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Fandom Norgami: A New Era (IC)

Sub Genres
Anime, School, Slice of Life, Supernatural

VeiledPariah

The Answer to all your problems!
Location: SSA Office, Kyoto City
Date: April 2nd 2030
Time: 4:40 pm
Interactions: Nana QuirkyAngel QuirkyAngel Shorn The Secret Archives The Secret Archives
Ametaru (Regalia)
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Ametaru was speechless.
As Azani walked away rescinding the request she had just made of the Nora. Normally Ame would have taken this as a sign of disrespect but as cruel as the words were, she had heard something similar before. It was the dark goddesses way of being kind, telling her it was alright and that her task was the latter in importance compared to her own. She appreciated that, no she doubted anyone else caught the sentiment.
The still unintroduced god began speaking about how she should value her own opinion and with an accompanied hand that rested on her head told her in essence that she needed to hold out, if only a l it take longer.
Finally it was Nana’s turn to speak and once again the answer was not really one at all.
It appeared as though Ame would never be able to grasp a definitive thread of fate as to knowing what had truly happened to the two people she had grown to call family.
The Shinigamis words were thoughtful, and caring, and kind. Yet they held that single truth, and as she more eloquently described it and made it more catered towards the girl on the verge of collapse in her heart the words rang through her mind again.

“Be strong for your Kami, for all of them”
The woman’s fingertips lifted her chin so that their eyes met and as she continued to speak the girls despair seemed to dissolve away as Shorn recoiled beginning to choke on his own words...literally.
As the Shinigami had wondered if the gods that had named her felt her emotions like she did her own regalia elsewhere Kami clutched their chests with strained hands.
Kamatasu while shopping with his regalia the girl Ame had saved by taking her place in BTBG.
Amaterasu whilst sitting in a collilquy the other gods looking distressed for the sun goddess.
A man or a god rather falling to his knees struggling to breathe at the impact it had particularly on him.
His dark navy hair matting to his face as sweat began to pour.
It wasn’t a blight, or a sting. Just pure and raw emotion that they had not felt in sometime.
It was Ame.

“Fuuko” “Tsurugi”
“Ametaru”
Many other felt the pangs of her heart but as Nana wipes her tears the emotions faded. Slowly ebbed away like earth beaten upon by the waves over time becoming a standing surface until it was no more than grains of sand.

The regalia smiled albeit half heartedly before using her sleeve to remove any other tears that had begun to fall.
“Apologies Nana. You are not seeing me at my best, I am sorry for the scene I have caused”
She lifted herself up so that she stood more proudly and dipped her head once more in respect to both Nana, and Shorn who was hopefully getting over his choking fit.
“Thank you both, I am alright now...I would still like to help when I am able of that is alright”
The regalia reintroduced the offer for her services towards both Kami. Kagemi and Hikarumi were either tending to Shorn or assisting with checking the seals and borderlines and that struck Ametaru into action.
She moved to the glass window placing the tips of her fingers on the glass and took in a deep breath before letting it out in an attempt to focus her mind.
“Boundary...”
The girl breathed out with the exhale as her fingers shone with light that seeped into the glass and then spiderwebbed throughout the SSA Office.
As the lines faded it left small star like shimmers of light before those too faded away leaving only the protection of the imperial regalias spell.
With that she let her hand fall back to her side and turned once more to the Shinigami and Kami in company.
“I will have to come by every once in awhile to reinstate the invocation. But that gives me a chance to visit the spirit I saved, again it was a pleasure meeting all of you. Thank you”
With that Ame began to make her exit she slipped number on the desk so they could call her if needed. Her eyes on the sky now as she walked out onto the street the chime of the office door resounding behind her.
Another lead had fallen through, and she had no others to follow. She was in a dark room but unlike Shorn had tried to express about the candle lighting the darkness. He was wrong about it. In her darkness that candle shines too bright and is blinding to anything she could attempt to reach for now.
Still she would shove it all down and be strong for her Kami, for all of them.
She had to find her way on her own now more than ever. What her next step?
Nana’s words and that of Shorns continued to play out in her mind as she walked.
He wouldn’t want to see you like this....
Your opinion matters....
Ame found herself once more at the dilapidated shrine of Ude. She had no reason to return here. He was gone she knew that. She was simply prolonging the inevitable.
The young woman fell to her knees on the hill and began grasping at the small boards that remained carefully placing them until they formed a small lean to like shelter.
Underneath it she dug her hands into the earth scooping the soil aside and placed a seed of a nearby tree before covering it back up the soil beginning to dampen as her tears began to flow freely.
On this hill, one last time.
She cried for Ude, for Inbu...for the times they shared and the love they had all felt for one another.
These tears that covered the small mound that held this precious new life, were tears....
Of acceptance.
——————————————————————
Japan Kansai Region Many years ago
Susanoo felt the warmth of the sun piercing through the clouds as the rays fell upon him as he lay amongst the flowing reeds. His arms stretched as he turned his eyes falling on her own ocean blue gaze. That smile holding the same warmth as the sun as he returned it gladly his hand reaching to hers and their fingers intertwined and she blushed slightly.
“You were watching me sleep again”
“I couldn’t help it, you are so peaceful it just calms me. It makes me wish we could stay this way forever”

“I have heard your wish my love...loud and clear, may our fates be forever intertwined”
Susanoo replied as the girl giggled his hand leaving hers in order to pull her close as the couple rolled a bit until she was on top of him and their lips barely a centimeter apart.
“You...promise, you won’t leave me”
“I promise, Ametaru”
The couple then shared a passionate kiss as the image began to darken and fade away turning from a beautiful paradise to the nightmare that was that night.
Present day
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The god jolted awake once more clutching his chest as he felt he regalias emotions hit him like a shock wave.
Finding his breath he managed to find a hand hold and bring himself up to a sitting position as he looked around his abode. A small shack hidden from prying eyes and blessed by a priest that lived here as well who guarded the god while he slept.
He had awoken earlier when he felt the Noras presence but now her emotions were running rampant. The god clutched his hands into fists before releasing them and looking out into the night as the sun began to set.
“It’s time, I can’t hold out any longer...I have to end this suffering both hers and mine”





 

Imaliar

New Member
Sakura(Spiritual Human)
Location: Small home, Kyoto
Date: April 3rd, 2020

Time: 4:00 pm
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Sakura said a quick goodbye to her parents and headed towards Hasuna's shrine to pray. Her parents didn't know she was going there. They had told her to go to the market. I'll still go to the market. I just need to stop by the shrine first. They won't mind if I'm a little late coming home. Sakura nodded to herself with a smile and continued on her way to the shrine. She hummed to herself as she walked. This would be better if I had someone with me, but I'm sure I can have tons of fun on my own. Yeah, definitely. With a small sigh, Sakura does her best to keep her chin up and stops at the shrine. She looked around and studied the shrine. What a nice shrine. I wonder if anyone's here. Maybe I could find some spirits around here, although I don't have much time before I need to get going to the market. Sakura prayed, then lingered a little to search for spirits.
 
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Karcen

Ten Thousand Club
Location: Kuro-Kyogi's Impenetrable fortress (Hotel Room)
Date: April 2nd, 2030
Time: 5:07pm
Azani Goddess of Vengence and grudges

Azani actually started chuckling, which became laughing as Kuro explained, but it wasn't the cruel laughter of mocking someone, but the kind between friends when some resolution was reached after a fight. Like she would bring other gods to this, like she would carry out their grudges, the grudges of gods were not her concern and they could never pay her price. A god sent to yomi would be called out once a humans spoke their name, meaning sending them there was pointless and their lives were in theory endless so there was no when they died like with humans. Gods could not keep up her deal thus she could not and would not take up their grudges. Also she wasn't exactly popular in heaven so none would ask her. Azani wasn't even bothered by the title god of idiots as it to her just seemed like someone that was embarrassed as she had done almost that exact same thing when flustered. Kuro really was fun to be around wanting a goddess to be proud of her, but it did mean one thing she really didn't see her as an enemy as what did you care what and enemy thought of you, you cared what friends and family thought of you.

" Yes yes I understand Kuro" Azani said nodding her tone lighting up actually sound rather happy because of this outcome. Azani let out a sigh of relief " I would never take on the grudges of gods, they can't pay me cheating and getting out of hell" She grumbled " Still my diversion did tell me something new, it seems gods are once more vanishing, even their names fading from Regalia, so i am thinking of perhaps capitalizing on this" She explained pausing for a moment " You see aside from me there are two other deities in Yomi Izanami and Enma and perhaps Enma will be one of those unlucky gods who has vanished and i could take over his old realm" Azani explained, while it would do little to up her own power and there was little chance enma would vanish, but hey why not try Azani was thinking about changing and becoming the queen of hell might be fun " So how about we take a little trip to hell?"

Dante Verren Dante Verren
 

Imaliar

New Member
Sakura(Spiritual Human)
Location: Hasuna's shrine
Date: April 3rd, 2020

Time: 4:30 pm

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Sakura looked around very carefully searching for a sign of Hasuna's regalia, Hasuna, or any spirits. Hello? Is anyone here? Hasuna? She slowly walked around the shrine, still looking. Sakura stopped once she had made a full circle of the place. Maybe I could try knocking. But, I don't want to disturb her. Well, I guess it wouldn't hurt to try. I can't go without trying to find her. Sakura went to the door and knocked three times. She took a step back and waited patiently for someone to answer the door. I really need to hurry. I still need to go to the market. So, I'll wait a bit more. But, if no one answers I guess I'll come back tomorrow to see.
 

Nico

Imma ghost 👻

Yuuken {Regalia}


Location: Hasuna's Shrine, Kyoto
Date: April 3rd, 2030
Time: 4:00 PM
Mentions: Imaliar Imaliar

Believe it or not, for once Yuuken was in a good mood today. He spent the day making sure the shrine was in tiptop shape. He cooked breakfast and lunch, which is one of his favorite past times, he enjoyed cooking, he wondered if it was something that carried on from his life as a human. He didn't want to think of such things, however. He was happy as Hasuna's regalia, it was his second chance and he wasn't going to waste it. He had kept himself busy and was resting at this point. That was until he heard the knock at the front door, he blinked slowly and raised an eyebrow.

He stood up from his chair and placed the book he was reading down on the coffee table. Heading over to the front door he opened it and examined the girl in front of him. She wasn't much older than he was. Probably a year older, but that wasn't the problem, the problem was that he had no idea if this was a human, danger, or anything, he was on high alert. He said his first words evenly.

"Can I help you, miss?"
 
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Karcen

Ten Thousand Club
Location: Kyoto prison
Date: April 2nd, 2030
Time: 10:00pm
Yoshio Seta (prisoner)

Another, day, another week, another month, every day shuffled by like the the day before for Yoshiro. Nearly ten years of days and night had passed since he had come in a young and and would leave a man near middle age. So many years had been stole from him, his youth gone and spent behind bars for a crime hew didn't commit. those days seemed so far away a mistake made in the fires of youth and the fervor of a religion that pretended to not be one, at least for him. What had he even been fighting over, really what harm had there been in letting people believe in what they wanted when it harmed no one. He had been blind like most young people were, he had wanted a purpose and thought he had found it. Yet was that really it? He had been a leader, he had called others to that path; could he really just say he wanted a purpose, no he liked the power. Even leading just a small group was power, having people do as you said was almost addicting. That power however was so very fragile and where a priest might have respect and thus be listened to, he had simply used zealotry and that is a fickle thing. That was a lesson he wished he had known earlier, maybe then he could have done something other than spend his youth behind bars. That was if he didn't spend his whole life behind them. Taro Umeda was still out there, free for the crime he blamed Yoshiro for.

