L5R : Jade Winds
Yonaka and Fire
Fire is cleansing.
The clever boy looks at the 2 wood slats held together at one edge by loops of wire and ties of leather, the burnt edges of the paper remaining inside are almost gone. Paper not made of rice, but something else.
It reminds him of his parents in a way, the remains of what must have been their bodies found in the distillery explosion the day the irrigation dams flooded the hillside. Nana-Sobo and Kiki-Gaisofu, grandmother being a retired samurai of some note and grandfather an artist and courtier, had taken him in the very same day and after 4 winters in the province near Shiro Mirumoto and 4 summers at Last Light Keep had somehow convinced the Masters at Iron Mountain Dojo to take him in place of the twins, saying it was the boy’s rightful place now and that he would work twice as hard.
Nana was rarely refused, and Kiki was always welcomed.
“What have you found there?”
The shovel laying at his feet temporarily forgotten, the boy does not startle upon hearing the voice of his Sensei behind him without hearing her footsteps. He never hears her approach and has learned to be ready and unready at the same time.
“I do not know, Yoshi Sensei. What is it doing amongst the library scrolls?”
“You may as well ask what the mouse does in the warehouse or the cricket upon a spider web.”
“So… it is a pebble in a pony’s shoe?”, the boy asks, attempting to play the riddle game against the exactingly perfect memory of his childhood teacher.
“And it is nothing for you to dwell on. Leave the shovel for now, your uncle has decided to send Hakenka down to clean up his own mess. You have other places to be.” the Tamori answers, gently taking the burned book from the boy’s shovel blistered hands, “And when we get there you will help me to weave the web again.” she adds before turning to walk towards the unassuming monk with the tattoos at the gate.
“Tenko Sensei?” the boy blurts out quickly after noticing the healer, hoping to get a direct answer concerning the Mirumoto Swordmaster who had been pulled from the fire only hours before.
“You still have much to learn, Kinshou, and he still has much to teach you.”