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  1. Shiba Nichie      :          
  2. The short shiba is in one of the common rooms, reading a scroll with an intent look on her face. She seems to have been at it for a while as has a half drunk and quite cold cup of tea besides her. Even the pot seems to be cold.
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  4. Shinjo Kurosawa      :          
  5. Ahah. It'd been a pretty productive day so far. Teaching, possibly offending a whole great clan (since he'd already offended the minor ones), and now another opportunity. The Shiba from before, when he went out of the walls and got himself stabbed, was finally to be found. Thankfully, he was always prepared. He had changed out of his outrageous kemari outfit and by coincidence had the rabbit in his pack. Just in case he'd find her while being out and about. He plopped in front of her in a crouch, and waved his fingers in front of her, hoping to silently get her attention. So what if she was doing something important, he had enough of this rabbit and had to offload this cargo before... something, happened to it.
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  7. Shiba Nichie      :          
  8. She jumps backwards, and swats at the hand with the suddenly rolled up scroll. Doing the only thing that seems half way reasonable in her startled state.. She tries to cadt the spell
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  10. Shinjo Kurosawa      :          
  11. ((LORD))
  12. The Unicorn fell backwards, but managed to keep the travel pack from being crushed underneath him. That totally would've been not good. Why was she praying at a time like this? What business did the kami have with their exchange- His eyes widened as he realized he might be in for a bad time. "Ora, take it easy Shiba-sama." Very proper, if only Koshiro could see him now. He pulled the black and white bunny from his pack and held it in front of him to show her his business. The bunny was engorged now, and very uncomfortable as it squirmed in his one handed grasp. "Your friend has been waiting for you for a long time now."
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  14. Kuzen      :          
  15. Kuzen slips into the common room, one hand tucked inside his kimono, the other holding a bottle of something. He steps to the left almost immediately, standing with his back to the wall as he quietly observes what is going on.
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  17. Shiba Nichie      :          
  18. The kami, as kami does.. Answers the prayer. And there is a rain of sticky, freshly boiled rice at eating temperature falling all over the Shinjo. The bunny suddenly gets a totally different priority and squirmed to get to the food.
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  20. Shinjo Kurosawa      :          
  21. ((... do i need to do a grappling or animal handling roll to keep it from escaping grip))
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  23. Shiba Nichie      :          
  24. "oh! Shinjo sama. Im so, so sorry! Oh dear!"
  25. (i think you can win. Even agaist a hungry bunny. There is rice on your hands too. And it's head. And well.. Everywhere?)
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  27. Shinjo Kurosawa      :          
  28. ((I'll do TN        , just for the combo of rice blast and hyped bunny))
  29. He closed his eyes and braced himself for the worst. That nakodo phoenix probably set this all up, placing the Shiba here to teach him a lesson in not taking their offer straight away. The impact came, but it was... not painful at all. It was sticky, warm, and everywhere. Kinda felt like being covered in rice. His steely grey eyes opened and lo and behold, he was blasted by rice. He thanked the Kami that it wasn't anything else. The fat bunny kicked and fought at his wrist, twisting and squirming to try and get at the food, but his hold was firm. This was fine, it's fine. "...Forgive me for intruding upon your studies, Shiba-sama. I did not mean to surprise you." His voice was a bit dour, but he began to wipe away the rice on his face with his free hand. "Chibiusa here is excited to be with you once again. Please, please" he couldn't emphasize that enough, "take her from me."
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  31. Kuzen      :          
  32. "If you're going to take someone by surprise, make sure it's a decisive move to take them out of the fight. Or to seize the moment to win." He takes a pull from his bottle. "Otherwise it just turns into a mess."
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  34. Shiba Nichie      :          
  35. Nichie looks mortified as she accepts the bunny. "oh, you have fed her. Im so sorry. So verry sorry i were a bother. I'll help you clean up. Er.. I must find her a cage. You named her?" clearly the little shiba is flustered
  36. "Kuzen-san. Could. Could you please help me?"
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  38. Tsuruchi Yashiro      :          
  39. (hard to eat something you name Kurosawa)
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  41. Shinjo Kurosawa      :          
  42. The Unicorn couldn't help but pop some of the rice into his mouth. A snack was a snack. "She is not fat. Chibiusa is pregnant." He frowned at the ronin. "I do not think that would apply to a gentle visit such as this instead of a fight, but I suppose I may be wrong." Ugh the rice started to get sticky and cold exposed to the cold air, and felt unnatural on his skin.
