[Day 9, LE] Beaten...for now

On the northern end of the city sits this luxurious guesthouse, which serves upper-class (or high-spending) visitors to the city.
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Bayushi Shin'ya
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[Day 9, LE] Beaten...for now

Post by Bayushi Shin'ya » Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:13 pm

These had not been good days for Shin'ya. They had very much driven home the point of just how small and powerless he was. How little he could do if someone decided to include him in their games or run him over. What's worse is that one thing he had hoped for in this city had not materialized either - a new path to follow going forward. He was still in bad graces with his family. Still at odds with his Clan, perhaps more so than ever, and had no skills that would grant him any kind of power - or value.

He felt very alone. Except that at the lowest point yesterday he had not been.

One had stood up to defend him, a Crane he had barely known. That was the sole reason he was even here, at this place he would have never thought to frequent in his life, although he knew very well that his father did, and the family of his uncle did as a matter of course. In a way that made his restraint strange, unnecessary perhaps. Awkward, too, since he was not accustomed to the luxury of the place, or the way the servants swarmed him as soon as he even entered the common room.
Shin'ya almost squirmed, almost ducked back out. But he felt like no matter where he went from here he owed this one Doji thanks, and perhaps an explanation. So he told them he was waiting for an acquaintance who lived here to join him. Glad he had the forethought to buy a new and decent Kimono so he felt less out of place.

So there he sat, nursing a steaming cup of Hojicha, nervously glancing in the direction of the stairwell. He had not yet worked up the nerve to actually inquire after her...
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Re: [Day 9, LE] Beaten...for now

Post by Doji Ki » Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:38 am

Ki had spent most of the evening packing. It seemed the twins wanted to deal with the hair issue themselves, which Ki respected. Although she didn't agree with the outcome.

I'll add that to my report to Doji-dono she thought to herself as the last items were packed. She would be continuing on her way in the morning. For now though, she fancied some tea, so she put on her third best kimono, which was still better quality than the best kimono for many, and made her way down the stairs towards the common room. A polite smile on her face as she always had.
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Re: [Day 9, LE] Beaten...for now

Post by Bayushi Shin'ya » Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:13 am

As it turned out he didn't need to. Inquire after Doji Ki, that is - instead, while he sat there trying his best not to fidget she came down the stairwell, with that elegant, almost floating gait courtiers practice. Successfully in her case, and combined with her Kimono she did cut quite the figure.

So...Crane he thought to himself, admiring her.

Well, to be fair some of the other patrons also had such a level of elegance - it was Shin'ya who stood out with his average and servicable clothing and his basic manners. He cleared the minimum of getting into this place - while the Doji looked like she belonged. He should, too. Somehow he never did, despite his background.
Which did not make this any easier. His mouth dry he forced himself to set down the teacup gently, then got up and walked over to the stairwell. He could hear his blood rushing in his ears and felt foolish, but made himself continue. "Excuse me, Doji-san" he addressed her, bowing formally, slightly deferential "I would have words if you please - I never got around to thanking you for yesterday"
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Re: [Day 9, LE] Beaten...for now

Post by Doji Ki » Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:48 am

Ki was caught slightly surprised by the approaching Scorpion, given what had happened to her kin, but her smile didn't waver as she bowed to the man. "Ah, Bayushi-san. Good evening. I hope you are well? Thank you for the delightful food yesterday, the meal was one of the best I've had on my travels."

She tilted her head, studying the man, before nodding

"I was just planning to have some tea, so this would ideal timing. Would you join me? I prefer to enjoy tea in company, and I didn't get to enjoy your company as much as I would have liked previously. Shall we?" she motioned to one of the tables, before leading on as she was used to doing.
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Re: [Day 9, LE] Beaten...for now

Post by Bayushi Shin'ya » Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:08 pm

Well, that went a lot better than expected - or feared he reflected, nodding mutely. His tea cup and pot were, of course, abandoned, but he had little doubt the servants would take care of that. What a weird and inane thought...Shin'ya was nervous though, and thinking straight wasn't exactly his forte at the moment.

"Doji-san is too kind" he replied eventually, after a short delay "I would be honoured by this invitation"

It struck him then that the entire banquet thing yesterday...was different things to other people. For him it was mainly the scene of humiliation and defeat. Maybe also the first death of his plans to belong here. Somehow it was heartening that to this Crane at least, it was also something else. That good had come off their efforts.
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Re: [Day 9, LE] Beaten...for now

Post by Doji Ki » Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:37 pm

Ki found a seat closer to the window, motioning to the cushion on the other side and allowing the Scorpion to sit first, before she gracefully sat down, motioning with her fan to get the attention of a servant.

"I trust Shiba's Sunset is an appropriate tea, Bayushi-san? It's a good tea for the evening I've found."

Once she had confirmation, and said order was placed, she folded her hands into her lap and looked at the man with a smile.

