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Youkai Street

Komorebi Village

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a part of Youkai Street, by cybernekokaito.

A small, forest village with light that leaks through the gaps in the trees.

cybernekokaito holds sovereignty over Komorebi Village, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

1,704 readers have been here.

Setting

It's a beautiful forest village. During the day, the light filters through the trees. During the night, the sky is dotted with stars, visible through the gaps in the trees.
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Komorebi Village

A small, forest village with light that leaks through the gaps in the trees.

Minimap

Komorebi Village is a part of Youkai Street.

22 Characters Here

Izumi Nao [26] "Should i stay or should i go?.."
Sanjakubō Kurama [25] "I have remained here since the dawn of creation and I shall endure until the end of time."."
Kyosuke 'Kyo' Andoh [25] "Man, I can't stand this place."
Sanae [23] "Oh! Were you talking to me...?"
Yukiko Nakahara [21] Some people wonder why I'm always in my house. I wonder what's so bad at their house that makes them always find a reason to go out.
Susumu [21] "You got a moment for a few riddles?"
Orokawru Satogi [20] "If you give me your number I'll give you a discount... alright alright, worth a shot at least."
Shohei [18] Karasutengu
Tsuyari Kazukai [16] While they are nice, what are we going to do about this? Interacting with humans constantly... That will be quite tiring.
Ki [14] "Is there anything that I can help with?"

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15 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tsuyari Kazukai Character Portrait: Izumi Nao Character Portrait: Kyosuke 'Kyo' Andoh Character Portrait: Miyako Mormeril Character Portrait: Susumu Character Portrait: Shohei Character Portrait: Sanjakubō Kurama Character Portrait: Sanae Character Portrait: Chiyoko-Danuki Character Portrait: Ki Character Portrait: Yukiko Nakahara Character Portrait: Ryuunosuke

...and 3 others.

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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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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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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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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...

2 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tsuyari Kazukai Character Portrait: Susumu
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ImageRunning off probably wasn't the most mature thing to do, not to mention she tripped on the way... Thankfully no one had seen her fall flat on her face, but it was still frustrating. but she never told Susumu to chase after her. She knew he had interests that were far different than her's, she could accept that, whether she approved of them or not. What she could not do was witness it, violence always triggered memories she did her best to keep buried. Just being in his presence made her wonder what her biological brothers would have been like at his age, but that wasn't enough to bring her to this moment, hidden in the alley. Feeling a slight breeze, Tsuyari takes a breath in and immediately feels a lot better.

However when she heard steps approaching, turning around to see Susumu kneeling. Her eyes fluttered for a moment, completely shocked by the prospect that he followed her. She shouldn't have been, because it wasn't exactly the first time, but the fact that he still did it was enough to bring a soft, appreciative smile to her lips. Friendship was not something she was used to, and the treatment she received from Susumu was even more rare. Part of her always feared that it would one day disappear, that he would grow tired of her and she would once again be severed from one of her kind. It was paranoid, but paranoia kept her alive this long.

❝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.❞

As his hand patted her shoulder, Tsuyari shook her head, "It's fine. I know who you are, Susumu-Sama." she replied in a quiet but direct voice. Their conversation was no one else's business, and she did not like people who pried into her personal affairs. She did not wish to have an audience. Her blue eyes softened a bit, "I do not like witnessing such things... I have my reasons." Did she wish to explain herself? Of course, keeping that big of a secret tore at one's soul, but she was unable to bring up the past so casually. Pity was the last thing she wanted, but if she spoke even a word about her hatred for violence, pity is what she would surely get. Tsuyari let out a defeated sigh. Susumu, despite his violent nature, was the only Kitsune she had a friendship with, if you could even call it that. She was fond of him, but she couldn't bring herself to trust even him with personal matters after everything she has been through.

❝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?❞

Not very fond of spiders, but Tsuyari had to give a little back, right? Tsuyari nodded, allowing herself to shift into her full Yokai form for once in a puff of light blue smoke, definitely the first time in front of Susumu despite the lengthy amount of time she had known him. Her baggy white dress was no longer baggy, but it was still decent and modest attire. Her blue ears twitched a bit in irritation, not exactly ecstatic to be in that form. but the last thing she wanted was a random Youkai nagging at Miyako or Susumu about a 'kid' being in the bar. A bar fight was not on her agenda, "Fine, fine... Let's drink." She replied with a gentle laugh, stepping out of the alley before he could say anything about her transformation.

