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Izumi Nao

"Should i stay or should i go?.."

0 · 1,059 views · located in Komorebi Village

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

Description

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I Z U M I . N A O
|| Mika Nakashima - Yuki No Hana ||

✦ Name: Izumi Nao
✦ Nicknames: シカ Shika / Shika-chan (deer).
✦ Thoughts about youkai : Simply, they don't excist. They can't excist.. Even if i saw something looking like one.. it would only be my imagination playing tricks on my rational brain...
✦ Gender: Female ✦ Age: 17 ✦ Specie: Human
✦ Sexuality: Heterosexual
✦ Hex color: #8aa56a
✦ FC: Chihaya Ayase


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A P P E A R A N C E
Nao is quite tall for a girl, 5'7 with a very elegant and slender figure. Long neck, pale skin and big brown eyes, almost russet chestnut. She does indeed have some similarities with a deer doe, and her looks might be the main reason for her nickname "Shika" as shika deer. Her nose is thin and sharp, mouth is quite small and cute with plum lips, and often tensed together in a resolute expression. Her strawberrie blonde hair is kept all natural, just down, looking a bit dead and boring. And she tend to look very "plain" in her clothing as well. Often wearing school uniform, work out outfit or something unisex (jeans and tshirt). She is not a very "girly" girl, and thus not very popular with boys. But that might be because of her hight (she is taller than some boys) and also for her role as a "leader". People have a hard time finding the real Izumi Nao behind her strong facade...

H A B I T S
★ Wrinkling her nose when worried ★ Opening her mouth when being surprised (looking like an idiot) ★ Using a very old-fashion language ★ Don't use swear or curse words at all (she can't bring herself to utter them.. even if she tries - it's impossible!) ★ Singing when she's alone

L I K E S
✔ Nature ✔ Flowers and plants ✔ Animals ✔ School ✔ Singing ✔ Running/jogging ✔ Soccer ✔ Her siblings ✔ Her grandmother ✔ Tea ✔ Dogs and puppies!!! ✔ Science and academics / learning ✔ Psychology ✔ Helping others ✔ Reading reality-based books (facts) ✔ Playing cards-games and chess ✔

D I S L I K E S
✘ Feeling of helplessness ✘ Giving up ✘ Sweets / candy ✘ The dark ✘ Fairytales ✘ Vivid imagination ✘ Troublemakers ✘ Decisions anxiety ✘ Coffe ✘ People who speaks bad of "her" home village ✘ Being touched by surprise ✘


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"Sometimes the strongest among us are the ones who smile through silent pain, cry behind closed doors, and fight battles nobody knows about"

| Natural leader | Intelligent | Unselfish | Mature | Rational | Caring |

Nao is a born leader, the oldest of 4 siblings, and she is quite talented in making order out of chaos. School president, organizer of the study circle group, captain of the girls soccer team, and the list goes on. Some might think she is strict and boring / mature (acting like an adult) but she is also actually guiding others who might need it. Watching over them like some kind of babysitter / guardian. She is helpful, responsible and unselfish. Resulting in Nao taking on too much trying to be everywhere and ending up putting others before her own needs.

She is smart, perceptive and polite. Knowing how to keep up a stimulating conversation and how to stand up for herself as well as others. But despite being intelligent and in the top of her class - Nao is very humble. She adapts to her company, and you will never see her brag or show off her brain. She is very strong-willed and stubborn tho! Once she sets her eyes on a goal - she turns very focused and determined. Giving up is not an option. Nao is a very hard worker, and really pushes her limit from time to time (once again, putting her own needs aside). Another one of her traits is how she insists in handling things on her own. She would not hesitate to help others- but she is quite prideful in taking care of herself. Thinking she is stronger than she actually is. And she don't want to bother others with her problems.

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Under her "strong" and strict facade is a faguile baby bird - on the edge of braking. She is quite unstable from time to time, desperately trying to imprison her emotions and prevent her tears from bursting out of her eyes. I don't think Nao have any "real friends", after all - she won't show people her true self. Sure, she loves the people around her and cares for them with all her heart - she knows them inside out, but they don't know her at all... She is always putting on her act and taking on the leader role. And even if she acts all grown up and responsible - i do think she is just a lonely child on the inside.

Strengths:
Physically fit : Her tall and slender body is surprisingly strong as a result of playing soccer and doing a lot of running/jogging. She is also agile and fast.
Her voice : Nao has a beautiful voice when singing. Its just so filled with emotions and so... fragile.. but with a stable sense of pitch at the same time. Her talking voice is quite nice as well. It's just pleasant to listen to.

Weaknesses:
Alcohol : It makes her drowzy and sleepy.
Other "leaders" : When meeting someone older / with a leader personality stronger than hers - Nao simply turns distant and tense (scared/confused), not knowing how to behave.
The dark : Nao is scared of the dark. Quite silly. Not that she believes in youkais or any of the stories her grandma tells her. But she is simply uncomfortable with not seing her surroundings.


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H I S T O R Y

Nao is born and raised in Komorebi, the little forest village. It's her home and she do treasure it with all her heart. This is where her family is, this is where her beloved forest is, and this is where she feels safe and free. Nao was the first child to her parents, being followed by two little brothers and one little sister. Her parents where very loving and caring at first, but then they simply got lost in their work. Most of the time being away on business trips and staying in other cities. Leaving their 4 children with their grandmother.. Not that Nao is particularly sad about this - she loves her grandmother, probably even more than she loves her parents..

Nao had a normal upbringing (for a child in the forest village), she heard stories about youkai, helped her grandmother take care of her siblings, went to school in the nearest town, and got top grades. She just found her role in the little village, like a fish in the water. She grew older and started to take on more responsibilities. Helping out with the festivals, ceremonies and the activities of Komorebi. She even got a part time job, helping kids out with their homework. Now, she is 17 and is soon about to make the biggest decision of her life. Stay in the forest village or go to university in another city (far away from home). Her brain is telling her to break free and do some good, develope her intelligence further and become something big one day. But her heart wants to stay with her grandmother and siblings.. in the little cozy village she grew up in, spent all her life in, and not to forget the beautiful forest surrounding it!... It's her beloved home...


What do i think of youkai?

Nao is very sure about the fact that youkai don't excist. It's just fairytales, misunderstandings (maybe someone saw an animal in the forest and told the next of a monster and so on...) and a way to scare little children in to obeying their parents. Nao did not even believe in them as a child - even if she grew up being buried in tons and tons of youkai stories (her grandmother is one of the must cunning in the subject, being one of the bigger sorces and sharing stories about youkai to the whole village). Sure, Nao listened to the stories - and she knows most of the japanese folklore creatures by heart. Well, she knows the rumors, fantasy/imagination of them... Because after all - they are not real.

"Shika" loves the nature, it's where she feels at ease. Spending most of her freetime out in the forest alone, she is even more sure about her disbelief in their excistense. If they'd excisted - she would have noticed by now... So when hearing about this "dare" to go look for the abandoned town - she could not resist. After all, she have to be the rational one. Plus, she have to look out for the others...

Family:

Nori (little sister) 11 - FC Hisanuma Sayu
Jun (little brother) 13 - FC Yukine
Taru (little brother) 15 - FC Takigawa Yoshino
Momoe "Obachan/Baba" (grandmother) 63 - FC Ultear Milkovich (old)

So begins...

Izumi Nao'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: Mikado Sarubi Character Portrait: Yukiko Nakahara Character Portrait: Tsuyari Kazukai Character Portrait: Kyosuke 'Kyo' Andoh Character Portrait: Chiyoko-Danuki Character Portrait: Tutsrugi Character Portrait: Ki Character Portrait: Shohei
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Five humans gather on the outskirts of their village. They had made the plans at school, as they all seemed to have the same idea. Not all of them talk regularly, but being the only 5 teenagers in the village brought them together for this night and this night only. So they wait—for the rest to arrive, for the night to fall, for something to happen. The night, so far, is peaceful. No disturbances lie in their wake, and those who are gathered together seem to be discussing something mundane and nondescript. Occasionally, company in the form of an elderly woman neighbor appears, asking what the children might be up to. Their answers are specific and vague—they are exploring, they are adventuring, things like that. It is a Friday night, after all, so there will be no school tomorrow.

In the village over, the Youkai are bustling with energy and excitement. Karakasa twirl their paper umbrellas as they walk. Kitsune play pranks on the other unsuspecting Youkai as they pass. Things like that. It has been quite some time since the Human World and Spirit World have fused, but many Youkai have taken solace in the form of this desolate village, with a village full of idiots who believe in them nearby. Things are... mundane tonight. The lights illuminate off of the Youkai.




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speech: #d10000 || thoughts: #f55858
The night is nice... muses Sanae to herself. She smiles as she sits on a low tree branch, swinging her legs back and forth. It's nearing 8pm, and her curfew is usually 9pm, but she had practically begged her parents with the help of Nao to let her stay out later, so her curfew was lifted for tonight. In her excitement, she happened to be the first one at the meeting place. The Miko is starting to get a little antsy, so she occupies herself with a little singing... that is, until she hears footsteps. She turns toward the approaching footsteps and recognizes friend after friend until they've all arrived. She smiles and waves, practically shouting for them to join her.

Sanae hops off of the branch, dusting herself off, and trots over to Nao and Satogi, beaming brightly. Ain't it lovely tonight? You can see the stars... and the water's awful sparkly. Sparkle, sparkle, sparkle... sparkle, sparkle sparkle... Her eyes lock onto the water, as though she's mesmerized, hypnotized by the small waves and trickling sounds. As eccentric as she may be, Sanae is friendly to almost everyone she meets, and that's the type of friend every person could use. She glances over to Kyosuke then, a frown on her face.

What 'bout you, Kyosuke-kun? Don't ya think the stars look pretty nice tonight? What ya can see through the trees, I mean. Ya can't see too much, but it's not that much of a problem, 'cause what you can see is absolutely gorgeous! Don't ya think? Small talk for the apathetic one, the one who doesn't want to be here in this village. Komorebi is a peaceful, quiet forest town, and Sanae rather likes that, but to each their own, she supposes.

We should get goin' soon... I'm practically burstin' with lots of energy! Yukiko-chan, don't ya think this could be the plot of... of a manga or somethin'? Or am I way off? Think about it, though—five teens embark on an adventure of a lifetime, to stake out an abandoned village to see who's actually livin' there. What if it really is Youkai? Then it'll really be like a manga!

She looks around and counts. There's one, two—her childhood friends Mao and Satogi—three, four—her school friend Yukiko and her... whatever he is, Kyosuke—five—herself! That should be everyone... maybe I better tell 'em we're leavin' now, just in case everyone wants to prepare...

Awwwright, everyone! Let's take off. If ya still need some time to do somethin', speak now, or forever hold your peace!




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speech: #ebd212 || thoughts: #d6c969
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The Oni prince steps carefully along the path, hands tucked into his sleeves. Lanterns and lights alike light up the path as he passes them, and he thinks to himself that it's a rather beautiful night, but it does little for excitement. Living for thousands of years grows a bit monotomous with each passing day. Ryuunosuke is not the sort of riff-raff to stir things up himself; such activities are reserved for the lower class, who cause trouble. Though he would never admit it, he does like watching trouble unfold, though only when he is in the mood for it. He is royalty, and for years, royalty had been entertained by the show of animals attacking each other and causing a ruckus. To Ryuunosuke, watching the commoners go at each other is much the same. He passes a bar—one he knows is owned by a jorogumo—and for a moment, he considers entering. Princes do not drink at bars, but Ryuunosuke will never pass up a chance for good sake.

Turning toward his trusted servant and advisor, he gives a soft smile, and there's a playful lilt to his voice. Imagine you were a thirsty royal with a taste for the finest of sake, Tsutsurugi. You come across a bar and, though it is a gathering for common folk, you feel yourself compelled to enter. What would you suggest to be done about it? He closes his eyes, smile never leaving him (a smile reserved for children and Tsutsurugi, one might add). His features certainly do befit a prince, with soft porcelain for skin and long eyelashes. Rarely are his expressions exaggerated; he is tasteful in how expressive he is. When he opens his eyes again, he gives Tsutsurugi a playful look. Careful with your response, though—We may just disobey you all the same, such a mischievous prince as We.




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speech: #c70000 || thoughts: #7a7676
A yako kitsune such as Susumu should not be sulking about on a Friday night. Fridays are when humans are most likely to be out and about and let their guards down, which is somehing the kitsune rather likes. Instead, he looks down alley to alley, sighing in defeat when his search comes to naught. It seems even talk of violence rubs Tsuyari the wrong way and causes her to run off. He hadn't meant anything by it (well, not to her, anyway), and she went and ran off!

Occasionally, he would ask the passing Youkai if they had seen a blue-haired kitsune girl about yay high, yay wide, et-cetra, et-cetra. None of them have happened to see her, and Susumu is about to give up when he spots the blue hair he'd been looking for. He hurries over to her, kneeling behind her. Sorry for whatever I said to offend you, Tsuyari-chan. You know I didn't mean to offend... well, I didn't mean to offend you. He reaches out a hand to place it on her shoulder, then patting it gently. Maybe I won't do any of that, for at least tonight... how about that? You and I could hang out, then. What about Miyako-san's bar? He starts to wag his tail a bit at that, thinking that a trip to the bar would do well, despite how young Tsuyari might look. He figures the Youkai of this town must be familiar with her, though, so it shouldn't be a problem.

Besides, if they keep moving, Sanja might be around somewhere. Maybe he might even be at the bar, though it may be doubtful...

