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Kohaku Kana

"Oh the scandal of it all<3" [wip]

0 · 255 views · located in Japan

a character in “Way of the Ronin”, as played by Unicorn Luv

Description

Kohaku Kana
Image
I can play the pretty little fool if you like, but I promise you it'd be boring compared to the real me.



Age
21

Appearance
Long and silky black hair falls down to Kana's waist, usually tied at the end in the typical noblewoman fashion. During the summer or perhaps because she simply feels like it she will tie her long hair up in a ponytail. She is sure to keep it long, like a noblewoman, but has recently considered cutting it shorter, perhaps to her elbows like a common woman, but that would infuriate Lady Kobayashi. And we mustn't do that must we? Kana's skin is very pale and soft, unnaturally so some would say, not a single blemish or mark taints it despite how many men have touched it. Her fingers are elegant and long, like her limbs Imageand neck, she stands at 5' tall, a little taller than is perhaps average for women, but not unnaturally so. She is thin and delicate looking, like she might break from a strong wind, but the way she carries herself gives the impression that she is enduring and proud, wind be damned. Kana's face is heart shaped, with a sharp chin and small nose, her cheekbones are high and her mouth is on the small side, though perfectly shaped. Most stunning about Kana is probably her eyes, which are big and dark, very dark. They act like dangerous hooks for the soul, deep and beautiful with long and thick eyelashes fanning out from them. Bewitching is a good way to describe Kana's looks, they are all together unnaturally effortless and a bit unsettling. Even though she is pampered and her looks are fretted over by serving girls it is often said that she hardly requires any work at all, how to improve upon perfection? You can only hope to decorate it further with red paint and pretty combs.

Her kimono back at the Kobayashi household was more often than not of the karaginu-mo variety, a stunning appearance in and of itself but arduous and during the summer downright uncomfortable to wear. Allowing her to wear the types of garments that noblewomen wear was not only kind and bold, but extremely clever of Lady Kobayashi, and Kana is well aware of the double edged sword. Men who fantasize about sleeping with noblewomen but can not due to their status as virgins or wives are left with their fantasies unfulfilled, except with Kana. As she is not technically a noblewoman there is no expectation or hope of her marrying into a noble family, and so her virtues, although nice to consider, are not required to be of the pure variety. Her family name is a made up pretty sounding thing meant to decorate, not honor her. In Edo, happily, she is often out and about instead of entertaining noblemen, and so simply wears finely decorated kosode, which is much more comfortable.


ImageLikes
  • Music
  • Sake: though it takes a surprising amount to have any effect on her, she's capable of drinking an old man under the table and only end up slightly tipsy.
  • Dumplings
  • Sweets
  • Dancing
  • Shogi
  • Flowers
  • Cute little animals
  • Stories and folktales
  • Kids
  • Teasing
  • Finery
  • Girls she can get along with



Dislikes
  • Men, especially nobles
  • Natto
  • Acting
  • The idea of marriage
  • Her life in general
  • Herself
  • Samurai
  • The idea of honor
  • Lady Kobayashi Chinatsu
  • Dirt and uncleanliness
  • The idea of the woods
  • Insects



Personality
ImageKana is trained in all manner of things that a well educated saburuko is, though the only person she is tasked with entertaining usually is Lady Kobayashi, whom she has earned the right to affectionately call "Natsu-sama", it is an oddity that does not stand alone next to Kana's other peculiarities in life and person. Anyone else addressing the madame with such familiarity would be admonished, however as Lady Kobayashi's ward and close companion it is looked over. With Lady Kobayashi she can mostly be herself, a better version let's call it, or she used to anyway. Lady Kobayashi actually liked Kana's base personality, liked the fierce cleverness and even her mischievousness, her free spirit that could be kept in a cage. Let's call it some sort of symbiotic relationship that allowed Lady Kobayashi an outlet from being the perfect woman and wife Japan knew her to be. This base of a personality allowed Lady Kobayashi to build and mold Kana into someone that both pleased her and at times acted in her name. Kana wasn't just Lady Kobayashi's companion but her political bishop as well. Noble women in the sengoku period are sheltered to be sure, but had more freedoms to act and hold power than they would in the future Edo period, and so Lady Kobayashi played her part in politics through the background, helping her husband and family. She used Kana to please and seduce noble men where she could not, even garner secrets, Kana is an expert in pillow talk, something she hates about herself. Manipulation, acting, people pleasing, she's a practiced expert at these things but holds no love or reverence for it, her preferred self is someone much more blunt and stupidly honest. Though this could be reactionary to being forced to be something, which she hates, forcing her to do anything will make her obtuse and instantly hate the task, yet she's good at what she does, and who can be especially good at what they do without liking it on some level? Kana hates to ask herself those sorts of questions and just prefers to play the victim, even though it is her choice to do as Lady Kobayashi wishes without complaint. She justifies it all as her duty for being brought up in a noble household, she's never felt hunger or wanted for anything material in her life. The idea of being a victim seems romantic to Kana, she likes seeing herself that way, it allows her to hate herself a little less, though other times it makes her self hatred worse because she knows she's weakly allowing herself to escape to that role. Although Kana has a great deal of patience, especially when it comes to pleasing Lady Kobayashi, she has been known to allow herself to lash out verbally at odd times, though never to her madame herself. For example Kana will cruelly insult a nobleman she's supposed to be seducing, something about his character and perversion maybe, and then apologize, offering to kiss him better and other sweet things. That ploy's actually been known to drive men a bit wild and work to her advantage, clawing at them and then being sweet does something to them that just lures them in further.

