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Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
Kanamori no Mitsuko

The Purge - Ulvesang

The ground crunched under her feet as she pulled the reins over the stallion's head. Their conversation a stuttering attempt at filling the silence. A flat "I know" the response to the visibly established fact of the Seer's weakened state and the brunette following it up with an equally modulated: "Let's find somewhere to camp". It was during moments of peace like these that she learned more about him. Perhaps also unwillingly so in how they shuffled awkwardly around each other in flesh, as well as the stretched out moments of just breathing between them. A droning exercise of filling, emptying and filling and emptying again that admitted several things in undulated lungs.

One, neither of them was much for small talk. Two, the both of them were tired. The dragging of feet now more pronounced in the joint duo of it.

Mitsuko guided them to a spot where the trees would block most of the wind from extinguishing any fires and tied the horse up. The actions of setting up camp flowed through her in a well-rehearsed choreography. She gathered firewood, stones and finally sticks and branches into a pile on the flattest area that her foot could locate. Then she crouched down and aligned the stones in a circle around the branches, held off with the heavy firewood for now, and drew her dagger.

The brunette stilled abruptly in an intermission between the acts. Everything under suspension but her hand, disconnected from the rest of the body's pressurized melody in dissonant trembles. Her first thought was plain. Ah- it was going to be difficult to whittle anything like this. And the second was annoyed. Lips pursing into a click of her tongue and tsk as she drove the dagger momentarily into the ground and then occupied her palm with something else.

Namely her cheek.

The trembles dissipated in numbed fingers while the focus shifted to the biting hurt of the impact. The skin reddening in reminiscence of the previous assault it had received, but went unnoticed and unremarked on by the woman who had returned to the task at hand. Settled back into her mechanical rut of ploughing the branch underneath her foot- skritch, skritch, skritch- with the blade until it was pointy enough.

Mitsuko made up the fire as if nothing had just transpired.

The gentle crackles of the juvenile flames were in stark contrast to the ageing face that peered into the glowing pile. Shadows emphasizing the hollows of eyes, sketched out in frazzled lines, and angular cheekbones that cut a sharp line to the hardened corners of clenched jaws.

The fire was warm. And she was cold.

Her thoughts drifted away to her victims, the man that she had disposed of first and hidden under to lure the rest of his friends. They had tread upon the scene cautiously, haunted by the potential reappearance of the unknown assailant of their leader in swivelling eyes that had looked at all the wrong places. When convinced that they were alone and out of danger to befall the same fate, they had turned their attention towards the bodies. Curious, it was. The way the men had taken one look at her presumably dead body and started discussing how they could use it.

Mitsuko hadn't even felt bad about the first one. The first victim was also the first one to approach her. He had heaved his leader's body to the side and hovered over her like an incoming storm. Said storm never arriving as she had sprung to life in the hand jabbed into his neck. The man had parted his lips only to spill out the contents of it in a river of red. It had washed over her in uneven streams, the twists of the dagger functioning like a tap to drain him. Any screams drowned out underneath it in gurgles before the bandits came waving and she had to push him off.

Her feet had propelled his body to fly into the man behind him in a kick and she had rolled off to the side. Barely evaded the club that had descended into the spot where her head had previously rested. Up on her feet, run and run and then run some more. Spin, stab and jab into the soft folds where body parts connected. Gut and thigh and chest and neck until they all crumbled.

The fire consumed the thin branches in greedy gulps and Mitsuko shoved one of the bigger pieces into its gaping maws. The latter snapping shut around it in a blaze that reached for the dark drapes, masking the sky from their sights. The question that stirred to life within fixated eyes was an inconsequential one, a motion made merely to keep her anchored to reality.

"Are you scared?" The fluttering eyelashes flailed against the weight of lids, sideway stare a thousand of miles away as it caught the Seer with it "Of me, that is".

I am, she wanted to say. Scared that was.

"Forget I asked." She broke off in a harsh breath. The regret spooked her into quickly averting her gaze away and she made an attempt to rise to her feet, swaying as she did so.
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surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
Partner's Theme - Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon OST

The silence was uncomfortable, the silence was unbearable. These two sentiments settled deep upon Haru as the two exhausted bodies followed one another to find a temporary shelter before night would swallow the last bit of sunlight out from the sky. Occasionally, the Seer would nearly stumble, his failing leg being the cause of his heavily uneven gait as he sucked in a sharp breath between clenched teeth, urging himself to continue forward otherwise he would fall and perhaps never be able to get up again. Stubbornness flared in the heaving breaths, breaths that were slightly tinged with wheezes, wet and uncomfortable as he allowed Mitsuko to choose where they would stay, for the man did not know such things, and considering the confidence in which she carried herself, he noticed well and rather quickly.

She had done this before, way too many times before. With ease she seemed to be going through the necessary steps of preparation for their camp, although perhaps hindered by exhaustion, but nonetheless his crimson eyes never left her, only having done so when she went to struggle with setting a campfire for their little camp away from the world. This caused the Seer to finally settle himself upon the ground, the collapsing of his aching leg prompting him to do so as tremors filtered through his weakened arms, the stick and hairpin both finally freeing themselves from numb hands which felt not a single thing anymore, slow wheezing breaths leaving him as he struggled to gather air within his lungs and exhale. The paleness to his skin hadn't worsened at least, with the flare of the fire soon sparking to life, the meager flame was enough to bounce warmth off from his body from his skin, soaking deep within the iciness of flesh that mimicked death as the crackling fire was the only sound between them.

This once more was similar to the only other time, the first night that they were both awake, both conscious. However, it was not tainted with blood before, but nonetheless it always seemed like silence would fall inevitably between them, exhaustion robbing the two from even speaking to each other, and Haru's eyes feeling far more heavy than before as his body threatened to slump over, only for him to shake his head immediately to force himself to remain alert, his eyes flashing over to his companion across from him in the flames.

From here, he could see the heavy details etched in her face, no longer youthful, robbed of joy, of vibrancy. She looked to him so very small, and so very tired, almost as if he could picture the weight upon her shoulders as clear as day. The blood that caked her hair, her fingernails, the heaviness of eye bags that drifted in and out of focus before due to him being unable to look at her face long enough before. The slow intervals of her breaths, a sign that the body across from him was indeed still alive, and yet... she seemed so very, very fragile all the same. It was enough to make his heart feel as if it were tearing, a pain that echoed so keenly that it almost was enough to take his breath away. And why? Because he was so useless, he couldn't even help her when she needed it.

What did she see? What had she seen? The heaviness of his heart threatened to sink it deeper, a flow of pitiful kindness and compassion that surged out of an ancient wellspring. If only he could piece her back together, if only-

Her words caused Haru to snap out of his thoughts, blinking rapidly as if stunned, "..What?" His weak voice strained to speak, her words causing the Seer to stare blankly at her for a few seconds. Was he afraid of her? Well, by all means if he had been normal, had been mortal... perhaps he would have. It was normal to be terrified of one who singlehandedly slaughtered a group of bandits like she had, that the woman across from him was a trained killer and not what he thought she was. This was a side to her that darkened her, threatened to swallow her whole, to drown her until she would be out of reach. She already was nearly out of his reach to begin with, and never before had the distance between them felt so large.

Frustration was the next to taint the compassion, shouldn't she know him better by now? As if this would deter the man who had seen such awful, terrible things. You idiot. He wanted to snap at her, to shout at her for how much of a fool she was being, but then that would make him perhaps more of a fool since that would solve nothing. The bewilderment in his face had eased away, the tension having been lost as she had began to move, telling him to forget it. Perhaps, he would have, the him from before certainly would have let the topic drop and die, to say that it was perhaps a slip of her tongue and to leave it be. But, he couldn't. Something within him overrode that feeling, and despite the exhaustion and the tearing, the biting and scratching, the numbness and brokenness ringing hollow through the husk, he had moved.

It was slow movements, as if each motion had flared more agonizing pain through the thin body as he wheezed, like it was far too much of an effort. But, he persisted. A cold, numb hand fumbled and grabbed at her clothing, to halt her at first, the crispness of the clothes being tainted with hardened blood, but he didn't flinch at it, instead forcing as much strength as he could in shaking arms as he pulled her to him, his other arm wrapping securely around her middle as he settled her in a warm embrace... or as warm as he could permit it to be. His skin was icy, as if no blood remained in the cheek that had grazed against hers, the shallowness of his breathing being able to be heart louder, and yet his hand had moved, gently touching the back of her head, patting softly as if she were so fragile that she could break. "Scared..?" He whispered, his voice soft, warm and having long lost the edge of judgement that he usually would speak to her with.

"No. Not of you, you fool." He closed his eyes then, concealing the rubies from the world as he whispered, the wellspring of emotion surging higher within him, "...If anything I feel guilty that you had to carry so much.. and I'm unable to help you. Unable to do something sooner. Forgive me. I'm... so sorry." The sentiment was stirred with a shaky breath, as tears threatened to sting at his eyes, holding her closer, tighter. The soft press of the Seer's icy body being rare for certain against her own, "If I had known... if only I had known... forgive me..." This poor, poor soul that he could not do a single thing for. It hurt, it was frustrating that this was the only thing he could do for her. The only thing he could do in this moment being something as insignificant as a hug.

Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
Kanamori no Mitsuko

Ocarina of time - intro

It was just a hand. Nothing more than a hand.

So why was it so warm?


What in the world was she blabbering on about now? Scared? Him, her- scared? Since when had she started caring about things like that? Mitsuko wanted to laugh but the sound hitched in her throat in a strangled groan instead. She sure hadn't been scared when she dragged the bodies. Heels forming grooves in the dirt in two parallel lines behind four legs, two limp and two teetering uncertainly beneath the support of overloaded joints. An arduous task that was beset by the curse of human limitations.

If the corpse she had dragged had been completely empty on air, and its blood stranded in veins in the absence of pulsing oars, she had been completely stuffed in contrast. The oxygenated red liquid that had circulated fervently through strained muscles and the curdled milk that avalanched in its trail to lactic acid drunk arm and legs- the kind of gluttonous feast to leave one in a coma afterwards.

Far away, she had to drag them as far away as possible from the mental image that loomed in the other direction of her feet. Hide it, quickly, before anyone could see.

No. Mitsuko hadn't bothered with it before. So now that she did she appeared foolish, humiliatingly so to no one but the past and herself. A crueller judge impossible to find.

She couldn't be scared.
She wasn't allowed to be scared.

The Seer, though, was another matter. If he was scared...disgusted then- then it was understandable. She was not the fair maiden he envisioned as the Empress, the embodiment of everything right and just. No, she was a stain to the name and on the hand- clinging to her sleeve.

Mitsuko could even see the blood smear off from there. The notion that he might be further contaminated if she struggled and he persisted, enough to make her pull the breaks. Her fingertip grazed against the backside of the fabric and it was as if she could feel his skin through the fibres. A kind of ghost touch that cushioned her slow descent in softened knees. It was so cold but also so incredibly warm at the same time.

"I'm dirty you know." She protested weakly at the arm that looped around her waist to hold her into place.

He pressed her against himself, the outlines of his body fitting over hers like brand-new puzzle pieces. Stiff and awkward and a little rough around the yet jagged edges from a lack of experience. Mitsuko wondered, if it was her heartbeats that were thrumming at the bars of ribs, multiplied in two in his hovering chest. If she had one, that was- a heart.

His cheek brushed into the edge of her cheekbone. Flesh tender and rotund to her hawkish and predatory.

If she had been an animal, she would have taken it in between her teeth. Tasted it softly through the pinched pressure of canines drawing stripes and a tongue coiling around the excess chub into her mouth.

"...If anything I feel guilty that you had to carry so much.."

If only he knew.

"Forgive me. I'm... so sorry."

What a twisted thing those sweet words were directed to.

"-if only I had known."

Her breath vibrated hot through chattering teeth. Barely able to keep the secrets down in the repeated swallows above his collarbone. Her hand dug into the ground, cool and fraying under her nails that herded the dirt into a clenched palm. Mitsuko burrowed her head into the crevice between neck and jaw.

This was bad. So, so bad.

She inhaled him, sweet and arousing through the muddled overlay of moist eyelashes and sticky cheeks.

"Don't look."

Her lips trembled against the pillar of warmth that melted all her defences away.

"Please...don't look."


surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
Her Diamonds - Rob Thomas
Time Gear Remix - Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky OST [for the timeskip to morning]

Her protest was weak, one that he ignored. So what if she was dirty? It wasn't as if he'd not touched worse things, even if such things weren't experienced in this current life, this current moment. She smelled of blood, the scent coiling around him and burning his nose, and yet his grip tightened around the woman within his gasp, unwilling or perhaps too afraid to let go. She remained unresponsive in his grasp, for the longest of moments he had thought that perhaps this was the wrong action to take, that he'd overstepped. The sound of soil shifting underneath him had caused teary crimson eyes to flicker open, the bleeding emotions within him stuttering and flaring through his chest and choking his heart as he felt the flare of her breath against the side of his neck.

Ah- that was a mistake. Haru's expression twitched, a sharp intake of breath following as the warmth pooled and tickled, brushing against icy skin and prompting the man's grip to loosen, numb fingers twitching and coiling once more in the blood soaked fabric, sending a sharp feeling of electricity down his spine. As much as he wanted to prompt her to instead rest her chin upon his shoulder, he suppressed the urge, swallowing thickly as the woman's head burrowed in between the vulnerable spot between his neck and jaw, the pulse of his life that had been running so very sluggishly had quickened, even though his face would not reflect the same. For truly... how could he?

The pain that was oozing from his companion had made the Seer's eyelids lower and finally shield itself from view again, struggling against the flow of stinging tears. Why did he feel like he wanted to cry as well? The inhalation of his scent had caused a shiver to go through the man regardless, the softest of sounds signaling the intake of breath between rosy lips as his heavy eyelids fluttered open. His scent, although previously being cloaked with the heavy smell of jasmine previously was remarkably of the same sweetness that lay intoxicatingly thick on his lips, having not been tainted and covered by the jasmine shield, it practically oozed from his pores, far stronger in the crook of his neck and jaw where Mitsuko's head lay, a fault of the earlier events of the day before when the Seer had been subjected to sweating. Nonetheless, the man felt a nervousness as he tried his best to refocus on his earlier goal of comforting Mitsuko.

Her words dragged him thankfully back to the goal; trembling lips uttering a plea for him to not look. His lips pressed in a tight line as he allowed his muscles to relax, prompting his hand to remain gentle upon her back, rubbing gentle and comforting circles upon it, an old action for when he could sense tears beginning to surge forward. If Mitsuko desired for him to not see her tears, he would remain silent and not look. It was one thing that he would not do to her, giving her some dignity in this moment as she was fit to break, to loosen and crack.. he would be there in silence, a pillar of support, of calmness within a world that had seemed to lash out and cause chaos. If she desired it, this was the least he could do. "..I promise, I won't look." His voice was soft, his eyes closing with the promise, exhaustion dragging down on heavy limbs as he remained as still as a statue underneath her.

Haru knew not how long he remained, how long he stayed immobile, but when he felt a heaviness against him, it made his eyelids flutter open as he whispered, "M-Mitsuko?" There was no response, alarm flooding through him as he grunted, her heavier body weight causing the Seer to fumble back and with it his slumbering companion laying heavy upon his own frame, trapping the slender frame of an already exhausted body underneath her own, a sucked in breath prompting the man to struggle to wiggle out from underneath her, "Mitsuko!" He hissed, expression pinching with pain as his bad leg had strained and trembled as if to propel himself from underneath her, the heaviness of her body and the slow breaths that accompanied it being a torture against his own freezing one, and the rapid breaths that were now flaring to life in the Seer's chest.

Her body was soft, in the current position laying flush against his own, the light of their meager campfire letting shadows dance across her face, currently which lay upon his chest, hair tickling against his skin, ignorant and deadened to the torture that came with her being so utterly relaxed. A flare of pink managed to cross the Seer's cheeks, teeth catching against his bottom lip as if the pain could make him look away from the fool. Part of him felt tempted to slap her awake, perhaps then she would get off of him... granted angry, but still. Yet, the thought of having to deal with Mitsuko in a rage had made an unknown shiver go down his spine, making him shake his head as he gazed upward at the skies above, cursing the situation. Why did he have to be nice to her? But, the violent thought of slapping her was quickly extinguished as he looked back upon her sleeping features, void of the heaviness that it held during the day.