5 Characters Present

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

5 Characters Present

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

5 Characters Present

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

5 Characters Present

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

5 Characters Present

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

4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tsuyari Kazukai Character Portrait: Susumu Character Portrait: Shohei Character Portrait: Sanjakubō Kurama
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Soft trickling water echoed throughout the high-mountain shrine, known to the humans as Kurama Shrine, which they weren't even sure why. Yes, as in this point in the human world that could mesh with the Yokai world much easier, the white haired man who sat listening to the water echoing now took great pride in it.

He stood slowly, graceful as the air itself, he walked through his small temple. His feet landed on the bamboo mat floors with soft thuds as he made his way around the corner to exit into the courtyard. It was small and it had an archway leading down into the mountain pass, a large cherry blossom tree, a small zen garden with rocks and sand, and other various flowers. If anyone were to see this, they would surely be impressed as it was all immaculately organized, even for nature. Everything was arranged for peak relaxation and connectivity to the Divine. A soft sigh escaped the man as a small squirrel rushed up onto his shoulder and whispered a message into his ear.

"Master Sanja, the humans. . ." Then it trailed off as it sprinted back into the trees. Sanja folded his arms as he sat on the stoop of his home. Humans. He mused a moment, how wonderful. Perhaps he should venture down into the village? No, no. He had a duty to his mountain. He had only left before for short periods of time, well spaced apart. He slid a purple headband into his way hair and took a deep breath. He was nervous, he was scared. He didn't like leaving. He took a glance at his tranquil temple home, the place he had guarded for centuries was like a hefty rock upon his back, he could not simply drop it and pick it up again. Yet, maybe just for a moment. Sanja smiled a bit and flew down into the forest.

He landed near Ki's host tree and wrote a message on a small piece of parchment, pinning it near her roots.
"I have gone away for a bit. Please be careful and mind the shrine until I get back, if that's not too much trouble." For although his unease was great, he had faith that if Ki would watch in his absence that he could relieve his mind if only for a night.

---

Sanja landed among the city streets, his head held high as if he were above the others near him, his eyes fiercely gazing straight ahead to his destination. Lesser Yokai who saw him murmured softly and quickly got out of his way. He heard some talking, a familiar voice echoing out into the streets from one building. It seemed to be a. . . Bar. He took a deep breath, reminding himself he might not leave the temple again, he stepped inside and immediately regretted it. It was crowded, it smelled vile and there was all manner of unpleasantness going on around him. His nose crinkled up in pure disgust as he sat at a table in the back corner.

He ordered Salmon Sashimi and Plum Sake. He perhaps should not have left, he missed his home. He made a quiet resolve, once his meal was complete, he was returning home.

5 Characters Present

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

5 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Miyako Mormeril Character Portrait: Shohei Character Portrait: Sanjakubō Kurama Character Portrait: Chiyoko-Danuki Character Portrait: Mikado Sarubi
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Mikado had been in the bar. The spider hostesses bar for that, and was waiting for his sake to arrive. Afterall, today was a important day and hence he had to celebrate it as such. He had not bothered speaking to the head of the bar instead dropping a flirtatious comment on one of the maids. of course she knew who she was and blatantly ignored it. There's not a lot of love for him nowadays, especially from those in power. Which is why he decided to bring some lackies with him, big bruty type oni who could do anything for the right price. He placed the 4 big creatures near him and outside of him, of course no one without consent could speak to him.

Before long, he saw a person who he hadn't expected walk in, Sanjankubo certainly a suprise him coming out of his temple. Though he had thought of speaking to him later on, as one of his customers needed something the mountain lord was capable of acquaring. He would have to pay a cautious visit to him some time soon, after all he's still Tengu. He was instead waiting for a certain person. Chibayuki-dono a women with influence. And women with influence is rare to come around, even in this day and age. He had read up on her and had saw how she gained all the power, through books is what he had summed up but of course he was wrong. Nonetheless, he saw this woman as a signature of power which he so desperately wanted to obtain. If negations' went well, there would be partnership. He couldn't let anything get in the way, not even the other pesky Youkai which is precisely why he had hired the Oni

As soon as the woman had stepped through the door he had offered her a seat, sliding out a chair for her. of course it was common curtsy to respect the woman, especially those older then you. He had indeed gathered all the information he could on the rather small woman. ''I welcome you Chiyoko-dono, please enjoy the sake and don't mind the rather large characters behind us.'' He had laughed rather awkwardly, as he offered a handshake.

''So let's get straight to business, I think you already know of my intentions but i'll explain them to you anyways. I wish to growth my business and power in the Underworld which I know your very influential in. If we could come to some sort of standalone I would enjoy that rather well.'' He smiled once again, before taking another round of Sake. Mikado had raised his glass with her shortly after as a toast to their meeting and celebration.

