|A Hero's Death, Chapter Six|
|Written By:||Rich Wulf|
Annotated Story Edit
Previously: A Hero's Death, Chapter Five.
Somewhere in the wilderness in Ox lands, Moshi Kakau, Kijuro, Toritaka Akemi and Utaku Yu-Pan are tracking the assassin who attacked Yasuki Kaneko. It has been four days since they last rested properly, and that was only for four houes at Kaneko's home. Kijuro has become cheerful and jokes alot again, but is more dark in his humor than before. The tracking intially started by following a blood trail but that stopped and recently they have been only able to follow the trail thanks to Kijuro's intimate knowlededge of the lands. Kakau thinks Kijuro is a man of many surprises, and that he himself will have some surprises when they finally find their prey. Yu-Pan approaches Kakau and compliments him on how he has handled the riding. Kakau admits that he was not aware that riding could be so ardous. Kakau jokes and actually gets a smile and a laugh out of Yu-Pan. Kijuro hears the laughter and comes over and attempts his dark humor again, but Kakau does not find it funny.
Meanwhile, at Shiro Morito, Agasha Chieh is packing her travel pack. She does not wish to remain here much longer. It took her, Rezan and Miya Shoin nearly two days to reach Shiro Morito and then another two days of polite protocols. She leaves her room only to find Shoin on the other side of the door about to get her. Chieh expresses her wish to leave immediately and asks if Rezan is ready. Shoin says that Rezan has refused to stay and will join them for the remainder of their trip. They make their way to the court room where Rezan is waiting for them. Rezan greets them as they approach, and finishes talking to a young Moshi woman. Shoin reveals they are ready to leave and that the letter they received about their allies indicates they can cross paths in roughly a day or two. Rezan introduces the Moshi as Moshi Shimiko, who he has been talking to. Chieh comments that she is sure Shimiko enjoyed Rezan's company after being around a family of unwashed sailors. Rezan counters with an insinuation that the woman did enjoy his company and Shoin is exasperated with the two bickering. Shoin supects the creature they are hunting is a Shadow Beast, a minion of the Goju. Rezan is certain the Goju are extinct, but Chieh suspects their power still remains. Shoin asks her to explain, and Chieh says that the Nothing that the Lying Darkness drew upon still exists even if the Lying Darkness no longer does. Rezan agrees that survivors of the destruction of the Lying Darkness could be behind this. Shoin resolves that they must leave and finish this.
Back in the wilderness, Kakau and Yu-Pan are sneaking through the underbrush. Kakau thinks that what they are doing is insane, but Yu-Pan counters that it is more interesting than fishing. They are hunting a stag, and Kakau wonders if she really will eat it if they find it. She says vension is a delicacy among the Unicorn, and she will eat it. Kakau climbs a tree and points to Yu-Pan where the stag is. Yu-Pan rises out and shoot in one motion, killing the stag. Kakau compliments her on her shot and she compliments him on his climbing.
Nearby, Kijuro has asked to speak with Akemi while the other two are away. Akemi thinks it is about the assassin, but Kijuro reveals that he knows she is no Toritaka, and not even a Crab. Kijuro attacks her, suspecting she is the assassin. Akemi evades his attack, and leaps into a tree. For the first time she shows genuine emotion, rage, and calls Kijuro an idiot. She says she is here to kill the creature. Kijuro says that she must be a Shosuro Butei, and she names herself Shosuro Tani, a master actress of the Scorpion. She wants to know how he found out, and he reavels that many small things tipped him off. Her fighing style was not entirely like a Toritaka, and her accent more that of a Kaiu. In addition the ribbon she attached her weapon at Kaneko's was not to fight spirits but minions of the Lying Darkness. Akemi wishes to know how he knows all that, and Kijuro reveals he has connections and he was curious about her. Akemi thinks she has failed her mission, but Kijuro suggests she should wait until they confront the creature before judging her failure. Akemi asks if he will reveal her true nature, but before Kijuro can reply they hear a scream from the camp. As the reach the camp they see blood all over the ground. Kijuro first thinks the other two have been killed, but Kakau appears from the bushes wiping his mouth and Yu-Pan is by her killed horse. Yu-Pan is angry, and Kijuro is about to take responsibility for not being there when Akemi makes an excuse that it was her fault they were not there. Kijuro offers his life for her horse, but only after they have killed however did this. Yu-Pan will only have revenge against the killer, and Kijuro tells Akemi to find the killer's trail quickly.
Elsewhere, Shoin, Rezan and Chieh are still trying to catch up with the other four. They have made camp, but Shoin can sense something is wrong. He draws his blade and suddenly sees a flash of movement out of the corner of his eye. He is struck in the face felling him to the ground, but he managed to call out a warning to Rezan and Chieh. The shadows descend on Shoin, saying he has come for the son of Miya Dosonu not Rezan.
To Be Continued in: A Hero's Death, Chapter Seven.
Not Present, But Mentioned Edit
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