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[ToM] The Final Battle

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51[ToM] The Final Battle - Page 3 Empty Re: [ToM] The Final Battle on 22/05/19, 02:48 pm

Meridia's Finest
Merrze

Two men made their way through a crowd of celebrating Meridians. The apocalyptic ordeal was enough to make any man want to celebrate having survived. It mattered not the victory was fought for another land, there was more than enough merriment to go around. A cool and soothing voice greeted people here and there as the duo proceeded towards the center of the group where their leader was.

Yoshiro stepped out of the crowd and into an open area around a fire with Dong Zhu close behind him. Yoshiro was smiling confidently as he laid eyes on Merrze and stepped forward to greet the fanalis ruler. "I can't thank you enough for what you did today. Would a bit of Kou's best wine be a good start?" He joked as he gestured with his hand cuing Dong Zhu to step forward with a grin and two large vessels of wine. Both were placed before Merrze to handle as she saw fit.

The emperor's warm gaze conveyed his gratitude as he reached into his sleeve and produced a red cloth into which a jade title plate was fastened. The cool smooth rectangular plate had a single character carved into it. Emperor! "This is also for you. It is a title plate that represents my authority. All you show it to should know that you are recognized as a friend of the emperor. No one will dare bar your path or make trouble for you should you wear it inside Kou's borders." Yoshiro explained the gift briefly with a jovial tone, but suddenly the weight of gaze changed and he became a shade more serious.

"I'm sure you understand the trust I'm showing in giving this to you. It comes one one more use..."

At that point the emperor raised his head slightly and his voice along with it as he began to address the crowd of Meridian's as well. "Merida has paid Kou a favor that wont be forgotten. This jade title plate is a symbol of Kou's promise to take up arms to defend your home should a time of need arise!" A beaming smile came across his face as he made the declaration loudly and with pride. It was only natural that Kou pledge as much, but Yoshiro felt good having a reliable ally out in the world and was eager to repay the favor owed.

Yoshiro then turned his focus back to Merrze as Dong Zhu took his place behind the emperor once more.

"Is there anything else I can do for you while I'm here?"

Spoiler:
Name: Yoshro's Title Plate
Tier: A
Material: Jade and Silk
Description: A red silk cloth baring a rectangular jade plate inscribed with the emperor's seal. It marks the wearer as a friend of the throne and can be worn anywhere on the body by simply tying the cloth to oneself.
Plot Effect: Free passage and services(social) through all of Kou. The Emperor's backing hold a lot of weight with Kou NPCs. Can be used once to request Yoshiro and the armies of Kou to come to your aide for a battle thread(Defensive or justified battles only.)




Swords of Reim
Cyrus

Dong Zhu was the first to spot the surviving Reiman soldiers huddled together. The past conflicts between their nations didn't matter right now to the soldiers of Kou, but still the survivors seemed to be content to have found a place for themselves to rest and eat. The general tapped Yoshiro on the shoulder and whispered something before pointing towards Cyrus in particular.

The emperor made his way over and approached the young man with a friendly smile. Dong Zhu followed close behind and arrived with a stern look on his face. His eyes were sharp as they landed on Cyrus' sister but did soften up a bit once they landed on Cyrus himself. "My general tells me that the soldiers of Reim fought bravely. Perhaps a bit...too bravely. I'm sorry, it was my own ineptitude that put your brothers and sisters in harms way." Though the remark did call out the near disaster that had occurred during the battle, the remorse and guilt in Yoshiro's voice as he apologized was sincere.

After a moment of silence out of respect for the fallen he returned to his smile and continued. "The valor of you all can't be denied. But the one I'm interested in most, is you." Yoshiro pointed to Cyrus directly and then reached into his robes to reveal a blue sash with a bronze title plate on it. The title plate was fastened into the cloth and had a single character carved into its surface. Ambassador!

"Cyrus Argentum, not only did you risk your life to save those of your people, but you were seen carrying the wounded and aiding Kou's people in the retreat. Your heart is big enough to care for both our nations and that is why I would like to ask you. Will you accept this title plate and become a bridge between our two countries?"

