(Hida Jimunsha’s got a Unicorn rider crush…)
After a small break the competition resumes with the Horsemanship match. Contestants are matched up and given a Rokugani pony to ride. They are told to ride swiftly to the first station where they will be given a sword to slash a target with, then ride again to another station where they will be given a bow to shoot a target with, and then race to the finish line.
Tamori Daichi vs Shiba Hotei – Hotei Wins
Hida Kokoro vs Ikoma Satoshi – Kokoro Wins after attempting to annihilate the target with his axe, but failing to do so.
Isawa Emiko vs Tsi Kiku – Emiko Wins
Otomo Yasu vs Doji Soshin – Soshin Wins
Hida Kitsune vs Kakita Kenmaru – Kitsune Wins with another come from behind victory, something that is becoming a bit of a trademark with him.
Shiba Yuo vs Otomo Osako – Yuo Wins
Bayushi Junko vs Utaku Kamiko – Kamiko Wins
Bayushi Kansei vs Utaku Sachiko – Sachiko Wins
Hida Ishikari vs Akodo Raiken – Raiken Wins
Daidoji Yamizaru vs Togashi Rei – Yamazaru Wins
Doji Mazushi vs. Mirumoto Hasaken – Hasaken Wins(Kakita Kenmaru makes a comment that he can’t wait to beat Hasaken in the final duel.)
Doji Hyoteki vs Shinjo Sekushi – Sekushi Wins
Matsu Kujiko vs Hida Koutetsu – Koutetsu Wins(Despite being better at every station, Kujiko loses. Mostly because she could not get her horse to move at all quickly. Hida Kitsune checked out the horse and saw nothing overtly wrong with it. Kujiko left fuming.)
Hiruma Kajiya vs Asako Hakimi – Kajiya Wins
Yoritomo Futeki vs. Isawa Rin – Rin Wins
Bayushi Hanaku vs Toku Kazedai – Kazedai Wins
Seppun Toshiro vs. Isawa Kagou – Kagou Wins in an upset(everyone is amazed that a shugenja beat a Seppun guardsman at a martial contest)
Takumi vs. Kitsune Hibiki – Takumi Wins(His first point in the competition and it was only gained because Hibiki fell from her horse at one point)
Asako Banken vs Suzume Masu – Banken Wins
The Etiquette/Law/Lore: Bushido competition was up next where nearly everyone(including all of the PCs) received their point, making the judges from the Crane clan quite smug that the empire has finally fallen into step behind their good example. The only ones to miss their point are as follows:
(Hida Ishikari hoped there would be an interpretive dance portion)
Matsu Kujiko(Who was still fuming over her previous match)
That ended the first day of the competition and the contestants went off to prepare for the various meetings, dinners, and other meet and greet opportunities. The party is split into groups of two and invited to meetings. Isawa Emiko, Shiba Hotei, and Shosuro Yuo are invited to the home of Kitsuki Yama for small snacks and drinks. Hida Kitsune, Hida Kokoro, and Doji Soshin are invited to a formal dinner with Utaku Katsu.
On the way to dinner the trio of Kitsune, Kokoro, and Soshin are stopped by a street merchant and offered items to bring as gifts to their host. Kitsune wisely turns down the offer, but his brother Kokoro gets caught up and ends up “buying” a jade tetsubo. Soshin is somehow left completely unmolested in the exchange. During their dinner Hida Kitsune catches Bayushi Junko stealing small items. Hida Kokoro asks the Imperial Seppun Toshiro if he knows why Otomo Yasu has been purposefully failing so many contests, he replies that he can only assume she finds herself above the martial sections of the competition. They also quiz Junko on her many losses as well to which she responds that her losses are proof of her skill and honor. They end the dinner with a haiku from Kitsune hinting at Junko’s thievery.
The other three, Isawa Emiko, Shiba Hotei, and Shosuro Yuo head off to their meeting. Along the way the merchant stops them as well , this time badgering Shiba Hotei into buying a cheap trinket while passing it off as a brazier once owned by a Master of Fire. During the exchange, Shosuro Yuo opts to also make a purchase and thinks he notices a seal from an Emerald Magistrate amongst the items in the merchant’s chest. When he inquires of the item he is brusquely debuffed and told to “Leave it, Scorpion.” Later he follows the merchant and sees him exiting a building dressed as a samurai, and wearing an Emerald Magistrate’s badge of honor.
They sally forth to their meeting along with Akodo Raiken and Otomo Yasu and begin talking amongst themselves. They discuss a few trivial matters with their host, including their thoughts on becoming magistrates in their not too distant futures as adults. Yasu makes it well known that she is a difficult person and is not very fun to be around.
Later that evening Hida Kitsune, Hida Kokoro, and Doji Soshin find themselves sharing a drink with Hiruma Kajiya where he badgers them about his quest to find one item made by each great clan. With the help of Doji Soshin he is able to procure his needed Lion item, leaving him with Dragon, Scorpion, and Mantis still needed.