Old Wounds.   Posted by Little Teacher.Group: 0
Little Teacher
 GM, 6182 posts
Mon 15 May 2017
at 04:41
Old Wounds
Fear is stupid.  So are regrets.
                                            -Marilyn Monroe
Little Teacher
 GM, 6183 posts
Mon 15 May 2017
at 04:53
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 1):

Lady Iuchi-sama?

Nia calls from the other room.  You shake your head and put aside your recollections.  No word from Yuna yet, but she promised she would look into Mino's actions in further detail.  The Lion left the matter to her.  It seems they are more concerned about face at the moment.  Having the Toirtise clean up their own mess is just one more rice ball off the Akodo's plate.

You call back to Risa that you will be right there and finish adjusting your robe.  There.  This is as good as you can look with the bruise Okiro-san left you.  It's a small thing that is healing as it should.  But it is right on the corner of your cheek.  You have better scars from riding accidents.  But these low landers are so particular about such things.

You tuck the fan you selected into your obi and head to the hallway.

Ochube is seated at the table, watching Nia try to steady her shaking hand.  For some reason, she is in constant fear of Doji-san.  She manages to get the tea she is pouring into his cup before filling one for you.  Ochube smiles up at you, rising enough to bow.  Konichiwa.  How is Risa? And yourself
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1279 posts
Mon 15 May 2017
at 23:18
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 2):

Lixue tries to wear her bruise with a lack of self-consciousness.  It is only a badge of her willingness to face danger to accomplish even a small amount of justice.  In truth, Lady Yuma's reluctance to beat the truth out of Mino-san stings more than the bruise.   As far as Lixue is concerned, he is a slimy little coward that should have the truth wrung out of him.


Lixue returns the bow, a smile curling her lips to see Ochube-san.  "Your company is as sweet water."  She responds, "I am well, but worried for Risa."   She joins Doji-san, ignoring the stark terror of her new maid. "How is your uncle?"

OOC: How is Risa?  Is she awake?
Little Teacher
 GM, 6186 posts
Tue 16 May 2017
at 22:59
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 3):

You may inwardly sigh as you give the status report on Risa.  An hour ago you had to be firm with her about staying in bed.  So the fact she is wanting to get up and take care of the house is probably a good sign.  But she put up only a little struggle and fell asleep rather quickly.  The doctor believes she will recover.  But everyday she is not bustling about is one day with one more worry attached to it.

Ochube nods.  Uncle is fine.  He is busy.  The Governor has asked him to assist in thanking the guests who accompanied his daughter on her hunting trip.

You take that to mean Uncle-san has been asked by the Governor to help him do damage control.  The whole mess is going to have repercussions.  It is just a matter of who gets stuck with them.

He picks up his tea cup.  I have dutifully written up a report of everything I saw and heard.  But how does one describe that fiasco?  I apologize.  That utter fiasco.  I am a bit concerned with how the matter will play out for the Akodo.
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1280 posts
Wed 17 May 2017
at 01:01
Iuchi Lixue
Almost absently she suggests gently, "Nia, why don't you go spread a little bird seed in the garden.  I am sure Lord Doji would appreciate their song."

She lets the maid escape, it seems cruel to unnecessarily to terrify her.

"I do have the impression that the Akodo could use some friends just now." Lixue comments quietly, disliking the unfairness of the Lion taking the blame for this situation.   How could they have known a bunch of Tortoise would go on a murder-thieving spree?

"I dislike a waste of honorable lives. I dearly hope that it wouldn't go so far.." Lixue admits, her expression making her words a very keen understatement.  "How bad is it, and who is..prolonging the excitement?      From the narrowing of her eyes, she likely has some guesses.   She apologizes for her Unicorn directness, I know this is the third worst kind of gossip, but you are saving me several hours of Lion assuring me that everything is fine."

OOC:  So I spent my xp, and Lixue is rank 3.  Can she take a rank in magistrate?  I think she may meet the requirements, but I'm not sure.

This message was last edited by the player at 20:29, Wed 17 May 2017.

Little Teacher
 GM, 6189 posts
Fri 19 May 2017
at 02:42
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 5):

I think so, but let me look it up and get back to you.  I need to do XP anyway.  But before that, let's get something settled

Ochube nods, watching Nia leave the room.  It occurs to you that you are alone with him.  Your sensei would have some kind of attack if he knew.

Ochube laughs of a sudden.  He picks up his tea cup and swallows quickly.  I will of course be willing to share all my thoughts on that matter with you.  It seems I have become quite used to doing that.  Sharing my thoughts with you.  Iuchi-san.  Let me be direct.  I am an unmarried man and my family is appalled at that.  I have to address that concern.  As of late, I find myself thinking the solution to that may be before me.  Do you think that might be the case?
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1281 posts
Fri 19 May 2017
at 15:53
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 6):

Lixue froze like a fawn in the grass.  Her ears flushed as she caught the essence of Ochube-san's proposal.  "I think it very likely that is the case."  Lixue agreed softly.  She had been pausing at odd moments to think what kind of Unicorn horse Ocube-san should ride.  "Although we should discuss what marriage means to you.   We have done well when we putting out thoughts together, and I think this strategy should not change when we have such an important subject."
Little Teacher
 GM, 6192 posts
Mon 22 May 2017
at 23:21
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 7):

Agreed.  I would very much like your insight and opinion on the subject.  He calmly sips from his tea cup.  If you will forgive the implied arrogance of this statement, I am not looking for the typical wife.  My position opens me to dangers and enemies who would not hesitate to move against me through family.  So I think a potential wife should be aware of the potential hazards before a union was agreed to.  I suppose at a minimum I would be looking for a woman who is not afraid of risk.  My preference though would be someone who has a quick eye and calm head.  Someone who I could speak of my cases with in absolute surety of confidence.  But more so...someone who would not be afraid to assist or take ownership of an investigative matter.  A partner if you will.

A woman who will just kowtow to me would be of little value I am afraid.  I would need someone who was unafraid of telling me that I might be wrong.  Because it is possible I might be wrong.  Not likely.  But I suppose stranger things have occurred.

It would be nice if she had strengths I lacked.  And perhaps might be happy that I had strengths she lacked.

And good teeth.
  He sips his tea.  That last one is just to make sure you were still paying attention.  He sips his tea.
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1283 posts
Tue 23 May 2017
at 00:56
Iuchi Lixue
OOC: Is Ochube-san nervous?  20:55, Piercing the Veils 43


Lixue pauses, and it is quite the pause.  After Ochube-san's extraordinary description of a desirable wife, she isn't exactly sure what to say.  His making terrible jokes is also bewildering.

She ventured tactfully, "Why have you avoided seeking a wife before now? You seem to have given the matter a lot of thought.  Had you not wanted that kind of relationship, I would not expect you to have spent so much time thinking about it."

Lixue adds with a air of innocence, "I notice you haven't mentioned affection. How does that enter into your plans?  If this lady is as wise as you wish, she is unlikely to mistake elaborate gifts and fine manners for deep feelings."

This message was last edited by the player at 01:09, Tue 23 May 2017.

Little Teacher
 GM, 6195 posts
Wed 24 May 2017
at 01:42
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 9):

Yeah.  He's not exactly Mr. Smooth at the moment.

Just to give you a little behind-the-scenes.  When a NPC first appears I think might become important later on, I make a roll just to see how they might be inclined towards the PC.  Of course events and role play are the ultimate deciders of the interactions.  But the roll gives me a starting point.

Anyway.  When I first introduced Ochube, I did the roll.  Lixue rolled something beastly like a 59. It was the second highest roll in the game up to that point.  Now it's like the fourth highest roll.  I rolled for Ochube.  He got like an 8.  So yeah  The guy was pretty much doomed from the start.


Ochube takes another sip, though this time you think he is doing it to settle himself.  He is nervous.  The image of him practicing this scene in his mind many, many times floats through your head.

It s not that I was avoiding it.  I just...  He shrugs.  I simply was not interested.  It is not that I had not met any wonderful women.  I had.  It is just that none of them seemed to fit.  That seems to be the best word I can come up with in answer to your question.  I just could not find a good 'fit'.

We both know that affection in marriage is not usually the most important factor in setting up a union.  Over the years, I have seen far too well what that can lead to.  Bitter marriages.  Infidelities that end in blood.  People who spend their lives sleeping next to a stranger, never bothering to introduce themselves. How many marriages these days have the same level of warmth as two travelers who end up sharing a tatami because the inn was crowded for the night?  Quite a few.  Perhaps I thought what was the point.  If I was going to be lonely, I might as well be alone. That may have been foolish in hindsight.  But if I am honest, that is probably the truth of it.


He looks you in the eye.  I have only recently begun to understand it does not have to be that way you see.  Or perhaps I just have begun to hope it does not have to be that way.  Well.  I hope that makes sense.
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1286 posts
Thu 25 May 2017
at 01:12
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 10):


Lixue feels a pang of sympathy for Ochube-san.  This is clearly an uncomfortable conversation.  Even though it is worth having.  Both of them have seen some terrible marriages.  For Lixue, both Lonely Shore and the tragic Winter Court had stunning examples of Things Going Very Poorly.  Ochube-san hasn't spoken of the things he witnessed, but he did not seem to bat an eye at Sebo-sama.  At least not within her vision.

Despite these terrible examples, he is still willing to try.  Even if it is not gracefully spoken as the pillow books would like.

How lucky I am my parents are still very fond of each other..

So she meets his eyes, "I do not think marriage needs be lonely, or bitter or cold.  I think if two people are honorable, and capable of deep feelings they have a good chance at real warmth and connection between them.  I would like to take that chance with you."

This message was last edited by the player at 01:17, Thu 25 May 2017.

Little Teacher
 GM, 6198 posts
Fri 26 May 2017
at 00:42
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 11):

He blinks, a look of horror overcoming his face.  What?  I was not talking about you

Just kidding.  That doesn't happen
Little Teacher
 GM, 6199 posts
Fri 26 May 2017
at 00:48
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 11):

Here's what does happen

Ochube says nothing, his face going blank, his mouth opening, then shutting, then opening again.  But then the ends of his lips begin to rise, drawing his mouth up into a large, unabashed smile.  He laughs quickly and, for some reason, slaps his knee.

Yes. I-yes.  Let us do that.  Indeed.  Yes.

He laughs again and covers his face with a hand.  He brings his hand down and looks at you.  Sorry.  That just happened much more...I do not know what to say.  I will just say I love you Iuchi Lixue-chan.  And leave it at that. With your agreement, I will ask my uncle to send to your parents to seek agreement.
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1287 posts
Fri 26 May 2017
at 23:13
Iuchi Lixue

Lixue feels her stomach tie itself into a knot while she endures Ochube-san's stunned reaction.  She cannot take back such bold words.  But there is nothing to do except wait for Ochube-san to regain his wind.

 Her shoulders relax abruptly as she hears his startled agreement, and her stomach unwinds itself from its fearful knot around her spine.    She smiles radiantly, and laughs with relief herself. "Oh, was I too bold?"  But her heart fiercely doesn't care if she was.  It is too filled with happiness for such concerns.

Lixue blushes as Ochube-san's admission of love.  It is a beautiful surprise.  For a moment she can only be silent in her happiness, touching her fingers to her lips.

After a moment she nods at Ochube-san's suggestion. "Yes, I will write my mother and warn her to expect such a letter.  I haven't admitted to her how special you are, I didn't know how you felt."  She admits shyly, "I think she will wish to meet you."

"I've often wondered how you would see my home."  Lixue confesses simply.
Little Teacher
 GM, 6200 posts
Tue 30 May 2017
at 04:08
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 14):

It produced you.  How can your home be anything short of paradise?  He laughs.  Sorry.  That may have been too 'Crane' a thing to say.  But I do believe it to be true.

He looks at you.  I will do everything I can to make you happy Lixue-chan.  I have waited a while to call you that.  Alright.  I see no reason for delay, do you?  It will already take quite a bit of time for missives to reach their desired places.  And for us to receive responses.  I will go see my Uncle now.  Will you come to dinner tonight at the embassy?
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1288 posts
Tue 30 May 2017
at 13:31
Iuchi Lixue

Lixue grins, a mischievous sparkle in her eyes. "I assure you it's no hardship to endure your lovely compliments."  They are lovely because they are sincere, and his happiness is like the sun coming out behind a cloud. She is curious about when he decided that he wished to call her endearments, but there is much to do.  It will make better discussion during the long wait from the North. "But I suppose my vanity and curiosity are not very good reasons to delay. And I should write my mother.  Yes, I will come to dinner tonight."  She agrees merrily.

More seriously she promises, "I will try to make you happy too. I trust you Ochube-chan." She looks aside, shyly.  "it's very strange to call you such a dear name aloud.  Even though your name has such a sweet sound in my heart."

