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» L5R: Steel & Honour, Chapter 10, The Road to Shinden Osano-Wo
Jimbo Cactaur
 Posted: May 8 2011, 11:24 PM
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Tsuruchi Akinori is silent for a while as the companions talk casually, but he finally chimes in, "Kitsune-san, once all is said and done with the oni I am very certain that Buntaro-sama would arrange for you to study at the Yoritomo dojo if that was your wish."

He turns to the ronin,
"Reijiro-san, I notice that you are not carrying your wakizashi, did you see where it went or was it lost to you? Even though I find the katana a wasted symbol of Bushido for myself personally, I value always having my wakizashi by my side." He pats the shorter blade tucked into his narrow obi as if reassuring it.
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Chronocide
 Posted: May 9 2011, 07:32 PM
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"The offer is most kind, I would most certainly be honoured to have the opportunity to observe the ways of the Yoritomo Bushi in training and present myself before its sensei."
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Itinerant
 Posted: May 10 2011, 12:19 PM
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I see that, Tsuruchi-san. I've seen some Samurai do very well with just a wakizashi. It seems like I've lost my underhand now that the small sword is gone. After the battle, I searched the area as best I could, but my memory of the fight is quite foggy after being dealt that horrendous blow. Still, it makes me wonder if it was picked up by another companion of ours who has a history of stealing items that don't belong to him. Time will tell, but for now just my Katana will suffice.
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Jimbo Cactaur
 Posted: May 11 2011, 12:00 AM
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Tsuruchi Akinori bows his head slightly in response to Kiyoshi's reply.

He frowns in thought at what Reijiro says about a thief, thinking back to the fight and the unique characters involved in it that he never had a chance to meet.
"Yes, you seem to travel with a few interesting individuals, I noticed another ronin with you at the beginning of the fight, and there was that masked person in the trees, as well as a Nezumi, if I am not mistaken. Yet only the three of you, including Toku Kaede-san, decided to remain with us." He shakes his head a little, "Forgive my confusion, I do not normally travel apart from my close clansmen."

The day wears on as the trio with the pony and monk travel at a plodding pace. To the sides of the road there are alternately vast fields of rice and wooded dells, interspersed with clusters of huts. The samurai share the dirt track with folk of all kinds, peasants mostly, but occasionally another samurai or monk, none of whom carry the signs of Osano-wo. Like the Scorpion said the way is dotted with small shrines, more fortunes than either Reijiro or Kiyoshi know the names to are represented, and pilgrims are seen constantly kneeling in prayer and offering gifts in front of their statues.

The group reaches a small inn just as the sun begins to drop below the horizon. It is a bustling place because of the many pilgrims, and the scent of fresh food fills the air. Even though the rooms are all full the proprietor takes one look at the samurai and arranges for a room to be made available, possibly by cramming more stinking travelers into the other rooms. Food and drink are served in the room, and a large basin of hot water brought for washing up. The crickets buzzing in the fields are enough to put anyone to sleep, and soon the lanterns are put out and bed mats unrolled.

The next morning, after a hearty breakfast of cold rice and sweet yam travel resumes. The sun breaks from the clouds for the first time in a long while, fully shedding its silver cloak and basking in the bright blue sky. The road begins to dry up, and although it is not terribly hot the samurai begin to perspire.

After a light lunch in the shade of an ancient oak on the side of the road the party notices a commotion further along the road. A group of men, four of them, armed with bo staffs, are cornering and beating a pair of unusually dressed peasants. There is much shouting on both sides at first but soon the two men are silenced as the others shout at them between swings.
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Chronocide
 Posted: May 11 2011, 11:09 AM
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Without a word to his companions Kiyoshi loosens the cords that hold his pack, lets it slide to the ground, and takes off in the direction of the conflict.

"You lot there cease your attack at once!"

Kiyoshi tries to determine who these people may be looking at their clothing and possessions for a mon or familiar colouring.
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Itinerant
 Posted: May 11 2011, 01:29 PM
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Reijiro swears and mutters under his breath, "Here we go..." before running along to catch up with Kiyoshi.
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Jimbo Cactaur
 Posted: May 14 2011, 01:22 AM
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As Kiyoshi and Reijiro run forward Tsuruchi Akinori raises his eyebrows a bit and slowly and uncertainly pulls his magnificent bow from his back.

The men look up at the Fox's shouting, standing their ground defiantly until the samurai gets closer. They stop their attack for the most part, and when Kiyoshi nears they quickly take note of his mon and bow low. They are heimen, dressed fairly well, and obviously not farmers, though one of them has a rake. As Kiyoshi gets closer he sees that the leader of the group is offering him a parchment, a grimy folded thing that seems well used.

