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18. Doji Ren


Played on February 24th, 2019

A possible suspect?

Nobody in the dining hall really responds to the yelling in the hallway, so I remain seated as well, still stirring my rice.
A few moments later I am joined by the others, apart from Aki. They grab some food and whisper to me that something quite exciting has happened which we need to discuss in our sleeping quarters.

Once we're all together in the sleeping quarters, the others tell me what the have experienced. The possible killer of Doji was on his way to also poison Agasha. But the others caught and disarmed him before he was able to reach her. Apparently Agasha was the first to appear at the scene while they were searching him. Agasha shouted orders to get rid of the assassin who died there and then under mysterious circumstances by the green poison, which Takuya had identified earlier today in the secret room. She took a letter from the corpse which she told them didn't contain anything important, even though it was written by Doji and the Hidden Serpent.
Yumako goes on to tell us that she recognized the assassin as one of the assistants to Kitsuki. Is he involved as well?

Aki, Yoshi and Yumako head to the library for further investigations into possible writings by the Hidden Serpent. What they learn there is, that Kitsuki definitely is not the Hidden Serpent. But other than that, not more info is gathered.

Kyo, Takuya and me will go and investigate the sleeping quarters of the assassin. I quickly learn his name (Kitsuki Tomo) by asking one of the other assistants to Kitsuki and he even points us to the right room.
When we get there we decide I'll stand watch, while Kyo and Takuya search the room for some evidence which we could use in our report tomorrow. As I stand there, all of a sudden Kitsuki comes running towards me. I subtly ask him if he's following us again or what he's up too. I keep him busy, talking just loud enough to notify the other two in the room. They manage to escape and join us in the hallway.
Kitsuki enter the room of Kitsuki Tom and he spends more time there then is to be expected of someone who's just trying to find out if his assistant was present.As he leaves the room, he's still as agitated as before. Kyo decides to sneakily follow him, while Takuya and me head back to our own quarters to report on our findings, but not after verifying that Kitsuki didn't take anything from the room. But it's completely undisturbed.
On our way back I hear that they found out that his Katana was missing as well as his common clothes, which he most likely exchanged in the secret room for his assassin's garb.

We're still not convinced about what to tell Agasha tomorrow so investigations continue. Yumako, Aki, Takuya and Kyo head back again to the secret room where they find exactly the items they expect to find there; The common clothes are there, and the clothes they found him in are missing. They take the letters with them as possible evidence or perhaps even to be able to hide certain evidence from being found, which might incriminate Doji.
Aki spends more time in the library, this time searching for info on Kitsuki Tomo. What he learns is, that he was quite an impeccable coutier. But looking harder she is able to find a pattern where Tomo looked up Kolat related info more than is to be expected.

What to tell?

After a short night, and a quick breakfast, we have a lengthgy discussion on what we're about to tell Agasha. We decide I'll do most of the talking, although Aki will want to add on some information separately from our explanation on the death of Doji.
Then we're all expected to appear in the Garden of Verdant Serenity. When we get there, we join four other Emerald Magistrates in training to receive our Badge of Office, presented by Agasha in her full Ruby armor. During the sober but important ceremony we're also congratulated by our Sensei teachers.
Looking at us meaningful she says that she's really honoured so many Emerald Magistrates have finished their education. And she wishes us good luck. Then she heads of to her tower. Shortly after we also head there to present our story.

When we join Agasha she has changed from her Ruby armor to a kimono.
I then start to tell us our theory, about how this assassin Kitsuki Tomo has slowly poisoned Doji, thus slowly rendering him unable to climb his stairs, thus falling to his death. And that this assassin was on his way to also kill Agasha to overthrow the entire top of the celestial order, to send Rokugan into turmoil. I emphasize he was acting on his own accord, thus not representing his Dragon Clan with his twisted ideas. I also tell her about the secret room where we found the poison, but I advice to leave this part out of the story to present tonight.
Agasha raises an eyebrow. Is this the best conclusion you are able to draw from the evidence?
With some inner turmoil and a big help from Takuya I come up with an alternative story about how Doji really liked chicken, and that had eaten from one of the sick or dead chickens (as we heard about those from Oji) thus getting really sick and than falling down the stairs due to food poisoning.
Agasha grabs a shuriken from one of her sleeves, absentmindedly rubs us, telling us this is a story she can work with. She then asks us if we found out anything else, which gives Aki the opening she's been looking for to tell about the existence of the Kolat. Agashi tells us she'll tell the future Emerald Champion about this, so this can be dealt with appropriately.

Then we're dismissed, and as we leave the tower we walk past Kitsuki, who is handing out orders to some of his assistants. He sometimes hesitantly looks up to Agasha's room. Then he notices her looking out the window towards him as if she's a cat who has just caught a little mouse.