Ziyou Castle

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Zen, Jul 18, 2014.

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  1. [​IMG]
    Wise and aging Bingwen sits on a stone throne, polished by the many times he and the other Historians sat in this chair. It is an intricate and elaborate piece of work, hinting to wealthier times, and rests in a massive, but cramped dining room filled with children and adults. Behind the man lies thirteen stone coffins, engraved with calligraphy except one; this is left bare except for one engraving.

    Hundreds of men and women of all ages sit upon stone benches as savory smells waft from the kitchen. The aromas of steamed buns, beef dumplings, chicken feet, rice noodles, fried rice, roasted duck, and stir fry vegetables entice even the apathetic of eaters. The silence is punctuated with the sounds of cows and pigs chewing their meals; they've called this room their home for decades. The children, however, sit cross legged in front of the Historian, eager and anxious. The man smiles with a twinkle in his eye.

    Today is the castle's three hundred year anniversary and it is a time of celebration.

    The festivities begin with a story.

    A massive scrolls sits on the man's lap, which he unfurls onto the floor. The children cry in delight as the paper rolls upon the stone floor, and stops mere inches from the tables. Bingwen bows from his seat, strokes his snow white beard, and launches into his tale.

    "Three hundred years ago, a great and savage war ravaged our lands. Young men and women were sent to the front lines to die, children became orphans, crops were ruined, the land salted - but none of it reached our home. Protected by the forests, we were ignorant of such conflict, so when the war arrived, we were ill prepared for the destruction.

    "We knew naught of what drove the war, only that it was violent and took the lives of many of our people. We fought valiantly, but in the end, too many souls were lost, and we could not go forward. We grew desolate and contemplated surrender, where we would be subjected to slavery and servitude.

    "Our miracle came to us from our Lord,"
    and Bingwen gestures to the stone coffin that rests behind his throne. "Lord Nyasuki and his Order rallied the people and their live stock into this castle with the belief that we would fight our last battle here. His mages and archers lined the windows and roof tops, shooting down any who came towards our last defense. Our samurai stood ready at the gates, and the healers waited with bated breath.

    "As the enemy soldiers broke the tree line and our warriors did battle, Lord Nyasuki gathered his mages into this very room, locked the doors, and began an incantation.

    "A great and powerful magic began to take hold on the castle. A dark blue aura surrounded the rock and landscape, and sunk into the earth. The ground shook, cracks appeared in the walls, and with a mighty heave, our castle lurched into the sky. Our people gathered around the windows, and watched as the ground below grew smaller and smaller. The enemy was quickly disposed of, where they were either killed by our warriors, or thrown from a great and terrible height.

    "How we celebrated such a victory! How we cheered to be away from the war and violence! But alas... It came with a price. The people unlocked the doors to this room, and found their Lord and his mages gone from this world. They left us with one gift, and that was everlasting peace. They sacrificed their lives, and we mourned their departure. From the rocks of this castle, we carved stone coffins and laid their bodies to rest.

    "Their magic still lingers in this castle, keeping it afloat and in the clouds. The warriors that fought valiantly to protect our loved ones were renamed The Order of the Cloud, and the castle named Ziyou in honor of our Lord. It has been three hundred years since the war, and harmony has been maintained in our home.

    "Tonight we honor their memories. We drink, we feast, we love, we laugh, we cry, but most of all, we remember. To Ziyou, and for many more years of peace, harmony, and prosperity!"

    She Dooms Us All She watched from the rafters, silent and invisible as servants brought out steaming plates of rice and chicken soup to the castle dwellers. Bingwen sat on his throne, laughing merrily as children sat on the arms of his chair, or tussled with each other. Xiaojing chatted to an admirer, a young rambunctious man who works with her in the stables. While he is a charming and talkative person, his table manners are atrocious. Chewed duck and goose spewed out with his words, landing either on the table, floor, or in the woman's hair.

    Across from the archer, one the same table, is Mogu, a boisterous fellow who she thought of as slow and stupid. A warrior of the Cloud, he was considered one of the strongest, but that was only due to his large girth. That fat fool.

    The woman's eyes narrowed on Takeshi. A magus. How she despised his kind. Not because he delved into magic, but paired it with a sword. As if sorcery wasn't powerful enough, he needed a weapon to bolster his strength. The man was popular with the women, despite his cold demeanor. It came as a surprise to her then that beautiful and talented Yu Ling didn't pursue him herself. Surely the woman could charm the man with her music.

    The woman had been watching them for a while, studying them, analyzing them. They seemed unaware of what was happening, unaware of the protection that was mysteriously bestowed on them, a protection that she couldn't take off. She disappeared from her perch and reappeared on the floor, invisible and ethereal to all. Hobbling on a cane, she peered into the eyes of Han, the monk who blessed those with his words and wisdom. He couldn't see her of course; he was far too busy enjoying his sake and his present company.

    She spat onto his drink, the yellow saliva slowly appearing to coat the rim of his cup.

    No matter. Soon, she would have them all and no petty protection could save them.

    #1 Zen, Jul 18, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2014
  2. Yu Ling Yu Ling was sitting at the table, perched on her chair in a not so polite way. Instead of planting her bottom on the chair she instead crouched on it and did a silly little dance every once in awhile to amuse the children around her. She reveled in their bright smiles and high pitched cackles, and even let out a few spurts of bubbling laughter herself. Every few minutes she would turn to her neighbor and make a ridiculous face just to see if he reacted. Yu Ling had always thought of Takeshi Satoru as a waste of beauty. He was so attractive yet so frigid and stoic like a stone covered in a layer of ice. In her opinion, people blessed with beauty should smile all the time, like her!

    "Yu Ling! Yu Ling! Tell us a story! A funny one!" A small girl demanded, Yu Ling recognized her as the big tiger of the flock of children that frequented her presence. The girl was tiny but she was fierce and almost always got what she wanted.

