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Tonbo Karasu

Truth and Lies - new Fiction

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Yeah, I keep my opinion that Hotaru is a stupid character, In the sense that it is so well written how she can be blinded by a pretty face and a princess imprisoned in the tower syndrome.

I still pretty much doubt that Kachiko is actually learning any lessons in the end, if Hotaru keeps enabling her.

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“I believe you, Kachiko. And you’ll help me set this right.”

Loving the enthusiasm Hotaru, just one little issue - how are you going to "set this right" without one or both of you getting executed? Kachiko is guilty of covering up a regicide, attempting to tamper with the Imperial succession, and ordering the murder of the joint Emerald- and Lion Clan Champion.

I'm not saying it can't be done, but you'll need to be luckier than the Seven Fortunes to pull it off.

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To do the comparison to another IP, Hotaru looks like A LOT like Sansa before being sent to the Fingers. The fact that Sansa actually learns from Petyr while in all the years if this relationship Hotaru hasn’t learned a thing from the Littlefinger of Rokugan just shows how oblivious she is. Not saying that I’m Team Kuwanan, but I think that Kuwanan has his priorities straighter than Hotaru.

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1 hour ago, Diogo Salazar said:

To do the comparison to another IP, Hotaru looks like A LOT like Sansa before being sent to the Fingers. The fact that Sansa actually learns from Petyr while in all the years if this relationship Hotaru hasn’t learned a thing from the Littlefinger of Rokugan just shows how oblivious she is. Not saying that I’m Team Kuwanan, but I think that Kuwanan has his priorities straighter than Hotaru.

You've missed the actual correct answer to this conundrum its not team Hotaru or Kuwanan you should support its all about Team Uji

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47 minutes ago, Mangod said:

Loving the enthusiasm Hotaru, just one little issue - how are you going to "set this right" without one or both of you getting executed?

I suppose that depends on what they mean by 'set this right.' If they're just aiming to bring stability to the Empire then the Crane Clan Champion working with the Imperial Advisor and wife of the Regent have a lot of influence to throw around.

Upon consideration I really like where this series of fictions. They get a prestige boost from aiding in the defense of an Imperial holding, they defame the Lion by getting an Emerald Magistrate to imply that such aid is necessary, and they've got a great jumping off point for operations against the Lion's rear areas come the spring.

I'm a bit mixed on the Hotaru/Kachiko situation. Personally I would have kept the confession just to ensure Kachiko's good behavior, but I can see the good will built by burning it as being valuable too.

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Posted (edited)

Even assuming that the above fiction is Kachiko manipulating Hotaru, and that's only one plausible interpretation (remember Kachiko's scenes in the second part of the trilogy about having no one to trust her and realizing she's the one who lost their trust through her actions - a realization Littlefinger never had because Littlefinger was one of the most egregious villain Sue in recent writing), as of right now Hotaru has managed to become one of a handful of people in Rokugan who actually know what's going on, while positioning her army in Toshi Ranbo for the winter.  As to what "makes things right" means that could simply mean Hotaru siding with Shoju to back the Imperial Edict - hardly a horrible position to take! Besides which, what are her alternatives at that current point in time? Disbelieving Kachiko may be wiser from a personality standpoint, but on the other hand, the slight problem with that is that Kachiko, from what the fiction shows us, told the *truth*, which I for one would rather Hotaru actually believed. And denouncing her is a no-go - Kachiko has the higher position here, so if they get into she-said-she-said, Kachiko wins. And her hierarchical superior is already aware of most of her blunders, so trying to present the fact to him is...also a no-go. 

Kuwanan, meanwhile, is being manipulated by Yoshi who is being manipulated by Hametsu into acting on the basis of prejudices rather than fact into attacking imperial forces in defiance of imperial edict. Since then all he's done is fight as a soldier in a battle Daidoji Uji actually commanded with the vague idea that this would redeem him, which isn't exactly a great show of priority. . 

Right now, Hotaru might be down a bad road, or might not be, and Kuwanan has already started down one, from which he may or may not back down. But somehow, Kuwanan here is the one who has it more together. 

Sure. 

And don't tell me about Hotaru being driven by her feelings - sure she is influenced by them, but *so is Kuwanan*. He's every inch as much influenced by his feelings (hatred of the Scorpion, and certain specific Scorpion in particular) as Hotaru (love of Kachiko) is. 