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  44. Kuzen      :          
  45. "Help you with what exactly? Looks to me like you're handling things just fine aren't you?" He arches an eyebrow, "Always be prepared for things to turn violent and ugly."
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  47. Shiba Nichie      :          
  48. It is a very bland meal, but a meal still. Probably enough for about      hungry samurai.
  49. "gather the rice or find me a cage.. Or something? Please? Rabbits grow fast and the heimin claim they are good food" she's totally not unrefined enough to eat meat.. With anyone watching
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  51. Kuzen      :          
  52. "How troublesome..." His hand finally comes out of the kimono and he moves to gather up the rice, can't let things like this go to waste.
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  54. Shinjo Kurosawa      :          
  55. The young man would stand up and begin wiping himself off. Trying to find it in his hair later was going to be excruciating. "I was never prepared for a situation to turn sticky and delicious." He shook his head like a dog, sending more rice flying outwards. "I'm sure you can buy a cage somewhere, or build one." How had he kept her, exactly? In a hole in a wall in the stables obviously. "Ask a heimin or a craftsman. That is not my specialty, I just raise animals."
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  57. Shiba Nichie      :          
  58. "i have one out back i think. If that's where i left it" she bows and scurries out with the rabbit to put the squirming animal away
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  60. Kuzen      :          
  61. Kuzen brushes off the rice that lands on him, frowning at Kurosawa. "Would make more sense to have kept the rabbit in the cage and move the cage."
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  63. Shinjo Kurosawa      :          
  64. "That is true." Wise words from the ronin. "Chibiusa is homeless, however. She was outgrowing her old space, so it was time to find her owner as I have many duties than to care for a rabbit, especially the care one will need with a rabbit who is expecting to give birth."
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  66. Kuzen      :          
  67. "There's probably someone around who is a skilled enough crafter to put one together. Only trouble is having materials. Metal's too precious, wood they'll chew up."
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  69. Shiba Nichie      :          
  70. A short while later she is back with a small broom and plate for the rice
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  72. Shinjo Kurosawa      :          
  73. "Thick enough wood would keep it from escaping." Thick like stable or barn beams thick. He began to slide some rice into a pile with his tabi covered foot, to make it easier for the Shiba to scoop. "Rope doesn't work. I'm sure a craftsman would make the trade if you offered them part of the... production, that the rabbit will make."
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  75. Kuzen      :          
  76. "Plenty of people go hungry in these times. Hungry people can be a bit less than picky in what they eat." He takes a drink from his bottle, and examines the ball of rice he's managed to gather up.
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  78. Shiba Nichie      :          
  79. "enough foid and she won't chew the wood, right?" uncertain. Anxious.
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  81. Kuzen      :          
  82. "Rabbits have to chew to wear down their teeth, otherwise they grow too much. Or is that rats? One of the small furry animals at least."
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  84. Shiba Nichie      :          
  85. "oh. Some wood then." she starts dusting up the rest of the rice. "can rabbits overeat?"
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  87. Shinjo Kurosawa      :          
  88. He nodded in Kuzen's direction, and began to self check himself before he wrecked himself and went out looking like a rice covered fool. It was like         % gone. "Hai." He stroked his chin, trying to think. "Unfortunately I do not know any craftsmen who can assist." He kept it alive all this time, she could take it from here. "And yes, any animal will overeat if you give it the opportunity. From horses and camels to rodents and insects." Cuz every animals spirit animal is a pig.
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  90. Shiba Nichie      :          
  91. "oh. How much rice should a pregnant rabbit have then?"
  92. "and. Um. May i dust you, shinjo sama?"
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  94. Kuzen      :          
  95. He shrugs, "I've never spent a lot of time around rabbits. I wouldn't know."
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  97. Shinjo Kurosawa      :          
  98. The Unicorn has probably spent too much time with rabbits, although in the desert they'd be big hares, not this fluff of adorableness. "Rice is not good, grains can kill them." Thanks google. "Vegetables, but a small handful, will suffice. He paused at the offer to be dusted. Guess not all samurai were dusty ass people who couldn't handle some contact, that was the only reason he hesitated. He held his arms out and nodded stiffly at the Shiba.
