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The Emperor's Advisor (CLOSED for kshahidx))

By Ravanya

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Replies: 7 / 202 days ago

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  1. [Allowed] kshahidx


(#000580 (b The land of Yuara has gone through many kinds of Emperors over the years. From kind ones to war mongering ones. Each coronation of the next Crowned Prince always brought worry to what the country would come to know in his reign. One thing all Emperors had in common was their love for their Consorts. It was always the same, he would hold a full harem, and then one would eventually be named his Empress above all the other women. No one was prepared for the latest Crown Prince. As a young boy, he had set free all of the women and young girls that had been detained and sent to the Emperor, his father, as a tribute of servents and concubines for protection from his wrath.))

(#000580 (b This earned the boy to become hated by his father, and soon all of the young women and girls that had been sent as a tribute for consorts were recaptured, and the Crowned Prince was forced to watch as each and every one of them were killed before him. Except for one... Kaila.))

(#000580 (b (i Kaila)))
(pic https://i.imgur.com/6eyKoeq.jpg?1)

(#000580 (b Thanks to her mother, she had gotten away before she could be recaptured. In fear of being found, she masqueraded as a boy and was taken in as a Horse Boy named Kai by an old Nobleman where she spent her years tending to the chores, caring for the animals in the stables, and learning how to defend herself. Upon turning sixteen, she had been called to the Lord's tea room and it was there that he revealed that he had known since she was a child, that she was a girl, despite how she would dress and act like a boy, binding her chest tightly to try and stay hidden. She explained her story to him, and he told her of the upcoming war against the Emperor that he was to fight in. This broke her heart as she feared he would not survive the war, but he claimed he would rather die than to live on in his tyranny. She vowed to fight with him, but the Lord threatened her, claiming that if she went to fight, he would expose her as a woman. She was to remain at the manor, caring for his staff and home in his stead.))

(#000580 (b (i Kai)))
(pic https://i.imgur.com/YDzvugK.jpg?1)

(#000580 (b Two years passed and the war raged on until one lucky move was given to the Old Lord, and he managed to kill the Emperor with an arrow, ending the war and the Tyranny. The Crowned Prince wanted to offer him a reward for his great deed. The Old Lord waved off any reward but knew that the Crowned Prince would become the newest target in a rush for the throne and power. Lords and Generals coming for his position and that he would need someone wise at his side to help him see through the lies. He offered his horse boy who had done him well for many years.))

(#000580 (b Now Kaila must maneuver her way through the palace and help the Crowned Prince become the new Emperor at his coronation upon his next birthday. As she and the Prince would grow closer and become great friends, it would soon become apparent that Kaila was not a man. Would the Crowned Prince understand? Would he take the act of deception as deceit for his power? Will he even remember the young girl he had helped to free so many years ago?))

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Katsuo noticed the slight twitch in his eye. Or had he been imagining it? Still, he would imagine anyone to maybe take offense to something like that and his first intention was to apologize. In the back of his head he could hear his father’s voice. It was not his place to apologize. That didn’t sit well with him, but he knew that showing a sign of weakness or leniency could be seen bad. If he were to act as his adviser, it wouldn’t be right for Kai to assume he could be taken advantage of. Maybe there were some truths to his father’s lessons.

“Well I should say humility is your best quality.” Katsuo couldn’t help the smirk that tugged at his lips then. Kai was certainly interesting, and he could tell right away that the man was a smart which would serve well during this time. Katsuo was sure there were those already plotting against him which was a terrifying thought. No one considered how dauting it was, to constantly have to look over your shoulder to assure one’s safety. It was however a life he was born into and one he couldn’t really escape without brandishing a sign of cowardice and while timid, Katsuo was no coward. He sat a little taller in his seat then.

The Lord and his friend soon entered then and Katsuo gave them a nod at their presence.
“That is quite alright. You have already done quite the service for myself and our country and to allow your best to assist me in this time is more than I can ask for.” Katsuo had offered the men riches beyond his wildest dreams. Surely there had to be something great about Kai for him to offer and yet Katsuo wondered if maybe there was some kind of ulterior motive. Why as the man willing to give up such a worthy asset? It made Katsuo even mor interested in the male.

Katsuo came to a stand then and walked toward the trio. “I am sure Kai will live up to my expectations, maybe even surpass them?” Standing before Kai then it was obvious the difference in stature. Getting a closer look, Katsuo was able to actually perceive Kai a d his features. He had kind eyes, at least that’s how his mother would refer to them. Though there was a strong sense of ferocity in his stance.

