Wan City Main Hall Roleplay

Wan City Main Hall Roleplay

Postby LukeYB » 22 Jan 2017, 21:20

What makes a city? The bustling markets, the secure residential areas, the shrewdly designed walls stretching around the perimeter? No. It is the City Hall - or more specifically, the complex of administrative buildings interconnected to serve all official business (and some not-so-official and not-so-public business...). It is the celestial body that all other life in Wan orbits around. Even a city of Wan's stature can proudly boast its Imperialism - its civility - with its grandest of grand buildings.

A parting in the thin but high clay walls form a gateway at the main entrance, giving the all-too-true feeling of walking into a mini city in and of itself. Past the various guards and messengers, visitors find themselves in the open-air court where public meetings can be suitably accomodated. There are wooden stages for the most vocal orators to become center of attention but the large pillars running down each side, casting a multitude of shadows, also offer safe haven for the quiet observers.

Through the lavish doors will take you into the main hall itself, the audience chamber being the first to inspire the senses. It holds the seat in which a ruler (or equivalently self-important being) would take visitors and many signs of Han loyalty adorn the walls and floor. When no audience is in session, this place is a beacon of activity and business ("lots and lots of running around looking busy"). Behind the many doorways are many hallways and they lead to various antechambers and offices, all fit for purpose and many claimed by those seeking political prestige. Almost all rational needs can be met by the legion of servants and clerks to make the Main Hall an epicenter of commerical, political and sometimes even military issues.
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Re: Wan City Main Hall Roleplay

Postby LukeYB » 22 Jan 2017, 21:42

RCS and Xe

Wai Be, after waiting for Dao Lang to say his final piece, had departed the crisis discussions with Lang and Jia Liang. The latter had hardly spoken since a bold declaration of candidancy which was making Be nervous. He felt he understood the merchant Dao Lang and his position yet was struggling to fully comprehend the stance of his fellow minister - surely, if anything, that should be the other way around? They made their way to the more private area of the administrative buildings, a route that Be knew all too well. However, this time was markedly different because of the pit he felt in his stomach as well as the fact they were walking away from the chattering crowd and not through one.

After a minute or so of walking - each man contemplating silently to themselves - they arrived at Wai Be's office. It was modest, as one might expect, and showed very little indication that this was, in fact,
his office. Nevertheless, Be moved to sit down quickly and had a habitual glance across the notes and messages left for him on his desk. He ushered the others to also make themselves comfortable (they had all been standing for many hours now). The silence continued to fill the room before Be finally broke it with a quiet and considered tone.

"Gentlemen, I can honestly say we find ourselves in a unique situation." He sat back and sighed. "Of course, we really must discuss in detail what we can each endeavour to do over the coming weeks, but we can save that for later. I'm sure you both have had the suspicion that there was slightly more to my agenda?" He stood slowly and stepped over to his window (he had finally become senior enough to demand one for his office). The streets were still calm and they largely rest easy knowing there were those whose business it was to keep them calm. Wai Be had always lifted his spirits by considering this. He turned back to his guests with a slightly renewed vigour - though, as always, this wasn't the easiest thing to identify in his mannerisms.

"You both spoke bravely, that much is certain. I wish us to understand one-another. Everything I have said today has been nothing but the truth and I expect the same can be said of the two of you? This is why I am puzzled..." He had to. There had been a burning curiousity - no, a confusion - inside him. He had to know. "Minister Jia, why did you say that today? What are your intentions?"
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Re: Wan City Main Hall Roleplay

Postby Xe of Greed » 22 Jan 2017, 22:07

Jia Liang easily settled into the chair, honestly grateful for the chance to sit. Standing for hours on end, listening to the prattle of debate had tired him greatly. He hid his discomfort, however. No need to expose a possible weakness to strangers. When Wai Be spoke of the truth, Liang nodded. There was no point to lie in the chamber nor here.

