Posts Tagged ‘I think not’

Why I Am So Busy Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

I arrived at the castle yesterday morning, collected my weapons, and went out to Zaiseikyōiku to see how things were progressing. Imagine my dismay when I discovered that Sakito had killed the wrong targets. I gave him very precise instructions, but he apparently did not understand them.

Luckily, the people he killed will not be missed… or at least, their deaths will not be traceable back to Clan Noriaibasha. He has at least that much competence at his ninja skills.

But the people we do need killed are still very much alive. Snarling curses upon Sakito and his ancestors, I set about finding and slaying them…

…only to be visited by Makishi, who asked me to return to the castle for a meeting with Sakito, Kento and him, to discuss our progress in Ogaribamen and Zaiseikyōiku.

I was very good. I did not state, “Sakito is incapable of following simple instructions.” Instead, I simply reported that we still have people to kill, and I am taking care of that today, and I had been doing so before I was pulled back to the castle. After the meeting was done, I spent the rest of the day in Zaiseikyōiku, frantically hunting down and killing enemies.

I have more to kill today. Then tomorrow there is another of those strategy-planning meetings which will occupy the entire afternoon. Before it starts, I have sworn I will have all our opposition in Zaiseikyōiku cleared away.

That is why I am very busy.

Do Not Make a Ninja Angry. You Wouldn’t Like Him When He’s Angry.

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Someone in Clan Hekoayu needs to die. Possibly multiple someones.

For some weeks now, they have been providing us maps outlining the territories we’re supposed to be capturing and subduing. In many places, these maps are extremely detailed. This is no coincidence: It is because we specifically required them to give us very detailed maps. After all, we are the ones who will have to operate in these territories, waging life-or-death battles.

Yesterday, I was in Zaiseikyōiku, following the map I had been given. It claimed that the little alley past the marketplace was an excellent shortcut to the back window of the Iron Monkey inn, one of the more important taverns in town. Being able to sneak in the back could be quite important.

Imagine my surprise and dismay, then, when I went down the alley and found a small building up against the back wall of the inn — completely covering the window. Imagine also that it was nothing compared to my surprise and annoyance at finding that the building housed a group of thugs affiliated with one of the gangs of the town center.

Luckily, they were also startled by appearance. Luckily, I have much practice in quick-draw techniques, and was able to pull out my 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. and defend myself before the first one’s attack could strike me. And luckily, I was able to escape unharmed.

Whoever produced this map should not be so lucky.

I spent the rest of the afternoon checking other details. There is a place where the map says the gap between two buildings is eight feet wide. It is actually ten feet. If I had attempted to leap that gap unprepared, I could easily have fallen to the street below, risking broken bones or even death.

I have reported the problem to Amon, Makishi, Kento — and of course, to Sakito, who is the only other actual ninja in the field, and who is hence relying on these maps just as much as I am. I have urged them to escalate matters to the priests and the nobles, and to ensure that someone has harsh words with Hekoayu.

For now, we cannot trust anything in these maps. It seems that at least nine parts out of any ten are correct. In any ten claims that the map makes, only one is incorrect. But which one?

Red Star, Black Star — Who Must I Slay?

Friday, January 13th, 2012

I awoke before dawn today, to have a meeting with the samurai who will be fighting in the forests as part of a small project that I am assigned to. It is called Operation Iraisho. While she fights in the forests, I must handle some scouting in the small village of the same name, and ensure that there will be no opposition — especially not from a group called the Red Star gang (who often wear such an emblem on their kimonos). A nice, simple operation.

So I have been creeping through Iraisho, keeping alert and ready for any trouble. Along the way, Kento came to visit me. He had a few questions about another operation. When I answered them, I also said, “And things are quiet here. No members of Red Star in evidence.”

Red Star?” he asked. “But what about the Black Star gang?”

As you can imagine, I was quite confused. “I… was told to watch for a gang with red stars. Should I be looking for black ones, instead?”

In the end, I left the village, along with Kento, and we are going to talk to Kaimei, the Nichiren priest in charge of this operation. If I kill the wrong people, it will reflect badly on the clan!

Too Many Meetings to Go to Nagoya

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

I was supposed to go back to Nagoya today. It’s not happening. (Not that I’m complaining.)

Early this morning, there was a meeting to discuss some of our strategies for dealing with peasants and understanding their needs and desires. I could have skipped it and gone to Nagoya… but it is good for me to stay aware of the clan’s larger operations, not simply the things I’m dealing with on any given day. (Besides, it kept me out of Nagoya for another hour.)

After that meeting, I found that there is a minor problem in Ichimen, the city we took during the Teitōken campaign. This problem will not be difficult to resolve, but it must be done very soon. So I prepared to go to Ichimen…

But then there was another meeting I had to attend, where a pair of our warriors demonstrated some new city-fighting techniques that will enable all our various teams to fight together more efficiently. Truly, these techniques are quite elegant, and it will be intriguing to use them in combat. But it will be some time before we receive actual training; for now, we have simply seen a demonstration.

Now that this meeting is done, I have an hour before I must attend yet another one. We must discuss Clan Hekoayu’s plans for our upcoming battle strategies.

