Sengoku Horizon

Look towards the Horizon

The Warring States Period: Fierce warlords fought for control of Japan, and many would perish. When a warrior falls, where does the passion they once held go? Possibly into something dear such as a favorite weapon or heirloom. These heirlooms have been labeled as “relics”, and those that carry them are labeled as “Scions." Recently more and more of these special relics have been activating, signaling the start of a great change as ancient power meets the modern world!

Now For The Local News, 06/01/2018 The Chinese delegation have now arrived at the city of Edo. Making friends and learning about Edo Culture is their current aim! In other news it is also time for the school dance event! Please bring your characters along!

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 Tea Ceremony with Kumori (Open, Chao Guang)
Nobuyumi
 Posted: Mar 5 2018, 08:50 PM
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Chao Guang, inheritor of the famous Chinese hero Liu Bei. The boy had long, pretty hair and an eye patch covering his eye. He had come to Edo with the rest of the Chinese delegation and in spite of his rather fierce appearance seemed to be a rather kind man. He was clearly old, like Izuki Kai, but he also seemed very peaceful and open to polite conversation.

Back at Edo's docks he had been offered to attend a special tea ceremony by a kind girl named Kumori. Apparently she was quite skilled at it and invited others as well. Naturally Chao was not about to decline such kindness. Thus, dressed in fine green robes he was moving around Edo with his bodyguard Fai Cheng, waiting to either run into Kumori or receive some kind of text from her.

Suzu

--------------------
Azai Nobuyori
The stuck up clan lord who defends the people.

Tagami Yumiko
The adorable poet girl who hates war.

Katayama, Masato
A strategist bent on changing the world.
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Suzu
 Posted: Mar 7 2018, 08:36 AM
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When the visit of Chinese students had been announced Kumori hadn't planned on anything special taking place for her. Regular hospitality seemed as if it were going to be enough to suit the occasion. Until she'd actually interacted with the visitors she'd assumed that was the case; the large number of people from Edo Bugei who'd gone to welcome the visitors seemed likely to ensure the usual from everyone was enough. That is until her attention had been attracted to the visitor who claimed the legacy of Liu Bei, one Chao Guang. In that moment she'd proposed a tea ceremony as a more relaxed, traditional manner of interaction. Having been taken up on it she had set to work quickly at preparing everything for a session as soon as possible.

She'd sent out messages to classmates and their friends, as well as the school's cultural clubs about the ceremony. Just in case anyone from Bugei who hadn't come to the docks might be interested in such a thing. Granted it had been quite a while since the last time she'd been entrusted with this particular kind of event. Even considering that, she hadn't actually been in charge of a ceremony for more than a couple of people. If many people showed up this was likely to be a real test of her ability at all things traditional. Kumori had been so concerned about this going right that she'd been at the tea house all morning to prepare.

You could only go through the movements so many times before you were as prepared as you'd be getting, though. After that point had been reached she'd worked at organizing the best cups and selections of matcha as was possible form the stores available. Finally she'd sent a text to the Chinese guest with directions to the small tea house near the campus and awaited his arrival. This was a semi-official function, so she'd dressed up in a green kimono with gold and pink floral pattern. Her hair was brushed the best it could be, though it still had a bit of a mind of its own. Until her guests arrived she sat patiently, eyes closed in meditation as she cast off all other concerns but the tea ceremony itself.

Once they arrived, she would meet them at the door with a polite bow, "Good day, thank you for coming. I hope your visit so far as gone well?"


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LDYWHTE
 Posted: Mar 23 2018, 06:24 PM
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The water in excess from their hands tingled on the little tsukubai, creating a light melody which faded soon after they had dried their hands for the little ritual of purification, one of the first steps before entering the Chashitsu, the Tea Room. For the special event, Kayoko and Youri wore their best kimonos: a rafinate neutral attire for Youri and an elaborated blue Furisode for Kayoko, resembling a clear night sky with the moon and a single sakura branch cutting through.

"Can you imagine, brother? Finally we will see directly how a true Cha no yu works!"

"You know that we might be simple Kyaku*, right?"

Kayoko huffed at the words of her brother, remembering that there were the social ranks in a formal Ceremony. The laws of Sen no Rikyu to put at the same levels all the guests in a Ceremony maybe weren't followed here, at least not today.

