Sengoku Horizon

Look towards the Horizon

The Warring States Period: Fierce warlords fought for control of Japan, and many would perish. When a warrior falls, where does the passion they once held go? Possibly into something dear such as a favorite weapon or heirloom. These heirlooms have been labeled as “relics”, and those that carry them are labeled as “Scions." Recently more and more of these special relics have been activating, signaling the start of a great change as ancient power meets the modern world!

Now For The Local News, 7/10/2017 A blood red summer has come. As the Edo Bugei students finish facing off with the ikko forces all across the nation a massive steel ship floats towards Edo Harbor. The final battle between the Ikko Ikki rebels and the Edo Bugei students is about to begin. The lingering question now, just how much of Edo will be left standing once the battle ends?

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 Rank 3 Mission: Genchiyo's Sword
Nobuyumi
 Posted: Aug 6 2017, 04:48 PM
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On a humid morning, south of the massive island of Kyushu, two Edo Bugei students arrived on Tanegashima Island. The island was owned by the Shimazu and had massive gun manufacturing plants along one coast. For centuries it had been a spot of trade between the Shimazu and Portugal, and today was still controlled by the Shimazu clan. However, the students that had come here today weren't here for guns. Instead they arrived on a heavily forested beach away from the gun manufacturing plants. As cicadas hummed loudly all around them they would arrive on Chikura Beach.

The pair had arrived after a lone fishermen had met them in Satsuma and brought them here by boat. All along the beach large rock deposits could be seen along the cliffs. Some of these openings seemed just large enough for one of the students to crawl through at a time. Inside of the openings, however, it would be like a whole new world. Inside the caves the floor was extremely slick from water about ankle high repeatedly coming into the cave and then receding back out. Right now both students would stand in about ankle high water as the tide rushed in.

The extremely dark caves would seem to extend towards the core of the island itself, and likely both students would need flashlights to proceed. They had come because a curious rumor had wound up on the Shogun's desk and thus on the mission board of Edo Bugei academy. Due to unknown reasons it was believed that a lost katana of the famous Tachibana Genchiyo may be in the cave system somewhere. Rumor had it that large tunnel systems existed underneath this small island, but rarely got explored due to the ocean tide coming in, filling the downward sloping caves, and creating a high chance of drowning anyone who tried.

To make matters worse as the students had entered the cave they'd have seen what appeared to be other foot prints, and even a bag with discarded foot rations outside the entrance of the cave system. It was likely someone else had come looking for the sword after the rumor had surfaced. The big question would be what the two would do about it, and if that person would be friend or foe.

Nobuyumi
Aideen

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Azai Nobuyori
The stuck up clan lord who defends the people.

Tagami Yumiko
The adorable poet girl who hates war.
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Aideen
 Posted: Aug 7 2017, 04:11 PM
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The best he could say was that he was getting out of class. Certainly this was a far better use of his skills than endlessly repeating facts and figures or repairing another katana for somebody who didn't know how to swing it around. Identifying a sword, he could do that. It'd be pretty easy if he was allowed to split it in half but Kire was pretty sure that might be against the rules. Without that shortcut, he'd have to check the maker's mark, check fold style based on the handle, all the normal things. He wasn't exactly an expert on historical artifacts, or magical ones, but he knew a whole lot about swords.

Unfortunately, it required a boat ride to get to the place and to actually hunt the damn thing down. Kire was not really partial to either of those options. Collecting and escorting was something he could handle, trudging in some damp, dark, derelict, deserted cave was not. And boats made him ill. So most of the trip to the island, Kire spent underdeck fighting to keep himself sane and not vomiting. Also contributing to his dread at wandering about a dark cave was his hand. It still hadn't healed and though he'd wrapped it in some more durable bandages made for water proofing, he was worried about the whole blood attracting sharks from a hundred miles around. He'd heard that they did that and Kire did not want to fight a shark. Even if their skin and teeth might be useful.

Finally they arrived and got on with the mission, Kire gritting his teeth and pushing on, hand close to hilt in case any sharks did decide to show up. Perhaps it was good he'd come prepared for a fight as they stumbled across signs of, if not habitation, human presence. "Well," Kire said, "that's pretty much typical." It was never easy and there was always something going to go wrong. At least it wasn't a shark. Yet.

