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Snippet #2652396

located in Edo Japan, a part of The Nascent Shinsengumi, one of the many universes on RPG.

Edo Japan



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Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Kurosawa Ren
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ImageKurosawa Ren
Yukimura Toshirō's Estate, Edo

Every single movement the Crow made was meticulous and practiced. It was learned. It was repeated until they flowed from his fingertips in impeccable strokes, as if magic could truly come from the tip of a quill. Kurosawa Ren was no painter. He did not recreate scenes from bygone days, nor did he address any such beauties he might have seen. Instead, the moulted feather pecked into the ink bottle and scrawled out secrets. Precious information that could be rightfully equated to pure, profitable gold. He sat cross-legged on pristine tatami mats, writing on an equally fabulous chabudai table. He paused in his scrawling and raked his fingernails across the wooden surface, mouth set into a hard line. Yukimura Toshirō's commandeered hovel reminded him too much of his own estate. So pure, and so seemingly virtuous, that it turned his stomach.

He continued scritch-scratching at the parchment paper: undisturbed. His only request had been absolute solitude. Having no one bother him while he wrote out his reports was imperative. Not for any conventional means, Ren could work very well with distractions, but he simply did not want to see anyone. In those moments, only the sound of the quill scrapping over parchment paper accompanied him. Forming curt letters, swirls that never strayed into frivolousness. Concise words, cleaving like a sword in the night. He did not mince words, and that was one reason why Yukimura had been so taken with his abilities, his connections. He did not ask questions. He did not speak out of turn. And he always delivered. Punctuality remained a high priority in his line of business, and besides, Yukimaru had never been a patient man.

A soft sigh puffed from between his lips as he finished writing the final word. He rubbed at his forehead, as if to ward away a creeping headache. The worst part would come next. He would conclude his business and return back to his estate, all in one piece. From what rumors he'd heard in the villages, leaving Yukimura's home was a victory in itself. At times, if he was lucky, he could simply pass off the letter to one of Yukimaru's assistants and have it all finished that way. Unfortunately, he liked being present when handling business. Never one for small talk or philosophical drabble, Ren often felt uncomfortable in whatever exchanges they had. He settled his ink back into its proper case, covered the ink bottle up and placed it in as well.

Any efforts to smooth the pinched expression from his face was met with abysmal annoyance. Yukimaru was often prone to bouts of angry paranoia. Fortunately, not directed towards him. But when one was in the line of business of discovering future betrayals, liars, and secrets, Ren could not afford to be too cautious. He was useful now, but everyone was disposable. A simple truth he'd learned as a child. At least he was appropriately attired. As always. Wearing his trademark black and red-accented kimono, parchment paper nestled safely in his sleeve. Of course, he wore no weapons here. He approached the sliding doors, and poised his hand across the handle. Voices coming from the hallway halted his movements, and it only took him a few moments to gather who, exactly, was speaking.

Itō and Nagamoto. A foolish girl and her hapless hound. Not so unlike the colorful koi fish swimming in their ponds, oblivious to what was happening around them. Tethered to a family she had no control of being born into, just like he was. Though her circumstances were far more dire. Eventually, he didn't doubt that Yukimura would tire of her presence. Either force her into some new type of torture that would smudge the innocence from her cheeks. Make her less than what she was: a purity circled by vultures. Perhaps, a worse fate. He wasn't sure what the kinder outcome would be. If he hadn't the better sense to feel guilty over her situation, he would have. Unfortunately for them both, Ren had little to say in the matter. And the hound who shadowed her steps? A pawn shuffling across the boards, just as he was. He stood in front of the doors, holding his breath lest he draw any attention to himself.

So, they were headed to the village on some sort of errand. Ren's fingers only closed around the handle when he heard the retreating footsteps plodding in the opposite direction. Confident that they had gone far enough to avoid bumping into him, he opened the door and took a few tentative steps into the hallway. Even though he had a reason to be here, he didn't want to explain himself. Nagamoto understood what his presence meant, but he doubted that Itō did. He was not a simple acquaintance visiting from another village. He did not regularly have tea with her father, either. Little lies kept him above the surface and away from those doe eyes of hers. What would he do if she confronted him about all the awful things he frequently did? It would be an awkward situation, at best. One he'd rather avoid entirely.

He walked down the hallway. Purposeful in his steps, already slipping the letter from in his sleeve. Ren paused in front of the sliding doors, and slowly hunkered down until he was on his knees, reaching up to draw one of the doors open. Just enough to reveal whom was announcing his presence. His bow was a low, practiced movement. One that basked and respected. Eyes down—because he was only worth his weight in competence, disposable. The same shrilling sickness twisted in his stomach. Disposable. Kurosawa Ren? Hardly.

“I've some information for you, Oyabun.”