Kana can tend to have a cynical and bleak outlook on life, such as it is, especially in recent years. But there are other developments that have happened for the better, for instance she has considerably more freedom to run about in Edo, which is nice. Edo is a bustling city with plenty of places to walk, and she's found she loves that part of her day, just walking. She didn't walk to anywhere besides another part of the house back at the Kobayashi estate. Lady Kobayashi often takes to being alone these days so Kana's free to talk to other people and make friends, something she's unfortunately only taken advantage of lately, due to her grief before. She's cultivated little pleasures and taken to pretending she's not Kana at all, just some girl with no burdens whose free to play with children and cuddle kittens whenever a local cat has a litter. The most fun she's ever had was during the new year's festival. Kana can be surprisingly playful and happy when she's forgotten who she is. But at the end of the day she always has to remember that she is Kana, a person who is at the whims and mercy of someone gone mad. Oh well, at least she doesn't have to entertain any gross old men, she much prefers Lady Kobayashi this way, useless and alone. Some might find that cruel, but Kana doesn't care, until she sees Lady Kobayashi again anyway. Kana'll say or think cruel things but she's never been able to be apathetic to those in need. Kana can be childish, saying mean things but not meaning them, tsundere is a good way to describe it. She also hates showing weakness in front of other people, and will keep a stiff upper lip.

Another side to Kana is her surprising kindness, not to be confused with her willingness to give of herself to others. She was raised to think that she's a tool for comfort be that physical comfort or no. When it comes to men she'll sleep with them if they ask whether she wants to or no, rather her own desire doesn't really come into the equation tragically. But Kana's kindness, true kindness and desire to cheer people up comes from empathy, which is strong in her. Part of the reason she's so useful to Lady Kobayashi is her ability to tell what people are feeling. When she sees a beggar she does not ignore them, when she sees children her first instinct is to smile warmly at them and talk, when she meets other women she desires to get along with them rather than see them as competition. Competition and violence to Kana are silly pursuits, and she thinks the world would be better off without it, but she knows that's an oversimplification and that violence is unavoidable in life. Kana'd just much rather think and talk about the world as it should be rather than how it is, she's a dreamer and an idealist who has to live in the real world. It's not uncommon for Kana to despair at that.

Relationships
Lady Kobayashi Chinatsu:
Kana has a love-hate relationship with Lady Kobayashi, she hates her for making her a pawn and pet, but feels indebted to her also for raising her. Kana'll obey Lady Kobayashi no matter what however, and doesn't consider disobeying her really an option. Lady Kobayashi isn't all bad either, at least she promised Kana that she'd never force her to marry, something Kana is also grateful for.

Ikeda Kojuro:
"I'm sorry to say so, but is it wise to risk Kana-sama in such a maneuver? She is the closest thing Kobayashi-sama has to an heir." Kojuro's impertinence was met with an object thrown at his head.

Samurai men are so funny with their serious faces and little swords, Kana has never looked at or treated the ones serving the Kobayashi with any amount of sincerity, almost as if they were a joke. She has been known to tease them, all in good fun of course, and has often said that it would be cruel indeed to fall in love with a Samurai, as they must always love honor and duty before their wives. So very foolish in her opinion. But Kojuro is another thing altogether, he has Kana's gratitude and respect. He's put up with Lady Kobayashi's frantic fits and moods like an immovable rock, even stayed strong and loyal when she threatened to make him commit seppuku for surviving when her husband and children did not. She's taken a special interest in him these past two years in a way she did not before their troubles. She feels bad for him, she can see a great weight on his shoulders that he labors under and is sympathetic to that. She wonders if he's ever cried since the incident and asked him once if he ever did, kami knows she did, she can recall him holding her occasionally when they were together and anguish suddenly overtook her. Kana is a proud person and never shed tears in front of anyone, not even as a child, so it was a big deal and for that reason and the compassion he showed her for it she offered to comfort him, which he declined. At first. But that is not to say her feelings for him are romantic in nature, rather that bodily comfort is the only thing Kana knows to offer to men. Besides, it's not altogether a poor arrangement for her either, Kojuro is a whole lot more handsome than some of the old men she's had to please. Kana still teases him, and calls him the very familiar and informal Kojuro without suffix, mostly as a cutesy thing, even going so far as to treat him like a kid despite him being older than she, but she's much more friendly towards him than before. There's a warmth to her teasing and pestering that speaks to the fact that she considers him a friend, rather than some Samurai whose name doesn't matter that serves the Kobayashi family. She'd never tell him that out loud of course.

