The 24th day of Bennath, Year 142 of the Fifth Age
Waiko, the Wushanko Isles
Ashitaka Kytsūmare (愛鷹キツネ) is a warrior from the Eastern Lands that has come to the mainland of Gielinor on a quest to regain his honor. The story of Ashitaka began when he was born on the island of Waiko, before his family relocated to the island of Ai Jei, one of the largest and most powerful islands of the east. The Kytsūmare family prospered, joining Ai Jei’s more wealthy and respected class as merchants and warriors. When Ashitaka came of age, he joined the militia, serving as a warrior of the Khan himself.
This was, however, before he was arrested by the militia for concealing a small family of sea orphan refugees within his home. The sea orphans were executed, and Ashitaka was punished for his acts of treason by having his top knot cut, signifying that he was now dishonored, shunned, and banished by those he once called friends and family. Ashitaka attempted ritual suicide so that he may regain his honor in death, but was interrupted by his sister, of whom convinced him that he should regain his honor as a living man rather than as a corpse.
Adopting the name of Fumeiyo (不名誉), he traveled to the far west, making his way to the mainland, of where he would begin his quest to reclaim his stolen honor. Ashitaka/Fumeiyo is played by his creator, Emyris Bayne, and is used as a mostly freelance character, working to regain his lost honor where he can.
Early Life in the Wushanko Isles
The story of Ashitaka began on the isle of Waiko, located just south of the isle of Tuai Leit in the Arc region of the Wushanko Isles. Waiko is a merchant isle, home to many shrewd merchants and slave traders. Among these merchants is the House of Kytsūmare, of whom were especially skilled in the art of bartering, persuasion, and speech in general. The patriarch of this household is Ajibana, a very wealthy, charismatic, and often stern merchant, specializing in the trade of those enslaved above all else, though his skill was not limited merely to slave trade.
Ajibana’s wife of many years, a quiet, mild-tempered woman named Akemi, was soon to bear her second child into the House of Kytsūmare, the first being a boy by the name of Hitomi, of whom trained to be a merchant, like his father. The second child was born, appearing strong and filled with life at the moment of his arrival. The child was named Ashitaka, after Ajibana’s cousin and dear friend, of whom currently served as a warrior of the Khan of Waiko.
Relocation to Ai Jei
The Kytsūmare Family traveled constantly, being that they were a family of merchants and tradesmen, relocating to isles where they believed that fortune could be found. Ajibana, in contrast to the others of the Kytsūmare line, discovered that the isle of Ai Jei, located in the Skull region of the Wushanko Isles, was ripe with opportunity, filled with materials and minerals uncommon throughout the regions. Ajibana’s side of the family, including Akemi, Hitomi, Ashitaka, and a newly born daughter named Misaki, settled down on the island of Ai Jei, becoming successful as they traded Ai Jei’s wares to the rest of the Wushanko Isles.
After having sailed throughout the Wushanko Isles in search for opportunity, the travels of the Kytsūmare Family had left Ashitaka with very little time left in his childhood, nearing his adolescence. As his father trained Hitomi and his mother cared for his infant sister, Ashitaka set off on small adventures around the island of Ai Jei, finding caves and crevices to act out imaginary battles in. Ashitaka, though initially an outsider, gained a few friends along the way, bonding with the other children while he could.
The Warrior in the Caverns
One day, during the ending days of Ashitaka’s childhood, he was playing near a cave along the beaches. Though the sun was nowhere to be seen in the dark clouds above, this did not hinder Ashitaka. He swung a stick of bamboo about, pretending that it was a sword, before hearing a peculiar crumbling sound from the cave. Ashitaka entered the cave, holding his blade of bamboo in a defensive stance. As he explored the cave, he heard the crumbling sound once more. He looked to his feet, realizing that this crumbling was the floor beneath him. Before Ashitaka was able to exit the cave, the ground completely collapsed beneath him, causing him to fall through before grazing his head upon a rock, losing consciousness.
