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 All Over the Eastern Teas [Closed, Rated PG]

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Wang Yao

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PostSubject: Re: All Over the Eastern Teas [Closed, Rated PG]   Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:03 am

“Thank you, Yi.” Yao sighed, rested his chin in his hand. “I wish things could have been better for Kiku, that he could have had a mother and family with a more accepting nature or one that could have supported him. There are a number of factors that could have led to Kiku being on the street and under the care of this “HaHa”. I know I was fortunate, both by birth and by luck. Although we can blame most of this on the silver tongued bastard known as our father.” Yao made sure to place a great amount of emphasis and disgust on the word ‘father’. The man had no care for the chaos he caused. “He would get what he wanted whether he was doing business or womanizing. Although I can say with great certainty that he won’t be an issue for either Kiku or myself anymore.” Yao had personally seen to that. “Still it does not do anyone on my ship to dwell so much on the past, as there is no profit to be made from it and it cannot be changed.

“I will consider your proposal seriously, my friend. Family matters have never been in my expertise, but I feel somewhat responsible for Kiku, especially now that he’s on my ship. We will have to wait to see what more we can learn about him, but I agree that a decision will have to be made when we dock about Kiku’s future, whether it be with us or elsewhere.”

Yao bowed to the elderly scribe. “Thank you for your assistance, my friend. I never seem to be able to express my gratitude to you. You’ve been by my side a long time, Yi, and I appreciate your loyalty greatly. At the moment, I only need you to make an account of the goods we recently acquired, so we can keep track of it all when we go to sell it.”

At that moment, Yao stood slowly, taking note of the man across from him. He remembered meeting Yi for the first time when he was younger. Back then Yi seemed so much taller and active, always taking record of things around the ship. Now, Yao could see over Yi’s head and could see all the years at sea taking their toll on his aged face. Still, the scribe never lost his activism. He still rose with the sun and worked hard each day, although he retired himself to sleep earlier than what he used to. Other ships would have taken an opportunity to dismiss Yi, but Yao couldn’t dream of doing that to his most loyal crewmember. He needed Yi by his side to help him with this captain role.

“We will go over the account when you are finished. Again thank you, my friend.”

~~~~

Yao and Yi both left the Captain’s Quarters. While Yi went on to do his duty, Yao went below deck to see exactly how Kiku had been holding up. Although Yao was confident that the boy was fine, after all Rats were probably used to worse conditions than the brig, he couldn’t help but see Kiku’s status for himself. In his hands he carried part of a loaf of bread, an orange, and a cup of water. It wasn’t much but, Yao was sure it was more than what Kiku got some days. Normally Yao would have saved citrus fruits for his crew, but seeing as the possibility of Kiku staying was an option, it seemed good to give him some as well, seeing as the fruit warded off a lot of the common sea diseases and kept his crew in generally good health.

The guard opened the door to the brig for Yao, closing it immediately behind him. Kiku’s small chained figure was illuminated by the lantern that burned by the door.

“Here…,” Yao spoke bluntly in Common, setting down the food close enough for Kiku to take. He sat some distance away from the boy, unsure of how to appropriately place himself in the cell. “You need to eat and stay nourished. I don’t feel like cleaning up your starved corpse from my ship. I also don’t think you’d like that much either, aru.”
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PostSubject: Re: All Over the Eastern Teas [Closed, Rated PG]   Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:57 pm

Yi nodded, his gaze never leaving Yao's own. The young Captain had grown significantly in wisdom and strength in his years. Though his hatred for his father was evident in his voice, the young man had those experiences to thank for his strength of character today. He knew Yao knew this already, and so he kept the thought to himself. Now was the time for the young Captain to share his concerns, with a person who wouldn't later use the information to tear into him. Pirates who were compassionate were weak; this lesson Yao also knew well, but in Yi's eyes, many of Yao's crew had those very traits to thank for their survival up to this point.

Yi bowed deeply, gratitude and a smile tugging at the corners of his wrinkled lips. "Thank you, Captain Yao...my friend...for granting an old man such as me the opportunity to assist you and serve you for so very long. It is truly an honor to stand by your side each day, my friend." He straightened, hiding a wince as his joints creaked in protest. He was not as spry as he had once been, and most would have gotten rid of him long ago. But Yao had insisted on his presence, and Yi truly enjoyed serving under the young captain. He did his best to bring energy to everything he did, though his age was beginning to catch up to him. He did hist best not to show it, not wishing for Yao to have yet another worry.

He stood, bowing again, though not as deeply. He nodded his head, partially in understanding, and partially in apology for the half gesture of respect. He knew Yao would understand though, and unlike most captains, would not demand he do better. Yi was careful to bow fully in the public eye, in order to assist Yao in maintaining his authority over his crew. "Of course. I will see to the accounts immediately, Captain." His weathered face softened for a moment, as his gaze settled on Yao once more. "Thank you, my friend. I will do all that I can, and I will be here to complete our discussion later."

~*~

Kiku stared straight ahead, with only the occasional clinking of the chains around him informing his guards that he was still in fact, living. He had not moved since the old man had left, taking his fancy writing with him. After some time, in which Kiku had remained stubborn and the old man had remained patient, he finally decided to tell him all that he knew, in the hopes that the man would leave him in peace after. He also doubted their paths would cross again, especially if the Captain decided to release him at their next stop. Still, he answered as fair as he could, though he was far better versed in Rouglin than in Common...as far as the old pirate man knew. He could tell by the way the old man's writing started and stopped that he had difficulty understanding him, though Kiku had done very little to make it any easier on him even after he realized it.

'Serves 'im righ'. Cap'n mem an' his fan silly scrills.'

