Priceless Events (Archives)

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Postby Lady Kerrington » 15 Apr 2004, 03:32

Another crazy old man moment. Do we have a lot of these?

Xiahou Mao, Shien Dun, and Lu Chen wrote:Reports spread through the city of Chen Liu about a crazy old preacher in ragged clothes, who is giving speeches about the crimes of the Han. When a group of soldiers goes to investigate the situation, he is gone before they arrive. Soon after though, the same man appears at the palace, and tries to walk right in, ignoring the guards. The guards are better than that, though, and stop the man, who blinks several times and looks around before finally seeming to notice their presence.

Old Man: Let me through, let me through. Bearings of the future I bring, for the local lord. No harm do I seek to inflict, only prevent it I shall.

The old man sways from side to side as he speaks and waits for a response, as he definitely seems quite addled.

-----
*Lu Chen arrives at the gate where the commotion began, he was unarmed and not ready for such a thing. Lu then put his hands on the old mans shoulder to stop him from swaying.*

Lu Chen ~ "Please wise seer tell me what future you have seen for Chen Liu, then you may be let into the castle."

*The man stopped swaying and looked at Lu Chen*

Lu Chen ~ "Please tell me."

-----
As Lu Chen and the guards restrained the old man, the guard captain had one of the grunts send word to Shien dun of what was going on and ordered the guards to double their patrol efforts around the rest of the castle in case this man was meant to serve as a distraction for infiltrators. Soon enough, the young guard returned with word from Shien.

Young Guard: The governor says he'd be willing to meet with you, provided that you're willing to submit to a search and don't mind being escorted by a pair of guards, sir.

-----
Old Man: The future depends on the actions of the Governor. Perish he shall, or change with the times. Ally with enemies, or be slain by friends. So it is written, and so it shall be.

-----
Old Man: A search? You may search! But nothing you shall find, save that which I was born with and carry proudly to this day.

The old man does stop his erratic swaying, and reaches into his ragged robes for a satchel.

Old Man: My only valuable this is. It is mine and will not be taken by you. I will show but not give. It is no danger to your lord, his actions prove more dangerous than this. This is only dangerous to me. Yes, dangerous!

The man begins laughing, as he opens the satchel, revealing nothing more than a dictionary-sized book. As the guards inspect the man otherwise, absolutely nothing of value is found, not even coin. But the mean jealously holds onto the satchel with the book, letting people look at it but refusing to let them take it.

-----
The guards look at each other, half-confused/half-agitated by the actions of the old man. Still, after searching him and finding no weapons or any other foreign objects, they begin to lead him to Shien Dun, but the guard captain stops them before they get too far.

Guard Captain: I'm sorry to keep delaying you, sir, but I have one more request. Could you please open the book? I only wish to make sure it isn't hollowed out to conceal a dagger or anything of that nature. After that, I will be more than happy to take you directly to see the governor.

-----
Old Man: Untrusting are you, yes. Untrusting. Paranoid. You must think I am MAD!

The man yells out that last word, before giving a goofy grin, taking the book out of the satchel, and turning it upside down, holding it by the spine so that the pages fall open. The contents of the book cannot be seen, but surely any weapon therein would fall out.

Old Man: I am not here to kill your lord, but instead to save him. Should he not wish to be saved, I shall go elsewhere. Matters not! So? Stay or go, go or stay, you'll let me know your decision I pray?

-----
The guard nodded as he tried his best not to smile. He couldn't help but be amused by the man's actions, even though he was sure the man was acting in all seriousness.

Guard Captain: A thousand apologies, sir. It's my job to be careful.

He delivered a quick bow and led the old man into the audience hall, where Shien sat reading poetry to himself while sitting on the steps of the dias. Seeing the man arrive, he quickly stood up and rolled the scroll back up.

Shien Dun: Ah, welcome good sir. From what I hear, you've been stirring up quite a bit of trouble, though it certainly isn't a crime. What do you wish to see me about?

-----
Old Man: Concerned I am..

The man begins to sway again as he speaks, hugging the satchel to his chest.

Old Man: I.. owe a lot to the people of Chen Liu. Owe a lot. I want to ensure that their.. special needs are met. For that to happen, they must be led well. Yet all I have heard recently is that the lord of Chen Liu is controlled by a pansy fan man, that he.. bows before the empty yet still corrupt Han throne, and he is soon to be forced into war against an enemy he does not expect. Can I be forgiven for being concerned? Yes.. concerned. This is a concern with which I shall be concerned about. And if I am concerned, then you should be concerned too.

The man regards Shien Dun and his likely blank expression at this nonsense, and blinks.

Old Man: Do you understand my concern?

-----
Shien furrowed his brow as he tried to understand what he had just been told. He wanted to say, "You lost me after 'Concerned I am,'" but mulled over his words for a while longer.

Shien Dun: Well, your words do intrigue me to say the least. Still, I'm not sure about some of what you speak of. I do know that there is certainly corruption plaguing the Han throne, but who is this "pansy fan man" you mentioned? And what of this impending war you talked about?

Shien knew this man could just be another beggar gone mad and starved for attention, yet he also knew that in an insane world such as the one they lived in, men such as him could hold the key to ruin or prosperity.

-----
Old Man: You know the man.. the man with the plan, the man with the fan, this kingdom he ran, events he began. Your right-hand man. He.. has power that makes even the Heavens quake in fear.

As he says that, the man pauses his swaying to shiver. After he is done shivering, he looks around, as if confused about where he is.

Old Man: Eh? This isn't.. oh. Oh! Yes! The fan man! They say he has the power of a dragon, but he yet rests, waiting for the right time. You must beware! If he feels that you are too weak, that you do not see his way, he shall abandon you. The Heavens themselves fear him.. the war? Oh, the war! Some think the war is a bore, but as I implore, you must roar. Lines are being drawn. Sides are being taken. Which side are you on? The winning side or the losing side? The puppet Prime Minister and his barbarian horde, or the rebels against the establishment, and all the baggage that goes along? Or.. are you on your own side? Do you believe that you can triumph where others have failed?

-----
Shien Dun: Resting... dragon? Oh! You must mean Master Sleeping Dragon, Zhuge Liang. Yes, Master Zhuge is my right hand man and sworn brother, but he is both a scholar and a gentleman. I trust his judgement even more than my own at times. If anyone were to take my place, I would prefer it be him. Yet we get along with each other just fine. He is a brilliant, yet humble advisor who has helped me turn this depleted and ravaged city into a grand state. What makes you think he would seek to take my position?

Shien stood there, tapping his foot as he let himself sink deep into thought for a few moments.

Shien Dun: Perhaps I can triumph where others have failed. Granted, I have not the resources of mighty kingdoms like Shu and Qi, but I refuse to submit to either of them. But this impending war you speak of between the forces of Shu and Yan and Qi, it certainly is a slippery slope to travel on. My officers and I have yet to decide our position, but I must say that I would certainly deplore any call to war, necessary or not. I desire not to fight alongside Yonghu of Yan, for I see him to be a dishonorable man. I'm unsure of alligning with Jueren of Qi, for I wonder if he might seek to plot against me. I'm wary of alligning with Xuzhe of Shu, because he makes puppets of men like me and you. I do not wish to fight them on a boat, whether it be in the Yellow River or in my garden's moat. I do not wish to fight them in the field, even if those are the cards that fate hath dealed. I do not wish to see war take this land; I do not wish it, Old Man you am.

Shien stood there, as if dazed for a moment. The rhyming diction of the man was apparently contagious and Shien had already been infected. Shien shook himself back into reality and quickly tried to make up for his rudeness.

Shien Dun: My apologies, sir. I should not have addressed you by such a moniker. Please, tell me your name. And don't take my words to make it appear as if I am a pacifist, either. Though I do not desire war, I shall surely take up my sword to protect the Han and the city of Chen Liu.

-----
The man seems to completely ignore the request for his name, not acknowledging it in the slightest.

Old Man: The desire to go your own way is admirable.. but time is running short. For you, for me, for your fan man, for all of us. The longer you put off choosing a side, the more likely it is none of the sides will accept you. Perhaps your snoozing snake can conjure you a win or two, but can that really restore peace?

The man now seems calmer, slightly more sane. His wizened face takes on a sad expression, as he looks about the room at Shien Dun and the assembled guards, before looking down at the satchel he still clasps to his chest. He sighs softly.

Old Man: Perhaps there is naught I can do. My time has passed, after all. Take care of your people, and may the Heavens smile upon you.

Unless stopped, the man turns and begins to walk out of the palace, with an unsteady gait.

-----
Shien stood up, trying to address the man before he left.

Shien Dun: I appreciate your advice, sir, but tell me, what would you do if you were placed in my role? I'm quite interested to know. After all, you said you have a great love for this city and I'd be interested to see courses of action from all angles.

-----
The old man looks back and almost stumbles as he does so, but he managed to catch himself.

Old Man: What would I do? Ah, but I am not in your situation anymore. No no, not anymore. I would still be wary of which officers you trust. I would not expect the Han government to do anything constructive. I would be prepared for an attack, while at the same time taking measures to prevent it. And I would not let foolish pride doom the citizens of your city. Besides that, the future is unclear. I do not know which set of traitors will unify the land.. all I know is that as things stand, it will be a traitor who does. Whether it's the traitor known to all, or the one whose crimes are hidden, even the Heavens cannot answer.
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Postby Lady Kerrington » 15 Apr 2004, 03:45

Mmm. Cookies.

Junts wrote:In the middle of the night one evening, a large cart is wheeled up to the gates of the Black Lion Army camp and simply left there. In the morning, when found and examined, it is found to contain circular baked creations, some featuring pieces of chocolate, others featuring pieces of fruit, and other such decorations. The confections are sweet and crunchy, and generally enjoyed by the Black Lion Army. No sign of the sender is found.

"Mmmm. Cookies." said a guard.

Zhuge Xuanshi wrote:Xuanshi arrives outside, after hearing about the arrival. And quickly orders his men not to eat anything from the cart until it is found out if any of the food is poisoned. Than he goes about waiting to see of the men who eat the food get sick.

Cao Vhal wrote:Cao Vhal laughed at Zhuge Xuanshi's paranoia.

"Calm down, friend. I don't think that this is any sort of trap."

Xian Zhu Xuande wrote:Feng Tanghuang looked to the cart with fruit and cookies, then to Zhuge Xuanshi who appeared to be paranoid, then to the soldier who had already eaten from the contents. “Ooo…” he muttered to himself, watching around half a minute to see if the soldier died, then, his mouth starting to water, walked over to the cart and picked up a cookie. “Cookie!” he muttered again, munching on it as he picked up a fruit and turned to Zhuge Xuanshi, flashing a crumb-filled smile before chucking the item as hard as he could toward Xuanshi’s head.

Junts wrote:The cookies do not appear to be poisoned, and are, in fact, quite good. Seeing Feng Tenghuang throw one of them at Xuanshi, one of the men sighs audibly. When Tenghuang glances in his direction, his response is just. "That was crispy, chocolate chippy goodness.."

Zhuge Xuanshi wrote:After Xuanshi realizes the cookies present no real danger, he partakes of them. And throws some fruit at Tanghuang, deciding that today can be filled with some humor, rather than serious sitting around Luo Yang.

Then he goes about wondering who sent them.

Xian Zhu Xuande wrote:Feng Turned at the mention from the soldier, then frowned, drawing his sword though he failed to present a very intimidating image, being such a small man himself. “You get… one… two… three… two cookies, no more. Death to any man who steals more!” He turned to Xuanshi. “That goes for you too.”

Guoang Ning wrote:Guoang looks at the cart of cookies and at his laughing friends. He takes a cookie and introduces himself to the other faces who have never seen him before. He hoped to leave a good impression on them, and show that he could be trusted.

Zhuge Xuanshi wrote:Xuanshi looks at Feng, not at all intimidated by his presence, and picks up a handful of cookies, and begins to eat it in front of him. “Mmm . . . so good!” Then looking over at the men, he indicates to Guoang, this is our newest addition Guoang, he is now an officer in our military.”
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Postby Lady Kerrington » 15 Apr 2004, 07:44

Of men and music....

BobPalindrome wrote:As wide and vast as the Middle Kingdom is, it takes a meticulous and patient soul to find the empire's most talented musicians. In Luo Yang, for example, it is said that there is a young woman whose ability to play the qin (a stringed instrument) is unrivaled, and when her graceful fingers float along the thin strings, the notes sound like the celestial choirs of Heaven. It is also said that there is a hermit who travels through the Riverlands in the west, singing ancient songs for alms. When these songs are sung, the wanderer's angelic voice, combined with incredibly moving lyrics, make all who listen either laugh with uncontrollable mirth or weep with agonizing sorrow.

Of course, along with the most talented, there are also the most avoided musicians in China. In Hu Ji, a wealthy merchant by the name of Tian fancies himself a lyrical poet, and while the verses of his poems have allegedly improved from dismal to merely insipid in recent years, only those with a masochistic bent dare ask to hear him recite his works. Wise travelers to Xu Zhou also stay far away from the residence of the eldery Master Jiang Kai, who definitely did not earn his title as part of any musical affiliation. Every morning, just as the sun is rising, everyone in Master Jiang's neighborhood is awakened by the sound of cats being strangled -- or at least, that is what one first suspects it is. Further investigation has proven that such sounds in fact emit from Master Jiang's vocal chords, as he has a penchant for belting out childhood tunes as loud as he can while he bathes.

Then there is the snoring of Pang Qian in Xin Ye.

Few (fortunately) have actually heard the snoring of the young general, as he spent most of his life in the rural village of Yaochen, where loud, guttural grunting noises are not only tolerated, but admired as an expression of bravado. Add to that the fact that General Pang's sleeping partners have been few and far between and that he is prone to pass out in remote places after extensive drinking binges anyway, and one can indeed count his or her lucky stars that he or she will likely never hear this dreadful, dreadful noise.

Zhang Mao, however, was not one of these lucky people. The daughter of one of Yaochen's renowned smithees and, more recently, the lover of General Pang, Lady Zhang cringed as another long, loud snore erupted from Qian's mouth. She watched as his entire body (which was rather massive) rose and fell, a blood-curdling snort following as the air exhaled from his large lungs.

Qian was taking his afternoon nap, which he invariably took after a morning of inspecting Xin Ye's defenses and drilling the city guard. As always, he was sitting on a couch, his back arched, the back of his head leaning on a cushion. He had removed his armor and was clad only in a loose-fitting white robe that went down all the way to his ankles. On his head was his most beloved possession next to Lady Zhang -- a head-dress with two pheasant feathers sticking out of it. He had bought it a few weeks ago because the great warrior Lu Bu had worn something similar; Zhang was of the opinion that it looked like a bird had built a nest in his hair.

Another snore dominated the room, and Lady Zhang could take no more. Calmly, she walked over to her lover, raised a hand, and slowly pinched Qian's nose. She saw his stomach fall... start to rise... and...

"Pffffnnnnnnnnkkkttt!" Qian shook his head as he started up. "What? What? C'mere, you craven dogs! I'll cleave you in half!" The head-dress fell about his eyes, and he grabbed the cushion he had been sleeping on.

"Now, now, dear," Lady Zhang said sweetly, patting her lover on the back. "Take it easy. You were just dreaming."

Qian snorted and took the head-dress off. He looked over at Lady Zhang and smiled. "Ah. Ah, yes, I see. How silly of me." He stretched out his pole-like arms and yawned, making a sound only barely more bearable than his snoring. "So. What's for lunch?"

"Sorry, sweetheart," Lady Zhang said, kneeling down on the couch and moving behind Qian. She threw her arms around his neck and pressed her cheek against his. "No food for you. You should be saving your appetite, anyway, for when Lord Li comes to visit."

Qian narrowed his eyes and frowned. "Come on! Why can't I have some dumplings or something? I'm tired of all this rice you give me. I need meat! I should be able to get what I want, anyway! I am the man here!"

"Oh? Are you sure?"

"Come on, Mao, darling. If people knew that I was letting a woman tell me what to eat and not to eat, I'd be a laughing-stock."

Mao chuckled. "Actually, if people knew we were living in sin together, they'd probably do a lot more than laugh. What with you being a government official and all."

Qian shrugged. "Hey, c'mon, we'll get married soon. I just want to be sure I can provide for you when I do."

Lady Zhang's voice grew soft. "Yeah, so you keep saying. I just think you don't want to end all your carousing. God knows how many barmaids' hearts you'd break if you just settled for me."

Qian turned to her and looked her plainly in the eye. "What are you talking about? Mao, I've told you before, you're all that matters to me now. Yes, it's true, I like my wine and my friends, as well as a good brawl now and then... But when it comes to women, you're the only one I want to be with." He put a ham-sized hand to her chin. You mean everything to me," he whispered.

Mao grinned. "Awww, the big powerful warrior... Such a softie." She kissed him quickly and slid her arms as far as she could around his waist. "So, are you looking forward to seeing your pal Fei?"