“That will be fine. Come tomorrow I am, sure we can begin to get to know one another well.” Katsuo motioned for one of the servants to come to and lead them toward the chamber wing. As they walked doff Katsuo watched the stranger carefully, stranger for now. He hadn’t many friends really growing up in the palace. Though he was always taught to keep friends close and your enemies closer. Who would Kai turn out to be?
katsuo / kshahidx / 158d ago
Kai had to fight back the resounding growl that usually came when someone commented on expecting him to be older, taller, larger. Obviously Kai's features were softer than they should be, all things considered, but not all men looked like Crowned Prince Katsuo. He was tall, broad shouldered, his figure showing the years of training he no doubt took on. Kai was all curves and lean muscle where His Highness was cut muscle and hard angles. Kai had to mentally shake himself. His thoughts were trailing in a place they did not belong nor have any need or right to be traveling.

[#000580 [b "I apologize for not being what you expected. I get such a thing quite often. I have served my Lord since I was a child. I did all jobs he required of me. I have many skills that I hope to now lend to aid you in whatever you need of me. I was informed that I was asked to be your new adviser and I do hope that I am able to do you as proudly as I have my Lord. If I may also incline to add, I have also trained in other skills such as stealth and combat. I do hope they will not be needed, but should anything happen, I am not unable to provide."]] Kai had worked on part of that on the ride to the palace. Wanting to make it known that he wasn't useless, and he wasn't just a brain. Though the more he listened to himself speak, the more it almost sounded as if he were bragging about himself, and that wasn't something Kai usually did. Those that boasted too loudly of their skills, usually didn't have many.

Kai grimaced and prayed silently that his words did not come out as conceited as he thought they had. Another round of laughs from the Lord and his friend, and Kai was growing rather aggravated. His Highness spoke up again then, claiming that the physician would tend to him in the morning for the routine physical and check up that all new staff and servants underwent before working in the palace. This had Kai's blood running like ice in his veins. Surely the physician would be loyal to His Highness, and upon finding out Kai's secret, he would tell the Crowned Prince. Kai would be thought of deception and ulterior motives, and tried for treason against the Royal family. He had tried to figure things out for that on the ride here, but he couldn't find any way around it. One night spent in the palace, and then Kai would be in the dungeon cells awaiting death.

It was then that the Lord and his friend had walked up, the lord speaking up first. [b "Speaking of the Physician, I do apologize, I was catching up with my old friend, and I missed seeing your entry, Your Highness."] The Lord bowed respectfully, and the man beside him gave one of the same, but not as low, either due to familiarity to the Crowned Prince, or a bad back. The man was almost as elderly as the Old Lord, and he spoke up afterwards.

[b [i "My apologies, as well, Your Highness. After all this time of hardships and battles, it was good to see an old friend from happier times. He also called in an old favor. He saved my backside once when we were adolescents and I've owed him ever since. Seems that our newest member, Kai, is like a son to him and he has asked me to help keep an eye on him and out of trouble while he is here."]] It was obviously made to tease Kai. He was usually pretty independent and it irked him when someone might think he needed looking after. Kai had frowned and pursed his lips, opening his mouth with a rebuttle, but something on the Lord's expression made him remain silent. It had been meant to tease Kai, but there was something else. Something the Old Lord had not told Kai.

Another glance to the Physician told Kai that he was right. Though the elderly men held smiles and tried to goad the young man to get a rise from him, there was a look in their eyes. Sorrow? Regret? Something was wrong, but Kai couldn't call the Old Lord on it right now, not in front of the Crowned Prince. The Old Lord was here to drop off Kai, then he wanted to head back home, having been away from it for so long already. Kai took this moment to take his chance. Turning to the Crowned Prince, he gave another light bow. [#000580 [b "If I may, I would like to see my Lord off before being taken to my room. A final goodbye before I start my new life here."]] He didn't think it was too much of a request, and of course, Kai was loyal, so he'd want to see his Lord safely off to his journey back home. It would give Kai the chance to speak with him about that look he had seen.
Kai (Kaila) / Ravanya / 161d ago
In all honesty Katsuo was not prepared to be Emperor. He didn’t think that his father would have actually been killed during the war. It made him think about the talk he had with his father; the night the blood of the innocent women had been spilled a night he had wished he forgot.