Ashitaka opened his eyes, grasping his head in pain. He sat up, glancing about to find that he was in a cavern filled with blue light coming from the pools of water in the rocks. Ashitaka glanced to his side, finding his nearly intact bamboo pole. He grasped it in his right hand before standing, looking about the cavern for a way out. It was then that he heard footsteps coming from the caverns. Ashitaka found a large rock nearby, resolving to hide behind it. The footsteps drew closer, revealing that they belonged to a man dressed in the armour worn only by warriors of the Khan. “Hello?” the warrior shouted, “Is anyone here?”
Ashitaka slowly revealed himself from behind the rock, his pole of bamboo still in hand. “Y-yes…”
The warrior glanced to Ashitaka, tilting his head before smiling. He drew a bit closer, kneeling so that he was at Ashitaka’s eye level. “How did you get down here, boy?” Ashitaka pointed his bamboo pole to the hole in the ceiling of the cavern. “Oh. Are you alright?”
Ashitaka nodded slowly. “I-I believe so.”
The warrior eyed Ashitaka curiously with an air of concern. He placed a fist to his chest, bowing his head to Ashitaka as he spoke. “I am Jho-jin, warrior of the Khan of this isle. Tell me, boy, what is your name?”
Ashitaka bowed his head to the warrior. “I am Ashitaka Kytsūmare, son of Ajibana. My father is a merchant of the Khan.”
The warrior, Jho-jin, nodded. “I see. Well, I am down here on a mission to eradicate a few smugglers from these caverns…perhaps you would want to come with me so that we may leave these caverns together?”
Ashitaka nodded his head to this proposition. “I will follow, then, my lord.” He bows his head to the warrior.
Jho-jin smiled, tilting his head toward the pools. “Alright. Stay here for a moment, while I scout to see where these pools lead to.” Jho-jin removed his blades from his belt before gently handing them to Ashitaka, diving into one of the pools adorning the cavern floor. Ashitaka leaned against the rock where he once hid, holding the warrior’s blades carefully. It was not long before Jho-jin resurfaced from the pool. He crawled out slowly, soaking wet. “Alright,” he said, taking his blades from Ashitaka, “There is another cavern connected to these pools that I believe may house the smugglers. Can you swim, boy?”
Ashitaka nodded. “A little bit…”
Jho-jin nodded back. “Then hold on to me, and hold your breath.” Upon saying this, Jho-jin crawled back into the pool, followed by Ashitaka, of whom grasped onto Jho-jin’s armour upon slipping into the cold water. Ashitaka inhaled deeply, closing his eyes tightly, holding his breath as Jho-jin submerged them within the water, swimming to the opening that he had seen before. Soon, Jho-jin brought them to the opening, swimming upward into a pocket of air. He and Ashitaka took a deep breath of this air once they climbed out of the pool, shivering from the cold. “Are you alright, boy?”
Ashitaka laid himself down on the floor, nodding as he breathed. “I believe so.” Jho-jin nodded before looking through the cavern curiously, as though having heard something. “What is--?”
Jho-jin covered Ashitaka’s mouth with his hand, signaling for him to keep quiet. It was not long before Ashitaka heard voices coming from nearby. Jho-jin removed his hand from Ashitaka’s mouth, signaling for him to follow him slowly as he crept toward the archway at the edge of the cavern. Ashitaka did so, looking to see the smugglers that Jho-jin had spoke of below.
Jho-jin bit his lip, cursing. “Kuso…”
Ashitaka examined the smugglers more closely, whispering, “Are they…?”
Jho-jin nodded, clenching his teeth. “Gai-jin, yes. Coming from the west to smuggle illegal goods. This is one of the reasons that our Khan is wary of those from the mainland.” Jho-jin drew his longsword, a katana, slowly and silently. “Our job is to send them to their gods.”
Ashitaka nodded. “What can I do?”
Jho-jin looked to Ashitaka. “Here.” He drew his shortsword, a wakizashi, from his left side, handing it to Ashitaka. “If they come to you, do what you must. Stay close, watch my back. Understood?”
Ashitaka nodded, holding the wakizashi in his right hand . “I understand.”
Jho-jin nodded back to Ashitaka, signaling for him to follow his lead. He crouched close to the ground, sneaking toward the smugglers. Jho-jin proceeded to sneak up behind one of the smugglers, impaling him with his blade.
