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, 06/01/2018 The Chinese delegation have now arrived at the city of Edo. Making friends and learning about Edo Culture is their current aim! In other news it is also time for the school dance event! Please bring your characters along!

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 Club Mission: Exploring Atsumori
Nobuyumi
 Posted: Dec 4 2017, 01:09 PM
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Dr. Naganori, Shirasu was a calm man. With dyed purple hair, a calming voice, and charming smile. Something about the air he gave off just helped students feel relaxed around him. Today, for the first time, he had been asked to help overlook an event. Two large clubs, the Drama club and the Cultural club had decided to host an event together. It was Naganori-sensei that agreed to oversee the clubs cooperation and insure the club's cooperation, as well as help them with any questions that came up.

As the purple haired teacher walked into the room normally used for the large band club he instead found a large array of students gathered, wearing blue armbands for the cultural club and green armbands for the drama club. Some students of course had both on their arms. Walking up to the front of the room he smile.
"Good afternoon everyone. I have heard you are all gathered to talk about Atsumori. It may seem strange having a history teacher present, however Atsumori is extremely historical and very important to our culture. Thus I have been asked to come supervise. I have also been told to help you all come up with a presentation about Atsumori for the school." and with that he waited for the students to settle into the idea of him overseeing the class.

"Now, what does everyone know of Atsumori? Any major fans in the room? Anyone just hearing about it for the first time?"

Kitsu
Alida
Jack

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

Tagami Yumiko
The adorable poet girl who hates war.

Katayama, Masato
A strategist bent on changing the world.
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Alida
 Posted: Dec 4 2017, 03:40 PM
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"Would be the first really," Suishoku answered right away while present with the two other students who signed up for the lecture. The only other person known to her in the room would be Roshi. Since he seemed more keen on plays and most likely would be far more familiar with Atsumori than her, Suishoku hoped to learn a bit off of both him and the professor today. Judging by the sheer number of students in the room other than themselves though, it was an easy guess to think that maybe a reenactment was going to take place.

As for why her lack of knowledge in this area could be explained rather simply. Plays and things were often very pricey before and being a student now was it hard to find time to go on a nightly outing to enjoy theaters. But her focus was never too deeply into theater anyway when festivals were the main events she liked most. Was it a good play or a scary one, she wasn't sure. From the name of this Atsumori did it would like some forest themed piece so however famous the play was just went over her head the moment the professor looked excitedly among them. Hopefully this open confession didn't dampen the mood.

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Elite year, Yuubae Suishoku__Honda Mikazuki, 2nd year
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Moby Dick
 Posted: Dec 5 2017, 12:23 AM
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Yes, it may be that Roshi was the only person in the room that Suishoku knew personally, and he did stick out. He was in normal enough clothes, but he was not wearing a simple green armband. He had on a green headband with the word Drama written on the front of it, much like the 'Art' headband he'd taken into battle against the Ikko Monks. It was essentially saying that this was his battlefield.

Dr. Naganori wouldn't need an armband or a headband to identify Roshi. It was during one of his history classes in which the young man had shown his acting ability by pretending to lose all will to live and jumping out the window during class. It was so surprising that it took people a moment to remember they were on the first floor. But he'd been teaching ordinary history at the time, not things that he could sink his teeth into. This...was different.

"Atsumori is a tale - or series of tales - most commonly expressed in Noh Drama involving a young samurai killed in battle. I haven't studied heavily into it, but I do know about it."

Of course Roshi knew about it. That was like asking if the sky was blue or if he had any ideas for a new artistic creation.

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Kitsu
 Posted: Dec 6 2017, 12:53 PM
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Kitsu arrived, still trying to adjust the blue armband to look right on his arm. He was more or less sure that he would be the only culture club student in this small meeting, and the initial sight of the other two students more or less told him he was right. He just stood off to the side and stayed more or less quiet as everyone else spoke, the teacher giving the introduction and asking questions, the other two in the room talking about their knowledge of whatever it was.

Kitsu simply raised his hand after all the others finished speaking. "Never heard of it."

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Nobuyumi
 Posted: Dec 10 2017, 11:52 PM
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Dr. Naganori got a far more mixed reaction than he had expected from the crowd. He had thought more of them would have heard of it, but unfortunately the reaction from many of the students was either they had never heard of it, or they only knew it by name. One of the boys, Roshi, who the doctor quickly recognized, managed to at least speak on it a bit.
"Atsumori is a tale - or series of tales - most commonly expressed in Noh Drama involving a young samurai killed in battle. I haven't studied heavily into it, but I do know about it." he replied to the Doctor's question.

