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L5R The Topaz Champion

Canada_jezusCanada_jezus Registered User regular
edited February 2009 in Critical Failures
Arrival In Tsuma

The Topaz Championship, Rokugan's most prestigious gempukku ceremony has been held annually in the kakita town of Tsuma for centuries. Tomorrow the ceremonies and games begin. Today you have just arrived. Tsuma, though host to such a prestigious championship is no more than a large village. No clan embassies here. You have been directed to stay in the House of Laughing carp, apparently the only inn worth speaking of in the town.

Many Notable guests have already arrived. The emperor, having arrived on his imperial barge earlier today. Doji satsume Crane clan champion and emerald champion sits at his right hand. Kakita Toshimoko, Kakita Daimyo and kakita duelling master is personally present for this years tournament. Finally, Bayushi Shoju, Scorpion Clan champion is in attendance, one of the deadliest swordsmen in rokugan.

Though the town has no walls, Crane Ji-samurai stand at all the access roads to welcome the arriving competitors. Torches and decorations line the way to the academy and the inn.

Tomorrow you must report to the Kakita dueling academy, tonight is yours to celebrate or contemplate as you wish.

Canada_jezus on
You know who I fucking hate? Pony.

I don't know why, I just felt the need to say that.
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Posts

  • El SkidEl Skid The frozen white northRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    A boy sits alone at a table in the House of Laughing carp, drinking tea and seeming deep in contemplation. He is young looking- at first glance perhaps a younger brother of one of the Gempukku contestants. He is adorned in the colours of the Wasp, and features the Mon of his school (the Tsuruchi Bounty Hunters) worn predominantly on the front of his Kimono. He is dressed well, though not nearly so finely as the Crane and Scorpion in attendance.

    On his back is strapped a fine longbow, which is tightly stung. His side features no sword, and he appears well used to its lack.

    "Inkeeper-san" he says quietly "I'd like some more tea, please". His voice is melodious, and though his words are quiet, they carry quite well to the inkeeper, who sends a serving maid to fetch some more tea for the youngster.

    I must be strong. I must be brave. I must make a good showing for my family, and for my clan, Over and over these words, and more like them, repeat themselves in his head. Tomorrow would be the most important day of his life, and if he was successful ithe first day of his manhood would follow. He must not let his family down.

    mrpaku wrote: »
    my name is precisionk and i'm ten tanks

    wrath God fear traitor evil
  • KrataLightbladeKrataLightblade Registered User
    edited November 2008
    The Topaz Championship.

    No place better to earn everlasting glory for the gempukku ceremony. If only it weren't run by Crane cowards. Then again, what true warrior who had to face what Hida Kiyashi's Clan has to face every day would ever have time for this spectacle. On the other hand, the Emperor would be here, and there was glory to be had for the Clan if one performed admirably. And besides... There was a chance Isari would be here. Kiyashi doubted it... but one never knew.

    These thoughts and others passed through Kiyashi's mind as he sat quietly, a cup before him that he occasionally sipped at, staring into the crowd around him. Kiyashi did not truly want to avoid anyone... it would not do to be seen as rude. Rudeness to a Crane only invited duelling, and whilst they might be cowards in battle, they were unparalleled masters of duelling. And while Kiyashi had no fear of them, he did not feel that more spilt blood was good for his Clan or Family's relations.

    His eyes flicked across the room, to the one whose colors he did not recognize. His eyes were drawn to them. Who did they represent? He did not know the crest, either. He idly considered, for a long moment, approaching, but decided against it, for the moment. When the boy had asked for his tea... he'd seemed almost afraid.

    Kiyashi snorted. Fear. He wondered how long the boy would last on the Wall.

    Dismissing such thoughts as idle fancy, he took another sip, then settled into the chair to keep an eye on the boy. He might be of interest yet.

    LEVEL 50 SWORD JUGGLER/WIZARD!
  • El SkidEl Skid The frozen white northRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    A Crab enters, but Saburo pays scant attention. That's probably one of the other contestants. he thinks to himself. As he suspected, the boy was older- perhaps fully grown, though it was hard to tell sometimes with the Crab. The larger clans sometimes held back their youth so that they could fare better in the ceremony, he had been told. He had also been told that it might be better for him to hold back himself, at least one more year.

    But he couldn't sit back. He couldn't do what everyone else did, take his time, be comfortable. He was destined to achieve great things, and great men didn't sit around and wait. They seized the moment and acted.

    Looking around quickly and feeling the reality of his choice set in, he wondered if he had made a mistake. If he made a fool of himself, it would be in front of the Emperor, now, and of clan heads. Powerful and influential people would soon know who he is, regardless of the outcome. It is what he had asked for. It is what he was going to see through, regardless.