"I feel it was abundantly obvious why I spoke. Ding Ma and Zhou Liang are warriors. The boy is too young to have served anywhere and the outsider gave no indication that he understood our place in society." Liang frowned just thinking of it. "They know nothing of what we do. They seem not to care at all. Their minds are on the rebels and how best to pursue defeating them. Bully for them, I say. But such short-sighted speech is not fitting the position of magistrate, no matter how temporary." Jia Liang cast a wary eye on the merchant. But surely he even understood what Liang was going to speak about. Perhaps he had even witnessed it himself.

"Let us not delude ourselves. The previous magistrate and his administration failed in their duties. I fully count myself among the failures. We had a duty to the citizens of this city and to the empire, and the highest offices failed to understand and carry out that duty. By that nature, we all failed." He paused, glancing towards the window. It would have been easy to pretend he had kept his head down for his own reasons. But keeping his position had always seemed preferable to taking a stand. "Incompetence and greed fueled those men. But they are gone, now." Except one, he thought darkly. "We have an opportunity to right the course of the city. To fix the past mistakes. But it is impossible to do so if we give all we have to the military."

"I believed that both of the men who put their names forward were more motivated by a lust for personal glory than what was best for Wan. That is why I put my name forward." By all accounts, Liu Shentong was at least different. Perhaps he would actually listen to the advice of others. Or perhaps he would empty the coffers, drain the city of men and die in a field. Having never met the man, Liang could not say. "Neither seemed to consider the situation at length. All thoughts cannot be on defeating the rebel army."
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Re: Wan City Main Hall Roleplay

Postby LukeYB » 22 Jan 2017, 22:28

Wai Be was relieved to hear Jia Liang speak so freely. All the while, however, he eyed him carefully. The two had served the administration for many years now, but had rarely found themselves in direct contact. He had found him dedicated and impressive in his work, but Be had never warmed to his slightly younger colleague. In fact, not many had warmed to Liang. It would explain to somebody like Wai Be why Liang had never moved into the higher ranks of the office despite his diligent and mostly excellent service. Sure, he could be articulate, perhaps even charming, but there were numerous men of power around these halls who could easily be rubbed up the wrong way.

However, and perhaps more pertinent to the current situation, Be found himself agreeing with almost every point. He had to be careful. Somebody you agreed with about small points only could still lead you to a destination you did not wish to arrive at.


"You make fair points, Minister. The two early contenders were unsuitable, hence my position being that of Master Cai's - to seek an experienced Wan military-mind. I didn't foresee the consequences of that goal but the day has brought many surprises." Wai Be did not like surprises. His face continued on as normal though.

"However, Minister, if I may be so bold? Your reasonings still do not explain why you would put yourself forward for this monumental role? You accuse the two warriors of seeking personal glory, when cannot that exact claim be issued to you?" Be was more nervous with this line of questioning and he tried to maintain an inquisitive tone in his voice as opposed to an accusatory one. He hoped that having Dao Lang present was also indicating this was nothing more than an honest attempt for answers. "Why not support Master Cai, a seasoned hand of vast experience? Or any other of our nobleman, who may be the required bridge between military and administration?"
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Re: Wan City Main Hall Roleplay

Postby Xe of Greed » 22 Jan 2017, 23:22

"Personal opinion." He noted gruffly. "Nobility isn't a qualification. Anyone can buy a title. Besides, apart from the Zhou boy, none stepped forward. There is the answer, minister Wai. No one else stepped forward." He frowned at the idea of supporting Cai Ben. He'd sooner join the rebels. Best not to voice that yet, though. "I've sought no extraordinary position in my time in this city. If I were seeking glory, I'd have done so half a lifetime ago. As it stands, I simply wish to serve and defend my city and family. My good governance outweighs the military experience of the two initial candidates."