“Leadership doesn’t come easy Katsuo,” his father had said as they walked the halls. They were in another wing of the palace; one he had never walked before. There was no ornate designs or bright lights, just a dark hallway that seemed to stretch on forever, the sounds of their footsteps and the guards echoing against the walls. They had finally reached an iron door then, to which the guard opened, revealing the women bound by chains. His first instinct was to free then, only stopped by this father’s harsh hit to his chest. He tried to regain his breathing, staring up at the man.
“Weakness is frowned upon. This is tradition, our way of working and it will not be changed by anyone. I mean [I anyone].” Katsuo had seen the light vanish from his father’s eyes, though he often wondered if it were ever there in the first place. Or had he like many others placed his father on a throne that went beyond physical form. He was revered and feared and had no qualms about showing why he was never to be crossed.

The first throat slit had caused him to vomit, Katsuo still on his knees then and trying to stand as his father ordered for him to do so. That’s when the screams began and some part of him knew his screams were tied into the chorus as life after life was taken. His father had left him in his mess. The room smelled of bitter lemon and blood, lathering every part of his senses.
“You will never be a leader.”

Yet, here he stood now, with the full control of the throne in is reach, unless taken from him. Had his father known he wouldn’t survive this? Katsuo was determined to prove him wrong.

“I was under the impression you’d be older,” he told Kai as he took his seat. “Sill, the Lord has promised you are a loyal servant and I expect you will prove him right.” Kai was a bit small, though he figured with him being an adviser stature and size didn’t really matter most, more so his intelligence would be the domineering factor.
“The physician will meet with you tomorrow morning. One of the guards will show you to your room.”
katsuo / kshahidx / 165d ago
Half way to the palace, they were met with the Prince's chosen guards that would take Kai and the Old Lord to the Palace upon Royal Request. This made Kai slightly antsy and took extra care in keeping up his masculine appearance. One of the guards asked how the ride was going so far for the elderly Lord.

[b "That would depend on one's view of how enjoyable riding several days on horseback can be once your arse goes numb, but things can always be worse."] The lord spoke up as he urged his horse into a lighter trot. Kai snickered at the old man and his crass ways of speaking. He'd been alive long enough and lived through so many battles, he didn't give a damn. The lord was in his traveling clothes, a simple tunic and breeches, but in elaborate colors that represented his home.

Kai stayed near his Lord, especially when they were greeted by the guards in the road. Kai had not been expecting an escort and so it left him with little relief in speaking freely with the Old Lord. The thing about these times was it didn't matter if you had long or short hair if you knew how to play the part, then you could look either way you needed. This helped Kai in keeping his secret. He was dressed in a white tunic and deep blue cover robe with dark breeches and a matching belt. It was warm weather, so his feet were bare in his sandals though most still wore their socks. He preferred the bare look, though it did get him teased about having such dainty feet from the guards.

His long ebony hair was pulled up into a high pony-tail and tied with a leather thong, and a single white feather. It had once been a gift from the old man when he was younger. If one looked close enough, just shy of Kai's right temple was a shock of white in his otherwise dark hair, no wider than a mere half an inch streak. This was due to a childhood injury that left a scar on his head, and so the hair that grew in since has always been white. On the ride up, the guards had been asking Kai if any of the ladies in town had caught his eye. Any time this subject came up, Kai wanted to crack his head on the nearest wall. He always answered in the same way. [#000580 [b "....I'm not looking for a woman..."]] and it wasn't a lie. He wasn't looking for a woman. He would be teased or asked why not, and then someone would speak up that he was still young yet, he had plenty of time to find him a nice girl and settle down. Kai wanted to gag. Marriage and family were the last things on his mind. Especially to a woman.

Right now all Kai could think of was the fact that the Lord had given him to the Crowned Prince to become his advisor as he was becoming the new Emperor. He had learned the tricks of being able to blend in at the Lord's manor... but how was he supposed to keep the secret in such a large place with about three times the staff? He would have to figure things out later, for now, he was keeping an eye on anyone that set off his red flags. He would have to learn very quickly whom he could and could not trust in the palace. The war might be over, but Palace Politics were a war all their own. When he had the chance he was going to speak with the old man privately about all of this and why he had decided to give Kai to the Emperor.

He had wanted to ask on the ride up, but they had to pack up and leave immediately, then the guards were close and listening, and Kai couldn't afford them to hear anything slip about his secret should that come up. Why the old man thought he would be a good choice for the Emperor's Advisor was beyond him. He was a stable boy, a farm fighter, one from the village, he wasn't meant for this puffy palace life. Not to mention just being there would have him on very high alert, even if his body language didn't show it.

Something else crossed his mind as they began entering the palace gates. Every new staff member had to undergo physical examinations by the palace physician. [#000580 [i [b 'Shit... how am I gonna keep the secret from the Emperor at this rate?']]] he thought, mildly panicking in his mind. One thing at a time. He was really going to have to speak to the old man about this, the more Kai thought about it, the angrier he got.