"I'm honoured you came to find me. I'm leaving quite early in the morning, and it would have been a shame to have missed you before I left. I have enjoyed my time spent so far in your clans lands though."
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Re: [Day 9, LE] Beaten...for now

Post by Bayushi Shin'ya » Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:55 pm

He nodded at her suggestion of tea - as his earlier selection had shown it was not his primary choice, but a very suitable one - and more expensive, he noted, than he would have chosen. Perhaps that, too, was far more fitting for one staying here, for one such as Doji Ki.

So he tucked in his knees into a formal Seiza, putting his hands on the table. While he settled in he comtemplated her words, trying to have a friendly and neutral expression while he listened. Well, if you enjoyed your time here I guess that makes at least one of us Shin'ya reflected.

"That is good to hear then. I do, however, feel obligated to thank you - I did not expect you to speak up on my behalf against the host's uncle, and even thought it did not deter him" which it should have had he had any kind of restraint "the gesture is very much appreciated. For one because it feels like I was not...crazy. Out of line"

That was at the heart of it, wasn't it? That reaffirmation of his thoughts. Strange to say that, had she not intervened, Koga and the others might have finally broken him.
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Re: [Day 9, LE] Beaten...for now

Post by Doji Ki » Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:38 pm

"You're welcome Bayushi-san. I understand there was some surprise when I spoke up, but when one reflects on the situation it was the right thing to do. If you and Bayushi Koga-sama were Crane, I would have informed my father, which likely would have lead to a different outcome. Unfortunately, such things mean little to an elder Scorpion courter" Ki lowered her head "so my apology that I was unable to do more than I did."

She paused as the tea arrived. A swift delivery as expected! She took a moment to pour the first cup for Shin'ya.

"I was...surprised that he acted in such a way in a very public setting. Perhaps he was feeling unwell, and didn't take account of the situation until it was brought to his attention? I do hope the aftermath was not too severe."
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Re: [Day 9, LE] Beaten...for now

Post by Bayushi Shin'ya » Fri Sep 21, 2018 2:05 pm

"Nothing I can't walk away from" he said, quietly. Although it makes my life here...even harder than it needed to be. He hoped they did not find a way to cash that chip while he was still in their grasp. But without travel papers it would be comparably hard to go anywhere else...

Shin'ya did not wish to make that Ki's problem. Instead he returned her gesture and poured her tea, then waited for her to pick up the cup so they could both drink. It was good tea, that much he had to admit.

"For what it was worth it was not something I wanted to show our guests, although I suppose he did have his reasons. Successful or not, Doji-san's actions mean a lot to me. I was honestly surprised, but then, that was not the first time I had dealings with the Crane - and perhaps that other time pre-disposed me incorrectly." he said.

He then hastily added "With all due apologies to Doji-san's clan, because it was certainly not through any misbehaviour of the Crane"
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Re: [Day 9, LE] Beaten...for now

Post by Doji Ki » Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:13 pm

Ki listened to the man as he spoke, giving him a smile as he poured his tea and took a moment to sip. He's a bushi in a courtiers world. The young courtier felt sorry for the guy, Koga had just wound and twisted him around his old wrinkly finger and Shin'ya had taken the bait.

Like so many others have done I'm sure. She placed her cup down and folded her hands into her lap once more, although she brought a hand up to cover a chuckle as he hastily clarified his words.

"Please, Bayushi-san. You have no need to clarify, we all have member of our own clan we are perhaps not as happy with. I certainly have seen nothing in your actions or words to think you have any ill will towards the Crane as a whole, even if our clans are not perhaps on the greatest terms."

Especially with what happened to my kin here...

"To me, I believe in the Virtues that my senseis have taught me, and if I am doing even half as good a job exhibiting them as they did in their time serving I will be happy. I have many years ahead of me to make mistakes and improve after all, ne?" She chuckled, tucking a few stray hairs behind her ear. "Have you spent much time beyond the lands of the Scorpion, Bayushi-san?"
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Re: [Day 9, LE] Beaten...for now

Post by Bayushi Shin'ya » Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:41 pm

"Just once" he said. "Just once. In Tsuma, actually, although not for the first reason that comes to most people's minds. My Clan did not have that kind of faith in my swordsmanship, nor would it have been warranted."

That was the other reason why he wanted to talk to the Doji, and the one that made it so significant that a Crane had interceded on his behalf. Well, that and the attack on the other members of her delegation he had just recently heard about. He took a sip of tea to calm himself.

"No, just as a guard and more or less support staff for a diplomatic mission. They were looking to recruit a new assistant for an imperial cartographer and his census staff, you see...Tsuma was easier to reach from the sea, but close to many imperial holdings..." ah, she probably knows all of this...
After a short silence, reordering his thoughts he resumed "We were accompanying our candidate for the selection process. The main rival was another one of your clanmates, one Doji Norichika. Who just so happened to have an...ill-advised affair with a cousin of mine, which was handled with enough indiscretion to cause offence to the Imperial court officer overseeing the selection..."

