Wan City Main Hall Roleplay

Re: Wan City Main Hall Roleplay

Postby Xu Yuan » 04 Mar 2017, 02:22

Xe of Greed

Cai Bin dutifully bowed his head to the young woman in return. He listened intently to the story... the rumors were true then... The elder nodded his head absentmindedly. "That was my worse fear, the other men who disappeared in the same span of time were Chen Ping, Huang Wu, and Ding Ma." He sighed in starts. As a deep sadness showed on his face. "Only Master Chen, I have now learned, and you have reappeared. That was foolish indeed..." His voice raised. "Had you known that people were seeking this self-destructive choice you should have alerted the Garrison! You know there is no reasoning with this rabble! Have you forgotten what happened only five years ago the last time the city so wistfully trusted to a rebel's common sense?!" He caught himself as he bowed in forgiveness, his voice returning to a soft, solemn manner. "Forgive me. I..." He stopped, but then shook his head sadly and continued. "Fear now that Huang Wu and Ding Ma did not escape."

A shadow fell over the old man's face. Only now did he realize how powerless he truly was. Despite his Aides watching all exits of the city, there was always ways to escape their gaze. If only he had been more... more what? What more could he have done? The thoughts flew through his mind as he closed his eyes and continued to speak. "I can merely thank Heaven that you have returned to us." He sighed once more as he opened his eyes. "Did you learn anything from the rebels? Or did the name of Jia Liang so quickly move them to put you in this condition?"
Pre-Game

Cai Bin 蔡臏
Rank: Senior Political Advisor (Civil Rank 1)
5-10-65*-100*-86* (68)
Articulate. Negotiator(e), Propaganda, Networking, Rumor, Wealth, Riot
Gold: 4
Items: Black Onyx Elephant Pendant (+1 Int, +1 Pol, +1 Cha), Book of Rites (+2 Pol), Classic of Filial Piety (+2 Pol)
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Re: Wan City Main Hall Roleplay

Postby Vartonn » 04 Mar 2017, 17:47

Jia Estate, the day Jia Liang returned from Xiang Yang
Xe of Greed wrote:The heavily wounded minister chuckled once, which quickly descended into pained coughing that made the girl wince. "Apologies, minister." Jia Liang managed once it had subsided. He gestured to the young woman. "Jia Xiuqing, my youngest." She turned and bowed respectfully to Cai Bin before focusing her attention back on her wounded father. "As for how this happened, heh. A foolhardy notion drove me south to the rebel stronghold at Xiang Yang. When I heard some young men meant to infiltrate a strategy meeting. I sought to head them off. They've no business risking their lives like that. So I set out to infiltrate it myself, expecting them to care less about an older man with a minister's background." He coughed a few times again, casting a pained look at Chun as he worked.

"Unfortunately, the rebel guards at the meeting were rather overzealous. Rather than considering what I said, they chose instead to beat me and leave me to die. Fortunately, master Chen Ping had the same foolish notion as I, and found me. It's entirely thanks to him that we made it back alive." The minister took a deep breath and let out a ragged sigh. "One of my worst notions. But at least one I can walk away from."

Xu Yuan wrote:Cai Bin dutifully bowed his head to the young woman in return. He listened intently to the story... the rumors were true then... The elder nodded his head absentmindedly. "That was my worse fear, the other men who disappeared in the same span of time were Chen Ping, Huang Wu, and Ding Ma." He sighed in starts. As a deep sadness showed on his face. "Only Master Chen, I have now learned, and you have reappeared. That was foolish indeed..." His voice raised. "Had you known that people were seeking this self-destructive choice you should have alerted the Garrison! You know there is no reasoning with this rabble! Have you forgotten what happened only five years ago the last time the city so wistfully trusted to a rebel's common sense?!" He caught himself as he bowed in forgiveness, his voice returning to a soft, solemn manner. "Forgive me. I..." He stopped, but then shook his head sadly and continued. "Fear now that Huang Wu and Ding Ma did not escape."

