Chapter 28: Learning though academics and family.
Hanzo finally saw how reading lessons are long and hard. Reading is a fun activity when looking up his favorite stories, but why is it homework?! He raised his hand. “Shisho Okata Hideaki?” Hanzo asks, “Sometimes I read just to hear a fun story, but why does it have to be lessons?” “Because your lessons you learn will guide and help you in the future.” Hideaki answers. “Let’s continue!” Hanzo, Saki and Abe groan. Reika just smiled and enjoyed doing this. Thought the entire lesson, Reika was the one who guessed the all answers to the questions correctly about the book’s subjects, such as literature and theme. Hanzo, Saki and Abe on the other hand, was passing, but not good.
“You guys like some pointers for later literature tests?” Reika asks. “You bet!” Cheered Hanzo. “If it means completing every answer correctly so we’re not grounded, yes.” Says Saki. Abe nods. “Yes, arigato.” “Well for starters, we have to read every detail and write down details more important than the others.” Reika suggests. “And we have to take our time. Books are very entertaining when you read them.” “Like when their in folk tales?” Hanzo asks. “Folktales and stories are fun, but history is just as important.” “I know some things about samurai, the awesome stuff like the combat and the heroes.” Hanzo said. “Everything about samurai aren’t all about combat.” Reika gestures to Saki. “Saki knows history better.
Saki nods in agreement. Reika continues. “Without learning history or literature, we cannot understand certain things and history is repeated.” Abe and Hanzo, after hearing this, nods. “You know, Reika does have some points up.” Says Saki. “I will handle literature better.” Says Abe. “We’ll do our best.” Says Hanzo and Saki. “Yay I am gonna be a teacher!” Reika cheers. Hideaki heard the conversation going on. He smiled. He even smiled when Reika started teaching her brother, sister and cousin the literature lessons and her tips of reading every detail, while writing the more important details for tests. He was reading his own book.
Soon it was Art Class. As everyone had to do a specific piece of art, Hanzo’s artwork was amazing. It was in the painting of trees and a river. A field of flowers and a deer was in there as well. The deer was walking in the painting. Everyone else either did a red vase with sakuras on it made by Abe, a funny drawing made by Saki, which depicts the Moon King holding wheat, dancing like a buffoon, wearing a stupid looking hat and an arrow points to him saying “Moon Jerk!”, and a small sculpture of a brown puppy made by Reika. “Excellent work everyone!” Hideaki Says to the group. “Most notably Hanzo for his artwork.” Hanzo felt honored.
Hideaki looked at Saki’s hilarious yet rude doodle. “And Saki, even if it is funny, Art should not be used as a way to humiliate a god. Especially if said god had attacked us a week ago.” Saki felt embarrassed for a bit. “Otherwise it is good.” Saki then perked up and felt satisfied of what Hideaki said to her. Hideaki turns to see Hanzo. “Hanzo where did you learn to make such a wonderful artwork?” Hideaki asks. “I learnt this while drawing with dad. He was a good teacher when it comes to art.” Hanzo answers. “That’s very exciting. I am sure he is proud of what you will become.” Hideaki comments to Hanzo. Hanzo smiled. Hideaki then turns to Reika and Abe. “Those artworks are simple, they are cute and elegant respectively.” He tells them. Reika and Abe turn to each other and smiled at this.
While Hideaki went to write down a haiku, the young Hanzo started to give pointers to his three cousins and he four were drawing different things with ink, paintbrushes, paper, and Hanzo’s guidance. “Lighting and shading are very important when you need to make something realistic. But styling your own way makes a painting stand out in a creative and unique way.” Hanzo tells them.
Sure enough, Saki, Hanzo, Reika and Abe drew paintings of a crane, a tree, a wolf, and a mountain respectively. When Hideaki was finished, he was amazed with what the kids were doing. Saki’s skills, Abe’s skills and Reika’s skills look like they were improving slowly. “So I see you guys are having fun?” Hideaki asks. The kids saw. The kids saw him. “We just like drawing these for fun!” Hanzo said hoping he’s hiding the royal kids’ plans. “Okay then.” Says Hideaki. Hideaki writes another Haiku. Surely he knew the kids will succeed in their next tests.
Soon the four started eating with lunch with Shibo and Misako. Meanwhile Kutaro was eating with Hideaki, the rest of the soldiers and the four kappas. The four kappas, as you expected, were eating zucchinis. While Shibo, Misako, Abe and Reika were eating they can’t help but look at Hanzo and Saki’s eating habits. They were not amused with how they were eating. Hanzo and Saki were eating like pigs. “Do you two have to eat like pigs?” Shibo asks. Saki and Hanzo stopped. The two stare at with other with their mouths full and food covered their mouths and cheeks. They then look at Shibo. “Yes.” Hanzo answers. Some food came out of his mouth.
