The sun was setting, sinking low on the horizon, and drowning itself in the waters to the west, somewhere beyond the crater. The celebrations though, were well underway. For the most part, people were just getting out of the restaurants from dinner, and working their way around the festivities.
He had spent most of the day helping a few local places set up small stages and hang lights, decorations, and curtains. He had even had to move a whole fry table out onto the porch of a restaurant so the owners could sell directly to the passers by. The usual preparation for the celebrations, but he had gotten off earlier than anticipated, and left to his own devices. Or more accurately, his own vices.
After about an hour of dressing, sweeping his hair up, lining his eyes and dusting his lids dramatically, he was ready to join the party. The shirt he wore showed a bit too much skin, and the mask was quite sensually gruesome from where it perched on his nose.
A drink or two passed, and his guilt began to get the better of him. He quickly came to the conclusion that he would be a royal jerk if he didn't at least swing by the Mikoto Opera house to say hello. He hadn't promised, exactly, but watching all the families and groups of friends was starting to make him feel a little lonely. It wasn't long before he was starting down the street towards the lion statues at the far end.
He had to wait about fifteen minutes before there was any sound from the Opera House, and the first sound was the thunking of the little door opening in the larger gate.
"No! Sel! You have to let me bring it!" Aria protested, tugging on a mass of cloth as she was backed out through the door.
"Oh suck it up! You aren't even going to use it"
"That isn't the point! Just let me.."TUG"..bring it with me!" Aria stumbled, then yelped as Sel took the opportunity to jerk the cloth away.
Aria started forward but the gate banged shut in her face. She whapped it with an open palm. "Sellllllll..."
"Go have fun!" came the muffled reply from inside the estate.
Shoving her fists down by her sides, Aria glared at the brightly painted wood. After a moment she looked down at her feet, which were shoved into tiny yellow slippers that matched her dress. Evidently it was an old chorus costume that had been taken up from somewhere in storage, and even though the stiff underskirt had been removed, it still sat like a ballet dress on her slender frame. Overlapping layers of yellow and orange silk formed petal-like shapes that fell to mid-shin, and swaths of the same fabric had been gathered from the waist into two wide straps that narrowed at the shoulders (where they were wound with ribbons) but otherwise formed two deep V's that tucked into the golden rope wound around her waist. Aria had protested - quite loudly - about the outfit, but Anala and Sel had been insistent. Even so, she'd put up enough of a fuss that Anala still had to get herself ready, and so Aria was left standing quite alone on the other side of the gate.
...feeling quite bullied.
A hand went to the plummeting neckline that she tried to tug together. Even if it couldn't be entirely fixed, she'd be happy enough if it just didn't show any ribs, thankyouverymuch. It took a few moments of fiddling before she looked up and actually saw Rain.
"Oh gosh!! You're here."Blushblushblush.
Not only was she entirely unprepared for his appearance, but she was entirely unprepared for his sultry appearance. Aria's hand lifted to that horrendous, glittery, hand-made mask that Isa had given her yes, she was actually wearing it, making sure it was on straight.
Post by Ginka Senkei on Apr 10, 2011 14:29:28 GMT -5
[[Ginka's incoming! I don't know about all manners of the Opera House, but let's suppose that Ginka had agreed with someone to be out already.]]
Rain and Aria weren't the only ones that were coming to the festival. There was also plenty of other guests, including a teen girl that hadn't visited them for eternity...
...and who currently was very insecure about her costume.
It was again one of Enka's - her older sister's - impulse buys. It consisted of fire red baggy trousers made of fine, light material, curled-tipped red shoes and the biggest terror, the red shirt. It had far too open neck and it reached barely over her chest, continuing after that as a some transparent hem. Enka had claimed that Ginka seemed really cute in this costume, but Ginka herself was fearing too strong winds... okay, SOME people were the ones to reveal their midriff, but Ginka wasn't. For her, it was enough to reveal her head and hands.
