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Fantasy EMOTIONS LIKE TWISTING VINES | private |

Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
2d0003faaa6816f0c44103fc44bd2652.jpg
Kanamori no Mitsuko
Vocab:

Theme: 磯田健一郎 ‐ まどろみの森


Indeed, if she could she would exchange the shackle between the two for one that anchored him down to this place instead. The place where his smiles were not the exception, but the expected. It would've been better for all of them, including the washed-out watercolour picture of the woman in front of her. Diffused by the sorrows of years of baggage and blotting out under her eye in wistful dimples.

Mitsuko's breath hitched under the soothing touch of her hand that unexpectedly reached out to smooth out the scrunched-up suffering in eyes. Gnawing frustration taken with it as tension dissipated alongside slackened jaws. It was almost infuriating how easily that one touch mollified whatever anxieties that stormed underneath it. How effortlessly she made the puzzle pieces fit into their slotted holes in her aching heart.

It was as if she had been waiting for it, veins swelled from whitening knuckles that clutched at her clothes, as if that little nudge was what she needed all along. -For someone to tell her those words that had been erased from the dictionary of her soul by forceful hands. Her father's, her family's, her duty and at times- her own. Mitsuko was like a newborn child, a ball of infatile cries and mucus-stuffed grievances that were directed at the ignorance of the world she had been brought into.

Why didn't they understand her? Why didn't they hear her? Her mouth imitated the woman's in motioned silence and little by little she was starting to relearn how to be human from scratch. Strange mechanisms taking place in the trembles that dangled off screwed lips and the probing visual caress of the translucent beads that raced down Honomi's cheeks. Why? Why was she crying?

Disapproval ploughed through the brows that furrowed under the weight of the sight. Erase, forget. Invisible hands pressed their palms in second lids to her eyes. She inhaled them, a faint lingering scent of smoke emanating from the imagined warmth. Ah, it was her mother's hand, she admitted into a stifled exhale. Her cheek twisted in a pinch of pain that was too weak, too unsatisfactory in the short-lived distraction it provided. The haunting words chased her down anyway in fumbling gasps and building pressure on her chest:

"You must be strong Mitsuko. So forget this and go back to sleep"

Then-

"I refuse to give up a precious, beautiful daughter."

Her walls came tumbling down. The brown eyes glinted in ocean stares that pried away from the woman to descend to the seabed of the porch. Furtive gasps, choked sobs and a hoarse voice burst forth from parted lips in dissonant sputters. "Haha..." Her lips crackled under the sounds in flares of a mismatched grin to go along with the rest of the misery. "What are you even saying? Do you go around adopting every miserable child you see?" The hardened sneer faltered a bit, softened to something more genuine as her fingers reached up to brush against the shrivelled hand that had seized her cheek.

Mitsuko took it gently in her own and met the eyes that mirrored hers in autumn browns. She whispered:

"Thank you."

The mellow sunset ricocheted twinkling off the liquid pools that slowly slipped back into tranquillity.

---

Night arrived with a recess from the sun's nauseating heat. The floorboards creaked under her feet as she balanced her weight on her toes and slinked through the door to the room that would serve as her bedroom. The sliding door grated against the grooves in the floor as it slid open and did the same as it slid shut.

A gentle knock filled the gaps. She turned around.

"Oh."
 
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LONELYRAIN

surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
Memories - Mad Father OST

Kindness and patience would meet the crumbling woman beside her, eyes reflecting the dark browns that stared back at her as the wall that this woman held was beginning to fall. It worried her though, to see how much Mitsuko crumbled due to her words, but all the same expected. It reminded her again of her beloved, long lost to her but always lingering in her heart, how he too had crumbled due to her patience and the kindness that needed to be said which slipped past her lips. Sometimes, an understanding and patient heart was all someone needed, just a little bit of a soft push to encourage the opening up of feelings that had been locked away, swirling sorrow that was swelling up relentlessly from the younger woman's expression, although at the same still perhaps trying to hold onto her dignity which made Honomi's expression soften further. Such a sad child indeed.

If no one else had shown you kindness, I shall.

The determined thought had settled deep within the woman's heart as an ill-fitting grin, almost a sneer had crossed Mitsuko's face, perhaps once more trying to save herself from drowning in the midst of emotions, and the words that slipped past her lips causing Honomi to laugh, a somewhat somber bit of laughter as her expression remained gentle, "Does it seem like that?" It probably did, as perhaps it was a fault of her upbringing, not knowing who her own parents were due to the cruel hand of war many years ago and as a newborn having been taken in a monastery. She was brought up with the strict morals of kindness and virtue, teachings of the Phoenix she revered, and perhaps due to the already gentle temperament she held, it only continued to follow her even now till this day. It was perhaps foolish, but the woman could never turn her back on those who wound up on her doorstep in need of succor, whether it be from physical wounds or those of the heart, she sought to heal and mend such ailments with a smile on her face.

She was no saint of course, even though many would perhaps say she was... but the woman was doing what she could. The little things, the little bits of compassion was enough to brighten up crestfallen souls that had been ready to give up not only on themselves, but the world as a whole. But, of course her reward would soon follow, one that made her heart swell in glee as she spotted finally the more genuine emotions underneath, the poor child having touched the hand that still trembled against her cheek, calloused fingers and all as she finally had responded with gratitude, though unnecessary it made Honomi nod her head as she responded, "There is no need to thank me." A bright smile soon flowed over gentle features, "Now, go get some rest. You must be tired."

...
Granted, it seemed like Honomi was sly in her own way. After all, the two had never explicitly said they were not in any form of romantic relationship, and Haru being as exhausted as he was had simply thought that the room he'd been provided would serve as just his own, or was his brain far too exhausted to keep up with what his eyes was seeing? No matter, the Seer was currently curled up underneath the futon, his expression relaxed in the clutches of deep slip, eyes flickering underneath fluttering eyelids as he was truly dead to the world. It had been quite some time since the two had even the luxury of sleeping within proper shelter, so it was no wonder that the man was so quick to leap at the opportunity to finally not sleep exposed to the elements.

Upon closer inspection of the Seer's sleeping face, it truly seemed serene within the clutches of sleep, not twisted by worry or stress, void of the burdens of life and just innocent and pure. His mind currently was dreamless, a reprieve from the stress of day, arms curled tightly to his chest as soft breaths passed by rosy lips. The slightly longer verdant locks of his hair was in a messy disarray about his head, ragged from him tossing and turning previously to try to get comfortable, though he was curled up on one side of the suspiciously larger futon, meant for two. There was a twitch that settled upon his face, almost as if he were stirring from the depths of sleep as Mitsuko's voice had echoed through the room, a soft sound leaving his lips in response, "Mmn.." Grumbling in the midst of a sleepy complaint, barely even distinguishable as his features relaxed again, deep breath being sucked in as he grunted, shifting his position as he fell still again, the bit of his kimono slipping from his shoulder, soft breaths continuing to leave the sleeping man who remained utterly oblivious to Mitsuko's presence... that is for now.
 

Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
2d0003faaa6816f0c44103fc44bd2652.jpg
Kanamori no Mitsuko
Vocab:

Theme: The looking glass - clockwork


The room was dim in the grazing of eyes, shadows devouring details and silhouettes alike in a black mass that made it appear emptier than before. It had been cosy during the day, a simple square furnished with a table, rugged tatami mats and its own porch that lead out to the back. The same porch that now granted her some guidance in the otherwise disorienting dark.

-Gentle moonlight filtered through the paper wall to reveal the outlines of the futon in the middle and the mound that was nestled within it. A familiar head of green peeking out from beneath the covers in a somnambulant mess.

Although it was dark and although the shadows lurched ominously around her, Mitsuko wasn't particularly perturbed by the conditions. The normal fear that would have been induced in cold sweat and shivers- chased away by the lukewarm feelings that stoked within her chest as she crouched down. A hovering finger there to caress his fringe aside as Mitsuko examined the rare serene sight.

-The marble cheeks rose slowly in orally heaved breaths, punctured by rosy lips that quivered in sighed exhales. They provoked the eyes that were veiled from sight in fluttering eyelashes, docked into cheekbones, and summoned occasional twitches to seize the straight brows that she otherwise associated with a frown.

The brunette devoured his untainted state in flooding affection that she let wash over the features in trails of her gaze and held her breath. Impelled her fingers to breach the static buzz that separated the two to rake the tips along the route of forehead, temple and chin as if she was beholding something precious. Adoring a treasure in feather-light touches that took off in the soft rustle of her sleeve when she stretched for his shoulder.

The pale skin along with the unwarranted eyeful of pink below made her stutter in the air above him. Cogs trudging inside her head while heartbeats raced all the faster to the pulse of magnetised eyes that couldn't flee the battlefield that was his body. Quick! Snapped her sanity back at her in her flailing state and she entangled her fingers in the collar to return it to its rightful place around the familiar neck. Mitsuko unravelled in a mute sagging motion, the flickers of the bitemark only acknowledged by the tensed hand that still clamped down on the fabric.

Cunning woman. She had bothered to comfort the woman who was the main cause of much of her suffering but she hadn't bothered to tell Mitsuko about the sleeping accommodations that she now faced. Surely, it couldn't have just slipped her mind at that moment and surely, Mitsuko would be the one to take responsibility for this the next morning.

The mere thought of it drained her. But not more so than the weariness that plagued her body as she shrugged aching limbs out of the outer layers of her clothes and crawled in under the covers. Her body slumped against the sheets, cold to touch where the Seer hadn't yet explored in his unconscious whims. The brunette turned her head to his side profile in a half-lidded haze. "Your father huh..." Her voice reverberated in a mellow hum in her chest.

Haru had never mentioned his father before, so there was a hole in the plot there that her brain was wrecking itself over in the process of trying to wrap around it. Could it be that he left during the early years of his childhood? Did he remember anything of him? Or was this part of his life a blank canvas- just like his current face were, lapping up moonlight in an ethereal contour to the backdrop of the yellowed paper?

Mitsuko's hands clawed into the thin mattress and relished in the warmth between folds as his arm inched closer to her own in radiating body heat.

"I want to know more about you."

Her pulse was suspended under the eyelashes that swept up to aim a look designed to peel at closed lids. She shed all the titles, all the trifles of life and all the apprehension for their future that awaited them in dusks. It was a fleeting moment, a fleeting wish and a hushed prayer-

"I wish you felt the same about me."
 

LONELYRAIN

surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
A Woman - Persona 5 OST

Still as the grave the Seer had been, soft even breaths and flickering eyelids both, undisturbed by the gentle caresses that Mitsuko had permitted herself to be privy to. If Haru had been awake, the man would have immediately reeled back, red face and all from the gentle touches, fleeing from the promise of the fluttering of feeling that it would spark within his chest. He perhaps would have then tried to comfort himself, to reassure that this was just Mitsuko pulling yet another joke, another prank to rile him up again; unaware to how much the sensation truly would make his heart ache and bleed anew, a change of winds within a soul that had stubbornly clung to a monster was now beginning to face someone who was still with him, still alive. Someone who didn't wish to be alone.

The man didn't stir as she slipped in beside him, serene and calm in his sleeping state as the gray dreamscape he was locked in was beginning to fade and eventually settle as Mitsuko had stilled, granted as she had seemed to whisper her desires aloud to a man who was dead to the world; instead Haru was now beginning to stir within his dreams, though perhaps it could be called more of a nightmare if he was awake to claim it so.

He found himself within the golden audience chamber, the elaborate temple and the scent of jasmine overflowing his slumbering brain in remembrance of the place that now felt oppressive. The him within the dream sucked in a breath, a familiar ache flaring up his bad leg as the plush cushion underneath him drew his attention - the same plush cushion that would normally be placed for him by the servants, though the color was obscured within his slumbering mind, flickering between a deep purple or a murky black, wobbling and wavering before confused ruby eyes, his eyebrows pinching as his head whipped behind him, gazing with fresh horror at the golden phoenix statue behind him, and the chill that went down his spine. Why was he back here?

In the waking world, Haru grunted, sweat beading his forehead in the beginnings of anxiety, his arm shifting restlessly closer to Mitsuko, lips pursing as teeth gnawed upon the inside of his cheeks, splitting the skin and making it bleed. All signs of fear, intense fear it seemed.

The dreamscape didn't let him leave, however even as his fingers were now trembling around the cup of tea which had rematerialized within his grasp, the liquid dancing within and causing crimson eyes to turn down to look at it. The smell being vile, his other hand flying to cover his lips, mind torturing him anew with the information he'd been blind to. Before his fingers could loosen around the tea, the audience chamber doors flew open and brought with it her smell, a smell that he'd found all too quickly he didn't hate, it didn't spark the hatred within his chest despite him now beginning to recall the memory his mind was deciding to play for himself. Mitsuko appeared as she had been that day, the day that he'd enraged her, and the day that preceded the complicated path they'd taken. Her face was painted once more, her scent he could feel already beginning to fill his nose, cloak his senses as he sucked in a sharp breath, very much unlike how he'd been in reality in this moment in this time.

At this point, Haru's face had turned toward Mitsuko, the intense lines of fear upon his face beginning to ebb away, confusingly so. A deep breath stirred within the slumbering man, body attempting to control the now quickened heartbeats and slow them once more, though considering their close proximity, he could smell her scent. It smelled musky, comforting now to the man who deemed that he didn't hate the scent. Eyelids fluttered restlessly, parted lips pressing together, though his eyebrows began to knit together again in a familiar sign of agitation.

Haru couldn't take his eyes off of her. Even as she took the spot that she had done before across from him, even though he knew he had been enraged when she had done so, crimson eyes remained transfixed on the woman, a familiar wide grin crossing her face and the crinkling of dark brown eyes that drew him in, drowned him in the depths. That's right... he had insulted her then, right? It made him wonder why she had laughed at it, why she thought it had been so funny.... this thought faded as crimson eyes scoured over the memory of Mitsuko, a Mitsuko that was the empress but hadn't been happy. The kiseru in her grasp, the long nails and make up that made her appear far older than she should have been, accompanied by her unfitting clothing either... fitting but unfitting of a temple. It drew his eyes, the movement of her knee rising to her chest, the sleek black of her robes hiking up with it, teasing him. Fingers clenched tightly around the tea in his hand then, the cup trembling more so as his free hand had gripped his knee, squeezing it until his knuckles turned white. There was darkness there, a tattoo he remembered all too well upon her thigh then, something that marred her otherwise pale skin... had he ever seen it fully?

The stray thought did little to stop the dream from proceeding over the words that had been uttered from Mitsuko's mouth "Spare me the pleasantries, lettuce head." "I was thinking we could do something fun today". Her voice echoed... sweet within his ears, making his heart pound, her smell further intoxicating the immobile Seer. Was his mind attempting to put a rose-tint on things? He didn't want to acknowledge how her voice made him feel, he didn't want to feel this way about her. Stop! Stop himself, please!


"Hmng...!" A sound left his lips in reality, his expression becoming more so disturbed, agitated in his movements. Normally, Haru was not a restless sleeper, nor would he be making sounds in his sleep, however the dream was riling him up, disturbing him so deeply that it very well must be a nightmare for him. "..No.." He mumbled, a weak protest that managed to slip past his lips, body in the waking world perhaps trying to stop his mind from proceeding down the path that he had a sneaking suspicion it was going to take. Seeking comfort in reality, his body then turned to Mitsuko fully, arms that had been crushed against his chest had suddenly wrapped around the poor woman and drew her to his trembling body of which was slightly cold, the house being not in the best condition which had prompted the unconscious seeking of warmth... or was that truly the reason?

Haru watched helplessly as the dream continued, his heart pounding within his ears as she lifted the pipe to her lips, lips that had been on his far too many times than he would have wanted, the lighting within the temple casting a faint sheen against the coloration. The dream saw fit to torture him by making him remember the feeling of her lips upon his own, when he'd been taken by fever. The feeling of her tongue within his mouth, bruising his lips to yield underneath her own if only to save his life, but then there was another sensation that had been forgotten, one that made him swallow thickly, the feeling of having kissed her himself, the faded sensation of her teeth biting against his own, trying to make him part his lips. Her gasps of desire echoing in his ears... He was going mad.

