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BZPRPG - Kentoku Archipelago


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#921 Offline Norik Of Celtania

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Posted May 08 2014 - 10:02 PM

IC: Akone
"I would be delighted to join you, my Toroshu!"

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MTG Dual Colour

http://www.bzpower.c...pages/?p=547065 My BZPRPG Character Profiles


#922 Offline Skitty

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Posted May 08 2014 - 10:22 PM

IC: Arisaka (Soraya's Practice)

 

"No, I believe that's everything. Thank you." Arisaka said, attempting to sound friendly. "Oh, when should I come back to pick it up?"


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My Bzprpg Profiles, Marvel Rebirth Profiles

Skyra | Savina | Darien | Hakari | Mekana | Lana |  Rekirar | Taleen | Mimira | Denerium | Talinka | Arisaka |

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#923 Online Onarax

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Posted May 09 2014 - 12:13 AM

IC: Noshima

 

"Many thanks," said Noshima, smiling at her cousin. "It is also my wish to inform you that your shift has ended. Another guard shall take your place."


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#924 Offline Geardirector

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Posted May 09 2014 - 03:01 AM

IC: Kwaiya

 

"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?"

 

IC: Eiyu Ankora (Gotsoko's Study)

 

"An excellent question, Kwaiya" Ankora responded, her face settling into its mildest expression of intellectual stimuli.

 

"There are a few possible answers to that question: One is that some of the conflict can be attributed to the rare male in a position of power. Although they are extremely uncommon, Male Toroshu have existed from time to time, I believe us Eiyu have had at least one such Toroshu a long time ago. A second possibility is that Zataka, now that his main instrument of chaos in the world has been cowed, has spread some of his influence to the other sex. And the third is the simple possibility that a female Dasaka can under the right circumstances display just the same violent traits that a male one is capable of"

 

"All these are merely theories, however, it's quite simply impossible to prove, or even rein in the most plausible ones due to the sensitivity of the subject."


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#925 Offline Twelfth Ghosthands

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Posted May 10 2014 - 04:01 AM

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."

 

IC (Kilanya)

 

"Such is politics, my friend," the Toroshu said, with a wry smile.

 

That remark stirred up another thought, however. A memory of another male, a face so clear in her mind, a man so unlike Kulrik in so many ways. And suddenly she could think of nothing else. For a few moments, she only half-heard Kulrik speak.

 

"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?"

 

"As you wish," Kilanya replied, having resurfaced from her reminiscences. She had no energy to say more. "Goodnight, Vilda Kulrik."

 

 


IC: Eiyu Ankora (Gotsoko's Study)

 

"An excellent question, Kwaiya" Ankora responded, her face settling into its mildest expression of intellectual stimuli.

 

"There are a few possible answers to that question: One is that some of the conflict can be attributed to the rare male in a position of power. Although they are extremely uncommon, Male Toroshu have existed from time to time, I believe us Eiyu have had at least one such Toroshu a long time ago. A second possibility is that Zataka, now that his main instrument of chaos in the world has been cowed, has spread some of his influence to the other sex. And the third is the simple possibility that a female Dasaka can under the right circumstances display just the same violent traits that a male one is capable of"

 

"All these are merely theories, however, it's quite simply impossible to prove, or even rein in the most plausible ones due to the sensitivity of the subject."

 

 

IC (Gotsoko)

 

"Impossible to prove?" Gotsoko replied, an eyebrow raising behind the circular lenses of her spectacles. "I would take issue with that. You are too much of a philosopher," she chided.

 

The Lorekeeper turned her attention to Kwaiya.

 

"If you want the opinion of someone who deals with facts and knowledge rather than speculation and hypotheticals," she said, though clearly with a little humour in her voice (she meant to offence to Ankora), "all three of my good Ankora's suggestions play some part - though of course, Zataka and her influence are the least tangible - it is by far the third that is nearest the mark."

 

She pulled over a nearby chair and seated herself before continuing.

 

"The simple fact is that while males and females of our species may be each more likely to exhibit some traits rather than others, it is impossible to predict one's personality based on such things as gender, clan or caste. Ambition, greed, duplicitousness...they are all parts of Dasaka nature. Is it possible to create a truly flawless society? That is more a question for Ankora's philosophy, but I would answer 'no'. We cannot change what people are. We can build structures that help the good traits and hinder the bad, but those structures cannot filter out everything."


Edited by Ghosthands, May 10 2014 - 04:25 AM.

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#926 Offline Geardirector

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Posted May 10 2014 - 04:34 AM

IC:

 

"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?"

 

IC: Vilda Mako (Sado)

 

"Works for me, even an old wolf doesn't like working too hard for his meal" I said with a grin that absolutely could qualify as "wolfish".

 

So we walked together, the Vilda Toroshu-to-be (for now anyway) and the renowned Bodyguard, an odd pair to be sure, but not inconceivable

 

IC (Gotsoko)

 

"The simple fact is that while males and females of our species may be each more likely to exhibit some traits rather than others, it is impossible to predict one's personality based on such things as gender, clan or caste. Ambition, greed, duplicitousness...they are all parts of Dasaka nature. Is it possible to create a truly flawless society? That is more a question for Ankora's philosophy, but I would answer 'no'. We cannot change what people are. We can build structures that help the good traits and hinder the bad, but those structures cannot filter out everything."

 

 

IC: Eiyu Ankora (Gotsoko's Study)

 

"Any two philosophers rarely agree on something," Ankora remarked, "that is if course not the case here, so I have to say my personal views lead me to agree with you on the subject of a flawless society being unattainable. For the simple reason that if there are no flaws, then what is the meaning of flawlessness? The world needs different kinds of people, with different skills and shortcomings, to round each other out, to bounce off each other, to help us evolve, for better or worse. I could never accept stagnation. It is why I spend just as much time debating someone on the proper way to make tea as on the true meaning of the three virtues."

 

"The world changes with time, and we do with it. Flawlessness will never come about, because everything new brings with its own set of advantages and disadvantages"


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#927 Offline Kughii

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Posted May 10 2014 - 08:27 PM

IC: Kwaiya

 

Kwaiya attempted to follow the intellectual conversation of her companions with mild success.  She understood the concept of regulations and law, it was the same for books.  Each crystal shard encoded with a story still had its flaws: no booksinger could publish a run of crystals with identical resonances.  Likewise no bookbinder could fit each crystal shard similarly.  The outside of each book might match specifications but inside the cushioning was unique.

 

"So you're saying each of us is unique but we all fit into the mold society has given us?"  She paused before continuing to choose her words carefully.  "Are you questioning the assumed perfection of how our empire is managed?  If no society can be flawless than are we an exception to the rule or an example?"


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Link for the BZPRPG 2013 arc profiles.


#928 Offline Toa Fanixe

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Posted May 11 2014 - 01:27 AM

IC:

 

 

"Goodnight, Toroshu Kilanya. May you have only the sweetest dreams." Kulrik bowed respectfully, then turned and left the small room near the bottom of Mahuika hall. He made his way up a number of flights of stairs, finally reaching the apartment given to him while he stayed with the Ageru. Inside, Seigyo was already there when she saw him, made a fuss to ensure he was ok. It took a few minutes, but Kulrik used his naturally charm and grace to convince her that everything was in fact fine, and that no harm had come to him since he'd been swallowed by the earth earlier that day. The Vilda First Son commanded his aide to return to her own room and, once he was  lone, plopped onto his bed. He undressed, throwing his clothes onto a nearby chair and settled in, allowing his aching muscles to finally relax on the wonderfully soft mattress after a trying day.

 

He closed his eyes, images and memories churning in his mind as Kulrik thought of everything that gone on that day, and what lay ahead. The masquerade party, he thought, seemed like an excellent distraction. A few more thoughts swirled in his imagination before sleep finally overtook him.

 

...

 

The next day around noon Kulrik walked outside and across the grounds of Mahuika hall to the Ageru training grounds, where the clan's warriors engaged in combat to hone their skill. Seigyo was in his lee, as always, while the First Son scanned the field. Some Dasaka had already noticed him, throwing quick and hurried glances at the most handsome male in the Empire. Kulrik flashed a small smile at some of the onlookers, who immeadietly looked away and focused back on their training, no doubt to hide betraying blushes. Looking around, Kilanya was nowhere to be found - no doubt she was a ttending to matters of her house, preparations before they left for Sado.

 

A single figure caught his Kulrik's eye. It was Nahila, Captain of Mahuika hall, giving fighting lessons to some her guards women. Kulrik marched over to her, and after a brief conversation regarding the benefits of demonstration, walked back to a spot over a dozen yards from the center of the training field. Nahila took a position opposite his, and both Dasaka eyed each other carefully. Every moment was important in a duel.

