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|Dark Oracle of Fire, Part II|
|Written By:||Shawn Carman|
|Story Year:||1131, 1150, 1151, 1157, 1159|
Annotated Story Edit
Previously: Dark Oracle of Fire, Part I
Somewhere in the Agasha family provinces, 1131, Agasha Gennai and Agasha Tamori are having a heated discussion about Hitomi. Gennai is certain that Hitomi is leading the Dragon to oblivion, and will not allow the Agasha to be destroyed by her. Tamori is outraged that his student will speak to him like that, and incorrectly believes that it is a third of the Agasha who wish to defect. Gennai points out there are far more than that, and Tamori asks if Gennai thinks himself the new daimyo. Gennai asks Tamori to join them in the escape, but Tamori will not. Gennai is sad that his sensei will not see reason, and turns a leaves. Tamori is left alone, and contemplates challenging Gennai to a taryu-jiai, a magical duel. A voice in the room tells him not to, and he is surprised to see a woman standing at the rear of the chamber. Tamori's wife, Agasha Tsutomu, tells him he cannot change the mind of Gennai and the others now. Tamori still insists that Gennai must be punished for bringing the Agasha name shame, but Tsutomu points out that they will no longer have a right to the Agasha name when they abandon the Dragon. Finally Tamori sees her point, but swears that the defecting Agasha will come to regret their actions. Tsutomo agrees, but presses the fact that Tamori should not lower himself to their level.
Somewhere in Isawa Mori, 1150, Hida Tsuneo merely watches as Shiba Bushi spread out into the forest. Hantei XVI is nearby, apparently ignoring the fleeing Phoenix, talking to Tamori about the weak Phoenix. Hantei XVI asks Tamori if he hates the Phoenix, and when Tamori confirms that he does Hantei XVI orders him to prevent those escaping for doing so. Tamori leaps from his horse creating an aura of flame around him before asking the air kami to carry him into the air. Tsuneo does not wish to watch. He scorches the trees below him, making it easy to find the fleeing Phoenix. Wave after wave of fire rains down, killing Phoenix each time. For a moment Tamori hears a dark whispering, and is reminded of his wife who died at the Battle of Oblivion's Gate. For a moment he wonders why he thought of Tsutomu, before he continues laughing as he slaughters Shiba.
In Kyuden Agasha, 1151, Agasha Shaitung is in a temple praying. A voice announces that her uncle, Agasha Chosai, has entered and he announces that they are waiting for her. She says she is not strong enough to lead the family, but Chosai disagrees. Shaitung repeats that there must be another option, and she does not wish to take her father's name. Chosai points out that the corruption of Tamori must be removed from the Agasha, and where better to start than with cleansing his name. Also, there is an Imperial Edict leaving them no choice. Shaitung does not know how to right the evil that her father has done. Again Shaitung asks Chosai to lead the Agasha in this change, but Chosai says their redemption lies in her hands not his. Shaitung is still uncertain, but Chosai presses the matter. Chosai leads her out of the temple to where the assembled family is waiting.
Somewhere deep beneath Dragon lands, 1157, a man writhes in a lake of molten rock. The pain is excruciating, but through it he hears a familiar voice speak to him. He finds his focus and sees two people standing in front of him. He asks them who they are, but one of them tells him that is not important. They say they have come for his aid, but Tamori thinks they are fools. The second figure tells him that their clans, the Dragon and the Phoenix, are in danger. They must be cleansed with fire and adversity, and the both invite the Dark Oracle of Fire Tamori to attack each of their clans. Tamori calls them both fools, but accepts their proposal. He intends to begin by destroying the two of them, but one of them holds up the Dark Covenant of Fire. With it they cannot be harmed, and the Dark Oracle must answer any one demand the two may pose. The Phoenix asks Tamori to pit the two clans against eachother in war, and Tamori agrees. The Phoenix then reveals that the power of the covenant still applies to the Dragon present, and because of a spell cast extends to him. Tamori is angry and swears he will see them both dead.
In Shiro Tamori, present day, Isawa Nakamuro and Asako Bairei are waiting to meet Shaitung. Nakamuro is anxious because he finds the Tamori unpredictable. Nearby Hitomi Maya laughs, and Bairei asks Nakamuro to explain what he meant by that. Nakamuro explains that the first time he was here Shaitung was hostile towards him. Then he spoke to her about the Dark Covenant of Fire and she remained completely nonplussed, but her uncle Chosai was less understanding. Bairei agrees that it was strange, but Nakamuro points out that he should not have mentioned Chosai's disgraced brother. Maya suggests Nakamuro is being to hard on himself, and that a man who speaks the truth is never a fool. Nakamuro still believes he may have ruined any chance of support from the Tamori family. Bairei points out that he does not think so because Maya was dispatched to aid them. Before Nakamuro can reply to Bairei the doors to the inner chambers open, and Chosai says they may see Shaitung now. Bairei is excited about seeing the Tamori temples, but Chosai tells them only Nakamuro is allowed in. Bairei is disappointed, but immediately finds something interesting to examine nearby instead. Chosai and Nakamuro enter, and after a while Nakamuro breaks the silence. He apologizes for mentioning Tamori last time they spoke. Chosai looks as if to explode in anger again, but at the last minute composes himself and says that Nakamuro had nothing to apologize for.