He didn't have the heart to be cruel, but that left him in quite the predicament now. The slow movements of her breathing pressed her body slowly against his own, rhythmic, constant. It was slowly driving him mad, causing the Seer to finally struggle to move his numbing arms to rest upon her shoulders, forcing her slowly away from him and on the floor, his breathing quick and ragged as he finally was able to sit up, the surge of movement making the world spin for a moment, his quickened heartbeat a result of not only the sensation of her breathing against his poor, defenseless neck, but of them being far too close just seconds ago. Shit. The aggravated thought was punctuated by the sensation of blood rushing through his weakened body, prompting the Seer to hurriedly reclaim the bloodied blanket, grimacing at the heat coiling within his body.

"I... -huff- no.. don't... think.." The huff of breath in between the fragmented sentence had caused the Seer to shake his head, grabbing hold of the blanket and draped it over Mitsuko, though not before the Seer's eyes locked upon her face. Although it was marred with dried blood, she... was lovely, an attractiveness in the relaxed expression upon her face, and the soft lips that were exhaling and inhaling sleepy breaths. Numb fingers twitched as he raised an icy hand, transfixed on the coloration of rosy tone upon her bottom lip, wondering briefly in a wayward thought how it would feel to trap the soft skin in between his teeth, to allow his tongue to trail against it. Would it feel-

The hand that was slowly inching forward had immediately recoiled into a firm slap against his own cheek, slapping some much needed sense into himself as he turned his body away from her own and immediately set to putting distance between them. What the hell was wrong with him? For god's sake she was asleep and on top of that it was inappropriate of him to even entertain thoughts about her like that! He didn't desire her one bit, not at all! Just where in the world was this coming from anyways?! The stinging of his cheek caused Haru to wince, settling his body stubbornly away from her once more as he forced himself to try his best to ignore the heat coursing through his veins, a sensation that certainly felt familiar much to his confusion.

Arousal from the likes of her... His hands came to cover his face in shame as he swallowed in the cold night air as if that would help him. Something really was wrong with him, did something break within his mind? Was it because the stress of the day and all the prior ones? His legs shifted restlessly against each other in response, pain flaring from the bad one and in turn making frustration blossom within the man, this wasn't helping. If anything the friction was proving to be worse, teasing the heat to flare further from his core, making flaccid flesh thicken, harden. This was just absurd, really absurd. Just forget everything, sleep and forget. He.. he couldn't allow himself to be filthy.

A solution that was certainly easier said than done, but was managed in shaky breaths and stubbornness to remain coiled in on himself, unmoving and slowly trying to disperse all thoughts pertaining to Mitsuko in his mind, this fight against himself resulting in a victory as exhaustion won out over everything else.

The morning sun caused Haru's eyes to slide open as a pitiful sound left a dry throat, his chest struggling to drag in air to his lungs and a headache blooming far more fierce than before. Ragged breaths and the uncomfortable sensation of sweat that soaked his clothes made the Seer whimper as his numb fingers fumbled shakily to push himself upward off the ground, weak body being unable to respond to the need to move as a choked sound left him, followed by a swelling of rancid liquid to once more be pushed past rosy lips, the darkened, foul smelling blood trailing down the side of his lips and down his cheeks, heat pulsing through his veins in the telltale sign of a fever as he was in pure agony.

The insides of himself felt like they were being slowly squeezed and melted, reducing the Seer to the immobile mound of flesh as he could no longer feel either of his arms, a cough following suit as his eyelids fluttered restlessly, the morning sun making it difficult to not tear up at the pain of light against his eyes. Slowly, he struggled to shift over on his stomach, numb arms and his good leg pushing within the dirt and causing him to eventually succeed, fingernails digging into earth as his gaze settled upon a throng of trees further in that he could take shelter beneath.

Quivering and wheezing with effort, Haru would slowly and painfully move himself across the floor, each sound a whimper or grunt until the wounded man had settled within the little bit of shelter that saw fit as a place for him to suffer in silence, not desiring to wake his companion, although it was clear that there was a dragging trail left behind from where he had went. Like a wounded animal looking for a place to die, the Seer had settled himself underneath the base of the trees in question, his heavy eyelids fluttering close as pain made the bite he'd suffered as well as the marks upon his back to remain ever present and irritating. From this alone, he knew well the injuries Mai-Jing had given him had gotten infected, as he hadn't cleaned the injuries and due to his body not being normal or regulating itself well during the past day, it was no wonder it would eventually worsen. Perhaps he should have said something sooner, but at the same time he didn't desire to be a burden.

And here he was, being a burden yet again. The thought stung him as he sucked in another painful breath, his body trembling from head to toe as shivers wracked through his frame, the chill that remained stubbornly sticking to the man was instead forced to his hands, a harsh heat flaring across his skin as for once and coloring the Seer's cheeks a mottled, angry red. Sweat continued to pool down the man's skin, soaking into his already damp clothes as more coughs ripped free from an agitated throat, blood spraying past his already bloodied lips, a soreness settling within due to all of the gagging and retching he'd been doing before this moment. I'm... going to die, aren't I? The thought was so small within the back of his mind, but perhaps that was the case. His body was at its breaking point now, fragile and weak; failing.

Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
Kanamori no Mitsuko

The end of winter, Regret-Land of the lustrous ost

The world ceased to be in his embrace, another fictional reality created within it in the gentle framework of arms. It was as if she was cluttered pages, fraying apart at the seams, and he was folding and glueing them back together in sections between cupped head and supported back. The bookbinder of her heart, the most delicate paper flutters to resound through the stiffened board cover of flesh beneath warm fingertips.

The text a little blotted from the rainfall of tears but that foretold her eventual waning all the same in inky eyelashes- fluttering shut for the last time. A heaviness seeped into the body that was reclined against the Seer but that refused to reciprocate the favour and soon enough she slowed down. Swallowed sniffles and breaths evening out into a steady rhythm of blissful ignorance in slightly parted lips.

Mitsuko slumbered like she was hibernating. A deep dreamless slumber that had nothing horrible to show her for once.

When she awoke, it was to the caress of a chilly breeze. Tickling the soles of her feet in a shivering contrast to the warmth under the blanket. Wait, blanket? The brunette blinked the darkness of night away groggily to the reveal of the fireplace, holding onto life in grey smouldering ashes. The way she didn't have to squint to see the outlines of it told her that it was morning, or rather midday perhaps. The world brighter than the pictures she nursed into existence in her head with a confused groan and tumble out of the blanket.

The campsite was quiet. Suspiciously so. Her gaze explored it as the memories came rinsing over her. The imprints of a hand against the back of her head and rubbing across her back haunted them in pins and needles and a flush that crashed in waves over her cheeks.


When was the last time she had slept this well? Mitsuko couldn't recall. The nightmares had always been more loyal and attentive than most of the people she had ever known. So the truth was likely: since never. Until now, that was. And now her memories were telling her that it was because of him? The chuckles she hadn't been able to utter yesterday came out now, a peal of stuttering 'ha...ha' that eventually increased into a burst of full-blown laughter. How ironic it was. The laughter started to die off, hinged on the corners of her lips that unfurled from its sneer. "Oh Mitsuko, you..." The brunette addressed herself in a hoarse voice.

"You really are insane."

Would he forget about this as well? She heaved herself up from the ground, still sore from yesterday's adventures, and tidied her clothes. As much as possible, that was, in their smeared and crusted bloody state. The hand that was raised to run through her matted hair, equally hindered through the process by the clumps and caked-together strands in a reminder of her actions.

Right, they had been attacked by bandits while travelling with the cart and she had killed them. The thought summoned a dull pain to spread through the right side of Mitsuko's face and a filter of the wind through her fingers caused her to glance at them. She had been shaking. If she could clamp her hand down on the wrist that reenacted the motions she would. Instead, she was left to fend them off with clenched jaws and a fist.

The Seer...Where was he? Her body jumped into high alert at the second unsuccessful search of the camp with her gaze. Breath accelerating until she spotted something and cut it right off. Mitsuko scrambled to the spot and fell on her knees. In front of her were patterns in the dirt, streaks that had disturbed the surface in trails of grooves.

Dragging marks.

Her fingers hovered above them in uncontrollable trembles until she planted her palm in the middle of the tracks. The brunette drew a sharp breath and her knuckles paled under the pressure that was exerted through nails, raking through the earth. Her mind conjured up the worst scenario first. Had he been kidnapped? Had one of the men from yesterday somehow survived and exacted revenge by taking the Seer? The next thought had her motioning the exhale through quaking lips.

Was he still alive?

Mitsuko rose from the spot, dirt slipping through her steeled fingers. The adrenaline that surged through her all at once prompted the most violent of ideas to blink into seething existence. She should have flayed them when she had the chance, ripped them apart limb by limb and clawed out the eyes that had dared lay their sights on him. She should have torn their vocal cords from their throats and shredded them into a frazzled mess. The same frazzled mess that her mind was in this very moment.

She braced herself in squared shoulders and followed the tracks with a hand on her hilt. Ever so precariously skirting the line of drawing it at the first sign of movement. The forest taunted her with whistling leaves and screeching wood, twisting away from the dark figure that singled through the stems. Her mind was only occupied by one thing: his name.

Haru. The branches of the brushes scratched her floundering arm.
Haru. Her feet snagged on the earth's rugs of roots in their stumbling haste.


His scent wafted by her face and struck her to a standstill on the dirt floor. Mitsuko tilted her head down. A foot was glimpsing through the thrushes. She parted them in a bare hand, flexing red in the palm that impaled itself on the thorns.

Then, there he was.

A pale apparition that could only be discerned as human through the weak pants of his breaths, was seated against the base of a tree. Struggling, drowning under the weight of shut eyes and an upper lip that didn't stir to acknowledge her. Mitsuko collapsed at his side and patted him down and up with an erratic hand and flaky eyes. "Haru." She cooed in bated breath and fitted his cheek into her palm in a stain of red. Hot, he was hot. Not just warm as he had been before but now feverishly so. Burning up from the inside out to her helpless whimper.

But he didn't have any wounds! So how...-How could he be burning up? Mitsuko shuddered against him in connected foreheads. Rubbed them together as if she was willing the searing heat to transfer onto her instead. To leave the decrepit body underneath her that she grasped vainly at to return him to his senses. Her hand clamped down on his shoulder to shake it when it struck her.

The bite mark. →play music

Any inhibitions that may have stopped Mitsuko before left her in a swift whirlwind in the very same second. One that ripped the collar of his kimono apart to reveal pulsing redness to plate round eyes. The pus and blood glared right back up at her in a stomach-lurching mixture. Her hand moved faster than her mind as she stripped down the remaining parts of his torso and inspected it with wandering fingers. Scooted his head gently onto her shoulder and tilted his body forward and away from the tree to continue.

Oh, the anger- the wrath. It was all-consuming. Mind-numbing in its bitter lactic acid taste that poured over her like lava. Scalding to the touch and searing through her skin, her pores, right down to trembling bones. Only intending for one thing through the nails that clawed at the bark of the tree.


Her nails wavered under the pressure and cracked into splinters.

She was going to strangle the one who had done this.

The brown eyes flashed through their slits and the nails split from their nailbeds in an eruption of crimson.


Mitsuko carried the Seer back to camp on her back. The both of them panting messes by the time they arrived. Her legs ached and her fingers hurt and her eyes stung, but there was no time. No time to think of her own throes when the Seer was on the brink of teetering out of existence. She placed him down against a tree in his unclothed state and sprinted off to the horse. Her feet kicked up dirt in their heavy thuds and her breaths fanned harshly back at her face in the wind that whipped it. She tore the saddlebag open and grabbed the water flasks. Ran all the way back to the Seer where she threw herself to his side without regard for the knees that received most of the impact.

Water. He needed water urgently. There was a high risk of him being dehydrated depending on how longgoing the fever had been. Mitsuko unscrewed the lid between her jaws and prodded the opening to his parched lips. The ridges pushed torn, pale and peeling against the flask opening but didn't move beyond that. The water she carefully poured ran alongside them and down onto his chin and lap in the tears that she had refrained from felling the other day.

"Fuck it." The brunette turned the flask to herself and consumed the flask opening in rushed gulps.

It was hard enough already to, with one hand, try to angle the flask so that the water would run into his mouth. Parting his jaws, however, proved to be an impossible task in addition to the aforementioned in her crippled condition.

Mitsuko set the flask down against his leg and leaned into his face. Her hand clutching around his chin as she pulled his jaws forcibly apart and engulfed the newly made opening between his lips with her own. She pressed into him, sealed the gaps, and ushered the cool water across her tongue to his in a wordless prayer.

Please. Please work.


surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
Yamataikoku Village - Onigiri Online OST

The world was a mottled pulsing of heat, a heat that Haru could no longer feel. Between the pounding of his head and the heaviness of eyelids threatening to close forever, he desired so strongly to drift. Each slow dragging in of a shaky breath only punctuated, prolonged the struggling of a body that was at its life's end. Perhaps his body would soon be discovered by scavenging beasts? Or fat flies desiring to gorge themselves of his flesh? That perhaps would make him serve more use than he ever had, a feast for other living beings. The hazy thought would have made him laugh in the midst of his dying thoughts, a bitterness to swell, though not as pronounced as any of his other past lives. It was a resignation, an acceptance that this was merely his lot in life, that he wasn't strong enough, never strong enough to escape the fate of being prey, rotting from the inside out.

O̴̬̮̮͒̽͐̀̏b̵͙̱̹̱͂̄̀ļ̸̩̮̹̒̇͋̔̇̕͜ͅį̴̜̙̺̦̈́v̴͚͐̔͝ḭ̸͋̿͌̂̕ȍ̷̗̤͇́̄͊͐͆͜ͅṋ̸̃̌̈́̕ ̶̫̤̲̗̉͠c̷̤̮͎̄a̵̧̛̤̣̫̐̓̎ľ̵̢͎̤̝l̶͎̬̤͆̍̒s̵̜͇̎̊̂̚͘.̸̱̿͂͌ͅ

Beneath flickering eyelids, upon the black background of underneath closed eyes, he could see the Phoenix again, bloodied, broken flesh pulsing and oozing, tainted with a black ichor that dripped from the wounds. Its broken neck hanging loose, twitching with a violent fervor, crimson eyes bleeding, rolling about aimlessly in a skull that seemed no longer able to support it. It moved toward him, one mangled bird's leg with talons clicking against the floor, the weight of the beast echoing within his ears.

I̸̥̣̅̇t̶̳̣͙̥̼̆͌͝ ̸̨̹̖̤̲̿́̀͑ǐ̷̺̙́́̅̏̔s̵̙̟̙̯̃̄́͜ ̷̻̳͔͚̙͗̄̅̒̚̕t̶̢͉̼͔̿̄̾̿ͅǐ̵̤̺͎̭̭͜m̴̢̧̈́̾̅̈́e̸̫͇̣͉̠̊ ̸̩͋f̸͈̞̫͔͑̋o̶̮̎͑͆͆̄͘r̸͇̤̟̰̒̎̔ͅ ̸̩̟̹͕̘̠̉̆̃̑t̴̛̲̦̤̿h̴̻̃i̴̭͇̘̳̋̀̓s̴̢̧̧̜̦̘̈́̃ ̴̘̂̅̚ṭ̵̲̾o̶̥̬̼̪̩͓͛ ̸̙͊̾̔̀͠e̴͈̯̖̳͓͆̋̐͌̔͐n̴̡̻̳̺̩͈̄͐̊̕͠͠ď̷̗̈́͑.̴̼̻͓̟͚̾͜

The sinister voice echoed within his ears, a woman's voice as twisted and cold as the one he'd heard before when this voice had haunted him, taunted him. The stench of the rotting creature reached his nose as it drew closer, the mass of flesh and blood and liquid as black as ink beginning to splatter and crash upon the unresponsive body of the Seer, its warmth seeping deep into pale skin, foul and repulsive as the Phoenix had settled before him, the beast's legs splayed awkwardly as fleshy wings enveloped him within a bloody embrace. His nose and mouth pressed deep into the stinking, rotting flesh as the multitude of hands that formed the fleshy, twisted wings of the creature was prying at his skin.

Ah, they were tearing him apart?