    "No no, tell us one that has monsters!" A long haired boy squealed. Yu Ling recognized him as the boy who's parents fed him very very well. The boy was so round that he could give Fan Mogu a run for his money.

    "Alright, alright, alright," Yu Ling laughed waving her hands over her head to signal silence. "be quiet and I will tell you a funny story with monsters."

    Taking a deep breath, Yu Ling blew three short notes on her flute. "There was once a princess who was kidnapped by a devil. The devil took her to his castle and when she began to scream and beg for him to let her go he said, " Yu Ling deepened her voice as much as she could, 'You can scream until your throat bursts, and no one will come! Ga-ha-ga-ha!' And the devil left the princess in the tower. As soon as the devil left, the princess cupped her hands to her mouth and screamed, 'Until my throat bursts! Until my throat bursts!' and it just so happened that a man named No one was traveling near the devil's castle, and he heard her screaming and then he came to save her."

    There was a long bout of silence in the group of children, after she finished her story, until finally the little round boy began chortling hysterically, and the others followed suit. Yu Ling doubted half of them even understood the story, but at least they were polite and didn't tell her the tale was idiotic.
    #2 Cosmic Penguin, Jul 18, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2014
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  3. Xiao Han

    The smile on the monk's face turned into a frown as soon as he took another sip of his sake. Disgusted, the now infuriated Xiao Han threw his seaweed green cup to the side before sticking his tongue out and wiping it with the outside of his orange hued robe. Women around him rolled their eyes at his immature act while the men laughed. The reactions he got from both sexes only made him even more frustrated. Orange streaks swiftly flew in front of the monk's face in an x-motion. It was going to happen again. All people who were conversing with him earlier shut their mouths - all except one. Han glared in the direction of the one who was still laughing at him. One small sentence that the martial artist murmured to himself made all those who were very close to him reel back in fear.

    "He must be the one who put that horrid substance in my drink... I'll make him pay!"

    A clapping sound was made as both of his palms flew together, followed by a large gust of wind. Kimonos fluttered at their bases while the unbuttoned shirts of local farmers almost flew off. Almost all of the people within the room felt the slightest hint of wind. Thumbs held down the bottom of the beads around his neck, while the rest of his clothing danced around wildly. A loud "HAH!" rang throughout the premises as another cup of sake off a nearby table flew up into the air. It went over the head of the buffoon before turning itself, dumping it's contents upon the man. Sighs of relief were heard but only slightly due to the roar of laughter from Han.


    "But I didn't even-"

    "Don't even lie to me! You kept going on after I threw that wretched drink away..... put nasty things in my drinks again, and there will be more sake for you!"

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  4. The Peak

    "Ah yes, now let me tell of you of a great adventurer named Hung Fao."

    The bulbous warrior sat at the table with several of his other warriors. He was a man of high respect, and large proportions. Mogu slurped the soup in front of him after he spoke and let his tongue savor the flavor that had been put into this dish.

    Mogu hushed the group and continued speaking.

    "Long ago, Hung Fao was one of the many samurai who fought along side Lord Nyasuki. They considered him one of the greatest warriors, and in fact could have killed any man he wished." Mogu looked around the table seeing the men becoming interested.

    "Since he was the greatest warrior, there had to be someone who challenged him. Another great warrior named Lee Fung challenged him to a duel of wit. They each had to drink nine cups of rice wine spiced with horseradish. So, they both sat down in Fao's home and began the challenge. They each kept drinking, and drinking, and drinking until the final cup. Both of the men had the final cup in their hand. Fao's face hadn't even reddened unlike Fung. The raised their cup into the air and---


    Mogu turned to the yelling oaf and tilted his head.

    "I didn't know they let monkeys into this celebration," Mogu spoke loudly for Han to hear.

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  5. "I don't see what's so funny about that story," drawled a cool, cold voice.

    Fuyu, another Magus of the Cloud, dropped into the seat next to Yu Ling. He had a rice ball in one hand and draped his other arm around the woman's lovely shoulders. Fuyu's touch was possessive, hand wrapping tightly around her shoulder.

    Clothed in some of the finest silks the castle could ever produce, he was a wealthy man and liked to show it. However, as elegant and fine as his clothes were, it did little to hide his arrogance.

    "Why don't you tell me a story Yu Ling? You have such a melodious voice," he asked, smirking. His fingers reached underneath her chin and tilted her face towards his. "Make it a good one, will you?"

    A few tables away a woman with graying hair and puffy eyes glared at the couple with jealous rage. Her name was Fa, and she was the husband of Fuyu. While the man's wealth kept him looking young, Fa's work out in the gardens and scant fields toughened her body. Couple that with her shattered marriage, ruthless gossip, and it practically destroyed her mental health. They had one son, a teenager, and Fa was the one who raised him. Fuyu largely ignored his family and spent most of his time drinking or surrounded himself with women.

    However, this was common knowledge among the castle dwellers, and it was a wonder how this man hadn't been thrown into the castle dungeons yet.
  6. Yu Ling Yu Ling's good mood evaporated instantly. Her eye twitched, and she began wriggling out of Fuyu's hold. "Wan!" She barked in his face. "Wan! Wan!" She repeated with more force and made shooing motions with her hands. "Go away goat! Go back to your field! Go find some other ewe!" She snapped. She knew that she should have been a tad more respectful due to the man's status, but she never liked Fuyu. He was always chasing after wily hens when he had a beautiful jungle fowl waiting for him back home. He was an ungrateful jerk. But he was an ungrateful jerk who wanted to hear a story, and as a storyteller, she was obliged to give one. Even if she was going to regret it later.

    Getting up quickly she grabbed a small stool and sat on it, relinquishing her former seat to a warrior who had been standing earlier. Grabbing her flute she played a twirling song with sudden high notes and a few sneaky low notes.

