Hazy Reflection II

A player fiction by S. Maundrell

Autumn IC 1124

Rain beat upon the roof of the castle as the samurai looked over his case notes, such as they were. The death of Kitsuki Jusai, the declaration of war by the Crab against the Crane. The knowledge of the Yasuki daimyo that the Crane were a mere scapegoat – the knowledge that he knewthat Ryouichi knew more. His left hand reached for the cup of sake nearby, which he brought up to his lips; it was bad luck to pour your own sake, but he’d never had much luck in the first place.

The Crab had taken the excuse for war, that was obvious. The more pressing questions were how many of them knew what had really happened. And exactly how they had come of this information. It certainly took a great deal of skill for them to have not only uncovered the truth of the crime, but then staged false crime scenes to point the blame at the Crane. The use of actual evidence in these scenes showed particular commitment, and intent to fool those of the Kitsuki; although he was not so arrogant as to believe they were meant for him. Obviously, the Emerald Champion himself was the intended target. But little gets past his gaze.

A yellow pipe, smoke lightly wafting from it sat almost untouched to his right. He was going in circles here, there just wasn’t enough information. And with civil war tearing the empire apart, who knows what information would be buried, what information would be lost, and what would be found. His hands moved up to massage his temples; the headaches were getting worse.

In the end, it seemed like the course was set now. In an attempt to control his destiny, he was now trapped on a path and even his insight showed only glimpses of where it would lead. He did not fancy trying to explain himself to Emma-O, but knew at any moment he could find himself on the way to do so. Reaching for the bottle of sake, he skipped the glass and brought the neck to his lips, drinking directly from it. There was no shortage of people who would kill him, and no shortage of reasons; good reasons. One might even say just reasons, in several cases.

The bottle came back down onto his desk with a thud as he brought it down too firmly. But that was just it; one didn’t achieve anything if they went through life without making enemies. What’s done is done, all that’s left is to face the consequences. And if he wanted good to come from this, like he always intended, it would be up to him to carve it out himself.