osiris wrote:XInrichus shook his head. "Ah certainly not. The cruelty hardened him, but it made him into a cruel man himself. He learned ruthlessness from the most ruthless of all." XInrichu accepted the book happily, "Thank you. I am acquainted with the general story of Qin Shi-Huangdi's life, but I did not know the full story."
Xinrichu paused and frowned pensively. He disliked the idea of the tutor, but he understood the man's point. Initially XInrichu chose light words to avoid the natural heaviness and sadness of the discussion but this time he made no such effort. "Perhaps humble is a better word...Well anyhow, I am not concerned with my own education. In fact I am grateful that I am blessed with knowledge and a semblance of family, but currently, humble or not, my name holds little more than shame, and I must do something to change that. Unlike Qin Shi Huang I am rather set on ensuring I avoid the sordid practices that brought my own father to his early demise." He paused and gave a tentative smile, as if after leaving the bad subject, the smile might fade at any moment, "Though I am looking for the right fellow to serve, but right now no one has distinguished themselves greatly to me. Many are claiming cities, but I see little reason to trek thousands of li to answer a flier or a rumor. Who knows how much of it is hearsay anyways."
The scholar nodded, "It is indeed a rather... Interesting time. There are new men popping up all over the place, claiming cities and deposing their governors in the wake of the chaos wrought by Xiang Yu and the fall of the Qin. Some of these men interest me, but I do not have time to trek so far to meet them. It is a shame to see some of the men who have seized power since then. Some of these governors needed to fall, but I am unsure of the character of the men replacing them."
The headmaster paused a moment, "If it is a lord that you wish to serve, I have heard rumors that there is a man now in Hann, with an army from Xiang Yu. A man by the name of 'Zhang' Ranzhen, but he is truly Ying Ranzhen. A Qin family scion. He sought me out a few months ago, in an attempt to verify his birth. If he should prove successful in his acquisition of Hann, he is near by. Also, a man by the name of Huang Fu has taken a city in Di. I am unsure of this man, all I know is that he is a former soldier, one marked many times over by war. If you are in no rush to join a lord, there may be more soon, in the coming months..."
The scholar allowed his last words to trail for a moment, before continuing, "In your position, I would wait. See who it is that stands when the dust settles. You wish to liven up your story, to find a worthy cause, test these men, their mettle. Perhaps write those who have written you back. Ask about their goals, their desires... Take heart of these letters, as they will no doubt claim nothing but honorable intentions, but read between the lines of these men. See what it is that they feed you, if they are nothing but good will towards all, they are lying. Every man in power has ambitions, and those ambitions will breed conflict. You will have to realize this."
Zhou Kahn wrote:Zu nodded at his words, feeling better about the situation she had put herself in. He wasn't angry, which was good. Certainly a little research into the man or the library itself would have been a better option than simply being suspicious. However, it was past, and hearing him speak, she looked around then. She had been so focused on finding the man and apologizing, she hadn't even taken a second to look around. Taking the invitation to do so now, she was more than impressed, and quite overwhelmed. The library in Qi was nothing like this place, the old texts about battles and craft, the newer stories to entertain the populace.... There was just so many of them! Her hands suddenly itched, and she rubbed her fingertips into her palms to try to get rid of the feeling of wanting to search through and find all that the library had to offer. She turned to the scholar after a moment, a genuine smile on her lips as she spoke.
Mai Zu: "This is really an amazing place! I have to admit, most of my life has been spent in small country villages, and I don't know a whole lot about this place in general."
She eyed some of the closer books then, speaking again.
Mai Zu: "An almost endless supply of knowledge..."
She turned back to him again, a smile on her lips and a shine in her eyes.
The scholar smiled at the girl's appreciation of knowledge, "Indeed... I hope that this monument to the written word manages to stand forever... I have spent much of my life amassing the collection housed within. I only hope to add to it," he paused a moment, noticing the smile on her face, and the shine in her eyes, "You seem to have an special appreciation of this place... Would you happen to have a vast knowledge of creating books? Perhaps some day, you may be able to return here and work on the creation of new works, and the preservation, translation and redistribution of old..."
Pausing once more, the scholar's smile disappeared. Something was troubling him, and he hoped he could trust this woman, "Lady Mai... I must admit, my initial letter to you was not of the most pure intentions and ignorance of you... I have... A special request of you. Would you be willing to follow me to an area where we may speak privately? While I trust the men of this building, this is something that must remain the most secret of all..."