Despite what some might think prisons were not a vacuum and Yoshiro had gotten some news from the outside. when you knew how to talk to the guards and get them to see you as a friend over an inmate you could get so very much information, even about specific people. That was how Yoshiro knew that Taro was still out there and that he had seemingly made something of his life. He was a cop now, not just a cop but a police chief one of the youngest around, likely gotten through blackmail or at least Yoshiro guessed. If Taro had been nothing, if he had died or just gone back to normal life then perhaps Yoshiro would not care and not fear him, but right now Taro knew someone that might be a threat to him was about to go free. Yoshiro knew how far Taro would go, he had seen it and thus was sure that Taro would keep him locked up or have him killed. If only he had just lived a normal life then Yoshiro could have forgiven him for in a way saving him, but no he had to become a bigshot.

Yoshiro had found himself with plenty of time to think and in that time over the years he had become something of a religious man. The story of con turned good man by religion was always a favorite, but Yoshiro didn't really claim it had saved him from his evil, the pain of betrayal had done that before he ever said a single prayer. Now with a new outlook one faith Yoshiro was actually turning to it, but he was not calling for salvation, he had a grudge to settle and there was one goddess that would grant him that. If he really went to hell, the at least Taro would have gone first. Tonight he would call out to her, to Azani the goddess of vengeance and pay any price to get rid of Taro.
 

Imaliar

New Member
Sakura(Spiritual Human)
Location: Hasuna's shrine
Date: April 3rd, 2020
Time: 4:00 pm

Mention: Nico Nico
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Sakura stood there, staring at the boy in shock. She blinked a couple times. Wow. I wasn't really expecting someone to answer. Um, anyway, I'm here to learn about regalia. My name is Sakura Iseki and I am the president of the regalia club. Even though I'm the only member. Um, you are Hasuna's regalia, right? Maybe I could talk to you. Sakura studied him from head to toe. He was different than what she was expecting, but still interesting. Sakura made a mental list of all the questions she could ask while she waited for his reply.
 

QuirkyAngel

White Masquerade's Blue Oni
Location: Hasuna's Temple, Kyoto City
Date: April 2nd, 2030
Time: 5: 15pm​
Kami_X (God of Hackers)

“I’m hurt you think I’d lie to you about something like that, Sumiko-chan~” The smirk on Kami_X’s face made it clear he wasn’t hurt in the least. He was completely and totally the type of god that would lie to her about something like that because it would've been hilarious. But not in this case. In this case he was doing a job. Feeding her inaccurate information wouldn’t make him a very good Lord of Information Acquirement. “She goes by the trade name Kofuku Ebisu these days. It’s how she swindles people into thinking she’s a goddess of fortune.”

Not that he could blame her. All gods gotta do what they gotta do…and Bimbo was a rather insulting name. If he had one like that, he’d change it too.

Glancing at the out of breath girl, Kami_X smiled teasingly. “And you know—woah!”

Jumping back when a figure appeared directly behind him, Kami_X slipped on a rock and landed on his butt, one hand flat against the surface of the ground to support himself while the other held onto the frame of his glasses. “Ouch! Can you not do that so suddenly, Lady Hasuna?”

Seeming to completely forget, or ignore, the fact that he’d done the same thing to Sumiko-chan an hour or two prior, Kami_X dusted his pants as he stood, grinning at the goddess. “I wanted to introduce you to client of mine who wants to know more about our world. Was sorta hoping you could give her a couple of pointers about the sorts of things you do as a fairly popular goddess around these parts...and maybe something to drink as well. ” Kami_X looked to the tired-looking, white-haired girl who seemed like she could really use bottle of water after taking the long way up. Courtesy of the Kami_X express, of course. “This is Sumiko Yuya—library assistant and college student that can see us. Sumiko-chan,” He gestured to the gentle looking pregnant woman with a flower in her hair. “I’d like you to meet Lady Hasuna, Patron Goddess of Children, Hearth and Home, Parenthood, and Family.”

MrThe MrThe Dante Verren Dante Verren
 

QuirkyAngel

White Masquerade's Blue Oni
Location: Hotel, Kyoto City
Date: April 2nd, 2030
Time: 6:10pm​

Rika Murakami

As Ryotaro ushered her out the door, Rika took a moment to let her anger subside. The 10-minute meeting with a god certainly didn’t go as expected. She considered that it might’ve been her fault the meeting ended rather quickly and felt a little guilty about it, but she couldn’t help herself. The blue-haired punk had been so dismissive of Ryotaro’s offer and gratitude, acting like it was something he was owed. He hadn’t seemed to care about Ryotaro’s life. In fact, ever since they’d walked in, the blue haired ‘god’ had been nothing but glares, growls, and accusations against Ryotaro’s supposed actions. Ryotaro may have let the injustice slide, but Rika wouldn’t.

That hadn’t been how Rika expected a god would act. Uzume, from her memory, hadn’t acted that like that…though Rika admittedly couldn’t even really remember the happy goddess’s face anymore. It was as if a fog blocked her thoughts every time she tried.

Uzume.

She’d forgotten to ask about Uzume.

Mentally cursing, Rika rubbed her temple. What was wrong with her? She’d decided just this morning, after taking water from the pond at Ota Jinja, that she’d look for her old friend again, right? Asking a god, if he really was a god, had been the perfect opportunity to do so. However, she’d let her temper get the better of her. Kenji. Jellyfish. Hotel. So much had happened that Uzume simply escaped from Rika’s mind. What sort of friend was she? Even now, she didn’t want to ask anything of the arrogant, condescending, human-hating Ryuujin.

“Sorry about that,” Rika sighed. “I just hate rude people.”

Even if Ryotaro didn’t bring it up, Rika could reflect and come to the realization that she’d been the one to start the argument. She checked her phone. Yep 10 minutes. A lot shorter than she thought it’d be so she still had plenty of time to make it home before her father got back. Well. Even if she wasn’t home, she could always just tell him she was staying at a friend’s place to study for the coming exams. It wouldn’t be a lie. Ryotaro Hirai was fairly smart. Did well in class.

“Let’s head straight for school then.” Rika replied. "The sooner we get this done the better."

She was curious about how the ‘divine eye’ he claimed he had worked. She certain noticed something strange about Ryotaro’s eyes when she’d first met him, but it didn’t seem like the sort of thing to point out. No two eyes were the same. Rika had learned a lot tonight. It would seem that the jellyfish had evolved because of the charm he’d given Kenji and he felt it was his responsibility to find it.

He believed there was a way to erase its negativity as well.

Rika wasn’t sure about that. Even though Rika hated to admit it, Ryuujin was right about one thing. She was ignorant about many things regarding gods, phantoms, and spirts. Ryotaro as well. Yet they were both jumping straight into the problem, trying to solve it despite their ignorance. It was a recipe for disaster. Just as Ryotaro made a mistake the first time by causing the jellyfish to evolve because of his ignorance, he was just as likely to make another one. They still didn’t know much about the phantom after all.

What had that American inventor, Thomas Eddison, said? He made 1000 mistakes before finding success? That might be true for Ryotaro as well…given what he was trying to do. The problem, of course, was mistakes with a phantom could be costly. Rika sighed. Another thing she noticed about Ryotaro was that he didn’t seem to value his life very much. Or rather, he wasn’t afraid to take risks even knowing the consequences. It was admirable, but it was dangerous as well.

Not she had any right to say anything in that regard. There was nothing actually stopping her from backing out and letting Ryotaro find that dangerous, evolved phantom person on his own. God knows why she didn’t. Who in their right mind chased a phantom anyway? “I expect a heavenly feast when this is all over.”

She had homework to finish as well.

Lucem Lucem
 

The Secret Archives

The Open Book
Location: SSA Office, Kyoto
Date: April 2nd, 2030
Time: 4:45pm​
Shorn, God of Despair & Disdain
Interactions: QuirkyAngel QuirkyAngel
Mentions: VeiledPariah VeiledPariah

It had taken a fair share out of Shorn to do what he did, and he felt the effects of it still lingering afterwards. He looked at Hikarumi, "...Thanks", he wheezed out the words, quiet but still audible. That was good. He took the sip of tea, and looked over to Nana as she spoke to Ame. It was fascinating to listen to the circumstances that the Regalia found herself in. It was a branching situation that extended beyond what Azani had spoke about before perhaps...? It wasn't entirely clear for Shorn yet, but the time frame seemed about right as they both took Shorn, Commission by Defaultz [Cut Down].pngplace about ten years ago.

Shorn instinctively reached up to rub at his throat in pain as he continued to listen to Nana go on. Dark Sorcery wasn't something Shorn was familiar with even in concept, it would be something to write down, and ask about in due time. Even if the words of Nana were intended for Ame, they too helped out Shorn in some small degree. Though the majority of these words were aimed towards Gods & Goddessess, Shorn felt that it could apply slightly towards Kaiyo. It was still something Shorn needed to ask about as soon as he was capable.

The words of thanks that Ame gave to the two of them made a slight smile grow on Shorn's face, although, he hadn't expected Ame to display such tremendous talent though. I didn't expect her to have such talent... Maybe I need to work on my judge of character. He looked down at his hands, and moved his fingers indicating a series of counting. That makes five times in the last few days that I just keep misjudging people. Keep this up, and I'll get some kind of reward. He let out a shaky breath, which stung heavily before he dowsed the feeling with another gulp of tea. He had a few things he wanted to ask Ame about prior to her departure, but he figured that she must be busy for someone so talented. So, he didn't pay it a second mind, he figured that at some point if things were as busy as Kyoto seemed to be, they would probably run into each other at some point.

He looked over to Hikarumi and gave a quaint nod of approval, "This is some good tea..." He winced, taking another sip, "It's my fault for acting as I did, sorry to trouble you during seemingly busy times." He felt annoyed, but still satisfied by the results. He felt it was worth it to risk injury unto himself to help Ame since he felt that he didn't exactly help in that situation.

Now that only Hikarumi, Kagemi, and Nana were likely present, Shorn felt more confident in actually asking his question to Nana. He placed the tea down, and looked over to her clearing his throat as best as he could. The visible pain it incurred on Shorn was easily noticeable, even if he tried to hide the discomfort, "I have a..." He cleared his throat once more, coughed a few more times, and shook his head before slamming his fist down in frustration. Taking a deep breath once more, he forced the words out even through it sounded raspy, and rough, "I need to ask you a question concerning a death of someone known as Niwa, Kaiyo." He tilted his head to the side as he spoke the words, the memory clear as day in his mind, "I need to know." He murmured, "I need to know, did she live a life worth living...?" He looked down and reached up placing his hand above his eyes, "Was it worth it to bring forth a God of Despair & Disdain, and all the same sacrifice her very spiritual sight to do so?"

Shorn stood up, moving to the side of Hikarumi as not to be rude to her for assisting him as she did, "Nana, I am Shorn God of Despair & Disdain. I am sorry I hadn't the opportunity to arrive sooner, but Kyoto is a mess for someone like myself. I can't say the atmosphere is all too friendly to someone like me." He tapped on his head a few times, "It doesn't do me many favors without some kind of metal meditation to block out the utmost effects of the emotions still lingering here." He motioned to the entirety of the SSA, "Though, I do love the atmosphere of this location, you do a wonderful job of maintaining its serenity." He raised up his hands submissively, in an act of peace, "I hope to be able to visit time to time if I can't find sanctuary here in Kyoto. If you ask of something in return, name yo..." Shorn's voice cracked, and his lips continued to move but mere wheezing was all that came forth.

He reached up touching his throat, and shook his head before pulling out a small notepad with pencil. By the looks of it, it was old, and heavily worn down by age. Shorn began turning through the tattered pages, passing through many entry's filled out and eventually came to a blank page.

He scribbled down on it, before handing it off to Nana to read over.

