Tsinghua - A Spirited Defense

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Description: The Gong Estate messenger has a confrontation with his overseer, leading to an unexpected outcome for both parties.

"I trust you understand why you have been called upon, apprentice Messenger Tsinghua Tao?"

A feminine voice speaks out, she sounds rather old- She is wearing a different type of robes to Tsinghua. Her's are Green and Purple, a rather flashy and somewhat chaotic garb. Plenty of small trinkets, and intricate decorations are hanging from, and embedded into the shiny cloth. Her hat is circular, and high- Decorated with feathers and long ribbons falling down. "Yes, noble Taskmaster Yao- I understand." The boy, Tsinghua Tao responds. He is sitting on his knees. His arms bandaged because of the burns and bruises he suffered- While the woman is standing. It is a large, rectangular room- Fairly empty, the walls embellished with flags displaying letters written in the Daoist style- Just far enough removed from contempoary chinese characters to be illegible for most chinese readers. The floor had been padded with rugs, while close to the walls various cabinets and shelves full of herbs, animal parts, and other things used in rituals were displayed.

"You have always been a clever boy, yes.. But not quite clever enough to avoid these meetings, are you? What was the last time again..?" The chinese woman rests her hand on her chin. "Oh- Yes. You had to be informed about interacting with strangers- You have done well to avoid those, boy. Well. except that incident where 'Mr. Velvet' needed to safe you from being sucked dry by another one of those monsters.." The boy keeps his head down, but speaks out. "And I am glad you forgave me for that, Taskmaster Yao."

"Well of course! That was hardly your fault, was it? Nontheless, I am afraid that that luck might not continue, mister Tao- yes." The boy gulps nervously, as the conversation transitions to the heart of the matter. "You emberrassed us last night, Tsinghua. What where you thinking, speaking out like that?! And even worse, not even providing a conclusion- a proper display of strength of our family!" She raises her voice, reprimanding him. "We trusted you- To represent us, and further more- Our -country-! Sure enough, that sobbing mess of an opponent didn't help either, yet both of you caused an uproar, an outrage! The SNF is demanding a public apology for ruining the match.. and possibly compensation. The spectators are meanwhile organizing a class-action lawsuit against them for being endangered by virtue of those loose-flying fireworks- It's a mess! Chaos!" She sighs out, deeply. Calming down somewhat.

"But I'll spare you these details- We will take care of them, as we always have. We will protect you, as we always have. We care about you, Tsinghua- But for that, you need to care about us too. Otherwise, you are just rotten- spoiled by the kindness we have granted you!" The boy sat through her entire rant without speaking, as emotions borreled up inside of him. "Can I say something ms.-" "You may not! I am not finished yet." The woman interjects, before walking over to one of the cabinets- seemingly grinding together substances with a mortal and pestle. "But even though we will protect you, you need to learn from this. To, despite the cirumstance, do as your told. That's your lesson! Maybe you -thought- you made the right decision, when you started smashing those fireworks alongside your opponent." Angrily, she turns around- Staring him straight on before screaming out. "BUT IT WASN"T! You lack the experience to make 'good decisions'- That is /our/ job- not yours! And it won't be, not until we tell you it is- Understand?"

At her sudden outburst, Tsinghua shrinks in fear. His earlier confidence to defend himself waning slowly- "You may speak now, boy- Yet I am doubtful anything you say will dissuade me from the plans I have for you." And with that, the boy finally looks up. Holding onto that confidence, that self-preservation. Trembling strongly, he manages to overcome the fear of talking back. "I truly believed what I did was the best for the Estate, ms. Yao- And I acknowledge that I was mistaken. Yet, I did not want Master Shuren's family to be known as dishonorable cowards that would fight someone by agreeing to have them be stabbed in the back! How is that just? Is that not one of our core principles- honor?!" If anything, the sorceress seems surprised, but she lets him make his word. "No, I stand by my mistake. The consequences were not worth it, but I still see it as the right decision. That is all, Taskmaster."

There is a pause, the woman looking down onto the envoy- before breaking into cackling chuckle. "Tsch-he-he-he. Tell me boy- Have you finally reached puberty? I do not think I've ever seen you rebel so directly!" The laughing continues, while the messenger lowers his head once again- embarrassed and frustrated. "You really would think you made the right decison, huh? How very interesting this is.." The woman turns around again, thinking- not showing her eerie smile. Tsinghua feels discomfort grow, unsure what to feel. "Very well, Tsing-Tsing. If this is the path you would like to take, I will not stop you. And I will take no further measures to correct your poor behavior. Why not, you ask?" The smile widens, as she looks back over her shoulder. "Because I want to see where this is going. Yet, be warned Tsinghua- For I will not be so gentle in a future misstep. I can not guarantee that you will keep your livelihood- the security that we give, if you do. You do not want to be left all alone, do you? Now then- Begone. I still have plenty of steps to go through for this damnable ritual- Some rich client what wants her misbehaving son set straight. The usual- Dream invasions and all that. You would be familiar." She takes on an overexaggerated frown, waving the boy away.

Tsinghua feels.. proud of himself. He stood up for himself, and it worked out! But there is the creeping feeling that.. this action in itself was a mistake. As such, with hesitation in his voice, he stands up before bowing a final time. "Thank you, Taskmaster Yao. Your kindness truly knows no bounds- It shall not happen aga-" "Bah- Don't give me that twice-chewed drivel. You have shown yourself in a different light- Begone now- Shoo." The creeping feeling grows at her dismissal as the boy backs away- and out through the exit. Closing the door as he breathes out a deep, deep sigh. With utter confusion at the actions of the enigmatic Shaman. Fear, and uncertainty- That is the feeling. A terrifying feeling that finding a resolution for is, in itself a struggle.

"What... now?"

Log created on 13:18:26 07/08/2021 by Tsinghua, and last modified on 15:02:20 07/08/2021.