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K Project; Fall Of The Grey King

Tokyo, Japan

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a part of K Project; Fall Of The Grey King, by Elision.

None

Elision holds sovereignty over Tokyo, Japan, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

891 readers have been here.

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

http://k-project.wikia.com/wiki/home

Setting

Default Location for K Project; Fall Of The Grey King
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Tokyo, Japan is a part of K Project; Fall Of The Grey King.

24 Characters Here

Sachiko Yano [21] HOMRA Strain
Mira Saromi [21] Gold Right Hand
Tanabata Emi [20] Scepter Four King
Cyneric Ozu [19] Silver King
Arata Utagawa [18] Red King
Kita Tooru [17] HOMRA Clansman
Nakano Yuka [15] HOMRA Right Hand
Nao Morizakawa [14] Sceptre4 Strain
Maeda Katsuo [14] Gold Clansmen
Alastair Payne [13] TIMELESS PALACE King

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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: Shizuka Hibiki Character Portrait: Maeda Katsuo 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: Ikeda Miu Character Portrait: Tanabata Emi Character Portrait: Maeda Katsuo
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#, as written by Elision
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Ikeda.Miu
Dialogue #FFAAD7
Thoughts #AAD7FF





Exiting the funeral home after the ceremony was probably the best feeling Miu had for weeks. Having anxiously clung to her brother's arm through the entire event, sobbing on and off, she couldn't say for sure her thoughts on the whole thing. The man in the casket was hardly recognizable to her, the face reassembled after the damage caused by the fire was one completely foreign to the girl.

Of the lines of people who had greeted her earlier, most had seemed more like plastic dolls rehearsing lines for a play than a truly sympathetic person. This excluded a few people of course, her brother had been periodically pulling her in for hugs and grasping her hand as if it were the only thing holding the girl in this world. The Blue King was also in attendance, as if she had formed a sort of pact with Katsuo to make sure Miu had an endless supply of bad tasting casseroles and bear hugs. As much as she disliked being touched so often, the two had made the last two weeks easier for her than it would have been otherwise.


"Katsuchi, I think I just want to go home." Miu told the elder boy. After that whole ordeal, a reception with a room of people who only spoke to her father because of his wealth was at the bottom of her list of things she wanted to do. The way the older men would speak to her only annoyed the girl, not to mention the fact she was well aware of exactly which of them had attempted to arrange her marriage with her father. Ridiculous.

After receiving brief instructions from Katsuo to stay put while he snuck off for a smoke, she whipped out the latest prototype of Ikeda International's new phone. Typing in a message to Nana before deleting it. Her friend had made it so clear even the socially inept girl could understand that she was no longer welcome within a two mile radius of the redhead. Instead, a bird perched a few feet away became her new conversation partner.


"Well hello there Kotori-San. How are you today?" Brandishing some of the bird seed she always carried around in her purse, the girl coaxed the tiny pigeon onto her hand. Carrying on a conversation with the bird as if it were a person, and actually responding to her of course.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ikeda Miu Character Portrait: Shizuka Hibiki Character Portrait: Maeda Katsuo
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#, as written by Elision
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Maeda.Katsuo
Dialogue #A60A00
Thoughts #D65E0D





The ceremony couldn't have been over sooner, with the fresh air helping to rejuvenate him after the stressful congregation. For the better part of the ceremony, Katsuo had been cradling a visibly distressed Miu during her fits of tears. This was understandable, of course, but it hurt him to see the small woman so torn up.

Planning on escorting the girl to the reception, he was about to raise his arm to hail a taxi when the small hand wrapped around his wrist. Expressing her wishes to go home, a sigh escaped his lips. Of course she wouldn't care to go through the proper motions,even if it was the sensible thing to do.
'Geez, why couldn't she just act normally for once.'

"Mi, sweetheart, you should really go." The elder boy insisted, putting on his sweetest voice. This, however, was shot down in seconds with a curt shake of the woman's head. Not willing to start an argument with the equivalent of a brick wall in public, Katsuo gave in, though he wasn't to happy for it. "Fine then, let me slip off for a moment for a smoke. Don't wander off, I'll be back soon." The lecture was one fit for a child, however, in his eyes Miu wasn't far from it. Sure, she was no fool, but she had found herself in bad parts of town before when she wandered off on a whim, albeit that was several years prior. Though she was older and able to handle herself now, he had dealt with those situations before, and wasn't to keen on replaying them for a second time.

The stroll to the smoking area was a brisk one, fearing that leaving his 'baby sister' alone for too long might allow some of the more unsavory characters to take advantage of his angel in such a fragile state. Collapsing onto one of the benches, his lighter flew out of his pocket like lightning.


"Yo." He greeted the other lone figure in the section. A conversation was probably the last thing he was seeking out, but it was also rude just to completely ignore the other person. The man could just cross his fingers and hope the person in question would be as opposed to speaking to him as he was them.