She does frown as her thoughts gather themselves, "I know you are careful, Ochube-san.  But be more careful still? This place it's.."  She make a little wave of frustration, "If the first plays of last year's junior artists came to life--it would be this court." They would be here until dinner to discuss everything wrong with it.

OOC: Alright, a little poetry is leaking out the edges, but he's really adorable.
Little Teacher
 GM, 6202 posts
Wed 31 May 2017
at 02:41
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 16):

He leans forward a fraction but seems to think better of it and then bows.  He touches your hand and then leaves quickly.

Alright.  Back to business

You spend a little composing your letter to your mother when you are interrupted by a knock on the door.

Please forgive Lady Lixue, says your temporary maid.  A Lady calling herself Kasuga Yuna has arrived and is asking if you have time for an audience.
Little Teacher
 GM, 6205 posts
Wed 31 May 2017
at 03:07
Doji Arata
Your tea is cold.  Shall I brew a fresh pot?

Your eyes water when you look away from the parchment and at your erstwhile man servant.  The sudden change from reading calligraphy to seeing the real world makes your head spin a moment.  Too much time reading too many scrolls by candlelight.

It is a day after the visit from the Tanuki.  Hawasi secured you quarters in a small but acceptable inn not far from the city's eastern gate.  He then sent two of his men to report to the acting commander.  They returned with a surprise of sorts:  apparently the former general had been intercepting communiques.  She stockpiled them and the Acting Commander had ones meant for you forwarded.  You have spent the last day catching up on your reading.

Most of the communiques are unimportant or, at this point anyway, superfluous.  The situations they address no longer exist with the transfer of power between Generals and the movement of the Crane army.  You have to provide an updated report for immediate dispatch to your direct superior.  And you manage a more detailed report of your dealings with the Phoenix for both the Acting General and the Powers at Home.

Of more interest is the news abroad.  It seems the turmoil in the North has begun to boil.  The Phoenix are now in open dissolution.  Reports have come in that sects have formed within the Isawa family and are openly feuding.  Oddly, the Shiba Clan seems to have withdrawn from the situation.  There are reports that Shiba have left their posts from the Isawa compounds and returned to Clan Strongholds.

The Dragon seem to be on the move as well.  They have concluded an alliance with the Mantis, the details of which seem to be quite secret.  It is only known that the two seem to be expecting aggression from the Phoenix at some point in the near future.

The Empress has dispatched several envoys to the Phoenix lands, but to little success.  The Isawa seem to be pointedly ignoring her.  The Shiba offer the envoys hospitality but refuse meetings and offer no explanations.  Rumors are that the Empress is considering armed intervention, but who she will turn to handle the matter remains to be seen.

There seems to be very little news from within the province.  There is mention that the current ambassador to the Acting Governor in Naishou City has been replaced, but oddly the missive does not name the replacement.  You check the cipher several times but it does not seem to have been tampered with.  The name of the replacement is just not provided.

Lastly, there is an invitation among the letters.  This one seems to have arrived this morning.  It is addressed to He Who Whistles In The Thicket

Good Sir.

I trust this missive finds you in the best of cheers.  I seek entertainment in the game of steps and thought you may wish to seek such similar entertainments.  In the morning after the one that has just occurred I will be at the bottom of the stairs ascending Paper Maker's Lane after the last tolling of the bell second to the one after sunrise.

I hope for your company.  Kindest Regards.

Lady Xibo, The Cuckoo's Sister

Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1289 posts
Wed 31 May 2017
at 03:17
Iuchi Lixue
Lixue looks at her maid curiously, wondering if she comes from a place where people normally claim to be people they are not. "Well, hopefully it's actually Lady Kasuga." She says mildly, as she cleans her writing utensils. "Well, show her into the parlor and then ready tea, and some of the little seed cakes."

Lixue waits for the maid to follow orders before she puts her letter away in the secret drawer.   After a brief check for decorum--as she has ben prone to impromptu smiling since Ochube-san's visit--she goes to greet Lady Yuna.
Akodo Jubei
 player, 494 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Wed 31 May 2017
at 06:23
Iuchi Lixue
(OOC:Standing by?)
Little Teacher
 GM, 6206 posts
Thu 1 Jun 2017
at 05:17
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 20):

Sorry Jubei.  I thought this posted last night.  Apparently it didn't.

There is a slight outcropping on one side of the clearing you are in.  You can stand on it and see a bit further down the hill.  From this point, you watch the man you dispatched towards town take flight.  If you have luck, he will run into a friendly patrol on this side of the river and should be back within two hours.  If not, he'll have to take the ferry and secure troops from the gate.  Four hours.

Behind you, there are some angry voices.  One of your men drags the prisoner forward and tosses him to his knees at the bottom of the outcrop.

The man is one of Iku's staff.  You saw him a few times in Iku's command center.  A clerk of some kind.  Not a senior officer.  His name escapes you which means you probably were never told what it was.

The man is staring at the ground.  He is not playing the part of the howling villain.  But he is not groveling either.  You see his shoulders tense up and the man takes a deep breath.  He mutters This one is Matsu Odigai.  I served Lord Iku-sama.  In a secretarial role.  I fulfilled his orders.  I will not ask for mercy.  What could I possibly tell you Lord Akodo? I was a subordinate.  Lord Iku-sama said go and I went.  He said do this and I did it.  I know very little

This message was last updated by the GM at 05:18, Thu 01 June 2017.

Little Teacher
 GM, 6207 posts
Thu 1 Jun 2017
at 05:25
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 19):

She may not be familiar with the minor clans.  Just saying

Yuna is dressed in a rather simple robe of browns and grays.  She bows as you enter, her face a bit of a polished mask of courtesy.  Good afternoon Lady Iuchi-san.  I trust your homecoming has been significantly less stressful than your vacation.  I must beg your pardon, but...  She suddenly bows deeply, in the position of one asking a favor.  Please accept the regret of the Kasuga Clan and that of the Three Man Alliance.  We are deeply ashamed of the actions of certain of our retainers and regret you were forced to intercede in the matter. For the trouble you were caused, we are deeply sorry.

Ah.  She has come to make apologies for you having to deal with Mino and the others.
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1290 posts
Fri 2 Jun 2017
at 02:36
Iuchi Lixue
Right! Forgot about that.

Lixue winces at the embarrassment the situation must have caused. Darn that murderer for striking her and calling attention to the situation!   If only the blackguard was more complacent, then no one would have known about this besides herself and Kasuga-san.

"Please Kasuga-san, I only hope that you are safer now than you were. If that is achieved, then it is worth quite a lot of trouble.  Lixue insists sincerely, without the least hint of ill-will.

Hopefully she is safer without a murderer in her entourage.  That's not too optimistic, right?

"Will you have some tea?"  Lixue invites her to a cushion, "I am having a little vacation today, although I suspect by tomorrow I will be wielding the fan again."
Akodo Jubei
 player, 495 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Fri 2 Jun 2017
at 05:32
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 21):

"A secretary knows where his correspondence was going. I need to know where all those letters he was sending were going. And how often."

That might help identify conspirators.
Doji Arata
 player, 1229 posts
Sun 4 Jun 2017
at 03:12
Doji Arata
"Thank you," Arata says to Meichou,
"But I let the tea go cold, and so I shall have to enjoy it cold. Call it a lesson in personal responsibility."

He folds the letter in two and wafts it under his nose as if trying to catch a subtle scent of the sender.

"Could you please remind me later to make sure that my white robes are clean and ready by tomorrow morning? They should be acceptable for entertaining who I assume must amount to a princess, or something much like that. Formal definitions generally seem to be a bit vague in Naishou."
Little Teacher
 GM, 6209 posts
Thu 8 Jun 2017
at 04:42
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 23):

Yuna nods and smiles, though it seems a bit strained.  Clearly she is embarassed.  I appreciate the offer.  That would be lovely.  She hesitates and then says Your injury is not too severe I hope?
Little Teacher
 GM, 6210 posts
Thu 8 Jun 2017
at 04:43
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 24):

The man shuts his lips determinedly.  He bows and then says, I was ordered by Lord Iku to keep such matters in my hear.
Little Teacher
 GM, 6211 posts
Thu 8 Jun 2017
at 04:46
Doji Arata
In reply to Doji Arata (msg # 25):

There is a scent.  A subtle floral scent.  Hydrangea?

Meichou shakes his head.  There are too many worlds here.  It blurs the lines.  I can see to your robe if you like. 
Akodo Jubei
 player, 496 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Thu 8 Jun 2017
at 04:51
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 27):

Jubei says this only once.

"You can tell me, or you can tell the Eta. The choice is yours."

That is, he's going to get handed over to very unfriendly people.
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1291 posts
Fri 9 Jun 2017
at 02:32
Iuchi Lixue
Lixue nods to her maid to procure some tea.

Lixue assures Kasuga-san cheerfully, "I've had worse mischief and bruises trying to ride wild sheep as a child.  Besides, it's good to let the Lion rescue a maiden every now and then.  It cheers them up."

She gives Kasuga-san a mischievous grin, "I'm sure that dreadful Phoenix girl will be envious of the handsome Bushi who simply *must* be solicitous of my health.  I thank you for making her foolishness more amusing."
Little Teacher
 GM, 6212 posts
Sun 11 Jun 2017
at 05:12
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 29):

He says nothing.  One of your men looks towards you to see if you have anything else to say before dragging the man off.

It is a little before sunset before your scout returns.  He is leading a small phalanx of men, ready to escort you back to the City.  One of the gate officers salutes and bows.  General Fizu-sama asked you go to see him and issue a report as soon as you return to the City
Little Teacher
 GM, 6213 posts
Sun 11 Jun 2017
at 05:14
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 30):

Yuna smiles at first but her smile freezes when you mention the 'Phoenix' girl.  Ah.  I fear you may not have heard.  She went to see the Governor almost immediately upon our return.  It seems she came very  close to making outright accusations.  I believe things are quite tense in the Governor's Palace right now.
Akodo Jubei
 player, 497 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Sun 11 Jun 2017
at 06:21
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 31):

All Jubei says to the man is, "Your choice is made. I hope you do not regret it."

Once they came with their phalanx, he returns to the city, makes sure the captured secretary is sent to the Eta exactly as he said he'd be, and heads straight for Fizu from there.
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1292 posts
Mon 12 Jun 2017
at 14:42
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 32):

OOC:  I'm not sure who the phoenix is complaining too? Does she mean the Miya interim governor?  (aka the Princess' dad?)  Or does she mean the phoenix ex-governor.

Well, that was an ignorant and petty thing to do.   But there is no use saying so.

Lixue pauses,"Well, for a moment I felt that I was being uncharitable towards the girl.  But I think I am past that now."  She sips some tea, "I had heard things were tense, but not how far they had gone.  Who is she almost-accusing?"   Lixue asks thoughtfully.
Little Teacher
 GM, 6214 posts
Wed 14 Jun 2017
at 23:24
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 33):

You arrive after the sunsets.  The city is lit by lanterns and the glow from cooking fires lit behind the rice paper walls of huts you pass by.

Home Base seems to be on high alert.  Fizu must have heard something of what happened then.  You march up the hallway and enter his chamber.

He nods at your bow and glances back at the Shogi board he has set up.  He seems to be running through a classic problem of the game called General-Lost-His-Fan.  In this game, one player has moved his Generals too far into enemy territory.  And the enemy has launched a counter offensive by flanking the generals.

Fizu studies the board a moment longer.  Your report please.  Leave nothing out.  I want fact and I want your opinion of the situation.
Little Teacher
 GM, 6215 posts
Wed 14 Jun 2017
at 23:28
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 34):

Miya interim Governor

Yuna sighs deeply.  Mostly the Lion.  There is some venom directed to my clan as well.  And I think Doji-san has also come up in the conversation.  I have little concern her attempt will bear fruit.  Miya-sama is a very clear minded man.  But it is making it's way around the circle of wagging tongues.  Maybe that was her goal?
Akodo Jubei
 player, 498 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Wed 14 Jun 2017
at 23:38
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 35):

Jubei makes a full report, and as requested, leaves nothing out, save for private correspondence to his father, which, since it goes to an even higher authority, may be left unsaid. But the rest, he tells verbatim.
Little Teacher
 GM, 6216 posts
Thu 15 Jun 2017
at 23:13
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 37):

Fizu rubs his eyes.  Fool he says softly.  It seems to be directed towards Izu.  Or maybe himself.  I did not think this sword would come from this direction.  I hope he burns in hell.

He straightens up and then looks at you.  We must make sure our ranks are clear of his sympathizers.  And we must do so quietly.  The results of the Princess' hunting trip are just starting to come around.  Can you handle the cull?
Akodo Jubei
 player, 499 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Fri 16 Jun 2017
at 14:12
Akodo Jubei
"It has already begun. His secretary has been sent to the eta till he reveals where Iku-san's correspondence was going. Once we have such information, finding co conspirators will be made much simpler."

