The Field of Red Flowers
TAKEDA RYUJIS QUESTION TIMEU Arc II
TAKEDA RYUJI’S QUESTION TIME~U!
Hello everyone! We are here once again, with more questions, more answers and more of me, TAKEDA RYUJI! It’s the one, the only, TAKEDA RYUJI’S QUESTION TIME~U!
The show where you, the fans, send in your questions to none other me, TAKEDA RYUJI!
Starting us off this week we have the ever self-proclaimed Loremaster-Kankuro-sama who asks:
Takeda Ryuji… This installment contained very little regarding the Akatsuki. However, at this point in time I do wonder what the Ninja organization is truly planing…
That subject aside, for now, at least. My question this time concerns the ghost incident. Your reactions where quick. Did you anticipate that Akiyama Ren might be a target as well, or was it simply instinct?
Also, did you go up against the ghost without a plan–as would befit someone of your constitution–or where you aware of your Divines Blade’s effectiveness against the ghost? Akiyama gave the impression of being aware, as she simply defended using her Chi, until Otori Sakura reacted to her father’s presence… Although, it is possible that that is merely conjecture on my part.
Kankuro-kun, you need to learn to relax. There is little point in worrying too much about something like the Akatsuki that we don’t know much about. If they have any sense they are still licking their wounds and reconsidering turning the blades on the Takedas. But, I doubt it. So I’ll assume they are waiting for a moment where they can attack us by surprise. They will attack us when we least expect it, and they will lose.
Now for the actual question itself, there really weren’t that many options. I assumed that the ghost would come for me, or possibly Lady Otori, but since it didn’t, there was only one other person there that he would have a reason to hold a grudge against, Ren.
Ah, yes, so that was the reason it was effective then. I didn’t put much thought in to it; two of my friends were in danger, so I went to aid them. The Takedas have always honored spirits, both those of our ancestors as well as those we found in the mountains, so I had hoped to be able to persuade Hachi to leave on his own, but thankfully, since my words wouldn’t reach him, my sword did.
Mrexposition kun joins us as always and asks.
Thank you for your advice last week! I did as you said and uncovered the secrets of the box. The burn marks are for the most part purely superficial and cosmetic, the fumes are dying down and the smell from whatever the dust was has started to fade. But now I see, my eyes are now TRULY open, but I get ahead of myself.
I followed your exploits in this last episode very closely. You began the long journey back towards the Mikawa province along with your men and the plunders of war. You then made camp near a clearing where you slept in the embrace of Lady Satusko. You stayed there for several days, watching, listening, trying to catch the spiders skulking around you. You finally found one as it was crawling on your face. You began to claw and grab at it, but it didn’t want to let go. But finally with a satisfying rip and a pop, the beast had been taken care of, though the struggle seemed to have hampered your vision. You then followed forward, you went on ahead of the others, through the forest and the desert until you finally reached the ocean. There you sank in to it, let it wash over your, warm you. It was a strange yellow ocean for some reason, but you didn’t care, instead let yourself be taken away by it and floated away. Long, long did you float there, until you got cold. Then you met three wise men who each gave you a riddle. You immediately killed them and continued on your way. When Canon had finally performed the ritual, the ghost of Ootori Hachi appeared but sought out Ren instead of you or Lady Ootori. You and Ren defeated him and sent him down to hell, but immediately afterwards, Ren had to begin her own ritual to save Sakura. The ritual was a success but came at great cost to Ren. You and young Kiyo kept watch over her for several days until she finally awoke. You encouraged her and ordered her to rest and to recover. You then met with Sakura and promised to teach her how to fight, if Ren allowed it, and told her to go see her.
Now, during this time where food was ever so important, did you ever consider human flesh as a possible resource?
Thank you Exposition-kun. I’m glad to hear that my advice served you well and that you uncovered the box’s secrets. It does sound like you and the community had a lot of fun with each other and we highly encourage more fan meetups in the future. Do remember to keep being civil and respectful to one another.
Now for your question. No, I admit that that thought had not occurred to me. I appreciate the thought and will pass it on, but I believe that we will make do with what we have, thank you.
