The sun was high in the sky above yet their was no Solar Princess to be greated by it. Floating above the vast savannah of the land that would one day become Harborhead, but was currently the Prefecture of Atheun-ashin, was the capitol of the region and where its Solar Princess was currently at work with her ministers. Princess Ashima who had been granted dominion over the area some 50 years ago after some political shuffling had moved her out of her old domain in the north sat at the head of a long table. Standing beside her was Rinazi as always. Along the table sat some 20 Dragonblooded all well into their second century of life at the youngest. Thanks to anagathic drugs and technologies though they were as fit as those a quarter their age. It was a very large and important meeting. Every 5 years she gathered the top ministers of each of the departments in her region and went over the next plan of five years with them.
Currently two of her ministers were in heated debate. Well debate and heated might be the wrong words. Bon Wo-Hin, a fire aspect and the minister of Warfare Just and Deliberate was quite angry. A man of the Bon gentes, her gentes, with a face red and on his feet, hammering his fists into the table as he yelled at the man sitting across from him. Bon Adamant Peak, the earth aspect minister of Ceremonies of Harmonious Appeasement and Celebreation, did not rise or yell back. When he tried to cooly respond to some claim of Wo-Hin's he stopped as soon as the other man started to rant again.
"Enough! Sit down and be silent Wo-Hin!" Ashima finally reaching her limit in how much she was willing to listen to their bickering. Both men were skilled administrators but as different as night and day. She generally kept a loose hand in running things. She was no Eclipse who found joy in the minutae of a finely running organization. She had instead adopted the principals of governance that her last self, Triumphant Waves, had adopted. Meet with each minister at least once a season. Hold a yearly review before Calibration and a major policy setting session every five years. Aside from that occasionally check their work to ensure its all running smoothly and otherwise attend to one's own affairs. Actually Triumphant Waves rarely followed his own policy having prefered to focus on his research and letting his husband Rinazi handle things. That Ashima herself tried to follow it was a pleasent surprise to the Half Moon Lunar.
Wo-Hin sat down, his head lowered in shame as he quickly asked for forgiveness for losing his temper so in front of his Princess. The room went silent as she tapped at a crystal panal in front of her, the intricate device connected to a information storage network pertaining to the region. With it she could quickly draw upon statistics and numbers and reports and with potent Linguistics charms read things in mere instants. She did not like what she had read.
"Minister Wo-Hin, according to this there remain four Legions in the area that have continued to perform poorly in their combat drills and excercises. I understand that it takes time properly bring a Legion up to proper fighting levels but you have changed the commanders of the Legions around...4 times in the last year alone. In fact looking back further I can see that the other Legions that took time to get going properly also went through a period of rapid leadership change." What she did not voice was the fact that once one of Wo-Hin's direct descent rose high enough to join the military they quickly were given a command and left in place.
"I must return to Meru soon for the Calibration ritual and to spend my two years in the city. During my absence I will leave my husband to personally inspect the matter of these Legions. In the meanwhile there will be a 10% cut in funding for the forces of the region. If too much jade will not fix the problem perhaps they need less to help bring them into fighting trim. The newly freed funds will be divided amongst infrastructure spending and to fund the festivals." Wo-Hin looked about to angrily protest but a sharp look from the Lunar standing behind her quieted him down. "Everyone good work this year. There will be a bonus for each of you when I return from Meru."
With that she stood and everyone stood up with her and held themselves in place while their Princess and her husband left out one of the gilded doors. She did not need to be Exalted to know what was on her husband's mind.
"I know what you are wondering dear and I will be honest. I do not think Wo-Hin is a bad man. He is good at his job and like anyone he wishes to see his family prosper. Those he puts into place in commanding the Legions are qualified at least. With you taking a hand with these final four I am sure the message that this family favortism he has been showing will not be tolerated any longer. Truthfully I should have done something about it sooner but things are still so complicated in Meru. Do you think I was too lenient?"
"Had he been putting people in place who could not do the work I would have. The man still needs a reprimand but his familial devotion did not outway his loyalty to you and what was best. Nothing he needs to lose his position over. Do not worry dear by the end of the year I will have matters in place so that those Legions have good commanders at their helm and that Wo-Hin knows he crossed the line but that his error in judgement is seen for the good nature it came from." As always the Lunar was careful in his words and in his actions. Smiling at his words and alone with him she quietly took his hand into her own, linking fingers with him and smiling like a girl still fresh in her first love.
"You are always so good to me Rinazi. I don't know what I would have done without you at my side. I promise I will always love you no matter which life we are in." She said to him, staring into his eyes.
It was about then Lu Zhin opened his eyes and saw the cold stone of the ceiling above him. Though he could not see her he knew that beyond that stone there was his Lunar mate. Yet here they were not sharing a bed and barely sharing a home. Yet there was a Lunar with him, Mina's mate Lana was in his bed sleeping quietly away. Well even if he did not have the love he had in his last life there were still those he cared for and cared for him. With that thought he curled back up with her and went to sleep.