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, 3/8/2017Spring has come. The war with the Ikko Ikki monks has begun! The Bugei students set off to various areas of Japan in the first war the country has seen in nearly 200 years! What will happen as monks and samurai clash? FIND OUT!

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 Event Mission 2: Kanazawa's Defense!
Nobuyumi
 Posted: Mar 5 2017, 10:55 AM
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~Deployment~


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Edo Bugei Academy. Spring had come. A normal spring at Edo Bugei would bring sports, and cheer. This year, however, had an extremely negative aura about it. Most of the students had gathered in front of the main building in preparation for their final deployment orders. The fresh spring air gave a slight chill as some of the students still managed to yawn. It was quite early in the morning after all.

Every Bugei student was dressed in full combat gear, all relics and weapons at the ready. Various vehicles, loaded with supplies, ammunition, and back up weapons currently sat outside of the school grounds. Gathered in front of the students was a rare sight. The Shogun, currently military ruler of all Japan stood with Headmaster Hosokawa to direct the students. Currently Tokugawa Hiroaki had thick robes with various Tokugawa crests on the robes. Many of the students would think this was too look as official as possible, though some would know it was because the Shogun had lost his arm in the fall. Stepping Forward he addressed the group of students.

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"It has been nearly 200 years since our country has been at war. Nearly 200 years since this Bugei was established. The war we are about to carry out, declared upon us by the Ikko-ikki, will be the largest military campaign this school has ever taken part in. As Many of you know only a few months ago my life was almost taken and a former elite student of this very school, and expert assassin within the Shogunate, declared that every samurai in the country was to die." at the Shogun's words the various students began talking loudly among themselves.
"As the military leader of all Japan, I want to tell you all that on this day you fight not only for me, but to protect your homes, your families, and to stop the twisted Ikko sects from gaining control over our country. You will not be fighting alone however. Various clans loyal to the Shogunate are also marching, and will be fighting along side you. The slaughtering of monks is a disgraceful act, and no samurai can feel proper in carrying this act out. However the Ikko are not holy men. They choose to ambush and kill Shogunate officials, governors, and even low ranking samurai in various provincial warehouses. Anyone the Ikko views as not agreeing with them they see as a threat." The shogun's face was extremely serious as Headmaster Hosokawa stepped forward. In comparisson to the Shogun's expression the Headmaster's seemed more like a father sending his only son off to war.

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"I know this war is something none of you ever imagined. It is not something anyone wants. However, for the sake of the country here we are. Some of you will be going to fight on the front lines against the Ikko armies heading towards various cities. Others will be in charge of stopping areas from joining the Ikko rebellion. Before you all go, I want you to remember one thing. Weapons, ammunition, property, all of these things can be replaced. Your lives can not. Fight hard, but mind yourselves. Be careful, and come back to us. Older students, mind your youngers. Younger students, observe how your Senpai fight, and guard them from behind." these words could never be said by the Shogun, who had to remain the staunch military ruler of the country. However coming from the Headmaster they felt genuinely warm and caring. Headmaster Hosokawa knew some of the students would not be making it back, however in his heart he didn't wish to lose a single one of them.

"The various transports are waiting at the gate. Go forward, bring honor to the school, to your families, and to your entire country!" he declared as the students let out a cheer. Ten large transports waited outside the school grounds. 50 students would be deployed to various areas outside of Edo. Meanwhile many other students currently waited at Edo Castle, in the Bugei dorms, and in various areas across Edo itself in preparation for a possible attack against Edo itself. What the various students who had gathered for the missions would never realize is that various elite students, as well as multiple squads of ninja students, had already been deployed a few days prior to this under the cover of darkness. Various students also currently sat inside the school building and edo castle setting up communication and information networks so that everything that was about to happen could be carefully monitored. This was the first full scale military operation handled by the Bugei, and they would not fail.

~The mission~


The air was tense as the five students assigned to help defend Kanazawa moved towards the assigned black SUV. Waiting them stood two samurai in brown robes. On the robes the crest of the Maeda clan. One of the strongest clans in all of Japan. Both Samurai had extremely formal topknots and two swords each. The look in the eyes of the samurai said that this mission was absolutely grave and both looked ready to cut a man down at the slightest provocation. As the five students approached the SUV the two samurai gave deep bows while waiting for bows in response.
"You have offered to help protect our castle town. We can not thank you enough. However time is of the essence. The Ikko army is already moving and we need to hurry north." one said as the students all got into the SUV. The vehicle quickly set out east of Edo. The students would drive to a fairly nice train station outside of the city.
"The Ikko have started attacking a number of railroads through out the country. This line goes directly through the Takeda and Maeda clan's areas and we know they are safe. Please get in the train, we don't have a lot of time." it was the second time the samurai had said it. Both seemed extremely high strung and one hand to wonder if they would be this was through out the entire train ride.

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The train the students got on was a slick, modern looking, white and blue high speed rail. The seats seemed incredibly nice and it was clear this was normally a business line.
"We apologize for being frank. As the situation stands the Ikko currently have a large army moving towards Kanazawa and may possibly even have operatives inside the city waiting for the attack. They will be marching from the West to attack our city. We've thought of ambushing the force in the open, however when we attempted the army seemed to vanish on us. They are apparently marching through the mountains as opposed to the normal grasslands. It is terrifying to think an army cares absolutely nothing for the cold, or dying along the mountain cliffs." as the explanation finished the train set off towards the north.
"The Takeda are currently preparing for a defense of their own lands. The Uesugi, however, seem to be confident about joining us and have already started marching towards Kanazawa to aid us. We should arrive in about four hours. For those of you aside from Ms. Suishoku, we welcome you to Kanazawa, and thank you for offering to defend a city that isn't yours." and with that both samurai stood and gave another bow to the students.
"We apologize for not asking previously since we had been in a hurry, but do either of you have any questions?" one of the samurai asked.

