Mysteries of Saffron Lily 1/5

This is a small Exalted (R) fan-fiction that I wrote for a friend’s game, serialized to post a section every 12 hrs. Its relatively short, and as an exception, certain concepts are copyright CCP/White Wolf, Inc. Appropriate rights reserved.

 

“Tell me again what that balustrade along the side road belongs to in the poor district Sohana?” We were walking around the gardens, and though I dare say I was beginning to enjoy her company, it was difficult to adjust to everyone’s perception of what was happening. I have always enjoyed my freedom, especially in terms of being a courtesan; however, for a marriage this beneficial to my House, and since it is Father’s wish… I can put aside my preferences.

“Why do you enjoy this story so much, Huasi?” It was my mother’s nick-name for me, in the interest of the upcoming betrothal I had allowed her to use it. I was still getting accustomed to hearing it from her.

“Because it represents a mystery! All things mysterious fascinate me: the unknown, the unknowing. I might tell someone that their secrets are no concern of mine, but that doesn’t stop me from paying attention. What they won’t tell me I make up.”

“Are you saying I must be more mysterious to gain your attentions then?” She smiled coyly.

“Nonsense. You are your city, and when I have made a story for every mystery here, then I shall tackle your own… mysteries.” Subtle emphasis on the last mysteries and… there, a blush.

“But what of the stories that already are, Huasi?”

“It just means I don’t have to make up as many stories… which means time is running out before I turn my eye on you.”

She pouts. “I had hoped your eyes were already on me.”

I look into her eyes as I respond, watching her face to make sure I don’t go too far. I like Sohana, more as a friend though. “My eyes drink in many things Sohana, sometimes all at once. I have sipped your vintage and know it to be ambrosia that even little gods would die for the opportunities I have had. So until I can drink deeply of the draught you provide, I will drink in your city instead… ravenously.” I know my Father though, and so I know that I will grow to love her… Love just takes time.

She clears her throat politely, disengaging in order to open her fan and use it rapidly. I can’t help but smirk.

“I assume you were speaking of the shaped steel balustrade that stands on the side of the road for only a few blocks? No one knows where it came from, for most of the city’s history it has been around, but the older records tell us that it appeared one night after a particularly torrential rain. Most people were stuck inside for days, in fact several nearby houses collapsed, and when people were able to come out again they saw, running right alongside their street, a white-steel balustrade, shaped like frozen flames. The magistrates inspected, but could not find any reason for its existence. When the local gods were questioned they responded only that it had always been there. The poor thought it was ill-omen to press the investigation, so we stopped. We could tell it was harmless, merely a decoration that had appeared.”

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