Sorry, voice is shot. I spoke out words I shouldn't to give encouragement to Ame. To the point, name your price Nana, I want to build a deal to be allowed to return. If you want I can even attempt to set a meeting up with Ayame, Goddess of Vitality. Though, if you take up the offer, I recommend to bring others, it isn't frequent such a meeting occurs.

Shorn didn't mind Ayame to allow her Regalia to read over the note as well, but he did write a portion that stated it was for her eyes only. He seemed to trust the Shinigami, and there was but one more question on his mind. It wasn't one he dared to bring up around many. But, he figured Nana may be someone to talk to in regard to her position.

There's one more thing that I need to touch on Nana. I trust you not to speak of it lightly, and I recommend it for your eyes only. Do not let your regalia know about it. Do you know anything about the status of my order of execution passed nearly a hundred years ago? Ayame was the one who found me, but instead of an execution, she requested that I be tutored, taught, and guided for a period of a hundred years. Judgment on that order was supposed to be revisited nearly ten years ago, but I think the recent events may have something to do with why I haven't heard anything of it.
 
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Dante Verren

Back from the Abyss
Supporter
Location: Kuro-Kyogi's Not So Impenetrable Fortress (Hotel Room)
Date: April 2nd, 2030
Time: 5:05pm​
Phantom Pride:
Interactions: Azani ( Karcen Karcen )
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Rage began to boil in her once more as Azani laughed at the phantoms noble mini-speech. However, that rage dissipated when she realized the god wasn't making fun of her. Those enticing gloomy feelings hanging around Azani were gone, instead replaced with the annoying emotion of joy. More importantly, that disgusting since of disappointment that Azani previously had was gone without a single trace of it. That was good. If being happy and full of joy was what it took to make sure that Azani wasn't disappointed in her.... then the goddess of idiots better be prepared to be the happiest creature in existence. Dozens of schemes and plans began to run through her head. What could the benevolent Kuro-Kyogi do to make the goddess of grudges happy? She was so consumed in these thoughts that the irony of a phantom trying to make a goddess happy to fill her own ego was lost on her. Phantoms were supposed to inspire darkness and negativity, yet Kuro-Kyogi was unique. So consumed in her own pride that she couldn't let a goddess be disappointed in her. She was attempting to do the opposite of what she was supposed to do and inspire positivity in someone who was supposed to be her mortal enemy. It is as crazy as it sounds.

Kuro-Kyogi's attention snapped back from her mind to reality when Azani began to speak about Yomi. At the mention of an image change Kuro was hit by a spark of inspiration. That was it! The perfect way to bring joy to the dark goddess and repair her own damaged pride. Moving her right hand back and forth she began to fan herself. "Huhu. That is absolutely perfect. Yes. Together we will give your identity a little polish and turn you into a gleaming Blackstar. I can see it now... the humans lining up at a back shrine to pray to the alter of the benevolent Azani, Empress of Yomi and Goddess of the afterlife. The humans pray to the gracious goddess for the gentle care of their beloved deceased loved ones and little by little heaven grows more upset as the rising star of hell gains endless followers! What a splendid future!" Just the dumbfounded looks on the gods imaginary faces was enough to make Kuro-Kyogi start giggling. Gaining her composure once more she extended her left hand towards Azani with her palm facing downwards. Since they were going to Yomi she figured they were going to travel the same way they did last time, which meant that the two of them had to be touching. So Kuro-Kyogi remained there, still standing on the little coffee table with her hand extended and waiting for her companion to take her hand and whisk them away to hell.


Location: Hasuna's Temple, Kyoto City
Date: April 2nd, 2030
Time: 5: 16 pm​
Yuya Sumiko (Spiritual Human)
Interactions: Kami_X( QuirkyAngel QuirkyAngel ) Hasuna ( MrThe MrThe )
Director of Europe.jpg

Kami_X's teasing would earn him a joking glare from Sumiko as she was still catching her breath. Sumiko apricated the tip to avoid the goddess known as Kofuku, but she sensed another joke coming at her expense. That was until Kami_X got a case of divine Karma. The computer loving god got a taste of his own medicine as he was about to make another joke but was sent falling back onto his butt just like he caused Sumiko to do not that long ago. This display caused Sumiko to chuckle and stand up straight with her airflow finally under control again. Turning to see at what had caused the god to go falling backwards Sumiko almost gasped. Standing before her now was a woman who just by looking at her personified the term Motherhood. Taken in by the sight of the goddess before her, Sumiko almost didn't hear her own name being spoken. Very quickly and stopping just short of getting on her hands and knee's, she gave the motherly goddess a deep bow. "It is an honor to meet you your holiness". Sumiko still wasn't sure of how to properly address gods. Was that the right way to do it or had she just done it incorrectly and offended the goddess?

Either way she straightened herself up and shifted nervously from foot to foot. Sure she thought she was nervous before, but that was nothing to how to feel now. Being in the precense of one god was pretty nerve-racking enough, even if it was only Kami_X. Now she was in the presence of two gods, and the one standing before her now was not only a big deal, but one of the major big deals. The scent alone was overpowering. Sure Kami_X smelled pretty nice, but Sumiko could practically smell the purity just radiating off of Hasuna. It sent her mind into a frenzy in pursuit of every bad thing she had ever done in her life just to remind her how much of a difference there were between this puny human and heavenly being. "Stupid stupid stupid Sumiko. Why did you think it was ever a good idea to try and get involved with them?! These beings are way aove you, you shouldn't be bothering them!" her mind screamed at her internally.
 

Lucem

Nine Thousand Club
Location: Shirotome High School Field, Kyoto City
Date: April 2nd, 2030
Time: 6:40 p.m.​

Ryotaro Hirai
In true detective fashion, Ryo returned to the crime scene with Rika in tow. With the last bits of sunlight fading, the sky over the field slowly changed from a warm orange to pitch black. While he preferred to do this during the day, he couldn't deny that having the moon watch over him at a time like this was fitting. Like Ryuujin, it had control over the tides. Hopefully, they'd start turning in his favor.

Stepping onto the grass, he carefully avoided the remnants that surrounded him. Humming to himself, he danced with the traces of all the beings that once stood there. By now, he had memorized the names and faces attached to these remnants, able to pick out which belonged to to the sea god and his servant. Of course, he was able to distinguish the jellyfish from the rest as well. He hadn't been able to attach a name to it just yet, but that would change in just a few moments.

After setting his bag on the ground, Ryo placed his hands on his hips and stretched out his back. Bending backwards, he was able to see Rika's face. With an upside-down grin, he motioned for her to come a bit closer. "What do you think? I'm pretty flexible, right? It's important to warm up at times like these." Returning to his previous position, he continued stretching as he talked. Now was a good time to tell Rika more about his intentions.

"You might already have an idea of what's going on after listening to my talk with grumpy gills back at the hotel, but let me give you the details. My eyes are a little special. In addition to being beautiful, they allow me to see the spiritual world in great detail. Like you, I can see all manner of beings from the Far Shore. However, there's more to it than that. I can see the things they leave behind. You can think of them as something like an aura or footprints, but I call them remnants. Phantoms, gods, servants, and spirits all leave behind different kinds, so it's easy for me to tell what I'm dealing with. In addition to those types, each individual being has their own unique trail. They're like fingerprints. No two are the exact same. As far as I know, nobody else can see them. I thought Ryuujin and Uroko might be able to do the same, but it seems like that's not the case. Of course, other people in my family have had it. You remember the painting I showed you, right? I'm sure they knew a lot more about these eyes than I do. Unfortunately, I can't ask them about it. I'm the last of my bloodline, so I might really be the only one in the world who can see these things. Really makes a guy feel special."

Ryo's voice vibrated a little as he jumped in place, shaking off his body's stiffness with each small hop. "Being able to see remnants allows me to find spirits and predict their appearance, but that's minor in comparison to what else these eyes are capable of. That's why we're here now. If I touch them, I can see their past. You know how your life flashes before your eyes when you're about to die? It's kinda like that. It only lasts a moment, but in my head, it feels like forever. It's like I'm really living their lives. I see the things they saw, feel the things they felt, and think what they thought." This wasn't something he did often. While it was useful, there were some side effects he wasn't very fond of.

"Depending on what I see, things might not end up too good for me. If the past I see is painful, I feel that pain. If it's full of anguish, I feel their despair. It goes away as soon as I come back to my senses, but it can be real annoying sometimes, y'know? Something tells me the past I'm about to see isn't too pretty, so it might get a little rough for me." When he did this, he usually came back feeling drained and nauseous, but that was minor in comparison to the other effects. The more traumatic the experience, the more it stuck with him. He'd never forget those things, as if they were carved into his soul. There was even a time he experienced a life's final moments. While he could separate the visions from reality and prevent the emotions of the dead from influencing him and his own thoughts, they weren't easy to forget.

Feeling limber, Ryo clapped his hands and gave Rika one last grin before turning his attention to the remnants. "Don't worry. I won't be gone for long. I'm not sure how long it will last in my head, but it'll only be a second for you. I'll just be doing a little fishing." There was no guarantee he'd see a useful memory on the first try. He knew that and was prepared to keep going as long as he had to. Before him were the lives of a god, a servant, and a phantom. To better understand the things he knew nothing about and do something about his ignorance, it was best to start where everything began. With that in mind, he reached out to touch the jellyfish's remnants.

As he took hold, his vision went white and his ears started to ring. His dark eyes lit up with a soft, silver glow, mirroring the moon that watched over him. He could feel his consciousness fade as a new one took over, removing him from his current place in time and dragging him into a memory from long ago.

QuirkyAngel QuirkyAngel
 

QuirkyAngel

White Masquerade's Blue Oni
Location: Nana's Office.
Date: April 2nd,2020
Time: 4:55 pm​

Nana

“I cannot judge whether a life is worth living, Lord Shorn.” Nana replied to what the god stated as his most pressing concern. “Humans live the way they choose, based on the hand they are dealt with, and deal with the consequences of their choices. Whether or not they regret it is up to the individual. While I can check SSA records to see of the soul of ‘Niwa, Kaiyo’ has ever been reaped or put under the protection of SSA, I would advise against interfering with her, Lord Shorn. I wouldn’t tell you either. The afterlife represents a new beginning for the souls of the dead and ‘Niwa, Kaiyo’ might’ve already found a new home, under a new name. Bringing up the topic would only touch upon the secret that must never be spoken.”

Nana poured herself another cup of tea. “What I can tell you is that is if she deeply regrets her actions, to the point of cursing the life she lived, she would be a phantom by now.”

She brought the tea to her lips, savoring the blend that induced a calming effect, before continuing. “Whether you believe your existence is worth her sacrifice is up to you, but you demean her sacrifice by doing so. Value is different for every individual. What is valuable to the world may not be valuable to a single person. ”

Every so often she got gods prying into it, asking her about the souls of the dead. She told them the same thing. It was rude to give out the information and past histories of spirits they did not name themselves. It could also spell disaster for the spirit and blight for the god. SSA was operated as a highly secure business because they guarded such information with their lives—given how easily gods could use such information against each other.

Azani hadn’t been wholly inaccurate when she called Shorn wordy. What he seemed to be requesting, from what Nana summarized, was temporary board at her office whenever convenient. It wasn’t all that strange for gods to ask stay at another god’s place temporarily. Permanently even. Strays, without shrines or homes, going from one job to the next, did it so all the time. Nana dealt with all sorts of gods. She didn’t judge in the same way Azani seemed to. However, she would not give an SSA registered spirit to a god that could not, or would not, build a secure home for them.

Spirits had a standard of living too and, unless the spirit agreed to it, she had no intention of forcing them into an uncomfortable way of life.

