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|A Forgotten Saga, Part 1|
|Written By:||Shawn Carman|
|Edited By:||Fred Wan|
|Story Year:||1148, 1149, 1150|
Annotated Story Edit
Some time ago, in Ryoko Owari Toshi, Doji Tanitsu and Kaneka are in a sake house somewhere in the Merchant's Quarter. Tanitsu is not sure how he will even find his way back to the Noble Quarter. Kaneka downs another cup of sake and tells Tanitsu to cheer up and have a drink, but Tanitsu politely turns down the offer. Kaneka is celebrating that he will join the family of his father tomorrow. Tanitsu counters that at this rate he will be meeting the legendary Akodo Ginawa with a hangover. Kaneka laughs and praises Tanitsu's straightforwardness. Tanitsu ignores the slight insult and thanks Kaneka for the opportunity of following him to write about the man. Kaneka wishes to know what Tanitsu will call the story, and Tanitsu replies he may call it the Forgotten Son. Kaneka likes the name, as it reminds him of a ronin band he was once a part of. Kaneka wonders why Tanitsu is here, and Tanitsu replies he wished to see if Kaneka really was the Emperor's son. Kaneka wants to know if Tanitsu believes him, and he does. Kaneka asks if his other siblings will believe him. Tanitsu is not sure. Kaneka feels it is hard not to resent them, but Tanitsu tries to assure him his sister is worth knowing. It has been six months since the Scorpion Clan had revealed Kaneka's true heritage to him, and there has been no correspondace from the Emperor's household at all. Tanitsu attempts to make an excuse, but Kaneka is not convinced. Kaneka rises to leave, and tells Tanitsu to tell the Empire his story.
Winter of 1148, some years earlier in Nanashi Mura. Kaneka hurries down a street seeing beauty everywhere. He arrives at the village's most prominent geisha house and enters. He smiles at the small mistress in the entrance and asks to be allowed in to see Sachina. The woman asks if he has the money, but he does not. He does however have a gift for Sachina, as such things are sometimes accepted instead. The woman allows him in, but tells him to be quick. Kaneka enters further into the building, and knocks on the wooden frame when he reaches the suite where Sachina lives. Sachina calls for him to enter and she smiles when she sees him. Kaneka compliments her, and procedes to offer her the gift he has brought. Sachina does not accept the gift and Kaneka is visibly upset. Sachine reminds him that it is customary to refuse a gift twice to show you believe the gift is sincere. Kaneka offers it again and she refuses again. The third time she accepts, and begins unwrapping it. It is a beautiful netsuke, and she thanks him for it. Kaneka is emboldened by her responses, and suggests it could be a wedding gift. Sachina does not understand at first, and he explains that he wishes to marry her. Sachina laughs and refuses, but Kaneka does not understand why not. Sachina explains that she would no longer be able to continue her work, and he could not afford to provide for them both. Kaneka thought that she loved him, but she explains that it is her job to make men love her. She still enjoyed his company more than her other callers, but Kaneka is broken hearted now. She realises he is not the same anymore, but Kaneka does not let her cheer him up. Kaneka leaves, promising not to waste any more of her or his time again.
A year later in 1149 in Friendly Traveler Village, Kaneka is focusing on his blade. He is attempting to calm himself, but his friend Okahito is attempting to discourage him. Kaneka will not be talked away, and attempts to convince Okahito to help him. The two ronin have been traveling together for the past six months, and Okahito attempts to draw upon the memories of others who have died over that time such as Tomaru and Okahito's brother. Kaneka will still not be turned away and finally convinces Okahito to join him. The two leave the inn where they were and walk towards the village center. There has been alot less travel in the city since the start of the War of Spirits, so everyone is keeping indoors. The two reach the House of Black Leaves and they enter. Inside there are only a handful of patrons. Okahito cannot see the man they are looking for and urges Kaneka to leave now. Kaneka will not, and less than half an hour of waiting the man enters. The man is nearly half again as tall as the tallest man in the room. He calls out for the proprietor Kyubei for food, and a little man emerges from the kitchen with the food. The large man bullies the proprietor, until he notices Kaneka is in the room. Masakazu mocks Kaneka and asks the proprietor if his daughter is working today. Kyubei tell him she is not well, but Masakazu demands her company while he eats. Kaneka interjects, insulting Masakazu. Masakazu laughs at Kaneka's attempt to stand up to him causing Kaneka to draw his blade, and almost before Kaneka can react Masakazu attacks him. Kaneka barely dodges out of the way.
