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Sachiko Yano

HOMRA Strain

0 · 578 views · located in Tokyo, Japan

a character in “K Project; Fall Of The Grey King”, as played by βəəlzəβ∩β

Description

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Sachiko Yano

Nickname(s)
Age
Gender
Clan
Role
Ethnicity
Birth Date
Sexuality
| Chiko, Sano, Yan
| Ten
| Female
| HOMRA
| HOMRA Strain
| Japanese
| June 12th
| Unknown

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Sachiko is the youngest member of HOMRA . Joining originally at the age of seven while wandering the streets she's been there for the past three years now, having made the choice to not return to her elderly caretakers and begin a new life under the gang .It was while with them that she discovered that she was a strain , although not quite knowing what her power is yet, she gets feelings when something is about to happen and can manifest small defensive barriers at will.

POWERXXAGILITYXXCHARISMA

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A small girl, Sachiko is easily overlooked by those who tower over her. A quick, light-footed creature; the girl moves around silently undetected through her surprisingly agile, quick ways. Short, sandy brown hair adorns her head with small, flicked up ends forming above the nape of her neck and behind her ears. A single, puffed out pigtail hangs to the side; a messy, layered fringe falling off to the side of her forehead. Similarly her eyes are wide, dirt brown orbs. Normally the girl is seen wearing a simple, plain white long short-sleeved top; blue shorts tucked away underneath with a simple pair of shoes decorating her feet.

ARTXXINTELLIGENCEXXBEAUTY

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Loves:
    Cartoons | "Oh! It’s almost four, quick! Turn it over, puh-lease?"
    Biscuits | "First you lick ‘em and then dunk ‘em in milk. Like, duh!""
    Photos | "It’s nice seeing everyone together, in a picture. Uh-Huh."
    Drawing | "I’m not very good, but maybe I’ll get better one day."
    Talking | "It makes me feel not so alone, even with stuffed toys."

Hates:
    Cold | "I’m really happy HOMRA’s fire keeps the cold out!"
    Mornings | "Oi! Making me get up early is pretty mean, huh?"
    Rows | "People get mad and shout a lot, I don’t really like it."
    Noise | "If it’s loud and not my voice I don’t wanna know."
    Dust | "When I inhale it my chest feels funny and I cough."

Image ▐ Honest
Sometimes Sachiko can be terribly honest. As a child she knows no boundaries and furthermore what is and isn’t acceptable to say when in company. If anything the girl just has a healthy dose of curiosity and keenness to know why things are as they are. Although don’t expect her to be subtle about it and all hush-hush, oh no. If she wants answers then she’ll get them for sure, some way, somehow.

▐ Resilient
Maybe she’s been hanging around the big boys too long, but Sachiko is one tough kid. Seemingly able to recover from the down-est of situations thrown at her, the girl has learned even at a young age to force a smile and get on with it in typical HOMRA fashion. Brave and oblivious, she might not quite grasp the risks at stake here, but that won’t dampen her fiery spirit from taking on the hardest of foes.

▐ Companionly
She doesn’t ever want to be alone. What kid would? Nestled away in the heart of the gang Sachiko can be found at the core of HOMRA cheering everyone on. She loves everyone and gets attached rather easily to a friendly face, so it isn’t surprising to find her clinging to someone and happily skipping along at their side. She values friendship quite strongly, and tries to do her bit for people and help out if she can. As well, she'll defend HOMRA with all her might and don't be surprised if she gets pretty defensive over her family.

▐ Charming
With child-like innocence the girl sees the world somewhat differently from some. Sachiko doesn’t recognize danger as easily as her elders and instead sees something completely different. It’s all fun and games for her, in a way. The world’s full of good and bad guys but their meanings go beyond her understanding at the moment, and the seriousness of the world hasn’t hit her quite yet thankfully. She’s still a little girl for now but for how long, who knows. Even Sachiko has had her own fair share of struggles and yet despite that, she still strives to be positive and upbeat, for everyone's sake as well as her own.

ImageThe Yano home was a very small house. Sachiko was the third born and only daughter to a working-class mother of three, and while the woman was away duty to raise the girl fell on the shoulders of the two older boys. You see they never had a minder, too expensive according to their mother. But there was times when the woman wouldn’t return until late into the night or the following day. Sometimes even a few days later. But her oldest brother was a great cook and kept them fed with whatever was left in the cupboards, and worked hard each day, and the other managed to keep the television working so that the girl could still watch her cartoons every day.

One day mother left and never returned for a week. When she did come home it was only briefly, then she left again. Sachiko missed her mother quite often, or rather "mumma" as she called her and would at times stay up late awaiting the woman’s' return – that was until her oldest brother found out and then ushered her to bed every time the little girl tried to stay up. Within two weeks passing a curious neighbour made a phone-call, from what they know, and Sachiko found herself separated from her siblings and placed within the foster system. At the age of six she was sent to live with an elderly couple in the meantime; they were sweet and loving and adorable in their own way, but they weren’t her mother and brothers.

For about a year Sachiko remained with the old man and woman and made-believe that they were her actual grandparents. They adored her, and she liked them enough. But age crept up on the withering pair and soon the woman began to forget things and lose things too, and before long she would wander off. The man struggled to cope and Sachiko only got in the way of things, even though the little girl was only meaning to help. There were times when she and the woman would go for walks into the park and feed the ducks, go on the swings and flop about on the grass. One time Sachiko snuck out with the old lady and went to the local shop to buy some sweets, but when the woman returned she came home without the girl. Apparently Sachiko had wandered through the aisles and escaped her gaze briefly, and instead got caught up with some kids and went to play outside. The woman completely forgot about her.

For a good few months she remained on the streets. It was incredibly difficult and scary, and Sachiko only grew weaker; both physically and emotionally. One day she ran into a boy double her size, likely older too, who thought the girl was trying to steal something out his pocket. But really, her sleeve only got caught on his belt and he misinterpreted the situation. A blow to the gut had Sachiko on the grounded winded in seconds, and a few nasty names later, about to hit her again, a man intervened and stopped the young boy. Of course, Sachiko insisted that she could handle it, but Arata stepped in and helped the stubborn, teary-eyed girl. That was the moment her life restarted again, and found herself in the hands of HOMRA. A few weeks later, resettled at the bed and breakfast, the girl made the man promise something.

So begins...

Sachiko Yano's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nakano Yuka Character Portrait: Mira Saromi Character Portrait: Alastair Payne Character Portrait: Arata Utagawa Character Portrait: Sachiko Yano Character Portrait: Gensai Riku Character Portrait: Ikeda Miu Character Portrait: Tanabata Emi Character Portrait: Naoko Ita Character Portrait: Maeda Katsuo Character Portrait: Shizuka Hibiki Character Portrait: Nao Morizakawa Character Portrait: Yukimura Hisako Character Portrait: Ketsuraku Kazuki Character Portrait: Cyneric Ozu Character Portrait: Sora Arakida Character Portrait: Daisuke O'Connor Character Portrait: Hirai Nakazo Character Portrait: Kita Tooru
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#, as written by Elision
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5:45 AM | October 1st | Greater Tokyo Area

As the sun rose over Shizume city and the rest of Tokyo, the city had begun to wake up from it's slumber. It's residents, getting ready to begin their daily grind through their 9 to 5 jobs. Some already there, having stayed the night struggling to finish the heavy workload assigned to them. Others, of less orthodox professions, mucking around in the streets or on their way to school. However, for those who have managed become intertwined with the seven Kings residing in the city, the day had a more solemn meaning.

Marking exactly two weeks after the death of the former peacekeeper, a small ceremony was to be held to honor the dead King before his burial. Though few would be in attendance, too busy fighting among each other as to who the culprit of his, and other recent deaths was.

However, while they may be able to determine how their days will go, the security of their future is no longer certain. What may seem like an irrelevant decision at the moment, could very well mean whether or not more blood is spilled.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Nakano Yuka Character Portrait: Mira Saromi Character Portrait: Alastair Payne Character Portrait: Arata Utagawa Character Portrait: Sachiko Yano Character Portrait: Gensai Riku Character Portrait: Ikeda Miu Character Portrait: Tanabata Emi Character Portrait: Naoko Ita Character Portrait: Maeda Katsuo Character Portrait: Shizuka Hibiki Character Portrait: Nao Morizakawa Character Portrait: Ketsuraku Kazuki Character Portrait: Cyneric Ozu Character Portrait: Sora Arakida Character Portrait: Daisuke O'Connor Character Portrait: Hirai Nakazo Character Portrait: Kita Tooru
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WARNING: VERY LONG POST AHEAD.


Before the arrival of dawn, three small green stars were becoming one with Hibiki's ceiling. Their edges were rough and scraped at by the longest nail she possessed (on her right index finger, saved from her nibbling teeth by the unconscious desire to have something to scratch with), but they had been there too long to easily peel off the way they once might have. Her parody of a starry sky was as much of a spectacle as the true skies of Tokyo at midnight, a time Hibiki once thought was when the city went to sleep and the stars quietly arranged themselves into fantastic stories that you could read if you stayed in the dark. The slightest flicker of a light could send stars scattering. A light told them that children who should be sleeping were awake and watching.

But the city did not sleep then and the lights warded away the stars until the only ones that remained were the three she was glaring at on her ceiling. They weren't the brightest, having their own light pollution to battle with in the form of flashing monitors and screens, but she was too indifferent to properly remove them so they were OK by her. Now that Hibiki was older she knew when the city really slept. It slept in the earliest hours of the morning when the sun was not yet up and the stars had all gone away. This was the time that Hibiki always woke.

