[Day 14, Early Morning- The Crazy Hare] Business as Usual?

Even in times like these one needs a place to relax. Especially in times like these.
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Yasuki Kanbei
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[Day 14, Early Morning- The Crazy Hare] Business as Usual?

Post by Yasuki Kanbei » Wed Feb 20, 2019 8:06 pm

There was no sign of the place's proprietor at first glance that morning.

Because he was gone before the first of the staff had arrived.

It had been a long night. He came down the stairs and placed three letters on the top of the bar- one for Doji Ayaka, who was still in the room they had shared for the past few days, one for Hiruma Zoido, and one was a straightforward proposition for Kasuga Hitsuko. The Crazy Hare was hers, starting in two days' time, "as previously arranged."

He took very little with him- simply his daisho and his coin purse. Even the armor he'd arranged to get remained in the room upstairs.

Certainly no sign that he was about to vanish from the province, exactly as the last Yasuki of note had done.

But as he passed through the empty kitchen, his gait changed, becoming both less the measured pace of the courtier, but also less healthy- as if someone had injured his leg in the past. His kimono, a rather threadbare affair in the colors of no clan in particular, was far more prosaic then the Unicorn-inspired look he had been sporting since he had begun. He stopped by water basin and, regarding his reflection in it, made a couple of changes... including rubbing in a handful of soot from the brazier. He added a couple of touches from his kit- scars on the left side of his face.

He donned a battered jingasa and slipped out into the city. Just one more ronin in a war zone.

No sense being at home when they came looking for him.

[/Scene]
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Re: [Day 14, Early Morning- The Crazy Hare] Business as Usual?

Post by Yasuki Kanbei » Wed Feb 20, 2019 8:52 pm

And for the hell of it (or if an angry magistrate rips the letters open to read them):
Doji Ayaka wrote:Doji Ayaka-san,

At some point today you will hear things said about me. Possibly, you will be awakened by them. They're true.

While you began as a means to an end, you became more. The charm of the daughters of Doji is a deadly weapon indeed.

If you hate me, it's richly deserved. If you can forgive me, you are a fool- and despite the masquerade of the past two weeks, I don't think you are a fool.

Perhaps too trusting of a man who couldn't keep a simple dinner appointment, but no fool.

Take what solace you can in knowing that I am sorry it had to be you- both for what it did to you, and for what I have lost by earning your hate.
Hiruma Zoido wrote:Hiruma Zoido-san,

You were there. And while I could try to continue the ruse, there would ultimately be little point. In a way, I am grateful- losing you along the road would likely have been difficult, and for the sake of your Phoenix, I am glad I didn't have to try. As someone who has found love and had to discard it, I wouldn't wish that sort of heartbreak on anyone.

For the sake of a friendship I did nothing to merit, I am saddened at how things worked out- but I have one final request to make, even though I have no right to ask anything of you- during my work in this province, I stumbled across something. The ronin Kozue, who survived that night of horrors, will likely need some assistance in resolving it. As it concerns an Enemy we both know of, it far outweighs petty Clan politics. I believe the Crane scribe Kakita Nanami knows something of it as well. Perhaps you can enlist Shinjo-san to help.

I assume that wedding invitation is off.
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Re: [Day 14, Early Morning- The Crazy Hare] Business as Usual?

Post by Doji Ayaka » Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:12 pm

Ayaka descended from the room above, curiously looking around for Kanbei. Then she saw the letters, picking up the one addressed to her, reading it with a confused expression. "What... does this...?"
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Re: [Day 14, Early Morning- The Crazy Hare] Business as Usual?

Post by Hiruma Zoido » Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:42 am

Doji Ayaka wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:12 pm
Ayaka descended from the room above, curiously looking around for Kanbei. Then she saw the letters, picking up the one addressed to her, reading it with a confused expression. "What... does this...?"
He was tired. Everything from the night prior plagued his dreams. Despite the fact that he was now whole. His hand and body restored.

Doubly Cursed and Singularly Blessed.

He had avoided Kanbei on the return to the city. He was afraid he might hurt the man, before having a chance to calm down.