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: Shizuka Hibiki Character Portrait: Maeda Katsuo 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: Shizuka Hibiki Character Portrait: Maeda Katsuo 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: Shizuka Hibiki Character Portrait: Maeda Katsuo 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: Shizuka Hibiki Character Portrait: Maeda Katsuo 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: Shizuka Hibiki Character Portrait: Maeda Katsuo 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: Alastair Payne Character Portrait: Ikeda Miu Character Portrait: Tanabata Emi Character Portrait: Naoko Ita Character Portrait: Maeda Katsuo Character Portrait: Cyneric Ozu
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#, as written by Elision
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Tanabata.Emi
Dialogue #6495ED
Thoughts #FF7F50





As always, the Idol beat the sun in their eternal race to be the first to rise. Having stayed up all night chatting with one of her close friends on tour in America, it was a mystery as to how the girl managed to still be full of energy after barely sleeping a wink.

The gym on the lowest floor of her condo building was pretty well deserted at this hour. Donning baggy black clothes with hair pulled back in a hurried bun, Emi was not exactly in the pristine condition she's normally seen in. Starting the cycle through her normal workout routine. Soon enough, she was drenched in sweat and standing underneath the stream of water coming out of her shower head.

By now her schedule had been refined to the minute. 4:45am, Wake up. 5:00, workout for half an hour. 5:35, shower. 5:40, get ready. By 6:30 she would be out the door and on the way to wherever she had to be that day. Order was everything to her. Without her schedule, she honestly wasn't sure if she'd be able to function. Or at the least she wouldn't half as content as she always is.

Today varied a little, however. Covering up her school uniform with a black dress that fell just above her knees and her face concealed by a large black sunhat, she drifted along on her way to the funeral without any of the usual attention. It had been a long time since she had attended one. Four years had passed since her father had been laid to rest, luckily she hadn't been struck by tragedy again since. The former King had been a close friend of her father's. The duo having gone through grade school together, had worked hard to make the lives of Tokyo's citizens as safe and happy as possible. She had admired the man in his efforts, but disagreed with some of the man's methods.

Feeling some mix of guilt as the leader of Scepter Four for not being able to save him, and sympathy for the older girl she had spent so much time with in their younger days. Emi had teamed up with the elder brother as Miu's unofficial support team, carrying pockets full of tissues and questioning on her as to whether or not she had eaten yet. Quite honestly she didn't want to attend the ceremony, the things felt like more of a money grab taking advantage of people during their weakest moments, than any sort of sacred thing.

Leaving the building, Emi's shift as Miu's watcher came to an end. Not wanting to miss too much class, she planned to catch the next train to the school island so that she would be there in time for her second class. Her intent had been to seek out her clansmen who were also in attendance during the brief time she had before she would miss her train, this plan was derailed, however, by her self imposed duty. She stopped her search rather abruptly upon the sight of a semi familiar face.


"Ozu-San, right? I hope you weren't planning on skipping class." Truancy issues didn't go well with Scepter 4, and she wasn't about to let a known skipper pass her by. Doing her best to make herself seem as intimidating as possible. "The next train comes in fifteen minutes. You wouldn't want to miss it."

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: Mira Saromi Character Portrait: Alastair Payne Character Portrait: Ikeda Miu Character Portrait: Tanabata Emi Character Portrait: Naoko Ita Character Portrait: Maeda Katsuo Character Portrait: Cyneric Ozu Character Portrait: Daisuke O'Connor
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#, as written by Kapento
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Dialogue ┆ #999900 | Thought ┆ #666600


She wouldn’t have said she was close to the dead man. Mira honestly had no reason to be at the ceremony, but she wasn’t there for herself, but instead her King and fellow clansmen. Alastair would be arriving shortly, if not quite soon. He must’ve been working late again silly man.’ she thought, lightly stroking one of her twisted ponytails. Just then there was a small crowd gathering as everyone left the area and began to head for the burial, and as her eyes trailed after a few, she quickly noticed the late arrival of her King at that moment. Although she didn’t approach him right away, casually noticing another man addressing him, but whatever he said escaped her due to the distance between them. ”Hm, quite a crowd turned up here it seems,” she told only herself, ”that dead guy must’ve had quite a social group.” Was she honestly getting jealous of a corpse? No way!’

There was a wave of familiar and not-so-familiar faces passing her. Evidently other clans had come to pay their respects, and Mira hadn’t overlooked the tearful girl who was being supported by her own fellow clansmen. Well, it was to be expected? The blonde girl furrowed her eyebrows only slightly in thought, before continuing on her way and weaving through the people that scattered over the area. ”Excuse me, yes thank-you,” the girl muttered, shooing whoever was near her to move out the way. ”Move along, uh-huh. Yes, you. Thank-you! Keep going. Ta-ta!” She could have sworn she’d stuck her heel into someone’s foot at least once, but oh well. Quickly hurrying along the girl gave a prompt salute to her King and grinned satisfyingly at him, if he noticed, before swooping over and barging in on a familiar duo.

