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Fortune and Frivolity [Private: Hatsuharu]

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#1Akira Shimada 
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Social on Tue May 01, 2018 12:40 pm

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The area that the event was held in, was not within the town, it was a secluded clearing amidst the overgrowth that had mercilessly grown over and through the ruins of the buildings around. While she had walked through forests, the population of trees here wasn't dense enough for it to earn that label, yet the lush green wasn't nearly tame enough for it to pass off as a garden, or something. There were tents strewn around the area, to accommodate the throng of people that had accumulated in Orchidia.

Since she was asked to pick, she chose which tent she and Tsuru would inhabit. As usual, the Shimada was wary of the crowds and so she picked one at the fringes. She tossed and turned in the mattress provided in the large canvas-clad structure. She couldn't do it. While the lunar mage was undoubtedly exhausted following their journey, she just couldn't coax herself to slumber.

Despite everything indicating otherwise, Aki couldn't help it and decided to engage in her night-crawl after all. She slid off the bed-roll and tiptoed her way out of the tent... She'd remained relatively quiet, but when she undid the knots of the canvas that served as the opening to the tent, the fabric flapped in the breeze outside. Too distracted by the fresh air that permeated into her lungs, she neglected to address the sound the material made, nor the air that might slip into their make-shift home and disturb the sleeping healer... Aki just slipped out. She walked away from lights in the distance, towards another thicket of trees, only to find another smaller clearing, carpeted with grass.



#2Hatsuharu 

Social on Tue May 01, 2018 2:00 pm

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The days when Haru slept the moment his head hit the pillow were long gone. There were now several things that haunted him at night. He blamed the ridiculously small tent and the uncomfortable bed-roll that were sent here for the Rune Knights to camp in. But he knew his lack of sleep had nothing to do with any of these. He doubted he would be able to sleep even if he was on the most plush and warm bed in the world.

The healer tried, however. He laid down, closed his eyes, covered himself with the bed-roll and waited. Ten minutes… Twenty minutes. He couldn’t point to anything particular that was keeping him up. The most easiest thing to blame was their recent skirmish with Phantom Lord and how terribly misguided the council was with that one. But, considering this Dante figure let them go without laying a hand on them, there really was no material there to be mad about for days on ahead.

Finally, when he had just managed to doze off mere moments ago, a slapping noise followed by a sudden gust of cold spring breeze woke him with a start. Sitting up urgently, he looked towards the exit of the tent and saw Akira walk out, probably taking her usual night walk. The slapping noise was from the tent’s fabric folding in on itself due to the wind. Seeing how long it had taken for him to fall asleep and how wide awake he was after that startling noise, he gave up on going back to bed and decided to follow the raven-haired Lunar mage.

WC: 270

#3Akira Shimada 
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Social on Tue May 01, 2018 2:27 pm

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She ventured into the clearing and cast her gaze upon the starry sky above. Her head hung backward and her mouth was propped open, just a tad as she stared up with a certain childish sense of wonder. It was like the universe was staring back and leeching from her mind all the troublesome thoughts that swirled around in the abyss of her mind... and she let it. She was happy surrendering to the pin-pricks of light that decorated dark curtain, they were so tiny and seemingly insignificant, being so far away... But she could still see them, they were large, bold entities and they'd been there long before she arrived and would continue being there long after she's gone, staring at the next little creature that perhaps would stare up at them like she was...

Lost in her own mind, she plopped herself into the slightly damp grass, first, just her butt fell and then soon she rocked backward till she was lying on the ground, through the entire process, she never broke eye contact with the sky. Crickets chirped somewhere in the distance... Frogs croaked. Far away at the location of the event, even the stalls that ran late were probably winding up now. She'd surrendered to the moment in such totality, she didn't notice the fact that her partner had followed her, still is figure loomed overhead. 'Out of my way... You're blocking my view.' she said with a soft whine, then patted the grass beside her. 'You should really check it out... it is... such a gigantic canvas... It is... Pretty.' she mused, her tone relaxed and inviting, which was as rare as the moment of peace that this trip to Orchidia had afforded them.



#4Hatsuharu 

Social on Tue May 01, 2018 3:53 pm

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The red-headed defender followed his partner quietly. She was so lost looking at the midnight sky that she didn’t notice him until he was looking down at her after she laid on the ground. For some reason, Haru was annoyed at her calmness. It was not her fault that he couldn’t sleep or was generally in a restless state. In fact, his previous self wanted just this. For her to be calm and happy. So, why he was annoyed now was beyond him. But, could he help the feeling? Definitely not. So, when she whined for him to move away, he simply frowned and stood where he was.

“We really should sleep. You do know we have the early morning patrol duty tomorrow,” he said, his annoyance obvious in his voice.

Just then, he heard a shriek, deeper into the forest that extended beyond, away from the festival and the town. Looking towards the direction it came from, he pointed a finger towards it and asked if Akira heard it too. “Did you hear that?” he asked, but didn’t wait for an answer. Reaching for his hilt under the cloak, he began walking towards the noise, taking careful steps.

And there it was again. Another shriek! But this time, it was followed by a ringing laughter. A very happy one at that. Haru already knew what this was. Some stupid tourists who think they can handle the dangers within the forest, trying to scare each other by yelling for no reason. His annoyance level peaked. “Idiots! They will be attracting the creatures of the night if they continue this,” he muttered under his breath as he walked towards the edge of the clearing.