 

Kulrik examined his opponent carefully. To assure victory, a fighter had to know his enemy as well he did himself, a point Kulrik had learned early on in his Menti training. Between the small bits of gossip he'd heard and his own brief encounter with her, Kulrik could easily guess at the Captain's history and mindset. Nahila did not look like a woman that had inherited her position, nor did Kilanya seem like the Toroshu to give a position as important as Captain of Mahuika Hall to a Dasaka solely because of her station - no, Nahila had most certainly gone threw years of hard training and study to rise to her current rank. Talent must have helped - the best warriors usally had some, but the Captain's prestige had to have been well-earned. 

 

Which mean't that she had to hate Kulrik. 

 

He was the antithesis of everything she was ; he had been born into a position of honour and respect, the First Sons's very gender made him important to the Empire. He had been earmarked to learn two Menti disciplines regardless of his skill or power, and his life had been a decadent one compared to hers. Even his handsome features were given to him by birth (although the Captain herself was pretty), a fact which probably infuriated Nahila more. She would take the natural all women felt for him and use it to fuel the passion of her hatre  and of her desire to win, Kulrik was sure. Kulrik could see the focus in the Captain's eyes from across the field. Of course, she would make one mistake. While Kulrik had indeed been born into his position, he was also very deserving of it. He was charming, cunning and an excellent duelist, if not a a fine warrior. Few could best him in single combat with a sword, and the same number could resist his natural persuasion. If Kulrik wanted something he almost always got it, not because of his position but because of his prowess and determination. The mental note he'd made earlier clear in his head, Kulrik knew exactly what he wanted and eyed his opponent hungrily. To win her over, Kulrik would have to defeat her now, in this fight.

 

The Vilda First Son unbelted the sword at his hip, drawing it out and letting the sheath fall to the floor. Kulrik raised the blade he'd found only yesterday high into the sky, for all the onlookers to see. A small crowd of soldiers had gathered to watch the duel between First Son and Captain. Kulrik heard a few chuckles and sneers, saw pointed fingers at the sword in his hand it's myriad flaws. Let them laugh now, he thought. 

 

With amazing speed Kulrik lifted a leg and slammed the flat of the blade onto his knee. As expected, the stone at the center pulsed red, bathing the weapon in crimson light. Kulrik lifted the sword back for all to see. The snide jokes were gone, all the Dasaka now both impressed and curious - they now knew that it was no ordinary sword. If anything, it was extraordinary, and they wondered what other powers it might possess. In his mind, Kulrik silently thanked Zuto-Nui - he hadn't been completely sure that there would be no mind shattering scream. Then, with the same speed, Kulrik plunged the blade, point first, in the ground near his feet. Let them see that I don't need some magical sword to defeat their captain, he thought. Never mind it's a job and a half to wield properly. Empty handed, Kulrik focused his energies and a Soulsword appeared into existance in his right hand, a rapier dripping with psychic energy.

 

Kulrik watched as Nahila, Captain of Mahuika Hall, drew her own weapon, and readied himself for the imminent battle.


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#929 Online GSR

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Posted May 11 2014 - 12:45 PM

IC: Arisaka (Soraya's Practice)
 
"No, I believe that's everything. Thank you." Arisaka said, attempting to sound friendly. "Oh, when should I come back to pick it up?"

IC: Soraya [Sado Markets, Soraya's practice]
 
Didn't I just - oh, forget it. "I can guarantee it'll be ready night before the party; you can swing by earlier and see if it's ready to go sooner, but no promises."  Especially given the stack of order papers on her desk was starting to bend under its own weight.

 


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#930 Offline EmpressYumiwa

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Posted May 12 2014 - 03:15 AM

Ooc: Jam with Nia from a couple weeks ago that now seems fitting to share.

 

Ic:

 

Today started as days tended to: Early. And not as in I woke up early and got a jumpstart on productivity but rather like I slept like a rock and struggled to get my eyes open at eleven and my brain was totally not functioning but then Hana came flying through the door, jumped on my bed to startle me awake and dumped the dress of the day on me.

 

You know how it is. :rolleyes:

 

Fast forward about twenty minutes. I at least am dressed and sitting in front of a mirror while Hana dotingly prettifies me, polishing my armour and mask and such. We had just gone over our dreams (Hana always seems to have have the more interesting dreams, mine were never quite as crazy as hers though I had more nightmares) and now crossed into more deep topics. "Hana," I said watching her reflection as she worked on my arms, "how often do you go to see my sister?"

 

"Very often, Yumi, at least daily if I can be available." I replied. "Are you… angered by this?" I worried sometimes. Yumi was my friend but she could be jealous of others having my attention other than her. This is my fault, though, not Yumi's. I went to go see her sister because I was a friend to this entire family and I saw something in Desde that I saw in my own family. Jiyu always seemed to despise me. I had never intended it and yet he remained distant, a scowl on his face whenever he saw me. He hid it from others. Sometimes Yumi could be that way with her sister, which is why it surprised me, that she was more amicable than usual with her sister earlier, but I felt happy to see it.

 

I realized I'm not that good of a handmaiden. I tried to bee too much to too many people. I've angered my ward. I am a shame to my mother, to my clan. I don't deserve to be the daughter of Eshiwa, let alone Handmaiden to the Chojo herself. Ughhhh...

 

Hana's brushing slowed slightly after I asked her the question. She was doubting her answer, obviously concerned, and her tightened facial expression was evidence of that much. It was one of her faults; worrying, that is. She was raised to be the crown jewel of her clan and a shining example of a Herupa handmaiden and any slight perceived violation of her sacred code, both personal and professional, was a massive mar on her self esteem. As much as Hana was my rock she was fragile and needed me as much as I needed her. We were strongest together.

 

To assuage her nerved I smiled and told her the truth. "No, darling, I'm not angry. But I'm curious... Has my sister told you her opinion of me?”

 

"Well she has never told me exactly how she feels… but sometimes I think your sister feels alone and undervalued. She has made quips, ones that I will not repeat, but it is clear she is hurting." It is my place to be forthright, it's just… I don't know when is it the right time to speak about these things, I wasn't sure when it would best, what I should say, how I should say it, so I was honest, I said what I saw, what I felt. "I visit your sister in hopes of easing the pain that she feels. You two are both weighed down by great responsibilities, and it taxes you both. The pain your sister feels, that girl that feels alone, abandoned, it is who I could have been if I had not know my mother's love.

 

"I think I answered my own question about my brother with that. Mother was so focused on me—… I’m sorry, Yumi. As I was saying, your sister loves you but she is pain and I don't think she feels as loved as she would like to be. You two are very amazing women, sometimes the I feel as though the stresses of your station are unfair despite you and your sister's constitution for it."

 

"Cheeyah, I guess we are tough young women," I said and smirked proudly as I critiqued my visage in the mirror. I saw a princess destined for greatness and a head stocked with ambition. I was also being groomed for it all; it was meant to be mine. That wasn't the case with Desde. She was the ugly ducking, the odd one out, the prodigy without a lot in life beyond being "the rora's little sister."

 

And maybe that was unfair to her. She was always the enigmatic magician of the family while I was the up-front-and-center favourite. Bottom line is I got the all credit and she did... quite a bit of work behind the scenes, actually. Even when we were much younger girls I got away with ###### around the palace and she would somehow take the heat from me and disperse it like a fan, quietly and eerily and without a word to me about it.

 

But as I reminisced about Desdemona's abilities and our history I still wasn't aware of what my little sister thought of me. I'd hoped Hana would tell me but she didn't, perhaps still feeling awkward about being flat-out with me after the uncertain opener I started with. Reaching up across my chest I put my hand tenderly on hers as she continued to polish my shoulder and looked at her eyes in the mirror. "Hana, I love you more than anything in the empire. I trust you implicitly, and when it's just you and I, please—please—if you have something to say, you are unfettered. I want you to be open about it. Alright?”

 

"Yes Yumi and thank you," I replied, looking back into Yumi's turquoise eyes through the mirror. I knew Yumi cared for me a lot, but she was saying love as love love, or just love platonically... I wasn't sure what to make of that, how to respond if that's what she meant. "Yumi, your sister won't exactly tell straightfoward what she thinks of you, that's just how she is, I'm saying she does care for you, but I don't she feels as recognized for her positive attributes as her older sister, she's living in a shadow, and that kind of life can drive a person mad. And I think that's why my brother Jiyu never wants to see or speak to me.

