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  1. Session Start: Fri Feb 11 21:09:39 2011
  2. Session Ident: #HeigenRyoKokoro
  3. 03[21:09] * Now talking in #HeigenRyoKokoro
  4. 03[21:09] * Topic is 'Session 2C: Screams And Sunflowers'
  5. 03[21:09] * Set by Koishi_!~delethiel@Rizon-C5963319.rev.vodafone.pt on Fri Feb 04 20:14:41
  6. 03[21:09] * ChanServ sets mode: +qo Koishi_ Koishi_
  7. 03[21:09] * Retrieving #HeigenRyoKokoro modes...
  8. 03[21:10] * Koishi_ changes topic to 'Session 3: The Invincible Sword Princess'
  9. 03[21:10] * Koishi_ is now known as Koishigotsu
  10. 03[21:11] * Mokuren (~mokuren@Rizon-6647FE0E.retail.telecomitalia.it) has joined #HeigenRyoKokoro
  11. 03[21:13] * Kakita_Makoto (~Administr@Rizon-3AF22BC8.retail.telecomitalia.it) has joined #HeigenRyoKokoro
  12. 01[21:16] <~Koishigotsu> Nikesake.
  13. 03[21:17] * Mokuren is now known as Tsuruchi_Koboshi
  14. 01[21:17] <~Koishigotsu> The city opens ahead of you. It seems a pretty unremarkable place. A place for merchants. A footnote on a map. Or so it would be, if it wasn't for bothe the Crane and Phoenix Embassies, beautiful and visible well beyond the city walls.
  15. 01[21:19] <~Koishigotsu> This vision follows you on the horizon, as the day ends.
  16. [21:19] <Kakita_Makoto> do we reach town before the sun sets?
  17. 01[21:20] <~Koishigotsu> It is dark by the time you arrive. Right outside the walls you find a common visage in every city, separated by a small garden from the farms around Nikesake:
  18. 01[21:21] <~Koishigotsu> A Great Clan travelling complexes, where each Great Clan as a home for travelling samurai, a place in which one can spend one night, dinne and write a proper presentation without seeking an inn or barging unninvited.
  19. 01[21:21] <~Koishigotsu> *complex
  20. 01[21:22] <~Koishigotsu> You can enter town, go straight to one of Embassies, an inn or somewhere else.
  21. [21:22] <Kakita_Makoto> oh, great
  22. 01[21:22] <~Koishigotsu> But you have the conforts of your families provided for you here.
  23. [21:22] <Kakita_Makoto> how do they work? is there just one, or one for each embassy, or one for each clan?
  24. 01[21:22] <~Koishigotsu> One house for each clan.
  25. 01[21:22] <~Koishigotsu> Great, of course.
  26. [21:23] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> Yay
  27. [21:24] <Kakita_Makoto> "I wonder if there's going to be one for the Mantis as well." ponders Makoto aloud, walking across the city streets as the sun sets, towards the complex.
  28. 01[21:24] <~Koishigotsu> Of course it is!
  29. 01[21:25] <~Koishigotsu> You find that the houses are very small, facing each other. Each of them has a banner from their Clan.
  30. [21:25] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> "Of course there is", Koboshi smiles, resuming her usual carefree tone, "Why would there not be one in a place such as this one?", she chuckles, "Sometimes, your comments are indeed very amusing, Makoto-san".
  31. [21:30] <Kakita_Makoto> He just shrugs. "We should just stop here and have some rest until tomorrow morning."
  32. [21:30] <Kakita_Makoto> "We'll take care of official business tomorrow, after a good night's rest."
  33. 01[21:32] <~Koishigotsu> So, each of you goes to his Clan's house?
  34. [21:34] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> "We'll part ways until tomorrow, then?", she tilts her head sideways a little, "Well... As you wish, Makoto-san".
  35. [21:34] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> Apparently
  36. 01[21:37] <~Koishigotsu> The Mantis house is as small as the others, but is very impressive. The firepit is protected, there is paper to create as many divisions one would require and it is well supplied. There is a large reserve of rice, sake and firewood. Some grain and wheat. There is an impressive collection of spices, some that Tsuruchi only saw in the Yoritomo's islands.
  37. 01[21:39] <~Koishigotsu> The Crane's one is pretty modest - both for the Clan and everyone's else perception. You won't go hungry or cold, but there is little to now decoration. This may be because of the Embassy: most Crane would just go straight there when arriving Nikesake. Servants keep it clean and supplied, but it doesn't see enough people to gain the Crane's "touch".
  38. 03[21:39] * Della (~Administr@Rizon-3AF22BC8.retail.telecomitalia.it) has joined #HeigenRyoKokoro
  39. 02[21:39] * Satori (thirdeye@DA7C2BE7.6CC43E6F.A23704EB.IP) Quit (*.net *.split)
  40. 02[21:40] * Kakita_Makoto (~Administr@Rizon-3AF22BC8.retail.telecomitalia.it) Quit (*.net *.split)
  41. [21:43] <Della> "Are you going to miss me?" He asks with a smile as he turns around to head to the Crane house.
  42. [21:43] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> Mmmmh, spices, maybe for once she'll eat something that will taste like home, once again! It always sounds like it's a lifetime when one travels far away into strange and foreign lands. Such as anything that doesn't end in a sea.
