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The Hunter's Ink [Festival | Private | Tsukiko]

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#1Daiko Flayme 

on Wed May 16, 2018 8:07 am

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Now that Daiko thought about it, he had been quite rushing when he entered Orchidia Town after such a while. He wanted to train his hunting skills, but he forgot something essential and efficient in his training. He forgot something learnt to him, something brought down to him from his mother’s legacy. It had been so long since he used this type of ink before, its cold and refreshing touch travelling across Daiko’s arm as he painted a sharp-angled triangle that pointed towards his palm. A few, small branches were inked around the triangle too, before the hunter picked up his 5-hour made amateur spider-web bow.

A huge drawback in hunting with a bow was the fact that the target could make a long way before surrendering to the blood loss. Daiko’s nose wasn’t like that of a dog’s or any other land-walking predator’s, so say that an aurochs ran 5 miles before fainting. He couldn’t exactly shoot a bow towards a fast, moving target yet - not when he always used to stay in a far distance before shooting his first arrow - and the aurochs could make him get lost before he even found it. Of course, he could follow its trail of blood, but it was rare for an aurochs to die by one arrow. Therefore, Daiko planned to aim for the critical spots - if he wanted an upper hand in long-range hunting, then he would need to adapt into the skill tree of aiming for the perfect jugular veins, head, heart, major vein in legs and etc. - places that would ensure that the target wouldn’t make it far or die trying.

From a distance, the chance of a still target was bigger. Therefore, Daiko had constructed a log-like figure that was supposed to resemble an aurochs, and he had marked the sweet spots with his fire magic. Clear, black areas on light-brown log would make for targets as he readied his bow…

#2Tsukiko 

on Wed May 16, 2018 8:24 am

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WORDS: 353 | TAG: @ |    

Badum, badum, badum

The sound of her heart beating in her chest felt so loud to the girl it almost muted out all the other sounds of the festival. To others, it must have looked like a troublemaker was trying to make their escape, for a hooded figure was darting back and forth among the alleys of Orchidia while giggling like a child being up to some mischief. In her hands was a small bag, seemingly filled with what appeared to be some sort of sweet treats that were being sold at the festival.

"Hold it, thief!" One of her pursuers called out to the hooded figure as she darted into a nearby alley, but it was at that point that it appeared they had finally cornered her. The hooded figure stood with her back facing the three knights, each of them looking at one another as they tried to figure out if their target would surrender without a fight, but oblivious to the fact that a shadow was bouncing up along the walls above them. By the time they reached the hooded figure and extended a hand toward it all they saw was a shadowy mannequin that dissolved into nothingness as soon as it was touched while a tendril coiled around the cloak and pulled it upwards.

"Puuh~" Poking out her tongue in a taunt the lass had escaped already onto the rooftops of the building and resumed her escape, this time without any pursuers.

However, as she resumed her dash along the rooftops of Orchidia a miscalculated leap led the white-haired lass to tumble down the sky and land straight on top of a wooden structure, the very same log-like figure a teenage boy was using for target practice.

"What a weird animal... Never seen one of those back home..."
The girl mused softly as she leaned over and poked the head of the animal, realizing that it was not breathing at all. "It died?! Please don't tell me it died because I jumped on its back... I'm not that heavy!" the girl cried in protest, oblivious to the nearby boy.

If thou gaze long into an abyss,
 
the abyss will also gaze into thee.


"Fortunately,I'm not afraid of the dark~"
- Tsukiko Himura

credit to nat of adoxography.

#3Daiko Flayme 

on Wed May 16, 2018 8:46 am

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”… They’re lining up the prisoners, and the guards have taken aim-“ he breathed out before spotting something mobile landing on the log. It came like a shock to him; after a good 1-2 minutes of preparation, just like that, his focus disappeared for a brief moment. He refrained from shooting the arrow, though, as he couldn’t really let the strange figure stay there. At first, he thought that it was some other animal that poked its curiosity at the log figure, but upon the cry that emitted from it, he stood corrected that it was a girl. “H-Huh..?” he stammered in confusion.

Putting his bow back onto his back, he would make his way towards the strange girl who landed on his target. Who was she, and why exactly did she interrupt his training? Was it a coincidence? Maybe she was hurrying for something else, maybe she was lost and randomly found her way here. Either way, she had bunked into his space, so he’d better pay his manners and learn some more. His green jacket almost blended in with the fresh, green leaves of summer in the bushes and the low trees. Coda was nowhere to be seen at the moment.