After this he had planned to go outside, and see what was going on. It was a beautiful night after all, lighted with many lanterns and game stools. perhaps he would even go out of his way to cause some trouble on this beautiful night, a little party never killed nobody right? Exactly what he would do was not planned, maybe scare some humans or maybe go pick a fight with the Tengu cockroach Shohei. This was all ofcourse, if this meeting with Chiyoko had ended before midnight. Some negations' are known to go on for hours of course until the parties had found some common ground. Either way he was determined to have a good night with Mrs Chiyoko aswell, as he kept on calling the made to bring her and him more sake. Perhaps this night might be better then he might imagine.

2 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Miyako Mormeril Character Portrait: Sanjakubō Kurama
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Miyako's day had started early that morning. It being Friday she knew that she's be opening Rōzuu~ebu earlier and that more people than usual would show up. Right after she had closed at 2am she had started rearranging the furniture to fit more tables. On week days the bar only had twelve tables out, most people sitting at the bar anyways. Honestly the place could probably fit fourty of the tables with enough room to move between them with the chairs pulled out. Once she had finished adding an additional 13 tables and chairs Miyako had headed out to get everything on the list Yukimi, Kimiko and Harumi had given her before they went to bed at midnight.

Though Rōzuu~ebu was originally just a bar about 600 years ago, after a lot of nagging from her regulars, she had expanded and hired on the three Yōsei sisters to cook and serve food as Miyako was a hopeless cook. The shopping had been easy since Miyako already knew what she was looking for. The menu had been the same for the past hundred years it was just the amounts that changed. Of course, there was always one or two things different since the girls liked to experiment, not wanting to bore the customers. By the time Miyako returned with the ingredients it was around 6 am and the girls had got to work on preparing stuff quickly. Friday and Saturday were always the busiest days of the week though even then there were usually tables empty, much to Miyako's disappointment. Of course, she couldn't blame anyone who did avoid Rōzuu~ebu.

A lot of Jorōgumo were known for preying on other youkai and being unnecessarily cruel. Though Miyako had lived in the town for a millennium it didn't change what she was and it seemed quite a few of the villagers avoided her still. As Miyako thought of this she had restocked the bar, making sure she had a few dozen bottles of her special Colored Rose Sakes. It was the main reason why her bar was even a little popular. Of course, only a select few knew she made it herself but it made her happy to see other people enjoy it. After restocking the bar she set about cleaning glasses and tidying up.


Hours had passed since Miyako had opened Rōzuu~ebu at 4 pm. She knew that she had yet to go greet some people who had arrived, something she always tried to do, but two men had gotten into a fight and she had had to throw them out and was still trying to clean up the mess they made as well as keep up on the drink orders. Once she had finally caught up she looked around to take stock of who she hadn't greeted yet. She noted a few people but the one who really caught her attention was Sanja. He very rarely came down from his temple and even then he avoided her and her establishment like the plague. As she watched Harumi approach him and take his order Miyako served a few more drinks and stopped the girl before she went into the kitchen. "What type of sake did he want?" The girl smiled at Miyako and replied with a cheerful demeanor. "Plum Sake Miss Mori!" Miyako nodded and turned away as the girl skipped off into the kitchen.

Grabbing a unopened bottle of sake and two clean cups she walked over to the table and set them down. "Welcome to Rōzuu~ebu. If you'd like one of the girls will try the sake before you. Is there anything else I can get you?" Miyako paused to watch his expression. Often times when people came in their first time they were wary of the alcohol and so she had to have one of the girls try. It was something Miyako did to make sure her guests were at ease and honestly, the girls enjoyed the free liquor. She waited only a second before going back to the bar serving a few more drinks.

3 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Miyako Mormeril Character Portrait: Susumu Character Portrait: Sanjakubō Kurama
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As he remained seated at his corner table, it wasn't an ordinary waitress who served him but rather the Madame herself. She poured his sake and welcomed him. He couldn't help but inwardly recoil, he wasn't one for coming out and definitely wasn't one for bars, or Jorgumo either. However he kept up his manners, as envoy of the mountains he could not risk bad face in public.

"Well, to what do I owe the honor. Being served by the Madame herself." He smiled coyly, almost taunting her. He'd never admit it but he was one for demeaning others, Yokai and humans alike, if he could catch them off guard and expose something to obviously cause him to seem better by comparison he would jump at the chance. Of course he'd never let on and to most his subtle egging-on was simply his own way of teasing and making conversation.

