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Keisuke Hotaro

I've Done

0 · 555 views · located in Another Earth

a character in “I've Seen and I've Done”, as played by umademeink96

Description

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❝ I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night ❞
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ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#91b26a ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #637a4e
ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#AD6280 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #8F256A

|| Pstereo || Emilie Nicolas ||




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{☛ ⒻⓊⓁⓁ ⓃⒶⓂⒺ ☚}
Thanatos
{☛ ⓃⒾⒸⓀⓃⒶⓂⒺⓈ ☚}
Keisuke Hotaro | Kei
{☛ ⒶⒼⒺ ☚}
26

{☛ ⓈⒺⓍⓊⒶⓁⒾⓉⓎ ☚}
Homosexual
{☛ ⒻⒶⒸⒺ ⒸⓁⒶⒾⓂ ☚}
Hei || Darker Than Black



[img]Whatthemirrorreflects[/img]
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❝ Time Spent with cats is Never Wasted ❞
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{☛ ⒽⒺⒾⒼⒽⓉ ☚}
6' 3"
{☛ ⓌⒺⒾⒼⒽⓉ ☚}
189 lbs.
{☛ ⒽⒶⒾⓇ ⒸⓄⓁⓄⓇ ☚}
Black
{☛ ⒺⓎⒺ ⒸⓄⓁⓄⓇ ☚}
Dark Blue
{☛ ⒷⓄⒹⓎ ⓂⒶⓇⓀⒾⓃⒼⓈ ☚}
None, absolutely flawless

{☛ ⒼⒺⓃⒺⓇⒶⓁ ⒶⓅⓅⒺⒶⓇⒶⓃⒸⒺ☚ }

Kei always wears clothing that completely covers his skin. He has found his bare skin causes nothing but trouble for himself and he became sick of the consequences that came from an accidental brush of the hand, or having a child run into his leg. He doesn't carry any weapons on himself as his entire body is a weapon, even if he took off his shoes the plant life he would step on would shrivel and die in his foot steps. He generally wears a long long trench coat with all black clothing underneath, including a pair of leather gloves. Occasionally the gods will request the death of a human before their time, during his Kei wears a mask and only one glove to kill the named person. People say he has a scary face, but he is actually a huge pushover.
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[img]Little%20Motivators[/img]
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♙ QUOTE ♙
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☛ ⓁⒾⓀⒺⓈ☚


❥ SMALL ANIMALS AND POPPIES Nothing is better than small creatures, animals that you are able to hold in your hand. A poppy is the flower of death, my flower.

❥ PEACE AND QUIET Being by myself and letting my mind clear is relaxing, it separates me from my burdens

❥ THE LIVING Life is so precious, I'd love nothing more than to watch it go on forever

❥ WATER It's one of the few beautiful parts of nature I can't destroy.









[img]What%20pushes%20my%20buttons[/img]
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❝ It always hurts more to have and lose than to never have in the first place ❞
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☛ ⒹⒾⓈⓁⒾⓀⒺⓈ


⌦ VIOLENCE I don't see a need for violence. Why destroy things when you have a choice to let it be.

⌦ CROWDS The risk of killing someone is too high. In a crowd I can't pay attention to everyone's position.

⌦ WEAPONS I don't carry a single weapon on myself





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ⓆⓊⒾⓇⓀⓈ
EYE CONTACT|| I can't make physical contact with people so I always make sure to make eye contact. That is how I form connections
HIDDEN HANDS|| Despite wearing gloves, I am not confident in myself, I don't trust that I won't hurt anyone. I keep my hands busy, in my pockets, folded over my chest, intertwined with each other.
DEAD FISH SYNDROME|| Maybe it's because I'm Thantos, but my eyes are dead, lifeless looking. People say eyes are windows to the soul, you can't see anything in my eyes.




ⓌⒺⒶⓀⓃⒺⓈⓈⒺⓈ
COMBAT "I have no combat skills. I don't fight people, I don't really need too"
SMALL THINGS "I may love small animals, but I do not know how to handle them. Children fluster me, I don't want to hurt them so I keep my distance."
FEAR "I'm scared of myself, I can't do anything about the monster that I am. I can never get too close to the living."




ⓈⓉⓇⒺⓃⒼⓉⒽⓈ
FLIGHT "In terms of fight or flight, I have a strong slight instinct. I'm good at running, and despite being bad at fighting, my reflexes are good enough that I can dodge attacks extremely well.
TRAVERSING"I am one of the few able to freely go between the underworld and the mortal world."
Light-Footed"My steps and presence can be nearly silent. I can walk silently in all terrains, I've had a lot of practice hiding from people."




ⒻⒺⒶⓇⓈ
ABANDONMENT Humanity hates me, hell, they've put a bounty on me, death itself, if I get shunned by the gods I'll have no one.
HURTING THE INNOCENT I have no control, the mortals that get close to me die, they always do.

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[img]WhydoesmyreflectionshowwhatIdon'tknow[/img]
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♙ Death ends a Life, Not a Relationship ♙
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{[color=#Color]☛ ⓅⒺⓇⓈⓄⓃⒶⓁⒾⓉⓎ☚[/color]}

PACIFIST || Keisuke does not ever resort to violence. There is always another way to work out a dispute, there is always another an option even when it looks like there isn't one. Even when the gods issue him a hit it will never be violent, just a simple touch a he never strikes fear into the hearts of his victims.
GENTLE || Kei tries to do as much good as possible to make up for all the bad he's brought upon the world. For every crime he commits he does twice as many good deeds, all varying depending on the situation he is currently in.
SELF-DEPRECATING || His biggest obstacle is his own mind set. Kei doesn't believe he can do anything, he doesn't think he can over come his burden. He doesn't do anything because he tells himself he can't before he's ever tried to do it.




[img]The%20past%20should%20stay%20behind%20us[/img]
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❝ The Truth is, Once you Learn how to Die, you Learn how to Live ❞
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{[color=#Color]☛ ⒻⒶⓂⒾⓁⓎ ☚[/color]}
Mother: Nyx
Father: Erebus
{[color=#Color]☛ ⒽⒾⓈⓉⓄⓇⓎ ☚[/color]}





ⒸⓄⓅⓎⓇⒾⒼⒽⓉ: ⓉⒽⒺ_ⓆⓊⒺⒺⓃ



So begins...

Keisuke Hotaro's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Niall Tiernan Character Portrait: Keisuke Hotaro
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❝Let the soul leave
before the wind sears
You upon the hollow belly
with its nails so keen
shaped by the volcano’s obsidian
raised drinking glass❞


ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#68228B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #BF5FFF





"Phew. If I didn't have the Sight, I'd surely be lost," the young man whistled under his breath with a slight Irish lilt on his syllables. The treasure hunter adjusted the heavy pack on his back to ease the ache and strain in his shoulders. It was filled with his equipment and the other items he required for hygiene and sleeping. He couldn't go without it, so, he just had to support the weight and think of it as a strengthening exercise. Couldn't hurt to build muscle. You never knew when you needed a bit more strength in a fight. The young man was proud of the lean muscle he currently sported and all this trekking had made him quite agile when he needed to be. Like now. Going through a forest wasn't all that easy, especially when it had an incline and though Niall had a pretty good estimation of what would and wouldn't show up, the future wasn't set in stone and something could change.

Today, the treasure hunter was after a Phoenix. They were rare sights but they were magnificent in the sky, darting about like comets and falling stars. Because of their magical healing properties, the Phoenix was quite the sought after prize and this was the first time that Niall had been able to catch one in his vision and pin-point its location. If he turned in the Phoenix, he'd be set for life. He'd never have to go hunting again unless he felt like it. He'd live like a king in his own house and never be bothered with others again. He'd finally have the peace he'd been searching for all of these years.

Niall panted and leaned against a tree to catch his breath. He would need to trek softly from here on out. The bird was nesting somewhere around here and it was in full life which meant it could be quite deadly should he startle it. Burning alive didn't sound all that fun to him. Niall squinted his one good eye, the hue of gleaming amethyst as he searched for the trail he was after. His sightless eye swirled with the mist of the Abyss, ready should Niall need it. The young man ran a hand through his silvery hair to cool himself off just as he spotted the slightly burned tree he was after.

"Aha! There was the sign I was looking for," he murmured. He rolled his shoulders and proceeded on his way and followed the markers that would lead him to the famed bird.

It really wasn't much longer before he spotted it in a nest it had created on top of a bolder at the foot of the mountain. He smiled softly and slowly set his burden down and approached cautiously. He rested one hand on the sheathed sword at his side just out of habit, his heart hammering against his rib-cage like a humming bird's wings. He let out a little whistle then to get the bird's attention.

The Phoenix raised a head from where it had been resting and looked in his direction. It titled its head to the side, its flaming body flickering with sparks, a glowing star within reach. It raised its wings cautiously, ready to fight or flee depending on Niall's next movements.

"Hey pretty birdie. It is okay. I am not going to hurt you," he cooed gently and raised a hand to it, still a good distance away from the bird. "Don't burn me, yeah? I know you aren't a horse, but I have some sugar if you like." He slowly reached into his pocket to produce the sugar cube and offered it up to the creature. The bird flapped its wings and squeaked as it debated. It slowly started to approach him, its brilliant eyes flickering to his face and then back to the sugar. Its feathers behind it amazingly didn't burn the grass beneath it as it majestically glided over the blades. "That's it girl... just a little closer, yeah? You'll let me touch you won't you?"

