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Sengoku ~ Chapter 1

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12:49 am
July 11, 2017

dystopia
Admin

posts 736

1
 
Whipped by a fierce wind
And dashed like the ocean waves
Against the rocks—
I alone am broken to bits
And now am lost in longing.
 
Minamoto no Shigeyuki (1000 a.d.)
A steady rain fell from the rippling clouds above, it's cool drops ricocheting from Zakuro's cylindrical straw hat as he ducked into the opening of a building, the sign above the entrance simply Hyo. It was an early mid-summer evening, dusk slowly encroaching on the flooded fields that surrounded the small town Sakai. Zakuro pulled the straw hat from his head as he entered, letting it fall to his back where the string that was tied around his neck caught it. The Hyo was dark, little of the remaining sun filtered in, though lamp light illuminated small pockets of tables here and there. The smell of fire roasted beef danced through the crowd, most of which were huddled around small tables on their knees or in various states of relaxation. The chatter did not stop as the Ronin entered, his eyes moving systematically from one group of men to the next, he was meant to meet someone here.
   ” Excuse me, I'm looking for a man named Ukioinin ” Zakuro leaned in to the closet table to the door, speaking to a balding man who sat with a large group.
The man gestured quickly with his hands towards a table in the back, not speaking. Zakuro nodded in appreciation before moving inward, careful to move fluidly through the clusters of tables until he reached the back of the Hyo where a tall bearded man sat patiently with a cup of saki. Ukioinin's face was old beyond it's years, he had clearly lead a hard life, but his body seemed strong and full of fight. This was surely the man he was meant to speak with.
   ” Come Ronin, sit with me. The others should be arriving shortly. ” Ukioinin's voice was deep and raspy, carrying a serious tone. Zakuro simply nodded and lowered himself to his knees, whipping his tunic back as he did so, and prepared to wait for the others.
 

8:38 am
July 11, 2017

cooler
Member

posts 80

2

Post edited 3:29 pm – July 16, 2017 by cooler


Shijou Nakatomo
———-
     The evening sky fell over Sakai turning from blue into a beautiful orange and pink sky. As the rain steadily fell, Nakatomo moved slowly towards the Hyo. This was Nakatomo's first time to be in this city and a place that he was reluctant to be in. However, he had mastered the art of Kyudo in his home region and set forth to find someway to further challenge himself and his yumi bow, Doragon.
     Bringing him here this evening was a letter that he had received, inviting him to meet one Ukioinin, promising him an opportunity to further explore and evolve his abilities as a kyudoka. Nakatomo ducked in the building, glad to be out of the rain. Looking around, he noticed that a darkness enveloped the room with pockets of light illuminating from the center of several tables. Towards the back of the room he noticed an elderly man and a Ronin kneeling together, a sign that this must be the group that he was looking for.
     Nakatomo slowly made his way towards the back of the room, moving in and out of the tables and trying not to disturb the patrons. As he moved through the room, not many people paid him any mind, a difference that he appreciated from his home region. Back at home, he was well known for his abilities with the bow and it was hard to not be recognized, even when one wished.
     ”Evening, my name is Nakatomo,” he said as he approached the table and glanced between the two individuals kneeling at the table. He then pivoted his attention towards the older gentleman, though his age showed only through his face, his body seemed much stronger than that of any other man his age.
     ”I presume you to be Ukioinin, I thank you for inviting me,” he stated as he took a position next to the Ronin and slowly kneeled down. 

9:01 pm
July 11, 2017

ShogoMaki
Member

posts 299

3

Sengoku ~ Chapter 1  
   The jingle of six metal rings filled the Hyo. A sohei stood just inside the doorway, rain water rolling down from his head as if unaware that it had been raining to begin with, his right hand hand holding onto his shakujo and the pinky scrapping earwax from his ear. After a quick flick of his pinky, Riku looked around the Hyo in hopes of finding someone who matched the description of the man he was suppose to be meeting. A wizened old man was seated at a table with a ronin and another man. Moving through the room, Riku paid no mind of anyone else as the six rings on his shakujo jingled with each step. The sohei's dead eyes locked with Ukioinin's and saw recognition in them. “Good evening, Ukioinin?” Ukioinin nooded and waved for Riku to join the table. RIku bowed then moved to his knees, leaning his shakujo against the left side of his chest and shoulder, “My name is Aoki Riku. Pleased to meet you.”