Hakaio
Shoy
Alida
Nobuyumi
Kajowwojak

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

Tagami Yumiko
The adorable poet girl who hates war.
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Alida
 Posted: Mar 6 2017, 04:49 AM
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Phone fulled charged? Check. Whip prepped and greased? Check. Medical pack? Check. Uniform? Check. Relic? Check. Tanto? Check. Suishoku sighed as she briefly unsheathed the short blade out and stared at a dower girl's reflection into it before pressed it sealed into its scabbard. It'll have to do if things get bad and this may be the best time to have acquired one after given advice and training with it. It was tucked away at the small of her back while her medical pack rested above it for center of gravity to make its weight feel nearly weightless. Suishoku wanted to ensure she had all that was needed when heading back to her home province and quietly wished her parents actually followed instructions from her and the Meada Clan to be safe. These were the things running after signing up and getting off the phone some time ago. No one has ever gone to a huge battle field though. The most many of the students would come to know are skirmishes and gang fights. To think a war would come at this day and age.

She rode with the others toward the train station for their journey west. A few faces she saw flat out confused her for being here. Mirai was a student she had come to be acquainted with that it was only a short time ago they were plotting game nights and fun things for the dorm. Nobu coming along was another oddity. His presence was both comforting but confusing that he will be going somewhere not in his element. Suishoku thought for sure he would go off to face the pirates with his naval background or something. Seeing his arm wasn't in a sling any longer, Suishoku nodded quietly to her friend and said nothing more to him for now till there was some time in between. As for the rest who were on the mission, she didn't know them too well besides faces in passing at the school.

A pair of samurai greeted them as they approached a very classy train not seen much in Edo. Its style and sleek appearance described what it was made for; speed. She bowed to the men who bore the Maeda emblem as they briefed them of what's going on. It appears these monks have been attack trail lines to narrow down paths leaving Edo to where they are. Suishoku wondered if their own lines will be cut once they do arrive but left it for the men to continue their briefing. Four hours will be a short time and the Uesugi will be joining. This should be comforting but her face didn't show such relief. Upon hearing her name did Suishoku turned and bowed to her fellow students as though it was her cue to thank them as well. For any last questions, Suishoku only had to ask just one. "Have any of the citizens evacuated somewhere or have they all decided to hold up in homes?" The assumed answer would be within the city but she hoped to be wrong given that all civilians were mandated to stay indoors and their cellars. The monks shouldn't trouble themselves to rooting out every person they find but could resort to bandit tactics of burning everything in sight if the temple wasn't any indication during Higen-E.

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Elite year, Yuubae Suishoku__Honda Mikazuki, 2nd year
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Shoy
 Posted: Mar 9 2017, 08:00 AM
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It felt strange to be wearing it. It felt as if it should have been like a badge of honour, something to be proud of, but it felt almost alienating as Mirai looked at herself in the mirror wearing the combat uniform. She couldn’t put her finger on why.

As Mirai readied her equipment, she wondered briefly if she should take her parent’s katana instead of the one the kendo dojo had gifted her. The former was certainly of a higher quality. But she opted against it; even if she ignored the emotional side of it that it reminded her of all the good things from home, she could still argue logically that it would be a better choice because she was more used to using it. She also tossed her phone, a change of clothes and some toiletries into a small duffel bag; she wasn’t sure if she’d need them or even get a chance to use them but it was it was better to have them and not need them than need them and not have them, right? Besides, there was something comforting about the normalcy of packing. It turned the vague, lurking concept of war into something more tangible, more manageable, more simple and mundane.

With her wakizashi and her katana checked, cleaned and tied onto her belt and the strap of the duffel bag slung over her shoulder, Mirai joined the milling crowd of students outside the main building. Seeing all these kitted-out students, the loaded vehicles… it drove home just how real this all was. Her knees felt a little weak but she tried not to let them tremble.

Mirai focused on her breathing pattern as the Shogun - the frickin’ Shogun - and then the headmaster made a speech. She dwelled on their words: it made her glad to hear the reassurance of what they would be fighting to protect. Though as Hosokawa mentioned how objects were replaceable, Mirai unconsciously ran a hand over the scabbard of her katana, thinking, I don’t think it’s so simple like that.

She felt a strange kind of certainty wash over her as she got into the transport. It was like... this was it. It was starting to happen. No more fretting over it; she would do her best to keep her calm and succeed. Surprisingly, she recognised another student there - Suishoku - though the older girl had said she was a medic, so Mirai supposed it wasn't so surprising after all. She didn’t say anything to her, only gave her a small smile.

Mirai glanced around the train as they entered. It reminded her of back at home on the occasions when her parents had had her driven places, of the too-clean cars and the well-dressed chauffeurs. So that she would be able to sit down more easily, Mirai adjusted the cords that attached her swords’ sheaths to her belt so that the weapons lay across her knees.

As the two samurai explained the situation in detail, her eyes were closed, her head bowed, her mouth set in a hard line and she gripped her katana so hard her knuckles turned white. The katana’s scabbard was an extremely simple design that bore no ornamentation save for - and it was only a couple of shades lighter than the sheath itself, so one would have had to look closely to even make it out - the words “Good luck!” painted across it and a number of words in smaller writing that turned out to be names. Despite her body language, she seemed to be calm, peaceful even, though anyone paying attention might have noticed she was regulating her breathing in a careful, meditative pattern.

