The Let's Play Archive

Total War: Shogun 2 - Rise of the Samurai

by shalcar

Part 29: Epilogue

The Epilogue

Perched on the Taira throne, Munemori scanned the room as the other notable members of his clan entered. The throne he sat upon was far grander than the one his father had used for ceremonial occasions and significantly less comfortable. Munemori silently wished that the old chair was still here, before mentally chiding himself over some slight discomfort. The new chair was a potent symbol of the new order in Japan, of the new rulers that all knelt for. The Taira had achieved far beyond the wildest dreams of Kiyomori, men giving far beyond what honour demanded, where even the simplest man gave everything for Munemori and his family, safe in the knowledge that they would be cared for.

At last all the invitees were in attendance, each awaiting the instruction of Munemori, the unalterable will of the Shogun. All the invitees, except one. Hisakane was nowhere to be found, having never answered the summons. Yet the Shogun operated on his time and no-one else's. Clapping his hands to signal the beginning of the proceedings, silence fell in the room as all eyes were upon Munemori.

"Yasunobu, stand" ordered Munemori.
Yasunobu stood up and bowed, his ornate robes showing his position, his attitude confident. "I am yours to command, My Lord" he replied.
"Your long service deserves a suitable reward for a man of your skills" Munemori announced. "I am promoting you to the head Junsatsushi, to be in charge of Kyoto and the surrounding lands."
Yasunobu's eyes went wide, before he caught himself. "My... My Lord is exceptionally generous" he sputtered. "What of Mitsukazu?"
"All will be revealed in time" responded Munemori. "You will protect Japan and our family to the best of your skills. They are quite extensive, Mitsukazu tells me. In fact, he picked you himself."
"My Lord, I will never fail you" announced Yasunobu, bowing low. "I am honoured beyond belief."

"Sadatoki, Noriaki and Taneyori, stand" beckoned Munemori.
The three Junsatsushi's rose to their feet and bowed.
"Provisions have been made giving you ornate houses in each of the major provinces in Japan so that you may perform your duties in the luxury you have earned" announced Munemori. "I can think of none who deserve such rewards more."
"That those who murdered my clan lie dead is reward enough, My Lord" replied Sadatoki. "My duty will not falter."
"We will be your eyes and ears, My Lord" responded Noriaki.
"Thank you, My Lord" replied Taneyori, bowing low.
Munemori smiled. "I thought you might feel that way, Sadatoki" he noted. "So I have also arranged for you all to have 200 koku, to be spent as you see fit. You have earned such a trivial sum a hundred times over."
The three men collectively gasped.
"My Lord, that is" started Sadatoki.
"More gold than you could carry" finished Munemori. "I'm glad to see you understand how essential your work is to the Taira and to Japan. Please be seated."

"My old friend, Mitsukazu" Munemori smiled, his eyes brightening. "What can we possibly give you that you could not talk me into?"
Mitsukazu stood slowly, his old age slowly sapping his nimbleness, but his eyes showing he was still as sharp as ever. "I need nothing more, for I am content" replied Mitsukazu. "I have watched three boys grow into fine men, each a credit to their family. Your father I served out of duty to the Taira, but the three of you I serve out of love. You have already given me everything, for you gave me a family. I asked you to give Yasunobu my job, so that I may retire and live the rest of my days in peace. I could ask no more."
Munemori listened to Mitsukazu and was silent for a moment, the smile still strong on his face. "Then let me give you the world you so deserve" responded Munemori. "I recognise you as family, Taira Mitsukazu. Wherever Taira rule you are free to travel, all our resources at your command. Live the rest of your life in peace however you wish and brighten our days with your wisdom. You are home."
Mitsukazu bowed slowly, tears in his eyes. "Thank you, My Lord. You honour an old man too much."
Munemori waved away the bow. "Munemori. Call me Munemori. You are family. You have earned that right."
Mitsukazu nodded. "Thank you, Munemori."

