The Time After Darkness Fell
Yasuki Toshiro's Insights
I don’t think bamboo can grow as straight as this guy. He is always so formal. He relaxed after our gempaku and got drunk, but back to bamboo after that. Maybe I’ll start calling him Bamboo for now on, as a term of endearment of course. He is skilled at hunting and kenjutsu so that’s a plus if we run into trouble. And he knows nothing about women. I keep asking him and he keeps telling me to ask my lord to arrange the marriage. I want her to love me and marry me, not just marry me because her lord told her too. But I think I will take his advice and we will have beautiful samurai children that ride Unicorn horses. He continues to ask for punishment. The next thing you know, he will fart in front of a damiyo and request seppeku. He has decided to teach me become a better samurai, and in return, I will teach him to have more fun and not be so serious all the time. Maybe even tell a few jokes or stories even. And since he borrowed my story book, he can tell one of those. I might even call in the favor if he refuses just to let his guard down for a moment. But if he can help build my reputation, I will be able to get more clans to come to me for their services.
Me and Jishin are getting along great. I am finally getting him out of that shell. We went to the sake house with the Utaku women many times and had lots of fun. I have never heard a man laugh so loud as when Jishin called the patron “Sake-sama.” And the name stuck. I hope I can do something as clever as he did. He is also speaking with women now. He even had to go and find out what she wants most in the world but i couldn’t find out. I told him paintings since she was at one. I wonder if he wants to marry her? I think I will find out. And Jishin is teaching me riding and hunting to help impress Mayumi. And Jishin won his very first duel. And of course Jirou would lose to treat women like he -does-did. But to be safe so I would not lose my new brother, I lent him Ifuku to keep him safe, and they both came out alive. I don’t know what I would have done if one of them had died, much less both. But he is affecting me too. I actually requested punishment for my storytelling from Utaku Yumi. I hope he was impressed. I don’t want my new brother to think poorly of me. I want to get a portrait done with all of my new brothers to send home. I hope he will agree.
He is a plain as a cloudless sky. Nothing about his appearance stands out. He looked to be over acting when the disappearances were announced at the Topaz Championship. He was willing to have a few drinks with the ships crew and myself so at least he likes having fun, unlike Jishin. And the best part is that he doesn’t ask for punishment simply for breathing. And I didn’t call him out for falling asleep on his watch so he owes me a little for that one.
Why is he always so quiet? He always says “I have no time for such things.” He actually agreed to go to the sake house with us but he passed out after the first drink. Perhaps he had no time for drinking and wanted to catch up on some sleep for whatever it is he does. He did ask me to find a wedding gift for him, but that was it. Maybe he is just shy around people. Or as a favor for the gift, I will ask him to come out and drink and sing with us. Either way, I will just try harder to make him my new brother. I wonder if he likes hats and matching kimonos…
Dogi Megumi- She is a sweet little girl. And the puppy loves her to death. Too bad I can train her as well as the dog because she never listens and always whines when she doesn’t get her way. My daughters with Utaku Mayumi won’t act that way.
I am so glad that not only did I give his sister the puppy, but he won the Topaz Championship and is now the Doji damiyo’s son. He can get me into a bunch of circles to tell
stories, hear rumors, and find out what things people want. He is also a pretty nice and fair guy, seems to be teaching his sister stuff like the importance of peasants and eta, bah, and apparently he is a shugenja. Who knew?
I don’t know who is quieter, Naoki or Kuai. I will have to ask Jishin what he thinks. After seeing Mayumi blush around him, he told me not to worry. They are only childhood friends and does not want to marry her. I do not want to know why he would not want to marry her, she is such a wonderful young woman. But I am jealous of him. He got to spend his childhood with her. I had to spend mine with all four of my sisters, blah. I have not see Mayumi blush around me before, only get mad. I will have to continue to ask Naoki for advice on women, well, Mayumi anyways. And I have begun to copy what Naoki does so as to get her attention, too. I hope my plan to get us matching hats and kimonos makes her like me more. And for it to make Naoki and I closer brothers like me and Jishin.
Soshi Noriko- I don’t know if I like her as much anymore. She told me I am forbidden from ever writing a book about our investigations. That is no fun at all. How am I to become the best storyteller ever if I can’t share those? Perhaps if someone else were to write my stories for me…. Nooo, they would simply get credit for it and not me. I will have to come up with something. But i don’t want to disobey her orders, especially since she saved me from seppaku with the Utaku with my storytelling, not rumormongering or gossiping, no matter what other people call it. Outside of not letting me write my book, she seems to be a rather nice Scorpion. I don’t know how they got such a reputation if more of them are like her.
Utaku Hitomi- She is the older sister of Mayumi. She is a very pretty woman and boy can she hold her sake. And she thinks I’m funny. At least I can make her laugh. I can’t make Mayumi laugh, only mad. And she told me if I marry into the Utaku, I would no longer be able to ride a pony. That would be horrible. My feet would hurt too much with all that walking. I will have to find a way to travel without making my feet sore with all that walking, or riding a pony. I’m pretty sure the Lion won’t lend me one of their lions to ride…Too bad she is not married. If I do not find her a husband fast, I fear I will have to marry her and someone other man will have Mayumi instead. I CAN’T LET THAT HAPPEN!!!
