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Author Topic: sister knows best  (Read 931 times)

Description: Attn: Yuki ;; letters

Offline Ji Yoon Moon

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sister knows best
« on: Jun 23, 18, 02:19:14 AM »
To my esteemed sister-Healer and dear friend, Yuki no Natsuhana

I write this letter to you knowing full well that it has been far too long since our last correspondence, and for that I apologize mightily. Thank you for lending me use of my brother - he has been a tremendous help to me these past few weeks, and it is good to have family close at hand once again now that my father has returned to Tacea. I will return him to you shortly and no worse for the wear - you have my word.

In fact, Haneul is my primary reason for writing this letter (though I do also write because I am fond of you and miss our time together in Ito). In the aftermath of recent events, it’s become clear that I am the most senior surviving woman in my family, and I am therefore responsible for negotiating a betrothal for my younger brother, should I choose to. I hope I do not come across as crass if I say that I know you and he are more than fond of each other.

I understand this is likely the first you’ve heard of or considered the matter and don’t mean to put you on the spot, so please consider this letter less a formal invitation and more a suggestion that we discuss the possibility more, if you are amenable. Though I doubt he’s mentioned it to you, I’ve already spoken to Haneul about this and know he’s amenable - I would never offer him in a match against his will (I know plenty about that from recent personal experience, but that’s another matter).

While I don’t know your thoughts on the interregnum (what are they?), I do think it worth noting that House Corro’s social standing has increased considerably in the past few weeks. As we discussed once in Ito, I strongly prefer matches made for love… but my brother is now more politically equivalent to a son of one of the great clans, if such a thing is a consideration.

My apologies if any of this letter causes offense. I have never arranged a formal betrothal before (but there is a first time for everything).

Warmest regards,
Lady Ji Yoon Moon no Corro







Offline Yuki Natsuhana

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Re: sister knows best
« Reply #1 on: Jun 30, 18, 01:07:51 PM »
Receiving a letter — a true letter, ink upon paper — from Dena Nehele had served to equally alarm and surprise.

What cause did Yuki have in Dena Nehele to warrant such a thing?  She knew Haneul had passed through the horrendous place, of course.  He had told her so, after all.  And the faintly familiar  whiff of Rose and Opal drifting down toward her senses told her that it was not from her Prince, but a Healer she had known not too long ago.  Strange that those days seemed so far away, when it had only been a handful of moons.  With a tilt of her head in thanks to the message runner, the Queen had returned to breaking her fast for the day, platters of plump fried corn flour stuffed with a tart and salty creation known as cheese.  Yuki had found, early on, that the consumption of too much milk — a slight shudder of confused disgust ran down her spine — did not agree with her sensitive palate, but smaller controlled amounts could be pleasant.  Even enjoyable.

Between one bite and the next, as the letter floated obligingly at eye level for her in tendrils of Sapphire Craft, Yuki grew increasingly more still.  She contemplated its contents throughout the length of her morning meal, well into the meetings she had scheduled throughout the day, and through her evening.  She wondered if Haneul had any notion of what his sister proposed.

The practice of sending memory crystals was unconventional, but one that was easily afforded when the Sapphire and Ebon Grey acted as the wells of power behind them.  For most, the cost in both strength and acquisition made them an impractical choice: for the dragon born Queen wandering the jungles of Shalador, thrust into the harsh light of Terreille, it seemed the only possibility when sending missives home. 

Nearly all of her correspondence with Tacea was conducted this way, with the highest security that could be managed, and there were times Yuki longed for the simple act of hold polished wooden reeds in her fingers, the spring of sable hair brush tips against the ink stone she had brought, uselessly, with her to her temporary home. 

Her artful, neat calligraphy had not waned in that time though.

To my friend and Healer sister far from home,

I welcome the chance to bring reunion to your family.  It has been long since the pleasure of working with you was mine to bear, but it gladdens my heart still to provide you some reprieve in the form of both my Prince and your brother.  I hope he brings with him my well wishes, and aid to your hand, despite the misfortune of the situation we are forced to contend with here in Shalador. 

If you have need of him, do not hesitate to ask.  No promises may be made, but know that I would hear any requests with an open mind.  It is not good to be so alone as you must, in a place like Dena Nehele. 

My sorrow is yours for the circumstances which had brought you into the station of matriarch; your family is lucky to have you during this trying time.

Do not mistake brevity for anything beyond caution, my friend.  I can only answer your query with the warning that such things are best not discussed in a forum easily disrupted by ill intending meddlers. 

Would you come to Shalador to speak of this with me?

With sincerest regards,






Offline Ji Yoon Moon

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Re: sister knows best
« Reply #2 on: Jun 30, 18, 06:05:20 PM »
Ji Yoon ought to have expected that such arrangements could not be made solely via correspondence, but she took the fact that Yuki had not rejected her suggestion outright as a positive sign. Tikal was a mere day trip from Tacea, the winds that stretched between the two strong and swift… provided you had the coin to pay a coach. And Ji Yoon did not think her brother’s Queen would have requested she spend the coin just to deliver bad news.

