|The Truest Test, Part 2|
|Written By:||Story Team|
|Edited By:||Story Team|
The Truest Test, Part 2 is a fiction written as a collaboration by the entire Story Team. It was first released on the Samurai Edition Website on the 11th of May 2007 as the second part of a three part story. 
Annotated Story Edit
Previously: The Truest Test, Part 1.
It opens with Akodo Shinichi witnessing the arrival of the Unicorn Clan army on the plain infront of the capital Toshi Ranbo wo Shien Shite Reigisaho, led by the Khan himself. Shinichi sounds the alarm, and charges out of his watchtower to stand ready for the assault.
Elsewhere in the capital, Bayushi Norachai is waiting outside the Empress' audience chamber. Having heard the alarms he knows the fighting has begun. The Empress Toturi Kurako says nothing nearby, and Norachai leaves to lead the defense of the city from his command post. Having sent out messengers as soon as the alarms sounded, the first of these returns. Seppun Saburu reports that the western garrison is in place, with the Akodo Daimyo Akodo Shigetoshi commanding them personally. Norachai orders Saburo to keep him updated on the situation, and Saburo runs off to the front lines once again. Norachai thinks about the situation, cursing the Great Clans for not sending the troops he had requested.
Elsewhere, the Empress puts on her daisho and glances at her recently appointed attendant Fuzake Haruka. She reassures Haruka that she does not intend to join the battle herself, but to be ready should the Khan reach the throne. The Empress orders Haruka to summon her advisers and personal guard.
At the city's western edge, Akodo Shigetoshi leads his personal guard in the defense of the city. Shouting encouragements, he spurs his fellow Lion on slowly stopping the progress of the Unicorn and beginning to push them back.
Back with the Empress, Kurako addresses her assembled advisers. Some of the more senior and experienced advisers such as Bayushi Kaukatsu and Seppun Kiharu show no fear, but others such as young Haruka are clearly worried. Others such as Bayushi Kwanchai and Doji Tanitsu appear to wish to join in the fighting. Kurako orders the captain of her guard, Kakita Matabei, to seal the entrance to the throne room and let no Unicorn enter. She asks Kiharu to send his fellow monks to safety, so they can return to rebuild their temples after the battle. She turns to Kaukatsu and Tanitsu, ordering them to see to it that the Imperial Court are protected and sheltered. Kaukatsu says he will be watching the battle from his southwestern audience chamber, and any who wish to join him there are welcome to. Tanitsu requests permission to remain with Matabei and defend the throne room, and is allowed to by the Empress. The others leave, and Matabei seals the room.
Back on the battlefield, Shigetoshi continues to fight the Unicorn, reflecting on how they were not what he had been expecting. Just as he is about to engage a unit of Moto White Guards the sky opens and lightning rains down upon the city. Shigetoshi and his men are hit, sending them flying through the air. Shigetoshi rises to his feet, and again lighting strikes nearby. As the dust from the strikes settles, Shigetoshi realizes that a path has been cleared for the Unicorn to penetrate the city's perimeter, and that many of the Lion units had been severely damaged by the lightning. Shigetoshi attempts to regroup his forces, knowing that it would be too late. The Unicorn had not been affected by the assault, and Shigetoshi looked about to find the source of the attack. Atop a nearby large tower he caught a glimpse of men watching the battle. Lightning flashed through the sky behind them, illuminating their green armor and kimono, identifying them as Mantis.
Elsewhere in the city, the Crane Clan Champion Doji Domotai, is assessing the situation. Doji Nagori reports that most of their troops have been deployed to the front line, and will not return in time if recalled. A messenger is sent to recall the troops. Nagori points out that the withdrawal of troops from the front line with the Dragon Clan will leave the Crane open to attack, but Domotai states that their priority is the defense of the Imperial capital. Just as they begin discussing the Dragon further, a samurai calls out to Domotai. He identifies himself as Daidoji Gempachi. Nagori asks why he is here when he should be at the front line, but Gempachi says there was a delay due to a supply problem, and when lightning struck the city Gempachi and his unit of fifty men returned at once. Domotai orders Gempachi to take his men to the palace to defend it.
