|Written By:||Nancy Sauer|
|Edited By:||Fred Wan|
Annotated Story Edit
It opens on Doji Domotai recalling the story of the Hayaku, the youngest son of Lady Doji. How he had travelled into the Shadowlands following the Day of Thunder to seek out his missing sister. When Hayaku returned he was white-haired and scarred, but carrying the blade that his sister had used to fight the Fallen Kami. For his courage he was granted the Daidoji family name and the family was given the responsibility of defending the Crane Clan from it's enemies. The highest honor of that duty was serving as the personal guard to the Crane Clan Champion. Domotai is walking in the garden of Kyuden Doji, being escorted by two Daidoji. Their protection did not mean what it used to to her.
Domotai reaches her destination, a meeting with Daidoji Uji. Domotai is wearing her swords, and Uji respects her for not trusting him. This Uji, going by the name Fumisato now, is not the Uji from this realm, but rather the nightmare realm known as the Thousand Years of Darkness. Domotai wishes to know about this world, and if this Uji knew the same things as the Uji of her world. She inquires about his knowledge of the Daidoji Harriers. Uji had know of Shiro Giji and it's activities, and had even been to visit the one in this realm. The woman running the place, Daidoji Hakumei, had invited him. She was not the same Hakumei he had known. Domotai asks if breaking Imperial Law did not bother him, and reveals that she has ordered the Daidoji Daimyo Daidoji Kikaze to disband the Harriers. She asks Uji his advice in the matter, and reveals that the Dragon Clan Champion is aware of their existance. Uji thinks Satsu was a fool to not reveal the information that would surely have destroyed the Crane. Uji immediately suggests that the Harriers must be destroyed, but Domotai reveals that she is concerned that Kikaze will resist. Uji realizes that Domotai is concerned about the loyalty of her guards. Domotai is at a loss, not knowing how to proceed in the matter. Uji presents a solution that should reveal the loyalty of Kikaze and her bodyguards. Domotai agrees to allow Uji the attempt at resolving the issue at Shiro Giji.
At Shiro Giji, Daidoji Hakumei meets Fumisato. Hakumi knows he is not the same man that had allowed her into the Crane Clan and taught her, but still feels the need to impress him. Fumisato informs her that he is on a mission for the Crane Clan Champion. He inquires as to the status of the stores. Hakumei reveals that they had stopped production of gaijin pepper at the behest of Daidoji Kikaze, but resumed is once news kame of the Khan's assault upon the Lion Clan and the capital. Hakumei reveals that Kikaze's order was reversed by Daidoji Shihei, apparently on orders from Kikaze. Fumisato hands her her orders from the Crane Clan Champion, but she does not understand why Shiro Giji must be destroyed. Hakumei protests, but Fumisato continues with his duty.
Sometime later, Dojo Domotai is sittin at her desk attempting to write a letter. A noise at the door lets her know that Daidoji Kimpira wishes to enter. He comes in and reports on the events that transpired at Shiro Giji, showing her a basket with the head of Hakumei. He informs her that Hakumei, along with several other Daidoji, were found to be producing gaijin pepper and executed for their crimes. Those who surrendered were sent to Shiro Daidoji for further punishment. Domotai decides that their fates will be in the hands of Kikaze, as it is his authority. Domotai asks Kimpira to dispose of the basket and return to duty. After he leaves, Domotai throws away the letter she was writing and begins a new one.
Not Present, But Mentioned Edit
- Lady Doji
- Hayaku's sister
- The Fallen Kami
- Daidoji Uji
- Daidoji Kikaze
- Togashi Satsu
- The Khan
- Daidoji Shihei
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