Sengoku Horizon

Look towards the Horizon

The Warring States Period: Fierce warlords fought for control of Japan, and many would perish. When a warrior falls, where does the passion they once held go? Possibly into something dear such as a favorite weapon or heirloom. These heirlooms have been labeled as “relics”, and those that carry them are labeled as “Scions." Recently more and more of these special relics have been activating, signaling the start of a great change as ancient power meets the modern world!

Now For The Local News, 11/01/2017 The dust has cleared after a fierce clash against the rebel Ikko Ikki monks. Now, as a tense period of calm spread over the island nation of Japan the students of Edo Bugei must figure out how to proceed in life after experience such intense conflicts and such deep loss.

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Today at 07:10 am
Already the day had been an unconventional one for Shinsuke Todo, and it was barely into the afternoon. For some reason his sister had insisted that this was the appropriate day to insist on some sibling bonding time. Specifically time for sisterly bonding, meaning that she really wanted to spend time with "Mikoto", aka "Todo-chan". Even though she'd been raring to go moments after calling, he'd at least made her wait until he could get the makeup done right. Though it was less awesome for his masculinity it was nice that he hadn't yet developed the ability to grow facial hair. Less to cover up for times like this.

Their day morning had been a bit of a whirlwind with Inori, ranging from some shopping for basics to asking for recommendations for shampoos. And makeup. Since Inori never had shown an interest in cosmetics previously he'd been very curious. Before he could get a satisfactory answer his sister had taken him into an arcade where they played a few rhythm games. Then some purikura and ice cream before he talked her out of wasting yen on a UFO catcher. They were rigged, so all it was was wasting coin that could buy actual stuff. And then she'd done it anyway and somehow won not one but two small plush foxes. One was given to her 'sister' as a thanks for a fun morning, and then they'd headed back to the school.

It was after stepping off the train the elder Todo had checked his phone to see that someone had been trying to contact him. Not just that but frantically trying to get a hold of him. Odd that. Seeing that there were over a dozen messages and voicemails, he checked who'd sent them. As soon as he saw that it was Junko, he wasted no time in rushing back to the dorms with only a parting farewell to his sister. If something was troubling his friend this much he wasn't about to delay any longer. He'd not thought to check his phone earlier since he didn't get that many messages and the arcade had been really quite noisy.

Without a second thought as to his look - the girls' uniform again, his hair down with subtle makeup on his face - Todo-chan went into the boys' dorm. Despite drawing an odd look from one or two guys in the lounge area, Todo-chan was up the stairs and at Junko's dorm door in record time. A little winded, they still knocked on the door gently so as not to startle Junko too much. Already troubled if the amount of messages was any indication; further upsetting the situation wouldn't be helpful at all.

"Jun-kun, are you there? I got a bit worried about you.. can we talk?" Todo-chan called through the door.
May 19 2017, 08:01 AM
The confession of what had seemed like a huge secret had ended up leading to the strangest of things. Not rejection by one friend of another but of dressing up. Both Bugei students had gotten dressed up in fairly nice clothing for an outing together. Shinsuke had typed the shop information into his phone to help them get to their destination expediently. Which was probably a good thing since he was wearing a full furisode kimono with a flower shaped hair ribbon hand tied by Junko. Long distance walking wasn't the sort of thing that you did in this kind of attire.

As they arrived in the right area he looked over at Junko and smiled. Just getting to go out as he was, expressing this side of himself was very relaxing. Having his friend with him was even better. With the weather sunny but not hot in the slightest, it was looking to be quite a nice day. Using the suggestions his sister had given him for places with good manly clothing, he was sure that Junko would be happy today too.

From the looks of it there were a ton of shops in this shopping arcade, though. All along a walkway with a high vaulted roof to protect shoppers from any elements that might threaten their enjoyment of the experience. Apparently a nice affordable place with a wide selection of men's and women's clothing was just down the path to the left. As Shinsuke lead the way he was all too aware of the fact that they were drawing a bit of attention to themselves. Probably the fancy kimono, he reasoned.