The vivid sensation of a multitude of fingernails scraping against uncovered flesh was the only sensation he could feel, prying away precious skin to reveal the bloody meat underneath. It burned, it hurt... but could he do anything about it? His weak body would not respond, the crimson within his eyes dimming as the Phoenix's swinging head had pressed against his torn back, pushing him further into the fleshy mound before him. Was he... being assimilated to the creature? Yet another number to be added to the six thousand years of lifetimes? Was that why they were trying to break and rip him apart, to make it easier?

What a useless thing... truly.

T̷̰̯̫͍̃̔̓́̏͝h̵̝̀͗͊́͜ẽ̸̪̰̭̐̅̂̕͝ŕ̵̻̯͙ͅe̶̥͈̐̑ ̴̺̒ĩ̵̱̤̘͍̭̲̍͠͝s̶̪̬̦͒͝ ̶́͗̆́͋̿͜ņ̸͇̀̍̾̒̈́̑ò̴͎̩͍̜̃̚ ̸̦̪̻́̔͊̋ẖ̵̢̛͓̠͓̾͆̓̒͜ò̸̡̥̫̰͒̐̀̋͠p̵̛͓̟͈̺̭̊̈̐̎e̷̞̼̿̌͋̾͘ ̵͙̲͎̞̽̅͌̇́͜͜͝f̶̨͈͍̱̫͒̈͒̌ô̵̤͖̒̾͠r̵͚̲̻̲̈́͊̋͂ ̵̲̰̯̎͆u̶̞͇̪͒̓̇̔̋s̸̪̜̤̩̀̓̈́̀̐̚.̵̹̗̋̋͌̅̄ ̷̛͇̠̲͈͚̈͌͊͆͝Ì̷̜̥̂̏͘t̷͚̖͕̦̩͗͆̋̀̊ ̷̹͈̝͔̥̀̓͝ͅi̵̛̜̦̻̲̹̾͂͋͝͝s̸̛̞̰̠̏͊͆̎͜ ̶̢̞̏̽̆̅̏t̸̡̙͙̭̾̔̇͜ī̵͙̎̌͝m̸̨͍̠̽́̕̚ẻ̶̱̾́ ̷̖͇̫̩̜̗̈́̇̌͠ẗ̶̛͚́o̸̧̮̪̮͊͑͒̄ ̵̣̐̐͌s̵͉̦̪͂̌̈́l̷̨̠̺̦̐̔̿͘͝͠ū̴̟̿͋́ͅm̸̯̑̿̅͘b̵̧̢͔͓̫̥͑e̸̟̳͇̩͌̾̇͜͝r̸̡̔͜.̸̹͕̺͐͗͛͋̇

Slumber? Right... he was very tired after all. The world outside of that prison of a palace wasn't kind, nor had the inside of the prison granted him any reprieve, any kindness. Everything he thought he knew, everything he thought he was doing for the betterment of the humans around him... it was all a waste wasn't it? All of it would result in naught but his death, and he had no impact, no great change on anything at all. No one would mourn this lifetime, at the most be frustrated that they'd not dined on his flesh, but then there would be the next that would have to suffer, a life that he would be rebirthed into from zero all over again, ignorant to the pain that he had to endure in this one.

A stray thought had captured his attention beneath flickering eyelids and vanishing life... what about Mitsuko? Her name rang so faintly in his own head as he felt himself sinking deeper into fleshy embrace. The very same unruly child that he'd embraced, allowed himself to be her support, had sworn that he would do everything in his power to help her. The very same woman that sparked both rage and tender emotions within him, twisting them into a convoluted mess that resulted in the man not knowing how to approach her or even if he should. A woman that had foolishly allowed herself to drown in the comfort of alcohol after he'd been foolish enough to leave her side for just a fraction of time. Someone who couldn't be on her own. Someone who was so foolish, so childish that he didn't know what he was thinking to even entertain the thought of abandoning her.

Someone who was... calling his name.

The body struggled within the mindscape, a hiss and popping, groaning and protesting ringing in his ears from the Phoenix as it cried out, the hands that dragged at his bloodied, tearing body struggling to draw him back, screaming and wailing ringing in the darkness as he gritted his teeth and forced heavy eyelids to open, they must open. They must...

Light flooded his vision a sucked in breath rattling blood within his chest as he felt a palm against his cheek, gentle was the touch as the world seemed so very out of focus, a darkness circling the edges of the blurred picture before him, unable to focus on the shape that had now pressed a forehead against his, and the following whimper that echoed so distantly in his mind. "..Mm.." He struggled to speak, his voice no longer being able to find the strength to utter any coherent sound as his mouth and throat felt painfully dry. Don't.. worry... The sluggish thought flooded through his mind, a reminder that he was a burden on his companion made his lips tremble as he sucked in another painful breath, only for the woman before him to suddenly bare his chest to her... though he reacted naught.

Shallow breaths was the only thing that prompted the rise and fall of the Seer's chest, pale skin having long since taken on the same shade of death, and yet the bite mark being mottled and ugly upon his shoulder standing out far more than even the slowly fading bruises upon his torso from the drunken brawl that had occurred between himself and Mitsuko. Haru felt himself being moved, his body providing no resistance against the action as he wheezed, unable to bring himself to push against the body before him. Don't... look. The silent plea within his mind echoed, knowing full well that upon his back she could see further evidence of Mai-Jing's cruelty, causing the Seer to release a quiet whimper of his own. The fingernails that scratched crevices into his back, deep and red, inflamed with the disease she left behind; to hurt him. His chest heaved again, struggling to draw breath into his lungs as it was eerily silent, the flow of red hot rage washing over him from his now silent companion.

I'm sorry... it's my fault.. The weak apology rang in his mind, each slow breath being more painful and difficult than the last. Because... I am a fool... His eyelids lowered once more, tears beginning to sting within them, slowly swelling and dripping slowly down his pale cheeks, precious liquid that was leaving his body, though it was only two pitiful tears that rolled down the battered soul's face, his body unable to produce any more.

The fever was raging within the slender body that lay unmoving against Mitsuko's back. If he had been healthier, Haru would have protested and refused to allow her to do such a thing on his behalf, say that she was making a big deal out of nothing and they needed to continue their journey. They didn't have time to be wasting on him, they needed to continue. "Mmg..." He struggled to make his voice strain, the beginnings of trying to say her name again, but his throat failed to even utter it. He hated this, truly he did with every fiber of his being to be reduced to being unable to do things on his own. Heavy eyelids closed once again as he felt himself being laid against the support of a tree, the rough bark against his infected back barely even causing the dying Seer to respond, to react.

Her footsteps faded away, which made Haru's head sag, his eyes barely even taking in the colors or shapes around him anymore as unconsciousness threatened to flare and drag him down again. All sensation was now numbed within a pulsing heat that threatened to sap the remaining flickering life that still stubbornly clung to the body that was ready to give up, his slow heartbeats and slower breathing being evident of that fact alone. However, it wouldn't be too long until once more he felt something. It was cold against his unresponsive lips, and yet he couldn't muster the strength to react or respond. The cool liquid was wasted, dribbling down his chin as eyelids struggled to stir again, to figure out what was happening. ..Rain?

Suddenly there was heat, the heat of a touch upon his chin as his unresponsive body was forced to respond in turn to the lips that had descended upon his own, sucking what little breath that had been stirring within him out. The cool water that was forced down his throat made the man's body respond, a salve upon the painful dryness that seared the precious insides, eyelids fluttering open wider in response as his companion would be greeted with yet another fresh wave of cinnamon and vanilla, a flavor so distinct to the man who remained utterly still, his numb tongue quivering underneath the press of her own as he struggled to breathe, "H-hah... mmph... hah.." Rare gasps to leave the man who was barely clinging to life, though no blood would grace or color his pale cheeks as the flow of water would be accepted down the throat that remained all too parched in its tango with death.

What are you doing...? The accusatory thought rang in the man's mind, her blurry face spinning in an out of focus as heat had blunted his usual response of desiring to shove her away. Instead, the body remained slackened and weak, his mind fraying and splintering as it seemed some awareness had managed to flow back to the Seer, even if it was only slight in the tug to drag him back to the realm of the living.

Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
Kanamori no Mitsuko

Larghetto Sostenuto-rondo

Come back to me.

She was salt, coarse and bitter in the tongue that combed the sweet vanilla off his as she withdrew. The heat radiating off his body infectious in the flushes of red peeking through the cascades of burnt umber hair. The tongue that lingered outside the walls of her lips wagged ever so slightly for every panting breath that struck it in an open mouth. The muscle drawing a likeness to her ears, the same colour of red, but also different from it in the light sheen that coated the former. Saliva, a translucent thread that still connected the two until she swallowed.

Come back to me and stop me.

The small frown that had formed between knitted brows twitched in its place in recognition of the flutters of consciousness that haunted the Seer. The pinch in her chest was unmistakable as the hand that clutched his chin loosened its grip. Granted him a moment of reprieve from her ever-hovering figure as she leaned back.

Mitsuko coiled her fingers around the flask once more and tilted her head in a show of cartilage and pale skin stretched taut. The points of contact between flesh and bone pronounced by a drunken ruddiness that further heightened her flustered appearance. Or perhaps flustered wasn't the right word to describe it with. She pressed the opening to her mouth and the liquid spilt forth over tongue and exposed canines in a curl to reveal gums.

The cinereous gaze burned holes into the patient while the water leaked cold off the edges of chewed skin. A pathway of viscous salvation staking out a road along jaw and chin, into the indentations of protruding neck muscles and the hollows of collarbones. All the way to the estuary of her cleavage and the unexplored seas concealed below it.

No, she looked- vengeful, hungry.

Her stomach lurched aflutter with a familiar warmth and she closed in on the Seer once more. A bit more gentle this time in the approach of her lips onto his. Teeth parting them all the same but refraining from seizing it by force. Let the water instead flow in an agonizingly slow trickle between them to force the man to lick it up himself. Suckle hungrily after forgiveness as her hand worked its way over to the infected wound.

It would have to happen in one decisive push.

Mitsuko readied her dagger over the wound and sealed the Seer against the tree by straddling his legs. Then she pushed it in, skewered the dagger half a twist as the yellow tears gushed from the wound in a visual cry. She hurled the dagger behind her and went in with her fingers to squeeze the area around it. Exerted enough force to hasten the current but not enough to risk the latter reversing itself into the flesh in a deeper infection.

The final gulp of water streamed down the parched throat and Mitsuko surfaced from the kiss in a loud gasp for air. Face dotted by his fever and swelling in burst capillaries in budding lips and acidic eyebags. The low growl that rumbled from the depths of her neck resounded through her facial movements in a scowl and she stepped off the Seer.

A bit disoriented and lightheaded as she held the flask over his wound next in a waterfall of numbness that splashed the pus away. He still has the ones on his back, the drab thought that prompted from the action and averted her gaze in a dull ache between temples. He was alive, but for how long? How long would she be able to stave it off? Mitsuko wiped the corners of her mouth with the back of her hand and wobbled up on her feet.

The Seer who remained reclined on the tree was a sorry sight. Limp and dappled all over by the kind of chaste vulgarity that a fair maiden would after engaging in acts of lust for the first time. Even the way that the fever exuded off his flesh in sweat appeared suggestive to the crinkled brown eyes that stirred in their sockets. Her gaze sagged to the mouth, once welded into hers, and her fingers pressed over her lips. Almost ashamed then, as she forbade them from reliving the sensation in quiet contemplation of her next course of action.

She would have to get some kind of salve to put on the wound, perhaps make another batch of the one that the Seer had used on her back in the day. Draining the wounds on his back was too risky, the teeth marks were manageable as it was isolated but the ones on his back were multiple. The more there was the higher the risk was that she would simply push the infection further in. Mitsuko parted her lips to chew at her cuticles.

"Waiting it is then..." And what an arduous task it was.

The brunette fetched the blanket to settle it over the Seer and gently guided him down onto the earth on his side to give his back a rest. Her fingers brushed in the air over the shoulder wound. It would need a proper cleanse, with some boiling water if nothing else.


surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
The pressure of her lips against his own had lessened and shifted away, the connecting wet thread between the two being disrupted only when his savior had swallowed, though he was far more transfixed on the face far too near to his own; a face that shouldn't even be as close as it was. His lips tingled pleasantly, shallow breaths having taken a far more rapid pace as he was struggling to wrap his mind around the situation, vision blurring and refocusing upon Mitsuko's face and the red that had overtaken her. Perhaps, if he had the strength, he would be pushing her away by now, to take the flask from her grasp and proclaim that he had enough strength to drink on his own, that this was unnecessary and all too inappropriate to be engaged in such a way. The rosy petals of his lips trembled, as if he was struggling to form the words on a tongue that wouldn't obey, the reprieve of cool water still lingering in the back of his throat as half-lidded eyes struggled to stay focused upon the face that was slowly fading and springing back to existence before his eyes.

The grip on his chin loosened, allowing his jaw to relax, Mitsuko's looming shade shifting backward as his eyes could only numbly follow her, no words stirring from lips that remained unruly, unyielding to his desire to speak... maybe he didn't want to. It was as if the man was in a trance, the haziness of crimson eyes unable to turn away from the woman who was tipping the flask to her lips, allowing life giving water to pour into a mouth that had been on his just seconds before, the liquid flowing slow down her jaw, sliding down her neck and eventually slipping altogether in the appealing swell that remained concealed from his gaze. However, he was perhaps most bothered by the look in her eyes, eyes that shouldn't be looking at him in such a way; eyes that made sparks of electricity threaten to revive anew in the dying body as lips quivered in anticipation.

Anticipation? Anticipation of what? Anticipation to be devoured whole. The hunger in those eyes haunted him, made him unable to look away and spark a sensation within him that he silently cursed, "M-mm.." He struggled to speak again, but once again his body wouldn't obey, stubbornly remaining slack and unresponsive, crimson eyes flashing between her gaze and her lips which held more water for him to drink as well as curse him with the revived sensation that felt too familiar, like the press of lips against his own - specifically her lips wasn't foreign. He wanted it again. More... The weak thought echoed distantly in the midst of a foggy mind, a hunger of his own sparking in the depths of crimson eyes, though it certainly was hard to determine for certain, after all the Seer was still very much unresponsive.

This desire, this selfish and filthy thought would be fulfilled as in stuttering heartbeats had Mitsuko lowered her face closer to his own, connecting them once more as deadened nerves flared in the haze of death. It tingled, though it was far more gentle than the first, perhaps out of care to not harm him, or was it because he was beginning to slowly come more and more to his senses? Regardless of the reason, the excuse of precious water that connected them was enough for the man to delve and drown in this filthy pleasure. The cooling liquid was slower this time, extending the amount of time that lips remained connected to one another, his tongue eagerly accepting the salve that flowed down his dry throat, giving him a reprieve from the pain as his eyelids fluttered restlessly, "Hah... mhn~" Soft lips melded more so willingly underneath her own, unwinding and sparking slight responses to the connection they would share, rewarding her more with his sweet taste that flowed more at the provocation, tongue less than innocent in its intent, seeking its mate, desperate and needy as the water flow - as the excuse - was slowly drying.

Then he felt pain.

"Ngh!" Haru's expression twisted as the dagger had split the infectious bite wound, spilling the yellow fluid as his body quivered underneath Mitsuko's, her fingers pressing deep to encourage the flow. Granted, the pressure of her body against his was enough to keep the man still, for deep down in his more sane thoughts, he knew she was trying to help him. But still, it didn't make the pain any less sudden or shocking, his breathing haggard as lips would finally be freed from the ones that had started the foul connection in the first place, his chest heaving with the breathlessness that would follow as Mitsuko's voice, her growl had sparked more shivers of electricity through him, an excitement pounding within. He truly was going mad.

Gratitude flared within the Seer as she finally had gotten off of him, his painful breaths being less so labored by the agony and more so by the unexpectedness of the pleasure that had been thrust upon him so suddenly. To think that he actually had enjoyed that, perhaps his mind was reeling due to being so close to death's door? That seemed like a far more convenient excuse to the racing heartbeat and half-lidded eyes that were still filtering between blurry and out of focus. Ah, I hate this. He certainly did, hated that he'd responded so inappropriately, hated that even despite the deadened nerves and slackened body that he was trapped in, pleasure still raged upon lips that had been sufficiently ravaged all for the sake of saving his life. Haru's eyes slowly drifted close, unwilling or perhaps unable to look at the woman as she gazed at his pitiful form still underneath the tree, his face a mottled coloration of red, sweat dripping over pale skin as he struggled to breathe... he feared if he looked at her again, if he saw that hunger spark in her eyes... he would misunderstand. The last thing he needed was this.

