[Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby Scarik » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:05 pm

In time Liu Bei's attention turns to Baozi and he touches Yide on the arm to let the big man know to quiet down so he can speak without interference.

"Baozi, I myself an a student of the jian and I must say that your form reveals that you approach it in much the manenr I do myself. While my brothers, and Junyou, possess a great talent that needs no teacher to achieve true mastery you and I must study the texts and forms diligently. I find that when one studies one aspect of battle that he finds himself drawn to study others, do you agree?"
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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby CarrieVS » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:47 pm

The more he sees of Liu Bei, the more Baozi feels he likes him. He has such a calm and kindly manner that it is not too difficult to answer him, though he would usually find the sudden interest the Colonel seems to have taken in him since the contest with Junyou rather daunting.

"I have found it so. Studying the sword always gave me an interest to read histories of war, and to study strategy." He smiles nervously. Is that alright? It is quite true, but Colonel Liu had wondered aloud about his 'other talents' and if he is truly interested Baozi would not like to let him think more than the truth. "Although just as I have never needed to use my jian outside of practice, so my little skill in strategy has only ever been tested on the weiqi board. I am no soldier." Is he talking too much now? He looks down at his plate, falling silent again.
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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby Scarik » Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:38 pm

Liu Bei smiles and nods. If one were to watch the others, as Junyou does, they would see that Yunchang and Xianhe are both very interested in what comes next. Yide is more interested in the wine.

"I am glad to hear that, Baozi, after we eat surely you will indulge me in a game of weiqi?"
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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby CarrieVS » Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:03 pm

He could not of course refuse, but he wouldn't want to. "I should be very pleased to, Colonel Liu."

[EDIT - we rolled dice]

Baozi does not get any more talkative as the meal continues. Once the dishes are cleared away, however, and his host and he are seated on opposite sides of a gaming board, he relaxes somewhat. This, he understands.

Liu Bei plays black and moves first, but white quickly begins to dominate the board. Baozi plays methodically and with a calm but intent focus, not hesitating to place his stones but neither hurrying his movements. After a relatively short time, he sees an opening that his opponent must have overlooked, that would leave black in an unrecoverable position. He picks up a stone and is about to place it on the board when he changes his mind.

He draws his hand back and examines the position again, then sets his piece on a different point. It doesn't seem like a bad move, but after a few more turns the board is beginning to look more nearly even, though white always remains a little ahead.

The game continues for some time. Baozi is enjoying himself and has no wish for it to be over too soon, and it is a pleasant challenge this way. He cannot drag it out for too long, though: to be too obvious would be worse than having crushed his host entirely. The contest comes to an end and the scores are tallied, with white winning by a modest margin. His smile is quite genuine as he thanks Colonel Liu for a very enjoyable game.
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Last edited by CarrieVS on Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby Scarik » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:40 pm

Whether Colonel Liu knows that Baozi extended the game is impossible to say for he has no reaction to the move that would have finished him, but rather remains intent upon the game.

Zhang Fei and Guan Yu do not wager as they often do for neither would ever bet against Liu Bei in any matter. Jian Yong watches and says little as the stones are placed.

When finished Liu Bei addresses Baozi once more, "As I suspected, you are quite skilled at weiqi. I hope you will come and play again in the coming weeks and that we may speak more. Now though I fear it has become late and I must thank you for joining me and wish you well."

The parting pleasantries and such take little time as both Junyou and Baozi know they have been dismissed.


The next day and then some...

With the drums of war rising to a frenzy the city is a hive of activity over the next few weeks. Thousands of new recruits enlist with no skills and so the officers spend all day drilling them on the fundamentals of soldiering while clerks and administrators struggle to find them spears, padded coats and caps as well as bamboo vests that offer little protection against spears and swords but can ward off arrows from the shortbows common among the rebels.

And since no one has 10,000 such coats and caps about the tailors have to sew night and day while the weavers must run their looms at all hours to provide the cloth and thread and every sheep and goat in the province is ordered to be sheared to meet the demand and every child not otherwise employed is put to work collecting flowers for linen and flax.

Scouts and riders are dispatched south as well to monitor the roads with hundreds coming and going by the day. As of yet there is no word or rebels, nor news of Lu Bu's raiders.
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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby Kivutar » Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:12 am

It is twilight and the bustle of the city and the Governor's palace has died down a little. Dewang is out walking again, hoping to exhaust his body enough to quiet his mind.

He sits down to rest after a while. There is a cool breeze, and he finds a spot where he can be alone.

Not quite alone. A small tabby cat leaps from nowhere, as cats do, and is about to pass him by when it stops and looks up at him.

He reaches down to pet it, and it shies away from his touch, yet hovers - just out of arm’s reach - watching him with an appearance of friendly interest. He has kept much worse company. An animal will not judge him.

"Have you ever seen a fire, Mao?" he asks. It looks almost as if the cat stiffens when he addresses it, but it still stays.

"I hadn't, you know. A cooking fire, or a torch, of course, but I'd never seen a real one. Consuming everything. Do you have any idea how much ash is in one town?"