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  100. Shiba Nichie      :          
  101. (sorry. Falling a sleep here) she dusts off the rice from the shinjo with the broom. Careful to not touch him directly, and to gather up all the rice. "oh. Guess i have to trade rice then"
  102. She bows. "i must go care for her now. Forgive me the mess"
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  104. Kuzen      :          
  105. "Could have been worse, learn a lesson from that." He shrugs.
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  107. Shinjo Kurosawa      :          
  108. He winced as the brooms yellowed straw swept across him. Gentle or not, straw was prickly. "You'll need to trade a lot. Don't give up too much in trying to care for her." Maybe he should keep her at his work. "If you truly cannot find a cage, I can attempt to expand her... Original shelter." He'd rather not though, structural stability and all that. "Take care, Shiba-sama." He idly wondered if she was one of the candidates that had been offered to him earlier today.
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  110. Shiba Nichie      :          
  111. She bows and heads out
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  113. Kuzen      :          
  114. He bows as Nichie heads out then takes a bite of the riceball cautiously. "Kind of you to offer up a rabbit to her, even if you need to find a place for the rabbit to go."
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  116. Shinjo Kurosawa      :          
  117. He smiled wryly at that. "It is her rabbit, I was merely keeping it safe. We collected it from the wilderness on a mission together and she ran forth and simply snatched it from the ground." Remembering that event expanded the smile on his face. "Chibiusa didn't know what hit her."
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  119. Kuzen      :          
  120. "And she turns out to be pregnant as well. Hmm..." He nods slowly. "Shiba-sama's always had a light step to her."
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  122. Shinjo Kurosawa      :          
  123. That was curious. "Are you two long time acquaintances?" An eyebrow was raised. But he nodded. "I presume the father was killed when we fired arrows at the bunch of them. A tragic fate, even for... just an animal." Was it sad? Eh, maybe for an animal lover like himself. He had struck one true, and thankfully it had not made that God awful death scream they did.
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  125. Kuzen      :          
  126. "We've known each other for a year. Found her up north, escorted her here. No sense mourning the father, that's just the karma of a rabbit." He takes a pull from the bottle. "Arrows can be a bit rough on rabbits. Best way to deal with them is to gently pet them and keep them calm then break the neck in one quick motion. Fear spoils the meat."
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  128. Shinjo Kurosawa      :          
  129. Yeah, it was silly to think such thoughts about the rabbit. A bit of irrationality. His arms folded across his chest and he nodded at the ronin's words. "I arrived alone, after a long time traveling from Unicorn lands." That had been a terrible time, trying to find a place you'd never been. "You do not hear the mark of a clan," excellent work detective, "yet you are honorable enough to protect a shugenja on their travels." It was time to pry into people's personal lives. "May I ask why?" Although he suspected the answer was money, but that could've been gained by simply robbing her. And weren't all ronin mindless bandits?
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  131. Kuzen              
  132. "You can ask, and since it may teach you something, I'll give you an answer. She needed the help, she had useful skills, and the road can be awfully lonely." He takes another bite of a riceball. "I've never been part of a clan, but I know honor, and I know right from wrong. Such things aren't just learned in a dojo."
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  134. Shinjo Kurosawa              
  135. The Shinjo was already fairly compassionate, what kind of lesson- oh. That anyone, even a ronin could be compassionate and honorable. He bowed his head. This guy seemed like a good candidate for one of his secondary goals, aside from his lack of clan. That was a big block. "But if not from a dojo, then who taught you? One does not simply 'know' what is right and what is wrong, what is honorable or not." Did ronin have tutors? This experience as a whole was new for him, kind of fascinating and unusual, and the ronin kept sating his curiousity.
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  137. Kuzen              
  138. "My parents taught me. Everything I learned was either taken from them, or a refinement of something I took from them as I practiced and lived. Not many ronin admittedly had the benefit of a family like I did."
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  140. Shinjo Kurosawa              
  141. Oh. Parents. Right, those were a thing that people had, who didn't leave when you were a wee lad. The white haired samurai was slightly jealous, which was irrational and stupid... And yet, he could not stop from feeling that way. "Family is a wonderful thing," he murmured quietly, staring down at the ground. "You must be very lucky to have them around. So many have been lost in these terrible times."
