4. Doji Ren
Tournament day 1 - Afternoon
Played on November 4th, 2018
Topaz Championship Day
We make our way from the Kakita duelling academy to the Laughing Carb as lunch has been prepared there. As we leave the academy grounds, we see a lot of people running from the warehouse district to the north yelling and screaming about a huge fire. We see clouds billowing above the houses and we start pushing through the crowd towards the fire. When we reach the fire, Isawa starts organising a bucket line. I join in the line, shouting additional commands to the people around me. A lot of the other contenders also join in helping to put out the fire. Shinjo joins moments later helping out returning the empty buckets to get filled again.
Half an hour later we manage to extinguish the fire and thus saving half the warehouse. The merchant and owner of the warehouse grovels before Isawa, thanking her profusely. She nods in acknowledgement. Hitoshi, who also helped out, nods approvingly.
The lunch is even more well deserved now as this took quite a toll on us. On our way to the inn, Isawa propose to me to bunch together so Hitoshi can take her room. As I got something to make up for I agree.
Nearly all contestants have joined us, but we're missing Kakita, who we suspect will be lunching at the academy. And Bayushi is nowhere to be seen. Isawa joins Hitoshi during lunch and tells him about her idea. Hitoshi is quite happy about a better night sleep than the previous night. I explain to him I had something to make up for. It seems he's ok with the situation now. I'm really glad about that, especially after sending him to the Poisoned Sake house yesterday. During lunch Isawa tries to learn more about Hitoshi and he tells about his past and why he only has one name yet. Apparently a Mantis only gains a the right to use the family name after serving on the ship long enough. Trying to dig deeper into information about his parents Isawa doesn't learn a lot unfortunately.
After lunch it's time for the final two challenges today, horseback riding and conduct. I should be able to prove myself tin the latter.
During the first event, we see Kyo again as he approaches the judge pointing to Hitoshi. They walk over there together looking and prodding the horse. Somehow the horse seems to be limping. The judge apologises for the bad horse and orders a new one for Hitoshi. He than thanks Kyo for his observation.
This event is won by Isawa and Togashi. I'm glad I manage to gain two points, doubling my total.
Then it is time for my event. With three judges, a Scorpion, a Crane and a Lion, this will be about etiquette, courtesy and ceremony. As I get my first question, I'm completely thrown off guard for a moment. I have prepared the wrong answers, but somehow I manage to turn every question around in such a way that I can give my answers. As I leave the room and rejoin the other contestants I collapse weeping, muttering how I tricked the judges with my answers. Tushimoko, the Topaz Champion and last year's runner up look at me disgruntled. Shinjo hands me a handkerchief. "Sorry about that, I don't know what got over me." Isawa tries to comfort me even though it might cause some of my dishonor to be projected on her. I'm glad she does though.
Somehow they were still quite impressed, I learn in the end, as I did win this event with another three points added to my total.
As we are done for today with the challenges, Tushimoko invites us to the Poisoned Water Sake house for a feast to celebrate the end of day one. On our way there, Hitoshi tells Isawa how he's really glad that Kyo spoke out about the faulty horse. Meanwhile Isawa responds with tips for the challenges tomorrow.
In the inn, there's good food and a lot of drinks. People are singing and dancing and Yun invites me to join a dice game called "Fortunes & Wins". I never played, but I enjoy a game every now and then. Shinjo and Togashi also join, but we're no match for Yun who keeps winning.
After a while I have had enough and I join Isawa and Hitoshi. I ask him about the Mantis sea shanties. He tells me he knows quite a lot and I tell him that they represent some kind of poetry, hinting to the upcoming challenge tomorrow.
In the meantime, Tushimoko is feasting a lot with a number of geishas, but all of a sudden he's gone and so are the geishas. He'll probably be up for a busy night...
When it is just contestants left in the inn, all of a sudden the door is thrown open and a bunch of Ronin storm in calling out for beer and wine! I try to talk some sense into them, that this is not the inn they are looking for, but that falls on deaf ears. They keep calling out challenges trying to dishonor us and eventually this is all too much. The bushis of the group prepare to take them and a possible/probably fight outside.