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Hakuryuu

"Get out and don't come back unless you've got food."

0 · 567 views · located in Komorebi Village

a character in “Youkai Street”, as played by Elysium

Description



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H A K U R Y U U

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白 龍

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p e r s o n a .


——————█▐N A M E Hakuryuu

——————█▐N I C K N A M E / S "I'll answer to anything."

——————█▐G E N D E R Male

——————█▐A G E Unknown | Physically in his early 20s

——————█▐S E X U A L I T Y Bisexual | Male preference

——————█▐S P E C I E S Mizuchi | Water dragon


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v i s a g e .


——█▐H E I G H T 6'1"

——█▐W E I G H T 178 lbs.

——█▐B R I E F x D E S C R I P T I O N

Human Form
Pools of clear azure slashed with scarlet slit pupils glitters beneath short, red eyebrows and hooded lids. Untamed silver-gray locks frame a narrow, yet shapely jaw—usually sporting a slight smirk—while the rest of his hair flows wildly past his shoulders; tapering off at mid-thigh. Porcelain-coloured skin devoid of all blemish covers the smooth expanse of a lithe, but well-muscled form. However, a significant portion of his abdomen and upper arms are covered in iridescent scale-like markings that glimmer in differing hues of blue.

Dragon Form
An immense being dominates the waters; resembling a great serpent in its physiology save for the clawed fore and hindlimbs it possesses. Iridescent scales reminiscent of the markings on its human form covers the entirety of its body—smooth in appearance, yet deceptively abrasive like those of a shark's. Between powerful jaws lies rows of razor sharp teeth slathered in poison, and beneath a heavily ridged brow are eyes the colour of blood. Silver-blue fins also line the length of its back in crests of varying sizes, ultimately culminating in a fanned tail with three points.


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p r e f e r e n c e s .

——█▐L I K E S

Eating ○ Drinking ○ Chilly mornings ○ Sleeping ○ Modern music ○ All bodies of water ○ Nightswimming (bonus if it's in dragon form, double bonus if he's with someone else and skinny dipping's involved) ○ Spicy food ○ Watching other youkai do their work ○ Literature of all kinds ○ Playing with fire ○ The stars ○ Eating fish raw (and sometimes, still living)

——█▐D I S L I K E S
Sudden loud noises × Being bothered when he's not in the mood × Hot weather × Landlocked places × Running out of food/booze × Humans, but only the polluting-the-rivers kind × Surprises × Confrontation, and allowing himself to get carried away due to anger × Boredom × Too many vegetables and not enough meat × Going too long without getting laid

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p s y c h e .


——█▐P E R S O N A L I T Y

Anyone who's encountered him for more than five minutes can tell you with utmost certainty that Hakuryuu—fabled water dragon, descendant of the goddess Suijin and therefore sort-of-deity—is the laziest man this side of Japan. If you're looking for someone whose ideal afternoon consists of lying around in his shrine, eating or drinking himself to death, then Hakuryuu is definitely your guy. It's all he ever does in the day time, and in the event that he does come out, it's usually because he'd either run out of food/alcohol, or was forcibly dragged out by someone else.

Aside from that, Hakuryuu is a pretty mellow guy who, despite his sarcastic and sometimes overly frank way of speaking, is not that bad of a person. He may give off an apathetic sort of vibe, but he does care greatly about those he trusts (he's just way too emotionally constipated to show it). He's actually quite benevolent compared to some of the more mischievous youkai. That is, unless seriously provoked. Hakuryuu prides himself in not giving a damn about trivial matters, therefore it's rather tough to get a rise out of him. But, he too has his limits, and when those limits are reached, only then will he show just how sharp his already venomous fangs can be.

Hakuryuu can also be very...physical...in his dealings with other people. He's very touchy, often draping himself over friends and complete strangers alike no matter what the context or circumstance. It's pretty freaky, considering he's six-foot-one plus the added weight of all that hair, but Hakuryuu does what Hakuryuu wants, and he isn't like to change anytime soon.

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╭╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╾╮
o t h e r s .


——————█▐S P E E C H x C O L O U R #005EA6

——————█▐T H O U G H T x C O L O U R #BCD2EE

——————█▐T H E M E x S O N G TBA

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——————█▐F A C E x C L AI M Uroko from Nagi no Asukara

——————█▐U S E R N A M E Elysium


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So begins...

Hakuryuu's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ryuunosuke Character Portrait: Susumu Character Portrait: Sanae Character Portrait: Izumi Nao Character Portrait: Sanjakubō Kurama Character Portrait: Orokawru Satogi Character Portrait: Miyako Mormeril Character Portrait: Yukiko Nakahara Character Portrait: Kyosuke 'Kyo' Andoh Character Portrait: Chiyoko-Danuki Character Portrait: Tutsrugi Character Portrait: Ki Character Portrait: Shohei Character Portrait: Hakuryuu Character Portrait: Rika Nekonyankoo
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As expected, Sanja had guessed right. The kitsune wags his tail excitedly, leaning in to rub his cheek against Sanja's affectionately. Oh, oh! You guessed it right, Sanja-kun. My boy's so smart. Smart, smart~ After the words leave his mouth, it's then that they appear to be dive-bombed by some kind of bird. Though, as it lands, Susumu can see that it's just Shohei. He smiles, then, tail curling around him delicately, twitching at the end. His head cants to the side curiously, grin on his face. Oh? Tell me, is that a promise or a threat? If you take off one of my arms, can I take off one of yours? An eye for an eye, right? I'd like to bargain with eyes...~

Susumu rather dramatically releases his hold on Sanja, pouting a bit. There's still warmth from the contact, but his body feels so much colder without Sanja's side against his. He flicks his tail again and moves to step toward Shohei, likely to tease him a bit. The tengu's true feelings are written all over his face—at least, they are to the kitsune. Such a man is used to reading people, to get under their skin, to break them down. He takes a step forward—

...—and stops.

It's then when a group of two passes them (two that, Susumu notes, he does not recognize) and the kitsune's crimson eyes widen. His posture straightens, and his ears raise. Those two look awfully suspicious... they can't be from around here. He muses this just as Shohei mentions something about 'disposing of humans.' The kitsune waves a hand dismissively at him, despite not being the one addressed, and throws a wink at Shohei. Something changes visibly about Susumu; something animal, something feral overcomes him, and it shows. His eyes almost glow, and his pupils split his irises with deep slits, much like a fox. His movements are more graceful than usual (though, what is that to say about Susumu's usual grace? he has grace, but now he's practically dancing!) as he moves toward them, fast. Within an instant, he sidles up in front of them, walking backwards to match their strides. It seems he's all but forgotten the promise he made to poor Tsuyari.

Did you see it? Did you see Sanja-kun's illusion? Oh, he's wonderful, isn't he? Judging by the way you're looking at me right about now, I'd say you're confused. That's fine, that's fine! He opens his arms in a theatrical motion, flashing a sharp-toothed smile. Let Susumu-oniisan lift those clouds from your cute little heads, yes? I suppose your parents told you not to talk to strangers? If we play a game together, we won't be strangers anymore! ♥❞

Just like that. Without any preface, without any warning, he begins his game, splaying his fingers and holding up his hands. Everything, every single thing about this man is captivating—his movements, his eyes, his face, his voice, the way his body and hips move as he speaks—in the worst way. Internally, Susumu counts the charm points of the two—the boy's eyes are nice (though they pale in comparison to Sanja-kun's, of course!), and the girl's teeth are a desirable feature, as well. He tilts his head to the side, a laugh bubbling from his throat, and it sounds like all the pleasing sounds in the world—wind chimes knocking against each other in the breeze, a cat's purr, the third highest note on a flute.

A murderer is condemned to death. He has to choose between three rooms. The first is full of raging fires, the second is full of assassins with loaded guns, and the third is full of lions that haven't eaten in 3 years. Which room is safest for him? I'll give you three guesses. On the third incorrect guess, you have to tell me a secret about yourselves!




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Sanae slows to a halt, sighing in defeat at Satogi's words. She didn't want to have to admit it at first but... he's right. They're lost in the middle of the forest... at night. They could be stuck here forever...! What a terrible thought, Sanae! Don't just think somethin' like that! You're sendin' negative energy! The Miko shakes her head quickly and releases Satogi's hand briefly to pat her cheeks. Lessee... you're right. Yep. We're lost. But! But, that don't mean I dunno how to get us un-lost. Y'know, I know how to get to the shrine from anywhere in the forest? Even at night. She taps her chin in thought, turning in the direction she's about to lead everyone. Would be a lil' easier if we had some kinda flashlight, but... Kyosuke-kun took Satogi-kun's. Hmm... y'know, I heard about cellphones havin' flashlights, but... I dunno how mine works. S'this way, though.

She points off in a direction—the right direction, this time—and starts to lead the other two off. They pass through threes and eventually, they come across a path, and there's a few lanterns to guide the way. Sanae smirks victoriously—she did it! Not that there was any doubt in the shrine maiden's mind, but she was sure that the other two might doubt her (Yukiko especially). She warns them to mind their steps. They say the abandoned village's hidden by some trees at the bottom of the cliff on the other side of the shrine. Me? Well, I never saw it before, but... well, that's probably 'cause it's hidden. 'Sure if we get up to the shrine, we can find a way to get down there, y'know? And—... uh, wait. Shh.

She puts a finger to her lips (albeit a bit in vain; wasn't she the only one talking?) and lowers herself slightly, squinting into the darkness. She hears something, and it's not just the crickets chirping (though those are lovely sounds, too). She looks back to her companions, eyes widening slightly. Am I the only one who hears... voices? Ya think someone else is out here? Could it be Kyosuke-kun and Nao-chan? Oh man, what if it's... what if it's the voices of Youkai? D'ya think we really found some?!




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It does take Ryuunosuke a moment to tear his gaze from whatever nondescript part of the wall he had occupied his eyes with looking to. His head turns, lids closing and opening a few times in slow, curious blinks before he realizes it's Miyako, the bar's owner. Such an honor to be greeted by the bar's owner, the Oni prince feels himself almost smile—almost. He cocks his head to the side, head still rested softly in his hand. We do not come here often, Miyako-san. What do you have that is good here?

Ryuunosuke pauses then, glancing back to Tutsurugi. Normally, he would have the servant order for him, but tonight, on his own accord, hadn't he wandered into a bar full of all sorts of common riff-raff? He shrugs his shoulders and continues. We like sake, but We have rather expensive taste. Give us your best, Miyako-san. The prince lowers his eyelids delicately, looking up at her through his eyelashes. It isn't a coqurettish stare, but a rather bored one—not with her, but such is the prince's nature. Engaging words, though not so engaging expression.

