Posts Tagged ‘this is gonna hurt’

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 Changing Time

Monday, March 12th, 2012

The Emperor, in his great wisdom, has decreed that the sun shall rise (and set) one hour later every day. Since the Emperor is divine, and descended from the Sun Goddess Amaterasu, his decree has actually come true, and the sun has been altered in its course.

This is very confusing to everyone in Kansai. It is difficult to get up in the morning, and difficult to get to sleep in the evening.

For a ninja such as myself, who often dwells in darkness and often has trouble waking early in the morning, this is doubly troubling. I barely managed to drag myself from my bed this morning, and of course, I arrived at Castle Noriaibasha even later than usual. I am very lucky there were no appointments or meetings that I needed to attend.

Akane is also greatly displeased by this. I have heard from many others of my friends, bemoaning the change. Surely, the Emperor must have a good reason for such a strange decree, but it is beyond my limited, mortal comprehension.

In the meantime, the animals go on, unaffected. I see why the sages seek to emulate their wisdom.

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!

More Enemies I’ll Have to Face Soon

Friday, December 9th, 2011

I wrote my last message in a hurry, and so I forgot to mention a few things.

Aside from the Suraida gang in Tōzayokinkōza, Clan Hekoayu has also described a second enemy who are active throughout the city of Bumonrokaki. This group is called the Makitomaru, and they appear to be a very skilled group of fighters. It’s not enough that I’ll have to stalk and scout the Suraida gang; I will also have to be ready to take on this Makitomaru group.

I can only hope that I do not have to engage both foes at once. As a ninja, I enjoy leading a life of danger and combat, but there are limits!

Aside from that, there is one more problem looming in my future. Near the territory of Sanigata, where Bumonrokaki and various other towns lie, there is one large city called Uchimae. In the meeting on Wednesday, Clan Hekoayu showed is their plans for capturing that city. Their strategy is a very ambitious one, and it makes all of us — Kento, Amon, Makishi, and I — rather nervous. We are not sure that it is really possible.

But it would probably involve a fair bit of rooftop fighting for me.

That part is the good news. The bad news is that it might — or might not — involve taking on the powerful crime-lord known as InjūtonoA Japanese honorific meaning “lord”; in essence, he’s calling himself “Lord Injū”. (No, this does *not* mean he’s really a daimyō!)A Japanese honorific meaning "lord"; in essence, he’s calling himself "Lord Injū".. Injū has many warriors at his disposal, and a well-fortified compound where he dwells. He also has many ruffians and informers on the street, serving as his eyes, ears, and if necessary, fists.

A Busy Day Ahead of Me

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Today promises to be very busy. In the afternoon, Seijun and I must meet with some representatives from Clan Seija, our allies who are assisting with some operations outside of Ichimen. I know they have encountered difficulties; I don’t know if we will go out to try to slay the enemies at once, or merely plan.

Also, we have determined that the 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. from Mikawa Province has obtained some enemy battle plans. By lunch time tomorrow, I must kill him and deliver those plans to Seijun and Rajan, so they can effectively counter the enemy’s strategies. But the rōnin from Mikawa will be no easy opponent. He is skilled on rooftops, and a powerful fighter 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.)
.

In the meantime, I also have a nest of Mōjin fighters to deal with… but they could wait until Friday, if necessary. (I think it will be necessary. Even a ninja can only handle so many foes at once.)

The Teitōken Campaign Spirals Downward

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

The bandit from Yoshino is still bedeviling us. He seems to mostly be hiding in the forests lately, outside my realm. Seijun and his team have been far too busy with other matters to even pursue him.

The greatest of those “other matters” is the dire situation in Kurabero-no-Hako. We knew at the outset that we would have to handle a gang there called the Obigurafu. Seijun said his team could take care of them, using a style especially designed for such problems called the Kabachaato-ryūA school, tradition, or style in martial arts.A school, tradition, or style in martial arts.. Unfortunately, it turns out the Obigurafu gang is quite persistent… and the Kabachaato style is simply not flexible enough to handle their tactics.

If we cannot eradicate the Obigurafu, the entire campaign will be a failure.

Of course, even if we can, there are still many other problems. The Mōjin have made a resurgence, and if we do not deal with them, we will be forced to retreat and give up the entire territory — we would otherwise be in violation of the Emperor’s decreethe Americans with Disabilities Act, which specifies that information such as we’re presenting must be available to all, with no outstanding accessibility issuesthe Americans with Disabilities Act, which specifies that information such as we’re presenting must be available to all, with no outstanding accessibility issues. Just as the Obigurafu gang is Seijun’s problem, so the Mōjin are mine.