Pause...

"Also, since Iku's staff took over many of the details regarding the occupation, you'll want to have your staff take over everything again."
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1293 posts
Fri 16 Jun 2017
at 17:46
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 36):

Lixue can almost feel Ide Tensen raising an eyebrow over this.  "I think she may be hoping that Miya-sama finds it easier to blame the Lion--even if it is clearly a great strategic risk--rather than his own daughter.  I doubt he will let Isawa-san influence his course by even a sneeze.   And, of course, set tongues wagging."    She says the last part dryly.

She pauses and sends her new maid to arrange some snacks for them. "I also noticed in my..pursuit of various criminals..that the Phoenix did not seem entirely a stranger to the situation.  Your aunt mentioned that she and her family were acquainted with Mirumoto-sama when she was a child.   And then he is murdered without any attempt to draw his sword.  And then Hideo-san mentioned that Goya-san was meeting with both Mirumoto-sama and a 'woman in priest's robes'."  Lixue shrugs, "it is nothing anyone can be accused over--nor ought they be.  But if she has some connection to these events she may be worried that one of your staff may find something that does not reflect well on her.  It doesn't hurt her to try to set up a screen of gossip in advance."

Lixue smiles,  "and of course, you are her rival.  She is behaving like a school girl over it, but it does not seem out of character for her.  Does anyone know what kind of nuns taught her? They don't seem very pious."
Little Teacher
 GM, 6217 posts
Mon 19 Jun 2017
at 02:19
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 39):

Fizu moves a piece on the board, running through the merits of the move in his mind. There are not any. He replaces it with a sigh.

The problem is how far can I trust my staff? Everyone of them came on duty at the same time Iku did. His fingers hover over another piece. The merits of a move with it are hard to tell at a glance. Test rhem. My seniors. We will consider it training. Part of a general's duty is to test his officers, both in skill and in spirit.
Doji Arata
 player, 1230 posts
Mon 19 Jun 2017
at 02:20
Doji Arata
"I would most appreciate that," Arata says.
"Surely a good kimono, well cared for, possesses a virtue that transcends worlds. A more pressing concern is the need for a suitable gift. What does one give to the Cuckoo's sister? Artwork is out of the question, cuckoos build no nests and so have no use for decoration. Perhaps something more material. Any suggestions?"
Little Teacher
 GM, 6218 posts
Mon 19 Jun 2017
at 02:23
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 40):

Yuna laughs. I would think the nuns who trained her drank sake and rolled dice. If there were more like them, more of my Clan would be religous. She sighs. Mirumoto-san was...a bit of a shock. Do you think he was a vixtim? Or a conspirator who ran afoul of his own machinations?
Little Teacher
 GM, 6219 posts
Mon 19 Jun 2017
at 02:30
Doji Arata
In reply to Doji Arata (msg # 42):

He considers. A poem of course is an option. Though if she is a cuckoo, she may try to pass it off as her own creation among her friends. It is magpies who like shiny objects, no? Hmmm. I would recommend against offering the tip of your nose. Or your fourth dearest wish. I would say you would be safe with a candy or similar sweet. Or a whistle. One that sounds like a bird song of some sort. She could get use of that.
Akodo Jubei
 player, 500 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Mon 19 Jun 2017
at 08:00
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 41):

"As you say. Dishonorable behavior often leaves telltale signs. Likewise does true honor leave its own mark."

Perhaps it's easier for a man like Jubei, steeped far into bushido, to ferrit out those who hold it lightly.
Little Teacher
 GM, 6220 posts
Mon 19 Jun 2017
at 23:39
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 45):

Fizu nods and srops fidgeting with the shogi piece. There is another duty that falls to you. You must report this to your father. Clearly and succinctly. If you determine I acted foolishly, you must tell him so. Is that ubderstood?
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1294 posts
Tue 20 Jun 2017
at 04:04
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 43):

Lixue laughs as well, a real laugh--not some courtier's giggle. "A lot of people would be more religious--and becoming a nun would be much more popular!"

She frowns, "I think he was, at least in part, a victim. Certainly your aunt had somethings to say about his youth that..turned an eyebrow. But Mirumoto-sama was planning on retiring, presumably he had put those days behind him.  He was a friend to the interim governor, and could have been an ally in having a strong, peaceful transition.  He was investigating something, and it was enough to get Goya-san killed.   I think he may have had some other things to accomplish here, but I haven't any idea what they might be."

Lixue frowns a little more, "I struggle to think of a reason he would be murdered in the middle of a camp in such an interesting fashion. Surely a conspirator would benefit from killing him more quickly and quietly?  I was actually hoping that your secretary would..be more forthcoming in an effort to make amends with you. Or Goya-san's belongings would have some kind of clue."
Little Teacher
 GM, 6221 posts
Wed 21 Jun 2017
at 00:18
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 47):

Yuna presses her lips together. Will you forgive me for wagging my tongue? I only know my Aunt and Mother's impressions. So take this as you will. But I do not believe Mirumoto-san was close to the Governor. They hate one another.
Akodo Jubei
 player, 501 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Wed 21 Jun 2017
at 04:46
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 46):

"Of course."

No need to mention that was already in the works. But he'd make a much clearer report now.
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1295 posts
Wed 21 Jun 2017
at 05:02
Iuchi Lixue
OOC: Oops..my notes must have been incorrect.


Lixue looks a trifle embarrassed, "I'm grateful you're willing to share your impressions. These things are like reading a sutra that's been torn to pieces.  I only have the first scraps, and it is easy to misinterpret things.  But I recall that Mirumoto-sama did say he was planning on retiring and only came at his Lord's request.  He didn't seem very happy about it." 

She pauses to sip tea,  "I did not get the impression he was here to cause trouble.  He had the impression that Naishou was hiding something, perhaps he was killed looking for it?"  She gives Kasuga-san an apologetic look,  "I do not mean to burden you with such dour thoughts, especially we have our hands full of cats right now."

There is a bit of a slower cadence to the phrase, as though Lixue was translating an ancient Unicorn saying.

She frowns, "Speaking of..the Sparrow poet.  He did a very bizarre thing when I invited them over for dumplings. I was playing a story game with them, and someone slipped in an extra piece of paper.  He made like it was a ghost, terrifying their youngest member. Do you know anything about their situation? Given the already unsettled court, it would be best to limit such mischief."  There was a look to Lixue, that she may break a teapot over this lout's head if he tries this again.
Little Teacher
 GM, 6222 posts
Sat 24 Jun 2017
at 06:13
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 49):

Fizu nods and dismisses you.

Back in your own office, you find your adjunct has submitted a list of Iku's direct reports.  At least those still alive.  Akodo Osi.  Matsu Hibari.  Akodo Gisu.  Akodo Sheikei.

He marks a note below the names.  Do you wish to interview these men?
Little Teacher
 GM, 6223 posts
Sat 24 Jun 2017
at 06:19
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 50):

Your notes are probably correct.  This is new information.  Whether it is factual or not remains to be seen.

Yuna frowns.  I had forgotten you had entertained that fellow.  I have no ill report of him.  Though the Sparrow are...unique.  I am not sure he is still in Naishou.  She looks thoughtful for a moment.  Honto...I am at a loss as to the last time I saw that group.  It feels like it has been ages.  But it could not have been more than two weeks.  Odd, is it not?  I keep feeling like time has gotten away from me since coming to Naishou.
Akodo Jubei
 player, 502 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Sat 24 Jun 2017
at 20:43
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 51):

"I do. Have them sent before me, one at a time..."

Perhaps not all of them were in on the plot. It is probable many were not the better to maintain Iku's own deception.
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1296 posts
Sun 25 Jun 2017
at 14:33
Iuchi Lixue

Lixue frowns worriedly.  It didn't seem like they would give up their suit so easily, did they leave?  Were they murdered and thrown in the river? "Perhaps I'll send a note around then and see if they are still here.  The girl has a remarkable memory. But she could benefit from some advice, like any young person.  But I think we some application she could be a good courtier."

"You are a very disciplined person, Lady Yuna." She remarks thoughtfully, "I cannot think it common for you to forget something, or feel disoriented. Lixue doesn't come out and say that she suspects this to be unnatural--but she trusts in Lady Yuna's memory. "Should I ask Ide-sama to send to a trustworthy shugenja? Otherwise, I do not know what to do about such things except to keep a calendar and pray O-Ebisu keeps my head swept of such cobwebs."

"If the only shugenja here wasn't so..flighty.."  Lixue frowns more.  Really, the phoenix were just letting them down on all fronts.  Had they no honor?
Little Teacher
 GM, 6226 posts
Wed 28 Jun 2017
at 02:36
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 53):

Akodo Osi.  You know his record fairly well. He served admirably in one of your brother's squads for several years before being reassigned to Iku's unit a year before the Naishou expedition began.  Your brother found him a fine, if unimaginative, officer.  You recall an offhand comment from your brother that went something like Osi is like a sandal strap:  Necessary to keep your footing.  But then again, you do have feet to walk on regardless

The man himself is not imposing.  If it weren't for his uniform, you might think him one of the rank and file.  The only oddity about his appearance is a slight patch of bare skin in his beard.  The hair does not grow in a line the width of a stylus in a straight line from the left corner of his mouth down to his chin.  Some might wonder why he even wears a beard.

He bows deeply, and sits, eyes on the floor and says thickly, My Lord Akodo-sama.  I regret that I was unable to stop this treachery.  Had I been paying attention, perhaps I would have known of my Commander's...I do not know what to say.  Please kill me.  I have failed utterly in my duties.
Little Teacher
 GM, 6227 posts
Wed 28 Jun 2017
at 02:41
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 54):

Yuna seems confused.  I feel fine but thank you Lady Iuchi.  Maybe it was just the stress of the trip.

She moves back to your first concern.  It is odd.  My clan more or less has some authority within the Three Man Alliance.  But I do not recall anyone informing me of the Sparrow leaving.  Maybe something was overlooked during the preperations for the trip...no.  That does not make sense.  Let me look into it.  I will inform you of what I find.

Is there anything I can do for you or your household Lady Iuchi? At this time, I want to make it clear.  I consider you an ally.  And a friend.

Akodo Jubei
 player, 504 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Wed 28 Jun 2017
at 03:16
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 55):

"Neither I nor Fizu-sama detected this treachery either. Indeed, I only learned of it when his men turned on me and attacked during a hunt. All I have done is outcommand him. He did not even have the dignity to face me honorably. His first option was a knife hidden under his apparently wounded body."

The honorable men under Iku's direction will all feel like that...

"Tell me all there was to know...particularly who Iku-san spent most of his time with."

This message was last edited by the player at 03:18, Wed 28 June 2017.

Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1298 posts
Thu 29 Jun 2017
at 00:17
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 56):

Lixue smiles and sits a little easier, as thought Lady Yuna's words lifted some of the care from her shoulders.  It was good to find a friend in the strangeness of this city. "Thank you,"  she admits with a shy smile, "I am glad to be your friend, I admire you steadiness and your insight very much." 

She considers, "thank you for your kind offer, I think we are alright for the day to day--but I may ask for the loan of a maid if I need to entertain. I don't see how we are going to get people pointed in the right direction without smoothing over rough feelings with some sake.  There is a doubtful note, as though she was trying to calculate the amount of alcohol needs for peace in the city.

Maybe if she filled the pond in her garden?  Would that be enough?

OOC: Friendship is magic :)
Little Teacher
 GM, 6228 posts
Fri 30 Jun 2017
at 02:30
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 57):

He seems to think about it a moment. I would have to say Gisu-san. And Ikoma-sama.

He shakes his head. All I can say for sure...now that I look back...the only thing that seems odd is the amount of time he spent at that tea house. Shortly before he was injured he started to visit a tea house called the Redberry Jar. It is just a tea house. Notthing especially nice bit nothing terrible either. He would often go there in the afternoons. It is by the river, so it was n9t close by

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:33, Fri 30 June 2017.

Little Teacher
 GM, 6229 posts
Fri 30 Jun 2017
at 02:34
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 58):

Yuna nods and rises. I will send word before sunset. Is there anything else we should discuss now?
Akodo Jubei
 player, 505 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Fri 30 Jun 2017
at 06:12
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 59):

"The Redberry Jar? We'll have to have it investigated. Perhaps it is nothing...and perhaps you've given me valuable information. Thank you. And the location by the river is probably why it was important, considering how often the bandits have used the water in their movements."

Still, investigation will need to be conducted...either because it's important, or to exonerate it if it is not.