Yoshiro held the title plate out to Cyrus and waited for his response. Though it was sudden, Yoshiro had been planning to select a soldier from those that had arrived from Reim to choose as his own personal envoy to the Reim government. Cyrus had shown character that aligned to Yoshiro's ideals of righteousness and so he decided to make the offer to him first.

Spoiler:
Name: Ambassador's Title Plate
Tier: A
Material: Bronze and Silk
Description: A blue cloth with a bronze plate fastened to the middle. The plate has the character for ambassador carved into its surface. It denotes the wearer as an official envoy between Kou and Reim that is trusted by the emperor.
Plot Effect: Free passage within all of Kou. Travel word counts for moving between Reim and Kou removed(does not work for others in the same travel thread.)




Left Dragon of Kou
Tenma

Searching the entire celebrating army for one person was a daunting task. One could easily pass by their target just a few meters away and never notice if there were people in the way. Yoshiro had asked around for the whereabouts of his general, Tenma. Some had seen him celebrating earlier but he had since disappeared. Dong Zhu accompanied Yoshiro as they searched until learning that someone had seen the man heading towards a guard tower on the camp's perimeter.

Yoshiro and Dong Zhu climbed their way up the tower to find Tenma alone facing the moon as it hung in the sky.The storms from earlier in the day never returned making for a clear night sky full of twinkling stars. Yoshiro paused after seeing Tenma by himself and knew that the reports he received had been true even though it sounded unbelievable. Yoshiro stepped forward and stood beside Tenma as he placed his hand on the tower railing and looked out at the heavens.

"It's a celebration. How can the hero who pacified Gao's fiercest general and ensured the least number of deaths possible be moping by himself up here?"

Yoshiro turned his head and gave Tenma an understanding nod as sympathy shone in his eyes. "I don't know the details of what happened, but I believe you aren't the kind of man who disregards the lives entrusted to him. I won't ask about it, but I order you as Emperor to cheer up. After all, it's official now." Yoshiro spoke "serious" words but his tone had become friendly and joking as he reached out and patted the man on the shoulder.

"That's right, that sort of demeanor isn't befitting of Kou's Left Dragon!"

Dong Zhu suddenly said as he stepped forward to Yoshiro's right. Yoshiro laughed softly at Dong Zhu's words and nodded. "Well said. Tenma, I am promoting you from general to the Left Dragon of Kou. Alongside Dong Zhu as the Right Dragon, you two will be the supreme commanders of Kou's forces. The Right Dragon is responsible for protecting the capitol and the emperor acting as his shield. Typically the Left Dragon is the emperor's sword and leads foreign conquests, but Kou will be the conqueror no more. So instead, your duty will be to ensure Kou's interests abroad and build stronger relations with foreign states so that we may make them our allies."

"Tenma, when you came to join my cause, your loyalty to Kou was called into question because I can tell that you have important matters that you keep to yourself. I did some digging and though I don't know the whole story, I do know you've been running all over the world chasing something. I still expect you to do your job, but if you pursue your own goals in the meantime then that is your business. Just don't drag Kou into any trouble and remember your position as a representative of Kou."


With that, he reached into his sleeve and took out a jade ring in the design of a dragon coiling around to grab its own tail with its head turned to the left. Dong Zhu had a similar ring on with the dragon turning its head to the right. Yoshiro's own ring was that of two dragons eating each other. These three rings were new symbols of authority and power under Yoshiro's newly solidified rule and Tenma now held one of them if he accepted his new station.


Spoiler:
Name: Ring of the Left Dragon of Kou
Tier: A
Material: Jade
Description: A rind carved from jade crystal forming the shape of a dragon coiled around to grab its own tail. The dragon's head is turned to the left and bares fearsome fangs.
Plot Effect: Absolute military authority within Kou(Only matched in rank by Dong Zhu and outranked by Yoshiro.) Authority to act as a diplomat for Kou in foreign nations. Can bring Hei Lu OR Dong Zhu into a thread as A-tier combat NPCs, but only within Kou's borders.