That aside though, SSA was a business. Therefore it provided equal employment for all who wanted to work there whether it be gods or spirits. Field work, desk work, drawing borderlines, teaching newer spirits, cleaning, etc. There were various departments to choose from with varying compensation and bonuses. Ametaru had seemed interested as well, though the girl left before Nana could tell her about them. She seemed very willing to work without pay. While Nana appreciated the invocation the Nora cast around the building, she also found it a little sad. In her mind, spirits were treated as servants in the old days because they did not set standards for themselves or their working conditions.

Fortunately, things were changing. Slowly, but surely with the modern era. Even in the Heavens, the voices of spirits were being heard more frequently and, while traditionalist views were still predominant, they’d come to accept that if they wanted a reaped spirit from SSA, they’d have to abide by its rules. Earth changed faster than Heaven did, but the worlds weren’t separate either. As humans came up with new ideas, the gods adopted them and adapted to them as well.

Taking the notepad from the god who seemed to have lost his voice, Nana read over Shorn’s scribbled writing quickly. She returned it to him. “Come with me.”

Nana led Shorn to the manager’s office room, her office room, and closed the door. Both her regalias knew better than to try and listen in when she made it clear that the talk would be a private one. Probably. Gods kept many secrets, after all. Hikarumi was better at protocol than Kagemi, but she liked to think they trusted her enough to know that everything she kept from them was for their own good. BTBG. Their past names. Some things were better not pried into. Businesses also operated on trust and a god wouldn’t return if they knew their dark stories were being shared.

“I’m sorry to say I don’t know much about your relationship with Lady Ayame, Lord Shorn. I’ve visited the Luxury Resort only a couple of times when I had businesses near there and never stayed long.” She’d known that owner of the Resort took in a god that brought forth calamity, but little beyond that. It wasn’t her nature to judge or pry into another god’s business. If he had an Execution order on his head, then was he a criminal to the Heavens? That complicated things. Nana disagreed with many of Heaven’s policies, but she didn’t oppose them either. It took a fool to try and rend the Heavens and she had her own people to protect. That was why she did not go out of her way to make herself an enemy of another god…unless they threatened what she held precious.

It sounded to her like Lord Shorn was trying to break away from Lady Ayame. Why? Why was he sick? As far as Nana knew, gods didn’t get sick unless they were blighted. Or cursed.

“Boarding can be provided for spirits and gods that choose to work here.” Registered spirits didn’t actually do Death God work, unless they wanted to, but they were an important part of the business all the same. How well they performed under their new names, and how satisfied the god was with their work, affected the face and reputation of SSA. Customers only returned when they were satisfied with what they saw, after all. Nana didn’t think Azani left very satisfied with how she ran her business…but the goddess said she might return?

Nana shook her head. She didn’t understand the relationship Azani had with Kami_X, nor did she want to. Did Yomi even have a post office? As far as she was aware, the Queen of the Underworld, Izanami, didn’t regularly send letters up to heaven or earth, did she? Was she supposed to send a bill to Azani’s hotel? Which hotel? Stray gods didn’t even have a stable home or shrine to bill to…

Well…there were tracking spells to find the gods that owed her when it came down to it…and being blacklisted from a SSA branch for not paying debts was never a good thing...

“This isn’t a hotel. It’s a workplace.” Not even all the death gods lived here. They came and went for their jobs. Nana did, but she was the manager. While there were certainly plenty of rooms for strays that needed it, it didn’t provide that many additional services either—for non-registered spirits at least. “I also cannot protect you from another god unless you are under my employ. Even then, there isn't much I can do if the Heavens themselves have ordered your Execution.” To question Heaven’s judgement was to gamble a regalia…three regalias...and Nana had no intention of gambling even one regalia for Shorn. “You can visit as many times as you like so long as you don’t become a nuisance to those that work here. It’s a public office, but loitering is…unappreciated.”

If a god wanted to place a request for a specific SSA spirit, they could certainly do so, but Nana would bear witness to all the naming in order to ensure no foul play was afoot. There were gods that forcefully named spirits after all. Spirits, the ones without names at least, were defenseless in those situations. Business integrity demanded that she find the spirit among her numbers most suited for the god—they were a staffing agency after all—but it wasn’t as if she could say no if both parties agreed to it either. Azani wanting to find a spirit for Kami_X didn't bother her. What bothered her was the flagrant insult and lack of willingness to abide by protocol and standard operating procedures, which were put in place to protect both spirits and gods.

The Secret Archives The Secret Archives

(mentioned: VeiledPariah VeiledPariah Karcen Karcen )
 
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QuirkyAngel

White Masquerade's Blue Oni
Hunger. Intense, uncontrollable hunger gripped the tiny black jellyfish as floated over the urban city of Kyoto looking for food. It could see nothing. It could hear nothing. The only thing that called to were the voices of negative emotions. Cries of injustice. Of anger. Of Hate. How long had it been wandering? It did not know. Time held no meaning for it. It only knew three things: Hunger, Fear, and Pain.

The light burned. Therefore, it was avoided.

The hunger was like an empty void. It couldn’t be filled, no matter how often the jellyfish went from one source to next. Different voices called to it.

Why not ME!? Why is it HeR!?

Why do I have to study!?

Why am I the only one suffering!? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY? WhY?

I hate my neighbor! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe! HaTe!

The more it ate, the more negative emotions filled it, and so it grew. It consumed anything it could get its hands on. Anything to fill the endless hunger. Again and again and again. Time passed. It gained smell. It gained speech. Everything SMELLED NICE.


Then, one day, it found a boy….


Location: Shirotome High School Hallway, Kyoto City.
Date: April 2nd, 2030
Time: 8:20 p.m.​

Rika Murakami
Rika yawned, and checked her phone. It’d been nearly two hours since Ryotaro got himself into a trance by touching the jellyfish phantom’s ‘footprints’. Rika wouldn’t know. She couldn’t see the things he saw. Had no idea what he was seeing or going through with his ‘beautiful’ divine eye. Opening her locker, she took out another textbook. After five minutes of waiting for Ryotaro to discover something useful in the phantom’s past that would assist in their search, she realized there wasn’t really anything she could do to help so decided the most prudent thing to do was finish all her homework.

Her stomach grumbled.

Perhaps she ought buy them something to eat from a nearby convenience store as well. Who knew how long this could take? Ryotaro was surprisingly stubborn. Even though he described all the draw backs of his powers, he hadn’t stopped. He kept going as if searching for…something.

“Not long he says…” Rika sighed, closing her locker and turned around—only to let out a surprised yelp.

Staring at her were the violent eyes of the man/phantom/jellyfish they were looking for. He wore the same clothes as he had in the afternoon. The only difference was that, this time he carried an umbrella with him. Fear gripped her heart and she instinctively reached for the talismans in her pockets. Maybe because he was standing alone in a dark hallway, but some something about him felt…dangerous. Ryuujin may have been a god, and yelled a lot, but she never got a malevolent feeling from. The white-haired man though…gave Rika the vibe of a serial killer. She didn’t know how else to describe it. He didn’t look angry. He even smiled. Yet Rika had to force herself to stop trembling.

“Tell your friend it’s very rude to peek where he’s not wanted.”

Rika glanced out the window to see, Ryotaro was out in the fields, digging into the phantom’s past. She knew his intentions. Even though he was a weird eccentric, he spent the night stitching bones together so the jellyfish could find peace. She saw his dedication, dumb and reckless though it may be. It was what inspired her. “He’s trying to help you.”

The man laughed. A strangely innocent laugh despite the aura he gave off. “You can’t lie to me, Human. He tried to exorcise me. Both of you did. You even brought Ryuujin to finish the job.”

There was a bit of sad note when the phantom spoke the name Ryuujin. Uroko mentioned a personal reason for Ryuujin wanting to find the phantom as well. Was the theory right then? The jellyfish was Ryuujin’s servant? Rika’s mind ran around frantically for the answers, trying to connect the dots despite the fact that NO ONE would give her a straight answer.

“Because you were hurting our friend.”

“Hurt?”
The man repeated derisively, almost scoffingly. If Rika thought Ryuujin had arrogant look about him, the white-haired man had it down flat. It was as if he was looking at an ant. “The boy was already hurting. I was simply freeing him from his pain. Though I suppose only a human would see it that way. You all fear death. Even now I can see you trembling.”

Rika bit her lip, grip tightening around her talisman in her pocket. She had to let Ryotaro know that their target was inside the school building. Had he always been there? Did Ryotaro touching his ‘footprints’ call to him? He seemed to know exactly what Ryotaro was doing, which suggested he might’ve been spying on them the entire time.

“I left you two alone because you’re mere humans, but if you insist on sticking your noses where they don’t belong, I will kill you.” The lockers around Rika ripped open as strong winds stirred, forcing Rika to shield her gaze from oppressing currents of air. “Consider this fair warning.”

When Rika was finally able to drop her arms, the dark halls Shirotome High were once more empty with only the flapping of open lockers marking what had transpired. Leaning back against her own closed locker, Rika’s legs gave out beneath her as she sighed, sliding down into a sitting position. “Looks like I found him. Lucky me.” She’d let Ryotaro know—via phone—once her heart stopped racing.

Lucem Lucem
 
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Karcen

Ten Thousand Club
Location: King Enma's castle Hell
Date: April 2nd, 2030
Time: 5:13pm
Azani Goddess of Vengence and grudges

" A good plan, though I might have another idea, but first" She said before taking Kuro's hand " Lets see if anyone is home downstairs" She infihsed as she opened one of the vent like rifts that let her enter Yomi.

Azani had some control over where the Rift's went, but she wasn't pin point accurate she could get in the general area she wanted, like the castle grounds or her personal realm, but showing up in for example King Enma's throne room was not something she could do. This often made her getting at targets less than instant and why she had to walk to them. The summoning was a bit more exact as she had someone calling her and a god's name was powerful. This inexact nature gave the two a good view of Enma's hell as they moved from high in the air to the ground of Yomi. The hell was very similar to Azani's with fire and flames, the wailing of the damned, but it also had lesser phantoms infesting it. Enma had turned many spirits into them when he judged them, which was a waste in Azani's mind. The castle was pristine, though the grounds looked neglected, built in the ancient style of most japanese castles the wood was read, the roofs black with many golden decorations here and there. It looked every bit the hellish fortress a mortal might think up. Azani found it a bit gaudy and really did wonder why it was always black and red with these things. Azani herself was not free of this, but really it was mortals that expected it and she wore a bit of white as well. Still the castle was quiet, no retainers or servants coming out to greet guests. Well it wasn't like Enma had ever had many servants as he tended to just turn everyone into a phantom and his only friends had been Izanami and Azani herself.

" Hmmmm someone should have come by now" Azani said " Well we better go inside just to check" She said with a shrug figuring that she wouldn't get in trouble even if Enma was around.


Heading in the large door that held carvings of suffering souls and many monsters tormenting them, all in glossy black wood with gold lines picking out fairly important detail, the two would be greeted by a dark hall. The hallway had evenly spaced pillars of jet black wood that matched the floors almost making them look like one piece of wood that had been carved out rather than constructed. There was light that came not from torches or candles, but from countless lanterns, each blood red that floated at different heights through the air and each bearing a name upon it. Azani had never actually figured out what they were for aside from light, but she had made some guesses that perhaps they were those who Enma had judged. The lanterns despite their numbers had only a limited effect in brightening the place making the darkness almost oppressive and give the feeling of being watched. As the two went deeper the light would get brighter and brighter until the area was illuminated not by lanterns, but by braziers which held enough spectral blue flames to cast away the gloom and mark this place out as different from everywhere else. In the area was a raised platform and a small curtained off mini pagoda which a surprisingly simple chair in it. this was a rather traditional throne and it too was cast in black, red and gold, the blue light oddly not affecting the colors much. Beside the throne was perhaps the only other being in the castle, the lone caretaker. The caretaker was no normal spirit, it might have been human once but now it only retained a simi human frame, it was to bulky and hunched to be human and of course it was completely black. This was a phantom, a lesser phantom that actually had some semblance of a mind, a gift from Izanami as shown by the mask with an eye painted on it that covered where it's face would be. Izanami had special brushes that coudl name phantoms, lesser phantoms were masked, well most where, but a greater phantom with a none mask brush there was an idea.

