Journal of Miyara Kyosuke (17)
It was time to go to dinner with Reefugo. In
preparation for this, Miyara created a beautiful caligraphic poem for
our host, on the subject of murder and so on. Goru was
specifically invited so could not remain behind, but only myself,
Miyara, Rawena, Hosei, and Pireseri accompanied him.
We were met at the door by Reefugo's housekeeper,
and let into the sitting room. Our host arrived moments later,
accompanied by a man called Jon Mari Aruto. Aruto is in his mid
20's, thin, of average height, with long blond hair, green eyes, buck
teeth, and a high pitched voice. He's a writer, working on a
murder mystery. The sculptress Mimi would be joining us in a few
minutes, it was announced.
Miyara presented her calligraphy to Reefugo.
He admired it for a long time and asked what it said. She told
him in general terms what it was about, then read it in
Nipponese. As she did so, a large smile spread over Reefugo's
face, and he clapped politely when it was over. He seemed to be
enjoying it a little too much, more than someone who didn't understand
Soon, Mimi arrived. The barbarians engaged in
polite conversation before dinner, particularly the monk Hosei, while
Miyara translated the important points for me.
Reefugo does not know Tausika well. He
described her as "frightening" in response to Hosei's "dark"
comment. She's not someone those of delicate tastes enjoy.
The night of Bastia's death, said Reefugo, was the
night of the double full moon. Many weird things happen then, he
said, and it's hard to tell if anything is particularly strange on such
a night. He added that no-one seemd to be acting out of character.
Miyara asked him what happens on the night of the
double full moon. Reefugo replied that is when chaos is at its
strongest. It encourages those of a chaotic nature to be more so,
and causes those of lawful tendencies to be somewhat more reserved and
even fearful. He claimed that like most of his race, he was quite
neutral in such matters.
I speculated that Bastia might be some kind of half
demon who could become powerful on such a night, and perhaps they
killed him to prevent that, but while Miyara tolerated the suggestion
it was clear I had not spoken well.
Hosei continued the conversation. It seems
that elves don't particularly observe the double full moon, although
the more devout mark the day with ritual while others merely recognize
it. Later, Hosei told us that elves are very private about their
religion. They have a common answer they use to fend off such
questions, Lia Duriel, their goddess of song and wine.
At this point, the housekeeper arrived to announce
dinner. Reefugo lead us to the dining room, where the seating was
partially directed. Goru was at his right hand, with Pireseri
next to him; their chairs were specifically for ones of their
stature. Miyara sat to his left, with Rawena and Carimera across
from him. All others filled in as they wished.
One does not discuss business at dinner, of
course. Reefugo spoke to each of us in turn, asking where we were
from and how we came to be amongst these people. So much
barbarian language grated on my ears. Hoseiand the elves had a
long discussion about chaos, elves, man, and so on, rambling on as
barbarians do. Reefugo paid particular attention to Goru, of
Reefugo of course does not speak a civilized
language. Nevertheless he apparently wanted to speak through
translation. Miyara politely asked me if I wished to engage in
conversation, knowing I am sure that I would answer her that I don't
care for the chatter of barbarians.
The dinner itself was not of course to Miyara's
taste, containing as it did substantial portions of meat.
Nevertheless, as soon as this was noticed, they accomodated her as best
they could by not serving her such unacceptable ingredients.
Reefugo was proving to be a decent host.
The discussions were interminable, but we eventually
succeeded in our purpose, as I shall describe shortly.
Reefugo considers the Loren woods his home. He
came here, he said, to avoid the hustle and bustle of life there.
His father was a ship's captain, a sea elf who made regular runs to the
western continent of Lusiteria.
The two artists were Buretonian, while the
housekeeper was Tai Lin. The baker's wife (also Buretonian)
assisted the housekeeper in serving.
Hosei proved good at drawing out information from
Reefugo. He is most personable for a barbarian, and seems to get
a good reaction from everyone. Eventually Reefugo was prodded
into telling a story which showed he was an undercover agent for the
elves, watching for stolen art passing through this strategically
placed town, and "dissuading" those involved in such crimes from doing
it again. His artists, Mimi and Aruto, have nonetheless been
completed duped by his pretence to be a patron of the arts.
I believe our investigation is done. Bastia
was a peasant, and no-one should care he's dead anyway. In
addition he committed a crime of stealing elven art and was executed
for it. I don't see that the other methods and motives are
important. We know the doctor poisoned Bastia to prevent him
revealing that Tesan is a magician, but this to my mind is
irrelevant. The peasant deserved to die, he is dead. What
is more to say?
After dinner, we retired for dessert, drinks, and
cigars. Reefugo gave us a tour of the barbarian art, which was
certainly interesting. There was no Nipponese art in the
collection, or anything stylistically similar to the dragon statue
Miyara seeks. The human pieces in his collection were ones he
enjoyed, while the elvan pieces seemed to have been chosen on the basis
of their importance.
As we left, Hosei hung back and had a last word with
Reefugo in a different language.
It is good in such barbarian lands to find as
gracious and pleasant a host as Reefugo.
We returned to the inn to sleep. Tomorrow they
resolved to seek out Tausika.
There was one odd moment -- just before bed, Rawena
noticed that outside her window, the baker was taking his pig for a
walk. Perhaps he was up and around the previous night and had
seen something? Another avenue for the barbarians to pursue, I am