Miyako had kept an easy smile on her face as she waited for Ryuunosuke's attention and it only widened when he finally replied. His words were true, he didn't come often, and usually Tutsurugi ordered for him when he did. What really suprised her, and delighted her, was that he had not insulted her or her establishment outright, unlike Sanja. She couldn't keep the flirtatious yet slightly mocking tone out of her voice when she responded. "We have plenty that's good here though not many have high standards as you and I do. I think I have something in mind. I'll bring a few bottles over so you can choose the one best to your liking." Miyako, gave a small curtsy to Ryuunosuke and then spun and walked away, a bit of a skip in her step. The oni prince was one of her favorite customers to be honest, he had such an eloquent way of speaking and he tended to cling to old customs which made Miyako reminescent of the past. As she walked away she noticed that whoever was with Chiyoko had stood. With quick movements she slipped between his four brutes and spoke to Chiyoko who had yet to rise from her seat. "Sorry for the delay Chiyo-san. If you come back later I'll make sure to put aside a bottle of your favorite for you." With a wink at her friend she slipped away and headed towards the bar.

Ryuunosuke, having watched Miyako walk back towards the bar, looks to Tutsurugi. There's a small smile on his face, then. She walked off without asking what it was you wanted, Tutsurugi. Perhaps the pretty jorogumo was so taken by our royal presence, she lost her head for a moment? He gives Tutsurugi a wink and looks back towards the bar, amused, waiting for Miyako to return with the sake he'd be trying.

Miyako looked over the unopened bottles behind the bar, her eyes quickly landing on what she was looking for. Grabbing three bottles from the bar she set them aside before heading into the kitchen. Tutsurugi had long ago told her exactly what type of sake she should keep on hand for his highness, it changing as the companies that made it did. He also had provided special sake cups, something that had annoyed Miyako at first but upon seeing the beautiful cup set had been unable to complain. The cups were made of pure obsidian, gold being used to decorate the outside. Grabbing both the expensive sake and the cups Miyako placed them on a silver tray she kept (honestly for the tea she had with the girls) and headed out. Stopping to grab the other three bottles of sake Miyako placed them on the tray quickly while watching the girls movements, all three somewhere out in the bar. Satisfied that none of them were harassing the guests and causing mischeif Miyako headed back over to the table where Ryuunosuke and Tutsurugi were sitting. With graceful motions she placed a cup in front of them both and then opened each bottle of sake. "I made sure to bring the one that Tutsurugi requested I keep in stock. It's been kept slightly chilled as he asked. I also brough three of the most popular sakes we have here at Rōzuu~ebu. They're made locally by a small business but everyone seems to enjoy them greatly."

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Taste testing, then? Ryuunosyuke looks vaguely amused, sitting back slightly and stretching his shoulders out. He tilts his head at her, then, face mimicing an almost disturbing childlike innocence. He smiles, but it isn't the tender smile he gives children (and Tutsurugi). It's sardonic and playful. Ah, yes. She did forget one not so minor detail, and the prince cannot resist a bit of poking fun...
And... what will my companion be having?

For a moment Miyako just looked confused,, the question not making much sense. It only took a few more second for understanding to dawn, causising her eyes to widen and for the first time in centuries, maybe even millenia, her face flushed bright red. Lowing her gaze Miyako's shoulders shifted inward almost impercetably and she did her best not to embarass herself more, responding quickly. "I'm so very sorry. I assumed you would both want the same thing. Turning towards Tutsurugi Miyako bowed and spoke with as much sincerity and formality as she could muster, which suprisingly was quite a lot. "I humbly apologize for not thinking of your needs as well Tutsurugi-sama. Please forgive my rudeness."

Ryuunosuke laughs then, and it's a sound that comes from deep in his throat—a genuine laugh, full of amusement, one that shows he found humor in the situation. He covers his mouth with his head canted towards the duo leaving the bar. Did he hear Chiyoko say something, or was it just an annoying buzzing noise going in one ear and out the other? He shrugs and laughs once more at her expense, for good measure. He waves his hand toward Miyako as if to wave off her worries. Tonight, We do not join you as royal and servant. We join you to make merry, Miyako-san, though We do not blame you for not being able to look past our extravagently regal exterior. Which of these would you say is your favorite, then? We suppose Tutsurugi will have whatever We are having~

Miyako was once again taken off gaurd as Ryuunosuke laughed. Slowly rising she looked at him with a half empty, half confused expression until he had finished. Shaking herself, both mentally and her head physically, Miyako forced her 'hostess' smile on her face. Brightening right back up she forced herself to take the situation in stride. "Oh! Well personally I've never been able to pick a favorite. The Black,Red, and White Rose Sakes were the three original flavors though so I guess those ones. I brought you the Red, Pink, And White as those are the three most popular. Oh! And the expensive one that Tutsurugi requested. I believe it costs around 550 thousand yen so it must be wonderful. And I replace it each month so it's always fresh."

Ryuunosuke nods, then, taking the one he assumed to be the expensive one. He raises the bottle to his nose before he gingerly pours some out—himself, no less!—into the fancy cup Miyako had been oh so generous to take out. He takes the cup and deftly lifts it to his lips and takes a sip. Ah, so the taste is as good as the aroma. He nods to Miyako and reaches for another bottle to pour into another cup. Our compliments, Miyako-san. You have excellent taste. Savor it, for compliments from royalty are not easy to come by. Tutsurugi, try this one!




Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sanjakubō Kurama Character Portrait: Ki Character Portrait: Hakuryuu Character Portrait: Rika Nekonyankoo
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#, as written by Elysium

H A K U R Y U U



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xxxxxxMoonlight shuddered as it streamed past the rustle of leaves overhead, illuminating the leaf strewn path in quivering swathes of feeble light. Such a path remained unknown to most; yet it parted gladly for the silver-haired youkai as he made his approach, the stillness of the forest soon giving way to the soft crunch of foliage underfoot and the gentle sway of fabric against the biting nighttime breeze. Though Hakuryuu seldom traversed the hidden route, it promised the quickest way from the foot of the mountain to the grand temple high above: Kurama Shrine, home to a certain purple-eyed daitengu, and Hakuryuu's oldest—perhaps even dearest—friend.

xxxxxxIt painted a rare sight, seeing the dragon beyond the threshold of his—or rather, the water god Suijin's—shrine, but something compelled him to leave the relative safety of his domain. Something in the air, perhaps. A constant, foreboding feeling that something was off.

xxxxxxPerhaps it was his connection with the gods that prompted it, but it began the moment he awoke from his post-supper, mid-evening slumber. Just the oddest feeling making its home in the back of his mind, instantly setting him on edge. While he thought nothing of it at first, it eventually grew—coming to settle behind his eyes, in the spaces between his ribs. It was as if the world had shifted, and the forest's silence gave the impression that he was the only one who knew.

xxxxxxIt unsettled him.

xxxxxxHe needed to tell someone.

xxxxxxAnd who better to confide in than the appointed Lord of the Mountains himself?

xxxxxxThe trees thinned as Hakuryuu drew closer towards the mountain's peak, his mouth set in the thin line of a man determined. And yet, upon nearing the threshold of the temple, his lips found themselves slowly easing into that of a smile, expecting Sanja's solemn visage—and, hopefully, a few of those umeboshi riceballs he so loved—welcoming him upon entering.

xxxxxxInstead, what greeted him was this: Sanja—calm, ethereal Sanja—looming menacingly (fangs, demonic illusions and all) over the poor crumpled form of what appeared to be another youkai. The other man's rage was palpable, echoing amid the vast expanse of shrine's interior. Lesser beings might cower instantly at the face of such fury; but the dragon was no stranger to such outbursts, having already been the recipient of a few of them over the centuries. As such, he merely stepped past the doorway with a sigh, shifting his gaze from the daitengu before him to the figure on the floor.

xxxxxx"Ah, Sanja-kun. Must you be so harsh?" He asked, his main concern temporarily forgotten as he moved to get a closer look at the poor being on the receiving end of Sanja's wrath. The first thing he took into account was the bright pink hair; the second, a pair of similarly-coloured cat ears twitching atop its head.

xxxxxxRika.

xxxxxxOf course.

xxxxxxWith a shake of the head, he dropped to a crouch beside her, waving half-heartedly at some of Sanja's illusions as he did so. "Oi. What'd you do this time eh, Rika-chan?" The query was accompanied by a firm flick of a finger at the side of the neko's head. Though she was prone to causing all sorts of trouble, he didn't think she would go so far as to cross Sanja, of all people. And based on Sanja's not-so-genial reaction, her latest scheme had definitely succeeded in hitting more than a few sore points for the usually placid daitengu.

xxxxxxWith a cock of the head, Hakuryuu swept his eyes across the rest of the room, noting the normally pristine shrine's abject state of disarray. And then he came upon the brown sack lying in a heap in the middle of the bamboo flooring, what appeared to be random items pilfered from all over the shrine spilling haphazardly from its frayed mouth. It wasn't difficult to put two and two together after that, especially after seeing the troubled expression on Ki's face—speaking of whom, Haku gave her a tiny wave upon noticing her presence, vowing to greet her properly once the issue with a certain bakaneko was resolved.

xxxxxxSo the idiot tried to steal from Sanja. Typical coming from the likes of her, but woefully ill-devised. Hakuryuu rolled his eyes. No one steals from Sanja and gets away with it.

xxxxxx"I knew you were thick, but I didn't think you would d be this phenomenally stupid." He sighed, the sentiment accompanied by a minute shake of the head. "Now be a good kitty and do what your Sanja-sama told you, yeah? Put them back." Wrapping a hand around Rika's arm, he easily hauled her up with him as he stood; making a show of dusting the neko off before giving her a light shove towards the sack. "Go on, before I dump you in the deep end of the river." Though the threat didn't hold much weight, spoken as it was through Hakuryuu's usual apathetic monotone, the dragon fully intended to go through with it if the neko refused. Nekos loathed the water, after all.

xxxxxxWith the neko out of the way, Hakuryuu directed his attention to Sanja—and, finally, to the matter at hand.

xxxxxx"Sanja..." Uncertainly flashed briefly across Hakuryuu's eyes as he regarded the other man, the gesture a clear departure from the 'bored' expression the dragon normally wore. "Earlier this evening, I just—I had the strangest feeling." He paused, considering his next words, before continuing, "I know not what it is that I felt, but it feels...off. As if something has shifted. Do you not feel it too?" He kept his voice low as his spoke, preferring the other occupants of the room not hear so much of what was being said. It was a rather sensitive topic after all, and worrying them for potentially no reason was definitely far outside Hakuryuu's agenda.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Susumu Character Portrait: Izumi Nao Character Portrait: Sanjakubō Kurama Character Portrait: Tsuyari Kazukai Character Portrait: Kyosuke 'Kyo' Andoh Character Portrait: Ki Character Portrait: Shohei Character Portrait: Hakuryuu Character Portrait: Rika Nekonyankoo
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#, as written by Tanman
Kyosuke ‘Kyo’ Andoh

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Still not receiving any response from Nao, Kyo was about to jostle her a bit more roughly when another figure suddenly swept into view, cutting them both off from continuing on their way. Kyosuke ground to a halt, stopped himself, glancing to the man with a bit of a glare for barging in the way he did. “Hey, back off pal, we-“ Kyosuke didn’t get a chance to finish his warning as the silver-haired man revealed himself to be Susumu, though he was going to be no big brother of his. Instinctively, Kyosuke moved partly between Nao and the man, half expecting a fight, but instead, the man launched into a constant chatter.

