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 Chapter 2: Ripples in the Pond {Tag: Senshi}

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PostSubject: Chapter 2: Ripples in the Pond {Tag: Senshi}   Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:10 pm

The moment Senshi uttered the name Yoshida Kamanura a wave of recognition rippled through the officers. The handful of officers that were securing the area looked from Senshi to one another. Even the officers that were questioning the crowd turned their heads from the civilians to Senshi. The eyes of a few held disbelief, but it was the eyes of the Captain that said the most. There was something more linked to that name, but his eyes hardened as if he were sealing a fault closed. Whatever it was he knew he wasn't going to reveal, such was his resolve. "Hara. Do the witnesses confirm his statement?"

One of the other officers that had been interviewing people walked towards the Captain and leaned in close so they could exchange words. He considered what was said for a moment then looked back to Senshi. "Your story checks out. We won't arrest you because it was clearly self defense, but I suggest you leave the city. I don't want any more trouble caused in my streets." The captain pointed at Genzo with his truncheon and said, "Gather him up and bring him along." Three of the officers grunted in agreement and went over to the still unconscious samurai, and gathered him up into their arms to carry him along. As quickly as they had come, the police left taking the fallen samurai with them.

The crowd had been steadily dispersing since the police arrived because no one wanted to be involved in an investigation that could possibly cause trouble for them. Others were simply no longer interested now that the spectacle had ended, and went on with their lives. For Senshi it was just an endless stream of unknown faces because the woman and her child never returned. One person, however, did come out of the crowd and approach the Woodling samurai. Senshi would recognize him as the innkeeper he recently told to gather his staff and leave the Inn were Senshi issued his challenge.

The shopkeeper was a willowy man who was certainly one given to the task of business and not battle. He looked as if he was the son of a merchant and raised to follow in that path because he had very little musculature and a demeanor that seemed prone to making others happy. It was a good fit for the business he had chosen. "Samurai-sama," he said with a respectful bow. "You have rid the shopkeepers of the Orija Square of a great burden. Those two would extort money from us, and it made making a living very difficult. We all owe you a debt of gratitude. As thanks I offer you a room in my Inn tonight free of charge. I'm not sure if your kind eat, but if you do I would be honored to feed you as well."

With that the Innkeeper gave a respectful bow and turned to the side, stretching a hand out towards the door of his inn. "By the way, my name is Moken, samurai-sama," he said as he rose from his bow. If Senshi accepted his offer of hospitality, he would find the inn in the same state that he left it in, since he decided not to have his battle indoors. The serving girls had returned and began cleaning up the messes left by the customers who made a hasty retreat. There wasn't much mess, but they moved quickly to make sure that the establishment was ready for any new comers. Each of the women who worked as waitresses would look up at him, some with a sense of wonder, others with a sense of apprehension because he proved himself dangerous, but all would give him a welcoming smile. Each one was ready to wait on a customer, especially one who was the guest of the Innkeeper.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 2: Ripples in the Pond {Tag: Senshi}   Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:41 pm

Koutai climbed up the length of Senshi's body to rest himself upon the woodlings shoulder as he was questioned by the man in charge. The macaque was the one who told him to look about after he mentioned Yoshida's name and when he did he caught the looks upon everyone'e face that was working the scene. Something more was being kept from him about the man and they all seemed to know what it was but no one was offering up any information that would explain it. The man called another peacekeeper over and his story was cleared but the man asked him to leave the city and that would not work for him as he just got there.

He found no reason to argue with the gruff male as he was sure that it would just turn into a argument that did not have to be had. Senshi would find somewhere to spend the night and in the morning he would make his way out of town...if everything checked out with the police force. Turning to Koutai as the cops packed everything up he spoke to him telepathically.I want you to follow the man in charge and keep an eye on him. Try and learn what you can about him but use every talent you have to remain unseen and do not get caught. If anything happens to you then I will come and get you myself.

The macaque nodded and jumped off his shoulder and ran across the open courtyard to vanish between two buildings. As he left a man approached the woodling who he recognized as the proprietor of the inn in which he had challenged Genzo and Yoshida. Senshi bowed as he came near and looked him over wondering if the two men had done some damage to the mans business and if they had Senshi was the one at fault so he would owe him for the inconvenience and happily help in anyway he could.

He paid attention as the man explained what it was the two had been up to and how they had been praying on the weak rather then looking for honest work to pay for what they needed. Senshi felt less regret in his defeat of the two men and bowed once more to Moken. He thought over the offer that he made and smiled to the man before placing a hand on his shoulder with a nod. The question of where he was going to find a bed for the night was answered by this man and Senshi was grateful for it.