Setting

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Character Portrait: Niall Tiernan Character Portrait: Keisuke Hotaro
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How long had he been walking? A man made his way through the dense forest dressed head to toe in black clothing. He slowed to a halt, resting a gloved hand on the nearest tree, while his breathing came in labored gasps. A white porcelain mask, depicting only a thin red smile and a purple lightning bolt over the right eye, covered his face. He had been on mission, sent to execute one who had betrayed the gods. His very existence brought the end of life everyday, but on special occasions like this, he had to make house calls.

On Earth his identity was known, the mask had come to symbolize that a village would be suffering a lose, whether that meant him running through their fields to kill a crop, or exacting the premature deaths of people foolish enough to cross a god, the stories held strong all throughout the land. With the mask he was known as Thanatos the death god, but his human persona was Keisuke Hotaro. A simple man who no one noticed, the one that hung back in the shadows and let the world go by him. Taking off the mask made him invisible, and he preferred it that way.

Reaching for his mask the man discarded it, the moment it hit the ground it shattered, dissolving into the earth and returning to the underworld. Keisuke had a mop of dark hair that clung to his face from the perspiration and humidity. His eyes were nearly as dark as his hair, but they were flat, no life shown in them. He trekked on forward, searching for the sounds of running water amongst the busy life of the forest. It was easy to locate water, this mountain was so humid it would be nearly impossible to get away from the substance, not that he minded much, water was one of the few things in nature that didn’t wilt under his touch.

It took only minutes to find a shallow pool to clean his face in. Kneeling on the rocks that bordered it he began stripping off his top layers of clothing. First the gloves, then the large black coat, then the shirt, and finally another tank top under that. Kei threw the clothing in a pile next to him, revealing in the feeling of the damp rocks soaking through the knees of his pants and he peered into the pool. Small aquatic life darted all around the miniature ecosystem. Tadpoles, small fish, varying degrees of underwater plant life. He took caution as he dipped his hands into the pool, luckily though fish were not adventurous, all the tiny creatures darting away as soon as his hands hit the water. He smiled, splashing the water across his sticky cheeks as he recalled why he was so deep in the woods.

Hera had called for the destruction of an entire bloodline. He had no knowledge of the great wrong they had committed, but he never questioned the gods, he could not risk losing their favor, especially of the ill-tempered Hera. When he had gotten to the village he had just finished taking out the family when he had been discovered. The people of the village rioted, the bounty on his head made him desirable to capture despite the risk of being touched by him. He had escaped, barely, but the villagers had proved persistent, and he had run for more hours than he could have counted. Of course Hera would pick a village miles away from any doorways back to the underworld, and he was still a few hours away from the door he had come from.

Keisuke’s head shot up when he heard something, looking up he saw the fiery tail of a phoenix flying above, it screeched before landing somewhere not too far from where he was. Excited, the man hurriedly stood up, only grapping his coat as he rushed after the rare beast. The phoenix was a creature of incredible beauty and power, he had never seen one before, but the stories had made him curious. As he ran the coat he grabbed protected his arms from touching any plant life, but the occasional spare leave or twig brushed his chest, killing entire bushes and trees that could have been hundreds of years old. He winced at the thought, but continued on, a phoenix was something special. The guilt from sacrificing the innocent was still there, but even Kei thought he deserved some forms of joy once in awhile.

When he reached the clearing someone had apparently beaten him to the bird, and it looked as though he was trying to win over its trust. He took a step forward, out from the shadows, but the moment he made his appearance caught the bird’s attention. Startled, it flared up, flapping its wings and spreading a swell of flames with it in an attempt to get away from the two of them. In its fiery panic, however; the dry brush above the bird caught, bursting into flames and the bird, cornered by a man on one side and a wall of fire on the other shot forward, straight into Kei’s bare chest.

“Oh no, no please no.”
He begged helplessly as he watched the as the bird panicked, flapping frantically in his arms. He knew what was coming, and in a flash, so did the bird. It paused for a moment to look up at him, its eyes held the life of a thousand generations while his looked flat and empty, and it sparked up into a pile of ash in his arms. “No, no, no. I just- I just wanted to see something good… but I killed it.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Niall Tiernan Character Portrait: Keisuke Hotaro
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❝Let the soul leave
before the wind sears
You upon the hollow belly
with its nails so keen
shaped by the volcano’s obsidian
raised drinking glass❞


ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#68228B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #BF5FFF





This was so easy! The bird was already walking towards him. If he was nice and gentle, perhaps it would not burn him. He could win it over and get it to follow him back to the man that was looking for this beauty. He couldn't help but smile at the bird. It really was such a magnificent looking creature. He wondered what it was like to be a flaming bird. What did it do on a daily basis? What did it eat? So lost in the bird, Niall didn't even notice when someone walked up on the scene. Even more surprising was the fact that Niall hadn't seen him in his vision of this bird.

Niall gasped and tensed, both eyes focusing on the stranger. Unfortunately, the bird was startled to and drew up the fire. He cried out as the fire snaked onto his arm. He rolled as he tried to put out the fire before it did any severe damage to his skin. He gave a sigh of relief when he put out the fire and quickly grabbed at his sword to fight off the stranger who could very well be a threat. He looked up however, only to see his bounty... burst into flames as it died.

"No!" he cried as he rushed over to the man and sputtered to a halt. He even dove for the ashes that fell and tried to scramble and make a pile of the ashes that had dropped to the ground. Gone! The Phoenix was gone! How hard had the guy held the Phoenix that he managed to squeeze it to death? The poor bird didn't deserve to die by strangulation. Niall watched as the ashes slid between his fingers as if the brilliant bird had never existed. Niall stared at the ashes for a moment dumbstruck by this completely unforeseen ending. What the hell happened? Who the hell was this guy? Niall grit his teeth and looked up at the man that was much taller than him even if he were standing toe to toe with him. In that moment, he wasn't rational and all he wanted to do was rip the man apart.

He got to his feet then and shoved the man back. "What the fuck is wrong with you? What did you do to it? How could it have just died in your arms!? Where the hell did you even come from? I didn't see you!" he growled. He immediately focused his blind eye on the man and induced a vision centered on the stranger. Unfortunately, all he saw was the mist. There was.... there was nothing. He saw vague images but it was like when he tried to search his own future; blank. He couldn't see anything from this man and it was unnerving. He couldn't even get a name for this guy. This had never happened with anyone else before.

"Just who the hell are you?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Niall Tiernan Character Portrait: Keisuke Hotaro
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Keisuke dropped to his knees, the great bird that had been there only a moment before had been reduced to nothing but ash. He felt a lump well up in his throat at the sight, but bit down hard on his lip to keep it down. What did he know about the phoenix? Their tears healed any wound, they were wise and held great knowledge, they were said to be immortal. Right, but why was that? Clearly the bird died when it touched him, the immortal did not die under his touch, that was why he wanted to stay in favor of the gods, he could not hurt them. It, it was reborn from its ashes. The moment of clarity brightened him, but before he could ask the other man was already in his face.

"What the fuck is wrong with you? What did you do to it? How could it have just died in your arms!? Where the hell did you even come from? I didn't see you!" The man shoved at him and Keisuke fell backwards onto his rear and then scooted away from him wide eyed and panicked, the immediate thought going to if he had touched Kei’s skin at all. He grabbed at the hems of his coat and ripped it over the remaining bare skin.

“Do not touch me!”
He yelled back, his eyes wide, scanning the man up and down. Upon inspection it appeared he hadn’t come into contact with any of Keisuke’s skin and the man felt the slightest bit of relief. He examined the man further. His clothing was dirty and worn and his hair was this brilliant shade of silver usually reserved for the elderly, but he was definitely younger, maybe even a teenager. When Keisuke met the boy’s gaze he raised an eyebrow, the boy was blind in one eye. Perhaps that was why he sought the phoenix, so it could heal his eye. Keisuke instantly felt a pang of regret, his eyes crinkled and he looked away. The boy thought he had ruined his chances at fixing his eye.

"Just who the hell are you?" Kei looked back up in surprise, people didn’t usually inquire about his human persona, though he supposed his was unusual circumstances. He cleared his throat uncomfortably shifting his weight to stand and look the boy in the eyes.

“My name is Keisuke Horato, I am no one, just passing through.” Which was true, that was how he wanted it. People didn’t need to know Keisuke, they just needed to recognize Thantos for what he was. Soon he would be back in the underworld, this boy and this whole ordeal forgotten.

“I apologize about this phoenix, I did not intend to harm it, but do not worry, all will be well.” He walked past the silver haired boy, making sure to be careful not to touch him, and knelt by the pile of ash. He pushed at the sleeves of his coat so that his hands were completely covered and leaned down to blow at the top of the ash, as he did so a small creature emerged, the new phoenix staring up at him. “It has simply been reborn. It may need time before it can cry, but if you care for it, it may cry willingly for you.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Niall Tiernan Character Portrait: Keisuke Hotaro
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❝Let the soul leave
before the wind sears
You upon the hollow belly
with its nails so keen
shaped by the volcano’s obsidian
raised drinking glass❞


ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#68228B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #BF5FFF





Niall watched the man as he moved to go to the ashes again. Why did he blow the top of the ashes? Then he saw the little baby phoenix poke its head out and his eyes widened. Oh yeah. He forgot that the phoenix could be reborn from its ashes. This actually made things so much easier. He could hide a baby from view and plop the little chikadee in the arms of his hire. He couldn't help but smile as he crouched down beside the baby. It was even cuter as a little one. He could still see the flames that warmed its body but it wasn't as fierce as it had been earlier.

