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* Plot Information for Tacea

Tensions are rising in Tacea after the destruction of their Territory Court at the hands of its Queen. Unable to continue their traditional cycle of succession because of accusations of treason, Tacea must find a Queen capable of uniting the land while building bridges to the world outside its borders.
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Author Topic: in this handmade heaven  (Read 306 times)

Description: (zhihao) (ureshi-sa)

Offline Ryuuen Kirijo

  • Character Account
    • ss2opal
    • wp
    • Role

      Otou-san / Hinata's Dagger

    • Faction

      Ureshi-sa / Kagen Clan

    • Territory

      Tacea

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Rated Em

    • Posts

      51

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in this handmade heaven
« on: Jun 01, 19, 12:22:16 AM »
As a Warlord Prince, the list of things that could agitate Ryuuen was lengthy but he considered himself above them. Age, training, and more had ensured that he did not lose his temper as easy as a younger Warlord Prince might. Yet in this particular case Ryuuen was nearly incensed.

It was not aided by the fact that he was most certainly suffering from having an empty nest. That was not specifically true as there were still half-jewels and other geisha within Ureshi-sa. Naoji was within him still, though someday soon he would be called to serve Yumi as well.

No, it was more to do with the fact that his child was no longer within the House of Delights. While there were many that could be said to be his sons they were not truly his. There was no frisson along his senses that told him, no whisper from the Darkness that they were kin to one another. With Ryuki that existed and with him gone, Ryuuen was ... something.

Something made worse by the visit of the Sapphire-Jeweled Prince, Iwai no Izayoi. The same one that had been covered in paint by their still unfound attacker. Ryuuen had waved it off at first, not paid attention to it as the Prince had sent along a thank you to Ryuki. It was not entirely out of the ordinary, though perhaps a bit unusual. It was with the Prince delivering something himself and speaking to Ryuuen that he had nearly lost his temper.

Ryuki's response to the entire thing was not helping either. Ryuuen knew part of it was that he was being protective--more than overly so--but the other part of it was that he knew the Prince wished to court Ryuki and that could go so poorly in so many ways. (Poorly was also an understatement.) Several of which that could lead to Ryuki being hurt and none of that was acceptable.

Yet he had to trust that Ryuki would handle it. Believe the Izayoi Prince when he said that if he was rebuked he would leave Ryuki alone. To push those thoughts away, to keep himself from simply doing something, Ryuuen pushed his focus to Zhihao and the recent affairs of the Territory Court. Things were tense, he knew, but everything was finally coming together. (Even if not in the way that was expected.)

Eventually, he knew, Zhihao and himself would have more than just stolen nights together. In the back of his mind, he thought about Hinata retired--finally!!--and the three of them looking after Yumi as she ruled the Kagen. It was a wistful dream that took off the edge of his ire. Waiting for his lover was something he never minded, though this night he was burning off the excess energy by going through the forms that he taught the geisha in the training yard. The half-jewels had already gone to bed, Naoji himself likely soon to retire, and the other geisha within the building were out for the evening.

It was a quiet night. Ryuuen wished he could enjoy it. As soon as he sensed Zhihao closer, not so far away, then he could. Until then he moved across the empty training yard, moving in such a way that it was no surprise that he had been picked as a Dagger. Even if he was slower now than he had been so many years ago.

Offline Zhihao An

  • Character Account
    • te2ss
    • prince
    • Role

      Hinata's Dagger & Spymaster

    • Faction

      Kagen Clan

    • Territory

      Tacea

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Leez

    • Posts

      115

    • View Profile
Re: in this handmade heaven
« Reply #1 on: Jul 02, 19, 10:37:09 PM »
With Xiong Teng on the rise, Zhihao’s days and nights in Ito were numbered. He looked forward to returning to Kumazawa and Yumi’s court, assuming his daughter would have him. Zhihao couldn’t begrudge her her anger - he’d waited far too long to speak the truth to her, and in the end it had just slipped out carelessly - but she was a young queen, surrounded by her cousin’s court, and the only responsible thing for him to do was to serve her.

But… that would carry him away from Ito and from Ryuuen, and he had so enjoyed having his beloved close at hand these past months. Ureshi-sa was as much a home as Zhihao would ever claim. He’d grown within its walls and he would always be welcome within them. But fate had made Ryuuen more beholden to the Okiya and Zhihao more of a ronin.

And now, with Ryuki already departed to Yumi’s side, with Naoji also twitching to go there, Zhihao worried he’d leave Ryuuen lonely.

Ureshi-sa was sleeping when Zhihao arrived on its doorstep. The fountain in the garden burbled softly through the dark and the cats lay curled in a basket by the door. The light in the half-jewels’ dormitory was off. The one in Naoji’s room was on but dim and yellow. Zhihao passed by without disturbing him, following Ryuuen’s psychic scent.

The Warlord Prince was pacing the training yard, moving through forms with the swiftness and strength of a younger man. Zhihao watched him from the threshold for a moment, his heart beating faster for how much love he felt, then stepped out onto the deck.