Confused was one word that described how Kyosuke felt, even more so as he began noticing the odd features that Nao had pointed out earlier. Tails… Ears… Maybe he was some cosplayer like his sister? That would explain the dumb look. Waiting a moment for Nao to respond, it seemed she still wasn’t quite back to herself. Great, looks like he’d have to deal with this freakazoid. He was about to tell the weirdo to buzz off when his sing-songy voice continued straight into some sort of puzzle. Maybe this was some weird travelling circus troupe rather than a cult? Some sort of performance group deciding to toy with them for busting in on their rehearsals? He… Well, the bizarre man was strangely captivating, though for some reason, Kyo couldn’t help but feel uncomfortable and annoyed by it. This guy… Ugh, something about him was irksome.

“A murderer is condemned to death. He has to choose between three rooms. The first is full of raging fires, the second is full of assassins with loaded guns, and the third is full of lions that haven't eaten in 3 years. Which room is safest for him? I'll give you three guesses. On the third incorrect guess, you have to tell me a secret about yourselves!” Kyosuke listened to the riddle in full, and wasn’t entirely sure if Nao had heard at all. What was up with her? Well, whatever, he wasn’t about to just sit here in silence. Man, did he really have to do everything around here?

"Curious is it not? Such an obvious answer when clearly the lions have starved and died within those three years... Goodluck." Kyosuke glanced to the man who strode past them, another extravagant outfit and curiously strange air around him. They didn’t exactly need his help, the answer wasn’t that hard. He would have gotten it. "Very charming, but looks like the game is over. And the terms where quite unfair, and not in our favor, to start with. The correct thing to have done would be a quid pro quo. You tell us things, we tell you things..." Nao, finally seeming to regain her composure, stepped forward past Kyosuke, allowing him to slowly lower his guard. Whoever these dweebs were seemed they didn’t see them as a threat. Though, he couldn’t miss this chance to point out something that Nao had missed.

“Not in our favour? There are only three possible answers, so we couldn’t possibly get it wrong.” Kyo folded his arms, clearly unimpressed. Still, he felt kind of smart, smirking and shutting his eyes. Unfortunately, he didn’t notice the other man take flight and leave, so content was he to bask in managing to one-up Nao. "Ehhmm... regardless how nice it was to meet you.. Susumu-san.. I do think we must take our leave.." Nao took a few cautious steps back, grabbing Kyosuke once again to get them moving. Shrugging free, as he was perfectly capable of walking without her guidance, he couldn’t withhold his last snarky comment. “You need to work on your act dude. You sound way too annoying to hold an audience.”

Rika Nekonyankoo

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“Didja know that? Eating its eyes I swear! It was soooo disgusting. Little Birdie is so rude and inconsiderate like that, doing such things in Sanya’s forest, so why does he always get so mad at me?” As Rika finished her current train of thought, there was a cracking boom as the doors to the temple busted open, though little light filtered in except around the glorious silhouette standing within the frame. “S-S-San-Nya?!” Rika jumped upright. She’d been so distracted talking with Ki that she forgot to make her stealthy escape! Frozen in a position caught in the act, she watched Sanja ‘calmly’ throw his gaze around the room, starting with her, and ending on…

Scampering over to her bag, Rika made one last ditch effort to make a run for it, but it was way too heavy for her to even lift with that much contents. “Miss Nekonyankoo…” She heard the soft sound of his footsteps as he approached, and slowly turned to face him, one ear twitching slightly as she braced herself. “Ny-nyah?” In one swift motion, she was grabbed by the scruff of her neck and lifted from the ground, giving a panicked wail of fear. “If you do not put my belongs back exactly as you found them, I will rend your feline ears from your small, foolish, destructive head!"

“Sorry, Sorry, Sorry Sanya! I didn’t mean it! I just wanted to borrow them for my stor-“ She was cut off as Sanja’s rage would not be sated by such a paltry explanation. "I have told you once, I've told you a thousand times. Do. Not. Enter. The. Shrine. You are forbidden in my home! Everytime you come here you destroy and mess up my chi!" Unceremoniously dropped to the floor, Rika gave a soft yelp of pain, rubbing her rear as she fell back, temporarily distracted by the pain. As she opened her eyes again to look up to the looming figure of Sanja, she immediately began trying to scramble away on all fours. "I will give you until the count of ten to return my belongings as you found them and vacate my temple so I can repair this mess." The intimidating and indomitable shadow of Sanja seemed to grow and follow her, refusing not to be watching over the fearful feline.

Moving to try and push herself up to her feet, Rika gave a genuine scream of fright as she glanced down to where her hand was, a snake like shadow hissing at her and lunging to bite her hand. Once more jumping back onto her rear, the feline backed up by scooching her butt along the floor, eyes darting about fearfully as the shadows closed in all around her. Bumping into the wall, she found herself cornered, and gave a terrified wail of panic, holding her ears over her head and shutting her eyes as she cowered. 10 seconds?! She couldn’t do it in 10 seconds! A-and that meant all the shadow monsters were going to eat her! Nooooooo! She was too young and smart and pretty to die! “Already eaten one dead cat today, got room for another,” Rika overhead the voice of little birdie, and then her fear grew even more. No! She didn’t want her eyes plucked out and and crunched in the beak of Shohei! That was even worse than being eaten by shadow creatures!

Clutching her legs and head to her chest, clenching her eyes shut as tight as she could, she prepared herself for the inevitable, fully expecting to feel searing and rending pain as the shadows tore her limb from limb in a gruesome ceremony of mortification. Her time was almost up… "Oi. What'd you do this time eh, Rika-chan?" Rika gave another loud and panicked scream that was a drastic overreaction for the strength of the flick she received. Clearly she’d been expecting something far more painful and it just kind of… slipped out. Cautiously opening an eye a peep, she looked to who had spoken. "I knew you were thick, but I didn't think you would be this phenomenally stupid." Continued the water-dragon, Hakuryuu giving her one of his typical expressions. She wasn’t normally the fondest of Hakuryuu just simply because she hated getting wet, but at the moment, she’d take whatever help she could get. “Save me save me save meeeee!” Latching hold of him in a tackling hug, Rika practically swung around his body to hide behind him, meekly peering out to look to Sanja and the shadows still circling around them.

"Now be a good kitty and do what your Sanja-sama told you, yeah? Put them back." Giving a soft ‘Nya?’ as she was lifted to her feet, Rika shut her eyes again as he began patting and dusting her down, cleaning up the mess she’d made of herself scampering about the floor. Her poor kimono had more than a few tatters, and there was dust and dirt all over her. Weakly, her eyes started to falter, the sobbing almost beginning. She was a mess! A cute kitty like her looked like a messy muddle! It wasn’t fair! She hadn’t done anything wrong! She didn’t even get away with the stuff! Beginning to voice her complaints as the waterworks started, a prompt shove in the back by Hakuryuu forced her to snap out of it as she stumbled, rubbing her eyes slightly to wipe away the tears.

"Go on, before I dump you in the deep end of the river." Hakuryuu stated, deadpan. Rika pouted, still crying a little with some sobs. “You’re all so mean to me. No one looks after Rika, even when Rika really is sorry…” Oh dear, she was speaking in the third-person again. That normally only happened when she was particularly upset. Making some slow, tentative steps towards the bag, keeping her figure tight to avoid the still ever present shadows, she knelt towards the bag and began taking out each of the things. Shohei had already made a bit of a start, but there was plenty in there which needed to be returned. Slowly but steadily, she began taking things back… Though it didn’t exactly go the best, as she couldn’t remember where she’d taken them from, leading to Shohei having to frequently move the object she just placed somewhere else.

Finally, she was down to the last object: The ornate tea set that she’d asked Ki to first tuck away for her. Picking up the tray, she headed back over to the shelf where she’d got it from. It was pretty high up, seeing as Sanja could simply fly up to grab it, so she had to climb a little bit in order to reach. Balancing the tray precariously in one hand as she reached to the shelf and pulled, placing her entire weight on it, there was a soft creaking sound. Panic filled the feline as she swiftly and speedily placed the tea set back on the shelf, letting go and hopping down as she backed up slowly, watching in tense fear. Nothing happened though. The shelf didn’t break. The tea set was okay. She’d done it! Breathing a sigh of relief, she turned back towards Sanja and Hakuryuu, intent on showing them her best work. “See? See - lookie what I did! Aren’t you proud?! Check that out!” In a wild motion as she was just so excited, Rika raised her hand to point to the tea set. And slapped the small shelf. Instantly, one side of the shelf fell, beginning to scatter the tea set to the floor, But Rika was quicker than that. Leaping, she moved to catch the tea set, entering into a combat-roll as she deftly managed to save every single one, cupping them against her chest as she bumped against a vase to stop herself falling over. “Phew… Close one…” Her heart was beating a mile a minute at the prospect of something so unfortunate happening. Sanja would’ve really killed her if-

*CRASH!* Startled, Rika flinched and jumped, turning to the source of the sound. On the ground, shattered to pieces was the vase she’d rolled into in her attempt to catch the tea-set. The colour drained from her face. So much so was she scared that she also proceeded to drop the tea set, the tray clattering to the floor as the cups and pot also shattered on impact. “Nyaow, Meow Sanja, I-I didn’t mean it…” Rika backed up, arms in front of her defensively, easing her way to the door…

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Susumu Character Portrait: Sanjakubō Kurama Character Portrait: Ki Character Portrait: Shohei Character Portrait: Hakuryuu Character Portrait: Rika Nekonyankoo
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Sanja's fury was not sated by the cat's simple-minded answers, however the presence of Shohei and then of Hakuryuu eased off his anger. He watched the cat flounder about like a frightened pest. It was funny to him that a cat was so afraid of him, though he took pride in his power. As Shohei spoke Sanja smiled a bit and the illusions faded into nothing, leaving the shrine and the five people alone without the nightmarish visages. Haku asked him if he had to be so harsh on the girl which caused him to think a moment before responding, his regular coolheadedness returning to him with each passing word. As if a calming waterfall fell over him, quelling his inner fires.

"I suppose not. You're right. I do believe an apology is in order once she calms down. After all she is a member of my domain and should be treated with some manner of tact." He sighed a bit at his own loss of temper, placing a hand on Haku's shoulder and smiling up at the taller man as a sign of thanks. Haku went to scolding the cat and Shohei went to work cleaning up. During this Sanja went over to Ki and apologized to them for the display and he hoped he hadn't startled them too badly. Sanja as well went to cleaning things up, placing some of the bobbles and trinkets back on the shelves.

