"A swordsman who has lost his arm, can never sheath his blade." You shake the words of the dead from your mind, and awake to your dark and damp cell once again. Five days ago it had rained, and since then the dripping has never, ever, stopped. The rats come and go as they please, but are smart enough to never approach. Ten days is a long time for a man to be left to his own thoughts, there is a darkness that exists at the edge of the mind that should never be allowed to overflow. Yet what is a man to do with so much time on his hands, but debate with the darker parts of himself? "He can distract himself", you are quick to remember. So apart from cutting apart anything that moves, you do your best to distance yourself from current self by pouring through your faded memories. Attempting to piece together exactly how you ended up here, as well as sorting through your sordid past. Unfortunately, are no closer to putting the pieces together despite all your free time. Sake is often both the bane, and only companion, of the travelling vagabond. It clouds the mind, and buries memories far on the edges. You brace yourself as footsteps begin to come near. As soon as the guard shows his face, you draw your blade and slice him from behind his knee and upwards through the base of his thigh. A cutting blow, clean enough that he should survive to be tormented by the memory of your blade for the remainder of his life. Without moving, you have cut this man six hundred and forty nine times over the past ten days. Yet he still remains standing. Six hundred and forty nine perfect strikes, and he still doesn't know he has even been cut. His remarks are snide, and his grin is mocking. He spits into your daily watered down Miso before placing it just beyond the white chalk line that separates him from life and death. You don't respond, and you don't hear his words. There is no reason to speak with a man you have already killed so many times. The dead can keep their riddles. You say this loudly in your mind, as if speaking to someone listening in. You ignore the soup as the rats come to claim it, and look upon your empty hand. Rhythmically your fingers attempt to close over a hilt that is not there. You feel the phantom pain of your missing sword. Without it, your arm is simply not complete. Your hand is little more then a festering wound that won't close.
It is many hours later, or perhaps only a few minutes. The mind tends to lose itself in the endless nothing. The sound of spring cuts through the winter with such a warm voice that that it could awake the frogs. The moaning and crying of the other inmates is lost, as that gentle sound carries itself from above like a butterfly down to your ear. You focus on the sound as it gets closer and closer. It has the tone of authority, yet it has all the force of a feather. Only a man who was born into privilege could live in such a contradiction. Sure enough, soon the guard returns accompanying a young pale man dressed in the fine clothing of an imperial official. A scabbard rests at his side, but it is empty. In both hands he holds a tray. You cannot see its contents yet, but you can smell. The guard opens your cell for him, and warns him about crossing the white line. You watch him closely but do not move,. Your sword is in your hand but you have yet to decide the young mans fate. He places the contents of the tray, one at a time, before you. Rice as white as snow, a steamed fish fresh from the lake, seaweed from the ocean, and even a small cup of sake that he pours for you personally. There is even a small flower for presentation. Your cell almost starts to feel like it had become a rice stop. As he sets everything, he speaks with a friendly lyrical tone. "I am Yuki, of the Baku clan. I work on behalf of the ministry of investigations. I was hoping, that if you are willing, you can help me with something. You see I have come upon a snag in my investigation and I believe you can untie that knot. Please, help yourself, I have prepared this meal specifically for you." You look at the offering he has placed on your side of the white line. No chopsticks, no knife, no fork. Not even a spoon. >What do?- [Stone faced Samurai] Don't eat anything, demand answers.- [Reserved Swordsmen] Eat the rice and fish, appeal to reason. - [Master less Ronin] Quickly eat the meal, offer a trade.- [Honour less Scoundrel] Drink the Saki, toss it at him. >Write in. Feel free, but probably too early.
>>5710875>[Master less Ronin] Quickly eat the meal, offer a trade.
>>5710875>[Reserved Swordsmen] Eat the rice and fish, appeal to reason.
>>5710875>[Master less Ronin] Quickly eat the meal, offer a trade.Is the chalk line some kind of barrier or marker for our maximum range?
>>5710875>[Honour less Scoundrel] Drink the Saki, toss it at him. Fuck this guy if he wants honor he can at least bring some goddman utensils. Does he expect us to eat like a beast? Let's show him a beast then.
>>5710879 maximum range
>>5710875>[Honour less Scoundrel] Drink the Saki, toss it at him.
>>5710875>- [Reserved Swordsmen] Eat the rice and fish, appeal to reason.
>>5710880I initially had the same reaction, but then I considered the fact that he didn't even come in here with his sword.The guards probably wouldn't let him in here with anything that could have been used as a weapon. There's no REAL reason to be offended.Besides, he didn't have to bring any food in the first place.>>5710882Knew it. Are we chained or bound to a certain position then?
[Master less Ronin] Quickly eat the meal, offer a trade.
>>5710875>- [Honour less Scoundrel] Drink the Saki, toss it at him.
>>5710875>[Master less Ronin] Quickly eat the meal, offer a trade
>>5710875> [Honour less Scoundrel] Drink the Saki, toss it at him.
>>5710875>- [Stone faced Samurai] Don't eat anything, demand answers.
>>5710875- [Master less Ronin] Quickly eat the meal, offer a trade.
>>5710875>[Maiden less Ronin]assume the deal and start making demands we want:swordsakeconcubines
>>5710875>Stone faced Samurai] Don't eat anything, demand answers.
>>5710875>[Stone faced Samurai] Don't eat anything, demand answers.
>>5710875>Stone faced Samurai] Don't eat anything, demand answers
>>5710875>- [Master less Ronin] Quickly eat the meal, offer a trade.
>>5710875>- [Honour less Scoundrel] Drink the Saki, toss it at him.Honour is for losers
You shovel the offering placed before you into your maw like a ravenous boar god. The delicate rice is lost to your savage palate, and the fish gets eaten bone and all. The seaweed however, gives you pause. There is a precious memory hidden in the texture. The sand, the ocean, the sun, and the women. Its enough to make you leave the majority uneaten, despite your hunger. Too late, it has already spoiled your meal. You swallow down the sake quickly after.Yuki refiles your cup, and you immediately swallow the second serving. "So, will you help me then?". His face conceals nothing, he is pleased you have accepted what he placed before you. Your voice doesn't come easily, as you are out of practice. The meal was enough to win him an audience, but you have not agreed to anything. What does he intend for you to do exactly? If he places a sword into your hand, you can open many doors for him for the right price. "Nothing quite like that. I simply have a body that I need identified, and after some investigating it seems that you may have intimate knowledge of this person. A simple task."You are more of an expert in introducing people to the shinigami, and have little knowledge of what they do after the fact. However, if he can scratch your back, in return you can make the attempt. Ten days is a long time for a simple drunk to be put in prison, you would like to be released or punished. Anything to end this waiting. There is a small amount of confusion on his face as he ponders your request. "Ten days for drunkenness? I'm afraid I do not know the subtitles of the local customs, nor do I have the authority to undermine them. Actually, there has been very little documentation of the prisoners here." The later vexes him, he is more used to the rigid bureaucracy of the capital. "Finding you was a small miracle on its own"His voice changes to a more authoritative tone, or at least his best attempt at one. "I have not come all this way to deal with your case. What I can offer is a chance to spread your legs and see the sun. I'm sure your compliance here will be seen favourably at the time of your hearing."
That's not good enough, not nearly. The phantom sword in your hand is ready to cut the lad in twain, and you are almost inclined to agree. He can find someone else to identify his body if he expects you to work for lent. Perhaps if he waits ten more days, he can exchange a fresh meal for your help! Yuki is disappointed. "If seeing justice done is not enough to move your heart, then there is little more I can offer at this time." He collects the empty bowls and stands to leave. Stopping only at the edge of your cell. "The body was a women with long dark hair, she dressed in the clothing of a man and had a sword with her. Strange for a women to carry herself that way, is it not?" The description ignites a fire in your soul. Tomoe? Now you remember, this is why you wandered to this city in the first place. A rumour that she was sighted coming this way. Could it be true? Could it be possible? Tomoe, dead?"Wait", you call out to him and attempt to stand. The chain around your neck stops you from reaching your full standing height. "Perhaps a chance to spread my legs wouldn't be so bad after all. And justice done and all that…" Yuki turns and his smile fills the room with light, "I'm glad to hear it! You can leave your sword here, you wont be needing it." ~~~
A short chain connects your wrist to Yuki's as you travel the palace grounds. You were in the heart of the enemies lands all along, killing your dreams of perhaps incapacitating your chaperone and escaping. He never collected a sword either, so if you were to take him out, you would need to drag his body with you. Never mind the considerable damage sitting for ten days has done to your ability to walk and run properly. Even the setting sun assaults your ill prepared eyes. The craftsmanship and artistry in the palace's gardens and walkways are lost on you, as you struggle to pay more attention to the guards and retainers that stalk every which way. For Yuki's part, he says very little apart from guiding you to where you need to go. Soon enough, you make your way down the tiers of the palace until you reach what you can only describe as a cross between a temple and a sawmill. Just down the way of the large door you are about to pass through, you can see two monks working together to build a coffin. One of many that they had already put together. In one of the smaller rooms you are led to the body; it is covered with a thin cloth. There is a small fuss as Yuki has a conversation with a monk that keeps waving his finger in your face. Eventually, he is convinced to leave and the two of you are given the room. You hold your breath as Yuki pulls back the cloth, then breath a sigh of relief when the maiden turn out to be someone else. At first you don't know the women at all, and decide to just put on a small show for Yuki. But soon enough, the women does starts to seem familiar somehow, but you can't place exactly how. Like a face from a dream. Out of what feels like instinct, you take her hand in your own and slowly bring it up to your face. As soon as her fingers touch your cheek you instantly remember this women! She is simply missing the white and red makeup of a geisha. This is a working girl, she solicited you after you left a sake den. A serving of sake for only two mon! Cheapest you have seen in a long time, and you made the most of it. After they kicked you out for breaking plates, you wandered the streets and she approached you to come with her to another place. But you can't remember where. The memory fades as quickly as it came. Yuki is eagerly hanging on your every word, and makes mental notes. Riding the epiphany, you didn't stop to realize that you have just given away all this information for free. "This is better then I hoped, we have a lead. We just need to retrace your steps and this drinking establishment is the place to start. I will have to submit another request to the Daimyo, to take you off palace grounds, but that shouldn't take to long" He seems exited at the prospect of the hunt.
You stop him from getting too far ahead of himself, since you never agreed to help him beyond the identification of the body. You were curious, that is all. If he wants more of your help then he must help you in return. Its no surprise to you, that now that your value has increased, things he couldn't do before now seem possible. "I will look into your case while I wait for the Daimyo's approval. I'm sure it was all probably a misunderstanding anyway. Ah! There is just one more thing however…"Yuki gently places his hands under the women and turns her over onto her side, revealing a single long brutal open wound that runs across her back. "What do you make of this?" You run your fingers along the edges. There is another memory here. In a more savage era, lords would test a new sword by cutting their blade across the back of a passing peasant. This cut was cruel, Its a chasm that runs not only through her body, but deep into her very soul. Your average Yakuza does not have the pedigree to inflict this. Furthermore, the technique has mastery. This women died before she ever knew she was cut. Did you do this? Yuki awaits for your assessment, this time you kept your thoughts to yourself."Where is the sword she was found with?" Yuki sighs, "Unfortunately, it is gone. By the time I got to the body it was already stripped by the guards then the monks. It almost slipped through my fingers entirely, as I have only arrived two days ago. All I have to go on is the description of the peasants that found her."Another riddle, from another corpse.>What do?-[Stone faced Samurai] A cut is a cut, you cannot extrapolate so much information on instinct. Don't tell him anything because there is nothing to tell.-[Reserved Swordsmen] Tell him your professional opinion and your fear, if you did this then you DO deserve to be punished.-[Master less Ronin] Tell him what you believe, but don't implicate yourself. -[Honour less Scoundrel] Don't tell him anything, they crucify men for less. >Write in. Feel free, but probably too early.
>>5711373>[Reserved Swordsmen] Tell him your professional opinion and your fear, if you did this then you DO deserve to be punished.
>>5711373>-[Honour less Scoundrel] Don't tell him anything, they crucify men for less.
>>5711373>-[Master less Ronin] Tell him what you believe, but don't implicate yourself.
>-[Honour less Scoundrel] Don't tell him anything, they crucify men for less.
>>5711373>[Master less Ronin] Tell him what you believe, but don't implicate yourself. We don’t even know that we did it, a personal fear is not worth reporting until we know more.Also, cool quest, OP - drunker samurai possibly investigating his own murder? Nice.
>>5711369>Yuki turns and his smile fills the room with light, "I'm glad to hear it! You can leave your sword here, you wont be needing it."oh fuck, eerie>>5711373>[Master less Ronin] Tell him what you believe, but don't implicate yourself.I'm sure we're not the only one who can cut so goodplus we'd remember, right?
>>5711373>[Honour less Scoundrel] Don't tell him anything, they crucify men for less.
>>5711372-[Master less Ronin] Tell him what you believe, but don't implicate yourself.
>>5711373>[Stone faced Samurai] A cut is a cut, you cannot extrapolate so much information on instinct. Don't tell him anything because there is nothing to tell.
It is midsummer, and it is hot. The humid heat feels as unbearable, as it is unnatural. Such wild summer often turns a man into animals. In stark contrast, the sharp rain falls down so swiftly the steel in your hand sings. Your sweat merges with the rain, and flows down into the earth drowning your feet. Its almost impossible to see through the thick downpour, only what is directly in front of you remains in sight. The typhoon has finally come, and the man waits for the storm at the foot of the house. The hot blood that runs through his veins, burns through yours. He has yet to draw his sword, instead he raises his hand and points right into your soul. His lips move, and his words are his weapon. You cannot hear them over the rain, but you know it all the same. He is as prophetic, and cryptic as ever. You are utterly destroyed. Your sword drops from your hand and falls into the ocean. The rain turns to a wave gently breaking against your shins. The sun is warm on your skin and the breeze is cool. Sea birds fly over head, and you are filled with fear. No, no this is worse. You don't want to be here. You would rather face that insurmountable man a hundred thousands times then be back here. And then there is nothing. Just white. For the first time in a long time you are at peace. Only for a moment, then you awake.Yuki is kneeling next to you. "You looked like you were having a bad dream. Are you alright?"You are back in your cell, outside you can hear the rain is falling and it has started to gather into small puddles at your feet. You have not seen Yuki in over a day, and had even started to wonder if he had abandoned you. You never told him what you saw in that women's back, but a feeling of fear has been growing in you still. If You WERE thrown into this cell for murder, then Yuki would eventually find out, then perhaps his 'patronage' would end. But, since he is removing your shekels you feel that is not yet the case. "All swordsman have nightmares" He shakes his head, "Only the ones who are ashamed of their actions"
You are free from the chain around your neck, but the one around your wrist returns to take its place. Yuki tries to change the air into something more pleasant, by speaking joyfully into it. "I hope you are in the mood for some walking, since we are going to be doing much of it today." Hold on, has he done his part yet? Has he looked into why you are in prison? Or better yet, secured a time table for release? The not knowing was a biting gnat before, but it has very recently become a full blown demon. "I'm still working on that, it seems you did something bad but no one can tell me what that is. Only the chief of justice seems to know, and he answers directly to the Daimyo." He lets out a small laugh "It seems that he personally arrested you! I have tried to set up a meeting, but he seems to be a very busy man. He simply hasn't been at the castle." It doesn't seem to effect Yuki's disposition towards you. How does he know you are not a mass murderer? "If it was that bad, you would already be dead I think. Since no one seems to know, it must have been something outrages but not criminal enough for real punishment. Personally, I have started to be quite curious. Perhaps you flashed a well to do lady in your drunken stupor?" Yes that's quite possible, you were very drunk. You try to reassure yourself that this was the case. Still, you shouldn't put the possibility of escaping out of your mind. While there is still time and your crime is unknown. The only real question is are you the kind of man to do something worth being hanged over? [Master less Ronin 39%] [Honour less Scoundrel 29%]
One umbrella for the two of you, but big enough for both. Its probably expensive judging by the artwork and colouring. There is something oddly feminine about it, but you don't know enough about the affairs of the well to do to make that judgment call. Yuki lets you hold it, and like an opium addict your sword hand embraces the hard polished wood like a lover. It feels good to hold something, but its not what your heart yearns for. Yuki talks about something as the two of you walk, the nuances of getting the documentation to have you taken out of the palace grounds or somthing. You are not listening. Your focus is on the man approaching you from the other end of the palace grounds. He is flanked by the corpse of a man that spat in your miso the other day. You watch the way he holds his hands, and the gait of his steps. This man is a swordsman, and a good one at that. He does not share his umbrella with his underling. Eventually Yuki notices him as well, and soon the four of you are face to face. "Why is this dog out of his cage?" His words slither out of his mouth. He speaks of you, but does not look at you. The conversation is between him and Yuki."Ah! my apologies. I am Yuki, of the Baku clan." his bow is lower then it needs to be. "I am in service to the ministry of investigations, and have come from the capital on official business. This man is helping me in an investigation." He draws papers from under his Kimono and presents it to the man who has yet to introduce himself. He does not look at the papers presented, instead he takes a step forward and Yuki takes a step back. The grip on his sword is telling of a man quick to violence. Its the closest a sword has been to you in ten days. "You take prisoners from my dungeon without informing me? Do they not teach good manors and edict in the capital?" His cold eyes star deep into Yuki's."Yes, well, I have been trying desperately to reach someone in charge of the prisoners for a few days now. If you look at the paper you can see that I have the Daimyo's personal permission." The man takes another step forward, and Yuki takes another step back. One more, and the chain around your wrist will force you to step back as well. "You have gone over my lords head? Without even speaking with him first? An insult like that, I may not be able to overlook it" The snake coils itself around the mouse.>What do? - [Stone faced Samurai] Look into the mans eyes: "Are you the one who killed the peasant women?" [HARD DC: 12% affinity]- [Reserved Swordsmen] Stand between the man and Yuki, remind him that he has yet to introduce himself.- [Master less Ronin] If he takes another step towards Yuki, there will be a confrontation. You don't back down to anyone, even when its by proxy. - [Honour less Scoundrel] Its not your problem.>Write in. Feel free, but probably too early.
>>5712129>[Reserved Swordsmen] Stand between the man and Yuki, remind him that he has yet to introduce himself.
>>5712129>[Reserved Swordsmen] Stand between the man and Yuki, remind him that he has yet to introduce himself.Bullies sometimes back down when confronted
>>5712129>- [Reserved Swordsmen] Stand between the man and Yuki, remind him that he has yet to introduce himself.Reminding the assailant that they just broke courtesy in the conversation should help break their momentum.
>>5712129>- [Stone faced Samurai] Look into the mans eyes: "Are you the one who killed the peasant women?" [HARD DC: 12% affinity]
>>5712129- [Reserved Swordsmen] Stand between the man and Yuki, remind him that he has yet to introduce himself.>Write in. Give Yuki a look that says he owes you one. "You are concerned with manners, but you forget your own. Do you think a ministry of investigation agent would come if your lord hadn't called?"
>>5712129Refined from>>5712156>>5712200> Do you think a ministry of investigation agent would come if your lord hadn't called?"THAT might be a bit hasty, rephrasing it to "Do you think the Ministry of Investigation would send someone over a trifle?" or perhaps simply leaving it at the mere reminder of manners. We're a pissant drunkard who has lost any status we might have had. It would be best not to overstep in politics until we've proven there's cause for those who discount us to even listen. After all, our first goal should be getting out of being imprisoned, going too far to help Yuki could harm that more, especially when our jailer is the one Yuki is arguing with.
>>5712129>- [Reserved Swordsmen] Stand between the man and Yuki, remind him that he has yet to introduce himself.
