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The future depends on what we do in the present.



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First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.

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 Fiat RP

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Kris
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PostSubject: Fiat RP   Thu Jul 15, 2010 1:28 pm

Mika walked through the crowded streets. Merchants everywhere stopped pedestrians in their tracks and showcased their wares. Smaller vendors squatted by blankets covered with trinkets from jewelry to pottery and much, much more. Her eyes spun at the wide array of colors. She had never seen so many people in one place, nor smelled so much. She wrinkled her nose at the distinct odor of manure wafting up from the street.

"Excuse me, where can I find the palace?" she asked, tapping a random person on the arm.

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PostSubject: Re: Fiat RP   Thu Jul 15, 2010 1:45 pm

DAY: 1X (One year after the tomb incident)

Over the past year, Han's life lost its formal verve. No magical puzzles to solve nor any tombs to explore. Ipsus stays in touch, but contributes little excitement. The old man didn't visit Rin over the past year. Finally, he believed,he attained the quiet life he hoped for.

While perusing the street shops, a obviously clueless traveler asked, "Excuse me, where can I find the palace."

"That way," Han pointed. "Just keep walking. You can't miss it. Although I don't know why you want to go there. The 'owner' of that place is, as you young people say it, 'a little runt with a pretty bad temper'," Han chuckled, the slang of his students were quite amusing to use.
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PostSubject: Re: Fiat RP   Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:28 pm

"Thank you," she said politely and gave a small bow when she saw she spoke to an elder. "It's a bit obvious that I'm new here, isn't it? I'm trying to find some family that I haven't seen in a while, but in such a big kingdom, I don't now if I can."

She gazed around the marketplace. "It's really a wonder to a small village girl."

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PostSubject: Re: Fiat RP   Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:52 pm

"I said I WOULDN'T! Now get the crap out of my face!" The scream of Queen Rin of Fiat echoed across the entire palace; down in the kitchen, the cooks shuddered with fear; out in the courtyard, the servant boy accidentally dropped the reins of the horse and watched in terror as it fled the palace.

Up in the tower room, however, a small, rather slight girl was kicking a flustered tailor out of the room, having already tossed the pink dress out the window. Despite the man's protests of how good she would look, the Queen adamantly refused to wear pink.

Ever.

"Now that that's over with," Queen Rin sighed, slamming the door shut, "it's time to rule this stupid kingdom." She pulled a list out of her drawer and frowned as she went over the agenda of meetings she had for the day.
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PostSubject: Re: Fiat RP   Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:26 pm

Han momentarily frowned. The way "Mika" had sneaked the "small village girl" in sentence made him rather suspicious. But the uneasiness was only momentary.

"Well, I don't know why a 'small village girl' is doing here, but it isn't my place to ask," replied Han. "Now, the problem with your plan is that the 'Queen' has a waiting list. The one time I waited one month to be seen. But that was the ONLY ONE time." Han chuckled. Then, Han realized he was quite curious of how young Rin has matured over the past year.

With a quick switch of mind, Han said, "Luckily, though, you met me. I know a uh... faster way to meet her."

Without saying another word, Han led Mika to the palace. Out side, he found a rather fascinating attire, pink in color, on the ground. The tailor had left the door open.

Checking to seek Mika was still behind him, Han said "I really am getting old. De Ja Vu is getting the best of me. Just barging in here. I SWEAR I lived through this before."
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PostSubject: Re: Fiat RP   Sat Jul 17, 2010 7:55 am

Rin was busily poring over the list, wrinkling her brow at the prospect of having to sit through yet another meeting with Lord Westwood. Ugh, Lord Westwood... Out of everybody in the Fiat parliament, Lord Westwood seemed to be the only one who didn't realize that although she might have only been seventeen- yes, the Queen had gotten older!- Rin Atlas, descendant of Lady Rinslee Hyperion, was perfectly capable of leading a nation.

She might have actually gotten to heading towards the conference room, when she noticed that the front door had been left ajar. Stupid tailor. Muttering curses under her breath, Rinslee walked towards it, feeling the need to slam something; otherwise, she would have done it by magic.

