So as Riyo wakes up and ask where his son is, Masahiro asks their servant to bring his sword in and proceeds to help him catch up on the events that have happened since he was poisoned. When the servant finally arrives, Masuhiro presents his sword and tell Riyo that his son was slain against the ninja attack. After that he tells us summon Ozaki’s son. We then finally retire for the night.
The next day, I started out with my usual routine of Tea Ceremony (which did not meet my expectations) and went downstairs for breakfast. It was then a servant gave me a request for an audience to see both the Crab and the Phoenix parties. After finishing breakfast, my cousin and I went to Usagi Tobei to seek further advice on how to proceed. When we arrive, I learn that he was going to summon me for something else. He informs me that he has a task for me and that it would take more then a day to accomplish so I should take care of any lose ends before heading out.
When we reach Kuni Zechin’s home my cousin and I greet the shadowy figure in the corner and Kuni Zechin. Basically they ask us if we had seen if there was a coin with a certain symbol on it. When I asked what symbol is on the coin, Kuni Zechin nods to the figure in the shadow and out comes a Nezumi (awwww, he has a small mouse as a pet on his shoulder) who spills a bowl of ashes and draws out the picture of the hidden coins that our clan has. I tell them that I will keep an eye out for it and Usagi Masuhiro, tells them to ask Usagi Tobei regarding the matter. Kuni Zechin then tells us that the Nezumi is a guest of the Crab clan, to which the Nezumi says, “Not a prisoner?” as we leave.
Next we went to see the Phoenix and as usual, it’s straight down to business. The courtier pulls out a map of the area and asks if there was any strange occurrences happening in any of the towns to which I said we would have to talk with the local magistrate to find out and once again, Usagi Masuhiro directs them to Usagi Tobei. I then asked for further details in what Atama was researching. They then told me that he was looking into ways to bridge between the realms. I then propose that if he might have succeeded in bridging between our realm and the animal realm. Even if he didn’t, maybe he can offer insight as to how to close the bridge in Kitsu no Shiro. They then gave me the documents of all the research they had manage to get and we proceeded back to see Usagi Tobei. On the way back I started looking through one of the documents and noticed that the calligraphy had somehow looked familiar. I then realize that it’s the same writing as the scroll that was given to me by the monk in the Ujina temple. The monk is Atama. We then quickly go back and report to Usagi Tobei with all our new findings.
After reporting to Usagi Tobei, he sends my cousin away and Yogo the burned comes in and they proceed to tell me that I should gather what I need and meet up with Yogo in 30 min by the stables and that I was not to tell anyone where I am going. I went back to my room to gather some things and ask the servants to prepare some food for travel and I go to the stables to meet with Yogo as instructed. On the road we encounter Usagi Ton, Usagi Sozen, Ujina Risa and some other Samurai. After some quick chatter between us, Yogo the Burned suggest in his Ronin way for them to split up and enter into town through different paths.
After that Yogo the Burned briefs me on what task lies before us. We are to ride to a town just outside of our lands and buy someone from a group of Ronins with a small chest full of gold and then take the said person to a shrine where we will leave him with a stone chest. He says that he expects that the inn where we are to meet will not be standing by the end of the encounter. As we enter the inn, we find the Ronins drinking and talking loudly. The large lead Ronin then greets Yogo the Burned and Yogo reciprocated with the only way the Ronins know how to talk. It is then that I notice that among them sat a Shugenja and it actually turned out to be my kidnapper that got away and I quietly whisper that fact to [:yogo-the-burned | Yogo the Burned]]. After giving the Ronin the chest full of the Nezumi gold, the Ronin leader complains how he’s suppose to spend this funny looking coin. [:yogo-the-burned | Yogo the Burned]] then tells him that there is a Money lender in Jinosutra that would be able to exchange it for him. The Shugenja then tries to see my face but I keep on avoiding his line of sight and shouts that he wants to see my face. It is then that [:yogo-the-burned | Yogo the Burned]] tells me to keep them occupied so I say to him how I’m not dealing with him so it’s not important using my outside (batman) voice. After the Leader says how he’s dealing with me and he can see my face, he makes one final comment to [:yogo-the-burned | Yogo the Burned]], Yogo finally completes his spell and breaths on him and I cast my Fires from with in, launching 2 fireballs, 1 towards my kidnapper and a second to one of the followers
which surrounded them with fiery goodness. The Leader then Iai strikes [:yogo-the-burned | Yogo the Burned]] and the other Ronins move in to strike while the Shugenja casts a spell off. I send two more fiery balls of goodness towards the Shugenja finishing him off even with an elemental ward put on himself and singe another Ronin. Another Ronin with their sword out strikes [:yogo-the-burned | Yogo the Burned]] pretty goods but he shrugs it off and continues to breath on everyone. One of the wounded Ronin then tries to strike me but was too wounded and misses completely. I then kick him in the nuts with such force (rolled 2 tens which added up to 36 or so) that his balls exploded. The Samurai that I hurt a bit then jumps out the window and the last one moves around [:yogo-the-burned | Yogo the Burned]], tries to take the gold but stumbled on the stool where the gold was. [:yogo-the-burned | Yogo the Burned]] instructs me to go after the the Ronin that jumped out the window. After jumping out myself, I see that he’s trying to get over the crest of the hill but I strike him down with another happy ball of goodness and he falls over. I go over to him and finish him off and then I hear a lightning strike… followed by another. I then run back to the now burning in and I grab the scroll satchel of the dead Shugenja and see [:yogo-the-burned | Yogo the Burned]] scatter the gold coins all over the floor and I yell out, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?!?!?”. He then tells me that he wants it too look like a dispute over money gone wrong so then I strike the gold with lightning to help melt everything and we go out and [:yogo-the-burned | Yogo the Burned]] banishes the surround kami so that no one can commune with them to find out what happened. [:yogo-the-burned | Yogo the Burned]] then gets a cart that has someone bound in the back and we proceed to our final destination.