But according the latest letter from Ginka's home, Enka was going to attend the festival, too. It was of course wonderful to meet her again, but Ginka had rather painful moments with choosing if to take that costume or not. Eventually, she ended up to avoid upsetting her older sister. Even if Enka was abnormally laid-back noblewoman, upsetting was never a good thing.
Back to the business. Ginka waddled somewhere on street front of the Opera House, some ten meters from the main gate. On the one hand, she didn't dare to go to the festival alone yet, but on the other hand, she thought that once she was prepared for the festival, it was a little silly to go back to the Opera House buildings before the festival had ended. That's why she strolled there, rolling her golden-red half-mask in her hands. Ginka had always preferred half-masks, because you didn't have to remove it if you wanted to eat or drink something. Well, it didn't save her from blushing, but at least it gave some privacy for her. Anyway, Ginka waited for that someone from the Opera house would come and accompany her to the festival areas.
While walking circles there, Ginka suddenly noticed a man approaching the Opera House. Judging from his... creative costume, he had to be a festival guest. Or performer. What ever. Anyway, the man was going to the gate. Ginka became curious: who was that man? She didn't remember to see him earlier... though, she couldn't tell all members of the Opera House, either. The man waited at the gate for a good time. Also Ginka waited, not daring to approach him. And why she should even approach? She didn't know him...
Suddenly, Ginka heard muffled voices behind the gate. Someone from the Opera House was coming! And suddenly... it turned out that that someone was Aria. Yes. She had promised to come to the festival, too.
"Oh gosh!! You're here."
So, Aria knew that man, who-ever he was... or was that man that "he" who Aria was often talking about? ...well...
Anyway, mainly because of the presence of that unfamiliar man, for now Ginka felt best to stay aside... it wasn't polite to rush. ...but she hoped that Aria would notice her and allow her to come with Aria to the festival area.
...but if that man was that "he" (the statement strengthened when Ginka saw Aria blushing), she wasn't sure if Aria wanted anyone else to join... it was pretty similar than issues with Tamaka and her first boyfriend...
...hopefully someone else from the Opera House was coming to the festival, too.
OOC: Working around Aria's thread, since player is gone. Trying to see if we can salvage the Solstice Festival arc. Anyone is still free to join.
What an off-putting sort of greeting... He pushed the mask up off his face, and an eyebrow slunk up, and a polite smile twisted up his lips. "Daring statement, Lady Aria." He said in a way that could have either meant 'What in the spirit world are you wearing on your face?' or 'I love your dress.' and would be frustratingly ambiguous to decipher. He felt they had known each other long enough for him to tease, and he was quite good at it.
The next moment a younger girl, perhaps one of the apprentices at the theatre was walking up the stairs to join them outside the gate, only to stop anxiously several paces away. With the way that Aria was looking at him, he could understand why, and he tugged at the hem of his vest, momentarily uncomfortable.
He was about to open his mouth and invite her the rest of the way up when a sudden bellowing from inside the gate had his head, and probably everyone else's too, swinging towards the closed doors. He new that voice, he'd heard it before, behind the curtain of the stage. Rain had a theory: Marcus probably found out his little heiress was trying to slip out and have fun in the city after he had forbidden it.
"Perhaps you better get back inside before he sees you." Was advised, he was already starting down the stairs, "I'll walk by again in fifteen minutes, meet me if you can." She would probably get into a lot more trouble if her cousin found out she was sneaking off with a boy. Family tended to misunderstand situations like that.
As he swept by the girl who had met them, he gave her a knee melting smile, then nodded his head, indicating that she shouldn't just stand there like a statue. That she needed to pick a direction and run... into the Opera House, or into the City.
ooc: gah sorry this is long. and sorry Wangxi's such a creeper.
There was never a better time for the plotting of terrible things than a festival. At least, that was Lady Mu Wangxi’s opinion on the matter. When else could an elite member of the noble class so boldly stroll into an essentially dormant opera house? Wangxi remembered when the Mikoto Opera House had been something one of her status would have attended without the need of a mask, but that had been in her youth.