“Y-You should watch out, I almost shot you…” he spoke to her in a low and well-mannered tone, “It’s not dead. It’s inanimate, wood. I built it for my training…”

#4Tsukiko 

on Wed May 16, 2018 8:57 am

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Hearing a sudden voice call out to her the girl turned into the direction it came from, blinking in confusion. A teenage boy around her age was holding a bow and warned her to be careful, making the girl raise a hand to her cheek as she hummed softly. "That would be bad~" However, she doubted a mere arrow from his bow would be able to do much against her, in the end, the symbiotic armor would likely act the moment the projectile launched toward her.

"I'll be more careful from now on." A soft smile followed as she climbed off the wooden log, looking quite interested in the creature. "Amazing, it looked so much like a real animal that I didn't notice the difference! Are you a craftsman?"

Tsukiko inquired when she finally spotted the ink on the lad's skin, a sign that clearly drew her attention for she leaned closer to inspect it. "Oh~ Warpaint? I never expected the people of Fiore to uphold such a tradition!" She clapped her hands eagerly, almost with a childish enthusiasm when finally she inquired about a matter that had left her curious till now:

"But why would you end up wanting to shoot your own creation?"

If thou gaze long into an abyss,
 
the abyss will also gaze into thee.


"Fortunately,I'm not afraid of the dark~"
- Tsukiko Himura

credit to nat of adoxography.

#5Daiko Flayme 

on Wed May 16, 2018 9:15 am

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Hmh. Her voice sure reminded him of Alisa’s, that playful, self-confident tone causing the Fire Wizard to lift a brow a little. He was a little serious, she could have gotten hurt… he didn’t even know who she was or what kind of affinity to nature she held. But her presence invited questions to be answered and knowledge to be gathered. Strangely, he wanted to know a little more about her now - not just because of her specifically interesting voice. Upon a further look, he could make up her face with something red and web-like on her left side.

She found the log creature amazing? He used only half an hour to create that, though, but it made him blush a little as his capabilities were appreciated by someone. “T-Thanks…” he expressed his gratitude, “N-No… I mean, kind of. Yeah, you could call me that.”

Her curiosity also led to the ink on his wrist. A rather small triangle spotted and inspected by her eyes? That was quite a feat if you would ask him, which only increased his own curiosity for this individual. “Oh, warpaint? It’s not warpaint… it’s a Hunter’s Ink,” he explained confidently, “I’m practicing some hunt for the upcoming contest in the Flower Festival. A hunting contest.” Perhaps she had plans to enjoy the festival too, but whether if she planned to join the contest or not was beyond him. “And, uh… were you on the hurry?”

#6Tsukiko 

on Wed May 16, 2018 10:34 am

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A hand raised to her chin as she pondered for a moment about the lad's explanation that it was not war paint, but in fact a substance he called a 'Hunter's Ink'. She had never heard the term before, and as one might have anticipated it had stirred her curiosity! "Oh~ So you're a hunter! But what purpose does the ink hold?" Was it to blend in with his surroundings? To honor his ancestors? Or perhaps intimidate his prey? So many possible explanations could have been behind it, and obviously, that by itself excited her a lot!

"A contest?" Her expression clearly revealed her interest in the subject as the young lad explained further that it was an upcoming hunting contest! "That sounds exciting~ Perhaps I'll participate also!" The girl hummed excitedly when finally a question was asked that made her noticeably ponder for a moment. "Sort of..." The girl muttered before she looked at the lad and explained with a sheepish grin while raising the small bag she was holding in her arms. "I was also participating in a contest~ A hunting contest!"

The girl explained excitedly as she pulled open the bag and revealed two large buns inside it, melon breads to be exact and after grabbing a hold of one she offered it to the lad. "But I won~ Anyway, want some?"

If thou gaze long into an abyss,
 
the abyss will also gaze into thee.


"Fortunately,I'm not afraid of the dark~"
- Tsukiko Himura

credit to nat of adoxography.

#7Daiko Flayme 

on Wed May 16, 2018 12:11 pm

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”Well, it’s my badge,” he explained, “From now on, the more successful I get in my hunt, the bigger the ink grows. Like getting a new position in the army or in the Rune Knights.” He didn’t feel sure about his explanation, but it was the best he could come up with. Right now, it was just a triangle on his wrist, but when he got a good - very, very, very good - grasp on long-range acupuncture, then he would make the tattoo a bit larger. “Then I’ll remember what I’ve learned… and what I need to improve at,” he elaborated.

… Okay, something was a little odd. She wanted to participate too; that was awesome! That meant that she held interest in this kind of thing! On the other hand, his smile kind of turned a little crooked when she mentioned that she was, already, participating in a hunting contest. Was it just him? It felt just like him to misinterpret words like that, in which he ignored the feeling.