WC: 283

#5Akira Shimada 
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Social on Tue May 01, 2018 4:16 pm

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Stubborn fool. She reflected his frown and raised her hands to wave him away. 'I'm feeling more rested here, than in that stupid tent!' she retorted, swiftly letting the frown fade and welcome the serenity that Tsuru was stealing every passing moment. 'Besides, who cares about the patrol duty, I'm just about done working... At least for the time being.' she added, briefly staring back at him, the reason for her choice was probably apparent enough for her to not have to explain.

She wasn't big on aiding people, if something unfair happened that required her assistance, she'd probably help regardless of whether she was a Knight or not. The girl didn't see herself associating her work with duty anymore. At the moment, she just wanted to reap the benefit of a quiet moment.

'Can I say no?' she said with a sigh. It was hopeless. It wasn't going to last, it never did. She sat up, with her legs still extended, but knees slightly bent. 'Can't we just ignore it...?' she hissed now folding her legs underneath her, still clinging to the peace as it disappeared. As he began taking a slow step towards the forest that extended away from the region of the festival.

When the peal of laughter arrived, Aki too giggled softly too, recognizing and deducing what was happening. But the chortle quickly diminished itself to a mere smile as Tsuru hissed in a disgruntled manner. She fell back down onto her back again, with a deep sigh. She was actually jealous of the people who had ventured into the forest and were playing around, the young girl wanted to engage in such frivolity herself.

But for the moment, she was just unsure of how exactly to handle the healer who somehow had managed to get himself more wound up than she was. See, this was the problem with being an optimist, when the world crushed that sense of idealism, it hurt far more, Aki had been there. 'Come here. Lie down.' she said, keeping her words short and simple. They needed to talk, or maybe they just needed to stargaze.



#6Hatsuharu 

Social on Tue May 01, 2018 4:48 pm

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The swordsman ignored his partner’s words as he continued on past the clearing and into the forest. What little light was offered by the waning moon was no longer present beyond a few feet, thanks to the thick forest. Darkness engulfed his surrounding rapidly, but he could still hear the soft giggles. Finally, tired of being unable to see anything, the healer immediately cast his Density Mapping spell and threw it towards where the noise was coming from. The purple ball exploded into an eight-meter-wide sphere, giving him a clear picture of everything around him.

For the first time, he regretted the fine detail with which he could sense things using this spell. His assumption was close enough. It was a stupid couple, where the guy was trying to get into the girl’s pants by making her cling to him after scaring her to death by screaming at her ears. He had found much success with this method. Only problem was, the two weren’t kissing under mistletoe. That slow creeping thing, was a damn snake, ready to strike.

With one swift motion, Haru zipped around the tree behind which the couple was, pulled out his hilt, activated the blade, and stuck it right next to the snake, without actually hitting it. The sudden appearance of him and his lightsabre scared all three. The snake slithered away after hissing, as soon as it could. The two humans screamed, like they were about to be eaten alive.

Haru spoke calmly, but menacingly. “Get the hell out of here,” he said, pausing after every word to convey how serious he was. The man scrammed much ahead of the girl, pulling up his pant while he ran, not giving a damn about the struggling girl behind him. “Tch!”

The healer pulled the sword out of the trunk it was stuck on, deactivated it and walked back to his partner, the frown still very much present on his face. “Idiots!” Unfortunately, from where Aki was, she wouldn't have seen the snake, but only the couple running away, making it look like Haru just bullied them back towards the festival.

WC: 354

#7Akira Shimada 
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Social on Tue May 01, 2018 5:17 pm

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Tsuru had her doing crunches. When he ignored her request for the second time. She was rather flustered. They were heading back to square one, the time when they'd get into arguments with each other, except this time, he was the one who was roaming around with a long face. He continued on towards the trees, protectively, she wanted to go after him, just in case but decided better of it. He too had proved that he was capable of handling himself alone too, on multiple occasions now, they couldn't just hover around for each other. Plus according to her deduction, no one seemed to be in any crazy danger. At best he'd just narrate the rules.

The association committee had strictly emphasized that people attending the festival should be careful to not venture into the forest unless accompanied by a high ranking mage. She sat up again, with her knees curled up to her chest. She sighed and rolled her eyes, at least she had an uninterrupted view of the sky again... Not for long though as she tore her gaze away, her mind just didn't allow her to let Tsuru walk away without so much as a glance towards him. She stared at his figure slipped into the darkness of the trees up ahead. Within a few seconds the glow of his lightsaber peeked through between the thicket of shrubs and for a moment Aki was worried, she got onto her haunches, ready to sprint towards the glowing stick.

Just then, she noticed a man, struggling with the zipper of his pants as he ran towards the troupe of tents and soon a miffed looking woman followed. Wow, what did he say to them? Aki thought as he returned, usually most people managed to brush of rules and regulations and such, it was at times like this she had to intervene to get things done, clearly, Tsuru didn't need that anymore. She folded her legs and sat down more comfortably, refusing to lie down, because she was sure she'd only be disappointed and have to get up again. This time she knew better than to ask him to join her, he'd already passively declined her request twice. She tried her best to remain neutral, in fact, even a little curious as she noticed the scowl still etched on his face. 'What is it?' she asked, simply, looking up at the sky again. 'Can you just... spill?' she reiterated.



#8Hatsuharu 

Social on Tue May 01, 2018 6:29 pm

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The swordsman watched the couple run towards the tents as he walked slowly back towards Akira. He deactivated his lightsabre and threw it onto the grass before lying down next to his partner. He very well knew what she was referring to with her question, but he deliberately avoided answering that.

“They will do stupid things. Get themselves hurt. Or worse, killed. And then blame us,” he said bluntly.

