Journal of Miyara Kyosuke (23)

    We approached the other boat; as we closed, I stayed under cover, ready to board as soon as the firing was done.  Miyara of course had her longbow; everyone else had been issued crossbows.
    It was not until the barges were very close that the firing began, the other boat opening up first.  I could tell when we were about to collide when the crew put aside their bows and switched to hand weapons.  As the boats bumped, I leapt up.  The crew were now readying grappling hooks, and preparing to board and fight for Guido.
    I took a run, and leapt and tumbled up onto the rail on the back of the boat, then tumbled up onto the cabin roof.  As I flipped over her head, I could see Miyara starting to fight on the back deck.
    The opening to the hold was at the front of this boat too, although there was no cover in place.  While the fighting continued behind me, I did a tumbling run to the opening.
    There was nothing to see down there, not from the deck.  Ignoring the ladder, I vaulted down so as to face aft when I landed.
    A lantern was turned up as I hit the lower deck of the hold.  I saw a well dressed gentleman holding Guido with a knife to his throat, and behind him a woman who was not armed or armored.
    The man said something sternly; I knew they had to bring Guido to Tai Lia alive, so was not concerned about his safety.  Of course, being barbarians they may have been too stupid to realise it, but I had learned that Tai Lins had more of a capacity for planning and organization and so was confident.
    I started my Clown Fighting technique, and attacked the man quickly.  I remember missing, and nothing after that.

    When I woke up I was on our boat, with Rabena leaning over me looking slightly concerned.  My face hurt a bit as if I had fallen on it.
    I apologizes shamefully to Miyara.  She said there was no shame in defeated by a mage, as I had no armour against it.  She told me that the kidnapper was dead at Guido's hand.  The woman, the kidnapper's wife, had been bound and gagged.
    Omi asked me if I was related to the man who taught him nipponese, but it turned out he had been from a merchant family, several levels beneath us, and Omi added that I snored like that man.
    This of course was a terrible insult, but I just blushed and took it.  I deserved his derision.  Miyara was clearly offended at this slight to our family honor, but mostly ignored it presumably because the barbarian did not know better.
    I retreated and meditated silently on my shame for the eighteen hours it took us to return to Krutzhoffen.
    Miyara did interrupt my shame to tell me that the kidnapper and his wife had been requested by the Cornutti family to do this task.  Had they succeeded, they would have benefitted greatly; had they failed and returned to Tai Lia, they would have lost greatly.  Jail in the Empire would not be worse than their fate in their home country.  She added that Benito had promised to argue strenuously on our behalf with the Dorufurikata in the matter of Sir Theodocius's death when we returned to town.