A shadow fell over the old man's face. Only now did he realize how powerless he truly was. Despite his Aides watching all exits of the city, there was always ways to escape their gaze. If only he had been more... more what? What more could he have done? The thoughts flew through his mind as he closed his eyes and continued to speak. "I can merely thank Heaven that you have returned to us." He sighed once more as he opened his eyes. "Did you learn anything from the rebels? Or did the name of Jia Liang so quickly move them to put you in this condition?"


Seeing that his brother was taking a moment to muster his strength for a reply, the rotund brother filled the silence wit a regretful tone. "I apologize, minister Cai Bin. If I had been more skilled at reading the wine's omens, I could have stopped my brother. Perhaps only his legs might have been broken then." The last bit was typical of the younger brother's brutal pragmatism, but it hinted at Jia Chun's resentment towards his brother's foolish behaviour. "Last month, when the drink showed me standing on top of the world, gazing at a sheep in the middle of a tiger's den, I never thought he..." The mystic choked on his words, equally out of sorrow and out of concern for his brother's health. He did not his reprimands.
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Re: Wan City Main Hall Roleplay

Postby LukeYB » 04 Mar 2017, 18:06

Rebel wrote:Xiang gulps the baozi.

"Vewy Wowaful."

Taking the ink pot from his head, he puts it in his pocket. Unbinds the bunches of grapes from his hair, sets them on the tray and looks at the attendant.

"Um.. you can have them. They are not half-eaten or anything."

He bows and nods to the Prefect.

"A great honor to meet you Minister Wai Be. Please lead the way."

He follows the man to his offices.


((Sorry for delay, this one might be a slow burner if you'll bear with me!))

"Very good," replied the minister, unassuredly. He vowed to keep on like normal and lead the man through into his office. The room wasn't anything remarkable - pieces of small furniture with various systems of "file" management scattered atop them, the insignia of both the Han and the Wai family loudly proclaimed pride from the walls, and a few chairs surrounded an ornate desk; on which sat various scrolls and bamboo parchments in an administrative collage. The Prefect signalled Xiong to sit down - in the proper place this time - as he, himself, fell into his usual chair with a heavy but satisfied sigh.

"Forgive me for my office's mess - it has been a busy, busy few days and I've forbid any of my servants to touch any of my work, lest a valuable document goes missing." He spoke earnestly and ambivalently. It would be hard for an onlooker to distinguish if Wai Be was conducting an interview or meeting an old friend. "Again I must thank you for coming to speak with me as per my request. I trust you have been keeping well?"
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Re: Wan City Main Hall Roleplay

Postby Xu Yuan » 06 Mar 2017, 01:05

Vartonn wrote:Seeing that his brother was taking a moment to muster his strength for a reply, the rotund brother filled the silence wit a regretful tone. "I apologize, minister Cai Bin. If I had been more skilled at reading the wine's omens, I could have stopped my brother. Perhaps only his legs might have been broken then." The last bit was typical of the younger brother's brutal pragmatism, but it hinted at Jia Chun's resentment towards his brother's foolish behaviour. "Last month, when the drink showed me standing on top of the world, gazing at a sheep in the middle of a tiger's den, I never thought he..." The mystic choked on his words, equally out of sorrow and out of concern for his brother's health. He did not his reprimands.


OOC: Sorry for the late reply, I missed this post.

Cai Bin nodded sadly to the younger Jia. "Heaven hides its designs until the appropriate moment, until that time we cannot act upon omens and auguries.You could not have known what the warped imagery of helpful spirits meant to convey." His tone became slightly lighter, as if to slightly dispel the gloom which hung to the room as he shifted his body towards Jia Chun. "I heard that you and several other officers have recently returned from Mt. Xuan Yuan, a dangerous climb, but I do know that the Mystic Arts may at times reveal matters that are not to be ignored, thus I wholeheartedly agreed with the suggestion when it was presented. You have just spoken of yourself as one of the Mystics. The reports from the expedition I was given were vague and inconclusive. Tell me, what did you see or hear upon the top of that sacred place?"
Pre-Game

Cai Bin 蔡臏
Rank: Senior Political Advisor (Civil Rank 1)
5-10-65*-100*-86* (68)
Articulate. Negotiator(e), Propaganda, Networking, Rumor, Wealth, Riot
Gold: 4
Items: Black Onyx Elephant Pendant (+1 Int, +1 Pol, +1 Cha), Book of Rites (+2 Pol), Classic of Filial Piety (+2 Pol)
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Re: Wan City Main Hall Roleplay

Postby Rebel » 06 Mar 2017, 18:50

Xiang followed the Prefect casually looking at the filing systems and insignia on display. He took the seat that was offered, lightly tapping his fingers on the ornate desk.

