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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default [B:TBtP] Main thread I - is this what you call "heaven"?

    ((OOC thread can be found here.))

    ---

    [3000 years ago, Soul Society, noon]

    Surrounded by acre after acre of farmland, stands the mightiest fortress of all - Seireitei, the Court of Pure souls and home to the Spirit King, ruler of all of afterlife. Its great circular wall stands tall, made from impregnable Sekkiseki that keeps everything inside safe from anything that might threaten its peace. The wall has four great gates, one facing each of the four cardinal directions, each a ten day walk from the others. Truly, there isn't a mightier city in all of existence, and won't be for another 3000 years at least.

    But something is... wrong. The gates are shut. Their gatekeepers, once known as such jolly fellows who always had time for those living in the shade of the wall, are nowhere in sight. You can knock on the doors as much as you like, but no-one will come to open them. The city has been closed, and King has isolated himself from the common folk.

    Behind the walls, tall granite buildings loom, many of them vacant as the noble families who could've claimed ownership are all trapped outside, exiled from the capital of their very homeland!

    Or maybe,
    it's the King and his lot who are in exile - many are content to do what they please now that their master is away. Some hoard glory, others treasure, some power... but at whose expense? What of the ordinary souls, who are left without protection of a strong government? Where is the Royal Guard, who used to patrol the streets and keep them safe? Where are the compassionate souls who used to guide lost souls to their deserved resting place? What will happen to the world when Kamis are only interested in themselves and not those who pray to them for help?

    At the center of the great city, wind echoes in the empty halls of Senzaikyū and sweeps dust from the great Sōkyoku Hill. Both have gone unused for years now. Justice, as well, is trapped inside the walls. It does not reach those deserving of it; dishonest thrive while the honest are trodden down, innocent are punished while the sinful shake off responsibility like a goose shakes water from its back...

    Things can't continue this way. Something must be done.

    Someone must bring forth a change.

    Who?

    ---

    [Far, far away...]

    The sound of metal clashing against metal. A broken blade flies through the air and strikes the ground, sending dust billowing around. There's nothing but sand, sand, sand as far as the eye can see save for few long-withered trees, and a crooked moon shines its cold light from the void of the night sky.

    A man slumps to his knees. How did it come to this? Why does he have to die in a place like this?

    The man's name is Nagi. He's a warrior and a noble of afterlife, a creature mortals look up to as a Kami, a god. Just a short while ago, he was also a bodyguard... leader of the guards tasked with the protection of his father on his trip to slay Hollows, those lost souls twisted into horrifying shapes by their misguided passions...

    But now he's nothing. Blood trickles through the seams of his armor as he clings to his life. Around him, in the sand, lie scattered the bodies of his comrades, and his dear father. Before him is a monster. It's skin is white and dead just like the sand around it; it's face covered by a skull mask, forever smiling with a skeletal grin, but there's no joy, no compassion, not a single thing to be seen it its empty eyes.

    Nagi's grip tightens around the shaft of his spear, a weapon he'd proudly used in dozens of battles before; now its broken and useless. How could there be such a thing? The monster, it looks just like a human! It's shorter than him, shorter than great many of his men were - yet it slew them all! And for all their efforts, there's nary a scratch on it! Like its skin was made of steel!

    The beast, it moves. Nagi braces himself. "Come on, you coward! Finish what you started!", he growls in defiance, preparing to strike with what's left of his weapon even if its for naught. But the beast ignores the taunt. It walks slowly, ever so slowly towards the man. It has no hurry anywhere. It has won.

    Nagi tries to stay calm, prepare for the last strike, but then, he sees something - through the gaping hole in the beast's chest, he can see the broken form of his beloved sister. Tears well up in his eyes. I shouldn't have brought her here.

    There's a sudden hum, and the beast rams against Nagi's weakened body. The warrior gasps, his grip of his weapon slipping as the pain strikes through him like a hot needle. The beast reaches for his throat, seeking to throttle him.