Now times were very different. Instead of attending the opera house with family for entertainment, Wangxi went alone to receive news from an informant who happened to work at the Mikoto. Going in person wasn’t necessary, but on this particular day, she liked to make it clear to any and all of the lower members of the Original People of the Flame that no amount of alcohol should result in loose tongues or else those tongues would be loosened from their mouths quite painfully.
Of course, she wouldn’t be presenting herself as the Lady Mu because that could be disastrous should someone be able to link the noble lady and the traitorous group. No, no…tonight she was Huli, a simple maid allowed for a night off of work to celebrate the glory of the Fire Nation. Wangxi liked to think of herself as something of an actress, but a better kind because she was of noble breeding and didn’t actually have to be an actress on a stage. The political world was her stage, and tonight was just a minor act in the greatest play that would ever be enacted.
Part of the fun of treason was getting one’s hands dirty, but not too dirty. Wangxi liked a certain level of involvement in her scheming. Dressing up and ‘playing’ lower class was one of them because at the end of the night she got to have a hot shower then have servants massage expensive oils into her skin and sleep wrapped in silk sheets on the most comfortable bed ever created.
She did something of a good job of pretending but not quite. Her costume was too fine of material for her to truly be a maid, and the jewels that adorned her mask and hairpiece were most certainly real. If anyone asked, she’d just smile coyly and say she was a very favored maid. It had worked in the past; it would work again.
Despite her age, Wangxi was still quite stunning, and even with the mask covering all but her lips and chin, the fact was hard to miss. The costume was certainly not age or class appropriate, but tonight was a night of carefree fun was it not? Besides, she was still perky enough in certain areas to wear the white and gold ruqun that was not at all tight enough in the chest. In fact, it was rather loose and exposing quite a bit of skin. Her mask was the real gem of the costume. Also white, it had gold threadwork that looked like feathers and matched the gold threads and bells braided into her hair (especially heavy in the white streaked areas to hide such signs of aging). It was all quite divine.
But not, Wangxi noticed, as the particularly delicious young man lingering by her destination. He was feminine to be sure, but Wangxi wasn’t opposed to such looks. After all, she loved pretty things. She loved to wear them, be surrounded by them, collect them and the list goes on. Wangxi simply paused to admire for a moment. It was like a work of art. One had to just observe to fully get in the detail. In all honesty, Wangxi hadn’t noticed the girl until a full couple minutes of admiring the pretty boy. Granted, it wasn’t as if Wangxi was one to make introductions with people who weren’t of interest to her. So her attention turned back to the object of appreciation and oh did she appreciate. She appreciated so much it was quite obvious her golden eyes did a sweep of him before even a simple greeting. Wangxi was so very shameless.
Eventually, she dipped her head ever so slightly, “excuse me, you look ready to join in the festivities but perhaps I could trouble you for a moment. I’m looking for someone, and I’m not sure if they’d still be here.”
Last Edit: Apr 27, 2011 0:37:14 GMT -5 by muwangxi
Post by Ginka Senkei on Apr 27, 2011 12:22:46 GMT -5
The situation was changing at the gate of the Opera House. After some chatty moments, a new sound bursted in the air. And what a sound! It was like an over-sized tigerdillo, even if the sound was muffled by the doors! Ginka was about to fall down the stairs, even if she had dancer's muscle control.
"Perhaps you better get back inside before he sees you", the unfamiliar man explained to Aria. "I'll walk by again in fifteen minutes, meet me if you can."
Who he? ...wait. This he had a certain tone. Could it be... no... it had to be, he said "he", not "it"... it wasn't an animal, it was a human...
...Markus?! Ginka slammed her hand at her mouth to choke her scream.
Even if Ginka had actually never met Markus, she had seen how his name had made several other Opera employees to turn pale. Even Aria, who appeared normally as a cheerful and optimist woman. Who ever Markus was, what ever he looked like, what ever he did... he had to be a terrible man. And what the most important, he wasn't the one to get involved into problems with.