 

"Like you, I was always my mother's favorite. Maybe it was the fire in me, maybe she saw herself, and maybe that's what Jiyu felt and feels. What I think your sister is feeling like she doesn't feel the love you do. She feels abandoned… that she'll never have the love that you have, the attention you have, and I guess I just don't want her to feel that pain. I don't want anyone to.”

 

"I don't think I ever told you what it was like when she came into the family, have I?”

 

"No, you haven't Yumi.”

 

I paused to collect my thoughts of way-back-then and continued to look glossily at my reflection as I began to share that snapshot of my childhood. What did I actually see in the mirror, though...?

 

"I was already a young lady when she was born. I was a lot like I am now: Energetic, flighty, spunky, an extrovert who was eagerly soaking up knowledge of the arts. There was no competition for attention or perfection; I was the future of the Umbalines, no question. But then Desdemona came into being and things seemed... different. Suddenly, there was another princess.

 

"She always looked tiny and frail—some things never change over the years—but her mind... It was like she could memorize epic literature by just touching a book cover, and that was as an infant. Even my mom said she was beyond natural and felt her way into Mom's brain when she was born. When she began the lessons I graduated from she far exceeded the standard I set and I grew jealous of her. She could never take my birthright—I was always going to be the crown princess until my ascension slash daughter—but she stole the thunder I already made. Her powers progressed alarmingly and she could Willhammer with the big girls when I was still learning how to dominate birds. It was a challenge having such a gifted sister. Having her around made me feel almost inadequate as a Menti.

 

"We would play together a lot on our free time as kids." I chuckled as I remembered one particular episode when "we climbed the rafters of the throne room and spied on a court proceeding before Mom declared us mature enough to attend... She also declared that stunt wasn't going to make her approval come any faster. But when she decided that not only me but both of us could attend court... my jealousy came up again. So I decided she was a distraction and by putting her out of my picture I could dedicate myself more to excelling and becoming the better princess again.

 

"I never told her what I felt about her, I just didn't, though I knew she was nearby. She'd come to court with the solemn dedication of a monk with the world's weight on her shoulders and we'd recognize each other's presence, but nothing more... You say she still cares for me?" Hana nodded the affirmative. "I... I can believe that." I sighed long and hard at myself. "Looking back, I'm the one who dropped the ball. We're sisters. She needs me like you and I need each other and it looks like things are just going to get even tough and lonely for us at the top...“

 

What did I see in the mirror? A pitiful, spiteful, vain little child. My jealously lingered all these years as an apparition of childhood immaturity. I wanted to become the greatest rora of all time and the finest empress I could ever be, and to do that I had to overcome my own weaknesses—not struggle against the bars set by those I should be thankful for.

 

"You won't be alone. I won't let you face your problems alone, not if I can help it," I said, and leaned down to wrap my arms around Yumi in a hug. Normally I thought it was my duty as her handmaiden to remain reserved, friendly but never controlled by my emotions, and Yumi felt threatened, she felt inadequate, but she was anything but. "Your sister is intelligent and powerful, but you are, too! Just because your sister was granted such gifts by Zuto Nui does not mean she is the leader you are. Your hard work, your effort, your drive is what makes you a great chōjo, and, when the time comes, are why you will be a great rora. It's one of the many things I love about you Yumi… and it's why others love you so much: The amount of love you have for them," I said and smiled. She was my chōjo and would be be my rora, and I would always be her handmaiden and she would be there for me too. She wanted to be there for her people but she made a mistake, like we all do, and she wanted to be better.

 

To not also be alone, to not lose a sister, Yumi was a great woman to recognize her problems. Very few Dasaka, especially Menti, would ever admit their shortcomings to themselves let alone anyone else. We are a proud people, but we try not to be controlled by our hubris. Yumi could be the best of us; I had no doubt that she would be anything less than the greatest rora to ever grace the Kentoku Archipelago.

 

Hana always knew what to say to me; she was like this when we first met and she only grew better over the years like a fine wine. I sat in silence for a moment, fully taking in her empathy-fueled encouragement and letting her stoke the fire in my heart. She believed in me more than anyone, maybe even my mom, and I could never thank her enough for that. Nevertheless, despite the inadequacy of the words, I thanked her. "You're right. The people do love me," I said, breathing deeply again but with vigour and strength I hadn't had before. "And I do love them. I… suppose it's time I start loving my sister, too."

 

I turned my head, whispered softly close to her ear, "Thank you," and punctuated it with a long kiss on her elegant neck. "And thanks for being a part of my life.” :inlove: :inlove:

 

“I—uh—um, thank you, Yumi, th—thank you for making me a part of it," I replied, placing my hand over where the Chojo had kissed not out of disgust but out of surprise. The way she kissed, as far as I know from Dasaka romance stories (don't judge)—that wasn't something done lightly. She did think of me that way… but… look… I never considered relationships. When I became a handmaiden, what with all the training, love never seemed to be in the cards, which it rarely was in Kentoku anyway in marriages, but I was just a servant, a lady-in-waiting; I was the servant to the chōjo and those pursuits would never exist to me… But she thought of me that way. I just wasn't sure how to react with all these feelings mixed, swirling around in me. I wasn't sure what to feel, what to say to my good friend who I now seemed to be more than a friend to.

 

"Hana?" I said and cleared my throat gingerly. She suddenly snapped back into the present with the beckoning of her name, visibly dazed by my show of affection. I smiled once more and looked at our reflections then nodded knowingly. There was nothing more to add to the moment; what was done was enough. Whatever came next would be up to Hana, either reciprocating the emotion or not, and not my position to press it or make her uncomfortable.

 

She stared unblinkingly at the mirror then suddenly looked sharply to my eyes as my tone seared the fog away.

 

"The polishing," I reminded her. :satisfied:

 

"Right." I went back to prepping Yumiwa for her day, polishing away at her armor, ensuring that she would look as perfect as she actually was. “Yumi, I was wondering… what's your opinion on the males in our society? Pardon for me for asking, I've had my own thoughts, I was just wondering what my lady thought." I asked, trying to make more small talk, clear the awkward air and move towards something less personal and more political, something I had thought on but never really talked much about.

 

"As in... for mating? Orrrrr their social roles or just what I think about guys in general?" I asked.

 

"Social roles, and maybe them in general." I replied, my mind on this new line of thought but also focusing on the polishing of Yumi's shoulders. She would be so radiant today!

 

"I think they deserve the lot in life they have and as a whole the men make fine soldiers with some shining examples. Take Inokio: He's the utter definition of a gentleman of taste yet he's humble and gracious, he understands that he's meant to be a warrior and he's among the greatest of them. He takes that role seriously. But once you take the role of 'soldier' from the men they seem to grow languid.

 

"The First Sons exist to represent the best of the men in their clans, but most First Sons are an utterly pathetic lot. Take Kuno for an example there! He's staler than bread crumbs fed to the birds, rejected by them and then trampled upon by pedestrians. He's not a warrior, not even a scholar—he's a fool. I feel as though the First Sons squander their position and status to the point of being devoid of purpose. And then when they begin to dabble in politics they're the worst at it.

 

"There are plenty of cute guys out there and I get why we need them, I just think they deserve nothing more than serving as warriors. They can help sustain our population in that role just fine and the vast majority of them do." I snorted. “Men. You can't live with them, can't live without them.”

 

“Interesting... Perhaps the reason they seem so languid is because their life is more set in stone than even you or I. From the moment a male is born in our society he is a prize, especially one that becomes a First Son, something for a Dasaka woman to possess, he is an object, a tool, sure the prized view our society has of them might lead to some pampering, but they are not in control. Yes quite a few make fine soldiers, and there are some that don't. Still it is something to think on, I don't envy any of them myself."

 

Talking with Yumi was enlightening because it helped me to get an idea where she currently stood, honestly, and I guess most men had left an average taste in her mouth, not particularly standing out, and Kuno's most standout feature was his blandness, being boring. Then again Yumi was tied into this marriage as much as Kuno.

 

"Perhaps," I said, then sighed deeply again, this time stressing my disillusionment. "Or maybe the most men just suck and are total #### stains.”

 

"Maybe," I replied, not being in market for a husband (but then again it wasn't really Yumi's choice). I might have had a more objective view, but I hadn't viewed these men through the lens Yumi had viewed them through. As such I didn't see them as she did.

 

"You do have some experience with men, though," I observed. "Or, a guy, anyway. There's your brother. Surely his existence has given you some snapshot of the male demographic?"

 

"I know how my brother is, and actually I think I have better understanding of what why he is so distant after having these talks with you. I can not extrapolate from one person, Yumi." I replied, I held hope that were better men, but at the moment at least to Yumi, there was not one in sight, though the Fursic marriage was for peace, not for love.