  43. 03[21:44] * Satori (thirdeye@DA7C2BE7.6CC43E6F.A23704EB.IP) has joined #HeigenRyoKokoro
  44. 01[21:48] <~Koishigotsu> The night turns to rain, clouding the Obsidian Moon and the starts. It becomes colder as the night goes on.
  45. 01[21:50] <~Koishigotsu> Makoto seems to have trouble sleeping, and rests lightly. He is awoken by footsteps in the rain outside, dragging mud and disrupting the omnious sound of the falling water.
  46. 06[21:52] * Della stays in the futon for another ten seconds or so, undecided as to whether just stay there and fall back asleep, or gather the willpower to crawk out of there. Finally, he choses the latter.
  47. [21:53] <Della> "...who the heck is running around in the rain at this hour of night..." He slowly gets up, puts on a pair of slippers, and ties up his night kimono before peeking out of the window.
  48. 01[21:54] <~Koishigotsu> You find a bald man, in his forties. He wears the colors of the Crane and looks exausted, and is dripping waters from his well trimmed moustache. He seems surprised to find Makoto here and awaken, but he quickly shakes it. He bows - right into the mud.
  49. 01[21:54] <~Koishigotsu> "This humble servant has an urgent request from you, Kakita-sama."
  50. 06[21:55] * Della is still dazed. "Wh... what. D-don't just stand there in the mud, come in. I'll open the door."
  51. [21:56] <Della> And he does so, suddenly worried about what could be happening.
  52. [21:56] <Della> "...come in, please. Tell me, what's happening?"
  53. 01[21:58] <~Koishigotsu> The man accepts the invitation.
  54. 01[21:58] <~Koishigotsu> "I come at the behest of the chief diplomat, Doji Iname. He was warned of your imminent arrival, Kakita-sama. He wants you to meet him as soon as possible."
  55. 06[21:59] * Della blinks. "I'm surprised he managed to find out of my arrival so soon. Did he tell you what he needs from me?"
  56. 01[22:00] <~Koishigotsu> "I'm too humble a servant to be privvy to his business. But my lord is aware of the demands of a shikken and your honorable duties. He has been preparing for some time to ease your burden on the road before you."
  57. [22:01] <Della> "Well! that sounds interesting! Let me put on my better clothes, at least."
  58. [22:02] <Della> "Thank you for your service."
  59. 01[22:02] <~Koishigotsu> "Does Kakita-sama wish me to accompany his person to the Embassy?"
  60. [22:02] <Della> "Yes, just give me a minute."
  61. 01[22:02] <~Koishigotsu> The man waits.
  62. [22:03] <Della> Makoto puts on his good kimono as fast as he can, slaps himself fully awake, and grabs the umbrella. "Mhhh. Wonder if I should go and wake up Koboshi-san as well."
  63. [22:06] <Della> As Makoto steps out, he's made up his mind. "If you don't mind, I'll make a short detour to gather my shikken companions. If Doji-sama needs us shikken, then they need to come as well, I guess."
  64. 01[22:07] <~Koishigotsu> "This one asks for your pardon, Kakita-sama. My lord wants to help *your* duty as a shikken."
  65. [22:07] <Della> "Oh. Is it something private, then?"
  66. 01[22:08] <~Koishigotsu> "I'm not privy for his intention, but there must be a reason why I was sent only for your person, Kakita-sama."
  67. [22:08] <Della> "Mhh. I guess so. Very well then. Make way."
  68. 01[22:10] <~Koishigotsu> And so you do. The poor man goes ahead, while you move with your umbrella. The Shiba guards at the gates just not at the man, and you enter the city. You see many impressive shrines, but none greater than the Temples to the Crane and Phoenix. Not far from there you find the large and white Crane embassy. Carved cranes in red and blue great you as you enter.
  69. 01[22:12] <~Koishigotsu> Inside, it is as decorated, illuminated by engraved lamps and with the same red, blue and white theme. The man escorts you to a private office. On the way you pass around a division where a male voice seems to sing, while others laught and share sake. The attendant ignores them and continues.
  70. 06[22:14] * Della just follows him silently, a bit worried about what might be going on. He doesn't like to keep things hidden from his comrades, even if they are from different clans.
  71. 01[22:14] <~Koishigotsu> He stops next to the office. He seems to expect Makoto to enter.
  72. 06[22:15] * Della breathes in heavily, then steps in. "Pardon me."
  73. 01[22:15] <~Koishigotsu> On the other side Makoto finds a small office, filled with scrolls. A young man, he can't be older than the Kakita by two or three years, carefully writes something. The man smiles, even if her face is frowed with worry and his eyes black from lack of rest.
  74. 01[22:15] <~Koishigotsu> He wears the mon of the Doji.
  75. 01[22:16] <~Koishigotsu> "Kakita-sama, please, come in. I was excepting you sooner. I hope your travel was not delayed by more than proper respect for the shrines and ancestors."
  76. 06[22:17] * Della bows profusely. "We actually did encounter trouble along our way, Doji-sama. Although it has been mostly taken care of. I thank you for your invitation here tonight."
