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 Post subject: Re: [D9 EA] Counting on days
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:36 pm 
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Bellena nodded as Ran spoke. She pondered for a moment about the nature of the singular 'voice' of which Sadahako spoke, realizing it quickly to be speaking of herself. There was a moment of surprise at what sounded partially like a rebuke, but that quickly subsided as Bellena acknowledged the wisdom of the council that was being given. Saionji should be supported by a variety of voices, for this is the clan of Muhaki. Bellena smiled and nodded gratefully at Ran for sharing the message. Then looked to Saionji to see his reaction to this message from his mother from beyond the grave.



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 Post subject: Re: [D9 EA] Counting on days
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:55 pm 
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"That does sound a lot like her." He finally nodded, thoughtful. "We'll have to meet later so you can tell me more of your... vision." He glanced at Bellena briefly. He then took a sip, popped a nut and smirked. "Unlike Tarkhan Hulagu, who has many wives and just one true advisor, I think I'll go for the reverse."



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 Post subject: Re: [D9 EA] Counting on days
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:59 pm 
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Bellena chuckled through her nose and nodded. "It was wonderful to hear her words. I know for me there are many times when I wish I could speak with my father again. It is a special thing that you have been blessed with Ran-san. And while he didn't say it, I am sure Saionji-dono is very grateful for what you have shared."

She smiled at Saionji and popped a similar nut into her mouth.



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 Post subject: Re: [D9 EA] Counting on days
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:07 am 
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Utsusemi's smile widened, though for completely different reasons, and she passed a small glance to Bellena. Sounds like it's only a matter of time there, she mused with a brief feeling of happiness for her friend, hoping that the two of them would find happiness together.

"Nothing wrong with having different opinions and voices to hear on difficult topics. Though some would say that often the soundest advice a man can hear is from his wife." She could of course be talking about herself and her own husband.



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 Post subject: Re: [D9 EA] Counting on days
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:14 am 
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Ran gave a light smile as well. "I would very much like to speak to you further, if it pleases you, Muhaki-sama. Thank you for listening to me." She looked around the table, and felt at home here, as she had often during their brief time on the island.



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 Post subject: Re: [D9 EA] Counting on days
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:19 pm 
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Except for raised eyebrows at sampling some of the desserts, and occasional sips of coffee, Kenzo remained quiet, and mostly expressionless. From time to time his eyes flickered about, either to follow a speaker, or to judge someone's reaction.



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 Post subject: Re: [D9 EA] Counting on days
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:40 pm 
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"I am grateful. It's still more than a bit aweing though, to even imagine talking with any Fortune, and with Lady Sadahako herself more so." He took the bitter sip to forestall emotions. "Hence I would like a woman of great piety to succeed her, one that has acquired it either by revelation or by conscientious religious practice. But I understand it takes time to respond to an offer like this."

He nodded to Ran, then looked at both Dragon too.

"If it's not too much, I'd like to know what you think about the expedition you are a part of. Politics aside, just what kind of experience it is for you. Has it changed you for the better?"



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 Post subject: Re: [D9 EA] Counting on days
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:13 am 
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Utsusemi placed her coffee cup down after a thoughtful sip, gathering her thoughts on the subject.

"I would say so, yes," she nodded. "Bellena-san in particular has helped me learn much more than what I knew before the expedition, and I've come to a better understanding of the world outside of Rokugan. As an artisan, it has given me new perspectives to consider in my work."

She could not say out loud the more emotional growth she had had, but it was the most important one for her.

"It has been an enlightening experience, and were it not for my family, I would gladly have travelled further - to see and learn more."



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 Post subject: Re: [D9 EA] Counting on days
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:42 am 
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Kenzo, too, took a long sip of his coffee before speaking, even after Utsusemi had finished.

"I am always in favor of expanding horizons." Kenzo said. His expression was serious, his gaze politely lowered. "This expedition has certainly done that for me. I've seen things, experienced things that I never dreamed that I would. I definitely feel as though I am greater for it."

His lips twisted, just a little. "As with all knowledge, I suppose it remains to be seen what I will do with it. I will try to use it for the best."



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 Post subject: Re: [D9 EA] Counting on days
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:49 am 
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Ran chuckled lightly, "Mirumoto-sama has taken the words right out of my mouth; this has been an incredible, enlightening experience. One with growth for myself I never could've imagined, and for the Explorers, I truly hope they have learned much of other cultures and examining how Rokugan fits into the wider world beyond our shores and borders."



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 Post subject: Re: [D9 EA] Counting on days
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:36 am 
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Saionji was listening with interest while breaking the fig bread.

"Thank you, that gives me much to think about. I wonder though, do the matters back home look differently now that you consider them from here?"



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 Post subject: Re: [D9 EA] Counting on days
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:44 am 
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The carrot cake, Utsu found, was delicious. It was savoury and had an interesting texture, and she was surprised that something like carrot could taste so sweet.