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52[ToM] The Final Battle - Page 3 Empty Re: [ToM] The Final Battle on 27/05/19, 01:55 am

Merrze

Merrze
A-Tier
A-Tier
The cheers welcomed the generals and Emperor of Kou. The roaring sea of noise welcomed them in, leading and lining a path towards the leader of the group of rabble-rousers. Bruised, painted red and purple all over. She propped herself against her chair, raising her mug into the air as to welcome the Emperor.

"More wine is always welcomed, feel free to come drink and share in it with us." she would offer to them as some spilled from her cup. The strong burgundy beverage in the mug would be emptied of its contents into the fanalis who was eager to talk to the emperor and take a taste of his wine.

Whether or not they came to sit down was up to them. Yoshiro was quick to reveal and show his gratitude to the fanalis. Probably because of the length of the war. She would listen to his words however, not wishing to interject or lessen the sincerity behind his actions. However, she would show a wide-eyed reaction at the Jade plate. Upon hearing it's significance she would close her eyes pondering the words of the king. She grasped it, taking the gift, providing a soft bow.

"I greatly appreciate this Emperor Yoshiro, my people and I fought to help you as many of the people in my ranks have seen what the wars will do, what people will do to fuel those wars sometimes. They chose to follow me, and I'm choosing to make a difference. We may be different peoples and have our own ways but we all desire peace or happiness, even a little if it seems unattainable. I don't think I'm wise or just in my actions, it's just my own selfish goal in the path to creating a safe haven and a better world.

She would take a break, before speaking more to the emperor. "We can let the horrors find us and close off our world, or we can find them, and show them whose world this is." It was vague, but she just meat in order to stop trouble from finding them they had to find it before it could strike fully. The thought could fade, now she just wanted one last thing.

"I'd like to speak to your people, or at least have an address by me passed onto them. I've fought and lived with many of your people. Fighting for them I've had a few join my cause, I'm glad that we managed to get this victory even though it cost a lot. I want the people to know however that we will be here to help in those times, that when another threat like Gao or anyone else who threatens at such a scale that we will be there."


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53[ToM] The Final Battle - Page 3 Empty Re: [ToM] The Final Battle on 29/05/19, 10:49 pm

It seemed like it was an instant that the war had ended, the conflict that had been building for so long and raged on across this kingdom had finally ended. He had seen many horrors in during his time in Kou but he made at least one new friend in Rokusai and managed to connect with his sister and her family and managed to keep them safe. Still, he wanted to make sure that this never happened again to anyone ever again. The pain suffering and loss that so many had to go through should never happen to anyone.

He looked to Ariana, her face now bloodied and tired her hair matted with sweat she smiled at him weakly “I’m sorry I put you through all of this,”
“Don’t be, I’m just happy that you’re safe you can now rebuild your life here again” She nodded and began to make her way off the battlefield back to the camp. Cyrus was going to do the same but the emperor, the new emperor came up to him. He had something for him which surprised him. He was given the honour of being Kou’s Envoy to Reim. A trusted allay of the Emperor Yoshiro. He took the sash and held it in his hand before looking up at Yoshiro “I would be honoured to be your envoy,” he said stoically “The peace between our lands is one that I will swear to uphold forevermore.”  

He was excited to tell his sister what type of honour had been bestowed onto him but he wanted to ask him one last question “Do you think...one day I can have a metal vessel like yours?” Cyrus had now seen the power of a metal vessel first hand and was so moved that this question just seemed to leap out of him without even thinking. He was even more unsure if he was good enough to pursue such a lofty goal after seeing such displays of power. Perhaps that will be an adventure for another time in fact, it might be the sort of dangerous task that he and his sister would be up to under taking.


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54[ToM] The Final Battle - Page 3 Empty Re: [ToM] The Final Battle on 30/05/19, 12:17 pm

Finally it was over, the civil war that had been plaguing Kou for some times finally met its end. People were celebrating with foods and drinks on their hands, cheering for their emperor’s victory. In the middle of the celebration, the one eyed man blended himself into the crowd with drink on his hands. Only Ilah knew how many glasses he had taken down into his throat that moment, perhaps enough make one passed out but not Tenma with his high tolerance of alcohol. Some soldiers bowed, chatted with him to show some respects and drank with him. But some other were not, their gaze showed fear towards the one eyed man because of the “hand slip” that he did when he fought Gao’s general. Tenma could feel it, although he didn’t pay a lot of attention for it. He didn’t really care about it at this moment, the war has ended and there was nothing to be done for that mistake. But he need some time alone for himself, to think about his plan after this.

