Last thoughts

Last thoughts

 Autumn, IC 1123

It is the third day of the month of Bayushi and we write this account as a legacy of what has come before so that it shall be remembered forever more.

 The brush of the Imperial Herald, Miya Soto, slowly penned away, leaving its trail of ink passing slowly over the page. Each stroke, precise. Each pause purposeful. This was not the first time the brush had worked its way across parchment. Not the first time it graced the page with its skill and excellence.

But it was the first time there was a tremble in the hand.

 The Clan of the Crab have gone to war against the Scorpion Clan, for reasons of family hostages and improper treatment of brides. While this author may believe that such a pretext is a mere excuse for Hida Kisada, Champion of the Crab, to claim territory for himself, let these histories show no bias other than to pray to the fortunes for a quick resolution to the conflict.

 Others had of course used the brush before. Each with their own style and way of revealing their lives before them. For the hand wielding it now, was like the touch of an old friend, warm and inviting. The tenses used, the phrasing, the eloquence – each showed the Imperial Heralds true nature. Kindness, devotion to the Emperor, a genuine love for people, piety and an intolerance for violence.

The Emperor, Glorious Hantei XXXVIII, has been seen to be uncaring toward this current engagement of violence. His outlook is toward the heavens as he meditates upon the current problems facing the Empire. So far they have not granted his request, but as wise Togashi famously once said ‘only through patience can one truly learn anything worthwhile.

The brush paused then, the Herald considering whether he should continue with this level of enquiry. A sigh escapes his lips, a lowering of the brush to the paper and it begins anew.

The troubles of the Seven Fortunes continue. More of these monks are appearing across the Empire, each one branded, each wielding powers indescribable, but in many cases these are comparable to the mythical ninja stories. After their desecration of the shrine of…

The brush slowed once more, the ink pooling mid-sentence as the Herald once again paused, considering deeply the level of detail that he wanted to add to the Imperial Histories. The foundation of the Empire’s history, he knew that there had been events overlooked, details remitted to allow for the generations of Emperors to shine like beacons of hope throughout the ages.

The brush, an heirloom of the Miya house, had often written these events, but the truth was ever in the brush strokes. A slight hesitation, a momentary movement that signalled worry. The hard press into the parchment, as if the author were willing the dishonour into the parchment and away from his own heart.

The lighter writing where the ink has mixed with the tears fallen onto the page, only to serve as markers for those that knew.

With resolution, the brush continued.

Satusume, Fortune of Courage, many have started to forsake the religion of Fortunism. Their temples grow dark and the people grow more and more suspicious. Perhaps such things have affected our Son of Heaven as he continues to sit upon the throne, awaiting guidance.

The brush was momentarily abandoned as the old Miya shook with the force of his coughs, doubling over from the effort.

Still again it was dipped in the ink and continued, the strokes rushed as if Emma-O were standing over the old man’s shoulder.

The Phoenix have retreated back into their lands, their war with the Lion over. Though many concessions have been met, The Phoenix seem far darker than those this author once knew, many of whom are loyal to their solitary leader, Isawa Uona, Now referring to herself as Mistress of the Phoenix.

They hunt for Ujimitsu, their former champion, who attempted to kill her and is still at large.

Quicker and shakier now the brush moved, the required pace deepening the stroke.

The Crane now seek to hold onto their precious peace for as long as it will hold. The Crab seem certain to attack them, their Southern holdings in such terrible danger. I fear the Asahina will die rather than fight – even for their homes.

Another cough, a shudder and now the brush adds a new tone to it’s strokes, the scarlet red mingling with the blackest pigment.

The Dragon are on the verge of declaring war for the first time in over a 1000 years. The Emerald Champion, Kitsuki Jusai, has learned of his son’s death in Crab lands and is awaiting Kisada’s reply. If his answer is not appropriate, he may find himself attacked by the Dragon, remarkable since Mirumoto Hitomi, lady of the Mountain, has gone out of her way not to fight the Crab even after what happened to her brother.

There is a pause then. A long one, before a sigh from the man holding the brush.

This will be my last entry. I am dying. I weep now for the first time since my ascension to the role of Herald and I seem to be weeping the tears of my own life, scarlet diamonds dripping from my eyes.

I feel sorry for my young pupil, Jodan-sama. I know that the past few years have seen him take such losses and heartache that I feel for his soul. I want to tell him that I care, that I have been honoured to serve him, Son of Heaven. I am blessed to have walked in his shadow and smile that I might call him friend.

In these final words that I write, let it be known that I leave the position of Daimyo of my family to Miya Yumi, my niece. She alone understands the needs of the Empire and the trust that I place in her. I can only hope that my son, Satoshi-kun, can understand. War is not the answer. Only through peace and mitigation shall our family best serve the Empire and the Emperor.

May the Empire flouri—

Abruptly the brush stopped, falling limply to the page beside the man who had held it.

Both lay prone till the next man picked up the brush. He tipped the inkwell upon the page, smearing the ink with the blood across but a small part of the work.

In these final words that I write, let it be known that I leave the position of Daimyo of my family to Miya………….  my …………………  alone understands the needs of the Empire and the trust……………………… , my son, Satoshi-kun can understand. War is ……………………………… shall our family best serve the Empire and the Emperor.