The little phoenix squawked and shook off the rest of the ash that was resting on it before she moved closer to the two men and looked between the two intrigued and confused. It was so tiny, it could probably fit in the palm of his hands. Its tail would drape between his fingers he was sure, but that little body would fit. The tiny phoenix fluttered its feathers then and and rushed over to the stranger. She hopped up and down in excitement and chirped. Its eyes screamed its hunger and need for nurturing. It even looked the stranger up and down, searching for something yummy to eat. It probably thought the man was its mother or something. Well, Niall wasn't about to let this man take away his prize.

Niall cooed to the little creature and beckoned it with his fingers. He figured the phoenix was small and naive enough that it would come to him to. He was the second person the bird had laid eyes on after all. And the bird did indeed hurry over to him. Niall let the bird into his hand and grinned when it didn't burn. "You are a cutie aren't you you." he beamed and pet its little head. "Here is that sugar I promised you. " Niall offered a sugar cube and the bird pecked it till it was all gone.

Niall stood up then, phoenix in hand, and looked at the stranger. "Well and good then. I'll be off," he announced and began to rush away. He didn't want to deal with this guy any longer. Who knew what would happen next? The little phoenix wouldn't have that however. It squeaked and even burned Niall's hand lightly till the man dropped it. Then she rushed to the stranger and rubbed up against his leg. If it could purr, Niall could swear it was purring. "What now?" he grumbled. This was getting more and more complicated by the minute. He hated complicated. "Why is she going to you?"

Setting

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Character Portrait: Niall Tiernan Character Portrait: Keisuke Hotaro
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Keisuke watched in awe as the small bird came to life. It chirped at him and fluffed up the tiny plumage it had been born with. He would have picked it up if he could, but he couldn’t possibly take the small creature out of this world, even if it were to be reborn, it had a right to a life as any other living thing did. It scanned him up and down, clearly hungry, and Kei felt a pang of regret that he could not provide nourishment for the creature. He only looked up when the silver haired strange began beckoning the baby, and he felt just the slightest bit of envy when the tiny phoenix happily scurried to the stranger, it wasn’t often the living were happy to see him.

Kei watched as the man coddled the chick, even though he had been a bit crass before it hadn’t really been unwarranted, and here now he looked likable feeding the small bird bits of sugar in his palm. The dark haired man wondered what the feathers of the phoenix felt like. He had felt the bird’s past life for only a second, but it had been hot and panicked, he had heard that phoenix plumage was warm and soft, surely a luxury like no other. He let out a soft sigh as he watched the two, but was startled when the man suddenly stood up.

He hadn’t even gotten the boy’s name, but he rushed away too quickly for Kei to ask. He let his head drop in defeat, joy was a rarity in his life that he did not take for granted, yet the emptiness he felt when it was gone always felt a little more unbearable than it had before. He closed his eyes, willing himself to be strong, as Thanatos he was fated to live like this, he simply was not meant to be with the living. Keisuke sat back on the heels of his boot-clad feet, trying to discard his encounter with the two and make a plan to get back to the underworld when he felt warmth against his knees.

“Little one, why are you here?”
He questioned, confused, a small swell of hope pressed in his ribcage that he attempted to force down. He could not stay with this bird, his resolve wavered as it squirmed its way into his lap. He felt the slight pull of smile at the corner of his lip, but pushed it down quickly. "Why is she going to you?"

Keisuke looked up in surprise to see that the silver haired boy with the mismatch eyes had returned. The baby phoenix had run away from the boy to come back to him? It had Keisuke’s heart hammering in his chest with awe and he stared down at the little bird for a moment in shock. The fiery little bird stared back at him, clucking noisy for attention and nudging closer to his exposed waistline. Calmly, he used the back of his clothed wrist to push the bird away from his skin, but he could still feel her warmth. Looking up he made eye contact with the boy.

“She came back to me on her own? A phoenix can imprint? I’ve never heard of that before, very strange indeed.” It didn’t really make sense that the phoenix imprinted on the first thing it saw, especially considering they were born from the ashes of their past life, but birds do have the imprinting gene, he wondered if it was just a genetic flaw since the bird’s rebirth happened prematurely. This led him to worry about any other health complications it might have from an early rebirth. He turned his focus back on the boy though, “It thinks I’m its mother…”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Niall Tiernan Character Portrait: Keisuke Hotaro
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❝Let the soul leave
before the wind sears
You upon the hollow belly
with its nails so keen
shaped by the volcano’s obsidian
raised drinking glass❞


ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#68228B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #BF5FFF





Niall crossed his arms as he watched the dark haired stranger interact with the baby bird. There could be no mistaking it; the bird imprinted on the man. Just his luck. Why did everything always have to be complicated? A good, wealthy, easy life was in reach and now getting to the finish line was that much harder. The bird wouldn't go with him willingly if it wanted this weirdo. He doubted the man would be keen on the idea of just going with him on his way to drop the bird off for money. He looked like one of those people who was all about wild life and preserving nature. So, they were at an impasse. Unless the guy killed the phoenix again and when it came back, Niall would be the first person it saw. Then again... staring at the creature made him not want to harm it physically. He supposed that was a natural protective reaction coded into anything tiny and cute.

"Sooooo she imprinted on you. Wonderful. Whelp, I saw her first and by all rights you did kill it earlier. There is no way I am going to leave it alone with you. It looks like we may be stuck together for a little while," Niall answered. The treasure hunter extended his hand to him then. "The name's Niall. What is your name? And what are you doing out here anyway?" he asked. Since he couldn't rely on his power to help him figure out who this person is, he was going to have to interrogate him the good old fashioned way.

"And I left my bag a little ways that way and need to get it. You are coming with me. Where is your gear? I can't help but notice you don't have anything with you." And he was shirtless. He had to admit the stranger had some nice lean muscle going for him. He was sure all of the ladies fancied him. Hell, if he wasn't in the situation he was in right then, he may even ask if the man was willing for a tumble right here and now. He quickly pushed those thoughts aside least he become too distracted to focus on his cash bird.

"Oh do you happen to know what to feed her? Does she eat worms like a normal bird?" he asked as he picked the bird out of 'Mommy's' grasp and set it on his own shoulder as he waited for the man to follow him.

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Character Portrait: Niall Tiernan Character Portrait: Keisuke Hotaro
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Kei winced at the man’s words. He looked down at the small creature and decided the man was right. If he was going to take care of the phoenix he would not be able to do it on his own, he wouldn’t be able to touch the creature without killing her. The baby phoenix clucked at him again, and he wondered if it would have the memories of its past lives, specifically where he had accidentally killed her. As selfish as it was he really hoped that she would only remember what happened in this life.

As Niall introduced himself as such Keisuke hesitated to shake his hand. The man looked at the offered appendage and then pushed himself off the ground and onto his feet, ignoring the hand as he did so. When Niall asked for his name again he was a little hurt, considering he had already given it, but he supposed people generally ignored him anyways, so he cleared his throat. “Ah.. Keisuke Hotaro, I was just a traveller passing through when I saw the phoenix fly overhead.”


"And I left my bag a little ways that way and need to get it. You are coming with me. Where is your gear? I can't help but notice you don't have anything with you." Kei raised an eyebrow at the boy’s commanding tone, he hadn’t recalled agreeing to accompany Niall anywhere, though he supposed forfeiting his name for a second time after being told he couldn’t be trusted with the bird on his own could count as agreeing to go. Keisuke was more than aware he wasn’t wearing the rest of is usual get up, hyperaware of it actually, it felt like one wrong move could be catastrophic and his mind had been on high alert the entire time. “I do have a few things I left over there, it isn’t very far and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes if you’d like to come.”

He said it and started back towards his clothing without waiting for a response, he knew that Niall wouldn’t have any choice but to follow if he seriously wanted to keep the little phoenix. Keisuke was positive the little bird would follow the moment he was out of sight. He followed the path was shriveled trees and wilted shrubbery back to the small pool he had left his clothing at. Upon inspection he hadn’t done nearly as much damage to the surrounding forest as he thought, though in his rush he had managed to throw both his shirts into the pool.

Sighing he stripped off the trench coat and carefully fished both articles of clothing out of the water, managing not to hit any fish he wrung the tank top out to the best of his ability and slipped it on and did the same for the shirt, but instead of wearing the long sleeve shirt like a wet cloth he only slung it over his shoulder, sliding the coat back into place he inspected his gloves. By some miracle they had remained dry and Kei slid them on with ease, satisfied. He looked up, hopeful to see if Niall and the baby phoenix were there waiting for him."Um.. you shouldn't have to worry about feeding her, a phoenix is technically immortal, if she does eat its only for pleasure."