She stopped shortly in front of the door, arms crossed. It was Han. Rin had mixed feelings for the old man; on one hand, she respected him as a teacher and had learned a lot from him. On the other hand...well, he was pretty isolent. And disrespectful. Had she been any less mature, Rin might have thrown a temper tantrum and sent Han flying out of the palace in a fit of fiery rage. But since she was seventeen, Rin refrained. Instead, she crossed her thin arms and took stood in front of the door.

"If you're looking for the bathroom, gramps, it's down there by the stables." Rin said, pointing. She frowned when she saw the young woman standing behind Han. "Who the hell are you? Go away."
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PostSubject: Re: Fiat RP   Sat Jul 17, 2010 8:25 am

"No, this is Mika. Surprisingly enough, she WANTS to meet you. Even if your going to throw her out. I think it would help for Val to show her around. They both were farm gir... I mean they both come from a rural back ground," Han finished the introduction.
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PostSubject: Re: Fiat RP   Sat Jul 17, 2010 8:43 am

Mika looked around her with wonder. The architecture here was quite different from her family's estates in the nearby kingdom of Delmar.

Her family's holdings were located in the countryside where her father watched over the land allocated to him by his brother, and so Mika had grown up in a mixed environment. She had played with lesser nobles to merchant apprentices passing by, and- of course- the peasant children. Thus, although she learned how to behave like a noble lady, she did not entirely feel like one. In fact, she had somewhat of a disdain for the finer arts of holding a scented handkerchief to her nose when one of the lesser classes walked past her.

She sighed. Her father quite liked his homey establishment, but he didn't have to decorate it with the heads of his most prized kills or with his collections of swords and other weapons. Sometimes, she even walked into a room filled with animal skins.

At the memory of her childhood spent there, Mika shivered. It was no place for a young lady, even if she had... she wouldn't think about it. Rei had loved her home, but she was a tomboy. And now she was dead.

Mika liked the palace she walked through. It was more elaborate and finely decorated, as befitted the home of the ruling family of Fiat. The servants were dressed in the proper garments to greet guests, and the guards were... well, guarding as they should be.

Han finally stopped in front of an open door. Inside, she got her first glimpse of the queen of Fiat looking over some papers. Why, she was just a child. Mika's thoughts turned to her uncle, a well-built man of forty years with a black and white peppered beard who loved to hunt almost as much as his brother and would have joined him in the countryside if not for his duty to his country.

She held back a giggle.

After Han had introduced her, she curtsied and said, "I am Mikara of the family Tamaran." She paused. "I had not expected the pleasure of greeting the queen of Fiat so early in my stay."

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PostSubject: Re: Fiat RP   Sat Jul 17, 2010 9:08 am

Rin frowned and looked Mika up and down.

Wimp, she decided.

"The family Tamaran?" Rin repeated, scowling slightly as she went through the huge, long list of family names she had had to memorize in Diplomacy class. "Never heard of them. You guys must be pathetic. Or, you must be from a different kingdom that I've never bothered learning about." Rin mused. "Or both. Yeah, yeah, nice to meet you to. What the hell do you want?"

She put a hand on her hip and scowled at Han, sticking out one foot in preparation to slam the door in his face. "What is this, Han? Just because you save my life...a few times, makes you think that every single newcomer you find interesting is going to suddenly get a private audience with me? I have a schedule too, dum-dum, you know." Rin sounded annoyed. "And why the hell should I have Val show her around? If I had my pages show every single silly, lost new-comer around Fiat, I'd have no more pages left to run the castle. I don't see anything special about this girl besides- no marks of Mage achievement, anyways." Rin touched the Fire Triangle on her cheek and glanced imperiously at Mika's markless face. "If you're done wasting my time, I've got a meeting to go to."
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PostSubject: Re: Fiat RP   Sat Jul 17, 2010 9:17 am

"My family is located to the East. It's a long journey here despite the fact that only three to seven, or eight, countries separate us, depending on the route you take. I am here in such of my cousin cousin Soran of the family Ra Tamaran. He is a water worker... mage, in your country. We do not mark our faces." Mika replied coolly, glancing at Rin's face. "It would make us easier targets for the opponents."

She thought about the laughing fair-haired child of their child, and then about the darker-haired boy who had showed up at her family's castle nearly four years ago. "If he is the same as I last saw him, he has dark blue-black hair, midnight blue eyes" Like Rei, she thought. "He is training to be a healer."

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PostSubject: Re: Fiat RP   Sat Jul 17, 2010 9:25 am

Rin stopped the door a moment before she slammed it in Mika's face and put both hands on her hips, looking irritated.

"That's a matter you take up with the Information center of Fiat, not with the Queen. Know your place, visitor. How the hell am I supposed to know the face of every single mage here?" Truth be told, Rin actually did know a mage named Soran- she had interviewed him for a job at the hospital back when there was a fever. He'd shown considerable talent.

However, it was still not the duty of the Queen to attend to every petty little task some snobby newcomer who thought she was all-important had, and Rin was not about to let Mika get away with it.

"Why you thought you were special enough to deserve my attention as opposed to doing what every single other visitor to Fiat does, I have no idea. But goodness, you're irritating me. Get out of my face before I have you thrown out of Fiat." Rin scowled.
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PostSubject: Re: Fiat RP   Sat Jul 17, 2010 9:59 am

Mika laughed out loud. She couldn't help herself- she would have died of laughter otherwise. Rin reminded her of her younger cousin Rei too much, excpet that Rei had been a hunter and a warrior.

"I apologize, your royal majesty, but I was dragged here by this respected citizen. I had meant to inquire after my roy- my cousin at the hospital if I could only find my way there. I know how busy royal life can be."

She sighed. Whenever she visited her cousins in the royal city of Marce, they had always been busy with some lesson or other and with making royal appearances. They were happier visiting her where they could be more open and had fewer visits of state to make. Rei in particular found royal duties more cumbersome being the elder of the twins.

"I do not think myself special at all, but I must find my cousin before I leave so I may present him before his father Ronan Ra Tamaran and tell him that one of his children lives.."

It was true. Rei was gifted in the the tongues and ways of the warrior and could forge a sword out of a chunk of metal in an instant. Sora was a genius healer in the ways of the water and was a calming presence. The courtiers failed to remember an argument before him.

And she? She was a failed wind mage who hadn't been able to activate her magical abilities when it was needed most. Perhaps it was providence. Perhaps things had turned out the way they were meant to go, but it didn't ease her bitter-ridden conscience in the least.

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PostSubject: Re: Fiat RP   Sat Jul 17, 2010 12:40 pm

Han grinned at the two young ladies argued. Rin didn't mature at all. Still hot headed.

Though the mention of "Soran" reminded him of the first day in Fiat. Another healer with an almost identical name passed ephemerally into and out of his life. But there was that distinct jewel that Han remembered seeing on the healer-Sora-'s chest.... But that was so long ago.. More than a year already...

"It's amazing to see people talk respectfully to Rin. Never happened to before. Well, then again, I only seen myself talk to 'her majesty'..." said Han, "Oh, by the way, Rin, I wanted to tell you. The Advanced Placement examinations..."

The Advanced Placement is a once in ten year examination in Fiat. It is the quickest way for young students to gain positions in the government. Informed of its existance, Han spent the past year preparing his students for the rigorous test. This perhaps accounted for his absence from the young monarch's life. The exam took place last month.

"Ten of my students got selected into your government doing various miscellaneous jobs. They are now under the service of a Lord Westwood. What type of man is he?"
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PostSubject: Re: Fiat RP   Sat Jul 17, 2010 9:28 pm

“Oh, glad we cleared that up.” Rin said sarcastically, making a face at Mika. Miss Uppity. I’M the queen here. “The Information Center will be across the road, just head left after you leave the palace and turn the corner. It says “Fiat Information Center” in huge black letters. You can’t miss it. Now shoo.”