" You where is your master?" Azani asked not using any big words or asking anything complex

" Master gone I take care while master gone" It said every word and the tone of it's voice simple like an animal mimicking speech.

" How long has your master been away?" Azani asked seeing as Enma was not here perhaps he had vanished.

" long master gone long time" It replied not able to count or say how many years Enma had been gone, just a long time.

" Well, well, well Kuro looks like Enma has abandoned his post and left his realm open for any who want it" Azani said with a smirk though that left the question of where he went and where he was now.

Dante Verren Dante Verren
 

Lucem

Nine Thousand Club
Location: Shirotome High School Hallway, Kyoto City.
Date: April 2nd, 2030
Time: 8:20 p.m.​

Ryotaro Hirai
Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate!
Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate!
Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate!

"Enough! I get it already!" Just like that, the swirl of negative emotions stopped. Breathing deeply, Ryo wiped the saliva dripping from his chin. Just a moment ago, he was floating around and drooling over the ugliness of human emotions. The buffet and his hunger vanished as soon as he came back to his senses, but he still remembered how he and the phantom felt during that moment. He always felt weird after looking into a phantom's past, and this time was no different. 'Squirmy' was the best way he could describe it, even if it didn't make much sense.

After thousands of attempts and spending an eternity living out a slice of life series starring Ryuujin and Uroko, he finally saw something somewhat useful. Instead of wandering aimlessly above Kyoto, he chased after the negativity of humans and even met Kenji. It wasn't much, but he got a better idea of what the jellyfish had gone through. After experiencing that moment and recalling the voice he heard during the exorcism, he understood its emotions more than before. The phantom was like an embodiment of hatred. It felt it and feasted on it. It wasn't hard to guess who the target of its hatred was. He knew more now, but that wasn't enough. He needed something more substantial. He needed to go back further.

As he reached out to grab the remnants once again, he noticed that he wasn't standing anymore. Before he realized it, he was already falling to the ground, leaving him barely enough time to cover his face before getting a mouthful of dirt. His attempt to protect his head was a waste of energy, as he soon felt the result of all his failed attempts. His head was splitting open. It felt like someone was hammering a nail into his skull, only for them to stomp it in even further with their foot. His stomach was on fire. From his heart to his intestines, it felt like his organs were melting from the extreme heat. He barely managed to stop himself from throwing up, not wanting to make a mess. He also didn't want to have a terrible stench coming from his mouth during his meal with Rika. Girls hated bad breath.

This is why I hate doing this. Thankfully, he landed right in front of his bag. Finding the strength to raise his arm, he slowly pulled it toward him. It felt like cinder blocks were tied to his limbs, making it a struggle to grab the zipper and crawl toward the spilled contents. When he spotted the familiar black bottle, he immediately opened it and poured two small pills into his mouth. With a dry throat, he struggled to force them down, grimacing as the terrible taste assaulted his taste buds.

Trying to steady his breathing, Ryo cursed his terrible luck. He was prepared to stay at the school all night, but he didn't think it would take this many attempts to find what he was looking for. All phantoms had different lifespans, but he should've known the jellyfish would have a lot of memories if it used to hang around with Ryuujin. After using his ability so many times without sparing a second to rest, it was obvious that he'd crash sooner or later. Still, this hurt a lot more than he expected. It was definitely one of his top five most painful moments since he opened up shop. Luckily, Rika wasn't around to see him like this. He had an image to maintain.

When the intense pain eventually lessened, Ryo forced himself to sit up. His body was still sore, and he was sweating like he spent an hour in a sauna, but he could put up with it. Even if his body was screaming for him to stop, he still planned on continuing. However, before he could grab the remnants once again, he felt his phone vibrate. As soon as he saw who was calling, he felt a chill.

Ignoring how heavy his body was, Ryo ran into the school, reaching for the bandages around his arm. This probably wouldn't do much to a phantom that managed to escape the god of the sea, but it was all he had right now. He couldn't help but curse himself for letting this happen. He continued thinking about what he could have done differently until he eventually found Rika by the lockers.

His chest hurt more than his legs. Just breathing heavily was enough to send aftershocks of pain throughout his body. Despite that, he focused on the scene in front of him. Seeing the open lockers and the end of the trail that led him here, he could guess what happened. His eyes quickly scanned his classmate's body, looking for any signs of damage. Finding none, he looked for any indication that the phantom was still nearby. Once he was satisfied and concluded that they were alone, his gaze finally stopped wandering.

"That's no good. You shouldn't be taking a nap in a place like this." Ignoring the pressure in the air, the pain he felt, and the thoughts running through his head, Ryo approached Rika like he usually did. Not showing any signs that he was exhausted or worried about what just happened, he tried to lighten the mood with a joke. He spent a lot of time perfecting this mask, so it wouldn't do if he let people see what was on the other side. It wasn't good for his image.

After helping the girl to her feet, he reached for the bag that was just barely hanging on to his dirt-covered shoulder. Grateful that nothing had fallen out when he rushed over, he withdrew a flask of water and handed it to her. He'd take a sip himself, but he still wasn't feeling up to putting anything in his stomach just yet. She also probably wouldn't want to take a drink after he put his germs all over it.

Mimicking her, he leaned against the lockers, shutting one closed with his back. "That could've gone better, huh?" That was an understatement. They were still alive and Rika hadn't been injured, but the situation was worse now. On his own, this wouldn't be enough of a reason to stop. He always pulled out when his life was at risk, but the circumstances were a bit different this time. He was going to keep his word. However, having an extra person around made things complicated. "Even if I say you should back out while you can, you won't listen, will you?" Honestly, he wished he could cut ties with her. If she was staying with him out of a sense of friendship, he had no problem breaking it off and making her hate him. He liked her, but a friendship wasn't worth it if it got the other person killed. However, he wasn't vain enough to believe that she was sticking around for a reason like that. He and his friendship weren't that valuable. Even if he made her despise him so much she decided to leave, she'd probably do something on her own. It was her own choice. Although, it was his choice that led to that choice.

Because he decided to act on the thought that she might know something about the Far Shore or possess an ability that would help deal with the jellyfish, he asked for her opinion and got her involved. He knew by now that she was lacking when it came to knowledge and ability, so he ended up getting her involved for no reason. This week was full of regrets for him, but he had to accept them. If it was his fault that things ended up this way, he was obligated to make sure they didn't get any worse. As long as she chose to stay involved, he'd have to keep an eye on her.

"We should head back. It's not a good idea to stick around here so late." He wasn't in perfect condition, but he could still drive. If he wanted to keep it that way, he'd have to call it a night. Still, he couldn't help but stare at the remnants in front of him. They were denser than the ones at the field. Fresh tracks were a good sign during a hunt, and the same applied here. When it came to his ability, anyway.

As if he wasn't even conscious of it, his arm lazily reached out, ignoring his body's protests. He still had one more try left in him. If he did more than that, he'd pass out. That's why he had to try one last time. After what just happened, he couldn't leave without doing that much. If he couldn't grab hold of the truth he was looking for, then he just put someone's life in danger for nothing.


Location: Hirai Office, Kyoto City.
Date: April 2nd, 2030
Time: 8:50 p.m.

Ryo stayed quiet during the ride to the office. He wanted to focus on getting there safely, so he just listened to the wind in his ears. He also didn't want to think about his last attempt at seeing the past. If he did, his mind wouldn't let him relax. Right now, he just wanted to eat.

As soon as he walked through the door, Ryo turned on the lights and removed his dirty shoes. Thankfully, he wasn't wearing his school uniform, so he could save laundry for another day. After hanging up his jacket, he walked further inside and greeted the picture frame sitting on his desk. "I'm home, Pops. And I'm finally bringing a friend over for dinner. Aren't ya glad?" Giving the photo a playful tap, he walked into the kitchen and started preparing.

"I hope you like fish. The old man down at the market owed me, so he threw in some extra stuff when I was getting the bones. Food tastes a lot better when it's free." He grabbed a knife and went to work, not wanting to keep his growling stomach waiting. After the pain finally subsided, he suddenly felt really hungry. He wasn't sure, but not eating for almost two days probably had something to do with it. It felt a little weird to be eating seafood after everything that happened, but his stomach was overpowering those emotions.

Cutting, stirring, and seasoning, Ryo worked quickly and efficiently. Even back when he lived with his dad, he was always doing housework. Things were rough for a single parent, especially during that time, so he did what he could to help out around the house. He ended up doing the same thing when he lived with his uncle and continued doing so now that he was practically living alone. He could still take care of himself if nobody else was around.

When he finally finished, Ryo let out a deep breath and gazed at the fruits of his labor with his hands on his hips. Smiling to himself, he carried two trays into the office, careful not to spill anything. Handing one to Rika, he set the other on his desk, pushing some paperwork to the side. It was a simple meal of salmon, miso soup, rice, and eggplant, but it looked like a bountiful feast to him right now. "What do you think? If the detective business doesn't work out, I think I have a bright future ahead of me as a househusband." Chuckling to himself, he went to check on the tea.

"You may not be a fan of Ryuujin's attitude, but I think I understand why he acts that way. You should see how he lives. His palace is something else. Have you ever seen The Little Mermaid? Try picturing a more heavenly version of that. I wish my pockets were as deep as his." After filling Rika's cup, he finally sat down. The chair never felt so comfortable before.

Giving his thanks to the fish, Ryo grabbed his chopsticks and poked at his food. Before he could take a single bite, he shook his head and put the utensils in his other hand. He spent so long in the other life that he got used to the habits he experienced. Well, it wasn't like it mattered. It was one of the perks of being ambidextrous.

QuirkyAngel QuirkyAngel
 

The Secret Archives

The Open Book
Location: Nana's Office
Date: April 2nd, 2030
Time: 5:04 pm​
Shorn, God of Despair & Disdain
Interactions: QuirkyAngel QuirkyAngel

Nana's answer tore deep against the internal pain that Shorn felt, yet, it was a necessity. He found himself fighting against her answer, furious thoughts lashing out against the confines of his mind. Even in spite of this, her continuing conversation brought about a form of satisfaction to Shorn as she gave him some minute form of closure. He never considered the potential phantom side of things, but if Kaiyo was in deep regrets, she would have surely become a corrupt phantom. Especially if the roots of that pain were deep enough to make one curse the life they lived. His anxious tapping of the pencil grew to a close, and his face twisted up in a series of conflicting thoughts.
Shorn, Commission by Defaultz [Cut Down].pngHe was grateful to Nana, her place of business, and her regalia that she had on premises, yet he felt that in some way he should deserve an answer. Shorn was the one to walk by Kaiyo's side for the majority of her life, but that wasn't enough in retrospect. A life-time spent with a mortal companion didn't overcome the respectful boundaries of a spirit and its new beginning. That's it, huh... He twirled the pencil a few times, To think that I'd come within reach and still obtain nothing. His face twisted over with a kind of dismay, before looking up to Nana and nodding in acknowledgment. Shorn may have wanted to try to push further, but it was a form of respect for Nana's position that forced that idea down.

Shorn bid his short departure with a nod of thanks towards Hikarumi, once more, before following Nana to her Managerial Office. Shorn didn't necessarily expect to hear that his relationship was well known, it was something kept under wrap to some degree. It wasn't exactly the smartest thing to declare that you were re-educating someone with an execution order hanging over their head.