 

"True as that may be—and correct me if I'm mistaken—the First Sons have a tendency to represent the highest virtues and lowest traits of men. Or maybe that's just Kuno ruining men everywhere for me." I smiled coyly and shook my head gently as I thought of something funny. "With Kuno setting such a ###### low bar you'd think all the sons everywhere would be like mother######ing glistening gemstones to me,” I scoffed.

 

"Yes, I understand my lady— Yumi, perhaps Kuno is," I replied. I didn't like Kuno by any account and if he was responsible for the assassination attempt, I'd be tempted to break a few bones even though I'm not actually a fan of violence by any measure. There were many things that contributed why Yumi despised Kuno, one of them being she was tied to him for politics, not because they were attracted to each other, not because they were in love, but because basically in the simplest of terms: Their mothers told them to. Yumi is independent and strong in her own beautiful way and Kuno wasn't just the possible mastermind behind this assassin but he was destiny, and not the kind one was happy to greet. If he was a better man it would have mitigated some of her frustration. She understood politics very well. After all they were her life, being the chōjo. So she knew she had to be married and this temporarily bought peace from the Fursics for Kuno having her hand. It didn't sit well for her.

 

Neither did it for me. "I'm sorry Yumi…"

 

"It's okay," I languidly admitted. "It's just me, silly Yumi, hoping for a prince of some distant isle with a growler full of brandy, a library stocked jokes and a high taste in fashion. And he'd have to be that good to get my mom to even consider approving!" I sighed defeatedly. "You don't figure Mata Nui has fancy kingdoms, do you?" I joked. It didn't. The reports from Nihi's expedition brought back word of only tribal factions and minor villages, no better than tajaar freefolk—and Mom would never ever let me marry a tajaar.

 

"I guess all I can do is hope Kuno is guilty and he gets his ### cleaved off by my uncle. Otherwise... well, ######, whatever."

 

The polishing was finished. It was time to carry on. There was to be a court proceeding today and I had plenty more things to do on top of it and the party planning.


Edited by Jenny Quantum, May 12 2014 - 03:17 AM.

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#931 Offline Norik Of Celtania

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Posted May 14 2014 - 07:28 AM

IC: Noshima
 
"Many thanks," said Noshima, smiling at her cousin. "It is also my wish to inform you that your shift has ended. Another guard shall take your place."


IC: Hogo Akone
Akone laughed.

"Thank goodness, it's getting stuffy in here. What shall I do now?" She asked, following Noshima.

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#932 Online Onarax

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Posted May 14 2014 - 07:30 AM

IC: Noshima

 

"Prepare garments for the gathering."


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#933 Offline Toa Fanixe

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Posted May 14 2014 - 10:42 PM

IC:

 

"WWHHHAAATTT??!?!?!?!?"

 

The Dashi servant cowered in fear, her face directed away from the Toroshu. She was too embarrassed to meet the leader of the Vilda's gaze after having just delivered such terrible news. She hoped she would not be punished for having been the bearer of such disappointing news to Toroshu Relisai. Relisai was usually so calm and relaxed - seeing her now so enraged was in itself scary.

 

"I've been preparing for my party for months now, subtly shifting resources around to create a wonderful party, one that would define the generation. The invitations were ready to go out later today, and I'd already given the order to do so.  And now you tell me that our dear Chojo has thrown together a masquerade ball in a week, scheduled for the same time?  Is that right!?" Relisai barked at the Dashi.

 

"Yes, Lady Relisai" replied the whimpering Dashi.

 

"I should have you thrown in jail! " Relisai screamed. "Dishonoured, kicked out of the clan. I can skewer you for what you've done." There was a venom in the Toroshu's voice, one that no Dasaka in the Vilda could ever remember hearing. It was angry and spiteful, so unlike the normally pleasant Relisai. "You'd be hanged, and no one would bat an eye. People would cheer when they'd find out it was you that was dead, the stupid Dashi that had brought shame to Vilda. You are nothing, and never will be. You do realize that, don't you you worthless rat?"

 

"I- um... Toroshu.. ye- yes."

 

"Well, good."

 

Relisai closed her eyes, clearing away the red fog that formed  at the edges of her vision. They gathered much more often nowadays, much moreso than before she'd become Toroshu. With it came the immense pressure on her skull, like the whole world was pushing on her very being. Nearly a minute later Relisai's outburst had faded, and she now beamed at the Dashi who feared for her life.

 

Relisai grasped the young woman's  mind, cradling it with her own as one might a precious glass toy. She delved into it, passing fears and hopes and dreams.  Memories of the servant's youth, growing up, learning the trade of a Vilda servant. Then a much more recent memory. Of Relisai's intense anger and horrifying threats. Relisai ripped the memory away and left a gaping hole. The Vilda Toroshu replaced it with something much more palatable, simple and placid.  Relisai regarded her quick handiwork, noting the faintest scar that had been created in the Dashi's mind. In other parts of the mind  also many, many more scars.

 

The Toroshu released her grip on the servant mind, and the young girl quickly returned to consciousness. 

 

"You will go tell the messenger not to deliver the invitations of course. In fact, you can tell her to burn them, in private. Then, please go fetch me my dinner." Relisai now were a beaming smile, one that inspired the hearts of her people.

 

"Certainly, m'lady" said the Dashi,

 

"And thank you. You do your job magnificently" praised Relisai.

 

"Thank you, m'lady." The Dashi's heart swelled with pride. She turned and left her Toroshu's apartment on Sado, off to fulfill her tasks.

 

Relisai walked to the balcony, looking out at the rest of Sado. Even now, the Vilda loved and respected their dear leader, a wise and peaceful Toroshu. No matter what, Relisai would keep it that way.

 

But first, the party. It was a good thing Relisai had brought her entire wardrobe Sado, costumes and all.

 

 

Soraph brought her elder guest to a nice restaurant, not too fancy but where the people were of a certain social rank. The food was good and the atmosphere lively, the perfect place for a young Dasaka with a lifetime that awaited her. Soraph had a feeling Mako would enjoy it too, if his appetite for wandering and adventure was any indication. She ordered her food, a well cooked fish with a sweet and spicy glaze. 

 

"Have you ever guarded a Toroshu?" Soraph asked. "I know you aren't really supposed to say, but they'll all be at the ball. I was just wondering if I was the only one there that you'd know."

 

She picked up a glass, taking a sip of water before asking a passing waiter for a bottle of something a little stronger.

 

"I can't say I'll know many people - most Toroshu are usually busy running their clans, so I have little opportunity to meet any of them here on Sado." Soraph felt a pang of pain as she thought about the prison that this crystal palace was for her - she was unofficially banished away from her people, busy with her duties in the Garden. Mako was one of the few Vilda she'd met since her exile.


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#934 Offline Hatty Hattington

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Posted May 15 2014 - 09:16 AM

Ic:

Sado. The jewel of the empire. For Jiyu, his business here was ultimately minimal for today. He had ordered his costume for the upcoming party... Something that had been delayed due to the arrangement of his mother and aunt's funeral.

Something that Jiyu was very enthusiastic to do.

As for his clan, by now they should've received formal messages about the deaths... Jiyu could only imagine how his younger sister would react. Probably with great sadness. A bit of him felt glad that his sister would become distressed over Eshiwa and Zola's death, but if his mind was searched he felt pity for her. Eshiwa's favorite child, now without the mother who doted upon her. To her, Jiyu knew he was just a face in the clouds, someone who'd appear for a few minutes, then vanish again into the complex that the Herupa called home. The whole idea of speaking to her at the party, an idea that he had to do for the better if his clan and the empire he served, set chills down her spine. He was many things, but looking forward to talking to her disquieted him. He wouldn't be relishing their upcoming conversation.

But he had time for that later. He ventured into the markets, a place he had been to prior to today to retrieve his costume, and quickly paid te weaver and left. Her work was more than exemplary, an he rewarded her with a tip of several more dragons for the work she had done.

Venturing back into the markets, he took a deep breath of the air, before looking about the market with a sense if wonder. Sure he had been across the islands of the empire once before with his mother, and by chance he had wandered into the 'debate' that had happened... But he had yet to explore Sado. And with no one demanding his return anymore, Jiyu now had the time to search the island and learn its wonders. Stepping back into the markets, that's exactly what the giant dasaka did.

Ooc: jiyu, open to interact. :)

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#935 Offline Norik Of Celtania

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Posted May 15 2014 - 09:33 AM

IC: Noshima
 
"Prepare garments for the gathering."


IC: Akone
"For myself? I'm afraid I have no clothes worthy of such a gathering," she said. It was true. The life of a guard, even one of the Menti caste, did not avail oneself to having much gathering-clothes, less said about a masquerade. Of course, Akone may just have been an exception.