"I was thinking a board game perhaps? Something exciting like karuta!" His face twitched, anticipation making muscles ache, eyes narrowing down at the woman before him. He knew where this led, the action that the him from the past raged against, but the him that existed now-

Don't do it. He thought desperately, the inevitable tease that would knock him off the edge. Don't do it. He thought, as the dream seemed to encourage the Mitsuko from the past to lean forward, inching slowly closer as his jaw clenched. Don't do it... the thought was fading, the glint in her eyes and the quirk to her lips making him suck in a breath, heat replacing the blood within his body as she mouthed those cursed words from her lips, accentuated by the foul robe that had cloaked her back then loosening, disorderly in its appearance as it teased him, falling just enough before his eyes so that he could see her cleavage as he'd seen back then. "Or would you rather- play me?"

The lovely features to her face, predatory in the sharpness had made his heart pound as the tea fell from his grasp, clattering against the gold floors. Haru was moving before his mind could process it, arms wrapping around the now startled empress in his dreams, his lips descending upon her own as fire burned deep within his core, flowing in molten desire as his mouth pressed against her own, teeth scraping against soft lips drawing out the gasps she'd emitted before, though it was more like his mind was recalling the sounds of her precious moans on replay, louder in his ears as his tongue swept into the open mouth, hungry in its exploration as his breathing resounded like a beast's in his own ears. Fingers clutched tightly within the silken kosode, nails tearing into fabric as he pressed the woman beneath him to the golden floors.

Oh what was he doing? Did it matter?


Haru's expression pinched again, breathing taking on a heavier tint, the previous calm having long since faded, a flare of red finally sparking to life upon previously pale cheeks, dark in its intensity as a weak sound left him, a whimper it seemed or... was it a quiet moan?

The Seer's lips tore from her own, descending to the neck, a neck that he'd tasted before. The familiarity of the skin that now was exposed to him, his tongue was eager to lapse against it, tasting the salt of sweat upon her skin. "Ngh...You-" The memory clashed with this one, recalling the protest that had been uttered past her lips during the night where he'd sought to draw a line, to teach her a lesson for her thoughtless teasing. It was cute... it was very cute. More. More. He wanted to draw out more. Teeth scraped against the neck, tongue trailing over the imaginary pulse that was in the rapid heartbeats that mimicked his own. It enticed him, made him hungry.

Mine.

Possessive was the thought that consumed him, his teeth firmly grasping hold of unblemished skin as he suckled hungrily on the skin, bruising it between the firm press of his teeth as a growl of desire rang deep in the man's throat. His body was feeling hotter, pressing tighter against the empress below him. Mine. The thought echoed again, more insistently, viciously as the resistance that his brain was trying to place against such things was spiraling out of his control, the woman underneath him had moved her arms, hands reaching underneath the silken white robes of priesthood, her long nails digging into his back, familiar in the pain that a different soul had given him, ripping swelling lines of red upon his skin in the same location of reality's scarred back.

Haha... it felt good. The beast panted, eyes aglow in crimson, aroused beyond sense. He couldn't stop himself.


"H-hah.. ngh.. hah.." Soft pants left the Seer's lips in reality, his body pressing closer to Mitsuko's in response, though quiet, the moans were genuine at this point, no longer could be mistaken for mere grunts of pain or even fear, his eyebrows furrowed, lips parting in the sweet voice that betrayed the dream, "..Mit...suko.." Though, perhaps his body was far more honest than the Seer perhaps would have liked, the hard press of his body against hers would do little to hide the swell of flesh, surprisingly large in nature that betrayed his dream to the waking world. Undoubtedly, the man would certainly regret this in the morning and would make changes accordingly to prevent this from ever happening again and perhaps betraying feelings that he'd much rather keep to himself about his companion.

After all... he wasn't supposed to feel like this in such a way about her. And after his all too scathing remarks to her, the one in particular being that he'd happily jump from the highest mountain to get away from her... that now was exposed as a lie in its own. But, then again, perhaps one could assume this would be normal after he'd denied himself in such a way for quite a bit of time? It wasn't as if he'd had the opportunity to focus on anything else than his family or struggling to find his next meal, or even avoiding an overseer's abuse; nor had it been particularly encouraged for him to indulge in acts of pleasure when he became Seer. It was evitable that it would begin to slip through the cracks, carefully placed boundaries that both Mitsuko and Haru had crossed a bit too much.

Three kisses too much.
 

Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
2d0003faaa6816f0c44103fc44bd2652.jpg
Kanamori no Mitsuko
Vocab:

Theme: Rises the moon- Liana Flores


The pillow was a welcome change of texture to her cheek that nuzzled into it. Feathers giving way to the weight of her head that appeared to harbour all the worries of the world within it in the way it sunk. Slowly and gradually, relenting to the drowsiness that latched onto heavy-lidded eyes and quivering lashes. Her feet brushed up together to retain warmth through the cloudy thickets of the covers and the sheets rustled. Mitsuko slid her eyes open in misty half-moons to pinpoint the source of the nudging arm to the Seer- features twisted by invisible hands.

His breaths were jagged and pooling at the intersection of bunched brows and forehead was perspiration. Distress permeating from his skin in a pallid sheen that was all the more emphasized by the bluish lighting. His face contorted in tense inhales, frazzled threads pulled taut in wrinkles upon his visage, and her chest clenched alongside them. Then he exhaled, waning anxiety a fleeting wink of smoothed lids before they would inevitably scrunch up again in the next gasp.

Mitsuko found herself wanting to reach out, to dispel the harsh lines on the Seer's face in a similar manner that Honomi had erased hers. Trace them with her thumbs and cup the pressure in her hands instead of on his skin. Her fingers twitched in their listless form beside her. What could he possibly be dreaming of to cause him this much agony? To torment him so much that his body could not contain the misery but cried out in whimpers through the comatose fog? Her hand had breached the hesitation then, a wary grasp drifting out from the waves of the covers before it was interjected by a mirrored action.

A little whelp escaped the brunette that was abruptly encircled by his arms, sheets dragged along with her in the body that welded them together in entangled limbs. Mitsuko peered up at the Seer from under slanted brows and a grudging warmth that saturated her face in its tight-knit encounter with the man's shoulder. "You..." She hissed over the slope of his decolletage, breathing heated gusts of inhaled static sparks. Pervert. The strands of his hair taunted her forehead in tickles that spawned shivers to dart down her spine. The brunette sucked in her lower lip between her teeth and bit down, hard.

It wasn't a lie to say that her first urge had been to break out of the hold. Her heart was way too frail for this sort of stress from the earlier arrhythmic episode. But the way he quivered against her and squirmed in vain to evade the fearful illusions that flickered by in concealed erratic eye movements, stifled her every sliver of resistance. Tight arms the physical cage that accompanied a human that was grasping for all and any comfort amidst the anguish. Mitsuko slowly relaxed into those very same arms, her body providing it with a second pillow to imprint on in soft flesh.

Whatever, I'll take the blame this time. She decided and settled down, in every manner except her pulse, with closed eyes. A pair of palms flattened the lines of shoulder bones on her back and summoned twitches onto steeled lips. The muddled thoughts swirled inside her head and she attempted to push them back down. Swallowed the lump that grated against the walls of her throat in arid friction.

Then, there it was. A suspicious sound that made all the thoughts leap from the cliff-edge of her sanity. Her eyes slammed open and retracted their steps back to his face in wild full moons. The sound was followed up by a moan which confirmed her initial assumption and pants that flared out alongside muscles, pressing into the gaps to truly weld them together. Mitsuko baulked in his clutch, squirms suppressed by the hands that travelled her body.

I called you a pervert as a joke, but it's fucking true! Her mind rang out in despair while the drumming heartbeats that echoed out loud from his chest summoned flutters in her own. This was bad. She grunted and wedged her hands in between them to try and push him off but were burned by the touch of bare skin upon his torso. They immediately rebounded in fear and the Seer murmured her name as if to scold her- "..Mit...suko..". Nystagmic brown eyes beseeched him to cease this cruel joke.

Why was he? Why was he dreaming about her? And what in the world was he imagining for him to be reacting like this? Her pulse raced under his figure and her hand shot out to muffle his words in a flustered palm. "-This is not a very funny joke Haru," It was hard to judge if Mitsuko was angry or embarrassed from the name drop as her voice grated all the same through parched lips. She strangled the remaining traces of euphoria under watery squints and gritted teeth.

The way her breaths trembled betrayed the effect that his closeness had on her and she tensed her abs as she angled away. Familiar ache subdued in the back she turned to face the man with as his desire washed off it. "Stupid lettuce head..." The affectionate nickname reverberated out into the night from the chimes of a soaring heart.

At least it wasn't a nightmare...or was it?
---

Freedom arrived at dusk in arms that loosened in the calm after the storm. The brunette slipped discreetly from his side, broke away from their joint warmth to shrug into the protective layers of her clothes instead. Something that was unusually desirable after how naked she had felt during the night. Needless to say, she hadn't actually been naked but the way her desires had bared themselves to his unconscious form was enough to prompt Mitsuko into pulling her collar tighter around her neck.

A suspicious mark hidden underneath it.
 
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LONELYRAIN

surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
Twists of pleasure, waves of euphoria, the tidal waves of desire, eventually it all would die down, and the dream that had turned nightmare - at least concerning Haru's stance in their relationship had faded as well, granted it unfortunately had left a bitter mark on reality; a reality that he'd not been aware of in the depths of unconsciousness. The nightmare clung to his limbs, of which had loosened on the unfortunate victim of circumstance whose warmth had left his side, prompting the Seer's sleeping face to twitch if only to show displeasure before fading as his brain was settling upon dragging him under.

However, as the Seer had shifted in discomfort due to the warmth that had left his side, a tinge of unease had settled deep within him as his mind, no longer drunk on the pit of desire that had opened up unexpectedly within him had brutally dumbed icy reality upon him, prompting heavy eyelids to open as his expression screwed up. There was a taste on his tongue, the first thing he'd noticed.. granted was it just his dream which lingered to cause him to think such a thing? Taste buds begged to differ, the taste being too fresh of salty skin upon his tongue, making a cold chill run down his spine then.

He was beginning to notice that the futon which had been previously ice cold on his right side was no longer icy, but  warm. Alarm bells rang immediately within the Seer's head as he felt it beginning to spin, sucking in a quiet breath as crimson eyes slowly and very much fearfully turned in the direction in which peripherals had spotted a shape, very much awake and the shift of her collar around her neck, being suspiciously tighter in adjustment had made his blood run ice cold.

He couldn't have? Right? Terror rose within his chest then, dropping his gaze to the now empty side of the futon as a scream threatened to rise in his chest. Embarrassment, mortified and more than that absolutely disgusted in himself had rushed in a horrified wave through the Seer as he went utterly still within the grasp of the futon, his lips parting then closing, his skin going deathly pale.

What had he done?! He never was one to move around in his sleep, much less even replicate movements within the grasp of sleep. Did he... why did he...? Teetering within his reality, the Seer abruptly sat up then, his body turned away from her as he couldn't even so much as look at her anymore. Who was it that had so resolutely made a boundary in his own mind after drawing a line with her?! That he shouldn't touch her, much less engage in any other inappropriate manners with her, much less dream about the damned woman! God, he could just die right now!

Death felt appealing, certainly. After all, he was supposed to be the responsible one, the one who was in control of his emotions and his actions at all times. He wasn't some... some beast in heat! Ahhh! Wait, no... no she couldn't have seen him like-

Haru's hands came up to cover his now fiercely burning face, embarrassment flowing in a second eager condemnation. Curse this body! Truly! With a scrambling of rising to his feet, he spoke abruptly, "I'm going to Byakko." Without waiting for an answer, the Seer was all too eager to flee, not sparing a second glance over his shoulder.
 

Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
2d0003faaa6816f0c44103fc44bd2652.jpg
Kanamori no Mitsuko
Vocab:

Theme: 世界の秘密- Vaundy


There were about a hundred words going through her head that could be used to describe this situation- and all one hundred of them were swear words. Mitsuko barely held them back in suppressed mutters under her breath, frustration veiled from sight except in the harsh line that leapt between brows. The same man who had complained to her about being overly touchy and the same man that had chided her for 'saying things you don't mean' had committed the biggest transgression of them both. The transgression in question was the red mark he had imprinted on her neck. A mosquito bite, one might even be tempted to claim but lying wouldn't erase the memories behind it. Nor would it erase the perpetrator-

The sheets rustled behind her back and an alarming thud resounded from the futon in a patter of feet. Mitsuko whipped around instinctively, face vacated from its earlier angry crinkles as worry coloured it pale. Beady eyes took in the Seer and his flustered exclamation in a wince. "Wait!" She called out after his fleeing shape and rammed against the sliding doors from which he had darted out. Her shout and gaze rang out unanswered to the familiar back that hastened over the hill in lopsided steps. The irritation surfaced then, a resurgence of probing veins and wrinkles in place as Mitsuko yelled out in vain.

"FINE! JUST RUN AWAY THEN YOU- YOU COWARD."

She slammed the sliding door to the porch shut and grasped at her hair. "I should be the one running away...not you." She expelled the air from her lungs in a forceful sigh and tidied up the mess that they both were responsible for.

A savoury smell wafted through the house this morning and the brunette traced it to the drawing room where they had gathered yesterday. The floorboards groaned under her shifting weight as she minced over it and her toes halted short of the threshold to peek into the room first. The small and jagged back of Honomi straightened from its looming position over the firepit. "Ah, good morning Mitsuko. Is Haru not with you?" Her melodious voice chimed into the air, apparently already aware of her presence despite being angled away. Mitsuko blinked, surprise evident in the enlarged pools of brown that gawked the woman down when she edged into view from the corridor.

"Ah well-" Her hand shot up to awkwardly rub her neck "-He had some things to take care of".

The two women took their respective seats in front of the fire pit. Honomi sprang into action immediately and filled two bowls with the miso soup that was boiling on top of it. She handed one of them to Mitsuko, who gratefully accepted. The younger woman's curiosity triumphed over the uncertainty as her gaze locked onto the blithe features of her company. "How did you know it was me?" She asked and cocked a sheepish brow. Honomi responded with a light-hearted chuckle. "Oh dear, of course, I knew it was you. No one else tip-toes like that around here." She dismissed the reddened cheeks of the girl in a limp handwave.

The brunette sipped her soup sullenly. Not quite sure if it was a compliment or a jest made at her expense. Regardless of that, it just affirmed her suspicions even more that the woman had set them up intentionally. Bitter slits tracked the woman in a stubborn glare. Honomi set down her empty bowl on the floor with a clack. "Then, may I suggest something if you have nothing else to do today?" The girl perked up at the demure query "I'm going to visit Sorai and his wife Emao today because I've promised to bring them some things. Could you help me carry them?".

Ugh- Mitsuko's expression faltered at the mention of her assaulter. That buffoon.
 

LONELYRAIN

surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
Bamboo Village - Blade & Soul OST

Honomi knew quite well what she had done was underhanded, sly and very much sneaky... but she couldn't help but notice ever since the two had entered in her abode the previous day, there was a palpable tension between them, a gathering storm if one could call it that. Subdued flickers and sparks that lay under controlled movements and all too shy glances, a withdrawing if one would in the subtle movements as her son was seemingly all too skittish around the one he supposedly was in love with. Truth be told, Honomi didn't expect any different from Haru, as the boy even when he was hopelessly smitten by the woman previously that she didn't like; he never would be the one to typically act, always withdrawing and never expressing whatever need he felt. Instead, he was the silent sufferer, even if it wasn't in matters of love, and would much rather stay quiet and let it brew until it exploded.