Just a shame even politics could defeat sweets. "Some do, yes," she nodded slightly.

"The perspective provided here has shed some more light on current matters... forgive me if I am being presumptous above my station, Muhaki-dono, but I've come to see more that there is a need for a better balance and steady guidance with these changes that are happening. We cannot prevent change from happening, I believe, just as we cannot stop the seasons from changing, but there needs to be guidance so that changes are not made recklessly or rushed, as well as balance in preserving our traditions." Utsusemi bowed her head respectfully. From what she had heard of Saionji from Bellena, she hoped that her honesty would not be considered too unseemly or forward.



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 Post subject: Re: [D9 EA] Counting on days
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:56 am 
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Bellena listened to each of her friends speak in turn thoughtfully as she nibbled on this and that and nodded her head.



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 Post subject: Re: [D9 EA] Counting on days
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:21 am 
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Kenzo cast the briefest of smiles towards Utsu before inclining his head to Saionji once more.

"Although it may surprise some to hear me say it, I am much in agreement with Agasha-sama, although reach it from the other direction." He said, smiling more generally. "I believe change is both inevitable and desirable. But a rapid change in habitat causes undue harm. So is it for Rokugan, or so I believe. Change must be introduced thoughtfully."

He pursed his lips. "I think my time here has merely highlighted both of these things. Or so I see it, Muhaki-dono." Kenzo inclined his head respectfully.



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 Post subject: Re: [D9 EA] Counting on days
PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:33 am 
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Ran simply nodded, and dropped her gaze, "Hai, it is as Agasha-sama says: We cannot prevent change from happening. I have always been a progressive mind. That has never faltered in my journeys across the Rokugani coastline. I have seen much, and always have I believed we could become more. But I never had the ... gift of immersion into another culture that we have here. And I believe we can do better in an amalgamation."



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 Post subject: Re: [D9 EA] Counting on days
PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 3:25 pm 
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"That too gives me much to think about." Saionji chuckled while nodding thoughtfully. He paid special attention to what Ran would say. "The question you touch on has been more acute for the Tortoise than for the rest of Rokugan. It is often hard to decide in action, while living among foreign peoples, what is the superficial value we can give up and what is the core value we cannot. For me, it has ever reached beyond myself. I am the servant of the Empire and if my service requires of me to change, then I will. But now that I have assumed leadership, it reaches beyond myself in another direction, to the people that cannot be lost among these changes like rudderless boat in a storm. It was an easier call when it was just for my sake. Now it is a tougher balancing act, and I see how more must be done for all of my Tortoise not to lose the sense of what it means to be a Rokugani." He took a final sip of his coffee. "Even if it comes from heart rather than ancestry."



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 Post subject: Re: [D9 EA] Counting on days
PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:58 pm 
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Utsusemi listened intently to Saionji, but she felt his words were more for Ran and the Tortoise than it concerned her.

As she sipped her tea, her thoughts drifted elsewhere as she listened to the Tortoise Champion. Storm, darkened sea, waves, a calm eye in the center of the storm... hmm, yes... she was closing her eyes as she was trying to envision it in the strokes of a brush, forming both words and a painted illustration of what he was saying.



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 Post subject: Re: [D9 EA] Counting on days
PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:19 pm 
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Kenzo's lips twisted, and he inclined his head respectfully to Saionji. "I don't envy you your dilemma, Muhaki-dono." He said. "It is often difficult enough for a single person to make that estimation for themselves. The challenges of determining that for a whole group is certainly beyond me."

And yet, he thoughtfully tapped one finger against his cup. After a few moments, he went on. "When I am exploring some new territory, or rather, a territory that's new to me, I often seek advice from those who are familiar with it." He shrugged. "Perhaps if some few are allowed to change first, they might serve as examples to the others." His lips twisted wryly. "I rather hoped the Imperial Explorers might serve in that regard."



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 Post subject: Re: [D9 EA] Counting on days
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:25 am 
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"I feel confident knowing our clan rests with your guidance, Muhaki-sama," Ran said tenderly to her liege, wishing to say so much more, but in mixed company it was inappropriate.
Still, she offered warm smiles to those at the table. Her friends. It had been some time since she had known real friendship, and she felt she had it here. It was cherished, and would be held close.



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 Post subject: Re: [D9 EA] Counting on days
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:56 pm 
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Bellena chuckled warmly as she finished a bit of a sweet she had been eating while listening to everyone. "Muhaki-dono is a good man. And does listen to the advice and thoughts of others... so don't be afraid to share your thoughts with him freely at any point. I think he's had enough of my opinions over the years to tide him over for more than one lifetime... not that I plan on stopping any time soon."

She smiled and looked at him, "I'm just sure he'll appreciate some balance. He's a dynamic man with clear insight, but isn't beyond the limitations of humanity... not yet at least."



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