"That is correct.The play gets its name from the character Taira no Atsumori. During the Genpei war around 1200, in which the Taira and Minamoto families waged war for control of the country, Atsumori was a poet, and a scholar. He was sadly not prepared for war, and like many of his brethren, suffered a very tragic death at the hands of the Minamoto fleet." the professor said as he then took out a large case from behind the podium. Opening the case up he looked at all of the students.
"Today, since its such a special occasion, i have bought each and every one of you a copy of the book "Heike monogatari"

https://archive.org/stream/TheHeikeMonogata...atari._djvu.txt

as well as a very nice print out of the Atsumori play scene by scene!

http://www.the-noh.com/en/plays/data/program_008.html

Now, these are of course yours to keep! I suggest looking over them both in depth when you have time!"
he said as some of the members from both clubs whispered and talked about the free, rather pricey looking copies and also gave deep bows to thank the professor. Inside, however, Naganori was just grateful that the school he taught at had the largest budget of any school in Japan.

"ALRIGHT! NOW! Mr. Bento why don't you come up here and pretend you are a young warrior in the prime of your life, who has just taken an arrow to the chest, and is about to fall into the ocean. As last I checked you have a certain knack for acting."

"For the rest of you, I would like you all to pretend that you are in fact the enemy. Watching a man with whom you are fighting, but clearly has no place on the battlefield, and who's eyes only shine with devotion to his family and country, die at your hands."

Kitsu
Alida
Jack

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

Tagami Yumiko
The adorable poet girl who hates war.

Katayama, Masato
A strategist bent on changing the world.
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Moby Dick
 Posted: Dec 11 2017, 08:45 PM
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It wasn't entirely a surprise that Roshi was the most-knowledgeable one here of the tales, indeed of many tales. Literature was an art in of itself, as it gave way to performance art, the art of expression through personal actions. This was, weirdly, why he ever went for any physical training in the bugei. He used it for his performance. After all, art imitates life, and vice versa, so there's plenty of crossover to be had.

Now, surprisingly, the teacher had actually gotten them all copies of the work in question. This was surprising, as they were not inexpensive. No doubt, this was for study, but it was a clear case of offering someone a really good pen to write with. You had to do something with that, so naturally Roshi would be taking this seriously. Actually...when you think about it...wouldn't he have done that anyway? He was, after all, that kind of guy. Speaking of which, he'd been called up to do a little acting!

"Okay!"

He practically hopped to his feet, perhaps about to enjoy this far too much. He might even be in danger of becoming a ham, but...that was NOT the way Roshi was, on matters such as these. Once he had heard the instruction, he began to construct the vision in his head. He would have the ocean to his back, and he would seem somewhat out of place for a battle. Not a stern, hardened warrior, but a young and spirited nobody doing what he believed was...

I'm...I'm playing myself.

He'd been to war. He did not really belong there. He had, however, fared far better than Atsumori. The poor poet had not had a motorcycle or anything else Roshi DID. It was a shock, to say the least, to find in himself this parallel. So now, his head was definitely within the head of the character, because in a way...they shared heads. Facing them, Roshi began.

It started with a sudden lurch backwards, as though struck in the chest sharply. Roshi was beginning with the arrow itself, pain raking across his face as he instinctively gripped the area, maybe too inches from his heart. The shock and the pain turned into something else, though, a look that he could reflect easily enough because he'd been there: A look of 'Doing what he thought was best, with little regret'. It was a singular kind of devotion, with just a hint of sadness that it was over now...and then his arms lowered, and he fell back.

The only thing wrong with it is that there was a thump instead of a splash.

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Alida
 Posted: Dec 13 2017, 12:59 AM
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"Oh," Suishoku answered a bit curtly than she meant to once hearing what this was really about. It was a war story of sorts of a young samurai killed in battle, more or less. This shouldn't be at all new since Japan did have a violent history with war and this story is rather old. Now that she thought about it a little, Suishoku now wondered what kind of 'happy' plays were. Hard to think of any in her limited knowledge so, again, she tried not to be a downer over an old script.

The doctor then turned to give something most surprising that made the room hum in whispers. Copies of the play itself wouldn't be unheard of if not for the fact that it was a Noh play. Those were expensive and costly! To have made so many copies for everyone to read was certainly not cheap. She accepted her as if it were delicate chinaware before opening it up to read a little of the text. There wasn't much to gather at first about a monk arriving to give prayers on the page she opened to when Dr. Naganori commanded their undivided attention.