”Oh lay off him, would you?” Mira said suddenly, squeezing through the pair that consisted of Cyneric and Emi. It was quite a squeeze indeed. ”It’s a funeral for crying out loud, can’t we just be sad and deal with it?” Yeah, because Mira was totally sad for the deceased. It was a wonder if she even knew his name, you know, beyond 'corpse' and 'stiff' and 'dead guy'. ”But whatever. Are you two going? Well, I guess someone’s gotta run this show when you go and I’m sure my King needs me at a terrible time like this.” she said, setting both hands to her hips and seeming as confident as ever towards the pair. ”This thing is just getting started!”


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: Mira Saromi Character Portrait: Tanabata Emi Character Portrait: Yukimura Hisako Character Portrait: Cyneric Ozu
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YUKIMURA HISAKO


Hisako hated funerals. She had a deep rooted distaste for them, their sombre atmosphere and sadness emitting from every corner. But most of all she was afraid to face the undeniable fact of the sheer briefness of human existence. That and the fact that it reminded her too much of her mother's death. Alright, mostly because it reminded her of her mother's death.

She rarely chose to go to any funerals except for the scenarios in her books. Speaking of her books... "J!" Hisako let out a small gasp as she remembered why she was there in the first place. Of course, it was to pay her respects to the late Grey King, but she was mostly excited to see the real face of the mysterious green king. However, it doesn't seem like she's going to find out in time for school. Turquoise eyes flitting from place to place, Hisako tried to take in as much of the crowd as she possibly could, but none of them really struck her much as the person J was supposed to be. The elusive king of the JUNGLE clan must make quite an impact on others, but none of the attendants there gave her the right vibe. Then again, deductions are made by logic, and if the king was as smart as Hisako perceived them to be they would be hiding their identity perfectly from the public eye.

Which means... they won't go into the funeral home at all, and would likely stay outside it! Hisako stepped outside of the ceremony, relieved to catch a breath of fresh air as she prepared to search the near vicinity, only to be distracted by the sight of her classmates. Cyneric, Eli and Mira were all in the same year as her, and Hisako was eager to know them better. The mystery can wait, she had time. All her curiosity was toward her friends at the moment, and Hisako approached them eagerly. They seemed to be already having a conversation, and Hisako arrived just in time to hear the end of it.

"It's nice to see you, Mira, Emi, Cy!" She chirped cheerfully, her eyes studying each of them in turn. "Emi, you look as beautiful as ever." Her Friend had a sense of fashion that was so precise it made Hisako slightly envious. Both her and Mira were such fashionistas, Hisako can't help but wonder how they did it. Compared to her own shirt and black skirt, it was obvious who the more stylish one is. She offered Cyneric a bright smile, tapping her notebook lightly. She couldn't exactly ask where he was going to go today if he skips school with Emi around, she was always a stickler for rules.

"Thing? What event might you be referring to?" Hisako gazed at Mira inquisitively, tilting her head slightly in confusion. "Are you not going to school, Mira Hime?" It was a small nickname she had dubbed her with rather quickly once she found out about Mira's way of working and her attitude toward everyone. She was a fascinating individual in her own right, and despite it being a slightly teasing remark it wasn't one meant to offend her.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gensai Riku Character Portrait: Shizuka Hibiki
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WARNING: LONG POST, TURNS OUT MY INTRODUCTORY POSTS ARE ALWAYS LONG AF


Riku turned the bronze handle and carefully began to guide the door open, only to cringe at the creaking it made and stop instantly. He paced outside of the room in a small circle with his finger pushing up his glasses, mentally debating how to solve the issue at hand, then decided to approach this situation as though it was a band aid. With that solution in mind, he promptly kicked down the door and darted inside of the room, his hands frisking through the clutter that was already piling up on every surface of the bedroom without him being home to attend to it when a light turned on behind him and the image of an unimpressed man with apricot bed hair apparated in front of him.

"You'll have to stop breathing to sneak past me, Riku." the older man grumbled, reclining from the lamp and settling back to face him. His pillow rested against the head of the bed and propped up his back, his arms were folded across his chest and his stare was aimed dead on the droplet of sweat beading on the quietly terrified young man's paralysed neck. Riku swallowed then turned from the mirror with a flair, but instead of looking directly at his partner his focus was torn between the man's unamused face and the waterproof jacket slumped over the end of their bed.

"Good morning, Ken. I apologise, I didn't mean to wake you," he excused himself with a deep, respectful bow before snatching up the jacket and pulling it on, his nose wrinkling a little at the realisation that it hadn't been washed. "I tried to be as quiet as possible. ("Of course you did.") May I borrow this? Have you seen my keys?"

Ken nodded once, delayed. "You're leaving?" His bloodshot eyes panned up to the clock and his eyebrows raised at what he saw. "At this hour?"

"Of course," Riku affirmed (not really knowing what the hour was and unable to see past the glare of the light on the clock) and returned to his search, "An investigation doesn't start and stop, it's worked at until it is solved."