    "That's how it is then!"
    , Nagi growls through clenched teeth, grasping the beast's left hand with his right while reaching for its throat in turn with his left. This is something he'd always been good at - grappling. Oh, how many men he'd thrown to the ground in the past! He'd been the best of his district.

    But it doesn't seem to be enough. Nagi tumbles on his back and tries to throw the beast over himself, but it grip remains firm. His hold slips, and the world starts to dim in his eyes...

    Some distance away, one of the bodies stirs. A woman rises her head, staring feebly at the scene before here. Once, she might have been pretty, but now here face is covered in blood, her nose broken by the fist of the beast. "Nagi!", she tries to shout, but out comes just a weak whisper that ends in a bloodied cough. She's Nami, Nagi's twin sister. They'd been together... always. They'd learned to walk together, talk together... and now, it seems, they'd die together.

    She watches as her brother fights a losing battle with the monster. No! I have to get up! I have to help him! She stumbles up and points her palm at the humanoid abomination. "Y - ye Lord!", she strugles to say the words, "Mask of blood and flesh, all creation, flutter of wings, ye who bears the name of Man! Inferno and pandemonium, the sea barrier surges, march on to the south!" A ball of red flame flares from her open hand, striking the beast's back. It's enough... to make the beast pause and slowly start to turn its head towards the woman, loosening its grip around the neck of defeated Nagi!

    "No! You stay away from her!"

    It seems the man isn't quite done yet. Large, rugged hands spring to life and grab the beast by its horns, forcing it to face the fallen warrior again. For the first time during their battle, the beast lets out a sound - an inhuman screech that claws at their hearing. Is it confused, or just angry, hard to say. It squeezes its clawed hands around Nagi's windpipe once again.

    Nami stares. She knows her brother has only bought her a bit of time. She should run... but where? Ever since the pillars of light descended from the sky and trapped them, she knew hope was lost.

    There's nowhere to run but the desert. Desert of Hollows...

    But as despair starts to creep in, a sudden realization shakes Nami out of it. At the back of the beast's head, where its red mane flows from under the mask - there's an opening!

    There's an arrow sticking from the ground - one of her own, that previously just glanced from the monster's hide. But it's her last hope, so she picks it up and charges towards the beast.

    "Haaa!"

    . . .

    A moment of silence. Nothing moves.

    Perplexed, the beast lets go of Nagi and lifts its right hand to touch the arrowpoint now stick out of its eyesocket.

    Flutter of thousands and thousands of wings fills the air as the beast's body dissolves into a crowd of glowing butterflies soaring to the night sky. Nami slumps next to her brother and together the siblings watch them fly away.

    "I've never seen so many at once..."


    "Me... *cough*... neither..."


    "It's beautiful..."


    Silence ensues once again. Nagi reaches over his sister's shoulder to pull himself up, but only gets halfway. "I love you", he whispers. Then his hand falls limp, and he collapses back down. Nami looks at him sadly, then reaches to pet his shaggy hair. "I love you too."

    In exhaustion, she goes to sleep next to her dead brother. She never wakes up.

    ---

    [Back in Soul Society]

    "OW!"

    A young man darts into a sitting position from the shade of an old oak tree, rubbing the back of his neck.

    "The heck? Did I hit my head or something?"

    He sits there, confused by the pain, before an even stranger feeling washes the pain from his mind...

    "Wait... where am I?"

    Around him, a field of grass spreads. In the distance, he can see some small huts and fields between patches of forestland. He feels like he's seen it before, yet... it's a very distant memory. Like it's unreal, an image from a past world. Like it shouldn't be there.

    Slowly, the man lowers his hand. Only then does he realize there's something in his lap.

    "Hmmm? What's this?"

    He lifts up a black sheath, blinking - it's a sword. He grasps the handle and pulls the blade out an inch or two. "Wait... where'd I get this..."

    He puts the weapon down and rubs his temples, trying his best to remember, but... it doesn't even come to him where he is, let alone how he got there. It's like untold years have just... vanished from his memory.

