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Immortal Ties

Immortal Ties

A string of fate twists itself around several Tokyo residents-- mortal, immortal, and neither alike.

7908 readers have visited this universe since Cloud created it. Layla are listed as curators.
Topics: but this rp will be great, character interaction, drama, fanfic, goblin, grim reaper, guardians, i promise, i suck at tags, literate, mature, and supernatural (Add Tags »)

Copyright: The creator of this roleplay has attributed some or all of its content to the following sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/guardian:_the_lonely_and_great_god
Requires Approval: Yes

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Introduction



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fate; xxx noun
1. the development of events outside a person's control,
regarded as predetermined by a supernatural power.

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Ask one person and they might tell you fate is the path laid out for us; a pre-determined destiny planned by the Gods from birth. Someone else might call fate a fraud, the Gods a lie, and our destiny decided by our own free will. Regardless of which you believe, the truth is not so simple.

Mortals' lives are linked in their past, present, and future. Destinies intertwine as easily as they break. Not everyone who fate smiles upon reaches their expected heights, for though fate exists, there will always be factors in this world which fight against it. Even the gods cannot predict all that will be.


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xxxMortals have never walked this earth alone. Among them, hidden in plain sight or behind veils of magic, others roam. Most were once mortal themselves, their feet treading paths through time, from birth to death, before being reborn into a new life. Except, there are those who defied their destiny, or those who played the villain throughout their time in this world, and so were punished by the Gods. Others cheated the system in order to stay among the living indefinitely.

xxxMost of these souls became the guardians and reapers, the cogs in the hidden wheel that insured the mortal realm continued to turn as it should. Others became cursed goblins, made immortal as both reward and punishment for their failed destiny. Not bound by the same rules that leash the guardian angels and grim reapers, they roam the earth instead in search of their brides. Those mortals attuned to the supernatural world might glimpse the sweeping coat tail of a reaper, or blink in surprise as a guardian's visage shimmers as they take on another appearance. Most, however, spend their lives oblivious to the immortal souls who help oversee it, and that is how it was always meant to be.

xxxOf course, even the Gods are not all-powerful. They could not predict that some deceased souls might not follow a grim reaper to the after-life, or that certain souls would become vengeful and powerful enough to fight back against any reaper who tried. It started slowly, of course. The first deceased soul attempted to tip the scales over a century ago in Seoul, wrecking havoc before finally being put down by a team of reapers. The next one, two decades later, sent malevolent ripples through the immortal community. A guardian was targeted, their charge killed, and other innocents drained of energy. Though put to rest, the unprecedented attack had all those involved on edge. What might cause a spirit to turn so vengeful?

xxxIn present day Tokyo, a collection of souls - immortal and mortal - might just hold the key to finding out why some spirits become corrupted. Though each has their own concerns directing their paths, fate has colluded to bring all the main players to the thriving Japanese metropolis. It is here that stirrings have began to mar the tranquil and orderly peace, and it is undoubtedly among Tokyo's sky-scrapers that our heroes will make their stand.

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the roles explained

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Rules

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1. This roleplay is based on the Korean drama Goblin, and while I absolutely recommend you watch the show (it's honestly great), it's not necessary for the roleplay. Some of the material does vary from the show, but if you have seen it it should give you a good idea of the roles! If you do have any questions, feel free to ask myself or my co-GM, Layla.

2. This roleplay is for literate, consistent, mature roleplayers. That means those who may comfortably write over 500 words per post and make complete, well-formed characters. Roles are not guaranteed, with multiple reservations allowed for each spot currently available. If this occurs the GMs will decide which character is accepted based on quality of the character and how well we feel they'll fit into the RP.

3. Active roleplayers are also a must, so please, if you know that you won't be able to dedicate the time to this roleplay don't join.

4. The RPG rules apply. Also note that this roleplay is mature, with themes of violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language may also occur, though in the case of sexual content it is expected and appreciated for anything beyond RPG rules to have a classy fade to black.

5. When reserving a character/s please provide a face claim and the role you're after, in the OOC thread. Face claims should look older than 18, but no older than 35. The roleplay is also set in present day (2017), so keep that in mind when finding FCs. If reserving multiple characters please don't reserve multiple females.

6. Please use the character sheet provided. Big thanks again to Epimetheus for letting me use her code.

7. Interaction is key, as this roleplay relies on complicated character relations. We're absolutely open to ideas, especially when it comes to connecting the characters' pasts and presents.