Well, from the reddened cheeks she spotted upon Mitsuko's face and the slightly embittered look she was getting from the glare she was fixing her with, she could only guess that her son had... well exploded, for lack of a better term, then promptly ran away out of embarrassment. Granted, Mitsuko didn't seem the worse for wear, now did she? Oh well, at least there was truly no harm done, now was it? It wasn't like Honomi would purposefully involve herself any deeper in their relationship, only serving to give them little nudges here and there. Innocent nudges? Perhaps, not so innocent despite the gentle air that the woman remained cloaked in as her words flowed in offer to have a little helper for herself that day. It hadn't been too long since she'd seen Emao, and considering it was still early, Sorai would be preparing to leave for the day to go to the salt fields once again. It served as a perfect opportunity to have Mitsuko not be cooped up within her home all day, after all it wouldn't be healthy for her to do so, especially since Honomi had a sneaking suspicion that leaving her alone with her thoughts for company wouldn't be the best idea.

Kind eyes crinkled at the younger woman across from her, seeing her facial expression falter at the mention of Sorai's name. Ah, right. The two had gotten into a bit of a fight yesterday if she could recall? "It shouldn't take too long, besides it'll do the both of us some good to get some exercise in for the day." Soft in her suggestion, the older woman slowly getting to her feet, her steps taking her away from Mitsuko as she hummed a soft tune, holding herself in high spirits as in somewhat shakier steps than the day before, she had retreated away from Mitsuko, disappearing within the sliding door that led to her room as shuffling and light grunts could be heard until the woman had stepped back out into the drawing room in which she was struggling a bit with a rather heavier bag, though judging from the stitching of the old worn bag, it clearly had been repaired multiple times over, though the bag itself was filled on the bottom with fabric, the top being a multitude of clothes that Honomi had stitched together herself for her son and his wife as well as their one year old daughter, even making a lovingly made rabbit for their little one. The fabrics were new as well, granted that was only due to the Engan village that lay just outside of Xing providence, unofficial in the forbidden trade that went over the border between the two sides; the people of Xing could obtain simple things like fabric and cloth, and in return they would have to sneak salt.

It was dangerous however, considering the trade offers would take place in the dead of night, but considering how overworked and rough the overseers were on their enslaved people; the need for fresh fabric never waned, and Honomi was one of the more braver souls who would go out of her way to trade salt for the fabric if only to provide fresh clothing when her fingers would cooperate enough for her to do so for those who needed it. Brave, yes. Stupid... also possibly yes, but considering Honomi did it out of the kindness of her heart for her fellow man, she never thought twice before going off on her own. Sorai had tried to stop her many times, but considering she had a mind of her own, the woman didn't very much listen to her younger son at all, always reassuring him with a bright smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye.

This same twinkle had sparked in Honomi's gaze as she had settled the heavy bag before Mitsuko, a distinct popping in her joints making her huff as she turned to smile at her, "This might be a little bit heavy, but their house isn't too far away." The woman turned her head, eyebrow furrowing then as she tilted her head in consideration then stood and retreated a little ways off, searching in a corner where she soon retrieved another bag, though this one seemed distinct in the sharp herbal smell coming off from it, a bright smile crossing her face once more, "Let's go, shall we?"

...
Like promised, Honomi's words were truth. The house lay further away from Honomi's abode, facing northward, though it too appeared like a replica of all the other houses in the village - battered and holding itself together through nails and creaking wood. Just as Honomi rounded the corner, shaking hand knocking upon the rugged door, an unfamiliar shape had already seemed to emerge from within. One word that could describe the woman immediately was small, frail. Her body was trembling like a leaf on the wind, protruding stomach showing evidence of pregnancy, though even that alone seemed to be an impossible weight on the tiny soul who was trying to hold herself up. Wide pretty blue eyes gazed out from thick lashes, her lips parted in surprise for a moment, though softened at the sight of Honomi, "..H-Hon..omi.."

Her voice was weak, scratchy, though if one looked closely it was obvious what was the cause. An ugly scar, starting from underneath the soft skin of her chin that ran down in a cruel line down her neck, settling above her collarbones. Yet another scar, another evidence of pain. The trembling soul's eyes shifted then to Mitsuko, her eyes settling on the sword at her hip which prompted her to immediately look away from the weapon as if skittish. Not desiring to be rude, the woman parted her lips to begin to try to introduce herself, despite the pain that was flaring to life within her throat, only until an all too loud voice echoed behind her, "Emao! What are you doing? You should be resting."

Large arms encircled around the small woman, almost immediately shrouding her in a giant's bear hug as he peppered the side of her now blushing face with kisses, "I can't let my little honey bear get sick, you know you can't be moving around too much!" "S-S-Sorai..!" She protested, small hands coming to clasp against her all too loving giant of a man's lips, a weak and flustered giggle leaving her as Sorai seemed far too engulfed in peppering her with affection until Honomi had cleared her throat, prompting the man's fierce eyes to blink as if startled, only for a flare of red to immediately cross his face upon realizing (though he certainly should have noticed earlier) the two familiar faces staring right back at him.

"Er... oh, um-" Was it too late for him to ask for them to forget they saw him doing that? Granted, Honomi certainly knew already how he could get with Emao, but Mitsuko certainly didn't. An embarrassed hand came to the back of his head as he chuckled, "Oh, uh, hi?" Awkward in the stumbling words and clearly having been thrown off, it wouldn't be the first time someone would have to snap him back to reality when he was with his "little honey bear", in all honesty the two were insufferable according to the other slaves that lived nearby, always far too lovey dovey for their own good... though most the all consuming affection was initiated by an all too eager Sorai, while Emao was far more reserved out of the two but certainly loved her husband's affection, even if she was more so of a private lover than one to express it so easily in the company of others.

Sorai's gaze dropped then to the bag that Mitsuko was carrying, then his eyes turned to Honomi, a questioning expression coming to overtake the confusion for a moment, though before he could very much question what it was, the giant of a man had turned his head, "Ichika, you shouldn't be up yet!" The man retreated from sight in to the house, though if one peered in, he was now lifting up a rather cute soul, blessed with Emao's lovely blue eyes and yet the coloration of Sorai's brown hair as he cooed, gently carrying her off into one of the separate sliding doors within the house, clearly having another soul that had taken up his attention for now despite the sleepy, almost incomprehensible mumbles coming from the little Ichika had had carried away.

The sight made Emao's expression soften, though embarrassed that her Sorai had caused such a ruckus, she gingerly stepped out of the way, "..C-come in.. make.. comfortable.." The broken sentence seemed a bit rough on the weak woman's throat as she tottered away, hand supporting her stomach as Honomi's gaze remained sympathetic... but also worried from the slight wrinkles beginning to appear on the former priestess's face, though she turned to Mitsuko and gave her a wavering smile before stepping inside the home.
 

Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
2d0003faaa6816f0c44103fc44bd2652.jpg
Kanamori no Mitsuko
Vocab:

Theme: The Last Waltz - Shim Hyun Jung (edited)


The brunette eventually relented to the suggestion, the woman’s meekness and wiry silhouette plenty enough in their assaults on her guilty conscience to subjugate her. With a self-inflicted sewed-shut mouth and her share of the burden presented in front of her, a sack filled to the brim with fabric, Mitsuko settled the bag over her shoulder and they set off.

Despite her earlier reservations over the task at hand, Mitsuko was now glad that she had agreed. The heavy bag that jostled against her shoulder blades in lumbering steps spawned pictures in her head where the small back ahead was folding under it. It was the kind of imagined scenario that piqued both pity and derision under cocked brows as she wondered: Why? Because her faith ordained it that way? To show reverence to your fellow men and, in turn, also receive reverence? Then how many times had she sacrificed, humiliated herself and exhibited respect where none was given back?

The two figures lined up at the door that was poorly fit to receive any visitors in its weathered state. The hand that intended to descend upon it in knocks, equally haggard in curled and scarred digits. Mitsuko added them as evidence of her previous contemplation. There was the sound of footsteps closing in on the door from afar and then it opened before the fist could present its query to the owners within.

A delicate figure dispersed from the shade of the hallway and the murky wood to stare doe-eyed at the pair. The brunette levelled a dubious stare at the woman. She had thought Honomi to be a pitiful sight, but this one was more than pitiful. Impossibly burdened by life itself in anxious features of distraught brows laced together and lips that inverted in on themselves in continued gaping.

Yet, there was also a mysterious strength present in the body that had stretched itself out to make room for one more. A commitment that only the most willful were able to carry out to full term. Mitsuko's stare dipped to the scar that pulsed along with the brittle whisper of spring upon thawing winter lakes. Their eyes met in a brief intersection of gazes, her trembling forget-me-nots inevitably skirting to the sword at her hip just like everyone else had. She blinked the sight away in a hurry and the sword dangled heavier in the waistband.

Another pair of hands joined the hesitant assembly at the doorway in a loving embrace of the pregnant woman. Sorai surfaced in a tower behind her back that shrunk into the wide torso. Well then. Mitsuko ears switched the button for progressive heat on and she pried her eyes off the couple with an awkward cough. The picture was all too similar to another one, one that pricked her neck in tingles.

The latter soon composed himself once aware of the additional company of the brunette, and they filed into the house. Mitsuko weighed back and forth on the threshold for a few lingering seconds before her hand gripped the sheath of the sword and disarmed it from her figure. The sword was put to lean on the wall in the hallway as thuds of footfalls broke off into folded legs in the room next to it.

Like Honomi's home, the abode had an open ceiling solution that enabled peeks at the hay roof above. The walls were a creamy beige concoction of stained paper and the scuffed tatami mats made the foundation of the simple furnishing. A wooden cabinet with plates was nestled in one corner along with a basket of presumably dirty laundry. On the other side was a table, occupied with patchwork of clothes. On top of that, one also had to be cautious of where one put their feet in the house, as strange wooden toys laid displaced seemingly always under one's soles. It was a home that bore the marks of life, brakes unlatched to roll ahead at full speed.

Mitsuko settled down on the worn pillow while Emao, as her name had been revealed to be, fussed towards the kitchen to make tea. Much to Honomi's hovering protests, that was, while she chased the woman's heels. They soon regrouped in the drawing room with three steaming cups in hand. The brunette perused the contours of the swelling stomach in half-lidded interest as Emao leaned forward to inspect the fabric that was pulled out of the sack. Her eyebrows scrunched up in humbled surprise as her hands thumbed over the garments.

"T..Too much..." Almond-shaped eyes watered with overwhelming gratitude and she burrowed her fingers into the folds of the fabric before she suddenly pushed them back into Honomi's chest. "...Can't...take-" Her bottom lip trembled under the pressure of her constricted throat. The older woman clasped her hands, afflicted by a similar quivering, around Emao's and guided them back to the woman's torso. "Nonsense! What will you otherwise wear once autumn comes around?" Honomi retorted and eyed the shabby attire of her in-law "-I will most certainly not let you wear those rags when it gets cold".

Mitsuko's eyebrow shot up in understanding and appraised the garments anew in a tilted head. The cut was slightly thicker than normal kimonos and would surely insulate the body heat well from the frostbitten winds. The thought prompted her to wonder how life looked in the village during the different seasons.
 

LONELYRAIN

surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
Oyashiro Sama - Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni OST

Honomi's fussing words seemed to only make Emao in response falter, though the woman knew well enough that Emao was a timid and humble soul, not desiring to feel as if she was taking advantage of the kindness of others. However, it seemed like Emao had failed to realize that she was just as close as family now, if not more so due to her being the source of Sorai's affections, and she'd be damned if she would turn a blind eye now to the soft spoken woman. "Please, take them. If not for you, then for the little one, you can't be falling ill." Her worry fully echoed in the softness of her voice then, eyebrows knitting as she gazed at the fragile woman, observing carefully the rise and fall of her chest. Still strong, luckily enough, but considering how close she was to when her baby would be due, it was still worrisome that the fragility she was well accustomed to seemed worse this time around than it had been when Emao had been expecting Ichika. She was weaker than then, and there was a resignation in the slight slope of her shoulders, even if she was still stubbornly remaining as strong as she could, the woman was taking note of herbs that could possibly help keep Emao's strength.

There was a reason that Emao's mother no longer lived after all.

The younger woman's eyes turned down to the thick fabric kimono as she whispered, "..B-but.." Tears began to swell eventually, though there was a visible softening in the woman's face as she shook her head, raven black locks swaying lightly in the movement as she looked to Honomi, the gratitude swelling more, "T-Thank you.." A timid response, one that Honomi nodded her head in approval, a bright smile flashing across her face in response, "None of that, dear. It's the least I can do." If only I can do more.. The thought rang in the priestess's head as she watched Emao turn to the bag of fabric, beginning to slowly and carefully handle the fraying bag as she pried open the lovingly sewn kimonos and hakama that Honomi had worked on dutifully for both her son and her daughter-in-law, even the smaller, fresher clothes meant for her granddaughter, warmth flowing in brilliant blues as Emao held the smaller clothes up, "..It's.. cute.." It certainly was cute in the design, little flowers made specifically in childish designs for the little girl that Sorai had previously scooped up and no doubt was attempting convince the little soul to go back to sleep in the connecting room.

"..A-another.. one...?" Emao's attention shifted to the little rabbit doll that Honomi had also placed within the bag, causing the woman's brown eyes to warm, "Well of course! I am a grandmother now, it's my duty to give her gifts." She spoke with a playful tilt of her head and a big grin upon her face, causing Emao to shake her head in dismay, though she had laughed, the bit of laughter being a bit strained, "..Y-you're going to.. spoil her..!" Of course, the playful back and forth was interrupted eventually by the sound of horse's hooves, which made both women's faces that were so filled with joy, suddenly freeze and fall into pale skin. Emao trembled, her blue eyes turning to the entrance of the home, a sucked in breath punctuating the fear as the doll had slipped from her hand to the floor, tiny fingers trembling without cease as Honomi's expression hardened, a rare sight to see, her trembling hand reaching out to touch Emao's in silent comfort, brown eyes meeting the terrified blue as she shook her head then swiftly had secured a bit of the fabric at the bottom and turned to Mitsuko, draping it over her head securely so that her features couldn't be seen. The last thing either of them needed was to be questioned why there was someone that he never seen before here.

Offering Mitsuko a soft smile then, Honomi's head turned as the smile faded, the warm browns of her eyes dimming in coloration as the sound of heavy armor could be heard, and even heavier stomping of said armor against the earth outside, accompanied by the large man that was all too comfortable in entering without even knocking, though from all appearances the man oozed 'danger', from the sword he held at his hip, the scars that lined a cruel face and the icy chill to the dark holes the peered from whites, glaring down at the trembling Emao, the insignificant hooded figure - probably some other slave that he didn't give a shit about - and eventually on the resolute gaze of Honomi, unflinching, unafraid and certainly remaining a solid wall between him and the rest of the souls lingering within. It was that gaze, that one that intrigued him, causing the sneer to deepen as he looked past Honomi and to Emao, "Where the hell's Sorai, huh?!" His calloused hand rested on the hilt of the blade, lowering his tone, "...You ain't trying to hide 'em from his duties, are you, Emao?" As predicted, Emao looked like she was seeing a ghost, and the rush of satisfaction that it brought him in seeing the fragile soul wither underneath the slightest threat did nothing but give him a rush, a pounding within his veins.. however, he could still feel Honomi's gaze on him, unflinching in the piercing intensity which made the man drop his eyes to the former priestess who still had the audacity to stare in silence at him.

There was a displeased twitch to his lips then, the overseer approaching the woman as his hand grabbed her hair, the silken brown almost precious like gold in his fingers, hair that he had clasped so tightly within his own hands so many times before as he yanked her head back, prompting not a single sound of pain to leave Honomi's stubbornly clamped lips, though they too had twitched desirably before his eyes, quivering in the biting back of pain as her eyes watered. Damn this bitch. The thought rang in his head as the dark eyes trailed piercing holes through the woman who didn't give him the pleasure of hearing her pain, of giving him any reaction at all. The swell of her breasts heaved in calm breaths instead, not ragged or uneven in fear, an apathy instead greeted him which pissed him off even more. Did she think herself still so high and mighty after all this time? Perhaps it would do him some good to vent this frustration again on her, the supposedly "off-limits" priestess, dedicated both body and soul to the Phoenix and yet here she was, reduced to a slave and yet still holding onto that stubborn pride of hers.