    "Screw this. I'm hungry."


    Grabbing the blade and the sheath with him, the man jumps up and starts walking towards the settlement. When he gets closer, he sees there are people outside, and starts to run... only to slow down considerably when he realizes when he's not the only one armed.

    "You know the rules. Everyone must pay their tithes. The King..."


    "The King hasn't been around for ages! What authority do you think you have? I won't pay to some random bunch of thugs!"

    The first speaker, a large man dressed in red with a sabre hanging from his belt, reaches towards the hilt with his hand. The second speaker, an elderly man, takes a nervous step backwards. "You know, if you don't pay freely, I have the authority to..."

    "What's going on?"

    Both men turn to look at the newcomer, surprised someone else is even around.

    "And who might you be...?"

    The young man thinks, but doesn't come up with any good answer. "Uh, I'm just wandering about..."

    "You have a weapon. Peasants aren't allowed to carry weapons in my Lord's domain. Hand it over"
    , comes a blunt reply. It's clearly an order.

    The young man frowns. His hand moves towards the man, as if to offer his sword to him but then... his hand just stops.

    "No."

    The man in red frowns in turn. "Hand it over."

    The younger man thinks. But before he can come up with a rational reply, his lips move by themselves. "No. It's mine."

    The man in red doesn't look satisfied. Suddenly, the younger man realizes his hand has moved to the hilt of his sword.

    "Very well then!", the man in red shouts, his blade sliding out of its sheath and striking at the disobedient youth. It's clearly meant to cut him down where he stands... but instead, the blade meets the flat of the younger man's own sabre, and is stopped dead in its tracks.

    The man in red looks quite confused by this fact. But so does the younger man - it's as if he only just realized he moved his hand. Wait... how did...

    His thought is cut off when the red man's fist strikes his face, sending stars flying across his vision...
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [B:TBtP] Main thread I - is this what you call "heaven"?

    When the man's vision clears he might notice a girl standing in front of him, all he can see is her back clad in tight black garb and her two purple pigtails. She appears to be talking to the same man who just knocked the living daylights out of him, and she does not seem happy, at all, quite furious actually.
    It isn't fair to pick fights with the weak. Why don't you try your luck with someone a little more skilled?
    She questions, pointing one of her folded up Tessen at the man in red. She doesn't like bullies.
    I'll show you what a real opponent is like.
    She taunts, as she flicks the Tessen open and holds it threateningly in the assailant's general direction.
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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [B:TBtP] Main thread I - is this what you call "heaven"?

    "I can fight my own fights", the young man snarls, stumbling up while holding his head. His blood is boiling from rage, but the small girl is blocking his way so he can't just charge to his enemy.

    The man in red takes a couple of steps back, holding his sword in a guard position and watching the fans intensely. "You!", he growls. "You're not welcome here! There's a bounty on your head! Stand aside or..."

    *Bonk!*

    It seems that during the confusion, the geezer went and fetched the biggest, heaviest object he could find, which so happens to be a heavy wooden staff meant for carrying water. The man in red drops like a sack of potatoes.

    "That's what you get for turning your back on me, sucker!", the old man shouts and spits on the fallen warrior. Then he turns to shake his staff at the young man and the black-clad girl. "And you! Get off, or you'll get a piece of me too!"

    The young man gives the geezer a dull glare, then shrugs and sheathes his sword. It's an awkward process, as if he'd never done it before.

    "Suits me", he mutters and turns to walk away, but her eyes fix on the short girl still wielding the fancy metal fans. "Who are you? Where'd you get those?"
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [B:TBtP] Main thread I - is this what you call "heaven"?

    The girl sighs, flicking the fans closed once again.
    Stupid old man, stealing all my fun. That's the last time I try to help him.
    She then turns to the man, all smiles and friendly-like.
    Me? I should be asking you that. I was all ready to be all heroic and save your life before that geezer took the opportunity away from me.
    But I suppose it could not hurt to tell you who I am. The names Akira, Akira Wakahisa. Who are you?

