* A tale involving the “other” side of Miss Hermit. Feel free to comment *
In the senior monk’s study….
The senior monk opens his eyes and breaks his meditation at the sound of a soft cough, “What is it Belldandy?”
The miko looks up from her kneeling position, “Yamada-sama, we received this by pigeon from Iyou who is in the western lands. The other monks are worried by its’ content and were wondering if you received any messages from her.”
“No, I have not. What is the concern in the message Bell-kun?”
She reopens the scroll and reads it to the monk. “I do not understand why she wants to know about these things.”
“Nor do I dear miko. Find Master Hermit and ask him to stop by for tea after the afternoon prayers. Have the monks prepare a scroll with the information that she asks for.”
In a Yakuza dojo, the inner rooms…
A woman’s voice breaks the silence born of fear, “Did he succeed?”
A terrified underling bows even lower until his forehead touches the reed mats covering the floor, “We think not. Pigeons were seen leaving the rooftop of the building the next morning. She lives there alone so who else would have done it?”
Long curved nails clasp a sake cup while ice cold blue eyes glare at the messenger. “Then he proved he was not worth the time nor effort to forgive him. Is she that good with a blade?”
An adviser sitting off to one side stirs, “She is the Hermit’s daughter and we know how he thinks about sword craft.”
“I am well aware of whose daughter she is! Tell me something I do not know !”
Another adviser speaks, “Was it wise to attack her in the first place? Surely both the Temple and the Hermit know by now what occurred. We must remember she is the prize miko of that order and do we wish to face the wrath of both her clan and the monks? It is said that the Gods favor her and she speaks to ghosts as well as we do to humans.”
She turns her gaze to the adviser, “The monks threaten our sources of income by demanding we vacate that shrine.” Do you have another location that would make at least that much money for us?”
The adviser lowers his gaze conceding the point.
“The monks rule by divine command it is said. Well, we rule by fear.” She holds out a hand, paler than death to have the cup refilled. “I ordered the strike to prove our reach and power to the monks so that they would cease their yammering about that shrine. We dare not send another. However, perhaps a local could be bought to do the deed. Investigate and see if it can be done.” The underling, grateful to be spared crawls backwards from the dais.
The Temple balcony, two men watch the sunset and drink tea…
“So you sent a reply Master Hermit? Hopefully not with one of our birds.”
“No, I used a relay point pigeon. That handler will know to send one to Babbage based on my signature.”
The monk turns from the sunset and faces his friend, “I fear for Iyou’s safety. Shall I recall her to the Temple?”
Master Hermit turns to the senior monk and laughs, “Think she would listen? Let us see how things progress. She has her talent and the ghosts of Babbage to protect her. After all, this does make a great study assignment for her.”
“Hermit-san, ever are you the blood thirsty one. Remember this is the Yakuza we are dealing with. You know who commands. Perhaps it would be better that we withdraw our demands.”
“Perhaps. But do it now and you will never regain this shrine or any other they may think to take. I worry also but I think that Babbage will protect one of their own. Even the western lands have some degree of honor Yamada-sama.”