  77. [22:18] <Della> "...I apologize, but i have no gift whatsoever to honor you with. I travel light, and do not bring money or other commodities with me." He bows again.
  78. 01[22:19] <~Koishigotsu> "I can read you and I see that you await for an explaination. No need to excuse yourself, this was an impromptu invitation of mine, I am the one at fault here." The man scratches the back of his neck. "Miya Morisato-sama and your daimyo sent word for me ahead, knowing that you would pass here.
  79. 01[22:19] <~Koishigotsu> I took the liberty of research into the best road to the Dragon Heart Plains. I suggest you enter Phoenix Lands until you arrive the Shrine of Ki-Rin."
  80. [22:21] <Della> "This will be of great help, Doji-sama." He nods. "We will need further travel papers?"
  81. 01[22:21] <~Koishigotsu> "Yes, Kakita-san. You will."
  82. 01[22:21] <~Koishigotsu> He starts writting again.
  83. 06[22:22] * Della patiently and silently waits form him to be finished. He knows how annoying it is to write something while being spoken to.
  84. 01[22:22] <~Koishigotsu> "I can pull favors and get travel papers for you. It won't be easy, but will allow you to leave Nikesake as soon as you wish. I commend you to make waste and to not be burdened by unnecessary company."
  85. 01[22:23] <~Koishigotsu> He stares at Makoto, as if measuring his reaction.
  86. [22:23] <Della> "Unnecessary company?" He asks, lifting an eyebrow. He doesn't seem to understand.
  87. 01[22:24] <~Koishigotsu> "This is a rare opportunity that I offer you, Kakita-san. The possibility to proceed with your duties without getting tangled in irrelevant events, all with face and honor. And yet, I can only make this for you."
  88. [22:25] <Della> "Then I have to thank you but politely refuse, Doji-sama." He replies, without a single hesitation, once he understands what he means.
  89. 01[22:26] <~Koishigotsu> Iname seems surprised.
  90. 01[22:26] <~Koishigotsu> "Are you sure? You don't know what awaits you in Nikesake, but I do. I have your interests, Miya-sama and the Clan's best interest in mind."
  91. [22:28] <Della> "I have no doubt at all that you do, Doji-sama. And I am grateful for any help you will be able to give us for our mission." He replies. He doesn't stress the plural too much, but he does use it.
  92. [22:28] <Della> "But I have sworn to carry out my duty as a Shikken with Yoshikira-sama and Tsuruchi-sama, and to protect them to the best of my skill"
  93. 01[22:29] <~Koishigotsu> "I see." The chief diplomat smiles.
  94. 01[22:34] <~Koishigotsu> His smile widdens. "I feel ashamed by your dedication, Kakita-san. I apologice for disrupting your rest after such a hard voyage. I will be pleased to have you in Nikesake and I hope we meet officialy in better terms."
  95. [22:36] <Della> "Don't mention it. I'm at your service, and what little rest i need is an easy sacrifice for my duty." He nods. He's CLEARLY sleepy as hell.
  96. 01[22:36] <~Koishigotsu> He allows you to leave.
  97. [22:36] <Della> (does he give me those papers?)
  98. 01[22:36] <~Koishigotsu> (Nope. You refused ze man.)
  99. [22:37] <Della> (motherfucker)
  100. [22:37] <Della> (well, back to sleep)
  101. 01[22:37] <~Koishigotsu> Alright, a lonely trek in the rain and sleep.
  102. 01[22:37] <~Koishigotsu> Everyone awakes, none the wiser.
  103. [22:38] <Della> then i meet up again with Koboshi
  104. [22:40] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> And Koboshi looks like she was waiting just for Makoto to wake up and join her, at least she smiles like she did, "Well good morning, Makoto-kun".
  105. [22:42] <Della> "Good morning." He seems a bit disturbed, or maybe just surprised, that she went from "-san" to "-kun" like that.
  106. [22:43] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> And that sort of reaction is just oh so sweet to her eyes, "We seem to be very close to our first official assignment. I wonder if things will go a little smoother this time? Our last stop was most certainly a tangled mess. My, my", she shakes her head in disappointment at the mere thought, "I just hope Rigurun-san will be okay on his own".
  107. [22:44] <Della> "Well, we're shikken. I doubt anything is going to be smooth for us."
  108. [22:45] <Della> "We should write some letter of presentation to those in power in Nikesake: the Zhiba daimyo and the embassies."
  109. [22:45] <Della> "Ask them if they need any kind of help or assistance from us, or anything to look into."
  110. [22:46] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> "Indeed", she smiles, "That's quite an enviable spirit". Eventually, she also agrees to doing something useful to advance their task, "I suppose that would be the most sensitive course of action, yes".
  111. [22:46] <Della> "Then, ask the Daimyo for travel papers further into the Plain, a map... maybe some horses if he feels generous."
  112. [22:46] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> "Let us not push our luck, yet", she flashes another smile.
  113. [22:47] <Della> "In thre worst case, he's just going to refuse. It never hurts to ask."
  114. [22:47] <Della> "It's not like we're being greedy: horses would actually be a huge help for us."
  115. [22:48] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> "I shall trust your judgment", she nods, then looks around the place as if considering something, "... Horses, eh?".
