3. Doji Ren
Tournament day 1 - Morning
Played on October 28th, 2018
Topaz Championship Day
That morning we all wake up refreshed and meet three additional Samurai at the breakfast table along with the three we already met yesterday. A large bushi of the Phoenix clan, Shiba Tōya, frowning as we enter. The second new one is a Lion clan shungenja, Kitsu Tsubasa, who looks extremely nervous, looking around with lqarge eyes. And finally another Scorpion clan bushi, Bayushi Mei Lin.
I mingle with the newcomers. Mei Lin doesn't have much to say unfortunately, she acknowledges she knows my fiancé, but that's basically all I can extract from her. Then I turn to Tsubasa and try to comfort him, but to no avail.
When we're all done with our breakfast, we make way for the Kakita duelling academy, across the village of Tsuma across the river.
In the courtyard we see a lot of spectators and merchants who are all gathered here for the event. The winner of last year, Kitsuki Yuikimi, and the runner up, Bayushi Sugai, are also here welcoming the participants. Hitoshi also enters the courtyard looking at us darkly. Need to figure a way to get on good terms with him again... Amongst the residents of the academy we spot another participant, a Crane bushi, Kakita Riku.
A priest clad in white garbs enter the courtyard and blesses the tournament and its participants. And then it is time for a final explanation of the rules and the schedule of the event by Kitsuki Yuikimi. We will need to earn eight points to pass our Gempuku. Today there will be five events, tomorrow six. And on the closing day we'll all participate in duels to determine the new Topaz Champion.
The first event is a wrestling match. The priest leads us to the wrestling arena and blesses it. A Crab clan member will judge our performance here. By lot I have to wrestle Kakita. We bow to each other and to the judge and then we start. I barely manage this event and manage to gain one point. At least this got me started.
Shinjo manages way better and already has his first three points by being the overall winner.
The next event is one where we have to recognize various forms of Heraldry, from great Clan to minor Samurai. This should play into my strengths. Especially with a Doji judge, I consider an Air approach. But when I see Kyo returning from his trial all giggling I reconsider this choice. Perhaps Water is a better choice. I should have stuck to my initial thoughts as it turns out I misread his giggling. He even has managed to win this event, but only with two point, as one point got subtracted for giggling. I'm glad I still managed to gather another point for my Gempuku. That is more than a lot of the others can say.
The last event before lunch is athletics. We'll need to run a course through the forest behind the Academy starting from the Academy gardens.
I'm paired against Miramoto Hinata, the huge lady. I'll need to be flexible as Water to even be able to finish without breaking something along the way. First we climb a wall, cross a river over a fallen log and go through a mud pool. As expected, no points for me this event, even though I tried really hard.
But Shinjo again comes out on top, but this time accompanied by Akodo with whom he crossed the finish line at exactly the same time, impressive work. Kyo also manages to rake in the maximum amount of points, leaving Hitoshi far behind, who already stumbled at the first challenge of this athletics course.
I'm glad it's time for lunch already after the two strenuous activities and one where I have been silly in my approach, still pretty miffed about that.
This afternoon we'll conclude the day with horseback riding and conduct as the final two events. I think Shinjo by this evening will already have gathered enough points to have passed his Gempuku with horseback riding still to come. Quite an impressive feat!