[LF] At the Captain's Table [K 6.3]

edited May 2013 in In-Game
The trip back to the Lucky Dragon took a bit longer than expected. You arrived on the skiffs as the sun was starting to set on the horizon, with that explosion of reds, oranges and yellows that looks dazzling on the desert.

Captain Yun graciously offered Ji Fang a seat at his table for dinner. Ji Fang accepted politely and you and Hong went to dress for the dinner while Ji Fang was given a tour of the ship.

Hong went in slightly ahead of you and now you are entering the captain's quarters. The place is decked out with fine cloths and silks, displays that must have been hidden away for entertaining rich nobles because you certainly haven't seen them. There is even fine porcelain plates and tea cups made from very delicate glass. Captain Yun has shaved, Hong is dressed simply in a clean kimono.

When the door opens, Ji Fang, who looks brilliant in a red and gold kimono trimmed with tiny spphires that catch the light and sparkling like a small cozy fire. He and the captain rise and await you. Hong hasn't chosen a seat, waiting by the door for you, as a servant does.

How do you look, Keela? How do you enter?


  • red
    edited May 2013
    I am bidding farewell to Key. And I will not miss him one bit.

    I'm wearing one of Mew Mew's kimono's. The one she bought with me in the Kashang Oasis actually. Min hemmed the one I gave her, making it too short for me. Mew Mew's is a little too long, but I can make do. There wasn't much to do with my hair, so I tried to just pull it back in a simple tail. It's long enough so I can do that again. Min and Mew Mew helped, but Dash was busy working. I haven't actually seen him since I've been back. I didn't have time, and I...well...I wasn't sure how to explain Ji Fang's presence.

    Anyways, I don't look brilliant, but I don't look like a scruffy boy, so I guess that's an improvement. I snuck up to the Captain's quarters. This is really weird, being Keela again. I'm not sure how everyone will react. I'd rather not see anyone until after I see Yun.

    So anyways, I walk in, as a girl. Which I'm sure is rather confusing to poor Captain Yun. I try to look appropriately contrite.

    "Good evening, Captain." I say softly, in my noble's voice. "You asked me this morning if there was anything else you should know, and there is. I am not only a fire bender. I am Keela Zhu of the Fire Nation, and I am very sorry to have once again misled you."
  • Captain Yun's mouth is wide open. He doesn't have the wherewithal to hide his astonishment. He leans slightly forward, almost falls off balance. Ji Fang fills in the gaps by saying, "Ah, Keela Zhu, you look wonderful." He moves forward to offer a hand, to lead you to your seat properly. Hong follows.

    Captain Yun finally stammers, "You... you're the one they were chasing?" Ji Ji waits for you to sit at the low bench seat between his own and that of the captain.
  • "Yes." I say simply, letting Ji escort me to my seat. "Again, I apologize for involving you in my escape. However, Ji Fang has informed me that the charges have been dropped." I smile politely as I sit. "I have been officially pardoned."

    I hesitate for a second, glancing at Ji, but then I look back at the Captain. "I signed on to help guard this ship. I will fulfill my obligations of course, at least until our next stop. Please do not feel the need to treat me differently. I chose to become a sailor, and that is what I'll remain. Of course, I should probably move into Hornet and Hanae's room."

    I take a sip of water in an attempt to hide the amused grin that's trying to creep across my face.
  • Captain Yun nods, still numb, "Yes, of course you should move..."

    Ji Fang tilts his head slightly, "Where were you... staying before?"

    Then Yun seems to catch on to what you said and says, "No. You can't work for me! That's... you can't." You sense Hong tensing, ready to defend you if he offers a slight.
  • I smile demurely at Ji, inwardly giggling at his reaction I'm anticipating. "In the men's dormitory of course."

    I turn back to Captain Yun, purposefully calm, despite feeling irritated at Hong. I'm entirely capable of defending myself, thank you. I have not missed this. "Why ever not?" I ask curiously.
  • edited May 2013
    Ji Fang blinks furiously. His body is rigidly stiff, in the proper posture, but you have just shocked him to his core. He swallows heavily, "Oh."

    Hong speaks out of turn, and loudly, "I kept close eye, lord. There was nothing improper. Lady Keela Zhu is an honorable noble who escaped an unjust sentence with grace and wit. All but her closest allies were fooled, completely. Her deeds are wondrous. She single-handedly defeated a desert drake this very day!"

    Captain Yun is stone still, he actually looks afraid right now. What could befall him for dishonoring you in this way, Keela?

    Hong draws breath to speak further, but Ji Fang finally raises a single hand. The breath is held. Ji Fang remains in his same posture, only his eyes move to you, Keela.
  • "Of course nothing improper happened!" I say hotly. "I stayed in the men's dormitory because I was in disguise as a boy. It was my choice. No one dishonored me! I am responsible for my own actions," I give Hong a pointed look, "and I can speak for myself."

    I take a breath and glare at all of them.

