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Kohaku Kana

Kindness Is Not Weakness

0 · 185 views · located in sengoku period, japan

a character in “The Ways of Samurai”, as played by Skittle_Overlord


Kohaku Kana
I am the daughter of a Samurai. Do not mistake me for something that is fragile.



Fragile is definitely that first thing that comes to mind when you see Kana. Everything about her is small, soft, and feminine, and much to her chagrin utterly unthreatening. Her big doe brown eyes and long lashes, that small tulip mouth, dainty nose, and heart shaped face can't intimidate anyone no matter how much she might try. Her skin has a warm glow to it, easily made to blush or bruise. Her body is lithe and petite, with a nearly flat chest that she has been teased about more than once by rude friends. Ah well. She is youthful and careless about her appearance, often she'd spend her days on the mountain of what used to be her home barefoot and hair loose, feeling the grass in her toes. As of late sandals have been necessary but she still tends to wear her hair in a ponytail or down, like a Samurai would. This never used to be a problem but lately it seems to draw attention and scornful looks from other women. She stands at five feet and one inch, her eyes are brown with a hint of green in them that becomes more apparent in certain lighting.

Nature- she used to live in the mountains, and nature used to be all around her. She likes the towns and villages, but finds she is most at peace when surrounded by greenery. She especially loves spring.
Dumplings- You'd be surprised at how much this girl can pack away, especially when it comes to dumplings
Rain- It smells nice and feels nice according to her, plus is gives the plants something to drink
Children- She loves them and they love her, she gets along with them fairly easily and treats them like what they say matters. Instead of the approach most people take, which is to write them off as simple stupid children. She gets very protective over children and won't justify hurting one.
Music- who doesn't love music?
Stories- Chinatsu-dono used to tell her all manner of stories, about youkai and spirits and heroes. She loves story telling just as much now.
Her Father- She holds her father in the highest esteem.

Brainless people- thugs and bullies are people she considers to be brainless. If you are not very smart but kind she doesn't mind, but if you aren't very smart and rude we have a problem.
Cruelty- she understands needing to put away one's own heart for the sake of defeating an enemy, but unnecessary cruelty is something she is not fond of. An opponent can always expect a quick death from her.
Killing- that being said, she has never actually killed anyone, and the thought of doing so scares her.
An empty stomach- if you ever want to see a cranky Kana this is the quickest way to do it.

Kana posses all the pride and tough spirit of a Samurai's daughter, which is said to be another breed of woman. Tough enough to one day be the wife of a samurai, and strong enough to handle a bushi's short life. Although when it comes to marriage she seems to be unwilling to speak of the matter- insisting she won't marry for anything but love. She holds honor high in her heart, and her father is the most honorable man in Japan according to her. But she seems to know that there is a line between honor and stupidity. And can see things from an objective enough point of view that honor won't always keep you alive. Although she has yet to come to a situation where she has had to compromise doing the honorable thing yet, and is unsure of what path she would take should she come to such a situation.

She also holds lady Chinatsu as her role model, often wishing to be just as elegant and poised as her- but that often times does not work out. Whereas Lady Chinatsu was a poised woman who emulated calm no matter what she felt, Kana has never been very good at hiding what she feels. As much as Kana has the strength of a samurai's daughter, she is not the most obedient or feminine acting girl. She tries, but often losses her way in such endeavors. Her discipline isn't the highest and she tends to do only what she wants to do. It's a good thing that she is agreeable enough to be persuaded to do most things when she is told. However when she wants to do something her father doesn't agree with she'll turn into a stubborn and willful mule, sometimes for the sake of rebellion. For instance he was originally against her learning how to handle Samurai weapons, but Lady Chinatsu helped him give in. She has stuck to the art from a young age.

She posses a clever mind, and so finds it impossible to simply sit there and accept whatever is told to her. A logical reason must be behind everything and she's good at working it out. She might be stubborn and willful, but she is also compassionate and generous. Kana is thoughtful of other and their needs. She also empathizes easily with others, also able to tell if they are lying fairly easily- but won't always call them on it right away. Kana is a bold individual who won't be intimidated easily, and has no trouble staring someone down. But she is not immune to fear.

It took Kana quite a while to smile again after her home was taken over, but now a few years older and living in Edo she has gotten better. She still has dreams sometimes, horrible dreams, but for the most part she seems to have toughened it out. Lady Chinatsu however has just gotten steadily worse, and has been relying on Kana to vent to. Kana has had to watch the honorable lady Chinatsu decay into a violent and erratic mess, and it hasn't been easy. She's had to learn to speak soothing words to a mad person, forcing herself to be patient. In other words Kana is more mature than she used to be. Kana has taken up her weapons as something more serious rather than play now. She plans on protecting her father with everything she has, as now she is very afraid of losing him. But she would never admit to it to him of course, he would see that as ridiculous.

