The Fate of the Hantei - A Rokugan Go story Sept 13, 2018 1:27:27 GMT 10
Post by Hida Tetsuko on Sept 13, 2018 1:27:27 GMT 10
This takes place after the Dragon Clan managed to take the princes from Kyuden Doji, hiding them in the mountains.
High in the mountains is a small cave, hidden and secret where the two heirs to the throne have been brought. Neither of the princes look particularly happy to be here, but Prince Sotorii clearly displays his anger, shouting at the stones themselves. Prince Daisetsu chooses to use the time to practice katas.Togashi Yokuni arrives in the evening. Carrying some food for the coming days, as well as material for teaching.
Prince Sotorii stops in his ranting, pointing an accusing finger at Yokuni. “You! You’re supposed to be dead! What sorcery is this?”
"As you concentrate your chi and extend your suppleness, can you be as a newborn babe? This one can."
Sotorii looks at him blankly. “What?”
"Indeed, that is the question."
Sotorii narrows his eyes. “The mountain air has addled your mind, Dragon. You will tell us why we are here.”
His voice carried the full weight of an order he expected to be obeyed, but it did not seem to affect Yokuni.
"What you do not understand will kill you, young Sotorii. The higher you stand above modesty, the easier it becomes to lose your footing.” He nods to Daisetsu. “It should be obvious young one, your brother already understands."
Daisetsu continues to practice his katas, going into Tiger Stalks His Prey.
Sotorii frowns from the chastisement. “Then make me understand. Why were we brought here? Where is father? Do you have him too?”
"When seeking a teacher, first find those who know what you know, then those who know what you do not.” Yokuni smiles. “Fortunately, most anyone fits that latter description young one”
“Such as me?” The Prince demanded.
"When wisdom is sought it is not found, when it is given it is not heard, how then is wisdom gained? By understanding."
“And answering questions.” Sotorii persisted.
"Shall I give you the lesson of Bayushi-no-kami then? Perhaps Shiba-no-kami?” Yokuni’s eyes were rather penetrating. “I do not think you are quite ready to learn Doji-no-kami's lesson or her sister Shinjo’s—a tragedy given how foundational they are to being a good man."
Sotorii frowned, this time he seemed confused. “You don’t mention the one who was greatest of all, Hantei-no-Kami.”
"That lesson is one not even your father fully understood. To expect a petulant child to...that would make me unfair indeed.” Yokuni shakes his head.
“How can you such a thing?” Sotorii’s anger rose again.
"The truth is always simple, but not always welcome,” Yokuni answered.
“Those words are treason! But given we seem to be prisoners here, what should I expect?”
"How are they treason? To call you by what you are is treason? Is not lying to you also treason? How then would one proceed?” Yokuni challenged. “That is a question I have chosen to return to the precept of Akodo-no-kami, and set lies aside. A samurai knows that there is no room for debate on honesty and justice."
Sotorii kicks the ground in frustration. “Fine words, Dragon, when you refuse to answer simple questions.”
Daisetsu ends his katas and approaches them, giving a nod to the Dragon Champion. “Togashi-san, this is a most unusual day.”
Togashi bows to Daisetsu.
"Very well, since you refuse to hear, I will be blunt to you both. I intend to teach you both to be true samurai and through that revitalize your house. A thousand years your family has ruled, some have been good…
Memories of Yugozohime, Fujiwara, Yamamoto, and others flash by in his memory…
"And others have been such terrible monsters that the house stands still is a testament to the endless love that Amaterasu-no-kami holds for your line.
Iuchiban, Okucheo, Toranaga and others also flash in my memory….
"Across all the Empire great warriors have been stolen, some infected, some not, and when the oni arrived at Shiba Tsukune's wedding, I understood something of the enemy's plan, and so I moved against it.” He looked at the princes. “But so long as they knew where you were, so long as the Empire knew, you were in danger...and it is not yet time for that, the signs are not so that the Hantei should fall if I could prevent it."
Daisetsu takes this calmly, but Sotorii scowls.
“And who are you to take such matters into your own hands?” Sotorii demanded. “I may be young, I may be ignorant...but I do know that interfering with the line of Hantei is a step too far. One that I am sure the Dragon will pay for.”
"One who has seen so many futures that compassion compelled me too,” Yokuni shrugs. “Perhaps I should not, perhaps I should have let your been slain by you own wife. I choose not to, and in the end you Sotorii are not the one who will judge me, I will judge me."
“What?” Sotorii shakes his head then turns to his brother. “You have more patience, tell me later if he starts talking sense.”
“You may be waiting a while,” says Daisetsu dryly.
Sotorii stalks off.
“You must forgive my brother’s rudeness, Togashi-san,” says Daisetsu. “He never had to fight for his place at the table.”
"Well, I imagine that will make his lessons very hard for him,” said Yokuni. “But you...you plot a different path do you not?"
“I must...by necessity I guess,” says Daisetsu with a shrug. “Lady Amarterasu shines so brightly for Sotorii. No one thinks to see beyond what dazzles the eyes.”
"Your eyes deceive you, and your greatest enemy is the one behind them. That is a lesson you both will need to learn,” says Yokuni. “It is always a tragedy when there is a fratricide, and I have no intention of allowing that one to come to be."
“Ahh...so that is why we are here,” Daisetsu says with a nod. “And I suppose wyrms attacking Kyuden Doji are a little better than...some alternatives?”
"Many,” Yokuni answers “There are very few futures where you or your brother rule from the Emerald Throne, as it was in any event."
Daisetsu considers this. “But...they exist?”
Yokuni nods. "Hai, this is potentially one of them."
Daisetsu raises an “Potentially?”
"Potentially. There are branches from here where your brother goes completely mad, and kills you, there are branches where you do the same. Which thread of this tapestry we follow is not yet set. Any choice to evade a prophecy has as much chance to cause it, as to prevent it.” He frowns. “Rare is it I act such...but rare it is that I am forced to say 'surely anything is better than what will happen otherwise.'”
“I think you know what will happen Togashi-san, better than anyone perhaps. Which parts need to happen, and which parts need to be...prevented.” He looks up to where his brother Sotorii is, the young man had found a branch and was swinging it savagely back and forward over some long grass as if he were trying to cut it shorter. “What must I do?”
Yokuni quotes from the Tao of Shinsei in answer.
“He who assists a ruler by means of the Dao does not coerce the world by
means of arms. Consequences come back around like a ring.
Where troops encamp, brambles grow;
After great armies, crops always fail.
The good man is simply resolute; he never employs coercion. Be resolute
without boast, resolute without threat, resolute without pride.
Resolute from necessity, be resolute without coercion."
Daisetsu smiles. “He got the Kami to listen...except one. I’ve always liked that story, Sotorii never cared for that story. He prefers what comes...later.” He looks directly at Yokuni. “Is it happening again? Like it did before?”
"The Day of Thunder you mean?” Yokuni asks. “And Akodo-no-kami did listen...or do you think that Leadership was written on a whim?"
“I know it was not a beatstick.” Daisetsu watches his brother continue to attack the grass.
"...not just a beat stick.” Yokuni looks around. “And we have much to learn it seems, for now though, I think it is time for me to make the evening meal...one hopes he learns to like rice cooked in a simple style. It is all we will eat for many months."
Daisetsu laughs. “I think it will do him well to experience humility. And if not that, hunger.” He looks around. “The air is very clear up here, Togashi-san. I may grow to like it here, if only the circumstances were better.”
Togashi bows again and goes into the cave to cook.
He would trust his son to handle things for a few years....how much worse could things get?
Daisetsu goes to talk to his brother.