Soft pants persisted to leave kiss-bruised lips, a small bit of saliva slipping free from the corner, though he did not resist once again as the blanket was draped over him and he was guided once more to the earth, the support of soft soil being a relief upon him than the rough bark of a tree against the infection lingering in his injured back. Haru would swallow then, the air being less scathing against his throat due to the relief that Mitsuko had given him in the water, a bit a clarity beginning to drag back into the drifting mind as his eyes slid over to his companion, struggling to speak again, "...Mit...suko..." Speaking her name felt strange now, though he ignored it, a pause settling in between as he was trying his best to gather strength to be able to speak more, "...Please.. rest... you.. don't need... to worry.."

It was expected of the Seer to do this, he always did when it concerned receiving care or concern on his behalf. It hadn't been lost on him that she was desperately trying to save his life, but was such a thing worth it? No, he didn't think he was worth the concern or stress, "...I'll.. be.. alright.." He puffed, those words being far more difficult to say, but it was a lie, wasn't it? It echoed like a lie within his own ears, but perhaps he desired to make her try to tend to herself rather than he? Considering the lengths she had went to just give him water, it was... embarrassing to say the least. And perhaps he was slightly touched by her efforts to save him as well, but she shouldn't be expending so much energy on him. She needed food and rest, there would be little point to save him if she risked running herself ragged.

Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
Kanamori no Mitsuko


If only she hadn't gotten drunk that day. If she hadn't been so stubborn. The thoughts swirled inside Mitsuko's mind in discord between hindsight clarity and obstinate pride. Unwilling to relent to the narrative that these events could have gone differently if her words and actions weren't so divergent. She had helped the elderly man with the thief and she had offered herself up for them. Dragged the bodies as far away as possible to ensure that no predators would start to roam the area in search of more victims.

A kind of dishonesty that could be her trademark at this point, only admittable to herself but no one else. The brunette entangled her hand in her hair in neither an excuse nor defence but merely plain exasperation as breaths ran shallow.

A weak attempt at her name resounded from the fever-struck body that was more akin to a piece of hot coal, fostering fire beneath the charred surface of buckling lips that articulated her guilt out loud. "...Mit...suko..." The woman addressed as Mitsuko slumped in her erected pillar of confidence, or conceivably an impersonation of it, and stirred her head ever so slightly towards the source for her falter.

To think that he even had the audacity to lie in her face. She gritted her teeth into each other. This consideration, this kindness- it must be some kind of plot intending for her demise. The wounds along jagged cuticles and torn nailbeds stung in the submersion in slicked mucky hair and the pricked palm wrinkled into a fist. "Don't be silly." Her voice came out an octave more hoarse and shrill than she had anticipated. The awkwardness only settled in afterwards when her throat suddenly ran dry in remembrance of her rash actions.

"Take it easy and let myself be outdone by your nursing methods? I don't think so." The brunette cleared her throat, the top of cheekbones matching her eyes in a rose-tinted framed glare "You just lie there and be quiet. I'll fix this".

Perhaps her harshness was a direct contrast to the fuzzy warmth that blossomed in her chest because it was an attempt to curb it. The words reflecting back just as sharp if not sharper in rueful stabs at the woman who could not meet his gaze. Her own gaze tucked away somewhere secure in the ground as she rolled her lower lip between her teeth.

The most transient of flickers in eyelashes, a glance of cinereous eyes the final movement to tie their interactions up and put a period to it.

Mitsuko spent the rest of the day tending to the Seer. Boiled water to clean his wounds in gentle dabs with a rag, fed him water when thirsty with his cooperation this time and went hunting for both food and roots to grind into a salve to layer over said wounds. Before she knew it, the day had turned to night and they hadn't moved an inch from their improvised camp. Instead huddled close to the fire that had been alit anew in preparation for the approaching night.

The flames were a gentle crackle that filled the silence between them. Saddlebag emptied onto the ground beside Mitsuko and now acting as a pillow for the damp tousled jade hair that laid on top of it. If one looked closely the strands truly resembled jade, glistening in the same way in precious verdant upon pale cheeks. A soft pastel portrait that crossed her eyes in relinquished hostility and a sliver of relief in sighs.

The brunette curled up in on herself, knees cradled securely in her arm. "Hey. You awake?" Her words were but a whisper despite the question that they posed. As if afraid that she would wake him up if he was, in fact, not awake.


surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
Haru's eyes had widened ever so slightly in response to the sharpness that responded in turn to his attempt to trying to get her to rest. Shallow breaths slowed for a mere second, the crimson eyes that reflected his illness staring in a stunned silence at the woman whose second sentence had made the Seer's lips press within a slightly amused curve. How foolish again she was being, so very stubborn. Nonetheless, his eyes dropped from his companion's face, a discomfort settling within his chest that mingled with the warmth that threatened to overwhelm him, differing from the fever induced heat that flowed through his body.

As much as he didn't want to be selfish... he had to admit this wasn't terrible either. That she even considered him worthy enough of care made the warm feeling flow through his body as his lips trembled, struggling to take in another breath. Even if he thought he wasn't worthy of saving, even if he thought that this was useless to be doing such a thing, even if he thought he was a burden... Mitsuko's action for his behalf spoke far louder to him that the words that was so very harsh and awkward within the air. Who was he to deny her to try to 'fix' him, even if that in of its own was a rather difficult task due to how exhausted he appeared.

"Okay.." A quiet, meek response, differing vastly from his usual sharp words. If he had the strength, he would have insisted and pushed for her to rest, if he was feeling normal he would surely would have been difficult and stubborn... surely, it was the fever that blunted the usual sharp-tongued responses and harsh lectures and nothing else.
The day was spent with Haru being an all too quiet and compliant patient, whether it was out of regard for her behalf in order to make things easier on her, he didn't know. Nonetheless, guilt wormed within the Seer's chest throughout the interactions that circled around him receiving Mitsuko's care. If only he had been stronger and not so much of a fool, this might not have happened, she wouldn't have to be dealing with him like this. This sentiment would be strengthened in the time she would leave his side to search for ingredients to make into a salve, or when she took to cleaning the wounds which radiated their own heat underneath her fingers. Luckily enough, the water she'd given him earlier had been enough to allow the Seer to drink on his own.

By the end of it all, the man was dozing in the midst of dreams, though colorless and drifting at first, darkness was soon to coil within. Was it perhaps his guilty mind reminding him? He didn't know, and yet the shape that haunted him was the one and the same, a woman that used to appear in distant heart-wrenching dreams, but now appeared to haunt him in nightmares. Crunching and chewing rang in his ears as her teeth pulled at his flesh, slow and meticulous in the way her fingers pried within deep split of wounds upon his stomach, exposing all the precious insides to her gleeful eyes.

She would whisper then, the sound of a knife sliding slowly from a concealed sheath as her face rapidly contorted between the Mai-Jing who lived, and the one who had been hunting him down, "Come to me. Come back to me." Transfixed was he on the gleaming knife as she raised it high overhead, her legs locking him down to the cold, bloodied floor as tense seconds filtered by, agonizing with anticipation until the knife flew down to pierce one of the rubies within his skull.

The pain felt too real, a scream ripping from the body in the dream as his other eye filtered with tears, Mai-Jing's laughter within the nightmare echoing hauntingly within his ears as she rasped, "Don't cry my love! This way I'll have something to remember you by! Isn't it wonderful?!" The knife twisted, rattling the ruby within his skull as she leaned close, his blood staining the monster's bare skin, her other hand covering his mouth to muffle his cries, "Shh, shh... We have much more to do before you leave this world. I'm not done with you yet."
Haru's eyes snapped open, swallowing back a scream from tearing past his lips as he struggled to gather breath into his lungs. His body was quivering now that it was within the waking world, previously having been peaceful and relaxed in unconsciousness, now fear had taken its place as he took in a slow breath and then another, his expression pinching as he was trying his best to recognize where he was.

His head was resting upon an empty saddlebag, the material leaving marks upon where his skin had pressed against it. Fever still gripped his body, not as horrid as it had been earlier, but certainly not gone. The crackling of the fireplace was the next thing his eyes had settled on and then the night sky which finally prompted the Seer to slow his quickened breaths. He was... safe. His eyes then flickered to his companion who was settled not too far away, her question barely registering to the man whose crimson gaze once more had settled into apathy as a sharp exhale left him, his head shifting back to stare at the campfire.

"..I am now." He grumbled, a tinge of his personality being revived, granted it wasn't too grumpy and was trying to suppress any shakiness to his voice. Obvious enough from the tense limbs and grim set to his face, the Seer had been locked in a nightmare, his skin reflecting the pale hue of fear despite him being rather subdued and not expressing more on the matter. Perhaps his mind deemed it funny to torture him with his cursed knowledge now? That this was his fault for trusting that phantom that he had praised so much and yet... Haru's eyes closed to try and physically shut off the flow of thoughts, not desiring to linger upon them more than necessary, a grunt leaving him as he shifted his position to get more comfortable, eyes flickering open to reflect the flames of the fire as he appeared to be emotionally drained, a heaviness in the eyes that didn't meet Mitsuko's, not yet.

Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
Kanamori no Mitsuko

no sleep no dream- gia margaret

The man stirred and tossed in his sleep, little wrinkles and a quiver of the lower lip gossiping about the visions that he saw under lidded eyes. His breaths were elevated, shallow, like someone running away from something. This something, perhaps the root of the anguished shadows that shifted and lurched over his expression in the absence of the flames' reflecting light.

If Mitsuko were to tell him that he looked miserable, it wouldn't be an exaggeration. She knew what misery looked like because it was the same face that so often stared back at her in the mirror. What an awkward likeness it was, sufficiently so that she wanted to chase it out of sight at once. She had nothing to be miserable about. And if she were to tell him that she no longer felt bad for waking him up, that would also stand true against the tide of silence that descended upon them. His conscious groan both the end and starting point for the brown eyes that averted into the fire.

Any traces of the sympathy that might have been visible, now erased under the restraints of lips pulled taut. "There's some stew if you want." Was the mechanical response that came out instead and her hands readied themselves to prepare a bowl before he even had a chance to protest. Although it had pained her to do so, she had left the man for the shortest of moments to fetch some things from the village. The bowl and saucepan the result of the trip. Dangerous and foolish indeed, because what would she have done if he was gone by the time she had returned?

Just like he had been gone when she woke up this morning- frantic out of her mind in the face of the prospect that she was to be alone once again. It appeared inevitable, that her actions would speak louder than any words could express and it haunted her. For what she couldn't control was to be seen and judged by the world.

Judged by him.

Mitsuko extended the bowl towards him, a rather simple concoction of brown liquid, floating bay leaves and pieces of shredded rabbit meat stirring around within it. Not appetizing per say but also not entirely repulsive to the hungry and untrained eye of the culinary arts. Cooking, was among the few things she wasn't great at. Although her travels during her mercenary days had been long and gruelling, she had persisted through them on whatever nourishment she could find. Some uncooked rice, roots ripped directly from the ground and unseasoned meat cooked over the fireplace- all examples of what meagre rations that the brunette had worked on. Nevertheless, she had never complained and never thought of expending time and energy on sharpening the skill.

She had been just a tool after all. What needed sharpening wasn't her greed for human luxuries but her sword.

"Porridge would've been more gentle on your system but I was in a hurry." Mitsuko stated matter-of-factly and placed the bowl at his side. Not willing to press the matter further if he did not wish for it. The brunette returned to her curled-up state, still untidy and prone to start smelling if she did not clean the blood off. Another issue she hadn't considered under their pressed circumstances.

The question that popped up in her mind and left through barely moving facial muscles was an irrelevant one. Truly this time.

"What's your favourite colour?"

The flames reflected in waves in her upturned eyes.


surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
Pokemon League (Night) - Pokemon Platinum OST

The silence had returned, a silence that once more was heavy and pressed down on the two souls. It was a silence that Haru didn't dare break, the Seer's eyes trained on the fire and now the smell of food that wafted to his nose, but in turn had caused the man's stomach to clench in discomfort. Even if the man hadn't had a proper meal since they had departed from the elderly couple's abode, he wasn't hungry. The thought of shoveling food down his throat was enough to make the man feel the urge to vomit again, fever and whatever else was wrong deep inside being the thieves to his appetite. Yet, Mitsuko's voice had rang through the silence finally, stating so normally that there was stew if he wanted it, which in turn made his eyes flash over to his companion as he finally had realized that she had probably went off on her own during the day, and considering her appearance hadn't changed and instead perhaps looked worse, it made a sharp exhale leave him.

Did she honestly still not clean herself off? At the very least clear her skin and hair of blood so that it wasn't the first thing that people saw. Just what in the world was she thinking... or so he immediately thought to chastise her but the words would not flow. It was all for his benefit, wasn't it? He turned his gaze away again, a sigh leaving his lips as he struggled to sit upward, though his body struggled to muster strength, a dull aching within his limbs and a raggedness to his breathing in the effort of sitting upward as Mitsuko seemed certainly set on preparing him a bowl that he didn't ask for, even if he certainly needed it. Concern weighed within the crimson depths as his attention shifted to Mitsuko... had she eaten since? A frown played upon his lips again as concern pinched his expression, though he certainly knew he should be far worried about himself in this moment, he couldn't help it.

As the bowl was placed at his side, his eyes took in the brown liquid that certainly didn't look too great, floating bay leaves and shredded rabbit meat floating upon the unappetizing brown surface as she explained that she was in a hurry. The sight only made an odd softness filter across Haru's face, thawing away the chill and tension of terror that had paralyzed him, once more making the warm feeling flow deep within. He could certainly tell she wasn't skilled, but the effort alone had softened the man's heart a bit more as he took the bowl and without hesitation had begun to consume the stew. Haru was never a wasteful person, especially when it came to the efforts of those around him. In all honesty, the little action of this had reminded him of distant days in the little three person unit of his family, a day that his little brother had tried - and horribly failed at cooking some fish from the river that ran not too far away from Xing providence, it was awful, burnt nearly to a crisp and far too salty much to his little brother's dismay and the tears that rolled down dirty cheeks as the little soul had apologized and tried to conceal the ruined fish from both Haru and their mother.

Even if it was awful... it was perhaps one of the best meals he had, just for the fact that his brother had tried to help when Haru had been away; as Haru had been the one to usually cook due to his mother being unable to. He didn't waste a single bit of the fish, even if he was quite sick to his stomach after for quite a few days, but the sentiment alone had made him feel warm. Ah... how he missed them, with each memory that was slowly filtering back to clarity, it made his heart clench tightly as he continued to eat in silence, ignoring the clenching of his stomach as the stew slid down his ruined throat and filled the emptiness that had lingered deep within. It's tasteless. The thought rang through his head at the unseasoned meat, but he didn't complain, instead after finishing the bowl of stew, he had placed the bowl down, the tenderness to his expression being enough to show the silent gratitude he felt toward Mitsuko.

Of course, such warm feelings were halted as Haru blinked a few times at the question that seemingly came out of nowhere, confusion being quick to sweep upon his face as he looked to Mitsuko with a raised eyebrow and an equally confused tilt of his head. What a random question indeed. The man's gaze turned away from her own then, a frown crossing his face as he considered it with care. Did... did he ever really have a favorite color? His mind filtered through the colors, immediately finding an intense resentment toward red or green, as much as he did pride himself on his appearance... he had always hated the odd coloration to his hair and eyes. It reminded him that he wasn't... human, and brought back horrid memories on top of it. Warm colors reminded him too much of fire, something that he wanted to avoid intensely due to the crazed Phoenix in his head, golds just reminded him of the prison that was the Phoenix temple, and purples or cool colors reminded him too much of.. Mai-Jing as the woman favored colder colorations such as purples or blues, and even though the sky was always pleasant to look at, the blue always made him feel a keening sorrow that he could never understand.