To ask him why.

He arrived at the Hare, shortly after drilling the troops. Perhaps out of spite he had made them wear full combat gear, and fully loaded their packs for bear. But they did the task admirably.

And he felt significantly calmer when he arrived, though still dressed in heavy armor, the tetsubo strapped to yus back.

It was a daze when he saw the letter. He read it. Over and over again.

He wanted to cry.

"No... the invitation still stands..." he whispered under his breath, before noting Doji Ayaka. He bowed, embarrassed.

"Pardon my appearance, Crane-san. I just came from morning drills, looking for... a friend."
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Re: [Day 14, Early Morning- The Crazy Hare] Business as Usual?

Post by Doji Ayaka » Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:55 am

Ayaka looked utterly lost, confused, and sad as she looked to the newcomer, bowing to him. "... You must be Hiruma Zoido-san. Yasuki-san spoke of you. I'm sorry we couldn't meet under better circumstances. Yasuki-san... seems to have left. I don't know why... All he said was something vague about how I might hear things about him, and that they're true. Do you know what he was talking about?"
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Re: [Day 14, Early Morning- The Crazy Hare] Business as Usual?

Post by Hiruma Zoido » Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:10 am

"We... should speak somewhere more discrete." He lowered his voice, before removing his helmet. His hair was tied back, a bandana around his forehead. Eyes youthful, yet now heavy with sleeplessness.

"I do know."
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Re: [Day 14, Early Morning- The Crazy Hare] Business as Usual?

Post by Doji Ayaka » Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:41 am

She gestured up the stairs. "There's a quiet room upstairs. First door on the right. Would you like tea?"
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Re: [Day 14, Early Morning- The Crazy Hare] Business as Usual?

Post by Hiruma Zoido » Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:03 am

He nodded. "Tea would be lovely, thank you." He smiled, feeling a bit more relaxed in converaation. Zoido began to make his way up the stairs, his helmet tucked beneath his arm.
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Re: [Day 14, Early Morning- The Crazy Hare] Business as Usual?

Post by Doji Ayaka » Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:28 am

She nodded, smiling a tiny bit before informing the servants in the kitchen and following him up, retrieving her pot, tea, and cups. At the top of the stairs, Zoido found a somewhat lived in looking inn room with the table set in the center, the futon already stored away.
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Re: [Day 14, Early Morning- The Crazy Hare] Business as Usual?

Post by Hiruma Zoido » Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:24 am

He had to duck before he entered the room. He always had to duck. He felt awful that he was in what appeared to be her private space, while in full battle gear, and a heavy pack upon his back. "Again, I apologize for my appearance. Had I known... I would have stowed my gear at the inn." He bowed again as she entered with the set. Slowly, he set the pack, helmet, and tetsubo down, trying hard as he might to keep them out of the way.

He didn't want to see to be a rude guest.
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Re: [Day 14, Early Morning- The Crazy Hare] Business as Usual?

Post by Doji Ayaka » Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:40 am

She shook her head with a sweet smile as she added the tea to the pot and poured the water in to steep. "Not at all, Hiruma-san... At times like this it's hard to predict the situation you will find yourself in," she replied graciously.
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Re: [Day 14, Early Morning- The Crazy Hare] Business as Usual?

Post by Hiruma Zoido » Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:56 am

"You are too kind, Doji-san." He assumed her name, based on the letter he had been asked to deliver, just in case, that he thankfully never had to.

Though this feels a bit like it...

"I... don't want to keep you waiting on what I know. So I will get right to it. Last night..." Zoido recounted what had occurred for her benefit, to give context to the letter, "... and Yasuki Kanbei-san was revealed to be a Bayushi. If it had just been me there... he could have stayed in his guise, risked it at least. But... with how things were..." He looked away, sighing.

"I am so sorry, Doji-san."
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Re: [Day 14, Early Morning- The Crazy Hare] Business as Usual?

Post by Doji Ayaka » Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:43 am

"I... that's..." She seemed to be in shock for a moment, then looked down at the letter she pulled from her obi, rereading it. "I guess... I guess this makes sense now. I had heard hearsay of infiltrators, but it never even occurred to me..."