Gisu-san and Ikoma-sama. He'd look into them, as well.
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1299 posts
Sat 1 Jul 2017
at 14:53
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 60):

Lixue smiles, "I think I have filled your kind ears with my troubles."   She adds helpfully. "I have some correspondence to catch up on this morning, so if you send a note here it is likely to find me."

She wasn't planning to take her place on the dangerous ground of the court until tomorrow, but it things were getting ugly she would of course go immediately to support her allies.

OOC: Lixue is planning to 1) Finish her letter to her mother,  2) Write an invitation to a late afternoon informal "tea/admire the breeze from my porch" invitation to the Akodo Jubei and Akodo Fizu 3)A note to one of the Dragon in town asking if she can call in regards to Mirumoto-sama.  4) A note to Hida-sama so she can update him on what happened with the various murders during the camping trip.

Let me know which of these notes you would like to see an actual note written up for :)  I was thinking that Akodo Jubei might have fun with some epistolary type role playing.

Little Teacher
 GM, 6231 posts
Sat 1 Jul 2017
at 21:28
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 61):

Anything else with him?  Or move on to the next man?  Thanks
Little Teacher
 GM, 6232 posts
Sat 1 Jul 2017
at 21:30
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 62):

Go ahead and send Jubei a note.  He may need a change of scenery.  Then again, he is kind of in the thick of it.

I do want to see the note to the Dragon please.  Thanks.

Akodo Jubei
 player, 506 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Sun 2 Jul 2017
at 00:20
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 63):

(As long as he appears to be of high honor, I think we're good. On Iuchi's letter, it's highly unlikely it's gotten to me yet. If she just sent it now, at best, it'll get to me after I'm done interrogating these guys. The main thing I'm looking for is honor or lack thereof...it's not the sort of letter that's going to get forwarded to me as 'urgent.')
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1302 posts
Sun 2 Jul 2017
at 23:29
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 64):

OOC:  Okay, Lixue's notes are in the private message section.   I hope she has time to get them out before she has dinner with Ochube-san.  :)
Little Teacher
 GM, 6233 posts
Mon 3 Jul 2017
at 02:35
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 65):

It is said thag the men of the Matsu clan live under the shadow of their women. And so they try twice as hard as they feel they are looked down on. Whether that is true or not Matsu Hibari has always be3n one to have a chip on his shoulder. He sits stiffly and bows even more stiffly. Lord Akodo. I beg your forgiveness in not catching sighr pf my superior's treachery. I beg leave to remove this stain from myself.
Doji Arata
 player, 1232 posts
Mon 3 Jul 2017
at 02:37
Doji Arata
Arata grins.

"Oh, but that gives me a most wonderful idea. As luck would have it we have access to some quite extraordinary materials. Would you do me the favor of dispatching a note to the acting general, requesting a dozen signal arrowheads from the army stocks. I shall procure the other things myself."
Little Teacher
 GM, 6235 posts
Mon 3 Jul 2017
at 02:37
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 66):

I will get back to you tomorrow. Hit a little technical snag. Thanks.
Little Teacher
 GM, 6236 posts
Mon 3 Jul 2017
at 02:42
Doji Arata
In reply to Doji Arata (msg # 68):

Meichou nods and leaves to attend to your kimono.

Apparently he had Hawasi send a runner for them. Because the next morning, Hawasi lays them in front of you as he greets you at breakfast. Going hunting?
Akodo Jubei
 player, 507 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Mon 3 Jul 2017
at 02:51
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 67):

Jubei hates to lose a good person...but he does point out, "There are several ways to purge a stain. Choose what you believe will best serve your honor, and the honor of those to whom you swear fealty."

He might commit Seppuku, join the Deathseekers, or any number of other things. But only his integrity can tell him what he feels is right for him. While he could make that decision for him, he'd rather not, and he'd rather let him make his own choice on how best to clear his name.
Little Teacher
 GM, 6237 posts
Tue 4 Jul 2017
at 02:11
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 66):

Within the hour you receive a reply. Oddly, it is from one Kitsuki Okero.

Thank you for your regards it reads after the salutations. If it is no trouble, perhaps you would be willing to dine with me this evening? Or receive me tomorrow? I have many questions regarding Mirumoto-san.
Little Teacher
 GM, 6238 posts
Tue 4 Jul 2017
at 02:13
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 71):

He bows. Arrigato. Now. All I may say is that Lord Iku-san seemed different in the past few months. He had many conversations with Ikoma Sheikei-sama. And...well. I do not know the content of those meetings. But after some, Lord Iku issued odd orders.
Akodo Jubei
 player, 508 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Tue 4 Jul 2017
at 18:07
Akodo Jubei
Jubei considered carefully.

"What sort of orders? They may present clues as to where we need to seek this out next."
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1303 posts
Tue 4 Jul 2017
at 18:36
Iuchi Lixue

Lixue is startled to receive a reply so quickly.  Was her interest expected?  Or is this just something that Kitsuki-san is eager to discuss and she is too tempting an audience to pass up?

She writes a brief (well, brief for a polite message), letting Mitsuki-Kitsuki-san know that she would be delighted to receive him tomorrow morning.  She hopes that she can bring him some peace of mind.

OOC: Does Lixue know anything about Kitsuki Okero?
Little Teacher
 GM, 6239 posts
Wed 5 Jul 2017
at 00:34
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 74):

He resoonds without hesitating. Mostly orders regarding changes to staffing or communications. The orders consolidated a lot of the reporting functions for both his staff and General Fizu-sama's into the hands of a couple of his men. Also, reports from the quartermasters and certain of the guard detail were funneled to the same avenues.

This message was last edited by the GM at 00:35, Wed 05 July 2017.

Little Teacher
 GM, 6240 posts
Wed 5 Jul 2017
at 00:45
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 75):

You sent your mission to the Dragon Mission and he responded. You have not heard of him before now.

Let's move along.


With your letters written, you turn towards your preperations for dining with the Crane. One should not meet a future in-law without at least bathing after all. Though of course this will be the second time you have met Uncle-san.

You clean yourself using the small tub in back of the house. Your maid lays out the robe and obi you have selected, and then cpmes to dry you off. My Lady...Risa-chan is awake. Do you have time to see her?

Risa stirs when you enter and smiles tiredly. You look beautiful Lixue-sama. I thought I dreamed I heard Lord Doji's voice earlier. Was he here?
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1304 posts
Wed 5 Jul 2017
at 01:56
Iuchi Lixue

Seeing Risa awake lifts a shadow from Lixue's thoughts.  It still caused a pang to see the robust Risa so weak, but she was improving--that was the important thing.

She sits by Risa's futon , "You did!  He called this afternoon."  Lixue's smile lights her face, she says quietly. "He asked me to marry him.  Before making any formal arrangements--isn't that so Unicorn?"   She laughs quietly with her joy.  Clearly Unicorn and romantic are the same thing in this matter.
Akodo Jubei
 player, 509 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Wed 5 Jul 2017
at 23:24
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 76):

"One more question...are any of those men still here?"
Little Teacher
 GM, 6241 posts
Thu 6 Jul 2017
at 00:41
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 78):

Risa's eyes go wide. Her hands find their way to her mouth and cover her look of shock and excitement. She tries lifting up her blanket. Oh! I can not be asleep now! There is so much to do. So- She winces and stops moving. Well. There will still be plenty to do tomorrow. Please forgive. I am still tender.

She pats your hand. Does this mean you will be joining the Crane?
Little Teacher
 GM, 6242 posts
Thu 6 Jul 2017
at 00:43
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 79):

He nods. Gisu-san and Osi-san

Osi did not mention that when you spoke to him just before.
Akodo Jubei
 player, 510 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Thu 6 Jul 2017
at 00:58
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 81):

Hmmm. This would be a time consuming task If the people he must speak to do not reveal everything.

"I see. He did not mention that."

Hmmm.
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1305 posts
Thu 6 Jul 2017
at 13:36
Iuchi Lixue

Lixue pauses, and sighs, "I think it is likely.  Ochube-san comes from a more politically minded family than mine.  I suspect that he has significantly more rank and favor, even if we measure such things differently.  I would prefer, for his happiness, to give him the choice of having distance from politics like that.  But likely we will just be swimming through the perfume of court together.   "   Still better than doing that swimming alone, but it is a sacrifice.  "I am meeting him and his Uncle for dinner tonight, so I think we will probably discuss such things."

Lixue gently insists that she rests as much as she needs.  "I have just sent a letter to my mother.  You will have plenty of time to prepare, for now--maybe decide what you wish the maid to do for you?"   Lixue grins at her, "And how you will rule Doji-san's undoubtedly large and fancy house?

She asks, "Should I take Kasuga-san on her offer of help?  Or I could ask Doji-san or even our neighbor to spare a maid." The last would be a spy, but it probably would be very kind to the maid.  Lixue imagines that even Risa is a gentler hand than their unsmiling neighbor.   "You could give orders from your futon until you are feeling better."  She suggests.
Little Teacher
 GM, 6243 posts
Mon 10 Jul 2017
at 01:23
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 82):

Anything else for this guy?  And do you want to proceed to the next?  Or call back the first guy?  Thanks
Little Teacher
 GM, 6244 posts
Mon 10 Jul 2017
at 01:25
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 83):

Risa frowns uncharacteristically when you mention Yuna.  I think we can find a suitable maid from the peasants around.  No need to trouble Kasuga-sama.
Akodo Jubei
 player, 511 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Mon 10 Jul 2017
at 01:49
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 84):

(Call back the first guy, assuming he hasn't committed seppuku already. I gave him permission to atone after all)
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1306 posts
Mon 10 Jul 2017
at 04:22
Iuchi Lixue


Lixue raises an eyebrow.  It is a very curious eyebrow.

She suggests innocuously. "Well, I am sure Doji-san would have some suggestions, and he appears to not mind a generous amount of trouble.  Would you like me to inquire if he knows someone suitable?"

, "Your energy is valuable, and shouldn't be spent on anyone foolish.." Lixue adds practically.

Doji-san would also likely have his own motivations, but Lixue trusts his motivations.    A peasant girl might be easily intimated into spying--or accept a bribe.   But a maid of the Crane would hopefully be more loyal.
Little Teacher
 GM, 6245 posts
Tue 11 Jul 2017
at 03:47
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 86):

Osi returns within the hour. Your adjunct tells you he has been preparing to kill himself, planning the act to occur just before sunrise tomorrow.

Osi bows. Yes Lord Akodo? Is there some duty I may perform for you? He listens to your question and seems confused. I did handle reports for the quartermasters, yes. But I only consolidated the requests made to them. I had nothing to do with the reports they sent back, nor any of the pthers you asked about. I believe Hibari-san handled those he adds, throwing it right back to his accuser.
Little Teacher
 GM, 6246 posts
Tue 11 Jul 2017
at 03:50
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 87):

Risa smiles. Oh. Sorry. A maid from Lord Doji-sama would be fine. I am sure they train their maids well. Just...not from the Kasuga please my Lady. I do not trust them
Akodo Jubei
 player, 512 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Tue 11 Jul 2017
at 05:14
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 88):

Jubei senses a problem here...and has the other man also summoned back.

"Alright. Now that you're both here, I need to know who handled what. It's not a matter of accusing anyone of anything. It's a matter of finding everyone who may still be aligned with Iku-san's goals. And I do not wish to spend the next several hours sending one man out and fetching the other."
Little Teacher
 GM, 6247 posts
Tue 11 Jul 2017
at 23:24
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 90):

There is a problem.

Your men were keeping the lieutenats in a room j til you spoke with them. However, after you were done, the men were allowed to leave.

Hibari departed headquarters. He can not be found. It seems you have an answer as to which of the two men was trustworthy.

Your men begin a search, sending word to the various gates not to allow Hibari to leave the city. They report no mention of Hibari fleeing the city itself. Your men should be able to find him in time.
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1307 posts
Thu 13 Jul 2017
at 02:26
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 89):

"Very well." Lixue agrees with a note of puzzlement.  It wasn't like Risa to be a snob.  "Is there anything I should know?  I trust your insight, of course."

Lixue suspects that Risa is going to keep her thoughts close, but perhaps she'll divulge her suspicions.   If she's not inclined Lixue will entertain her with romantic giddiness until it is time to leave.   Not everything ought to be a strategy session.
Akodo Jubei
 player, 513 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Thu 13 Jul 2017
at 06:57
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 91):

Figures. Well, he perhaps didn't act as wisely as he should've...but in truth, he gave Hibari just enough rope that he hung himself with it.