Nakamuro says it must have been hard on their family, and Chosai replies that it was hardest on Shaitung. After the death of her mother she relied on her father. His fall nearly destroyed her, and she does not discuss him lightly. Chosai finally leads Nakamuro to Shaitung's private chambers, and tells him that he must be careful with her. Many among the Dragon mistrust her for her fathers involvement in the war and she is taking it quite hard. Chosai leaves, allowing Nakamuro to knock and enter. Inside he finds Shaitung, alone, and her beauty momentarily stuns him. Shaitung asks if his return means he was successful in locating the Covenant. Nakamuro explains that they have uncovered some information, and thanks her for sending Hitomi Maya to aid them. Shaitung is pleased that she was of use. Nakamuro explains that two shugenja, a Phoenix and a Dragon, were responsible for taking the Covenant and that it is somewhere in Dragon lands. Nakamuro thinks the traitor is keeping it close to guard from the Dark Oracle, and Shaitung asks if that will work. Nakamuro believes it will, but the corruption from the Covenant itself is a risk, but only until the one granted demand has been made. Shaitung thinks it a fool's bargain, but Nakamuro points out it must be made. Shaitung asks if he intends to use the Covenant himself, and he confirmts it. Nakamuro believes he knows how to word the demand so that the Dark Oracle will be stopped once and for all. Nakamuro does not know how to locate the Covenant within Shiro Tamori, but Shaitung believes she may know a way. Shaitung asks if it is true that the Covenant exists outside of the elements that make up reality, and Nakamuro confirms that is what many sources claim. Shaitung is now confident she can locate the Covenant.
Sometime later, Nakamuro is not happy about the plan. Shaitung explains it again, telling Chosai, Nakamuro and Bairei to bind a kami of their elements to Maya, who will then run through the castle. The kami should notice the absence of elements around the Covenant, and alert them. Nakamuro is not concerned that it will not work, but rather that they should not use the kami in such a fashion. Chosai agrees, but Shaitung believes it is the only way. Nakamuro agrees, and Chosai does not continue to argue. Shaitung asks the other to begin, and they get into position. Bairei asks if he may take some notes while they attempt this, but a glare from Shaitung prompts Nakamuro to suggest that may not be wise. Bairei is disappointed, but accepts. Shaitung nods to Maya who activates a tattoo of a shield. Maya's skin turns a slight shade of grey, and Shaitung says they are ready to begin. Summoning the kami was easy, and Shaitung signals for Maya to begin the search once the kami are connected to her. Maya darts out and Shaitung gasps at the strain of maintaining the connection with the kami as is sprints around the temple. An hour passes, and Shaitung begins to fear they will not find what they are looking for. Suddenly she finds what she is looking for and calls out to Nakamuro. Nakamuro uses the air kami to tell Maya to stop, locate the Covenant and bring it to them. Chosai and Bairei take some time to recover from the ordeal, and only a few moments later Maya returns holding a lantern in her hands. Bairei steps closer as if to study the Covenant, but is struck in the back of the head by Chosai.
Maya attempts to leap away, but Chosai is too quick and strikes her with fist sizes rocks knocking her to the floor. Chosai grabs the fallen Covenant and turns to face Shaitung and Nakamuro. Shaitung asks him what he is doing, and Chosai explains that he never expected the ritual to work. Shaitung realizes Chosai is the traitor, but Chosai explains that he did what he did for her and her mother. To bring Tamori out so he can be defeated. Shaitung mentions that many have been killed on both sides of this war, and asks if it was worth it to try and save Tamori. Chosai points out that Tamori was never a good enough father to her, and that she must defeat him to cleanse the Tamori name. Nakamuro demands the Covenant, but Chosai tells him to mind his own business and attempts to convince Shaitung again. Shaitung does not see his logic, but Chosai says it is Nakamuro who has filled her head with lies. Shaitung has had enough, and calls upon the earth kami in the floor to seize Chosai. Nakamuro tells her she cannot kill Chosai, but she says she did not intend to. Nakamuro knows Chosai could escape if he wished, but Shaitung's refusal had broken his spirit. Shaitung will not listen to Chosai's exuses anymore, and tells Nakamuro to help the others recover. She picks up the covenant and says they must go see her father.
To Be Concluded in: Dark Oracle of Fire, Part III.
- Agasha Gennai
- Agasha Tamori
- Agasha Tsutomu
- Hida Tsuneo
- Hantei XVI
- Agasha Shaitung
- Agasha Chosai
- The Phoenix who summoned Tamori
- The Dragon who summoned Tamori
- Isawa Nakamuro
- Asako Bairei
- Hitomi Maya
Not Present, But Mentioned Edit
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