"To tell you the truth, I can't say I know Li Fei that well," Qian said. "I barely met him awhile back, and I was a little hungover at the time. I do know that he's a pretty intelligent fellow, and he's trained in social graces well."

"So you could learn a lot from him."

Qian laughed. "Actually, yeah. That's why I want to get to know him better, really. I mean, here I am with the chance to meet the kind of people I would never meet in Yaochen, so I should take advantage of it! Maybe, if I'm lucky, just talking with Fei will teach me a few things."

Lady Zhang smiled mischieviously at him. "Well, there are a few things he doesn't need to teach you to do..."

"Oh?" Qian said coyly. "You mean like fighting?"

"Hmm. I think you're quite well-versed in... physical matters."

And with that, the two embraced and fell upon the couch, and this time, no snoring could be heard...

At least not for 15 minutes.
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Postby Lady Kerrington » 15 Apr 2004, 23:21

Boys will be boys.

Kymvir Raemiz wrote:A letter arrives for Lu Xun, a dainty hatpin holding it closed. Within it is a poem on fine linen, done in beautiful calligraphy, and scented with cherry blossoms.

It reads:

With this, I fly like an eagle 'cross the land
freed from my prison by your fair hand
for your beauty broke apart the chains
and made me realize that all my gains
pale when compared to my hearts demand

From all I hid my hideous fault
and begged the fluttering of my heart to halt
when you, the fairest scion of Wu
appeared in my world it went askew
For you the heavens indeed exalt

I had always been strong, no willpower I lack
but with a single blow my hearts vault did crack
to speak the words, it seems so strange
that caused my strength to become deranged
for it was your hat that took me aback

The lines of your hat mine eyes did trace
down to your neck above that fine lace
The pulse of your heart was so fine
for with my heart did it beat on time
against my will my eyes sought your face

I could not help but study you
that fair day amongst the dew
Your complexion was flawless as a jade
your features beautifully arrayed
I quailed before your outer virtue

Your arguments expressed with such finesse
they swirled and feinted causing me great distress
for all I could think of what I'd become
for I wished to silence you with my tongue
To feel your strength and your face to caress

And now my feelings I cannot deny
with ancient morality I will no longer comply
For you Boyan I must profess
it's your manhood I wish to possess
Humbly, I, Liu Xuzhe, for your love apply.


Lady Valana wrote:Lu Xun took the letter gratefully, inhaling the scent. He sighed romantically. "Liying!" he said with a grateful whisper. Excitedly, he went and sat down on his bed, opening the letter and reading it slowly, letting out several romantic sighs. Enjoying it word by word, he laid on his back, reading the words outloud. . . until he paused on the last line.

"Xuzhe? Hah hah hah! What kind of joke. . . I know who wrote this!" he declared. Getting up with a bounce, Lu Xun went to his desk, and wrote carefully, chewing on his lip with thought. Finished, he sealed up the letter and scented it with laurel. He left the room then, a grin plastered across his face, and went to the messengers' quarters, taking one aside.

"Listen, take this to Dai Shen-Ling. He'll appreciate it." The messenger bowed, looking strangely at Lu Xun, and made his way to Xi Liang....


A messenger arrives in Xi Liang, and delivers a letter to Dai Shen-Ling. It reads as follows:

Every night, I await your return from the dark

You blanket my dripping body with your delightful touch
Fingers lightly carress my blushing body
Ripples of tingles ravage my soft, tender, delicious, cute,
tickling, fun, precious, cuddly, sweet-smelling, plum-rich,
young, firm, supple, pink body
Ripples of tingles ravage me!

Your dragon's fire breath lights up my passion
I feel your dark life through my hair in my nose
between my arms and legs and
yes, even toes
You recline and lay here beside my body-
my flushed, achy, blushy, sweet-smelling, supple body

I am soaked with your heat
My body burns within your gazing bonfire
Yet you close my eyes with your warm touch
Dance upon my lips with your warm touch
On my chest you sit,
How I love you so much!
Dance upon my lips... Dance upon my lips

I lay here in these crisp sheets
Almost crunchy (like dried wontons) with freshness
But moistened with my body... dampened by my heat
Each night I await your return from the dark
My eyes close and a smile plays upon my full lips
You have yet to come...

I wonder why I need a man like you
When I can sleep and dream
In my summer's passion.

Love, Liyong.
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Postby Kymvir Raemiz » 15 Jun 2004, 02:51

First priceless Event of the new game!

The infamous Fish Duel, and lead up to it.

Kajouka wrote:Zhang Wen remained silent for a moment, contemplating Ghan Lei's words. His expression remained impassive, and no trace of his thoughts could be seen on his face. Then, a small smile crossed his lips, as an idea came to him.

"Words are but words, Ghan Lei. Perhaps those actions you speak of will be the best way for you to prove your worth to myself, my Lord and our Kingdom. You speak as though you would be useful to us - I would be interested to see just how useful."

Zhang Wen turned to one of the guards, "Summon Chen Dao and Zhang Wei." The guard nodded, and quickly left to find both men.

"You shall duel Zhang and Chen with the weapon of our choice. You may not use your crossbow. Do you accept?"


Corporal wrote:Ghan Lei looks at the two combatants and then to Zhang Wen.

Ghan Lei: This is ridiculous.

He turns back towards the opponents and stretches his wrists and neck.

Ghan Lei: I don't suppose this weapon is a large, flacid, dead fish of some sort?


Kajouka wrote:Zhang raised an eyebrow.

"Do you find my proposition absurd? Is it silly that I should wish to see what skills you bring to the table before deciding to allow you to join our kingdom and swear allegiance to Lord Meng Jun? If you find my tasks ridiculous, what will you say if you disagree with an order from our Lord? Shall you look at him with the same disdain you seem to enjoy showing me?"

Zhang glanced over to the guards and smirked, "I was considering giving you a decent weapon, but if you prefer a fish, that can be arranged as well."


Corporal wrote:Ghan Lei smirked and then bowed to Zhang Wen.

Ghan Lei: For my insolence earlier, Zhang Wen, I do believe it is a just punishment.

Ghan Lei tried his hardest not to laugh.

Ghan Lei: A fish it is!

He looked at his opponents and the smile faded from his face. As serious as he could get, he stood ready.


Arming himself with a fish, he approaches the other two officers.

Kymvir Raemiz wrote:Chen Dao looks at Ghan Lei with disgust as Zhang Wei pulls out a pair of blades, a slightly feral look on his lips. Chen glances at Zhang Wen, uncertain whether he should feel insulted he was having to fight a man armed with a fish, or if he should insult the man fighting him with a fish. After a few momentss of heavy thinking, he finally shrugs and comprimises, saying "Fu**mymother!" under his breath.

Satisfied he had insulted himself, and then angry and even more confused over what he had just said, he finally just advances on Ghan.

Ghan, swinging the 3-foot trout like a club, charges at Zhang Wei, trying to knock him out with a quick overhand swing. Zhang Wei had been expecting it, however, as it was exactly what Bu Jingyun had done to him several months before, and he throws his short blade at Ghan. Ghan is forced to dive to the side to make it miss,(arrow cancels one blow, arrow misses) and he rolls to his feet in front of Chen Dao, who flexes his rippling muscles in an effort to intimidate him. Ghan is too busy trying to get a grip on the slippery fish and fails to notice.(intimidate fails)

Both Chen and Zhang Wei advance and attack Ghan, Zhang chopping the top six inches of the fish off as Ghan tries innefectually to use it to parry. With unerring accuracy, the fish head flies through the air, and lands at Zhang Wen's feet, splattering his nice silken slippers.

ZW 100, CD 100
GL 91

Ghan, taking a few hits from Chen and Zhang, swings the fish quickly at Zhang Wei, slapping him across the face. Chen, who tries to move after him, gets slapped across the face as well as Ghan swiftly reverses his motion.(Doublestrike hits both). Chen Dao wipes fish guts from his eyes, and unleashes his own double attack on Ghan, cracking him twice with the butt of his spear.(Doublestrike) Stumbling away from Chen, he catches a double blow from Zhang Wei as well as the other man kicks him twice in rapid succession. Stumbling back, Ghan realizes that the hits had also knocked the fish almost to pieces, and he was holding just the tailfins. When he looks up, he sees both Chen Dao and Zhang Wei trying to wipe fish pieces from their face and eyes.

ZW 87, CD 89
GL 73

Ghan, staring helplessly at his fish, finally tosses it aside, and runs at Chen Dao, and tries to grab Chen's spear. Chen almost loses it as he flicks another piece of fish out of his eye, but pulls it back in time to have Ghan Lei shout at him. Stunned, Chen just stares at him in confusion.(shout succeeds) Ghan, feeling good about himself for the moment, punches Chen in the face, just as he feels Zhang smack him across the back of his head with the flat of his blade.

ZW 87, CD 79
GL 69

Suddenly a voice sounds from across the room. "Enough of this farce."

The three combatants grind to a halt, and Zhang Wei slips on some fish blood and falls to the ground with a splat. Meng Jun glares across the messy floor of the small audience hall, and his eyes fix on Zhang Wen.

"Lord Wen, if I hadn't known you since you were a little boy, I'd say you just had Chen Dao and Zhang Wei fight a man armed with a . . . bass? Trout? I expected this from Chen Dao. But you . . . " Meng studies the mess on the floor, and then glares at Ghan Lei.

"Your visits to my kingdom never turn out well, do they?"
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Postby Xiahou Mao » 07 Aug 2004, 03:33

This is what happens when you relentlessly pester Administrators in the IRC #SimRTK channel about having your War stat improved..

Xiahou Mao wrote:While wandering through Xu Chang one day, Sun Zhou comes upon an old man who pokes him with his cane.

Old Man: Hey, sonny, watch where yer goin'.

Sun Zhou looks to the old man, holding his arms out wide and beseeching him.

Sun Zhou: My elder! Please, instruct me in the ways of the warrior, that I may become strong!

Old Man: Eh? What? I can't hear you, I'm deaf in this ear. That one too, actually.

Sun Zhou speaks up, repeating his request.

Sun Zhou: OLD MAN! I seek to become a stronger warrior!

Old Man: You did what to my daughter? Hai-ya!

With that, the man strikes Sun Zhou about the head and shoulders with his cane, causing Sun Zhou to flee for his life.

Due to injuries sustained, Sun Zhou has lost 5 War.
Xiahou Mao - True Hero of the Three Kingdoms!
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Postby Valant Rapitor » 10 Aug 2004, 00:04

The great sage Cai Liang speaks:

A fake letter from Tian Congde is sent to the eminent Cai Liang, he of the 10-16-10-10-13 stat line.

Aaron wrote:To the esteemed and highly corrupt Cai Liang:

I am Tian Congde, Emperor of Wu. I have heard that you are now serving Sun Jing Shuo. He is a lucky man to have your employ. However, I wish to employ you myself. What would you say if I made you my Prime Minister, and paid you 500 gold a season?

I await an answer.

Emperor Tian Congde


The reply:

Zhai Rong wrote:Cai Liang's reply:
Image


[OOC: Cai Liang has 10 pol. Cai Liang no read letters.]
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Postby Lady Kerrington » 04 Feb 2005, 17:17

Something I was supposed to put up a long time ago - a monk, a flying plate, a man looking for a girl with green eyes, and a bad, bad pun.

Ranbir wrote:Ranbir was busy scrubbing and cleaning the dishes, while the lady told him of her name. Ranbir nodded as she spoke. He noticed, while cleaning, that a stain couldn't be removed. He looked around, and then scrubbed harder. He rinsed it and took another look. Still it was there, he cleaned it again, scrubbing it harder; He leaned into it, went faster, slower but nothing seemed to work. Ranbir panted, but did not give up, he tried again, gritting his teeth. After another rinse, he checked, and fell back as the stain remained. As the Summer Lotus, asked about Ranbir's Pilgrimage, he crossed his arms, and acted in deep thought.

Ranbir: "Well, I have travelled far...but accomplished little...whats that...!! " Ranbir points into a direction which would cause Summer Lotus to turn round, as(if) she does he throws the plate as far away as possible. "...I may have been blessed by heaven, but I am not there...until I have a seat with the Buddha, my pilgrimage will never be over."

Ranbir gives a big smile, while he rubs the back of his head.

Ranbir: "Finished cleaning the plates."


Strong Bad wrote:::why Lo Pan was in Xiao Pei passing by the cottage of the Summer Lotus, few really knew. one thing was for certain: being on a mule for days on end was making him more foul by the moment. every step the animal made brought a new stream of curses from the tall advisor whose feet almost graze the ground due to his height::

Lo Pan: Ugh, filthy, stinking beast! Move faster! If you were a bit of a cleaner animal, I would skin you alive, use your pelt for a rug, and feast upon your- *CRASH!*

::in the middle of a new stream of cursing, Daosai failed to see the stained plate sailing through the air coming right at him. the result: with a resounding smashing sound, the plate collided with his head, exploding into hundreds of pieces as he fell flailing off the mule onto the ground. landing with a thud and a groan, he lay prone for a few moments until the mule trotted to his side, licking his face. sitting up with a disgusted sound, Lo Pan looked fit to burst a vessel::

Lo Pan: Ugh, GET AWAY FROM ME!!! Arrrgh... My head... When I get my hands on... WHO THREW THAT!?!


Lady Kerrington wrote:"Thank you for your – what in the world?" Xia He looked up and out the window Ranbir had cast the plate through with first curiousity, then startlement, as she saw the man outside, flailing about while being licked by a donkey. Thinking that perhaps the man, as loud as he cursed, was hurt, she bowed in apology to Ranbir and darted outside, looking down at the man with worry, and then realizing the shards of one of her plates lay scattered all over the ground and sprinkled in the man’s robes.

"Sir, are you hurt? And how did my plate end up . . ." she began to question, before looking up to find out where that little sneaky "monk" was hiding himself after breaking her china. "Monk! Get out here and apologize to this man for breaking china apart!"
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Postby Lady Kerrington » 04 Feb 2005, 17:31

"My idea is to become a lunatic for no good reason at all."

Heretic wrote:"In some village in 斑點, whose name I do not care to recall, there dwelt not so long ago a gentleman of the type wont to keep an unused spear, an old shield, a greyhound for racing, and a skinny old horse..."
---------
Tarnished armor screeched lightly as its rusted edges chaffed. Arriving at the gates of Wuwan, an aged warrior dismounted off his frail horse and patted it lightly along its neck. "Lo Chi Nan Te, it appears we have arrived at our destination my friend." Taking one hand, he smoothed back his messy black hair, revealing the streaks of gray and silver. His face was scarred and tanned from his long days travelling in the sun. Removing a gauntlet, he stroked his moustache and short beard, outlining his mouth between his forefinger and thumb as he surveyed the city before him. "This must be the place our friend Xiahou Jie described." Like a hero returning from a battle, he paraded himself down the main path towards the great hall.

At every old and young woman that he passed, he smiled charismatically and addressed them accordingly. "My beautiful princesses, rejoice! Your knight hath returned!" Even when opportune, he stopped to kiss them on the hand, never really noticing who he was kissing, or even if they were actually a woman. He would have winked too if it not for the eyepatch he wore. Oblivious to the looks of confusion that he wrought, he continued forward to the soldiers guarding the great hall, his skinny old horse in tow.

"Good day noble sirs! On advice from your comrade, Xiahou Jie, I have come to meet your Queen! Brother Jie has told me of the dragons and other loathsome beasts that threaten your realm! I have come to destroy them! Please allow me entry into your-..." He paused suddenly as he looked around at the rather lackluster Wuwan constructions. A cold seriousness washed over his visage. "Dear me, this is terrible! Have those cursed dragons attacked this peaceful city already?! I must see your Queen at once so that I may rid this land of this horredous peril! Xiahou Dun, styled Dun Qi Hu Te has come to save the day!"


Zhang Ji wrote:The guard captain on duty groaned and hammered his halberd's base to the ground in irritation (being interupted from doing absolutely nothing had its price, afterall) , seeing the "rowdy" Xiahou Dun approach, with a surprisingly large amount of fanfare.

Maybe it was a blessing the captain had no clue whatsoever what Xiahou Dun (Xiahou Dun deserves to be bolded, twice, you know) was actually saying. This captain had no grasp of Han Chinese. At all.

As Dun addressed him, and his squad, the captain decided it best to grin. He was trying to present himself as friendly, of course. That didn't quite work, though. The grin have all the appearnce that the captain was, well, not all there....Even in the confusion, training was certainly not neglected, as the captain gave Xiahou Dun a once over. The act of grinning continued for a further few minutes. Neither party willing to proceed.

"Search...now." Spoke the captain, clumsily. His face blossoming red.

So, he did know some words, afterall.

