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Kichirou Matsumoto

"Sometimes words can save you from something a sword can't." (making final adjustments)

0 · 411 views · located in Edo Japan

a character in “Tsukiakari”, as played by roomrider

Description

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Sometimes words can save you from something a sword can't.


Normal || The Hero Stays at the Devil's Castle | Hataruaku Maou-sama ||
Angry || The End | farhankk360 ||
Emotional || Kiss the Rain | Yurima ||
The Ultimate Deception || Cannot Bear to Watch | Hataruaku Maou-sama ||
Just messing with you || Living Poorly | Hataruaku Maou-sama ||






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♔ || Name || ♔ Kichirou Matsumoto

♔ || Nickname(s) || ♔ Kichi

♔ || Race || ♔ Human

♔ || Specializes In || ♔
Human of Mischief and Manipulation

♔ || Age || ♔ 21

♔ || Gender || ♔ Male

♔ || Sexuality || ♔ Heterosexual

♔ || Face Claim || ♔ Kazama Chikage






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♔ || Height || ♔ 5'11

♔ || Weight || ♔ 140 lbs.

♔ || Hair Color || ♔ Blonde

♔ || Eye Color || ♔ Red

♔ || Skin Tone || ♔ Pale

♔ || Build/Appearance/Preferred Clothing || ♔ Kichirou has a lean build, and stands at the height of 5'11. He is on the thinner side, but has some athleticism to him. He has a decent muscular build but relies more on speed and agility when it comes down to a fight. He has very good stamina, being able to stay strong in long or drawn out fights. Kichirou usually sticks to wearing the traditional robe-like clothing worn by most at the time. He also wears a Black and gold colored collar secured by string. A sword is found on his hip most of the time, but unlike what the samurai used, there is no secondary shorter sword in accompaniment. Despite being the "trickster," Kichirou always maintains a calm and collected composure, never laughing at his own mischief. He keeps a straight face most of the time and acts quite clean-cut, which is why Kichirou is a very unsuspected trickster.






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♔ || Weapon || ♔
His Tongue: Kichirou always considered his tongue his most powerful tool and weapon. He uses it to effectively convince or manipulate people, usually to his benefit. He also uses it to get out of tight situations, Kichirou is an excellent negotiator and his name which means "lucky son" doesn't lose it's meaning. After all, being the younger one in the group, and not being all that strong either, a guy's gotta find some way to get what he wants, right?

Katana: Kichirou usually carries around a classic samurai style katana. Nothing super fancy, it has a strong blade with no engravings or markings, and the handle is wrapped in clothe, to help with grip.

Tessen: This otherwise harmless looking fan can be used as a club when folded. Of course it can be used for cooling oneself as well.

♔ || Abilities || ♔ Being able to have the uncanny way of convincing someone, or something, almost to the point of being a supernatural ability.






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♔ || Personality || ♔ Kichirou is a fun-loving and easy-going person. He stays lax on rules and is lax on enforcing them as well. Even if he isn't smiling, Kichirou is still in a good mood, he just tends to save his smiles until he finds a way to put them to good use. Once you get to know Kichirou, he's a nice guy. However to people he doesn't know, or worse, people he dislikes, he'll be the first one to either play a prank, test his acting and persuasion skills on you, or just downright humiliate you. He does this by his effective way of making one believe what he's saying by using not only his voice, but also his body language and good acting. Of course Kichirou doesn't mean any harm, and wouldn't take any offense if you tried to get him back. Kichirou jokes in a very peculier way however, he tends to keep a straight face and proper composure, much like he always does. He never makes a fool of himself in the process, keeping his composure respectable. Although he's not necessarily the joker, he does tend to make people laugh, usually by making a fool of someone else.

♔ || Likes || ♔
People Like Him: "Birds of a feather flock together." Much like this well-known saying, Kickirou gets along very well with people like himself.
Gullible Victims: He loves people who are easily fooled, mainly because he can pull one joke or prank after another, and they'll never catch on.
People who know how to take a joke: Well, it's no fun when you get yelled at every time you fool someone...so it's a lot better when that person knows how to take a joke.
Wine: A formal and delectable drink.
Fruit Cocktails: A noteable mix of juices and alchohal.

♔ || Dislikes || ♔
People who are abnormally strict with rules: Kichirou is quite lax on rules himself, so he hates it when someone comes around telling him he's slacking. After all, he still gets things done.

People who can't take a joke: Like it was stated above, it's not funny if the victim is scarred for life.

People who are too serious and easily angered: Kichirou dislikes it when people get to serious, he feels all people should be more relaxed and carefree like him.

Love: "It's foolish, love makes a person do something they wouldn't under normal circumstances. Love is insanity."

Beer: "It makes one look like a drunk holding a bottle of it."

Sake: "Disgusting, who would drink it?"

Samurai: Kichirou dislikes samurai because of the way they act, they act like they're better than all of the people "below" there standings. Also Kichirou finds there code of honor foolish.

♔ || Talents || ♔
Silver Tongue: He has a very appealing voice, not to mention that he's an amazing speaker as well. There is a rumor that he'd even sweet talked a demon.

Persuasion: Kichirou is very good at making people see things the way he wants them to see it. Therefore, making decisions that he want them to decide. This ability makes Kichirou excellent at negotiations, winning a crowd, or just making someone do what he wants them to do.

Acting: Having a nice voice and being persuasive in addition to good acting allows Kichirou to be the ultimate representative. Even though it wouldn't be right for the youngest to represent the group, being an excellent diplomat allows Kichirou some influence.

Nimbleness: Being quite fast and agile on his feet, this is a big advantage for Kichirou during engagements. He can dodge effectively, not to mention execute lightning fast combos. Also considering that his stamina is well developed, he can tire an enemy by dragging out the battle.

