Manage episode 364511091 series 3238290
With the news of Setsuo's arrest, Boa, Tsume, and Kaizoku decided to travel to Closed Shell Castle. Traveling north, the ronin discovered just how pervasive the elemental blight was upon the region. It seemed that the very land itself was protesting against something.
Camping out beside the road, they encountered a strange, grey wolf, staring at them with yellow eyes in the darkness. After letting out an otherworldly howl, the ronin were surrounded by a pack of wolves. The wolf pack seemed to yield to the strange alpha which was significantly larger than the rest. With razor sharp fangs, the alpha attacked the ronin, but delivered no serious wounds. Tsume struck at the wolf, but noticed his blade seemed to be swayed by the hands of misfortune, turning even a sure strike into a miss. Kaizoku thrust at the wolf in retaliation and dealt a flesh wound, shaving off fur from the wolf's flanks and bruising its thick hide. That was enough for the wolf. With another howl, the wolves dispersed back into the forest.
That night, Kaizoku reached his limit. Reeling from withdrawals, Kaizoku told Tsume and Boa about his addiction. It had been days since he last drank Liquid Void and his body was now screaming in agony. Between the pirate's startling revelation, the dissatisfied spirits of the land, and the fear of what lurks in the forest, no one slept that night.
Exhausted, the ronin continued their journey the next day. Sitting beside the road, the ronin encountered a jovial monk dressed in the robes of the Dragon clan. The monk introduced himself as Dzhud. He was headed to Closed Shell Castle to help the inhabitants on their path toward spiritual enlightenment. Skeptical of the monk and in no mood to entertain outsiders, the ronin quickly parted ways with him.
Before long, Boa, Tsume, and Kaizoku finished their trek to the castle. It was a remarkably unimpressive place. Very little thought had been put into its aesthetic beauty, and the land surrounding it had been cleared. Once at the gate, the ronin tried to convince the guard to let them through, saying they had important information for Lord Reju Jikai. But the guard was unmoved. They tried a second approach by telling the guard that they wanted to fight for Jikai. The guard sized them up and saw they had serious weapons and could tell they knew how to use them. Within moments, the gate was open.