 
  OOC:

 
 

10:48 pm
July 11, 2017

dystopia
Admin

posts 736

4
  The table had remained silent in waiting. The others had arrived quickly just behind Zakuro, who barely had enough time to order his own cup of saki before the first of them had come, and hardly time to sip it before the last. Zakuro had looked over each as they entered the Hyo, studying the build and composure of each man, a technique he had learned long ago in his training. The first arrival carried himself with an air of seriousness, a man who seeked not money from this meeting but knowledge in his art. Zakuro could not come to the same conclusion about the second, he carried his body much more loosely, and as a priest none-the-less.
   ” Now that you've all arrived, I would like to make a point that the pay is one hundred Mon each, no more period. ” Ukioinin said as his eyes moved over each man slowly, briefly stopping on the last arrival before moving on. Knowing that the pay was more then most men would make in several months. ” If you die there will be no pay, this is a sensitive matter and no questions can be aroused by family members or otherwise. ” He continued to speak, the roughness of his voice cutting.
   ” Understood. ” Zakuro answered with a nod of his head as he shifted from his knees to a more comfortable position sitting, his hand cupping his saki as he raised the cup to his mouth, feeling the warmth of the liquid as he sipped it.
   ” Pay will be given upon completion of the task, if you cannot survive on your own until that point you should leave now. ” Ukioinin continued as he once again scanned the three men, waiting now for agreement from each to the terms.
 

11:22 pm
July 11, 2017

cooler
Member

posts 80

5

Post edited 3:30 pm – July 16, 2017 by cooler


Shijou Nakatomo
———-
     As Nakatomo had kneeled down, he gestured towards the wait staff to bring him a small cup of water, refusing to dull his senses with the taste of alcohol. When the water arrived,  Nakatomo slowly sipped on it and sat silently sat the table eyeing the people that were there before him. As he did so, the sound of several rings rattling gave a soft echo throughout the Hyo, which brought Nakatomo's eyes to the entrance.
     The look of the man who had walked in gave Nakatomo the only information he needed to know that he would soon be joining them at the table. Nakatomo was not fan of the demeanor, as the the man picked at his own ears and flicked the wax at into the Hyo.
     Once they were all kneeling around the table, they received the information that had brought them all their. They were to go on a mission with a pay that Nakatomo had only seen from some of the largest Kyudo tournaments throughout the entire island. While the pay was not what brought him here, it did give him the hint that this mission would be fraught with danger and opportunity.
     ”I accept your conditions. Nakatomo answered.

7:36 pm
July 12, 2017

ShogoMaki
Member

posts 299

6

Sengoku ~ Chapter 1  
   Riku listened intently while Ukioinin speak, but due to the fact that Riku seemed to be looking no where in particular and his eyes had a glazed look it appeared that he wasn't listening. Rather, Riku was paying attention to both Ukioinin, but also the happenings of Hyo. The glaze over the eyes went away for a moment at the sound of 100 mon. With that amount, Riku could continue his journey for sometime without worry of money. The dangers of the assignment worried Riku very little as the Buddha's teachings guided him. Riku carried his gaze towards Ukioinin and followed it with a nod, “What is the assignment?” Riku never had the intention of leaving as soon as he walked into Hyo, no matter the danger.

 
  OOC:

 
 

8:41 pm
July 12, 2017

dystopia
Admin

posts 736

7
  Ukioinin took several moments to consider the seriousness of each man and his devotation to what would be no ordinary mission. Sitting in silence he looked each man in the eye, doing his best to sense their measure. He had his concerns, but knew what kind of men these jobs would likely attract, he would have to work with what he was given.
   ” Aye, the job will be one of danger. You will be tasked with infiltrating the Tokugawa manor, where the daughter of one of our own has been held as a political bargaining chip. She must be returned to safely, but we must be careful not to arouse any suspicion against the Uesugi clan. ” Ukioinin spoke with much emotion in his voice, a sense of personal pain coming through. ” I will personally accompany you to see to this, we are likely to be caught but it must be attempted before Azai becomes Shogun. ” He continued to speak, the emotion in his voice growing more painful.
   ” I accept. ” Zakuro answered quickly, his eyes having darted back towards Ukioinin, reeling in the suffering the main seemed to feel. Clearly he had a personal connection with this woman, it was obviously not official business. ” The Tokugawa's are no friends of mine, in fact they're quite the opposite. ” Zakuro continued as he calmly placed his empty saki cup down on the wooden table, looking now to the others for their own answers.
 

