Quotes from The Emperor of Nihon-Ja

John Flanagan ·  490 pages

Rating: (36K votes)


“Ah, Signor Halt,' he said uncertainly, 'you are making a joke, yes?'
'He is making a joke, no,' Will said. 'But he likes to think he is making a joke, yes.”
― John Flanagan, quote from The Emperor of Nihon-Ja


“How do we get there? How did you get here, by the way?' [Will asked].

He heard Halt's deep sigh and knew he'd done it again.

'Do you ever,' the older Ranger said with great deliberation, 'manage to ask just one question at a time? Or does it always have to be multiple choice with you?'

Will looked at him in surprise. 'Do I do that?' he asked. 'Are you sure?'

Halt said nothing. He raised his hands in a 'See what I mean?' gesture...

'Halt,' [Selethen said], 'I could be wrong, but I think you were just guilty of the same fault. I'm sure I heard you ask two questions just then.'

'Thank you for pointing that out, Lord Selethen,' Halt said with icy formality.”
― John Flanagan, quote from The Emperor of Nihon-Ja


“Gundar seemed to come to a decision.
"Well, as my old mam used to say, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, it's probably a duck."
"Very wise," Halt said. "And what exactly do your mother's words of wisdom have to do with this situation?"
Gundar shrugged. "It looks like a channel. It's the right place for a channel. If I were digging one, this is where I'd dig a channel. So. . ."
"So it's probably the channel?" Selethen said.
Gundar grinned at him. "Either that or it's a duck.”
― John Flanagan, quote from The Emperor of Nihon-Ja


“Now for God's sake, will you two start behaving like a princess and a Courier?" Halt told them. "If you don't, I'll have to think about sending Will home.'
'Me?' Will said, his voice breaking into a high-pitched squeak of indignation. 'What's it got to do with me?'
'It's all your fault!' Halt shouted irrationally.”
― John Flanagan, quote from The Emperor of Nihon-Ja


“I will remember this word," he said. "Shenanigans. It is a good word.”
― John Flanagan, quote from The Emperor of Nihon-Ja



“[Will]'d barely been asleep a few minutes when Halt's voice woke him.
'Will? Are you asleep?'...
'I was,' he said, a little indignantly. 'I'm not now.'
'Good,' Halt replied, a trifle smugly. 'Serves you right.”
― John Flanagan, quote from The Emperor of Nihon-Ja


“There are always risks in battle. It's a dangerous business. The trick is to take the right ones.' [said Halt].
'How do you know which are the right ones?' Shigeru asked.
Halt glanced at his two younger companions. They grinned and answered in chorus, 'You wait and see if you win.”
― John Flanagan, quote from The Emperor of Nihon-Ja


“Without thinking, [Will] spoke.
'Halt? Are you awake?'
'No.' The ill humor in the one-word reply was unmistakable.
'Oh. Sorry.'
'Shut up.'
He pondered whether to apologize again and decided this would go against the instruction to shut up, so remained silent.”
― John Flanagan, quote from The Emperor of Nihon-Ja


“Get rid of their mast, knock holes in the hull, then get back on board."
"You want us to sink her?" Gundar asked, and Halt shook his head.
"No. I want her badly damaged but capable of making it back to port. I want the word to go out that the strange ship with the red falcon ensign"—he gestured to Evanlyn's ensign, flying from the mast top—"is manned by dangerous, hairy maniacs with axes and is to be avoided at all costs."
"That sounds like us," Gundar said cheerfully.”
― John Flanagan, quote from The Emperor of Nihon-Ja


“Will raised both eyebrows. 'Well, you learn a new thing everyday,' he said reflectively.

'In your case, that's no exaggeration,' Halt said, completely straight-faced.”
― John Flanagan, quote from The Emperor of Nihon-Ja



“Gundar, seeing Halt upright for the first time in two days, stumped up the deck to join them.
'Back on your feet then?' he boomed cheerfully, with typical Skandian tact. 'By Gorlag's toenails, with all the heaving abd puking you've been doing, I thought you'd turn yourself inside out and puke yourself over the rail!'...
'You do paint a pretty picture, Gundar,' Will said...
'Thank you for your concern,' Halt said icily...
'So, did you find Albert?' Gundar went on, unabashed. Even Halt was puzzled by this sudden apparent change of subject.
'Albert?' he asked. Too late, he saw Gundar's grin widening and knew he'd stepped into a trap.
'You seemed to be looking for him. You'd lean over the rail and call, 'Al-b-e-e-e-e-e-r-t!' I thought he might be some Araluen sea god.'
'No, I didn't find him. Maybe I could look for him in your helmet.'
He reached out a hand. But Gundar had heard what happened when Skandians lent their helmets to the grim-faced Ranger while onboard ship...
'No, I'm pretty sure he's not there,' he said hurriedly.”
― John Flanagan, quote from The Emperor of Nihon-Ja