Suddenly an even louder commotion kicked up from the feline. His eyes went over to Rika as she stumbled about like someone who forgot how to maneuver their own body. He held his temples in shock as she dropped a vase, then his teaset gifted to him centuries ago by a human king in thanks. It took him a few moments to realize what had happened and once it clicked in his head his deep purple eyes went to the door Rika was trying to sneak out of. Thick vines and thorns grew to cover the door. He ran a hand through his hair, the words Shohei had spoken to him about the replicas popped into his head just as he was raising his hand to strike the cat. Instead of hitting her, as he thought of how silly it would be to beat her over fakes. He burst out laughing. He held his face and then his stomach as tears ran down his cheeks. What a day this had been! Such excitement hadn't ever happened before, not since the wars centuries prior when both sides would come consult him on strategy. Not since those Oni rebels thought they'd burn down the shrine. This, was something he truly needed in his mundane life. Normally he would've gone ballistic on the cat, but instead he sat beside her and ruffled her hair.

"You crazy cat, in your complete disregard for my home, my rules and wishes, and me personally. You have brought me some joy that I haven't felt in a long time." He then stood up and regained composure once more and snapped his fingers, causing the vines to dissipate and they instead went into the shrine, putting the rest of the items back in their rightful places, tidying up the shattered pieces of his vase and teaset. Sanja then waved his hand dismissively toward Rika.

"Rika, I shall forgive you for your crimes today. Though, mark my words, Shohei and Hakuryuu shall not be able to save you next time you think to rob me and break my belongings." Sanja sat down on a large cushion, violet like his eyes and it was large enough for him to lay sideways on. Near the back of the square chamber. He sat very properly on it as Haku came over and whispered a concern of his into Saja's ear. The Daitengu's momentary laxness instantly went away.

"Yes, I had felt it just as the suns began setting. That is why I had left my shrine, to investigate it. Though I fear it's much more than we thought. It would appear as though Humans are in our part of the village, not only that, but they can see us as well." He then held his chin in his hand slightly. "Though, I do not know if that is the feeling to which you referred." He then got lost in his own train of thought, true enough humans being able to see them was a bit of a problem. Though, at the same time he had always wanted to interact further with humans, his curiosity would most likely get the better of him. Which was something he was well aware of and would try to suppress his own desires to seek out the stray humans and question them. He looked up to Hakuryuu.

"I do wish to thank you my friend. Without your aid I fear my temper would've only escalated."

The setting changes from komorebi-village to Youkai Street

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sanae Character Portrait: Sanjakubō Kurama Character Portrait: Orokawru Satogi Character Portrait: Yukiko Nakahara Character Portrait: Ki Character Portrait: Shohei Character Portrait: Hakuryuu Character Portrait: Rika Nekonyankoo Character Portrait: Rinu Amaya
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#, as written by Emmyz


.: A M A Y A :.

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The soft but moist grass felt refreshing under her extended body lying down on the bare ground. Maya stretched her arms and rolled to her side, letting her eyes rest on the action going on by the creek that ran through the woods. Even tho the sun had set, her glowing red eyes was able to clear out every detail of the late night nature. Not that she felt the need to see. Closing her eyes, she relied only on her hearing. Water pouring, making a flowing sound so familiar to her ears that one could think she'd be immune to it by now - even so she did not seized to be amazed. The miniature waterfall splashed on to the leaves of the nearest bushes - making the drops caught on the leaves fall down to the surface once again with uneven dripping noises. "drip drip drop drip".

She sighted with a smile and rolled over to her back again, looking up to the starry night sky. For the moment she was satisfied - earlier today she'd "blessed" the forest with a friendly spring shower. Giving life and energy to the plants and flowers. A part of her hoped that Sanja of the Mountain would be happy with her work (even if he was very well capable of doing it himself), maybe even give her a compliment, as she truly felt a bit proud over her tender rain for a change. To her - the rain was emotions. And sure - she could cause a monsoon if she wanted - but this peaceful smattering rain she'd created earlier was a work of art.

In her eyes, she deserved some rest and peace for a moment. Huh what was that? The calm and relaxed sensation did not stay for long. Rustling in the leaves, footsteps and unfamiliar voices echoed in the raindrops still lingering in the grass, as dew. Maya stood up and licked her hand slowly.. thinking... They where at least 2 - maybe 3. Familiar creatures whom she'd once belonged to herself. "Humans, you say.." she mumbled - and if there'd been an audience present, they'd probably believed she was crazy and talking with the raindrops... Of course that was not the case - but Maya still though of all kind of water to be precious friends of her - so she treated them no different.

She corrected her black dress and took a deep breath. Her hair was long and as straight as could be, with the traditional japanese fringe swinging once she started moving. Sadly she had this "code" saying she would not go after humans when they where in company. Amaya only played with lonely humans, a group would be hard to enchant and drown. But even so - what would be the harm in teasing them a bit. It was not like they could see her anyways. Starting to follow the sounds out of curiouslity, she began to suspect them of heading for Sanjas shrine. At this time? Very well, guess prayers where welcome any time.

She was not exactly shy - following the humans with straight posture and her chin high - but still kept her distance. That did not stop her from opening her mouth and start singing, maybe in a try to lure them to the shrine. She was being helpful right? Showing them to the right location so they could deliver their prayers. All clueless about what was going on in village and the whole "humans can see youkai-situation"...She went ahead of them and kept singing, leading them to the shrine...

"Come little children
I’ll take thee away
Into a land of enchantment
Come little children
The time’s come to play
Here in my garden of shadows"~~~


She made sure to arrive to Sanjas mountain shrine before the humans tho. Bouncing up and down as she hurried across the front yard. There she came across the "feeling" of a previous chaos- making her open her mouth in a surprised expression. Maybe it was the dew in the grass speaking to her. Or it was just her relationship with "bad luck" that told her there's been some turbulence here. Sanja himself where sitting on a large purple cushion and looked rather... happy? The familiar faces of Ki, Rita and Shohei where there as well.. And her favorite dragon, making her wink and putting on a mysterious smirk as she trotted the last bit. Greeting them all with a playful pirouette, making her black dress spin around her legs. As she stopped, she raised one eyebrow and shocked her head - automatically looking at Rita with an amused expression, almost miming "well done".

"Feels like you suffered bad luck in my absence.. how interesting" she said in a distant voice and moved her finger to her mouth. Tapping her lower lip a few times. "Oh right! There was a group of 3 humans coming this way. I presumed they where on their way to the shrine to present their prayers.. So i made sure to sing them on the right trail.. But it's rather late for a shrine visit - don't you think?.." She tilted her head to the side in a questioning but innocent expression - making her fringe fall over and almost hide one of her "glowing" red eyes..

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sanjakubō Kurama Character Portrait: Ki Character Portrait: Shohei Character Portrait: Hakuryuu Character Portrait: Rika Nekonyankoo Character Portrait: Rinu Amaya
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Dialogue Color || #FA8EFA | Thought Color || #B6CAE0
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Ki sat next to Rika, listing very intently to her tangent. There were several times when Ki wondered if they should comment on something that had been said, but as it was they didn't even have enough time to open their mouth before the energetic girl would begin talking once more. Not that they minded. Nodding every once in a while to show that they were listening, Ki let the cat continue until sudden chaos broke out through the shrine.

Everything seemed to happen all at once. The sudden sound of the front doors flying open causing even Ki to jump a little. Turning, they gazed curiously at Sanja as he entered the room. It wasn't until the man began to yell that they realized just how angry he was. It would be a lie to say that Ki understood quite what the man was angry about, but it was obvious enough that the heart of his annoyance was the girl that had now jumped up from her seated position in shock.

Ki stood slowly from their seated position, watching in shock as Sanja bounded over and grabbed Rika by the back of their neck. It was even more shocking as they watched him allow her to just drop to the ground afterwards. Ki had never seen Sanjakubo so angry before. He had taken care of them their entire life. In fact, he had been protecting their host tree even before they turned into a spirit. Ki had never thought that they would ever actually feel scared of him.

Yet, as they watched the genuine terror that Rika seemed to be feeling due to Sanja's illusions, they couldn't help the small trickle of fear that appeared in their stomach.

Realizing what they were just thinking, Ki shook their head in order to rid their self of those thoughts. 'Don't let your mind get ahead of itself, Ki. Sanja would never actually hurt anybody... I just need to figure out what is going on.'

They were brought out of their thoughts by Hakuryuu and Shohei now entering the shrine. A comment made by Haku caused a bit of confusion inside Ki's head. He had called Rika stupid, but why? It was then that everything seemed to sort of fall into place, causing Ki to release a startled gasp. 'Rika hadn't been meaning to return those items?' They suddenly felt very guilty. That meant that this whole mess was their fault. If Ki had just realized what Rika was trying to do, Sanja wouldn't have got so angry. Not to mention that Rika wouldn't be getting yelled at if they had known, Ki would have to apologize to her later.

Looking up, Ki was surprised to see Shohei come stand in between them and Sanja. He seemed to be trying to get his boss to take it easy on them. It was a bit of an unusual thing for the crow to do, and it did indeed warm their heart, but it also served to make them feel even guiltier. Ki deserved to be punished just as much as Rika did.

Feeling this way, Ki began to move to help Rika and Shohei put everything back, but was stopped by Sanja coming over to apologize for startling them. This caused Ki to shake their head a bit franticly as they rushed to tell him that there was absolutely nothing for him to be sorry about. A small smile tugged at their lips as he walked away to help with putting everything back. It seemed that he had truly calmed down now.

A sudden crash echoed throughout the shrine, interrupting Ki's relief. Turning, they inwardly sighed as they saw the vase and tea set shattered on the floor, with a very nervous Rika standing in the middle of it. Peeking over in Sanja's direction, Ki wondered if he would get angry again. Yet, surprisingly, he just burst out laughing.

Staring curiously at the violet eyed man, Ki let out a confused chuckle of their own. Yet, as Sanja explained how much fun all of this had brought him, Ki couldn't help but grin happily. It was great that this whole chaotic mess had actually seemed to do something good. Although they still felt guilty, they were at least happy that Sanja was happy. He deserved to have fun every once in a while to.

Ki smiled and followed Sanjakubo, sitting next to him as he seated himself on a large cushion near the back of the room. Watching curiously as Haku came over to whisper something in his ear. They could have sworn that they heard something about humans being in the village, but they shook the thought away instantly. 'I must have misheard...'

Their attention was brought back to the matter at hand as Sanja thanked Hakuryuu for helping to calm him down. A smile once again graced their lips as Ki bowed deeply in the water dragon's direction before speaking up themselves. "I would like to thank you as well. Sanja would have surely been upset with himself is his anger had grown any larger." Turning their head to give the white haired man a small smile, they added, "Not that they would have done anything too drastic, I'm sure."

