[LF] Meeting at Coy Dragon Restaurant [K 3.3]

edited December 2012 in In-Game
As previously arranged, you meet Hornet at the Middle Ring restaurant called the Coy Dragon. The place is open air, lots of folks walking about. Hornet told you it was best to hide in the open.
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She's sitting across from you, looking at your haul on the table, laid out nicely. She's giving it an appreciative eye.

Oh, the tables only sit four. Who's beside you, Keela? And that means who is beside Hornet?

What did you order to eat? Just some tea, or did you order something nice? Hornet said she's paying the bill.
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  • We get some tea and some noodles, the cheapest ones on the menu. I wouldn't have ordered any food except that I knew that Dash hadn't eaten all day and Rui probably hadn't either. I feel guilty about Hornet paying the bill. Clay Street doesn't eat in restaurants very often, except for special occasions. And whenever I went out to restaurants with Jun Da, I never had to worry about money.

    Dash and I are on one side of the table and Hornet and Rui are on the other side. I try to mimic how Dash moves and eats to keep up my disguise as a boy. Being out in the open after hiding so much makes me a little nervous, but I think Hornet's right. No one even looks twice at us.

    "So do you think it'll be enough?" I ask Hornet quietly.
  • Dash is eating like its his last meal, fast and thorough. Its not easy to follow, with all of your etiquette training kicking in while in public. But you manage. Rui, for her part, eats quickly but subtly. She isn't court-trained, but she isn't some street kid. Even still, nobody is paying heed, just some students grabbing food, only Hornet stands out and she is so casual about things that her standing out makes her seem exotic, not dangerous.

    Hornet smiles, "It's enough. Plenty. We can but passage for sure. You know, if you could help me make contact with someone in Upper Ring, we could get enough to buy a sandship and crew... but that's being greedy. Yeah, passage. No problem."

    Rui looks up from her meal, talking with her mouth full of noodles, "Wait. We aren't going home wif Ji?"

    Dash stops eating suddenly.
  • I'm suddenly kind of tense. I glance at Dash, and then look back at Rui. "No." I say carefully. "We're doing this on our own. We're buying passage on a sandship. Hornet, Dash, and I are joining the guard. You probably can too. But the others, our gang, our family," I gesture between Dash and myself. "will be riding as passengers. That's our plan. We're sticking to it."

    I put down my chopsticks. "Why do you ask?" I add in an even lower voice, watching her closely.
  • Rui chews quickly, then swallows, leans over the table and answers quietly, looking to you, then glancing at Dash, "You want to talk about this... now?"

    Dash answers, his mouth full of noodles, "Wha er you two tokkin bout?"

    Hornet rolls her eyes and says, "Let's finish eating, kids. We can play paper theater drama later, alright?" Dash gives her an odd look, he's not sure what drama is happening, it seems. Rui returns to her noodles.
  • I pick up my chopsticks again and continue eating, but I give Rui a slightly annoyed look. I guess at least Dash didn't overhear Rui earlier. I'm not sure if that's good or bad. I know I need to tell him, but I want to talk to Rui first and get the details so I understand what's going on.

    I finish my noodles quickly, trying to ignore years and years of social etiquette being hammered into my head. It's really nice to not have to worry about how I'm holding my chopsticks and how much food I'm putting in my mouth at one time. I always hated all of that nonsense. It also feels really nice to have food in my stomach again. I slip a few pau buns in my bag for the rest of the gang. I know Dash has done the same. I catch his eye and grin at him as I close my bag.
  • The meal comes to an end. Hornet pays with a few koku, a sum that Dash can't help glancing at, but it seems so small to you. You all rise and step away from the restaurant, caught in that hazy moment of what to do next.

    Rui says, "If we're taking a ship out, I should tell, uhm, someone. About that. Where should I meet you tomorrow morning?"

    Hornet quips, "Sand docks. West gate, caravan with green and yellow flags, hard to miss. Dawn, don't be late." Then Honret looks to you, Keela, "Hey listen, you want to come with me to fence this stuff? Its alright if you want to tag along, but you can trust me to get the most I can for it."

    Dash butts in, "Dar... Keela, go with Hornet. I'll check on everyone else. We'll be at, uhm, the tea house, you know the one. In the alley." You know he wants to get the food to them, that he trusts you, probably NOT Hornet.
  • "Yeah, I'll go with you, Hornet." I say, but I'm looking at Rui. "Rui, you should come with us." I add meaningfully. "We can...catch up before you go to your, um, meeting."

