Favored (Dragon of Fire)
Lightless Blade: Coats the blade with chi, making it invisible and thus much harder to dodge.
Year 1825: Toru has never known the Land of Dragons in its full glory, born just before the fall of the nation. His father was a samurai though not a very wealthy one. He had one older sister.
Year 1830: Toru's parents both pass away. He is left in his sister's care but she has nothing to offer and no hope of a husband while totting around a child.
Year 1833: He is abandoned at Mitsuko's family dojo door. He is bitter and like an angry cat takes time to warm up to them but he becomes a part of the family before long.
The issue was that he quickly became Mitsuko's favorite, like a son to him. This resulted in many of the students bullying him harshly, stealing or ruining his meals, picking fights with him, and further hardening his personality. Mitsuko often confronted the other students about this, but truthfully it only lead to more bullying though he tried to conceal it from his "Father".
This ultimately resulted in him beating the bullies in return as his skills in Bushido started to really shine. The issue was he didn't know how to stop himself and Mitsuko often found himself pulling the boy off of his sparring partners.
Year 1838: Saiya joins the dojo. Naturally they learn quickly (mostly through nay sayers) that Saiya is related to a hitokiri, Akuchi Kirranu. Refusing to judge him based upon this they invite him into their little family. Though Toru finds Saiya's extreme skill a challenge, often engaging in tests of the quick draw against the older man - which he always failed.
Its around this time Mitsuko starts talking about them trying to become "somebody". Not just another dojo full of orphans and not-so-blue-blooded samurai, but actual warriors of the nation. Raiu takes this to heart, wanting to see Mitsuko's dream fulfilled.
Year 1840: After a certain incident Saiya leaves their dojo.
Year 1842: While out recruiting for the dojo Mitsuko finds a dying Inuzu and brings him back to Raiu. While his skills with medicines hasn't been well polished, Raiu still manages to put together enough to save Inuzu's life. After the young man explains his plight and offers his skills as a shinobi to the men who saved him.
This prompts Raiu to urge Mitsuko into action. The time seems right, the nation is falling apart slowly but surely as power vacuums form in all the Clan leaderships. They could go, offer their services as peace keepers in the capitol and make a real name for themselves. Ultimately Mitsuko agrees and the dojo packs up to hit the road, in need of a patron/lord to help bridge the gap between them and whoever they must meet to seal their agenda.
Raiu and Toru are on patrol and rescue a miko named Yuki. Since she is hunted by Mouko the gumi agrees to keep her under their protection.
Year 1843: Kaito, the gumi's presiding lord, constantly makes trouble for them. This culminates in an incident at the local geisha house where he attempts to kill some geisha's who wouldn't strip down and dance for him. Raiu manages to difuse the situation so that the women's lives are spared.
Toru collapses during a major raid on an inn while fighting Akuchi. After, Inuzu secretly diagnoses him with Lukemia and assures him there is no cure. Toru asks that no one be told since he doesn't want to be sidelined.
Yuki asks Raiu & Mitsuko for permission to go and they refuse, they cannot spare the men to guard her and she is their ward. Her reaction to this refusal is to sneak out in the middle of the night, much to the gumi's concern and frustration. They don't see her again for months.
Year 1844: Toru, Senchiro & Saiya are sent out to raid a Chimarie Chikara hideout. Instead they find the daimyo, Tsukiga, there with some buddies. They try to run and recalling what Miyu told him Toru acts on instinct to take him down. When he draws blood the daimyo remembers himself enough to use his station to cow the men. The Turtle Clan is furious and putting a lot of pressure on the Gumi and the Salamander clan as a result. They demand some kind of atonement.
Mitsuko goes to Tsukiga and offers to commit seppuku himself instead. Touched by this display, the lord opts to reign in his rage and drop the matter – for now. After, Raiu unloads on Toru before the gumi for his reckless stupidity and how he almost got Mitsuko killed!
Yuki finally returns to the Mibushin Gumi. Toru is upset with her for not even saying good bye and she apologizes to him profusely.
Year 1845: Kaito cuts down a boatsman for refusing to sing on his boat ride, Sasuke reaches his limit. He calls in Mitsuko & Raiu and demands they do “something” about Kaito, and that something needs to end with Kaito’s demise.
Raiu & Mitsuko call in Chisu, Senchiro, Saiya & Inuzu on the matter. They discuss how to do the assassination, but they give a most vital roll in it to Senchiro: To stop Erisuke. As per the Code of Bushido, Erisuke would be beholden to come to his old teachers rescue. So if he finds out, Senchiro is to knock him out to prevent that.
The Mibushin Gumi hold a big party after another successful minor raid. Hearing about this, Kaito is all for attending. During the party everyone gets drunk. Kaito retires and Raiu, Toru & Mitsuko offer to walk him back to the headquarters. They assassinate him with Mitsuko dealing the killing blow.
Year 1853: Yuki asks Toru if he will come with her to check what is going on at the village. When they get to the village it seems abandoned until Yuki finds some children. Suddenly, they are attacked by angry spirits and she and Toru get separated.
Yuki hides with one of the children and finds out that lost children are drawn here to feed the spirits. Sometimes they possess the children so they can hurt others. She realizes that if she doesn't find Toru the spirits may try and take him over!
She later finds Toru and together they fight the spirits and cleanse the land. This allows them to free the children. After, Yuki admits to Toru how worried she was for him, and that she cares for him deeply. He assures her that if he loved or not, he would never date anyone when he’s dying.
Year 1854: Saiya begins to have the same coughing issues and when Toru hears it he demands answers. They ask for time off to make a journey to the Tengu territories but they don’t go into the full depths of why – claiming its for a cure for Toru instead of the fact that the issue has no spread to Saiya and might be from Raiu. Raiu comes along, seeking help for the blade in his care as it is.
