It is the month of January in the Taisho era, a brand new year for you. Currently standing at thirteen years old you are considered to have lived a blessed life so far. In this age, much like many in the past there’s notorious rumors regarding the likes of demons. The public has yet to prove the existence of such creatures but these urban legends spread wild throughout the entirety of Japan. One in particular is that nobody should be outside when it is dark for that's when the demons seemingly attact. With mysterious disappearances and unforeseen circumstances that can only be documented as supernatural, it is no wonder why the urban legend has spread like wildfire throughout the eras.With each era these rumors worsen and become more credible. In addition to these rumors is another revolving around a secret task force set out to eliminate these demons. They are dubbed champions of the people despite not being an officially recognized military. In fact one has to wonder if such an imperial task force actually does exist? Regardless, these individuals are told in foretells to comfort little children who are scared of the urban legends relating to demons. Naturally when you were young you believed in such notion, but as you become older you started to be more skeptical on the matter having not seen them. For now this is the start of your story. What happens beyond nobody knows, but whatever comes your way you’ll face it with an iron resolve and steadfast determination. Speaking of stories….>Who are you? >(1/2)
>>3877509>Asura HimuraA boy coming from a long line of traders and merchants. Despite your family’s profession you have lived rather comfortably in the woods without a single issue. After all, you live right next to a tranquil town down the mountains in the middle of Osaka. You are the eldest brother to a family of four children and your mother. While your dad has unfortunately passed away, you have done extremely well being the main provider for your family as a merchant. With your acute sense of smell you have successfully managed to avoid danger through the years. That said, you were still taught many things from your father prior to his death from sickness including the basics of swordsmanship.>Nyoko YamamotoA girl orphaned at a young age due to unforeseen circumstances but managed to survive in the wilds. You are an only child with no clear understanding of your heritage or how you ended up in the mountains. Thanks to a special muscle condition and living in the woods, you developed an impeccable sense of touch among other natural defenses. Although raised by nature and its woodland creatures, you have on numerous occasions encountered a strange man wearing a Tengu mask. Through his help you learned enough of the outside world to be able to read and write much to your annoyance. More importantly, he provided the foundation for your self-taught fighting style through numerous battles. >Einosuke KazamaA boy who is the only grandchild to the famous Hanzo Kazama, a former shinobi master and one of the Four Hitokiri of the Bakumatsu. Being the grandson to such a great man and the last living relative to the Kazama family resulted in you living a harsh life. Training countlessly at a young age you were entrusted with a lot of responsibilities and ordeals to overcome, including inheriting the legendary battojutsu style.Through blood, sweat and tears you honed yourself to the best of your abilities, going as far to even achieve a very acute sense of hearing. Despite the grueling training, you were motivated to meet the expectations of those around you, including your long time rival and fellow senior who to this day has yet to truly acknowledge you. >Byakuren ShimizuA girl coming from a long line of shrine maidens/priests and fortune tellers.You were blessed with special eyes upon birth that were further honed during your duties. Originally born with a weak body, you prematurely died as an infant but came back seemingly stronger and healthier after your parents prayed to the shrine guardian. Stationed in Kyoto, you lived your entire life helping your family and learning what it means to be a Miko, including learning the Kagura dances. Your mother died when you were young, but you and your single father managed to keep the family business afloat. With your younger siblings and older sister you lived a rather comfortable life. That being said, you secretly dream of traveling outside the region and explore the world. >(1.5/2)
>>3877512>Masaki KurosawaA boy coming from a hard working single mother without any single trace or knowledge of your father. Because of her profession as a chief, often were you exposed to countless ingredients and chemicals. In addition to inheriting a love for cooking, this predicament led to you developing an exceptional sharp sense of taste. Due to reasons that were unknown to you, your mother disappeared without a trace, leaving you in the care of a buddhist monk. Surrounded by other children, you found yourself quickly becoming a close nit-family despite the lack of blood ties. During your stay you committed to learning from the monk in order to not only protect yourself but your younger siblings as well. Of course for some reason you can’t help but shake a forgoing feeling that has been following you since childhood. >(2/2)(Made a slight miscalculation on how big this opening would be. My apologies.)
>>3877574>>3877581Looks like Byakuren is going to win.
>>3877515>>Byakuren ShimizuInteresting viewpoint.
>>3877574>>3877659>>3877665>>3877581>>3877676>>3877684>>3877686>>3877706On this bright sunny winter morning everyone was slowly rising up from slumber to tackle the new day. Currently you lie underneath the thick futon huddled against the fabric while continuing the deep slumber. The sounds of the Red-crowned Cranes squawking out in the distance typically served as a fitting alarm clock. Waking up even the most stubborn of animals, you briefly stick your head out of your cocoon like futon to look out the window. Through narrowed eyes it was simple for you to perceive your surroundings.Outside was what can only be described as a winter wonderland. Pure white snow as far as the eye can see blanketing the ground and trees in its majesty. The orange sun briefly appearing through the sky. A sight that wouldn’t last long due to the weather changing up to be rather cloudy later in the day. At the moment you can't bring yourself to really care since it was still freezing cold outside. Your little sister Emiko was currently outside brushing the stairs to the shrine. No matter what the weather or condition, the Eda Shrine currently run by the Shimizu family will continue to run. That was the family motto, one of which you rather dislike on days like this. Seeing everything you wanted to see for a morning wake up, you slink yourself back into your futon. Once inside you returned to slumber. Ironic for someone who was named after the whiteness of your hair to be so disinterested in the cold. The name Byakuren carries the signs of love from your parents, a memento from your late mother, but it also served as a reminder to your miraculous rebirth. As a baby you were constantly still and quiet as though asleep, almost as if you were going to die. Therefore, it was only fitting that your family who were built on divination would seek to do a ritual Kagura dance in the safeguarded spot in the cave. Bathing in the purified waters of the cave shrine said to help cure illness and purify the body just like the legend of the shrine’s protector Izanagi. In that brief moment you momentary went into premature death only to then come back to live with snow white hair. People to this day were baffle to how this had happened. Was it divine intervention, a stroke of good fortune, a natural abnormality or some other unknown reason. Either way, it was a miracle to your parents and further convinced your grandmother that you were destined to continue the family’s legacy.But that was for another day, right now you were about to receive a rude awakening courtesy your little brother Keiju via tackling you against your cocoon defenses. >Politely ask your little brother to come back later >Retreat inside your futon fortress and go back to sleep>Bribe your little brother with candy to leave you be.>Noogie your brother into submission>Other [write-in]
>>3877754>Noogie your brother into submission
>>3877754>>Retreat inside your futon fortress and go back to sleep
>>3877757+1 establish a family that we care about to kill them later yes good good