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#936 Online Onarax

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Posted May 15 2014 - 09:50 AM

IC: Noshima

 

"Then let us obtain worthy garments."


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#937 Offline EmpressYumiwa

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Posted May 15 2014 - 07:16 PM

Ic:

 

I held myself regally yet humbly with my chin dipped but eyes upturned as I quietly strode down the center aisle between a prostrated congregation scattered among the thousand benches on either side of me. My attention was raptly held by the massive shrine at the end of the cavernous chamber and the holy altar it enclosed. Light from the heavens fell down as columns into this great hall through the crystalline roof that hung so high above us it was almost a miracle the sun did not melt through it, and the illumination made the expanse seem more divine by causing the golden inlays in the walls and floor glow.

 

The heart of the Grand Temple was the only place on Sado where people weren't socially required to bow to me. Of course, most people did bow upon recognizing me, either out of an internalized habit or insurance nicety. Mostly men bowed and the occasional noble just making sure she didn't disgrace any expectations, and it wasn't unacceptable to bow, especially to someone who will one day be an avatar of the Great Spirit's authority in the empire, but as I walked between the innumerable pews of the temple's nave and a handful of dashi and a single toroshu turned, silently bowed and held that position until I passed I paid them no attention and just glided by them like a crimson spirit.

 

It wasn't that our religion brought us together and severed caste hierarchy but bowing wasn't expected here because here, in the Temple, our minds, hearts and eyes should all be directed upwards at Zuto Nui. In this sanctum we all gaze towards something much higher than ourselves and the distractions of the world ought to melt away like the wax on the candles. There was only one thing truly worthy to bow to here: Our goddess' effigies.

 

The Great Spirit gave us the Three Virtues we admire most and this temple is the heart of our reverence to Her. Like in every holy place, everybody comes here for their own reasons. Some people are here to beg forgiveness for disgracing themselves under the Virtues' laws; perhaps they disrespected a better or stole from another, so they come to rebuild their Honor. Others come to find a respite from life; I think there are plenty of people who find merely existing to be an arduous responsibility, and they seek Order in the midst of chaos. And then there are others, like myself, who visit this place in to ask for wisdom and prosperity in the future, because the future is the only thing we cannot direct by ourselves. I've come for Power because it's a constant uphill journey and I'm never fully aware what the road will hold up ahead. I want to be, though, or at least be ready to overcome its challenges.

 

Upon stepping up to the altar an attending priest handed me a candle which I then lit and placed onto the shrine to join the others as the priest offered a benediction, then I stepped aside and allowed the next person to perform the ceremony as I retreated to a bench myself, sat and began to meditate in prayer.


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#938 Offline Hatty Hattington

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Posted May 15 2014 - 07:41 PM

IC:

 

"Greetings Chojo, it is an honor to meet you here on this lovely day," Jiyu's voice said, not far from where she sat. He slowly approached the Crown Princess, giving her a bow of respect after coming to a stop beside her. His parcel containing his costume was slung underarm, as his wanderings had eventually led him to the temple of Zuto Nui. Jiyu had always respected the virtues... Even if he did doubt the existence of such beings that had spawned them.

 

"I shall presume that you have come here to mediate on troubles?" He asked, raising an eye before quipping, "I would ask to join you, if only I was small enough to fit into any one of these seats."


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#939 Offline EmpressYumiwa

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Posted May 15 2014 - 08:11 PM

Ic: "Greetings, Chōjo, it is an honor to meet you here on this lovely day."

 

What the ######??? This is the mother######ing temple, a place of silence and reverence. Does this look like a a place for social gathering? Does it surprise you that a daughter of Zuto Nui is here of all places? Ughhh. I kept my eyes focused up and forward at the holy structure before me, but the prick kept droning. Okay, you son of a ######, who the ###### are you to be bothering me in the first place?

 

"I shall presume that you have come here to mediate on troubles? I would ask to join you, if only I was small enough to fit into any one of these seats."

 

A person of status. A guy. A big guy. Also a dick. My guess? It's First Son Jiyu. I slowly turned to look at the bloke and gave a thin smile only passably congenial. Yup, it's Jiyu. What did he do, follow me in here and then swerve to meet me where I prayed?

 

"Hello, Jiyu," I said quickly and softly, then turned back to the shrine and continued quietly praying for a moment longer. Feeling that maybe I should talk with him for whatever reason I gently got up, my small retinue mirroring my motions, and then slipped out of the benches and back into the wide aisle. "So you also have troubles?" I asked as I sensed the massive Dasaka kept up with me.


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#940 Offline Hatty Hattington

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Posted May 15 2014 - 08:28 PM

Ic:

"Unfortunately, it is a rare day that I do not, Chojo," He said, frowning at his own words, "however, my troubles, regardless of how important they may seem, will always pale in comparison to your troubles honorable Chojo."

"After all, as a member of my clan who has no defined master, it is my duty to dedicate myself not only to further the well being of my clan, but to faithfully serve the empire, and by extension it's leaders, to the best of my ability."

Edited by First Son Jiyu, May 15 2014 - 08:29 PM.

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#941 Offline EmpressYumiwa

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Posted May 15 2014 - 09:02 PM

Ic: "Mmhm," I mused. Kissing my ###### -- honorable this, wonderful that, most regal suchandsuch -- how typical of the men I meet. My voice picked up strength as we exited the immense doorways of the temple's sanctum and into the open air of the outside grounds which allowed regular conversation more freely.
 
"If you're trying to gain my favour after speaking so hastily in the Market the other day, don't bother," I said dismissively. "Opinions were heated and freely expressed there. I don't doubt you only meant well."

Edited by Crown Princess Yumiwa, May 15 2014 - 09:22 PM.

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#942 Offline Hatty Hattington

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Posted May 15 2014 - 10:10 PM

Ic:

"And I wish for none Chojo. I only approached you with the desire to talk. Dasaka to Dasaka. All the while giving you the respect that your title demands," Jiyu said, keeping his voice even. The whole market affair had vanished from his mind- more important events had arisen, "After all, I enjoy trying to speak to my sibling's watches. And naturally the Chojo would be more enjoyable to speak to. Especially considering how downright happy my sister looks when I see her with you."

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#943 Offline namcurtsnoC

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Posted May 15 2014 - 11:13 PM

IC Seiryu

"LET!!! ME!!! OUT!!!!!!"

 

 

The Amakusa First Son's muffled yelling and the sound of splintering wood failed to unnerve his charge, as the servant dragged the locked crate behind her, mumbling sarcastically to herself. "I can hear you, you know!" an angry voice yelled from the crate. In his angered state, the nobleman had forgotten his usual antiquated manner of speech and had devolved to yelling like a... a bratty teenager. Mentally blocking out the irate man's yelling, the servant deposited the crate at the foot of the temple, waiting for the First Son to break himself out. Soon enough, a flash of intertwined soulsword and minders energies flew from the top of the crate, and a very weary looking pile of purple and red silk pulled itself into an upright standing position. Crimson eyes glowing with rage, the First Son stared down the servant before walking off, utterly defeated. His sister's devilish machinations had gotten the best of him once again. "... and I find myself clothed in the garish colors of the Janu bird," the servant heard him mutter.

 

*********************************************************************************************************************************

 

OOC Exposition time!

 

IC

 

Fursic and Kyoshi both screamed in agony as the noxious gases filled the room. A deadly interplay of plant and mineral compounds, the vapor burned everything it touched. Nothing was safe. Vials and sacks fell off the tipping shelves by the dozen, releasing more and more poison into the air...

 

"Oh Zuto-Nui, forgive us for our transgressions. Show us your mercy in our failures and shortcomings. Forgive us for our lack of Honor and our failure to respect the great Order. Forgive us for our mad pursuit of Power and knowledge, in which we, thinking ourselves gods, discarded other virtues and tapped into Zataka's evil. Forgive us fir the sins which caused our own destruction

 

This was the silent prayer that Seiryu routinely offered up at the temple on behalf of his now-deceased family for their actions during the last Fursic uprising. Shortly before the war broke out, Toroshu Karen had been experiencing with toxic chemicals and pathogens extracted from diseased cadavers for offensive use, claiming directives from the Rora. When war broke out, Kyoshi sicced their prototypes on the Fursic army, and to everybody else's expectations, the projects failed horribly, with just as many Kyoshi soldiers falling to their own weapons as did Fursic warriors. Nevertheless, the Fursics were outraged at the offensive use of airborne disease, and one of their generals ransacked the Clan's main castle, only to let loose Kyoshi's remaining stores of bioweaponry along with stores of toxic chemicals-some of which were flammable, which caused further chaos. The entire operation was fouled up beyond all recognition, with both sides reporting massive casualties. Amakusa, the lead sub-clan in the controversial project, suffered the most, as over 90% of its members were killed during the attack and its aftermath, both to sword and to sickness.