But obviously, he wouldn’t ignore something delicious like melon breads. “Thanks *nom*” he showed his gratitude as he grabbed the melon bread and munched on it, “But uh… *munch* in that case, let’s practice together. It’ll be great...!”

#8Tsukiko 

on Wed May 16, 2018 1:37 pm

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A light tap of her finger onto her chin followed as the girl listened attentively to his explanation. "So you sort of use the ink as a representation of your achievements in life?" That was a rather unusual thing to do, but it was still quite fascinating. The lass' lips curved into a little smile as she watched the lad munch onto the melon bread she had given him, making her decide to enjoy the other one.

After scooping the remaining melon bread out of the bag she stashed it away and started to taste the bun, holding it almost like a hamster that was chewing on some grains!

"Mhmm~ Delicious~" The girl declared happily, clearly pleased with the flavor of the melon bread, yet the boy's suggestion about practicing together made her blink slightly in bewilderment. Why would she go hunting again? She had already succeeded, and they were now enjoying the spoils so it didn't make much sense to her for them to go back onto the hunting part.

"That would be a bit difficult." The girl explained as she chewed and munched onto the melon bread, leaving bits of crumbs on her lips and cheeks as she swallowed for a moment and resumed her explanation. "I already won, and if we were to go hunting now the hunters would be too alerted for us to succeed. Not to mention I'm no longer hungry, so I won't need to hunt for food anymore for the time being~"

If thou gaze long into an abyss,
 
the abyss will also gaze into thee.


"Fortunately,I'm not afraid of the dark~"
- Tsukiko Himura

credit to nat of adoxography.

#9Daiko Flayme 

on Fri May 18, 2018 10:08 am

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Daiko simply nodded at Tsukiko’s comment. Achievements were symbolized as the paintings made of ink on his arm, and he would make sure to paint more as time passed and his experience grew. But it would go much faster with a partner, eh? Perhaps he was lucky to have help from this lively lady - whose name he hadn’t even asked for yet. Where did his manners go, again? He should’ve gotten her name by now, or at least sooner than this…

However, she stated that her hunting contest was over, and that she had already won her price. Was the price these melon breads? Was that what the hunting contest would reward the winner with? It saddened him a lot to the point where it was apparent on his previously relaxed face. “… Aww, no wonder there’s no scent of blood from you,” he moaned, “I have a bad feeling about this contest… does it even involve hunting animals?” He was kind of begging for that to be true, otherwise it would be devastating. A hunting contest without any animals?

“I mean… animals are key factors in a successful hunt. Both as targets-“ he explained along with a swift and loud whistle from his mouth, “-And as helpers.” A few seconds later, the leaves above them would bristle and reveal the descension of Coda, a deep-red raptor who would find her place on the Fire Wizard’s hardened arm. “Just like Coda here.”

#10Tsukiko 

on Fri May 18, 2018 10:41 am

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"Of course I don't smell like blood~ I didn't kill anyone~" At least not today she added in her thoughts to the back of her mind. Although she smiled harmlessly it seemed that Daiko was starting to catch on about the nature of the contest she participated in. A soft hum escaped Tsukiko's lips as the boy explained his belief how animals were a key factor in a hunting contest both as prey and partners in the hunt. "Really? There are a lot of hunts where it's people that are the prey, isn't that how the saying 'survival of the fittest' was born?" She asked nonchalantly while making a soft hop, the black ribbons around her body pulling her off the wooden log and making her lightly land on the ground beside it while she clarified further.

"It was a hunting contest, although this time I was the prey and several merchants the hunters." She explained with a sheepish smile as she finished the last bits of the melon bread, wiping some of the crumbs from her lips. "mhmm delicious~"

Yet it seemed the lad had a friend to introduce, a friend that soon came to the boy's side, the avian creature making Tsukiko's eyes widen in disbelief as she exclaimed with a childishly excited tone. "It's a fire chicken!"

If thou gaze long into an abyss,
 
the abyss will also gaze into thee.


"Fortunately,I'm not afraid of the dark~"
- Tsukiko Himura

credit to nat of adoxography.

#11Daiko Flayme 

on Fri May 18, 2018 11:07 am

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Huuuuuuuuuh? It had been a while since Daiko himself was the prey. It sure expressed the ‘survival of the fittest’ quote that the lady recited. Even though he had never heard that quote before - apologize him - it kind of explained things well. The fitter you were, the higher your chances in the wildlife were. That was why he was doing all of this right now - to up his chances and to hone his hunting skills so that he could reach the top of the food chain once more.