"I am very well. A bit bored if I were to be frank with you. The city does not seem to have much going on at the moment. I try to keep myself amused in what little ways I can Master Wai Be."

"Say can I call you Be?"


He asked with a polite smile. To be or not to be. That is the question. He bit his lip, trying hard not to give voice to his thoughts.

"Do you know when things will pick up? Man I can't wait to recruit some soldiers or gather info on the enemy plans. I could go and recruit agents at Xiang Yang to find out what they are up to. I heard a few of our officers tried something similar and it didn't work out too well."
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Re: Wan City Main Hall Roleplay

Postby Vartonn » 08 Mar 2017, 00:09

OOC: Sorry it took so long, I'm really sick and prone to procrastination. (Pronecrastination?)

Jia Estate, the day Jia Liang returned from Xiang Yang
Xu Yuan wrote:Cai Bin nodded sadly to the younger Jia. "Heaven hides its designs until the appropriate moment, until that time we cannot act upon omens and auguries.You could not have known what the warped imagery of helpful spirits meant to convey." His tone became slightly lighter, as if to slightly dispel the gloom which hung to the room as he shifted his body towards Jia Chun. "I heard that you and several other officers have recently returned from Mt. Xuan Yuan, a dangerous climb, but I do know that the Mystic Arts may at times reveal matters that are not to be ignored, thus I wholeheartedly agreed with the suggestion when it was presented. You have just spoken of yourself as one of the Mystics. The reports from the expedition I was given were vague and inconclusive. Tell me, what did you see or hear upon the top of that sacred place?"

The rotund mystic shook his head. "We only heard hints of what was to come, a test from the heavens, no doubt." The ex-guard moved behind a barrel and used the top of it as a makeshift map. His explanations and exaggerated gestures managed to turn the patterns of the wood into a vivid imaginary map that even the dullest person could see. "From what I understand, they were debating the course of action to take. They're evidently make use of the river and its well trodden paths to reach us, but it was likely that a separate force would head towards Wan inland." He ran his hand along an indistinct pattern on the barrel, that both his niece and the elderly minister knew to be the river. Halfway up the pattern, he spread out his fingers, and ran his other hand towards the center of the barrel, close to the forests south of Wan. "One of them made a terrible suggestion which was rejected by the other generals. We do not know what it is, but from what they answered, I can make an educated guess..."

The black robed man of sizable build suddenly changed his composure. He took on the persona of a thin snake-like man, a man any righteous fellow would despise at first glance. Or at the first smell, even. The way Jia Chun imitated his posture, his voice, his mannerisms made it seem like the snake general was really standing before them. "Wan iss not the goal, itss defenderss are meek and dissorganised, why not leave a token forse to keep them in check and make sstraight for the capital, where the Dragon liess?" His composure changed again, he took on the persona of a stout, toad-like man, a man who would wrongly assumed to be slow-witted by any but the most astute observer. "We woould risk oour supply line - this is simply a pooor coombination of the first twoo plans, but with all the drawbacks and noone of the benefits." Having finished, Jia Chun regained his usual mannerisms.

He let out a dry cough and reached for a cup which he filled with water and drank. "I'd have to talk about it with the magistrate and the other generals, but I have a rough idea for a plan, should our other spies confirm there are disagreements among the enemy generals." The young maid that served the Jia came in with refreshments, both tea and wine. They offered either to the minister first, then moved on to Jia Chun, who took wine, and the young lady of the house.
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Re: Wan City Main Hall Roleplay

Postby LukeYB » 08 Mar 2017, 14:21

Rebel wrote:Xiang followed the Prefect casually looking at the filing systems and insignia on display. He took the seat that was offered, lightly tapping his fingers on the ornate desk.