One of the samurai made a call for any questions. She couldn’t think of anything that she desperately wanted to know but something Fukumi had said to her on their video call the night before came back to her. “Do you know how long we’ll be away?”

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Hakaio, Shiki
 Posted: Mar 10 2017, 06:09 PM
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Yuna had been waiting for the troops to assemble. Her schedule for the day had started much earlier than was customary, as she tended to follow her physical conditioning as regularly and frequently as possible. It was the duty of a guard to be in perfect physical condition when moving out, and her warm-up activities had concluded. She had not put on her armor just yet, but it would follow as soon as they were to enter the vehicel. For now, the giant woman merely listened to the Shogun from the backlines, her eyes restlessly scanning the area... awaiting both assassins and her own clansmen, which likely equated to roughly the same.

She cheered with the rest at the conclusion of his speech, noncommital she had to admit, but that was mainly because she felt it unnecessary. There was nothing to cheer at, not even the Shogun. They were about to go to war... that was, it was just so strange. She was not nervous, not in the slightest. The training had been good then, yes? Or perhaps it was just her own morbid curiosity, or her lack of care for her own body? But then again... many could get hurt. Many would die in fact. She had to at least keep them alive, as many as feasibly possible.

The travel with the SUV's was not troublesome, she simply had to sit on one side, whilst the rest sat on the other side of the little transporter. Then however they moved to the tr- Goddamnit. A train! How in the world should she... Yuna was slightly disgruntled over seeing the small door to the train. She glanced behind herself a moment, where the rest of the students waited patienty, if with judging glances at her. Yuna did her best, lowering her body to stick her massive body through the door one half at a time... and then simply moved inside it, her back brushing against the ceiling a bit. She finally occupied a two-seater place and settled down... she was in for a good start.

Yuna already got around to putting her armor on in the train, she would likely not get a second chance if she didn't do it now, slipping into the heavy, protective shell piece by piece. She contemplated the words of the Maeda, realizing that this scenario was beyond bad. Still, when they finally got out of the train and they got the details, Yuna could not help but ask at least a few questions. "What are your enemies numbers, and our own respectively? Have they attacked before, and if so... how? Will we be fighting on several fronts or on just one?"

Yuna bombareded the Maeda with a cool, almost relaxed voice, expressing little to no tension, as her masked and armored face glanced down at the Maeda, showing emotion only through her eyes. "Also... where do you need us most?" The last question was likely the one of most interest. If they had to evacuate or protect civilians it would be best to get into a large building. If they should defend the walls... well then that was that. Yuna simply shouldered her Kanabo, waiting for the responses, glancing only slightly at her compatriots... they were so small. All of them were, she really would have to keep her eyes open to keep the save.

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Kajowwojak
 Posted: Mar 12 2017, 11:58 AM
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In a somewhat shocking turn of events, Nao was not late to the party, as it were. His body stood tall, if a bit awkward in the armor he wore. He opted for lighter armor than most of the other students, preferring his mobility, given he was already weighed by his relic. While the others cheered the speeches, Nao remained quiet, his eyes staring off into space as he tried to grasp the gravity of the situation. This was War. Losing meant death, not just for himself, but for everyone. Even if he wins this battle, the others could lose, and the war is lost as well.

His mind was a hurricane of thoughts as he would get into the SUV, the chassis shifting a bit as he stepped on with his heavy hammer, though it appeared as though another individual had some serious weight to them too. Advantages and disadvantages. He didn't know many students on a personal level, so the extent of their abilities were lost on him. But, that didn't mean he couldn't try to plot out the battles.

The SUV ride got them to trains, as they were informed of the guerrilla tactics the monks were preforming. That showed they seemed to know more about the samurai than the samurai knew about them. That was discomforting, as information won battles more than skilled fighters.

They were given the options to ask questions then, and Nao knew his questions were going to be considered extremely rude, but, in his mind, they were of grave importance. "What secrets do Kanazawa hide?" He said, after the others had spoken, his voice carrying more than his small frame might imply. "The Ikko seem to have more intelligence than anyone else. We would be poor defenders if we knew even less." While Nao wasn't exactly asking for the safe combinations to their personal homes, he left the question ambiguous enough to imply that he wanted to know everything. If there was a secret tunnel that was used to transport PoW's from ancient times, boarded up and never used, he wanted to know about it. If the town had a sulfur deposit under it that was too small to bother with harvesting, he wanted to know about it. Everything and anything that the Ikko could possibly be using to exploit them, he wanted to know. Most importantly, why were they so determined to attack THIS castle?

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Nobuyumi
 Posted: Mar 15 2017, 07:42 PM
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Nobuyori felt uneasy and had no doubt he would continue to feel this way for quite a while. He wasn't going to shut down a few pirates, or to help earthquake victims. Azai Nobuyori had followed the woman he cared about into war. The city she called home was about to be under siege by an army and he had offered to risk his life saving it. A city that wasn't even under the Azai clan, though technically a trade partner of the Azai. All of this hadn't fully sunk in until he was actually on the train going North. As Suishoku nodded to him his phone rang, as would hers.

"PLEASE protect my family." it was a simple message from Yumiko but strong none the less. It made sense that she hadn't come on the mission due to limited sign up slots but even so it felt wrong in a way that she couldn't come to protect her own home town. Instead Nobuyori was here, and he would do his best to help protect everyone. Trying his hair back into a top knot he double checked his naginata and his paper seals. His jacket would also nicely sewn and looked as best it could. He didn't carry much equipment on him but what he did have clearly looked expensive. The final check would be him stretching and extending his arm, which fortunately almost seemed to be in working order. For all intents and purposes, he was ready for a fight.