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❝Let the soul leave
before the wind sears
You upon the hollow belly
with its nails so keen
shaped by the volcano’s obsidian
raised drinking glass❞


ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#68228B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #BF5FFF





Niall was a bit peeved when the man went into the opposite direction. Niall had wanted to get his own things first but if he lost sight of Keisuke, the bird was going to run away again. He huffed and hurried after this strange man, clad in dark clothing. At least his clothes weren't too far away it seemed. He crossed his arms and tapped his arm as he waited for the man to pull on his clothes. Ugh, wet clothes in this weather were going to be uncomfortable. He didn't have clothes that would fit Keisuke so the man was stuck with his soaking shirt. He was a little disappointed that the man had to cover up though. He didn't often get eye candy.

"Um.. you shouldn't have to worry about feeding her, a phoenix is technically immortal, if she does eat its only for pleasure."

Oh, that made things simple. He wasn't going to have to worry about starving her or giving her something that would make her sick. He smiled and rubbed the bird's head softly and earned the most heart wrenching coo. Since their business here was over, he started to move in the direction of his own things. He was edgy and he wanted to make sure that no one took his bag and no animals had gotten to it. He didn't see anything happening to it but considering that he hadn't seen Keisuke he wasn't reassured.

Before he could get too far, the little phoenix hopped down from his shoulder then and chirped up at Keisuke. When the man picked her up, she nudged the man's wet shirt and her body began to brighten and her heat intensified as she warmed up her 'mother'. Within minutes Keisuke's shirt was nice and toasty; not a hint of the dampness. Niall's eyes widened in surprise. This little bird was more useful than he thought. Maybe they could just use her heat at night instead of make an actual fire. That may help him enjoy the heat rather than be tentative not to fall into the Abyss. He was going to miss the simplicity once she needed to be given up.

"Hey, Keisuke, what should we name her? I don't feel like calling her Phoenix all the time," he asked as he started to walk. He made sure that the man was always close at hand however. He needed to be friendly like if he was going to be spending time with this stranger so letting him hold the bird for now was probably the best option. He wanted to stay close just in case the man tried to run for it. He didn't buy the whole 'just a traveler' speech. There was something more this man was hiding.

It wasn't much longer before Niall reached his equipment and gave a sigh of relief. Untouched, just how he left it. He pulled the back up onto his shoulders and adjusted the weight. Now what to do... he needed to get to his hire. His contract was with a man in a village a bit far from here. That meant he had to get this guy to continue traveling with him until he reached the village without a hitch. Well, if he was just a traveler than maybe he wouldn't mind going in this direction for a while.

"Hey, so I am actually on my way to Evergrad. That is a good bit of distance away from here and we can travel through this forest for a while yet before we take to the roads. Did you have anywhere else you needed to be? If not, why don't we both travel to Evergrad? he asked then. Oh blessed moon, please let him say he didn't have anywhere else to be!

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The wet clothing was uncomfortable, yes, but it was merely discomfort, nothing that would serve to harm him badly. Keisuke trotted after Niall as he hurried in the opposite direction, it wasn’t hard to keep up with him though, and found moving at the slight hurried pace to be rather uncomfortable. Kei only paused when the small bird jumped from the boy’s grasp and scurried over to him Kei felt his heart rate pick up again, the small little bird was incredible. The living generally feared him, the phoenix’s past life had feared him too.

Kei bent down to pick up the bird, with his gloves secured he felt much more comfortable handling the bird and he let out a sigh as the small creature nestled into his chest. It was a comfortable warmth that made him relaxed and content with where he was. It was unusual to be content with anything really, he was more of a hot mess of being hyperaware of his surroundings in order to minimalize the causalities, he almost smiled as the little bird dried his shirt.

He looked up when Niall started speaking about naming the phoenix. It did make sense, he had been referring the creature as little bird in his head, and he supposed that wasn’t really a proper name. He looked up at the branches overhead, peering at the tiny bits of sunlight that tinkled through the leaves. The little bird cooed into his chest and he sighed again before looking down. “How about Eos? She is the goddess of the dawn and supposedly beautiful.”


The real Eos was one of the kindess goddess he had ever met. She was as gentle as the first light of day the hues he bore all soft pinks and golds and though the phoenix was a little more fiery in color a beautiful name fit a beautiful creature. The little bird looked up at him as he spoke to her. “Yeah, Eos? You like that name, Eos? Good girl!”

He cooed to the little phoenix as she looked up at his with wide eyes bordered by licks of small flames. Kei continued to talk to little Eos as they walked towards where Niall had placed his gear. As he talked to her she would chirp back responses as if they were having a real conversation. The two were knee deep in a heated debate on how to correctly sow a rice crop when Niall stopped walking. Kei looked up to see the silver haired boy slinging a heavy looking backpack over his shoulders.

As the boy started speaking of Evergard Keisuke felt his shoulders sag ever slightly, that town was in the opposite direction of the door he was travelling too, and worse, if Niall were to take the paths he was thinking off they would go straight through the village where he had just murdered an entire family and then some. He looked down at little Eos, the phoenix chirped happily, and the scratched the top of her head.

“I go wherever the wind takes me, if it means staying with Eos, I’d be happy to accompany you.” Kei felt dread in his stomach though at the idea of having to face the people of a village who he had just made suffer a substantial lose, he didn’t want to face the aftermath of what he had done.

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❝Let the soul leave
before the wind sears
You upon the hollow belly
with its nails so keen
shaped by the volcano’s obsidian
raised drinking glass❞


ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#68228B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #BF5FFF





Eos? He wanted to name the bird Eos? He did have to admit that was a nice name and he heard the goddess was exquisite. It was a fitting name for a bird of fire. And she really was such the sweetest thing. He caught himself smiling at the bird as the man cooed to it and it chirped in innocent happiness. The bird did seem to like the name. All around, it seemed that everyone was happy with the name. "All right, Eos is her name then. Good choice," he answered. He did find the man a bit.... strange though. He had been having quite the heated..... chirping contest? He understood cooing and baby talk but this guy was taking it over the top. Maybe traveling alone had gotten to him. Niall knew that he talked to himself sometimes after all, just to break up the silence.

“I go wherever the wind takes me, if it means staying with Eos, I’d be happy to accompany you.” the man said then. Niall couldn't help but grin. Perfect. He wouldn't be delayed after all. He guessed it would take them maybe 2 to 3 weeks or so to get to the town in question without too many delays. He was going to have to investigate the paths they were going to be taking and figure out the fastest route later when they camped. It was easier to meditate when he was sitting and all was still and quiet. Meditating while walking would land him walking into a tree or losing his awareness of the physical world around him.

"All right then. Onward we go. I say that in a couple of hours we make camp for the night and rest. I know of a good camp ground that I used yesterday and should prove useful tonight as well. Thankfully, I hand the hindsight of knowing I would be traveling in that direction again today so we have the wood we need for a fire collected, though I bet little Eos can help in that regard as well," he mused. Niall started walking towards his old camp then. "Do you have food with you? If not we can share what I have for tonight. Since we are traveling together, I do expect you to share in the duties. We'll trade who has to collect wood for the fire and hunting for meals. You do have weapons, don't you?" Speaking of which, he hadn't seen the man with any weapons. He glanced behind him and surveyed him. No bag either. Where did he keep all of his things? Did he really just travel around with nothing? This guy had a death wish.

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"All right then. Onward we go.” Kei had to hand it to the boy, he didn’t waste any time. The man made sure that Eos was safely secured in the crook of his arm before he moved so he was walking right next to Niall. He was talking about their travelling plans and Keisuke was relieved they weren’t aiming to make it to a village for the night. It would give him sometime to prepare to see the faces of the people who had chased him out of the village with rage and greed. He listened to the boy talk, trying to remember all the questions he asked before answering them in stride.

“I’m sure Eos can help us stay warm tonight. I don’t carry more than what I need with me at all times, but do not share your food with me I can get what I need on my own.” Being part of the godly realm meant that like Eos, all of his sleeping, eating, and drinking were only habits of pleasure rather then essential actions for survival. He couldn’t possibly take Niall’s food when the boy was dependent on the nutrition to survive, but if he was posing as a regular human eating on a regular schedule would be something he’d have to grow accustom to. “I do not carry weapons on myself, I have never needed too. I can of course help with whatever task you may give me though.”

Looking down at Eos the little bird’s head swiveled between the two of them, her bright eyes extremely aware for such a small creature. Kei looked around their surroundings, the forest was quiet, he couldn’t hear the birds or the buzz of the insects and his steps faltered for a moment. He wondered if he was being paranoid, a lot had happened in a few short hours, his senses felt worn and tired. Surely nothing was the matter, he cleared his throat and looked at Niall. “So why were you searching for the phoenix in the first place?”

Conversation with humans what weren’t trying to rescue their beloveds from the underworld was new to Kei. Being one of the gods that could traverse the river Styx meant getting screamed at a lot by testosterone filled meat heads who thought the only way to get a task down was pummel anything that served as an obstacle, including himself, though beating him up never got them anywhere. The rules of the underworld were strict and without loophole, no one got by without the proper payments. “I myself just happened to see it fly over head. It is not often I get to see creatures of such rarity, it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”

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❝Let the soul leave
before the wind sears
You upon the hollow belly
with its nails so keen
shaped by the volcano’s obsidian
raised drinking glass❞


ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#68228B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #BF5FFF





Niall arched an eyebrow at the man. He never carried more than he needed? So did Niall and that meant he had to carry a bag for his nightly bedding down, medication, and store food that he came across. Not to mention money. Sure he had a pouch of money on his person but he also contained another, larger pouch in the bag. He was never without it so he was fairly certain no one would make it away with his bag. Knowing that this man had never needed to use a weapon was also very strange. This man was either very stupid or very lucky. Maybe both. The guy did happen to see the phoenix after all and Niall himself had only known where to find it because of his Sight. This human was very strange indeed. He still wasn't sure what to make of him. He seemed so simple but there was something about him he just couldn't put his finger on...