He leaned back in his chair, his gaze drawn again to the window. "It seems captain Liu will be our acting magistrate now. Let us hope he is as open to advice as he was claimed to be."
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Re: Wan City Main Hall Roleplay

Postby RCS » 23 Jan 2017, 00:18

Dao Lang followed the others into the room, trying to find a comfortable spot to plop down and begin writing missives as he listened to the two other men speak. He wrote a succinct message to the administrative posts further to the corners of the city and in the outlaying areas. He was used to writing quickly, so it was no matter to jot down a handful of lines. He explained in the messages that there were several major players vying for the post of new magistrate.
"We must have your support to unite the city and reinforce peace and prosperity in the face of the looming rebellion." He mumbled to himself as he re-read the line he had just written. He continued writing and listed the names of those effectively seeking the nomination. Naturally he was bold enough to include his own name first.
"I, Dao Lang, ask that you consider me as the interim Magistrate. You all know me, many of you have done business with me in the past and I have helped to shape this city into prosperity even through the corruption as best I could.
Your alternatives are perhaps not as famous and wealthy as myself, but they are good men to consider as well: Liu Shentong, a captain of the militia; Jia Liang, venerable minister of the city; and...
"
He paused and mumbled. "What was...the other guy's name? Zhou...Zhou...Liao, Liam, Li...sun?"
"...and a local man named Zhou." He shrugged as he handed the message off to a messenger that he recognized as owing him money. "Take this, copy it, and spread it around the city...as much of the city as you can as quickly as you can."

With that handle he looked up just as Jia Liang finished speaking. "Liu's a good man, although I'd have hoped that either you or I could have taken the post. We may still have a chance if we combined our efforts."
He shrugged. "Aside from keeping our hopes up, I must say that I agree with your assessments of the situation. Nobility is of little consequence to good governance."
He crossed his arms over his chest. "That being said, even should Captain Liu not be chosen we should be weary. Captain Liu was too 'busy' to come to the main hall. But he had all the time in the world to meet with Minister Cai and speak at length, all the time to speak to the Zhou fellows...at his barracks."
Dao placed his fingers to is chin. "That is why I proposed a joint court between myself and the Captain. If he's so busy keeping the peace, how does he have all this time to chat tonight? It would have saved time to just come present himself to us all. I fear he's planning something."
Dao chuckled and threw his arms into the air in a dramatic shrug. "Not to say I blame him. I'm fairly certain that's exactly what we are all doing here right now, yes?"
His face turned a bit more serious. "But I worry that if the good Captain is not chosen...the military will not get behind whoever is chosen. Without the current militia - defending the city would be foolish. With the militia fighting us in the streets, or even just in the council chambers? Our best bet would be to follow the old Magistrate's example with as many good people as we can muster."
He furrowed his brow and shook his head. "One way or another, Captain Liu will run this city. We must consider what kind of checks and balances we can enact on him and his crew. Power can make good men do very...very bad things."
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Re: Wan City Main Hall Roleplay

Postby LukeYB » 23 Jan 2017, 13:31

"Yes, well, you both are certainly perceptive men," Be stood again and paced back and forth along the back wall, allowing time for Dao Lang to continue his scribbling. He rarely had to pause and think during meetings. Most of them involved fairly standard negotiations that Be had practised all his life and it was usually just a case of knowing which path to pick and when. Here, though, he was very much in unchartered territory and found that considering his thoughts and opinions was very much a prudent precaution to excersise. Unchanging, he resumed speaking.

"Master Cai is a wise and experienced statesman. In my dealings with him, I have never found him to be untrustworthy nor has he ever steered me wrong - directly or indirectly. However, it cannot be denied that he played a major role in the advisement and execution of the Magistrate's dealings. Of course that concerns me, as it seems to with many of the other players at the court today." His voice had dropped off a little, laced with a grim undertone. His hand came up to his cheek in thought and he looked around the room, not at anything in particular.

