Posts Tagged ‘him or me’

Going After the Naihō Cadre

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Sakito is sick today. This means I don’t have to coordinate every move in Sanigata with him. Instead, I can just go after the Naihō Cadre and try to eradicate them. Or at least whittle down their numbers.

They are quite professional and skilled. There is no way I can take on all of them at once. I will have to use the stealth and guile of a ninja, and attack many of them from hiding, when their comrades are not around.

Wish me luck!

Later: I have discovered a terrible thing about the Naihō. They are not only active in Zaiseikyōiku… they may be found throughout Sanigata. I have found a squadron of them in Ogaribamen, and I overheard them mentioning their comrades in Bumon.

Luckily, I think the same tactics may work on nearly all of them… only the ones in Zaiseikyōiku seem to have chain fighters; these others appear to be kamaTechnically, a kama is simply a farming tool. It’s like a sickle, or a small, one-handed scythe. Since farmers make up a huge segment of feudal Japan’s population, there’s nothing suspicious about carrying one around. And ninjas like to avoid suspicion.

If you take a chain with a weight or hook on its end and attach that to a kama, you’ve got a kusarigama… much more useful as a weapon, but also obviously a ninja weapon, instead of a farming tool.A farming tool, like a sickle or a small, one-handed scythe. Commonly used by ninjas because they arouse no suspicion — farmers are everywhere, after all.-only types. Or so I hope.

I’ll have to try it, after the mandatory Keitai Team meeting. For now, I must return to Castle Noriaibasha.

Later Still: I have been tracking this pair of Naihō warriors for nearly an hour now, since finishing my lunch. I think I understand their tactics. It is almost time to strike! All I need to do is make sure there are none of their comrades within calling distance…

Even Later: The battle was long, hard, and grueling. I am glad I spent so long observing these warriors before attacking them; they were quite skilled. But in the end, my kama abilities were greater than theirs. Yatta!A Japanese word that translates loosely as "I did it!" or "Yay, success!"A Japanese word that translates loosely as "I did it!" or "Yay, success!"

I think I understand their style, and I can now be confident of being able to take on any of the kama-only Naihō fighters and defeat them. It’s the guys with the manrikigusariA chain weapon with weights at both ends, which can be used for striking or entangling.A ninja weapon consisting of a length of chain with stuff at one or both ends. Generally has weights at both ends, but occasionally one weight will be replaced by a hook. The weapon can be used for entangling (by wrapping a weight around an enemy’s limb) or for a direct strike with one of the weights. It can also be used to entangle an enemy’s weapon with one end, then strike the enemy’s body with the weight on the other end. They hate that.

When the chain has one end attached to a kama, it’s known as a kusari-gama. (Kusari means “chain”; when it’s the second item in a compound word, it becomes -gusari. Similarly, kama becomes -gama in compounds.)
s that I’ll need to watch out for… but they can wait until tomorrow. Or even Wednesday, because Kento tells me there is still trouble in Masugata.

Even in victory, a ninja’s work is never done.

If Only There Were Three Of Me

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Tomorrow morning, there will be a regular meeting of the Kokakumanzoku division. Daichi and Satonori and I must give a presentation on the things we learned about fighting Mōjin at the warriors’ gathering at the beginning of the month. And this presentation must be understandable by priests and nobles, not just fighters.

We are all woefully unprepared for this.

In the meantime, I still must deal with the huge, tireless bruiser in Masugata. And Makishi is clamoring at me about some problems in Ogaribamen… I thought I’d finished everything there? No?

I foresee a long, hard day ahead of me.

The Jōgehyō Are Very Tough

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

I have been watching the Jōgehyō army from various vantage points for a couple of days now. Including watching them train and spar. Finally, I decided I must engage one of them in combat to gain a true knowledge of their mettle.

I waited until one was separated from his comrades, then got ahead of him. I could easily have jumped him from behind, but not everyone in Noriaibasha’s armies is a ninja. Many of our warriors would have to deal with the Jōgehyō face-to-face, without the benefit of surprise.

So I dropped from a roof to the street about ten feet in front of him, said, “I challenge you. One on one!” as I drew my kusarigamaA common ninja weapon: a one-handed scythe/sickle with a length of chain attached to the handle. The chain has either a hook or weight on the end of it.A common ninja weapon: a one-handed scythe/sickle with a length of chain attached to the handle. The chain has either a grappling hook or a weight attached to the end.

The scythe/sickle part alone is a kama, and is a common farming tool. With the chain attached, it’s pretty obviously a weapon, and would be treated as such by any authorities one might encounter.
, and then attacked as I saw he was ready.

After all, I was there to test his combat skills, not his ability to detect stealthy observers.

His combat skills were… quite good. For an hour we battled, blocking and thrusting, chains whirling as we sought to tear each other’s flesh with our grappling hooks. In the end, I was able to take him down, of course.

But it was not at all easy.

The Jōgehyō do not control much territory. Though fighting these valiant warriors would be excellent practice and bring me much honor, it is not an appropriate use of my time and skills. I have reported to Kento, and he has decided that we will tell Clan Hekoayu: We are not going to battle the Jōgehyō. The strategies of the Saitekika campaign should be adjusted accordingly.

Fighting a Rōnin

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Yesterday, I got a rush assignment from Seijun. It seems there is a rōninA masterless samurai, effectively an independent sword-for-hire. A samurai could become a rōnin if his lord died, or if his lord became displeased with him and effectively fired him. During the Sengoku Jidai, things were very loose, and some samurai voluntarily left their lords and went in search of other opportunities, becoming rōnin temporarily until they could find new lords. Some peasants even declared themselves to be samurai, and then went in search of lords to take them in — for them, being a rōnin was a step in their personal advancement plans.

The word rōnin literally means “wave-man”: the image is of a man who wanders endlessly, without direction, like a wave on the ocean. At the end of Pulp Fiction, when Jules Winnfield says his plan is to “walk the earth… like Caine from Kung Fu”, he’s effectively saying he’s going to become a modern rōnin after leaving Marsellus Wallace’s service.A masterless samurai; a wandering warrior whose sword was for hire. loose within Sakai, causing much consternation. He is skilled with the manrikigusariA chain weapon with weights at both ends, which can be used for striking or entangling.A ninja weapon consisting of a length of chain with stuff at one or both ends. Generally has weights at both ends, but occasionally one weight will be replaced by a hook. The weapon can be used for entangling (by wrapping a weight around an enemy’s limb) or for a direct strike with one of the weights. It can also be used to entangle an enemy’s weapon with one end, then strike the enemy’s body with the weight on the other end. They hate that.

When the chain has one end attached to a kama, it’s known as a kusari-gama. (Kusari means “chain”; when it’s the second item in a compound word, it becomes -gusari. Similarly, kama becomes -gama in compounds.)
, and good at hiding amid the city’s alleyways and back-streets.

I tracked him to the Merchants’ Quarter, near our own castle. I tried to ambush him, but he was fast and wily. We spent an hour dueling each other, chains whirling in the late-afternoon sunlight, darting to and fro amid the frightened onlookers…

I finally disengaged from combat with him and snarled, “We’ll meet again!” before going home. It was not the sort of victorious experience I usually have.

Today, I am seeking him again. My skills must prevail!