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#881 Online Skitty

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Posted May 01 2014 - 11:04 PM

IC: Arisaka (Soraya's Practice) 

 

Arisaka's quest to find a suitable attire lead her to a place in the markets well known for having high quality material. Arisaka would have to wear only the best to the Chōjo's party after all. As much as she detested wearing anything but her armor and gear, she had to dress appropriately for the masquerade. 

 

Arisaka walked into the shop, immediately taking in her surroundings. A Datsue with a bird on his shoulder, a rather stunning Dasaka, a Saihoko, and an whole lot of cloth. 

 

Arisaka gave a quick, respectful greeting to those present and then simply waited in silence for the Saihoko to finish with her current customers. 


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#882 Offline GSR

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Posted May 01 2014 - 11:23 PM

IC: Soraya [Sado Markets, Soraya's Practice]

 

Okay, this is starting to get insane.  Who's next, the Rora herself?

 

If she'd seen the Dasaka who'd just strolled in before in her life, it must have been nothing more than a glance in the street, but she left more than enough of an impression now.  Definitely gonna need to check the measurements on her before I get to work. 

 

"Party, right? Be with ya in just a second."  That triage metaphor was looking more and more accurate by the minute.


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#883 Offline Geardirector

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Posted May 02 2014 - 01:25 AM

IC: Soraya

 

"Alright then.  A wolf motif, right? We have dyes that can create a moonish grey or a noble silver, if that suits your fancy.  A cloak and hood combo should do the part nicely, though when it comes to masks-" she gave her best graceful-yet-sheepish smile -"I'm a dyer, not a forger.  You might have to look elsewhere for anything real fancy on that front."

 

IC: Vilda Mako (Soraya's Practice)

 

"I think that noble silver is a bit too over the wheather for my taste, moonish grey it is" I replied, smiling a tad as she made the remark about masks.

 

"You just make the hood so it obscures details, Soraya. I think the mask I already have is good enough for this motif" I said, tapping a finger at my Noble Kakama.

 

A new customer entered, this time an honest-to-Zuto Nui royal guardswoman, with a Pakari and everything. Now this was the kind of woman not afraid of getting her hands dirty, that's much more my style.

 

I gave her a nod I stood stock still not to be in Soraya's way.


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#884 Offline Toa Fanixe

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Posted May 02 2014 - 12:38 PM

IC:

 

"You know Mako, I think I'll take your advice and use a snake for my costume's inspiration."

 

Soraph took a few minutes to think about what she would exaclty while Soraya went about her business, taking Soraph's and Mako's measurements, jotting them down and moving different cloths out of the way.

 

"Soraya, do you think could make a long black dress for me, with small splotches of dark-grey here and there? It should also have a fist-wide stripe of red that winds around either side of it, from my right to my left shoulder. A crimson scarf would also be nice, wide and heavier at one end so I cant wear it over my head."

 

ooc: Sorry for the short/intermittent posts, pretty busy lately. 


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Which Barraki are you?

#885 Online Skitty

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Posted May 02 2014 - 05:43 PM

IC: Arisaka (Soraya's Practice) 

 

Arisaka gave a simple nod at Soraya's question. 

 

"..."

 

Arisaka wasn't what you'd call a conversationalist. 


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#886 Offline GSR

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Posted May 02 2014 - 06:03 PM

IC: Soraya [Sado Markets]

 

"Grey hood, detail-obscuring... black dress, snake-inspired, grey splotches and red stripes, crimson scarf..." Soraya rattled off the orders to herself, marking them down as she went.  Yumiwa had wanted red as well - she was going to have to double-check her stores and reach out to her contacts if she was running short.  A week without so much as a peep other than a moron of a washerwoman, and then a whole party's worth of attire.

 

"I can do it," she said (whether or not she actually could was at the moment immaterial.)  She spun to the guardswoman.  "Hey, you.  Got any ideas better than '...'"?


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#887 Online Skitty

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Posted May 02 2014 - 07:23 PM

IC: Arisaka (Soraya's Practice)

 

Arisaka found the Dashi's impudence rather surprising, but decided to ignore it. "I need an outfit for the party..." After a moment Arisaka decided that probably wasn't a good enough description. "...preferably in colors that match." 

 

It took her a moment, but then she realised she hadn't told the Dashi what colors. "Any colors will do, as long as they match." 


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#888 Offline Emissary

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Posted May 02 2014 - 07:58 PM

IC: Amaki

 

What?

 

Amaki blinked, caught off-guard by the sudden offer. "Uhm, I humbly apologise, but I don't think you need to give me anything."

 

IC:

 

"Nonsense," Daijuno replied, filling the immediate silence with a puff of cigarette smoke. "It'd be my pleasure, and besides, I'd hate for you to think that I'm without any sort of social graces. It'd speak ill of me, of my clan, and of my caste. And quite frankly, the Saihoko don't need anymore of that."

 

-Void


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#889 Offline Onarax

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Posted May 02 2014 - 08:41 PM

IC: Amaki

 

"Ah, all right then."


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#890 Offline GSR

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Posted May 03 2014 - 02:32 PM

IC: Soraya [Sado Markets, Soraya's practice]

 

"Matching.  Right."  Well, that was about as useful as the '...' had been, but at least now it was on her if the outfit wasn't 'right'.  She half-crossed, half-leapt the store floor to the guardswoman and started taking measurements.  "Okay, then, it's masquerade, so..." Better hold off on reds, yellows, or greys - got enough orders for those.  Blue is too obvious.  Maybe-

 

"How do greens sound?" she asked as she pulled the tape over to her client's other arm.  "You can be... think jungle lizards.  Stealthy."  Maybe a little close to the snake request, but green was what she had on hand.  "Oh, and - could I get your name?"


