Shades of the Orient

A Chance Meeting

Wherein Orange Blossom and Kenshin meet

Princess Orange Blossom, on the behest of her father, King Hitomi, made her way to the Prideful Gate of Shaisa Gojun. Dismayed that he sent her on a mission to distract her from her shopping, she informed the head guard to take care that the unpleasant riffraff were prevented from entering the city unless they could prove their worth. As it so happened, there was a young scion of the Black Crab waiting to do just that.

Scion Taraba Kenshin had freshly arrived at the gates of Shaisa Gojun, when he noticed a particularly long line of merchants waiting to enter the city. After a half day’s wait, he had finally made it to sight-range of the Prideful Gate. There were a couple of merchants ahead of him, when he noticed a pair of Nezumi acting as servants of the lead caravan who hadn’t been there but moments before. After he alerted the guards to their presence, they took off into the city with a pair of guards in tow. The Head of the Guard, a fellow Crab, took note of the masterful way in which Scion Taraba Kenshin brought their attention with just the right amount of reverence to not make them seem unwatchful, and invited him to stand watch upon the Gate. After a minute amount of deliberation, Scion Taraba Kenshin agreed, thereby gaining entrance to Shaisa Gojun.

Upon gaining entrance to Shaisa Gojun, Scion Taraba Kenshin heard the sound of music playing. Princess Orange Blossom was relaxing in the Merchant’s Square, lightly dancing to a soft Ocarina’s playing. When she noticed Scion Taraba Kenshin, she and her lady friends were affronted by the scent and grime of a man fresh off weeks of travel, cooking over fire, and standing fully armored in the hot sun. Princess Orange Blossom directed Scion Taraba Kenshin to the ‘cheapest Bathhouse’ she knew, the House of Jasmine Fancy.

The House of Jasmine Fancy was just that. Scion Taraba Kenshin consented to a bath. He gave over his armor and trusted no-dachi to Rai-shin, the Nezumi servant, to be cleaned. During that time, Princess Orange Blossom and her retinue arrived and procured their own rooms in the private baths. Scion Taraba Kenshin hid in his baths until their voices were muffled by layers of walls. It was at this point that Rai-Shin arrived with his freshly cleaned effects and a set of pigments. He entreated ‘Master Crab’ that he may not be welcome in the time of war between the Crab and Crane, and ‘Master Crab’ left ‘Master Scorpion’.

It became known that Scion Taraba Kenshin would be unable to pay his bill at the place, after Princess Orange Blossom had his effects transported to the Palace and entreated him to meet her in an hour or so at the dance floor. Scion Taraba Kenshin was sent to Rai-Shin for a work assignment. Rai-Shin smiled toothily, winked obviously at Scion Taraba Kenshin, and loudly and dryly asked if he was looking for ‘Honorable Work’. When Scion Taraba Kenshin announced that, yes, he was looking for honorable work, Rai-Shin took him down to the cellars to ‘scrub’ ‘things’.

It became known what Rai-Shin meant by ‘scrub’ when Scion Taraba Kenshin arrived at the cellars. He sensed the innate taint of the Void, subtle but present, behind the door to the cellar. Something lived down there that ought not to. A Scion of Fu Leng, the Festering Kami who created the Shadowlands. Scion Taraba Kenshin carefully removed the bar on the door and, carrying it as a makeshift Tetsubo, warily entered. He noticed the Bakemono sitting atop the Sake Still before it noticed him, and swung his club sideways, knocking the beast from it’s perch. As the beast attempted to gain it’s bearings, he pressed the attack, cracking it’s forehead, leading to a trickle of blood in its eyes. The creature madly lashed out, extending its shoulder into Scion Taraba Kenshin’s next swing, which landed with a light cracking. Scion Taraba Kenshin then mustered all the training he had in fighting these creatures, and brought his club low, shattering both the creatures legs, and cracking its skull as it fell backward.

The Bakemono vanquished, Scion Taraba Kenshin drug its corpse by the foot, and threw it into the fires warming the bath water. After cleaning the grime off himself in the bath (leaving it filled with viscera), Scion Taraba Kenshin told Lady Isa, the mistress of the House of Jasmine Fancy, that her ‘pest problem’ was dealt with, and that his debt was settled. He did not question the beast’s origin, and instead left for the dance floor. After a time of dancing, Scion Taraba Kenshin and Princess Orange Blossom made their way to the Palace of the Tsukai-Hunter Hiono. There, King Hitomi entreated Scion Taraba Kenshin to join the Crane and teach them of Crab battle tactics in advance of the coming battle on the perimeter of Shaisa Gojun.

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