 

Seiryu had hidden himself in the corner, huddling up in terror. Everywhere around him, Mentis warriors fought amidst the clouds, only to drop to the ground, clutching their throats or their faces in pain. The more sensible warriors were running for it, leaping over the injured, babbling about the "invisible swords" that were cutting them.

 

Seiryu would later learn that his mother was one of the casualties, and the entirety of Amakusa's noble house (with the exception of himself and his sister) had been destroyed. As well, fleeing soldiers had spread the contagion to other areas of the archipelago, and panic over the mystery disease began to set in. Fortunately, a disease control team managed to contain the plague, but the damage and been done. Kyoshi's name tarnished, the sub-clans were quick to blame each other for the fiasco, and eventually, the tensions between them caused the schism that was now tormenting Seiyru and Minami day and night. They had also earned the enmity of the Fursics, who declared them honorless slugs; Seiyru wasn't particularly interested in repairing relations with them, but it was something that needed to be done.

 

"... Zuto-Nui, may your grace and wisdom guide us on our path. May the Virtues be our fortress and our shield." The prayer finished, Seiryu rose, but did not leave. His devotion for the clan was finished, but there were personal amateurs which he needed to attend to. Finding an out-of-the-way cousin, he closed his eyes..."


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Antidermis: 50% pit mutagen, 50% questionable Ga-Koro water. We now know the secrets of Makuta's servants.


#944 Offline EmpressYumiwa

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Posted May 15 2014 - 11:41 PM

Ic: I smiled as I walked, pleased with the mention of my Hana. The conversation I had with her earlier that day was still fresh in my mind. Jiyu was a jealous sibling, not a malicious one, and I had to keep that in mind as we spoke. I couldn't be too hard on him, not if what Hana said was true, not if he was as mischaracterized as my sister, so all my previous typecasting of him needed to be pushed aside. Still, he was a dick or trying to talk to me in the temple...

 

"So then, let's talk, Dasaka to Dasaka," I said as I shifted my clutch bag from one hand to the other and flicked my cloak's length to the side in order to avoid tripping on a small step. "This means you can cut the ###### and speak to me as a person, Jiyu. I'll do the same. There are other ways to respect my status than wiping my butt for me," I said pointedly.

 

"How are things on Oki?" I said to initiate a new conversation point and start things over.


Edited by Crown Princess Yumiwa, May 15 2014 - 11:42 PM.

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#945 Offline Hatty Hattington

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Posted May 15 2014 - 11:57 PM

Ic:

"Terrible, but you would know that-"

Jiyu's eyes briefly widened as he realized the importance of the question, "You don't know..? Then... Then neither does Hanako..."

Jiyu took a deep breath, before frowning down at the Chojo, "Yumiwa, the Toroshu and her sister are dead. The former succumbed to sickness, the latter killed herself out of grief. Letters were sent out to all members of the clan as soon as possible... But, if you did not know this... Hanako never received the letter..."

Ironically, the one time he had hand-written a letter for his sister, the one that he hadnt destroyed or cast away like all the others, and it had never arrived...

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#946 Offline EmpressYumiwa

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Posted May 16 2014 - 12:10 AM

Ic: I paused.

 

A faint shiver shook down my spine as I digested the news. It wasn't every day that a toroshu perished and when one did it was cause for great sadness. Considering the closeness the Herupa have had with us, and with me in particular, this struck rather close to my heart. Since Jiyu was here in the Palace a few days before for the events in the Market and nothing was brought up, Eshiwa must have perished very recently. Maybe the letter Jiyu sent only arrived that very day. "She hasn't spoken to me about it but that doesn't mean Hana doesn't know," I said and breathed deeply once. No other Herupa on Sado had reacted on Eshiwa's death, either, so delayed messages were a likely cause. "Or you could have preceded your letters," I deduced. 

 

But the death of the toroshu and her sister left a considerable power vacuum. Eshiwa's daughters... Hana... oh my god.

 

I shook my head, ostensibly to bring my mind back to the present but personally to shrug off my immediate thoughts of succession. "Jiyu, I'm deeply sorry to hear this news. Our clans have always been close—if there's anything I can do to help as a royal, please ask of me."


Edited by Crown Princess Yumiwa, May 16 2014 - 12:11 AM.

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#947 Offline Hatty Hattington

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Posted May 16 2014 - 12:20 AM

Ic:

"Watch Hanako. She was Eshiwa's favorite, she'll be depressed by the news. My twin Seigyo would be affected, but would care less. It's Hanako that'll be affected," he said, the brief image if Hanako crying popped into his mind, forcing him to shiver, "As for me... I've already removed the locks on the outside of my bedroom door."

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#948 Offline EmpressYumiwa

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Posted May 16 2014 - 12:53 AM

Ic: "You know I love Hanako as though we are kin," I said reassuringly—though my love for her does manifest even deeper than that—"so I'll be totally caring. Whether she knows by now or not, I will comfort her."

 

His words also echoed in my head: "She was Eshiwa's favorite, she'll be depressed by the news."

 

There it was again, the familiar tune Hana told me in the morning, and Jiyu said it with the oddest tone that mixed sadness and jealousy. Eshiwa loved Hana the most by far, certainly beyond anything Jiyu could comprehend, and I thought it completely possible that his talk of locks on his door was as much a literal statement as an allegory. He seemed rather well composed considering what had happened.

 

I looked away at an angle and tapped my foot quietly under my cloak as I thought of a possibly intrusive but honest question came to mind. "Tell me, how much do you love your sister?" I asked and waited for the reply, however affronted or easy it was.


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#949 Offline Hatty Hattington

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Posted May 16 2014 - 01:10 AM

Ic:

Jiyu's eyes narrowed.

"I care for her. I have no right to say that I know her well, that I know what her favorite tune is to play on her violins, or what she enjoyed to talk about with Eshiwa, and sometimes Seigyo, I can count the number of times I've talked to her on one hand... But despite that, I care for her. I saw from when she started to walk and talk, that she was talented. And where Eshiwa wanted her to be her little puppet, I was the one who figured out how to push her, how to get Eshiwa to let Hanako become great... And I envied her every step of the way," he said, gazing at Yumiwa, "can I say I loved her as much as Eshiwa? Of course not. But I can say that I cared for her."

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#950 Offline EmpressYumiwa

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Posted May 16 2014 - 01:38 AM

Ic: Is this how Desde feels about me? I wondered. I couldn't help but hear a little bit of my sister in the background of Jiyu's baritone, certainly in the expressions if not the tone.

 

"And do you think Hana knows that you care for her?" I asked, curious. Hana may feel a level of pity for Jiyu but I know next to nothing about Jiyu's perception of his sister. I wasn't entirely sure why I prodded this family's status between each other but I did anyway, probably to sate my desire to understand how much was familiar to me enough to teach me some lesson. Or maybe because I just love Hana so much I feel obligated to understand the emotions that string from Herupa sibling to sibling. For whatever reason, I asked, and hoped Jiyu would answer and shed light on the matter for me.

 

The question of succession remained in the air. Surely the crown would go to the eldest daughter, but there was little attention drawn to Seigyo. If anything, Jiyu was dismissing her; he'd even said the other sister would "care less" about their mother's death. How curious. Still, I would not bring that touchy topic up unless Jiyu did first. I may be blunt at times but I'm not insensitive.

 

"I'd doubt it. As I said, the few times I talked to her were when there were quiet moments whenever I was let out... But I've never had a meaningful conversation with her before."

 

So Jiyu speaks as though his time abroad was a brief respite, that the free time to talk with his sister(s) was a rare opportunity—Hana said he didn't want to see or speak to her. The disparity was present; somewhere in the middle was the truth.  I hmm'd thoughtfully in the lull as I considered the situation's depth. I was naturally inclined to follow my Hana's intuition, though with the knowledge that Jiyu might be more familiar to me than not I had to take his point of view into consideration, too. This was a difficult position...

 

And one I finally realized I didn't want to dive into much further. It wasn't my job to play detective, nor was I a counselor. Only a conversation between the two siblings would shed true light on their matter and it was sad that it had to happen over such a depressing circumstance, but at least it was a near possibility now.

 

I cleared my throat and gave a thin smile to liven the mood a little before asking, "Will you be at my party tomorrow? And what about Seigyo?"