Edited by GSR, May 03 2014 - 02:33 PM.

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#891 Offline Emissary

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Posted May 03 2014 - 03:00 PM

IC:

 

"Wonderful," she said brightly, letting the remnants of her cigarette fall to the street before grinding them under her heel. She offered the Fursic a winning smile -- because a good smile can make all the difference when it comes down to making a sale -- and added, "Perhaps you have a suggestion on the venue? It's been ages since I've eaten out, and the restaurants seem to change every time I step out...."

 

-Void


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#892 Online Skitty

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Posted May 03 2014 - 05:40 PM

IC: Arisaka (Soraya's Practice)

 

"Green is fine." Arisaka replied rather stoically as she allowed the Dashi to take her measurements. "My name is Arisaka." She stated in a matter-of-fact manner. Even Arisaka was feeling any emotion at all, it would be the annoyance of having to buy an outfit in the first place, for an event that just made her job more difficult. But of course as a matter of honor (and order) she had to attend, so the point was moot. 


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#893 Offline GSR

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Posted May 03 2014 - 05:53 PM

IC: Soraya [Sado Markets, Soraya's practice]

 

"Alright, Arisaka-" Soraya stepped back and rolled the tape up with a flourish.  "Leave the rest to me.  I'll get you a costume that'll-" she paused.  Ordinarily she would finish this sentence with something along the lines of 'send jaws dropping from here to Odaiba', but given her customer's silence- "let you blend in like nobody's business.  And look darn good in the process." 

 

She jotted down the measurements on a piece of paper on the counter, looked around, and stifled another sigh.  Fulfilling all of these orders before the party was going to be an experience, that was for sure.  Still, it was an opportunity - she was gonna make well sure that the best-dressed people at this party were all wearing Plangori dyes. 

 

"So," she said, turning back to her three customers, "we can discuss payment now, or-"

 

You realize you're going to need a costume for yourself too.

 

"rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr-" she snapped her mouth shut, bit her tongue once or twice, and opened it again as though nothing had happened.  "Or upon delivery of the final product, given the hasty nature of your orders.  Any preference?" 


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#894 Offline Toa Fanixe

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Posted May 04 2014 - 09:13 PM

IC:

 

"You can send mine and Mako's bill directly to the Umbraline treasury" Soraph told the expert craftswoman.  "Just be sure to tell them that the orders were for Vilda highborn, and they'll give you your money."

 

Soraph walked around the shop, inspecting the multitude of died clothes, running her hands down the rich fabrics. She was not a woman to usually wear dresses - they were dreadfully useless for any real work - but the Vilda Dasaka had to admit, from time to time it was nice to wear something as beautiful as she and partake in merry parties.

 

She turned to Mako.

 

"Shall we go and explore the city, Datsue Mako? Unless, of course, there's anything else you need of us Soraya?"


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Which Barraki are you?

#895 Offline Geardirector

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Posted May 05 2014 - 11:38 AM

IC: Vilda Mako (Soraya's Practice)

 

"Exploring the city, eh?" I repeated, going over it in my head with a bemused expression.

 

Thing is, "exploring" Sado is kinda redundant, what with it all being so Zataka-darned neat and orderly and in perfect lines and squares, there really isn't a whole lot to find here.

 

Of course, I didn't tell Soraph that.

 

"Sounds good to me" I replied, in my head wondering just how long it'd take before I'd have to resort to saying "and over here we have yet another crystal tower. Seems the City is especially crystal clear today"


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#896 Online EmpressYumiwa

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Posted May 05 2014 - 08:45 PM

IC | NPC

A Menti messenger bearing the royal purple vestments of Clan Umbraline jostled through the crowd of busy shoppers at early afternoon in the Markets, perking her head above the throng to find her note's intended recipient. It took a long while, but she finally found a lady who's appearance matched the description she was given speaking casually with a saihoko.

 

"Fursic Amaki, I presume?" she said with a polite bow.


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#897 Offline Onarax

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Posted May 05 2014 - 09:13 PM

IC: Amaki

 

Amaki stroked her chin thoughtfully, searching through her mind for a restaurant that she and the Dashi could go to. While she appreciated the fact that the saihoko wanted to buy something for her to eat, the Fursic drummer felt uncomfortable with such charity, and wanted to find somewhere that wouldn't be too much of a burden on her current compatriot. However, her pondering was immediately interrupted by the arrival of the Umbraline messenger.

 

Wait why does she want me oh Zuto what did I do?

 

"Uhm," said the drummer awkwardly. "That's me yeah?"


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#898 Online EmpressYumiwa

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Posted May 05 2014 - 10:36 PM

IC | NPC:

 

The messenger seemed pleased with her homing in on Amaki and smiled as she handed the other Menti a crystalline cylinder containing a parchment. "I believe this will explain my presence."

 

Amaki casually opened the container and examined its contents.

 

Amaki,

I am hosting a party in a couple days within the Palace's Dragon Room. I remember when we last spoke you mentioned a desire to perform for the Imperial Court, so in planning for the party I immediately thought it would be excellent if you gave a demonstration of your fine skills in drumming to the gathered nobility of the empire.
It's not the court, but I think it will do for now. It would very much please me if you accepted this offer!