Hanzo and Saki we’re embarrassed. For Hanzo was embarrassed since this is his first time eating in a rich samurai house, he needs to continue his lessons and try not to look like a fool when eating. Saki on the other hand was embarrassed because this is a habit started when she wants to continue or start a game or lesson. The two swallow their foods. “Father I am so sorry!” Saki bent her head down. “You two have to learn to eat like royals.” Misako tells the two. “This reminds me of how Kaito and Aika eat.” Shibo said after that. Hanzo and Saki swallowed their food. “Yet my mom Aika would eat properly to set an example.” Hanzo spoke out. “Hiroto and my mom scold my siblings for eating like this.”
“Speaking of family how are they?” Shibo asked inquisitively. “They are fine.” Hanzo answers. “Sora and Chiyo are true ninjas in stealth. And they are catching bugs! Yoshiko is still an inventor, and she did tell me a flying machine she making. Hiroto is still making sure order is in the farm!” Shibo and Misako were impressed with what’s going on with their other two nephews and two nieces. “How are your parents?” Misako asks. “Mom is still in charge of the entire family and the farm. Dad got in a carpentry accident, but he manages to get by with painting and getting very stubborn with getting to work.” Hanzo answers. Saki, Abe, Shibo and Misako were shocked at the last detail Hanzo told them.
Reika wasn’t shocked. “Hanzo told me how they were doing.” Reika tells her family. “Otherwise, they are doing well.” Hanzo then adds. “Thank goodness they are fine!” Shibo called out. “I hope Raiden the Moon King doesn’t find them.” Misako adds out. “Your uncle really wanted to reconcile with your father.” “I hope you can talk it out too, Uncle Shibo.” replies Hanzo. Hanzo remembered how he volunteered to care for his father. While hunted, played with his best friends and younger siblings, he helped his father and bonded over folktales and his painting lessons with his father. Hanzo smiled at the memory. He then said. “I will write to my mother and father after lessons.” Soon the four kids and two adults started eating again.
Next up is math lessons. While the kids were doing what they can to solve the answers, only Abe came on top when it comes to mathematics. Saki and Hanzo’s grades were not bad and passing, but they were not good. Reika was was great at her math test, yet she was wasn’t excellent at it either. Hideaki was pleased to see how Abe was doing. “Abe’s shows to be the brilliant at math.” Abe was ecstatic. “Yes!” he cheers but stops to be respectful. Hideaki turns to Reika. “Reika you done well, it wasn’t perfect or excellent, but great.” Reika smiled and respond to her skill. “Arigato.” Hideaki then looked at Hanzo and Saki. “You two had a good and passing grade, though your math skills need a lot of work. The two nod and replied. “Understood.”
Abe looked at his sisters and cousin. “You guys need some help with math?” Abe asks. “Yes.” Says Saki, Hanzo and Saki. The kids grab themselves some math books and math scrolls, blank papers, paintbrushes, and ink stones with ink in it. The kids did some math lessons like the basics of adding and subtracting, and the advanced math problems at the time. As the group continued the lessons, The group stumbled on a very hard math problem. Hideaki turns to the group. “Need any help?” “No, no, no,” Says Hanzo. “We’re fine.” “Excuse me?” Reika asks. “I am having a hard time with this problem.”
Saki made 4 answers which Abe thought were wrong. “Those aren’t the right answers.” Says Abe. He then tried to solve the answer and proved, even he can’t solve this one. He made 4 wrong answers. “Oh come on!” He called out. “I made this problem to teach the group, and it’s not working.” Hideaki looked at the problem. The math problem was like this:
795 + 428 - 183
Hideaki then comes up with the answers one separate sheet. He came up with the correct answer. “The answer is 1040.” Says Hideaki. The kids were astonished. “Try adding the first two, then subtracting the last number.” Hideaki suggested. Abe tried adding 795 + 428 resulting to 1223, then he subtracts 183. The results were outstanding. “That’s correct.” Hideaki responds with “Sometimes the most complicated questions have the right answers when having a calm mind, and doing the math carefully.” The kids were impressed. Saki, Hanzo and Reika did what Abe did. They were amazed with the answer. “Arigato Shisho.” Says Hanzo. Hideaki smiles.