Intelligence: Something that is easily lost in the midst of his most prudent ability. It takes intelligence to find the right things to say in order to persuade someone, or in finding a way to stop someone from killing you with nothing but words. His tactical prowess is quite notable, yet not very noticed. Therefore, he usually uses his tactical view of things in sword engagements mostly. His logic is well developed as well, also branching off of his ability to manipulate and fool people.

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♔ || Flaws || ♔
Brute Strength: Don't get the wrong idea, Kichirou is not weakling, but he's no buff brute either. Which is why the correct use of brute strength is his largest physical weakness.

Joker: Earning the status as sort of the "jester" of the group has it's bad sides. People don't always believe you, even when it's important, and you could develop a group of haters as well.

Goof off: Although the way he carries himself states otherwise, Kichirou is not the most on-task person. He's often losing focus or just plain ignoring the fact that something needs to be done. This of course, can get him into trouble, which he talks his way out of.

Swordsmanship: Although Kichirou has downed a few in a sword duel, he is not the most knowledgeable swordsman. A real fighter is something he would not be able to deal with. Kichirou may be able to stall a bit and possibly get lucky, but all in all, he's done for.

♔ || Fears || ♔
Someone he can't waver with his words: Some stubborn brute the size of a bull who doesn't listen to logical thoughts. This is a nightmare for Kichirou.

Superior Swordsman: I mean, who wouldn't feel uncomfortable being with a guy who you know can cut you down with ease?

Bowmen: Issues can arise when a person can kill you before you can have a chance to kill them first.

Death: Although he doesn't show it, Kishirou is very afraid for his life. Of course he must keep his composure to find out a way out of a life-threatening situation however. Which is why it is not known.

Gods: "They are to be feared and respected."






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♔ || Family || ♔
Kichirou has two parents, who are sadly deceased. He does have two older siblings however, who are still living. They are both brothers and are almost complete foils to Kichirou.

♔ || Romantic Interest || ♔
Rin Fukushima-"I'm far from in love, I just find her...nice."

♔ || Bio || ♔
Kichirou was born to his two parents. He had two older brothers who bullied him and treated him unfairly when he was younger. Unfortunately, Kichirou was not only younger, but had a more lean stature than his brothers. His brothers were very stocky and powerfully built, making it all but impossible for Kichirou to overpower them. Luckily for Kichirou, as he grew older, he found that he could now get his way, at least some of the time. Day after day of his older brothers' torment left him to think of ways to stop it, and he figured it out little by little. His older siblings' weakness was quite simple, superior intelligence and logical thinking. Therefore Kichirou found a way to finally get out of his cage without having to gain an insanely large amount of muscle.

But before Kichirou had made this breakthrough, he was quite reserved and segregated. He didn't interact much with others and was on his own. He was the only one who would stand up for himself, and if he wanted something, he'd have to do every single step himself. Being alone didn't bother Kichirou though, he found it nice that he could think and have some serenity.

After Kichirou was in his teens, he began to apply his skills in persuasion in every day life, improving daily. With money running low at times, he found ways to get things he didn't deserve. His gift of speaking was put to use in obtaining food or money. In other words, Kichirou was a small time con-artist at the age of 16 But one day, his father was killed in some sort of accident that to this day, Kichirou knows nothing about. His mother became very ill afterwards and passed as well. Now, just having his two older brothers, Kichirou chose to do much of the housework, while his brothers went out to work. But change was to happen soon, and when his brothers found out about some sort of ragtag team composed of humans, gods, spirits, and demons. Of course, they were quick to enlist, and Kichirou, trying to keep the family together, enlisted also.

So begins...

Kichirou Matsumoto's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Amaiko Soranagi Character Portrait: Misaki Akhito Character Portrait: Hiruko Character Portrait: Mizuki Matsushita Character Portrait: Hachiro Takeaki Character Portrait: Kasumi Character Portrait: Akiko Character Portrait: Kiba Bayushi Character Portrait: Zalenetsu Character Portrait: Rin Fukushima Character Portrait: Kichirou Matsumoto Character Portrait: Kanika Character Portrait: Naomi Asai Character Portrait: Ankoku Character Portrait: Kumorimaru Character Portrait: Tsukiko
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Demon | of | Revenge




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Laying, bored as usual, in the center of the Tsukiakari shrine, Ankoku, the demon of revenge, stared stultifyingly at the tree's slowly beginning to lose their charm, blossoms, and leaves. Fall was approaching along with winter following afterwards. Not that she cared. Ankoku hardly paid attention to the seasons. In fact, she was quite apathetic about many things after all the years she's lived her dull life, 'It's always the same thing, over and over again.'
She thought tiredly to herself. Lately, the individual prayers that she had gotten were all stories about how someone's loved one was killed by a demon or another human, and she, Ankoku, had to go hunt down the killer and take care of them herself. She was named the demon of revenge for a good reason, but sometimes, she wanted a more interesting request than the same stories over and over again.

Ankoku glanced over at the donation boxes, ones where people tossed any extra money in hopes that their luck of their wishes being granted would be increased. Out of boredom, and curiosity, she got up, walking barefoot, as usual, on the smooth wooden floors of the Tsukiakari housing until she reached the front of the shrine. It was no surprise how quiet it was and how no one was in sight of the shrine. They were, even during the war, still quite unpopular.

She walked by every single demon, spirit, and their great god's boxes until she reached her own. A few coins, as expected. Ankoku was still quite a minor demon, hardly known, hardly powerful. But what told her that she was still there and remembered was when she got prayers. Of course, they were mostly from bad people. What good person would want revenge? No one.