  116. [22:49] <Della> "Yes." He hands Koboshi paper and brush with a smile.
  117. [22:50] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> She takes it without really thinking, and then, moments later, she realizes she's been handed them for a purpose, "... Would you rather I write such letters?".
  118. [22:51] <Della> "My penmanship is... lacking."
  119. [22:51] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> "Ah, worry not", she smiles, "I will take care of this, leave it to me".
  120. 01[22:53] <~Koishigotsu> You send the letters, and just one hour later you receive a reply from the Crane and the Phoenix embassy.
  121. [22:54] <Della> what does it say?
  122. 01[22:54] <~Koishigotsu> The Crane will be more than gladly to receive you and accomodate you. They will support you in your duties as shikken.
  123. 01[22:55] <~Koishigotsu> The Phoenix wish to receive them, but explain that travel papers would have to be request from someone of high rank. They also invite you to an event in the Embassy this night, where some of the greatest personalities of Nikesake will attend.
  124. [22:56] <Della> Ok, well, no answer from the daimyo?
  125. 01[22:57] <~Koishigotsu> None.
  126. 01[22:57] <~Koishigotsu> At least so far.
  127. [22:57] <Della> we probably scared him.
  128. [22:57] <Della> or he thinks we're spammers.
  129. 01[22:58] <~Koishigotsu> Full circle.
  130. [22:58] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> "We have an invitation already, it would seem", Koboshi seems to be looking forward to it, "I wonder what I should wear".
  131. [22:59] <Della> "Do you plan on going to this event?"
  132. [23:00] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> "Of course. It would be ruse to refute after being invited", she smiles, "Also, we have to make ourselves known to the local personalities, otherwise we wouldn't be doing our task properly".
  133. [23:02] <Della> "Well, then. We'll accpet the offer of the Crane to accomodate us, go at the Phoenix's event tonight, and... well, we still need travel papers. But we can worry about that later."
  134. [23:02] <Della> "For now, we should visit both embassies and the Daimyo."
  135. [23:03] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> "Yes, that sounds sensible", and then she waits. Waiting for Makoto to lead, of course.
  136. [23:04] <Della> "...Let's start with the Crane." he offers after a short silence. Moving out in that direction.
  137. 01[23:07] <~Koishigotsu> The three of you make way into Nikesake proper. This time the Shiba guards check your papers. Makoto easily finds the way back to the Crane Embassy. Too easy to the eyes of the other two, still dazed by the contrast between the great estates and the humble houses of the peasants.
  138. 06[23:09] * Della makes his way in, showing the letter with the invitation in case anyone questions his presence here. He does seem a bit nervous.
  139. [23:10] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> Koboshi does not, she's here like she has all the rights to. Well, she kind of does.
  140. 01[23:11] <~Koishigotsu> There seems to be a surprising number of Asahina shugenjas in this place. They study you with care. There seems to be gossip aroud on the air already. The attendant of the chief diplomat appears, and presents himself as such. He offers to show you your rooms.
  141. [23:13] <Della> "Thank you." Answers Makoto. "We're to officially meet the chief diplomat as Shikken sent to these lands by the Empress."
  142. [23:13] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> Koboshi just lets Makoto do the talking. It's his house after all, he might probably want to show off or something. She just looks at the surroundings, checks out the other shugenjas, feels better than them for no reason at all. The usual, but mostly she just stays in the background.
  143. 01[23:16] <~Koishigotsu> "Doji Iname is waiting you at the garden." He leads you to a little inner garden. A Shintao garden, made only of water and rocks. The chief diplomat is there, in the company of a Crab and a Mantis courtier, chatting happily. He seems much more good looking now, not as worried or tired.
  144. 06[23:18] * Della walks in and kneels, all according to etiquette, like it's his first time here.
  145. 01[23:20] <~Koishigotsu> Both of you quickly sense that there is nothing critical being discussed there. Both the Yasuki and Yoritomo are small time.
  146. [23:20] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> And Koboshi follows closely behind, kneeling just behind her colleague. It is her first time here, after all, albeit it appears they are comfortable with the presence of the likes of her clan within these grounds, which is a positive note.
  147. 01[23:20] <~Koishigotsu> Koboshi also notices that other courtiers avoid using the chief diplomat as intermidiary, taking care of their "dances" alone.
  148. 01[23:21] <~Koishigotsu> "Ah yes, shikken-san. Please, welcome to the Crane Embassy. Were you proper accomodated?"
  149. [23:23] <Della> "Yes, we spent the night at the travelling complex. They were quite hospitable."
  150. [23:24] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> "Indeed. We have not found hospitality lacking in the slightest", Koboshi confirms.
  151. 01[23:24] <~Koishigotsu> "You will find you accomodations here more fitting to your status, Kakita-san. And we hope to please both of you, Togashi-san and Tsuruchi-san."
  152. [23:26] <Della> "Your offer is very kind, Doji-sama, but such a place might even be too much honor for a group of travelling shikken such as ourselves."
  153. [23:27] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> Let Makoto-san do the talking, Koboshi, it's his house.
  154. 01[23:30] <~Koishigotsu> "No sense. I'm afraid we aren't able to provide you with your request. We hope that Nikesake doesn't give you much trouble and delays your travels."