Finally it was history class. Although Hanzo learned about history back at his old school, art, reading, and sport, were his strengths. History on the other hand, he had a hard time with it due to how he got confused with it. Yet for some reason, he remembers myths better than history. He did his best. Hanzo and Abe had done their best, and seem to have gotten themselves 40 % answers right. Reika got her answers 65 % right. Saki manage to get 96% of the answers right. “Saki, great job as usual with your history lessons.” Hideaki tells Saki. “Hanzo, and Abe, you two need to work on your history.” The two boys bent their heads. “Hai.” They tell him. “Reika, you may not have gotten all the answers right, but you passed.” Reika bowed to him. “Arigato Shisho Okata.”
Reika, Abe and Hanzo turn to Saki. “Ready to prepare for future history tests?” Saki asks. Reika, Abe and Hanzo nod. The group got their scrolls, paintbrushes, and inkstone full of ink ready. As they did the same thing with reading every detail and writing on their scrolls for much more important details, the group stumbles upon a different historical story about the beetle clan. It read as something like this:
As time went by the two boys, Shibo and Kaito had grown well. Kaito is now a 16 year old adult, and still a strong, smart and handsome young man, who longs to be an artist, and he is a brilliant painter. This is the age when he meets and falls in love with a 15 year old woman named Aika, a beautiful, clever and resourceful servant who only took the job to make money for herself and her sister 1 Kemayo, a pretty, comical, and good natured woman who currently is a farmer. Aika and Kemayo lost their parents when the two women were really young. Aika herself ends up falling in love with Kaito, yet they both knew they are in separate classes, so the chances of them married is nearly impossible.
Shibo on the other hand, is still the spritely young boy, looking for adventure. He found one when he noticed his older brother, Kaito was in a secret courtship with Aika. He was intrigued. As Aika and had a romantic moment, talking about their hopes that the Beetle Clan Lord would approve of their relationship, while talking about Kaito’s opinions on the fabled Sun Armor. Shibo took wind of this and proceed to interrupt their romantic moment where they almost kissed. The young boy knew it was impossible, yet encouraged them to talk to the samurai lord about their desire to be married. With those words of encouragement, the young couple talked to the old samurai, and unexpectedly he approved, since he admired Aika’s cleverness.
“Mother and father told me their romance was unexpected, but I never realized this story was like a historical folktale.” Hanzo mentioned. “Well Shibo got himself a folktale like romance when he met Misako.” Says Hideaki. “Your grandfather only approved the romance your father and mother Hanzo, whom are also the uncle and aunt of Saki, Reika, and Abe, since he admired her cleverness, and knew she would become an ally to his strategic group.” Hanzo was amazed. “This is exciting!”
Hideaki smiled, but then he frowned, like something awful happened. “While they were great allies with strategy and creating morale, your grandfather was still stubborn enough to find the armor, with the battles he had with the Moon King nearly killed him, much to their dismay.” The kids looked concerned, hearing more of the missing son and daughter in law of their grandfather. “After your grandfather told Kaito he is going back there after nearly getting killed for the 34th time, and dragon samurai Shibo determined to follow in his father’s footsteps, Kaito and Aika had enough and left with your aunt Kemayo, who continued her life in Sun Village.”
Hanzo thought for a moment. “I know searching for it sounds crazy, but I want to help find it for our family’s honor.” Reika looked at their shisho Okata Hideaki. “Shisho Okata Hideaki, could you keep it a secret?” She asks innocently. “We have been studying together and trying to behave well so my brother, sister and I will be ungrounded, and Hanzo can be part of father’s army.” Hideaki then said. “I knew of your plan, and I didn’t say anything about it, knowing your plan is teaching you teamwork and trust.” “What?” The kids asked.
“That’s right, by teaming up to know about future tests, and trusting each other as teachers, all of you are showing how you can succeed with your own skills and most importantly, each other.” Says their Shisho. “I will keep it a secret for you little ones until the end of the week or you all decide to tell your parents, whom are Hanzo’s uncle and aunt.” The kids hugged Hideaki. “Arigato shisho Okata Hideaki!” “Your welcome.” Says Okata Hideaki back. “Now we better get back to learning some history.” The group start to talk about the history of the the Vastlands.
Soon it was finally dinner. “If you like Hanzo I can give you some pointers in history.” Saki tells him. Hanzo turned to Saki. “Thanks Saki.” He replied. “Reika, Abe, and Saki, we should teach each other certain lessons like how Hideaki was being our shisho.” “Well I would like some pointers on art, history, and literature.” says Abe. “Truth is I need those pointers as well.” Reika tells her brother, sister, and cousin. “Then it is settled. If we are gonna succeed in passing on lessons we have a hard time with, we teach each other our strengths.” Saki announced. “Yeah!” Hanzo, Reika and Abe respond.