Just as she scoffed at how poor Tsukiakari really was, she realized that she was getting another prayer, 'My brother was killed in this war. A demon killed him on the battle field, one with a large head and a tiny body. It was tall and intimidating. Please take revenge for me, Ankoku.' Ankoku frowned with annoyance at this and wiped the memory clear from her head, deciding not to take that job. As unsatisfied as she was, she'd rather be that than have to replay the same story all over again for the hundredth time.

'It's just another damn prayer. Who the hell cares if I don't take revenge for them either? Honestly... humans are so tiring... We don't have to do all their work. If they really wanted revenge, they wouldn't call on a demon to do their bidding.' Just like the gods who had unleashed hell, Ankoku, too, despised most humans.

Ankoku was orignally about to walk away, seeing as there was nothing of interest to her there until there was a chime of the bell; the bell belonging to Tsukiakari's shrine. That meant that there was a prayer for the whole entire group. The whole entire Tsukiakari group. Quickly, she ran back to the largest saisen, the donation box, which obviously was for the Tsukiakari group, and found a prayer written across the board, how they are usually written for the group.

''The demons are spreading to my village lately, and they're terrorizing everyone. It started with just a few pranks, like breaking pots or tripping the kids, but it's gotten more violent. People are dying and we can see them clearly now. They're wiping out the whole entire village. Our men, including myself, can't stop them, and the women and children are being killed. Please, Tsukiakari, help us.'

It was from an adult male villager, and this made Ankoku grow eager. Rudely, as usual, she called throughout to those who were still in the area of the shrine, "Off your asses, fools! Get over here! We finally got a prayer." She felt the excitement rush through her while she yelled. Hell, she could care less if anyone was bothered by her yelling at this point.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kichirou Matsumoto Character Portrait: Ankoku Character Portrait: Kumorimaru
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Kichirou quietly sat in his room smoking some very good quality leaves he had bought not too long ago. He didn't necessarily like smoking, there just really wasn't anything better to do at the moment. The young man stood up, inspecting a pouch full of dried leaves that he'd picked himself. It hadn't been long since he'd begun to sell these...strange greens. The idea was to just make enough to keep himself well clothed and fed.

However, this...substance had been quite the money-maker. There were no such thing as one-time customers for these leaves. Kichirou had tried them himself, and hardly managed to keep himself from "trying" it again. Now he took a closer look at the leaves. They were just about ready for selling now.

"Better find a good time to meet up with my customers soon." he thought. "Or perhaps they'll be the one's trying to find me." Opening the door, the man strolled through the hall, a Katana attached to his hip. He gently fanned himself with a tessen as he made his way towards his brothers' quarters, holding a large sum of coins.

Now even though Kichirou had a rough past with his two older brothers, the three had...mended over the years. His brothers were quite the foils to his build and personality. They were both about half a head shorter than he, but made up for it with their very powerful build. Unlike Kichirou, they were often roudy and made rash decisions.

Coming to a stop in front of their quarters, Kichirou took a deep breath before opening his mouth to speak. "Hello older brethren, it is I Kichirou. May I come in?" His formal and humble request was replied to in the most inappropriate way.

"Yeah sure, go ahead." Kichirou opened the door to his brothers’ room and stepped inside. His two siblings looked up from their meal.

“My apologies, I did not mean to interrupt your mealtime.” he said bowing. Kichirou’s brothers had settled for irregular meal times ever since they were young. Breakfast would often be skipped and replaced with a sort of “brunch.” Dinner would often be skipped also, being substituted by a late night meal. The main thing that bothered Kichirou the most however, was the inconsistency of their meal times. There really wasn’t any way to predict when, or even where his siblings would be enjoying their meal.

“It’s fine.” it was Daiki. Daiki was the oldest and first-born of the family. He was even larger, muscle-mass wise, than Ken, the second oldest.
“So,” Ken inquired. “what’s up? Kichirou kneeled offering the large amount of coins to the two. Now this was never part of the plan, however those “leaves” were making so much, that Kichirou felt that it would only be right to share some of his income with family.

The two men’s eyes went wide. “Kichi…” Ken trailed off.

“Where the hell did you get all of this?!” Kichirou smiled, the look on their faces would be imbedded in his mind forevermore.

“I only obtained a new job.” he replied calmly. “Luckily one that pays quite well.” The look of shock slowly subsided from his brothers’ faces after they finally comprehended the fact that this was real.

“So, what’s the job?”

"Oh my," the younger sibling thought. "This is when it gets a little more exciting." But before he could answer, he was interrupted by the chime of a bell. The bell of the Tsukiakari's shrine. As the trio got up and made their way towards the shrine, Ankoku's yells to urge them could be heard. "Must such rash language be used? Kishirou thought as he became able to hear Ankoku's "urgings" more clearly.

The new task sounded boring. Not only boring, but dangerous, and dirty, and bloody. Not Kichirou's kind of thing. Of course his brother's were quick to volunteer however. "My deepest apologies." Kichirou put on his best look of shame and regret. "I have a bit of a...business meeting to attend to shortly. I hope you understand." He stared at the ground maintaining the look of sadness in his eyes, and grasped his hands in front of himself.

"Kichirou, you are an expert artist."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kiba Bayushi Character Portrait: Kichirou Matsumoto Character Portrait: Ankoku Character Portrait: Kumorimaru Character Portrait: Tsukiko
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The intricacies of the duel were often lost to those who weren't trained in the art of iajutsu dueling. Iajutsu masters could strike their opponent down with only their gaze, without even having to lift a finger. A master, he was not, so Kiba dare not even move to wipe the sweat dripping from his brow and stinging his eyes. Could he feel paralysis creeping into his bones as he locked his blue and green gaze with his opponent's disconcerting amber one, or was he imagining it? His opponent's thumb twitched, sending a jolt of electricity down his spine.