Be well,

Her Imperial Highness the Chōjo,
Umbraline Yumiwa

"I am also to carry your response to Her Imperial Highness."


 

...


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#899 Offline Onarax

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Posted May 06 2014 - 05:28 AM

IC: Amaki

 

The Crown Princess invited me to perform in the Dragon Room.

 

The Crown Princess invited me to perform in front of the empire's nobility.

 

The Crown Princess wants me at her party.

 

Drumming. At her party.

 

Amaki was completely speechless. Her mouth was agape as she stared at the letter. It was real. She was really going to drum for Her Imperial Highness. She shook her head, hoping to clear it. No use. Her heart was beating rapidly, the shock failing to wear off even as she comprehended what was going on more fully.

 

"I-I ..." said the Fursic, her mouth suddenly quite dry. "I-I'm v-very honoured ... p-please tell Her Imperial Highness th-that H-her loyal servant would be glad to a-a-a-cept her offer."

 

Zuto Nui ... this is actually happening.

 

Okay Amaki, calm down. Don't freak out. You're in public. Keep the happiness in. Deeeep breaaaths.

 

Squee~


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#900 Offline GSR

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Posted May 06 2014 - 02:19 PM

IC: Soraya [Sado Markets, Soraya's practice]

 

"Nope, that's all I need," she said.  It was always fun when someone added to the Umbraline's tab; she liked to see if she could get the running total to fit on one line of paper.  "Your orders'll be ready to go before the party, so swing on by day of or send a messenger to pick 'em up."

 

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Mako scrunching up his face in response to his companion's suggestion, and she stifled a grin.  "May the both of you enjoy a leisurely, calm morning walk."  Was that mean of her? Maybe a little.


Edited by GSR, May 06 2014 - 02:20 PM.

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#901 Online EmpressYumiwa

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Posted May 06 2014 - 09:59 PM

IC | NPC:

The messenger smiled and accepted the cylinder sans note back, placing it in her bag and bowing curtly in one motion. "The Chōjo will be most pleased with the news. Have a good day, Amaki," she said before turning on her heel and disappearing in the crowd, leaving only a heavy scent of lavender perfume in her wake.

 

...


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#902 Online Skitty

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Posted May 06 2014 - 11:33 PM

IC: Arisaka (Soraya's Practice)

 

"I'll pay you now, if that's alright." 


Edited by Princess Anna of Arendelle, May 06 2014 - 11:34 PM.

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#903 Offline GSR

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Posted May 07 2014 - 12:32 AM

IC: Soraya [Sado Markets, Soraya's practice]
 
"That'd be swell too."  She grabbed Arisaka's order off the counter and did some quick mental math.  Ordinarily this would be where she wheeled and dealed a bit to bring up the price, but - with the worst of the customer storm over, that headache was inching back, and she had the sense the Dasaka wasn't the type to be taken in by any sort of frills.  She tore off a bit of the paper, wrote the final price down, and handed it over.  Still a bit higher than the average, but buying Plangori meant you got what you paid for.


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#904 Offline Onarax

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Posted May 07 2014 - 03:14 AM

IC: Amaki

 

Amaki stared after the courtier. She looked down at her message once more, before looking up. The courtier was gone.

 

Huh ...

 

"Uhm," she said slowly, turning back to her merchant companion. "You don't need to buy me anything now. I have important stuff to do."

 

Zuto Nui I'm really going to drum for Her Imperial Highness must prepare quickly squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee~


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#905 Online Skitty

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Posted May 07 2014 - 06:26 AM

IC: Arisaka (Soraya's Practice)

 

Arisaka pulled out a small yet somewhat heavy bag and pulled out the necessary dragons to pay for the outfit. If she disliked the price she didn't show it one way or the other. Really she didn't like having to buy the outfit at all. 


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#906 Online EmpressYumiwa

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Posted May 07 2014 - 03:35 PM

IC:

 

It’d been a long day for your princess and honestly I wasn’t even feeling like staying up and reading into the wee hours. Instead I shambled to my bed’s loving expanse and mindlessly shed my cloak, skirt and half of my armor along the way before flopping face-down into my neatly made sheets.

 

And I just lay there in my sheet’s embrazzzzzzz… zzzzzzz… zzzzz…

 

 

I dreamed of endless plenty where noble and commoner wanted for nothing. In my dream Mata Nui was nothing more (or less!) than a viceroyalty to our glorious realm ruled well by my sister.

 

In my dream there was no Fursic uprisings, no conflicts, no wars. My word was law and the law was good. In my dream people called me “Yumiwa the Great.” In my dream the Kanohi Dragons were our friends again and flew through the skies like the fingers of Zuto Nui, and Zataka was nothing but a forgotten memory of a bygone era.

 

On a dais held aloft by servants I sat on a throne with my Hana beside me. The two of us waved at the adoring crowds as we were hoisted down the streets of Sado. “Hail to the rora!” they called out lovingly, “Hail to our empress and her bride!” It was the most beautiful wedding I could ever have hoped for us.

 

But then Kuno jumped up on our dais and struck me on the side of my head three times—Whap-bap-bam!  Without missing a beat Hana and I both kicked him in the groin and punched him in the throat (it was oddly enough very soft) like so and so and so!—and still he managed to hit me—

 

Knock. Knock. Knock.

 

oh. oh ######. not kuno; the door.