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Nobuyumi
 Posted: Aug 14 2017, 01:02 PM
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Nobuyori breathed deep. The smell of the salt air rushing into his lungs and the sounds of the waves crashing against the boat. All of the things that would have made Kire ill are also what made the young Azai feel alive. So much of his youth had been spent boating around Lake Biwa and the fact he got out of classes to come on his mission made it seem like one of the best days ever. As the boat left port to head towards Tanegashima he wished the ride would take months or even years. With his long blond hair and blue Azai robes on he double checked himself and the backpack he had brought with him. The backpack contained two lanterns, a rope, a pick axe, and some rations. After all who knew how long they would need to search around for the relic they had been sent to find.

He and Kire didn't speak on the boat ride to the island. It was clear to all parties involved that Kire wasn't meant for the ocean and that Nobuyori was far more at home. As they approached the island the young Azai couldn't help but feel disappointed he had to leave his vessel. Setting food inside a half flooded cave quickly made the luxurious feel of the mission wash away like the sand floor underneath the tide. The cave entrance itself had been small and Nobuyori had to be extremely careful with his naginata. As he and Kire looked around they quickly noticed a back pack near the entrance to the tunnel system.

"Well," Kire said, "that's pretty much typical." Nobuyori was quick to nod in agreement.
"I just hope whomever this belongs too isn't hostile, or worse yet, dead." the cave system looked decidedly slick and as water ran into it it wasn't hard to imagine that most of the tunnels probably stayed flooded around high tide.
"We'll need to move fast. Even if the tunnels are slick we don't want to be caught to far below ground when high tide hits." Reaching into his bag he pulled out a covering for his naginata and quickly put it on the blade. The salty air, and if they had to swim a lot the salt water itself, wouldn't do his nagainata blade any favors. Once that done he proceeded into the cave system proper.

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Azai Nobuyori
The stuck up clan lord who defends the people.

Tagami Yumiko
The adorable poet girl who hates war.
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Aideen
 Posted: Aug 18 2017, 05:17 PM
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"Dead would save us a lot of trouble." He said as he checked his bandage and then his gear. His only weapon was Need, she was all he had expected to need after all. This wasn't supposed to be some crazy fight, just a possibly fake sword the world had forgotten about. "Do you really think that's a good choice?" he asked, looking at the naginata. "We're going to be cramped in some of these caves and even in the more open parts, a long weapon is likely to just get in the way."

Kire wasn't expecting this to end in a fight, even with another person down here. He stepped over to the bag and kicked it over. "Anyway, the person's been down here for only a coupl hours probably anyway. If it wasn't, the caves tide would probably have done a number on it, or at least carried some of this trash around the place." He looked towards the dark and dank caves system. The thought of going down deeper and maybe getting trapped down there under rising water was incredibly unappealing.

"Any reason we can't act like real archaeologists and take it from this guy at bladepoint when he comes back for his bag?" He said, feeling pretty sure that the answer was bound to be no. Kire looked at his hand again. There were probably going to be sharks who had swam in at high tide and were now trapped in pools waiting for some unlucky guy to step into it. He sighed and moved to follow after the Azai. This was the trouble with Nobles, always had to do stuff the hard way because of honor or something dumb like that. Honor was what you made it and Kire made it out of swords.

"This guy probably has searched a lot of places already." Kire said, thinking mostly aloud. "Last thing I want to be stuck with is an empty room he's already searched while he waltzes out with the sword behind us because we took a turn he'd already looked through. Then we're searching a cave for weeks for something already long gone." He reached out and let the finger of his good hand trail along the wall. "Plus, I didn't see a boat. He had to get here some how." They might be good points, other avenues to cover if they had more people and if they weren't obviously excuses to get out of the cave.

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Nobuyumi
 Posted: Aug 22 2017, 05:44 PM
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"Any reason we can't act like real archaeologists and take it from this guy at blade point when he comes back for his bag?" Kire had asked a fair question, and was right about the answer, but it wouldn't be for the reason he had suspected. Though the fact was that when Kire asked about not just going in Nobuyori shook his head no.

"I wouldn't be against it, the view here is beautiful. However we don't actually know if the person is coming back out. They could be a skilled explorer, or they could be a local trying to get rich quick by cashing in a sword." and with that Nobuyori drew the polearm off of his back, holding it in one hand and turning on a flashlight with the other.