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  143. Kuzen              
  144. "Oh, they died on the day everything failed. It's been fifteen years now and their deaths still haven't mattered enough." He shakes his head bitterly. "Luck can't be trusted."
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  146. Shinjo Kurosawa              
  147. Ouch. The white haired Unicorn flinched at that. "My apologies; I had..." He trailed off. Foolish, for making that assumption. "That is also when my mother and father went missing. It is stupid, but a small part of me hopes they are still out there. Somewhere." His head shook, shaking the cobwebs from brain. "You cannot rely on luck, but you can always rely on skill. That was drilled into me from a young age from my sensei "
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  149. Kuzen              
  150. "Skills a good start, but don't rely on just one thing. You've also got to plan." He taps his head. "Not everything will succeed, but the more plans you have, the more options you get, and eventually one of your plans will be something the enemy can't stop."
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  152. Shinjo Kurosawa              
  153. Planning. Not his strong suit. He often dove headlong into the fight, striking fast and quick. It had carried him this far, but how long could that last? The thinking he would leave to others. "I am no master tactician and am worthless when it comes to plans," the Unicorn admitted. "I trust in the tacticians, and in turn they must trust that my ability will be enough to carry out their orders. A symbiotic relationship." Although the idea of being able to break through any opponent eventually, did sound good. Maybe he should become more engrossed in tactics and further himself as a warrior, a bushi, than just remaining stagnant as a soldier.
  154. ________________________________________
  155. Kuzen              
  156. "I'm not talking about a grand strategy. A plan can fall to pieces, so you can't rely on it when the fighting starts. But you have to look at your options and keep them open so you can always make choices in the moment. If you cannot make choices, you have only one path forward and your foe will be one step ahead of you or more."
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  158. Shinjo Kurosawa              
  159. But could they out-think what they could not hit, or react to? His thoughts dwelled back to his fight with Jomei and how even with a brutal first hit, the mointain of a man did not go down and could have struck back if he had not zipped around so much. Jomei should also take this advice. "In the moment, it feels like I cannot think. I am lost to my instincts, and I am become the sword." He leaned back. No, that wasn't quite true. He had plenty of time to panic and use the same attacks over and over in his duel. "I've never thought about outhinking my opponent. Just outspeeding them has worked for me, for the most part."
  160. ________________________________________
  161. Kuzen              
  162. "Outspeeding the opponent?" Kuzen laughs and shakes his head. "Simple enough. Do you know your history at all Shinjo-sama?"
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  164. Shinjo Kurosawa              
  165. He does not know his history as a matter of fact. "My sensei did not teach much history. He was more focused upon stealth and the threat of the dark Moto finding our group. A very suspicious and paranoid man, he was."
  166. ________________________________________
  167. Kuzen              
  168. "Well, I can't and won't fault him for warning you about imminent threats. But it's also a good idea to look at times when your tactics have worked, and when they haven't. Back during the Dawn of the Empire, Shinjo-Kami defeated Hida-Kami by outrunning him. So your victory last night was just history repeating itself. But, Shinjo-Kami didn't win the tournament. Why?"
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  170. Shinjo Kurosawa              
  171. Oh. Wow you think he'd know something like that. But if it had been taught to him, it was lost long ago in his mind. His cheeks flushed with redness, not from anger, but embarrassment at not knowing. "I am ashamed, that I do not know the answer to that." What could defeat speed? How do you beat it? Maybe he should have tried harder to remember this lesson in the past and his fight against the bounty hunter would have been less stressful and more assured.
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  173. Kuzen                
  174. Kuzen chuckles, resting one hand inside his kimono. "Not my usual tactic admittedly, but it is one people will use against you. Take a look over there on the table." He motion past Kurosawa to the table Nichie had been sitting at earlier. "There's something I have to show you."
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  176. Shinjo Kurosawa                
  177. The Shinjo really hoped he was not about to get mugged. Sorry, ronin prejudice was still a bit strong. His eyes turned to gaze at where Shiba Nichie in fact, had been sitting earlier. "What is it? What am I supposed to be looking at..?"
  178. ________________________________________
  179. Kuzen                
  180. Kuzen nods and steps up beside him to set a coin on the table on its edge. Removing his fingers the coin begins to roll. "There are two ways to stop this coin from rolling. The coin is in motion, someone using speed as their advantage must be in motion to use it. So, take away your opponent's strength."