One of the smugglers turned, drawing his curved scimitar, crying out in the common-tongue, “What in the name of Saradomin…?!” Though neither Jho-jin nor Ashitaka understood what the smuggler had said, the others turned as well, brandishing their blades.
Jho-jin stood, crying out as he charged another smuggler, running his blade through his chest. The smuggler fell to the ground, dead. Another charged Jho-jin, resulting in the decapitation of the third smuggler. A fourth still remained. This fourth smuggler was able to kick the katana from Jho-jin’s hand, sending it clattering across the cavern floor. The smuggler pinned Jho-jin to the ground, holding the scimitar to his throat. The smuggler laughed before muttering broken words in the Eastern tongue, saying, “Bid world goodbye, damned savage…!”
It was then that Ashitaka ran up behind the fourth smuggler, thrusting Jho-jin’s wakizashi into his back. The smuggler winced in pain as Ashitaka pulled the wakizashi from his back, causing the smuggler to fall onto Jho-jin.
The warrior grasped the smuggler, pushing him off as he stood, spitting on his corpse. He turned, looking to Ashitaka, pleased. “You did well, boy. Perhaps, one day, you may join me in fighting for our Khan?”
Ashitaka smiled. “I believe that I would, my lord.”
Jho-jin chuckled a bit, kneeling down to Ashitaka, placing a hand on his shoulder. “If you desire to do so, I would gladly take you as my student. Now, come, we should leave these caverns and speak to my superiors on this matter of your training…”
Walking the Path of Honor
Despite the fact that Ajibana desired for Ashitaka to become a merchant, he found it honorable that his son desired to become a warrior of the Khan of Ai Jei. He gave his son his blessing as Ashitaka bid his family farewell so that he could be raised and taught by his new master, Jho-jin, the warrior that he had met in the caverns. Ashitaka did not regret leaving his parents and his envious brother, though he regretted leaving his sister behind. He gave her a talisman that he had always worn around his neck so that she may remember him before he set off with Jho-jin to begin his training to become a warrior of the Khan.
At first, Ashitaka found his training difficult, being that he was not allowed to use any other weapons aside from his hands, agility, and mind. Jho-jin forced discipline from Ashitaka, teaching him to use many forms of stylized martial arts to use in hand-to-hand combat, as well as in his quest to find inner peace. Ashitaka, however, was restless and anxious to begin learning about weaponry. But, as Jho-jin had taught him, a warrior of the Khan must be more than a weapon; he must also be a tool and a strategist guided by his own inner peace.
Ties to the Past
Ashitaka bowed to the training dummy before flexing his hands and arms, striking at it. “Good,” Jho-jin said, “keep your mind clear and calm as you fight.” Ashitaka continued, striking at the dummy with powerful blows. “Stop.”
Ashitaka did so, turning his head toward Jho-jin, breathing heavily. “Yes, master?”
Jho-jin folded his arms behind his back, drawing near to his student. “Your breathing is inconsistent. I can see that you strike with anger, frustration. Why?”
Ashitaka shakes his head, looking to the ground. “I miss them; my family.”
Jho-jin leans against the oaken wall, glancing toward his student. “And they miss you. But your father sends letters every month. He is proud. They all are.”
Ashitaka glances toward Jho-jin. “But it is not him that I miss…master.”
Jho-jin smiles a bit. “Your sister…Misaki?”
Ashitaki nods. “Yes…it will be her ninth name day in a few days.”
Jho-jin sighs, looking to the ground. “How long has it been since you have seen your family? Three…four years?”
“Five and a half.” Ashitaka crosses his arms, leaning against the wall beside his master. You found me at ten, and I am nearly sixteen now.”
Jho-jin nods. “Yes, well…the past means much to us, especially in the case of family…I permit you one day to see them again, no more.”
Ashitaka smiles, bowing. “Thank you, master…I shall train until her name day, then I shall leave?”