The captain tapped his weapon on the ground again. Soldiers from his squad approached Xiahou Dun. Alas, the visitor was given zero opportunity to protest as the group of privates formed around him. They stripped him of his weapon(s) - if he had any- and tried prying the armor off him. Any trinkets he had, were also removed, for good measure.

Next, the squad retreated from the man and his horse, most likely leaving behind a highly flustered Xiahou Dun. The victim of unwanton "stripping" indeed. Yet, a more potentially troubling experiance was to follow. The act of getting from the gate to the audience chamber itself.

Many had tried before. Typical Wuwan hospitality, it was, they said. To drag visitors to see whoever dwelled within the chambers. Reports of heavily bruised and plainly dislocated arms were numberous and most vicious in their damnation of this Wuwan past time.

The fact was, though. No one here cared. None whatsoever.

The captain gave Xiahou Dun another smile. He tried to say something, maybe... -or that was just him sighing. Yeah, probably. Finally, desperate to go back to doing nothing, the captain took command of the situation. With a serious look, he glared at Dun, and then turned to look at the building beyond the gates. Then he glared at Dun, again. Eyes returned to the building. Then to Dun, again. And again the building - you get the picture....

At long last, the captain simply relented and grabbed Dun by the arm. Now, to run the gaundlet of the courtyard....would Xiahou Dun still be able to feel his arm by the time he reached the audience chamber?

A resounding "sort of".

No doubt in some level of discomfort, Dun would probably be clutching at his throbbing arm, by now. Thankful for the release of the captain's surprisingly talon like grip. So far, then, Dun had survived the "courtyard run" with minimal injury (unless he was a hemophiliac - then ouch).

Next in this journey to the center of - well, the inside of the Wuwan audience chamber, Dun was lead by some bevy of pretty female attendants. They lead him far. They lead him wide. All over the building. Every corridor. Nothing was left unseen.

Was this deliberate? No one knew.

...maybe the women just liked him. They, uh, didn't get out much.

Thus, the journey of 1000 miles - Make that 1000 steps, or something - ended. Standing inside the fairly sparten chamber, Dun would see, firstly, a long line of faceless (the shadows worked wonders here) guards along the walls. A group of archers stood around the dias, at the opposite end of the room.

On the dais, was most particular. A sleeping man sat there, wearing dishevelled, tattered robes of blue.

...This was royalty?

It was Wei Wenshe.

Beside the Wuwan officer stood - silent as ever - He Xiaou. Rumors circulated that her fighting prowless had seriously shaken the confidence of previous recruits who dared enter here. From where Dun stood, she probably looked fairly docile. Maybe like an armed statue, of some sort. The statueque illusion was broken, however, as Xiaou bent slightly to give Wenshe a nudge. The sleeping man awoke. It took Wenshe a few minutes, but he did eventually get there...

He saw Xiahou Dun, waiting patiently.

"Uhm...hello?" Ventured the warrior, still rubbing his eys of the sleep. Wenshe really missed Kong Lin, too.


Heretic wrote:Breathing heavily from his romp, there Xiahou Dun stood, underwear clad and just a little cold. The dirty-old-man grin was still smeared on his face as the game of touchy-feely from the female attendants basically made him forget his original purpose of coming here. He made a mental note to do that more often. The drunk smirk slowly faded away as his glossed eye attempted focused on the person who sat on the throne before him. Still striken with blurry vision, he stomped forward, completely unaware that the soldiers at the gate still held his trusted steed... and also his garments.

Blindly addressing Wenshe, Dun bowed gracefully, "My beautiful maiden Queen of Wuwan! I, Dun Qi Hu Te have come on recommendation of your servant, Xiahou Jie. I have been told of the dragons and evil enchanters who plague your realm. As a warrior and knight of this land I have journeyed here to vanquish them!"

He felt a draft.

He took a few more steps forward, until he came to the rather cold realization that he had been stripped of everything except for his small loincloth, with a picture of a pink cat. "This must have been why those princesses were so pleased to see me" he thought to himself smugly. Grinning, he addressed the person who sat on the dais once more. "My Que-!" Just then he noticed the confused countenance of the sleepy warrior who sat before him. Stopping to take a closer look, he lifted the eye patch he wore to get a clearer view with both eyes.

"Dear god! That evil enchanter that I have been pursuing has already spread his evil to Wuwan! His cruelty has turned my dear Queen into an ugly bearded gorilla! Curse him!" Regaining his composure, he looked off in corner of the ceiling as he posed with his hands on his hips. "Fear not my dear Queen, my sweet Du Chi Ne Ah (Dulcinea), I shall avenge thee and restore your beauty! This evil enchanter shall taste my spear!"

Just then, Xiahou Dun's loincloth slipped off.


Zhang Ji wrote:There were no words. Really. None at all.

Wei Wenshe sat, totally agape at the antics of Xiahou Dun. The guards let him in, why?

Pondering how best to recover the situation at hand - all semblance of normalcy was washed away as Dun's loincloth fell clear to the floor. Then, just then, Wenshe drawing his dagger instintivly - the same bevy of female attendants (who had been waiting around the doors, for Dun) came bolting into the chamber - making a beeline for the drunken man.

"Xiaou. Think we should chuck this guy, you know, outside?" The warrior whispered to his female counterpart. It didn't help that every so often the excited giggles of the attendants broke every man's concentration in the room.

"..."

Wenshe stood. "Okay, that's it. That's it! Guards, get rid of this clown, drunk, whatever."

At first, no one seemed to respond to Wenshe. Then, after much soul searching, one guard stepped forward. Then another. And another. One by one, they collectivly stepped forward. Closer and closer.

Still the attendants giggled with excited glee. Xiahou Dun barely visable under the mass of bodies. Limbs waving all over the place.

Not impressed, the Wuwan warrior himself made for Dun. He beckoned He Xiaou to follow. A small crowd of people had now gathered around the strangly unaware attentands, themselves surrounding the man at the center of the commotion. Wei Wenshe pushed and pulled his way through the bodies of people to come face to face with Xiahou Dun.

The man was wearing a piece of curtain.

A female robe clumsily thrown over him didn't exactly help much, either.

It quickly dawned on the gathered crowd of men what the attendants had done. Awe struck (No, not at Xiahou Dun) Wenshe took a step back. He tried so hard. So, so hard to say something. Anything. Anything at all. And yet, a breath of hot air was all he could muster. The warrior eventually began to mumble.

"Uhhhh." It just wasen't working. 30 years of conflict haden't trained him to face this. Randomly grabbing at the air with his arm -hoping he'd somehow latch onto Xiaou, the warrior called for her,

"Xiaou!" He said, "Little help here...think of something! I I, I....ugh - A headache, he knew, was fast approaching.

As if the situation wasen't any more particular than it already was, word spread - as one would expect, in such a confined, small place. Within minutes, more and more people gathered in the chamber, buzzing with chatter of who the mysterious traveller was. At first, groups and groups of terribly excited female attedants rushed in, having heard hugely inflated stories (only ones several minutes old, too) of a lonely adventurer, looking for his Du Chi Ne Ah, was it?

Then came in more guards, wondering what the hell was going on.

Soon, more or less the entire administrial apperatus of Wuwan ceased, as people fled from their duties, hurriedly dashing for the audience chamber, to catch but a glimpse of a "dragon slaying, oxen riding man with three eyes, whose spear could burst into flame at a mere touch" (show's what passing around the word could do, huh?). No doubt at this juncture would Kong Lin herself be aware of the whole event.

A myraid of voices echoed throughout the room, all around Wenshe. Standing there, right next to Xiahou Dun. One might say Wenshe was the lucky one, standing so close to the object of attention. Wenshe didn't much care either way - his mind failing to comprehend anything, at the moment.

There was only one recurring thought in his head.

How badly he wanted to be with Kong Lin, at that moment.

Then, and just then - a most bizzare event unfolded to the world - well, the audience chamber. The collection of voices died down, to be replaced by an eerie, eerie silence. No one even broke it with the customary cough.

Slowly but surely, a tapping began. Faint at first, but it grew. It grew louder and louder, til the unmistakable sounds of hooves against stone were heard.

Hooves against stone?

Here?

It was Xiahou Dun's horse - leisurely strolling right into the center of the action, oblivious and blindly loyal to Dun. Without question nor compliant, the gathered crowd promptly cleared a path for the beast, as it slowly made its way to Dun.

No one noticed the red faced and panting guard captain from earlier rushing in only to be swallowing into the mass of people.

Shortly, the horse finally reached its master, pressing its head against him.

It neighed.


Elysia wrote:Having heard about the disturbance in the Great Hall, Lin sheathed her sword, and grabbed her whip. She was sure Wenshe and Lady He had things under control, but she had better check it out.

Going up the back way so she came out behind the curtains on the dais, she enter her audience hall. The sight that met her eyes astounded her. Women and guards everywhere. Some man in the center of it all wearing women's clothing, and not wearing much of it. Near him was a horse, We . . . a horse? What in the hell was a horse doing in her audience hall? Wenshe and Lady He were down in the middle of it all.

She uncoiled her whip and with a flick of her wrist a resounding CRACK! could be heard followed shortly by two more. Silence fell, and everyone turned towards the dais. It seemed she even had the horse's attention.


Lin: There will be silence and order in here now! Ladies, if you intend to be working here tomorrow, you will leave now and return to your duties. Gentlemen, if your assignment is not in this hall, you will return to your proper jobs, or tomorrow you will be mucking out stalls.

The room quickly emptied of all the extra Wuwan staff, leaving only the normal guards, Lady He, Wenshe, this barely clad man and a horse.

Lin: Now will someone tell me what in bloody hell is going on here?


Heretic wrote:Dun looked around, and down at himself. "This must be the way these tribes people greet their new guests of honor" he thought. "These must be ceremonial robes." Not really paying attention to anything that unfolded once the female attendants rushed in... again. "I must say they are very... friendly." So much touchy-feely in one day was almost too much for this aged warrior to bear... he might even need to look up that old coot, Ma Nemo, and borrow some of his herbs if this keeps up.

Finally noticing that the maidens had since dispersed, he was met with the familiar face of his horse. "Ah, Ro Chi Nan Te! You've missed the young princesses, my friend. He petted his companion's mane as he looked around. To his amazement there stood a woman before him. Lifting up his eyepatch again to get a better look, Dun concluded it was their queen, Kong Lin, or a very very angry bear. "You never can tell with these burly barbarians, I guess...


SYL wrote:As soon as the chaos had started, Xiaou had descended into the crowd, trying to disperse them. Unfortunately, as things snowballed, she found herself shoved and jostled out of the way by the various women, thinking that she was there for the same reasons as they. Frustration cracked her brow as chaos burgeoned, only to be brought to an abrupt and merciful end by Kong Lin's appearance.

As the crowds of attendants shuffled off - the women giggling and gossiping among themselves about the strange man with the eyepatch - Xiaou swiftly drew her swords, pointing one at Yuanrang, her face red with anger.

"My lady, please forgive me, but this insolent fool is the cause of the disturbance. He comes in here, does not show correct ettiquette, flaunts his nakedness before the Queen and ladies of the court, and causes a disturbance such as I have not seen in my life!"

Her voice, usually an involuntary whisper, was by now an angry hiss.

"My lady, I would dearly like to behead him now and display his wretched head in the marketplace. I will let your more measured mind decide this, for I cannot promise I will act rationally in this state."

She remains standing stock still, staring at Yuanrang down the tip of the sword.


Zhang Ji wrote:Caught in the tide and swelling of bodies, Wei Wenshe found himself being pulled and tugged at, as people scrambled for a mere glimpse of Xiahou Dun. The warrior had no idea what to think - his head beginning to pound furiously. The pain pulsed over in waves, causing him to feel dizzy - so much were his senses overloaded by the whole situation.

Slowly, he tried to push back through the crowd. Wenshe was still unimpressed at the whole spectacle, wanting all these people go back to wherever they came.

What he really wanted to know, however, was why Kong Lin haden't appeared.

The warrior's question promptly answered itself.

"Lin!" He shouted, seeing her arrive. His voice didn't carry above the thong of voices so great. The thunderous multiple cracks of Lin's whip solved that, though, admirably - the throng ceasing in a mere instant.

Soon, with the room once again clear of people - and everything resuming normal function, Wenshe immediatly took to Kong Lin's side, staring down at Xiahou Dun, irritated.

"That man..." He spoke to the Wuwan Queen, "He just came in here. Said something, I think. And the place just went stir crazy."

For the moment, he said nothing more, and watched as He Xiaou reacted with a fair amount of fury. Wenshe's own weapon - his dagger- was drawn.

He awaited Lin's word.


Elysia wrote:Lin listens to both her hall managers, then without a word, she heads down the steps of the dais. Grabbing the clothing that belonged to this man, she threw it at him.

Lin:
Get dressed! Or I will have my guards do it for you.

She waited while he put his clothes on, one way or another. The look in the queens eyes was not one to be triffled with. Once he was dressed, she turned back to him.


Lin: I am Kong Lin, Queen of the Wuwan and Chieftain of the Tiger Mountain Clan. Who in the hell are you, and why are parading around naked?


Heretic wrote:Deaf to the orders that were just barked, Dun casually looked back and forth, utterly oblivious of those around him, except for his horse, who was still quietly parked next to him in the audience hall. Suddenly looking down he finds his garments "Ah, that's where they went." Still under the impression they were rather important ceremonial garb, he carefully took off the attendant's robe and curtain, and methodically folded them up. After which, he proceeded to put on his garments and reattached his armor. This task proved significantly difficult being that he needed his trusty sidekick and squire, San Cho to help him. After some failed attempts that had him spinning around wildly trying to reach his back, he sighed and gave up, tying his inner robe around himself tightly. "Hmmm, it's so quiet. I must have been too much for the ladies to bear... Grinning once more he muttered to himself, "Dun, you old dog, you still got it."

Elysia wrote:Once he was dressed, [Kong Lin] turned back to him.

Lin: I am Kong Lin, Queen of the Wuwan and Chieftain of the Tiger Mountain Clan. Who in the hell are you, and why are parading around naked?


"Ah, finally." He bowed charismatically. "My dear and fair and lovely and beautiful and fair and lovely and uh... lovely and beautiful maiden, Queen Kong Lin. What a pleasure it is to finally meet you." He looked up again quickly, while also lifting up his eye patch to have a better look. Standing up again, he winked at her and smiled.

"My sincerest apologies if I have offended thee. All I can remember is the grand parade in my honor, innumerable princesses showering me with kisses, and somehow I found myself here, in my underwear, with my trusty steed, Ro Chi Nan Te, next to me."

He raised his eyebrow slightly and thought to himself. "Must've been some great party in my honor, I must've vanquished that despicable dragon..." He leaned back smugly. "No need for this ceremony though, your highness. I was merely doing my sworn duty in defending your realm for the evil and peril, as well as the perilous evil that plagues it."

His response was met with nothing but silent confusion.

Slowly, it started to come back to him now. "Ah yes, I have come on recommendation of my half brother's cousin's son's wife's uncle's three-times removed newphew, Xiahou Jie, a servant of yours, yes? He has told me of your plight and how your people have been enchanted by some evil... enchanter, who enchants people. I believe his name is Meng Jedi or something. So I have come to rid this land of him and release your people from his vile grasp." Looking at He Xiaou and Wenshe, he then looks back at Kong Lin. "I see his evil doings have already spread here to these poor souls who have been turned into ugly bearded gorilla people..."

He stood once again with his hands on his hips as he posed. "Yet fear not my fair and lovely and beautiful and fair maiden... My dear Du Chi Ne Ah... with my trusted spear, and my trusted steed, I shall serve you until my death, because it is my sworn duty!"


Elysia wrote:Lin was more than happy to see him putting his clothing on, finally. Why he was taking such care with the robe and curtain was beyond her, and to be truthful, she could care less. Did this man not know he stood buck naked in front of all? Was he senile, or was he that cock-sure of himself?

Lin: Xiahou Jie? You are the man he found and brought to me? You are Xiahou Dun, the mighty general, known for his fierce fighting ways, and never say die attitude?

Lin looked at Lady He and then at Wenshe. Unable to stop herself, she burst out laughing.

Lin: This I must see for myself. I would like to see the talent that has earned 'you' this reputation. A friendly duel should do fine. Pick your opponent, Lord Xiahou, and show me what you've got.


Zhang Ji wrote:Standing next to Kong Lin, Wenshe listened to Xiahou Dun as he recounted his story. The Wuwan warrior still felt irritated from all the comotion before - his head a dull pain. The man seemed to be talking in strange riddles, too. Well, Wenshe didn't really pay close attention, and so totally missed Dun's reference to him as a "bearded gorrilla person".

Perhaps just as well.

The horse next to Dun neighed. Again.

Ro Chi Nan Te wanted recognition sometimes, too, you know.

All of a sudden, all ears in the chamber caught the unmistakable giggle of excited laughter - coming from just outside the room, by one of the doors.