    "There was once a man named Jun Wei, he was a strong man and pretty man who loved to hunt. He loved to hunt so much he would often leave home for days, leaving his wife and children at home to hunt to his heart's content. Then when he would finally come home from the hunt he would go to the village and show off his kills. All of the village girls thought he was such a wonderful man, an admirable man, and they always sang him praises." Making her voice comically high, Yu Ling clasped her hands together and sang 'Oh Jun Wei, you are so bright you make the sun seem dim! Oh Jun Wei you are so strong you could fight ten bears and win!' And then Jun Wei would smile a wolf's smile and take these women into his home. Because everyone knew that the only thing Jun Wei loved more than his hunting was young women."

    Taking a break, Yu Ling crammed a few rice pastries in her mouth messily. Taking a swig of water, she continued.

    "One day, Jun Wei went out to hunt, but this time he brought his eldest son, wanting his son to become so strong and so bright, just like him. But, as they were hunting, Jun Wei heard giggling and splashing sounds, so leaving his son behind he went to find the source of the merriment. Jun Wei came upon a spring, where numerous women were bathing and playing in the water and at the center of them was Tian a beautiful fairy who was known to reside in that forest. Jun Wei crouched down behind a bush and watched the women wash and play, until he remembered his son and got up to go get him. But lust made Jun Wei clumsy and CRACK!" Yu Ling jumped off of her stool and clapped her hands beside the nearest warrior. "He stepped on a twig, and Tian the beautiful fairy saw him! Tian was angry! Very!" She blew her flue shrilly. "Very, angry!" Another blast from her instrument. "She stared at Jun Wei, pointed at him, and turned him into a warthog! Terrified and confused, Jun Wei ran back to where he had left his son, and his son not knowing what had happened, raised his bow, and ZZIIITTT!" Yu Ling, darted forward and poked Fuyu in the chest. "He shot Jun Wei."

    #6 Cosmic Penguin, Jul 20, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2014
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  7. Liu Xiaojing — The Party, goldenrod
    Xiaojing had been more than tolerant of the admirer who had continued to fawn over her. But putting up with his incessant compliments was beginning to wear on her resolve, and even the normally gentle Xiaojing was beginning to grow annoyed. He did nothing but talk about himself while she quietly ate, not because she had nothing to contribute to the conversation but because he wouldn't even allow her to get a word in edgewise.

    The man continued to ramble about how Xiao was getting to the age where she really ought to be settling down, falling in love and being with a man who could take care of her - only to very unsubtly surmise that he was such a man. He who did a peasant's work, lived on the coattails of his parents and squandered their fortune while bringing none in return. Xiao was not typically one to judge, but it was plainly obvious that he was in over his head.

    Manners wearing thin, Xiaojing merely responded with a forced smile before taking a sip from her bowl of soup, waiting desperately for something to save her from this man's torturous affections.

    "NOT SO FUNNY WHEN THE JOKE IS ON YOU, IS IT NOW!?" Han's statement caught the attention of most of the hall, including Xiaojing's.

    "I didn't know they let monkeys into this celebration," Mogu insulted.

    Xiaojing gently hushed the admirer who had been fawning over her, eyes now settled on Han and Mogu. She stood, walking past Mogu and gently laying a hand on his shoulder as she walked past, gradually arriving at Han's side. Just as with Mogu, the archer gently placed her hand on Han's shoulder to help calm him. Her words flowed with an effortless, relaxing calm.

    "Han, please. Today is a day of celebration. Put aside your grudges and leave them for another time."
    #7 fatalrendezvous, Jul 21, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2014
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  8. Enter the Chaos Magus, #0080ff
    The room was hardly big enough to accommodate all the people in it. Each seat was filled, and many forced to stand or sit on the floor. Takeshi was one of those who chose to stand so that others could sit. He walked around the room munching on a sticky bun and listening to the merriment around him.

    No one tried to include him in the festivities, but he didn't seem to mind. The magus had no one he would consider a real friend. There were other members of the Order of the Cloud that he interacted with regularly, like Mogu and Fuyu, but even they were more like comrades than friends. Except for Fuyu...

    Several young women were giving him glances as he walked by, before they quickly turned away blushing. Some of the younger ones even giggled amongst each other. One however, decided to be bold, and stood up after he walked by before tapping his shoulder. He turned to see her blushing face, and recognized her as Nuwa, a farmhand only a few years younger than him. The girl was not dressed as elegantly as many of the others nearby, but one could tell that she had taken special care with her appearance today.

    "Hi Takeshi. Um..." She bowed and raised a small wooden bento box up to him. "...Please accept this gift. I made it all myself."

    Takeshi couldn't help but smile. The box itself was made of finely crafted hardwood, which was quite a rare luxury in the castle due to lack of trees. That alone spoke volumes of how she felt about the gesture. He took it and bowed in appreciation to her. Nuwa straightened and her face lit up.

    "Thank you Nuwa."

    He was about to open it up when a familiar voice rang out nearby.

    "How dare you, wench!"
    It was Fuyu addressing Yu Ling after her clever song. "How dare you insult a Magus of the Cloud!"

    Nuwa's smile quickly faded as Takeshi walked off towards his fellow magus. Fuyu stood and raised a hand to Yu Ling, only to find his wrist gripped firmly by Takeshi. He turned to face the younger magus, who released his wrist and glared.

    "Just once Fuyu, I would like a day to go by where you do nothing to tarnish the great name of our ancestors and to not be reminded that you and I share the same rank."

    Fuyu glared back, wanting nothing more than to strike Takeshi down for his insults. But he was too much of a coward to try anything against someone who could strike back harder than he could.

    "You think you're so much better. Arrogant little worm. I'll remember this Takeshi."

    With that, Fuyu walked away, being sure to knock Takeshi's shoulder with his own while passing.

    "Perhaps you should put that effort into remembering your wife and son instead."