Now, perhaps suitably we have a question from one Dr.Greany:
Hello, Takeda Ryuji-sama. A procedure such as what Akiyama was attempting on young lady Otori carries a great deal of risk, for sure. Normally, I believe the risk to be greater for the patient than the actual user. However, in Akiyama’s case, her mastery of Chi made the levels of risk tip in her disfavor. Especially after being interrupted by the ghost of Otori Hachi, forcing the treatment to start right away. While it is a miracle that she even survived the ordeal… Do you believe that she will recover? And, why do you think she risked everything to accomplish it?
Hello Greany-sensei. Greany, the name rings a bell somehow…
Ren will recover. I don’t know when, I don’t know how, but she will, she has no choice. That’s the only way for her to survive with the enemies she has acquired. Until then I will do what I can for her, and do what I can to protect her.
Ren did what she did while knowing the risks. I would like to say that it’s simply due to her being brave and loyal, but I suspect it’s more than that. It might be that she truly does view Sakura as family or…she sees another family member in young Sakura. A friend and sister she lost long ago. From what little I’ve heard, it does seem as though Sakura reminds her of this Haruka person, and perhaps Sakura helps to fill the void left from losing her sister. Whether this is the case or not, if she did it for her own sake or for the sake of Sakura or a combination of the two doesn’t really matter. She has made a choice and I only hope that she will not end up regretting it.
xxCutiePiexx also wonders about Sakura and asks:
Dear Takeda Ryuji,
What are your thoughts about training Sakura? Are you afraid she might be a difficult student to teach? Do you think it will affect how you think of her? You haven’t really spoken to her that much so far…
Hello Pie-chan. I don’t know what to expect when teaching Sakura, especially not now after her…recovery. As you mentioned, I haven’t spoken to her much, partly this has been due to time constraints, but I’ve also noticed that she sometimes gets uncomfortable around men, so I’ve kept some distance. I’m interested in teaching her though; she clearly has potential but much like Ren she seems to be struggling with inner demons. If she were to overcome them she will undoubtedly be a fine warrior. And yes, the training will definitely affect how I think of her, and if I do it right, how she think of herself.
A long lost friend return to us in the form of MrAmNOTtrOller who after a miraculous recovery asks:
Hello again, Takeda-sama! Your dear uncle has… Taught me the error of my ways. And given me a dictionary! Wise man that Takeda Yamamoto-sama, don’t you agree?
A-anyway! I was wondering regarding your exploits this time. They were less of the war nature, and more of the… Love nature. What made you accept lady Otori, but not Satsuko? Did you heed your wise and esteemed uncles words of warning? ….. (Whispers: Is that better Yamamoto-sama?! T_T)
Ah young Oller-kun! I feared I would not hear from you again after last time. It’s good to hear that, at least at the time you sent this, you seemed to be doing quite well. Now, since you have already gained my dear uncle’s attention, it would be remiss of me if I did not warn you that asking so bluntly about my love life might not sit entirely well with old Yamamoto. I fear that this warning might have been too late, but here is to next time!
Now, normally I would not speak of these matters, but I did say in the very opening episode that you may ask me anything, and Takeda Ryuji is a man of his word. Now, I’m not sure which warning you are referring to, Yamamoto is very fond of them so it’s hard to keep track. But regardless of what he might have said, nothing can change the fact that Satsuko is an amazing creature. It was not that I did not accept her, she has been by my side and served me faithfully, I accepted her long ago. But she is also Okami, and thus perceives things differently than us humans. Which is why I made no advance against her, but I didn’t turn down her offer either. She had made it clear that she needed me, and I had no reason to refuse. If something more were to ever happen between me and Satsuko however, she would have to know that much like with Lady Otori, it could not grow in to anything more than that, at least not yet. I have a responsibility to choose my partner carefully.
Kaze-Fumetsu meanwhile wonders not about love, but temptation:
Takeda Ryuji! Congratulations on your many exploits and adventures – you’re certainly my kind of guy! We’ve seen that you truly know how to take care of your friends and your subjects, and we know more than well that you take care of yourself! There are so many wonderful temptations out there to enjoy, my friend – but here’s my question to you: What’s the biggest temptation you’ve felt forced to resist in your adventures so far?