Youri patted the shoulder of the sister, reassuring that no matter what it'll be an enjoyable afternoon for them too.
"That guy ahead of us must be the Shokyaku... let's go." He said before he fell silent with her, who nodded in reply with her head low.
Both followed the path made by the tobi ishi which guided them directly to the tea room. At least they didn't needed to crawl inside through the entrance.

Following the etiquette of a formal Tea Ceremony, the two entered inside the little room in a respectful silence after they left outside their shoes, leaving the formal greetings to Chao Guang, the Honored Guest. Then the twins, side by side, faced the Tokonoma at the entrance and bowed down deeply in front of it before they turned in the direction of the landlady, but they were just admiring the clean and minimalistic ambient.

It's been ages since I've entered in one of these huts... it feels very good. Youri thought with a little smile.

Wa, Sei, Kei, Jaku... Kayoko repeated in her mind all over again with a hint of nervousness on her pale face while she passed in her fingers the modest Relic like a rosary. Wa, Sei, Kei, Jaku...
___
*: A normal Guest in a Tea Ceremony

--------------------
The Twin Sotan

Kayoko Sotan
user posted image
"My arm for a pillow,
I really like myself
under the hazy moon
" -Yosa Buson



Youri Sotan
user posted image
"The summer grasses
All that remains
Of brave soldiers dreams
" -Matsuo Basho
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Nobuyumi
 Posted: Mar 28 2018, 05:37 AM
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As the boys waited for information Chao looked up at the sky. The air in Edo felt different from Beijing, but he couldn't quite place the reason. Was it the different smells? Was the sky more clear here? Was it the different sounds of being in a new city? Either way he couldn't quite place it. However, hi contemplation was quickly brought down to Earth as his phone went off. Using a translation app he gathered that a tea house was somewhere near Edo Bugei's campus and that it would be serving as the location for today's event.

"我們該走了"
Chao said to his bodyguard as the two set off towards the tea house. Fortunately a GPS location had been provided. The walk wasn't that long since two hadn't actually gone that far from Edo Bugei's campus. As they got closer to the tea house they could see others besides themselves gathering. The two took off their shoes and entered the tea house, politely nodding to Kumori, their host. After they had entered two other Bugei students, looking similar to twins, seemed to enter after them. It appeared that, in total, five people had gathered for the ceremony.

As Chao closed his eyes he thought of how peaceful this was. In his mind a large group would ruin the beaut of a tea ceremony. Next to him his bodyguard would likely be thinking the same thing. It meant less people he had to worry about protecting his lord from. On top of that he sensed absolutely no hostility from any of the Edo Bugei students in the room.

Suzu
LDYWHTE

--------------------
Azai Nobuyori
The stuck up clan lord who defends the people.

Tagami Yumiko
The adorable poet girl who hates war.

Katayama, Masato
A strategist bent on changing the world.
PMEmail
^
Suzu
 Posted: Apr 4 2018, 04:09 PM
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There was only just enough room in the teahouse for a small number of people, five or six guests at the most. Kumori certainly didn't want to turn people away from an open invitation but it might prove necessary. She was glad to see a couple of Edo Bugei students arrive just on the coattails of Chao Guang and his bodyguard. There had been some hope that this would prove a chance for bonding between Japanese and Chinese. After all there had been plenty of tension on the docks during the latter group's arrival. A relaxed atmosphere in an intimate setting would possibly help smooth things over between the sides. Seeing that they had just about hit capacity for the tea house, Kumori elected to begin the ceremony proper.

"Welcome to Edo Bugei Academy and this simple tea ceremony. Now that everyone has arrived, I shall begin the preparation of tea," Kumori announced, taking a relaxed breath before taking the chawan (tea bowl) in her right hand and transferring it to the left.

She gave a polite smile to encourage everyone present to relax, as comfort would be important for full enjoyment of the ceremony. Next her right hand took the tea caddy and placed it into her lap next to the tea bowl. Over the next few moments she used a silk cloth to clean the top of the tea caddy with a simple grace instilled in her during her time in Ise. Once the tea caddy had carefully been replaced on the table she folded the cloth soundlessly; it then was used to carefully clean the tea bowl itself.

