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Old August 24, 2020, 05:20 PM   #31
Sliucha Sindosa
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"There is much else to discuss, of course, but this is a good place to start," Sliucha noted, smiling politely in face of the implied hostility that could be seen lurking in Ming's eyes. With any luck, of course, all of that aggression would wind up with nowhere to go, but whether or not that would be the case would be seen with how this conversation went.

Yes, there was still a lot to talk about, but they needed to settle this matter. If they couldn't agree here, then there was no need to go any further, after all. It was obvious that this was something of a "necessary" component to hash out. If Sliucha compromised on her mission for the courtesans, then there was pretty much no point in her doing any work. She had her intended reason for them, and anything less than that made them somewhat pointless to her. Whereas if Ming found that Sliucha's "alterations" were beyond what she thought acceptable, or felt like it was taking a path that could hurt her people, then obviously the Kemite wouldn't proceed any further in assisting Sliucha, either.

She had herself one last sip, before putting her teacup down, lips parting as her tongue flicked over that upper row of teeth. Baring the canines slightly, but nevertheless intended as a lewd gesture.

"I want our relationship to be based on trust, and so I will be open with you regarding my intentions," Sliucha noted simply, deciding that she might as well be forthright here. To an extent, of course. She liked to think that it made people more willing to cooperate with her. "Let me be simple about it. A courtesan is obviously not a whore. But a courtesan must often involve herself in carnal affairs. It is simply my intention to ensure that all courtesans in this newly founded sect are... talented in that regard."

That was probably the easiest way of putting it. Sliucha didn't want her courtesans to be nothing more than glorified prostitutes, after all, that rather killed the entire point of the operation. There was something to be said about all of the culture that courtesans were versed in - they were supposed to be educated, intelligent, interesting companions to be around. Not just a walking set of holes. But that also didn't mean they couldn't be great at being a walking set of holes.

"These courtesans would work for me," Sliucha put it bluntly. "As an ulterior matter, I would see them as useful for gathering information for me. Beautiful courtesans can easily ply clients for intelligence that might be of use to me. And failing that," she had herself a nice sip, "having a gaggle of beautiful kimono-clad women around me would be nice, in and of itself."

It wasn't like the courtesans of old hadn't done that sort of thing anyway. Before, it was a matter of the courtesan House using that information for themselves. This time, it was Sliucha at the top.

She offered Ming a smile. "I provide you this bit of detail, to ensure that we are on the same page. I would like to imagine that the overall culture of the courtesans would be preserved, still, in this instance. Would such a thing have your signoff?"
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Old August 28, 2020, 06:04 PM   #32
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Ming sat and stared, her eyes locked onto Sliucha's. Her fingers occasionally drummed across the table top. The gears in her mind were turning, calculating. Did she have an ace up her sleeve? Did Sliucha? What was the best play? Could any of this be trusted?

The steam off the tea danced and twirled as it rose into the air, the only movement in the room.

Eventually Ming took another sip. A soft smile spread across her lips. "Alright, you got me. I can't sense any malice from you. Perhaps I'm just a little overprotective. No, strike that. I am overprotective. You are not Kemite, so handing this matter over to you feels... almost wrong. Like I'm a traitor. Yet I know it must be done to survive." The woman took another sip. "I personally was never a courtesan, but I've worked with many in the exact manner you described. You... you have my blessing and support."

It seemed like self preservation and survival kicked in. If Ming wanted to have any relevance in the future of her people she needed to help the governor with her agenda. Whatever the reason, Sliucha would find an ally in the kemite.

"Did you want to meet with the courtesans currently working with me? It will take a few days to gather them all. Some are... rather deep in their assignments."
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Old August 28, 2020, 08:01 PM   #33
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"Your concern is understandable," Sliucha assured Ming, not wanting the Kemite to think that she was thinking lightly of it, or wasn't taking it into consideration. Even if Sliucha was the one who arguably held most of the power in this situation, that didn't mean she intended on simply ignoring the other side of the party here.

"Overprotective or not, I will nevertheless strive to ensure that we both manage to achieve our goals. From the sound of it, our desires are not mutually exclusive." Ming might have been determined to become Sliucha's ally in this matter, whatever the cost, but that didn't mean Sliucha needed to reap a steep cost as a result.

"Before we do that," Sliucha continued, momentarily tabling the matter of the courtesans, and having secured Ming's agreement on that issue already, "why don't we talk a bit more about what I could do for you? You ask for my help: what do you expect from me, exactly? I have a few contacts among the Kemites, but I am not one myself, after all."

Sliucha had the resources and the drive, but Ming was the subject matter expert here. She was the one who'd need to give the governor direction.
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Old September 25, 2020, 06:38 PM   #34
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The kemite woman swirled her tea before taking another sip. What were the right words to fully explain what needed doing? Clearly Ming had thought about such things, making plans and following leads. She had talked some with her fellow kin for their opinions and ideas and perspectives. But up until now, this exact moment, it had all been it terms of "someday" and "hopefully" like some kind of dream. Now, there was actually substance, resources, drive to get it done. That idea, that realization both excited and frightened her. No more daydreaming and sulking. Now was time to be an actual leader.

So which plan to tackle first? What would have the most impact?

