A Unwanted Beginning

by Seppun Takuma 



         The sake is still good but the feeling just isn't there. Opposite me sits Saito, having the same feelings. Such good sake doing to waste. Almost a crime!

"The power involved was huge. The shugenja said that it was on the level of a master of the elements." Saito 's face showed a man who had been busy and is currently very tired. "Yori-sama must be a lot more powerful than anyone realizes to face such a opponent." I heard the message.

"Are you saying that Yori-sama is as powerful as a elemental master?"


"Hai." Saito held his cup to his mouth. "That isn't all. Never was any good with your face." I remember what my father use to say, "Honor is life Takuma! But everyone make their own decision on how to live it." I took my time drinking my sake, giving Saito time to decide.




I nearly drop my cup. The grave look on my friend's face showed just how serious the situation is. "The shugenja is sure of it?" I hope on the Fortunes that he isn't.


"The shugenja is sure. Not only that,he is also sure that both parties were using maho."


"But Yori-sama is highly respected. Surely you do not think that he is a maho-user." I remember the first time I met Nakayama's father.At the dojo. It was my fourth day there and a kindly old man with laughter in his eyes and honor in his heart came up to me and asked for directions to the sensei. A tainted villain. Impossible.


"There is no doubt." Saito seems to have a hard time accepting the fact as well. He liked Yori-sama. "Imura-sama as asked the Asahina school to sent someone well versed in maho to help our investigation. Until the shugenja arrives, we are to search for Nakayama."


"You believe that he is using blood magic?" I am surprised at how neutral my voice sounded.


Saito took another drink. "I do not believe that he is, but his father definitely is." He looked at me in the eyes. I simply shook my head.


"I will be returning to Otosan-Uchi in a few days. Susake believes that staying here any longer will be a waste of time." The surprise look on Saito's face was expected.


"So soon?"


"Yoshi-sama has assured us that the Crane army is merely rebuilding, not preparing for war against the Lion."


"And that idiot do not believe Yoshi-sama." Anger crept into his voice "The Lion deserved war but the Emperor commanded peace so peace there will be."


"In Shiro no Kakita,there are many people who will disagreed with you on the last point."


"And you blamed them?"Not one bit.


"Like you say. The Emperor has commanded peace." Anger creeped onto his face. "Susake believes that Yoshi-sama does not want war." Saito's face showed surprise again."However, Kuwannon-sama and Uji-sama...."Saito took a sip of sake. Both of the Crane daimyos are mighty samurais who were in charge of the Crane army during the Clan War. The Lion took Shiro no Kakita by force but retreated instead of staying to defend it against Fu Leng's Shadowland horde. It is not something that an imperial edict can just make right.


"When are you leaving?"


"In the next few days. Can you sent me any news as soon as possible?"


"I will. If allowed. "Yes.Asahina  Yori was a Crane shugenja, it may be necessary for the Crane to keep discreet things that may come up on the investigation. "Hai, I understand. I will be awaiting your news." 

Saito lifted his cup, "Here. To your trip back to Otosan-Uchi."


"And to you finding our friend." We into each other eyes again. No words were spoken,none were needed. We both nodded along.