 

I stirred, my silk sheets rustling noisily as I clumsily half-fell off my bed and scampered to the door. What time was it, anyway? Like three in the morn—oh, almost midnight. *sigh*

 

Princess Yumiwa,” a servant called from beyond my bedroom door, her voice muffled by the thick wood and crystal barrier.

 

Yeah!” I replied as I scooped up my skirt and pulled it on hastily as I stumbled to the door.

 

Sorry for waking you, madam.

 

No, no, I’ve been up for *yawnnn* hours!

 

Sorry for bothering you, then.

 

I’m coming!” I said even as I laid my hand on the door lever and cranked it to open the door wide. A dashi servant stood there with a pillow held aloft and a small note on it.

 

A message from the rora, Your Highness,” she said and offered it to me. She did have a look of surprise seeing me in an odd state of incomplete dress, the complete part seemingly haphazardly on.

 

From Mom!?” I almost yelped. Now I was wide-awake. Mom preferred to chat directly with me and rarely ever sent me notes; the last one was decades ago for a purpose I’ve long forgotten, probably to send me on a scan aver hunt for a gift or something. Still, I dutifully took the note, thanked the servant and opened it. It was… blank??? :blink: (wtffffff)

 

Surprise!  ” a familiar voice came from around the corner in the hallway and my wonderful mom strode into my apartment. The servant smiled knowingly, bowed and closed the door after my mother, leaving the two of us alone.

 

Mother!” I nearly screamed in both shock and joy, throwing the paper note to the side. My eyes and mouth were wide in happiness as I fell to my knees to share a deep embrace with her. “Aaaah! I’ve missed you!

 

Missed me, my dear?” she said close to my ear. “You know we’re only ever a hop, skip and a jump apart. 

 

I know, mom, but what with your schedule and how busy you make sure I am—“

 

Nonsense!” she waved dismissively as we disconnected and she surveyed my room’s  expanse. “Anything for my daughters, you especially. My, you still don’t keep your rooms tidy, Yumi!  

 

Mooooom, no,” I whined. “I was already sleeping and left my things strewn about for the night. I don’t keep this place a mess—in Zuto Nui name I swear it! 

 

Mhm, mhm,” she said and walked around me to prod a part of armor on the floor with her staff. “I’m sure of it. On the other hand I applaud you for going to bed earlier than your usual hour.

 

Anything I could say would only dig a hole for myself. Either I admitted to staying up late or denied the truth, neither of which would completely please my mom. She was loving, wonderful, kind and thoughtful, but she had expectations and always reminded me of them. It was all to prepare me for my ascension, she said, to drill in the finer points of attitude of being royalty, but I rarely followed her lessons completely. I still stayed up late to read and ran through the palace halls during lunchtime and ate food straight off the stoves in the kitchen, never out of spite but simply because it made me feel free, and every single time headmistress!Yusanora came around and gave me that look I tried to look anywhere but in her eyes and remained silent. And she would slick her tongue twice, shake her head and remind me how blessed I was, to not take my liberties lightly and that she’d expect better from me in the future, but… not this time?

 

Come, Yumi. Sit with me,” she said and gestured for me to join her on my bed. She sat on the side facing the balcony and I loyally got up and sat beside her and we looked out at the vastness of space through the parted curtains.

 

You’ve always got something on your mind,” I observed astutely as we stared off into the vastness beyond. I often gazed at the nighttime sky but doing so with my mom brought back lots of fond memories I’d almost forgotten. Still, she was never a woman of simplicity. “You didn’t come here just to say hi, huh? 

 

You’re right, my little dragon,” she confirmed, using one of her pet names for me. Ever since I was a little girl I admired the Kanohi Dragons with enthusiasm. I often romped down the hallways as a youth and pretended to be a dragon, roaring and jostling about with a blanket of embroidered Kanohi to emulate the great creature’s hides. Though she would later discourage me from behaving like that in public view she encouraged me to pursue my dreams. With that old antic, combined with my “fiery personality,” she dubbed me her “little dragon” and it stuck. “But for now, let’s forget about my little hidden agenda that roused you from your dreams and just be.

 

Despite how busy we both were, despite the politics and scheming and receptions and separate meetings that we each were committed to, it was important for me to be reminded that the woman on the throne wasn’t just the rora, she was my mom and she still loved me so, so much. These moments of intimacy between us were sparse, but I wished they would last forever, and for the brief moment that she took my hand firmly in hers and I leaned my head upon hers it was a period of bliss beyond what my dream offered me. A shooting star flashed across our irises. “I love you, mom,” I said softly.

 

Ooh, such a nighttime chill,” she interjected and hastily rubbed her legs for what precious warmth the friction would provide. “Be a dear and fetch your mother a blanket. 

 

I cracked a grin at that. She rarely said the phrase I often bloomed to her; her love was expressed in amorous actions rather than words. I picked up my cloak from the floor and climbed back into the bed, sliding it over her smaller frame as I clambered back to where I started from at her side.

 

Once again we held hands and watched the nighttime sky. While we sat thus time seemed to stop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

but time still moves on and all scenes, real and imagined alike, must end.

 

I’m so very proud of you,” she said, tactically breaking the silence I cherished with a phrase I hankered for even more. “You’ve been the best daughter I could have asked from Zuto Nui. 

 

Aw, Mom, you don’t—“

 

Shhh! Let me finish, Yumi!” she lightly reprimande d with a tap on my wrist. “You remember why I chose to raise you in the palace walls instead of on Oki like I was?” she asked. 

 

I think so but tell me again,” I said.