"It's a fine day for tea, too - the kami have decided to smile upon us. Today we will be doing the winter form of the tea ceremony, which differs slightly from summer," she remarked, just as a slight breeze flowed through the windows and gave life to her short hair, "How have your experiences at Edo Bugei been so far? I hope there's been no trouble?" It was asked while she looked to Chao Guang, but open to all - she made sure to look to the Japanese guests as well, inviting feedback and participation.

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LDYWHTE
 Posted: Apr 4 2018, 04:54 PM
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Once she said the presentation and gave the start signal, the Twins sat down on the tatami over the place reserved to the Guests. While Youri crossed his legs with a low hum echoing in his throat for the full lenght of his movement, Kayoko sat down on her knees quietly, with only the dress brushing the ground as the only sound she had made.
Fortunately, the bodyguard of the foreign Scion wasn't a nuisance to the vision, letting them admire the first steps of the Tea Ceremony without any problem.

Right, as Rikyu said 'When it's cold outside, evoke warmth inside'... Kayoko nodded to herself as she gave a last glance around the tea house with a delighted expression, although "different" may have been directed to something else than a simple evocation. She didn't payed much attention to it in the end. The thin Relic, in the meantime, returned well hidden on her left wrists, where a little cloth tied around gave her the possibility to hide it there, so that she won't accidentally crack it under the weight of the Obi nor impolitely slip it in the creak of her Furisode on the chest.
She had calmed down enough to partecipate with full attention the ceremony, so she didn't needed further it over her fingers.
Youri was already very formal, patiently letting the Honored Guest to partecipate the event directly before them.

What shook again the young girl was the sudden question given by the landlady. Immediately she gave a gentle pull on the sleeve of her brother right beside and darted an intense glance at him, almost upset.

What shall we do now? That glance was almost saying to him, whom just frowned towards her, then he looked foward in the direction of Chao, the one who receieved the question directly from the landlady.

Let him speak first, that was clear in his cool body language, so also Kayoko "responded" by turning again her head toward the Honored Guest.

Side by side their blue eyes, the left one for her and the right one for him, seemed almost "interconnected" as they were both staring the scene silently, waiting for their turn to speak.

--------------------
The Twin Sotan

Kayoko Sotan
user posted image
"My arm for a pillow,
I really like myself
under the hazy moon
" -Yosa Buson



Youri Sotan
user posted image
"The summer grasses
All that remains
Of brave soldiers dreams
" -Matsuo Basho
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Nobuyumi
 Posted: Apr 8 2018, 08:19 PM
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"Welcome to Edo Bugei Academy and this simple tea ceremony. Now that everyone has arrived, I shall begin the preparation of tea," at the announcement both of the Chinese students made surprised faces. They had both been looking forward to this event and took their seats with quite a lot of anticipation at what was to come.
"It's a fine day for tea, too - the kami have decided to smile upon us. Today we will be doing the winter form of the tea ceremony, which differs slightly from summer," she remarked, just as a slight breeze flowed through the windows and gave life to her short hair, "How have your experiences at Edo Bugei been so far? I hope there's been no trouble?" the question seemed to catch Chao slightly off guard as his mind was too cycling through the differences between a winter and summer tea ceremony. Finally realizing it was a question his brain translated the words to Chinese before he figured out how to say his response.

At first he looked at the cute twins that hd come in, expecting them to answer. However, both seemed to appreciate that the Chinese students would be today's guests of honor. Realizing this Chao gave a very polite bow to his host.
"I, strongly appreciate this invitation." he said as he raised his head.
"The City of Edo is very beautiful. The people, all have high spirits in spite of the recent war and the students, are truly great. It is a blessing to behold." he answered and bowed again. He then looked at his bodyguard to speak. After all if the Chinese students had been labeled the honored guests, only one speaking would hardly suffice. Thus Fai Chen answered
"The students of Edo Bugei treat us very well. It is truly a honor." his words had been kept short but sweet. However, his voice gave no feeling of false words. He was quite sincere. Both then looked at the twins that had come in the room.

Suzu
LDYWHTE

--------------------
Azai Nobuyori
The stuck up clan lord who defends the people.

Tagami Yumiko
The adorable poet girl who hates war.

