You've been sitting in this simple tea house for long enough to draw a look from the server. But you're a student, so it isn't questioned openly. The tea house is a single wide room for customers, a series of picnic tables with people sitting in groups and talking quietly. Perhaps twenty people are here. Does the place you chose have music, like a biwa player?
It is well after midnight when Ji arrives with Rui. Ji is dressed in green and yellow Earth Kingdom clothing, the cloth is a fine cut, but for Middle Ring, it works. They only stand out a little bit
and they are posing as students. Maybe he is from Fire Nation and that works? Its late enough and he isn't armed, so they only draw a few looks.
Rui makes note of you and ushers Ji over to a table in front of you and takes the seat facing you, so his back is to you. How are you hiding when he walks in? Nose in a book? Turned around completely? Straw hat pulled down low?
It truly was Ji's clear blue eyes you saw in the palanquin at the zoo that day, but the body that's grown up around them is just as handsome. You know him right away, but his expression is a bit less playful that when you were kids, a little darker, more serious.
The tea house is small enough that there is one server, an older man who comes around and takes drink orders. Ji tries to order a couple rare teas, then settles for a simple green tea without complaint. His voice is deeper now, not hard edged, it still carries that gentle coaxing lilt that he would use to talk you and Rui out of your crazy schemes and pranks when he thought you were going to cause too much trouble.
They sit there for a moment, then Rui says in a hushed tone, "So you were at Keela's ahhh, home earlier today?"
He huffs with a bit of derision and says, "Yes. Their house is in complete disarray. It is horrible. A pig-faced woman named Hua Tsin claimed to be Jun Da's majordomo, but after a couple polite questions, I found out she is really his daughter-in-law and they recently let their majordomo go over the loss of Keela. When I asked for her things to take them home, there were pieces missing. Did she honestly think I would not miss that the necklace her father gave her was gone? We brought him that stone! She claimed she had no idea and offered to beat her servants to get them to reveal the theft. Is this what Keela has been subjected to for the past ten years? Why didn't she say something in her letters?"
Ji started getting louder as he recalled the tale, and Rui's eyes grow wide and she shushes him.
Long moments pass in silence. Finally, Ji speaks again, calmer, "Alright, we are at the tea house, will you talk to me now, Rui? Why are we here again? I told you I needed sleep so I could head out early tomorrow to look for her...""You don't need to look for her anymore, Ji-Ji. I found her. She is fine."
Rui says quickly. Ji visibly relaxes for a second, then the server comes by with a hot pot of tea, which he pours into tiny cups and then leaves.
Ji Fang says with a bit of irritation, "Roo, are you serious? Where is she? She can claim amnesty with me, surely she knows that. Why hasn't she come to me? Is it because I'm in the Upper Ring? Where can we meet?"
Rui glances over Ji's shoulder, too quick for him to catch, but you see the hesitation in Rui, she doesn't like doing this, but she promised. "Ji-Ji, she isn't coming to you. She didn't even know you were here until I told her tonight. She escaped because some of her friends were in trouble. Well, they still are in trouble. She's going to leave with them in two days."
Ji sits back, shocked at this news. Rui leans forward and places her hands on his forearm, "I'm... I'm going with her, Ji-Ji. To make sure she stays safe. She's coming home, on her own terms... It's Keela, alright? Would you expect this to be easy?"