He must have flinched involuntarily, since he could feel the weight of her intent now crushing down upon his shoulders. Her piercing gaze widened, and a tattooed hand darted with lightning quickness to her belt. That was the moment he knew it was over, even before he felt here eyes lock straight onto his weakest point.

"Check," she intoned gravely, snapping a knight which she had taken from him earlier onto the board. It clacked down with finality, and Kiba knew he only had one or two moves before all was lost. He mustered the fiercest gaze he could under the circumstances and locked eyes with her once again. Try as he might, however, she was unreadable, even after they sat for what felt like hours in unblinking contest.

"Well?" She asked.

"I'm thinking," he replied.

"You're stalling," she accused, twisting one corner of her plush red lips into a sly little grin. That was all it took to smite the weakest link in his armor and send his fierce exterior crumbling. "Watch your mouth," she commanded afterwards, right as he was about to open it to swear.

"How did I end up like this again?"

"You made a bet," she informed gravely, her eyes narrowing as if she knew where this conversation was headed.

"I think I've sweat out most of the booze and come to my senses by now... besides, you can't hold a drunk man to his word..."

She didn't reply, only held out her tattooed hand palm up to him, the light glinting off the tips of her blue painted nails.

"Dammit, Zahn..." Kiba swore, deflating like a balloon. He dug one of his weathered hands into a pouch hanging from his belt. "One of these days I will beat you," he promised as he slapped a shiny rock into her hand.

He felt her amber gaze slice through him once again for a fraction of a second, but she held the rock up, and as the light hit it just-so, it shimmered brilliantly and projected a rainbow onto her face. After a long, tense minute she broke out into a big smile, exposing her pointed canines and closed her fist around the rock.

"When you have something else shiny, feel free to come back and try again," she sang merrily. "By the way, your babysitter is calling."

"What?" He raised an eyebrow at her, but after a moment off in the distance he could hear the bell from the Tsukiaki shrine give a single tone. He couldn't help but look over his shoulder in the direction of the shrine. It didn't seem to matter how far away he was from that place, he could hear whenever that bell chimed... rarely as it did. He turned back to spear Zahn with a suspicious look. She'd already vanished with nary a sound, though he could feel her giggling at him from... someplace.

"Don't meddle in the affairs..." Kiba trailed off, noting some words of wisdom his father used to tell him with some chagrin, and yet whenever he found a shiny trinket to gamble (emphasis on shiny and not necessarily valuable), he always made his way to Zahn's Shogi board.

Kiba used his last few yen to buy a bottle of saki for the road with an air of disappointment and made the long trek back to the Tsukiakari shrine. He passed Kichirou in the hall talking to his brothers on the way. Kiba usually greeted him with a hearty hello and a stiff shoulder slap... that is except when he returned from one of Zahn's thorough lashings. He unhooked a skin of wine sealed with wax that he'd "bartered for from a travelling merchant" (read: stolen, probably from highwaymen who'd taken it from said merchant) and thrust it into Kichirou's hands as he passed.

"Not to my taste," he grunted sullenly and tromped heavily up the steps into the shrine where he leaned his considerable weight against the frame in the entrance and listened to the announcement. He didn't reply: the steely look in his eyes at the mention of demons causing trouble was enough for Ankoku to know he was in... when it concerned demons, he always was.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mizuki Matsushita Character Portrait: Kiba Bayushi Character Portrait: Kichirou Matsumoto Character Portrait: Ankoku Character Portrait: Kumorimaru Character Portrait: Tsukiko
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Demon | of | Revenge




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Not too long later after Ankoku's rude remark came the first person who heard her shouting across the shrine of the Tsukiakari; Kumorimaru, the demon of the dead and wind. Fellow demons, ones who Ankoku found to be wise, were always a good thing, to her, since now days, all the demons were just killing machines with less than a brain, “It would seem that there is an interesting task ahead, does it not, Ankoku? I myself do not have much to do. Alas, the main box has been relatively empty, has it not? This task does sound interesting- I shall help, if I am allowed.”

A smirk spread across Ankoku's face. Perhaps she wasn't the friendliest person or politest person at all times, after all, she was a demon, but she never turned down company when it was offered openly to her, "Doesn't it? Killing my own kind is a taboo, but they're all such idiots. Its because of demons like them that my people are degraded to be such low lives." She scowled a bit, but brought composure back to herself and responded, "The more the merrier, I suppose."

Soon afterwards, in fact, less than a mere few seconds from their small conversation entered the human, Kichirou Matsumodo. He was one of the few humans in that world, besides the others in Tsukiakari, that Ankoku could deal with, as she despised humans. He passed over, and said, "My deepest apologies. I have a bit of a...business meeting to attend to shortly. I hope you understand."

Ankoku stared at him blankly, then suspiciously but shrugged, "Too bad. You'd be missing out on a mission, seeing as this place hardly gets any prayers, even in this time of war..." Ankoku turned back to reread the prayer on the board behind Tsukiakari's saisen, "Well, if this business meeting is really as important as you make it to be, do what you wish." What exactly was a business meeting? Ankoku surely didn't know, even after all those years of being alive.

“Is there a need to yell?” Ankoku turned around to the cold and icy voice of Tsukiko, spirit of storms. If Ankoku were concerned with her appearance, she'd be jealous of the girl. However, she wasn't, "What in the name of the moon is this?” She questioned.

"Prayer." Ankoku said, not wavering her eyes away from the slowly fading words. She chuckled a bit when she added, "Surprising, isn't it? It'd been ages since someone's actually requested our help."

“My assistance will be provided.” Tsukiko said.

