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Author Topic: Teachers Open the Door  (Read 1596 times)

Qi-Li Bai

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Teachers Open the Door
« on: July 14, 2015, 04:32:00 AM »
Teachers open the door. You enter by yourself.

     Gondor. He had only been there for a month and already his Westron had greatly improved, depending on who you spoke to. His broken Westron made young children laugh, and adults give up when he tried to pay for something. The people weren’t very welcoming to him, but every day he thanked the people he rented from by watering their previously, partially dead garden. Tomatoes, carrots, and the like grew there. Along the back wall was a grape vine he tended to, and a tree that grew pears. Soon he only had to go to the market for rice – as the climate in Gondor was not very suitable for growing such things. Bai was happy to stay in his borrowed home. No one pestered him, no one questioned where he came from. It was peace, solitude, and he had room in his sparse living room to practice his beloved art.

     It would be an understatement to think that for all that Bai did for the family they were grateful. After all, bringing the garden back to life was thanks enough. It became plentiful and soon there was enough to even share with the neighbors who couldn’t afford to go to the market and barter with coin for the vegetables they needed. In the coming months, he noticed, the people he rented from – a married couple, who were just expecting their first child their names: Duinhir and Everild. Both had reluctantly agreed to let Bai stay, though judging by the menial number of his own people, it was not uncommon. But, he soon learned that not all people disliked those who came from the East. Everild was the first to come to enjoy Bai’s company, and he hers. Soon to follow was Duinhir, who was one to suggest that he open a school to make some money (Duinhir was an accountant, so money was his main concern) to pay for the rent going as far as to say that he would be Bai’s first student (which was difficult, Duinhir worked late and rose early, so it was no surprise to the Easterling when only one lesson was taught).

     Everild helped Bai make flyers, and asked some of the neighborhood children to post those flyers up all over city in hopes that someone would take interest. “[color=]Thank you.[/color]” He said. Everild smiled and patted him on the shoulder saying nothing.

     For a couple of weeks there had been the occasional student. The Twins Aldith and Elvina were his only solid students. Both young girls (about ten years of age) showed promise, and since Bai was not one to discriminate against women (being that there were women back in the Orphanage/Monastery who were just as good as any one of the Masters, even the cook had been pretty well trained), he was pleased to teach them. And it was because of them he got his third solid student, ÆÐelric (eight years old). Children, all of his students were children! Not that Bai hated children, he loved them, but he couldn’t exactly level with them on an adult level. Being the angel he was, though, his patience out served him with ÆÐelric. It will simply take longer. He thought, advancing the Twins at their own pace each; always making sure that they understood the principle behind his teachings before advancing one of them.

     On this particular morning, Bai awoke naturally from his slumber, rose from his mat on the floor, rolled it up, set it to one side and set about his morning routine of checking the garden, then checking his rice supply, the date to make sure nothing financial was due, and putting the kettle on the fire. Changing his clothes, he wore white pants, white shoes, a black undershirt and a long white robe. The kettle started to sound from the kitchen just in time. Placing loose leaf tea in a small, four ounce, clay tea cup. Taking his tea out front and sitting on a stool, Bai watched the sun rise and the people wake. My students should be coming by any time. He thought, taking a sip of his tea, closing his eyes and savoring the familiar, comforting flavor.        
#7E4A3F

played by: Hades

Vashti Ada Tohrein

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Re: Teachers Open the Door
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2015, 11:41:49 PM »
She wasn’t entirely sure of what had first compelled her attention to the flyer. To be honest, it was a homely, simple little things made on paper that had been used one too many times - crumpled and discarded to make place for something of greater importance. But for every one torn, two more seemed to appear, the owner - whoever it was - relentless. More and more came to appear each day, enough so that one eventually made it to the mercenary’s hands. Nearly ridiculous, she would call it, the description of the easterling class, something that could have easily been a thing of ridicule were it fifteen or twenty years prior. But instead, curiosity persevered. Instead of discarding the paper, letting it rot on the ground as so many others had, Vashti’s felt compelled to see what these easterlings brought.

Still, she never thought that the piece of Gondor the teacher, now even that sounded silly, had been transformed.