Her father- She admires and holds her father in high respects, she loves him dearly. Although sometimes she has a tendency to disobey him.

Chinatsu-dono- Much like everyone else did, Kana admired Chinatsu-dono quite a bit. Kana wished she could be as elegant and beautiful, emulating her as best she could. But Kana's nature was always quite opposite to Lady Chinatsu, who resembled a statue of marble perfection, while Kana resembled a whimsical butterfly on the wind. Lady Chinatsu was fond of her however, and played a big part in Kana's loose discipline, often telling anyone who tried to stop her to let her do as she pleased. It pleased Lady Chinatsu to watch the free spirited girl frolic about. Almost as if living vicariously through her.

Daitou- that is weighted and lengthened to her, it's lighter and shorter than a Katana but no less effective in battle.
Wakazashi- even shorter second sword
Tanto- dagger, concealed
Tessen- A tessen was actually a steel fan masquerading as a harmless paper fan, which the samurai would use for throwing, fending off projectiles, and even clubbing people with when close. Kana carries it into places where weapons are not allowed, along with her Tanto. Comically enough the Tessen is actually the weapon she is strongest with, although usually going up against her with it results in her opponent only getting knocked out, not death.

Strengths, for now
Speed- What Kana lacks in strength she makes up for in speed, extremely surprising speed
Stamina- those long practice hours payed off
Empathy- she can understand and put herself in another's shoes fairly easily, although this is partly why she has trouble killing
Charisma- she's likable

Weaknesses, for now
Hasn't killed yet- She has sparred countless times, and fought a few, but never has she killed, and so far she seems unable to.
Naive- She came down from the mountains a few times a year, mostly for festivals, but mostly she stayed at home. And this has left her quite naive to how dishonest and cruel people can be. She is also blind to a few customs and cultural regularities. However she catches on quickly, and is no air headed fool. But can still be rather gullible, preferring to trust in people.
Not very durable- physically she isn't very durable and is prone to bruising.
Physical Strength- She is stronger than your average woman, but not stronger than your average man.
Easily swayed- She can see another side to an argument and can see other perceptions easily, and she can be persuaded to think about something in a different way if it makes sense logically. It makes her incidentally morally neutral, with every intention of doing good.

A small house in Edo, near Lady Chinatsu's abode.


When asked, Kana was told that her mother died giving birth to her. Which in retrospect might not be the kindest thing to tell a child, but she was always assured that her mother loved her and did not regret it. Kana is inclined to believe this. The reality of the situation is much more mysterious. The very day after giving birth to Kana, her mother disappeared, into thin air is seemed, taking nothing with her and saying no goodbyes. She had gone as suddenly as she had come. But again, Kana is never told any of this- she is simply told all of the good things about her mother instead. And in this manner Kana grew up quite loved and cherished.

Her father hails from a noble Samurai family, one that has served Lady Chinatsu's for many generations. And Lady Chinatsu's family has been the Shogunate who have been Lords of the province under the mountain for an entire dynasty. They have protected and governed it, helping it flourish and grow in grace, honor, and order. And on the side of the mountain there is a dug-in flat where the Chinatsu headquarters is, the main houses and the dojo connecting. The whole place is rather large, and this is where Kana grew up, together with Lady Chinatsu's youngest sons. Lady Chinatsu had no daughters and would treat Kana like one, unfortunately this meant spoiling her a bit and letting her have her way. When Lady Chinatsu's sons started learning how to handle Samurai weaponry Kana was determined to join them, and in time she had her way. But no amount of training could have prepared Kana for the night her home was taken from her by Warlord Yousuke. They came in the middle of the night, and things got out of hand quickly, fires started, she remembers fires, and not knowing what to do. She remembers that helpless feeling the best, she had no clue what to do, until someone she didn't know entered her room. He has red eyes and sharp teeth she recalls, but these features her father says she must have imagined. She thinks she might have imagined them too. But his eyes and teeth didn't matter for very long, his head was sliced off by her father, he told her to grab her weapons and come with him. They were losing this battle and had to flee. The only living member of the masters of the house was Lady Chinatsu, and the remaining men stayed behind to hold off the attackers long enough for Kana's father to get her and Kana away. Oddly enough they weren't even pursued.

