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 The War of Art (Ejio)

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TheDiddler
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PostSubject: The War of Art (Ejio)    Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:57 pm

In the dead of night they moved, shadowed figures cloaked in darkness. Their strange gait and awkward movements revealed a dark purpose. In arms they carried heavy boxes and bushels. They trudged with heavy packs and struggled under their unusual burdens.

“Who knew clay pots could weigh so much, Ejio-san?”

The remark was meant to convey a sense of ease and lack of concern, but the nervous chuckle gave the young artisan away.

“We are almost there.”

A dozen young artisans slid between buildings and alleys within the Chisei District of the Ekohikei. Their burdens, clutched tight to chest and lugged on straining shoulders, the artistic histories of their clans. They were Crane mostly, but here and there a smattering of other clans, other artisans. Other allies of Ejio.

Up ahead a single ronin strode forward and flashed a symbol, glowing green. Before the ronin Spectre and the sign of his office, the Imperial Legionnaires opened the gates. On the other side a figure stood with half a dozen servants and a cart.

The figure was shrouded in a robe of heavy blue and black, a cowl pulled tighter over features unseen. Yet Ejio knew her from her posture, her certain movements. Even her scent as he drew closer.

In the cart a second woman waited, less hidden, yet no less obvious. She held a baby in her arms. Sakura cooed when the first bundle of artwork was loaded.

Ide Tenseko sidled up next to her companion and watched as the artisans, minor players in the great game of politics in the Father’s Home, unburdened themselves.

“And here we have a choice, Ejio-kun.” The silken voice purred against his ears and Ejio could not help but smile, if only inwardly. “You bring me some of the most valuable representations of a smattering of clans and in the dead of night no less. Should they go missing, no one would no. Should the artwork vanish and turn up months later…perhaps found by a potential new Juramashi Governor, the glory would be fathomless.”

Tenseko eyed the bundles with a greedy eye, yet stayed her hand. In the shadows waited hired men, loyal servants of the Master. Doji Ejio knew that all he need to was give the order and things would be as she desired.

He felt her body press against his own, the weight of her, the crush of her flesh against his side, distracting. “What say you?”



GM Note: Ejio will discover in the secret histories of the Hantei that one of the Hantei Emperor’s greatest servants was a tremendous adulterer. In fact, the first chief assistant to the very first Imperial Advisor, was removed from his position of authority after having been discovered with numerous affairs.

The documents speak of a secret passageway used by this assistant whose name is not mentioned. The tunnel, however, was said to be sealed off. Instead, it is known that the Imperial House kept it secret for their own personal use.

It is a passageway from the Inner City into the Imperial Palace itself.

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PostSubject: Re: The War of Art (Ejio)    Thu Dec 10, 2015 10:41 pm

Ejio watched in relative silence as the procession of artisans made their way past, his heart sinking each time an artifact was nearly dropped and rising as he watched the determination on the faces of his allies. He smiled reassuringly at the young Kakita dancer who made the joke about the pots but remained quiet besides the comment on their destination.

The Artisan's eyes flickered across Sakura and her guardian. He wondered what the former Scorpion had done with her other two charges, Ujo's children, but dismissed it for the moment. He was glad that they had someone to look after them when he was busy but he wondered if it bothered the actress that she was raising peasant children beside her own. A conversation for another time.

Tenseko’s offer/request surprised Ejio but only for a moment and only because of his distraction. He even considered it a moment as he breathed deeply of her scent and reveled at her touch. It was a testament to her affection for him that he even had the opportunity to refuse with her so close. She knew his weakness and could have easily taken the decision from his hands had that been her choice. Even still, it was difficult to refuse her and had it not included so much death otherwise, the Crane doubted he could have.

A brief shake of his head indicated his response even before he replied in a gentle tone, “No, my beautiful lady. This is my purpose. This is why I have invested so much of who I am into this city. These artifacts have to be protected and with this success, my efforts will be validated to each of those present. Through them, we will grow.”

A soft smirk and a light caress of her hand preceded the rest of his response.

“I promise, my love, I will make it up to you.”
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PostSubject: Re: The War of Art (Ejio)    Sun Dec 13, 2015 5:35 pm

Tenseko eyed Ejio for a quiet moment. The thought crossed his mind that she mind ignore him and take what she wanted anyway. He had seen her love of art, her obsession. It was a testament to their growing connection that she was able to set that obsession aside.

"You will. I think, once all is said and done, it might be useful if the great artist, Lord Ejio, were to reveal that it was none other than the lowly Ide Tenseko who salvaged so much of the Emperor's Art."

Tenseko turned her eyes deliberately away from Ejio towards Ayami and the child, Sakura. Ejio could feel the bristling tension. The heat of her displeasure.

She reached out a hand to him and he felt her fingers tighten like a vice.


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PostSubject: Re: The War of Art (Ejio)    Sun Jan 03, 2016 11:54 am

Ejio smiled and nodded, accepting the nearly vicious grip while rubbing the backs of her fingers with his thumb.

"That does sound like a wonderfully magnanimous act to be revealed, doesn't it? Why didn't I think of that?"

A mischievous grin split his lips as he moved to take her attention away from the woman who held his child.

"I think once this war is over, Tenseko-chan, the moment to announce our intent to marry will come. Assuming the Emperor does not behead me, we will both be heroes. There is unlikely to be a better time than when both our stars have risen through the words of the Emperor himself."
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PostSubject: Re: The War of Art (Ejio)    Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:55 am

Tenseko's hand relaxed at the Crane's soft words. She did not turn to look at him, but Ejio could feel her brief allowance of happiness like the beginning spark of an inferno. Her thumb slid gently along the back of his hand.

Without a word, she stepped forward into the darkness to oversee the operation. Ejio saw that she didn't once turn to look at Ayami, but instead walked past the woman as if she didn't exist.

For her part, Ayami had eyes only for the child, but he could feel, too, her tension. Her anxiety at her betrayal of the Scorpion. Her precarious situation with Tenseko.

The future was pregnant with the potential for a new act of drama.

End

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