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 Set in routine [General Yu, any other army related folk]

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Fulei Xingshi
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PostSubject: Set in routine [General Yu, any other army related folk]   Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:11 am


Fu



It was surprisingly hot today. Far too hot really, for this time of year. Especially too hot when you had to spend your hours boiling hot water and frantically scrubbing the linens of far too many soldiers to count. The day had trailed off into constant running backwards and forwards for more buckets of hot water, chucking them into the tub, then scrub, scrub after frantic scrub (really, he didn’t want to know how on earth some of the soldiers were able to get their linens and clothes so darn…. crusty). Still, he went on without complaint, giving a faint wave to passing soldiers should they pay attention to him. (He suspected that he had become such a familiar part of the scenery with the army, that he might have fused with the furniture, or at least that’s what people interpreted him as being).

After the desperate and relentless scrubbing (when it came to the washing days, it seemed to be neverending) came the hugely long washing lines. These vast walls of fabric would stretch from one end of the courtyard to the other, in several rows of brilliantly white bedsheets, and clothes of different shapes and styles in every variety of green under the rainbow, hung up in gradient order of colour and size (Fu tended to be pedantic when it came to organising the washing.) After years of washing experience, knowing that if one did not peg everything down securely that it lead to more cleaning, Fu had become almost (dare I say) a master of pegging things to the washing lines.

Finishing yet another row, of clothing, Fu took a step back from the line and pressed his hands to the lower part of his back and leant back with a small groan. His arms were aching from the scrubbing, his hands pruning and blistering from the combination of soapy water and burning heat from the unrelenting sun and his back was none-too-happy about his constant going between bent over scrubbing, then standing up and stretching for the washing line. Still, complaining was not something Fu did after all, though he gave a loud sigh, wiping his brow on his arm and turning to observe his current efforts.

What was left was the collection of the Kiyoshi Warriors units, no wonder it was so late in the afternoon, the huge expanse of warriors tended to lead to him using every last slither of sunlight to make sure everything would be dry in time for the next day. Fu glanced over to the large cleaning tub, and frowned faintly, there was no thick steam emanating from the vast tub, which meant more firewood was needed to keep it hot.

Yay, more heat.

Sighing, he slumped his shoulders and hoiked his sleeves back up to his elbows before dashing down several stone steps to the supply warehouse where firewood, and other such collections of useful things were kept. He tried to ignore his aching back while he piled log after large log into a large box (he would have preferred a wheelbarrow, it might have caused his back to complain less, but then again there were those awful stone steps. Really, who decided it would be a clever idea to invent steps?).

Arms stretched out (with an additional groan) he took either side of the large box, and with no small amount of effort, began hefting it towards the steps, back to his large cleaning tub. The firewood was perhaps the worst part, with how heavy the wood was, and just how much was required to keep the large tub hot enough to clean the vast amount of linens the army went through. Still, he gritted his teeth and took a large intake of breath as he began lifting foot after laden foot up the steps. He shuffled at a steady, effort-filled pace, mumbling faintly to himself nonsensical words as a way of encouraging himself up the steps. These stayed in a steady stream until--

“Sh--!!!”

There was a brief blackout, and then the intense bolt of pain bursting through his jaw. His sandal had slipped on the edge of one of the steps, and, being the unlucky sort that he was, Fu fell face-forward (or rather, chin forward) into the stone steps, doubled over the large box of wood with the edge jammed into his gut (leaving him gasping for breath) with his feet having been thrown back into the air. He blinked a few times, a little shocked and startled – though really, such accidents were common occurrences, so he should have perhaps been prepared for such an incident.

With some effort, he rolled himself off the box of firewood and flopped out on the steps, nursing both his chin (which was grazed and threatening to bleed) and his stomach which had the air so forcefully pushed out of it. He let himself inhale normally for a few times, before resting his arm on his forehead, squinting up at the blazing sun with a dismal expression set firmly upon his features.

“It’s too hot” he murmured faintly, gently dabbing his stinging chin with his fingertips in an attempt to ebb the blood away.

Mood: Melancholic
Condition: Hard at work
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General Yu
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Position: General of the Kyoshi Legion
Nation: Earth Kingdom

PostSubject: Re: Set in routine [General Yu, any other army related folk]   Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:43 pm

Yu stood on the dividing wall which separated the training courtyard from the auxiliary courtyard being used at the moment to dry the Legion's laundry. As she always did at this time of day, she led the 1st Legion in the morning's practice. With their expanded duties, many were not here. Almost seven-thousand of the nine-thousand warrior army were out and about the city, carrying out the job that should have been done by the city guard. The two-thousand that were there in the massive training courtyard of the Breach moved as one, spoke as one, and every last one of them wore the garb of the Kyoshi Legion. It was an incredible sight, and an even more incredible sound.