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#951 Offline Hatty Hattington

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Posted May 16 2014 - 04:57 AM

Ic:

The change in topic wasn't very subtle... But then, Jiyu could understand why Yumiwa wouldn't want to talk about the connection between the estranged siblings.

"Yes, I will be going on my lonesome, and I do believe Seigyo will accompany Vilda Kulrik. The two are practically inseparable."

-

Meanwhile, Seigyo had panicked slightly when her master Kulrik and the toroshu fell through the ground, and had raced back to try to organize searchers... Only to realize by matter chance, they had returned. As Kulrik had made some sort of challenge, which she now watched, panicking as she watched events unfold.

Gah.


Edited by First Son Jiyu, May 16 2014 - 05:38 PM.

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#952 Offline EmpressYumiwa

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Posted May 16 2014 - 05:06 PM

Ic: And Hana will be with me, I thought to myself. Great. I wasn't sure if my thought was caustic or honest, though—I only figured it could go either way in the end. Whatever discussion was to be made on the matter of succession to the Herupa throne would be said when the siblings were together. As much as it interested me, some things were better off without a royal interfering; not yet, anyway.

 

"Hana's had a leading role in putting the party together, you know," I said as I resumed my walk. She was probably doing work on it right then, actually, or else she would have likely been with me. "It will be nice having all three of you unchaperoned and under the same roof in... what I figure has been a very long time."

 

We came to an intersection of alabaster pathways, one side going into the palace and the other towards the Yards, where I meant to go next. "This is where we part ways for now; I'll speak with Hana shortly and comfort her concerning Eshiwa and Zola and let her know you're around. Regardless, we'll see each other tomorrow night. Until then, Jiyu!" I bade farewell and paraded off towards the Yards with my entourage slipping past the massive Dasaka in my pursuit.

 

But really now... Eshiwa's adoration of Hana was reputed to be on par with my own; the news of the august mother's passing would certainly devastate her. At least we knew Hana still had someone who loved her dearly and would dote on her in every way. She was my rock but I was also hers, and now, with stressors such as the party and the upcoming expedition, she would need me more than anything. This tragedy may well bring the two of us even closer, and if it could also restore a sense of family to the Herupa's noble children then all the better.

Maybe my prayers to Zuto Nui were being answered after all. The future is such an uncertain thing, you know, and we need Power to manage it as it slugged us to and fro. Power gives us the strength to go on, to get back up and keep at it even when things are horrible. Whatever the case, we will prevail.

 

Part of me strongly urged me to return to the apartments and speak to my Hana about the happenings so far, but the Yards were so close already and I could see Inokio's banner on his villa's side. No lesson today, but I needed to speak with him quickly, mostly about the expedition, and my confliction between the two strongest forces in my life was answered with pure haste. I abruptly started to run towards Inokio's house while forcing my escorts to jump to their feet in haste to catch up to me. Even in my cloak I was fast, but at least the huge silk garment fluttered behind me like a ship's crimson sail so it wasn't hard at all to keep track of me. I'd get Inokio out of the way and then race back to Hana for sure.


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#953 Offline Hatty Hattington

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Posted May 16 2014 - 05:37 PM

IC:

 

"And I'm sure that she'll feel especially proud of her efforts," Jiyu said with a nod.

 

So this was mostly Hanako's ideas? Then the entire affair shall be… Interesting. Jiyu actually felt curious to see what the party would exactly look like, considering how he'd yet to see anything designed by his younger sibling.

 

"Until then, and thank you Yumiwa," Jiyu said, bowing curtly to the Chojo (It would be disrespectful for him not to) before she left, watching the Crown Princess head off to her next destination. Leaving Jiyu to his machinations. And how great they were.

 

The massive Dasaka whistled to himself as he walked the path opposite, slowly heading for a way for him to return back home to Oki. The Chojo had yet to bring up the topic of who was to succeed Eshiwa as Toroshu, and Jiyu was quite glad that she hadn't.

 

After all, he didn't want to tell her that the clan elders would choose the next Toroshu soon.


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#954 Online Onarax

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Posted May 16 2014 - 08:40 PM

IC: Noshima

 

"I humbly ask of you, Akone, if you know of a tailor most suited towards your tastes?"


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#955 Offline EmpressYumiwa

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Posted May 16 2014 - 08:45 PM

Ic: Ever since his retirement Inokio hadn't really occupied himself with many responsibilities. His job as a First Son consisted of bringing honour to his clan, which he had accomplished in spades as a member of the rora's guard, and a secondary task to find a bride and carry on a legacy, something he was accomplishing at a leisurely pace. He wasn't old by its strict definition, just in the mid-aged stage of life, so he figured he had plenty of time left. Besides, it wasn't like he could do it freely while serving under an oath to the rora.

 

Like it was to a lot of people, the imperial party presented a situation of opportunity. With a large presence of other nobles it gave Inokio a chance to possibly deliver on his promise. The Korae toroshu would likely be there, too, only heightening the urgency. Unlike how it was with other clans, though, Inokio held higher personal status than his toroshu, so in the unlikely situation that she accosted him about not getting it on with a lady he could quite literally put his finger to her lips and then walk away.

 

Having basically grown up and old in the stately abode of royals he had seen a great many festivities to the point that they didn't really phase him anymore. Yumiwa's party was, what, his two-hundredth? The only differences this time was his changed station and the party's theme. A masquerade of all things. Of course it had to be something unique, he sighed; Yumi wouldn't suffer anything less than spectacular. Few things were as potent as youthful vigor mixed with an imagination eclipsed only by sheer wealth. It was a wonder Yumiwa hadn't sent a note asking Inokio to perform a minstrel routine at the affair, too, though if she had he would consider doing it.

 

He was curled up on his sofa, shamisen on his crossed legs as he mused on what to play. A warm breeze wafted in through the broad, opened windows to give an unrestricted view of the piers. He prided himself in the serenity he could achieve despite living in a rather busy district of Sado. He reached out to the side to pick up his bachi, then hesitated, hovered his hand over the plectrum before choosing to grasp his tea instead. Just as he raised the cup to his lips, a familiar knock came to his door.

 

Maybe he'd be asked to perform after all, he mused as he sipped, then gingerly set the cup back down and gradually made his way downstairs and to the front door. "Hello, Yumi," he greeted and grandly swept his arm open to invite the princess in.

 

...

 

"Good afternoon, Inokio," I chirped as I entered his house, leaving my entourage outside. Habitually, I sniffed the air in the villa and was disappointed to not find any hint of my favourite pastries this time.

 

"It's not a tutoring day, so what brings you to me, Yumi?" Inokio asked as he led me to the sitting room, then gestured to a chair. "Is it the party?"

 

I laughed and took a seat across from my mentor. "In part. You're going, right?"

 

"Of course," he said and picked his invitation up from a table for me to see. "I've even had to use my lesser-known skill in tailoring to make my own outfit. Would you like some tea?"

 

"You what!?" I almost gasped. I didn't know he could do that. Oh, uhhh tea. "Yes, please," I said in a normal tone again.

 

Inokio retreated to the kitchen and I could hear him rustle about to get my plates. "I often did my own seamwork when I was in the service of your mother. I learned long ago not to trust anyone more than myself when it comes to uniforming," he said from beyond the corners. "In fact, most of the drapery you see here is my own handiwork." He came around with a tray of hot water and a cup for me and set it down before me, then went on to pour it for me. "I have many hobbies these days, Yumi."

 

"So I see. What will you be going as?" I asked out of curiosity.

 

"Please," he chuckled, "some things are better off as surprises." He reclined opposite from me and fingered his instrument languidly.

 

"Then I'll look forward to seeing what you produced. But I also came for something I think is far more important than the party."

 

"Is that so? More important than the party?" he remarked with a grin. "Then you're learning, princess."

 

"Oh, please, like there's any doubt to my maturity," I said and rolled my eyes comically. We laughed at that and sipped our cups before I continued. "A rare thing happened last night: Mom visited me in my bedchamber." My eyes lit up like stars as I mentally recounted the scene, blissful as it was. "She told me there will be a new expedition to Mata Nui consisting of both military and diplomatic elements."

 

He made a thoughtful expression."Mmm, so I've been told."

 

"I thought you kept distant from politics," I wondered aloud. On every occasion he distanced himself from anything political like a plague, yet he seemed informed on this case.

 

"I do, and I refrain from giving you political counsel, but I can't help but hear things, Yumi. Sailors like to talk. Commodore Ayiwah's in charge of the expedition, I take it?"

 

"Um, yes," I confirmed. "At least, the military side. Mom is sending me as the Throne's representative and head of the diplomatic delegation."

 

"And you want me to go with you to protect you," Inokio sensed and smiled knowingly.

