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4. Shinjo Takuya

Memoirs of a Bushi #4

Played on November 4th, 2018

Year 1123, Isawa Calendar

After three events, it is time for lunch. Some contestants are walking back to the Laughing Carb Inn, but I decide to stay in the academy. A few moments later however, there is a big commotion outside and a large black cloud of smoke rises to the north. Quickly realising that a fire could have major consequences in such a tightly build city, I rush outside and run to the docks where it turns out a warehouse is completely ablaze. My companions Akodo, Isawa and Doji have already organised a large line of waterbuckets from the river to the warehouse and are getting the fire under control. I quickly shout at some peasants to bring the empty buckets back to the river and soon after, the blaze is fully extinguished. During lunch I get the chance to properly observe Hitoshi to see if I can find any reason in his demeanor or looks for Doji Satsume's special interest in him. I think I notice something Crane-like in his way of movement, however Hitoshi notices me staring and I quickly turn away my glance.

After lunch it is back to the academy for the last 2 events of this day: horsebackriding and conduct. With only a single point left to reach my gempuku and horsebackriding being by far my specialty, I decide to take it easy and not show off my real skills. This might give Hitoshi at least some chance of also getting some hard needed points. He is helped along even further by Bayushi who notices that his horse is limping. Well spotted that was! The amount of bad karma surrounding Hitoshi is almost starting to feel suspicious. I would expect Moto to win this event easily, with me not really trying, but she really disappoints me. She even manages to do worse than me. How disgraceful! At least Hitoshi manages to impress the judges somewhat with his replacement horse.

Conduct is the last event of this day. It is by far my weakest event. I truly think I am at a disadvantage being a Unicorn. People always think we are barbaric and savage. Not surprisingly, I fail the event, but I take comfort from the fact that my gempuku is already succesful. Doji Ren however, despite doing really well, suffers a mental breakdown and bursts into tears. Those weak Crane! I make sure her shame is displayed properly for everyone by very ceremoniously offering her a handkerchief for her tears, while giggling inside. Today was a good day!

In high spirits we head for the Posioned Water Sakehouse to celebrate our first day. Inside there it is bustling with people. In a corner, Kakita Toshimoko is enjoying the company of a few geisha. Together with Togashi I join some others playing a gambling game with dice. I am horrible at it, and after losing some money, I decide to break out into a traditional unicorn song with Moto. Shortly after, a number of Rōnin enter the sakehouse. They act very loud and obnoxious and are demanding sake. They are obviously looking to throw us off our composure, but the reasons for that I can only guess. I throw a meaningful smile at Moto and we start singing the famous song of the dishonorable death of the 47 ronin. This has the desired effect. They can no longer keep their composure and start attacking us. In the ensuing melee, I barely notice Kakita has left the building with his geisha, before I am forced to draw my bokken.