She was just entering the second kata set when a loud crashing noise from nearby caught her attention. She stopped, looking around. The neighboring courtyard had steadily been filled with the linens and other laundry throughout the morning as always. The green and white fabrics waved in the morning's light breeze gently.

"Continue." she said to Lieutenant Si and Fan, who nodded and stepped up to lead the kata set. The army went on about it's business.

Yu, meanwhile, walked to the far end of the dividing wall and looked down. At the base of the wall in the auxiliary courtyard was a stairwell leading down to a store room. And in the stairwell sat...

"What are you doing, boy?" Yu said in a demanding voice, looking down at him. It was the young man that the Legion employed to see to a number of tedious chores. If it weren't for the fact that Old Man Pang liked the boy, Yu would never have allowed him to linger about her fortress.

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Fulei Xingshi
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PostSubject: Re: Set in routine [General Yu, any other army related folk]   Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:26 am


Fu


Fu was content to sit a moment, to nurse his wounded jaw (and his very much wounded pride – though that was something that would take an age to heal). He nursed his stomach a few more times, until his breathing was normalised. What a sight. He thought to himself, leaning his head back against the stone step. He could hear the echoes of thousands of marching feet all in perfect unison, and the occasional cries of the kata the warriors undertook throughout their training. They were all just so good at what they did.

He felt a knot tie in his stomach. He could picture all the soldiers now, marching and moving in perfect unison. A body of one, with the strength of a thousand, rather than a rabble of a thousand individuals. Sometimes, when sweeping or doing other menial chores while the practice regime was going under way, Fu would sometimes find himself watching and intently observing the warriors. It truly was a sight to behold, and he admitted he was lucky to be able to see such a scene on a regular basis. Of course, this only would cause the knot to tighten, as he longed to be a part of the group too. But, as his attempts failed (he often tried to copy the swift, steady movements of the warriors with his broom when he thought no one was looking) it became strikingly clear that such a chance would forever be unlikely.

The steady pace of the kata did not falter, and Fu continued to listen to it as almost a calming balm, trying to relax and stop thinking about miserable things. Of course, the army itself was something that made him miserable. He would always search for his brother in the large collection of warriors, knowing that the eldest child of the Xingshi family was carving a name for himself, while the youngest looked on in quiet wonder. He just wanted to be a warrior too, able to fight with all the strength he possessed, proving he could be just as successful, nay more successful than all his brothers before him. It was a dream at least, and one had to hold onto their dreams. But sometimes, dreams tended to feel so painfully out of reach.

It was at this point, that he blinked, he hadn’t noticed before, but there was someone standing on the dividing wall between the two courtyards. The position was always used for observation, and a most common sight was seeing the Lieutenants or other ranking army officials leading the training regime or inspecting the vast swathes of troops from a height high enough to see them all. He squinted (the sun was behind the person) were they looking at him, or still observing the kata? It was at this point, when he heard the voice of someone he both admired and feared and they were asking- nay, demanding, what he was doing.

He felt his heart both sink and leap into his throat, it was pumping furiously and his mouth felt dry. A sudden wave of sickness overcame him and he wondered if he might dry heave. He had been caught idle by General Yu! Without a moment’s hesitation he leapt to his feet, the pain from the fall (and his bleeding chin) immediately forgotten as there were far worse things to worry about. He wanted to become a soldier, though what good was it for the General to catch him in a state where he appeared to be nothing more than loafing about. Fu was actually a very hard worker and took his numerous tasks seriously, but still, he could be prone to occasional bouts of daydreaming-ness when the thought struck him. He had been caught idle a few times before by other members of the army, and he hoped such a thing didn’t make him appear lazy, and much less didn’t make its way up to the General’s ears.

He frantically began tossing the firewood that had fallen out of the box back where it belonged, his hands shaking and his feet wobbling. He really thought he might be sick, and prayed desperately to whomever gave him his terrible luck for it at least not to happen in the General’s presence. He doubted she thought much of him to begin with, the last thing he wanted was for her to think of him as an imbecile (though he half suspected she might have thought that about him already). Fu actually thought incredibly highly of the General, anyone in the army was well aware of her great exploits and her sheer strength of being and her thoughts and cunning that had lead to the Earth Kingdom armies becoming formidable foes. Indeed, it was her stories (and the fact that she was not and Earth Bender) that made Fu believe there may indeed be some hope for him in which to join the army.

