My Conversations with the Empress

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Lauchenoiria
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My Conversations with the Empress

Post by Lauchenoiria » Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:00 pm

(Written with Great Shen)

Outside the Shen Embassy, Central, Shuell
4th December 2019

It had taken her days and days to write the letter. She had reworded it a thousand times, given up on the project and then started over perhaps even more than that, but finally she thought she was ready. She had told nobody of her plans, working in secret in the night while her daughter slept and she pretended to be reading a book before she went to sleep.

When she had informed her security this morning that she had business at the Shen Embassy, one of them had literally stared with her mouth wide open before realising that she was being rather rude. Her security had objected and even threatened to call her grandmother, but when Xia had informed them that if they did so, she would fire all of them and rely solely on the Shuellian guards, in spite of the warning that had been sent by the Council to the delegation in Shuell to be wary following the Aurora leak, they relented.

So now, she stood outside the embassy surrounded by her security, nervously looking up at it in the cold Shuellian air. She was frozen to the spot not by the cold, but by her fear. Could she really do this? No Chiu had set foot on Shen soil, even in embassy form, since 1912. Then again, no Chiu had spoken to a Wu since then until her. And she rather thought that no Chiu had written a letter to the God Empress since then also. Xia was making history.

Finally, Xia took a deep breath and entered the Shen Embassy. In contrast to the freezing cold she had been standing in, the building was incredibly warm. Still incredibly nervous, she approached the reception desk.

"Hello," she said in Mandarin. "My name is..." she paused, frozen to the spot and uncertain once more about revealing her identity.

" ... and so the man loosens his scarf. Takes off his weather shield, loosens the straps of his ushanka. Unbuttons his Overcoat. Unzips his undercoat. And finally says 'how did you know'!"

The other bureaucrats burst into laughter before they all looked around.

"Take a number. The blue line is for immigration. The green line just for tourism. The red line is for business travel. The yellow line is Imperial business."

"I'm not here for travel, I..." she paused, then took a deep breath and continued. "I have a letter for the God-Empress. My name is Chiu Xia."

She spoke her name in the Shen fashion, as she had signed the letter, despite the fact that for years now, living in Kerlile had caused her family to often write it in the order used by English speakers, which counted Kerlians among their number.

"Ok... is that supposed to mean something to me? Take a ticket for the yellow line and you'll be called up," the low-ranking bureaucrat said not knowing who she was.

"My grandmother is Councillor Chiu of Kerlile," she said, torn between frustration and relief at the bureaucrat's lack of knowledge.

"Wait...what?"

One of the other bureaucrats who have been looking at her computer said looking up.

"...show us you ID!"

She reached into her pocket and pulled out a Kerlian passport, handing it over calmly. It wouldn't do to appear overly nervous.

"...shit... this is legitimate. My aunt's the Ambassador to Kerlile... this is definitely legitimate."

The woman behind the desk shooed away her less informed counterparts.

"... you have a letter you want sent to the empress?"

"I do," she said, exhaling, and taking out an envelope which she placed on the counter in front of her.

The woman took it and nodded.

"I’ll... have this delivered by Diplomatic Courier to the throne."

"Thank you," she nodded in response. She was pleased it had been easy, and nobody had threatened her. She'd half been expecting it.

The embassy staff went back to their duties. Still clearly confused on what had just happened.

Xia exited the embassy, breathing a sigh of relief to be outside again. She clutched her passport in her hand, and steadied herself against a wall as she calmed her breathing.

“Ma’am, are you okay?” her bodyguard Chloe asked in English.

“Yes, I am,” she replied. “Though I rather fear my future wellbeing is out of my hands. Chloe, I have trusted you for a long time. Would you like to retain that trust?”

“Of course,” Chloe frowned, confused.

“Then do not tell my grandmother of what transpired today.”

“Xia…” Chloe began, shifting uncomfortably, using her first name. “You’re asking me to keep a secret from a Councillor of Kerlile.”

“I am asking you to protect me from a threat,” she replied. “Which you have sworn to do. Please, promise me secrecy.”

“I… okay, I promise, ma’am,” Chloe said. Xia did not notice that she was crossing her fingers behind her back.