Kobayashi Shohei, second son of the Kobayashi household, 14, DECEASED:
Poor little Shohei, he was only 14 when he died, so very young and so very undeserving of his fate. Kana and Shohei had a big sister - little brother relationship that was very affectionate when he was little, but maintained that emotional affection even when he become old enough to learn the way of the sword and refuse kisses on the cheek from his mother and big sister. Sometimes he would still give hugs, but nowhere near anyone he felt the need to impress. Losing him was very painful for Kana.

Kobayashi Ryoga, eldest son and heir of the Kobayashi household, 23, DECEASED:
They were in love...

[/right]Equipment
Tanto: There's a small tanto that Kojuro gave her to hide somewhere on her person, for the trip, she doesn't know what he expects her to do with it but it makes her feel better all the same. Maybe that was his intent all along? How like him to pick up on the fact that she's actually scared.

Shakuhachi, Koto, Shamisen: She's quite skilled with these instruments, and has played for many years for Lady Kobayashi's benefit. It was often joked by Lady Kobayashi that Kana's only flaw was that she could not play all three at the same time, always said to the ears of company of course.

Fans: Dancing accessories, this and other entertaining things will serve as her "weapons" in the battle they are all going to enter.

Strengths
Kana is a hanyou, of the spring yosei variety. Though she does not know the word hanyou or what she is at all she is aware of certain abilities she has that other humans do not. She can make plants grow at a whim, bring new life to dead ones, and has an unnaturally quick healing rate, which explains the lack of marks on her skin. She can also heal others to a minor degree that she's tried, but only did so once, for her lover all those years ago. When she did however she felt severely weak afterwards, and he made her promise never to do it again, for his sake. He was also the only person she ever showed her abilities to, as it is a guarded secret she keeps because she knows it is unnatural. Other than that she has only her wits and skills to aid her, none of which are violent or combatant. During the spring Kana hardly sleeps, hardly has a need to but once a week, while in summer she starts to sleep more often, until fall when she sleeps every night. Winter is another thing altogether and can hardly be counted in the "strengths" section.

Weaknesses
Winter is a scary time for Kana, or more precisely those who care about her well-being. She becomes cold despite every effort to keep her warm and can sleep like the dead for days at a time. When awake she is weak and sluggish, and all but useless. When she was younger the maids would be frightened that she was dead at times and the court physician would be called to her often, but as the years went by they developed a routine and have dealt with it by just allowing her plenty of rest, warmth, and regularly scheduled meals. Come springtime she is radiant and lively again.

Kana has no combatant abilities.

Home
In Edo with Lady Kobayashi, she has her own room but it's not as big as the one she used to have.

History
Image
~editing~
Since coming to Edo Lady Kobayashi has tried to contact and meet with several allies and noble men but has been sidelined and eventually cut off from contact by Hojo, who doesn't want any trouble. So she came up with a plan for yousuke's assassination, to send Kana to seduce and poison him, accompanied by a few ronin to ensure she gets there and back safely, but more importantly than getting back is the success of the plot

Image

So begins...

Kohaku Kana's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hamasoki Hiroshi Character Portrait: Ikeda Kojuro Character Portrait: Kohaku Kana Character Portrait: Tenshi Character Portrait: Kagami Koharu Character Portrait: Hara Noa Character Portrait: Atago Sora
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Kohaku K A N A

The cool spring air rustled the hair of three individuals waiting on horseback at the edge of Edo, swords at their hips. Gaining upon their location at a canter rode up four more individuals, when there were only supposed to be three. Kana was particularly proud of herself for finding another ronin, or rather strangely strong foreign medicine man as it were, for their journey. She and ImageKousaka had been at a tea shop, on their way to find pick up the Saburuko they needed when a skirmish happened just outside. Kana couldn’t see how it all had started or anything, though the man was thrown out of an establishment - or kicked by her knew find and before she knew it this foreign medicine man was taking on three armed men with nothing but his hands and feet. Kousaka and she were glued to the scene, they even cheered him on, and afterwards Kana simply had to recruit him. His name was Atago Sora, and he was extremely odd, or rather Kana felt odd around him, she could sense him even when he wasn’t in her sight, as though she were hyper-attuned to his presence. She wondered if it was fear she felt, could that be because of fear? Well it was a good thing he was working with her and not against her in any case. She had asked Kousaka if he felt the same but apparently it was all in her head. Ah well.