Currently he didn't dare sit near Suishoku. He wouldn't to ask if she was alright, and talk to her about all sorts of things, however right now she seemed in a completely different place mentally. He didn't want to bother her and stir up whatever feelings currently lurked behind her steadfast eyes.

As the train was going North people began to ask various questions, enough so that Nobuyori thought to add his own question into the mix. Though as he was about to ask he was quickly beaten to the punch by the other students. All of them asked anything he could have. Clearly it was the fault of the young prince for being the last one to try and ask. Shrugging a bit he just waited for the answers.

--------------------
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: Mar 15 2017, 08:30 PM
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The train up to the north would take some time. As the train moved through Takeda lands the students had various questions as they looked out towards the various mountains in the area.
"Have any of the citizens evacuated somewhere or have they all decided to hold up in homes?" of course being from the city Suishoku was first to ask the two samurai. Both looked at each other a bit until one of them finally spoke.
"The Maeda, and those that are loyal to them, as you know are not the type to hide from confrontation." and with that the samurai turned his head a bit. It was a simple gesture that said a thousand words. The Maeda clan was one of the top two military clans in the country, and while many who lived in their territory did so to feel protected, the people of the area had a long reputation through out the Japanese countryside as being bullish and confrontational. Even now with a suicidal army approaching the city that spirit was still the essence of the Maeda clan's territory, and the people who chose to reside within it. A lot of the citizens weren't samurai, but no doubt even now sat at home checking what they had that could be used as weapons and boarding up the shops and houses. This would be a brawl in the streets if it needed to become one.

The next question was posed by Mirai about how long the battle would take. Again both samurai looked at each other then at Mirai.
"We have no way of knowing. The Ikko are fierce, but so are we. It could be an hour, it could be days." one of them responded. It was impossible to truly know since they current weren't sure just how hard the ikko would hit them.

"What are your enemies numbers, and our own respectively? Have they attacked before, and if so... how? Will we be fighting on several fronts or on just one?" Yuna quickly asked.
"Also... where do you need us most?" one of the samurai nodded a bit at the students.
"I see you have all learned not to go into a battle unprepared. I am impressed. Now in regards to your question, we can't say for sure about the enemy's number. The Ikko war band heading towards our city was likely either a distraction or a warning. They have been hiding in the mountains West of the Takeda's lands. It is hard to say. As for our own forces, we have roughly 400,000 people living in the city right now. Most of which are prepared to fight. In regards to the amount of samurai we have, about 120,000. the Uesugi are also bringing 30,000." with that he took a moment to breath before continuing.
"In regards to the city, we have two major roads. One of which the Uesugi will come on, and the other which we believe the Ikko will come on. You all won't be meeting them outside of the city. A large brawl outside the city leaves the city itself too vulnerable. You will all be going towards the middle of the city, south of the Maeda clan's castle to guard the heart of the city and the path to the Maeda clan's home."

The final question came from Nao
"What secrets do Kanazawa hide?" and with that both samurai looked deeply offended by the boy's choice in words. No samurai would ever tell the secrets of a clan or their home base of operations. Even when death was knocking. Nao's question left both feeling insulted for a moment as they responded.
"Please understand we can't reveal such things."
"We are retainers of the Maeda. A houses' secrets are not to be shared." and both bowed politely in apology. It felt wrong to be so rude to people coming to help them fight, but at the same time rules and honor meant everything to a samurai.
"All you must know is that Kanazawa needs protecting, and we fear the Ikko may sneak into the city. That is why instead of meeting them outside and hoping the city makes it through we have already started gathering resources to rebuild and are fortifying the city proper." then they both sighed as one of them looked at the students with very serious eyes.
"We don't believe the Ikko are coming for the Maeda clan in particular, or even Kanazawa. We believe they are attacking as a sign of how powerful they feel. The Maeda clan control half of the Shogunate's national military. If the Ikko can kill even a quarter of the Maeda clan's family members it will show that even battle hardened samurai are easily killed. This entire march on Kanazawa is a propaganda campaign and direct display of the arrogance they posses. We can' not let this stand."

The train would keep going for quite a few hours until finally going inside a large city.
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In the distance the beautiful castle of the Maeda could be seen. The only one familiar with it's interior would be Suishoku from the times she had been summoned by the clan to talk about her relic and Edo Bugei.
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For one of the most powerful clans in the county it was a shocking small castle. However if anyone asked the two samurai escorting them it would be explained that no one dared to attack the Maeda, and the Maeda refused to put themselves too far above the people that lived around them. All around the castle beautiful cherry blossoms could be seen.

As the students departed the train they would be able to look around and see numerous windows boarded up and shops closed and gated. Outside the shops nervous citizens holding farming equipment and heirloom weapons stood a bit shaky. The climate in the city was already tense as crowds gathered and chatted and cheered and roared. While the air was tense it was far from repressive. Instead the people seemed decidedly ready. It would take a minute for all of the students, save of course for Suishoku, to realize that in fact the people standing the streets weren't shaking and tense from fear. They all had been prepared for war.

"This is what the people of Kanazawa are like." one of the guards said as the other turned.
"Is everyone prepared? If anyone has friends and family to see or battle preparations you need to make please inform us now." and both samurai seemed to turn and look at Suishoku.