    I am committed. I have knocked my arrow, I have drawn the string taut- I will not sit here and think about whether to loose the arrow- It must be fired, for better or for worse. In archery, hesitation meant error, meant failure, meant that you missed your mark. You do not aim, but trust in your skill and your training to see the arrow through to its destination.

    Suddenly, he stood up, picked up his tea and walked purposefully over to the table where the Crab had just seated himself.

    Bowing, he quietly addressed the Crab. "Good day, Crab-san. I am Tsuruchi Saburo, and I will be competing in the tournament tomorrow. Are you by chance one of the other competitors?"

    mrpaku wrote: »
    my name is precisionk and i'm ten tanks

    wrath God fear traitor evil
  • KrataLightbladeKrataLightblade Registered User
    edited November 2008
    Kiyashi, who was in fact significantly larger than most full grown men in Rokugan, glanced up as the Mantis approached him, though he still didn't know what those colors signified. He wordlessly indicated for the boy to sit, then similarly wordlessly makes a motion to the innkeeper to bring the boy another drink. Kiyashi took another slow sip of his own, then spoke, his voice low and deep, as might be expected for such a massive man.

    "I am Hida Kiyashi."

    Truth be told, he wasn't as offended as one might expect for not being addressed by family name. Perhaps because he didn't expect someone whose family he couldn't recognize to recognize his. One might imagine he would be insulted that anyone didn't recognize the Hida family colors, but... he was a bit less concerned with it at the moment. Primarily because he was intrigued that someone of a family he'd never even heard of had wrangled an invitation to this tournament.

    "I am taking part in the tournament, yes. I see you are a student of the arrow, Tsuruchi-san. It is always good to see that it is well-represented by those who understand its worth."

    He took another sip of his drink, then went on.

    "Forgive me, Tsuruchi-san, but your name is unfamiliar to me. Where are your family's lands?"

    LEVEL 50 SWORD JUGGLER/WIZARD!
  • RainfallRainfall Don't lose your WAAAAAAAYRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Soshi Rika ducked as she stepped through the doorway of the House of Laughing Carp. Although none could see it under the white porcelain mask that covered the lower half of her face, she smiled.
    She tossed her long black hair over her shoulder as she straightened up, letting her fingers brush over the hilt of the no-dachi slung across her back. Security, of a sort.

    The tall Scorpion Bushi felt no need to request any food or drink, and simply sat at an empty table that granted her a view of the doorway.
    I wonder how many are here to fight. The night before the tournament, and they spend it like this? Observe, then conquer.
    I wonder if
    she will be here.
    Rika glanced over her shoulder, looking slightly guilty, before pulling out a small bowl and a pouch of incense from inside her red and black robes. She quickly lit it, breathing in the sweet fumes as she murmured a prayer to her ancestors.

    And all the while, she watched the rest. Was there anyone there who could match the cunning of a Scorpion?

  • Premier kakosPremier kakos Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2008
    The fine bristles of badger hair glide across the paper, depositing the heavy black ink on the parchment. Her hand methodically guides the brush in smooth strokes, drawing out elaborate pictograms. The contestants for the Topaz Championships were beginning to arrive and were most likely finding their way to the Laughing Carp and she was stuck in the Dueling Academy practicing calligraphy. She idly wonders what kind of contestants this year would bring, but she mostly wonders if she would be participating in the Topaz Championships.

    A sharp thwack of bamboo against her knuckles broke her train of thought. "Your mind is elsewhere. Your strokes are sloppy and uneven," the voice of her sensei berated her lightly.

    Hirakuchi bows her head slightly, speaking softly in response, "Forgive me. I was attempting to perform my calligraphy using Shintao techniques as Kakita Akira-sensei teaches."

    The older man laughs from deep in his belly, "The technique is called No-Mind, not Mind-On-Something-Else. What are you thinking about, Harukichi-kun?"

    "I was hoping to visit the House of the Laughing Carp. The competitors are beginning to arrive and I was hoping to observe them in hopes that I may learn some insight that I can use to my advantage at the competitions." She looks up and smiles sincerely to her sensei, hoping he wouldn't see through the false excuse she had concocted.

    Her sensei looks at her for a while, a sly smile on his lips, and then he lets out a small chuckle. "I would sooner buy a bridge from a kitsune spirit than believe the words out of your mouth." Her heart sinks a little bit; he had easily seen through her excuse. "But," as he continues with that beautiful word, "it is a valid excuse and you very well may learn something while there. Your lesson is done for the day, student. Go, enjoy yourself, and try to actually learn as much as you can about your opponents."

