“Empress Kaijitsu,” the general doffed his jingasu and held it across his breast as he prepared to make his request. Ameiko stared at him incredulously.
“Ameiko, Isamu,” she sighed. "Just call me Ameiko. I’m not an empress.
“Yet. Er. Ma’am.”
“Ameiko, Isamu,” the future empress growled. “Up until a few months ago, I was the owner of a bar. I still feel like a bartender. Please, just Ameiko. I can’t think of my heritage right now. Not after…” She pinches the bridge of her nose as tears well in the grooves of her eyes as she thinks of the loss of Masaru only weeks ago.
“Ameiko. I would like to formally request the honor of wielding the family sword, Suishen.”
“Fuck, Isamu! Go talk to Oberon. He’s been wielding it.”
“Not as…” Sense Motive “Yes, sorry. I was only thinking of getting you across this arctic wasteland and to your throne. I’ll talk to the tengu.”
The general knocks on the door of the wagon that Oberon and Koya share. “Oberon, may I have a word.” The door opens, giving Isamu a view of the cabin. He can see several blades resting on a rack against the far side of the cabin. A kusarigama, a wakisashi, and a katana. Suishen.
“Oh, Isamu,” the cleric of Desna waves a hand to invite the general in. “I’ve been wanting to talk too. About your family sword.”
“Yes, that is what I have been wanting to discuss. You have been a companion of my distant cousin for a long time now. You have been protecting her and I appreciate that. And ever since the death of her brother, the,” Isama stops, clears his throat. “The bushi Masaru, you have been wielding the sacred sword, but…”
“But it is wasted on me,” the tengu interrupted. “It’s powers are redundant with my goddess’ gifts. She allows me fly and walk on air. I can see invisible things and protect myself against the cold by her graces.”
“And I on the other hand, cannot do any of those things. I can inspire others to do great things. But I cannot initiate them on my own. With Suishen in my hands, I will be less of a burden against flying and invisible creatures. You or Kade will not need to take time to aid me.”
Isamu then draws out the nine-ring broadsword that he picked up recently. “On the other hand, I can create, with force, a weapon that can go against ghosts. I have less need of this broadsword than you do. I propose a trade. Allow me to wield the ancient sword of my extended family, and I will never allow permanent harm to befall this caravan and its people on its journey to Minkai. My use of this sword will only enhance the groups efforts to bring Ameiko safely to her rightful thrown in Minkai. There are still many dangers to be faced, and I feel that after last night, the enemies are only going to get more powerful and more numerous. What say you, Oberon of Desna?”