"Thank you for your most generous offer, although I am no newcomer to the ways of drinking and the subtle implications of it's after effects." He took one of the cups and sipped it slowly with a slight sigh. True enough, the drink was good even if the company was not. As she went away he made sure to make his surroundings known to him, he spotted Mikado, flanked by Oni mercs. Sanja frowned at their appearance, so blatantly ready for conflict it was sickening. How simple minded beings of their sort were, bash and smash, devour and pillage. The only Oni Sanja had ever known to be different was Prince Ryuunosuke. Mikado's type of Youkai was also a simple one. Ignorant and violent, without cause other than wanting to destroy and devour. This one in particular though was dangerous in that he desired knowledge, to raise him above his normal cloth. Sanja smirked wryly to himself in knowing he held what that man sought, how far would Mikado go to claim it?

Once he was satisfied with his drink he rose, leaving a good sum of money to cover his visit, and waved politely as he left. Thanking Madame Mormeril for the sake.

---

Sanja strolled through the streets of the village, it was rare indeed that he chose to leave his temple. Much had changed n the last hundred-odd years since he last left his home. Yet, coming down here made him miss the quiet his mountaintop provided. He stopped by a small shop as a trinket caught his eye. It was a small rabbit, made from cloth and stuffed with rice. It was a child's doll for sale. Normally such frivolous objects would never catch the Daitengu's eye, though he saw it and thought of his precious Ki back home.Without another thought, he purchased the pink and white rabbit doll and held it in his arms much like a child, as he meandered through the city. An expression of euphoric stupor on his face as he thought of how much it was different than before. He stopped at the center of the village and sat on a bench. He looked down upon the dolls blue-beaded eyes and chuckled. Look at him, buying dolls for his child. It brought him a bittersweet happiness that he had left. Still, the animal messenger had warned him that humans were about, which was why he had come down in the first place.

He would linger a bit longer, to see if the humans did indeed arrive. If not, disciplinary matters would be in order for that Squirrel. Wasting a Divine Tengu's time was quite unwise.

2 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ryuunosuke Character Portrait: Tutsrugi
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Walking down the many stone stairs that lay in front of him, Tutsurugi was keeping a perfect pace behind his master. He strode directly behind him, but not so close as to step on his heels, and not too far away to be considered disrespectful. Tutsurugi blindly followed Ryuunosuke to their destination, passing several lanterns, both modern and not, until they finally reached their destination. Before he knew it, his ever precious master turned toward him and said, ❝Imagine you were a thirsty royal with a taste for the finest of sake, Tutsurugi. 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?❞ Only before closing his eyes and shooting him a playful look did his prince continue, ❝Careful with your response, though—We may just disobey you, all the same, such a mischievous prince as We.❞

❝If this royalty is so thirsty then he should surely be able to lower himself and go to a place of such common birth❞, Tutsurugi said in an almost exaggerated joking manner. ❝But-❞ all of a sudden his tone and expression swiftly got much more serious, ❝-he should be well aware of his reputation, and the dangers that lurk in such places❞ Almost immediately after that sentence his returned smile to his face and he waited patiently for more words.

10 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tsuyari Kazukai Character Portrait: Izumi Nao Character Portrait: Kyosuke 'Kyo' Andoh Character Portrait: Susumu Character Portrait: Sanjakubō Kurama Character Portrait: Sanae Character Portrait: Yukiko Nakahara Character Portrait: Ryuunosuke Character Portrait: Orokawru Satogi 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...

2 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…

5 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Miyako Mormeril Character Portrait: Sanjakubō Kurama Character Portrait: Chiyoko-Danuki Character Portrait: Ryuunosuke Character Portrait: Tutsrugi
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Even if he hadn't meant her to Miyako had seen the small spark of what she assumed to be disgust flash through Sanja's eyes. Inwardly the gesture hurt more than she would of liked but both the kindness in her eyes and the smirk on her face had stayed still, betraying none of her emotions. Once she had returned to the bar it had only taken a few moments for Chiyoko to appear, causing a genuine smile to light up Miyako's face. For a few minutes they chit-chatted, Miyako telling her all three girls were in good health and giving mock offence at the suggestion of improving although she and Chiyoko had brainstormed possible improvement before. Once their usual pleasantries had been exchanged Chiyoko had mentioned work and Miyako promised to bring a bottle of her favorite Red Rose Sake in a few moments.

A few minutes later Sanja came up to the counter and paid, thanking Miyako for the food and sake (much to her suprise). Taking it in stride she had taken the payment and wished him a good night. The moment had almost been distracting enough for her to miss Ryuunosuke entering and sitting in the same table that Sanja had been at and Yukimi had just cleaned up. One of the girls emerged from the kitchen to take his order but Miyako stopped her with a shake of her head. "Kimiko tend the bar for a moment." The girl looked shocked for a moment but quickly regained her composure and skipped towards the bar.