"Liu Shentong is an honourable man. I have never seen any reason to doubt his ability or allegiance. He was sent on many expeditions to liberate rebel- or bandit-ravaged lands and never showed the slightest sign of dissent. But it is decidedly strange that he did not return to speak for himself, regardless of the situation at the garrison. Indeed, there are a number of capable captains that can deputise with no disruption to the order down there." His mind conjured pictures of the youthful Dai Ren and diligent Li Jun. "So of course this is another concern. Now in another time, on another day, I would have no problem with the arrangement that seems to be falling in our laps - especially if he is, indeed, of royal blood. But we do not want a repeat of the mistakes of the past and that, gentlemen, is where we are most in agreement."

Wai Be returned to his seat and lent forward on his elbows with his hands clasped. He eyed his guests closely. "The People are likely to be placated by a member of the garrison in charge, particulary the well-known Captain. They will not wish to see another meddling numbers-man put in charge of the coffers. And as you, Lord Dao, accurately point out, the military will firmly be supporting one of their own. However, I believe there is an alternative way. One which needs a commitment of trust between all three of us, and perhaps even the help of other like-minded Ministers." His mind this time contemplated Bai Zheng, a potentially critical ally in this venture. "Does this make either of you uncomfortable? Please speak now and no more shall be said."
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Re: Wan City Main Hall Roleplay

Postby RCS » 23 Jan 2017, 13:51

Dao Lang sat down and crossed his arms over his chest with a stern face as Wai Be asked if they were uncomfortable. "I've negotiated trade deals from Xiliang to Jiangdong with my fortune on the line. Now I'm as broke as a farmer. My wife returned to her mother's years ago and my daughter married a nice fellow in Chenliu. I've no family, no money, and few honest friends in between."
He smiled with an air of graceful indignation. "I've little to lose so there's nothing on the line."
He rolled his eyes. "Well my life, I suppose. But the idea of living as a pauper is more frightening than dying at this stage of my life."
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Re: Wan City Main Hall Roleplay

Postby Xe of Greed » 23 Jan 2017, 15:40

There were a myriad of reasons not to trust Cai Ben, but Liang kept his silence. Wai Be was proving to be remarkably astute, and Dao Long was no slouch. "It does seem remarkably bizarre, for a man convinced in the span of a conversation to take the position. Perhaps he simply didn't realize the message it sent, using the former adviser to the magistrate as a mouth piece." The minister mused. It made sense, political maneuvering likely meant very little to a watch captain.

Jia Liang nodded grimly. "I have little in this world, and all of it rooted in this city. I will do whatever I can and must to defend those things. You have my trust, master Dao, minister Wai."
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Re: Wan City Main Hall Roleplay

Postby Fa Zheng » 23 Jan 2017, 16:30

After making quite the impression on the city guards a few days before, Liao Ju had retired to an Inn where he had unloaded his belongings from his horse. his haste in making his journey had meant he left a lot of belongings back in Luoyang when he made his trip. Just one set of armour and one set of what he deemed 'court' clothing. The colours were drab and uninteresting but they were the best ones he could find on such short notice. He didn't think he would be having many meetings when he came here, just train the garrison and perhaps lead them to fight the rebels as a guest officer for the city. he was wrong however and had received a well written letter from Cai Bin. It had made his day after the commotion of the last week, a man who had worked in the capital and knew the name of his mentor. Liao Ju made an effort to clean his clothes as thoroughly as possible but some smells from a long trip stay with you. He had trimmed his beard back into a neater form and tied his hair back with a piece of string.

The day was sunny and at about mid day Liao Ju set about walking to the main city hall to meet with Cai Bin, he had spent the last couple of days touring Wan, getting the lay of the land and seeing that whatever administration had been in place, had not been working. The people seemed almost as disenfranchised with the Emperor as he was with the city, after the advise he had received some days ago, he kept his Imperial background to himself when speaking to the locals. There was an odd tension in the air that never seemed to dissipate. He assumed that was one of the reasons Cai Bin wished to speak.