The brawl continues, Kaneka barely avoiding the large man. Suddenly, Okahito calls out to Kaneka. Kaneka now sees four soldiers with the symbol of the Steel Chrysanthemum and a wounded Okahito drops to the floor. The soldiers ask if Kaneka is who he is, and requests that he come with them. They explain that they have killed the local Magistrate, and Masakazu is outraged at the death of Yoshi. The officer tires of the delays and orders his soldiers to kill everyone and burn down the building. Masakazu launches himself at the soldiers killing one before anyone can react. Kaneka launches himself at the others. Kaneka is wounded by a soldier before killing the soldier. Kaneka just ducks in time to avoid another soldier who was hurled across the room having been crushed by Masakazu. Only the officer who killed Okahito is left, but Masakazu is at a disadvantage without any weapon. Masakazu uses a table to defend himself, and the officer's blade is stuck in the table. Kaneka leaps at the officer killing him. Masakazu and Kaneka stop to catch their breath, before Masakazu suddenly calls out to Kyubei to see if he is alright. Masakazu tells Kyubei to burn down the building. If not the Steel Chrysanthemum's men will believe he had something to do with it and kill him. Masakazu offers his condolenses for Kaneka's friend, and the two finally introduce themselves. Masakazu must now leave the village and he urges Kaneka to do the same. Kaneka contemplates what to do next.
In the year 1150 in the Horiuchi provinces, Kaneka is approaching Shinden Horiuchi. He has not eaten much in a long time, and both him and his horse are struggling. He dismounts, almost falling over, and a woman emerges from the temple. She inquires who he is, but recognizes him as soon as he speaks. Shoan is happy to see him, but immediately notices that he is not at all well. Shoan calls for the guards, but Kaneka before Kaneka can protest he falls to the ground unconscious.
Some time later Kaneka wakes. He is weak, barely able to move. He notices a young girl, no older than ten, is also in the room and asks her for some water. She does nothing for a moment before passing him a cup of water. She asks him what happened to him, but Kaneka is not sure. She offers him some more food, but he declines. She seems to be studying him, and asks him about a scar he has on his left forearm. He explains he was in a fight, although he could not remember the scar being like this. At that moment Shoan enters and tells the girl, Rikako, that she must leave Kaneka to recover. Rikako leaves and Kaneka mentions how curious she was. Shoan inquires about the fight Kaneka mentioned, but Kaneka makes light of it. Shoan is concerned about his travels, and not even having reached the age of 20 Shoan is certain he will be killed soon if he continues in this manner. She offers him a place here at Shinden Horiuchi, but Kaneka refuses. Kaneka asks her about the scar being different, and Shoan mentions that Rikako is quite gifted with the kami. Kaneka asks about the girls parents, and Shoan explains that they were killed in the war. Kaneka tells Shoan to take a pouch of coins out of his bag and use it for the children here. Shoan does not accept but Kaneka insists and Shoan accepts on the third asking. Shoan offers him to stay again, but he refuses again. She hands Kaneka a scroll recommending him to a acquaintance of hers, a sensei who teaches only promising students. Kaneka wonders what Unicorn would take a ronin student, but Shoan explains he is a ronin. Kaneka asks why she would do something like this for him and she answers that she merely wishes him to be better prepared for his travels. It will be some days before Kaneka can travel again so Shoan tells him to get some rest, which he does.
To Be Continued in: A Forgotten Saga, Part 2.
Not Present, But Mentioned Edit
- Kaneka's Father
- Akodo Ginawa
- The Emperor
- Kaneka's sister
- Kaneka's brother
- Kaneka's youngest brother
- Steel Chrysanthemum
- the ronin sensei
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