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 (Koutetsu) A Meeting with Kakita Foruku

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kpsmith
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PostSubject: (Koutetsu) A Meeting with Kakita Foruku   Sat Sep 19, 2015 12:20 am

Ashidaka Koutetsu wrote a letter to the Crane council member Kakita Foruku. It was sealed in wax with his personal mon.

To the Esteemed Kakita Foruku,

Greetings and salutations honored cousin. I hope this letter finds you in good health. I write to you to request your attendance to discuss a matter you may find agreeable. We have never met before and I am sure you may be reluctant to meet with me regarding the position of my master, Doji Kurotema. However, I mean no ill will and offer opportunity between us; friendship and mutual benefit that can aide both of our pursuits. If you would entertain my company, I can address the proposal personal. I leave you the honor to establish our meeting location but if you allow it, I would be pleased to host you in the Murabai district at my estate.

I look forward to your reply.

With Humility,

Ashidaka Koutetsu
Regent of House Ashidaka
[CHOP]
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PostSubject: Re: (Koutetsu) A Meeting with Kakita Foruku   Sat Sep 19, 2015 12:38 am

A constant murmur of conversation filled the court's central hall. Samurai filled the chamber, nearly all Crane or of the Minor clans. A single Dragon stood apart in observation. Most were courtiers, diplomats, yojimbo and attendants. All had apetition, a need to speak to higher authorities within the Ekohikei or the Forbidden City.

In the hall of the Sentaku Tribunal of the Chisei district this is where all such business was conducted.

Koutetsu stood amid the petitioners and watched the Crane Tribunal judge, Kakita Foruku, listening to guest after guest as they explained their desires. Next to him, the young Fox aide, Kitsune Miru, listened attentively and answered questions as appropriate.

"My lord, I patron a merchant from the Toshisoto. He has a shipment of the finest bolts of silk from the Samui Kaze Toshi brought all the way from the Islands of Spice and Silk." A tall, gaunt Daidoji bowed low before Foruku and held out an example of a bright green silk. "This material is thick, yet comfortable. Light-weight, yet warm. I believe - "

"You believe the Chisei Governor or what remains of the Imperial Court would want to purchase your winter wares?" Foruku's snide remark drew titters from a sycophantic crowd. "Look around you, Daidoji-san. Do you see any snow? Do you feel cold? Why, just today I had to retrieve an unfashionable old spring kimono just to not have sweat dripping down my back. Yet, here I sit, listening to you prattle on about the warmth and comfort of your merchant's wares."

The Daidoji frowned deeply, but would not be deterred. "My lord, I know that the weather is unseasonable, but surely snow will fall eventually. If I might simply have your permission to allow him entrance into the Ekohikei, for but a week, I could - "

"Denied. I see no value in this endeavor and your merchant could be a spy. Next."

The Daidoji was ushered aside without further ado and a young Mantis samurai stepped up to state his case. Kouetetsu let his mind blank over the proceedings, watching Foruku all the while.

Not once did the Kakita look his way.  Koutetsu had sent his request, his invitation, and in return had been given a summons to the Sentaku Tribunal court.

"Ashidaka Koutetsu," the deep bass voice of Foruku's herald called out. Koutetsu snapped back to reality and took a step forward.

Kakita Foruku eyed the younger Crane up and down pointedly. "Ah, yes. You are one of the servants of the new Chisei Governor. I wonder, Koutetsu-san, how does Kurotema fare in my old position? I hope the meal snatched quickly from the table has not overstuffed his belly."

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PostSubject: Re: (Koutetsu) A Meeting with Kakita Foruku   Thu Sep 24, 2015 1:08 am

"Kakita-sama, I believe Doji-sama is prospering as the Governor of Chisei - in no small part due to your administration before hand. Your great work made the transition easy," he spoke honestly, trying to appeal to the man's sense of self importance. However, just as he expected, the wounds were still fresh for the Kakita. Ashidaka Koutetsu bowed low to Foruku when he approached the dais. His goal was to seperate himself from his lord, might the Crane see him in a different light.

"However, my Lordship, I am not here today as a vassal to Doji Kurotema, but as a Kakita. You and I inherently have an appreciation of the arts that those outside of our family do not fully appreciate and with the approach of the Turquoise Championship, I bring a proposal of a demonstration of one of the most venerated arts in the Empire: the art of iaijutsu."

He paused to gauge the man's reaction and that of the assembly. Koutetsu wanted to carefully navigate his way into appealing to Foruku. There was no denying the prestige that came with hosting an iaijutsu competition.

