Thicker than Blood|
I hail from the 18th century, and spent my earliest childhood reared by my close-knit family in Japan. It was an era when the Samurai were looked upon as quaint and old-fashioned.
But... mama and dad both believed in the old Samurai values. Dad came from a long line of Samurai, although they'd been officially disbanded well before his time. As I was their only child, poppa found it expedient to train me in the footsteps he might have otherwise expected of a blood relationship-son.
Our family took to sea. While our culture had become very xenophobic, my parents bucked that trend. Father was interested in trade, and even more interested in seeing the world. Trade, in some sense, was merely an excuse to travel.
Shortly after I turned fourteen, my parents caught ill, and died. I was alone, now. We were at sea; their bodies were cast to the waves.
I was taken under the care of an Englishwoman, one Miss Jane Smythe, who taught me to read and write her language. I discussed with her the Samurai code, and the way I'd been raised. She, in turn, gave me glimpses of something called the Sisterhood. Perhaps the two schools were related? Perhaps, only in spirit. I was, to tell the truth, fascinated.
Not many months later, the ship we were passengers upon was captured by the Roaring Lion, captained by one Eleua Lavvie. A signal somehow passed between Miss Jane and the Captain, and the two of us were allowed to remain with the Roaring Lion. I had no particular destination in mind, since my life had been turned upside down with the loss of my parents, and I was willing to continue to explore. And so, I found myself with at least one more person to discuss the Samurai tradition. And situations within which to live it.