His train of thought derailed when the distinct jingling of keys reached his ears. He turned his attention to the door, focusing on the heavy wood as it swung inward and revealed the guard. He almost turned his head, when his gaze fell on the Captain himself, entering the brig with something in his hands. The placement of the lamp kept Kiku from identifying the objects immediately, though his question was answered as Yao set down food in front of him. He cocked his head, not touching the food just yet. All food came at a price for a Rat, and Kiku was not quite ready to trust the Captain. Yao had not killed him or thrown him overboard, but he could have easily poisoned the food. Or, if Yao was the type, he could want some sort of favor from him. Kiku felt his stomach protest at the thought, though he knew Yao would probably mistake the noises for those of hunger. Rats were always seen as starving, helpless nuisances, after all.

He resisted the urge to laugh as the Captain seated himself some distance away, his intentions made perfectly clear. "Nae needin' yer fan silly gifts, Cap'n." He left the bread and orange alone, his eyes flashing with suspicion. "Rats ent li' yer brogs. Pinish mae, bu' starvin' we ent." He might have pushed the food back towards the Captain, but the chains restrained him soundly to the wood behind. "Ye ent 'ere t'natter, nae? Ye bron th' elder an he don' sommat fan silly scrills so wha' ye wan'?" He kept his gaze fixed on Yao, ignoring the food in front of him, waiting for his reply.


***

Translations:

Mem - man who looks like a woman. Usually, Kiku uses this in an insulting manner, but since he has developed SOME respect for Yao, it is about half insult, half endearing/admiring.
Fan silly - crazy, silly
scrills - scribbles, scrawlings, writing.
Brogs - stupid men
Pinish - thin, skinny (in this case, 'looking like we're starved' is a better translation)
Mae - maybe
Natter - chat, chatter
Nae - No (or in this case, it would be 'are you?' is a better way to read it for comprehension)
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PostSubject: Re: All Over the Eastern Teas [Closed, Rated PG]   Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:20 pm

“I’m curious. That is all, aru.” Yao responded with the same bluntness as before. “Any other child would have begged or cried for me not to kill them, but you didn’t. It made an impression, which in your case is good.”

Although to Yao still wasn’t sure what to make of that impression. It reminded him of the one half of himself he hated, yet it was the one half that connected them. He wondered every few moments if Kiku could see their similarities like Yi had or if he could sense it, like how you just know something is there, even though you can’t put words to it.

“Like I said earlier, I don’t feel like cleaning up your corpse off the ship. The food isn’t poisoned, so eat up, aru. Besides…I do not kill children, even if they did ruin a barrel of expensive tea.”

It was one thing to kill a man, they make their choices, and they have to live with them or die by them. Even if they don’t know the full extent of what they’re getting into, they are more acquainted with the world to know better. To kill a child on the other hand…that was a different matter. It was no secret that other pirates would hire Rats and other poor children who needed money to do odd jobs they were either too lazy or cowardly to do themselves. While they may be fearless, there were still things they did not know. Things beyond their knowing and comprehension at that moment. It did not do well for a man, at least one worthy of calling himself as such, to add the names of children to the list of those they did harm to, even a pirate. The same could be said of women (whom Yao also took care not to harm), the harm done to them was more sexual in nature but none the less violent. While he would allow his crew to do as they pleased on shore, Yao would not tolerate women being kidnapped and brought on his ship. His crew may be brutes but they were not to act like animals.

“So…why were you in that barrel in the first place, aru?” While the reason didn't really matter much, it wasn't every day you find a child trapped inside a barrel of tea. Then the fact that he was alive was amazing as well. The tea leaves, if Kiku had been in there long enough, could have suffocated him.
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PostSubject: Re: All Over the Eastern Teas [Closed, Rated PG]   Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:49 pm

Kiku snorted at the Captain's words, shaking his head and making the chains clink. Obviously, the Captain was far more used to dealing with brats of the noble sort, ones who would scream or beg or bribe in order to keep their pathetic lives. He wanted to correct the Captain, but thought better of it and settled for chuckling instead. His days with Ha Ha and on the docks had taught him the obliviousness of people, how those who felt powerful were completely convinced that no one else could possibly have a system or code of honor. Rats were not at all like that, though that did not mean they would not take when they needed to. Ha Ha kept him away from struggling shops, pointing him to the richer bakers and fruit stands who would seldom miss the absence of a few coins or a small bit of produce. He also carefully monitored which stands his fellow Rats hit, careful not to hit the same stand within a certain number of days, even weeks. The Port was certainly large enough, and no Rat wished to actually steal a noble dry, no matter how terribly they treated the Rats and Dockers.

"Heh, ye thin' tha' all Rats only pocker wit' nae thought fer 'nythin'. Bu' we too hav' our honors 'n th' li', so don' be thinkin' yerself th' only one wit' 'em." As he spoke, he reached as far as the chains would allow, grasping both the roll and the orange. He placed the orange in his shirt, then tore off a small piece of the bread. Though he suspected that the Captain could lie to him about the poison, something about the way he said he would never kill a child made Kiku want to believe him. He had grudgingly built up a small store of repect for the man, after his daring climb of the mast and his actual willingness to take an interest in him. But none of that would let him drop his guard, and so he settled for cautiously nibbling on the small torn portion of the bread. The taste was not unpleasant, though for someone used to taking loaves fresh from the carts the bread was far from fresh. He hadn't expected it to be, though the fact that the Captain and his crew had bread at all made him wonder exactly how wealthy they were.

He shifted a little, the orange falling deeper into his shirt. He glanced up at Yao, giving him a look that dared the Captain to question his actions. He planned on saving the fruit for Ha Ha, or at least, for a later time. Fruit didn't spoil nearly as quickly as bread, and Ha Ha would appreciate the rather exotic and rare citrus. Besides, the Captain had given the fruit to him, which meant that if he wanted to keep it for later, he could. The man had only wanted him to eat it; he hadn't specified when or that he had to do it that moment. And although the Captain had sworn he did not poison the food, Kiku could not be certain that the orange had not been poisoned by someone else. The crew certainly didn't have to like him, even if the Captain had taken an interest in him.