Once they had dismounted their horses, they were taken into the palace to await the Crowned Prince. Kai couldn't help but to wonder if he would look anything like the child Prince that he had met so many years ago. He tried not to dwell on it as they were led through the main foyer and down a corridor to the Throne Room and told to wait for His Highness to finish his meal as they had arrived in the early-ish morning. Kai took this time to glance around and start learning the area as much as he possibly could. The Old Lord had been called over by an old friend and colleague that was visiting the Palace, and so they had wandered off in the room to speak and catch up.

This left Kai to his own devices, and so somewhat unprepared when someone came up behind him and spoke up in question with his name. He turned to look to the taller male before him, and there was no denying who stood there. Crowned Prince Katsuo. His hair seemed longer, based on his bun, since he was a child. His skin was darker, probably from being in the sun over the years, and all traces of the young boy that had helped Kai was long gone and replaced with that of a mature man. Caught off guard, Kai would blink a moment before regaining his composure quickly and giving a soft bow in respect. [#000580 [b "Your Highness.... Yes, I am Kai."]] He wondered where the Lord was, but based on a round of guffaws and laughter, he was still catching up and therefore Kai was on his own. Wonderful.
Kai (Kaila) / Ravanya / 169d ago
As a boy, one would think that you were to always remain close to your father. They were to be here for you and teach you how to become a man, often in their image. However, this was not how Katsuo’s relationship with his father was. For him, the two had always been at odds since he was born. He imagined it had everything to do with the fact that his father was a cold and calculating man, bold and at times downright terrifying. He, on the other hand came off as quiet. He believed his actions provide louder than his words and always considered that there were smarter ways to go about situations rather than killing or imprisoning someone for things not going one’s way. When he had set his father’s concubines free, he thought he was doing what was right. His intention was to end such horrible practices no longer a norm should he ever come to take the throne. It’d sickened him to see them only trailed back into the very palace he helped them escape; sometimes he could still hear their cries in his sleep.

Katsuo was unsure whether he could truly say he was happy when his father had been killed. Despite their differences he was still his father and losing him was a complicated feeling that Katsuo struggled with daily. Now, with the throne in his sighs, he was only furthermore confused. What kind of leader would he be? Could he undo the wrongs of his father?

It was late afternoon when his guards had left to bring back the one who was called Kai. After his father had been killed, there was a ceremony to which he wanted to show how great of a man the Old Lord was for what he had accomplished. He didn’t want money, nor even a medal. Instead, asking for him to consider Kai as his advisor. That was unusual, as those positions were reserved for men who had lived in the palace for generations. Yet, he could not turn down the offer as he owed a great deal to him.

Katsuo was just finishing breakfast when the guards had returned then to announce that they had brought the young ale back and he was waiting for the crowned Prince in the throne room. Katsuo had dropped his napkin to the table, coming to a stand then to head that way. Long flowing hair was tied up into a loose bun. For the most part, his choice of clothing was a bit more subtle than his father’s had been no loud colors or clunky jewelry to announce his status.

The male was a bit short in stature it seemed, but Katsuo could only get so good of. Look from afar. Finally reaching up front he then stood before the boy.
“You must be Kai?”
katsuo / kshahidx / 169d ago
[b [i "Kai! Step quick, lad, the Lord wants to see you in his tea room, immediately."]] One of the guards called down from the main home as Kai was herding a chicken back into its coup. He frowned and in confusion and once the chicken was locked away, he would sigh.

[#000580 [i [b "I just knew that when you got out, it was going to be a bad day. This is your fault, Ima..."]]] he blamed at the chicken who clucked at him angrily for being locked up again. He sighed and ran a hand through his bangs and along with the headband that rested beneath them before looking up to the grand manor. [#000580 [i [b "The tea room..... must be a serious talk, then."]]] Making sure the chicken couldn't get free again, he turned and began to make his way back to the house with a slight yawn. It was early afternoon, right about the time the Lord took his tea, though he usually liked to take it alone as it was a time for him to honor his late wife.

[b [i "Quickly now..."]] called the guard again and Kai smirked.

[#000580 [i [b "I hear you, Bang, I'm coming!"]]] He shook his head and set into a light job towards the main doors of the manor. It had been eleven years now since he had come to the manor with the old man, the only time they talked in the tea room was for something serious. Making his way through the many halls and up a set of stairs to the next story and down another hall, Kai would come to the tea room and giving a light sigh would knock twice and wait for permission to enter.