Katayama, Masato
A strategist bent on changing the world.
PMEmail
^
LDYWHTE
 Posted: Apr 9 2018, 04:54 AM
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Once it was their turn to talk, they looked each other a moment, nodded and turned in the direction of the guests and the landlady.
"No, 女性*, there were no problems in the past weeks. We learm well and we train hard, especially my brother, Youri." Kayoko spoke with a respectful bow with her bust low on the floor, raising up with the same graceful way.

The young boy smiled and nodded only, resting both his hands on the knees to flop in a relaxed pose.
"I can confirm my sister's words, miss. No matter our complicated origins, we feel treated as equals in the Edo Bugei Academy, finally." He spoke, calm and confident, confirming to the presents thay they were relatives as excpected.

The Chinese guests weren't a problem to them in fact, though Youri continued to keep hidden in his chest some scorning feelings...
___
*: Josei

--------------------
The Twin Sotan

Kayoko Sotan
user posted image
"My arm for a pillow,
I really like myself
under the hazy moon
" -Yosa Buson



Youri Sotan
user posted image
"The summer grasses
All that remains
Of brave soldiers dreams
" -Matsuo Basho
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Suzu
 Posted: Apr 15 2018, 03:00 PM
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Kumori thought of this exchange as nothing more than a formal, polite way to welcome a few people to Edo Bugei. There was an element of international relations involved in it given the Chinese guests, and that [i]was[/] a little strange. Hospitality was incredibly important for travelers passing through Ise's territory of course. Given it was a sacred site of shinto, though, guests at the shrine were nearly exclusively Japanese. Getting to perform a ceremony for more than just pilgrims was an honor. She continued the process of preparing her tea, making sure to keep the implements in line with her legs. Her mentor had always drilled her on doing things the proper way, that a lady needed to perform her duties in a way distinct from a man.

"The Japanese people are strong and resilient as a firmly planted tree in our ancient forests. To hear someone from a distant country as esteemed as yours is very welcome. I greatly appreciate everyone's presence here," she remarked as she added some of the tea to the pot, left and right hands having separate and distinct movements to perform.

As she stirred the mixture gently she looked to the twins, smiling a little at their observance of formality. While she was hardly someone due such rigid adherence to it, she would accept it humbly. What she heard in the twins' words was an eagerness to belong which she hadn't often encountered in classmates. Many of them were proud and certain in their social standing, and it showed in their behavior and words. These two, conversely, wished to prove themselves as equals - and at the moment with no hint of malice toward others. The shrine maiden ceased her stirring and rested the pot just over her lap.

"Your hard work will be rewarded, I'm sure. Please continue to dedicate yourselves to betterment of the self.. for everyone's sake," she remarked with the tone of an elder sibling reminding family of expectations. Her tone and countenance lightened as she asked, "Edo must be a big change for the two of you, then? Where did you live before being accepted into the academy?"

Once she had their answer she resumed stirring the tea with a few more deft movements of the right hand. While she worked she looked to the foreign visitors, "Tell me of your homeland.. do you practice ceremonies such as this, or are there other ways to experience serenity and simplicity unique to China?"

--------------------
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LDYWHTE
 Posted: Apr 18 2018, 10:11 AM
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Happy to hear that the landlady had her same patriotic view, she beamed a happy smile at her and nodded proud.

"That's for sure, miss!" The girl lastly said with a hand on her heart. Later on, she returned to focus her attention solely on the gracious hands of Kumori, entranced by their care and precision over the tea instruments, mute conductors of an orchestra of tranquillity.

After a little bow of his head, Youri replied Kumori as well, but keeping well in mind that China and Russia never shared good relationships. To avoid any problem with that uncomfortable detail, worsened by the presence of the two Chinese men in the Tea Room, he tried to divert the topic of their mixed origins by answering only where he, his sister and his family lives.

"We come from Kyoto, precisely in the Fushimi Ward. We lived a bit cornered for some issues related to a branch of our family, but nothing too serious. We're handling well already such changes." He reassured with a thin smile, to leave then the word to the Honored Guest.