"The naginata isn't just for combat." then to demonstrate he held the weapon out in front of him, literally tapping the walls and running the weapon along the ground as it made a bit of a scraping noise against the rough, sandy stone under their feet. The sound was clearly different as it began moving along wet, slick surfaces like the lower parts of the wall. Even though it was too long to be called one the Prince had clearly meant to use it as a bit of a walking stick while the moved forward into the cave.

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Azai Nobuyori
The stuck up clan lord who defends the people.

Tagami Yumiko
The adorable poet girl who hates war.
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Nobuyumi
 Posted: Aug 22 2017, 05:45 PM
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As Kire knocked over the bag nothing in particular fell out. A few rations and a small flash light. The youth had a point, however. Nobuyori and Kire wouldn't have seen another boat when they arrived at the beach. Neither tied up nor floating off into the water somewhere. The bag was also perfectly dry as Kire kicked it over, save of course for a rather damp bottom due to being put on the ground. Unfortunately no whereabouts of the person who had placed the bag down could be found. It was likely they had gone into the cave either casually or to look for the same thing the boys had entered to find.

The entrance to the cave itself looked a bit dark, but seemed wider on the other side. As his hand trailed along the wall the cave wall itself felt smooth and slick. If not for the sandy ground beneath them it was likely they would have slid into the maw of the cavern with little way to get back up. Though, that was not the only thing Kire's hand would find. Something felt rough on the slick wall. As though carved in and out of place. Though it was small, and extremely shallow. One likely wouldn't see it without running their hand across and even then it was less about seeing and more feeling.

What Kire's hand would find was an engraving of two scrolls crossing one another. It was part of an elaborate crest that only one man ever used. It was the crest of Tachibana Muneshige. The edges felt rough, and some spots felt deeper than others. It was also missing the floral pattern behind the two scrolls. Whoever had made this had definitely not used proper carving tools but had likely used some type of weapon to engrave into the side of the wall itself. He would also be able to see that at the end of Nobuyori's light was a fairly sudden drop down with what looked like a slick slope down. It may also have explained why the owner of the bag hadn't reunited with it yet.

Nobuyumi
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Azai Nobuyori
The stuck up clan lord who defends the people.

Tagami Yumiko
The adorable poet girl who hates war.
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Aideen
 Posted: Aug 23 2017, 08:53 PM
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Kire absolutely believed in coincidences but only when they didn't mean more work for him. This guy, showing up in a random cave where a legendary sword was possibly hidden was not going to be a coincidence. This guy was definitely going to be standing in their way at some point and making Kire's life just a little bit harder, because that's how life went. Shame there wasn't anything of note except trash in there. An ID or something would have at least been an excuse to linger a bit longer but eventually he had to delve deeper.

The strange texture caught his attention because it qualified as an anything to take his mind off drowning and being eaten by a shark in the deep abandoned tunnels. "Hey Azai, come take a look at this. Bring that light over." He leaned in close to get a better look at the engraving. "This is either a really useful clue or a trick to throw us off the right path. Seems too well disguised to be a trick but it must have been in there pretty deep to survive the water damage."

Kire grimaced. "Maybe it was more prominent before and the water eroded it down to this little thing." He placed his finger against it and traced the symbol. "You know, I don't think this was done with a real tool." He drew Need and put her tip first into the side of the engraving. "Not very deep, but I would guess this was tanto made." He put Need away. "Definitely a weapon rather than a chisel but unless this sword was broken or really short, you'd want a tanto to really get this detail done with any degree of accuracy."

Kire looked toward further in the tunnel and the sloped edge that seemed to be awaiting their arrival. "Do you think we'll be able to climb that back up if we go down it?" A one way trip was not far from his mind and that looked like a good explanation as to why the bag was still up here. Though that might also mean that whoever owned the bag might be there waiting for them so they might make their way back up. None of these thoughts were very encouraging.