On that freakishly early morning, she found herself sprawled out on the floor in a position that was obvious to anyone she hadn't meant to fall asleep in, with her shirt flipped up and revealing her stomach and her legs tangled in electrical cords. Her one exposed eye looked dead, dragged down by the dark bags beneath it, and it stared lifelessly up at the stars which reflected in her brilliantly red iris. Hibiki peeled from the carpet as one would remove themselves from a cobweb: picking off things she didn't want to touch while making faces. Her long sheet of hair was the most reluctant piece of her to get off the ground before she wound it around her hand and yanked, breaking it free of its mango iced tea puddle prison. Several wispy green casualties were left behind but would not be missed. She crouched in her over sized shirt and boxers until something turned on in her brain and she stood up – or, as up as her spine allowed her to. She scanned the room once for anything on her security footage, her eyes lingering a little too long on her beckoning laptop, then navigated over the empty food packets, video games that focused on male bonding, a build-your-own-robot kit and lots and lots of unsorted laundry. She opened the door and stepped out to be swallowed by complete darkness, but the trip had been made so many times before that she didn't need the light to oh wait nevermind. As always she forgot how big she was ever since that sudden growth spurt and clipped her little toe on the dresser. A stack of letters slid sideways off the cupboard and something that was not her squeaked and buried itself in sawdust. Hibiki muttered an apology through her pain for disturbing her pet and dropped to the ground, felt around for the letters that fell, stacked them back up and carefully (or, as carefully as she could do anything) put them in the top draw of the dresser. She mentally flipped a switch as she hobbled through the corridor on her way to the kitchen and suddenly the apartment was lit up in harsh fluorescent lighting. Vision didn't make her any less of a lumbering zombie and now she could see how gross she looked by squinting at her disgruntled reflection in the kitchen window. A cup of cold water to the face and swirling around in her empty belly made her feel queasy but woke her to some extent and her first fully comprehensible thought of the day formed, Time?

4: 17

She moved quickly now. In the main room, she pulled out her exercise mat. Her long toes clasped the edge of it like a balancing act as she tied her hair up in the usual high ponytail with the lackey around her wrist. When done she couldn't help but deliver a swift and powerful roundhouse kick to the pink punching bag hanging beside her to just remind it of who was the boss. It left an indent and the bag swung back and forth and creaked in surrender. Satisfied, she curled down and touched the ground (just managing to, her knees could never seem to straighten) to begin her morning stretches.

4:38

Hibiki's purple hood hid her matted, mango-scented hair and headphones beneath it. Her shoulders and spirit sagged when she caught a glimpse at her sickly, boyish features in the mirror, which she zipped up her red turtleneck to hide. The next ten minutes were spent bustling around collecting yen like it was a scavenger hunt mini game. Before leaving the apartment she went to swipe an easy access packet of bubblegum from the top of a kitchen cabinet when she stopped. Her hand was caught in an invisible trap between the gum and a half empty packet of cigarettes. It was only for a second, a moment that she barely picked up on herself, that her hand swayed between the two options before snatching one up and stuffing it in her pocket with such vigor it was as though she never faltered. At the door she breathed. On the other side of the door she took out her keys and locked each padlock methodically. Outside the apartment complex, she pressed play on an upbeat track (I know I know I'm lame) of a band she favoured, yanked her hood down further and began to jog.

Her neck started cramping as she jogged through the inner city and it wasn't because she spent all that time craning over a computer screen, but good guess. The skyscrapers were too flashy in the way they reflected everything below and around them that it would be a crime to not look up at them as you ran by, a crime that Hibiki drew the line at. They would probably look better with the sun shining off of them but this was the only time that Hibiki could move through this area so leisurely. Any later and this place would be full of people and moving among them would not suit her... requirements. She jogged on the spot when she caught a glimpse of Mihashira Tower, the skyscraper that served as Timeless Palace HQ, staring at its top floor distractedly through her bangs until her own urgency spurred her forward. Even with the streets devoid of activity – well, apart from the lazy cars, pigeons, occasional person who looked like they didn't want to be seen just as she much as her and food businesses preparing for opening hours – the place still felt dangerous when lingered in for too long, almost as though someone was watching her. As she left Timeless Palace behind her, her long lost cat Suzu slunk away to say good morning to her true master.

Right around the corner from the HQ of Scepter 4, Hibiki inserted yen into a vending machine and crouched down to retrieve the breakfast it dropped for her. She poked the straw into the box and began slurping the weird liquid cereal stuff as she trotted backwards all the way to the tall black gates of the formal looking mansion. Finding humor in the thought that the Blue Clan were so desperately looking for her yet had no idea that she practically paid them a visit every day (buying from vending machines was so much less stressful than shops and shops weren't open when she was hungry this early, anyway), a smug, almost villainous smile formed around the straw between her lips. She turned her back on the building, wiggled her hips, stretched out her back and yawned then glanced over her shoulder with a look that said, “And what are you going to do about it?”, an expression hidden from security cameras by her hood. She swiftly finished her drink and disposed of her rubbish in the bin provided then did some proper stretching to warm up again before jogging away.

Her own territory felt the most comfortable for her yet was the most miserable. It was so pitiful and small and it was obvious why her members were yearning after HOMRA's territory, with it being so alive and spacious and not too uptown like Scepter 4 and Timeless Palace. The territory looked more appealing than her own because of how the Red King took care of it and cared for it... unlike her... but while she had no attachment to her territory as such (her true territory was the internet, after all), she felt a strong duty to her people... despite being happy to go her entire life without exchanging a single word with them... her personal issues had nothing to do with her loyalty, I'm sure.

<JUNGLE> had the highest number of members out of the clans. Their members weren't restricted to their shabby territory, they were scattered throughout Tokyo Metropolis with other jobs and lives apart from the clan. Members could choose to remain anonymous, with their true identities and residences documented by the king. They would be known to others in the clan by their online names only so they could support the group without having the pressure of Scepter 4 shaking disapproving fists at their backs. While that was once the norm, these people were now not so lovingly referred to by higher ranked members as “Shrubs”. You see, once upon a time, the entire group were completely anonymous and wore helmets to cover their identities when representing themselves publicly. It was during the fifty years of peace that the security focused on identity was lessened and the higher ranked, more involved members of the clan felt comfortable letting their faces and names be known. Ryuu claimed this more relaxed attitude was a good thing, as proper trust began forming amongst their ranks and with the other clans. Maybe it was good. But now Hibiki was king, and she was everything Ryuu was not, and while she had proven herself worthy of the title she had no means to prove a shrub like herself was worthy of their respect. The more she thought about the problems she had before all of these murders started made a hidden piece of her stress what the heck Ryuu was thinking, appointing someone with as much social awareness as her king. Ugh, Ryuu was so good at hyping them up to believe their bonds were more important than their brains (something that Hibiki definitely did not believe in but knew was a thing she had to fake). She wished he would hurry up and get back from the Bahamas or whatever place she'd rather be that was pictured on the last postcard he sent her.

And oh God, she still had to tell him about Naomi.

She took a quick break to check out the nightclub she "managed" while she was passing by. The Jungle looked so unimpressive in the grey light with its flashing neon signs turned off and she could tell that new graffiti had been added to its ink collection. It definitely didn't look like the ideal place to set up HQ, that was for sure, but Ryuu felt that they needed a physical hang out to regain that social interaction that kids these days were missing out on and hey, sex and alcohol are what they're into, right? The girl could even smell urine coming from the alley that led to the back entrance. Her face darkened upon remembering that's where she had to go in the evening to meet up with her new Right Hand, Hirai Nakazo. This would mark her second meeting with the man and she couldn't say that she didn't dread it.

Not passing through HOMRA's territory to the grocery store that opened at seven thirty sharp would be a disruption to routine.

At the end of her sprint she halted so suddenly that she buckled and had to clutch her knees for support. She was unused to pushing herself so hard in that last stretch. Her clothes trapped her body heat and made her more uncomfortable than she should have been after her run but she would never remove an item of clothing in public. Her heart was beating fast and there was an awful pressure against her temples, not from the exercise but from something else. Passing by the unassuming bed and breakfast that served as HOMRA HQ had become harder for her as of late. She looked up in time to see the sign switch from closed to open.


*


*


*


She wasn't planning to be here. She didn't owe the Grey King anything. Why did she come here instead of home? She approached the funeral home so hesitantly that anyone watching might have thought she was attending hers.

But she didn't attend. She ducked around the back and when she reached a bench she lurched. The wind took the long hair that protruded from her hood hostage and whipped her face with it like a spiteful poltergeist. It was quiet here, or, much quieter now that her music was no longer assaulting her poor eardrums. She could still hear the sounds of the city, which was now very much awake. This was the time that Hibiki would be sleeping, but at least there was nobody here - not near her, just... surrounding her... and through that wall. Walls weren't as solid to her as they were to others. How she was going to wade home through that ocean of noise and humanity was beyond her, but sitting here in the shadows made the problem seem almost OK.

Almost.

She took a lighter from one of the two plastic bags she held then dropped them on her bench to leave both hands free to light a cigarette. It took a dozen tries for her slightly too large hands to flip the fiddly switch but they did, eventually. Finally, she took a long draw of her cigarette only to double over and hack up her lungs. This continued until it became a worry. When she managed to stop she grit her teeth and straightened, bringing the poison back up to her lips. She coughed again, but quieter this time. She shut her eyes and breathed.

Name: Yamauchi Naomi. Age of death: 42 Time of death: Unknown. Information has been withheld from Scepter 4's systems, most likely because they know I'll be following the case. All that's determined is it happened two weeks ago, just three days after the death of the Grey King. Cause of death: Found floating in the river with damage to the skull. The “official” story the news covered was that she hit her head and drowned. That isn't true. Her power was summoning electrical projectiles. She was not immune to her own projectiles. Taking the fight underwater was an advantage against her abilities and her killer knew that.

That's all the information I have of her death. Now, I have to decide my next move.


Hibiki reopened her eyes and gazed at her sneakers gravely, the smoke of her cigarette spiraling away in the breeze.

They expect to go to war, she surmised with her chin in her palm, Worst of all, they expect me to lead them there.

She inhaled the smoke again, held in her protesting lungs, and leaned forward.

Naomi was floating downriver. Upriver is HOMRA territory. She could have floated down, but a body bobbing down Sumida river would not have made it far without being spotted. The way I see it, we have reasons to be suspicious but not enough of them. HOMRA deny our accusations and are not inviting conflict nor have anything to gain by initiating it, though, their hostile attitude towards us suggests they're not against it. So how much can we call solid proof and how much are we grasping at prejudiced straws? I know for a fact that some in particular would say anything to start a fight with our more powerful neighbors. It's moronic, that way of thinking.

Smoke left her mouth in a little puff and she paused.