 

I wasn’t a chōjo like you because my mother—your grandmother—decided the best way for me to learn how to rule was to start off ruling my clan, so I was the Toroshu of Clan Umbraline while also crown princess, just like she was raised. It wasn’t easy, but I learned hard lessons on what it takes to rule subjects of narcissistic nobility and plebeian simplicity alike. Still, when my mother passed away into the stars and I was crowned rora I found myself only marginally prepared for the realities of the Imperial Court. Sure, the framework and skills were all there but it was a struggle to put them in practice with vastly larger realm. Now, I’m not encouraging anyone to question their mother’s wisdom, but… I felt that maybe I would have been better acquainted with palace life if I grew up here. And so this mother decided her heir would be trained as royalty, not mere nobility.

 

I feigned a hurt expression. "I thought it was because you wanted to be near me! :cry:

 

She chuckled before adding, “That, too, my dear.  

 

So! I read your suggestion of another expedition to Mata Nui. The truth is the assembly of toroshu have been pressing to return there ever since Toroshu Nurora came back with fancy fruits, tales of dashi kings and queens and more metals than I can count!” she laughed. “My personal feeling is that we should leave that island be, but…” she sighed, reminded of the political pressure she endured in court, “when the toroshu put their collective minds together their will is unrelenting if not inculpable, so there will be a new expedition. You’ve seen your cousin Ayiwah recently I take it? She received orders yesterday to prepare for the voyage with a new vessel and a crew of her choosing. 

 

I figured Mom already had it all planned out even as Desde and I theorized on the next steps the empire would take and it pleased me to know I was right about Ayiwah’s command.

 

But this is no mere naval mission. No, it will be as much a diplomatic trip as a show of our force, and so a delegate of the Throne is required. I feel it’s time I entrust a part of my authority to you, so I am sending you as my representative to Mata Nui. You may take whomever you wish and are to speak on my behalf for the expeditions duration.

 

Her words permeated my ears and echoed in my brain. Was she really appointing me her consul on the trip to Mata Nui? Was she really imparting a fraction of her authority to me!? Was she really going to send me (and Hana and whoever else I wanted) to Mata Nui!??

 

Do you understand the weight of what I’m giving you?"

 

Yes yes yes— “Yes!:happydance:

 

She smiled at my unbridled enthusiasm. “Don’t get so excited or I might begin to think you’re eager to leave the archipelago! ” I knew she wasn’t actually concerned but played along with the vigor I was so famed for possessing.

 

But really, I was less excited to leave as I was to explore a whole new island and hold an actual position of power after centuries of just being trained for it. “Sorry, Mom,” I apologized. “Yes, I understand my responsibilities. 

 

"Good. You were my first and only choice! And you deserve it, too! Because heaven knows one day I’ll join my mother and you’ll have to be ready to fill that old chair and I don’t know when that day will be. Best get you started.

 

But, Mom, you’re as fit as a Hogo!  I’m sure you have a ways to go,” I chipped in and wrapped my arm firmly around her shoulders reassuringly. I was always surprised at how small my mom was compared to me; at twice her size I could easily and totally envelop her with a single arm.

 

I wish I shared your positivity. Honestly, my dear, my old bones feel weaker every day,” she gloomily recounted, a gasp of energy escaping her eyes as she did so. I could almost see her shudder in frightened anticipation under my voluminous cloak; I couldn’t help but do  the same in worry (or was it just the cool breeze?). “A month, a decade, a century—it doesn’t matter. What matters is you must be ready when it comes and I’ll see to that!” she said and squeezed my cheek like how my aunt does when she sees me, though much tenderly. “I think that you, as the future of the empire, deserve to see what has been found in the vastness of the sea. Who knows, maybe you may decide to make it yours as well. The future is in your hands, my little dragon.” She accentuated this point by squeezing my hand tightly as if to say “these hands right here, Yumi.”

 

But there were boundaries beyond which even I, as the chōjo with hands of destiny, could never step beyond, one of which was my mom’s indomitable betrothal of Kuno to me. Like he always did, Kuno’s listless, unlikable face clouded my otherwise grand vision like a great mist, featureless and blank. “Mom, about Kuno—“

 

This again!” she flustered. “Well, it does deserve some mention what with your little escapade in the dungeons. Your uncle and I read your report. He’s investigating, too, but unless Kuno is convicted of murder or outright loses his honor there’s no stopping it. He may be a Fursic dingbat but the marriage will be the best for the empire.”

 

I’d marry Dastana Jasik over Kuno, and he’s more vain than my dressing table!” I said and pointed emphatically at my massive lowboy.  “Besides, any alliance with the Fursics is—“

 

That’s enough! The wedding will happen, Yumi, and the empire will benefit from it. Don’t make me question your maturity and reconsider entrusting you with my authority!” she scolded, seriously this time.

 

My youthful rebellion faded and this little dragon retreated into her cavern. I overreached and hoped for too much from the digging around I did with my sister and Hana the night before. So long as Mom lived there was no getting out of the marriage, it seemed. Zuto Nui has a plan for us all, I suppose…

 

It’s for the empire, my dear. Even an empress must make her sacrifices for the good of the realm. Please accept that.

 

I sat quietly for a moment and processed the concept. Yes, it was a marriage I loathed with all my heart and felt utterly repulsed by, but my mother meant well for the empire and, as I felt in her latest words, felt sorry to assign me that fate. I understood that she did it out of a love for the people she ruled, a love that surpassed her love for even me. I could appreciate that. It was part of being the rora; when the whole empire is your family even your chosen heir had to take a backseat. "I accept it, Mom," I said sincerely though in my heart I still loathed Kuno's betrothal.