12:10 am
July 14, 2017

cooler
Member

posts 80

8

Post edited 3:30 pm – July 16, 2017 by cooler


Shijou Nakatomo
———-
     After everyone had given their initial acknowledgement, Ukioinin revealed more details regarding the nature of mission in which they were being hired for. It quickly became apparent why the pay was so extravegent; not only where they going on a stealth mission, but the daughter they were to rescue had a personal relatioship to Ukioinin. As his composure changed to show the emotion inside of him, it became obvious that the daughter was most likely his own. This of course, raised some interesting flags. Who was this man who was important enough to have his daughter kidnapped by the Tokugawa clan and what role did the upcoming Shogun, Azai have in it?
     Regardless of these current questions, Nakatomo was unwilling to turn down the mission. This was an opportunity to work on a more subtle skill, one of stealth. His Yumi bow should be a perfect complement to this kind of mission, the opportunity to take out enemies from a distance, quietly, would surely be needed.
     I lend my bow to your cause and may it be useful in the mission to come,” Nakatomo answered, bowing his head to Ukioinin.

11:32 am
July 15, 2017

ShogoMaki
Member

posts 299

9

Sengoku ~ Chapter 1  
   The mission proposed by Ukioinin threw up red flags to Riku. Was the daughter being held as a bargaining chip or would they be kidnapping her to be used as a bargaining chip? The speed at which the other two agreed to the mission put no doubt that the mission would be attempted with or without him. Riku was now a little unsure about the mission, but he believed that up until now he had made decision bringing good karma his way. The slight jingling of shakujo brought Riku to his senses. “When do we start and will it just be the three of us?” Riku had the feeling after hearing the mission that Ukioinin would not have let them any of the leave without accepting. 

 
  OOC:

 
 

10:58 pm
July 15, 2017

dystopia
Admin

posts 736

10
  Ukioinin's esteem was visibly elevated upon each man agreeing to the terms of the mission, it seemed as if a weight had been lifted from his shoulders and almost instantly he seemed to grow younger by the years. Raising his hand, almost boisterous in nature, Ukioinin summoned the nearby barkeep to come closer.
   ” A round of saki! we're celebrating tonight! ” Ukioinin said proudly as he reached both right and left arms out, grasping the shoulders of the nearest of men on each side of him and squeezing joyfully. ” For tomorrow's dawn will be brighter than today's! ” He laughed out as the Barkeep nodded and turned away to fetch the drinks.

The following dawn was indeed brighter, or at least it seemed that way to Zakuro as the sunlight poured through the window of the room he found himself waking in. His head throbbed, he regretted instantly having some much saki the night before, but the man was buying, and who was he to turn down free saki? Lifting himself from the floor on which he slept, Zakuro scanned the small room, the tatami mats gave under his weight as he slowly rose to his feet. The two other men from the night before were both there, still sleeping.
   ” Time to rise, we have things to do. ” Zakuro called out to the two others, trying his best to shake the feeling of malaise that rushed over him as he stood. ” We must gather some supplies and meet Ukioinin on the road to the Tokugawa manor. ” He continued as he stepped towards the sohei and gave him a forceful nudge with his foot.
 

11:39 am
July 16, 2017

cooler
Member

posts 80

11

Post edited 3:40 pm – July 16, 2017 by cooler


Shijou Nakatomo
———-
     After everyone had agreed to the terms of the mission, Ukioinin ordered a round of saki for the entire table. While Nakatomo preferred not to drink, he decided he would partake in a few sips so as not to seem rude. 

     The next morning a voice called out to a sleeping Nakatomo, one he did not recognize at first but as the memories of the night before came to him, he was able to place the voice with Zakuro, the Ronin. Nakatomo's eyes slowly opened, letting the light slowly in as his eyes adjusted making his vision clearer and clearer. Rising to his feet, he noticed that they were in a small room with sleeping mats on the floor. The entire teams was currently in the room, other than Ukioinin who had hired them. Once he was fully aware of his surroundings he looked towards Zakuro who had waken him and nodded before making his way to the corner of the room and securing his bow.
     “Let's be on our way gentleman.” Nakatomo stated, eager to begin the mission and put his skills to test outside of a controlled archery tournament.