[b [i "You may enter, my boy..."]] With that Kai opened the door and stepped in, moving to stand towards the side of his table and give a soft bow of his head. The Lord waved a hand at his formalities and pointed to a seat in front of him. Kai frowned and looked to him with a questioning gaze. [b [i "Sit..."]] Something serious was going on after all. Kai moved to the chair and took his seat, taking the moment to pour the tea for them both and waited with his hands wrapped around the now-warm cup. [b [i "My boy..... my Kai, I think that.... it is time that we discussed some things that you have been hiding from me..."]] the old man said as he sipped his tea.

[#000580 [i [b "M-Milord... If this is about Ima and her escape jobs, I swear I've no idea how she keeps getting out...."]]] Kai stated, now worried and sitting more rigid in his chair, finger lightly tapping the rim of his cup in a nervous habit. The old man shook his head and waved him off again with a soft grunt.

[b [i "That damned bird would be dinner by now if she didn't lay the biggest eggs... but, no son, this is about something much bigger than the chicken... It has been many years since you came to live with me here. And though you have been one of the best of my staff here, and possibly have everyone else fooled, I have seen through your lie since the beginning.]] Kai felt his palms starting to sweat and let go of the cup to lay them on his legs beneath the table. His features, though, gave away nothing but an odd concern of this otherwise serious talk. [b [i "I believe that you are old enough now to explain to me why you are masquerading around as a boy when I've known from the start, you're a girl..."]]

Kai, originally named Kaila, felt her stomach drop to the floor beneath her as she stared at the old man wide-eyed. She had known that it wouldn't last forever, but to let her believe that it was working all these years was cruel. [#000580 [i [b "Was I so obvious? Why let me think I had you all fooled if you had known from the start?"]]]

[b [i "Not everyone knows. Bang knows, I know, and of course, the physician knows, and they all swore to keep the secret at my word. I figured you had your reasons for why you needed to remain a boy, so I let it slide, but you are growing older, your body is already developing as the Gods have birthed you to be. How long do you believe you can continue this for?"]] Kai didn't answer, instead, she would stare into the teacup. [b [i "So then... tell me what happened..."]] Kai was silent awhile, the nightmares and flashes of that summer night racing through her mind before she sighed and told her story, of how she had been a concubine tribute when she was younger to be given to the palace for the Emperor. That night they had been freed by the young Crowned Prince and ran away. Someone spotted them fleeing and the hunt had begun. Kai's mother had hidden her away where she stayed for three days before she thought it safe to travel to the next town where she started her masquerade as a boy to avoid being sent back again.

They sat in silence for awhile drinking the tea as they gave the emotional tension in the room ease softly. When her cup was near empty she looked up at the old man. [#000580 [i [b "Are you going to send me away now?]]] He looked to her like she'd asked him if the sky was purple.

[b [i "If that were the case, then why keep you all of these years? Child..."]] he started then sighed to lay his hands folded on the table a moment. [b [i "I will be leaving in a month... I am joining the others in this war to stop the Emperor. Something has to be done about his reign before more innocent lives are lost."]] Kai looked to him with wide eyes and started to stand, claiming that she would go with him, fight with him. [b [i "If you so much as step one foot off my lands to fight, I will expose you as a woman to the entire world...."]] he said sternly and she froze in fear.

[#000580 [i [b "Milord... you could be killed if you go..."]]]

[b [i "I will be killed if I stay... we must strike first. You are to stay here and care for those here while Bang and I do our duty."]] She lowered her head in a defeated bow to his words and soon she was dismissed. Over the month of preparing, she tried to get him to change his mind, but he would never budge. When the time came to leave, she tried to look strong for him, then spent the night in her room praying and crying for his safe return home.

Over the next two years, the news of the war was devastating. The Emperor would take out whole villages and set up bastard ambushes to take out those that opposed him. When news traveled of his death it was like the country herself took a deep relieved sigh. Kai was brushing what few horses remained in the stables when calls came from the main house and the staff came running out. Looking towards the road, they could be seen. The old man and Bang, looking almost twenty years older than the day they left, war-torn, and tired, but alive. Her joy at them coming home was short-lived with the Lord told Kai that she was to be escorted to the palace, immediately.

She was to become the Crowned Prince's advisor and to help him rise to become the new Emperor. Packed up and set to one of the best horses the Lord held in his stables, they rode for the Palace to return to the place that had killed Kaila and birthed Kai.
Kai (Kaila) / Ravanya / 202d ago

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