  155. 01[23:30] <~Koishigotsu> "I hope to find another way to honor your efforts." He nods at the attendant. All the courtiers' attention seem to gravitate towards you and what is happening.
  156. [23:31] <Della> "All we require is a roof under which to sleep, food enough to feed us, and the freedom to perform our duties in the service of the Empire."
  157. 01[23:32] <~Koishigotsu> The attendant returns with a decorated wooden box.
  158. 01[23:33] <~Koishigotsu> Doji Iname grabs it and opens it, he takes something small and delicated.
  159. 06[23:33] * Della stands silently, pith a puzzled look on his face.
  160. 01[23:33] <~Koishigotsu> It seems to be a diminute and delicate needle of jade.
  161. [23:33] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> Oh dear, oh dear, is that a jade finger? Because Koboshi is seeing a jade finger. Which... Can't really bode well.
  162. 01[23:35] <~Koishigotsu> "This needle was used by Isawa Tewen to treat those that ventured looking for the late Emperor Toturi III into the Shadowlands."
  163. 01[23:35] <~Koishigotsu> "It is so delicate, and yet it remains untouched by its dark influences."
  164. [23:35] <Della> "...A tool to heal shadowlands corruption?" a shiver runs down Makoto's spine.
  165. 01[23:36] <~Koishigotsu> "I gift it to you, Kakita Makoto."
  166. 01[23:36] <~Koishigotsu> "I wouldn't dare to say so, but it is a healing tool that resisted corruption untouched. A good omen."
  167. [23:37] <Della> "...I can't possibly accept such a precious gift, Doji-sama, you know that."
  168. [23:38] <Della> "It would only add to my shame if, by dying in action, i would cause such a precious artifact to be lost."
  169. [23:38] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> Koboshi maintains a cool and relaxed fa├žade. However, it indeed is quite a marvelous gift... Not one that can be easily accepted.
  170. 01[23:39] <~Koishigotsu> "The Dragon Heart Plain is a dark place. This needle might bring you back to your Clan and remind of what you are trying to protect."
  171. 01[23:39] <~Koishigotsu> "I insist you take it."
  172. [23:39] <Della> "...It's too heavy."
  173. 01[23:40] <~Koishigotsu> "It carries the weight of all of us. I wouldn't trust it to anyone else."
  174. [23:40] <Della> "You're putting an enormous amount of trust in me... I'm not sure I can live up to it."
  175. [23:41] <Della> "But, if you must insist this much... I guess I have no choice but to accept it on behalf of our group and our mission?"
  176. [23:42] <Della> He turns to his comrades, seeking acceptance
  177. [23:42] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> Koboshi offers a simple smile. Of course.
  178. 01[23:42] <~Koishigotsu> The young chief diplomat smiles openly.
  179. 01[23:43] <~Koishigotsu> "My servant will give you something that will help you with this needle."
  180. [23:44] <Della> "...?"
  181. 01[23:44] <~Koishigotsu> And he returns with a travel medicine box.
  182. 01[23:44] <~Koishigotsu> You can ready easily:
  183. 01[23:45] <~Koishigotsu> This was also part of Iname's gift... he was just looking for a way to offer it to you without offending Miya Morisato or your daimyo.
  184. 01[23:46] <~Koishigotsu> But how did he...
  185. [23:46] <Della> "I have no words to thank you with."
  186. [23:46] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> A travel medicine box? Wow, that's quite... Useful. That, and words seem to travel faster than people on their own two feet, though this isn't really... Too surprising. It is, quite a while. It kind of shows on Koboshi's face.
  187. 01[23:46] <~Koishigotsu> "Just remember us when Nikesake confronts you with your duties." Iname advices.
  188. [23:47] <Della> "We will." Makoto says. Sounds like a promise.
  189. 01[23:48] <~Koishigotsu> "I won't delay you any further."
  190. 01[23:49] <~Koishigotsu> He bows, and starts paying attention to the Yasuki. He seems to have something amusing to whisper.
  191. 06[23:49] * Della bows and leaves.
  192. [23:50] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> Koboshi bows and leaves as well, but she chuckles as soon as she's out of earshot (or so she thinks). "He he he".
  193. [23:50] <Della> "...what's so funny?"
  194. [23:50] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> "Your clanmates are most interesting, Makoto-san", she smiles, and offers just that.
  195. [23:52] <Della> "...Let's go and see if the Phoenix is as interesting, then."
  196. [23:52] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> "Ah, yes", Koboshi smiles yet again, "I do have my respects to pay there, as well".
  197. 01[23:55] <~Koishigotsu> You approach the Phoenix Embassy. At the door, one of the Shiba guards watches as you approach, unimpressed.
  198. 01[23:56] <~Koishigotsu> "Should I announce another prospective husband, samurai-sama?"
  199. [23:56] <Della> "A pro- what?"
  200. [23:56] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> Wow, that almost made Koboshi stop in her tracks. Another prospective husband? She blinks a couple times, looking at Makoto as if there was something weird with him, "I do believe there is a misunderstanding".
  201. [23:57] <Della> (i'm surprised he could tell Makoto is male, actually)
  202. [23:57] <Della> (or maybe he just assumes all crane to be male)
  203. 01[23:57] <~Koishigotsu> "Aren't you looking for Doji Nirie, the match-maker?"