    A thankful smile crawls over her lips and she bows deeply to her sensei, her head lightly touching the ground before him, "Many thanks, sensei. I will do as you say." He nods quietly, turned, and takes his leave of her. She quickly hops to her feet and begins to make her way to the House of the Laughing Carp.

    She arrives at the inn and there was the light murmur of heightened activity inside the building. She enters the door, taking off her geta, and performing a respectful kneeling bow as a sign of respect to the establishment. She quickly stands and her eager eyes begin to look around the room, seeing what clans were represented. She saw a Crab, someone wearing a strange mon and a lot of green, perhaps a Dragon family she had not heard of. Her eyes continue to scan and then she caught sight of the red and black kimono of a Scorpion woman. A deep smile crosses her lips as she gazes up, knowing even before she saw her face who it was; she had the pleasant experience of learning the shape of this woman's body very well.

    As she makes eye contact, her eyes twinkle slightly and her smile widens just a bit. And then she looks away; there were far too many people here and she could not be obvious.

    SuperKawaiiWillSig.jpg
  • RainfallRainfall Don't lose your WAAAAAAAYRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    She is here. Rika quickly returned her attention to the incense burning in front of her, paying even less attention to her ancestors than she had been before. Her cheeks flared underneath her mask, pulse quickening as memories surfaced.

    The last bit of incense crumbled away, releasing a puff of fragrant smoke, as Rika realized she had been staring into the bowl without even completing her prayer.
    "Forgive me, ancestors."
    She stood in one fluid motion, again rising above the others in the tea-house, and made her way to the innkeeper. She inclined her head in greeting, no more than a samurai owes a merchant.
    "May I have a cup of your fine tea, innkeeper-san?"

  • El SkidEl Skid The frozen white northRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    "If I may, Hida-san?" asked the boy musically, before taking a seat at the Crab's nod of assent. "My family's lands are near Kyuden Ashinagabachi, the Palace of the Wasp." Taking a last sip of tea and putting it down, he smiled and said, "I am glad that you too know the worth of the arrow, though I take it you have chosen to concentrate on more...solid weaponry. We all have our strengths, and this is well."

    mrpaku wrote: »
    my name is precisionk and i'm ten tanks

    wrath God fear traitor evil
  • KrataLightbladeKrataLightblade Registered User
    edited November 2008
    "Arrows cut the flesh, but they will not penetrate the carapace of a rampaging Oni."

    Kiyashi nodded, then tilted his head. The Palace of the Wasp. He would have to see if he could not find a copy of a map and see where that was. He felt it was important to know where important families in Rokugan were. He went on, the pause having been brief.

    "A larger weapon can crush its way through armor and the shells of the Shadowlands monsters my family face. And this also allows us to keep from staining our ancestral blades with tainted blood."

    Kiyashi settled back in the chair, which was just a tad too small to be comfortable. He was used to that.

    "Tell me, Tsuruchi-san, what school did you attend?"

    More information was always better, and Kiyashi did not want to assume too hastily where, precisely, the boy was from without knowing for certain.

    LEVEL 50 SWORD JUGGLER/WIZARD!
  • El SkidEl Skid The frozen white northRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    "The Tsuruchi Bounty Hunter school. It is the finest school of archery in Rokugan, without equal". Replied the boy, with what looked like religious fervor in his eyes. "Perhaps one day I'll get to test my skill against a rampaging Oni, Hida-san. I would like to be able to prove to you that a master bowman can pierce even the hide of an Oni, with the proper weapon, training and preparations."

    Looking at the Hida, almost slyly, he retorted "And what school did you attend, Hida-san? We should be fair about such things, since we are to compete tomorrow."

    mrpaku wrote: »
    my name is precisionk and i'm ten tanks

    wrath God fear traitor evil
  • KrataLightbladeKrataLightblade Registered User
    edited November 2008
    Kiyashi laughed aloud, slapping a hand to his chest and raising his voice just a bit.

    "I am a son of the Hida school of warriors, Tsuruchi-San, masters of stylings that mimic the very mountains. Like the mountain, we stand eternal against the enemies of the Empire, and like the mountain, we shall never fall. And like the mountain, when roused, we crush our enemies like a thousand rocks burying them and sealing their doom forever!"

    He laughed again, and leaned in, winking.

    "I see use for kyutsu teachings, but I will believe an oni will fall to the prick of a pin when I see it! Our weapons are tested in battle constantly, and we never worry that our foes are getting too close."

    A subtle jab, but that was to be expected, really. To not defend the honor of one's school and to refuse to claim its superiority would be an insult to honor, after all.