I think I will not be going to Nagoya today. I will be lucky even to make it to Ichimen.

Unexpected Victory at the Shrine

Monday, June 20th, 2011

I promised Kento I would go to Ichimen on Saturday and battle the Ayamari more. But as I prepared to leave Hoshiakari, a villager came running: “The oniA supernatural creature. Usually translated into English simply as “demon”, but oni combine aspects of demons and ogres. Like Western demons, they have horns on their head and colored skin (generally red or blue). They also have sharp teeth, which may be fangs or tusks. Like ogres, they live in mountains and wilderness places, and are generally depicted as being larger than human scale (generally about 8-12 feet tall). They usually carry long clubs with studded iron on the striking end, and are sometimes dressed in animal-skin loincloths.Often translated as “demon”, but also similar to an ogre: Humanoid, generally 8-12 feet tall, with red or blue skin, horns on its head, fangs or tusks, and a large, iron-shod club. Usually lives in mountains and wilderness. is in the shrine! Again!”

Again? After only one day? And in broad daylight, for once? This was not its usual style. Cursing and moaning, I went to the shrine. Sure enough, there it was, as large as life and as ugly as ever. Its iron-sheathed club flashed toward me, and the battle was joined!

I had only a small jō staffA shorter version of the bō staff, only about 4 feet long. Often used as a walking stick by travellers in the wilderness or mountains, but can be a surprisingly effective weapon in the hands of a skilled warrior.A shorter version of the bō staff, only about 4 feet long. Often used as a walking stick by travellers in the wilderness or mountains, but can be a surprisingly effective weapon in the hands of a skilled warrior., but I was fueled by my rage and frustration. I struck hard and fast, dodging the monster’s blows. One swing left it off-balance, and I dealt it a mighty blow on the side of its head. It fell down dead at my feet, and then its shape blurred and shrank down to the visage of…

…a wizard of the Hakka clan! Those who invade others’ territories by guile and duplicitythis one seems to have gotten in using a password that was part of the enormous Gawker password leak last Decemberthis one seems to have gotten in using a password that was part of the enormous Gawker password leak last December, only to deface and destroy! This is an enemy I was very glad to have killed.

But has the oni always been the Hakka, wearing a mystical disguise? Or is it truly the case the Hakka simply heard about Hoshiakari’s oni problem and decided to exploit it for his own ends?

Regardless, the shrine must be re-purified and reconsecrated. I have plans for that operation, but they will take some time to put into effect. The Teitōken campaign is still absorbing too much of my time and energy.

Everything Falls Apart

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

The Teitōken campaign is in a shambles.

For all of its history, the Teitōken campaign has been part of the greater, overarching Futa Jūichi-yon schedule. In order for us to meet that schedule, all enemies in Ichimen and the surrounding forests and wilderness had to be neutralized by June 20th.

On Thursday, as it became clear that this was never going to happen, the nobles made a decision: The entire campaign was shifted to the Mitsu Jūichi-rei schedule. This would give us another full month to get everything complete…

…but things are never that easy. In addition to all the foes we’ve been worrying about, there has been a resurgence of the Mōjin resistance movement. We can no longer ignore them.

To make matters worse, the Tendai priesthood is insisting that we capture the suburb of Koyōshi, on the outskirts of the Keishutsu district. Kento is quite upset at this news; he asks, “Where were they during all the strategy meetings? We showed them the maps, we asked them if there was any other territory we might need. They said nothing! Why do they think they can suddenly ask for new conquests now?!”

I agree with him completely, but there is no arguing with them.

Finally, because I am now a full member of Clan Noriaibasha, I must have entirely newI can’t use my previous login any more. I have to switch to a new employee ID and a new user login on my work computer.I can’t use my previous login any more. I have to switch to a new employee ID and a new user login on my work computer. weapons with the clan crest on the pommels and scabbards and so forth. I am sure it doesn’t matter to my enemies if 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.)
I strangle them with has a tassel in the Noriaibasha clan colors just behind the grappling hook or not, but it does change the weapon’s balance and slows me downThis means I have to set up and reconfigure a huge number of things to customize the new login the way I had the old one working.This means I have to set up and reconfigure a huge number of things to customize the new login the way I had the old one working..

That’s not even counting the fact that I spent almost all of Friday waiting aroundAlso, my new login doesn’t have administrative privs, and I’ve been given a new email account that none of my co-workers know about yet… and loads of stuff is still sitting in the old inbox. It’s kind of a nightmare, and I’ll be talking to IT support on Monday.Also, my new login doesn’t have administrative privs, and I’ve been given a new email account that none of my co-workers know about yet… and loads of stuff is still sitting in the OLD inbox. It’s kind of a nightmare, and I’ll be talking to IT support on Monday. for the quartermaster to issue me weapons, and the weaponsmith to sharpen and polish them for use.