    She frowns at his second question.
    I have always had these. And what about your own weapon?
    She questions back, curious.
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    Default Re: [B:TBtP] Main thread I - is this what you call "heaven"?

    A short distance down the woman stands a woman with a cart full of wood. She has short black hair, and her clothes suggest that she's a smith of some kind. If it weren't for her figure, she could be mistaken for a young man.

    She stares at the group on the road before calling out to them.

    Hey! You two should probably go before he gets back up. She looks to the old man. And you should know better than to do that! He's not gonna be happy when he gets up.

    Suzuki is glad that she left her sword at home as usual. She wanted to avoid situations just like this.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [B:TBtP] Main thread I - is this what you call "heaven"?

    The young man opens his mouth to answer, then shuts it again, twitching nervously. "I'm... well, I'm someone. Call me whatever you will, Shorty", he mutters and gives a dismissive wave with his right hand, carrying his sheathed sword in the left. The question about his sword isn't any easier. "Let's just say it dropped on my lap", he mumbles, when the woman with the cart shouts at them.

    The old man shoots an angry glare at the woman. "Bah! He ain't getting up once I'm done with him! Was in need of new shoes anyway..."

    The young man looks over his shoulder at the old man, raising an eyebrow for his murderousness. "Remind me to never cross that guy", he quips to Akira, turning to look ahead again.

    The woman with the cart is right they should get going. But even as his feet carry him forward, the young man realizes he has no idea where he is going, or should go. His steps become irregular and he stops as if he hit a wall, giving an irritated look around.

    "... hey, Shorty. Mind if I tag along?"
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [B:TBtP] Main thread I - is this what you call "heaven"?

    Akira smiles, happy to be needed.
    Of course not, Sir Lost, as long as you don't get in the way and do something stupid again like you did today. Heck, your company might even be fun. Who knows?
    She grins, poking some fun at him.
    I do not have any particular location in mind for my next destination at the moment however. You don't mind aimless wandering for a bit do you? Always the best way to run into trouble.
    Last edited by Viera Champion; 2012-01-28 at 04:51 PM.
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    Default Re: [B:TBtP] Main thread I - is this what you call "heaven"?

    Suzuki sighs at the old man. Really? No...don't do that. That'll just make stuff worse. Just prop him up somewhere and tell him that some bandit jumped him.

    She looks thoughtful for a moment. Though...I guess taking his boots might help that story. As long as you hide them good.

    Helping an old guy rob a tax collector. That's the spirit of goodwill right there.

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    Default Re: [B:TBtP] Main thread I - is this what you call "heaven"?

    Rin stopped, and gasped for air.

    It hurt.

    God it hurt everywhere.

    He groaned, resting his back against a tree, and winced as the cuts on his back met the bark of the branches. He'd been running for too long, he wasn't used to this whole [i]stopping[i] for a break nonsense. He gasped for breath, coughing and wheezing a bit, and sunk to the ground.

    They were still after him. They never stopped, did they? They just kept coming and coming, despite Rin's consistent refusals. The last one had just given him a look.

    "Don't lie to us brat. Our Lord knows you'll wear down eventually, and when you do, you'll give in. So stop saying you'll kill us for destroying your family, when we both know you're too weak to do anything."

    And then Rin had ran, ran from the mocking laughter behind him. They were right after all. Despite everything he said, he still couldn't win.

    Make a promise..

    Rin chuckled. He'd made so many, so many promises, and none of them had ever changed a thing. Why would this one?

    Gives you a goal. Keeps you on track.

    Rin sighed, looking at the sky, almost invisible underneath the trees. He wished he could see a world like that.

    "...Blue seas... Blue skies... What would that be like?"

    A shout, several miles back, but still heard, because of the indignant rage that went into the voice.

    Rin's eyes darted to the treeline. Damn, they'd found his trail already.

    Promise.

    Rin stood up, and looked at his left hand. His father had held that hand, as he drew his last breath.