And so the party of three traveled together to the ochaya of Seven Pleasures and picked out a suitable Saburuko after informing the madame of who had sent them. They had five women to choose from, each lovelier than the last, but in the end it was decided that the girl with foreigner blood in her would suit them best, as she looked the least like Kana out of the five and held an exotic look that men in Japan would be drawn to. Kana thought her best feature was that flowing fair hair, she had never actually seen anyone with hair the colour of straw, but had heard about foreigners from far west who looked like that, yellow like the sun. And she had nice big breasts too, best to cover their bases, Kana was lacking in that area after all. What Kana did for her mistress Lady Kobayashi could be considered the work of a Saburuko, but to meet actual professionals was something else, it had left Kana impressed and with a high respect for the group of women. They had even helped advise her on who to pick in the end, according to what they needed to do, which was helpful since at the beginning the three of them more or less were just left complementing and staring at the elegant women, unsure what to ask or do. Kana was glad to have experienced an establishment like that. If only she were a man, she’d go there all the time just to sit with those women.

Hara Noa was her name, and she made their group four, the four that was supposed to be three, if only that were the only thing wrong with the party Kana had picked up. Kana adjusted the collar of her riding kimono, it was still slightly chilly. “Here they are.” She said to her party when they got within comfortable hearing distance of Kojuro and his men. "Look what I picked up Kojuro!" She was smiling as she pointed at whom she thought was supposed to be his best friend. "Kousaka-kun you already know, but I also found this really strong man from China, his name is Atago Sora-san, and behind me over here is our Saburuko, the famed Hara Noa." Kana introduced each of her party in quick succession. "I know I wasn't tasked by Natsu-sama with picking up another ronin but Sora-san isn't actually a ronin, he's just really strong. Isn't he Kousaka-kun?" Kana looked expectantly over at Kousaka, expecting a happy reunion between friends and fun banter to ensue.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ikeda Kojuro Character Portrait: Kohaku Kana Character Portrait: Kagami Koharu Character Portrait: Hara Noa Character Portrait: Atago Sora
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It had been some time since he’d been in the company of odder people.

The day had started out normally enough; he’d wandered in his usual careless fashion into a small village outside of Edo, intent on peddling his more mundane wares to the local tea shop. It was a nice little place, as far as they went; he’d done business there a few times before. His aimless meandering took him far afield and to exotic places, something which was to the benefit of the quite stationary establishment, which despite its humble location now boasted an excellent selection of tea leaves from China and even some of that strange thing they’d mutated out of them in Europe and passed off as having the same name. The rose hips really were better in foreign lands, though, and he had those, too.

He’d been minding his own business, conversing in modulated tones with the owner, when one of the serving girls—new, since the last time he’d been in, had tripped over something and accidentally covered himself and the nearest other patron with scalding tea. Of course, he’d been quick to laugh it off with customary bumbling awkwardness, smiling and flapping his hands like an effete, but alas the man next to him had not taken it so well.

A mercenary, or perhaps one of those samurai that wasn’t actually a samurai. Ronin, they were called. Samurai without the fancy name or the behavioral restrictions, as far as he could tell them apart. In any case, the fool decided that the poor girl’s offense was worth becoming extremely angry about, and so with a sigh, Sora had stepped in, pasting a placating smile upon his face and suggesting that perhaps the eminent and very respectable warrior-sama wouldn’t mind letting the offense go, just this once, perhaps if his tea and food would be paid for?

Well apparently this hadn’t been the best idea for some reason, because the next thing he knew, there was a fist headed for his face, and he ducked himself out of the way with great celerity, meaning that it (and the fool who’d thrown it) crashed through a shogi-screen door. For some reason or another, it had become a brawl after that, and annoying as it was, Sora would have allowed it to run its course had the tea shop owner and the clumsy young lady not been drawn into it.

It was about then that he decided he was going to put the ruffian and his friends through another door, this time the front one, and the ronin’s balance was so poor that a single well-placed kick had done the trick. “Oh dear, was that me?” He asked innocently, dusting his hands off and following the ronin outside the tea shop. At least this way no more of the furniture would be damaged. “Maybe you owe the nice young lady an apology, warrior-sama. What say we stop this silliness and all have a cup of tea, hm? I have some very nice leaves from Kyushu inside that I think you would enjoy.”

He always did manage to say just the wrong thing.

The ensuing fight was short and painfully boring, if he were being honest. Even the swords involved didn’t really add anything spicy—it was all just mid-level humanity, and that novelty had worn off long ago. The worst part was that the people in the tea shop would remember this, and he didn’t like people to remember this part of him. Old habits, and all that.

He was back inside and helping the owner pick up his broken porcelain and ceramic when the strangers entered. He’d noticed them before, but only because one of them smelled distinctly familiar, in a subdued sort of way. He found himself involuntarily salivating, but swallowed past it and suppressed the instinct, greeting them with his usual vague, daydreamy politeness and listening as he was pitched an employment opportunity, though the details were a little sparing.

Still… it wasn’t like he’d had plans. Now he did. How fortunate for him.