Hakaio
Shoy
Alida
Nobuyumi
Kajowwojak

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

Tagami Yumiko
The adorable poet girl who hates war.
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Alida
 Posted: Mar 15 2017, 10:18 PM
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Some time into train ride had passed was where their questions were briefed while the sprawling lands of the Takeda, sadly, remained ignored. The meeting with the two Maeda samurai took up most of their time to answer questions they had of the situation. The answer they gave Suishoku was, at best, something she kinda hoped wouldn't happen for a change. The Maeda are a proud clan that by extension, so too were its people. She let out a mild sigh and turned her head away as well. This would be the case for her family. Her Grandfather being a retired fireman would be the most stubborn of the bunch to go for it. He'll likely have some old gear at home to use as well. As for her Father, he's got his youth and would likely take the time to board up his store and the family home before lending an arm. hopefully he buried funds for the rebuilding. Suishoku hoped but equally know there was going to be one of his best sake's sitting with it. As for her mother and cousin Masaru; mother would likely join of with the women's neighborhood league or with the ladies working with the textiles. Masaru, being a youth, would get spurred along with the men of the family. Her warning instructions may have been for naught which made her heave a slightly annoyed sigh at what her family would do while she is hypocritically going to war all the same as a Maeda citizen.

"I pray we be as smart as we can about this,"
she sighed and went to focus her thoughts on how the monks behaved back at that mess of an escort during Higan-E. She would stay to listen to the rest of the questions and answers given to the rest of the students present. Their current knowledge felt bare. The Maeda and its people were in the hundred thousands by numbers alone. Their station was the guard the castle while the city itself will be allowed to become a battle zone. Uesugi members will be arriving by one road and that is assuming the monks take the other that it closer from the mountains after avoiding the open plains this whole time. There is a boarder line of mountains trailing between them and Edo anyway that would leave them fairly pocketed against the coastline. Without knowing their true numbers would make ti a guess of this battle stalling for time.

Ignoring the rude question about just asking the secrets to be handed over to them, Suishoku leaned against the side of their train car to think all this over. It was then did her phone started to rattle. Confused on who would be trying to contact her now, Suishoku took it out to read it over. A message from Yumiko reading simply to protect her family. So she does have family there... She thought. Her head turned to speak with the samurai just to catch Nobu doing the same with his phone. Yumiko contacted him as well? It was the only conclusion to have their phones go off at the same time. When the questions were taken care of, Suishoku walked over to ask once more. "My friend is poet who had their family move here from Kyoto. I'd like to see how they are and what they wish to do of the situation. My friend requests that they are protected and safe guarded. Is it possible, at the least, to have this arranged in some way?" She wasn't sure they could make this possible from how far off their were but it an attempt to get this out in the open till arrival.

After this briefing, Suishoku put away the phone and headed to the car to meditate on this now. If Nobu attempted to approach her then, or anyone for that matter, all she could tell them was, "We'll talk later once this is over." She needed time to run all this over but one thing for sure was this; she didn't want Nobu to come to her home during war time.

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Once they arrived at Kanazawa, it was beautiful as it could ever be during spring. It's about this time did the sakura started to make their sweep across Japan from the southern portion to the north. Kanazawa was almost like a smaller distant cousin of Kyoto with its gardens and old buildings next to the main city style buildings. It wasn't as large as the ones in Edo though. Small canals would run through along the streets and throughout the area with their main Asano river leading out to sea. Suishoku signed at the sight and the mild peace it brought while lined with citizens up front all armed with what they could have. Each and every one of them showing the signs of determination.

With the final note if there was anyone they needed to see before going their separate roles, Suishoku walked over to the samurai with her two requests. "I'd like to visit my family and a few friends, if they are still here, before going to the Castle but I would ask about a friend's family." She took her phone to show them Tagami Yumiko in her listings. "Is there a way to get a hold of them to see to their protection?" Suishoku had no idea of what Yumiko's parents were like or if they too wanted to protect their new home. If they did wish to, Suishoku had fears to be unable to complete their request given the circumstances but she also didn't want Yumiko to lose more people close to her after what happened to Masumi. After saying this, she put away her phone to share a grave warning that needed to be given before everyone goes to fight their separate battles.

"Please remind the people to fight valiantly, not carelessly. These monks will use any means to kill. Suicide by self destruct even. I don't want to see my neighbors throwing themselves at the enemy who will gladly welcome the invitation for their own sick intents."

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Elite year, Yuubae Suishoku__Honda Mikazuki, 2nd year
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Kajowwojak
 Posted: Mar 16 2017, 02:16 PM
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Nao did not respond immediately upon the retainers refusing to disclose the information he had requested, his face blank and eyes hollow. he knew that everyone else, especially the girl from the area, were upset with him.

After the train had stopped and everyone was getting up, Nao showed the only hint of his anger when he used his hammer as a support to get up, but hitting the floor hard enough to create a half inch imprint of his hammer in the metal floor of the train. When they got off, there was a scenic view of the area and the castle. One that, in any other circumstance, would be beautiful. but not through the lens of people going to war. As he stood by the retainers, he spoke, somewhat, with the intent that everyone in the group could hear him, but not the crowds of people who called this place their home. He spoke in a voice that was not his own, more like he was imitating a storyteller from a past era.

A farmer who wants to protect his chickens. He goes to a hound master, and asks for his most honest, obedient hound. The next morning, the farmer sees the hound sitting infront of the chicken coop, but inside there is blood and 2 missing chickens. Thinking the hound killed them in the night, he had the dog killed, and went back to the hound master, demanding a new dog in compensation for his lost chickens.

This happened 2 more times before the Hound master, upset that his hounds are being killed and his name dragged through the mud, went to the farmer's house to see exactly whats happening itself.

He saw the farmer instruct the hound to sit in front of the chicken coop all night, and attack anyone who approaches the entrance.

He then sees a fat fox slink up behind the chicken coop, and then escape with a chicken in its mouth.

Come morning, when the enraged farmer came to execute the animal, the Hound Master stopped him, and directed him to the back of the hen house, where there was a small hole, big enough for a hen, or a fox, to sneak through.

