Post by dabluemushu on Feb 18, 2011 19:44:39 GMT -5
Niko nibbled at the bun she’d lifted off the vendor’s cart and squinted up at the sign above her. Recently, Sukino had been trying to teach her to read. It was a credit to her friend’s patience that she had learned ten new characters- he was right when he called her the worst student in history. The entire time he’d been drawing the characters she’d been fiddling with her clothes, teasing Miko or practicing handstands. Sukino had told her it was a miracle she’d learned to walk, with her short attention span. She thought it read ‘Tea House’ with several indistinguishable characters in between (Blue, maybe? And one of them in the middle looked like character for Sparrow, but she couldn’t be sure). Oh well. She’d never been a braniac-if she had to use her smarts, it was always in order to play people against one another. Niko stretched, letting the sun catch her at a nice angle. It was so nice and warm today, she was surprised the whole world wasn’t taking advantage of it. Plenty of people were though- and plenty of people meant plenty of nice plump targets for some very nimble fingers. Niko grinned and polished off the bun, licking her fingers clean. Time to see if she couldn’t bring home some gold.
Like most men his age, Iroh was a man filled with secrets. Some were huge secrets like the Order of the White Lotus's Super Secret Handshake. Some were small secrets like he didn't like the tea cups they use in the palace. As with all secrets he was determined to keep them safely in the same place that he kept all his recipes for the Jasmine Dragon.
That place being of course a very small and out of the way antique shop outside the capital. It did make updating the Jasmine Dragon Cook Book a little difficult, but it was worth having a safe place to think that wasn't owned by his nephew. He loved Zuko, like a son, but it was uncomfortable living in the Firelords house for extended periods. It wasn't that he was too proud to accept hospitality from someone who he used to change their diapers, far from it. He had spent his formative years there and if it wasn't for Zuko, he would be its current owner. It was that Zuko, despite his best efforts had terrible tastes. But he couldn't blame Zuko, he always had difficulty choosing between right and wrong teas morally.
Besides, the Capital for all of its flare was boring. The architecture was boring, the nobles were boring, and the palace staff, agni bless them, were a little uptight. But considering Zhen and Zuko, the imposing nature of the palace suffocated most attempts to get people to cut loose. So as usual, he had his morning tea and promptly ditched the Royal Firebenders and made a beeline straight for the Harbor to look for familiar or at least interesting faces.
However for once it was painfully obvious that even a Grand Lotus could make strategic miscalculations from time to time. And Iroh had certainly miscalculated his sense of direction as he quickly found himself lost. It was probably his own fault, the last two times he ha been in town he had proper guides/servants to help him find his way around. Shrugging it off to destiny, Iroh did what he always did when he had to think. Drink.
Rounding a corner Iroh came across an interesting looking location and licked his lips in appreciation. He certainly hadn't heard of a Blue Sparrow Tea Shop, but Iroh knew that providence certainly didn't make mistakes. Destiny as usual, was calling and Iroh was determined to answer the call once again.
Post by dabluemushu on Feb 20, 2011 4:48:15 GMT -5
It-well he really- was the mother load. As fisherman had their white whale, this was a thief’s big catch. Strolling around Harbor city was a rotund man in obviously expensive robes and some very overwhelming facial hair. Niko slid off the roof, landing roughly on the ground below. It only took a few seconds to blend in with the crowd, letting herself get jostled but avoiding the sharp elbows. She supposed it was a bad karma to try and pick the pockets of the elderly, but he didn’t look like the type to miss a couple gold coins. Assuaging her guilt, Niko promised herself she’d slip a few coins into the hands of some beggars-now those were elderly that needed it. And the rest- well she could use a new shirt. Oooh, and maybe a necklace and a nice feast… Niko shook her head clear. No use counting your chickens before the eggs hatched. So instead of daydreaming any longer, Niko slipped up behind the old man, intent on his very fat wallet.
Last Edit: Feb 20, 2011 4:49:23 GMT -5 by dabluemushu
Considering his position as unofficial regent of the Fire Nation when Zuko was sick with a cold, there were few perks for Iroh. Zuko had hardly provided him a salary or an allowance despite being the only one who had followed him into exile. Not that Iroh would have accepted it with the Dragon's current success, but it was the thought that counted.
Speaking of pockets, it appeared that his were a little more vulnerable than he thought as he felt something shift behind him. Drawing on years of traveling/military/life experience, Iroh had managed to control the knee jerk reaction to knee or jerk against any threat that loomed to assasinate him and claim the throne of Flamey Fuhrer. Instead, Iroh reacted with his gut and then swung that gut backwards to see if there was someone behind him.