He looked up at the sky, at the crescent moon and shining stars. But the beauty was lost on him. The man’s brain was filled with confusion and frustration. No matter how hard he tried, he could never help them all. He was helpless when Akira was forced to fight Benjamin. So many died right in front of him when Grimoire Heart attacked Crocus. Heck! He couldn’t even protect Fia when they fought against the Phantom Lord. Whenever things mattered, he failed.

All he could do was protect idiots from harming themselves; like that night. And he was tired of his failures. He picked up that wretched sword thinking it was going to change things. It did change things, but not for the better. They said his pacifism was not going to do the trick. But now that he has left that behind, it still didn’t change anything. People still got hurt and the sword did not magically stop that from happening.

“I don’t know if I want to defend people anymore. I feel like we are giving them false hope. We tell them we are here to protect them. But we don’t protect all of them. Why do we lie to them and to ourselves?” he asked, anger welling up in his voice.

WC: 283

#9Akira Shimada 
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Social on Tue May 01, 2018 7:47 pm

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When he threw down his weapon, she cautiously fell back onto the grass again, allowing herself some brief bit of satisfaction as he finally listened to her and lay down next to her. He didn't reply to her question though, at least not in the context she wanted. Did he actually think his curtness would scare her off and she wouldn't press the matter? He wasn't wrong. Tsuru's slightly abrasive demeanor had Aki at a loss. 'Er... That's not what I meant, but you knew that already.' she said simply and a little softly, afraid he might explode. Usually, it was him who was walking on egg-shells around her, at least that's how it had been... 'But you're right, I'm sure they'd find a way to pin it on us...' she agreed, wondering if just accepting his frustration would help him open up about it.

'Is... it the sword?' she muttered again, this time even softer he had the option of tuning her out if he wanted, but she was sure he was listening, she just needed to find the right words. Her eyes traced the shapes that she could make by drawing imaginary lines between the stars, like playing connect-the-dots. With so many dots, her creativity was the only limit. However, the girl was quite well-read, so she did already know quite of a few of the actual constellations too. There was almost an aura of frustration around him and it was palpable. It reeked of helplessness and incited it within her as well.

Finally, he spoke, his words denoted a personal conflict, perhaps accentuated by the events they'd gone through. She could sweet talk, tell him he was important, tell him that he was the reason everything was better, but it wouldn't all be true. So as she stared into the heavens above, she leveled with him, honestly. 'You didn't lie to yourself, you did intend on protecting to the best of your abilities. But we lie because that false sense of security gets them through the day...' she said, sighing softly. 'The true way to defend, would be to exterminate the bad guys right? But how do we decide who they are...' she mused softly, sharing her own concerns. She turned, so her cheek was flat against the cool grass and she could see her partner, as she waited for him to respond.



#10Hatsuharu 

Social on Fri May 04, 2018 9:17 am

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The healer couldn’t fathom the underlying nuances of the world. He was too idealistic and when those idealistic beliefs were shattered one after another over and over, it was difficult to maintain his happy optimistic outlook that he once had. After all, he was just nineteen with no memories of his previous eighteen years. His attitude towards the world was very malleable and the world didn’t represent itself well.

Now that he thought about it, he had never talked to Akira about the lack of his memory. Yet another thorn in the bush. As much as he would like to blame everyone and everything around him, he knew deep down that he too was at fault. Having come into contact with other people, who had family and made friends over the years, he had grown very curious about his past. But he kept telling himself that he didn’t care and was more concerned with the present.

It would be hypocritical to criticise others of lying when he lies to himself.

The red-head Knight stared blankly at the sky Akira posed a very valid question. How, indeed, do you know if someone is evil? It was never that black and white. “I don’t know… Extermination? Is murdering a murderer the best way to go about this? Then how are we any different? In the end, murder is murder. A life is lost. I simply wish there was a much easier way to make people understand that their way is wrong,” he said, sighing softly.

WC: 253

#11Akira Shimada 
Online

Social on Fri May 04, 2018 10:24 am

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She didn't have all the answers, she'd never pretended like she had the answers. In fact, growing up and being a victim of undue bias had just hardened her a little bit and served to make her just a little bit self-serving. It wasn't as though she never thought about the implication of good and evil, of the choices that people made everyday that either reflected one of those sides in them. But one thing was for sure, that people possessed both... Except Tsuru maybe, sometimes, in his idealism he really seemed like the sort who did good things and did them for all the right reasons. Aki itched to try and find out what made him tick. His presence in her life had served a purpose, it had softened her feelings, it had reminded her that there may still be people who could care...

The words had sort of slipped out of her mouth and he'd taken them quite literally. 'No, Tsuru... Exactly. You're right... The point I was trying to make is good and bad is very difficult to discern, that is why justice is hard to deliver.' she added, clearing her throat and letting him know that she wasn't some crazy creature who just went around looking for people making trouble and killing them without enough reason. 'At some point, someone's constant veering towards making decisions, that are...' she looked for the right way to phrase things.'harming others, becomes too great and the only reliable fair thing to do, not to mention better for any prospective victims, is to take their life.' Aki added, with a heavy sigh, having never really been in that particular spot.

'That is why people make the 'higher-ups' like the council and the captains and such...' she went on, as though she was explaining the world to a child. 'Apparently, they have proven themselves to be worthy of being able to make such decisions.' She said, her bitterness now oozing into her words, because clearly she disagreed with such power lying in the hands of someone who either did not possess the skill, or did not possess the time to be there in the moment where such an action has to be executed. If they were not the ones behind the gun that shoots the bullet to take a life, they shouldn't be the ones calling the shots, at least in her eyes. But this was Akira's battle with the way of the world, dragging that in here, would only serve to make things worse.