So what color was left? A color that wouldn't agitate the man's soul? "Brown." He mumbled after quick consideration. Yes, brown. Although it was a warm color, it reminded him of his mother, gentle and understanding, kind and always so very patient, her brown locks and kind brown eyes being enough to warm the coldest of hearts, brown was... safe, familiar and comforting, never reminding him of the horrors he had to endure, just simple and plain. Crimson eyes flickered to Mitsuko's gaze, fixated upon the brown that also colored her eyes. Darker than his mother's certainly, and hiding so much from him, similar to... ah, no, don't think of her. He dropped his gaze then, turning back toward the campfire as he spoke, "I would ask what is yours, but before that-"

Haru took in a breath and turned to glare at her, more of his spirit beginning to come back to him, "Please, take care of yourself. For the love of everything holy, if you don't you're going to stink. Honestly, I can't believe you went into a village looking like that, there's no point in trying to take care of me if you're not going to look after yourself too! You're lucky that no one stopped you! Eat too, if you don't you'll collapse and neither of us need that right now!" He took in a breath and exhaled, shaking his head at her in dismay, "Sometimes I really do wonder if you have a brain rattling around in that head of yours... how many times are you going to make me worry..." An annoyed quip, but nonetheless, his expression had eased back into a softer one as he closed his eyes and sighed, "..But thank you, regardless." Another slip of appreciation for her to leave his lips, rare for certain but it was clear he was grateful for all of her efforts despite the bought of nagging that had perhaps been building up within the fever ravaged body.

Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
Kanamori no Mitsuko

minecraft ost playlist

It felt strange that she didn't even know such a trivial thing about him. She knew about his upbringing, through the short excerpt that they had exchanged on horseback, and she knew that he was the Seer. Raised thereafter as a representative for the celestial being that the Empress and the country depended on. Mitsuko grasped at the threads in her mind, tried to weave as much information in as possible. What else did she know? That he was...ah- the thought died off in the very same second it had surfaced.

Interrupted by the dissonant scrapes of the spoon against the wooden bowl. Mitsuko blinked, the fervour of her surprise visible in the stir of brown eyes that mimicked the soup. The ingredients in this one a rare unbridled flicker of genuine delight, a base note of gratitude and a topping of adamant repression in the cheeks that mirrored the flames. Her gaze squinted off to the side, the scene already imprinted upon her irises and engraved in softness therein.

He ate.

The soup that hinted in spoonfuls at how maladapted she was to the normalcy of life. The soup that was tasteless and bland and only able to satisfy the hunger through the sheer volume consumed. The soup that was an imitation of its peers in its likeness.

The soup that even Hayate would reject.

It was such a small and insignificant gesture. One that she was sure the Seer himself wasn't even aware of but that struck her twice in compensation for his ignorance. Once over his lack of hesitation in how he consumed spoonful after spoonful. Then twice when he had emptied it and granted her an expression that was all but tasteless in the warmth that dangled off beaming eyes and lips. Alit with a glow from within that was enough to make her heart beat in replenished spirit.

Idiot. You didn't have to eat it if you didn't like it. The arm that held her scattered composure together in huddled knees tightened the grip. Hand inching closer into the hollow of the opposite knee that Mitsuko opted to latch onto in the storm of emotions that surged through her. Hid behind them when the sullenness struck next in a downfall from the loop.

Brown. She echoed his answer in her mind and set paint to the words under the lids. The former Empress undulated before her in all her elegant shapes, silky hair accustomed to the gentle silky features of her face and luxurious silky clothes. All smooth edges and sculpted forms that fit perfectly into the slender fingers that cupped them lovingly. Joints bending at the seams to encompass the love in a caress that was so soft, so kind that it threatened to shatter under the weight of its devotion.

The fire and Seer blinked into blurry view again. Mitsuko tugged at the corners of her lips into a lopsided quirk. One that didn't reach her eyes under the heavy shoulders of knitted brows. It fits you. His delicate features adorned her searching gaze in the most dazzling of treasures.

If she was to choose a colour to favorise. Mitsuko studied the slope of the verdant stripes that stuck in dampness to his forehead. Then it would probably be green.

The colour of life.

The brunette chuckled. "Why? Do I really look that much worse than usual?" She sniffed her sleeve jokingly and tousled her hair "-Too bad then that you're sick and stuck with me. The sick have no complaining rights. Better get healthy soon or I'll torture you with my bad smell. Ooooh~". The grown woman imitated the sound of a ghost as she wiggled her fingers, grin quick to expose teeth in flashes of enamel that emphasized her wolfish appearance.

Mitsuko picked up a stick to stir in the embers when he thanked her for the care "Yeah, yeah. Don't worry about it. Might've just scared a couple of people in the village into thinking I was some vengeful ghost looking to kill her ex-husband or something".

"I'm sure that won't come back to bite my ass-"

She tilted her head innocently.


The brunette flicked a piece of ember onto the ground before her and stomped it out with her foot. "Next question!" The vulnerability was in the past and gone as she waved around the tip of the stick in the air "-Favourite food? And also favourite hobby, adding onto that- favourite hmm...favourite...season!".


surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
Undella Town (Autumn/Winter/Spring) - Pokemon Black & White OST

Haru couldn't help the bubbling laughter that was threatening to overwhelm his exasperation with his companion, a biting upon his bottom lip as teeth struggled to restrained the snickers that shook his body in response to her ridiculous words, only for once more his laughter would be her reward as he waved a dismissive hand at her, "Y-you're such an idiot." Playful in the way he responded in turn to her ridiculous movements, a stutter in his words as he was struggling to compose himself and not fall into a laughing stupor, a hand covering his face as he mockingly wrinkled up his features in mocking disgust toward her, "I think you've tortured me enough, I wouldn't be surprised if I've already lost a few years off of my life because of your little stunts." Truly, it seemed like there was never a dull moment with Mitsuko, even if it either placed him in situations that were uncomfortable, stressful or life-threatening.

The consideration of the thought had made him shake his head in dismay. Years were certainly shaved off his life then, he didn't truly appreciate the moments where his emotions were either under strain or so twisted that he didn't know what to feel... but moment like these, he silently decided wasn't so bad after all? Perhaps he had been misjudging his companion too harshly, putting too much pressure on her. Truly, did he ever try to understand her? It certainly would make the journey a lot more bearable indeed, but then again... his eyes flashed over to her face and looked away just as quickly. Hah.. maybe it was better off if he kept the careful distance that they had now. It was enough she had wrapped herself within his problems. The guilt threatened to swell within him as his crimson eyes settled on the fire, the crackling of flames making his expression ease away from the joy of laughter that had been within, contemplating, thoughtful.

That was until Mitsuko had spoken and caused his expression to twitch as he placed a hand to his temples. She really didn't think did she? Despite the now blossoming frustration with his companion, it seemed as if she had once more grabbed the Seer's attention as he looked over to her, now in a more relaxed stance, a snort leaving his lips as he shook his head at her, "..I would say I'm shocked, but honestly at this point I just have to accept that you're just reckless." Reckless and careless, jumping in first headlong into dangerous situations and throwing caution into the wind and leaving safety up to sheer luck and chance and whatever skill lay in the body that clearly spoke of prior experience with blades. The thought made his slightly amused expression fall, eyebrows furrowing in the beginnings of a frown as he seemed to be once more far interested in the earth beneath them than to look directly at Mitsuko again.

This would last until Mitsuko had suddenly spoken ahead, her exclamation piercing through the night air and making him jolt back into reality as she once more seemed interested in asking him mundane questions which made the Seer tilt his head in confusion at her again. Why did she want to know these things about him? The questions filtered around in his head as he straightened his posture, a frown crossing his face as he struggled to dredge through memories. His favorite food... well that was simple enough, it would have to be the one that reminded him of home. "Smoked fish, lightly salted though." Amusement settled in his tone as memories of his sibling settled within his mind, how he complained every time it was fish. Considering they had little options in Xing providence, it was simple dishes that they needed to sustain themselves on. Sorai... Sorai hated fish. The name caused the Seer to sigh, finally being able to recall the little soul's name that had always been his shadow. Was he well now? Was he safe? He wouldn't know.

Another question of his favorite hobby had made Haru's expression turn conflicted. Did he... even have a favorite hobby? The answer surprisingly enough was no. Haru since he was little was always in service to someone else, or trying his best to provide for the people around him, marked as a freak due to his oddly colored hair and eyes, he was always avoided by the other children within the slave providence, so he truly... never had a childhood. Sorai, his little brother was more like his own child than anything else, his mother trying her best to help when she could, but due to her hands it never was easy for her. In truth, he had perhaps been incredibly lonely and had no time to truly build important connections or even take time for himself, for the time that he should have been taking for himself was instead dedicated to sharpening skills so he could help others. If it came to skills, he could perhaps say cooking, but even then he'd not cooked a single thing for three years, the duration of time he had spent locked up in the Jade palace as he was not allowed to, servants bringing him his meals instead. "...Would you believe me if I say I don't truly have one? Can't say that I've had the free time to form any hobbies." He spoke with a slight tinge of amusement, though such amusement was a bit forced to hide the shadows that threatened to cover his face, his eyes. However, from his tone it was obvious he was being truthful.

As for the last question, this also caused him to think for a little while. Spring brought with it fair weather and the beginning of bustling life, but.. it also brought him back to his mother once more at the end of a long day, after his body was broken and beaten, pushed past its limits for that day and she would caress the sides of his face, his hair so lovingly with the broken fingers that twitched and no doubt ached from touching him. "My little spring blossom..." She would affectionately speak, "You've worked so hard, please... it's time to rest now." Then in spring, his mother always seemed to be so enthusiastic, more energy filling her throughout the day in which he would always ask her why was the cause for her excitement. Honomi would always smile and gently speak, "Because, with spring comes life. We must celebrate the joys that life brings us whenever we can, enjoy every second that we can." Memories of the cheerful smile that would appear upon his mother's kind features was what he closely associated spring with, for the other seasons slowly sapped away such vibrancy, for she would get ill and grow weak by the time winter would come.

"If I had to choose, then spring. I like spring." It was a warm season, a season of rebirth, perfectly fitting for the very same incarnation of the Phoenix to prefer, but tender memories stirred within the man's face as he gazed toward the fire, his mind far away for a mere moment to reminisce on a time that was long lost to him. Gone but not forgotten to the two souls who truly had formed most of his younger years and made them bearable.

Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
Kanamori no Mitsuko

Undertale- fallen down ost (muffled)

The brunette listened with a keen ear, head laid to rest on the makeshift pillow of her arm. Merely listened, as a child would when their favourite fairy tale was read to them for the hundredth time. Listened, as she imagined up pictures of everyday life to go with his words.

Unfamiliar to the adult that couldn't remember much of the moments from her own life that resembled the idealistic scenes in shut eyes.

Unknown to the child who could only live in the seconds and minutes before the next order, the next punishment, the next...-death.

There was a difference, you see, between the unfamiliar and the unknown. Both lapsed into each other if reviewed solely from the perspective of definitions. The sentiment behind each word, however, differed greatly.

Unfamiliar carried the presumption that the thing encountered had once been known to the person and that it had simply been forgotten. The best way that Mitsuko could describe this was in the shape of a person- Hayate.

Oh, had she not given him her all? Sacrificed it all for those coarse hands of his that matched her own in swells of callouses. Carved out of hardship and sheltering sparks of happiness between palms until they got inevitably burnt by it. If she had a favourite food, it would've been the same as his. If she had a favourite hobby-

It would've been him.

"No, it's not particularly strange." The brunette eventually settled, distanced from the children who chased fireflies over grass-clad hills in her mind. From the times when she had crawled to his feet, black and blue, for him to fill up the cracks in ghosting plasters of thumbs- rubbing the pain away. Away, like the dissipating heat of her chaste kisses on his cheek.

The realisation hit her in a silent pang. Trigger pulled but no bullet wound to show for it.

Maybe, she did remember more than she thought.

Haha...The young woman chased away the tears in the nook of her sleeve in a choked chortle. Her eyes too tired to bear witness to another rainfall and swollen from where it had scorched her skin yesterday. What a hypocrite she was. Condemned the Seer in silence for presumably reminiscing about the former Empress, but not herself when it came him. As if they weren't both long gone and out of their lives forever. Relics to be treasured as something of the past, not the current. His answer embodied this notion perfectly.

"Yeah." She hummed in a surfacing smile from the divider that was the nook of her arm. The brown eyes glistened softly in the light from the fireplace in a knowing manner. The kind of soft foresight that would've been unknown for the child her, as in that she had never known it, or of it, or anything close to it. Now, however, Mitsuko already knew what she was going to say. She echoed his words affectionately.

"Spring is good. I like spring too."

The Seer appeared to be a little brighter, a little more alive. The brunette embraced him with her eyes. At least, she had made him laugh just a little bit. Taken the burden off his shoulders during those resonant chimes of his that spoke nothing of the pain he harboured. If she could she would like to hear those chimes more often, Mitsuko thought. If she could, she would press her thumbs into his dimples and tug at that smile all day, Mitsuko thought.

Many thoughts but not many actions, as the brunette let her attention sag to his shoulder and more, specifically, the wound that stained it. She wondered who it was from. Her fist clenched. It looked like scratch marks from a woman's nails. "I need an incentive to wash up. Otherwise, it's too boring." She tapped her chin and mused "Will you wash up with me if I do? We already kissed, didn't we?".

Twice even. Or was it three times?

She didn't want to be the thoughtful person, the one who checked their feelings about the happenings around her. Reckless, she wanted to be known as reckless again. It was the word that fit her the most. The word that excused her escapes the most. She wasn't ready yet, not ready to hear who he had let close to him during her short spiral.


surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
Your Affection - Persona 4 OST

Haru didn't expect Mitsuko's agreement in regards to the spring, but the comfortable air between them resulted in a thoughtful hum to leave his lips. He would've asked why, would have turned to her and innocently ask questions of his own, simple questions about her, about the mysteries that she held... but then again that wouldn't be appropriate of him to do so, even if she went to such lengths to save him, it wasn't as if she truly desired to linger at his side. It was a conclusion he came to on his own, for she merely desired a presence, someone to chase away the bite of loneliness in her weak goal to reclaim a throne that certainly seemed like she didn't even want. Her faithful sword and shield... to be discarded at journey's end, for he would not permit himself to linger after that point.

Smiling muscles had relieved the tension within his face as he gazed upon the fire crackling cheerfully, a sheer contrast to the now more somber man. Yes... journey's end, it seemed to be a long ways there, but after all was said and done, he had every intention of splintering this life into little pieces, to burn it all away and return to that accursed prison of rebirth. If he could trust Mitsuko to drive out the rotting darkness in the Jade empire, perhaps his next life would go unburdened, ignorant to everything, having forgotten everyone he'd once held dear in this one, leading a peaceful life elsewhere, away from the fool that crumbled when he wasn't at her side. But then again, he would hope by the end, she truly wouldn't need him anymore, willing enough to toss him away like all the other souls had done. It would be a perfect end for himself, for her. She would lead a life in comfort, hopefully stronger than she had been when this journey had started, and he would finally get the rest he desired, no longer in the world of the living for a time.

Dead and gone, vanishing from sight, from mind, from hearts and more importantly; from her memory. This was inevitable, he thought in this moment. This one truth, for oblivion awaited him at the end of the road, and not the life that he would grant the child that lingered at his side. Where his path lead to death, her path lead to life, to ascension... for she desired it so and he would drown in the trade off, for he must.

So wrapped into these darkened thoughts, the Seer had stirred when Mitsuko had spoken, him raising his head in turn to the woman who had spoken which resulted in the expression of the man immediately settling into a blank stare. Why did it seem like it always seemed to devolve into jokes at his own expense? Granted, he should expect such behavior from her by now considering the nature she seemed all too eager to go through even in their days in the palace - days that now felt so far away now - and even the unwanted advances and suggestive nature of her teasing prior within the elderly couple's home, this was not the first time she had teased him with words that rang hollow and without true desire in his ears. But still... it was too much.

A flare of color settled upon the Seer's cheeks as his eyes narrowed at her, a heavy silence instead greeting her taunt as she all too boldly recalled that they had already kissed twice, the memory still all too fresh in the back of his mind, a memory he was struggling to forget, but of course she just had to drag it back up, dangle the memory in his face as if expecting him to just erupt in his usual flare of embarrassed shouting and exclamations. She truly was impossible, truly thought not a single second on how her thoughtless words could affect things around her. Very well, it seemed like a taste of her own medicine was in order, he truly was getting tired of her saying things that she didn't mean. If she decided to be reckless, he could be just as reckless too, see how she would like it on the receiving side if not amplified more to get his point across.

He would never be the object of her affection anyways, and she thought of these interactions as funny, lighthearted... truly a child until the end.