"Moken-sama please call me Senshi and I am the one who is grateful for your hospitality my friend. I would be both honored and happy to spend a night within your fine establishment this evening. I hate to ask this of you as you have already offered me so much but would it be a bother to ask for a room with a window facing the setting sun?" The request was not because of the beauty of a setting sun but more because of the light the sun provided to the woodling.

He followed him to the inn and once inside he bowed to each of the women who offered him a smile. Some seemed a bit off put by him while others were curious and Senshi decided it best to explain himself before people rushed in for food and beverage. My name is Senshi Erito and I have been invited by the owner to spend the evening here. I do not mean you any harm and will be glad to stay out of your way this evening. If anything should happen that any of you might need my assistance I ask that you do not hesitate to come and get me. I am here to serve you as much as you are here to serve me."

He bowed once more before turning to Moken with a smile and nodded his head as if he was ready to see his room. As they walked he spoke in private with the owner who offered him a place to rest his head. "I mean what I said back in the dinning hall my friend. If anyone comes around looking for trouble then I beg you to seek me out if you feel you could use my help. You have helped me greatly this evening and I wish to help you in return." He turned from the man to the door that he now opened.

Stepping inside he looked about and had to admit that the room was much nicer then the ones he was used to and that he would get plenty of rest this evening. He stepped inside and turned to Moken before he left. "Could I trouble you for a pitcher of water and a plate of fruit?" The water was for him and the fruit was meant for Koutai whenever he returned. Senshi closed the door after Moken left and looked about the room a bit more before he took a chair and placed it before the window so that he could sit and enjoy the evening air.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 2: Ripples in the Pond {Tag: Senshi}   Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:00 pm

With the woodling samurai bowing to the young ladies, each of the women lifted a silk sleeve up to hide their mouths when they giggled like young girls. Their reactions to him seemed to be on par with that of the little girl. They seemed mystified by the mysterious creature before them in the shape of a man. They were content to ogle him, but Moken put an end to it. ”Ladies, Ladies. Come on now. You’ve got work to do.“ he said as he walked towards them making shooing gestures with his hands. The gestures caused them to scatter like a flock of geese. ”Leave the guest alone. Go get him what he’s asked for.“

”I appreciate your offer Erito-san, but this inn rarely has any trouble. I pay when asked so that my guests aren’t disturbed, and I have a mostly well-mannered clientele. I doubt that there will be any trouble. Today’s events are the most excitement I’ve seen in quite a long time.“he spoke through a smile that said his words were genuine because his eyes crinkled at the edges. If the smile was real then the words that accompanied them were honest as well. ”Please, if you will…“ Moken said offering his hand out to guide Senshi to an empty table where he would be comfortable. Just as Senshi was sitting, a young woman would be approaching the table. In one hand she held a pitcher of cold water and in the other she balanced a platter of fruit and an empty cup atop a tray.

The woman gracefully knelt down in front of the table where Senshi sat, and carefully set the tray and pitcher down. From the tray she took the items and began setting a place for the samurai. First she placed the large platter of fresh fruits in front of him. Succulent cuts of apple, cherries, melon, and star fruit were arranged in a way that was pleasing to the eye. Next she placed the cup to the left of the plate. It was an improper place setting, but the placement of his sword told her that he was left handed. Even if the setting was improper, the emphasis was on the comfort of the guest. After the empty cup was in position, the young woman lifted the pitcher up and poured it to fill his glass. The pitcher was set aside to the empty portion of the table so that it was out of his way. With that she gracefully stood up and walked off. ”Erito-san, While you enjoy your meal, I will see about finding you a suitable room,“ Moken said and then vanished up the stairs.

All the rooms in the Inn were the same, single occupancy with a bed roll, a wash stand, and a small writing desk. Set up in the Japanese fashion there was no need for chairs because the culture largely sat on the floor in comfortable settings. The tatami mats were well cared for, and the linens were clean. Just as Senshi was being shown a room on the corner of the second floor that had the requested lighting conditions, Koutai was completing a journey of his own. The macaque had to be stealthy and lag behind his quarry, but the eaves and overhangs of the buildings offered him a great deal of cover to hide behind. Moving from hiding spot to hiding spot, the party made their way across the city to a Police Station that lay on the edge of the slums. All of the officers went inside except for one, and he was the one who looked most disturbed by the mention of Yoshida’s name. Surprisingly it wasn’t the Squad leader. The macaque’s animal instincts would sense that his movements and motives were suspicious on some base level that couldn’t be easily put into words.