When the man announced that Niall didn't need to share his food, he gave a nod. That was good for him and he truly hated the fact that he had to ask him if he wanted food. He hated buying food and there was only so much you could hunt and collect on the road. He was actually running low on his food stores. It was probably a good thing he was heading towards a town. They should be in town on the morrow and then they could buy supplies. "Okay. When we get to town tomorrow, we should buy the things necessary. You buy your own needs and I'll worry about mine," he concluded.

At the man's question of why he wanted the phoenix, Niall stiffened a moment. He hadn't thought of a cover story yet. He didn't want to tell him the truth. He didn't think that this bleeding heart would go with him if he did. If only the bird hadn't imprinted on the bastard! Well, now was a good time as any to use a riddle. "Thou temptest spies secrets mine. Yet thou shrouds in mystery. Your weaves absent thread; steps leave not shadows. Pryest thou fingers elsewhere, least I unravel yours. Mine Sight is strong yet," he answered with a teasing grin.

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Kei felt dread pool in his stomach at the mention of the town, he knew it had been coming, but still somewhere he had hoped that maybe they’d end up bypassing it for some reason or another. He spared a glance at the silver haired boy, really looking at him this time. He couldn’t quite place what was off about him, but he seemed young to be travelling by himself. Though Kei supposed he against very well versed in many human custom so he had no right to judge the boy. There was one thing for certain though, he was handsome, the exotic hair and mismatched eyes were only assets to the soft lines of the boy’s face.

When Kei realized he had been staring he looked away, slightly red at the tips of his ears and he busied himself with the baby phoenix. Eos was snuggled into the crook of his arm, her head resting in the crease to take in the scenery as they travelled, and she seemed content with the position she was in. He smiled gently at her and used his free hand to give her a few soft rubs along her back, she cooed gently closing her eyes at the touch. This is what he had dreamed of for hundreds of years, a creature that would enjoy his presence and feel safe in his arms.

"Thou temptest spies secrets mine. Yet thou shrouds in mystery. Your weaves absent thread; steps leave not shadows. Pryest thou fingers elsewhere, least I unravel yours. Mine Sight is strong yet,"
Was the boy’s response to his question and Kei found himself raising an eyebrow. Niall was looking over at him with a teasing grin and he felt the corner of his lip quirk up in return of it, before he rolled his eyes.

“You could have just said you didn’t want to tell me. Heavens know we all have secrets we don’t want others to find out about.” As Kei spoke he looked away from Niall and tilted his head back to observe the canopy of leaves shrouding them. The light that managed to flicker through the dense covering seemed more extraordinary then the sunshine he experienced in open areas. Maybe it was because these beams of light worked so much harder to make it to the ground than the sunlight of a clearing.

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❝Let the soul leave
before the wind sears
You upon the hollow belly
with its nails so keen
shaped by the volcano’s obsidian
raised drinking glass❞


ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#68228B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #BF5FFF





Niall couldn't help but laugh at his companion. Just say he didn't want to answer him? "But if I answered you plainly where would the fun be?" he asked. "It makes conversation much more interesting. Sometimes outsiders will get confused and won't know what we are talking about. It is like a code if you try hard enough. I think I'd have a wonderful conversation with the guardian Sphinx. We'd both spin yarns to each other," he mused. "Beside, it wasn't that hard of a riddle and every word of it was true." The two then fell into an easy silence and continued to travel side by side as if they had traveled together before and this was nothing new.

⚜⚜⚜⚜


It was a couple of hours later when they finally reached the camp. Niall gave a sigh of relief as he pulled his bag off his shoulders and dropped it down before he followed it and took a seat. It was so nice to be sitting down again. Today's trekking had taken quite a bit out of him. He wondered if that was partially due to this encounter with Keisuke. He wasn't used to dealing with people for such long intervals. He had learned long ago that being alone was better than being around others. Other people were just weaknesses and rivals. Even the ones you loved most could eventually turn on you and put you into harms way. He hated to admit that having another person around did ease some of the ache of solitude.

Little Eos cooed and moved around in Keisuke's arms before she spread her wings and glided gracefully over to Niall's shoulder and nuzzled his cheek in comfort. Unfortunately, she landed on the shoulder of his blindside so he couldn't see her, but he smiled just the same. He felt her warmth and heard her fluttering. He reached up tentatively until he found the little bird and pet it softly. Her feather down was as soft as a bunny's fur, but towards the end of her tail they were a tad stiffer. Niall closed his eyes then and relished the moment.

"You can sit wherever you like, Keisuke. Doesn't bother me none. I figure we'll rest here for now. It is already getting dark. Why don't you build up the fire place and let's see if Eos will do the honor of lighting it for us. Oh, and you have a blanket right? It is going to be chilly tonight." Niall opened his bag then and started to rummage through it till he grabbed his last piece of bread, some cheese, and dried beef he had made into jerky strips to sate some of his hunger.

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"Beside, it wasn't that hard of a riddle and every word of it was true." Kei couldn’t keep the small smile off his lips. The boy was different, a little strange, but nothing overbearing. There were many gods that enjoyed speaking in riddle so it was not something he was unaccustomed with, but he had found humans did not have a knack for those sorts of things. Riddling was generally left to the gods to make the hero’s quest harder or an oracle not wishing to reveal a future to an ungrateful patron. “You are quite the strange human Niall.”
~~
When they did finally reach the campsite Niall had been talking about Keisuke took only a moment to lean up against a tree as the other boy spent to find a seat. He wasn’t quite used to staying on earth for such an extended amount of time, and he was surprised that his muscles actually felt sore from all the walking he had done. They hadn’t spoken much after the whole riddle thing, but Keisuke found that he didn’t mind it all that much. He had found that even if there was silence, walking with someone next to you was still more enjoyable than walking by yourself.

The moment Niall hit the ground though Eos was squirming out of the crook of her elbow and other to the other boy. It appeared as if the phoenix had developed a certain affinity for the both them. He watched as she scrambled up to the boy’s shoulder, and the silver haired boy reacted carefully at first, until his fingers found the soft downy of feathers and Kei watched as the boy traced the baby phoenix’s feathers down through her tail. He wondered why Niall wanted the phoenix, if it was as simple as wanting to fix his blind eyes Kei didn’t see a reason to want to with hold that information. He kicked at the lose dirt at his feet in frustration, even sitting amongst the gods for so long he had always been shit with riddles.

“Why don't you build up the fire place and let's see if Eos will do the honor of lighting it for us. Oh, and you have a blanket right? It is going to be chilly tonight.” Kei had no problem with getting a fire started for them. Sure he never actually started a fire before, but with Eos with them he was sure even he would be capable of that. He pushed himself off the tree and walked until he was positive he was sitting in the boy’s blind spot. “I’ve got a fire under control, and I’ll survive the night.”

He saluted and disappeared into the tree line to get the supplies needed to start a fire. Kei had little knowledge of human survival skills, but he did know that fires needed dry material in order to burn. He wondered for a moment, as he stalked deeper into the forest, if he’d be able to keep up this human charade with Niall. Keisuke already knew he was suspicious acting for a human, not to mention all of his social interaction with humans was being chased for a revenge or bounty, and killing them. He stopped walking for a moment, realizing that the forest was lush with healthy growth and damp with humidity. He paused in front of a bush, he could do dead, he had the magic touch so to speak.

But, he didn’t. Kei took enough life unnecessarily, it was against everything he stood for to take any life he didn’t need too, even that of the young shrub standing in front of him. He stalked off and spent the next twenty minutes forging for dead leaves and fallen branches before returning back to the campsite.

“I have returned.” He proclaimed to the pair he had left, the dark haired man walked over to what looked like it had been a fire pit and dumped the armful of sticks and leaves into it. He sat down next to it and started pushing the mess together until it looked like all the materials were contained within the circle of rocks and looked towards Niall and Eos. “Hey Eos, care to help me out darling?”

He watched the little bird’s head pop up as it scurried across the clearing towards him. He stuck a gloved hand out and let the little bird crawl up into it, he felt himself smile as he turned towards the fire pit. “Think you can handle it?” He asked softly. Eos chirped at him and jumped out of his hand and straight into the pile of dry materials he had managed to find. It took only a moment for a small burst of flames to erupt from the center, he watched for a moment as the material started to crackle and pop from the heat and then Eos appeared from under it all. She hopped over to him, smalls flecks of black ash on her head, but otherwise perfectly unharmed.

“You’re amazing Eos!” He cooed excitedly, and he watched as she seemed to beam up at him.

