Knife Report: Ujina Yasu

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After Returning Home Ujina Yasu


It had been months since the last trip home. There had not been enough time to make it to the barely named Nakaishi; named after the stone marker that had been placed as the center of the lands watched by the Ujina family. Now however there was. His daimyo, Ujina Hei, was off on another trip to Otosan Uchi on behalf of their champion.

And so the briefing of his time away from home, most especially the explanation for the shattering of his soul and the matter of the forming alliances between the Great Clans, would be to Hei's karo, Ujina Tani-O.

What could he tell her?

What version of the truth would be most accurate?

He'd helped to secure the safety of Balishnimpur. Standing on the walls of Steeltown and then bounding through the streets to insure the different Crab squads received their orders, alongside the Hiruma scouts who had been running messages. And then the fight to defend the forges within Steeltown itself. Small skirmishes were one thing. Toe to toe fighting; knowing there was no retreat, only forwards into the enemy or holding your ground? That had been difficult. The fighting styles of the Hida's defensive line left little room to bring to bear the aggression of the Hare. And so he'd stood his ground, sai and katana in hand.

He'd never felt the villain before. Not while doing his duty. Not while protecting the Empire. But after the tenth or fifteenth kill, seeing the death of hope in the eyes of a people hoping to take back their home. It made the blades, ever so slightly heavier. He'd listened too long to that Asahina, maybe. The gods of these people recognized that there was the right of rule among Rokugani. He'd been there when Hantei Chouwa had taken up the Maharahjah's crown and scepter, sat upon the gaijin throne. Seen the people there bow to one of the Hantei bloodline.

Or maybe it was just all an excuse to try and understand how it had happened. But against one of those straight gaijin blades he'd stopped with his katana, his soul...it had shattered instead of held. Now just a hand's length left of the blade kept it in his saya. Hardly longer then the sai or tanto he preferred to shed blood with. The forgemaster...he'd said to find a Kaiu Kozumori to repair the blade. Until then...he'd have to play up the artisan life even further. Perhaps the idle hobby that had gained him status within the clan would be more then that?

Or, as he'd discovered in Kyuden Bayushi, he'd impress the Unicorn Clan champion alongside a Scorpion, Phoenix and Lion with his martial display and be given a tsuba for his katana. A tsuba first used by the guards of the Unicorn Champion during battle while they'd first returned to Rokugan...guards whose blades had broken. Certainly he had used the gift of the Book of Fire to insure the group's success. That he was recognized among such for his skill with the knife was unsurprising. That Shinjo Hazumi, kami reborn, paragon of compassion had given him a tsuba?

Now that was confusing.

He'd contributed a strategy that had placed a Toku in nomination barely behind the Lion for the head of the Ivory Legion. It'd garnered support from nearly every clan as well as the Imperial families. He'd even spoken with the Lion delegation to insure they held no ill will, seeing as the Toku in question had trained at the Akodo War College. Yes, the Lion had been chosen by Toturi Kazetora...but for a brief moment a minor clan tactician had held the Imperial eye. It had insured that the minor clans had a voice.

All of these things and more would need to be reported. What they would say about his future...hopefully they wouldn't bankrupt the family, trying to get his blade fixed.