Making her way over to the oni prince and his servant she let an easy smile slide onto her face. Giving fake pleasantries to him just felt wrong, and she honestly was happy to welcome him into her bar. Reaching the table she waited a moment for both of them to move their attention to her, not wanting to interrupt. The moment passed quickly and as both looked to her her smile brightened a bit. "Welcome Your Majesty. What can I get you?"

5 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tsuyari Kazukai Character Portrait: Susumu Character Portrait: Sanjakubō Kurama Character Portrait: Sanae Character Portrait: Orokawru Satogi
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❝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!❞

The new girl's cheeks immediately flushed and she waved her hands frantically, "Y-You're very pretty, Sanae-Chan! Don't say that about yourself..." Yukiko stammered, attempting to reassure Sanae that she was beautiful. However in this case wouldn't it have been better to not be? Marrying a Youkai... that didn't sound safe no matter how it was put. Though it was an interesting thought and it did spark her imagination. She couldn't help but wonder if they really would force human girls to be their brides if Youkai were real. Wouldn't female Youkai be more beautiful?

“Let’s leave this to a professional, Squirt.”

While she did not have the courage to speak up to Kyosuke for how he treated Satogi, Yukiko glared a little at the blond's back nonetheless. Seriously? A professional flashlight holder? If that's the extent of his skills... He's doomed. However, shortly after the thought crossed her mind, Yukiko shook her head banishing them. She knew what it was like to be mocked.. Even if it was only in her head, she knew that it was wrong. As her father often stated, she did not have to stoop to another's level.

“All the cautious chickens can stay back here. I’m going on ahead.”

Hmph.. I'm not scared... I just would rather be with.... Yuki thought to herself, shoving her hands into the pockets of her jean shorts. Stealing a glance at Satogi, she smiled a bit. Totally content with being deemed a 'chicken' if it meant she could walk behind with him, Yuki smiled at Sanae as well. The company she was left behind with was not that bad. Thankfully Sanae and Nao were present as well or she might have not had the confidence to stay behind with him. She would not admit it, but the fact that Kyosuke was leaving them behind honestly did not bother her all that much. Though when Nao ran ahead chasing after Kyosuke, Yuuki opened her mouth to warn her not to split up. Words did not form, as Nao disappeared in the darkness before she made a peep.

"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!"

The mention of a Romcom caused Yuki to blush, but she really couldn't help thinking Nao could do better. Keeping her rude comments to herself, Yukiko nodded after a moment. She began to wonder if Satogi liked Nao. If he did, she would support that choice, she had no right to be jealous. She was only the new girl after all. She was content with just being included like this. If she ever realized that she was no longer content, she would definitely do her best to make sure that this became enough, it had to be enough, "What if someone interupts your romcom because you want to ruin theirs..? Karma is a scary thing.." She had to bring it up, a firm believer in Karma and the like. She had always been a bit superstitious after all.

❝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...❞

While she was not scared of this whole hunt to find Youkai, Yukiko immediately stopped for a moment realizing that Sanae wasn't really sure where Nao and Kyousuke had ventured off to. Looking for Youkai was fine, but getting lost in the forest was a scary thought, one she did not wish to humor. To avoid being left behind, Yukiko sped up to catch up to the other two, just in time to almost completely crash into Satogi when he came to a halt. She managed to skid to a complete stop a few inches behind, then stepped back to give him personal space.

"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."

Was it wrong to not mention that she had a flash light in her bag? Probably. Would she miss out on the chance to hold Satogi's hand without making it obvious that she liked him? Not a chance. His hand extended out invitingly brought a faint blush to her cheeks, but in the dark she was convinced that he and Sanae wouldn't notice.

❝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.❞

When Sanae took Satogi's hand first, it took a lot of the pressure off and she nodded her head in agreement, "If it's for safety then it should be okay.... Protect us well, Orokawru-Senpai." she stated in a soft manner. However after Sanae took his hand, she began to lead Satogi off . Yuki quickly rushed to catch up, taking Satogi's other hand in her's when they were in reach. She did not want to get separated from them. If she was alone in the forest at night, she'd surely lose her nerve. She was more afraid of the possibility of wolves lurking around rather than the legends about the Youkai though..

Now that it was quiet, all that she could think about was the fact that she was holding hands with Satogi. Sure, so was Sanae, but that didn't bother her that much. The fact that she was able to hold his hand was plenty enough to make her happy. The warmth of his hand, everyone's steps snapping twigs beneathe their shoes now and then. The moonlight that barely trickled through the forest. She planned to embedd all of this within her memory permanently. This was likely going to be the only time she would be able to be close to the boy she liked, she had to enjoy it while it lasted. So close right now... I'm so glad I came... Even if we don't find Youkai, I'm holding Orokawru-Senpai's hand!