--------------------
The Twin Sotan

Kayoko Sotan
user posted image
"My arm for a pillow,
I really like myself
under the hazy moon
" -Yosa Buson



Youri Sotan
user posted image
"The summer grasses
All that remains
Of brave soldiers dreams
" -Matsuo Basho
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Nobuyumi
 Posted: Apr 18 2018, 05:07 PM
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"I have heard all kinds of things in regards to Kyoto. I wish to visit it and see the Imperial Court while I am here." Chao said with a wide smile. It would make sense given the Japanese Imperial Court was supposedly based off of the Chinese one and this man was clearly a noble. His bodyguard, however, gave him a slightly concerned look. As though admonishing him for revealing such plans outside of private company. However, now the two had a question directed at them, and Chao picked his words carefully.

"Tell me of your homeland.. do you practice ceremonies such as this, or are there other ways to experience serenity and simplicity unique to China?" Kumori had asked. Putting his hand to his chin to think Chao then looked at the three Japanese natives.
"I enjoy tea, and calligraphy, even back home in China. I think both are the skills of a virtuous soul. Poetry as well." he said, moving his hands to emphasize his words.
"I think the more one can express themselves, the better. Regardless of medium." again his smile was wide. It was clear that to him self expression was something vital. He then looked at his bodyguard to answer.

"I choose to meditate, and train my martial abilities. The ability to protect myself at any time, to always be ready, gives my soul a sense of peace. It is not that I am always on guard. However, if I can know i will always be ready when trouble comes, I never have to worry about such things." it was the most he had spoken since arriving in Japan, and his Japanese seemed heavily accented. However, he spoke all the words correctly. It was clear that words like warrior and training meant a lot to the young man. His body wasn't tense, but his muscles certainly looked well trained. No doubt if they had even been attacked right now in the middle of relaxing conversation he would be ready to jump in and defend this group.

Suzu
LDYWHTE

--------------------
Azai Nobuyori
The stuck up clan lord who defends the people.

Tagami Yumiko
The adorable poet girl who hates war.

Katayama, Masato
A strategist bent on changing the world.
PMEmail
^
Suzu
 Posted: Apr 24 2018, 08:00 PM
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Even the most honored visiting Chinese student wouldn't be immediately granted an audience with Japan's imperial court. Kumori strongly wondered if the foreign guests were simply pulling her leg. The tea ceremony had to go on, though, and she kept up her polite front while everyone else spoke. Now was a time to observe and learn rather than be the center of attention herself. From what she could tell Chao Guan was perfectly serious about his plans to observe the imperial court. Quite a surprise, but she supposed it was at least possible.

Chinese students seemed to enjoy the very same sorts of meditative things Edo students did, too. The shrine maiden smiled a little at the bodyguard's response in particular. Working through her difficulties balancing warrior and performer aspects was still considerably challenging. Yet this response resounded within Kumori - focusing on oneself and restoring focus, so that you were ready to fight when it became necessary. The twins were thankfully settling in all right themselves too. Compared to the ancient capital, the newer one in Edo could be quite jarring in its modernity.

"It's wonderful to hear that each of you take time for relaxation and refocusing. They are important skills to learn and master," Kumori responded kindly as she prepared herself for the final steps before all could partake in the tea. She nodded at the twins, "Adjusting to life in a city like Edo can be a challenge in ways you may never have expected. While I'm pleased to hear you have been doing well thus far, allow me to extend the offer of help if you ever need it. Anything at all, please don't hesitate to ask me."

With everything else done she whisked the green tea into a froth, completing the step by tracing the hiragana の in the mixture. This careful gesture ensured that the remnant foam was in the center. She set this down and then bowed to her guests; the time for serving the tea had come. Kumori took the chawan with her right hand, placed it in the left and turned it a quarter of the way twice. Now that the front of the chawan was facing the guests, she adjusted her posture so that she was turned at a 45 degree angle to Chao Guan. Being the guest of honor, more or less, he would be the first to be served. Once she'd poured tea for the Chinese student and his bodyguard, she turned to the twins and did the same.

"This is a special refined blend of tea that I thought would be appropriate for important company. All of my guests are important, of course, but this is a particularly special occasion," Kumori noted as she set the chawan back in place, "Please enjoy your first sips of it, and do tell me how it tastes. And if you have any questions about the ceremony, please ask."

