Ah, Forename. Oboro got back not long ago. Mumbled somethin' about his trip to the village was uneventful, then dragged his beater cases off somewhere or 'nother, lookin' at the ground all the while.
Jacke knows how to read a cove, and somethin' tells me the boy ain't right these days─like he's carryin' the weight o' the world on his shoulders.
You know the lad better than anyone. You reckon there's somewhere he'd run off to if he were lookin' to clear his head?
|Mayhap he returned to his village?||His hideout in Eorzea, no doubt.||Is there a waterfall in these parts, by chance?|
<Returns to dialogue choice.>
<Returns to dialogue choice.>
Is that...Oboro? Bugger me, the lad has lost his bloody mind!
Ah, Forename. I had hoped to spend some more time alone with my thoughts, but it is just as well. It grows cold, and I would warm myself by a fire.
You know me all too well, Forename. I suppose I should not be surprised.
Well, ye shocked the livin' wits out of me! I was expectin' to find ye in front of the waterfall, not in it!
At first I did just that, Captain Jacke. But when listening to the flowing water did not calm my heart as I hoped, I took the next logical course of action.
I cannot explain it. I returned to my village, fully expecting to be punished for my deception and chastised for my failure to perform my duty. Instead, I was greeted as a hero─the honorable shinobi who slew the villainous Karasu, traitor to our village and country.
But it is all a lie! Master Gekkai was the traitor, and were it not for Karasu─putting aside the foul deeds he performed in service to his final master─my eyes would have been forever blind to the truth!
That day, I promised Karasu that I would keep the truth hidden, and claim the glory and accolades in his stead. At the time, I thought nothing of it.
But...it is just too much! Perhaps the man deserved to die for his sins─it is not for me to judge. But does he deserve to go to the grave as a hated villain, while I reap the fruits of deeds I can scarcely call my own!?
Ye really are too serious for yer own good, lad. Let ol' Jacke tell ye a story.
Once upon a time─well, maybe not so long ago─there was a dimber mort by the name of Milala, a captain o' the Yellowjackets who was always more style than substance, if ye whiddle me. Long story short, Forename and me did ourselves a good deed, but the lass took the credit for 'erself.
Did a part of me resent it? Sure, I've got feelings as any other cove. But people in our business─includin' this Karasu rook, I reckon─need people like her. People to stand in the lightmans and claim the glory, while we ply our trade in the dark.
Milala might not have done the deed, but since then, they say she's a new woman─doin' all she can to be the hero that people believe 'er to be.
In not so many whids, I guess what I'm sayin' is─rather than cloutin' yerself in the nob about glory ye feel ye don't deserve, why not try live up to the person yer friends would have ye be?
Thank you, Captain Jacke. I must admit, I had never thought of it that way.
Oboro! I...I...forgive me, I have readied the falcon as you requested. Shall we pay Master Kamui a visit?
Allow me to explain, my friends. Since returning here, I have been researching the history of our village─in particular, the life of our forefather, Master Sasuke─in hopes of better understanding our foe and the grudge he bears.
The tales say that Master Sasuke came to Doma on a mission so secret, no records of it were ever left. Our elders, too, were at a loss. If any possess knowledge of such ancient happenings, they said, it would be the old hermit.
That is what we call Master Kamui, an elder who retired from his post long ago, and now spends his days in meditation at Plum Spring, pondering the meaning of existence to depths ordinary minds can scarce comprehend.
Forename. As my student, you too are an heir to Master Sasuke's legacy. I would ask that you accompany me to Plum Spring, that together we may learn the truth about the father of our art. Will you do this?
Excellent. Plum Spring is not far from here, but we cannot travel there on land. Tsubame was kind enough to summon the falconer. Let us return to Namai.
I'm no shinobi, an' I wouldn't know this Sasuke from a hole in the ground, but I'm comin' with ye─if for no other reason than I'm dyin' for a change o' scenery.
Ye reckon ridin' one o' these things is much like ridin' a chocobo?
It is said that the old hermit's mastery of ninjutsu is so complete that he requires no food and no sleep, and has conquered death himself. Mind you, it is also said that the source of these claims is Master Kamui himself.
Master Kamui rarely accepts visitors, but the elders have assured me he awaits our arrival. Do not ask me why, but they say he is particularly interested in seeing you, Tsubame.
In any event, Plum Spring is but a short and pleasant flight away. When you are ready to depart, pray speak to the falconer over there.
My aching back...
It is beautiful, is it not? They say that the plum blossoms have been in bloom here since before the dawn of time...
It's pretty an' all, but what's a cove to do for fun in these parts?
This is the esteemed Master Kamui. I can scarcely wait to hear what words of enlightenment he would share with us.
A thousand apologies for the intrusion, Master Kamui. It is I, Oboro. I have come seeking knowledge of Master Sasuke and the founding of our village. If it would not be an imposition, pray share with us your great wisdom.
Obo-who? I don't know any Obo─aiya! My back! Every word I speak is a dagger in me!
No, no, this won't do at all. I'll be needing my medicine─the usual, that is. Liver of a Yanxian tiger, horn of a rhino beetle, claw of a Doman weasel! Yes, that always does the trick.