Edited by Himoto

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I mean, Hotaru still has daddy issues and Kuwanan believes his dad was murdered. Honestly, if Hotaru had found the truth about her father’s murder she would have probably put a lid on that. She is definitely putting hos over bros there, what’s to say she would  n’t just let go her father’s murder?

Kuwanan might have come from the wrong assumptions about who murdered his father, but if he found out the truth, I believe he could let go of prejudices to the Scorpion.

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1 hour ago, Diogo Salazar said:

I mean, Hotaru still has daddy issues and Kuwanan believes his dad was murdered. Honestly, if Hotaru had found the truth about her father’s murder she would have probably put a lid on that. She is definitely putting hos over bros there, what’s to say she would  n’t just let go her father’s murder?

Kuwanan might have come from the wrong assumptions about who murdered his father, but if he found out the truth, I believe he could let go of prejudices to the Scorpion.

Maybe, but I think it's much more likely that Kuwanan will find out about Kachiko's hit on Toturi.  I can't imagine anything convincing him that the Scorpion haven't just greased Emerald Champion #2 in a row, and then he'll never be swayed from his path at that point.  Maybe he'll realize Shoju hasn't been in on it, but I don't know if he'll care much even if he does.  It could also lead people to jump to some conclusions about Agasha Sumiko - potentially even Sumiko herself.  "Am I the one the Scorpion want as Emerald Champion?  Have I been played this whole time?"

 

As for me, the writers will have to slap me in the face with the evidence to make me think this is still manipulation by Kachiko.  Nothing about the writing of the relationship between her and Hotaru has struck me as such.  I wouldn't be terribly surprised if they make it to a happy ending somehow, even.

 

I did enjoy the writing of Bayushi Yojiro in this.  Doing his duty as a Scorpion, but also complete acceptance that "a samurai lives at all times three feet from death."  Relieved as he was to avoid the duel, he would've gone to it showing no fear.

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Fair enough, if he finds out about who tried to murder Toturi he could jump to this conclusion, which, from his side is really not that far. I guess for him to trust Shoju, Shoju would have to kill Kachiko. I mean, it IS samurai drama, so nobody should expect a happy ending.

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7 hours ago, Mangod said:

Loving the enthusiasm Hotaru, just one little issue - how are you going to "set this right" without one or both of you getting executed? Kachiko is guilty of covering up a regicide, attempting to tamper with the Imperial succession, and ordering the murder of the joint Emerald- and Lion Clan Champion.

And supposedly a good friend of Hotaru's, too. Whilst Toturi isn't dead, Kachiko doesn't know that.

Of all the things Kachiko's done, that should probably stick in the craw most.

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And really, if Hotaru found out the truth about her father, she should put a lid on it. Because the alternative is to announce to the Empire that the previous Emerald Champion was murdered by an anti-Hantei conspiracy that everyone up to and including the Ruby Champion and Imperial Herald are pretending is not an issue.

Given Kuwanan’s behaviour, I cannot believe that he’d willingly accept the lie of ‘natural causes’ for the Good of the Empire.

Revelation that the Kolat both exist and are powerful enough to assassinate Satsume is a political nuclear bomb. It’s impossible to predict all of the fallout.  Under a Regent with no Hantei in-hand? It could be the end of the Imperial Court.

Toturi knows that Shoju’s regency is legitimate, so if Hotaru/Kachiko don’t do anything too egregious before Toturi reveals himself to be alive, they can throw Aramoro under the bus. Acted of his own volition to kill the man that beat him to the Emerald Championship.

At that point, even if Sotorii turns up, he’s either the disinherited son of a father who died by natural causes, or is outed as a murderer. Just gotta get hands on Daisetsu and everything goes back in the box.

... as long as that lost Watchtower on the Wall isn’t a big deal, and Kuni Yori keeps his **** together ...

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20 minutes ago, Doji Hyōkin said:

At that point, even if Sotorii turns up, he’s either the disinherited son of a father who died by natural causes, or is outed as a murderer. Just gotta get hands on Daisetsu and everything goes back in the box.

... as long as that lost Watchtower on the Wall isn’t a big deal, and Kuni Yori keeps his **** together ...

Well also assuming that Daisetsu doesn't change during his "pilgrimage."  I for one hold out hope that he's going to be exposed to some ideas while he's away from the palace that when he is back in power could result in him causing some real shake ups to the power structure of the Empire that gets the clans wondering if it is such a good idea having him on the throne.