Even when he'd taken her before after sending that idiot that she supposedly fell in love with away, even if he had humiliated her, broken her fingers, burned her hands, ravaged her as much as he could, she never, not once had allowed him to see any other expression than this damnable apathy that she greeted him with time and time again. There was still no fear, and absolutely no emotion she would grant him. Why? His fingers clenched tighter in the woman's hair, jaw clenching in rage as the gentle brown pools still provided him no satisfaction, instead tightening ever so slightly as she seemed to be looking past him. Oh? So she wasn't even going to look him in the eyes anymore, was she?! Better than him was she?!

"Who the hell do you think you are?" This scathing remark caused brown eyes to snap back to him, prompting him to yank her hair in an all too rough tug, prompting her expression to finally twist for a mere second, her trembling fingers quivering as she stubbornly clenched them into fists, his head leaning closer to the resolute woman, "..You're nothing more than a fucking whore, get over yourself." With that, the overseer had roughly shoved the woman aside, releasing her from his grip as she swiftly caught herself before she would hit the ground, rising to his full height as he called out, "SORAI!" The voice of the man bellowed through the home, prompting the hulking man to immediately come from out from the sliding doors, his expression dumbfounded for a few seconds seeing Honomi on the floor, though the fierce brown eyes flare in rage as he turned to the overseer; Overseer Danuja. There was a winding up of his jaw, his hands clenching into tight fists as he seemed all too ready to charge at the armored man standing above the three women, reckless and foolish like always which prompted Honomi to struggle to sit up again, her gentle eyes meeting Sorai's in which she lightly shook her head 'no'.

The sight of his mother's warning had made Sorai's expression twist in pain, obvious in the anguish running through the mere boy that he was before the man who was obviously armed and dangerous. Hatred, coiled in his gut, however he knew enough what Honomi was trying to convey. Do not do this, because you have a family to take care of. His eyes closed as he forced himself to approach the overseer, the snide comment of, "Took you long enough. Get moving boy." On shuffling feet, Sorai's expression pinched in loathing as he stepped out from the house itself, Danuja still lingering within as dark, beady eyes turned to look down at Honomi, a quirk to his lips as he gazed upon the woman. It had been some time since he'd visited Honomi, this interaction after all had put him in quite the bad mood, what better way than to release all that unpleasant frustration on the very same woman that continued to deny him what he wanted? Even if she wouldn't express her fear, her body was more honest, more enjoyable. The perverse intent had flared in dark eyes as he turned away, and with it leaving an ominous air as Honomi's eyes were downcast to the floorboards, her expression tense until Danuja would leave and the sound of horse's hooves would leave with it.

There was an uncomfortable silence that lingered after ward, as if the house was holding its breath until Honomi finally spoke, forcing her expression to thaw as if nothing had happened, her hands clasping together, "Oh right, I forgot!" This prompted Emao to finally look to Honomi in uncertain glance, worry piercing through the blues as Honomi exuded her usual cheer and warmth, not dampened by the all too sinister implications that Danuja had just dropped, "Emao, this is Mitsuko!" An introduction that perhaps would have been done so earlier, but it had been interrupted.
 

Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
2d0003faaa6816f0c44103fc44bd2652.jpg
Kanamori no Mitsuko
Vocab:

Theme: A Silver Mt. Zion - 13 Angels Standing guard 'round the side of your bed


The women reconciled once more as Emao initiated the unboxing. Tiny clothes being unravelled from the sack in precious mini-sized garments for the smallest exemplars of humans. It touched even Mitsuko in her stoic disposition on the sidelines as an audience, little flutters taking flight in her stomach as eyes caressed the flower pattern. Her gaze softened, murmurs of the flutters refracting into lashes that relaxed over brown pools. Children, huh? Her hand shifted from her lap to smooth over her abs, solid and stretched taut under the skin. It seemed impossible that something similar would ever take root within her body, much less thrive in it.

The brunette faltered in her outlook, emotions retracted back into the shell as her facade rippled back into place in a shrug. It wasn't worth thinking about it. Her reflection churned in the cup on the surface of the tea, a nebulous one that pushed the memories back into the depths of the clay. It swirled, much like the medicine had back in the day.

Mitsuko broke off from the trance with a sip.

The joyful hums died off suddenly to the percussion of hooves that approached the household. Glowing faces turned dim in the contortions of frowns, shadows growing longer for each second that passed during the lapse of silence between hooves and the door that would inevitably slam open. The hands that descended upon Mitsuko in a headscarf earned a flinch in response, owlish eyes following the older woman as she flipped the hem of it to fan a shade over her eyes.

Oh, how little they had been happy for. Over how little Emao had exclaimed that her daughter would be spoiled by. Rabbit doll now abandoned on the floor as heavy feet dragged closer. Perhaps that was also why it was so quickly snuffed out, the flickers of happiness that had sparked from pieces of fabric. A gesture that was soon forgotten in the chilly breeze that swept through the room from the bared corridor. Everything that had been light, now heavy in the presence of metal armour instead of soft cotton. Gruff voice of gallows chains instead of the furtive wing arcs of the women's feather timbres.

Mitsuko knew immediately what kind of man this was. Her eyes only required one quick dart at the man's face from under her cover to deduce that this man: of disfigured boxy facial features and forked snake eyes- was the perpetrator of Honomi's wounds. Why else would his eyes bulge like that in whites that threatened to consume the ball-pin pupils that trembled in wrath? And why else would he have the audacity to yank her by the hair in a bid for a scream?

Her limbs tensed as if struck by lightning and they spasmed in the beginnings of an attack. Veins pulsed in branches across her neck and jaw, dying to whip the man that had her gritting teeth into dust. But the attack never came because Honomi had flashed an open palm at her- it said "stop". So stopped she did. The presence of Emao and her fragile state barely able to rein in the brutality that washed over the brunette in swells of adrenaline and flexed fists.

Mitsuko understood why Honomi had dissuaded her from interfering. She understood, but she wished didn't consequences be damned. She wished she could rip her nails into him and grind his nuts into seeds again in the ground, jerk him around by the leash of slashed mouth corners and make him kneel to beg for Honomi's forgiveness. Forgiveness that she would most likely grant him, knowing her, but forgiveness that Mitsuko would snatch away because mercy wasn't her strong suit- that was violence.

But the shackles of responsibility were heavy and all she could do was clutch her hands in her lap. Bite her tongue until the room cleared of the man's presence and her bloodlust alike. And finally, bide the words that she so dearly desired to express until the time window of vulnerability shut its doors on her. Honomi crackled up in embers anew, but Mitsuko curdled in the ashes. "Why did you..." Her voice splintered off in a trembling gasp between jaws that cracked. Downcast eyes swept up to pierce the woman in nails and words that hit them on their head to pin her at the spot. "Why did you stop me, I could've-" The trembling blur of Emao at the periphery of her field of view made her choke up.

Mitsuko swallowed the scream that threatened to burst forth as the last will of strangled lungs. Instead tore her face away from the blissful smile that suggested sheepishly that nothing had transpired. "Why didn't you fight back...? I could've protected you." She hissed tight-lipped.

Don't tell me you're just gonna sit here and smile. Don't tell me that you're trying to be the 'bigger person'.
 

LONELYRAIN

surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
Her Wish is to Die Too - Katanagatari OST

The question came, a question that caused the bright smile to falter, and a dimming light to come to lovely browns that gazed upon the young woman across from her. Eventually, this too would finally fade as she proceeded to continue to ask why: why did she stop Mitsuko? Why didn't she fight back? Why did she allow herself to let this happen? This made the woman's expression fully fall into apathy, before simmering down into her usual kindness as she gazed at the woman struggling to hold back her anger on her behalf. Gentle hands then reached out, trembling in their weight as she had clasped her hands gently around Mitsuko's, a patient and soft touch, thumb running over the callouses on her hands, hands that reminded her all too much of the weapons that could have easily dispatched Danuja, could have killed him and cast him into the next life to face divine punishment.

"Remember what I said yesterday?" She spoke softly then, the words holding nothing but kindness as her warm gaze looked to Mitsuko, patient and loving in their soft depths, "I do not wish for you to become a sword, not for my sake. It will not make me happy." Honomi patted her hand with gentleness, a trembling squeeze to accompany it as she lowered her eyes, "Death comes with consequences, Mitsuko. Consequences that will not just affect me, but everyone who also calls this part of Xing providence their home. If an overseer dies, what do you think will happen to the rest of us in response?" Honomi's eyes lifted once more to Mitsuko, her smile sad, "We all will die, Mitsuko." The words were haunting and heavy coming from the gentle tone of the woman who remained resolute, who not allowed a single tear to fall after her humiliation. Death was not something that Honomi spoke of so easily, in fact she typically would omit the word from her vocabulary, but it needed to be said in this moment. A sobering reality that simply awaited for not just Honomi, but everyone who she came to adore and support over the years. She would not cast them into death's embrace to save herself.

Honomi's hands had lifted from Mitsuko's own as she settled her hands back on her lap, shaking her head at the woman across from her, "This is life for us, it is nothing that we aren't used to already. The only thing we can do is to soften the blow, and mend wounds after the storm passes. There is nothing you can change here, not now." Another bitter truth, though her face remained soft as she closed her eyes, a soft hum leaving her, "If anything, I do not mind. If it can spare Danuja from going after anyone else, then so be it." So willing to throw herself over the pit just to save a multitude of other lives, to allow herself to be sacrificed and expect nothing in return... how foolish it was. But, it was all too eerily similar to how Haru conducted himself as well, a foolish sentiment to allow oneself to be the sacrifice, and yet it was that same kindness that caused hearts to thaw and tears from broken souls to fall. It was that very same kindness which was essential in the two souls who nearly mimicked one another, a mirror if one would call it. One a devout servant to the Phoenix, and the other the Phoenix itself.

"B-but.. H-Honomi.." A quiet voice finally spoke, Emao it seemed who was now gazing with watery eyes at the priestess, "Y-you can't... keep.. doing.." The implication underneath being 'he'll kill you eventually', or 'your body can only take so much'. The unspoken words in fragmented sentences had made Honomi sigh, a smile flickering across her face in response as she looked to Emao, "Now you too? My, my... I certainly feel loved!" A cheerful sentence which made the woman chuckle, though it didn't dispel the lingering touch of sadness that settled in the air, the cheerful crinkles in Honomi's face easing away as she lightly patted Emao's head, then would mimic the same to Mitsuko, "How lucky am I to have two lovely daughters, so concerned on my behalf. Thank you, truly." The warmth in her tone was purely matronly, affection in her touch as she waggled a finger in disapproval at both of them, "However, I will not allow you two to start protesting more. No 'if', 'whats', or 'buts', alright?" She grinned then, prompting Emao to look aside, clearly not too pleased, but at least she seemed to relent to Honomi's stubbornness and the subsequent refusal of allowing them to continue to press more.

"Now then," A firmness had came to Honomi's voice as she looked to Mitsuko, gentle in her expression as ever, "I assume you've been traveling for awhile right? While you're here, it certainly would help to pick up some other skills!" The previous conversation clearly was over, trembling fingers coming to search through the ragged bag as she produced more fabric, different designs and colorations as she turned to Emao, "Do you still have your needle and thread?" Clearly now, it seemed like Honomi had every intention to pass on the skill to sew, it certainly would do both Haru and Mitsuko well if they could mend their clothes if needed, or even make new clothes themselves while they were out adventuring. It was a sentiment that was offered out of kindness, to help better prepare them for whenever they would leave.
 

Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
2d0003faaa6816f0c44103fc44bd2652.jpg
Kanamori no Mitsuko
Vocab:

Theme: d4vd - Here With Me


The woman did not want the sword but the Mitsuko who held it. It was a strange thought. A strange idea that she could possibly be required for something else than the sum of blades cutting through flesh. Was it because she resembled the absent father of Haru and Sorai? Because that man was her love, the only one to monopolise that kind of affection? Or was it because she was affiliated with her son and thus useful in that way? Mitsuko actually already knew why as the hand that patted her head, guided her lids to slam shut and hum the frustration. Turbulent ocean waves whipped into stillness and a gentle stream that filtered through her mouth in a sigh.

The moment of retribution was long gone and had perhaps never existed from the beginning for the villagers whose only choice was to cope or perish in the process. In a way they were similar, egos detached from the bodies whom they clung to in stubborn rituals of normalcy between events that withered away the self. The notion tingled under the fingers that accepted the needle and thread and the sharp prick of it on her tips.

-If she had more power. "Now loop the thread into the hole," Mitsuko squinted in a mirror image of the needle's eye and prodded the frayed end of the thread against it. The thread evaded the eye for a few breathless seconds before it slipped through. The brunette quickly shifted her hold to coax it into a comfortable length on the other side. The furrows of concentration lingered behind as she contemplated how the woman accomplished sewing all those garments with such rheumy hands. -If she had more power, she could change this. An untouched square of fabric was handed to her along with one that displayed a variety of stitches.

Honomi pointed and provided a short description of each one before she instructed the brunette to start with the simplest one: the running stitch. A stitch that surfaced on the fabric in every other step of long-legged strides towards the edge of the square. Mitsuko had never sewn before and it showed in the clumsy handiwork that she made. The kind of mistakes that only a beginner would make with knots and dropping the thread dealt from the hand that was used for other tasks.

If her clothes had gotten ripped in the past she would have continued to wear them until it proved a problem for her work. And if they were old and ragged she would continue to wear them since the rest of her wardrobe was exactly the same. Mitsuko had never bothered to stitch up anything that was broken.

The brunette held up her finished work at the end of the day in displeased scrutiny. The square had turned into a simple handkerchief displaying a sun in the middle of it that smiled at the onlooker in yellow thread. An elbow descended into her side in a nudge. "Why don't you give it to Haru?" Honomi winked at her from the process of gathering their belongings. Emao, who she had come to know as a gentle but friendly soul despite their earlier standoff, nodded in mute enthusiasm. Mitsuko's expression looked doubtful, to say the least as she bumped her brows together. "I don't think he would want something this ugly." She exhaled noisily through pursed lips.

The young mother propped herself up to rise to her feet but started to wobble halfway through the motion. "Ugh..-" Her hand shot up to palm over her lips as a lid to whatever sounds or liquids that threatened to spew out. The other women leapt to her side to support her through the pallid affliction that had struck her. Slowly, they hauled the woman to the bedroom and steered her down onto the cool futon where her daughter was already fast asleep. The sheets rustled softly under the weight that gradually sunk into them in relaxed limbs.

They loomed over her for a few extra seconds before the sliding door knocked shut. The brunette was still angled in the direction of the room as Honomi made her way down the hallway. "Will she give birth to the child even though it might kill her?" The brown eyes dimmed like autumn evenings in the shortening of day "It's surprising enough that she managed to pop one child out with that fragile constitution of hers. Two might be pushing it".

The wistfulness seeped in at the corners of her hardened face, clay frown dissolving under the heat in grieving brows "Do all mothers love their children this much?".
 

LONELYRAIN

surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
Boats and Birds - Gregory and the Hawk

The heaviness within the house, an acknowledgement that death was ever present, ever near had tainted the rather soft atmosphere that had been lingering after the initial storm had passed and brought with it another flare of pain. Honomi's eyes closed as she took in a soft breath and exhaled, the questions Mitsuko brought to life was one that she was expecting sooner or later, Emao's condition being far weaker than she had hoped especially considering how close she was expected to be giving birth; it made her nervous. Even if she had every intention of doing all she could for Emao, perhaps even that wouldn't be enough at the end of the day. But, one must hold onto hope, no matter how dim the circumstances may seem, Emao was precious to her as well as to Sorai, she would not allow her to slip into death's embrace if she had anything to say about it.