"Good, we'll be at a full-house in no time. That'll make this a little easier, since it is, after all, a whole village of demons we'll be taking care of." Honestly, Ankoku could care less if it were a pack of wolves, or taking place as a soldier in the war, or something as silly was trying to find a lost cat. She'd been used and called upon far too many times for revenge, each having the same story, that she was sick of it. All she wanted to do now was to take a new request, and luckily for her, the one she was staring at now had arrived to her ennui. Once more, she glanced over at Kichirou and muttered, "Shame."

There was a small crack in the wooden floors behind the group which Ankoku had caught with her sensitive ears. She turned, and there was Kiba Bayushi, another one of the few humans Ankoku didn't mind. In fact, he may have been her favorite of the few in Tsukiakari. Then again, what exactly was a favorite? "Not drunk are you, Bayushi?" Ankoku snickered.

Ankoku didn't speak for a bit, just looking at him silently. There was a look in his eyes which Ankoku easily saw through and said, "I guess that means you'll be joining us as well then, am I correct?" When she looked back at the board, the message had already faded to words that one could only see if they squinted hard enough. Ankoku moved her black hair out of her face and said, "The sooner we finish this, the better it is for the few remaining survivors of that village. I suggest we all get ready now before departure." She stated, then paused, "And someone find Matsushita. I'm concerned that girl's getting her nose in those books again... She, too, may miss out on this opportunity." Ankoku sighed and began her walk behind the Tsukiakari shrine to get to her own room, "I'll be fetching my sword in the mean time."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kiba Bayushi Character Portrait: Kichirou Matsumoto Character Portrait: Ankoku Character Portrait: Kumorimaru Character Portrait: Tsukiko
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The world tilts; his head tilts, a wind blows, annoyance grows. “My deepest apologies. I have a bit of a...business meeting to attend to shortly. I hope you understand." Darkness- and then the figures come back to focus. Irritation flows, teaming in the air as death streamed from Kumorimaru. A shake of the head, a sigh from the mouth, another step backward for a better view. "Too bad. You'd be missing out on a mission, seeing as this place hardly gets any prayers, even in this time of war.. .Well, if this business meeting is really as important as you make it to be, do what you wish." Eyes flicker to and fro, distrust filled the air, from demon to human. “Thou,” He started, death filling the air. “Thou must learn that thy…” Colors dull down, spin around. “Thou must learn that thine attitude-“ The swish of cloth, a nonchalant look from Kumorimaru to Matsumodo. “-could earn thee thine death, human.” No more was the conversation, breath stilled and hearts pounding. His heart did not pound; a wind pounded against the doors.

Thump thump thump- A voice pierced through the wind- pierced through Kumorimaru’s fake heart. A twist, a turn, a white figure appeared ice cold- cold as ice. Frosted wind from the river, from the sky- no, from Tsukiko. His eyes flash, mirroring the coldness that flashed in hers. What had she said- the wind had blown too hard- what did she say? Tea? What tea? “Tea. Doth thou wisheth to have some tea?” Did she ask? No, no- colors swirled, a prayer appeared in Kumorimaru’s blank mind. “Drag my shop rival to Jigoku- oh demon! Drag him down!” A step, a thump. Nothing more. A shake of his head and the voice was no more. Foolish humans. He exclaimed, exclaimed in his head. Hath the race of humans fallen to a state- A figure in the doorstep, a drunken figure, falling over, falling towards the floor. Another step back, a jingle, a shake of the head; flowers fall to the ground, petals float to the ground. "Not drunk are you, Bayushi?" A shared glance with Tsukiko, a shake of the head.

Ankoku was gone. Revenge was gone- off to fetch its sword of death and anger. A wind blows- away with the drunken smell! A step forward back to corridor of darkness, a beckoning of the hand for the cold to follow. “Tea. Didst thou not want tea? Feet on the floor- cold, cold- slow paces leading towards a hidden room. Hidden in a corner right above the lake, right next to the lake. The slide of a shoji, the light steps on tatami floors- a soft gust of wind to blow flowers to the sides of the room, a beautiful path for a beautiful guest. Petals dance in the air as a pot flashes in the air then out of the room, into the cold waters of Tsuki-ko. “But is there time for tea, is there?” Swishes of color, his kimono patterns dance around before settling down, the question now spelled across the light fabric. Is there time for tea? Is there time for tea? Is- The pattern folds, a fire is struck, the pot placed not over the fire but on a drawer. “Doth thou wish to drink gyokuro? Sencha? Bancha? Matcha?”

Drawers opened, bags pulled out. Lined up on the ground, carried by a soft breeze. Another flick, another fold, two seats appear on the ground in place for the lady of the storm. “Or dost thou wish to drink Konacha? Hojicha? Genmaicha? Kocha? Or Oolongcha that hath come from China, the land of the Earth?” More bags of colors varying, fly into the air and down in front of the- was she there?- the lady. Cat cries, cat scratches, a sudden leap and bound onto Kumorimaru’s back did Hikaru do, sniffing his hair and licking his cheeks. A quick scratch under the chin, but Kumorimaru went back to his tea, his dearly prized tea. “Or Kocha? Sanpincha? Mugicha? Kombucha? Which doth thou wish to brew, fair Tsukiko, old friend of mine?” Big and small, colored with all colors, the small bags lined the ground. Fragrances filled the room; the pot still was held in Kumorimaru’s arms. His eyes shined, his smile faint and small- but another prayer hailed him once more, forcing colors to swirl once more and his skin to shed halfway. “Oh, youkai! O-,” A shake of his head- a jingle of a bell- Kumorimaru was back again. Hikaru glared at him with red eyes that changed back to black, claws sheathed, fangs hidden. Quickly, he was a flash as he sat on the ground, the chair creaking under the sudden force. “Which shall it be, hath thou made up thine mind?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mizuki Matsushita Character Portrait: Kiba Bayushi Character Portrait: Kichirou Matsumoto Character Portrait: Ankoku Character Portrait: Kumorimaru Character Portrait: Tsukiko
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Kichirou's response was met with a suspicous stare, but he kept his complexion. "Too bad. You'd be missing out on a mission, seeing as this place hardly gets any prayers, even in this time of war...Well, if this business meeting is really as important as you make it to be, do what you wish." As the demon finished, another supernatural being approached the group gathered. “Is there a need to yell?” it was Tsukiko. Her icy presence all but overwhelmed his sixth sense. After the spirit understood the quest, despite her hatred of humans, she accepted. The spirit then ran off with Kumorimaru, another demon. Which was the result of Ankoku leaving to retrieve her weapon.