Xia walked back to her hotel, where she had left her daughter with Olivia Pierre, who had offered to look after her when Xia had asked. She was glad she’d sent the letter, but she was also terrified. If her grandmother ever found out she’d sent it - especially given the contents of the letter - she rather thought she might die.
Krieg-Metzger Hotel
Central
Shuell

4th December 2019
Dear the Most Esteemed, Brilliant, Illustrious, Magnificent, Exceptional, Glorious, Great God-Empress Wu Zhao,

I am writing to express my condolences over the death of your mother. She was a woman who did great things for Shen, and I hope that you have people around you to offer comfort during this time.

I write without the knowledge of my grandmother. Our two families have had poor relations for over a century now, and it saddens me. My ancestors made terrible mistakes, and I hope that one day the dispute between our families can end.

It is my wish that one day relations between our families, and relations between Kerlile and Shen need not be so strained. I wish you luck in your time as God-Empress, and that Shen can continue to prosper.

Yours sincerely,

Chiu Xia
Granddaughter of Councillor Chiu of Kerlile.

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Re: My Conversations with the Empress

Post by Shen » Thu Dec 05, 2019 11:10 am

December 5th 2019

The day was coming to a close in the Heavenly Palace. Most of the official business of government had been taken care of and the empress had withdrawn from the golden Tower into her personal Office deep within the red walls and underneath the orange roofs of the Heavenly Palace.

At this time sounds of the night after she had had her dinner it was a tradition that the empress with usually answer a few letters Siri the tradition stretched back to her great-grandfather who himself would try and become a more personable ruler by answering letters send by his subjects and people all over the world.

there was an entire Palace Department that was now dedicated to sorting through the letters and finding the best ones for the empress to answer. Usually about five letters were selected out of the thousands the palace received everyday to be personally answered by the empress.

Tonight was very average in that way. As the empress attitude desk the palace secretary walked over with a tray full of envelopes.

" here you go My Empress. But before I leave you might I suggest you start with this one" she said pointing to the letter on the top of the stack

The fact that the secretary had gone out of his way to point out the letter was unusual enough.

" what's so special about this?"

" the author my empress"

The empress curiously took the letter. Is it already been opened once before when it was verified and checked to make sure it wasn't filled with poison. She slid out the piece of paper and began to read it

"... is this some kind of joke? Is my jester trying to Gauge my sense of humor?"

" no joke my Empress. it was verified by video footage taken at the embassy"

The empress look down at the piece of paper

"Six adjectives. If I didn't know better I would say that's a sign of desperation." The empress said with a smirk. She picked up a piece of paper with her own standard on it

"... I suppose I should probably answer her "


________

Dec 6th 2019

Krieg-metzger hotel

In the early hours of the morning, a man wearing a thick Overcoat, with the shen Flag on the lapel walked into the lobby

" hello can I help you sir?"

" yes I have a letter I'd like to deliver to a guest."

" certainly sir. What room would you like me to deliver it to in the morning?"

"782"

" thank you. Is there anything else I can help you with you?"

" no miss. Have a good evening"


When room service was brought up to that room there was a letter marked with the personal crest of the wu family, in unbroken wax on it, sitting there right next to xias drink

Dear Xia.

It touches my heart and means the world to me that you would stretch your hand out over half the globe to wish me and my family condolences in this trying time.

I understand better than most to difficulties that exist between our two houses and you can rest assured that any correspondence between us shall remain absolutely confidential.

Your ancestors certainly were guilty of many crimes, but perhaps my family was not just in its punishment of them. Nor is it just for us to continue this blood feud for so long when the offense that started it is no longer in living memory and is quickly falling into legend and myth. Stories we passed down from one generation to the other. At this point embellished to the point of fantasy.

I share your hope that one day as the leader of my house I may one day meet with the leader of your house and bring about final resolution to the blood Feud. Both of us gain nothing from this petulant and ancient Feud.

Certainly there need be no animosity between myself and you, future counselor.

I look forward to further correspondence from you.

Singed the Most Esteemed, Brilliant, Illustrious, Magnificent, Exceptional, Glorious, Great God-Empress Wu Zhao,

( for future reference, “God Empress" will suffice)

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