Yes, I simply cannot carry on a conversation in such pain. So be on your way, boys. You stay here, my little swallow, and keep an old man company.
For every whid bein' a dagger in him, he sure likes his prattlin'.
Oboro... Oboro... Where have I heard that name before?
Enlightenment, my arse! This old coot's a real piece o' work...
Oboro... Ah yes, the dim little boy who could never quite match the wits and skills of his friend Karasu...
Y-Yes...that is I. It is my honor to bring you the medicine you seek, Master.
Forgive me, friend, but it seems we have little choice but to indulge the master. Between the three of us, hopefully it will not prove too trying a task. Let us return to Namai.
<sigh> Playing errand boy for Master Kamui...what a splendid turn of events. In any event, let us split up and make short work of this. I will hunt down a Yanxian tiger. Captain Jacke, pray see to the rhino beetle horn.
Forename, I would entrust the Doman weasel claw to you. My apologies for troubling you with such a menial task, but I fear Master Kamui is nothing if not stubborn. In any event, let us return here when we have found what he seeks.
Ah, Forename. I trust you were able to procure a weasel claw?
Thank you, friend. I am pleased to report that Captain Jacke and I were also successful in our hunts. Let us return to Plum Spring and hope that Master Kamui is feeling more talkative.
If it's all the same to ye lads, I'll be stayin' here, thank ye kindly. I'm like as not to give that ol' coot a clout in the nob, an' I reckon yer elders wouldn't take kindly to that.
Come now, my little swallow. It's the only path to true enlightenment!
<giggle> Master Kamui, you forget yourself...!
Is it just me, or does Master Kamui seem rather...spry...given his condition? No matter, let us give the man what he asked for.
Ohohoho! My favorite medicine─never fails to put a spring in an old man's step.
But, Master Kamui, we have not begun to boil the─forgive me. What I mean to say is, it warms my heart to see you well.
<cough> Ahem! So it was Sasuke's secret mission you wished to hear of, my boy? Let me see what I remember. It was oh, oh so long ago...
Once upon a time in Hingashi, in the time they called the Age of Strife, there lived a man named Hanzo─Hanzo the first. Leader of the Kagekakushi clan, he crafted a summoning mudra of terrifying power.
Many a warlord did covet this power, that they might wield it to unify the warring states under their rule. Hanzo would hear nothing of it─time and again, he turned down prestigious posts and untold riches, declaring that the mudra would be used only in defense. He recorded his knowledge on a single scroll, and sealed it away far from the eyes of man.
Some time later, a vagabond came to Kagekakushi. After the villagers nursed him back to health, he explained that he had fled across the sea from the land of Doma to escape the reign of a tyrant.
So it was that Hanzo the First─moved deeply by the traveler's story─called upon Sasuke, his most trusted protégé, to carry the forbidden knowledge across the Ruby Sea and bring freedom to the people of Doma.
Sasuke wielded the power but once, such was its power. In a matter of moments, the tyrant's army crumbled before its might, and the Doman people at last knew freedom.
But Sasuke felt that his job was not yet done. He resolved to remain in Doma, and established a village here, that he might train his new countrymen to carry on his legacy, and pass down the art of ninjutsu to future generations. That is the untold story of our village's origins.
As for the forbidden mudra by whose power Doma's freedom was won, who can say why our ancestor feared it so. All that we know is that he was not content to merely seal the scroll away, but took his blade in hand and sliced it clean in two.
One piece was presented as an offering to the King of Doma, in celebration of the nation's newfound freedom. The other he sealed away in his village─our village─never again to see the light of day.
I suspected as much. Master Sasuke was no traitor or deserter, but a shinobi of honor.
Even at the time, it is said that Hanzo the First told none other of Sasuke's true mission. Though unfortunate, it is little surprise that today, centuries later, his descendants see Sasuke as little more than a traitor who stole away with their greatest treasure and fled to a foreign land...
Thank you, Master Kamui. This has proved more enlightening beyond my wildest hopes.
Glad to hear it, boy─but don't think I'll take kindly to you interrupting my blissful enlightenment again. As for you, my little swallow, you're welcome to come back any time.
Sorry to interrupt yer lecherous prittle prattle, but the princess here's got news to share─an' I'm afraid it ain't of the good variety.
Oboro, we must move quickly! Our men afield have reported that the Kagekakushi clan musters their forces in full, and means to march on Doma!
...No doubt Hanzo has figured out where the other half of the scroll lies. There is no time to lose. We must return at once and prepare to defend the village.
This Hanzo cove doesn't waste any time, does he? Seems our job's simple enough─we need to grabble his half of the scroll before he gets his daddles on ours.
Tsubame has gone to deliver the news to the elders. Meanwhile, Princess Yuki makes for the Ruby Sea to look out for the Kagekakushi army's approach.
We know not the size of our foe's army, nor their strength─only that both are formidable, and then some. Suffice it to say we will be tested as never before. In what time we have, I implore you to devote yourself to your training as if our very lives depended on it─for surely they do.