As he took several bottles of alcohol with him, Tenma would sneak out from the celebration and headed towards the guard tower. The moon was full that night and the swordsman stared at it before he gulped down the liquid inside the bottle. He became the general and he fought through the war for Kou, he battled some of the fiercest general from the other side and he gained victory as well. But now what? What was that wretched man wanted from him? Why did he wanted Tenma to hold an important position like this? It was not like Tenma would use his position to do a bad deed if they wanted that and Tenma thought they wouldn’t simply order Tenma to do it. It was as if they wanted to observe him, to see what he would do in the battle and perhaps… to see if he would lose his mind to his bloodlust. He let out a long sigh, wondering when he and his sister could live in peace…safe from those who would harm them.

In the middle of his thinking session, Tenma could hear footsteps from behind but decided to not look. If it was an enemy, his Katana would be ready as well. However it was the emperor himself who was approaching the one eyed man much to Tenma’s surprise. He should be enjoying the celebration, refreshing his mind and all… after all he just won the war by forcing himself to stop his father. “Oh? It’s you.” Tenma gave a smile towards the Emperor and listened tentatively to what he had to say. He could feel a sympathy from the emperor and based on what he was saying, the emperor felt sorry for Tenma because of that incident. Well he was a wrong about that thing that actually making the swordsman worried, but he thought that the emperor was amusing for ordering him to cheer up. “Official? What do you mean?” Tenma was confused about it and became more confused when Dong Zhu stepped forward to say that Tenma is Kou’s Left Dragon.

All the explanation from the Emperor made more sense now and Tenma could only raise his eyebrow over this matter, wondering why they granted him such rank. But when Yoshiro said he did some digging on Tenma’s story, the latter knew he should ask about this. “When you said you did some digging, how far did you go?” He would pause for a bit as he tilted his head, giving Yoshiro a chance to answer before he continued, “If you are fine with what I have on my back and granted me 2 wishes then I’ll accept to help you, I’ll be your “sword”, I’ll be your Left Dragon.”


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55[ToM] The Final Battle - Page 3 Empty Re: [ToM] The Final Battle on 02/06/19, 10:00 am

Meridia's Finest
Merrze

Unfortunately, Yoshiro still had a number of people to visit and confer rewards upon. He declined Merrze's invitation to drink with a soft smile and shake of the head explaining with body language that he could not accept the offer. Truth be told, rather than drink, the young emperor really just wanted to find somewhere to lay down and get some rest. Alas, his duty to those who had fought for his cause was one that could not be shirked. Not after so much had been sacrificed and lost through the fighting.

The Meridian Queen's appreciation confused Yoshiro a bit as he felt that the ones who should be grateful were Kou. But it gave him a warm sense of camaraderie to hear her commit to working together. Especially against the eldritch threat of the strange forces behind the black rukh and the even stranger man, The Contractor, whom was undoubtedly connected to it all.

Yoshiro was nodding in agreement to Merrze's statement about the horrors and was preparing to make his leave when Merrze came up with a request to speak to the people of Kou. The emperor smiled and shook his head again. But this time it was not to decline, it was to brush aside the need for formality. "That is a small matter. There is no need to pass them on, we can do it right now. Dong Zhu." Yoshiro flicked his sleeve gesturing to his loyal general whom clasped his fast and bowed slightly.

"Yes, my emperor!"

Dong Zhu then reached for his household vessel and activated its might with a golden glow. His sword was then stabbed into the earth as a magic circle lit up beneath Yoshiro and Merrze. A pillar of dry ice rose up from beneath the ground with a sufficient layer of dirt on top to protect their feet from the cold. The pillar rose several meters into the air until the entire encampment could be seen along with the bustling sea of soldiers within.