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sanae Character Portrait: Izumi Nao Character Portrait: Orokawru Satogi Character Portrait: Yukiko Nakahara Character Portrait: Kyosuke 'Kyo' Andoh
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Orokawru Satogi


A loud blaring sound cuts through the consciousness of one particular human, his resting form rolling around under his covers. The dark messy hair of Orokawru Satogi can be seen at the top of these sheets, hiding the rest of his face from the world outside. Only after several minutes of veiled sleep did the young man stir and reach out from under the covers to slap the top of his already broken alarm clock. Yawning as was tradition and sitting up in bed, Satogi finally awoke to what seemed to be a darkening sky. Looking at his clock he had completely forgotten that he had to be somewhere within the hour, with the current time being 7:30 pm. In a rush he leaps out of bed without even putting the sheets back in place and quickly gets dressed in simple blue jeans, a grey long-sleeve shirt and hiking boots. Finally throwing on a white hoodie to complete the outfit he was now ready to go.

"Alright! Time to travel." He makes his way out the front door of his home, a basic two story house with an attached shop, when he stops in his tracks and runs back in. He wipes his brow as he exits a second time, now with one of those large metal flashlights just in case they might need one. Now fully armed and ready he rushes to make up for lost time to the meeting point.

As Satogi arrives at the scene, he spots a familiar shrine maiden and waves excitedly to Sanae. It isn't long before the rest of the party arrives, and Satogi already feels like he was in an adventure game. He tries to listen as Sanae begins to talk to everyone, but catches her remark about the water nearby and inspects it himself. "Ah, perfectly pristine. I wish I had the time to fish here tonight, but that will have to wait until AFTER our quest is done." He giggles to himself about their mission and turns to the other girls, Izumi and Yukiko before turning on his flashlight and aiming it directly at his own face.

"But we must proceed with caution, for there are rumored to be many dangerous spirits lurking that part of the woods who would like nothing more than to snatch up young beauties and force them into arranged marriages!" His voice is exaggerated into a more sinister sounding tone, and he adds in an evil laugh for good measure just to get the point across. "But do no fret young maidens, I and my trusty flashlight will protect us!" He was sure they would be thinking about the stories of Youkai tonight, even if some of them were more than skeptical. While he was tempted to see some of his friends scared of shadows he did wish to keep them safe from whatever they might find, and hopefully score some social points with the girls tonight.

Before long the time came to set off, and Satogi was right out in front strutting his way onto the forest paths. He knew one that headed out in the direction they wanted to go, so he kept the flashlight on to see were he was going and moved on with purpose. "Forwards... march!"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sanae Character Portrait: Izumi Nao Character Portrait: Orokawru Satogi Character Portrait: Yukiko Nakahara Character Portrait: Kyosuke 'Kyo' Andoh
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#, as written by Emmyz
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Nao was running. Not that she was late for the meet up, but because it was dark and the fear of "not seeing everything in her surrounding" was sending chills through her spine. The funny thing was how the forest usually acted like her second home, but still - everything seemed different right now. It was 8 pm and the evening curtain had already started to swallow the green colors of the nature and the cold blue shade from the moon where tainting the light in a blue shade, which where normally warm orange from the sun. Her beloved forest had become an enemy. Every little pebble, tree and flower she'd normally knew inside out - they where all strangers to her russet brown eyes.

Nao knew where everything was suppose to be. Her photographic memory was showing the forest "daytime-mode" inside her brain. Even so - her heart was beating faster (not because she was running- Nao was physically fit) but because she was scared of being alone right now, and she crossed her fingers someone was early at the meeting point.

Was it such a good idea to look for the abandoned village in the evening? Well ofc it had to be in the evening, it would not be a dare if they went out daytime... But even so, Nao was on the alert, tense and worried. And she was suppose to be the rational one, telling the others that youkai don't exist and they just have a vivid imagination... She was suppose to look out for the others, as the school president - but also as a fellow resident of Komorebi, someone who felt responsible and mature. But right now, she just felt pathetic. Her eyes where shiny and her skin paler that usual, except for a slight blush as a result of the running. Out of a sudden, she bumped in to someone. A short figure with a side ponytail, and when her eyes gotten a bit used to the darkness - she realized it was the new girl. "Oh im so sorry Yukiko-chan! Did i hurt you?" She panted and a part of her was relieved it was her, and not one of the "old-timers" of the village. Nao did not want to show her weakness in front of anyone. But Yukiko was not very scary after all, so Nao relaxed a bit.

The two accompanied each other, Nao chit-chatting a bit about school and homework, telling Yuki she was welcome over at Naos place anytime she had problem with school stuff. Soon Kyo joined them. Before finally arriving to the meeting point, where Sanae and Satogi was already waiting for them. Sanae welcoming them with a smiling face and waving - making Nao respond with the same. Sanae was her precious childhood friend after all, and she was truly a "blessing" to the little village. Komorebi would simply not be the same without the friendly shrine maiden. Nao listened to her words, and actually agreed. Despite being scary, there was a beauty to the forest which she'd never witnessed before. Sparkly water, stars peeking out between the branches and creating a reflection in the surface of the water. And the sound of crickets and a lonely owl made the atmosphere calming but even so- mysterious.

Nao sighted and shook her head. This talk about manga and youkai was not exactly her thing, and she basically just wanted this "dare" to be over with. To prove that there was no such thing as youkai. But sure - if they really did find the abandoned village - that would be pretty cool. Her feelings where mixed. She gave the others a sweeping glance. Raising her eyebrow slightly when viewing Kyo -since he'd not been to school today.. But did not bother with nagging. Nao was not on duty right now. She was not the school president. She was just Nao. Izumi Nao.

Suddenly there was a light. Satogis show with the flashlight made Nao take a deep breath in relief. Why hadn't she thought of a flashlight? Her own stupidity surprised her. But she still fired off a secret smile, hiding it behind her hand - when looking at Satogi. Her hero at the moment."But do no fret young maidens, I and my trusty flashlight will protect us!" even if Satogis obsession with girls and flirting got on Nao's nerves sometimes, she was happy he was there. Same with all the teens of the village. Being in their company made her forget about her fear of the dark for a moment.

"Sanae, Kyosuke, Yukiko and Satogi - that makes everyone. Let's get going and just get this over with..." the voice of the rational and responsible leader, followed by some body stretching before she started to march into the forest with the others..

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sanae Character Portrait: Izumi Nao Character Portrait: Orokawru Satogi Character Portrait: Yukiko Nakahara Character Portrait: Kyosuke 'Kyo' Andoh
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Tiptoeing down the stairs, Yukiko kept her left hand firmly over her mouth, her drawstring bag thrown over her right shoulder with basic items inside like her cell, a flashlight, first aid materials, and a bottle of water. Why was Yukiko sneaking out one might ask? Good question. After the incident that landed Yukiko in the hospital before moving to the village, her parents became overbearing and made her follow a strict curfew. They would have never allowed this, so she knew what she had to do. Once at the bottom of the stairs, Yukiko quietly scurried off toward the front door. Her hand cautiously slid the door open, then slid it back just as soundlessly. She liked the sliding doors. They were much quieter than doors with knobs.

Now that she was home free, Yukiko ran off, no longer trying to be quiet. Somewhere along the way in her haste, Yukiko collided with someone else. It wasn't enough to knock Yukiko off her feet, but she did stumble a bit. When she turned to see whom had crashed into her, Yuki was relieved to see Nao. She let out a relieved sigh, smiling a bit. At least it wasn't my dad. Yuki thought to herself, not even wanting to imagine what could have happened if her father had managed to find her.

"Oh im so sorry Yukiko-chan! Did i hurt you?"

With a shake of her head Yukiko confirmed that she was not hurt, "I'm sturdier than I look." Yuki replied. She glanced at her shoes for a moment, her heart shaped earrings moving with each motion of her head. She noticed that Nao was panting, tilting her head to make sure that the other girl was alright. She had met several kids with asthma at her old school after all.. Nao seemed fine, so Yuki let herself relax.

Yuuki let Nao do most of the talking, listening to what she had to say until an answer was expected, "I'd love to. I have such a hard time with math... Your parents won't mind?" She asked, but dropped the conversation when they managed to meet up with the others, but now she had to interact. Her first response after the group was all together was to wave back at Sanae, a sheepish smile forming on her lips. Though when she noticed light, her attention turned to Satogi. He illuminated his face with the battery operated device, and she immediately she knew a story was coming along.

"But we must proceed with caution, for there are rumored to be many dangerous spirits lurking that part of the woods who would like nothing more than to snatch up young beauties and force them into arranged marriages!"

Did that mean he was calling her, Sanae and Nao beautiful? Yukiko wasn't sure, but it did not stop her from blushing, "Marrying a Youkai...?" Yukiko muttered under her breath as she tried to imagine it, humoring that thought for a moment before shaking her head. Her parents would never allow it, even if they were real. The fact that Satogi enjoyed the stories about Youkai only made Yukiko admire him more.

"But do no fret young maidens, I and my trusty flashlight will protect us!"

Her brown eyes shifted from Satogi to Sanae, then to Nao. She couldn't help but giggle at Satogi's mention of protecting them with a flashlight. She doubted it would do much good if they ran into a real Youkai, but thankfully she had spent a lot of time in the woods the last two months and was fairly certain that their quest would be in vain. She wanted to flirt, to say something cute, but she wasn't skilled at that kind of thing... She would only say something awkward if she tried to talk to Satogi, especially with their current audience. While still difficult, her conversation she had with him the day they accidentally met in the forest had been a lot easier than trying to speak to him was now.

❝We should get goin' soon... I'm practically burstin' with lots of energy! Yukiko-chan, don't ya think this could be the plot of... of a manga or somethin'? Or am I way off? Think about it, though—five teens embark on an adventure of a lifetime, to stake out an abandoned village to see who's actually livin' there. What if it really is Youkai? Then it'll really be like a manga!❞

No, you're right. It does sound like one. If written right, it could likely become an anime as well. Possibly an Otome game." Yukiko responded, her cheeks turning a dark shade of pink as she grew nervous. Until now, Sanae had been the only one to know about her interest in manga and other 'otaku' hobbies. Still, it was easy to forgive her. Sanae's energetic personality made it difficult to hold a grudge against her.

❝Awwwright, everyone! Let's take off. If ya still need some time to do somethin', speak now, or forever hold your peace!❞

Yukiko adjusted the bag on her shoulder and nodded toward Sanae. She was ready, very excited to see the abandoned town. She had never seen such a thing, used to bustling cities full of people.

"Forwards... march!"

A smile formed on the brunette's lips, inspired by Satogi's and Sanae's enthusiasm. She wanted to believe they would find an actual Youkai, but it was difficult to place her hope in such things after the bullying she went through at her previous school.

"Sanae, Kyosuke, Yukiko and Satogi - that makes everyone. Let's get going and just get this over with.."

I suppose that means that Izumi-Senpai doesn't believe in the legends or really enjoy them... Yuki thought to herself, wondering if all the Youkai talk had irritated the school's president. Yuki followed behind Sanae, Satogi, and Nao, not wanting to be left behind, especially with Kyosuke.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sanae Character Portrait: Izumi Nao Character Portrait: Orokawru Satogi Character Portrait: Yukiko Nakahara Character Portrait: Kyosuke 'Kyo' Andoh
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#, as written by Tanman
Kyosuke ‘Kyo’ Andoh

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“I promise, I’ll call tomorrow, alright? I’ve got… Things I got to do.” Kyosuke glanced upwards towards the clock, checking on the time. He was already late as it was, but he wasn’t about to drop everything for those dorks. They could wait. Hell, they’d probably chickened out without him there to protect them. Bringing his gaze back down to the laptop in front of him, he cracked a bit of a smile at the pouty face on the screen. “Come on now, you’ve been telling me that I don’t have to keep looking out for you, and now you’re sad when I finally have something to do in the evening?”

“That’s not it at all! You’ve got to tell me what you’re up to big brother!” The pink haired bundle of energy had pulled her own tablet up close to her in order to better scrutinise her older brother’s face. Kyosuke’s younger sister Haruka frowned a bit, folding her arms. “You always change the subject when I ask you what it’s like there, you only ask me ‘How was that Manga I sent you?’ ‘What’s dad up to?’ ‘Are the nurses treating you ok?’ I want to hear about you big brother!” Haruka slapped her arms down onto her bed, and ended up knocking the tablet off her stand again, leading to some more fumbling as she righted it once more. She was a slim, frail girl. Not too tall, even for a 13 year old, but she more than made up for that with her boundless personality.
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“For real you dweeb, I gotta go.” Kyo sat up from his position seated across from the table, leaning up to hold the roof of the laptop. He only stopped as he heard the wail of his sister to stop, looking down again. Like him, she had the same striking blue eyes, and he could see them intently studying him to read his intentions. Finally, she relented, with a smile. “Okay, I believe you. But next time you gotta tell me all about it! Have fun with your friends you dummy.” Picking up the tablet, she winked. “Love you Kyuu-Chan! Call me again tomorrow!!”

Kyosuke shook his head. “Can’t say the feeling’s mutual you doofus. But yeah, you take care until then, got it?” Despite his words, Kyo smiled once more as he shut the laptop, skilfully ignoring her request as he breathed a contented smile. Sitting a moment to bask in the feeling, It was short lived however as he finally got up to leave and join the others. He was already in a pair of cargo pants and black T-shirt, so he simply grabbed his red jacket and made his way out the door, straightening his grey beanie as he went.


Kyosuke was last to arrive. No surprises there. Slinking up to the group with his hands in his pocket, he gave a slight head tilt, followed by a simple “‘Sup Dweebs?” to fully announce his arrival. Most would be used to such a greeting from Kyo, though how they’d take it was anyone’s guess. It was a mixture of endearment and derision depending on how you looked at it. Leaning against a nearby tree, he let the socialites get the pleasantries out of the way before they got into the actual point of the night. Stretching slightly, he yawned, having had a long day...