But it isn't unjustified. This isn't the first murder in these past three weeks but this is only the second that they're aware of. Four Shrubs have been targeted. If they knew, there would be hysteria. My clan is already scared and with Yoshida-kun announced missing yesterday... I should be drawing connections between all of the murders by now. She grunted and ruffled her fringe in frustration. And yet the only connection is that they were killed in regular, unoriginal ways near or in their residences, none of them showing any sign that they had been murdered by a clansman apart from the fact that nobody BUT enemy clansmen would want us dead. Or... actually... That was a lie. <JUNGLE> were a notorious hacker group, of course they had made enemies with powerful people and anyway, the identities and residences of those who chose to remain anonymous were known by only her and her Right Hand. The other clans would not know who or where they were – nobody would. Hirai was not yet trusted enough to receive the list and Naomi... she was gone. Naomi was the victim of the second murder and the first was a Shrub. The assailant could not have taken the information from her, they already knew it. Besides, there was no mention of torture wounds. None that were disclosed to the public. With her dead, the only suspects would be me and Akiyama Ryuu. Obviously I'm not a murderer, and Ryuu... … …

“... Pfft.”

Don't laugh. Any lead is worth something at this point, no matter how unlikely. Who had gotten that information and how? Had their faces been sold out to the highest bidder? Having so many enemies didn't help her narrow down suspects at all. I have some information on the deaths of the Shrubs, which is virtually nothing apart from the fact that the police obviously must have made the shocking discovery that the corpses were <JUNGLE> members, because each investigation dropped from their records days after they were in their system. If Scepter 4 documented information useful to all of these cases on their hard drives instead of writing it down on paper I'd have already solved this crisis, unless... they've refused to take it as a case. A dozen hackers in the underground aren't worth anything to such honest citizens.

That prospect hurt more than the original thought that Scepter 4 wanted to keep the infamous J and the Green Clan out of the loop. After all of the leads and information she had leaked them that had assisted them in so many cases, how they still hunted for her stung, but it didn't insult her like considering her clan not worth their time did. She was so troubled by this she felt ill, or perhaps that was just the cigarette.

… That won't do. They have to take it. Homicide is homicide. They already know <JUNGLE>'s crimes and they've overlooked them... mostly. Will an investigation of the murders of online gang members turn into an investigation into the identity of J? They're persistent enough that I've had to change my name and move three times already, having them working with us will leave me hazardously vulnerable.

She hunched up and sucked in her breath, hardening her resolve once more.

So the decision stands as this – either go to war with HOMRA; the Red Clan that has always beaten us, and punch the truth out of the Red King at the cost of what little territory we have, or ask for the help of Scepter 4; the Blue Clan that have always hunted us and can see us behind bars, make me forfeit my place as king or perhaps execu... The thought was so horrible she couldn't finish it. She took a quick draw of her cigarette and glanced around in paranoia. The funeral home felt like it was craning over her back. Even the sky was coming too close. It has been practiced before.

Then a third option – remain stumbling in the dark as we are stripped away one by one and <JUNGLE> no longer remains. And I have to make the decision before facing my Right Hand tonight.


Yeah, like that was going to happen. She tapped the ash from the end of her cigarette when the tremors in her hand became too much to keep it steady and it dropped. Hibiki swore and took out the box and lighter but her already fumbling hands were so shaky it was even harder than lighting the first.

“What are the two most important factors of making a decision?”

“Facts and rationality,” Hibiki answered just as Naomi chuckled over the top of her, “A good view and a fag.” Hibiki stared at her blankly from her bed until Naomi felt nervous. "You know, like, a cigarette. I'm talking 'bout cigarettes." Hibiki just grunted and raised an eyebrow to signify she knew what the woman meant. Naomi nodded and lit one up, breathed it in and sighed blissfully. "It's the same way I've made every decision. Even the one to keep your sorry ass around."

There was comfortable silence, when

"Obviously, killing your lungs speeds up the thought process." Hibiki was concerned for her, but she had meant to insult her to hide it, but not loud enough for her to notice. She did take notice and her face brightened with pride.

"Did my lil' Mako-chan make a funny in the absence of a joke book? I'm actually so happy. We'll be having these things called conversations in no time." Makoto, the name Hibiki wore as her own at that time. Her cheeks burned as scarlet as Naomi's hair at her nearly sarcastic jesting and Hibiki hid behind her knees, waiting for the torment to be over. The carefree woman blew smoke from her nostrils and reassured her, "Don't worry 'bout it. When I die it'll be on my own terms. I won't end up a bloated body washed up on the shore three days after I was attacked and murdered on my way home from a date with that joke you think isn't worth the effort."


She hadn't really said that, but in that moment Hibiki was convinced that she did. The back of her throat hurt. She remembered that Naomi once attended the funeral for her aunt at this place and wondered if she was sitting at the same bench the woman sat while she smoked and reflected on her memories with her late loved one, the same Hibiki was now. The thought that her right hand could have been in the exact same place that Naomi's hand once clutched around made her palm feel strangely warm. It was a pleasant warmth, like the lingering ghost of someone's hand in hers, but she wouldn't know that. She never held anyone's hand. Giving up on lighting the cigarette, she brought her forearm over her face to shield it from the skies that were threatening to crush her. She shut her eyes and tried to breathe.

"Yo."

Hibiki had never stood up so fast in her entire life. She stood up so fast, a wave of nausea came over her and she sat back down. Her head twitched to her right to take in a small glance at he person sitting beside her to only get a glimpse of someone's torso dressed in funeral black. She returned her gaze to her unlit cigarette that was threatening to crumble in her fist she was clutching it so hard and slowly, painfully so, tilted up her head to look at the face of the man that towered over her.

That's Maeda Katsuo of Timeless Palace. She thought to herself as she stared in the opposite direction to him. That's Maeda Katsuo of Timeless Palace and I assumed his height was a typo. She thought as she licked her finger and tested the direction of the breeze. That's Maeda Katsuo of Timeless Palace and he is very tall and I'm on the grounds a funeral was held for a King and nobody knows who I am. There's only one person that might attend that people know that nobody knows. That is J. I'm the only person here on the premises nobody knows.

An endless stream of swears looped in her mind as she reached out and took the bags that separated herself from the enemy and placed them on her lap. The crinkling of plastic was the only sound to fill the awkward silence between them as Hibiki's mind ticked. She tried to light her cigarette again and again and again as she did the only thing she could do to save her identity in this situation.

"You -" her voice was so husky from not being used. She cleared her throat, keeping her chin tucked in tightly against her chest to hide her face. Damn, was there a childproof lock on this lighter or something? She could never get those things. "You were attending the funeral held here?" she asked, her voice kept down low. She then uttered a phrase she had memorised from these sorts of sad situations in films, "Sorry for your loss."

She had to make him believe that she was an outsider. In situations like these, it was lucky that lying came as naturally as breathing for her... but lately, she was having trouble with even that.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Arata Utagawa Character Portrait: Sachiko Yano Character Portrait: Ikeda Miu Character Portrait: Tanabata Emi Character Portrait: Maeda Katsuo Character Portrait: Shizuka Hibiki Character Portrait: Cyneric Ozu
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Cyneric Ozu

Dialogue ⋄ #666666
Thought ⋄ #CC3300



It was a rather dull atmosphere and almost fitting day for a funeral. According to Cyneric that was, but what did he know? The boy had never attended a funeral in his whole life and frankly that was a habit he did not wish to break too soon. He could have only mused over what heartbreak Miu was going through; it was her dear father after all. The former Grey King too. But Cyneric knew that her brother would be there to catch the fragile girl should she fall, and he could have sworn some of Scepter 4 were present too. It was a humble gathering perhaps that was to say, but nobody could dare shine a smile.

Cyneric had attended the ceremony only briefly, feeling that it was nice to show his face in moral support but not outstay his welcome. He never knew the man after all, even if his predecessor did that was something that never quite passed on to him. So, here he was outside standing. Everyone was making their way out of the building and presumably making paths to the graveyard for the burial. But the boy was taking his time, debating his course of action. Heck, being back at school was seeming more tempting if only just to squirrel away in his dorm.

Was that allowed? Could he do that? Would Miu mind, would anyone mind? Hopefully nothing terrible would happen today. A strange thought admittedly, but you could never tell. Murders were happening left and right all over the place it felt; the culprit could even be here mingling around them unnoticed. Now, there was a realization. Cyneric almost unsettled himself completely with that thought alone… maybe he should stop thinking altogether and move himself. Put one foot in-front of the other and walk. Make himself less idle and awkward and motionless.

Without really thinking he looked to the sky and eyed any cloud that lazily pulled itself along overhead. Quickly as well, he inhaled and filled his lungs till the point of bursting; taking in an almost painful breath. He needed it, everyone did. ”Maybe I should head back, get a start on my homework?” Was that a silly thing to say, let alone want? Thankfully his voice was sheepish and almost whisper-like, his thoughts getting away with him. ”There’s not much I can do here anyway.”


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nakano Yuka Character Portrait: Arata Utagawa Character Portrait: Sachiko Yano Character Portrait: Kita Tooru
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#, as written by Kapento
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Dialogue ┆ #993333 | Thought ┆ #CC0033


It'd be over now, right?’ he asked himself. There had been a ceremony arranged for today in tribute to the former Grey King, but you wouldn’t find the Red King there of course. It wasn't his scene... or whatever. Instead Arata was busy propping up the bar in the Bed and Breakfast, helping himself to the collection of drink that was carelessly left unattended. Although if you couldn’t help yourself to a drink every now and again, what was the point of being King? That’s all the young man pondered at that fleeting moment; gulping down something awful and bitter, yet partially numbing at the same time. Is it too early to drink???’

Even just a little? HOMRA was hardly going to be welcomed with open arms if he suddenly decided to stroll up to the gathering – perhaps the burial by the time he'd arrive if he did attend on a whim. But in his own opinion Arata didn’t feel particularly thankful towards the deceased. Sure they were a King and the peacekeeper; but now the man was just another victim and Arata found himself more hung-up on the killer than anything else. If only because he was feeling that blame was steadily falling onto his own shoulders, which wasn’t good. Closing his eyes slowly and forcing out a heavy sigh, he raised a clenched hand and let his face fall lazily against it for support. Wonder if there was a big turn out?’ he thought, gazing dully at the hazy golden-brown liquid swirling at the bottom of the glass in his other hand.

