|A Hero's Death, Chapter Three|
|Written By:||Rich Wulf|
Annotated Story Edit
Previously: A Hero's Death, Chapter Two.
Somewhere in Crane lands, dawn, Kakita Rensei is making his way to a nearby cliff face to perform his daily ritual. The returned spirit is feeling uncomfortable about being alive again. Rensei looks out across the sea and contemplates the offer he had received to teach at the Kakita Dueling Academy and his refusal. Suddenly a sound behind him alerts him to another presence. Rensei asks who it is and the reply is "your death". Rensei draws his blade and strikes at his opponent with a fierce kiai shout.
Meanwhile, in Kyuden Seppun, a young courtier named Sutebe greets Miya Shoin and his group. Shoin is distracted, and Agasha Chieh reminds Shoin where he is with a jab in the ribs. Shoin thinks about the trip so far from Otosan Uchi to Kyuden Seppun. It had taken less than half a day but already people are getting on eachother's nerves. Kijuro attempts to engage either Utaku Yu-Pan or Toritaka Akemi in conversation which did not go well with Yu-Pan. Chieh enters the conversation causing Moshi Kakau to dispute her points causing an argument between those two. The argument continued until they were approached by a Seppun patrol. Sutebe asks Shoin why he has come to Kyuden Seppun. The group cannot say they have been sent by Naseru, so they have been using Otomo Hoketuhime's name instead. Shoin says he wishes to meet the ronin poet Rezan, who is a guest at Kyuden Seppun. Sutebe is concerned Rezan is a danger, but Shoin stresses that he is not. Sutebe is relieved and asks if Shoin wishes to see him immediately. Shoin thinks the group need to freshed up after their trip, so Sutebe takes them to their quarters.
A few hours later, Shoin is making his way to meet with Rezan. According to Akemi Rezan was famous for his exquisite poetry and since his return through Oblivion's Gate he spent much time travelling the Empire. Every court he visited hoped he would honor them with new poetry. Shoin had studied some of Rezan's works, as was required during his studies at Kyuden Miya. As Shoin approaches the chambers where is to meet Rezan he hears the familiar booming voice of Kijuro. Shoin is worried that Kijuro's crudeness would ruin the meeting, but Rezan seems to be holding his own. Sutebe is nearby, but horrified by Kijuro's demeanor. Kijuro notices Shoin had arrived, and Shoin asks to speak with the Ox in private for a moment. He asks if Kijuro has mentioned their mission at all to Rezan, and Kijuro reveals he did not and was merely trying to make Rezan more relaxed before meeting Shoin. Shoin asks Kijuro to let him meet Rezan alone, and Kijuro leaves. Shoin greets Rezan and compliments him on a series of poems about the Mantis islands that he wrote. Rezan reveals that he did not write them. Shoin is shocked, and Rezan continues by explaining that he used to be a ronin mercenary and never a particularily gifted poet. Rezan explains that many poems have been attributed to him that he did not write. Rezan asks Shoin to explain why he has come to meet him, and Shoin explains that Hantei Naseru has sent them to investigate the deaths of returned spirits. Rezan asks if he is a suspect, but Shoin replies that he and his group are here to protect him. Rezan is not sure they can protect him more than the Seppun can, and Shoin bursts out that the Seppun did not do very well with Toturi. Shoin is shocked at his outburst, and Rezan reveals that there is much of his father in Shoin. Shoin asks how Rezan knows his father, and Rezan reveals he knew him well.
At that moment Agasha Chieh arrives, announcing herself as Shoin's yoriki, and asks if she may join them. Rezan accepts, and compliments Chieh's beauty with a poem. Rezan reveals Shoin has offered him protection, and wishes to know her name so he may compose a poem for her. Rezan and Chieh exchange barbs at eachother before before Shoin attempts to divert the discussion by asking Rezan if he has experienced anything during his travels that could help their investigation. Rezan indicates there have been several incidents, and Shoin reflects on the poet's lechery. A voice from behind the three announces that Akemi has joined them, and Shoin is startled by the surprise. She tells them that another spirit has been killed. Akemi says it is Kakita Rensei, and Shoin is dismayed that a skilled fighter of Rensei's caliber can have been killed. Akemi says that there was so much blood surrounding Rensei that his assailant or assailants must have been wounded also. Shoin tells Akemi to alert the others that they will be leaving Kyuden Seppun at first light, and that Rezan will be accompaning them.
To Be Continued in: A Hero's Death, Chapter Four.
- Kakita Rensei
- Seppun Sutebe
- Miya Shoin
- Agasha Chieh
- Utaku Yu-Pan
- Moshi Kakau
- Toritaka Akemi
Not Present, But Mentioned Edit
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