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Ah, but even if he is changed, he’s still under age and Shoju is Regent. Can’t rule in his own right until after his gempukku.

Interestingly, if Sotorii changes for the better, then he might stick with dear ol’ dad’s plan to serve as his brother’s advisor. Which means that if Daisetsu bucks too much, there’s still a spare Hantei around.  Worst-case scenario, quickly marry Sotorii to Chiyoe or Magami, make sure she (or Shahai) is pregnant, and hey presto! The line is secure even if Daisetsu doesn’t work out and Sotorii goes down for patricide. 

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I don't think you understood Hotaru in this story at all.

Please let me break it down.
 

If Hotaru took the Crane armies back to Kyuden Doji, it would be abandoning the Osari plains to the Lion, abandoning Kintani Valley, and making her, and the Crane, look like a terrible losers to all their enemies. 

If Hotaru took the armies to back up Daidoji Uji, she'd get in his way, imply that he and her brother weren't competent, and force her tired men into another full war.  As well as playing right into Matsu Tsuko's hands, because the whole point of why Tsuko is there is to kill Doji Hotaru.

If Hotaru, however, took her Armies to Toshi Ranbo, that reasserts the Crane Clan claim on both Toshi Ranbo and the Osari Plains,  makes it look like she is taking bold action, and having the right of being 'in Residence' when the Scorpion inevitably withdraw from the city, because they will, either because Shoju will need to consolidate power as regent, or  because he will need to weaken the Scorpion's position some so the clans are satisfied with him being Regent. 

 

Thus, she decides to take her armies to Toshi Ranbo.

However, she doesn't really want to /fight/ the Scorpion over Toshi Ranbo. If she did fight the Scorpion, she might look like she was going against Imperial Edict. Her men are exhausted anyway. And she'd make both the Imperial Armies AND the Scorpion as yet another set of enemies. This would be very bad for the Crane.

Therefore, her goal is to take her armies to Toshi Ranbo and winter there /without/ fighting or bloodshed. 

 

Originally, her argument, made through Tsume Itsuyo, was going to be, "We (Crane, Phoenix, and Tsume) think the Lion are going to turn and attack Toshi Ranbo like they did Kyuden Kakita, therefore, we have brought the Crane armies  here to stay so that the Lion Armies won't defeat the Imperial/Scorpion forces here".  A secondary, though unstated part of this strategy is to just have enough forces from enough clans that Yojiro just caves out of being intimidated. Her third backup plan is to engineer a situation where it's Yojiro's word against her own as clan champion, and claim that Yojiro either did something or said something that required her to take Toshi Ranbo.

However, in the negotiation, Yojiro pretty neatly dodged her traps.  He didn't let himself be intimidated, and he pointed out the weakest point in her argument against defending against the Lion....by countering that the Lion would be more likely attack Toshi Ranbo if she were there.  So she was in the process of looking for how to engineer the situation when she saw Kachiko.

Kachiko suddenly and unexpectedly provided a fourth way of capturing the city.  If Hotaru claimed Yojiro had captured Kachiko, and would duel him to free her, she could defeat or kill Yojiro, and then claim Toshi Ranbo because its magistrate was dead after dishonorably capturing the Imperial Advisor. All the plan needed was for Kachiko to play along, and Kachiko already indicated to Hotaru that it seemed she had been captured there.  This duel is /purely/ political gain for Hotaru...claiming the city honorably and without a big fight or going against the Imperial legions.   Shoju would have to play along, or have his own weaknesses exposed.

Kachiko did no play along, however, showing more loyalty to Shoju than to Hotaru by saying she wasn't captured.  She did, however, understand what Hotaru's position was, and realized having Hotaru there would make her own position much better too. Therefore she negotiated and got Yojiro to let Hotaru stay and keep command of the city, making it the best for both the Crane and Scorpion.

This is not saying that personal feelings weren't there, or that Hotaru would never do anything that would cause her to be manipulated by Kachiko.  But that's not what happened here.



