I have finally arrived at the bustling metropolis of Tsume, where the Topaz Championship will be held. It has the biggest buildings I could have imagined—some of them are over four stories tall! And the temples are so beautiful, much more ornate than the tiny shrines in our village. One of the priests even took me along while she was doing her daily rituals. She seemed awfully wise and knowledgeable about the kami and the Fortunes, though I don’t think she was fond of having Inoshi along. Perhaps next time I go to light incense for father, I’ll leave him outside.
Not only are the temples and the Kakita Academy incredible, but the people are too—even the peasants here are incredibly wealthy. One heimin man we met was offering gifts to the samurai traveling to Tsume, and he even invited us to stay in his home during the tournament. So many people here are so very courteous and virtuous, just as I imagined. When I got to the Tournament grounds, the guards wanted to turn me away, but fortunately Kitsuki Kage, the Dragon Clan Champion, was there, and he told the guards to let me it.
Other than Kitsuki-sama and the nice peasant, the other person I’ve talked to a lot is Kakita Uragiri, who says he’s going to be the next Emerald Champion! He offered to help me with my iaijutsu (sword) training; he’s quite nice for such a brave and influential samurai. It’s exciting to know someone so powerful—maybe he’d even offer me fealty to the Crane, if the Dragon don’t offer first.
Next time I’ll be sure to tell you how the Tournament goes, and which Clan I will belong to.
Your devoted son,