Kensei And The Dragon



Scene Title Kensei and the Dragon
Synopsis Jolene Chevalier is given an offer from an interested party.
Date February 28, 2018

Brooklyn College

"It was atop Kiso Mountain the mountain that Takezo Kensei confronted the Dragon."

The seats in Ingersoll Lecture Hall are sparsely filled. Their blue-padded seats pop out against the dimly lit backdrop of the day. With the lights down, only the projector running slides of transliterated Japanese text is clearly visible. But each and every empty seat is a pop of royal blue in the dark. Surrounded by a sea of that blue, Jolene Chevalier scribbles in a spiral-bound notebook as the professor in front of the projector continues to speak.

"Kensei sought out the Dragon in order to gain the strength to defeat White Beard. It is only by agreeing to sacrifice what he loves most in the world, that Kensei is permitted to gain the Dragon's blessing and attain the power necessary to defeat White Beard." Professor Chamberlin looks down into a well-read copy of The Trials of Takezo Kensei held in one hand, gesturing to accent her points with the other.

"In the narrative of the story, the Dragon is representative of Kensei's own lust for power. It is his greed given personification, and his desire for accomplishment over love. The author is speaking to us as individuals," Professor Chamberlin explains, motioning to a slide depicting Takezo Kensei as an armored samurai with sword held high, and a serpentine dragon coiling around him. "In essence, we are all Takezo Kensei, as we all struggle with our own Dragons of greed and selfishness."

Jolene furrows her brows, looking up from her notes, then back down to the slide. In the margins, she's scribbled the symbol on Kensei's sword multiple times, a gently curving S with three horizontal bars protruding from it. "In Kensei offering up what he loves in the world to the Dragon, it is showing how greed — and in some interpretations, addiction — can consume someone's life and claim from them what is most important."

Professor Chamberlin paces across the stage, changing slides to more transliterated text. "Ultimately, Takezo Kensei gets his boon from the Dragon and defeats White Beard. He marries the princess whom he had given his heart to, and on the day of their wedding the Dragon comes to claim what it was promised."

The slide changes again, and this time it shows Kensei on his knees with his sword pointed at his chest. "Though the Dragon wished for Kensei's princess, he instead offered his own heart. My love is in here,take it! He said to the creature, and plunged his sword into his own chest, taking his life. The Dragon, accepting Kensei's life in exchange, departs." Tapping her pen against the side of her chin, Jolene looks back up at the slides, then back down to her notes. There's a scawl of awkward hiragana across a few lines, with translations below it. The class is considerably harder than she'd thought.

"Alright, it looks like we ran a little over today. We'll wrap up discussion on the Trials of Takezo Kensei next class, and I expect you all to at least get started on your essays about the interpretation of Kensei and the Dragon as a discussion of greed and addiction!" Students begin to rise from their seats, and slowly, Jolene packs up her notebook and starts to gather up her crutches.

Bag packed, one crutch in hand, as Jolene is about to rise from her seat she's startled by Professor Chamberlin's presence in the aisle. "Oh! P-Professor!" A grimace spreads across Jolene's face and she nearly fumbles her crutch with her bad hand. Professor Chamberlin looks apologetic, spreading her hands and shaking her head.

"Oh, no— no Ms. Chevalier. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to startle you." Chamberlin cracks an awkward smile, then motions t the doors at the top of the lecture hall. "A gentleman from Yamagato Industries stopped by this morning before you arrived in class, asking after you. I told him you'd be in, but he wanted me to give this to you." Jolene's brows furrow, looking to a business card held out to her. Hesitantly taking it, Jolene turns the card over.


Erizawa Eizen — Chief Security Officer

Green eyes uplift to Professor Chamberlin, even as Jolene is pulling on her backpack and sliding herself up onto her crutches. "I'm not sure I understand…"

"Yamagato sometimes talent scouts at the college. I think he overheard me talking to some of the other professors about your paper on the civil war…" Professor Chamberlin looks to the side at the mention of that, then back to Jolene. "He seemed very interested in meeting you." Jolene tucks the card into her jacket pocket and then offers an awkward smile to Professor Chamberlin.

"I— I'll think about it. I… I have a lot going on, s-so…" Jolene's awkward dismissal has her professor taking a step back and wordlessly apologizing with a slow spread of her hands and a dip of her head. "I appreciate it, Professor. I do, I— it's been kind of you t'let me sit in on these classes while I'm working on my GED."

Professor Chamberlin smiles faintly, watching Jolene amble up on her crutches. "You're a bright girl, it just sounds like you haven't had the same opportunities everyone else has. It's not like my classes are packed, at any rate, so I don't mind someone coming in who is intending on paying attention."

As Jolene steps out from her aisle seat, her crutches clack against the floor, and her green eyes divert to the awkward placement of her feet below herself. "Yeah… um, t-thanks, Professor. I— I really need to go, though." Chamberlin frowns, visibly, and nods a few times with a brush of her hand over the back of her neck.

"Have a good night, Miss Chevalier. I'll see you next week." Jolene's response back is an awkward smile, followed by a downward tip of her head as she lurches forward, moving with a rattling metal gait up the stairs of the lecture hall to the open double doors at the top. Professor Chamberlin watches her depart, then looks down to the floor and crosses her arms at her waist.

Jolene is eager to leave, more eager to put distance between herself and the lecture hall. Her face is flushed red with embarrassment, frustration, and anger. She can't tell whether the card was pity or not, but the idea of it burns her up inside. She doesn't want a charity opportunity. She wants to earn it.

All she's earned today are bitter emotions.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License