Having defeated the dream creature we were now left stranded on the dreaming world. Kazanbai still lay unconcious. A spirit converses with Hotsuma and thanks him for his help freeing himself. Then a few minutes later we are greeted by a centuries old spirit. Evidently one of great importance, and a relative of Hotsuma’s. To me he said “It is good you honor your blade so”. To the ronin he says “You should not be ashamed of who you are.” To Kuzuma he syas “You folowed him here? You are braver than I thought.” I feel an almost impulsive need to question the ancient spirit, but the ronin cautions me not to pester a spirit. With a twinge of regret I watch him leave. Think of the advice one soul so old would be able to pass on! Would it not have been the greatest breach of ettiqutte I would have begged the spirit to share some of his wisdom and history. A few hours pass and a smal group of Crab come and return us to the waking world. It seems that Ikrit had informed them of our need. Once again the nezumi prove a most useful ally. It bothers me that my fellow bushi treat them with such scorn. I wil forge a great gift for Ikrit to show him and his clan how much I appreciate their help. Speaking of Ikrit’s tribe, I wonder how long his tribe will be in their own dream battling tommorow.
The crane continued to fortify in my absence and the mountain pass is now well fortified. I am impressed at the speed of the Crane Warriors, and it’s at that time I learn we have been in the dream realm for nearly two weeks. Humph. More lost time.
The ronin approaches me as we march towards the wall. My hostility towards him has waned, though it is a long road until I would consider him a friend. He politly implores me to see my blade. He shows respect, but I tell him that he does not know what he is asking. He also has a responsibility to the Jade Shujenga, one he wants to help our mission in any way he can. Tricky man. Appealing to my sence of duty. I have given my word to the Jade Shugenja to be a little less stubborn and not leaving off on my own again. Ok, so maybe just the latter, but I will not disappoint him again. I tell the ronin that what he asks of me is my history, and my future. As cleansing the blade is an unfullfilled task, one I will remedy before my death. He says with his spirit touch, his ability to see the history of an object, I will not even have to draw it. I refuse and I tell him this is not some feather or fan. It is a weapon of war. If he wants to see my blade’s past he will get it unfiltered. I draw the blade and he moves to take it from me. I shake my head telling him I will allow him his glimpse, but I will not handover my blade. He takes hold of the grip and goes white. He shakes for a moment or two, then falls. I sheate my blade and lean down “I warned you.” I wonder what it is he saw. Will he come back sane? The way of the Matsu is not a subtle art. It is war through sheer force. Perhaps I will learn somethings that have been forgotten. Perhaps he can help me with the cleansing of my blade.