#12Hatsuharu 

Social on Fri May 04, 2018 1:02 pm

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It would have been the easier thing to do to just phase out the words that Akira uttered. To allow his brain to simply shut down and stare blankly at the starry night, for all the complex information on how the world worked was a bit too much in too little a time. But, he reigned in his urge to just give up and decided to work it out piece by piece, slowly.

Yes, there had been several occasions where he simply could not judge who was in the right during his investigations. Humans are emotional beings and they make mistakes. And the consequences of these mistakes, no matter how small, end up being a random dice roll. It was the justice system’s job to control this randomness and keep it fair. But, it was never that easy. Sometimes, an error in the system becomes the primary reason for the advent of a radical, at which point, it was just counter-productive.

It wasn’t that the rest of the Knights weren’t aware of these things. They very much were, but they choose to ignore them. And those who do not ignore them, usually end up taking extreme measures. This simply created two sides: one that didn’t care so long as they got the pay check, and another that took the law into their own hands and took it too far. In the middle of these two sides, was the fate of many citizens.

There was one thing that he couldn’t argue against, however. If blood is going to be spilt anyway, it would better be that of the wicked and not of the innocent. The questions, however, remained. Was there way to end this wretched cycle without spilling any blood? It would seem there were people who had the power to make such a system, if they could. They would have already done so if they had a solution, right?

“Well… Then I know I’m never accepting any of those positions. Clearly, I’m not yet ready to make such decisions,” he said. That reminded him how much interest the higher-ups had when it came to Akira. “They have been eyeing you for a while now. Don’t think they let anyone shirk as much duty as you have been lately,” he said, chuckling a bit at that last sentence.

WC: 387

#13Akira Shimada 
Online

Social on Fri May 04, 2018 7:04 pm

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She watched him, with a gentle bemusement as he pieced together everything she'd laid out for him. It was like watching a child contemplate the meaning of life. Aki was curious, at this similarity between Fenrir and the healer... She already knew that the child-like qualities of the lycan, came from his loss of memories and overtime, the lunar mage had been speculating about a similar scenario for her partner. Now that they were finally settling down to talk, could she just ask about it? He had refuted her statements, mentioning that a death is just that... And if they had a part to play in it, it was murder. 'It isn't that simple, Tsuru... Sometimes they're too far gone to see that their way is wrong, besides wrong and right ways are based on where you are... and when you are... they shouldn't be, but...' she added a shrug at the end of her sentence. Following which the lunar mage heaved a long sigh and found herself wondering how to steer the conversation towards the reasons behind his state of mind. She needed to find a way to confirm her deduced hypothesis.

He'd gone onto mention how he didn't think he had what it took to make such choices and added that Aki may be getting special treatment already because they were considering her for such a position. 'Oh no... no... I'd never get a title like that and by the way, they'd let you shirk duty too, think of it as though we earned it, but... under the table.' she scoffed, she was sure there was still too much underlying prejudice against her darkness. After a short pause, she sighed and let slip the major reason why she'd never hold a position like that. 'Just having light isn't enough, I'm sure I'd have to find a way to get rid of the other part' There was a bitter chuckling that followed. That was another thing that she had never bothered to figure out... Had Tsuru had eased up around her because she had light, or not? Was there actually something that had changed in her with the addition of this new element? Perhaps she didn't dig deeper because she'd rather not know at this point.

'About what I meant, in terms of time determining good and bad... For example, there was a time people who could use magic were rare and they were hunted for being a danger to society.'  she tried to explain, she wasn't sure if she was making enough sense. She was just drawing things from her own past, the village her father hailed from had such notions even around the time that she was born, perhaps they held onto it even now. 'Can't you think of any such occurrences growing up?' she prodded, every so gently, to see if he'd share with her the details of his childhood, or if he'd confirm her hypothesis.



#14Hatsuharu 

Social on Mon May 07, 2018 6:49 am

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Haru turned sharply to look at Akira when she trailed off the sentence with a shrug. “No! It’s never too late for anyone. And if it shouldn’t be, then it shouldn’t be. We cannot simply let it slide,” he said in a suddenly loud voice, his passion for mercy and justice quite obvious. “How can we just accept something flawed when we know it is flawed? Right is right. Wrong is wrong. Just because we don’t know which is right and which is wrong in some situations, doesn’t mean there is no answer there,” he said, this time speaking softly as he turned back towards the sky.

The red-head couldn’t help but laugh a bit when Akira said he could shirk duty too. It wasn’t like he wanted to not do his job, but he was certain that he wouldn’t get the same treatment if he followed in her footsteps. After all, the council was watching that fight against the Phantom Lord demon. They knew he was utterly useless there, while the Lunar mage pretty much decimated him with a single spell. Clearly, they were a lot more interested in her than him. She can be humble about it, but there was no denying it.

The healer let loose an insensitive comment without realizing the implications, when the conversation turned to the elements that the raven-haired girl wielded. “Well… Aren’t you better off without that pesky darkness anyway? What good can come of it now that you have light? That fight against that Benjamin crazy was not fun. But he sure did you a favour, albeit unintentionally,” he said. This prejudice against the element was something that the healer associated himself with very early on after he started his journey in Fiore. It was wrong and he would have to realize it sooner or later. Hopefully, it will be sooner.