Wracked with grief and loss, Lady Chinatsu was barely able to make it through the day sometimes, so intense were her emotions. Kana's father took her to her relatives in Edo, a mother and father in law. The travel there was rough. Lady Chinatsu's grief made her mad, and violent, and sometimes Kana's father was the target of that violence. Kana never was however, and could sometimes calm her down. Sometimes. When they finally got there they did their best to settle in and make a new life for themselves. Kana did not smile for quite some time, but eventually came out and explored the city of Edo and its hustle and bustle. She got to know the people there and became popular among the little ones in her neighborhood. She doesn't feel like it's her home though, and still dreams of the mountain. Those dreams often turn into bitter nightmares though. In her heart she knows what must be done in order to avenge her friends and adoptive family, she prays for the strength to do it.

So begins...

Kohaku Kana's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kohaku Kana Character Portrait: Kurosawa Ryūnosuke Character Portrait: Kohaku Souji-sama Character Portrait: Haru Katsuro Character Portrait: Honda Shizuka Character Portrait: Fumio Hajime Character Portrait: Alexander Ornstein III
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At best the attempt made to speak ningen could be seen as endearing, and it was more than many of his kind even bothered to learn. Souji could see the honor in that, in the attempt and good intention. At worst the foreigner boy was rude and grossly presumptive. Becoming a Samurai was no hobby for a foreigner to take up or skill to obtain for temporary consumption and bragging rights. Being Samurai was a way to live one's life, and training began when one was much younger than the boy in front of him. Souji couldn't help but feel irked by the insult, but if the older ronin was his master he couldn't blame the boy for his rudeness or ignorance. In fact it would explain the behavior quite well. So Souji kept his expression even, listening politely as this Alexander O-renshtin three individual tumbled through an explanation of why he was here. At the very least the boy was a forest man, which could be useful in theory. What was that about monsters?

Souji wanted to smirk at the expression on the older ronin's face, as his student's voice was entirely his fault. It made having to hear Alexander speak worth it. He wanted to, but didn't, his face rarely made such expressions at all. Souji nodded when the older ronin said he would deal with the boy later, Alexander quelled himself, something that seemed to take quite a bit of willpower on his part.

The older ronin continued on in a speech that was much more eloquent in grammar but no less rude, how astounding. His points however, rang truthful. Going against a notorious warlord was a tall order, and with so few, the tactics to be successful would need to be creative to put it lightly. Demons however, youkai, did this old man really mean that, or was that a mataphor for the level of skill Yousuke's warriors held. Souji decided it was most likely the later. He continued to insist he would be the deciding factor of success, this man was as humble and he was gracious, and demand for a flat rate per head. Souji's eyes became darker when he referred to Lady Kobayashi as 'that lady', his cool openness turning to ice. He had to remind himself that it was for his mistress's sake he was here, and for her sake that he would not throw this man out immediately.

"The Honorable Lady Kobayashi's terms are not negotiable." He emphasized her proper title, his voice unfriendly and cold. "For those coming, we meet at the northeastern gate at dawn tomorrow. You have until then to get your affairs in order. You are all welcome to join this mission. I will assume that those who are not there are not interested, in which case I, Kohaku Souji, thank you for your time. Dismissed." Souji addressed everyone in the room with a clear voice, quickly ending the meeting, he found he no longer had the patience for the direction this meeting turned. He opened the sliding door indicating for people to leave, they had imposed upon the Kobayashi abode for longer than necessary in his opinion.

ImageKana hurried to the dojo, arriving just as people dwindled out, when she saw such small numbers she stopped, her look of hope leaving her face for a moment, she stopped. Oh. This hadn't gone so well. Neither had her own ventures to be honest, which was disheartening too. She mustered up a smile anyway, nodding a bow to a few as she passed, walking more slowly to her where her father stood. She got a strange feeling from one of the men, he was extremely tall, and familiar? She didn't know, but the hairs on the back of her neck stood up. She stared slightly as she passed him, looking away when she realized that she was being rude. How peculiar, she had felt the same way earlier today when she met that one vagabond.

She reached her father and stood at the base of the steps patiently, "Father, was that a foreigner? He had straw colored hair, I've never seen that before. And how strange his clothes are too, he's wearing a blanket on his shoulders." She could see her father was not happy with the way things had gone immediately, he was tense. Well, more tense than usual. They would get through this somehow, she didn't know how, but they had to. It was her father's duty as Samurai to take back the honor taken from the Lady Kobayashi. Kana could feel her heart tighten.