There was a stop at another, much bigger and more ornate-looking, tea shop afterwards. He vaguely recognized the name, which was a bit pretentious in his opinion, and he kept himself aside while they went about… whatever business they had here. As far as he could tell, it involved consultation with a bunch of saburuko about which one of them was suited to do… something. Admittedly, while Sora was quite fond of music, the tone of the discussion, the sort of market-style evaluation of physical features and the like, didn’t really interest him, and he spent most of his time talking to one of the trainees, who was preoccupied tuning her shamisen and didn’t once actually look up at whom she was speaking with, a fact which amused him considerably.

When that was done, they were away again, until they met up with… was this one a samurai or another ronin? It was hard to say, but he looked less shabby than most of the ronin Sora had ever run into, so it seemed like he must be a samurai. So here he was, sitting on a borrowed horse, listening to people talk about him without actually getting his input (something so normal for him he didn’t even think of it in those terms, exactly), still not exactly sure what he was supposed to be doing but willing enough to do it. Life was easy when you didn’t care about much.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hamasoki Hiroshi Character Portrait: Ikeda Kojuro Character Portrait: Kohaku Kana Character Portrait: Tenshi Character Portrait: Kagami Koharu Character Portrait: Hara Noa Character Portrait: Atago Sora
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(Ignore this. I am working on a new introductory post.)

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hamasoki Hiroshi Character Portrait: Ikeda Kojuro Character Portrait: Kohaku Kana Character Portrait: Tenshi Character Portrait: Kagami Koharu Character Portrait: Hara Noa Character Portrait: Atago Sora
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"Ani-ue." A petulant, almost whining tone.

"Yes, Koharu? What is it?"

The Kagami siblings were outside of their modest home in Odawara, tucked away in a secluded room. This had been where they lived since being cast away from Lady Kobayashi's service, and despite everything, Koharu's been met with some success in providing enough money for them both to live on. As a ronin disguised as a man, Koharu slowly mastered the arts of deception and trickery. Yet, still-

"Ani-ue, do you really think it's okay?" Koharu asked, staring needily at her once capable - now disabled older brother. Her cheeks were puffed up in a slight pout. "Going back and helping Chinatsu- " She quickly shook her head, correcting herself at Kousaka's disapproving frown. "Lady Kobayashi after what she did to you? Why not simply remain as we are? I don't want to part ways with you!"

Kousaka just gave her a sage little smile, slight mischief playing in the corner of his eyes. He was definitely plotting something, and Koharu wasn't sure she was a fan of it at all. She knew that look - but she also knew that no amount of prodding would make him tell her his schemes. Before the crippling injury, Kousaka has been an individual full of wonder and excitement - always going on crazy adventures with another one of the Kobayashi retainers - a certain Ikeda Kojuro - doing things Koharu felt almost excluded from. The little sparkle had been gone from his eyes in the two years since his discharge and the fall of the clan - Kousaka almost falling into what could be called a depression.

It was odd. While Kousaka always seemed to place emphasis on honor and being a samurai, Koharu never really had it stuck in her head the way most children around her had. Sure, she was okay with being loyal and all, but it wasn't as if she truly understood her brother's struggles as he adjusted to his new life in Odawara. He would always be her top priority - he was the only family she truly had left. If there was anyone she could count on, it was him, disabled leg and all.

"Yes." Kousaka gave one look over Koharu's disguise. While anyone who knew Kousaka from before would never have been fooled, she still did look the role of a young, slender man. As long as she was careful, no one would ever find out her true gender. "I believe you should accept Kana-hime's offer."

Koharu was loathe to separate from Kousaka, especially on such a long quest as this one seemed it would be. Yet she couldn't bring herself to deny his almost excited look - the gleam of youthful adventure that had once been his entire life. After being sad for years, she couldn't simply take that away from him. It was her job to protect his smile now, no matter what.

"...Then I shall travel to Edo in your stead, Ani-ue."

Then Kousaka cracked a boyish grin that hadn't been on his face for the longest time. It looked both nostalgic and excited at the same time.

"If you can, see if you can meet up with Kojuro again. And punch him for me for being unable to assassinate Yousuke on his own." Kousaka sported a crafty grin. "Weakling."

And so, Koharu set off, leaving behind her brother for this quest.

Kana-hime was certainly a beauty to behold. The two spoke idly - Koharu certainly didn't know her all that well, given she only saw her face once ever before. Still, it was always nice to travel with someone so attractive, yet somewhat familiar - they were both from Katsunuma, after all, so surely with time, they could form some kind of bond.

Their duo became three when Kana-hime happened upon someone who wasn't meant to have joined them in the first place. She couldn't help but cheer him on as the lone man easily dispatched the three assailants with naught but his own body as a weapon. Surely, Atago-san gave her a strange vibe - how many people were skilled enough to win a fight, outnumbered, weaponless? Kana-hime had asked her, but Koharu denied any oddity - it' be best not to let her inner suspicions leak out for the time being. Whatever the case, she'd keep an eye on the man who was now apparently an ally.

