The Burning Sands - Tainted in a Foreign Land

The Pillowbook of Usagi Ariso Part V

1171, Month of the Hare, Day Six

I am a man who apprecates a good sento, I’ve never had a bath like the one I had yesterday. We washed in milk, and afterwards we cleaned off and smelt like vanilla. It… I don’t know if I could really get used to it.

Al Haggar then announced someone had come looking for us. A Rokuganjin. I was astonished, and even more so when I saw Tsuruchi Niomi. She has that cruel look that makes a woman terribly beautiful. Jenmax-Haggar and I climbed through the crawlspaces to peer down through a metal grate into the baths, but unforately she lives up to the reputation her family has built for speed and marksmanship. I have the bruise to prove it.

One of Al Haggar’s advisors, Yeshpal came to find us. Apparently, Tiru had started a blood feud. While he was listening to the dragon sing, he took two women to his bed. Or maybe it was three. I was stunned by disbelief, so I don’t have the details, including the most important one — why did it happen to him and not me? Sure, he’s pretty, but he’s so busy hating everything good in life that… well, I can’t let it drive me crazy.

Yeshpal tried to lead us across the city, so that we could settle the vendetta. I assume these people know nothing of the Kakita bushi’s speed in an iajitsu duel, or they never would have called him out. Hell, I’m terrified of the day some Doji finds me making the four legged Oni with his beautiful bride. Unfortunately, we were followed.

We split off, heading in different directions. I ran along the roofs and Niomi picked off my persuers until we had lost them. When we found Tiru and Yeshpal, who had also been shot off course.

It looks like we won’t get anywhere today. Yeshpal seems to think we’ll need to leave the city.

All I can pray is that Niomi will need another vanilla bath before we leave.



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