Ankoku glanced at Kichirou once more. "Shame" The demon's disappointment was interrupted by the entrance of yet another member of the Tsukiakari. Kichirou had already passed Kiba on his way to the shrine and expected the man to arrive shortly. "Not drunk are you, Bayushi?" Now Kichirou glanced down at the bottle of sake in his hand. Kiba had handed it to him earlier when they met on the way here. Making the decision of giving sake another try to impress his taste buds, Kichirou lifted the bottle to his lips. As the vile substance entered his mouth, he could feel the buds on his tongue recoil and express their revolt to his brain. It took but all of his self control not to spit the disgusting liquid onto the ground. The sting of the sake running down his throat to Kichirou's embarrassment made him cringe in a most embarrassing way.

Kichirou then made his exit, going to find the girl who wasn't present with them. "Like Ankoku stated, reading, no doubt." The man walked towards the dwelling of the younger female. "Surely she had heard the chime of the bell... he thought. "But however powerful her love of books is, that is no excuse for completely ignoring the more important task at hand." Kichirou approached the room that Mizuki dwelled in and paused for a moment in front of the door. "And of course, she acts 'mature' all of the time." With that thought, Kichirou swung open the door without bothering to warn the girl of his presence.

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Character Portrait: Mizuki Matsushita Character Portrait: Kichirou Matsumoto
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ImageRegal, powerful, the Dragon-God of the Eastern Sea commands storms and tides with the flick of a claw, yet he seethes with rage for past humiliations.

As one of four Dragon-Gods, Ao Kuang demands tribute from those along the Eastern shores. For their worship, tides remain calm, rivers contained, and rainfall for crops plentiful. It was not always like this, however. Long ago, Ao Kuang grew greedy and expected greater sacrifices. When they were not given, he sent floods, tidal waves, and devastating storms, striking so much fear into the people they dared not speak of this violence to the Jade Emperor. Ao Kuang enjoyed his total control.

Then came Sun Wukong to his undersea palace seeking a weapon for his famous journey to the West. Despite the offer of other weapons, Sun Wukong took the Ruyi Jingu Bang, an immense pillar that aided in controlling the tides. It was believed none could even lift it, but Sun Wukong spun it with ease. As if this were not humiliating enough, Sun Wukong demanded other gifts of armor, shoes, and helm, all of which Ao-Kuang was forced to supply.

Next, the demigod boy Nehza, playing in a stream, inadvertently shook Ao Kuang’s palace. Annoyed, the Dragon-God set forth his favorite scout to kill the child, but Nehza defended himself and the scout was slain. Furious, Ao Kuang ordered his third son to destroy Nehza, yet Nehza slew him as well. Completely outraged, Ao Kuang went to Nehza’s father and threatened to take the issue before the Jade Emperor, but Nehza tackled the Dragon-King and forced him to submit.

Such repeated shame and humiliation have both humbled Ao Kuang and tempered his fury to steely resolve. Long has he awaited his chance to rise again and exert dominance as a great Dragon-God of the Sea.


Mizuki finished yet another one of her books as she could still here the other members quietly conversing outside of her dwelling. While she did long to join them, she did not wish to currently leave the safety of her room. Not until it was dark enough to were she would be able to do such a thing. Before she was able to carry on with her reading her door suddenly swung open. Kichirou, rather than addressing him she merely carried on with her task before saying in a slow monotone voice.
"Is there something you need?"

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Character Portrait: Kichirou Matsumoto Character Portrait: Ankoku Character Portrait: Kumorimaru Character Portrait: Tsukiko
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Noisy. Noisy.

Her eyes were squeezed shut, her fingers making soft motions on her temples as the chaos ensued. ”Good, we’ll be at a full-house in no time. That’ll make this a little easier, since it is, after all, a whole village of demons we’ll be taking care of.” Tsukiko gave a glance to Ankoku at her comment. It wasn’t common for spirits to meddle in such affairs, but even so… It will be the first major prayer that she has seen ever since she joined the group. While she was reserved about the violence this quest promised, it nonetheless promised something interesting for once. Sleeping in the river for hundreds of years to come becomes dull at times…

”Thou. Thou must learn that thy… Thou must learn that thine attitude could earn thee thine death, human.” An unfamiliar sound rang in the air, much like the sound of ice clanging against glass. The laughter that chimed out of Tsukiko’s throat was one that could be heard perhaps once every century, but at Kumorimaru’s comment to the human, the spirit couldn’t help herself, especially given the distaste she already had toward Kichirou. However, the sound was blown away by the wind within a split second, its evanescent nature made it seem as if it had not existed simply a moment ago.

”Not drunk are you, Bayushi?” A cold glance from her matched the glance in Kumorimaru’s eyes, and with a few steps backwards, they were off away from the noisy group. ”Tea. Doth thou wisheth to have some tea?” A slight nod from the spirit confirmed the question, but the two were already pacing toward the hidden room. ”Tea. Didst thou not want tea? This time, the question gained him no response from the young woman, her eyes lingering on the patterns the waves formed as the soft petals blew onto the reflecting surface of the river. Its usually chaotic waters now unnaturally placid. Unnaturally… Her icy blue eyes flickered over the surface of the water, and a wave of her hand was followed by a faint stir in the cold waters, which rose to meet her outstretched hand. However, within seconds, the water of the river fell back to its depth, and a darkened gaze flashed across her face. I’ve overstepped my boundaries.