So on the way there I notice that the prisoner has lots of scars and cuts so it must be a Bloodspeaker. When we finally arrive at the shrine, I notice how there’s a strong smell of lime stone and how lime powder is everywhere. So it turns out that this place is a crematorium. I am then instructed to place the stone chest down and open it and I’m welcome to take a peak inside. Turns out that it’s the missing stone lantern the Crab was looking for. After bringing the prisoner in, [:yogo-the-burned | Yogo the Burned]] cut the bonds on him and says to him, “You know what to do”. I didn’t ask what the heck is going on so we just exit the place and [:yogo-the-burned | Yogo the Burned]] takes a war hammer (which happens to have the Crab mon on it) and smashes the columns to close the gate. I finally ask Yogo, “So what happened with the Crab around the dump?” to which Yogo responded with, “They asked too many questions.” We then rode off back home but had to set up camp for the night.
We were still at Ujina Riyo‘s residence and he asked about his son, Ujina So (deceased). I stalled and told him the tale of what happened while I asked a servant to retrieve So’s daisho. I give Riyo his daisho set with head bowed. Riyo accepts quietly. He asks us to meet with him tomorrow night and tells us to give a message to Ozaki’s son to meet with Riyo tomorrow morning. I give him the message and then ask my father to request that we go to the fox lands to guard the portal to the animal realm. He thinks it is not a good idea.
Next morning, I talk to my mother to try to convince her. Request denied again. Then there is a request for us from the Phoenix entourage and Kuni Zechin. We meet with Kuni Zechin first. He introduces us to his friend at the crab, who is a Nezumi. They both want to know if we know anything about the Nezumi coins. I tell him that Tobi would be the best person to talk to.
Next up is the Phoenix entourage. They tell us that they are looking for a rogue void shugenja who could be around the Hare lands. They give Hotaru some scrolls that this shugenja wrote. We speculate that he might be responsible for the animal realm. The entourage asks if we know of any weird happenings within the clan. I mention the animal attacks and then that the best person to talk to would be Tobi. We then report our findings to Tobi.
In the afternoon, Sakune’s servant comes to me and asks if I know where Ton is. I don’t. He needs help with Sakune, who has gone on a drinking binge in the Bar after the announcements of samurai leaving for the Fox lands was announced. I say I will try to help Sakune save face. I go to the Sake House and talk to the bartender. I ask him not to bring anymore sake, but bring some food and tea. I sit next to Sakune.
He is angry that he was not part of the entourage to go to the Fox lands. I tell him he is more valuable he than there. Yes, he and I are rivals, but I still respect his skill. Just not his attitude. And I still think he would make a good clan samurai. Just not my friend.
He tells me that he should be there and that we should send the best, not just some. Also, too many secrets are held within the hare clan, considering the hare’s job is to reveal all secrets. I tell him that some secrets need to be held by the clan and he scoffs. He says that my parents are not running the Hare clan like the clan should be run (no secrets) and that his father is too naive to see that.
After he says that, I feel pity for him. THat he has deluded himself so much because of his hatred for me and my family that he has to say that and go into a drunken stupor. I tell him that I won’t leave until he stops drinking and that him driking like this stains his family honour. He agrees and stops drinking to sober up. I leave and see Ton coming in the distance. I tell Ton to go to the sake house and talk to Sakune. He needs someone to talk to who is not his rival.
Evening sets and I meet up with Ujina Riyo at the Scorpion Tea House. Hotaru is not available, so I meet with him alone. He is with Ozaki’s son and they serve me some tea that was poisoned with a sleeping agent. I pass out. I awaken and am tied to a wall. Riyo and Ozaki’s son are there with a torturer Mott. They torture me to answer some questions (questions asked will be add later) . I answer in the negative for the most part (Gold Temple?) and they release me. They tell me that they are the “True Hare” and that the current leaders are holding secrets and not working in the best interests of the clan.