"Hear me, people of Kou! Our heroic ally has something to say!"

The emperor shouted loudly and spread his arms out the the crowd before turning and gesturing to Merrze. It was her time to speak now. Countless eyes turned upwards to the platform of misty ice, the two rulers looking almost celestial in nature as they addressed the masses.





Swords of Reim
Cyrus

A smile held on Yoshiro's face despite the stoic nature in which Cyrus received the gift. The emperor seemed to look past the solemn front and could see the excitement inside the young Reiman warrior. "I'm glad you've accepted. Thanks to my father, the relations between our two lands have been strained. Perhaps it is impossible for our two peoples to truly let the past go. Even if you or I can do as much, it isn't so simple or easy for others to forget the pain of lost loved ones." There was a heaviness to the words that couldn't be missed. A hint of regret shone in Yoshiro's eyes as he thought about it.

"That said, with someone like you as the bridge between the leaders of our nations, I'm sure that we can build new reasons to respect and appreciate one another. Perhaps one day those reasons can drown out the memories of war and animosity."

That being said, Yoshiro actually bowed to Cyrus deeply. It was not just a bow towards him, but to all the peoples of Reim. Yoshiro hoped that his sincere efforts to heal the division between Reim and Kou could bare fruit. He was just about to turn and leave when Cyrus voiced a question that gave the emperor pause. His eyes turned softer as they gazed into the distance as if Yoshiro were looking at someone that wasn't really there.

"I will share the honest truth with you...were it not for a dear friend's help, I might never have obtained this metal vessel. If you ask me, the power of a djinn...the power of kings. It is not something that you can  obtain on your own."

The melancholy look faded from Yoshiro's expression and he turned it into a smile with which he looked Cyrus in the eye. "Surround yourself with good friends and allies who believe in you. If you do, and if it is fated, then surely you too could one day earn the acknowledgement of a djinn and be granted the responsibility of wielding its power." The encouragement ended there and Yoshiro looked to Cyrus for his response. Not was the last chance for the boy to say anything if he had something else to discuss with the emperor.




Left Dragon of Kou
Tenma

The heavy feelings Tenma held in his heart regarding the mistakes of the battle still seeped from him like an aura of guilt. It didn't matter that Tenma put a smile forth toward his emperor, both Yoshiro and Dong Zhu could tell that this news of a promotion could not heal the internal hurt Tenma felt. At most, it put a band-aide over it to stop the bleeding, but the pain was still there. Neither the emperor nor general were sure what they could say to unravel Tenma's doubts. Both of them hoped that time would be enough to settle the Left Dragon's heart.

Eager not to let the conversation drift back to such a depressing subject, Yoshiro explained his investigations were made by a number of Kou informants spread throughout the world. It was impossible to get much information as they had not been ordered to specifically keep an eye on Tenma. All that could be gathered was rumors involving those who matched Tenma's description and these rumors were learned after the fact making it somewhat flawed intel. There was little learned from the investigation beyond that Tenma was searching for someone and that this search was no limited to a single country.

With that explanation given, Yoshiro hoped that Tenma wouldn't get upset. As someone who had not been in Kou for a long time, it would have been difficult for Yoshiro to justify enlisting Tenma as a general if he hadn't done at least some digging. Even so, Yoshiro did feel a bit bad for having done so behind Tenma's back. So when the eye-patched general spoke up and made it known that he had two more requests, Yoshiro patted his chest and responded positively.

"Just name them. If even I, the emperor of Kou, can't make those wishes happen then who can?"

The bit of boasting was actually done playfully as Yoshiro somewhat mocked his own station of emperor. A small gesture to try and bring a more heartfelt smile to Tenma's face and to keep the mood brightened.


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56[ToM] The Final Battle - Page 3 Empty Re: [ToM] The Final Battle on 09/06/19, 01:34 am

Merrze

Merrze
A-Tier
A-Tier
The fanalis would use her elevated position and voice to bellow out her words to the people down below. Her eyes looked at them all, shifting between person but firmly as to let the crowd know she was watching them all.