Dismissing Mika with a wave of her hand, Rin turned to Han and contemplated his question. Normally she would have burnt his face to a crisp for his insolence- why the hell didn’t anyone EVER respect the fact that as Queen of Fiat, she had an effing schedule and couldn’t just entertain every little pansy that came along, thinking they were oh-so-special? But since it was Han, and since Rin had great respect for the old scholar, she refrained. She was seventeen now, after all.

“Lord Westwood?” Rin made a face. “Well, he’s very tall, well-built, in his forties…he has a thick, straight black beard, you can’t miss him- oh, you want to know what he’s personality is like?” Rin tended to be rather shallow sometimes, judging more from a person’s appearance. “He’s…arrogant, to say the least. He’s reasonable, but quite the reckless man. I’d tell your students to be careful. In fact…I’ve got a meeting with him in a quarter hour. Care to come along?”


Out in the courtyard, Valentine Vesper closed her eyes, pulled an arrow calmly out of her quiver, and strung her bow. Still blindly, she aimed at the cherry tree at the far end of the courtyard and released the arrow. A thud later, Valentine knew she had hit a cherry. Either that, or she’d killed the laundry maid.

Oh damn, it was the cherry.

Not much had changed about Valentine. She was still posing as a male, she was still an Air Mage, and she was still employed with the Queen of Fiat. Valentine considered herself quite lucky; being a page- actually, she was pretty close to becoming a knight- was a well-paying job. If only there were a bit more excitement.
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PostSubject: Re: Fiat RP   Sat Jul 17, 2010 10:04 pm

"Why yes, I would like to meet him," responded Han. Outside the window Han could see Mika walking towards Val...

Turning his attention back to the girl he said, "You know Rin, you really are too young for politics. Ipsus only got a low government job at 24(he got banished, so he didn't have a chance to get serious) and I only entered upper politics at 30" A girl like you should not be doing this work" Han pointed to her schedule, "You're not going to like it, but I suggest putting the kingdom to a relative's hands and be a kid-like you are. My school is open to you... If you want to come..."
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PostSubject: Re: Fiat RP   Sat Jul 17, 2010 10:11 pm

The change in Rin was immediate. The schedule suddenly burst into flames in her hand, and Rin turned to Han with fire in her eyes.

"Are you implying that I'm not fit to rule?" she demanded, suddenly seeming to become taller than she really was. It was something that Lady Fyre, or Rinslee Hyperion had always done, although Rin didn't know it.

Normally, a comment like that might not have bothered her, if Rin weren't still annoyed about her last meeting with Lord Westwood. The insolence of that man...he actually suggested that I put the kingdom in his hands until I get older!

But blowing up at Han would do no good. "Why do you say that, old gramps?" Rin said, a bit more calmly. She stopped incinerating the ground where she stood, anyways. "I'm sure I've learned everything your school has to offer thus far, otherwise Fiat wouldn't be prospering like it is."
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PostSubject: Re: Fiat RP   Sun Jul 18, 2010 12:31 am

Mika knew when she was dismissed. Whether it was with a smile and her uncle's blessings or the queen of Fiat's careless wave, it was all the same.

She curtsied (although she knew it made no different to the young queen) and walked back the way she had come in.

Now where was the Information Center...? Mika had never been great at directions, but she did know how to follow instructions. She was walking across the wide lawn when an arrow flew past her head. Instinctively, she crouched to make a smaller target and reached for her hidden knives.

Looking around, she saw a teenager in a page's uniform and relaxed slightly.

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PostSubject: Re: Fiat RP   Sun Jul 18, 2010 8:14 am

"I am saying, Rin, that this burden should not be yours" replied Han sadly.

After learning about Rin's tragic past, Han's feeling of curiosity quickly changed to pathos. This child has lost everything, all loved ones, and had the duty of an entire kingdom trusted on her. No childhood, no adolescence, no fun.

