|Scenes From the Empire 2|
|Written By:||Nancy Sauer|
|Edited By:||Fred Wan|
Annotated Story Edit
Previously: Scenes From the Empire
In the City of the Lost, Month of the Rooster 1169, Pokku is trying to avoid Omoni's goblins. He darts into the main Bloodspeaker temple, encouraging himself as he moves deeper into the temple. He finds a white porcelain jar on an altar in the chamber and uses a stick to shove the lid off, avoiding the puff of inky black smoke emitting from the jar. Pokku retrieves a scroll from the jar and turns to leave when he is grabbed by a tentacle. As the creature attempts to eat him Pokku jabs it with the stick, causing it to realease the goblin. Pokku flees drawing the attention of a pack of goblins. He continues to flee out of the city, where he notices the presence of some Lost. Pokku changes his direction and charges past the red-robes humans. Pokku smiles to himself as he hears shouts and roars as the goblin pack discovere the humans.
Meanwhile, in the Imperial City Toshi Ranbo, Isawa Takesi is contemplating the recent wedding between Isawa Ochiai and Mirumoto Tsuge as he is walking through the Phoenix Embassy. He had been sitting in one of the gardens during the wedding and overheard someone claiming the Phoenix had rushed to wedding to draw attention away from the eviction of the Lion and Mantis from the capital. Takesi had not taken offense, but when another samurai had claimed it was because Tsuge could not bear to be apart form Ochiai Takesi had become angry. Takesi fought his anger as it would have been improper to challenge the individual, a high-ranking Crane, and withdrew from the garden. He found no-where to sit quitely on his own, and headed for the embassy library which was empty due to the wedding. Takesi was surprised to find a young Dragon samurai there, and was pleased to have someone of his own age to talk to. He introduces himself and asks if he may be of any assistance.
The Dragon introduces himself as Mirumoto Ichizo, but does not require any assistance. Takesi understands and offers to leave the Dragon alone if he so wishes. Ichizo hesitates but then says there is no need for him to leave. Takesi asks how long Ichizo has been at the capital, and Ichizo reveals he travelled here with Tsuge. His father had arranged for a minor position at the Dragon embassy. Takesi thinks his father made a wise choice, especially with the next Emperor to be chosen. Ichizo believes the Heavens should be deciding the matter, and Takesi concedes the point. He does however believe that everyone must have a though on who it should be, and asks Ichizo who the Dragon wish to see as Emperor. Ichizo confesses they support Togashi Satsu, the grandson of Togashi-kami. Takesi does not think Satsu is a good choice, but does not say so. Instead he mentions that there are some among the Phoenix who see Shiba Yoma as a strong candidate. Ichizo does not know the name and Takesi explains that Yoma has been the Voice of the Masters for many years. Ichizo continues mentioning that there are some Dragon who consider Kitsuki Iweko for the throne, and Takesi agrees she would be a very intelligent Empress. Takesi changes the subject to avoid more strange ideas, and suggests they find a dojo and train together. Even though he is a shugenja he has studied iaijutsu. Ichizo simply states that iaijutsu is a Crane art, and Takesi blushes as he realizes. He suggests kenjutsu instead, but Ichizo declines and reveals he must find his superiors and see if there are any duties he must undertake. Ichizo leaves and Takesi wonders what he did wrong. He notices the scroll Ichizo had been reading was the Way of the Peaceful Sword by Shiba Rokkujo, a commentary of Kakita's The Sword. Takesi rises and puts away the scroll, wondering why Ichizo had been reading that scroll and why he had taken offense. He heads back to the garden, intent on finding someone who knows more about Ichizo.
Elsewhere in the capital, Bayushi Eisaku is walking through the garden around the Temple of the Seven Fortunes. He appears quite please with himself, enjoying the talk and uncertainty following Shosuro Jimen's recent victory at the Emerald Championship. He hears a biwa playing and heads in the direction of the sound. Eisaku would feel sorry of the young Isawa Kyoko were it not for the fact that her sensei's knowledge of using the kami for growth and productivity of crops was of great interest to Eisaku. It was said Kyoko was her sensei's finest student, and he was determined to obtain this knowledge for his clan. He finds Kyoko in a small rock garden playing her biwa, and greets her commenting on the beauty of the garden. She agrees it is refreshing, and Eisaku points out there are many things that are refreshing but without food they would be worthless.
Kyoko agrees that hunger can be very dangerous. Eisaku reveals that he knows her knowledge in the subject would ensure no famines would visit where she lives, and that his master is interested in obtaining that knowledge. Kyoko is alarmed for a moment, but realizes suddenly that he must be the individual Doji Ayano had told her about. Eisaku suddenly feels concerned, but Kyoko tells him that Ayano was a courtier who told her to expect a representative of the Emerald Champion. Eisaku suspects Ayano warned her how to handle a Scorpion, and Kyoko admits that she was given advice. The advice was however to offer any aid required, but Kyoko intended that anyway. Eisaku is stunned, and barely covers his surprise as he thanks her. Kyoko rises and tells him she has duties to attend to, but will meet him here tomorrow again to further discuss the matter. Eisaku agrees, as it will leave him enough time to figure out what game the Crane were playing in this.
Sometime later, in the Shinomen Forest, Chuda Hiroe finishes studying a scroll and walks out into a nearby clearing. A young peasant man is tied to a tree in the clearing, and Hiroe contemplates for a moment the task her sensei had set for her and her fellow student. They had been taught half a spell, and informed that the remaining half was in a temple in the City of the Lost. The other students had begun making plans to go there, but Hiroe had made a better plan. She hoped that it would demonstrate her usefulness, and that even Daigotsu would hear of her accomplishment. Until news of her plan reached her however she was intent to continue her research into the spell. She cuts the peasant's arm, drawing power from the blood pouring from the wound. She ignores the muffles screams as she continues investigating the ability to focus pain into individual limbs. After an hour of work she is interrupted by the arrival of Pokku, declaring that he has obtained the scroll. Hiroe moves over to the goblin telling him to be quiet and hand her the scroll. Pokku insists she keep up her end of the bargain first. Hiroe draws out a bag of coins and throws it to the ground. Pokku hands her the scroll, then runs to the bag and rips it open. Hiroe examines the scroll first, then opens it once she determines it is safe to do so. A scream of rage distracts her as Pokku is angered that the contents of the bag is not food. Hiroe informs the goblin that the coins are used to obtain food, which Pokku had never thought of before. Pokku begins picking up any conins that he had dropped while eyeing Hiroe out of the corner of his eye. He intended to use the bright and ambitious Chuda to forward his own agenda. He would show everyone that his tribe of goblins, not the massive creations of Omoni's were the better goblins. Pokku is about to leave to get some food when he notices the bloodied peasant nearby, and he asks who it is. Hiroe look up from the scroll and decides she will need a new subject, and orders Pokku to dispose of the body. She throws him another coin, and Pokku begins moving towards the peasant with a wide smile on his face.
To be Continued: Scenes From the Empire 3
Not Present, But Mentioned Edit
- Isawa Ochiai
- Mirumoto Tsuge
- Togashi Satsu
- Shiba Yoma
- Kitsuki Iweko
- Shiba Rokkujo
- Doji Ayano
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