"I am very well. A bit bored if I were to be frank with you. The city does not seem to have much going on at the moment. I try to keep myself amused in what little ways I can Master Wai Be."

"Say can I call you Be?"


He asked with a polite smile. To be or not to be. That is the question. He bit his lip, trying hard not to give voice to his thoughts.

"Do you know when things will pick up? Man I can't wait to recruit some soldiers or gather info on the enemy plans. I could go and recruit agents at Xiang Yang to find out what they are up to. I heard a few of our officers tried something similar and it didn't work out too well."


Wai Be's eyebrow twitched. It seems it won't be having an easy day.

"I... think Prefect or Minister Wai should suffice, don't you?" His eyes tightly closed as he fought to keep his relaxed and composed demeanour. He knew little of Sun Xiang but far from expected this attitude from a Master of Records. It was foreign to a man of Be's unerring dilligence.

"Your keenness is most welcome and you should expect your skills to be utilised in that fashion very soon. As you are probably aware, we are currently restructuring the administration and, perhaps more importantly right now, figuring out exact numbers for our budgets. We were left quite the mess, I can tell you that much," he laughed, stiffly. There was a nervousness about him as he looked around the room, still unsure of his company. "Of course," he continued, "having been given a military post, I expect your assignments to be more the perogative of Magistrate Liu. Still, what you speak of is highly dangerous, Lord Sun. Do you have much experience in those matters or are you blissfully unaware of the risks those men put themselves in?"
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Re: Wan City Main Hall Roleplay

Postby Rebel » 09 Mar 2017, 01:09

"Why Minister Wai? That sounds uh...too formal."

The Prefect was too serious. Too formal. Too very careful with his words. Perhaps something was troubling him. That twitching eye gave it away.

"Why be like that Wai Be?"

The name had a certain strangeness to it. It began to repeat itself in his mind, over and over and over again. Wai Be. Why Be. Y and B. YB. His mind was dazed from the repetition and he grabbed his forehead trying to stay upright. Xiang leaned forward on the desk for support. It took a moment for him to clear his head.

"Wow man. Its like a code for something. I just cant figure out what."

"Very well. I shall call you Minister Y if it pleases you. But in return, I wish to be referred as... Mr X."


Mr X.. Mmm sexy and all mysterious like. He smiled inwardly but then the headache shot back up again and he rubbed his temples. What is wrong with me today. Focus. Good thing that Wai Be changed the topic. On the matter of assignments he brightened up.

"Oh dangerous is my middle name. Those pretend rebels have got nothing on this real rebel, I assure you. Why I'll be running circles around them. I will be in and out before they even realize what hit them. I will be..."

He noticed the look of boredom on the Prefect's face. Or was it the twitch getting worse? Whatever it was, he had a gut feeling he was making a very bad impression. It won't be long before he got thrown out on the streets. Might as well just say what I came to say before that happens huh?

"Do you know that as of right now we have so many officers in the administration that their salaries will eat up half of the city budget, yet we don't even have enough money to assign even a quarter of these fine officers to tasks while drafting an army and equipping them."

"I have looked at the calculations. The city will be broke by the end of this month if you guys drafted and equipped soldiers which I believe MUST be done. No way ten thousand soldiers can hold the Xiang Yang army. It is pretty helpless and through no fault of the new administration."


He laughed, looking out the window towards the north.

