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Old 03-16-2019, 01:42 AM   #31
Seikon
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Daisuke was already slightly annoyed with Keiko. Having not had alcohol in some time, just moments after consuming two cups of the sour beverage he could feel its warmth take him, loosening his inhibitions in the process. It was something about the way she said it, that snippy attitude that made him angry enough to insert himself on Aizawa's behalf -- the old man was simply curious, and it would have been helpful to have even the slightest extra scrap of valuable information before they would venture off into the wilds.

"--And you have, my lady. We'll find this dog of yours, you have my word."

He made a note to ask one of the girls about meeting with the resident butcher as he held his cup out again for the wine bearer. When she came around, he whispered a hushed thank you to her. Reclining back in his seat, he turned his free hand over, revealing an empty palm and gesturing at the feast which had been laid before them.

"Won't you dine with us, Lady Keiko? I'd hate for us to stuff our faces while you watch, I can't imagine it would be a pretty sight for you."

Daisuke was under the impression that Aizawa was simply humoring her for the sake of obtaining information, but if Keiko really was who and what she claimed to be, he wondered if she needed to eat at all. He figured if the wine had been poisoned, he'd already have found out the hard way. One thing was certain: he wasn't touching any of that food until someone else did.
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Last edited by Seikon; 03-16-2019 at 01:57 AM..
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Old 03-16-2019, 02:25 AM   #32
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A dog!?

Something bright lit up the hue of the Hyousetsu boy’s eyes when she mentioned they’d have to go after a pup. Echizen, actually, loved dogs. Like the small child he was, his fingertips drummed against the table in a moment of glee before he choked back the excitement. Removing hands from table top – that was rude, right? Having your hands on the table, or was it elbows? – the young man made sure to keep quite while the adults continued to discuss their course of action. He didn’t want to be too weird about things, so intended to keep to himself for a little bit longer, especially after the way the Golden Oracle looked at him when he even opened his mouth to speak – it was intense. Echizen couldn’t deal with intense.

So, instead, the caramel skinned boy began to sketch.

Cracking open a miniature notebook pulled from the depths of his sky blue haori, diligent hands clasped a simple pencil as Echizen took detailed notes about their surroundings. It was something he often found himself doing to pass the time, or just to keep record of important events that may be best revisited in the future. Illustrating a quick and intricate portrait of the Oracle, the dining hall, and all who occupied it, he scribbled scant notes where he could fit them. Almost engrossed by the process alone, Echizen’s ears perked to some of the specifics mentioned about her lost companion and what they could do to, possibly, tame said beast.

Compliments and food sounded easy.

I-is the forgemaster still...around?

This was sort of a question allocated to his own interest, blacksmith to blacksmith:

M-maybe they could provide–

–But that’s when his stomach grumbled to the sound of Daisuke’s inquiry.

Right, the food. Echizen understood why everyone was being so cautious about it, due to the prospect of poison and what not, but at this point the shinobi of Sunagakure had all ready had his fill – REFILL even – of wine. That, and also, Ren had – wait, had Ren drank, too? He was so used to seeing the Jellyfish inebriated that he was now just assuming he’d been drinking this entire time. There was too many people to keep up with and Echizen was almost to the point where he didn’t want to deal with it anymore. So, taking the biggest leap of faith:

The young Mist kid ate.

He was hungry.

And a growing boy.
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Old 03-16-2019, 03:00 AM   #33
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When Daisuke brought up his inquiry about her eating, Keiko actually rolled her eyes, before she put her head down into a lazily raised hand. It was more like her fingers holding up her forehead, then she let out a breath and sat back up in a straight position.

"Young man, I've been at this long enough that I don't have the patience to humor your unfounded paranoia. My girls are joining in this feast that is meant to be for your benefit. You should be happy, and yet you think that for even the slightest moment I would even bother to have ill will against you."

She smirked, but it would be hard to call it a face of amusement. It was as if she didn't know how to make the expression anymore.

"If I didn't want you here, you would have never made it in. If I wanted you dead, you would be buried already. You are neither the demon you should all fear, or the dragon you think you are. Impressive, for your age, but merely that. Do not wear on my hospitality, take the pure soul's example."

She pointed a finger at Echizen as he ate.

Mei smiled at Daisuke and winked, "Don't be so serious, sir. This is the relaxing part."
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Old 03-16-2019, 03:37 AM   #34
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Daisuke could feel himself blushing, not only out of embarrassment, but blood boiled by a flash of fury. Seething for a single beat, he exhaled through his nostrils hard and let the muscles in his face relax into a wry smile. His eyes danced back and forth between Echizen and Mei before he nodded at the Witch.

"And so it is."

He again raised his cup, this time in an informal gesture that honored the room, and drank deep.
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Old 03-16-2019, 10:27 AM   #35
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Just when I think I'll be safer out here
By picking up the pace, covering ground
Something is looming, wicked in these clouds
and calling me back
Where will I run when all these winged things circle over my head?
When you're young in the wild, living in denial
You'll never survive

"Sengo-san, right?"