>>5712129>It feels good to hold something, but its not what your heart yearns for. Don't tell me we've fallen for that boy >- [Stone faced Samurai] Look into the mans eyes: "Are you the one who killed the peasant women?" [HARD DC: 12% affinity]
>>5712129>[Stone faced Samurai] Look into the mans eyes: "Are you the one who killed the peasant women?"
>>5712332the implication is a desire to wield a sword, ya goof.
>>5712129>- [Honour less Scoundrel] Its not your problem.
>>5712129> [Honour less Scoundrel] Its not your problem.
>>5712129>[Reserved Swordsmen] Stand between the man and Yuki, remind him that he has yet to introduce himself.I want him to start mouthing off so i can beat his ass with little consequence
>>5712129>There will be a confrontation, We don't back down.Screw. You. Sirah.
The three of you are so close, that it only takes a subtle movement of your foot to change the entire dynamic of the scene. The snake can no longer slither forward without confronting you. The top of your umbrella rests on his, skewing the angle, causing the rain to run down onto his shoulder. "The young master has introduced himself. Will you not offer him the same courtesy?"He slowly turns in head, shifting his killing gaze from Yuki to you. "The dog can bark." You continue, "Not only is he a guest of your Daimyo, but servants of the capital answer to the emperor himself. Your actions bring only dishonour upon your lord." The words feel somewhat forced.The snake coils, ready to release a tremendous amount of energy. You analyze every swing he could take, and in most of them you are simply cut down. Too many variables are stacked against you. You are too close to dodge, the wood in the umbrella is too weak, and the chain that connects you to Yuki constricts your movement. There are a few swings that you could counter, yet in the snakes eyes you see the same calculations. He won't make a mistake, once he draws your life will end. The only option remains, is that the sword never leaves the scabbard in the first place. But who will act first? Who will risk breaking the status quo? The tension in the air builds.
"Your words carry more wisdom then you could ever know." He turns his gaze back to Yuki. "Your dog raises a valid point. Tell me Yuki Baku, servant of the imperial capital, why are you here exactly? You have not come all this way on the emperors behalf to investigate the death of a peasant." He knows about the girl, but what does that indicate? Standing behind you seems to have given Yuki the courage he was missing earlier. Shouting from over your shoulder, he tries to assert himself "I cannot comment on an ongoing investigation! I have spoken to the master of these lands, and that should be enough for a servant of your stature! Now, stand aside!" "Of course. I would not dream of standing in the way of the great imperial work being done" His tone is mocking. "I will arrange a meeting for you to speak with my lord, be ready to attend. As for the prisoner, I grant you permission to walk him" His sword comes to life, as the hilt of his blade explodes from its resting place and into your rib, before sliding back to its origin. It takes great effort on your behalf not to bend all the way. The movement is so subtle that Yuki does not even notice it. So great was his killing intent, you forgot to account for some good simple old fashioned sadism. "Dogs should know their place." he hisses before stepping back and leaving. He never did introduce himself. Yuki's face is slightly red. He clearly doesn't have much experience in dealing with unagreeable men. Life in the capital must function very differently indeed. "What a horrible man! Perhaps I should… are you alright?" You're fine. Just fine. You will wait until the snake has disappeared back into the long grass completely before taking a moment. >in the next update you will be walking around the city with Yuki, feel free to add some write ins about stuff you want to ask. Or don't thats fine, this prompts just here for the players that like to be more hands on.
>>5713160What's the Baka clan about? Why's the emperor interested in this? Are you single? Can we stop by the brothel for investigative purposes?
>>5713160>Ask about Yuki’s career and family lifeThis should give us some fair context about why he’s here and what’s he’s up to. Is he being sent out to the rural country as punishment? Does he have an important father?
>>5713160We should ask what importance we have to the case, that they knew we had a connection, or possibly could, is proof there's something very important we are not being told, and having helped them avoid political incident, we deserve the courtesy of at least knowing SOMETHING of what is going on. That and asking what the next steps are going to be and asking for a better place to sleep, hopefully an in that serves good sake. The emperor is footing the bill, after all.
>>5713160Can he get us a bokken or something.It's hard to kill with one, and it will bring much comfort.
>>5713160>>5713247seconded>>5713211still this tho
>>5713160backing >>5713211and >>5713247
>>5713160Tell us more about this city's security.
>>5713160How long have we been in prison, how about a bath
>>5713199>>5713203This is coming up>>5713481It would be an odd question to ask, remember that Yuki is also an outsider. But you should be able to ascertain a better picture through future updates. If its still not clear down the road, ask me again.
>>5714230How fat is Yuki's ass and hips
You and Yuki pass through several gates on your journey to leave the castle. Beyond the odd diligent guard, no one seems to care that you are leaving. Only that you may wish to come back. This doesn't stop Yuki from presenting his papers to everyone who should be asking to see them. The palace empties directly into the heart of the the city, and the gates quickly close behind you. Which ever way you look, you find the streets mostly empty as the rain has cleared most people out. Instead, residents choose to either stay home or pack themselves into crowded tea houses, venues, and the like. So where to begin? Yuki suggests that since the point of this exercise is to retrace your steps, you should start where you entered the city in the first place. You force yourself to try and remember, but can't quite connect the dots. Yuki wonders if you maybe passed over a bridge, and that instantly ignites your memory. Yes, you DID pass over a bridge as you came into the city, but there was no water under it. With things narrowed down, the two of you are off. You have agreed to help him with the assumption that he would be true to his word and get you out of prison, but you could be much more helpful if you better understood the situation. What is your importance to the case exactly? What is the significance of the girl? The snake may have been a, literal, pain in the side, but what he said resonated with you. What is Yuki doing here?"As I have said before, I cannot speak thoroughly on a ongoing investigation." Yuki doesn't like being asked about the girls importance, that much is clear by his telling face. But he does better explain your role. "When I did my interviews with the locals, many claimed they saw a vagabond swordsmen leave with the girl. I believed that to be you." You get the impression that Yuki already knows more then he is letting on, he even seems to know where you came into the city. "I hope by following your footsteps, I may learn something new. More importantly, when the story I have ends you will have remembered enough to continue it. I would like to know when the two of you parted ways essentially, and from there I may find another lead."
That could be a problem. You have hidden this from Yuki, but there is a possibility that you parted ways with the women at the tip of your sword. By helping Yuki solve this case, you could essentially be putting your neck in the nose. You spend much time in silence, thinking on the timeline of events as you know it so far. Eleven days ago, you came to this city following a flimsy rumour of Tomoe's whereabouts. On this day you were also put into jail by a prominent lord. At some point, on the day of, or in the next eight days, the girl would be killed. From your own experience with the dead and having seen the corpse, you estimate she was dead for at least five days before you saw her again. Three days ago Yuki would arrive, and start(?) his investigation. You note that he mentioned that the body almost slipped through his hands. You wonder what that means exactly. Did the girls body trigger the investigation or was it on going already? About twenty four hours ago you would officially become part of Yuki's investigation. Suddenly, your need for some kind of weapon feels stronger then ever, if such a thing was even possible. You float the idea towards Yuki, but from a different angle. "That run in today was dangerous. Things are quite different here then in the capital, you shouldn't believe that you are invincible simply because of your tittle. If I had a weapon, I could better protect you… Perhaps even a simple bokken…" Yuki gives you a coy look. "You wish to enter into my service master swordsman?"The question off balances you. You do not wish to be in service of any man. Are you prepared to lie just to get a weapon? Possibly, but would your over eagerness spill the plot? Yuki takes advantage of your indecisiveness. "I thank you for the offer, but I can handle myself. I had that man just where I wanted him before you intervened. For the first time, you can't tell what Yuki is thinking simply by looking at his face. Its not a lie, if he believes it to be true. "Now I must think on your safety should I return you to the prison. What exactly am I to do with you now?" "Look there" he points yonder and you see the bridge from your memory. You are coming at it from a different angle then you remember, but this is definitely the place. You can almost see yourself standing at the centre of the arch. "Did you commit murder?" you ask the spirit. "Will I again have to clean up your mess?" >What do?- [Stone faced Samurai] Take Yuki directly to your next strongest memory, the Sake den.- [Reserved Swordsmen] Do your best to remember, and perhaps find a clue. For better or worse.- [Master less Ronin] The famous ronin shuffle, "oy oy Yuki, buy me this rice cake! Eh? whats that over there? looks interesting..."- [Honour less Scoundrel] Attempt to lead him astray>Write in. Feel free, but probably too early.
>>5714235>[Reserved Swordsmen] Do your best to remember, and perhaps find a clue. For better or worse.Let's have faith in past us
>>5714235>- [Stone faced Samurai] Take Yuki directly to your next strongest memory, the Sake den.
>>5714235>[Stone faced Samurai] Take Yuki directly to your next strongest memory, the Sake den.We still don’t really have any proof that we killed the girl, no need to jump to conclusions
>>5714235>[Stone faced Samurai] Take Yuki directly to your next strongest memory, the Sake den.A swift resolution requires decisive action. We will not be able to wield a sword until the matter is closed. Slicing the back of a prostitute would not bring us joy, we long for battle, not base violence.And to hide from investigation would merely be proof of wrongdoing.Therefore, we shall close this matter despite the wiles of political fools.
>>5714235>[Reserved Swordsmen] Do your best to remember, and perhaps find a clue. For better or worsemust... remember
>>5714235>[Stone faced Samurai] Take Yuki directly to your next strongest memory, the Sake den.Path to swordIf there is a sword smith, it could also be a good idea to check there because drunk us might have wanted to test the new sharpness
>>5714235>[Stone faced Samurai] Take Yuki directly to your next strongest memory, the Sake den.
>>5714235>- [Master less Ronin] The famous ronin shuffle, "oy oy Yuki, buy me this rice cake! Eh? whats that over there? looks interesting..."
>>5714235>- [Master less Ronin] The famous ronin shuffle, "oy oy Yuki, buy me this rice cake! Eh? whats that over there? looks interesting..."Time to get spoiled.
>>5714235- [Reserved Swordsmen] Do your best to remember, and perhaps find a clue. For better or worse.Glad to have you back
>>5714235>Reserved swordsman.I think we're innocent.
>>5714235>[Reserved Swordsmen] Do your best to remember, and perhaps find a clue. For better or worse
>>5714235> [Honour less Scoundrel] Attempt to lead him astray
>>5714234>- [Stone faced Samurai] Take Yuki directly to your next strongest memory, the Sake den.>Write In. Take Yuki to the Sake den. It wasn't outside the den that the working girl solicited us, but inside. To recover our memory we need a recreation. Yuki must take the part of the drinking companion.
There is something about this exercise that doesn't site quite well with you. Its starting to feel too much like a game. Yuki seems to know the rules, but won't explain them to you clearly. Perhaps seeing how you react is his true goal all along. Unfortunately for him, you have already played this game before. You know well that the only winning move is simply not to play. Perhaps if there wasn't a hanging sword hovering over your head, you would be in a greater mood to entertain him. You decide the best course of action is to simply go to the next strongest memory you have, the Sake den. Stopping for nothing, you march along your intended path taking a moment only when you can't quite recall the way. As expected, Yuki often interject at these times by saying things such as "Perhaps if we try this way…" or "Does this path look familiar?". It all only strengthens your theory that the boy already knows. Eventually you reach it, the spot. "Right here… An old women was standing here with a sign. 'Sake for only two mon', such a deal I could not refuse. She pointed me that way." You gesture down a narrow alley before stepping into the path. Yuki follows closely enough to remain under your umbrella and takes hold of your shirt, as the path is not wide enough for two men to walk together. Many cats watch you out from open windows. There is a darkness here in between the cracks of the stones, its a perfect place for an ambush if someone would choose to attack from above. At the very end of the alley, where the road ends, a set of stairs takes you down into the den. Yuki's eyes are open and alert, you are just hoping that they are still running the same deal.
The quaint, clean decor inside betrays the foreboding buildup of getting here. A genuine attempt was made by some good, and honest, people to make the place seem reputable. Even the many, less then desirable, denizens of this establishment seem to have made an effort to look above their station. All are of the type that should know the importance of minding ones own business. Even so, You and Yuki make an odd couple. Its impossible not to feel a few sideways glances dissecting your intentions. Despite the rain forcing everyone inside, there is a place for you and Yuki to sit. When an elderly man, who you remember to be both the owner and server, comes from the back room and spots you it is clear that he isn't all too happy to see you. Not from his expression, as it has become too wrinkled with age and sun exposure to ever betray an expression, but because he picks up a broom before coming over. You remember that broom, and you recall how well the old man seems to able to wield it. You begin to stand in order to better defend yourself, but Yuki interjects on your behalf. "Hold friend! What seems to be the problem?" "Bah, I told this vagabond should he ever return here I would turn him inside out. I'm not about to be turned into a lair!" The man may be all gums, but he still has some bite in him. Despite that, Yuki does an extremely good job calming the old man down. He doesn't hold back anything, and outright explains who he is and who he works for. Coming right out and giving his title as an investigator causes about half of the patrons to quietly exit the establishment over the next ten or so minutes. The owner on the other hand seems ecstatic, or so you assume by his tone. He thanks Yuki for his hard work and points out a picture of the previous emperor that sits above the kitchen entrance. The old man is from a bygone era, a supposedly better time. Yuki asks him if he has time to speak with him about an investigation, which he is happy to agree. Anything to serve his royal majesty and country. He simply needs a moment to finish his rounds with the other patrons, and then he will come back. In the mean time, he serves Yuki some complementary Sake. When the old man leaves you reach over to take serving yourself, but Yuki picks up the carafe and places it further away form you. Indicating that he has no intention of sharing. He leans over and whispers"This is the place you ransacked? The man is ancient, have you no shame swordsman?""I broke a plate or two. You have to understand, I was very very drunk." you search for a better explanation but can't. "Its TWO MON" If that doesn't make him understand nothing will.
~As you wait for the old man, Yuki engages you in conversation. In order to dodge the inevitable questions relating to your family history and past life, you go on the attack and ask him the same questions first. "The Baku clan has been in service to the emperor in some form or another for as long as there has been an emperor. I suppose its just my clans life work and legacy. I think at some point we were slaves to the imperial family, but were freed on account of our service. I probably shouldn't have told you that last part, I know there are many in the clan that want that part of the past to be forgotten. As for the emperor's interest in the investigation, I would say the emperor is interested in all investigations. Just as he cares for all his subjects. If you mean did he send me here personally, then no. Ideally, the point of a ministry is to deal with problems before they become big enough for the emperor to even know about. Thats how my mentor always explained it to me anyway." What about his family life."Its good I suppose, but to tell you the truth I don't wish to speak on it too much. My clan serves the emperor, but my connection to them has nothing to do with how I go about my work. I would ask you not to ask me about them again, or I shall have to return the favour."The old man arrives just in time to change the flow of conversation. "Before I ask you anything, I wish to reimburse you for the damage my friend may have caused." The old man refuses out of politeness, but ultimately relents as Yuki insists. "Tell me, was it just the plates or did he run a tab as well?" Yes, it seems you did. You owe the man six mon for unpaid drinks. It turns out that you broke plates because he had refused to continue serving you. "Are you sure he didn't have the mon to pay? When he left this establishment, how certain are you that he had zero coins in his pocket?" The old man assures Yuki that he knows your type well, if you had even a single mon left, you would have spent it here. Yuki sips at his sake and gives you a inquisitive glace, "Interesting".You are not an investigator yourself, so you can only guess to Yuki's method. But from your point of view, the interview he conducted after the fact seemed more like a show then a real investigation. The questions he asked didn't seem to go anywhere or mean anything. He didn't even ask the man when it was exactly that you left the den. The old man has much to tell on his own however, complaints about the Shogun, as well as the Daimyo. Prostitutes and beggars on every street. His opinions on the sword hunt, and much more. None of which seem to have anything to do with the dead women. Unless you take just the general rise in crime as the culprit. Yuki just politely listens and nods his head.
After the interview, the two of you would leave down the same ally that you came and find yourself back in the main street. "This is as far as my own instigation has taken me." he points down the empty street. "Over there is where 'the girls' would stand while looking for a mark. Unfortunately, they have not been around for the last seven days; thats when the body was discovered. Rumour travels fast, and I have not been able to locate them anywhere. This is also where you take over, I hope this walk has helped some of your memories return" He watches and waits. You partially had hoped the memories would stay forgotten, but standing here and sitting in the den has started moving things around in your brain. After she approached you, the two of you first went to… - [Stone faced Samurai] "I got caught up in a game of Shogi with some old timers, I made her watch. "- [Reserved Swordsmen] "She took me to a local bathhouse. Can't say I blame her the road is hard when travelling on foot." - [Master less Ronin] "We went… I'm not sure, maybe another sake den? An expensive one I think… A drink would better put me in the same frame of mind. Perhaps some rice too."- [Honour less Scoundrel] No more games, take him off the road and beat the life out of him. You want all the answers and you want them now. [Hard DC 20% affinity]>Write in. Feel free, but probably too early.
Yes I know I fucked it up, I only realized after I uploaded it asifoaopisfdht
>>5715020>[Stone faced Samurai] "I got caught up in a game of Shogi with some old timers, I made her watch. "
>>5715020> [Reserved Swordsmen] "She took me to a local bathhouse. Can't say I blame her the road is hard when travelling on foot."
>>5715020>[Stone faced Samurai] "I got caught up in a game of Shogi with some old timers, I made her watch. "If she got involved in something, it was likely through this. If we were not the one who killed her, at least. Write in:>"Perhaps we should go there after dinner, we might find more of them there if we come around the same time."
>>5715020>[Reserved Swordsmen] "She took me to a local bathhouse. Can't say I blame her the road is hard when travelling on foot."
>>5715020>[Reserved Swordsmen] "She took me to a local bathhouse. Can't say I blame her the road is hard when travelling on foot."Okay, so far we have a very down on his luck washed up has-been failure of a ronin as main protagonist and ambiguity trap for a boy.
>>5715020>[Reserved Swordsmen] "She took me to a local bathhouse. Can't say I blame her, the road is hard when travelling on foot."
>>5715020>- [Honour less Scoundrel] No more games, take him off the road and beat the life out of him. You want all the answers and you want them now. [Hard DC 20% affinity]Lol
>>5715101I can't blame you since it's literally an option, but I can say you're a terrible person
>>5715218cry about it
>>5715231I'll can piss my pants to if you'll do it with me.
>>5715020>- [Reserved Swordsmen] "She took me to a local bathhouse. Can't say I blame her the road is hard when travelling on foot."
>>5715015>- [Reserved Swordsmen] "She took me to a local bathhouse. Can't say I blame her the road is hard when travelling on foot."
>>5715218More terrible than the murdering twink?
>>5715273the twink has no goodwill with the people who have us in prison, so I don't think they'd frame us for him. So, twink being the culprit and putting it on us is one of the lowest possibilities in the lot.the HIGHEST is that they're a sociopathic twat and using us as a stepping stone and decoy, possibly also human shield, to get through the investigation and toss us to the wolves after. However, we are using them just as much, we could have simply waited out the alcoholism sentence, which would have to have ended at some point if they couldn't dig up a better reason to keep us there.Finally, beating the tar out of them would more than likely just make our lives SIGNIFICANTLY more difficult. Especially since they just basically admitted to being a part of a retainer-family of the fucking imperial court as pseudo-shinobi. That's a fucking hell-no.
