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 Post subject: One Steep Ahead (D13, EA)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:57 am 
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It was strange to see how the island had come to life in celebration of the Rokugani festival, though Utsusemi couldn't deny that it made her happy. Especially as it had been one of her favourite festivals when she was younger.

But on a day like today, a place like the Tea Sett seemed ideal for a breath of relaxation before she returned to the temple for the last preparations for the Tortoise-wedding.

As the tea was brought before her, Utsusemi sighed peacefully, calmly waiting for it to reach the perfect temperature. Her posture relaxed, chin resting on her interlaced fingers, as she enjoyed the view from the Tea Sett...



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 Post subject: Re: One Steep Ahead (D13, EA)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 4:15 am 
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Anzai took it to heart that the island seemed to come together for the celebration. After all, he had worked so hard over the course of the expedition to raise the esteem of the Explorer's in the eyes of the locals.

Even as he knew his fellow Rokugani would question his actions. But that was the point...

Dressed in his Merenae styled tunic, his mask affixed to his face and his wakizashi peace bonded but ever present. He stepped into the tea house, closing his eyes as he took in the aroma of the Tea Sett.



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 Post subject: Re: One Steep Ahead (D13, EA)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 4:19 am 
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Noticing someone new enter, Utsusemi looked up from her own introspection. At first she felt a bit relieved to see Anzai had made it out of the fighting alive, and then felt some small elevation in seeing a fellow Rokugani visiting this place... then, she remembered what Hinami had told her.

Hmm... I might just have to pry it out of him.

"Shosuro-san," she greeted politely, gesturing for him to join her when she had his attention.



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 Post subject: Re: One Steep Ahead (D13, EA)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 4:26 am 
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Hearing the familiar voice, the Scorpion turned, a slight curl to his lips in a smile. He bowed to the woman after he approached her table. "Agasha-sama. I hope Inari's blessings have found you this day." He took her invitation, taking a seat at her table.

"It is good to see you."



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 Post subject: Re: One Steep Ahead (D13, EA)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 4:32 am 
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"Hai, I have partaken in the Fortunes' blessings. I hope the same for you?" she bowed slightly in return, never failing in showing the proper respect with consideration of their difference in status.

"It is good to see you healthy and whole after the fighting."



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 Post subject: Re: One Steep Ahead (D13, EA)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 4:38 am 
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"I have, Agasha-sama. Doomo Arigatou." He kept his focus on the Dragon, glad to see a friend after everything in the battle. "I am only glad I was able to fulfill my duty as required in the battle against that... monster..."

And the horrors that had been unleashed by hellish, Thranish pirate.

"Today should be just as exciting though. Don't you think?"



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 Post subject: Re: One Steep Ahead (D13, EA)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 4:45 am 
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"Exciting in a different way, I hope. I would rather not have such... incidents... at a wedding." Her nose wrinkled in distaste at the possibility that something like that could happen now.

Utsusemi made a small gesture for the server to bring Anzai the same she was having.

"A wedding though... does it not set your mind to the possibilities of your own future in that regard, Shosuro-san?" the Dragon inquired to steer the conversation away from details of the battle.



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 Post subject: Re: One Steep Ahead (D13, EA)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:02 am 
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He nodded in thanks for the tea once it was delivered. He held a small smile, though his own thoughts on the matter were... complicated. If only because his feelings on Akaichou. His desires to fulfill his duty.

He always wanted a family of his own to start.

"It does, Agasha-sama. Though I am sure my own future will make itself manifest in time. It would be rude to think too heavily upon that while celebrating Muhaki Berena-sama's own marriage. As you know, such celebrations are quite dear to the Scorpion. Seeing as I am such, I will fulfill the duty of keeping my mask on for her wedding."



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 Post subject: Re: One Steep Ahead (D13, EA)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:04 pm 
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"Of course," she nodded in agreement.

"Though I pray you have not forgotten my advice to you from before on such? Seeing as we are going separate ways soon, I will no longer be around to mother all of you..." Utsusemi chuckled softly.



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 Post subject: Re: One Steep Ahead (D13, EA)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:23 pm 
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"No, I have not forgotten your advice, Agasha-sama." His gaze lingered on Utsusemi's own for a moment, a hand wrapped around the ceramic of the tea cup, feeling the warmth of it. "Despite my feelings, I know what my duty is. Though, especially after being embedded with a unit of the Unicorn in battle, and the words of Hantei-no-kimi, I strongly feel they will be returning home."

And when that happens, my duty and my desire will be unified. All the better for Akaichou and myself.

"But I assure you, I would dare not do anything rash that would bring shame upon my family or your advice." His smile warmed as he brought the tea to his lips.



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 Post subject: Re: One Steep Ahead (D13, EA)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:27 pm 
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Utsusemi nodded, lifting up her own teacup, but not yet drinking.

"I am glad to hear it, Shosuro-san. Though, there is still a lot depending on other circumstances that will determine how the Unicorn return home. If they will be arriving as part of an invading force, or as long-lost siblings coming home..." her eyes lowered as she took the first sip of the tea. It seemed to meet with her approval at least.