If Koutai chose to listen to his instincts and follow the officer that struck out on his own, leaving his comrades behind at the guardhouse, he would have a slightly harder time following him. This man moved through the crowd, but his body language was far more paranoid. The officer repeatedly looked behind himself at random intervals and stopped from time to time so he could scan the crowd. This was the behavior of someone who didn’t want to be followed. After getting a few blocks away from the Police Station, the officer ducked into an alleyway, and looked around to make sure he was alone. Once he was certain, he hastily took off his bright blue over coat, and helmet that marked him as an officer of the law. Those were tightly bundled up and hidden in his sleeve, to be held beneath his arm like a package.

Once he was dressed like an everyday pedestrian, the officer took to the streets once more. His pace quickened as if he was in a hurry to get where he was going. That destination was a tea house just inside the Merchant’s district. The building was two stories with a number of balconies that were set up for tea ceremonies, but none of them were in use so the shutters were closed. He stopped outside and spoke to a man who was standing by the door. Whatever was said made the doorman lift his eyes and look at the officer’s face. A moment later the man waved him inside, and the officer quickly went. The doorman stayed where he was outside, and continued to man his post. If Koutai wanted to make his way inside he would have to find a way other than the front door. With the shutters down on the balconies and windows, he would have trouble squeezing through any gaps, but it wasn’t impossible. He would just need to find the officer again without being caught by anyone inside.

Inside the teahouse the lighting was darker because all the shutters and shades were drawn to keep the light out. The tea house did most of its business after sunset, so right now majority of the employees where moving about the neatly laid out hallways and small tea rooms preparing to open. None of them looked at the officer because the employees here knew that what they didn’t know was better than knowing something that that could hurt them. The officer walked directly to the back room of the building. Once there he stopped and waited until whoever was inside acknowledged him so he could speak. When that time came the officer gave a quick bow and then spoke quickly, ”Forgive me for coming so suddenly. There was trouble. Genzo has had his wrists crippled, and Yoshida was killed. A samurai came into town this morning. He challenged them to a public duel.”

The Officer reeked of fear as he spoke to whoever it was that sat in the corner of this room, obscured from view. He watched warily as he waited as if he was waiting for a death sentence to be passed on him. ”A samurai you say?” came a calm but strong voice from the rooms darkened recesses. ”You’re going to tell me everything that happened, and everything you know about him. Come in and sing your song for me little bird. Close the door behind you.” The officer didn’t seem to take any offenses to being called a song bird, and if he did he did not show it. He simply bowed and obeyed. The door slid closed muffling the conversation from listening ears, and Koutai would not be able to get close enough to press an ear to the door, because another guard sat outside this door.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 2: Ripples in the Pond {Tag: Senshi}   Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:29 pm

Calling Koutai back to him he would sit by the window and watch as the sun slowly dipped away to give the sky over to the moon. It seemed that whoever the man in the room was would be the one who headed the operations in this part of town and that it went beyond two ronin committing crimes to survive. Getting the help of the local police force would be no use as it seemed they had some of them on payroll and they would more then likely type this man off and help him to track down Senshi. The best way to deal with this problem was to be like the lure of a fishing line and wait until the prey would bite before hauling them to the surface to be seen by the world. He would have to use himself as bait as they would most likely be looking to get retribution on him for stopping Genzo and Yoshida. They would come in some form or fashion and he would be ready for them when they did but for now he would need to set up this residence for a surprise attack.

Stepping away from the window he headed for the door as Koutai slid in and over to the plate of fruit which he began to devour. Senshi left the room and headed for the kitchen where he found the owner. He beckoned him over to the back door of the residence and outside where he spoke in hushed whispers with the man. "I require the room across the hall and I will happily pay for it. The room you have given me must remain empty but your employees must still think that I am within its confines. Tell them to leave the food they bring outside the door and I will collect it when I am ready but never to enter that room or to unlock the door. It is very important that only you and I know I am no longer in that room and you must tell no one anything different.Can you do this for me honorable Moken-sama?"

Regardless of the result he would head back to his room when they finished speaking and he would began to set the traps that he needed. A spring was sent beneath the window which hand a string attached to it that led along the floor and up the wall to just above the window itself. It was attacked to daggers held in place by vines that he grew so that when tripped it would slam downward into the window at about chest height to plunge the daggers into the victim. Under the bed his bow was knocked with four arrows and pulled back to fire. It was held by a thin piece of rope which wrapped around the bed and tied off under the mattress so that should they stab the bed and slash at his body double then the arrows would fire for the legs of the assailants. The door was not trapped as he would be watching from either the hall or the room across the way and should they try the direct approach he would get the drop on them.