    LEVEL 50 SWORD JUGGLER/WIZARD!
  • El SkidEl Skid The frozen white northRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    "It's settled then. I'll come out to the Wall when I've completed my training, and we'll see together what a fully trained Tsuruchi archer can do against an Oni!" smiling confidently, Saburo turns to the inkeeper "Two glasses of Sak...." he paused, glancing back at Kiyashi and winked "Make that two mugs of Shoju. I believe that is the customary Crab way to seal an agreement, Kiyashi-san?"

    mrpaku wrote: »
    my name is precisionk and i'm ten tanks

    wrath God fear traitor evil
  • KrataLightbladeKrataLightblade Registered User
    edited November 2008
    Kiyashi laughed aloud again, and nodded.

    "It will certainly do, Tsuruchi-san!" He couldn't hold back the grin. The boy's mood was infectious, and that was good, Kiyashi needed something to be pleased about.

    "And we will certainly welcome your talents, of that I promise you. There is great glory to be had on the Wall, and what better death than one that serves all of the Empire?"

    LEVEL 50 SWORD JUGGLER/WIZARD!
  • RainfallRainfall Don't lose your WAAAAAAAYRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Rika carefully accepted her cup of tea from the innkeeper and lifted her mask away from her face. taking a slow sip and making a small appreciative sound in the back of her throat. "Thank you." She turned, making her way back to her seat.
    I wonder if she still remembers me? Is she here for revenge? Her family must have shamed her after they found us...
    Lost in thought, she didn't notice the stool leg in front of her. She stumbled, her tea cup flying out of her grasp.
    Her hand darted out faster than she could blink, and managed to it out of the air, but not in time to prevent a small amount of hot tea from splashing on the back of the massive Crab warrior sitting nearby.
    "My apologies, Hida-san. I was not looking where I was going."
    Lovely. I shall make a fool of myself in front of the world, then?

  • KrataLightbladeKrataLightblade Registered User
    edited November 2008
    Kiyashi let out a shout of surprise more than pain, rounding on the source of the sudden burning down the back of his shirt. And it was the only one he had until he changed into his wear for the tournament. His eyes went high, looking for a man, before snapping down in shock and catching a woman.

    Wearing a mask.

    His eyes narrowed, but... it was a woman. There were female bushi, of course, and she carried a weapon so presumably she was among those ranks, but... even so. His voice was a growl when he answered.

    "No, you were not. If all Scorpion are as bumbling as you, I see why your people sneak about so much, to hide when you trip."

    Insulting, sure. But she'd just left a nasty burning sensation across the top of his back.

    "Perhaps you should sit, lest you fall and spill the rest of your drink on me."

    Kiyashi realized he was being remarkably ingracious, and briefly considered... but no. The best he could manage was to motion to one of the other seats at the table.

    "And perhaps you might join the two of us, so I will see your next... attack... coming."

    LEVEL 50 SWORD JUGGLER/WIZARD!
  • Premier kakosPremier kakos Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2008
    Her eyes catch the scene of Rika spilling a small amount of tea on the hulking Crab. Her hand slips quickly and surreptitiously to her blade, half-expecting the Crab to do something brash, something she would probably do in the same situation. Did you just compare yourself to a Crab? Get a hold of yourself!

    Her grip on the blade loosens as she heard the Crab only deliver an insult and not a physical blow. She moves over to the table, coming into the sight of the Crab and bows politely.

    "Welcome, Hida-san. I could not help but overhear you, but I respectfully must say that it worries me that a competitor in the Topaz Championships considers a bit of spilled tea an attack. I should warn you that this competition has far harsher attacks than hot liquids spilled upon your person." Her lips played coy, but her eyes gave away a glimmer of mischief.

    "However, I would be more than happy to see if I can find a servant to wash your kimono after you retire so that it is clean tomorrow morning."

    SuperKawaiiWillSig.jpg
  • KrataLightbladeKrataLightblade Registered User
    edited November 2008
    Kiyashi took a long, long look at the newest arrival, and there was the faintest twitch in his right eye.

    "I think that I have accepted enough Crane hospitality tonight." Or for one lifetime.

    Kiyashi seated himself, once more, ignoring the stain on his clothing. He chose to refuse to acknowledge it, for the moment, and to take care of it later.

    "And I am very sure I will be fully capable of dealing with whatever attacks are to come tomorrow."

    LEVEL 50 SWORD JUGGLER/WIZARD!
  • Premier kakosPremier kakos Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2008
    Harukichi pulls out a chair and sits down at the fourth place at the table, deliberately not asking for permission. They were, after all, in Crane lands; it was her chair to sit down in far more than it was theirs to offer.

    "It would serve you well to hold your tongue, Hida-san. Remember where you are: a Crane town deep in Crane territory at a Crane tournament. To show such disrespect as to not only blatantly reject my hospitality but then to insult the hospitality you have already been given would not likely be met kindly by the Crane samurai present."