  204. [23:57] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> (Shut up, he was talking about Koboshi)
  205. [23:57] <Della> (oh)
  206. 01[23:58] <~Koishigotsu> (He lives right next to many Cranes. He was bond to had a couple of bad surprises and learned to look for signs... the hard way.)
  207. [23:58] <Della> "...Uh, no. We're shikken seeking to pay a visit to the ambassador."
  208. [23:58] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> "It is not the purpose of our travel. Yet". The yet part is left there intentionally.
  209. 01[23:59] <~Koishigotsu> "Sorry, shikken-sama. The chief ambassador is ill, tormented by  bad spirits. Master Isawa Mitsuko-sama is taking over all diplomatic work."
  210. 01[23:59] <~Koishigotsu> Wait. Isn't that one of the Elemental Masters?
  211. Session Time: Sat Feb 12 00:00:01 2011
  212. [00:00] <Della> "Oh. If that's the case, we shall not disturb him."
  213. [00:00] <Della> "It was just an idle courtesy visit, but i guess he must be quite busy."
  214. [00:00] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> "Oh", she blinks, "We are most sorry to hear such news, we were not aware of his health condition". Well, that's kind of a setback... A little, "Would it be too much to ask if we could pay a visit to Isawa Mitsuko-sama, in his stead?".
  215. 01[00:01] <~Koishigotsu> "She is receiving other important guests at the Peace Room."
  216. 01[00:01] <~Koishigotsu> "Please, join in."
  217. [00:02] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> "Thank you", she bows, then smiles for Makoto to follow. Wow, she's taking the lead.
  218. [00:02] <Della> "...Right." And Makoto follows.
  219. 01[00:03] <~Koishigotsu> Two Shiba escort you, while another goes ahead.
  220. 01[00:05] <~Koishigotsu> You enter into the Peace Room. It is wide, open with small shoji screens for privacy. Here you find many people. They all seem important.
  221. 01[00:06] <~Koishigotsu> Looming over all of them, worried is the youngest Elemental Master, Isawa Mitsuko. She looks as you enter. Besides her is a  white-haired and rather tomboyish Asahina.
  222. 06[00:06] * Della doesn't really know where to turn and begins to bow a lot to pretty much anyone he sees
  223. 01[00:07] <~Koishigotsu> Overlooking the rising argument is a gritty general in full military armor. The man is ancient but hard, a Shiba that has seen it all.
  224. [00:07] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> My, my, it is indeed quite a busy day at the Phoenix embassy. No less to be expected, all considered. Koboshi thanks the escorts and patiently sits in an open spot, asssuming there is space for Makoto to join just next to her.
  225. 01[00:07] <~Koishigotsu> He is a stark contrast to another general, a retired Lion. Fat in his courtier clothes, almost bursting and showing the rewards of Glory.
  226. 06[00:07] * Della joins her after a bit of hesitation. "As i expected, we butted in in a busy moment." He whispers to her.
  227. 01[00:08] <~Koishigotsu> Others gravitate around an elderly crane woman, a Doji that is all smiles and promises.
  228. 01[00:08] <~Koishigotsu> Her yojimbo, a female Daidoji looks at the petioners and at you, appreension in her eyes.
  229. [00:09] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> "That was to be expected", she whispers back, calmly, "Still, a visit is to be payed. I must apologize to you, however, Makoto-san... For there is also a personal reason for my presence here".
  230. 01[00:09] <~Koishigotsu> A Lion scholar trades words with a young female Asako lorekeeper.
  231. 01[00:09] <~Koishigotsu> Three young men just keep trying to get the attention of the old Crane.
  232. [00:10] <Della> "...Personal reason?"
  233. [00:11] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> "Let us say... That the school I have trained at exists thanks to the Phoenix clan", she simply explains, "Albeit it does not regard my family, I still feel like I have an obligation to at least pay respects to the Phoenix. Especially the elemental master".
  234. 01[00:12] <~Koishigotsu> One is a muscled and fit Hiruma, dressed in fine blue decorated with golden crabs. He seems too cunning for his own good. The other is an attractive but overweight Ide, that shows his wealth and charm, despise his physical flaws. The last one is a  strong Bayushi bushi, a kensai and swordmaster. His kimono is amazing, representing the Battle of Two Generals in cloth. His mask is a simple red thing that covers half the face.
  235. 01[00:12] <~Koishigotsu> This is a crowded room.
  236. [00:12] <Della> "Well, that hardly sounds like personal reasons at all. It's only proper to thank one's teachers."
  237. 01[00:12] <~Koishigotsu> <~Koishigotsu> One is a muscled and fit Hiruma, dressed in fine blue decorated with golden crabs. He seems too cunning for his own good. The other is an attractive but overweight Ide,
  238. 01[00:12] <~Koishigotsu> The other is an attractive but overweight Ide, that shows his wealth and charm, despise his physical flaws.
  239. 01[00:12] <~Koishigotsu> The last one is a  strong Bayushi bushi, a kensai and swordmaster. His kimono is amazing, representing the Battle of Two Generals in cloth. His mask is a simple red thing that covers half the face.