A soft smile once more settled upon Honomi's face as her eyebrows furrowed at Mitsuko, slight worry lines coming to life upon the woman's face as she spoke gently, "Yes, Emao desired to give this child a chance at life... even if it might cost her own." The warm brown pools shifted to the closed sliding door where the young mother was asleep, her daughter Ichika no doubt beginning to cling to the young soul so very weak and stubbornly clinging to life herself, a life that was so very obviously fragile and hanging in the balance. "Though, I cannot say I'm surprised. I knew her mother, and she had been the very same way." A sad bit of laughter had slipped past Honomi's lips as she entered the room from whence they came, "Yet, I understand their sentiment all too well myself, so I cannot say that it is truly foolish."

The final question had made Honomi look to Mitsuko then, her features tender as she smiled at her, "I would be lying if I said all mothers," She turned her head back down to the scattered bits of fabric that had been used, trembling fingers coming to carefully pick up the pieces while leaving the carefully crafted clothes and doll in a neat pile nearby, "There are some who resent their children, or their circumstances. But, there are others who love their children unconditionally, desiring nothing more than to give them the best chance at life that they can. I suppose you can say a mother's love defies all logic, if that makes sense? Nothing can destroy that bond... even if I have a difficult time describing it myself."

Tender expression seemed to swell with memories as she said softly, "..Did you know that Haru nearly was slaughtered as soon as he was born?" The sentence was chilling as she pushed more fabric unto the ragged old bag, "They called him a demon in human skin, for he wasn't breathing either when he came into this world... it was like he was a husk, even if life clung to his body in warmth, they were all too prepared to extinguish it before it could take root. His father tried to intervene but the number of villagers here that stormed in with horror was too many." The chaotic memories made heavy eyelid droop as she lowered her head, "And yet, there was a strength that filled me despite feeling so weak, I knew I couldn't let them kill my son. I knew not how or why, but I found the strength to fight back, grab him from their arms and scream 'I won't let you take him'." The words were so familiar upon Honomi's tongue, words that she had in desperation and rage had snapped at startled faces.

A soft chuckle left her lips, "The looks on their faces were quite funny, seeing me scream and yell, prepared to fight tooth and nail to protect a boy that hadn't even took his first breath, much less appear normal... and then that is when he started crying, and I knew then that I made the right choice. For some reason, the affection in my chest for my son grew even more so. It didn't matter to me what he looked like, or even what he was... I just wanted him to be happy, I wanted him to live." Tears of sentimentality were beginning to swell in Honomi's eyes then, her smile tender with unconditional warmth, "And this feeling applies to both of my sons, no matter how old they get or even if they travel far away, if they ask for my help I wouldn't hesitate to come running as fast as I can, consequences be damned."

It was the best she could do to describe her love properly, though the woman turned to Mitsuko and smiled gently, "Though, the same applies to you Mitsuko. If you ever need my help, please, don't be afraid to ask." Soft and genuine were the words that she gave the woman she was still very much set on taking under her wing, a promise laying heavy in the words that she conveyed to Mitsuko. She would never turn away from the woman she now was insisting on calling daughter, for whether they were connected by blood or not, she was family now, one of Honomi's children, and she would never forsake her.
 

Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
2d0003faaa6816f0c44103fc44bd2652.jpg
Kanamori no Mitsuko
Vocab:

Theme: She loves cats and I love her- Encoded Creature


The tenderness and humility that the woman displayed were not part of any practised movements but merely the instincts of a compassionate heart. One that kept itself busy in moving hands to suppress the swells of emotions that racked her voice. Mitsuko watched her from her corner, the corner being the crammed up arms over her chest that refused to yield to Honomi's influence. "-the best chance at life...huh" She echoed the words in a listless whisper that were but shadows of the woman's affection. A flicker that she herself chose to snuff out this time before it could conjure up any pictures under lidded eyes.

Her eyelashes swept up with her gaze to inventory the frail back that housed such powerful conviction to not falter. A pair of hands descended to the woman's side to start picking up the pieces alongside her. "Then you must also ask for help." Mitsuko retorted and veiled the softness in the fingers that dug through the folds of the fabric. She maintained the steadiness into the confrontation of faces- the sliver of a grin that dangled off her lips compelling the woman to submit. It was not a threat but also a threat at the same time, one that said 'unless you want me to do something stupid' in twinkling eyes.

"I only do fair deals, you see." She stuffed the last of the fabric into the bag and seized it before disagreement could sow seeds between them. The weight upon her shoulder was a little lighter this time and she straightened her staunch back to support it all. The older woman scrunched up in chuckles that reached her eyes in quaking wrinkles. "Oh dear, I'm afraid I might have to add a condition then to the contract to make it truly even-" Mitsuko quirked a brow at the sly tone that accompanied her comment.

"You must give the handkerchief to him." She hummed.

Mitsuko clicked her tongue "Ugh- really? You're so stubborn...I think I know now where he gets it from. Fine, I'll do it if you give us separate rooms."

"Oh, why though? It seemed to me as if you two enjoyed it?" Honomi mused and finished the note intended for Sorai, which she left outside the bedroom sliding doors.

"Honomi...do you want me to believe that you were sitting outside all along? Spying on us?"

"Well, how else will I get more grandchildren when he's such a prude?"

The brunette conceded in a heavy sigh and snort "-Tell him that instead. Anyway, I won't take any of the blame if he complains".


The women departed from the house, bantered all the way home where the weathered abode awaited them in the embrace of sunset. The door slid open with a low rasp of wood against wood and muffled footfalls of socks punctured the chatter.
 

LONELYRAIN

surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
With sunset came the eventual cloak of night, the setting sun soon leaving the skies a deep crimson and eventually turning into a background of black, speckled by the brilliant points of starlight within the skies. Honomi's little abode remained quiet, aside from the woman making sure to tidy things up for the night, though passing worries did rang within the woman's head before she would retire for the night. Though Mitsuko had told her earlier that Haru had some things to take care of, it made her wonder what exactly had caused her son to be gone for so very long: a whole day to make it that. Regardless, Honomi would not pry for now, and the sounds of her footsteps would retreat to her own room for that night leaving the home truly silent.

One hour after night had fallen would pass, and then two, it seemed as if the Seer who had been all too quick to rush out at the crack of dawn wasn't returning, his absence beginning to become far more concerning of an issue as time bled by agonizingly slow for any who was awaiting the man to return. But, return Haru would, even if his long journey back home was fraught with nothing but agony in his limbs.

His breaths were uneven, legs threatening to wobble and give way underneath him as he couldn't even bring himself to grumble or complain, the events that had transpired during the rather embarrassing night having long since faded away to the corners of his now exhausted mind as he stumbled over his feet, his arms hitting the ground first to prop him back up, wheezing breaths leaving him as he struggled to breathe. When Byakko had said he would train him, he was expecting a slow introduction into everything, maybe even an explanation or some word of warning, but no. The tiger was not so merciful on the poor Seer who knew not of the ways of war, instead claiming with ease: If he did not adapt quickly, he would die. The words rang still within Haru's exhausted mind as he gritted his teeth, struggling to will himself back on to his feet as his battered body protested with each painful action, his body now being nothing more than a shredded piece of meat within ragged clothes stained with his own blood and covered in dirt and the long grass from Byakko's domain.

At the very least, he did feel stronger, that he could admit, no longer feeling as if he only had a single drop of spiritual energy left within him. But, damn did it not make him want to scream out in pain as he was struggling back to his feet, swallowing back a whimper. It wasn't much further now, he could endure. Blistered feet and shaky legs however begged to differ, staggering down the hillside back into Xing providence with a curse flying free from his lips, stumbling over his own feet once more and once again found himself face planting in the dirt, his breathing ragged as he struggled once more to his feet, muscles aching at the stubbornness that he insisted to push further. He really, really hated Byakko for this.

A growl rumbled in his throat, eyebrows furrowing as he hissed, "Damn it, he could have at least held back a little-" He sucked in a harsh breath, hand coming to cradle his side and the large bruise that no doubt would be forming later, accompanied by all the claw marks that marred the Seer's torso and his legs, a result from trying to fight and unsuccessfully evade Byakko's wrath in his smaller humanoid form. Remembering the ferocity in the tiger's eyes as he literally was fighting for his life had made a chill go down Haru's spine, apprehension causing him to look over his shoulder toward the direction of the grasslands from which he came, grumbling in another cursing, "Fucking lunatic." Truly, were all of the celestial beasts this insane? And not only that, the great tiger expected him to come back the following day making the Seer shake his head as he heaved a sigh, forcing himself on staggering feet to limp his way back home, eyes half lidded in exhaustion.

Eventually, one could spot the Seer from afar, though his stumbling steps did little to inspire confidence, nor did the horrendous state he seemed to be in would serve to be much better. Hair in a tousled disarray about his head, cuts upon his face from slashing winds, punctuated by claw marks that nicked deep rivets into the Seer's previously unblemished flesh, dried blood, dirt and grass clinging to ragged clothes, even a bruise that could be spotted in between the tears of the Seer's clothes, one that was large that covered the Seer's right side, undoubtedly harsh enough to break bones (of which Byakko had, though quickly mended after), all in all, Haru as he approached looked like he had went through hell and back, the man not even being aware of his companion who was awaiting him to return, nor did he seem to be aware of much of anything at this point in time. Exhaustion was numbing his usually sharp senses, huffs of breath punctuating the pain he was feeling as he almost tipped over just a few feet away from the house, a fault of blood loss perhaps, or the long walk it took to just return home. Either or, it didn't matter for his condition was certainly dire enough to warrant alarm.
 

Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
2d0003faaa6816f0c44103fc44bd2652.jpg
Kanamori no Mitsuko
Vocab:

Theme: Relaxing in Summer | Summer Ambience


The wind sifted through the landscape, red-rimmed and dappled with orange warmth from the last rays of the sun. It tickled the feet that bared themselves for it on the porch, a curled-up figure of tangled limbs sitting put in front of the door as a replacement for a doormat. Her head slumped on the arm that served the function as a pillow on knees, pulled up to chest, and the buzzing cicadas were a low hum in the background. The figure stirred from time to time as if to remind itself of the important duty that it currently performed but practised otherwise a calm silence. One that was uncharacteristic for the young mercenary that awaited the return of its Master.

Evening turned to night and night turned to a moonlit sky. It loomed over the house and the faithful dog as a bright lamp, the only comfort provided within the chilly grasp of night that gnawed nearer and nigher to the flesh; pins and needles penetrating it from the inside and bone calcifying into stone. She pulled the fabric tighter around her body in a futile attempt to chase the gloomy bite away when finally- a familiar voice cut through it.

It slipped under the defences, clothes and dissociated self and all to rack her bones into motion. Joints bent in a flurry to heave the brunette up on unsteady legs and a raised face. The brown eyes locked onto the silhouette that she could no longer sleep without and her breath was bereft from shrunken lungs.

He was hurt.

Mitsuko sprinted before she could relearn to walk in the aftermath of her comatose state. The earth was cool underneath her drumming soles and the grass tickled exposed ankles all the way up to the end destination. Her knees folded in the last step and she slid up to his torso in hands and a sharp inhale. "You're hurt." The brunette patted him down and up much like a dog would familiarise itself anew with the smell of its owner after a long absence. Her pants stuttered into the night in white vapour, materialised loneliness that snuggled into the folds of his tattered clothes in ringlets.

Closer than she could ever breach herself but something that she attempted to do anyway in the hands that framed his cheeks. Her thumbs smeared the lines of the lacerations and the blood that dotted her skin glared back at her. Dragged her gaze in with a desire to taste and lick that her tongue faltered for as it traced the back of her teeth. The brown eyes churned under the moonlight, a swirling storm beheld by the face that lined up with hers. Her heart skipped a beat, a line was drawn to his lips in a furtive glance before she suddenly let go in a scalded "-Ah".

The woman retreated one, two stumbling steps in her fervour and covered her mouth with her clenched fist. "Did he-" Her voice trailed off alongside her gaze that looked him up and down "-Did Byakko do that?".

It was long past since dinnertime, since lunch and the breakfast which he had skipped. It surprised her but she had felt his absence, just as how she felt the tingles in her fingers that lingered behind from the touch. There was a pull to them, an invisible thread that urged her to descend upon the Seer once more in gelid skin. Her jaws slackened under the fixation of the blood on her thumb and she assessed it through the veils of quivering lashes.

Sweet. She knew it was sweet. Her memories told her so, and her guts as well.
 

LONELYRAIN

surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
There was a sound, the sound of feet upon the earth that had buzzed within Haru's exhausted mind, eyelids heavy as his eyes turned to a shadow of a shape that was rushing toward him. Before he could very much make out the figure that was fast approaching, he felt hands upon him which halted him in his limping steps, a collapsing of knees and frenzied breaths which the man would have to withstand as bewilderment coiled within him, his eyes squinting at the shape before him, refocusing until he realized with a jolt down his spine and the ever familiar smell that was wreathing around him in her closeness: Mitsuko. Hahaha... of course it would be Mitsuko, the one person he wanted to avoid more than anything else right now, the one person that had caused his mind to react in such a disarray, a frenzy, to make him act not like himself. The one person who had appeared in a dream that he certainly didn't want.

Crimson eyes stirred with apprehension as the woman's hands came up his face, wincing at the pressure she applied upon his bloodied skin as his heart roared with her touch, frenzied in its beating as he sucked in a breath, grateful for the excuse of having injuries though more than anything else there was shock. It was a shock that resounded through his body and made alarm bells ring within his mind as he stared back at the woman who was gazing back at him, displaying actions that spoke of worry. Why? His expression pinched with discomfort the longer her fingers lingered upon his skin, burning not only the open wounds but fanning fire that blazed in renewed heat through his tired body, a happiness that sang through his soul and all the same made him recoil. Was he.. happy that she worried over him? No, he couldn't be.

Denial was immediate in the crackling emotion within him, his tired hands trembling as he clenched his jaw, discomfort flaring to life in the sudden close proximity the two were sharing at the moment, a boundary that yet again was being crossed in the closeness of Mitsuko as familiar scent once more filled his lungs, drowned him in the comfort that was soothing the ache of exhaustion. Her eyes scanned his face, and he refused to meet her gaze, instead the bleary eyes of the Seer dragged past her to the abandoned blanket that clearly had been tossed by Mitsuko on the porch, left behind because she... she had...

She had waited for him to return.

He felt his heart drop in his chest, a numbing sensation then as he struggled to suppress the new wave of emotion that was struggling to overtake him. Why? Why did she have to act like this now?! Teeth gritted together then as he looked to her face, desiring to move her away from him then, the shock that had overtaken him was threatening to swell into long lost feelings that he thought had died with another. Ah, he hated this... this warmth, this glowing affection that swelled in his chest and defied every single reason why he shouldn't. The air felt heavier then, though it was perhaps a fault of his mind running wild with condemnations for this situation as he spotted her dark eyes shift down to his lips, prompting him to begin to back away, though the action was unnecessary as she had quickly let him go, allowing Haru to finally be able to breathe, the cool night air feeling scalding down his throat as looked away from Mitsuko, her question making agitation go through him as she would take the necessary steps as well to put space between them; much needed space.

Haru felt her gaze scan him again, the concern in her question made him laugh, though the sound was tired and nothing like his usual bright laughter, "Yes, yes he did." Grunting, the Seer took in a breath as he took a step, though his bad leg trembled as a curse flew from his lips, stumbling to his knees as he struggled to get himself back on his feet. "He - ugh... he said that he won't hold back.. he wasn't lying." Another bit of laughter from tired lips would follow as he struggled to make his way to the porch, reduced to crawling as with some difficulty he pushed himself upon the porch, the slender body of the Seer raked with uncontrolled trembles and shivers as if his body was about to give out, a wheeze leaving him as he finally deemed the wood of the porch a good enough place to collapse, exhausted breaths leaving him as tired eyelids closed, "...You didn't have to wait for me." The quiet words left his lips then, the swirling emotions of warmth trembling and rising, falling then overwhelming and ebbing with each intake of breath and each exhale. Like waves that lapped at a beach's shore, it was endless; and it made him want to die.