Coda couldn’t but flail her wings by the nickname. Fire chicken? Listen, Daiko was the fire, she was everything else but a chicken! Bird races aside, this was in the bird’s ears… absurd! Inacceptable! She had half a mind to peck her eyes out as Daiko could see it, but as many other birds, they were easy to be comforted. A soft stroke on her feathery neck was enough to diminish all the negativity inside the bird. “She’s not a fire chicken..!” he proclaimed with a flushed look, “She’s a kite! Her name is Coda… and as you can see, she’s a very proud kite, heh.”

As Coda switched place over to the log ox that he built, Daiko rose up as he had finished the melon bread. “If you’ve already won the contest… hmpf, here I was hoping that you would want to train some awesome archery with me or something.” It was rather disheartening, but he didn’t know what she was up to or what plans she had. Maybe, maybe not, she could keep him company-

Wait, that did remind him…

“Oh, by the way, call me Hyōen,” he properly, and finally, greeted, “Never got your name, cheeky.”

#12Tsukiko 

on Fri May 18, 2018 11:26 am

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"A kite?" Tsukiko tilted her head to the side in clear bewilderment, taking a step closer as she circled around the lad, seemingly inspecting the bird from all directions before she hummed softly. "Are you sure that she is a kite? She looks like a bird to me!" the girl explained with a hint of excitement in her voice before turning their conversation back to the focus of the hunting contest. "Mhmm the hunt is over~ but I can help you with the archery practice, although I have to admit a bow is somewhat unfamiliar to me as a weapon." The girl confessed with a smile, clearly not used to the art of archery, for she had never even hunted properly after wildlife before.

However, as the introductions came and he called her cheeky the white-haired girl flashed a grin at him, clearly amused at his choice of nickname while she answered his greeting with one of her own. "My name is Tsukiko~"

Still, that Coda was quite a mysterious creature, wasn't she? After the momentary distraction, the girl turned her attention back to the log and inquired with a hint of curiosity in her voice. "So~ are you planning to practice your archery on that log? Wouldn't it be more interesting to practice your skills in a more exciting and challenging way?"


If thou gaze long into an abyss,
 
the abyss will also gaze into thee.


"Fortunately,I'm not afraid of the dark~"
- Tsukiko Himura

credit to nat of adoxography.

#13Daiko Flayme 

on Fri May 18, 2018 2:08 pm

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”A kite,” he replied bluntly. Yah, a kite. Coda was a kite, a type of raptor that had a very sleek tail, a streamlined body and stretched wings that allowed it to move unpredictably in the air. It was a majestic animal, and Daiko knew lots about it… but alas, not everyone were bird nerds. Now she was just teasing him.

“W-Well, bird is the word, ain’t it…” he commented with a small vein on his forehead. Bird, bird, bird was the word - he had heard that phrase before, a rare occasion to even remember it. Now, his smile returned when she agreed to help him with the archery training; this meant company, and probably a new friend. “Woo!” he let out happily when she agreed. Coda began pecking his head intensely as he did so, but it didn’t bother him. “Ah, d-don’t worry about that; I’m sure that you’ll catch up very fast,” he assured her.

Ah, Tsukiko… sweet name. He would make sure to remember that for the next time that they would meet - otherwise, it would be awkward. However, her next words implied a new idea for the practice, something ‘more interesting’ in ‘a more exciting and challenging way’ as she phrased it. He. Was. Interested. “… Such as?” he promptly asked the rather mischievous girl.

#14Tsukiko 

on Fri May 18, 2018 3:56 pm

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"... Well, a bird is an avian, so it's sort of correct, I guess?" The girl asked, clearly oblivious to the reference the boy made but when he expressed his interest in her idea she eagerly clapped her hands together. "Do you know what one of the greatest obstacles is for those who fight from afar? Or actually, it's an issue anyone has when an ally is involved."

With a light sidestep, she gestured at the log. "Right now you got a clear line of sight of your target, so hitting it would be easy-peasy right?" Spinning her body around so she was standing between the boy and the log she hummed softly. "But now it's less easy to hit the log, right? What if there were two or three of me fighting at the front?"

As she turned around she grinned at the hunter and explained further. "Obviously the chance to hit your own allies or an innocent bystander is extremely high in comparison to when you're fighting up close and personal."

She raised a hand to her cheek, seemingly pondering a bit further on the idea she had in mind and soon clarified further. "In my country, there is a certain way that warriors practice to overcome this problem. They basically set up target dummies in a city! The objective is simple: you got to tag each dummy without hitting any innocent bystanders. Of course, using actual arrows is dangerous... so we got to replace the arrowheads with something blunt and a sticky substance... do they have that at the festival? like some sort of glue?"