    I had Dash my bag full of food and give him a smile. "I'll meet you back at the tea house tonight."
  • Dash leans in as if he is going to kiss you, then pulls up short when he remembers you're dressed as a boy. Then he pauses, then playfully punches your arm, "Yeah, you have fun. With those GIRLS. hah. Don't do anything I wouldn't do, alright?" He calls a little loudly. Then he winks at you and takes off with the food.

    Hornet chuckles, "Handsome and adorable. You're lucky, Key."

    Rui raises an eyebrow, then gestures for you to move on. Hornet gives you two some distance, she walks ahead. Rui plays like you're her boyfriend and loops her arm in yours, talking quietly, "Right, the Ji thing, it's real, Keela, no fooling. He asked me to come along, said he was going to save you. He somehow talked his dad into making him a trade ambassador so your dad would let him come propose to you. I'm... I'm sorry Dash has to be hurt, he seems really nice. But we aren't really going to do this caravan thing, right? I think Ji had his heart set on saving you. He's really changed, you should at least tell him yourself. I've never been able to talk you out of doing dumb things, so I won't try. And wherever you go, I go. Even if you're being dumb. Because..."" She uses her sing-songy voice to says her old phrase, "Being dumb is always an adventure!" Then she giggles, which is rare for her, but she doesnt fake giggle, so its nice to hear.
  • Her giggle makes me smile, but it quickly fades. "Yes we're really going to do this caravan thing." I say firmly. "And I'm not going to hurt Dash." I blow out a breath. "I'm not just going to turn my back on him and say goodbye. I love Ji, but....I'm not..." I make a frustrated noise in my throat. "Ugh why is this so messed up? I don't even know if I should go back to my father now. I don't want to get married. At least, not like that. I don't want to become a noble's wife stuck entertaining guests and having babies. I don't want to hurt Ji either, but if I let him 'save' me, he'll just be taking me back to that life. And then I'll leave one prison just to get stuck in another."

    I look over at her miserably, our arms looped together. What would Ji even think if he saw me now? My hair all chopped off, dirty and scruffy from days on the run. I don't look like the girl he remembers. I'm not the girl he remembers.
  • edited December 2012
    Rui plays up the little girl angle as you complain to her, even puts her head on your shoulder. But then she breaks character, as it were and giggles again, "Being a noble's wife would be really boring. You know Ji doesn't want that life for you, right? He only got a position as an ambassador to be able to marry you, Keela. He talked about wanting to save you for sooo long, I'd forbade him even mentioning you anymore unless he was going to DO something about it. And then a couple years ago, he's studying about treaties and tariffs and all this boring stuff..."

    Hornet takes a turn near one of the bazaars, heading through a side alley. Its a bit darker here, only a block away from the wall where you and Dash were watching the fireworks days ago. Rui continues talking, but you see her eyes are alert, she's got a hand near her sword, "Then two months ago, he's announced as a trade ambassador and planning this big trip to Ba Sing Se and I've had to listen to him talk about you EVERY DAY since then. It's been awful, Keela. Plain awful. He's so in love with the idea of you, no matter what I tell him about how much we've all changed, he won't listen. You're his moon and sun now, nothing you can do would live up to the pedestal he put you on. I'm guessing none of our letters came to you in the last year or so? We never saw any replies about then, is that when his family showed up? that's when the letters stopped, well, for me." she adds the last bit hastily, then changes the subject, "Jun Da's family is wretched."
  • red
    edited December 2012
    I'm alert too, my eyes scanning the shadows for any trouble. I listen to Rui silently, only making an astonished snort at the "sun and moon" bit.

    "You have no idea." I mutter darkly when she calls Jun Da's family wretched. "And yeah, I haven't seen any letters since they showed up. I sent sending them for a while, but when I never heard back, I just kind of gave up. I bet they were never even sent." I frown, angry again at Hua Tsin for denying me even the simple pleasure of a letter. To be honest, I thought they'd forgotten about me. But now that I'm thinking about it, it makes a lot more sense that Hua Tsin would have been hiding them from me.

    "I don't understand." I finally add softly. "Ji...we were just friends. I don't understand why he'd pick me." I'm not really looking for answers, just musing out loud. This Ji that she's describing...I don't know him. The Ji I knew would pull my hair and wrestle and spy on the nobles to make fun of them with me and Rui. We were our own little family, like siblings. I can't imagine Ji studying things like treaties and becoming a trade ambassador. And doing it for me? I feel a little guilty honestly that Ji has put all of this effort into rescuing me while I was falling in love with Dash. Maybe I should tell Ji myself...except...I can't imagine that going well.