While waiting for him to be found, he orders the next man in...
Little Teacher
 GM, 6248 posts
Thu 13 Jul 2017
at 23:16
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 92):

Risa frowns and then sighs. I skmply do not trust that person. That Yuna-sama. She seems...false somehow. But I admit that I can not put my finger on it.
Little Teacher
 GM, 6249 posts
Thu 13 Jul 2017
at 23:22
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 93):

You heard someone once say thag Akodo Gisu is an Akodo's Akodo. He enters and sits quickly and calmly. He bows and sits 'at ease', as if he were about to make a typical report. He makes no apologies but does not seem haughty. Lord Akodo, he says with little preamble, I failed in my duty. I assume you will issue orders regarding my punishment. For now though I assume you wish to discuss what I know of the coward's conspiracy. Honto, I know little. I was ordered to consolidate incoming reports into one main report. That report was to be presented to Lor-Former General Iku-san in two copies. I did all this, and believed he was forwarding the report copies where they needed to go.

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:23, Thu 13 July 2017.

Akodo Jubei
 player, 514 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Fri 14 Jul 2017
at 05:45
Akodo Jubei
Two copies.

"Who is most likely to know where those copies were being sent, exactly? We may yet root out the doer of this."
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1308 posts
Sun 16 Jul 2017
at 00:56
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 94):

"I will keep it in mind."  Lixue agrees thoughtfully, although a trifle sadly.  It would be nice to have more friends on such a rocky boat. "And keep my ears open." 
Little Teacher
 GM, 6250 posts
Mon 17 Jul 2017
at 02:39
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 96):

Gisu considers.  I am ashamed to admit I do not know for sure.  I do know that a special courier from the Palace would come by each day, usually before the evening bells.  I believe the courier may have taken them.  This courier was one of the guards from the Palace Watch detail usually.  Though I think once one of Ikoma-sama's assistants came in his place.
Little Teacher
 GM, 6251 posts
Mon 17 Jul 2017
at 02:42
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 97):

Risa nods sleepily.  That is all I ask.  We can only trust family here.  Please make Lord Doji-sama family soon...so...any lingering doubts...may...be  She slumps down, her eyelids closing and her breathing moving to the shallow rhythms of sleep.

You finish dressing for tonight's dinner.  Anything you wanted to do before we get to dinner with the future in-laws?
Akodo Jubei
 player, 515 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Mon 17 Jul 2017
at 04:10
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 98):

A courier? He has a guard go fetch the usual couriers who took Iku-san's correspondence to its destination.

"It's a place to start, but anyone who knows of his disgrace isn't likely to confess to being the one making deliveries."
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1309 posts
Tue 18 Jul 2017
at 00:47
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 99):

OOC: If appropriate, Lixue will choose a gift to bring but otherwise she's good to go. :)
Little Teacher
 GM, 6252 posts
Tue 18 Jul 2017
at 01:35
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 100):

Gisu considers. I think the man who usually did it had a scar on his lip. Here, he points along the left corner of his mouth. I recall some kind of mark on his lip.

Anything else for Gisu?

The guards soon narrow down the possible courier. A man named Ikoma Shiru. He has a jagged scar running along the top of his upper lip and lifting up onto his cheek near the left corner of his mouth. You do not know him. He bows when he is ushered into your office and seems confused. Lord Akodo-sama. What orders have you for this one?
Little Teacher
 GM, 6253 posts
Tue 18 Jul 2017
at 01:36
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 101):

She has time for the gift. I want to rework something. We will pick it up tomorrow night. Thanks
Akodo Jubei
 player, 516 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Tue 18 Jul 2017
at 04:35
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 102):

Jubei was quick.

"I want to know exactly where Iku-san's correspondence went. It is important we find out as quickly as possible."
Doji Arata
 player, 1233 posts
Wed 19 Jul 2017
at 02:41
Doji Arata
"Something like that," Arata says, running one hand over the dark brown eagle feather fletchings before picking out one of the signal arrows. He inspects the bulbous ceramic tip.

"I used to do this sometimes as a young boy," he says as he takes out a tapered, chisel-edged knife which he uses to carefully widen the little holes lining the whistling bulb. He occasionally pauses to blow lightly across the widened aperture, each time producing a slightly deeper note.
"A shrill whistle is useful on the battlefield, but I want this one to cry like an eagle. It is a striking effect if you can get it just right."
Little Teacher
 GM, 6254 posts
Wed 19 Jul 2017
at 02:48
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 101):

Sorry Lixue. Last minute change.

The Crane house seems quiet and tranquil in the light of the setting sun. As you walk up to the gate and pull the bell, you smell lilacs and orchids. The stones of the front walk have been washed and dried. From somewhere behind the house, you catch the scent of a cooking fire.

A maid bows and opens the gate. She beckons you to follow and suprisingly leads you around to the side of the house. A small garden is set there, hydrangeas spaced aroh nd a small, tranquil pool. On a small veranda overlooking it, Uncle-sama sits, sipping from a cup and smiling contentedly as he watches a dragonfly buzz above the surface of the water. He looks up and waves. Ah. Our special guest has arrived. Please come in Iuchi-san. We have muc to discuss. My nephew will be with us soon. A last minute errand came up. It took me all afternoon to think of one so we could have a little time to ourselves. I hope you do not mind. He gestures to a cushion next to him and pours you a cup of plum wine. The dragonfly whisks off into the bushes. He laughs at it for some reason and then shrugs. Well. If you do not mind, can we get the stuffy, pretentious tings out of the way first. Please Iuchi-san. Tell me of yojr family.
Little Teacher
 GM, 6255 posts
Wed 19 Jul 2017
at 02:50
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 104):

He seems puzzled. The correspondence? The package I picked up was always for Ikoma Sheikei-sama.
Little Teacher
 GM, 6256 posts
Wed 19 Jul 2017
at 02:54
Doji Arata
In reply to Doji Arata (msg # 105):

<Orange>Sorry Doji-san. I left my notes on your game behind. I will answer tomorrow. Thanks.</Blue>
Akodo Jubei
 player, 517 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Wed 19 Jul 2017
at 03:31
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 107):

Jubei pauses...

"I was told there was two copies. Where did the other go?"

That may narrow down much.
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1310 posts
Wed 19 Jul 2017
at 14:43
Iuchi Lixue
OOC:  I couldn't find my note on Lixue's parent's names.  I do have notes on their personalities.

Lixue can't help but smile at the tranquil ambassador's manor.  She can just imagine Doji-san getting into one of his Khan-like moods and setting the house in order with thunderous glares and implacable orders.  Or he had the ambassador stuffed into a storage trunk for the evening.

She can't help a little flutter of nervousness as she approaches lovely garden where Uncle-sama has arranged for a quiet meeting. And effortlessly perfect and decorously lovely meeting, because Crane.  Although mostly certain that Uncle-sama likes her, Lixue is wondering what he wished to say without Ochube-san present.  Her courtier training at least makes her seem easy.

Lixue smiles at his invention of an errand as she settles on the cushion next to him.   She accepts the plum wine, and considers his question.  There is a quiet pause of aesthetic appreciation for the garden. "My mother is Iuchi Xuilan She served in the Baraunghar for a time, but after my younger brothers were born she started to serve the clan as a teacher of travel magic.  My childhood was quite boisterous between my brothers and my mother's students whisking themselves to and fro.  My mothers parents, Iuchi Xie and Yoshimi, are mostly retired travel and with us and help tutor some of the students, including my brothers.  My grandmother was also in the army in her youth, and I believe she met by grandfather because of his specialty of healing magic."  Lixue smiles fondly, "My father, Iuchi Benjiru, also served in the Baraunghar, and manages our family's herds."  She smiles over her cup. "Normally, this is where I describe quite extensively the prowess of our steeds.  I know Ochube-san's errand cannot last forever, so I will only point out that Raiden was swift and sure at a gallop through a moonlit forest while under fire by arrows and gaijin powder." Since her family's steeds mostly carry shugenja, they are bred to be fearless in the presence of magic and violence.

Lixue pauses in her explanation to take a dainty sip of wine. "Forgive me for going on so, Kakita-sama, I have a large family.  My parents and grand-parents have been blessed with an affectionate marriage."  She pauses to let him pull on the reins of the conversation.
Little Teacher
 GM, 6257 posts
Fri 21 Jul 2017
at 00:49
Doji Arata
In reply to Doji Arata (msg # 105):

Sorry for the delay.  Had some RL issues

The canal beside your host's abode winds down the street and turns sharply before coming to the edge of the plateau this section of town is built on.  The water spills over the edge and down into a basin below before flowing on into a canal emptying into the market.

Someone has cut a set of stairs to one side of the spillway.  The steps are playfully chaotic.  One section is narrow and steep, while the next is more a series of terraces built slightly below each other.  Your hostess is waiting you on the last one of these.

She is a short woman, slightly pudgy, with a pronounced beauty mark beside her right nostril.  She was probably a beauty once.  Now she is at the point where beauty no longer serves her so much as routine.  Her husband has long since gotten used to her.  If she were to go missing, you imagine he would miss her in the same way he might miss his favorite pair of sandals.  Comfortable.  And broken in.

A maid wearing a distinctive jade colored robe stands beside her, as thin and gaunt as your hostess is pleased and plump.

Ah says the Cuckoo's Sister.  Our Poet does me great honor in meeting with me today.  I thought I might introduce myself while showing you the sights of our city.  I mean the ones you might not usually see.  This one is Uchinda.  I think that is as good a name as any.

We will assume the gift giving ceremony

She smiles, bowing as she gingerly handles the arrow.  I look forward to hearing this bird whistle.  Will you be gracing us with a play Doji-san?  I hear gossip to that effect.  But I learned some time ago not to rely on conjecture.
Little Teacher
 GM, 6258 posts
Fri 21 Jul 2017
at 00:50
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 109):

He shakes his head.  I was only given one copy.  I believe Lord Iku kept the other.
Little Teacher
 GM, 6259 posts
Fri 21 Jul 2017
at 00:58
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 110):

He laughs.  I am glad to hear that.  I think affectionate marriages carry along blood lines.  We are also...mostly...of the same nature.

I suppose I should return information for information.  Here ye the lineage, the proud outstanding lineage, of Doji Ochube-san.
  He smiles kindly.  Well.  Let us go over the abridged version, neh?  My father was Doji Kouke.  That is a surprise.  Kouke was the ambassador to the Royal Court before the events that lead the Empress ascending the throne.  Ochube did not mention that.  My brother and I have seven sisters.  And Ochube-san has three sisters.  He had an older brother.  But Ki-san died of a fever at a young age.  Ochube was but a babe.

My brother and I have mostly tended to the family business of minding other clan's business.  At least that is how I see diplomacy.  As you can imagine, most of my brethren do not share that particular analogy with me.

Now.  What do you know of Ochube-kun's sisters?

Doji Arata
 player, 1234 posts
Fri 21 Jul 2017
at 01:54
Doji Arata
"I personally find that conjecture is often more reliable than promises," Arata says. He waggles his fan in a resigned gesture.
"But my hand is surely forced now, for I cannot be so rude as to tell a lady that she is misinformed. A play there shall be."
Akodo Jubei
 player, 518 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Fri 21 Jul 2017
at 02:31
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 112):

"I understand, thank you."

Well, now he has a name, and it was time to have THAT man summoned in...
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1311 posts
Fri 21 Jul 2017
at 23:05
Iuchi Lixue
Lixue sips the wine as she rummages through her mind about what she knows about Doji Kouke.  Especially such important details as whether he was retired and would Lixue likely have to ever meet him.   Did she know Ochube-kun's other relatives?

She smiles at the apt description of diplomacy, "I shouldn't be surprised.  For Ochube-san to remain as he wished was not something easily done."

"Please understand that Ehin-kun was getting married...well, she poured what she knew in my ears."  Lixue offers as an apology.  Really she doesn't gossip very much, but Ehin-kun and Lady Wahune had such pleasure in it.  And they both needed the cheer. "What she had to say was admirable, that Ochube-san cared for them and arranged happy marriages for them.  That he still visits them from time to time." Lixue pauses a little wistfully as she wonders when she will be able to visit home again. "I believe she still corresponds with Lady Gisa. She sounds like a very pleasant person."

OOC: Rolled an 18 on history -- does Lixue recall any of these people?

This message was last edited by the player at 23:07, Fri 21 July 2017.

Little Teacher
 GM, 6261 posts
Mon 24 Jul 2017
at 01:35
Doji Arata
In reply to Doji Arata (msg # 114):

She laughs. Well said. And if a thing has to be had, a play is a very fine use of a 'had', neh? She smiles without the slightest hint of sarcasm. Have you had rice this morning? There is a fine place for breakfast over there. If not, I think we will first go to the Dyer's Requiem. Everyone should see it at least once before they dress. Have you decided on a theme fpr yoir work?
Little Teacher
 GM, 6262 posts
Mon 24 Jul 2017
at 01:39
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 115):

Keep in mind Ikoma Sheikei is the political attache to Fizu. Well not of your rank, he is considered the lead diplomat for the Lion mission to the province.

You travelled with him during the Princess' trip. He is the one who arranged a reception for you early on.