 

It’s late, little dragon,” she said and slid off the edge of my bed, “and my body needs rest.

 

Mother,” I said longingly, endearingly, wishing that a day would never come to pass that I couldn’t say that word to her.

 

Yes?” she said, her body a regal silhouette standing astutely against the shimmering backdrop beyond my balcony, her staff planted firmly like a tree’s trunk on fertile soil.

 

I tossed my skirt off for the second time and slipped under my veritable sea of sheets before saying, “Sing me a song.

 

A lullaby?” my mother said and paused. Her jawline bulged infinitesimally as a telltale to a growing smile and I could feel the growing warmth of her affection as she came around to my side of the bed. “Very well.

 

Her melodic words swamped me in a soothing pond of tranquility as I faded to sleep.

 

:love:


Edited by Jenny Quantum, May 07 2014 - 03:41 PM.

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#907 Offline Emissary

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Posted May 07 2014 - 09:00 PM

IC:

 

There were only so many meanings in the Dasakan language for "p-please tell Her Imperial Highness th-that H-her loyal servant would be glad to a-a-a-cept her offer", and surprisingly, most of them have to do with the royal family.

 

Well, this was interesting.

 

"It certainly sounds like it, Ms. Fursic Amaki. A letter from the royal family, that's not something trifling," Daijuno said, her mask betraying no emotions other than mild astonishment and humble congratulations. "I don't suppose you'd object to my company as you made this important stuff, would you? Not many times in a life someone can say they walked and talked with one of the Umbralines' blessed...."

 

-Void


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#908 Offline Onarax

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Posted May 07 2014 - 09:46 PM

IC: Amaki

 

"Um, it might bore you a lot."


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#909 Offline GSR

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Posted May 07 2014 - 11:01 PM

IC: Soraya [Sado Markets, Soraya's practice]
 
Soraya took the Menti's money, slid it into a recession on the back side of the counter - tallying it up as she did - and gave a satisfied nod.  "Looks good.  Like I said, it'll be ready to go before the party."  What sort of dress would Arisaka want, anyway?

 

She stole a glance back at her customer; her face was blank and bored, but Soraya could see the hint of misery hiding behind her eyes.  Oh.  For a moment she was tempted to reach out, to offer up a few words about how much going through the whole imperial song-and-dance sucked, but - she'd already gotten her foot stuck halfway down her throat earlier that day.  If Arisaka took offense and word made it back to the Umbralines, she had a feeling she wasn't going to be able to swing two royal pardons in one day.

 

So she bit her tongue, swallowed her thoughts, and asked, "Is there anything else I can do for you, Menti Arisaka?"


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#910 Offline Onarax

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Posted May 08 2014 - 04:17 AM

IC: Noshima

 

The hallway was deathly quiet, completely empty of the hustle and bustle that was to be expected of the Imperial Palace. It was a fact that Noshima was painfully aware of - her light footsteps were disturbing the peace of the corridors, which held nobody but her. She had been the Hogo Toroshu for over a year now, but the path that lead towards the sacred vaults still affected her the same way they had all those years ago, when she was naught but the third daughter of the previous clan leader. At times, she wondered if her beloved clan would have been different had she not been its leader; would the hidden rifts within the Hogo still exist? But those times were few and far between: there was no time for "what-ifs?" as the Toroshu - much of her clan would have to accept her new policies one day; she was their leader and she would make them accept if necessary.

 

She slowed to a stop before a corner. Beyond lay the grand doors to the Imperial vault, where the treasures and precious artefacts of the Umbraline ruling family were held. It was there where she would find the girl she was searching for. Usually, she may have signalled a courtier to deliver her message, but it had been long since they had spoken. Administering the clan had taken up much of Noshima's time, but now that she had delegated the work to her right-hand, she could finally spend some more time relaxing.

 

In any case, Kamari had never been one for parties. Noshima knew the fact quite well. After all, they were practically one mind.

 

And if it is to be Zuto Nui's will that I shall die without heir, it will fall to her to see to the wellbeing of the Hogo. She shall need to obtain more experience beyond serving as another of my senses.

 

Noshima shook her head to clear her thoughts. It was not appropriate to be thinking such thoughts at this time. There were currently other things on her plate. Taking a short breath, the Toroshu turned the corner, making her way towards the young Hogo guard standing dutifully in front of the vault.

 

"Akone," she spoke, her voice interrupting the silence as she addressed her cousin. "It is my humble wish that you can provide assistance."


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#911 Offline Norik Of Celtania

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Posted May 08 2014 - 06:07 AM

IC: Hogo Akone
Akone was jolted out of her reverie. In front of her stood her second cousin, Hogo Noshima.

Akone bowed low in response.

"How may I be off assistance, Toroshu?"


OOC: Is bowing the right action?

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#912 Offline Onarax

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Posted May 08 2014 - 06:18 AM

OOC: Bowing's a thing in East Asian cultures.

 

Of course, that doesn't stop me from refusing to do so to cousins of mine. Not very Confucian, I know.

 

IC: Noshima

 

"It is by the grace of Her Imperial Highness that I am to be invited to a gathering of hers," replied Noshima quietly, gesturing for her cousin to stand. "I ask of you: is it your wish to join me?"