"How can you expect my hounds to protect your hens, if you don't tell them about the backdoor"


His face was as emotionless as ever through the whole story, finally turning away from the view, back to the retainers. "I do hope no hens get eaten by sly foxes, because the farmers didn't tell the hounds about the back door." He stated, as though trying to drive home his points. Of course, if they wanted to, he was probably well within the territory of being cut down by those retainers... but they wouldn't do it in front of the civilians. They wouldn't show the innocent people of Kanazawa the students from Edo Bugi, only to cut one of them down immediately. Later, he was sure to have repercussions to deal with, but currently, he was more interested in making sure he was as informed as possible.

The Retainers wanted to know if they were prepared. His parable told them they were not. If only they were willing to listen. After all, the Ikko has clearly shown themselves to be sly foxes. Nao did not want to be cut down like a dog.

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Shoy
 Posted: Mar 19 2017, 05:27 AM
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Mirai glanced out the windows as she listened to the two samurai answer everyone's questions. She let out a little sigh as they answered hers. Yes, it was an answer that made sense, but she wished she could give Fukumi - and Akane, and Yuki - a better answer than she’d been able to the night before.

She did appreciate that the others had come up with intelligent questions, though. She hadn't realised until they’d asked each question that she wanted to know the answer to each, but want to know the answer she did. Well, maybe except that one about secrets; she wasn't sure why they’d need to know the city’s secrets, she hadn't even thought that the city had secrets, but maybe there was something the boy who’d asked the question knew that she didn't, or maybe he was just trying to get the best possible understanding of the city that would soon be their battleground.

As for the rest of the questions, they built up a clearer picture of the battle they would fighting, and how and where they would fight it. Most of the citizens were apparently still in the city - Mirai didn't understand why they hadn't evacuated; the samurai had given “pride” as the reason but she didn't think that was a good enough excuse to risk your life - so that would make this a battle they couldn't afford to lose, for the sake of the city’s residents. Though it seemed those residents were not who they would be protecting, per se, but the castle and the Maeda clan itself. It was worrying that the enemy numbers were still unknown, but at least it seemed that their side would have a decent number of troops… 150,000 samurai (if her calculation was correct) was not an insignificant number, plus the 400,000 residents that were willing to fight, even if she felt uneasy about ordinary citizens just going into battle and hoped that the samurai alone would be enough to hold the Ikko off.

Then again, she didn't feel particularly unlike an ordinary citizen, so maybe the point was moot.

When they arrived in Kanazawa, Mirai couldn't help but gawp at how beautiful it was, and she felt an absurd - and, considering the situation, really rather inappropriate - thrill simply at being somewhere she’d never been before and seeing something new. The cherry blossoms in full bloom, the elegant architecture of the castle, all of it was brilliant. However the beauty belied the truth. After they disembarked the train, they could see shops and houses closed and boarded up and many of the people held weapons both real and makeshift. She could see that a couple of the people gripped their weapons so tightly that their knuckles turned white, and a few more held them shakily. It's unfair that these people feel compelled to fight. They should have been sent away where they would be safe, Mirai thought. It didn’t occur to her that residents’ reaction was not out of fear but out of a willingness and readiness to fight, and as such the samurai’s comment about the people of Kanazawa had her frowning in confusion.

And the boy's story about the farmer and the chickens only had her frowning more deeply. What was this all about? It didn't make sense to just be randomly telling a story; there must have been some point to it, but Mirai couldn't initially see it. (She had never been too good with metaphors, after all.) It was only when she remembered his earlier question on the train about secrets that she made the connection about what he was trying to say with the story. She looked at the boy. Truth be told, she kind of agreed with his point now; if there was anything that might put people in danger, it was something they ought to know about so they could better protect everyone. At the same time though, the samurai had already given the students a short briefing, and if there was anything in particular they needed to know, wouldn't they already have said something about it? She trusted that they would tell them if there was anything they needed to be wary of. Mirai glanced at the samurai. She didn't want to create any kind of conflict or argument or fuss by too strongly agreeing or disagreeing with boy so all she said was, directed at the two samurai, "I don't know if we would have to know about any, um, 'back door', as long as you make sure that someone is protecting it, right?"

The samurai warned them about battle preparations, and this sent Mirai's thoughts into a spiral. Had she made sure her weapons were cleaned and sharp? Yes, she had back at Edo. Were there any other things she'd need or need to do that she'd forgotten? No, she couldn't think of any, but then again if she'd forgotten, she'd forgotten, and why would she suddenly remember now. Friends and family? There were Yuki, Fukumi and Akane, but she'd called them yesterday and she saw no need to call them again. She belatedly realised that she hadn't informed her parents about this whole going to war thing but thought, oh well, and shrugged a little to herself. Her stomach felt like it wriggled: she felt obliged to give them a call and let them know what was going on, but how was she supposed to break that news to them? There were no words Mirai could think of that would explain it properly in a way that wouldn't cause an argument so she chose no words at all.

Mirai drew in a sharp breath. "I'm ready," she said with a nod to answer the samurai's question.

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Nobuyumi
 Posted: Mar 21 2017, 07:38 PM
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Nobuyori didn't dare speak to Suishoku right now. She must have had a million things on her mind. He knew now wasn't the right time, but he would at least stay close to her, and have his spells ready if she was in danger. This was her home, and he couldn't begin to imagine how stressed she must be right now. Instead he was about to focus on protecting Yumiko's family. That was until Suishoku beat him to it. Pausing halfway towards the Maeda clan samurai he stopped and took a breath. He was focused on Suishoku, but that isn't what he needed to be focused on right now. He was about to enter another fight for his life, against people that had already nearly murdered himself and other high level combat students.