>>3877757>>3877764>>3877786Ain't no motivation quite like tragedyWith a loud thud you felt your nine year old brother landing hard against your stomach. Eyes bulged out in comedic fashion from the uncomfortable predicament. Just for a moment you felt your eyes going dim, signifying that the sweet whispers of unconsciousness was beckoning you forward. What pulled you out of returning to slumber was rage. Rage that was balanced by your half awakened state, creating for a sort of tranquil fury. “Rise and shine sis! Just cause its winter doesn’t mean you can get out of chores. Emiko and I are not your scapegoat.” Keiju declared, unaware you already risen up from the cocoon. Suddenly a cold chill begin to brush against his spin, alerting him of the dangers that he brought upon himself from disturbing your slumber. “G-o-o-d M-o-r-n-i-n-g K-e-i-j-u.~” In a creepy monotone you hummed to your brother, clenching both hands into a fist to drill against his noggin. Your superior size and drive made it child’s play to overpower your kid brother. “Hey! Ow Ow! Quit it Sis! Haven’t you ever heard of don’t shoot the messenger?!” Keiju said, trying to appeal to your voice of reason. Unfortunately you were far too agitated to listen to reason. “..Have you heard the saying wake not a sleeping lion-dogs?” You replied back with a mixture of snark and cranky wit, still drilling your hands into his head. After a while did you finally decided to stop and drop him to the floor. Giving you enough time to yawn and adjust your eyes to the sun. While you have much better eyesight than most, it didn’t help that flashing lights for instance were one of your banes. Keiju rubs his side, trying to act tough and not show any signs of weakness. Though, deep down you knew your little brother was a bit of a crybaby. “Anyway you should be thanking me that I was the one who woke you up. Had grandma or big sis Sakura been the one to find you, you’d most definitely be singing a different tune.”(1/2)
>>3877795Briefly you glance at your little brother after he mention those two. He wasn’t wrong considering that grandma Guren was pretty much a hardass through and through. If she found you, you’d be dragged by the ankles for some additional training to purify the slacking nature out of you. As for your older sister, she knew precisely how to get under your skin without the need for violence. No, she knew how to mess with your ego entirely with her subtle yet condescending words. Despite being much kinder and sympathetic, it didn’t change the fact she was lethal when she wanted to be. “Don’t be a smartass.” You argued, pinching Kenju by his cheeks. At this point you were wide awake for better or worse. Keiju winced from your blatant bullying as he quickly conciedes. “Besides Grandma is far off on her pilgrimage, she won’t be back till spring.“ “Yeah,yeah. Just remember what you have to do today Byakuren.” With that you watched the spiky black haired Keiju walk out of your room arms crossed behind his back. Thus, leaving you to your devices as you dropped back onto the floor. Aside from practice you needed to work on the shrine and deliver stuff to town. Unlike your father with his fortune telling, or Sakura currently taking the role of head miko, you were expected to handle delivering goods such as warding charms and sacred bells among other duties. You were thirteen now but it still feels like you’re being treated like a child. >Do Kagura practice first before anything else>Put off practice for now and head to the shrine>Go meet with your younger sister Emiko>Head into town with the supplies and do your job>Other [write-in](2/2)
>>3877804>>Do Kagura practice first before anything else
>>3877804>Do Kagura practice first before anything else
>>3877823>>3877843>>3877848Now left to your own devices you take a moment to reflect. Thinking about it now you briefly recall on a certain memory. A memory from your late mother who was teaching you the Kagura ritual for the Suitengū Spring Festival and late in the summer the Water Festival. A noble tradition that has been the heart of the festival for nearly a millennium. It was a means to show appreciation and gratitude to Mizu no Kamisama. By doing so it reassure a year of good fortune for all, especially with ensuring safe, easy childbirth and protecting children in general. It was the duty of the Shimizu family to keep these teachings including the Kagura alive. That said, given the conditions of the weather, one is also expected to learn the Shimizu family’s breathing style. Through such arts can one be able to perform the Kagura dance for hours on end without becoming dehydrated or negatively impacted by their surroundings. It is also said to help retain stamina among other benefits as the user becomes one with the flow. Because of that your mother Sayuri made sure to pass down the art to you and her children. The rest she left to her husband and her mother to ensure fruition. With a serious look on your face, you quickly pull yourself from the floor. It wouldn;t take long to complete the morning rituals before donning your Miko attire. An outfit composed of a white hitoe jacket with detachable silk shoulder seans, black sleeveless kosode or sweater, a very long dark blue hakama pants known as nagabakama, white tabi socks, a red obi sash and muna-himo strings. Once fully dressed you then tied your silky snow white hair into a long ponytail to complete the outfit. In the past you needed your older sister or parents to do the job, but now you could do the act blindfolded. A sign that you were no longer that of a child. Strapping on your winter shoes and blue haori coat you turned your head to the side. Taking just one final look at your home, slowly making a smile on your face. “Mother, I’m heading out now. Wish me luck.”After leaving the Shimizu estate you made your way to an open field around the temple grounds. Your little sister was taking care of cleaning up the stairway while your younger brother helped father gather supplies. As for your eldest sister, you weren’t sure where she was currently. Either way, you dedicated yourself to committing towards daily Kagura practice, starting with some stretches to get the body in motion. Even without your grandma around, you could still hear the echoes of her lecturing you in proper Kagura etiquette. It was a notorious chore but what can you do. You are your mother’s second born child after all. >Start with Qigong breathing exercises>Focus on your footwork and acrobatics>Practice wielding the wooden bell sword>Do the bare minimum with the steps and quickly go through the motions>Other [write-in]
>>3878113>>Start with Qigong breathing exercises
>>3878113Wooden bell sword
>>3878113>Start with Qigong breathing exercises
>>3878115>>3878277>>3878332Before getting into the meat of the Kagura dance you decide to tackle the foundation first. In the many years since you first began learning your family you were taught how to properly breathe and to control your breathing. By mastering this art one can truly become Mizu no Kamisama. At first you thought that something that easy to do would be practically effortless to master. After all you’re constantly breathing so there was no need for concern. Such foolish nativity quickly became your undoing once you put it to practice.Not only did you have to learn how to breath properly but you were expected to take deep breaths without losing concentration. A full breath is necessary in order for every cell in the body to receive the benefits. Through this method your natural capabilities receive a boom while the spirit is stabilized and energized. Therefore it’ll allow you to maintain a continuous flow of invigoration while lessening the fatigue toxin to a stage where one can potentially “dance” forever. Easier said than done as you came to learn over time.To properly breath took far more strength than you were accustomed to doing and doing it in session made it even harder. Every time you gotten the poster and/or method of breathing wrong your grandma would hit you hard in the stomach. Painful as it was it taught you that your breath need to be still as water if you were to truly become one with the flow. Considering you have been doing this since the age of six you believed yourself to be rather good at qigong. Sure you weren’t your elder sister or your mother but you were confident that you can do the ritual yourself. Still, practice makes perfect and today was no different. Returning to basics you begin to take a deep breath, letting the oxygen flow through every point of your body. Only when it fully embraced your entire body you slowly excel, removing any impurities from your body in the process. After that you started to repeat the process again and again. Repetition was key in developing the method until it becomes second nature, or so what your grandma told you. Deep breaths Byakuren, just keep those deep breaths steady and focused. Closing your eyes for better concentration you slowly transition into taking proper breathing form. Relaxing your upper body while bracing your lower half was essential to maintain perfect harmony. Although...you feel like you’d be having a much easier time if it was in the warmer seasons. Don’t ever let your grandma here you say that. >Continue your Qigong training and hone it further>Switch it up by practicing the Kagura Dances and improving footwork>Focus on improving your stamina and dexterity by running through the forest>Take a break and rest>Other [write-in]
>>3878616>Switch it up by practicing the Kagura Dances and improving footwork.