8. So, word minimum, reserving, interaction, rpg rules: check, check, check, check... power-playing and god-modding are frowned upon. I'm sure I've forgotten more rules, and I'm also sure that we all know the general idea of what rules there should be. Be respectful to other roleplays, direct any questions my way or to Layla. Have fun :)

9. If missed above, here is the link that explains what each role is and what they're capable of. Depending on demand, I might add more roles... but we'll see :)



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These characters are currently marked as available. Why don't you consider viewing their profiles and making a decision on whether or not you can roleplay them accurately?

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Character Portrait: Luciana de Silva "Time is the longest distance between two places."
Character Portrait: Marlon Page
Marlon Page played by Cloud
"Without music, life would be a mistake."
Character Portrait: Kohaku
Kohaku played by Cloud
"They're funny things, accidents. You never have them till you're having them."
Character Portrait: Cassius Dōriēwes "He is the sea. He loves in floods, with the intensity of ten tempests. Or not at all."
Character Portrait: Minako
Minako played by Layla
"Nice legs, daisy dukes. Makes a man go. There he goes. He's gone."
Character Portrait: Seung
Seung played by Verix
"I look at the world and I notice it's turning."
Character Portrait: Alucio
Alucio played by Εpιmetheus
Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worst kind of suffering.
Character Portrait: Ikeda Shiori "I'm drowning, and you're standing three feet away screaming, 'learn how to swim.'"
Character Portrait: Basil Gardner "a weed is but an unloved flower."
Character Portrait: Jiangyu Bai "Man is sometimes extraordinarily, passionately, in love with suffering."
Character Portrait: Seok Areum
Seok Areum played by Verix
"Time is not kind to everything."
Character Portrait: Kaede Shimizu I wonder, are you remembered for your smile, or for your teeth?
Character Portrait: Paola Millán "A heart filled with anger has no room for love."

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These poor, unfortunate souls were once a part of this great world, but have been abandoned. Why don't you consider viewing their profiles and making a decision on whether or not you can roleplay them accurately?


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Arcs are bundles of posts that you can organize on your own. They're useful for telling a story that might span long periods of time or space.

Chapter One

The beginning

View All »Quests

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Events

Soon™.

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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kohaku Character Portrait: Kaede Shimizu
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Footnotes

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    The breeze was crisp and cool, and the cherry blossoms fluttered to the ground in soft wisps, painting the sky with watercolor brushes of a gentle pink. Kaede stood, back against a tree for support, with her face tilted up towards the sky, letting the petals graze her skin as they fell, like little strokes of a bird’s feather. The peace of the moment temporarily distracted Kaede from the discomfort her clothing gave her. Perhaps a touch overzealous, Kaede had been determined to fully get into the spirit of the festival, dug out her old kimono and geta, even bought a new pair of tobi socks for the occasion. Now that she was there, and had been for several long minutes, she was beginning to regret the decision.

    She’d grow accustomed to it soon, she knew, as was the process every year, but for the moment, it was nice to catch a breather. With a quiet exhale, she opened her eyes, taking in the soothing baby blue shade of the sky. It really was a lovely day. Shame that she was wasting it sitting around and waiting. With an only slightly irritated grumble, she glanced at her wristwatch for what must’ve been the third time in five minutes. What was taking them so long? Her feet were starting to hurt from the standing, and the traditional pin clipping her hair back was starting to feel like it was determined to pull locks out of her scalp.

    She shuffled—the most efficient way she could move at the moment, her legs still unused to movement in the heavy folds of fabric she had donned—to a nearby bench, breathing a sigh of relief when she felt the pressure on her instep relax. From slightly to her right, the waving flag of a takoyaki shop taunted her, and her stomach growled quietly with a longing. If only it wouldn’t be such a labor to cross that great divide of two hundred meters. Sadly, she turned away, focusing instead on the beauty of the nature around, intending to use it as a distraction once again.

    With his prize clutched proudly in his hand - a small goldfish swimming in circles within the water-filled plastic bag - Kohaku set off towards his charge. He let the emotions flowing through their one-way connection wash over him; the discomfort she endured because of her attire, the appreciation of the natural beauty around her, the hunger that quietly gnawed at her stomach. The guardian angel smiled sadly, perhaps belatedly wishing that he and his grim reaper acquaintances hadn’t spent their last few yen on the fish game. Perhaps otherwise he might have been able to alleviate that last negative emotion by offering his charge some small festival treat.

    Regardless of having nothing to offer, Haku made his way forward, before his feet came to a standstill barely a few metres from the women. He tilted his head, soft eyes on the woman as she rested on the bench. He had a sense of familiarity wash over him as he watched her, his gaze gliding down the intricate kimono with a appreciation for the beauty of the garment. Something, somewhere buried deep in his heart ached, and Haku felt tears pooling at the corner of his eyes.

