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Blackridge > The Tearoom

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message 1: by muuumew (new)

muuumew | 1619 comments
The Tearoom

message 2: by sucre'd fiend (new)

sucre'd fiend (sucredfiend) | 90 comments

Sakda was not...uneasy. He didn't do uneasy. Having a ledger of imports and exports was supposed to be a good thing, and yet he didn't feel entirely right about it all. Perhaps it was just that there was so much about it all that was unknown and he simply needed to wrap his head around it or acquire more information. Regardless, the deep furrow of his brow would not be missed as he stared into the murky brown liquid of his tea cup.

He glanced up occasionally as what could only pass as a "lady" in these parts walked through his doors and settled down in one of the chairs, expectant. A few others joined her and the soft chatter of superficially amicable women filled the room. He considered closing shop for the day to sort out a kind of mission for further clarification on the information he'd been given, but that would only raise questions, not answer them. So he subjected himself to the whims of his customers for the sake of keeping up appearances, offering soft smiles and the odd reading when asked.

message 3: by muuumew (new)

muuumew | 1619 comments
Jae-hwa ran a hand through his platinum gray hair, trying to remember where it was exactly he was supposed to go. He was transferred to yet another spymaster, and at this point, he was probably walking on thin ice. Jae-hwa didn't mind that though. If he had to change a part of himself to simply hold a job, then he'd rather be constantly moving around and working under different people. Jae-hwa eventually found himself standing in front of a building named 'The Tearoom'.

I believe this is it.. Jae-hwa thought, glancing at the people inside. The male probably wouldn't have been so confused if he had simply written the address down. He had gotten so used to remembering everything, so as to not have a mission compromised by simply dropping a piece of paper. While he wasn't on a mission at the moment, he'd rather not have a base's location known to the White Fang because of him. This led to Jae-hwa standing in front of the building awkwardly. From an outsider's perspective, it was a little more than suspicious looking. He let out a sigh, and decided to just go in and see.

message 4: by sucre'd fiend (new)

sucre'd fiend (sucredfiend) | 90 comments

There was one point when Sakda looked up and was rewarded by something other than a customer. He knew the faces of those under his charge, even as they phased in and out, be it because of a decommissioning or just disappearing. This was not the face of someone he had worked with. Tall, taller than him, and with hair almost the same shade as his - brighter, slightly. He paused in the refilling of his cup. He was used to a very specific clientele, and this man did not fit it.

However, he was not one to turn a customer away. "May I help you with something?" Sakda could already say that something was different about this man. Perhaps it was that the man had been standing outside for longer than would be deemed normal. Or how awkward he looked. But then again, it was not uncommon for first-time visitors to be awkward in his establishment. "If you're interested in a reading, you can have a seat over there and I'll be with you shortly."

message 5: by muuumew (new)

muuumew | 1619 comments
Jae-hwa's eyes narrowed ever so slightly, scrutinizing the male. The description seemed to fit, but what he said didn't. A reading? He thought, glancing around. He frowned, realizing a lot later than he should've that the base was disguised. "Of course." He replied, his voice silvery.

Jae-hwa didn't want to draw any attention to them, so he went along with it. He took a seat, remaining quiet. He glanced at the group of women who were chatting up a storm, and then looked down at the table with a soft sigh. He drummed his fingers on the table softly, so as not to disturb the patrons. A small part of him wondered if the spy master even knew that Jae-hwa was transferred there.

message 6: by sucre'd fiend (new)

sucre'd fiend (sucredfiend) | 90 comments

While the Tearoom was a cover, it was a well managed one. Even if Sakda's business was meant to fool the gullible and naive, he was going to make sure he did a damn good job of it. As the stranger took his seat, so did Sakda. The box he pulled out from the drawer of his work table was ornate, and locked. He couldn't just have anyone reaching into it to take what was inside. While they were simply tarot cards, they weren't just tarot cards. As ornate as the box they came from, gilded in silver and dipped in black.

Pulling them out from their case, the spymaster looked up at his customer. His smile remained and the previous evaluation continued. "Anything particular you want to learn about today? Or would you like to do a palm reading? Not as much fun, but popular. I can understand why, just a little bit." Setting the cards out neatly, he folded both hands without looking away.