>>3878616>Switch it up by practicing the Kagura Dances and improving footwork
>>3878631>>3878642>>3878769Part of it may have been due to morning grogginess but you ended up having a slow start before finally getting into the rhythm. At least each time you committed to qigong breathing practice it became easier than the last. Just seven years ago the process of deep breathing for a minute left you coughing and wheezing from the attempt. Now in the present, the worst thing it did was cause minor annoyance from the repetition. Of course, you can deal with repetition in exchange from getting smacked in the gut, especially f it was grandma Guren that was hitting you. Yet she has the gully to say that your Miko training is the humane version of what she had to go through in her time.An hour of qigong practice in the snow was enough to satisfy you from continuing any more. With your body more invigorated the feeling of grogginess and lethargy was gone. Despite your grievance being awakened in the early morning it quickly became a thing of the past after a good long session of qigong. That said, it would still be more preferable to do these kinds of things in the spring where it wasn’t so cold. Although that kind of thinking would surely end up biting you in the butt if you choose to half-assed your responsibilities. A true Shimizu doesn’t let adversity get in the way of their duties. And you’re no exception to the oath. Once you have gotten completely under control you decide to dive into performing the Kagura dance. Whenever you committed to practice you envision the memories of your mother performing the ritual. The Shimizu family due to their profession and training developed sharp, keen eyes. As observant as a hawk yet perceptive like the owl, there was nothing that went unnoticed in the Shimizu’s watchful gaze. Rarely there wasn’t a single memory that wasn’t burnt into your mind. This was both a blessing and a burden of the Shimizu family that serves as a key part of the core foundation of their precognition ability. A double edge sword if you will. For now, you relied on the memory of your mother to guide you through the steps. Following each movement step by step, letting yourself become fully inversed in the Kagura dance. Clearing your mind of all other distractions, the motions of your body slowly become more fluid and smooth. The Kagura dance required precise movement and solid footwork to draw in both the people and the respective kami...even if you never actually seen one. Regardless, the process of becoming Mizu no Kamisama was quite an ordeal. But one done right you felt yourself becoming freer than any creature on the planet. Like you were truly one with the flowing essence around you.(1/2)
>>3879194Again if it wasn’t due to the coldness of the snow you felt like you could perform the Kagura dance more gracefully and efficient like your mother. On the other hand, you surely didn’t have the same mental fortitude to be able to perform such beautiful choreography without your winter garb like your mother. More likely the cold would’ve distracted you to the point of losing footing and disrupt your breathing. You were finally a the stage where you can perform the breathing technique simultaneously with the Kagura dance.You weren’t quite like your elder sister let alone your parental guardians but you still took pride in your achievements. But it would still bemore beneficial if you could freely perform the Kagura dance from start to finish without any prep time or the need to protect yourself from the cold. >Continue with the Qigong and Kagura dance, polish them further.>Switch to practicing with the wooden bell sword>Take a break and rest>Call it for the day and head to the workshop to pick up the supplies>Check up on [write-out who you want to see from your family]>Other [write-in]
>>3879197>Switch to practicing with the wooden bell sword
>>3879238>>3879247Repetition over time helped you developed the footwork and acrobatics needed for the Kagura dance. Snow or not you were performing well even if it wasn’t at your best. Still, if you were to keep at it until the Water Festival you’re confident you’ll be able to do the job perfectly. Heck, with enough devoted practice you’ll be able to take your sister’s place in the Suitengū Spring Festival instead. For that, you’ll need to prove your skills to both your father and grandma, so you continued to practice. Once again you set yourself to follow the motions of your mother and kept up the pace. Eventually, after a good hour of dancing and acrobatics, you decide to head to where you believed where the sacred artifacts were stored, including the wooden bell sword. The wooden bell sword’s actual name was the Nanatsusaya no Tachi, or ‘Seven-Branched Sword’. Unlike the original, it wasn’t made out of a special alloy said to be bathed in the bask of the sun. Instead, it was a wooden sword made out of a sturdy sakaki-tree branch along with other materials including wisteria flowers. For obvious reasons having the actual sword out during practice was a horribly stupid idea. Even now having a copy of the ceremonial blade in its metallic glory raises a lot of concerns even in the imperial capital and required a series of documental permission to use without issue. That’s why it is usually was more practical to use the wooden sword variation instead.Arriving at the storage you quickly made your way inside to look for the Nanatsusaya. Narrowing those crimson eyes you easily spot the wooden sword in the distance. It was a multi-layered weapon with many spiked handles to the side. Without them, the weapon would appear no different than an ordinary katana if only slightly longer. Slowly walking towards the ceremonial blade you reach your left hand out to grab it from the handle. Gently pulling it out from its container you ake a moment to reflect on the beauty of the sword. Just from a single glance alone, you were awestruck by the fine craftsmanship of the weapon. Clearly this was the spark needed to continue with Kagura practice.(1/2)
>>3879342Once outside you begin swinging the blade, causing the crystal encased silver bells to jiggle accordingly. It produces a rather soothing sound that was easy on the ears. Unsurprisingly the sword was noticeably heavier than you would normally expect a wooden sword to be. Yet again it reinforced the value of your lessons and daily training. Otherwise, you’d feel yourself losing a noticeable amount of stamina jut from a few swings. This was exceptionally more evident when performing the swings and poses with just one hand. Diligently you kept at getting the handle of using the sword in conjuction with the dances. Although somewhat unsightly you were becoming more and more like a proper miko with each session.>Continue practicing what you know so far>Head back home for breakfast>Go back to storage and pick up what you’re supposed to deliver to the village>Reflect more on your family history in the archives>Take a moment to look at your surroundings>Other [write-in]
>>3879344>>Head back home for breakfast
>>3879344>Go back to storage and pick up what you’re supposed to deliver to the village
>>3879344>Head back home for breakfast
Sorry for the lack of updates, the weather was quite bad and knocked out my internet for the day. I'll make up for lost time later today.
>>3881721when are you gonna update?
>>3882301In 20 mins, or however long takes to write out the next update. I was setting up so I can commit to the rest of the day pumping out some progression into the story and/or family dynamic if you so choose to spend time with them.
>>3879351>>3879780Getting into the swing of things you felt yourself becoming closer to that of Mizu no Kamisama. Against the slow start in the beginning you were finally getting into top gear. Just a little bit more.. Each step pushed you further until suddenly a loud grumble soon broke your concentration. With a loud thud you find yourself flat on your bottom as you slowly returned to reality. It was only natural that with how much you exert yourself that your body requested nourishment. Spending roughly a couple of hours practicing the Kagura dance and Qigong breathing was time well spent. The dawn has long since passed but thankfully it was still morning.There were a lot of things that needed to be done. So you couldn’t spend the entire day continuing to improve your skills. Still, you weren’t exactly happy over the abrupt interruption. “Ugh, come on!”You sighed before kicking the snow like an angry weasel. Only after letting off some steam did you find yourself regaining composure. With another deep breath you pulled yourself off from the floor and start walking back to the storage shed. Making sure to brush off the snow clinging on your body you slump inside the shed. After putting the Nanatsusaya back into its respective spot, you begin to make your way back home.The hike from the main shrine to the family’s estate also served as good training. Jogging from point a to point be served to teach one the importance of conserving stamina and controlling one’s breathing. You have to wonder just how much foresight your ancestors have put into integrating their teachings into every single activity. Not that as you are now did the jog cause any noticeable inconvenience. Not when you can remember that an early age you struggled against making it down to the halfway point as a little child.Easily clearing the ordeal now certainly gave quite the confidence boost for you. That is so long as you don’t recall how your sister did it effortlessly even as a child. Or how your twin siblings were making substantial progress in completing the basics. It was hard to say if they were more talented or as your grandma puts it “you’re just a natural born slacker with no real drive”. Harsh as it was, she wasn’t particularly wrong. The only thing that really drive you to learn the Kagura dances was the memories of your late mother and recognition. That said, there was still a lack of motivation to truly commit to the craft. An empty feeling. (1/2)
>>3882635Your elder sister can easily fulfill the role of successor to the Shimizu family. And with your younger siblings blooming in their own way, was there really any reason for you to follow tradition? To not instead seek to do something more with your life than just being cooped up in the middle of nowhere? Kurume was a comfy place to live, but when hearing about the stories of Tokyo from your family and pears, you couldn’t help wanting to at least see the capital of japan. If fate was different, you’d be from the Tokyo branch living the wondrous life. As you make your way back into the front yard you see your sister Emiko having already finished cleaning the pathway. Perhaps you should give your baby sister a pat on the head and some candy for her hard work.Turning to the side you notice there was a noteworthy stack of wood logs and other necessities.Seems only natural that your smart aleck baby brother was hard at work providing for the family. Being the only son in the Shimizu family carried a lot of responsibilities yet he never once complained about it. Despite your relationship you were naturally proud of your brother. That didn’t stop you from playfully teasing him from time to time. “I’m home.” You calmly shouted, stepping inside the house before kneeling down to take off your shoes. You didn’t bother cleaning the snow off since you got a delivery to do after breakfast. Making your way from the entrance you casually walked to the kitchen. Even without your sharpen eyes you could already perceive what was taking place just from the silhouettes. Inside was a tall middle aged man with a very long samurai ponytail and golden eyes. His smooth white complexion just oozed with charisma and serenity, showing a noticeable resemblance between you and the man. It went without saying that this man, Kenki Shimizu is your father. Currently he was stirring the pot with the majority of the food already set up. Hearing your footsteps into the kitchen he quickly turns to you to greet you with a warm smile. “Welcome home Byakuren. I take it you finished your morning duties?” Kenki asked, returning to the pot after confirming it was his second born child. “Yeah dad. Once again I practiced our family dances and breathing exercises. Even though I don’t see what the harm in missing a single day. Especially when it's freezing cold outside.” You argued, heading to the table to start setting things up for the old man. Emiko and the others were bound to come soon, so for now you were alone with your father. (1.5/2)