Han remembered a conversation with the Head Healer back in the Empire:
"I got another one today, my friend" said the healer. "She's beat up pretty bad. You know, kids like her. They have these 'dead eyes'. You can only see blankness or this false onesided persona that they create just to get throw life, to feign happiness. Their real self lies hiding inside them. Afraid to face reality because reality hurts. Us, we lived lives of crystal perfection, we will never understand them... I wish I could help her, Han. You read more books than I. What should I do?"

"I don't know" was Han's terse response"


Now Han, seeing this young unfortunate girl, understood his former friend. Han realized he only saw the real Rin once: During the discussion on Law. Perhaps a glimpse during Val's brother's revival, but that is all. The other times, Han had only been entertaining a mask...
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PostSubject: Re: Fiat RP   Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:43 pm

"If not mine then who else's?" Rin replied, jerking her head for Han to get into the castle before the cold autumn air stole the warmth too much. "I like ruling Fiat," she said simply. "It comes naturally for me, because that's what I've been trained to do. Don't worry about the stress. I take vacations every once in a while," Rin grinned impishly, referring to the "vacation" she'd taken when she'd gone with Val back to his hometown. "Come on, we're going to be late. Let's go."

She led Han through the palace, through the tall halls adorned with tapestries and chandeliers. The style had never suited Rin much, but she'd never cared enough to do much about the decorations- except scorch the occasional piece of furniture.

They turned left at the end of the hallway towards a large, circular meeting room, with wall-high stained glass windows and a circular table. Rin tried to resist rolling her eyes. Of course, Lord Westwood had to pick the round table that resembled the knights of old. But, she suspected, there was another reason.

All seats are equal at a circular table.

"This is an advisor of mine, Han...er, Master Han." Rin said, when she realized she didn't know the old man's last name. She seated herself at one of the last remaining chairs, putting her chin on her elbows while facing the rest of the tall, well-dressed, poised nobles. "Let's get this meeting started, shall we?" she grinned.

Valentine saw a young woman walking through the courtyard, looking like she was headed somewhere. Instinctively, she knew the woman was a user of magic- with her Ayre magic, Valentine could sense the vibrations in the air.

But it was odd. The woman didn't seem that strong. Hmm, probably a dabbler from another country. She restrung her bow and continued target practice.
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PostSubject: Re: Fiat RP   Sun Jul 18, 2010 6:23 pm

(I guess I'll take Westwood?)

"Ahhh LITTLE Rinslee, always nice to see you. Your becoming more like you mother every day," said Westwood as if to a mere toddler.

Seeing Han, Westwood took a more serious tone. The he had seen that spark in the eyes of other men as well young and old. All had been his greatest enemies and allies. "Sir, I am Lord Westwood of Fiat. Former General under former King Hyperion, Former Prime Minister...." Westwood droned on about his titles all the while studying Han.

Han knew instinctively this man was formidable. Every aspect of him reminded Han of the old Emperor with whom the scholar used to quarrel.

As was international custom among strangers, Westwood bowed to Han since the latter was the elder and a foreigner. Han returned the bow.

"Nice to meet you Lord Westwood," replied Han, "I am formerly Head Scholar Han formerly of the Gyte Empire in the east. And, currently Master Han to Ipsus of Black Hand Leader."

"Ah yes... Gyte. The old King tried start trade there... Didn't quite get the chance...." replied Westwood. He wondered why neither Han nor Rin mentioned the old man's family name.

"Thank goodness he did not..." muttered Han.

All the while, Westwood made a point to ignore Rin, not even a glance.
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PostSubject: Re: Fiat RP   Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:06 am

"Oh, hi, BIG OLD Westwood, so nice to see you too." Rin said sweetly. "You're becoming more and more like your dad too. Oh right, he's dead. Point proven."

The nobles around the table stiffened slightly, sensing danger when it was present. Rin hated it whenever anyone mentioned her parents to her. They had been killed a long time ago- and Rin had pushed the memory of them to the back of her mind, telling herself that she didn't care and wasn't going to let it bother her. It worked. Most of the time.

"I'll remind you not to treat me like a kid." Rin said sharply, crossing her arms. "I'm nearly an adult- I'm seventeen now. So if you're done patronizing me, let's get on with this meeting." She reached across the table and pulled a stack of papers towards her, reading the title of the first one.

