As mentioned in the last post, the road diverges (without a gratuitous yellow wood mention), and I can travel towards the capital city of Nasaka, or (drumroll) the disreputable city of bridges, also known as…Takahiri!
Aside : There is no mention, by contrast, of the capital city being particularly ‘reputable’? Maybe its just respectable by association… We shall see.
In terms of which way to go – disreputable : that’s me!
Blame it on youthful exuberance.
Exposition dump! Bring on the bullet points!
- I continue straight along the road to Takahiri, which sits astride the ‘White Water River’
- I join the queue of farmers, in the evening, who are waiting to enter the city.
- There is an interesting rule (!) that everyone waiting to enter the city must bathe first, and the ‘poor man’s bath’ is just a bucket of cold water thrown over my face.
- Poor Man’s Bath – Good for hangovers, silly daydreams about Olivia de Havilland and gaining entry to disreputable cities.
- Apparently, I find a bucket of cold water TO THE FACE ‘refreshing’ and stroll through the clean and quiet streets, noting that there are virtually no samurai patrolling the town.
- In an awesomely adult moment, I pass the temple of Zarahrayal, the goddess of seduction, and note the ‘rising carnal noises from within’.
- Aside : How the heck does that work? If you pronounce the goddess’ name correctly, you get a shag?
- After listing to local gossip in various sake-serving bars, I am ‘consistently’ told that a Daimyo’s flag hangs in the Palace of Grasping Stars (!?)]
- ‘Grasping Stars’? – Do they argue about shares of bank deposits? Haggle over orange juice futures? Who knows…
- Coincidentally (what are the odds?) there is a ball taking place in this palace every night this week to celebrate ‘some local festival’.
- There is apparently a contest on, and all competitors automatically gain entry.
- This better not be a contest along the lines of Dancing with the Stars, or I am totally hosed.
Just as I’m pondering various Bond-esque options to get into the palace, I get waylaid in a dark alley by a ‘stern man’ who is, once more, overcompensating with the weapons, since he’s wielding darts, a climbing hook, a sword and a bow.
This dude calls himself Nao (gee, someone’s watched the Matrix a couple too many times) and states that he is an ‘infiltration specialist’, and I’m sure the resulting business cards are just awesome. He intimates that he’s heard I’ve been asking questions about the Daimyo’s palace.
I decide to tell him that I’m just a barfly, here to sample the ‘famed night life’.
Speaking of which, does he happen to know where these ladies hang out?
Whether he is intimidated by my clear ninja skills, or just keen to hang out at a club himself, he moves on, although growling that I should ‘expect no help’ from the Bakuto syndicate.
Well, yeah, when a good-hearted ninja needs help from a quasi-Yakuza mob, I’ll let you know.
Yep, that won’t come back to bite me at all.
I resolve to attend the party to try to attain this flag.
I then note how freaking long the next paragraph is and resolve to pick up this story thread next time.
In a development that may disappoint some of you, my next update won’t be for around 48 hours, due to a social commitment tomorrow evening. Don’t worry – I’ll definitely raise a glass to each of my faithful followers.
Maybe several times.
Stats : All modifiers : 0, Endurance : 20, Inner Force : 2, Shuriken : 0