Letter 11

What is more fragile than peace?

We thought that peace would return once our struggle with the Dragon Clan ended. Once Hitomi had fled the field and the Dragon lands were freed, we though that we would go back to the New Tao and meditate upon its enlightened mysteries for the next thousand years.

We were wrong.

The temple on the flanks of the Mountain of the Seven Thunders, one of the greatest and most holy shrines of those who went to fight against Fu Leng, was sacked and burned this month past. Our fragile peace was crushed. Strangest of all, the brothers within fought to the death in defense of the temple, swords and naginata in their hands when they died. What could a simple temple have contained that bandits would want and monks would die to defend?

Most of all, who would dare to approach that place with hatred in their hearts, and who would steal the cloak that bore the Thunder Shosuro-sama's body to her pyre? It seems we are much changed in this age of man.

With the Emperor's accusations against Lady Osugi, the New Tao has fallen under suspicion. If the words we study are false, only one man can tell us the truth. We must go to Toturi I and find out what was truly said to Shinsei's heir. If he cannot remember Shinsei's words and give us the True Tao, I fear for the coming age. If he dies before he writes the truth, we are lost. Protect Toturi, brothers. Beseech him to return that which fate has stolen. Only with Toturi's word can we survive the next age. Remember this above all else: without the Tao, we are as nothing.

Perhaps this is why Toshimoko left. He spoke to me the night before he vanished over the cliffs of Otosan Uchi. He spoke of falsehoods too great to bear, and if the sacrifice of life for knowledge. Toshimoko, at last I understand. It was not the Emperor you were searching for.

Keeper of Fire

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