>>5715275I basically agree with your thoughts but I would add:- this dude is essentially a mafia fixer who pretends to be an inept nerd- this dude almost certainly dgaf about the actual murder, he’s vetting us for some other underhanded bullshit that he needs an expert swordsman with debt problems for.- this fucking guy will probably try to pin the murder on us, so we’re desperate enough to accept his shitty deal (kill this VIP, etc and I make sure your murder indictment gets lost in the archives)
>>5715010Stupid sexy trap, no one even noticed that he has TWO RIGHT HANDS!?>- [Honour less Scoundrel] No more games, take him off the road and beat the life out of him. You want all the answers and you want them now. [Hard DC 20% affinity]Take what we want RIGHT NOW! HES A WITCH!
>>5715020>[Honour less Scoundrel] No more games, take him off the road and beat the life out of him. You want all the answers and you want them now. [Hard DC 20% affinity]
>>5715297>>5715275Alternatively, yuki rewards us with sex
>>5715505This is a no yaoi board
>>5715020>- [Honour less Scoundrel] No more games, take him off the road and beat the life out of him. You want all the answers and you want them now. [Hard DC 20% affinity]
No update today family stuff, closing the votes here too sry
>>5715505No we will not fuck the him like the trap nun we did years ago in that one quest
>>5715020>- [Stone faced Samurai] "I got caught up in a game of Shogi with some old timers, I made her watch. "
>>5715584Maybe I'll scroll to the bottom before posting one day
>>5715020>>- [Reserved Swordsmen] "She took me to a local bathhouse. Can't say I blame her the road is hard when travelling on foot."just to balance out stupid decisions,
>>5715020>>>- [Reserved Swordsmen] "She took me to a local bathhouse. Can't say I blame her the road is hard when travelling on foot."
>>5716495>>5715807FUCK. I FORGOT THAT I VOTED. My bad!
"She took me to a local bathhouse. Can't say I blame her, the road is hard when travelling on foot." Yuki is not so sure, "Oh, are you certain?" "Yes, I distinctly remember getting into a goemonburo""I see, how generous of her."As you follow your feet, it soon becomes apparent that you are walking in the footsteps of your own ghost. This time however, when you are not sure of your step Yuki does not comment. Instead, he asks a passer by where you may find the closest bathhouse. "A bathhouse? We are in a bathouse right now young man, no need to spend your coin. A wise man makes use of nature's bounty""I will take your advice for myself, but I am afraid this rain is not enough to wash away the edge off my companion"He looks you over, and silently agrees, before pointing out the closest place. He has never been inside however, so he can't speak to its quality. Calling it 'always overbooked'. If the Bathhouse is so good as to be overbooked, it doesn't look it from the outside. The only notable deviance from the surrounding architecture is the space it has created for itself. Pushing back all the other buildings with a large fence that should give it plenty room to breath. The fence is much too large to peek over, as one would expect from a bathhouse. the Inside follows what the outside has already established. A flower pot here, a tapestry there, its all quite what you expect from your regular bathhouse. Ten mon for an adult, more for privacy.The head man raises his eye brow when you enter, and watches you closely. He turns his nose slightly upwards, as if ready to turn you away. Until Yuki introduces himself, and explains his rank and station. Unlike the old man at the Sake den, this man seems to become quite nervous at the prospect of an imperial investigator entering his establishment. He quickly bows and introduces himself as Genko, and is even quicker to ask if he is under investigation. Yuki laughs and waves his fears away. "Oh no, nothing like that. I'm just no longer able to stand the smell of my companion. I would like to buy a bath for him." Genko is of two minds, you can see by his face and his carefully chosen words that he would rather have you gone. On the other hand, he is unsure as to the wisdom of denying Yuki entry. Yuki cuts through his halfhearted excuse making with a subtle ultimatum. "Oh, by the way I notice your sign says ten mon for an adult." Genko turns around to look at it, as if he is unsure what the sign even says. "As part of the Tempo reforms initiated by the shogunate, the price for an adult, at a public bathhouse, is fixed at eight mon. Unless this is a private bathhouse, in which case I would inform you that you must present the official documents signed by the Daimyo openly. I wonder, what else may be out of place here..?"
Minutes later, you are being escorted by several servants to a private room, Genko apologizes that much of the establishment is currently being refurbished so its all he can offer you; free of charge of course. One of the girls prepares wood and brings life to the small oven under the goemonburo while the others bring in water and fill the bath to the top. While you wait, a small matter arises, how do you remove your kimono if you are attached to Yuki by a chain? After some thinking, Yuki comes up with a solution. First, he has the women take away your Hakama, shoes, socks, and the rest of the bottom part of your outfit, to be washed before producing a key and unlocking your cuffs. The little bastard had the key on him the whole time. "So, you trust me not to run away?""I trust that I can easily track down a naked man running through the streets, with the palace so close it won't be too hard for me to find some armed men. However, it is wrong to assume that I do not trust you. Having you chained to me is simply the rules that I must engage in."Once everything is ready, the women leave and you finally enter the goemonburo. You find it immediately relaxing. The warm water is therapeutic on your stiff body, there is even some soap to wash away the filth should you choose to use it. Yuki sits on a stool next to you and dips his finger in to check the temperature. He swirls his finger in the water for several minutes lost in thought, before sharing his mind with you. "Something is not right here, but is it related to my investigation?" Its a rhetorical question, he does not wait for you to answer. "I cannot simply investigate where I wish without evidence, I would need some due cause first. Additionally, if I was to find a crime here I may be forced to deal with it even if it means delaying my true investigation. They may not even end up being correlated." So what does he want you to do about it? "Nothing of course, I am just thinking out loud. Now, If you don't mind the heat is making me slightly dizzy. I trust If I take a moment to step outside you will not run off?"He stands, and leaves out the door. Waiting outside are the three women who are taking care of you, one leaves with Yuki and the rest remain. >What do?- [Stone faced Samurai] Nothing, he didn't ask you to do anything so you aren't going to do anything.- [Reserved Swordsmen] You are going to climb out the window and look around discreetly. - [Master less Ronin] Walk out the stall and have a look around, two women cannot stop you.- [Honour less Scoundrel] You are going to escape from Yuki. [Patch hot fix]: [Yuki no longer has two right hands!]
>>5716549>Reserved swordsmenTwo can play this game, and despite believing in our innocence, I'd like confirmation.It also gives us leverage.
>>5716549>[Stone faced Samurai] Nothing, he didn't ask you to do anything so you aren't going to do anything.I cut that woman down gang
>>5716549>[Stone faced Samurai] Nothing, he didn't ask you to do anything so you aren't going to do anything.mmm hot tub>[Patch hot fix]: [Yuki no longer has two right hands!]witchery confirmed
>>5716549>- [Reserved Swordsmen] You are going to climb out the window and look around discreetly.
>>5716549>[Reserved Swordsmen] You are going to climb out the window and look around discreetly. This is a test - he wants to find out if we can be smart enough to know what he wants, and discrete enough to not need direct orders.Our best chance of getting out of jail is to play along and deal with the bathhouse situation before he is obligated to intervene.
>>5716549- [Reserved Swordsmen] You are going to climb out the window and look around discreetly.No bathing each other scene? I've been bamboozled
>>5716549> [Stone faced Samurai] Nothing, he didn't ask you to do anything so you aren't going to do anything.we shall not engage in ~mischief~, saving our chance to slip the leash for a more convenient time when we have more trust and goodwill is likely going to be far more beneficial than looking around somewhere that the proprietor did not respond much at all to us other than be mildly dismissive.
>>5716561>>5716581>>5716585>>5716590Boys, it's a trap. No, not the femboy, it's a literal trick meant to get us involved in provable wrongdoing, either just the attempted escape, or through whatever is going on here. Read here:>>5715275>>5715297
>>5716598You might be right but I’m pretty certain the subtext of his last convo with us was:>figure out this shit in the bathhouse without me because I can’t get wrapped up in their misdemeanor bullshit right now
>>5716604yes, they're likely gauging whether or not we'll be 'usable' as per discussed in the other linked posts. In this case, also implicating us in violating the semi-parole arrangement we have, but possibly getting us involved in whatever is here as well. If we bend the rules here it's *going* to bite us in the ass. Maybe not now, but definitely later.
>>5716549>[Stone faced Samurai] Nothing, he didn't ask you to do anything so you aren't going to do anything.
>>5716549- [Stone faced Samurai] Nothing, he didn't ask you to do anything so you aren't going to do anything.Its been too long since we had proper bath, ITSN OT THE TIME TO WASTE IT.
>>5716549>- [Honour less Scoundrel] You are going to escape from Yuki.
Both sides are overthinking things; Is it a test? Is it a trap? He just wants to have traditional japanese bath peeking fun.
>>5716549>- [Master less Ronin] Walk out the stall and have a look around, two women cannot stop you.
No update today, didnt expect for [Stone faced Samurai] to win, need time to connect the next part.
~~~Time seems to stretch while you are relaxing in a tub, one could almost say you have been here for over two days. Eventually, Yuki would return to find you exactly where he left you. He would look around the room for a moment, searching for signs of something before shrugging and returning to his stool. You await for him to ask, but he doesn't. So you take the imitative, "Have you decided what you're going to do?""Yes, I'm going to investigate this place. It's all too much to ignore. But It will have to wait for when we are no longer together. For now, we should simply stay the course. However, I can't help but worry that whatever evidence exists here today, will no longer be here tomorrow. How about you? Have you decided your next course of action?""I will finish up my bath with some soap, then try to remember where we went next""Ah, so there is a next place?" "Yes, I remembered while I was sitting here. I was in a tub just like this. Then when I got out, she was still with me. We left together, I'm sure of it.""She still stuck with you? Are you absolutely certain? You're not taking advantage of me, are you swordsman?"Doesn't he trust you yet? Besides, now that you were all cleaned up why wouldn't she want your company? "I can't speak on an ongoing investigation" its almost a private joke at this point "but I can't stop you from putting the pieces together yourself. Where exactly do you think all this breaks down?"~~~The manager, Genko, is happy to see the both of you leave. His time with the imperial investigator has come to an end, so he allows himself to breath a small sigh of relief. You wonder if when you part ways with Yuki, will you breath that same relief, or will you be struggling for air. At the very least, you will face whats to come clean. Outside, you find the streets once again busy. The rain has come to a stop, and people are quick to take advantage. In the city, everyone seems to struggle to have somewhere else to be. You prefer the country, where everyone struggles to have the opposite. Yuki instructs you to leave the umbrella behind, for the next person who gets caught in the rain. It seems like a waste, as the umbrella is probably quite expensive, but you do as instructed and leave it at the bathhouse. As the two of you push through the crowd, you start to find it much harder to pick up your own trail. The influx of people is making it confusing and its at this time that the sake was really starting to hammer into your brain. So remembering where you were going is almost impossible. You and Yuki end up walking in circles for a while. When suddenly you hear something, a voice. Shrill and impolite, it comes from the kind of cruel women that would drive a husband to murder, suicide, or both. You remember this voice, so you follow it through the crowd dragging Yuki along.
You soon come upon the source of the ruckus, two women arguing. On the right, stands a shrine maiden. Her back is as straight as a blank, and her hair is dark and long. Her voice matches her appearance, but it is too polite and soft to over come her opponent. On the left is a women dressed like a Yakuza, hers is the voice you remember. Her voice is as abrasive as her personality, dominating her opponent on the field of shear belligerence. Despite being out matched in a shouting contest, the shrine maiden holds her ground and shows no fear. Its almost as if she is seeing right through her opponent and far past her. You can only hear one side of the match, but you listen in anyway. "How many times do I need to repeat myself huh? We don't owe you anything, you damn monk""Oh go pray over it, maybe an oni will come down and take you!""Didn't do the job right, why should I care then?" "I don't see how its our problem""A dog should know its place" "Do something about it then, yeah that's what I thought."The shrine maiden eventually turns around and walks away. Her opponent clearly takes it as a victory and expresses it with a wide grin accompanying a look of satisfaction. Quickly turning back into a demon, she attacks the crowd of onlookers. "What are you all gawking at? CLEAR OUT unless you want trouble." This women must command some authority with the locals, because they do as she instructs. As the crowd disperses, you are left standing alone. Yuki has taken to pressing his back against yours, standing almost completely in your large shadow and out of sight. When she sees someone has decided to stick around and look for that trouble, she squares up for another confrontation. So soon after the first, yet she doesn't lose a single step. In a moment of clarity, she recognizes you. There is less subtlety in her face then Yuki, as her eyes open wide. You are now sure you know her and she knows you. Instead of coming over to make good on her warning, she instead turns right around and stalks off without a word. You are ready to follow but Yuki stands firm."I do believe that women recognizes you. I would suggest, however, that instead of running head first after her, we prepare for our encounter. These people clearly know her, she can't escape us. That other women however, may be harder to find. What does your instinct tell you?">Which way swords man? - [Stone faced Samurai] Its your investigation, why are you asking me?- [Reserved Swordsmen] My instinct tells me its all connected, lets follow after the maiden first. - [Master less Ronin] She knows me, and she is going to tell someone I'm coming. We should strike while we have the advantage of surprise. - [Honour less Scoundrel] Its your investigation, why are you asking me? >BONUS-"Where exactly do you think all this breaks down?"What did Yuki mean by this?
>>5717912>[Reserved Swordsmen] My instinct tells me its all connected, lets follow after the maiden first.
>>5717912>[Reserved Swordsmen] My instinct tells me its all connected, lets follow after the maiden first.lol stone faced and honorless are the same>bonusuuuuuhhhhhhwhen we realize we're the murderer I guess
>>5717912>[Reserved Swordsmen] My instinct tells me its all connected, lets follow after the maiden first.>BONUS>"Where exactly do you think all this breaks down?">What did Yuki mean by this?Yuki seems to think we actually have a complete recollection of the events which unfolded. This is indicated to me by their surprise that we ACTUALLY acted like a wild drunk on a bender by the tavern owner rather than simply 'making noise' for some other greater purpose. Either that, or they think we were already a part of someone else's plot and are trying to see what place we have in it.
>>5717912>- [Stone faced Samurai] Its your investigation, why are you asking me?
>>5717912>- [Reserved Swordsmen] My instinct tells me its all connected, lets follow after the maiden firstIts a conspiracy, i swear
>>5717912>[Master less Ronin] She knows me, and she is going to tell someone I'm coming. We should strike while we have the advantage of surprise.
>>5717912>- [Honour less Scoundrel] Its your investigation, why are you asking me?
>>5717912>- [Master less Ronin] She knows me, and she is going to tell someone I'm coming. We should strike while we have the advantage of surprise. >>BONUS>"Where exactly do you think all this breaks down?">What did Yuki mean by this?The sex trafficking ring obviously
>>5717912>- [Reserved Swordsmen] My instinct tells me its all connected, lets follow after the maiden first.>BONUSSo we, an apparently rough looking but skilled swordsman, enter a bar for TWO MON saki. We have NO MONEY for the considerably cheap wine where we get drunk. We make a bit of a mess from not paying our tab and stumble out into the attentions of a working girl who takes us to this shady bathhouse to get clean. We get clean on the tab of this working girl who somehow got us in here. One imagines she, or her boss, and this bathhouse have an arrangement. She then takes us somewhere else now that she has us clean, presumably to have a bit of fun. Now, is this all out of the kindness of her heart? The desire for a rough but handsome swordsman's embrace? No, I think perhaps the idea was to involve in some affair of theirs. Did she want to get out of town and tried to get us to leave with her? Or have us owe them a bunch of money to her bosses and then use us as hired muscle? To get into the midst of whatever they had the miko priest dealing with? Or perhaps to use us for some one-off job that they couldn't use a local for. In our drunkenness we probably got somebody pissed off, destroyed something, messed up whatever it is they wanted with us. Perhaps we just refused and told them to piss off. In the end the working girl got the short straw for bringing us in which caused a mess of some kind. They kill her for it, perhaps she had outlived her usefulness beyond being an example, or someone else did it because she was connected to what happened.
>>5718521This is good theorycrafting anon, but surely this is easier to explain as follows:>local crime figure tells secrets to prostitute>prostitute is now a liability>they pin her murder on the first drunk hobo they can, which is us
"My instinct tells me that you're right, that maiden could be important and we shouldn't let her disappear. But I must ask, why did you hide from the other women? Do you know her?""I was following my own instincts in that moment. Somehow, I felt that I should not allow myself to be seen by her just yet. Now, lets make haste, before we lose the maiden's trail."As the two of you stalk through the crowd, the chance that this maiden may disappear seems more likely with every passing moment. You decide to take a detour and get on top of a building, to get a better view. This proves fruitful as you spot the women further off in the crowd. Neither of you wish to outright run after her, but your pace does quicken. Soon enough, as you swim through the crowd, you manage to reach her. For a short time you follow closely behind, there is an odd reluctant feeling to her that prevents you from approaching. She suddenly turns a corner into a more secluded alley way, then another and another. You cross that final threshold yourself and find her waiting. She doesn't look directly at you, instead you watches over your shoulder and beyond. "Have you come for me at the behest of the Jikininki clan? Have they run out of patience with me?" She speaks directly to you. There is no emotion in her voice, and shows no fear to the protect of being pursued by possible thugs. "No maiden, we have come at our own behest. We seek you out for aid in unravelling a mystery."
She continues staring into nothing for a spell, before turning and continuing on her way. "Then follow, I will help you how I can."The journey following the maiden is winding and unintuitive. You move through passageways that are not meant to conceal, but inadvertently do so. Some examples include a street that seems to snake in on itself, and a passage through a house that looks lively on the outside, but is hollowed on the inside. You could never have made your way here on your own, and you worry if you can even find your way back out. When you finally arrive at your destination, you find the smallest of shrines harbouring the frailest tree you have ever seen. The thick city is not welcoming to nature, yet it perseveres none the less. She asks that you take a seat on the stairs leading up to the shrine, and await her return. Yuki is entranced by the serenity of the shrine, but you have other things on your mind. Earlier he asked you a question, and you have been slowly trying to understand it. 'Where does all this break down?' you wonder. Probably at the intentions of the prostitute that propositioned you. Perhaps she wanted you for protection, maybe she knew her death was coming? But how does that involve the bathhouse? What was the point of taking you there? If she was truly fearful of her death, was your smell that important? Maybe you are over thinking it, maybe a local crime figure told her something he shouldn't have and you just became the fall guy? If that's true, why is it so hard for Yuki to find out why you are in prison? Isnt the purpose of the fall guy to take the fall? Either way, its all speculation. Maybe you should focus on what you know for sure. One, you left the sake den with out a single mon to your name, second, a whore picked you out of all people.
The shrine maiden returns with tea and a single bowl of rice. She pours tea for both you and Yuki, but only serves the rice to you. This time around you are also presented with a pair of chop sticks! At last, someone with good manors. You do your best impression of a polite samurai and slowly eat the rice despite being hungry enough to swallow it. The Maiden continues starring off into a faraway place, while Yuki takes the lead in the questioning. "You mentioned the Jikininki, is the women you were arguing with a member of that clan?""I understood that you have come for my aid in solving a mystery. I did not know that mystery was my personal affairs" "These two things may be one in the same, please answer the question."Before she can continue you chime in with a question of your own. "What is your name maiden?" She slightly bows her head before you "Jakuchō, I have no clan."Yuki apologizes for not asking the question first and foremost, and also not introducing himself and giving her his profession. Professing that he has the tendency to become excited when an investigation starts to bear fruit, and hopes that she can forgive him. She simply answers his first question, and the ones that will surely follow."Yes, her name is Renho. She is not only a member, but the daughter of the clan head. They are a powerful and affluent. So much so that their gambling hall runs with official license to do so from the Daimyo. Renho had asked me to perform an exorcism recently, but now will not pay my costs." Yuki disregards the exorcism entirely, focusing completely on the gambling hall. Asking where it can be found, and how big is it. Also, he asks for more information on the clan itself."Not too far from where Renho and I spoke. You cannot miss it, simply follow the trail of lost souls and grief. I am not sure what more I can tell you about the clan, I know they were little more then simple Yakuza before the war. Beyond that, I do not wish to speak on rumour, but I do not believe much has changed." "Why did you agree to work with them?""It is my duty as keeper of this shrine to assist in such things."Yuki now turns to you. "Do you remember being in a gambling hall?"Maybe, you don't know. Perhaps if you visit the place you will be able to recall. "I'm not sure that is a good idea, not until I have learned more about this clan. I may quickly become stone walled by bureaucracy if this clan has as much sway as lady Jakuchō says. Not only that, but the hour has grown late, it may be time for me to return you to the palace as we have some ways to travel." He is having trouble deciding on what to do."I am starting to fear for your safety swordsman, it would not do for you to perish suddenly in prison."