“What 'bout you, Kyosuke-kun? Don't ya think the stars look pretty nice tonight? What ya can see through the trees, I mean. Ya can't see too much, but it's not that much of a problem, 'cause what you can see is absolutely gorgeous! Don't ya think?” Interrupted midway, Kyosuke returned his hand to his pocket, glancing over to the Miko girl and giving her a bit of an intense stare. Maybe he rattled her with the way she was rambling on, but she did have a tendency to motor-mouth at all times. Kinda like an annoying flap that just kept… “Stars look the same anywhere Miko-Girl. Nothin’ Special.” Kyo replied simply, getting a typical Sanae response in reply. Wisely, she decided to move her attention on to the other members of the group for conversation, letting Kyosuke brood in silence.

Soon enough, he regretted not taking more charge to get everyone moving as Dorktogi started out with his usual shenanigans. Honestly, his act was just an embarrassment. Kyosuke didn’t need much more to remind himself why he didn’t hang out with the loser. He contemplated making a smart-ass comment, but nothing particularly witty came to mind. He’d just have to chalk a mental note to mess with the lame-brain later. Thankfully, it didn’t take too much longer for the kids to settle, Miko-Girl and Izumi Nag getting them back on track to leave. He had to wonder why she was coming along for this – After all, Miko-Girl was into this weird stuff, he had his reasons, and Satogi and uh… Um… ‘Girl’ were pretty weird too, but it was hard to imagine the high and mighty school president coming along to join in what wasn’t really rule-breaking but clearly mischief. Eh, whatever. Maybe she was just keeping tabs on them from doing anything too stupid.

“Awwwright, everyone! Let's take off. If ya still need some time to do somethin', speak now, or forever hold your peace!” Sanae declared with way too much enthusiasm for this time of night.

“’Bout time…” Kyosuke mumbled, kicking off the tree. Being behind the rest of the group, he followed briefly before sensing his opening as Satogi motioned for a celebratory cheer to move forward. Moving up behind him slowly, Kyosuke waited for him to finish before dishing out some ‘well-deserved’ punishment. With a simple pair of motions, Kyosuke dunked Satogi on the head, dragging the boy’s hoodie over his face before snatching up the flashlight, striding towards the front of the pack. “Let’s leave this to a professional, Squirt.” Tapping the flashlight on his shoulder a couple of times, Kyosuke gave a superior grin as he strode down the path. “All the cautious chickens can stay back here. I’m going on ahead.” Shoving past a low tree-branch (And making little effort to hold it aside for those behind him), Kyo would lead the way. Heh, maybe if he could get far enough ahead, he could sneak back around and give those babies a real fright…

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sanae Character Portrait: Izumi Nao Character Portrait: Orokawru Satogi Character Portrait: Yukiko Nakahara Character Portrait: Kyosuke 'Kyo' Andoh
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#, as written by Emmyz
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Nao was normally at home this hour, with her grandmother and her siblings. She could almost imagine them in her head: her siblings running around like little whirlwinds and her grandma being very (too) patient when trying to get them in bed - then telling them goodnight stories about youkai. Especially Nori(Naos little sister)'s favorite one, the tale about a woman from the village who fell in love with a youkai. But this evening, Nao was not there to tell Nori that the story was fiction. Nao herself was out in the forest, where this particular romantic fairytale took place. She shivered thinking about it. Being out in the forest this late, almost felt like some kind of mischief. She should have objected it, but a part of her was curious and found the "abandoned village" a mystery, giving her a adventurous "naughty" feeling of excitement.

And the forest was truly magical tonight. The tense feeling of fear only added to the sensation. Standing next to Yukiko, Nao could not help but to hear some of her mumbling. Something about marrying a youkai, as a result of Satogis "goofing around". Nao was not very amused by the thought, it was childish fantasies - making her bridle at the suggestion.

She removed a leaf from her shoulder, who'd probably got stuck when she was running, and then started "combing" her strawberrie blond hair with her long slender fingers. In the background Sanae and Yuki was talking about this "anime and manga thing". Nao was completely clueless and therefor not paying attention, anything not including school, scientific facts, sports and nature - was unknown territory and childish in her eyes. But noticing Yukis blush made her understand about the sensitivity in the subject - so she decided to remain quiet about it. Let them play.

The group seemed to agree to start their "dare/quest" to find the abandoned village. Walking through the darkness, passing tree after tree. Nao kept close to Sanae and Yukiko, continuing her conversation with Yuki. "You are so welcome! My grandmother would love to have you over. She would bury you in stories about youkai tho since she is really just this walking lexicon knowing everything about them" Nao smiled letting her eyes wander from Yuki to Sanae. "We should have a girls night sometime. Talking about our youkai adventure" her voice was slightly amused but a bit dry when mentioning the word youkai.

They kept walking, and Nao really hoped they followed the correct path. It was Sanae and Nao who had most experience of the forest. Nao from her jogging and simply just "hanging out in the nature" and Sanae from her interests in bugs and insects. Nao's grandmother had also an idea where the abandoned village was. Even if she'd refused to tell the teens, Nao remembered clues and descriptions about directions and whereabouts of the youkai village's location from many of her grandmothers stories. So after a lot of research and exchanging ideas with Sanae - they had a pretty good idea about where to go. Still - it felt like a wild goose chase. Looking for something who might not even be there.

"Sanae have you been here before?" Nao asked out of the blue, but still moving her feet forward. They where really just walking around in the blind. But they still kept going - further and further in to the thickest part of the forest.

This was when Nao noticed Kyosuke sneaking up on Satogi to steal the flashlight. Nao held her breath, not because she was bothered by the bullying and terrible behavior from Kyo - she was used to it. But because the flashlight was everything that kept her calm at the moment. And to see it in the hands of a troublemaker instead of happy and harmless Satogi made her worried. Especially when the current "leader" Kyo decided to dodge a low tree branch and disappear from her sight. The light was gone. The light! And who knew what would happen if they split up. Sure, there was no such thing as youkai. But wandering around in the forest all night, lost, was not a good thing. There was wild animals alright (Nao knew that especially Sanae was scared of aggressive animals from an adventure they shared as kids where Nao had to save Sanae from a crazy raccon)... And it was not just the animals that worried Nao right now, the temperature could drop pretty drastic during the early morning hours...

Luckely, Nao was not afraid to follow the daredevil. Quick as a cobra, she pursued him, dodging the branch who happen to scratch her chin slightly in the movement. Then she went after him, with only one thing in mind - the flashlight. Sure, he wanted to play some silly prank on them. Scare them or something - she got that. But now was not the time. And both of them where athletic. Kyo was without doubt the stronger of the two, but Nao was faster. So she reached out - getting ahold of his hoodie to stop him. "And where do you think you're going? Ditch us out and then scare us to death?" she took the flashlight from his hand, letting the light explore the sorrounding before meeting Kyos gace with her furious big "deer" eyes.

"Can you think of anyone else, except yourself, for once?!" She snapped. Nao did not mean it... really.. It was just because SHE was scared. His mother Chihiro-san had told Nao about Kyo's sister, and she figured he was probably thinking about her alot.. Even so - she could not help her sharp comments sometimes... not when it came to Kyo. And especially when she was uncomfortable with the dark, something she did not feel to mention to him.

"Geeeh Kyo, what if we got split up?..." just as the words left her lips, she noticed the silence who'd devoured them. Looking around in panic she could not see Sanaes red hair bow or hear the sound of Yukis red heartshaped earrings swinging to her movements. Even Satogi was nowhere to be seen... Had they really gotten split up?...

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sanae Character Portrait: Izumi Nao Character Portrait: Orokawru Satogi Character Portrait: Yukiko Nakahara Character Portrait: Kyosuke 'Kyo' Andoh
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Orokawru Satogi

The forest path, even in the dark, was a beautiful sight to see. What got Satogi's attention however were the sounds of those creatures living in it. Owls, crickets, even the occasionally bat was all so spectacular. He got lost in the moment as he lead the group, and so was unprepared for Kyo.

The surprise theft and blinding caught Satogi so off guard that he turned a 180 to try and catch whatever it was. After a few moments of scattered fumbling with his hood did he see... Yukiko and Sanae standing there. Satogi turns around again only to catch a glimpse of Kyo and Nao running off ahead.

He sighs, letting the mischief go and instead fixes his hoodie before continuing on and speaking to Yukiko and Sanae.

"Come on, we shouldn't let them get too far ahead. Besides, if they turn this into a romcom scene we need to be the ones who inturrept them!"

Despite having just been pranked he still seemed positive and uplifting, even his tone of voice was chipper. He also looked rather determined to bust in on the two ahead of them; maybe even get some harmless payback for the flashlight.

It doesn't take long before Satogi stops in his tracks and snaps his fingers at a brilliant idea, a sly look on his face as he turns to the girls.

"You know, now that we don't have a light we could get lost from each other. Maybe we should all hold hands. For safety of course." This last part he says with grandeur to make it apparently important as he holds out his hands to them and awaited their responce.

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: Yukiko Nakahara Character Portrait: Tsuyari Kazukai Character Portrait: Kyosuke 'Kyo' Andoh Character Portrait: Tutsrugi
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Danger may be lurking along the way, but the five teens continue on their adventure. Somewhere along the way, a tear in the group occurs, and the five find themselves separated into two groups. While one group may find themselves on the right path, the others take a wrong turn and will find themselves lost within the forest eventually. The forest does not speak back, no matter how many times you ask it where you are . . .

In the Youkai Village, time passes with the threat of human intruders, though many are unaware . . .




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speech: #d10000 || thoughts: #f55858
Satogi had said something about Youkai forcing young beauties (beautiful? me? must be a joke...) into arranged marriages, and Sanae's eyes widen. Wh-What? D'ya really think that'll happen? What would they want with a girl like me as a bride? I ain't really that special, y'know? I think they'd probably like Yukiko-chan or Nao-chan better than me. They're the pretty ones!

Onwards they trek, deeper into the forest. Komorebi isn't too far from the entrance, though it does take a bit to get to the bus stop from there, but the rumored abandoned village... that one's a bit farther in. Scary things tend to happen in the darkness in the thick of the forest. Sanae shakes the thoughts out of her head; no amount of scary stories will make her turn back. She is brave. Besides, Youkai aren't real. They're just appealing stories for parents to tell their kids at night to get them to behave. Now that that's out of the way, she can—... well, there's still the wild animals out here in the forest. Those thoughts make shivers snake their way down her spine. Aggressive, wild, feral animals, lurking out here in the forest, just waiting to attack...

She's almost grateful for the (admittedly, pretty startling) distraction of when Kyosuke claps Satogi's hoodie over his head and steals the flashlight. He runs off, after throwing something offhanded over his shoulder, and Nao runs after him. Uh... you guys! Waaaiiit! If ya go off, then we'll get lo—... aw, they're already gone.
She turns back to the remaining two and puts her hands on her hips, sighing slightly. Fine. Fine, fine, fine. We'll just... have to catch up with 'em. Shouldn't be too hard. They just went off that way... uh, somewhere...

Satogi's offer snaps her out of her disappointment in getting split up. She smiles slightly and trots over to him, grabbing onto his hand. Okay! So long as you'll protect me from the scary Youkai tryin' to kidnap me and force me to be their bride! Be my night in shinin' armor, my chivalrous samurai, or somethin' like that. She giggles and points onward, in a direction... totally opposite of where their friends had just disappeared into. She starts to tug him off in that direction, beckoning for Yukiko to follow.

Perhaps, instead of the group that ran off, they were the ones who were lost. The thought doesn't occur to Sanae yet, though, but she does think that, just in case, she knows how to get to the shrine from any part of the forest.




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speech: #ebd212 || thoughts: #d6c969
If this royalty is so thirsty then he should surely be able to lower himself and go to a place of such common birth.

Ryuunosuke laughs from his throat, eyes closing one more. He recalls a time when the two of them first met. They were both young things, and Tutsurugi had a motive to please, as a servant should. At the time, Ryuunosuke was alone; friends were not quite a luxury for a royal unless they were also royalty, and one doesn't come across those very often. Tutsurugi was meant to be a servant, though he was around his age, and as a child, he did what a child does—latch onto the closest thing to a friend he could fine. Don't be so stiff, Tutsurugi. he had said, with a smile that's become so rare now, but Tutsurugi is always welcome to see. You and We are friends now. No matter what anyone else says. Okay?

A rather childish thing to say, Ryuunosuke supposes, but that's what they were—children. Though he is a prince, and servants are just servants, the prince is a loyal man, and would lay his life down for those who lay theirs for his. He snaps out of his reverie with a few startled, gentle blinks when his loyal servant continues.

But he should be well aware of his reputation, and the dangers that lurk in such places.

Ah, there's the concern. The man's duty as a servant, to protect the prince, to warn him of dangers. Ryuunosuke nods, turning back towards the entrance of the bar and stepping in. We will heed your warning, Tutsurugi. We will also expect you to protect us.

The bar isn't as bad as he expected. It was noisy, for sure, as there was a clamor as everyone's voices melted together. People laughed, shouted, and spoke drunkenly. People were merry, people were having fun. His parties, Ryuunosuke muses, are much the same, however they are full of the upper class, and aren't quite as... dirty. It isn't that the bar is unclean, and that he doesn't trust Miyako to take care of it, but public drinking places such as these always trike Ryuunosuke as rather dirty to be in. Such is the thought process of an Oni prince. Regardless, he takes a seat in the corner, just as he saw Sanja see his way out. Had they ducked in a bit earlier, perhaps they could have exchanged a few words. Ryuunosuke gestures for Tutsurugi to sit across from him.