He let his gaze linger on the Captain for another moment, then dropped it in favor of staring down at the bread in his hands. The man was clearly impressed with him, though Kiku supposed his 'good impression' was only due to his bravery. Inwardly, he felt a little more admiration towards the feminine man. The Captain had not only chased him up the mast (while his lagger crew watched and laughed), but had given him food. However, Kiku found he was most impressed by the Captain's words to him. Not many would speak to a Rat like the Captain was now, and though the Captain still treated him as though he was beneath him (and in the order of things, he supposed he was), he at least had the decency to think of him as a human being, rather than a scummer or someone with ill intent.

He laughed, the sound echoing off the small walls as the Captain asked him about his imprisonment in the tea barrel. "Told ye b'fore, Cap'n. Yer brogs 're laggers 'n hamm'r th' lid on." He caught his breath, his laughter subsiding. "Better askin' why ye b'tryin' t' pocker th' tea yerself, Cap'n." He didn't expect an answer, and he continued on as if the question had not been asked at all. "Tea's good fer pockerin', as ye mind." He gave the Captain a look, one that said that even a Rat like him knew something about the market value of loose tea. He hadn't planned on being trapped in the barrel, and though he had panicked for some time, everything had worked out in the end. He could at least tell Ha Ha the adventure he had gone on, once he got back to the port.



((Translations: ))
Spoiler:
 
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PostSubject: Re: All Over the Eastern Teas [Closed, Rated PG]   Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:04 am

“If you know that tea is good for stealing, then you already know why I took it into my possession, aru.” While Yao wasn’t versed in Kiku’s way of speaking, he could somewhat infer what the boy was meaning. A small smirk came to Yao’s face. So the boy did know something of value when he saw it. Whether Kiku knew the exact value of the tea or other specific items was another story, also the further they traveled west the more the price would increase. There would be time for market and business education later…if Kiku wanted to stay.

Yao observed the boy eat up the bread. Good, he was eating something. Yao arched his eyebrow when Kiku stowed away the orange in his shirt. He didn’t say anything about the action, only made a mental note of it. Yao wasn’t going to get worked up over an orange and force it down the boy’s throat. Kiku would eat it when he was ready, perhaps he was saving it for later. Maybe scared that this might be the only food offered to him. While food shortages weren’t anything new to the crew, for now there was plenty on the ship. Hopefully, there would be enough to last them a longer time after they re-stocked on supplies in the next port. It was hard to manage a crew as it was, and even harder when they were tired and hungry.

“It was a bold move on your part to pop out of the barrel like you did, aru.” Although it was a mostly wreakless move, it still left an impression on Yao…for multiple reasons. “I would have the left the cargo hold. The whole store room would have been empty soon. Why not wait to bust out of the barrel when no one was looking, aru? I assume you’re more used to sneaking around than direct confrontation.”


((omg....I am so sorry this has taken so long and its so short. My head has been in a million different places. I'm so sorry, Kiku))
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PostSubject: Re: All Over the Eastern Teas [Closed, Rated PG]   Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:56 pm

Kiku merely smirked in response to Yao's statement. Of course he knew value when he saw it; he was a Rat. His livelihood depended on his understanding of how the world worked around him. Rats paid attention to the nobles and pirates, gathering what they could in order to simply stay alive. The value of an object only mattered if it could be sold for food or clothing. He did not expect a pirate to understand this though. Pirates gathered valuables from the nobles, who thought value rested in gold pieces and precious artifacts. They used them for display, showing off their wealth and mocking those beneath them. Yao might have seen value in the tea leaves, but his idea of value was certainly not the same. Kiku held respect for the man, but he refused to consider that perhaps they had anything in common other than their current situation. 'There's no way Cap'n Mem c'n mind li' me.'

At the Captain's mention of the barrel, Kiku couldn't help the laugh that escaped his lips. Though the chains prevented him from moving, his entire body trembled. The entire ordeal had been a hilarious one, though it did have a purpose. Though it was true that he was far used to sticking to the shadows, avoiding confrontation at all cost, Kiku had intentionally popped out of the barrel while the Captain was still in the room. He knew he could have waited until the hold was empty, but his chances of escape would have been little to none. "Ye no' usin' yer nog, Cap'n! 'S nae use t'me if I ge' outta one place 'n caught by yer brogs on deck, ye?" He let his laughter subside, fixing the Captain with a serious look. "I ent li' yer brogs, as ye mind. I ent dull li' ye seem t'think." He ate a little more of the bread, deeming it without poison, though not nearly as good as the bread he managed to steal from the bakers on the Port.

As his thoughts drifted to the Port, they settled on Ha Ha. Was she well? Was she getting food? Ha Ha was not a young Rat anymore; Kiku had pockered for her, providing for her and making certain that she would continue to survive. Was she managing well enough without him? He knew Ha Ha would find a way to survive, but he still worried for her. He needed to return to her soon, and though he loathed the thought of asking the Captain for anything, he knew his pride meant nothing if he couldn't help the one woman in his life that had acted as a mother. 'I need t'return to her...I bron her this fruit an' she'll love it!' His gaze had drifted away from the Captain as his thoughts wandered, but he returned it quickly to meet the man's golden eyes. He didn't need the man thinking him weak.

"'S fun as this is..." He gestured around himself as best as he could. "Didn' 'tend t'stay with ye, Cap'n."