"Ah, Kana, I didn't see you this morning. Why don't we have lunch at that place you like and you can ask me all the questions you wish." The sight of his daughter was like a wave of warmth over the cold Souji, he even smiled.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kohaku Kana Character Portrait: Kurosawa Ryūnosuke Character Portrait: Kohaku Souji-sama Character Portrait: Haru Katsuro Character Portrait: Honda Shizuka Character Portrait: Fumio Hajime Character Portrait: Alexander Ornstein III
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Admittedly, Ryūnosuke was not fully devoted to keeping track of all the discussion after his query was answered. He honestly cared little for the money, if only because he’d never seen the need for it, especially, and even less for the title promised in the event of their success, which would be more hindrance than help. It was already hard enough to explain to a small village full of people that he must just be terribly lucky not to age a day in ten years—he didn’t want to imagine trying to figure out how to explain it to a household or anything like that. While not every yōkai took it seriously, it was still incumbent upon them not to make the existence of their kind obvious to ningen.

The sound of a sword being drawn did demand his attention, but when it proved to be a seemingly-earnest gesture rather than a hostile one, he chose to keep his piece.

Being already placed near the back of the room, he seemed to mostly escape notice, minus a few cursory glances, usually just part of surveys of the general room, he supposed. He counted himself lucky that his appearance was not especially eye-catching; he’d had enough of that for more than one lifetime. As the conversation carried on, he folded his hands into his sleeves and took up a faintly meditative posture, fixing his eyes somewhat listlessly on a random spot on the floor in front of him. It looked like every other dojo floor he’d ever seen, but that was not what held his interest.

He let his thoughts occur as they would, not bothering to filter them yet, nor make judgements about their relative merits. That was for later. Or rather, if he ever got there; he was quite suddenly snapped from his reverie by the exuberant outburst of the yellow-haired man, a foreigner rather than a yōkai by the accent and the smell (when was the last time he’d bathed, anyway?). Ryūnosuke’s brows drew together slightly as he processed the oddly-inflected words, trying to remember which way European names were supposed to be understood. Was it family name first or given name? What was the ‘three’ supposed to mean? Was Austria even in Europe? He should have paid more attention to his lessons instead of constantly trying to escape them, perhaps.

He shook himself slightly as the exchange moved on, the older man stepping in seemingly… somewhat on the youth’s behalf, and Ryūnosuke went back to his practice of laying out all the available information and cataloging his own impressions of it. Such a decision was a delicate thing to make, and there were a number of important factors to be considered—

And it would seem that they had to make it by tomorrow. Tomorrow? As someone who was used to having weeks to think over something relatively trivial, like whether to settle the guests on the east or west side of the estate, the fact that he had a deadline that soon for a decision of this magnitude was decidedly off-putting. Then again… not everyone had an interminable number of years to live. Still, were even humans normally this hasty, or was time just that much of the essence?

Exhaling through his nose, but not sighing, he told himself, he stood and left the building with the others, ushered out by a host seemingly grown impatient with them. Perhaps he should have paid more attention to what was being said, and thus given himself some idea of why. On his way out, arms still folded together, he passed a young lady, more noticeable, honestly, because she smelled slightly out-of-season than for anything else. Actually, that… he discreetly sniffed. Ah. Well, that was unexpected.

He only turned his head in the right direction as they were about to pass, catching her eyes entirely by mistake, but inclining his head anyway. From the snippet of conversation he caught a few seconds later, she was Kohaku-sama’s daughter.

Pursing his lips and not-sighing again, he found himself standing in relative proximity of both the youth who had offered his sword unsheathed, and the man with but one arm. These two, he had gathered, were already committed to the cause. Perhaps, if he inquired of them, they would be willing to tell him why, something that might help his own decision.

“A most unusual set of circumstances,” he ventured, his voice pitched quietly, but not hesitantly. “I fear I know little of them. Had either of yourselves prior knowledge of this Yousuke-san?”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kohaku Kana Character Portrait: Kurosawa Ryūnosuke Character Portrait: Kohaku Souji-sama Character Portrait: Haru Katsuro Character Portrait: Honda Shizuka Character Portrait: Fumio Hajime Character Portrait: Alexander Ornstein III
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Shizuka fought every natural reflex within her body that commanded her to look for the source of that booming yet humane sound. This was due to the laughter which echoed through the room. She was certain that she was not the only one rattled by such a sound of merriment and interest. Though, this did not deter her from the gesture of her resolve towards the man she believed to be the one in command. His answer in regards to the aftermath of this mission had no effect on her. Empires, regimes, and governments fall all the time. It will stay true no matter who are fighting on the opposing sides of the quadrants. That is simply how this world revolutionizes itself, how life enters a cycle. As for the physical reward, it did give a pleasant music to her ears. There was no need for title on her part, just the jiggling sound of coins would be enough. She did at first arrived to this recruitment for that purpose. But at this moment, it is considered a bonus. For her main reward, the opportunity to kill the infamous Warlord Haru Yousuke is what truly drives her to be a part of this dangerous enterprise.