    "You're lucky that I am understanding that they are simply foolish words come from an oaf's mouth and not intentional disrespect," she couldn't help but add that one final insult in there.

    She raises her hand, glancing at one of the servers. The server sees her and nods quickly, fetching a drink for her. The server quickly returns with a tall flask of sake and a small wooden box. The server pours the sake into the wooden box until it just barely spills over the edge. Harukichi bows her head politely, "Many thanks."

    She picks up the box delicately with both hands and raises it slightly, "To our gempukku and to the inevitable Topaz Champion of this year: me." She smirks slightly, knowing that such hubris was unbecoming of a lady or a bushi, but she never did care much whether she was unbecoming or not. Plus, it might give a rise out of the two men present and give her some insight.

    SuperKawaiiWillSig.jpg
  • KrataLightbladeKrataLightblade Registered User
    edited November 2008
    "I believe that Shinsei would tell us that to take insult where none is intended is foolish. I think any samurai who has dealt with the Crane knows better than to accept more than one can repay. Or would you indebt me, like a simple merchant?"

    Simple enough words. And a simple enough jab back. Not as deft, certainly, but it got his point across, he thought.

    "And I'd think that a Crane would recognize the debt she already owes the so-called oafs of the Crab for keeping the Taint away from your doorstep."

    Not to mention, one couldn't expect any Crane to recognize any favors or debt owed to anyone who wasn't a Crane. He fell silent, then. He didn't bother answering her toast, merely giving her a level look. Privately, he thought that if the tournament were so inevitable, they wouldn't need to hold it or make a spectacle out of it.

    Outwardly, he said nothing more.

    LEVEL 50 SWORD JUGGLER/WIZARD!
  • Premier kakosPremier kakos Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2008
    Insults had been exchanged and it is best that she cease the cycle. Though she badly wanted to fight this Crab to test his mettle, she is sure that her sensei would berate her mercilessly for getting in an unnecessary fight the day before the beginning of the Topaz Championships. It would look bad for herself and the hosts of the tournament. It is time to be diplomatic; "Like I said, I did not take insult. But I cannot say another Crane won't take more offense. Nor would I dream of asking for any sort of repayment for finding someone to wash your clothes outside of you being comfortable in your clean kimono."

    She brought the box to her lips and took a sip of the sake, smiling contentedly as the warm liquid slid down her throat and filled her belly. "And I can most assuredly tell you that I, personally, am very thankful that the Crab is protecting us from the Shadowlands, but all clans certainly play their own unique part in protecting and serving the Emperor."

    She quickly comes to the realisation that she has yet to introduce herself. How rude of you. "Also, I fear I have forgot my place and failed to introduce myself. I am Kakita Harukichi."

    SuperKawaiiWillSig.jpg
  • KrataLightbladeKrataLightblade Registered User
    edited November 2008
    Hida's head inclined ever so slightly. It wasn't a bow, but then, he wasn't standing anymore.

    "I am Hida Kiyashi."

    He seemed, perhaps, mollified by her words. Then again, perhaps not. It was pretty hard to tell.

    "You are not incorrect. We all serve the Empire as we are fit to do so. This one here, for example, finds the practice of kyutsu to be the pinnace of service. We have determined that when he is deemed capable, we will have to see how his arrows fare against something with a thicker skin than a bushi's armor."

    He smiled faintly, glanced at Tsuruchi.

    "I look forward to this test of his talents."

    LEVEL 50 SWORD JUGGLER/WIZARD!
  • RainfallRainfall Don't lose your WAAAAAAAYRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Rika watched as Harukichi stepped in, seamlessly changing the level of the confrontation.
    Cranes. They're all the same, even if she's different.
    The tall woman stood, watching the deft play of words for a moment, before she nodded, taking a seat next to the Crane duelist.
    "I would not proclaim your victory before you achieve it, Kakita-san. I fear there are a number of blunt obstacles between the Topaz and you." She almost imperceptibly inclined her head towards the Crab, before finally placing her half-empty cup of tea on the table. It would be quite improper to move her mask to drink in the presence of others.
    "I am Soshi Rika. I am sure I will... taste your mettle on the field tomorrow, Kiyashi-san. Until then, let spilt tea be nothing more than spilt tea."

  • Canada_jezusCanada_jezus Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    As the hours grows later the house of laughing carp grows more crowded. The championship always draws large crowds from out all around and this year is no different. Large crowds and large men, just now a samurai has entered wearing the mon of the hiruma crab family. He towers over everyone else in the room in both size and girth. His face carries a look of barely concealed annoyance. "Innkeeper, sake, serve me before you attend the rest of your orders. I am in no mood to wait," he carries a katana and has bow and arrow slung over his back.


