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 Friends or Foes?

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Ghesh
Nikutai
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PostSubject: Friends or Foes?   Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:45 pm

A letter is delivered to Kuni Akira via one of his students.

Akira-san,

We have some things that need to be discussed. I will have tea waiting on the southern wall of the inner city at high noon tomorrow. An escort will be sent for you.

Your friend,
Usagi Kinotu
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TheDiddler
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Location : Cheyenne, WY

PostSubject: Re: Friends or Foes?   Sun Jan 31, 2016 1:29 am

OOC: "That weird shit you saw, that was peyote. I gave you drugs."

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MrFeldspar
Nikutai
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Location : Cheyenne, WY

PostSubject: Re: Friends or Foes?   Mon Dec 26, 2016 6:14 pm

OOC: I forgot this thread existed and wrote my reply without referencing it, so my apologies that it doesn't completely jive with what Logan wrote. Oh well. Adapt and overcome.

Early morning was a reserved time in the Ekohikei. Apart from the lowborn eta carrying out their menial duties, the streets were all but empty. Spring was not yet in full swing, though it was clear that winter’s end was at hand. It was almost comical to mention the start of spring, given how peculiar the winter had been. To the lone samurai who strolled across the Inner City this morning, memories of the Endless Summer inspired little mirth.

To most all citizens of the Emerald Empire, the position and accomplishments of this man, clad in the simple robes of a priest, would command attention, deference, and respect. He had grown accustomed to how others perceived him, treated him. Most all his days, and many of his nights, seemed swollen with the kind of conflict his clan eschewed. Audiences. Gifts. Performances. Casual conversations that were anything but. His duty demanded it of him, and he accepted without complaint.

Today, though, was different. He was not displaying his emerald magistrate badge, not dressed in the stately garb of a governor of the outer city, nor did he carry himself with the deportment of the spiritual advisor of the Mondai Ketsu, or the famed shugenja who dispatched an oni which fell from the sky above the Imperial Palace itself. Only the wakizashi he carried denoted him as samurai. He was all of those things, and much more, but today – for the next few hours at least – he would simply be Akira.

His friend awaited him upon the Southern Wall, according to the letter Akira received. The two would have tea and would speak on all that had transpired in their lives over the last several weeks. It was written on elegant paper and included a delightful drawing of a particular spot on the wall and a hint of cityscape behind it to provide context. Akira would expect nothing less from the head of the Imperial Cartographer's Guild.

What hadn’t been said in the letter was of far greater importance to Akira. The Kuni had seen something in his friend in the conflict with the False Prophet under the bowels of the Imperial Palace. It was something out of place with the natural order, and something that anyone else may have not taken in stride as Akira had. But how many in the Empire, even amongst the Kuni, could hold their experiences up to Akira’s and hope to come out even, let alone on top? This man knew there was a great deal more to the world than anyone seemed to appreciate. He must understand what he had seen before he could act upon it.

And so he responded eagerly to his friend’s letter, and he travelled without escort. The Crab did not fear Kinotu, but for the time being he did not completely trust him either. Yes, Akira would attend the meeting without an escort, but he did not come alone, for kami were everywhere, and he was their ally. Failing that, having a blade blessed by the Spirit of Creation itself didn’t hurt either.
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Ghesh
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PostSubject: Re: Friends or Foes?   Tue Dec 27, 2016 1:14 pm

A man stood in an office surrounded by stacks of scrolls and various maps. He had a far off look in his eye as he conducted his preparations for his meeting with one of his most trusted friends. His movements were silent and precise as a master performing an elegant tea ceremony: a slightly milky liquid was lightly brushed on his tantos, a thick liquid was poured into two small vials, and a fine powder was wrapped into a small piece of paper. He donned his ashigaru armor thinking "I don't know how much good these poisons will work on a man with such supernatural fortitude but every precaution must be taken". The man wore a wakizashi adorned with brilliant purple and gold in his obi but no katana, it lay on a stand in his room covered in layers of dust from years of disuse.

The man proceeded outside into the city streets with the morning sun just starting to rise. The air almost smelled sweet with the beginnings of spring after such a strange winter...a winter filled with blood, chaos, death, and the almost utter destruction of the Imperial City. The same winter that introduced the man to his master, the creature that gave him all the freedom and power that was beyond even his wildest dreams. He could feel the power of his master's blessing coursing through his veins and keeping the influence of the shadowlands taint that resided in him at bay. His master saved him from a life of a Maho Tsukai and spiritually impure acts in return for his servitude. He could never repay him for that. Only a few have witnessed the man's supernatural abilities. All but one were immediately cut down on the spot. This meeting today would determine if he had to kill his friend as well...

His walk brought him to the Shrine of Koshin, the Fortune of Travel and Roads. The shrine was surrounded by samurai of various clans all bearing the mon of the Imperial Cartographers Guild. The sun shined off his badge displaying that he was the master of that prestigious guild. The men watched their master with a mixture of awe and fear as he prayed in the center of the shrine. Noone dared to move and disturb his prayers...the last one who did lost an eye in an instant. The man finally rose and snapped his fingers. The only things left of his students was a cloud of dust as they ran down alleyways and upon the roofs of buildings to their designated districts. The man took off along the rooftops in the direction of the southern wall of the inner city. His movements were effortless as he raced towards what could be the death of his friend or himself only stopping once at a tea house to pick up a package filled with a corked bottle of strong tea and two jade tea cups.

He arrived at the spot on the southern wall designated in his letter for the meeting. It was at the entrance to the corridor that housed the thirteen mirrors that the man knew full well imprisoned ancient and powerful oni. If the situation became desperate, he could release one of them to fight his friend to cover his escape. The man placed the tea and cups in position so they would be ready for the meeting. He couldn't perform a proper tea ceremony to save his life but knew his friend would enjoy the simplistic nature of it. The packet that the man had brought with him was unfolded and its contents poured into the tea. The antidote he brought with him would neutralize the poison later. As he sat awaiting his friend's arrival, he could hear the wailing of the oni coming from the mirrors that only he could hear begging him to release them. He pushed it out of his mind as he focused on the task at hand.

This meeting would decide the fate of the two men. Shinjo Kinotu: the Head of the Imperial Cartographers Guild, Master of the Koshin's Blessing Dojo, Caretaker of the Shrine to Koshin, Dragon clan representative on the Sentaku Tribunal, Logistical Officer of the Mondai Ketsu, and tainted abomination was waiting to see if he had to kill one of his most trusted friends in the name of survival. All muscles were tensed and senses focused as Kinotu watched the most dangerous opponent he could ever face walk up the steps. That man was none other than Kuni Akira: Emerald Magistrate, Oni Slayer, Master of the elemental kami, Govenor of the Akira district, and Spiritual Advisor of the Mondai Ketsu. Will this meeting of two of the most dangerous men in all of the empire end in peaceful understanding or destruction of epic proportions?
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