((No worries Yao! *hugs tight and loves* Take the time you need, mkay? If you have to take a break, don't hesitate, just lemme know <3 And I love your responses, no matter how long or short they are, okay? *hugs more* ^_^ I'm sorry my response is a rather short one *sobs*))
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PostSubject: Re: All Over the Eastern Teas [Closed, Rated PG]   Sat May 04, 2013 5:18 am

“Yes but I know you’re using your nog, boy” Yao thought.

A small smirk tugged at the corners of Yao’s mouth. The boy was sharp. He was aware of the world, not just where his next meal was coming from or where he would sleep that night. Although this “Ha Ha” probably saw to it that Kiku wouldn’t have to worry much about those things. While the boy had guts and took his risks, he also had his brain and he used it to determine if the risk was worth it. Excellent.
“We’ll see about that, aru. Yao rose to his feet after Kiku finished talking. His gold eyes still firmly fixed on Kiku. It was almost pitiful seeing the scrawny boy in chains. “We’ll be arriving in another port soon. I’ll decide what to do with you then, aru. Until then rest easy, little Kiku. No harm will come to you, aru”
With that Yao left the brig, his guard snapping to attention as he passed by to make his way topside. While Yao remained calm and composed, his feet couldn’t carry him away fast enough.

He had completely ignored Yi’s advice to tell Kiku of their relation. Although the boy barely believed he wouldn’t try to kill him, why on Earth would he believe that they were related. Like Yi had also said, their similarities were something that would take time to see, like Yi had known Yao for years, Yao knew himself and their father, but Kiku…. Kiku knew neither of his parents and, while he was a smart boy, was too young to see such details that marked their relation. Perhaps in time he would…but for now they might as well be strangers.

Although if Yao wanted Kiku to stay on board, how could he work with a person who he could barely be around? Did he really hate their father that much? So much he was repulsed by the slightest reminder of him? Though if Yao needed a reminder he could just look in a mirror, and when he did he tried to focus on what his mother had given him, namely the gold eyes people would be fixated on when they met him. Perhaps this is what he would have to do with Kiku if he stuck around…although he seemed adamant in his choice to leave.

Yi had said to give the boy the choice. We could find him later. He could come back. While Yi was right something about it wasn’t sitting right with Yao. Back in his quarters, Yao settled on quiet contemplation, occasionally flipping through Captain Wu’s journal.

“Captain Wu…,” Yao sighed as he sat at his desk. “you’d know what to do.”
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PostSubject: Re: All Over the Eastern Teas [Closed, Rated PG]   Sat May 25, 2013 10:59 pm

Kiku resisted the urge to shift around where he sat. The chains prevented him from moving as freely as he would have liked, their weight more of a problem than their leniency. But the current, uncomfortable feeling came not from them, but from the gaze of the Captain. The golden orbs flickered in the firelight, burning into him as if trying to see something within. The feeling was unsettling, making his skin crawl and the weight of the chains even more oppressive. He did not know what Yao sought, since he had revealed to him everything...or as much as he was willing to reveal at all. But the Captain's gaze lingered on him, as if the man was trying to extract every ounce of knowledge from him. Kiku resisted the urge to laugh, to call the Captain 'mem' again...anything to diffuse the heaviness that had settled between them as the Captain analyzed him.

He felt a relieved breath pass from him, though the sound was lost among the Captain's words and the soft clinking of the chains. The promise of remaining untouched throughout the night was not as reassuring as the sight of Yao's retreating back, though Kiku was somewhat grateful for the Captain's assurance. His eyes followed Yao until the Captain left the brig, closing the door with a thud behind him. Kiku allowed himself a moment before shifting as best he could, the chains rattling more than before. The irons' locks were not those he could pick, though he sorely wished they were not so heavy against his wrists and ankles. The impairment of his ability to move bothered him most, though he had done his best not to show it in front of Yao. The last thing he wished to give the Captain was future leverage over him, especially since he would apparently be stuck with him for quite some time. The 'soon' of the next port could be days, or even weeks.

His thoughts drifted to Ha Ha again, and idly he withdrew the orange from his shirt. His stomach clenched with fear at the thought of leaving her for weeks on end without any food, though he knew that Ha Ha was resourceful. She had built a network for herself long before he became hers, but she had also taken to relying on him rather than seeking to maintain outside ties. What would become of her? Would she survive? Would someone else get food for her? The Rats in the area were good. He rolled the orange between his palms, careful not to press on the fruit. The Rats would take care of her, because they were not selfish like the bastard nobles or the thieving pirates. An image of the Captain placing food in front of him passed through his imagination, though he quickly suppressed it. As nice as the Captain was, he could easily be acting in order to gain his trust. Kiku would not fall for his tricks; he would leave him at the next port and go home to Ha Ha.

Still, even as the thought crossed his mind, the image of Yao swam to the surface. He snapped his eyes shut, shaking his head as violently as the chains would allow. The metal rattled, but only gave enough for him to shift slightly so his head could thunk lightly against the wood behind it. He decided to sleep, since there was little else he could do. Returning the orange to his shirt, he carefully situated the fruit so that it would not be bruised as he slept. He sighed, shifting a little more in a futile attempt to get comfortable. He preferred sleeping on his side, but the chains made that impossible. He closed his eyes, leaning back against the wood of the ship. He took steady breaths, trying to push the distracting thoughts from his mind. Soon, the lull of the ship drew him into the land of sleep, where his dreams were filled with faceless people with burning, golden eyes.


((LOOK AT THIS AWFUL POST OTL *sobs* Feel free to timeskip, either to the next day or to sometime later...whatever you'd like. If you're not sure, we can always PM and plot it out some more <3))
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PostSubject: Re: All Over the Eastern Teas [Closed, Rated PG]   Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:23 am

The day ended like any other on the White Lotus and another day passed before the ship was docked at the next port town. Yao did not visit Kiku again during that time, nor did he ask for reports on the boy, only that the boy’s guards made sure he was fed. When they sailed into port, Yao knew that his time to make a decision was up. Kiku couldn’t be kept in the brig forever.