>What do? - [Stone faced Samurai] Return me to prison if that is the law. Bending the rules only undermines your imperial authority.- [Reserved Swordsmen] Perhaps you can leave me here with Jakuchō, I believe you can trust a shrine maiden? That is of course, if the lady is willing to have me. [easy DC, high affinity] - [Master less Ronin] If it is bureaucracy you fear, then we should strike while the iron is hot! Come nightfall we should simply walk into the gambling hall before they can mount a defence and see how they react. - [Honour less Scoundrel] If you fear my death, then maybe you should turn me loose instead? I will not leave this city until I find those who caged me. Our paths will cross again, if we follow the same trail.
>>5718688>- [Reserved Swordsmen] Perhaps you can leave me here with Jakuchō, I believe you can trust a shrine maiden? That is of course, if the lady is willing to have me. [easy DC, high affinity] Gimme dat shrine maiden, I wanna hear more about the exorcism, it is crucial to our tale!
>>5718688>- [Reserved Swordsmen] Perhaps you can leave me here with Jakuchō, I believe you can trust a shrine maiden? That is of course, if the lady is willing to have me. [easy DC, high affinity]
>>5718688>[Reserved Swordsmen] Perhaps you can leave me here with Jakuchō, I believe you can trust a shrine maiden? That is of course, if the lady is willing to have me. [easy DC, high affinity] This seems fun and I don’t love the idea of getting shanked in jail.
>>5718688>[Reserved Swordsmen] Perhaps you can leave me here with Jakuchō, I believe you can trust a shrine maiden? That is of course, if the lady is willing to have me. [easy DC, high affinity]
>>5718688>[Reserved Swordsmen] Perhaps you can leave me here with Jakuchō, I believe you can trust a shrine maiden? That is of course, if the lady is willing to have me. [easy DC, high affinity]I promise you won't find her dead with the same wound as the prostitute tomorrow.
>>5718688>- [Honour less Scoundrel] If you fear my death, then maybe you should turn me loose instead? I will not leave this city until I find those who caged me. Our paths will cross again, if we follow the same trail.
>>5718688> [Master less Ronin] If it is bureaucracy you fear, then we should strike while the iron is hot! Come nightfall we should simply walk into the gambling hall before they can mount a defence and see how they react.
>>5718688>[Stone faced Samurai] Return me to prison if that is the law. Bending the rules only undermines your imperial authority.I choose this not to actually commit the action, but to increase our affinity with being based.
>>5718688>- [Master less Ronin] If it is bureaucracy you fear, then we should strike while the iron is hot! Come nightfall we should simply walk into the gambling hall before they can mount a defence and see how they react.
>>5718688>[Master less Ronin] If it is bureaucracy you fear, then we should strike while the iron is hot! Come nightfall we should simply walk into the gambling hall before they can mount a defence and see how they react. What's with the numbers?
>>5719067Seems like QM is tracking the previous votes to determine our MC’s personality and DCs for the actions provided. Presumably he’s intending to make out-of-character options more difficult to pull off, which is a cool mechanic that i haven’t seen before.
>>5718688>- [Stone faced Samurai] Return me to prison if that is the law. Bending the rules only undermines your imperial authority.I want Japanese prison shank fights
Yuki dropped, miko is my desire now
>>5718688> [Reserved Swordsmen] Perhaps you can leave me here with Jakuchō, I believe you can trust a shrine maiden? That is of course, if the lady is willing to have me. [easy DC, high affinity]
roll me a few d20s please
Rolled 6 (1d20)>>5719263WITNESS ME!!!
Rolled 1 (1d20)>>5719263
>>5719263Are there critfails in this quest? Asking for a friend
>>5719281She probably thinks we are some sort of nightcrawling, honourless ronin
Rolled 16 (1d20)>>5719263
>>5719263Woops auto correct
>>5719281holy shit LOL >>5719282no no just a simple best of 3, I wanted to reduce the amount of dice rolls in this quest anyway.
"I do not wish to return to prison myself, especially if my life is in danger. Why do you believe that I may be killed? For my association with you?""I do not believe it at all a certainty, only a possibility. But yes, perhaps because of your proximity to me, you would be in danger. If I am being truthful with you, 'someone' may seek to extract from you, knowledge about me. In order to protect my investigation, I am legally obliged to prevent that from happening." There is still no sword in Yuki's scabbard, yet these words carry a second more morbid meaning. Is the investigator even capable of such a thing? Nothing so far would lead you to believe so. 'It is the unseen blade that cuts the deepest', the words echo through time. "Then is your life not also in danger?""I am protected due to my status. Should I be struck down, the killers problems would only escalate. You, on the other hand, are a simple vagabond. No one would notice your sudden untimely end."You offer a solution "Perhaps you can leave me here with Jakuchō? I believe you can trust a shrine maiden? That is of course, if the lady is willing to have me. " This puts the young miko on the spot, she does not know you nor does she know what Yuki is investigating. Even still, the title of an imperial servant goes far to reassure anyone who considers themselves on the side of law and order. She thinks for a moment, then nods her head. "I cannot turn away someone in dire need."Yuki explains that you are still technically a prisoner, put in chains for a crime. Just because he doesn't know what it is, doesn't mean its not deserved. For all anyone knows, you could be a savage murderer and rapist. This takes you by surprise, as he has many times reassured you that he believes in your innocence. Perhaps he is trying to test the women's resolve? Or attempting to shift all blame off himself should 'something' happen. Jakuchō, looks through your soul and beyond. "I do not believe him to be a cruel man. As I said before, I cannot turn away someone in dire need.""Then it is settled. I will leave you here while I continue my investigation. I may not return for a few days." He unlocks the shackles that chain you to his wrist, and instead chains you to the railing of the shrine. "It will be up to your warden to decide if you should have freedom of movement." He then places the key into Jakuchō's hand and speaks to her privately. You cannot hear what he has to say, nor can you ascertain anything from the maidens empty expression.Yuki bows, to the both of you, one last time before leaving. ~~~
A boy holds a stick in his hand, a man holds a sword. He swings through the reeds, the man decapitates his enemies. He looks at his wooden sword, and all the headless reeds. For a brief moment he is invincible under the sun. It is a terrible thing when a boys dreams come true, as he doesn't know yet the gravity of what he wishes for. Is it here, in this field of reeds, that the Kami saw fit to grant his wish? Or was he destined to walk this road before he was even born? His mother comes and takes the stick from his hand and strikes his face. She is not angry with the boy, she cries as if she can see into the future. She begs and pleads the boy to never pick up a sword, to never walk the road of steel. She asks for a promise, and he gives it. The boy is older, he sits along the shore with his fishing line. When a man comes, he has never seen him before but knows who he is. His mother stands with him, she has no words left to speak. The man is a mountain, all eclipsing and insurmountable. A sword is placed in the boys hands, and remembering his promise he quickly casts it aside into the shallow water. He receives his first lesson that day, one of many to come, as the man takes up the sword he cast aside. The mountain becomes lightning and his mother feeds the earth. There is a deep sorrow in her eyes, but she does not weep for herself. "A resting blade soon awakens"
Your eyes shoot open and you return to the world of the living. You straighten and find Jakuchō sitting next to you in silence. The shrines long roof protects you from the rain that fails heavily, the sky weeps today as well. You cannot go anywhere with the iron attached to you, but the women actively chooses to sit at the shrine in silence. There are things you wish to say and ask, but she seems unapproachable despite being an arms reach away. This continues for a long time, until finally the rain stops. "I have much work to complete today, will you assist me?" "Of course, anything."She frees you from your shakes, and you are once again set loose. As she sweeps the temple of the few leaves that have fallen from the tree, you are sent to the back to chop firewood. She insisted that the task should be done beyond the sight of the venerable tree that guards the shrine. After, you are tasked with helping to patch the leaking roof. This trend continues as hours pass with more tasks, not a single person ever comes to visit the shrine. "While the elements give us respite, I shall make my rounds. I must ask you to come with me swordsman. I have promised to keep a vigil over you." The maidens 'rounds' mostly consist of walking the roads around her shrine and stopping from time to time to place charms and pray for a moment before moving on. You attempt to find some correlation between the places she chooses, but cannot find any. Rarely, someone will stop to speak with her. Mostly, its elderly women who wish to give an extremely small donation, or ask to purchase one of her charms. The spiritual life of city dwellers, and those that live in the country side is almost incomparable. Kami do not live in the stones and wood here. They have long been driven out.
When the rain returns, you find yourself stranded with Jakuchō. The long silence threatens to return. "You said that you performed an exorcism for the Jikininki clan before. Can you tell me about that?""Yes. I was approached by Renho. She described what sounded to me like a spirit. Statues being toppled over, brooms disappearing, whispering in the night. All are quite common with mischievous spirits. But she also told me that their men were having nightmares, and some were becomes increasingly hostile to each other.""What do you think may have caused something like that? Perhaps a murder? Maybe even a recent one" "Usually a murdered spirit takes many years to manifest, but it is possible. There are many reasons such a thing could occur. I have seen men who have becomes slaves to their gambling, so much misery. Such a den of suffering is bound to draw evil spirits. I could not verify anything specific however, because they would not let me inside. All my time there was very controlled.""They hired you to do a job, then wouldn't let you even enter?""I did what I could with the limitations I was given. I also felt that no one took the possibility of spirits seriously other then Renho. Unfortunately my tools, such as incense and salt are not free. They would not reimburse me for my efforts nor would they allow me to try again. I fear soon this problem will escalate, and there will be nothing I can do when the time comes."Suddenly, you spot something. Two men walk past you through the rain with an umbrella, but not just any umbrella. Its big enough for two, is probably expensive judging by the artwork and colouring, and there is something oddly feminine about it. That's right, its your umbrella. Neither of the two men are Genko the bathhouse keeper either. The two man are, without a doubt, Yakuza. They look at you, and you look at them. They don't seem to be looking for trouble, and are just looking to escape the rain. It doesn't stop them from sneering at you. >What do?- [Stone faced Samurai] Acquire this umbrella for the shrine maiden, the impolite animals should have offered on their own.- [Reserved Swordsmen] Inquire who these men are, where they are going, and where did they get that specific umbrella.- [Master less Ronin] Leave Jakuchō here to wait for you, then silently follow after these two Yakuza. - [Honour less Scoundrel] You are not thinking clearly 'samurai', if you confront these men you put Jakuchō in danger by association. If you kill them, the miko will probably respond poorly. you cannot win.
>>5719982>- [Honour less Scoundrel] You are not thinking clearly 'samurai', if you confront these men you put Jakuchō in danger by association. If you kill them, the miko will probably respond poorly. you cannot win.
>>5719982>[Master less Ronin] Leave Jakuchō here to wait for you, then silently follow after these two Yakuza. Let’s be smart here, ambush is the way to go
>>5719982>[Stone faced Samurai] Acquire this umbrella for the shrine maiden, the impolite animals should have offered on their own.
>>5719982>[Stone faced Samurai] Acquire this umbrella for the shrine maiden, the impolite animals should have offered on their own.You do not offer a rady your umbrella in the rain? MOST DISHONORABUUUUUU
>>5719982>- [Master less Ronin] Leave Jakuchō here to wait for you, then silently follow after these two Yakuza.Then once we get back we can get warmed up by Jakucho. Its all works out for Swordsman.
>>5719982>[Master less Ronin] Leave Jakuchō here to wait for you, then silently follow after these two Yakuza.
>>5719982>[Reserved Swordsmen] Inquire who these men are, where they are going, and where did they get that specific umbrella.
>>5719982- [Master less Ronin] Leave Jakuchō here to wait for you, then silently follow after these two Yakuza.
As you watch the umbrella depart, you are at first taken back by the staggering coincidence of this moment. However, maybe this wasn't a coincidence at all. Maybe this was by Yuki's design. He left the umbrella at the bathhouse as bait. If the bathhouse had regular patrons then anyone could have taken the umbrella, but if these two yakuza are the only visitors since you and Yuki it becomes much more probable. The only coincidence here is that you have spotted these two, here and now. Or was it? How sharp is that boys mind? You banish the thought. No, you seeing them here and now couldn't have been planned. Unless, of course, they make this trip often enough… Either way, If you take the umbrella from these men you could interfere with whatever trap Yuki may have set up. Still, you can't help but take this opportunity to follow the men and see where they go. Put you do start to feel like a piece on a shogi board "I know this may sound strange Lady Jakuchō, but I must leave you for a moment and pursue that umbrella." In a panic her hand shoots out and takes hold of your kimono sleeve. "Leave? I- I cannot allow it I'm sorry. I was tasked with keeping vigil over you and I promised not to let you out of my sight!" "Yes, I understand, but Yuki would want me to follow that umbrella I know it"She doesn't know what you're talking about. Here, in this island against the rain her illusion is broken. In her panic to stop you, the facade has cracked and you instantly come to the realization that Jakuchō is blind. How fragile her play was, it is no wonder it fall apart so easily. Unbelievable that you, with your sharp eyes, didn't outright notice outright. How obvious it all is now. The rain has trapped her in more ways then one, she cannot leave without becoming lost. She stiffens and returns to her statuesque self, but the mirage is forever broken. "I cannot force you to stay, but I must implore you to do so. Please honour your word."This changes things between you and Jakuchō, but it does not change your mind. You will not run away, nor will you escape, you will return. This does not reassure her, but your mind is already made up. As you leave, she simply stares off into space and waits the rain; alone.
~The leisurely yakuza take their time, following the two men takes longer then you had wanted. In your mind you had already discovered something, got out of the rain, and returned to the shrine maiden. But your stalking does eventually pay off with information that you had already felt to be true. Over time the streets darken with the lost souls Jakuchō had described. Many addict gamblers have nowhere to go but loiter the streets. They wait for the den to open and, as expected, these two men take you to the head quarters of the Jikininki clan. A tall imposing structure three entire floors in height. The bathhouse and the gambling den are connected, and the murdered girl took you to both. The two men see the growing crowd that eagerly await the gates of hell to swing open, and choose to avoid it by going to the back. They enter through a secret entrance hidden in the wall. They are brazen, and don't look carefully enough to watch for hidden eyes in the rain. On the other side of the wall you hear the familiar nagging voice of Renho. You try to hear more over the sound of rain, but cannot make out anything other then "the girl'. You would like nothing more then to try and gain entry, but you cannot leave Jakuchō waiting for so long. It would be fool hearty to enter now. ~
When you return, Jakuchō is right were you left her. Stepping out of the rain and into the shelter she can finally notice you. "Swordsman?"Before you would have thought it to be a statement of greeting, but now know it to be a question. You reassure her simply by speaking. "I have returned, as promised." There is scorn in her voice, "But now I do not know where you have been. I cannot be your alibi should something happen.""You could have come with me if you were so determined to keep a record." It is a cruel statement, because you know she could not. She does not take the bait, instead returns to looking far off into nothing. "I did not return without bringing a gift however." In your arms is an umbrella, not to be confused with the one Yuki used as bait. This one is cheap, and stolen from some unfortunate who should have kept a better eye on his things. "Will you take my arm shrine maiden? The umbrella is not quite big enough for two."She hesitates for a moment. "I will"Jakuchō's steps are careful and she clings to you tightly. The rain obscures her senses, and her steps are not resolute. Even still, she knows where she is and the path to the shrine is etched into her heart. When you return to the shrine you can feel a sense of relief wash over the maiden. The wooden steps up to the shrine give her the courage to release you, and walk on her own. "I will dry my clothing, I suggest you do the same."
During her absence she prepares a meal for the two of you to share, and later returns from the shrine to join you outside. This time rice is too rich, and she can only offer the lesser grain of wheat and assorted donated vegetables. Over the small meal, you start to feel a burning guilt that you have learned her secret. It seems unthinkable, but you choose to unburden a secret of your own with the women. You tell her of how you and Yuki met, and the women that started your involvement in the investigation. You also tell her something you didn't tell Yuki, you tell her of your vision. Both the vision of ancient history and your fear that the women was slayed by your hand. She thinks on your words for a long time before giving you an answer. "I cannot give you absolution if that is what you seek, nor do not know the lessons of death. I cannot speak from a place of wisdom on such things. But I do believe that your willingness to help solve the mystery of your own crime shows that you have a noble heart." "What If that is not my intention? I wonder, that perhaps I am here not to uncover, but to conceal. Should the evidence point in the wrong direction. I do not know the beat of my own heart." "This is a cruel age that we live in swordsman, on this we all can speak from a place of wisdom. The spirits of the wronged and destitute are in great abundance. Many innocents lament the crimes that have been done onto them without hope for justice. You have had many opportunities to run. It is the sad truth that should you have disappeared, none would have pursued to rectify the wrong of a single lonely girl. It is a forlorn hope that her spirit will ever know peace."As night falls the maiden leaves you to your thoughts and enters the shrine. Your shackles were never returned to your wrist. Nothing was said, but the Maiden did not simply forget. You ponder on her words and the riddle they had cast. She is absolutely right, if you did kill a whore no one would truly care. They would hang you, if they had you, but would they send riders after you? Not likely, not in a city as big as this. Life simply does not hold the same value here. You reflect on Yuki's words once again, "where does this all fall apart?". Perhaps right from where it began, what is Yuki doing investigating this specific murder? Not only that, but the timeline doesn't add up, the capital is weeks away. He was probably already on his way here BEFORE this girl was murdered. Perhaps he was here from the start. A creaking interrupts your thoughts. The door to the shrine slowly and gently opens with the assistance of the night's wind. It was either not closed properly, or the old wooden door simply cannot handle the breeze. You stand to close the door, when an intrusive thought enters your head. The rain falls harder then ever.
>What do?- [Stone faced Samurai] Close the door.- [Reserved Swordsmen] The hero always peeks.[vs]- [Master less Ronin] Enter, she left the door open on purpose.- [Honour less Scoundrel] This age is cruel indeed. QM note, don't worry about tactical voting here. The top two options are vs the bottom two options.
>>5721014>- [Stone faced Samurai] Close the door.>- [Reserved Swordsmen] The hero always peeks.
>>5721014>- [Honour less Scoundrel] This age is cruel indeed
>>5721046You should still pick the one you want specifically
>- [Stone faced Samurai] Close the door.
>>5721014>[Honour less Scoundrel] This age is cruel indeed.
> [Reserved Swordsmen] The hero always peeks.
>>5721014>[Stone faced Samurai] Close the door.Hopefully she’s not in the process of getting murdered by Jikininki ninjas
>>5721014>- [Reserved Swordsmen] The hero always peeks.as much as I'd like to play an evil character for once, Yuki is clearly the prime waifu
>>5721046>[Stone faced Samurai] Close the door.
>>5721014>- [Master less Ronin] Enter, she left the door open on purpose.
>>5721013>- [Master less Ronin] Enter, she left the door open on purpose.