    Fuyu stopped in his tracks, turned his head to the side, and spat on the floor. His footsteps echoed in the now silent dining hall. All eyes shifting between the irate monk, and the two feuding maguses. The silence was broken after a moment by Mogu, who called out to everyone.

    "Hey! This is a party! Come on now, let's get back to the fun!"

    The room quickly filled with conversation again, breaking the tension in the air. Takeshi gave an apologetic look to Yu Ling, then made his way back to Nuwa who had sat back down. She felt a soft kiss on her cheek, and turned to find it was the young magus. Her cheeks flushed and her smile returned.

    "I'm sorry about that. Thank you for the gift."
    #8 Kino, Jul 21, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2014
  9. Liu Ai, #AB82FF

    Like the snow on the mountain Ai's cold grey-blue hues glazed over the celebration with an irritated tolerance, dimly regarding a small group of drunken idiots who decided it was a bright idea to make a bumbling attempt to woo her at the entrance. Shooting the group of young men a stone cold glare and watched them cower before her, exchanging hesitant glances while slowly backing away.

    Festivities bored the young Guardian. The stories were long, the drinking was obnoxious, people were loud and got into fights that was plainly demonstrated by the participants in the first five minutes of her arrival. The food was generally reasonable but that might have been it only saving grace, settling for nothing more than a bowl of soup she weaved her way around the cram packed bodies that emitted a stagnant heat accompanied by the pungent aroma of sweat that made her feel sick to her stoumach.

    "Three dumplings, please" she left a small tip on the side for the cooks "Don't argue," the hint of agitation in her voice was prevalent as she stared the cooks down that nodded with a bow of appreciation, quickly serving her food.

    Allowing her eyes to wonder across the crowd in search for a familiar face Ai let her focus settle on her sister Xiaojing and like always was followed by an admirer. It baffled Ai why her sister did not avert their attention at first glance instead of egging the poor buggers on, the blatant lack of honesty was a fault in her sister she didn't like.

    Approaching the man following Xiao, the Guardian gently put a hand on his shoulder "She doesn't like you, give it up."

    "Who are you?"

    "Her sister."

    Xiao's admirer bowed as his eyes scanned Ai from head to toe "Take a hint, I'm giving you honesty where my sister failed to do so. Give up, find someone else, enjoy the party. You will find no satisfaction in me nor my sister."

    A look of shock appeared across the man's face it was almost as if he'd seen a ghost. Time and time again the Guardian has this reaction and once again she found it agitating "We owe you nothing,"

    Leaving the man to his thoughts Ai wandered through what felt like denizens of people, on a quest to find some interesting company when she stumbled upon Takeshi.

    "Takeshi!" as she approached she realized who was in Takeshi's company "She's pretty. I didn't think you one for the more delicate type, always the smooth talker," she winked suggestively.

    Ai had never cared for the magus's cold tone and often mocked him for it.

    "Oh great Magus work your magic and rescue me from this pit trap of drunken old men."
    #9 Ai, Jul 21, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2014
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  10. Xiao Han The monk would have stood up and challenged the big buffoon to a duel if it weren't for the archer holding him back with her words. Han looked up to the woman at his side, examining her for a moment before turning to glare at the large warrior at the other table. A loud sigh left his lips as he placed his hand on the archer's, grasping it lightly before pulling it off of his shoulder. After his exasperated sound effect the robed warrior leaned back in his seat, dramatically throwing one hand by his head as if he were combing long hair.

    "You're right Xiaojing, GRUDGES shouldn't be held.... especially against weaklings."

    After his sentence he let out a hearty laugh, making sure that most of the people in the vicinity could hear. Almost all of the inhabitants of the castle knew that Han was never one to back down by a fight. He would rather beat sense into those challenging him rather than settling issues with words. As soon as he noticed that a lot of eyes were set upon him he turned to the archer who was still by his side.

    "And my, don't you look beautiful today! Did you do something with your hair?"

    Out of the corner of his eye he got the response he wanted. Some men whispered to each other, while others put their faces in their hands. They realized that if he were to pursue Xiaojing, they would have no chance anymore. Han was an impulsive man who would do anything in his power to get what he wanted. Only those who were truly brave enough to face his wrath would go against his will. He flashed the archer a smile before flexing his fingers, making a light wind fly beneath her hair to toss it up slightly.

    "See how my abilities compliment your beauty... very handsome and noteworthy, isn't it?"
  11. Liu Xiaojing — The Party, goldenrod

    Dialogue collab with @Aira Reinhart

    Xiaojing began to let out a sigh of relief as Han seemed to see reason. As if on cue, her morale plummeted on his statement "...against weaklings." Immediately her sigh of relief transformed into a huff of disappointment. Han's lack of respect for others was off-putting. Xiao was unsure if he was simply doing it to make a show as an attempt to impress her, or if he was always like this. She wondered which would be worse.

    Needless to say, Xiaojing was not impressed.

    It was one thing to be confident. But his overestimation of his own prowess - his arrogance - much like many of the warriors in Ziyou possessed, seemed to Xiaojing to be an incredible disrespect. Especially to strangers who had not wronged Han in any way other than based on his own judgment that this man had somehow done something to his drink.

    "And my, don't you look beautiful today! Did you do something with your hair?"

    And the gall! The arrogance to sit again and lean back so self-assuredly, and to attempt to flirt. Xiaojing's eyes gazed across the spectators observing them; their faces were not in their palms out of disappointment as Han perhaps believed, but out of pity. Out of embarrassment on his behalf for making a fool of himself. As the wind he created lifted her hair, Xiaojing quickly turned her head the other way, cheeks flushed with frustration rather than glowing from his gesture.

    "See how my abilities compliment your beauty... very handsome and noteworthy, isn't it?"

    Xiao fumed as she took a deep breath before speaking, making sure to choose her words very carefully. She didn't even make eye contact with the monk. "There is little I find handsome about your behavior, Xiao Han. Noteworthy, perhaps - but not for the reasons you think. Enjoy the rest of the party."

