Our journey to Shiro Kaotsuki was simple. Gami-Gami not a big talker, which is fine with Te’Ka! Old Mir’ Id’ Tus same-same. Talk, listen, don’t listen. He not care. Just talk-talk. About towns he knows and humans he has met. Bah! So Te’Ka’Mok of the Third Whisker is to being impressed? Hardly.
In city, smelly, smelly city — what humans eat? Just curious. Yes, Te’Ka is not to be saying anything bad about humans. Just curious if they eat dung or just smell of it. So city: Old Mir’ Id’ Tus say not city. Just town. Eh. Same-same. In town of human stench we to meet our companions of the road. We are directed to Kurooda, old man.
Enter his house to see woman making bow to old man. She bow so low-low her hair touches ground. Hmm. Te’Ka’Mok great shaman of Third Whisker not a bow-bow. Small tilt of the head; a nod to say “I acknowledge my equal.” Yes-yes. That is the plan. Human girl leave and he turns to us. “Ah yes! Here is our healer! Te’Ka’Mok, your skills and fame proceed you like the lark announces the breaking of the day. You do honor us with your skills.” (Old humans talk like this, I guess) And he bow low-low to me.
“Ah. Yes. As humans say, ‘Many thanks yous.’ for the nice-nice words, Kurooda. I honored by the company and merely want to serve Rokugan.” I bow low-low. Yes, I bow to human. So what? He say nice-nice-nice things to my face.
He make nice welcome to Mir’ Id’ Tus and Gami-Gami. Not as nice as my greeting, as it should be, but nice. We meet others. Nya and Tatsuoh, one Scorpion and one Lion. We meet Neiki, she who bowed so low to old Kurooda. She spirit folk, no wonder I no smell her! Very nice.
Kurooda invite us to slurp tea with him. Human thing, this tea slurping. Eh, tea taste OK. A bit gnaw-gnaw for me. Too much and I can feel eyeballs in my head moving apart. Happen to you, maybe? Slurping tea is good excuse to look at new companions of the road. Even Nezumi know this trick. I look at shiny helmet man, name Tatsuoh. His name not easy to say. I say “Tats-swoll.” Make Gami-Gami laugh when I do it wrong. Nice-nice armor. Old-old sword. Sharp and cruel. I feel the spirits that cling to the blade. Shiver at sight. Scorpion woman beside him name Nya. Easy name for not easy woman. She dress like man! How to be knowing the females, yes?
We tell our stories and slurp.
I talk about Grandpa show fingerbone and they nod. Talk about geas laid on Te’Ka’s heart by Grandpa. They nod. Talk about the gift of Gami-Gami and her muscle. They nod…… Not strange? Not magical, mystical, mysterious?! Humans! Bah, they no care about Nezumi. But, no one care about great Kaiu Umasu Grandpa? Fine. I let old Mir’ Id’ Tus talk talk. He so sweet and speak gooden to them.
Tomorrow we go to new place. Meyo Gesi to get bride. Matsu Lion wed Kaiu Crab and all make nice-nice friend diplomat. We go to get beautiful human girl and Grandpa daughter-daughter Kaiu Dei. She not travel light. We hear she need wagon and supplies and chap-her-on named Jazuki. Chap-her-on special human word for body guard. Te’ka’Mok knows this. Read many lots of books. Human girl cannot trust human boy. Lust-lust and they go into heat, I guess. Odd.
We start journey tomorrow. Te’Ka’Mok needs rest and for to read spells. Nezumi bad memory unless you Squeaky Eyeball tribe. So I to be study and write-write spells. Maybe trouble find us on the road and great Shaman of Third Whisker tribe save the humans eh?
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