“Horace, who had been trying to find out the meaning of Kurokuma for some time now, was pleased to hear the translation.
"Black bear," he repeated. "It's undoubtedly because I'm so terrible in battle."
"I'd guess so," Will put in. "I've seen you in battle and you're definitely terrible.”
― John Flanagan, quote from The Emperor of Nihon-Ja


“Easy climb, Kurokuma. You do it easily.'
'Not on your life,' Horace said... 'That's what we have Rangers for. They climb up sheer rock walls and crawl along narrow, slippery ledges. I'm a trained warrior, and I'm far to valuable to risk such shenanigans.'
'We're not valuable?' Will said, feigning insult.
Horace looked at him. 'We've got two of you. We can always afford to lose one,' he said firmly.”
― John Flanagan, quote from The Emperor of Nihon-Ja


“Will saw the first Senshi officer release and instantly knew where the arrow was aimed. 'They've spotted Shigeru!' He was about to turn and shove Shigeru to the ground, but as he did so, his eye caught a flicker of movement and he spun back.
When asked later about what he did next, he could never explain how he managed it. Nor could he ever repeat the feat. He acted totally from instinct, an unbelievable piece of coordination between hand and eye.
The Senshi arrow flashed downward, heading directly for Shigeru. Will flicked his bow at it, caught it and deflected it from its course. The arrowhead screeched on the hard, rocky ground and the arrow skittered away. Even Halt took a second to be impressed.
'My god!' he said. 'How did you do that?”
― John Flanagan, quote from The Emperor of Nihon-Ja


“George!' [Horace] said, the relief evident in his voice. 'Are you all right?'
'No! I am not!' George replied with considerable spirit. 'I have a whacking great arrow stuck through my arm and it hurts like the very dickens! How could anybody be all right in those circumstances?'...
'You saved my life, George,' Horace said gently...
George grimaced. 'Well, if I'd known it was going to hurt like this, I wouldn't have! I would have just let them shoot you! Why do you live this way?' he demanded in a high-pitched voice. 'How can you bear it? This sort of thing is very, very painful. I always suspected that warriors are crazy. Now I know.”
― John Flanagan, quote from The Emperor of Nihon-Ja



“What is this Chocho business?' Will muttered to himself. But his friends overheard the comment.
'It's a term of great respect,' they chorused, and he glared at them.
'Oh, shut up,' he said.”
― John Flanagan, quote from The Emperor of Nihon-Ja


“But I wasn't happy... when I heard you two had assaulted Castle Macindaw with just thirty men,' [said Halt].
'Thirty-three,' mumbled Horace...
The Ranger gave him a withering look. 'Oh, pardon me... three more men does make a lot of difference.”
― John Flanagan, quote from The Emperor of Nihon-Ja


“Will had been taken aback in his confrontation with Arisaka to discover that his name- Chocho- meant "Butterfly"... He was puzzled to know why they had selected it. His friends, of course, delighted in helping him guess the reason.
'I assume it's because you're such a snazzy dresser,' Evanlyn said. 'You Rangers are a riot of color, after all.'...
'I think it might be more to do with the way he raced around the training ground, darting here and there to correct the way a man might be holding his shield, then dashing off to show someone how to put their body weight into their javelin cast,' said Horace, a little more sympathetically. Then he ruined the effect by adding thoughtlessly, 'I must say, your cloak did flutter around like a butterfly's wings.”
― John Flanagan, quote from The Emperor of Nihon-Ja


“Who are you, gaijin? What do you know about honor?'
'I'm called Chocho,' Will said...
'Chocho?' Arisaka shouted, goaded beyond control. 'Butterfly? Then die, Butterfly!”
― John Flanagan, quote from The Emperor of Nihon-Ja


“Mikeru was still puzzling over Horace's last remark. He frowned. 'Kurokuma, these shenanigans... What are they?'
'Shenanigans are what Rangers do. They usually involve doing things that risk breaking your neck or your leg.'
Mikeru nodded, filing the word away. 'I will remember this word,' he said. 'Shenanigans. It is a good word.”
― John Flanagan, quote from The Emperor of Nihon-Ja



“Halt eyed them balefully. They were all being so obvious about not mentioning his sudden reappearance that it was even worse than if they had commented on it...

