We head in to Otasan Uchii. Confident in our ability to contact the Nezumi we bear a strait course to the home Bakuryu and had cleaned out last winter. The Nezumi had continued the work I had asked them to continue, but it looked like it had been several monthes since anything had been done. We try to head into the Burrows, but find the tunnel collapsed. We decide that I would work the Forge a little to try to get their attention while Bakuryu would investigate the entrance near our fight with the Oni. Kuzuma proves to be a worthy companion, and found a high perch to keep a watch over the city. Night fell, and Bakuryu hadn’t yet returned. This really didn’t concern me, as he moves slowly when hiding his presence. He returns and brings Ikrit with him. I am glad that Ikrit would be able to join us in our journey. Ikrit tells us his pack is asleep. He relays that his rememberer says they are needed to fight against tommorow. I can not recall the specifics of this tale, but I know it is important to his people. We set off acsoss the city in the morning, with an uneasy feeling settling in. Ikrit tellls me it has been this way for awhile. Nezumi aspect of time means that is as close as I am going to get with specifics. We decide to hold up that evening in Shinsei’s temple near the edge of town. It has been cosecrated, but still our uneasyness refues to leave. During my watch I see a bright flash. Knowing that Bakuryu is out in the city, I rouse our compainions to go investigate. We find Bakuryu quickly as we see him abandoning all his usual stealth and running flat out towards the temple. A piece of darkness smashes into him and throws him into an alley. Chrarging down the street to come to his aid two more shadows peel off to engage us. Figures of darkness, roughly human, but seemly composed of black smoke. My strikes appear to hurt it, but not quickly enough. It envelops me and most of the damage I suffer is from Ikrit’s attempts to hurt the creature enveloping me. Kazuma lights up the area with his Jade Strikes, and though the creatures recoil from it, they are not hurt as badly as any creature of the Shadowlands should be. Bakuyu is wounded greatly in the fight with deep burns on his chest. Kazuma once again proves his worth by channeling the Kami and healing the worst of Bakuryu’s wounds. Sometimes after witnessing the ability of the Shugenja I wonder briefly what would have happened had I been born a Kitsu. Ha! What a sight that would have made. Kazuma heals my calf so we can move faster out of the city. I look back in sadness as we leave. Another place I felt at peace has be corrupted. I wish the Tattered Ear well in their fight with tommorow.
Rejoing our other companions is a less than joyous occasion. The ronin, whose name escapes me right now, and probably will for some time, makes a passing comment at a cage for Ikrit. I retalitate that maybe he should look for a cage for his dog instead. He says that his dog has more of a place in the celestial order than the rat. I tell him that anymore slander against Ikrit and I will put him in his place. Kakita Hotsuma starts up again and just as it looks like I’m going to go through another round with this pompous ingrate Bayushi Ayame suggests that it has been a rough evening, and perhaps we should rest before harsh actions arise. I agree, as I have little respect left for Hotsuma, and none at all for his Ronin lackey. If the Jade Shugenja says he comes, then he comes. I however do not have to like his presence. As I write this we have boarded a messenger ship heading to the Wall. I am intrigued by the ocean, but not enough to lean over the rails. The first part of our journey complete, I hope our passage over the water goes without incident.