    "I promise... I promise to defeat the bastard who destroyed my village! Not the ones he sent after me, but him! I'm going to look him in the eye, and he'll know that I've won!"

    Passion is what Rin lived and breathed now. Pride is what he ate. Honor was his dreams.

    He turned to the treeline, and drew the broken sword from the sheath in his right hand, a look of pure rage on his face as the voices drew near.

    Because Rin had a talent. It was all he had now, the only memory of his village and family. Fire was in his blood. It ran through it, humming in his bones, burning in his mind.

    It was ironic.
    Water and Fire having only control over the latter.
    It was a cliche.
    A boy with a 'fiery' pride having to control it.
    It was his.
    And nobody would ever take it away.

    Rin lifted his left, and watched the blue fire reappear, still looking at in fascination. It was fire, but it didn't burn him, only what he wanted it to.

    He brushed the ground with his left hand, and watched it begin to light. The forest would soon burn as well, and all it took was a spark.

    Rin fled the scene of his crime, searching for something, anything that would let him gain the talent to face his goal.
    Last edited by Terry576; 2012-02-25 at 08:46 PM.
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    Default Re: [B:TBtP] Main thread I - is this what you call "heaven"?

    A fairly muscular man hit the ground, with a huge gash acros his chest. Above him stood an even larger man, holding a blade at his the prone man's throat. There were avv out five men surrounding him, they were bandits. He bellowed,"So, which of you want to take on Kenta Kuro-Kenpachi?" He swung his blade menacingly, and laughed before charging one, and incapacited him. Another swing later, two more bandits were on the ground.the remaining two ran, fear over riding any sense of fighting.

    "Oh, I'vecscared them off..."
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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [B:TBtP] Main thread I - is this what you call "heaven"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lil Shiro View Post
    Akira smiles, happy to be needed.
    Of course not, Sir Lost, as long as you don't get in the way and do something stupid again like you did today. Heck, your company might even be fun. Who knows?
    She grins, poking some fun at him.
    I do not have any particular location in mind for my next destination at the moment however. You don't mind aimless wandering for a bit do you? Always the best way to run into trouble.
    The man's eye twitches. "Excuse me if I don't know what's going on here", he grumbles as they walk along a small road connecting little farms to each other. "Why are you looking for trouble anyway? That doesn't sound too smart for you either."
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

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    Default Re: [B:TBtP] Main thread I - is this what you call "heaven"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet View Post
    The man's eye twitches. "Excuse me if I don't know what's going on here", he grumbles as they walk along a small road connecting little farms to each other. "Why are you looking for trouble anyway? That doesn't sound too smart for you either."
    Why? Because unlike you, Sir Lost, I know how to deal with trouble. It's a talent of mine.
    She giggles childishly.
    What's got you so upset?
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    Default Re: [B:TBtP] Main thread I - is this what you call "heaven"?

    Jiang Ziya - Location Unknown

    It has been three days since she arrived in this new place. The stares that the local folk is no stranger to her already. She knows her clothes are different from what the locals are wearing but she simply saw no need to change into their attire, perhaps when the need is really great, she might adjust to this concession.

    Not wearing her sword, Ziya holds the scroll form of her spiritual weapon as she consults the map she wrote onto the magical parchment after consulting some old maps a peasant family is kind enough to show her.

    Noticing the commotion and resulting violence, she stops and watches, wondering if she must step forward to intervene, or whether the culture of this place even accepts such help.

    But it seems her concern is for naught as some good samaritans apparently stepped forward to help. Ziya smiles at the young girl for stepping forward to help that young man, and how some form of bond formed immediately in the face of adversity. Such selflessness seems to improve her impression of this place.

    Smiling, Ziya continues to consult her map as she walks on behind the two.
    Last edited by Nicklance; 2012-01-29 at 10:04 AM.
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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [B:TBtP] Main thread I - is this what you call "heaven"?

    The young man frowns. "I'm not upset. Why would I be upset?" He lifts his sheathed sword to rest against his shoulder, looking down on Akira from the corner of his eye. "Aren't those a bit tall words for a little girl like you?"
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

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    Default Re: [B:TBtP] Main thread I - is this what you call "heaven"?