    Bewildered, and not quite understanding this sudden onslaught of feeling, the guardian quickly wiped the tears from his eyes, blinking away the droplets clinging to his lashes. His other hand clung tightly to the top of the fish’s plastic bag, only loosening his grip when he realised he might be stressing out his new pet. The guardian collected himself, pushing aside his own emotions in order to focus on those of his charge

    “Hello, may I have a seat?” Kohaku inquired as he closed the distance between himself and Kaede. He bent slightly at the waist as he spoke the formal Japanese, “Miss Shimizu.” he added with a small smile in greeting, having spoken with the woman enough without glamour that his doing so now would - hopefully - not put the photographer off.

    Having been so entirely engrossed in the energy of the festival atmosphere (as well as the visions of takoyaki dancing in her head), Kaede was just a touch startled when Kohaku approached her. His appearance was not, however, unwelcome in the slightest, and a wide grin spread over her face once recognition had set in.

    She was familiar with the unassuming man by way of her part time job, one she found herself working fewer and fewer hours at lately because of a certain arrogant figure in her life, but that was besides the point. Haku had been a fairly regular customer at the cafe and for reasons she didn’t really understand, she’d always felt an ease and comfort around him. Haku felt familiar, in some strange way, and she’d grown to enjoy his company and conversation.

    “Haku!” she greeted him, despite his initial example, informally. She’d been insisting on using informal speech with him for their past three interactions, but he hadn’t budged an inch.

    She patted the empty space on the bench beside her, a silent invitation to sit. With a smile, she said, “Hi. What brings you here?” She half assumed he was, like her, waiting on friends. But then again, she’d never seen him in the cafe with a group, so there was really no way to tell.

    The guardian angel nodded his thanks and took a seat beside his charge, pushing his lips up into a small smile at her greeting. It always surprised him to find himself so warmly welcomed, his pessimistic expectation usually encouraging Kohaku to believe he will either be ignored, or turned away with scorn. Perhaps today luck was on his side, for both parties he had approached - first his grim reaper neighbours, and now his charge - had accepted his appearance without hesitation.

    “I came to taste the takoyaki.” Haku answered somewhat honestly. He had learned that truthfully telling your charges you were there to see them did not always go well. “And yourself? Are you meeting friends?” He continued, his gaze skirting around the crowded area as if expecting a group of mortals to come and sweep Kaede away. Thankfully, no such group of young people approached, and Kohaku was pleased that he might have another few moments with his charge before she was whisked away.

    “Your kimono is beautiful.” He added as his attention returned to the mortal woman beside him. The guardian carefully set the bag of water with his goldfish delicately on his lap, one hand ensuring that it didn’t roll down the gentle slope of his legs and onto the pavement at his feet.

    A laugh bubbled at the back of her throat when Haku told her his intentions for attending the festival. It was an endearing breed of innocence, Kaede thought, that made her feel at peace with him. Yes, surely it was that.

    Beaming at his compliment, she glanced down, observing the rather traditional pattern of the kimono. She’d grown accustomed to seeing it, had thought of it as ‘typical’, but his observation made her view it, just for a moment, in the same light as when she’d first seen it in the store—as brand new and beautiful. It’s nice, she considered, to have good thoughts reinvigorated.

    “I was supposed to,” she said, gathering her quickly straying thoughts. “But I don’t think I have any idea where they are.” A frown made its way onto her face, and she checked the hour on her phone once more. It wouldn’t be entirely unlike those two to get sidetracked by something, but she hoped they hadn’t completely forgotten about her existence.

    “About that takoyaki,” she started, somewhat sheepishly. “Have you had it already? I was going to get some, but I don’t think I can walk it.” She laughed, already turning to reach for her purse. “Want to share? My treat.” She felt a touch of guilt for using him as a bread shuttle, but she hoped he wouldn’t be opposed to idea of eating with her.

    Kohaku stared at the mortal with no small hint of wonder in his gaze. Had he misheard his charge’s words? Had the too-few balls of takoyaki he had already consumed altered his mind and made him believe that Kaede was offering to share takoyaki with him? Surely, he was supposed to be the guardian watching over his charge, rather than his charge watching over the guardian. Regardless, Haku was all too willing to accept Kaede’s offer. He could still encourage her while snacking on the delicious treat, after all.

    “If you would hold my fish, I will bring you back as many as you wish.” He told the woman, glancing down at the aquatic animal swimming in tight circles in the bag. Haku felt compelled to explain, “I won him in the fish game.”

    “Oh,” she said, unable to fully muster the surprise she expected from herself. Of course he’d won a goldfish in the fish game for no reason other than to have a fish. It made perfect sense. “Yeah. Sure.”

