(Clan Crane)

 

Master,

I have taken all I can, and now it is time for me to do my duty by my clan.

I know that our people-for they are my people now, when no others are-are masters of deception and treachery. I know that we have stood for ages against the iron rule of the Kami and that our battle against the Shadow has been with secrecy and hidden knives. But we cannot fight the battle that way anymore.

On the beach, I saw the body of the ronin who was to carry the True Tao back to its masters-the half not stolen by Toshimoko. The man was dead, his face torn and faded like sand beneath the wave. In our wisdom, we took the Tao from the Emperor before the Shadow could corrupt it-that much is true-but in our arrogance we have kept it for too long. Now see what we have done: lost one half forever.

Even we cannot save the Empire from our twisted plots and corrupted plans.

Kill me if you must, Kage, but know that now I give my life for the sake of the Empire, the Crane, and the purpose of the Ten Masters.

I will see Rekai safely to the temples, and I will give my life, if I must, to keep the Tao safe from the erasure of the Shadow. If the Kolat save the Empire from one threat-the Kami-then we must be prepared to save it from all who would tear it down. I will do my part in this, and then I will return to you.

This much I swear, by the Oniís Eye.

Asahina Dorai