    Akira smirks, rolling her eyes at his remarks.
    You're hilarious, Sir Lost. I could kick your butt if I did not have a rule against fighting people who do not stand a chance.
    She puts a hand over her eyes, looking for the nearest village.
    Help me find a suitable place to stop for a while.
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    Default Re: [B:TBtP] Main thread I - is this what you call "heaven"?

    "Hmph." The young man isn't exactly convinced. Akira looks like he could lift her with one hand. His eyes turn to look ahead when they get closer to the village. "I would, if I had any idea what you think is 'suitable'."
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

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    Default Re: [B:TBtP] Main thread I - is this what you call "heaven"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet View Post
    "Hmph." The young man isn't exactly convinced. Akira looks like he could lift her with one hand. His eyes turn to look ahead when they get closer to the village. "I would, if I had any idea what you think is 'suitable'."
    Food, water, bed. Simple as that, Sir Lost. Just the same needs as everyone else. I'm just a girl after all, awesome or not.
    She replies with a grin.
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    Default Re: [B:TBtP] Main thread I - is this what you call "heaven"?

    Satisfied that the old man wouldn't get in trouble, Suzuki grabs her cart and continues down the road.

    She may be right about in line with Ziya. If so, Suzuki will give her a nod. Can't really wave with her hands full of cart.

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    Default Re: [B:TBtP] Main thread I - is this what you call "heaven"?

    The young man thinks for a moment, still frowning. "I don't know where to find any of those things", he says bluntly. Mention of food makes him realize he's more than a bit hungry himself. It doesn't exactly better his mood...
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

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    Default Re: [B:TBtP] Main thread I - is this what you call "heaven"?

    Akira sighs.
    We'll start with food and water. Look for a place where people are eating, but make sure they are paying for the food. I don't want you leading me into someone's house to steal their dinner. can you handle that Sir Lost?
    She seems to be treating him like a child.
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    Default Re: [B:TBtP] Main thread I - is this what you call "heaven"?

    Something the man is clearly aware of, and finding somewhat irksome. However, in lack of anything to say as rebuttal, he wanders off silently.

    It soon turns out the task might be harder than expected. When people spot him, they hurry off, probably scared by a tall, shaggy-looking armed stranger. The man grits his teeth, and is just about to go and knock on the door of one small hut, when he notices an elderly woman in white clothes sitting nearby. "Well, at least you aren't running away", he grumbles, walking to her.

    "Oh, it's not like my old feet would carry me very far if I tried", the crone replies, curious eyes staring at him from a wrinkly face. "You seem a bit out of your place, son. Are you looking for something?"

    "Food and water."

    The old woman tilts her head quizzically. "Hmmm? Well, that's not a common request. I thought people here in Heaven don't have to eat all."

    The man blinks, his face blank and stone-hewn. "They don't?"

    The crone lets out a slight chuckle. "Well, I haven't eaten in fourty years, and I'm still alive and kicking! Sure beats having to count each grain like I had to in life, eh?" She lifts her withered hand to point to the west, past a larger cluster of buildings. "But if it troubles you, there's a well in the neighbouring house. Maybe they can help you."

    The man chews on this fact for a moment, then turns to briskly walk away. "Thanks, Granny", he says in passing, then goes to find Akira to spill the news.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

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    Default Re: [B:TBtP] Main thread I - is this what you call "heaven"?

    Akira is already chowing down on some tasty pork she managed to buy, there seems to be some extra for him.
    Any luck?
    She inquires, without having much of a caring tone in her voice.
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    Default Re: [B:TBtP] Main thread I - is this what you call "heaven"?

    The man stares hungrily at the pork, while beckoning his thumb to the direction he was told. "There's a well there", he grumbles. Then he falls silent for a while, before hesitantly nodding towards the extra food. "Can I eat those?"
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

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    Default Re: [B:TBtP] Main thread I - is this what you call "heaven"?