>>5721014>[Master less Ronin] Enter, she left the door open on purpose.
>>5721014>[Stone faced Samurai] Close the door.
A pretty shrine maiden, a kind person in a cruel age. The rainy evening has reminded her of this blindness, this isolation, this priestly poverty. Shes a good woman who wants to be comforted for a little while by a good man, not peeked at or ignored.
>>5721014>28][Stone faced Samurai] Close the door.Not opposed to getting some action but not from her please.
>>5721014>- [Master less Ronin] Enter, she left the door open on purpose
Going to close the votes here, no update today because once again I didn't expect samurai victory and am not prepared. >>5721482>>5721485Didn't count this vote because it was too sus, sorry
You lot are lame
>>5721535I just didn’t want the Honorless Scoundrel option to win here desu
In the morning, Jakuchō steps into the warm sun. Her blindness makes her oblivious to the storm that again gathers on the horizon, and her naivety conceals how close your inner demons were in winning out in the night. Now in the bright sun, the dark thoughts slumber, and you can clearly see that you cannot spend another night here. Hopefully, Yuki comes today to save you from yourself. "Tonight I slept without a leak in my roof, I have you to thank for that swordsman. I do not wish it, but I must swallow my pride and request your help today as well." She almost smiles, and that is enough for you. Today she opens her shrine to you, and requests your aid repairing rotten wood in the walls and floor boards. Another task for a man with a stout arm. You are not a craftsmen by any means, but the work comes to you as innately as swinging a sword. Ah, your sword. Your hand cramps at the mention of it. The work keeps your mind occupied, but never can you escape the longing. Inside the small shrine you see an even smaller kitchen area and a improvised spot where its keeper sleeps. Mostly it is occupied by a large shrine to some unknown god. And what a shrine it is! On it stands a relic from a bygone era, a secret treasure onto itself, carved partially from jade there is a possibly it was imported. It is a mighty green dragon, and its hollow eyes see right into yours. No matter where you stand in the shrine, they ominously seem to follow you. It comes to your mind that Jakuchō may have never even seen the treasure that sits in her own shrine. "This mighty Kami is Ryūjin, there once was a time that this city was connected to the sea by four great rivers. This god of the sea was worshipped here, they feared his anger as they loved his kindness. Overtime, the rivers were forded, and the route changed to make room as the village turned into a town, then into a city. He is now blind to what happens here.""Then why do you still maintain this shrine to him?""I often ask myself the same swordsman. But he has taken me in when else I would have surely died, I cannot abandon his shrine until he returns to claim it."~
The work is not hard, but it is time consuming. Jakuchō Helps by passing you the materials as it requires your entire body at times to hold things in place. There is so much to fix, that It would be better if a master came and simply rebuild the entire shrine from the ground up. Ryūjin leers are you while you work, and threatens his wrath should you accidentally collapsing his shrine. She did not need to explain who the great dragon kami is at all, as you had many run ins with his two faced personalty growing up on the shores of the sea.There is too much work to be done to ever finish repairing this shrine, but at the same time no reason to ever stop. Eventually, you are rescued from your endless labour by the arrival of Yuki. He shouts a greeting from the courtyard, the shrine maiden is first to greet him but you are soon to follow. Sweat runs from your brow and you have long since abandoned your kimono. Seeing you exit the shrine with the miko in such a fashion leaves you upon for attack."I'm not interrupting anything am I? Should I come back?" Its a crude joke, and you don't find it funny. Despite nothing happening, recent events have made that type of comedy unpalatable. Happily, It simply goes over Jakuchō head."I come bearing gifts. Behold, three steamed buns. One for the messenger, one for the hardworking swordsman, and one for our hostess."Its been a long time since the culinary invention of the bun has spread over the island, but to Jakuchō its a rare treat. She keeps well her regal bearing, but the methodical way she consumes the bun betrays her poverty."So, how have you been surviving? I see your warden has kept you busy. That is wise.""Just fine. What can you tell me about my imprisonment? Have you finally cleared my name? Or at least found out the reason?"Yuki simply waves away your question. "I didn't even ask nor look, sorry swordsman but I have been quite busy. Not only that, I see no reason to inquire anymore. Doing so only makes my unseen enemies more suspicious of your importance. I have come to the conclusion that those who have imprisoned you, and my quarry, are one in the same. Once I conclude this investigation, you will probably go free by proxy."So in other words, your freedom is tied to his success. How fortunate for him. He is eventually going to ask you to do something for him, like at the bath house, but this time he is going to be more upfront. That is a certainty. To commemorate your pseudo partnership, you inform him about the umbrella, and the men you followed. Revealing to Yuki the connection between the bath house and the gambling den. As a bonus, you tell him of the secret entrance as well.
"Oh my, what a coincidence! You put good karma into the world and it returns to you! Isn't that right Jakuchō?" Yuki beams with positivity at this newfound knowledge, and does not wait for an answer."That gives me all the reassurance I need. I will head there immediately. But first, there is something I need to ask you. Feel free to say no, but will you perhaps do me the honour of accompanying me today?""Do you plan to go to the gambling hall? Do you still need me to follow in my past selves footsteps?""No, its something entirely different. I'm afraid you were right about something you stated before. Things here really don't walk the same way here, as they do the capital. It shames me to admit it but perhaps your presence would smooth the process of my investigation. Now, I'm not saying I need you to get rough with anyone, far from it. I just need you to look like yourself, near me, while I do what I do. That's all, I promise."It is not your own voice, but Jakuchō's, that interjects on your behalf. "Would it not be more prudent to receive assistance from the proper authorities? Surely, as an imperial servant, you can command the guards or even receive armed men from the palace to assist you?"Yuki is not at all detoured or stumped by the question, and quickly finds an answer. "Yes of course, but that is too much too soon. I do not wish to play that hand yet. One does not use a nodachi to fillet a fish unless he wants attention from his neighbours! Of course it is all up to our mutual friend" He extends his hand towards you "Will you assist me again swordsman?">What do?- [Stone faced Samurai] You are a lair, in what I do not now. Come clean with the truth of your business, or begone! - [Reserved Swordsmen] Agreed, let justice be done. [You trust Yuki]- [Master less Ronin] I will help you, but I have my own reasons. [You distrust Yuki]- [Honour less Scoundrel] If you want my help, you must give me more. If you trust me prove it by putting a sword in my hand.
>>5722600>[Honour less Scoundrel] If you want my help, you must give me more. If you trust me prove it by putting a sword in my hand.If they do this, I'd have MC follow them to the grave.
>>5722600>[Honour less Scoundrel] If you want my help, you must give me more. If you trust me prove it by putting a sword in my hand.
>>5722600>- [Honour less Scoundrel] If you want my help, you must give me more. If you trust me prove it by putting a sword in my hand.I trust Yuki, but it's high time we got our sword
>>5722600[Honour less Scoundrel] If you want my help, you must give me more. If you trust me prove it by putting a sword in my hand.Swordtime, sword time.
>>5722600>[Reserved Swordsmen] Agreed, let justice be done. [You trust Yuki]
>>5722600>- [Honour less Scoundrel] If you want my help, you must give me more. If you trust me prove it by putting a sword in my hand.Didn't even look into the imprisonment reason baka
>>5722600>[Honour less Scoundrel] If you want my help, you must give me more. If you trust me prove it by putting a sword in my hand.Time for Yuki to put up or shut up
>>5722600>Give me my swoooooooord!
>>5722600>[Honour less Scoundrel] If you want my help, you must give me more. If you trust me prove it by putting a sword in my hand.I would serve if we got a swordNo gay stuff tho
>>5722600>[Stone faced Samurai] You are a lair, in what I do not now. Come clean with the truth of your business, or begone!
>>5722600- [Reserved Swordsmen] Agreed, let justice be done. [You trust Yuki]
This time, promises are not enough. You want something tangible that you can hold in your hand. You have been patient, and you have been polite, but day after day has passed and you are no closer to your desired outcome. At this point, you will serve anyone who will mend your arm. You want a sword, and he is going to give it to you. Yuki's demeanour changes in an instant, and for a moment he is almost another person entirely. "And what would you do with it?" "What ever you wish, I can open many doors for you." perhaps you answered too quickly, your skins itches and your nerves have run out. You will say anything that you think he wants to hear, but the truth is you have no idea what you will do. It was never the point. The sword is freedom, the freedom to choose. What you will do has always been an after thought. Yuki's smile returns threefold and its luster drowns out the memory of what came before. "If I had but a sword to give you." He motions to his empty scabbard. "If only you knew just how difficult that seemingly simple request is. The sword hunt has had far reaching consequences my friend, none have felt it more then in the capital. You are still a prisoner, until your name is cleared you cannot be given a sword. Even after, 'I' cannot be the one to put a weapon into your hand. Not ever."Its nonsense, you can feel the anger rise within you. He talks about what he can and can't do often. Yet it has become clear enough that he will bend the rules, or simply come up with new rules when it accommodates him. He does not trust you with a blade, it does not fall neatly into what even he has planned. But he needs you, that much is clear. You call his bluff. You are not taking a step outside of this shrine with him, until he fulfills your request. Your hand rhythmically opens and closes around a phantom hilt. Jakuchō can't see you, but she looks right at you. Yuki simply nodes his head at you with understanding. "That is a shame, but I can sympathize with your frustration. Do you recall that samurai that accosted us when we were leaving? Well I finally have an appointment with his master, its tonight at the palace. After the bath house I will be going there. I had hopped that you would be at my side."Yuki stands and bows before you both. "Should you change your mind you know where I will be today, I will tell the palace guard to allow you entry should you come. Know that, if you are adamant on your decision, I will not hold it against you. I will keep my word and seek your freedom to the best of my abilities." Unbelievable, you attempted to call his bluff but now he wagers that it is you who has the weaker hand. He has already tied your freedom to his success, and now seeks to walk into the lions maw alone. Not once, but twice in one day! Either this boy is truly a master strategist, or he is an absolute imbecile greenhorn…
After Yuki has left, you stew for a long time in furious silence. Jakuchō does not ask you to return to work, but sits with you in meditation. The itching sensation in your palm will not subside, the wound cannot heal and has started to fester. Still, time does its work well, and eventually your internal raging reaches controllable levels. Seeming to be in tune with your inner thoughts, Jakuchō takes the opportunity to offer you an alternative to a sword. "Perhaps shooting a bow will ease your warrior's heart?" You are surprised to find that the blind maiden has a well kept set of arrows, as well as a mighty yumi to loosen them. Holding it in your hand does as she predicted, and you finally feel a sense of relief from the phantom pain. its not your first time shooting a bow however, and consider yourself quite adequate. Despite her inability to see, you hope to impress the maiden with the sound of arrows hitting target now and again. She is not, and soon insists on showing you the proper way to hold a bow. For Jakuchō, shooting the yumi is a ritual. She bows to you, the shrine, and even the target before even thinking of drawing the weapon. Her pace is slow, lifting the bow over her head, before patiently pulling the string back. In time, she even releases an arrow. To your surprise, it hits the mark, but that's not the point of the exercise. "Kyudo focuses the mind and calms the spirit, I wish to teach it to you if you have the patience."And patience you will need, because for one of her shots you could have fired every arrow in the quiver and collected them too. You are polite to try and absorb what she is attempting to teach you, because you can see what her goal is. But its not the same, you have already found your zen in another instrument. This one does not play to the tune of your soul. ~
The archery lesson comes to an abrupt end, as dark visitors enter the shrine grounds. The serenity is immediately brought to heel, as Renho and four yakuza arrive. They are armed with bludgeoning tools made for non lethal combat, but you know their type always have smaller blades hidden under their robes. They have caught you with only three arrows in your quiver, the rest are out of reach. Renho smiles and greets Jakuchō like an old friend. "Hello shrine maiden, I have come for a visit. Will you not extend to me your hospitality?" She walks forward towards the shrine and Jakuchō leaves your side to intercept her. You exchange unspoken hostility with the Yakuza who accompany her. They are prepared to fight, but not yet."Why have you come Renho? To personally make amends and restock my shelves?""You have grown so cold Jakuchō, will you not even offer your friend tea before speaking of business?" The two women are once again face to face. You wish to take a step closer, but even one is a step too far. Her body guards watch, and you are unwilling to start a fight in your hostesses refuge unless absolutely necessary. "Why have you come here?" She repeats. "Isn't it obvious?" Renho points right at you. "For him." "What is it you want fro-""Oh quite up, the man can speak for himself. Oy, you there, drop the bow and come quietly. Unless you plan to use this women as a shield? Wouldn't be much of a man if you did that I think."You do not drop the bow. "How did you know I was here, and more importantly what is it you want?"In her most amicable tone, she answers. "Yare yare, can't things just be simple? Three buns, our clan has a hand in every pocket and a ear in every room. Your master is a fool to think he isn't being watched. Luckily for you, we simply wish to talk. Are you not tired of being used? Treated like a dog by a meddling imperial? Maybe you can hear my offer in a much more private place instead?" She says this as she puts her arm around Jakuchō's shoulder. Renho is quickly running out of patience and her voice grows sharp. "So which way is it going to be?"The shrine maiden is now both a hostage, and a shield. >What do?- [Stone faced Samurai] Fire your bow into her retainers. - [Reserved Swordsmen] "I will come peacefully, but you must leave the shrine maiden in peace."- [Master less Ronin] Agree, but once your out of the shrine attempt to escape! [Semi hard DC. Low affinity]- [Honour less Scoundrel] "If you put a sword in my hand, I will open many doors for you" A truth or a lie, you don't even know yourself.
>>5723414>[Reserved Swordsmen] "I will come peacefully, but you must leave the shrine maiden in peace."
>>5723414>[Reserved Swordsmen] "I will come peacefully, but you must leave the shrine maiden in peace."I'd pick the Ronin option despite the Semi Hard roll, but there's nothing stopping them from turning right back around and fucking with the girl if we run.
>>5723414>[Reserved Swordsmen] "I will come peacefully, but you must leave the shrine maiden in peace.">"And what would you use me for? I will not be made a common criminal. Becoming Ronin and succumbing to vagrancy is debasement enough." >"The state wishes to take my head for no discernible reason, that investigator wishes to hold a blade to my neck, do you plan to chain me as well, to Izanami or your will?"
>>5723414>- [Reserved Swordsmen] "I will come peacefully, but you must leave the shrine maiden in peace."
>>5723414>[Reserved Swordsmen] "I will come peacefully, but you must leave the shrine maiden in peace."And give her her dues
>>5723414>>[Reserved Swordsmen] "I will come peacefully, but you must leave the shrine maiden in peace."
>>5723414>- [Honour less Scoundrel] "If you put a sword in my hand, I will open many doors for you" A truth or a lie, you don't even know yourself.
>>5723414>[Honour less Scoundrel] "If you put a sword in my hand, I will open many doors for you" A truth or a lie, you don't even know yourself.This is great misdirection - once we get a sword, then we can determine whether to help Yuki or not
>>5723414>Honourless scoundrel, If you put a sword in my hand, IT will open many doors for youI must specify IT, the SWORD, will open doors for them in their discussions with us. I've no interest in anything beyond the SWORD.
>>5723414>[Honour less Scoundrel] "If you put a sword in my hand, I will open many doors for you" A truth or a lie, you don't even know yourself.Sword will open the door to their hearts. Through their guts.
No update today, sorry!
You cast down the bow and surrender, how many times will you find yourself in the same spot. Undone by a women? "I will come peacefully, but you must leave the shrine maiden unmolested, and give her the dues you owe." "What a honourable man, you really can pick them Jakuchō!" Renho draws forth a pouch of coins and dangles it in front of the maiden. "I will not take mon that condemns a man"Satisfied with the attempt, Renho disappears the coins back into the folds of her kimono and shrugs "Well, I tried. Didn't take." The four men slowly move towards you and surround you. When they get into position, they lunge all at once with their blunt weapons. Beating you into submission; you do not defend yourself. "Do not hurt him!" Jakuchō's stoicism folds while Renho holds her back. "Relax, they won't break him too bad. Just enough to make sure there are no complications."The men pick up you battered body and drag you out of the shrine. The miko watches, but can do nothing. When they have cleared the grounds, you hear Renho scold her retainers before momentarily losing conciseness."I said just enough so he can still walk you imbeciles…"~When you regain semblance of awareness, you quickly notice that one of the men is missing. Only after becoming aware of this key fact, do you come to know where you are. You are on the road of lost souls, heading directly the the heart of the enemies strength. The gambling den. None that dwell here are the sort that would ever think of coming to your rescue. The yakuza are strongest here, and their law supersedes all others. When the time comes, you will be marched directly through the front gates for all to see.The interior of the first level of the building is almost one large room with a great central support pillar. This massive hall has duel purpose. Judging from the plethora of men, exercise equipment, weapons, and smell, this is a dojo during the day. The retainers train here, which is unexpected for simple yakuza. It would seem someone is trying to turn these rogues into real warriors, perhaps has been for some times. Although you see well over thirty men here, you do not see the master. The second purpose is, of course, gambling. There are tables, cards, signs, and even the scuff marks of a ring for animal fights. Currently the hall is in a transition period, the morning dojo equipment is being replaced by the ones for gambling. One is being swept out by servants to make room for the other. In this whirlwind of activity, Renho see's something she doesn't like. A group of men are arguing, and have begun placing hands on each other. "Take him upstairs and tie him up, ill be there shortly." She walks towards the crowd of men with a stick draw and starts hammering one of them. You never learn what the argument was about, but they cower at her onslaught. As instructed, You are taken up stairs into an empty room, tied up to a chair, and a bag is placed over your head. ~
Before you see or hear anyone, you feel an ominous presence. Something is slithering through the rooms, a dark malignant energy. It scrapes against your skin and blows past your ears. You cannot move to escape, and you cannot see to look away. But it was here, for a moment, then it was gone. The silence is broken and you hear the door slide open, Renho enters the room. The bag is removed from your head, and with a few snaps of her fingers the retainer guarding you leaves. Leaving you alone with the witch. She sits in the chair across from yours."Welcome to the house of the Jikininki, how are you enjoying your accommodations?" You do not answer, as the only alternative is to be impolite. "Do you know why YOU are here?""Something to do with the investigator I assume"She looks surprised, "So it has sense when its sober! How amusing. Do you know why HE is here?"You are starting to get an idea of Yuki's purpose, but don't yet see the full picture. So you feign a deeper ignorance. "He is investigating a murder"She scoffs and stands to pace back and forth behind you. To rethink her strategy and attack vector."Tell me swordsman, what do you know of the Jikininki clan?""Nothing, is the lady preparing to educate me?"She ignores you comment and continues. "Six hundred years of recorded clan history. My ancestors were warlords, they ruled these lands when this spot was just a village. Then, in a fit of dishonourable conduct, another warlord came with his armies. He took our lands, crushed our legacy, and divided it among his undeserving retainers. All in the name of unity. This warlord would go on to crown himself the first shogun." She places her hands on your shoulders, and her voice grows with intensity with every word. "But we survived swordsman, we adapted. Our history was never lost. We crawled, we scavenged, we bled." her nails sink into your skin "When the shogun declared the sword hunt, my father and his father served the Daimyo in the civil war that followed. When the Daimyo needed coin, who did he ask? When the shoguns armies squatted over those mountains, who's men bled and died so that the Daimyo could keep his head?" She releases you and comes to once again stand before you. There is something in her hand, a sword! But not just any sword, its YOUR sword. Your phantom pain returns with a vengeance.