    She left, setting off to find her sister Ai, whom she noticed speaking with Takeshi. Walking up close to her Ai's side, Xiaojing stood next to her sister and whispered to her briefly about her handling of Xiao's admirer earlier.

    "Thank you, for earlier. You really didn't need to do that - although I wish I'd had you around just now."

    Ai responded in similarly hushed breath. "You weren't going to do it. Somebody had to."

    Somebody had to? Xiao pondered on this for a moment. "Hm. That may be. But he would have learned on his own, in time. A lesson self-learned is far more valuable than one taught by others, no?"

    Ai scoffed quietly. "Let him dream, shower him with false hope and shatter it? Wars have been started over less. You are cruel, sister."

    "I was not showering him. Merely letting him speak." Xiaojing's brows furrowed out of frustration with her younger sister.

    "He spoke; he was rejected. Let him move on."

    Xiao let out a soft sigh. "I question your methods sometimes, sister. But I can't deny your results. Thank you."

    Ai turned her head to face her older sister, words still hushed but piercing. "My methods will be blamed on myself; he will wallow in his rejection, then come around to the idea that you couldn't possibly be that bitter. He will learn to hate me but appreciate your refusal. Happy ending. You're welcome. Goodbye." With that, she turned forward again to re-engage Takeshi in conversation, leaving Xiao's side.

    Left by herself now, Xiaojing shook her head with a roll of her eyes. "How... selfless of you."
    #11 fatalrendezvous, Jul 22, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014
  12. Yu Ling
    Yu Ling breathed a sigh of relief when frosty stone, Takeshi swooped in to save the day. She was sure that her face would be red for days if Fuyu had slapped her. Possibly other places, because you don't just insult a Magus of the Cloud without some type of punishment. But for now she was safe and free to do as she pleased! She would thank Takeshi later, as he seemed to be engrossed in conversation with two women. "So the stone has amassed some pebbles." She murmured to herself, watching the other Magus for a bit, then turning to find the children.

    Spotting them all at the historian's feet again, she pouted. They must have been scared off by the goat man, Fuyu. It would take them awhile before they approached her again.

    Eh, might as well find someone else to talk to. She thought, as she grabbed her favorite rice pastries and went to find someone else to interact with. Spotting, Xiaojing, she stopped for a second. She had never really spoken to Xiaojing, outside of pleasantries, and a few times when she had blundered in to the castle gardens while playing with the children. But it was a celebration! Everyone was talking to everyone! It didn't hurt to try and it's not as though she was aggressive like Fuyu or Han.

    Lurching forward and wrapping her arm around Xiaojing's shoulders, Yu Ling exclaimed happily, "Xiaojing! Xiaojing! Remember me? I'm Yu Ling. Have a rice pastry!" She blabbered, happily, shoving said pastry at the other woman. It's not as though she was trying to be rude, it was just that she spent most of her time with children and that's usually how they acted around each other.​
    #12 Cosmic Penguin, Jul 22, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014
  13. That Awkward Moment When..., #0080ff
    It was rather awkward for Takeshi when the two sisters began whispering to each other right in front of him. It got even more awkward when halfway through their conversation, they weren't quite whispering anymore. They seemed to be talking about men. How... unsurprising...

    After it was over, Xiao walked away and AI faced Takeshi again, looking as though nothing happened. He sighed heavily before replying.

    "What do you want Ai? If you're just going to mock me then I'll be on my way. I am in no mood for it."
  14. This was a great party. In normal situations Suzu hated parties, the noise and press of bodies made her uncomfortable and jumpy, well more jumpy than she usually was. It had taken two of the healers that she worked with along with three children to finally convince her to go to the party and even then she had nearly had a fit after learning what she was expected to do in preparation for the party. It had taken those same to healers to finally force her into a bath. The leaves that normally decorated her hair like a crown had been forcefully pulled out and dirt and grim that had been caked under her nails and on her hands from working in the garden were scrubbed off. And in the end she felt that the two conspirators had taken far to much joy in twisting her hair up into a perfect bun and stuffing her into a dress.

    And now even though the party was in full swing her temperament was uncharacteristically mild, true part of her wanted to jump back whenever a random passerby brushed to close but two cups of sake was telling her that everything was pretty great. Not all of her mannerisms were so drugged down, her eyes constantly shifted from person to person never quite holding people's gazes unless she was questioned directly when her gaze would bore unendingly into them until they found themselves eager to break the conversation off. With inquisitive tilts of her head she examined the swirling colors around her, her movements jerky like a small bird held in enthrall by shifting shadows.

    "Again again!" Came a call from three small children that had drifted away from the bunch that were seated near Bingwen. With a cat's grin Suzu raised her arms and then snatched at the open air near one of the children's heads causing the one closest to give a squeal of excitement. Holding the hidden treasure between cupped hands she brought them to her face and made a show of peeking through her fingers. In excitement the children pressed forward, tugging on her dark green dress and grabbing at her elbow for her to share the prize. For a while she taunted them, holding herself above them like a dog that had finally gotten a bone. When finally they began to pout she brought her hands to her mouth and blew on them just as she opened her hands.

    Multicolored lights danced wildly from her hands like dandelion seeds before a storm. With wild hands the children grabbed at the lights, excitement over taking them as they scooped up as many dancing lights as possible. However when they opened their small fat fists they were still shocked to see that the lights had indeed resolved themselves into simple dandelion seeds. It seemed like they were about to again insist that she repeat the act when one of their parents broke them away.