The man felt something, certainly, a pull that was trying to force himself to go to Mitsuko's side and not leave it, a pull that if she desired to she could tug and he would helplessly fall to follow it. A cursed red string of fate had been tied anew, one that laced around the Seer's already tattered heart that had previously screamed that it had enough, that it didn't want to feel that cursed emotion again for another, not in this way... never in this way. He thought his head would be clearer when he returned, that all of these emotions would be easily dealt with and yet it seemed like it had become more complicated in the one day absence. Ah, how he hated this. Why did you have to do that? Haru wanted to snap, Don't act like you care about me now. Please. He wanted to beg, to convince himself that this was just another one of Mitsuko's little jokes, because she never took anything seriously anyways.

The thought served only to put much needed needles in his heart, causing a huff of breath to leave the Seer as he draped a battered, lacerated arm over his eyes. It wasn't as if Mitsuko was completely soulless though, she had expressed that much with desiring to be his sword, or saving his life when he'd been overtaken by fever. Right... because she didn't want to be left on her own. That was it, certainly and nothing more.

Another much needed needle to sink in deeper, to puncture these feelings before they grew out of control, making Haru have some peace of mind, a bit clearer within his thoughts as he swallowed down the needles of reality to drown these feelings and slaughter them before they bloomed. Yes, keep poisoning himself until he could disregard this, until everything was back to how it was supposed to be. Time to reassure her that he'll be fine, a habit that bloomed to life in tired rose petals as he spoke in exhausted words, "I'll be fine soon enough. Byakko expects me to be back there tomorrow-" He sucked in a sharp breath as he tried to move, a flare of pain settling with him though he relented immediately to the painful spasm that took his body, his chest heaving in the effort.
 

Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
2d0003faaa6816f0c44103fc44bd2652.jpg
Kanamori no Mitsuko
Vocab:

Theme: Banana shake sped up


Her mind raced with a thousand thoughts in parallel to her heart that raced with a thousand emotions. Unsaid words dying off on the tip of an unmoving tongue and the back that barred her gaze from prodding further. She blinked. Did she want to prod further? The thought rattled through her until it was quelled in the trembling bottom lip, subdued by teeth that held it still. Her sanity flowed back in with the circulation of blood, pumping fervently to remind her of her actions. Oh. The fist opened to reveal crinkled lines, vibrating from the shakes that plagued her gaze. Oh, wait a second. What was this?

Her hand clutched at her chest as his words flitted into one ear and out the next. Why couldn't she control it? This insidious warmth that had sparked life in limbs before the mind could catch up. It toiled at her chest and her breath that found it hard to settle back into a normal rhythm after a sip of it. The sip or even just the whiff of the notion that he was hurt had hurled her into a hurricane of reckless motions. It had been warranted before, such as the application of it during her fever and with the bandits. But now? Now, he had just been a little late in coming back home.

The brunette stroked her chin and lips as if forbidding them to address the emotion by its actual name. Her breath fanned hot over the chilled joints that cracked under their petrification. She inhaled and the brown gaze inflated skywards to imprint the stars onto dark irises. Beheld them in her own crafted universes that eventually tipped off to the side in an exhaled freefall. They fell splat on the dishevelled form of the man and sucked him in, engulfed his verdant ruffled hair and bloodied facade to enshrine the visage in twinkles on dilated pupils.

Her very own star.

-there is no shame in being a little bit selfish now and then.

The wind picked up and whipped through the landscape and grass that swayed in tempo with her brown hair. It tickled in strands against her cheeks, similar to the butterfly touches that had drained her reason, and coaxed the budding petals of her quivering heart into disclosing the truth that lay within- She cared about him.

Her own dilemma had not even crossed her mind. Sure, the trauma still haunted her and the irrational fear of being abandoned and left to forge her own path was a constant in her mind. But it had not been present in the hands that cupped his cheeks or the eyes that had grieved over every nook and cranny of his battered body. Only- I miss him, I want to see him,- touch him, -see if he's okay, -take care of him, occupied her mind during the flickering moments that the veil between the two had been lifted.

Still remained even now as she sidled up to him in renewed composure. "Like hell you will-" Her hand brushed up against the arm that shielded him from her and gently squeezed down to pry it away "-Just look at you". Her lips appraised his marred appearance and pulled together to form a displeased frown. Her chest ached when she saw the extent of the damage that he had suffered. The bruises, the scrapes and the cuts- it all intermingled under shifting eyes to become the sum that was her face: bitter as if she had chewed down on lemon rind. "If you're going then I'm going with you. I don't know what kind of doctrine that the housecat is following to train you but this-" She pointed at the exposed bruise that leapt over his waist "-Is abuse".

It hardly looked like he had been granted a second to defend himself. Or even learned how to defend himself.
 

LONELYRAIN

surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
Yun Theme (Character Creation) - Blade & Soul OST

Silence had met his words at first, perhaps going right over Mitsuko's head like usual and he wouldn't be surprised if it did. However, what he didn't expect was her approaching footsteps and the hand that grasped his poor arm, flayed and wounded as tears sprung to his eyes in the flare of agony at just the gentle squeeze, "Hey-" He began, his voice cracking due to the agony, but not only that there was a panic. He didn't want her to touch him. Flares of electricity shot up the injured arm and prompted his heart which had previously been slowly dying within his chest to pound anew, fresh with the joy of her touch, her presence. Crimson eyes stared in shock up at the bitterness that crossed Mitsuko's face, evidence further of the worry that plagued his companion on his behalf which in turn made teeth bare and sink into soft lips as he struggled to pull his arm away from her grasp. Knock it off! He wanted to scream at her, to make her stop this cruelty.

Stop making his heart pound like this, stop torturing him.

A harsh snort left his lips then despite himself, wiggling his arm free of her grasp as he cradled the lacerated limb to his chest, glaring at her, "Absolutely not!" The response was far harsher than he intended. Why the hell did she care so much? This was unlike her, it really was and it truly was throwing him off. Claiming that this was abuse, acting so riled up on his behalf it was enough to make him nearly misunderstand her intent. It wasn't as if he was going to die, to leave her on her own, he already promised her that much at least. "This is necessary, Mitsuko. It's the only way for me to control that... that thing! There are no other alternatives." Haru now was wildly grasping at his composure, to recall facts to quickly build a wall to prevent her from following him, from trying to get involved any further than she needed.

"You know damn well as I that I cannot continue as I am," He placed a hand on his wounded chest, crimson eyes narrowing at her, "As it stands I'm a risk to everyone around me, including you. This is something that I need to be able to handle; and you need to trust me to be able to do so. Stay here." A slip of rawer emotion had settled in the Seer's voice as he included her in the mix of who he was a threat to, his expression pinching with a bit of pain as he looked down at his wounded skin, "..Besides it isn't as if I can't heal. This isn't a big deal." Trying to downplay the extent of his injuries, avoiding telling her that Byakko truly had pushed him past his limits and then some. But he had to. If he didn't, then they wouldn't survive this journey.

Byakko's warning still rang heavy in Haru's ears, a premonition of the foe he would have to face at journey's end, one that he would have to be accustomed to how the celestial beasts fight, and one that he would have to overcome with all the strength he had in his body. It was dangerous, and he needed to be prepared, even if he thought of Byakko as a battle obsessed lunatic... this was just how it needed to be. He would be fine, he could recover, and he needed to be able to keep overcoming the hurdles in the future if only to protect not just himself but...

Crimson eyes shifted to the woman still lingering at his side. That was right... he needed to protect her, because she desired strongly to live. Even if such a reason was like a single blade of straw before the surge of other emotions which told him there was more to his desire to protect her. Because he didn't want to be a burden, because he wanted to keep her happy, because of these other accursed emotions that fluttered about in his chest every time he so much was near her, her presence being enough to blind him to the world around him, and yet all the same a presence that kept him shackled down and grounded to the world of the living when his soul previously had cried out for oblivion. She chased that dark ache away, and brought with it intoxicating feelings that was drowning him even now, pleasant feelings that clashed with his sense of responsibility. As much as she had vowed to become his sword, he wished she wouldn't do such a thing, that instead he could shield her instead.

Closing his eyes he turned his head away from her, not wanting to look at her face any longer. He couldn't afford to, otherwise his heart would threaten to be released out of the needles he was trying to stab it with. Kill these feelings, make them submit. The thought did little against the chaotic flow of thought that shattered his mind, that cried affection even when he wanted to stifle it. Lips pursed in agitation then, forcing himself to repeat in a firmer tone, "You're not coming with me, stay here." Trying his best to hold onto his slipping willpower, not desiring her to win this time. He usually would be pulled along at her pace, however he didn't want her to see how ferocious the way of beasts could be, didn't want her to try and protect him when he needed to step up and adapt to the situation at hand. Didn't want her to get herself hurt. A shaky hand came up to his battered face, a heavy breath leaving him in exasperation.

God, he was an idiot. Didn't this whole mess started because he didn't hate her enough to let her die? Now he wanted to protect her? Shield her from getting hurt?! And he was... he was... Fingernails dug deep into flesh to not allow himself to finish that thought. The Seer's shoulders sagged, his breathing as calm as it could make it even though it stuttered in his chest. He really was such a fool, such a terrible fool that he was falling for this nonsense again. He couldn't look at her, fearing that if he did his resolve would crumble and he would fall behind her pace yet again. Even summoning the strength to say he hated her failed him, for he truly couldn't mean it anymore.

What was wrong with him?

"..I'm already a burden as it is." The words slipped past tired lips, a slip to show what ate at him, was burrowing around in his heart that he'd never expressed before because it was unnecessary. He thought himself a burden on her, not a true asset, not an ally... but a burden. It had flickered to life in him before, this self loathing that strengthened in his lowest moments; of which there were a multitude already on this journey that they'd taken. If only he wasn't so useless, if only this "aramitama" didn't exist in his soul, if only he could be more helpful than he was rather than just a weak man. Byakko had shown as much during his many brawls that day with the tiger, that the him that was burdened by mortal flesh far paled in comparison to one of Byakko's standing, that he could get stronger but only if he didn't give up.
 

Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
2d0003faaa6816f0c44103fc44bd2652.jpg
Kanamori no Mitsuko
Vocab:

Theme: Chrystabell & David Lynch - Polish Poem


The twinge of discomfort that twisted his visage in her grip prompted it to loosen and a prick of regret tugged at her brows. The man broke away during this lapse of weakness and she was left grasping at the air as his words increased the heat on the pot of her emotions. A slow boil that intensified to spikes of bubbles, splashing over the brim that was stiff and raised shoulders. How could she just turn a blind eye to the pain that was evident and right in front of her? How could he ask that of her?

That thing, as he called it, was it not his pain? His soul that cried out for help under the weight of the memories that threatened to crush him. Was it not...a part of him? A piece to nurture and to protect like every other pieces that made up the collective experiences of the individual that was the Seer- Haru. But then he invoked her trust and it was all over.

The air fled her lungs then, a deflated ego all that was left to be unearthed from it in the shed layers of tumultuous emotions. Mitsuko heeded the command and shrunk back down. Went even further to collapse on the porch in a bundle of listless limbs like a dog that had lost its purpose- its Master. Except he was still there, an untouchable presence that taunted her with its radiated warmth and carved features that her gaze had acclimatized to. The journey of slipping down the slope of his nose bridge to tip over to the sides of crimson eyes and swirl at the bottom of his lips- now second nature to the brunette who could not imagine a day without it.

Yet, he considered himself a burden. His duty inscrutable for her ignorant eyes. The woman curled up, a little miffed and a little confounded by his confession. As it stood, however, she was not completely innocent in regard to how he had formed this conclusion. A night from many nights ago surfaced in mind over the accusation. One that could be summarised as "she had called him a snivelling brat for expressing grief over his lost youth". Mitsuko died a little on the inside in the grovelling aftermath of the guilt that washed over her.

Because even if he didn't remember those words and that moment, she did. And that alone, made it seem probable that this was somehow the totalled result of those actions. A straight line of causality with a few bumps along the road in the shape of the more abstract inability to assimilate himself with his role. The brunette buried her face in her arm with a grunt. Her voice was slightly gruff as it resounded from the muffled mouthpiece of her sleeve. "You're not a burden...I-I trust you." Her brows tugged imperceptibly against the fabric as she admitted a sliver of truth to both him and herself "-I...I just don't like seeing you hurt".

On the other side of that coin were the things that she didn't say. Such as "I wish you were more of a burden so I could take care of you." and "You don't have to do anything special to be useful to me. Just..." let me stay by your side. It was an odd feeling to have heard the Seer convey a similar desire, the desire to protect, and to have included her amongst the ones it concerned. But she understood it now, understood it a little better that perhaps she was someone worth protecting. Even if no one had expressed that desire before.

Like the gospels of Honomi had revealed to her, that reducing herself to a weapon would not serve anyone in the end, there was also something honourable to not deny others this prospect. To not deny their feelings because she did not think herself worthy to receive them. Her thoughts spilt out in a frazzled sigh. "I don't think you're a burden," She repeated in seized confidence "-I don't even think that your aramitama is a burden. It's just another part of you, one that needs a little more tending. A little more care. Therefore do not hate it-".

Mitsuko shifted her head on her arm to reveal the stubborn eyes that implored him to listen in slanted brows. "Because I won't deny you your pain, so you shouldn't either." She trailed off along with the eyes that averted while a blush could be glimpsed from under the sleeve that obscured her nose down.

"Unless you want to be rasher and more stubborn than me for once".
 
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LONELYRAIN

surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
Watashi wa Sonata ni Horete mo ii ka (Even so, can I fall in love with you) - Katanagatari OST

A stubborn back, narrowed eyes and clenched jaws, curled and stiff in the tension, the disturbed air between the two. One which was attempting to reach out, and the other attempting with scalding words to withdraw and retreat from the uncharacteristic concern from his companion. She wasn't acting like how he expected, she wasn't acting how she was supposed to be. And yet, he saw her from his peripherals, physically shrinking away from his stubbornness, from him trying his best to keep her at arm's length, trying so very hard to just keep her away from him, from looking deeper from pulling harder on the string that tied him to her. Her silence made him feel disturbed, an urge to flee settling within his tired legs as he shifted away from her, crimson eyes eyeing the moonlit outside, the blades of grass swaying in the faint night breeze which prompted the Seer to struggle to move again, not desiring to allow this conversation to continue. He knew where it led if he did.

However, before he got to the point of moving, to physically remove himself from Mitsuko's side, to flee from dark eyes that stirred his heart, her voice had halted him, froze him in his place before he could even act on the notion of fleeing. His expression tensed, jaw clenching tightly as he stared ahead, her words reaching in deep to him and pulling bitter needles out from his punctured heart. She trusted him, she didn't think him a burden. "Mitsuko-" He tried to speak, his voice barely more than a whisper, her name a sweet honeyed nectar on his tongue. Ah, he hated this, please no more. The hand that was upon his face dug in deeper to bleeding flesh upon his cheek. He wanted her to stop. Please, stop talking.

Else you will become another blade at my neck, another traitor, another executioner.

The thought bleed through, fear sinking deep into his bones, a trembling of lips as he struggled to keep his composure. She didn't like seeing him hurt. Ah, such a painful lie that was, did she know how much that was making his heart bleed? Did she know how much it made him ache? Teeth came down harsh on his lip, punishing the soft flesh in retribution for her uncharacteristically caring words. Did she not realize she was killing him? Did she not realize how much he wanted to hear it and yet didn't? All too similar when he'd called himself useless seemingly a lifetime ago in the elderly couple's home and her words had pierced through him then. His heart was crying out, desperately wanting him to return the sweet, honeyed words that were as good as death before his eyes.