Thank you Fumetsu-kun, that is encouraging to hear! Hmm, you ask a difficult question, the biggest temptation I’ve been forced to resist during these adventures…would probably have to be Umon.
Now, I imagine that might need some further explanation.
I am not an idle man, if there is something I want, I reach out for it. I rarely see a need to restrain myself in these matters, be they food and drinks, women or other equally fine things. If you are not even true to yourself, how can you expect others to believe in you? But, there are cases when acting on your impulse will get others hurt, and the most dire example of that lately would probably be Umon.
Umon was held captured at the Azai camp, and though they had promised not to hurt him too badly, I feared that he would not fare well there. Umon is loud and boisterous at his best, rude and violent at his worst, but despite that he is a good man, and a friend. I wanted to go down their immediately and get him free. But much like the Abbot I had to think of the people at the monastery and do my best to avoid a direct conflict if possible. Though I did not like it, the Azai had the right to punish Umon for what he did, and interfering might have hurt our chances to end it peacefully. So I forced myself to not go to his aid.
Finally Shounen Hero Z writes:
Hey Takeda Ryuji! Glad to see the show continue! Soon you’ll be riding out to deal with the bandit problem in your home province, of which I approve wholeheartedly – but what about that guy Uesugi Kojiro? He drove those bandits right into your lands, don’t you think you should punish him for that? It sure is what I would do.
Hello again Hero-kun! So am I, it is all thanks to you, the fans that keep us going!
Kojirou huh…though I admit I very much would like to cross blades with him again, and I will, it would be for other reasons than the ones you bring up. Frankly, Kojirou has done nothing wrong in this. Yes, he invaded Takeda lands, and yes he drove the bandits in to Tōtōmi instead of finishing them off. But protecting those lands is not his responsibility, it is mine. For all I know he like so many others believe the Takeda to be a dead clan. Obviously I will make him regret dismissing the Takedas, and me, so easily, but I will do so not out of anger, but out of respect. So for now I will give Kojirou time to prepare himself. Give him time to train and polish his skills for when we finally face each other again. That’s when I’m going to fight him and that’s when I’m going to win.
Look forward to it!
That’s all we have time for this week!
As always I’d like to thank you all for your support and that of the fine people over at Big Eyes, Small Mouth. Next week marks the true start of the new arc where we move to take back the Takeda lands!
But until then,
TAKEDA RYUJI, OUT!
Hello everyone! After a month hiatus we are finally back with the start or a new adventure, and another blood pumping episode of TAKEDA RYUJI’S QUESTION TIME~U!
The show where you, the fans, send in your questions to none other me, TAKEDA RYUJI!
To start the episode off and get us all in the right mindset after our long break we have once again a passionate question from Coolvan–kun.
Hello Takeda Ryuji! This episode was good fighting! Before you fight big men, many at a time! But this time you fight KAPPA! Very exciting! Have you fight many such monster before? What is different when fighting monster? Is it the same as fighting very strong, very ugly man?
Hello Coolvan-kun! This was definitely the first time I fought against something quite like this. I can’t say it was much different to fighting a man, the same rules applied. It was the same struggle for survival. Still, for some reason it felt different. I once told you about getting to know someone by fighting them. Fighting the kappa told me nothing about him. I learned no more about the kappa from fighting him than I would from striking the water surface to learn about a lake. It was a strange sensation.
I have met with a few spirits before in the Takeda land’s forested mountains, some even training me when I was younger, but I’ve never actually fought against one before, so it caught me by surprise. It’s important to remember that most spirits are not evil or even hostile. They might be mischievous and play pranks, sure, but for the most part they don’t act out against humans. That is how it should be at least, Yamamoto always said that when a land is stable and at peace, so are its spirits. The fact that the kappa was able to do as it wished should then be yet another sign of how the land has deteriorated since it was lost. That’s why I won’t waste time in getting my lands back and restoring it to what it was. Then move on to making them better still!
Speaking of the fight with the Kappa, both Dr.Greany and the continuously self-proclaimed Loremaster-Kankuro-sama wonders about Ren’s performance during the fight.