The Ochaya of Seven Pleasures was certainly filled with many pleasures - Koharu had to really focus to keep a blush from her appearing on her cheeks. While Kana-hime was choosing which girl to bring, Koharu could feel the eyes of some of the resident saburako on her, as if boring into her soul. It made her feel a confusing combination of excitement and anxiety that she wasn't sure how to process. Koharu could only hope the Atago-san could feel at least some of the scrutiny. The Saburako they ended up enlisting was said to be the best of Edo, and her reputation didn't do her beauty justice. She held an enigmatic, mysterious sort of aura that Koharu couldn't tear her eyes from. Still, hiding these thoughts, Koharu quickly chirped a friendly welcome, wanting Hara Noa-san to feel at ease with their team. It was almost a shame that Koharu couldn't go and visit the establishment more often - she wasn't really a man, after all.

Yet as she was making these mental notes, Koharu was intent on giving everyone a friendly face - telling jokes that ranged from hilarious to petty, smiling more than necessary, and generally being easy to get along with. Her light hearted grins and calculated laughs were easy to fake, though she subtly wondered if Kana-hime or Noa might've seen through it.

Once they eventually reached Edo, Koharu knew what she had to do. She grinned cheerfully at the tall samurai who said something about honor for a few moments before turning her attention to her old friend. Clearly, he'd been expecting Kousaka. Koharu knew she couldn't let him blow her cover so easily so she took quick steps to her old friend (he seems taller?) and delivered a playful punch to the shoulder.

"Kojuro!" Koharu mimicked the deeper voice of her brother while maintaining the way he'd have inserted excitement and boyish pleasure at seeing such a close friend after so long. "It's good to see you again! You remember me, Kousaka, don't you? You better not have been slacking in your training, else Atago-san will surely outdo you."

Koharu offered Kojuro an almost threateningly venomous wink before returning to a benign playful smirk.

"Of course, I'll also perform better than you." She then clapped her old friend on the back, giving him a bedazzling expression. "Let's have an adventure like we used to, Kojuro!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hamasoki Hiroshi Character Portrait: Ikeda Kojuro Character Portrait: Kohaku Kana Character Portrait: Tenshi Character Portrait: Kagami Koharu Character Portrait: Hara Noa Character Portrait: Atago Sora
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It was nothing but a routine. That is how a certain Saburuko saw each rising sun and moon for the lost moments of her life. And this specific entertainer of the arts, displayed herself upon the balcony, draped with such fine robes of silk while her hair often compared to that golden threads, hanged like a curtain around her, delivering a silhouette both enticing and mysterious. Her eyes sparkling in amber hues gazed at the people passing by the okiya, and all of them could not help but gaze at her presence. Some pray for their deity to be granted protection from her heretic existence. It was but a normal reaction for someone like her. Yet, one thing was clear. Those eyes of hers endears people to her, as if she has a secret needed to be unfold.

The truth, she was being embroiled in the grassy fields of envy. People would think she was but acting or simply a show of humility. That was not the case as it lays deep within her deepest intentions. She was jealous of how they find mundane things to be relatively worth dying for. She has none of that. There was no difference in her motives or her aspirations. All that made sense to her from the beginning was to strive for her continued existence. Until now, that has not changed and for all the things she had done, there was not even an inkling inside of her to regret or to feel what they call guilt. She had already accepted the act and what would come after it. It is a job, do her part, get paid, then live for another day. That was enough, yes for her.

"Noa-sama." Hearing the name, she raised her body to a straight form as she was leaning at a nearby wooden pillar as she watched the little events on streets beyond the confinements of her room. "I am coming in." That would be her minarai It meant that she has to prepare for this day. She pulled away from the spring air blowing through her opened balcony windows as she closed them, retreating to her world covered in the blissful plays of sweet lies. That indeed reminded her, the Madame had spoke of a job that would require all of the skills which are possessed by the Saburuko of 7 Pleasures. The client would be coming in today and would choose among five of them which included her. She has no complaints and whatever the choice will be. It will simply meant that she would be hired or not.

Just like so, Noa prepared herself with the help of her minarai and was soon escorted to the ochaya where the other four Saburuko were already present. She greeted them with her gentle and cheerful self, a personality they all seemed to be fond of. After a while, the Madame arrived instructing the five of them about the basic sensibilities of the contract. It seemed to be a trip, not the usual ones where they operate within their quaint town. There was also the mention of the client's name, Lady Kobayashi. Her fellow Saburuko seemed to pale at that name and did express their apprehensions. She did not have any and listened as to how the Madame shot down all debilitating queries.

Once, they were all settled. They came in a group of three, Lady Kobayashi's representatives. One of a clear affluent background and pedigree befitting of who Noa had identified as the Lady's famed ward, Kohaku Kana. Her beauty was indeed enchanting, in a different manner. Second, a boy judging by the attire yet has a face of softness like that of a girl, Kagami Kousuka. Three, a sunset-colored man appearing to be of Chinese descent, Atago Sora. The said group indeed comprised of striking personalities on different accords. And by will, she had been hired to be a part of it. She of course accepted it without any resistance. People might say, it was a smooth interaction which also related as they departed for their next location.