"Norioki, the traitor's nightmare, stand" beckoned Munemori.
Norioki stood, his ornate armour polished and gleaming, not a tassel out of place. "My Lord?" he inquired.
"Sagami is in ashes and the people there will resent the Taira for some time to come" noted Munemori. "Your efficiency in dealing with traitors has given you a fearsome reputation in Japan. I hereby give you the lands and title of Sagami, such that you might restore it to it's former glory. Daimyo Norioki, this is your reward for loyal service."
Norioki bowed low. "The people of Sagami will rise from the ashes, each building more beautiful and elegant than the one before it. We will make it the envy of Japan."
"We shall see" replied Munemori. "I will also send Mimi with you. I am lead to believe that you two were... rather good friends when you were in Kyoto."
Mimi's face was unchanged, betrayed only by the slightest blush touching her cheek. "As you wish, my Lord."

"Ietoyo, you gave up your lands for peace, stand and be recognised" Munemori gestured.
Ietoyo stood, his hair white but his bearing proud. In contrast to the ornate armour worn by Norioki, he only wore simple clothes, his only military decoration the ornate sword hanging from his hip. "I have already received my reward" replied Ietoyo. "Japan is at peace and I can watch my grandchildren grow up untouched by the trouble of war."
"You gave up everything for peace, a sacrifice beyond many, if not all of us." noted Munemori. "I saw no reward is too great for such a man. What plans my father had, I can not say, but I respect your unwavering loyalty and sacrifice. For that, I grant you the full lands and title in the province of Owari. Ietoyo, you were a Daimyo who sacrificed it all for peace, now let peace return what you have lost."
Ietoyo stood still, looking ahead silently. Emotions danced over his face, disbelief, relief, joy. "It is more than I ever hoped, My Lord." he replied, wrestling with emotion.
"Yet it is what you deserve" responded Munemori. "None can see the hidden potential of even the humblest man like you. You are able to take the simplest of men and make them more than they, or anyone, every dreamed of. You are a hero of the people and deserve to be recognised."

Munemori scanned the room looking for Nakamitsu, yet unable to find him. "Where has he gone?" thought Munemori. "He was here when we started, I am sure."
As if by magic, Nakamitsu was there in the crowd, as obvious as any other. He hadn't moved, exactly, simply faded into the foreground and captured the eye. "Had he been there all along?" wondered Munemori. "I'm sure there was someone else there and yet..."
Shaking his head slightly, he gestured at the now grinning Nakamitsu. "Stand" he announced.
"Those who operate in darkness seldom receive rewards" replied Nakamitsu.
"The men who have their lives due to your actions would think differently" responded Munemori. "I have a problem that needs fixing."
"Your will, My Lord?" queried Nakamitsu.
"The province of Iga holds the largest granaries in Japan" stated Munemori. "Yet this brings bandits and other undesirables. I need them eliminated."
Nakamitsu inwardly groaned. "There will be more once these are gone" he noted.
Munemori nodded. "I'm getting to that. Your family name, you never told us."
"I never had one" replied Nakamitsu with a shrug. "My village was a simple place called Hattori."
"Then you had best get to work, Daimyo Hattori Nakamitsu. Your province of Iga and her granaries will hardly rule itself" noted Munemori.
Nakamitsu bowed. "I'm unsure how to respond, My Lord." he replied.
"Respond by dealing with the bandits" stated Munemori. "Save your thanks until after you learn the joys of ruling!"
Nakamitsu nodded and returned to his seat.

Far away in the northern reaches of Japan, Hisakane wandered, enjoying the warm sun on his skin and the breeze through the trees. The world was so very complicated, yet so very simple. The Taira philosophy, of acceptance of the old ways, the naginata and bow, of respect for the simple man and of respect for the warrior monk, these were the things worth fighting for, not some shogunate. Hisakane believed that Japan belonged to her people, not to the few leaders who bent the people low with their rule. Munemori was a good man, but he ruled all Japan now, a Japan that did not respect the peasant or the monk. Perhaps he could exact change from the top down, but Hisakane believed in exacting change from the people up.

He wandered Japan spreading the word of the people, of the paradise that Japan could become, but the local lords did not like this new and dangerous way of thinking and drove him from their lands. Only the provinces of Echizen and Kaga heard the word and embraced it, respecting the ancient arts of naginata and bow, monk and peasant in harmony, the military doctrine of the Taira forces. The very forces that drove out the samurai and brought peace under the Taira, could do so again if the right time came...

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