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Nobuyumi
 Posted: Aug 28 2017, 01:23 PM
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"Hey Azai, come take a look at this. Bring that light over." Kire said to the young prince. "This is either a really useful clue or a trick to throw us off the right path. Seems too well disguised to be a trick but it must have been in there pretty deep to survive the water damage." in reaction Nobuyori walked over and looked at the wall. Kire had found an very thing engraving upon the wall of two scrolls. As the blacksmith explained how it was likely made Nobuyori ran his own hand over the engraving. The wall around it was so smooth and didn't seem cut into. Nobuyori looked at it carefully as Kire proposed it was likely made a long time ago and was now worn down.

"They say the lords of the Tachibana are reserved and not very flashy. However the women tend to be hot blooded. At least in my experience." he said quietly. If this was made a long time ago it may have been either a warning that the cave was protect by the Tachibana, or a marker so people could find it.
"It might be a marker more than a trap. If they hid something in here as a clan, it would be hard to find this exact cave again. Especially if you arrive at the wrong time of day and its flooded." Tapping his foot a bit and thinking Kire then pulled his attention towards the slope and the fact whoever owned the pack was likely waiting for them. Using his naginata a bit more to check just how slippery the slope was Kire was right about them likely not making it back up.

"We could try waiting for high tide and let it flood the cave, and swim out. Though the water is more likely to just push us deeper into the cave and trap us. I don't think we have much time until high tide anyway. Maybe we should look for another entrance?"

Aideen

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Azai Nobuyori
The stuck up clan lord who defends the people.

Tagami Yumiko
The adorable poet girl who hates war.
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Aideen
 Posted: Aug 28 2017, 08:03 PM
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"Ok, for starters, that's a pretty damning generality you just said there and secondly, what's that got to do with this carving?" He patted the symbol with his hand. "Stabbing a wall is hardly reserved but this is intentional, and while it might be done in a fit of pique, it's a pretty clean job. Obvious and easy to read once you know it's there. Hardly the work of an angry person and even if Genchiyo's sword is here, it could have been a man, women, or group sent to hide it." Maybe the noble kid had a point in there somewhere, but Kire had long ago given up on such things. Easier to be blunt in your ideas, especially if you could afford to be.

He looked at the wall one more time, probably nothing else to glean from it anyway. So instead he walked closer to the edge and looked down into the darkness. He very much did not want to go down there and be forced to swim back up. He was not the most confident swimmer, mostly he'd just done laps in the pool as an excuse to hang around inside the hot building.

"I think we're going to have to go down." He said, finally giving in to the inevitable. "I'll go first since I've got the best weapon for unexpected close quarters fighting if it comes down to it and you can follow when I give you the signal. Or I guess if I shout or whatever." This plan was already sounding awful. "If there's another path out, we'll have to hope he comes around for his bag and the boat catches him." But honestly, going down the single pathway and hoping to catch the guy on the way back probably was the best plan.

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Nobuyumi
 Posted: Sep 1 2017, 08:12 PM
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Kire and Nobuyori would then proceed down the slick path. It was less a walkway and more of a slide that they would either walk forward then slide down on accident, or slide down willingly. They easily slid about ten feet down over all, the path they had come from looking like a distant opening back up an extremely steep hill. with wet thuds they hit sandy water at the bottom. The cave they currently stood in appeared to be about two school hallways wide and about a 50 yards long, all in shallow water. It easily raised the question of what kind of things could be in the water in terms of insects or illness.

All around them the drips of small water drops could be heard hitting the floor as above them lay a series of extremely old stalactites. The area itself also didn't have much light, but fortunately both Kire and Nobuyori would be armed with flashlights, or at the very least cell phones. While they walked forward for some time nothing would seem a miss until they reached a large artery chamber. The chamber itself was easily as big as two floors of Edo Bugei's main building. The chamber had rising, slick stones all over it as well as a small maze of stalagmites. High up after a series of slick shelves would be a massive tunnel, to their immediate right would be a tunnel of medium size that they would have to walk through single file, and on the other side of the large chamber towards their bottom left would be a small tunnel they would have to crawl through if they hoped of getting into.

The shelves going up appeared to have no signs of damage and didn't appear to be recently touched, however the chamber to their right appeared to have damage around the edges as though someone had tried to force their way through an opening a bit smaller than themselves.

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Nobuyumi

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Azai Nobuyori
The stuck up clan lord who defends the people.