The Seer's silence carried on, worryingly so until he heaved a heavy sigh, shaking his head at her immediately, "You are a grown woman, are you not?" The beginning of another lecture it seemed, until the man had shifted his weight, on hands and knees had he slid closer to her, the crimson of his eyes seeming more so heavy, a pressure within the eyes that didn't leave the woman before him, slow and calculating was his movements as the man's face drew closer to her own, the light sheen of sweat still reflecting off from the campfire as his lips drew close, only to shift to her ear, lowering his voice just enough to a sweet caress, the heat of his breath tickling lightly over her skin, "But, if you need an incentive, then I'll give you one. It's only fair, right?"

It was not normal of the Seer to do this, to be pulled along especially in regards to this. He usually would have self-control, but that self-control was being tested, slowly but surely. Teeth gently bit at her earlobe then, the heat of his breath brushing far more intimately over the skin he had trapped between his teeth, taking care not to hurt her as his tongue lapsed against the flesh between his teeth, a brief second before he would let go. That wasn't enough, he decided, his eyes flickering to the side of her neck, his head tilting in turn as the tip of his nose lightly scraped against her skin, her scent tinged with blood filled his nose, a hand flashing upward to the other side of her neck as if to support it underneath numb fingers, the brush of his tongue being quick to follow against bloodied skin. Hah... Granted, this was a boundary he normally would never cross. Once. Twice, thrice... punctuated by the faint brush of teeth and the hollow rasp of his voice. heavy, almost on the verge of a heavy moan, lowered into faint pants reverberating against her flesh. His scent wasn't too far away, instead enveloping the two, sweet and intoxicating, and very much cruel in its taunting aroma.

He enjoyed the tainted taste on his tongue, crimson eyes briefly sparking with hunger, a hunger he permitted to last as his tongue would finally part away from her skin, a slow smile crossing his face, hand that rested on the other side of Mitsuko's neck and trailed upward, thumb pressing against her lips as he cooed, the hunger that burned deep in crimson eyes holding her in place, a wolf rather than the sheep he appeared to be, "Mitsuko," Her voice came out a soft caress as he added with an all too mocking flick of his tongue against his lips, as if relishing her taste, allowing her to see, to watch, "I could just... lick you clean instead? Would you want that?" The voice came out serious, as if he was actually considering the action, his flesh hot and lingering against her own.. until a snort finally broke his composure, "Just kidding."

It was cruel wasn't it? But he felt it justified, if not to quench the unholy urge that was sparking in an uncontrolled blaze within him. Haru leaning away from the woman, freeing her from being trapped within his grasp, the amusement fading quick. Perhaps he was losing bits and pieces of his sanity more and more, but at this point he didn't much care. "Stop saying things you don't mean, idiot. Go and bathe, you stink." As if the moment hadn't happened, as if he'd not played along a dangerous line, the Seer would settle in his previous spot, waving her away from him as he glared at her from the corner of his eye, expecting her to go off on her own like a grown woman and bathe herself. Stop treading the line with him, the gaze warned in silence, for he was still a man, he still had desires even if he suppressed them, eventually everyone had their breaking point... and she needed to be reminded of that fact, that truth.

Playing with a beast would only result in one being bitten.

Four days had passed and with it, Haru's condition gradually ebbed away just enough to where the man could move without much discomfort and the fever having been broken. He wasn't in the best condition certainly, but at least he'd stopped coughing up blood. The fourth day, or rather the dawn of the fourth day, Haru had finally the stretch to tend to himself, primarily to wash away the sweat and grime that had built up on his skin, and to perhaps try and make sure his injuries remained clear and clean. It wouldn't take long for him to find a water source, and with it took to stripping himself of his clothing and taking to wiping away the sweat that clung to his body stubbornly, to clean the dirt that lingered in the verdant locks that had since began growing longer, unruly due to him being unable to properly tend to it. The weight of which lingered upon his neck, wet strands settling before his eyes as he huffed in irritation. He never liked his hair getting too long, preferring to keep it shorter if not to worsen his already soft features.

An irritated grumble left his lips, deciding then that it was no use to continue to bother and that it was inevitable anyways, he would just have to live with it. With this, Haru would finish cleansing himself, feeling quite a lot better as the sweet scent that had been intensifying on his body due to the amount of sweat that had flowed would be diminished, washed away with the water as he would return eventually to their campsite, still favoring using his stick as it had proven quite useful to keep, just in case his bad leg would fail him again. The leg in question had reduced in swelling, no longer as uncomfortable to walk on due to Haru being forced to lay down for the four days that would pass him by. On a less aggravated gait, he finally had returned to his campfire as he took in a breath and exhaled, determination settled in the gaze that stared ahead. It was time for them to leave.

Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
Kanamori no Mitsuko

I was never there - The Weeknd

Oops, too soon?

The silence that greeted her back would suggest so. It seemed a bit unfair, though, that she was to be burdened with the knowledge that they had actually shared one more kiss and he would not. That one wasn't even justifiable, hers were! Mitsuko couldn't understand why he was so iffy about it. Certainly not, she doubled down as her heartbeats sped up in lukewarm remembrance. Blood circulating faster to simulate the rough waves in which they had crashed. Souls made tangible in little nibbles and through the connection of tongues, eating away at each other's essence.

The memories tickled her skin in wanton shivers, signals of electricity that darted under the ridges of her mouth and skin which lit up like sidewalks. Imaginary red district lanterns looming in foreboding splashes along the junctions of ears, cheek and neck as she breathed in, wheezing. Truly, it wasn't anything to get so worked up over.

Mitsuko locked it down under lock and key, quickened pulse suppressed to a low drone in her ears when the Seer stirred from his position. His actions prompted a suspicious look to graze over her features. Crinkles around eyes and brows betraying the apprehension that gnawed away at her composure little by little.

The last wavering flicker of it was expelled in a gust into the night that acted as the only witness to his body that grew close. Hands hovering nearby when the gust redirected to tickle her ear in haunting warmth. The sound that left the brunette was an involuntary one. "Ahh..." A rueful gasp and squirm that intensified when he actualized his threat. Or was it even a threat anymore? Considering how the brunette seemed to enjoy the act far more than she wanted to let on...

Body more honest than her mind as the lock over her previous distress was made short work of in teeth, clamped down on her earlobe. The red rouge of geisha paint returned in a full blaze in the areas aroused by his movement. Feverish heat transferred through as well in the wetness of his tongue, stroking her lobe, to the subsequent shiver and floundering hand of the woman.

"Ngh...You-" Mitsuko planted her hand at her hip and clawed at it furiously as she seized her bottom lip in a clutch of stubborn enamel. This wasn't even a little bit funny. Her gaze sharpened momentarily to glare down at the moving mop of verdant and she shifted away. The effort all for nought as she was caught by a hand the second after.

Said hand supporting her neck back into place under the tongue that descended from ear to jugular and thus, also unravelled the last remains of her resistance in a frazzled moan. "Ah-" It felt like she was slowly drowning, each touch submersing her further down below the heavy musk of intoxicating vanilla. Her hand shook in its grip on her clothes and the urge to drag him closer rippled back in twofold. Body rattling under the thumb that rose to press her focus back into reality from under lidded eyes.

Her eyelashes weighed heavy still as she met his gaze, hazy and squinting through the fog that had laid siege to her mind. "Mitsuko," The way he addressed her sent shudders to rack through her and her gaze fluttered between eyes to lips to the hand that held her own. Finally settled back onto the lips as his tongue scoured the ridges in a deliberate motion that might have very well been performed on her own; the way the desire mirrored on them in a slight parting.

Mitsuko was almost about to relent when the snort cut through it all. It resounded harsh and mocking in her ears, the kind of sound one made at a fool when they had predictably done just that. Made a fool out of themselves. The brunette quickly reeled back from her drooling state, cheeks redder than before as fury replaced pleasure and sent blasts for the butterflies in her stomach to take flight on.

"You!" She pointed at the Seer.

Mitsuko struggled for words for a bit as she flailed her arm. The hand came to clasp over her mouth and she sent a piercing glare before fleeing. Departing words but a seething whisper that fell flat to the ground in speeding steps.

"I hate you."
All wounds heal with time but scars are what will remain for years thereafter. If Haru's teasing could be considered a wound, a wound to her pride that was, then it had neither healed nor scarred by the dawn of the fourth day. The brunette was still rattled by the events, evidently so in how she had made a great effort to avoid the Seer as much as possible or responded snarkily to his presence. Could it be that she had finally met her match? The only one able to respond to her jokes and pranks with the same mischievous energy?

If she had, then she denied it.

With little else to do left when interaction with the man was barred, Mitsuko spent the remainder of her time training. Rehabilitated the hand that had been useless for much of their journey up to this point and also made alterations to already known moves to adjust for her disadvantage. The progress was slight, but progress nonetheless, in the little twitches and curl of the joints she managed. Eventually even accomplished grasping an apple with her hand where her efforts, unfortunately, had to be cut short.

Weak as it was, it was not weaker than the hunched shoulders that instinctively slid into place at the sound of approaching footsteps. The brunette schooled her expression into a scowl and turned to her companion. Remnants of the night grazing her cheeks as she did. "Ready then?" Mitsuko grumbled and smoothed a hand across the slicked surface of her hair, gathered at the back in a tight ponytail. The phoenix hairpin shimmered back at its rightful place on top of her head.

Much like the Seer had advised, she had eventually cleaned herself of the accumulated grime and dirt and sported now a fresh appearance. Complete with a faint scent of spring water that they had both taken part in.

The brunette stomped the remaining embers back into ashes and gathered the stallion that had lazed around the entire time. The latter barely responded when she coaxed her foot into the stirrup and launched herself into the air to settle steady in the saddle. The heels that descended into its sides in prods woke it up, however, a sullen look on the stallion's face when he lumbered up to the Seer.

Mitsuko extended her hand without a word or look.

A couple of minutes later, they were on their way once more. Trotting forward in the unfamiliar terrain of the forest to their destination.


surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
As much as Haru didn't regret his actions that night, the all too noticeable changes in his companion hadn't went unnoticed. During the days he spent recovering, it was obvious alone from the distance between them and her lack of presence at his side, that his actions had shook her, rattled her so much that now it seemed like her pride had taken a harsh blow, leaving her scattering at the slightest chance that he could even come in contact with him again. And he didn't regret it. Not one bit.

This he knew though would provide to be troublesome for their journey, this thought of rationality being the only clear pool of thought in a disturbed sea of turbulence, he refused to apologize, to smooth the corners and appease the woman who insisted on taking all too unwanted advances and unthinking words in his direction; as if he wouldn't snap back at her. One thing that he was quite disturbed by though was his loosening conduct. This was another thought of clarity that grounded him, one that passed through his mind frequently in the times he spent alone. Why was he acting so unruly, so... barbaric? It wasn't like him whatsoever, even in the aftermath of him teasing Mitsuko, his mind was all too eager to relish the sensations that ran through him, and not only that but the other two kisses they had shared.

Haru was crossing too many lines, breaking too many vows. He needed to ground himself in reality once more, remind himself of the truths between himself and his companion.

One, she was to become empress once more, the sole purpose of their journey.
Two, he was her Seer, never to cross the boundary of physical touch or desire, especially since their partnership was one out of convenience and survival than any genuine affection.
Three, continuing to do such actions will cloud their minds and complicate their journey unnecessarily, providing unwelcome distraction.
Four, he had sworn off any and all pleasure once he committed to becoming Seer.
And finally five, he didn't want to desire the woman, nor acknowledge any feeling toward her. She was off limits... and he was certain she felt the same.

He would not cross that boundary with her again. The resolve in the thought had stilled his heart, filling him with a much needed apathy as he refocused his mind on their destination, their goal. His uneven gait, subdued in the newfound strength slowly returning to them, his attention finally settled on Mitsuko, noticing the scowl already painted as clear as day upon her face. A warranted reaction, he would give her that much, suppressing a sigh from leaving him, the action itself was stifled in his chest, quick to notice the remnants of red that still insisted to linger upon her face, barely noticeable in truth, but he forced his own face to not acknowledge it unless he wished to hear more snarky and scathing remarks from his companion.

I really thought she would be over it by now... is.. is she more innocent than I thought? Perhaps she was, but at the same time... maybe not? Had the woman really not encountered someone who was willing enough to bite back at her prodding and poking? Disbelief settled within him which tinged with fresh guilt. He really shouldn't have done that, making assumptions again.. he wasn't her after all, Haru was supposed to be the responsible one. A grudging thought of, I blame it on the fever, had filtered through his mind to perhaps ignore the guilt he was feeling. Yes, his senses were confused! That... that had to be it.

Next thing he took notice was her cleaner appearance which prompted the man to feel at least a bit relieved that she had cleaned herself up. No need to alarm anyone.. even though he was a bit surprised at the distinctive hairpin he'd given her. She was still wearing it... he probably would have assumed that she wouldn't bother especially after his little stunt he pulled, but then again it seemed like she treasured it still which made a flicker of warmth settle deep within and the pearl bracelet he'd received from her seemingly a lifetime ago feeling as if it weighed far heavier than before.

"Yes." Plain, simple and to the point, calm and composed as he normally would be as Mitsuko had questioned if he was ready and the subsequent steering of the stallion toward him, accompanied by her once again not looking at him. This made him nearly roll his eyes, but he suppressed the urge. She really did act like a child sometimes, almost sulking and nursing her wounded pride. But, the Seer wouldn't comment on it, grasping hold of her outstretched hand as he settled himself behind her in the saddle, keeping care to have a small distance between them like he usually would do, careful and polite, although he did grimace a bit at the pressure placed upon his bad leg, but it couldn't be helped.

He remained silent as Mitsuko would once more take the reigns and lead them off to their next destination, desperately praying in the back of his mind that the journey forward would be smooth without any possible interruptions. If only his luck was good.

Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
Kanamori no Mitsuko
ki- rectangular wooden instruments that are struck together to open or close a scene in kabuki plays.

Tv girl - not allowed slowed instrumental (overlay of words)

The clatter of the hooves, rising and falling against the ground, was enough to fill the quota for conversation for the both of them. A rhythmic beat that reverberated to the soles of feet, into the insides of thighs and through the gentle sways of torsos- unwillingly brushing against each other. It occurred to Mitsuko during one of these brushing moments, that her questioning the night that felt to have taken place numerous moons ago, might have been unwarranted. That little thought, or perhaps it could've even been called a wish, that she had prodded to know just a fraction more wouldn't make a dent in their fates regardless.

He was the Seer.

And she was the Empress.

Paths that were to be walked separately at all times. Paths that were destined to differ in length. One day her path would end, dangle out into the abyss of nothingness while he would build a bridge over it. And then, as if they had never met in the first place, she would jump and their paths would never converge again. Any traces of her existence scattered under the crunch of his soles, dotted across the horizon in carbon dioxide set aflame at dusk while he, embodied the horizon itself.

The brunette tightened her hold on the reins, leather cutting into the furrows of joints. Could this be what he had meant at that time? That she didn't know anything, had never known anything. If Haru was her horizon, could she have been his horizon? Always doomed to walk in her shadow, under her whims. A scene surfaced in her head, one that felt so foreign that she doubted it even belonged to her at all.

They were standing on the porch of Hayate's house, a rancid shack that had seen better days in rotted wood and splintered floors but that felt like a home all the same in its warmth. Forge always nursing a fire that washed the shadows away from tilting walls and dark corners of earthen gaps. She traced it affectionately with her gaze, as it harboured a lot of good memories for the brunette in contrast to the estate up ahead. A looming figure that rose out of the ground on a stone hill that veered the forest apart through a meandering path. The very same building that reflected in Hayate's lilac eyes when he said:

"We're the same in a way. We both have to work for recognition from our fathers." His gaze turned to her, a blank expression upon his face "-At least he knows who you are".

The house and Hayate's face refracted back into foliage and tree stems as she opened her eyes. Face a little darker than before, chest a little heavier than before.

Was there any point in getting attached?
The gentle clops drew to a halt at the sound of voices echoing ahead and the brunette slid off to approach it in cautious steps. In the gaps between trees and branches, bushes and specks of blue sky appeared a set of figures in familiar robes. It was a disharmonious picture of colours, masks and flamboyant costumes that spun under the sun to the melodies recounted in lips.