Dr. Greany asks:
Hmm… Even under perfect conditions a cold can be quite the hassle to get over. I suppose you could always check with Akiyama’s herbs, her medical skills might not be strong enough to immediately recognize the value of them…
Either way. Speaking of Akiyama. She appears more lively, which is good. However, I fear she still suffers Chi-withdrawal. And because of that, it appears you and I have come to a similar conclusion. She relies far too much on her Chi.
Did you not find it odd? The battle against the Kappa. Not only did she not seem to be at her best, unsurprising considering her condition, but she appeared to hesitate in her defense. You were hit, partly because the Kappa was just that strong, but I believe also in part because she hesitated. Do you suppose her pride was wounded as well, along with her Chi? Or is it something else entirely?
And Kankuro-kun continues on a similar note:
Takeda Ryuji… Was it only my own observation, or did Akiyama Ren appear to greatly underestimate the Kappa? Astute learners will recognize this error, for Kappa’s may often be small of stature but their strength can reach far beyond that of human capability.
I would not ask you to speak ill of your subordinate, of course. However, if you concur with my initial question would mind enlightening me as to why she would make such an error?
My own observation tells of either ignorance, or simply overconfidence. Akiyama is private in her ways, therefor it is difficult to tell.
First off, thank you for your concern Greany sensei. Though I’m unsure if it’s a cold that brought my old friend down,(I certainly hope not) I will definitely ask Ren to see to him as soon as she can.
Now, I will say that you ask strange questions. You should both know that not even I can read my subordinates’ minds. Much like controlling the elements, such things are far beyond even our powers. Now, as far as the fight with the kappa is concerned, I doubt that Ren’s troubles were due to her underestimating it, or even necessarily her pride. Regardless of what she says, Ren has not fully recovered from her ritual and is still weakened. Weakened, not only in body but especially in spirit. She identify herself as being a “chi master”, and by losing her ability to master chi, she seems to have lost faith in herself as well. I only hope that this experience will teach her that she is far more than the abilities and weapons she wields. If being bitten a few times is the price to pay for Ren to learn that and regain her will to fight, I’d say it’s a small price to pay.
Our ever reliable friend Exposition-kun returns as well with another interesting question:
Hello! Many of you seem to have expressed concern for some reason after the last episode. I don’t know why, but thank you for worrying about me! It is nice to hear more people have come to accept me and my questions. I knew opening the box was the right thing to do!
Now, as for the question itself. You began with a meeting with the involved parties. There you planned for the journey toward Tōtōmi and the bandit lair. You were denied to help Sakura with her training by Ren, but were accepted by Lady Ootori to aid her in her praying. You all set off early the next morning, and despite Ren’s unfamiliarity to horseback, managed to clear a fair amount of distance. You made camp, discussed things with Ren regarding her unwillingness to let you train Sakura and also had to advice the party against drinking from the lake due to the recent battle during your earlier visit. You continued the next day and rode past the burnt remains of the tea house. It was a grisly reminder of Noburu’s parting gift. You pressed hard and were able to reach a small village right as night descended upon you. You stayed at a small tea house but were warned of a kappa harassing the village and who has destroyed the bridge to the other side. The party kept watch during the night, but at some point Abe and Ryoichi went out to fight the kappa on their own, and Abe’s manhood suffered for it. You and Ren went out the following day to confront the creature and after listening to it, learned that it was searching for his child. I have it, I have his child. He came here after the last episode. He heard what happened to me, what he and his friends did to me. He wanted to tell me he was sorry. When he saw me, when he saw my face, he screamed, he tried to run away. Run away from me and his apology. But I had seen what was in the box, I had seen it, so I was faster, stronger than him. And then, then he was sorry. He told me so, again and again and again and again. He still is, I still hear him apologizing. We made sure his friends would come over as well, and I’m sure he will be sorry in time as well. Eventually you were ready to leave the onsen and get ready for the night. Kazuo said there was something amiss with the lights so you, him and Ren went to investigate. There was definitely something strange going on in the temple, but It seemed for the most part harmless, so you helped Yamamoto get ready for the night, and then had the rest of the party follow suit.