He hadn't fully realized until now, but it was relatively quiet at the bar and not many people were around ecept for himself and a few others. Was he actually thinking that deeply? Well, that would change soon enough. ”Say. Want a sip? Before Nana finds out,” he offered the tilted glass to the smaller figure leaning on the bar at his side. Shh. Sachiko was one of many reasons to frequent the place, beyond the obvious; though by far one of the better excuses to use, and besides neither of them were attending the ceremony. What was the point anyway?

Some of Scepter 4’s lot would probably be there, maybe even some Gold too, who knows? Regardless of what the attendees would think, it wasn’t like he was deliberately hiding either. Arata just didn’t want to think of death any longer. It was dull, boring and… weird. For now he decided to push it to the back of his mind and made a smiley-grin on his face, edging himself round slightly on the bar-stool. As he did, Arata began to wonder what there was to do today considering some would be at the ceremony, which made him all the more curious as to who wasn’t there. Now, that was the question.


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nakano Yuka Character Portrait: Mira Saromi Character Portrait: Alastair Payne Character Portrait: Arata Utagawa Character Portrait: Sachiko Yano Character Portrait: Gensai Riku Character Portrait: Ikeda Miu Character Portrait: Tanabata Emi Character Portrait: Naoko Ita Character Portrait: Maeda Katsuo Character Portrait: Shizuka Hibiki Character Portrait: Nao Morizakawa Character Portrait: Ketsuraku Kazuki Character Portrait: Cyneric Ozu Character Portrait: Sora Arakida Character Portrait: Daisuke O'Connor Character Portrait: Hirai Nakazo Character Portrait: Kita Tooru
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Alastair Payne
Dialogue; b49b04
Thought; 6f1313
- - -
Papers lay all around him in a mess, his head was in his hands and he had a cigarette butt in his mouth. Thick smoke filled the room like a fog as many other scattered cigarette butts lay on his desk. He had stayed the night in his office, the top floor of Mihashira Tower, he had some work he had to complete however it had taken longer than usual and he had sent everyone else home leaving him alone with mountains of paperwork and books to balance before he could go home. Though he was argueably one of the wealthiest men in the city, he lived in a run down apartment building on the south side of town, however no one knew it was him living there, he used a different name for it and even rents a more expensive penthouse in his true name so it throws off even the hackers of <JUNGLE>. He did this on purpose for his own privacy, he really doesn't like the idea of anyone being able to find his house.

Sadly his modest home had remained empty the previous evening. As his work was more pressing, if he didn't get it done plenty of big-deal businesses would be on his back, ready to strike him down. His eyes snapped open, rimmed with red around his golden iris, dark bags clung underneath them as he groaned.
"Fuck me. . ." He grumbled rubbing his neck and slowly straightening up with several complaints from his back. He slowly stood, some papers sliding off his desk as he cursed and bent down to pick them up. I'll have Mira clean it up later. . . He thought as he dropped the papers back down. His eyes then snapped to the clock and he frowned. He was going to be late to the damned funeral! He let out a stream of angered profanity as he slid his shoes and vest on, buttoning his shirt as he sprinted down the stairwell.

He tripped over the last step and gasped slightly before scowling at it and swearing vengeance before running out. His chauffeur offered a ride but he was already far down the street lighting up a cigarette as he went. His chauffeur shook his head in awe of his hard-headed boss, but was relieved he didn't have to drive him when he was in this mood.

▬▬▬▬▬

He arrived at the funeral as most people were filtering out. He folded his arms and leaned against a wall smoking, trying to conceal his labored breaths for running all the way over here. A few patrons waved to him or bowed their heads as they left and he returned the favor. He had meant to make it on time to this, he really had but the day had gotten away from him and so he had missed the proceedings. Him and the prior Gray King had been rather close, he closed his eyes under his shades and silently asked for forgiveness for missing the funeral.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nakano Yuka Character Portrait: Mira Saromi Character Portrait: Alastair Payne Character Portrait: Arata Utagawa Character Portrait: Sachiko Yano Character Portrait: Gensai Riku Character Portrait: Ikeda Miu Character Portrait: Tanabata Emi Character Portrait: Naoko Ita Character Portrait: Maeda Katsuo Character Portrait: Shizuka Hibiki Character Portrait: Nao Morizakawa Character Portrait: Ketsuraku Kazuki Character Portrait: Cyneric Ozu Character Portrait: Sora Arakida Character Portrait: Daisuke O'Connor Character Portrait: Hirai Nakazo Character Portrait: Kita Tooru
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Naoko Ita
Dialogue; 374D82
Thought; 5C92BF
- - -
Morning filtered into her small house, however Naoko was already up and at it, she was in the small kitchen making breakfast for her father before she was going head out to the funeral. She hummed softly to herself, a happy tune that helped her start her day. The warm tones of her house seemed a bit grayer to her today, funerals were always such a sad time, even though she didn't know the woman who died all that well, it was still a big loss. She sighed softly and then smiled again, being positive is key, she told herself as she carried the scrambled eggs, bacon and hashbrowns to her father who was sitting in the chair he always occupied. A shell of the lively man he once was, his head lolled to the side a bit, it broke Naoko's heart but she still loved him no matter how bad it got she'd never abandon her father.

"Here you go daddy," she chimed as she handed him the tray, he wasn't completed inept, he just wasn't himself. He took the tray with a far off stare and she kissed his cheek softly. He grunted softly and began eating, his eyes not blinking. She sighed a bit and turned away to go change out of her pajamas into more suitable clothing for the event she was to attend. She got dressed in simple clothes and headed back out toward the door, she went over to her father and hugged him tight. "I'm heading out, please try to rest up while I'm gone. I have my phone and I will check in okay?" nothing in response. Her smile turned into a soft look of concern as she headed out, getting into her car and heading down to the funeral. The King of her organization was there so she figured she was obligated to be there as well. She hoped everyone there was doing okay, she'd have to be there for those who were hurting.

▬▬▬▬▬

She arrived and sat through the funeral in the back, even tearing up a bit at some of the testimonies. She watched reverently and then as people began filtering out, she sniffled a bit and dabbed at her eyes. She rose slightly and went out, she spotted miss Ikeda and two people smoking together. She glanced around and spotted Mr. Payne off on his own, strange he hadn't been in the service? She supposed it wasn't any of her business. She wanted to find Miss Emi. She scanned the crowd and sighed softly not seeing her right away. So, she went over to a woman who was taking it rather hard and began to console her.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nakano Yuka Character Portrait: Mira Saromi Character Portrait: Alastair Payne Character Portrait: Arata Utagawa Character Portrait: Sachiko Yano Character Portrait: Gensai Riku Character Portrait: Ikeda Miu Character Portrait: Tanabata Emi Character Portrait: Naoko Ita Character Portrait: Maeda Katsuo Character Portrait: Shizuka Hibiki Character Portrait: Nao Morizakawa Character Portrait: Ketsuraku Kazuki Character Portrait: Cyneric Ozu Character Portrait: Sora Arakida Character Portrait: Daisuke O'Connor Character Portrait: Hirai Nakazo Character Portrait: Kita Tooru
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#, as written by cl.love


DAISUKE O'CONNOR



✘ ✘ ✘ I wonder if "existing" is something you can laugh about... Image


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XXXXXi Theme: Crawl by Veltpunch
X Dialogue : #EE1D24 | Thought : #959595
XXX FC: Aizawa Kouichi | Nabari no O
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Daisuke hadn't planned on attending the funeral. He knew he would be out of place - after all, he'd only met the Grey King once, and he'd been only ten at the time, having tagged along with his grandfather. It was true that his place as a member of the Monochrome Alliance would obligate him to attend, but he had only been a member for a week, and he still hardly new Ikeda at all. XX
In the end, his parents had convinced him that attending the funeral was the professional thing to do, as the Colorless King it was acceptable to attend the funeral of a fellow King, despite the state of their relationship. Daisuke agreed to attend if his parents would also attend - after all, funerals weren't the most enjoyable place to be, and he wanted an excuse to leave if he needed one. XX
As soon as he got there, Daisuke immediately felt bad for having considered staying home. While it was true that he hadn't known Ikeda for long - not in person, at least - he couldn't help but understand her grief. His own King and grandfather had died four years prior, and he'd found himself in a situation akin to Ikeda's. Suddenly becoming a clan's King was nothing if not stressful. XXX
Daisuke left his parents to find a seat and approached Ikeda, bowing politely and carefully avoiding eye contact with her brother, who looked as if he would kill him if he said anything unfavorable. "Ikeda-san, I'm very sorry for your loss. You may not believe me, but I can promise you that the pain of loss does lessen, given time." Quietly excusing himself, Daisuke returned to his seat. XXXXX
The ceremony itself was respectable, but Daisuke found himself focusing on other thoughts, most concerning the recent murders. How dire is the situation? We've already had more than five murders. I doubt this would be as large of a concern if a King hadn't been one of the victims. And who even has the confidence to murder a King, especially without leaving a trace of evidence? XX
After becoming a King, Daisuke had instantaneously pulled his clan out of everything to do with the other clans. His parents were the only other members of the Colorless Clan, and at the time the O'Connor family couldn't really have cared less about the rivalry between clans. They became invisible, really, and Daisuke had even found internet theories stating that the his clan didn't exist. XX
But with the death of the Grey King, everything was suddenly so much more complicated. Daisuke's parents had convinced him to join the Monochrome Alliance in order to help keep the other clans from slaughtering each other with blame over the murders. And thus, here he was, at the Grey King's funeral. XX
Once the ceremony was over, Daisuke's parents went to talk to Ikeda, most likely to give her their best wishes and say comforting words that wouldn't do any good. Of course, Daisuke was guilty of the same thing, with what he'd said to her earlier. I suppose I really am their son. Sighing lightly, Daisuke pushed his glasses higher up on his nose and weaved through the crowds of attendees. XX
He was none too pleased to find Alastair standing outside the venue, smoking a cigarette and looking like he'd only just woken up. Daisuke's face scrunched up in distaste at the smell of tobacco, and he frowned at the Gold King, his hand gesturing toward the 'No Smoking' sign posted half a meter away. "This venue is a 'No Smoking' area. You'd think a King would have more respect." XXX

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Arata Utagawa Character Portrait: Sachiko Yano
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Sachiko Yano

Dialogue ⋄ #CC9966
Thought ⋄ #CC9999



Sachiko had heard that some big thing was going on today. But that was neither this nor that at the moment presently, as she wasn’t one of the people attending whatever it was. Not that it matter to the small girl though, the way Arata described it she was almost glad to skip it entirely and just hang beside him; that was the coolest place to be after all, next to the King that she looked up to. But she did wonder where everyone else was. Not necessarily HOMRA, but rather where everyone beyond them was going. This special event that seemed like a big deal.