 

"Absolutely! I would have you be my chief retainer, if you'll accept it. There is none I'd rather have protecting me abroad than you."

 

"Well, it wouldn't be the first time I served as such to an imperial family member," Inokio said and stroked his chin. "It would be an honor, Yumiwa."

 

"Excellent! I'd like a handful of others in my honour guard."

 

"I can think of a few names from the top of my head, actually. All of them are from your clan, too. Arikasa's a teacher who's strength as a warrior greatly outweighs her skills at instruction but will be a stellar protector. You've met a certain Xania in the Market; she's a good soldier who would devote herself and serve you to the ends of the world. And then there's Sinshi, a member of an offshoot to your clan who's looking to regain her family's honour, and protecting you would restore some of that pride and dignity."

 

"You trust them?" I asked. He nodded slowly. "Okay, sounds fine to me but that's four of five slots."

 

"And I'll get back to you when I find a fifth member, Yumi."

 

"Wonderful. Thank you for your service, Inokio, and also for the tea. I have to be off and talk to Hana."

 

"How is she, by the way?" Inokio asked as we both got up and started for the door.

 

"Busy with party planning, though I've just recently received word that Toroshu Eshiwa passed away," I sadly stated.

 

"Oh... no!" Inokio said, visibly distressed by the news, then smiled comfortingly and gave me a big hug, the sort an uncle would give a beloved niece. "Give the Rose a long embrace for me, then."

 

He's always been so thoughtful and protective of the two of us. We bade our farewells and thank-yous, and before long I was back on the street, running back to the palace's core to speak to my dearest Hana.

 

...

 

Inokio tapped his fingertips together rapidly in a nervous tic as he strode directly to his office, pulled out a piece of parchment and began to write a short letter. Unlike his other letters, which he signed graciously as "The Honourable Inokio, Clan Korae First Son," he instead signed it under a pseudonym he rarely touched:

 

"—Atramentous"

 

He gave it in an inky wax seal and deposited in a pocked before casually leaving his abode.


Edited by Crown Princess Yumiwa, May 17 2014 - 05:47 PM.

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#956 Offline Norik Of Celtania

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Posted May 17 2014 - 03:18 AM

IC: Noshima
 
"I humbly ask of you, Akone, if you know of a tailor most suited towards your tastes?"


IC: Akone
"No, Toroshu, I don't," Akone replied.

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#957 Online Onarax

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Posted May 17 2014 - 03:21 AM

IC: Noshima

 

Noshima hummed quietly.

 

"Then it is the duty of your Toroshu to assist your endeavours to find worthy garments for the gathering."


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#958 Offline Yukiko

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Posted May 17 2014 - 01:56 PM

[Central Oki]

 

•*•*•*•*•*•*•*• [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?] •*•*•*•*•*•*•*•*•*

 

Seven such invitations lay on Morie’s desk, but only five of them would be used.  She needed her oldest daughters at home, should anything befall those at the party, or any enterprising dye artist try to sneak into the compound.  Was this a little paranoid?  Perhaps, but being a little paranoid had made the Plangori one of the richest clans in the Islands.  Besides, she was sure they would enjoy playing at ordering people around.

 

She did wish the Choujou had a better sense of timing, however.  Truly quality garments, for the great women that would likely be there, would take months to make and many hands.  Already the clerks and dyers everywhere were knee deep in orders.  She delicately brushed the last character on the letter and blew on the ink.  Soraya was likely going to be the worse off; she was ordering the rest of the Plangori representatives on Sado and northwest Odaiba to converge and assist each other in preparation.

 

Their own garments would likely have to come last; she had no desire to make anyone feel like the clan was prioritizing itself over the customer.  Yet of course anything too plain, (Morie herself preferred the terms “elegant” and “tasteful”) would surely be an insult to the royal family.  She was old enough that thinking about it was beginning to give her a headache.  Nothing for it.  The other clans seemed to prefer loud, intricate patterns with bright colors that required extensive resist paste dyeing.  Ikozome was weeks away from meeting Zuto Nui and still insisting on working herself to the bone.  If she wanted to kill herself, Morie wasn’t really concerned, however.  She probably would want to die that way anyway, and Dukozome nearly matched her in skill.

 

Then there were the masks.  Perhaps she could send some of the more creative young Dashi to collaborate with the papermakers on the south side of the Island.  Branching out was always good, but the older members of the clan were set in their ways, despite the depth of their skill.

 

The old Toroshu took out a sheet of rice paper and began divide her ink, placing drops of a water into each little tray to create the proper washes. As the leader of the clan and a respected Menti, she would never actually dirty her hands with the work of dye, but she knew everything about it, and had been schooled in the finer arts.  The dyeing flower outside her window would be an excellent subject.  Especially, she thought, because it resembles me so much.  Perhaps she would get Dusekka to make her a muted blue garment, with a sash bashed on her painting. Not as extravagant as was expected, but she would leave that to her youngest daughters.


Edited by Yukiko, May 17 2014 - 09:50 PM.

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#959 Offline Kughii

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Posted May 17 2014 - 08:52 PM

IC: Daikura Koga

 

The ride in the palanquin was well known to the first son.  They took the bridge from the palace across the market, avoiding the hustle and bustle of lower castes, and arrived quickly near the menti yards.  Once in the vicinity Koga had rapped twice on the wooden transport and stepped out.  It was a blazing summer sun and Koga was blinded momentarily after having spent his ride in the dark.  From there it was only a short walk toward the shore.  Along the ocean street were the two and three story crystal homes of menti, most often Daikura instructors wanting a home close to their place of work, other times a gaggle of girls splitting the rent for a gorgeous view.   Koga's destination, however, was neither.  

 

His destination was a traditional in construction, with the sloping roof and the sliding doors at the front beyond a well trimmed hedge.  From the second story a long banner of clan Korae hung proudly in the ocean breeze, and Koga stepped through the gate at the curb into a pristine garden of rocks and low-growing plants.  His body guards, a hogo woman with a passion for grappling arts and a lanky Daikura good with her soulsword, waited outside.  

 

As Koga entered the garden he heard the opening and closing of the front door.  A man stepped outside into the light, a bundle of paper in his hand.  Not waiting a beat Koga began the age old tradition of greeting a fellow First Son: bowing deeply.

 

"Forgive my intrusion, Battlemaster First Son Korae," Koga said aloud.  He used Inioko's titles as was required of an honorable encounter and he spoke with his voice rather than pressing the intimacy of the mind.  "I am First Son Daikura, begging for your tutelage in the arts of the mind.  I have mastered the powers of a willhammer and can form a blade, but it would be amiss if a Daikura did not continue to hone his skills.  Please accept me as a student."


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#960 Offline EmpressYumiwa

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Posted May 17 2014 - 09:38 PM

Ic: "Yes, I know you. So you want to be a battlemaster too?" Inokio asked. He slowly tapped his hand over the pocket his letter was in a he looked the scene over.

 

Being a noble man and a rather famed warrior, Inokio was a teacher with a lot of demand. Several toroshu had beseeched him to do his thing for promising warriors in their clan, but he was extremely picky in choosing his students. The truth was he rather enjoyed not having responsibilities and he wondered if he even had the patience to deal with a pupil who's competency was questionable. Teaching Yumiwa was a walk in the park for him; the princess was smart and dedicated, lending to her quickly picking up on lessons, and he took her on mostly because of the honour in serving the rora's daughter.

 

Since taking up Yumiwa's studies, though, he'd only become more of a celebrity than before. Almost overnight from the chōjo's inaugural lesson there was a stir where people almost lined up to get an audience with the man who was so valued to teach the next empress how to be a warrior. Everybody wanted to be like the royals, everybody envied them and tried to keep up with their activities. It was a similar phenomenon to how lemon honey crumbcakes became a street food sensation when the public learned Yumiwa loved the pastry—idol worship, all of it. Only unlike the crumbcakes Inokio wasn't a recipe to be found on every street corner on Sado, he was a rare ingredient found in one place alone, and he wasn't for sale.

 

At that moment he only had one student though he considering taking on another to keep his mind and skills sharp. Koga presented an interesting opportunity; being a fellow noble, Koga was a student he could take on without lowering his prestige, and Koga was around a lot as a teacher, too. He was competent, as Inokio understood, and his Willhammer pupils had good reviews for him to boot. With the experience Koga had in the two arts he practiced he seemed ready enough to learn a third discipline. Or... try to, anyway.

 

Inokio kicked his front door open again and stepped back inside his house. "Hm. Well, come in and let's discuss it before either of us jump to anything. Start us off by talking about your motivations," he said and gestured to a seat that not long before was occupied by the princess.


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