It felt as though it were recent, the deeds, and the time that drew upon his warrant of execution dropped upon him by heaven itself. As a newborn God born to overwhelming feelings of Despair, and Disdain, he had no guidance, no form of order, and went forth claiming anything. Shorn stepped upon other God's territory wreaking havoc, brought despair to humans who unknowingly came in contact with him, and ended up causing phantoms to come out of the woodwork to feast upon the rising chaos. His rage, his sorrow, and his emptiness drew him forward without second thoughts, and with it, he still took Kaiyo alongside him. Could Shorn really call himself a good person putting a human, nevertheless, his sole believer at the time through the mayhem he wrought? It was unredeemable by the eyes of many, and eventually Shorn hit a tipping point by beginning to blight gods by influencing despair upon their very regalia with his capabilities.

As Shorn sat there in front of Nana, he was debating the potentiality of whether he really changed or not. Shorn removed his Black, and White gloves placing them down upon the table in front of him. When he looked down at his hands, no matter when he did so, it would always paint a clear picture in his mind of the atrocities brought by his very hands. In his perception, his hands were permanently dyed, tainted by the blood of those who fell by impact of his power. It was a bad habit, but in a way of self-spite, Shorn would always repeat this gesture to inflict his own ego damage. This action would always jolt him with overwhelming feelings of regret, this was such an unconscious thing that Shorn began to wear the very gloves he removed as a way of painting a different picture. A way to remind him of changing times, but never to forget that which trails behind him, a lurking shadow ready to pounce on his very mistakes.

Being lost in his own self-regrets, Shorn missed some of Nana's statements, only tuning back in when she spoke 'This isn't a hotel. It's a workplace.', it struck Shorn like a blow, it felt as though it were an insult. However, Shorn squinted, Nana's composure didn't seem to be one of anger, if anything she was calm. It threw up conflicting feelings, I must have zoned out, I missed her entire beginning of the conversation. He frowned, there could have been important bits of information that he completely missed. Due to Shorn being unable to speak, at current, he decided to wait until Nana had finished speaking everything she deemed necessary. Maybe with her calm demeanor... His expression grew stern, and he looked at Nana seeming as if he was stunned, and hurt by her very statement.

Once she had finished, Shorn took up the pencil ready to write up a response to a few of her statements, he nodded to himself. It was a dangerous ploy, a dangerous gamble that wouldn't necessarily work, it was all up to Nana's ingenuity, if she had it in her. It was simply an opportunity by circumstance. There was no way to know without trying, but if this failed and she remained unaware, it could be even more dangerous than things already were. It ended up being an awkward passing of time, and it seemed that Shorn was taking far longer than he should to answer what Nana had said.

Nana, I don't expect anything of you in response to my execution. I realize my fate, if it is determined that I be executed, than I am at fault for my own mistakes, and failure. However, if this location is a workplace, not a hotel, and loitering is unappreciated, what would you think to me taking up the mantle working for this business? I appreciate the work of this place, and the way regalia and spirits are treated here. My time spent here in Kyoto has brought to my attention the many dangers lingering in the area. The city is teetering on the utter edge of dismay, and fear that there may be more people affected than we're aware.

I am Shorn, I am no holy figure or a hero who swoops in to save the day. To have this belief leads to misguidance, and as one we are both familiar of spoke, I may be nothing more than some kind of God of the Oblivious. If you can lend me an opportunity to break the mold, and help to create a better environment, I would be willing to do whatever I can. It's an open discussion, I can listen to what you think. Whether coming or going with spirits, I can help your employees travel safely through Kyoto avoiding dangers. If anything were to come, I would feel the negative emotions, and soon you would be able to let them know its coming.


Shorn shook his head, it had obviously taken a short bit of time to get his thoughts together on the piece of paper. He tore it out from the notebook this time, and passed it over to Nana. He wrinkled his nose as he did so looking intently at the piece of paper, Shorn seemed to be anxious. He fiddled around with the pencil in his hand, having a blank page open, he began to aimlessly draw bold lines across the paper to occupy his time. Occasionally Shorn would shift in the seat as he continued doing the same thing, drawing bold lines across the paper over and over, making his pencil quickly go dull.
 
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Dante Verren

Back from the Abyss
Supporter
Location: King Enma's castle Hell
Date: April 2nd, 2030
Time: 5:15 pm​
Phantom (Pride)
Interaction: Azani ( Karcen Karcen )
Smug Kuro.jpg

Just like the few times before the trip to Yomi was rather interesting. Kuro-Kyogi was use to flying through the air, but riding the vents was still something she had to get use to. Just like when they were going to Azani's realm there was the flashes of fire and brimstone. The occasional tortured wail and other hellish noises accompanied the trip as well. When finally the jump came to an end they found themselves standing in front of an old haunted looking castle. It was a gloriously gaudy building fit for an undead king. While Azani was more concerned with the lack of undead spirits coming to greet them, Kuro-Kyogi was infatuated with the grand palace. Her eyes lit up as she scanned the great courtyard and a big smile filled her lips, "What a wonderful place you have brought me to! If only the rest of Yomi was this sophisticated." she commented.

Finally registering that Azani was going inside. Kuro-Kyogi quickly flapped her wings catching up to Azani in no time, but then falling behind again as she took her time looking at the very tasteful decorations. Whoever was Enma's interior decorator was definitely on Kuro-Kyogi's first to call list if she ever needed anything decorated. Well...unless that decorator was a god. In that case they would probably be a bit lower on the list. As they entered into the throne room all of Kuro-Kyogi's wonder with the surroundings came crashing down as her eyes came to rest on a truly revolting sight. A lesser phantom with barely more intelligence then a squirrel wearing a disturbing mask. Kuro-Kyogi raised her fan in front of her of her mouth she hid her snarl. Just listening to this creature was pissing her off. It was a slave loyally serving a master who had abandoned it. There was nothing for this creature to be proud of and no one to be proud of it, yet it has the gal to even speak to two beings far greater then it. What a joke. Casting a side glance at Azani, she gave the goddess a small smirk "In that case why don't we celebrate by clearing out it's current occupants. After all I think this place good use a good cleaning out." As she spoke she moved her gaze back to the horrendous creature.
 

QuirkyAngel

White Masquerade's Blue Oni
Location: Nana's Office
Date: April 2nd,2020
Time: 5:09 pm​

Nana (Goddess of Death)


Nana took the torn page from Shorn’s hand and read the contents quickly. Bolded and underlined words. He’d taken the time to write out a lengthy, carefully crafted response as well. For what reason? Shorn didn’t seem like the type of god that would be cautious of the things that came out of his mouth, given that he’d called the goddess of grudges and vengeance a ‘teddy bear’. Looking away from where Shorn drew bolded lines in his notebook, Nana reread the message–this time, stringing the bolded words together:

Nana, I expect you to realize my fault mistake not what you think time spent in Kyoto brought many dangers the area is teetering fear may be aware no holy figure belief to misguidance you can help me Its coming spirits, employees travel avoiding dangers. come soon

‘Dangers’ was the first word she noticed, since it was underlined. Was it a warning of some sort?

‘mistake not what you think’ likely referred to his execution order and any crimes he committed according to the Heavens. Did that mean it wasn’t as straightforward as it sounded? Gods of despair were considered gods of calamity because they brought despair wherever they went and despair brought phantoms. It was little wonder the Heavens would want him gone. He was a risk to himself and those around him. In fact, without a strong regalia by his side, she was surprised he hadn’t gotten himself eaten yet. Phantoms loved the types like him that exuded sadness. If she didn't believe every person, god, spirit or otherwise, deserved equal respect unless proven otherwise, Nana wouldn’t have invited him into SSA either. Only illogical people invited Despair into their homes. Then again, Despair didn’t really affect Death and SSA was built to protect against phantoms so perhaps it was the best place in Kyoto for him—not that most shrines didn’t have a similar effect depending on the strength of the god and the regalias that drew their borderlines.

‘holy figure’ would be a god…and the only one she knew Shorn to be in contact with was Lady Ayame. However the word ‘no’ was attached in front and the ‘belief to misguidance’ suggested that faith was lost. Was he implying that Lady Ayame had fallen to Despair? That she led her worshippers astray? Nana had thought the sudden loss of his voice strange enough, but fact that he’d gone out his way to relay his warning through a hidden message suggested that he feared the repercussions of doing so or he physically couldn’t do so. Given the loss of his voice, she was inclined to believe the later.

‘you can help me’ was obvious enough.

The only question now was whether to believe the message. Nana had a policy of not interfering with another god’s business, seeing as she did nothing in regards to Azani’s killings, but if the entirety of Kyoto City might be in danger than that was a different story. The message mentioned ‘spirits’ as well. Was it something to warn the Heavens about? Nana simply didn’t have enough information to make an informed decision…and, so far, it’d been mostly conjecture on her part.

Accusing another god of foul play wasn’t to be done lightly.

She also wasn't sure why Shorn brought up the topic of Execution Order if he hadn't intended for her to do anything about it, but she supposed he might've simply been trying to lead up to his main message.

“That’s a good mindset to have, Lord Shorn,” Nana replied after she gleaned what she could from the message. Much of it was too ambiguous to interpret. “A good god takes responsibility for the mistakes they make.”

Nana had her own business to run. Souls to reap. She didn’t have the time to look into something like this. Nor was she the type of goddess to take action without concrete proof. She wouldn’t take action at all, really, unless the benefits outweighed the cost.

Sending her regalia to investigate could work, but they had their own jobs to attend to. Every Death God seemed to busy these days. Perhaps, Miss Ametaru? The girl left her business card on the front desk and offered her assistance should it ever be needed. Reminded of another god who’d left his business card in a similar manner, after flirting with some of her staff, Nana considered the self-proclaimed ‘Lord of Information Acquirement’ as well. Given what she wanted was information, and just information, regarding the goddess Ayame, as well as the sort of things that might be going on in her resort, he seemed a perfect fit for the job. Regardless of what she thought of him, Lady Inari had good things to say about the hacker god’s investigative skills. The fact that he was stray god not very well known outside the Kyoto Prefecture helped. Nana lit the note paper on fire using a lighter she pulled from her pocket as she mulled over her options.

Once the note containing Shorn’s message was nothing but ash, Nana opened a drawer and pulled out a stack of papers to place in front of Shorn. “These are employment forms, as well as SSA policy & procedure forms, for you to fill out. Read carefully before signing. You can apply for either temporary, part-time, or full-time positions. The employment contract is a loose one that allows either party—employee or employer—to end it whenever and for whatever reason they desire. Based on your description of what you can do, I’d look at the Field Assistant forms or the SSA General Worker forms though you are free to apply for whatever position or department you think you meet the qualifications for. Regardless of which one you choose though, you’ll be considered an agent of SSA be and be given all the benefits of one—including living space should you need it, access to a majority of the facilities offered at this branch, and all the tools required for you to complete your job. Since you’re a new hire and don’t have much experience, your pay will be substantially less than the average Death God working here, but that may increase in accordance with your performance and the length of time you choose to work here. Feel free to ask if you have any questions.”

Hiring a god of despair and disdain with an Execution Order over his head wasn’t exactly the smartest decision Nana ever made, but, well, she believed in equal opportunity for gods and spirits. It wasn’t as if she couldn’t relate to gods needing a place to stay or wanting to switch fields either. Nana helped those who wanted to work find work. Besides, her office had been short-staffed ever since the war 10 years ago. Increased workload, more spirits, more phantoms, less gods.

“Once you finish going through and signing all the necessary documents, Hikarumi will help set you up with a personal desk and room in this establishment for you to rest in, since I’m sure all that’s happened since arriving at Kyoto’s left you quite worn. Work won’t start until tomorrow.”

The Secret Archives The Secret Archives
(mentioned: VeiledPariah VeiledPariah )
 
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RI.a

"愛を知りたいのです."
setsu
Location: Nearby mountain, Kyoto | Date: April 1st, 2030 | Time: 4: 55 pm | Tags: Life. Life.

