The Seven Virtues Of Bushido


kimiko_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif

Scene Title The Seven Virtues Of Bushido
Synopsis …are rectitude, courage, benevolence, respect, honesty, honor, and loyalty.
Date May 7, 2009

Nakamura Residence, Tokyo, Japan

Kimiko is seated in one of the covered alcoves of the Nakamura estate. Kimiko is wearing a very plain ukata, hair pulled back in a ponytail away from her face, as she studies the small pot of flowers and leave stalks in front of her. She has the clippers in hand, but she makes no move to shape it, not quite yet.

Magnes has been familiarizing himself with the estate, and the city in general. Today is another such day where he's gone out for an hour or so, coming back with a small bag of manga and some sort of mecha model kit. He stops by her in the alcove, looking over with flushed cheeks and constantly averting eyes, looking to her and away again. "A-ah, hello Kimiko. I've never seen a girl in one of those up close before… I got something for you."
Kimiko is faintly flattered that he calls her a girl, considering her age. She calmly places the clippers in their proper position, rises, and turns to face Magnes, giving him a bow and gesturing to a spot where they might sit.

Magnes sits near her, smiling, and seeming to calm just a bit. Something about the current situation is just… a lot less intimidating. "I still can't speak Japanese or anything, but I tried really hard to use my dictionary and phrase book. I asked what girls like to read here." And, considering the places she can guess he visits, they likely don't know too much about girls. But who knows. He reaches down into his bag and pulls out two thick manga volumes handing them over to her. "They're office lady books, I thought you'd like them, since you're really businessy. Well, that's what the 9th Wonders comic said anyway…" The manga is Midnight Secretary, about a secretary and her vampire boss.
Otaku. This is like looking at a Western version of her brother. A faint smile appears on her lips and she reaches out to pick up the offered gifts, holding them in her hands. She gives him a seated bow over them. "Thank you, Magnes-san. They are very kind gifts."

"U-um, Kimiko…" Magnes swallows hard, looking down at her flowers with a slightly nervous air about him, even if he's calmed a little. "What are you doing? Is that like, uh, bonsai plants or something?" he asks, not knowing a bonsai plant from any other flower.

Kimiko's smile is a little wider now. He is so like her younger brother, only even younger! "This art is called ikebana. The simplest translation would be to call it flower arranging, but there distinct and subtle differences."

Magnes stares at the flowers, as if physically trying to see if he can spot the difference. But then, of course, he realizes that he knows nothing of flower arranging either. "How's it work? And why do you do it?" he wonders, expression more curious than nervous now, uneasiness quickly slipping away.

Kimiko considers. "It is difficult to call it flower arranging as such." she admits, "Because you do not truly arrange flowers to create some false aesthetic. Rather you work to reveal the harmony between man and the natural world. There are many reasons to do it - because it teaches patience and discipline, and helps to find one's center. Because it contributes beauty to the world." Thinking it might appeal to him, she notes, "Many samurai practiced the art. Perhaps even Takezo Kensei."

"Samurai?" Magnes asks with wide eyes, staring and listening more intently now. "So when a samurai is standing across from his opponent, and an animal rustles in the bushes and they suddenly charge at eachother, the one with the most focus and patience from this will probably win?"

"Most likely." Kimiko says. "But being samurai was more than just weilding a weapon. There was also bushido, a code of honor, which is very important. To be a samurai wasn't just to be a warrior, it was following an entire way of life."

"I've heard the word before, but I don't know what it means." Magnes admits, suddenly trying to remember where exactly he heard it as he taps his chin. "Oh, right! That game, Bishudo Blade. Oh, um, sorry, what's it mean?"

"Bushido." she corrects. "It is a path, a way of life. It translates to 'Way of the Warrior'. It is based on principles of bravery, frugality, mastery of martial arts, and honor, even unto death."

Magnes nods intently, actually keeping direct eye contact for once. He can be somewhat normal when you distract him with something interesting. "How do I um, do it? I think I have honor, I mean, I got my whole body crushed for a girl I liked."

"There are seven virtues in the bushido code." Kimiko says, setting the mangas down to one side of her. "Gi, yuu, jin, rei, makoto, yo, and chuu. In English, these are rectitude, courage, benevolence, respect, honesty, honor, and loyalty."