Kagami as he is started conversation. That was a chatter seemed welcome by the Lady Kohaku. She obliged as well in an exchange of words aout simple casual and light-hearted matters. A smile, a soft laughter, and the elegant prose of manners awere used by her. She showed enjoyment and then again, she is an experienced conversationalist. Though what could earn her sparkle of interest was a bit of a crack in the atmosphere that Kagami wanted to employ around them. This was not of course influenced by outside factors, more like be the said person's disposition. Yet, it was not her business and was not something vital for her job's parameters. Her course of action, ignore it.

But the one she is now, it would not be an option. They seemed to have met with people that have a degree of familiar relationship with the Lady Kohaku. As the dialogues continued, Noa clarified that they would be working together with these people. That was of course was not a wonderful idea for some people who voiced out opinions. There were clear words of disagreement heard in those statements. Her eyes then glanced at Atago as the Lady Kohaku praised his strength which seemed to a confirmed factor from Kagami. That was an interesting detail to be seen in action, that however is not now.

Next, Noa lifted her attention towards the new individuals she was meeting. There was this man she knew to be a Samurai who has yet to be absent of a Master. He must be a vassal of Lady Kobayashi which explains the Lady Kohaku's familiarity. Then, there was also another one. It was a man with a complexion and features not reminiscent of the predominant populace of this country. From that, she was assured that this person also has foreign blood within, just like her. Last, but not the least, a man hiding his appearance. She has nothing against such things. After all, anonymity would serve one well, moreover for her line of work. Yet, it does go without saying, that these three individuals were more peculiar than the people she had met earlier.

For now, she must let her thoughts be still and introduce herself. That was but a common show of courtesy and manners. Furthermore, she is also a Saburuko and will act as one. She is after all working on the clock. "Good day, I am Hara Noa. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance." Her voice pilfered with a harmony resembling that of divine lullaby. She then followed that with a preordained bow and an elegant and innocent smile. Everything she had done was inevitably laced with grace and a sophistication despite how trivial her actions could be or is. indeed, she is worthy for her reputation as one of the best Saburuko of Edo.
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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hamasoki Hiroshi Character Portrait: Ikeda Kojuro Character Portrait: Kohaku Kana Character Portrait: Tenshi Character Portrait: Kagami Koharu Character Portrait: Hara Noa Character Portrait: Atago Sora
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Hamasaki Hiroshi


Hamasaki Hiroshi was man things. He was a runaway, almost-monk, a sharp-eyed haggler, and a foreign-blooded bastard to name just a few. He also was quite fortunate, it seemed. The samurai had found him kneeling down in prayer. It was a small-mission built by Jesuits who he was grateful he had never met before in his life. He thought of the Cathedrals he heard about from the monks. They spoke in wistful tones of grand buildings of stained glass, the equal of even the greatest Shinto and Buddhist shrines in Nihon. It was ironic then that Hiroshi had the ability to travel and see those great buildings where the monks could not leave their monastery on Kyushu. Still, Hiroshi doubted he would ever leave Nihon or the calling that he had answered. The small tabernacle and carved, wooden crucifix was enough.

"Deus meus, ex toto corde pænitet me ómnium meórum peccatórum, éaque detéstor, quia peccándo, non solum pœnas a te iuste statútas proméritus sum, sed præsértim quia offéndi te, summum bonum, ac dignum qui super ómnia diligáris. Ídeo fírmiter propóno, adiuvánte grátia tua, de cétero me non peccatúrum peccandíque occasiónes próximas fugitúrum. Amen."

He had killed seven men on his previous mission. They were wicked men, bandits who had once been ashigaru, but had deserted to prey on the innocent rather than fight in one of many conflicts. He had been taught to feel compassion for such men and perhaps a holier man could have converted them with words alone, but Hiroshi was not such a man. He had a sword and he put it to use.

The samurai, Ikeda Kojuro, was a model of respect and duty. The job he offered was like many he had performed before so, Hiroshi genuflected and made the Sign of the Cross before turning to the samurai and bowing.

"I would protect those you would charge me with with my life."

Thus, he found himself on horseback at the edge of Edo, waiting for the rest of his traveling companions to arrive. The women naturally caught his eye first. One was the picture of classical Nihon beauty, all pale skin and raven locks with a heart-shaped face and high cheekbones and the other was clearly of foreign blood, just like him. He had never seen hair the color of the sun, though he had heard of it from foreigners visiting the monastery on Kyushu. They were both beautiful and such beauty attracted unwanted attention from men who sought to take what could only be given and thus destroy what they sought to possess.