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❝Let the soul leave
before the wind sears
You upon the hollow belly
with its nails so keen
shaped by the volcano’s obsidian
raised drinking glass❞


ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#68228B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #BF5FFF





Niall looked up just in time to see the man pass into his blind spot. Well that was annoying. Why did he walk into his blind spot? He tilted his head to the side and turned himself but the man somehow managed to stay just out of sight. Ah well. He heard his voice and he could judge his distance. He hadn't come closer to him so he wasn't too afraid that the man would do something to him. If he sounded like he was approaching, then there would be a problem. Besides, if the phoenix liked him to, the bird may not be too happy with this stranger if he did do something to hurt him. He closed both of his eyes and let his head fall back as he enjoyed the night air.

"Okay" he answered the man. Then he heard Keisuke walking away and into the trees and brush. He frowned and turned towards him but he had already vanished. Why did he leave? Hadn't he told him he had the material needed to start a fire? Ah well. Maybe he was hunting for something. He shook his head and caressed his prize with a grin. "It is okay, Eos. He is going to come back in a moment," he promised the bird when she started to fidget on his shoulder.

Niall got up then and started to unroll his blanket in a nice position by the soon to be fire and arranged his bag to make a somewhat soft pillow for himself. When that was done, he sat down and crossed his legs. It was time to figure out what path to take next since the man was gone. He didn't want to be too vulnerable around Keisuke. He shook himself to try and rid all thoughts from his mind and let his eyes get hazy. He hummed to himself to relax his mind and muscles and murmured the town name in question. Within moments, his pale eye began to swirl with silver mist. The physical realm around him faded away as the tendrils of the visions curled around Niall and pulled him deeper into the trance.

The town came into view then and everyone was in a state of uneasy. Many of the men were out searching for someone... he couldn't tell who they were searching for but there were wanted posters. Strangers were detained and questioned and locked up in some cases before being released. He could feel the threads of anxiety, anger, and anguish. It made Niall shiver in the vice of danger. Someone was murdered here... no... more than one. There were whispers about the family that had been slaughtered... a killer that had vanished....

Niall hadn't even noticed when Keisuke came back into the little camp. He was still lost in the visions and the man's tone of voice wasn't startling enough to wake him. Keisuke even had time to sit down, arrange the fire pit, and Eos lit up the wood. Moments later, Niall blinked once, twice, and then in a flutter as he 'revived' himself and pulled himself back into the physical realm. He glanced over and immediately tensed, nearly jumping out of his skin. How long had the man been sitting there? It creeped him out. And the fire had been started to... his loss of the physical world during a vision always was a bit scary.

He cleared his throat and leaned back to rest his weight on his hands. "Welcome back. I guess I started to fall asleep where I was sitting. Sorry about that," he chuckled. "Thanks for starting the fire."

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Kei looked towards Niall as he warmed his hands by the newly birthed fire. Eos was curled up next to his feet, she seemed content with her work, her dark eyes peering unblinking into the pit of fire. Niall, Kei had noticed, had yet to even react to his return. The boy was staring aimlessly off into nothing, it didn’t even appear as if he had any idea of what was going on around him. The silver haired boy was not focused on something Kei and Eos could see, but perhaps a memory or the inner workings of his own mind. Keisuke had found that, as a deity doomed to kill everything eventually, introspection was a good way to come to terms with his own self worth and mind.

"Welcome back. I guess I started to fall asleep where I was sitting. Sorry about that, thanks for starting the fire."
Kei looked up as the boy finally spoke to him, his hands hovering over the warmth of the fire. He contemplated how aware Niall was of how long he had been gone, and whether or not sleeping with your eyes open and sitting up was something often practiced by travelling humans. Maybe to seem alter and awake as to warn off wandering wild life or other humans. He stared at Niall a moment longer before looking back towards the fire, he was definitely weird for a human.

“Welcome back to the land of the living Niall,” He started, a soft smile on his face. “Don’t think I’ve ever seen a human sleeping while sitting straight up.” He poked at little Eos as she started a game of tug-of-war with his shoelace before adjusting himself so he lay on his side, his front facing the warmth of the fire, and a clothed arm shielding the grass from the skin of his cheek. The small phoenix darted after his shoelace, but it as in vain as halfway to his outstretched leg she became sidetracked by Niall, running over to the boy excitedly.

“I think I’m going to sleep, wake me if something comes up.” Kei rarely participated in sleep, again, another useless thing for a god, but if he willed himself to it eventually a sleep like state would overcome him. He closed his eyes, willing his mind to shut down all conscious processes, purposefully slowing his breathing, and trying to relax the constant tension in his body. He breathed out a heavy sigh, but could not seem to achieve sleep. Keeping up his appearances he decided that he was going to be in for a long night of introspection.

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❝Let the soul leave
before the wind sears
You upon the hollow belly
with its nails so keen
shaped by the volcano’s obsidian
raised drinking glass❞


ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#68228B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #BF5FFF





Niall blushed lightly at the man's observation of his vision state. He must have been here for a while if he had been watching him 'sleeping' while he was sitting. He was lucky the man hadn't tried something while he was out. That was one problem with the visions; weren't careful and someone could slit your throat without so much as a fuss. He shuddered at the thought and just gave the man a polite smile considering he wasn't quite sure what to say to the man now. He felt a bit out of it and what he saw wasn't very reassuring. He didn't really want to go through the town. It looked like there was too much stuff going on there. He didn't want to get mixed up in that. He would have to check out the other roads and figure out where to go now. He wasn't sure he wanted to do that with Keisuke watching him.

"Yeah... sure. Night," he said softly.

Niall watched the man for a good while to make sure the man was asleep. He even waved in front of his eyes and the man didn't move an inch. He was still a bit hesitant to go into another vision but he had to. He had too know what they may encounter on the roads. He couldn't see his future and surprisingly not Keisuke's either, but as long as he could see the roads, he'd get an idea. Niall took another deep breath and focused on the fire in front of him which eased him back into another vision.

The forest he wanted to continue through instead of the town wasn't any better. He saw a bandit group hauled up in the forest and he didn't want a run in with them. He wasn't sure he could take on the bandits and for sure this guy couldn't, what with his 'no weapons' motto. People in towns were much easier to deal with. And there were a few roaming cougars to boot. Yelch. Sooooo town it was then.

Niall groaned and rubbed his eyes and head to clear it and try and ease the ache there. He had been in the Mist too long. Shit he was going to fall asleep and he was going to be out like a light. There was nothing he was going to be able to do about it. He flopped back into his bed and rolled on his side to face away from the fire and closed his tired eyes, hoping beyond hope they weren't ambushed by the bandits tonight. Or anything else.

The young seer was surprisingly the first to rise. He groaned and blinked his eyes wildly. He was so hot and it was the reason why he had woken up in the first place. He felt like he was burning. He looked down a bit groggy to see a certain little fire bird curled up beneath his chin and evidently keeping him more than warm enough. He pet the Phoenix and sat up with a stretch and looked over at the other man who was still asleep. He heard a little chirp and looked at the unraveling bird and smiled. "Morning Eos. Go wake up Keisuke."

Eos fluttered her wings and gave a chirp before she hurried over to Keisuke and cuddled up against his chest and started to heat him up the way she heated up Niall. In the meantime, Niall began to clean up camp and pack his things.

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It took all of Keisuke’s will power not to react when Niall was suddenly waving a hand in his face. He had been knee deep in recollecting about his parents when Niall had disturbed him. Usually he overreacted in a dramatic manner when someone got too close, as they never realized that they had had a literal brush with death. But, in that moment he hadn’t moved. He listened as the boy backed off, the soft sounds of rustling clothing and the soft thuds of limbs connecting with the ground as the boy moved away. It all went silent and Kei waited a few moments before cracking an eye, the boy was sitting in that straight up position again, his eyes open staring at nothing, and he wondered if Niall actually did sleep like that.

He watched the boy, sitting himself up to observe his strange sleeping habits, and moved in closer to examine his features under the fire. His face was still and blank, but even in the low light of the fire he could still make out the soft lines of the human’s jaw, the curve where his lips dipped, the cloudy eye. He reached up a gloved hand to the dangling earring in his left ear, and he felt himself smile, this boy was cute. He was startled back when the boy suddenly started moving again, he threw his body back and resumed ‘sleeping’ as the boy seemed to awaken. Stranger, the boy proceeded to lay down and go to sleep as an average person would. It felt Keisuke with a feeling of unease in his stomach, what exactly was Niall doing then?

Keisuke was startled awake my a burning sensation on his chest. He hadn’t even realized he had achieved a state of sleep until he had been suddenly awoken by the little phoenix. He had sat up too quickly though, sending the little bird flying as he sat up. Eos appeared unscathed though, running back to his side, excited that he was now able to give her attention. He looked to Niall who had already begun packing his things, confusion still present over what exactly his strange trance state was. “Good morning.”


He stood up fully with Eos in his arms and looked towards the sky. It was still early, the sun was still in the process of breaching the horizon and he couldn’t help but smile. “Look little one, can you see Eos raising the sun for us this morning?” He watched as the dark colors of the night sky began waning to the rosy golden colors of the dawn and wondered if the real Eos was there now, bringing up the new day for the creatures of earth to enjoy.

“I assume we are heading towards the village that is near here, for supplies?” During some of his thinking during the night Kei had prepared himself to face the people of that village. He had to, it hadn’t even been twenty-four hours and he considered Niall his friend and Eos a dear child, and Kei didn’t want Niall deciding he didn’t want Kei sticking around anymore because he was too inconvenient. The village made the most sense as a pit stop, as Niall would need to restock on basic human needs in order to survive their journey. “Let us go, um, it was this way right?”