While sitting on the bar-stool next to the man, with some effort mind you as the seat was rather tall, Sachiko rested both elbows against the bar-surface and pushed both curled hands into her cheeks to lean against. It was only just then though that she heard him speak up, offering a taste of the drink he had. "Won’t Nana get mad?" she quizzed him with a curious look, "Suppose a tiny bit wouldn’t hurt, huh?" To say the least she was easily swayed despite knowing what the older girl would say. But hey, maybe she wouldn’t find out?

"Aren’t you gonna go to that thing?" Sachiko asked, pushing herself up onto her knees to get head-level with the glass. "Won’t they miss you for not being there?" Who even were ‘they’ exactly? She didn’t know, but could guess enough that some of the other clans would most likely be going. But Arata had a serious face for a single, brief moment. She noticed it out the corner of her eye when daring not to stare directly at him, and before the older male realized and opted to alter his expression. Whatever the cause behind it was, at the very least Sachiko knew it was something important.

But whatever, right? All that mattered was that she was here with Arata and that was just the coolest. A warm and noticeable smile spread over her features as Sachiko stuck out her tongue and attempted to sample the strange coloured drink. Wobbling slightly the girl quickly balanced herself against the edge of the bar, and just as fast wiping an arm over her mouth with a momentary look of disgust. "Ewwww, that stuff is icky! You can’t drink that Rat!" she scolded him, sliding off her knees and letting both legs dangle off the side of the seat. "Hey, what we gonna do today anyway?"



Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nakano Yuka Character Portrait: Arata Utagawa Character Portrait: Sachiko Yano
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#, as written by Elision
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Nakano.Yuka
Dialogue #FFCC8F
Thoughts #F96B6B





Mornings after the late shift was by far Nana's least favorite part of running the bed and breakfast. Sprawled with half her body barely even on top of the bed, the woman was not ready to start the day when her alarm blared once again. Then again, who ever really is? However, after the fifth time hitting snooze that morning, she was sure her charges would be getting peckish.

Reluctantly slipping out of her ever so comfortable pajamas into the uniform imposed on her by her father followed by her excessively long morning routine, she was finally ready to face the world. Albeit, all the makeup in the world could never qualm the irritable creature that crawls out of her bed every morning. That was caffeine's job.

Making a bee line straight to the bar. Nana had every intent to start off her day well, after a cup of coffee of course. This was ruined by a certain someone who had completely ignored the sign on the door and took the liberty to begin to drain her bar, coaxing the little girl who accompanied him into joining in on the drinking. Giving him a key was by far one of her greatest regrets.


"She's right. You can't drink that, Rat." Nana shot a glare towards the King that had been taking advantage of her precious bar. "Get a drinking partner your own age. Maybe you'd be able to find one if you went somewhere that's actually open. When the sign says closed, it isn't a suggestion." Geez, she couldn't even leave them alone for more than a minute. Somehow she hadn't gotten any grey hair from the constant scolding she had to do. At this point she was beginning to think that has more to do with the fact she dyes her hair so often that her true hair color is never seen, than any miraculous strength of hers.

"Do you know if Tooru's up yet?" The boy was the only one of the residents not yet present, it wouldn't make sense to make a large breakfast if the boy was already out. Wasting food was basically the same thing wasting money. "Chiko, honey, what would you like to eat."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nakano Yuka Character Portrait: Mira Saromi Character Portrait: Arata Utagawa Character Portrait: Sachiko Yano Character Portrait: Daisuke O'Connor Character Portrait: Kita Tooru
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#, as written by cl.love


KITA TOORU



Image I'm fireproof; because of you. ✘ ✘ ✘


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XXXXXi Theme: Wildifre by JubyPhonic
Xi Dialogue : #FF4500 | Thought : #FF8C00
XXXXii. FC: Hinata Shouyou | Haikyuu!!
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Tooru, having stayed up late the night before reading Red Robin's newest novel, had appropriately slept the day away in the room he shared with Sachiko. When he finally did wake up from his slumber, it was almost ten, and he thought it was a miracle that Nana hadn't come in and woken him up yet. Then again, she'd been up late as well so it was possible she wasn't awake yet either, despite being the owner of the Bed & Breakfast hotel they all lived in. XX
Sitting up and yawning loudly, Tooru glared at the bright sun pouring through the window. I wish it were raining. Rain made for an easy excuse to stay indoors and read or watch cartoons with Sachiko. Not that he wouldn't do that anyways, but an excuse made in more acceptable in his mind. Tooru got out of bed slowly, not bothering to neaten his covers before dressing himself and heading downstairs. He found Sachiko, Arata, and Nana all at the bar. XXX
"Ohayo!" Tooru said, surprisingly chipper despite having only just woken up. He took a seat next to Sachiko and mimicked her position, leaning his head in his hands with his elbows on the bar. Nana was starting to make breakfast, and Arata's expression said he'd probably just been scolded, though that certainly wasn't uncommon. "Uta-san, wasn't there a funeral today? Aren't we going?" XX
The answer to his question was more or less obvious, judging by the way Arata reacted, so Tooru moved on to another topic, though said topic wasn't really much different. "Hey, you know those murders Scepter 4 was talking about? How come no one from HOMRA's been killed? It seems like there's been someone from every other clan, but not ours...not that that's a bad thing. I don't want anyone from HOMRA to get killed." Tooru said, genuinely curious. XX
Tooru had never been great at realizing when to change the subject, at least not when people's distaste for a conversation wasn't glaringly obvious. And so he patiently waited for a response, idly swinging his legs back and forth in his seat. I wonder if Mira-san or Daisuke-san went to funeral...aw, now I wanna go! XX

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nakano Yuka Character Portrait: Arata Utagawa Character Portrait: Sachiko Yano Character Portrait: Sora Arakida Character Portrait: Kita Tooru
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SORA ARAKIDA

Five minutes after the funeral and Sora was already lost. She knew she shouldn't have let go of her parents' hands even momentarily to go and look at a stray cat, but what's done is done. Looking at the many pairs of legs towering above her, Sora tried to squeeze past and manoeuvre through to find someone from the gold clan. Would Alastair and Mira have already noticed her disappearance? Possibly not, because Alastair and Mira had other things to do. Katsuo will be too busy taking care of his little Sister, it looks like she was on her own with this once.

Surprisingly, Sora was alright with that. The event was boring even for her, spending her time playing cat's cradle obediently on the chair while her parents went to offer their condolences. It wasn't a huge surprise that the girl decided to wander off on her own. Her only worry was about disobeying her parents as she skipped off, heading out to play. After saying hello to some stray cats on the streets, Sora arrived at the bread and breakfast, the place where the HOMRA clan congregated.

She was always warned against going there for some reason, but Sora didn't mind HOMRA. Her Friend was in there after all. Sachiko was cheerful and strong, she always knew what to do or play. Knocking on the door politely before she peeked out, Sachiko headed to the bar table a little hesitantly. Not all of them are huge fans of her clan, after all, for reasons that Sora didn't understand. Alastair was a nice man for as Long as she remembered, and Sora had knew him all her life. Remembering Mira's lessons to be confident and mind her manners, Sora dipped her head down in a small bow. "Good morning! Can I play with Sacchan?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nakano Yuka Character Portrait: Arata Utagawa Character Portrait: Sachiko Yano Character Portrait: Sora Arakida Character Portrait: Kita Tooru
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#, as written by Kapento
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Dialogue ┆ #993333 | Thought ┆ #CC0033


”Well,” dropping his head sideways Arata gazed down at the small girl. ”We can do whatever you want, Sachiko.” he said while leaning back, and drawing the glass away from the child. Honestly, it was always so refreshing having a young mind around the place. He could even remember himself at that age, and realized now how more difficult adults were. Speaking of which, it was only just then that the owner emerged and was quick to scold the pair – or rather only him. But Arata just let the whole thing bounce off him like it was nothing. ”Someone woke on the wrong side of the bed,” he remarked, setting the glass down on the bar. ”Anyway, why give me a key if you don't want me to use it? I was doing you a favour.”

His thoughts were interrupted for a moment as Tooru appeared then, practically answering Nana's question on the nail. But towards the boys own inquiry the King merely gave a bored, ”I'm not going,” before spinning round fully on his seat away from the bar. ”If no one from HOMRA has been killed then that must mean the killer is from HOMRA,” Arata continued minutes after, addressing the young clansman. ”You know that's what they'll be thinking, right?” It was hard to tell who he meant exactly, but it was hardly the first time HOMRA would be on the short end of something. If there was blame to be given they certainly got their fair share of it. That much nobody could deny. ”Anyway, the funeral's not a big deal. It's just a sad gathering,” he sighed, tapping an irritable finger against the bar in hectic rhythm. ”But... if you really want to go I won't stop you, Tooru. You could be our eyes and ears there if you're up for it,” Arata suggested, tossing it out there to see the boys reaction.

There was an unexpected knock at the door following after that, and Arata quickly grew curious over who it was that visited them at such a time. Of course, his expression flipped the moment a golden-haired child appeared before them, and right away he recognized them from the Gold Clan. ”Sora, right?” It was the little girl around Sachiko's age, having heard her name in passing on the street, and whom also he recalled was friends with their young strain. Even Arata couldn't deny Sachiko a friend, even if it was from Alastairs' bunch. Though that wasn't to say he didn't tell her the troubles that came with befriending an opposing clan-member. ”Why not? I don't see the problem in having some fun for now,” he grinned, realizing that Alastair probably wouldn't enjoy the thought of having one of his own under HOMRA'S roof; if he was even aware of the little girl being away. ”Oh, and this ain't the Palace. You don't need to bow here kid.”