It was ironical that Akira had to mention mages being hunted at a point, out of fear that they would prove to be a threat to the society. Haru’s tribe was hunting him at that very moment because he has magic within him; only, they believe he was a descended god and he must be back up in the heavens to help them. Not wander the Earth Land, where he was of no use to them. Of course, the poor lad had no memory of any such thing. All he knew was his name when he woke up in a lonely shore of Fiore; his name and the symbol that was tattooed in his back. That symbol was also there on the cloak he wears. Every time he stared at it for too long, he would get flashes of memories. Nothing comprehensible, ever. Early on, he attempted regaining his memories by staring at it for long periods of time. But in the end, all he got was a terrible headache and no useful information. So, he gave up.

Haru smiled sadly when Akira asked if he can’t remember something similar from his childhood experiences. “I have no childhood memories. All I remember is waking up on the beach one fine morning. I don’t even know how old I am,” he said, laughing. “I remember why I joined the Rune Knights. I was hungry and wanted food. They said I need to pay jewels. I didn’t know how to get these jewels they were talking about,” he said, sitting up partially to narrate the story. “Then I saw a few people just take the food without paying these jewels. I got confused… until I realized they were thieving. So, I caught one thief who was being chased by a Knight. That Knight told me, if I catch more thieves like that, he would pay me jewels with which I can buy food. And… here I am,” he finished.

WC: 631

#15Akira Shimada 
Online

Social on Mon May 07, 2018 9:51 am

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They'd gone over this before and Akira had thought they were over it. But she bit her tongue and proceeded to chew on her lips because it seemed impossible to reason with him. It only made her itch for an answer about his past some more. They seemed to be a perfect example of a certain concept, denoted by an interesting setup. If one is carrying a cup of coffee and someone or something shakes them up, they're going to spill the coffee, or whatever the contents of the cup had been... Tea... Water... etc.

This story was not about how the person deals with the adversity, or about the spillage... It was about the contents of the cup. The point being, that when rattled people end up spilling what they're trying to hold inside... That was how the relationship between the two knights functioned. While they had secured the friction between them and stowed it away somewhere in the background, when the going got tough, it'd all come surging back.

His comment about her magic was met with icy silence. It was ok for her to say she'd have to attempt getting rid of her darkness... But not anyone else. It was what she was born with, Aki didn't want it stripped away from her simply because people had an inaccurate notion of it. She always knew Tsuru wasn't a fan of it, she had always known subconsciously that he was only beginning to accept her because of her newfound brightness... Yet, despite all her skepticism, she'd begun to enjoy his support, rely on it even, his blunt comment served as a stark reminder that he was only truly going to admire the element that was forced into her by that stupid earth mage's equipment.

Once again though, Akira didn't respond. Her silence was cold though, she wasn't sure if he'd notice that. She avoided looking at him, and turned her head away sharply, now keeping her gaze steadily fixed on one bright star in the sky. The question of his past already hung in the air, perhaps when he answered that, within the insight, he'd provide, Aki could scour for reasons to forgive him for his insensitivity.

As he sat up to narrate the tale of his short life, Aki followed suit. Momentarily, her curiosity killed the animosity that she felt towards his lack of understanding. 'So... you don't know your parents... Or anything?' she asked softly. Her hand rose tentatively, with the intent to have her fingers rest on his shoulders perhaps, as a sign of sympathy, but before she could find the will to do that, she changed her mind and let it fall again. He continued to explain how he joined the Knights in search of food... Such a basic factor that drove him and yet he had such strong instincts, she was keen on unraveling the details behind his inclination. 'I... I don't get it...' she whispered softly. 'You have no memories and yet you have such strong ideas about things...' she added, trying her best to extend some rope. Perhaps the moments he'd spent in the presence of others was at a time when he was very impressionable. But the mystery was, not everything he stood for was a common belief... Not everyone believed in pacifism so strongly...

She wondered if he had the answers either. Her eyes were wide and yet his words about her darkness lingered and echoed in her mind, making it difficult to keep her selfish bitterness out of the interaction.



#16Hatsuharu 

Social on Mon May 07, 2018 7:19 pm

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Obviously, Haru was oblivious to his insensitivity despite his partner’s cold reaction. He hadn’t experienced such reactions enough times to be perceptive towards them. So, he thought the girl was just being her normal self. The young man had plenty of things to learn about the world. And being sensitive to other people’s feelings was one among them.

Akira’s reaction to his mentioning that he had no memory of his past took him by surprise, as he didn’t realize that the girl didn’t know of it before. But then, he quickly realized the two had never had a conversation about it and she had no way of knowing. “Oh… Yeah! Guess I never told you…” he said, smiling sadly. “No! I remember nothing. All I know is the name, which they told me sounded like a Joyan name. I hope to return there someday and find out if there is someone looking for me,” he spoke softly, as he played with a blade of grass.

He looked up when the raven-haired girl asked why he had such strong notions. “Because it’s not fair,” he blurted out immediately. “It started with something as small as stealing food from the markets. There are a bunch of people who are struggling. Everyday. Working so hard so that they can earn their bread. And then there is another bunch that just snatches that bread without any hard work. The unfairness starts at such small scale and only gets worse as you go up,” he said, pinching the grass and throwing it angrily. It was funny because the blade of grass just spun and fell right next to him even though he attempted to throw it far.

Looking at the grass, the healer burst into a laugh and shook his head in disbelief. There he was, sitting under the moonlight, so worked up over how messed up the world was and how he could do nothing to fix it overnight. The need for justice and a fair world for everyone to live in, was inborn within the red-headed Knight. No matter how many times his memories are wiped, that would probably never change.