    "Now leave poor Suzu alone. She has enough to think about, why not listen to Bingwen's story." With heavy sighs the children fled back to rejoin the larger group. Leaving Suzu to lock eyes with the father that had spoken, while not open there was a subtle distaste that was held in his eyes, something that almost brought a sneer to Suzu's face. She knew that it was generally frowned upon to use magic for trivial tricks but she did not care and who would dare call her out at a party like this. They called her "touched", something she found very odd. What did they know they had their peace, and she just made hers. Her mind liked to whirl and dance like the lights she had cast, like the bodies that moved around her. So her mind whirled and when it didn't whirl her body did, they was always movement there had to be movement, what did they now nothing what could they know they only lived a crows life black feathers dropping and swooping in a merry dance till it all stopped so sudden until it smothered the ground where she would be left with feathers and nowhere to go.

    With a shake of her head Suzu blinked as she surfaced from her own thoughts. The father had moved away several minutes ago leaving her to stare intensely at blank wall. To relieve herself slightly from the burden of thinking she reached out for a plate of dumplings that had been placed near her but instead of taking one of the dumplings she picked the sprig of mint that decorated the plate instead. With nimble hand she plucked tender leaves from the stalk until only the top most leaves were left. Stuffing the leaves into her mouth she chewed thoughtfully on them while she proceeded to stick the leftover stalk and leaves into her hair. This continued for several minutes, with various decorative plants being nibbled and subsequently added to her hair, tender leaves and stalks interspersed evenly with more typical dinner fair.
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  15. Here Comes Their Demise It was growing towards midnight. Children were being sent away to their rooms, teenagers begged with their mothers and fathers to stay up, and the adults were left drunk and gambled away their earnings. Even Bingwen, who was the host for the party, was caught snoring on his throne. Others had fled to other parts of the castle, to fondle and grope one another, or to simply walk off that night's decadent meal.

    The woman thought it the perfect time to launch their demise.

    It began slowly, quietly. Small quakes rippled throughout the castle, shaking the dust from ceilings; it coated the tables, their meals, and their clothes. It made the castle dwellers look up with curiosity, but when the shakes stopped they returned to their conversations.

    Except for the Mages in the Order.

    Bingwen was startled from his sleep, and he rose from his seat with worry and concern. He hobbled towards the wall and placed his fingers upon the stone.

    "The magic... The magic is disappearing."

    Standing behind him was the woman, a manic grin spreading across her invisible face.

    At his words, chairs and benches were pushed aside as people rushed to the windows. At first they thought nothing was wrong, and then the quakes resumed, strong, terrible quakes. It shook the castle's foundations, shifting platters of food onto the floor. Cracks appeared on the stone walls, running upwards into the ceiling. And then cracks appeared on the floor and ceiling, dislodging fragments of stone and dust onto the people. As large pieces began to fall onto the people, smashing open their heads and crushing their bodies, everyone experienced the most dreadful sensation - the sensation of falling.

    Bingwen, Takeshi, Han, and even scornful Fuyu began incantations and spells. Wisps of air prevented the slabs from falling; jolts of dark magic splintered what rocks Bingwen missed, and Fuyu gathered the remaining people in the dining hall outside.

    But outside was no better. Edges of the castle were breaking away, falling towards the earth.

    "STAY CLOSE EVERYONE!" roared Mogu through the onslaught of screams.

    Terror gripped everyone. Mothers clung to their children. The mages tried desperately to keep the castle aloft; many fell while their hearts burst from the exertion. Everyone screamed, and everyone prayed to their Lord, but he could do nothing for them.

    As Ziyou Castle plummeted towards the ground, as the grass and stone caught fire, the woman fell with them, cackling madly at their despair. Of course, she did not show her face.

    The Landing The ground and trees splintered as the castle crashed. The boom could felt and heard for miles, decimating those that were unfortunate to be around it. It skidded, and left deep trenches in the earth, and when it stopped, wild fire consumed everything in its wake.

    Bingwen was able to keep himself safe, and he used the last remains of his magic to blow a rock slab from his body. Blood was in his eyes, and he wiped it away with his robe. He was on a hill of carnage, and what a sight it was: rubble was everywhere, and tucked into its crevice were limbs and faces of his beloved people. Blood was splattered everywhere, and if those that were still living made a noise, he could not hear it over the crackling of fire.

    Smoke clouded his vision. He swayed as shock was setting in, but he had to move, had to get the survivors out. He slid and skipped across the rubble, spotted a hand which he pulled, and out came a limb. He gasped, he cried, and fell to his knees.

    Blood mixed with his tears.

    He tried to move once more, but all was numb. He was bleeding elsewhere, but the adrenaline kept him from feeling it.

    Movement made him gaze towards the treeline. The fire parted, like curtains being drawn back, and in the shadows of flame and destruction, walked a tribe of unfamiliar people. They had spears, paint on their faces, and wore loincloths.

    That was all Bingwen saw before he succumbed to the shock and darkness.

    Wakey Wakey Suzu awoke to voices, strange, unfamiliar voices. They were chanting, that much she knew, but she knew not what language it was. Blinking, she felt heat on her face. Eyes adjusted and she saw a massive bonfire with people dancing in front of it.

    Coughing the smoke from her lungs, she rose to a sitting position and realized with a jolt that she was in a cage. A bamboo cage. And what's more, she had been stripped down to her undergarments. Frantic, she looked around and saw others in the same predicament, barely clothed and trapped.

    Their possessions were removed, and none of their injuries were treated. Some were still out cold.

    One of the dancers came over, spear in hand. He wore a mask with a ghastly face painted on it, and stabbed the spear into her cage. It missed; a scare tactic. The man garbled some words, stomped his feet, and returned to the fire.

    This time Suzu's eyes moved from the dancing flames to the pile of bodies and limbs, which were being devoured by these barbarians. With horror, she saw hands, feet, legs, and faces being eaten; a closer examination of the bonfire revealed that her people, the castle dwellers, were being cooked over turning spits.


  16. Liu Ai, #AB82FF

    A sickly sweet scent lingered in the air that stirred Ai from unconsciousness, her eyes flickering wide open when she realized what it was, burning human flesh.