Dressing up the bed to make it look as though he were sleeping in it he would finish his prep of the room and then turn to exit into the hallway. He would head for the room across the way or he would climb into the ceiling above and carve a small hole for himself so he could see everyone coming to the room. He was going to make sure that if they came for him this evening he would be ready for them. He did not like the idea of using traps and tricks as it was not honorable but he was the only person he could count on and he had no way of knowing how many people would come if any at all. Was it less honorable to know you could die and let it happen? Or to prepare the battlefield and gain and edge with tricks and traps? He weighed his options and found that living through these methods was not a disgrace when dealing with people who had no honor to begin with.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 2: Ripples in the Pond {Tag: Senshi}   Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:26 pm

Senshi's companion was called back while whoever the shadowy figure in the shuddered room was asking questions of the informant.  He seemed to be very interested in the details that most others would simply gloss over because he asked questions to seek clarification.  What the monkey did not hear was the conversation ending with him saying to the people outside the door,  "Yama, I want to wake up Tetsujiro.   I want him to pay a visit to the Inn that is giving this 'hero' a room for the night.  Make an example."   The man on the other side of the door gave a swift bow and left to carry out the order right away.


Across the city some time later a confused innkeeper gave a wandering samurai what he wanted.   He was a curious man but he didn't want to ask questions of a woodling who just cut down two feared men as if it were a simple task.  He simply nodded, gave Senshi the the key to the lock on the second room, and relayed the instructions to the staff.  Moken was true to his word and didn't let on to any of the staff that Senshi was no longer occupying the room that he was originally given for the night. After that business was done, Moken went about his business, and when the late hours came, he closed up for the night.  All of the Inn's guests were bedded down for the night, and the doors were locked.  The staff was safely nestled in bed, and all was right with the world.  


Just as all unsavory characters were to be, the men who were sent after Senshi were well connected.  They had people who went to the Inn as customers, and subtly listened the conversations and pumped the staff for information.  They eventually found out that the Woodling Ronin was staying inn the inn, which room he was in, and even what he requested for his private dinner.   When the last light was extinguished for the night and enough time passed for sleep to set in for the most restless of night owls, two men scaled the outer wall of the Inn.  Quietly they made their way toward Senshi's window.   The room was on the second floor so it was an easy climb for them, but the unlocked window was not as much of a blessing as they first thought it was.  The window pushed up without any trouble, and the first man tried to climb through.  The wire Senshi left was tripped, springing the trap on him.  Daggers shot out from the place where they were concealed, stabbing the intruder in the face and throat.  He let out a gurgling shout, as blood filled his mouth, and fell from the window knocking the other climber to the ground with him.  When the second climber hit the ground he groaned and yelled out, "TETSUUU!!!"


PSSSSSHHHHHT!!


A great torrent or steam burst forth and filled the air if an alley across the street.  The cobble stones rumbled as a heavy foot took step, followed quickly by another, and another.  The billowing white mists swirled as the behemoth exited them.  A mighty amalgamation of man, magic, and metal ran across the street and leapt into the air.  The eight foot tall silver monolith of living samurai armor powered by spirit and steam crashed through the open window taking much of the wall with it.  He landed in Senshi's room with a crash, drawing drawing out a katana that was easily the size of normal man's nodachi, and brought it down.  The blade slashed through the sleeping lump as well as the bed itself.  As the two pieces fell apart the trap beneath the bed sprang, firing arrows into his shins.  Bladed arrow heads sparked as they deflected off of metal, and imbedded in the walls. 


The steam powered samurai looked down at the ruined bed and did not see the death he was expecting.  Where Senshi should of been, he found rolled up blankets and pillows.  "WOOODLING!!!!" he bellowed in his I human voice.  Huge shoulders twisted to one side and then the other looking about the room. He saw the closet on the far wall and attacked.  Without moving from the spot he was standing, Tetsujiro stabbed his sword into the door and whipped it about, ripping the interior to shreds.  "You killed Yohida, and now you hide?  Where is your honor now?" he called out making the walls reverberate.   Finally he stepped towards the door and kicked it open with a massive iron foot.  The door shattered into the hallway and Tetsujiro stepped out.  "The leave trembles when the wind blows!!". PSSSSSSSHHHHHT!!!! He yelled as his words were punctuated with a gush of angry steam. 
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