He bowed his head, but could not help but raise an eyebrow at the pale, raven-haired woman's words. It seemed that Ikeda knew the small ronin, Kousaka, and the boy had spoken with great excitement. He could not help but smile at his eagerness.

"It is an honor," he greeted the women and bodyguards they brought with them. He would say no more until Ikeda spoke. It would be a rude otherwise. He had already toed the line by speaking that small sentence before the samurai.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hamasoki Hiroshi Character Portrait: Ikeda Kojuro Character Portrait: Kohaku Kana Character Portrait: Tenshi Character Portrait: Kagami Koharu Character Portrait: Hara Noa
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May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right.



Wanderer. That was what he had become. He knew this as fact and fully accepted the title as it suit him well. Adjusting the cloth over his mouth and nose the man approached a town, he had heard of it from the last village he had assisted. This town was under the plague of a renegade group of thugs, lowlifes of the worst type. They claimed to be samurai. The man in the simple armor finally arrived in the town, no one made eye contact, no one even looked up from watching their feet. Something wasn't right. It was as if every single person had been cowed into submission, like they had all given up. Tenshi went up to a woman and tapped her shoulder gently. The woman shook her head slightly and hurried on her way. The man folded his arms, this just didn't sit right with him. Not one bit. Most of these women were bruised and battered. Tenshi felt a cold anger underlying within him. He would find these ruffians and make them leave, by force if need be. He made his way slowly but surely into what appeared to be a bar of sorts. He went in and sat at the bar. There he looked around, music was softly lilting through the air under all the murmuring and the shouting of the big ugly group in the back corner. Tenshi pulled out his scroll and his little charcoal and began writing. He slid the note to the bartender lady. Tenshi noticed she was only around fifteen, but she was more beatup than most and some of her wounds were caused sexually. Now his cold anger was beginning to boil but he remained calm. If he lost his temper nothing would get done.
"Who did this to you?"

The girl looked at him, bandages covered her left eye she slid him a cup of tea and her body trembled as she nodded towards the goons in the back corner. Tenshi took the note and wrote again.
"Remain calm and exit the bar. Now, before you go nod if they are the goons who are tormenting this town. Also point out the leader. I'll rid you of them. Do not fear."

The girl trembled once more and nodded with a gulp and whispered. "Sago." Tenshi nodded and took her hand, she tensed and Tenshi raised his free hand to calm her. She nodded and he helped her outside. He motioned for her to go, to run away. The girl's eyes welled up with tears as she had an overwhelming feeling that this man would do as he said he would and she embraced the stranger with thanks before running off into the town. Tenshi smiled as she went but once she was out of sight his smile vanished and he strolled back in toward the back corner. He pulled up a chair and sat down with his tea. The men who were there all quieted and looked toward Tenshi with hate-filled glances. Tenshi looked up from his tea and smiled wide holding up a hand in the form of greeting. The biggest man in the back snarled trying to intimidate Tenshi.

"An' who the fuck 'er you?" He slurred, obviously drunk. Tenshi winced slightly at the stench of his breath and stood up slowly and bowed pointing to the angel wings insignia on the hilt of his katana. The man let out a loud laugh.

"Angel? You claim to be a fuckin' angel?" His thugs laughed. Tenshi threw a knife right next to the leaders head and his hands went to the hilt of his katana. He moved quickly, jumping onto the wall he free-ran a ways before landing on the table in front of the boss, the twin sheaths of his katana on his back giving him the appearance of an avenging angel Tenshi held the blade up to the boss's throat. All the other thugs drew their various weaponry but Tenshi's eyes never strayed from the leader. Reaching into his pocket and pulling out a note he held it in front of the boss.
"Leave here. Take your goons. Never return. Or I will be forced to kill you all."

The boss's face turned red and he slammed a fist on the table and yelled, causing all the other patrons to flee the establishment.

"Kill this 'Angel'! Kill him! Show 'em what we do to punks who think they can take us on!" All the men began charging at Tenshi at once, he only had a moment to react. Pulling out his second katana Tenshi blocked them above his head as he crouched low and shoved his Katana into the leader's throat. He sputtered and then lay still. The other men only got angrier, the first two began coming in for an attack and Tenshi quickly kicked one out of the way, pushing the other three off him so both katanas were at the ready. He dove and parried and after awhile he had made short work of the thugs. Before exiting the bar he left some money on the bar for the damages and an apology note for not being able to solve it with words. Then he left. Before he got out of the city he was interrupted by a man. He said that he needed Tenshi for a noble cause, after hearing the explanation it seemed like a good deal. So he agreed and went with the man, an Ikeda Kojuro.
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Once they arrived where his fellow new comrades were he was introduced to a woman by the title of "Kana-dono" Tenshi bowed respectfully and then sat cross-legged to observe the further interactions with the rest of the party. They were certainly an odd group but Tenshi figured that this was his destiny. As such he welcomed the change in pace. He thought to himself that this was going to be a wonderful new challenge indeed.