It seemed some of Xiahou Dun's "newly found princesses" had drawn straws to remain behind. Just for him.

The giggling echoed throughout the room once more, before abruptly dying down. Maybe fearful of a second display of Kong Lin's venerable wrath.

Wenshe just sighed.

The Wuwan officer did however, understand everything that Lin spoke. He solemnly nodded - only to have a smile flash across his lips as Lin laughed. "We'll show this guy some more Wuwan "hospitality", huh?"

Wenshe looked back to Dun, waiting his response. The warrior was ready. Ready to take this clown down.

....Or - he was just as happy (if not more so) to stand next to Lin, if Xiaou was elected to deliver a humbling smackdown on the highly eccentric traveller in the room's center.

Ro Chi Nan Te neighed.


SYL wrote:Xiaou narrowed her eyes at Dun as she lowered the sword, sheathing it in one swift motion. She nodded her head slightly as Lin gave Yuanrang his choice, stepping back slightly, folding her arms across her stomach. She still seethed inside at the man's insolence, but managed to suppress it for now. She merely stood silently, awaiting Yuanrang's decision.


Heretic wrote:Xiahou Dun leaned over and whispered to his horse. "It appears that they are in such awe of my strength that they need to see with their own eyes, Ro Chi Nan Te. We should not disappoint them, yes?" The smug look of unfounded arrogance once again took hold of Dun. Like a programmed behavior, he stroked his moustache and beard between his forefinger and thumb. It needs to be noted, for those who have yet to actually take notice, that besides Dun Qi Hu Te's rather delusional yet innocent perception of the outside world, his experience being a noble, acting nobly, or speaking with a noble vocabulary was rather limited, to say the least.

"Very well my beautiful Du Chi Nei Ah! Being a man of honor and of humble background, I shall display for you my skills of valor!" He scanned at the three who stood before him, squinting with one eye before lifting his eye patch up to get a better glimpse. "Being that the code of chivalry prevents me from even sparring with the most skillful of princesses... except in the bed... I have no choice but to choose the ugly bearded gorilla that stands beside you as my opponent!" With that he walked up to Wenshe and slapped him lightly on his cheek with gauntlet. "I promise that I will go easy on him, after all, I would not want to injure your pet." Glancing at Wenshe once more, he winked. "After I smite you, we shall wash away your stink and you can be my San Cho, yes?"

Walking back to his place at the center of the hall to stand next to his scrawny horse, he turned and addressed Kong Lin one last time. "My fair maidens should probably sit, lest ye swoon at the fierceness of my might..."


Zhang Ji wrote:Wenshe's fingers flexed and balled into a fist several times, as Xiahou Dun made his challange. He looked upon Dun with a cold, unimpressed eyes.

"San Cho? What the hell?" He grumbled, taking a step forward. Before decending to the floor proper, the warrior stopped to look at Kong Lin. Though no words were exchanged, clearly a communication had taken place, via the looks they gave one another.

Wenshe handed Lin his dagger, and turned.

He stepped down and walked to Xiahou Dun. Within seconds, the Wuwan officer assumed a defensive combat stance, deflty shifting weight from foot to foot - giving the impression of a back and forward springing movement. Wenshe's eyes displayed immense concentration, and a feigned anger - being used to fuel his fighting wrath.

"Get to it, old man!" He taunted......

Wei Wenshe has accepted Xiahou Dun's duel challange!


SYL wrote:The two warriors took up fighting stances, and the greatest combat in the history of warfare began...

Round 1:
Xiahou Dun HP: 100 War: 88
Wei Zhuang HP: 100 War: 85

Xiahou Dun stands in an elaborate duelling stance, ready to pounce upon the attack he knew would surely come. He had planned this in his head for hours - the enemy would lunge, he would gracefully sidestep and strike the assailant from both sides simultaneously. Ingenious!

He ends up disappointed, as all that happens is Wei Zhuang attempts to spook the veteran by pulling a face. The pair stare at each other for a few moments, blink, then sadly walk across to each other, sulkily kicking and punching. The women on the sidelines talk to each other about men that aren't the combatants.

(Xiahou Dun's Both Sides failed, normal attack -8HP).
(Wei Zhuang's Intimidate failed, normal attack -6 HP).

Round 2:
Xiahou Dun HP: 94 War: 88
Wei Zhuang HP: 92 War: 85

The two finish their lacklustre attacks, still with sulky faces. Xiahou Dun tries his next trick, pulling out an old, worn bow from the saddle bag of Ro Chi Nan Te! He knocks an arrow with a triumphant laugh, only to have the bowstring snap and painfully twang him in the eye.

Laughing, Wei Zhuang makes a series of complex feint attacks. Dun's attention, however, is occupied with his smarting eye, and he fails to notice. Zhuang sighs, moving to kick the warrior, but ends up slipping on a loose flagstone and falling on his backside. He recovers quickly, pretending nothing happened.

Kong Lin and He Xiaou strike up a conversation about the relative merits of the feminist movement.

(Xiahou Dun's Arrow cancelled, normal attack missed).
(Wei Zhuang's Fake failed, normal attack -7 HP).

Round 3:
Xiahou Dun HP: 87 War: 88
Wei Zhuang HP: 92 War: 85

Dun wipes tears from his stricken and now swollen eye, quietly moving his eyepatch from one eye to the other, and hoping no-one will notice. No-one seems to, and, buoyed by this fact, Dun manages to land a solid blow to Wei Zhuang's stomach! As Wenshe doubles over in pain, Dun holds up his hands in adulation for the victory that was surely his. He bowed, and blew kisses for the women of the crowd, who ceased talking about the handsome lad who cleaned the stables to giggle and wave at him.

...and to gasp in empathy when Wenshe floored him with a pair of swift kicks to the kidneys.

(Xiahou Dun's normal attack succeeds! -7 HP).
(Wei Zhuang's Double Strike succeeds! -14 HP).

Round 4:
Xiahou Dun HP: 73 War: 88
Wei Zhuang HP: 85 War: 85

Groaning, Dun picks himself up from the floor, dusting himself down with a practised swagger. He poses heroically, showing his contempt for the painful blows. The women giggle and cheer once more, and Dun turns to face his opponent, with a view to returning the favour.

He ducks and squeals like a little girl as the arrow prepared by Wenshe flew over his head, however. The arrow in question whizzed down the hall and out the open door. Cursing, and stomping his foot, Wenshe threw down the bow and started to slap his gibbering opponent with a series of backhand and forehand strikes.

Xiaou and Kong Lin had by now moved on to an examination of the role of women's emancipation in the context of revolutionary Socialism.

(Xiahou Dun's Double Strike fails!)
(Wei Zhuang's Arrow misses, normal attack -8 HP).

Round 5:
Xiahou Dun HP: 65 War: 88
Wei Zhuang HP: 85 War: 85

Tired of being slapped, Dun finally regains his resolve, retaliating with his own limp-wristed strikes. Furious at his opponent's retaliation, Wenshe escalates the conflict by pulling Dun's hair. Yelping, Dun uses his immaculately manicured nails to scratch Wenshe's face, causing him to recoil in a mix of mild pain and horror.

Thus slighted, Wenshe immediately grabs his opponent in a headlock and begins administering a particularly fierce noogie burn. Dun's arms flail as he pins his hopes on a sudden attack of tendonitis, but is finally forced to end the humiliating agony with a tortured scream of "Uncle!"

Wenshe throws his defeated opponent to the floor, doing a victory lap around the circle of guards. Ro Chi Nan Te sidles over to the stricken Dun and begins to lick his face. The women, disappointed, finally disperse and head en masse to the stables. He Xiaou and Kong Lin conclude their enlightening discussion by agreeing that peaceful protest and moral force are always infinitely better ways to achieve lasting societal change than a sudden, violent revolution.

(Xiahou Dun's normal attack succeeds! -8 HP).
(Wei Zhuang's normal attack succeeds! -6 HP).

Final:
Xiahou Dun HP: 59 War: 88
Wei Zhuang HP: 77 War: 85


Zhang Ji wrote:Panting a little, Wei Wenshe beamed at the fallen Xiahou Dun. With fairly little effort, he'd taken that clown down, alright.

The warrior shrugged.

"He asked for it." He stated, to himself.

However, he relented, and helped Xiahou Dun onto his feet. Propping the old warrior against Ro Chi Nan Te, Wenshe then hurried back to Kong Lin's side.

Turning to face Lin, the eyes of the warrior and Wuwan Queen met, a now typical sparkle appearing in them. Wenshe's gaze held on her, causing his jaw to fall slack. This resulted in the most dopiest, lovestruck expression Lin and Xiaou had probably seen in Wenshe.

Course, it didn't last long...they were in a public place, afterall. Though awed by Kong Lin, it took the slightly more forceful nudge than usual from Xiaou to beckon the Wuwan officer back to the matter at hand.

The guy and the horse in the room's center.

Oh yeah.....

"He fought, uh, strangly, but well, I'd say, Lin." Wenshe said, after stuttering some, regaining his composure. "What's your verdict then?"


Elysia wrote:Reaching over to Wenshe, she put her fingers under his chin and snapped his mouth closed. With a wink in his direction, she headed down the dais stairs and slowly walked around Xiahou Dun and his horse, looking them over.

Lin: I think you will do nicely, Lord Xiahou. You have a never give up attitude that I like in a General. For where there is a will to succeed there is always a way. It does seem as if you and your horse here are close 'friends', but I think it would be better to let this one laze around in the sun and enjoy life rather than carry you into battle. Please accept one of the fine horses we raise and train here in Wuwan as a gift from us to you. Perhaps it will give this one some company while you are entertained elsewhere. Plus this light to guide you with.

Xiahou Dun presented with a War Horse (+5 lead) & Bull Lantern (Bond +50 and *Loyal)

Lin: Welcome to Wuwan, Lord Xiahou.


Heretic wrote:After Lin finished her acceptance speech, it dawned on all of them that the fearless Dun Qi Hu Te did not hear a thing. In fact, at that moment gravity had its way with him and slowly he slid off to the right of his horse and was left sprawled on the ground, with his right hand tangled in the stirrup. If anyone listened carefully enough, one would have heard a faint snore emit from the age warrior. His trusted, yet weary steed, Ro Chi Nan Te, probably figured it was a perfect opportunity to make his exit.

The horse neighed once and shook his razzled mane.

Turning slowly, he started to head back towards the hall exit, remembering the small garden he passed in the courtyard earlier to graze. The mighty Xiahou Dun, sound asleep, was dragged behind him slowly. Thus the grand warrior made his grand departure, not at the sound of applause like he probably dreamt about, but of at the sound of hooves and scraping metal.
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and once for missing you
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Postby Harimau » 27 Feb 2005, 11:50

Zhai Rong wrote:Cai Liang, styled Benzhu (192-263) 10-10-10-10-10, Wealth*3

After retiring from political life, Cai Liang lived as a hermit sage near Wan. A few months afterwards, he was found by one of his father's servants and brought home. Cai Liang's father immediately fired the servant, though he kept Cai Liang. When he died, his embezzled wealth was passed down to Cai Liang, as he had managed to avoid being charged by paying exorbitant bribes to various officials.

Cai Liang lived on this wealth and never went far from the Cai family home. He never served as an official again, for he feared the Chicken Emperor Meng Jun and his army of mighty chickens, and did not want anything to do with him again. Despite his excessive eating and drinking, lived to 71 years of age. A few months prior to his death, he was married to one of his serving girls. She inherited his wealth, and promptly disappeared two days after his funeral.

After his death, Cai Liang became a common deity for the local folk. Rumours had it that anyone who prayed to him on their enemies' behalf could ensure the failure of their enemies. This practice continued until the Tang, when the Emperor Xianzong ordered all his temples to be destroyed. Centuries later, archaelogical evidence uncovered the worship of Cai Liang, and he resumed his role as a deity, though no evidence was found of his prior worship. Today, he serves as the patron god of the Chinese Copyright Enforcement Agency, whose leaders constantly pray for his assistance.
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Postby SYL » 07 Jun 2005, 17:06

Everyone's favourite sombrero-wearing Chinaman, Zhou Cang, waxes lyrical.

Black Mage wrote:As the Yellow Turbans went about their business in the city of He Nei, Zhou Cang walked out of the southern city gates, carrying a raft strewn together from four logs over his head, whistling as he walked the not too long difference to the Yellow River to the south. Adjusting his large-rimmed hat, Cang glanced up at the setting sun, and deciding the time was right, plopped his raft into the water with a big splash. Grabbing a long nearby branch, Shuisheng let out a deep bellow, then ripped the limb from the tree with a mighty pull. Stepping gingerly onto his raft, Shuisheng plunged the branch into the water and began rowing slowly with giant strokes, heading off towards the east. As he rowed, Cang began to sing loudly in his big booming voice.

Zhou Cang: "Ol' Yellow River, that Ol' Yellow River
It must know somethin', but it don't say nothin'
it just keeps rollin', it keeps on rollin' along

Don't look up and best stand down
Ya don't dare make the emperor frown
Bend your knees and bow your head
And toil in the fields until you're dead

You and me, we sweat and strain
Bodies all achin' and wracked with pain
Tote that barge and lift that bale
Ya' get a little drunk and ya' lands in ja-ail

We get weary and so sick of tryin'
We're tired of livin', but not afraid of dyin'
And Ol' Yellow River, it just keeps rollin' alo-ong"
Pre-Game Guest Star:

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Postby Shi Zhi Mi » 15 Dec 2005, 20:06

Zhou Tai freaking bored. Scary thought.

Baozi Light Presents.... Real SIM Players of Genius

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Defying all possibilities, you manage to get yourself killed nearly every week... by a different person, in a different way.

Barbarian, Chinese, Roman, Yellow Turban,....it doesnt matter, your gonna be worm bait.

Backup Ladies: He's Six Foot Under!

But like a good player, you get back on the saddle, only to fall to your doom again, and again and again.

Rest In Peaceee!

If you have survival skills, you should use them, but ironic, you....dont have any.

So eat up your Baozi Light Mr Deadman Inc., For if it wasnt for you, We wouldnt have a predictable outcome...

Mr "Deaddd Mannn Wallllking Person

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Who is the above....!
Zhang Li(32) 36-40-72-94*-74 Acumen(e), Administration, Commercialist, Articulate, Propaganda
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Postby Lance Dearnis » 04 Feb 2007, 17:33

Good lord, this hasn't been updated in how long? Go ahead and PM suggestions to add on here to me. I finally knocked down my inbox to 23%. Preferred formatting is more or less how I'm posting the next two here - Each post separated into it's own quote, and maybe a little tagline at the start, such as...


Furniture First?

Sevenrhapsody wrote:"Remember when you were in Yun Nan and I asked you whether you'd like to have a son or a daughter, that wasn't a hypothetical question, Bofu." Wei Jen's head lowered and her face turned red. "I'm with child, Bofu..." She said softly with a smile.
Shi Zhi Mi wrote:His eyes looked unfocused as he tried to process the information given to him. Son? Daughter? What is she trying to say? Wait! The lightbulb burst into life above his head. Then it shattered as Bofu passed out, fell off the side of the bed, and smacked his head against a wooden chest. Yep..he can face death with dignity, bandits with rage, but facing the possiblity of being a father? Nah.
Sevenrhapsody wrote:"Bofu!" Wei Jen stood up quickly to check on her husband. "Are you alright?" Wei Jen quickly scurried over to the wooden chest, first making sure the chest is not broken, then turning towards Sun Ce, she tenderly examined the bruise that is on her husband's head. "Are you okay, my love?" Wei Jen said as she rubbed her hand softly on the bruise...
Sui Xiao; (16, F); 36-40-59-87-83; Acumen, Administrator (e), Articulate, Charming, Propaganda, Rumor
Biography, Picture.

<Liu_Sun> Yeah, yeah that's it.
<Liu_Sun> We need our XP graph to look like a dong
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Postby Elysia » 31 Mar 2007, 12:05

The Vase Guards

Zhang Ji wrote:The rush of the moment and the elevation of being free from being captive was dashed entirely by the reality shattering crash of the vase against the marble floor. Not good. Really not good.

Some ten minutes later, a couple of guards appeared at the scene of minimal devastation. Both of the guards surveyed the sorry spectacle.

"A broken vase." One said, stating the obvious.

"I agree." Said the other.

"Better get it cleaned up." The first one responded.

"Probably." Said the second.

Both guards were in the same spot right up to mid morning, the following day.
Jia Gai wrote:Off to the side a pair of guards passed, without batting an eye.

"Man, that vase."

"Yeah."

"Did that ever get cleaned up?"

"Dunno, I forget."

"Yeah, me too."
Zhang Ji wrote:With that, Dun swung out his scimitar and shattered a vase with one deft strike. The ornament had been in his path. Now it was not.

