An Interview with Matsu Ketsui

Mirumoto Christopher (muttering to self): I've got to stop letting Hoshi set these things up…no good will come of this. If I didn't know better, I'd think he was TRYING to get me killed…

Kakita Brent (stepping into room): Hello! So, what's on the agenda today?

Mirumoto Christopher: Nothing I can't handle! You've got the day off…go duel something!

Kakita Brent (eyes shining): Sweet!

ZOOM!

Mirumoto Christopher (wiping brow): That was easy…

Matsu Ketsui: Dragon! Come and interview me! I, Matsu Ketsui, daimyo of the Matsu, Hero of the Battle of the Thunder Plain, has no time to be wasted! Death, glorious death in battle calls to me even now!

Mirumoto Christopher (muttering): Yeah, we wouldn't want you to miss that, Ketsui-sama.

Mirumoto Christopher: I hate to keep this short, but seeing how busy and important you are, I'll do my best. I'm surprised that you took the time to come all the way up into the mountains; how exactly did Lord Hoshi get in touch with the Matsu, anyhow?

Matsu Ketsui: Your lord is a respected and feared commander, who has been known to crush mens' skulls with his middle and ring fingers…I admire that.

Mirumoto Christopher (scooting backwards): OK…

Matsu Ketsui: But of course you must understand that I can not reveal our military secrets, Dragon…if THAT is your ploy, then you will be defeated by my honor!

Mirumoto Christopher: No, no, no…nothing like that! I'm sure that running at someone while swinging a sword is something of a precise art…merely hearing about it would NEVER be enough to master it.

Matsu Ketsui: Just so you know.

Mirumoto Christopher: OK…here's a question: what the heck did we ever do to you? Rumors say that the Lion are going to ally with the Phoenix against us…care to explain that?

Matsu Ketsui: Well, at the Battle of the Great Climb, speculation has said that the Mirumoto commanders intently retreated, thus dishonoring the prowess of the Matsu. Furthermore, at the Battle of Humility's Lesson, the Dragon support troops arrived late in the battle, forcing many noble Matsu to lose their lives…<deep breath>…blah, blah, blah…

Mirumoto Christopher (looking at clock): Oh, this is taking way too long…

Matsu Ketsui: …and so you see, genocide is fully justifiable. You see, right?

Mirumoto Christopher: Well, of course, but…hey, isn't that 'noble death on the battlefield' calling? You've been great, but its time to rush, unfettered, into the fray, and…

Kakita Brent (from open door): YOU!

Matsu Ketsui: YOU!

Mirumoto Christopher: CRUD!

Kakita Brent: I KNEW that I smelled something! Hey Lion, you get lost again? Beat it, before I give you a much-deserved thrashing, iaijutsu-style!

Matsu Ketsui (snatching up katana): Bring it on, you…um, you CRANE!

Mirumoto Christopher (stepping between the two): Hey, hey now…nobody's going to "bring it on" here in the temple! I JUST cleaned the scorch marks from Uji-sama!

Kakita Brent: Fine…OUTSIDE! Come on and let's do this thing, bee-yatch!

Matsu Ketsui: I'll gnaw your bones!

Mirumoto Christopher: …You do know that you're not REALLY a Lion…right?

Mirumoto Christopher (to Brent): You have a job to do first! No killing before we at least finish the interview, right?

Kakita Brent:

Mirumoto Christopher (to Ketsui): And Hoshi personally asked you here…you wouldn't dishonor yourself by killing an interviewer before we're done…right?

Matsu Ketsui:

Mirumoto Christopher (taking seat): Everybody sit down…that's better. So, Ketsui, guess there's no need to hurry now, huh? So, tell us a little bit about your battle experiences; I mean, you must have seen your share of battles. Got any good stories?

Matsu Ketsui (thinking): No, not really…no.

Kakita Brent: Boy, I'm sure glad I didn't just kill her. This is much more entertaining. But in all honesty, Ketsui…I'm surprised that you're still around. Matsu don't tend to have long life spans, what with the stabbing and charging and all.

Matsu Ketsui: Actually, Crane, I have a long and difficult training to fall upon; my skills have been honed by years of warfare. Even the Matsu gempukku…

Kakita Brent: Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's nice. Ever fought at Shiro no Yogin, cause I hear that's where the TRUE strength of the Lion Clan came shining through.

Mirumoto Christopher (taking notes): Ooooo, that's low.

Matsu Ketsui (lower lip trembling): Well, no…I just, I just…

Kakita Brent: What's wrong there Ketsui? Hit a soft spot? I mean, if you can't stand the heat, get the hell off the battlefield!

Mirumoto Christopher: Brent, stop it…I think she's…crying.

Kakita Brent: WHA??? Matsu don't cry! MATSU DON'T CRY!

Matsu Ketsui (blubbering): You know, it isn't easy being the Matsu daimyo…I mean, you ALWAYS have to <sniff, sniff> be tough… Sometimes, you just want to…<sniff, sniff> I wanted to be a ballerina! Wah!

Mirumoto Christopher (staring at Brent): …

Kakita Brent: What?

Mirumoto Christopher (still staring): …

Matsu Ketsui: No one asked me if I wanted this duty…! It's hard! Working all alone, no friends, no one to <sniff> talk to!!! I'm so alone!

Kakita Brent: No, no way, Chris! A samurai's not supposed to lose face like this! It's not my fault! I'm not gonna do it!

Mirumoto Christopher (STILL staring): …

Matsu Ketsui: Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!

Kakita Brent: …sigh.

Kakita Brent (moving over beside Ketsui, touching shoulder): There there, there there.

Mirumoto Christopher: Wow, for once, I'm not the one crying at the end of the interview…

Matsu Ketsui: I'm sorry…it's just that…I'm sorry. <sniff, sniff> I'm OK now, really. Thank you, Kakita-san.

Kakita Brent: What did you just say?

Mirumoto Christopher: Let it go, man…let it go.

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Kakita Brent (waving as Ketsui heads back to the Matsu lands): You know, she's really not that bad. A bit on the emotional side, but not bad at all.

Mirumoto Christopher: A ballerina, huh?

Kakita Brent: Well, anyway, I guess that you're just happy it ended without any slicing and dicing. Personally, I'm kinda disappointed, so say your goodbyes, I'm heading back to the training ground.

Mirumoto Christopher: Yeah, but tears are a LOT easier to clean up than blood. Another successful interview…nobody died, I wasn't blubbering…I think we're starting a trend. Until next time, sayonara!

 

The End (for now…)