Yao emerged from his dim cabin, wincing in the bright sunlight as part of his crew began to leave the ship, heading either for the taverns or the brothels no doubt. Yao too left the ship, at least to prolong judgment just a little longer. Although, Yao was beginning to think that his mind was made up. Yi’s solution was the most practical and reasonable but…why couldn’t Yao commit to it?

It was nice to walk about and see the town, look for potential marks. It also brought up the opportunity for networking and such. However, Yao was looking more for an inn than a place to rob or make a drop off point for a black market dealer today. He rented a bath at one inn he deemed suitable, letting his body sink in the heated water and his muscles relax. His eyes slid shut and Yao let his mind go blank for a while It had been a while since he had a decent bath. While the life of a pirate didn’t offer many luxuries or hygiene, Yao had made it a point to keep himself clean. Aside that it personally made him feel good to rid himself of the grime of the long trips at sea, who would believe a well groomed and clean man was the captain of a pirate vessel? It helped him keep a somewhat low profile when he went into a new port.

The Inn Keep was friendly to say the least, didn’t ask too many questions. Which was hard for most people considering that the amount of weaponry Yao carried was quite extensive and not exactly practical, even for a traveling merchant. That worked out well for the Inn Keep though as Yao slipped him a few extra coins on his way out.

As he worked his way through town, Yao passed another tea and spice shop, similar to the one he had robbed a few days ago. He saw some of the perfect tea leaves sitting in their bags, almost taunting him. Yet they reminded Yao that the tea leaves Kiku had been mingling with were still partly sellable, although who would know the difference at a poorer market. The countless bags of spices also reminded him that his men would be bringing aboard more barrels of spices tomorrow tonight as well. Hopefully, they would make sure no more small children were inside before stealing.

Yao took his time in to reach the ship again. It was dusk and some of the men returned to rest on aboard, others were being entertained or were too drunk to walk. Yi was standing on the upper deck looking out at the city, as if he was waiting for Yao to see what he had decided. He climbed the gang plank onto the White Lotus with heavy footsteps, wary from traveling. On deck Yao summoned his crew.
“Gather around, you dogs! You two!” He pointed to two random men in the group slowly forming around him. “Go bring up the boy.”

They nodded and went down below deck. After several minutes of a full day of waiting, Kiku was brought before Yao’s eyes again, still in chains with two guards by his sides. This time Yao saw a small child who had been living on the streets, rather than one of his father’s abandoned children although Kiku had been abandoned as well. He saw a child that had potential and needed direction and guidance to lead him.

“I’ve finally decided what to do with you, Kiku.” Yao took a deep breath, keeping the silence short so that no one thought he was hesitating. “You won’t be going back to your town. You’ll repay me for the damage you’ve done to my tea and the disrespect you’ve shown to me and have planted in the hearts of some of my crew toward me. To do that you’ll join my crew as the ship’s cabin boy. You can work your way up and around until you square away your debt with me.”

Yao could feel Yi’s watchful eyes on his back, but couldn’t bear to turn around and meet his face to see what it showed.

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PostSubject: Re: All Over the Eastern Teas [Closed, Rated PG]   Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:58 am

Kiku had no idea how much time had passed since Yao's visit to his cell. His normal means of measuring time were unavailable to him, and the few guards that watched his cell never said anything that might give him some hint as to the hour above. He resigned himself to the unknown, fluctuating between merely thinking or lightly sleeping. Kiku's usual measures of time were related to the lives of those in the Port; he knew it was morning because the bakers' bread was always the freshest. He knew it was noon because the middle of town was filled to bursting with regular performers who gathered gold coins from the crowd. He knew it was night not only when the buildings were painted orange and red, but when the men of the sea rambled down the streets, headed for the closest source of alcohol. His measures of time were those associated with 'business'. Without business, Kiku found that time only mattered because there was far too much of it and that he was quite aware of it.

He woke several times from his sleep, often when the ship rolled or when the guards changed. He did not necessarily awake when food was allotted to him, though if the brog giving him the food felt the need to be thanked for his duty, he was woken up. However, despite being teased and woken to the point of grouchiness, none of the men came as close to him as the Captain or his scribe had. He wondered at this at first, but soon the wondering turned to boredom. 'Cap'n musta told 'em not t' be circusin or sommat.' He supposed he ought to be grateful to Yao for that; he was not unaware of the horror stories of prisoners aboard ships with far less compassionate captains. Yao at the least made sure he had food, though Kiku felt obligated to defend that he would have been just fine pockering food on his own, at home.

Kiku was not aware that the ship had reached a new port until raucous laughter and cheers reached his ears. Grumbling obscenities under his breath, he shifted stiffly against his chains. Sleeping upright had brought tension into his shoulders, and he suddenly found himself ready to be free of the oppressive irons. He missed running through the streets, and hopping from rooftop to rooftop in order to avoid the crowds. He missed the thrill of pockering, and the ultimate satisfaction that the men and women missing the gold would be no worse off than if he had left them alone. He sighed, slumping back against the wall as heavy bootsteps pounded above him. The brogs were most likely headed for shore, no doubt to steal more goods. He wondered at which port they had docked, and how close in distance it resided to his own home. Thoughts of home brought Ha Ha to his mind again, and his stomach fluttered with worry over her. He doubted the other Rats wouldn't take care of her in his absence, but still he wished to return to her as soon as possible.

