The Broken Day of Thunder

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The Broken Day of Thunder




On the ninth day of the Month of the Ox, nine warriors marched into the Imperial Palace. At their head was the Dragon Clan Champion, Togashi Yokuni, who had revealed himself as the original founding Kami of the Dragon Clan. The Hooded Ronin, descendent of Shinsei, stood by the mortals as they prepared to face their destiny. As the Seven Thunders entered the Emperor’s courtroom, Hantei 39th—possessed by Fu Leng—impatiently waited for them, for the final battle that would confirm him as the eternal ruler of Rokugan.

Togashi began the fight, changing his form into that of a Celestial dragon to fight his brother. Fu Leng easily snapped the Dragon Clan Champion’s back and tore his chest open, laughing as he tossed his fallen brother aside. He turned to face the Thunders as they approached. Togashi lay on the ground, his heart exposed to the room, and Mirumoto Hitomi stared at the Twelfth Black Scroll, hidden until now within the god’s heart. Togashi stared at his Thunder and urged her to fulfill her destiny. “Solve the riddle,” his mind whispered to hers. “You are the answer to my question.” She must rip open his heart and open the Black Scroll.

Disgust filled Hitomi’s heart as Togashi’s thoughts poured into her mind. Everything was planned, everything was predestined, she realized. Togashi had foreseen his own death and stepped forward willingly. It meant that Togashi had seen her beloved brother Satsu’s death and allowed it to happen.

She could not serve the bidding of her brother’s murderer. Hitomi walked out of the room and left her god bleeding on the floor. The Hooded Ronin, realizing her action had doomed the Thunders and the Empire, bowed his head and left the palace.

With the Twelfth Black Scroll unopened, Fu Leng was nigh-divine and completely invincible. The Thunders could not defeat him no matter what they did. The Dark Kami imprisoned Yakamo
with chains of black iron. He stabbed his hand through Doji Hoturi’s chest and ripped out his heart. He flung Otaku Kamoko across the room, breaking her neck and killing her instantly. He struck Bayushi Kachiko unconscious and stalked forward to finish Toturi and Yakamo.

Isawa Tadaka knew Rokugan needed Toturi if it there were to be any chance after this day. He turned to Toturi and said, “You flee. I die.” Focusing all his power, he exploded in a blaze of flames and jade magic. It was only a momentary setback to Fu Leng, but it bought enough time for Toturi to break Yakamo’s chains and flee the palace.

Jigoku had taken the day.

_________________


Life is not fair. That doesn't mean you cannot win. 
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