"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?"


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"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.