"So what will it be?"

message 7: by muuumew (new)

muuumew | 1619 comments
Jae-hwa spared a glance towards the other customers, eventually returning his gaze to the male in front of him. He opened his mouth as if he were about to say something, but closed it again in thought. He was unsure how to approach the subject, so he decided he'd wait. He wasn't quick to return the smile- in fact, he hardened his gaze. Somehow looking even more serious than before.

"What is the impending future telling me?" Jae-hwa asked. It was his first time doing a reading, and he was a bit uncomfortable. After all, the plans he had for the day were foiled. Jae-hwa respected spymasters for what they did, even if this respect didn't show. Yet, he was finding it hard to take Sakda seriously.

"I have another question." Jae-hwa added a few seconds later. "In my line of work, is there anything I should lookout for?" He asked, making eye contact with Sakda. He was being vague on purpose, that much was obvious.

message 8: by sucre'd fiend (last edited Aug 12, 2018 11:44AM) (new)

sucre'd fiend (sucredfiend) | 90 comments

Tarot reading was not a terrible thing to do. Sometimes it was soothing to just look at the cards and see the emptiness of the images as simply images, and sometimes it was just to kill time. He could easily delude someone into thinking he knew their future well - but it was a well performed act he had gotten down almost to a science. Still smiling at his counterpart at the other side of the table, Sakda nodded. “Things to come and signs.” He nodded again, mostly to himself. The first question was nothing too uncommon; everyone wanted to know what the future held. As if it were that easy.

Separating and untying a gold ribbon from around a smaller deck, the spymaster set it at the center of the table. He flipped the card over, displaying a illustration of the moon. It looked as though the purple - nearly black with how deep a shade it was - was engraved in gold at the corners, and silver for the outlines of two towers, two wolves to howl up at the crescent moon, and an almost gray color for the waves of a sea and the sun which the moon was set upon. Upright; Sakda’s brows rose. He found this quite interesting, certainly.

Sliding his hands over to the remaining deck, he held them up to the other. “Shuffle this eight times, then divide it into three piles - back up. You can flip over the top card when you’re ready.” He was already catching on, in fairness. Or had some suspicion of who this man was. Or maybe he was one of those few tricky customers that liked to think they could out him as a psychic fraud. Of course, that was entirely stupid because he’d never actually marketed himself as a psychic; just that he was able to do a tarot reading and offered items that could help people with their “spiritual” enlightenment.

The gray haired man watched the other closely, hands folded on the table in front of him. “I take it you’re having troubles with your current line of work, yes? Most men only come here for that purpose, when they’re very desperate.”

( i have the suits/cards in mind for when jae flips them over; i can like let you know what they are or surprise you in my next post if you want. )

message 9: by muuumew (new)

muuumew | 1619 comments
Jae-hwa took the deck from the other male carefully. He paused for a moment, and nodded. "I guess one could say that." He replied vaguely, beginning to shuffle the deck. "But, I'm not desperate." He finished, tone sharpening. While Jae-hwa knew why he was being sent around to different spymasters, he still didn't understand what the big deal was. They got most of the information they wanted, yet they threw a fit when they didn't get extra.

Sighing, Jae-hwa finished shuffling the deck. He split it twice so it made three piles, then proceeded to set it down. "How long have you been doing readings?" Jae-hwa asked, taking the top card between his fingertips and flipping it over. He was careful not to crease it. He looked at the card curiously, and turned to the other male when he didn't understand it.

message 10: by muuumew (new)

muuumew | 1619 comments
((surprise me please!))

message 11: by sucre'd fiend (new)

sucre'd fiend (sucredfiend) | 90 comments

"Not desparate; got it." But that would be combated by the fact that he was here in front of this table and this particular spymaster. The first card turned over was the seven of cups. Seven gold cups aligned neatly with various images coming from them. It went from a human head down to a dragon's. The card itself appeared to be upright from the spymaster's vantage point. Jae's second card turned over was the ace of cups. A gold cup held in a hand over a stream, with a crow dropping a coin into the overflowing contents. But reversed. Another brow raise from Sakda. He's wasn't sure he could quite trust someone if they didn't have a grip of themselves to begin with. The third card was the page of pentacles, a woman holding a pentacle in what could only be described as a field. This time, upright.