"Jun-kun, I think I may need to change out of this after all. We're kind of getting noticed by.. well, everyone," he remarked, smiling nervously at that fact.
Mar 31 2017, 09:56 PM
Things had gotten better with the passage of time, all things considered. Edo had gotten rebuilt by the combined efforts of the leading clans and government, the lost had been properly mourned and school was back in session. It would be a lie to have said that things hadn't been rough for Todo Shinsuke in that time. Losing a sister to the earthquake, possibly losing a friend over his decision to admit a crush on the friend's sister and the ongoing demands of classwork hadn't been easy. Probably thanks to his other sister now attending Bugei and some new friends he'd made, Shinsuke was doing all right.

He still hadn't talked to Nobuyori after the blow up between them. Inori had helped him calm down after his soon-to-be-aunt had lectured him. Things were much more in day-to-day mode than panicking over the potential troubles of the future. Still he didn't want to lose what friends he'd made like he might have with Nobuyori. His own thoughts had drifted to his identity again, and there was really only one of those friends he could turn to for that kind of discussion.

So he'd sent a text ahead to Junko, asking to meet up and hang out. Oddly it turned out that Junko's room was in fact in the men's side of the dorm building. Maybe his interpretation of the Matsudaira clan student's identity had been off? Regardless Shinsuke went with a leather school bag over his shoulder and his hair still resembling the feminine style he'd gotten during their last meeting. A bit more grown out and tied back in a loose ponytail, but still present. He wasn't sure how he'd break the full truth about himself, but he thought of anyone he knew that Junko would understand the most. It would be the first time that his friend had seen Shinsuke and not Todo-chan as well.

Once at the door he took a deep breath, then knocked twice, "Jun-kun, I'm here!"
Mar 10 2017, 12:31 PM
Hi everyone! Tomorrow I'm beginning the odyssey of moving overseas (Japan) for work, and as such my presence online may be spotty for a little while. My lodgings for the first couple of weeks have WiFi, so I anticipate being able to get online at least sporadically as soon as a couple of days after I leave the US. At worst I may be out of commission for a couple of weeks before moving into my apartment which has internet service provided as part of the rent.

I hope to be back on SH soon to keep threading, but I wanted everyone to be aware I may disappear for a little while. If you need me and I'm not around, PM my account or send a private chat message and I'll pick it up ASAP. Thanks for your patience, I'll be back soon!
Jan 9 2017, 05:52 PM
The Great Kanto Earthquake seemed as if it were already well into the past, if the state of Edo were to be believed. At face value most of the capital appeared to have barely been affected by the disaster mere months before. Gargantuan efforts had been made by the leading families of the nation to restore their capital to its rightful glory. Here and there remained traces of the devastation which the traumatic event had wrought, though. Among them were a saddening number of children who had lost family in the earthquake, far too many losing both parents. While an organization had been set up by a combination of community members and charitable workers, it was always in need of funding to assist those most in need.

Thus had been born an idea to bring more attention, more publicity to their cause while simultaneously raising those needed funds. Public appeals went a certain ways toward that, but the organization wished to boost its signal to younger people as well. In Edo one of the trendier districts with young people included a newer development in the city's business landscape: small cafes where patrons were served by.. maids. Or rather employees dressed like maids. Through some familial connections the organization had set up a special arrangement – one which needed one last component to really attract attention to the cause and the cafes: star power.

Luckily an employee had the foresight to suggest reaching out to Edo Bugei Academy. Its presence in the community after the earthquake had been of great note, and its students were encouraged to undergo missions all over the country. After some discussion with faculty they pinpointed a pair of students who might work well for the plan. Rather, responsibility had been passed off on someone who didn't have all the information and the event had ended up with two Bugei students who wanted to help out the orphans. Earning some extra money on the side would be nice too!