If thou gaze long into an abyss,
 
the abyss will also gaze into thee.


"Fortunately,I'm not afraid of the dark~"
- Tsukiko Himura

credit to nat of adoxography.

#15Daiko Flayme 

on Sat May 19, 2018 6:15 am

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One of the greatest obstacles… it would be neat to overcome such an issue if possible. Daiko was aware of people around him when he was hunting, but Worth Woodsea was poor with human activity in the eastern parts. Therefore, he had never needed the extra caution, because the only other animal that he didn’t want to hit despite the chances was Coda. Although, the chances of hitting a raptor who sought the skies so much… were mundane. However, if he was going to hunt anywhere else, like here in Orchidia, then things could get worrying.

“True…” he responded. Having her stand right in front of the log ox was a pain, just like when she landed on it. He could’ve shot it if he was confident in his skills… she had a very good point now. He didn’t exactly know if he was long-ranged or more of a melee person, but he could always find out during his training.

Her idea was that they made more of these log dummies, and when she mentioned the need of something sticky and blunt, he got an earthbound idea. “What about the glue that they’re using to pin flags with? They have a lot of it further down the road… but I guess they’re still using it.” The flags were meant to be stuck to the greenish walls of Orchidia for the upcoming festival, and upon walking across the way, Daiko noticed their tools and the gluey dough.

“I’m not sure if they want to give us any of it…”

#16Tsukiko 

on Sat May 19, 2018 8:14 am

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It seemed that Daiko had agreed with her idea of a little game in the city of Orchidia, especially since it would help him with his training and she could have a bit of fun along the way also. A hand raised to the back of her head as she idly mused the thought of how they would obtain the glue needed for the arrows, because the idea was to create a blunt arrowhead and coat in the glue so it would stick to the target dummy after being fired, and if it hit a person by accident it wouldn't hurt that much either! All in all it was an excellent idea, even if she did say so herself!

"Alright~ Let's see..." the girl began as she mused softly, seemingly trying to figure out a good idea to get the training started. "How about you gather the glue? I'll go and prepare the target dummies for you~ We can meet at the entrance of the festival grounds afterward!"

And with those words, the girl dashed off toward the streets the festival was being hosted at. By the time the young man finished his preparations and obtained the glue in whatever way he deemed correct he would find the girl waiting beneath a pillar at the entrance to the festival.

"So Hyōen~ I placed ten different target dummies for you in the festival area. They are all over the place, some will be easy to spot, others will be more difficult~" The girl exclaimed with an excited grin as she gestured toward the nearby banner, where on top of it a pitch-black bird resembling Coda was cawing out loud.

"Once you shoot that one the contest begins~ You got to find all ten of them before sunset! Don't worry, as long as your arrow hits it the dummy will go 'kapoof', so you don't need to worry about cleaning up the dummies afterward."

It seemed she was quite excited about her little idea.

If thou gaze long into an abyss,
 
the abyss will also gaze into thee.


"Fortunately,I'm not afraid of the dark~"
- Tsukiko Himura

credit to nat of adoxography.



Last edited by Tsukiko on Sat May 19, 2018 11:50 am; edited 1 time in total

#17Daiko Flayme 

on Sat May 19, 2018 11:02 am

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Huh. Perhaps he could test his luck and try and get this glue. Daiko wasn’t fully sure if they wanted to give him any - the workers were busy with the festival and all - but maybe… just maybe they would be generous enough to give some glue to a member of the town’s local guild. She wanted to prepare the dummies, meanwhile; maybe she was just as good as him in doing so. They would most likely not be the same type of log oxen that he built himself, but the plan was set, and he hurried to get some glue alongside Coda’s watchful eye…

The townsfolk were as joyous as ever. It was half-crowded on his way to where he saw the men work with the fans and flags. Upon his arrival, they were still there, and there was still a lot of glue floating in jars. Instead of asking them, which would interrupt their hard work, he simply took a dip with the headless arrow, hoping that it was okay to borrow some glue. “Thanks for borrowing!” he thanked the two workers as he made his way back to the festival grounds further down the road. The two workers would give random, curious looks at the strange man…

When the Fire Wizard arrived, Tsukiko looked just ready to send him off on a sort of target hunt - the dummies were set different places, and the crowds were getting populated. He eagerly followed her gesture towards a dummy that was depicted as an actual, living crow. That was his first target, apparently…

“Wait… that’s- wait, is that dummy alive?” he asked out curiously, “…” Oh well, first shot was heading towards the crow figure at the top of the banner in a swift instant where Daiko aimed with his bow balanced and well, and due to the trial itself, he made sure to keep his eyes around the area. Where would the other dummies be, now…?

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