Mitsuko was eating him from the inside out. Her words certainly were like poison, like Byakko had stated, she was poisoning him with each sweet word of concern. She was devouring his insides, teeth sinking into his vulnerable heart and consuming him till there was nothing of him left, and yet his unresponsive lips would never cry out because if she desired it, if she desired for him to succumb to death, to her poison... he would. Not a single lesson was learned, not even after all these many, many long years. Oh how it burned, how painful it was to trade one honeyed poison for another.

His heart truly was going to die soon. He could feel it in the pounding of the organ in his chest, how joyful it felt to drown in her concern, how wonderful it felt. Do not look. He warned himself in vain, hearing her words start anew, her voice drawing crimson eyes to finally look to her, a woman who was shielding her face from view underneath her arm. Do not look. The logical thought wavered, drowning underneath the pounding heartbeat of his rebelling heart as dark eyes met his and she had spoken, that she didn't think of him as a burden, that the aramitama that burned within him wasn't a burden either, almost as if she was willing to... accept him? Haha, what a cruel joke it was, giving him yet another sweet blade to carve up his heart.

Crimson eyes searched the dark that averted away from his own, punctuated by a rare blush to sweep across her face. She really did want him to die. The bitter thought made laughter nearly swell in a battered chest, precious bait being dangled before his eyes in her sweet words that drew him to her, and a face that now even in this moment looked so lovely. Was this all another act, like Mai-Jing had done before? The former empress who always would say such sweet things to him, but never actually mean it in the cruel revelation that he'd refused to acknowledge until recently, a woman who claimed she loved him but didn't hold a single ounce of love in her heart. This comparison made bitterness swell in his chest as he withered, physically withered before Mitsuko, shoulders slumping in defeat as his expression twisted for a moment, almost on the verge of tears, a shameful face he'd shown her too many times before.

Stop being kind to me... I'll just misunderstand.

It was far too late for him now. Far too late for his heart to deny the swelling emotions in his chest, emotions that he knew would kill him one day, lead him to him being prey for another human soul, for his past had shown him so. If it's you... The haunted thought rang in his head, his head lowering to the floor, "You.."

If it's you... Little Sun.

"You're really.."

Then... I do not mind.

His lips pursed, jaw clenching as his mind was reeling between the raging emotions in his chest, anguish settling within as he struggled not to give in.

Devour me soul and all. Defeat, he was... defeated. A bitter snort had finally left him in response to her final words, forcing a smile to cross his face, though there was little need for force as he laughed, genuinely laughed at the absurdity of it all, "You're just impossible, you know?" Impossible indeed. Impossible for the him that existed now to win against, he was defeated from the beginning, her poison had already taken him. His heart was beating for this woman before him, resonating far strongly than before in the aftermath of honeyed words that pulled at heartstrings, from whence did this sentiment start? Or was he already doomed from when their paths had crossed so many moons ago for the first time? The empress who he had defied in hatred over a monster who had poisoned him, only to find himself subjected to the very same fool's poison.

The emotion he felt, the emotion he didn't allow to leave his lips for he knew that this trap before him would spring as soon as he would say it. Even if his heart was already as good as dead, he needed to at least pretend that he could live for a little longer. She would never feel the same, and yet again he was placed in the same position as he had been with Mai-Jing, one-sided pining for someone who would never reach back to him, someone who would eventually slaughter him. Truly, how foolish was he?

I.. love you, my Little Sun. The cursed sentiment rolled about within his heart, painfully ripping open old wounds and making them bleed anew. Mitsuko had slaughtered him, leaving him bleeding and yet she would not know, never know, for he couldn't allow it. Warm feelings that he already identified and tried his best to deny and suppress had flowed through the Seer's body. This woman who acted so boorish, who was such a fool, who was so reckless and ridiculous. Who angered him and dragged him purposefully at her own pace, who pushed so many buttons that he didn't think was possible. One who he argued with, one who couldn't be alone, one who pledged to be his sword. The one who.. who was accepting him, who didn't leave him to die, who insisted on keeping him at her side. One who made his heart ache, one who worried over him, who waited for him to come home, who gave him his first gift... one who carried so much on her shoulders, who was capable and strong. One who sparked desires within him, who he wished he could learn more about... Flickers and flashes of their journey till this point danced before his eyes, making his expression become more pained, his eyes burning with unshed tears.

She was so very, very cruel... his Little Sun.

And I cannot feel this way.
The thought followed the acknowledgement bitterly as he withdrew the tender emotions like clockwork, old habits he'd learned to rely on when he had been following around Mai-Jing helplessly, his smile falling as he looked away, an odd flash of pain flaring to life on bloodied features, though it seemed like he had an excuse this time in the battered body that was swelling painfully in the warm emotions of affection that was slowly killing the phoenix who turned mortal.

"Honestly, has my mother really rubbed off on you that much in one day?" The playful chide left his lips as he was slipping back into the normalcy that was expected of them, his forced revelation being buried deep down as if he'd not thought the cursed words at all. Fall back into how they were supposed to be, he the Seer and she the Empress, and nothing more. Haru's head had turned away, a heavy sigh leaving him as thin fingers had rubbed the back of his neck, though his skin felt hot underneath the touch, a fault of the flare of emotions no doubt that he was forced to acknowledge, "...Fine, you can come with me, however I'm going to be leaving early, if you're not up by then you're staying here." Giving up, he had to give up.

Crimson eyes flashed once more to Mitsuko's face, eyebrows furrowing for a few seconds only to look aside, his lips pursing in discomfort at the fluttering heart in his chest, a feeling that was so familiar and yet so very, very painful. "..What did you do today?" A simple question, to steer the conversation away any further from the topic of Byakko. Haru was curious indeed, part of him feeling a tinge of bitterness that he missed out on seeing what could have caused Mitsuko to be acting so odd. Did something happen? Did he miss something important? Or was his mother much more of an influence around his companion than he'd thought? It wouldn't be unexpected as Honomi certainly had a way with people.
 

Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
2d0003faaa6816f0c44103fc44bd2652.jpg
Kanamori no Mitsuko
Vocab:

Theme: Kaoru Wada- Inuyasha ost


His voice trembled in the wind like the grass strands, a gentle show of the heart's easily swayed conviction. All one needed was a nudge in the right direction and then the limbs would follow. Stumbling steps reeling ahead of the mind until it was all bundled up in the wall of tranquillity that put stop to both breeze and footfalls. When the wind ceased, so did the words. A nerve-wracking lapse of silence fell between them in bated breaths, struggling to ply the lungs in their normal mundane routine as thoughts willed time to stop.

Stop before he would inevitably tell her off and cause it to become all stilted again as she would flounder to rip up her mask again. Seal it away from those crimson eyes to judge along with all the other unwanted emotions that stirred at the bottom of brown wells. Because he expected nothing else than a stubborn troublemaker. "You're just impossible, you know?" The brunette blinked sheepishly, absorbed the words in pieces under fluttering eyelashes that raked them in. Then there it was again, the low bubbling boil that regurgitated up into her throat.

Chuckles rattled through it in swallows that failed to contain them all and once it had slipped one chiming sound, they all did. Silver bells punctuating his statement in a most fitting agreement for a raucous lady who knew nought when to stop. "What can I say, your mother is persistent. If I sleep in though, you should just wack me over the head." Her face cracked up in a wide grin at the mental image of the woman and she shrugged out of her sleeve. It felt good to laugh. Mitsuko rocked back on her palm against the wood, the swirls of the fibres unmistakable in the fingers that traced them.

Her stomach fluttered in remembrance of the evening and she bottled the warmth up with her curled-up knees that inched closer to the body. Had he ever been curious about her before? She racked her memories as she recounted the events. "Honomi had some things to give to Sorai and Emao so we visited them," She started off softly and cradled her tilted head with her shoulder "That woman...she's seriously insane. She had made them so many garments". Eyes traced the imaginary forms of the couple in the darkness. Emao's waned and flickering one that grazed the pupils in glowing embers, stoked into flares by the firekeeper that was Sorai. A steady and compassionate hand that coiled around the woman's shoulders to uphold her.

Mitsuko hummed the refracted memories between her lips. "They were all very...nice. Your brother was quite the lovestruck fool for his wife." A flicker of the little one passed her by in furtive blinks and her expression softened. A long time ago, she had dreamed of something similar. The farmer's wife with skin touched by the sun in an olive complexion and love bites in darkened moles. Would she be carrying her newborn in a sling around her neck as a constant reminder of the burden of being responsible for feeding the same mouth? Or would she relish in the opportunity to be able to soothe someone else's cries and hold them like her own mother never did? She would never know, would she?

A distant daydream, that was all it would ever be. "They taught me how to sew." Ah, but there was a gap there in the timeline. Something that she had skipped over in the gaze that bounced at the mere implication of its existence. The man who had hurt Honomi. Her light died out in smoked hues of a frown. Did he need to know this? She set her jaw to bar the anxiety from affecting her speech as it instead prompted skittish eyes to glance Haru's way. Perhaps he didn't need to know, but he deserved to.

It concerned his mother after all, and he most likely possessed more insight into the situation than she could confer from a single observation. She couldn't deny him this. "A man came." She drew a deep breath as the words lined up in a queue to the exhale. The words came out of her as if on rails, a mechanical recollection that stood in contrast to her clenched fists. "An overseer I think. He..." Her jaws opened then slammed shut again as she relived her failure in closed eyes "-Hurt Honomi".

"I'm sorry." The brunette collapsed in on herself with ashamed shoulders "-I couldn't protect her. I'm sorry."

Perhaps it wasn't necessary for her to take the blame, but she felt as if though Haru had entrusted her with his mother. And in that case, she had failed him. Failed to live up to her reputation as a reckless brute when it was needed the most.

Change was painful at times like that.
 
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LONELYRAIN

surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
Hic Svnt Leones (Hesperos Theme) - FFXIV: Endwalker OST (When aramitama starts flaring up toward the end of post)

Haru couldn't help the upward twitch of his lips in an already far defeated smile as he retorted in response to her words, "Not a chance, if you sleep in you're being left here." He didn't want her following him to begin with, though the him from before probably would have responded differently, probably somehow a scathing remark of some sort, probably leaping eagerly at the chance to vent frustration on the fool by probably giving her a "well-deserved" wack, but now that thought was far from his mind, no longer even taking root as he allowed the warm emotions that had stubbornly clung within him to flow. His eyes shifted over to Mitsuko then, granted he knew this would also make the poison sink in deeper, but if he was already doomed anyways, there was no point to try to resist, allow himself to drink in her every feature to immortalize it in his mind, especially that wide grin of hers that spread upon her features. Ah...

How it made the dark browns of her eyes brighten with it, perhaps it would be far worse in the touch of sunlight with how it made her features shine? Regardless, it made his heart ache. His fingers twitched restlessly at his sides, though the man stubbornly remained as still as a statue, despite the desire to frame her face in his tired hands and drink in the happiness that flared to life on her face, a bit of joy that would fade like with everything else. If only he could keep that big grin on her face, if only he could make sure there was never a moment where she felt unhappy, or even lapsed into sorrow. But, his mind reminded him all too cruelly that he was just a shadow, a mere fragment of his former self. That the him that existed now, despite her saying that she accepted him, was not good enough, never good enough. Because he was nothing more than a sick, wounded beast trapped in a mortal shell.

Maybe the only thing he was good for indeed, to bring happiness to others was... his eyes lowered at the thought, his perpetual nightmare that lingered in his mind, which had sent him teetering off the edge and nearly casting the embers of his life away in the revelation. Perhaps, all he could do was die to give her.. immortality? Would that make her happy? The thought spun and rattled in his head, confusing in its twisted chatters and chaotic madness that was swelling in his mind, confusing this woman with the woman he'd loved before, with desires and horrendous actions that would inevitably lead to a bloodied demise. Was that what she desired? To feast on divine flesh? No, no... she never explicitly said it before.

He sucked in a breath to restart the flow of his breathing which was supposed to have been calm, blinking rapidly as he looked to Mitsuko again to refocus on her words, no longer allowing his mind to stray down that dark path as she recounted her day for him with noticeable thawing and warmth in the woman who usually would be more guarded. It was another moment of gentle conversation between the two, another moment where they let down shields and armor and truly speak to one another. These moments were always very fleeting, but the heart that lingered in Haru's chest was lapping it up more so eagerly now as Mitsuko's voice, now honey to his ears and soul had described that his mother had went to Emao's and Sorai's house, a spark of recollection flickering to life in crimson eyes as he recalled Honomi telling him all too eagerly of Sorai's little family. A softening of Haru's features would follow then, a chuckle leaving his lips, "Well that certainly sounds like her. I'm not surprised." Honomi always threw herself wholeheartedly into whatever she did, and perhaps exceeded what was normally expected; especially if she cherished someone dearly.

Then there came the comment that they were nice, and with it the following comment on Sorai being a lovestruck fool for his wife. A bitter bit of laughter nearly left his lips as he looked away from the face that visibly softened at the words that now pricked his consciousness and his bleeding heart. A lovestruck fool, huh? Tired eyelids drooped as he didn't allow himself to say a single thing on that matter, his lips pressing tightly together as he almost desired to simply rip the fast beating organ out of his chest so he didn't have to acknowledge the raging feelings and warmth within him anymore, so that he could encase himself in a winter that never was supposed to see spring again. He's not the only one.

The bitterness would settle soon as he shoved the emotions deep down, far down again to refocus on the words slipping from Mitsuko's lips, crimson eyes darting once more to refocus on her face though another bit of bubbling laughter slipped his lips then, "They did? I honestly can't picture you sewing. I wish I could've seen you try." His mind certainly tried, but the thought of Mitsuko doing anything that was more in line to what housewives did... well, it was impossible for him to imagine, much less think that she would even want to pick up the skill. To see her try, to put her heart and soul into something, perhaps even see her expression twist in concentration as her calloused fingers attempted to work the needle and thread through unsuspecting fabric... ah, maybe he could picture it a little bit? Haru felt his expression soften and warm at the mental image, ah.. he really did wish he could have been there.

But, there was a pause, a pause and a noticeable tension that followed which made the gentle expression of the Seer drop to mirror the sudden change. Then she spoke again, and an icy chill flowed down from head to toe, cementing him in place as breaths would stop in the man's chest, his eyes burning holes into the floorboards as he couldn't look Mitsuko in the eye. A flare of phantom pain settled in his bad leg once more, as if remembering the heavy crushing weight of a steeled boot which had came down with all its weight, all its might on the injury, shattering bone and grinding the poor limb into the dirt, a heavy hand grabbing hold of verdant hair and dragging him in pent up rage to apply searing, hot brand to the same leg he'd taken from him.

A man who'd came to his mother, shoved her into the ground and tore away her dignity, his mother's pleading face turning to Sorai who was nothing but a boy during the incident who leapt to her defense, a scream of rage tearing past his lips, and only through Haru's quick movements and shielding of his younger brother had he suffered the horrid consequences of enraging the man named Danuja. The name alone made him feel hot fire blazing in his veins then, molten hot rage. He was still here? Why? Why did he still dare to drag breath in those undeserving lungs of his? How dare he continue to walk this earth, knowing damn well that he didn't deserve the pleasantry, the right of doing so.

How dare he still torture his mother, continue to strip away at a gentle woman who did no wrongs, who nipped at her heels and lusted after her in a twisted obsession that drove him to not only torment her, but anyone else associated with her? The news... oh how the news distressed him, coiled deep within his core and made him taste blood afresh on his tongue, rancid and now familiar as the rage was making his fingernails sink deep into his knees which they rested, rage contorting the Seer's face for a moment, red hot in an anger he'd never displayed before, never allowed himself to sink deep into before.