He drifted between short periods of sleep and wakefulness, too worried to truly rest. The sound of his cell door being opened made him jerk upright. He winced at the too sudden stiffening of his already stiff joints, though if the brogs noticed, he would blame the brightness of the lantern in their grubby hands. As the brogs advanced, he scanned their faces through narrowed eyes. Were they going to hurt him, now that Yao was not around to give them orders? He instinctively tried to put distance between himself and the brogs, but his aching shoulders only met the wooden wall of the ship. He opened his mouth to curse out the brogs, but stopped when he felt the chains loosen somewhat. Though his hands remained firmly locked, he no longer felt his body being drawn to the wall. 'So, th' brogs be lettin' me free? Nae...sommat else be...'

His thoughts were interrupted by the brogs dragging him to his feet. With hissed curses and insults, he felt their grips tighten on his arms as they began to drag him out of the cell. They were none too gentle--something he would certainly throw in Yao's face if he had the opportunity--but their destination was clear. Kiku arranged his expression into one of annoyance and defiance, though the sudden change in lighting from his cell to the dusk sun made him wince slightly. The expression hid his surprise as the men stopped in front of Yao, the gold in the setting sun making the captain's eyes burn brilliantly. Kiku might have admired them, if he wasn't so busy trying to puzzle his fate from the golden stare. Was he finally going to be released? He doubted the captain, charitable as he had been up to this point, would be so kind as to return him to his home port. But Kiku reasoned they could not be a terrible distance from home, and that once he set foot on land, he could figure his way from there.


“I’ve finally decided what to do with you, Kiku.”

Kiku kept his defiant glare fixed on the captain, though he could feel the stares of the brogs on him as the Captain addressed him. His fate was just as important to them as it was to him, it seemed.

“You won’t be going back to your town. You’ll repay me for the damage you've done to my tea and the disrespect you've shown to me and have planted in the hearts of some of my crew toward me. To do that you’ll join my crew as the ship’s cabin boy. You can work your way up and around until you square away your debt with me.”

Kiku's glare intensified as the Captain's words settled over him. 'So, Cap'n Mem's airin' me fer his brogs, t' knock abou' some sense into 'em? Methinks Mem's fan silly fer tha'. As fer th' tea, suppose I do owe 'em...bu' I owe th' Cap'n's brogs nil!' He disliked the Captain's justifications for his continued imprisonment, especially regarding his men. Even Kiku, a Rat, could see the crew had disrespected their Captain far before he had chanced to ruin their tea. A cabin boy would not change their perceptions of the Captain. Instead, it would give the brogs their chance to hurl any of their displeasure at him the Captain's previous orders had kept at bay. He wondered exactly what the Captain's true reasoning behind keeping him aboard was, though he sensed that asking now would only give the Captain more false terms by which to imprison him longer.

"Nae ye think I 'ave any honor abou' me, Cap'n." He spoke in his own tongue, knowing the Captain would understand his words clearly. "Bu' nae li' me would leave ye on such terms. I'll pay me debt fer th' tea, bu' ye won' keep me nae longer." He took a moment to turn his gaze upon anyone in the crew that he could. His eyes fell upon the old scribe, and as their gazes met for a moment, Kiku imagined the old man's shone with pity. He quickly broke away, instead settling for glaring at the Captain...Yao...again. What right did the man think he had to his life? Kiku would serve as his cabin boy in order to repay the tea debt, but beyond that, he owed the man nothing. Yaos crew's respect was not his responsibility, and he cared little whether they ultimately respected Yao or not. "Yer brog's be yer job, an' their honors an' the li' be yer own job, nae mine."


((If you need any translations, feel free to PM me (the words here are mostly old...but if their context is unclear, feel free to let me know and I'll provide translations, as before. Also, anything in bold is quoted from Yao's posts ^_^))
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PostSubject: Re: All Over the Eastern Teas [Closed, Rated PG]   Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:04 am

Yao shrugged off Kiku’s comments about his crew. The men were pirates, they’d do who knows what for a cheap laugh. Although to do so at their captain’s expense did raise some alarm for Yao. He couldn’t show his worry. That he would have to keep to himself, but he would be watching his crew with iron eyes as they made their voyage. There would be no mutiny on his watch if he could help it. Like Kiku, Yao would have to work to repair whatever damage in his crew’s loyalty and respect, whether that be from the change in command with Yao being captain or from whatever he had done as captain. Yao found it hard to think of something he had done wrong though…especially considering how he had kept his men’s wallets and stomach’s full.

“No matter, aru.” Yao responded. “You’ll be indebted to me for quite a while little Kiku.” He gave a small nod to the large man holding Kiku. “Zu, take our new cabin boy below deck. He’ll need to know his way around so I can put him to work in the morning, aru. Make sure he doesn’t try anything funny!”

He spun around, waving for his crew to go back to their stations. From the corner of his eye, Yao saw Zu take Kiku back below deck.

Yao called out into the crowd “Quartermaster! Have us sail for our next destination!”

“Aye, Captain!” He heard the Quartermaster reply from the distance.

The men were scattering to their posts, readying the sails and raising the anchors so that they could leave port. They were efficient in their work, a few laggers here and there, but the task was done. Nothing struck Yao as unusual, but he kept his eyes peeled as he took his place at the helm. It didn’t feel like long until Yao had steered the Lotus out into the open sea. He filled his lungs with the salty air. It was refreshing, familiar, as the ship cut through the water. Yao could still feel that whatever having effect having Kiku on the ship would bring, it would last for a long time. While Yao would need to act as though it was business as usual…things wouldn’t really be the same.