He was being evasive about the entire thing, but barely though. The meaning was barely hidden.

"The fallout, of course, was not pretty, with both of them shamed for their actions and banished home."

Poor Yukari
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Re: [Day 9, LE] Beaten...for now

Post by Doji Ki » Fri Sep 21, 2018 5:18 pm

This sounds familiar...

Ki took a moment to sip her tea as Shin'ya explained an incident that she was sure had passed her fathers desk at some point. It was an important enough event for the Kotagama to report it after all.

Why do people have these affairs when they know it'll ruin them? I don't understand giving into Benten's temptations like that. She shook her head, giving the man a small smile.

"I see. Well, I can understand that situation causing some discomfort Bayushi-san. I believe I may have heard about the incident in question, although I can't say for sure. Tsuma is a beautiful city, the academies there are some of the best in all the Empire as I'm sure you know. I haven't been there in a little while though, as most of my travels are outside my clans provinces lately."

She paused, looking thoughtful for a few moments before continuing.

"I hope then my small act of kindness has gone a long way to balancing your feelings towards the Crane."
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Re: [Day 9, LE] Beaten...for now

Post by Bayushi Shin'ya » Fri Sep 21, 2018 5:53 pm

"The affair was ill-advised, true, but it most certainly was not Doji Norichika who took the initiative in it" Shin'ya said. "Nor, arguably, Bayushi Yukari"

He felt like he had to convey that point, but that was about all that could be said.

"Of course the atmosphere among all those present was quite tense for a while - much as your intervention yesterday was a display of the tenet of Honor, it was quite the remarkable thing that accusations were restrained and no duels were fought over the matter."

He let the implication despite an academy full of Kakita duelists on hand hang, trusting the Doji to pick up on it.

"Add in Doji Hachi himself coming to the defense of the guardswoman yesterday" he said.

Truth was that twice now that he knew of, adding the poor Bayushi Chikuma to the tally, the Scorpion had demanded that a hapless, low-ranking member took a fall for some dishonourable ploy, and both times said low ranking Samurai were abandoned to their fate to the pay the price for something that was very likely not worth what was asked of them.

And both times Cranes, as the wronged party, treated the fallen Scorpions better than their own Clan. So much he thought, for the vaunted loyalty of the Scorpion. Seems to be a pretty one-sided deal, really.

"I, for one, would rather say I owe a certain debt of gratitude to your Clan. I shall make no promises that I cannot keep, of course. But know you have a friendly ear in me, should you or your kin need it."
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Re: [Day 9, LE] Beaten...for now

Post by Doji Ki » Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:28 pm

"Bayushi-san" Ki said softly as the man reached the end of his words, placing her cup down and smiling softly "there is no need to feel a debt. I cannot speak for all of my kin, but in my case a burden lifted is enough. I am young, and I still have plenty of mistakes ahead of me, so it's wonderful that I'll have a dear friend around to listen when I need one" she bowed her head to Shin'ya, clearly referring to the man "so thank you for that in advanced. It'll be nice to have someone to write to, I do rather like writing" she chuckled at that, knowing she wasn't short on writing pals, but more never hurt right?

"If nothing else, you have a friend here if you need someone to talk to, Bayushi-san."
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Re: [Day 9, LE] Beaten...for now

Post by Bayushi Shin'ya » Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:12 pm

So that is the Crane's poise he thought. Shin'ya thought he had caught a glimpse of it now - and he way grateful Doji Ki made such a small deal out of it. Yet despite that he resolved to treat this matter with the Gravity he hoped his words had conveyed.

This Scorpion at least intends to keep faith - unless there is a very good reason not to.

It was hardly a secret that so far, that very good reason had not appeared. What had appeared however were people with principles who made hard but admirable decisions. Perhaps, Shin'ya thought, it was time I learned from them - or at least sought the company of better people

"Letters then" he agreed with a sincere nod "I would be honoured to let you know what I am up to - and more honoured to receive answer. Although I doubt this is the last time we see each other. Well, at least I hope so"
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Re: [Day 9, LE] Beaten...for now

Post by Doji Ki » Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:10 pm

"And I in turn will look forward to hearing your stories. I do like a good read" Ki replied with a nod, picking her cup up again "and I hope in turn my updates on my travels will provide at least some entertainment. Even I know the tales of court are not as exciting to others as the experience is to those in attendance."

She took a small sip of her tea before continuing.

"I would assuming the courtrooms are not where Bayushi-san intends for his future to be at? Where do the winds take him I wonder..."
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Re: [Day 9, LE] Beaten...for now

Post by Bayushi Shin'ya » Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:49 pm

"Not there, although it has been suggested to me" he thought, smiling and thinking back to his conversation with Shosuro Dai. "I have a lot of talent for...more practical skills. Some of which are worthy - and a nice way to...well, carve out a place for myself - in a way that sidesteps other people's plans for me"

He smiled, drank tea. "Forging spearheads will be what secures my upkeep. Eventually making swords...now that would be a career."
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