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LDYWHTE
 Posted: May 3 2018, 10:28 AM
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Once it was their time to drink the Matcha tea, Kayoko's eyes shimmered of joy after her sip.
"Mmmh! This... this comes from Uji, I feel it!" She exclaimed as she couldn't keep her overjoy inside at that lighting bolt in a clear sky.
It's been ages since she drank a Matcha coming from that area, and her brother knew that well too, but he didn't said anything yet at her sudden outburst.

Once Kayoko twisted the bowl three times in her hands and passed it to her brother, also Youri seemed satisfied from its flavour, bringing back in his mind some pleasant memories through a content sigh.

"Yeah, perhaps it is." He hummed in his breath as he finished his last sip of tea and passed it back to the landmaid respectfully.

"I apologise for my sister's reaction, she just loves tea coming from that area." He lastly apologised with a little bow at Kumori, which made Kayoko blush in shame. She realised that too late.

--------------------
The Twin Sotan

Kayoko Sotan
user posted image
"My arm for a pillow,
I really like myself
under the hazy moon
" -Yosa Buson



Youri Sotan
user posted image
"The summer grasses
All that remains
Of brave soldiers dreams
" -Matsuo Basho
PM
^
Nobuyumi
 Posted: May 4 2018, 05:54 PM
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"Adjusting to life in a city like Edo can be a challenge in ways you may never have expected. While I'm pleased to hear you have been doing well thus far, allow me to extend the offer of help if you ever need it. Anything at all, please don't hesitate to ask me." at Kumori's words both men gave a polite, deep bow to her.
"Thank you very much." they both said in Japanese. They then bowed again when they received their tea and listened carefully to the explanation of the tea's origins.

As the two men took their sips they watched the twins drink as well, one of them getting extremely excited. While his bodyguard maintained a serious, analyzing face, Chao made a bright smile.
"It is clear you both know your tea well. I am jealous." he said humbly. Even if the outburst had been sudden, it was a certainly a good way to break the ice with the twins and get a dialogue started. Looking at Kumori he thought carefully before speaking since this was a special occasion.
"In China, very good tea leaves come from southern and central China. They make different tasting tea than this. I like this flavor though. It is very palatable and doesn't offend one's tongue." he said calmly. As he gazed down at his cup he felt it truly was a well picked tea. Glancing at his bodyguard for confirmation Fai Chen nodded.
"This tea is very soothing. It is humbling."

--------------------
Azai Nobuyori
The stuck up clan lord who defends the people.

Tagami Yumiko
The adorable poet girl who hates war.

Katayama, Masato
A strategist bent on changing the world.
PMEmail
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Suzu
 Posted: May 9 2018, 08:08 PM
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The tea ceremony's presiding hostess noted that her guests had quite different reactions to the tea itself. Both of the Chinese gentlemen were as reservedly polite as ever in their assessments of the tea. Chao Guang had been gracious and humble from the moment he'd spoken at the docks, so this was no surprise. It did get her wondering just what he might be thinking beneath the veneer of politeness and expertly chosen words. She couldn't shake the sense that he was hiding different thoughts behind a mask, but this was not the place to prod at it.

Her Japanese guests, meanwhile, showed unabashed appreciation for the blend of tea she'd selected for the ceremony. Well, one of them anyway. The other apologized for the outburst but Kumori simply smiled in a gentle manner and waved off the apology. Compared to the reserved nature of the foreign visitor it was delightful to see someone taking such joy in the tea. Both parties showed their appreciation, and she was fairly certain she'd done well to offer this event.

"Life in this country can be undesirably chaotic and difficult, as I'm sure all of you are aware from recent events. Because of this truth of our lives it's all the more important to embrace the simplicity and tranquility of moments like this. Savor the tea, bond over the common shared experience of a peaceful setting," Kumori explained, using the words her mentor at Ise had once used, "I'm very grateful you have all decided to share part of your day with me in this place. It's not often that we are able to enjoy simple things at an academy dedicated to the fighting arts."

After a momentary pause she turned and pulled out a small wooden box, which soon came to rest on her lap, "To accompany our tea today I've selected a few traditional sweets from the western regions of Honshu. I'd be honored if you would give me your honest opinion of their flavor." With that she removed the lid and began to offer each guest a small plate with flavored mochi from a shop she'd visited often as a child. Not strictly part of a traditional ceremony but it seemed like a kind gesture all the same.

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