5:34 pm
July 16, 2017

ShogoMaki
Member

posts 299

12

Sengoku ~ Chapter 1  
   Riku pushed back against Zakuro's foot as he turned over to his side, “Errr…five more minutes.” Riku sipped the saki slowly the night before, but was one to enjoy his sleep. The sohei began to crunch up into a ball then realized where he was at the sound of the two men's voice. “Alright I'm up.” Riku opened his eyes and slowly sat up, rubbing his eyes to help wake up. Reaching for his shakujo, the familiar jingle brought Riku out from his slumber and stood to his feet. “Ready when you two are.”

 
  OOC:

 
 

3:42 pm
July 17, 2017

dystopia
Admin

posts 736

13
  Sluggishly Zakuro moved towards the exit, sliding the wooden frame open revealing a narrow hallway with many other doors. At the end of the hall the passage seemed to open, he assumed they should head in that direction.
   ” It will take us most of the day and night to reach the manor, we should make sure to take anything we might need with us. ” Zakuro said as he moved through the exit at the end of the hall revealing the empty Hyo from the night before, sunlight radiating inwards from the front windows and door. ” There has to be a merchant around this part of town somewhere, let's go find one. ” He continued as he prepared to exit the Hyo, already aware of the pain the sunlight would cause him in his still hungover state.

The morning streets of Sakai were bustling with activity as Zakuro exited the Hyo, people moving about sometimes shoulder to shoulder. Zakuro knew this to be because of the rice harvest, it was a busy time of year in this part of Japan. Subtle cool winds bent and turned through the narrow passages between the buildings tossing Zakuro's long black hair, refreshing though soon the summer sun would be upon them again.
   ” Let's try down there. ” Zakuro pointed down the street where a large crowd was gathered around several carts literally packed ten feet high with sacks of rice.
 

9:40 pm
July 17, 2017

cooler
Member

posts 80

14

Post edited 1:40 am – July 18, 2017 by cooler


Shijou Nakatomo
———-
     It did not take long for the new team to be up and ready to move out, though unlike Nakatomo who drank lightly, the other two definitely appeared to be feeling the effects of their evening. Regardless, Nakatomo followed Zakuro out of the room and through the Hyo from the previous meeting and finally out into Sakai. The town looked much different now, with the rain gone and the sun lighting up the sky. Their goal right now was the locate a merchant and secure supplies before they headed out towards the manor, a trip that would likely take the entire day.

     “I'm good on weapons and I'll be able to hunt to acquire sufficient food stores.” Nakatomo told the group. Nakatomo's hunting skills gave them the option to save money on food stores, if they desired, so that other important items could be purchased. Given that the mission would be stealth, Nakatomo was in the market for some poisons that could quickly incapacitate targets and that was able to be applied to his arrows.

8:38 pm
July 19, 2017

ShogoMaki
Member

posts 299

15

Sengoku ~ Chapter 1  
   Adjusting his yukata, Riku followed behind the others with little words. Riku always felt that the first noble truth was most true in the morning. Scratching the back of his head with his left hand, Riku squinted as they reached the sun's light, “Sabba Dukkha.” The sohei was reminded of a Pali phrase referring to the first noble truth 'All is sufferring.' Riku did his best to pay attention, but phased in an out of the conversation as the two went back. It seemed one wanted to buy food and another wanted to hunt his own. Riku just wanted to get on with the day and hope the the suffering would stop.

 
  OOC:

 
 

6:29 pm
July 20, 2017

dystopia
Admin

posts 736

16
  The clamor of people moving all around made the Ronin feel slightly uneasy as he turned his body to squeeze through the mass and move in closer to the market.
   ” Fresh meat would certainly be a treat, but we should take enough rice for several days regardless, who knows where the fallout from this endeavour might lead us. ” Zakuro said in response to Nakatomo as ge glanced back at the man, before turning back towards the cart piled high with sacks of rice.” Ten pounds! Right here ten pounds! ” Zakuro shouted above the crowd, pulling a few Mon from his robes and holding them high in the air for the vendor to see, which promptly got his attention and before he knew it a large sack of rice was being hurled his way.