Sheikei sends word back with the guard he will be there within the hour. Currently he is overseeing a matter for the Governor.

Waiting? Or do you want him brought here with all due haste?
Little Teacher
 GM, 6263 posts
Mon 24 Jul 2017
at 01:45
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 116):

Kouke is retired now, hav9ng taken over the stewardship of a fishing village along the Crane's northern shore. You know little about the man himself. But you would assume, as a future in-law, that you would met him.

Uncle-sama sighs. My nephew is very dutiful to his sisters. Do yourself a favor and ask him to seek a posting far away from them. I believe your Clan has a saying...'A bored fox is twice the burden of a hungry fox'. My neices are always bored.
Akodo Jubei
 player, 519 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Mon 24 Jul 2017
at 04:01
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 118):

(Noted. Unless he's another double agent, he's probably just as eager as I am to end the situation so he can tell the Governor the matter is resolved.)

(In the meantime, let's bring another guy in to question. These questioning sessions won't take the whole hour, I'd think)
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1312 posts
Mon 24 Jul 2017
at 15:16
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 119):

Lixue pauses with a drop of trepidation. "Ochube-san's proposal suggested that we would continue to engage in investigations after marriage.  Would we not continue to travel?" She adds with a sweet faith in her fiancee. "I do not doubt that Ochube-san sincerity, but since it is common for married women to continue their duties among the Unicorn I would not anticipate that anyone might be otherwise."    Besides, Ochube-san's house hold has apparently run itself for years without any input from him.

"I find it surprising that Ochube-san's sisters would be bored." Lixue asks with a note of real puzzlement.  In part because she is not the kind of person who is easily bored.  If there weren't murders that needed justice, then she would surely find something else to make the world around her a little better than it was.
            But also, her clan requires her work in diplomacy, investigation, and managing grumpy ambassadors. "Do they not have their own duties?  Your nephew is a good partner, I would be surprised if he didn't encourage his sisters' talents."
Little Teacher
 GM, 6264 posts
Thu 27 Jul 2017
at 01:06
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 120):

<Orangw>Got it. To avoid confusion, I'm changing his name from the original post. This is the last of the officers as well.</Orange>

Akodo Ukei is an odd one. He is famous...or perhaps 'infamous' is the better choice...for pulling suprise inspections, particularly on the quartermasters.  He is a bit of a neat freak, which in a clan like yours is saying something. While plain in his dress, he somehow manages to convey a level of prisiness. Perhaps it is the crisp manner of his movements. He moves like a small energetic woman who is on her way to market and complaining about her lazy husband and no-accohnt kids all the way there.

He bows precisely and frowns slightly. I am deepky ashamed to be meeting you in this situation Akodo-sama. I do not know what to say. What can I tell you?
Little Teacher
 GM, 6265 posts
Thu 27 Jul 2017
at 01:12
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 121):

He nods, nut you notice he seems a bit relieved. Ah. I thought you might be the type who wished to settle down and create a nest. I forgot the Unicorn are more inclined to fly than hibernate. My apologies.

His sisters are not that kind of women. They value good reputation. And their brother's occupation is necessary but...well. What is the right word.
He sips his tea and considers. It is tnot the kind of work which makes the powerful comfortable. After all. His job is to expose sins. Do you understand what I mean by that?
Akodo Jubei
 player, 520 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Thu 27 Jul 2017
at 01:47
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 122):

Jubei thinks about this man, and what he does best...

"I am hoping you can tell me your surprise inspections uncovered a large cache of weapons or something like that being shipped to an odd location. You may have dutifully reported such a thing, but the reports were being funneled to the wrong place."
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1313 posts
Thu 27 Jul 2017
at 18:49
Iuchi Lixue

Lixue raises an eyebrow.  As though to better balance the questions on her brow, she cocks her head at Kakita-sama. What's the use in sitting around worrying about your reputation? and how well do they know their brother?


She doubts Doji-san's sisters know about the brothel incident.

"Yes."  Lixue admits, quiet and serious. "I don't think that's all there is to an investigation, but I am sure it is often that powerful people benefit from the crime.  Even if they are not directly involved, they will act to hide a crime that benefits them."   

She asks, "Is there a particular person or incident that I should know?  I am aware that..how did Ochube-san put it?  Ah..the names of my enemies would fill a library."   She recalls with a touch of melodrama.   More seriously she says, "I know I will not have a safe life as his partner as well as his wife.   But I have a great difficulty turning aside when there is a crime that needs to be solved. And I would rather have that difficulty with Ochube-kun beside me."
Little Teacher
 GM, 6266 posts
Fri 28 Jul 2017
at 00:38
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 124):

He nods briskly and without hesitation. I did find several odd shipment discerepancies. But none were here at headquarters. They were shipments coming into the docks but were then rerouted to areas outside the city. When I asked about them I was told they were to strengthen our auxiliaries.  He cth8nks a moment. I was never able to learn what auxiliaries exactly...But I do know the shipments would come in from many merchants but then pbe placed int9 the care of 9ne merchant. A 'Gozu'
Akodo Jubei
 player, 521 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Fri 28 Jul 2017
at 04:55
Akodo Jubei
Jubei nods, "Excellent. Can you identify which Gozu? If you can, I'll have him rounded up immediately for questioning."

He's really looking for the solution here.

This message was last edited by the player at 04:55, Fri 28 July 2017.

Little Teacher
 GM, 6267 posts
Mon 31 Jul 2017
at 00:00
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 125):

He chuckles. Ah. My foolish nephew has made at leadt one wise choice. je says with obvious affection for the fool in question. Forgive me. My line of conversation was meant to give you warning. As you state...my nephew's life is a perilous one. Not everyone who says they understand that truly do. I think you obviously do.

There is not one specific enemy who hates him more than most. At least, not to my knowing. No. Our largest enemy is an internal one. We are the family who wipe off the tatamis so to speak. We deal with the situations best kept away from those who must maintain their dignity. Nothing underhanded. At least not that we initiate.

And because we must keep our hands dirty, we are not like to be welcome in the places where everything must remain spotless. Do you take mhh meaning?

Little Teacher
 GM, 6268 posts
Mon 31 Jul 2017
at 00:01
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 127):

He nods. I have seen the man, yes. He is usually on the river, taking shipments here and there. Usually he comes back to the City every fourth day

The day after tomorrow then.
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1314 posts
Mon 31 Jul 2017
at 01:45
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 128):

"I take some meaning." Lixue responds cautiously, "But do I truly understand?  I doubt it."  She smiles faintly, "I recall Ochube-kun referring to an exotic case, and finding he has a much different idea of what is exotic than I do.    If it is important to you that I understand the extent of the complications, it may be best to consider me a Unicorn in this and explain straight out."
Akodo Jubei
 player, 522 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Mon 31 Jul 2017
at 09:09
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 129):

Efficient. He appreciates that.

"I see. We'll have him brought in for interrogation at that time. Thank your for your assistance."
Little Teacher
 GM, 6269 posts
Tue 1 Aug 2017
at 04:22
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 130):

Fair enough I suppose. Our family has some disgrace to it. It was generations ago and far removed from our present circumstances. But you know how these things can linger.

Our duties tend to run towards the matters that might become...messy. Simply put, if there is to be collateral damage, best we should be the ones who take it.

My sister in law had always wished this were not the case. Her daughters were brought up to seek netter for themselves. But...a family name can be a long shadow. No matter if you marry or not. It might be easier for them if my nephew would attempt to step away from the family trade as it were.

Is that plainer?

Little Teacher
 GM, 6270 posts
Tue 1 Aug 2017
at 04:23
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 131):

Your adjunct comes in. Ikoma-sama has sent word he is delayed. Your orders?
Akodo Jubei
 player, 523 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Tue 1 Aug 2017
at 12:55
Akodo Jubei
If Hibari has not been found yet...and given the size of the city, it makes sense he wouldn't be...

"We can wait. Perhaps prepare some tea. So long as he visits and doesn't suddenly flee the city, it is well enough."

He could use some relaxation after all the chats he's been having.

(Unless we find Ikoma fleeing the city or something, but then we've already got guards sealing it off looking for Hibari)
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1315 posts
Wed 2 Aug 2017
at 02:28
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 132):

"I think so."  Lixue frowns, "but I find it hard to imagine Ochube-san giving up his career.  If he were to bow to such a demand, I would have serious concerns for his happiness. And besides, I am certainly unlikely to start turning a blind eye to suffering for the convenience of my sisters-in-law."

She pauses, and offers carefully. "It is an up-side-down kind of suggestion. I recognize that in most courts that you can think of, your family would shine brighter than mine. But if truly this is a problem for his family, I am sure my mother would be thrilled to welcome him into our family.   He would have more..understanding. I am sure my brothers and cousins would find the hunting of criminals to be inspiring work."  She says the last part dryly, picturing the various cousins wide-eyed at the idea of hunting murders and scoundrels.   And perhaps skeptical that there wasn't more punching-of-noses involved in a magistrate's investigations.
Little Teacher
 GM, 6272 posts
Thu 3 Aug 2017
at 01:04
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 134):

Ikoma Sheikei arrives a little more than an hoir later. My apologies Akodo-dono. There have been some issues come up related to the Crane army in the north. I had to assist the Governor in issuing a proclomation. Now. How may I serve you today?
Little Teacher
 GM, 6273 posts
Thu 3 Aug 2017
at 01:11
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 135):

Uncle smiles. Ah. But that would leave our family wothout a future patriarch. My brother and I do not share the same view as our ladies after all. I do not wish to frighten or prejudice you against anyone. But I felt it fair to let you know what the situation was. My nephew has told me of how strong a will you are. I see he was not exaggerating. I think some Unicorn in our blood would do our family a world of good.

He picks up a sake bottle by his elbow and fills both your cups. A toast if you do not mind. To a long career serving the Empire.
Akodo Jubei
 player, 524 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Thu 3 Aug 2017
at 03:31
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 136):

Jubei approaches this one as one who probably wants the current situation solved as fast as possible.

"I was hoping you might know more of Iku-san's dealings. I was out of the city much of the time during these events, and I couldn't have my ear to the ground. Is there anything you can tell me from what you and yours have been overhearing? I was told you got a copy of the reports...if they actually got to you."

Which is totally up for grabs at this point.
Little Teacher
 GM, 6274 posts
Sat 5 Aug 2017
at 18:31
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 138):

Sheikei nods when you mention reports. Oh yes. He provided me almost daily reports on how arming the insurrgents was going. I can have them fetched if you wish.
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1316 posts
Sun 6 Aug 2017
at 01:00
Iuchi Lixue


Lixue raises her glass in honor of the toast--how can one not toast to that?

"Have I satisfied your curiosity, Kakita-sama?"  Lixue asks mildly, wondering whether Ochube-san will be on his errand until she has.
Akodo Jubei
 player, 525 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Sun 6 Aug 2017
at 03:40
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 139):

"We should look them over. I am anxious to see how much false information he was putting in them. Or how much we know he intentionally left out. It could point to clues as to where else to look."
Doji Arata
 player, 1235 posts
Sun 6 Aug 2017
at 22:19
Doji Arata
Arata covers the bottom half of his face coquettishly with his fan.

"Oh, the title? Those are the most important words of the entire play, and so I save them for the very end. After all, only in hindsight do we ever call things by their right names. And as names go, I would have to say that this Dyer's Requiem is a particularly interesting one. I look forward to see if it is also well chosen."
Little Teacher
 GM, 6275 posts
Tue 8 Aug 2017
at 03:00
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 140):

He nods.  Yes.  Now then.  Is there any curiosity you wished satisfied?  There may be some matters I would have to refer to my thick headed nephew.  But if I can, I will answer as best I can. 
Little Teacher
 GM, 6276 posts
Tue 8 Aug 2017
at 03:03
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 141):

He nods, then turns to the door, asking your adjunct to have them fetched.  He returns, seating himself as he says, I am pleased you seem interested in this matter.  While we wait, perhaps I can satisfy some of your curiosity.  What exact questions did you have?
Little Teacher
 GM, 6277 posts
Tue 8 Aug 2017
at 03:22
Doji Arata
In reply to Doji Arata (msg # 142):

She smiles and leads you down the walkway towards the workshops below.  She stays close to the water, and ahead you can hear the sounds of a water wheel.  The path, as well as the stream, comes to a sharp bend.  It sounds like the wheel is just around the corner.  She turns back to you and gestures, smiling, as she says, Dyer's Requiem.  Please be considerate of the workers.

Around the corner is a small platform set on the opposite side of the canal.  On one end, a water wheel as large as a Hida is set up, turning through the power of the current.  It seems attached to a mill of some type.  Not one as large as those the northerners use to grind wheat.  But larger than you would expect for the town.