No matter the case, her gesture was answered. Those deep blue eyes of hers were soon met by honey brown ones. She could see that this man was reflecting her seriousness at equal lengths. There was no humor in it. That made this person agreeable to her despite being corrected about presenting one's sword in regards to service. She did not find any offense on that as she does not have any idea of such conduct. Instead, she presented a look of slight apology with a shrug of her shoulders to imply her nonchalant ignorance of it. She then took a step back as if to say, it will not happen again. With her katana in hand, she proceeded in returning the ebony blade back into its scabbard. Her burst of rage had been extinguished by the conversations being thrown within the room. As far as she could tell, there are only two who had been enlisted to the cause who included her and the man who had expressed joviality of the people gathered here today.

Her eyes traveled to the said man who stood out due to what he is missing and that would be an arm. Most people would have wallowed in self-pity of being relieved of an arm or be consumed by fear. This one is of strong spirit. Well, it was the only compliment she would give in repayment for the man calling her 'boldest ronin'. Unfortunately, she will not be able to voice that. In any case, the attention inside the room shifted to another or more specifically, a foreigner. It was a boy with hair like that of wild wheat and the oddest set of clothes she had ever seen as of now. Curious as she is, her head tilted to the side. It was a habitual quirk of hers when something had caught her interest which is a rarity these days. Unknown to her, she did exude a minor childlike innocent demeanor, but for a minute amount. The boy was asked if he was a tourist. Yet, the question which could be answered by a simple yes or no was reciprocated with an enthusiastic chatter of the foreigner. There was no doubt in Shizuka's mind that the boy was enamored by the ideas of samurai and was it mentioned, monsters?

Apparently, the stories of people living beyond the seas are true. They are delusional when factors are considered. What did this gaijin expect to do in this country? This place is not for theatrical plays of the naive and incredibly foolish people, a prime example, the foreigner. But then again, it would probably be good to crush such annoying traits into bits. The world is not a playful hunt drummed by excitement. It is very cruel for everyone including her. In the end, they are nothing more but preys being consistently hunted whether what it could be, that entirely depends on the specific individual. She could tell from the start that interaction with the gaijin would be limited by her at a distance. Her dislike for naivety has been set in stone. Though, the ideas being spouted by the foreigner seemed to come from this master the boy spoke.

She believed that would be the older man nearby. Well, the man certainly radiates a presence of a seasoned warrior, expected from the age she could perceive him to be. At the same time, he is a person who had adapted well to the harsh wilderness that is of Nippon from the manner he speaks. She did not find anything offending in his suggestions though, the bit underlining of his words in which measuring her ability against that scum of a warlord without even being specific, irks her. This was reflected with her eyes narrowing to a noticeable degree. Her and this man will not get along. She could tell that much. Though, she does not mind earning an incentive through decapitated heads. That however was rebuked by their employer outright. How sad. She slightly shrugged her shoulders and then allowed her gaze to travel on the other side of the dojo where an individual described as calculating stood by.

Those eyes of hers quickly narrowed and her lips pressed together in contemplation. It would seem that this job had assembled men with skill and if she is mistaken, then a death wish perhaps. In any case, there was another thing which bothered her immensely. She was obviously the shortest of everyone here and not by a simple inch or two. All of these males towered her. Her complex about her height began to rear its ugly head on her confidence. It made her wonder if there is a drug that would make her taller overnight. She had already tried drinking milk. It had not served her well as much as she could tell. Furthermore, these giants will not be good for her neck as she would need to constantly look up when in conversation. Well, she could do away with that by keeping to herself which she had always done before.

Removing her eyes from the calculating man, her eyes returned to their employer. The man spoke of meeting at the northwestern gate by dawn tomorrow. She would have wanted to start now. It would mean she would have to worry about her living necessities for a while until then. This made her pursed her lips in thought with her arms cross over her chest. She would need to entertain herself a bit more. With that, she made herself to the exit where they were being pushed towards to. It was much she could tell from the one in-charge. She would not blame him for she would do the exact thing. No further actions on her part, she let herself out of the dojo without bothering with the others. Ronin like them had always been alone; they make acquaintances, purely professional links, nothing more.

It was still uncertain if all of them would be together for this job. So, she sees no need for any interactions from her part. Though, she did notice someone coming towards them. It was a girl and another stab to her complex, the female was still taller than her. Why does everyone just towered over her? Is she a midget by nature? This was really frustrating as she closed her eyes briefly at this. She would need to increase her intake of that milk. When she did open her eyes, she saw the girl bowing her head, a polite gesture. There was no doubt the girl was still young. It reminded her something or rather someone. She then looked over her shoulder following the female who went towards her employer. Not stopping from her stride, she had managed to hear the word father. So, that is the connection, family. There was a haze of sadness in those eyes of hers, but only for a moment.