"I have half a mind to send a letter to the capital or visit the royal court myself. Either they send us gold for drafting, pay the salaries for the unexpectedly high number of officers that turned up to join Wan or we are going on strike and letting the rebel army proceed to Luo Yang unhindered, Han be damned."
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Re: Wan City Main Hall Roleplay

Postby Xu Yuan » 09 Mar 2017, 01:35

Vartonn wrote:Jia Estate, the day Jia Liang returned from Xiang Yang

The rotund mystic shook his head. "We only heard hints of what was to come, a test from the heavens, no doubt." The ex-guard moved behind a barrel and used the top of it as a makeshift map. His explanations and exaggerated gestures managed to turn the patterns of the wood into a vivid imaginary map that even the dullest person could see. "From what I understand, they were debating the course of action to take. They're evidently make use of the river and its well trodden paths to reach us, but it was likely that a separate force would head towards Wan inland." He ran his hand along an indistinct pattern on the barrel, that both his niece and the elderly minister knew to be the river. Halfway up the pattern, he spread out his fingers, and ran his other hand towards the center of the barrel, close to the forests south of Wan. "One of them made a terrible suggestion which was rejected by the other generals. We do not know what it is, but from what they answered, I can make an educated guess..."

The black robed man of sizable build suddenly changed his composure. He took on the persona of a thin snake-like man, a man any righteous fellow would despise at first glance. Or at the first smell, even. The way Jia Chun imitated his posture, his voice, his mannerisms made it seem like the snake general was really standing before them. "Wan iss not the goal, itss defenderss are meek and dissorganised, why not leave a token forse to keep them in check and make sstraight for the capital, where the Dragon liess?" His composure changed again, he took on the persona of a stout, toad-like man, a man who would wrongly assumed to be slow-witted by any but the most astute observer. "We woould risk oour supply line - this is simply a pooor coombination of the first twoo plans, but with all the drawbacks and noone of the benefits." Having finished, Jia Chun regained his usual mannerisms.

He let out a dry cough and reached for a cup which he filled with water and drank. "I'd have to talk about it with the magistrate and the other generals, but I have a rough idea for a plan, should our other spies confirm there are disagreements among the enemy generals." The young maid that served the Jia came in with refreshments, both tea and wine. They offered either to the minister first, then moved on to Jia Chun, who took wine, and the young lady of the house.


OOC: No worries. Always glad to see another post from you.

So this was the powers that the enigmatic brother of a leading minister possessed. He had also heard in rumors that this was also the man who stood in the plaza shouting for the nominees for leader to show themselves and address him in regards to the issues, though those rumors were never proven. His report was the first that the elder had heard of any of the possible movements that the leaders would take. His own interrogations were still on-going and he had not received any credible information as of yet. How strange that it would be by the Mystics that they receive the first of the concrete information on the rebels.

So they too were in the midst of debate and discussion on how to proceed and have not decided upon a plan of action. This was good. For the first time since arriving, Cai Bin allowed himself a small smile of relief. "They are divided and have no certain plan for action. They either wish to bypass us entirely, send a decoy to distract Wan while they assault the Capital directly, or to attack us in full force. As for attacking us inland..." He lightly shook his head. "The fools have forgotten that the river separates us. We have under our command men of some admiralty who could stall them at the river dare they try to cross it. If they decide to make for Luo Yang alone..." He stroked his white beard as a look of vexation showed. "Then we will be in dire straits. If they are to take Luo Yang and the Capital of the Han is lost, then no matter how well we defend ourselves we will be lost, if we could force their hand and show them that Wan cannot be ignored this scenario can be avoided..." He took a sip of the tea he was given as he thought upon his words. Cai Bin bowed his head towards the younger brother. "Officer Jia, it would please me greatly to know of your plan, we can then present it to the Magistrate."
Pre-Game

Cai Bin 蔡臏
Rank: Senior Political Advisor (Civil Rank 1)
5-10-65*-100*-86* (68)
Articulate. Negotiator(e), Propaganda, Networking, Rumor, Wealth, Riot
Gold: 4
Items: Black Onyx Elephant Pendant (+1 Int, +1 Pol, +1 Cha), Book of Rites (+2 Pol), Classic of Filial Piety (+2 Pol)
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Re: Wan City Main Hall Roleplay

Postby LukeYB » 13 Mar 2017, 16:22

Rebel wrote:"Why be like that Wai Be?"


This man was odd, Be thought. He struggled to understand how someone so eccentric could become a prominent member of any administration. And yet here he was. Wai Be sighed and idly scratched his arm. He'd dealt with strange folk before and would just have to draw on that experience here. There clearly was a reason Sun Xiang was thought highly of and, eventually, he had actually brought up some relevant points.