    Akira grins happily, glad that he is once again depending on her.
    Of course you can, that was the point. A well huh? Good job. You did well for a first timer.
    First timer?
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    Default Re: [B:TBtP] Main thread I - is this what you call "heaven"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry576 View Post
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    Rin stopped, and gasped for air.

    It hurt.

    God it hurt everywhere.

    He groaned, resting his back against a tree, and winced as the cuts on his back met the bark of the branches. He'd been running for too long, he wasn't used to this whole [i]stopping[i] for a break nonsense. He gasped for breath, coughing and wheezing a bit, and sunk to the ground.

    They were still after him. They never stopped, did they? They just kept coming and coming, despite Rin's consistent refusals. The last one had just given him a look.

    "Don't lie to us brat. Our Lord knows you'll wear down eventually, and when you do, you'll give in. So stop saying you'll kill us for destroying your family, when we both know you're too weak to do anything."

    And then Rin had ran, ran from the mocking laughter behind him. They were right after all. Despite everything he said, he still couldn't win.

    Make a promise..

    Rin chuckled. He'd made so many, so many promises, and none of them had ever changed a thing. Why would this one?

    Gives you a goal. Keeps you on track.

    Rin sighed, looking at the sky, almost invisible underneath the trees. He wished he could see a world like that.

    "...Blue seas... Blue skies... What would that be like?"

    A shout, several miles back, but still heard, because of the indignant rage that went into the voice.

    Rin's eyes darted to the treeline. Damn, they'd found his trail already.

    Promise.

    Rin stood up, and looked at his left hand. His father had held that hand, as he drew his last breath.

    "I promise... I promise to defeat the bastard who destroyed my village! Not the ones he sent after me, but him! I'm going to look him in the eye, and he'll know that I've won!"

    Passion is what Rin lived and breathed now. Pride is what he ate. Honor was his dreams.

    He turned to the treeline, and drew the broken sword from the sheath in his right hand, a look of pure rage on his face as the voices drew near.

    Because Rin had a talent. It was all he had now, the only memory of his village and family. Fire was in his blood. It ran through it, humming in his bones, burning in his mind.

    It was ironic.
    A phoenix being able to control fire.
    It was a cliche.
    A boy with a 'fiery' pride having to control it.
    It was his.
    And nobody would ever take it away.

    Rin lifted his left, and watched the blue fire reappear, still looking at in fascination. It was fire, but it didn't burn him, only what he wanted it to.

    He brushed the ground with his left hand, and watched it begin to light. The forest would soon burn as well, and all it took was a spark.

    Rin fled the scene of his crime, searching for something, anything that would let him gain the talent to face his goal.
    Heijiro Kazukane awakens slowly, sitting up and stretching quietly as he allows himself to slowly drift back into consciousness. He swings his feet over to the side of the tree branch that had been serving has his bed, getting more comfortable and looking down at the ground. Seeing nothing pressing, he climbs a bit higher into the tree, until he is nearly at the top. Poking his head out of the leaves, he takes a look around to see if there is anything interesting. Unusually, this bears results: a cloud of smoke was rising in the distance, coming from another part of the forest. By the looks of it, the fire was spreading. This was about to become a bad place to be.

    Making his way down from the tree, Kazukane stops only to grab his walking stick before he agilely descends to the ground. He lands gently before straightening himself out, and looks around again. After all, there was no point in fleeing a fire if a bandit or wild animal was about to maul you. He notices another person, running away from the direction of the fire. Kazukane waits for a moment, shrugs, then begins running at a leisurely but deceptively fast pace, catching up and then keeping in stride with the other person. After a few seconds, he speaks.

    "So...are you running from the fire?"
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    Default Re: [B:TBtP] Main thread I - is this what you call "heaven"?

    The man grabs some pork and starts eating. After a couple of bites, he offers it back with a dissatisfied look on his face - it doesn't taste very good to him, and he's lost his appetite despite still being hungry. "What's that supposed to mean?", he asks as he walks towards the well.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

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    Default Re: [B:TBtP] Main thread I - is this what you call "heaven"?

