For the Sake of Revenge
Letter from Bayushi Hayate 2
Day 14 of the Month of the Boar - Kakita Makoto
Since our last correspondence, my lady has been scrambling for any information she can learn from her contacts around the empire regarding the Nine Tigers group. In this pursuit, we have been able to find a solid lead on another member: Kakita Makoto. Though we would like to pursue this man for our own reasons, my lady’s resources are presently too busy to do so. Therefor we are turning over the information we have to you. Do what you will with it, and good luck.
Perhaps you have heard of Kakita Makoto; he is one of the most respected iaijutsu instructors at the Kakita Academy, and perhaps even the finest duelist in the Empire at this time. He has always refused to seek glory in tournaments and instead focused on honing his skills and position to perfection. To that ends, it seems that he has succeeded. He has not lost a duel since retiring his post in the Imperial Legion in 1146. He has his pick of students at the Academy, and will reject or expel students without a second thought when he deems no longer worthy. He considers many among the Doji and Daidoji leadership among his friends including even Doji Kurohito himself.
As you would expect from such a highly regarded duelist, Makoto receives many challenges from both fledgling duelists seeking to make a name for themselves and political rivals. Makoto has the leverage to accept only those challenges that he deems worthy. The rest he discards without a thought. Makoto also has the leverage and know-how to turn even the flimsiest excuse into a duel to the death. He uses this capability to great extent against those who interfere with the Nine Tigers’ agenda. Quite a few samurai have fallen at his hands. Perhaps even someone that you know and hold dear.
If he has any weaknesses, it is that many among the Kakita Academy instructors deem him a rival. His position is due almost entirely to his friends in the clan leadership, and he is viewed as an outsider by the Academy establishment. He rarely acknowledges the accomplishments of the other leaders and refuses to work with them. His students feel that they are above the other students. You may be able to leverage this to your advantage in any move you make against him, but be aware that despite the tension that exists here that many in the academy at least respect or fear Makoto and will be hesitant to take your side.
At any rate, I trust that you will find this information useful. Proceed carefully. This man is a potent enemy, and I would hate to see our potential friendship end prematurely. -Bayushi Hayate.
Two days have passed since the snowfall began. The snow is so deep that only the spirits of the wind and the most skilled scouts and couriers have been able to carry messages. You have heard little from outside your winter residence since the snow began. Nonetheless, a herald bearing the colors of the Miya arrives at sunset, delivering the following missive: