160 – Hero

“No dueling at the Funeral!”  Indrani’s eyes flash with anger and you taste lighting on the air.  Ling Ling growls in response.

“Silence, you have no voice here.”  Hayate’s imposter declares.   His sword is half drawn.  You reach out and brush his thread of fate.   The thread is fragile.  Everything that could be taken from Tears the Grass is gone.  This Lunar is cursed.

“Lady Indrani, I have no intention of desecrating my mother’s memory.  We will take care of this unpleasant business after the funeral.”  Gauyto promises.   His eyes never leave Hayate’s.

“If you cared enough about our mother’s memory, you would not be spilling her son’s blood on her death day.”  Hayate counters.

You brush past Chiyoko and whisper in her father’s ear.  “Hayate isn’t your brother.  Look at his teeth.  He is a Lunar imposter.”

Guanyu frowns.  “Hayate, if you are so worried about your chances, let me have the Earth Aspect.  We will get to the bottom of this.”

Hayate smiles.  “No.”

Guanyu tenses when he sees the bucked teeth.  “Brother,” he asks though gritted teeth.  “What happened to your teeth?”

“There is nothing wrong with my teeth.”  Hayate states.

“When I saw him this morning, his teeth were straight.”  Reva observes.

“Are you insinuating something, Reva?  Come out and say it.”

“You are a Lunar impostor.”  Guanyu accuses hand on sword.  Chiyoko steps away from her father to allow him to draw, her hand on her own sword.

Hayate laughs.  “You would like to think that, little brother.  Would it make it easier to kill me for the throne?”  Hayate steps forward and addresses the temple.  “You notice the only ones accusing me are my political enemies.  They have no proof what so ever of Lunar infiltration in the Manse.”

Temple doors slam open.  The Wyld Hunt enters with Sujay in the front, carrying his crossbow.  As the Wyld Hunt passes, you count.  There are a lot more of them now then there were in the tunnel.  Most in black Jade armor favored by Water Aspects.  Sasha stands in the back near the door and observes the procession.

Basma, the Fire Aspect in Reva’s circle, pulls the Chimera’s head from her sack.  She displays it to the temple.  Then she tosses it at Hayate.  The head bounces on the jade floors.   It slides to Hayate’s feet, leaving a smear of emerald black blood.   The rest of the Wyld Hunt surrounds Hayate.  His guards come forward and to protect him.

“The Wyld Hunt isn’t quite finished yet,” Guanyu draws his sword and approaches.

“I’m not going into the custody on some trumped up charge….”  Sujay interrupts Hayate’s statement with a well-aimed crossbow bolt.  Chaos reigns for a moment while Hayate’s Guards fight the Wyld Hunt.  Beyond the clash of swords, you see an unfamiliar Dragonblooded exit the temple.  You follow.

Tears the Grass pulls the bolt out of his side.  A brief flicker of silver light heals him.  Tears the Grass rips off the ornate rank symbols from Hayate’s armor.   He tosses them into the hedge.  More guards arrive.  “Quick!  There is a lunar in the temple!” Tears yells.  As the guards enter the temple, Tears makes for the secret passage.   You follow.

“I don’t know about you, but death always makes me hungry.” A voice says from the shadows.  Haytham appears, blocking Tears’ way.  He takes a bit of his plum.  “I had a bit of time and hit the funeral feast early.  Shame to let all that food go to waste.”

The Lunar turns to go back to the entrance of the tunnel.  Sasha enters the tunnels and closes the door behind her.   The Lunar heads for the opposite direction.  You step forward, sword drawn to block him.

Tears the Grass is surrounded.   “Ban, now would be a good time.”  Tears the Grass says.   He waits.  “Ban?”

“Your companion will not answer.  We caught him leaving the manse.”  Sasha says.  Your heart stops.  You promised Ban you’d protect him.  Except you were so caught up in Kejak’s mission you forgot.

Tears eyes his options and decides you are the weak point in the circle.  He sniffs his nose and takes a step towards you.

“It’s over, Tears the Grass.”  The Shogun’s secretary long gone, Elder Kejak appears behind you.  He pats you on the shoulder as he passes.  The Elder Sidereal stands before Tears the Grass.  “All you have strived for is lost.  The Dragonblooded will find Hayate’s corpse.  They will know the treachery of the Lunars. No one will ever think to ally with Anathema again.”

“What did you do with him?”

“We were much kinder than you were to your victims.”  Elder Kejak draws his sword.  “I should thank you.  Your atrocities make this all so much easier.”

Tears takes the form of a bird.   Haytham throws his half eaten plum at Tears.  Tears becomes a wolf.  Sasha stabs him in the leg.   Haytham grabs him by the scruff of his neck.  Tears becomes human.  Haytham grapples him, pinning his arms to his back.

“They will know.  They will figure out what you are doing.”  Tears promises.

“I expect the Dragonblooded will forget all about our part in this manner.”  Elder Kejak calls your name.  “Svante, come here.”

Your heart pounds.  Your swallow the lump in your throat.  What could Elder Kejak want with you?

“I’ll take care of it.”  Sasha offers.  She takes a step forward and draws her own blade.

“No, it’s time for Svante to grow up. “  Chejop Kejak offers you his sword.  “You know this Lunar’s crimes.  You have seen his victims.  “

The jade blade feels slick in your hand.   You stare at the Starmetal blade Kejak is offering you.

“Finish this, Svante.”  Kejak tells you.  “Be the Hero Creation needs.”

What do you do?

  • Kill Tears the Grass with Kejak’s Sword.
  • Kill Tears the grass with your own blade.
  • Decline to kill Tears the Grass.
  • Run away
  • Other