Next, they shifted their body slightly so that they could have a better view of Shohei. They then once again bowed low to the ground from their seated position. "I would also like to thank you, Shohei, for standing up for me. You are indeed a great friend. Although, in this case I am not sure if I deserved to be stood up for." Sitting up once more, they threw a wary smile at the others. It was obvious that they still felt very guilty about what had happened.

Gazing at everybody in the room now, they respectfully inclined their head as they stated, "I am very sorry for what happened here today. I did not understand what I was doing wrong at the time, but it is now clear to me. I promise that nothing like this will ever happen again. I understand if you have lost your trust for me." This last statement was obviously directed towards Sanja, as they tentatively peered at him from the corner of their eye.

It wasn't very long after this that Amaya happened to stroll into the shrine. At the mention of humans, Ki's eyes widened slightly. 'It seems that I didn't mishear earlier.' Turning to the man sitting on the cushion next to them, Ki reached out and gently tugged on one of his sleeves in order to gain his attention. Tilting their head in slight confusion, they then softly asked, "Sanja... What is all of this talk about humans?"

Were humans really on their way to the shrine at this very moment? The thought caused both feelings of nervousness and excitement to run through Ki all at once.

The setting changes from youkai-street to Komorebi Village

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sanae Character Portrait: Sanjakubō Kurama Character Portrait: Yukiko Nakahara Character Portrait: Shohei Character Portrait: Hakuryuu Character Portrait: Rika Nekonyankoo Character Portrait: Rinu Amaya Character Portrait: Natsumi
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Walking slowly through the forest, allowing her hands to graze over trees as she passed them by, a matured woman with long dark magenta hair caught the tune of a familiar voice. An eerie tune floated, lilting through the trees, a song of a known enemy for the woman. She need not hurry as the tone faded, instead it appeared that two of her enemies were now in the same spot. Her eyes narrowed as she went toward the trail that her enemy left behind. Her enemy being the woman who out of her cruelty, liked to kill children, Natsumi could not even imagine such a horrible thing as that. Whenever this rain woman was about luring children Natsumi would swoop in and save the sad and lost children. Taking them into her being to save them. She knew that the rain witch was luring them to that Bird monster's shrine. The man who let her son die. Shiro, my Shiro. . . She lamented internally.

Once she arrived at the shrine she spotted quite the gathering, it wasn't to her liking so rather than try to fight them all on her own she rushed back down the mountain to intercept the children. She couldn't allow those monsters up there to get them! She knew what she must do, she would counter the rain woman's song with a lure of her own. Natsumi quickly whisked through the leaves, going right through the wood of the trees as she ran. She found a small hill and lay some scattered branches so it appeared as though she had fallen. It was then that she began weeping. Her cacophonous sound traveling on the wind and wrapping around the children, beckoning them toward her with a strong charm. An overwhelming urge to seek out Natsumi.

She would protect the children from the other Youkai's even if she had to absorb each and every one of them.

The setting changes from komorebi-village to Youkai Street

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Susumu Character Portrait: Izumi Nao Character Portrait: Sanjakubō Kurama Character Portrait: Yukiko Nakahara Character Portrait: Tsuyari Kazukai Character Portrait: Kyosuke 'Kyo' Andoh Character Portrait: Ki Character Portrait: Shohei Character Portrait: Hakuryuu Character Portrait: Rika Nekonyankoo Character Portrait: Rinu Amaya
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  1. Kyosuke grows more agitated by the two Kitsune's mischievious ways. Seeing Tsuyari Kiss Nao, he takes her aside for questioning while trying to escape the youkai.

    by Tanman
  2. Rika is pleased to be let off by Sanja. Deciding to remain in the shrine after Amaya's arrival, she is excited to see the humans. As such, she attempts to pester Sanja to let her stay.

    by Tanman

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#, as written by Tanman
Kyosuke ‘Kyo’ Andoh

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Once again, Kyo found himself stopped in his tracks, this time by the azure-haired beauty as she cut into their path. If he didn’t know any better, he’d say they were being shepherded. Maybe that wasn’t the right word - More akin to vultures or sharks circling prey. Still, he much preferred this one to that odd man from before; at least she was good to look at. With her half-bobbed stance, it certainly put some features on display more than others, and he couldn’t help but have his eyes drift a little downward from her face. She had some confidence wearing an outfit like that.

"How about you show how it's done then? Lead by example, no?" The woman’s ear twitched as she cocked her head, looking to him with a mildly sceptical expression. Huh, neat. That costume was really fancy. Still, Kyo wasn’t about to take a challenge like that lying down. Narrowing his eyes to glare back at her, he wracked his brain for either a badass unsolvable riddle, or a witty retort. I’m not about to give you jokers free material? No, no, that wasn’t edgy enough…As Kyo was thinking, Susumu slipped in behind them again, clapping both of them on the shoulder to box them in before launching into another riddle. Kyo briefly showed restraint, but when the man started playing with his hair, he snapped. Swinging round, his arm went out wide and forced Susumu to step back and give some space if he didn’t want to be clubbed. “What’s your problem?!” Kyo demanded, clenching his fists and prepping for a throwdown.

"It's not we who are trying to hold an audience here - but rather you who are trying to distract us from leaving - right? Why is that?" Nao stepped in, possibly seeing that Kyo was about to do something reckless and attempting to diffuse the situation. Kyo simply glared at the two costumed weirdoes, before folding his arms to stop himself lashing out again. These two hadn’t specifically threatened them yet, but it was certainly trying his patience, and unnerving him with their shifty actions.

“Aren't you the smart one? Let me guess—you wear the pants in this relationship, then? Well, in that case, why doesn't he answer this one? Be a good boy and answer me, please~” The two foxes were dividing them, if only slightly as Susumu and Tsuyari began moving between Kyo and Nao. Kyosuke kept his arms folded as he looked at Susumu with a death stare. It took all of his restraint not to bite on the insult that Nao was in charge, or that ‘boy’ line. Bah, he shouldn’t let it piss him off, but everything about this guy was infuriating. Particularly since this riddle seemed remarkably harder than the previous one. Kyosuke wasn’t that dumb, but he certainly wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. He was blunt, but still got the job done. Most of the time at least.

“I haven’t got time for any more of your bullshit you freak. My friend and I are leaving, and unless you want to end up face first in the dirt, you’ll stop bugging us and scram.” Shoving Susumu out of the way, he looked to grab Nao and get out of there. What he saw stopped him dead in his tracks. The blue-haired woman was cupping Nao’s cheeks softly, the gentle embrace drawing the two in closer together. There were centimetres between them, so small was the gap that they’d be able to feel the warmth of the other. An arm found its way to the small of Nao’s back, tugging her in that tiny bit closer. The intensity in the air seemed to crackle briefly, time hanging on a knife’s edge, before the girl plunged forward, locking lips with Nao in a passionate kiss. Kyo watched in silent amazement, unblinking as that moment seemed to last for an age. Slowly, the azure-temptress withdrew, though not without tasting Nao’s delicate lips one last time.

"I'm Tsuyari, what might your name be? I'm pleased to make your acquaintance~" The woman finally identified herself, though that was the least of Kyo’s concerns right now. He wasn’t sure why, but for some reason, he was fuming. He’d seen more than enough. Gritting his teeth, he grabbed hold of Nao’s hand, pulling her away from Tsuyari and taking a few steps back to be clear of the two strangers. “Whatever you two creeps are after, step off! Get back under whatever rock you crawled out of!” Somewhat roughly pulling Nao by the arm, he dragged her off, briefly glancing behind him to see if they were being followed.

“What the hell was that back there?! Is that your idea of ‘handling’ it?!” He demanded once he believed they were out of earshot, releasing her from his grip as he looked at her incredulously. “Why in the world would you let her do that to you?!” Kyo asked with genuine disbelief, though he wasn’t sure why that would be important to him in any respect. As they sat in silence briefly, he caught his breath a bit and started regaining some composure. “I mean… Ugh, look. I don’t care what your feelings are, but you just met that girl! Not to mention the creep vibes those guys were giving us… I don’t know about you, but my guts tell me that this place isn’t safe…” Kyosuke glanced around again, having not really paid any attention where he’d taken Nao, other than getting some seclusion. Seemed they were still in the abandoned village, though off the main street at least.

Restless still, though unable to pick why, he shoved his hands into his pockets, looking down the street. “Whatever, I don’t even care. None of my business. Let’s just find those dweebs before they get abducted and get out of here. I’ve seen more than enough today.” Striding off, as he needed to burn off this energy and clear his head he glanced back to Nao. “Don’t worry Prez, your secret’s safe with me. Not that anyone would believe me.”

Rika Nekonyankoo

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Rika was dead. There was no way she was getting out of this one. Stepping back towards the door, she gave a soft ‘Oof’ as she felt her path obstructed, very briefly turning to look behind her to see the vines covering the doorway. Eep. Turning back to face Sanja, Rika felt her ears droop, and instinctually raised her arms above herself to brace for impact. But the feeling never came. Instead she heard… Laughter? “Mew..?” Rika opened her eyes again, hoping this wasn’t just one big sadistic trick from Sanja. As she noticed him now doubled over in humour, she slowly found herself laughing as well, hoping that this was perhaps a good omen as her tails swished about.

"You crazy cat, in your complete disregard for my home, my rules and wishes, and me personally. You have brought me some joy that I haven't felt in a long time." Sanja finally managed through his jovial mood, placing a hand atop Rika’s head and ruffling it about. She pouted slightly, as she liked to have her hair neat and pretty, but this was a small price to pay comparative to what could have happened, and she instead purred a little on instinct as he scratched her ears soothingly. “Oooo… Rika do good…?” She asked, not quite understanding how lucky she’d been, nor the fact that the items were simply replicas. She wasn’t sure Sanja heard her as he sat up, clearing the vines and instead having them clear the way, and the mess she’d just made.

"Rika, I shall forgive you for your crimes today. Though, mark my words, Shohei and Hakuryuu shall not be able to save you next time you think to rob me and break my belongings." Sanja calmly and clearly conveyed his warning, Rika eyes lighting up a little as she processed that meant she was in the clear. A quick arm went to her head in a salute. “Yes sir! I promise that next time I won’t even think about it, and you won’t even notice they’re gone! Thank you Sanya!” Perhaps a little too honest for her own good, Rika was a bit of a goofball that way as she completely misunderstood how she’d managed to avoid punishment, assuming that Sanja wanted her to simply perform her ‘job’ better next time.

As Sanja made his way back to his spot atop- Oooo, the comfy cushion! Rika so wanted to nap on the comfy cushion, it even smelled good… Shaking off her desire and slapping her cheeks a couple of times, Rika reminded herself she needed to be on best behaviour. But… Now she wasn’t sure what to do… Since Sanja was in a good mood, maybe she’d get to stay in the shrine..? Tentatively, she took a seat, wondering if the birdie would say anything to her as she spent some time fixing her hair and better appraising the damage that her kimono had undergone in her panic.