I think I’m in love with her. I keep thinking of her. We had such a great fight to start the Topaz Championship. She is so honorable as to not let me win, but she did not embarrass me in front of the emperor either. And then she said they would keep an eye on me so that I can maybe one day train Unicorn horses. I’m so excited. Maybe I didn’t stick my foot in my mouth like I thought. I will send her a letter expressing my feelings to her. And I will take Jinsin’s advice and get her to marry me. I don’t want another samurai to take my beloved from me. We will get married and have children and I will get to train Unicorn horses.
She likes me, she really likes me. I can tell. I got her a gift of hair pins and she liked that they were a practical gift as opposed to flowers that so many guys send her. Thank goodness I didn’t mess up the gift too like when I kept speaking with her at the Topaz Championship. And she is good with keeping her sake down, but not as good as me since I never passed out. I hope my rumors didn’t hurt the way she feels about me. I can’t help it. They are so fun and Jishin always says to tell the truth. I saw her blush with Naoki, but he says they are only childhood friends and has no interest in her, so that’s good.
Akodo Hideaki- He has so much energy, and so quick to anger. Perhaps I should bring him along with us when I find dishonest merchants. It will definitely help Jishin not put bamboo to so much shame.
Eta Shin- He is a very well dressed eta. Why his master wants to spend that kind of money on him I’ll never understand. But I was nice and warned him that the village we were in had some
people in it that wanted to kill him and I didn’t want any harm to come to his master’s property. Maybe I’ll get something out of being so nice and warning him.
Hiruma Seichi- He was always drunk. I wish I spoke with him more but I was too excited about the Topaz Championship and speaking with Utaku Mayumi.
Kakita Katashi- That dishonorable shit of a man challenged me to an illegal duel. He says I am ruining his “good” name. That is a LIE. First, you must HAVE a good name first in order for it to be ruined. And secondly, if you don’t want people going around saying what an asshole you are, then don’t be an asshole to people. It’s a simple as that. I know he will challenge me to another duel one day. I need to find someone that will fight for me. Perhaps Jishin will…
Kitsu Akiko- They have LIONS. Real ones. And they help stand guard. Such a beautiful animal. It kept looking at Naoki funny, but it wasn’t because he wanted to eat him, and we all used the same soap. Maybe it is because he is a shugenja, as Naoki suggested. I just wish I could have my own lion. Perhaps if my marriage with Mayumi falls through, I can marry a battle master. It would have been nice if Jishin had shared this with me first but he said he didn’t because “I didn’t ask”. Really? He knows I love animals and this would be as good as a Unicorn horse. Oh well, too late now.
Kitsu Arisu- She is afraid of bugs. How? That is so childish. I was about to show her Ifuku, but thought better of it. I don’t know if she liked my stories as much as I did. I guess no news is good news. I think they liked my gift for the bride to be though. Some chuckled when I told her that at least now, she would have one loyal friend. And he kinda snarled at me when I said it. It was great.
Merchant 1- What a lying little man. He tried to rip off my best friend and brother Jishin. I told Jishin not to buy from him, and then told the man that if I find him lying about his costs one more time, I will have him cut down since Jishin has a temper. Jishin might have one, I don’t really know. I doubt it. No, he doesn’t. He is far too nice of a guy for that. He thought the gift to Jirou of a head bag before his duel with him was a good gift. So no, Jishin does not have a temper or he would have showed it there. Oh yeah, the merchant. If he is stealing from his customers again, he will be cut down and his money passed out to those around him as punishment for his thievery.
Merchant 2- He was a much nicer merchant. He sold Jishin some incense from the Burning Sands for much less then what it cost the merchant. To thank him, I gave him an extra bu and how I appreciated his honesty compared to the other merchant. He told me that the other merchant will probably still lie and cheat, so I will just have to make sure my wakizashi is sharp so I can cut him down like I said.
Soshi Reiko- What a nice woman. She is the niece of Soshi Noriko. She knew so much about me already. I can see why Jishin likes her. I suggested marriage like he did with me but he declined for some reason. Apart from liking Jishin and I, she likes art, I think. I couldn’t really find out. That’s the first time it has ever happen. My training has never failed me before. I will still try to get Jishin to marry her. I know he likes her or he would not have had me look for her a good gift. I told her Jishin and I would be at the sake house but was disappointed that she did not show up. I wonder if she was only flirting and Jishin has fallin for her.
Tamori Takako-She was talking to rocks. And people think I’m odd for talking to a lucky cricket. At least he can respond.
Utaku Jirou- What a horrible man. I do not get the point why anyone would want to sleep with so many women. And worse of all, he was not even discreet about it. He showed up at the gift ceremony drunk, and when it came to the gifts for the wedding, he insulted his wife’s family right there on the spot. I could never do such a thing to Mayumi. I love her too much for that. I got what he deserved when Jishin cut him down in the duel. If only all samurai were as romantic as I…
Utaku Yumi- I don’t know if they like me so much with all my storytelling. She apparently wanted me to commit seppaku if not for Hitomi and Soshi Noriko.
Yogo Miho- Why oh why did she have to be into maho. She was such a beautiful woman and I was going to ask her how to help me win the heart of Otaku Maygumi.
Yogo Mi- With the exception of the maho part, I wish she was more like her sister. Outside of looking the same, and the maho, they weren’t similar at all.