Hunt for a Brother

orientalcastleThe hour is late as I drag my weary feet towards home. Smoke tendrils float upwards from the shrine, the incense all but burnt out now. Yet still, the smell is a welcome one. I feel as if my ancestors look down upon me, nodding their approval of how things transpired in Tokuno.

Pandora had bid me return to my homeland to locate my brother. An illness was laying claim to many citizens, and it filled me with gladness to see her honest feelings for the safety of my mortal family. I could not serve a better household.

My father, and two eldest brothers, I knew would never abandon Tokuno or its people to whatever was happening. My brothers serve at the hand of the Empress herself, and our father was honor-bound to remain. Yukina, my sister, had already come to me. I hear her gentle breathing as she slumbers above, oblivious to what will soon be known.

But my third brother, he could be reasoned with. He might come to Malas, away from the illness. Finding him however would prove more difficult than I had imagined.

I knew he traveled solely the island of Isamu. And while yes this narrowed my search down, it is still a large island.

I first checked Mt. Sho, the largest mountain of Tokuno. In truth, I wish I had Meridas tolerance for heat during this portion of my search. The volcanoe constantly threw heat out to wash across the land. Ash settled down like snow, and very few creatures moved about.

After an hour or two worth of searching, I began the trek down the mountain. Yet as I passed, a Lava Serpent burst from a pool of the stuff for which it was named. In a fluid motion, my katana was drawn and brought across towards the threat. A second passed, the now headless serpent sinking back from whence it came. Shuddering slightly at the thought of a fire filled death, I continued.

For countless more hours I searched for him. Storm Point, with its coast of sunken ships yielded nothing. The Lotus Lakes, nothing but Kappa. Even the shrine of Isamu held no clues. Feeling despair build within me at the idea of failing Pandora, I traveled down the coast. Searching for a boat to take me back to Zento. After all, enough traveling by Moongates had happened lately.

I came to a small fishing village and upon being informed of a ship departing in half a days time, sat down to spend the time in prayer. It pains me to think of what Pandora will say when she realizes that I did not find my brother. No, he found me.

It was when I was boarding the shipping vessel that a hand clasped me on the shoulder.

“You are far from home little brother. What brings you to my little slice of Tokuno?”

Turning, I looked into the eyes of my brother Kazan.


Without even thinking, I embraced him tightly. So overjoyed was I , that perhaps I was more forceful than I should have been. Thankfully, he just saw it as enthusiasm.

“Well?” He continued, rubbing his ribs. “What brings you here?”

And so, the tale spilled forth like sake. The illness, and the reason for my being here. As the tale grew on, his face fell. My voice finally falling silent, he shook his head.

“I am sorry Isonu, but I cannot just abandon these people here. They need my help.”

“But…Kazan… Why? Why can you not come stay with me?”

Tears filled his eyes, hands clenching with the pain.

“The one who claimed our mother, the one who shattered our lives. She is here.”

Coldness gripped me, a flash of memory from years past filling my head. A womans cruel laugh, a mask of shifting colors and the thud of shuriken into a warm body. My hands now gripped tightly at my side.

“Her? Are you positive?”

“Yes brother, I am certain.” He thumbed back towards one of the buildings, “She resides under there. And I cannot leave until our vengeance is had.”

Gears started turning within my mind, a plan forming rapidly. Risky, yes. Did I have the authority to make such a promise? Most likely not. But I would make it regardless.

“If…I were to offer the aid of myself and those I work for…” I spoke slowly, measuring each word. “Would you be free to come to Malas?”

Renewed hope surged through Kazans eyes as he gazed at me. “You could do that?”

Committing now to it, I nodded. “We will drive her away, and afterwards you will be free to be safe in my home.”

Tackling me in a brotherly embrace, his laughter filled the area.

“I always knew I could count on you!”

We said our farewells and kept them brief. But not before he gave me a rune for his location. One that could avoid being detected by the Empress’ guards. Wise of him, as my new family would stick out and be denied entry into the lands.

And now, as I begin to write a letter to Pandora… I wonder, I hope, she will allow this one favor.
My Lady Pandora,

I have returned as requested from Tokuno with news of my brother, Kazan.

It appears that he would be willing to accept the safety of your lands, were it not for the blight of a terrible being within Tokuno. The same being that killed my mother oh so many years ago. I am sure you have heard the whispers of this being.

The Changeling, Travesty.

If Travesty is dealt with, my brother would come  home with me. I promised him that he would have our aid in dealing with her. If I may only ever make one request and have it granted, please let this be it. There is nothing I would not do for my brother, my family, or for you.

I understand if you do not grant this request. It is a delicate matter after all. Yet even if you do not, I shall still travel myself to deal with her.

I can make a full report to you in person tomorrow. I apologize, but I find myself weary from lack of properly managing my diet during my trip. For now, I will rest and seek you out later at your convenience.

Yours faithfully,

Minamoto Isonu

**Below is marked with the seal of the Minamoto Clan**


The message sent, I now seek the comfort of home. And perhaps the embrace of Venora as I recover my strength.

Leave a Comment