    Not the strangest trade-off she’d ever done, but somehow odd nonetheless, Kaede reached out with one hand to take ahold of the fish while passing off her wallet with the other. “Get two! Wait. No, three. Four?” She paused for a moment, weighing her options. She hadn’t eaten all day, on one hand, so two takoyaki was certainly appealing. But she might fill up on takoyaki, and then she wouldn’t have the chance to eat any other festival food, and that would be nothing short of tragic. This was giving her a headache. She rubbed at her temple, brow furiously creased. “Ah, you decide. I trust your decision.”

    Haku took the wallet and nodded, his expression serious as Kaede spoke. He would decide, and he would decide well. With a quick nod, the guardian angel got to his feet. The crowds were thick, yet he was well trained in slipping through masses of people unnoticed. The takoyaki stall drew him in, his nose and stomach answering the tempting aroma of deep-fried octopus. The small family in front of him took their purchases, their young child bumping into Haku as they passed and offering the angel a brief insight into the little boy’s joy. Then, Haku’s own joy was doubling as he handed over money confidently to the cashier in exchange for four takoyaki.

    He bowed his thanks and returned to Kaede, holding the sticks of food in both hands with her wallet safely tucked in his pocket. “I decided on four.” Haku admitted as he rejoined his charge, holding out the delicious treats to the woman, “I hope that was alright.”

    Kaede felt jubilation rise in her chest at the sight of Haku returning with snacks in hand. Perfect,” she breathed, once he’d arrived.

    “Thank you,” she said, with a flash of a grin before biting into a ball of takoyaki with relish. She was glad he’d decided on four after all. Everything tasted better when you were hungry, and takoyaki already tasted incredible normally. Kaede saw a brief flash of what she was sure was heaven.

    “I like your fish, by the way,” she added around a mouthful of food. “He’s very pretty.”

    “What do you think I should name it?” Kohaku asked conversationally as he bit into his own takoyaki, the pleasure melting on his mouth. Wait until he bragged to Alucio and Seung that he had had more takoyaki without them.

    “Hmm,” hummed Kaede, already halfway through her first stick. “I’m bad with names,” she admitted, then paused, pursed her lips in thought. “How about… Sakana?” A moment passed before she laughed. She’d wanted to present a fully serious option, but nothing had come to mind, leaving her with “Fish” as her top choice. Haku would figure something out.

    A smile pulled at Kohaku’s lips and he nodded fake seriously at the suggestion, “If I get another fish I could name it another fish.”. ‘Another fish’, was probably not the best name for any hypothetical future fish Kohaku won at a festival or bought. Nor was ‘fish’ the best candidate, though he appreciated Kaede’s humour, and the laughter that erupted from her with ease. He took a bite of his treat, considering what else he might name the creature. “What about…”

    The words trailed off as Kohaku’s gaze fell upon a man standing in the crowd. He stood within the courtyard, swathed in old robes that didn’t look as out of place in the temple’s grounds today - the day of the festival - as they might have either side of the festival. Yet, even as families passed by, as the breeze picked up blossoms at his feet, he gave off the aura of being centuries in the past. Kohaku sensed the death in him, that he was not of this world any longer. He was a ghost, but no deceased soul had ever sent the same icy chills down his spine. No phantom had ever stared as unflinchingly at the guardian angel as this one was doing now.

    Haku did not know the soul, had no memories from before he had been welcomed into the ranks of guardian angels. Yet, he felt as if he should know the man; the middle aged, Japanese man whose eyes were hard and angry, but somehow reminded Haku of the sad eyes he saw every morning in the mirror.

    “Haku?” Kaede’s voice cut in, rife with concern. “You alright?” The kindly man’s face had grown somewhat distant in the last few moments, his expression taking on a rather melancholy quality, rather worrying given the suddenness of it.

    “I-...” Kohaku began, though he barely knew how he intended to finish the sentence. Instead his voice caught in his throat and the words stalled. His gaze slid from the familiar yet wholly unknown deceased soul staring him down, and fell on another. This deceased soul did not bare the eerie familiarity of the first, yet this deceased soul had a similar aura of malevolence. As Haku watched, the second reached out to a passing family and yanked on the hair of a young woman. The woman cried out, those with her spinning around to try and find her assailant. Except, that none save any immortals in the area (or those touched by fate to see more than the mortal realm), were able to see the hostile ghost.

    “I think we should leave.” Haku finally spoke, his gaze turning from the two deceased souls to the woman sitting beside him.

    Kaede opened her mouth to protest, but the lack of levity in his gaze stopped her short. She followed his line of sight to where he’d been looking moments before, and caught sight of several people stumbling forward, or leaning back suddenly as though they’d had their hair tugged. If she didn’t know better, she might be inclined to believe it the work of malicious fae. But is that what he’d noticed? And how?

    “What’s going on?” she said, turning back to face Haku, voice carrying the same sober tone he’d spoken to her in. “Do you see something?”

    “Trouble.” Haku answered vaguely, rising to his feet and turning to offer Kaede his hand. He wanted to get his charge out of the area as quickly as possible. He could sense one of his newer charges somewhere within the festival grounds, but he had to trust that the corrupted souls a few feet away were confined to this area of the festival. Besides, Ryan was a mortal capable of holding his own. No, Haku’s first duty was to make sure that whatever was unfolding, would not hurt the charge beside him.

    What? questioned Kaede, for what felt like the eightieth time in the last five minutes. Haku was strange for sure, but he’d never been this strange. Nevertheless, she reached up and grabbed ahold of his proffered hand. Odd as it was, Kaede felt a sort of calm around Haku, a quiet assurance that she’d be safe with him. “That’s not unclear at all,” she grumbled, struggling with her geta to take even, steady steps. She had no idea why Haku was in such a rush to get away from the area, but he seemed so grave, she hesitated to ask.

    Kohaku gripped her hand securely, supporting her as she stood and then ushering his charge away from the hostile souls. He could feel the first deceased soul - the one that reminded him of something - staring into the back of his head, yet when Kohaku glanced back over his shoulder, the first was nowhere in sight. Instead, the second ghost was wrecking as much havoc as an intangible being could, which was surprisingly more than any spirits he’d previously seen.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Luciana de Silva Character Portrait: Paola Millán
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Footnotes

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The cherry blossom festival was supposed to be relaxing, a chance to indulge in the banquet of beauty offered by mother nature. Leaves cracked beneath her step in what might have been a satisfying 'crunch' had the goblin been in the mood to gratify the whimsical aspect of her nature. Yet, as Lucia stalked away from the group of immortals and mortal, she barely noticed the delicately fluttering blossoms above. Instead, the animosity contained within her gaze ushered temple patrons out of her path, as if they sensed the danger in accidentally hindering the woman's escape. Lucia barely registered the crowd's movements either though, for her gaze was distant, focused on memories buried beneath centuries of life.

He had been beautiful, a flame of light beside the dim embers of others. A beacon; the false light of a trickster. Yet, all she had seen at the time was his smile, that inviting face, the way his eyes would appear to light up as she entered the room. Most likely, that had all been Luciana's imaginings; attempts to place feelings where Cassius had only seen her as his next century of life. Still, she had let herself love him. Dreamed of a future where they would be together and happy, free from her fiancé. Able to be a couple.

How naive she had been.

Lucia's feet brought her to a standstill, and the goblin blinked images of the golden skinned man away. She was in a quieter courtyard where families littered benches; taking a break from the bustling vibrence of the main grounds. Lucia took a step to the side, where she could lean back against the temple wall and allow the shadow of the building at her back to cover her face. A century ago she had seen him again, from a distance, wearing that same damaging smile. He hadn't seen her then, no, Lucia had made sure to leave before Cassius could glimpse her. But, she had seen the lively turn of his lips, the way his throat stretched as he tilted his head back in an infectious laugh. Still the same, even if the clothes had changed.

If Lucia was smart, she would leave now. Find any entrance way and step through to some place across the globe. Run away from the man who had taken her heart before he could wound her again. And what then? Run away again whenever they happened to cross paths again? Why should she be forced to leave?

A tired sigh passed from her lips. She was not the same weak mortal she had been, death and centuries of immortality had changed that. No, she would not run. Not this time. Besides, Lucia had a mystery to solve and it revolved around a young woman who claimed Tokyo as her home. Lucia wouldn't leave until she had been able to ascertain how and why, the mortal girl had been able to summon her.

Pushing off the temple wall, Lucia - with much less heat in her gaze - set off. However, she had gone barely a step when the object of her previous thoughts appeared, calling her name. Luciana turned, her gaze landing on the mortal. The young man Paola was with branched off from her and Lucia briefly followed him with her eyes, only averting her gaze when she spied him joining up with the group she had just left through the crowds of people.

"Hello Paola." Luciana greets the mortal, feeling mildly perturbed as she realised Paola was of a height with the goblin, if not slightly taller. Perhaps she hadn't noticed the previous night given Paola's nudity. "I didn't expect to see you here." Lucia added, her words spoken in English. The goblin caught herself from glancing back over her shoulder towards the group she had just left, instead she nodded away from them and further into the temple grounds, "Would you like to view the blossoms with me?"

Lucia was about to lead the way, when a shiver passed down her spine. She felt cold, like an icy bolt of fear had just chilled her despite the pleasantness of the day. The feeling was not unfamiliar, for barely half an hour ago she had had the same feeling. Then, as with now, she had felt watched; as if someone was glaring malice at her. Shifting around, Lucia's gaze instantly found the source of her unease, and as before, her blood ran cold.

He was closer now, standing silently in a quiet hole within the crowded grounds. Twelfth century silks covered his pale flesh, rich in colour beside the pallid white of his deceased flesh. Jewels decorated corrupted fingers, the gold bands wrapped around blackened digits. His face still contained the same haughty confidence of royalty, death had not taken that from him, but not it was also mingled with a black, consuming hate that seemed to radiated from him. Though the mortals walking beside him could not see the ghost, they seemed to instinctively avoid the spot where he stood.

"I think I should leave” Lucia said, her voice weaker than intended. Her gaze did not leave the man who had killed her, and so she didn't miss the way his lips slowly rose into a predator's smirk; dangerous and deadly. His eyes twisted to the side. Luciana followed his gaze and found herself watching as another deceased soul materialised beside a small family. Dark ribbons of hair partially hid her face, while old, dark streaks of dirt and blood ran up this deceased soul's arms. A passing man was stopped in his tracks as the newly appeared soul pushed her hand into his chest. Though the mortal couldn't see him, he certainly felt something, for barely a second later he was collapsing to the ground and clutching at his chest while the deceased soul grinned madly above him, licking her hand.

Lucia pulled her gaze back to him, only to find her once-fiance had again vanished. If anything, this made her feel even more unsettled. More commotion behind her drew the goblin's gaze to another pair of corrupted souls, their garb similar outdated as the other had been, their intentions just as malevolent. It was definitely time to leave.

"Come with me." Lucia said, returning her attention to Paola and offering the mortal a hand, "We need to leave."

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Character Portrait: Ikeda Shiori Character Portrait: Ryan 'Rango' Prosker
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ImageRyan Prosker \|/ Ikeda ShioriImage




Well Ryan’s translation and Japanese butchery went about as well as one could expect, since the woman appeared to get the gist of what he was trying to convey anyways. Now that he got a decent look at the woman, he could see that she wasn’t one hundred percent Japanese, or at least that wasn’t his impression. She reminded him of American Japanese population back home. Mixed heritage perhaps? He was overanalyzing things and had to mentally stop himself from doing so. Luckily his thoughts and maybe overlong staring were interrupted by the woman finally responded to his horribly mangled question. Unfortunately, she answered in her understandably flawless Japanese, leaving Ryan staring at her with one of the most clueless looks of his relatively short life. It took a moment for him to start flipping through the book, mouthing the words she stated in hopes that he would stumble upon something that would help him in figuring out what she had just said. That was it, when he got the time he was downloading a translator app onto his phone. This book thing was murder on just about every facet of his life. Luckily she either must have realized this or simply switched languages on a whim as she answered him in broken English a second time around.

It wasn’t the worst English he had ever heard spoken, even if she did mispronounce one of the words, but Ryan wasn’t going to say anything about it. After all, he had come up to her with the basic equivalent of slobber dribbling down his chin in the language department. Instead, he simply gave a smile as she introduced herself and held out a hand. Ryan took the hand in a firm shake, opting to stay within the English language if she could understand him. It would be easier that way, at least he thought so, since he wouldn’t have to flip through a book every time he wanted to say a word. “Nice to meet you, I’m Ryan Prosker.” Ryan stated, before giving her a bit more of a once over. A dizzy spell shouldn’t be common, especially in one as young as herself. “Are you sure you’re ok? I can go get you some water, food, help maybe?”

Ryan Prosker… This guy has got to be American, Shiori offered the stranger a smile and a nod.

”No, it’s okay. I’m fine, really.”

How could I not be? All I’m suffering from are traumatic flashbacks of a time that left me with the magical ability to see the ghosts of the recently deceased… Fine. Just dandy.

She hadn’t spoken, but regardless, Shiori was shocked by herself. Had she always been this bitter? Perhaps she had. Perhaps she’d just grown accustomed to her own undeviating resentfulness.

Perhaps.

Acerbity aside, Shiori spoke in a friendly tone to the stranger -Ryan Prosker, the undoubtedly American stranger- as she tried her best to speak in a language that she was only semi-familiar with.

”Is it your first time here?”

She nodded her head slightly in vague gesture towards the cherry blossom trees.

Ryan gave a somewhat sheepish smile, coughing slightly as he tried to bypass the very obvious ‘I’m a tourist’ vibe he was giving. It would have helped if he knew someone in this country that could actually spend some time with him during the day, but such was the way of life. ”Yeah, not exactly good at fitting into a place where the culture is practically alien to me.” Ryan stated, taking a small bite out of his yakitori trying to shake off the ‘fish out of water’ vibe he was getting even as Ikeda was attempting to converse in English. He felt somewhat guilty, practically forcing her into a language she was not fluent in in order to have a conversation. ”Been wandering around, butchering your language and trying some new things to get a better feel for your country and the festival.”

Shiori had to smirk at that, for even from the brief glimpse into the man’s attempt at Japanese, ‘butchering’ had proved a fairly adequate description.

In a way, this could work for him. He didn’t like the idea of simply leaving her, because he had seen one too many proud people decline help when they could really use it because they were simply too independent for their own good. ”To be honest, if you’re willing, I could use someone to guide me around and translate some of the harder words for me.” It was a bit forward maybe, but sometimes it was best to simply go for something rather than attempt to beat around the bush.

Shiori paused, slightly surprised by the forwardness of the request. Or perhaps impressed, knowing that she, in his position, would take years of aimless wandering before deigning to ask for help.

She glanced back at the man that had thrown her, and met his gaze as a breath caught in her throat. But then he looked away just as quickly, and the alien pull in her chest twinged once more. No familiarity from his end… she couldn’t decide if she was relieved or disappointed.

Or maybe she was just going mad.

Regardless, she forced herself to bring her attention back to the young tourist in front of her, and nodded with as friendly a smile as she could muster considering her tumultuous state.

”Buy me a yakitori, and you’ve got yourself a deal.”

”Done.” Ryan stated without any sort of hesitation. He slipped the dictionary back into his jacket pocket and beckoned her to follow him. He continued munching on what was left of his own yakitori. He lead them both back to the stall where he had originally gotten the food to begin with, rapidly finishing his own food before ordering a couple more from the man who didn’t bother saying anything in Japanese, remembering Ryan from just a few short moments ago. As he handed over the sticks, Ryan passed him the money and gave one of them to Ikeda. ”Are there many festivals like this here in Tokyo?” Ryan asked, launching right into the questions. He was hoping to keep the answers to something she would easily know without any research, but as a side objective he was also trying to keep her talking and somewhat focused. Even if he didn’t know the cause or particulars about whatever that little episode was, he could at least try to make the most out of meeting someone new.

His attempt at small talk neither irritated nor shocked Shiori, despite the fact that she was wont to avoid it every other day. She hated when people thought it necessary to fill every silence with useless babble for the sake of the noise. And yet, she also acknowledged exactly how damn antisocial and morbid that sounded, even in her head. Christ, I need to lighten up.

Not to mention that he wasn’t awkward about it. And his conversation seemed to stem from legitimate curiosity as opposed to forced interest. Plus, it actually felt quite nice, this feeling of a potential friendship blooming, so she replied in earnest.

”Oh, yeah. We’ve got a thing for festivals.” She thought for a moment, ”You’ve got the Kanda Festival, or the Sanja Festival, if you’re the rager type.” She smiled, tucking her hands into her pockets as she glanced over at him, ”They both happen in May, though. Are you sticking around until then?”

”I might be.” Ryan stated as they simply started walking in a direction, munching on their respective foods. ”I’m on leave from my job for the month, with the promise of extension if I need it.” Ryan stated, not bothering to go into specifics. He had just met this woman, there was no need to explain his slightly complicated reason for even being in this country. Shiori, in turn, nodded slowly, resisting the urge to interrupt as to acquire about his particular job. Perhaps it was the cop in her, but she was prone to turning conversations into interrogations if she wasn’t trying otherwise.

”But regardless, I love social affairs, so if I’m around for either or both chances are I’ll show up at some point.” Ryan said with a genuine smile on his face, taking in the Cherry Blossom trees with a somewhat serene feeling about him. He hadn’t spent much time feeling ‘at peace’ lately, so this was a nice change of pace.

”So were you born in Tokyo then?” Ryan asked, getting straight to the point before raising his hands slightly in an almost ‘surrendering’ posture. ”I don’t mean to pry, but if you’ll forgive my bluntness, you don’t look one hundred percent Japanese.”

Unoffended, Shiori shrugged blithely, ”No, you’re not prying. I was born in Kyoto; Japanese mom, white dad.” She smiled nonchalantly as she took a bite into her yakitori, ”He went back to the US before I was born. He knows I exist, but we haven’t met.”

Maybe a blessing in disguise, you never know, Ryan thought to himself as they continued walking through the festival. ”Ah, back to the land of the ‘Free and the Brave’” Ryan commented dryly, doing his best air quotes with his fingers while holding onto his food. He gave a smile at his almost inside joke, knowing full well the stereotype of Americans felt around the world. He sort of wanted to continue down this line of questioning, see if she ever bothered to try and get into contact with him, but felt it was a bit too personal for him to ask, seeing as they just met. Instead, he decided to switch the topic slightly. ”So you’ve lived here your whole life then? Tell me, what’s a native of Kyoto do to keep herself afloat? What’s your business?” Ryan made slightly exaggerated hand movements to signify he was trying to be light about this, but he did have an issue where he didn’t realize he had entered ‘personal’ territory until it was too late. Hopefully he wasn’t pushing into topics she didn’t want to talk about or coming across as the creepy dude who asked too many questions...Oh man, now that was going to be in the back of his mind the rest of the trip.

And yet, it soon became clear that the question didn’t bother Shiori in the slightest. In fact, she seemed to puff up with pride as she replied. Nothing too obvious, just a slight rise of the chin, a small roll of the shoulders, a little curve to her lips. Body language aside, however, she responded in a casual tone, ”I’m a cop, actually.”

”No shit? Does that mean I shouldn’t reveal where I’ve stashed all the cocaine I have?” Ryan smirked a bit, taking yet another bite from his stick food. ”But seriously, that’s pretty damn cool...you must have some cop stories, so c’mon, dish!” Like a little boy in a toy store, Ryan’s face lit up with more than a little excitement and anticipation. He lived for learning about people, and being a cop opened the conversation path to so many different and new experiences that he couldn’t help but relish the opportunity to pick the memories of someone who had lived through them.

”Well, I think so.” His compliments only bolstered her job-related pride, but she waved her hand modestly, a touch embarrassed. ”Stories?” She thought for a moment, before smiling. ”Well, there is one I’m pretty proud o-”

Her words caught in her throat as she caught sight of a girl a small way ahead of them. Or, at least, she looked like a girl. Shiori, however, knew better. As the ghost raised her bloody hand to an unsuspecting festival-goers chest, he staggered and fell, much to the ghost’s apparent delight.

One day. Can I just have one day without some malevolent spirit fucking it up?

She glanced back to Ryan, ”One sec-,” before running over to where the man had collapsed. Kneeling down beside him, she reached for his shoulder, speaking once again in her more comfortable tongue, ”Sir, are you alright?”

A shadow in her peripheral vision, and she looked up. Dragging her tongue across her bloody fingers, the ghost grinned at her, eyes wide behind the streaks of raven that fell across her pale face. Meanwhile, Shiori’s own expression wasn’t fearful, instead, it was darkened by a cold hostility.
But the soul wasn’t deterred. If anything, it was riveted.

Things took a turn for the unexpectedly worse as someone in front of them seemed to drop from what Ryan could only think was a heart attack. He was clutching his chest and collapsed to the ground, almost instinctually Shiori had rushed to the man’s aid and Ryan felt himself pulled towards him as well. Despite the general chatter having switched back to the native Japanese, Ryan got a feel for what was being said. ‘Are you alright?’, ‘How are you feeling?’, etc etc etc. Ryan didn’t bother to ask anything, knowing that with Shiori there, a cop none the less, that the situation was well in hand without him butting in. So there he stood, like a lump on a log unsure as to what exactly he was supposed to be doing, but was surprised when he looked back down at Shiori and the man who collapsed to find her staring at him with an icy glare cold enough enough to melt the sun.
”Uhhhhh...did I do something wrong?” Ryan asked, genuinely perplexed as to this rapid shift in her demeanor towards him.

Shiori did not break away from the soul’s stare, and as the soul’s smile widened, she flexed her jaw in frustration. As Ryan’s voice broke the balloon of silence between the two, the soul’s eyes dragged towards to mortal. The malevolence in her (its?) gaze was palpable, and she looked him over a moment before glimpsing back to Shiori. In an act of apparent spice, she reached a pale, sharp-fingered hand towards Ryan.

Moving at a speed she didn’t realize she had, Shiori was on her feet and pushing Ryan out of the way. As she stepped forward, she felt an icy hand drag itself across her back, and almost immediately afterwards, a scorching agony broke out between her shoulderblades. Gritting her teeth, she managed to stay on her feet, and wrapped her fingers around Ryan’s wrist.

”We need to go. Now.”

Immortal Ties: Out Of Character (OOC)

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