    "Now if you wouldn't mind, I'd love to eat dinner. I'm starving."
  • Hong shirks from your rebuke, quietly dropping to her knees for speaking out of turn. Yun's eyes widen slightly and his mouth works for a moment without speaking. He won't meet your gaze. Ji Fang, well, he doesn't actually recognize what you did as weird at all. But now, a small of you does, doesn't it?

    Once you resume eating, Yun relaxes slightly. The meal passes with Ji Fang telling a story about the two of you when you were kids. It's one where you saved him from some "horrible fate". Was it actually that dangerous or is Ji Fang embellishing the tale of the rampaging boar-q-pine?
  • Oh it was dangerous. A rampaging boar-q-pine can kill a grown man. It was foolish of Ji and I to go up on that ridge. There had been sightings of boar-q-pines in that area. Ji tried to kill it with his spear, but he missed the creature's heart and it only made it angrier. It put a long gash in Ji's leg before he could get up in a tree, and it was about to do even worse. I had to kill it with fire bending. It was the first thing I had ever killed. Of course, in telling the story, Ji doesn't mention how we were both terribly shaken up by the experience. He makes me sound brave and fearless, when really I was terrified and screaming.

    As Ji talks, I study the Captain and think. I hate that I have to think about decency and what's proper again. After the story, I fold my hands in my lap and meet the Captain's gaze. "Captain Yun, I do not want to offend your sense of propriety." I say, trying to sound genuine and not annoyed. "If you wish for me to stop working for you, I will respect your wishes."
  • Captain Yun seems stuck in time, or molasses. He really has no good option here. But finally he says softly, "I am no good with nobility. I hired you in good faith, and despite your blood and being a girl, you've served the Dragon well. I'll keep the contract, if you wish to finish it. Mind you, if you wish to leave, I understand that, ah, as well."

    Ji Fang nods, "A very diplomatic offer, Captain." He considers answering for you, but reconsiders and instead says nothing.
  • I grin.

    "I'll keep working then!" I say cheerfully. I know that's not the answer Ji Fang was expecting, but what's he going to do? Tell me no?
  • Ji Fang's eyes widen and he quickly starts dabbing at his mouth to say something. But that's interrupted when the door to the outside opens with a bit of a creak. You're seated where you can glance to the door.

    Standing in the doorway, dressed in traveling clothes with her sword strapped to her back. Is Rui. Her face is mostly neutral (she has as good a court mask as you, meaning not much), but she is glaring at you when she says, "Greetings Lady Keela Zhu. I am so glad Ji Fang has found you. Completely safe. And unharmed."
  • My grin vanishes immediately. I stay seated, for once thankful for the social rules I grew up with. Normally I would jump up and attack Rui with a hug, but that was before she watched me kiss and nearly disrobe with the man she loves. Now I can pretend that I'm staying seated because that wouldn't be proper.

    "Rui." I try to sound calm and impassive, but my court voice is just about as good as my court mask. "I'm so glad you caught up with us." I gesture at the table, despite the fact that it's not my table. "Please join us."

    I glance sideways at Ji. This is the first time he's seen Rui since I told him the truth. He's usually better at hiding his feelings than I am. Although Rui is pretty good at seeing through both of us.
  • Rui stares at you for a moment. Then she looks to Ji Fang, who shifts uncomfortably, placing his hands flat on the table and gently gripping at the cloth. Evidently, that's a tell that Rui catches, because as soon as Ji Fang does that little move, her eyes narrow further, into slits, dark knives that she turns back on you.

    She spits out every single word with barely controlled fury, "I have no wish to join you, Lady Keela Zhu. I thank you for the offer of what is not yours. I wanted to see you with my own eyes. I have." She steps in just enough to grasp the door and begins to close it as she steps back out and looks at Ji Ji, "Lord Ji Fang, I will be at the skiffs outside. Please... take your time and enjoy yourself."
  • I feel like she stabbed me with those dark knives in her eyes. Over and over.

    The door shuts, and I have to catch my breath. I look at Ji, not so subtly kicking him under the table. We need to go after her. When Rui is angry, she just gets angrier and angrier until she explodes. The longer we wait, the worse it will get.

    And ok, the truth is, I'm kind of angry too. I mean, yes I told. I broke her promise. But really...this is not my fault!
  • Ji Fang jerks back when you kick him under the table. He gives you a questioning look, then seems to get it. He rolls into a set of pleasantries with Captain Yun and, of course, mentions that such a fine meal offered must be reciprocated, dropping the name of his father's estate. Yun's eyes flash with excitement, but Ji Fang is rushing things through. Hong senses this and rises with the soft sound of silk against silk from her kimono. She opens the door.

    You and Ji Fang are both rising, heading for the door when she opens it for you. That's when, in the darkness of the night with only the paper lanterns lighting the deck, you see Rui punch Sheng Li right in the chin, right there by the gangplank. He is taken by complete surprise and falls back towards the deck.
  • I'm totally stunned for one second, and then I'm darting forward, trying to get inbetween her and Sheng Li, temper flaring. A small part of me realizes that Sheng Li has never seen me...well...not in disguise. But I'm too focused on Rui to notice his reaction.

