They say history is written by the victor. Therefore, I have recorded my actions towards the Mashasaki. But now as I feel the cold hand of death creep towards me; I record so someone will know what happened to me...to my clan. As those dark riders return; I record so others won't make the same mistakes I made. This is the journal of a dead man...
[Translated from Japanese]
April 24, 1126
For years the Mashasaki have been the sworn enemy of the Shukai. Even in times of supposed peace, our battle continued in the shadows. My father was killed in those peace times. Why? It doesn't really matter anymore. It never did. The Mashasaki are a plague. A blight on the social order. I wish them all death and I have vowed to expunge them from history through any means necessary. So for almost seven years, I have cursed the Mashasaki. I've never before prayed to any particular god. So, I've thrown my appeals to whatever deity would listen. If they do not hear me, so be it. I will destroy the Mashasaki myself.
For a long time I have planned, planting my grass spies in the Mashasaki clan. Like grass, they have been growing amongst them for decades now; learning their ways. Assimilating their culture and studying exactly how to kill them from the inside out. Today is no different. Today, they have brought me good news. That boy, the killer of my father has now become the head of the clan. Now, I will become his downfall. My grass will sow seeds of discourse throughout the clan. It is time for them to spread and choke away the weeds.
April 26, 1126
Success! My plans are moving without fail. My spies have networked throughout the clan. Spreading disharmony and lies about that worthless boy. His entire clan is starting to believe his ancestry to be the cause of the turmoil within them. This will be his gutless fathers reward. His entire lineages reward.
In the middle of the night....what disturbing dreams are these: My father. What was he trying to tell me? Why? I must rest. There is much to be done tomorrow.
April 30, 1126
It has been brought to my attention that the boy's female companion is with child. The child cannot be allowed to live. There will be no inheritance to the clan. My men recently watched her train. Her body moved gracefully. Her sword was true of a kunoichi, but with child she is useless. Both of them were mighty swordsmen, but tomorrow my grass will smother those tangled weeds.
In the night again, I've never had such nightmarish dreams before. I must reflect on these later.
April 31, 1126
Pathetic, weak Grass. They have been sitting idle too long. Their swords aren't as swift. Their skills aren't attuned to war anymore. Today once again, one of my men, Satoshi has tried to take the life of the boy. He lost his head for his troubles. I can't even sneak a killing during his morning deliberations. I must find stronger warriors for this battle. Curse the ground he walks on. Tonight, I will pray for his death again. Surely, someone must hear me. Can heaven itself not grant me justice? Then who? Who must I pray too?
Nevertheless, friction will be sown by my men with this last attack. The boy will think one of his own men have tried to kill him. He will trust no one. My plan still holds true: destruction from within.
My nights are haunted. Seven men shrouded in darkness riding on horses. They ride to Shukai. Surely, it is some form of omen.
May 3rd, 1126
Centuries ago, the Shukai were the strongest clan in Japan. Our numbers swelled and our notoriety grew as well. But there was disarray in the ranks. The Mashasaki family: What hell spawned them? Even in the beginnings, they were a nuisance. They sought to break away from the Shukai. Now look at them. A civil war has spread throughout their kinfolk. The grass has done well overall. Though they have not killed the boy; they have created conspiracy causing the clan to split. With the civil war in full effect, their job is finished. We have even recruited many Mashasaki to our side. They will be rewarded when they return home.
My next plan of action was the assassins. Entering the clan as Mashasaki shinobi, they killed unhindered. Acting like rebels for both sides of the war, one of them actually met with the young leader. My ninja lost his arm in that short confrontation. He returned home and died of blood loss shortly after. He told me of the look in the boy leader's eyes. Thinking he killed his own men broke him. Foolish child. He is just that...a child. He is bewildered. Not ready for war. Confused and soon broken. Now, we must take what he loves most. Her name is Hanako.
Curse the gods. Why do these demon riders haunt me? Another night and surely I will go insane. They come closer and closer during the hours of darkness. What do they want from me? I must know...
May 7th, 1126
Grand victory! Though my nights haunt me, my days are splendid. From the comfort of my home, I am made aware of the destruction of Mashasaki by my faithful emissaries. The Mashasaki has all but fallen and today I receive great news. The child leader is now leaving for Botataka. He has left his most prized possession alone. Surely he has hidden her away to avoid the war. My men know every corner of their territory. We will find her. The Mashasaki lineage will be vanquished once and for all.
I'd rather not go into detail about these visions in the night at this time. They will not disrupt my plans.
May 14th, 1126
My men have followed the child for a full week. He is far away from home now. It is time. Today, I send in assassins to find and kill the girl.
In the night I fear. Never before have I known such dread. I cannot take this much longer.
May 23rd, 1126
The child leader has made it to Botataka. My men have scoured his homeland and have found no signs of the girl. They tell me that he spent the day training. I must send another party out soon before he returns for the girl.
May 29th, 1126
My men have failed again. Where is the girl? What must I do to secure my victory? Blast my fate! Tonight, I will offer up the soul of every man and woman of Shukai for vengeance!