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3. Shinjo Takuya

Memoirs of a Bushi #3

Played on October 28th, 2018

Year 1123, Isawa Calendar

Surprisingly, I actually slept really well after the weird encounter last night. In the morning we had breakfast at the Laughing Carp Inn and we got to meet some of the other contestant I had not seen before. First of all there was Shiba Tōya, a serious looking Phoenix Bushi. Secondly, a Lion shugenja named Kitsu Tsubasa stared for a moment at me with his really big eyes. Lastly, a female Scorpion Bushi with a red mask introduced herself as Bayushi Mei Lin. The samurai contestants we met yesterday afternoon were also present, safe ofcourse for Hitoshi who spend the night at the sake-house.

After breakfast, we made our way towards the Kakita dueling academy, where the Topaz Championship will be held. Besides Kakita Toshimoko, the sensei of the academy, last years winner and runner up, the Dragon Kitsuki Yukini and the scorpion Bayushi Shugai respectively, are also present. Within the crowd, I spot the last of the contestants: a female Crane bushi sporting a long white and black braid. Her name is Kakita Ruki and she is obviously comfortable among her family in this academy. We receive some explanation regarding the rules of the events from Kitsuki. Apparently there will be 11 events in total, with a duel in the end. We need to reach 8 points across the events to pass. After that, it is finally time to start the events themselves. This is what I have studied and trained for all these years. This is where I will reach my gempuku.

The first event is wrestling. I need to duel in the 3rd match. Purely due to chance, my opponent is Hitoshi. Despite the plea of Doji Satsume the previous night, I am way too eager to prove my honor for my clan. I let him come towards me and stand my ground. I manage to use his force against him and easily wrestle him to the floor, much to the approval of the judges. After 4 more matches, I am declared the winner of the event. I almost blush, but manage to keep my composure. My companions Togashi and Akodo also manage to floor their opponents, but the courtiers and shugenja from our group fare less well.

The second event is Heraldry. I have studied well and therefor can recall all of the family and the samurai crests. My approach is not favored by the judges however, so I only get a minor result. When Bayushi Kyu exits the tent where the event is taking place, he seems very confident about his performance, but then starts giggling weirdly, raising some eyebrows from both the judges and other contestants.

The third event is an obstacle course, testing our athletic abilities. This time I am matched against Akodo. She is a very worthy opponent. We both flow over and across the obstacles very similar and manage to cross the finish line at exactly the same time. We bow towards eachother for our great performance and are both awarded the maximum amount of points for this event. This means that after three events I am already very close to reaching my gempuku. Although Moto is not doing very badly, I will take it upon myself to really show those other clans what a true Unicorn is capable of achieving!