Alright, no more mucking around.
The final confrontation is at hand. Yaemon and I face off, and bow. He mentions that not only did he kill my adoptive father, but also my real father!
Alright, now its (even more) personal!
Aside : How in the heck does this guy know who I am? He’s never seen me before (apart from my juggling act). For all he knows, I’m just a petty thief who took a wrong turn at the laundry. What gave away my identity? Surely my rugged good looks aren’t that distinctive? I know I have a unique birthmark on my thigh, but I seriously doubt that I’m showing my thighs off at the moment. Was he checking my Facebook updates while I was killing his friends? I’ll have to ask him while he’s begging for mercy.
The book kindly informs me that his body is at a ‘peak of perfection’ and that his Endurance is 20. Nevertheless, I’ve defeated every other bald opponent in this book, why should he be any different?
I get a Poison Needles option! I assume it won’t win this (final) fight, but it might give me a head-start.
Yaemon, in what is a fairly dope move, waits until the needle is near his face and then literally blows it aside. While I wipe away a tear, I reflect on the fact that this particular needle was only a week from retirement. Yaemon attempts an almighty kick (while apparently using Inner Force) and I need an 8 or less (two dice) to block the blow. I roll a 5 and a….3. Whew.
Without enough time to kick, I go for the Dragon’s Tail throw, figuring that the wet roof may assist me in knocking him off his feet.
Success! I follow up with a kick that the book confirms is TO THE FACE and Yaemon loses 6 Endurance.
Yaemon 14, Me 8.
Remembering my info on followers of Vile being unaware of the Forked Lightning Strike kick, I go for it, and throw one of my remaining points of Inner Force into the effort.
He blocks the first of my two strikes, but the second catches him, presumably, right in the middle of that ugly Scarlet Mantis tattoo. 6 x 2 = 12 damage!
Yaemon 2, Me 8
I just need one more strike for success. I have the chance to use Kwon’s Flail, the kick I learned from Togowa, the hermit of the mountains. Hoping he’s watching me now (and not a Real Housewives spin-off) I swing my trusty leg.
8 damage! Take that, you father killer! And adoptive father killer!
Yaemon collapses, and, always being a mark for some melodramatic last words, I listen to what he has to say. After complimenting me (bit late for that, sucker!) he mentions that he triumphed over my real father ‘as I did over all the others’.
Well, playa, take that last hollow boast to the grave.
In a suitably mystical note, Kwon then appears to me and mentions that Yaemon will now be ‘languishing in the boiling blood in Inferno’. Did I say ‘to the grave’? Guess someone spoke too soon…
Annndd here comes the sequel hook. Kwon directs that I must now return the Scrolls of Kettsuin to my island home. To give me a head-start, he restores my Endurance and Inner Force. I also get one extra special skill and a promise of being saved by him, personally, at one time of dire peril on my way home. I just have to say “Kwon, redeem me.” Hopefully I won’t be ambushed during dinner while my mouth is full.
After putting up with this monologue for long enough, I ask the identity of my real father (and not “How the hell do I get out of here?”). Unsurprisingly, the cliff-hanger is left intact with Kwon merely stating “It is not yet time”.
Just to prime you for the next book, the last two sentences are suitably foreboding :
“Kwon has departed and you are alone once more. With a shock you hear men’s cries and the sound of mail-shod feet on the staircase of the Keep…”
Triumph! Next a recap, and then onto the next book!