Some twenty minutes after the two men had departed the palace, a pair of guards happened across the shattered remnants of the vase in the corridor. They stopped and gazed hard at the pieces littering the floor.

"You know what de-ja vu is?" Asked one.

"Uh." Replied the other.

"I like these vases."

"I agree."
Jia Gai wrote:The guard stared at Lu He, wondering what he was talking about. "New officers? I don't know anything about that."

A second guard, standing nearby, said, "hey, do vases count as new officers?"

"No, man, but where did you see a new vase?"

"On the third floor of the palace. It's huge man, it's huge! I just wanted to stare at it all day long... but then that Tian Shi jerk told me to go do my job. He had another girl with him."

"Again?"

"Yeah, man. I think he has a new one every night."

"Lucky guy."

"Yeah, he sure is."
Jia Gai wrote:One of the guards stared at Ba Shi Nan for awhile, then glanced over at the second guard.

"Hey, do you think he's a vase salesman?" the first asked.

"I dunno, why don't you ask him?" the second responded with a question of his own.

"Well, I'm kinda shy."

"You? Shy? Says the guy who danced on the table and recited fifty lines of bawdy poerty in front of the entire palace garrison."

"Yeah, well, I was drunk at the time."

"Dude, you didn't have a drop of wine, yet. Hell, you even dropped your pants and did pelvic gyrations."

"Look man, don't you judge me."

"Man, just ask him already."

"What was I supposed to ask?"

"Uh... I forgot."

"Me too."

"How about that vase?"

"Yeah, it was pretty cool, wasn't it?"
Jia Gai wrote:"You know, I'm sad that vase got destroyed," the first guard sighed.

"No kidding, It was pretty sweet, especially with the dancers painted on it. If you rotated it, it looked like they were giving you a show," the second said with a nod.

"Wait, look, that guy is still here."

"Huh, who is he again?"

"I dunno. He doesn't look very smart though."

"Maybe he knows something about vases."

"Be cool if he did."

"Yeah, but he probably doesn't. How boring."

"I think he was asking for freedom or something."

"Dude, none of us are truly free, we're all prisoners of our desires."

"Woah, that's so deep."

"I know. I heard it one day when this scholar guy was talking to some other guy."

"Were they talking about vases?"

"No, man, they weren't."

"Bummer."

"You said it."
Jia Gai wrote:The first guard stared at Ba Shi Nan. So did the second. They both nodded as they seemed to almost understand the utter nonsense he had just babbled to them. Indeed, they almost seemed to sympathize with him.

"Wow, talk about a crappy life," the first guard lamented.

"No kidding. I mean... wives that hate vases," the second guard agreed.

"You've experienced a pain beyond pain, man."

"Dude, he's gone beyond pain. They don't have a word for that kind of suffering, yet."

"Man, that's way out there."

"Dude, you don't know the half of it. There needs to be a new word for it."

"Like what?"

"Hell if I know."

"Huh."

"Yeh."

"Hmm."

"I know, the new word will be Gruuuuuuuaaaagrh."

"Dude, that doesn't even sound like a word. It's more like a grunt."

"Of course it does. It's so beyond pain, you can't say it like a normal man."

"Woah. Man, you're a genius."

"Nah, but I am pretty successful and deciding what sex a baby will be, before birth."

"Really?"

"Yeah. I get it right half the time."

"Awesome."

"I sure am."

"Oh, wait, that guy's still here."

"Maybe we should let him inside so he can sit down or something."

"Yeah, he looks pretty exhausted."

"Wonder why?"

"Dunno. Maybe he was looking at vases at the market all day."

"Dude, that's gotta be it."

"Hey vase dude, go on in."

"But don't break the vases."

"Yeah, that'd be uncool."

"Indeed."
Zhang Ji wrote:When the carriage containing Mengde and Ding arrived at the gates of Chang An palace, they were spied by two average looking soldiers. Both stared idly into space for a moment or two - and then suddenly launched into spontaneous conversation about the finer points of vase decor and creation.

"...So, that's it?" Ask the vaguely more mature one.

"I guess it is." Said his counterpart, opposite.

"Incredible."

"Yeap."

"Now what?"

"Stuff, I think." The first guard replied with a shrug.

"Huh." The other sighed, supposedly disappointed.

"Say, how'bout we jump this place and - "

"There's someone there."

"There is."

"...Uhm, do we have a plan?"

"For what?"

"You know...people."

"People?"

"People who might please the Scalded Cat guy."

"You mean General Tian Shi."

"I did?"

"Incredible."

"Sure was."

"Quite chilly today."

"I agree."

"Me too."

"How's that wife of yours again?"

"...I have a wife?"

"Always figured you were the type, man."

"Oh, maybe I do then - I'll have to check when we're allowed home."

"They allow us home? Nobody never told me!"

"I haven't seen my Mother since, like, forever! I miss her so!" Cried the second. He began to shed a tear or two, overcome with emotion.

"Will she even know she had a son!?"

"Get her a nice vase, man." The first responded. "And have a hug man, no need to cry."

"You're the best, man."

"Of course."

"I wonder if Mother likes vases..."

"All Mothers like a good vase, don't worry."
Zhang Ji wrote:"You're right." Said the first guard.

"Mother will be proud of me!" Exclaimed the other.

"'Course she will."

"I kno - "

"Uhhhh...."

"Man. Just...Look....Forward."

"Is....is....she for....real?"

At this point, it would be apparently that neither had heard or paid any attention to Mengde when one had caught sight of Lady Ding. Both men stared at her, in an absolute stunned awe.

"She's her!" Cried one, amazed.

"Yes she is!" Chimed the other, happily.

"The lady in the vase!"

"The lady in the vase!"

"I, uh, I dunno what to do!"

"Me neither!"

"....Wait, ask her something."

"Ask her?"

"I guess."

"What?"

"Ask her if she likes horses?"

"Why? She was patting one in that vase."

"Oh yeah, forgot."

"....You "forgot" about the scene on a vase?"

"We'll talk later about that, man."

"I already feel like I don't know you anymore."

"Hey, no need to be hasty."

"...Hmmm, okay."

"All charges dropped! Have a hug!"

"Yay!"

And just after the two men embraced, they gave Ding more "deer in torchlight" stares. Suddenly, both men dropped to their knees, weapons clattering against the cobbled ground. Hunched forward and kneeling, the soldiers started to gave the lady their obedience, bowing wildly and tossing hands in the air as they did so.

"We are not worthy!"

"We are not worthy!"
Zhang Ji wrote:When Ding spoke to them, both guards ceased in their wild bowing. Two pairs of awed eyes stared up at her - hanging on her every word, her every breath...

"Y-y-yes...we will!" Stammered the first, overwhelmed. "We now only serve you if you deem us worthy, O Gracious Magnificent Heaven Sent Beauty!"

"Lady of the vase!"

"Lady of the vase!"

"Whatever you command." Said the other, similarly rendered rather dumbfounded.

"She's really real!" Said the first one again, mumbling aloud.

"We must protect the vases from harm!"

"We must!"

"The Lady in the vase commands it so!"

"She does!"

"She did!"

"Protect the vases!"

"Agreed!"

"Hurry along faster!"

"Yes!"

"There are vases at stake, man!"

With a combined horrified gasp, both guards disappeared around the gate, leaving it wide open...
Jia Gai wrote:As Tian Shi began to lead Ding off, two voices... familar to both him and Ding, and probably unwanted.

"Hey, look, it's that guy we used to work for."

"The vase hater."

"No kidding, dude."

"Woah, look man, it's her! The goddess of the vase!"

"You're kidding, right? We've been looking for her, forever!"

"What do you mean, forever? You forgot all about her."

"Did not."

Did too. I saw you cheating on her. I saw you staring at the woman on that other vase."

"Hey, you can't judge me. I can't be a one vase man!"

"Yeah, I hear you, buddy."

"Besides, you're the one who's married. I can look at all the vases I like."

"You're a lucky man. I tried to get my wife to pose for a vase but she refused."

"Dude, it's time to divorce her. It's irreconcilable differences."

"I don't even know what irecombale means."

"Me neither, I just think the word is cool."

"Yeah, it is, but not as cool as vases."

"True that."

"Indeed."

"Uh huh."

"Yep."

"So. What were we doing again?"

"I forgot."

"Me too."

"Hey, look, it's the vase goddess!"

"Dude, how long has she been there?"

"I don't know, man, but we've been looking for her, forever!"

"Awesome, let's go see how she's doing."

"No way man, I'm shy."

"You're shy? Since when?"

"Always, man."

"Dude, you were dancing naked on the table and singing bawdy tavern songs. And you weren't even drunk, yet."

"Yeah, but that was with the guys. This is different."

"I guess you're right."

"You know I am."
Jia Gai wrote:"Hey, do you think Tian Shi looks angry?"

"Yeah, but he always looked angry."

"Not always. Remember when he had women in his room?"

"Dude, that was all the time."

"Oh yeah."

"I think he broke a few vases too while he was going at it."

"How barbaric of him."

"No kidding."

"Vases have feelings too, how'd he like it if someone pushed him over and he fell and shattered into ten housand pieces?"

"Probably wouldn't like it."

"I know I wouldn't."

"No argument there."

"Wait, did he ask us a question?"

"Dunno, why don't we ask him if he did?"

"I dunno, I don't want to look stupid."

"Yeah, it would be embarrasing if we looked like idiots."

"Can't have that."

"Especially in front of the vase goddess."

"Oh no, we forgot to pay homage to the vase goddess!"

"How could you? Now the vase goddess will hate us!"

"No! Don't hate us, vase goddess!"

The two bumbling goons fell to their knees and began to bow over and over again, shouting, "we're not worthy! We're not worthy!"
Jia Gai wrote:"The vase goddess doesn't hate us!"

"Praise be to the vase goddess!"

"We shall follow you and ensure no one tips you over!"

"The vase goddess must not be shattered!"

"Wait, do vase goddesses shatter?"

"Well, I assume they do."

"But they're goddesses. They must be less shattery than that."

"Hmm, good point."

"Should we ask her?"

"No way, dude, she's a goddess!"

"Hmm, you know, you may be right."

"Of course I am. Goddesses don't answer mortal questions."

"Yeah, but what if you pray really, really hard."

"Then maybe."

"Awesome."

"No doubt."

"Say, Tian Shi is here too."

"Huh, so he is."

"How long's he been there, you reckon?"

"Dunno, maybe he just got here."

"He's lookin at us funny."

"Aw man, he better not break any vases."

"Yeah, we'd have to kick his ass if he did."

"Just like we did last time."

"Uh... dude, I think that was just a dream."

"Oh, explains why I became Vase Emperor, too."

"That would be sweet, though."

"Sure would."
Jia Gai wrote:"What? the vases need to be cleaned?"

"Only a man with the blackest heart would allow vases to become dusty."

"Except those really huge vases. The kind you and I can hide in."

"Oh, yeah, like hell I'm cleaning one of those."

"No kidding. Those things must weight more than me."

"How much do you weight, anyway?"

"About ten small vases."

"Woah, you're putting on some weight."

"Hey, maybe we can try that diet, like that one guy."

"Which guy?"

"The one that lost five vases in just three months."

"Woah, that's a lot of vases."

"No kidding. I think it was called "No Kar Bu."

"That sounds weird. It sets off my vase alert senses."

"Yeah, he's an oddball, that one. He decided pots are better than vases."

"I don't know him, anymore."

"Me neither."

"Hey, wait, Tian Shi's trying to take our Vase Goddess!"

"We must protect her! Wait for us, Vase Goddess!"
Jia Gai wrote:The two guards seemed positively ecstatic to be recieving an important order their Vase Goddess.

"The Vase Goddess directs us."

"We must do her bidding."

"If not, we aren't men."

"We'd be sort of half-men, half-women."

"You know, that doesn't sound so bad."

"What are you talking about?"

"If you were half woman, you wouldn't need a wife."

"Or maybe its just a guy dressed as a girl."

"I never thought about that."

"It's not a pretty sight. One of the guards at the palace does that."

"What a freak."

"No kidding."

"Bet he doesn't like vases, either."

"Probably not."

"He's going to hell."

"No doubt about it."

"You know, sometimes I wish I was a vase."

"Yeah, that would be cool. You could sit around all day being looked at and admired."

"Except those kids. They get their smudgy little fingers everywhere."

"Yeah, kids suck."

"Hey, don't you have a kid?"

"Not yet, but the wife's expecting."

"I bet it'll grow to become a great vase lover."

"Naturally."
Jia Gai wrote:The two goofball guards continued to hold a conversation around both Ding and Tian Shi, not really considering that neither wanted them around.

"Dude, were we supposed to do something?"

"Uh... yeah, I think we were."

"What was it?"

"I think it had something to do with vases."

"Would be sweet if that's true."

"Did I tell you, I bought a new vase?"

"Get out of here!"

"No, really, it's about four feet tall and has a dragon painted on it."

"Bet that looks pretty awesome."

"One day I'll have more vases than the palace."

"How are you going to afford it on a guard's salary?"

"I have connections. Black market vases, dude."

"Shhh... people might be listening!"

"Oh, yeah, that's true. I wasn't thinking."

"Vases on the brain will do that to you."

"No fooling. I'd forget my own head if it wasn't attatched."

"Be cool if your head could come off. You could hide it in a vase."

"That would be awesome, indeed."

"Too true."
Jia Gai wrote:It took the pair of guards awhile to notice that Tian Shi had left the general area.

"Say, did Tian Shi just go?"

"Yeah, I think so."

"Whew, that's a relief, he's a scary guy."

"And a brutal vase murderer."

"Can't forget that."

"Nope."

"Plus, I think he kicks puppies, too."

"I heard he has the cutest kittens in the city turned into soup."

"I heard he files his teeth so they're all pointy and sharp."

"I heard he has black ichor for blood, he's so evil."

"I heard he has a cute panda-shaped birthmark on his right butt cheek."

"Dude, that's more information than I needed."

"Sorry, I'm just saying what I heard."

"Man, there are a lot of rumors about him."

"Yeah, they're all true, too. I have reliable sources."

"Oh yeah? Who?"

"A friend of mine. He heard it from a friend, who heard it from a cousin, who heard it from a sister, who heard it from the friend of some guy who wanders around the street. I think he's homeless."

"How sad."

"Too true. I mean, without a home, where are you going to put your vases?"

"Out in the street, I guess."

"But then the kids get their grubby mits on it. Or throw rocks."

"I see what you mean."

"Yeah."

"Yup."

"Uh huh."

"You know, all this talk about vases has made me hungry."

"I know this restaurant down the street that's got great vases."

"Awesome, lead the way."

"I sure will."
Jia Gai wrote:The guards just... stared at the woman babbling to herself at the gate.

"Hey, man, think she wants to talk to Lord Cao?"

"Well, she kinda said so, you know."

"Oh, yeah. I wonder about what."

"Me too. Maybe she's a vase inspector."

"Really? I'd like to talk to her, when she's done, then."

"No kidding. Those inspector people are pretty smart guys."

"Just like us."

"Too true."

"Like this one time, some guy wanted to know why the sky is blue."

"What did you say?"

"I told 'em it was depressed it wasn't a vase."

"I'd be depressed, too."

"I'm depressed now."

"Why's that?"

"My wife found the vase I hid, told me it was her or the vase."

"No."

"Yeah. So I told her I can't abandon my vase. So she ran off to her mother."

"That sucks."

"No kidding. I was going to try out that position I saw on the vase with her, too."

"She just doesn't understand the things you can learn by being around vases."

"They never do."

"Women, can't live with 'em, can't sell 'em for vases."

"If only we could."
Jia Gai wrote:"Oh, hey, look, it's that girl."

"Wasn't she here earlier?"

"I guess she came back."

"What for?"

"Dunno. I forget why she was here the first time."

"Maybe we should ask."

"You ask."

"Why?"

"I asked the last time."

"No way, I asked last time. Remember? About the vases?"

"Dude, that was me. I was asking about the new vase delivery to the palace after that demonic little boy broke a few."

"Oh, was that you?"

"Yeah."

"Those were some pretty sweet vases, too."

"Yeah, the guy who painted them was a true artist, I have to say."

"No kidding. That Lord Cao guy is lucky he can afford to buy all those awesome vases."

"Too true. Unlike Tian Shi, he was a tightwad, except when buying new women to break vases with."

"That guy was a jerk, I swear."

"Lucky we got a new, vase-friendly boss."

"Too true."

"Indeed."

"Yep."
Jia Gai wrote:"Wait, did she just say Tian Shi?"

"You think she was one of his girls?"

"The very thought boils my blood!"

"I know. All those poor, unfortunate vases, shattered before their time."

"All because of Tian Shi and his vase-smashing activities!"

"She looks a little... under developed for Tian Shi, though."

"Yeah, now that you mentioned it, she kinda does."

"Sure isn't a figure you'd find painted on a vase."

"Definitely nothing like our beloved Vase Goddess."