"I don't want anyone thinking I'm above them, well besides I guess being literally above you." She joked before continuing to prattle. "With the jokes aside this war has been a long one. I've fought with people who I've never met, in lands I barely know with people I've only recently saved from the clutches of tyranny. I have witnessed the actions of corrupt men, evil souls, and misguided folk. I chose to fight in this war for a reason. Yes, there were many cruel actions that people will take. However evil exists only within actions of other people, of other beings. There are men who some may see as monsters. Some who chose to even become monsters. But it is important to remember they are people. Behind every cause, there is innocent folk and those with ill intent. Take heed, for we must remember the men and woman who become monsters and the innocents killed in a cause whether or not it be just. Since evil is of our own making we must act and make the tough choices in order to halt the advancements of a self-perpetuated nightmare. Remember everyone who was lost, for they were lost. Act and live with the intent of bringing good, and kindness to others. For I myself will continue to fight and take the rough road. I'm happy to have fought with many of you proud people, we fought for what we thought was right, that's all the best of us can do. I've said my piece, and now I'll have another drink."

With her words done the fanalis had only hoped her message had gotten through. People had done evil things, not every participant in the war was evil however. They had to acknowledge that, knowing they were making the difficult decision for a cause they believed just. No one could truly say if they were right, but it was up to them to fight for their belief and sustain their lives, to fight for the causes they might support in the future.


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57[ToM] The Final Battle - Page 3 Empty Re: [ToM] The Final Battle on 09/06/19, 12:33 pm

After the emperor patted Tenma on his back, the one eyed man only stared at the emperor. No words was coming out from him, not even one word or even another reaction... only silence. It would be like that for a few second before Tenma burst into laughter, filling the silence of the night with his laugh. He found it amusing, for a second the one eyed man thought that the Emperor had find out about his past, but turned out it was just about him looking for someone. "You should know by now that I've found that person... thanks to you, I guess." He beamed Yoshiro with a smile, although the emperor should be able to notice the sadness within Tenma's gaze.

"As for my wish... I wish that you can give Noir... a protection. But she must not know that it was I who was asking for it, instead... perhaps you can tell her that it's some kind of a reward for helping the country." He will move one finger up, "She is the one I've been looking for and I wish her to be always safe and happy, for a secret reason of course." He will smile again before lifting another finger up, "For the second wish..." He would be silent for a second to make a decision before putting down his hand and shake his head. "I would tell you my second wish when the time is right... now is not the right time." He couldn't possibly asked Yoshiro to help him gather some information now, Tenma would tell Yoshiro about his past soon...when the time is right, and after that, he would finally tell Yoshiro about his second wish.


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58[ToM] The Final Battle - Page 3 Empty Re: [ToM] The Final Battle on 09/06/19, 12:42 pm

It was at this point that Cyrus broke out into a smile. He couldn’t contain himself, as he was overjoyed to be a part of the change in the world. “Even though our countries have not been able to cooperate, some of us have been able to come together and blend our cultures.” He said as his smile faded slightly “Like my sister and brother in law, my hope is that we can more people like that in the world.“

He regained his smile again as Yoshiro bowed to him if only in discomfort at the situation. He never thought that a royal would bow to him. The Emperor’s sincerity touched him immensely it was the reason he asked the question in the first place. In his mind, he wanted to help achieve the Emperor’s goal. He heeded his advice to have people around him that cared about him to help him through the dungeon if he were to be so lucky.

It was at this time that he would usually make a snide remark but he understood the weight of this situation he had to make more friends have more allies and make a difference in the world. As the emperor left, Cyrus decided to make one little quip to him “Just you wait Sir! I’m going to conquer the biggest and best dungeon imaginable or, better yet, you could come with me as I conquer the biggest dungeon ever” he laughed as he made his way back to the camp and back to his family.


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59[ToM] The Final Battle - Page 3 Empty Re: [ToM] The Final Battle on 10/06/19, 09:56 am

Meridia's Finest
Merrze

Yoshiro took a step back as he gave Merrze the stage and clasped his hands behind his back as he listened to the speech. The intent behind the words did not go unnoticed and the emperor gave a nod of gratitude towards the Meridian Queen. Though they celebrate together not, the divide between those who had fought for Gao and those who fought for Yoshiro would not disappear overnight. The issues Kou faced which had brought them to conflict had still not been solved. Hopefully, Merrze's words would act as a firm reminder to the soldiers present that the answer to those problems did not lie in turning swords towards their own once again.