"I've been doing readings for a while. Started out as just for myself, and then, well, I realized I was good enough to make a profit." He shrugged, flickering his gaze down to the cards before up at the other. "You've got an interesting spread - would you like to try to interpret it?" This part was entertaining enough when they complied. People liked to think up quite the extremes on what everything meant.

message 12: by muuumew (new)

muuumew | 1619 comments
Jae-hwa didn't doubt that the other male may have some talent in readings, but he couldn't believe it was good enough to make a profit. "Really? I'm shocked. I honestly thought you'd have a job on the side, or something like that." He said, holding eye contact for a brief second with Sakda. It was an innocent sounding statement, nothing more, nothing less. At least, towards other people that is. If Sakda really was the spymaster Jae-hwa was sent to, he'd hopefully react.

Turning back to the tarot cards, he pursed his lip in thought. He didn't know anything about tarot, and the intricate pictures on the cards really didn't help. If anything, they confused him. "I have no idea what they'd mean." Jae-hwa began, and rested his chin on his hand. "So, no thanks." He became silent, waiting for the other male to explain what the cards meant.

message 13: by sucre'd fiend (new)

sucre'd fiend (sucredfiend) | 90 comments

Just the corners of his lips twitched at the remark. "I do get paid quite a bit, if you understand that there's more than one kind of currency." His expression remained steady, a cordial mask of a entrepreneur interacting with his customer. "When you understand that, you could call me a wealthy man." And now it broke, for a cheeky grin as he pushed his glasses further up his nose and turned his attention back to the cards.

"Hmm, well, most don't know a thing and they still try." Placing a finger on the moon card and tapping it there twice, he glanced up at the other. "This card here - the moon; it represents you. You're worried about something, or well, uncertain about the outcome of something to come. Likely this." As if to add emphasis to the word, he held his gaze for a second or two longer before looking back at the card. "You're also uncertain of yourself, and something you should or could be doing."

Moving his finger over the three cards and tapping each, he began to explain them. "First card is physical, second is mental, third is spiritual. Do you understand?" A beat and then he continued, regardless of whether the other man answered or not. There was no need for real understanding with these sort of things - at least not in the moment. The understanding would come later, when the spymaster had sent him off and on his way. "The first card is seven of cups. You've got choices to make, and you're thinking about how something you've done or are doing is perfectly fine and all will eventually work out. Or that maybe it's not as a big a deal as it seems to be. But there's still more to watch and see. It's upright, so there's much more that could apply, but you don't seem the type to fantasize about things."

"Two cups in a row; you must be hung up a bit on your emotions. Adhering to typical standards of masculinity must be hard." Now his smile was teasing, but not too much so. Just enough for what was called for. "Your ace of cups is reversed; you've repressed or blocked something. Or maybe it's just how it is naturally and you're struggling to deal with it now that you're older and understand that you need human connection. If it were upright, you might too emotional, but you don't have that problem like some others, do you?" To this, he shrugged, moving on to the next card.

"The last card is the page of pentacles. Fortunate; it means this career you're considered about has new opportunities ahead. The spiritual realm is speaking kindly of you through the cards. Maybe you'll be able to call yourself a wealthy man soon enough."

message 14: by muuumew (new)

muuumew | 1619 comments
Jae-hwa hummed in response, not completely listening. He noticed the slight shift in expression, but nothing too obvious. People like Sakda irritated him more so than others. It was probably the fact that the other male wasn't very obvious with what he was feeling- or even, the slightly teasing manner about him. Whatever it was, it ticked Jae-hwa off.

Jae-hwa waited a few moments before responding, his eyebrows raising ever so slightly. What he said was pretty accurate, which surprised him. Despite the fancy set up and all, he didn't expect anything to be correct. He sat up straighter, deciding to fold his hands politely on his lap. "What's the next one?" He asked, nodding a little to agree with the other male. He definitely did think that in his line of work, being secretive wasn't bad. Hell, what if someone was infiltrating a base? With all the information he kept a secret, the White Fang would find out little to nothing about them. Sighing and shaking those trivial thoughts away, Jae-hwa looked at the other card.