He notices discreetly that many members of the bar, who had previously been prattling on and clapping their friends on their backs, do notice the prince. As he passes, their voices dip down, and even after he's stepped by, he can hear threats of gossip. He shakes his head and rests a hand on his palm and his elbow on the table.




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speech: #c70000 || thoughts: #7a7676
Susumu's surprise is clear on his face upon seeing the... interesting form Tsuyari had taken on. He'd never seen it before. She was certainly taller and more mature, down to how much fuller her chest seemed. Oh, how interesting. You know, I've never seen you like this before. I think you'd make quite the treat like this, Tsuyari-chan. He stops, lowering his eyelids mischievously and wagging his tail slightly. Well, if I liked girls, that is. Come on~ He beckons her with his hand, and with that, he sets off toward the bar with Tsuyari in tow. As they walk, the older kitsune's hair and tail swish behind him. One could run their fingers through his hair and it would feel like such snowy locks were spun from pure silk. He takes pride in his looks, to be sure. While Ryuunosuke is beautiful in all senses of the word, Susumu's beauty is different. It's the type of beauty that draws you in, that pulls you close and doesn't let you sneak away; the type of beauty that captivates and unsettles you all the same.

Of course, on the way to the bar, Susumu happens to see a familiar face—one he rather likes. He stops abruptly, directly in front of poor Tsuyari—and so abruptly, she might as well have slammed right into him! He makes a soft cooing sound and, with a flick of his tail and a twitch of his ears, he practically waltzes over to Sanja, sidling up next to him and draping an arm over his shoulder.

Sanja-kun, Sanja-kun... Isn't it a lovely night out tonight? Lovely enough for a game, I'd say. Tell me, do you know what you feed to let live, yet give drinks to kill? I'll give you... three guesses! He wags his tail behind him and looks over to Tsuyari, a wide grin on his face. If you know this one, don't tell him. I want him to guess on his own. He needs to get that cute little head of his working on~ his~ own~ ♥❞

His desire for games comes as no surprise; such is what one would expect from the Riddler. Many have fallen into his trap, assuming the bastard's games come as just a childish desire to play games and make small-talk. Though many may leave once he starts to wager with teeth, fingers, eyes, or limbs, some aren't so smart to refuse. What harm could such a hauntingly beautiful man really do? He must be joking when he makes bets like these, right? How hard could answering a few riddles be...?

A kitsune's nose is strong, just as a fox's nose is. The sake's scent isn't noticeable to most, though to Susumu, the aroma overtakes him. He can smell the plum sake on Sanja, and he decides he rather likes the scent on the tengu. However, doesn't that mean Sanja had went to the bar without him? Susumu pouts a bit, puffing out his cheeks childishly. Tell a guy next time, Sanja-kun. I can't take you on a date if I don't know where you are...

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Izumi Nao Character Portrait: Kyosuke 'Kyo' Andoh
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Kyosuke ‘Kyo’ Andoh

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Kyosuke grinned slightly as he ran ahead, confident that he could reach the abandoned village way before any of them and set up an appropriate ambush. The girls would scream, and, in a best case scenario, so would Satogi. Maybe even wet himself. That would shut him up for the rest of the night. Eyes lighting up a bit at the thought, Kyosuke was a little taken aback at the somewhat sharp tug around his neck, jerking to a bit of a halt. Maybe Satogi had more spine than he thought he did…

"And where do you think you're going? Ditch us out and then scare us to death?" Came the feminine voice from behind him, Kyo spinning to see Nao with her Nag face on again, somewhat roughly grabbing at his hand to steal the flashlight as he rubbed the back of the neck and straightened his jacket. “Something like that. Can’t pull one over you, can I prez?” Kyo responded, relinquishing hold of the ‘almighty’ torch. It’s not like he really needed it now he’d gotten it off Satogi. “You should lighten up a bit.” He added, before Nao whirled back towards him with a stern expression, making him reflexively put his arms up in a calming gesture.

"Can you think of anyone else, except yourself, for once?!" Nao chastised with more than a little bite to it, immediately putting Kyo’s guard up a bit as he stood back up straight. He’d actually been feeling a little jovial at the prospect of his fun, but it seemed that was to be short lived as Nag brought her typical demeaning comments to the table. His immediate reaction was to retort with his own stinging insult, and clearly she caught sight of his glowering expression as her own softened, suddenly coming to a realisation and looking about frantically. "Geeeh Kyo, what if we got split up?..."

“Good. It’s not like I can think about anyone but myself you know.” Kyosuke responded as he brought his hands back into his pockets, looking to the ground. The bitterness in his voice would be pretty clear to Nao, and was equally a bit over the top for the situation. Maybe she’d struck a bit of a nerve. Kyo let her respond and squirm a bit as she panicked about her charges, watching in mild amusement of her suffering. Served her right. At least… That’s what he told himself for a bit before deciding he’d seen enough, taking his hand out of his pocket and moving up to Nao.

“Ugh, calm down you Dweeb. They’re not babies, and Miko-Girl knows where they’re going. We’ll just head to the village and wait for them there before heading back.” Kyo flicked her in the forehead, which was probably the least comforting action he could take, but hopefully it would snap the Prez out of her thoughts. Turning around to face the direction he’d been going, he slipped his hands back into his pockets, still annoyed with her. “Or you can go look for them, s’not like I need a Nag bugging me the whole trip there.”

Striding off and living Nao alone in the clearing, Kyo was about to pull out his lighter to see when he noticed some faint pinpricks of light through the leaves nearby. Squinting a bit and pushing the branches aside, Kyo was surprised to see that they looked to be a series of lights… Street lamps? They hadn’t gotten turned around, so this had to be the place. Glancing behind him to see if Nao was still there, he turned back towards the village and called out.

“Uh, hey, Nao. Come check this out.” Beckoning to her, Kyo moved a bit closer to get a better look, but stayed hidden amongst the bushes. “Wasn’t this place supposed to be, y’know, abandoned?” He asked aloud, partly to Nao if she’d moved up, but mostly to himself. “Maybe the dorks somehow got ahead of us and lit the lamps…” He mumbled, somewhat annoyed at potentially being outdone by those losers. Whatever, didn’t matter to him. “Let’s go check it out.” He finally stated, sitting up and beginning to make his way towards the ‘abandoned’ village…

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Susumu Character Portrait: Izumi Nao Character Portrait: Sanjakubō Kurama Character Portrait: Tsuyari Kazukai Character Portrait: Kyosuke 'Kyo' Andoh
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#, as written by Emmyz
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ImageNao rubbed her cheek with her free hand, feeling a small cut where the branch had scratched her earlier. It was nothing tho, she was used to far more severe injuries due to all the sport activities she's involved with. A little blood on the cheek had never killed her before, so she just wiped it off and focused on the situation. Glancing around in despair with the flashlight- looking for the way witch she'd came from- and listening to any sound suggesting the others where close, without success. Kyo's macho words would have normally made her boil, but right now she felt kind of numb. Until 2 things woke her up from going in to "panic mode".

First a "smack" in her forehead caused by Kyos index finger. Making Nao blink a few times, not grasping what just happened. Second, the word "Nag" stabbing her in the chest, getting to her like an electric shock. Gosh, she hated when he called her that! And from what he said, he did not seem to want her as company. Thank you very much!.. Maybe she could turn back to the others? Kyo was not exactly her number one choice to spend time with.. But leaving him would probably give him the satisfaction of feeling "superior" and she would not let him have that pleasure.. Plus, as much as she hated to admit it, he was right. Sanae would take good care of the others. Going back to look for them could even result in both parties getting lost. The best option was to find the abandoned village and meet the others there.

“Uh, hey, Nao. Come check this out.” Nao froze in her action, did he just want her to join him? Something was not right. Looking over in his direction, she saw his arm making a waving gesture. Nao swallowed a bit nervous, wondering if he was about to prank her or something, but still decided to walk up beside him. Then she leaned in and stood on tip toes to sneak a peek over the branch he had moved to the side. The view made her tense up, and she opened her mouth in her custom surprised expression - looking like an idiot. The village was there alright... The rumors where true! But the lights where on... They had electricity.. and lanterns.. just like in Komorebi..

“Wasn’t this place supposed to be, y’know, abandoned?”. Nao nodded, not that she was sure he could see her - especially since she'd decided to turn off the flashlight (not finding it necessary anymore when a village filled with lights was ahead of them).

“Maybe the dorks somehow got ahead of us and lit the lamps… Let’s go check it out.” For once Nao agreed with him. Her first thought had been that Sanae and the others got there before them.. She straightened her figure, closing her first and nodded again. "For once i agree with you.. And we should not let our friends, not dorks, wait for us any longer - they are probably worried..." she said rushing after him when he started to move. Raising her chin slightly, making a puffing sound when passing him and taking the lead. "And try not to be to hard on Satogi, it's not his fault he beat you to the village... looks like you lost!" she teased him with a quiet scoff and a smile as she moved some branches and hurried up her steps, almost stumbling down a slightly downhill that was before them. The closer she came to the village - the bigger of a doubt she felt. What if it weren't the others.. It could be some teens from school that had listened in on their plan? Even if so, Nao was not scared, surprisingly. It was not dark anymore, and dark was probably the only thing she feared.

The village ahead looked quite... alive. And not much different from Komorebi. They entered over a small bridge, continued between two houses - up a few stairs before they found themselves on some sort of main "street". The houses where small and resembled smaller shrines made of wood with a color-scheme in red. Passing a fountain, Nao had started to realize that the town was not abandoned. Even if Sanae, Satogi and Yukiko had reached the village before them - there was no way possible to have accomplished all this in that small amount of time. No - this village was alive. There was glimpses of people in the windows, sound of laughter from a distant bar and someone playing a flute. There was people living in this place alright...

The first thing that popped in to Naos head was ofc from some books she read. She searched her memory for the content and started to give a summary of the things she thought to be essential to the situation. "You know... In america and im guessing even here in Japan - it's quite common with sects and cults... living separated from the society and without contact with other humans..Their existence must be a secret. Often the sect leader make them commit mass suicide in the end - as a way out from their hidden life.." she mumbled like she was lecturing him in some school subject."What if this is a sect?" She continued, a bit softer - but also widening her eyes when asking. She bit her lower lip as they continued walking. "I can't believe im saying this.. But if they attack us - i will rely on you to kick their...well.. bottoms..okey? But if they start talking with us, leave the meddling to me..Our prio 1 is to find the others, then we are out of here!" She was determined and focused, slowing down a bit to allow Kyo to come up beside her.

Her thoughts where on Sanae and the others.. Thinking that they could have found their way here, but even so - it made her worried. Her 3 friends was just too sweet and friendly for their own good- and if this was some sort of sect - they might even get tricked to join them or get taken prisoners and brainwashed with religious talking. She was hoping Satogi was protecting the girls at least... Almost stumbling on her own feet, she shook her head and focused on the surroundings instead. She had to be on the alert. The city got brighter and more lively the further in they got. Nao raised her arm to pull back her hair behind her ear, then correcting her wrinkly skirt so she would "fit it" and not look like some kind of barbarian... Even so she felt out of place. Like they where not supposed to be there.. The residents of this "abandoned village" looked elegant.. like they where rich or sacred /extremely religious or something... Well, at least they where not youkai. But she did not like the atmosphere at all. Maybe they where devil worshippers?

Entering some kind of "center" of the village, Nao caught the sight of 3 very.. unique.... people. A whitehaired man sitting on a bench... a taller man with long white hair and then a girl with blue hair... She switched side, to Kyos right side - the side closest to the wierd people. Grabbing ahold of Kyos sleave - pulling it lightly 3 times - like she was ringing a door bell or something. "Psst. Kyo. Just keep on walking.. "

And so they did. She almost " pushed" him outwards so they where walking in a curve. And they kept walking, Nao doing everything she could try to restrain herself from letting her russet brown eyes seek up the three people. But as they passed them - she could not resist but to turn her head and look. Was that a tail? And was it something wrong with their hair- or did that look like ears?.. Devil worshippers... They had to be! The sound of fountain water dripping, the flute playing, and laughter from the bar - everything stopped. It was like the time stood still for a moment when they passed. And Nao was not certain, but it felt like she meet the gace of 2 purple eyes. Despite this her legs kept walking and her grip of Kyos right sleeve hardened.

They passed, and Nao let go of his arm, increased the distance between them (when noticing how close she'd been to this very annoying troublemaker – whom she still hated for flickering her forehead and calling her Nag) and finally breathed out- now realizing she'd been holding her breath all the time. "Did you see that? Was that a tail??" she whispered between closed teeth, not wanting do draw any attention. If she could - she would have started running - but that would only make it worse. Best way to handle things right now was probably to act calm... and hoping that those weird people did not perceive them as intruders and tried to follow...

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Susumu Character Portrait: Izumi Nao Character Portrait: Tsuyari Kazukai Character Portrait: Kyosuke 'Kyo' Andoh
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Oh how quickly his peace was stripped from him. As he sat he could feel the unwanted company approaching. Over the years Sanja had grown accustomed to his prescience, not by choice but by necessity. A shudder emitted from the smaller man's body and his eyelids lowered in wry preparation. His mind and body needed to be ready, who knew what that madman would do. He instinctively clutched the small rabbit closer as he warily saw the two Kitsune approach. Right on cue Susumu sauntered and sat right next to Sanja. Much to his chagrin the male kitsune was rather, close. His eyes drifted up to meet Susumu's.

