At first your thoughts take you to your Dragonblooded friends. You have been though quite a few scrapes with them already and it would give you an excuse to spend more time with them. But they had school and who knows how long this mission will take. You check your map again. Eagle’s Launch was on the edge of the Blessed Isle. Why take a ship from there? Wouldn’t it be easier to use one of the Gates near the nearer to the Pole of Water? You sigh. Jupiter works in mysterious ways.
Mei Mei dances around in a circle and then piddles in the corner of your room. “No! No! No!” You yell at the puppy. Her ears and tail droop as she runs to hide under the bed.
There is a knock at your door. “What?” You groan in frustration and pick up a towel to clean up the puppy’s mess.
“It’s me.” You hear Akachi say. “Can I come in?”
“Okay.” You wipe the floor clean, as Akachi opens the door.
“The puppy already making a mess?” Akachi sets the intricately wrapped box he is holding aside and sits on the bed.
“Yes.” You can hear the puppy shredding something under the bed. Akachi reaches down under the bed to pull the puppy out. That is when you realize what the puppy is shredding. Haythem’s porn!
“Don’t worry! I got her!” But it is too late. Akachi already has the puppy in his hands and he says, “What do we have here?” He pulls a piece of the porn out of the puppy’s mouth.
“Haythem gave it to me! I was going to throw it out, I swear!” you quickly say.
“Haythem?” Worried, Akachi pull the remains of the paper bag out from under the bed and flips though the magazines the puppy had not gotten too. “Not a bad as I thought.” Relieved he sets them aside. “Svante, you are a teenager now, if Haythem didn’t give you porn, you would have figured out how to get it some other way.”
“So I’m not in trouble?”
“No, you aren’t in trouble.” He hands you the stack of magazines. “Just realize that the woman in those magazine are an idealize vision of beauty. And…”
“I get the point.” You interrupt. The last thing you need is yet another rendition of the Talk from Akachi. Mei Mei begins the shred the remains of the paper bag. “I need to get her some toys.”
“Yes and training too. I have a present for you.” Akachi presents the box to you. “Happy Birthday.”
Folded inside the box is a rich emerald damask cloth. You pull it out of the box and find it is a cloak.
“The cloak is called the “Wings of the Raptor.” Your eyes widen in surprise when Akachi says this. You have heard of this artifact. It gives you the ability to fly.
“How is this a reasonable present?” you ask Akachi.
“Well… if you don’t want it…”
“I didn’t say that.” You wrap the cloak around your shoulders. It is the prefect length for you. You pull your chicken hat off and admire yourself in the mirror. Even if it didn’t give you the ability to fly, it was a magnificent cloak. It made you look older. More imposing. “Where did you get it?”
“I made it.” Akachi fiddles with the bottom edge of the cloak, checking its length. “The length will adjust as you grow.”
“It’s awesome! Thank you!” You give Akachi a hug. The elder tousles your hair and then sits back down. “I was talking with Yeva about your mission. We decided to go with you.”
“You can’t. The mission says that I need to bring Sasha and Wanahton.” You are surprised how quickly the lie comes to you. Awesome cloak aside, you did not want Akachi with you. He would not let you do anything and have you stand to the side. Jupiter gave you this mission for a reason, not him.
“Elder Kejak isn’t going to be happy about pulling Sasha from her current mission, but if Jupiter says she needs to come along, then what are we to do?” Akachi scrunches his eyebrows, deep in thought. “I’ll handle Chejop, don’t worry.”
You are relieved that Akachi didn’t catch you in your lie. You quickly change the subject. “Can I see Chiyoko before I go?”
“I don’t know. Can you? You are the one with the mission details, so only you can be the judge of that.”
You think for a moment. “I’ll have time tonight, but we need to leave by tomorrow.”
“I’ll let Sasha and Wanahton know about the mission. What should I tell them to prepare for?”
“Tell them that we are sailing the Western Seas and there may be Fair Folk and Lunars.”
Chiyoko was pissed she and the others couldn’t come with you. “I’m sure I could talk my father into getting us out of school. Or even my grandmother.”
“Chiyoko, Svante is a Secret Agent of Heaven. It’s not a good idea to tell the Shogun about his mission. Plausibly deniability.” Aiko explains.
“He told us.” Masaru corrects.
“Of course he told us. We are his circle. ” Aiko retorts.
“Well, there should be something we can do.” Chiyoko fumes.
“Wait! You are going to Eagle’s Launch!” Masaru digs around for paper. “I can write my father a letter. He can help you!”
Aiko rolls her eyes. “Do you two always run to Daddy when you need something?”
“Shut up. You are just jealous that we have a father to run to and yours isn’t around.”
“Hey! Leave her alone. “ Chiyoko comes to Aiko’s defense. “Write your letter, Masaru. Svante is going to need every advantage he can get.”
Masaru finishes his letter and hands it to you. “Give the letter to Admiral Mayim Takeshi. If he is not there, then ask for Captain Mayim Shen. He’s one of my older brothers.”
You gratefully accept the letter. “I should get going.” It was getting dark and you needed to head back to the Yu-Shan gate.
Chiyoko gives Aiko a look. “Masaru, let me walk you back to your dorm.” Aiko orders.
Masaru looks confused. “I can find my dorm fine.”