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 Post subject: Re: One Steep Ahead (D13, EA)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:46 pm 
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"That will be part of the task on continuing this expedition." His words were laced with determination, perhaps even a certain sense of purpose. He knew the Tarkhanate could pose a threat.

The key would be in building up the Unicorn, while subverting the power of their allies in the Jewel. Or at the very least, preventing any invasion.

Something a Scorpion could specialize in.

"But we must remain ever hopeful for the future. We would not wish to worry ourselves too much on the negative, though keeping that knowledge present is prudent."



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 Post subject: Re: One Steep Ahead (D13, EA)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:52 pm 
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It was not only the Tarkhanate itself that was the possible danger, Utsusemi suspected, but did not voice the concern out loud. The Scorpion seemed dedicated to Jama, and it was best to not show her own preferences to someone not yet trusted.

"Yes, verily so," she nodded politely.

"How do you feel you have handled diplomatic relations with the foreigners during our stay here, Shosuro-san? I imagine dealing with the Tarkhanate will be very different from experiences with the locals here, who have been very forgiving and understanding to mishaps and mistakes."



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 Post subject: Re: One Steep Ahead (D13, EA)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 4:16 pm 
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"Now that is an interesting question, Agasha-sama..." He mused for a moment, thinking on his phrasing. "There were various things to learn. Dealing with commerce, haggling, how to best approach them diplomatically. I was very active in ingratiating myself, and by my actions, the Corps with the locals. I made no secret of that." His words were calm, as if simply recounting the activities of the day.

"I took that burden that could so dishonor others because I was the one in best position to do so. I learned, and delved, and adapted. Because, as we all know, I can swim. This was a new school to learn in. And taking these lessons to the Tarkhanate will prove most valuable." His smile returned, almost self assured.

"And knowing that they will not be as forgiving will mean that there must be someone who looks as though he is willing to forget where he comes from. Who better than someone with that reputation already?"



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 Post subject: Re: One Steep Ahead (D13, EA)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:35 pm 
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There was the smallest hint of a frown at his words.

"Verily, some might think you seem too willing to forget where you come from, Shosuro-san. You cannot appear to have turned your back on kin and country, for who would trust a man who would leave such behind," she shook her head. Hinami might have been right? "A man with a reputation for being willing to forget his family, home, and culture... would you trust such a man to be loyal or sincere to you?"



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 Post subject: Re: One Steep Ahead (D13, EA)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:07 pm 
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Where her frown was a hint, his was an exclamation. "Everything I've done, I've done for the success of this expedition. For the success of my family, and our home." His eyes narrowed behind his mask.

"I have never forgotten where I come from, or what my culture is, Agasha-sama. Nor have I turned away from it. I find the thought that I have turned my back on such insulting to my very core."

There was a chill in his voice. "But it is my duty to appear as the villain that Rokugan needs, because I am needed to do the things that others find distasteful. You yourself have benefitted from my ability to appear as such."


Last edited by Shosuro Anzai on Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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 Post subject: Re: One Steep Ahead (D13, EA)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:14 pm 
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That he did not answer her question was noted. But she was used to people glossing over such when they preferred not to answer, or were incapable of it.

"I am speaking of appearances, Shosuro-san," she sipped her tea calmly, the hint of a frown gone as she assumed a courtier's neutral expression. "There are some who believe you have strayed too far from what is proper. I am merely making you aware of the existence of such thoughts within the Explorers, before they become a problem to your future."

"This is not Rokugan, and those you will meet do not understand the role the Underhand of the Emperor must play in the scheme of the Empire."



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 Post subject: Re: One Steep Ahead (D13, EA)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:22 pm 
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"A shame they think that, then, when my 'straying' has allowed them ease in dealing with the locals here. And I am used to not being trusted." The crack in his On seemed to be sealed, as he returned to his tea. "Those we meet may not understand, but those with the Expedition, should know the importance of the Underhand."

He sipped from his tea. Then a smile. "Perhaps there are others who have forgotten aspects of our culture. That they would not realize that when it comes to me."



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 Post subject: Re: One Steep Ahead (D13, EA)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:31 pm 
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"Perhaps," her tone gave no indication if she agreed or disagreed.

"I am merely expressing my concern, seeing as those who have voiced what I spoke of are those who stand above you in the Celestial Order, Shosuro-san. Should there be a particular reason that they might feel you are not suitable for representing our Empire?"



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 Post subject: Re: One Steep Ahead (D13, EA)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:43 pm 
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He thought for a moment. Then a small, knowing smile. "I can think of one incident. And those involved in said incident had all agreed to never speak of it, especially since I vowed to never spread what happened."

Oh... Seppun-hime. You'd make a fine Scorpion... except you don't have the stomach for it.

"A shame. Considering in that incident, I offered to cleanse the stain with my own blood, along with my sincerest apologies for my gaff, to this day I regret. But it wouldn't let me be that particular villain if it was known I did everything I could to recover the offended parties honor, at the expense of my own." He set the tea down.

"Were you aware of those facts, Agasha-sama?"



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