“You seem troubled,” he said, sliding the door shut along its track. He waved an aural shield over the yard with his Summer Sky so that they could speak privately - at this time of the evening, it was courtesy, and nothing unusual at all. “What rests so heavily on your thoughts, love?”

Offline Ryuuen Kirijo

  • Character Account
    • ss2opal
    • wp
    • Role

      Otou-san / Hinata's Dagger

    • Faction

      Ureshi-sa / Kagen Clan

    • Territory

      Tacea

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Rated Em

    • Posts

      51

    • View Profile
Re: in this handmade heaven
« Reply #2 on: Jul 04, 19, 12:28:08 AM »
There was no chance that he missed Zhihao's arrival, his heart thudding heavier with every step that brought his lover closer. Ryuuen did not stop moving through the kata, carrying it out even as Zhihao enclosed them in a Summer Sky shield. His face was flushed with exertion, hair a touch in disarray, as he came to a stop next to the Prince.

"Things I should probably not worry about," said Ryuuen, vanishing the sword he had been working with. He approached Zhihao, hand outstretched so that the tips of his fingers found the underside of his chin. He tilted it upward with a soft touch, pressing the tips of his fingers to Zhihao's heartbeat later. "Or perhaps I should say everything." His voice was low, a slow exhale following as he pulled his lips back and let his hand drop.

"Though I suppose I can start with Ryuki." While his hand had dropped away from Zhihao's face that did not mean it was not still touching the other. Ryuuen tangled their fingers together, holding to his lover's hand even as there was another surge of simmering anger. "He has an admirer." A sigh. "An Izayoi Prince," which explained part of the frustration, "who wears the Sapphire." Not that there were many of those. "A direct descendant of Izayoi no Amaterasu," which said that he was of the mainline, "for all that he is apparently not welcomed among his Clan."

Ryuuen lifted his free hand up, using it to slide his bangs back into place as he cut his eyes towards Zhihao. "If the Prince had not incited me, I would likely not be concerned, but he was rather bold in his statements when I asked him what he thought he was doing when he delivered something here for Ryuki."

A low rumble of a growl bubbled up from his chest, reverberated in his throat as he added: "... and made clear his intent to court my child if it was allowed." He paused, turned to face his husband (for in Ryuuen's eyes that was what Zhihao was). "That it was an intent I would be acquainted with." The implication that he was somehow aware of Ryuuen and his preferences. Perhaps even his relationship with Zhihao. Either way, it had set off the Warlord Prince.

Offline Zhihao An

  • Character Account
    • te2ss
    • prince
    • Role

      Hinata's Dagger & Spymaster

    • Faction

      Kagen Clan

    • Territory

      Tacea

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Leez

    • Posts

      115

    • View Profile
Re: in this handmade heaven
« Reply #3 on: Jul 15, 19, 12:59:27 AM »
Zhihao moved easily into Ryuuen’s embrace and would have stayed there all evening if he were allowed, which he was not. The Warlor Prince kissed him once before pulling away again, grabbing hold of his hand as he moved. Clearly the trouble was serious, then, thought Zhihao, and nodded along as it was detailed to him. There were not many outcast Izayoi princes in Tacea, and fewer still who wore the Sapphire. “Iwai,” he intoned, certain that he’d narrowed it down.

The young man had an interesting pedigree - two mothers, both devoted to Black Immortal and both equally dead in Izhiyo no Izayoi’s massacre. His father had died before he was born, which meant that without the support of his clan, Iwai was adrift. He’d been moving by degrees into Xiong Teng’s orbit, which Zhihao saw no immediate problem with - despite his unusual upbringing, the young man had the unremarkable reputation one might expect of any highborn Prince.

Or, he’d had such a reputation until just now. “He means to court Ryuki?” Zhihao asked, eyebrows rising towards his high hairline. Surely there was some mistake. Unconventional upbringing or not, no Tacean male would be so forward. Perhaps he meant to court Futaba and had somehow… no… There was nothing to connect Yumi’s handmaiden to Ureshi-sa. No inquiries about Futaba Inoue would have come to Ryuuen.

Courting Ryuki quickly became the least of his worries. “Did he give any hint of how he might know?” Zhihao asked, heart beating faster. They’d been careful, so careful. The number of people who knew of their relationships could be counted on his fingers, or so he’d thought. Apparently word had gotten out somehow - how far had it spread? Or had Iwai no Izayoi made study of them?

“I still have moths at the territory court,” he said after a moment. “I’ll see what I can learn about him. If Iwai was so clear in his intentions, then I doubt he knows Ryuki’s true nature.”

That much was a relief, at least. Not all of his secrets were out in the open. “I trust Ryuki’s been informed, so that he may take proper precautions?” he asked. Futaba could be seen in the company of an Izayoi prince, despite her Kagen affiliation - one might even congratulate her on social climbing - but Ryuki certainly could not be. At least, not until said prince learned some subtlety.