  240. 01[00:13] <~Koishigotsu> (Because I guess it wasn't delivered)
  241. [00:13] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> "I meant...", she smiles, "That this trip is mostly about me, albeit I'm sure your handsome presence will be welcome in the room. Didn't the yojimbo mention something about a matchmaker, too?", there goes that weird grin of hers again.
  242. [00:13] <Della> (it was, to me at least)
  243. 06[00:14] * Della seems embarassed, but says nothing. He shifts his gaze across the room, taking in the variety of people in it.
  244. 01[00:15] <~Koishigotsu> The Shiba whispers something to the Master of Air, and she smiles. She adresses the room.
  245. [00:15] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> Ah, if only Koboshi had a cup of tea to sip... But clearly, the room is too crowded and most certainly not suited to taste tea in any case. She does glance at the inhabitants... Many important people, better remember these faces.
  246. 01[00:16] <~Koishigotsu> "Three honorable shikken join us in this joyous occasion. Please, welcome them into our fold.
  247. 01[00:16] <~Koishigotsu> "
  248. 01[00:16] <~Koishigotsu> Now every pair of eyes is on you.
  249. [00:16] <Della> (talk about pressure)
  250. 03[00:17] * Della is now known as Kakita_Makoto
  251. 01[00:17] <~Koishigotsu> (You're shikken. Deal with it.)
  252. 06[00:18] * Kakita_Makoto fidgets a bit before standing up nervously and bowing to everyone. "I'm Kakita Makoto, At your service! It is a pleasure to meet you all!"
  253. [00:18] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> Koboshi smiles, and bows, "And I am Tsuruchi Koboshi. You do us too much honour with such a greeting; we are simply here on ordinary business, we did not mean to interrupt. Please, do continue with your business as usual"
  254. 01[00:19] <~Koishigotsu> Everyone seems to nod slightly, even if most of them are of superior status.
  255. 01[00:19] <~Koishigotsu> The Asahina, she approaches. And in a very politically incorrect way, she measures Makoto and asks.
  256. 01[00:20] <~Koishigotsu> "Is Kakita-san looking to marry Kazarihime too?"
  257. [00:21] <Kakita_Makoto> "...I do not even know who Kazarihime is... I just arrived here in Nikesake." He replies, visibly embarassed.
  258. [00:21] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> Koboshi should probably say something to help, but instead she smiles, "Kakita-san's marriage prospects are still in the works".
  259. 01[00:23] <~Koishigotsu> "Half of us never had the pleasure to meet her." Says the fat and old Lion general. "But she has raptured all of our hearts during Winter Court at the Pale Oak Castle.2
  260. 01[00:23] <~Koishigotsu> "
  261. [00:24] <Kakita_Makoto> "And she is here in Nikesake?" he asks out of formality, but not sounding especially interested.
  262. 01[00:25] <~Koishigotsu> "She is not. She left for undisclosed location." The general replies.
  263. 01[00:25] <~Koishigotsu> "Perhaps she returned to her work in Dragon Heart Plain." Speculates the Asako lorekeeper.
  264. [00:26] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> "My, my. I suspect that will delay prospect marriages, would it not?", Koboshi offers with a smile. She seems happy about this, for some reason.
  265. 01[00:26] <~Koishigotsu> "Her beauty and charm are known throughout the land. Her wit and poise are legendary" The young Ide sights. "And I had he honor to witness them. I miss her."
  266. [00:27] <Kakita_Makoto> "...What is her work?"
  267. 01[00:28] <~Koishigotsu> "She fights evil. In every form in every battlefield." The Bayushi replies with a thunderous voice. "She is a master of the sword, the mystic arts, and the ways of court."
  268. [00:30] <Kakita_Makoto> "That is commendable." Makoto clearny doesn't really know what to say.
  269. 01[00:30] <~Koishigotsu> "And her family is rich, powerful, and influential, and she is the sole heir." The Hiruma adds.
  270. [00:31] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> "A most interesting condition", is all that Koboshi comments. And why does she smile like that it's CLEAR that she's planning something.
  271. [00:32] <Kakita_Makoto> Makoto just inches back from the conversation slowly, leaving it to Koboshi.
  272. 01[00:33] <~Koishigotsu> "Well, Kazarihime isn't here, but none other than Doji Nirie, the most famous matchmaker of the Crane, is taking care of her marriage arrangements." The Shiba general point out, not pleased.
  273. [00:33] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> "Really?", she blinks, seizing the chance, "I trust she has experience in such field? Is everyone here for an appointment?".
  274. 01[00:37] <~Koishigotsu> "Everyone is here because Kazarihime has very specific demands." The Doji old woman talks. Kami, it oozes charm and snares everyone attention. "You all are great men. And you all acted foolishly. She was overwhelmed with proposals, love poems, and offers of riches and treasures. All of them failed to capture her attention."
  275. [00:39] <Kakita_Makoto> "All this reminds me the story of how Kakita married Doji..." mumbles Makoto under his breath.
  276. 01[00:39] <~Koishigotsu> Koboshi notices that the tomboyish Asahina isn't attacking the woman because there is a yojimbo between thm.