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  182. Shinjo Kurosawa                
  183. Kurosawa blinked at the coin. Did he want him to catch the coin? It was not rolling very fast. "To take away their strength, their advantage would be to... Block it? But that would require being faster, no?" He couldn't think of what the other way could be.
  184. ________________________________________
  185. Kuzen                
  186. "Do you really think that? Put your hand right there." He indicates a spot on the table, taking the coin and holding it in the same starting place.
  187. ________________________________________
  188. Shinjo Kurosawa                
  189. The Shinjo placed his hand right as directed, palm opened in case he needed to catch the metal coin. He tried to think of what this next "method" could be. Maybe he was overthinking it.
  190. ________________________________________
  191. Kuzen                
  192. Kuzen released the coin, allowing it to roll towards Kurosawa's hand.
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  194. Shinjo Kurosawa                
  195. When the coin approached and the sensation of cool metal contacted his hand, he closed his fingers around the coin. "...An ambush or a trap?" Wasn't that just thinking faster but earlier?
  196. ________________________________________
  197. Kuzen                
  198. Then Kuzen's other hand flashes out of his kimono and slams a knife blade into the table not far from Kurosawa's hand. (A          probably doesn't connect) He smiles over at the Shinjo. "Know where your opponent is going to be, or get them to move where you want them to be at."
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  200. Shinjo Kurosawa                
  201. Kurosawa's eyes widened in a flash and he yanked his hand away despite there being no hit, as Kuzen predicted. Damn if the ronin didn't know how to drive a lesson home. "You could have warned-" it all clicked together now. Fast as he could go, if the enemy knew where he would be, then they didn't have to move fast. They just had to be there, and ready. He was a bit in awe, and he bowed his head to Kuzen. He wasn't so bad when he didn't trigger Kurosawa's lost love. "Misdirection. Prediction." Was there a word for prediction when you knew what the outcome would be? "With these, no matter how fast they are, they have lost." He would let a small smile make his way across his lips at the ronin. "I will need to remember, to not become so predictable, and to learn to predict others." He flipped the coin into the air, aiming it to land on the table in front of the ronin.
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  203. Kuzen                
  204. "You were wise to be wary of me, that's why I didn't stick you earlier." He pulls the knife out of the table and tucks it back into his kimono. He glances at the coin, then looks back to Kurosawa. "Keep it, you've earned it." Kuzen gestures towards the coin with a smile.
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  206. Shinjo Kurosawa                
  207. The Unicorn could not help but wonder if the lesson was not over, but the knife returning to it's home caused him to relax. Just a little. His long arm extended and plucked the piece of metal from the table. "The lesson was far more valuable, Kuzen-sama." He said with just a hint of awe, and the littlest drop of fear in there. Just a tiny bit. The ronin did bring up the possibility of stabbings and such. Not such a casual thing to drop into modern conversation. "I am afraid I have nothing nearly as valuable in exchange, aside from my gratitude." Which wasn't worth a whole lot in post apocalypse money. Or real money. But unless Kuzen really wanted to play Kemari or have Kuro charge someone down from horseback he did not have much else.
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  209. Kuzen                
  210. "I have a debt of my own to pay off, this is just part of it. A small sum, maybe even as much as that zeni. But I take my debts seriously, and this is my most important debt." He does remove the hand from his kimono and take another drink from his bottle. "But if you feel you do owe me something, there's something you can do. Won't take long to resolve either."
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  212. Shinjo Kurosawa                
  213. A hand tucked the coin into his purse, and he levelled a gaze at the ronin. He was useful, at times. Or so he tried to be. A short nod. "Name it, and I will do within the best of my ability to complete it. I have all day." So sayeth the Unicorn. Although he was once more apprehensive. What kind of debt did a ronin owe to anyone? Wasn't that the point of a wave man, that they answered to no one? No lord, no responsibilities aside to themselves?
  214. ________________________________________
  215. Kuzen                
  216. His mouth twitches just once and he fixes his gaze on Kurosawa, the eyes boring out of the shadow of his jingasa. "Tell me what you think of Shiba Nichie-sama."
