The basic idea is to have Shen-Ji meet Yue as soon as can reasonable be arranged. Yanyu can chaperone the first meeting if that is appropriate.
- It is in fact most appropriate for you to attend and perform an introduction, rather than just sending him on his own. (And, traditionally, help with the small talk if both parties are shy and tongue-tied, which seems a bit unlikely in this case).
- You can set up an invitation over for tea and music, and head over on a rented boat.
- Olive Partridge Island is a bit upstream and out of the main body of the river delta, so the river is a little more stagnant and slow-moving than in the mainstream. The dock is well-kept up, and the path to the house is raised a bit with gravel and sand, to keep from getting too wet in the swampy terrain.
- You're met at the dock by Elder Brother, who bows respectfully to both Yanyu and Shen-Ji, and escorts them back to the house, where Sakong Yue (and her mother) is waiting. There is tea, which is very good, and little dumplings, which are only reasonably good.
Yanyu will perform all the necessary introductions, taking care to make sure everything is done properly. (6 successes)
Yanyu will suggest that perhaps the family would like to hear a bit about Shen-Ji's service to the court of the Isle of Beauty as a possible segue into Shen-Ji getting to talk up some of his recent accomplishments. (5 successes conversation)
"Greetings to the Sakong family. I am Yang Shen-Ji, master sorceror of the Court of Beauty. Thank you so much for your hospitality. I wish to present Miss Yue with a small token that I hope will interest her." [Present the closed puzzle box.]
- She smiles and takes it. "You are most gracious, thank you."
- For a moment or two, she looks at it without fiddling, more as one would admire a small sculpture, running her finger along some of the curves. Then she fiddles with it a bit, seeing what slides and what turns - and she seems to have very clever, careful fingers - but she quickly seems to come to the conclusion that she is not going to get it open in a few moments, and is not going to spend the next hour ignoring you to work on the puzzle. She gives a quick grin, which quickly switches into the more polite host-smile. "Have you opened it? Or did you use your sorcery on it?"
"Ahh, I used my amazing sorcerous powers and got a friend to open it for me (smile at this).
- You definitely Get her with this - she has the formal polite smile for the first half of the sentence, but at the second half she laughs aloud, both at the punch line and at having been Gotten.
Now it has been properly prepared for you. I suspect you will have no trouble with it, eventually."
- She smiles at that, and puts it aside. "I look forward to making the attempt."
"I understand that you are often at the Library; do you have a particular area of studies or research?"
- "I began my studies to learn about drainage, construction, watercourses, that sort of thing. But there is so much in the library that it is difficult to resist branching out - the great histories, or the music collection, have both become my favorites as well."
"Ahh, yes, I totally understand. Sadly, I have not had the time to devote to a thorough perusal of the offerings in the Library, but I hope to some day."
- She laughs. "One would need to be an Immortal to have time to read *all* of the works in the Library... but I would be satisfied to someday be able to walk in the stacks myself."
Shen-Ji will continue to ask about things like why she is studying engineering and her other interests, and relate some of those to his travels (like the Walls, etc) and then let her know that while we expect to be travelling again soon, I hope to see her again at some point when I get a chance to return to this area.
- Her interest in engineering stems from the troubles her family is having with their land; the shifting of the river has subjected much of the island to flooding. She has seen the Southern Wall, of course (though not actually climbed it, she says with a slight pointedness, as if *someone* she knows has climbed it...), but she has not been so far north as to see the Northern Wall - and she quizzes you a bit on how similar they are. (Basically, the construction / design is pretty similar, but the southern wall is in a bit more disrepair at this point).
- Music, she appreciates not because it is useful, but... if there need be a practical reason, she thinks perhaps music makes it more possible to be useful. (She tries her best to sound you out on what Shen-Ji thinks about music; she isn't going to babble on about it if it bores him, but will probably be a bit disappointed if he has no interest in music at all.)
- She would be pleased to see you again when you return to the South.