She gulped. How to retreat from this danger? As usual in this kind of situations, her mind jammed. She wanted to retreat to the safe distance from the Markus danger, but her feet didn't move and her mind didn'couldn't find ways to escape. Actually, again her lady etiquette was messing the things: what she seemed like if she fled? Would Tamaka fled in this kind of situation? Too much information was crossing her head...
Then, the hint was given. First, the man beamed at her a smile that probably was the type to make women tender but actually caused Ginka to... as usual, blush and make reflex-like a back step. Eeep, was she already old enough to be the target of adult men's attention? Then, the message was cleared: he nodded at Ginka. And that nod was way more serious gesture than that smile. Ginka remembered well that not counting agreeing, nodding meant also another thing: All is done here, time to leave. Particularly when it was given to servants, but it applied to aristocrat meetings, too. And, as it seemed, to normal people, too.
So, Ginka stepped more back steps before turning around and continuing her way. Surprisingly, even if it glowed that Ginka was nervous to death, she managed to keep her movementes controlled and didn't seem to be in danger of stumbling. It was her dancing experience, again.
But while skittering back, she almost collided with another woman - or at least she felt so. Anyway, here was coming a very well dressed woman towards that man. Ginka didn't recognize her, either... but. If that man was Aria's... had to say it, boyfriend, who was that woman?
For some reason - maybe for sake of Aria - Ginka stopped her skittering after some meters and looked back.
"Excuse me", the unfamiliar woman said o the man, "you look ready to join in the festivities but perhaps I could trouble you for a moment. I’m looking for someone, and I’m not sure if they’d still be here."
...ah, neither that man knew her, or at least vice versa. What ever, Ginka didn't like that tone of voice. She had heard it sometimes in some parties she and her family have attended... mainly around her eldest sister, Tamaka, by some men. That was before she married. Tamaka used to be very popular among young noblemen, and Ginka didn't wonder why. Tamaka was - and is - a perfect noblewoman with perfect manners and perfect looks...
It seemed that if you wanted to be alone, it was best to look like nothing. Well, now Ginka was satisfied to her looks. She looked like nothing. ...though she still hoped for some more height.
But now there was another problem. Ginka had been in her borders when thinking about approaching Aria and that man and asking about being able to come with them to the festival area. The hesitating was mainly because there was a partially unfamiliar person. But now there was one partially unfamiliar and one totally unfamiliar person... and when Markus was roaming, it was unlikely that anyone else from Opera House wanted to come out... Dead end, again. Neither Ginka wanted to go in the Opera House. If Markus saw her in festival wear, something terrible would happen, it was sure.
Ginka stood on the spot she was left to, avoiding to look at those two persons to make them not the feel uneasy. It seemed that she had to encourage herself and go to the festival area by herself... to look for Enka...
...it was easier to say than do. For a girl like Ginka.
Hairs on the back of his neck prickled, as though he was being watched, and a little self consciously, he pulled his mask down and settled it back into place. Drawing the curtain on his features. Another few steps down and he would be back on the street, but he never made it.
Looking up, he noticed an older woman, perhaps in her forties, approaching him, and he stopped and bowed his head politely. There was no way that she was going to do anything other than stop and talk to him, not with the heated look she was giving him. It must be like the look a saber toothed moose lion gave the prey it stalked.
"Evening, Lady." He straightened, and gave her a well practiced smile, "It would be my pleasure to help, though I do not know the Opera House very well." He hesitated, and looked back towards the door. There was no more muffled yelling, but that didn't mean too much. "Now may not be the best time to call though. How important is your business? The owner is in a foul mood."
Who knew what he would do to anyone that stepped into his path? Rain had heard him rage before, and had no desire for a repeat performance. "Perhaps you should resign yourself to having wasted a trip?" It had to be pretty important if she was running it on the solstice. "If it is indeed pressing, I believe the Lady over there works in the Opera House." There was something calculatedly sensual about the way he said the word 'pressing' and waved his hand in Ginka's direction.