Post by dabluemushu on Feb 28, 2011 2:42:26 GMT -5
Of all the ways to go down, being hit with old man fat had to be the worst! Thank the gods none of her gang members were here to laugh at her. Bei and the Fuu brothers would never let her live this down if they found out.
“Hey! What’s the big idea, gut bumping me like that?” Okay, it wasn’t exactly a fair question. She had been trying to rob him. But, hell, it was the principle that counted! Taking someone out with your bouncing belly- well now, that was just disrespectful.
“Honestly, you think people would be more sympathetic to poor, starving, illiterate orphans!”
If there was one thing awesome about being old, it was being able to get as fat as you like. Sure it wasn't quite as healthy, but he could as the young Flamey's say, "throw down with the best of them." Plus it helped in all sorts of pertinent every day uses. Like MORTAL COMBAT.
More importantly however, experience and tea gut allowed him to blend into his surroundings. Not in the hiding sense, no being bigger tended to be a problem when it came to camoflauge but in an emotional sense. Thieves, Aristocrats, Guards, the Ladies, all tended to lower their guard the larger and older he got.
Bringing his mouth up to his face and immediately regretting he had a fan to hide it behind, Iroh cowered in the face of public shame and hitting a young girl. Gut checking people had been among the first no no's taught in the military after all. "I'm so sorry, but in my old age, I tend to forget that I'm not as young as I used to be." As if age had anything to do with the impromptu stomach to body contact.
"Let me help you up dear. I'm sure some warm tea will clear up this little misshap." Iroh reached for both the girls hands to pull her up off the ground. He hadn't quite expected such a positive response with his gut reaction. But as usual, he was quite pleased with the organs actions.
Post by dabluemushu on Mar 3, 2011 19:40:49 GMT -5
Tea? Well, it wasn’t exactly the mother load. Her gang wasn’t going to compliment her on having successfully finagled tea [/i}out of someone. But then again, it was tea. And tea was good. Really good. Especially when you considered those little pastries they came with, and the smell- tea houses smelled amazing.
Niko accepted the old man’s hand up. He was stronger than he looked. A lot stronger. She wasn’t exactly a komodo rhino in weight but that old man’s grip… well, he was a lot like her old friend Shy. Casual, smiling, doesn’t look like he could harm a fly and then-wham! In your face, taking your money at cards or running off with your life savings like the shark he was. Niko shot the old man a suspicious look- that sincere, friendly look on his face- just like Shy. Oooh, he was a dangerous one alright.
“Tea cures all ails. Including bruises caused by being belly slammed. I think, with tea, I could easily forgive you.” Playing up the sympathy, (even if he was a sneaky old shark) Niko rubbed at her beleaguered backside and then straightened up.
“But not here. We stole buns from here once and they were all clumped and sour.” Niko wrinkled her nose. They’d eaten them of course, but they hadn’t been good.
“There’s a place that’s great- or at least, my friend Cho says it’s great- down the street. I can’t read the sign, but it’s got a big chrysanthemum on it and lotuses painted all over the pillars.”
A meal. Not a pay load, but then again, no one needed to tell her gang about this unfortunate little incident. Besides, sometimes information was as valuable as money and finding out the status of this man of stature could be more than worth missing her mark.
Last Edit: Mar 3, 2011 19:44:29 GMT -5 by dabluemushu
"Ha Ha HAA... It's good to fine a fellow believer in the medicinal applications of tea. I hope you know a brew that will soothe my bruised ego." Ever the crowd pleaser, Iroh chuckled a little nervously at his new companions very cleverly veiled blackmail. With a quick glance around the crowd for disapproving women, guards, or Yu Yan Assasins, Iroh listened to the impromptu confession with gusto. While extortion and evil gloating were traditional practices amongst the Fire Nation elite, Iroh always found it quite flattering when it came to things people wanted to extort out of him and his family.
Thankfully this time it appeared that it wouldn't take a room full of gold or high ranking Earth Kingdom hostages. Zuko wasn't one for keeping such mementos of the war and he was quite sure the Fire Nation was quite lacking in both national resources at the moment.
"Someone as young as you, shouldn't be associating yourself with things like thievery... And bad food." It was quite a tragedy too. That tea shop looked so promising. However, Iroh was quite a sucker for lotuses and children with a sad backstory. Perhaps he was starting to miss the innocent, non-family betraying Zuko in his later years.