Legend of the Five Rings: Honor and Sacrifice

My name is Shao. I was once a Samurai a man of noble birth born into one of the seven clans I shall not reveal for it will bring shame to them.

For years I trained in the way of the sword, and learned history and politics. I became good in both fields My father and mother grew quite proud. I had no brothers only cousin's and a younger sister named, Oboshi who dreamed of marring some handsome noble who would be kind and caring and value her opinion. Unfortunately like all those born into the life of 'privilege' she did not have the authority to chose who she married. Our father chose her husband the son of the rich lord from the neighboring province. I didn't agree with the choice but could do. nothing. Her husband believed a woman's place was the bedroom and raising children and nothing more. I pity her and wished I could have done something.

I to faced an arranged marriage like all nobles but unlike my sister mine was not a dreaded prospect. I was arranged to marry a beautiful woman named San. They made a arrangement before I was born that said his eldest daughter would marry the others eldest son. Or the other way around depending on who had the oldest son.
Her voice was wonderful to listen to, especially when she sang. She was intelligence and kind. The perfect woman for me.... I loved her more then anything. Love is a dangerous thing for a Samurai it makes something more important then honor and ones lord. A Samurai must fallow his lords orders or face dishonor and death. However my love did not feel the same way about me She loved another a young Samurai named Shido. Shido, is one of my a cousins a brash and hot headed man but kind and caring of others.

One day when walking threw the palace gardens late at night I over heard them talking. She told how she wished she could marry him instead of me.
Shido is quite aware of my feelings for San as is she. Shido tried to tell her that it wouldn't be so bad.
"Shao is a good man who will love and care for you, he'll be a good husband." He said trying to comfort her. She only cried into his chest.
"Your right Shao is a good man and he'll be good to me, but that doesn't change the way I feel I still wish I could marry you"
"San I wish we could get married to, but your father and Shao's father would never let you out of the engagement"
She nodded to him and wiped her tears. "I know I just wish we could be together. I love you Shido" she said to him.
"I love you to" he answered.

I could tell as I watched them how much they cared for one another, Shido had the same feelings for her that I did. But for some reason he was the object of her affection. Why Shido and not me? Why couldn't she love me. instead. Its what the commoners have over us the one freedom they have that we do not. They can chose their husbands or wives, but so often they waste it and marry for the same petty reasons the noble's do. All I wanted to do was to make San happy, but could she be happy with me?

I left, I abandon my titles, wealth and chance of power. I took only a black robe, my Katana and Wakizashi forged especially for me a traveling pack and a small purse of money. Because of my sacrifice, Shido was able to marry San.

That was over a year ago, San will soon bear Shido's first child. I predict a strong son or clever daughter.
I've made my choice and I can never go home again.