"Aye, son. You here to kill me?"

"That's the short of it. What do you know about fate?"

"Enough to seclude myself, perhaps."


Ren had given the party the slip, with all the clumsy ease of a shinobi. Rather than risk detection by performing an act of ninjutsu in front of the Legendary Green Ghost and whatever the hell Shipori-san was, Ren instead turned to Mei and begged her quite graphically for a restroom, least he mess up the pretty golden ornaments with a spray of - - anyway, she let him out of the room. But maybe she knew. Maybe the Oracle knew why he was here, too. Maybe all the threads of fate were immutable, and whatever he was planning on doing was all part of it - - kill the man, or don’t. Warn the man, or don’t. Follow the path set on his dreams, or not. Did any of it matter? Would it all lead to the same path? An eclipse that brings the end of the world…

Anyway, killing a dog was certainly out.

Ren had scurried through the golden palace, tracing his fingers against the wall as he moved to keep himself oriented, his boots slapping against the wooden floor, occasionally clinking against a golden inlay on a stair or a panel on the floor with a demon’s scowling face. This Golden Oracle - - maybe it was a series of succession. They just picked the girl with the biggest [censored], when the old one lost her beauty and severity. Maybe Mei would be the next one - - with her [censored] she’d be able to rule for a long time. Or maybe it was some kind of magic, some otherworldly ghost on that throne. Either way, she was surprisingly sweet enough to give him exactly the information he needed, even if it came out a bit mockingly. A woman like that was Ren’s favorite - - coy, playful, powerful. After the end of the world, maybe he’d come here to offer some of his own tributes. A man has to die someday, after all.

Nari had warned him to use today like he’d want to use tomorrow, so Ren was exploding through the shrine, stopping only to offer a half bow or a waggle of his brows at the shrine maidens he might come across, until he was out on the grounds and quickly making his way across dew-sodden dirt and moss, up stone staircases and wooden railings. It lacked the pomp and circumstance of the temple proper, but he could feel the heat in the air, as if he was being lead by a single red line of fate. Or just running towards the sound and heat of a burning blacksmith’s forge.

And then he encountered the man with the scarred eye, puffing a pipe. Larger than he had expected, muscular. Maybe even younger, since he had imagined an old grandpa or something.

"Sengo-san, right?"

"Aye, son. You here to kill me?"

"That's the short of it. What do you know about fate?"

"Enough to seclude myself, perhaps."

I didn’t bring my sword. You ever seen this?

He held up his cursed gauntlets, the reminder of his sins, and nodded at the man.

Konkaji-make. Of course. I studied with the Konkaji in Stone in my younger years, I was just a boy the--

Listen, no time to wax poetic. I’ve got a young Sennin-type and a creepy old man that would probably rather kill me than let me kill you. Can you break this curse? I’ve been having dreams, man. About you. I’m supposed to make sure you reforge that old samurai tart’s sword.

He clicked the gauntlets together. “I killed The Flame, Konkaji Senmitsu, and he cursed my soul with these things. Said if I don’t learn to fight with honour. I’d end up like him. But I also remember a life where he’s an impossible threat, too powerful for a man like me to take down. A life where I’m just a nobody, getting my ass kicked by the Water Shadow and being spit around from boat to boat. Doesn’t make any sense, right? I can’t let you repair that sword. I have to set fate right. Let's work together. Nari said...Nari said I might like you. An' I like her, so I'm gonna trust her.
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Old 03-16-2019, 10:01 PM   #36
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Shipori listened to Keiko roast Daisuke with ease, and it brought a thin smile to his lips. Perhaps, after all, more common ground existed between the two of them than he'd seen before. Keiko had put an end to the negotiations – Shipori found no reason to push their luck any further with nothing to gain. While Echizen started to eat, and Daisuke soon after, Shipori pushed food around his plate and saw fit to engage in idle chatter with the miko at the table. He planned to finish this meal and guide the shinobi to the hunt lest Keiko change her mind and pull the looming noose tight about their necks.

Ren left.

The realization came as the meal drew to a close. Shipori performed a quick count of their party, and then of the miko when Ren showed as absent; perhaps he had run off with one of them. But, they were accounted for, even the Mei girl that Ren had been orbiting since their arrival. Shipori weighed some quick calculations.

Let the boy dig his own grave, Shipori had already grown bored of chaperoning him.

He nodded to no one.

Well, then, the evening is still young, and time remains of the essence. If everyone has a full stomach, I propose we take our leave and find the Lady Keiko's lost dog.” Shipori himself had finished half a single serving of food, hardly more than a snack. He stood with a heavy lean on his ogre-headed cane. “Let us be about it, and have it done before bed time, hm?
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