"A-already?" Now this was something wary. They were just handed out the book and now Dr. Naganori wants them to perform!? This must be cakewalk for Roshi as he walked past her to get his performance instructions. She smiled a bit at her friend's energy and relaxed a bit. For once there wouldn't be a need to ditch work when finally treated to see some of Roshi's acting. What sort of person he'll have to be, she wondered.

"ALRIGHT! NOW! Mr. Bento why don't you come up here and pretend you are a young warrior in the prime of your life, who has just taken an arrow to the chest, and is about to fall into the ocean. As last I checked you have a certain knack for acting," Dr Naganori instructed as though a veteran director.

"For the rest of you, I would like you all to pretend that you are in fact the enemy. Watching a man with whom you are fighting, but clearly has no place on the battlefield, and who's eyes only shine with devotion to his family and country, die at your hands."

What?

Suishoku looked to the doctor then back at Roshi. This may not be the acting she'd readily do but as she watched Roshi suddenly lurch as though been struck, already Suishoku was rather captivated to watch and stare in concern. It only seemed like a short time ago did they chat about the battle that one late night and here were they all watching Roshi perform death. If the battle over Edo didn't happen, if that talk didn't happen, she would have praised Roshi's acting for being so believable.

Instead a look of worry was on her face as she watched Roshi's body appear consumed in pain before finding odd peace. His eyes fierce but clear in his beliefs till his body fell bakcwards with a thud. Suishoku quickly walked over with the Atsumori book in hand. At first in concern over if he hurt himself but her steps soon lacked the quickness they started in and slowed to stop before the body in hesitance. It was an act, all an act, the girl would tell herself this but seeing Roshi's body fall like that and what was shared that night, she looked upon him in a saddened expression and struggling gaze in keeping these two thoughts separate.

"You...really shouldn't have been there," she spoke almost sorrowfully in an effort to not express pity on his soul.

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Elite year, Yuubae Suishoku__Honda Mikazuki, 2nd year
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Kitsu
 Posted: Dec 13 2017, 10:43 AM
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Kitsu looked over the material, enjoying the reading. He loved plays and old songs from the era gone by, and soon found himself lost in imagining the vocals of the play in a kabuki styling. Humming to himself and tapping lightly on the desk to simulate the hyoshigi's wooden clack. He had a relaxed smile on his face until he was interrupted by the instructor screaming 'RIGHT NOW' at them, and instructions for one of the students to get up and play a dying person who loves their country.

Then the teacher told them to act like enemies watching him die at their hands. This wasn't strange to Kitsu after killing King, a Yakuza Lord. Watching someone who loves their territory is almost the same as loving their country he supposed. What did he do when he saw King die...told him he'd look good as a decoration. Not quite fitting here. He thought about the other one, King's brother...that one ended just as anticlimactically.

Kitsu stood up and watched his 'opponent' 'die'. "A true patriot, though should have learned to fight better...I guess it's time to die for your country..." He couldn't manage any facial expression other than a hardened look that definitely showed that he has seen at least one person be ended by his own hand. Or at least gun.

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Nobuyumi
 Posted: Dec 17 2017, 01:41 PM
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The entire room seemed shocked and stared at Roshi, who was currently laying prone on the carpet of the room. As thought to finish the performance the doctor walked over and swept his hand over Roshi's eyes, his que for Roshi to close them. As the class said their various thoughts and prayers the teacher suddenly, loudly, slammed his hands together as though to wake everyone up from the trance they had all let themselves fall into. This included Roshi.
"Mr. Bento, well done." he said as he helped Roshi up off the floor.
"A round of applause please!" he said as he clapped for Roshi, and some of the student clapped, looking pale and a bit distraught by his performance.

"I know for a lot of you, after what happened to our city only a few months prior, you can relate to what you just saw before you. I'm sure for many of you, that was rough to see. However, that is the reality of war, and that is also the place we start our tale at. You see, this tale, Atsumori, is not in and of itself about war. Instead, it is about the after effects of war." and with that he wrote the word "Atsumori" on the board.

"When you take a life, when a life is taken, when a beloved friend, or even a comrade you barely know, loses their life right next to you, it is a strong mix of emotions. After all, should we feel absolutely nothing we would either by lying to ourselves, or be making ourselves into monsters." he explained as he opened the Atsumori book and showed everyone the first few pages.