"To what do I owe the. . .Honor Susumu?" He asked resting his hand in his chin. Then he supposed it was answered, Susumu was in rare form as he flung a riddle at him immediately. Though it took the Daitengu no time at all to decipher it. "Truly enough that would stump normal beings, though the answer to your simple riddle is A Fire. Now that that's out of the way, did you need something further? I must stay vigilant, humans will be intruding our village sooner rather than later I'm afraid." Sanja slightly petted the head of the rabbit doll, a feeling of dread was setting in just from being beside the other man. Even if Sanja did find the Kitsune quite handsome, his kind wasn't meant for the companionship Sanja would desire. He shook his head a bit, this is what happened when he came down off the mountain, he became weakened to his emotions and curiosities. Yet, Susumu's natural scent was quite nice.

Then, thankfully, Tsuyari spoke up. The awful nickname she used for him caused him to scowl. However she then asked about the small rabbit doll and the scowl was replaced by a look of confusion and slight embarrassment. He looked fondly down at the doll and then up at Tsuyari, ignoring Susumu for the time being.

"It reminded me of Ki, as they are quite dear to me, I got them a gift. They are after all tending to the shrine whilst I am here." He softly tugged it's ears and sighed. Yet, I admit I don't know if they'll even like a silly material object such as this." He then ran a hand through his hair before noticing Susumu's pouting.

"Do you pout like this because I solved your riddle so quickly? I can feign ignorance next time if you wish?" He asked trying to sound intelligent, maybe even taunting, just to hide the fact he was a bit concerned for the Kitsune's welfare.

Then only a moment later, thankfully distracting him once more, was people he had never seen before. Though they rushed away seemingly in quite the hurry. The female however made the mistake of glancing back at him. His eyes locked with hers and added a bit of his illusory magic to the gaze to make it appear as if he were glowing with divine energy. If she was truly a human like his gut was telling him, she would be stopped cold in her tracks. Even the most stubborn of nonbelievers cold not resist Sanja's meticulously crafted illusions.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Susumu Character Portrait: Izumi Nao Character Portrait: Sanjakubō Kurama Character Portrait: Tsuyari Kazukai Character Portrait: Ki Character Portrait: Shohei
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#, as written by Kato
Shohei


“Hmm....” The lives of cats were extremely mundane. Napping, hissing at other cats, chasing the odd mouse or butterfly if they could be bothered, going from house to house accepting food at every one, more napping, demanding they be stroked and petted, jealously treading their familiar routes to protect “their” territory. There wasn't usually much to gain, except for the juicy squishy taste. In his crow form, Shohei tipped up his beak and swallowed the eyeball whole, with an audible gulp. He'd been following this cat around for a while, just with the unnerring carrion eater's instinct that it was going to die. It did, on the outskirts of the forest that lay between the human village and the yokais' territory. Choked on a fishbone. Through the cat's eyes he saw a group of children gathered around. One of them showed the others a flashlight, while they took peeks about them to see if they were spotted conspiring. It didn't mean much to him, except that at that very moment he heard voices approach. He flapped up into a nearby tree, leaving the half-eaten dead cat where it lay and watched with beady eyes, as those same children happened past, on their way to the Yokai village. He caught snatches of their conversation, enough to get the gist, though a lot of it was meaningless human jibber-jabber. Well, it probably wasn't anything too important, but he should let the boss know about it, anyway.

Wishing an unspoken goodbye to the dead cat, who he hoped would stick around for later, he took off to fly up to Sanjakubo's mountain shrine and warn him of the humans' approach. He landed, transforming into his usual man-crow form, and sliding the mask to the side of his face. “Boss?” His talons clacked along the stone pathways as he walked along. “Sanja-sama?” There was no one there, but a small squirrel who skittered down a tree and twitched its nose at him. Shohei sighed and scratched his head. If the squirrel was trying to tell him something, it was utterly lost on him. It was unusual for Sanjakubo to leave this place, more unusual still to leave it in the care of a squirrel. As he looked around, he happened upon Ki, wandering by themselves around the shrine complex. “Ki-chan?” he poked his head around a doorway, “Are you here by yourself? Where's the boss?” Coming over to them, he would listen to hear if Ki knew anything, but he wasn't going to stick around in the shrine while there was something interesting going down at the village, and where the boss might get into trouble. Wise as he was, Sanja-sama was unbelievably naïve when it came to certain things. “I'm going down to the village. Want to come?” If Ki wanted to accompany him, they were welcome to sit on his back for a ride while he flew down there. He let them make the decision. If they were going to stay, Shohei would promise to return quickly.

It might have been a long way to walk, but flying took little time at all, and before long the rooftops of the yokai town were below him. Where would the boss be? That pub? Maybe, although it attracted ne'er-do-wells. He knew for a fact that that walking roadkill Sarubi frequented it, as well as a whole bunch of other lesser yokai. Not really the place for someone like the boss. Just as he was thinking of undesirable characters, who should he see but that infernal Kitsune, not only approaching Sanjakubo, but daring to place his paws all over him! He nosedived towards the little grouping, landing directly in front of them, but a second or two to late to save Sanjakubo from Susumu. He glared at the kitsune malevolently. He was looking good tonight, silver hair catching the moonlight elegantly, his tails swishing fluffily. What an absolute … he didn't have a word for what an absolute thing that Susumu was, but he was one and an obnoxious one at that. But handsome, that couldn't be denied. He bowed stiffly to Sanjakubo, then resumed his glaring. “Please remove your hand from Sanja-sama, or have it removed … from your arm,” he drawled, looking like he may or may not have been joking. The female kitsune he didn't recognise, although there was something familiar about her. Maybe it was the blue hair. “Boss,” he started to say to Sanjakubo, “there's ---” but before he could mention his info that there were humans approaching, it seemed as though Sanja's attention had been drawn to something behind him. He turned, to see the small group of humans he had spotted earlier, one of them turned back to lock eyes with Sanjakubo and by the look on her face, she had spotted something was amiss. “---humans,” he finished his sentence. He folded his arms and watched after the girl who had turned back. “Want me to get rid of them, boss?”

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: Rika Nekonyankoo
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#, as written by Tanman
Kyosuke ‘Kyo’ Andoh

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“…looks like you lost!” Making their approach towards the town, Kyosuke couldn’t help but give a grunt of annoyance at Nao’s smug little statement. Gah, he hated losing. How’d that dweeb even get in front of him anyhow? They hadn’t been separated that long. Whatever, didn’t matter. It was just a dumb empty village anyway. They could probably just chill out for a few hours and head home, nothing was going to happen.

Glancing about the streets, buildings, shrines, it took him a moment but… There were clearly more people around than just him and Nao. A lot more. This place was… Bustling. Music faintly playing, a muffled symphony of voices chattering away. Heck, this place was probably more alive than that hole Komorebi village. Maybe this was like, some seedy nearby district, and that’s why everyone said it was abandoned? Man, that’d be cool. At least they’d have something to tell the other kids at school when they got back.

The shika deer was coming to her own conclusions, and began prattling out a lecture on cults and isolated groups, blah blah wait, mass suicide? Whoah, creepy. Maybe this place would be way more interesting after all. Glancing about with a bit more enthusiasm, Kyosuke began looking to see if there was anyone they could meet, though he faintly caught the next few comments Nao made. Permission from the prez to get involved in a fight? Man, this was maybe turning out to be his lucky day.

“Ass.” He clarified for Nao, eye rolling at her baby-talk. Honestly, being able to swear was more mature than not. “And yeah, fine, whatever. If we get in trouble, just go hide or something and I’ll handle it.” He added, continuing his stride as he looked over the nearby signs and got a bit more of an idea of the town’s layout. He wasn’t much for talking, so he was plenty happy with Nao handling that stuff should it come to it. Her priority was finding the others and getting out of here. He didn’t mention it, but that was probably going to be when he’d start checking out this place for himself, without those dorks getting in the way.

Either way, it was clear that Satogi and the girls hadn’t found their way here yet. He’d been overly presumptuous that those losers could do anything competently. Heh, looks like he hadn’t ‘lost’ at all. Good, he’d get to rub it in their noses later. Grinning some more as he walked, he was looking towards some of the residents when he felt his sleeve grabbed and tugged a few times, politely requesting his attention. He obliged, but probably did the opposite of what she wanted and stopped briefly. "Psst. Kyo. Just keep on walking…" Kyo frowned a bit, catching sight of what she could see before leaning in to reply. “Why are we hiding? If they’re jerks I’ve got this, and if not you’re not a total doofus when it comes to talking.” Despite his question, the fact Kyo was also keeping quiet probably made it rhetorical.

Being slightly manhandled by Nao was an odd-feeling, but Kyosuke let it slide as he was far more focused on the three individuals they passed. They had some pretty… ‘Unique’ features. Kyo entranced by… a certain pair of features more than others, and unlike Nao, wasn’t afraid to just rudely stare at the trio. So distracted was he with the ‘scenery’ he barely registered Nao’s tugs for his attention and protection, followed by her making some space. "Did you see that? Was that a tail??" She asked in hushed urgency, Kyo blissfully unaware of that aspect of things. “A wha..?” He asked, finally snapping out of it and glancing back towards the slightly distant people. “Oh yeah, kinda looks like it, huh. Weird.”

Glancing back towards Nao, he noticed that something in her expression had changed. “Uh, Yo, Nao. You okay?” Waving his hand in front of her face, it seemed like she was the one now entranced in some way. Geez, daydreaming at a time like this, tch. “Earth to Nao? Come in please.”




Rika Nekonyankoo

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“Ew, ew. How gross. How can a birdie be so gross..?” Perched in a tree, hunched over all sneaky like, was Rika Nekonyankoo. One hand was firmly holding her in place on a branch, while the other moved to stuff the remainder of the bird she’d caught in her mouth. The pot continued to watch the kettle dissect her deceased feral brethren in disdain, tails flicking side to side in impatience. Minutes she’d been following him! A whole bunch of minutes! Nearly more than the fingers on her hands! That was forever and he still hadn’t lead her to his shiny hoard! Rude birdie! She knew he had one. She’d seen him collect stuff before, but it was so hard to keep up with a birdie on foot. Rocking back and forth a bit as she continued to suffer in boredom, it seemed something startled Shosei as he moved up into the trees as well. Quick as a cat, she pivoted to the other side of the trunk, holding her breath so as not to be noticed. If he spotted her now, her purrfect plan would be ruined!

Finally, she heard the steady beat of his wings as he took off, cautiously leaping out onto another branch to take a look. Now where was he going?! He better be going to his shiny hoard, she did not plan to stick around and watch him eat another dead animal. Taking note of the approximate direction of his flight, she began leaping through the trees, doing her best to keep up and not lose sight of him. This time, nothing would go wrong…




“No, it’s all wrong!” Rika whined in disdain as she arrived at the Kurama shrine. She’d been here a whole bunch, and it definitely was not the place where the Birdie kept his shinies. Pouting as she scampered up the stairs, she was a little tired when she reached the top. That made it all the more frustrating when she noticed Shohei soar back out and towards the village! “You dumb birdie! I’ll get your treasure yet!” She wailed at the tengu, though hopefully not audible enough to hear. No way she was catching him gliding down from the top of this mountain, and besides, she was already exhausted coming all this way at full pace. Stupid birdie… He made a worthy rival indeed. Perhaps he’d spotted her and this was a carefully executed plan to lose her! Grr, she’d have to be super-duper-sneaky next time! No way was she going to give up!

For now though, she was giving up. Wandering into the shrine, she wondered if perhaps Sanja would show mercy and let her have some water or something – or at least take a nap on one of the comfy shrine pillows. ”Sanyah~! I’m tirrreeeddd! Let me stay, please?” Flopping in the doorway, Rika was surprised to find that the big birdie wasn’t in. Instead it was Ki! She loved Ki! She didn’t have anything valuable, but she was always so nice to Rika! Sitting up slightly to greet her and ask where the master of the temple was, Rika’s eyes lit up as she heard he’d gone to town and left Ki in charge. “Really?! Big Birdie’s gone to town?!” Clasping Ki’s hands enthusiastically, Rika was completely revitalised as she began scampering about the shrine, poking all the pretty things, snacking on the offerings, rubbing up on the materials. Oh, she so rarely got to be in this place! She had to make the most of it. Speaking of which...

Snapping her fingers, she materialised her burlap sack, and quickly got to work looking for valuables Sanja wouldn’t miss. Along with ones he would. The greedy kitten was working hard to pilfer what she could before he returned, brazenly doing so in front of Ki. In fact… “Ki, could you stack the tea set over there neatly in this sack? Thank you! You’re the best Ki!” Leaving Ki to the task she had been appointed, the feline began attempting to move a large gold ornament with little success. The Bakeneko was quick to calm any of Ki’s worries as she worked, insisting that she was simply ‘borrowing for an extended period’ and that she ‘promised to tell Sanja what she borrowed later’.

She may of lost one Birdie, but this was more than worth the 12 minutes of following him!

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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speech: #c70000 || thoughts: #7a7676
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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speech: #d10000 || thoughts: #f55858
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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speech: #ebd212 || thoughts: #d6c969
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: Susumu Character Portrait: Sanae Character Portrait: Izumi Nao Character Portrait: Sanjakubō Kurama Character Portrait: Kyosuke 'Kyo' Andoh Character Portrait: Ki Character Portrait: Shohei Character Portrait: Rika Nekonyankoo
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Upon Shohei's arrival Sanja felt relieved. Finally someone with some sense, some worth, some respect for authority! Oh glorious Shohei, how he had missed some sanity. Plus a little devotion was missed and Shohei always delivered. Sanja smiled pleased at the other Tengu's spirit, plus the way he dealt with Susumu sent chills down his spine. Sanja rose slowly with the dignity that was so thick it threatened to suffocate anyone too close.