Quails the size of small children are running about tending to large clay pots.  They push the pots to a slide jutting out from the side of the mill and then push them away again at some point.  Others seal the pots with tight sheets of muslim bound around the neck with thick strands of rope.  The jars are then pushed into the canal, bottom first.  They bob in the water, never quite submerging, and then float with the current down the canal.

To the other side of the platform, a rather odd bird with a large tail of almost garishly covered feathers is seated on a platform.  You recognize it from descriptions you have read of fauna from the Mantis Isles.  How a peacock managed to make it here you can not say.

One of the Quail runs up to the Peacock and asks, What color is this love of yours?

The Peacock rolls his head back rather dramatically and gazes at the sky, a look like a man about to weep for lost love flashing over his face.  Red.  For the color of her cheeks as she shyly looked away when I called her name.

One of the Quail runs forward brandishing a knife.  With the skill of a peasant cutting down tall grass, he slices away at one of the Peacock's tail feathers.  The Peacock groans in the manner of a bad actor and buries his head under a wing, sobbing.  The feather is caught before it can reach the ground and a squadron of Quail whisk it to the mill.

The dyes are floated down stream to the Wisp Collectors Guild.  It is used there to color the cloth the spinners spin.  A robe from them is a treasure.  Would you like to have one made?  We could request a dye while we are here.
Akodo Jubei
 player, 526 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Fri 11 Aug 2017
at 02:08
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 144):

"It is important we weed the rest of the traitors out. Hmmm. Did he include in his reports where weapon shipments were going? He was moving enough material to the bandits that he had to have at least hidden the numbers in the reports somewhere."
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1317 posts
Fri 11 Aug 2017
at 02:24
Iuchi Lixue

Lixue pauses to consider what to ask.  Some of the questions that come to mind are better asked to Ochube-kun directly.  Some it seems his uncle would not be likely to know.  Otherwise just seem a little petty.

"Who are his friends besides myself?"  She inquires, realizing that she hasn't heard Ochube-kun mention his friends.  Perhaps he just fears to be seen as name-dropping, or does not wish his reputation to be a burden to them (Crane can be so odd).
Little Teacher
 GM, 6279 posts
Tue 15 Aug 2017
at 02:14
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 146):

Traitors? Sheikei says the word slowly. He then nods. Oh to be sure. The numbers are well known and the points of shipment are as well. I can not vouch that the recepients of those shipments have no moved since they received them. They each were instructed to remain mobile.

May I interrupt with a question Lord Akodo? Is service to the Clan traitorous?

Little Teacher
 GM, 6280 posts
Tue 15 Aug 2017
at 02:16
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 147):

He sighs. Well. He knows a number of people. But 'friends'...in the truest sense of the word...two. They are currently here, drink8ng sake and talking about him.
Akodo Jubei
 player, 527 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Tue 15 Aug 2017
at 08:27
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 148):

"Of course not."

He hasn't accused the man in front of him of anything. Iku-san, however, deserves the title.
Little Teacher
 GM, 6281 posts
Tue 15 Aug 2017
at 22:38
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 150):

Sheikei smiles. Then if we serve the Clan...bring glory to it...we are true Lion. I agree. Wholeheartedly Akodo-sama. That is why we should act now to seize Naishou.
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1318 posts
Wed 16 Aug 2017
at 02:23
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 149):

Lixue wishes she were surprised. But it seems to be a common thing among Crane.  She had thought that Ochube-san might have had a friend among the magistrates--he seemed to find some common ground with her there when they first met.  "I would like it if Ochube-kun could meet my brothers, spend enough time with them that he might find a friend among them.   Do you think it would be possible for him to spend some time in Unicorn lands after this assignment?"


She adds thoughtfully.  "I've noticed that most Crane I've met have difficulty finding a good friend.  For all their exquisite manners.  Why is that?  It is not as though Ochube-kun's jokes are that bad.."
Akodo Jubei
 player, 528 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Wed 16 Aug 2017
at 06:35
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 151):

Jubei thinks about that.

"Naishou would take a great expenditure of resources and manpower to maintain. The wall would have to be completely redone to get it to acceptable levels, and that's just defense. On top of everything else wrong with the city...it is more of a burden to give to a foe than a prize to be claimed."

He could doublecheck with father, of course, but...he's not seeing a tactical advantage to keeping the city on his own.

(OOC:I do recall being told Naishou is a terrible place to claim, several threads ago.)
Little Teacher
 GM, 6282 posts
Fri 18 Aug 2017
at 01:19
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 152):

He has not told you the one about the Scorpion. the Monk, and the one legged kimono salesman then. He laughs and looks up at the setting sun. It is already dusk. It seems it was dawn just moments ago. Ah. Age. Uncle-sama sighs. Honto. It is not that way. Friendships are deep and frue amongst my clan. But you have seen the worst of us I am sure.

It may be possible for the two of you to visit your home. But my nephew will be assigned new duties soon. This stop over in Naishou was to be temporary anyway. But...I will see what I can arrange.

Now. My addle headed nephew will be joining us soon. Ask me anything. Surely there is more you wish to know.

Little Teacher
 GM, 6283 posts
Fri 18 Aug 2017
at 01:23
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 153):

You are correct. Sheikei doesn't seem to agree.

You did pick up on the fact he seems very well acquainted with Iku's scheme right?


Sheikei shrugs. Everything has a value. Even if it is just decoration. More importantly, a prize sbould be given to the most deserving. Who is stronber and nmore noble than the Lion?
Akodo Jubei
 player, 529 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Fri 18 Aug 2017
at 02:26
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 155):

(OOC:Hmmm. Is this a courtier type roll situation where I can lead the conversation to get him to reveal something he'd perhaps rather not?)

Jubei's starting to wonder. Particularly since he seemed...offended when he mentioned traitors earlier.

"It's the quality of the prize that is up for debate. And the allocation of manpower requires to keep it. But tell me...what strategic value does Naishou have? What does owning it really bring the Lion in general?"
Little Teacher
 GM, 6284 posts
Sat 19 Aug 2017
at 04:21
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 156):

Yep. Though he is a skilled diplomat, he seems to be acting slightly emotional as you pointed out in your post. Your post is a good lead in  y the way. Nicely done.

Sheikei answers a bit too quickly. Like he has thought about this. There is always value in land. And Naishou is reasonably fertile. It borders the Crane, which allows us to pressure them if we see fit. The level of craftsmanship among the local artisans is not on par with the Crane. But they do rank above our own. Lastly, any prize that is denied an enemy is a value u to itself, neh Akodo-dono?
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1319 posts
Sun 20 Aug 2017
at 02:20
Iuchi Lixue

Lixue smiles over her cup, taking a moment to hide her disappointment that she cannot steal Ochube-san to Unicorn lands so easily..or at least not for very long.

She sits a little straighter as an important question zings to her thoughts. "Actually, there are at least two.  Does your nephew still like dogs?"   That seems quite an important question, and not only because Lady Wahune is sure to ask. "And also--what errand did you send him on and how did you get him to agree?"

Not that she planned to manipulate Ochube-san.  Other people tried to do so quite enough. But knowing how to convince him (in case there was a great urgency) was a good thing to know.
Little Teacher
 GM, 6285 posts
Mon 21 Aug 2017
at 22:39
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 158):

Uncle-sama cocks an eyebrow at your first question. He was not expecting it. Oh. Hai. He is still the fool for drooly tongue and wagging tail. Do you own one? That might help explain the extent of his attachment to you.

As far as the errand...
A sly grin comes across his face. The blackest of mail. I threatened to tell you the turtle story were he not to fetch something from the temple. And true to my word I will not tell it. He leans closer and says in a conspiratory whisper, Though there is a servant here very familiar with the tale who can be tasked with brining a refill of tea should the Lady desire it.
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1320 posts
Tue 22 Aug 2017
at 17:48
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 159):

"I was thinking of getting Ochube-kun a hound.  They have been good luck for my parents."   She admits a little wistfully,  "and it is a good friend for a magistrate to have."

She shakes her head no at the offer to obtain the story through..sly means.  "I am, of course, very curious--but I think it may be better to save for a rainy day.  This evening has so much excitement already."   It seems unkind to harrow Ochube-san more than he has.  His uncle can be a bit...dastardly..it seems.  It is probably better he doesn't know about the brothel.
Akodo Jubei
 player, 530 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Wed 23 Aug 2017
at 02:14
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 157):

"A prize is only a prize if it can be kept. You have spoken the truth...all that you say is the case. But Naishou changes his hands more than women change clothes. Over the past 10 years, it has been in the hands of 6 of the Great Clans. And that trend isn't likely to end. And while assaulting the city is easy, defending it is a task very few in history have managed. And most of them only once or twice."

Pause.

"So in the long run, it's best to let enemies hold it...and waste their manpower trying to defend it. We have the largest army, it is true. But that means our opponents trying to hold this city have less to lose, and any portion of their forces lost is a greater part of their forces."

In short, he sees the city like a trap. A trap to let opponents have...and weaken themselves on.

"If the Crane were our primary problem at the moment, I'd arrange for them to get the city...and the impossible task of holding it. Or even running it. Look at all the trouble Miya-sama has with fake ministers and bandits and all the rest of it. Such problems are best given to an opponent."

If this is the correct fish, perhaps he will bite, and claim he can make those problems magically disappear. Presumably by calling off his own forces.
Little Teacher
 GM, 6286 posts
Wed 23 Aug 2017
at 02:42
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 160):

Uncle-sama laughs and drops the matter. The two of you converse about his travels through the Empire.

It is not long after Ochube strides in. He smiles as he sees you, greeting you properly, though perhaps wishing to be a bit less formal about it. He glances at Uncle than you. So...have a nice talk?
Little Teacher
 GM, 6287 posts
Wed 23 Aug 2017
at 02:44
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 161):

Sheikei answers studies the floor a moment. But...if these things were not an issue...then I think Naishou might be a prize.
Akodo Jubei
 player, 531 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Wed 23 Aug 2017
at 04:12
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 163):

"We wish for many things, but those things aren't reality. Bandits and fake ministers are, I think, just the beginning, and things are going to get worse before they get better. Let someone else have the burden...and lose the manpower...rooting out problems like these."

Pause...

"My best efforts have yielded no solutions, after all. And 3 problems grow back whenever I neutralize one."
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1321 posts
Wed 23 Aug 2017
at 16:11
Iuchi Lixue

Everyone has that wish for secrets that don't belong to them, and Lixue's is sorely disappointed by her deciding not to pry.  Even if Kakita-sama was dangling it like a feather in front of a kitten.  Besides the story itself, she is very curious about why Doji-san doesn't want it told? Does he fear looking silly?  Cruel to turtles?

Well, perhaps she'll find out some day.

Lixue smiles to see him, and it is a smile like taking off your fanciest shoes after a long day. "Yes, will you sit with us?" She replies simply, as she goes through the formal greeting. "I was telling your uncle something of my family.  I hope I can introduce you to my brothers and my family's herd this summer.    She admits, a little shyly.  "I have been, perhaps, day-dreaming a little about what kind of steed you will end up with."

Very well, she has been speculating quite a bit.   She would like to take him out to the great pasture and see if Namoku, the fortune of the horses would make a horse-partnership for him.

In the very least he must have a fine Unicorn horse to ride.
Little Teacher
 GM, 6289 posts
Sun 27 Aug 2017
at 21:05
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 164):

Sheikei considers a moment. May I ask Akodo-dono to indulge me a moment? What if the disturbances could be dealt with? Is it not possible that with Iku-san's exsposure as a saboteur, the situation may bec9me more straightforward?
Little Teacher
 GM, 6290 posts
Sun 27 Aug 2017
at 21:13
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 165):

Ochube laughs. I think you may be a firey enough partner. I am not sure I can handle a new steed of your Clan's lineage at the same time. The bond between rider and steed is as personal as siblings, neh?
Akodo Jubei
 player, 532 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Mon 28 Aug 2017
at 02:30
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 166):

Jubei shakes his head once...

"If I thought he was the head of this serpent, then you may have a point. I think the leadership of the enemy goes higher than Iku-san."
Little Teacher
 GM, 6291 posts
Mon 28 Aug 2017
at 23:32
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 168):

Sheikei raises an eyebrow. Oh? And whom does my Lord suspect?
Akodo Jubei
 player, 533 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Tue 29 Aug 2017
at 03:03
Akodo Jubei
Jubei doesn't name names, there's not enough evidence of that.

