Journal of Miyara Kyosuke (18)

    It was very early in the morning, with the sun barely up, when I was awoken by the sound of banging at the door of the inn, and a woman's voice jabbering hysterically in a barbarian tongue.  I immediately woke the others in my room, climbed out the window, and ran to the front of the building.  An elderly man coming out of a nearby hovel gave me a strange look, but I am accustomed to the rudeness of the locals and it did not distract me.
    It was the baker's wife, who unfortunately does not speak Nipponese, or she would have answered me instead of falling into the arms of the barbarian who opened the door.  Miyara had also responded to the woman's distress, and talked to her and calmed her down.  She told me that Aruman the baker had been kidnapped and killed, because the pig came home without him.
    Soon the whole group, including the monk Hosei, were there.  Goru told us that he'd had another vision, this time of flowers blooming fast, and a big man on a big horse in full armor; the man was looking angrily at the viewer, as if the viewer had wronged him.  The white fairy had been reluctant to help in the search, but the vision changed his mind; only Pireseri and Jeison stayed behind in the end.

    We started tracking them, but I soon lost the trail.  Ashu had his nose to the ground like a dog, and that helped him pick it up again.  The pig was continually in the way of the barbarians, until they realized it was trying to lead us to Aruman.  Hosei took the pig's rope as we moved on through clear forest, with no undergrowth this close to town.
    Soon the pig tried to lead us past a sign, but Miyara stopped.  She told us all that the sign was placed there by Count Eisensutatu, and it warned that trespassers would be impaled.  She pointed out that if the baker was trespassing where he didn't belong, it was right for him to be killed.  After all, he was a peasant, the Count was a noble and therefore had the right if that was what happened.  She said that we should approach the Count properly and ask him.
    Hosei (uncharacteristically for him) argued the point.  Of course, as I observed to Miyara, in this land nothing is accomplished without arguing and breaking down a door.
    As an aside, Miyara tried to teach the barbarians the meaning of the word hai.  It remains to be seen whether they are capable of understanding or remembering.
    Miyara and I were insistent that we should talk to the Count.  The two of us returned to the road to do just that, while the others went deeper into the forest, lead by the pig.

    We worked our way to the main road, then travelled north or northeast to a large house with a cluster of small houses around it.  We knocked at the door of the main house, and were greeted by a surly halfling.  After Miyara presented him with an origami flower, we were lead into a room; the servant left, closing the door behind him.
    After a wait, a large well-built man entered.  He had a lantern jaw, greying hair, and was wearing a grey tunic and a lord of the manor attitude.  He introduced himself as Sir Thiodosiu Eisensutatu, and he and Miyara engaged in a conversation in the barbarian tongue.  Eventually he left, with no indication whether we were to show ourselves out or were supposed to remain.  We left too.
    Miyara told me that she had explained the situation, and that the Count had said he was tired of poachers, but would not lend us any resources to search for the baker to see if he was indeed on his lands.  He did however give us permission to conduct the search ourselves.

    We returned to where the trail had left the road, and started to track the others.  Very shortly after that, they came towards us, without Ashu but with the baker.  They were hurrying, so it was easy to see that they were in trouble.  After they shouted hysterically at us, Miyara explained to me that they had been attacked by some tiny little things that made them run away.
    The barbarians are so distraught that without argument they agreed that we needed to return the baker to the Count.  We all set out for the road.

    As we came out of the forest, the Count with several of his men were there.  He screamed at the others, and Goru screamed back.  Hosei simply poured himself a mug of beer and enjoyed the show.
    Miyara explained that we were looking for the baker, as he had requested we do, and that we had the man here for him.
    Suddenly the Count and his men fired arrows at us.  Many just bounced off Goru, but the fact remained that this man had broken his word to us.  Miyara told us to attack.
    Goru, Miyara, and I immediately went for the dishonorable noble.  I took a chance and used the Clown Fighting discipline, which worked quite well. We all gave good account of ourselves, until eventually the Count grabbed his helmet, ripped it off screaming in pain, and fell of his horse.
    During the short fight, the Dorufurikuta and his watchman rode up and exchanged comments briefly with Miyara.  Now they said something more, and Miyara told us to stop fighting.
    The Dorufurikuta addressed Miyara angrily, and she patiently explained that we had permission from the Count, and he attacked us when we came out of the forest.  Since he had broken his word, we fought back.  Hosei came forward and obviously backed up Miyara's explanation.  Goru and Carimera said something too, although it was not obvious what or that they had any influence in this matter.
    The Dorufurikuta obviously knew the Count's men by name.  Miyara explained that he told them to take him to the doctor.  She relayed my offer to first aid the Count, but it was refused.  As she said to me, "They're fools.  Perhaps he will die on the way to the doctor."

    Nevertheless, we continued to cooperate with the Dorufurikuta.  The wounded were carried to the doctor, while Goru and I, and the two unwounded Count's men, reported as requested to the watch house where we were placed under guard.

    I have confidence that reason will prevail and Miyara will secure our release, and that the dishonorable Count will be punished for his actions.