As he rounded the corner he came up to the court buildings. At least these looked impressive enough to be considered Imperial, the large pillars and bustling of the officals reminded him of home. It had only been a week but he had left his brothers fighting to come south, it hadn't sat right for him and regretted it but to help defeat the rebels, he knew it was needed. He took a deep breath and introduced himself to a guard.


Liao Ju: Afternoon, I have a letter from Cai Bin asking me to come meet with him, Will you fetch him for me?
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Re: Wan City Main Hall Roleplay

Postby LukeYB » 23 Jan 2017, 17:06

RCS and Xe

The two men had made their commitment abundantly clear to Wai Be, even to suggest their lives could be forfeit for the cause. That was more than Be had wanted but he was nonetheless thrilled to hear it. He wasn't planning a coup or skirmish. However, in the context of their lives and professions, it might as well be.

"Good," he smiled genuinely, a rare sight even to those closest to him. "I believe our best path to be a less direct one. Between us, we have no logical or realistic alternative to Captain Liu. But what if were to give the impression of one?" He paused - not for drama but to once more go over the details in his mind. The undeniably dramatic effect was merely a happy bi-product. "We three, as well as many others in these halls - especially Master Cai, it seems - know that Liu may be capable but has many flaws and a dangerous lack of understanding regarding politics and development. He, of course, will be the first to admit this and will seek a seasoned veteran to aid him in these matters. That person, in all likelihood, will be the one person we are most dubious of. If, however, another suitable advisor was to come to the forefront, a nominated expert, then perhaps Captain Liu will have no choice but to accept the judgement of the many? If, say, his candidacy for Magistrate became more than a one-horse race as the civil sector champions a mind of progression? A race he still will win, as he perhaps should, but it will give indication of who we trust to oversee certain aspects of our rebuilding." He leaned back into his chair, indicating an impasse in the plan. Loud laughing and jovial shouting could be heard in the distance and the familiar trotting of horses indicated the markets were finishing for the day. Wai Be considered his options, but became aware that the pause had grown too long.

"I believe it is in our power to position somebody in such a way that greed and corruption can be mitigated. This one individual we endorse will be a conduit for the best judgement of men such as in this room. Surely that is better than us relying on change from Master Cai?" He sighed, never expecting words of this magnitude to leave his mouth. "I will, at least, remain commited to Lord Liu publicly, but can use my political capital and connections in these halls to create enough momentum for what we need. I, however, fail to yet see a clear recipient of this momentum and would welcome suggestions from either of you, even if you wish to put yourself forward."

A moment of realisation gripped the Minister. He automatically reached out for some nearby papers and began shuffling through them, feigning reading. "This is a plan I consider our safest route. The city needs its brightest subjects, regardless of whether it trusts them."
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Re: Wan City Main Hall Roleplay

Postby Xe of Greed » 23 Jan 2017, 17:46

"Adopt master Dao's plan then? I'm afraid I must plead ignorance, for I've never met captain Liu. But are we certain they'd care? It'd be inexpedient and inefficient to ignore a second strong contender, but possible, especially if the military stays unified behind the captain." Jia Liang reflected, scratching his chin. He knew he was being pessimistic and cynical in his analysis. But he had little hope. "The obvious answer is master Dao. He has the qualifications, at least us to rely on, and he's not tied to the previous administration like we and minister Cai are. Besides which," Liang added, with a grin, "This was technically his idea first."

It could work. Dao Long no doubt was use to taking advantage of corruption. That would give an extra angle to flush it all out. And having the civil officials unified behind an outsider would perhaps show the citizenry that they too craved change from the weak willed and incompetent previous administration.
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Re: Wan City Main Hall Roleplay

Postby Xu Yuan » 23 Jan 2017, 17:49

Fa Zheng wrote:After making quite the impression on the city guards a few days before, Liao Ju had retired to an Inn where he had unloaded his belongings from his horse. his haste in making his journey had meant he left a lot of belongings back in Luoyang when he made his trip. Just one set of armour and one set of what he deemed 'court' clothing. The colours were drab and uninteresting but they were the best ones he could find on such short notice. He didn't think he would be having many meetings when he came here, just train the garrison and perhaps lead them to fight the rebels as a guest officer for the city. he was wrong however and had received a well written letter from Cai Bin. It had made his day after the commotion of the last week, a man who had worked in the capital and knew the name of his mentor. Liao Ju made an effort to clean his clothes as thoroughly as possible but some smells from a long trip stay with you. He had trimmed his beard back into a neater form and tied his hair back with a piece of string.

