IC: Tuuli – Tuuli’s Trade Shop – Le-Koro
The Trader, a long-time ally of Kongu and supplier of many of the Le-Matoran’s needs, sat with his mouth slightly agape from the words of the Cultured Gentry elder. Tuuli was a member of the exclusive club, and a long-time member at that.
“What do you mean?” Tuuli asked, a look crossed between concern and disbelief on his face.
“It was bound to happen, Tuuli,” Koropaki continued. He made himself comfortable in his chair and calmly folded his hands on his lap, “Back when Turaga Matau led the village, you were a balanced society; military and merchants worked side by side, helping one another and making Le-Koro was of the safest and prosperous villages on the island. Even after the First Toa were defeated, Matau tried to keep defenses and economy on the same level, despite cries from both sides for a higher priority”
“Now that Matau was passed away, it has become apparent to me that the balance is shifting,” Koropaki continued, “Kongu is a military man, and he feels a personal connection with his soldiers. This is admirable, and I would expect nothing less from the Captain. However, I just held a conference with him, and I fear that his interests might yield too far in the favor of your military officials”
Tuuli leaned forward as a question popped into his mind, “Moment-wait, is this about the sponsorship? Are they trying to back-give it?”
Koropaki nodded solemnly, “They have graciously accepted the funds that were raised from the concert, but that money was set to go to a specific cause, and frankly, it’s not enough to cover all the strife that this village suffered immediately after the concert. Le-Koro is among the villages most needful of our help. But moves our already being made, it seems, to block out the mercantile voice. Commander Skyra is a close friend of Kongu, and it’s possible that he might convince him to reject the rest of our assistance”
“And remember,” Koropaki continued, “Our success is one entity; you and I cannot hope to see victory by ourselves. If this Adoption Plan succeeds, you shall as well”
“Of course,” Tuuli said, fully understanding. They had already had this discussion a few days ago. Koropaki was preaching to the choir at this point. Tuuli also remembered the night of the post-concert meeting, when a ragtag battalion of Xa-Koronans burned much of Le-Koro, including part of Tuuli’s shop. The Gukko Force eventually won, but they were obviously not prepared, and the concert was hardly an excuse since hardly any of them even showed up.
The Gukko Force simply wasn’t as responsive, or powerful, as its members thought, or else Tuuli wouldn’t have had to spend so much of his time and money fixing his own shop.
“What can we do?” Tuuli asked the Ko-Koronan elder, “Kongu is our leader now. Should we not respect his judgment?”
“Only if it’s fair and balanced,” Koropaki said calmly, like a wise father to a son, “But if Kongu works only in the interest of one party, then it is not his judgment now, is it?”
“… It’s the judgment of the Gukko Force…” Tuuli finally said with trepidation. It was a dark thought indeed. Tuuli still respected the Gukko Force, ranked them as the most formidable force on Mata Nui, but the thought of them possibly attempting a power-grab gnawed at his soul.
“What I am asking is simple,” Koropaki said, “Remind Kongu that you’re still here. Speak up”
Tuuli nodded. That was really all he could do anyway, and perhaps that would be enough. Surely, if Tuuli and the other traders in Le-Koro remained silent, Kongu would rightfully assume that they were indifferent.
“I shall talk-schedule a meeting with the Captain,” Tuuli said with conviction, “He must hear the other side of the tale”
“Of course,” Koropaki said, smiling as he rose from his chair, “I thank you for your assertion, and for your understanding. I shall be in my hotel suite, if you need anything else from me. Kongu and I shall conclude our discussion at sunrise tomorrow”
With that, the Ko-Matoran calmly strolled out of the shop, leaving Tuuli to quickly find a colleague to run his shop for him while he visited the new leader of Le-Koro.