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FE on the Forums: Colors of Autumn [IC]

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"There's nothing wrong with preferring tea ceremonies and flower gardens to blood and death." Perhaps somewhat incongruously, the girl was slowly falling into sword forms, slowly flowing from one to another. She was restless herself, even if she was reprimanding the other youkai for his own. "The ultimate aim of martial arts is not having to use them."

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“How noisy…”

 

From one of the tree branches arching across the little clearing, Fuefuki watched the gathering below grow more and more raucous, his lip curling with disgust. Long gone were the quiet days with Yoriie and Ivoh’to. While the cat certainly liked to talk - and back then Fuefuki had found him to be more nuisance than companion - hindsight saw him to be a much preferred audience to this rowdy bunch. The incessant bloodlust had quickly lost its novelty.

 

One leg swung rhythmically with the tune Fuefuki hummed, the other was drawn up to be a rest for his elbow, and he leaned his cheek against his fist. His geta had been discarded at the base of the tree, but his flute remained in his free hand, silent as it had been for hours.

 

“Hmph.”

 

His silver eyes drifted away from the group as Yoriie made his fire. Fuefuki couldn’t understand how he could remain so undisturbed within such a crowd, and in fact envied him… just a little. He watched a melting pile of snow slip from a branch in the distance and land with an unheard fwump - a sound that might have otherwise inspired a melody, but Megumi's voice pulled his gaze downward again.

 

"Would it kill you all to contemplate the changing seasons silently? There is music even in the early snow..." And then, under his breath: "If only I could hear it."

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"Oh... so you don't have any hobbies huh? Wow, you almost sound like a certain SOMEONE I know! Yorrie!" The cat said taking a jab at the swordsman before pondering for a moment. He then gives off a quite, sinister chuckle before whispering into Nil's ear.  "Hey, you see Fuefuki over on that branch over there? Could by chance sneak some light over to his face and then spook him with a flash? He's a jerk sometimes so its okay! Doooooo ittttttttt!"

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"In the chest," is Yoriie's simple response to Bakudai's inquiry about the tea leaves. In the rudimentary shack he'd called home for years, a makeshift crate of sorts had been magically warded against deterioration from the elements. Within this were the contents that needed long-term keeping, the periodically harvested tea leaves being one of them. Yoriie didn't have much of a taste for it, so it was often his shikigami who made the most use of it, but he didn't seem to mind at all. In fact, something about the smell seemed to repel him slightly.

 

As the venison cooked slowly, he has nothing left to do but observe the crowd. Ivoh'to knew by now that he was free to lick the rest of the unused carcass clean at his own leisure, and oftentimes afterwards Yoriie would drag the skeleton back into the surrounding woods after harvesting whatever bones he might need for tool-making.

 

Ivoh'to had made himself comfortable on Nil, Bakudai would prepare tea, Lord Yama and Kietasenshi were discussing combat, Megumi's easy flow of movement was an art form to watch, and Fuefuki had perched himself on a branch to scold them all. His gaze travels from one youkai to the next, then down to a distant spot on the grassy ground. An air of ease comes over him and his shoulders seem to relax, even as he shoots Ivoh'to a glare for his remark — a look that the feline was used to by now. After a moment, he walks over to Megumi, drawing one of his tachi into his hand. Without disturbing her form, he lightly taps the point of his blade to the end of hers.

 

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"This might be more than practice soon."

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Fuefuki's comment seemed to make Nil just... feel neutral. They wanted to feel annoyed at being told to keep silent when they have been nothing but silent for as long as they could remember, but they didn't really have the motivation to feel any sort of emotion at that. That carried over to Ivoh'to's request, making Nil tilt their head slightly as they looked toward Fuefuki on the branch. They traced their words to Ivoh'to, trying not to make them so large as to let Fuefuki notice.

 

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"..."

 

Why? He's not doing anything wrong.

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"That doesn't mean he hasn't done wrong before. He's a mega poopy jerk butt. Like, if he had the chance to kill everyone just to get 5 more minutes of time to work on his music I bet he'd do it in a heartbeat." The feline whispered in the spooky lad's ear,  "Come oooooooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn. I've got your back on this, okay!"

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As if she'd planned the motion that way all along, Megumi flowed into an "attack" on Yoriie after the tap, hoping to initiate a spar.

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"Do you really think so? I won't shy away from it, but it's not good to hear that it will be needed." Her voice held genuine concern; while a small part of her did want to fight and nearly agreed with the bloodthirsty soldier youkai, that urge was small and usually just satisfied with a match like her. She believed in what she said earlier; fighting was never a good thing, and one should seek an end to it as soon as one could if it broke out.

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Rather contradicting Fuefuki's disdain-driven plea for silence, Kietasenshi proceeded to answer every single person who had addressed him, regardless of whether or not they were still actually listening to him.

 

To the rather angry bird lord, Kietasenshi's response was an intrigued: "I think I'd like to hear that, Lord Yama." To tell the truth, Kietasenshi was never really sure when the bird's stories were true, when they were embellishments, or when they were simply false, but the dead samurai didn't really mind. It was entertaining either way, and as long as it wasn't lying in the service of getting into a nice pretty position of power, or really anything useful, it was fine by him. "Though, heh, if I get my way we're not going to have the time for stories, I'd love to go fight whatever is causing what's going on here."

 

To the sword youkai, Kietasenshi gave a surprisingly emphatic response: "No, there definitely is. Tea ceremony and flower arrangement... I'll tell you what they actually are. What they are is this nice little disguise for people to use in court, to look like they're all genteel, and to give them time to watch you and plot. That's what they're there for, and that's all. Court games. Fighting, or some craft like carpentry that's actually useful for something, that's a different story altogether. These things are honest with their intentions."

 

And, finally, to the thoroughly annoyed instrument: "Nah, fuck that, watching the seasons silently or whatever sounds incredibly boring. Music in the snow, whatever, what really counts is the wind in your hair as it whips through the battlefield, the alertness in the very air, tracking those around you to find the perfect step, or block, or moment to lunge... a lot more dynamic, don't you think?"

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This was certainly a bunch of unruly children. Yama suddenly remembered why his sense of wanderlust had returned as often as it did these days. It wasn't loud but the ones near him if they were paying attention could've heard what sounded like someone sighing. The Mountain bird wouldn't seem to be the source, after all he didn't have typical human mannerisms and further never seemed to portray much emotion on his face. As it turned out, Bird's faces weren't suited to being emotive, past the emotion of cold dead anger. One guessed it was the result when nearly half your face was a hardened protrusion made for the means of tearing prey and foes apart. 

"Hmmm, l'm glad you wish to hear an old bird's tales Dark Flame." The old grandfather started, puffing up ever so slightly. The emotions of the Mountain Lord were always much more apparent in his body language, the movement of his feathers and the like. He seemed happy as the crest of feathers on his head perked up, and his errant head movements seemed to focus on the samurai in front of him. The Lord was perceptive however, he noticed the young grasshopper's words to the Blade Maiden. It had seemed that something was afoot. Grasshopper was ever the perceptive one, perhaps the youngest of the children assembled and yet he had a wisdom far beyond the years of perhaps all but He, The Lord of The Mountain himself, and The Dream Eater.

He proceeded to tell his story, hopping that tea would arrive soon, he felt the weight of his age... 5000 years at the least, grinding into his form. He supposed it was but natural... especially with the extent of his recent travel and battles. "She was the commander of a young peak it had seemed... a mountain that was new to the world a child in it's eyes, perhaps even younger than me myself..."

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