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  1. Kuzen
  2. -----------
  3. Kuzen sits in the barracks, going over a few scraps of paper with a look of concentration and irritation in equal measure.  The Ronin sighs and sets the papers down on a table in front of him and shakes his head, briefly lifting his hat to scratch his scalp.
  4. Kuzen
  5. "No, this really isn't helping the overall situation.  But when you can't train, you read, when you can't read, you plan.  That was the lesson I learned."  He sighed and adjusts his hat, getting out an ink stone and brush.
  6. Kuzen
  7. He begins writing something on the back of one of the sheets of paper, pausing every so often to look over the characters and consider the way they are put together and what has been written.
  8. Kuzen
  9. Finishing up his writing, he gathers up his things and makes his way on out of the barracks.
  12. Shinjo Kurosawa  12:18 PM
  13. The Shinjo had been observing the ronin through a window, at an odd angle that Kuzen must not have been able to see him from. His duties for the day had been done, so in his free time instead of training further he was observing. When Kuzen made his exit, the door was by where the white haired samurai was waiting at the window, and he presented himself as calm and not totally creeping right there. "Kuzen-san." He would bow his head at the ronin. "Have you had your rice today?" Pleasantries first, then one could get down to business.
  14. Kuzen  12:19 PM
  15. Kuzen stops and looks around, studying Kurosawa with perhaps a bit of suspicion even as his hand drifts into his kimono.  "I have, thank you for asking Shinjo-sama."  Then he seems to consider something and nods, bowing in greeting.  "You've gotten better, the last time I saw you was not so favorable."
  16. Shinjo Kurosawa  12:34 PM
  17. The samurai blinked. Oh right, he was nearly dead last time. He idly rested a hand on his side where samurai D's sword had struck him through. "Our enemies have more strength than I anticipate at time." Accursed ashigaru armor. "Before that night, I had not been struck down with such a mighty blow." That blow had led to a domino effect of terrible things actually, but he focused on the physical. "The infirmary here has the best healer I've had the fortune to run into." He considered his words. "Or, more often, be carried to. If you are ever gravely wounded, request the service of the shugenja known as Asahina Kairi. She is the best, I assure you."  A small smile flickered across his lips before being banished as his On fixed itself.
  18. Kuzen  12:37 PM
  19. "Hmm, I think I have met her once before... at least in passing.  No guarantee she would remember me.  She certainly has not needed to treat me, I've never walked away from a mission with the Resistance worse than a few bruises and scrapes."  His mouth twitches, "A sword strike the enemy never gets the chance to make, doesn't matter how strong it is."
  20. Shinjo Kurosawa  12:47 PM
  21. Kurosawa had seen some of Kuzen in action but now he was more curious as how strong he was. But it'd be rude to ask, most certainly. "I do not doubt that it is fate or luck that guides you, but skill and planning." The former he had witnessed, the latter he knew was the most important thing to the ronin. Now it was time for a big old hit of humility. He would bow towards the ronin. "I, Shinjo Kurosawa, would be honored if you could enlighten me to your ways, in practice. I have been trying to plan out in the field but," he remembered the Unicorn mission, "at times my plans go... awry."
  22. Kuzen  12:50 PM
  23. He considers that, "Much of what I do is instinct honed by experience.  Figuring out the dangers each opponent presents, and how to neutralize them as a potential threat.  Some foes are dangerous because they will swarm you, you can't adopt a reckless posture against them.  You need to whittle their numbers down as much as possible before engaging.  Others will come at you with overwhelming strength, you need to hit them before they have a chance to act."
  24. Shinjo Kurosawa  1:02 PM
  25. He tried to absorb the ronin's words but tactics was hard for someone who rushed headlong into every fight. "Every opponent requires a different and unique strategy," he cupped his chin, "to neuter their effectiveness. That must be where I am going wrong. How can one gauge their threat potential?" From a horse, everyone was an equal target. Except other mounted units, which he rarely fought.
