Kitsuki Envesagador Dojo, Dragon Clan Teritori, Month of the Hare, 1117
My new Sinsai, Rin, sayz I haf to rite a jernl to be a gud stewdnt. But I dont want to be a gud stewdnt rite now, I just want to have Kouta-ni wif me. Baba sayz we haf to be sepuhrayted and lurn difrant things. I am suhpost to be a Cortear and Kouta-ni is suhpost to be a Booshe. Baba sayz win we are rede, we will haf a tryl and if we past we will be Samooreye just like Baba and Mama.
ink and calligraphy smudges
Rin sayz I haf to stahp suhnivuhling and phochus on my stuhdees now. I theenk that meens I cahnt tahk ahbowt how much I miss Kouta-ni ehnee more.
Kitsuki Investigator Dojo, Dragon Clan Territory, Month of the Serpent, 1118
During my visit with Mama and Baba, when they came to see me, I heard them talking about Baba’s friend Hanshiro. They didn’t think I could hear them. Baba asked why she didn’t tell him about the visit and Mama cried and didn’t answer. Baba swore and broke his sake cup against the wall. When they left the next day he seemed very angry and didn’t talk to me much. I don’t know what happened, but I think Baba and Hanshiro might be having a fight. Maybe Rin will be able to help me.
Kitsuki Investigator Dojo, Dragon Clan Territory, Month of the Rat, 1120
Baba is dead. Just a month ago he came to visit me and seemed the pinnacle of health and vitality. He teased me about how little interest I showed in history or battle, and how easily he beat me at Go. And now I received a letter from Mama telling me he is with our honored ancestors. An unknown case of wet-lung they said. I just don’t understand how this happened. Kouta-ni received his letter too, his heart weeps with me.
Kitsuki Investigator Dojo, Dragon Clan Territory, 1122
Rin says I will be ready to take my Gempuku within the next month. Kouta-ni has already taken his and of course succeeded wonderfully. He chose to name himself Nobuyuki in honor of his Sensei Nobu. I expect it will take some time before I am used to calling him by his new name. Perhaps I will just always call him Kouta-ni instead…
Mama’s Home, Dragon Clan Territories, 29th Day of the Tiger, 1122
I have passed my Gempuku and Kouta-ni and I met at home to celebrate. We got matching tattoos in honor of our triumph, but they joy was short lived I fear. I received an invitation to the Topaz Championship. Mama was proud and began to recount the stories of our ancestors who received invitations and went on to place in the Iaijutsu tournament. I wanted to be proud, but I couldn’t find any joy. I could only wonder why I got the invitation and not Nobuyuki-ni.
I have to leave in just a few days, if I am to arrive on time. Mother says I will have a horse to ride and Rin is sending me two Eta servants to assist and attend me. I fear I am not ready for this.
Inn of the Wayward Pine, Dragon Clan Territories on the border of Phoenix Province, 19th day of the Hare, 1123
I cannot see the snow. I am still in the mountains, but they are not the mountains I know. There is no snow, not anywhere around me. There are grass and tress, and other things that grow. There are still goats and pheasant. But it is not home. Or anywhere close.
My servants, Ido and Jin have been a great help. Jin knows much about anatomy and will surely be of use in my investigations. He is older even then Baba would have been had he not gone to be with our ancestors in Yomi. Ido is much younger, and though he is not part of the celestial order, he is quite pleasing to look at. I wonder if its some sort of test of my strength that Rin has given me…