"Oh Shohei, how nice of you to arrive. However I do believe that though your offers sound quite enticing, how I'd love to watch you rend that cocky fox. . . I do think I have overstayed my welcome. My temple needs me and I have this feeling in the pit of my gut." Towards the end Sanja scowled slightly. He had a feeling something was amiss, he had to return at once or be declared a failure. He cleared his throat and patted Susumu's shoulder, his slender hand lightly touching the kitsune's shirt fabric. As he did not wish to be too familiar with the fox.

"Susumu, I am taking my leave please do not mind my passing, yet I feel as though you would like to know. Shohei, accompany me back to Kurama Shrine." He said the last bit in a commanding tone. He walked past the humans and once he had gotten just past the female he stopped and grinned like a devil would. He decided he was going to ruin the fox's game. "Curious is it not? Such an obvious answer when clearly the lions have starved and died within those three years. . . Goodluck." As he finished he laughed and flew off quickly. Assured his loyal friend would follow him, Shohei was odd but he was quite diligent.

---

After not long at all he landed in the small garden before the shrine. He smiled, finally he was home. In his perfect, undisturbed. . . He heard unwanted noises from within his home. Noises that sounded a lot like. . .

"Rika." He uttered the word as if it were a curse upon his tongue, his eyes went dark as he strode into the shrine, throwing open the doors as dark shadows accompanied him. Using his illusions he had cloaked his entry to conceal the light of day and left himself glowing amidst the dark. His eyes went to the cat, then to his darling Ki, then to her bag. He felt anger bubbling up, his precious shrine. She had shoved his belongings into a sack and was getting Ki involved. He gritted his teeth and spoke.

"Miss Nekonyankoo. . . 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!" He boomed and strode over grabbing the cat by her scruff for the remainder of his speech.

"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!" He dropped her to the ground once more and pointed to her sack. "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." He said narrowing his eyes and folding his arms as the shadowy illusions roared and licked over Rika's body, they became more and more terrifying the more Sanja had spoken. The illusions now appeared as wispy monsters among the dark. With cruel fangs and glowing pupil-less eyes. Daring the cat to try anything tricky in the Daitengu's own domain, so that they would have permission to rip her apart. In reality they were harmless, though the cat did not know as much.

Sanja's eyes went a moment to Ki and he looked at her if he couldn't believe she allowed this cat to disrupt his peace! He worked years and years to get everything just so. Each time something like this happened Sanja could not contain his rage and disdain. Centuries putting his precious bobbles in their own place. Just so they could be shoved into some burlap sack by a cat. Some might say he was overreacting, however he'd say he was underreacting. His shrine was all he ever had. He knows it's the only thing he'll always have. Such treatment registered to him as disrespect of his very title. Something that no one should do, if they wish to live a happy life.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Susumu Character Portrait: Izumi Nao Character Portrait: Sanjakubō Kurama Character Portrait: Tsuyari Kazukai Character Portrait: Kyosuke 'Kyo' Andoh Character Portrait: Shohei
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#, as written by Emmyz
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Suddenly her eyes where not feeling so well. She blinked and rubbed them a couple of times as her pulse quickened. Everything was so confusing. The "not so abandoned" village just felt.. unatural.. Nao froze and stopped at the spot. Had that white haired man with purple eyes just been glowing? She could swear he had looked like some sort of angel. What was happening to her? Had she been drugged? Maybe he was the sect leader trying to play tricks on her head and make her extremely religious. “Uh, Yo, Nao. You okay? Earth to Nao? Come in please." she heard a distant voice. She shook her head and closed her fists, making her nails dig in to her palms as a try to break free from her confusion with a small amount of self inflicted pain.

"Im fine, im fine..." she lied. As she did, her fears became reality. One of the weird people had caught up with them. The tall one with long silky hair and the focused eyes of a predator. His movements made Nao's warning signals go off in her chest. The wagging, soft but alluring hips. Her eyes widened as she catched a glimpse of what was hiding behind him, a tail... who seemed to be alive and moving along in the mans softs movements... Then he opened his mouth to speak, and Nao almost got lost in this strangers hypnotizing red eyes.

"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!"
As he where speaking, two sharp canine teeth where adding to his wierd.. but attractive look. Nao really tried to listen istead of just staring and getting distracted by the impossible features. Sanja? Was that the purple eyed man, the sect leader. And illusions? What was he talking about...

"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!"

Finally she managed to break free from his magnetizing eyes, and tilted her head to the side- making her hair fall forward from the grip of her ears, and she looked up - trying to read how Kyo was doing. Sure, this sneaky.... fox-like?...man was a big threat. Even so she felt more worried about Kyos reaction than this Susumu. Crossing her fingers he would not do anything stupid.

"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!"

The memory of herself saying to Kyo how she would handle the talking, got played up before her eyes. Coming back from her trip to memory lane she took a deep breath and looked upon the man once more.. Luckely the riddle was childishly simple.

"The lions...would have died..." her voice was quiet and weak - very different from her usual strong and ambitious leader-voice. However, her words was drowned by the sound of another being. It was the purple eyed man who'd answered the riddle before her - thankfully ending this childish games.

"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..." sometimes she was just to much of a "know-it-all" for her own good. But her words disappeared as she saw this Sanja person FLY OFF? A flying man.. Nao's heart was beating like a rabbit chased by a fox. This was impossible... Even so - the thought of youkai had not reached her yet, she was really just dense.

"Ehhmm... regardless how nice it was to meet you.. Susumu-san.. I do think we must take our leave.." (she should probably have called him sama, but in her eyes - he'd been childish and a nuisance - so she went with san). She felt like she was going to faint, and she just wanted to wake up from this dream. Yess, that wat is was - a fantasy dream.

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: Sanae Character Portrait: Izumi Nao Character Portrait: Sanjakubō Kurama Character Portrait: Orokawru Satogi Character Portrait: Yukiko Nakahara Character Portrait: Tsuyari Kazukai Character Portrait: Kyosuke 'Kyo' Andoh Character Portrait: Shohei
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"For sooth! Thou art under my care, young princesses!"

His English was a little hard for her to understand, as she was failing English. However, Yukiko understood the gist of what he was saying and could not help smiling. Looking around at the trees and the other foliage, Yukiko felt that they were getting no closer to the abandoned village. There was absolutely no light in sight.

"... Uh, Sanae-chan? I may be wrong but... I don't think this is the right way."

Those were the exact words that Yukiko did not want to hear. If they were lost, her parents would eventually wake up to her empty bed and she would be grounded for the rest of her life. Yukiko released a slow breath in an attempt to remain calm, unaware that she gently squeezed Satogi's hand in the process. It'll be okay.. We'll fix this... Sanae-chan and Orokawru-Senpai will find a way back....

❝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.❞

A bead of sweat fell from Yukiko's forehead, unable to believe how easily Sanae admitted to behing lost. However, the mention of the shrine immediately perked Yukiko's spirits back up. Visiting the shrine would be just as good as the abandoned village. Shrines were very neat after all and held lots of history, "That sounds perfect, you're a lifesaver, Sanae-chan." Yuki smiled, obviously very relieved that they would be able to get themselves out of this mess.

❝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.❞

A pang of guilt overwhelmed Yukiko, but she did not speak up. If they knew she had been hiding the fact that she had a flashlight this entire time they would surely realize her ulterior motive was to hold Satogi's hand. That would be far too embarrassing to explain, so she chose to continue concealing the fact. After a while, laterns came into view and Yukiko gave the area a good look, enjoying the aesthetics. Yukiko glances down to make sure she won't fall unnecessarily, though normally she was surefooted.

❝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.❞

Yukiko nodded her head, glad that they might get to visit the shrine AND the abandoned village that was rumored to house all kinds of Youkai. When Sanae put her finger to her lips, Yukiko felt her heart sink. W-We aren't alone...? Is it Andoh-san and Izumi-Senpai..? ...Or someone else...? She had to admit she was very nervous. What if it was human thieves or other degenerates? The three of them could not fight off vandals. The voice sounded like singing... At first, earlier on she thought it was her imagination, a song stuck in her head, but now that they were closer it was obvious it was unsettlingly real.

Weep not poor children,
for life is this way,
Murdering beauty and passions


❝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?!❞

No... I hear someone too...? It might be them... but what if it's not?" Yukiko asked quietly under her breath, biting her bottom lip as she attempted to make a deicision. At the mention of Youkai, actual real Youkai, she found inner courage and nodded her head in a determined manner. Youkai did not intimidate her as much as the thought of cruel humans, but she would figure out sooner or later that certain Youkai were much more frightening than any human, ".... I suppose we'll never know if we don't investigate." Yuki sighed, managing to put aside her fear of the possibility there was violent humans inside of the Shrine instead of the Youkai they were seeking.

Then she spoke in English, the only sentence she could passibly say without making a fool of herself, "All for one, and one for all...?" Yukiko quoted in a insecure manner, asking the other two if they were truly going to be in this together, no matter how horrible their discovery might turn out. She also realized she was quoting the musketeers, but their motto really struck a chord, and in this situation they would have to be united, or else things could turn out very badly, especially if they encountered delinquents instead of Youkai, "Do...Do you guys... hear singing or is it just me..?" Yuki asked in a shaken tone, unsure what kind of scene they were about to happen upon.

Hush now dear children,
It must be this way,
Too weary of life and deceptions
Rest now dear children,
For soon we'll away,
Into the calm and the quiet


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Image"Truly enough that would stump normal beings, though the answer to your simple riddle is A Fire. Now that that's out of the way, did you need something further? I must stay vigilant, humans will be intruding our village sooner rather than later I'm afraid."

Clapping her hands when Sanja guessed right, Tsuyari smiled a bit. She loved being in the Daitengu's presence, especially when Susumu was throwing out riddles. Watching Sanja get them right with ease was very entertaining. It also reminded her why it was useful to be in good standing with Sanja. His knowledge about the land aside, Sanja was incredibly intelligent and that made him an invaluable ally to have.

❝Oh, oh! You guessed it right, Sanja-kun. My boy's so smart. Smart, smart~❞

Tsuyari just shook her head at Susumu's words, completely baffled by his behavior. She began to wonder why he asked Sanja riddles in the first place when he knew that the Daitengu was going to guess them all right anyway. She didn't understand his reasoning, yet that wasn't really her fault. She had never been attracted to anyone romantically, so she was unable to point out flirting when she saw it.

"It reminded me of Ki, as they are quite dear to me, I got them a gift. They are after all tending to the shrine whilst I am here."

The embarrassment in Sanja's expression brought a grin to Tsuyari's lips. However she did not get to enjoy the fact that she had embarrassed Sanja very long, "Aw... Now I wanna get Ki something too..." Tsuyari pouted. She was incredibly broke, so the chances of her getting Ki anything worth having were slim to none. Most of the time Tsuyari stole the things she needed. She would catch fish in the river using her ability to manipulate the wind to jerk the fish out of the river. Despite her resourcefulness, Tsuyari knew that Ki would not want a stolen present. The last time she stole something for Ki was still a well-kept secret.

"Yet, I admit I don't know if they'll even like a silly material object such as this."

She blinked at the bunny as Sanja toyed around with it, smiling softly, "I think Ki will love it. Ki comes across as the type who cherishes sentiment over monetary value." She explained, but it was only her opinion in the end. Tsuyari let herself zone out, though the smell of the air had changed. She wasn't entirely sure of what was coming, but she did know that it wasn't any type of Youkai she had ever smelled.

“Please remove your hand from Sanja-sama, or have it removed … from your arm,”

"...Karasu-San too? How did I manage to obtain such violent comrades...?" Tsuyari mostly asked herself but asked her rhetorical question loud enough for all three men to hear. While she was not referring to Sanja so much, she definitely meant Susumu and Shohei. Also, she completely forgot that she was still in her Yokai form, one that Shohei had never seen before, but still called him the same pet name she always would as she was m.

❝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...~❞

A shiver ran down her spine. Here we go again... The thought of eyes being removed made Tsuyari very uncomfortable. She had never seen anything that gruesome, well, except for when she had to cook fish. Fish were a totally different story, though. Humans being harmed by Youkai was not acceptable, they were more like pets that needed protecting in Tsuyari's eyes and she would gladly intervene in one's defense. Violence between Youkai was always a constant reminder of what happened to her parents and that made her antsy.

All five of Tsuyari's tails began to swish around eagerly when her eyes located what Shohei was warning Sanja about. There were two humans in the village. She wondered how they managed to be among the Youkai, but that only intrigued her more. Humans were such interesting pets. They never ceased to grow and amaze her.

"Curious is it not? Such an obvious answer when clearly the lions have starved and died within those three years. . . Goodluck."

Tsuyari couldn't help but smile when Sanja managed to ruin Susumu's game with the humans. She knew where this was coming from, Susumu was going to try and wager them out of body parts. Tsuyari made her way over to the humans, getting a better look at the two. She was always curious when it came to their species. She waved off Shohei and Sanja before returning her full attention back to the humans, ecstatic that there was something worthwhile going on. The night had been kind of quiet and dull, so this was a much-appreciated change of pace.

"Very charming, but looks like the game is over. And the terms were 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..."

A snicker escaped her lips, enjoying the human girl's spark. She could tell that the human was nervous, but Tsuyari did nothing to interfere just yet. While she was interested in protecting them, their fear and bewilderment did amuse her. They were always so surprised or frightened when they met with something they deemed 'fictional'. They were so arrogant in that sense, believing they were the dominant species... That is where Tsuyari drew the line. Humans were by no means superior.

"Ehhmm... regardless how nice it was to meet you, Susumu-san.. I do think we must take our leave.."