Tagami Yumiko
The adorable poet girl who hates war.
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Nobuyumi
 Posted: Sep 2 2017, 06:04 AM
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After a bit of debate the duo had little choice but to proceed forward.
"I'll go first since I've got the best weapon for unexpected close quarters fighting if it comes down to it and you can follow when I give you the signal. Or I guess if I shout or whatever." Kire had said. Normally Nobuyori would insist on being the leader, but this definitely wasn't his element and if Kire was willing to take the lead then the Azai wasn't about to object. After all the Bugei didn't exactly prepare anyone for half flooded caves on remote islands.
"Be my guest." Nobuyori replied as Kire proceeded forward.

As Nobuyori nodded to Kire's idea and let the boy go ahead of him he got a flashlight ready. No doubt the further they went the darker the cave would become.
"If there's another path out, we'll have to hope he comes around for his bag and the boat catches him." The idea was sound, but Nobuyori hoped it wouldn't come to that.
"Hopefully they know what they are doing and this wont turn into a rescue situation." though when he said it he meant a rescue situation both for the person who went before them, and for themselves.

Pointing the light forward the young noble did his best to slide down the glass like slope into the cavern, but what was meant to be a glorious slide forward ended up being more of Nobuyori falling backwards halfway through and falling into the long hallway with the back of his pants and long coat covered in sea water, almost losing his naginata along the way.

Falling into the long hallway with a loud splash he picked himself, and his naginata, back up while attempting to aim the flashlight he had somehow managed to hold on to. The hallway seemed wide and long but not inherently dangerous.
"Well, this is beautiful." he said as he turned around. Aiming his light upwards it was glistened off the slope they had just come down. Like the two had figured before they had come down, climbing back up seemed next to impossible without quite a bit of time and effort. Out of curiosity he also then pulled out his cell phone and pointed the light at it.
"As i figured. No reception."

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Azai Nobuyori
The stuck up clan lord who defends the people.

Tagami Yumiko
The adorable poet girl who hates war.
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Aideen
 Posted: Sep 2 2017, 09:38 AM
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Kire wasn't going to risk tripping, falling, breaking his ankle, or any of that crap on the stupid slope. So he positiioned himself on the edge on one knee with his other leg outstretched downwards. In that position, he slid down. It kept the speed manageable and gave him ample ability to avoid any really rough bits or up and coming stalagmites. In the end, it didn't really matter, but better safe than sorry. Speaking of, he'd kept his flashlight off for the descent but immediately on landing, he flipped it on and swept it across the room.

There was nobody waiting for him at the bottom either, so that was good. Maybe he looked like an idiot but whatever. Kire stood up and took several steps forward. "All clear." If somebody had been poised for an attack, the light might have blinded them, there was method to the madness. Kire certainly felt that any advantage he could get down here was necessary.

While he waited for the Azai to come down, he took a closer look at his surroundings. Small hole, medium hole, big hole. Big hole was high up, small hole looked like just asking to be trapped and drown a slow agonizing death. Actually, so did the medium hole. And the big hole. Why was he down here again? The loud splash made him turn to look at his assigned partner who had taken to going down the hole less gracefully. He turned back towards the three options and hid a smile. Well that was a good reason.

"Thank god, I expect they've moved on." He said, not realizing the Azai was talking about the phone. Kire shown a light on the three paths as he walked toward the center of the massive cave. He thought about each one, the medium sized crevasse seemed disturbed. That bode poorly, they might have to go down it regardless of if the sword was down there. "So three options, which is a lie. We have one option, one obvious, and one never in a million years." He gestured toward the crevasse, the high up tunnel, and the small hole.

"We should check the sides of each one, run your hand along it, see if you can feel another marking like the one from before. But really, I think it's all a formality." He pointed his flashlight towards the small hole. "Four hundred years ago, that was probably the size of a melon, at best, the blade would be a few feet in and likely would have washed out by now. He gestured at the crevasse. "Same story for that, assuming that the split in the wall even existed before the damn earthquake. If our competition had to fight to get through, I'm saying it's not a real choice." He pointed up at the high tunnel. "That's where our best bet lies."

