Mokou, let's talk history for a bit, shall we? Today, we dive head-first into that bloodbath of honor and heroes that is the Genpei war. Between the Genji and Heike clans, veritable vats full of heroes that would be sung of for the centuries to come, who are the figures whose behavior and actions are worthy of your awe - or your disgust, even? What were your circumstances during those tumultuous years, for that matter? Did you witness them, perhaps as a first-hand victim, being still young then?
"The Genpei wars… I am rather pleased anyone remembers those, let alone brings them up in conversation" exclaimed a pleasantly surprised Mokou, adjusting her suspenders and grabbing a nearby sake dish, taking a heartful swig and then facing the young adult once anew, pushing the dish slightly towards him, as if offering a drink. "Those are years I remember with much respect and awe, indeed! Those were the times when humans were a respectable force, trained in musical, lyrical and martial arts. Aaah, how I long for home, the sounds of marchin’ soldiers and upstandin’ naginatas. Honor meant a thing back then, see, and yet we were all very self servin’, I mean, did you know it was completely legal and acceptable for a swordsman to try out his techniques on any peasant he came across if he so wished? If you wanted to survive, you had to have skills, regardless of the path your life chose! Simply euphoric! Aah, apologies, ya didn’t come here to listen to an old woman ramble ‘bout her pink-tinted memories, ya came with a question."
"The conflict between the Genji and the Heike — That is, the Minamoto clan and the Taira clan — embroiled the entire country and its every aspect, as is the case whenever Japan goes into internal conflict. The sohei — Warrior monks — of Mii-dera clashed spears against those of Enryaku-ji, but this conflict paled in comparison to the sheer hatred the Genji had for the Heike, and who could blame them? The Heike absolutely decimated the Genji durin’ the Heiji Rebellion… The Heiji and, as you no doubt know, the Fujiwara." — Mokou was visibly bitter when talking about this — "Despite the Minamoto-Fujiwara coalition, Taira no Kiyomori successfully annihilated our for— The joined forces of both clans and, in conjunction with the already weakened political power the Fujiwara clan had by then, courtesy of Emperor Go-Sanjou, led to the end of the Fujiwara-dominated Heian era. The intensity of the hatred the Minamoto harbored for the Taira… It was sweet ecstasy! The whirlwind of emotion and hatred was palpable, and the Taira, so desperate to remain in power, utilizin’ every single means they had at their disposal, mystical and otherwise, while the Minamoto struggled to even do a proper call to arms, it was pandemonium!"
"I was young back then, ‘round 300 years old, almost 400. My hair hadn’t even begun to be bleached by my flames back then, hah! While I was not a Fujiwara princess anymore by circumstance, I still held and… Sigh… Hold pride over my heritage, and seein’ my clan fall like that was infuriatin’. Seen’ the Taira move ‘round like they owned the place was bad enough without the knowledge that they crushed the children of my brothers, sisters and cousins to do so in the first place. I took a keen interest in the conflicts, and I lent my my strength to the Minamoto as a mercenary to fight the Taira. Now, yer probably wonderin’ if I did somethin’ of great importance, and the answer is yes and no. Arcane beings such as myself were not that uncommon in the war, and we were there mostly to neutralize other magic-users. It’s for this reason that this war was one between humans, with us magic users being there to contain the other side’s, mostly. In particular, I had a few scraps with Takiyasha-hime’s spells, but that’s another story for another day. My circumstances were nothin’ too special, I was simply trainin’ myself, since by that point I only had a good understandin’ of fire magic and close quarters combat, nothin’ too fancy. This war was a good opportunity to both get some revenge and some skills."
"The era was full of heroes! Benkei, Kajiwara Kagetoki, Gochin no Tajima, oh boy, especially Gochin no Tajima! And then there is Minamoto no Yoshitsune… In fact, my favorite battle of this era is definitely the one in which Yoshitsune fought his own traitorous cousin, Yoshinaka! Yoshinaka had planned to take over the palace by himself, makin’ the Emperor his own hostage, but his plans were leaked out and Yoshitsune came to Kyoto and fought him, head to head! It was incredible! I was there as a footsoldier, routin’ the enemies’ supply line, but once we headed back for more orders, Yoshitsune was going headlong into battle, somethin’ that doesn’t happen very often. He was a very strong man in many senses and I admire him very much. Yoshinaka’s final stand was at Awazu, where Yoshitsune himself put an arrow in his neck. The period then proceeded to its final phase but, I believe I have gone on too long now, aha!”