This post has the following content warnings:
May 21, 2022 2:52 PM
vanda nosseo meets the jianghu
+ Show First Post
Total: 309
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

"Yes!" says Lan Su. "I will be very good. I will be so quiet. You will have no idea I am there."

Permalink

"Awwww you're welcome to join us Lan Su!" says Nelen. "- she mentioned demons, what are those hereabouts?"

Permalink

"Demons are a classification for entities that are formed from living humans. Some of them are malevolent, some of them are benign, and some of them are even helpful."

Permalink

"Interesting. As an artifact of the translation effect what we're hearing is a name for a particular species from another world but we can recalibrate that if it'll be confusing."

Permalink

"That does sound confusing. I hope we can figure a way to make the translation effect unambiguous-- perhaps if we named the other species in Chinese? --Incidentally, I believe I may have failed to introduce myself. I am Lan Sizhui, first disciple of the Wei sect, and this is Lan Su, Sect Leader Wei's daughter. Sect Leader Wei himself is busy with research and prefers not to be disturbed"-- and has no diplomatic skills and should definitely not be allowed to meet the people from the other star when Lan Sizhui isn't ready to manage him-- "but as the first disciple I handle welcoming all guests of the sect."

Permalink

"It's a pleasure to meet you! I'm Nelen Utopia; these are Cassiel Jones, Tarwë, Zanro, and Tanaka Natsuko. We can handle the recalibration of the 'demon' thing on our end no problem, though - 'apsel', how's that?"

"Of the five of us I'm the only one who does surname first," Natsuko volunteers.

"Yes - though Utopia isn't a surname," says Nelen.

Permalink

"Lovely to meet you all," he says. "In general, as a sign of respect, we refer to men as 'Master' and their clan name and women as 'Mistress' and their clan name. If I called you by your first name, that would be taken as claiming that I'm your close personal friend. You would call me Master Lan. What should I call you?"

Permalink

"Ambassador Utopia is fine," says Nelen.

"Mistress Jones makes me sound like... yeah I don't really want you to call me that. Envoy Jones?" says Cassiel.

"Tanaka-san," says Natsuko.

"If it's clan names you want I suppose you could call me Master Noldo," says Tarwë.

"I don't have any other names. Master Zanro if you must," says Zanro.

Permalink

"Tanaka-san sounds like the names of people from a country on our planet called Japan," Lan Sizhui comments. 

Lan Su follows behind, being SO quiet. 

Permalink

On their way to the room, they see:

-A variety of fierce corpses, mostly standing or jerkily performing routine tasks, although one appears to be planting turnips. 
-A lot of people, mostly Chinese but some not. Some are chatting, some are practicing music or swordfighting or archery, some are painting, some are flying on their swords, some are controlling the fierce corpses with flutes or guqin, some are trading goods, some are cleaning or running errands. About half of them are extraordinarily beautiful; the other half look like pretty normal medieval peasants. Only the normal-looking ones are cleaning or running errands, and only the beautiful ones are trading goods or flying or practicing swordfighting or painting, but the other activities are evenly divided. They bow when they see Lan Sizhui. 
-An extraordinary number of small children running around playing loud and incomprehensible childish games and occasionally earnestly demanding candy from Lan Sizhui. The less involved adults keep a benign eye on them and occasionally intervene if something too dangerous appears to be happening, although they have an approach to "too dangerous" suited for people who are lowkey invulnerable. 

Permalink

"I'm from a Japan! There are a lot of planets with the same continents and similar political geography to this one, called Earths, and I'm from an Earth," Natsuko says.

"Good morning," Zanro says to a turnip-planting fierce corpse.

Permalink

"Good morning, Master!" the turnip-planting fierce corpse says. 

Permalink

"I believe we have some other visitors from Japan," he says to Natsuko, "should I introduce you?"

Permalink

"If you'd like, but I'm from a completely different Japan," Natsuko says.

Permalink

"I don't know if it would be interesting. Not right now, of course, there are more things to settle."

He takes them into a beautifully decorated room and pours them each a cup of tea. Lan Su sits decorously beside him. "I suppose I should answer any questions you have? This is a sufficiently unusual situation for me that I don't know what questions I should ask."

Permalink

"Of course," says Nelen, "let me explain why we're here. Vanda Nossëo has many member states, each citizen of which gets a routine payment just for being a citizen, and each political unit of which is entitled to defensive support as-needed. The baseline requirements to join are complete freedom of emigration, laws against murder, torture, and rape, and a majority vote of the entire population of the candidate polity. We're here because from what we were able to observe cultivators are basically their own coextensive political unit relative to the non-cultivators, and we couldn't assume that a single envoy team would suffice for both."

Permalink

"...what do you define as murder?"

Permalink

"The nonconsensual taking of a person's... life. I do see how that might be complicated with undead - well, maybe vampires are technically dead -"

"I'm technically dead," says Cassiel.

"Yes, but also, no one can possibly murder you," Nelen tells her. "Let's say nonconsensually imposed cessation of a sapient existence, though it's not currently written like that and there will need to be an amendment once we more fully understand what's going on with the undead."

Permalink

"...what if a monster is killing people?"

Permalink

"Self-defense is allowed, including lethally, if you don't have a nonlethal means of stopping the assailant."

Permalink

"Well, that doesn't do the peasants much good, they can't kill monsters."

Permalink

"Hang on, I'm going to fiddle with my Allspeak some more - it should have Chinese, I have met Chinese people -" Pause. "Lethal defensive action is permissible including if you are defending people other than yourself. But if the monsters are people we'd like to prioritize less destructive ways to address the situation."

Permalink

"There are other situations where cultivators would like to be able to kill things-- gods can cause a great deal of trouble without technically attacking anyone, just by interfering with rain patterns and so on-- I guess technically if people die that would still be self-defense? And I don't know if anyone has ever killed a god for nonfatal misbehavior, killing gods is very difficult."

Permalink

"Gods sometimes get special handling regarding whether it's all right to murder them, though if at all possible we'd like to also send a delegation to them and see if they can be reasoned with," says Nelen.

Permalink

"Gods are just very powerful people. They're different from ordinary humans, but only because they all were the sort of people who both wanted to become gods and succeeded. --I suppose the gods that used to be plants, animals, and rocks are harder to reason with but they're also easier to kill, even an ascended rock is still pretty stupid."

Total: 309
Posts Per Page: