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Old 05-10-2020, 07:50 AM
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Session 2: Happy New Year

Last Words Henri bows graciously at Tsuyui Ofu's approach, treating the hulking warrior to a friendly smile as he straightens up again. He nods encouragingly at the giant's words, all earnest helpfulness, his brow crinkling in a little frown of remorse as Tsuyui Ofu's gesture takes in the crackling funeral pyre. "Yes, it is a great pity... but I do not know why anyone should wish to prevent me from coming to the daimyō! I seek only to offer him my services. I have some little expertise in the field of - ah, but I do not know the Tenkaben for this." He frowns, almost comically dismayed at having reached the limits of his knowledge. "I build things, you know? I figure out how to make things work."

Obusier, momentarily distracted by the incompetence of his crew, returns his attention to those around him with a long-suffering sigh. He seems to detect an undercurrent of hostility in Tsuyui Ofu's rumbling tones, but his wry amusement at the 'package' joke does not fade. If anything he seems even more amused by the situation, and - though his crew are calling him away again, to make the final inspection of the goods now loaded and secure on the makeshift carts they've scrounged together - he cannot resist putting in a final word. He pokes Hikari jovially in the shoulder as he passes, tossing his chin up at the Wong Gunung.

"You tell that big lad to be careful what he says, hey? That's not just any old sailor he's talking to - that's Henri Joseph, the Prophet of Massaly! History's greatest dragon slayer!"


Bay City
Bird of time -
in Kohro, pining
for Kohro.



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The next morning, Bay City wakes early. The marketplace is full of fish, now, and full too of gossip about the shipwreck the day before. Many had been there the evening before to see the caravan limp into town, and still more are prepared to offer vivid and explicit details about its arrival. There had been injuries, had there not? And not just those drowned or dragged across the rocks - sword wounds, signs of battle! The Liberais had been there to greet them, the Isaaites - ready to receive the wounded, working all night to keep the dying sailors away from the beautiful afterlife they promised - but didn't you see, it was a shrine priestess in charge of things? A miko, she came in on one of the carts...

Yes, there had been carts laden with long wooden boxes - heavy-looking cargo salvaged from the shipwreck. Treasure for the daimyō, no doubt. His men took charge of them pretty quickly once they reached the city, no surprises here. There were a lot his paper samurai on the streets last night... were they expecting trouble? One of the sailors - she's from the Ryukyu islands, you know, so she speaks Tenkaben well enough, after a fashion - I heard her saying something about an attack, an ambush, maybe bandits. It wasn't bandits though, she wouldn't let us say it was bandits. What did she say? That word... that was it!

Yamato.




The daimyō's men came out to meet you just before the great crude city walls, and led Obusier and his caravan through the gates and onwards, heading for the heights of the Foreign Quarter. Their main concern seemed to be the cargo itself - along with the captain, and the translator Henri Joseph, always at his side - and the sailors were generally ignored, but a well-dressed official had made a point of greeting Kasumi, bowing low with some polite, courtly formalities. As he exchanged words of thanks with Tenji for a job well done, his eyes had taken in the rest of you: sliding across Turushno and Cecília, who could be discounted as oddities, then flinching away from Tsuyui Ofu (harder to ignore simply by virtue of his size) before narrowing just slightly as they came to rest on Meiji, Hikari, and the prisoner.

She was taken away quickly, with the rest of the cargo.

And that had seemed to be the end of it, until the messengers found you. They come early - not quite as early as the fishermen, but early enough - and each of you receives the same message: "The Daimyō Nagamasa cordially requests your presence at the Great Palace of Kohro this morning. For your outstanding acts of heroism the Daimyō wishes to offer you your reward in person, and hopes that you will do him the courtesy of accepting this honour. This messenger will remain to guide you to the Palace at your earliest convenience."



OOC Here we are again! Welcome (back) to Onokoro; I hope the transition wasn't too abrupt. Feel free to pick up the scene wherever you'd like - we can assume you found a place to spend the night or roleplay it out from your arrival at the city, as you desire. Some of you may have business to attend to before answering the Daimyō's summons... and some of you may not wish to answer it at all! Follow your hearts and let me know if there's anything troubling you - I'll sort out the rest
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Old 05-11-2020, 12:16 PM
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Tsuyui Ofu
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Returning to the city and seeing the cargo and the 'prize', Henri, taken by the daimyo's men gave Tsuyui Ofu's a sense of satisfaction in a day's work. As everyone said their farewells and went their own ways, the Wong Gunung found himself walking back to Tora-ji's holdings and the gladiator pit. He stopped himself in the middle of the street. He would not be returning there, not even to report his success. Tora-ji had granted him his freedom but had also held him in bondage all those years. The man was no friend.

Glancing about his surroundings the fact that he was truly on his own hit him across the face as impactfully as a closed fist could. Where would he go? What would he do? While he had completed his mission, he had received nothing for it and had only 14 golden coins in his purse. The stark realization of loneliness washed over him and he suddenly felt very small. Everyone around him had a place to go and those who cared about them. He had nothing. What he could have had had been taken from him when he had been taken from his people in the mountains.

He searched his field of vision for the highest hill on Onokoro and walked as close as he could get to its summit. Gazing out over the walls of the city, he could see the mountain peaks in the distance. Home. How many of his people still dwelt there? Would they even accept him if he went there? Could he even survive in that harsh environment having been raised in the city? Tsuyui Ofu hung his head and shook it back and forth. No. He couldn't go there either.

Spotting a tavern, he walked to the door and listened to the sounds of reverie, camaraderie and celebration that echoed from the structure. He pulled his hand away from the handle. Was he to sit in silence in a room of boisterous laughter, a shadow in candlelight. They probably wouldn't serve him anyway or call the guard thinking him an escaped slave.

Tsuyui Ofu began walking. He didn't know where he was going but he figured he would know it when he got there. He passed several other inns and taverns and each time was tempted to enter but held back for fear of his reception. When the lights went out and the shutters were closed he dared not waken the proprietors for fear of being rude or worsening their already poor attitude toward him.

As the sun began to peak over the horizon, he realized he had been walking all night. As the city began to wake, he began to meander back toward the docks. He thought of those who had stood against the attackers with him the night before. He wondered where they had laid their heads to rest that night, the kind Kasumi, the stoic Hikari, the brave Cecilia, the thoughtful Turushno or the brash Meiji. His thoughts were interrupted by a messenger from the daimyou requesting his presence for his reward. While he did not feel accepting a reward for protecting someone from unprovoked attack...he was low on coin and lower still on prospects for his newly freed life. With nothing to lose, he accepted the invitation and followed the guide to the palace.

 


 
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Old 05-11-2020, 03:54 PM
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Meiji
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The trip into town was long and quiet for Meiji. The youth sat in the cramped carriage, through uncomfortable pauses and awkward silences, whilst pondering how, exactly, he had managed to wind up in such an unusual predicament.

After all, aiding and abetting gaijin, especially those who called themselves Imali (devils that they were), wasn't ever high on his list of priorities and for good reason. For his entire life he had been taught, by his father and the many expensive tutors afforded to him, that they were a pox upon the land, a plague of evil conquerors hell bent on destroying Tenka, its culture, and its people -- they were the enemy, and all enemies must be crushed beneath one's heel. To have now flipped the script and, somehow, someway assisted in the safe-guarding of one such foe simply did not sit well with him. This was against everything Meiji had come to know and, strangely, it made him recontextualizing the zealous prisoner's earlier ideological cry in a more favorable light. This, along with a freshly-healed wound that refused not to ache, had started to become a bit too much for him to handle.

So it was that, whensoever the ride came to an end and they were free to go their separate ways, the youth departed with what he thought to be a final farewell and, like the wandering ronin he had become, searched for the nearest den of vice and sin to placate his uneasy conscience. Any good hole in the wall would do, so long as it allowed him the opportunity to slip out of that blood and grime soaked armor and dive head-first into a drunken and/or drug-induced stupor.

Meiji had tried very hard to remain on the straight-and-narrow despite having been thrown to the wolves at an early age, yet time and time again would he succumb to bouts of deep depression and uncertainty about his new station -- or lackthereof. In all likelihood, the troubled youth knew good and well that there was never going to be a way for him to take back what his father had squandered all those years ago, and so it seemed a great source of shame to him that, until such a time that the fates decided he would no longer walk the mortal coil, Meiji would continue to fight both tooth and nail for something forever out of reach. At times like this he felt as though all the blood he had shed had gone to waste and, in lieu of any good substitute, took to the drink... or anything else he could get his killer's hands on.

Damn the Imali! Damn those stupid villagers! And most of all damn his loathsome father!

Bottom's up!



 

Last edited by Chylopan; 05-11-2020 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 05-11-2020, 10:23 PM
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What a day it had been. Hikari had no love for the Imali (at all), but she had defended one. For coin, she reminded herself, for future payment. But the man had already said he could promise no reward. So why had she done it afterward?

When the cart arrived in Onokoro, Hikari guarded the Captain and Henri until she was sure they were safe. She figured as guests of the daimyo, they would be safe enough, and she wouldn't need to lend her spare room to them. Thankfully.

Hikari returned home and went immediately to her painting room. She set her sketch down and began to paint. First, with blue and white. The water. Then brown for the ship. Finally black for details and to write her message. She told the tale of that day, how brave Tenka-jin rescued pitiful Imali merchants. How they were then attacked by those who didn't understand honor, and won. She made sure to emphasize that. Finally, she signed it.

She set the painting to dry, and slept the rest of the night. In the morning, she received a messenger, telling her to meet the daimyo. As she expected. Maybe now she'd receive her reward for saving such loathesome creatures.
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Old 05-12-2020, 03:45 PM
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Cecília
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Cecília's night had provided little rest, but great personal joy. Despite the rather grisly circumstances that had led to the sailors' presences in the church, they are still her people, and there are quite a lot of them. The role of entertainer comes naturally to Cecília as she juggles cooking and cleaning and directing the other priests in medical care. The night is long and filled with constant, taxing work, but the smile on her face never fades, even at the late hours of the night... or perhaps, early hours of the morning, when her head finally falls against the bed.

When she awakes, however, her head aches. It isn't a hangover; she neither had much alcohol last night, nor has she ever had difficulty waking up and going about her business with one of those before. The pain is something right behind her eyes. It's almost as if her vision is not only black, but cloudy... not that that make any sense, even to her.

"Nothing a drink couldn't fix," she mutters to herself with a wry smile. It's too early for the majority of the church to be awake, so she might as well relax a little before the sailors awaken and her duties become innumerous.

With a hum, Cecília makes her way to the kitchen and put on a pot of water for tea before pulling a bottle of rice wine and a small cup. She manages to toss down the contents of one cupful without interruption, but as she is pouring the second, a knock on the door summons her.

"At this hour? Isa save me! If your night was so sinful, at least sleep on it before clamoring for confession. I'm sure the Creator would like some sleep, too..." As she pulls the sliding door open, she isn't graced with the smell and sound of a stammering drunk, begging for absolution like she had expected.

"The Daimyō Nagamasa cordially requests your presence at the Great Palace of Kohro this morning. For your outstanding acts of heroism the Daimyō wishes to offer you your reward in person, and hopes that you will do him the courtesy of accepting this honour. This messenger will remain to guide you to the Palace at your earliest convenience."

Cecília blinks. She obviously hadn't been what she expected. It wouldn't have been her second guess as to who had been knocking on her door, either. Nor the third, fourth, or fifth guess, or any other number in an infinite number of tries. Sleep-deprived and with a pit of alcohol-fueled fire in her gut, Cecília responds with all the grace and dignity one should expect.

She snorts loudly in the messenger's face before bursting into laughter.

"Dearie, I think you've made a mistake. I'm just a priest, love. Oh, I imagine it's hard to tell us lizards apart, isn't it? You must be looking for one of the sailors. Come on in, I've just put on tea, and if you give me a name I will fetch them as soon as they're awake, how's that sound?" Cecília ushers in the messenger and guides him to where she suspects a cushion rests on the floor before hurrying into the kitchen where a whistling pot of boiling water awaits.

 

Last edited by Miss Nomer; 05-12-2020 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 05-12-2020, 06:52 PM
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Turushno
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Turushno spent much of the journey to Onokoro in discussion with his new companions. He'd lost track of Meiji except for the occasional sighting of his armour, and Hikari spoke little, but both Cici and Kasumi proved to be fascinating travelling companions. The former had a deceptively sharp wit and open demeanour, while the latter chose her words with precision and wisdom when engaged in debate.

The Wong Gunung still eluded his direct interaction. The fault for that lay upon Turushno. He may have to make up for that in the future, if Kasumi's assessment was accurate.

For now, he was satisfied to pass the rest of the journey in peace and safety. No more assassins slithered into their ranks to strike; no more mercurial ronin assaulted them. When he could, Turushno struck up idle conversation with Obusier and Henri in Imali, hoping he could ingratiate himself with then enough to learn something of the reason they had been targeted by the so-called Yamato.

But even then, he wondered in the back of his mind: could he afford to get too invested? The bitter divide between Tenka-jin and gaijin had already been costly for him in the past. He liked to think he'd reach across that divide again and again, for as long as necessary, until he no longer needed to. But he'd been hiding away from that ideal lately. Taking the easy path. Coasting on a mood of passive optimism - it would be all right, I've done my part and this land will heal.

He convinced himself he was correct. Maybe he would have been. The problem with idle belief is that it can be right or wrong; in the end it gets consumed all the same by those with more active ideals. Those like the Yamato.

And yet ... he could only do so much. He was about to re-enter a world beyond his own. He couldn't stay long.



Kohro. Onokoro. Bay City. The Heavenly Dragon gazing across the sea that was once thought to be never-ending.

Turushno hadn't set foot near these walls for a decade. Last time he'd been this close, the great dragon was choked upon the shore. He remembered the panic. The Black Ships hadn't needed to wreak much havoc here once the Tenryuu were defeated; the people had torn the city apart all on their own. They wanted to snatch at glory before the end, or flee with what they could carry, or just exploit the vacancy of enforced law. Some had been saved from the maelstrom. Many weren't so lucky.

He hadn't been here for long, back then. An incidental visit, perfectly timed with the day the world changed.

He stood idly while the prisoner and sailors were brought into the daimyo's care. Turushno was routinely ignored, which suited him just fine. The words from the official sat between his ears, unattended to. The bustle of the city, laid out dark and uneven before him, kept snatching at his attention. Idle gossip, the faint calls of mongers at the markets, a crying baby somewhere. Here of all places, the cacophony of noise felt a little much. Too much was built upon this shore; too much was soaked into its bones.

He made his way to Kasumi when the official was done with her and quietly got her attention. "I have a request," he said to Kasumi. "The city ... bristles at me. But I'm in need of a place to stay. May I take a room at your shrine, just for the night? I don't expect I'll linger in the city long after that."


 
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Old 05-13-2020, 08:32 AM
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Tsukamoto Kasumi
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Kasumi gave the slightest of bows to the official that greeted them, and returned his empty fawning with empty words of praise for Lord Nagamasa. She watched with considerable trepidation as the daimyō's men took possession of the prisoner and the cargo from the wrecked ship. Her heart told her this was no mere shipment of foodstuffs or cloth or coins.

When the daimyō's men were all gone, Kasumi turned to her companions. "Did we do the right thing?" she wondered out loud. "It seemed right at the time." But the others seemed preoccupied with their own concerns.

After the others went their separate ways, the monk Turushno approached her. "I have a request. The city ... bristles at me. But I'm in need of a place to stay. May I take a room at your shrine, just for the night? I don't expect I'll linger in the city long after that." There was a tension in his voice that caught her attention.

She nodded. "Of course. The shrines are always open to those who show respect. But it is not close by. Almost an hour, by foot."

Most of the journey passed through the farmlands surrounding Onokoro. Kasumi seemed in her element, becoming more and more at ease as they neared their destination. She chatted politely to passing farmers, often addressing them by name and asking after family members.

"You asked me if I had noticed the strange burns on the gaijin sailors," she said to Turushno, at one point. "I did. And I have seen such injuries before. On the day the Black Ships attacked Kohro." She gave the monk a knowing look. "You were there, were you not? It is hard to look upon Kohro and not remember that day."

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Old 05-13-2020, 05:36 PM
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Turushno
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An hour away? Fine by him. It wasn't as if he were any stranger to walks and travelling.

He wasn't sure he'd ever been to any of the local shrines - kami were kami, but the Mae-Nichi tended to have their own way of observing the gods. It always felt better to leave the Tenka to their own sites. And trying to explain the Venerable Ancestors to outsiders was often difficult, and led to outrage. How dare these presumptuous rats believe themselves descended from higher beings! Who do they think they are?

Turushno and Kasumi passed some of the time in idle conversation, and Turushno noted the change in her demeanour as they drew closer to the shrine. She was unused to travel.

And then she asked direct. Turushno smiled, at a loss for anything else for his face to do. "Yes. Yes, I was there. I travelled with a group of my kin back in those days. We found ourselves on the coast by chance when the Black Ships came. We committed ourselves to assisting with injuries and evacuations. Anything we could do to stymie the chaos." He paused. "I don't remember the burn wounds from back then, but I was not a proficient healer. That was better left to others. My elder sister was good at it. Anyway..." Had he spoken of this, aloud and to another soul, since the day it happened? Possibly not. "It tore us apart. The constant strain of the task at hand. The arguments over what to do, how much to help the Tenka at the cost of ourselves. That was before we started dying. Some due to the fights against the invaders. Others due to confusion and opportunists, which ... which is how my sister died."

He looked across the farmlands. "It broke us. Those of us who survived, went our separate ways. Our opinions on the Tenka were ... erm, divided. I haven't seen any of them since. Perhaps some of them returned home. I hope so. I'm not sure that running into them on Tenkan roads could ever be a happy occasion."

After a moment he took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. He could carry all that, but he couldn't let it weigh him down. "It sounds like you saw more than your fair share as well. You must've been quite young."


 
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Last edited by HotsuSama; 05-14-2020 at 02:32 AM. Reason: Forgot last line
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Old 05-14-2020, 06:49 AM
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Tsukamoto Kasumi
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"Twelve," Kasumi replied. "I had been shoshinsha at the shrine for two years. They sent the wounded and dying to us. It is a major part of our duties to deal with such things." She tried to remember the specifics, but her memories of that time were vague, fuzzy. More memories of feelings than of specific detail. As she struggled to remember, her steps slowed until she came to a stop.

And then it came to her. "No, that isn't true. I didn't see the injuries myself. There was a man who came to the shrine a year or two later. I heard his descriptions of the weapons the gaijin used. Lances of fire, he called them. Isn't that odd, how memories can get mixed up? I remembered him briefly when I saw the wounds on the sailors on the beach. I must have confused them." She shook her head, trying to clear it. "I wonder how many of our memories are like that? We put such store in them, in their reliability. We believe they make us what we are."

She smiled ruefully at Turushno. "Anyway, I'm sorry about your sister. It sounds like she was very kind, and very brave. Such a high price to pay for living by your principles."

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Old 05-14-2020, 05:10 PM
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Turushno
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"Memories inform who we are," Turushno retorted. "It is up to us to fashion ourselves based on that information. To lay the foundations that will stay firm even when our memories fail us. Use your memories, but do not be a slave to them." He paused. "That sounds harsh even coming out of my own mouth. I promise I'm not usually the lecturing type!"

He smiled wanly as Kasumi acknowledged his sister. "Thank you. Now she had foundations. A tsunami wouldn't uproot her."

He remembered her, clear and painful. Yes, memories would enslave him if he let them.

Turushno looked ahead. "Looks like we've arrived."


 
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Old 05-16-2020, 07:08 AM
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The Seventh Shrine
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The early-morning birdsong is disturbed by the sound of hoofbeats. Today, however, they slow to a halt some distance from the boundary torii; the rider approaches courteously on foot, leading his steed by the reins. He stops to say a few clumsy words of prayer before crossing the threshold of the Seventh Imperial Shrine of Kohro.

The new Shoshinsa has overslept again, but Tokine is there to greet the messenger. She recognises Tenji, and smiles at his improved manners; Kasumi can take the credit for those, if she's not very much mistaken. Tokine had chosen not to press the younger woman when she returned last night - reeking of blood and smoke, with a Mae-Nichi in tow - but what little she had heard was disturbing enough. Politics and worse...

Tenji notices her and bows low, a faint smile of recognition briefly crossing his lips. "Good morning, Megumi-san. I, ah... have a message for Tsukamoto-san."


A House in Onokoro
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The messenger's manners are well-honed: he lets just the faintest note of apology enter his voice as he speaks, as if regretting the necessity of contradicting Cecília. "There has been no mistake, priestess-sama. I was instructed to deliver my message to Cecília Assunção da Costa, a green-gold ryū-jin who is without the use of her sight." He scarcely mispronounces Cici's full name; a rare feat for a Tenka-jin, no matter how strong their Ibérican. "I am of course more than happy to wait until you have made yourself ready. The Daimyō intends no inconvenience to his honoured guests.


OOC Just a demi-post, as I'm about to be interrupted: will post again hopefully during the course of the weekend to bring everyone together at the palace. I was enjoying Kasumi and Turushno's interactions and Tenji's a fan favourite, so thought I'd give them a little more room to play with
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Old 05-18-2020, 04:35 AM
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Tsukamoto Kasumi
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Kasumi rose with the sun. She hadn't slept much. Too much had happened yesterday, and she was struggling to make sense of it. She had tossed and turned, then got up to write a letter to her grandfather, only to abandon it halfway through. What could she tell him? As a shrine maiden, was it right for her to become involved in such matters? And yet, that vivid memory on the beach felt like the hand of the kami, guiding her, giving her a little nudge in the right direction.

She washed as thoroughly as she could, finding a few leftover patches of blood that she hadn't noticed the night before. Then she inspected her travelling garb. No damage, but it was crusty with blood and seawater. She wondered, idly, if that was why a shrine maiden's hakama was such a vivid red – to hide the evidence of their craft. She donned fresh clothing and emerged from her room.

She carried the washtub into the herb garden behind the shrine, filled it from the well, and set yesterday's clothing to soak. In the meantime, she started weeding the garden. The work felt familiar, reassuring. It helped clear her thoughts.

After a while, she heard the clear sound of hooves and a conversation out the front of the shrine. Deciding she wanted a break, she unbent and headed through the shrine to see who their visitor was. She was surprised – though pleasantly so – to see it was Tenji.

"Ohayō gozaimasu, Tenji-san," she called out. "Have you eaten yet? Will you join us for breakfast?"

OOCI haven't mentioned Turushno at this stage, but only because I didn't want to presume anything about the character.

 
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Last edited by Telcontar; 05-18-2020 at 07:08 AM.
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Old 05-19-2020, 08:53 AM
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Turushno
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Turushno woke abruptly - he didn't breathe for a moment, feeling something was wrong. He calmed quickly, remembering he was at Kasumi's shrine. It was peaceful here.

So why was he unsettled?

Everything had been fine the night before. Kasumi had taken him to this small spare room and later had suimono soup brought to him - he hadn't been especially hungry but he accepted the light meal anyway. He'd felt at peace. He hadn't even dreamed. He often had vivid dreams after days like the one he'd had on the beach. That night on the way to Onokoro, he had slept briefly and seen visions of red and black. Here - nothing.

Maybe he wasn't used to feeling safe.

He got up, dressed and took a wander around the shrine. Nice scenery, worth painting - if only he could hold a brush. He took off the small knapsack he kept strapped tightly to his back, delicately removing a slender wrapped object not quite as long as a katana. He thought of unsheathing it. Then he heard hooves and decided he couldn't get lost in idle fancies right now. It might be nothing, but the last few days had been unique and he wasn't inclined to think he was out of their shadow just yet.

He repacked his knapsack and jogged lightly to the source of the sound, out front of the temple. He came across Kasumi approaching a young man. They briefly noted his presence, but focused on properly greeting each other first. "Erm, don't mind me," Turushno said stiffly. He bowed. "I know you, don't I? You're from the beach?"


 
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Old 05-20-2020, 03:35 PM
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Meiji
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Somewhere deep within the Bay City's most impoverished district, Meiji lay face down over a dingy tabletop, nearly passed out in an alcohol-induced stupor. Kazuma's Den was, quite literally, a hole in the wall that had been haphazardly transformed into a ramshackle parlor of vice and sin.

Whether your taste be for drink, pipe, or flesh, it could all be found in some form or fashion at the seedy hangout in the poor part of town. How, exactly, such a prideful young swordsman had wound up in this place previously was anyone's guess, but, lately, he had become something of a frequent patron and, more often than not, ended up being ejected for disturbing the peace -- not that there ever was such a thing in this part of Onokoro; it was relative: to the pitiful working class, simply not being robbed or roughed up every day was a blessing. Dogs barked, carts rattled and rolled, and most people went about their subsistence lives on the muddy streets there outside the thin curtain of ornamental beads that separated inside and out. Meanwhile, Meiji peeked open a glazed-over eye and watched as the many passers-by came and went, his mind a foggy storm that could barely identify a solid thought before ever more came rolling in.

He looked out of place here in the slums, even when dressed down and out of armor, despite how rugged his five-o-clock shadow or sullen a look he bore, there was simply an aura about him that marked him as an other -- and, in truth, he was: Meiji was the son of a landed noble, a veritable god amongst the peasantry so far as common law was concerned... or, well, he was. No longer! Never again, he thought! It had all been taken from him, burned to ash, through the cruel flames of war; the embers of which lived on in his heart, still fanned from time to time by his unrepentant (and unresolved) anger. The past slipped through his fingers regardless of how much he raked or clawed at it, leaving only the uncertain future -- and its prospects were terrifying. What had he done to deserve such a cruel fate, Meiji wondered while his eyes grew heavy. He was only a boy back then. How could a child earn such misery from the gods? Blame his father, blame those murderous revolutionaries, those damn foreigners, the weak Emperor, that....

But here, now, outside the reality Meiji constructed in his head, he was just another drunk half-asleep in some ne'er-do-well's hovel.

"Hey, wake up! Get up, you bum!" The owner pressed on the Samurai with a wooden heel, trying to jostle him into a semi-conscious state. "You're scaring off all my customers! You gotta go, buddy!"

Meiji groaned and tried to swat the man away, but the effort only prompted him to slip from the table and fall across the floor, spilling what remained of his drink and knocking the large sword from over his shoulder. The owner jumped as the weapon almost popped from its scabbard.

"And don't bring that thing with you next time! You're creeping everyone out! Get up, beat it! Go on, shoo!"

Despite the persistent nagging of the proprietor, Meiji took his time to resituate, recompose, and regather his belongings.

"I'm going! I'm going! Shut the hell up, old man!"

"Come back with some money next time, too! Your tab is too high!"

But, just when Meiji thought to stumble back out and on to the streets, the man who begged him begone shoved a rolled-up parchment at his chest.

"And stop leaving your mail here, you drunk!"

Mail? Meiji didn't remember getting any mail. Or entertaining any women. Or guests. Or even speaking to a single person since returning to the city. Through unfocused, ever-blinking eyes did the off-kilter lordling scan the paper and assess its contents. It likely took him a fair bit longer than should have been necessary due to his current condition but the gist had been absorbed. It was a summons... from the Daimyō.



 
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Last edited by Chylopan; 05-22-2020 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 05-21-2020, 07:45 AM
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Cecília
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The lizard carefully moves her hand towards the sound of the whistling pot. Missing the handle would be a painful blunder if she missed. The words of the messenger barely sink in as she works cautiously to perform a task that most would consider simple. It is only after Cecília's success that the words do sink in, and she blinks twice before very nearly dropping the pot.

"What?!" Heroism? The daimyo wanted to meet her for getting slashed a couple times??

Cecília takes a deep breath, reorienting herself. It was ridiculous, but the messenger unmistakably had spoken her name. She returns to the entryway and pours a cup of steaming tea for the messenger before sitting herself. Even if the daimyo were deluded as to her "heroism," telling him via a returned, unaccompanied messenger was the wrong way to correct him.

"I see..." She takes a sip from her own tea, remaining silent for several moments.

"No, I would rather not keep the daimyo waiting." Leaving now, early in the morning, would interfere with her duties her at the missionary house the least. "Let me collect my things, I will return shortly, sir."

In truth, the most important thing to do right now was let someone know where she was going. One hand dragging along the wall, Cecília makes her way through the house to find Andrade and shakes him awake.

"Very sorry to wake you, love, but it appears that I'm required elsewhere today. I thought it would be best not to simply disappear. Anyways, I'm off to... well, off to Kohro Palace, as it were." It still sounds ridiculous.


 
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