The pair of oddly dressed men continue to cower on the ground, clutching coarse bags to their chests and holding their hands over their heads.

Seeing that no fighting is imminent Akinori unstrings his bow and tucks it back behind him, he picks up Kiyoshi's pack and walks up to join them.
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Chronocide
 Posted: May 14 2011, 09:36 AM
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Seeing that the beating has stopped Kiyoshi slows to a walk to cover the remaining distance. "I'm glad to see the fighting stopped. I am Kitsune Kiyoshi, and noow that I have introoduced myself I should like to have some ideas as to what's gooing on here." Kiyoshi's tone and the gentle smile on his face belies the voice used for his previous command.
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Jimbo Cactaur
 Posted: May 17 2011, 11:44 PM
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The man holding the parchment stretches it forward a bit more, hoping the samurai will take it. They all keep their heads bowed, but the leader replies in a strong and somewhat authoritative voice, "Samurai-sama, we serve under Shosuro Takagi-sama. I am his Doshin, and these are his deputies." He motions with his arm to the men bowing behind him. "We have been tasked with keeping this road free of thieves and unwanted peddlers, for the safety of travelers such as yourselves."

He looks over at the two men cowering on the ground and points at them with his staff. "These two here are a bit of both."
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Chronocide
 Posted: May 19 2011, 12:08 PM
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Kiyoshi takes the parchment and reads it over. Checking as much as he is able that it is not forged. "I assume then that you thought we would prefer our journey to be strewn with coorpses?" Kiyoshi remarks offhandedly much as one might make the comment about choosing daises over tulips in a flower arrangement.

This post has been edited by Chronocide: May 19 2011, 12:11 PM
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Jimbo Cactaur
 Posted: May 22 2011, 07:55 PM
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The document seems genuine, it is stamped with what looks to be a valid mark of office, though which one in unclear to a mere visitor to Scorpion lands. Surely no man would be so foolish to brandish a forgery when someone capable of recognizing it as such might happen by at any time.

The doshin looks perplexed at that remark, and somewhat worried. He glances back at the deputies.
"As you wish Samurai-sama, we will ensure these men are removed from your sight."

Tsuruchi Akinori remarks quietly to nobody in particular, "One must follow the laws the lord of the land sets forth, or face such consequences."

The deputies step to the side of the road, bowing once more to the samurai. They then shout at the two peddlars on the road and kick at them to get them up. There is fear in the mens eyes, but also defiance and a little pride. They both bow low to the samurai without a word, the sleeves of their long patterned robes brushing the dirt. One of them steps forward and offers a small carved box to Kiyoshi, how it suddenly appeared in his hand is a little puzzling.
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Chronocide
 Posted: May 22 2011, 10:48 PM
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Kiyoshi considers declining the gift, but realises that the pedaller would probably not have a chance to provide a customary secondary offering and graciously receives the box. "My; such fine work. I shall be sure to let all I meet knoow of the ascetic merchants were such fine goods can be had." Kiyoshi is not entirely sure with whom to side. He assumes that there is some wrong doing on both parties' part and would like to get to the bottom of things but knows better than to get too deeply involved in Scorpion business. Besides it looks like, at least for the moment, no lives are at stake.
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Itinerant
 Posted: May 24 2011, 11:02 AM
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Reijiro, true to nature, keeps silent. His thoughts are banal, bored. "I could probably do without such confrontation. But if feigning interest in such matters is the price I pay to get Goro to Osana Wo, so be it. An injured monk being transported by a ronin is likely to meet more confrontation than chaotically moral samurai..." He glumly stares at the little 'procession' as they move away.
"Things could always be worse..." He mutters.
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Jimbo Cactaur
 Posted: May 25 2011, 01:20 AM
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The box has no immediately apparent opening, though there are plenty of moving parts. It seems that some time and concentration will be needed to open it.

The men disperse and the trio, with the pony and monk, carry on. The afternoon passes away without much more than a gurgle from Reijiro's stomach to break the calm.

Within a couple of days they reach the base of the great hill upon which is built Shinden Osano-wo. Two monks out for a stroll meet them, and upon seeing Goro's condition one of them quickly speeds off up the hill to bring help.

As the rest of them are about a quarter of the way up a contingent of brothers can be seen coming down to meet them. The monk who stayed with them relates the information that Kiyoshi and Reijiro gave him to his superior who looks over the situation gravely.


And I will finsih this when I am not dead tired
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Itinerant
 Posted: May 26 2011, 09:05 PM
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Hahaha, no worries....this have been a slow last week or two. I've been pretty busy as well. James, did you know I'm moving to Australia next month? Hillsong (like the band) has a film program where they make documentaries about the poor and stuff. So I've been accepted, and will live there for a year :D

This post has been edited by Itinerant: May 26 2011, 09:05 PM
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