With that said he sprung his attention back into the direction of his right hand, hoping that the woman had forgiven him some in the handful of minutes. ”Now, what was that about food, Nana? Do I get a breakfast on the house or what?” He was pushing his luck and he knew it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nakano Yuka Character Portrait: Arata Utagawa Character Portrait: Sachiko Yano Character Portrait: Sora Arakida Character Portrait: Kita Tooru
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Sachiko Yano

Dialogue ⋄ #CC9966
Thought ⋄ #CC9999



”Don't be mad at Rat, it wasn't all his fault... I guess.” Sachiko quietly coughed up and puffed out both cheeks, speaking in-defence of the older man. She always did, though. If just to spare the King some of Nana's wrath from time to time. ”I won't do it again anyway, it tasted super gross and even burned my throat a bit! Disgusting! Yuck!” Poking her tongue out for added effect the girl just smiled to the man and then turned to the woman. ”Tooru is somewhere,” she answered with an inquisitive look, and then all of a sudden, ”Oh, there they are!”

The bright orange-haired figure appeared in the room at that very instant and Sachiko welcomed them with an equally bright, inviting smile. ”Hi Tooru!” she giggled and observed the fellow clansman seating beside her at the bar. Whilst they questioned the King though, Sachiko immediately faced back to Nana at the mentioning of food. ”Ooh, uh, I dunno,” the girl paused to think, seeming to fall rather deep in thought over something as simple as breakfast. ”Maybe pancakes? Can I have those? What about toast too? With chocolate sauce! Uhh, what else...”

When a knock occurred at the door unexpectedly Sachiko sprung up from the bar and straightened her back. It was Sora! The girl she had gotten pally with from the Gold Clan. Sachiko had been mightily thankful that Arata had allowed them to hang out despite being in opposite clans. Of course she had to persuade him, but that wasn't too hard. ”Sora, Sora! It's so cool to see you,” she grinned quite silly before hopping off the bar-stool and springing forward to the other girl. In moments her arms were wrapped around the golden-haired lass, as if never wanting to let her friend go. ”How are you? What you been up to? Tell me, tell me! Oh.”

Realizing that she might have been depriving the girl of breath, Sachiko released Sora a moment after and stepped back, still with a goofy grin to her features. ”Nana, can Sora eat with us? Please? Oh! We could eat in the sitting room and see what's on TV? Oh please, how about it Sora? There's this new show I gotta show you.” Excitedly she tugged on the other girls arm, shooting the most convincing pleading stare she could muster towards Nana. ”Rat says it's cool, so it's ok, right?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nakano Yuka Character Portrait: Mira Saromi Character Portrait: Alastair Payne Character Portrait: Arata Utagawa Character Portrait: Sachiko Yano Character Portrait: Sora Arakida Character Portrait: Daisuke O'Connor Character Portrait: Kita Tooru
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#, as written by cl.love


DAISUKE AND TOORU



✘ ✘ ✘ Because I'm too lazy to write two separate posts. Image


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XXXXXi Theme: Crawl by Veltpunch
X Dialogue : #EE1D24 | Thought : #959595
XXX FC: Aizawa Kouichi | Nabari no O


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XXXXXi Theme: Wildifre by JubyPhonic
Xi Dialogue : #FF4500 | Thought : #FF8C00
XXXXii. FC: Hinata Shouyou | Haikyuu!!
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"If no one from HOMRA has been killed then that must mean the killer is from HOMRA," Tooru bristled at the response, not wanting to believe that someone from their clan might be the culprit. "You know that's what they'll be thinking, right?" "I guess so. HOMRA always gets blamed when bad things happen, its actually pretty unfair. Its like every other clan has it out for us or something..." XX
Ever since Tooru had become a member of the Red Clan, and apparently even before then, HOMRA was always the first to be blamed when something went wrong in the city. Yes, HOMRA was technically a gang, and yes, they did get into fights quite often, but more so with their own members than anyone else. They didn't have any reason to go around terrorizing civilians or whatnot. XX
"Anyway, the funeral's not a big deal. It's just a sad gathering," Tooru thought back to the reason for the funeral. The former Grey King had been an important person, that he knew, and now that he'd been killed, everyone was pointing fingers at HOMRA just like usual. Only this time it was for an actual crime. It would make sense that Arata wouldn't want to attend the funeral, with all the rumors spreading about. I guess there's not really any reason to go. XX
"But... if you really want to go I won't stop you, Tooru. You could be our eyes and ears there if you're up for it." At that, Tooru grinned, a bit of an odd reaction to being more or less invited to a funeral. In reality, he was just excited to be given a job by his King, after all, Arata was his idol. "Okay! I'll go and eavesdrop on everyone's conversations and figure out whose spreading all the rumors about HOMRA being the one behind the killings! I'll be back later!" XX
And then he was off, grinning in happy pride and almost trampling poor Sora on his way out the door. "Ah, Sora-chan! Sacchan's inside, if you're looking for her~" Flashing her a friendly smile, Tooru headed toward the funeral home. XXXX
Daisuke really didn't expect Alastair to reply - after all, it would be in the older man's nature to ignore his accusation - so he was already turned around, ready to walk away, when the Gold King spoke. "I'm sorry, I've just been shaken with grief over losing her. Plus I didn't sleep to well last night. Besides, if those two bullshit excuses aren't doing it for you, have you ever considered that I couldn't give a rats ass about what the damn sign says?" Ah, he's angry. XX
Daisuke turned back to face Alastair and crossed his arms over his chest. "Obviously you don't care about what the sign says, there's no need for me to point that out." Honestly, it wasn't as if anyone had to actually ask, the fact he was smoking at all obviously meant he couldn't care less about a rule that was put up to prohibit his hobby. A hobby Daisuke disliked for very decent reasons. XX
"Or...were you just worried over a devilishly handsome guy like me rotting away? Little Snow White couldn't bear to see such a man wasting away on her watch." Daisuke was appalled by the statement, in more ways than one, but made no outward hint other than an annoyed 'tch' and a twitching brow. "Of course not. The only thing I'm worried about is your nasty habit giving something asthma and possibly making the funeral home smell like a bonfire." XXXX
At that moment, Daisuke caught notice of Mira approaching, and decided then was the best time to leave, not willing to deal with her high-and-mighty attitude at the moment. He scanned the crowd for his parents, and found them consoling some crying patrons, so he let them be and instead went off in search of something to do. He wasn't about to leave without them. He was actually considering starting a conversation with Miu, who was seemingly all alone at the moment, when he noticed Tooru approaching the ceremony. XXX
Daisuke smiled, understanding that it must have taken a decent amount of courage to attend when just about everyone was looking for a reason to hate on the Red Clan. "Good afternoon, Kita-kun. I'm afraid you missed the official ceremony, but the burial is meant to happen soon, if that's what you've come for." He said, ruffling Tooru's hair with a grin. Tooru deflated a little knowing he had missed the actual funeral, but lovely blonde hair captured his attention. XXXX
Its Mira-san! Simply the sight of Mira was enough to make Tooru turn bright red, even the tips of his ears flushed with color, and Daisuke took a moment to laugh at the younger boy's obvious crush. "You know, if you like her, you should try and talk to her. If you get to know her, she might like you back." "Really?!" Daisuke nodded, and Tooru grinned, hopping over to where Mira was stood. XX
Of course, his confidence faltered halfway there, and he found himself standing between his crush and the scary Gold King with his knees shaking and his face flushed red. "U-uh..." He turned to Mira with an expression of pure terror, and then bowed deeply, stuttering out: "S-sorry for your loss!" before scrambling back to Daisuke, who watched with amusement. How pathetic... XX

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nakano Yuka Character Portrait: Arata Utagawa Character Portrait: Sachiko Yano Character Portrait: Sora Arakida Character Portrait: Kita Tooru
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#, as written by Elision
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Nakano.Yuka
Dialogue #FFCC8F
Thoughts #F96B6B





One of Nana's questions was answered almost immediately by the redheaded boy who entered the room. Having made her coffee and downed half of it, she was no longer in bear mode like she had been moments ago. A bit more awake now than she was earlier.

"Pancakes and toast it'll be then." Smiling down at the little girl, Nana couldn't help but feel a bit happier. Sachiko was a little bit of relief in the sea of men and boys that made up HOMRA. If it were up to her the whole of the organization would be made up of kids, they'd probably get into less trouble than the current members at least.

A knock on the door pulled her attention away from the shelves she was pulling the pancake ingredients from. A blonde girl peered into the room, giving a cute little bow and asking if she could play with Sachi. Sora was the girls name if she could recall, Sachi had brought the girl by to play before. The other girl may be a member of Timeless Palace, but holding a child accountable for their clan was something only stick in the muds like Scepter Four would do.


"Of course Sora can stay to eat with us. If you two want you can even use the big television here." About to turn back to whip together breakfast, she stopped as a question popped into her head. "Sora, are pancakes okay with you? You don't have any, allergies right?" Having a bunch of angry Golds banging on her door because she got sick didn't exactly appeal to her.

Of course HOMRA's King would take this as an invitation that he should get some free food as well.
"Fine, just this time though. Don't come by expecting handouts now, okay? Tooru had left without eating after all, she could afford to make a bit extra for the man. As long as he didn't start making a habit of coming by for freebies. "What are you doing here so early anyways? Other than cleaning out my bar for free, that is. Those drinks are going on your tab by the way, we do have security cameras you know? Not that she actually expected him to pay it anytime soon.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nakano Yuka Character Portrait: Arata Utagawa Character Portrait: Sachiko Yano Character Portrait: Sora Arakida Character Portrait: Kita Tooru
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#, as written by Kapento
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Dialogue ┆ #993333 | Thought ┆ #CC0033


Heh, they're cute.' Curiously observing the young duo with only a subtle grin giving away what he thought, the man could easily tell that Sachiko was over the moon at the mere presence of the other little girl. Arata couldn't blame her though. After all when was the last time his youngest member got someone their own age to hang around with? Sora was all the girl had and there was only so much he could offer her in that sense. Plus Tooru was already off and away to the funeral at that moment, even if it was a bit strange that the boy was incredibly eager to be there. But Arata didn't think much of it. ”Well you sure know how to make someone feel welcome here Nana,” he sighed a bit, not overly surprised that the little Gold Clan girl got a warmer reception than him. The woman really did have a soft spot for the children and he could appreciate that, although that generous nature didn't seem to stretch to the adults as often; even the King it appeared.