With the rice now in hand, Zakuro moved back through the tight mass of people, doing his best to not bump into anyone as he searched for both of his comrades. Catching sight of Riku, Zakuro pushed forward and neared the priest.
   ” So what's your story? ” Zakuro found himself saying as he moved next to his newfound ally, waiting for Nakatomo to finish his business before they moved on.
 

7:09 pm
July 20, 2017

cooler
Member

posts 80

17

Post edited 11:09 pm – July 20, 2017 by cooler


Shijou Nakatomo
———-
     The markets were crowded and although Nakatomo could hunt, Zakuro decided to purchase enough rice to last them for a few days, a suitable plan should game not be found or should they end up in some unknown conditions. Nakatomo scanned the crowded stalls looking for the poisons that he would help them out on their upcoming quest. There were stalls of fish, grain, trinkets, rice, pottery, and finally what looked to be a stall full of herbs. As Zakuro moved on towards Riku, Naktomo quickly made his way to the stall, squeezing between the crowds of people.
     ”I need something that I can coat my arrows in, preferably a non-lethal poison,” Nakatomo told the shopkeeper. As she heard the words, the shopkeeper turned around and bent over, digging underneath one of the baskets of herbs for sale. After rummaging for a few seconds, she stood up and turned around handing Nakatomo a small bag of dark berries.
     “Crush these berries and pour their juices into this glass bottle and you'll get the results that you want.” The young shopkeeper said as she handed him a glass bottle as well. Nakatomo nodded to her and handed her a few mon and made his way back to the other two.
     “Ready when you are.” he said.

1:12 pm
July 22, 2017

ShogoMaki
Member

posts 299

18

Sengoku ~ Chapter 1  
   As the day continue, Riku found himself adjusting to the light and that suffering slowly faded from his life. Riku had spent years travelling and the bag of rice that Zakuro bought was more than Riku usually had. Living off the kindness of others and the wisdom of the Buddha, the sohei never had much, nor wanted much. All except for one thing. Riku's dead eyes for a moment showed a deep sorrow for a moment as Zakuro asked his question, “I seek my vajra.” Riku had his vajra, the sohei's weapon to protect himself and his fellow monks, stolen. Not wanting to remember his transgression, Riku nodded towards Shijou, “Let's move out.”

 
  OOC:

 
 

10:16 am
July 24, 2017

dystopia
Admin

posts 736

19
  Zakuro nodded a few times in response to Riku's answer, though it still did not seem to reveal much behind the mystery of the man. He would have to continue to slowly chip away at his exterior to reveal more of what made the man tick. Either that or their mission would be over fairly quickly and he would never see the priest again.
   ” Ah good, let's make for the exit of town. We should be able to take the main road much of the way towards the manor, though we will have to meet up with Ukioinin before we go any further. ” The ronin said to both of his accomplices as he started walking once more, this time away from the busiest part of town, towards the outskirts.

The early morning sun gleamed it's reflection off the bog like waters of the rice paddys that lined both sides of the road that exited Sakai for what seemed like miles. Zakura knew that the final harvest would soon be coming and the fields drained, the town would change overnight and much of it's activty would disappear until the following year. His mind wandered much as he did as the three men moved steadily forward, remembering the last time he had encountered one of the Tokugawas and the inpact that meeting had made on his life.
   ” And you young man, what is your story? ” Zakuro turned to Nakatomo as he walked, repeating the question he had asked to Riku earlier in town, hoping again to learn something about the men that he would be working with.
 

9:53 pm
July 24, 2017

cooler
Member

posts 80

20
Shijou Nakatomo
———
     As he arrived at where the other two were, Nakatomo overheard Zakuro's attempt to peel back the layers of the priest, an attempt that sounded like it was not as successful as Zakuro might have had hoped. Afterward, the group began making their way towards the outskirts of the town to begin their journey to the manor.

     Moving through the outskirts of Sohei, Zakuro's focused shifted to Nakatomo and learning more about him. Luckily for Zakuro, Nakatomo also was interested in learning about those that he traveled with. By learning about them it would be possible to learn the strengths and their weaknesses, which would then allow them to better come up with more effective plans of action.
     “I am from a small village east Edo. There I have been practicing and competing in archery competitions for the past seventeen years. I came here to improve myself, as much practice as I've had, only true combat experience can improve me now.” Nakatomo explained. “What about you?”
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