"So... you're going to work, then." Ooh, that was bitter. Riku confirmed Ken's speculation briskly without any show that he picked up on his tone and moved to tear up the other side of the room. "... Isn't that funeral thing on today for you? I thought you'd have time off for that."

"Of course, that's why I'm leaving early. I can get some work done before that time. You have my word I'll make it in time."

"I'm not worried about that," Ken brushed aside with a roll of his eyes, "That guy's already dead, you're going to die if you don't sleep."

"Watch that tone, there's no morality to be found in disrespecting the deceased. I've had sufficient rest," Riku grunted through from the floor, his arm jammed beneath a cupboard and battling with dust and spiders. "And if I don't sleep, neither does JUSTice... pardon me." Riku corrected his sound levels, knowing that Ken wasn't a fan of his random outbursts of full volume in the mornings. Ken rubbed his ringing ears and glowered down at Riku's back.

He may think that he's mature by being dutiful like this, but when spurred by such childish motivations it's impossible to ever take him seriously...

He watched his little trooper yelp and pull his hand out sharply and felt reluctant admiration for both the young man's bravery and how stubborn he could be in his idiocy. He sighed as he shook Riku's keys from his pillow then held them up and jingled them to capture his attention. "You came home at two."

Riku's head perked and his eyes sparkled with fervor at the sight of the keys. He jumped up from the floor and bounded over to Ken's side, combed his bangs back with his gloved hand and bent over to peck him on the forehead. "I came home," he concluded like it mattered and reached out to take the keys eagerly, but they were held out of reach by a still grumpy (albeit a little pleased) Ken.

"How have you been investigating, Riku?" he pressed, "Didn't the Monochrome Alliance confiscate you evi-" He was interrupted by a finger being jammed into his lips, forcing his top lip up to show off his canines in what looked like a snarl. He stared at Riku, who shushed him and leaned in close... then plucked the keys out of his hand and ran out the door while he had the chance. "Hey -!"

*


*


*

"Just come back to bed, Ri." Ken insisted groggily as he waddled after Riku in his fluffy blue striped bathrobe, his eyes still heavy with sleep and squinting through the lights. If there was anything that he learnt after dating the overly enthusiastic bundle of diligence and more diligence for more than two years now, it was that if you wanted to keep up with him you had to be persistent and persistent Ken could be given that he didn't have to walk far.

"I thought I was on the couch," Riku tried to slip in casually but a sliver of indignance poked through. Boy had he panicked when he woke up on the sagging cushions of that old couch Ken had been offered for free from their neighbours the day they moved out. There was a reason that couch was free but it wasn't the lack of quality that had Riku frozen in fear for fifteen minutes on it before he decided that he needed to work, it was what sleeping on the couch entailed. Those fifteen minutes were spent picking apart his brain and analysing every detail of the night before he could remember, but the strangest thing was he didn't think he saw Ken or so much as texted him at all yesterday or the day before that, so what could he possibly have done to piss off his boyfriend during that time?

"Better that than the doorstep."

... He's mad with me. Riku opened the fridge door and hid his face behind it in silence, his usually proud shoulders sagging.

"I'm not mad, I'm just lazy." Ken said from the kitchen through a chuckle, noticing the beginnings of Riku's sulking behaviours take hold. "Come to bed, Riku. You don't have to sleep if you don't want to, just lie down for a moment."

"I can't," he answered apologetically and swung the fridge door shut then walked into the kitchen when Ken stood from his seat at the table and lodged himself between Riku and the corridor. Riku looked up at the imposing barricade (their height and age difference of almost seven years always made him feel like such a baby in situations like this) and just frowned at him, hoping that enough willpower would make him move. Ken just tugged the liquid breakfast from his hand and placed it on the kitchen table disapprovingly. (The fridge was packed full of these things from the vending machine close to his work - ever since the Grey King's death that's all Riku had been living off of and Ken refused to drink the stuff, despite the fact that without Riku around to cook for him his own cooking was a worse alternative.)

"Then I'm fixing you breakfast," Ken bravely informed Riku and began to walk over to the cabinet.

Ken's cooking barely crossed his mind when Riku plucked the liquid breakfast back up from the table and gave his response, "Thank you for the notion but that's unnecessary. I'll enjoy my meal fully while I'm at my desk."

"Coffee?" Ken held up the strainer. He couldn't make a cup to save his life, but Riku didn't have to know that.

"Thank you, I'll be fine."

"I'll put your uniform in the drier."

"There's no need."

"You are going to wear the same uniform you slept in?!"

"I have a spare in my office. I'll change once I'm there."

"Did you take all of -"

"I took them."

"And y-"

"That's done."

"I can -"

"Finished."

"You didn't know what I was about to -"

"I've taken care of it."

"I'll brush your teeth," Ken at last managed to get in through Riku's constant and discriminatory dismisses with an annoyed, heavily sarcastic remark. Riku being Riku of course took it for face value and shook his head seriously, his eyes shut and nose in the air.

"That has been done."