”Anyway... where else would I be?” Arata remarked and leaned on the bar, folding his arms against the edge and pushing on them. ”You'd only miss me if I didn't come here and nowhere else was open. So I just figured I'd let myself in.” Nana was such a nagging woman. But she sure did keep HOMRA in line which was something; even Arata possibly needed her more than he would ever let on. ”Yeah, yeah. I get it already. You know I'm good for it?” He flashed a reassuring grin to the girl and hoped that was enough to keep her satisfied. It wasn't like he didn't want to pay or couldn't, but Arata always found this way more amusing. He'd often do it with quite a few people actually, though he half wondered why some put up with his antics.

Arata kept still while sitting perched at the bar, watching as Nana made sure the young girl wasn't allergic to anything before going off to attend to the breakfast. She really was a sweet young woman, wasn't she? It was almost a pity she had him for King. ”Must be kinda' boring here for you kids, huh?” he causally asked the pair of girls, his mind already sunk in thought. He never really knew what it was Sachiko did around the Bed and Breakfast for entertainment in his absence; heaven forbid Nana let the child have any proper fun! But then again Arata could hardly imagine Alastair letting little Sora have any fun either.

No wonder the poor kid comes here.' Arata mused when leaning back in his seat rather quietly, raising both hands slightly and then quickly motioning some gestures at his little follower. Oh no, they weren't sign language. If anything it was almost complete gibberish to an unassuming eye; yet with enough refinement that a ten year old could just grasp it. Seemingly Arata had taught her something useful from all those afternoons together, a thing that only they would know and share. ”Think I'll just get some air or something. Funerals, you know. They can get to you,” it might have been the lamest excuse he could use, if not one of the most obvious lies he could tell, but Arata swiftly rose from his seat and slipped down onto the floor. ”Oh and don't burn the toast Nana,” he called over his shoulder towards the direction of the kitchen, before slinking out the door that lead out to the back area of the building. What am I even doing? Heh.'

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nakano Yuka Character Portrait: Arata Utagawa Character Portrait: Sachiko Yano Character Portrait: Sora Arakida
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Sachiko Yano

Dialogue ⋄ #CC9966
Thought ⋄ #CC9999



”Awesome. Your pancakes are the best Nana.” Sachiko grinned from ear to ear almost identically to the Cheshire cat she had heard about from stories. She was giggly and full of butterflies and right now nothing could dampen her spirits; all the girl knew was that she was happy inside. Suddenly and unexpectedly, that was usually the greatest type of happiness, right? Sachiko believed so. ”Cool, thanks Nana.” Beaming another smile to the woman, the girl moved her gaze between the two females every few minutes. She was never good at multitasking after all, but she tried her best and made sure to look extra conscious of what was going on.

”It's not boring at all Rat,” Sachiko answered the man a little while after, her large orbs glued to the figure who sat so high and mightily on the bar-stool over by. Woah. He really is a King. The best-est King. She thought proudly in her little wondering mind, appearing just the tiniest bit awed when observing the very person she had chosen to be her role model. Well, one of them. Nana was also awesome, and Tooru. She wanted to be like them all, really. ”It's really fun here and I wish you'd come more often,” she continued shortly after, ”Nana let's me help her and I can do all-sorts of cool stuff here, duh!”

She made a face at the man, before offering a sudden curious look of intrigue when Arata appeared to be giving her hand signs. It took her a moment to digest it, but Sachiko quickly clicked. O-Oh! It's the thing! It was the special language that she had made-up once when Arata was watching her some time ago, though it was only created to purely amuse themselves and make secret remarks behind Nana's back. But the girl knew it for sure and offered a nod. She understood, giving in return her own tiny, quick hand offerings to confirm. Gotcha, Rat. Flicking wrists and bending and shaping fingers. Oo-Kaaaay.

She turned to the girl. ”Psst. Sora, wanna go have some fun? Like, an adventure?” she inquired in a whispered voice to her friend, once she knew Nana wasn't looking. That was key after all. They had to sneak, tip-toe even. ”You gotta be quiet though.” They had to be like ninjas to evade Nana's keen eyesight. Sachiko only knew that all too well. ”Follow me.” Thankfully Sachiko was a fast little monster in her own right. She maneuvered through the room with apparent ease and slunk her way around the bar and over to the door Arata had used only moments before. Waiting for Sora, the girl lingered by the door only briefly, keeping a close eye out for her friend, before nudging the door open for the pair and pushing her way out through it.

”Rat!” the girl cried with a uncontrolled gasp, hurrying over to the tall mans side and burrowing her small hand into the welcoming warmth and protection of his own. ”Don't leave without us,” Sachiko said, entwining her tiny fingers with his. ”We go together.” The city always did scare Sachiko, even just ever so slightly. The streets were dangerous... or rather they use to be, that was before Rat had come and made them all safe for her. But even so the girl still clung to his hand for dear life. ”Sora, you can hold his other hand if you want? Rat will keep us safe.” Sachiko had learned how difficult being on the streets could be and that was why she lingered by the mans side constantly, because he always kept her safe. Just the memory of it caused her to squeeze Arata's hand a little.


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Arata Utagawa Character Portrait: Sachiko Yano Character Portrait: Sora Arakida
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Sachiko Yano
_______
Arata Utagawa



Feeling the sudden presence of a much smaller hand in his own, and as well as that all too familiar voice that owned it, Arata turned to gaze down at the little girl. ”Like I’d ever leave you hanging behind?” He grinned at her, before giving a quick glance to the other small girl on his other side. When it seemed that everything was set he then asked, ”So, ready to go you two?” It was strange to seem so perky all of a sudden; more over considering that they were heading for a funeral. Was that weird?

Sachiko turned and smiled in the direction of Sora. ”Yeah, we’re good to go.” The girl beamed an encouraging smile back up to the man, gripping and squeezing his hand dearly. When about to step ahead she swung their entangled hands together and continued marching forward, the other two following with her. ”Though there’s something I’ve been wondering,” Sachiko spoke up shortly after as the three walked, her young mind busily pondering away quite curiously. With large eyes she stared up at Arata and managed for the most part to keep up with his long strides, her own little ones putting double the effort in to maintain pace. ”Why didn’t you wanna go to this thing where we’re going? You didn’t look happy before.”

”It’s nothing Chiko,” Arata assured her, if only a bit. ”You really shouldn’t watch me as much, you know, there’s no need to worry about it. I’m feeling ok now, right?”

She looked at him with hooded eyes. ”But you lie.” She insisted, unsure of what exactly she meant. For as long as she had known him Arata had often told fibs with his words, but as well he did something else occasionally. It was as if his own face could be dishonest at times. Sachiko couldn’t fully describe it, but she noticed it often. ”Is it ok if I lie too?”

”About what?” He asked, while seeming amused by her question. ”What have you got to lie about?” She was the most honest person he knew. Well, as honest as Sachiko could be without his influence. But she was still young, and lying was never her forte, not exactly. But he’d change that soon enough.

”Well I dunno,” the girl puffed her cheeks a little when musing over it, ”but when I find something to lie about I've decided that I won't tell you, ok? I won’t tell anyone. Well, I will. But I’ll lie about it. Right?” Sachiko remarked rather confidently, even flashing a cheeky smile to her friend, Sora. You wouldn't have guessed that they were going to a funeral, not with all these grins and smiles.

He just nodded and chuckled. ”Sure, whatever you say. Y'know, if you work at it, maybe you might actually deceive me, eh?” As he said that, Arata quickly came to a halt by the side of the pavement and allowed the passing cars to continue on by them, making sure that both girls were still safely at his sides. Last thing he needed was something to happen to them, knowing his luck. But at least Arata was on top of things for now.

”Nana says to always look both ways before crossing the road,” Sachiko informed them, believing the woman’s words to be law. And if you knew Nana then you'd know that to be true. ”Rat, you didn’t look both ways! You only looked forward! Didn't you get road safety when you were my age? Geez.”

”Hey, I’m checking both ways now. ok?” Arata assured the girl, quickly checking either side of the road for any oncoming vehicles. Luckily there was only the one approaching. ”After this one we can cross, if that’s alright with you? Wouldn’t want to go against Nana now, would we. You'd likely tell her too, wouldn't you?” He replied, staring down at the girl.

”I’m sure she’d appreciate that you think that, Rat.” She remarked and tugged on his hand. ”But it's only 'cause I want to keep you safe is all, don’t be mad… I didn't mean to be a tattletale.” Sachiko protested and then looked straight ahead and prepared herself.

Moments after and as the car passed the trio, Sachiko headed the march across the road and dragged the older man along with her and the other girl. She never liked it when she annoyed the King, if she did that was. But then it wasn’t exactly anything new in knowing how often Arata and Nana bickered between themselves. In a way they were like her mother and father since both usually tried to do what was best for her. But the girl never enjoyed taking sides.

Arata followed, and once reaching the other side and mounting the pavement, he turned to the girl and shot a concerned look down at her. ”You ok?” He asked, forcing a smile. ”Come on, we're almost there you two. Let's keep going.”

Producing a smile of her own, Sachiko bucked herself up and kept walking at his side. A wave of reassurance melting over her fine features as the girl then suddenly felt the urge to ask. ”What will it be like there? Will people be nice to us? Like... Sora's from the Gold bunch, so they'd obviously like her. But we're HOMRA...” Even a kid could pick up on the subtle unwelcoming nature of the other clans. What did they do to deserve it? Sachiko never appreciated it when people looked down on her family and much less talked ill of them, especially Rat. ”You're the greatest Rat. I know you won't let them get away with anything, will you?”

”Course not.” Arata said after, grinning to himself. ”People can think what they like about us, can't they? Just remember to not take any notice of anyone talking trash about us, right? Mind what I told you.”

”That it's enough for us to know we're the best and pity for the rest?” She pondered to him before just then remembered something. Clearly something rather important. ”Oh, will we find Tooru there?”

”We might.” He answered and then recalled their orange-headed member, knowing that they had rushed off to the funeral earlier, quite eagerly. ”So why don't you keep an eye out for Tooru? See if you can spot him there. How's that sound?”

