Featured image art “Narco lords” by Arute (@ast05water)
To Her Majesty the Queen of Arendelle,
I’d offer you pleasantries: wishes of good health to you and Elsa, congratulations for seizing control of the Exalted, and even some grudging respect for how ruthlessly you expelled my boss, Mr. Harrison, from the cabal. You’ve got an… unforgiving streak, don’t you? Especially for those that mess with your family. I like that.
You and Mr. Harrison know each other well enough that you’ll see any pleasantries from me to be hollow and meaningless. You despise each other, so I won’t patronize you with insincerity.
I’ll accord you the respect you deserve as my boss’s nemesis and get straight down to business.
By now you’ve probably departed the Forbidden City, having sealed your position as the Emerald Dragon, the new leader of the Exalted. Your allies – Kristoff, Colisa, and Peony – have all received their formal titles from Yixin, as well.
Mr. Harrison is frothing at the mouth. It’s actually kind of funny to see him so frustrated by your meteoric rise to international power. After all, he once had you on the back foot, bullying you at will with his superior private fleet of clippers. Now he sees you take a prize that he could never seize, and it drives him mad. He wanted to be Yixin’s favoured heir. But aside from my mild amusement at his rantings, there isn’t much good to be had, I suppose, from not trying to do something about you. After all, our resources are still considerable, and Mr. Harrison is wealthier than all of your kingdom’s merchants save Kristoff. You’re rapidly becoming a threat, which is why he rallied the Floodgate triads to move against you.
But now he wants to do something different. Mr. Harrison extends to you an invitation to meet with you and make a final deal with you. To split the economic territory of China and Greater Asia between himself and your squeeze’s conglomerate, the Princely House. You should therefore bring Kristoff, and indeed all of the new Exalted members, along.
The location will be at the Qilin Cabaret, Mr. Harrison’s proudest business venture. It’s Peking’s premier entertainment venue. It has performers, glittery glamour, wine, and opium. Everything you could need for a mind-blowing night out. You won’t find a more dazzling centre of power in Asia.
On your part, you’ll commit to no interference in Mr. Harrison’s business as the Emerald Dragon. On his part, he’ll throw his weight – with conditions – behind your leadership. Just as Katina Romanov did after you defeated her.
I respect you, Anna. You’ve outfoxed Mr. Harrison at many turns. That’s why if you can’t be destroyed, you must be at least pacified with an excellent deal that will divide between you two the spoils of business on this side of the world.
Next Saturday night, Your Majesty. If you’re not a coward and have some steel within you for some hard-nosed deal-making.
We’ll be waiting.
8 thoughts on “INVITATION from the Qilin Cabaret to HM Queen Anna and her Exalted”
Reminds me of the feast at Hongmen, though the alliances and web of interconnection is different.
I’ll just leave a snippet.
From Sima Qian’s Records of the Grand Historian (BC 94) – Annals of King Xiang:
‘… Fan Zeng signalled King Xiang with his eyes, raising thrice his jade ornament as a signal, but King Xiang was silent and did not respond. Fan Zeng rose, exited, and summoned Xiang Zhuang, and said: “The King has not the heart. Enter to toast the king, and offer to perform a sword-dance, and while the Duke of Pei is sitting, strike and slay him. If not, we are all to become his prisoners.” Thus Zhuang entered to toast. He said: “My lord drinks with the Duke of Pei, but there is no merriment. Allow me to perform a sword-dance.” King Xiang said: “Very well.” Xiang Zhuang unsheathed his sword and began to dance; and Xiang Bo also did, and constantly shielded the Duke of Pei with his body, and Zhuang could not attack.
Thus Zhang Liang went to the army camp entrance and met Fan Kuai. Fan Kuai asked: “How are the day’s matters?” Liang said: “Precarious! Now Xiang Zhuang is performing a sword-dance, but his intention is constantly on our Duke.” …’
“Tiffany, I’m just gonna be blunt. After EVERYTHING that Harrison did, why the fuck would Anna want to make ANY deal with HIM? If you were wise, you’d bitch-slap him and leave him. You’re better than this, he is not worthy of you. But that’s besides the point. I’m glad that Harrison is mad. He can absolutely go fuck ALL the way off. I had a load of fun kicking his ass before and I’ll gladly do it again, only this time, I’ll make sure to finish the job on that backstabbing motherfucker. Anna is no coward. Harrison is the coward.
And, as far as I am concerned, Harrison deserves NONE of what he has.
Get out while you still can, Tiffany. I’d hate to see you go down with him.”
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Thank you for speaking with me tonight over hot chocolate in our inn’s lounge. I despise Harrison too, and he’s done nothing except show bad faith toward me, Arendelle, and my friends since day one.
This might be my best chance to reach a diplomatic settlement with a persistent foe, though. I think he knows that he can’t defeat me, but I can’t bring down his opium empire either. I’d be happy to negotiate with him, but I know he’s looking to strike a killing blow against me.
And I… I want to see his empire of suffering and greed toppled. So there.
I’m glad I’ll have you with me at the Qilin Cabaret.
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You’re most certainly welcome, Anna. No matter what, we’ll figure this out and get this done.
Gale delivered a copy of this to T.M. Michael and showed it to PM Vi, Commander Hilde and Gen. Mattias.
“Be careful, Anna. Don’t go alone into this pit of vipers. Tiffany and Will are the Queen and King Cobras there.”
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I promise you, Uncle Mike, I’ll keep my eyes peeled for any suspicious activity by Harrison and his goons. There’s no way the Floodgate gang won’t be at the Qilin Cabaret. It’ll be a tense night, despite the opulence and glamour that he and Hunsecker throws at us.
I saw Will Tutore threw in his services to watch your back. A few good assassins will give you a nice edge…