((Please forgive this horrible and late post, Kiku! For some reason I kept getting writer's block on it! *bows and runs away*))
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PostSubject: Re: All Over the Eastern Teas [Closed, Rated PG]   Sat Aug 17, 2013 12:55 am

Kiku kept his glare fixed on Yao, even as the man called Zu began to drag him away. Though the golden eyes of the Captain had shown little other than resolve, Kiku had found himself intrigued by the subtle emotions he thought he glimpsed in them. The lack of loyalty of Yao's crew had not escaped Kiku's notice; the men were laggers and it was apparent that some of them did not know how to show respect to their own Captain. Even Kiku's sense of loyalty to his fellow Rats ran deep enough for him to admit that he owed Yao a small debt for ruining his tea! But the brogs aboard Yao's ship did not seem to share the same loyalties...a fact that, despite not truly being his concern, worried Kiku. No Captain should have to doubt his own crew, especially not one as daring as Yao! As soon as the thoughts crossed his mind, Kiku began to shake his head, effectively breaking eye contact with Yao. The shadow of doubt in those golden orbs looked too odd...too out of place for comfort. The broken connection gave him time to recover, and as his hard glare returned to Yao's own, he felt a small twinge of relief to see the doubt completely gone from the Captain's gaze.

He allowed Zu to lead him belowdeck, a small, unbidden shudder racing through him as they made their way down the dim hallways. Memories of his time in the brig made his skin crawl, though he suppressed them in order to better observe his surroundings. He counted each of the wooden doors, though Zu did not stop until they had reached the back of the narrow space. A single door sat before them, some of the deep wood marred with faint scars. He wondered if perhaps a fight had taken place in the narrow space, though he kept his thoughts to himself. He did not want any of Yao's crew to think he was becoming interested about the ship. Leaving would be much easier if he only absorbed what he would need to do during his tenure. He walked through the door on his own as Zu opened it, careful to keep his hands at his sides. The wooden stairs creaked beneath his feet as he descended farther into the ship.

Kiku was not sure whether to be thankful for Zu's near silence or not. The man hardly uttered any words to him, save for those necessary to give him the tour of the ship. Kiku learned where, in relation to abovedeck and the brig, the most commonly used spaces of the ship were located. He spent little time examining them, especially taking as little time to see the crew's quarters as possible. The stench that had greeted him upon opening the door had been nearly enough to make him gag, though he suppressed the urge and moved on from the vile space quickly. Pirates, he decided, were far worse than Rats in their hygiene...whether by choice or simply because they could care less. 'A' leas' a Rat minds bein' clean when he c'n.' He likewise spent as little time as possible in mess area, shying moreso away from the room due to the presence of several of Yao's brogs. The men occupying the space seemed to either be drinking or drunk, and their raucous behavior made Kiku more nervous than he wanted Zu to see.

Finally, after what felt like ages to his exhausted (though he'd never admit THAT to either Yao or Zu either) limbs, Zu showed him to his own space. It was in no better shape than the rest of the quarters he had seen (Yao's door had been pointed out to him, but Zu had refused to allow him entry). However, once certain that he was not going to 'try anything funny', Zu left him to his own devices. Kiku settled into his space, a relieved sigh escaping his lips. Finally, he could allow himself to worry about his future. What would he be doing for Yao? How long would his debt to Yao take to repay? His mind raced with unanswered questions as he settled himself down to attempt sleep. He doubted he would be sleeping well, though according to Yao he would need it. With another sigh, he let his thoughts drift to Ha Ha. How was she doing without him? Was she finding food? He had no doubt the other Rats were taking care of her in his absence, but surely she would worry about him when he did not return for some time. He curled tightly into himself, as if the action could drive away the thoughts and calm his nerves. There was little he could do at that moment other than try to sleep.
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PostSubject: Re: All Over the Eastern Teas [Closed, Rated PG]   Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:05 am

Weeks passed on the open sea. The young captain still heard snickers from a few of the men as he passed, but again it had passed to be more of the same that it had before. Again it was more of a teasing manner that he was used to, he had been one of them once and now they teased and picked at the green captain. Yao needed to assert himself…Wu’s words that had given him this position would only last for so long unless the crew took him more seriously. However, seeing Kiku scurry around the deck reminded Yao of early days on the old ship. It gave him some peace of mind for some reason. The crew seemed to have taken to the child nicely as well. At least no major harm had come to Kiku, as far as Yao could see.

The nights after Yao had sentenced Kiku to stay and compensate for the tea, Yao’s mind continued to wonder if he had made the right decision. A pirate ship wasn’t exactly the best place for a child to be, then again neither were the streets. Yao himself was no more than a child when he began this life, and while it wasn’t easy, it was better than being on the streets in his opinion. Kiku had been lucky. He had a caretaker, connections, a way to get what he need to survive. In his mind, Yao wouldn’t have lasted long if he had stayed on the streets or if Captain Wu had kicked him off the ship. He would have starved to death within a few days or beaten repeatedly as punishment for stealing by shop owners. Fortunately, Yao had found what Kiku had in the ship’s crew. They worked together, kept each other going, to keep their home, their community, afloat. Even when he was mere cabin boy, there were some crew members that wouldn’t stand back and let Yao die. Yao hoped that his crew would do the same for Kiku, give him part of what he had back in his port, even if it was a tiny fraction.

There was no going back on his decision now. Kiku was here to stay, at least until the tea was paid, and Yao would have to bear the consequences of that. He partly wished that he had discussed this more with Yi but Yao couldn’t bring himself to meet with the man. If Captain Wu had been a father figure to Yao, then Yi was a grandfather figure to Yao. Even though Yi was of a lower rank than Yao, he gave the man the respect he deserved as not only Yao’s elder but as his own grandfather. It made him guilty to go against Yi’s advice of letting Kiku choose his own fate. This is what he gets for being selfish…

Yao sat on his pillows at his low desk, maps and compasses around him. Now that they had their cargo, they needed to sell it. Of course they would pick up more cargo on the way. The route they were to go on would be long and tiring. Yao himself had only been on this venture twice with Captain Wu, this would be his first time going as captain. He had mainly been focusing on making himself known and as capable to his crew, to show they could trust that he knew what was best. If all went well and his crew was loyal, then this venture would be one of the biggest pay offs they’d had in years.


((OMG I can't believe that its taken me so long to respond! I'm so so sorry, Kiku. I would work on this and then stop and start again. Then I got sick, then I had school, and then I had two weeks of hell and midterms. akhfialajghkal But I'm so so sorry to keep this hanging and not getting back to you for so long!
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PostSubject: Re: All Over the Eastern Teas [Closed, Rated PG]   Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:59 pm

Kiku's first day as the new cabin boy had been nothing less than hell.

It wasn't the crew; the men had been less rough than he had expected for pirates, but had teased him enough to remind him he was not exactly among friends. He could stand their teasing, though he would never admit that it reminded him far too much of home for him to laugh or smile. It wasn't Yi, either because the man was practically absent or because their few interactions were actually pleasant now that he wasn't chained to a wall. He noted that Yi did not hold his earlier insults as grudges, though Kiku assumed the man could simply be good at hiding it. It wasn't even the chores he had to perform, though he loathed waking up at dawn simply because he was not waking up at dawn at home. Kiku had grown up fending for himself. A few chores were nothing in comparison, though his hands bore fresh marks from the ropes he had to 'learn' how to pull. It was not the ship, or at least, not the motion of the ship on the water. Kiku thanked all the Watchers he had been blessed without sea ills.

No. The one thing that had made his first day absolute hell was the captain.

Yao, or 'Cap'n Mem' as he still called out to him just to see the look of irritation cross his face, hardly spoke to him. At first, Kiku had assumed that Yao had other duties to attend to, or that the man simply wanted to avoid giving the crew reason to laugh at him. But as the day wore on, Kiku knew that there was little to nothing keeping Yao from speaking with him. Though he disliked referring to himself as the cabin boy, he assumed that more than orders would have come to him from the Captain. But only orders came his way, and his frustration finally forced him to seek out Yi. The man at least gave him answers, and his mood dissipated enough for him to fall asleep. Though Yi's answers left him wondering if the Captain wasn't avoiding him on purpose, under the guise of work or other matters. Unfamiliar with the ship and too absorbed in remembering his tasks, Kiku had let the thought drift to the back of his mind.

The days grew easier, mostly due to his increasing familiarity with the crew. True to Yao's word, no harm had come to him, though he had expected it. Even among the Rats, 'no harm' did not protect one from the traditions associated with the particular group of Rats one joined or imposed upon. He had expected teasing, or even light roughing from the brogs at least, but he supposed they could still be wary of their Captain. Yao had made it fairly clear that he was not pleased with Kiku's unexpected arrival on the ship and the events surrounding it. Still, their initial welcome had set Kiku on edge, but as they drew farther away from land, he realized their welcome to be genuine. Working with them--he refused to think of it as for his debt--was almost enjoyable, though Kiku missed the ability to roam in familiar territory. Soon, the ship became familiar enough, and he found his own places to hide, spy from, and to secretly call his own. He was careful to avoid barrels, crates, or other containers, especially occupied ones. He grudgingly admitted to himself that he had gotten lucky when Yao had found him.

Kiku stood outside of Yao's door, balancing a tray of tea in his hands. He had (though he would never tell Yao) volunteered to bring Yao's tea to him once, and he found himself returning around the same time each day. His other chores occasionally made their short time together impossible, but whenever he could, he made certain he was the one carrying the tray. Yi had at first accompanied him, presumably to make sure he did not break the Captain's good cup. But after several trips without mishap, Yi had claimed to have other matters. Pushing the past aside, he knocked softly on the door. He hoped he was not disturbing Yao from anything important, though if Yao asked him he would simply claim he was doing it to fulfill his debt. There wasn't any reason for him to let Yao think he was growing to LIKE him, after all.



((*pulls Yao into the biggest, warmest hug in the world* Shh, no worries dearest! If anyone understands the life of the busy, overworked, underpaid college student, tis this overworked and underpaid college student <3 I tend to write my posts in the same way...stop and go...though it looks mighty impressive when they are all said and done, so shh, don't give away my secret! XD But seriously, take your time and know I shall always patiently wait for your replies <3))
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PostSubject: Re: All Over the Eastern Teas [Closed, Rated PG]   Wed Mar 19, 2014 12:28 am

A light knocking came on the door to Yao’s quarters. His golden eyes snapped up from a particular document he had been reading for the tenth time, making notes in the margins. Was it really that time of day already? Yao got to his feet, his joints aching slightly from sitting for so long, and walked to the door. He didn’t need to wonder too much who was on the other side of the door, as Yao had grown to expect the familiar knocking on his door. Although with time the knocks grew more confident and strong as the daily visitor became more comfortable and accustomed to coming to his cabin.

“Good afternoon, Kiku.” Yao opened the door wider, stepping a bit to the side. “Come in and join me for a moment, aru.”

It was the first time he had let the child into his cabin. Normally, he would have taken the tray with a word of thanks and shut the door. Today, though Yao decided he would explore something that had come to his mind recently. Besides, a break in his quarters would be a reward of some sort for Kiku. Surely the sun was still as blistering and hot as it was when he worked on the decks.

When Kiku was inside Yao strode back to his seat at his low desk and cleared a space in the middle of it, motioning for Kiku to set the tray there.

“Take a seat, aru.” He indicated the large pillow on the other side of the desk.


((Pretty much imagine that Yao's seat is like the Emperor's chair/throne from the beginning of Mulan. *huggles back* Again, please forgive my late response))
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