“At least,” Zhihao said, trying tight-lipped to allay his discomfort with the situation, “It sounds as though he asked permission. What does Ryuki think, if you’ve asked him?”

Offline Ryuuen Kirijo

  • Character Account
    • ss2opal
    • wp
    • Role

      Otou-san / Hinata's Dagger

    • Faction

      Ureshi-sa / Kagen Clan

    • Territory

      Tacea

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Rated Em

    • Posts

      51

    • View Profile
Re: in this handmade heaven
« Reply #4 on: Jul 15, 19, 09:02:41 AM »
The flicker of annoyance on his lover's face as Zhihao intoned Iwai was a sure sign as any that he had it right. What minimal knowledge he had was what he had gotten out of Ryuki, who had not thought it too worrisome that he had earned the attention of the Izayoi Prince. No, he had said it is just a game. Which had, in all honesty, made matters worse.

Or was it better that Ryuki was not taking it seriously? He was no longer so certain!

"Yes, Ryuki," sighed Ryuuen, knowing all the trouble that that could cause. It would be one thing but were the Izayoi Prince to learn the truth it could be disastrous. Yet Ryuki had assured him--a game, Uncle--and it still did nothing but make him worry further. Certainly, it would be better for Futaba to have an admirer, to solidify her, but Iwai was clearly more interested in men.

Which lead to ...

"No," said Ryuuen, hand seeking out Zhihao's and tangling their fingers together, "and that is what is bothering me. We have been careful all these years and so I have no doubts that there is anyone else that knows that we are not aware of but somehow ..." The Warlord Prince pulled his glasses off with his other hand, pinching the bridge of his nose a moment later. He blinked owlishly at Zhihao, his eyes trying to focus on his face but able to do so.

He was a rather attractive blur even to Ryuuen's poor eyesight. "Perhaps a study of us, as he's so clearly made a study of my child." The Warlord Prince slid his glasses back on, sighing at the question about Ryuki's take on all of it. "It is a game, he said, though I saw the way he looked at the gifts--flowers, by the way, the Prince thought to send messages with flowers--and I know ..." A soft breath was released.

"He wears my Hunter's Mark and so his emotions can be so bright and clear to me. He hopes, my love, for something that he cannot have." Not with the truth of Futaba even if he was also Ryuki. His eyes slid shut then. "... and so I have not said much to him other than to be mindful and to tell the Prince to do the same." Another sigh escaped. "Iwai no Izayoi said he would stop if Ryuki rebuked him and there has been no rejection."

How could he say put a stop to something that might give Ryuki a measure of happiness? To spending time with someone that went through the effort of courting him sweetly? Others had simply tried to drug his child before and now this ...

"They would have never even met were it not for our unseen attacker. Iwai was caught between passing by." Ryuuen opened his eyes up and closed the distance between them. "Which is another topic, I suppose, but for now ... please. See what your moths know. Better us be prepared than anything else."

Offline Zhihao An

  • Character Account
    • te2ss
    • prince
    • Role

      Hinata's Dagger & Spymaster

    • Faction

      Kagen Clan

    • Territory

      Tacea

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Leez

    • Posts

      115

    • View Profile
Re: in this handmade heaven
« Reply #5 on: Jul 15, 19, 10:12:03 PM »
Zhihao did not like the idea of being made study of by anyone, let alone a Dark-Jeweled Izayoi Prince. Despite Lady Ishiyo’s madness having been conclusively proven as the results of outside tampering, the family’s reputation remained a sour one. If Iwai had been watching them closely enough to discern the truth about himself and Ryuuen, what else had he learned? Had he pieced together the familial resemblance between Zhihao and Yumi, or perhaps noticed the comings and goings of some of his moths?

In light of that possibility, it was astonishing that he hadn’t noticed the truth about Ryuuki’s nature - but perhaps attraction had blinded him to any possible abnormalities in the object of his pursuit. Desire had a way of blurring the edges around things.

“Assuming,” he said, heaving a sigh. “Assuming that Prince Izayoi has no ulterior motives…”

If Ryuki were only Ryuki or only Futaba, Zhihao might have said that it might do him some good to get his heart broken. Even in present circumstances, there was no doubt in his mind that the boy they’d raised possessed the subtlety required to carry on the sort of affair they were describing. The problem lay more in that Iwai no Izayoi had fallen in love with someone who simply was not who or what he thought he was.

“I will ask my moths, and perhaps confront young Prince Izayoi myself,” he said, leaning his head against Ryuuen’s firm shoulder. “If his intentions are pure and he might be… understanding… Ryuki is an adult.”

It raised a question he wasn’t sure they’d ever considered trying to answer. What did they want for Ryuki? They’d given him an unparalleled lot in life, one that by necessity required them to hold others at an arm’s length. Would that life demand solitude? Had they doomed him to a loveless existence?

Zhihao hoped not - but that would be Ryuki’s to navigate, ultimately.

“If Prince Izayoi means harm to this okiya or to the Kagen, however,” Zhihao warned lowly. “I don’t doubt I could find a way to make him disappear, no matter how dark he is.”