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A Hero's Death, Chapter Two

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A Hero's Death, Chapter Two
Written By: Rich Wulf
Edited By: Unknown
Released: Unknown
Link: [1]
Story Year: 1159

A Hero's Death, Chapter Two is the second chapter of an eight part fiction written by Rich Wulf. [2]

Annotated Story Edit

Previously: A Hero's Death, Chapter One.

Toturi III

Hantei Naseru, The Anvil

In continues in Otosan Uchi where everyone is silent except for Agasha Chieh. Chieh presents a gift to The Anvil, a book of poetry by Hantei XVI, who is surprised that she knew he would be here. Naseru declines twice before accepting, but Chieh comes very close to insulting Naseru in the process. Naseru asks if he passed her test and Chieh suggests she merely did as he had done to get them here. Naseru precedes to explain why he has gathered them here, a matter for which their blend of different skills will be useful for. Kijuro is unsure what the six of them can do for Naseru that the Imperial Legions cannot handle. Naseru asks Moshi Kakau to tell his story of what happened in the House of Plum Blossom two months ago. Kakau explains that it had been his first trip to Ryoko Owari Toshi, and he was unsure how the Scorpion would treat a visiting Mantis. Kijuro interupts, but is asked to be quiet, so he motions for Toritaka Akemi to pour him another cup of sake. Miya Shoin asks why Kakau would go to such a dangerous place, and Kakau explains he wished to meet the man who first gianed any formal recognition for the Mantis Clan. Akemi knows Kakau is speaking of Gusai, but Utaku Yu-Pan does not know who that is. Naseru explains that Gusai was a descendant of a group called the Mantis Clan who broke off from the Crab Clan before there were any true minor clans. Gusai travelled to the Capital and met with the Emperor. A disagreement arose about the strength of steel over words, so Gusai drew a concealed blade and held it to the Emperor's throat. The Emperor acknowledged the point Gusai made, declared the Mantis a minor clan and signed Gusai's execution order all in one go. Chieh asks why the Emperor would honor Gusai with a minor clan for what he did, and Naseru counters that a Hantei Emperors word is his bond. Yu-Pan does not recall there being a Gusai family of the Mantis, and Kakau explains that Gusai's descendant Gusai Yurimanu attempted to assassinate the Emperor. Only beacause the Mantis betrayed Yurimanu were they allowed to retain their status as a minor clan. The Gusai name however was removed. Kijuro is not impressed, and Chieh suggests that Gusai may not have been pleased to hear what happened to his name after his death. Kakau explains that Gusai attempted to take control of the Mantis Clan after he returned through Oblivion's Gate, but finding a Bayushi leading the clan he attempted to stage a coup of the clan.

Agasha Chieh

Agasha Chieh

He found little support, and refused to join the armies of Hantei XVI when approached. Emperor Toturi allowed Gusai to join the Heroes of Rokugan, a group of returned spirits who served under Toturi during the War of Spirits. Chieh explains that the Phoenix devised a ritual that severed the spirits' connections with the Spirit Realms, making them mortal. Kijuro thought there was no difference between spirits and mortals apart from the glow. Naseru explains that spirits needed less rest, food and even lived longer. It also led to madness in some cases unfortunately, Hantei XVI being one of them. Only one spirit never underwent the ritual, the Emperor Toturi I. Kakau continues his story, explaining that Gusai wished to discuss the death of Bayushi Aramasu and who would be the new Mantis Clan Champion. Kakau had met Gusai six years earlier in Yasuki Yashiki, and the two had become friends. Shortly after Kakau arrived to meet Gusai, Gusai was murdered by an assassin who melted out of the shadows and disapperaed as quickly after the killing. Chieh reveals she suspected this was why they had been summoned, as two other spirits Mirumoto Tokeru and Isawa Ijime had recently been killed also. Kitsuki who investigated Tokeru's death found nothing. Naseru concedes this is the reason they have been gathered. Yu-Pan suggests it is right that the dead return where they belong, but Naseru counters that his father was a spirit also. Naseru suggests she should use her hatred for spirits to sharpen her judgement, not cloud it. Kijuro is eager about the mission and begins telling tales of a bandit lord Heizo that he hunted down alongside Morito. Naseru says they have been chosen carefully and are to be led by Shoin. Shoin is surprised and Chieh is outraged. Naseru re-states that he as made his decision, and hands Shoin a scroll with orders and seal of office. Naseru leaves with his yojimbo, and only six remain. Akemi breaks the silence by saying they are bound by death together, and Kijuro attempts to lighten the mood by suggesting a game of kemari.

Miya Shoin

Miya Shoin

Sometime later, Shoin is reading his orders. In the semi-darkness his pale glow reveals him as a half-spirit. A cough behind him announces that Chieh wishes to speak with him. Shoin tells her how honored he is to serve with such a distinguished individual. Chieh says that Shoin should not fear passing some responsibility on to her to help share the burden. Shoin thinks he can handle himself. Chieh notices he is writing a letter and asks who it is for. Shoin reveals it is for his aunt, Miya Yumi. Shoin notices Chieh knows alot and asks her what she knows about the members of the group. Chieh reveals Yu-Pan is at an odds with some of the Battle Maidens because of the returned Utaku Shiko. Kijuro is half yobanjin and Kakau is a descendant of Gusai because of his Yoritomo mother. Akemi is only recently past her gempukku and some among her clan fear for her sanity. Shoin asks her what she knows of him, and Chieh named his father, the herald of Hantei XXVII, who died during the War of Spirits. Shoin was born shortly after, and his mother died six years later. Shoin was raised by his aunt, who had a romantic relationship with Tsuruchi Ichiro who Shoin trained with. Shoin is surprised she knows so much about him. Chieh replies she can see into his heart and mind, and Shoin is angered by that. Chieh tries to charm him but Shoin is flustered. Chieh continues her advances and says she wishes to be a part of his brilliant future. Shoin asks her to stop intruding into his thoughts. Chieh agrees, and asks him to accept her offer of help. He has refused the gift twice, and Shoin finally accepts as long as she stops delving the minds of others. Chieh asks where Naseru has ordered them and Shoin reveals they are to go to Kyuden Seppun to meet Rezan. Shoin is concerned the six of them will not get along, but Chieh has faith in the choices made by Naseru and Shoin's abilities to keep them together. It is late now, and Chieh moves to leave. Shoin asks her how she knew Naseru had summoned them. Chieh asks him if he is commanding her to tell him and he says he is not. She replies that she would prefer it if the world still contained mysteries.

To Be Continued in: A Hero's Death, Chapter Three.

Characters Edit

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