While she would not admit it, Tsuyari was in no rush to see the humans leave. She was in the mood to play with them a bit as well, although in her company they would return home with all of their body parts. She simply was not the grotesque type of Youkai, "Do you even know your way back...?" Tsuyari asked cheerfully as if delighted by the humans happening upon the village, but also that they were likely lost.

“You need to work on your act dude. You sound way too annoying to hold an audience.”

Tsuyari's eyes met the blond male, "How about you show how it's done then? Lead by example, no?" She tilted her head, blue hair shifting with her movement, her blue ears twitching as she spoke. She found it quite irritating, as she loved Susumu's riddles immensely. While she liked the girl, the boy simply clawed at her patience.

The setting changes from komorebi-village to Youkai Street

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Susumu Character Portrait: Izumi Nao Character Portrait: Tsuyari Kazukai Character Portrait: Kyosuke 'Kyo' Andoh
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#, as written by Emmyz
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The sounds around her started to reappear again - probably the illusions wearing off. The laughing from the pub, the soft tunes of a flute playing and the water pouring from the fountain. With other words, the sounds of a living and flourishing little village stroking her ears in a surprisingly calming way.. It was really a mystery how the rumors said the village to be abandoned. Because in her eyes - it looked very well taken care off. The streets where clean and tidy, the houses where double stories and everything was built on the height. She had to admit it, it was a really cute and unique village.

“Not in our favor? There are only three possible answers, so we couldn’t possibly get it wrong.” Nao started to blush at the sudden realization. A part of her was truly impressed with Kyo actually using his brain instead of fists for once.. and the bigger part was just embarrassed that she'd missed something so simple - she blamed it on her confused state. Even so she sticked with her words. A quid pro quo would have ment she'd gotten the chance to ask this Susumu person a question. And maybe learn what kind of place this was - and more important what kind of people lived there. Unlike Kyo, Nao actually cared for Komorebi - her home village. And having these strange people live so close, was seen as a big threat in Naos eyes - the least she could do, for the sake of her younger siblings at least, was to find out who they where...

For a short moment, she actually considered to stay and talk with these crazy strangers. But then, a flying man and tails n ears -that was just to creepy to stay around for.. At least she knew their names. Susumu and Sanja. That was something. And it was more than these wierdos knew about her and Kyo. Because she was pretty sure that nether him nor her had called out each others names.. Or mentioned anything about looking for their friends.. Nao smiled to herself. Once again she was impressed over his sharp thinking.. Well maybe it was kind of obvious.. And it was really just this Susumu who was stupid... Or was he just very sure about himself? Nao felt a shiver moved through her body, there was something sneaky with him alright... She looked at her feet and twisted a lock of hair around her finger - being quite unsure about what to do.

The reaction from Kyo made her surprised but also a bit more relaxed. He seemed unbothered by the flying man and the tails and ears? She came to the conclusion that it was probably just she who'd seen it. So there was something wrong with her eyes after all! Puuh that was a relief, for a moment there - Nao had almost considered believing in her grandmothers stories... About a village filled with youkai creatures. But naaah - that could not be! They started walking again. Nao rubbed her eyes and blinked a few times. She just had to ignore her vision right now - because clearly it was failing her. Even if she would come across a flying pig - she was not going to believe her sight anymore - but had no choice other than to rely on Kyo who thankfully did not seem to suffer from the same illusions as she did.

The girl with blue hair had joined them. Making Nao stop again, feeling quite "threatened" by the situation since they did not seem to let them leave... Why couldn't they just go away? It was not like she and Kyo where especially interesting people. He was just a troublemaker and she was just a boring school prez. "Do you even know your way back...?" the blue haired girl's voice was a bit too cheerful. Nao raised her brown eyes to get a better look of the girl, and almost lost her breath. She found herself to be incapable of answering the question - and instead she just stood in silence looking at the dreamlike girl. ears... and tails... sure.. But also eyes who made the sea pale in comparison, and long shiny hair in the same intense blue color. Flawless skin with soft and appealing curves. Maybe Nao was jealous? Her mouth turned in to a small tense line, and she turned away her gace - now following the movements of the 5 tails (which she told herself not existed). Ofc she was jealous. Nao herself could probably wear a bikini and still not have any sex appeal what so ever. She would always be the strict and boring school prez - and looking at her from another view was just comical (as in : was never going to happen) ....

“You need to work on your act dude. You sound way too annoying to hold an audience.” Kyo voice sounded.
"How about you show how it's done then? Lead by example, no?"

If the circumstances had been different, she would definitely had laughed by the "blue" girl's second comment. This one seemed smarter than the other tall man -Susumu- at least. She really nailed Kyo there, but Nao still had to speak her mind. Not that she was defending Kyo, but because she really just wanted to get away from them. Even if all the warning signals inside Nao where shouting and ringing - she found some courage in the thought / hope of Sanae and the others being safe...

"It's not we who are trying to hold an audience here - but rather you who are trying to distract us from leaving - right?" She took a step forward, really just "testing them" to see their reactions. And find out if her premonitions where correct or not.
"Why is that?" Her voice was not rude or anything, just her polite, honest and brave leader speaking - curious of their intentions.

The setting changes from youkai-street to Komorebi Village

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Susumu Character Portrait: Sanae Character Portrait: Izumi Nao Character Portrait: Orokawru Satogi Character Portrait: Yukiko Nakahara Character Portrait: Tsuyari Kazukai Character Portrait: Kyosuke 'Kyo' Andoh Character Portrait: Natsumi
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  1. Susumu attempts more riddles! He condescends and challenges Kyosuke.

    by cybernekokaito
  2. Sanae was going to go along with the group & follow the singing, but figured a crying woman was better to investigate and she... ditches her friends in the middle of the woods like a really smart person.

    by cybernekokaito

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speech: #c70000 || thoughts: #7a7676
Susumu cocks his head to the side after his riddle was answered correctly (and his performance was promptly insulted), the thought of just why these humans can see him in the first place never crossing his mind. He claps his hands together as though in praise, smile widening and eyes not quite closing, but slitting in a narrow way. The fox-faced man before the pair starts to circle around them, glancing back over to Tsuyari from now and again. These two looked absolutely delectable, and the energy off of young souls is tangible enough to make Susumu's mouth water. He stops behind them and puts his hands on their shoulders, swinging from side to side, taking them with him. He hums a little tune before he continues with his game.

Very good, very good. I hope you didn't cheat; that wouldn't be good. Not at all~ Let's see, let's see... What can travel around the world while staying in a corner? Three guesses again. The wager's still standing.

He reaches out to pinch a few locks of Kyosuke's hair, twirling it around his finger. It isn't meant to hurt him, of course, but the gesture is altogether a bit unsettling. His eyes, however, stay locked on Nao, as if waiting patiently for her answer. Such a smart girl, he muses, to have broken down my whole act like that. I should better myself from it!

He mulls over her words on not wanting them to leave, and he simply smiles, tilting his head to the side and raising a finger to his lips. He closes one eye, canines glinting along his toothy grin. 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? He inclines his head backwards, smile never leaving him, as he shifts his gaze to Kyosuke. Be a good boy and answer me, please~




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Sanae shrugs, nodding with Satogi's suggestion. The singing was, admittedly, pretty weird, it could be their friends trying to play a prank on them. So, naturally, the proper response would be to prank them back, right? So Sanae, ignoring whatever weird feeling was in her gut, nudges Satogi back and grins, then links her arms with Satogi and Yukiko. C'mon, guys! Up to the shrine we go! Follow that eerie singin', 'cause it definitely can't be Nao-chan or Kyosuke-kun, riiiight?

She giggles at her own sarcasm and starts to guide them up the path to the shrine, following the singing. A few moments pass, though, and Sanae's ears are filled with a different sound entirely—crying. The shrine maiden stops and lets her arms slide out of the grips of Satogi and Yukiko's arms, head turned in the direction of the weeping. What a... sad, sad noise. She feels her shoulders slump, and she frowns a little. Before she starts to step off toward the crying, she waves back at her friends. Heard somethin' over here, guys! Come along if ya like, but if not, I'll meetcha up at the top where the shrine is!

She takes off, not bothering to look behind her for whether her friends decided to follow her or not. She has to check this out, whether alone or not, because deep inside her, she can tell it isn't a trap. First and foremost, if she really were in danger by some spiritual supernatural being, she can bless and bless and bless until the evil is gone... but she does not sense any evil here. Soon enough, she steps up onto a hill and notices... a woman. Sitting and weeping, and it's a sad and beautiful sight both at once. She steps up to the woman, holding out a hand, as if to comfort her. M...M-Miss...? Miss? Is everythin' alright? Didja fall? What's wrong?

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Susumu Character Portrait: Sanae Character Portrait: Izumi Nao Character Portrait: Yukiko Nakahara Character Portrait: Tsuyari Kazukai Character Portrait: Kyosuke 'Kyo' Andoh Character Portrait: Rinu Amaya Character Portrait: Natsumi
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"What's the matter? I.. don't see anything. But who else do you think it could be?"

When he mentioned that it had to be the other two of the group, it eased Yukiko's mind, but she couldn't let go of the possibility that they may not have been the only ones in the forest and shrine. Yukiko could have exploded from embarrassment then and there when Satogi smiled at her and gave her hand a squeeze. However, there were more pressing matters, so she shook it off, quite literally shaking her head when he wasn't looking. Get a grip! Yukiko scolded herself, reminding herself that this was not a Shōjo manga, that there was possibly real danger ahead.

"Oh man, I think I hear Izumi! We should check it out!"

Unable to keep herself composed, Yukiko cupped her free hand over her mouth to muffle her laughter. She truly hoped that they would be able to get revenge, especially if Nao and Kyosuke were attempting to scare them for being enthusiastic about the Youkai legends. She didn't think it was fair to tease or judge others based on their beliefs. Wasn't the world so much more fun with a few extra ounces of faith and hope?

"I bet they beat us there already and got bored enough to try this. But, if we hurry around Sanae's route we can beat them back and prank them instead."

With a nod, Yukiko adjusted the bag on her shoulders before taking a deep breath. The fact that Satogi was excited enough to actually bounce in place like a child waiting for their ice cream made her excited to turn the tables on the others as well. Being in Satogi's and Sanae's company was infectious. Their energy managed to brighten her mood, even in a dangerous situation like this, "I don't see how they could get bored so quickly... Did they even attempt to look for Youkai..?" Before she could say anything else, her arms were suddenly intertwined with Sanae's and Yukiko blinked in surprise, but couldn't stop her lips from curling into a smile.

❝C'mon, guys! Up to the shrine we go! Follow that eerie singin', 'cause it definitely can't be Nao-chan or Kyosuke-kun, riiiight?❞

Yukiko felt her body freeze at the sound of the crying, normally she would not have investigated such a thing, but for some reason, she felt obligated to look for the person. Sanae freed herself from Satogi and Yukiko, and as the crying continued, Yukiko could not help but feel overwhelmed with sadness. The crying was so painful to listen to, the woman sounded so overwhelmed with grief... What on Earth could make someone cry like that... Yukiko thought to herself, almost completely forgetting about their search for Nao and Kyosuke. She even felt tears slipping down her own cheeks.

❝Heard somethin' over here, guys! Come along if ya like, but if not, I'll meetcha up at the top where the shrine is!❞

"Orokawru-Senpai, go with Sanae-chan in case the woman needs help... Sanae-chan can't carry her I'm sure..." Yukiko softly stated, before looking up the steps of the shrine. She had to see what those voices were. She HAD to investigate the song that the woman was singing in case it was Nao and Kyosuke. The fact that Sanae took off brought Yukiko back to reality a little, reminding her of Nao and Kyosuke not long before. If they all three went, it would do nothing for their quest for revenge, nor would it help them meet up with the rest of the group, "I'm just going to check out the shrine... We should regroup there, especially if the woman crying is injured." She felt her words held enough logic, so with just a smile toward Satogi, Yukiko ran up the steps that led to the shrine without another word. As she grew closer to the top, Yukiko grew nervous, letting out a soft sigh before looking around. The traditional setting was beautiful, that much was certain, "Izumi-Senpai? Andoh-san? Not funny." Yukiko called out as she began to look for life. Anything really. The voices, plus the singing? Someone was certainly there.

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"It's not we who are trying to hold an audience here - but rather you who are trying to distract us from leaving - right?"

Tsuyari tightened her lips, attempting to bite back the grin that was trying to form. This girl wasn't as dumb as most, and that alone made her interesting. There was also the fact that Susumu was interested in those of the male variety, so this one was completely unclaimed, she could have all the fun she wanted with her, for a while at least. Perhaps it would teach the kids a lesson about roaming where children were not supposed to tread? "Oh? Why would we ever try to do that?" Tsuyari asked with a quirked brow, her blue tails swaying playfully as she spoke. Her tone was innocent enough, but the mischief could not be hidden from her blue eyes.

❝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?❞

Susumu turning the riddles on the male gave Tsuyari the chance that she needed to have her own fun, especially as the human girl stepped forward daringly. The smile she had been holding back finally spread across Tsuyari's pale lips. Susumu-sama to the rescue~ Tsuyari chimed mentally, thrilled that her fellow Youkai was on the same page without either of them speaking a word to each other. Perhaps as Kitsune they had a bit more in common than she thought?

"Why is that?"

At the brown haired human's question, Tsuyari giggled a bit, stepping forward as well, closing the gap between them rather quickly, almost as if her feet had never even touched the ground at all. They, of course, did not, but unless Nao chose to look down, it wasn't exceedingly obvious, "Perhaps you two are interesting? Is it wrong to strike up conversations with tourists?" Seeing as the two girls were of similar height when Tsuyari was in her adult form, Tsuyari met her gaze easily and cupped the human's cheeks within her pale hands. She had no intention of actually committing to a full blown kiss, as it could drain the poor human if Tsuyari wasn't careful. She knew that the human was unaware of that fact and her reactions would be priceless, which was enough motivation for Tsuyari.