A single finger tapped the table to emphasize her point. "What we need is a place we can call our own. A place to call home. The courtesans will roughly be ambassadors to the outside world, letting everyone know kemites exist, but without a cultural center for us to rally around, they will be ambassadors of nothing and their efforts, your efforts, my efforts, will be for nothing." Ming paused to let the words sink in. Sliucha seemed rather quick on the uptake, surely she would see where the woman was going. "I don't expect you to build us a new Zinn'Sunn. Or to build us a whole city. But if you can fund our architects and give us the space, we'll build a neighborhood that will proudly represent my people."

Another building project for the city. It seemed like everybody wanted to build something. The local contractors must always be busy. But did the city have the spare resources to divert to another project?

"Oh, and if you could get word out to the rest of the empire about the neighborhood, that would be helpful too." A call home to the wayward kemites. Shouldn't be too hard, especially with a printing press.
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Old October 3, 2020, 02:25 PM   #35
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There was always construction work to be done. Building something new, repairing something old, maintaining what currently existed. It was only to be expected. Moonstone had inherited most of the devastated regions of Lauryl and Arakmat, and after the Xet had given them a working over, it truly was quite the mess that had been handed over. Sliucha was sure there was a reason the Imperium had been so willing to cede the land over to Shei'yein - it placated the troublemaker and essentially gave him the job of fixing the western provinces for them.

And now Sliucha was the one to pick up the pieces.

Building a whole new neighborhood for the Kemites? That was certainly one way of going about it, and not necessarily a bad way, either. A costly means of going about it, but there weren't really any alternatives that Sliucha could think of to help cut that down any. She just didn't have the resources, the contacts, the pull to be able to make something out of nothing.

"It wouldn't necessarily have to be based out of Ziel Aerca," Sliucha mused aloud, allowing Ming to be privy to her thoughts and provide feedback as needed. The Kemites were the one who had to live with the arrangements afterwards, after all, so it was best for them to be as included as possible. "Obviously we could do that, of course. Pick an area of the city and build outwards, expand the city's reach and construct a neighborhood. It provides access to Ziel Aerca's already existing infrastructure, lets you leverage the foundations already in place. People could show up to the neighborhood and not have to worry about the basic amenities and facilities - the city would be able to provide."

"If you think your people might prefer a bit more independence..." That was something else to think about. "There's already a small community of Kemites a bit further north, near where Vinesdale used to be. But they're specifically an offshoot of one of your great Kemite clans of old, a warrior branch. So the way they operate might not align with your... plans." There might be some good to come out of the camaraderie between their shared heritage, but the Vinesdale Kemites were a warrior clan who had survived the destruction of Zinn'Sunn.

"Or, of course... we just build something completely new out in the countryside." A bold undertaking, but one that would give the Kemites the freedom to build up everything as they saw fit. "The harshest undertaking, but one that gives you the most amount of autonomy. Of course, Moonstone would provide as much assistance as possible - it wouldn't even really need to be that far from Ziel Aerca, of course. The further you are, the more difficult it gets."

"Most importantly, you have options," was all Sliucha wanted to convey. "I don't need you to make a decision right now, I just want you to know I'm wiling to try and be flexible about this. And that I'm willing to back this endeavor."
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Old November 26, 2020, 06:45 PM   #36
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Ming nodded thoughtfully as the options were being rolled out. Each one with their own pros and cons. Which would be the best fit for her plans, and the wished of her people? It was hard to decide. And frankly, it was a decision that was probably too large for her, a single person, to make alone. Some time to reflect and discuss with fellow Kemites would be the proper course. After all, they would have to live with the decision made.

"Thank you for your understanding. Your support is... shall we say, a bit overwhelming. Appreciated of course. I just didn't expect such broad options. Personally, I think that building out from Ziel Aerca would be the safest, and most successful option. But I know a few who would disagree. I'll get them all together and we'll make a decision by the cycle's end. I can promise that much." Being the unofficial leader of a lost nation could be overly chaotic and messy at times. Order and hierarchy were such grand luxuries usually taken for granted. Ming certainly did until the xet arrived.

The woman's finger circled her cup, the steam dancing around her hand reflecting her dancing thoughts. She took another sip. Tea was good for focus. She needed to focus. "We have quite the undertaking set before us. However, I am optimistic about the future. So, is our business concluded or was there something else you wished to discuss. Or perhaps some service you desire? You are my guest here."
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Old November 28, 2020, 02:22 AM   #37
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"I'll leave it to you and yours to decide what works best for you," Sliucha nodded. It was a rather important matter to have to consider, so the governor was fine with Ming needing a bit of time to think things over. It wasn't as if everything needed to be decided on the spot in this particular meeting. Right now, all they were doing was introducing themselves to one another. Some ideas might be floated, but it was unlikely they'd be able to get much concrete done tonight.

What was important was their agreement of mutual assistance.

Sliucha hoped that Ming would be able to come to a resolution without too much trouble, however. She'd already experienced once before with the Vinesdale Kemites what could happen when opposing factions arose that had differing viewpoints on how things should work. Puritans who wanted the Kemites to be more insular and self-dependent. Radicals who believed that cooperation with the outside was the only way forward. There'd been quite the impasse that Sliucha had needed to untangle there. Hopefully Ming could pull her people together without needing the governor to sway some hearts and minds.

For now?

"Well, you mentioned meeting your courtesans earlier," Sliucha noted, not hiding the way her tails wagged excitedly behind her. "I've never actually really seen a courtesan in action, so, perhaps a demonstration is in order?"
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