    I reach out, trying to roughly grab Rui's elbow to spin her towards me. "What are you doing?" I hiss at her.
  • Rui rolls her arm away, it's a simple technique, turning her hand over and sliding it away from your movement. Then she redirects your energy and shoves you back a couple feet. It was a shove, not a strike, but she just hit you. For all intents and purposes, she just struck a noble in public. "Stay the hells away from me!" She snipes at you before she turns to jump off the deck down onto the sand, leaping over the railing entirely missing the gangplank. She lands lightly and stalks towards the skiff.

    Sheng Li is on the deck, holding his face. He looks up at you with eyes wide with surprise and shock... and wow, he thinks you're amazing. He starts to say something...

    You hear Ji Fang from the doorway call out in his commanding voice, "Rui!" There's no answer. He starts marching towards the gangplank, and of course, you.
  • I catch Sheng Li's face for a split second, and that second seems to pass in slow motion. I'm not sure what expression is on my face? I'm torn between fury, shock, guilt, annoyance...

    Ji's voice breaks the spell. I leap forward again, following Rui off the side of the ship.

    "Rui!" I try to keep my voice low, not commanding like Ji, but clearly angry. I care that she shoved me. I care a lot. Fire is crackling through my veins.

    I don't care that she, a commoner, shoved me, a noble. But I know Ji will care. And Hong. And probably the Captain.

    "Don't you dare walk away from me!"
  • Above you, you hear the gurgling sound of water from Hong, she's bending a thin water bridge to ride down to the sand. You know Ji Fang won't risk burning the ship, so he's going to take the gangplank down. He may stop to check on Sheng Li if he gets the impression that you and Rui won't fight.

    When you snap at Rui, she immediately whirls back and rushes to close the scant few steps between you. While you're the one that can summon fire, she's got plenty to give you with her eyes. Her hands are clenched at her sides, as if she has to grip them closed to keep them from lashing out. She doesn't shout, she hisses, "You told him. You took him and then you told him. I. Hate. You."
  • "I had no choice." I hiss back at her, my eyes flashing. As much as we've fought, she's never said that to me before. It hurts much worse than if she'd just punched me, but I hide the hurt behind my own anger.

    "And I didn't...I didn't..." I try to lower my voice, but I'm spitting sparks. I have no idea where Dash is right now. "I did not take him. I told him no! I told him I love Dash! All I did was tell him the truth, Rui! I couldn't lie any more!"

    I feel the smallest twinge about our kiss just a few hours ago, but I shove it down.
  • Rui is still glaring up at you. But there's a second of hesitation, a break in the roiling anger and you feel it. She's so nearly overwhelmed with rage and embarrassment and hurt and she wants to see through it.

    Then bam, she's hit by a sudden gout of water, slamming into her side and knocking her to the sand. The water swirls around her torso, then before she can push up through it, it hardens into a thick block of ice, trapping her chest down to her hips in a bent over position on the cool sand. Hong comes running up after the strike, looking at you, then Rui, then back to you, "My lady, she was going to strike you. Again."
  • I quick move between Hong and Rui, glaring at Hong. "Hong!" I say through clenched teeth. "I do not need help!"
  • edited May 2013
    Hong doesn't challenge you, of course. She averts her eyes,stands there, hands up in a bending pose, holding the ice on Rui. Her expression is excited, she is eager to do her duty and serve you. She's not sure why you've asked her to stop, but she knows you are more than capable of defending yourself.

    Rui's teeth are chattering, the lips white. The sudden freeze is incredibly jarring. She may be going into shock.

    (burning the ice off her without burning her would be difficulty 3. As a master bender, you know Hong can release her, if that's what you want)
  • "Hong!" I say sharply, in my commanding noble's voice. "Release her immediately!"

    My fists are clenched at my side. I am so frustrated that since Hong and then Ji and now Rui have showed up, I've had to become the Lady Keela Zhu again.
  • Hong gasps at your command. She shifts her hands slightly and begins bending the ice back to water without cracking it into splinters. The icy water slides off of Rui's body and she rolls over, curling into the fetal position, teeth chattering, her body one clinched muscle.

    Hong's water trails along the until she bends it back into her small waterskin. She then falls to her knees on the sand and waits further command.
  • I'm at Rui's side in an instant, wrapping my arms around her. "Hong, help her!" I command urgently.

    "You idiot!" I mutter low at Rui, but I'm frightened by how her teeth are chattering.
  • "H-h-h-h-hate you..." she mutters weakly through chattering teeth. The flash freeze knocked the wind out of her, for sure. A cursory glance gives you a clue that she might possibly have frostbite on her fingers, based on the grayish-yellow skin. Her eyes look glazed, she isn't focusing on you.
  • "HONG." I command furiously. "HELP HER."

    I look away from Rui to look straight at Hong, and every trace of Key or Dare is gone from my face. Every inch of me radiates the Lady Keela Zhu, despite my threadbare kimono and short hair.
  • Hong quickly crawls over to you, not looking at your face. She says to the sand after glancing at Rui, "If you can warm her, Lady Keela Zhu, it would make the healing easier."

    Difficulty two
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