    "GET OUT OF MY FACE ," yells a man in beat up traveling clothes to the man sitting across from him. It takes you a moment to spot a katana laying at his left hand, ready to draw instantly if need be. The inn as a whole takes a worried look, at what could be the prelude to a brawl or worse. "I might be ronin, but i am a topaz championship contestant and i have my honor!"

    "Hrmm, forgive me," the man just now speaking to the ronin says. He then makes his way out of the inn. Bumping into anyone in his path. As he passes your table you catch a whiff of his truly foul body odor.

    Two lions are confronted with it as well, as the man exits the inn. The look of dismay in clear on their faces.

    "What!" the ronin yells, "He insulted me!"

    You know who I fucking hate? Pony.

    I don't know why, I just felt the need to say that.
  • El SkidEl Skid The frozen white northRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    "I see we'll be having all sorts of pleasant competitors in the ceremony." says Saburo, grimacing slightly. Careful to exclude those at the table from the previous statement via inflection, he contines. "Kakita-san, Soshi-san... I am Tsuruchi Saburo. Forgive me, but my Crab companion and I were about to toast to our future exploits on The Wall." Taking the mugs of Shoju as the inkeeper set them on the table, he passed one to Kiyashi.

    "To the wall, and to slaying Oni with pinpricks!" he exclaimed, perhaps a bit too loudly.

    This is such a bad idea he thought as he prepared to down the mug, a smile fixed on his face.

    mrpaku wrote: »
    my name is precisionk and i'm ten tanks

    wrath God fear traitor evil
  • Premier kakosPremier kakos Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2008
    Harukichi looks at the ronin, her nose scrunching slightly as the smelly man passes her. She absent-mindedly nods to Tsuruchi Saburo, "A pleasure to meet you, Tsuruchi-san. If you'll excuse me for a moment."

    Harukichi stands and makes her way to the ronin, gently putting a hand on his shoulder, bowing her head to him as he turns to look at her, "Welcome to Tsuma, bushi-san. I look forward to competing against you, but please calm your nerves. Regardless of your status, your skill will be what demands respect when the games begin; show them your honour with actions and not words."

    She looks over her shoulder, towards the exit of the foul-odored man, and then turns back to the ronin, "If I may ask, how did that man insult you? Should I have the town's guards keep an eye on him?"

    SuperKawaiiWillSig.jpg
  • Canada_jezusCanada_jezus Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    The crab grabs his bottle of sake and makes for his room. "To the wall and the people its protects," he says, nodding to saburo. Apparently he overheard the toast even in the clamor regarding the ronin.

    Back at the ronin's table Harukichi gets her answer. "Ah forgive me lady crane, i am Hazu. I have drunk overmuch and my temper got the better of me." He places his sake cup back on the table and starts to rise. "The man offered me work, i've seen his type before. Doubtless a bandit of some sort seeking to recruit me. I believe alerting the guards might prove prudent if fruitless." At this he bows "But forgive me, after embarrassing myself i will retire until tomorrow."

    You know who I fucking hate? Pony.

    I don't know why, I just felt the need to say that.
  • Premier kakosPremier kakos Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2008
    "No need to apologise to me, Hazu-san. He obviously assumed you were an honourless man, which you are certainly not. I too would let my temper take over if someone assumed the same of me. As far as drinking, today is a day to celebrate. In four days time, we shall be samurai!" she smiles to the ronin and bows her head to him.

    "But perhaps retiring is a good idea. I hope sleep finds you well and I'm sure I will see tomorrow in the competitions." She bows at the hip to him.

    She returns to the table with the Crab, the Mantis, and the Scorpion, taking out a piece of parchment and quickly writing a letter. She waves a server over to the table, folding up the paper and handing it to her, "Please deliver this note to the captain of the guard." The server solemnly nods to Harukichi and then goes to complete her mission.

    She turns to the others at the table, "Sorry about that. Now, where were we?"

    SuperKawaiiWillSig.jpg
  • El SkidEl Skid The frozen white northRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I've seen my father and uncles do this loads of times. Okay, it was with Saki, but how much worse can this be?

    And with that, Saburo attempted to chug the mug of Shoju.

    ...

    Looking back later, Saburo would be pleased that he had managed to resist the natural and very strong urge to vomit up the fire that was running its way down the inside of his chest. He would not, however be pleased at most everything else, from spilling about a quarter of the Shoju down his front, spitting out a mouthful more onto the table, and especially not the next couple of minutes he spent hacking, panting and generally scrambling for breath, helpless to do anything else.

    mrpaku wrote: »
    my name is precisionk and i'm ten tanks

    wrath God fear traitor evil
  • RainfallRainfall Don't lose your WAAAAAAAYRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Rika leaned back slightly, avoiding the spray as the young Tsuruchi tried to down the shoju.