Finally, Seijun still has the idea that we will somehow vanquish the previously-identified AyamariDespite our having pushed the entire release deadline back by a month, he seems to think we’re still going to fix all the bugs that had been identified before the date was changed, as if we could have met that deadline. We were going to have a hard time meeting that deadline in the first place, but moving the code to a new branch (which was required as part of the deadline-shift) cost us at least a day.Despite our having pushed the entire release deadline back by a month, he seems to think we’re still going to fix all the bugs that had been identified before the date was changed, as if we could have met that deadline. We were going to have a hard time meeting that deadline in the first place, but moving the code to a new branch (which was required as part of the deadline-shift) cost us at least a day. by the old June 20 deadline. Seijun is deluded. I will have to explain this to him on Monday.

Grumpy Ninja is Grumpy

Monday, May 9th, 2011

Yes, there are Ayamari all over Ichimen. This makes me very grumpy. But, oh Sōtō Zen monks of Clan Noriaibasha: Just because there are Ayamari all over, that does not mean that everyone you see is an Ayamari!

Please stop telling me that people are Ayamari, then letting me discover that they are actually peace-loving peasants who just happen to look vaguely similar to Ayamari fighters that I killed last week. It wastes my time.

And I have very little time to waste, right now. Because there are Ayamari all over the city. That much is true.

(I am starting to wonder if some enemy wizard or demon has cast a spell that is misleading our monks in their meditations. Or perhaps Sachiko and her team back at Clan Iwinaga have spoiled me?)

More Trouble Befalls the Teitōken Campaign

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

We are about to have some very major problems in Ichimen. Jōichi and I have just had a meeting with one of our scouts, who says that the Mōjin army is moving into the area. I will have to eradicate them from Ichibanyōshi and from Keishutsu. According to our scout, a man named Jun-ichirō, the Mōjin are already infesting Keishutstu, and will be very difficult to dislodge.

By the time we succeed in that, they may well have occupied Kuraberu-no-Hako.

In the meantime, our objectives in Ichibanyōshi continually change. Every time I think we have cleared all opposition, the nobles change their minds and decide that yet another group of people need to die. Seijun, the samurai, is getting worried about the schedule; he has the rest of the army’s movements to think of.

I Thought I Already Killed Those Guys…

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

By the end of Monday, I had done well in the Keishutsu region of Ichimen. As per the plan, I had wiped out the gang who meet in a hideout on Kochira Street. So I moved on to Ichibanyōshi and started scouting out the situation there.

This morning, I had a talk with Jōichi, and mentioned the gang on Kochira Street. “No, it should be Sochira Street,” he said. What? I looked at the campaign strategy, and there was bit of a smudge of ink over the first character in that word. And it seems there are both a Kochira Street and a Sochira Street in Keishutsu.

I must go back and find an entirely different gang to hunt down and kill.

Usually, I like this kind of thing. But in this case, we’re already behind schedule, and I feel like: “Didn’t I already kill these guys? Why do I have to kill them a second time?”

The Last Temptation Before the New Era

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Back in July, I met with one of the nobles and one of the fighters of Clan Ōkiten, who are based in Kamishichiken. This clan operates in the same areas as Clan Iwinaga, so my knowledge would be useful… and they also need ninjas with Pagoda Bearer skill.

But they are very busy and hectic, like a small upstart group, and I am not sure I would thrive there.

Today, I suddenly received a message from their herald. It is not simply a request for another appointment or negotiation; they want to actually offer me a position with the clan. I could use my ninja-tōThe short sword most associated with ninjas. Note that unlike the katana and wakizashi carried by samurai, the ninja-tō was straight rather than curved. It was roughly the length of a wakizashi.

The ninja-tō was also generally of inferior workmanship compared to the more expensive blades available to samurai. Even if a ninja could acquire a katana, it would be too long and unwieldy to carry on most missions; ninja generally relied on smaller weapons like the shuriken and manrikigusari, and on more deniable weapons like the kama.

“Ninja-ken” is another perfectly acceptable name for this weapon; it’s like the difference between saying “ninja blade” and “ninja sword” in English.The short sword most associated with ninjas. Note that unlike the katana and wakizashi carried by samurai, the ninja-tō was straight rather than curved. Also known as a “ninja-ken”., not the strangely curved wakizashiThe shorter of the two gracefully curved swords that a samurai carries. Much like the longer katana in shape and style, except short enough to be a one-handed, secondary blade. The wakizashi is effectively the katana’s “baby brother”.

Note that the ninja-tō, the sword most often carried by ninjas, is not a wakizashi. It’s about the same length, but straight rather than curved — and generally of inferior workmanship, as ninjas couldn’t afford the materials or smiths that samurai had access to.The shorter sword of the two that a samurai carries; the “baby brother” of the longer katana. that Noriaibasha would require. I would roam the back streets and alleys of the pleasant Kamishichiken district, and never have to travel to Izumi Province…

But I do not think I would thrive. And negotiations with Noriaibasha are so close to being completely concluded.

I have told Ōkiten no.

And, almost like a blessing from Buddha, a few minutes later I received a message from Megumi, the herald of the Shomei-gumi“group”Japanese for “group”; can refer to anything from a “five-person group” (a common work-unit in Japanese corporations) up to an entire branch of the Yakuza such as the Yamaguchi-gumi.: I can report to Castle Noriaibasha tomorrow to begin my service there.