“N-nothing General Yu, sir, madam, lady-… uh-….. Nothing!!” the cry came out as a somewhat desperate squawk, with his throat dry and his eyes stinging with the threat of tears. How dreadfully embarrassing! He closed his eyes, tugging at his sleeves which seemed to constantly fall over his arms as he grabbed at the box and pleaded and prayed that General Yu would just glance away and think nothing more of Fu’s apparent incompetence.

Poor Fu however, was the sort, when, in a panic, tended to be more than usually absent-minded. His luck, bad as it was, was nothing comparable to him in a state of fear and worry. There was a reason, after all, that his brother insisted the army was not for him, as he suggested that should Fu find himself in a battle, the young man would end up endangering the entire legion with his brand of bad luck with the approach of the opposing army. Fu would always insist that such a statement was unfair, however even he would agree that sometimes, there did seem to be some truth to his brother’s words. Much joy it gave the nineteen year old.

Lifting the box as best as he could muster (it really was awfully heavy) he tried to flee up the rest of the steps in frantic desperation to get away and not ruin the rest of the General’s day for her. ”Absolutely nothing G-Genera---!” as expected, the sheer panic made him lose his footing and he fell again, hard. He could feel parts of his person, his knee and his elbows throbbing, but this time, he did not linger, and jumped to his feet almost as quickly as he had fallen, biting through the pain and desperately collecting the wood again and trying to laugh off the fact he had fallen over in the General’s presence. ”Just collecting some firewood---! The washing is almost done!”

Please just let the earth swallow me up and let me die, he thought to himself.

Mood: Panicked
Condition: Frantic
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General Yu
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Position: General of the Kyoshi Legion
Nation: Earth Kingdom

PostSubject: Re: Set in routine [General Yu, any other army related folk]   Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:03 am

Yu scowled as he tripped again. As if she was simply taking the next step in a downward stair, she stepped off of the wall and fell a good eight feet before landing with all the grace and agility of a cat in the courtyard below. She walked toward him, resting her hand on the pommel of her sword as she went, her eyes narrowing at him as he stammered what was to her ears meaningless excuses which fell far short of what she had demanded of him.

"You cannot possibly be this inept." she said, looking him up and down in the sort of way one might expect a predator to examine their prey. As she reached him, she moved around him until they were standing face to face. Her gaze fell to the box in his hands, filled with fire wood. She reached forward and took the box from him with one hand, pulling it from his grasp with enough force that when she let go of it, it flew past her and landed with a crash, spilling its load of wood across the ground. Without the box in his hands, she could get a better look at him.

"Stand up straight!" she barked at him.

(OOC: Lol. I didn't think she'd go this third degree on him. Can't deny it was pretty fun to write. Have fun with it ;D // Question: What is the name of his brother in the army?)

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PostSubject: Re: Set in routine [General Yu, any other army related folk]   Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:44 pm


Fu


[/b](OOC: Lol, it doesn’t bother me, it actually made me laugh, though I think Fu isn’t laughing, hehe. His eldest brother – the one in the army, is called Shulei – they had very imaginative parents. Razz)

He had his back to her, when she jumped down off the high wall, a good eight-or-so feet to the ground. It did not matter that he didn’t see her, Fu heard the distinctive sound of soft feet landing with delicate ease at ground level and he knew. He had seen the general do feats like this many a time, often, when he was pretending he wasn’t paying attention to the army routines and was instead sweeping the verandas encircling the training courtyards. Technically he did keep the verandas swept clean of dirt and dust to the best of his abilities, he was no earth bender after all, and considering there were several thousand soldiers at the barracks at any one time, it was a hard task to keep on top of. Fu had seen the general leap down from her observation point upon the wall for various different reasons, some to point out a particular soldier’s style, movement, skill, etc. And other times, to make an example of one who was not behaving as a soldier should.

A chill ran down Fu’s back, and he knew in an instant just which one of those reasons was why the General had leapt down behind him.