    Sho was sitting in a small ramen bar, playing for the customers to earn some food. While it was unusual for a place serving food out so far, it was hear mainly for the land owners who came to check on their fields. The same fields Sho guarded for them. That was the bad part about him being spiritually strong, unlike most souls he felt hunger like any mortal.

    As he played he let his reiatsu wander. He could sense some conflicts going on, not too far or too near. Most were fading away. The battles were probably already over. He didn't know if that should make him happy or sad. As his music played some spirit ribbons, reiraku, flowed around the room, visible only to him. There were a lot of strong people appearing recently. A lot were stronger than him. While he knew he seemed weak, Sho knew that his spiritual power was quite strong. Someone strong would probably just cause trouble round here, which was why he pretended he was weak.

    As he finished a young girl came up to him to deliver his wages in the form of one bowl of ramen. Blushing, he mumbled a thanks and tried to rush out before anyone started clapping or tried to talk to him.

    Heading back home he decided to rush. There was too much fighting tonight. He could see fire on the horizon. He needed to make sure everyone was okay.
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    Default Re: [B:TBtP] Main thread I - is this what you call "heaven"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet View Post
    The man grabs some pork and starts eating. After a couple of bites, he offers it back with a dissatisfied look on his face - it doesn't taste very good to him, and he's lost his appetite despite still being hungry. "What's that supposed to mean?", he asks as he walks towards the well.
    Akira laughs.
    use what I said. You are a first timer, Sir Lost. A first timer living the life of a runaway. A drifter if you will.
    She bows humorously.
    And I am your master in this new life.
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    Default Re: [B:TBtP] Main thread I - is this what you call "heaven"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dorizzit View Post
    Heijiro Kazukane awakens slowly, sitting up and stretching quietly as he allows himself to slowly drift back into consciousness. He swings his feet over to the side of the tree branch that had been serving has his bed, getting more comfortable and looking down at the ground. Seeing nothing pressing, he climbs a bit higher into the tree, until he is nearly at the top. Poking his head out of the leaves, he takes a look around to see if there is anything interesting. Unusually, this bears results: a cloud of smoke was rising in the distance, coming from another part of the forest. By the looks of it, the fire was spreading. This was about to become a bad place to be.

    Making his way down from the tree, Kazukane stops only to grab his walking stick before he agilely descends to the ground. He lands gently before straightening himself out, and looks around again. After all, there was no point in fleeing a fire if a bandit or wild animal was about to maul you. He notices another person, running away from the direction of the fire. Kazukane waits for a moment, shrugs, then begins running at a leisurely but deceptively fast pace, catching up and then keeping in stride with the other person. After a few seconds, he speaks.

    "So...are you running from the fire?"
    Rin whirls around, his hands up for a fight. If Kazukane is observant, he might notice the boy's reaction has nothing to do with the sword at his hip. He relaxes upon seeing the man, but only slightly. His arms were still tensed for a battle, of a sorts.

    "Kind of, I guess."

    He makes no move to give a further response, continuing to walk away from the burning forest, lighting up the sky with flecks of blue flame. Nobody would answer that question, not now. Not where they were, when the King's Men could be nearby at anytime.

    Rin snorted at his own thoughts, glancing back at the fire. "All the King's horses and all the King's men..."

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    Default Re: [B:TBtP] Main thread I - is this what you call "heaven"?

    Quote Originally Posted by KerfuffleMach2 View Post
    Satisfied that the old man wouldn't get in trouble, Suzuki grabs her cart and continues down the road.

    She may be right about in line with Ziya. If so, Suzuki will give her a nod. Can't really wave with her hands full of cart.
    Ziya takes half a second to recognize the nod as a friendly greeting, which the young woman gladly returns with a smiling nod.

    "Do you need help with the cart madam?" Ziya asks with concern, her odd speech quirks quickly marking her as an outsider.
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