Returning her eyes to the front, she noticed the one described earlier as calculating spoke of their situation as a set of unlikely matters. To an outsider and unfamiliar one, it would seem just as that. However for her, that bastard Yousuke he speaks of should see this coming. This was but preordained. People who enact bloodshed must be prepared to receive such equal payment, though she would not mind giving an incentive of additional blood in regards to the targeted warlord.

Stopping from her tracks, she was also able to halt her mind from creating very realistic images of torture for the warlord in question. For now, her attention was taken. Her eyes gauged the man at a closer proximity and she could already tell that a green-eyed monster was starting to have a grip on her. Why could she not look like him instead? Tall, handsome, and cool-looking, something one would expect of a samurai or ronin. That is it, this man is a rival, a threat. Her eyes narrowed as she took a step back to keep distance. Then, she rolled her eyes in a manner to imply that she believed him to be an idiot. Actually, she was actually feeling pretty good about herself. She knows something that this man does not. One point for her. Not wanting to waste her time and to flaunt her self-proclaimed victory, she glanced at the one-armed man. This one should be sociable enough to provide as a conversation partner.

With that, she dismissed her presence before them by making her way to the town. Whether they meet later or tomorrow, she does not care. For now, she would need to pass time in which she could secure a lodging for the night. And that is the only thing on her mind right now as she silently contemplated her choices, placing her sandogasa back on her head.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kohaku Kana Character Portrait: Kurosawa Ryūnosuke Character Portrait: Kohaku Souji-sama Character Portrait: Haru Katsuro Character Portrait: Honda Shizuka Character Portrait: Fumio Hajime Character Portrait: Alexander Ornstein III
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Haru Katsuro

After he had made his introduction there was quite a lot of debate flying about the room, and soon attention was brought to the... well quite frankly the elephant in the room. The enthusiastic, blonde, squeaky elephant with horrible Japanese. Really, it was awful. An assault on their language would be an understatement. Despite the foreigner's horrid attempt at speech, he somehow managed to convey his reasons for being here, he could only assume that his master was the rather large, and extremely rude, man beside him. As for the part about becoming samurai... That was decidedly odd. True many foreigners were fascinated with their culture and the ways of Bushido, he'd had to deal with a few himself during his military service, but he'd never met any truly desiring to become samurai. It was both parts amusing and disturbing, especially how enthusiastic he was about it. There was also something in there about hunting monsters, which brought up some rather unpleasant memories.

He reached over and gently massaged his nub of a shoulder as the discussions continued, the majority of which simply sounded like empty bragging on the larger man's part, as well as the request for more pay. Well, he couldn't blame the man for such a request, they were going after one of the deadliest men in Japan, and possibly even on earth. To ask great compensation for such, while extremely rude in this case, was not particularly uncalled for. Still, this man irked him to no end, he could practically feel his ego swelling as he spoke. He refrained from saying anything, simply in order to avoid causing any more tension than was already in the room. However their host obviously felt that enough was enough, and who could blame him, denying the man's request and calling an end to their meeting. Any interested parties were to meet tomorrow at dawn by the northeastern gate.

Picking up his bundle and slinging it over his shoulder as he stood up, his brow furrowed for a moment. He had already decided he would not be returning to the shack in the slums which he had previously stayed in, so where would he go? Plagued by this oversight in his plans, he stepped out of the dojo, though before he left he turned and bowed to Kohaku.
Thank you for your hospitality. I shall see you tomorrow as ordained. Good day." And with that he left, though not before seeing a young lady running up to the dojo, straight towards Kohaku. He didn't catch much of their conversation as he was walking away, just next to the bold yet silent ronin from before, but he did catch "Father". Content for now to walk in silence while he determined where he would spend the coming night, when the pair was approached by the rather tall, actually extremely tall now that he sees the man standing, samurai who had sat towards the back of the room. Katsuro bowed his head in quiet greeting, hoping that the two of them could start out on the right foot, they would hopefully be comrades after all. He then inquired as to their knowledge of the warlord, claiming he had very little understanding of the subject. Katsuro very nearly cringed at the subject, but it was a fair question given the circumstances. The quiet man merely seemed to dismiss the two of them and wandered off into town, piquing his curiosity slightly. There was definitely a story to be told there, if the man would ever open his mouth.