    Her eyes caught Harukichi's, and they shared an amused glance. The tall Scorpion raised her eyebrows, and calmly remarked, "I would be more careful, Tsuruchi-san. One should always be wary of a strange drink."

    And still her eyes were on the Crane. Why can't I look away? This is shameful!

  • Premier kakosPremier kakos Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2008
    She catches Rika's glance, sharing the amusement as Saburo manages to make a fool of himself drinking the potent sweet potato liquor. She turns to look at Tsuruchi Saburo, a sing-song laugh hiding under her words, "You'll get the desired effect of your drink quicker if you don't spill half of it on yourself, Tsuruchi-san. Perhaps Hida-san can show you how it's done."

    She turns her gaze back to Rika, finding her eyes are still on her. A gentle blush illuminates her face under the white make-up adorning her face. She looks deep into Rika's eyes, a fire igniting in her. She maintains the gaze, drinking in the sublime sweetness of being able to see her again. I'm so glad you're here, Rika. Your presence makes this dreadful tournament bearable.

    Without adjusting her gaze, she remarks, "Though, it might be wise to not get overly intoxicated on wine. You'll need your wits about you for the Heraldry and Etiquette competitions tomorrow."

    SuperKawaiiWillSig.jpg
  • RainfallRainfall Don't lose your WAAAAAAAYRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    The masked Scorpion coughed politely. At least, it was more polite than laughing would have been. "I would hardly call that wine, Harukichi-san."

    She paused, lowering her eyelashes as she looked speculatively at the Crane. "Kakita-san, you attend the academy nearby, do you not? Would there be an establishment nearby with a private room where I would be able to break my fast?"

    Rika took a sideways glance at the Crab, before returning her gaze to the unsettlingly perfect Crane sitting next to her.
    "Although... I do hate to abandon such mighty warriors as you and your friend, Hida-san."

  • Premier kakosPremier kakos Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2008
    "I do attend the Academy, yes," she says nodding her assent. "Besides here, which I imagine is quite crowded already with the contestants, there isn't much in the way of lodging that I know of," she says with sort of a down note in her voice, a very slight hint of an inflection that she herself is disappointed in her answer.

    She pauses a moment, thinking for a few moments before her face lights up slightly, "Ah, but there is an establishment in town run by one of your Clansmen. It is called the Poisoned Water Sake House. Perhaps the proprietor of that establishment would be willing to give you some lodging where you may maintain your feminine humility from all the men competing in the tournament."

    "It is somewhat out of the way, but I would happily lead you there." She bows her head to the Crab and the Mantis, "Hida-san, Tsuruchi-san, it was nice to meet you. I'm sure we shall see each other again in the coming days. Rest well."

    SuperKawaiiWillSig.jpg
  • KrataLightbladeKrataLightblade Registered User
    edited November 2008
    He watched the exchange at the bar, frowning as he heard the Hiruma attempting to make a spectacle. He chose, however, to ignore it, for as long as he was capable. And as long as his clanmate did not make a fool of himself too much further...

    The ronin, however, had his attentnion. A wave-man with honor? Kiyashi did not think such a thing possible. Ronin were honorless dogs by definition. The sudden foul stench that passed the table, however, was enough to take his mind off the ronin for a moment, as his head snapped around... until Tsuruchi spat up half of his drink.

    Kiyashi did not quite manage to resist bursting out laughing suddenly at Tsuruchi, though he did keep it from being too loud. He stood and moved to slap the boy on the back, hard, laughing as he answered the Crane. His spirits were back up again.

    "Of course, Harukichi-san. Of course."

    Normally, he might have questioned the Scorpion's unwillingness to share food with the rest of them, but at the moment he was more focused on the boy. And besides that, it likely would not have been polite. Though that didn't matter as much to him.

    "Come, Tsuruchi-san! Let us make a true man of you. Innkeeper, more!"

    LEVEL 50 SWORD JUGGLER/WIZARD!
  • Canada_jezusCanada_jezus Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    As the Ronin Hazu gathers his belongings and goes to his room, the innkeeper serves our samurai. "Please enjoy, this most potent beverage, sirs." He takes a look at Saburo and gives a genuine smile. "Enjoy" The inn is nearly filled to capacity and a band of minstrels has just come in. Immediately one man beckons to them, "Play something merry, we are celebrating!"

    "Yes master," the minstrel replies. Perhaps not what he had in mind when he came in, but the life of a travelling band is filled with compromises.

