Gatac 2018-03-08 13:23:43
"She is...my blood," Ikishi coughs. "Only she...can sustain me now."
MikeS 2018-03-10 23:56:20
{Sense Motive d20+27 = 31}

Takao musters Ikishi with suspicion. Is this yet another ploy of hers? So far, she had been nothing but a manipulator, and it would not be beyond her to fabricate a story like this.

"Perhaps you should have asked for Lady Kamura instead of myself. She has time and again extended mercy to villains that I would have judged with the sword," he says slowly.

"Convince us. Explain to us exactly how it would be that Himiko would not come to harm, yet help you. Your choice of words does not inspire confidence. And explain how this would keep the spirits at bay. If you are the key to releasing the king and his spirits from the swamp, why is it not easier to return you to the swamp?"
Gatac 2018-03-13 12:39:47
What Ikishi says rings true to Takao. Incomplete and carefully phrased, maybe, but it does not sound like a lie.

"Yet I am...asking you," she coughs.

"She would...sleep," Ikishi continues. "Just like when...you took her from me. With her qi...I can sustain this body...long enough to discard...the yokai. With Yu Lee...and the madman from the swamp...there is a chance. More than I can...I can...do...by myself..."

Finally, her cough breaks free, and you see her spew a little cloud of greenish miasma. It hardly floats before settling onto the table like heavy smoke; as it touches a basket of fruit, the fruit seems to suck up the miasma and rot away before your very eyes. As Ikishi continues coughing, a team of servants arrives to pick up her norimono and carry her inside.

"Many apologies," one of them says to Takao and Toshiba as he quickly picks up the fruit basket and moves to discard it. "Milady is not well today and needs to rest now. You are of course welcome to stay and enjoy the lunch. Please do consider her offer."

Unseen by the servants, Kagemaru darts from the shade of the courtyard tent into the shadow cast by Ikishi's norimono, sneaking himself into the "mansion".
Admiral Duck Sauce 2018-03-13 15:10:01
Toshiba doesn't look like he likes any of this, least of all the entropic cough Ikishi's developed.

"I appreciate the offer, but I have dined previously. We shall take her proposal back to those best able to help."
MikeS 2018-03-13 23:49:22
As they leave the courtyard, Takao echoes Toshiba's thoughts: "I don't like this one bit. She makes the dramatic plea, appealing to our better nature, sets an ultimatum, and then leaves us. I'm no expert, but I think that's how a con is set up. Call me a cynic."

"Maybe Copperhead could plan this all out logically, but my heart is telling me not to give her what she asks. Seeing Himiko in this deathlike trance was already unbearable last time, and we'd be risking the other two as well. I say let the demons come. We have fought them before, and they fell before our blades like wheat."

He sticks his thumbs into his obi as they walk, then pauses a few steps away from the gate to look at the building. He looks back to Toshiba, now deliberately facing away from Ikishi's abode, and asks quietly: "Are we waiting for our shadowy friend?"

Admiral Duck Sauce 2018-03-14 11:45:53
Toshiba nods at Takao's question. "We will at least take our time returning. If there is a way to acquire Shira's heart without entertaining her schemes, I agree with you. I am no father, but restoring Lord Shira only to have him discover the price was his daughter seems... counterproductive at best, and excessively harmful to everyone around him at worst. He would likely rather not outlive his child."

"But I admit, there is part of me that believes that she may be doing this out of pure survival. It may be as bad as she says. If there is no recourse, if Ikishi can be freed of the yokai safely... she will be human, and greatly weakened. Easier to kill."