Slowly Tsuyari leaned in towards the brunette, her lips growing dangerously close to Nao's. The blue haired girl took in the brown eyes, could sense the nervousness she felt, it was almost like Tsuyari was hunting a deer in the woods. The human's brown hair and eyes reminded her of the skittish animal, and the girl was certainly adorable like a young fawn, "Let's get to know each other better, hm?" Tsuyari practically cooed as her lips barely brushed Nao's between her words. With a soft chuckle escaping her lips, Tsuyari let her slender fingers caress the human's cheek, gazing into her innocent brown eyes. Always a fan of taking things slow, Tsuyari's right hand trailed down Nao's cheek to her neck, admiring the girl's soft skin for a moment. Her blue eyes became half lidded as her fingertips trickled down Nao's arm, then snaked around the girl's waist to keep her from escaping...

Now that she had set the mood, she decided she wanted to go in for the kiss after all, as it would definitely bring out the strongest reaction from the girl she had in her clutches. Tsuyari licked her soft pale lips, then her lips claimed Nao's without warning. The fox had to remain calm, she did not wish to harm the human, only to stir her up a little. Her brave behavior was fun, and she looked forward to how the young girl would react to being kissed by another girl. That was still less common in human society, was it not? Tsuyari withdrew before she could lose control, giving Nao's bottom lip a soft lick with the tip of her tongue. Releasing her from her grip, Tsuyari licked her own lips, as if to only savor the taste of Nao's, "I'm Tsuyari, what might your name be? I'm pleased to make your acquaintance~" The blue haired girl stated softly, gauging the reaction of both Nao and Kyosuke.

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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Susumu Character Portrait: Izumi Nao Character Portrait: Tsuyari Kazukai Character Portrait: Kyosuke 'Kyo' Andoh
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Just after stepping forward, Nao changed her mind. Susumu looked a bit too guilty, shushing his lips with his finger while smiling. Maybe she could sense the danger that was about to come. And these people did not seem normal after all - teasing them might not be so wise. Nao swallowed and watched the two strangers with a suspicious expression. Susumu seemed to be the weirdest.. but the blue haired girl could be unpredictable as well. She could not let her guard down..

What happened next proved her hunches to be correct. It was like all the color disappeared from her face as the other girl stepped forward as well. With the speed of light and without so much as a sound. Even tho she moved quick and smooth, it seemed like the scene was playing in slow motion. Blue long hair hoovering in the air in swinging movements and her 5 tails wagging. Nao had to face the fight, flight or freeze dilemma - and it was the latest who kicked in. Every muscle in her body turned useless and there was nothing she could do to fight back. She was not very familiar with physical touching and after all, the "blue"girl was an intruder in her precious comfort zone. Even tho she was a girl, she was too close. "Perhaps you two are interesting? Is it wrong to strike up conversations with tourists?" Nao did not comprehend the words, since her brain was currently occupied with a blue enchanting fog - swallowing her from the inside. The new riddle also missed her attention. Even Kyos voice calling her "friend" was something she (sadly) missed out on. A gentle pale hand was placed on her cheek and Nao could not help but to stare into those azure blue eyes, almost like she was hypnotized or magnetized by them.

Maybe this was some sick way to make fun of her, for being a prude and stuck up school prez? A prank. Why in heavens would she do this anyway? The beautiful face of the enemy came closer and closer until her lips where basically brushing against Nao's as she spoke. "Let's get to know each other better, hm?" Nao started to wake up. How about no, she thought to herself and was just about to break free and turn her head to the side when a couple of soft fingers traveled down her arm - creating goosebumps where their touch still lingered and giving Nao a shiver. She froze once again, and before she even knew it - her lips was glued together with the strangers lips - in a kiss! If Nao's eyes had been big in surprise before, it was nothing compared to how they looked now, almost like they would pop out of her head. A very distinct blush appeared on her cheeks and her body was as tense and stiff as a statue. Even so - her lips moved along with the stranger's - against her will. Slowly, a bit distant and "spaced- out" as she was numb and almost in a zombie-like state. Luckily, the girl retreated and the kiss ended.

"I'm Tsuyari, what might your name be? I'm pleased to make your acquaintance~" Nao was shocked! She'd just kissed - a girl! A part of her was furious for having something so precious "stolen" from her without her consent. But her main feeling was confusion, and her brain did not want to process and admit what just happened. So when the girl introduced herself and asked for their names - Nao was in a spaced out "numb" auto pilot mode. Still under the "spell" of blue girls lips. After sharing something so intimate as a kiss, a name would not be so serious? Her lips almost opened by themselves to answer the question.

"Im Izu....--" she felt a hard jerk in her arm as someone dragged her away before she could finish her sentence. "What the hell was that back there?! Is that your idea of ‘handling’ it?!Why in the world would you let her do that to you?!” It was Kyo, and he seemed angry. However, this was excatly what she needed to wake up from her paralyzed state. Nao shooked her head, her strawberry blonde straight and "dead" locks tickled all over her face before she could scoop it away with her free hand, the one that was not being held captive by Kyos firm grip. As he let go, she looked up to meet his gaze. Her brown eyes was foggy and she really looked traumatized. Far from the strict and prude school prez she used to be, it was almost hilarious.

"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…"

Nao dragged her newly released arm to her, rubbing it gently as the sudden jerk and dragging still ached in her skin. Starting to get back to reality, she broke free from his blue eyes and gazed around her surroundings to notice how they where standing in front of a bar. "Rōzuu - ebu" the sign said, giving Nao a shiver. She closed her fist and raised her chin, collecting enough self control to answer her "friend" and explain her weird... actions.. She blushed just thinking about it, and how to put it in words. After a few seconds she felt ready to share.

"I have no such feelings, for your knowledge! And you don't say Sherlock... I suggest we get out of her. Tell our village council, and they will send out a search team for the others. Plus deal with these people as well. They don't seem.. normal. Cult members, circus people or just creepy. Whatever they are, maybe they will go to jail.. hopefully.. i dont feel safe having them so close to Komorebi"...

She rubbed her temples - feeling a slightly headache. This was just unreal. And even tho she should stay rational - her mind could not help but to think of her grandma's tales about the youkai village... Looking back at Kyo, she ignored those thoughts. IF they'd been youkai... He would have reacted? It was just Nao having illusions.. Simple as that.

"And i did certainly not kiss her, she kissed me!" Nao claimed while crossing her arms over her chest. "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. Don't worry Prez, your secret’s safe with me. Not that anyone would believe me." Nao twitched at his worlds giving him a sharp "warning" expression with narrow eyes, but did not bother to answer. Instead she reached down in the little pocket of her dress - pulling out her useless and very old cellphone.

"Maybe i can try calling the others... if they have their cell's with them ofc... huh?.. no signal?!" She mumbled, mainly talking to herself and bit her lip to prevent an annoyed sight from sounding.

The setting changes from youkai-street to Komorebi Village

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Izumi Nao Character Portrait: Miyako Mormeril Character Portrait: Mikado Sarubi Character Portrait: Kyosuke 'Kyo' Andoh Character Portrait: Chiyoko-Danuki
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Just as Chiyoko was getting up, Miyako came along with an apology. [color=#990099"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."[/color] With a light chuckle and a dismissive wave, the Tanuki-lady responded, "Oh, don't worry about it. You know that I'm up all night, so I'll definitely be back. You keep doing a good job, dearie." With that, she made to leave with Mikado, although she un-modestly walked ahead of him. It was merely a small gesture, but, there was definitely a message behind it.

However, as she was headed to exit, Chiyoko could hear what could have been an argument of some kind, from two unfamiliar voices. "... I suggest we get out of her. Tell our village council, and they will send out a search team for the others. Plus deal with these people as well. They don't seem.. normal. Cult members, circus people or just creepy. Whatever they are, maybe they will go to jail.. hopefully.. i dont feel safe having them so close to Komorebi." What bugged Chiyoko most was the fact that she couldn't recognize them. Chiyoko made it a point to remember a person's name when she happened to run into them, but, she couldn't pin a face or name on these voices. She just absolutely had to figure this out.

Emerging from the curtain, Chiyoko witnessed the two of them, two young people she didn't recognize in modern clothing, one of which was using her cell phone. It was not hard to make the assumption that they were humans, humans that were quite perplexed. Immediately, her Youkai nature told her that this was the perfect opportunity to play some mischief, but a rational side decided that she should probably approach this situation cautiously. It seemed as if her Youkai kin had already tormented them enough. Perhaps now was the perfect time to provide them comfort, like soft cheese on the mousetrap. Also, she couldn't allow them to escape if they were planning on contacting outside civilization about them.

Putting out her kiseru, she retrieved a couple leaves from inside her kimono's sleeve and using those, she changed her appearance in a puff of smoke. The changes were mostly minor, but, were intended to give her a more human appearance. Her hair grew out to shoulder length, her ears had disappeared, and so had her enormous tail that identified her. She also made herself look a little older, but, middle-aged at best.

Once she believed herself to be visible to the humans, she called out, "Ayiyi, are you having trouble with your phone, dear? Reception is really poor out in this little old place sometimes." Slowly, non-threateningly, Chiyoko approached the humans. "Seeing as I don't recognize you, you young folk must be from that one village over yonder, Korembi, am I right? Did you get lost this late at night? Only nocturnal animals and strange people wander around at night so deep in the forest, especially around this old place. Don't worry, though, because this old lady is willing to help. Ayi~, where are my matters? I'm just an old lady who just talks too much. You may call me Chi-Chi, that's what my grandkids called me." Smiling, Chiyoko offered a polite hand to the two teens. "And who might you youth be?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ryuunosuke Character Portrait: Susumu Character Portrait: Sanae Character Portrait: Izumi Nao Character Portrait: Orokawru Satogi Character Portrait: Miyako Mormeril Character Portrait: Tsuyari Kazukai Character Portrait: Kyosuke 'Kyo' Andoh Character Portrait: Tutsrugi Character Portrait: Rinu Amaya Character Portrait: Natsumi Character Portrait: Takumi Mizutori
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speech: #ebd212 || thoughts: #d6c969
Ugh. Just his luck. While he was trying to have a nice conversation with Miyako and his much loved Servant, Takumi had just happened to wander into the bar and spot him. When Takumi tries to get too cozy with him, he attempts to slide away, but Takumi catches him just in time. He grunts softly, not bothering to look over at Takumi. 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?

The prince had come to have fun, but that seems like too much of a pipe dream now that Takumi is here. He may as well just find any happiness he can glean from this unfortunate occurrence as well as possible. He keeps still for a few moments while Takumi practically rubs himself all over the prince before he gets tired of it, and he places a hand to the snake God's chest and gives him a shove — much too rough to be considered familiar.

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

Truthfully, there's one way that the prince could rid himself of Takumi — should he pretend to reciprocate the snake's revolting feelings, surely, he would be disinterested. The thought causes Ryuunosuke to shake. He would rather die.

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




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Susumu can't hide his disappointment when the teens run away, ears flattening and tail lowering. He feels inclined to follow them, to dance after the boy with pretty eyes and the girl with marvelous teeth. He takes a step, almost in a trance-like daze, to follow after them — wild, predatory instincts are taking over him, and he feels himself growl — before Tsuyari's sweet, girlish voice brings him back to reality. He shakes his head rapidly, like a dog shaking off water, and looks down at her, eyes wide and less predatory than they were mere moments ago.

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?

Though the humans, for one reason or another, did not appreciate the riddle in the slightest, Susumu is confident that Tsuyari will like it. He watches after the humans that ran and spot a... curiously familiar old woman chatting them up, and he narrows his eyes. Ah, what an unlucky folly these humans are. Instead of taking my bait, they took Tanuki-chan's. They'd be much happier with the likes of me — little miss's teeth would be put to good use, and I would treat the boy right. I wouldn't mind taking care of a blind plaything...

Susumu looks back towards Tsuyari and gives a gentle smile. 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? He laughs afterwards, but it stops abruptly.

Susumu's prey... was taken... by another Youkai...? That doesn't sound quite right. Doesn't that mean... they can be seen? It seems that it's taken watching someone else to realize the flaw. ... Tsuyari.




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speech: #d10000 || thoughts: #f55858
As they were attracting quite the crowd, Sanae steps backwards, closer to Satogi, and holds out her hand towards him, indicating she wants him to hold it. To say she was scared would be an understatement — two innocent teenagers, out in the woods at night, approaching a strange, crying woman and being approached by a totally different strange woman? This is like... scary movie stuff! Oh, God... me n' Satogi could die here! This could be it!

She feels a whine squeeze its way out of her throat, but she swallows her fear down bravely. The nice, crying lady wants to leave the other lady, it seems — so there's no way that she was here to set them up. Sanae looks from one woman to the other, clearly fearful and confused. Uh — have I ever prayed for the rain? Well... sometimes, I don't wanna go to school, so I pray for snow, but I dunno if I ever prayed for the rain? I do a lotta prayin', though! I'm a shrine maiden, y'see, so I pray a lot, an' I take care of the shrines, too! We were on our way up to one a second ago, actually, but this nice lady here's been cryin' up a storm since she got hurt... She pauses to remember what Amaya had said about the lady. Ya want us to get away from her? But... she don't really seem that bad? I think... if you will excuse us... we should get goin' to find our friends. We'll just take the lady along with us...

She takes another step back, hitting Satogi's chest with her back, and nudges him with her elbow to indicate for him to step back, as well.

I dunno yer name, lady, but... d'ya wanna come with us? I'll make sure ya aren't sad anymore! She gestures hurriedly to Natsumi.