WC: 358

#17Akira Shimada 
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Social on Tue May 08, 2018 10:29 am

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Maybe she was being too harsh on him. The purity of his intention and his honesty always managed to melt through her icy demeanor. Perhaps it was better for them, that he didn't spend too much time analyzing and to recognize Akira's emotional cues, that way he could just ignore them till the Shimada was forced to look past them. There was a poignancy in his acceptance, she wondered if she was the reason he never opened up before. With or without realizing, sometimes the girl made everything about herself and very rarely did she leave an opening for discussions and dialogues... Most times in the past, when she'd offered people such a space they'd only used it to bully their way into getting Akira to resentfully submit. Maybe she should've not colored Tsuru so fast, but then he did show a tendency to be impressionable and if he was going to advocate for the average beliefs of the population, they'd always argue.

'Joya huh? That's where my family is from too...' she said softly, plucking put her own blade of grass as she subconsciously found herself mimicking his actions. She twirled it around her fingers and idly began plucking more and tying them together deftly. 'I don't know if my name made that obvious or not.' she added, unsure of whether he possessed enough data to make that deduction by himself. Obviously, this was leading to the point that she'd be happy to accompany him, perhaps even aid him to navigate the place if his memories didn't return with the visit immediately. There were more answers that she wanted, but it was apparent that he didn't have them, like how he lost his memories in the first place, whether it was an accident or something more sinister and deliberate, maybe if she trotted along on his visit, she'd get more clarity. 'I guess, if you'd like we could go together, I've been meaning to visit too.' she said, leaving it as an offer, she'd be sad if he declined, but Akira wasn't going to push into something that wasn't really her business. Especially if he had reservations about her capabilities, or doubts about her, regarding her magic and elemental affinity...

It still prickled her and she began wondering what she'd have to do to prove that the element itself was no different than any other... His answer about the strong notions did not cover an explanation as to his aversion to darkness. 'I wish I could say there were ways to eradicate unfairness... But it will be a steep uphill climb... It has roots in everyone.' she added, softly, now having made something akin to a creature with the blades of grass. She lay back down and placed the grass-being on her belly as she proceeded to make another. Tentatively, she broached the subject of her magic again... 'Don't you think that I'm treated unfairly just because of my darkness?' she really was looking for support, perhaps the kind that he couldn't offer. For some reason, it was very important for her to have him believe that the darkness meant... nothing. But then, he burst into laughter and she found herself nervously chuckling too, maybe approaching this right now was a bad idea. 'Nevermind.' she said, reassuringly as she continued to giggle alongside him, not wanting to let this dissolve into something depressing again. 'Let's just... live in the moment... Carpe Diem!' she said and then corrected herself. 'Carpe Noctem rather.'



#18Hatsuharu 

Social on Wed May 09, 2018 10:18 pm

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He had had his doubts. She didn’t look anything like the scarce traditional Joyan girls he had seen around Fiore. But she did have the facial features of one that couldn’t be mistaken for any other country. Over time, he had learnt to see these minor details, hoping to gain more information on his past.

It wasn’t easy, however. Obviously, his first option was to try and learn the language, which was probably his mother tongue. But, whenever he tried reading any Joyan script, his head begun aching unnaturally; like there was something actively preventing him from reaching out to anything that was related to his past. This was very similar to what he experienced when he stared at the symbol on his cloak for too long. The healer figured, whatever wiped his memories clean was still within him, ensuring he never got it back.

This was one of the biggest reasons why he immediately didn’t leave for Joya the moment he realized he was from there. If just trying to learn the language was doing this to him, he wondered what he would be put through by his own brain if he dared to step into his homeland. However, he did intend on travelling there one day and he was glad Aki offered to come along. “Yeah… We could take a short vacation and go to Joya,” he said, still unsure, but a little bit more confident than he was a moment ago.

Having thrown his piece of grass away, he sat there and watched Akira fold hers into something akin to a creature. He watched her slender fingers work their way around the thin green blade and was mesmerized by it. Just then, he realized something important. He really enjoyed her company and that was not how their relationship began. The healer remembered how much they tried to avoid each other when they were initially put into a squad together. But look at the two now… They were virtually inseparable. So much had changed since the day the two met. A soft smile crept upon his face as he remembered all the silly fights.

When Akira brought up the subject of her magic again, Haru saw the opportunity to have a heart-to-heart conversation with her. Tell her that he knew full well that she was a great person, and that he only had a problem with her darkness magic, which might go haywire, becoming a danger to her and the people around her. Maybe it was also the right time to tell her how he felt about her? See if she had any feelings towards him…

But all that had to be thrown out the window. The healer heard the familiar footsteps. It was Diego, the paranoid apprentice. “Oh! There you two are. Sorry to interrupt, but…” he yelled, jogging towards them. Haru rolled his eyes, annoyed at the ruined moment. “What now?” he asked, not bothering to turn towards the man. This was surely going to be another useless investigation that he thought was going to give him a promotion.

WC: 513

#19Akira Shimada 
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Social on Thu May 10, 2018 2:32 pm

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It sounded like she managed to bolster his spirit. There was still hesitancy in his words, but it didn't seem like the lunar mage was the cause of it. Just that much was enough. She wondered if he spoke the native language and how much that was affected by the magic or external factor. She'd never heard him speak in his mother tongue, but then to be fair, neither had she. It was sort of strange, but then they preferred comfortable silence over the forced conversation, so it was only fair.