  277. 01[00:41] <~Koishigotsu> "In order to narrow down the number of suitors," The match-maker continues "She announces that she will only consider offers of marriage from those who can successfully find and bring her five special gifts."
  278. [00:41] <Kakita_Makoto> "...yep, same story" seems to think Makoto.
  279. [00:41] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> "My, my, my, my", Koboshi intervenes, smiling and trying to keep a both autoritative and at the same time peaceful position, "I am certain Kazarihime-sama is a very busy woman with a very strict agenda that has to manage her time, and her pretendents, with the due care. There is no reason to keep hogging. Let us listen to her requests, shall we?". Hopefully, this will either put the tomboyish Asahina at ease, or.
  280. [00:41] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> .. Make her hate Koboshi instead.
  281. 01[00:45] <~Koishigotsu> "We're all waiting for it." Bayushi confirms. "But Nirie-sensei insists in waiting for tonight."
  282. [00:46] <Kakita_Makoto> "Oh, so that's what the event of tonight is."
  283. [00:46] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> "Well what is but a day of wait compared to the reward? It is, after all, Kazarihime-sama that we are talking about, any less dedication would automatically disqualify any pretendent from bothering, do you think not?". Why did she become a public speaker? Nevermind, Koboshi seems to be quite into it.
  284. 01[00:47] <~Koishigotsu> "A young man contributed greatly to be amongst such prestigious individual. I won't deny him the right to listen at the same time of the present company.2
  285. 01[00:47] <~Koishigotsu> " The Doji woman explains.
  286. [00:49] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> "Well, well", she then mutters, apparently satisfied at her own act, "It has become quite interesting, our stay here at Nikesake".
  287. [00:50] <Kakita_Makoto> "...Do you plan on marrying this Kazarihime-san?" Makoto asks, not really getting it.
  288. [00:51] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> "Oh, ho ho ho ho, no, no", she chuckles, "Silly Makoto-san, it is you that will marry her".
  289. [00:52] <Kakita_Makoto> "...wait, what."
  290. [00:52] <Kakita_Makoto> "...I have no plans for marriage."
  291. [00:52] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> "Well you do now. Isn't life exciting?".
  292. [00:53] <Kakita_Makoto> "..." Makoto is clearly at loss for words.
  293. [00:53] <Kakita_Makoto> "...Wait- but- how? Why? And, more importantly, why?"
  294. 01[00:53] <~Koishigotsu> Makoto finally recognizes the Shiba general. It is none other than Shiba Murashouji, the men that has to keep peace between Lion and Unicorn.
  295. 01[00:54] <~Koishigotsu> Are the other guests as powerful?
  296. 01[00:54] <~Koishigotsu> Fighting for a woman?
  297. [00:54] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> "Why?", she blinks, almost as if not understanding, "Do you even have to ask, Makoto-san? She is everything a man would ever want out of a woman, she would be a most perfect marriage candidate. Especially for a man such as you, Makoto-san". She said that last thing with THAT smile.
  298. [00:55] <Kakita_Makoto> (yeah, this has trouble written all over it. the other prospective hustands are going to murder the fuck out of me)
  299. [00:56] <Kakita_Makoto> "You don't know what I want out of a woman, Koboshi-san. And I have no intention to marry right now and certainly not like this."
  300. [00:56] <Kakita_Makoto> "We're here for work, remember."
  301. [00:57] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> "Of course we are. Of course", Koboshi smiles, "But you also have to think of your future, Makoto-san. Our work is a lifelong commitment, after all, and yet we must find time to marry ourselves, don't we? I'm pretty sure this is a golden chance for you, Makoto-san".
  302. [00:58] <Kakita_Makoto> "I don't know." He lowers his voice. "Something about this Kazarihime sounds... suspicious, don't you think?"
  303. [00:58] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> Koboshi smiles. "My, why would you say so, Makoto-san~?". Needless to say, her tone is less than honest and straightforward.
  304. [00:59] <Kakita_Makoto> "It all seems too perfect. Only heir, rich, powerful, skilled in the ways of the blade, of the court, and of magic, beautiful, smart, so many suitors..."
  305. [01:00] <Kakita_Makoto> "It just feels... wrong somehow."
  306. [01:01] <Tsuruchi_Koboshi> "Really? Does it?", she keeps smiling, "Don't you think you should see firsthand before judging, Makoto-san?". Keeps smiling.
  307. [01:02] <Kakita_Makoto> "I probably should. But keep in mind that I have no intention of marrying such a person."
  308. [01:02] <Kakita_Makoto> (could we quit here? it's getting pretty late)
  309. 01[01:02] <~Koishigotsu> Yes.
  310. 01[01:02] <~Koishigotsu> Or we move to the gifts?
  311. 01[01:03] <~Koishigotsu> And we end when she reveals?
  312. [01:03] <Kakita_Makoto> (weren't they going to be revealed that nigh)
  313. [01:03] <Kakita_Makoto> *night
  314. 01[01:03] <~Koishigotsu> (Yes. Fast forward to that?)
  315. [01:03] <Kakita_Makoto> (if you want to, sure)
  316. 01[01:04] <~Koishigotsu> (Unless you want to use the rest of the day. This is a good stoping point)
  317. Session Close: Sat Feb 12 01:17:22 2011
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