His eyebrows furrowed with irritation at his statement. Even though Jae-hwa knew he was teasing, his serious facial expression remained. He shrugged in returned, keeping his gaze to the cards. "I guess? I suppose I'm not as emotional as other people are, and while I've tried to work on it, I simply can't." Jae-hwa rambled a little, wondering when this had become a therapy session.

message 15: by sucre'd fiend (new)

sucre'd fiend (sucredfiend) | 90 comments

“No need to get defensive; it was an observation.” Sakda shrugged once more, nonchalant to the highest degree. It could have been worse; the man could have leapt over the table and gave him a sound throttling, but he didn’t think that would happen. Not with someone who was supposed to be discreet - or at least that was the feeling he was getting from this particular customer. The spymaster had experienced his fair share of slightly unhappy male customers enacted their displeasure, or attempting to do so. But, to be safe, his gaze flickered over the other’s form to check for any sort of sign that the man would make some sort of move. “It’s not to say it’s a bad thing. Well, it is a bad thing, but it’ll fix itself with time.”

It was generic advice that anyone could give and he knew it. Not that it would change the fact that he’d already said it and did not care all too much about it. Crossing his legs, he leaned back in his chair. “Working on it counts, if that’ll ease your mind on whole thing. Some people just aren’t suited for emotions much, either.” He nodded, almost sagely, adjusting his shirt a moment before returning his attention to the other across from him.

“I was hopeful, but it is good to know that you won’t be too sentimental. How soon do you see yourself being able to cross the border?” The question came quickly and without much pretense. It was clear that Jae-hwa suspected something of this interaction from the beginning — that business question did it, really. Sakda simply smiled, head cocked to the side. “Would you like some tea? Any questions you want to ask before we move on? Anything you want to tell me now?”

message 16: by muuumew (new)

muuumew | 1619 comments
Jae-hwa sat up a bit straighter, crossing his arms comfortably. Crossing the border? He wasn't new to doing things like that, obviously. "Whenever, really." He began, pleased when the latter finally caught on. He doubted that it took him this long, though. Or at least, Jae-hwa hoped it didn't.

Jae-hwa took him up on his offer for tea with a nod. He wasn't trying to get too comfortable with him, but having tea and asking a few questions wouldn't hurt anything. "I do have a few questions, actually." Jae-hwa said. He didn't have much to ask, as he merely wanted to know more about the spymaster himself. He was interesting, that's for sure. Also, he was trying to figure out if he'd be able to tolerate working with the other male or not.

((sorry it's kinda short,, i'm still trying to figure out what jae-hwa would want to ask him lmao)

message 17: by sucre'd fiend (new)

sucre'd fiend (sucredfiend) | 90 comments

Whenever? Good. Sakda didn’t have near future plans to send anyone to another kingdom, but sometimes the need arose on short notice. He could use it as a means to test the man, and if he never came back — well, that explained itself. The gray haired man nodded, getting up to catch the arm of a passing employee and directing them to get tea. “For the rest of the conversation, we ought to move unless we’d like our business spread around during tea time.” He looked pointedly to the chatting customers about the front room, now standing fully.

“Everyone has questions.” The door to the backroom was simple, covered in the same black and silver wallpaper in the room. The only thing distinguishing it was a ornate knob and lock, which he inserted the key for. A click resounded and the door swung open partly, opened further as Sakda stepped through and gestured for Jae-hwa to go ahead of him. “It’s just a matter of asking the right one in the right moment.”

He shut the door behind them, locking it again before turning and pulling up a chair to a table in the middle of the room. It was much like the rest of the shop, aside from being more dimly lit; remedied by lighting a few extra candles. “So ask away. I cannot guarantee that you’ll like the answers I give, though.”

( s'all good! )

message 18: by muuumew (new)

muuumew | 1619 comments
Jae-hwa gazed at the doorknob, and eventually stepped into the room. After taking a seat, he folded his hands together in his lap neatly. He'd start out with a basic question, as he wanted at least something answered. "How busy are the spies that work under you?" He lowered his voice a little, despite being in the locked room. No, he didn't think anyone was listening in, but he was used to being cautious.

"What exactly led you to becoming a spymaster of all things?" Jae-hwa asked casually, almost all hints of mysteriousness in his tone gone. He crossed his legs, searching for any reaction of sorts on the other male's expression. He was curious, but he certainly wouldn't pry if the question was dismissed.

message 19: by sucre'd fiend (new)

sucre'd fiend (sucredfiend) | 90 comments

Sakda turned a flame on under a kettle, watching a second or two before turning to face his visitor. Jae-hwa followed through with his questions, though they fell only a hair's breadth short of expectations. "It fluctuates. That's about as much as I'll tell you on that." He proceeded to pull out two cups, setting them down gently on the table. "As for your other question — why does anyone become a spymaster?"

