A Tale of Two Strongholds

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Re: A Tale of Two Strongholds

Post  Kamurei on Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:14 am

Kiou quickly finishes her food and stands. "Readeh." Pieces of rice stuck to her chin and she tried to force them in.

"And Kiou." Her grandfather's voice was deep once more as Kiou snapped to attention. "Let her use my geta. No sense in getting sore feet when you only come seeking help."

Kiou nodded and bowed deeply before heading for the front door again.
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Re: A Tale of Two Strongholds

Post  Djehuty on Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:22 am

Following suit, Lily stops a moment in front of the grandfather. "I will take care and help her, grandfather, if she will let me." Bowing again, she follows Kiou to the entry, where, under a skeptical eye, she is offered a pair of platformed sandals to wear to town. Biting her tongue, she slips them on and follows her outside.
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Re: A Tale of Two Strongholds

Post  Kamurei on Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:26 am

Kiou giggles softly as she watches her new friend slowly walk in the platform sandals. "They're old I know. But town really isn't as far as grandfather makes it seem."
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Re: A Tale of Two Strongholds

Post  Djehuty on Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:44 am

Lily bends to tighten the thong on the left geta before looking up. "I'll manage, but I like my own height well enough, I think." Striding as best she can, she puts herself along side the smaller girl, noting the incongruity of the sword belted at her side to the slender, smiling figure. "Your family is good to you. I'm sorry to steal you away from them for this."
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Re: A Tale of Two Strongholds

Post  Kamurei on Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:34 am

"I'm fine. It's your friend they want to help. There will be people in town that can help you so don't worry." Kiou smiled still just happy to finally be able to talk to someone other than her family. "Grandfather says there are lots of towns but that we can't visit them... Are you from this town or a different one?" Slowly, homes begin to appear along the path with growing frequency as they begin to make their way toward the town.
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Re: A Tale of Two Strongholds

Post  Djehuty on Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:41 pm

"My town is different; but I didn't need to travel much to get here." The experience of walking in the sandals becomes easy as they travel, but the occasional pebble still trips her up. Regaining her balance, "You haven't traveled past your village?"
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Re: A Tale of Two Strongholds

Post  Kamurei on Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:03 pm

"No... I have tried a few times... But then.... I don't know... I just ... don't." Kiou smiles at her hesitantly as the homes begin to cluster together and voices of people from the approaching town begin to waft through the air. Even though there are voices, there is no one but themselves on the road for now and it appears the there is no one in the homes nearby.
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Re: A Tale of Two Strongholds

Post  Djehuty on Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:24 pm

Lily looks about her, the empty houses appearing lived in, but at the same time, deserted, as if everything where set in place by invisible hands. "How often do you come to the village on your own?"
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Re: A Tale of Two Strongholds

Post  Kamurei on Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:29 pm

"I go when they tell me they need things. Sometimes, grandfather need things like medicine. Grandmother loves sweets though she hides them from mother because she's not supposed to have them. And mother loves flowers and fabrics. My elders can't make it here so mother has to stay and take care of them. So, I'm the only one that goes." Kiou beamed as she walked. "This is the first time that grandfather let me take the sword though. He wouldn't even let me touch it before."
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Re: A Tale of Two Strongholds

Post  Djehuty on Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:33 pm

"I think he worries for you, as much as my friend," Lily warns. "If there is trouble, he wouldn't want you to be hurt because you were unable to defend yourself."
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Re: A Tale of Two Strongholds

Post  Kamurei on Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:45 pm

"True, but he wasn't worried about it before." Kiou chuckled as they neared the bridge that led into town. "There's the bridge. Once we cross, we'll be in town." The voices and bustling got louder as they approached but there was still no outward sign of life.
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Re: A Tale of Two Strongholds

Post  Djehuty on Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:54 pm

Lily's eyes continue to search for signs of life, and seeing no movement, she feels her shoulders tensing. "Tell me more about your town, Kiou."
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Re: A Tale of Two Strongholds

Post  Kamurei on Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:04 pm

"It's always busy... Even at night... There's..." Her voice fades out as Kiou is deep in thought. "I... well..." Their sandals clack onto the bridge and she stops a moment; staring at her feet. "It's..." Some of the buildings begin to get fuzzy around the edges as though they are out of focus. The voices and sounds of a town are louder now, as though haggling and carts are indeed on the other side of the bridge. However, on the other side of the street is nothing but an empty street. Vendor's signs hang in open doorways claiming to be open but now appears to be actually moving about.