    Rika now though, faced a more painful kind of music. The musical scolding of her ancestor. "DISGRACEFUL" No one else seems to be able to hear this. "On beck and call like an easily bought dancing girl? I'd command you to strike her down right now, if i did not know it be a futile request. The voice is quite penetrating and also familiar, having been a constant companion these last months. "I insist you remain here, stay in your room, ALONE and meditate on your course in this life," Just as quickly the voice is gone, it having struck like a stone from a siege engine.

    The smell of fish stew becomes apparent. The innkeeper must have expected such a large crowd and made todays meal in bulk. "Please sirs, any who wish to partake of our wholesome and nutritious stew is welcome to a bowl. At a reasonable price of course, heh heh."

    You know who I fucking hate? Pony.

    I don't know why, I just felt the need to say that.
  • El SkidEl Skid The frozen white northRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Sputtering loudly, Saburo tried to catch his breath as a man twice his size pounded on his back with crushing force, while yelling in his ear that he was going to "make a man" of him. This did not sound promising.

    "Hida...-san. I will *gasp* of course finish our *wheeze* toast, but after that I must... change into... ow.... drier clothes and... do my nightly practices before... the competition. Perhaps we can wait until after I have been declared a man before you make me... a man?"

    mrpaku wrote: »
    my name is precisionk and i'm ten tanks

    wrath God fear traitor evil
  • KrataLightbladeKrataLightblade Registered User
    edited November 2008
    "Bah, why put off for after the tournament what we can do now?"

    Kiyashi laughed again, finally ceasing his pounding on Tsuruchi's back, grinning widely.

    "I am going to like you, I think, Tsuruchi-san. I will be sorry to see you return home."

    And he would, too. Who else would provide half so much amusement so quickly?

    LEVEL 50 SWORD JUGGLER/WIZARD!
  • El SkidEl Skid The frozen white northRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Grinning sheepishly, Saburo sat up straight, attempting with his manner and expressions to indicate both that he is not ashamed by his inability to drink, and also that his back didn't feel like it was broken in several key places.

    Taking the new mug of Shoju he sipped it delicately, marveling at the sheer force of it as it went down. How do people drink this stuff? And why the heck would they want to??

    mrpaku wrote: »
    my name is precisionk and i'm ten tanks

    wrath God fear traitor evil
  • KrataLightbladeKrataLightblade Registered User
    edited November 2008
    Kiyashi laughed heartily again, and sat back down in his chair, giving Tsuruchi another slap on the back for good measure first, then took up his own drink, and took a long pull from it, laying it back down and nodding.

    "So tell me, Tsuruchi-San. What do you make of... that?"

    He made a motion towards the other two, and the retreating ronin.

    "Nothing is ever simple in Crane lands, and even less is simple to a Scorpion, or so I am told. And the Crane are concious enough of the price of shame that I can not imagine what a ronin would find attractive in this tournament, and the spectacle has attracted our new... friends... interests. What do you make of it all?"

    LEVEL 50 SWORD JUGGLER/WIZARD!
  • El SkidEl Skid The frozen white northRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I wonder if he's trying to injure my back so I won't be able to compete tomorrow? thought Saburo. No, probably not. He doesn't consider me a threat because I wouldn't be able to beat him in a wrestling match.

    Now that he had his wits about him again, it had become easier to take the continued (good natured?) beating of the crab, and he even managed to avoid spilling any further Shoju. In a slightly better mood, Saburo replied:

    "I'm not sure what to make of that, Hida-san. I can understand Ronin and commoners being interested in the event- the Emperor himself is here, along with Rokugan's brightest youngsters. But as you say, we are in Crane lands now, with a very diverse group of people gathered around us. I hope that no one will be so foolish as to attempt to influence the outcome of the tournament, however, for their sakes. With the emperor here, there will surely be enough eyes about to foil any such a plot."

    mrpaku wrote: »
    my name is precisionk and i'm ten tanks

    wrath God fear traitor evil
  • RainfallRainfall Don't lose your WAAAAAAAYRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Oh, honored ancestor, leave me alone for just one day...
    Rika flinched as her ancestor berated her, drawing attention from the others at the table. "Harukichi-san, I believe I shall simply retire to my chambers for the night. I must prepare myself for the tournament. I shall, of course, see you all there."
    She avoided looking the Crane in the eye as she stood, bowing to the table before stepping up to the innkeeper, quickly arranging for a room.
    The Scorpion allowed herself one last look as she went up the stairs. Harukichi looked slightly bewildered and insulted, while the Crab and his companion continued to drink.

    Later, in the quiet of her room, she lit her incense once again, murmuring prayers.
    Perhaps I can placate the spirits for more than a few hours, this time. No sleep for the dishonorable.
    A tray of food she had requested from the innkeeper lay ignored. What good is nourishment of the body when the soul is imbalanced?
    No good at all.

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