He tries again to coax the cat into his arms, but it backs off once more. He gives up and sits back down, folding his hands in his lap to show that he does not mean to disturb it. To his surprise, the little animal hops lightly up onto the bench and sits down, on the far end of it from him but showing no fear.

"I should have known it. But it seemed like such a clever plan, and he was so sure of himself. I only wanted to be useful. I didn't know what it would be like."

Dewang chokes and drops his voice nearly to a whisper.

"And he wanted me."

He shakes for a moment and collects himself. The cat is looking directly at him, its eyes huge pools of moonlight.

"The wind, it was my idea, you know. They didn't ask. I knew it would spread it faster."

He shuts his eyes. "There was a woman. I'd never made such a wind in my life. Half the town was already burning, and she ran out the door of a house. It was smoky, I didn't see what she was carrying. Might have been a bundle, or a child. She stepped out, and the next house... I don't know, something exploded, it collapsed... the wind took the whole roof onto her..."

He feels a soft touch on his arm, and looks up to see the cat now right by his side, pressing its furry body against him. He reaches cautiously to stroke its head.

Turns out this is a joint post again,
so thumbs to Carrie.
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Last edited by Kivutar on Sun May 20, 2018 3:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby CarrieVS » Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:38 pm

For a moment Baozi is afraid that Liu Bei or one of his companions will call him out for his manipulation of the game. Surely it was obvious: the direction changed just after the only time he wavered over a move. But if anyone noticed, they make no mention of it. He is not disappointed to be dismissed soon after. It has been an enjoyable evening but these kinds of events always tire him and he is glad to get to his bed.

The next day is busy, with the preparations for war getting under way, and Baozi has no time to himself until the evening. He retires to his apartment, but as the sun sets he leaves again, in borrowed shape.

The cat patrols its regular paths. Across a garden, by the cover of a flower bed... Up a fence post in three swift bounds... Along the top of the fence, perfectly balanced... Below him is a bench set in a secluded spot - Baozi knows the place as a human too: it is a pleasant place to sit. It is currently occupied by a lone figure with his back to the fence. Unconcerned, the cat leaps and lands lightly on his feet. As he walks past he looks up at the man on the bench, and stops, surprised.

It is De Wang. He looks upset, and has obviously found this place for somewhere to be alone. Baozi is about to carry on and leave him when he notices the cat and reaches down to stroke it. That would not do. It would be quite improper, and his friend would never think of it if he knew who the cat really was. He keeps carefully out of reach.

He starts when De Wang addresses him as "Cat," but only momentarily. He begins talking, and Baozi knows he should leave. It is obvious he is saying this only because he supposes himself to be talking to an animal that cannot understand. It is wrong, very wrong, to take advantage of him like this. How will he face De Wang in his true shape, after listening to his secrets? But he is too curious, as ever, and cannot bring himself to leave.

It is quickly clear that De Wang is talking about Bei Ye. Baozi had heard a fuller story of the town's destruction from Junyou the day before, but had not realised that De Wang had taken part - for all that he is with the army, he is even less of a soldier than Baozi is. He reaches for Baozi again, but sits back down when the cat again refuses. After he does so, Baozi jumps up and sits on the bench, a little distance away from him - it appears the message is understood, as De Wang makes no more attempts to touch him.

It was a clever plan, very clever. He had learned that much from Junyou's telling. For the rebels to be defeated without a single loyal soldier being harmed is quite remarkable. But it is a terrible price, that an entire town should be destroyed, women and children slaughtered too - all but the handful of frightened orphans brought here to Ji - even if some of the people had been sheltering rebels, and therefore rebels themselves. De Wang paints a harrowing picture of it.

He is not very surprised to realise that De Wang is a sorcerer: he had wondered, when they first met and he talked of magic with such enthusiasm, but could not bring himself to ask. Even if he had not minded the question, he might then have asked Baozi the same thing, and he should have had to lie. A powerful sorcerer, by the sound of his description: Baozi stares at him in silence.

De Wang continues to lay bare his heart. His distress when they first met and Baozi so foolishly questioned him now makes sense. He looks just as upset now, if not more. He has closed his eyes, apparently reliving the moment he is describing now.

Baozi hesitates. The poor man is obviously suffering, and unburdening himself to an animal in an attempt to find comfort. It is terribly wrong of Baozi to be listening, and would be even more improper to allow himself to be petted like a real cat, but he cannot simply run off now, after listening to so much. He must keep up the pretence, and besides that he does truly want to comfort his friend, seeing him so distressed.

He pads silently across the bench and, letting the cat-spirit take control as he tries not to think about how improper this is, he leans against De Wang, rubbing the side of his face on his arm. De Wang strokes his head and the cat purrs and shifts slightly to move the touch to the spot behind his ears, where it feels really good. Really good. For a moment he forgets everything in the little cat's suffusion of pleasure.