An angry roar jolted Setsu out of her afternoon nap. She quickly found herself rocking to the side and losing balance, her arms and legs flailing to grab the rough surface of the tree bark to stop from falling. “Woah, woah!” She scrambled. It’s a wonder how she got up there in the first place, but it’s whole other mystery how she forgot she was napping in a tree. Her uncoordinated limbs made her situation worse and she squeezed her eyes shut and prepared for a solid greeting from the sweet mountain floor, a squeal waiting to be released. Though, her gut never did the flips nor did she feel the falling wind in her hair.

Slowly peeking through her lids, Setsu saw that her hands managed to get a good grip on her napping spot, but the rest of her body hung loosely. Like a ripe mango unwilling to part from the parent tree. She was safe from injury. For now. Her thin arms struggled to get the rest of her up to safety, no matter what sort of acrobatic dance she did in mid air with her legs along with motivational cheers to herself and, what she will now refer to as, ‘athletic’ grunts. Her lack of strength further mystifies how she got to climb a tree in the first place. Looking down, she gauged that the height was far too great. She would bust a leg in the least. She hung her head in defeat, her arms getting sore already.

“Well, fuck.”

A flock of birds disturbed her quiet acceptance to fate. The spirit growled at them, thinking they were mocking her with the ability to fly since she was still confined to gravity’s hold. Which was stupid, really. Shouldn’t ghosts like her at least be able to float or fly like in every cliche ghost movie? Louder booms and rustles continued and grew closer, turning her jealousy to worry. Was it a phantom? But why would there be one this far out of the city? If that ruckus was caused by one, she’d be the phantom’s next meal. Her tired arms started struggling once more. If she hurt her leg now, she wouldn’t be able to run and hide! “Dammit! Should have listened to the old man and started exercising!”

Out of the blue, a human-like figure dashed out from the trees. A human? Spirit? Whatever he may be, it was a chance for her to get down without screwing up a much needed limb. And he seemed pretty fast as he sprinted through the forest floor like some super ninja weeabo. If anything, he could cushion her fall if he can’t support what weight she has. “Oi! Hey! I could use some help up-!” Before she could finish her plea, her grip decided to give way and her body flailed unglamorously in the air.

“Fu—AHH!”
 

The Secret Archives

The Open Book
Location: Nana's Office
Date: April 2nd, 2030
Time: 5:15 pm
Shorn, God of Despair & Disdain
Interactions: QuirkyAngel QuirkyAngel

There was a moment after Nana read his note that Shorn thought she had completely missed his message. But his concerns were not long standing as once Nana burned away his note, he knew that she at least recognized the danger behind keeping something of the sort present. It was a step, but, there was no telling if he put his faith in the right person or not. It was a situation that required a unique interpretation, and a carefully constructed approach. It was a matter of waiting now, he was well aware. Even if she didn't act on the information, as long as it was left relatively under wraps, it wouldn't cause issue. He thought so at least...

To have his own mindset complimented brought a cheerful smile to his face, throughout the day, it probably was one of the only nicer things said to him. Then again, he really only had the God of the Oblivious & A Wordy Bastard compliments to compare it too. The deck was pretty stacked in favor for Nana's compliment in hindsight, but it didn't matter, it was enough.

Though, Shorn didn't expect to have a stack of papers dropped down in front him immediately upon his asking of being hired for the SSA Office. Isn't this a bit fast? Aren't there supposed to be... I dunno, an interview or anything apart from simply signing papers. Are they perhaps desperate? Shorn didn't really know, and it wasn't his place to question how Nana ran her own establishment. His initial thoughts wavered as Nana explained the reasoning behind the paper work. It was a contract, it made sense, especially since it seemed easily terminated based on her words. Still, it was fascinating that Nana even remotely was interested in hiring him after openly stating that he had an Execution Order over his head. Either way, Shorn had a high amount of gratitude to express to Nana once he could physically speak once again.
Shorn, Commission by Defaultz [Cut Down].png
The pay wasn't something Shorn was all that surprised to see would be lessened. Without much thought against the matter, Shorn was still interested in working for the SSA Office. So far, in his short time in Kyoto, it was perhaps the only place he found any form of tranquility. It was a sanctuary, and to have it readily available for himself whenever he required it would be greatly beneficial. That alone was reason enough to apply, all while making up for any other short comings that could on behalf of the job.

Shorn adjusted himself in his seat, leaned forward, and began to skim over the pages one by one. She did mention to read it carefully, so, he intended to do just that. There was a sort of reasonable caution towards Contracts and Oaths from personal experience.

He aimlessly tapped the pencil atop the papers as he read through the pages meticulously. Shorn knew that he was going to have to apply as a field agent, though, he knew his own lack of knowledge of Kyoto would be detrimental in regards to this. Shorn's capabilities weren't necessarily something he liked to portray or bring forth unless necessary. It was a given that Shorn could naturally draw in phantoms, but that didn't necessarily benefit many unless he was some kind of decoy. The one thing that Shorn could do was take away darker emotions from people, and harbor them for himself. In essence, it could be a temporary fix for an even deeper problem. Though, it did allow him to draw upon those darker emotions in a pinch, but Shorn would lose sight of himself in the process. An addiction wasn't necessarily something worth leaning on. There was a secondary use, but it was much more risky, and potentially would lead to blighting himself in the process. Just as he could with people, Shorn could draw away the darker emotions that some phantoms have already fed upon, in turn, weakening them. Yet, it often led to negative consequences to himself, and it had only been successful once or twice, it was too much of a gamble to go out to practice regularly. After all, who flung themselves at phantoms without a regalia just to practice a technique that may or may not work, it wouldn't be smart.

Shorn decided to leave out the part about drawing away darkness from the phantoms, it didn't exactly ooze trust when your newest employee could tap into darker emotions that phantoms loved to feast upon. Instead, Shorn went with the much less glamorous decoy or despair radar option, he was at least positive that he could do those indefinitely without much issue. If it came down to it, Shorn could at least keep those of the SSA safe on their trips outside the office, though, with how tainted Kyoto felt even that could be a stretch. It was a pretty strong reality check to realize how little Shorn had available at his disposal when keeping himself in check. It was a different story if he let go, but by that point, he wouldn't really be himself anymore, and it would all be for naught.

He completed filling out the paperwork, signing the contract, initialing alongside any dotted lines, and re-stacking the papers upon the table. He slid the pile back over to Nana, and with a nod of his head, Shorn hoped that it would be enough to get him in through the door. On top of the pile was another piece of paper torn from the notebook. I'm sorry. Right below that, and thank you for the opportunity. It had to be a stretch that she would give him an opportunity to work at the SSA, but he would take it. He also didn't know how awkward of a position he had put Nana in with his message, but he had to mention it to someone, even if he couldn't speak it directly.

Though, it had seemed like it was a pretty pre-determined thing that he may get the job with how Nana had been speaking. I suppose now that all this is done, I'll go find Hikarumi again. Might be worth apologizing for the whole situation that emerged too. Guess we'll see how it goes first.

With a nod of appreciation towards Nana, Shorn pushed himself up from his seat and looked towards the door. He raised his hand in a short wave towards Nana, and left her Office in search of Hikarumi. Thankfully work isn't starting immediately... Shorn rubbed at his throat a bit, This would be quite obnoxious to work around if I had to start work immediately. I'll have to be more careful and consider the consequences for speaking out like that. The initial feeling had mostly passed, but the damage would remain for the mean time. At this point, Shorn didn't feel pain, but a lingering extremely bitter taste seemed to be stuck to his palate. Maybe I could go for another one of her tea again.

He scribbled down on a piece of paper once more, Join me for some tea? His intention to give the paper to her if she had an opportunity to go on a break. Might as well start getting to know other employees if he was going to work here. Though, now that I think about it, it'd be a pretty one sided conversation, and well... awkward. Shorn rubbed the back of his neck, Man, this is just a complete and utter wreck.
 

QuirkyAngel

White Masquerade's Blue Oni
Towako didn’t understand it. What was so special about Uroko? A mere fork. An eating utensil. Compared to he, who had taken care of Ryuujin-sama since childhood and served their lord for far longer, Uroko was nothing but a dull, lazy-looking sea bream. He was the ‘Ko’ clan’s exemplar. The first spirit given the ‘Ko’ family name. The highest-ranking regalia of the current Ryugu-jo Castle and a sacred treasure of the sea. A model for the ones that came after him.

However, as Towako watched Ryuujin personally show the new guy around his castle—something he’d never really done for any of his other regalias before—jealousy burned within him. Envy as he saw Uroko speak with his lord in a way no others were allowed. In a way no others dared to. Pain clutched his heart worse than if Ryuujin had physically struck him. However, Towako held it in. He couldn’t let Ryuujin-sama know.

He couldn’t afford to.

The king of the sea didn’t forgive blight. He’d seen it over and over again how easily Ryuujin discarded his regalias. Sometimes ablution ritual were performed. Other times he didn’t even bother. However, in all cases, even one sting was enough to result in banishment. In some cases, when the rituals weren’t successfully performed, disposed. The purity and safety of the castle occupants had to be prioritized. He knew that.

There were many fish in the sea, after all.

“Is everything alright, Towako-san?”

Towako glanced back at Suiten who was named by the previous generation. A regalia given by the Heavens who, despite no longer occupying the highest position in the castle, was well-respected and considered to be the wisest. “Yes, Suiten-san.”

The kind smile Towako always wore easily fell back on his face. He very experienced in wearing it. “Why wouldn’t it be?”


No matter who came or went, he couldn’t let everything he’d built up be brought down. He wouldn’t break. Even as Towako promised himself he wouldn’t though, the sound of Ryuujin’s laughter at a comment Uroko made drove a small nail in the carefully crafted structure.


Location: Hirai Office, Kyoto City.
Date: April 2nd, 2030
Time: 9:00 p.m.​
Rika Murakami
“So he’s a spoiled rich kid,” Rika snorted. “Doesn’t give him a license to be a rude asshole.”

Prodding the salmon Ryotaro cooked, Rika sniffed at the seasoning for a bit before taking taking a bite. It was good. Much better than what she could do. More often than not, her attempts at cooking just resulted in trips to the convenience store. Frozen food was much simpler to ‘make’.

Then again, Ryotaro lived alone as far as she could tell. Did everything himself. Cooking, cleaning, working, studying…Rika hadn’t a clue how Ryotaro managed higher grades than her while going out took for phantom ‘footprints’ on a daily basis. Was he superhuman? Given the number of times he touched the ‘remnants’, despite potential drawbacks, Rika was inclined to believe so. His description of Ryuujin’s castle sounded to her like he’d seen it first-hand where the god of the sea lived. The legendary, undersea palace— Ryūgū-jō. She’d seen movie depictions. Knew the story of Urashima Tarō. It was a pretty famous fairy tale after all.

If it weren’t for the fact that she watched the suffering Ryotaro sometimes endured to catch glimpses of a phantom’s past, she might’ve been a bit jealous. It wasn’t easy trying to understand someone, let alone a phantom. Ryotaro could try to hide it all he liked, but she saw how he switched hands. Sometimes, when he was in a trance, he looked to her like he was having a mild seizure, though Rika had been far too hesitant of waking him less she make things even worse for him.

She didn’t truly understand how his divine eye operated after all.

All for a phantom.

“He has a jerk of a servant as well.”

Perhaps that was what Rika lacked. Understanding. Perhaps, if she had more that, she'd be a little less critical and more forgiving of others. For her, things were simple black and white in most cases. Right and wrong. She was biased towards Ryo because, for all his attempts at laughing off and making light of his problems, she could see all the effort he put in. She wasn’t blind. Not to the fact that Ryotaro spoke to a portrait nor that he’d been in physical pain the entire ride back. She practiced a martial art, after all. Was familiar with all the signs. Yet, perhaps, to the phantom they were being unnecessarily nosy. Rude, even.