I̷̘͝'̸̤̊ḽ̶̊l̶̓ͅ ̶̧̏ṫ̷̩ê̴̗à̴̻r̶̮̎ ̴̱́ḧ̶ͅi̶̗̕s̴͈̉ ̶̄ͅh̸̫̓e̴̪̕ȁ̴͓r̸͎͋t̶͍̄ ̵̳̂o̷͝ͅū̸̡t̶̡̒.̶̲͗

The thought rang in horrid clarity in the Seer's mind, resonating and preying on the flare of rage that had overtaken him, cooing in his mind and making him feel like the alien presence that was there; the other part of him that was maddened and frenzied was more so him than before. Not a separate entity, but a side to him that understood this need better than even he.

P̷͔̪̗̒͆̊u̶̮̩̎͊l̷͇͗̋ͅĺ̷̻̝͝ ̵̳̠͛̔̃b̷̮̂̋̀ͅa̶̘̒̋ć̶͙̈́ḱ̶̛͍ ̶̟̥̈́͗̌ͅh̴̝͚͉̄i̶̠̻͂̽̌s̶͙̱̰̓ ̸͙̞͇͗̎̎s̵̘͘͜k̸͇̲̺̿͒ī̶͈̫ñ̷̩͝,̵͕̱͗ ̶̠̗͓̈́̈͝r̴͈̞͎̒̒ī̸̧̪̂p̶̠̔͝ ̸̜̌ȟ̵̗̰̘͊̏ȉ̴̢s̴͉̯̬̄͗̕ ̸̨͔̫̌̌̍e̵̡͉̦̅ỷ̴̱̌e̶̫̽̏̽s̵̨̮̳͑͘ ̸͇̱̣̕f̷͎͙̈́̈́r̸̜̐̅̃ǫ̷̑̊m̴͇͎̈́̒͝ ̸̧̝̞̅̐h̸̾ͅi̷̬͍̻̒͠ṡ̶͖̒ ̴̹͍̇ś̴̢͙͜k̶̢̻̬͂ụ̵̩́̉ĺ̶̳̠̀̄l̵͙̫̹̈.̴͇̄

The him from before, who was sane in his reasoning would have recoiled at the vicious and violent thoughts, the desires that were flowing free.

D̷͕̀e̸̳͝v̶̢̉ö̶͉̜ṵ̶͙̉r̷̥͔̂̚ ̶̭̗̲̽ḧ̴̫͎́̂͜i̴͐͜m̸̤͔̳͛ ̵͇͇̿u̴̬͚͑̈̇ṅ̸̹̐͝t̷̯̓̕i̸̙͓͔͆̍̋l̷̼̥̀ ̴̨̮̈́͝n̸̮̗͔͒̈ȍ̴̡̰̼̈̿t̷͍̙̕h̸̠͒͊i̶͉̇̐ͅn̴̲̤͔͊̏g̶̨̖͂̆̌ ̶͕͂̋r̷̡̛͇͋e̵͈̬͐͠m̸͇͆̕͝a̵͕̿͊̈i̴͙̟̲̓͝n̶̘̊̈́͘s̵̡̪͙̈̉̋.̴̘͇̊̉

H̵̼͙̣͋̉a̷̲̒n̵̼̦̗͐̽͝ğ̸̦͚̼̌̒ ̴̯͐́h̷̠͋̌͠i̷̥͛͝͠s̷̱̙̍̚͝ ̸̻͛̄ć̷͍̙õ̴̦̳͉̑̈́ŗ̴͎̔ṗ̶͚ś̷̭̹e̵̢̛̫̩ ̶̣͂̅̓f̸̟́͂r̴̫̜͐͘͘͜o̶̡͖̒̓ͅm̸͍̘͆ ̸̰͇̌̍̈́ṭ̶͓̍̌h̴̡̛͉̠̍͛ĕ̴̻͝ ̶̛̳̋̑ḫ̴͕̉͗ị̶̳̅̌̚ḡ̵̮̳́h̶̥̟͑͠͝è̸͔̯̹ś̷͙̪̱t̴̪̱̙̎ ̵̠̾̍̚p̶̥̟͛̌o̴̼̟̮͛̈́i̶̲̯͙͐n̵̮͌͒͝ṭ̸̛̉.̴̜̫̿ ̴̬̦̟̂͛͊Å̴̬͙̙l̴̛̘̓ľ̶̙̫́͂ȯ̴̻̘̮͂̃w̵͔̾̀̇ ̸̝̭͍͋t̸̹̤͠h̷̬͒i̷͇̊s̸̫̣̅͊ ̷̭̈́ṭ̵̦͗w̵̛̠̓̾i̷̢͔̞͂s̸̯̩̉̋͊t̵̰̅é̴̥̝̖͋̈d̶̳͙̀̔͘ͅ ̶̭̝̾w̶̛̤̗̍o̷̙͐̆̈́͜r̴̮̉̏̂l̶̢̝̉̊d̵̻̍ ̵̺̰̇ţ̸͛ǫ̷̟́̓ͅ ̷̥̜͍͝s̴̼̿͘e̸̦̊̀̕ȅ̴̟͐̈ͅ ̵̮̟̼̍̈́̚ẅ̷̡̘̜́͠h̵̟̼̱͝a̴̡͝t̷̙̊͋̍ ̶͖̯͎̇h̸͇͜͝â̸̼̦̗̓p̵̝̎͝p̵̘̜̱̈́é̴͖͚̝̀n̵̲̉ŝ̶̠̻̻̂̓.̴͖͓͠ͅ.̴̡̡͎͌͊͗.̷͂͜

...

W̶̠̾̽h̶͇͎̖̚͘a̵͇͛t̴͕̑̎̿ ̵̼͓͓͆̐h̴̡̛̫̟͂̽a̵̡̎̕p̸̪̺͂̾̕ṕ̷̻̻͜͝e̴͉̱̹̒ṉ̴̨̞̚͠ś̴̞͝ͅͅ ̶̢͒̒ȉ̴̳̠̼n̴̤̭̬͑̃ ̵͖̗̃̑r̵̥̓̇ī̸̡̗̱́g̷͎͝h̶̹̹̹͊͛̌t̶͖̲̘́͊͂e̵͍͑̚͝ơ̶͕̱̈́̇ü̸͙͇̯͑s̵̰̰̦̆ ̸͚̭̖͒d̷̙̖̽͘i̴̘̪̒v̶̢̠̼͒i̴͕̥͚͐̈́̕ñ̴̟̰̦̀͘ë̸̻̰̻́ ̵̨̮̟̈j̵̢͖̅ͅu̸̥͕͕͊͠d̶̤̬̫̍g̶͕̓͆͝e̷͓̔m̷͙̱̞͗͋é̸̜͝n̶̻͎̞͂̌̓t̵̼͍͋͊.̶̘̕

...

B̸̮̊͑ǘ̶̼̗̍͝r̸̰̻̐n̶͉͒ ̷̯̿ȉ̴̬̓̍t̸̳̭͒̑̕ ̶͔̮͝a̸͈̱͚͐ĺ̶̫̞͙l̵̡̃ ̷̞̰̋a̷̺͋ẇ̸̹͗a̸̰͋y̶̱͆,̷̩͋͗́ ̴̙̮̫̀c̸̨͎͇̀̒ǭ̴͚̊n̸̻̍̋̇s̶̢̆̀ȕ̶̕͜m̸̗̐e̶͖̰̘̕͝ ̴͓̑ë̸́̍ͅv̷̢̥̒̔̃e̴͔͈̎̓ṙ̵̮̘y̷̝̳͒̉̆t̵̲̓̚h̷̰͗́̌ȋ̷̳̖n̵̈́͌ͅg̸̫̘̹̃.̷̭̈̓ͅͅ

...

L̵̺̩͋̄ͅë̷̹́t̴̮͛̐́ ̵̧̏̽t̷͇̞̼̓͑̊h̸̡̲̩͐ě̸̞s̴͎̗͙̀͌̄ẽ̵̟̪̑ ̸̣̠̞̍̈́̎m̵̰̅ỏ̷̢̑̎ȑ̸̢̯͝t̴̤̄̌͘a̴̫̿̅͠l̴̫̂s̵̪͎̼̍̎ ̷̘̲͐̇͜͝p̴͚͇̤̒̚ẽ̵̢̱̰r̸̔ͅi̴̢̯̊s̴̞̿h̸͕̤͔̎ ̸̫͒͌͗͜í̶̡͙̒n̶̘͚̬͛͛͑ ̷̳̒̑͝t̵̡̗̊ḣ̸̘̋̂ě̷͔͉i̵̪͕̋ŕ̸͙ ̴͕̀̄͝o̴̺̥̜̿̉͠w̵̺͗̇ṅ̵̥̕ ̷̞͖̲͗̅f̶̰̙̹̋͐ȉ̸̖̔̉l̷̖̘̑̉t̷̤͎̿͐̍h̷̗̍,̶̯̳̈́̚ ̷͈͍̱̈́c̷͚̲͒h̶͇̗̆̒͜o̷̝̅̃k̴͔̅̔ê̸̹̬̼͘͝ ̶̭̭̊̏ǫ̴̖̓̍̊ṅ̸͈̤̎̽ ̷͕̫́t̶̥̗̐h̷̝̔̃ȇ̶̳̱͙̀̂i̵̖̠̝̇r̸̙̻͇̔̚ ̴̲͖̂o̵̥̅́͠w̸͉̥̒n̷͕̬͗̾̎ ̶̡̽̌b̴̦̲͂͒̕ͅĺ̵̻o̵̪̣̖̕ò̷͉̣̊ͅd̵͎̽͗.̴̼͖̔̿

....

C̶̱͎͙̈͒͘h̷̲͗͠ó̶͉͎k̵̛̬̙͎̈́͌ĕ̵̺̝͑̈́ ̷͈̣̊͘õ̷̩̠͖̓͠n̴̖̹̿́̾ ̶̲̽͑͋t̸̻͐̍̃h̵̙̩̀̈́ͅe̷̤̰̮̓ḭ̶̛͌ṟ̶͕͝ ̵̯̗̈́̀͛o̶̮̜̟̎w̷̭̐͊̒n̶̜̠̽̾̃ ̴̥̇́s̶̭̊͑̂ͅi̴̝̒̍͌n̴͕̫͋̆͋s̶͎̀̀.̸̛̜ ̴͗̍ͅS̶̡̺̥͗̇͝e̷͎̲̟̒̐è̷͔̀ ̵͖͙̻́͌ḧ̴̟̝̱̆̍o̸̳̭̮͐́͝w̶̢̒ ̴͒͜t̸̛̻́̾h̴̗̣͆e̴̻͇͑̂̀y̴̰̓̋̚ ̶̢̟̬̈̕w̸͍̽̾ỉ̸̠̓̋l̷͙̥̳͒l̴͎͆ ̵̞͑͐̋e̸̖͋n̵̺̋͊j̷͕̋͂͘ỡ̵̺̳͘y̷̦̓̌̿ ̴̢̞͇̐̄̈́ḇ̸̢̛̰͆e̷̦̝̋ć̴̞͓̃ȏ̷̠̽͠m̷̭̦̜͐į̵̥̟̀̚ņ̷͔͎͠͝g̴͈̜͙͗̾ ̷̢̐͊͝m̶̫̿̅̊ẏ̵͍̿̑͜ ̸̳̩͑̃̕p̶̥͇̊̅r̵̢̆ĕ̸̞̳͙ẙ̸͙̩̿.̷̳̻̲͊̀

The disturbing coo dripped with perverse excitement, the longer Haru's silence within his own mind continued, flickers of the twisted being he was, that twisted Phoenix that screamed for the masses to both love it and sought oblivion. A hand came to cover his mouth as rancid blood was pooling behind twisted rose petals that had almost allowed himself to get swept away, his eyebrows furrowing tight as he forced himself to swallow. The blood was thick, slow to slide down his throat, a secretion from the wrongness that was deep within. His expression tightened as the words echoed in his head, a feeling of disturbance settling within as sanity was reclaimed, his hand dropping from his lips as he took in a breath, forcing himself to recover and return to himself.

Whatever had taken over him just then was wrong, utterly wrong. Was this what Byakko was warning him about? Shit. The curse resounded through his head as he felt the rage induced haze beginning to fade, the trembling in his body slowly fading as he finally looked at Mitsuko once more, blaming herself for failing to protect Honomi in which Haru shook his head immediately at her. "No, don't apologize. I know how my mother is." Firm was his voice, though it was seething something wrong... something dark. It was an ominous air that settled upon the usually gentle and composed Seer, that even though the fervor had passed, it still lingered.

"..She probably told you to not intervene, she's told me the same before." Haru turned his head, awkwardly shifting his bad leg as it trembled in renewed pain, a flare of phantom pain flaring to life from the mark of shame that lingered upon skin that he always hid. "..I'm surprised that bastard is still alive; Danuja." The iciness in his tone was like that of a tundra, seething with a raw hatred. It was an intensity that was far worse than when Haru displayed hatred to Mitsuko, this was murderous, predatory in nature. It was a beast's rage, uncharacteristic of the usually gentle soul.
 

Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
2d0003faaa6816f0c44103fc44bd2652.jpg
Kanamori no Mitsuko
Vocab:

Theme: Overture - Princess Mononoke


The lack of response or even the sound of breaths being drawn to perpetually prolong his flickering presence was worrying, to say the least. A haunting non-existence that dragged over his hunched form and hollowed him into a void beside her. One that merely sucked in whatever she told him and churned it ominously in piercing eyes. She knew this look. It was the same darkness that had precipitated from the orb, a wretched and tainted desire to swallow the world whole in its ugliness.

The very same side she had assigned herself as the guardian of. The one that she had called the grief of his inner child. Something that he now returned to in begrudging deva-Ju with a look that signified that he was far away from the porch that housed their mortal bodies. Far away from the coldness of night in the surge of wrath and the Mitsuko who became an observer to nails that dredged up memories in claw marks on his legs.

She watched him bunch it all up, crinkled fabric and angry indents on skin, to replicate it on her own heart in painful squeezes. If only she could harbour the pain for him, to take those nails and rake them along her own skin. But not even that she was allowed. She wasn't allowed to take the blame as he eventually composed himself again. The line was drawn anew in the trembling leg that shifted out in discomfort from under his weight and the brunette could only skirt nearby in a downcast gaze.

"So I was right then." Mitsuko relieved the tension from her body with a sigh. It set itself as the antecedent of the headache that manifested in the eye of the storm that was her thoughts. "-Right in thinking that this was not the first time he had done something like that." Her hand ruffled her hair harshly as pictures of the twisted digits, the open wounds and the broken back filtered by in the fleeting blackness of blinking. The brunette understood his hatred for the one who had harmed Honomi. The hatred for a figure of power that you couldn't rebel against, lest it would have grave consequences.

Indeed, it was not much unlike the central point of her own life. Or rather, the one who had been the central point of her life. Choices that still plagued her for the betrayal she had committed towards him.

Her eyes lingered upon the barrier that was his leg which threatened to crumble along with the rest of him. Her frown deepened, a thousand implications displayed upon it in the lips that compressed her feelings. "-Did he...do that to your leg?" She eventually voiced one of those implications out loud. Alluded that it was the scar of his own attempt to break the chains of trauma.

Even if they were capable of doing it now, there were far more who weren't ready. The overseers had stripped the people of their collective will for freedom when the daily struggle was for survival. The corner which they were herded into was one that only allowed certain seeds to grow- that of mistrust and selfishness. It fostered the attitude of the lynching of their neighbour, becoming the livelihood of another and to turn a blind eye as something necessary to not give the nightmares more fuel to fester on.

It was a complicated matter and as much could be interpreted from the way that she turned it over in her head while grunting. "Ugh- if he comes around again I'll-" The low growl was cut off by teeth that drew blood from her lip and she erupted in a frustrated groan that launched her hand into the air. The brunette flopped down on her back with a resounding thud of her head slamming into the wood. The handkerchief slipped from the pocket of her hakama then to be exposed to the eyes of the intended receiver.
 

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