    "You really think I should tell him I'm leaving myself?" I turn to look at her as we walk, raising an eyebrow. "I mean, maybe he's changed, but I remember Ji as being just as stubborn as I am, especially when he gets an idea in his head. Remember how mad he got on my last day because I wanted to go to the lake for the afternoon and he had made those plans for us to eat lunch at that fancy restaurant? He's not going to like that I'm ruining his grand plan. You might not try to talk me out of my dumb idea, but you know he will."

    It occurs to me then, that Ji must have been "the ambassador" that Hua Tsin and Ning were talking about and I can't help but smirk. I bet he was not happy to find me missing, and I'm sure he's been very vocal about that to Jun Da's family. Good. I only wish I could have seen that!
  • edited December 2012
    Hornet stops at the end of the alley, starts talking to a couple men who are dressed a little nice, and have very well maintained swords. The conversation looks casual, so Rui pulls on your arm to stop you. She turns a bit to look at you, and you know that look on her face right away, "I had a good reason, Keela. Please understand that you've only ever been my best friend and I knew how sad you were here. So when your letters stopped coming to me, I... well, I assumed they might have stopped coming to Ji. And they had. So, I well, sort of kept them coming. Annnnd, I uhm, kind of, motivated him? I tried to stop before it got too bad, I didn't realize he'd asked for your hand. You know how your father never really liked Ji. It just... the caravan idea sounds really good right now, right? Dash is handsome."

    Hornet looks back at you two, giving you a nod to come forward as she takes a couple steps into a simple house, the one these two men were guarding.
  • My mouth drops open. "You did what??" I hiss at her. But then Hornet is beckoning us forward. I give Rui a glare and start walking to follow Hornet into the house. "This conversation is not over." I add in a low voice as we climb up the steps.
  • Rui skip walks to keep up with you, whispering, "Hey, I didn't know you would break our oath..."

    Then you're inside, the place smells of mint and chocolate. There is an abundance of lanterns here, it is surprisingly bright. Hornet is bowing to a prim old man who is wearing a pair of green spectacles and has a thin mustache. Hornet says, "Master Gon Kon Lu, these are my good friends, Rui and Chitters. Yes, Chitters is a pseudonym, but my friends are harmless. They have come upon some lost items that they would like to inquire about a finder's fee." She finally looks back at you, "Chitters?"

    Master Gon Kon Lu looks at you for a moment, and before you move he says, "Hornet, you are a terrible liar. Come here, girl. What have you stolen?" His tone begins annoyed, but then he seems soft when he talks to you.
  • I try not to look too startled that this man just saw right through my disguise. I step forward and take the bag of jewelry from Hornet, handing it to him. I want to say that I didn't steal it, well, not really. I mean it belonged to me. But I bite my tongue. The only thing more suspicious than someone from the Lower Ring selling what obviously belonged to a noble is a noble selling her own jewelry while dressed as someone from the Lower Ring. And I'm still very aware of the reward that's been issued for me.

    I don't say anything, I just stand there and quietly watch as he opens the bag. He didn't seem to like Hornet lying to him, so I'll just keep quiet if I can.
  • edited December 2012
    Master Gon Kon Lu opens the bag onto a small table, spreading out the jewelry and finery. What's the one piece you don't want to give up in here? He looks it over, you see him blinking furiously, twitching the fingers of his right hand like he's doing abacus sums, "This is Firebender jewelry, very nice. And nothing easily traceable to an Earth Kingdom noble, excellent. Some matched sets here, were you grave robbing? No, too nice, too recent, the cuts of these gems are still in fashion. Very nice stuff. How did you come by this, Chitters?"

    Hornet gives you a look as if she expects you to give a good lie.
  • I watch Master Gon Kon Lu look through my jewelry. I see him pick up the necklace my father gave me right before I left and I feel a little pang in my chest. I don't like jewelry, but that one does mean something to me. It's a golden chain and pendant, but instead of a gem, it has a piece of mountain rock affixed to it. My father had it made custom for me, so that I could carry a piece of home with me to Ba Sing Se. It surprised me because my father is not really a sentimental person, so for him to give me such a thoughtful gift was very unexpected. I wish I could keep that one, but I would rather pay for passage for the gang.

    "It was given to me." I say carefully. That's not a lie, but it's not quite the truth. I'm not sure if it's the answer Hornet was hoping I would give, but I don't want to lie to this man.
  • Master Gon Kon Lu narrows his eyes for a moment, studying you. Then he looks over to Rui, then back to you. "You're Fire Nation girls. Trying to hock expensive jewelry that someone gave to you? Hornet... why did you bring her here?"