Her voice is once again calm "Who won the civil war swordsman? Do you know?" Ask a hundred historians, and a thousand Shogi players, and each will have a different answer. Officially, the fairest answer one could give is that it was a 'draw', with the return to the status quo. "Who can say?"She draws the blade from the scabbard and holds it aloft, the blade stands above all else in the room. "THE SHOGUN LOST. In my hand is that symbol swordsman. The shogun decreed to disarm the nation and yet here it is, in my hand. For a long time now the shogunate's power comes from an illusion, a show of force that he does not have. Against the full might of a united people he is nothing. And now, everyone knows it. Word of this undeniable fact has spread to every corner of the land, those who bowed before will not be so willing a second time. The time of war will come again. We are standing on the edge of it. Imperial rule will not last." "A resting blade soon awakens"Renho is taken back by your apt reply. "Well said swordsman, perhaps there is a brain in there yet." She returns your blade to its scabbard, and leaves it resting on the chair before you. "lines are being drawn in the sand. The Daimyo has already cast his lot, he knows that the grip of the Jikininki tightens around his throat. He looks at his purse and sees Jikininki coin. He looks at his servants and sees Jikininki faces. So like a rat he sells us all out to the shogun and his pet emperor. All to hold onto a power that belongs to my clan by RIGHT. The investigator is here to find a reason to dislodge us. He will find that reason, even if he has to fabricate one. That is the deal the Daimyo made."Ah, finally. The crux of the matter. "I have seen the mighty work of the Jikininki. I have walked the path of broken souls. You run gambling dens, your whores entrap men, and you cannot even pay a humble shrine maiden her dues. You yourselves have given your enemies the means to destroy you."Renho's eyes are cold and distant. She begins to circle you like a vulture, or perhaps a wolf is the better analogy. "Our clan has done what it must to return to glory. But what about you? Who are you to judge us?"She is smug and mocking. "One last question swordsman. Tell me, do you know how the whore died? Do you know who killed her? You already know what she is going to say, "No, it is not true.""Yes! You already know!" Her voice is becomes almost a whisper from the darkness, a blade slipping into your brain. "You killed her." She smiles "I saw it with my very eyes. In a drunken rage you drew your blade, and murdered her. With one stroke you did it, the blood sprayed all over my face." She licks her lips and touches her face to whip away imaginary blood."No, I would never…"
"And do you know what the best part is swordman? My favourite detail that brings it all together? The investigator knows!" She Is almost laughing at your misfortune now, she takes your head into her hands and presses it against her chest. "You pitiable dog. The investigator knows, and he will throw you to the wolves once he is done with you." She pets your hair and consoles you, all the while laughing at your plight. "My poor little swordsman. They wanted to hang you on the spot. But it is 'I' who saved you, I told them to stay their hand. I have a talent you see, it has gotten me to where I am today. I see raw potential." She yanks your hair back hard. "I'm going to make you a deal swordsman, unlike that rotten little puppet master I'm going to lay it all on the line. I will show you a secret way into our compound, and you will bring the investigator here. At night, alone. When you do, I will give you your freedom. I will put this sword back into your hand and you may do as you will with it. Perhaps you will even stay with us" There is a wild angry tenderness in her eyes, for a moment she looks as if she is about to kiss you. Instead she releases her hold on you and laughs before pacing away. "But that will be up to you".- [Stone faced Samurai] "You talk much for a women. When your clan is ready to speak, send a man. [DC: Hard, low affinity]"- [Reserved Swordsmen] Say nothing, as you have no words to say. You need time… to think… You are REELING from this. Escape into your own mind. - [Master less Ronin] Agree, as you don't really have a choice at the moment. She has given you much to think about however. - [Honour less Scoundrel] Feel out her honesty and test the outliers, she can't lie to a liar. [DC: Mid, normal affinity]
>>5725006now we're talking!
>>5725006>[Reserved Swordsmen] Say nothing, as you have no words to say. You need time… to think… You are REELING from this. Escape into your own mind.
>>5725006 - [Write in] Tell Rehno you'll help her *after* she gives you your sword back, not before
>>5725006>[Stone faced Samurai] "You talk much for a women. When your clan is ready to speak, send a man. [DC: Hard, low affinity]"
>>5725006- [Reserved Swordsmen] Say nothing, as you have no words to say. You need time… to think… You are REELING from this. Escape into your own mind.
>>5725006[Honour less Scoundrel] Feel out her honesty and test the outliers, she can't lie to a liar. [DC: Mid, normal affinity]
>>5725006>- [Honour less Scoundrel] Feel out her honesty and test the outliers, she can't lie to a liar. [DC: Mid, normal affinity]"Do you bare yourself to me in this? Show me how much you want my...Potential."
>>5725006[Honour less Scoundrel] Feel out her honesty and test the outliers, she can't lie to a liar. [DC: Mid, normal affinity]At the end of the day, Yuki will see this coming. We will need to find another way to solve the threefold problem.
>>5725006>- [Honour less Scoundrel] Feel out her honesty and test the outliers, she can't lie to a liar. [DC: Mid, normal affinity]Talk to the sword
>>5725006>[Master less Ronin] Agree, as you don't really have a choice at the moment. She has given you much to think about however. Agree now and get sword, we can betray her later if necessary.This lady is a moron, she confessed treason against the Imperial state to a hobo. Even beyond this, she’s going about her revolution in the dumbest way possible.Yuki is smarter than she is and ergo he’s a better horse to back here. We can atone for our murder of the girl (if that really is what happened) by preventing a massive bloody civil war.
>>5725006>Feel our her honesty>"I want my sword. First."Shocking twist, except I kinda already expected us to do something like that. But yeah, the blade is the only way to have any choice in anything. She said as much. So give us, our sword.
Ok 3 people roll a 1d20
Rolled 14 (1d20)
Rolled 8 (1d20)
Rolled 10 (1d20)>>5725420
No update today or tomorrow or the day after that. I know its lame but I really have to get some work finished up please understand. Ill be back on Thursday, I hope to see you there!
The women's mind is a fortress, and the walls are defended by the criminally insane. You cannot clime over the ramparts and look upon the motives hidden on the other side, nor see into the truth of her words and promises. What you can see, is that she is not completely sane. And not just because she is a women! Her emotional instability takes a step beyond that. Further more, there is a darkness in her. There is a darkness in this room. Its everywhere, one the ceiling, on the walls, in the furniture, even all over the people. It infects everything, its even on you. "I will deliver Yuki to you, but first I need my sword. Give it to me and then you will have my trust."Her eyes are cold and inquisitive "Then will you use it to take me hostage? Maybe cut me down instead? Or just betray me, and have your sword too?" she scowls. "You must think me a fool. Such arrogance." She again takes up your sword and offers it to you, hilt first. "Take it then" Your arms and legs are bound. Despite this, you try and reach out to your sword all the same. Your struggle against the ropes is titanic, but futile. Your blade yearns to return to you as well. Ever so slowly, it starts to slip from its scabbard and slide towards you."The offer is closing swordsman. Take it." She watches you struggle for a while longer before retracting the offer. "We have already duelled, and you have already lost. That's why you sit there, and I stand here. I have set the terms, you prove your worth and I will return your sword. Not before. If you are worthy of your arrogance, then you can find your own blade. This is the one I offer" The struggle has taken its tole, and your breathing is haggard. "How are you so sure that I won't betray you, why have you told me all this?" "Perhaps you will not aid me, but I do not believe you will betray me. Or will you tell the inspector you know of his lies? Tell him that you know he plans to throw you to the wolves? What else can you tell him that he doesn't already know, but can't prove? The wiser move is to let the chips fall, and hope that your enemies destroy each other. You would be the greatest fool in this city if you believe you can find repentance from an imperial by serving.""Then set me loose, and wait to see how well you have gambled. Or would you swear obedience to your first?""Words are meaningless, only action matters. I will not ask you to serve by force, I would have you do it willingly. Know this, those who stand with me choose this path, it is the shogunate that demands obedience."
~You can't believe she kept her word as you find yourself ejected out the gambling den and into the streets. As the doors open to let you out, they also open to let the hordes in. The gambling addicted zombies are the first to enter, as they have been waiting the longest. The throng shambles and pushes against and past you. The second wave is smaller and comes in ones or twos. These people have yet to be destroyed and, for now, come only for fun. When they are gone, you are left alone in the dark streets. The brightly lit gambling hall is like a lantern drawing all to come in. The sky is overcast, and conceals the time of day. A weak rain has started to fall, and you are without an umbrella. With no one to bar your way, you begin your journey away from the den. But where to go? Your state of mind is different now that you are away from that place, the rain even does its part to wash away the darkness that has gathered on your clothing and skin. Was that women telling the truth? Did you really kill that women? Does Yuki know? Should you confront him, or play along? If he has been using you this whole time, then maybe it would be JUST to hand him over to the Jikininki. No matter how you slice it, all paths now seem to lead back to Yuki. Despite everything, you are determined to see this to its end. With only one place to go, your course is clear. ~
You find the Bathhouse in much the same state as you left it. Genko the bathhouse keeper stands at the counter with his three Gaisha servants. He is reading something when you arrive, and watches you like a hawk as you approach. Something seems wrong, Yuki said he was going straight here but Genko doesn't look like a man who is currently being investigated. You decide subterfuge is best here. "I'm looking for my lord, you met him the other day." Genko's gaze breaks "About a head shorter then me, fine clothing, crazy hair, bought a bath for me. I seem to have lost track of him and am checking everywhere." He looks back up at you.Genko processes the information for a moment before answering "I remember the young lord. Unfortunately, I have not seen him since that time...""A shame truly, if he comes around make sure to tell him I'm looking for him.""Of course."You turn and step back out of the bathhouse. Unlike Renko, this man is easy enough to read. Yuki was here, so why the secrecy? The most probable answer is this man took matters into his own hands and disappeared the lad. With no weapon, it would have been unwise to attempt a brutish rescue. Perhaps there are armed men hidden away here, as Genko does not appear to be a man of violence himself. Outside the rain has already begun to pick up, in a few hours it will be a downpour no doubt. Circling around the building, you attempt to scale up the high walls of the compound, to no avail. On the third attempt you were able to run and jump high enough to hold onto the top of the wall, but the wet rain makes it hard to grip and you quickly slip back down. There are people still on the streets, but the rain has already begun to clear them out. Still, it takes time to discreetly make a makeshift siege tower to give you the height needed to scale the wall. After a good thirty minutes, you manage to stack enough refuse to scale the wall and jump over.
The other side is not what you expected from a bathhouse. There is a large chasm that was at one point in time probably used for its intended purpose of a makeshift spring for outdoor bathing. Now, it is empty and devoid of water apart from the rain that is attempting to refill it. The careful gardening and sculpting has been disregarded completely. Without careful maintenance, the vegetation has either died or grown wild. Lastly, there are tents, clothing lines, and a makeshift communal house. To put it all together, it seems that this place was at one time a bathhouse, but now it looks more like a ronin camp. There are lights and noises coming from the central structure. You thank the rain that probably drove this camps residence there to hide, giving you free reign of the grounds. crouching among the over grown weeds, It doesn't take you long to find what you came here for. Yuki and two other men sit side by side against a wall, all are tied gagged, and blindfolded. They are guarded by one man with a spear, or a women rather. You are loathe to attack a women, especially because of recent accusations, but are given little choice. Jumping from your hiding place, you cover the women's mouth with one hand and wrap your arm around her neck with the other. You are no monk, and hand to hand combat is not your expertise, but a swordsman is still a martial artist so you have learned a thing or two in your time. This hold will knock the women out, but not kill her. The women on the other side of the grapple does not find your use of nonlethal force the least bit honourable, and fights you with the rage and movement of a firecracker! She flails, kicks, and tosses herself with more ferocity then any man you have recently remembered handling. Like a wet seal, she almost slips from your hold, as her legs hammer your knees. You are forced to bring the women to the ground and hold tight! Despite her heroic effort, the hold soon takes effect and she is knocked unconscious. You quickly flip her over to see the face of this ferocious fighter, only to find the visage of a young girl. Once again, you have to thank the rain for keeping you concealed. Investigating the two men with Yuki, you immediately recognize them as soldiers. Stripped of their armour and weapons, the two men must be humiliated sitting tied up in the rain. Yuki, looks much like himself, although someone has had much more fun tying the lad up compared to the soldiers. The rope work that blinds him looks more artistic then practical. He is close enough to have heard the tussle through the rain, but cannot act on it. The boy is at your mercy.
>What do?- [Stone faced Samurai] Free Yuki and the men, tell Yuki everything Renko told you. No more lies, just the truth. - [Reserved Swordsmen] Remove Yuki's gag and blind fold, wait to hear if he has some special instructions for you. Oddly enough this may be part of some plan.- [Master less Ronin] Free Yuki, but tell him absolutely nothing of Renko. He OWES you now, surely. - [Honour less Scoundrel] Perfect opportunity to take Yuki to Renko, he will never know it was you who betrayed him. The boys tied up like a present.
>>5728736>- [Stone faced Samurai] Free Yuki and the men, tell Yuki everything Renko told you. No more lies, just the truth.
>>5728736>[Stone faced Samurai] Free Yuki and the men, tell Yuki everything Renko told you. No more lies, just the truth.
>>5728736>- [Stone faced Samurai] Free Yuki and the men, tell Yuki everything Renko told you. No more lies, just the truth.I know yall want bussy but i am willing to cut him down
>>5728736>Remove the gag and blindfoldI'm also willing to cut this snake down.
>>5728736>Test out the ropes Yuki is tied in, give a pull here and there, this opportunity doesn't come often.
>>5728736>[Stone faced Samurai] Free Yuki and the men, tell Yuki everything Renko told you. No more lies, just the truth. Except we don't say shit about the ambush. Please dear god don't give up our one way out of this shit.
>>5728736> [Stone faced Samurai] Free Yuki and the men, tell Yuki everything Renko told you. No more lies, just the truth.Also, after we free him can we have hot, steamy gay sex? Because Yuki is fine af
>>5728847you probably want [Reserved Swordsmen] or [Master less Ronin] then.
>>5728850No, it's important that we express every piece of information EXCEPT the ambush.
>>5728852masterless ronin fits better then
>>5728734Grope him! Squeeze his butt!
>>5728736>Have some fun with him
>>5728734>>5728971I will say this once, The bussy will never compare to the warmth and pregnability of shrine maiden.
>>5728736We can also take the spear, break off the head and a handle of it, then use it as a concealed knife.
>>5728736>- [Honour less Scoundrel] Perfect opportunity to take Yuki to Renko, he will never know it was you who betrayed him. The boys tied up like a present.
>>5728736>[Reserved Swordsmen] Remove Yuki's gag and blind fold, wait to hear if he has some special instructions for you. Oddly enough this may be part of some plan.
>>5728736>[Reserved Swordsmen] Remove Yuki's gag and blind fold, wait to hear if he has some special instructions for you. Oddly enough this may be part of some plan.We can see if he has any smart-ass remarks and then tell him of the idiot woman's plan to topple the Shogun (as if Yuki does not know).
At first you struggle to find a way to undo the ropes and free Yuki to very little success. The ropework seems to knot in on itself, and the more you try to understand how it all holds together the more confusing it gets. Yuki squirms as handle him but the ropes are too tight for him to do anything about it. When your patience runs out, you take up the spear and break off the top with your foot. Using the spear head as a knife, you start cutting the rope. As he becomes more free, Yuki uses his shoulder to remove the gag from his mouth. "You sure took your time getting here swordsman, I had started to greatly miss your company." His grin runs wide across his face. "I suppose its true what they say, 'absence makes the heart grow fonder'." With the blindfold still covering the boys eyes, he is making a rather bold assertion. When you free his hands he quickly removes the blindfold to servery the scene. His eyes rest on the girl "Not dead I hope?""Alive. I have urgent things to tell you, when you left Renko ari-"Yuki springs forward like a coiled viper, brushing his cheek against yours and whispering into your eye. "Not here, not now." He looks upon the two men with him and you understand his intention. You wish to get things out in the open as soon as possible, a reckoning has been coming for a long time. Yet you still are cool enough to keep your head. You will talk things over when the work is done. When Yuki gets free he immediately goes to do the same to one of the men with him, while you get the other. The rope work binding them is much more loose, and takes little effort to free them. It comes out that these two men are soldiers in service to the Daimyo, they are your replacements. As you worked to free the trio, the rain had started to increase in intensity. Now all four of you are soaked to the bone. "What happened here? How did you all get captured? What do we do now?"One of the humiliated solders is first to offer a suggestion. "We run the damned whores through! honour demands it.""Women did this? You were bested by women?" You did not intend for your question to be an insult, you are merely surprised. Yet your words stoke the flames of their anger just the same. Yuki tries to defend the men's honour and restore peace, all the while using whatever spare ropes he can get to tie up the unconscious women. "We didn't expect them to attack us, and obviously no one wanted to harm a women. In that moment we were bested by their superior numbers. Either way whats done is done, and now is the time for our counter attack. Its imperative that no one gets away, we must capture all of them. We will boost one man over the wall and he will get reinforcements. An attack on us will justify it. The rest of us will stay here and attempt to silently seal them into the house, as I am sure someone will eventually come to check in. Hopefully reinforcements will be here by then."
You carry out Yuki's orders and send the older soldier over the wall before silently moving to pile wood and refuse in the doorway to the house. The rain conceals much, but it also makes the work harder. While Yuki attempts to figure out a way to block the windows, time suddenly runs out. Someone tries to open the now barricaded door and activity inside the house explodes. One women looks out the window, spots you, and starts shouting to the others inside.Like an angry hornets nests women start to pour out of the windows! But they don't come to fight. Instead they scatter in every direction! "Stop them!" Yuki shouts, and the third man in your group tries to grab one of the women to no avail. In the slippery heavy rain she jumps and kicks until she is free. These women are as ferocious as the streets have thought them to be. The scene is chaos, as some of the women use an unknown route to easily climb the rocks and go over the wall. Others simply run to the main building, seeking to escape out into the streets. You are about to join in the chase when Yuki stops you. "Forget it, we can't catch them all and It only takes one to report our activities to the enemy. Go capture Genko, we need him for questioning. I'll secure our other prisoner."You do as he says, and follow the path of the fleeing women into the building. You get to the front just in time as Genko is on his way out! Catching him by the collar, it only takes one hit to the nose to incapacitate him. The three women who usually are by his side are already gone.