Jho-jin nods, waving a hand. “Yes, for a day. Now, relax your breathing and strike more harmoniously…”
A Pleasant Reunion
The date of Misaki’s name day soon came. Ashitaka traveled from his training grounds to the village where his family now lived. He eventually made his way to the house where his family lived, but found it empty. He glanced about curiously, wondering if something had happened while he was away, if his family had moved again. It was then that he heard a familiar, though matured voice. “If it is not Ashitaka…the prodigal son…”
Ashitaka turned, seeing a young man, though several years older than himself, before him. He smiled, bowing. “It is good to see you again, my brother Hitomi.”
Hitomi rolled his eyes, crossing his arms as he leaned against one of the columns beside the entrance of the house. “What brings you here after all of those years that you spent away?”
Ashitaka shrugged. “I wanted to come for Misaki’s name day. I thought that perhaps it would be pleasant to see me again after so many years?” Hitomi chuckled sarcastically. “And how is your training on the mountain, brother? I am sure that you are concerned about pleasing your master and our mother and father.”
Ashitaka tilts his head from side to side. “I do this for my honor, but if it should honor mother and father, I can not complain. In speaking of them, where are they?”
Hitomi shrugged. “Perhaps they are out at the market, purchasing gifts for our sister.”
Ashitaka would glance about. “Any idea when they may return?”
Hitomi shrugged before Ajibana, Akemi, and Misaki came up the road, finding the two standing outside. Misaki smiled as she saw her brother, running up to embrace Ashitaka. “Brother!” She cried out, excited upon seeing Ashitaka. He smiled, hugging his sister as she met with him.
“Hello! My…it seems that you have grown larger since we last saw one another!”
Misaki giggled a bit. “Yes, perhaps one day, I shall become as big and strong as you!”
“Well,” Ashitaka said, “It takes practice.” He looked to his parents, nodding to them. “Mother, father.”
Ameki smiled, embracing Ashitaka as well. Ajibana stood there, smiling at this reunion. “Ashitaka,” Ajibana nodded, “it is good to see you again. For how long will you stay?”
Ashitaka finished embracing his mother and sister, sighing. “I must leave first thing tomorrow morning, I was given the day to come here so that we may celebrate Misaki’s name day together.”
“Well,” Ameki said, “that was kind of your master. Come, I was just about to start cooking our supper.”
Ashitaka forced himself awake hours before dawn, being that he was not fond of long goodbyes. He packed his things, about to head out before stopping by Misaki’s room. He opened the doorway, sitting by her bedside, taking her small hand within his own. Misaki awoke, rubbing at her eyes, looking to Ashitaka. “Brother…?”
Ashitaka smiled, placing a hand on her cheek. “I was about to leave, but I wanted to bid you farewell before I did so.”
Misaki sat up in her bed. “Please, stay…”
Ashitaka shook his head, smiling despite his sadness. “I can not, for I am to return to my master today and need to leave sooner rather than later. I wanted to see you before then.”
Misaki smiled wearily. “I love you, brother.” She leaned into his arms, hugging him.
Ashitaka smiled. “And I love you, Misaki. I am unsure when we shall see one another again, perhaps not for a long time…but we will see each other again, I am sure of it. Tell mother and father that I wished them well and that I love them?”
Misaki nodded. “I will.”
Ashitaka smiled, kissing Misaki’s forehead. “Now rest. Dream of your next name day.” With that, Ashitaka left, traveling back to the mountain from where he had come.
The Life of a Warrior
After having spent another six years as a student under Jho-jin and learning to become a warrior of the Khan, Ashitaka had learned all that his master could teach him about discipline, martial arts, and finding inner peace. Jho-jin took pride in his student’s progress, as did Ashitaka’s parents and sister, of whom was now nearly fifteen years of age.
However, as Ashitaka became more of the son that his parents had wished for, his elder brother grew more envious of him, plotting and planning on how to ruin him in the eyes of their family and to make them look more favorably upon him. After his coronation as a warrior of the Khan of Ai Jei, Ashitaka gained more experience and wisdom in his line of work, also finding more time to spend with his parents and Misaki. Ashitaka had also purchased a new home with the money that he had earned in the service of his Khan, allowing his family to visit often for celebrations.
