Countess of Tea Country
It was nearly sunset, choppy grey waters lapped the stony shore. A three masted ship bearing the sigil of the Ishii family emerged over the horizon as the sky was ablaze with colors from flamingo to tangerine. Three men stood in wait, their identities irrelevant less one. No taller than the others, his dark hair was streaked with strands of silver. He wore heavy, traditional robes and wore his hair up in a manner that was reminiscent of a time long ago past. His hands were folded in front of him, gloved and pristine. He did not appear outwardly armed but the men that flanked him on either side certainly were. It was an odd image, a combination of a private moment as well as a demonstration of power, wealth, influence, or perhaps something more insidious.
Anchor was dropped not far from shore and a team of rowboats were lowered into the water. Over the course of several minutes the boats would reach ground, a group of ten would disembark, one of which would not be like the rest. A woman taller than most of the men who were not her companions but rather her guards. When she stood to her full height of six foot two inches, she stood a half foot above some of her jailors. Yes, she was in chains. Around her wrists were a pair of heavy manacles that seemed to weigh down her lithe form. Despite this she was in good health, her hair pulled back in an informal manner and she wore a simple dress that seemed out of place considering her stature. She was a prisoner donning a smile.
"I am so glad you could make it, Countess." The well-dressed man announced as he stepped forward in a gracious greeting.
"I arrived with such haste, I am afraid that I did not have the time to do my hair and I am afraid my luggage was lost in transit." The woman announced as she peeled off her sandals with her opposing foot and dropped into the water that met her knees a full inch below the hem of her skirt. The water lapped the lower edge as she waded the water and made her way back to the shore. She stopped on damp ground, a prideful woman she stood at her full height with her head erect. Her guards were not shinobis, if they were none of them donned the regalia.
"Drinks, then I will escort you to your quarters. I believe you know my son, I expect that you both will be spending more time together in these coming days," he added with an instructive tone. "Take those shackles off of her," he ordered.
"But Diamyo, sir..." One of the men protested but he cut himself short as his benefactor raised his hand indicating to the outspoken guard that it is not the time to speak but rather to conform.
"She is a guest and will remain as one long as I deem it so," Daimyo Ishii announced. "Besides, I am sure she will behave."
The guard said no more but his face and expression indicated that he still felt otherwise as one of his cohorts unlocked her cuffs. Rika remained motionless and expressionless as her wrists are freed, the flesh beneath was raw but she did not rub either wrist. She was already here, there was nothing more that she could do about that. She was well versed in politics and understood what it meant that she was taken from her country, it was an act of aggression that meant the Daimyo was either a fool or he was too dangerous for his actions to matter. The Daimyo's rise to power was indeed insidious but she knew that he was the only Daimyo in Wind Country making him not only a land owner and a leader but also a man of even rank to a Shogun or even an Emperor. The men who took her were not impressive but they were stronger than she was and they seemed smart enough to wait until she was undefended before they took her. She rejected the Daimyo's son's proposal but her reasons were legitimate -- first and foremost he was too young for her, nearly twenty years her junior and secondly because he was also gay. He claimed to be 'pansexual' but she knew better, his gaze rarely left the more handsome men of court and only briefly lingered on similarly lovely ladies. She would only marry for two reasons: love and power. He was not a powerful man, his father was. With his passions directed elsewhere there would never be love between them.
"Do not worry, there will be no double wedding. But there will be consequences for your rejection." He offered the crook of his arm to the Countess, "I am sure that you know Kageoni..."
S Rank - 30 min