Just as the kids were about to sit down, a guard ran forth to Shibo and Misako. “My lord and lady! Five visitors, a teenager, three kids and a cat, have arrived on a strange creature!” Hanzo guessed who they were when he connects the dots. “The group must be my siblings and our cat Akemi!” Hanzo ran off to find them. He was stopped by a guard. “Whoa there little one, you cannot run off like that.” A guard tells Hanzo. “I have to see my siblings and cat, they have to be here!” Hanzo said as he was trying to get past the guard, but the guard was holding him by arm.
Four guards came with the group and “creature.” Two of the guards were with Hiroto who was holding a scared Akemi, and Yoshiko who was holding Chiyo on her left arm, and holding Sora’s hand with her right, came forth. All five of the visitors were covered in leaves and twigs. Hiroto, Sora, and Chiyo looked scared. The only thing calming Sora down was something he held in his hand. Yoshiko tried to be brave, but was scared and confused right now. The other two guards were dragging a cart with a bird like contraption on a cart, and a bag with fruit and vegetables. Hanzo’s guess was right. They were his siblings and cat. But did Yoshiko made the contraption?
“Those four claim to be your relatives.” Said the guard who stopped Hanzo. Hanzo, Misak, and Shibo stepped forward to the four. Shibo and Misako does recognize them alright. Soon Misako and Shibo hugged the four. They stopped hugging. “Look at Chiyo and Sora! They have grown!” Misako cooed. “I see you two have decided to live the life of a noble.” Says Shibo. “More like hide here for a while.” replies Yoshiko. Akemi hissed at the guards, and then growls at Shibo.
Hiroto was as frightened and angry as the cat. “Do you have any idea of what we had to go through?!” Hiroto asks. Fury and fear dripped from his mouth. “We were attacked by a bloodsucking bat yokai, flew on that machine Yoshiko, and that was working but didn’t have a shield for a new creature bigger than the last one, which was a flying dog to be precise, had to hide ourselves and that machine under trees we crash landed in, and were dragged in by guards when we asked to see you uncle, and we almost died!!!” After Hiroto’s ranting, Yoshiko said to Hiroto. “The flying dog is a Hainu, a winged dog yokai. They can be ferocious like a wolf or loyal to a fault.” Hanzo, Saki, Reika and Abe were interested by the machine Yoshiko made.
Yoshiko let’s go of Sora’s hand, and places Chiyo down. The guards who had Hanzo let him go. Sora and Chiyo ran off to Hanzo. They hugged him. He hugs them back. Sora let’s go of Hanzo and showed him the rhino beetle he found. “Isn’t it wonderful?” Hanzo smiled. “It’s amazing. Just as amazing as my stag beetle I found.” He soon should his stag beetle; Musashi. “He’s name is Musashi.” Says Hanzo. Chiyo cheered. “We saw awesome bugs!” Chiyo called out. “That’s awesome!” Hanzo replies. “I “Those kids are also my nephews and nieces. So their family.” says Shibo to the guards. “We secretly visited them so they aren’t kidnapped or attacked.” Misako tells the guards as well. “So they are…. Kaito and Aika’s kids?” A guard asks. “This actually makes sense since they are Lord Shibo’s brother and sister-in-law respectively.” recalls another guard.
“They must be alive!” calls out the third guard. “They are alive and heading to the Beetle Clan Castle. A spy from the Moon King found us.” Yoshiko said worriedly. “You two are welcome to stay here.” Misako offered. “But you must follow the rules every member of samurai blood must follow.” Shibo reminds them. “Hai.” Yoshiko and Hiroto respond. Sora and Chiyo look at Hanzo. “What rules are you fallo-wing?” Sora asks. “Basically very complicated samurai stuff I am still new at.” Hanzo answers honestly. Saki, Abe, and Hiroto facepalm. “Let’s hope our parents are alright.” Yoshiko said.
The servants end up getting new food for the newly arrived family members. While one made a dish only a cat would love for Akemi. Musashi the stag beetle was next to the cat eating some leaves. Sora placed his rhino beetle with the stag beetle. The rhino beetle was eating leaves as well. The cat looked at the bugs, then returned to eating her food. “How did you guys get here?” Hanzo asked. “A flying machine I built, shaped like a bird, and knew how to soar like an eagle.” Says Yoshiko. “Along with traveling on the ground when we crash landed. At least our goose wasn’t cooked.” Hanzo, Saki, Reika, Sora, Chiyo, Abe, and Misako laughed. Shibo didn’t understand the joke. Hiroto groaned and banged his head on the table. “That was embarrassing.” Yoshiko then decided to tell her story. “It all started when we were flying…....”