Even so, with all this in mind, he couldn't take his eyes off of her. Looking around the city it was almost unnaturally beautiful. The city had little fortification and instead seemed a blissful and pure city. Looking around the buildings and roads seemed well maintained, and the trees looked lovely. It was clear that such a city put even the Azai's main base to shame. Being under the protection of one of the strongest samurai clans the people in the area likely never had to worry about attack before now.

As the more combat focused students seemed to try and pry info about the Maeda clan from the samurai Nobuyori instead looked around more and more. He wanted to find defensive areas. Places he could easily move enemies or allies into and create walls. He was a far more defensive fighter than offense, and he needed to see how best he could make places to hunker down if need be. Fortunately the buildings seemed maintained, but the people's apparent desire to fight would be a problem.
"We definitely need to make it clear to the people that they aren't samurai." he said as he removed his naginata from his back and checked it one more time, slicing it twice through the air for good measure.

--------------------
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: Mar 21 2017, 08:41 PM
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NPC Post

As the students got ready for war they would each be handed a map. The City was split int he following ways. Three gates existed in the south west, south, and south east. In the west and northwest was the area for nobility and artists. In the middle of the city was the general population. In the east and northeast of the city was mostly training facilities and such, with the North of the city being offices and the Meada clan's estates. Yumiko's family would live in the northwest, and Suishoku's in the middle of the city. The students currently also stood in the middle of the city near the Maeda's castle.

With all of the students getting ready Suishoku was quick to ask about seeing her family, and about Yumiko's own family. The two Maeda samurai looked at each other as though having a psychic conversation then looked back at Suishoku.
"the Tagami and Yuubae families, belong to two people very important to our provinces. Yourself, Yumiko-chan. It is understood that if anything happened to your families it would be unforgivable. Both families have been moved to the Maeda clan's main castle. Unfortunately, we quickly rushed you and Ms. Yumiko's families out to the castle. Your home has been boarded up, but we didn't have time to move any posessions beyond what your families could carry. Please forgive us." and both gave a deep bow to her. In short, it meant that her family's business was still very much in danger, as was Yumiko's home, and in fact every home within the city proper.
"Lord Maeda has asked us to make sure you know they are safe. If you wish to go see your family that is fine, but we would prefer it be brief as we don't know when the enemy army will arrive." they explained. Suishoku would of course know the way towards the Maeda clan's castle in the distance. Naturally the guards would know who she was, but she would definitely need to run of grab a bike from one of the locals if she hoped to reach the castle with any kind of swiftness.

In the mean time Nao gave a long story about foxes and hen houses as Mirai replied with ""I don't know if we would have to know about any, um, 'back door', as long as you make sure that someone is protecting it, right?" followed by Nobuyori's input of a more practical concern.
"We definitely need to make it clear to the people that they aren't samurai."
but the next voice to respond would be one that none of them would recognize.
"I couldn't agree more." said one of the Maeda samurai.

"We would like you students to Guard the lower part of the city. We will have an army outside fighting the enemy, but we need to be ready in case any enemies slip through the gates and into the city proper. Have no worries, Ms. Suishoku will be told the same and will meet you shortly. From the outbreak of battle you should have plenty of time to get in the back of vehicle generously provided to you by our lords, and get to the southern part of the city." it was then that a loud roar would break the air. Various war cries could be heard. As the people in the area began to ready weapons and look anxious the Maeda agents in the area told the people to calm down.
"That is just our men preparing." they re-assured everyone.

A large SUV with the Maeda clan's crest then arrived as the doors opened for the students to get in.

Hakaio
Shoy
Alida
Nobuyumi
Kajowwojak

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

Tagami Yumiko
The adorable poet girl who hates war.
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Alida
 Posted: Mar 25 2017, 01:43 AM
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"I'm sure we'll manage somehow in the aftermath," she replied to the two samurai as they oddly bowed to her so she bowed in return for their assistance thus far. She often forgot that Yumiko was also from the same area given the year gap between them starting into Bugei and more so from the few interactions between them prior to a few months ago. It gave her some relief that both their families are in the Castle's care but in some measuring degree of her own family actually following instructions. The reminder from the samurai made an inkling to the situation where it was better to just see what's going on with her own eyes. "Thanks," she nodded to the guards but had to think a moment of how she were to get there. The station is still a ways away from the main Maeda castle and the streets were lined with people ready to defend their home.

She took out her phone and pressed the corner of it to her chin. Meanwhile, everyone else were given the orders to board up in another vehicle. 'I should at least tell her where they are.' Her phone slid open and she quickly shot off a text back to Yumiko by clicking reply all, also sending it to Nobu without needing to edit out the sender list.

"Heading to castle. Our families are there. Will tell you how they are soon.
-Sui"


Tucking away her phone did she head over to the one other senior student she knew of the group, Nobu, to speak with him briefly. Already his head was surveying the area around them but it may not be much help since they'll be relocated to the lower area of the city. "I trust you'll watch out for them too, okay?" Suishoku spoke with much faith in her friend after having survived the earthquake and their own encounter during Higan-E. He felt like the only person she could turn to but her hands kept curled around her phone to force herself to keep focused on what's happening here and now. "That girl, Mirai, is pretty new. Don't get too hard on her if things get difficult," she wanted to add. Nobu may have noticed as well that their group is a mixed batch of those looked ready to jump in the fray and those who didn't share the same enthusiasm that greatly. "It's a lot to ask but don't get too reckless till I get back. I'll try not to take too long." Nobu's talents were defensive to match his nature after all. She just hoped that she won't find him injured again as before. The girl smiled as best she could once the Maeda vehicles had arrived.