"Yes as I said, scraping together budgets is our first priority. We are in a dire state, as you point out, and the true depths of the problem have been kept mostly known only to those who need to know, as to not cause a panic. Stability is what we need right now, after all! Just... that stability needs a solid base and that's where our crisis now lies." He sighed again, having not expected the converstation to turn to a melancholic tone. As for what Xiang said regarding Luo Yang, Wai Be was troubled by his words and this time he decided to be a little less ambiguous about it. The eyebrow twitched into action.

"Lord Sun! You speak out of turn!" Be was close to shouting, but it had been so long that his voice needed more time to prepare. "Communications to the capital have been tough in these times and - while it is true financial aid would be greatly appreciated right now - we will still do all we can to contribute to the Empire's cause. And as such," he added, a little more coolly. "we, as individuals, must endeavour to discover where our efforts can be best utilised. Where, Lord Sun, do you believe that is for you?"
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Re: Wan City Main Hall Roleplay

Postby Rebel » 14 Mar 2017, 13:52

Xiang casually rested his elbow on the table and his chin on his palm, looking out the window. The Prefect's little outburst went straight over his head. His mind had already drifted off.

"I am hungry. It feels like it has been days since I last ate. Say, lord Prefect. I have heard that you are the best of the best cooks in the central plains. They say you make some kickass dim sums. Mmm mmmm. Is that true?"

He scratched his head.

"Errr..my efforts? Best utilized? Lets see."

" I am good at writing. I could write a manual or treaties..treatise..whatever its called. It should help the civil officials. Or I could draw a map for the generals to increase their ability to lead. Lest they get lost lusting after a lass's last list of lies."


Lets see. What else?

"I could help in drafting or spying and getting information on enemy plans on the civil side."

"On the field of battle I could lure the enemies into a trap. I could trick them into fighting each other or dispirit the enemies. In a naval engagement I could help chain allied or enemy ships. Also, I could forge letters and order the enemy generals to retreat back to Xiang Yang. If it works we could potentially win a battle without even losing a single soldier."

"Potentially that is."


He added with some thought.
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Re: Wan City Main Hall Roleplay

Postby LukeYB » 20 Mar 2017, 17:09

Wai Be eyed Xiang with suspicion, his eyes narrowing. He replied in a calm, considered manner.

"No, no I am not much of a cook. My servants and the court's kitchens are very satisfactory in their service to me, though I would not go so far as to openly boast about them. And... I figured you had had your fill, but I suppose if you wish more to be brought in that can be arranged?" Xiang had already moved on, however, and he had given a surprisingly robust array of skills he believed he possessed. Be allowed a moment of silence to fill the room before continuing on in a purposeful monotone.

"That all sounds very impressive, Lord Sun. Your enthusiasm for helping wherever you can is very applaudable. I believe Master Cai has already evaluated your usefulness - considering your rank - and we shall be very quick to remember you when deciding what duties to dispense. However, it may be more prudent for you to make yourself readily available for the Magistrate's discretion instead, given the multiple talents you seem to have for a military campaign. How does that suit you?" His face was stony but his tone had softened as the conversation had continued.
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Re: Wan City Main Hall Roleplay

Postby Rebel » 21 Mar 2017, 03:36

"A pity."

Sighed Xiang.

"You not being a cook."

When the prefect offered another round of food, Xiang cheered up.

"I wouldn't mind a nice helping of cake and strong tea. It is getting time for supper after all."

"You know...you and I will get along great. I make awesome grilled fish with rice. With a side of sauce and steamed potatoes. Served with wine. Man, you will go crazy and forget all this formality and seriousness. I bet."


His stomach grumbled at the mention of food. Xiang tried to focus on what his host was saying but his mind was drifting off already.

"Yeah, that Cai Bin. He's quite a fellow, no? I thought he called my name out by mistake back in the ceremony."

"I don't mind the military rank. In fact I think battlefield experience will give me a chance to improve in areas I am weak in."