>>3882704Letting out a small chuckle, Kenki slowly closed his eyes while giving you a reassuring smile. “Just cause your grandmother isn’t here with us doesn’t mean you should slack off on your duties.One day you’ll become a respectable heiress to the Shimizu family. Your sister will be inheriting Lady Guren’s role as overseer, leaving you to be in charge of the Kurume branch. In addition, you’ll need to be a supportive pillar for the twins Keiju and Emiko.“ You only responded with a pout towards your dad easygoing attitude.>Talk to your dad about your family history and the importance of the Kagura dances>Have a one-to one chat about mom>Bring up the fact you’re unsure if you want to be a Miko and much rather travel the world instead>Help out your father while pointing out he sounds like grandma>Ask your dad to read your fortune for good luck>Other [write-in] (2/2)
>>3882720>you sound like grandma>traveling the world
>>3882720>>Help out your father while pointing out he sounds like grandma>Bring up the fact you’re unsure if you want to be a Miko and much rather travel the world instead
>>3882720>Have a one-to one chat about mom
>>3882758>>3882743“Are you sure you’re not grandma in disguise?” You asked, coldly shooting your dad down with your face still in a pout. He could only chuckle awkwardly while feeling the cold stare coming down from his little girl. Despite your current attitude you decided to still help your dad by setting up the table. He may be a doting if not overly protective father but he was still a reasonable man. Especially when compared to your zealous grandma.“Seriously both you and grandma keep telling me about my duties and responsibilities all the time. I think I got it stuck in my mind like a mantra. I’m thirteen now, I’m no longer a child. So you don’t need to keep treating me like”“You might see it as me being overly cautious but I’m just looking out for you Byakuren. You know I won’t always be here to guide you. As healthy as I am currently despite my age at some point my life will come to an end. As do all things in life. I’m not afraid of death, especially not when your mother went ahead of me to the promised land. “ Kenki smiled softly, taking a moment to cool down the fire underneath the pot. Hearing your father spoke so casually about the cycle of life and death made you tilt your head in shame. “Dad…I” Before you could get the chance to speak further, you would see your father quickly resuming having a much more cheerful expression over the somber look in his eyes. Without even saying a word he can already tell the rising anxiety coming from you. “Don’t go preparing eulogies yet. I have no intention of dying anytime soon. After all I did promised your mother to live for the both of us and share many stories when my time comes. Also..” After ensuring the pot was safe to leave unattended, Kenki slowly approached you. Continuing to not making any eye contact, you avert your gaze to the table. Soon you felt the warmth of your father as he suddenly hugs you. “I can’t exactly leave the most precious things to me behind. My children.” Wrapping your arms around your father, you tilt your head slightly up to meet your father’s stare. “I just don’t know if being a miko is really cut out for me. I’m not like my sister Sakura who is clearly more blessed than me in the art. Nor do I have the same kind of passion as my mother or grandma. Even Emiko is more like a traditional miko than myself. So...in my heart, I feel like I’m much better off suited to traveling the world. Maybe then I’ll be able to find what’s really out there for me rather than continue being weighed down by my family duties.” (1/2)
>>3882957“Listen to me Byakuren, your mother and I, all we truly want for you is to be happy. To live your life to the fullest without regrets. Our family has been blessed with divitation since the beginning. Although we dedicate our gift to helping out as many people as we can through our duties as Geki and Mikos, it doesn’t have to be your role as well. You’re still young and unsure of what you want to do in life. It does me proud to see the woman I loved resonating through her children during the Kagura dances. But I know deep down she wouldn’t be happy if you were forced to walk down the same path as her instead of it coming from your own desire. “After saying those encouraging words, Kenki proceeds to kneeling down and holding the sides of your arms. Seeing his reassuring smile did lift your spirits but you were still filled with indecisiveness. “How about this? I’ll talk to Lady Guren about you wanting to go out and see the world. Disguise it as a pilgrimage to broaden your horizon and put things in perspective. In exchange, I want you to seriously think about what you want to do in life. Once you have a firm idea, then I want you to give it your all to honing your craft towards that goal. If you can do that, then I know you’ll shine brightly like the moon.” Once he gave you another warm smile, Kenki briefly closed his eyes. Afterwards, Kenki slowly leaned over to your ear, hand covering his mouth as he transitions to a whisper. “Though you should still dance in the water festival at least once to help put things into perspective. If nothing else it’ll make all those practice sessions carry value, as well as help convincing your grandmother about going through with the idea.”>Hug your father and thank him for being so understanding>Playfully jab at your dad being mischievous about tricking grandma guren>Reflect about your mother and ask your father if he really thinks you’re the spitting image of her>Embarrassingly pull away and try to stand firm with being treated like an “adult”>Other [write-in]
>>3882977>Hug your father and thank him for being so understanding
>>3882977>Playfully jab at your dad being mischievous about tricking grandma guren>Hug your father and thank him for being so understanding
>>3882977>hug and thank dad>then pull away
>>3883003>>3883018>>3883421>>3883743>Hug your father and thank himFor a moment it seems as if time would just stop around you. Here you stood listening to your father comforting and reassuring you from your dilemma. Had it been your grandma she’d pushed more training onto you to wash away these feelings of doubt and uncertainty from you. Just thinking about what sort of training she’ll put you through momentary turned your face pale. Still, it didn’t stop you from picking up his answer to your. Not only did he accept your decision without hesitation but also trying to help you like a responsible parent. Just like that a massive weight seemingly disappeared from your shoulders. Truthfully you expected that your father to be more adamant and against your request.Sure he married into the Shimizu family therefore shouldn’t be strongly invested in your role unlike your grandma but he was always a man that carried a strong sense of duty. He carries the foresight to know precisely the importance that the Shimizu family carries and what needs to be asked of them. After all, his occupation was currently a Yamabushi or ascetic hermit. Keen insight and boundless wisdom comes with the profession, especially when making a living telling fortunes and giving advice.Out of all of your family members, you felt like you could talk about anything with your father, especially with your mom being gone. He generally knew the right way to handle a problem and adapt perfectly to the personality of the individual. Quickly flooded with emotions you felt yourself just about to burst. Without hesitation you respond to your father’s comfort through hugging him by the waist. It would take a lot of effort to keep yourself from crying but you managed to do so by burying your head against your father’s robe. All that anxiety and self-doubt was melting in front of such tender care. (1/2)
>>3886257Briefly showing signs of shock, Kenkei quickly bounce back a warm smile as his arms wrapped around your shoulders, fully cementing the hug. Following up by petting you on the head, Kenki did his best to make sure you were alright. For as long as it took he would remain ever close to you. Not moving a single inch and/or saying another word until you told him it was okay to leave. Eventually you broke through the silence with a sniffle before looking up to your father. That warm smile brightening up your day like the rising sun. “Thanks dad.” You smiled, hugging your father just a bit more closely to show just how much you appreciate him for this.“Anytime Byakuren.” Kenki smiled back, slowly removing his arms from you as you do the same. Just a moment you looked into your father golden eyes, seeing the strands of charcoal black hair with red tips dangling to the side. “That said, we have to discuss how exactly you’ll be making money during your trip. Not to mention you’re still a thirteen year old girl, it would be rather unwise to send you off into the lands all by your own. At least not without some form of protection or guide. Hence why I recommend you going on a pilgrimage. For someone of your status you’ll be given someone dependable to go along with you to serve as a bodyguard.As well some starting expenses to get you by until you can make due on your own. But that’s talk for another day.” Just like that you find yourself being hit with a careful dose of reality from your father. You were so busy thinking about exploring the world and finding your way that you neglected to think how were you going to make it on your own. Craftiness and intuitive sense of creativity can only get you so far.You tilted your head in embarrassment at the realization. Thus, causing your father to chuckle a bit as you can only then pout. Before you could refuddle his words you begin to hear someone coming in. At first you assume that it was either Kenju or Emiko, perhaps even both simultaneously. As you listen to it closely you could tell it was a singular person, much more mass to produce a louder sound than either of your twin siblings. Grandma Guren was still on her trip so there was only one other person that would enter the Shimizu estate without announcing themselves. Quickly you broke from your father’s space in order to look out through the doorway to see who it was. (1.5/2)
>>3886265Your suspicions were met with confirmation upon seeing the individual at close range. A young woman who appeared around fifteen if not sixteen in age. Yet at the same time she carried a rather sophisticated and mature aura not unlike those of adults. If you resemble your father in term of facial then this woman was spitting image of your mother although younger in comparison. Jet black raven hair unlike the reddish hair that you little sister, mother and grandma sported followed with sharp crimson eyes. Although they were more pinkish then red, resembling that of cherry blossoms. Sporting a rather voluptuous figure covered through padded by her miko outfit, you were under the presence of the current heir of the Shimizu family, your eldest sister Sakura. >Greet your sister before asking her about her day/what she's been up to>Ask your sister if she be willing to accompanying you on your"pilgrimage" >Slowly pull yourself in and keep quiet for now>Other [write-in]
>>3886267>>Greet your sister before asking her about her day/what she's been up to
>>3886267>Greet your sister before asking her about her day/what she's been up to
>>3886267>Ask your sister if she's grown any more recently
is op ded?