She didn't inquire or attempt to glean more information with respect to the languages he was able to communicate in, perhaps it was something personal... Perhaps it'd make him feel worse about the state that he was in. Akira's curiosity didn't fade, but she'd have to bide her time. It was a bit like being with someone she couldn't actually ever get to know, the only saving grace was, clearly, this someone didn't know themselves either.

She flicked away her second, unfinished grass piece and turned to look at him and was surprised by the gentle smile his lips were stretched into. In a rare tender moment, she reflected the smile, in full and extended her arm. She wanted to interrupt him before he felt pressed to answer her selfish inquiry about her magic again. The Shimada's gesture was almost involuntarily as her fingers stretched towards the healer, to provide comfort to show that she cared. But before she could make contact however they were interrupted and for some reason, her hand shot back towards her like it had touched fire. Why did it matter so much if someone saw her being warm and soft?

She wasn't the one snappy this time, it was like Tsuru had taken over. For some reason, she looked at him with pride, like she'd played a part in wiping away at least a part of his naivety and made him just a little more efficient. She just propped herself again and folded her arms. 'This why I don't even bother with sleep, it is like the middle of the night, probably morning almost...' she groaned as she eyed the apprentice. The night was the time that brought out all those that preferred to use the darkness as a cloak to do their crap, perhaps that is why Aki dealt with such people with a vengeance, they were part of the problem, in giving her element a bad name... She waited for Diego to explain what was up, but only half-listened, knowing the healer was far more inclined to prove his worth as a Knight ever since their bout against the Phantom Lords. ... Something something about a vampyre... Aki rolled her eyes and picked herself off the ground. 'Let's get this done with fast, I'm actually getting a bit drowsy.'  



#20Hatsuharu 

Social on Thu May 10, 2018 3:11 pm

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It truly was a shame the duo was interrupted. Maybe a lot of things would have gone completely differently had they had the conversation that was long due. Having heard the apprentice’s footsteps before his partner and turned to see him, the healer completely missed Akira’s hand moving towards him. Fate really didn’t want the two to diffuse the tension… yet.

Haru stood up, dusted his pants and put on the robe as the apprentice explained the situation. Apparently, there was a man missing and his family was certain that he was allured by a vampire. The red-headed man turned to look at Akira. They have had this happen to them several times before. Boy and girl fall in love; one or both sides of the family don’t like it and ends up calling the other a vampire. Of course, no matter how many times this occurs, they simply couldn’t ignore it without an investigation. What if the story was true the one time they chose to ignore it?

“Alright... I doubt this is serious, but let’s make sure,” he said, patting Diego’s back as appreciation before walking towards the tents. As much as he didn’t like the fact that they were interrupted, the healer didn’t wish for the man to feel bad for doing his job. He liked the kid’s vigilance and ambition, even if he went overboard most of the time.

“They were last seen near the big oak tree, towards the river,” Diego said as he followed the duo closely. Not wanting for the apprentice to hear him, Haru whispered softly to Akira. “Let’s use our vocal chords before you pull the trigger,” he said, looking accusingly at his partner.

WC: 283

#21Akira Shimada 
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Social on Thu May 10, 2018 4:51 pm

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It was not an unheard story, accusation flying from families that didn't approve of certain relationships. Akira stretched her arms out in front of her, and then raised them above her head, before proceeding to pull her interlaced fingers to each side of her body and offering the tense muscles of her flanks some relief. Akira didn't bother to praise the apprentice, she frankly wasn't so sure if she wanted to encourage another wide-eyed hopeful candidate to fall into the traps of this job. To watch him lose his way and be ensnared till he was nothing more than a mere puppet for the council... She pushed away the bitterness that came rearing into her mind at such a short notice. All that anguish was just sitting there waiting to be provoked into action.

She tried to linger in the moment that she and Tsuru had almost had. Tried to savor whatever little they learned about each other. Who would've thought to communicate this way actually helped so much? They'd become a well-oiled machine simply by trial and error, maybe if they'd taken more time to sit and just talk, things would've moved along faster. But where did they find the time, the two had been lugged from one place to another, ever since they set foot amidst the ranks of the Knights. 'Yeah yeah...' was all she offered, in response to both of her partner's statements. It was strange how all that tenderness vaporized now that they had a task and it was time for them to get down to business.  



#22Hatsuharu 

Social on Thu May 10, 2018 5:35 pm

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The number of tents and stalls had changed the natural scenery of the forest completely. Thankfully, most things artificial in the location were set to be temporary; no skyscrapers to make them lose their way. The tall oak tree the apprentice talked about was very much visible under the moonlight and Haru began walking straight towards it, going around the occasional tents and stalls. The apprentice was talking without pause and the healer had learnt to zone out most of the useless things he said, filtering only the essential information. So far, he had said nothing useful except that he truly thinks this case involves an actual vampire. “Yeah… We’ll see…” Haru said, not even bothering to hide his scepticism.

Finally, the three Knights were in the vicinity of the tree. The healer could see two middle-aged couples arguing in hushed voices. While their voices’ volume was low—probably out of fear that they might wake the rest of the crowd and fall prey to a scandal—but their words were vicious; each couple accusing the other of plotting something sinister.

Haru jogged towards them and cleared his throat to notify them of his arrival. “Let’s calm down, shall we?” he said, smiling at them. The two couples stopped immediately and turned to look at the new arrival. It looked like they wanted to ask who he might be, but after seeing Diego, they understood the situation. “Their vampire boy took our innocent girl, officer,” said the disgruntled mother of the girl. “No! They are lying. It’s their girl who used a wretched love potion to trap my son,” the boy’s father retaliated. Haru put both his hands up in the air to stop them from going on any further.