"As the highest ranking Kakita authority in the Ekohikei, if not the entire Imperial City when Kakita Yoshi is not present, I would propose a partnership in hosting a tournament right here in the Chisei District, the heart of the Crane in the Imperial City."
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PostSubject: Re: (Koutetsu) A Meeting with Kakita Foruku   Mon Sep 28, 2015 5:06 pm

“A competition? Of iaijutsu?” Foruku’s eyes narrowed as he listened to Koutetsu’s intent. After a short pause, he smiled. For some reason the Ashidaka did not feel it was a good sign.

“Why, for such an event you would require a Sentaku sponsor. Is that why you’ve come to me? Before, the Governor’s position and the Crane Sentaku position of the Chisei were one and the same. A pit that is no longer the case, is it not? That you cannot simply ask your master for this boon?”

Foruku’s smile widened. He pointed at Koutetsu with his fan. “Just the other day I heard a whispered rumor about your time in the Juramashi, before you served as a short-lived governor yourself, I mean. They called you something, I think.” The Kakita tapped his lip with the thin wood, brow furrowed in thought.

“Oh yes!” Eyebrows shot up. “The Blade of Execution. I do hope you aren’t trying to get me to give you permission to kill a few unruly duelists, Koutetsu.”

Before he could respond, Foruku snapped his fan open. “I would need to approve every individual invited. Every person you would plan to have participate. As you say, I am the ranking Kakita, the only true samurai in the city who can give an opinion on the matter of iaijutsu mastery. Yet, while I must approve those souls, it would be you, the orchestrator of this contest, that would be ultimately responsible for their safety and the safety of this district.”

Foruku’s eyes locked on the Ashidaka. “To what purpose, this competition? To what end should I give my blessing?”

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PostSubject: Re: (Koutetsu) A Meeting with Kakita Foruku   Mon Sep 28, 2015 11:30 pm

"Yes, the Blade of Execution," Koutetsu spoke with a warm, kind smile. There was a sincerity to it... But there was a brooding darkness beneath it. Once upon a time Koutetsu had no love for the position nor the name. However, he finally accepted it was a part of him. The dark, cursed sword had touched his psyche in such a way that he simply... Did not care. The Regent of the Ashidaka bowed to Foruku and endured the man's demeaning words.

"I served as the executioner of the Juramashi district, a post I was given. I did not enjoy the post as some might lead you to believe, Kakita-sama, but I performed my duty with distinct excellence. After all, the Kakita strive for perfection in all that they do."

There was a pause. There was a smile.

"Even if it meant executing a corrupt lord."

Koutetsu allowed his words to be considered. There were many things a man could draw from his words. Namely, a threat. Secondly, a promise of steel. Third, an example of his resolve.

"To what ends might we host this competition? It is winter in the Imperial City, with or without a flake of snow. We need not forget traditional winter court affairs within the Father's Home, my Lord Kakita. I wish to see our honored heritage celebrated with a competition to stir the entire city. I have come to know there are many masters of the iaijutsu art here. The patronage of a lord such as yourself gives the competition pedigree. However, I bring something much more to the table to bring in even more."

He smiled and nodded before he gestured. A servant entered the room carrying a silk wrapped gift, bound in gold rope. Koutetsu took the item, several feet long in length. He carefully drew back the silk and unbound the gold rope to reveal his latest masterpiece: an excellent sword he had forged. It was a beautifully crafted blade that shimmered in the light of the court. The furnishings were worthy of a great lord, making the piece remarkable.

"I am Ashidaka no Kakita Koutetsu, Regent of the Ashidaka, and a swordsmith as my father before me and his father before him. My art is steel and Ashidaka steel is coveted. I will forge a sword for the victor, to whom might have the skill to master a competition.

"With your patronage and my craftsmanship, I believe we have the workings to have one of the largest events this winter which will reflect well on yourself, my Lord."

He did not feed into the man's belittlement of his Lord Kurotema or self confessed expertise in iaijutsu. Koutetsu laid it out as it was: Koutetsu could produce swords any samurai would covet and Foruku had the authority to open the competition to a wider audience.

He would present the sword to ensure its beauty would not go unseen.
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PostSubject: Re: (Koutetsu) A Meeting with Kakita Foruku   Thu Oct 08, 2015 5:25 pm

The hall remained silent as the Sentaku Lord considered Koutetsu’s words. Foruku scanned the room, eyeing the individuals courtiers to guage their reactions, as if waiting for a cue.

