L5R : Jade Winds
A Favor for a Scorpion
Hida-sama, I do truly appreciate the offer that you carry me. I understand you carried a Kitsuki Magistrate up through these mountains, no small feat. You have shown on so many occasions that you are brave, trustworthy and a terror to your enemies. If the situation at the moment was not so…so complicated, I would happily explain myself. I fear that if you knew too much of my past, it could put you and the others in danger. And this is not insane gaijin Tiger bad, I think it could be worse.
I can not expect you to approve of what I do or how I accomplish my assigned tasks. I can only ask you to try and appreciate that I am trained for a different battlefield than you, but it is a battlefield. Do you look down on the Seer or Diviner for reading the portents before a battle? My job is just as valid.
cough, slight wince, changes compress on wound
I need to ask a rather lower than respectable person some questions. These people do not understand much else except who has the strongest sword arm. They certainly would not talk if the Kitsuki or Mirumoto were poncing about. They would become suspicious. You and I appear less suspicious and I can pass as a Ronin. I would only ask that you act as my Yojimbo, and in my present condition, I humbly beg your indulgence. I can protect your honor as long as you just remain silent and…sneer disapprovingly. Again, you would be a yojimbo, and I am sure you don’t approve so there is no dishonesty on your part…
Now I need to tell you something. (the Scorpion lowers his voice so child can not hear) I have only hinted of this to the Mirumoto. Somehow this area of Dragon land and this gaijin invasion are tied to the murder of many Scorpions. I would imagine your first thought is “Good and good riddance”, I get that a lot. The part that I should have been one of the victims, I hope does not generate the same thought. I must not appear as a Scorpion for a small while, so I become Ronin. Technically because my shihainin (支配人) was murdered I can become one, until someone from the acting academy tells me different. Again, no loss of honor…for you. Also I will not be wearing a covering over my face…please don’t stare. If my makeup is smudged, I will figure it out.
The other part that the threat to me, may be a directed threat to my Father, I will not stand for. The Crane took my Mother, I will kill anyone who tries to take my Father.
If I had your skill and bravery I would storm the heart of the Crane…but I digress. Duty is first…
As I said, I hope to get as much information from this person. This means we must get as much as we can. The Kitsuki would be irate if we did not have, I believe he says “evidence”. The magistrate must know what is going on here. IF I can also get information about the conspiracy surrounding my Father, all the better.
When we have satisfied the Magistrate’s questions, then these bandit must be executed for soiling the honor of the fallen Samurai here. So please temper yourself until that time? Also I told the child’s Mother that he would be brought back safely. I hope you don’t mind, I informed her that you would guarantee that. If anything falls apart, I do not want the child in danger, you can leave me, get the child out.
May I get your word that, first, The child can not be harmed and you will get him home? Second, that the little information you have heard goes no further than between us? and third that please refrain from commenting or acting while I try to get information?
I can only imagine… (changes the bloody compress, puts a little sulfur powder on a new cloth and wraps it) …your acting may be better than my kenjutsu.
The Crab stands and listens impassively. When he is sure the Scorpion is done, he clasps his hands, bows slightly, and speaks.
The Crab goes off to prepare.