"I am very sorry for what happened here today. I did not understand what I was doing wrong at the time, but it is now clear to me. I promise that nothing like this will ever happen again. I understand if you have lost your trust for me." Rika smiled as Ki launched into her apologies to the group, flashing a big cat grin their way. As far as Rika was concerned, her friend had done nothing wrong, nor should they get in trouble for helping out the feline. After all, that was good manners! Sanja had a big soft spot for Ki, so she doubted he minded much at all. If he had, Rika would certainly not have forgiven him at all, and would have done her best to protect them. Well, if she managed to protect herself first…

“…Rest now dear children,
For soon we'll away,
Into the calm and the quiet…”


Rika’s fur instantly rippled through her body as she felt a shudder cross her whole body, pivoting around rapidly to find the source of the noise echoing amongst the temple. “Y-you know, maybe I will le-eek~!” Rika immediately changed expression as she saw Amaya actually make her way into the Shrine, meeting her eyes and reading her lips as she passed a non-audible message to the feline. "Feels like you suffered bad luck in my absence… How interesting." Rika nodded as she scampered over to Amaya’s side, wanting in no way to upset the woman that controlled the weather. She still hadn’t fixed up the hole in her tent, and did not want to end up half-drowned during the night.

“Amaya~! Such a surprise! Yes, yes, what are you doing here? Hmm?” Rika queried, having no intention to make it known that she’d planned to leave before Amaya got here. "Oh right! There was a group of 3 humans coming this way. I presumed they were on their way to the shrine to present their prayers... So I made sure to sing them on the right trail... But it's rather late for a shrine visit - don't you think..?" Rika blinked a bit at hearing Amaya’s comment. Humans? At this time? Ooo, she so liked humans! They were so interesting and cool and… “Nuuu~! Humans can’t come here, I’m a mess!” Rika still wasn’t fully sure when humans could or could not see the Youkai, but the idea that they’d see a perfect feline like her in such a poor state… Well, that would be the absolute worst luck! Scampering back over to the nearby mirror, Rika took the time to start preening herself, hoping she could at least look presentable before the human’s arrived, barely noticing the soft voice of Yukiko drifting into the temple.

"Izumi-Senpai? Andoh-san? Not funny." The voice came from the doorway, a young girl peering inside. Oh! She was cute! Ooo, and was that a bag? Rika would have to see what was in the bag. Slipping through the shrine over to Sanja, she began lightly nudging him, whispering in his ear. “Can I stay and watch the human? Please please please? If she makes an offering can I have it? Sanya, Sanya, Sanya! Puh-leaasseee?~” Rika began to tug and jostle on his arm like a child demanding attention, which is practically what she was. Of course, she had no idea that the ‘human’ could easily see and hear her.

The setting changes from youkai-street to Komorebi Village

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sanjakubō Kurama Character Portrait: Yukiko Nakahara Character Portrait: Ki Character Portrait: Shohei Character Portrait: Hakuryuu Character Portrait: Rika Nekonyankoo Character Portrait: Rinu Amaya
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Once everything had settled within his shrine, the cat began prattling on about how next time he 'wouldn't eve notice' things were missing. As he opened his mouth to speak Ki instead spoke up.

"I am very sorry for what happened here today. I did not understand what I was doing wrong at the time, but it is now clear to me. I promise that nothing like this will ever happen again. I understand if you have lost your trust for me." Hearing his darling Ki's contrite within their voice, Sanja smiled at them. He knew it wasn't their fault, his Ki had always enjoyed company and didn't know better, in fact it was Ki's end of the statement. The words nothing like this would ever happen again rang like music in his ears, he had taught them well. It brought him joy just to see how they've matured, how they learn so fast. It hadn't really been till they spoke that Sanja even noticed Ki had sat down beside him. It was then that a certain song rang out, one most unpleasant, one that Sanja had grown a distaste for. Amaya, the Rain Woman.

At her mention of his luck he frowned a bit, how rude of her to come into his home and then judge his recent affairs as if she knew anything about them. She wasn't one to be trusted. Folding his arms across his chest to look more imposing in front of this weather woman. However his curiosity peaked when she mentioned humans venturing to the shrine. He smiled and clasped his hands together.

"Well, well, well. Humans? How interesting. I suppose I should thank you for leading them the right way, now be on your way." His attentions were then swept up the racket of a certain cat. As she pulled and tugged on him as if he were her father, his eyes narrowed a bit as his eyebrow raised. This cat had no boundaries, nor any sense, though he would humor her for now.

"You may stay to see the humans Rika, however if you touch the offerings they bring or the items on their backs, you will lose one finger for each thing you take." He smiled down at her, almost daring her to test if he truly would. His deep violet eyes then went to the doorway as an unfamiliar voice called out a few names, most likely searching for their comrades. It was then a girl with reddish hair was visible through the doorway. Sanja felt excitement running down his spine. A human, here at his shrine when they can see the Youkai. He fixed his hair and took a deep breath as he stood up and stepped forward a bit, allowing himself to glow from his illusions, though he hadn't consciously done it. He was becoming more and more curious to speak with a human at length, to have one look upon him and praise him face to face, rather than through prayer.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sanae Character Portrait: Sanjakubō Kurama Character Portrait: Orokawru Satogi Character Portrait: Yukiko Nakahara Character Portrait: Ki Character Portrait: Shohei Character Portrait: Hakuryuu Character Portrait: Rika Nekonyankoo Character Portrait: Rinu Amaya Character Portrait: Natsumi
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  1. Amaya is grumpy after Sanja //chased// her away from the shrine. She notice how only one of the three humans, the ginger girl, made her way there. So she decides to go look for the other two. Bumping into Natsumi, she tries to save the 2 humans from getting absorbed.

    by Emmyz

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#, as written by Emmyz


.: A M A Y A :.

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Maya was not pleased with Sanjas reaction. "I suppose I should thank you for leading them the right way, now be on your way." Did he not want to thank her? Was she not welcomed to his shrine? Sure, she did not like shrines very much but at least she should not be chased away like pest. Amaya was bad luck (not always tho), but after that rain earlier.. Was a imsy whimsy compliment too much to ask for? Apparently. Maybe his "superior position" had gotten to his head, like with Ryuu. Uhg those people thinking they are better than others. A needle in the ass - that's what they need. She scoffed in a "humph", now tapping the cold tip of her nose in a mysterious way - while thinking about maybe creating some hail just by the mountain tomorrow. But Amaya was not the one to share her devious plans. Instead she just smiled and bowed in a ironic way - narrow eyes glowing with mischief and the wrinkles surrounding them looked evil as usual. Her face softened a bit, noticing how Rika had made her way to Mayas side. Also remembering the cat's words "Amaya~! Such a surprise!".. Surprises was a good thing, right? So at least the thief knew how to behave around this purple haired ameonna. Sure, it was mainly because of her fear for rain (getting wet) - but even so Amaya was pleased and gave the pink haired feline a few strokes between the ears.

She straightened her posture again and glanced around the group. Smiling when meeting Ki's crimson red eyes. Maya liked them. Ki treated everyone with respect and was a really good listener. Too bad they where occupied / imprisoned by Sanja most of the time. "Oh Ki, how i miss them. They should join me for a talk sometime soon" She flickered her thick eyelashes and tilted her head to the left, making her fringe fall to the side, now looking at Haku. "And my favorite dragon has neglected his nighly swims lately. Are we too lazy?" what she really was saying, was how she missed their company. But ofc, Maya was not the one to express that. Now when thinking about it, it had been kind of dull last couple of days.. Amaya had been bored.. And lonely. No one around to torture, tease or have fun with. She sighted at the realization she even missed Ryuu's stuck up face. Maybe she wished for some drama.. and some company! But for the time being, she was unwanted.

"Well well, looks like im on my way. We don't want to upset dear Sanja any further.. I'll save the teasing for Ryuu" she winked in a teasing way and held up the lower skirt of her black dress just to clear her knees when turning around. Waving happily towards the group. She was an actress indeed, inside her heart was aching and she truly felt unwanted. As always she was thinking about the worst and turned negative and gloomy. Was bad luck and rain truly that terrible? Walking away, she heard an unfamiliar voice. Finally making her mind think of something other than pain and death. "Izumi-Senpai? Andoh-san? Not funny." Passing the corner of the shrine on her way out, Maya caught a glimpse of the ginger girl from the forest earlier. The source of the unfamiliar voice was one of the 3 humans. But where were the other two??? They most have been separated? Weird.. It had only been a few hundred yards to the shrine when she left them. Maybe they'd stumbled across something.. or someone.

"I sense there's something in the wind.. That feels like tragedy's at hand..." she sang quiet as she walked...

Maybe it was because of her boredom lately, but Maya suddenly felt a strong curiosity. She had to find out what happened to the other 2... No rush tho, simply just walking with determined steps through the woods and towards where she'd seem them last time. It had grown late now and the forest was really no place for humans to be at night - which made her only more curious. Suddenly she heard the weeping. Someone crying with an enchanting and sad magnetizing power.

"Natsumi..." she mumbled and changed direction - now heading for the crying mu-onna. Because where she was, the other 2 humans where going to be. No doubt. Amaya sighted when she reached the gathering, and saw the scene clearly. Natsumi was sitting on the ground weeping and the two children standing there... The girl holding out her hand... "Don't touch her! And get away from her!" Mayas voice was not charming or compelling in any way, not like Natsumis crying echo that still lingered, tho her words were the ones of honesty and was sharp against the now cold and calm late evening air. "She is not hurt nor more depressed than usual.." Situation was quite ironic. Was Amaya helping the humans? Trying to save them from getting absorbed? She kept telling herself that Sanja would get mad if these humans "disappeared".. But then, Sanja had not been very welcoming towards her earlier... So why should she care for his precious shrine visitors... Naaah...

She sighted and meet the eyes of Natsumi. "It's a pity my power over tears only work on their kind... well well.. " she nodded towards the girl and the boy. When suddenly another thought hit her. It was the fact that the humans should not be able to see her right now.. Amaya was standing on the "right side" of the boundary. The little wall of bushes and trees at the edge of the village should go through here.. The line dividing the youkai world from the humans, keeping them hidden and safe from the eyes of the outside world. The boundry both protecting the humans as well as the youkai. This was strange, but she decided not to fixate on it. Now the question was whether she should save them, let them get absorbed or harm them herself.

"You two.. Tell me, have you ever prayed for rain?" She decided to settle her scattered mind with a question. Her actions would differ depending on what answer they gave her. Walking up to their side she brought a lock of purple hair behind her ear as she let her red eyes investigate the two strangers. What a pair of lovely faces, soft skin and emotional human eyes.. Their expressions looked so tempting. If she could just dig her nails into those juicy cheeks and watch the pain in their faces.. Naaah. Maya was going to play fair and wait for their answers. "So. Who wished for rain once? Don't be shy" She continued, now her face was softer and her pale skin was lit up by the moonlight while her plum purple hair almost melted in to the pitch black night.