~The soldiers that arrived came much to late and in too few of number. A handful were sent out to, hopefully, find the women while the rest put the bathhouse on lock down. The rain outside had become so heavy that most men that stayed have by now stripped themselves of their armour and clothing in order to get dry and stave off sickness. Luckily, being a bathhouse there are plenty of tenugui to go around. You are among these people. As you sit naked on a bench waiting for Yuki to finish his interrogation, you try and practice exactly what you're going to say. Yuki eventually does finish and comes to find you. Too modest to be completely naked among the men, and not wanting to lose any authority granted to him by his fine clothing, he still clings to his station despite the cold. "This didn't go as I planned, but it is perhaps salvageable. Now I believe you had something to talk to me about as well? Come, I had the soldiers prepare a bath for us, since we chased all the servants away."~
Two baths in three days, its almost enough for a man to feel like royalty. This bath is bigger then the jug you submerged yourself in last time. It can fit five whole men comfortably, although its much more shallow. Now that its just the two of you, Yuki finally sheds himself of his wet clothing and seeks to join you. In the private room, the two of you can talk. Having so much to say, you can't hold it back long enough for Yuki to even enter the tub. You tell him everything. How the men arrived when he left. The inside of the Jikininki building. How they tied you up. Finally, you tell him almost everything Renko told you, the offer she made included. The only thing you hold back is her accusation of murder, and Yuki's conspiracy in it. You are saving that for the end, after he has answered your other questions. Yuki takes it all in with stride, never once losing his composure. "I apologies that my carelessness got you abducted swordsman, but you choose not to stay by my side. I cannot take all the blame. Yet I would say the events were fortuitous no? You didn't suffer any lasting damage, and you were privy to the enemies plans.""You don't seem too shaken about Renko's ideas to overthrow the shogunate. Or even her accusations of your bad intent. Her wish for me to kidnap you seems to leave no lasting impressions." He just lets himself sink deeper into the water and closes his eyes, attempting to relax. "I'm sorry to say that its all partially true. Renko's plans are not unique, the sword hunt and subsequent civil war has devastated the unity of our nation. There are many just like here everywhere, all unconnected. I can even identify with her and her kind. You only need look at if from their point of view. But I ask you this, when two powers clash for superiority, who do you think suffers? Why the simple folk of course, a quick example is the old man and his sake den. It doesn't matter if the conflict is 'just' or not, the ones to pay the greatest price are the meekest among us. Do you think they care who rules over them? No, in their hearts the peasants wish for tomorrow to be as much the same as today. The Emperor serves the people, as they serve him. I am just an extension of his will. I work to delay the inevitably entropy, so that others may live in peace." "So its true then, you are here at the shoguns behest to destroy their clan? To prepare for another civil war on the horizon?""I'm sure she thinks so, but its not so complicated. As I said, I serve the emperor not the shogun. My investigation is leading me to their clan, I did not seek them out first and work backwards." "What ARE you investigating? What are you doing here? If she is wrong then be clear with me damn it. If have been nothing but honest with you.""I'm afraid I cannot comment on an ong-"
You take hold of the top of Yuki's head, and submerge him underwater. He tries to come back up, but you don't let him. Instead of panicking, he just decides to patiently wait you out. Its not your intention to kill him, so after waiting for a good long time you pull him back out. His coughing fit indicates that he CANT breath underwater. "Please, do not do that again." "Then tell me the damn truth, Renko told me she was there when the prostitute died. She told me I was the one who killed her. Whats more, she told me you knew"For a moment, Yuki seems off balanced. "Oh, she did?"You submerge him again, this time your hands are around his throat. The fact that he refuses to struggle or fight back despite the dunking only serves to make you angrier. Yet he seems content to allow you to drown him, as he continues to do nothing to defend himself. You leave him under the water longer this time, until the small sane voice in the back of your mind convinces you to lift him back out. His coughing fit is harsher then last time, and lasts longer. He has even inhaled some water this time. "That is most - cough- unpleasant, I would prefer -- if you simply killed me – if that Is your aim." "Its more then you deserve you snake. Admit it or deny it, say something that isn't a riddle.""Alright then. It is a lie swordsman, you did NOT kill the women. She simply said it to control you and put you off balance. Trust me, I know that you are innocent."You release Yuki and stand to get out of the bath, but he takes your hand. "Sit back down, we are not finished speaking." You feel trapped, since you have burned the only other bridge you had. What else can you do now but trust Yuki? Slowly you sit back down in the bath. Yuki's face is serious and calm. "Swordsman I truly do appreciate you choosing not to betray me, so in return i'm going to say something to you without saying it. This time I want you to use your head and understand it. You're not an idiot, so don't pretend to be one." He crawls into your personal space and takes your head into his hands, forcing you to look him right in the eyes. "Are you ready? Someone killed the women in cold blood, and it would be best if the person who was with her last remembered who. "You have tried your best to bring out the truth, by being truthful yourself. Unfortunately, Yuki seems incapable of reciprocating it, even if you threaten to kill him. The only question is, do you believe he has your best interest at heart? >What do?- [Stone faced Samurai] I don't know who killed her. - [Reserved Swordsmen] I know what you want, but I cannot give it to you. Why are you so sure of my innocence?- [Master less Ronin] Renko killed her, I remember now. X [Honour less Scoundrel] Don't look at me, telling him the full truth is so far beyond my scope I got nothing.Bonus: Lewd stuff with Yuki?-Yes -No
>>5730135- [Reserved Swordsmen] I know what you want, but I cannot give it to you. Why are you so sure of my innocence?-Yes
>>5730135>and it would be best if the person who was with her last remembered who.it was snake dude! just look at him, he's clearly evil
>>5730135>[Master less Ronin] Renko killed her, I remember now. >Bonus: Lewd stuff with Yuki?YesOur only option here is to throw in completely. We should also request for the sake of that whore's soul to find who had done it for certain afterwards. Lest we befall ourselves with (even more) bad karma and/or an eternal haunting.
>>5730135>[Reserved Swordsmen] I know what you want, but I cannot give it to you. Why are you so sure of my innocence?>No
>>5730135>- [Reserved Swordsmen] I know what you want, but I cannot give it to you. Why are you so sure of my innocence?>-No
>>5730135>- [Reserved Swordsmen] I know what you want, but I cannot give it to you. Why are you so sure of my innocence?>-Yes
>>5730135> [Stone faced Samurai] I don't know who killed her.> Yes, PLEASE!Even though we can't quite trust how much we know personally, it's best to not make this complicated: At the end of the day, we really don't know who killed her. Also, it is time to make Yuki our boywife. There can be no other option!
>>5730135>[Reserved Swordsmen] I know what you want, but I cannot give it to you. Why are you so sure of my innocence?>NoDon’t ruin a good quest with ERP, OP. Better to avoid it entirely or the coomers here will never relent
>>5730135>[Stone faced Samurai] I don't know who killed her.
>>5730135>[Stone faced Samurai] I don't know who killed her. >NoI really don't know.
>>5730135>[Stone faced Samurai] I don't know who killed her.>No
>>5730135>Reserved swordsman>No.we've got fucking amnesia Yuki you little fucking twink.
>second opportunity to do something lewd>people vote no yet againhow odd.
>>5730135>[Reserved Swordsmen] I know what you want, but I cannot give it to you. Why are you so sure of my innocence?>Yes
>>5730447Coomers cannot understand the minds of humans.
>>5730489No, i just know 4chan enough to know that this is odd. If it was just one i would understand it being a case of people not liking the character in question, but twice? With two different characters? It's not the standard.
>>5730135>- [Master less Ronin] Renko killed her, I remember now>Yes
>>5730492If we cum we lose our sword powersThats the true sword hunt
>>5730135>[Stone faced Samurai] I don't know who killed her. >Yes
>>5730447>>5730492It's not over yet, brother. "Yes" is currently still in the lead. DON'T LET THE FLAME DIE OUT!!!
>>5730546I don't actually want yes to win, i just said it was weird.
>OP provides coom option>Huge flood of one-post IDs in favorHmm
>>5730569>Another 1 id postThis is really freakin' odd.
>>5730592It's a "thing" as old as /qst/ itself.You'll get used to it.
>>5730624the other option is to just not count one vote Id's in the event of a suspicious influx of votes.
>>5730630Is it really that completely unthinkable that lurkers in the thread come out of the woodwork to vote on something they find interesting?
>>5730644No.It's also not that unthinkable for foul play involving ID switching to get their desired outcome.and, quite frankly, if it's only in service of gay sex, they don't deserve "interesting" things.
>>5730648Thank God you aren't the OP, then! Look at Mussolini over here!
No drama please, I'm not going to add anything unless there was a big majority anyway.
>>5730656indeed, be thankful.Though you're saved by having voted in a previous vote.
>>5730135- [Reserved Swordsmen] I know what you want, but I cannot give it to you. Why are you so sure of my innocence?- YesGaining intimacy with this "Yuki" is...relevant to my interests :'^)
>>5730660And what do you consider to be a "majority"? Do enough NOs trash the vote, or can an vote be overturned if enough people vote yes even after getting a bunch of nos?
>>5730660Cowardice! We all know you love boylove Soj
>>5730660Well, while it's not a "Big" majority, the majority of answers in the poll has been yes thus far. So...?
>>5730135>[Stone faced Samurai] I don't know who killed her. >noI want to Marry pure shrine maiden.
>>5730135>[Reserved Swordsmen] I know what you want, but I cannot give it to you. Why are you so sure of my innocence?-YesI've been waiting forever we better lewd this little twink
>>5730546The dream will never die
You take hold of Yuki's wrists and free yourself of both his grip and gaze. "I know what it is you seek but I cannot grant it. I do not know who killed the women". Yuki is stunned, but only for a moment. Nothing ever seems to stop his momentum for long. He lets out a small sigh and a smile returns to his face. "You are beyond stubborn swordsman, perhaps that's why I have grown to enjoy your company so thoroughly." With your hands busy restraining Yuki's wrists, you find yourself surprisingly vulnerable to a counter attack. There is nothing stopping Yuki from bringing his body dangerously close to your own. His lips are soft and hungry, his body is pale and firm. Your short time to react to his aggression, and your cognitive dissonance over what you want, gives him further opening. He slowly brushes his lips against your neck. His breath makes your hairs stand on end, and you become aware of beating heart. Up and along your cheek, his lips make their way to whisper into your ear. "After all, that trait remind me so much of myself!"His laugh is a jovial one, as he tosses himself backwards into the water. His gambit to throw you off balance, succeeded. Now aware that you are simply the target of Yuki's teasing, you feel the need to save face. You once again set to leave the bath. "You may be in the mood for games, but I am not. You don't have the accusation of murder on your head, tell me how are you so sure that I am innocent." "I worry if I once again repeat the same mantra, you will jump back into this pool and successfully drown me this time. In a world of liars, one gets to decide his own truth. You wish it to be true, so let it be so. If you cannot transfer the deed onto someone else, then this matter will simply go no further. As I doubt any real evidence will ever be uncovered.""Thats it then? Are are simply going to let the matter lay? Do you choose what matters are below your station?""I believe that the guilty party will soon have much bigger problems then the death of a single girl. Besides, I believe you to be a noble man. If I have miscalculated and one day you recall that you ARE truly responsible for a murder, then you will surly commit harakiri. Either way, justice will ultimately be served. It is an important part of my profession to know how to priorities, and there seems to be a never ending wave of things that need doing." With nothing left to say you start to towel off and leave. "Don't wander off too far swordsman, we will be leaving shortly. I will need you to protect me soon, and there is none here I trust more then you. "Like it or not, Yuki has cultivated a seed in your chest. You felt it react strongly to his proximity, perhaps his teasing was a silent attempt to see how far its roots went. You must be weary that it does not reach your brain.~
Yuki's idea to speed dry the clothing, by having the soldiers place them over an oven has had mixed results. While your old tattered set has come out well done, Yuki's expensive and rich kimono now has a large burned spot on the back from where it almost caught alight. The soldier who was meant to watch over it, is distraught at the damage he has done. Yet it is the furthest thing from Yuki's mind. He is more concerned with the ever changing weather. For the rain has become a downpour with seemingly no end in sight. The part of the city you are currently in has the advantage of being high ground, but that it not true for much of the surrounding landscape. The heavy rain has been coming down so hard and for so long now, that a layer of water covers the streets completely. It rushes away towards lower ground, but more comes down from the sky to take its place. You can't imagine taking even one step out without immediately being soaked. You and Yuki are not locals, so you look to the soldiers who are equally mystified. They have never seen anything like this. A look of disgust and hatred, foreign to Yuki, has found its way to the boys face as he gazes upwards to the dark sky overhead. He has been stuck this way for a long time now, planning his next move. The prisoners and two men scheduled to escort him sit and wait to be dismissed. The young women you wrestled, and Genko have been eerily quite. A black hood has been placed over their heads. They have not repositioned, or have even made a sound. You would think them dead but for their subtle breathing. You can't help but reach out towards them to make sure they are indeed alive. "DON'T touch them." The smile returns to Yuki's face, he has finally snapped out of his stupper. "Do not touch the prisoners, I have other plans for all of you. This meeting cannot wait, I must get to the palace and present these two prisoners there is simply no two ways about it." The captain speaks up for everyone present "You will have us fight the elements?" "We will build a pavilion of sorts, a massive umbrella like they have at festivals. This bathhouse is full of unused construction equipment, and some of these tapestries are large enough if you tie them together. It doesn't have to look nice just get the job done." "You must be joking, we are soldiers not carpenters.""Captain, I have never been more serous in my life. If you value your position, you will find the motivation immediately."
>We are approaching the endgame of this quest, so feel free to give me some write ins about what you're thinking in your (The MC's) head. Or don't thats fine, this prompts just here for the players that like to be more hands on. Sorry about this lack of update recently but i'm just starting to get pretty busy.
>>5732251the next time you push the gay shit im voting to execute him.
>>5732277Hostile anon, was that you the whole time?>>5732251I may come back with something tomorrow to insert, but it's almost midnight and I am ready to collapse
>>5732277Anon, you're playing a quest with a Soj-brand ponytailed femboy. Gay shit was a forgone conclusion.
>>5732277> People getting violently murdered by Japanese samurai = YAY> Homosexuality during that same feudal era where such acts were common = BRO WTFFFFYou still in High school, champ? Does mommy know you're up past your bedtime reading this?
>>5732251We are mostly a reserved swordsman, with equal parts "honourless" and "stone faced"So I'm of the mind that his head is currently looking something like this.>"I need my sword, I need my sword, I need my sword. Kami damn them I can feel it's touch in my palm.">"Yuki, that snake. He's never had an intention of seeking the truth, only serving his mission. While I can hardly hold it against him in a professional sense, His lack of dedication to his word makes him worthless to his promises. I cannot trust any word he says, only judge his ends and how they align with my own.">"I could have killed the woman, but perhaps the point of these few days isn't that I have, or I have not. It is perhaps the point that I have been set trials to reveal myself, without the drink or the road to disguise me. If so, the showdown will be where the curtain finally falls away. And somehow, I doubt my guilt or my innocence matters to any but myself."
>>5732248I like these takes >>5732658
>>5732251"Only a skilled blade could have killed the woman. Myself or the lord's own warrior we met before seem the only ones in town, If he does not work with Renko then the one who killed her must be me. I must have a blade." "Despite Yuki's desire to spare lives this all comes to an approaching bloodbath. If they learn we are marching these prisoners to the lord they will intercept us in the street. It is rare to find a man with a woman's beauty, and a woman's penchant for lies."
Just posting the timeline as I see it.day ?: Yuki departs for the cityday 0: You came to the city (via a bridge) following a flimsy rumour of Tomoe's whereabouts went to a sake den, enticed by an ad for underpriced sake left the sake den drunk and penniless solicited by the Geisha (despite having no money) went to Genko's bathhouse with her went to the Yakuza gambling hall with her ??? thrown into jail by a prominent lord, the chief of justiceday 4: Yuki said: the Geisha's body was discovered this day, your sword was found with the bodyday 5: it rainedday 8: the day Yuki claimed to have arrived in the cityday 10: met Yuki, released from prison, identified the dead bodyday 11: met Snake, went to the sake den and bathhouse with Yuki, met Jakuchoday 12: ditched Jakucho in the rain, saw the secret entrance of the gambling hallday 13: Renho and four yakuza arrive at the shrine and capture you Rescued Yuki from the Bathhouse heavy rainstorm
>>5735841Reading it like this. . I'm more convinced of our innocence here, if we look at the Geisha as an emissary of Renho, and used their influence to cut down the geisha, frame us, and use us as bait for the arrival of Yuki.But this assumes much of their ability to plan and predict her investigator's methods.
Under Yuki's uncharacteristic harsh gaze, the troupe of soldiers are transformed into seamstresses and craftsmen. And in under an hour, you find yourself outside hoisting one of four pillars supporting a makeshift movable tent with three other men. The cruel rain that comes at you sideways, and the rushed stitching above work in tandem to guarantee a good soaking and wet hands. Some protection is better then none you suppose, even thought the only people who seem to be afforded that protection is Yuki and his two prisoners. You watch Yuki escorting the two of them out the corner of your eye, expecting them to run at any moment. The only restraints Yuki has placed on the duo, is the black hoods covering their faces. You don't expect too much from Genko, the bath house keeper. From the women, who you had to fight into submission, you expect flight at any moment. Yet that attempted escape never comes, the two of them simply march forward as if they were sleep walking. The fire the girl had fought with has been extinguished. What had Yuki done to them you wonder? that could have has such a pacifying effect? In a moment of frightening clarity, you wonder if you yourself have been pacified? What ARE you doing here? The feeling passes as Yuki orders the march to begin. You chose to be here after all, no second guessing now. Right? Outside in the streets, your walking pavilion draws much less attention then it would on any other day. Unusual circumstances facilitates unusual behaviour, and most are too busy dealing with their own mounting hazards to spare you more then a passing glance. You have seen rain this heavy only once before, but you are a rare specimen in that regard. You would have to search far to find someone who can claim the same. As you walk through the city, the peoples actions mirror your memories of the villagers you had once known. First there is confusion, and a general paralysis brought on by indecisiveness. Most simply hope the problem will solve itself, it always starts with denial. They will not act when there is still time, instead they will wait until the water continues to rise and the problems compound. They will hope and prey it will leave them alone, and only when the waters start to enter their homes will they act. All at once, this city will erupt in activity that will come much too late. In their collective panic they will turn on each other as they fight to reach higher ground. Many will refuse to leave their life's work, that have taken the form of possessions, behind. Many will find out too late, that they choose to enter the afterlife with it instead. However, just like on that day so many years ago, it is simply a backdrop to your race to reach your appointed place in time. Your destiny lies elsewhere.
As your route takes you through the low ground, that composes the majority of the city, you see that it has already started. The water here has risen as high as your knee and the peoples are all exiting their homes at once. Many are struggling to put their lives on top of carts that are getting stuck in the mud. More then once you are forced to shove away a peasant who is trying to take shelter with your party. The other soldiers draw their blades, and the threat of violence is enough to clear a path for now. You chance a look upon the dark sky overhead, and see what you already expected. The rain is not stopping, and the animal in your bones senses what your human mind cannot perceive: it will get worse. ~
The wind and the rain have made a show to compete who can assail the city harder, and now even a flash of thunder roars across the sky. Its almost unbelievable, that the first half of the day started like any other. The speed at which nature has invaded and sacked the city can only be dreamed about by the commanders of men. Despite this, you have managed to persevere and arrive at your destination in one piece. The streets around the palace are crowded with refugees seeking higher ground and refuge. A wall of spears force them away from the gates, and animosity grows between the two sides as the room to stand gets smaller and smaller. Yuki and the soldiers that accompany him look the part, but it is only after Yuki draws forth a paper, and presents it, is your party admitted a chance to proposition the guards. There is still hesitation, yet some of them recall you and Yuki from days earlier. Its ultimately all three things together that finally allow you passage inside the palace grounds. The gates are closed behind you, as quickly as they are opened. Yuki looks exhausted, the heavy pace and uncompromising weather have left him weak. Your arms and legs fair no better, as you had to carry not only your share of the pavilion but all the rain that pooled on top for the entire journey. Yet now is not the time for rest, Yuki places his hand on your shoulder and seeks your strength to keep him going. "We must hurry… And present these prisoners to the magistrate. We cannot be late for this meeting, our arrival now is imperative to the plot. Help me get there… Please."You do just as he instructed, and put your arm around his waist helping him walk. Yuki sneezes into his sleeve while the two prisoners simply follow. You do not recall anyone giving them an order… ~
In the upper levels of the palace, in one of the many buildings that inhabit its walls, you are assaulted by a team of geishas. They remove your clothing, rub you down, dab your wounds and scars with powder, and replace your wet clothing with fine garments. In this world, it would be inexcusable to enter a meeting with a magistrate looking less then ideal. Yuki simply stretches his arms out and lets them work, clearly he has done this before. You on the other hand find yourself stumbling over the women, and are unable to keep up with them as they attempt to clip your nails, comb your hair, and dress you all at the same time. When they finish their work, a place is provided for you and Yuki to sit, while they start to run to and fro to convert the dressing room into one suitable for a meeting. All the while your two prisoners sit quietly in the corner of the room. It is all becoming too strange, this is not a world you are used to or understand. Before the rooms transformation is finalized, a familiar villain slithers in. "So you arrived, I had begun to think you would use the weather as an excuse to abscond with your dog." This man plunged his sword hilt into your ribs, and your body still remembers.Yuki shrinks under his gaze, but does not pause. "I would not miss it, Hisoka. Have you come to give me your masters welcome? The time of our meeting is drawing closer."The subtext behind the exchange is lost to you, but the outcome is not. Hearing its own name cuts the snake deeply, he almost recoils hearing it. Panic sets into his eyes, and the sharpness in his tongue is gone. Yuki has disarmed the man completely. Hisoka stands frozen with the same indecisiveness that grips the peasants in the city below. Thrust into unfamiliar weather, he will explode in a flurry of activity only when the water rises to his neck. The Gaisha's finish their work and the room is transformed. not a second after, the screen door slides open and an overweight child faced man walks in with a plethora or retainers. He is the picture of decadence. He wears almost three layers of brightly coloured cloths that stretch over his wide form, while gold rings cut off circulation to his fat fingers. He sits before Yuki and sake is placed before him. Hisoka stands on the same spot, never moving. His eyes are a flurry of calculating activity.