"Speaking of the magistrate, I was going to visit him right after I get done here. I've heard some errr...funny stories about him and his garrison guards mistreating visitors. I heard they don't suffer fools gladly and that bunch is even more stiff and tight-lipped than you? As if that's even possible, haha!"


He laughed loudly waving his arms about.

"Oh what silly rumors. I bet those guys are tons of fun. Wait till they see me among their ranks. We'll have a blast. For sure."
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Re: Wan City Main Hall Roleplay

Postby Chen Ping » 19 Jul 2017, 06:29

Chen Ping cautiously approached the perimeter of the main hall. He was foreign to the government office, having spent all his waking hours either manning his shop or patrolling the streets. He scanned the area for any potentially helpful guide, and after some time he found a promising individual with whom to converse.

"Greetings! I am Chen Ping, proprietor of Honest Chen's House of Healing and Fine Wares, friend of Hua Tuo, and officer of Wan."

He flashed an official-y looking letter bearing the seal of Cai Bin, then spoke once more.

"Minister Cai invited me to these grounds, and I wish to see him..."

Clearing his throat, Chen sheepishly finished.

"...but I do not know the way. Please show me."
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Re: Wan City Main Hall Roleplay

Postby Xu Yuan » 19 Jul 2017, 13:31

Chen Ping wrote:Chen Ping cautiously approached the perimeter of the main hall. He was foreign to the government office, having spent all his waking hours either manning his shop or patrolling the streets. He scanned the area for any potentially helpful guide, and after some time he found a promising individual with whom to converse.

"Greetings! I am Chen Ping, proprietor of Honest Chen's House of Healing and Fine Wares, friend of Hua Tuo, and officer of Wan."

He flashed an official-y looking letter bearing the seal of Cai Bin, then spoke once more.

"Minister Cai invited me to these grounds, and I wish to see him..."

Clearing his throat, Chen sheepishly finished.

"...but I do not know the way. Please show me."


The man to meet him was an exuberant middle-aged man who had already begun to grey, as can be seen by the wisps of grey in his wispy mustache. He appeared to be one of Cai Bin's Aides judging by the unique cap and jet black robe which was of an orderly set to tell the Aides apart from any other Civil Official. His face wore an ingratiating smile, and his eyes shown with vacuousness as he gave an exaggerated bow. "Ah, Master Chen Ping! Yes the Master has been expecting you, please follow me." He shoved the scrolls he was carrying onto a young girl who too was an Aide who wore a gentle expression until the scrolls were thrown at her, her smile replaced with a smirk as she glared at the man and began to murmur something under her breath as she walked away. The man walked with a bowed countenance, and a lasting wide smile. It was several minutes until they arrived at the office, it was situated next to the Grand Administrator's own on the left. Next to the Grand Administrator's office was the Prefect Wai Be's own. As Chen Ping walked he would have noticed that the open air court to his right, now empty, was where the Ascension Ceremony took place.

The sycophant knocked on the red door. "Master, Master Chen has arrived." The double doors swung open, revealing a long office. To the side there were a dozen Aides brushing various documents, sat at their own small desks and the walls of the office were full with crevasses filled to the brim with scrolls. Not far in the distance was Cai Bin, in a rare moment of not being in discussion with another, he was reading a copy of the Rites of Zhou before rolling up the scroll and greeting Chen Ping properly. "Master Merchant Chen, please come in, sit down." He gave a less than pleased look at the Aide which brought him. "You are dismissed Xuan, retrieve your scrolls and get back to your task." The middle aged Aide's smile never left his face as he bowed his hands and walked backwards until he was outside of the room before turning and walking away quickly.

The elder waved his hand and two of the Aides left the room, soon returning with some dried meats that were presented to the trader, along with a pitcher of wine given to both men. "Master Chen, please enjoy." He waited for the man's reaction, whether to eat and wait for his guest to finish or to get down to business. In any case he responded. "Master Chen, I called you here to discuss the situation as it stands. I would like to hear your thoughts for improvements of the city first, before we approach the other matter, you have practiced being an ordinary citizen of Wan as well as an officer for a season now, as you are so close to the multitudes, you may be able to offer some advice that I had missed."
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