“Or, I can walk you back to your dorm.”
“Oh!” Masaru and Aiko leave you and Chiyoko alone.
“Is this mission dangerous?”
“Yeah.” Chiyoko frowns when you say this. “I can handle it though.” You quickly assure her.
“You better!” You and Chiyoko sit awkwardly in her dorm.
“I need to go.” You open the window and begin climb out.
“Wait!” Chiyoko walks up to you and kisses you. “For good luck.”
The next day you prepare to leave. You dress in older clothes suitable for Creation, yet you cannot resist wearing your new cloak. You slide on your personal essence armor and hide the artifact under your sleeve. You set your new knife into the sheath Akachi fashioned for your right boot and sheath your jade sword at your side. Your bag is packed with everything you think you need including your copy of the White Treatise. You place your red envelop, map, and the letter from Masaru for into your pocket.
With Mei Mei running to keep up, you head downstairs where the others are waiting. Both Sasha and Wanahton are dressed in a mix of Creation worthy wear and Artifacts. Akachi is there in the kitchen. “Are you hungry?”
“No.” Your stomach is filled with worry.
“That’s a first.” Akachi comments. He pushes a plate towards you. “You should eat at least something before you go.” You pick at the food for a bit, until Akachi sighs. “Never mind the food, Svante. You got everything?”
You list off everything you packed, knowing Akachi will question you if you didn’t. You leave the White Treatise off the list, but you mention the letter Masaru gave you.
Akachi offers your plate to Mei Mei. The puppy makes short work of your breakfast. “I wouldn’t give the letter to Admiral Mayim.”
“He is unaware of Masaru’s involvement with you. We are not sure how he would react when he does find out.”
“A father has a right to know what is going on with his son.” Wanahton says in a carefully controlled tone.
“We are not purposely keeping him in the dark. There simply hasn’t been an opportunity to make his aware of the situation. Admiral Mayim is a busy man and Arcane Fate makes it difficult…”
“He still has a right to know.” Wanahton replies stubbornly.
“We should get going.” Sasha interrupts. She herds you and Wanahton out the door. “You shouldn’t argue with Elders, Wanahton.”
“Why should I not argue with Elders when they are wrong?”
“You might think they wrong, but they have thousands of years of experience.”
Wanahton crosses his arms and continues walking in silence. It is a bright sunny morning in Creation. You walk from the Eagle’s Launch Gate and head towards the docks. Mei Mei sniffs around distracted by all the new smells of the shipyard. Once you arrive, Sasha asks if Admiral Mayim is in. When the sailor asks who she is, Sasha gives him a Cryptic Phrase. The sailor leads you to his office and has you wait outside while he tells the Admiral of your arrival.
After a few minutes, you are shown in the Admiral’s office. It is a spacious room with a large desk covered in scrolls and a papers. You find the Admiral standing by a large map table depicting the Western Seas. Admiral Mayim is not a tall man – Wanahton is taller – but he seems to take up more of the room than the Chosen of Journeys. Elemental power of the sea circulates around Mayim Takeshi despite the fact that his anima is not flared. The smell of salt and seaweed is overpowering as you approach the map table. His long dark black blue hair is streaked with not grey, but the washed-out color of ocean whitecaps. The Admiral steps away from the map table and flashes you a smile. You are startled by his eyes – they are the same turquoise blue as Masaru’s. The only difference is that the Admiral’s show the heavy weight of his responsibilities.
Admiral Mayim motions you to a set of chairs near a fireplace. “Sit Sit! It is not often I have visitors from Meru. Would you like something to drink? I just got in some Sake from the River Provinces. I can have my man squeeze some fresh citrus juice for the boy if he is thirsty.” You are taken back by how…friendly Admiral Mayim seems. He was not what you’d expect from the Admiral of the Western Seas.
“I wouldn’t mind a glass of Sake.” Wanahton takes a seat in one of the chairs. You and Sasha sit on the couch with Mei Mei settling between the two of you. You decline any drinks and pet Mei Mei fretfully.
The Admiral pours two cups of Sake and brings them over. “What brings you to Eagle’s Launch?”
“The fates have need of you, Mayim Takeshi.” Sasha’s caste sign burns on her forehead.
The Admiral pauses when he sees Sasha’s caste sign. He quickly recovers and hands both Sasha and Wanahton their drinks. “I see. What would the Maidens have of me this time?” The Admiral asks warily.
“Transportation.” You say. “We need to head a chain of islands close to the Pole of Water.”
“We? Are you a Sidereal too, young man?” The Admiral asks you, not unkindly. He seems to be especially interested in you, now that you have spoken up.
What do you do?
- Lie about being a Sidereal. Don’t give Admiral Mayim Masaru’s letter
- Tell the Truth about being a Sidereal. Don’t give Admiral Mayim Masaru’s letter
- Tell the Truth about being a Sidereal. Give Admiral Mayim Masaru’s letter.
((So much set up! ))
((When I was listing out Artifacts in Chapter three for Akachi to offer Svante and Wanahton, the Wings of the Raptor caught my eye. Sidereals have all the fun toys. I need to figure out exactly what Artifacts Wanahton and Sasha have.))
((I’m going to be on a business trip for the rest of the week. Stupid work. Next post on Monday Sept 14th. ))