"Advanced Placement exams- the graduates are being employed with you, Westwood. Comments?"
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PostSubject: Re: Fiat RP   Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:01 am

"Ah yes... That. It really is lax of you to just dump them all on me. The YOUR FATHER would have matched each scholar with a specific task in congruence to their strengths and weaknesses and allot them out accordingly. Of course in the ABSENCES OF A RULER, I would just have to TAKE OVER the job," said Westwood.

Actually, Westwood had been over joyed he received all the scholars. These were the talent of all of Fiat and Westwood wanted them all....

"Ah yes, seventeen. It seems just yesterday you father was showing little baby Rin-wrapped in your bundle- to me. You were quite adorable as a baby. But that brings up a question, we should really marry you off to someone..." said Westwood.

"Sir," Westwood addressed Han, "are there any bachelor princes in Gyte?"

Westwood, of course, did not expect Han to respond. Han understood too and did not say anything except, "Rin, watch your temper..."
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PostSubject: Re: Fiat RP   Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:32 am

Rin almost snapped at Han for patronizing her, but her recent training in Watyr magic kicked in at the last second. Stay calm. Be fluid. Let things flow. Jeez, how had Law tolerated it? Rin was beginning to see why it was so difficult to master Fyre and Watyr in one lifetime. How to be fiery and aggressive- like she already was- and yet calm and soothing, like Law had been?

It was freaking impossible.

But she went ahead and tried.

"I understand how you think I was being irresponsible, Lord Westwood." Rin said politely. "However, the other members of Parliament already have enough scholars under their wing- I remember you complaining about being understaffed the other day? I thought you'd be pleased."

Rin uncrossed her arms and put them back on the table, glancing at Han. How's that for controlling my temper? But there's still a second reply I have to make.

"If you don't recall, Lord Westwood, I'd planned on marrying Law Shaolin." Rin swallowed. "We know how that went. But in addition, I think the term "marrying me off" is rather demeaning. You don't have to "marry me off", I'll do that myself, thanks."
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PostSubject: Re: Fiat RP   Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:05 am

"Law Shaolin... Oh yes. That little bodyguard of yours. MARRY him?! You PARENTS would not have allowed it. With his lowly status. Here's the criteria to see if one is qualified: when he dies, people need to ACTUALLY CARE. Obviously your little pawn... what's his name... little 'Law' does not FIT into that category," remarked Westwood.

All the while Westwood had been smiling, delivering each blow calmly without any sign of malice except in the words themselves.

Han watched all this with analytical eyes. Westwood was indeed a skilled politician. A formidable man indeed. Han had met likes of him only in the grandest of the elites of Gyte.

Han coughed. He muttered once again, "No Rin. Whatever you're thinking, no. Politics is a game of mental endurance, not physical power..."
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PostSubject: Re: Fiat RP   Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:21 am

Rin's eyes widened in fury. How DARE you- you called him a pawn-Law wasn't- I'm going to fucking blow your ugly face to...UGH!!! No, she had to calm down. Remember what the Master Mage taught her about Watyr. Calm, cool... She knew Law wouldn't want her to blow up because of him...What would Law do?

Hmm. Probably stab Lord Westwood in the face, had it been the other way around and Westwood were talking about Rin. But Rin didn't want to get the table dirty; she'd already burned one of the legs.

"I know, old man." Rin muttered, hearing Han cough. "Well, that's neither here nor there." Rin said pleasantly, reaching across the table for the paper containing the second order of business. "Law's dead, so your remarks are quite irrelevant. Stick to the matter at hand, please, we're not here to chat. If you want to do that, you could arrange for a private audience with me, but I'm afraid there's a waiting list- it's currently at three weeks." She tilted her head and smiled patronizingly. While on the inside, she was burning with fury.

"Second order of business...what the hell? Who slipped this in here?" Rin waved the paper in the air, annoyed. "Preserve the royal line? What's with you people and this sick obsession with me getting married?"
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