"I don't know...." Her voice is small and hesitant as she looks to Lily. "I don't know." The sword at her hip flashes brightly; ripping itself free from it's sheath. When the brightness subsided, the sword floated before the both of them. The entire blade quivered and shook as the hundreds of papers seals plastered over it restricted what it held. She stared at it in shock. "That's... What?"
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Re: A Tale of Two Strongholds

Post  Djehuty on Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:14 pm

Lily looks hard a Kiou. "This is your sword, and your village." She takes a small step back from the sword while motioning toward it with a hand. "I'm a foreigner and your customs are strange to me."
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Re: A Tale of Two Strongholds

Post  Kamurei on Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:18 pm

"So you come to my house, eat my food, and now you move to leave her when she stands at the edge." Her grandfather's voice comes from right behind Lily. "Is she truly your friend or do you just desire to have the quiet again." His voice is grim and bordering on angry.

Luckily, Kiou was too shocked by the floating glowing sword to hear her grandfather's voice.
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Re: A Tale of Two Strongholds

Post  Djehuty on Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:33 pm

Growling softly, Lily looks at the sword. "Your sword." She whispers to Kiou. "If you claim it."
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Re: A Tale of Two Strongholds

Post  Kamurei on Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:49 pm

Slowly, hesitantly, Kiou reaches out for the sword and grips the handle. Immediately the paper seals rip free with singed edges as though the act of tearing caused it to flame.

I pant heavily as I lay in a wrestling lock upon the bathroom floor. Tears begin to roll down my face as the knowledge of myself begins to come to me. Right now, I want nothing more than to simply crawl up in a corner and sob.
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Re: A Tale of Two Strongholds

Post  Djehuty on Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:12 pm

Lily watches the girl shudder momentarily, her image blurring even as the town around her. And then, as seeing a double image, two faces in one; the cold dark eyes from the bath house glare at her in fury, behind and before the fear and pain of the first's The sword twitches in Kiou's hand, and Lily shifts uneasily into a more guarded stance.

"Kiou?"
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Re: A Tale of Two Strongholds

Post  Kamurei on Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:20 pm

Her grandfather grabs the back of Lily's outfit and pulls her back off of the bridge to where he stands. His gaze is fixed on Kiou and nothing else. "Worry not child. You are who you are. Do not run from yourself."

One face screams in anger as the other sobs.

He continues. "Everyone has good and evil in them... You have simply chosen to give each one life."
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Re: A Tale of Two Strongholds

Post  Djehuty on Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:28 pm

Watching intently, Lily moves forward a half step. "Only part of you knew the fight, and it ruled over you with that knowledge."
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Re: A Tale of Two Strongholds

Post  Kamurei on Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:41 pm

A low rumble rolls through the world as though an earthquake is coming. Slowly, Kiou falls to her knees; the sword twinging against the wooden bridge.

Her grandfather held firm on Lily's clothes. "Stay off the bridge child. It is no place for you right now."

She hung her head and the whole world to the left of them cracked as though a painting made of glass or stone. Pieces of it began to slip forward into the river or grasses while others fell backwards into an unknown space.
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Re: A Tale of Two Strongholds

Post  Djehuty on Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:45 pm

"Damnit," Lily looks back at the elder, "She's tearing herself apart; I didn't mean for her to do this alone!"
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Re: A Tale of Two Strongholds

Post  Kamurei on Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:05 pm

Her grandfather smiled sadly. "There is nothing either of us can do; save watch. I cannot step on the bridge and your touch may give the wrong one power."

Kiou shook her head as her tears fell to the bridge.

The rumble echoed once more and more of this place splintered from the original crack. Whole chunks of the sky slipped from their painted positions and came tumbling down. The abyss on the other side showed hazy dark structures lit by lamp lights.

He stood straight and bellowed at his grand daughter. "Stand up! This merge is not an end Kiou. It is a beginning. You must welcome the other you properly lest it move to control you. Yes it is strong. It has spent quite a long time training to fight. But you are smarter than her. You know better than her that strength and speed are not everything."
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Re: A Tale of Two Strongholds

Post  Djehuty on Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:57 pm

Lily watches a moment longer, then slipping away from grandfather, moves to the closed door of one of the houses. Pulling it open, she looks back one more time at the cracking world around Kiou, and steps into the darkened interior, feeling for her body.
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Re: A Tale of Two Strongholds

Post  Kamurei on Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:54 pm

A man with crow wings and a large sword steps out from the darkness. He was dressed and a baggy kimono with a leaf fan in his belt. "My lady bade me end you. And I will do as I am asked."
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