The Renegades from Waiko
As the years passed by, Ashitaka had accumulated more wealth and respect from his fellow warriors, and was visited often by his sister, now at an age of twenty. One evening, as he sat alone, drinking a bowl of sake when he heard someone knocking at his door. He rested his sake down, drawing his wakizashi as he made his way to the door. “Who is there?”
“Ashitaka?” He recognized this voice.
“Misaki?” He opened the door, sheathing his katana. “Misaki, what is--” He looked to see three robed beings, one more masculine, one feminine, and one small and childlike, accompanying Misaki. He glanced to his sister. “What is this? Who are these people?”
Misaki sighed, shaking her head. “There is no time to explain, brother. Please, let us in.”
Ashitaka stepped aside, letting his sister and the other three figures into his home. “Who are these--”
One of the figures, the more masculine one, interrupted. “Is it safe here, Lady Misaki?”
Misaki nodded. “Yes. You are safe here.” The masculine figure nodded, pulling down his hood to reveal a head similar to that of a seahorse, though with human features as well. The woman revealed her face to be similar to that of a human, though with the eyes, whiskers, and gills of a koi, and the child would appear to have more human features than either of them, though he had gills adorning the sides of his neck.
Ashitaka bit his lip, eyeing his sister furiously. “Can we have a word?” Misaki nodded, moving to her brother. Ashitaka would glare at her, whispering. “You brought sea orphans into my home? Misaki, what in the name of the Khan do you think you are doing? Have you gone completely mad?!”
Misaki sighed. “Look, Ashitaka, I brought these poor souls here because they were captured and sold as slaves . I have spent the past few months liberating their people and relocating them.”
“And so you thought that it would be a brilliant idea to bring them into the home of a man who has not only sworn his loyalty to his Khan, but to the Khan of Ai Jei!”
“And who do you love better, your Khan or me?”
Ashitaka sighed, looking to the ground. “How long are they to stay here..?”
Misaki looked to the sea orphans. “Until I can find a safer place for them.”
Ashitaka looked into Misaki’s eyes. “Look…I am sorry…but this is one of the most dangerous places for these people to be right now.”
Misaki shook her head. “You clearly have not seen how they were treated on Waiko.”
“Well, slavery is all that they risk there. Here, they risk death…as do you and I.”
Misaki placed a hand on his cheek. “Trust me. Alright? This is temporary until we find a safer place for them to hide.”
Ashitaka nodded, placing his hand over hers. “I just…do not wish to see anyone get hurt.”
Misaki smiled, pressing her lips to Ashitaka’s cheek. “Do not worry…you will not have to.”
As Misaki drew away, Ashitaka smiled to her. “I love you.”
Misaki smiled back. “And I you…“ She then opened the doorway, leaving her brother with the sea orphans that she had set free. Ashitaka turned to them, eyeing them with caution.
The seahorse looked to Ashitaka, a disturbed and worried look in his eyes “Do you have any food? My wife and son are very hungry.”
Ashitaka nodded to the larder in his dining room. “Help yourself.”
The seahorse nodded in thanks, heading over to the larder. The koi turned to Ashitaka. “You are very kind, risking your life for us.”
Ashitaka turned away, climbing up the stairs. “Just do not get me killed.”
Ashitaka awoke the following morning, climbing downstairs to find the sea orphan renegades sleeping on the ground. He made his way into the kitchen, fetching a bowl of water. He gazed into his reflection, adjusting his top knot. “Is that important..?”
Ashitaka turned, surprised, seeing that he was addressed by the seahorse. “Yes. It symbolizes a warrior’s honor.”
“Hm.” The seahorse drew a bit closer. “I am sorry that this was all thrust upon you last night…”
Ashitaka shook his head. “It is quite alright…You were lucky that it was my sister who took you into my house…otherwise, you might not have had shelter over your heads last night.”
The seahorse nodded. “Yes, Kora…my wife…and I agree that you are very kind. I am Lin.”
Ashitaka bows. “Ashitaka Kytsūmare. Though I have sworn allegiance to my Khan, my allegiance to my sister is stronger; you are safe within my home. Well, that is, until my sister finds a safer place for you and your family to go.”
Lin bows his head. “Thank you…you are too kind.”
