As I ceremonially give Mutari’s body a final kick, I realise, in true James Bond fashion, that the guards / ronin will arrive at any moment, and that he who fights and runs away, lives to run away again another day.
I grab what I can only assume is the ‘falcon katana’, regretfully leave my trusty Shuriken buried under the dead body, and race back down the secret passage.
I return to Singing Wind, hand her the sword and gratefully accept the flag of Lemne. This tune plays in my head as I safely store the flag among my belongings.
Aside : Presumably, in my short speech of acceptance, and after thanking the Academy, I make some token mention of the assistance from my fellow ninjas. Their supporting role in my triumph is duly noted.
The four of us return to the palanquin and change back into our ninja outfits. Aiko disappears, after changing into a costume resembling that of a priestess of Eo. Daon and Gorobei also leave.
I can now head in one of several directions, but my interest is immediately piqued by the description of Takahiri as the ‘disreputable’ city of bridges. Sold!
Aside : Are the bridges disreputable in and of themselves, or are they unfairly being tarred as guilty by association? Is it a city with a lot of underground gambling dens that just happen to be near a lot of bridges? I wonder.
After leaving the road and travelling cross-country, I note a piece of white cloth (!) trapped in a tree and flapping wildly. As it ‘breaks free’ I avoid it (I’ve already noticed the ominous sigils of death on the cloth) but it changes course (!!) and again heads towards me!!
Aside : I’ve survived a Son of Nil, Honoric, giant spiders, Yaemon and many other things but I’m calling it now – I’ll probably get wiped out by a piece of cloth.
I can try to set it on fire with my flint and tinder, pin it to a tree with a Shuriken or wrestle it to the ground with my bare hands.
I’m firstly handicapped by not being able to kick a piece of cloth TO THE FACE so I’m understandably a bit hesitant about the various options.
I think hand-to-hand combat with a piece of cloth is a course fraught with danger. Taking the time to light a fire might be dangerous, so I’ll go for the quicker option of a sharp-edged shuriken.
I need an 8 or more to pin it to a tree, and roll a…….7.
Gulp. This can’t be good.
This glorified bed-sheet tries to wrap itself around my head to smother me. It successfully ‘squeezes’ 2 points of Endurance from me. I throw a second shuriken and luckily get an 8, meaning this jumped-up tablecloth is now pinned to a tree where I successfully set it alight and watch it burn, hopefully while sipping some cognac with my feet up.
I collect one of my two shuriken, leaving me with 3. I also note another victim of this creature, being a dead samurai with his katana glued to his scabbard.
I pass numerous settlements and other buildings that are now ruins, victims of the ‘great’ (not my word) civil war.
I spend the night in one of them, and manage to restore 2 endurance points, returning me to my maximum.
The quest continues!
Stats : All modifiers : 0, Endurance : 20, Inner Force : 2, Shuriken : 3