Ooc: Nia and I made a jam a while back but i totally forgot about posting it. Here we goooo!
Ic: I knew what my lady was talking about, what Inokio had asked of her; it was something that I had to do as both her bodyguard and, when she wished it, her advisor. I knew many things and kept careful observation, all to better serve her. Yumiwa's responsibility was not only an awareness of her surroundings, though, it was also a understanding of her kingdom and of her people. I had no doubt that with repeated attempts and training it would become second nature to her. Yumiwa was capable of a great deal and while at the time, when stray thoughts tugged at her mind. When she felt the weight of marriage on it's way. While I had my responsibilities in service to Yumiwa. She had responsibilities to her subjects, she had to focus, keep consideration of it all.
"It has always been that way my Yumiwa, my Chojo. Such focus, especially that is required of one of your stature is never easy. However I had had the pleasure of serving you for a very long time, I grew up with you. This will become second nature to you soon. You are so devoted to becoming better with each passing day. You are inspiration in your drive towards succeeding, you always succeed my lady, even if today had happened exactly perfect."
"Yes, my lady?"
"Hana, my dearest honeysuckle kumquat pineapple meringue pie," I rattled off affectionately, "with a cherry on top, you're my handmaiden but you're also my best friend. So whyyyy on earth do you cling to being so formal? Like, you're so prooooper like you're perpetually at court."
It is hard to shake it, being formal like this, I like to drop it when it's just Yumi and I, to speak without such stiffness, to let words roll off the tongue with ease. I relaxed, I tried to keep the two sides separate, the public side and the private side. One that only two people were really privy to: Yumi, and her sister Desde, one of three people I had every felt at ease in my life.
"I'm sorry Yumi. It's part of the training, etiquette and all that. To just shake it off isn't so easy. As you know it is easier for me at other times." I smile, making a note in my head.
"I know," I reassured Hana. "I was raised with the same stuffiness and protocol, probably more so than you albeit less, ehhh, structured, I guess." I cast a quick looked behind the two of us at the other two handmaidens and the Hogo mooks around us. The servants knew who my favourite was; there was no point showing otherwise. "I've all but tossed those formalities out the window except at court or doing chojo stuff, but in cases like this? We're just Yumi and Hana against the whole wide world, and I'm not fighting with my rapier so you shouldn't, either. Kay?" I said and poked Hana playfully in the shoulder.
"Kay! I replied, let out a little giggle. I felt good, not bottling it up inside. Only Yumi or Desde could break down the wall, it was really only them I felt I could let it down to. "So didn't you have something else on your mind? You were hinting at it earlier." My shoulders relaxed a bit. With Yumi's permission, with her encouragement maybe I'd do this more often.
"As a matter of fact, I do," I said. and quickened my pace to stay a little better out of hearing range with the others. It's not that I don't trust them, since they're still technically handmaidens of mine and all, but I value Hana's opinions and advice much more than theirs and wanted to ensure the talk was straight.
"There was more than a lesson on focus in the Market today. There's one Menti who proposed to the whole of the Market that we are cowards and we should expand to that new island to the west, Mata Nui. Inokio declined to comment on the matter and thought it wiser to bring it up with you." I sighed. "There were at least six nobles of First Son and toroshu rank there, your brother included. Hana, even Admiral Ayiwah was there! Many eyes were set on me having something to say. I delayed comment and remained neutral, as my mom wants me and the Clan to, but I need your advice for when this becomes a bigger issue."
I sort of glowered at the spire that held the court itself. Intrigue. Politics. Powerplays. As crown princess I'm supposed to live and breathe the stuff, and when I become empress, whenever that is (Zuto Nui be with my mom forever and ever, but... well...) I can't expect to be the greatest rora of all time and remain neutral. I have to have opinions, and who better to give me an idea of what I'll be facing than Hana. "And it will. So. I need your counsel."
This was one of those moments that I had to think carefully, to be honest political counsel was the part of my handmaiden duties that I disliked. It was a duty nonetheless but it wasn't one I was exactly excited about. I mulled through the options in my head. Having the Menti dissenter executed would reflectively negative on the Umbralines, so that option was already out of the running. While expanding would bring us great riches and new land under our control, it meant a war on the people of Mata Nui, and there was a lot of blood in war. Peaceful negotiations with the Mata Nuian people, that to me was the best course of action, learning more about them, understanding them.
"My opinion is that we send another group of Menti to learn more about the island of Mata Nui. With better understanding of the Mata Nuian people, we can decide whether we should go to war, or try to work peacefully with them."
"I was hoping you'd say that," I cheerily said. "I was thinking the same thing. We need more intelligence about the island, the people, their culture, their powers even. There are too many unknowns."
"Who would we send for the excursion, if there is going to be one?" I asked, wondering what my best friend and future empress was thinking.
"I don't know," I replied. It was true; I didn't. It wasn't my call, either. I could influence things, be a face for the royal clan and the court, talk to my mom about it and everything, but in the end I knew that I was a princess and not a general. "Commodore Ayiwah, maybe some of the Hogo troops -- it won't be my choice anyway.
"Look, Hana, that kind of expedition would require military might in addition to diplomatic representation. It'll be diverse and encompassing every field to accomplish every goal set for it. But in the end, anything military falls to the toroshu and every clan will have something to contribute to the expedition. My mom may do the court stuff but it'll be the toroshu who decide who goes because they have everyone that needs to go. Although..." I trailed in thought.
"What are you thinking, Yumi?"
"My mom does have something the other clans can't contribute: Me." The corners of my lips curled into a clever smile. "How would you like to go to Mata Nui with me? We could be at the center of the diplomatic front."
The idea of traveling to a new island, learning more about this new culture, about the people who lived there -- I was positively bursting with excitement of it. I smiled a little wider, and responded to her cheerily.
"I would love to Yumi."
"Excellent!" I chirped. If there was going to be any expedition to explore Mata Nui more thoroughly then I wanted to totally be a part of it, and if I went then Hana would need to be by my side all the while. I decided to bring my option to the table with my mother later on but I wouldn't even be able to get an audience with her until evening, so with the break in tension I set my sights on more everyday aspects of my life. After all, we were in the Gardens now.
Ooc: If anyone at all's in the Gardens I'm open for interaction.