You hold Chiyoko as she cries in your arms. At first, you did not know what to do. Fighting against destiny was against your very nature. Your own destiny was to ensure everyone in Creation followed the plans of Heaven.
Yet seeing Chiyoko in pain was unbearable to you. You wanted to help her, but telling her what little you knew would only make her feel worse. You hold Chiyoko closer and rest your chin on her hair. There had to be something you could say or do.
“I can investigate and figure out what is going on.” You offer. What you both needed was more information. Why was Chiyoko chosen for Shogun out of all her cousins?
“You promised you wouldn’t tell anyone!” Chiyoko scowls up at you.
“I won’t tell anyone about your dream, but we need more information.” You reassure her. “I need to ask some questions.” You stroke her cheek and use your thumb to wipe away her tears. “I’m good at asking questions.” You point at your brow. “It’s kind of what I am.”
Chiyoko frowns, but then sighs and nods her head in agreement. “Just be careful.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll figure out what is going on.” You kiss her in the hopes of distracting her from her pain. And to distract yourself from the fear you couldn’t help Chiyoko.
Chiyoko leans into your kiss, but then breaks off. She puts a finger to your lips. “There is something I want to show you.”
“Okay.” You say in a small voice. You would look at anything Chiyoko wanted to show you. Your heart pounds in your chest as you consider the possibilities. She takes your hand and leads you to the front playroom. Along one wall, books and toys sit on a dusty bookshelf. Green terrain and miniature Shogunate soldiers cover one table. Chiyoko leads you pass all this to a brick wall. She moves an armor covered manikin and pushes a brick in. Part of the wall swings inward, revealing a lightless passage.
“The whole manse is filled with secret passages. I found this one when I was a kid. ” Chiyoko rummages around in a side table drawer and reveals a crystal the size of her palm. She rubs it in her hands and it glows dull red – a good color not to affect your night vision. “There is a secret door leading to your uncle’s room. I was going to sneak over and visit you, but I didn’t know if your Uncle is a sound sleeper.”
“I doubt my uncle actually sleeps at all.” You kneel down and examine the dust on the floor. Bootprints. Some Chiyoko’s size. Some larger. “How many people know about these passages?”
“I don’t know. Aiko and I have never seen anyone else in them.” She steps into the passage.
You are sure Elder Kejak knows about these passages. You wish he would have told you, but then when did Elder Kejak tell anyone what they needed to know. You did not see any footprints, but then Elder Kejak would not leave any thanks to Arcane Fate.
“I’m going to be myself for a while.” Chiyoko takes a sharp intake of breath when you shuck your Resplendent Destiny. Arcane Fate will take care of your footprints and may hide Chiyoko’s as well. You can never tell what the Broken Mask would do to hide traces of your presence. “Other people have been using the passages.” You point at the boot prints. “Recently.”
“Oh.: Chiyoko looks disappointed. “I was hoping we could find some place we could be alone and not have guards outside the door.”
Your cheeks burn at the implications of Chiyoko’s statement. “We will find something.” You study the passage in the dim red light. The large grey stone blocks rise up to an arched ceiling. “What over rooms do these passages lead to?”
“Aiko’s room is that way.” Chiyoko points with the crystal. “The opposite direction leads to a stair case. Up will take us to your uncle’s room. Down will take us to the kitchen on the first floor.” Chiyoko thinks. “There are storage rooms there.”
“Is there a way out of the manse?” Maybe you can find a way to the Manse of Burning Enigmas.
“Yes, but it is a long walk. We may not make it back here by morning.”
What do you do?
- Head back to Elder Kejak’s room.
- Head to the kitchen storage.
- Leave the manse.
- Explore the passages and see what else you can find.