“…You’re Welcome.” Asako Koukui just stared down at Akodo Akio unable to understand what had happened. He looked in the direction he thought he had seen Akodo come from and spotted the rest of the group leaning forward past the door screens staring back at him and then back to where Akodo was on his back still holding the vase.
“Would you mind helping me with this?” inquired Akodo politely indicating the vase. Asako quickly moved to comply and luckily did not demonstrate any of his characteristic clumsiness and his put the vase back onto the stand and then quickly moved away before he could cause further mishap. He then bowed deeply to them all and asked if there was anything he could do to repay this assistance. Akodo answered that there was nothing at this time but maybe in the future Asako would have the opportunity to repay them. Nodding understanding Asako bowed deeply to them all and quickly hurried away before he further indebted himself. Akodo then made his way back to the tables, was served some more tea by his companions, and the group continued their leisure breakfast overlooking the gardens. Knowing that the next morning they would be departing to Musume Mura and then off to the Mantis Islands they all decided to relax and enjoy their final day. Shosuro Shinriko, Shinjo Luke and Kitsu Kasai decided to spend the day in relaxation and visiting their own clans at Kyuden Doji, although Shinjo also spent a little time with his falcon. Kakita Shinriko wanted to explore the gardens and the rest of the area around Kyuden Doji and Hida Kengetsu wanted to limber up and do some training. Akodo Akio also spent must of the day in relaxation as well.
As Kakita Hikaru made her way thru the gardens, using her umbrella to keep the light sprinkiling from ruining her hair and makeup, she found Hida Kengetsu just finishing up some of his jujitsu training. Hida, spotting her, asked if she would like to do some mizu-do training as well. After about forty five minutes of mizu-do training their clothes were wet from the rain and they decided to retire inside. Kakita went off and had another bath and redid her makeup and hair while Hida relaxed elsewhere.
Once Kakita was refreshed she decided to go visit the testing rock for the Kakita Blades, the same rock she had depicted on her kimono. On her way thru the halls she ran into Shosuro Shinriko and asked her if she would like to accompany her. Shosuro, with no other engagements at hand, agreed and the pair made their way to the southern gates where they were given their traveling shoes and weapons. The two older women chaperones would await them at the gates for their return. Kakita and Shosuro, sharing Kakita’s umbrella, made their way down the shoreline towards the testing rock. On the way Kakita said that it was nice to not have eyes on them all the time but Shosuro countered that you could never be sure of who was watching you. Kakita also told Shosuro the story of the disappearance of Lady Doji on the rocks after the death of Kakita and the leaving or death of the rest of the Kami. At the beach there was a small, but ornate, shrine dedicating the spot. Both women made a quick prayer and then Kakita went up to the testing rock while Shosuro spent some time looking in the beach for any shells that could have washed up from the recent storm. The testing rock stood high on a cliff overlooking the ocean, Lady Doji’s shrine and could easily see Kyuden Doji towering in the distance. The rain had finally stopped and Kakita Hikaru spent some time meditating next to it. She received a happy tingling sensation in response to spending time there from her kimono. Finally finised meditating, Kakita joined Shosuro on the beach and focused her seaching for a few very select shells find a conch shell, an abalone shell and a sand dollar. Once the Samurai-ko had finished their searching they gathered up their things and returned to Kyuden Doji. Upon their arrival they were greeted by their chaperones and headed in to prepare for dinner. The group had a small private dinner back at the balcony they had had their breakfast at and made preparations for the next day. During dinner Kakita presented the conch shell as a gift to Hida Kengetsu.
The next morning they gathered at the southern gate to depart. Shiba Manami was there as well to see them off giving a chaste kiss to her husband. Also there was the barracks commander, based on the assumption of his kimono, weapons and rank markings, who gave a letter to Isawa Masanori that was quickly tucked into his kimono. With the farewells finsished the group headed south to Musume Mura. The group gathered in their usual positions around the caravan except Hida who spent some time between the two wagons conversing with Isawa Masanori and Shiba Yosuhiro on the best ways to deal with maho-tsukai. Isawa warned the young Hida that specific knowledge concerning maho-tsukai was dangerous but when it came to fighting them the best approach was to fight them as you would any shugenja and strike them quickly before they had the proper time to manifest the kamis. Shiba also mentioned that waiting until after they had finished the spell was also a valid tactic as many maho spells would backfire on the caster if their concentration was interrupted. Also, since maho functioned off the sacrifice of blood, to be cautious that the wounds caused by and to the maho-tsukai could be used to empower their spells. They both also said that jade was usually the best defense against anything that was tainted by the powers of Fu Leng. After four and half days they finally arrived in Musume Mura on the 1st of the Horse.
The Daughter Village looked out over the ocean toward the island where the first Hantei found his bride. The large village housed a shrine dedicated to Hantei and his bride, the main exhibit being a single Jade tear shed by the Emperor when he asked the young Crane maiden to marry him. Also the finest marriage arranges of the Crane clan make Musume Mura their home. Because of this the village had a reputation for eager to marry women which generated a interest from less the honorable men seeking easy women. This demand in time generated the creation of a variety of geisha houses and sake houses both reputable, for those visiting the marriage arrangers, and not so reputable, for those seeking a good time. As the group made their way down into the village they noticed the father they got from the cliffs, where the marriage arrangers made their home and closer to the docks the more “shadier” the village became. They finally reached the docks and found their ship. The group quickly noticed that the Manits, to the dismay of the Crane and the Lion, wore their daishos at the small of their back and carried kamas, a simple peasant weapon, at their sides. The Mantis captain disembarked, bowed before Isawa, and arranged the agreement. The Tortoise then loaded the wagons while the rest were given till the hour of the Goat, approximately 4 hours from then, to their own devices by they were expected to be on the boat at that time. Shosuro and Isawa both disappeared on their own business and Shinjo pointedly invited Kitsu to have a drink with him. Akodo decided to visit the Unicorn shop they had seen and invited the rest to go with him.
At the Unicorn shop Akodo and Hida spent some time looking at the variety of weapons while Kakita amused herself looking at the paintings and hair decoration. Akodo was greatly interested in a flintlock pistol which the owner of the shop quickly explained was decorative only because a variety of key mechanisms had been removed. He also practiced a bit with a Scimitar remembering that some Moto used them instead of Katanas for their daisho. Hida looked sadly upon some of the hammers and they looked with interested when Kakita pointed out a painting depicting a pair of combatants wrestling.
Finally done with browsing they made their way back to the ship and were joined shortly after by Shosuro. With only a little time before the departure time they see a large man carrying two people make his way out of the mist surrounding the village. Once he got closer they could see that he was “escorting” Shinjo and Kitsu who seemed unable to walk on their own. The large man, who carried a variety of weapons on his person, walked onto the deck and gently deposited the pair. He then bowed deeply to the surrounding samurai and quickly vanished back into the village. Before they could question Kitsu and Shinjo Isawa also appeared out of the mist and said that it was time to cast off. With that the Mantis quickly undid the ropes and made their way out to sea.