155 – Remember

“No.  If you are serious about peace, you would not be defending the other Lunars.”  You declare.

Ban stares you in the eyes.  “I am not defending their actions.  What Tears did…”  The Lunar trails off.  “But Quo is innocent.  “

“You are her friend and she attacked you.”  You point out.  Ban has to understand his companions are not worth his life.

“She doesn’t know what she is doing.”

“How does this change the fact she is a monster and needs to be put down?” Aiko crosses her arms.  “The Wyld Hunt is searching the tunnels for her.  This Quo is already dead. ”

You frown at Aiko’s assessment, but she is right.   There is nothing human left in monster you met in the secret passage.  “Do you want to die in whatever foolhardy plan Tears has?”

Ban clenches his fist.  “I cannot betray my own people to the Wyld Hunt.  No one deserves to be hunted like an animal.  ”

“Don’t think of it that way.”  You say.  “Think of it as bring a rapist and murderer to justice.”

“If you assist Tears, you are no better than he is.”  Aiko adds.

“You took a risk revealing yourself to us.”  You say.  “No matter what you decide, you will be allowed to leave the room.” Aiko glares at you, but you ignore her.   There has been enough death.  You rather not turn Ban in to the Wyld Hunt if he was serious about peace.  “But we cannot let Tears go free to rape and murder someone else.”

“So your people will bring Tears the Grass to justice and he will be held as yet another example of how my people are monsters.”  Ban grimaces and opens the window.  “This was a waste of time.  I don’t need your permission to leave this room or this manse.”

“No, but you will not leave the Blessed Isle alive.”  Here in the center of Creation, Ban is furthest from the Wyld that conceals him from the Loom of Fate.   The other Sidereals will find him and hunt him down.  “Some of your people are monsters…. But some of my people are too.”  Elder Kejak is willing to use anything and anyone, including you, to achieve his goals.  “If you truly want peace, then you must live, Ban.  Sacrificing your life to save Tears will do no one good.”

Ban is silent as he considers your words.  “You said my people,” He points out quietly.  “Not our people.  One of you isn’t Dragonblooded.”

Your heart pounds at your unintentional slip.  Now would be a bad time for you to be revealed as a Sidereal.  You attempt to look confused.

“The question I have is”  Ban whispers.  “are you the puppet or the puppet master?”   He searches each of your faces trying to discern the hidden Sidereal.  He sighs.  “It doesn’t matter.   I wouldn’t remember who I was talking to anyway.”

“I don’t know what you are talking about.”  You shrug at Aiko.

Ban smiles.  “Of course you don’t, boy.  We’ve had young exalts before, why not the Sidereals too?  Perfect age to hide you among the Dragon children.  The illegitimate granddaughter of the Shogun who suddenly appears?  The foreign exchange student in the Shogun’s granddaughter’s circle?  Is your hair really scarlet?”  Ban runs his hands though his own hair.  “Shit.  It must be you, boy.  You were with the Shogun’s granddaughter.   Here we are playing at Shogun making and your elders are already looking to the Shogun after.  Hell, I was outside the window trimming the hedge when they were discussing the Mayim boys.  I thought the old bag choose the wrong one, cause Luna knows that kid isn’t interested in girls.  “

“What are you talking about?”  Now you are truly confused….and suspicious.  “Chiyoko doesn’t even want to become Shogun.”

“And why would her desires matter?”  Ban’s eyes dart around as ideas come to him.  “They said the youngest was closest in age to the girl, but they cleared the way for you.  “

You grip the handle of your sword.  “You don’t know what you are talking about.  You know nothing about Chiyoko and I.”  The threads of fate vibrate with impending of violence.

“Svante!”  Aiko glances back at the door of the storage room.   “Calm the fuck down or else we will all die here.”

The Lunar ignores you.  Words keep flowing as he makes the connections.  “Venus is the maiden of love.  Who better to bring lovers together?  Who better to be a puppet master of a Shogun than a Shogun’s lover?”

“Shut the fuck up!”  You draw your sword with the Speed of Mercury.  The Lunar dumps a stack of crates to block you.   He grabs your wrist and shoves you into a shelf.  Your sword clangs to the ground.

“Of course, we fight a lunar the week my blood ape is killed.”  Aiko curses as she retrieves your sword.

“I’m not going to hurt him.”  Ban reassures her.  “Unless you force me to.”

“Fuck what the old man said.”  Aiko mumbles under her breath.  “I knew I should have summoned another blood ape last night.”  She holds your sword and waits.

“Boy,”  The Lunar whispers in your ear.  “You are right.  I am sincere in my desire for peace.  I want no more Quos.  Remember I could have killed you in this moment.  Remember I decided not to tell my elders of your plans.  “

“Let me the fuck go.”  You spit.  You struggle against the Lunar’s grasp.

“But most of all, remember me when your lover comes to the throne.  Look for Ivory Ban in the Wylds where the waters meet the ice.   Hope I am in a good mood when we meet, for I will not remember you.”  Ban glances back at Aiko.  “The Earth Aspect is being held in a cell off the secrets tunnels behind the apartment’s kitchens. ”

A jade-clad fist pounds on the door.

“It’s the only cell in this area, so the guards should take you there.”   The Lunar releases you and turns into a dragonfly.  You reach out to snatch the insect out of the air, but the Lunar rises above your hand.  A stone bolt rips though the dragonfly’s wing and impales the Lunar to the wall.

“That has to be the stupid thing you have ever done.”  Aiko hands back your sword.  “’Let’s let the Lunar get away with all our secrets.’”  She mocks in a sing-song voice.

“Shut the fuck up.”  You hiss.  “I didn’t let the Lunar go anywhere.”

“You mean I didn’t let the Lunar go anywhere.”   The Dragonfly kicks in legs and struggles against the stone bolt.

“You just stood there like an idiot while the Lunar attacked me.”  You retort.

“What did you expect me to do?  He disarmed you and you are a much better swordsman than I.”

The heavy boots kick the door.  Bolts in the hinges shake but hold fast.   The guards will be in the room in moments.

What do you do?

  • Blame the Lunar. Point at the dragonfly on the wall and say it is the hidden Lunar.
  • Let them arrest you. Maybe the Lunar is right and will take you to the cell Shamira is held.
  • Step out of fate and have Aiko deal with the guards
  • Step out of fate and have Aiko hide on the window ledge
  • Other

(Back in Chapter three, I had Kejak run two different schemes on Svante and Akachi.  The first was Kejak working with Svante about sorcery.   The other was Kejak working with Akachi for setting Svante up as the new liaison for the Shogun.  )

(There may or may not be vampires kicking down the door.)