammar. Or why we wear black. But if you don't do anything but walk and talk, you'll do. Try not to stare too much, and always say 'I ate too much pineapple today' if people talk to you." He turned back to the road, putting his bag over his shoulder. "All right, onwards we go!"
"Allons-y!" I said.