On the final note, Dong Zhu's household vessel glowed as the pillar slowly turned to mist as it descended until the two rulers were returned to the ground. Yoshiro clasped his fist towards Merrze and smiled, "I'll leave you to that drink then. We are breaking camp and heading to the capitol tomorrow. You and your people are welcome to join, but if you decide to return home instead feel free to requisition some supplies for your travels." With that, he gave one last regal gaze of acknowledgement before walking off with Dong Zhu in tow.

As the two departed and left the group of gathered Meridians, Dong Zhu stepped forward and asked his emperor in hushed tones, "Are you sure it was wise to hand over that kind of authority to an outsider?" He was referring to the title plate Yoshiro had gifted Merrze. Yoshiro's smile went unaltered as he strode along. "If we don't repay our debts sincerely, convincing the world that Kou has changed would be impossible. Besides, do you think that speech was just an act?" Yoshiro stopped and turned to look at his general quizzically. Dong Zhu cast a side glance and frowned as he could not refute Yoshiro's words.

Yoshiro smiled wider and resumed his steps laughing softly to himself. "Merrze might bring trouble to our door in the future, but that kind of person won't betray our trust. Lets go, the night is young and there is still much to do."




Swords of Reim
Cyrus

Cryus' joy was infectious and Yoshiro's own smile broadened in response. He listened carefully and gave an approving nod on the subject of Cyrus' sister and brother-in-law. "Indeed, the world I wish to build some day is one in which people come together and are not divided by imaginary lines or borders." The emperor was glad that his father's past transgressions on Reim did not permanently fracture relations between their peoples. In order to rebuild burned bridges and establish new relations as allies it would require brave couples such as Cyrus' sister and her husband.

Since their business was done and Yoshiro still had others to find and meet, he didn't linger and clasped his fist towards everyone present as he prepared to make his leave. It was then that the young man from Reim shouted out his brave invitation to a dungeon. Yoshiro stopped and laughed fullheartedly before settling into a calm and regal gaze. The amiable and friendly atmosphere Yoshiro had been giving off up till now was suddenly replaced with the countenance of an Emperor.

"As emperor of Kou, I can't foolishly risk my life in another death trap of a dungeon. I have a responsibility to my people..."

The words were cold and firm as they drove home the danger and threat the dungeons posed. Not only that, but it made Cyrus' position in contrast to Yoshiro clear. His title of Ambassador was by the grace of Yoshiro and otherwise he had no status or authority with which to call upon a ruler's aide. But even as realizations of such things even had time to fully occur, Yoshiro spoke up one last time before smiling and turning to leave. The encouraging tone of his final words signaled the removal of the oppressive atmosphere

"But if you manage to survive a dungeon, come see me. I'd love to hear the story of how you conquered the biggest dungeon ever."





Left Dragon of Kou
Tenma

Tenma finally laughed, allowing Yoshiro to finally relax and laugh along with him. The tension from before had been thick enough to cut with their swords. Yoshiro nearly feared Tenma's thoughts might turn to depravity, but now he felt relief that the man hadn't forgotten how to enjoy small things in life. When the laughing settled and Tenma revealed that his target had already been found, Yoshiro gave a surprised look and he began to consider if it would be proper or not to ask who his quarry had been. But the eye patched general soon spoke words which brought the light of revelation to Yoshiro and the emperor's eyes shined with understanding.

"I thought you were hunting someone down for revenge or something along those lines. I never imagined it was all to find that young woman...I can to do what I can to protect her, but there is only so much I can do. Please understand, it would be one thing if she were to live in the palace and remain in Kou for the rest of her life, but I've met Noir and she never once struck me as the kind of woman to sit in one place living a quiet life. If she leaves Kou and something were to befall her, don't hold it against me."