No one liked having their life being pried into.

Rika didn’t either. It was one of the reasons she refrained from asking Ryotaro about his father…but it was also the reason she hadn’t tried to help Kenji. Sympathy couldn’t truly be gained unless one stepped into another’s shoes and she didn’t try to step into many of her fellow humans'—least of all a phantom’s. She hadn’t even thought it possible. Yet, as frightening as she’d found her experience with the jelly-fish turned human, it seemed to operate with a logic of its own as well.

"He tried to exorcise me.”

There had been indignance in the tone. From a phantom’s point of view, ‘exorcise’ might’ve been the equivalent of ‘kill’. Both she and Ryotaro had attempted to kill it. Yet it hadn’t killed them. It had given them a ‘fair warning’. It had a sort of code of its own. It had even attempted to reason out its actions towards Kenji.

"You humans all fear death"

Rika’s fingers tightened around her chopsticks. Of course, she did. She was alive. She wanted herself, and those around her, to remain alive for as long as possible. Was that so hard to understand? Rika didn’t doubt that she and Ryotaro had done the right thing for Kenji. She’d seen how a phantom had driven her mother to insanity and ultimately suicide. She didn’t want to see anyone else end in the same manner. But, perhaps, she’d gain a wider perspective if she talked to someone who was dead. How did Momo view life? Tatsume? It wasn’t a topic she’d ever broached with either of them. Would she get better understanding if she did?

More importantly…did she want to know?

Rika practiced Judo. She was used to fighting and getting hit. However, today was the first time in her life she’d encountered someone she knew, through sheer instinct alone, wouldn’t hesitate to kill her when it came down to it. Fear had nearly frozen her. She needed more training—both mentally and physically. Could she truly help Ryotaro in his goals the way she was currently? She didn’t even want to understand the jellyfish. She felt no obligation to help it…or Ryuujin for that matter. In her mind, driving the phantom off Kenji had been enough. Perhaps it was because she didn’t have Ryotaro’s business sense, but she didn’t feel particularly indebted to Ryuujin either, given a deal had been struck wherein both parties agreed to the initial terms. At least, that was what it sounded like to her. She hadn’t been present for the deal.

The one thing that she did know was that the phantom that latched onto Kenji was still at their school and still might bring harm to the other students so long as it was there.

“What should we do now, Detective?” Rika asked after finishing the meal the Ryotaro made. She explained the events that transpired between her and the phantom as well—giving all the details she could while keeping personal opinions to herself. “I don’t think the Jellyfish likes us very much.”

Well, most of her personal opinions anyway.

Lucem Lucem
 
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QuirkyAngel

White Masquerade's Blue Oni
Location: Shorn's new room, SSA Office Building
Date: April 2nd, 2030
Time: 5:40 pm​

Hikarumi (Regalia) + #4389 (Spirit)


“This is the room you’ll be staying in,” Hikarumi said as she opened the door to a fairly empty room on the floor where workers of SSA lived. Just a simple bed, wardrobe, and a small desk. “If you need more furnishings, you’ll have to pay for them out of your own pocket. These days only Nana, Kagemi, and myself really live here, but you may see the occasional death god or spirit walking in and out the rooms. The cafeteria is in the floor below if you’re hungry.”

The regalia didn’t really understand why Nana had hired a god of Despair and Disdain, out of all gods, as a field agent. Not only did he not have the ability to predict where death would occur, as all Death Gods possessed, weren’t such calamitous gods inclined to spread gloom wherever they go? Many of their jobs involved them going to some of the most depressing places to pick up spirits—including hospitals, funeral homes, graveyards, etc. Places that phantoms loved to nestle themselves in. It was a risk of the job. However, the real risk of the job was when the spirits themselves failed to accept their deaths and became phantoms themselves—especially the younger ones. Letting a god with a title of Despair and Disdain guide such spirits sounded to her like a disaster waiting to happen.

However, Hikarumi also trusted Nana. Perhaps the Death goddess saw something in Shorn. Perhaps the goddess of Vitality managed to curb some of Shorn’s more depressing and calamitous impulses. Gods weren’t necessarily bound to their natures. Hikarumi should know. She met many different types of gods in her line of work. They were all a balance of nigimitama and aramitama, with some leaning towards one than the other, but even the goddess of Poverty was nicer than some of Heaven’s gods which she used to work for. When she first decided to work with Nana, the goddess told her judge with her own eyes rather listen to the perception and biases of others. Form her own opinion rather than listen Heaven’s propaganda about how gods and regalias should act. So far, she hadn’t seen much that was dislikable about Shorn. Nothing likeable yet either, but only time would tell whether Shorn became a benefit to SSA or a hinderance.

As nice as Hikarumi knew Nana to be, she also knew the goddess wouldn’t allow anything she believed would pose a risk to SSA to remain long. Hikarumi loved Nana. Let no one doubt that. However, it was different from Kagemi’s sort of love. Her deeper loyalty was to the SSA that Nana represented. She loved the Nana that loved spirits and did everything in her power to protect SSA. Should Nana ever stray from her beliefs or lose her way, Hikarumi would do what must be done.

“I’m sure you’ve read it in the SSA Policy and Procedure guidelines, but SSA agents wear black and/or dark colors to properly mourn the dead—a show of respect to the spirits we help guide. We don’t force or coerce a spirit to go anywhere if they refuse our protection. It’s a job that requires…delicacy.” She opened the wardrobe to show Shorn a couple of black suits in case he didn’t have any of his own. “Some even wear spells that let them take on the form of a decease’s loved one to make things easier. I’ll let the Death Augury Department know that we’ve got a new agent so they’ll make you a list of where death is supposed to happen. Be sure to grab it on your way out tomorrow. The death predictions are varied. Sometimes it could take days to months before the human is ready to die. We get to hang around near their house until it’s ready to happen. Keep in mind, some spirits don’t really believe in, or like death gods for that matter…in that situation you could try to convince them…but you must never force a spirit to go where they do not want unless it’s clear that they want to leave, but can’t. Sometimes they’ll refuse your assistance and you just have to bite the loss, but damaging the organization’s reputation is much more costly. SSA is a popular business because it operates on principals. We aren’t like Azani who just forces a spirit to Hell.”


She closed the wardrobe and looked back at Shorn. Certainly he was god, but now that they were in the same field of work they’d become equals. SSA wasn’t Heaven. There wasn’t anything differentiating a spirit and a god other than the fact that they were different far shore races—at least, not to this branch. “Once you bring a spirit in to be registered you’ll be paid for your work, but the real bonuses come in when you manage to find solid employment for the client.” Hikarumi shrugged. “Gods are the wealthy ones and the ones we can extract money from.” Generally. Depended on the god, after all. Glancing at the piece of paper with Shorn’s written question, which she’d only just noticed to be honest given the male god’s lack of vocal ability, Hikarumi shook her head. “Maybe later.”

It wasn’t as if Hikarumi especially enjoyed making tea. She made tea at Nana’s request for a guest. She offered tea for Nana because she knew of the blend that Nana liked to drink to de-stress. However, she couldn’t say that tea was her favorite beverage.

“Ooooo~we have a new god?” Number 4389 came through the door carrying a coloring book in her arms. “Welcome to SSA!”

“What are you doing out here, #4389? Shouldn’t you be in the Spirit Room where it’s safe?”

“I got bored,”
Number 4389 rolled her eyes. “Nana’s registering #10013 so I can’t play with her anymore until they’re done. Besides, whoever cast the borderline invocation around this building did a really good job~ I can feel its power. We’re totally safe!”

Seeming quite confident of that fact, Number 4389 studied Shorn curiously before she smiled. “If you’ve got nothing to do, do you want to color with me~?”

The Secret Archives The Secret Archives
 
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Karcen

Ten Thousand Club
Location: King Enma's castle Hell
Date: April 2nd, 2030
Time: 5:17pm
Azani Goddess of Vengence and grudges

The suggestion of getting rid of the masked phantom drew only a frown from Azani, as it was something her mother had made and thus something Azani would never destroy. Izanami could be called the one god that Azani respected, her only real family and thus the one being she didn't have to act around. So Azani wouldn't even think of destroying something that had been a gift from her mother, even if it was a gift to another and likely completely forgotten. So Azani would not be killing such a creature and would not let Kuro kill it either, for it was something of her mother.

" No" Azani said firmly " That was a gift from my mother to King Enma and so i won't hurt it or let it be harmed around me" Azani explained leaving plenty of wiggle room, but making sure it was clear she would not budge on this issue.

Still Kuro would not be happy with it around and Azani didn't care for it as a servant or anything like that, she only cared because it was from Izanami and thus had no issue actually getting rid of it. If she could not kill it, then she could easily just get rid of it. Azani may not want the phantom hurt around herself, but she wouldn't care if it got hurt or killed outside of her notice. It would likely obey any orders given by the owner of this place and if told to go somewhere it would. So the best way to be rid of it without letting Kuro kill it was easy to figure out.

Azani turned to the masked phantom " I am the owner of this place you shall obey me from now on" Azani said with all the authority she could muster.

" Yes lady I obey" It said nodding

" Then I order you to leave this palace and return to Izanami " Azani ordered knowing the phantom might not survive even if it got back to her mother as she could be temperamental and killed her little pets anytime she was slightly annoyed.

The phantom bowed and soon would start leaving and when it did Azani turned to Kuro " There it is gone" She said with a wry smile " My mother has these brushes that can name phantoms, the good ones don't need those silly masks to work" She explained " Don't worry though you are to lovely to mar with a name" Azani chuckled

Dante Verren Dante Verren
 

Peckinou

The world just isn't fun without a little chaos.
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Liashu
(Phantom Of Misery)
Location: Office Building, Kyoto City
Date: April 2nd, 2030
Time: 8:00 pm
Interactions: None
Since yesterday they have been spending a lot of their time following one specific person who just seemed to have had misery radiating off them, ever since they left their office building yesterday they knew that they would play well into a little plan they thought up. With any luck they would be able to push that plan into action soon enough, and as they walked behind their targeted prey they couldn't help but smile as their face was filled with dread as they went wondered back to their office desk. The building was quite big and they couldn't help but sit stand right next as they sat down, Liashu leaned forward as they then began to speak. "Another promotion request denied, your girlfriend left you and you are soon going to receive a eviction notice." they couldn't help but tsk as they leaned away, the man brought out a cigarette to no doubt to relieve some of their stress, soon bringing out their lighter out to light it. "Their is nothing left for you to lose, and no one even cares enough to help you out anyways, what is even the point of coming back here every day just to do your same routine, for a ungrateful boss who only spends their time yelling at you." as the man closed their Liashu couldn't help but smirk knowing that their words were getting through to them, as they just needed to add the finishing touch "If you were gone, i doubt their would be anyone who would miss you, or even care for that matter, it's not like you matter after all, just one person out of billions, many others being worth way more than you." as the mans eyes clenched shut and their grip on their lighter tightened, a few tears streaming down their face before they dropped the lighter into the trash. The flames catching onto the trash, Liashu being pleased with themselves at the thought of the building catching fire, the heat radiating off their body as the guy went on to kick the trash can allowing it to hit the floor as he tore out his own hair as if placed in stress. The fire caught onto the floor and started slithering across it spreading slowly in the small confined office space. Liashu finally finding their job to be done didn't bother to waste anymore time and left out the door, with any luck the entire building will be burnt to the ground before firefighters could get there. The misery that would cause was sure to make it worth while for them as they took the stairs to get to the first floor level of the building and exit on it whistling to themselves , as people finally began to notice the smoke coming out of one the building windows that was apparently opened up. The sun was about ready to retire and it seemed to be a lovely day for a bit of fun and chaos as the night was still young for them.​
 

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