Chieko sat outside her rooms, wondering if this was how it would be from now on. She was honored to be assigned to the delegation going to Kyuden Ikoma. She truly was. But now her new servant had banished her from her own room while he packed for her, and Chieko wondered if everything would be done for her from now on.

She was blind, not helpless.

Not that he had much to pack for her. Chieko, like many Asahina at the Temple of the Morning Sun, lived like a monk, with only the minimum of possessions that the Crane clan deemed necessary.

The truth was, even Chieko doubted she was ready to travel to Kyuden Ikoma as a member of the delegation. Since she could not read her prayer scrolls, she had to laboriously memorize when she heard the others reciting them. She had only mastered the most basic spells.

A cynical part of her had already realized that she wasn't intended to be a shugenja. She was intended to sit in the corner folding origami into shapes she had never seen, while others exclaimed, "Why, what a lovely swan! And so incredible, considering..." They would break off awkwardly and hasten on to other conversations. And she was to listen to those conversations.

She was a spy. A pitiable, harmless little spy in the corner.

This was not what she had intended. She had been born with the ability to understand the spirits of the world around her, and she had been trying to cultivate that power ever since. And now she would serve the Crane Clan in such a manner.

She turned as she felt footsteps behind her on the wooden floor of the temple and rose, facing her servant. She could hear his clothing rustle as he bowed.

"Is everything ready?" She asked.

"Yes, sama."

"Then let us be on our way," She suggested, hiding her emotions of the transient moment. I am a samurai. I will not dishonor my family. I will do as my lords ask. And this they ask: for me to leave the only home I have ever known. If I ever return, someone else will live in these rooms and they will be mine no longer- they were never mine to begin with. I was merely honored to be allowed to stay in them.

I am a samurai. I have no home.