Now, how was the actual bath itself? Was the water ok?
Hello Exposition-kun, I’m glad to see you are making friends! And yes actually, despite the strange supernatural event at the temple I would definitely recommend it. The water was just the right temperature! I would perhaps suggest other onsenji temples with actual people taking care of it if you have a choice, but if you’re ever in the area it is certainly worth stopping by!
xxCutiePiexx returns to ask:
Dear Takeda Ryuji,
It looks like you won’t end up teaching Sakura after all! She’s already getting her swordfighting training with Ren, learning how Ren uses her sword. What would you have taught her, you think?
No, now that their training has begun, I doubt there would be much point in me stepping in to teach her as well. It was my intention to teach her the way of bushido, what it means to be a warrior, a samurai, to prepare her for her training with Ren. Such lessons will seem less natural now that Sakura has already begun walking down that path, but we shall see how things go. Ren seems unused to training someone so this might be as much a learning experience for her as it will be for Sakura.
Our friend Shounen Hero Z writes:
Hey Takeda Ryuji!
You’re doing pretty well so far, nice work beating up that Kappa thing. Looks like you’ll have your work cut out for you on this trip, huh? First saving that village, then the rainstorm, and now the old man has fallen sick! Are you worried about him?
Yes… things have not quite gone as planned during this trip. And yes, of course I’m worried. Though he is a stubborn old goat who may well outlive all of us, I don’t like the look he had as he went to bed. It’s the second time I’ve seen him like this. The last time I saw him like that was after house Takeda fell and what he endured after that. I hoped to never see him like that again, and as such I will do everything that I can to get him back on his feet as soon as I can.
On that note, I believe I will need to draw this episode to a close and go see how he is doing.
Thank you all for watching and for your continuous support, and of course to our great sponsors: Big Eyes, Small Mouth!
I will see you all next week, please look forward to the next episode where we learn the secrets of the onsenji temple and the recovery of Takeda Yamamoto!
And not least of all another episode of TAKEDA RYUJI’S QUESTION TIME~U!
Until next time,
TAKEDA RYUJI, OUT!
Hello again everyone. As many of you know, the show has suffered some technical difficulties, preventing us from continuing our normal weekly broadcasts. We aim to solve these problems shortly in time for the thrilling season finale. But in the meantime, do not fear! Because here is yet another thrilling episode of TAKEDA RYUJI’S QUESTION TIME~U!
The show where you, the fans, send in your questions to none other me, TAKEDA RYUJI!
This last episode saw the end of our onsenji mini-arc and it brought with it a lot of questions.
The first one from the cruelly named R-F-G12351 who asks.
Ryuji-sama! To think that you were able to make an entire house swear allegiance to you! How do you do that?! Is it really just pure charm? Or has your blade given you commanding powers?
Hello letters & numbers-kun.
No, my blade wields no authority over the hearts of man or spirit, at least not in that way. However I don’t think the onsenji swore loyalty due to my charm either. An important part of being a leader, of being someone people chose to follow, is the ability to understand your men, understand what is important to them. There have been many wise men that I’m sure Yamamoto could refer you to who speaks of the importance of knowing ones enemy. Though this is true, it is far more important to know yourself and your men, and have your men know you. Show them with your actions and with your words that you are someone they can rely on, that will protect what is important to them. Do that and they will follow you, be they human or spirit.
That said, charm and roguish good looks does help.
On a similar note, our good friend Coolvan-kun returns with yet another question.
Hello Takeda Ryuji! This episode very spooky, yes? No fight, but mystery things! You are good at ride horse, but could not stop LAMP MAN from make fire! Now for question: What is TAKEDA RYUJI philosophy for deal with things that cannot be fought? How is a warrior think when whole house misbehaves? Man cannot fight house. So, how should good warrior think when these things happen?
Hello again Coolvan-kun, thank you for another insightful question.