He comes back to himself. This is undignified and completely wrong. He moves away and hops down from the bench with a soft miaow. Slowly and with his tail in the air, so as not to seem like he is fleeing, he walks away. Once he judges himself out of sight, he runs, and does not pause until he is back in his room. That was dreadful. He has behaved terribly. How will he be able to face De Wang again?
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Last edited by CarrieVS on Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby Scarik » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:03 pm

After a week* of furious activity has passed the governor announces that General Zou Jing** will lead a regiment south in two weeks time to seize the ford at Dongyuan where once the great Emperor Gaozu of Han, the founder of the dynasty who rose from the most humble origin, laid siege to the rebel Chen Xi's forces under General Zhao Li.

It took the Emperor a month to seize the town against determined resistance and in the interim many rebels jibed and insulted him from their walls. When the siege finally broke Emperor Gaozu was merciful and pardoned all the rebel troops save for those who had insulted him. Those were given up by the grateful defenders to be executed.

On Gongsun Zan's recommendation, which the governor opposes but allows to proceed, Zou Jing selects Liu Bei as deputy commander. The force will total 3,000 soldiers, with Liu Bei commanding 1,000. The colonel has already raised a force of 500 on his own before arriving in Ji and so he must select 500 more. Many captains are eager to volunteer.

*Remember weeks are ten days so there's only 3 before the detachment leaves to take the ford.
**A minor character who is basically never mentioned again.
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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby Ladki96 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:08 pm

Wenchang goes to Liu Bei's secretary Jian Yong Xianhe. "I volunteer myself and my company for the regiment to the south" He lists the details and leaves

Wenchang sends Boxiao to the quartermaster to make arrangements to kit out the new recruiyts. He busies himself with getting said new recruits in first place.
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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby CarrieVS » Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:14 am

Baozi is in the library, reading. He has not exactly been avoiding De Wang - at least, not since the first day after he had spied on him - but he cannot feel quite so comfortable around him after having treated him so badly, no matter if De Wang cannot possibly find out. But he tries his best to hide it.

With the decision announced about the detachment to the fords, his mind turns briefly to how he thinks he might plan such an offensive. Of course it is purely academic: he will be here in Ji. General Zou and Colonel Liu will surely not miss the help of a very young secretary with no experience of war, in any case: it is just an interesting problem to consider.

Governor Liu is not very pleased that Liu Bei has been given the honour of being second in command of the detachment. It is a shame, to Baozi's mind, that they should be at such antagonism that the Governor would wish to avoid making use of a capable man. But he is offended by Liu Bei's claims that the Colonel cannot prove. Baozi himself is curious to know - not that he supposes him to be lying, but he could be mistaken.

What if...? It is worth a try. No doubt it is not easy to find out, or it would have been already. But Baozi is as well placed as anyone to see if there is anything to be learned. That, at least, he knows he is capable of. And now is as good a time as any to begin - if he can discover proof of Colonel Liu's ancestry, it would be best if he could do so while the Colonel was still in Ji, and it may take some time to go through so many records. He puts away the book he was reading, and starts towards the closed section that holds the archives.
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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby Kivutar » Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:35 am

Dewang feels oddly relieved after talking to the mysterious cat. It was good to confess, even to an animal.

He throws himself into his work over the next few days. To his mild surprise, Boxiao comes to request supplies for Wenchang's recruits. Does Wenchang think he won't realize who they are for? Still, he could never refuse Wenchang anything, even now. He arranges for the supplies immediately and tries to forget about it.

He doesn't think of it much, but gradually notices that he has not seen Baozi for some time.

The one person in this place he could bear to talk to outside of business. Dewang, possessed by a sudden impulse, begins to search for him. Of course, he begins with the library and spots him immediately.

He greets Baozi as cheerfully as possible. "How have you been?"
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Last edited by Kivutar on Sun May 20, 2018 3:32 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby CarrieVS » Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:16 am

"Oh! De Wang." His sudden appearance takes Baozi somewhat by surprise. But he is glad to see that his friend seems cheerful. "I am quite well, thank you. And you?"
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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby Kivutar » Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:22 am

"I was looking for you, as a matter of fact. Things have been rather dull, war or no war. Lists, requisitions, figures.... of course, the paperwork is my job, and there are many worse ones. I am sure you feel the same sometimes?"
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Then the LORD said to me, "Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes."

Hosea 3:1
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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby CarrieVS » Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:36 am

"Oh, well sometimes, of course. But mine is usually a very interesting job - I am very fortunate." In truth, even when it does become dull, that sometimes comes as a respite from when it gets a little too interesting. "I don't mind papers, anyway. I was just about to go and search through some just for fun, in fact. But it will wait," he hastens to add, lest De Wang should think he is making excuses to leave him.
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Re: [Fate RP] Romance of the Three Kingdoms: CE184

Postby Kivutar » Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:38 am

Dewang hesitates a moment. Is Baozi avoiding him or no? He doesn't seem displeased to see him.

"Perhaps I could join you?" he offers.
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Last edited by Kivutar on Sun May 20, 2018 3:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
Then the LORD said to me, "Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes."

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