"Yeah. You know, we gotta find her again, one day."

"I know. How are we supposed to fulfill our duties to her if we're stuck guarding this door?"

"Why are we guarding it, anyway? It's just a door, it's not even a vase."

"Certainly can't be as important as a good vase."

"Maybe the Vase Goddess can get us reassigned."

"We should ask her."

"When we find her, again."

"Indeed."

"Can't be too hard."

"She's only the most beautiful woman ever."

"Truly deserving of vase immortality."

"Sure is."

"I agree."
Jia Gai wrote:"Hey, this girl is interested in the door we're guarding."

"I understand being interested in vases, but doors?"

"It's just weird, isn't it?"

"I know. Say, I heard a story about a door, once."

"Oh? Do tell."

"Well, there were these guys who came to a door and they all bickered about who should enter it first. It was pretty silly and all, you know."

"And then what happened?"

"Oh, these two guys who kept telling the other guy to enter the door got killed."

"Tragic."

"Sure is."

"Wouldn't have happened if they were discussing vases."

"Sure wouldn't. Everyone can appreciate a good vase."

"Except for Tian Shi."

"Or his girls, for that matter."

"Speaking of Tian Shi's girls, that underdeveloped girl is still here."

"Really? Wow, she must really like this door."

"I guess we can let her look at it better. Who are we to judge other people's weird fetishes?"

"Too true. Shame she's not into vases. We could talk about it all day."

"And we usually do."

"Yeah, I know."

"Best conversations I've ever had."

"I feel exactly the same."
Jia Gai wrote:"Yeah, knock yourself out with the door."

"Who are we to judge?"

"Even if door obsession is pretty weird and all."

"Yeah, I mean... it's a door."

"Most doors don't even look good."

"Yeah, they don't have the sexy curves of a good vase."

"A good woman is like a good vase, you know."

"No kidding. Too bad we've never met a good woman."

"Except the vase goddess."

"I miss the vase goddess. Just being in her presence makes me feel good."

"I know, it's like there's this holy vase aura glowing around her body."

"It's a truly religious experience, to be sure."

"Got that right."

"Sure do."

"I agree."

"Hard not to."

"Tell me about it."

"Just did."
Jia Gai wrote:"You know, sometimes I wish I was born a vase."

"You're not the only one."

"The other guards keep laughing at me, but they just don't understand."

"They like to judge. They're very judgemental."

"I know, they're like prejudgemental or something."

"Is that even a word?"

"I think it is, or maybe not. Say, you know what would be great?"

"What?"

"If some scholar would write a book that had every word in the language and gave meanings for them."

"Dude, that's such an awesome idea! How come nobody's done it yet?"

"Dunno, maybe they're not geniuses like you and me."

"I think it's the vases. They speak to us and tell us things."

"That's exactly what I tell the others, but they always laugh."

"What a bunch of jerks."

"No kidding."

"Huh? look, the underdeveloped girl is still here."

"Wow, I didn't even notice her."

"Well, that's easy. She's certainly no vase goddess."

"True. I thought she was going to study doors or something."

"Maybe she really likes this one. I dunno, people are weird, sometimes."

"It's not even a very nice door. Certainly not as nice as that vase we saw at the market."

"I know, that thing was a work of art. Like the gods came down from heaven and created it from their own flesh."

"You... you should be a poet, those words are beautiful."

"Vases inspire me."

"I hear ya."
Jia Gai wrote:The two guards were busy staring at the latest aquisition of the palace, a tapestry depicting a vase.

"Huh."

"Yeah."

"Hmm."

"Er."

"I dunno."

"Me neither."

"Seems wrong, somehow."

"I know what you mean."

"Yeah. Is it a vase or isn't it a vase?"

"I would say it isn't."

"Well, it looks like a vase, so maybe it is."

"But it's flat and made of cloth, so it can't be."

"But it has the outlines of a vase and is decorated like one, so it can be."

"Come on, a vase has life and feeling!"

"But don't you feel the sheer vaseosity projecting at us?"

"Well..."

"Uh huh?"

"Say, look, it's the vase goddess!"

"Come on, you have to try better than that. Answer me!"

"No, really, it's the vase goddess!"

"What? Where?"

"Over there!"

"By the gods, you're right! Vase goddess, where have you been?"

"We've been looking for you!"

"Every breath we've taken has been in anticipation of seeing you again!"

"How may we serve, Vase Goddess?"

"We are not worthy!"

The two began to bow over and over again, weeping for joy.
Jia Gai wrote:"A trip?"

"And we are to escort?"

"Escort the Vase Goddess?"

"This is too grand a job for such lowly scum as we!"

"We would be only too happy to serve the Vase Goddess!"

"Our lives are yours, Vase Goddess!"

"Anything you ask of us, we shall do!"

"Even if we were ordered to destroy a hundred, ten hundreds of vases!"

"Well, I would do it, but not without sadness, so I hope the Vase Goddess doesn't tell us to do that."

"Yeah, me too. But if the Vase Goddess demands retribution against sinful vases, it is our duty to comply."

"You got a point."

"You know I do."

"I hate it when you're right."

"And you know I'm never wrong."

"Yes, you are. That one time you said it was a vase? But it was really an urn."

"Hey man, don't you judge me! I had a hangover that day."

"We were drinking pretty hard, weren't we."

"Yeah, 'cause we lost track of the Vase Goddess."

"We were such worthless wretches, to allow that."

"I know. Now, we have to find some way to make it up to her."

"Too true."

"We'll give the Vase Goddess our eternal loyalty."

"Dude, she already has that."

"Oh, well, I'll think of something."

"You do that."

"Sure will."
Jia Gai wrote:"We need nothing, so long as we have you!"

"Vase Goddess, lead and we shall follow!"

"I'll give anything to you, if you but ask!"

"I'll give you my first born!"

"Dude, you know he's not worth much."

"What are you talking about? I traded him for a vase, that once."

"But your wife made you trade him back."

"I know, and I still haven't forgiven her."

"Especially since it was such a nice vase."

"Well, not entirely nice. It was kinda lopsided."

"Then why the heck did you trade your son?"

"Well, I was drunk and I didn't really notice until later."

"Oh, yeah, I guess that's a good a reason as any to get a refund."

"I'm forbidden from ever trading him, again."

"Too bad. Someday, that magic vase will come around. The one you want to be with for the rest of your life."

"I know, I cry myself to sleep every night thinking about it."

"What? You wuss."

"Hey, it's my vase and I'll cry if I want to."

"Cry if you want to?"

"You would cry too, if it happened to you."
Jia Gai wrote:The two guards, both dressed in the uniform of Chang An and the Cao Clan, yet their attire was... different. Improperly buttoned here, mismatching colors there, armor that was strapped on the wrong way and so forth. Clearly not the cream of the crop, yet both seemed to burn with a raging inferno of devotion to their charge.

"Hello gentlemen."

"All your vase are belong to Vase Goddess."

"You are on the way to meeting her, make your time."

"How was that, Vase Goddess?"

"Was that a sufficient announcement of your arrival?"

"I think we could have inflected it better."

"Hmm, do you think we didn't annunciate properly?"

"It wasn't grand enough. I didn't feel it."

"I dunno, I felt something."

"Well, so long as the Vase Goddess doesn't mind."

"Ask her so we can find out."

"I can't ask her! She's the Vase Goddess and we're not worthy."

"Yeah, that's true, she'd probably get angry at us for asking."

"Then she'd take away all our vases."

"They do belong to her."

"I know, we said that, earlier."

"Oh yeah, I forgot."

"You know, these cities sound alike. Chang An, Chang Sha..."

"You know, you got a point. Do you think they have a Vase Goddess here, too?"

"Maybe, but she can't be nearly as good as ours."

"Too true."

"Indeed."

"Got that right."

"No doubt."
Jia Gai wrote:The two guards gasped and recoiled in horror as the man asked his question.

"Th... the name of the Vase Goddess?"

"She is the Vase Goddess, that's all you need to know!"

"The shining example of perfection and grace!"

"Her magnificence is a curved body, like a perfectly shaped vase!"

"Her beauty exceeds the works of the finest vase painters!"

"One does not gaze upon the Vase Goddess!"

"That's right, one basks in her glory, instead!"

"The Vase Goddess is greater than you and me."

"She is greater than life, itself!"

"Her divinity exceeds every vase ever produced from the dawn of time!"

"And all the way into infinity!"

"Asking her name is simply not proper!"

"Plus, we don't even know it."

"We never asked."

"But that's entirely beside the point!"

"Indeed, a Vase Goddess is above names!"

"Sure is."

"I concur."

"Say no more."

"Nothing more to say."
Jia Gai wrote:The two guards look at each other a moment.

"It is our sworn duty to escort the Vase Goddess."

"A privilege more than a duty, really."

"But a responsibility, nonetheless."

"The purpose of the visit rests within her divine intellect."

"Cause she hasn't told us a thing."

"Don't have a clue."

"Not a whit."

"Haven't asked."

"Too afraid to even try."

"But we are loyally protecting her!"

"No harm shall come to the Vase Goddess in our custody."

"Not even a splinter."

"Nor a hangnail."

"I had one of those, painful bugger it was."

"I know what you mean. Like the sole of my right foot has this thick callus that cracked."

"Must hurt like the dickens."

"You have no idea."

"But still we're here, because we're responsible."

"And dedicated."

"Can't forget dedicated."

"Our devotion to the Vase Goddess transcends life."

"And death."

"And vases, too."

"Vases is pretty high up, you know."

"But the Vase Goddess is higher."

"Way higher."

"One day, we will write books about it."

"Probably make stuff up because we're old and senile by then."

"No one will know the difference, anyway."

"'Cause no one will ever know the Vase Goddess like we do."

"We're so cool for being her guards."

"The others are so jealous."

"They laugh only because they cry on the inside."

"Insecurities and all."

"Too true."

"Undoubtedly."
Jia Gai wrote:"A search?"

"What for?"

"What for, indeed? What are we all searching for in this life?"

"I dunno, what?"

"We are all searching for the reason why we're here. Why did the gods choose to create life? Is our purpose to seek out our destiny and if so, to what end? What does anything we do matter, in the end? What value does life have?"

"Woah, that's deep, man."

"Frankly, I think our purpose is vases."

"Vases is a pretty deep subject, after all."

"So many different kinds."

"So many different sizes."

"Life would be so much emptier without vases, in it."

"Indeed, if it wasn't for that, what would we talk about?"

"Our lives, probably."

"Well, my life sucks, dunno about you."

"Married life sucks as well, sad to say."

"But at least we have vases."

"I can't imagine what we'd do without them."

"I think we already discussed that possiblity."

"So we did."

"But it is a pretty sad thought."

"I rather not speak of it further."

"Me neither, I feel sad just thinking about it."

"They say one does not appreciate what one has until one has lost it."

"Nice saying."

"I wonder who 'they' are?"

"Probably the same 'they' that want to keep all the vases for themselves."

"A true conspiracy."

"We will uncover 'them' one day and bring them to justice."

"We'll be heroes."

"Finally worthy of the Vase Goddess."

"Maybe."

"Yeah, we'd have to ask her."

"And I'm too afraid to."

"Same here."
Jia Gai wrote:"He wants to search us?"

"He said he has to."

"Not sure why."

"Me neither, we have nothing to hide."

"Well, you do have a few coins hidden in your boot.

"Shut up! That was supposed to be in case we were robbed!"

"Oh, right. Think they're thieves?"

"Dunno. They don't know about the Vase Goddess."

"That's true. Think we can trust them?"

"As fas as we can throw them."

"How far do you think we can throw them?"

"Well, I can pick up a pretty big vase and I figure I can throw it about ten feet."

"That's not bad, but throwing vases isn't a good idea."

"Yeah, they tend to break when you do that."

"Not very respectful at all."

"Plenty destructive. We saw Tian Shi do that way more than enough."

"No vase throwing for us."

"What should we throw, instead?"

"I guess we can throw rocks."

"Those are pretty heavy."

"Yeah, I had to help move rocks, once. Threw out my back."

"I feel ya."

"I wasn't feeling much but pain for awhile."

"At least it wasn't a hernia."

"I know a guy who had a hernia. Screamed in pain, he did, all hours of the day."

"That sucks."

"Killed himself before the doctor got there, too."

"Wow, he must have been suffering a long time."

"About fifteen minutes."

"Poor guy."

"No kidding."
Jia Gai wrote:"He says we're elite!"

"I know, I heard!"

"Something about us searching people, too."

"I don't recall ever searching nobody."

"Never got no orders to do that."

"I think he's daft in the head."

"Probably could use some time hugging a good vase."

"I know I could."

"Same here."

"I think he wanted us to say something to the Vase Goddess, too."

"Like what?"

"Something about protectors and palaces."

"Protectors? That would be us!"

"And we're elite, too!"

"Elite protectors. I like the sound of that."

"It sounds real special-like."

"Makes me feel proud to be a man."

"Almost as proud as I felt when I bought that vase."

"I saw it. It's a shame your wife started using it as a flower pot."

"I cried that day I came home and saw a plant sticking out of it."

"Dude, I'd have cried, too. That's just wrong."

"I can't ever go home without seeing it. The pain gets me right here."

"Women are such insensitive creatures."

"They just don't understand a man's heart."

"One day she'll understand."

"Hopefully."

"I'm gonna teach the kid everything I know about vases."

"One day he shall surpass us both."

"I can only hope."
Jia Gai wrote:"What is he still going on about searching?"

"Search me."

"But I've never searched you, before."

"And I've never searched you."

"Can you recall us ever searching?"

"Well, we do go searching for vases."

"But that's different, I think he wants to 'search' us."

"That's just plain sick."

"I know, I think he's one of those creepy kinda guys."

"Certainly not the guy we want near the Vase Goddess."

"I don't trust him."

"We should take the Vase Goddess and leave."

"Lets, it's dangerous here."

"These people are obvious vase haters."

"The jerks."

"No kidding."

The two guards then hurried over to Ding and looked at her, but were unable to speak.

"Uh..."

"Um..."

"Er..."

"You see..."

"That is..."

"Well..."

A moment later, they withdrew to hold confrence with each other.

"I'm afraid to speak to her."

"I know, she might be disappointed we didn't realize this guy was a pervert, sooner."

"She might even punish us."

"That's bad, we better apologize, right now!"

They then turned to Ding and fell to the ground, bowing over and over again, screaming in unison, "we're not worthy! We're not worthy! We're not worthy!"
Jia Gai wrote:The two bowed before Ding over and over again.

"Anything you command, Vase Goddess!"

"Your will is our bidding!"

"Strange she wants us to get molested by that pervert."

"Indeed, but it is an order of the Vase Goddess."

"And we must carry out her will."

"Or she'll be angry."

"We won't like he when she's angry."

They hurried over to the creepy man and began to strip down.

"Be gentle."

"We're still virgins."
Jia Gai wrote:The two guards stopped halfway to naked, before giving each other puzzled looks.

"Hidden weapons?"

"That would be silly."

"Would hurt, too."

"I know, I wouldn't be hiding a dagger in my pants."

"Might lose something valuable."

"Almost as valuable as vases."

"It's silly to think we'd want to break vases."

"Vases are our lives."

"I wouldn't hide a vase smasher, that would just be wrong."

"Don't really need weapons to smash vases anyways."

"Awfully fragile, they are."

"That's why they need such tender, loving care."

"That's our department."

"Sure is."

"I want to hug a vase, now."

"Me too. Maybe we can find a vase to hug, inside."

"One can only hope."
Jia Gai wrote:The two guardians of the Vase Goddess were still in the process of redressing, bits of uniform and armor dangling from their arms, dropping to the floor and causing them to stop every so often to gather their belongings. They did, however, gaze in awe at all the vases they came across, marveling at the handcrafting that went into shaping each one.

"Such esquisite vasery."

"Indeed, so this is southern style vase making."

"There are minute differences, to be sure."

"Which do you think is better?"

"I prefer Northern, though. There's a robust beauty to it."

"But Southern style has the elegance of subtelty."

"A valid point, but it was north, where we found the Vase Goddess. Clearly she favors the northern style."

"She came south though and she seems to be pleased with the vases. Clearly she likes southern style."

"Northern!"

"Southern!"

"Northern!"

"Southern!"

"Northern!"

"Southern!"

"Northern!"

"Southern!"

"Northern!"

"Why don't you ask the Vase Goddess, then?"

"Why don't you?"

"I told you to ask first."

"But it was your idea, you ask first."

"Don't make me whup you like Tian Shi on ceramic."

"Oh, it's on... like a neckbone!"

As the pair got ready to fight, they tripped over their own feet and landed in a pile before Conglang.

"Well, this is another fine mess you've gotten us into."