  26. Kuzen  1:05 PM
  27. "Like I said, much of it is instinct honed by experience.  Being in a lot of fights.  I look at a warrior and how they hold their weapon, the measure of skill and confidence they have.  There is a depth of practice and experience you can see from a single swing of the blade.  A skilled swordsman can read the intent behind a strike.  Or the lack thereof."  Kuzen arches an eyebrow, looking at Kurosawa.  "But you can start by looking at attack range.  An archer who can shoot you as you ride in is more dangerous than a swordsman who must wait until you are within an arm's reach."
  28. Shinjo Kurosawa  1:13 PM
  29. "If an archer tries to shoot me, they can expect an arrow back." Neglected as it was, he was still fairly skilled as an archer and he was proud of it. But he understood the man's meaning; enemies could be different kinds of lethal if they were close or far. He toned down his bravado before he spoke again. "Simply because of how a man is armed, does not mean they are all equal. But then how do you determine which ones to engage?" A pause. "At times, an opponent will simply be superior to oneself. How do you deal with such an enemy if it is too late to strike them first?"
  30. Kuzen  1:16 PM
  31. "No, they are not all equal.  With time and experience you will be able to tell which ones are more skilled.  However, there will be times you encounter an enemy who is superior to you.  If you can't defeat an enemy on that battleground, don't fight on that battleground.  A good general always plans to hit their enemies where they are strong and the enemy is weak.  If I was to fight a swordsman who is better than me, I'd either change the fight to one with arrows, or I'd fight him somewhere it's too narrow to swing his sword."
  32. Shinjo Kurosawa  1:27 PM
  33. Hopefully Kurosawa would learn which targets to hit and which ones to leave to his comrades soon enough. He certainly went out on enough engagements to do so. "Set up the engagement that one may have the advantage." He thought to himself how he could implement that since none of his fights had been indoors so far. "Like securing the high ground, or keeping him at distance." Both things he could do from his horse. He didn't have to rush headlong at every opponent. "I will keep your words in mind when I am deployed again, Kuzen-san. As well as your previous words to be careful; what happened during the caravan ambush shall not happen again, I won't allow my guard to break so easily." Also no more ashigaru armor ever. But now to why he'd been creeping. "I could not help but notice earlier, you were writing something. If I may inquire, what were you writing about?"
  34. Kuzen  1:29 PM
  35. "You saw that?  Hmph, well I have been making plans.  There are things about the way the Resistance is now that I do not like, and I want to see it change.  Complaints never create the change you want, and are just bothersome to hear.  So I am trying to write down what I dislike and what I want to see change.  With a plan for success, steps can be taken to make reality into the ideal it could be.  Of course, since I've never organized anything larger than an excursion for a few people it is likely I am going to make mistakes.  So I put the mistakes down on paper where I can possibly spot them first."
  36. Shinjo Kurosawa  1:40 PM
  37. "What kinds of plans?" So blunt and nosey, but he was just curious okay. Since he was eventually going to learn how to be courtly, he figured it'd be interesting to see how a peer of his was taking the approach. But so far he had not disliked what the resistance had done, other than the imprisonment of the child samurai; that was quite a scandal in his eyes. "If you have not yet, there are books one can study to learn the ways of court. Even one written that uses the techniques of Sun Tao's. An acquaintance of mine recently taught me that court is simply, another battlefield." Very recently.
  38. Kuzen  1:42 PM
  39. "This isn't exactly courtly stuff, though that may be needed to convince people.  No, this is more logistics and organization.  How to put an organization together, the most I've ever read about that has been broad theories in Leadership.  I have been meaning to study a bit more in the libraries, but it's sometimes difficult to get access."  He shrugs.  "An acquaintance you say?"
  40. Shinjo Kurosawa  1:50 PM
  41. This was also a new side of the resistance he had not yet seen or really known about in depth. It seemed things were destined to get more and more complex by the day. Battle, court, and now organization. Like a diamond, the resistance appeared to have many facets. But learning of these things instead of remaining ignorant was better. The ore you know. Although the library being difficult to access was new to him; who would turn away a person seeking knowledge? But he had never actually tried to visit the library in his short time here. "Is the resistance not already an organization put together? The leaders at the top send down their orders and we carry them out." Was it not so? "And yes. Doji Sachio, a Crane. His words were enlightening while we walked through the garden a short time ago." Sachio had seemed to know of the ronin, but now was time to clear that up. "Do you know of him?"