It was not some big, elaborate secret how he got to where he was. Nor was there any specific reason he could think of on the spot. Or maybe there was, but he rather not delve into it, lest it become some psychological toil he need not concern himself with. He'd already done enough of that with his reading of Jae-hwa. "Information is important to me. How would I live if not for it?" And this was not far from the truth. If he'd never become a messenger, he'd likely have died in a ditch like any other orphan child with no direction or means here in Blackridge. A sad reality that he'd witnessed before, but had fortunate enough to avoid.

"It might as well be the same reason you became a spy."

message 20: by muuumew (new)

muuumew | 1619 comments
Jae-hwa could only nod. He didn't know a spy that didn't go through some sort of tragedy in their past. As cliche as it sounded, most people wouldn't have anything driving them to become a spy if they didn't. He sighed slightly, when he listened to the answers. He wasn't sure what he expected with the boring questions he asked.

"I have another one." Jae-hwa stated, thinking back to the door knob, as well as the strange box. It was completely unrelated to the questions he asked before, but he couldn't stop thinking about them. Jae-hwa wasn't sure how he wanted to word the question, so he took a minute to let his gaze drift over to the kettle. "What's with the strange tarot box? And the doorknob?" He asked, adding the second part immediately after. Once one unrelated question came out, so did more. "Why card readings of all things? I thought I was at the wrong place." Jae-hwa said the last part with a slight tinge of annoyance in his voice. Other than that, with the really miscellaneous questions, he was about as curious as a young child would be.

message 21: by sucre'd fiend (new)

sucre'd fiend (sucredfiend) | 90 comments

Many questions; trivial as far as he could tell. Disappointing. Sakda sighed, glancing at the teapot as if that would make the questions turn into something meaningful to him. The gray-haired man turned his attention back to his latest employee with very little interest. "That's more than one, by the way." He crossed his arms over his chest as he decided on how best to answer his questions without just dropping a load of information.

"Tarot cards are supposed to be stored in a special place, and I do the same; otherwise I wouldn't look like a professional, now would I? And how do you get into a room if not for a doorknob?" That one was especially unintelligent. Or perhaps just unobservant. Didn't bode well for his skills. "If someone told you everything about yourself from a single reading, you'd be more willing to talk to them about other things. And people love to talk about themselves; once you get them going, they don't stop until you get them to. As...seemingly unimportant as those fine ladies and gentlemen are, they have more information than you think, especially when they're loyal to a cause. They'll talk about it for hours if you let them, because it's something to brag about in their eyes." Sakda shrugged, glancing again at the teapot.

"Or it's just good gossip for them." This was punctuated by the whistle of the kettle, prompting the spymaster to move to it with ease.

message 22: by muuumew (new)

muuumew | 1619 comments
Jae-hwa couldn't hold back the roll of his eyes at his boss's statement. He definitely didn't care whether or not it was more than one question- nor could he tell if Sakda was simply being a smart aleck.

"I didn't mean it like that." Jae-hwa said, and exhaled slightly. He had to keep himself from getting overly irritated. Being switched to a different spymaster on the first day would be especially bad. Resting his hands flat on his thighs, he drummed the fingers on his right hand. He didn't elaborate on his earlier statement, instead letting a slight smile tug at his lips. "I've never really thought about it like that." He said quietly, letting his gaze drift over to the kettle.

message 23: by sucre'd fiend (new)

sucre'd fiend (sucredfiend) | 90 comments

Then like what lingered on the tip of his tongue. Many had passed through this door, and few had ever asked about the doorknob. It held very little significance and yet some thought it might. It was here when he’d earned coin to buy this place, and it would likely remain when he expired unless some asshole decided they might like to take it. And so, the answer would likely remain the same. He dropped a tea bag into two mugs, pouring out the water from the kettle as steam rose and clouded his glasses.

“I’m sure you haven’t.” With this remark, he glanced back at Jae-hwa with an expression that didn’t match any of the supposed amusement in his voice. As the tea steeped, he took a moment to use a rag to clean off his glasses. With them off, one might be able to see just how light a brown his eyes were. Not quite as dark as mahogany, but not close enough to honey in their hue. “Any more questions? Or is it my turn to ask them now?”

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