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Nobuyumi
 Posted: Sep 7 2017, 11:00 PM
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Nobuyori looked at the options before them, moving his own light around. As Kire spoke he nodded in agreement. Even if for some reason they wanted to go through the smaller hole it was would impossible without putting themselves in large amount of danger. Though somehow the hole to the side of them seemed like the obvious choice. Anyone would go down it was it was large and easy to travel down. The problem though was that when the tied came in neither hole would prove a good idea.
"For our own sake I agree with climbing. When the tide comes in it wont matter what symbol is on either of those paths. Though I worry if the person that proceeded us went down the obvious path." the young Azai was nothing if not compassionate. He looked carefully towards the path closest to them and swept his light a few times.

"Hopefully whoever the person down here is, they aren't that foolish." and with that Nobuyori made his way to the slick rocks leading up to the top cave. He had to be careful not to slip and fall on them. What he would never admit to Kire, of course, was that if Kire didn't suggest it then he would have quickly scouted down the obvious path, flood waters or not. As he climbed he looked back at Kire.
"Do you think you can carve a message anywhere? A warning that this cave will flood easily at high tide? On the cave wall at the entrance when we get back I mean. Not everyone is as aware as they should be." though Nobuyori also simply thought of contacting the Shimazu clan's safety office and asking directly. The problem being that doing so would mean he would then have to explain why he and Kire had entered the cave in the first place.

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Azai Nobuyori
The stuck up clan lord who defends the people.

Tagami Yumiko
The adorable poet girl who hates war.
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Aideen
 Posted: Sep 10 2017, 09:16 AM
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Kire wasn't particularly worried about the other person's fate down here. There was always that chance that they had been here and gone. "If you want to get their attention, feel free." Kire walked to the smallest hole and knelt beside it. He slowly ran his hands along the sides of the wall on the outside of the hole. First the left, then the right, then above the hole and on the ground in front of it. The carved symbol way back up in the cave might have been a symbol that this was the start of the right path but he was hoping to find the next clue in the same fashion. He shined his light down the small hole, not that he expected to see anything.

When he was done with that, he turned to see Nobu already climbing to the high cave. Kire rolled his eyes. He hadn't meant to discount all the options. He walked over to the man sized crack in the wall and ran his hands along the sides of the outside, the floor, and he reached up high on his tip toes to rub his hands against the stone above the crack. Again, he was searching for any symbol carved into the stone by some old clan member.

"Are you joking? I have a knife, a precision instrument, and I'm not going to destroy it stabbing a piece of rock to tell somebody that high tide exists." He called back to Nobu. The very idea of it was insulting. Maybe they could find a piece of paper or food wrappers and leave a message with the back pack but carving into the wall was not going to happen.

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 Posted: Sep 16 2017, 12:33 PM
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With the issue of how to put a warning sign still hanging in the air the boys began to investigate the three tunnels. Kire was the first as he checked the small crawlspace tunnel. Due to the constant flooding the walls of the tunnels felt slick and smooth and one could easily slide through them with little fear of necessarily getting stuck. As his light shone through it would seem to go a way's back to what would at least appear to be a small room. The over all path would remind one of an igloo in terms of design. What Kire wouldn't find, however, would be any type of symbol or marker.

Next as Nobuyori looked down the large tunnel at the top it would seem to go on for quite a ways before dropping off. How far of a drop or what exactly it dropped down too couldn't be figured out just be looking from the entrance. No marker would exist on the tunnel walls either, at least as far as the Azai prince could confirm. It easily seemed wide enough to fit both Nobuyori and Kire however.

Finally the one person sized tunnel. The moment Kire tried touching the edges his hand would wince in pain as blood ran down it. It had multiple edges as though someone had forced its way through the tunnel and made the sides more jagged then they should have been. Any hopes of finding any type of carved symbol would be quickly lost to the jagged walls. Whatever had done this clearly wasn't natural as the upper parts of the walls still seemed smooth and natural as though a tide had washed them away over time. Also, given how jagged and sharp the edges of the tunnel seemed it was likely that the destruction of the sides of the tunnel had been fairly recent. The tunnel itself didn't seem very long, and the bottom of the tell was sturdy and sandy. From what Kire could see it would take them on a very slight incline upwards to what appeared to be an area about the size of a castle's receiving room for guests.


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Azai Nobuyori
The stuck up clan lord who defends the people.

Tagami Yumiko
The adorable poet girl who hates war.
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