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#913 Offline Twelfth Ghosthands

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Posted May 08 2014 - 04:17 PM

IC:

 

"I understand completely, Toroshu Kilanya. You can count on me to be most gracious guest the Ageru have ever had."

 

Kulrik maintained his mask of quiet contentment with ease, the result of a lifetime of training, but beneath it all he felt a great, deep regret. Not for what he'd done - no, Kulrik had most definitely enjoyed the fun he'd had with Aveela - but for how he'd done it, and the result of his carelessness. He should have been more discrete in his actions, and perhaps have waited a few days before using his charm on the perky guardswoman.

 

He hadn't though, and it seemed to have landed him Kilanya's bad graces. That wasn't what Kulrik had wanted - Kilanya was remarkably amicable for a Toroshu, and one of the few woman he could have a conversation without their drawling over his undeniable allure. The prospect of having lost a potential friend left a bitter thought at the back of his mind. What Kulrik needed was some way to redeem himself. But how...

 

There was a knock on the door, and in marched a royal messenger. After a quick greeting, she handed both Kulrik and Kilanya. 

 

 

*•*•*•*•*•*•*•*•*• [OMG IMAGINE ALL THE GREAT AND FANCY DECORATIONS THAT ARE NOT ACTUALLY HERE] •*•*•*•*•*•*•*•*•*

 

By the command of

 

Her Imperial Highness the Chōjo, Umbraline Yumiwa

 

The presence of your person and a guest is cordially requested for a festive night of refreshment and conviviality in

 

the Dragon Hall of the Imperial Palace on the second day following the full moon.

 

This note permits admittance.

 

Addendum: Please dress in masquerade.

 

*•*•*•*•*•*•*•*•*• [IF A PRINCE HAS NO LAND BUT A REALLLLLY NICE SWORD IS HE STILL A GOOD MATCH?] •*•*•*•*•*•*•*•*•*

 

 

A guest?, thought Kulrik. His mind quickly considered whom he might bring to the social event of the decade. Seigyo was his first choice, of course, but he dismissed when he realized there was a good chance she was invited anyway, and besides, as his Herupa she would follow him anywhere. He thought for a fanciful second to bring Aveela, but that was more in jest than anything. The First Son of the Vilda could hardly show up to a Royal Party with simple, fidgety Ageru guard. The truth was, Kulrik couldn't think of anyone with whom he might feel at ease at a party full of Toroshu, women that could with a word make his life very, very unpleasant. Well actually, there was one, and it couldn't be more perfect.

 

"Toroshu Kilanya, would you do me the greatest honour of accompanying me to the masquerade party?" Kulrik asked, charisma flowing from every word.

 

IC (Kilanya)

 

The Toroshu's deft hands folded her own copy of the Chojo's missive and slipped it into a pouch at her waist, and then she raised her eyes back to meet Kulrik's.

 

Kilanya was truly amazed by the Vilda First Son's request. His undeniably charismatic delivery was eclipsed by the sheer lack of tact he displayed. On meeting him the previous morning she'd found his behaviour mildly amusing. Following his antics with Aveela, it had turned to a bemusing annoyance. Now she couldn't help but feel mildly repulsed by the pretty-boy prince who sat opposite her, wallowing in assurance of his own allure.

 

There was only one answer to give, though she did resolve to give it tactfully. Again; Kulrik might be happy to endanger inter-clan relations with his conduct, but she was not.

 

"I am flattered by your invitation, Vilda Kulrik, but I must decline," she informed him. "To accompany you as you suggest would give the strong appearance that we were courting."

 

Her tone made it clear that this was not an impression she wished to encourage.

 

"Besides, we each have an invitation of our own - I would not want you to waste the opportunity to bring a companion of your choosing."

 

She rose to her feet, denying the pleas of her aching limbs, albeit so that she could sooner relieve them properly.

 

"I'm sure you will need to make your preparations tomorrow," she said, "as will I. You may stay another night with us, if you wish, or my stewards can quickly arrange for your transport to Sado."

 

 

IC:  Kwaiya

 

"And so?"  Kwaiya asked while tugging at the edge of her scarf.  "What does it say?"

 

 

IC (Gotsoko)

 

"I shall take that as a 'no'," Gotsoko replied to the not-really-answering of her question. "Well, it is just as well, I suppose. A refresher in early Kentoku history is no bad thing."

 

She cleared her throat and glanced down briefly at her notes before she began to speak.

 

"In the days before the Empire, before the Rora, our people were disparate and chaotic. We were scattered as warring tribes, each led by a Male warlord."

 

The Datsue's speech seemed to darken the room as her audience of two's eyes widened. This was not a familiar concept. Males, the most precious and yet the most societally-shackled of groups, with such a level of power? It was almost unthinkable.

 

"This is the inconvenient truth of Dasaka history," Gotsoko continued grimly. "In those times, our people were embroiled in constant conflict, warring over resources, territory, wealth. The greed and envy of the males was unbridled as they sought always to surpass one another. Their kingdoms rose, and clashed, and fell, and rose again. They were in constant, destructive flux, without Order or Honour.

 

"Had they continued in this way, I would not be surprised if our species had annihilated itself, or if the isles had sunk into the sea. But no, it was not to last, for the strongest of the ancient womenfolk rose up and overthrew the Males, casting them from their mighty thrones and taking up leadership of our people. They chose peace and diplomacy over the arms and blood of their ousted predecessors.

 

"Thus were the Dasaka saved from the warmongering of the Male-lords, and unified. And thence came the Empire and the clans, led by Rora and Toroshu.