Ashitaka bows again. “I had best be off to report to my Khan for duty. I will mention nothing of your family, just remember to hide in my basement if someone arrives who is not either my sister or myself.”
Lin nods. “Understood, Master Ashitaka. Kora, my son, Sidka, and myself shall remain her until otherwise instructed. Good day.” As weeks passed by, Hitomi had become convinced that Ashitaka was hiding something from the Khan. He was determined to reveal his brother’s faults and betrayals, provided that he had any to reveal, breaking into his home one afternoon while Ashitaka was away. Lin came upstairs from the basement, having heard footsteps from above. “Ashitaka?”
Led to Ruin
Hitomi heard this voice, investigating about the house. Lin saw Hitomi from the back, eyeing him curiously. “Ashitaka..? Is that you?” Hitomi turned, surprised to find the sea orphan staring back at him. At that moment, Ashitaka entered his home, finding Hitomi standing before him.
“Ashitaka…” Hitomi, though having been searching for flaws in his brother’s ways, was surprised to find that he had been right all along. “You harbor sea orphans in your home..?”
Ashitaka stood, paralyzed with fear. “Hitomi…please, I beg of you--”
“You are in no position to beg!” Hitomi crossed past Ashitaka, making his way to the door. “I am off to tell the Khan exactly what you are!”
Lin began to growl, running for Ashitaka, taking the katana from his side and running after Hitomi. “Lin, no!”
Ashitaka ran into the street, finding that Lin had impaled Hitomi with the blade. It was then that he realized what he had done. He turned to his former host. “Ashitaka..?”
It was then that Lin was pinned to the ground by several of the Khan’s warriors. Kora and Sidka ran out from Ashitaka’s house after Lin, also being taken to the ground. Ashitaka fell to his knees, in shock. Misaki ran out into the street as well, coming across this horrible scene. She cried out upon seeing Hitomi’s corpse, as well as her friends pinned to the ground.
Ashitaka felt a tear run down his face. Over the past few weeks, these people had become his friends. Now they would be executed, and Ashitaka barely knew what awaited him.
Defiled and Banished
Ashitaka was charged with the crime of harboring fugitives conspiring against the Khan, and was seen as a traitor of the people of Ai Jei. After a week of imprisonment, Ashitaka sat within his cell, hearing a set of footsteps drawing closer. He stood, seeing that these footsteps belonged to his former master, Jho-jin. He bowed. “Master…”
Jho-jin could not bear to look into Ashitaka’s eyes as he spoke. “I wish that I came here today as a friend, Ashitaka…but I am not here to exchange pleasantries.”
Ashitaka nodded, bowing his head in shame. “Yes…I have dishonored the Khan by harboring those he claims evil…but I must dishonor myself even more by stating that he is wrong in accusing those who--”
“Enough!” Jho-jin shouted through the bars at Ashitaka. He sighed before turning his head away. “The Khan has tasked me with removing your honor before the citizens of Ai Jei as a final symbol of your punishment before banishing you from these lands forever.”
Ashitaka sighed. “And what of the sea orphans? And my sister?”
Jho-jin shook his head. “Your sea orphans were executed shortly after you were taken into custody…your sister, though she confessed to the crime of harboring them, was found innocent, being that she is a woman, incapable of such a crime as treason.” Ashitaka glared at his former master. “So, the Khan wishes for me to live without any form of dignity or honor for following my heart..?”
Jho-jin shook his head. “He has granted for me to bestow upon you the wakizashi that you once used during your service to him. It seems that he is not completely merciless and desires for you to regain your honor back in death.”
Ashitaka bowed his head. “And when is he planning on seeing me stripped of my honor?”
“Tomorrow, at dawn.”
“So be it.”
Jho-jin nodded, about to turn away. “Oh…and one more thing…I have news of your father.”
Ashitaka looked to his former master again. “My father? Is he well?”
Jho-jin sighed. “Your father took his life in order to attempt to restore the honor that you robbed from him. I am sorry. If you wish to regain your honor, you will join him in death on your own accord.” Ashitaka fell to his knees, shocked by this news as Jho-jin left him to be alone until the following day.