Yoshiro gave an embarrassed look of guilt as he had just boasted about granting wishes only to fall short. A sudden realization made his jaw drop for just a moment. Yoshiro raised his eyebrow and then leaned in to whisper his next words. "Wait a second, don't tell me you don't know that she's a metal vessel user. Noir has conquered a dungeon, just what is it you think she needs protecting from?" The emperor looked at Tenma seriously. If Tenma was aware of that fact and still sought protection for Noir then it implied he knew of another danger out there like that monstrous dark djinn or the mysterious magician that had appeared during the battle.

Just thinking about it brought a headache on and Yoshiro rubbed his eyes as he held up his hand and sighed. "Wait, I'm sure you have a lot to think about and considering we just had a big victory I want to enjoy this night while I still have time to enjoy myself. I'm going to be very busy in the coming days...You can tell me when you're ready to tell your second wish. If you don't know where to find me, just follow the sound of arguing advisers. I'm sure they won't leave me alone for even a moment once we return to the capitol." The emperor gave one last tired laugh before bidding Tenma farewell and heading down the ladder of the guard tower followed by Dong Zhu whom also left after offering respects and farewell.

Time would pass until Tenma finally came down from the tower himself. Though most of the celebrating was over and many had fallen asleep, two men were waiting for him. One was Hei Lu, the other was the formerly captured Shen. Hei Lu offered Tenma a drink whilst Shen scowled at him, obviously still bitter about being taken prisoner. Hei Lu caught sight of it an swatted the back of Shen's head before reminding him that the war was over. Shen remained sour, but controlled himself and followed Hei Lu as the two departed wishing Tenma a good night.





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60[ToM] The Final Battle - Page 3 Empty Re: [ToM] The Final Battle on 10/06/19, 10:35 am

[ToM] The Final Battle - Page 3 Latest?cb=20140131165735

2 Weeks Later

News of Yoshiro's victory spread, along with the tale of how Gao had transformed into a demon that attacked his own people, and soon the word had traveled across the country and out into the world. Many refused to believe the witness accounts, but most eventually accepted it as fact when it became clear that virtually all the men that served under Gao that day swore it to be the truth, albeit with their own embellishments here and there. Much of the army had been made up of peasants enlisted to fight and so with the battle over they were free to return home to their families. Collectively, the people of Kou mourned the lost as they slowly began to rebuild their lives.

The doors to the Emperor's throne room swung open and people began to flood in taking up designated positions on either side of the grand hall. At its head, seated in the throne was Yoshiro Zu, watching as ministers and governors lined up and all settled into position. In unison, they bowed to Yoshiro whom dismissed their formalities with a wave of his hand. "Enough, I already know that among you are men whom supported my father over me. I have no need for empty shows of respect." The young man spoke coolly and with the calm of an unmoving mountain. "If I'm to be honest, there are few of you I respect personally, so the feeling is mutual." He cast a heavy gaze across the audience and some of the men shivered in fear that an execution order would soon come. But after a brief silence, Yoshiro took a deep breath and closed his eyes.

"So with that out of the way, let's get to the work of undoing the damage done to Kou. The damage done by both Gao...and myself."

Yoshiro smiled down at the court and proceeded to listen to their suggestions and criticisms with an open mind. The ideals he had clung to before made him deaf to the wisdom that hid between all the sycophantry and scheming. For the first time since becoming emperor, Yoshiro listened to the officials with an open mind. After hearing his words, the crowd were encouraged to speak their minds and some knots of enmity were undone as Yoshiro's new attitude was a fresh change of pace. Yoshiro still found some of the men to be too quick to desire conflict with the plainsfolk, but understood the source of their fears and concerns and did not outright dismiss them. Instead he guided the conversation towards a more beneficial option such as setting up negotiations.

Kou still faced many challenging hurdles to overcome. Their people were starving and some of the displaced population from when land was given back to the nomadic tribes still had yet to find stable permanent homes. Their work force was smaller than ever after so much death and conflict and relations with the outside world were mostly poor due to a past warmongering foreign policy. But at the very least, their internal conflict had been resolved and a mostly unified court stood under one true emperor.  Emperor Yoshiro Zu!

[END]

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