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open Cultures Unite (1x1 with GeneralDirection)


Samurai Equine

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@Samurai Oni

Charlotte listens intently as the two samurai explain about their homeland. “Oh, ok! I get it. It sounds like your country is quite large, and there’s a lot more of you samurai, too. If you don’t mind saying, how does one become a samurai? Are you like, born into it, or is there a vote? Recommendations? Maybe none of these things at all?” She asks, giggling a bit.

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@GeneralDirection

"Well... Being born into the samurai class does increase your chances. However, the position is always open to anypony, as long as you have a special talent, skill, or combination of both that would make you an asset to the samurai class. Take me, for example. My cutie mark represents my natural talent for combat skills. However, with lots of research, training, and dedication, I also learned how to perform Fire magic. Elemental magic is rare for ponies. It was invented in Japone, though who knows, we may have been inspired by kirins. If our histories really are connected." Samurai explains.

"I'm pretty similar. I may not be a unicorn, but I have a super natural control over the wind. And I can communicate with it. You saw me in battle yesterday. I can command the wind with incredible and fearsome precision; despite the fact I can be quite the free spirit. Would have been a waste to not pursue a higher calling with my talents. In fact, all of the elite samurai in Japan are currently elemental masters. It's not a requirement, but since we pioneered that kind of magic as far back as Mistmane, we now stand as the pride of Japone." Fukami explains. "Prove yourself, then swear an oath of loyalty to the royal princesses and to Japone, and you're in." Samurai sums it all up.

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@Samurai Oni

“Ha! You make it sound so easy! Just prove yourself, be loyal, and you’re in.” She laughed.

“I think there are some interesting implications if our histories are connected as we discussed yesterday. I always found it curious how you and I had similar styles of magic, Samurai. To think kirin could have inspired that is pretty amazing, if I’m being completely honest. I do like that things are left open for anypony who can prove themselves.” Silver commented. “So, how are you both liking the food?” He asked.

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@GeneralDirection

Samurai has to laugh. "In a sense, it is. Keep in mind, you'll be going up against other candidates who have trained hard and spent their whole lives trying to prove themselves. You might find it easier to join the Royal Guard in Canterlot. But that's basically it. Any other details can come afterwards."

Fukami rubs his mouth with his napkin. "It was delicious. A homemade meal is always welcome, no matter where you go." Fukami says with a smile and a nod.

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@Samurai Oni

“You say joining the Royal Guard would be easier? Wow. I wouldn’t even know how to apply, nevermind join successfully.” Silver admits.

“I’m glad you like it, Fukami!” Charlotte says with a big smile. “What’s a typical dish that you eat for breakfast in Japone?” She asks while putting more pancakes on her plate.

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@GeneralDirection

"They have a recruiting station at Canterlot. From what I understand, the process is a lot more straightforward. Some have even said it was easy." Samurai says.

"In Japone, our breakfast staples are Natto, Miso, and Rice. But we do have some breakfast items we have in common with the west; such as Toast, Jam, Fresh Fruit or Fruit Juice, and Cereal. Some enjoy Fried Fish, Coffee or Tea, and Milk. Believe it or not, my favorite breakfast item is a salad with steamed veggies, hard boiled egg, and Japonies mayo." Fukami explains.

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@Samurai Oni

“Oh, so it literally is that simple. Interesting.” Silver replies. “Not something that I’d ever consider for myself, of course. I’m a bit more of a… free spirit.”

“Natto? What’s that?” Charlotte asks. “It’s nice to hear that you eat a lot of the same foods we do, though I have to wonder, what does Japonies mayo taste like? How’s it different from normal mayo?”

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@GeneralDirection

Samurai perks up. Having slept and is now completely refreshed, his magic has completely returned. With some concentration, he magically makes some containers of Natto appear! "Feel free to try some, if you like!" Samurai says. He opens up a container and mixes the fermented beans i with the gooey, slimy sauce inside. "Not many living outside of Japone enjoy natto, so be careful. It's going to have a strong, bitter, pungent flavor. If you want to make it taste better, you might consider adding cheese or bacon. However, if you want more of a salty flavor, you might enjoy adding a little soy sauce." Fukami explains, giving them a heads-up.

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@Samurai Oni

Charlotte eyes the dish with suspicion. “I still don’t really understand what it is. But if you’re saying it’s bitter, then I probably won’t like it. I’m more of a fan of sweet things.” She explained.

Silver on the other hoof, always being the more adventurous one, sees an opportunity to try something new. “I like your idea about the addition of cheese, Fukami. I think I’ll give that a try.”

He gets up from the table for a minute and goes to this fridge to grab some shredded cheese from the fridge. He sits back down and grabs one of the containers with his magic. He adds some cheese to it before trying some.

“Wow, it certainly is strong.” Silver blinks after swallowing. “But the addition of the cheese definitely helps.” He looks over to Charlotte. “We should probably get going soon, I’m sure Ayla is waiting for us.” He looks backs to his samurai friends. “Whenever you’re ready, we’ll head to the blacksmith to get your special gift. Charlotte can go get Ayla while we’re waiting.”

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@GeneralDirection

"It's fermented soybeans." Samurai whispers to her before he goes back to enjoying his own cup of natto.

After Samurai and Fukami have some, they nod in agreement. "Wouldn't want to keep anyone waiting." Fukami says as he and Samurai take their dirty dishes to the kitchen, ready to wash and clean after themselves.

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@Samurai Oni

Samurai’s description does little to convince Charlotte to try some, especially after watching her brother’s reaction. She will, however, grab some of the shredded cheese before Silver puts it away.

