“Shin Man Taziko had it right you know, to know one thing well, so you can know ten thousand things.”
Gently spoken, picked up by a gust of wind and thrown up and over the Bridge of Ten, down to the swirling waters below. Hakase was familiar with the view in front of him. Intimate some might say. But how could you not be, the legendary story every Amekawan is recited to from birth practically vibrates to life standing in front of this bridge. To see the swirling waters below, to peek at the clouds above, knowing – almost waiting.
Hakase, or best known as Hakase of the Wild, was what you would expect of an Amekawan. Loves a trade, gets loud and proud while having a drink, and can be struck solid by the anxiety of the world. He is also known amongst the Amekawans for his intrepid adventures and the love for the wild. Take one look at the character on his arm and it will soon make sense.
But of all the places Hakase could find himself, here he was. Once again peering out into the distance, watching the Bridge of Ten arching up to the high-cliffs that mark the entrance to the Free Trade Zone (FTZ). As he twirled his Scythe around and around, his mind kept focus on one thing.
Hakase had seen many things in his time, from explorations of Mount Tagaki, wild trades in the FTZ, to the Alien Piranha he sported as his gauntlet. In all of these experiences, Hakase had used strategy to great effect. True it caused him a great deal of anxiety, but his calling for the wild proved to be the stronger calling and unlocking the world about him. But here was a place that Hakase could not apply his strategy. What did the legend say again? Ritual suicide rather than burn the bridge, a rogue archmage of the Dalomai, a line of pink salt. Was that the strategy? Did they know that incantation would allow Lord Dakis to protect our home? What if it hadn’t… would we be also now part of House Hallux or worse not here at all.
Oh how Hakase wished he could meet Lord Dakis, understand the impossible, perhaps meet it eye to eye. The Book of Ten Rings also has a famous line “Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world”. This was certainly true of Hakase, bordering on thinking too deeply of the world, tethered to reality by the explorations he had planned or the students which he taught. But he knew he must, to continue to ask the questions, to explore the realm, to understand what was the strategy that led them to make those faithful decisions on the Day of Dakis.
In the end, why did Hakase of the Wild have to know, really. It wasn’t a question he was sure he knew the answer to. But he recognised that to know one thing well can unlock the knowledge of ten thousand things, and knowing what might have occurred here long ago, at the Bridge of Ten, at Odoroki-Bashi, could help him unlock so much more knowledge of the world around him.
A gust of wind looped below the bridge and up towards Hakase. All three of his tail feathers bristled. That was enough for today. He was starting to become incredibly anxious with all the thoughts going through his mind. The day would have to wait until he could truly say he knew one thing well. He had a class to run later that afternoon. Hakase swiped his Scythe with precision next to a large log that laid next to where he stood. Had he cared to count, that was Day 216. A mark for every day Hakase had stood there, pondering the world before him. The mysteries of the world would have to remain unknown at least one more day.
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