“Which way did they go?” he asked, getting straight to the point. Everyone seemed to agree on that, as all four of them pointed towards the thick forest across the river. The healer simply nodded and spoke calmly. “I request you all to go back to your tents and wait. We’ll go find them and get back to you,” he said, and then nodded at Diego. The apprentice rushed to take the four of them away from the tree and towards their tents.

It was time to cross the river and go find this stupid love-stricken couple. Hopefully, they wouldn’t have been eaten by some forest monster by the time the Knights reached them. Haru put his palms together and pointed them in front of him. Within moments, a large three-meter-wide cloud formed, ready to fly them across the river. He swiftly jumped atop and offered a hand to Akira to help her board the cloud.

WC: 446

#23Akira Shimada 
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Social on Thu May 10, 2018 6:30 pm

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Akira was led through the tents, towards another location that led to the fringes. She wondered if it would have been easier to avoid the tents and simply walk around the outskirts, but Diego confirmed that this was the shortest route, she wanted to snap at him but stopped herself. The Shimada was aware that it came from a deep-seated resentment for the lost stolen moment and their job description, so it'd be pretty unfair to call him out and argue with the apprentice needlessly, she was just one rank higher than him anyways... In a way, she was proud of herself for making a mature choice.

By the time they finally reached the oak tree, which often served as a landmark for people at the festival, Akira had already accurately anticipated the scene they witnessed. It caused her to basically slap her forehead with her palm. This was heading down the territory of fairy tales at this point, sometimes she wondered if people simply created drama for the sake of it, for the purpose of feeling like heroes in the story of their own lives... As Tsuru calmed them down, Aki fell a naughty sense of wickedness overwhelm her.

Just for the sake of stoking the fire, she clutched her chest and sighed deeply as she followed her partner away, she spoke out loud, in a rather dramatic manner. 'What evil do you all worship? Can you see not that your concerns pale in front of love?' she turned away, skipping to keep up with the healer and giggling like her more carefree self. 'Sorry, I probably shouldn't have done that...' she said after she finally caught her breath and they reached the edge of the stream that marked the end of the event-related make-shift settlement.

He created his cloud, and chivalrously offered her a hand, she didn't really need the leg up, but she didn't mind. She guessed this was the closest they were going to get to their own fairy tale experience. At least, perhaps they really were going to get to play the heroes tonight, it'd be a welcome change...  



#24Hatsuharu 

Social on Thu May 10, 2018 7:29 pm

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Haru shook his head and chuckled as he watched Aki do her mocking performance. He couldn’t fault her for making light of the situation; they had seen too many such accusations—most of which were false—to take them seriously. Once the parents were guided away from the tree by Diego, he held Akira’s hand and pulled her up gently onto the cloud. That brief moment when his eyes met hers and he continued holding onto her hand after she had climbed the cloud was enough to make him go red and look away sharply. He then quickly began controlling the nimbus to cross the river.

The cloud hovered a good five meters above the water as it whizzed across the width of the river. In less than a minute they were on the opposite end, at the edge of the thick forest. Haru wondered how this couple managed to get across the river. They couldn’t have possibly swum; the stream velocity was too high. And there was no boat or coracle in the vicinity. “How do you suppose they crossed the river?” he asked, wondering if his more intelligent partner could come up with a theory that he might have overlooked.

The healer sincerely hoped he didn’t have to use his sword again, but no such luck. He needed it just to light the path and scare the little critters away, as it got pretty dark the minute they stepped into the thick forest. Haru pulled out the lightsaber and activated it, the blue mana blade’s glow lighting up to one meter ahead of him. He knew Akira wouldn’t have any trouble seeing things around her; in fact, she would have to be the one to look for the love-doves while he kept close to her in case something decided to snack on them.

WC: 305

#25Akira Shimada 
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Social on Thu May 10, 2018 8:40 pm

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She should have pulled her hand out of his lingering grasp... But she didn't. Instead, she looked up at him as he hoisted her up onto the cloud and then suddenly they both sharply avoided eye contacted, snapping their heads away in tandem, perhaps they both missed the pinkish hues that painted the cheeks of the knights, Akira wasn't even aware that she was blushing, she just felt the slight heat rise to her face, it wasn't a feeling she was too familiar with, but it made her a little shifty. He distracted himself by guiding the cloud over the river, Akira crouched a little to avoid losing balance and falling over... Falling into the river and getting all wet, would defeat the purpose of his kind offering. Not to mention she'd get swept away by the water, to god knows where and the entire mission would be ruined, she didn't think either of them could deal with another hit of failure.

She didn't say much as he steered the swiftly to the other side. Only after they'd already reached the ground again, did he ask a very valid question. Perhaps, if she hadn't been so distracted with the little sparks between them, she'd have paid attention to that detail too. She didn't even get off the cloud as he started towards the thicket that closely hugged the bank they were on, already readying his weapon, which surprised her, because he wasn't one to unleash it easily. It quickly became apparent as he squinted, that he was using it more as a source of light... 'Unless... They didn't.' she said, her eyes widening as she turned to scan the other side again. She noted the trees they'd walked through to approach the river, had a thicker bundle on either side. The canopy of leaves was much lusher on the left and right of the short path they'd just taken to the river. It was perfectly reasonable for the young couple to have created some sort of a distraction to lead the people to believe that they'd crossed the river and prevent them from continuing the chase or the hunt. They had to head back.

'If any part of the story is true, we are dealing with a nifty pair, I'll tell ya that.'



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