Echizen cleans his sword and thinks about his new place. Drama, I-3

Character(s): Echizen Ryouma

Ryouma sat in his rooms in the middle town, with his sword over his knees, cleaning it. His hands moved automatically, years and years of familiarity guiding them while his eyes rested on the blade without seeing it.

There were strong people, here. Not many that could give him trouble, but a handful who might be worth something to him. A handful who might help him step up. Not that he cared about rank, not like Horio, or even Kachiro, whose ambitions were a lot more realistic. He’d watched his father’s distant smirk at generals who passed through their town. Rank wouldn’t help.

His sword flashed lantern light up at him as he turned it over and he blinked dark spots out of his eyes as he reached for the oil.

Rank wouldn’t help. Talent wouldn’t help. Plenty of people were talented; Ryouma was talented; talent wasn’t enough to get past his father. The rest of the world fell away from Ryouma’s sword and left only him standing, and still he couldn’t find the step to reach where his father stood.

Stood smirking.

Ryouma gazed blankly at the surface of his sword as his hands smoothed a fold of soft paper down its curve, wiping away excess oil.

Maybe Uesugi would be different. Maybe he would finally find it here.

Whatever it was.