Ken glared then gave the air a little sniff before bringing his hand up to his mouth and looking away with a judging expression. "Really?" Riku covered his mouth with a gasp but the trick was broken when Ken stifled laughter... or was it. He regained his poker face immediately and Riku stared at it with a conflicted expression, trying to determine whether he could trust him or not when his own paranoia got the better of him and he pushed past to the bathroom in a hurry, leaving Ken behind to do his victory dance (which was just a self-satisfied nod. Ken? Dancing? Are you for real?). As Riku gargled after brushing his teeth for the third time that day he heard a jingle coming from behind him and turned after spitting to see Ken leaning against the doorway indifferently, the keys back in his possession and twirling around his finger.

"What is the meaning of this?" he demanded.

"It means, I'm driving."

"Ken -"

Ken yawned and began to mumble, "I can't change your mind once it's made... honestly, I don't have the energy for it. So I'm driving you. It's dangerous for you to be on the road, you'll fall asleep and hurt somebody."

Riku blinked, then brought his hand to his chin and nodded thoughtfully. "Of course... how foolish of me. I'm sorry to put in this position so early in the morning." He walked out of the bathroom, stopping to pat Ken's cheek as he went by as a congratulatory gesture. "You're finally starting to see the world as an agent of justice. I'm proud of you, Ken." For some reason that sort of compliment didn't make Ken feel any better or worse. "Come, let's go." He started striding down the corridor but was hindered from progress yet again by Ken shuffling after him and grabbing the back of his collar.

"Wait. There's one more thing you're forgetting."

Riku turned, ready to raise his voice at this point, to see Ken holding up a small comb. His hand involuntarily went up to his front pocket to feel the familiar shape not there and when he reached out to take it from Ken, he avoided his grabbing hands and began to run its teeth through Riku's unruly blue hair himself. Riku clenched his fists and stared at Ken's feet, hating this, but also feeling fuzzy at the touch of his fingers running over his scalp and the care taken in tugging out every knot. Soon Riku's hair was flattened and styled and Ken slipped the comb into Riku's front pocket and left his hand curled up on his chest for a little longer than necessary. "That was close, wasn't it? Now, slow down, hero, and wait for me to get ready."

Riku watched him walk smugly down the hall and wink at him before entering the bathroom. When he heard the shower running, he fell back on the door and touched his front pocket. I suppose that this is what making up looks like, then? Were the fine teeth of such a seemingly insignificant comb all it took to rekindle the flames of desire tended by our hearts? By unknotting my hair, did he knot the strands of our fragmented love... he must expect something more than letting him touch my hair in a patronizing way, of course. The nerve of that animal. Despite that thought, Riku was glad that the tension between them had cooled.

*

*

*

The tension had most definitely not cooled, in Ken's opinion. He stifled a yawn as he puttered down the lazy streets, trying hard himself to stay awake and being thankful that the traffic wasn't so hectic at this forbidden hour. Riku had not been the only one getting no sleep and if he was around he would notice it, Ken hoped. Watching a loved one deteriorating in health and sanity is not a pleasant experience for anyone and would keep anyone up with worry. Riku hadn't come home much in the past two weeks and when he did the least Ken could do was drag him over to something cushy before he collapsed onto the floor. Last night, he found the poor sap with just one hand on the welcome mat like he had passed out upon making home run. Despite Scepter 4 being victim to a murder (Hinata Touko, a young woman who hadn't even been properly initiated into their ranks and wasn't yet aware of the true identity of their king), they were still under suspicion and it wasn't taken lightly by the clan's resident knight. Ken remembered the day well when Riku came home ranting about how The Monochrome Alliance had taken the investigation from Scepter 4 and any evidence they had with it because " - everyone's a suspect to them, even the clan that exists to uphold JUSTICE!" With such estranged relationships with the other clans of course Scepter 4 would fall under suspect, in fact, every clan must be suspect - Ken had tried to reason, but Riku had taken it personally and though he was home that evening he might as well not have been. The Monochrome Alliance had told Scepter 4 to focus on preventing fights between the clans while they handled the investigation, something that Riku ignored as he stubbornly continued the investigation by himself.

He parked the car across the street from Scepter 4 HQ (just as a purple hooded, lanky figure he paid no mind jogged away from the premises) and sighed in relief at a distraction to free him from these thoughts which just made him more tired than he already was and could be brooded on later when he had some paper to scrunch up and the freedom to grumble without Riku overhearing him. "Riku, we're here." he said and swiveled in his seat to kiss him goodbye only to find him slumped against the door, his innocently resting face propped against the window. "Psst, Ri. If you sleep now, you won't get your work done. You might miss the funeral you wanted to attend." Riku stirred, his head shaking slightly as he curled into a tighter ball. Ken smiled fondly and touched the exhausted young man's cheek. "You're more honest when you're asleep, you know that?" He reached over and fetched his book from the glove box and readjusted his seat to lay back a little, making himself comfortable for what would be the next couple hours.