'Oh, go on!' he said. 'Somebody say something! I know what you're thinking!'

'It's good to see you up and about, Halt,' Selethen said gravely...

Halt glared at the others and they quickly chorused their pleasure at seeing him back to his normal self. But he could see the grins they didn't quite manage to hide. He fixed a glare on Alyss.

'I'm surprised at you Alyss,' he said. 'I expected no better of Will and Evanlyn, of course. Heartless beasts, the pair of them. But you! I thought you had been better trained!'...

'Halt, I'm sorry! It's not funny, you're right... Shut up, Will.' This last was directed at Will as he tried, unsuccessfully, to smother a snigger.”
― John Flanagan, quote from The Emperor of Nihon-Ja


“Fighting positions, please, ladies...'
'That's debatable,' Halt said in an undertone to Will as they stood watching...
'The 'fighting' part or the 'ladies' part?' Will replied with a grin.
Halt looked at him and shook his head. 'Definitely the 'ladies,'' he said. 'There's no debate about the 'fighting.''
Will shrugged. He knew there was an edginess to the girls' relationship and that it had something to do with him. Why that should be so was beyond him.”
― John Flanagan, quote from The Emperor of Nihon-Ja


“Gundar isn't so much a ship's captain as a reformed pirate and a heathen." [Evanlyn] looked apologetically at Gundar. "No offense, Gundar."
The skirl shrugged cheerfully. "None taken, little lady. It's a pretty fair description. Not sure about the reformed part," he added thoughtfully.”
― John Flanagan, quote from The Emperor of Nihon-Ja


“The two girls disappeared into the stern cabin once more. Will watched them go, then asked Halt, 'Anything you'd like me to do? Grow a beard? Learn to walk like a rooster?'
'If you could stop asking facetious questions, that'd be a start,' Halt told him. 'But it's probably a little late in life for you to do that.”
― John Flanagan, quote from The Emperor of Nihon-Ja


“S'mimasen," Alyss said repeatedly as they brushed against passerby.
"What does that mean?" Will asked as they reached a stretch of street bare of any other pedestrians. He was impressed by Alyss's grasp of the local language.
"It means 'pardon me,'" Alyss replied, but then a shadow of doubt crossed her face. "At least, I hope it does. Maybe I'm saying 'you have the manners of a fat, rancid sow.”
― John Flanagan, quote from The Emperor of Nihon-Ja



“There was a roar of delight from the forward bench, and then the bearlike figure of Nils Ropehander came lumbering down the deck, bellowing congratulations.
"What's that? The General? Engaged? Well General, here's my hand in congratulations!"
The expression here's my hand turned out to be a loose one. Nils scooped Horace up in a massive bear hug of delight. The hug, unlike the expression, was not a loose one. When he released Horace, the young groom-to-be crumpled, moaning breathlessly, to the deck.”
― John Flanagan, quote from The Emperor of Nihon-Ja


“You're right, Halt,' she said, and he nodded acklowledgement of her backing down.
'Nice to hear someone else saying that for a change,' Will said cheerfully. 'Seems like I've said those words an awful lot in my time.'
Halt turned a bleak gaze on him. 'And you've always been right.”
― John Flanagan, quote from The Emperor of Nihon-Ja


“What the devil is Chocho?' Will whispered.
Horace's grin broadened. 'You are. It's what the men call you,' he said. Then he added, 'It's a term of great respect.'
Behind them, Halt nodded confirmation. 'Great respect,' he agreed.”
― John Flanagan, quote from The Emperor of Nihon-Ja


“The young gentleman is correct," he said.
Halt raised an eyebrow. "He may be correct, and he is undoubtedly young. But he's no gentleman."

~Halt and General Sapristi speaking of Will”
― John Flanagan, quote from The Emperor of Nihon-Ja


“It's called a sea anchor,' [Evanlyn] explained. 'It'll stop us drifting too far.'
Alyss was impressed. 'And you said you were pig-ignorant when it came to boats.'
'I don't remember saying that,' Evanlyn replied with a frown.
Alyss shrugged. 'Oh? Well, it must have been me.”
― John Flanagan, quote from The Emperor of Nihon-Ja



About the author

John Flanagan
Born place: in Sydney, Australia
Born date May 22, 1944
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