”Mercy!” The sudden scream that flashed across her mind forced Tsukiko to hold up her hand against her ear, the phantom sound forcing a hint of anger to catch in her gaze. ”Mercy will not be shown to those who tread upon my waters.” A flash, then another. The phantom screams refusing to relent as the blue in her eyes appear to grow icier by the second.

”….Bancha? Matcha?” She had barely even noticed the words that suddenly spewed out of the demon’s mouth, nor did she notice the dark clouds that formed above the river at her moment’s distraction. ”Or dost thou wish to drink Konacha? Hojicha? Genmaicha? Kocha? Or Oolongcha that hath come from China, the land of the Earth?” Perhaps if Kumorimaru had heard the faint rumbling of an incoming storm, he would have ceased his words, but nonetheless, it continued on. ”Or Kocha? Sanpincha? Mugicha? Kombucha?” A breath of cold air, and the icy blue eyes flickered to meet his brown eyes, her gaze showing no sense of humor. ”Enough!” It wasn’t like her to raise her voice, but something about the monotonous words tested her patience. ”Which doth thou wish to brew, fair Tsukiko, old friend of mine?” Another sigh was heard, but not one of annoyance, instead one of exasperation. My mistake. The faint screams that rang in the back of her mind pushed her patience toward the edges of its limits, and the fatigue that has clung to her since her morning awakening did nothing to ease the bitterness that lingered in her words. It has been too long since she has pushed her powers, and the tranquil waters of Tsuki-ko reflected the spirit’s weakened state. ”Which shall it be, hath thou made up thine mind?”

A faint smile, one that reflected more hints of mock exasperation than sincerity played at the corner of her lips. "Apologies. Gracious host, Kumorimaru," Her voice softened slightly at his insistence, finding her fault in her uncalled for impatience, "Oolongcha will do nicely, thank you." Only then did her gaze flicker down to the katana that has been flickering with a faint silver glow by her kimono. What has gotten into me? Her steady hand was placed onto the katana, and the rumbling of thunder ceased above the river. "Perhaps this can be brought along the trip," Gentle hands, so different from the ones that held the katana at the humans two days ago, took the pot from the demon's arms. A faint swoosh of the kimono against the floor, and Tsukiko's light steps carried her out of the doorway, motioning with a nod of her head for Kumorimaru to follow.

There was a disturbance in the river, a slight one, but one that caught her eyes. The wave patterns that formed swallowed the flower petals into its depth. When was the last time I left Tsuki-ko? The river called out to her, promising the usual comfort its chilly waters brought. However, she turned her glance, away from its waters. The faint glow of her katana returned, the call of the river especially strong under the darkness of the gray clouds that surged to cover the sky. Hush Tsuki-ko... The river has never called so strongly to the spirit, and a faint silver glow flickered around her kimono as the dragon form struggled to force itself into appearance. A quick motion pushed the pot back into Kumorimaru's hands as she grasped onto her katana, her grip tight against the hilt. Why the disturbance...? There was something about this prayer that the river feared, and its call pushed Tsukiko's steps quicker into the vicinity of the shrine.

The storm is brewing... That, she knew for sure. But it wasn't her storm. Another one was promised, one much more dangerous to her. As her steps stopped, the silver katana made one last flash of silver, one that forced her eyes shut. Then all was silent. Why do you wish to stop me, Tsuki-ko? Her own river was pulling itself out of her control, calling her back to its comforting depths. Whatever that foreshadowed...

A storm is coming.

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Character Portrait: Mizuki Matsushita Character Portrait: Kichirou Matsumoto
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Surprise wasn't won by his abrupt entrance...not even the slightest notion. After continuing her reading and ignoring his presence all together, the girl finally looked up. "Is there something you need?"

Kichirou raised his eyebrows, "Oh? So you did know I was here." he made himself look disappointed. "I thought you din't know from my stealthy entrance." Something...something about her attitude, the way she acted...like she had done nothing wrong...it got to him. "Why didn't you show up when the bell chimed? We were ever so worried... Kichirou gave a saddened look. "Especially me."

He shut the door behind him. "Perhaps Mizuki has more pressing matters...than her duty to the Tsukiakari. Kichirou took a step closer to the girl. "Or perhaps she is just irresponsible and immature." As he said the last sentence, his gaze turned to a piercing look of conviction. Kichirou made his way to a book and pulled it off of a shelf. His expression softened as he flipped through it. "Tall tales, and fictional writings..." Kichirou looked up at Mizuki. "Is this mature and responsible Mizuki's hobie? To read children's fairy tales?" He dropped the book and it hit the floor with a dull "thud."

"Why doesn't knowledgeable and wise Mizuki not spend her valuable time looking at more informative writings?" Kichirou stared at her as if in genuine concern. "Of course, the answer would be that our Mizuki believes in these foreign tales. Why else would such a wise and smart person indulge in such foolish practices?" Kichirou ended Ethe statement in a smile. "If such gods really do exist, aside from our own, why do they not strike me down this moment?" Kichirou looked up and raised his hands as if taunting the skies. "Possibly because they simply cease to exist?" He looked at Mizuki with a cocky smile.

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Character Portrait: Mizuki Matsushita Character Portrait: Kichirou Matsumoto
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Mizuki sat there for a second, watching him as he took the book from her bookshelf, carelessly flipped through it, then dropped it onto the wooden floor. For a split second she gave him a menacing glance, before regaining her composure. Swiftly, she laid her book down, picked up the book that Kichirou had dropped on the floor and slipped it back into it's place on her bookshelf. "Please refrain from dirtying my room." Mizuki said calmly as she sat back down her bed and continued to read her book, as though nothing had happened. She wouldn't allow him to get to her.