After quietly debating how much he should tell the man, he decided there was no reason to hide anything, hiding things this early could sow distrust later.
"I do in fact know a bit of the man, on a bit of a personal level. The rumors about him are, unfortunately, not an exaggeration. If they were, I might still have an arm."
Even Katsuro couldn't completely mask the shame he felt at that moment, having lost not only the fight but his arm and a great deal of his honor in a single night. A deep breath and a small grunt brought him back to his norm and the conversation at hand.
"If you're seriously considering this venture, then I suggest you not underestimate this opponent, nor those he employs." Feeling he'd said all that needed saying, he bowed politely and turned to leave, but he suddenly felt an urge, no more like an instinct to turn his head and say "I'll see you tomorrow morning, stranger." before he walked off into town in search of an Inn that would take him in. He then realized he still had that coin-purse from yesterdays thugs. With a light grin, he picked up his step, visions of tempura and a soft bed dancing in his head.

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Character Portrait: Kohaku Kana Character Portrait: Kashou Honeshiro
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Lady Chinatsu had been eerily quiet, a crazed calm tingling under her skin, visible in her half lidded eyes. She allowed Kana to comb her hair, her head leaning this way or that with the gentle strokes. This activity kept her calmer these days. The morning was spent this way until the honorable lady spoke. "Bring me his head Kana-chan, won't you? His head." She sounded like a little girl almost, the request so simple and innocent, as though she were simply asking Kana to go to the store and get her some sweets. It almost made Kana wince. Sake made Lady Chinatsu more agreeable, but she took it like medicine. It was not up to Kana on whether or not she should have it though.

"Of course Chinatsu-dono." came her reply, her voice strained with the force of sounding chipper, her smile offset by the worried furrow of her brow. She did not like what the Lady had become, but it was not her place to judge. "Today I am meeting a few men- Ah. My father is meeting a few men who will accompany us." Kana finished Lady Chinatsu's hair.

"Tsk tsk kana, you're doing something your father doesn't know about aren't you." It was a statement, not a question, an amused one. "You were always so very willful, but well meaning. It's going to get you into trouble... but not from me." She raised a finger to her mouth childishly, smiling at her new secret. This left Kana to smile and excuse herself, the Lady Chinatsu was laughing her out, finding something else she had thought of entirely hilarious. The laughter was loud and unabashed, unrestrained, unlike the Lady Chinatsu from three years ago.

"What mood is she in today?" Lady Chinatsu's mother asked as she passed by Kana in the hall.

"The Sake is working. So she might throw a tantrum today but otherwise she won't get angry." This was one of Lady Chinatsu's better moods. Other days she would be in a rage all day, over the smallest things.

With a sigh Lady Chinatsu's mother handed her the bundle she was carrying and turned away from Kana, off to see her daughter, "Do yourself a favor and find yourself a husband dear, one that will take you away from here and this nonsense. And if you'd stop playing with swords and put your hair up properly you'd find one much quicker...
you look like a peasant with your hair like that." Kana silently watched her leave for a moment before continuing on her way out. She unwrapped the bundle a bit, already knowing what it was, Lady Chinatsu's mother may talk harsh sometimes but she was kind and knew her affinity for dumplings.

Kana had been getting up early to come over and do Lady Chinatsu's hair every morning, to establish a pattern of behavior that her father could expect from her. He wouldn't be expecting her for another while since she was always sure to stay until a little after noon. And this particular day is when her father would be recruiting ronin for their trip. She would take this time to visit a couple of promising ronin that her various contacts had been recommending to her. She wanted to hand pick a few very strong ones to show to her father, to surprise him with her initiative. She wanted him to take her role in this seriously. Kana had her suspicions that although he would allow her to come along he wouldn't allow her to participate in any way. She knew she could prove to him otherwise, he'd have to see.

"Kana-chan!" Kana whirled around, her friend Inoue had been the one to tell her about a few who were in Edo. Inoue was one of the ladies of the Daimyo's wife and she heard talk of all sorts about the political on-goings of the district. "I'm so lucky I found you, please come quickly, he was about to leave, but I convinced him to stay." Inoue hurried Kana along. "He likes pretty women so you're in luck! You're beautiful friend was able to convince him to wait around for a bit." Kana laughed at her friend's ruthless flirtations as they hurried along.

Ravenous green eyes trailed after unwitting passerby. The foot traffic consisted of floral patterns, of ladies and men with their easy smiles and clean, dust free tabi. Smooth hands. White skin. His hungry gaze pawed and tore into their loosely clutched baskets and packages. A bolt of cloth here, a bundle of rice there.

Today’s shoppers were practically gleaming. As expected.