Now, on the other matter.  When Hotaru burned Kachiko's confession, that doesn't suddenly make 'Hotaru a big traitor'.  First, attempted murder, in Rokugan, is not the same thing as in modern time. I mean, Toshimoko tried some attempted murder on Hotaru just for fun the night before.  While Kachiko has every reason to think Toturi didn't escape, Hotaru knows Toturi better, and may very well think that there is every possibility he did. Hotaru's job is not enforcing Imperial Law, and she is not obligated to report every criminal act she ever finds out, by either honor or law.  And finally, Hotaru is well aware of how it would destroy the Empire if she reports it.  Because then it would all come out. Reporting that the old Emperor had been murdered by the initial heir, destroying the divinity of the Hantei line? That'd shatter the faith in the Empire, which is why Kachiko was covering it up in the first place, and why Miya Satoshi agreed to it so easily. Showing that Kachiko used a body double and that Bayushi Shoju was using the body double in her place? That would shatter the Scorpion as well as every agreement Kachiko...or Shoju...ever brokered, undermining even moreso his legitimacy as regent.  It would defy the public order Shoju had given to his Scorpion...to keep Kachiko safe. Having it become public knowledge at all that Kachiko was in Toshi Ranbo (as opposed to known to just those few people in the room)? It would look /terrible/  for her to the Rest of the Crane, because it would look like she had gone to Toshi Ranbo just to rescue Kachiko. 

To protect herself, the Crane, the Scorpion, and the entire Empire, what Kachiko had done to Toturi needed to be kept secret.

The only thing wrong that Hotaru did, maybe, was not write  privately to Shoju to tell him Kachiko's confession. But why should she?  Shoju let one murderer...Sotorii...pass as is.  Why would he not hide the second one? (his, potential, wife)  Quietly reporting it to Shoju would just make it more likely Shoju would make Hotaru dead and put the Crane at a big disadvantage in the court.  Not so good.

You can love someone and still think clearly about things.

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1 hour ago, KakitaKaori said:

Now, on the other matter.  When Hotaru burned Kachiko's confession, that doesn't suddenly make 'Hotaru a big traitor'.  First, attempted murder, in Rokugan, is not the same thing as in modern time. I mean, Toshimoko tried some attempted murder on Hotaru just for fun the night before.  While Kachiko has every reason to think Toturi didn't escape, Hotaru knows Toturi better, and may very well think that there is every possibility he did. Hotaru's job is not enforcing Imperial Law, and she is not obligated to report every criminal act she ever finds out, by either honor or law.  And finally, Hotaru is well aware of how it would destroy the Empire if she reports it.  Because then it would all come out. Reporting that the old Emperor had been murdered by the initial heir, destroying the divinity of the Hantei line? That'd shatter the faith in the Empire, which is why Kachiko was covering it up in the first place, and why Miya Satoshi agreed to it so easily. Showing that Kachiko used a body double and that Bayushi Shoju was using the body double in her place? That would shatter the Scorpion as well as every agreement Kachiko...or Shoju...ever brokered, undermining even moreso his legitimacy as regent.  It would defy the public order Shoju had given to his Scorpion...to keep Kachiko safe. Having it become public knowledge at all that Kachiko was in Toshi Ranbo (as opposed to known to just those few people in the room)? It would look /terrible/  for her to the Rest of the Crane, because it would look like she had gone to Toshi Ranbo just to rescue Kachiko. 

To protect herself, the Crane, the Scorpion, and the entire Empire, what Kachiko had done to Toturi needed to be kept secret.

The only thing wrong that Hotaru did, maybe, was not write  privately to Shoju to tell him Kachiko's confession. But why should she?  Shoju let one murderer...Sotorii...pass as is.  Why would he not hide the second one? (his, potential, wife)  Quietly reporting it to Shoju would just make it more likely Shoju would make Hotaru dead and put the Crane at a big disadvantage in the court.  Not so good.

You can love someone and still think clearly about things.

While I can appreciate the Crane view on why their "occupation" of Toshi Ranbo is for the betterment of the Empire, this is the section that I have to strongly disagree with.  While everything Kachiko had done up to a point in "covering" up the murder of the Emperor by Sotorii was the right call in the circumstances I agree, and while "attempted" murder by way of duels is common in the empire that is a far cry from what occurred with Toturi.  She was well aware that Sotorii had been passed up as heir in favor of his brother (after all Sotorii had just told her that himself) so her duty at that point should have been to make the body presentable and then have the Edict read the next day and allow Sotorii to "retire" to a monastary as his intended.  But since Toturi, to the best of her knowledge at the time, was the only other person aware of that fact she made the calculation instead to place a pliable Prince on the throne.  Since she didn't tell even Satoshi why Sotorii had murdered his father just that he had been the one to do it in a fit of rage.  Her calculation was, in her own words, to ensure that the Sotorii would ascend to the throne and be in the Scorpions debt and to achieve that goal a lose end (Toturi) needed to be cleaned up.  