"Unknown. But he was sending reports to someone. And the bandits are not currently acting leaderless. They seem to be following someone even still. It feels more like Iku-san was #2 or #3. A big loss...but not the head."
Doji Arata
 player, 1236 posts
Wed 30 Aug 2017
at 00:51
Doji Arata
"I would hardly think me worthy of such a thing," Arata says politely, but his eyes gleam with unsuppressed desire.
"But I find that Naishou cares little what I think. Perhaps it would not be so wrong to indulge a little. Say, my lady, what color would you pick for me?"
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1322 posts
Wed 30 Aug 2017
at 01:15
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 167):

Lixue looks pained for a moment, feeling rejected by the dismissal of her romantic gesture.  She is quiet for a moment.   She hopes that Ochube-san only speaks from ignorance. "It is an important thing." She says softly,  "to those in my clan it shows that you are held in esteem.  That I know you well enough to choose well.  And it will be a comfort in times of conflict to know that you will have someone besides myself to guard you."

She glances at him uncertainly, "You've mentioned that you don't particularly care for the Crane arts. So I haven't inflicted anything on you. If not with a fine horse, how am I to court you?"
Little Teacher
 GM, 6292 posts
Wed 30 Aug 2017
at 02:36
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 170):

Hmmm. I see. What shall we do now Lord Akodo?
Little Teacher
 GM, 6293 posts
Wed 30 Aug 2017
at 02:39
Doji Arata
In reply to Doji Arata (msg # 171):

She titters. There are not many Naishou takes the consul of. She considers you a moment. <Pink>Blue and silver for your clan. But that is so...expected. Black as ink. And white as paper. Perhaps you could consider some sort of motif to include?</Blue>
Little Teacher
 GM, 6294 posts
Wed 30 Aug 2017
at 02:49
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 172):

Uncle-sama lays a hand on your elbow. I beg your pardon for my nephew's ignorance. He truly does not know what you were asking.

He glances at Ochube, who does look confused. Uncle chuckles at his nephew and then sighs. Marriage can be an uncertain thing. Even for those lucky enough to have feelings for one another. As in most things, communication is key. Part of communication is listening. He taps his ears. These are not for decoration.

Ochube bows quickly. I am sorry. I... He seems at a loss.

Uncle-sama smiles at you. May I make a suggestion? Tell us of your steed. Raiden is his name, yes? Why did you name him as such? What does he run like? How can you tell when he is angry or joyful. He nods. Your clan has a saying, 'If the path were easy, it would not be worth taking', do they not?
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1323 posts
Wed 30 Aug 2017
at 18:29
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 175):

Lixue gives a Ochube a sorrowful look.  She isn't angry..but it is a disappointment.   Ah, well it's better to know where our limits were than to paint a picture of him as some perfect dream hero.    Isn't that was got the Akodo into so much trouble last winter?

Lixue looks away shyly, "This is a little embarrassing.. "But it is how I met my steed.  It is not how any of my brother's met their horses.  But, well it may explain much of our family.  Perhaps two summers before I was sent to school, I was riding the herds with my brother, Yoshikage.  It may seem strange that our parents did not mind their children riding for miles by themselves.  But it is not uncommon.  Perhaps Unicorn children are so lively that our parents are willing to risk for piece and quiet. We were attended by one of my father's dogs to be our chaperone--a story for another time.  And our ponies, the ones entrusted with children..well they are quite sensible."   There is a hesitation to her words, as though this is not a story she has told before.   She admits, "and perhaps our parents did not know how far we were going, or that we were looking for a lion that had been troubling the herd.  But in our own minds, we were great heroes and our steeds were Utaku battle horses.   It likely does not surprise you, Ochube-kun, that with my luck I found the lion."   She says this with a touch of humor.  "In retrospect, it was probably a scraggly thing with one tooth it's mouth. Driven out from Lion lands for being too old and scruffy.  But it had trapped one of the mostly wild yearlings in between the steep banks of a creek--it was a dry summer--and the yearling could not easily climb out." 

She is embarrassed by her youthful impetuous courage. "I was outraged.  I put my heel to my pony and drove my spear at it like a lance.  Somehow I managed to not become lunch myself, or fall off.  And there was a spear sticking out of the lion.  And my father's dog was looking very pleased with itself as well." She wrings her hands in embarrassment--it sounds like the most dramatic, child's story. "I stayed with the foal, who was injured, and my brother rode back to get my father.  He helped us retrieve the foal, and I demanded to be able to keep the foal if I could nurse him back to health."  She smiles fondly, "I think my father was hoping the responsibility would keep me from further adventures.  And it worked until Raiden was old enough to ride.  I named him Raiden because for a long time he had scars like lightning bolts in his black hide.  I think there was a scarred warrior in one of my brother's pillow books. And he would stomp when he was displeased, he was very dramatic until his 4th year--not getting fed first, not being admired properly..stomp stomp stomp."   Lixue smiles fondly.

Lixue smiles, "It is easy to tell if he's angry.  He flattens his ears and bares his teeth. When he is pleased, his ears are up and his tail is waved like a pennant.  His run is different depending on the terrain--but he always seems more gathered than other horses.  As though we might have to leap at any moment."
Little Teacher
 GM, 6295 posts
Fri 1 Sep 2017
at 03:00
Iuchi Lixue
Nice work

Uncle-sama nods. Please forgive me if this is an intrusion. But I think it important my nephew understand the intimacy of the relationship you have with Raiden.

At the same time, it is important you understand some of the thought processes of the Crane. Hmm. Let me consider. Ah. Tell me Iuchi-chan: did you have to 'train' Raiden? How did you go about the learning process of riding?

Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1324 posts
Fri 1 Sep 2017
at 23:00
Iuchi Lixue

Lixue considers.  "I am sure that it was expected that I would train Raiden given our..exciting..beginning.  But honto?  I cannot imagine not helping train him.  And as I was quite young, my father guided us closely.  I believe he used the opportunity to teach me how to train a horse.  It brought us closer together."  She glances, still a little uncertain if Ochube-san would want a steed that she trained for him. "But my eldest brother did not train his own horse--he seemed to get along very well with one of the foals from my mother's mare."

When asked about learning to ride the pause is longer.  Finally, "I don't entirely remember.  Does a baby remember learning to walk? I am sure I remember seeing my mother with my younger brother wrapped before her.   I must have been so with me as well.   Learning to ride properly on a pony, perhaps around five years old." 

She blushes and looks aside, "I am sure my brother helped me on his pony before it was quite proper.   What else is an older sibling for?"

Lixue gives Kakita-sama and Ochube-san a questioning look.   She is not entirely sure why they are asking these questions, particularly.

And now that she is asked about the traditional skills, a question blooms in her mind. "If I may, Ochube-kun.  Why do you not care for any of Crane arts?   You clearly take pleasure in seeing the story of a case come together.   You like a neat proverb, more than most.  What makes these things appealing and not a story or a poem?"
Akodo Jubei
 player, 534 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Sat 2 Sep 2017
at 03:35
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 173):

Jubei considered his reply carefully.

"We still have influence with Miya-sama. I believe we can nudge the city into the hands of the people we'd like to deal with all these problems. A well placed word here, a suggestion there...and this all becomes an enemy's problem."
Little Teacher
 GM, 6296 posts
Tue 5 Sep 2017
at 00:10
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 178):

I do not dislike stories or poetry. I just find them...unrealistic.

Ochube shrugs slightly. I can be stirred by fine words. Make no mistake. But tales are...how should I put it...self serving? When you are seated for a play, you usually have some idea if it is a tragedy or a comedy. Or you are familiar with the legend it is based on. So more or less you know how it will be resolved. There is little suspense.

But even then, I could enjoy the different viewpoint a tale is told from. But then comes perhaps my second and more major problem: the way they do not conform to reality. Consider the things we have gone through. If these were plots of a pillow book, would they not have resolved themselves much more cleanly?

This message was last edited by the GM at 00:11, Tue 05 Sept 2017.

Little Teacher
 GM, 6297 posts
Tue 5 Sep 2017
at 00:12
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Akodo Jubei (msg # 179):

He cocks an eyebrow. I see. And which enemy do you think should be given this...'opportunity'?
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1325 posts
Thu 7 Sep 2017
at 01:29
Iuchi Lixue

Lixue considers this thoughtfully, "Well, we may be in one of those stories where the author is cheaply trying to generate interest in the next book by leaving things unresolved.   I think of some of the things that have happened since I left Unicorn lands.."  She smiles ruefully over her cup, "I am more forgiving of an unlikely plot."   Her quip is good natured, as she does not intend to try to convince Ochube-kun of anything.  It is interesting to see thoughts behind his preferences.

She glances at his Uncle with an easy amusement. "Has your Uncle's questioning given you any insight, Ochube-san?"   Even if it had not, it was a well-placed distraction.  Lixue resolves to recall this technique while in court.  It was very effective.
Little Teacher
 GM, 6298 posts
Fri 8 Sep 2017
at 01:07
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 182):

Ochube smiles. With my Revered Uncle, there is a truism: the more out of place the distraction, the more insightful it tends to be.

Posh, poshes Uncle-sama,smacking his nephew lightly on the top of his head with a fan. I am never out of place. You must work on curing him of his insolence Icuchi-san. Now. Let us discuss matters...

Did you have anything specifc you wished to discuss with Uncle and Ochube? If not, we will be moving along. Thanks.
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1326 posts
Sun 10 Sep 2017
at 04:45
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 183):

OOC: Yes, I wanted to ask to borrow a maid while Risa recovers and let Ochube-san know that Lixue is meeting a Dragon tomorrow am.  Would you just like to have done and move on?  Or should I write it out all fancy? :)

Little Teacher
 GM, 6299 posts
Mon 11 Sep 2017
at 03:15
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 184):

I forgot you wanted to talk to him abput the Dragon. Please proceed. Thanks
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1327 posts
Mon 11 Sep 2017
at 03:38
Iuchi Lixue
Lixue lets the subject turn light before she mentioning to Ochube-san, "In hopes of closing one of those plot holes you so dislike, I am meeting with Kitsuki Okero tomorrow. Have you met him?"  She asks innocently, "I have never heard of him, but I'm curious about meeting one of the famed Kitsuki."
Little Teacher
 GM, 6300 posts
Tue 12 Sep 2017
at 01:53
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 186):

Both Ochube and Uncle-sama stop and look at you. You seem to have surprised them.

Uncle-sama shakes his head at his nephew. It is probably a different man with the same name.

Well it would have to be, Ochube says in reply. Sorry Lixue-chan. We did not mean to talk apart from you. It was a surprise though. Okero is the name of the Empress' father.
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1328 posts
Wed 13 Sep 2017
at 01:42
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 187):

Lixue is completely still for a moment.  Like a deer who has seen the tiger's footprint on her path. The Empress' father, here?!  It's not possible.  "Well, I can hope that you are correct, but perhaps you might loan me a maid just in case?  Risa will never forgive herself for being ill when royalty visits."

She pauses, "What does he look like?  I agree that it's unlikely for such a person to go around without a retinue.."  There is a little pause at the end that suggests that Lixue does not underestimate the eccentricity of Dragons.
Little Teacher
 GM, 6301 posts
Fri 15 Sep 2017
at 04:39
Iuchi Lixue
In reply to Iuchi Lixue (msg # 188):

Uncle-sama shakes his head. Sorry. I was being confusing. It can not be the same man because her father died years ago.

Ochube frowns. If we were not in Naishou. But we are. Ochube turns to you. Sorry. Uncle and iI are having a long running debate about Naishou. Does t2his province seem strange to you? I mean...really strange?
Akodo Jubei
 player, 535 posts
 Daimyo's son
 Future General
Fri 15 Sep 2017
at 09:14
Akodo Jubei
In reply to Little Teacher (msg # 181):

Jubei considers...

"I'll have to confer with father about that. This is a heavy disadvantage to place, but once placed, it'll be a lingering problem. And not easily transferred should I miss a greater threat."

He has some ideas about where to put the poisoned fruit, but...
Iuchi Lixue
 player, 1329 posts
Sat 16 Sep 2017
at 02:49
Iuchi Lixue


Lixue paused at this strange conversation that she might be meeting with a dead person. "Well, regardless of whom I'm meeting. Risa would appreciate the loan of a maid, if you can spare one.  It would be a great consolation to her."

She considers her words to answer Ochube-san's questions.  And there is something stern in it, perhaps a little grim.  She saw this strangeness as a threat.  "Of course it is strange.  And not in an amusing way. If it weren't for duty--and that I could not convince you to withdrawal--I would gather up you and my household and ride hard for the Unicorn border."   She frowns, "I know many will say that Unicorn are too fanciful and so be it.  But there is something in the loss of memory, those butterflies, the way the buildings are put together..."   She cannot quite put words to it, and she skirts the edge of poetry to describe the feeling, at least. "I think we are seeing a shadow, the bent stalks. Oh certainly, there are the usual problems too.  The Lady Miya, the bandits and ronin..but there is something else moving in grass.

Lixue shakes her head.  "I do not know how that Phoenix shugenja ignores it--or pretends too.  Either she is a terrible shugenja or is trying to use it to her advantage."