She had received a summons from someone from Kumogakure, a Shimiko Chinoike. She had heard of her, but due to her association with the village of Kumo she’d paid little attention. Considering the Shogun’s desire to see Kiyoko expand her good will to include the shinobi though she had agreed to a meeting. The floating city was a marvel of technology to be sure, and as Kiyoko walked through it she could see why Kensai was so enamored with the creations of Okane. The buildings made of steel and glass, the people bustling through the streets and the smells of industry and creativity were fascinating to her. She’d never been particularly interested in pursuing the craftsman arts herself, but she held a deep respect and appreciation for them all the same. The two swords she currently carried, Redemption and Kurosawa, were a testament to the ingenuity of people. Where she had dedicated her life to the art of using a sword, others had equally dedicated themselves to the creation of them.
She had come in her usual clothing, a pair of black silk hakama and a matching black silk off shoulder shirt with flowing sleeves that ended halfway down her forearms. She had a long black wool cloak trimmed with dark fur that matched her equally dark hair and eyes and tied at her neck with a simple cord. Her two swords were strapped to her left side, their hilts ‘peace tied’ with red silk as a sign of respect for the laws governing the neutral place. Kiyoko had no intention of drawing the blades, but she had also been unwilling to let them leave her side. A Samurai’s blade was far more than a weapon, it carried the soul of its bearers and the hope of its people. The blade ‘Redemption’ was as much a part of her as was her arms or legs, to part with them would not only bring her dishonour, it would be to dishonour the very core of what it meant to follow the Bushido code. Kurosawa was even more integral to her accoutrement, she had given an oath to keep it safe, only to part with it when it could be safely delivered to the Shogun himself. Aihi was dressed in a traditional Land of Iron kimono made of pink and blue dyed silk, with similarly coloured adornments in her dark hair. Aihi’s hair was not exactly the image of stately perfection, but she was also a toddler and the fact that she was even dressed was a miracle in itself. On Aihi’s waist was a small ‘dagger’ that Kiyoko had whittled for her out of wood, at the near unintelligible insistence of the little girl when she was told that “No, you can’t have the Kurosawa blade”. Kiyoko had even gone so far as to ‘peace tie’ Aihi’s wooden ‘sword’ so that she understood the importance of following all the rules and laws of whatever land they were in.
Once she had arrived at the room intended for her meeting she would take a seat at a small wooden table, removing her cloak and placing it neatly over the back of her chair. Aihi would do two and half laps around the room before giggling and falling onto a pillow near her mother. Refreshments had been offered to her and she had requested rice tea, a favourite of hers since she was a young girl, and some milk for Aihi. Kiyoko was fairly certain that Aihi wouldn’t even drink the milk and would just try her best to sneakily sip her mother’s tea, but since she knew it was coming she wouldn’t mind. She did have to keep her entertained regardless and if the worst trouble Aihi got into was trying to drink rice tea, then it was a blessing. She had wanted to have something stronger, but she needed to keep what few wits she had about her as she had no idea what to expect.