It smelled different - crisper, sweeter than Gondor did. It was a soft, refreshing aroma oddly reminiscent from the Easterling wares seldomly found in the markets. Once or twice she had come across the faint scent and its distinction still managed to remain untouched. Vashti stepped further in,  footsteps softly echoing through the small garden, across the short grassed and flowering plants that occupied it. She ducked her head beneath a short tree, branches heavy with leafs, walking back slowly. Green thumb, this one. She thought in wild amusement, smile ever present on her lips, as she took a couple of steps back leading herself deeper into the garden.

Grasses crunched beneath her boot as the woman turned, too distracted to initially notice the easterling man poised upon his seat. Once she did, however, the stark contrast between the man and his surroundings became jarringly obvious. The whiteness of his clothes was the first thing to bring the woman’s attention to him, but it was the serenity which he displayed that kept her attention on him. Blue orbs rose from the white robes to the closed eyes, and the dainty cup secured firmly within his hands. Well, this isn’t at all odd, She mused, brow cocked in askance.

He continued to sip.

A step back and Vashti folded her arms, clicking her tongue in exasperation. She had half expected a response from him - for greeting to cross his lips, but there was none. In fact, as the woman stepped before the man, no reaction came. There was not even the slightest acknowledgement. Instead he continued to drink that sweet-smelling tea, as if none had interrupted his quiet morning. The mercenary opened her mouth,  looking for words, but there were none to give. Instead blue orbs continued to watch as the easterling drank, arms crossed. Vashti’s lips twitched, the frown growing deeper, more pronounced.  She chewed listlessly on the inside of her mouth,

Alright, this is going to get old… She cleared her throat loudly, enough so to cause his eyes to flitter open.

“Hello?” Her voice chirped, the sing song tune breaking the silence, lips curling into a smirk. “You know, if this is what the whole class will be like, I can’t say that it’ll be entertaining.” The mercenary continued,  ever at ease, as she leaned against the porch. The woman sighed, shrugging her shoulders together. She said nothing as she continued to lean, unfolding her arms and resting them against the porch. It really was a lovely green shade. Still. “Bloody waste of time and coin if I ever saw one.”

Qi-Li Bai

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Re: Teachers Open the Door
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2016, 06:03:01 AM »
     No, Bai wasn’t really all that stirred when he heard someone come crunching up the pathway towards his humble porch. He did continue to sip, waiting to see what sort of man (or possibly woman) would do to being ignored. No, it wasn’t a typical telltale sign of anything for the future, but it was important to know just how patient someone could before taking them on a physical and mental journey. As a Monk from the East - the only practice being that his hair was cut short instead of shaved. He did stick out, though it wasn’t his intention. And he did ignore her, for the moment anyways, sipping his tea and enjoying the fresh air. He felt her shift, fold her arms, he heard her click her tongue. Yet he remained passive.

     This didn’t seem to amuse his guest, however, as the sharpness of her clearing her throat to speak caused him discomfort. He turned his gaze to the woman before him. She was very ordinary to him. All of the people in the West seemed ordinary and alike. But there was something in her stance, the way she carried herself, that told Bai she had come here for a  definite reason. He imagined, rather quickly, that she was a traveler based on the state of her clothes, but that she lived … or he imagined that she lived… rather uncomfortably. Her features were sharp, and her eyes were remarkably blue. “Hello? You know, if this is what the whole class will be like, I can’t say it will be entertaining… … … Bloody waste of time and coin if I ever saw one.

     Bai couldn’t hide his surprise. His almond eyes opened wide, the depths of his brown eyes unable to hide the hurt he felt. But it passed quickly, though not unnoticeable. Turning his gaze from the woman he rose, tea cup in hand, a little more than two sips worth left was all that remained. He turned towards the fireplace and took up another cup on his way. Pouring some of the contents of the teapot into the empty cup he turned to the woman and smiled pleasantly. “Please,” His accent was thick but his Westron had improved with time, “Won’t you have some tea? That was incredibly rude of me, I apologize.” He approached the woman with ease, gliding across the floor to stop a foot from where she was to hold the tea out.