Swallowing quietly, he slowly lifted his back, pulling the box of firewood up with him as he felt the General’s eyes on him all the time, circling him. He hadn’t felt this uncomfortable in a long while and wondered quite what he had done this morning to make today a particularly bad day luck-wise. True, everyday for him was bad when it came to luck, but he supposed today was just that extra special and therefore the day was going to be that much more awful for him. Fu tried his best to keep his eyes averted, but kept trying to smile as pleasantly as someone who had the fear of God striking through their heart could. The general had her hand on the pommel of her sword and he felt the corner of his mouth twitch, desperately trying to keep the apologetic smile on his face lest his whole expression collapse into helpless fear.

He felt a familiar feeling in his stomach, as if all his innards were tying in a taught knot, and he began to feel faint and ill all at once. There was the faint hint of sweat on his brow, but all the while he had the nervous (and slightly fearful) smile set upon his features, his mouth still twitching, and his hands quivering a little. Fu had never personally seen the General run anyone through with her sword yet, but there was a first time for everything wasn’t there. He wobbled a little, but managed to hold his balance, the last thing he needed was to either collapse or throw up in front of the General. Neither, he expected, would result in anything good. Though with the way this day was going, he wouldn’t be surprised if either of those things happened anyway. Such was his luck.

It didn’t take much effort for her to take the box from him, both from her sense of strength, and for the fact that his palms were sweating so much, he didn’t think he would be able to hold onto the box much longer anyway. His eyes met hers, and he felt another shudder run down his spine. However, he did not move, nor flee, nor scream nor shout. He may have been fearful, but Fu knew that the General demanded above all else respect, and boy, did she have his respect. Fu feared her, but admired and respected her above almost all others. He knew how impressive she was, he had heard the stories, read the tales and the books written about the still living, breathing General. It was a shame, he thought miserably to himself, that he couldn’t present himself to her as a soldier like he so desperately wanted, and could only stand there and quiver and tremble like a fool.

When she threw the box over her shoulder, his heart leapt into his throat. Partially out of fear, but partially out of pure elation. Amazing. To see the General’s skill and strength (as simple as the technique was) up close was enough to set his heart thumping. Fu hadn’t noticed, but he had curled his fingers into his palms, his knuckles white and aching from clenching so tightly, however he hadn’t noticed. His attention was set squarely on the General as she barked her order, blinking in a mixture of both fear and pure awe. His mouth was dry and as she looked him over and he tried his best to stop his breath from shuddering with each shaky exhale.

Deep within the dark crevices of his mind there was the faintest, tiniest glimmer of optimism, pleading, nay, praying with all the effort its whispering voice could muster to convince him that perhaps today wasn’t as awful as he had thought. At least, if he looked at it in this particular shade of light, it would seem he was able to meet and speak with the General was the briefest blessing, before she would no doubt hurl him over the barracks wall, never to return with one fell swoop. Even if that was the case, or she was planning on doing something worse to him, at least he could look back and think that for the shortest of moments, he was able to play soldier for real.

She didn’t need to say the order twice, Fu had heard such orders said to new recruits countless times. Sometimes he would mimic their actions when he quietly played pretend on the barracks veranda when he thought no one was looking. Instantly, he straightened his back and pulled his shoulders back, the action instead of leaving him stooped, added an extra inch or so to his height. His hands were still curled at his sides, and it was only now that he suddenly felt the aching tension that had gone from his fists to his forearms and he felt, should he release it, his whole body might collapse. Too be quite fair, he was running on what felt like pure adrenalin anyway, what with his guts in knots, his heart in his throat, his head faint and his eyes sparkling, he did not feel the picture of health. Still, Fu clenched his arms tight to his sides, trying desperately to stand up as straight as possible, even lifting his head up a little in hopes that it might aid something. Quite what, he did not know. Just… something.

Mood: Panicked Elation
Condition: Taught
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General Yu
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Nation: Earth Kingdom

PostSubject: Re: Set in routine [General Yu, any other army related folk]   Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:18 am

"I know your brother, Shulei." Yu said, starting to pace around Fu, letting her arm not resting on her sword hang at her side. "I find it hard to believe you're of the same stock. Can you do anything, anything at all without tripping over your own feet?"

This was mostly a rhetorical question. Yu was a busy woman. Her attention was often securely directed somewhere other than what some charity project of Pang's was up to. However, she had seen him playing with his broom and pretending to be a soldier in the shadows when he obviously thought no one was looking. Yet with all that imitation, he didn't seem ever to be able to internalize any of the lessons her soldiers knew by heart.

"Tell me..." she said, narrowing her eyes at him. "If this fortress fell to the enemy, what do you think I would expect of you? Do you think it would be anything less than I expect of them?" she gestured toward the wall and the sound of the Legion training. "I would expect you to fight to the death. Do you think you're capable of that?"