    Hornet seems a little taken aback, she tries to recover, "Her who? Chitters..."

    He finishes, "Is the escaped prisoner Keela. Or Dare. Whichever." He peers at you as you sense Rui about to draw her sword. Hornet shakes her head no, trying to calm Rui. Master Gon Kon Lu says, "You need to know that I do not like liars. Why are you selling your own jewelry?"
  • This is not good. I glance quick at Rui. "Stop." I tell her firmly. Master Gon Kon Lu hasn't done anything....yet. I meet his gaze again, my chin tilting up defiantly. It's a look Jun Da is very familiar with. So is Rui.

    "I have not lied to you, nor will I. I want to sell it, and it's mine to sell. The question is, do you want to buy it or do I need to go somewhere else?" I keep my voice polite, but I don't sound careful and timid anymore. I sound like someone who is used to being obeyed. I sound like a noble.
  • Let's see how you pull this off. Difficulty two. His reaction will be dependent on the tags you use, I think.
  • I have a certain Charm in my charisma and presence when I give commands to servants.

    #DiceRoller( 6d6 )
  • edited December 2012
    Master Gon Kon Lu eases back a bit, then inclines his head in a token of respect, not mocking, but not nearly the level he should. Then he says, "A pleasure to meet you, my lady. It will be difficult to find buyers for this until you are no longer a hot topic in the city. Being discovered with these items in my possession could be dangerous as well, as you are wanted. Lastly, I will need to work in the profit to offset the reward for your capture that I'm obviously not going to claim."

    He twitches his fingers a few times doing sums, then says finally, "I am willing to offer five hundred koku for the lot."

    Rui laughs openly, scoffing such a paltry sum, since its worth four times that much. Hornet purses her lips and gives a look that indicates its a fair deal.
  • I stare at him, expressionless. Finally, "I can very easily sell these for full price somewhere else, but I will take 1,500 koku, and you will still have plenty of profit to offset the pitiful 100 koku for my capture." I smile grimly, a dangerous glint in my eyes.
  • Hornet nearly loses her composure at that and Rui smirks at your hard bargain. Instead of acting offended, Master Gon Kon Lu smiles. It's the kind of smile you've seen in merchants who like a bit of haggle. He makes a show of looking over the items again, letting your offer hang in the air. Rui seems impatient, but she keeps quiet.

    "I notice the necklace is a custom piece, does it have personal value? Keep it and I will give you one thousand for the rest."
  • I don't look down at the necklace. I know which one he is talking about. I hold his gaze. "1,400 koku and I keep the necklace."
  • He falls into a wounded voice, "My lady, you wound me! Such a hard bargain you drive. Here is what we will do. You keep this pretty necklace, you put in a good word for me with the trade ambassador from the Fire Nation and I give you twelve hundred."

    Rui is thrilled by this, but Hornet seems to be taken aback, a little worried, looking about the house.
  • I smile. "Master Gon Kon Lu, we have a deal. I happen to be very close to the trade ambassador, and I never overlook a good businessman."

    Hornet is making me nervous, but I hide it. I don't know what she's worried about. I was really hoping for a thousand koku, but this is even better. And I get to keep my necklace.
  • Master Gon Kon Lu shakes your hand to seal the deal, then says, "I will fetch the money from my chest. Wait here a moment." He ambles out of the room.

    Hornet says quietly, "Stay sharp. He let that money go too easily. Something's not right. He won't attack us directly, but we need to know exits in case he's selling us out."

    Rui draws her sword and holds it pointed down, she looks like she's ready for a fight.
  • red
    edited December 2012
    I pick up the mountain rock necklace and slip it into my pocket. I appear to be standing casually, waiting for Master Gon Kon Lu to come back, but I'm ready to be throwing fire at any second. My palms tingle in anticipation. I hope Hornet's wrong. I hope this goes smoothly. I don't want a fight. I don't want to cause a scene. I really don't want to hurt any more people. I just want to take my money and go.
  • edited December 2012
    After several tense moments, you hear the creak of the wooden floor and Master Gon Kon Lu comes ambling back inside, a string of koku around his wrist. You recognize the color of the hundred-value koku strung there, ten of them, along with ten of the twenty-value koku. He's smiling, self-satisfied. He hands you the string, "It was a pleasure. Please do mention me by name, my lady. I would love to open new accounts. I recommend staying clear of Lower Ring tonight, they are doing a sweep down to the docks looking for you."

    You all leave, I assume, Rui still charged up for the fight, Hornet still a little worried, but less so now.
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