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Image❝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.❞

His compliment toward her original form brought a pout to her lips and Tsuyari closed her eyes with a sigh, "Yeah, yeah... It's a pain in the ass though..." Tsuyari responded, crossing her arms over her chest sheepishly. It wasn't comfortable being in this form. Even though there was a physical comfort to no longer using energy to hide her appearance, there was a mental discomfort that severely outweighed the perks, "Attracts too much unwanted attention." She explained, not fond of the same 'relations' that her fellow Kitsune often enjoyed partaking in. Did that mean she did not like hugs and affection? No. She simply preferred platonic relationships over anything. Besides, she had never feel attracted to anyone based on looks alone. She had to get to know them first, there had to be more than a sexy bod in front of her to stir feelings. However, Tsuyari did not want any such feelings to ever stir again. Trusting someone with that much of one's own happiness was simply a dangerous roll of dice every single day, and she absolutely hated gambling.

❝Well, if I liked girls, that is. Come on~❞

His words did elicit a brief snicker from her, "I'm flattered, I assure you." She replied with a shake of her head, knowing very well what gender attracted Susumu. The compliment was not shaken off so easily because of his preference, but since it was still Susumu, she didn't think too far into it. He was almost like family after all. Even if he did not have his affections towards males, nothing was worth jeopardizing where they stood now. Tsuyari was more than satisfied just to spend time with another Kitsune. Tsuyari glanced around as they continued on toward the bar. Tsuyari couldn't help but smile, a serene expression on her face as she followed behind the older Kitsune. While incredibly different, she couldn't imagine life without Susumu in it. Being around one of her own kind was very comforting. Susumu was also quite easy on the eyes, but what she liked most about him was that he seemed to have a plethora of challenging riddles at his disposal. While she too was a Kitsune, she mostly spent her time scaring young kids out of the forest before they could get too lost to return home or protecting Ki's host tree. Her mischief was not very harmful, and she did not know any riddles aside from the very few she got correct during her time around Susumu, and they were by far the easiest ones. After the first two, her chances of guessing right sufficiently dropped. It was extremely embarrassing, but learning the answers was well worth it.

❝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!❞

Running into Susumu was not on her agenda, so she used her hands to keep a fair distance between them when she nearly crashed into his back. Tsuyari blinks when she realizes what caught his attention. Once they were in a respectable distance to converse with Sanja, Tsuyari's eyes landed on something very curious indeed, "Rōjin-sama.. why do you have a bunny? Is it for Karasu-san?" She asked in a very straightforward manner, though she realized it was likely for Ki, she did like to poke fun at Shohei since he was younger than her after all.

❝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~ ♥❞

Conflicted, she simply nodded her head. If she admitted that she did not know the answer, she would look stupid, but if she lied and pretended that she knew it and Sanja by chance did not answer correctly, she would look stupid if they challenged her to answer it since she 'knew' it, "Working? Is it broken?" Tsuyari asked curiously, her ears twitching as she spat out her first thoughts without filtering them. It often made her come across as cold and rude, but honestly she was just used to speaking freely.

3 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sanae Character Portrait: Yukiko Nakahara Character Portrait: Orokawru Satogi
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Satogi was thrilled that both girls agreed to his suggestion, but he couldn't help and let out a confident chuckle at the mention of him being a protector. He went along with Sanae and pulled Yuki behind him to keep them all together as he closed his eyes in a drastic fashion with his nose raised like a nobleman. The next words he spoke were in English to copy a line he knew from European literature.

"For sooth! Thou art under my care, young princesses!" Satogi wasn't the best at English pronunciation in class but for someone with terrible grades he did rather well. That being said, an actual English speaker would probably have brained him for that line.

Moving through the woods after that was a little tricky, as they all had to remain connected. Otherwise it was a nice hike into the deeper parts of the forest. It would be nearly half an hour of small talk and endless walking before Satogi looked up at the sky, more specifically the moon shining down between the branches, to orient the group.

"... Uh, Sanae-chan? I may be wrong but... I don't think this is the right way." With the moon rising from the east, he clearly had his direction set with it to one side, but now they seemed to be walking straight for it instead. He was puzzled, unsure of where they were actually going at this point.

5 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tsuyari Kazukai Character Portrait: Izumi Nao Character Portrait: Kyosuke 'Kyo' Andoh Character Portrait: Susumu Character Portrait: Sanjakubō Kurama
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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...

4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tsuyari Kazukai Character Portrait: Izumi Nao Character Portrait: Kyosuke 'Kyo' Andoh Character Portrait: Susumu
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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.