>>3889014Not dead just been preoccupied with serious issues that I'd like to keep private for now. That said I'm sorry that it took me as long as it did to say anything about it. And updates coming relatively today.
>>3886268>>3886291For a brief moment, you were captivated by your eldest sister’s natural aura. While not quite like what your mother gave off there was still a sense of immense warmth and serenity oozing from Sakura. Even without being a high ranking Miko her charisma alone would have ensured her a pretty important role in the community. If you were to go find a dictionary and look up the textbook definition of a Yamato Nadeshiko you’d see Sakura’s face as the prime example. She was sweet, caring, level headed, perceptive, always modest and thinking about others first then her own safety. Combined with her intuitive wit and innate natural talent it was no wonder that she ended up being the future head of the Shimizu family branch in Kurume.From her soft-spoken voice to her serene smile there was a sense of tranquility that always follows her wherever she goes. Unlike you who’s more passionate and often straightforward especially when following your emotions, Sakura has a much more relaxed and controlled mindset. A natural trait of maturity as your grandmother compared you to your mother when she was young. Although in her case she didn’t hesitate to tell you of your downsides to the point of being the opposite of what both Miko and a maiden should be. A harsh but not inaccurate truth that your feisty grandma told you. If you were the illuminating moon then your sister Sakura was clearly the rising sun.Before you had a chance to pull away your sister soon caught you in the act of spying on her as she walked into the halls. Without showing any form of disrespect she simply gave you a serene smile while closing her eyes simultaneously. Instinctively you pulled back by a single foot, showing signs of minor distraught and embarrassment at peaking at your eldest sister. Yet here she stood not showing any sign of disapproval or negativity in your actions. Pulling yourself back together you momentarily slapped yourself on the cheeks to shake away the feeling of uncertainty and anxiety. You did just got through talking with your father about your future and embracing your desire to go see the world or at last what Japan itself can offer. No point in letting your momentum go down so easily for childish reasons.“Hey, Sakura. Good morning.” You called out while forming a smile at her. Or at least attempting to smile despite being put on the spot with the sudden glance and facial expression she made. “Good Morning to you too Byakuren. Nice to see you already up and about, with the way Keiju kept talking it sounded like you were hibernating like a tanuki.” Sakura said, letting off a soft chuckle at reminiscing the topic earlier with your younger brother after asking the twins to check up on you. You on the other hand could only pout in embarrassment at their “assistance” in helping you get up from your cocoon and be a productive member of society. (1/2)
>>3889992>>3889992“Whatever he said about me is clearly an exaggeration. Not to mention I bet while saying that he forgot some important details like dog-piling on me to wake me up. Seriously I’m thirteen now, I’m not a little kid who needs help getting up from the bed.” You argued back at your sister, not backing down at your “divine retribution” towards your baby brother. More importantly, you didn’t want to lose ground towards your elder sister and keep being coddled like an infant. Once again Sakura could only chuckle in response in typical big sister fashion. “Putting that aside you have to admit that you have a notorious issue with getting up early in the morning, especially during the winter. If left to your own devices, I get the feeling that like the nocturnal creatures you’d sleep the entire morning away before finally emerging from such a deep slumber for things like food.”“Ignoring that how was your morning so far? I imagine you didn’t do anything too eventful.” You asked, repressing the urge to bicker about being compared to a tanuki further. Seeing you quick to the point made Sakura momentary open her eyes before stroking her chin. Thinking on it for a good minute she turns her full attention towards you, keeping that serene smile on her face. “Let’s see. I came back from my morning rituals and prayer for a prospering and protective day. Maintaining my Miko practices including meditating underneath the waterfall and communicating with nature. After that, I took the initiative to stock your supplies for your trip to the village to deliver the goods and pack your lunch thanks to father’s assistance. Aside from that, I did my daily scouting to see if anything is out of place. Grandma wouldn’t exactly be happy with us if she came back to our home and the temple to find something amidst or out of place.“ Sakura explained, causing you to fold your arms and nod in response. Despite having graduating Sakura continued to hone the basics and push herself to reach the zenith of her capabilities to arrive at the summit. >Ask Sakura to give you any tips or guidance over the Kagura dancing/Qigong>Talk with your sister about casual stuff/her time in Tokyo with Grandma once upon a time.>Thank your sister for her hard work and join your family at the table.>Lash out at your sister for treating you like a kid again and skip breakfast to go do your delivery.>Other [write-in]
>>3889995>Thank your sister for her hard work and join your family at the table.
>>3889995>Thank your sister for her hard work and join your family at the table>Ask Sakura to give you any tips or guidance over the Kagura dancing/Qigong
>>3889995>Talk to your sister about her trip to Tokyo with grandmaHardass grandma took her to Tokyo? What
>>3890135It was during her evaluation to see if she was ready or not to be promoted to a Seikai. As well as to check up on the Tokyo branch as its an annual thing. Sometimes they come from tokyo to Kurume to do these meetings but you never seen them close up. https://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/shinto-priesthood.html
>>3890061>>3890119“I shouldn’t be surprised that you managed to do all of that in just a short amount of time. You don’t exactly have to be so diligent just because grandma isn’t here right now.“ You glanced at Sakura, deciding to hold back on a rant of not being treated like a kid. Sakura was just helping you get through your chores quicker so you can spend more time in the village. “Grandma or not the flow of the world keeps going. If I don’t put myself through the motions daily, then I’ll get rusty and become ineffective. Besides, I don’t think I can just lazy around and do nothing.” Sakura replied, smiling at you still. You weren’t sure if she was praising you or insulting you with that comment but you quickly shook it off. “Anyway...Thanks for your efforts including...making my lunch.” You said, tilting your head a bit from embarrassment. A nice shade of pink formed from your pale cheeks, giving more life to your complexion as Sakura blinks a bit at your appreciation.Slowly forming a smile Sakura transition to closing her eyes in response. “No problem, happy to help Byakuren.”With that you and your eldest sister find yourselves walking over to the table just in time for Emiko and Keiju to have already planted themselves in the chairs. To your left your father has finished setting up the table with today’s breakfast in toll. Today the Shimizu family was having steaming white rice with the option to put an egg and beef strips on it, miso soup, grilled yellowtail fish with tartar sauce. Seaweed wraps, tamagoyaki (rolled eggs) and Sakuramochi for dessert.. A rather modest yet fulfilling meal if you do say so yourself. Once again your father proved that he can make virtually anything taste like high quality food.(1/2)
>>3891119While not at the standard of glamorous your family has been able to manage to keep an upper middle class lifestyle despite being in the woods. In these changing times there were still people who needed the assistance of divination. Even without calculating their shrine work there has been the merchandising the Shimizu family has been selling and firewood provided. For the most part the worst you ever dealt with was “fasting” as part of Miko training when you were younger in front of your hardass grandma. Other then that you lived a relatively comfortable life even if it was dull and suffocating at times. Following your sister’s lead you proceed to join your family in having breakfast. What came next was nothing unexpected for you. A little banter between your little brother, praising your little sister for her hard work to the point of blushing despite being the “silent” type, talking about stuff with your elder sister and father. Although it would be even better if your mother or even grandma was here to add to the mix, there was still a sense of serenity and warmth between one another. This didn’t change the fact that you wanted to see the world, but you still appreciated these peaceful times. They’re your family and no matter what you’ll always love them. After finishing breakfast you showed your appreciation by helping your father by washing the dishes this time. It wasn’t a hard task as you got it done in the right way at moderate speeds. Only after letting the food rest and taking care of some more minor things, you went back into your winter garbs. It was still your duty to deliver the merchandise including the miniature igloos which were selling exceptionally well this year. You weren’t sure why but business is business and you couldn't complain.>Talk to [write-in who] one more time before heading out>Wish your family good luck and promise to come home quickly once you finished selling the goods>Quietly head out and focus on the trip at hand>Double check if you have everything in your possession just in case>Other [write-in]
>>3891126>Wish your family good luck and promise to come home quickly once you finished selling the goods