Ashitaka awoke at dawn when Jho-jin came to his cell, accompanied by three warriors of the Khan. He stood, nodding to his former master. Jho-jin nodded back, holding back from shedding tears as one of the warriors accompanying him bound Ashitaka’s ankles and wrists in chains, taking him above to the center of the city so that his final symbol of dignity and honor may be cut from his head.
He kneeled at the center, having seen his weeping mother and sister in the crowd. Jho-jin stood before his former student, drawing his wakizashi as he proceeded to cut the knot from Ashitaka’s hair. Though the process was quick, Ashitaka felt as though it had lasted for hours. Jho-jin tossed the knot to the Khan’s feet.
The warriors of the Khan stood Ashitaka up before removing the chains from his hands and feet. Jho-jin leaned in close to Ashitaka, saying, “You are banished from the isle of Ai Jei, and indeed the isles of the Skull Region for the rest of your days. May you find honor once again in death.” Ashitaka fell to the ground, limp and unconscious as the hilt of a warrior’s blade found the back of his head.
“May I Find Honor in Death.”
When Ashitaka awoke, he found himself lying in a cot, being tended to by Misaki. He glanced about, finding that he was within the bowels of a ship. He groaned a bit as he uttered his sister’s name. Misaki looked to him and gave a concerned smile. “Good morning.”
Ashitaka looked into his sister’s eyes as she sat down at his side. “How long have I been asleep?”
Misaki shrugged, her hand resting on his. “Two, maybe three days. Jho-jin could not live with his guilt and committed suicide before we set off. We are bound for Tuai Leit so that you may embark for the mainland.”
Ashitaka nodded. “Because the Wushanko Isles cannot bear to call themselves the home of a traitor.”
Misaki sighed. “You need rest…I’ll return in an hour to check on you again, brother.” She pressed her lips to his cheek before leaving him alone. Ashitaka turned, seeing his wakizashi resting at his bedside.
He pulled the sheets from on top of him away, now standing. He ran a hand down the sheathe of the blade before drawing it, eyeing the engraving in the metal: (ドラゴン包丁); Dragon-Cleaver. He kneeled to the oaken floor, holding the blade toward his stomach . It was then that Misaki entered the room once more. “I am sorry, I for--…Ashitaka!” She rushed to his side, pulling the blade away from him, a tear lingering in her eye. “Are all of you men so suicidal?”
Ashitaka remained kneeling, his eyes closed. “That is no longer my name, Misaki…I am something else now…I have dishonored myself. Not only myself, but also my Khan, my friends, my master…my family…”
Misaki kneeled at his side, now weeping. “And killing yourself will take back all that you have done? I will never see you again as it is, now you wish to be certain that your life ends here, after all that has happened?”
Ashitaka looked to Misaki. “It is the only way to regain my honor, Misaki. You wish to rob this from me?”
Misaki wrapped an arm around his waist, crying into his left shoulder. “No, I wish for you to live! I wish for you to regain your honor as a living man, not as a corpse!”
Ashitaka looked to the ground, unsure of what to do. He turned, embracing his sister. “I-I am sorry…I love you, Misaki, and I…I think that you are right…I do not wish to die…I can regain my honor better as a warrior than as a corpse…”
Misaki embraced Ashitaka, still weeping softly into his shoulder. “Then do so, not as a warrior, but as a man.”
Arrival to the Mainland
The Birth of Fumeiyo
Upon his arrival to the mainland from Tuai Leit, Ashitaka Kytsūmare claimed to be no more; instead, in his place arose “Fumeiyo”, the Dishonored. With a new name to mark his past, Fumeiyo claimed for himself a second chance to regain the honor that had been stripped away from him. He resolved to remove any ties to his past, including contact with Misaki, until the time was right and he could return once more to the Wushanko Isles.
When Fumeiyo had reached the mainland, however, he found it difficult to assimilate, despite the fact that he had learned to speak the common tongue well enough during his time in Tuai Leit. This was rather due to the customs of the western people and their variations from his own ways. Fumeiyo saw many of them as barbaric, barely even capable of abiding by their own customs and laws. But, as Fumeiyo soon learned, no matter how he judged the westerners, he would be forced to comply with them, following their rules as best as he could, whether they were able to do so or not.