Month of the Hare, 14-21
After the end of the Topaz Championship, Akodo Hisaki and Hida Risoko returned to the Toshi Ranbo to the Ruby Doji, and began recruiting the rest of the Prince’s glory. Meanwhile, Bayushi Miyuki was placed in charge of the Unit, to escort Kakita Chibi Tore to the parties he was to attend in Scorpion Lands.
In Kyuden Bayushi, they stayed with Tsurichi Aizen the local Emerald Magistrate. He lived ossentatiously, and in a private conversation he let Chibitore know that he was quite found of the perks of the job. He suggested lavish gifts for both Bayushi Sakku and Bayushi Yumi and Miyuki for their Gempekkus. Chibitore opted for more simple girfts.
A young courtier named Shosuro Zenshin fawned over Toku Noburu to try and gain his favour.
AT the party, Bayushi Tozen presented Sakku with his own No-Dachi, an act which infuriated Miyuki.
Bayushi Yumi and Miyuki presented him with a painting of Hantei Ryozu as a Sumie wrestler, in honour of his unexpected victory in sumie at the Topaz Championship. He presented them each with scrolls, Miyuki`s reading `Beautiful Warrior`
Noburur recieved a scroll with the word `Brother`
Togashi Irisu recieved a scroll with the words `Enlightened Wanderer`
mirumoto Lu was presented with flowers he had gathered at each shrine on the way home. Lu immediately arranged them into an Ikebana gift for the Scorpion. In doing so, he caught the attention of Asoko Ken, the Phoenix Ambassador, who offered his aid to the young Dragon, either in Kyuden Bayushi or in Pheonix Lands.
The next day, the Prince`s Glory travelled to High Pine Vale for Miyuki`s Gempekku party. The night they arrived, Yumi threw a party in their honor. She and Chibitore seemed to greatly enjoy each other`s company. In the morning, both Kakita Chibitore and Toku Noburu were sick. A shugenja was sent for, and Yogo Setia told them they had `High Mountain Sickness` He healed Noburu, but Chibitore refused mystic healing. As his sickness did not abate, he eventually sent for Tamori Hana. She agreed that the symptoms looked like High Mountain Sickness, but it had gone on for far too long. She claimed it must be the richness of the food, and asked Irisu to prepare Chibitore simplier food, as a holy man`s cooking should heal him.
A scorpion bushi, Soshi Tamekogo, scoffed at Mirumoto Lu. Lu challanged him to a duel, and after the assesment, Tamakogo bowed out and began to refer to him as Dragon-Sama.
Yumi, as a gift, designed a Mon for the Prince`s Glory, showing the sun rising behind the Mountain of the Seven Thunders. Chibitore presented them with a pair of matching pear tree saplings.
At Miyuki`s invitation, the last samurai in the line, a mempoed Unicorn, removed her mempo to reveal Shinjo Tozenko. She presented her triplet sisters tantos which matched the one on her belt. She went inside. Bayushi Tozen had Bayushi Keiji fetch his full white mempo, which covered his face more completely and which he traditionally did not wear away from the battle field. Yumi spent the party complimenting Miyuki and suggesting typical Unicorn actions would lead to her expulsion from their family, as she wouldn’t be worthy of the Bayushi name.
Shosuro Mia admired Irisu’s gift of a story of Tozen saving the Lion Banner from the Unicorn, and his tatoos, and they quietly left the party together.
After the party, Tozen took both his daughters to a small room, which contained two masks, both crafted in steel, one with the Air Kanji wresting on the wearers cheekbones, and one with the Fire Kanji in the same place. He quized them in the typical Scorpion manner about the guests at their Gempekku. Afterwards, he presented Yumi with the Air Mask.
He turned to Miyuki in disgust, and ripped the sleeve of his kimono, handing her the rag. “You obviously do not value the Bayushi name. Return when you know what it is work, and maybe you’ll be worthy to carry it.”
Miyuki left in disgust for her warrior pilgrimage. She threw the mask on the ground and returned to the barracks. Soon after, Yumi appeared and handed her entire stipend over to her sister. Bayushi Keiji came shortly after, and handed her the mask. “You may decide you want this. Keep it in case” he told her, and then left.
Chibitore went to speak to Tozen, who dominated the conversation. He made arrangements to have the unit outfitted in armor from a Kiau engineer he knew in the Imperial city, as long as the source stayed secret. He provided them with 25 horses as well, and instructed Chibitore that if “Either of them falls, send them to Lonely Pine Vale for burial.”