"Mirai! You be careful, kay!" Suishoku would call to the girl before one of the Maeda agents beckoned for her to board a separate vehicle provided for her immediate transport to the castle. She paused to look at the group once more before climbing inside and the drive sped away.

Briefly she watched the crowd pass her by from the window at the somewhat familiar faces that sprinkled the area. The sort of people she's seen visit her dad's business, former classmates, people her grandfather knew when he was still in the fire department. It was strange seeing them all again like this that didn't invoke the kind of anxious feelings she would have thought to have coming home and her home soon to be a war zone. In fact, the more she saw the look in their eyes did she not want to see them at all. 'It's that kind of stubbornness that could get them killed', were her thoughts which called forth how Masumi died. He wanted to die the way he did rather than being on his sick bed. It took her awhile to come to terms with his wishes and that it may have been for the best rather than his illness taking him. 'We are parts of the Maeda though...it should come to pass that we choose when to die just as the mighty warriors protect our homes.' She thought grimly with hands clasped tightly during the car ride. While those around her may agree that this may be the place to die, their time and moment of honor to do so, she wanted to use her stubbornness to live. 'My future may not completely be my own but, if I haven't chosen to die before, I still won't choose to do that now.'

--------------------

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Elite year, Yuubae Suishoku__Honda Mikazuki, 2nd year
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Hakaio, Shiki
 Posted: Mar 25 2017, 12:00 PM
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Ahhh this was no good, people were hurrying into different directions! Yuna just had to watch as the people decided haphazardly that it was a good idea to get seperated in a town that was about to be sieged upon. How should she take care of them if they got seperated?! "I-I- uh.." She didn't actually get to say anything as things were just decided upon, seemingly with the blessings of the authorities. Oh well! Then not! Slightly upset and just plain irritated by this development, the nearly 8 feet tall woman just crossed her arms before her heavily armored chest.

At least they were all in one location... so that was good. Mayhaps she should just accompany her colleague? But she didn't want to intrude upon her reunion with her family and her private activities and ideas. She just had no clue where those started or ended. Her own family was barely anything she had to worry about if it wasn't worry about whether or not she could live up to their expectations. Still, following the little conversation between Suishoku and this... Nobu person.

"I will try to keep an eye on him."
She simply threw in, basically at random, when Suishoku worried about Nobu being too reckless. "If he advances too far I'll just pull him back alright? Maybe you want to tie yourself to me with a rope?" She spoke in an absolutely serious, if gentle, tone of voice. "There should be ropes or chains somewhere around here..." It was a stupid idea of course, but it was at least a way of not getting seperated.

Frankly, Yuna had neither understood the exact point of the little story told by Nao, nor the response of the Samurai. If it was about revealing secret backdoors or anything like that, couldn't they just speak plainly? It was such a waste of time in a situation like this! How could they all be so relaxed? She was worried about them... and they just went about and around without paying any heed! Terrible, terrible clients did that! At least those people cared about their own lifes...

Thus Yuna just sighed a little beneath her helmet, overlooking the scene... looking down at a man with pretty thick arms... that's pretty much where her participation in that course of events would stop. No bike in the world could carry her, she weighed at least as much as that thing anyway, if not more. So... she simply turned to Nobuyori... "So... will you stay at least?" The question was clearly a little nervous. Things were getting awkward.

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Shoy
 Posted: Mar 26 2017, 07:51 PM
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Mirai took the map and studied it as the samurai gave answers to Suishoku’s questions. She didn't bother trying to memorise it; she likely wouldn't have remembered much of it even if she tried. She folded it up and shoved it in her bag for later reference if she needed it.

She didn't pay a lot of attention to what the samurai were discussing with Suishoku, but she did catch that it seemed Suishoku's family was in danger in the city, which only fuelled her desire to make sure the city was protected. Suishoku seemed busy with the samurai and her phone, though, so Mirai didn't bother trying to say anything to her about it.

One of the other students brought up the fact that the people there weren’t samurai, and one of the samurai agreed with him. Maybe they felt some kind of pride in being part of the samurai class, maybe they didn’t want non-samurai to fight; Mirai wouldn’t have been able to say.

Glancing at the map again as they discussed the exact plans in more detail, Mirai nodded slowly. If everything went well, the army outside would be able to handle it all and the Bugei students might not even need to see action. They weren’t there as a primary fighting force, they were there as a backup measure. Unconsciously, Mirai breathed a sigh of relief.

Her head whipped around, though, as the cries erupted from all around, and her hand flew to the hilt of her katana. Even though the samurai reassured them that it was just people preparing for war, Mirai’s hand fell from her weapon hesitantly and her palms were damp with sweat. She rubbed them on her pants to dry them.

Even though the other students were interacting with each other - Suishoku with Nobuyori, Yuna with Suishoku and Nobuyori - Mirai kept to herself and didn't even particularly notice that the others were talking with each other. She was wrapped up in her own thoughts; the people's war cries, the twisting feeling in her gut, and no, you're not scared, you're not scared, you can't let yourself be scared...

She was just about to head for the SUV that had pulled up when she heard someone call her name. Her head snapped up at the sound.

"Mirai! You be careful, kay!" Suishoku called.

Mirai blinked; Suishoku had caught her off guard with the concern for her wellbeing, and she’d been pretty distracted with her own thoughts when Suishoku had called out. She seemed to almost freeze for a moment before a small smile broke out on her face and and she responded. “Oh, right. Thank you, Suishoku. You take care as well.” She inclined her head in an informal bow and hurried off to the SUV.

Mirai took her seat in the SUV and waited for car to start heading to their destination.

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