Riku slept without dreams and without knowledge of the funeral that had occurred without him, or how the person he promised he'd be there reacted when he never arrived.

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

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Character Portrait: Mira Saromi Character Portrait: Tanabata Emi Character Portrait: Yukimura Hisako Character Portrait: Cyneric Ozu
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Cyneric Ozu

Dialogue ⋄ #666666
Thought ⋄ #CC3300



Others had arrived on the scene. Bodies drifting over the ground like lost sheep. Late-comers? The boy quizzed himself mentally, seeming almost a bit surprised that people could be late to such an event. It is a funeral. However he mostly flinched when hearing a voice approach from behind; a female, from Scepter 4. It caught him off-guard to say the least. ”Oh, uh, yes.” he replied somewhat unsure to the girl, quickly recognizing her from school as well. It was Emi. ”I-I mean no, I wasn't planning on skipping. I was actually just thinking of--”

Despite the small lie that the boy was slowly weaving to save himself from the scary young woman, Cyneric was surprisingly pleased at the sudden sight of another familiar face who rolled onto the scene; or rather she forced herself into it in typical Mira style. Admittedly, he wasn't surprised in the slightest and found the demanding girls antics quite funny, but his face wouldn't betray him. Not here of all places. ”It's fine really, honestly Mira,” he assured the gold clansmen girl, ”I've been here long enough anyway.” Not to mention the fact that he had already successfully avoided some of class thus far, so returning now wouldn't have hurt. Although... he could always just sneak off back to his dorm if he wanted when returning to school, tactically evading the group nearer the time.

I hadn't even thought of that, heh! Cyneric mused internally to himself. With that pleasantly satisfying thought safely tucked away in his mind, the boy quickly turned his attention onto the third arrival that came over, Hisako. ”Nice to see you too,” he quickly greeted, quietly pleased to recognize another face at the gathering. From what he could tell many had come to pay their respects to the former Grey King and Cyneric couldn't help but be a little in awe over it all. ”So you came to the funeral too, Hisa?” The girl was always curious about things so really he ought to have expected to find her there, really. However, it only made sneaking away all that more challenging. Why did all the girls notice everything he did? The boy wondered. ”Actually...”

”...Yeah. Aren't you going to school?” Cyneric repeated the question proposed to the blonde, giving a subtly questioning stare. ”I think the next train is expected in fifteen minutes?” he thought for a moment, glancing to Emi. ”Suppose if we want to catch it we'd best hurry now then. Right, Emi?” Well, at least nobody could accuse him of being difficult. He'd come along quietly for now. After all, he didn't fancy getting on either girls' bad side just yet. ”Hopefully Miu will be alright though. The hard part is over now, isn't it?”

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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

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Character Portrait: Mira Saromi Character Portrait: Tanabata Emi Character Portrait: Yukimura Hisako Character Portrait: Cyneric Ozu
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Tanabata.Emi
Dialogue #6495ED
Thoughts #FF7F50





It was apparent to the idol she had caught the subject of her questioning when he least expected it. Seemingly struggling to string together a sentence in his own defense. It would seem that the Scepter 4 leader had him backed into a corner, that is until a certain pigtail wearing nuisance shoved her way between the pair.

The appearance of others didn't come as a surprise to Emi, after all she had researched anyone attending her school with ties to a clan extensively. A challenge to her authority by Ashinaka's resident princess wannabe, was.


"I wasn't trying to come off as insensitive, and I apologize if I did." Shooting the two of them one of her winning smiles before continuing. "I'm sure if your King needs you so much, you'll have your out of school permission papers. It's Scepter 4 policy to do a check."

"Hisa, hey!" Emi welcomed her friend, leaning in for a hug. The addition to the group came as a relief to the idol who was beginning to become quite annoyed. At this rate it seemed like her whole school was going to show up. "Oh, stop it. You look much better." Turning a bright shade of red almost as vibrant as the color of her friends hair. Looking more like a lobster than an idol. Upon remembering how silly she appeared at the somber event, her face only flushed deeper. Taking on a hue that looked even more peculiar the more riled up she got herself. The question asked to her by the only male member of their group served as her saving grace, snapping her out of her self-induced daze.

"Right! Actually, it'd be a bit less than that by now. We'd better get a move on." givinga rough estimate of the time as to avoid stating the fact she had been eyeing her watch since the second she left the church and knew precisely how much time they had. Thirteen minutes and twenty-two seconds exactly. "Miu may be a bit odd, but she's tough. I'm sure she'll be able to pick herself back up soon enough."

"Oh! Hisa, can I look over your history notes? I missed class the other day, so I don't have them."
The rather random thought served more of a purpose than one would expect. Killing two birds with one stone, it did the job of requesting her friend's notes, but also started off the conversation on their way to the station in the least controversial way as possible.

