Legend of the Five Rings: The Fallen Mountains

Session Seven: Honour redeemed

In falls fading light
Will a soul, their true love lost
Yet die with honour

Chiaki’s actions had an immediate effect, though not of getting everybody to leave. Hida Sato, who had triggered the command subconsciously implanted into her mind made the most of the opportunity, loudly denouncing her as having snapped and probably being responsible for the murder. She had already attempted to disrupt the ceremony and was also absent from the hall during the time of the murder. There were murmurs of agreement from the rest of the guests, her actions indeed spoke towards her guilt.

Shosuro Ami, who Chiaki had earlier identified as carrying an array of concealed weapons, was having none of it. Drawing one of her concealed blades she launched herself at the shugenja and despite Chiaki summoning a protective cloak of water succeeded in drawing blood. Chiaki’s response was extreme – dazing Ami with the touch of the void while simultaneously appearing to blast the immediate area around her with an intense blast of fire that caught both Sato and Ami.

This escalation finally spurred the guests to begin evacuating the hall while the explosion alerted those nearby. as Shugeki and Shin’ichi rushed back towards the hall Hotaka stayed with the governor to ensure his protection. Naruto, who had observed Chiaki’s sudden outburst decided he couldn’t wait for assistance and called forth the grasp of earth, grabbing both Chiaki and Sato with the hands that burst through the floorboards. As Chiaki continued to struggle and attempt to cast spells he was forced to tighten his grip on the pair, leading to the death of the already heavily wounded Sato. Shougeki arrived to a scene of chaos, just in time to stop Shosuro Ami from continuing her attack on Chiaki, whose continued struggles had resulted in Naruto continuing to tighten his grip upon his colleague. Seeing that she continued to reach for her spells Shugeki took the opportunity to grab it away while shouting at her to stop cease her actions for they would not have any impact upon the fact that her true love was now married to another.

Amongst all of this Shin’ichi had taken a longer route to the hall and been waylaid by the escaping crowd. Amongst the crowd he spotted the robes of their prime suspect, Shosuro Oka, fleeing down the corridor. Grabbing a knife he hurled it as hard as he could, embedding it in the shoulder of his target, who paused and turned to face him. Instead of Oka he found himself squaring off against a naga, raised to its full height. He stepped forward, curious rather than cautious and for his trouble found the knife he had just thrown thrust into his stomach, it’s blade white hot. The serpent man in front of him faded away and he was faced with Oka, the shugenja’s illusion no longer required.

In shock Shin’ichi fell back on his training, reflexes drawing his katana and almost succeeded in taking off the hand of his opponent with a single strike. Oka only smiled in return, stating that he had heard of the speed of his opponent. The two drew into a vicious battle. As the battle turned in the magistrates favour Oka’s outline faded to mist, like a breath of the wind before suddenly retaking solid form. Stunned by the failure of his magics and heavily wounded he fell to a masterful strike that left him on the edge of death. Shin’ichi, realising the value of a prisoner, took action to ensure he did not bleed to death.

Back in the hall Chiaki finally broke free of the cloud on her mind, in part due to the immense pain of being crushed by Naruto’s spell. She had only vague recollections of what she had done. The change in attitude, from aggressive to broken, plus the fact she was on the edge of death, was enough for Naruto who finally released her and the dead Sato from his grip. Within Sato’s robes they discovered the missing spell scroll, though why it had been stolen remained a mystery.

The chaos of the wedding had consequences. Shugeki went from the darling of the court to being shunned and whispered about across the city. The guests had seen enough to form only a confused picture and from that the story built. It was an event that would be infamous for years. Chiaki was painted as the clear villain of the piece, the jilted lover who had snapped and murdered the only person she could, Shosuro Ki. For this she was condemned to death. The governor visited her to inform her that he had no choice as justice must be served but that she still had one final decision to make.

Chiaki did not hesitate and thus at dawn the next day her former companions were summoned to witness her final act. She entered the courtyard of the palace in the traditional white robes, her wakizashi in hand, and stepped behind the screen which had been set up in the centre of the room. Binding her legs as she had been taught she drew blade and breath one last time before plunging it into her neck.

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