The setting changes from komorebi-village to Youkai Street

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Izumi Nao Character Portrait: Sanjakubō Kurama Character Portrait: Yukiko Nakahara Character Portrait: Kyosuke 'Kyo' Andoh Character Portrait: Chiyoko-Danuki Character Portrait: Ki Character Portrait: Shohei Character Portrait: Hakuryuu Character Portrait: Rika Nekonyankoo
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#, as written by Tanman
Kyosuke ‘Kyo’ Andoh

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Folding his arms together and leaning against the wall, Kyo didn’t have much to say at Izumi’s plan to contact the others. It wasn’t like he was on either of their friends lists, so he couldn’t exactly assist in calling them. Not that it looked like it would do any good as Nao complained about her signal strength. With a brick like that it was no surprise, but he wasn’t in a joking enough mood to pick on her about it anymore. Instead, he turned towards the sound of approaching footsteps, still more than a little on edge after their last encounter.

"Ayiyi, are you having trouble with your phone, dear? Reception is really poor out in this little old place sometimes." The voice drifted in from the older woman approaching them, though at least she didn’t look to associated with the freaks from earlier. The relatively normal outfit was the best indicator Kyo could find of that. Remaining against the wall and listening to her extensive introduction, Kyosuke looked to Nao to see how she would respond, before deciding he’d had enough of that. He’d left her in charge last time and look how that turned out. "And who might you youth be?"

“I’m Kyosuke. The dork behind me is Nao.” Kyo tilted his head towards his compatriot before looking back to the woman. “So, which one are you?” He asked, likely eliciting some confusion from the old lady. He took a moment to clarify himself, though it wasn’t any less rude a question. “You said only strange people and animals are out at this time. So, which are you old lady?” Kyo remained against the wall, completely unthreatened by the woman, but making it clear with his attitude that he wasn’t in the best of moods. Nao would likely need to step in and apologise for him, as he wasn’t about to do so himself, and it wasn’t exactly the nicest way to respond to someone trying to help. Still, Kyo felt like he needed to cause Nao a bit more trouble in revenge for earlier.

Rika Nekonyankoo

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Rika was buzzing and beaming, even after Sanja’s very clear warning for her to keep her sticky fingers to herself. Bobbing slightly behind him in anticipation, as the human finally came to enter the shrine and see them, it became immediately apparent that they’d been noticed judging from her reaction. Rika would have jumped in then and there, but Sanja threw her a little off balance as he stood, glowing with that aura of his and drawing the focus of attention straight to his impressive visage. Rika pouted a little as she caught herself, watching the spectacle. Sure, Sanja was ancient and powerful and impressive, but the little feline felt she was important too, and she certainly didn’t like being overshadowed. Somewhat subtly, she tried to shift in front of Sanja, but it seemed the Tengu was quick to notice as a blinding illusion cut in front of her, ensuring that the girl’s eyes would still be directed cleanly at him.

"Are you... Etto... I mean... how do I put this...? …Are you.... actual Youkai?" Rika blinked a bit, confused by the question. Of course they were? Why did she feel the need to ask that? I mean, honestly, what else could they be? Humans could be strange, but that just added to what made them intriguing. Still, she wasn’t about to let the cute little human have any misconceptions. “Yes, yes, that’s what we are. What exactly did you think we were?” Poking her way closer to the human, Rika had finally had enough of Sanja hogging the spotlight, and unceremoniously gave him a shove and slipped past him to greet the human.

"Forgive me! I am Nakahara, Yukiko... I just moved with my family to Komorebi a few months ago..." The girl suddenly launched into a bow, apologising and seeming pretty worried about something. Oh, it was probably Sanja! She didn’t need to worry about that, he was just a big ol’ pussycat. “Don’t worry about Sanya! He acts all scary sometimes, but he’s really nice! Just don’t take his offerings, he doesn’t like that…” Rika moved up at the last comment, using a hand to block her mouth slightly and whispering to Yukiko like it was some big secret.

Jumping back slightly to be in front of Yukiko, Rika smirked, eying her up and down. It’d been a while since she’d been up this close to a human, not to mention able to converse with one! She was cute and friendly and polite! This was great! Spiralling around the girl and looking her over from all sides, she noticed the nervous expression the girl had and realised that she must have been waiting on Rika to introduce herself. How silly of her! She’d just gotten so excited!

“Oh, that’s right! You don’t know any of us!” Smirking, she grabbed Yukiko around the shoulders and began dragging her around the shrine, gesturing to each person. “See Yuki – Mind if I call you Yuki? - that there is Sanya, he’s the big birdie in charge of the shrine. And over there is Ki! They’re a tree spirit, they're really nice! Say hi Ki! Oh, and that’s Haku and Shohei, he’s a water dragon, and Shohei’s kinda icky but he’s alright for a little birdie, plus he has lots of treasure somewhere!” Rika’s tangents were a little strange, but at least she was getting the basic introductions out of the way. Spinning out of her grip of Yukiko, she stopped about a metre away from her, posing in her best cat-girl posture in an attempt to look adorable.

“And this key-yoot~ kitten is Rika Nekonyankoo, at your service! Meow~!” Batting her arms like paws a moment, she let Yukiko comment, getting ready to field any questions she had. If Sanja didn’t eviscerate her in the next few moments for her transgressions.

The setting changes from youkai-street to Komorebi Village

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sanjakubō Kurama Character Portrait: Yukiko Nakahara Character Portrait: Ki Character Portrait: Shohei Character Portrait: Hakuryuu Character Portrait: Rika Nekonyankoo
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After only a moment his moment was stolen by the cat. It was as if a second plague had befallen him, in the shape of Rika Nekonyankoo. He felt his irritation rising, in his own shrine! This was his moment, he had waited and waited to have interactions with a human. He rose from his seat and glared at the small girl, she had dared to shove him and then speak to the human and dare to introduce him without consent. He would deal with her at a later juncture.

He strode gracefully, pushing the small cat behind him as one would move their own child, not roughly but firmly. His violet eyes shone with a burning curiosity, he had always wanted this. His whole life he had wanted this. He looked directly into her eyes and smiled kindly, holding himself high, regally poised like a king before his subject.

"As miss Nekonyankoo has said, I am the host of this shrine. I am the Daitengu from the first age, king of the mountain and curator of the forest. I am Sanjakubo Kurama, welcome to my shrine. Your manners and offering have been noted and duly appreciated. Is there anyway I may help you miss Nakahara?"

He spoke with charm and yet a measure of arrogance dripping from every word as he now stood directly in front of the red-haired female. Luckily for her, he was not exactly tall enough to loom over her. His hands spread open wide in a friendly gesture as is aura shimmered around him, to human eyes he must have been quite a sight. He wanted the human to feel safe with him, he desired to speak with her at length about her culture about her family, her people! All of this was so exciting he had to hide it with a simple smile, though beneath it he felt like a child again.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ryuunosuke Character Portrait: Susumu Character Portrait: Sanjakubō Kurama Character Portrait: Miyako Mormeril Character Portrait: Yukiko Nakahara Character Portrait: Tsuyari Kazukai Character Portrait: Chiyoko-Danuki Character Portrait: Tutsrugi Character Portrait: Ki Character Portrait: Shohei Character Portrait: Hakuryuu Character Portrait: Rika Nekonyankoo Character Portrait: Takumi Mizutori
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❝ Had you bothered to look around you, you would have been able to discern that 'what our prince is having' is right in front of you. Would you kindly care to release us, you damned snake? ❞

"Our prince is willing to share with the likes of me? I'm honored. Would the prince wish to try some of my famous brew?" The snake smiled, little hearts and flowers practically beaming from his person. As the prince shoves him, Takumi chuckles a bit and nuzzles his face against Ryuunosuke's, taking a content breath in. He enjoyed being close to the prince because he of all Youkai refused his affections the most, "You're just so cuddly my prince!" Takumi sang out gleefully, seemingly unaffected by Ryuunosuke's harsh words and even harsher treatment. If anything, the prince shoving on him only made him want to hold on to him even more. Like it made him happy to be rejected.

❝ Should you continue to handle us as though We were yours, he may kill you. ❞ A pause. ❝ Oh, on second thought, you should continue — We shall attend your funeral if only to spit on your grave. ❞

At first, it appeared that Ryuunosuke's insult hit home with Takumi as the Serpent God paused his affectionate assault just staring at the prince in surprise, but his smile quickly returned. His playful nuzzling did as well, it seemed that the snake was only appalled by being stepped on in his true form and his advances being returned with obviously reciprocated feelings, "Just the fact you would attend my funeral makes me happy, Oni-Sama~!" Takumi wasn't exactly what one would call quiet, especially as he had been already drinking, but he wasn't entirely shouting like a drunkard yet either. Either way, if anyone was sat near them they could not help but overhear the snake. He was just too lively and bad at using an 'indoor voice'. Apparently, he was never reprimanded as a child for speaking loudly.

❝ Perhaps, though, that may take too long — if you would let us, We would like to kill you ourself. Ugh, would — you — let — go?!❞

"Killed by the prince? What a lovely and passionate ending~!" He shivered with delight, though in truth he would not so easily lay down his life, not without producing an heir at least. But that meant.... shudder. He would have to lie with a woman... The thought was almost unthinkable, but it was his duty as the current Hakuja no Myojin to continue on his bloodline... It wasn't that he disliked women, but it was not hidden knowledge that the snake preferred men. Women were great, but he couldn't see past the betrayal from his past... but those were thoughts he would rather avoid at that time. He was trying to enjoy himself, and it wasn't every day that the prince strolled into the bar. As far as Takumi was aware, this was the very first time! How exciting!

When Ryuusuke told him to let go, Takumi chuckled a bit, "Imposssssible. You're shaking mi'lord. I couldn't possibly let royalty freeze to death. Let me warm you..." Takumi chimed, his 's's in the word impossible coming out as a seductive hiss, but that wasn't any surprise to anyone who knew him. He was a serpent after all. Clinging tighter as the prince attempted to remove him, Takumi let out a whine, pretending to be offended that the prince was trying to shake him off. He wasn't sure if he would be successful in remaining glued to the prince, but it was worth a shot. In truth, he had very little body heat of his own as he was a serpent, but it was a good excuse to keep hold of the prince.