    Turning around the Guardians heart sank into her chest as she stared past the cackling red flames of the fire to see her family and friends ripped limb from limb and being tossed onto the fire. Stuck behind Bamboo bars and banging her fist in frustration, unable to do anything but watch the bodies of women and children get eaten one by one. A tear ran down Ai's face when she saw their expressions, looks of terror kept from their final moments all doomed to a dishonourable fate.

    Suddenly noticing a sharp pain run through body and cuts oozing trails of red liquid that she was forced to ignore, she'd have to tend to it later.

    Closing her eyes for a split second Ai calmed herself and started formulating a plan when she realized the company she kept, her sister.

    Of course, it would only be her; of all the people that Ai had to end up naked with inside of a cell, it had to be her.

    Kneeling next to Xiao, Ai's cold snowy eyes softened into a look of adoration as she delicately put a hand over her sister's heart; she was alive "I love you," her voice whispered softly so that no one would hear of her shame.

    Bowing her head the warrior regained her composure and slapped her sister awake "Xiao!"

    Xiao began to stir, glaring up at her "Ai? You-"

    Ai put a hand over her sister's mouth and began to speak in hushed tones "Shut up, i've got a plan listen very carefully. I am going to make a lot of noise and draw attention. We are delicate feminine creatures so they will not send many to come an deal with me." she released her sister, taking Xiao's hand and gently rolled it into a fist "When the guards do come I need you to imagine them as me, use your anger and punch them like you've never punched before. Strike at the temple it'll at least knock them out. We then have twenty seconds to make a break for it before they start coming after us. Start running and get yourself to safety." Ai firmly grabbed Xiao's shoulder "I'm counting on you."

    Swiftly rising from her knelt position Ai sneered, screaming down down toward Xiao "You are the shame of our family! Look at you all pathetic and lying there, you can't even wake from a little whack around the head in time, oh great sister! Look at you now!" her voice seethed with anger as she tried to focus her attention on her sister's body in an attempt not to give away their plan.

    Footsteps came closer...

    "I stuck up for you! And look how you repayed me! With Scorn, I bet you wished me dead! Well you got your wish!"
    #16 Ai, Jul 23, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014
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  17. Liu Xiaojing — The Crash, goldenrod
    Covered in blood and caking dirt, Xiaojing wanted nothing more than to be back at the party, enjoying Yu Ling's sesame rice pastries. Ai's rude awakening left her somewhat disoriented, but she quickly calmed herself as she took in the situation around her. Xiao had suffered several gashes along her arms and back in the fall, and judging by the dizzying ache in the back of her head, probably hit it on something while tumbling around. But for the moment, Xiao's body seemed intact and mostly functional.

    Xiao's splitting headache caused Ai's plan to swirl around in her head longer than it normally would have. She barely even had time to make sense of it all before the strange primitives began to approach. Quickly, she fell in step with her sister's scheme, allowing herself to feel the sting of Ai's taunts. Stepping forward, Xiao gave her a strong two-handed shove, forcing Ai backwards and against the bars of the cell.

    "Me? Don't you try to pin this on me!" Her words burned as she poured out the emotions that she normally kept in check. "You haven't been grateful for me a day in your life!" She lifted an accusatory finger, pointing it at her younger sister as the locals drew closer. "I looked after you! Cared for you! Not once did you thank me!"

    Three men, armed with spears and sporting a variety of tribal markings, arrived at the gate to the cell. One grunted loudly at them, shouting in some odd language. The others clanged their spears against the bars of the cell to try to intimidate the sisters into silence.

    "Shut up!" Ai roared at the primitives, redirecting her scorn. "This is none of your business!"

    The men swung the gate open, grabbing a hold of Ai, who struggled against them. Xiao's dropped her act momentarily as concern for her sister sprang back to the forefront of her thoughts. Fortunately, the locals were focused on Ai and didn't notice Xiao's sudden change in demeanor. Steeling her nerves, Xiao resumed her facade of anger as the savages finally managed to wrestle Ai's arms behind her back. "I hope you get what you deserve!" Xiao shouted, as the men yanked Ai out of the cage.

    "...But not today." She whispered under her breath. It took more than one man to restrain Ai; the brutes held their spears one-handed, using their free hands to prevent her from wrestling free. Just as the last was about to close the gate, Xiao sprang into action, heaving the door back open and throwing a swift punch to the side of his head.

    She wasn't strong enough to knock him out, but the blow was enough to stagger him momentarily as he shouted in pain and surprise, doubling over and gripping the side of his head. The two cannibals leading Ai further ahead stopped to see what was happening, just in time to see Xiao grab the man's head with both hands and force him into a fierce knee to the face, causing him to crumple to the ground unconscious.

    The men ahead shouted angrily, releasing Ai as their hands went to their spears. Ai, hands now free, immediately unleashed a flurry of knife-hand strikes to one man's neck, temporarily stunning him. The commotion caused the last fighter to attempt to circle back to create space, but Ai took hold of his spear shaft before he could gain the advantage of distance. With a quick twist and a sharp pull, she pried it free from his grip and jabbed the back end of the spear into his stomach before swinging it against his head with a resounding thud. Xiaojing, rushing to her aid, delivered a swift kick into the second man's face before he had a chance to get his bearings. He too thudded to the ground.

    Standing over the unconscious bodies, the sisters shared a rare moment of unity and gave each other a nod.

    "Good. Now go find someplace safe and-- wait where are you going?" Xiao was moving in the wrong direction. Rather than heading into the trees away from the camp, she was heading towards it.

    "We have to help the others! I'm not going to just sit around and wait!" She leaned over to pick up two spears dropped by the men who had held them captive, tossing one to her sister.

    "Come on, let's go."
    #17 fatalrendezvous, Jul 23, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014
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  18. Xiao Han - The Crash
    The sounds of screaming awoke the previously boisterous monk from his temporary slumber. A sticky substance left the incision on his cheek and traveled down the side of his face, taking refuge in his mouth. Blood. Han's hand went up to feel the cut, and the slightest touch to the wound made him reel back in pain.

