The Winds of Time
Chaya's First Letter Home
Most honored and honorable Father, dearest and darlingest Mumsy-kins, Chaim-seriously- that’s-the-name- you-chose-you-are-such-a-copycat, and all the two- and four-legged weathers at home,
I am writing this to you not from Sensei Tzofiya’s, but from Otosan Uchi! See, I got home from the lands of the Dragons just fine (did you get my letters and packages yet?) but there were some letters that made it before I did. The first was an invitation from Princess Miya Kei! Well, actually, it was an invitation of an invitation; she had invited the Sparrow I met at Shiro Shohi and all of said Sparrow’s friends, and apparently, I am included in that! Which, honestly, is very kind and nice of Oharu. Of course, we share a “secret”, and I helped back her up, so it’s understandable. Anyway, Miya Kei desired Oharu’s attendance on yesterday (as of when I am writing this) in the inner city for tea!
Well that, combined with the other letter, meant that Sensei Tzofiya said that it was quite appropriate for me to go answer the Princess’s summons, and sent me off with her blessing.
(The other letter was from a Phoenix. I am not very happy with their implications, and besides, a high-ranking member of the imperial family is far more important than a Phoenix who will not even bother to ask, let alone honestly.)
So I saddled up Summer Storm, and a string of Sensei Tzofiya’s culls, and was off! And believe me, it is SUCH A GOOD THING I brought those culls with me, because none of the others had a horse among them! I do not understand this AT ALL. HOW DO YOU GO PLACES; DO YOU SPEND ALL YOUR LIFE IN ONE FORTRESS? Anyway, Daredemo and Fukurokuma are okay riders, which basically means that they can keep their seat in a canter, and not much more.
(I know, we could all keep our seat in a canter from when we were, like four, but the rest of Rokugan just doesn’;t know how to cope with a horse instead of a pony.) (Sensei Dafna is
reminding me that being understanding of the differences of others is the way of Shinjo, and that to be narrow-minded about the way that people choose to lead their lives is basically spitting in the face of everything She stands for. To which I say, Yes, Sensei-Grandmamma.)
Anyway, Oharu hasn’t spent much time even on a pony, so I worked with her, and used up a lot of my relaxer herb paste on her. (She needed it, I do not begrudge it. But fortunately, the are a TON of traders in the outskirts of Otosan Uchi, and I was able to find some more, even if it’s not the family recipe.)
So, I met up with the others, and Thank you, kami of the water, for inspiring me to bring the horses, because without them, we NEVER would have made it on time. As it was, we basically got there the day before.
(YES, I took care of ALL the horses. EVERY day. I PROMISE. [And Sensei Dafna agrees.])
So yesterday, we had a tea ceremony with Miya Kei! It was lovely, she did her very, very best. I swear, I was on my very best behaviour; I watched Oharu and Miya Kei very carefully, and did my very, very best to act just like they expected a samurai to behave. It was very lovely, and I was (well, still am) honored to be a participant.
Apparently, she is to be married this summer to a member of the Lion clan. I hope it is a good marriage for her; she seems tentative about it. And she requested that we (not just as attendants to Oharu, but all of us as ourselves) come and visit her in the lands of the Lion. Which, of course, we all said yes to.)
She also asked us to go investigate some potential monetary issues in Crab lands. There is a trader named Yasuki Daiki who is selling the exact same goods as other (mostly Crane) merchants, but who is selling them at a much lower cost. And, of course, we agreed to do so. So it is off to Clear Water City for us!
Miya Kei has the same bodyguards we met at Shiro Shohi for the moment, and two fo them were there: Akodo Yarou and Kitsu Joshi. Joshi brought the food to the table after the tea ceremony, and he brought a serving for Sensei Dafina! Apparently, he can see the spirits of any anscestor, not just his, and he has known about the Sensei-Grandmammas for a long time. [Sensei Dafina says that Joshi is a Very Nice Young Man, and it would be a Decent Idea to visit the Kitsu and learn more about how the Kitsu speak to the Honored Dead. She also wants me to say that Joshi is a Very Nice Boy and it is a Good Idea to Not Tie the Family too closely to any of the other clans, and that he is Nice and Polite to His Elders.] Thank you Sensei-Grandmamma, I understand.
So, tomorrow, I will be looking for a (preferably Unicorn) trader who is headed to or towards Clear Water City, and who is looking for some guards. That way, we have a reason to go south, some pay, and we don’t have to worry about provisions. In return, they will get a shujenga/outrider and three bushi, so I don’t think that whomever we sign on with is getting a poor deal out of it.
I am sending a couple of little trinkets home with this for the little two-legged weathers. I hope you like them.
I was so sorry not to see you after Winter Court, but it all seems to be for the best. I love you all very much, and I can’t wait to see you again. [Grandmamma Dafina also sends her love.] I am doing fine; please don’t worry about me.
With so very much love to all of you,