5 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Miyako Mormeril Character Portrait: Shohei Character Portrait: Chiyoko-Danuki Character Portrait: Ryuunosuke Character Portrait: Mikado Sarubi
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It had been some time now, and Mikado had fallen into deep conversation with the older Chiyoko. Things had taken a unexpected turn with her, as if she had all of a sudden changed personalities in the midst of lifting her pipe. In unison Mikado had raised his and took a toke before listening to Chikyoko-dono's reply."I think you're sorely mistaken if you think I'm the one you're looking for," Mikado had raised a brow at the answer, not expecting it at all he was unsure of what to do next. Until he saw the expression she had formed, this was the expression of ''Your about to get told otherwise, now listen up good amateur.'' Was this ladie really a fragile grandma?

"No, I know what you want, what you're looking to do. What you're mistaken about is how you think the underworld is run. Yes, I am indeed one of the most influential members, and indeed, I can make things happen according to my whims, but... Well, the underworld isn't some great big organization with any true structure. No, it's a free place, run by Youkai who simply decide they're not going to go by rules arbitrarily set up by someone else." Mikado had formed a smirk of his own, she indeed did know about her underworld, she was most likely right about her statement. Mikado's knowledge had been vast of the underworld, but certainly not a shred too what this woman knew, no this was no old ladie. This was what we like to call a monster in disguise, she had taken the cover of a fragile grandma but underneath that hood was a true beast. Mikado looked at his sake for a moment, before letting out a brief sigh with a quiet giggle following it. He hadn't bothered replying, instead looking at Chiyoko signalling for her to go on. Afterall, he wanted to hear all of it.


"Indeed, my power is great, but I'm no empress. I don't put a stranglehold on others and tell them what to do. I'm simply good at meeting people interests and benefiting them, and they do favour for me in turn. It's all about mutual benefit, a force that is the strength behind all interaction, from the bar to the bedroom. Us Youkai are all interested in ourselves and only ourselves, after all. So, do as you please, because I won't stop you... unless, of course, you are in the way of my interests... And likewise, be helpful to me, and I'll support you, like the good partner that I am."

Mikado took in a deep breath, this woman was certainly no amateur. He would've been disappointed if she was, after a brief moment Mikado had finally formalised a reply in his head and placed his pipe down then looked Chiyoko in the eye. ''You see Mrs Chiyoko, i'm a man with a ambition. A man with a dream you could say to gain power over the underworld, ridiculous as it may sound to you. Indeed, it is no organisation, but what if it could be turned into one.'' He picked up his pipe once again before letting go another cloud. '' I, ofcourse am talking about taking it for my own, the most influential members of the underworld all allied. Wouldn't that just be a joy? Each of them having their own followers and admirers blend in with one another and i guess you could say it would become my very own kingdom. What do you gain in all this? You don't seem like a woman who craves power, if you don't mind me saying. You instead seem like a woman, who was a born leading power not craving power but which i could offer you of course. Enough about my rambling though, please go on.'' He placed his pipe down once again, and called for the waiters for another round of sake for the both of them.

"Although, we haven't had a chance to properly get to know each other, hmm? I mean, I know you know much about me, just as I know much about you, but as like-minded individuals, we should really understand each other better. For instance, I'm a big believer in tradition and upholding your family's values. My father before me was honest with his money-lending practices, as am I. Of course, my father was quite the mischievous sort, and I, too, like to follow in his footsteps sometimes. Of course, you've read all the storybooks so you know how it is. Of course, what I'm wondering if you have the same values. Do you find upholding your family's values to be important?" Mikado had been surprised once again, this woman most likely knew about his grave past which he so hardly had tried to dig up. Yes, this was the woman he had been looking for Chiyoko-Danuki. ''Oh whatever do you mean, Chiyoko-Dono.'' Mikado had played the innocent clueless boy, he ofcourse had to hear what she had to say maybe his suspicious were for naught.


"Yes, I make sure to give some attention to honoured names, and if this old lady's memory holds, the Sarubis were once a ruling family of some kind, even if not for very long. Still, your family's actions are quite ambitious, and as shown by the evidence, the ambitious Youkai is much more dangerous than the fickle one, willing to do whatever he can, use whoever he can, in order to get what he wants. If it's power he wants, he's going to do whatever it takes to keep it, regardless of who suffers." Mikado had sat back in his chair, relaxing his arms on the chair. He's suspicions had been confirmed, this woman had indeed known about his past. She had done her research quiet well, he believed that this information was unobtainable-but fate always seems to find away . Still, he knew she was old but this old he had not yet expected. ''That you are right in, Chiyoki-dono the ambitious Youkai is indeed much more dangerous, which is why i've grown wear of you in a matter of moments. Afterall, are we so different from each other Mrs,Chiyoko. Though i will commend you on finding out about my past, it's not everyday that my skeletons in the closet are revealed.'' He had leaned in once again, picking up the fresh batch of sake.