So it was that the two students, siblings, arrived in Akihabara for some part time and somewhat charitable work. One of them was Todo Inori, a brand new student at Edo Bugei who'd jumped at the chance to help out. While she hadn't been in Edo all that long she had quickly found it to be a fascinating place worthy of a lot of exploration and study. Helping out some kids and getting pocket money would be pretty nifty too. She stood in the office of the organization – the Greater Edo Childrens' Foundation – and listened as the whole set up was explained. Next to her was her older brother Shinsuke, who looked a bit more reserved than her at the moment.

“So you see, we thought that it would be wise to help promote both of these businesses in exchange for their assistance with fund raising efforts. Since that's the case you'll both be competing to bring in more customers and create more sales than the other. A healthy portion of all sales will go to our Foundation, of course,” the woman, in her mid thirties and wearing a fairly conservative western suit explained, “Please do your best to serve as many customers as well as you can. I'm sure that your family's reputation for diplomacy will serve you both well in these positions. Now, on to the uniforms..”

A pair of other Foundation workers brought one uniform from each cafe. Inori started laughing when she noticed that both were not really what she had expected at all. They were both maid uniforms, which wasn't really what a Todo princess would normally wear. The one that was presented to her was a bit more colorful than usual: a tan dress with short poofy sleeves and navy trim on the cuffs, collar and apron pockets. More of the blue had been used for a necktie that was fastened in place with a red hart shaped decoration as well as the apron ties. Navy tights were included to complete the look, which was a far bit cuter than Inori's typical style. Not that she was averse to cuteness.

Before either sibling could protest they were rushed into separate rooms to change. Inori was pretty surprised that hers fit so well even though she'd only just met these folks. Granted their measurements had been taken before hand, as well as some pictures (to promote the campaign she guessed). Nothing to complain about, other than she wasn't really sure what to do as a maid. Somehow she got the feeling that just acting the way she always did might not be totally what they'd want. As she finished dressing she gave a little twirl in front of a small mirror in the room. Not her favored style but it seemed nice! As soon as she arrived back in the office she spotted something on the woman's desk that she also hadn't expected.

Inori rushed over, took the object in her hand and grinned, “No way, keychains?! Get out of here! I didn't know we were getting keychains of ourselves!”

In her hand was a mascot keychain for the cafe she was going to work for, but it wasn't some generic mascot. That brown hair in a braid, the grin on the maid's face – it was her! So that's what they were using the pictures for! Better still there was another one of a maid in the more traditional black and white with long brown hair. Judging by the eye color and shape of the face, it was... her brother. This was awesome! She held both keychains up and admired them, as she was wont to do with any mascot keychains she came across.

“They're special promotional items for customers who donate an extra 1,000 yen to the Foundation on top of their regular bill. Please ensure they know about the opportunity to buy them,” the woman explained further, smiling at the brunette's enthusiasm.

“Can I take a couple? These are gonna be perfect for my collection!” she exclaimed. When the woman nodded she pocketed the pair of keychains in her apron.. just as another maid appeared. Grinning, Inori rushed over and hugged them tight. She knew it could be hard for Shinsuke to put up with this but it was for a good cause and he looked pretty cute.

“Lookin' good! Heck, I think you're way cuter than me,” she told her cafe's competitor.

The other 'maid' blushed a little, “Uh, thanks Inori.. um.. I still have to get makeup done too.”

“Oh yeah,” Inori replied, as if only just realizing the fact.

“If you'll follow me, I'll get you situated,” one of the foundation members told her.

“Okay,” she nodded, then let go of her brother and winked, “Good luck! Knock 'em dead out there!”

Soon she was in her assigned cafe, which was a bit more modern and trendy than she'd thought such a place could be. Warm lighting illuminated a western style coffee house with a mixture of tables and booths. Replications of movie posters and other popular media decorated the walls, and already a few girls in maid outfits were preparing the place to open. Inori waved to them all, the scent of coffee filling the air and seeming to give her some residual energy. This was going to be great! Once it was finally open, she put on a half-grin half-smile and bowed as she'd seen such girls do at other places.

“Welcome to Coffee Haus Maid! I'm Inorin, nice to meethca!” she gleefully greeted her first customer. So it began..
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