I believe that in some form, all things can be fought, but as I explained in the last question, not all fights have to be won with fists or steel. Indeed in many situations, Social Combat is a more viable option. And so as to clarify, this does not mean that you simply agree with the other party and hope they join you, show them who you are, not only through what you say, but how you say it. Let your very presence be your weapon and let it clash with your opponent. Just remember that the most important part, in any sort of fight, in any form of struggle, is to back it up with your conviction. Without that your strikes will lose their edge and your words will fall on deaf ears.
Exposition-kun returns with another great question.
Hello everyone! Things are really looking up for me and I’ve gotten a lot of new friends since last time. One by one they come…Thank you for all your help, I couldn’t have done it without your support.
So, you went out in to the halls with Ren, then moved on to calm the horses in the rain. There you met with a shady character who were setting fire to the stable. You calmed the horses, but two of them had already fled and the man that started it all managed to escape. You reunited with Ren and Kazuo and decided to wake everyone up. It was assumed that whatever force working against you wanted you to stay at the onsenji. After some quarrelling amongst the party, it was decided that Ren would lead one party that would protect Yamamoto and you, alongside Lady Azai and young lady Ootori would seek the ghost or spirit out. You went to the onsen to wait them out and to ease the others’ nerves. Eventually a strange creature with a lantern for a face walked up to you and offered you some tea. The tea reminded you of Yamamoto and one of his lessons from your youth of the Tsukumogami, an object that has reached its 100th birthday and thus become alive and self-aware. You convinced the onsenji to return what was yours and let you be on your way so that you could restore the onsenji to its past glory. Yamamoto woke up, rejuvenated by the smell of tea and the rest. Finally you heard sounds from Satsuko, you and Ren ran to her. She was wounded but she brought with her the two horses that had run away. She said very little, but it was clear that she had been in a fight, and lost. Seeing as how she didn’t seem to want to talk, you let Ren take her to the onsen to recover and went to bed.
Now, the tea that the tsukumogami prepared, how was it?
Hello exposition-kun, I’m glad to have helped out!
I never actually had time to try it out for myself. If you remember it was later taken to the old man. Though he assures me that despite being served at an ungodly hour and the leaves not being taken care of quite as they should, it sufficed. Which is indeed a ringing endorsement.
Now, xxCutiePiexx returns after a short hiatus with a more intimate question
Hi Takeda-sama! My question for today is sort of embarrassing… blush
Didn’t it feel weird to run around for an entire episode in nothing but your underwear? And with Ren-san there as well, wasn’t that super awkward? Do you think she was embarrassed? Weren’t you?
Hello again Pie-chan, good to have you with us again.
Now, to answer your question, not at all! On the contrary, it was quite liberating.
Among friends and family, among clan members, it’s important to be able to be relaxed and be comfortable, especially at an onsenji. I don’t think Ren was very concerned with it either, nor should she. She too has little to be embarrassed about. Yes, perhaps her femininity is somewhat more modest than that of Lady Azai or Satsuko, but many seems to indeed prefer that size.
Dr.Greany rounds us off with a final question.
From Satsuko’s wound one can surmise what happened… It is clear that this.. Menace, for the lack of a better word, will most likely return. Ren appears to poised to deal with it herself. However, how will you react, Takeda Ryuji? My guess it that this Menace, again lack of a better word, is after Satsuko, but it will most likely come after you, to get her.
Hello Greany-sensei. It seems as though you know more about this than I. Satsuko have yet to tell me about what happened when she was away. But if what you say is true, then I can merely hope Ren doesn’t do anything too reckless before consulting me first. She has yet to recover fully and though I don’t doubt that she would be able to beat this creature, dealing with spirits is often different to dealing with men, especially ones powerful enough to beat Satsuko. For my own part, I will wait until Satsuko tells me about this creature. I owe it to her to hear her out before deciding on anything. Should I not like what I hear however, if he is challenging me or if he threatens Satsuko or the others, then I will make sure to show him who’s top dog.
That’s all we have time with unfortunately.
As always I’d like to thank you all for your support and that of the fine people over at Big Eyes, Small Mouth. Take care everyone and look forward to the continuation of the story coming to you shortly, and of course another thrilling episode of TAKEDA RYUJI’S QUESTION TIME~U!
But until then,
TAKEDA RYUJI, OUT!