 

"And there was peace."


Edited by Ghosthands, May 08 2014 - 04:18 PM.

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#914 Offline Geardirector

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Posted May 08 2014 - 04:48 PM

IC: Eiyu Ankora (Gotsoko's Study)

 

Ankora herself was well versed in the ancient history of the Dasaka, but it had been some time since she'd last looked over the ancient texts, and to hear Gotsoko tell it it felt like the first time she'd been delivered the tale back when she was a mere acolyte getting acquianted with the wast stores of knowledge she would be expected to manage in her later years. It all came back to her now as Gotsoko told the story. She nodded, gravely quiet as she look at Gotsoko and Kwaiya in turn.

 

"They say there are some things that are best left unsaid," she finally mumbled "this, on the other hand, is best left forgotten".

 

Meaning that were something that was embarrassing was thoroughly well known, pointing it out was where the line was drawn. This, on the other hand, was best not to think too much about.


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#915 Offline Kughii

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Posted May 08 2014 - 05:53 PM

IC: Kwaiya

 

Kwaiya fidgeted with her toes against the crystal floor in the long pause.  The words of Gostoko and Ankora both hung in the rafters, as if refusing to completely depart.  It was embarrassing.   The dashi shook her head to rid herself of the thought and leaned forward.  "But then that just means men need to be kept under control for peace and harmony to exist, right?  Sounds like fighting fire with fire, but being a bookbinder I never had any acolytic training when I joined the library.  This is all new to me..."

 

She stalled, self conscious of her manners.  "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to..."


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#916 Offline Twelfth Ghosthands

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Posted May 08 2014 - 06:00 PM

IC (Gotsoko)

 

Gotsoko shot a look at Kwaiya.

 

"Sorry for what, girl? You're doing well!"

 

She jabbed her staff of office in the Dashi's direction.

 

"Question everything!"


Edited by Ghosthands, May 08 2014 - 06:01 PM.

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#917 Offline Toa Fanixe

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Posted May 08 2014 - 06:06 PM

IC:

 

"I'm sorry to hear that, Toroshu Kilanaya. I had hoped we might be able to go simply as friends, but if you believe that appearances might suggest otherwise, I completely understand your wishes not to."

 

Kulrik got up from his chair, quietly giving his muscles a quick stretch. It had been a long day and, he thought as he picked up the ancient blade from the table and strapped to his back, one with countless things to consider. Who or what were the Children of Zataka, what was the secret of the sword he now carried and how he might he mend his relationship with the Ageru Toroshu. 

 

He recalled the conversation he'd had with Nahila, Captain of Mahuika Hall, and that they still had a duel to fight. Kulrik wanted to take care of that before leaving Odaiba, since despite whatever any woman might say about the First Son, Kulrik was not a liar. Well, not when it came to fights and debts at the very least. In those regards Kulrik was as honourable as the Rora herself. And Kulrik definitely couldn't forget the mental note he'd made earlier.  

 

"I think I will stay with you a little while longer, thank you Kilanya. You're right, there a number of things I have to take care of before the party. If you'll not come with me to the party, can we at least travel to Sado together? And perhaps speaking at the masquerade will also be allowed, if you don't think it'll cause too many rumours?" The Vilda First Son said the last with humour, though not to mock the Toroshu.

 

 

"Well then, let's be going. It'll be dark soon enough, and that's when the city is truly radiant."

 

Soraph led Mako out of the Plangori's shop, back towards the large crystal towers that defined the Sado landscape. During the day they were things of beauty and expert architecture, but at night they transformed the island into a dazzling display of ephemeral light. Even to Soraph, who loved the wildness of Oki, the towers were awesome to behold. Still, she caught the sarcasm in Soraya's voice as the dyer bid them farewell, and chose to ignore it. 

 

"And of course, you never know who you might meet walking around these streets. There's royalty everywhere, and with me around, you actually get to speak to them. Unless you're hungry, in which case I can treat you to dinner this once?"


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#918 Offline Kughii

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Posted May 08 2014 - 06:14 PM

IC: Kwaiya

 

The staff poked Kwaiya against the chest and she wobbled on her stool, eyes filled with shock, then down she went onto the floor.  She lay on her back briefly, letting a soft girlish laughter split her grin.  

 

"Alright then," Kwaiya replied as she rose, brushed herself off, and returned to the stool.  "I don't understand one thing though.  If women ruling the Empire is supposed to bring harmony and peace, why are there rebellions and wars or border disputes?"


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#919 Offline Norik Of Celtania

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Posted May 08 2014 - 09:13 PM

OOC: Bowing's a thing in East Asian cultures.
 
Of course, that doesn't stop me from refusing to do so to cousins of mine. Not very Confucian, I know.


OOC: I should know. I'm in Asia. :P I was simply wondering if cousin-cousin interaction would not require bowing, or if the fact that it was the Toroshu would thus require bowing.

Either way, problem averted.

IC: Akone
Akone got up and was (pleasantly)surprised at the offer.

"O-Of course, Toroshu. I am flattered by your offer. But what about-" Akone held her tongue. It was not her business to ask about her Toroshu's wishes.

"What sort of gathering is this?" She asked to deflect attention from her error.

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#920 Offline Onarax

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Posted May 08 2014 - 09:55 PM

IC: Noshima

 

"Her Imperial Highness is the host of a party," replied the Toroshu. "It would make I thankful if you were to join me."


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