And still the Ayamari proliferate, and we are falling further and further behind schedule.

I have just received a message from Kento: One of the high nobles will be coming to investigate our progress, and try to determine what can be done.

My suspicion is that the entire campaign will have to be called off… or at least, subjected to a complete restructuring.

A Very Busy Friday and a Very Tired Ninja

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

On Thursday, we finally found a way that Satonori can vouch for me with the armory guards so I can have weapons. He and Haruna are now both assisting me in Ichimen. They are both carving a path of blood and death through the 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.-wielding Ayamari, while I take on the rooftop fighters.

On Friday morning, I awoke to news that the shrine of Amaterasu had once again been occupied by an 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.. I could do nothing about it; my duties to Clan Noriaibasha required my presence in Ichimen. So off I went, to slay Ayamari — and then to be called into no fewer than five meetings, consuming most of my day.

At least one of these meetings was useful, though: We went through all of the assassination orders and target descriptions supplied by the Sōtō Zen monks, and were able to identify many cases where two different orders described the same target. “The man in the green kimono? He’s the same as the kama fighter with a slight limp in his left leg.” “Ah, then we will combine these orders.” When we were done, the number of enemies had dropped from 35 to under 30.

But one of the worst problems is still the rooftop fighters. Before I left the castle on Friday evening, Kento presided over a meeting with me, Haruna and Satonori. We agreed that we would divide up the enemies yet to be fought, and that I would spend my weekend in Ichimen clearing off the rooftops.

Then I left, and did not go home. I went directly to the shrine of Amaterasu, where I drove off the oni. I arrived home late at night, and Akane poured me a vase of sake and put me to bed. The next morning, I knew I would simply have to arise and go back to Ichimen.

When I have time, I must tell the tale of this morning… and then the tale of this afternoon.

Time For a Bloody Rampage

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Okay, targets identified. There are the Machigaeru gang, who roam throughout Ichimen. The Mitsugao, who are active in Migaku and the twin districts of Kurabero-no-Hako and Shiryō-no-Hako.

A team of mercenaries from Hikone have split up and started demanding tolls at all the gates that lead from one district of the city to another. There is one at the great gate between Ichibanyōshi and Keishutsu; another bars the way from Keishutsu to the trio of districts held by the Mitsugao.

The Keshimasu and Soroemasu gangs are battling over Keishutsu; I will end their conflict by annihilating both gangs. And there’s an evil merchant who’s fomenting some kind of conflict between Migaku and Keishutsu. I don’t know what he’s getting out of it, and I don’t care. He’s one of my targets; therefore, he is not long for this world.

Finally, there’s the local Shimasu clan in Denyūmado. They’re small-time, but they’ll have to go, too. All resistance must be pacified.

Even as I’ve been scouting, I’ve already had to take down a few folks who got in my way. The Chitai gang, in Ichibanyōshi, are no longer an issue; neither are the Kōza. For that matter, the Machigaeru may be ready to retreat from here (though I’m sure they’ll just crop up again in some other city).

Let’s see how fast I can do this. The streets of Ichimen are about to run very red. The body count will make Kuwabatake Sanjūrō envious.

Rescuing Our Plans From the Shambles

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

We have decided not to engage the Mōjin in Keishutsu. They will have to be dealt with later.

Having dropped that chore from our schedule, this means: I must have Ichibanyōshi cleared out and ready for Seijun and Rajan by the end of this week. Doing so will obviously require me to finish off our enemies there with 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.. What isn’t obvious to the nobles and Nichiren priests is that I’ll also have to do some serious 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.)
fighting in Kakunin Shiken.

It’s going to be a hard week. And then next week, I need to have Keishutsu cleared of all enemies but the Mōjin. I also need to write a scroll describing our battle tactics for Seijun, so he and Rajan can coordinate their efforts with mine.

Finally, if there’s ever time, Kento and I must pay a visit to the armory and get me some new, sharp weapons. There never seems to be time… but, for this, we must make time.

Edit, an hour later: Of course, I just found out that the Ichibanyōshi gangs have contacts in Nagoya, who are supplying them with arms. I’m going to have to go to Nagoya to stop their next shipments. I hate dealing with Nagoya.