Kachiko has admitted to being in defiance of the Imperial Edict banning shinobi (even if all the clans do the same, the key is that they maintain plausible deniability between their leadership and the agents) when she ordered Aramoro to assassinate Toturi which alone should be enough to **** her, but even worse she was ordering the murder of the EMERALD CHAMPION for purely political gains. 

As a Clan Champion it is very much Hotaru's duty to enforce Imperial Law in this regard as Kachiko has committed treason against the crown by ordering the assassination of the Emperor's personal champion and chief magistrate of the Empire for her clans own personal gain (note that there was nothing in the need to murder Toturi that was for the better of the Empire and it was wholly so that Kachiko could place Sotorii on the throne as her puppet since she knew the entire reason he killed his father was that he had been passed over), and we have to assume has admitted that she failed to notify Shoju of those actions since she was telling Hotaru EVERYTHING she had done. 

Even if Hotaru weren't to publicly proclaim those actions, at the very least she should have been notifying Shoju as both Kachiko's Clan Champion, husband and Regent to the Throne of the high treason that his wife has committed so that he can make the proper judgement on how to proceed (in the best case her just being ordered to commit seppuku and the most likely answer to that being a short trip for Kachiko to so some tree viewing).  Instead she has decided that it is better not to share that tidbit and in making that decision has now made herself part of Kachiko's conspiracy and a traitor to the Empire.

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Posted (edited)
44 minutes ago, Schmoozies said:

Even if Hotaru weren't to publicly proclaim those actions, at the very least she should have been notifying Shoju as both Kachiko's Clan Champion, husband and Regent to the Throne of the high treason that his wife has committed so that he can make the proper judgement on how to proceed (in the best case her just being ordered to commit seppuku and the most likely answer to that being a short trip for Kachiko to so some tree viewing).  Instead she has decided that it is better not to share that tidbit and in making that decision has now made herself part of Kachiko's conspiracy and a traitor to the Empire.

Even in the modern world, not reporting a suspected possible murder someone confessed does not make you a murderer.  She has not even taken any action that to cover up conspiracy after the fact.  She very well may even believe Toturi is alive.  Ironically, in this case, even if the murder /was/ successful, Hotaru is doing the exact same thing that Agasha Sumiko is.  In fact, Sumiko's responsibility is to discover Satsume's murderer in her job as Ruby Champion. Hotaru's responsibility is not to find Toturi's, so Sumiko is far worse.  Is Agasha Sumiko a traitor to the Empire?

Also, retaking Toshi Ranbo isn't for the betterment of the Empire...it's for the betterment of the Crane. 

 

Edited by KakitaKaori

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, KakitaKaori said:

 Is Agasha Sumiko a traitor to the Empire?

 

No because at the time she is the acting authority on the matter and she isn't letting the murder go free since as per the adventure the culprit should have been either caught, and she is "investigating" the mastermind who should have been behind them.

I want to repeat since you keep glossing over it Kachiko has confessed to MURDERING THE EMERALD CHAMPION.  Even if Hotaru has reason to believe Toturi survived (which lets be honest she probably shouldn't) just the fact that Kachiko has acted in open rebellion of Imperial authority is enough to condemn her, and Hotaru going along with it and by burning her confession and not bringing the information she is now aware of to Shoju is what nets her a place in the conspiracy (which even in modern times would be the case as aiding someone to cover up a murder after the fact makes you an accessory to the crime and potentially subject to the same punishment as the murderer)

Edited by Schmoozies

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23 hours ago, Himoto said:

And don't tell me about Hotaru being driven by her feelings - sure she is influenced by them, but *so is Kuwanan*. He's every inch as much influenced by his feelings (hatred of the Scorpion, and certain specific Scorpion in particular) as Hotaru (love of Kachiko) is. 

 

I just wanted to pull this out and give it a +1 because there's a widespread tendency to say "you're letting your feelings control you!" when those feelings are soft/positive/feminine-associated ones, but to somehow classify hard/negative/masculine-associated things like anger as "not feelings," and therefore actions taken on that basis are totally rational and well-considered. Not a universal tendency, certainly, but enough of a pattern that it's good to call out the fact that Kuwanan is being emotional in his own way.

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