She could be there and back on her day off from the clinic, and neither Yoana nor Akira nor Haneul would need to know where she’d gone. Of course she would bring her brother into the discussion of his future at some point… but he didn’t need to be involved now. Ji Yoon couldn’t run the risk of him self-sabotaging.

Yuki-hime,

Thank you for your timely response. If you will have me, I will arrive in Tikal via Wind with the new month. I look forward to spending time in your company and what I hope to be a productive discussion.

Faithfully,
Ji Yoon Moon no Corro


Just from looking at it on a map, Ji Yoon would have never expected that someplace so different from Dena Nehele could exist so nearby. She’d risen before the sun to make the trip and arrived to Tikal’s steaming morning light, the air more humid than midsummer in Kaesong. Of course she had done the reading and knew that the same mountains that kept Dena Nehele temperate made its neighbor Shalador a rainforest… but it was still strange how quickly the change seemed to have happened.

Looking across the Landing Pad, the Healer spotted a familiar face. She hadn’t expected Yuki no Natsuhana to meet her personally, but there she was. Ji Yoon approached and, after quickly glancing to the Daggers on either side of her and ascertaining that neither appeared to be Hideto no Kagen, bowed deeply to the Queen.

“My lady,” she said. “It is an honor. Thank you for granting me an audience.”

After so long, it seemed wrong to forego formalities and immediately resume the dynamic they’d enjoyed in Ito - especially in front of so many watchful eyes. Ji Yoon was loath to undermine Yuki’s authority by greeting her only as a friend.

“You look well, Yuki-sama,” she said, posture straightening. “It warms my heart to see you again.”







Offline Yuki Natsuhana

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Re: sister knows best
« Reply #3 on: Nov 13, 18, 12:09:50 AM »
There was real joy on Yuki no Natushana’s face as the Blood Opal Healer arrived; it meant little to most, here in Shalador, and Yuki had been troubled in the slow and confusing juggling of when it was acceptable to bare teeth and when it was not.  Here, people laughed loud and often, shouted and scowled and hollered like fishermen in the market.  It was not anything like Tacea, but she had learned enough: enough to permit a smile that might otherwise be hidden behind thick, artisan washi paper, reserved only for the intimacies and trusts of friends behind closed doors. 

It seemed, however, that her time in other lands had not worn away the social strictures Ji Yoon had been born to.  She returned bow with the proper inclination of her head, the gentle acknowledgement and gracious acceptance of the unique dance between them as sisters of a caste, however disparate in the Abyss. 

“I am always glad to see you, Ji Yoon, though I find my gladness doubled today.  It is good to see a familiar face, and find a little piece of home so far from our islands.  I am sorry Hanuel could not be here to welcome you.”

The respect being paid was a gift, and Yuki knew it to be so.  One appropriate for her station, without a doubt, but Ji Yoon had never been one to overplay such cards, and had little true deceit in her for the schemes of politics; it was a gift nonetheless.  So she allowed a flash of white teeth in her smile, and beckoned the other woman closer, offering an arm that might normally go to one of her Daggers, in the absence of Hideto.  Xiaowen would understand. 

“Come, I have been here many moons and still the heat and humidity is often too much even in the mornings.  It has taken me almost as long to find a bearable way of enduring such days.”

By which she meant, of course, that she had simply built her own tea room, with permission from the ruling Queen of the Province, upon land she had purchased when it became obvious that her tenure in Shalador would not be so quickly remedied.  The cooling spells upon the chashitsu took far more strength here than at home, but between her and the entourage that traveled in her wake, the issue had been in rooting them properly to the anchor points.  Still, it was something of a walk, and there were many things to share in the meantime.

“Have you eaten?  I think someone brought snacks — yes, thank you, Xiaowen — and some chilled juices.  Hanuel loves the cremolada.”  Yuki managed the foreign word carefully, though not clumsily. 

"It is a bit like kakigori, though much sweeter and thicker.  Not unenjoyable." 

Delicately, Yuki accepted an offering of the treat from Xiaowen, taking a small moment to rest her fingertips upon the side of his palm in silent thanks.  The sugar in it would suffice for her needs for at least the duration of the walk. 


Offline Ji Yoon Moon

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Re: sister knows best
« Reply #4 on: Nov 13, 18, 01:05:14 AM »
Ji Yoon did not much mind that her brother was not there to welcome her - he was in Raej at her behest, asking after the enslavement record of Yua no Ariake, an investigation she wanted Yuki no Natsuhana to have no knowledge of until it was concluded and the matter settled. His absence was by design. It would be easier to discuss what she’d come to talk about without worrying that her brother might interrupt.

It wasn’t as though they’d be entering into final negotiations today. It was just… exploratory.

The Healer nodded appreciatively to Xiaowen and accepted the offer of food and drink. She’d been traveling for hours and hadn’t realized how hungry she was until Yuki had suggested she eat. Still, she did her best to restrain her appetite - it would not be polite to appear famished, and no doubt there would be more food later. Dark Jewels did tend towards continuous grazing…

“It’s astounding how different this place is from Dena Nehele,” Ji Yoon said, taking Yuki’s arm. When it came to deciding which mainland territory to set up shop in, she thought she’d picked wisely if the others were like this. Yes, it was summer - but it was early summer. Things would undoubtedly get warmer and stickier.

