For days I have watched as armies begin to build outside of Otosan Uchi. Two armies in particular have caught my interest. They are the armies of Kitsu Motso and Ikoma Tsanuri, two armies that carry the banner of the Lion Clan. Tsanuri’s army stands before the gates, defying any who hope to enter. Behind her family banner is the banner of the Matsu family. It is hard to believe that the protege of the Fallen Lion has chosen to stand there. If I was asked to guess which side of this battlefield she would be on, it would not have been that one.
And on the other side of that field stands the banner of the Kitsu family, also supported by the flags of the Matsu. The proud and handsome Matsu has gathered quite a force, but I do not know if he has the ability to hold his army together if he should engage the army of the Lioness. As I said, I have watched for days as these two armies have stood, staring, waiting, watching. A dark violence is building here, like the tension of a bow string that has been drawn too long, too far. Long ago, my father told me a story of two cats and one bowl of milk. Both of the cat’s hovered over the bowl, staring and unmoving. They snarled and bared their claws as each dared the other to try a sip. For days they sat still, perfectly motionless, each muscle tense and ready to pounce at the first sign of movement. Each of them was so engrossed with the other that neither of them saw the wolf that crept up upon them and tore each cat to pieces. Then, when he was down tearing their meat from their bones, he washed it all down with a nice bowl of milk. Shinsei says, “When the student is ready, the Teacher is there.” I do not give my advice when it is asked for, but on this day, I watch the Lions gather, ready to destroy themselves to prove their courage and I must ask myself, “Why?” For all of you who call yourselves Lions, I have only this to say. The wolf is waiting. If you are not ready for him, he will tear you to pieces.