Kei started off in a random direction that felt kind of right. Whenever visiting the human world he would feel a pull to whom Thantos would be annihilating, and a push towards where the doors to the underworld were, but he had never navigated without that assistance. He was blind without that basic instinct driving him.

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❝Let the soul leave
before the wind sears
You upon the hollow belly
with its nails so keen
shaped by the volcano’s obsidian
raised drinking glass❞


ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#68228B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #BF5FFF




Niall looked over at the man that was once again having a conversation with a bird. He chuckled lightly at the silliness. He was one to talk though. He had conversations with the little one to and he made little bird noises. Niall was always one quick to criticize others. He did find the trait the man displayed kind of.... sweet. This man was strange beyond measure but he seemed so innocent. It had been a long time since he'd seen someone like this stranger and they were usually children. It was refreshing that there were still people out there that weren't touched yet by the harsh realities of life. He wished he could be as carefree as Keisuke. He didn't want to worry all the time. He shook his head and finished packing his things before he hoisted his bag up onto his shoulders again.

"Yup. We are going to head towards the village to grab supplies," he answered. When he turned to look at the man, he was already walking in the wrong direction. He couldn't help but laugh. "No, no. You are going in the wrong direction. Follow me. Honestly, how did you survive out here by yourself? You would have been walking in circles," he grinned. He motioned for the man to follow him as he began the trek towards the disturbed village.

Little Eos herself was chirping happily at her parents. She wove between them and circled their feet, occasionally nipping at their clothes. She was full of energy this morning and she refused to be picked up. She wanted to walk like her caregivers. Besides, being on the ground allowed her to play with them. She almost tripped Niall a couple of times and he had to stumble to keep himself from kicking the bird or falling over. "Eos! Careful! You are going to make me step on you!" he chided. Eos chattered at him and moved out of the way as Niall tried to pick her up and end her chase. He rolled his eyes as she hurried to start circling around Keisuke and nip at his shoe laces again. She really was aiming to make one of them fall over wasn't she? Silly little bastard.

"All right, Keisuke, we are going to have to be careful when we head into town. I feel... something off. We may encounter trouble so stay on your toes and don't give any indication of being 'strange'. We are going to have to hide Eos some way. Probably best to put her in our clothes. Your clothes look more open. I think your overcoat would do a good job. Make sure she doesn't peak out or anything. Might get a bit hot but you can't let her out. The town will go nuts and I don't want to deal with a mob of people trying to get at her."

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Kei felt his eyebrow quirk in surprise when the boy suddenly laughed, he didn’t think he had seen the boy smile yet, let alone laugh. He felt a soft rush of blush over his cheeks as he then realized that Niall was laughing at his inept ability to even lead them in the right direction let alone survive as a human traveler. He placed a hand at the base of his base sheepishly and looked down, the heat in his cheeks still there. “Honestly, how did you survive out here by yourself? You would have been walking in circles.”

“I don’t really have a destination when I travel, I just go where I feel I’m needed.” Morbidly enough, where he was needed to send innocent lives to their damnation, but he had always been able to follow his purpose. Without it, he felt blind. The strange urge that told him where the doors to the underworld were was still strong, but to walk away from them felt almost vulnerable. “But I am always open to learn, maybe you could give me a few pointers once we pass through the village? I always enjoy obtaining new knowledge.”

He decided that he didn’t like the feeling of vulnerability, and if he was going to stay in the mortal world for an extended amount of time, learning their customs and survival skills could be beneficial to him. The dark haired man looked down at Eos as she scurried between them, she had the energy of Hermes, the young trickster, and he could only hope that her current reincarnation would not succumb to a mischievous nature. He doubted he could handle trying not to kill unnecessarily and worrying that the little phoenix was up to something sneaky. Kei was pulled out of his thinking Eos shot underneath his footfall and he had to divert his momentum at the last second to keep from crushing her. The jerky action sent him stumbling forward and his gloved hands connected with a tree, barely keeping the exposed flesh of his nose away from its bark. He felt his heart race as he stared at the lucky tree for just a moment, his eyes flickering towards Niall for a brief second before he pushed himself away “Alright Eos, enough, we are almost to the village… probably.”

He bent down and managed to snag her on one of her passes between the two men and held her for a moment. Niall was right about keeping her hidden, a phoenix was a rare and heavily priced treasure that would no doubt bring out the worst in the people of this village at the moment. They were all still wrought with thoughts over revenge and a hatred for Thantos and the greed for this bird would no doubt explode. He stroked the feathers of Eos’ back, calming her, before placing the little bird gently into one of the pockets sewn to the inside of the jacket. She would be safe from sight, and although he could already feel beads of sweat pearling at the base of his neck, it would be worth it to keep Eos safe.

The moment the two reached the village, Kei could feel the hostile atmosphere. No doubt the villagers had seen them approaching as they walked the road Niall had led them to, but the moment they got close enough Kei could tell all eyes were on them. It was eerie, most of the people seemed tired, bags under their bloodshot eyes, but with a distinct undertone of hate. He scanned the village, a few faces stood out amongst the rest. The people that had chased Thantos deep into the forest, it was their grief and thirst for revenge driving them after him. The bloodlust in the village was strong, they looked upon Niall and himself with suspicion, one wrong move would break the dam of their aggression. As they got closer Kei could see them more clearly, as the people’s gaze fell upon him he could almost feel them shudder.

His eyes were dark, which was not unusual for humans, but the color of his irises made it nearly impossible to differentiate them from his pupils. They were flat, devoid of the light and sparkle usually present in a human, they were the eyes of the dead. He stared at one woman for a moment, the contact enough to make him stop walking as their eyes connected, he could see the realization dawning on her as she stared into his eyes. He cringed as her mouth seemed to open in slow motion to scream his identity, but someone beat her to it.

“That silver haired one! Look at his eyes, one is impure! Thantos’ mask has a scar over one eye, that man is Thantos!”[/color] The village seemed to scream to life, the overstrained dam of aggression surging forward and it seemed Niall was taking the brunt on it. Kei somehow became invisible, people surging past him to get to his companion and Kei stood frozen. His eyes drifting to the woman who knew, she had yet to move from her place, her eyes still locked on his figure. He turned away from her to see Niall being bombarded by the villagers. He was being beaten into submission by fists and farm tools and Kei could do nothing but look on in horror.
“Kill him! Avenge our brothers and sisters unjustly taken!”
“Lock him up to rot! Burn him in the morning!”
“Be wary! One touch of his skin will strike you dead!”
“Give us back our people!” It was chaos. Absolute madness and he could feel Eos squirming inside in coat in distress, as if she knew Niall was being harmed. He pressed her warm body against his chest and ran, he couldn’t do a thing for the silver haired boy without causing more causalities. Although beaten, they were already dragging the boy off to what appeared to be a lodge for criminals. He would be able to rescue Niall once things died down, when the people had settled and he could sneak to where they were holding him.
~
He returned after spending much of the day in the forest bordering the village. Eos had been restlessly crying nearly the entire time, but he was able to get her to quiet after promising to rescue the other man. He popped the collar of his trench coat and rushed down the short clearing to the building Niall was being held in. He was chained to the wall, beaten and bleeding, with three men standing around him, and a pig on a chain in the middle.
“This will prove it.”
“Thantos kills anything his skin touches.”
“We will know for certain he is Thantos once the pig dies.” Kei felt his heart rate increase, what would they do the boy they had tortured when they realized he wasn’t Thantos? Would they still blame him in a desperate attempt to justify beating the innocent? Would they accuse him of suppressing the power to kill? He adjusted his grip on the heavy branch he had found in the forest and snuck around to the front entrance. It seemed many of the people had been dispersed, but he could feel many eyes on the building. Creeping back, he realized that charging in would not be an option.

“Eos, darling, light this branch on fire for me, please?” The little bird looked at him curiously, but spat a small ball of fire onto the branch and it lit immediately. It must have been the special fire of the phoenix, because a thick piece of wood did not generally combust with that amount of fire. He creeped over to another building he had noticed, it was run down and he hadn’t seen anyone come in or out of it, and he threw the flaming log into one of its broken windows. He crawled back to the jail house and waited. It took only minutes for people to be screaming about a fire, and he could hear the footfall of the men in the building leave Niall alone. Crawling forward he slipped into the house unnoticed and was by Niall’s side immediately.

“Niall, are you ok? Of course you’re not ok, but don’t worry, I’m breaking you out of here.” He looked around the room and blessed his luck that the people it don’t think that ‘Thantos’ would have someone coming to his rescue. The key to the cuffs sitting on a table very out of reach of Niall and he grabbed it, fiddling with the cuffs until the boy’s hands were free. “It’s ok, everything it going to be alright, we are getting out of here.”

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❝Let the soul leave
before the wind sears
You upon the hollow belly
with its nails so keen
shaped by the volcano’s obsidian
raised drinking glass❞


ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#68228B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #BF5FFF





As they approached the village Niall took out his eye mask and placed it on his face to hide his blind eye from view. In past experiences, he found that people often stared unabashed at this strange eye he sported and it was better covered. He may get some strange looks but no one would really pay him any mind. His whole goal here was to try little attention and having this small bit of plastic up should help him. Should anyway. He really hoped he wasn't making a mistake with this. He wanted to be in and out of this town as fast as possible. The less time they spent here, the less they'd be detained by the hostility of this place. Niall brought his head down and huddled himself to appear less threatening as he and his companion began to walk through the town.