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  218. Shinjo Kurosawa                
  219. That question felt pretty loaded, although it was so simple sounding on the outside. "She is an honorable woman." Wow that was boring, as bad as describing someone as 'nice,' in grade school. "She is an extremely talented shugenja. Without her I would have been far more injured during our mission." That was also lacking substance. "And most important, in my opinion, she is kind. These are all wonderful qualities to find in someone nowadays. The world is full of twisted people who have let themselves go, yet she does not appear to have done so. That," he nodded, eyes in thought, "is what I think of Shiba-sama."
  220. ________________________________________
  221. Kuzen                
  222. Kuzen just scrutinizes the Shinjo for a long moment then nods slowly. "Hmm, interesting. Explains why you'd want to spend more time with her after all." And he takes another swig of his bottle.
  223. ________________________________________
  224. Shinjo Kurosawa                
  225. Wrong traveling companion but so close Kuzen-san. If only you knew, and in a way, if only Kuro knew. "Eh? No, it's nothing like that. I really did just come to return the rabbit. It is nothing like that." Yeah, he was a tough ass samurai with no feelings for anyone, a cold blooded warrior. Wait what did this have to do with his debt. "Do... you owe her money?" He wasn't able to put the pieces together, he was sure he didn't even have half of them.
  226. ________________________________________
  227. Kuzen                
  228. He shakes his head, "No, I don't owe anybody money actually. That's not the sort of debt I have incurred."
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  230. Shinjo Kurosawa                
  231. The kinds of debts samurai could owe out was not a very long list. "A life debt?" He did not know how he'd be able to help with that kind of debt. Pay part of his own life in his stead?
  232. ________________________________________
  233. Kuzen                
  234. Kuzen makes a sound, but he does nod. "Closest I've ever come to death, I was saved by someone who gave their own life up. They have high expectations of me and what I will do with the life I've been given. So, if I can't serve in battle, I'll serve with my wisdom. I'll make my presence felt."
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  236. Shinjo Kurosawa                
  237. It was becoming slightly clearer. A debt of honor, of sorts. Kurosawa nodded his white haired head as well. "How may I assist in your endeavor?" Did he want him to become a pupil and spread his word? Or gain glory in his stead in some way? He had already pledged to assist, now the question was how.
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  239. Kuzen                
  240. "Find a torch to burn back the darkness and call the storm before the night finds nothing. That is the task I have been given right now."
  241. ________________________________________
  242. Shinjo Kurosawa                
  243. A metaphor. He understood the torch part, but to call a storm before the night finds nothing? This was beyond the scope of his abilities. "Are you asking me to become your torch, in the fight against the darkness?" What did the last half even mean? And what would becoming a torch entail anyways?
  244. ________________________________________
  245. Kuzen                
  246. He shakes his head, "I don't fully understand it myself, but perhaps someone else might. For you, I just see someone young and full of potential. But you have yet to be fully tempered by experience. And experience is something I have. So, don't get yourself killed doing something stupid."
  247. ________________________________________
  248. Shinjo Kurosawa                
  249. He cupped his chin, trying to think. But if the more experienced ronin had not figured it out, the more naive unicorn was not likely to either. "Without risk, there is no reward." Not his sensei's favorite saying, but his grandfather's. "But I will not risk myself needlessly. My life is my daimyo's, and the resistance's. You should not worry," honestly you should worry about the overconfident lil Lion, "for I will keep myself in check from here on out." Or, so one would hope.
  250. ________________________________________
  251. Kuzen                
  252. "I'm going to try consulting with a few others, mostly those I feel may be more knowledgeable than myself. But unless we solve this, we're all going to disappear into the darkness and all this effort will come to nothing." He takes another pull from his bottle. "Change doesn't happen easily, change doesn't happen overnight, it begins with the slightest movement and you don't relent when it starts."
  253. ________________________________________
  254. Shinjo Kurosawa                
  255. He stood, eyes not leaving the ronin's face. "When the time comes." His mouth twitched into the beginnings of a smile. "I will be fast, and I will be ready." The Unicorn was definitely relentless in his endeavors at least. "Until we meet again, Kuzen-sama." With that, he would make his exit stage left.
  256. ________________________________________
  257. Kuzen                
  258. Kuzen nods and bows, then makes his own exit to deal with other business.
  259. ________________________________________
  260. Shinjo Kurosawa                
  261. ((gotta peace to make dinner but thank you for the scene))
  262. ________________________________________
  263. Kuzen                
  264. (Thanks for the RP)
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