"As with all my skills, Momo, it came from my endless pursuit of every artform available to man." Setsurou explained as he poured the wine. "To be more precise, I started it when I was ten. By that age, chemistry and poisonmaking were both abilities we were instigated to learn at the Hishikawa household. I had, of course, long since studied on the subject, and their creation bored me to tears by then. I wanted to learn cooking, but as a scion of the household I wasn't permitted to learn a servant's art. And, of course, I couldn't try to learn it on my own without access to the proper tools and ingredients.
So I came to my father with the idea that I was enthused with the notion of learning more subtle forms of poisoning. But for that, I would have to learn cooking itself. He didn't particularly like the idea, but since that was the first time I'd shown any interest in a proper spy art since I'd learned to read (or since he thinks I learned, anyway), he gave me the go-ahead.
The whole ordeal fell flat on its face once my dad 'realized' I could not work more than a mildly embarrassing concoction into the food without giving it away. That was intentional, of course. By then I had already learned everything the servants could teach me, so when I grew older, I would occasionally sneak out of the household to work the Rukongai cookhouses and restaurants in disguise... and I saved the family's honor on its hospitality receiving guests more than once. To this day, neither of my parents know.
Are you familiar with the Rukongai Heavenly Flower Blossom Festival?"
"Huh, I guess it's been a number a' years since I last came out in public. The name's Ryouma. And I'm here because my whole goddamn forest is gone and I don't have a home anymore." Well, untrue... it's not ALL gone. But his home certainly is.