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❝ A stamp! Think of sending a letter, Tsuyari. You might send a letter all around the world — you could send one to America or Europe, or anywhere! — but the stamp always stays in the corner of the letter. Isn't that clever? ❞

Azure eyes brightened like stars when he explained the answer, and the human child form of Tsuyari clapped, "Extremely. I would never have thought of that." She chimed in a cheerful manner, his riddle having perked her up after being abandoned directly after kissing the human girl. It had been her first kiss as well, but she didn't hold things so dearly as humans often did. It was just a kiss. There would be plenty more, right? Besides, it was just a girl, one that was not tainted by the adult world just yet. There was no harm in it. When her eyes landed on Chiyoko in human form, she immediately grinned. Oh, how she wanted to tease the Tanuki as she often teased her for her preference in what form to take. However, she wouldn't ruin the old lady's fun. She had her own, so she was willing to share. It wasn't like Tsuyari had any real interest in the humans, it was just fun to play with them every now and again. However, the reaction that the brunette human girl had after the kiss, it wasn't awful. She rather liked it and would like to see it again. As long as nothing real came out of it, she wouldn't mind playing with any humans that strolled into town. At least if she played with them, they would return home in one piece. She couldn't say the same for anyone who dared to play with her companion, Susumu. What am I going to do with him....? She thought to herself with a sigh, but that only made her smile a bit. Without him, she would have been far lonelier. Not to mention, most of what she knew about being a Kitsune she had learned from the ivory haired Kitsune. She owed him a lot. Her trust was one of the things she owed him, but that was something that she could not fully grant anyone, not even to Susumu.

❝ Do you see obaa-san over there? Does she look familiar to you? She's the vile Tanuki-chan who hates us — isn't she cruel for stealing our prey... ah, pardon me, our friends away? ❞

Listening to his words, Tsuyari began to feel awkward. Chiyoko while poking fun at her had never spoke to her with malice, but she knew that there was more than enough tension between Chiyoko and Susumu. As far as Tsuyari was aware, most of the Youkai she knew were at least on neutral terms with her, but it seemed Susumu had many enemies, not that she couldn't understand why, "I think she only hates you.... Susumu-sama..." she stated quietly in an uncomfortable manner. It wasn't fun admitting that she was more accepted by the Tanuki than he was, but it was what it was. While she wouldn't brag, she couldn't lie to him either. She couldn't just lie to him after everything he had done. It wasn't right, and she couldn't stomach it. She caught the word prey, blinking a bit. She didn't see them as prey per se... but it was somewhat accurate. Even though she was comparable to a fisherman who threw the fish back, and Susumu was the kind that devoured his fish without remorse... they both were treating the humans as prey in the end. It was clear that Susumu couldn't keep his mind from cooking up different ways of harming the humans, and she shook her head, "Prey and friends don't sound anything alike... nice try, Susumu-sama." She replied, unable to hold back her amused smile. Even though she knew what he had in mind for the humans, at least a general idea, she couldn't help but find it endearing that he was attempting to censor himself for her sake, "Thanks for the effort, though... I've already accepted who you are." She added with a small smile crossing her lips. Although it was distant, it was still quite warm for someone like her.

❝ ... Tsuyari. ❞

"....I think I know.... How did they see us here...? Isn't this a safe zone?" She asked the older Kitsune, her blue brow quirking questioningly. In five hundred years she never knew of humans and Youkai interacting inside of Youkai Square. At least not like this. How were they seeing all of the Youkai as if they were not hidden from the human world at all...? The thought was quite scary, and she didn't even want to think about what that would mean for her and her fellow Youkai, "....Susumu-sama? Are we safe here anymore..?" She asked worriedly, eyeing the direction of the humans. Just thinking that they could be attacked for 'poking and prodding' made her shiver. She did not want to fight, especially humans.... It wasn't in her nature.

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“Yes, yes, that’s what we are. What exactly did you think we were?”

At the Bakeneko's question, Yukiko froze almost stiff as a board, "I...I just had to ask..." She began to fidget nervously, her eyes shifting between staring at her shoes and glancing back up at the Daitengu and the Bakeneko. Should she explain why she wasn't used to Youkai? Was meeting Youkai common here? Were the others playing some sick prank on her because she was so interested in them? Was the whole abandoned town a joke to get her out here to humiliate herself in front of actual Youkai? She didn't want to believe that, but she was very embarrassed, her cheeks heating up fast, "Y-You don't come across any Youkai where I used to live in the city...." she stammered softly, looking up to the Youkai for a moment to see their reactions. Afraid that this was all some kind of sick joke. Either the Youkai weren't real, or they were real and teaming up with the village in the attempt to freak out the newest family in the village.

When the Bakeneko shoved past the ivory haired man, Yukiko's eyes widened a bit, a hand clasping over her mouth. She wasn't sure which of them were older or stronger, as she had just met them, but his appearance and the way he held himself, she doubted what the rosy-haired Bakeneko had done would be taken with a grain of salt. I hope that at least most of them are benevolent toward humans...

“Don’t worry about Sanya! He acts all scary sometimes, but he’s really nice! Just don’t take his offerings, he doesn’t like that…”

Considering that a shrine was meant to honor a God or some other sort of Divine being, she dared not speak the name given to her so familiarly like the rosy-haired Youkai. She knew that disrespecting a divine being often meant ill fortune. She didn't want bad karma! Her luck had never been very great, to begin with! The words whispered in her ear made her very confused. Why would she make an offering and take others? She wished to keep her hands and head attached... however, those words made her realize that the Ivory haired man was indeed a Godlike being, if not an actual God. Being eyeballed, even if it was by another female caused Yukiko to shrink into herself. Her arms came securely to her chest and her legs clamped together nervously, her figure becoming extremely small. She was not frightened, she was just extremely embarrassed to be examined. Knowing any eyes were scrutinizing her made her insanely uncomfortable. Compared to them...she was so....plain. What was there to really look at? Her reddish brown hair? While that wasn't extremely common in the area, it was still nothing extraordinary. She didn't find herself particularly cute, attractive or anything like that, just average.

“Oh, that’s right! You don’t know any of us!”

A surprised squeak escaped Yukiko's lips as she was tugged along, her eyes glancing back to the ivory haired male Youkai to gauge his reaction to the cat woman dragging a human around in his domain. This was his shrine, yet the rosy-haired woman was treating it as if it were her own. She was incredibly confused, but she wasn't exactly sure what was appropriate for her to say aloud. She wouldn't question things too much until she had a better idea of what was going on, but more importantly, what type of Youkai these individuals were. That made all the difference. Different species had different beliefs, customs, and ways of handling humans and had different ideas of 'insulting behavior' from said humans.

“See Yuki – Mind if I call you Yuki? - that there is Sanya, he’s the big birdie in charge of the shrine. And over there is Ki! They’re a tree spirit, they're really nice! Say hi Ki! Oh, and that’s Haku and Shohei, he’s a water dragon, and Shohei’s kinda icky but he’s alright for a little birdie, plus he has lots of treasure somewhere!”

"Etto... I suppose you could...?" She replied shakily, her voice bleeding with uncertainty. She did not want to say no, especially as she was not certain exactly which kind of cat-based Youkai the woman was. When they finally stopped moving and the cat lady began pointing, her eyes fell on Sanja, whom the rosy-haired Youkai referred to as Sanya, "I-It's a pleasure to meet you, y-your shrine is lovely..." She was very shaken up and flustered, unsure, but she was quite certain that her 'tour guide' called the Deity of the shrine a 'big birdy'... Well, she assumed she meant a Daitengu, as this was a mountainous area, but she did not speak her assumption aloud in case she was incorrect.

This female Youkai was more energetic and grabby than even Sanae. She wasn't used to a complete stranger grabbing her so familiarly as if they were already great friends. However, her eyes landed on another in the room that the female Youkai referred to as 'Ki'. There were more here this whole time!? Did they see all of that? Her cheeks began to grow quite red, "H-Hello." She stated with a nervous smile towards Ki. The fact that they were a tree spirit was interesting. She had never read about those before, so she was quite curious. However, the pink haired Youkai ran through the introductions like lightning, so her attention was brought to the next person before she could converse with Ki any further. The third she was introduced to was a Water Dragon?! She couldn't believe her ears. He was so tall! Or maybe Yukiko was just short...? Though another male was introduced at the same time. Apparently, he was named Shohei and he was a little icky birdy? Yukiko was really having trouble wrapping her head around all of this information presented to her, "It's delightful to meet you both." She stated politely through her embarrassment and confusion towards Haku and Shohei.

When she was released Yukiko straightened out any creases that might have formed in her long sleeved shirt, trying to pull her scarf up to hide the blush on her cheeks as the rosy-haired Youkai struck a pose. It was like the magical girls in anime, so she couldn't help but find it incredibly adorable.

“And this key-yoot~ kitten is Rika Nekonyankoo, at your service! Meow~!”

"Hello, uhm are you a Bakeneko... or Nekomata...?" She asked curiously, tapping her cheek as she scrambled her years of being an Otaku. All that research, she needed to remember it now. Asking made her feel nervous, but the female was the least intimidating in the room so she felt it was best to ask her first. Start with the easy problems, then work her way up. Just like a Math test. It was only after the Youkai she suspected of being a Daitengu moved the one who introduced herself as Rika aside that she realized she was of similar height as him. Rika was the tallest of the three. From his posture to his smile, he made it clear that he was an elegant being. It almost reminded her of an otome or shoujo manga, but she absolutely refused to blurt something like that out. She would die on the spot of embarrassment.

"As miss Nekonyankoo has said, I am the host of this shrine. I am the Daitengu from the first age, king of the mountain and curator of the forest. I am Sanjakubo Kurama, welcome to my shrine. Your manners and offering have been noted and duly appreciated. Is there anyway I may help you miss Nakahara?"

"So I was right when she said big birdy.. he is a Daitengu after all...." She whispered under her breath to herself when she realized she had correctly guessed what species of Youkai that Sanja was. However, Rika had given her a good hint. When the aesthetically pleasing Daitengu asked if there was anything he could help her with, she immediately thought back to her friends, "First age..? Woah.." She began to wonder just how long the Daitengu had been around, and the sparkle of interest and curiosity in her eyes was not easily missed. Little did they know, she was a huge fan of Youkai, and she was doing everything in her power to hold in her fangirling. Yukiko clapped her hands together before beginning to ask her question, "A-Arigato... If it's not too much trouble, I'd just like to ask if you have come across a tall blond haired dimwit and a really pretty tall brunette girl by any chance...? We were separated in the forest... My other two friends are helping a woman, we heard her crying on the way up the steps to the shrine... My friend Sanae-chan is a shrine maiden..." Despite all of the questions she had for the plethora of Youkai she had stumbled across, her main concern was with her friends. All of her questions would have to wait until she was certain that they were safe. She would have bowed again, but the Daitengu was far too close for her to do such a thing. His height made him a little more approachable, and his sudden warm and sparkling presence almost completely distracted her, "G-Gomenasai... I've always wanted to meet Youkai... and I have so many questions.... but my friends... could any of them be in danger out there...?" Her expression was very worried. Now that she was certain there were Youkai, she was sure that there were plenty of malicious Youkai lurking about as well.