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Character Portrait: Shizuka Hibiki Character Portrait: Maeda Katsuo
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#, as written by Elision
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Maeda.Katsuo
Dialogue #A60A00
Thoughts #D65E0D





It seemed that the ancient Gods of smoking had not picked today to smile upon Katsuo. His smoking partner, seemingly a weird one to say the least, had taken a slightly more complex route than the standard "Hello" that would have sufficed to end the conversations.

Turning his head to take in the young man next to him, his suspicions were pretty well confirmed. The man had made some sort of fast movement to attract his attention. What that exact movement that was was mystery to him, seeing only a blur of green hair and clothes.


"Thank you." The statement was flat, yet sincere. He had heard the words echoed hundreds of times in the weeks prior. Not for himself, but for his not so little sister. The stranger seemed to be more nervous than caring, but honestly most people were anyways. Some were just better at concealing it.

"You know, if you can't even light your cigarette, you probably shouldn't be having one anyways." His father had told him the same exact words before. Well, within some stupid joke of course, but the advice wasn't any less sound. In his opinion, at least. Still, against his better judgement he had snatched out another one of his own cigarettes and lit it. Extending his arm to present it to his conversation partner. After all, who was he to judge.

"Look, Kid. Are you alright?" Cursing himself for not simply ignoring the stranger, it was nobody's fault but his own as his concern for them began to build. Nobody acts that weird under normal circumstances, or at least nobody he's ever met.

Initially, he was concerned they might be in trouble with the law or worse. Having people on your tail was probably the best reason out there to be nervous. Then it dawned on him. This was a funeral home. It was more than likely that they were there for a similar reason as he was. Adopting a smoother, sweeter tone reminiscent of the one he had been using as long as he could remember to coax Miu into telling him what was the matter as a child.
"Have you lost someone too?"

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Character Portrait: Shizuka Hibiki Character Portrait: Maeda Katsuo
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Hibiki stared at the hand of a stranger that was offering her something. She didn't know whether the man was fed up with her or being friendly or anything though she didn't think that mattered, all she needed to be able to tell was if he was suspicious but she couldn't even pick up on that - but that didn't mean she trusted that he wasn't. She had such a hard time determining how people were thinking, it was easier to assume a worst case scenario and act accordingly. She reached out and gripped the cigarette delicately, finding it difficult but possible to take it without touching his fingers. She murmured a sound that sounded vaguely like a thank you that didn't quite make it and brought the smoke to her dry lips.

Same brand as mine, she observed. She had mimicked Naomi by purchasing the exact same brand she had seen her using, too. Obviously must be popular with people with this habit. Unless he's just a cheapskate, like her.

She breathed out smoke and for the first time she saw how people could relax from these evil things. All she had to do now was excuse herself, then she would be free.

"Look, Kid. Are you alright?"

The suddenness of the questions when she thought she was in the clear caused her to choke and fall into a coughing fit. The man sounded softer now, much like the way Ryuu talked down to her when she was too tired to sleep, but that sweetness couldn't have come from this intimidating giant. It had to be a trick of her mind, she missed hi - no, she didn't miss him. She missed his knowledge but nothing more. She glanced at Katsuo slightly as she began searching her brain for any response that she might have planned out previously in her notebook, but she couldn't remember, obviously meaning that she didn't have one. Come on Hibiki, this had never been so hard before, had it? She had lost someone, all she had to do was tell the truth - no, no, it hurt her throat, she couldn't. She just had to respond (just talk, it didn't have to be true), which could lead to another intruding question, then excuse herself from this minefield once the conversation ended which was hopefully before anyone else arrived to the secluded smoking area. Either that or she take the chance now and get rid of him, somehow. But there was too little time to analyse the pros and cons of each escape route; she could still hear the sobs and chatter of people pouring out the front of the funeral home that filtered into hearing when Katsuo first apparated beside her. Oh. Oh no. She shouldn't have thought about that. Now she couldn't stop listening to them. It was overwhelming, how they were continuing to constantly flow out and stain the streets. She could see their warm, fat bodies mingling through the walls and clasp at each other for solace, unborn children in a throbbing, artificial womb. It was only a matter of time before their numbers spread and trickled towards her like blood from an open wound.

Hibiki had to leave now before she was sick.

She curled over and simply hid her face behind her hands. The threat beside her didn't need to know she was trying not to throw up. All he needed to know was it was a funeral and funerals were supposed to be sad, and when people were made sad people cried, and when people cried they wanted to be left alone.

She nodded.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mira Saromi Character Portrait: Alastair Payne Character Portrait: Tanabata Emi Character Portrait: Yukimura Hisako Character Portrait: Cyneric Ozu Character Portrait: Daisuke O'Connor
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Dialogue ┆ #999900 | Thought ┆ #666600


Mira could only offer a mere roll of her shoulders to the boy. ”Hm, fine. If you say so.” Giving a curious look to her fellow peer, the blonde young woman eyed the brown-and-white-haired lad carefully before ultimately shooting a look to the other girl who rolled up at that precise moment, Hisako. It was that oddly fascinating girl from school who she had met, with her noticeable red hair and overall strangeness. Yes, indeed. She was a curious one to watch. ”Why am I not surprised? Everyone seemed to come here today, what luck!”