>>3891126>>Wish your family good luck and promise to come home quickly once you finished selling the goods
>>3891207>>3891229“Now I written a to do list upon father’s request once you’re in the village along with a prediction report on the weather just in case. I even took the necessary steps to mark down the right pathway to take for the quickest and safest route.” Sakura explained, going over all of the necessary preparation and precautions she can think of when. Once again you felt a sense of smothering suffocation from such doting from your family, but it couldn’t be helped. “Yeah I got it, don’t worry about it. I won’t be gone for that long. Maybe the entire day or two at worst depending on the weather.” You replied, strapping the basket over your body. Unsurprisingly Sakura had considered that probability and left some emergency food for the week just in case of bad weather. You couldn’t really be mad at your sister. Taking a moment to look at the white sky, your attention turns back to your family. Specifically the twins Emiko and Keiju as they were standing behind you. “You know when you guys were younger you’d often say you wanted to come along with me during these trips to the village.”“Yeah we did but that was then and this is now. The snow is too thick to use the cart for us to ride in. Not to mention we still have our own duties to do. “ Keiju remarked,putting his arms behind his back while he appears aloof and mature`. You couldn’t help but mentally snicker at your brother’s attempt at being cool since he was much more clingy like your baby sister when he was younger. “Aww look at you trying to be more mature. Well I’ll be sure to get you guys some sovenigers when I come back from the village.” You smiled, patting Keiju on the head. This was enough to break Keiju out of his groove as he starts to squirm against your hand.“S-Stop it Byakuren, I’m just saying what we’re all thinking. Besides, you should be more worried about how exactly you’re going to be selling our family goods. You’re not exactly the spitting image of a regal maiden.” That sharp mouth of his certainly cut deeper than any wild animal could mustered. Cracking your knuckles in frustration, you were about to give a hard noogie to your brother. That is until you felt a tug on your haori.Looking down below you it was your little sister Emiko who wanted your attention. Unlike the rest she didn’t speak much and often acted first before talking. She was quite cute despite her habit of being absent minded and hard to communicate. “Come home safe big sister.”Slowly kneeling down to Emiko, you proceed to smile at her while patting her on the head. This causes her to warm up to your touch and smile back. “Don’t worry I will. And once I come back we’ll do something together just you and me.” (1/2)
>>3891493(Forgot pic of Emiko minus the torture device)
>>3891493“Be careful to watch your footing and stay alert. It’s still the start of the new year so don’t get complacent and get swept by overconfidence.” Sakura said, chiming in once more as you silently nod to your sister. “Just remember to do your best and have fun after work.” Kenki spoke, finally breaking out of his own silence after seeing you sighing over the overprotective banter. Hearing your father gave those encouraging words made you slowly form a smile as you turn to your dad. “I will, thank you.” With new found motivation you begin to set out towards the outside world. “Oh Byakuren I forgot one more thing.” Kenki called, stopping you from making your trip outside. It took you a notorious amount of effort to keep yourself from falling down from the sudden call. “Yeah dad?” You asked, turning to give your full attention to your father.Buttoning his lips into a smile, Kenki slowly formed his hands into a heart shape symbol. “Always remember, we love you.” The sheer act of your father being a goofy dad made you hold back the urge to laugh while covering your face from sheer embarrassment. At the same time it further helped lift your spirits and put all sense of worries away. With one final wave you started to trek down the stairs and into the forest. As you expected the snow was deep but not deep enough that you have trouble walking unlike your younger siblings. The sky while covered by white clouds was still light enough to prove some brightness for you to navigate through the lands safely. Given the estimate trip it’ll take you from your home to your village it would be a few hours. If you were to run you can easily cut the time in half at the cost of your stamina. Therefore, it was more practical to just take it slow and steady instead of rushing. Besides, you were confident that you can get the job done and head home before nightfall. Again you didn’t really believe in the story about demons and other supernatural creatures. At the same time, there was still danger lurking in the woods at night and you didn’t want to deal with such inconveniences.>What do you do once you’re at the village?>Focus on selling out on the merchandise asap>Take your time exploring and having a social life in between sales>Look for some souvenirs to give to your family in between sales>Other [write-in]
>>3891519>>Take your time exploring and having a social life in between sales
>>3891519>Look for some souvenirs to give to your family in between sales
>>3891519>Take your time exploring and having a social life in between sales
>>3891670>>3891528Arriving at your destination in record time you begin to take in the view of Kurume. A beautiful yet simple village city in Kyushu, one of the four primarily island regions of japan. Out of the four it was the largest and most populated despite it being the furthest from the capitol. Hence all the more reason it was necessary for the Shimizu family to remain cemented in their roots. Being in this region for your entire life so far left the strong impression of being isolated and caged like a bird. Sure there were plenty of villages in Kyushu but you mainly stayed in the Fukuoka district. So with that in mind it's no wonder why you want to leave your hometown and going off to parts unknown. Still, compared to the woods there was a sense of wholesome camaraderie and liveliness resonating in this prosperous village. It served as a sort of a home away from home for you whenever you gotten the chance to leave your duties in the Suitengu shrine. Being around the calming waters of the Chikugo river led to the village to thrive in harmony with the other villages such as Kitano, Jōjima and Mizuma for generations. Giving you more places to travel between the four cities whenever you were on business or have free time to mingle and explore. With that in mind, you find yourself easily being incorporated through those small villages, with Kurume being the most prominent throughout your years of service. As you walk inside the village city you begin to take notice of the people traveling through the streets. While not as busy as it would be during the spring and especially summer times, it still kept up through the motions even against the winter season. Speaking of motions your crimson eyes catch the eye of a modest middle age woman with brown hair currently sweeping the entrance to the inn. You knew of her as Ms. Sayako Nakahima. She was a prime time customer of your family’s merchandise and served as your surrogate grandma in Kurome. “Oh hey look, Byakuren has come to visit us. And on a day like this no less.” Sayako replied, slowly putting her right hand against her chin, leaving her left to support the elbows. “You should really send a letter ahead of time before coming here. Otherwise I would’ve fixed you up something nice.” “Ehehe, sorry about that. But you don’t really need to worry about me.” You laughed a bit, trying to wave off needing something from Sayako without paying. Soon enough another person would step outside. Coming out from another one of the houses was a middle aged man with dark brown hair and auburn eyes. He was a fisherman name Hayate Miyazaki, a kind yet stern old man who taught you how to fish when you were younger. “I got to hand it to you Byakuren, you’re made of sterner stuff if you could trek through the forest while carrying such a heavy load. Guess all that Miko training up north must have given you a stronger resistance to the cold. “(1/2)
>>3891908“I’m not all that sure about that. But you are right that my grandma’s training is far colder than the morning snow.“ You said, sweating a bit at reflecting on your training with grandma. Thinking back on that gave you shivers that far exceeded the coldness you were feeling. From the local ramen shop to your left was another middle aged man. He was noticeably younger than Hayate with his black hair styled in a spiky look, following with a bandana around the forehead. You knew him as Yamato Higurashi, another longtime companion who you knew personally. “Hey Byakuren, you must be pretty cold from your trip from home. Why don’t you come inside and I’ll make you some tonkotsu ramen to warm your spirit. “ Seem like you were drawing quite the attention as more people were coming out to greet you. This was essentially perfect for you considering that you still have merchandise to sell. Of course had it been your sister Sakura then she would be the talk of the town immediately. Even so, you have your own charm and the hard work put into helping the daily life of Kurmoe certainly helped you on many occasions. Today was just another one of those days. >Head to Hayate’s Ramen shop for a bowl of Tonkotsu Ramen and mingle>Talk to Yamato about getting some fish for your family and small talk>Book a room in Sayako’s inn and spend the day having fun in between work>Go over further in the north to see the gambling ring>Focus on selling some stuff >Explore some more>Other [write-in]
>>3891944>>Book a room in Sayako’s inn and spend the day having fun in between work
>>3891944>Book a room in Sayako’s inn and spend the day having fun in between work