  42. Kuzen  1:51 PM
  43. "Our logistical chain is not as good as it should be.  And there is the matter of the children.  I am familiar with Doji Sachio-sama, I have spoken to him once before."  Kuzen nodded.
  44. Shinjo Kurosawa  2:01 PM
  45. It was as he feared; things were not all running smoothly behind the scenes. He folded his arms behind his back, a hint of concern spreading across his face. "What is wrong with the logistical chain?" Wasn't that supplies and such? They were eating enough and had enough weaponry, so he was unsure what the issue was. "The children are suffering, but I am unsure of what to do about them. I would gladly offer myself to take one or two into my care, but that does not solve the matter as a whole. A mere pebble to stop the tsunami." So the Crane and the ronin had indeed met. "He is very wise, I hope to be as well versed as him someday. I learned more things than I had anticipated from our walk together."
  46. Kuzen  2:02 PM
  47. "You weren't at Sakana Mura then?  Major producer for our rice and fish, but there was corruption and much of the rice had to be burned and many of the villagers are now short an arm."
  48. Shinjo Kurosawa  2:08 PM
  49. He blinked twice in surprise. "I was at the debriefing, but I was... distracted, by many things." Let's roll with that explanation. "I had not realized it had gone so wrong. We had discovered caches of tainted rice but destroyed them, I didn't realize that the source itself had been sullied." He eyed the ronin. "What happened to the villagers that they are all now grievously crippled?"
  50. Kuzen  2:10 PM
  51. "Some sort of tainted seed or egg thing was implanted in their left arms.  It was controlling their bodies and when they were struck by jade, they arm just burst like an overripe fruit.  Since the arm was controlling them, it seemed tactically prudent to remove the arm rather than kill them."
  52. Shinjo Kurosawa  2:13 PM
  53. A frown. "Why not simply remove the tainted seed from the arm, without removing the arm? A wound can be healed, an arm cannot be replaced." Compassion intensifies.
  54. Kuzen  2:15 PM
  55. "At the time we didn't know quite what we were dealing with, and they were trying to attack us.  If you can win without bloodshed, that is best.  But it's not always practical or an option."  He frowns and considers, "If we had known exactly what the problem was, we could potentially have struck right at it.  But there's no way we could have known the focus of the problem."
  56. Shinjo Kurosawa  2:20 PM
  57. It was easy to be wise after the event, the samurai scolded himself. "That is true. And they are alive, at the very least." He nodded gravely. "I have no doubt you did what you could to avoid such a thing, but bloodshed seems inevitable nowadays when we come against the Dark Kami's forces." Still though, now he learned that their rice production was literally crippled, and that certainly couldn't be good at all.
  58. Kuzen  2:23 PM
  59. "It was not an ideal resolution.  But so much of the situation was unexpected.  Charging straight in would have led to even more tragedy and bloodshed.  Going in to gather information worked for a time, but ultimately tipped our hand and forced us to act.  We strive to do the best for ourselves and for others.  But good people still get hurt, and still die."
  60. Shinjo Kurosawa  2:32 PM
  61. That seemed to be the overarching theme of this war. Good people died, evil continued marching onwards and unphased. "You handled it honorably; I cannot fault you for that." He looked away. Maybe he could set up something to help out the unfortunate souls at Sakana Mura. "Thank you for speaking with me today about such issues; I must take my leave, for I have duties that require my attention now, Kuzen-san." He would bow respectfully towards the ronin.
  62. Kuzen  2:36 PM
  63. He bows in reply to Kurosawa, "Indeed, take care of yourself Shinjo-sama.  If you don't, who will in the end?"
  64. Shinjo Kurosawa  2:49 PM
  65. ((good spot to end for now; we'll have to do more once real life settles itself. Thank you for the scene Kuzen))
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