"So tell me,Do you have any intention to uphold your family's values? Because if it's power you seek i won't hesitate to protect my own interests.''
Mikado had lowered his remaining eye, this woman certainly did have him on the ropes he would have to find a way to gain her favour and trust because it would seem it certainly couldn't be done in a old bar like this. ''I'll be upholding values, Mrs,Chiyoki though calling it my familys i would say would be abit of a stretch as these ambitions are none other then my own. As for you intrests, if a alliance between our two parties was to form it would most likely be in your best interests i would say. And i Mikado Sarubi, am a man of my word or so i like to say.'' A wide grin had formed on the face of Mikado, this arrangement wasn't going to be sorted today it would seem it would have to be a number of days. Mikado had to gain the favour of this woman, no matter what the cost. What he had to do, was earn her trust. And what better day to build trust then today, a festival of street laterns and such. Mikado stood up and slid in his chair, then walked over to Chiyoki and extended his hand. ''Well, Mrs Chiyoki i'd like to take our conversation in to some other day as i believe the nights too old for it to be resolved right now. How about we go parade the festival and see this as a moment of enjoyment, rather then business. Well?'' He had formed a strangely friendly smile, which wasn't common on his part, but he ofcourse had to get the ladie's favour. Though he was certainly weary, he had some unwanted visitors in the bar. The oni prince and his slave, they had probaly seen him or even overheard him so he had to make his way out of the bar soon aswell. Though he was more focused on Chiyoki to say so.

6 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tsuyari Kazukai Character Portrait: Izumi Nao Character Portrait: Susumu Character Portrait: Shohei Character Portrait: Sanjakubō Kurama Character Portrait: Ki
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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?”

8 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tsuyari Kazukai Character Portrait: Izumi Nao Character Portrait: Kyosuke 'Kyo' Andoh Character Portrait: Susumu Character Portrait: Shohei Character Portrait: Sanjakubō Kurama Character Portrait: Ki 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!

3 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Chiyoko-Danuki Character Portrait: Ryuunosuke Character Portrait: Mikado Sarubi
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Chiyoko stayed quiet after Sarubi person made his offer, continuing to smoke thoughtfully. This man wasn't vague about his intentions, meaning he clearly wanted her to trust him, yet, it appears that he hadn't done as much research as he thought he had. Otherwise, he would have known about Chiyoko's best interests already, and what he just admitted was a big no-no according to her views. It seemed that he wouldn't be deterred, however, and was indeed set on his ways. They both knew it was going to take a little bit more negotiation before they could have an agreement, and Chiyoko was debating exactly how much he'd be willing to compromise before he decided to do things the hard way, something Chiyoko was already considering. Mikado was either going to be a great friend or a greater enemy.

For now, however, Chiyoko was going to take him up on the offer to be civil. After all, civility was one of Chiyoko's greatest traits. "I suppose I should take this outside, indeed," she replied at last, examining her kiseru. "And besides, looks like I'm not worthy to be within these premises anymore," she added sardonically, of course referring to the Oni prince that entered the bar. A rare sight, indeed, and it concerned Chiyoko slightly. Why that pompous, elitist knucklehead was placing himself among the common folk like a decent person for once was beyond her. Sticking around, looking obviously shady and dealing in shady matters could not have been good actions to continue while he was around, that foolish prince who's so self-convinced of his keenness that he even fathoms them being rivals, as if they were on equal footing. Chiyoko knows that she has confounded him on many occasions and continues to do so, while he tries his best to catch up and fool himself into thinking he has the upper hand.

Taking the man's hand graciously and allowing him to escort her up, she suddenly decided to address one of his company-men, the Oni who have been so patient as to be there so respectfully. "It's nice to see that you're in good shape, Chiba. I hope your economic situation is doing better. And the rest of you, thank you for being so patient. I really appreciate it." With a kind smile, just like that, Chiyoko was back to being that kind old lady that she was when she walked into the bar. She took one final drink of sake before offering her hand back to Mikado, grinning. "Shall we, young man?"

15 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Izumi Nao Character Portrait: Kyosuke 'Kyo' Andoh Character Portrait: Miyako Mormeril Character Portrait: Susumu Character Portrait: Shohei Character Portrait: Sanjakubō Kurama Character Portrait: Sanae Character Portrait: Chiyoko-Danuki Character Portrait: Ki Character Portrait: Yukiko Nakahara Character Portrait: Ryuunosuke Character Portrait: Orokawru Satogi

...and 3 others.

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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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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!