"The Kitashinchi district is bustling with drunken customers. The courtesan Koharu of the Kinokuniya pleasure house arrives at a teahouse. She had vowed to commit joint suicide with her lover, the paper merchant Jihei, but the rumour about them has spread, and the worried master of the pleasure house has forbidden him entry to prevent further meetings between them. Meanwhile, Jihei’s rival Tahei is planning to buy out Koharu’s contract and take her as his lover-"

Tack. Tack. The scene opened with the wooden claps from the ki* and from a disembodied folding screen entered a man clad in samurai attire. He made a dramatic sweep of the scarce surroundings that were made to resemble a room in a table, a vase and a bamboo mat, and then he fixated on the figure seated at the forefront of it all.
"-Beloved Koharu!" He burst out and kneeled by the figure's side who straightened out of her hunched-over position to reveal a woman.

It was quite the sight really, the story that took place in front of them in dramatic flairs of screams, tears and passionate kisses. One that Mitsuko observed with piqued interest as she hummed along to the tunes of the flute that herded the stages along. Melodious birdsong in one scene and piercing wails in others. Of course, she ceased to hum during the latter. Instead turned to the Seer and was about to continue on their way when she spotted something.

Their armour rustled in harmony with the leaves as the wind sifted through them to bear flight in red capes. Attached to their chests were red feathers. Mitsuko froze in place, knuckles and face growing pale under the consequent realisation of who the men filtering through the trees behind them were.


"Fuck." The swear spilt onto shuffling feet as she started to pull the horse forward out of the bushes and into the assembly of colourful figures. A collision with the folding screen and snag on the bamboo mat later they stood in the middle of it to the platter-like eyes of the audience and actors alike. The military approached from behind. The brunette twitched on the spot and then quickly yanked two straw hats from the audience members to cover their heads.

"Jihei we are the manifestations of your guilty mind, here to torture you for the sins you've committed-" She bellowed to the man identified as Jihei who was occupied with spying on his lover through a restaurant window. The audience straightened in their seats at the unheard twist of the story and eyed it in roused excitement. Mitsuko sent a meaningful look the Seer's way and raised her eyebrows in quick succession as if to hurry him along.
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surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
Pokemon Vs Red (Traditional Japanese Version) - Hyuman

Silence once more, uncomfortable silence but silence that was enough to give Haru a moment to think, dismissing thoughts regarding his companion and instead fixated on the road ahead. Even if they had every intention of making Mitsuko empress again, just how would they go about doing such a thing? Although Haru knew not what the other celestial beasts wanted with him, there was the matter that they needed not only funds but enough bodies, enough firepower to be able to lay siege to the Jade palace, and doing so would require preferably people that they could trust, people that would come to the call when needed... they needed allies, and more importantly they needed far more money than the meager amount that Mitsuko had gained just by performing in the village they had left. If anything, where their currently stood in terms of money or even allies, it was a laughable goal, one that made a bitter feeling surge in Haru's heart.

A supposed celestial beast locked in a mortal body with little to no reserve of spiritual energy left, crippled on top of it, and then there was Mitsuko who held an ailment of her own in her weakened arm even if she was still very much capable of defending herself. Truly, what hope lay ahead for them to even proceed forward? A grumble passed Haru's lips then in the midst of their silent traveling, his mind trying to filter through any possible villages or settlements that may even prove to be worth it, but honestly it seemed not. The further outward from the Jade palace one would go, the more rural areas there would be, simple farmers and peasants with no combat experience and there was no telling of Byakko's territory either. No one had charted the ancient tiger's lands for so many thousands of years, it was practically treated as if it no longer existed... which once again would dampen Haru's hopes a bit further, making him feel all too pessimistic.

Well, no one had said it would be easy. It certainly seemed like their luck always teetered on bad than good, perhaps one would hope that good luck would follow them, right? Surely, they wouldn't be hindered by anything else, right? The man was a fool to even allow himself to be the slightest bit optimistic in their prospects, as eventually through the faint rocking of the horse and the silence that had settled between two souls, it would be interrupted by voices echoing ahead, prompting the Seer in turn to frown. Voices?

His eyes shifted to Mitsuko as she urged the horse forward, causing his expression to tense up. What was she doing again? They didn't have time for this. The words swelled on his tongue, the beginnings of a growl settling in the Seer's throat as he struggled to reign in the anxiety that surged in his chest. One could reasonably forgive the man for his skittishness, due to them getting into all sorts of trouble so far in their journey alone to go west, he didn't feel willing enough to try their luck with people so soon. Wait, you idiot! Stop! The thought screamed far too loud in his mind as paralyzed tongue refused to allow the words to flow, for his gaze landed finally on what had caused Mitsuko to stop to begin with. It was.. a traveling theatre group, obvious enough due to the exaggerated poses and dramatic flares; a love story was it?

The notion made Haru's expression sour immediately, a click of his tongue being the immediate response as he turned his head away, uninterested and seemingly embittered. In all honesty, the Seer was getting tired of reminders of love or human passion, perhaps it was a result of him constantly being bombarded with weird situations and previous lives trauma that fueled the instant reaction. This was a waste of time, they needed to keep going. Crimson eyes flashed to his companion however, seeing as she was all too transfixed on the play itself to even bother paying heed to him, prompting the Seer's attention to turn toward it again, instead fixating upon the melodies that Mitsuko was humming along to, though it didn't seem to lighten his growing foul mood. She really enjoyed wasting time didn't she?

Of course, much to his satisfaction it seemed like she had seen enough, judging alone by her turning back to him in which the Seer had crossed his arms, a pointed glare being her reward from the man... only for his attention to shift abruptly to the sound of armor, the smell of metal. It made a chill go down the Seer's spine, his skin growing pale as a cacophony of visions flared to life in a frightening multitude of the souls that were marching toward the very same place that the two were lingering. His first thought after the vomit inducing visions of people he quite frankly didn't give a damn about was; This is the exact reason why we shouldn't get distracted, you moron! Followed by; I feel like I'm going to be sick... Anxiety stirred his stomach as Mitsuko had all too correctly voiced aloud the very same curse that would have slipped his lips as Haru's eyes was searching for an escape route. If they caught a glimpse of him, it would be all over without a doubt.

Before he could even process what actions his companion would do next, or even suggest for her to quickly get on the horse and make a run for it, a flurry of motion of fervor would make the poor Seer get entangled with Mitsuko's all too improvised and very foolish plan, the Seer having a straw hat soon pressed to his palm and the swift action he took to place it atop of his head though bewilderment and now fear had settled deep into his gut as his mind was truly going blank. What the hell were they doing?!

The audience that stared back at them as well as the poor actors which stared just as bewildered and stunned at the two had made a trickle of sweat slide down the Seer's neck as Mitsuko, in all of her recklessness yet again had placed him in a situation that he didn't want to be in. Due to his position still on top of the horse, he could easily see all of the faces around him, each and every single one with such clarity as their futures danced before his eyes in dizzying succession... Mitsuko's voice pierced through it all, prompting crimson eyes to glare down at her with such ferocity in the second that she turned to look at him, a message that was clear and silent and only for her eyes, I'm going to kill you for this later.

Very well, if Mitsuko desired for them to be actors, he'll play along accordingly. It wasn't as if he could make the situation any worse. This brief connection of their gazes was broken as he was swift to cool his expression, settling it into a blank mask to mimic the sudden horror twist that Mitsuko had put on a love story. He knew horror all too well, drawing on previous memories to aid him in the soft lips which had taken on a cold, dark tint, an improvisation on the spot, but one that he would go with without hesitation, despite him feeling like he was going to be sick. A celestial beast about to pass down judgement... right? H-he could do that, he hoped. "Do not think that that your sins have no consequence, how far your depravity has clouded your judgement," He paused, his mind scrambling but he pressed on, his voice void of the anxiety growing in his chest, "How far you have fallen, pitiful mortal, to plot to slaughter your rivals, to taint your hands with their blood. Such sins are an affront to the gods, kneel and repent before divine judgement makes you heel and takes everything you hold dear."

Ugh... I'm really going to be sick. Sweat threatened to flow past his temples and down his pale cheeks, though his expression did not change, posture didn't slacken, the flash of crimson eyes an icy glow underneath the bamboo hat as he peered down at the actor in question who looked still quite frazzled almost fearful of the pressure that Haru had placed in the play. If anything, Haru wanted to voice an apology to the poor soul, wishing he could take back everything he had just said. He only was replicating Byakko and Seiryu, the brief interactions he had with the two! I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry! The apologies rang out within his mind relentlessly, knowing full well that the direction of the play had been skewered in an entirely different direction. Manifestations of a guilty conscious, the paper merchant Jihei planning to slaughter both Tahei and the pleasure house's master, and the mention of gods... how far had the play been side tracked down an entirely different route. This only led him down to one thought that overridden the rest, a thought directed to Mitsuko.

I really do hate you, you reckless idiot!

Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
Kanamori no Mitsuko

Kabuki and traditional music

The decision to enter the fray of the theatre had been a swift one. Made under the split second before the first bead of perspiration had a chance to form in the furrows of her frown. Sure, she had gotten distracted. Sure, it was probably her fault that the military happened to be strolling around in the very same woods that they had just departed from. Sure, maybe, probably, it was a dumb decision.

But the Seer wasn't exactly helping either. The sudden declaration of Jihei being a mastermind behind some murder plot hit her with a right hook. Jaw slack and eyes beady at the escalation of the story that had gone way beyond what the original had ordained. You idiot! Mitsuko wanted to snap in a shout and jerk the man by the collar. Have you never been to a play before? This is the 'Love Suicide of Amijima' where an indebted man falls in love with a courtesan and they kill themselves at the end. NOT SOME KIND OF GORE-SODDEN REVENGE STORY. In truth, it didn't surprise her that he was uncultured about the finer parts of entertainment.

Heck, it wouldn't even surprise her if he possessed no knowledge of culture and entertainment. As stuck up and inverted into his own ass as he was (some of his latest actions pointed to the opposite though). The brunette tipped her straw hat over her eyes and huffed as the military drew closer. Whatever. She would just have to go with the flow. The brunette returned the Seer's glare in one of her own and jutted her chin into the air. "Indeed, your sins are many and grave in nature." Mitsuko mused and tip-toed to the actor's side in a graceful spin and tilted the sheath of her sword to poke the man's chin. She lifted it carefully, a sly quirk in place on her lips as her back curved down to meet his wavering pupils halfways.

The actor swallowed dryly at the sight of the canines that glimpsed in exposed gums. "But the gods are merciful and the ways of repentance are as many as there are sins. We shall guide you to the salvation of that wretched soul of yours".

And then the plot devolved from there, turned into something entirely else about said rivals being traitors of the state as the actors scrambled to adjust. Jihei uncovered them with the help of his supposed conscience in the form of two ragged travellers and his lover, Koharu, was discovered to have conspired with the aforementioned and killed herself out of remorse. The poor paper merchant met the end of his fate at his own hand once again just like in the original and then he ascended to the heavens where the helpers awaited him to crown him as a deity.

A change of plans that was all fine and dandy with the crowd who erupted into a rumbling applause at the end of it. The actors and non-actors alike received them in joint exhaustion. Panting and drenched down to the bone by the rapid and spontaneous adjustments of scene, costume and acting that had taken place. The military was long gone by this time, but they had caught another problem instead.

-That being the theatre director who currently towered over them in her tent where they sat kneeled at her feet. "Listen-" The brunette urged only to be subsequently cut off when a rolled-up manuscript was brought down upon her head. Mitsuko let out an involuntary yelp and grasped at her assaulted head. "No. You listen." The director demanded in a threatening tap of the manuscript to her cheek "This is our livelihood you're messing with. You're lucky that the audience liked it this time but what if they hadn't? Would you reimburse us then?".

The young mercenary pursed her lips and averted her gaze in a lowered head.


surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
Purifying Cave - Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon OST [for the last part of the post]

Mitsuko's glare hadn't gone unnoticed by the Seer, who in turn had suppressed the urge to leap down from the horse and proceed to give her a well deserved beating on the spot... not that his body would be able to have much strength in it now due to the tendrils of weakness that was now because of both nerves and an intense desire to throw up due to the anxiety building in his chest. Luckily enough, it seemed his companion had went with the rather intense flow he had changed it to, much to Haru's inward cringing as a mountain of apologies threatened to spill past his lips, but at the very least as the play had flowed, uncomfortable and confused as it was... it seemed at the very least that their efforts had at least caused a rather positive reaction from their captivated audience, though at this point Haru's head was spinning, feeling like his legs were fit to give out at any moment at the applause which made him release a heavy breath.

Ah, my head is killing me. It felt like his head was about to split open, the pressure of the many futures filtering through his mind, pressing down upon him was nauseating, granted it never had been this bad for he had gotten used to ignoring most of the images that ran through his head daily, but it felt as if his mind had opened up to be far more sensitive than before, making him flinch as both doomed and happy lives filtered behind crimson eyes which barely was focused on anything anymore, certainly not the physical world. So, it was with great agony that it seemed like their little stunt had landed them in much more trouble.

Kneeling was something that caused the Seer a lot of unnecessary pain, and unpleasant memories. And yet, here he was kneeling again, his head lowered and shoulders hunched pathetically as they were being rightfully scolded by the theatre director, the older woman making the Seer flinch with every well pointed word and mumbled apologies being his response, though he did nearly felt the urge to strike Mitsuko again as she was about to interrupt the woman, causing crimson eyes to look toward her briefly in annoyance. Shut up! You're going to make it worse! Granted, Haru normally would never be so silent and meek in the presence of others... but this was only because what they had done was very much wrong, even if it was to quickly disguise themselves. It was one thing to put themselves in peril, but a whole audience? Innocent people? In all honesty, if even just one soldier recognized the two, there would have been casualties.

It could have been a bloodbath, one that his mind had pictured all too well; a possible future that could have branched off and became reality. It made him sick to his stomach, his expression pinching as he lowered his head back to the colorfully decorated floor, his bad leg trembling underneath the pressure his weight had caused against it. Yes... there would have been death, and the fault would have been their own. Teeth came to catch upon his bottom lip as guilt made him seem to appear a bit smaller in the all too sharp pointing out that they had indeed messed with unrelated people's livelihood, completely innocent strangers at that. I know, I'm sorry. He wished to say that, but mere apologies wasn't going to cut it. Even he knew that much, the woman had every right to be upset with them crashing their performance, but there was nothing he could do or say to take it back.

But, it seemed yet again, he would have to be the responsible one, to do the right thing and make amends... as much as it would set their plans back, it needed to be done. Because if he didn't act responsible, Mitsuko sure as hell in his mind wasn't going to do so, and she seemed to jump into everything with no plan whatsoever. It was time for him to try to smooth things over. They needed to face the consequences, so perhaps this would serve as a lesson to them both, to be more careful... far more careful than they had been.

Taking in a breath, Haru kept his gaze upon the tent's flooring, the colorful rugs separating him from seeing the grass that lay crushed underneath, "Yes, yes we will." Firm in his voice, the Seer's hands had clenched into fists upon his lap, though at this point he was steadfast in his judgement, ignoring Mitsuko at this point, "You have my sincerest apologies for ruining your performance, my companion and I will do our best to make up for it in return." Pretty words wrapped in a perfect apology, though he didn't yet look up toward the theatre director, a shift in movement being the response until he felt a hand slide underneath his chin, a woman's hand which had tilted his head up, grip tight as his eyes grew wide, startled.

"..Hm. For a boy you have a very pretty face." Hah?! The compliment made Haru visibly bristle, his lips pressing in an angry scowl then despite him desiring to keep calm. How.. how dare she?! The smile however that greeted him back had kept the fuming Seer silent though, even if it seemed that the snide comment was sparking murderous intent in the man as the director had released her grip, a calculating look sparking behind dark eyes as she shifted her gaze over Haru, "Hmm.. well, considering you so kindly offered, I do have something you can do to make up for every. little. coin." The emphasis of her sentence, accompanied by the slapping of her manuscript against her palm had made a feeling of dread go through the Seer in response. Haru really had a bad feeling about this.

This bad feeling persisted as the director had turned her gaze to Mitsuko in turn, "I'll put you to work as well, I'll expect no slacking from either of you. Understand?"

Understand? Haru understood a lot of things, certainly. He could understand the director's infuriation with the two, especially after ruining the play and quite frankly destroying quite a few props with Mitsuko rashly dragging the damned horse out onto the stage, he could understand trying to be reasonable enough, perhaps thinking that they would be put to work to restore the things they've destroyed... but this, this was just cruel punishment! It wasn't as if he was happy to be gifted with such a feminine face, it wasn't as if he was pleased that the stupid Phoenix had perhaps been the cause for such gentle features, but he is a man in this lifetime, damn it! He still had his pride! So why... why did everything turn out like this?

