For the Sake of Revenge
Letter from Bayushi Hayate 1
Day 12 Month of the Boar - Hiruma Rikuko
I am writing to you on behalf of my lady Bayushi Otsune. My lady believes that she has learned some information regarding a person of interest to both you and herself, and has asked me to impart this to you. I am speaking, of course, of a member of the group known as the Nine Tigers — a group that you must surely be aware of of by now.
While visiting the temples in the lands of the Crab on a pilgrimage, a servant of my lady heard a rumor of the Ghost of Matsubara Village. It seems that this village near northern stretches of the the Kaiu Wall has been plagued by the foul servants of jigoku. However, the villagers have been protected thus far by a benign spirit who fights the monsters terrorizing the village.
Curious, the servant traveled to Matsubara to investigate. He spoke to the villagers, who would pray to the spirit every day but could tell him little about the spirit save for the gratitude that they owed to it. Realizing that he could learn no more, the servant left the village to finish his pilgrimage.
On the night of the servant’s departure from the village, he sought shelter by the roadside and was accosted by three oni. He drew his katana, prepared to give his life fighting them, but was saved in the last minute by a figure in the shadow who slew the oni before they could harm him. The figure spoke not a word, but the servant caught a brief glimpse of her face in the campfire. Her image was twisted by the evil of the taint, and the servant immediately knew that it was no spirit. The figure was unmistakably Hiruma Rikuko, a scout who served with the servant during the War of the Spirits and was now believed killed in a battle nearby.
How Rikuko still lives and how she came to be tainted is unknown to my lady, but she has since heard from eyewitness accounts that Rikuko have been sighted before and after murders believed by those in the know to have been perpetrated by the Nine Tigers. She knows that you have a grudge against the Nine Tigers, and hopes you will find this information useful. You may do what you wish with the knowledge, but please be discrete as my lady does not wish to be directly involved with these villains.
Thank you for your time, Samurai-dono, and godspeed in your revenge. – Bayushi Hayate
It is early on the 12th day of the month of the Boar. The peasants have finished storing their food for the winter,the merchants have closed shop,and the samurai are settling into winter court. This is fortunate,for dense snowfall arrives today heralding a late beginning for the new season. The Empire is blanketted,making travel impossible. It is surprsing,then,when a servant wakes you, and brings you the following letter,sealed with the mon of the Bayushi family.