Somewhere else in the city, Akodo Setai is fighting an unnamed Shinjo, killing him swiftly. Setai looks around, seeing only his friend Doji Seishiro and several dead Unicorn at their feet. The two discuss what can have happened at the perimeter when a group of Moto charge around a nearby corner. Seishiro charges the Unicorn, shortly followed by Setai. Seishiro kills one quickly, and Setai dispatches of another. Killing another two Unicorn, the three remaining Unicorn encircle Seishiro. The gunso leading the Unicorn starts to talk to Seishiro, but Seishiro's rebuttal causes the Moto to order his allies to attack the Doji. Seishiro kills the first Moto quickly, but his blade gets caught on the dead Unicorn's body. Setai watches as Seishiro frees his blade only to cut another of the Unicorn. Setai recalls his days as a Deathseeker, only to realize that he never truly stopped being one. Seishiro falls to the blade of the Moto, and Setai lets out a roar in fury as he kills the Moto and dispatches of the remaining Unicorn. Setai rushes to the fallen body of Seishiro, who is severely wounded. Setai wishes to find a shugenja to heal his friend, but Seishiro tells him not to. Seishiro is in alot of pain, and Setai runs his blade through Seishiro's heart, to end the agony. Setai walks away, searching for more Unicorn to kill.
Back at the front, Shigetoshi assaults the Mantis he suspects of treachery. He swiftly kills a Yoritomo and a shugenja. Shigetoshi is assaulted by a third Mantis, and wounded in the face. Removing his helmet he prepares to face the Mantis who draws out two kama. The Mantis urges Shigetoshi on, and Shigetoshi complies, lunging at the Mantis. The battle is swift, but the Mantis seems to counter every strike Shigetoshi performs. Shigetoshi demands to know who his opponent is, and the Mantis reveals himself to be Yoritomo Naizen, the Mantis Clan Champion himself. The two insult each other before resuming the fight. Again Shigetoshi rains a flurry of blows upon Naizen, and again Naizen deflects them. Suddenly Naizen drives his knee into Shigetoshi, knocking the wind out of the Akodo Daimyo. Shigetoshi throws his shoulder into Naizen, knocking the Champion back and buying himself some more time. Naizen insults the Lion Clan Champion Matsu Yoshino, calling him a "child playing at Clan Champion." The two exchange insults once more, and Shigetoshi charges Naizen again. Just as the two collide a sudden wave of heat coursed over both men. Naizen curses as he looks up to the source of the heat, and Shigetoshi cannot help but look, offering a quick prayer to the Fortunes when he sees what has happened.
Elsewhere in the city moments earlier, inside the Shogun's Estate, Kaneka is praying. He knows what he must do know, and rises and strides out of the room. He is immediately flanked by a samurai who quickly reports the situation in the city. Kaneka inquires as to what troops he has remaining in the city, and is informed that only twenty of his personal honor guard remain, the rest having been sent away with his hatamoto Shiba Danjuro upon orders of the Empress. Kaneka orders his men to assemble and to engage the Unicorn. Kaneka and his men march quickly through the streets, soon reaching the fighting. Quickly scanning the enemy troops Kaneka spots his target, the personal banner of the Khan. Kaneka and his troops begin moving towards the banner, beginning to run as they get closer. When Kaneka spots the Khan he calls out his name. The Khan and his personal guard stop and face Kaneka and his men. Kaneka asks Chagatai to end the assault, but the Khan will not stop. Chagatai insists his actions were forced because of Kaneka's own inaction. Chagatai offers Kaneka to stand by his side, but Kaneka declines. The two former friends watch each other for a moment, neither moving. Suddenly an arrow kills a Unicorn standing behind the Khan, and the world erupted into combat. Kaneka charged directly for the Khan, closing the gap so the Unicorn could not gain enough momentum to charge him. Kaneka struck at Chagatai first, which the Khan deftly dodged. Kaneka struck the horse next, causing it to collapse and Chagatai to jump off the horse. Before Chagatai could react, Kaneka attacked again, pressing his advantage. Each strike was deflected or dodged, but Kaneka was getting closer with every attempt. Suddenly the Khan disarmed Kaneka, and knocked the Shogun off his feet. Kaneka rolled on the ground towards his blade, grabbed the blade and struck Chagatai in the leg. The Khan fell to the ground, and Kaneka moved to stand above his former friend and ally. Just as he was about to strike a heat wave washed over the two samurai and their men. Kaneka looked up towards the sky, where a single man hovered. The sky was lit up with blood red flames and raw elemental power as Isawa Sezaru screamed with madness.
To Be Concluded in: The Truest Test, Part 3.
- Akodo Shinichi
- Bayushi Norachai
- Toturi Kurako
- Seppun Saburu
- Fuzake Haruka
- Akodo Shigetoshi
- Bayushi Kaukatsu
- Seppun Kiharu
- Bayushi Kwanchai
- Doji Tanitsu
- Kakita Matabei
- Doji Domotai
- Doji Nagori
- Daidoji Gempachi
- Akodo Setai
- Doji Seishiro
- Yoritomo Naizen
- Moto Chagatai
- Isawa Sezaru
Not Present, But Mentioned Edit
- Daidoji Yaichiro
- Doji Kurohito
- a child playing at Clan Champion - words of Yoritomo Naizen.
- Shiba Danjuro
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