     Of course, if Vashti caught on, she would see that he was testing her. She was already low on patience, but how did she deal with anger? He didn’t want to take on a student only to find out something unpleasant. Not that it could be avoided, but … there was no harm in seeing. Besides, when she took a step forward to take the cup from his hands he waited till she was fully vulnerable to land the palm of his hand swiftly against the midsection of her body to push her away (not hard enough for her to fall on her back, but just enough). He resumed his position, arms out, both hands in the offering position, and the teacup held out. “Take the tea.” He offered...
#7E4A3F

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Vashti Ada Tohrein

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Re: Teachers Open the Door
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2017, 02:32:53 AM »
She saw the hurt in his eyes much to her surprise; the Easterling’s foreign eyes betraying the calmness his face tried to give. It surprised her, Vashti would admit, though perhaps it really shouldn’t. She couldn’t imagine that life for the foreign man had been easy when he first arrived - people could be quite cruel and weary to outsiders, especially those of foreign lands. She didn’t apologize however, why should she? And even if she had decided an apology was in order she wasn’t entirely sure how the man would react - was it customary to study people in the East or would it be considered rude? Ah - but does it matter? Vashti thought, glancing away briefly to study the garden.

It was nice, thought she, features soft and eyes bright, similar and yet very different from the Gondor she knew. Yes, it was Gondor, she reminded herself, but the garden - the layout - even the bloody plants - were different from what she knew. Still nice.  Alarm bells rung through her head when the figure first shifted - or perhaps it was the unnatural ease with which he did so - causing the woman’s hand to fall on the hilt of her blade. The shift had been small, without any malice or aggression from either Easterling or mercenary, but it was still there. As she turned away from the gardens, angling her body lightly to better face the taller man - honestly, why was everyone taller than her? - she saw it, the tiny cup secured within his hands.  ”Please,”

From the cup, to his face, and back again her eyes flickered. The woman’s easy grip did not falter immediately as realization fell upon her, the grasp tightening slightly before relaxing. With an open palm she shifted the hilt, a smile curling on the edge of her lips. “Ah, sorry about that. Old habits.” The mercenary explained without, well, explaining, moving closer to take the offer. But, of course, leave it to an Easterling to catch her off guard.  The blow was not hard - more of a push or a shove that made her stumble backwards. It took a step for her to find her balance again, and a second before she realized the man still stood there, as if nothing happened, cup in hand. ”Take the tea.” It wasn’t an offer as much as it was a dare, causing the woman’s eyes to briefly harden. Vashti straightened, arms crossed over her chest.

Lips agape and eyes narrowed, Vashti eyed the dark-haired man; the features that had once been placid suddenly sharp. It was comical, but only just, to see the sudden transformation, how someone that had not stirred the mercenary’s sense of caution now made her nerves alight. She clicked her tongue once, head slightly tilted. From his face the woman’s sharp eyes traveled towards his feet and up again, stopping momentarily at the blasted little cup sitting oh-so-pretty in his hands, before returning to his face. There was no reason for Vashti to hold unto the little chuckle that left her, even less to the way her shoulders rolled into a shrug. “Okay then,” she started slowly, arms sliding apart. “…have it your way then.” Said the mercenary as she shrugged off the vest from her shoulders and she sprung forward.

Fine. He wanted to play that stupid, little game. She would play that stupid, little game.

Qi-Li Bai

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Re: Teachers Open the Door
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2017, 04:55:52 AM »
A slight smile appeared on his lips as he he still held out the cup. The woman was tense; Her hand on the hilt of her weapon from just the slightest move from him. This was the sort of student he was looking for! The sort that would present a challenge, and not be afraid to hit back. Bai didn’t care for violence, but he appreciated the opportunity to be provided with something that could protect him from people who used violence as a tool. As a teacher, he taught his younger students that they should never use their ability to bully, or make themselves out to be better, but rather to protect them and their loved ones. And although he was constantly concerned, he trusted the children; after all children would be children. But there was always something more appealing to training an adult.

He said nothing to ‘old habits’. He only offered the tea and then struck his blow. He watched as she stumbled back. That should have gotten a response out of her! His offer stood: TAKE the tea. Perhaps he had never really thought of it as a dare before. If he had, it would have brought a sly grin to his face. At the moment he was busy watching her. She had good balance - this time. Her body language became taut, her eyes narrowed, and he watched her she became focused. The game, as he heard people say, was on - - or something like that.