Flipping her attention between the three figures, the girl spun on her heel and let out a stiff sigh. ”Don’t have a heart-attack, I’m just staying here is all. This funeral is the biggest thing to happen in weeks besides the killings, so I’m obviously going to hang around and make sure it all goes according to plan.” By the way she went on about it you’d almost think she had a part in it, while actually she did not. ”This burial is the event dummy, keep up would you?” The young woman quickly flicked two fingers hard against Hisako’s forehead for effect. ”And anyway, I have my papers or whatever. I even got my mother to contact the school personally on my behalf, so there.” Now, with that said all she would just have to do is hunt down her mother and get the woman to phone up the school as soon as possible. Ah, simple! She'd remember that for her next visit.

Just then she noticed Emi and how their face flushed crimson. ”Oh stop gushing already, this day isn’t about you.” Mira huffed, her twisted ponytails bobbing along with her quick movements. Time was pressing on she realized, and the girl had other things to be busying herself with. ”If anything big happens at school let me know, otherwise I’m sure you can survive without your Princess for a little while,” she said, sensing that the group were about to set off. It wasn’t like she detested school though. Mira was quite a good student in her own way, so long as the teachers could handle her. ”Oh, and behave Ick! I’ll catch you later. Emi, Hisa, ta-ta.”

It never hurt to be decently polite she supposed. Alastair would expect it of me today.’ Mira told herself, easing the tight knot in her throat. I should find him now actually.’ The man was only over the way at least; she could see Alastair still no matter where she stood. With that in mind the young woman took her leave of the group and dutifully headed over to the side of her King. Deep down she wondered how he was handling the whole thing; if it was weighing heavily on him or maybe Alastair was taking it better than imagined? Hope that white-haired fool wasn't giving him too much grief.’ She thought, eyeing that man.

”Oh! Hello Sir,” she kindly greeted when creeping up from the side of Alastair. ”Working late again? You missed the start of it but I can assure you it was a fitting tribute,” crossing both arms against her chest, Mira beamed a slight smile toward the taller figure before reporting, ”Maeda is being surprisingly… surprising, you know. What with his sister I guess I shouldn’t be too overawed by it. Although I have yet to see young Sora about, actually. Otherwise everything is going smoothly, Sir. Even those HOMRA sorts haven't shown their faces yet.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mira Saromi Character Portrait: Alastair Payne Character Portrait: Daisuke O'Connor
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Alastair Payne
Dialogue; b49b04
Thought; 6f1313
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A good amount of people began filtering out of the funeral. He tilted his head up toward the sky as he closed his eyes, today sucked. Funerals were never Alastair's cup of tea, then again who really enjoyed funerals anyway? Some sick necrophiliac bastard? It took too much trouble to try and sort it out right now, his head was pounding from lack of sleep. Dammit Al, what the fuck were you thinking... He thought shaking his head. He had stood up straight, leaving his small perch that he had adopted from leaning against the wall, it had been comfy enough but now he'd need to return to work as soon as possible. Hopefully enough people had caught a glimpse of his signature bright blonde locks to know he had paid respects. It was better for business that way. He nodded to a few grieving passersby and everything seemed to be going pretty well until.

The white haired twat arrived and Alastair groaned internally as the boy pointed to a no smoking sign. Al glanced over and shrugged.
"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?" As he spoke his voice seemed to become more and more agitated with each word until he was standing over the boy with his arms folded. Then suddenly he got a dastardly idea that he figured he might as well attempt.
"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." He cooed locking eyes with him, his hand shifting to his own hips to have a more cocky and relaxed stance. Now no matter what the kid did would be entertaining, a part of Alastair found the kid's defiance kinda cute. Plus those eyes of his were cool as shit.

Alastair had been too busy keeping his eyes locked with the white-haired kids to notice Mira's first salute however once she marched over and began her usual tirade he chuckled and backed off from Daisuke. He refolded his arms and looked down at the blonde spit-fire beside him, man alive was Mira something. He couldn't help but wonder why he chose someone like her in the first place, but her loyalty reminded him whenever he was in doubt.
"Working late again? You missed the start of it but I can assure you it was a fitting tribute.” Alastair rubbed the back of his neck and sighed low and long. She always cut right to the point, he looked down at her with a mock pout.

"Shit, do I look that bad?" He half-joked, he knew he looked like death warmed up in a microwave, but still as a man who used to fight for a meal he really wasn't one to worry about looks to much. Then she mentioned how Maeda was handling it, and his sister Miu. Now, he didn't really catch all of what Mira had said and in truth he usually tuned over half of what she said out. So, he thought a moment before replying to her.

"Maeda is a Gold, and Miu used to be and still is at heart I'm sure. So, of course they handled it well. Shit, those kids are tough as nails. I wouldn't have it any other way." He half shut one eye hoping his bullshit sounded believable. Damn did he need sleep.