"So, I have to be courageous, respectful, honest, honorable, and loyal. Um, benevolent, that means being good, right?" Magnes asks, double checking, since it's not exactly a word he uses every day. "I can do that! Well, I might have to work on courage a bit, I mean, I'm still kind of afraid of, well…" He raises an uneasy hand, slowly pointing at her, generally meaning 'girls'.

"I think perhaps, in terms of benevolence, it is meant to mean kind." Kimiko muses and admits, "Though obviously this is not true of many samurai. To work towards what is good, perhaps is a better interpetation."

"I'll do both." Magnes decides, reaching down to gently poke at the flower, then quickly pulls his hand back so he doesn't hurt it. "So, um, after I learn this, you'll be able to teach me to use my pole?"

Kimiko blinks a little bit. "Your pole?" she echoes, uncertainly. She winces faintly as he prods the flower, but doesn't stop him from doing so.

"Yeah, you know, the one that was on my back when I got here?" Magnes asks, referring to the metallic one he brought with him. Very Robiny. "I don't wanna kill anyone, and Tim Drake chose the pole because it could harm people, but wasn't a deadly weapon unless he wanted it to be."

Kimiko blinks. "I'm afraid…poles are not something I'm acquainted with. When I was younger, I learned to use the shinai, katana, and wakazashi."

"Well, I'll just learn what you know. I mean, I have to learn something if I'm gonna defend the world. And I've heard of people applying one style to something else." Magnes hmms, then looks down at the flower again. "But you're gonna say I have to learn this first, aren't you?"

Kimiko smiles faintly. "Perhaps not first, but in addition to? Though tell me, why is it that you feel you need to save the world?" Kimiko's tone is curious rather than contemptive.

"Because of everything I've seen and experienced, because of the way the world is." Magnes sits back in the alcove, pulling one leg up as he closes his eyes. "Nathan Petrelli, or Linderman as Hiro said, they made those laws, the registering laws, it's made so many of us afraid, those kids killed themselves, it got Abby kidnapped, it got me kidnapped. People put us in cages to watch us kill eachother for fun, my body was cut up and crushed to shreds, I'd be dead if I wasn't healed. And before that, a woman was controlling my blood. They were doing it for fun, there's bad people among us, there's bad people without powers, there are just so many people I could stop, if I just had control, skills, knowledge… And god, Hiro showed me the past, and all the things I read in 9th Wonders, they're all real…" he explains, slowly opening his eyes to look at her, suddenly appearing quite down.

Kimiko regards him in silence for a long time. She seems quite comfortable with not speaking much, but then, perhaps unexpectedly she offers, "That is a very good answer, Magnes-san." See? Sometimes you can get the gold star!

"It is?" Magnes is surprised, taking a deep breath while rubbing his ribs. "I never did get therapy like Abby suggested, I can still feel my ribs crushed sometimes, even though I was completely healed. I don't wanna forget, I wanna be reminded of what I went through, of how much pain other people are in right now."

"To desire to help defend others who are less capable than yourself? I would call that an example of bushido." Kimiko nods. "But this pole…I suppose it is to be wielded something like a spear?"

Magnes shakes his head, standing up, and getting in a feigned position, as if he were holding his pole. "I think you lift it up like this…" He raises the invisible pole over his head with both hands. "Then you swing it down." And, down it goes. It looks almost like kendo, with obvious differences, being a pole and all. "And you swing it in diferent directions and stuff, it's mainly lots of swinging, but I've seen it get pushed into someone before. It may not be a piercing weapon, but it probably hurts to get the end of a metallic pole pushed into you."

Kimiko looks thoughtful. "What is your ability?" she asks. "Hiro mentioned something about you leaping across the ocean, which sounds somewhat far-fetched to me."

"Well, I could fall across the ocean if I wanted to, I don't know about leaping, the wind gets pretty hard for a guy without much gravity sometimes." Magnes coughs nervously, holding his hand out to her, obviously struggling to look her in the eye. "C-come take my hand, t-this is my, um, bravery…"

Kimiko eyes him a moment, and then rises smoothly before stepping up to him to offer her hand. She is admittedly, curious.