    "What in th-"

    The monk instinctively put both of his hands over his mouth as his eyes found the source of the shrieking. A girl who seemed to be in her early teens was being eaten alive in front of him. Tears streamed down her face as her legs were being gnawed upon by two beings that he had never seen before in his life. The two enigmas before him had almost the same body types as his but they wore loincloths and wielded spears instead. A loud cracking sound was made as he shifted from a lying position to a seated one. His left arm sagged at his side, dislocated from the abrupt impact of the castle. He eyed his injury, before looking to the small girl who was now have her arms eaten away.

    "I've gotta save her..."

    "You can't... don't you see what sort of situation we're in right now?"

    The other voice startled him, causing him to turn his head swiftly in the direction of where the words were emitted from. Fuyu, the Magus who was flirting with Yu Ling at the party moments before, was sitting in the corner of the bamboo cage opposite of himself. No clothes were upon his body except for his undergarments. Han looked to himself, finally realizing the same had been done to him, and that the two were both stick in a...

    Bamboo cage.


    "Finally set in, didn't it Mr. Monk? You can't save her..."

    "I... can try."

    Han attempted to stand up, but the pain in his arm was too great. The monk fell back down before letting out a sigh. His eyes left Fuyu and began to scan the area around. Many other cages were in the area, all seemingly holding people who were either important or did something significant at the party.

    "I'm getting out."



    Han turned his head to see the two that would be essential to the Magus' plans. One of them he knew well, for she was the one he was flirting with at the event. The other woman was a mystery to him altogether. Confused, the monk turned his head back to Fuyu only to see that the Magus had his hands cupped around his mouth.

    "What are you a-"


    The two cannibals outside of the cage turned their attention to the two males inside the cage. They then gave each other an odd look before speaking in tongues that the monk had never heard before. Once the cannibals finished conversing they turned their attention to the two women who were running in the opposite direction, and began their chase.

    "See how helpful that was? Now get us out, oh great monk."

    Adrenaline was the only thing keeping him going right now. Fuyu's distraction had worked, but only in their favor. He had to catch up to the cannibals before they took the girls as their next meal. Han stood up, ignoring the pain coming from his left arm before walking to the nearest piece of bamboo. He breathed in and out, calming himself slightly before raising up his right leg. Swiftly the monk fired his foot into the bamboo before him. It made a snapping sound before breaking in two. Han exited through the opening first, followed by Fuyu.

    "Now because of you we have to go save them."

    "You can go ahead and do that, while I get myself out of here."

    "What? Are you kid-"

    But the Magus decided he was done talking. Fuyu disappeared through a door, making his own escape. Han turned his sights back to the cannibals, who were gaining on the unsuspecting women. The monk sped towards one of the cannibals, leaping into the air to launch a kick into the beast's neck. The masked man let out a cry before falling face first into the cold slabs beneath them. Wooden chips from the now broken mask buried themselves deep within their incapacitated host's face. The second cannibal turned around, sending a loud shriek to Han before running towards him. As soon as the enemy was inches before his face the monk sent a fist into the man's solar plexus, winding him. While the tribesmen reeled in pain an uppercut was sent into his chin, causing his head to fly up momentarily. The second cannibal shook for a moment, coughed up blood, and then fell to the ground. The monk breathed in and out heavily before calling to the women before him.

    "Hey... wait a second!"
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  19. Breaking Bonds
    The crackling of the fire didn't silence of the screams of the cannibal's meal. The breaking of bones paired with chewing only painted nightmares for those who were alive to watch.

    A startle awoke Mogu. His eyes darted around the cage, but he only found a tired mage.

    "Friend, are you alive?"

    There was no answer from Takeshi.

    Mogu tried to move but he was restricted by chains that encompassed him. Mogu looked around, but only saw the shadows of cannibals. It was hopeless, the warriors fate was sealed by an insatiable hunger.

    Footsteps caught Mogu's attention as he looked toward the figure that loomed over him. There was silence from the man. It was hungry silence, a lust for the flesh of Mogu. The slurping of the cannibal's saliva only made Mogu unsettled.

    A stir came from the mage as he moved around. The cannibal's eyes darted toward the mage, diverting attention from the mountain.

    Rage filled Mogu as he watched the demon before him look at them like they were meat on a rack. Mogu began to pulled the chains trying to break them. The links slowly began to crack, each link becoming weaker as Mogu pulled harder. CHINK. Mogu jumped to his feet with a thud. He charged the cannibal with strong enough force to break through the cage. Surprised, the cannibal tumbled back only be to stomped on.

    "No bonds can hold a mountain!"
  20. Yu Ling Yu Ling woke to unimaginable pain. Although...The pain must have been somewhat imaginable since she was experiencing it. She felt like her head had been stomped on and then stabbed with a thousand blades. Which very well could have happened, because where in the Lord's name was she?!

    Scrambling to her hands and knees, Yu Ling finally took in her surroundings. Bars, bright lights, chanting. What? The last thing she remembered was the celebration! She had told Fuyu a story...But what else? Yu Ling let out a whimper of terror when she realized that she couldn't remember. The more she tried to uncover the memories, the more her head throbbed. Grasping at her head with her hands, Yu Ling shook her head, squeezing her eyes shut as she tried to force the memories to the forefront of her mind but to no avail.

    It was then that she realized that she was not alone. There was someone else in the cage with her and she was...Naked?! Well not completely naked. She still had her undergarments.

    Recognizing the face before her, Yu Ling crept forward and reached out to touch the other woman. "You--Uh, um..." What was her name? The woman who was always dirty...With twigs and leaves in her hair. "Lemur!" Yu Ling hissed, failing to remember her actual name and giving the other woman a shake. "Wake up!"
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