The day was sunny and at about mid day Liao Ju set about walking to the main city hall to meet with Cai Bin, he had spent the last couple of days touring Wan, getting the lay of the land and seeing that whatever administration had been in place, had not been working. The people seemed almost as disenfranchised with the Emperor as he was with the city, after the advise he had received some days ago, he kept his Imperial background to himself when speaking to the locals. There was an odd tension in the air that never seemed to dissipate. He assumed that was one of the reasons Cai Bin wished to speak.

As he rounded the corner he came up to the court buildings. At least these looked impressive enough to be considered Imperial, the large pillars and bustling of the officals reminded him of home. It had only been a week but he had left his brothers fighting to come south, it hadn't sat right for him and regretted it but to help defeat the rebels, he knew it was needed. He took a deep breath and introduced himself to a guard.


Liao Ju: Afternoon, I have a letter from Cai Bin asking me to come meet with him, Will you fetch him for me?


Before the guard had a chance to speak it was instead a black robed minor official who addressed the military man. "Lieutenant Liao Ju, I presume?" The civil robed man's voice squeaked as he bowed his head, his voice betraying his youth. "You are the only unfamiliar man to whom we have sent a missive in recent days. My name is Ling, please if you would follow me, I will take you to Master Cai's offices." Assuming that the lieutenant followed after the Aide, they would come to an office next to the now vacant Magistrate's own, emblazoned above the red door was a plain stone plaque which read "Cai Bin". Ling opened the door. It was a fairly large office, other aides were running about with scrolls in hand as a deep voice, that couldn't quite be made out directed them to this or that task. Several of the people were busy writing and all sides of the room were filled with notches in the walls that held various scrolls. The decoration of the room was austere, owing to the previous Magistrate's seizure of most objects of value. A mismatched and hastily thrown together carpet lay it's way from the center of the room until it reached the advisor's desk at the far end of the room.

The figure of Cai Bin was impressive for his age. A white beard and mustache adorned his face and he too wore civil official's robes, his were made of silk compared to the cotton of his aides and the hat he wore seemed to show that he was at one time in the Imperial Court. By the desk was a cane that looked to be made of some unusual composition, yet here he stood standing without support as he was deep in discussion with an aide. He turned to see his guest, quickly finished speaking with his assistant who dutifully bowed and went about his tasks.

"Lieutenant Liao." He gave a military salute while a smile showed. His voice was deep and powerful, not normally expected of a man his age. "It is good to see my letter reached you. Please, sit." He gestured towards the cushion in front of the desk as he too relaxed into a sitting position. Wine was soon served and placed in front of the two men. "It has been several days now since you arrived, I would ask if you have enjoyed your time here, but I know better. This is still a time of unrest which we seek to end. Though first I would like to ask of you, how is the Capital coping with this rebellion? I have heard nothing from my informants and this worries me."
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Re: Wan City Main Hall Roleplay

Postby LukeYB » 23 Jan 2017, 18:19

Xe of Greed wrote:"Adopt master Dao's plan then? I'm afraid I must plead ignorance, for I've never met captain Liu. But are we certain they'd care? It'd be inexpedient and inefficient to ignore a second strong contender, but possible, especially if the military stays unified behind the captain." Jia Liang reflected, scratching his chin. He knew he was being pessimistic and cynical in his analysis. But he had little hope. "The obvious answer is master Dao. He has the qualifications, at least us to rely on, and he's not tied to the previous administration like we and minister Cai are. Besides which," Liang added, with a grin, "This was technically his idea first."

