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Fallen Cherry Blossom

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Fallen Cherry Blossom

 

 

色は匂えど    –    Even the blossoming flowers

散りぬるを    –    Will eventually scatter

我が世誰ぞ    –    Who in our world

常ならん        –    Is unchanging?

有為の奥山    –    The deep mountains of karma—

今日越えて    –    We cross them today 

浅き夢見じ    –    And we shall not have superficial dreams

酔いもせず    –    Nor be deluded.

Iroha, 1078

 


 

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門前の小僧習わぬ経を読む。

‘An apprentice near a temple will recite the scriptures untaught’

 

    The wind whistled through the small village of Okura, the smell of a freshly put out fire drifting through the open doors of the Kawahara home. A samurai stands at the entrance to his abode, surveying the semi-abandoned homes. His head shakes in despair, the thought of what could have been fresh in his mind. ‘The village reflects its master, abandoned and despairing…’ The bushi warrior mutters to himself as he watches the Matsuda family start their day, the sole residents of Okura, the only exiles that have remained.

 

    Nobusuke reflects on the predicament of Okura, resigning the ghost town to memory as he steels himself for a voyage away, before Matsuda Koko barrelled out of her home. The child, a smile plastered on her face, started to play with the stones on the path with childish abandon. S small wry smile appears on Nobu’s face, as he internalises the moment. 

 

    His mind made up, Nobu enters his home and bows to the blade of his ancestors. His eyes trace the lines of the katana blade, a ripple of lighter steel beaten into the dark spine of the blade. Memories reminisce of the last time that blade was used, the previous year during the Oyashiman Rebellion that had led to the exile of his people. Following the young lord… The absent lord.

 

 


 

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雲散霧消

‘Scattered clouds, disappearing mist’

 

    The armoured samurai prowled the path to Okura Castle, the home of the Ishikawa clan. Nobu’s hazel eyes look out on the village, the fog slowly gathering over the buildings. Pausing on the steps upwards, his breath streaming from his visor, Nobu reflects on his training and teachings. What he is contemplating is the greatest shame that an Oyashiman can perform, one that makes his life forfeit.

 

    However, Nobusuke is prepared for this, for the sake of the Exiles. He has almost trod that road before. 

 

    The samurai looks upon the closed gates of his master’s castle, great steel bound oak beneath the tiled arch. With a push, the unbarred door opens with a large creak, the hinges screaming with disuse and rust. Stepping through to the courtyard Nobu looks upon the overgrown flora, neglected like the rest of Okura. A sigh escapes the helmet, breaking the creaking and footsteps as the warrior approaches the keep’s door.

 

    Opening the keep’s door, Nobusuke looks upon his young master, the man looking back at his steely eyed samurai. Nobusuke slowly draws his katana, stepping towards Ishikawa.

 

 


 

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雨降って地固まる

‘After the rain, earth hardens’

 

    Nobusuke slowly removes the armour from his form, the Ishikawa tanto resting on the shrine before him. The blade, cleaned, sits on its stand, reflecting the disheveled warrior after his momentous morning. The man stands, going to the nearby window of Okura castle, watching the Matsuda family come alive, seeing his friend Fujiwara Mutsuhiko walk the steps upto the lords keep. Brushing down his kimono, Nobusuke descends the ladders of the keep, the bamboo creaking under his weight.

 

“Did you do it?” intoned the visitor, looking past Nobusuke to the empty keep.
“He is no longer with us… And my honour intact.” came the reply from the tired samurai.

“Then our lands are lordless, we-”
“I will rule as Daimyo, we cannot suffer the same fate for a second time.”

 

    Mutsuhiko watches Nobu, looking for something in the mans character, “Its unprecedented Nobu.” he states flatly.

“Yes it is, but it is what is need.” came the reply, curt to match the tone, “Let us announce to those that are left… And to the world that we have our second wind.”

 

 


 

[!]

A notice is pinned to the tavern in Oyashima and is spread to various locations around arcas.


“To Residents of Okura and Dignitaries of Arcas,

Due to the passing of Shogun Ishikawa; The lordship of the Oyashiman Exiles has fallen to Kawahara Nobusuke. Due to the nature of our exile, Lord Kawahara has decided to abolish the usage of Shogun in these lands and instead take the mantle of Daimyo of Okura.

You are invited to the investiture of the new Daimyo at the village of Okura, Four Elven days from now.

Signed

川原信介

Kawahara Nobusuke

Spoiler

Saturday 5pm EST Okura village

[!]

Attached is a map to the village of Okura:

Spoiler

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Mutsuhiko sat silently under the cherry blossoms. His Lord left him when he left everything for his Lord.

Edited by JoanOfArc

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Spoiler

 


[!]
The missive had found a small cliffside, baring that of an old Estate which bathed in a glistening light under the morning’s sun. A gloved hand had taken the odd parchment, to where the figure would calmly carry it up the steps of his caged Estate- a curious smile appearing over his features as he raised a digit to lightly tap the side of his jaw, reading the missive’s contents with piqued interest.
Following the long moments of procuring a free missive, a short letter of acknowledgement would be sent out to the village of Okura, to its incipient order.


To the Daimyo of Okura,
I’ve heard your calls- and I have answered. You’ve my showing; I will attend the gathering with the upmost attentiveness. I await your counsel.


Signed the Lord of Edenia,
Dael’debol Ⅱ

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Slowly did the crow flap its own wings, therein landing at Mogroka the Blind’s feet. The bird only struggled, as it fiddled about with its own talon, of which a letter was bound to via hempen rope, serving ball and chain to the little bird, struggling to rise unto its own feet then. With considerable amusement, the man crouched down by the bird, therein withdrawing his own tomahawk, breaking such a chain through use of the weapon’s blunt end. He gestured for the bird to run along, the hulking ‘aheral having been stripped of his armour; and, as time may have dictated, it did exactly that, either of its wings crossing upon each other, the bird lifting itself from the floor, exiting the skyline.

In a gesture of respect, the mali but brought his own hand by his forehead, crouching to heave upon his club of bone, Dulugobi-Dâr Stargûsh, rested upon a destitute shoulder of his own, index, middle, and ring fingers erected in but one large box. Kor was the gatekeeper; and he, was his conduit.

”And, may his afterlife be long and fruitful. Soon, we may meet, for it is upon myself to guide those of your ilk into the world thereafter.”

 

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