>>3892140>>3892551It’s been awhile since you been in the village of Kurume. And yet it was the same booming community as always regardless of weather. Just moments after stepping into the village and quickly you find yourself being swept in the wholesome lifestyle of its people. As someone who usually live in the woods with nature it was a welcome change of pace. Unlike animals people were easier to communicate and have conversations. And while you love your family there is only so much of their antics you can take. Truly you felt more at home in the village than being secluded in the woods with your family and the temple. It was far easier emulating with others than solely committing yourself to your duties and training in solitude. Seeing those smiling faces and receiving their warm treatment certainly put a smile on your face. But a new problem now rest upon your shoulders. Even without reading Sakura’s checklist you knew exactly what you were supposed to do in Kurme. As a result the mental image of your grandma telling you not to slack off rings deeply in your head. Even when she wasn’t here she still continued to plague the depths of your mind. On the other hand, there was no problem socializing and doing your best in salesmanship in between. Conflicted you silently start to ponder on what to do in simple fashion. Thinking back to what your conversation with your family gave much needed insight, especially when thinking back to your dear father. Recalling your father’s words, all manners of indecisiveness quickly faded. With no more hesitation, you decided that it was for the best to follow his suggestion. So you committed yourself to completing your work before spending the day having fun. After a long day of socializing with the many town people and assisting in their daily life in between selling merchandise you were now staring at the sky. The orange sky known as sunset was slowly fading into the violet shade of nightfall. Judging from where you stood it’d take you until mid-night to finally reach your home. Unfortunately since you live in the woods you couldn’t rely on using a telegraph to send a message to your family since there wasn’t a utility pole. It didn’t help that your family was also traditionalists for the most part. Mainly your grandma was the reason but on the flip side your family were self-sufficient and able to support themselves without outside help.(1/2)
>>3893980So it was a mixed bag since the “self-sustaining utopia” your family possessed came at the cost of being stuck in the past. Perhaps it was another reason why you secretly yearn to see the outside world and progress into the “modern” times in the Taisho era. You never even seen what they call a “train” for instance. You don’t know what it is but it sounds exciting alone. Before you could fantasize even more, quickly your mind relayed itself back to reality. There was no real urgency to make it back home, and it has been a while since you rest in Kurume. Surely your family would be understanding that a thirteen-year-old good would be safer in town than going out the heat of winter at night. Keeping up with your father’s words and how successful you have been doing your job, you took it upon yourself to celebrate. And what better way to celebrate than to stay in Sayako’s inn. Casually you made your way through the streets and returned to Sayako’s Inn. Thankfully she managed to save you a good room in the Inn. Now you and your family did numerous good for the citizens of Kurume throughout the generations if not the entirety of Kyushu so it was expected that you’d find it easy to integrate yourself without concern. That and knowing Sayako and the staff ensured you of a good deal as you made your way inside. Once inside you immediately flash out your special inn card, a complete necessary for someone who didn’t want to go through the unfortunate work of setting up lodging. Afterward, you find yourself following one of the staff members. Through their guidance, you quickly found yourself arriving at your room. A comfortable one bedroom with all of the essentials including a table for tea with its pot and cups. Quickly making yourself at home you started to place your stuff into their respective places.As you took it upon yourself to continue you would hear someone opening your door. It was a young woman with raven hair and purple eyes, clad in a butterfly kimono. Judging from her appearance it was one of the staff, a longtime acquaintance named Ayame. “Dinner will be ready shortly so take it upon yourself to relax and make yourself comfortable,” Ayame replied, showing you a sense of formal greeting as she laid out the activities. “Thank you, Ms. Ayame.” You called out just recently after finishing setting up your belongings. With a small nod, she soon left you to your own devices. This wasn’t the first time you have been in an inn but it was since you were alone. Usually, you stayed with Ms. Sayako or one of the other female staff when you were younger. It just goes to show that you weren’t a little kid, which made you feel rather content. If not a bit rambunctious. >Take a relaxing bath in the hot springs>Eat a fancy dinner and enjoy yourself to the fullest>Play some games with the residence >Eat a modest dinner and go to sleep early >Other [write-in](2/2)
>>3893988>>Take a relaxing bath in the hot springsOnsen!
>>3893988>>Take a relaxing bath in the hot springs
>>3893989>>3894208Looks like we're going for that trope, writing.
Sorry for the delay, ran into a bit of a snag with the computer. But I'm also planning on introducing a certain character but I'm kinda stuck on what would be a better fit for your Future Mentor since this is an AU of the original story.Rengoku Kyoujurou in the original story as he is or as a female
>>3895614I'd be fine with either but a part of me thinks female could have cuter moments.
>>3895626Please no. It'll only lead to u boats invading this quest. Stick to male.
>>3895635This is a good point. I'd rather not have the quest derailed.
>>3895626>>3895635Thanks for your opinon, I'll take that into consideration and will continue as scheduled/ >>3895662It's a shame too since otherwise I'd use this springs as the perfect chance to meet Rengoku sooner. But better safe than sorry.Still will try to have some cute bonding moments with your mentor in the future.
>>3895264Left to your own devices, you begin to think about what to do to pass the time. There was playing ping pong or one of the countless other entertaining activities that the inn provided. Having a drink outside while watching the nightfall was another but you were far too young for that. The more you ponder about what to do, the more a certain ideal became more prominent in your mind. Sayako’s inn doubled as an onsen otherwise known as a hot spring spot. When you put that in perspective it would be foolish to not take enjoyment over-utilizing the main attraction. Seeing that you have some time before dinner would be ready it was perfect for a long relaxing bath. Despite the comfiness of this simple town it still was one of the many villages to carry its natural hot springs in Kyushu. You mostly chalked it up to good fortune but in actuality, it was thanks to nature, specifically Mount Aso. Given its location and size, Mount Aso was at the center point of Kyushu. Also, it was also dubbed the largest volcano in all of Japan. Thus, it was the natural outcome that it was the cause for so many hot springs on the island of Kyushu. Living next to Kurume made this quite the benefit for you as the nearest hot spring town was several kilometers in Tanushimaru. The quality was notoriously better but you prefer having convenience a lot more. Be that as it may, current technology has progressed enough to make indoor hot springs a visible practice. For you who worked diligently in the cold snow, you preferred taking the natural hot springs instead. At a quick yet modest pace, you stepped out of your room and walked down the hall. Navigating through the inn like the back of your hand it’ll only take you a couple of minutes before arriving towards your destination. Of course, upon arrival, you remembered the proper etiquette for bathing in the hot springs. First thing first, you head towards the Sentō section of the inn. It was the perfect place to cleanse yourself of the sweat and gunk of hard work off your body. Lucky for you there wasn’t anyone inside as you walked in with the necessary tools for grooming. How long has it been since you taking a bath all by yourself without your younger siblings? As you reflect you begin to set down your cleaning tools after picking a spot. Being ever mindful of your surroundings you steadily transitioned into taking a cleansing bath. Thoroughly you scrubbed and brushed throughout your entire body. Making sure to keep a modest pace you left no room for error. The only real trouble was purifying your snow-white hair. Since it was going to be balled up in a towel you took your time making sure to give it the special treatment.
>>3895692Eventually, you find yourself stepping out of the Sento bathhouse feeling fully cleansed. Now clad in a modest white towel you were ready to step into the hot spring. Considering that most of the adults were out partying with one another on this gorgeous moonlight night left you having the springs to yourself. Again if you were old enough to drink to the full moon would be quite a romantic adventure. Nonetheless, you slowly stepped into the waters one toe at a time. Until soon enough half of your body sinks deep into the springs soothing waters.“Oh wow, it’s quite hot.” You muttered, slowly bracing yourself to the heat before letting the water do their work. All of your troubles seem to completely melt away. The fatigue and soreness from a hard day's work quickly disappeared from your very eyes. This was truly worth spending the night in Kurume alone.>Transition into the next day>Continue to enjoy the springs>Eat a fancy dinner and enjoy yourself to the fullest >Play some games with the residence>Other [write-in]
>>3895706>>Continue to enjoy the springs
>>3895706>Play some games with the residence
>>3895710>>3895748Some people want to be pampered good makes what happens next all the more bittersweetWriting now.