"What you just saw Mr. Bento do was a common scene not just for Atsumori himself, but through out human history. People who may not truely belong in combat but fight either because they have no choice, or because they just feel in their souls the strong urge to protect what they hold dear! That is where the true passion, and in fact sympathy, for Atsumori comes from. It is why during the warring states period the play Atsumori was so popular and why I felt it relevant to discuss here with you all today. I want you all to keep in mind that Atsumori himself, and in fact many Taira warriors, are recorded as being only 15 and 16 years of age when they fought, killed, and died for their clans."

With that the Professor wrote three names on the board. The first was "Grass Cutter" the second was "Kumagi" and the third, of course, was "Atsumori".

"Kumagi was not a Taira. If you skim over the first few pages you see him as a monk but he was actually a member of the Minamoto clan. He shots Atsumori, and many of his kin, and then later did what all samurai do when they no longer wish to be part of the violent life their social class brings them. He retired, shaved his head, and became a monk. Now, as you can imagine we see that even as a monk he is haunted by how many lives he has taken in his short time on Earth. We also see him praying that those souls find peace, and do not come to seek revenge." it was a powerful note that made a few of the students extremely uncomfortable. It was easy to see which students in the room had slain Ikko monks during the battle of Edo. Some of the students looked to the sides, or directly at their hands that had carried weapons only a few months prior.

"Now, before we go on I would like your honest opinions. Do you think a samurai can live happily as a Buddhist monk? Do you think the spirits they have slain can truly forgive them? I ask this not to judge anyone, or make you uncomfortable, but because I would like your opinion, to one another as classmates. I feel that these are the questions we must ask one another while attending this school. Naturally I will also give my own answer once you all are done." and with that he waited for the student's responses.

Kitsu
Alida
Jack

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

Tagami Yumiko
The adorable poet girl who hates war.

Katayama, Masato
A strategist bent on changing the world.
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Moby Dick
 Posted: Dec 19 2017, 03:01 AM
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When he heard Suishoku, it was all he could do to not break character. She must've realized the connection, as well, about how he did not belong on the battlefield anymore than the poet, and yet in both young men's hearts, it must have seemed somehow necessary. He would have to apologize later for the shock. After all, it was Atsumori she was suppose to see, and not him. Now, a sudden clap broke out afterwards, and this was the indicator that the act was done. He could get up now.

Roshi received a...bit of applause, but it was clear that he'd shaken up quite a few people in the room. The reality of the recent Ikko battle brought too much into their minds when he collapsed. It was unavoidable, it seemed. He could've only dodged that bullet by possibly hamming it up, which he would never do if asked to make a serious reaction. The doctor now began explaining Atsumori as the young artist - nay, actor - took his seat. Yes, it was indeed about the consequences in war, but after that display...Roshi wasn't entirely sure that he needed to study.

The man continued, as he wrote some names on a board and focused on Taira, who retired from his life of bloodshed and battle...and became a monk. The doctor then had a question for them: Could people like him ever be happy or find peace, after all that had happened, after all was said and done? This warranted serious thought, which meant that Roshi was doing a bit of soul-searching himself, at this point. He...he had killed, and he had done so all of a sudden, before he had ever done so before. Could GE ever find happiness?

"I want to believe that if you can devote your life to serving, rather than fighting, that maybe you could be happy. I don't know about forgiveness, though... In a battle, your enemy is still your enemy, so they wouldn't feel all too happy about dying. Umm...isn't there a legend about the Heike Warriors, about their deaths?"

Why yes, actually. The Heike Crabs!

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Alida
 Posted: Dec 19 2017, 04:28 AM
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It was hard to regain composure when the whole room felt at least a wave of trauma in the wake of the war against the Ikko. Suishoku held the Atsumori script book a bit tightly to keep her hand from shaking awhile needing a moment to separate the reenactment from grave realities. So this was the power of Noh plays, was what she thought if she were to participate in one. She went to sit with the others once Roshi had gotten up again. It really helped that he got back up to reinforce the lecture topic.

"You really are a good actor," she complimented him as the doctor carried on his lecture of what it means to have life lost. Suishoku nodded slightly in agreement to his words. If there was no feeling at the loss of life then the person may as well be considered a monster. Her fingers pressed and rubbed the surface of the play book while trying not to think too deeply of a disastrous first year mission.