She swallowed a bit thickly and resolved that perhaps cremolada was better enjoyed by people darker than herself - the sugar was a bit much in this heat. “And what way is that?” Ji Yoon asked, longing for nothing more complicated than water - but there would be none of that, and what seemed to be a bit of a walk towards whatever their destination might be.

Handing the sweating glass back to Xiaowen just seemed rude.

“Haneul may not be here in body,” she said, changing the subject, “But I doubt he’ll be far from our minds.”

After all, was that not the stated purpose of her visit?







Offline Yuki Natsuhana

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Re: sister knows best
« Reply #5 on: Dec 19, 18, 05:40:33 PM »
Yuki allowed herself a small chuckle.

“Too sweet?” 

She tapped her fingertips gently along the glass for moment, and ice cold water soundlessly filled the empty vessel, pulled from the reservoirs fastidiously tended in her psychic cabinet.  “Even Hideto thinks so, but sometimes I forget that with our Jewels of rank, our bodies crave more sugar.  What surprises me is how common place the preference here is in Shalador, from their youngest and lightest Blood to their oldest and darkest.  Perhaps all the heat drives them to a predilection for brasher tastes.”

Xiaowen hid a grin of his own, one that even Yuki barely caught as his Red swirled around them in a playful breeze, much of the heat and moisture carefully pressed from the air around them with the same meticulous grace with which the geisha performed all his duties.  Approval hummed between them, a Queen appreciative of the service and a male taking pride in every small opportunity to serve. 

All her men took pleasure in serving, however varied and distinct each one took to it.  Certainly, Hideto rarely ever shared or showed his pride, careful behind every deliberate word and undemanding silence.  Xiaowen and Hanuel though had never failed to make clear their joy, allowing it echo on through their connection with Yuki at all times, a slow moving river coursing over well worn stone.  Though Hanuel had become less and less restful as of late, ever since Yua’s abduction. 

There was a mirror of her own heart if there ever was one; all her anxieties, her tempers, unleashed and undiluted often seemed to play out across his face, if not his soul. 

“No,” Yuki returned, a troubling thought wrinkling her smooth brow as they walked.  “He rarely is.  I worry for him.  Leaving Tacea has been a challenge.  This realm, their — our realm, I suppose — is more cruel and wicked than any he has known.”   

More cruel and wicked than any I have known.

“It has changed him, as I think, it has likely changed you.  The Corro and Hanwa alike have borne much pain.”

Yuki turned eyes wide as the night sky to her friend, soft as freshly fallen snow: cold to touch and quickly warm. 

“It is one of the greatest sorrows to see life sparks go dark, carried into the next chapter without a chance of goodbye.”

She thought of Yua.  Of Hanuel's mother.  His sisters.  Ji Yoon's sisters.  Seung Corro's daughters, his children, his beloved wife and Queen.  Her own brother, Kazuki, who had been poisoned by smoke and might not survive the year.  Life was so fleeting.  Terribly, and wonderfully, fleeting.


Offline Ji Yoon Moon

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Re: sister knows best
« Reply #6 on: Dec 20, 18, 11:02:13 AM »
“Just a bit,” confessed Ji Yoon, gratefully trading one glass for another. Hideto, she recalled from conversations with his brother, wore the same set of jewels as they did. Well, at least someone agreed with her - she’d seen some of the things Dark-Jeweleds could eat (a Blood Opal was, well, barely Dark). Some of Haneul’s preferred foods turned her stomach with their sweetness. But at least he and Yuki would be well-matched in that regards.

They walked on, and though it was still a long way to the pavilion it felt less daunting with the addition of the glass of water as well as Xiaowen’s contributions. Any one of Yuki’s males would have made a desirable husband, and Ji Yoon’s heart lurched as she for the first time worried that Yuki had brought her here to let her down softly.

At least she hadn’t mentioned any of this to Haneul. It would have been cruel to get his hopes up.

She disliked the turn the conversation took. Ji Yoon had been in Dena Nehele for more than half a year, firmly removed from the tragedy that had befallen Tacea. She’d already had all these conversations ad nauseam with her own family, but she supposed she hadn’t had much of an opportunity to discuss the matter with Yuki. House Corro had suffered tremendous losses, as many on Kaesong had… but, with her father’s recent good news about Hae Jun, she felt significantly lighter about the matter than she might have just a few short weeks ago.

“Indeed,” said Ji Yoon, nodding. “We lost a great deal in the destruction of Kaesong… though perhaps not as much as we initially believed. I received word from my father just last week that my sister Hae Jun is alive and safe.”

The news had come just after she’d sent her letter to Yuki. It had brightened her outlook considerably. Two siblings could do very little. Three, including an Opal queen, could do quite a bit more.

Ji Yoon was impatient to get to the actual purpose of her trip, but she knew rushing Yuki through this series of formalities and small talk would only backfire on her. They would proceed at the pace the Queen set for them - it would be inappropriate to raise the matter before they even reached the pavilion.

They were coming up on it now, at least. She didn’t think she’d have to hold her tongue terribly much longer.







 

 

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