"The room's gonna seem like it's moving, but that's just me." Magnes explains, taking her hand into his shaking one. He moves to put a foot on the wall, then nods for her to do the same, and suddenly the room just seems to shift around, and suddenly the wall he just stepped on seems like it's the floor, and the alcove is the ceiling. One just gets the feeling that those pillows could fall at any moment. "You alright?"

Kimiko lets a startled, "Oh!" as gravity gets re-ruled. "This is…amazing!" she says in surprise. "I do not even feel as if I am upside down at all!"

"It changes the whole world." Magnes says as he continues walking, holding her hand more firmly than before. He's apparently going for the actual ceiling. "I can make things lighter or heavier too, but I have more trouble with those powers. I could only make things lighter in my skates, but I'm starting to learn to do it without them. And I can only make things heavier without my skates. I'm not sure why it's like that…"

"Sometimes we need ways to focus." Kimiko says, her calm beginning to re-assert itself despite the fact that she's defying gravity. "So you can do things such as walk on walls and the like."

"I first changed gravity when I was learning to skate." Magnes admits, then steps on to the ceiling, waiting for her before gravity shifts again. "Don't let my hand go, I have to be touching what I'm altering. But um, I've noticed that sometimes when I let things go, gravity stays changed. I don't have control over that at all, it only happens accidentally."

"Interesting." Kimiko says. "Have you given thought as to how this could accent your ability to fight?"

"I have a few ideas. Remember, don't let go." Magnes starts to sit down on the ceiling with his legs crossed, his grip clearly not even close to letting go, he's done this far too many times to make a mistake like that. "When I was fighting one person in the cages, all I had was my shirt. I couldn't think of what to do, so I swung it and made it really heavy. I dislocated her arm, with a shirt."

Kimiko's brows raise. "How is it that you ended up in a cage in the first place?" She sits on her knees, keeping a hand on Magnes.

"I was walking with Abby, you know, that girl I said I used to like?" Magnes asks, clarifying as he takes a deep breath and holds his ribs with his free hand. "I was gonna take her to the airport, but then this guy shut off my power before I could run away, and we got tasered and kidnapped. They abused her healing and forced evolved people to fight eachother. The two I fought were doing it for money, but others were prisoners, like me. I lost both my fights, ended up bloody and beaten in both. If I knew how to fight, I could have done something more, without abilities…"

Kimiko frowns. "That's horrible." she says, stating the obvious. "I'm sure Hiro can help you. I'll do what I can. My brother has…a very important destiny. But I am sure he will make time." A faint smile. Did Kimiko just make a joke?

Magnes smiles as well, fully believing in Hiro, but he believes in Kimiko too! "I know I can learn a lot from you, even if Hiro has his destiny. Not having a power doesn't mean anything; some of the greatest heroes didn't have powers, and I'm not just talking about comics. Real life, history mythology. I believe in you, Kimiko." he says as he turns his head away bashfully, the redness quite apparent even with his face turned away.

"Are you sure?" she asks with a smile. "There are great heroes that might have been real, and simply had abilities. Though you are very kind to say such a thing."

"I-I'm sure." Magnes takes a deep breath, swallowing hard. "I'm sorry if I sound so, well, awkward, I'm just not used to talking to a girl like this, especially with physical contact…"
Kimiko lets out a small sigh. "Magnes-san," she says as gently as she can, "You are younger than Hiro, am I correct?"

Magnes nods in agreement. "I am." Then, he looks at her with a puzzled expression. "Why?"

"Because you understand that I'm his older sister, don't you?" she says, her smile still gentle. "I'm…well. Older than Hiro." Because she doesn't want to talk about her age, see.

Magnes is, well, still not quite getting it, tilting his head as his puzzled look turns to confused. "I don't understand, why is that important?" he asks, genuinely having no idea what she's getting at.

Perhaps it isn't. "Perhaps it isn't." she echoes her internal sentiment. "I think if you apply yourself, you'll do very well, Magnes. But you must remember what's important…those things we talked about."

"I will, don't worry." Magnes assures, starting to stand again, but careful with his grip on her. "You can teach me about the flowers now, I'm ready if you are."

"Alright." she says, and as they return to the proper right side up, she leads him to the table, and starts the lesson.

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