16. Isawa Aki
Played on February 10th, 2019
At the library we were greeted by a friendly venerated Scorpion scholar, named Bayushi Ago-san. He seems to oversee the library and knows where to find scriptures like no other. I immediately take to his passion for the written words and hit it off spectacularly. He helps me out to find the right scriptures for my law assignment which I complete in record time. Togashi Yoshi-san tries to get him to do his work for him, but he's not convinced. Luckily, it doesn't sour his mood. He's very talkative so I easily bend the conversation to what happened to Doji Satsume-sama. He believes it was a Doji inside job. His daughter, Doji Haturo the Crane clan champion, blames her father for her mother's death. She died by ostensibly throwing herself off a cliff. Of course, he swears he knows nothing but everyone can speculate, right?
After finishing the assigment I help out Akodo Yumako to cross-reference all the notes and messages we had found. We find out that the notes from Hidden Serpent's master seem like he is part of Kolat. A society of several factions who resent that so much power is given to people who descend from the Kami. Although it is clear that Doji Satsume didn't always agree with the state of the Empire and he was friendly with peasants, there is nothing which directly associates him with Kolat himself. It seemed even that Kolat was not happy with what the late Emerald Champion was doing.
At dinner, Agashi Sumiko-sama was absent. Without oversight the dinner and evening seemed to devolve in a night of drunken debauchery. I was shocked how little these samurai need to let their sense of decorum slide. I used the occassion to invite Hiruma Shigeki to tell me everything he knew about goblins and ogres. He didn't need much encouragement. I did learn some interesting new things but it's still unclear to me how they showed up where they did. Still an intriguing question! I did learn Hiruma Shigeki is an accomplished scout. Something which may be of value to us later.
I spent the rest of the evening chatting up Shiba Sono. I tried to impress him with my exploits but he seemed to consider everything as expected. I tried to suppress my disappointed but I'm not sure I fully succeeded. When I pressed him on the topic of Doji Satsume's death, he noted that Doji Satsume had been often been seen in the library studying law books as if he was trying to find a new interpretation for old laws.
Early in the morning Doji Ren explains that her assistant had been attacked while keeping watch near the secret room. He has obviously been hit with a blunt object in order to knock him out. At breakfast we learned that Doji Hotaru, Doji Satsume's daughter would be visiting the castle. We didn't know what to make of that and continued towards the Law training in the Court of Law.
The Law training was given by Mita Kotsumi-sensei. She's specialized in the Ritsuryo, Rokugani traditional law. Among many other things she explains Rokugani is not about collecting hard evidence perse but that the words of samurai are often taken as truth, constructing a likely story. The ancient laws are constantly being interpreted and reinterpreted as the people in charge see fit.
After midday we were summoned by Doji Hotaru-san herself, Doji Satsume's daughter and the Crane clan champion. Somewhat nervous I appear before her with my companion Emerland magistrates-in-training. Why does she summon us? Could she truly be behind Doji Satsume's death? It feels like I'm treading into a treacherous marsh, every step may be my last.
She asks us to explain how we helped Kakita Riku-san. I explain a brief version of story. Doji Ren-san tries to emphasise all the bad deeds Scorpion clan members have done as a part. Is the trying to get us in trouble? Doji Hotaru seems clearly troubled by any bad reputation attached to the Scorpion clan. I try and keep us out off trouble by highlighting all the good things Bayushi Kyo has done to clear this up. This does seem to satisfy her a bit. What's her relationship to the Scorpion clan?
Feeling she must surely be able to tell us something about her father's death, I tread farther into the marsh and ask her how such a strong man could have died from a fall down a staircase. She doesn't let much on.
There must be something she has to tell us! It's at this point I decide to set the marsh ablaze, see if I can flush anything out. I scrape together all the courage I can muster and tell Doji Hotaru-san almost the entire story about meeting Doji Satsume's ghost. Carefully stoking and tending her fire. It needs to flare, but it doesn't need to incinerate us. Bayushi Kyo-san helps me out. I end the story with explaining Doji Satsume's last assignment. She doesn't directly offer much to us but she does explain that he was a strict man and that his position obviously attracted enemies. He agrees that whatever happened should not reflect poorly on the Doji family nor the Crane clane.
I was disappointed. We weren't incinerated yet, but we didn't flush anything out either. As a last restort, I gave her a gift, "Is there anything you'd like me to tell your father if we ever meet him again?"