Yuki bows before the magistrate "I am Yuki, of the Baku clan. I work on behalf of the ministry of investigations. It is a pleasure to finaly meet you my lord. I am afraid that I do not come with good tidings, your city is rotting from the inside."The magistrate begins to sweat at the sound of Yuki's serious tone. Not given a moment to speak, Yuki continues."I have come to this city with only a message to give to your Daimyo from the Emperor himself. It was while I was simply enjoying the sights of your fair city, that I stumbled upon a mysterious case of an unsolved murder that piqued my interest. Seeing it as my duty to serve the Emporer, and his people, I pulled the string until a sinister plot unravelled itself…"Its from this moment that Yuki accuses the Jikininki of a plot to overthrow the Daimyo and stoke the fires of another civil war. After he would go on to systematically brake down the entire Jikininki network. The bathhouse is one of many places around the city where prostitutes lure men with no coin to the gambling house, where they build up a debt they can't pay and are soon found selling themselves to the Jikininki clan. He also lists many other places that serve as training grounds for a private army, and the systems of control used by the Jikininki to create indentured servants. Men like Genko, who were tricked into a debt by the Jikininki after failing to build the business of his dreams are a dime a dozen in this network. The more Yuki talks, the more sweat starts to pool around the magistrate, and the darker Hisoka's eyes become. Yuki does not hold back anything, and starts to explain how the Jikininki have invaded all forms of upper government. You recall what Renho told you about Jikininki coin and Jikininki faces. Almost everyone in this room has the same dark eyes as Hisoka. Does Yuki understand the danger he is in at this very moment?Finally given the chance to speak, the magistrate takes his time. His words come slow and are carefully chosen. "These are dangerous, unfounded, accusations. Do you have any proof?"
"Of course my lord" With a wave of his hand, Yuki compels Genko to step forward. So quite was their presence that the magistrate did not even notice the two prisoners. When Genko takes his place, Yuki whispers in his ear and snaps his fingers in the mans face. This is enough for Genko to speak his story, confirming that he was tricked into opening a bathhouse by the Jikininki clan. Only later did he find out that all the materials and labour he ordered, at what he thought was a cheap price, never existed. The real price of opening the shop was much higher then he ever believed, as "coincidentally" the market fluctuated. With no money and a debt to the Jikininki, he was forced to run his fake shop while facilitating a place for prostitutes to work and lure men in the way Yuki described. The magistrate is speechless, so Yuki offers him a way out. "My lord, with all that I have told you, surely you would agree that I should take this to the Daimyo himself…""Yes! The Daimyo… There is no reason for me to become involved… You have my leave to take this to the Dai-"He does not finish his sentence. It is simply at this moment his head realizes it has not been attached to his body. After uttering his first word, Hisoka had already drawn his blade and ended the magistrates life. "Iaijutsu, the fast draw." This man is a master of the art, but now you have seen it. It can no longer take you by surprise. As the severed head slide off the magistrates body, two of his retainers lurch forward too late to defend their master. The rest do not, and the non conspirators fates are sealed. Hisoka looks upon you and Yuki, but you also understand the fast draw. The moment his sword had left his scabbard you had stood, picked up Yuki, and ran! "Run and arm yourself dog, our time is soon to come." You jump through a paper screen door, over a balcony, into the rain, and down into a pond below. You and Yuki hit the water hard, and you almost lose the boy. There is no dry land anywhere, only the sea. Yuki shouts into your ear in order to beat the violent sound of rain on water. "We must inform the Daimyo, the Jikininki will act and use the weather as cover. The rain will leave the Daimyo's army out of reach!" That makes sense, but there is a pause. You are not sure."Swordsman, we have to go! I need you, do not abandon me!" >what do?- [Stone faced Samurai] Help Yuki, the Daimyo must be informed! Damn these traitorous Jikininki dogs! - [Reserved Swordsmen] Have you forgotten Jakuchō? In this rain she is defenceless and will surely drown. You must rescue her! - [Master less Ronin] You serve no master but yourself! There is another way! [DC: Very Hard]- [Honour less Scoundrel] Knock out Yuki and deliver him to Renho. Is it not Yuki's wish to stop the violence? If he informs the Daimyo, then the streets will run red with fighting. If he does not reach the Daimyo, the Jikininki coup may succeed near bloodlessly.
>>5740989>- [Reserved Swordsmen] Have you forgotten Jakuchō? In this rain she is defenceless and will surely drown. You must rescue her!can't leave her to die, hopefully she has a cool secret Ryūjin sword hidden in the shrine that she can give us
>>5740989>- [Honour less Scoundrel] Knock out Yuki and deliver him to Renho. Is it not Yuki's wish to stop the violence? If he informs the Daimyo, then the streets will run red with fighting. If he does not reach the Daimyo, the Jikininki coup may succeed near bloodlessly.Die femboy
>>5740989>[Honour less Scoundrel] Knock out Yuki and deliver him to Renho. Is it not Yuki's wish to stop the violence? If he informs the Daimyo, then the streets will run red with fighting. If he does not reach the Daimyo, the Jikininki coup may succeed near bloodlessly.
>>5740989>Reserved swordsman, Did you forget Jakucho?Our interests do not align, Yuki. So you either find a way to make them align, or this is where we part ways.
>>5740989>- [Honour less Scoundrel] Knock out Yuki and deliver him to Renho. Is it not Yuki's wish to stop the violence? If he informs the Daimyo, then the streets will run red with fighting. If he does not reach the Daimyo, the Jikininki coup may succeed near bloodlessly.
>>5740989>[Stone faced Samurai] Help Yuki, the Daimyo must be informed! Damn these traitorous Jikininki dogs
>>5740989>[Reserved Swordsmen] Have you forgotten Jakuchō? In this rain she is defenceless and will surely drown. You must rescue her!
[Reserved Swordsmen] Have you forgotten Jakuchō? In this rain she is defenceless and will surely drown. You must rescue her!Im pretty sure yuki is the bad guy, but renho is no better. The shrine maiden is probably the key getting the [good end]
>>5740989>[Reserved Swordsmen] Have you forgotten Jakuchō? In this rain she is defenceless and will surely drown. You must rescue her! Perhaps, even, her maidenship can confer the mercy of the river spirit and save the town from doom? If we could get [Stone Faced Samurai] over it, that would be much agreeable to me, possibly more than this option, but mostly because I fear that the consequences for abandoning yuki will be enmity from all sides of the political situation. I also think Jakucho will be fine because the tree should be able to shelter her from the fear of drowning if she were to climb it.
>>5740989>[Stone faced Samurai] Help Yuki, the Daimyo must be informed! Damn these traitorous Jikininki dogs!
don't think there is anyone left, but just in case im closing the vote.
>>5740989>[Reserved Swordsmen] Have you forgotten Jakuchō? In this rain she is defenceless and will surely drown. You must rescue her! >>5742040Ah, too late. I nearly forgot about this.
Here and now, in the rain, you suddenly remember. Like the thunder above, in a flash it comes to you. You finally understand what your instinct was trying to tell you when you touched the tapestry written across the dead girls back. You have seen it before, it is the same calligraphy that was written into the back of your mother. Line for line, cut for cut.Yuki is attempting to shake you back to your senses, but he can't get through; not in this moment. This boy is leading you to the Daimyo, but what then? Will he finally be the one to put a sword in your hand? Will you shed blood for him? If another civil war breaks out what then? Will you slay a hundred men? A thousand? Is your teachers prophecy impossible to escape? With every turn you take to run from his riddle, you only find yourself getting closer to returning to that house in the rain. The next bolt of lightning screams into the tallest roof of the palace illuminating the landscape with a searing light, obliterating every shadow, and pulling you back to this moment with Yuki. He is shouting your name over and over, but all you can now think about is the still living women you almost forgot. "I'm sorry, but I can follow you no longer." "Now is not the time for hesitation swordsman, there is simply no time for it. Get your body out of this pond, and fall behind me" He is frustrated, understandably so. This may not be the best time for self reflection. "I will not fight someone else's war. If I am responsible for an innocent death, then perhaps the first step to redemption is saving an innocent life.""You imbecile, I TOLD you that you are not respo-" Yuki's feelings almost spill out, but even this is not enough to crack him. His face transitions back into a smile and all his tense frustration melts away. "It is my fault, I was the one who miscalculated. Go swordsman, struggle against your fate."Yuki springs out of the water like a carp and takes off in the direction of the central building, leaving you behind. For someone who needed your help to stand only a moment ago, he is surprisingly agile and spry. Whatever weakness was in his step before, it is now long gone. His silhouette disappears into the thick rain, and you struggle to pull yourself out of the pond. Contrary to Yuki, your tired and near broken body is very real.
~Escaping the palace is surprisingly easy, despite the assassination that just took place. The rain is too loud for even shouting to carry very far, torches are almost impossible to maintain as the rain comes from every direction, servants busy themselves waging an impossible war to keep their masters lives unmolested by the weather, and the majority of the guards fight to keep people in not out. Mostly you are running down corridors, but sometimes you find yourself forced to jump over walls. Anyone who sees you and attempts to make you stop, is quickly defeated by the mud and weather. The hardest hurdle to overcome is the guards holding the gate. The spears no longer served to drive peasants away with theory, but have been forced to make their point clear. The peasants mob has grown in size and the use of force has turned their minds to revenge. The only way out is for you now is decisive violence, so you use it. Coming form behind you lift the legs of on of the guards and topple him into his mates. It creates a hole for you to escape into the crowd, but that same hole is immediately filled with furious peasants and a brawl behind you ignites. It wasn't your intention, but you have no time to think on the consequences. The high ground is full of bodies, and pushing through them is a feat of strength onto itself. As the crowd crush gets thicker and thicker many have resorted to attempting to get onto the roofs and walls, only to come sliding back into the crowd due to the unforgiving wetness that infests everything. The low ground is no better, as the water has started to reach so high that it comes to the waist. High enough to slow your pace considerably, but low enough that you cant simply swim. As the lightning continues to be the only source of true light, it is both a boon and a looming threat. You prey that it does not strike the water anywhere near you. There are many people still in the water who struggle as you do. They are accompanied by debris, and more then one floating body. You transition between high grounds and low ground several times, and everywhere you look there is devastation and obstacles that block your path. Even still, you push onward. At this moment your enemy is the elements, and it is more fierce then any man on this earth. ~
A lifetime has passed since you began your journey, but now you are closer then ever to reach your destination. You stand upon the precipice of where you first spoke to the shrine maiden, and entered the maze of alleys that will lead you to her now. Water continuously rushes past you and into the ally pulling you forward. You didn't notice it then, but you certainly do now, these alleys all go slightly downhill and have become a convergence point for all the rainwater. As you head downwards, it soon becomes easier to swim then walk. Even deeper, there is no choice but to do so. The architecture here was old and ill maintained, so now most of it swims with you in the water. Beams, roof tiles, and pieces of wall compete with space on the waters surface, forcing you to dive into the waters depths and risk not being able to find a place to surface. In the water, splinters cloud everything making it impossible to open your eyes. Every dive is a roll of the dice, but you are given little choice. Struggle on you do, and more then once the flip of the coin leaves you dangerously close to death. The journey to the maiden is winding and unintuitive, but you have remembered it from time spent walking with her. You swim through passageways that are not meant to conceal, but inadvertently do so. You fight through a street that snakes in on itself. And dive through a passage hidden by a hollowed out house. Until you rise to the surface of the water and see it before you. The shrine stands upon a hill and the water rises to consume it. Jakuchō sits at her usual place, praying to the sky. From what you can see, her prayers have gone unanswered. You swim until you can walk and call her name. Deep in her prayers, she does not hear you. You call her name again, and this time take her arm. It is enough for her to know you. "Swordsman? You yet live. But you should not have come, I am trapped here.""Not trapped, I know a way out. Come with me, I will take you to safety."She pulls herself free. "No, the river has come for his temple and for me. To die in this place is my destiny, I will at last be free…" "Fool women! You will not die here today" You once again take hold of Jakuchō and a struggle ensues. She does not wish to leave, and you do not wish to harm her. The women has gone partially mad! Jakuchō cries to the heavens above. "No, I cannot leave. Away with you, my time has come. Take me! Free me from this place, please! I no longer have the strength to carry on!"You cannot take her through the turbulent water like this, perhaps the tree? You can attempt to tie her to the top of the damn thing!
The heavens answer is swift and too the point. A thunderbolt strikes from the sky and in a devastating flash of light obliterates the lonely withered tree. Pieces of it fly everywhere and its sooth covers both you and Jakuchō. The parts that survived the wrath of heavens, ignites with a fierce fire that the storm cannot subdue. Jakuchō is in shock, with her unseeing eyes she stares deep into the roaring fire, mesmerized. For you, the problem has only gotten worse. The fire is being pushed by the wind onto the shrine, despite the damp wood, the damn structure is taking to light anyway! The whole thing is going to burn down in this unnatural fire. With the fight in her gone, you scoop up the maiden and throw her over your shoulder. As you run back into the water and prepare yourself for another dive, you give the shrine one final look. With ghastly speed the fire has consumed both the tree and the shrine in record time, all that stands in the blaze is the silhouette of the great jade statue of Ryūjin. ~Jakuchō is no swimmer, her frantic kicking is more of a hindrance in the water then help. Luckily, you are a son of the sea. Having gown up along the shores, you have been swimming before you could even walk. More then once you have rescued a frantic kicking dog that had swam too far in pursuit of a thrown stick. This is of course different, you are exhausted and Jakuchō is a grown women. The water does not show you mercy either now that you are swimming up against the current. Diving is harder with two, and more then one wooden pillar comes to ram and pin you. Another bolt of lightning explodes into a nearby house and sends the rooftiles raining down like arrows upon you. You shelter Jakuchō with your body, and one of the tiles strikes you in the head. ~
A boy holds a stick in his hand, a man holds a sword. He swings through the reeds, the man decapitates his enemies. He looks at his wooden sword, and all the headless reeds. For a brief moment, he is invincible under the sun. It is a terrible thing when a boys dreams come true, as he doesn't know yet the gravity of what he wishes for. Is it here, in this field of reeds, that the Kami saw fit to grant his wish? Or was he destined to walk this road before he was even born? His mother comes to take the stick from his hand and strikes his face. The dream does not change. It follows its course until it rolls like a wave into the next. It is midsummer, and it is hot. The humid heat feels as unbearable, as it is unnatural. Such wild summer often turns men into animals. In stark contrast, the sharp rain falls down so swiftly the steel in your hand sings. Your sweat merges with the rain, and flows down into the earth drowning your feet. Its almost impossible to see through the thick downpour, only what is directly in front of you remains in sight. The typhoon has finally come, and the man waits for the storm at the foot of the house. The hot blood that runs through his veins, burns through yours. He has yet to draw his sword, instead he raises his hand and points right into your soul. His lips move, and his words are his weapon. No more lessons, only a final prophecy before his end. He is as loud as thunder."Twice, you will stand here."~
Your eyes shoot open, and you are greeted with a great pain in your head. The shrine maiden is giving everything she has to pull you out of the water and onto a small island. Debris off all kind has gathered together into a small dam against the rising water, and the two of you have simply added to it. There is a great pain in your neck, but at this point every part of your body cries out. Slowly you crane your head to take in where you are, and perhaps remember where you are. The blow you took has disconnected you partially from reality, and it will be a moment until you can remember everything. You touch the back of your head, but cannot tell if it is rain or blood that pours from you. Your hand senses it, and scurries forward before your eyes can see it. Among the wood and dirt, a sword. It stands erect and proud, gleaming in the dark, as if it had dropped from the very sky itself. The object of your desire, only an arms reach away. It calls to you, and your body moves. It does not need your consent. "No!" Jakuchō throws her body ontop of yours and holds you tight "Do not take it, you do not need it." Her words don't make sense, so you ignore her. She may as well tell you to leave behind your leg. "If you take up this blade, you will carry it to its appointed place." All the pain in your body is disappearing under the swords warm glow. You have survived for a while without a sword, it is true. This is different, you know that if you do not take up this blade here and now, there will be a heavy price to pay. This knowledge is in your blood, in your bones, in your soul. - [Stone faced Samurai] [Take up the sword] "I am a swordsman" - [Reserved Swordsmen] [Take up the sword] "There is too much that I still need to protect." - [Master less Ronin] [Take up the sword] "The sword IS freedom. With it, I command my destiny."- [Honour less Scoundrel] [Take up the sword] The sword is strength, I am invincible under the sky as long as I hold it"-[The empty handed Man][Leave the sword] (DC:???, every vote that is not this one, increases the difficulty of this DC)
>>5742717>[The empty handed Man][Leave the sword] (DC:???, every vote that is not this one, increases the difficulty of this DC)
>>5742717>[The empty handed Man][Leave the sword] (DC:???, every vote that is not this one, increases the difficulty of this DC)True Ending?
- [Reserved Swordsmen] [Take up the sword] "There is too much that I still need to protect." 100% the shrine maiden dies if we don't take the sword
>>5742717-[The empty handed Man][Leave the sword] (DC:???, every vote that is not this one, increases the difficulty of this DC)
>>5742717>Reserved swordsmen.We are a Swordsman. Struggle against fate, struggle against time and nature and the Kami.But we are what we are, and we will die what we are.At the very least, let us die doing good.
>>5742717>-[The empty handed Man][Leave the sword] (DC:???, every vote that is not this one, increases the difficulty of this DC)Time to die
>>5742717>-[The empty handed Man][Leave the sword] (DC:???, every vote that is not this one, increases the difficulty of this DC)
>>5742717>- [Honour less Scoundrel] [Take up the sword] The sword is strength, I am invincible under the sky as long as I hold it"
>>5742717>[The empty handed Man][Leave the sword] (DC:???, every vote that is not this one, increases the difficulty of this DC)
>>5742717-[The empty handed Man][Leave the sword] (DC:???, every vote that is not this one, increases the difficulty of this DC)I feel like we have to escape our destiny somehow
Ok, DC 14Best of 3, lets have it. Do you have what it takes to resist the sword?
Rolled 19 (1d20)>>5743774ez
Rolled 9 (1d20)>>5743774woah nice 19would be a shame if someone rolled a 1 right here right now
Rolled 8 (1d20)>>5743774
Rolled 17 (1d20)>>5743774
Another day another soj quest abandoned just before it ends