8. Akodo Yumako
The Ceremony and the Note
Played on December 9th, 2018
Day 5, Spring 1123
After the duels are done I make myself ready for the ceremony. I carefully put on the Lacquered Armor made for me by my Uncle Asako Okashi and make my way to the Temple of Seven Fortunes.
There we are welcomed by representatived of all clans. I'm called forward first. I make a bow and the priests from the Temple of the Seven Fortunes give me their blessing. I announce my new name.
The first part is from my mothers name, Yumi, since she is very important to me. The second half is from the name I had before my Gempukku, Masako. Which came from Mika Asako, my ancestor from my mothers family. She was known for creating armor so beautiful that it won renown within Rokugan.
I'm presented the Katana which I used yesterday to catch Bayushi Sugai, with a matching Wakizashi. This is a great honor and a great symbol of gratitude for our act from the Kakita Duelling Academy. Next I'm offered a gift by Ikoma Ikehata, the representative for my clan. I politely reject two times. The third time I accept the gift. It's presented to me with the words:
After that all other contestents also receive their gempukku and the gifts going with those.
Then it's time for Isawa Aki to become the Topaz Champion! She receives the Topaz Champion armor together with the matching Katana and prize money.
After the ceremony a messenger approaches us. He has a message from the Emerald Champion. I already heard people mention that Agasha Sumiko was the new Emerald Champion. So she is Emerald and Ruby Champion now?
We follow the messenger towards the Magistrate's house. There we are invited for tea with the Emerald Champion. She congratulates us, and thanks us for what we did yesterday. Then she offers us training to become Emerald Magistrates. What a great honor! I gladly accept the offer and we are expected to leave towards the Palace of the Emerald Champion soon. As Emerald Magistrates, we will need to uphold the Emperor's laws and make sure peace is kept between the clans. This would be a great step in becoming a greater, more famous, more honorable samurai than my brother, and make my family proud.
Later that day when the news has spread, my clan member Ikoma Ikehata provides me a sealed gift which I should present to the Emerald Champion as a gift.
The Feast and the Note
In the evening there is a feast to celebrate our gempukku. While I enjoy it, i'm still in my head with the whole Hitoshi and Doji Satsume story. Why didn't I told the others about the note, and how can I tell them now? It seems Bayushi Kyo has noticed my pondering and wishes to talk to me in private. There explain about the thoughts I have with regards to Hitoshi, Doji Satsume and Kakita Toshimoko. I decide to be honest now and tell him about the note. I think we both want to solve this mystery and I trust him to handle the information in a proper way. And if we are both to become Emerald Magistrates, things like this should be solved.
Day 6, Spring 1123
The next morning
The next morning during breakfast Bayushi Kyo tells about the information in the note without referring the note itself or me. It's impressive how he can tell that without raising any questions.
This starts a discussion and we decide to stay for one more day in Tsuma to investigate these affairs before we go to the palace. Doji Ren will look into the local history of Doji Satsume, Isawa Aki will see if she can contact the spirit of Doji Satsume, Shinjo Takuya will talk to Hitoshi and Bayushi Kyo will look into his own family and why Bayushi Sugai wanted Hitoshi dead.
I myself am still stressed about the note, and am wondering why I didn't told everyone directly that I saw its content. That is not how my mother raised me. I ask Isawa Aki if I can get the honor to polish the Topaz Armor for her. She grants me that, and I carefully study and polish the Topaz Armor the whole morning. It's a great masterpiece and a great honor to polish it, which helps me to clear my head.
With everything that happened with this group of 6 people, and the offer to become Emerald Magistrates I should really start to trust them and be perfectly honest with them in the future.