The older male smiled, as if amused by her actions. "Won't you accompany me to the shrine?" Kichirou waited patiently for an answer. "Continue to the shrine yourself, I shall stay here." Mizuki said, a look of disappointment on her face. Her voice had cracked as she said that last statement, as she was trying to keep herself from yelling.

Kichirou's eyes adopted a playful glint in response to the girls response. "Come now, I do understand that you are under the influence of an adolescent mind. He approached Mizuki until his face was but a few inches away from hers. "But don't you think that this is a bit much? Ignoring your responsibilities?

Mizuki sat there for a moment, before letting out a heavy sigh. "Fine then. If you insist on bothering me, then I will accompany you to the shrine." she growled through her teeth as she set down her book once again. She was hoping that she wouldn't have to leave her room for quite some time, but it seems that it couldn't be helped. "Thank you." Kichirou said quietly, he gave a wry smile as he opened the door for the girl. 'My persistence has been rewarded...everyone has a weak point.' he thought.

Mizuki straightened out her kimono and exited the door, giving one more ferocious glance at Kichirou. She would get him back for this. As she stepped out of her room, she was met with the dazzling glare of the sunlight. It was obvious from this point on that this day would not go as she had planned. Kichirou quietly followed her out and remembered about the sake he still held in his hands. Kichirou quickly shoved the disgusting drink into Mizuki's hands. "A little present from our friend Kiba. I know you'll enjoy it. Kichirou said with a smile.

Mizuki stared at the battle for a second, then smiled up at Kichirou. "How nice, I'll be sure to thank him when I see hi-" Mizuki then carelessly dropped the bottle of sake on the ground, watching as it cracked slightly and the contents of the bottle poured out onto the ground. "Oops, my bad! Oh well, you'll have time to clean it up later." Mizuki said with a smirk.

Kichirou maintained his composure, he would've expected nothing less. "Yes, of course." Kichirou said, beckoning Mizuki forward. He would've disposed of it himself anyway. Mizuki headed towards the shrine, stepping over the spilled sake bottle. The sun light was making her quite uneasy, only adding on to the uneasiness she feels just by being out of her room. As she entered the shrine, she was met again by the uncomfortable ray of sunlight.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mizuki Matsushita Character Portrait: Kiba Bayushi Character Portrait: Kichirou Matsumoto Character Portrait: Ankoku Character Portrait: Kumorimaru Character Portrait: Tsukiko
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”Not drunk are you, Bayushi?” Ankoku asked him. He noted the very slight snicker in her voice, which just caused him to loft an eyebrow.

"If you've got to ask, you must not know me very well by now," he answered haughtily. "I've had plenty long enough to walk it off, so no I'm not drunk... not drunk enough at any rate, considering there's a whole village teeming with filthy demons to slay," he laughed, digging a small skin from his belt and taking a draft of what smelled potent enough to be shochu before capping it and hanging it back on his belt. He smacked his lips with satisfaction.

"Aaah... there's the sauce. Amiright?" He grinned broadly around the room before it started to falter... considering the present company was made up of mainly spirits and demons. Kiba pressed his lips shut and did his best not to say anything else, although he knew it was inevitable: he was going to say something stupid before this was all over, and he'd probably end up in a fight with someone.

Ankoku probably wouldn't care, in fact she was probably the only demon he regularly got along with aside from Zahn. Although he couldn't quite peg Zahn for being a demon, he knew she wasn't quite human. A weaker minded individual might have called it "divine providence" that he met Ankoku, but Kiba didn't believe in all that supernatural hullabaloo. He made his own destiny: that's why it was completely coincidental, non-suspicious happenstance that Ankoku appeared in his life with the means to facilitate his revenge right after he prayed to someone, anyone who would listen for the strength to carry it out himself.

Yep... flukish stroke of luck. Something like that will probably never happen again.

Then there was Kichirou. Kiba held in wicked smirk as he glanced back in time to see the kid try and choke down a swallow of the "gift" he'd received. Priceless. Kiba never got tired of that, and instead flashed the "I got that just for you" smile. Kichirou immediately fell into the "little brother" catagory as quickly as they had met, not that the poor kid needed any more of that with the two oafish larger brothers he already had. But, as the closest thing he had to a friend, Kiba would move mountains to come to Kichirou's aid. Not that it mattered, since Kichirou routinely used that wicked tongue to talk him into doing all kinds of ridiculous stunts. How do you think he ended up taking "dueling" lessons from Zahn?

More like repeated, grueling, and agonizing defeat at Shogi, since she refused to instruct him until he could beat her at that silly game. Now he had to find another shiny bauble to pay her with... since his pride wouldn't let him back out.

Kiba flicked his blue eye over towards Kumorimaru and sucked air through his teeth (as quietly as possible). He couldn't help but think the guy was a wierdo in addition to his usual prejudices against demons. To say he was creepy would be something of an understatement... but then again maybe that was the point. And of course Tsukiko was as frosty as ever. The two made a perfect couple.

He didn't really have an opinion about Mizuki, who had yet to show up but somehow Kiba knew she would be coming. Mainly he couldn't shake the nagging feeling that, for some reason, she really didn't like him. Couldn't be his personality... she probably just didn't like guys that were overtly masculine, he thought, as he rapped his belly once with the palm of his hand. He felt the booze slosh to one side, which made the room feel like it was tilting for just one moment. Afterward his stomach uttered something that could have been mistaken for the howl of an enraged beast, or the savage growling of some dragon.

"Guess I better eat something before we go..." he muttered with some slight embarrassment and shuffled towards his room.