This shining crowd avoided him and his sort, like fish in the river coasting away from a lurking shadow. It seemed to happen automatically and naturally, as though the people were programmed to move with one another in some unseen and seamless fashion. Unspoken social cues, shoulders that tilted away from the offset alcove the beggar huddled in.

It was important to avoid meeting such a starved expression. Honeshiro’s face, lean and gaunt, was lined with bandages around his jaw and forehead. If you could call those ragged scraps of cloth “bandages”, of course. The hanyou wasn’t injured, but somehow he doubted anyone would care to see the places where his skull had eaten through skin.

His hands, carefully tucked into ragged sleeves, clacked and clattered as skeletal fingers twitched and flexed. Today wasn’t a good day. Today, in fact, was the most recent in an unbroken chain of bad days. He didn’t mind. Misfortune bled into misfortune until the world dripped with colorless, bleak melancholia. After a certain point it grew difficult to make the distinction from one sorrow to the next.

Hunger. His teeth ate at the insides of his gums, at his lips and jaw. The ridges of his spine dug into the back of his neck, stretching and straining against Honeshiro's wearied skin. A sense of failing urgency tugged and tugged. Too many people. Too many bits of bone had eaten their starving way through his flesh. And too many eyes capable of seeing them.

But, crumbled off to the side, Honeshiro’s filthy form sat obscured by the shade. His kind remained avoided by the pedestrians, and their careless eyes skated right over the outlier in the shadows.

One didn’t necessarily need to become invisible to remain unseen.

Inoue and Kana weaved through the crowd, "Inoue slow down, I am holding delicate dumplings you know!" Inoue did not slow down. Kana hurried to keep up but was compelled to stop suddenly. Her head tilted, her face took a look of confusion, and then she looked to her right. A man under a tree, or rather a bunch of rags under a tree, the man was so obscured by them. Kana's feet took her straight to him. Upon getting a good look at him the reason for knowing he was there before seeing him was no longer important.

"Do you like dumplings by any chance? They're fresh, and there's plenty of them." Kana said, realizing she was staring.

"Kana what are you doing?! Hurry up!" Inoue yelled, keeping her distance.

"Here just take the whole thing." Kana had no more time to spare, she hurriedly shoved the bundle into his arms and started to hurry toward Inoue. "Oh and, eat something else too!" Kana tossed her entire coin purse to the vagabond, not having the opportunity to politely give him a set amount of spare change as Inoue was dragging her away now, giving her a look.

Honeshiro coughed, sputtering as the young girl began to vanish in the colorful swirl of human traffic. Now, where had that come from!? Hadn't he just been musing on the apathy of the masses, the need to blend in with the rest of the species? Despairing upon the bleakness of his general existence?

Screw all that crap; this was the best day ever!!!

'Free food, huh?' The warmth from the package bundled in his arms seeped into the halfbreed's very core. The scent of the dust and the passing rabble subsided in the face of the overpowering aroma of... dough and cooked poultry. She really had given him dumplings. Given. All on her own. He hadn't even seen her com--!


His bones reverberated, burning under his skin. A single voice drove itself, as piercing as any blade, straight through Honeshiro's thick skull. Image Had to eat. Had to eat. Had to....

Kashou looked down, leveling his gaze slowly. In his lap, a mess of torn fabric was all that remained of the serendipitous girl's gift. He had devoured them all, so quickly? Not surprising. Hadn't eaten in days. Still. Honeshiro didn't remember how many dumplings had been in the package, didn't even remember opening the damn thing. "What did they... taste like?" The beggar's mouth went dry. He didn't know.

A moment of silence.

The half demon groaned, the flesh of his face twisting and twining back over the exposed bone of his jaw and cheek. Bandaged, skeletal fingertips reached up, inspecting the tender new skin. Huh. It seemed like he would no longer need to cover his face. 'This makes things easier.' Honeshiro wasted no time peeling the worn rags from his person, flexing his jaw testily.

"Best damn day ever," the half demon concluded once more, muttering to himself as he stowed the cloth and the girl's wallet up a haggard sleeve. Sure as hell wasn't gonna give any of this shit back. But it wasn't as though Honeshiro was ungrateful.

Far from it, in fact. The man rose to his feet, pointedly ignoring a handful of stares as he stretched luxuriously. He twisted, bones and joints popping and cracking. 'That girl... where did she go?' She was an interesting one, that was for sure. Though the flavor of the dumplings evaded him, the image of her rushed and hurried expression had burned itself behind Honeshiro's eyes.

She had gone... left, yeah? Dragged off by her friend. Hmph. No matter. Her smell had been rather distinct.

He'd find her.