Sachiko accepted the challenge and thrived from the hunt of finding Tooru. ”Uh-huh!” If she got the chance she'd defiantly keep her eyes peeled for her friend. However right then at that instant her eyes caught the glimpse of people pouring out of what looked like a busy area. She even recognized a few if only just and quickly tugged on the mans' hand again when approaching the curb and arriving at yet another road. This time though it was more busier than the last. ”Rat?”

Without even needing to be lectured about it, Arata darted his gaze down both sides, taking note of which cars were coming. They were just across from where the ceremony had been held, but it looked as if people were still around. Once the road seemed clear, he motioned for the pair to follow as they crossed over, heading for the almost crowed area. ”Mind not to talk to any weirdo's?”

”Or super boring people. Hey, that reminds me, will we see Scepter 4?” Sachiko giggled and hurried up beside him, still clutching onto his hand. She had never been to this sort of event before, whatever it actually was and so naturally she was just a bit curious to get there and explore. ”Is everyone gonna be there? Ooh, let's go already! Come on Sora!” Releasing his hand a minute after and springing ahead excitedly, Sachiko hurried herself over and invaded the unfamiliar area that was packed with bodies everywhere.

Although everyone seemed a bit down and a few even in tears, the girl looked beyond that and everything else and eyed up all that there was to see. She even saw a few kings! And other members from a variety of clans. ”Move it, slowpokes!” She called back loudly and waved them over.

Sighing, Arata folded both hands behind his back and followed on after the excited child. ”Chiko, cool it.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sachiko Yano Character Portrait: Gensai Riku Character Portrait: Tanabata Emi Character Portrait: Nao Morizakawa Character Portrait: Yukimura Hisako Character Portrait: Cyneric Ozu
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The second Emi touched Nao's hair, Nao froze, whole body stilling unnaturally as if he were a character on tv and someone had pressed the pause button. But it only lasted less than an instant - in a second he was pulling back, blinking in surprise and smiling as if nothing was wrong, although his eyes held a bit of irritation and confusion. That moment had happened so fast that anybody not looking would have missed it, and anybody looking wouldn't have realised it unless they were specifically looking for it. Nao fell back a couple of steps, smile hiding the torment going on in his head.

First - irritation. Emi had touched his hair. Repeat - Emi had ruffled his hair like a child (alright, he was thirteen - or fourteen, who knows - but he wasn't a child! He was a preteen! Not a child!) and his ponytail, as perfect as he could tie it as taught by Naoko during the past year, was now.... not perfect. What if Riku noticed? Riku liked perfection! And as his saviour was good at being perfect Nao was doing his best to emulate him and now it was gone.

And did Nao mention that he was being treated like a child? Which he wasn't - he had done things no kid should do, which meant he wasn't a kid like everyone thought he was! So there!

Second - it actually felt kinda... good. Like praise. Weird. Nao resisted the urge to reach a hand up to his head to check his hair- not yet.

Third...

Calm down, heart. She's the Blue King. She's not... them. Being pat on the head is ok and not a threat.

"Ok!" Nao chirped cheerfully instead. Damn, his escape path was gone.... Or maybe not. Nao took a deep breath, shoulders tensing as he steeled himself. "But you might get hungry on the way, so I'll see if i can take some for you before you go!" He said brightly, beaming his biggest sincerest smile, and with that he turned tail and walked towards the snack area as fast as he could without looking like he was running. "I'm also hungry, so I'll get some for myself too!" He said cheerfully behind his shoulder, trying not to think of whether he was going to get punished for taking the initiative for this step. It was only after he was out of sight and a good time away that Nao slowed to a normal walking pace, allowing the smile to drop from his face with a smile.

It had taken a bit long, but Nao had eventually learnt that it was ok to ask for things, ok to eat more than what he needed to survive, ok to just... y'know. Ask shit. Talk back. But this was new territory, and it was still a bit nervewracking testing the boundaries.

A lot of things were nervewracking, if Nao had the will to admit it.

Not the time, however. Bringing his hands up to his hair with a sigh, Nao neatened his ponytail the best he could with only his hands for a comb. Then he went to grab snacks - small cakes, peanuts, small finger sandwhiches. There were a few left over, and Nao wasted no time loading some into a convenient plastic bag for takeaway, stuffing a few into his cheeks too. He hadn't been kidding about wanting some himself. Chewing thoughtfully on a chocolate roll (mmmchocolate), Nao was making his way back when a man flung his arms wide, nearly smacking him in the face.

Almost instinctively, Nao dodged back, hands raising up and curling into fists as he prepared himself for a punch - but no, it was just a man gesturing expressively to his friends, letting out a hearty roar of laughter. Even as Nao watched they were already fading away into the crowd. With a frown, Nao dropped his hands - only to realise that he had accidentally knocked someone over when he had taken a flashstep back.

Whoops.

He looked down. What he saw was a small child with brown hair - a girl around a head shorter than him who looked familiar. Taking a step back, Nao's eyebrows wrinkled. "Sorry, for knocking you over," he said, sounding only a little apologetic. He had bumped into her, after all. "Watch where you're going next time, please," he added, only remembering to use 'please' at the last moment. Tucking the plastic bag of snacks into his belt as if it were a strap on pouch, Nao hesitated a bit before bringing a hand out towards her for the girl to take.

Helping people up was what Riku would have done, after all.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sachiko Yano Character Portrait: Nao Morizakawa
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Sachiko Yano

Dialogue ⋄ #CC9966
Thought ⋄ #CC9999


Sachiko had been too focused on Rat and Sora behind her to notice that someone was approaching from the front and further still had managed to topple her over with a good amount of force. She actually only felt it by the time she hit the ground and got a bump to her forehead from it, before quickly after partially sitting up and supporting herself on both hands. ”Owe,” she said out of instinct and looked up when hearing a voice. It was a boy and a rather familiar one at that; she swore that she recognized the face from somewhere. ”But you walked into me, so you’re the one who’s suppose to watch where they’re going.” Sachiko advised with an eyebrow raised at the kid. They talked funny, after all. Was the boy complaining or apologizing? She giggled a little because of it and found it to be quite amusing deep down, if only to her and no one else.

When he offered a hand out to her Sachiko only glanced at it briefly, exchanging stares between the hand and their face before giving a light shake of her head. ”Oh don’t worry I got it,” she assured him and grinned widely. Without trying to seem rude about it the girl brought both knees in and pushed off from her hands, scrambling upright once more and brushing herself down all the same without his assistance. It was only then that it hit her apparently. A sudden gasp escaping the girl as she spun round to face him.

”Ooh you’re that girl!” She remarked suddenly and then promptly corrected with, ”I mean boy! From Scepter 4!” Honestly he looked like a girl half the time and Sachiko never put much thought into it. Who cared enough? Heck his hair was possibly even longer than hers, you know. That was something. But in a swift moment her expression quickly adjusted. ”You oughta watch where you’re going, you knocked me over! Geez.” The girl protested at once to him, her own inner fiery spirit partly coming alive right there and then. It was one thing to get pushed over by some boy, but another thing entirely if it was Scepter 4. ”Don’t they teach you to be more observant and other super boring stuff? Heh,” as if contemplating making a prime example in the spur of the moment, she had spied the plastic bag of snacks tucked into his belt and grinned yet again. ”If you're not careful I'll have that too!” Sachiko challenged with an amused tone. That'd sure teach him. Mr. Not-Really-Paying-Attention. Hm.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sachiko Yano Character Portrait: Nao Morizakawa
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Morizukawa Nao
speaking: blue | thought: darkblue





Ah. "Well, if you say so." Nao responded neutrally, withdrawing his hand as the girl stood up with a smile on her face. His neutral look hid a twinge of hurt-annoyance (so what if she rejected his hand, she didn't need it anyway) that quickly faded away. She seemed pretty robust for her age, as well as cheerful. She also didn't seem hurt. Well, in that case there was no point in sticking around here. Face neutral, he turned around, ready to head back to Riku-san and the others when-

"Ooh you're that girl! I mean boy! From Sceptre 4!"

Nao froze midturn, eyes going wide as he registered the comment. Behind him, the small girl continued to chatter, words only vaguely heard and registered as the offending comment swirled in his mind like whipped cream on coffee. For a couple of seconds, nothing was felt, but then suddenly a spark of irritation was in him.

Oooh you're that girl! Girl. Girl. GIRL.

Remember what you promised. Deep breaths.


Nao whirled back around to face the brown-haired pipsqueak who called him a girly-looking kid (an exaggeration), eyebrows twitching in anger and annoyance blazing in his eyes. "Oi, kid." Raising an eyebrow that was twitching with irritation, Nao gestured to himself, pointing out his suit, shirt and pants. "Does this look like a dress to you?" he asked sarcastically. Before the HOMRA child could reply, he continued, voice extremely annoyed, "No. And that is because its not a dress. So don't make the same mistake again next time.", he said angrily, completely ignoring the fact that he had features like a girl and long hair that was tied in a ponytail, which made him look about as male as a crossdresser, which was to say only marginally.

"And oh, they do teach us all that," He said faux-casually, slipping one hand into his pocket. "They even taught us how to see small children. Unfortunately, they didn't teach us how to see microbes, which was why I bumped into you." Nao said nastily, raising his chin and looking down at the girl (wait, she was from HOMRA!) with irritated eyes, straightening hs spine to stand at his full height to further accentuate the height difference. Then, in a tone that was completely unapologetic much like gossiping ladies of the middle ages who brought about upperclass damsel's downfalls through the power of badly-placed rumors: "I do apologise! Although I guess I shouldn't have expected much, since you're just a brat from HOMRA. It'll take you forever to even think about beating me." he boasted, crossing his arms with pride.

It was completely inappropriate to respond so badly to a small comment, but years of actively drowning out his emotions had caused Nao to have the emotional maturity of a two year old and years of carefully not thinking about responses of degrading comments, an astounding lack of education in levels followed by finally having the words 'girly' meant explained to him and how it factored in as an insult had caused Nao to not quite understand whether to react lightly or heavily for the varying levels of insults and thus respond to almost everything as if he were holding a blunt hammer to smash rocks with. Also, it was normal to respond as such if one was insulted, right? And she was HOMRA! And she insulted him first! So what he was doing was normal and thus it was entirely ok to lambast the girl in front of him!

Ha! See if she insults Sceptre 4 again.