Finally, he smiled and spread out his hands.

“A vassal of the Kakita, a regent of the Ashidaka, a duelist, a swordsmith, and a man with tremendous reputation,” Foruku’s voice rose and fell with practiced rhetoric. “How could I refuse?”

From his unique position near the front, Koutetsu thought he saw a flicker of movement on Foruku’s face. A single, twitchy glance to the right. Careful not to be noticed, Koutetsu dared scan that direction and saw…

Nothing. Nothing important. Courtiers, a geisha girl standing in the back, guards, and half a dozen other non-descript persons in the audience.

“Of course, if the Sentaku Tribunal is going to sponsor the event, each guest must be given specific dispensation to enter the Ekohikei by me, personally. I reserve the right to refuse them all and it will be by my name, no other, that they will enter.” Foruku leaned back with a broad smile. “I reserve the right to refuse your guests on the normal grounds. How many were you thinking? Let us say…8 duelists in total?”

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PostSubject: Re: (Koutetsu) A Meeting with Kakita Foruku   Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:26 pm

"If I may humbly object, my Lord, you having the authority to refuse a contestant can be seen as questionable in the eyes of the competition. If this is to be an honest and true tournament, no swordsman should be refused if he has earned his right to fight in the Ekohikei," Koutetsu eloquently retorted. There was more to his words there if Foruku could read into his intent. "If we the Crane deny the finest Lion swordsman the opportunity to show his skill before the Imperial City, what courtesy do we show to the Empire in doing so?"

Koutetsu would play to Foruku's - and the court's - sense of hospitality and courtesy. He couldn't allow the man to retain complete control over the competition bracket. His own sense of honor didn't want to be associated with a tournament mired in politics. It would reflect better on himself, the Kakita and the Crane in doing so. He bowed low to the Kakita Lord as he tried to soften his rhetoric with maintenance of his own display of respect and courtesy for his host.

"My duty now requires me to attend the defenses of the district. I will take responsibility for all matters that are within the realm of my work," he spoke smoothly. "However, we have magistrates responsible for the safety of our guests and populace during such an event. I would advise the district magistrate's office the need to be more aware... As you are inclined to believe a criminal may partake of this opportunity to visit harm upon the Chisei district. I will otherwise ensure no army marches through unmolested."

With a broad smile the Ashidaka lowered his head.

"Eight will suffice, my Lord."
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PostSubject: Re: (Koutetsu) A Meeting with Kakita Foruku   Mon Oct 12, 2015 10:51 pm

The Sentaku Lord's eyes narrowed as Koutetsu spoke. More than one of the courtiers ceased their conversation, their attention caught by the seeming confrontation within the Kakita family.

Foruku looked about and seemed to remember himself. Again, Koutetsu saw his eyes flicker over the assembled crowd. Again, Foruku paused, ever-so-briefly, upon the visage of the geisha woman in the back.

She nodded. All eyes were on Koutetsu and Foruku. No one else had seen, but Koutetsu had. She had nodded.

"Very well, Koutetsu-san. You will have your tournament. Let us see what glory you can bring to the Chisei District with your selections." Foruku's voice was slow and cultured. Careful. "Your tournament will be a nice distraction from the unseasonable heat."


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PostSubject: Re: (Koutetsu) A Meeting with Kakita Foruku   Tue Oct 13, 2015 1:50 am

"Your patronage, my Lord, is greatly appreciated," Koutetsu spoke in a smooth as silk tone. "When the tournament day comes, I suspect many will praise you for such a hospitable event."

He attempted to smooth the man's ruffled feathers. Koutetsu knew full well he was not making any friends. He was doomed from the onset in that endeavor. However, he couldn't allow himself to be walked all over by a man with an ego. He was the Ashidaka Regent, not some random samurai in court, and he would force the man to respect his wishes push come to shove. The Ashidaka swordsmith believed himself to be a simple man. Respect was earned and Foruku had taken no strides to earn his respect.

Koutetsu afforded a man a bow deserving of his station. "Domo arigatou gozaimasu, Kakita-sama," he courtesies the lord. "Unless you have any further need of me my Lord, I will return to my duties and newfound preparations." He allowed the Kakita lord an appropriate amount of time before he took his leave.

END SCENE
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PostSubject: Re: (Koutetsu) A Meeting with Kakita Foruku   Wed Oct 14, 2015 5:19 pm

Scene ended.

Duly noted Very Happy

Fun Times

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