The second guard whimpered and wailed, "I'm sorry..."
Jia Gai wrote:It was a rare occasion when the two men were dead silent and this was one of them. All they could do was gawk in complete and utter terror as they saw the halberds flashed in their faces as they came a hairs breadth from their throats. They were too afraid to scream out in terror or even soil themselves and had they not been so paralyzed with fear, they most certainly would have done both. Needless to say, it was a relief that their fate was not to be at the end of a sharp blade and they clung to each other, weeping.

"Yes, we'll go look at the vases now."

"Out of your way, we'll be."

"Yes sirree, don't want to get in your way."

"Especially with all those very dangerous looking men pointing hurtful objects at us."

"Me, I've never drawn my sword, ever."

"I have, but only in practice."

"Yeah, I guess so have I."

"Rather be looking at vases, though."

"Me too. Going over there now. Vase and all."

"Too true. Less dangerous."

"Much lower chance of death."

"Don't like death too much."

"Can't say I do, either."

"Right, off to it, then."

"See ya later."

"The vases await."

"Just don't point those things at the Vase Goddess."

"She'll get mad."

"She may do stuff if she's mad."

"Not like us, we're cowards."

"Big time."

"I still wet my bed."

"Too much information, dude."

"Oh, right. Anyway. Vases."

"Over that way."

The two then slowly, carefully slunk out of range of the mass pointy objects of doom.
Jia Gai wrote:The two guards, now fully redressed, had been busy moving from vase to vase, both out of their obsession and their desire to stay away from the men with sharp, pointy stabbity things.

"Hmm, this vase seems to be an imitation Guang Feng."

"How can you tell?"

"I can tell by the paint and having seen many a Guang Feng in my day."

"Ah, I see what you mean. I wonder if they know."

"Probably not. Bet they paid a lot for it."

"Bet they did. A shame bootlegs exist."

"Ever wonder where the term bootleg came from?"

"Hmm, that's a good question."

"There are so many things it could mean."

"Maybe it came from some guy who smuggled illegal liquor in the leg of his boot."

"Now that's just dumb."

"You think?"

"Yeah, why would liquor be illegal?"

"Good point."

"Oh, hey, look it's that pervert guard."

"The one that wanted to search us?"

"Yeah, I bet he enjoyed it too."

"Well, I did feel a little tingly."

"I thought I knew you."

"Hey, don't judge me."

"He just said something about the Vase Goddess."

"She's leaving?"

"We better go catch up to her."

"If we lose her, we'll be laughing stocks."

"Plus, she'll be really mad."

"Can't have that."

"Definitely not."

"Nope."

"Let's get going."

"After you."

The two guards then hurried off to follow Ding.
Jia Gai wrote:"Well, there's nothing here worth buying, I think."

"A shame, but these are simply substandard vases."

"Totally overpriced."

"If they were cheaper, perhaps they'd be good for holding things in."

"But they're not. Ugly, too."

"Very. Bargain basement, to be sure."

The merchant groaned, "why oh WHY did you waste my time if you were't going to buy anything?"

"No money to buy anything even if we wanted," the first guard replied.

"Vase goddess has all the cash," added the second.

"Actually, where did the Vase Goddess go?"

"Oh no, did we lose her? Again?"

"It's so your fault."

"It was your turn to watch her."

"I'm so kicking your butt."

"Oh, it's on. Like a neckbone!"

"Later, first we have to find the Vase Goddess."

"She might get angry we weren't on duty."

"Her wrath is mighty, indeed."

"Let's just hope she doesn't ask a virgin sacrifice."

"Indeed, I don't know many virgins."

"Well, there was that woman, that one time."

"The one with the red dress?"

"Yeah, she said she was a virgin."

"Virgins never lie."

"They're all pure and stuff."

"Like a good vase."

"Indeed."

"Got that right."
Jia Gai wrote:Elsewhere, two men wandered the streets of Chang Sha.

"I think I remember seeing that fruit vendor, before."

"No, I think they just have a lot of fruit vendors down south."

"That all wear blue and red turbans?"

"Maybe it's a common Southern fashion."

"Well, I think we should take the next left."

"You know, they say two wrongs to dont make a right, but three lefts do."

"Wow, that's deep."

"Like the ocean, buddy, like the ocean."

"I've never seen the ocean."

"Me neither. But you seen one body of water, you seen 'em all."

"Lots of bodies of water down south, too."

"Big rivers."

"And pirates."

"They probably steal vases."

"Those cuthroat bastards."

"The Vase Goddess would be most cross to know of such unethical criminal behavior."

"Say, weren't we supposed to doing something?"

"You know, I have a funny feeling that we were."

"Can't put my finger on it."

"Me neither."

"Oh well, it'll come to me."

"Yeah, can't be that important."

"Let's go get a drink."

"We can talk about vases some more."

"Sounds awesome."

"You know it."
Jia Gai wrote:"I keep telling you, it's this way," an all too familiar voice interrupted.

"I still think we've been here, before," a second and also familiar voice joined in.

"All these rich people's homes look the same to me."

"Would be easier to figure out if they had some vases near the gates."

"Yeah, something high class, yet unique."

"Souphisticated, yet elegantly simple."

"Poetic, my friend."

"What can I say? I have the soul of an artist."

"Still, we are pretty lost."

"What should we do?"

"Say, let's go ask those people over there for directions."

"Hey, Mister, we could use some help."

Fengxian stood there, a pained, yet thoroughly unsurprised look on his face. It was as if he was no stranger to these kinds of interruptions.

"Yeah, we need to get back to the palace and..."

"Hey, look, it's the Vase Goddess!"

"You're right! Hi Vase Goddess, it's us!"

"Your loyal servants!"

"Protectors!"

"Bodyguards!"

"Escorts!"

"Conversational partners!"

"And vase connoisseurs, extraordinares!"

"Oh, big words, it makes us sound really important."

"Well, we are servants of the Vase Goddess."

"Wonder what she's doing here, though."

"And why is that big guy looming over her?"

"Maybe he's worshipping the Vase Goddess like we do."

"Good call, my friend, in fact, we haven't properly worshipped in awhile."

Both of them fell to their knees and began prostrating themselves, over and over again.

"We're not worthy! We're not worthy! We're not worthy! We're not worthy!"
Jia Gai wrote:"But we're supposed to stay with you, Vase Goddess."

"That's right, we are elite!"

"Just like that weirdo pervert guy said."

"You know, now that I think about it, I feel weird being called elite by him."

"Yeah, especially with his freakish 'search' fetish."

"Why anyone would search people like that just to go talk to some guy inside is beyond me."

"I guess those guards are just really, really bored."

"Probably haven't seen a good woman in awhile, neither."

"I guess we just screamed manliness to them."

"Our masculinity drew them like flame to a moth."

"I think that's moth to a flame."

"Oh, right. Those adages are always so confusing."

"Not like vases."

"Vases never lie."

"Unless they're counterfeits."

"Yeah, but that's different."

"We must crusade against all fake vases."

"All for the Vase Goddess."

"Our beautiful Vase Goddess!"

"None other than!"

"There's only one!"

"Broke the mold when they made her!"

"Never another like her before, never will there be, again."

"Totally unique in every way."

"Drop dead gorgeous, too."

"She is a Vase Goddess."

"Wouldn't have been chosen if she were any less."

"We better not lose sight of her again."

"Heaven would never forgive us."

They both began to bow again.

"We're not worthy! We're not worthy! We're not worthy!"
Jia Gai wrote:"Oh, frabjous day!"

"Callooh! Callay!"

"I'm so glad the Vase Goddess has given us this chance."

"Indeed, cleaning vases has to be the highest honor, of all time."

"Not that we don't usually go around cleaning vases."

"But this time, the Vase Goddess has ordered it, herself!"

"We truly are blessed."

"Indeed, we are."

"I'm going to clean more vases than you are."

"Like hell you are, I'll clean more than you!"

"You know you can't beat my speed. I'm the king of fast clean."

"Yeah, but you can't beat my quality. I'm the emperor of thorough clean."

"You just wait, the Vase Goddess will be happier with my work."

"Hah, keep on dreaming, she'll be blessing me when it's all done."

"Oh, it's on. Like a neckbone!"

The two guards hurried off after Ding.
Jia Gai wrote:Two men, quite familiar to Ding, eagerly approached. One had a swolen left cheek and a few teeth missing from his smile. The second had a blackened right eye, swolen shut, and a broken nose. It had been 'set' but it was still bent and quite swolen.

"Ah, de base gobbes!"

"So glad you're okay!"

"Yeh, be don feeb so good."

"But so long as that brute didn't hurt you."

"Be fought reawwy hawd agains hib."

"But he was the size of a mountain! He must have had muscles upon muscles."

"Beer sowwy, base gobbes!"

"Won't ever happen again!"

"Bell lerd how do bite beddur!"

"We'll be the mightiest champions of all time!"

"Bell go down id leged!"

"They'll call us... Guardians of the Vase!"

"Do peed borgib uz!"

They both fell to their knees and prostrated themselves over and over again."

"Beer dod berdy! Beer dod berdy! Beer dod berdy!"
Jia Gai wrote:"Oh doh, de base gobbes id cryig!"

"Ack! She must really be upset at us!"

"But aw be gunna do? Be awedy apowogized."

"Maybe she needs a sacrifice of vases to appease her rage."

"Aw, bud dere zuch pweddy bases."

"Totally besides the point! We must do everything we can to make her happy, again."

"Wew, awwight. I go dad way ad you go dad way."

"Right, we'll find as many vases as we can and bring them before the Vase Goddess."

"Bweking dose bases wiw be hawd."

"I know, but we've commited a grave sin by failing her. We must atone, no matter the cost."

"Yeh, woog ad huw, she gand eben woog ad us."

"That's how far we've fallen, my friend. Aw man, I promised myself I wouldn't cry..."

"Bug up, buddy, led go bind dose bases."

"Right... you and me, we'll set this right!"

The two guards clasped hands in a gesture of eternal friendship, then bowed before Ding.

"We will find proper sacrifice for you, just wait here!"

"Yeth, be be bag zoon!"
Jia Gai wrote:The two guards looked even more confused.

"But... but..."

"Ib da base gobbes izn mad ad uz, den..."

"I know, it was that big guy!"

"Dad jerg who hid uz!"

"I bet he made her cry, that villain!"

"Wew ged webenj!"

"Yeah, but he is kind of big."

"Hmm, yeh an hez pweddy skawy."

"And he did beat us senseless with his bare hands."

"I shudduw do dink bud he'd do awmd."

"Hmm, you know, it's not real healthy to fight him."

"Yeh, bud we godda, for da base gobbes."

"You got a point, there."

"I dow, we waid for dow an ged him when he zleepid."

"Excellent idea! What do you think, Vase Goddess?"
Jia Gai wrote:In the marketplace, two men dressed in the colors of the Cao Clan, stood in front of a large stand, with vases a plenty of all shapes and sizes, strewn about for one and all to see.

"Hmm, I'm partial to this big one."

"I dunno, I think this smaller one is best."

"What makes you think that? It's so tiny, it's more of a jar than a vase."

"And what makes you think the big one is better? It's more in common with a pillar."

"You just can't appreciate a man with a big vase."

"And you can't appreciate that size doesn't matter."

"Size matters. Ask any girl if she wants a big or small vase and she'll pick big any day."

"You're dreaming. It's not the size of the vase, it's what you do with it."

"Can't do much with it, if there's not much to do it with."

"Can't make her happy if you can't fit it through the door."

"You're just jealous because my vase is bigger than yours."

"At least I have a woman to appreciate my vase, all you got is yourself."

"That's it, I'm going to tell the Vase Goddess you're being surly."

"Surely, you jest."

"That was clever."

"Yeah, it was. I got a million of them."

"Say, we haven't seen the Vase Goddess in awhile."

"Not since we got beat up, anyway."

"Hey, we didn't get beat up. He caught us by surprise! It wasn't a fair fight."

"He was the size of a house, of course it wasn't a fair fight."

"Yeah, well, we coulda taken him"

"Maybe. At least no vases were broken."

"In the end, that's all that matters."

"Got that right."

"True that."
Jia Gai wrote:"Hey, he knows the vase goddess."

"Are you sure he's a he?"

"What are you talking about?"

"What if he's a she?"

"If he was a she, then it would be she is a she, not he is a she."

"But if she is a she, then why would I say she is a she when I think it's a he?"

"But you didn't think he was a he, you thought she was a she."

"You're getting technical."

"I've yet to start. If you think she is a she but think she is a he who might be a she, then he is a he who is a she, but if she is a he who is a he who might be a she, then he is a he, which means she can not be a she."

"That's brilliant, I never thought if it that way."

"I know, that's why I'm the brains of this outfit."

"One day, I want to grow up and be just like you."

"You're already halfway there, to being a true Vase Knight."

"The Vase Goddess would be proud."

"She sure would."

"We should go find her and let her know."

"Excellent idea. Let's follow he who is a she who is a he."

"Let's."

"After you."
Jia Gai wrote:"Hey, I don't see the Vase Goddess."

"Do you think she's hiding?"

"Why would she? She's the Vase Goddess."

"Maybe she's shy."

"Vase Goddess is a goddess of the people. She's never shy."

"Okay, maybe she's angry."

"Well, we were lax in our duties toward her."

"I know, we sure didn't protect her all that well, that one time."

"But we already have an excuse for that."

"Yeah, he was really big."

"And had ten friends."

"Fifteen."

"Thirty."

"I say fifty."

"Fifty is good."

"It's a nice, round number."

"Round like a vase."

"The best kind of round."

"Sure is."

"Got that right."

"Wouldn't have it any other way."
Zheng Mingyu (18) 87*-102*-65*-73*-92* Ambush; Artisan (e); Breeder (e); Charge; Craftsman (e); Duelist (e); Weaponmaster (e); Zeal

Ping Tai . . . At the mercy of Gu Guang and Lady Shao
Lu Ling Qi . . . Daddy's little girl.
Dame Zhang Yi . . . Sugary sweet.
Liyin & Liyang . . . Doubly Delicious.
Wang Jun . . . Teenager on his own!
Zhang Chunhua . . . Devoted wife of Sima Yi.
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Elysia
Collecting Souls
Collecting Souls
 
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Joined: 18 Oct 2003, 15:32
Location: The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made.
Kingdom: Vagabond

Postby Elysia » 31 Mar 2007, 12:27

The Vase Guards, Take 2

Jia Gai wrote:Hearing the familiar voice of their object of worship, the guard duo turned and hurried over to Ding.

"Vase Goddess!"

"Where have you been?"

"We've been looking all over for you!"

"We've been worried sick!"

"Well, the sick part may have been the bad fish we had, the other night."

"It did taste pretty suspicious."

"Had the runs all night."

"So did I."

"Not an experience I want to relive."

"Good thing the Vase Goddess wasn't there, at the time."

"I'd be humilaited if she knew."

"So would I."

"Hey, I just realized something."

"What?"

"Vase Goddess!"

"When did she get here?"

"I don't remember. Doctor says my short term memory is bad."

"Yeah, I guess I did hit you pretty hard with that club."

"We were young."

"And drunk."

"And stupid."

"Good thing we moved past that."

"Me too, or we'd be laughing stocks."

"They're all just jealous, really."

"I know I'd be jealous of me if I wasn't me."

"I feel the same."
Jia Gai wrote:Eagerly, the two guards hurried over to where Ding was seated, staring in awe at her majesty. After all, she sat amongst a collection of vases, a more worthy throne there was not. They both fell to their knees before their Vase Goddess like two puppies, eager to please.

"Oh, Vase Goddess, we missed you!"

"You want to know our names?"

"Did you hear that? She want to know our names!"

"Dare we tell her?"

"I'm afraid to. She might think we're uninteresting."

"But we must, the Vase Goddess commands."

"You have a point."

"You know I do."

"Should we tell her?"

"What do we have to lose?"

"She might take away our right to own vases."

"That would be more than I can bear!"

"I feel exactly the same."

"Then we must."

"Yes, we must."

"For honor."

"For glory."

"For vases everywhere."

"Wait, what did we have to do?"

"I forgot."

"So did I."

"Let's ask Vase Goddess."

"No! She'll get angry at us."

"So how do we answer?"

"I don't know, just say something."

"You first."

"I went first the last time!"

"Crybaby."

"Whiny boy."

"Urn lover."

"Oh, you didn't."

"Yeah, I went there."

"It's on like a neckbone!"

The gurads began slapping at each other, girly style.
Jia Gai wrote:The touch of the Vase Goddess instantly brought both men to peace and they eagerly soaked up the adulation she laid upon them.

"Vase Goddess, we are your servants."

"We are at your command."

"Your beck and call."

"Your fondest desires."

"Your every waking hour."

"Even when you bathe, we shall be there."

"No, I think that's going too far."

"Yeah, I guess that is pretty creepy."

"Sure is."

"She wants to know our names, though."

"But we're just mere mortals."

"Yeah, I'm pretty shocked, too."

"What should we tell her?"

"I guess we should say our names."