OP, If you want to genderbend then just do it. Even if it attracts yurifags you you can just deny them.
>>3896649Better not to attract any though
lol, Yuri Boogeyman
>>3896668Even if that happened it wouldn't matter. If the option isn't there then it can't impact the quest.
>>3895792Making yourself comfortable was a simple task especially with being alone in the spring’s waters. Although there was the more spacious mixed bath area for the springs, you were just fine being alone in the self-contained woman’s spot. Just over a hundred years ago things like gender separated baths were non-existence as such practices were tired to the west. Because of the Meiji revolution Japan underwent a stunning evolution thanks to the influential gains provided from the west once the borders were finally opened. But as someone living in the Taisho era, you were unable to fully reap the benefits of such modernization given your family being traditionalists. Just thinking about it briefly took you out of your relaxing zone. There were so many things out there you didn’t get to try out because of the suffocating traditional style and isolation. With that in mind, it's no wonder why you have a strong desire to explore the lands. Practically fueling your desire to leave the duties of guarding the suitengu temple, you find yourself all the more reassuring to start your journey. That is once you finished setting up the necessary steps to travel throughout japan without being bogged down with concerns like money and self-defense. The romance of adventure was calling out to you, something that was to be addressed at another time. For now, you returned to getting cozy in the hot springs water, letting it temper your mind, body, and soul. Like hot dumplings, you felt your body absorbing the warmth and keeping it within as you lay your back against the rocky wall Feeling its smoothed out ridges supporting you with arms around the surface plate. The relaxing mineral waters, the soothing hot temperatures and the serene scenery made for a truly magical night for you. How long has it been since you were able to relax like this without worry? As you reached a tranquil state of being, your crimson eyes catch something in the distance of the night sky. Be it fate or coincidence you were lucky to catch notice of a beautiful full moon on this winter's night. Even in this snowy weather, the illuminating moon has managed to pierce through the thick fog to shine its light through the land. To most people, they are far too busy drinking or some other partying activity to notice anything out of the ordinary. For you, however, something about the moon was rather strange. Unlike previous full moons you saw, this one was different. Instead of the snow-white reflection of the lunar lights, it was that of a scarlet red, an odd resemblance of a darker shade of cherry blossoms. (1/2)
>>3897050Now you weren’t one to believe in superstition which is ironic considering your upbringing as a Miko. However, you do remember that whenever a red moon show up that it was a sign of something horrible was to happen. Considering the amount of disasters linked back to a red moon in ancient times, the strange phenomenon earned being dubbed a bad omen. Rather if that was actually true or not remained to be seen especially in the Taisho era where science was taking over. Still, you can’t help but feel a little entranced by the sight as it was quite beautiful. This was the first time since you were a little child since you saw a red moon. Of course for normal folk, it would be much harder to notice in comparison to a regular full moon. Not many held the same level of perceptions that your eyes currently provided for you. Especially when the weather was obscuring the scarlet shade with a milky-white tone. But a looming dread still shivers up from behind at this red moon.>Ignore the predicament and return to enjoying your time in the inn>Leave immediately and rush back home just to be safe>Show some caution by eating your dinner and going to bed early>Think back to your family history and give a prayer for their safety just in case>Other [write-in](2/2)
>>3897051>Think back to your family history and give a prayer for their safety just in case
>>3897051>>Think back to your family history and give a prayer for their safety just in caseThe greatest tragedies are built upon what is left unsaid.
>>3897092>>3897147>>3897184Despite not being superstitious you still feel a sense of unnerving dread circling you. Perhaps it was due to your intuition forge from your upbringing or some form of divine instinct. Whatever the reason you can't bring yourself to simply ignore your feelings. Some part of you wanted to immediately leave the inn and travel back home just to be safe. Even if it was your imagination getting the better of you, you still wanted to be sure just in case. Unfortunately, that would only lead to you coming down with a sickness and ensuring your end in the woods. The rational side was chalking up what you were currently feeling as mere butterflies in the stomach. Even so, you bring yourself to recall your family’s history to help put the pieces together to come up with the best course of action. According to your grandma, the Shimizu family resided in Kurume for hundreds of years. On occasion, they travel to Miyazaki to take part in their training and receive blessings from Izanagi. Even back they had a special knack for divination and Shintoism. They were said to have been blessed by the moon due to their tranquil aura and a sense of purity. The fortunes told by the Shimizu family were typically on spot with pinpoint accuracy. But it was through centuries of diligence did they refine their skills and redefine the foundation that all modern acts of Shintoism follow to this very day. While others would use their inherent gifts and centuries of accumulated knowledge and status to influence Japan into how they see fit in ancient times, this was far from the case for the Shimizu. Refusing to see themselves as anything higher than mere human beings they established a set of rules and guidelines known as the sacred mantra to keep their hearts noble and just. With their sacred mantra deeply rooted in their hearts, they occasionally traveled through the lands to bring good fortune and help those in need. Such travels were called the noble pilgrimage or warrior’s journey for those similar to the Sōhei.As the family gained notoriety and continued their Shinto practices throughout the ages, the Shogun at the time requested such foresight and clarity to help establish his dynasty. Thus, several of the Shimizu family traveled to what will be known as Tokyo, eventually establishing the second Suiten-gū Shrine, while the remaining family members continue to station themselves in the original Shrine in Kurume. That said, the family heads continue to make contact with one another on an annual basis to retain good standing with one another. This was made especially clear during this time as your grandma’s pilgrimage’s main stop is Tokyo. (1/2)
>>3897296As for your father's side, he was more shrouded in mystery in comparison to the long line of Mikos and Gekis your mother’s side provided. You knew of your father to be a fortune teller and a successful chief but there was always something more to him than meets your eye. His way with the cutting utensils was second to none. For instance, he was able to deploy a technique called Modoshigiri, a technique capable of cutting something without harming the cell structure and putting it completely back together like it was magic. In all of the many demonstrations of his cutting techniques when you were young, deep down you knew your father was extraordinary even without knowing his past. A man that dedicated to keeping his past a secret must have his reasons. Either way, you can’t recall anyone being willing to give any trouble to your family. Not once have they done anything to bring forth any ill-will and in fact helped lots of people with their genuine honest work. As for your father, you strongly believe that such a kind-hearted man like him would never do any harm to warrant any karmic justice or wrongdoing. Even so, you still couldn’t feel distraught on what-ifs since you weren’t there in person. In times like these, your mother would tell you to pray to the kami and put your faith in their hands. Deciding on doing just that you slowly rise out of the hot springs. Walking far enough to a clear sight of the moon you took another glance before readying yourself. Getting down to your knees you started to clap your hands together and close your eyes. Please sacred Kamis, protect my family and don’t let any harm fall to them or Kurume. They’re all that I have, so I don’t want to lose them. If any bad karma was done by any of our actions, then inflict your wraith on me instead. Just please, keep my family safe. Until you couldn’t pray any more you kept at it with all your heart. Superstition or not you just wanted your family safe. Already losing your mom was hard enough, but you didn’t want to think about what would happen if you lost anyone else. Surely the heavens will listen to your request and make it a reality...right?The next morning was just as cold as yesterday if not a bit colder. Shrouded in a thick white mist, the sky resembled the sleek white snow. The sun was all but gone on this winter morning. And yet the people of Kurume continued their everyday life as if nothing had happened. Time does not stop for anyone. Currently, you lie sleeping comfortably on your bed having spent the night enjoying the hot springs natural restoration effects to the fullest. That and praying till you turned your face blue but nonetheless you were able to sleep soundly after that. >Go back to sleep and wake up much later>Pull yourself up and have breakfast>Get dressed and head home immediately>Take another hot bath to reinvigorate yourself>Other [write-in] (2/2)
>>3897310>>Get dressed and head home immediately
>>3897310>>Pull yourself up and have breakfast
>>3904258I been brushing up on how I want to make the opening for the second thread in addition to refreshing myself on a lot of Asian folklore and mythos. Sorry for the lack of replies.