As for the lecture, she wondered where the doctor was going with this. He seemed to have purposely picked Atsumori as though perfectly after their largest conflict yet. He went on to further explain about the play of a monk who sought peace after the war who then prayed for Atsumori's soul. Was he trying to suggest they all consider praying for their enemies and friends? The question came after having that thought of what her opinion was about praying.

"I don't think, retiring from being a samurai and becoming a monk, it would make a large difference in finding happiness if what you devote the rest of your life doing is praying for the dead. The...souls of the dead could view the act as a means of atonement. Having your enemy suddenly pray for your soul is a bit earnest in effort, or maybe blissful that someone out there would pray at all. But in terms of finding happiness even with all the praying in the world to do, I doubt that would be something to be happy about when every thought of those souls is more unfortunate sorrow that their lives ended without fulfillment." Suishoku answered in a bit of a round about way. If she were to retire as a monk, she certainly wouldn't find herself happy about it when her thoughts would be mostly attuned to prayer and the dead. She'd also find it hard to pray for souls who were out right murderers compared to those simply caught up in the battle.

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Elite year, Yuubae Suishoku__Honda Mikazuki, 2nd year
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Kitsu
 Posted: Dec 20 2017, 08:43 AM
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Kitsu was paying attention the best he could. He was more interested in the actual events than the theoretical emotions and reasons behind the thing. The aftermath was different, however, because the way that someone handles an event like this is based off the emotions of the person. Kitsu did find it a little tiring to have someone explain the way people feel in war after having literally taken two enemy heads to decorate his gang headquarters, and had shot and sliced several other enemy combatants. It may not be a full on war, but it was close enough to feel that the didn't need the 'war is hell' talk.

As far as the question at hand was concerned, Kitsu thought about it from a different perspective. "I feel as though if I was the spirit of a slain warrior, I would feel as though the one who killed me was simply trying to make himself feel better. As the phrase goes, whatever helps you sleep at night. If it takes becoming a monk and living like that for the rest of your life to feel better, power to you, but one day your spirit may meet your enemy again, and he might not have forgiven you. And you'll have to deal with that." Kitsu folded his arms and sighed the last sentence of his opinion.

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Nobuyumi
 Posted: Dec 21 2017, 03:40 PM
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The teacher listened to his student's thoughts. They all seemed to have vastly different opinions as he went around the room asking the various students that made up the two clubs. Nodding along with their answers as in his head he made mental notes of how to go about addressing various remarks.
"If we can take a quick aside. Yes, their is a legend about the battle. Heikegani is a species of crab native to Japan, with a shell that bears a pattern resembling a human face which many believed to be the face of an angry samurai hence the nickname Samurai Crab. It is locally believed that these crabs are reincarnations of the Heike warriors defeated at the Battle of Dan-no-ura. For those not from Western Japan I fully encourage you looking up pictures of them. Some people even refuse to eat them out of an ancient belief they may be eating the soul of a Heike warrior and become cursed!" he explained as he drew a picture on the board of a crab with a rather angry looking face for a shell.

"Now, in regards to forgiveness. I would say it truly depends on the person giving and the person receiving forgiveness. If the person asking for forgiveness is not sincere, then they can not expect true forgiveness. Also, even if they are sincere, the souls of the dead may be so angry that it doesn't truly matter. This tale covers that quite well." he said as he opened the book to a new page and encouraged the students to do the same.

"In the first act, we see Kumagi as a monk seeking to ask forgiveness from Atsumori, and to calm his spirit. There he meets a flute-playing youth and his companions; he speaks with them briefly about fluting and about Atsumori. Explaining why he has come, the children seem to be enjoying the beauty of youth. It is after their conversation that we see the first act ending. Keep in mind, Atsumori was supposedly skilled in the flute, and by talking about Atsumori we see Kumagi carrying guilt in his heart." he says as he placed his hand over his heart and lowers his head a bit. He was clearly showing that the grieving Kumagi must have truly felt a wound in his heart for everything that had happened during the war.

"Some obscure tales even claim Kumagi recovered Atsumori's body from the ocean and returned it to the Taira. Though I feel that is unlikely. If any of you felt guilty would you try and find the parents of the person you had slayn? Would you try and return the bodies?"


Kitsu
Alida
Jack

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

Tagami Yumiko
The adorable poet girl who hates war.