She let out a long breath. "... Was anything about him real, I wonder?"
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Re: [Day 14, Early Morning- The Crazy Hare] Business as Usual?

Post by Hiruma Zoido » Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:49 am

"When things were looking bleak. Or we knew we were to go somewhere where we might not come back, we would leave a letter for the other to send to someone they cared about deeply. He gave me directions to leave it here, if I had to. I assume that the letter would be to you." He looked to her, speaking softly. Far softer and kinder than what would be expected of a Crab.

As if he had been taught how to be social and polite and have some manner of grace.

"You don't leave letters for imaginary things, Doji-san."
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Re: [Day 14, Early Morning- The Crazy Hare] Business as Usual?

Post by Doji Ayaka » Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:20 am

"That's..." She sighed. "You're not wrong..."

She sat in silence, then said, "How will you handle this, Hiruma-san?" She sounded like she was seeking an answer for herself as much as him.
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Re: [Day 14, Early Morning- The Crazy Hare] Business as Usual?

Post by Hiruma Zoido » Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:34 am

"I... don't know yet." He looked away, pursing his lips as he thought on the matter. "He claimed in his letter to me that I was a friendship he did not merit. "Part of me wishes to treat the matter as a friend's funeral. But the facts remain, that the man who claimed to be Yasuki Kanbei is still alive. I trusted him with my life, and it seemed he trusted me with his, even if it was part of a ruse."

There was a slight trembling of his lip, before he stopped himself. "In this guise, he aided the Crab in ending a mystery. He saw something through with me that has connected us for as long as we both live. I do know that if I run into the man who wore that face... I would want to ask him why. I'm... not upset about the Scorpion connection. My mother was a Shosuro, before she was married to my Father. I understand, in a way, that he was doing the duty of his Lord. They have a responsibility to be the villains for the rest of us, and to do things that others cannot." The Crab looked to the Crane, and tilted his head slightly upwards.

"He was my best friend. That's how I viewed him after working together. I enjoyed morning meals with him, we discussed our lives... my life, really. I've been broken before. But this is different. And I don't know how I will deal with it."
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Re: [Day 14, Early Morning- The Crazy Hare] Business as Usual?

Post by Doji Ayaka » Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:06 am

"It sounds like... he feels guilty. But I guess he wouldn't have left these letters in the first place if he hadn't... It might... have been safer for him to just vanish," she mused, running her fingers over the paper. "He said I'd be a fool not to hate him, but... I don't think I can. Even if he wasn't who I thought he was... When you put the Scorpion connection like that, and with these letters and his actions..."

She chuckled softly and sadly, smiling as she tilted her head to the side. "He has a way with making himself hard to dislike."
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Re: [Day 14, Early Morning- The Crazy Hare] Business as Usual?

Post by Hiruma Zoido » Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:43 pm

"Despite what he says, he is a good man. A Samurai who understands Duty, and just what it means. It... is a difficult life, but a worthwhile one." He nodded, his idealism showing through his words.

"If you find yourself not disliking him, then do not dislike him. Do not regret what you had, for that is a sin. Remember it always."
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Re: [Day 14, Early Morning- The Crazy Hare] Business as Usual?

Post by Doji Ayaka » Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:55 pm

She nodded in agreement. "... You're right." She smiled again, a little more truly. "... I hope eventually my Clan marries me to someone I can find that with again, even if the chances of that are unlikely. I know I'm never likely to see Ya- er... Bayushi-san, I suppose... again, but I'll value this experience in hoping for it again."
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Re: [Day 14, Early Morning- The Crazy Hare] Business as Usual?

Post by Hiruma Zoido » Fri Feb 22, 2019 3:32 pm

At that, Zoido beamed. "Exactly. Now you know what can be, and Benten may still bless and smile upon you, Doji-san." He sat up straighter, feeling rejuvenated a bit at the apparent joy he had sparked.

"I will add that blessing to fall upon you to my morning prayers." He nodded, punctuating the matter.
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