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7. Shinjo Takuya

Memoirs of a Bushi #7

Played on November 25th, 2018

Year 1123, Isawa Calendar

After I had a good night's sleep, it was time for the duels to determine who should become the Topaz Champion. Although I was in complete inner peace once more, I did not have many hopes of winning the title due to the large number of competitors. After the trip to the Kakita dojo, the first two names for he duel were drawn from the large bowl that had been used throughout the tournament. My clanswoman Moto Batbayar had to face off against Bayushi Mei-Lin. Unfortunately, the scorpion was faster to draw her bokken and defeated Moto-san.

The next duel was held between Kakita Riku and Hitoshi. In the corner of my eye I suddenly notice the the ghost of Doji Satsume in the crowd, looking very sad. I blink, and his image is gone again, however it wasn't a figment of my imagination. Most of my companions also must have noticed him since they look a bit flustered as well. Even Kitsuki Yurikimi seems to have noticed something strange is happening. Suddenly, eveything is going really fast. The judges give the command to draw and Kakita instantly releases her katana with blue and white hilt from her scabbard. A tenth of a second later it carves a deep gash in Hitoshi's chest, sending blood everywhere. Silence drops like a heavy stone in the arena as Hitoshi stares with disbelief at the gash in his body before collapsing to the ground. Isaka Aki immediately rushes to his aid as Kakita drops the katana from her hand in disbelief. For some unknown reason, my view is drawn towards the exit, where I see a figure running off, a katana with a distinguished blue and white hilt on his back. Kitsuki Yurikimi bellows for me and my fellow samurai to immediately give chase to this traitor, which I do without hesitation. I quickly draw a scimitar from the weapon rack on my way out.

The mysterious figure runs pretty fast through the various docks and merchant shops and we have trouble keeping up. In the end she, for it is a female, turns around menacingly as if to taunt us. I instantly recognize her as Bayuhsi Sugai. This is really surprising. Why would she want Hitoshi dead? Why would she think she can take on all of us single handedly? That last question is answered instantly when a group of six ronin join her. They look like the same bunch that pestered us in the Poisoned Water Sakehouse, but now they are sporting their katana's instead of their fists, so they mean business. I almost hear myself screaming 'For Hitoshi!' when I move to attack, but manage to contain myself for now. The fight goes pretty well, but during the fight I slowly get the red haze over me that I had the previous time fighting the ronin as well. With a almost inhuman scream I cleave almost clean through one of the ronin before turning to face Bayushi Sugai.

We manage to defeat Bayushi Sugai. Bayushi Kyo throws his family member over his shoulder and we return to the Kakita Dojo. When we arrive, we are just in time to see Kakita Riku kneeling in the middle of the Dojo with a tanto in her hand. She is ready to commit seppuku to restore the honor to her family. Her uncle, Kakita Toshimoko, is standing behind her as her Kaishakunin. When we enter the dojo and show Bayushi's body to everyone present, it becomes clear there has been treason and no Kakita honor was lost. Kakita Riku puts the tanto away and Kakita Toshimoko thanks us for preventing an additional negative tone to the tournament. After the incident, it is decided that the remainder of the duels are postponed till tomorrow.

The next day, the duels are resumed, I do not fully understand the mechanics of the matchups, but unfortunately, I end up losing to Bayushi Kyo. Isawa Aki manages to defeat Kitsu Tsuabasa and because she earned more points in the Topaz tournament than than the winner of the Bushi, Shiba Toya, she is chosen as the new Topaz Champion!