It could work. Dao Long no doubt was use to taking advantage of corruption. That would give an extra angle to flush it all out. And having the civil officials unified behind an outsider would perhaps show the citizenry that they too craved change from the weak willed and incompetent previous administration.


Be's eyebrow twitched. Unfortunately, the meeting couldn't take place without Liang's brashness coming up. "Thankfully," thought Wai Be, "he has a habit of keeping it succint."

"Minister Jia," he began slowly, "there is a very big difference between being in power and being in power. Master Dao previously announced his intentions in which he, as magistrate, would put Captain Liu in power of the military arm. That I believe to be unacceptable to the People or the garrison. It is my suggestion that we force him to place alongside himself a token of our choosing. If we were to simply try and convince him to rely on Master Dao or one of our suitable ministers, our suggestion would be so easily and effortlessly countered by his comrades and, of course, Master Cai - who we mustn't forget has his ear. We must, instead, force an alternative on him without his knowledge." He found himself becoming a little more desperate, pleading that they understood him. A soft chuckle escaped his expressionless features.

"The chosen candidate is never meant to win! More... legitimise an otherwise unworthy person. This person can then govern and counsel Lord Liu in whatever way we deem most effective. Master Dao, your thoughts?"
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Re: Wan City Main Hall Roleplay

Postby RCS » 23 Jan 2017, 18:56

Luke & Xe

Dao Lang raised his eyebrows at a minister as venerable as Jia Liang even contemplating him as a legitimate force to oppose Liu Shentong. He was honestly stunned to silence. As Wai Be gave the finer details of his plan, Dao rubbed his smooth chin. He'd never been one for a beard, even in his younger days when it grew in black.
He opened his mouth to speak, but words failed as an idea plopped from his brain into his veritable lap. All he could mutter were the words. "Yes...my plan?"
He leaned forward in his seat with an excited, but serious, expression. "We've all missed an important piece to this puzzle I feel - myself, included. Someone never got the chance to disagree with my original proposal. Myself as magistrate and Captain Liu as military commander."
He leaned back and spread his arms with a broad grin. "Captain Liu, himself. Everything the Captain has 'said' has been from Minister Cai's mouth. And we're guilty of the same sin we've put upon him. Neither of the three of us have even gone to see what Captain Liu thinks."
He placed his hand on his chin and glanced upward, looking through time at a sky long since passed. When his daughter was but a child and he ignored her playing around in his shop. Woeful was the life of a businessman, only too late did he realize his missed opportunities. "Several at the assembly indicated that Liu Shentong had no intention of even nominating himself. My understanding is that Master Cai proposed the idea and convinced him, not to back it...but to reluctantly accept it."
He stood up and paced around his seat, almost speaking aloud his thoughts rather than actually talking to the men present. "What if he really has no inclination to rule the city, but only to command in the field?"
He nearly tripped over the bench he had been sitting on when he turned back to the men excitedly. "With the Captain's support...if he were to suggest someone else as Magistrate, all of his supporters would have little choice but to acquiesce and follow his ideas. Our ideas."
He looked at the man with wide eyes. "We just have to convince him that our idea is better than anyone else's."
He stepped over the bench and sat back down, his glee fading a bit back toward his more serious tone. "Even if he doesn't agree with us and actually follow my plan, he'll be put in a tough spot by us."
Dao pointed at Wai Be. "If he refuses entirely, it will show that Master Cai was false - the Captain is unwilling to listen to reason from civil officials and the intellectuals. If he refuses but agrees to work with us, we can compromise with him to place one of ourselves closer to his side. Either way will accomplish our plan. We cannot lose."
He paused for a moment before chuckling. "Well I mean...he could just stab us to death; we'd lose, technically...but our cause would manifest with moral authority. That being the case, I'd rather he just accepted our plan, though."
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