Niall was very aware of the eyes that followed him and Keisuke. It was giving him a sense of unease and he found himself swallowing dryly. Maybe he should have chanced their luck with the bandits and cougars in the forest. He moved just right and a man caught sight of the eye covering he sported. Within moments, people were calling him out and screaming at him. His eyes widened in alarm. Before he could say anything to appease these angry people, they started whacking, punching, and kicking him. He dropped to his knees as someone ripped off his mask to reveal the strange eye. He got a couple of gasps and more confirmation that he was Thanatos. Who else could he be, what with his strange hair and eye.

"Stop! Please! I am not Thanatos!" he cried and tried to protect his face as the beating continued. He struggled to pull away from these violent strangers but it wasn't long before his legs and arms were tied and villagers wearing gloves started to drag him over the ground towards a jail cell. His bag had been ripped off and someone had snatched it up to check what Thanatos was carrying around with him. Niall tried to find a glimpse of Keisuke but with the mob around him, he couldn't see beyond them. He was sure Keisuke was glad to be rid of him. The man would run away with Eos and Niall wouldn't see them again. Why would Keisuke come and help him? They were just strangers forced to cooperate. Nial dropped his head forward and willed the hints of tears away from his eyes. He had to be strong and face his fate unabashed.

The townspeople chained him to the wall and forced a gag into his mouth so he could't speak some 'evil' and made sure they didn't touch his skin. Nial gave a muffled groan and tensed when one of the guards slammed him hard in the gut with a club. He hadn't done anything wrong! He didn't want to die like this. Burning at a stake sounded beyond unimaginable. Niall looked over at the pig with a blurry eye. His good eye was beginning to swell shut and soon he wouldn't be able to see at all. Blindness... total and complete blindness scared him. He swallowed dryly and clenched his hands. He was sure that even if he did pass the test they'd still kill him, imagining that he was faking innocence or something.

Niall closed his aching eye and tried to relax and think of something to help him out of this situation. Then he heard shouts of alarm and people running away. What now? He heard Keisuke's voice then and tried to catch a glimpse of the man but his good eye had finally finished swelling so he couldn't see him. He was honestly surprised that Keisuke had come back for him. He had no reason to help him. They weren't friends. Niall felt the man fussing with the chains and then his hands dropped from where they had been held. He hurried to pull the gag out of his mouth as Keisuke turned to the binds on his ankles.

[color=68228B]"K-Kei..."[/color] he called out brokenly. Joy and relief were starting to swell in his chest as he reached for the man. He grabbed onto his shoulder and an arm and tugged lightly. [color#8228B]"I c-can't.... can't see..."[/color] He curled his legs beneath him and used Keisuke as his support as he got to his feet. [color=#8228B]"You have... have to direct me.."[/color] Niall brought a hand down to press against his abdomen which ached. He was sure he was already starting to bruise there.He hoped that he wasn't bleeding internally or something had ruptured. He gripped Keisuke as he started to walk. He wanted his bag but right now, it was more important to get them both out of here. Niall wasn't going to be much help to the man assisting in his escape.

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"K-Kei... I c-can't.... can't see..." Kei flinched when Niall first grabbed at him, but seeing as though he was nowhere near any of his exposed skin the man forced himself to relax. His voice was so different from before. It was relieved and hopeful, and Kei was thankful he was able to save the boy before the villagers were able to torment him further. The boy was too hurt to move as quickly as they needed too, because surely the men would be back once the fire was no longer out of control. “Niall, it’s ok. I’m going to get you out of here. So please, bear with me.”

Kei braced himself, making sure all his clothing was properly arranged, before looping one of his arms around the boy’s back and then bent to swipe the boy’s feet out from under him. He had seen people carry their wounded this way many times, and it was often referred to as bridal style. Eos squirmed from her squished spot in Kei’s pocket and onto Niall’s body. The boy was worse for wear and the little phoenix looked up and down the boy’s body in confusion to his present state. Kei began walking, the people were too distracted by the threat of the fire to notice him slipping out, and it was already dusk so it was even harder for people to notice since the man was already clad in all black. “Don’t worry Eos, I’ll keep us safe.” He whispered reassuringly to the little bird, but she seemed to ignore him as she inspected Niall’s wounds.

“You! You’re Thantos!” Kei was startled when the woman that he had seen earlier was standing in their way. She looked distraught, her eyes were swollen from crying and it looked like it had taken all of the courage she could muster. He felt bad for her, but he needed to go. Kei’s human form was not strong, and already Niall’s weight was proving to be too much of a burden for him. “Please miss, this has all been a mistake, let me save my friend.”
“Do not lie! I’ve seen your eyes! No human could possess eyes that look as if they are death itself!”
“Miss, please. You’ve made a mistake.”
“No! I watched you kill my entire family! I will avenge their deaths!” The statement hushed Kei and he felt his blood run cold. He had missed one of the people he was supposed to kill. The look of panic on his face seemed stop the woman as well. He wondered if the expression he wore now was something sinister. He shifted Niall’s weight, the boy was still blind, he wouldn’t witness a thing. Keisuke couldn’t risk Hera’s wrath. For the sake of appearances he pleaded with her one more time.

“Miss… please.” She didn’t respond and he leaned forward and before she could react he kissed her. His hands too full to take her soul in a more traditional way, he felt the energy of a soul taken before their time rush through his body, and he could feel the life drain from her body. “Thank you, I’m sorry for all your loss.”

The energy taken from the woman’s soul he rushed forward, moving as gently as possible for Niall until they were in the woods on the other side of the village. He set Niall down for only a moment, listening to the commotion of the village before picking the boy up again. He wasn’t sure if they were moving in the correct direction, but they could not bear to stay any closer. He was trekking uphill with the boy in his arms, and he was thankful for the energy of the woman’s soul aiding him. Eos was busying herself on Niall’s body and Kei had to guess it had to have been at least two hours before he finally looked down again.

Kei was sweating heavily, and his breathing was coming in heaving and labored, but Niall looked much better than when they had left the village. He noticed the feathers around Eos’ eyes damp and realized she had been healing the boy as he carried them. Even the unblended eye looked at least usable now. “Are you… feeling better?’ He managed to pant out.

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❝Let the soul leave
before the wind sears
You upon the hollow belly
with its nails so keen
shaped by the volcano’s obsidian
raised drinking glass❞


ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#68228B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #BF5FFF





Niall tensed when he felt the man's arms around his shoulders and then in the next moment, the man was sweeping him off his feet. He gasped and clung to Keisuke's covered neck to give himself some support. He felt his companion rushing away with him and was once again startled by this man's innocence and charity. Keisuke was weighed down by his weight and yet the stranger was still helping him away from the village. He was stunned. The townspeople could turn around and spot them within moments! He didn't know there was a fire going on after all. Keisuke was risking capture for him. He buried his face against the man's shoulder and sighed inwardly. He winced when he felt Eos walking on his chest and shakily touched the little bird trying to calm her.

“You! You’re Thantos!”

Niall instantly gasped and clung to Keisuke. They were back! They were surely going to beat Keisuke now and drag them both back to the cell and take sweet Eos! But then... that was just once voice. He frowned as Keisuke pleaded with the woman. Eyes of the dead? She was talking about Keisuke? He wished he could see! What was happening? He heard the argument but then, Keisuke moved and their was silence before the man whispered a thank you and an apology. He clung to his friend tighter as they began moving away and Niall could swear he heard the sound of a falling body. Had Keisuke killed the woman? Was there a murderer hiding behind this sweet visage? If that were the case, him risking his life to save him was even more baffling. For now however, he had to focus on recovering. Keisuke couldn't carry him forever.

When Keisuke stopped, Niall opened his eyes and was surprised to find that his bruised eye was healing. He couldn't see perfectly, but it was enough that he could orient himself. His abdomen had been healed though there was still a dull ache, and his chest was healing. He was actually feeling a bit better than he had a moment ago. He looked down to Eos and reached a hand up to caress the bird's wet cheek and smiled. The dear little thing was healing him.

"Yeah. I am feeling a bit better. You can set me down now, thanks." When Keisuke did so, Niall gingerly took to his legs as Eos hopped up onto his uninjured shoulder and tried to clamber up his face to reach his eye better. Niall aided her in her goal and let her administer the healing touch. He felt the three cool tears fall onto the ache and within moments, the bruising receded to a more comfortable level and his vision was adjusting. It wouldn't be long before the injury faded away all together. "Thank you, Eos. And here I thought you didn't have your healing tears yet," he smiled softly. Eos chirped softly and nuzzled his cheek. Poor thing was so worried about him.

Niall turned to Keisuke then. He wanted to know what the woman was talking about but the man had just saved his life. He didn't want to scrutinize him now. Maybe later when they were both level-headed and calm. "Thank you, Keisuke. You didn't have to save me, but you did. I am surprised and so grateful. I am in your debt." Maybe... maybe that was a reason why Keisuke saved him. It made the only sense in this situation. "Where are we?"