In the grim cyberpunk world of the 22nd century real life sucks. So people use neural nano-interfaces to escape to the vibrant fantasy worlds of DMMO-RPGs. For years the most popular of these was YGGDRASIL, but it slowly lost momentum and by 2138 is being shut down. Three friends log in to face the last minutes of the game together, completely unaware of what will happen after it ends.
Weird. So it's not filling in backstory - but she's talking like a person, just one who had fantasy-style amnesia and was 'rescued' -
"Thanks. That sounds like what I remember, too. I'm sure it's nothing to worry about."
She bows, again.
"If master says so it must be true!
Would you like a song before you go?"
"Sure. Thank you, that'd be lovely."
She plays. It turns out just a few levels in bard are enough to make someone rock star good by real world standards. At least if you can get over the idea of a servant girl playing "Rock Over Japan" on a biwa. I mean technically the 20th century is classical music, but that still seems like a bit of a glitch.
Okay he probably shouldn't have allowed Takeko at the song list.
He claps politely when she finishes. "That was great, thank you!"
She looks extremely pleased, bows again, and wishes "master" a nice day. Then she returns to idly retuning her instrument.
He disengages politely and leaves. It's probably been an hour, so he wanders in Ranmaru's general direction.
"Kychinawa-Sama. Reported back the Hanzos have. Discovered a village, a forest, and a 100 strong fighting troop to the North they have. Western knights and some sort of magic users. Preparing to attack the village they are. Plains in all other directions."
"We can't just let that village be destroyed," he says. Especially if people here are real. Which, holy fuck, has implications for fighting. He, Takeko, Soreiyu, and the warrior customized NPCs are no slouches, but he doesn't know the levels of the attacking force - probably low with numbers that high - can't assume that though and ahhhhhh this is why he's not in charge of fighting. "I'll inform Takeko. Good work on the information."
"It was nothing."
"Still. Keep up the good work," and aaaaaa how do you part from someone who didn't exist until like just an hour ago. Awkward parting routines ahoy?
Once that particular nightmare's done with, he hurries to find Takeko and update her on the situation.
"Well, that's no good," she says. "I'm not comfortable leaving the castle undefended, especially right now, we don't have that many high-level retainers - we don't have concrete information on the enemy's levels - you and me should be enough for the offense, Soreiyu's the best of us at defense. What're our current forces look like - I like the sound of 'overwhelming force' so we'll take a fourth if that's not ludicrously many, a larger chunk if that's too few, I'll leave exact numbers to you and the retainers."
"Right. I'll. Get that set up."
He nods to Takeko, then goes to find... Someone.
Masamune is still were he was left and has a fairly good idea of what forces are available. It also looks like he is talking to one of the Hanzo's so he probably has a good idea of whats going on.
"Masamune, we're moving to protect that village that's being attacked." A quick confirmation with Message - not useful for actual conversations, nice for things-he-forgot - and: "Soreiyu's preparing a scry and some gates so we can position our forces ideally."
"Understood, I have have the Yabusame assembled as they are most suited to open combat, as well as three of the owlbears for overwatch. This is approximately a quarter of our offensive ability excluding the Daimyos."
A Message pings against his mind, so: "Right, that's in line with Takeko's directives. Soreiyu's finished his scrying and is on his way." Also shit should he be using honorifics ahhhhh well too late to start now.
As he finishes:
A certain blond appears in a showy swirl of leaves and flower petals.
"Talking about me? I've got the details we need, and - " He waves a hand and an illusory three-dimensional map appears. "Enemy forces are in red, villagers in white, proposed portal locations in blue. Fighting is active, so we need to move fast."
The Knight has just killed two peasants and turns to face their children. Sword held high.
Enri runs for her life dragging her sister with her.
Soreiyu does not generally advise rushing into situations, especially not for the sake of NPCs.
Takeko, fortunately for the children, is not required to take his input into account.
She teleports in front of the child, sword raised to block the strike, other hand lashing for his midsection. Shocking Grasp was one of her first spells, and it remains her favorite. Take average-of-seventy damage straight to the gut, enemy knight!
"And Takeko just jumped the gun. We're going with the highlighted portal."
He drops like a puppet thats strings have been cut.
Enri continues to look terrified, but manages to get out a thank you to Takeko. Curiously her words are perfectly correct Japanese but don't match her lip flaps.