Journal of Miyara Kyosuke (1)

    Travel here is terrible.  I am cramped in a room full of filthy barbarians on an overcrowded boat on a stinking river.  Fortunately Miyara has a better place on the open deck, where at least she is not exposed to the pestilence that surely pervades the cattle hold.

    It has been days and days stuck in this hole.  When will this terrible journey end?

    At last the boat has stopped, and the shouting and thumping indicates we're tying up at the dock.  Thank goodness this ordeal is over.  Of all the terrors of the western world, this is the worst I have seen in the two years since we left Nippon.
    I have resumed my task.  While on board, Miyara has taken several of the travellers for her retinue.  While this makes her easier to follow, it also means I must be more careful to avoid being seen.  The barbarians are often cunning, and might see in strange ways.
    Miyara's followers are a strange lot.  Two are tall men, one almost a giant, while there is also an elf, and some sort of white fairy the like of which I have not seen before.  I follow them from the rooftops; as a wise man once said, "People never look up."
    Night is darker in this fetid city.  Barbarians here move like animals in a cage, looking for their prey.  This city eats its young.  Miyara was wise to take on followers.  But one of them, the youngest, ran off into the city.  They followed, but after a while all met up again back at the docks.  They discussed something with a street rat, who after an exchange of coins led them deep into the maze of streets.
    The rat was bait, of course.  Miyara no doubt had some reason to test his honesty, but he failed.  He led them into an ambush, where six thugs attacked them.  It might be the end of me, but I had to defend her.  The thugs were weak and easily dispatched; the remainder ran away.  The betrayer lost his head for his crime.
    As for my crime, I still await punishment.  I must wait until Miyara decides my fate.  She did compliment me on my fighting, unorthodox as it was, so perhaps I have some reason to hope.  I was also able to assist with her wounds.  I am to remain with her until she decides; it is at least easier to be with her than following her.

    Entering the tavern was undignified.  In response to some shouted insult from within, the giant broke down the door.  As is common among the barbarians, they argued for a while until settling on compensation.  Apparently lodging for the night was part of that deal, as we all went upstairs to a dark room.
    We were able to fashion a private room for Miyara; the rest of us slept according to our station, the giant blocking entrance through the door.
    I awoke to find an intruder already headed for escape through the window.  The barbarians just threw things at him, as do monkeys.  I alone acted with purpose.  Calling for him to stop, I pursued him across the rooftops and the canal, where he dropped into the street.  That was his mistake, for I quickly overtook him and tackled him to the ground.  I told him that he was to come back with me to face his fate.
    At this point the denizens of the city came out of their hovels to interfere.  Three of them, who could have been guard, drew their swords and shouted at me.  I patiently explained the situation, and gently pushed aside the sword that threatened me.  They had no education, and continuing to shout unintelligibly, the three attacked me to the delight of the onlookers.
    First I made sure that the thief was unconscious, then I concentrated on the brawlers.  I am ashamed to say that one of them struck me with his sword.  Still, after I bruised two of them, all three ran away and the onlookers dispersed.  I had to kick the thief back down in the middle of the fight, but he was well enough to carry back to the tavern.
    I entered the tavern the way I left, and presented the criminal to Miyara.  I then went back to sleep, not wanting to watch the barbarians looting the prisoner.