The Seer in question was lamenting over his terrible turn in fortune, having been immediately torn out of the director's tent perhaps an hour or so ago, ripped from his companion's side and immediately being thrown to the wolves (in this case the women of the theatre) as they were all too eager to pounce on a new victim. Due to his weakened state, it wasn't as if he could very much fend the women off, it would be rude of him to begin with and he had all too quickly volunteered both himself and Mitsuko up for this, so it was hours then that he had to endure being poked and prodded it, forced to be outfitted in different flowery kimono and accessories to match the light flush of makeup, quite a few woman remarking that his "natural beauty" is what most women would want to "die for", how it was remarkable that he looked so lovely without them doing much.

Sulking. He was sulking, his soul having long since left his body as he was just a living doll for the women who excitedly pulled at long verdant strands, remarking how silky it was. Yes.. yes I know. I know. The sullen thought rang in his mind, a heavy exhale leaving his nose as his pride was further stabbed and stomped upon, decorated and accented with a floral scent that masked his usual vanilla, this in turn making him fall deeper into his depression. Haha.. could he even call himself a man anymore after this? It wouldn't be too long until Haru was forced to face the result of these villains, a mirror being placed before him as his audience of grown woman seemed to be beaming at him from ear to ear, crazed lunatics they were. Monsters, they were!

The pretty woman staring back at him, a stranger to his eyes and lovely without compare had made his expression fall into apathy. Damn it, why do I look so... ugh... He wanted to vomit, the rosy coloration of his lips forced to be more so vibrant of a lovely pink, though currently pressed into a displeased frown. His skin, appearing a bit healthier due to the light application of faint pink upon his cheeks in a soft blush as well as his poor hair being forced into a cute side tail, held together by a flower accessory, his kimono matching it decorated red and pink upon a white background, warm colorations that made him feel more sick to look at. There's... there's no way that this is me. Horrified, Haru had turned his head and the lovely girl in the mirror had done the same, crimson eyes wide and sparkling, though reflecting his growing horror as he resisted the urge to smash the mirror in question.

He looked.. cute, pretty, and he dare even think it... adorable. Admitting that alone felt so utterly wrong, his expression twisting as he closed his eyes, shaking his head immediately. Haru couldn't look at himself anymore, or whatever pretty creature that abomination was in the mirror! He wanted to cry, the urge to do so strengthening as the women around him chattered about putting him in other outfits, to see how they could experiment further to make him look more so eye catching. Wasn't this enough?! He wanted to scream, enough that he looked not a single bit like a man at all now! Hadn't they done enough damage! His slender fingers clenched into tight fists at his sides as he forced himself to not react, his expression settling into apathy once more. I should never had offered to volunteer ourselves up. I should never have. NEVER.

What was worse now, what if Mitsuko saw him? She would never let him live this moment down! This made him immediately desire to bash his head in, perhaps oblivion would be better than ever allowing that idiot to see him like this, so undignified and yet at the same time why the hell did this fit him so well?! Why! It wasn't fair! It wasn't! It certainly wasn't he who had charged head first into the play, it wasn't he who had been wandering into villages covered in blood, it wasn't he who constantly caused unnecessary trouble! So why him! Why was this his punishment! Someone... please kill me.

Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
Kanamori no Mitsuko


The eyes of the crowd were just that, eyes. They could only perceive what one let them perceive and lap up whatever lies you wanted to display as the truth. It fit her perfectly, pretending that was. So much so that one would even be spurred to question whether she had ever done anything else but pretend. Cock a smile to appear indifferent to the erroneous ways of her actions and adorn it with laughter to drown out the creaks. The corner of lips stretched thin until it threatened to crack and offer up the ugliness beneath in sputters.

And she would do anything to hide it. Regurgitate excuses until they would start to get stuck onto each other and amass in clumps in her throat. For once, she would be the one choking, the desire to live a lone whistled wheezing from deflated lungs. As always, she would be the perpetrator, hand fitted around her throat in fingertips that understood precisely where to push to drive the last spark out.

Just like the proficiency was a silent confession that she had done it several times before, was her calmness an admission that she had already dissociated from the situation at hand.

Mitsuko had already conceded to the fact that she would have to pay the director back. The little sigh that she relented the final stand of rebellion to this as the director shifted away. Whatever. She thought, and used the short reprieve from the scolding to ramble a few curses mentally before another voice chimed in. Familiar and steady in its assuming of the responsibility. The brown eyes shot open and the hem of the director's kimono swished past her.

The hand that descended to cup his chin was faster than the 'idiot, this is my mess' that Mitsuko nursed on parted lips. Her eyes narrowed. Last shreds of sympathy dissipating into thin air through the gaps of her fingers as they burrowed into her palm. Mitsuko breathed in a subdued hiss between her jaws and quelled the shiver that darted from heel to hairline, prompting her hair to stand on end. "..Hm. For a boy you have a very pretty face." The words pricked her chest in a thin needle on the most sensitive nerve and the furrows between her brows grew deeper.

The low growl that reverberated in the depths of her throat risked exposure as the director emphasized that she would make him work for the coins, but she broke off and so did the sound. A huff there to replace it instead as the brunette threw a last distrusting dagger the director's way in piercing eyes before she left the tent in tandem with Seer.

Mitsuko wanted nothing more than to stay glued to the young man's side after the little quip back there and her hand reached out to express as much. If not to anchor him to herself, then to check if his cheeks were as pale as they had been back on the stage.

I don't like how it makes me feel. So stop!

But the motion halted in the middle of it, outstretched fingers faltering one by one in little twitches that eventually reverted to clutch the leg of her hakama. The Seer was herded away and out of sight by a group of giggling women and the brunette was left stranded at the entrance of the tent. Stranded on a cliff edge that crumbled away in the crashing waves of stuffy frustration.

"Bullshit..." She muttered and her chest inflated until it felt like it was about to burst. The act of inhaling more strenuous than the act of letting it go.

She withered in hushed autumn browns, the same brown that the Seer had claimed as his favourite, and her voice crunched under the pressure of memory's sole. Fragile and returned to earth in downcast eyes.

"-then why did you touch me?".


The staff that came to fetch her were not nearly as enthusiastic as the ones that had fetched the Seer. Presumably, because the brunette refused to yield up her sword and glared knives at anyone who tried to force it. Their fingers worked in ghosting touches to unravel her, not bloodied anymore, but still ragged clothes. Suppressed gasps baulked against her bare skin as the arrow wound on her back was laid bare along with tattoos and all her scars to their furtive eyes. A mellow curiosity piqued in the whispers that whizzed through the little crowd until they covered it up once more.

Mitsuko shrugged into her new attire with stiff facial muscles and flicked the collar into place on her neck. The little frown that flashed by in wrinkled features was almost imperceptible in its short duration as she took in the entirety of the costume. They had literally just made her change out of one ragged pair of clothes into another- a samurai get up this time. Mitsuko wanted to laugh but settled for a miffed snort.

They had dressed her up to be the opposite of who she was. Originally a ronin, assassin or whatever epithet one wanted to assign a killer. Now, a man of the law instead whose actions were praised as just and honourable. In the end, they were one and the same, still killers at the very foundation of it all. The only thing that differed was how people interpreted it.

The brunette ran a hand over the slicked hair and scanned the crowd. With little else left to do since her fitting had been relatively quick, she started to look for the Seer. Her gaze locked onto the tent that seemed to be the source of the commotion that plagued her ears and she approached it. Sidled carefully up to the makeshift door of blinds in muffled steps and parted them with a slender finger to peer in. The glimpse of the naked skin that she caught was enough to make her reel back. Mitsuko shrunk to the ground in a curled-up position, cheeks flushed under the shield of her sleeve.
She sat there for what felt like hours and probably also were hours. Limbs and ass numb by the time the voices inside the tent started to diminish in their excitement. Instead what replaced it was a low rumble of awe in whispers and squeals and Mitsuko braced herself once more to enter the tent. Her knees brushed against each other in rigid drags of her feet up to the blinds and she peeked inside.

Perched on the stool was not the naked Seer that she had seen before, but a dainty maiden. Fashioned in a red kimono in pink flower prints that unfurled in shiny silk over thin waist and slanted shoulders. His jade hair, which had grown an inch longer since the beginning of their journey, was assembled at the side of his head to reveal the pale nape of his neck in a dangling flower pin. And his face, which was the cherry on top of it all, wrapped it all up in rosy cheeks and budding lips.

Mitsuko froze, her dark figure reflected in stark contrast over his shoulder in the mirror. Loomed over him like the shadow that she felt she was. His face twisted in the mirror. She swallowed. "-Okay ladies!" Her voice boomed over the heads of the women who were startled by the loud noise. Mitsuko started to round them up and out in gentle pushes "The show's over, wrap it up! Get out!".

The women muttered amongst themselves at the interruption that was the ragged samurai but none dared to complain out loud. They filed out of the tent in a slow trickle until all that remained was the Seer and herself and an awkward silence. The brunette turned to her companion.

"Why did they give you the pretty dress when I got a bald cap?" She remarked with a sigh and waved the bald cap around before slumping into the nearest sofa. It was hardly comfortable since it was out of wood but that didn't stop the woman from stretching herself out over the pillows. Her eyes stared into the sloped ceiling of the tent. "Is it uncomfortable?" She asked.


surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
Normally, Haru would be quite observant of his surroundings, being quick to recognize who was approaching or who had left. Normally, he probably would have reacted immediately and hide himself away before Mitsuko could even so much as spot him, and yet the sentiment was lost immediately in the Seer's chest as her voice, loud and obnoxious had rang within the tent, prompting the man's expression to twist as he silently cursed his turn of fortune to be even more so worse with her arrival. Albeit, she had relieved him of the many women who were still crowding around their work of art, their displeasure obvious as day but to the Seer, he just wanted to curl up in a ball and cry. If that wasn't enough, their pressing visions flickered behind the sparkling rubies that now were downcast, struggling to keep his grip on the present as many possibilities stretched before his eyes in dizzying succession. It made him want to throw up.

The feelings and sensations washed over him as if he were experiencing them himself, walking through the paths of many different people whose fates could go either for light or for dark. In all honesty, the visions hadn't been this bad since he'd opened himself up to the Phoenix, allowing hidden memories to rake through him, all the lives he'd lived in failure. Remembering that place, that blood soaked lair certainly wasn't making his complexion hidden underneath the rosy make up any better, a huff leaving his lips as he shifted dejectedly upon the wooden stool that he'd been forced upon earlier, a sullen expression upon his sulking face as he was looking anywhere but Mitsuko for now, the fair maiden adjusting his position accordingly with ease, though it was due to ancient instinct rather than true practiced actions, for the kimono was far more restrictive than the clothes he wore in this lifetime, certainly not the flowy and breathable kimono or hakama he was used to.

There was movement, he detected from his companion as Mitsuko had finally settled upon the nearest sofa with an all too loud complaint which made the slender shoulders of the man shift into a halfhearted shrug, a sigh passing his painted lips as he glared at her in annoyance, taking in her appearance. She was dressed like a samurai, though the material was just as ragged as her original clothes, the bald cap within her grasp making him snort as he looked away embittered. This wasn't fair at all, insulting his already bruised pride as he grumbled under his breath, far too quiet for his companion to overhear, not desiring for her to pick up on the curses flying rapid fire from pleasant lips as he was silently venting, fuming to an audience that needn't pick up on it.

However, her next words in regards to whether it was uncomfortable had finally made Haru stir to glance down at the floor. Yes, it was uncomfortable, but it wasn't unfamiliar. In fact, it felt far more familiar to him than before, causing the expression upon his face to pinch once more as long lashes concealed crimson eyes, the same eyes that passed down time and time again to all those that he'd lived before. Primarily women that walked his path before him, paths that he'd walked and all the same did not. Though, this garb certainly felt restricting, it wasn't as if he'd.. not worn it before, not in this lifetime of course! A huff left past his lips then, irritation finally flaring to life before his face, his eyes as he shot an all too irritated glare in Mitsuko's direction, "Oh, I don't know, what do you think?"

Sarcasm dripped from his tone as he looked away, his hand coming to his temples as a headache throbbed within, blurred sights and dizzying pictures making him feel faint. Perhaps it was a trick of his mind? Yes... that had to be it, he wasn't sick, after all he had recovered decently enough over the last four days, enough for his fever to break. A sucked in breath would follow as he regained his composure, hands clasping before himself as he lowered his gaze to the floor beneath him, a pale shade to his cheeks and a subdued discoloration about the Seer's eyes as he cleared his throat, composed and serious as usual, "It doesn't matter anyway, we have to just do what we can to get this over with as soon as possible." Yes, that was right. This was an entirely unnecessary detour but it needed to be done, especially considering the Seer in his usual responsible role had offered up themselves on a silver platter, it was inevitable that this would be the result. He would just have to do what he could, and she would just have to not make anymore stupid mistakes.

The thought made his temper flare as he inhaled sharply, forcing the wave of anger down before he could rip into her. It was useless anyways, she wouldn't even listen to him, so there was no point. "...After this we need to be a lot more careful." That was the simple warning he would give, a warning he was sure that she knew enough without him having to lecture her. The fact alone that the military had been so very close to them was a dangerous situation that could have turned into a nightmare, a bloodbath. Haru's expression pinched again at the memory, bile rising in the back of his throat as he shifted in discomfort upon the wooden stool, attempting to keep himself from slipping from it due to the dizziness that flowed over him again.

Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
Kanamori no Mitsuko

Theme: Blue magic lantern - Kenichiro Isoda

Cute. The Seer looked cute. It made her imagine how it would've been like to have a little sister. Someone whose presence was felt through the empty corridors of her home in the pitter-patter of small feet and ruddy cheeks that peeked out from paper walls. The second thought that fanned her interest on concerned if that was how she had appeared once upon a time as the youngest of her siblings. The brunette tilted her head upon the sofa and arched a thoughtful eyebrow at the illustration of her supposed younger self that was overlayed upon the Seer. The latter quick to dispel it in an angry quip.

No. She concluded in silence. First of all, she had never owned clothes that fancy. Second of all, no one had ever called her cute. Presumably, because people assumed that she was a servant due to how untidy she often looked. Clothes drab in colours and hair sat in tangles upon her bobbing puppet head perched on an all too thin neck. What a dreadful child, the real servants would comment when she passed them by in stumbling steps. Her feet either scabbed over from being made to walk on hot coals that day or simply as a consequence of her malnutrition.

No, she had never been called cute. But someone had once called her something else though. Something that was, in retrospection, most likely aimed at her kimono at that time.


The single word echoed to life in renewed warmth on her cheeks and she squirmed on the hard surface of the wood. It responded in coarse grating against protruding hip bones and scapulas and she turned to her side. What a useless thing to remember at a time like this. Mitsuko snorted at her own audacity and fixated on a set point in the tent fabric. It was steady, unchanging, comfortable. Didn't spur her heart into making any funny moves that were so often the case lately.

Must be the weird predicament, she reasoned as her gaze stole glances at the man in the reflection of the mirror and propped her head on her hand. His countenance carried a certain strain in it in the wrinkles around his eyes and downturned lips. The self-soothing circular movements of fingertips pinpointed the source of his anguish to be between temples. Mitsuko frowned, mimicked his less-than-delightful expression as the seconds drew on and eventually prompted a pinching sensation into existence on her own temples.

The brunette wet her parched lips in a dry swallow. "Yeah." She stuttered and took a few seconds to clear her throat "-Sorry about...all this". Muttered something, something 'I kinda just acted' something and groaned an 'I would change costumes if we could' before she fell back into stubborn avoidance. Not even crickets could describe the kind of choked-up atmosphere that encompassed the woman. Normally so confident, normally so rash which was why they sat where they were.

His reflection haunted the whites of her eyes in eerie pale resemblance. "Is it...the fever?" She eventually managed to drown out the swirling thoughts with a stammer. Her stomach lurched with a familiar feeling that told her that it wasn't. The Phoenix and its related history was a sensitive topic though. One that she wouldn't volunteer to encroach upon if she could help it. His little prayers from back then chimed in her head like warning bells, sending shudders to rack through her body.

Mitsuko forced her eyes close and suppressed them back below the surface. It was too far removed from the reality that she lived in, too hard to grasp still.

If she could, she would have liked to have forgotten about it. Just see the Seer for who he was, Haru.

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