I have very good news, mother—I have now become a man in the eyes of all the other samurai, and the Emperor has decided that my friends and I are going to be Emerald Magistrates! The man I thought was the Dragon Clan Champion was not in fact the Clan Champion, but that’s OK—it turned out he’s actually a high-ranking Emerald Magistrate, and he wants us to serve under him. He says that I may even be allowed to officially join the Dragon Clan sometime soon! I think I impressed him when I captured a local brigand who had been trying to disrupt the Topaz Championship competition.
Speaking of the competition, I acquitted myself well in the rest of the contests. The dueling tournament was hard, and I didn’t win it, but lots of other things went well, like the horse-riding and sword-fighting and even a talking competition. I’m not quite sure how I won that one, but I guess my competitor was just tongue-tied. My friends and I were also the only group to succeed at the “hunting” challenge—at least, the only ones who succeeded despite being attacked by that band of brigands. Don’t worry, we’re all OK—it helps that I can run really fast, which meant that all the brigands tried to chase me while my friends made it back to the Tournament grounds safe and sound. What’s also very exciting is that one of the friend that I saved from the brigands, Uragiri, is now the Topaz Champion (there are so many Champions running around everywhere, sometimes it’s hard to keep them all straight…). Anyway, Uragiri did even better than I did during the challenges; the only thing he didn’t win was the dueling tournament, but he impressed everyone enough that they awarded him the rank of co-Champion anyway.
Unfortunately, there were some tragedies during the tournament too. My Unicorn friend Shinjo Shiko got into a duel with a Scorpion after she accused him of lying and murdering some important diplomat, and he ended up killing her. Which is really too bad, and we still don’t know who the real assassin was. But at least Shiko died defending her honor—there are a lot worse ways to return to one’s ancestors. And there are a lot of other people that I got to know well during this time too. Another ronin, Kamahime, is really pretty and quite fun to be around—I hope I get to see lots more of her. And Shiko’s clan-mate Joseph wants me to visit him if I’m ever in Unicorn lands. Probably the strangest of all, the old peasant man we met on the way to the tournament turned out to be some supernatural bird thing! After our successes in the tournament, he even blessed us with his beneficent blessing—Shiba-san (the priestess) tells me that my antlered kabuto is now “Awake”, whatever that means. Maybe it means I don’t have to worry about sleeping in dangerous places, since my kabuto will stay on guard all night. Usually Inoshi is good at that sort of thing too, but I guess having an extra guard is never bad, especially when there are Ogres running around.
Yeah, now that we’re Emerald Magistrates-in-Training, we are on official business for Kitsuki Kage, which has included facing down a real live escaped Ogre! Alas, I couldn’t get much of a trophy form my Ogre hunt, since he might have been really Evil, and I didn’t want to get any of his Evil on me. But I did get a piece of his huge club. Inoshi helped out a lot in that fight with the ogre—every day I’m more and more glad that I decided to rear him instead of cooking him.
Your dutiful son,