He secured the tea tightly in one hand as she sprang at him. In an instant a million different ways of tripping her up came to mind. He could side step and leave his foot out, he could push her (again, only harder this time). The way she charged him needed work, that was something that would have to be corrected. Still! He admired her determination, and the look on her face was amusing. What wasn’t amusing was how quickly she advanced, which left him only a moment to react before he shifted slightly and raised the cup high above her head. Only being a little taller her had this advantage. He felt her rush by, his hand reached out and he pushed again. “You don’t seem to be trying very hard.” He teased.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 04:59:01 AM by Qi-Li Bai »
#7E4A3F

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Vashti Ada Tohrein

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Re: Teachers Open the Door
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2017, 02:32:14 AM »
“You don’t seem to be trying very hard.”  He taunted; even through the thick accent that colored his speech, the lilt with which he teased was not lost to the mercenary. In fact, the tone of his voice was made even more jarring by the way Vashti’s goal - once within range, had been taken away so suddenly. It took only one single, swooping motion for the easterling to raise the cup well and out of her reach. Toying just as much as testing, the woman decided with a two step back, briefly contemplating simply jumping to push the blasted little object out of his hand. She could catch it just as well before it hit the ground; in fact, might even be easier than chasing after the strange hermit of a man. And yet, the teasing tune did little to irritate the woman - even if the use of her height, or lack thereof, did make her falter and glance incredulously at the man.

Foolishly her speed wavered as she considered this, enough so that she didn’t initially notice as his hand reached out. Connecting with the center of her back, the woman felt herself pushed forward, nearly stumbling a second time. Instinct, however, allowed for her to react. It was muscle memory that made her twist around and grab ahold of his forearm preventing her from stumbling. With the offending limb tight in her grasp and her balance in check, the mercenary gave a mirthless laugh. Vashti still smiled behind a cocked head, amused besides herself and the current situation she found herself in. “Just warmin’ up.” She said mimicking the same tone that the easterling had used but a few seconds prior. With a twist of her hips, her upper body followed - free hand braced on her chest and elbow trained on the man.

The easterling’s reaction was quicker than she had anticipated — as she lunged her elbow forward, Vashti felt as the arm holding the cup came down redirecting her blow. The woman cursed aloud in annoyance. With the distance closed, Vashti snapped her head back.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 05:43:34 AM by Vashti Ada Tohrein »

Qi-Li Bai

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Re: Teachers Open the Door
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2018, 02:39:30 AM »
No. It would not do to have her chasing him around. But, that approach never appealed to Bai even in open combat, unless it was necessary. Which, come to think of it, was often. This new realization distracted him for a moment. Everything the woman did was a blur, she was hanging on to him to keep from tumbling to the ground. Her reflexes are quick! This was good. Her balance - which always seemed to remain in question - was brought to the forefront once again. She needed to work on her foot work. She was going to be a challenge! He welcomed it, nearly, with open arms. He put his list together with care.

A few seconds later he wished he had been slightly more mindful of the cup. He moved quickly to block her elbow, and at the same time let go of the cup, and listened as it smashed to the ground. Shards went flying, and what was left of the tea stained the floor. His hand grasped her elbow, pushing it towards her with measured force. This was no longer about the tea, or the smashed cup. This was about …

Bai adjusted his grip, grabbing a hold of the arm that was clinging to him, he forced her arm down, twisting so that her back was facing him, and her arm was held tightly against her back. “Very good…” He commented, smiling, “Needs work, and practice.” He let her go, stepping back, careful to not step on any of the shards of the broken tea cup. Bai walked over to one of the taller cabinets, opened the door and retrieved a broom and dust pan. It wouldn’t look good if the landlords walked in, looked down, and saw the broken cup!

He swept it up carefully, disposing of it somewhere he could collect on it later. “I’m sure your sword is better than your fist; but I can help you with that, as I have helped many others before.” He did not intend to sound so prideful, the regret showing instantly on his face. “That is… if you wish to.” He wasn’t sure if he should continue talking, and was kicking himself mentally as he poured two cups tea, offering one to the young woman.

If you wish to think on it, please accept this tea before you go. You did take it from me, after all.

Had he lost his chance for a new student? Hell, he would teach her for free if he could. She had potential, and his knowledge would not go to waste on her.

ooc:: I hope this works... I wasn't sure what to do .... !!!!!!!
#7E4A3F

played by: Hades