Katayama, Masato
A strategist bent on changing the world.
PMEmail
^
Alida
 Posted: Dec 23 2017, 10:23 AM
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To think that the lecture about exploring this Noh play would be more focused but after that acting demonstration and this previous question about finding peace, Suishoku sighed and opened up the playbook to read what was even say by the actors in the play. So far had this lecture been the most disheartening one she's had to listen to yet and very scattered to the point of explaining the play or explaining how traumatized many students are in part of the Ikko invasion. Maybe play lectures just aren't his thing, Suishoku wondered in that conclusion after being asked just a pointless question and their teacher giving them a very pointless answer. An opinion vs opinion. If the souls were angry then that's what an onmyoujin was for, without one, those prayers are just equally as useless for a soul that is resentful as well as the person even saying them. What silly monks and their long drawn out hope of finding happiness from praying.

She flipped over the page to read over the dialog of the monk meeting the grass cutters, wondering if he's only been seeing ghosts the whole time for a Noh play. While reading, she didn't care to glance up to notice the doctor's movements of expressiveness when retelling how the monk was so deeply guilt ridden. Her eyes began the start of act two when another question arrived about what to do about the bodies or telling of parents. Displeased from the previous act by Roshi under his instructions and then a useless question of opinion were they given another opinionated question that would lead to a meager exchange of thoughts. Her eyes glared at the teacher then turned back to the book. He wanted her answer about that? She'll just share what she did for the deaths of the other members on her first year mission and those that followed by Edo's other disasters.

"Nothing for their parents and nothing for their bodies. A prayer and still being somewhat remembered would be the most done if the person is someone of minimal momentary encounter. As a student, there isn't a luxury of singling out dead bodies for people I've only met and know little of beyond what short time I knew of them. Sometimes you simply can't get to the body due to complications or there is no actual body left. Enemies that tried to kill me in blood craze? I've yet to meet someone that would resonate with the word guilt after their extreme course of actions..."

Students were aimed at the deplorable to assist in taking them out. Learning the excuse and reason would too difficult, or so Suishoku believed. Thus far she has met murderers and interfered with what would have been another kill to their count. For the students that had to kill one another during the traitorous outbreak at the school, now that she didn't speak about to avoid causing a heated debate between the clubs. She considered herself lucky to not be deployed to the school. It's one thing to be guilty over who the person was when killing a fellow classmate but to find them turn traitor and then cutting them down, where could the why even go? How would there be a way of knowing why they were siding with the Ikko to play out their sleeper agent roles till that moment? That too would be gone as the names of the students who sided with the Ikko would have brought upon their own family the scrutiny and background checks if they too were sympathizers.

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Elite year, Yuubae Suishoku__Honda Mikazuki, 2nd year
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Moby Dick
 Posted: Dec 23 2017, 12:16 PM
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Hearing the compliment from Suishoku made Roshi beam with gratitude. He and her both realized the significance, so it was all the more a deeper act for the two of them. It made them both think how much they really didn't want an arrow in his chest, for real. Still, you can never know the future, only work to keep from harm. Roshi was, at least, more capable than the lamented poet. He had survived, as a result.

Moving on, it seemed that opinions varied a little, from person to person, on the subject of happiness and atonement. It was not surprising. Roshi had a certain morale standard. He could be forgiving to a point, but the way he exploded in battle clearly indicated an upper-limit. Suishoku was a kinder person than he was, in that sense. And as for the other boy, Kitsu, he had to say that the guy was clearly a fighter, and thought as one did. Because if HE had been killed, he would not forgive.

And as for the crabs...well...spot on, for Roshi. There was indeed a legend about the things. He'd heard about them because there had been a report of a great many of these Heike Crabs being alive today, mostly because people throw them back and eat all the other ones. So, the moral of the story here, is that if you're a crab and you want to survive, you've gotta make a mean face. Well, either that or grab a knife.

Back to the story at hand, it really depends on who's doing the forgiving and who needs it badly enough. Japan is rife with old tales of vengeful spirits, so it's understandable if none of that really works. However, in the tale, wasn't it that Atsumori WAS the flutist and that he was essentially determining the other man's true level of guilt? Roshi, for instance, would not feel any guilt over the Ikko Monks, nor the general that he headbutted. They were all terrible people. If their spirits were unable to find peace, they brought that on themselves for attacking Edo.

"If it had been someone like Atsumori who had died, I might try that, but not if the body's in the ocean. It'll be swept away, for sure. I don't think I'd do that for a bad person, though. Some people are just the worst, and...I don't want to know how they were raised."

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