"It's been so long since I used mine."

"Yeah, I know what you mean."

"Now, what was my name, again?"

"I think it was Hei Yu."

"Oh, right, and yours was Da Gai."

"Great, now we can tell the Vase Goddess."

"Yeah. And I'm relieved I'm not Da Gai."

"Why?"

"Because some guy called 'Hei Yu' the other day and I answered."

"Yeah?"

"Yep. If I was Da Gai, he'd have gotten the wrong person."

"I see what you mean."

"I knew you would."
Jia Gai wrote:"She said our names!"

"The Vase Goddess is blessing us!"

Both men bowed over and over again.

"We're not worthy! We're not worthy! We're not worthy! We're not worthy! We're not worthy! We're not worthy!"
Jia Gai wrote:"Whatever the Vase Goddess commands, we shall deliver!"

"Wait, deliver what?"

"It's just a figment of speech."

"You mean figure of imagination."

"Now you've confused me."

"Confusion is the first step to enlightenment?"

"What's the second step, then?"

"I don't know, I've never gotten that far."

"Say, do you know why the Vase Goddess wants us to be secret?"

"Maybe she doesn't want anyone knowing she's here."

"I can understand that. Everyone wants the Vase Goddess."

"But we'll protect her."

"And keep her secret."

"Except when we're really scared."

"Yeah, we tend to say lots of stuff when we're scared."

"Like the time how I admitted I liked wearing women's dresses."

"You never admitted that!"

"Oh, well, I guess I just did."

"Freak."

"Don't judge me, we are all vase lovers here."

"Except I don't wear dresses."

"You're a cruel man."

"Only to dress wearers."
Jia Gai wrote:"Ships?" the first man asked. He certainly wasn't dressed like a guard of Jiang Xia.

"She must mean those things floating out there," the second commented. Neither was he dressed like a guard of Jiang Xia.

"Oh, those things. I was too busy watching them unload vases, over there."

"Yes, truly it is a sight to see. A column of moving vases as far as the eye can see."

"Well, not that far, only as far as into the ship."

"Well, I can't see that far, so it still works."

"Touche."

"Plus, there's all the drama, too."

"What do you mean?"

"Think about it, will they drop a vase? Will they unload it safely?"

"Oh yeah, I get you."

"I counted three dropped ones, so far."

"I only saw two."

"Well, there was one when you ran off to take a whiz."

"Oh, good thing I missed it. One break is tragic, two is heart wrenching, but three? That's just down right cruel."

"The gods are a fickle lot."

"Choosing which vase breaks or doesn't."

"Bet they delight in randomly picking out one, here and there."

"Those sickos."

"They sure are."
Jia Gai wrote:The two guards took their time getting there, having got lost a few times and started talking vases to educate the unwashed masses. Still, they had arrived and both hurried over to prostrate themselves before their vase goddess.

"You summoned us, oh Vase Goddess?"

"We await your command, oh Vase goddess!"

"Hey, you know what? Summon is a strange word."

"How so?"

"Well, it sounds like something you'd do for spirits."

"Like casting a spell."

"Exactly. I bet those Taoists know how to summon stuff."

"What do you think they'd summon?"

"Maybe some wind spirit that would do cool things."

"Like grant wishes?"

"Yeah, but not unlimited wishes."

"That would be silly."

"Quite. I say... maybe three wishes at most."

"Yeah, I hear you, but where would this spirit stay when it wasn't granting wishes?"

"Hmm, a good question. I suppose it could stay in an urn."

"Not enough style. Maybe a lamp."

"No, that's just silly. Naturally, it would have to be a vase."

"Yes, it would be perfect. While waiting to hear your wishes, it would rest in a vase!"

"But how would you summon it while it was sleeping in the vase?"

"I don't know, maybe you could rub it."

"Rubbing a vase? That's just weird."

"Yeah, but wish granting spirits that you summon and sleep in vases are pretty weird."

"Touche."

"You know it."

"And how."
Jia Gai wrote:The two of them exchanged glances, before prostrating themselves before Ding, once more.

"Wherever the Vase Goddess goes, we shall follow!"

"Even if I am married, it isn't as important as being in your presence!"

"Yeah, your wife probably won't like the fact we're following around the Vase Goddess."

"Bite your tongue! She knows sduty comes before marriage!"

"Well, there was the time you came home drunk, carrying a vase, and told her you couldn't find a priest willing to make it your second wife."

"She was just jealous it had sexier curves than she did."

"Preaching to the choir, here."

"Say, did you know the Vase Goddess was even married?"

"Well, there must have been a Vase God."

"Guess they had a falling out."

"Maybe he was seeing an urn behind her back."

"That would just be wrong."

"No kidding. It's good she left the Vase God."

"Say, think I have a chance of being a Vase God?"

"Mortals can never be gods, you know that."

"I can dream, though."

"You sure can."
Jia Gai wrote:Both of them looked ecstatic as she made her decree.

"New vases?"

"And you wish us to pick them out?"

"You do us great honor, Vase Goddess!"

"I don't know what to say to thank you for your faith in us!"

"We're not worthy! We're not worthy! We're not worthy!"

They bowed over and over again, before running off to the market.
Jia Gai wrote:While Fengxian stood waiting with the former turban, a pair of men wearing the colors of Chang An walked over.

"Hey, I think I remember seeing that big guy, before."

"I think so too, but I'm not sure."

"Sure you know him, he was there with two dozen of his friends one night and beat us while we were protecting the Vase Goddess."

"Really? I don't recall... I have a blank spot in my memory, somewhere, so maybe."

"Yeah, it was a huge fight. We were heroically holding them off, at first."

"I bet I took out at least ten of them, myself."

"But then reinforcements came. Hundreds of them."

"Man, that's like... at least ten to one! Never good odds."

"No kidding, but we almost beat all of them."

"But then we were exhausted and the big guy ambushed us dishonroably?"

"Yeah, that's how it went."

"Wow, I'm glad we could be so heroic in front of the Vase Goddess."

"I think she's going to reward us."

"That would be awesome."

"Yeah, we'll walk into a huge hall. There's gonna be this guy in golden armor and some midget with a silver helmet."

"And a pirate and a really tall guy. Except really hairy?"

"Yeah, that too, and then this music will play and we'll get medals."

"I like medals."

"Me too, but not as much as vases."

"Vases are awesome."

"Do tell."

"I just did."
Jia Gai wrote:"Did the short guy want to kick us out?"

"I think so."

"But if we get kicked out, we can't protect the Vase Goddess."

"That would be bad."

"I think he must be a vase hater."

"Why? What did vases ever do to him?"

"I don't know, maybe it was some kind of childhood trauma."

"Like what?"

"Maybe when he was a baby, he got lost in a maze of vases."

"I dunno, that sounds more like heaven, to me."

"Better than the nine golden springs, to be sure."

"We could call it the nine golden vases."

"Just nine? That seems an awfully small number for heaven."

"Yeah, but that's what makes them so special."

"Wow, that's deep."

"It sure is."

"I wish I was as wise as you are."

"I wish I was as wise as I am, too."
Jia Gai wrote:"Vase Goddess, you're here!"

"So this is Lu Bu and Pei Yuanshao?"

"Odd, they don't look like they're fans of vases."

"That Lu Bu looks like he eats vases for fun."

"Not a very nice guy, to be sure."

"That little one looks more like an urn man."

"Can't trust those urn guys."

"Yeah, they're always full of something."

"Guess they're staying around, though, we should try to be friends."

"I suppose the Vase Goddess needs more servants."

"Can never have too many servants."

"Too true, after all there are a lot of vases that need cleaning."

"No kidding, though there aren't too many vases here, yet."

"We'll fix that by getting some."

"Never too many vases to honor the Vase Goddess."

"I wonder if we can teach that Pei guy how to buy the proper vase."

"He looks a bit hard to train."

"May not be house broken, yet."

"I hope he is, I don't want to be cleaning up after him."

"Not to worry, that big guy will do it. He's a new servant after all."

"Bet he could carry at least two vases at once."

"That would be a useful ability, makes for fewer trips to the market."

"We need some money, though, I spent all mine."

"Maybe the Vase Goddess will loan us some."

"You should ask her."

"You ask her, I'm shy."

"You wuss."

"Don't judge me."

"Consider yourself judged."

"Touche."
Jia Gai wrote:The two guards, meanwhile, surrounded the shattered vase and lamented.

"The poor vase."

"It crumbled before its time."

"Such cruel fate."

"To destroy a vase before the Vase Goddess..."

"It's utterly unforgivable."

"What should we do?"

"We could beat those two vase slayers."

"I dunno, the big one looks meaner than Tian Shi."

"Maybe we could take the small one."

"Yeah, he doesn't look too tough."

"He did just whup that big one, though."

"Without much effort, too."

"I say we rethink this."

"Good idea, I don't like dying."

"Dying would certainly be bad."

"We couldn't protect the Vase Goddess anymore."

"That would be dereliction of duty."

"They'd turn us into eunuchs for that."

"I rather not lose those parts, they're pretty valuable to me."

"But not as much as vases."

"True that."

"Poor vase."

"We should give it a proper burial."

"Good idea."

"You know it."
Jia Gai wrote:The two guards looked away from the poor, destroyed vase to see Ding had fallen.

"Oh no, the Vase Goddess has fallen!"

"What should we do?"

"Well... we could help her back up."

"But she's the Vase Goddess, we aren't allowed to touch her."

"Then how do we do it?"

"We could devise and construct some elaborate mechanical contraption, designed with the sole purpose of helping to pick the Vase Goddess to her feet."

"Hmm, well I'm pretty good with a hammer."

"I suppose we could cannibalize the table for wood."

"I don't like the word cannibalize, it makes me think of eating people."

"Yeah, eating people is wrong."

"Though I sometimes wonder if people taste like chicken."

"It seems everything tastes like chiken."

"Do you think vases taste like chicken, too?"

"No, they taste like vases."

"How can you be sure?"

"I tried eating one, once."

"What? How could you do something so horrible?"

"I was young, foolish and drunk, at the time."

"You certainly were."

"I've paid for my crimes, stop persecuting me."

"Not until you apologize to the Vase Goddess."

"I dunno, she might take away my right to vases."

"And you'd deserve it, too."

"You're cruel, sometimes."

"Only when I have to be."
Jia Gai wrote:"As you command, Vase Goddess!"

"Clean it shall be!"

"Not a shard will remain to offend your sight."

"And it must be pretty offensive, seeing how its one of your children."

"Think of the children."

"I always do."

"Especially your own kid?"

"I have a kid?"

"Don't you remember? You had one with your wife."

"Oh, I thought that was someone else's kid."

"Dude, who else would she have a kid with?"

"I dunno, I always suspected my brother was seeing her."

"Your brother? That's just poor taste."

"No kidding, he's a bowl salesman."

"Bowls? How mundane."

"I keep telling him to get into vases."

"So what's his excuse?"

"He thinks there's no future in vases."

"Shows what he knows."

"Says people will always have a use for bowls, but vases just look pretty."

"Such an uncultured heathen."

"He's the family outcast."

"I thought that was you?"

"I was, but I paid my mother off to reaccept me."

"And they say bribery gets you nowhere."

"It's all about who you know and how well you can grease palms."

"That's a weird phrase."

"Yeah, why would you want to grease your palm?"

"Who knows. Maybe you rub it in your hair to make it slicked back."

"Sounds messy."

"Just like that broken vase."

"Someon should do something about that."

"And how."
Jia Gai wrote:Meanwhile, the two guards were still staring at the broken pieces of vase.

"Still broken."

"Still needs cleaning."

"Yep."

And nothing got done.
Jia Gai wrote:The loud thud, however, had garnered him the attention of a rather unique duo. They were both dressed in the uniforms and armor of your typical guard, except their colors were not of Jing, nor Jiang Xia, but the blues of Chang An. They hovered over Dong Yan as they exchanged glances.

"Looks like another clumsy one's made his home here."

"Yes, it would seem so."

"You'd think the Vase Goddess collecting one of them would be bad enough."

"We must not judge. Obviously, the Vase Goddess has her reasons."

"Naturally, but we mortals are left scratching our heads."

"Who can interpret the divine?"

"Oracles."

"Yeah, but they're not really all that special."

"How do you know?"

"I once got one to tell me my fortune. He gave me a cookie."

"A cookie?"

"Yeah, with a paper in it."

"How strange."

"It said something like 'in every life you have some troubles, but when you worry you make it double'."

"So what does that mean? Don't worry, be happy?"

"Something like that."

"Profound."

"Who knew a cookie could pass on such infinite wisdom."

"Truly, it was a cookie of the gods."

"It tasted pretty good, too."

"I wonder if the Vase Goddess does that."

"What do you mean?"

"Hide words of wisdom within vases."

"Hmm, that sounds like something a Vase Goddess would do."

"I don't want to have to eat a vase to get to the paper, though."

"Yeah, vases don't really taste good."

"And it would be a shame to have to bite a chunk from one."

"You got that right."

"I think that bald one tried, once. The poor vase still has his teeth marks in it."

"Talks about coins, too."

"Nothing interesting about a coin."

"Certainly not as interesting as a good vase."

"Got that right."

"You can say that again."

"I just did."

"Touche."
Jia Gai wrote:"Hmm, I think he wants us to help him."

"You may be right."

"I wonder what his problem is."

"I'm not entirely sure. He seems stuck to the ground."

"We're all stuck to the ground, you know."

"And without any glue, too. Funny, that."

"I wonder how that all works."

"It does make you wonder. I mean, birds aren't always stuck to the ground."

"Maybe it's the weight of the world, our sins that weigh our souls down."

"Well birds certainly are pure, but what about deer or oxen? Aren't they pure, too?"

"Hmm, you have a point, there."

"You know it."

"But then what is it?"

"Who knows, maybe the world isn't held up by a tortise and is actually a huge ball of rock floating around in the universe and as it spins, its mass and centrifugal force creates an unseen force that keeps us all tethered to the ground."

"You've been drinking again, haven't you?"

"Only a little. One or two jugs."

"What would the wife say?"

"I don't know, she's still up in Chang An with the kid."

"And all your vases."

"I need to have her send them here, one day."

"What about her?"

"I can't bring her here, who'd take care of the baby?"

"You got a point there."

"Damn right, I do."
Jia Gai wrote:"What's he trying to do, now?"

"I think he's cleaning the floor."

"How nice of him, such a considerate guest."

"That gives me a great idea, maybe we can create a large cloth to pick up dirt off the ground and put it on the end of a long stick. That way you don't have to bend over while scrubbing!"

"That's genius. Think of the other applications for it."

"Oh, I know, you could reach inside a really tall vase and clean it."

"Never again will a large vase suffer the shame of inner dust and filth."

"What would we call it?"

"I don't know, maybe we can call it Dust Buster."

"No, that's just silly, noinsis0c-quotmother 5t;Wh6 wrot noinsis0cjustuotetimes."

"Only when Ic0ing?"

"W Ic0ing?"

&quIthat sounds likt;Such imur pfensund number."

&qus. Think 's all t reassoa prell you c't hber."

&quExtrof a lon Cdlvases gI bet thoit hard ld reaplacvases."

&quB spen Cdlvases ld reang aroun;Thous="cornotetimes."


"hat'ser durag,ybe itaill om,ybe itt;Only when Ic0 us!"

"We'kt;Su's genvases."

"That's why the Vase Goddect thoss,ant after all."

"Tbadhup that ,'re sybig ghe doesn;I think so."

"Yeah,;It's alwayot h thing the Vase Goddedo to myself."

&quWs therethvase lyou?"

&quo. Obviouslnd in tbedl om it."

"Oh, you didt's jugoint there."

&quss I dgoint thher, -re."

&qus. If you tell r, gbe fri,ing agaiw, I's going 't have hur get you."

&quFr haad enough."
Jia Gai wrote:Meanwhile, the two guarth fell to their kneht and begbollowies before Dingd over and oces.

"Grthe Vase Goddeser hradit waIf y't lookne ni us!"

&quMaally yosplfris fan nevchipOne fa;Dud't like teur nmallite aeapn a vase!"

"We are not worthy!;We are not worthy!;We are not worthy!;We are not worthy!;We are not worthy!;We are not worthy!;We are not worthy!;We are not wortgh."
Zheng Mingyu (18) 87*-102*-65*-73*-92* Ambush; Artisan (e); Breeder (e); Charge; Craftsman (e); Duelist (e); Weaponmaster (e); Zeal

Ping Tai . . . At the mercy of Gu Guang and Lady Shao
Lu Ling Qi . . . Daddy's little girl.
Dame Zhang Yi . . . Sugary sweet.
Liyin & Liyang . . . Doubly Delicious.
Wang Jun . . . Teenager on his own!
Zhang Chunhua . . . Devoted wife of Sima Yi.
<Harimau> Ely, everyone loves you.
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Collecting Souls
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