“Oh! You guys don’t need to do anything!” Charlotte exclaims. “You’re guests, after all. Just leave them by the sink and I’ll take care of them. Then I’ll go get Ayla, and we’ll meet you at the blacksmith.” She explained.

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@Samurai Oni

“Of course! It’s the least I can do for all you’ve done for us here.” Charlotte returns the hug from Samurai and offers one to Fukami if he wants one.

“I appreciate you two wishing to bring Charlotte and Ayla along to show them your country.” Silver said as he led his friends along the path to the blacksmith. “I hope it won’t be too much trouble, having three kirin to look after now.”

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@GeneralDirection

Fukami is caught off guard for a split second, but gladly hugs Charlotte before leaving with his friends. "One could get use to this." Fukami remarks, starting to enjoy friendly hugs.

"Oh, it's no problem at all. We have plenty of room in Japone. In fact, if any of you wish to live a bit more independently, we can help make that happen as well." Samurai explains as he follows Silver.

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@Samurai Firefighter

Once the three ponies leave the house, Charlotte quickly takes care of cleanup before heading out herself to go get Ayla.

One short walk later and she arrives at the front door of Ayla’s house. A few knocks and a few moments later, Ayla emerges and joins her friend. She has her saddlebags packed and ready to go.

“You ready?” Ayla asks as they depart from her house.

“If I’m being completely honest, I’m a bit scared about traveling.” Charlotte admits.

“Ah, don’t worry! You’ll have two samurai and your brother there the entire time. You saw what they did to that monster yesterday, and that thing was crazy! I’m sure everything will be fine!” She says, putting a hoof around her friend.

“Yea, I know, I just get nervous about going to new places. I’ve been in this village for nearly my entire life. It’s hard enough for me to work up the courage just to go to the other kirin villages.” She smiles and hugs her friend back.

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“What do you mean by that, Samurai?” Silver asks. “Charlotte and I live here. Ayla on the other hoof, is more of a free spirit. She travels from place to place often, partially due to her band she’s a part of, and because it’s just her nature. We gave her a place to call home here, but it’s never more than a few days before she takes off again.

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@Samurai Firefighter

“Oh, I had never considered that. I do remember your shogun offering me citizenship, it’s just a big decision for me to make. Perhaps it’s something we would discuss later if that would be alright?” Silver asks as they arrive at the blacksmith.

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@GeneralDirection

Samurai frowns, hoping he hasn't upset his friend. "Oh, it's not meant to be a big decision. It's just an option, in case somepony like you, Charlotte, or Ayla would prefer it. But we can cross that bridge when we get to it." He says. When they arrive, Samurai knocks on the blacksmith's door. "Hello? Ohayo?"

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@Samurai Firefighter

“I understand, my friend.” Silver replies with a smile. “It would be a big decision for any of us to make. I do appreciate the offer; you’ve been nothing but kind to me since I met you and that really means a lot to me.”

The blacksmith looks up from his forge as he hears the knock on the door. “Come in!” He calls out. “The door’s open!”  

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@Samurai Firefighter

The blacksmith chuckles a bit and waves a hoof. “Do not worry about it, my friend. I appreciated having the extra time to work on it as I am also very busy with many other projects currently. It was challenging, I will say that much. I am not familiar with Japonies culture so I hope I was able to capture the essence of what was illustrated in your book.”

He walks over to a table and picks up the axe with his magic and floats it over to Samurai.

“Here you are, Samurai. I hope it serves you well.”

(It looks something like this but with a wooden handle that has gems inlaid)

Spoiler

masakari_axe.jpg

 

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@GeneralDirection

Samurai ooh's and aah's at the axe, taking it and admiring the craftsmanship. "Just one thing I need to test first." With some concentration, Samurai summons his fire magic, making a flame that engulfs the axe. He keeps it like this until he is sure the axe can handle it, since this is made by a kirin after all. When the axe stays in one piece, completely unharmed, Samurai undoes the magic. "Ah~ It's perfect, blacksmith-san. Is there anything I can do for you in return?" Samurai asks, ever so happy.

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@Samurai Firefighter

Silver shares in Samurai’s fascination over the new axe. “Wow, that looks incredible! It really suits you!”

The blacksmith pony smiles. “I am glad it meets your approval. You do not need to do anything for me, Samurai. Think of it as a gift for your heroic actions yesterday. I do not think any of us would be here if it had not been for you and Fukami defending our little village.”  

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@GeneralDirection

Samurai bows. "I shall never forget you, sir blacksmith. And if you ever wish to have a vacation, feel free to visit Japone some day. We have something for everypony!" Samurai guarantees.
Keeping the axe close now, he turns to his friends. "Do you think Ayla-chan and Charlotte-chan are waiting for us?"

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@Samurai Firefighter

“I appreciate your offer, Samurai.” The blacksmith pony nods his head. “My work here keeps me pretty busy, but I shall keep your offer in mind.” He smiles and waves goodbye as they leave his shop.

Outside, Ayla and Charlotte have just arrived, ready to embark on their trip to Japone.

“Did Fukami wander off again?” Ayla asks, looking around. “We’re both ready to go now, although Charlotte here is a bit nervous.”

Silver immediately gives his little sister a big hug. “It’s ok, Charlotte, don’t worry.” He says in a comforting tone. “Everything will be fine. You won’t be alone; you’ll be surrounded by your friends the entire time. I know you’re not fond of traveling, and I’m really proud of you for stepping out of your comfort zone and coming along with us.”

Charlotte nods and hugs her brother back silently. For once, she has nothing to say in reply.

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