3. Akodo Masako
The tournament starts!
Played on October 27th, 2018
Day 2, Spring 1123
When I wake up I feel very rested, more than you would expect after such a strange night. Downstairs I silently eat my breakfast. There are some competitors which we didn't meet yet, a large Phoenix clan bushi, a fellow Lion clanmate shungenja and a Scorpion clan bushi. But no time for small talks, I need to focus and prepare for the tests that will come.
We make our way to the Kakita Duelling Academy. There we are welcomed by Kakita Toshimoko, who is the head of this Academy. I saw that name before, on the note from Doji Satsumi. I will keep an eye out on him, and of course on Hitoshi. There is also one new competitor, a Crane bushi. And the last Topaz Champion and the runner up are there!
Test 1 - Wrestling (2 points)
Then it's time for the first test, wrestling. I'm matched against Moto Batbayar. It's clear the judge prefers a sturdy grounded approach, and since that's how I always approach a wrestling match I feel comfortable with this. Moto Batbayar is a good opponent, and in the end we both put down a good show. The judge shows a slight preference for my performance.
After watching all the other matches the judge gives the points. Shinjo Takuya gets 3 points, which is deserved. He put down a great match with a perfect approach. I myself get 2 points.
Test 2 - Heraldry (0 points)
The second test, Heraldry. Not my strongest skill, but I could get lucky with the symbols. I try to take a perceptive approach. Looking at the symbols and seeing if anything hints to where they are from. The first one is easy, but after that I start to stumble. Some of them i've never saw in my life. And I quickly give up this test. I try to give the judge a good impression by explaining my approach. But not luck. I get 0 points.
When getting out of the test room I keep an eye on Kakita Toshimoko. It really seems he doesn't like Hitoshi, but i'm not sure why. Hitoshi himself wasn't happy about this test and I try to comfort him by telling more tests will come which are more fit for him and me.
Then Bayushi Kyo comes out the room giggling, telling us all how easy it was. Someone couldn't keep his composure, and i'm glad the judge subtracts 1 point for that, even if he is the winner of that test!
Test 3 - Athletics (3 points)
The last test before the break is Athletics. I was always best in my class in this, so i'm ready to go. The route will go through the nearby forest. There are some obstacles like a going over a wall, crossing a river over a fallen log and going through a mud pool. I'm matched against Shinjo Takuya. A worthy opponent it turns out. We both take the same flexible and balanced approach. And while it looks like I am ahead, he closes the gap at the end. He has a great endurance and we cross the finish line together. In the end this was the winning race, since we are both called out as winners and get 3 points. Also Bayushi Kyo is mentioned, but he gets 1 points less because he took a different approach.
Then it's time for a break. It was a good morning, with 5 points already i'm getting close to the required 8 points needed for my gempuku. But of course i'm here to become the next Topaz Champion, not just for my gempuku.
We eat lunch and I prepare myself for the next 2 tests of today: Horseback Riding and Conduct.