Saiya, Raiu and Toru encounter the tengu back in the Land of Dragons. There, they learn Toru & Saiya’s conditions can be cured but that Raiu’s is more complicated. The issue is that the sword he wields is a fragment of Mouko himself, that Raiu can even wield it means he is soul connected to the Scion of Entropy, a fact Raiu is not happy to hear.
Raiu must go into the memories of the blade to fight for its cleansing but it could drive him mad. He soothes Saiya’s fears on this as they realize this may very well be Raiu’s destiny all along. After, they (along with Toru) are cleansed of leukemia.
Late, a member of the gumi is found dead and evidence points to Raiu and his demonic sword. There is even an eyewitness putting him there at the time. Raiu swears innocence but one of their scholars, Ijito, points out how unstable he has been for sometime now. He even calls upon Akiha to support since he knows she witnessed it. Naturally Mitsuko doesn’t want to believe it but acts against Raiu (strangely suspicious of his best friend).
Sasuke demands Raiu at least be brought in for a trial and he sends a team to arrest Raiu. Saiya helps Raiu escape from the would be arresters.
Mitsuko tells the gumi that Raiu is on the run from the daimyo’s arrest. For now, he must pick a temporary Vice Commander. He selects Ijito from the volunteers.
In the last month of the year, a demon, a servant of Melchior, is sent to attack the patrol group that Yuki is with and Chisu is captaining. He tells her to flee but when the creature proves capable of jumping great distances it tries to leap after her instead. Chisu throws his sword to stop the creature, allowing Yuki to escape. Furious, it turns around and maims Chisu in the fight.
Chisu is taken by to heal but the wounds are strange and there is concern they are corrupted or poisonous. Inuzu and Yuki both tend to him, with Yuki blaming herself for it. Inuzu gets annoyed with this and sends her outside to wait with Senchiro & Erisuke. While the Mibushin Gumi struggles to find him a cure, Chisu is strong enough to at least sit up in bed. He bonds with Toru over not wanting to die forgotten in a hospital room.
After he recovers, Chisu tries to train himself back up after a week laid up. Toru offers to spar with him and two actually end up tied.
Year 1855: Toru, Inuzu and Yuki are out on a patrol and notice two black blood zombies causing a ruckus at the docks. They put them down but wonder where they came from. They each take different routes to understanding where the black blood zombies came from. Toru (with Mitsuko along) talks to the port workers about it. He learns that a merchant transport moving between Aether and the Isle of Dragons suffered a bout of illness that claimed the lives of some crew – which were promptly buried at sea to keep the disease from spreading.
After, the groups meet up and share findings. Mitsuko isn’t sure what can be done. This could easily be a one-off incident. At least, given what they’ve learned, they should pray it is.
Year 1855: In the month of Virgo the Isle of Dragons falls to the awakening of the Ocean Slada'sha. The massive beast crushes the entire nation with one massive claw. Mouko uses his connection via Raiu’s sword to teleport the headquarters itself to safety. Those inside it at the time are spared and appear somewhat inland of Merlose. However, Inuzu and Chou had run outside of it just before it vanishes – Inuzu to save his mother, who then turned on him due to Slada’sha taint, and Chou for trying to save him from said mother. Himitsu was with them, having been talking politics with Mitsuko at the time.
A day later, the Mibushin Gumi arrive at the Dawnbringer Fortress, having heard that this was the place fighting back against the monster that destroyed their homeland, their people and their dearest friends/family. They demand to enlist. A week after that, the Mibushin Gumi observe the funeral for their dead. During this time Toru can’t bring himself to participate so Saiya tries to talk to him. Naturally he’s upset over everything – especially Inuzu.
Oseron sends Leorajh, along with Yuki and Toru, to seek out Nao. Sadly there are no teleport sites between there are the Land of Dragons after Ryuuguu had been moved into the sea so they have to take the long way. Eventually, Leorajh, Yuki and Toru arrive at the Teiten Monastery. They learn that the Teiten were once a global organization who’s roots began with the ancient keise. The two races had, long ago, come together to defeat the Slada’sha and cleanse the land of their taint. For more details, they would need to see out the very first Teiten Monastery (which, ironically, isn’t the large one that Nao rebuilt).
Leorajh, Yuki, Toru, Kiri and Nao arrive at the ancient monastery. They find a room full of crystals that hold information like scrolls or books might. However, they don’t know how to read or use them. Leorajh suggests they take the back to the Consortium, who might be able to find out how they operate. He also invites Nao to join the Drawnbringers. She agrees. Leorajh, and his team, bring back the crystals and give them to the Consortium (Chester and Detridon specifically).
Year 1857: The Consortium set up a camp to activate the cannons at an agreed upon time with Chester operating as a communications hub for it. Oseron stays behind at the fortress as well, with the Isle of Entropy acting as the vessel to carry Leorajh to the battle.
The Ocean Slada’sha is Defeated: The signal is given, the cannons are activated and the fight against the Slada’sha takes place. Leorajh alone keeps its focus until the weapons can be unleashed at full power but in the end they are victorious in putting the monster down for good!
A massive celebration is held at the Dawnbringer Fortress unknown to those celebrating, however, “Fate” makes its fury known and opens multiple gates through time into the ancient past – unleashing 5 ancient True Dragons onto the world. As they enter a time period in which they are dead, their psyche melds with that of their deranged dead counter parts and drives them into a maddened state. After the event the two leaders of the Dawnbringers, Leorajh and Oseron, have a private moment together. Leo admits he doesn’t want to live without the keise in his life.