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PostSubject: Re: Set in routine [General Yu, any other army related folk]   Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:36 pm


Fu


It was no surprise the General knew of Shulei (Shu), his elder brother, the bright, vibrant, strong and oldest son of the Xingshi family was quickly making a name for himself amongst the army ranks, surpassing nearly all challenges with ease. Fu’s elder brother was tall and handsome and had no shortage of girls chasing after him, his hair, although dark and thick like Fu’s would behave with grace and ease, framing his face perfectly while his neat brown eyes sparkled. He had broad shoulders and strong arm muscles, very unlike his youngest brother, Fu. Not only that, Shu had a way of being incredibly charming if he wanted to be and was just generally perfect at everything. Although all of Fu’s other brothers were very successful in their own right, it did seem brother Shu had gained the greatest handout when it came to looks, success, luck, strength and capabilities, while Fu got the very dregs at the bottom of the barrel. As the General agreed, most people seemed to find it hard that the eldest and youngest Xingshi brothers could be related at all.

As she spoke of the theoretical felling of the fortress, Fu blinked at her, listening intently, trying to understand fully as to what she was suggesting. Fu didn’t believe that the fortress, nor the kingdom could truly fall. With as much strength and power, and the insurmountable collection of soldiers it had at its disposal, it indeed seemed like only a great power could cause the Earth Kingdom and its fortresses any real destruction. Besides, what with soldiers like his brother Shu there for protection, the General, Rikio and the Earth Queen herself, it seemed any foe would have a formidable challenge to take down all these in hopes of having the Kingdom and all that was within it fall beneath their feet.

“In all honesty, General,” he began, believing there was little reason to lie, as he was speaking to the General herself and she seemed like the sort to be able to tell if someone was being liberal with the truth. Similarly though, Fu saw little reason to lie, such things as this, matters of morals, and thoughts and beliefs were the things one could not deny. Yes, they could indeed keep such things quiet and held close to their heart, but this did not mean that they would go against them. “I doubt I would be much worth” he said softly, his gaze briefly flicking down to his feet while his hands relaxed softly, and his taught fingers tentatively uncurled, trembling a little from being clutched so tightly for such an extended amount of time.

The shouting and unified noise of the Legion over the wall felt deafening in his own ears, and he hoped, the General would let him finish. ”But, I’m still a member of the Earth Kingdom Army” he added hastily, hoping that she hadn’t taken what he meant as a way of saying ‘no’ to the fact that he would be expected to fight. ”Albeit, not a soldier” he added with a mumble. He wasn’t doing well explaining what he meant. His heart and head knew exactly what he wanted to say, but saying the right words and phrasing it in such a way was proving difficult and he mentally scolded himself for struggling so much when it came to trying to string a few sentences together in front of the General.

He paused for a moment, and inhaled deeply, trying to calm himself down in an attempt to be more coherent. This might be his only chance to discuss things with the General, the only opportunity he might have to state his reason for being here, if he messed this up, he might as well bury his head in a coal shed and die for all it was worth. Fu bit his lower lip, pausing tentatively before continuing, his gaze hesitant and soft, but voice laden with truth and honesty dripping from his words. ”But I’m still a member of the army. I-I may not last as long as any of your soldiers, but, that isn’t from want of trying. I would fight with all I could muster, General.” He paused, frowning in thought as to try and work out how to explain what else he wanted to say. He hoped the General did not think his words pointless or ‘meaningless babble’ or anything worse.

Still, opportunity was opportunity. ”I might not be able to fight” he murmured softly, lowering his head and his gaze set now firmly on his feet, feeling very awkward and exposed stood here before the General, describing quite how and why he was there at the army in the first place. ”But I feel I should help the army and the Earth Kingdom in any way that I am capable. If that is by cleaning the recruits’ clothes, sweeping the barracks or defending the fortress with my life-“ Fu paused briefly, his eyes momentarily searching the depths of his being, wanting to be absolutely certain that his words were the genuine honest article. He searched and searched and there was nothing, no fibre of his being called out against him or told him to stop speaking of such things. It was the truth, as ridiculous and sappy as it may have been, Fu genuinely believed it.

”-then that is what I shall do. Without question. Because it is what I would expect of myself – regardless of what anyone else might think of me” he said, his words soft and laden with truth, and the faintest hint of an honest little smile set upon his features to himself.

Mood: Panicked Elation
Condition: Taught
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