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, 06/01/2018 The Chinese delegation have now arrived at the city of Edo. Making friends and learning about Edo Culture is their current aim! In other news it is also time for the school dance event! Please bring your characters along!

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 Hair Dos and Don'ts, Open
Aideen
 Posted: Oct 14 2016, 04:35 PM
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Junko stared at the map he had in his hand. It was his first day in Edo and it was bigger than he'd expected. Also it was a lot louder. He hadn't seen this many people in one place since Hachi had taken him to the archery contest. The memory brought a sad smile to the boy's lips. Absentmindedly, Junko let his hand slide across the ribbon around his neck. What he wouldn't give to see Hachi one more time, to show him what he was going to do. Hachi had made it possible for Junko to get to come to Edo Bugei and he was going to do his best to show that it was where he deserved to be.

A few rough strands of hair brushed against Junko's hand. He needed a haircut, a proper one. The hack job he'd done with sewing scissors was not going to cut it. It still felt weird not having the extra weight hanging off the back of his head but he would get used to it. He would get used to all of it, the academy, being away from mother, being a real boy. He checked the time on the watch he wore facing inwards. It was still early enough, and nobody was going to be waiting for him at the school anyway, he could get away with some errands and sightseeing before going to his apartment.

Junko stuck the map into the pocket of his jeans and moved on, pulling his flowery purple luggage along behind him. It didn't take him long at all to find a hair salon and he came out with a far more even trim. He had declined any extra styles but the stylist had still cut it into a feminine bob. He hadn't had the courage to protest as she was working and tell her he wanted something more manly so maybe it was his own fault. Once he felt he was safely out of sight, he vigourously shook his head and tousled his hear. Men didn't have feminine bobs, they had cute, messy, and kind of spiky hair. Especially soldiers like Hachi or his dad had. So that's what Junko wanted to have.

After the haircut, he went across the street to a stall selling hot buns and bought himself two. He started nibbling on one as he continued walking along. The money would dry up soon, probably the moment his mother noticed. He didn't know how much attention she gave to finances, they had people for that, but at some point she would notice Junko was leeching off the family account and cut the cards. Still, he would abuse it while he could, she owed him that much.

He'd probably have to make a run on the department store for some actual male clothes too. He'd mostly packed the most unisex stuff he had, a fair portion he'd made himself, the rest was shipped ahead to his room. But there wasn't a hurry, manly men wore proof of their hunts. So his leather jacket lined inside with rabbit fur must be quite manly, even if it was rather tight, but he was a growing boy and the jacket was from last year. It was less form fitting when it was worn open so he had it unzipped and just wore the pale blue shirt that matched the ribbon his relic was weaved into.

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Suzu
 Posted: Oct 15 2016, 02:49 PM
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Autumn could sometimes bring a bit of a chill to the air along with the turning of leaves. School resumed after a summer break, and things tended to be headed back toward normality for students of any sort. Even the illustrious Ed Bugei followed the predictable pattern. What with the city undergoing massive recovery efforts after the natural disaster months before, that normalcy was very welcome. The chill, however, wasn't quite as welcome. Not for the poor intrepid soul who had chosen to venture forth into the Toshima Ward this day.

Shinsuke Todo himself had been 'absent' from school, still having great difficulty coming to grips with what had happened during the quake. Still blaming himself. In his place 'Mikoto' had gone from being a simple disguise to taking on an entire personality of its own. Mikoto had met new people and had been able to smile! Shinsuke? Still stuck in self-pity and distress. At least until recently, that is.

Time healed a lot of wounds, and though he still had trouble facing the reality of what had happened, Shin's pragmatic nature had begun to filter things. No man could control forces of nature; an earthquake wasn't something even a Todo could influence. Perhaps it was best to forgive himself a little bit - there was still blame to go around, but he [i]had[/] helped to save some people. That his sister hadn't been among them troubled him; at times it drove him to seek out the peace of being Mikoto.

Being Mikoto today had become a bit more of a problem for Shin. Though he'd intended to go for a stroll in that persona, there was a bit of a problem. One he hadn't realized until he'd donned the more feminine attire that went with Mikoto. That wig he wore when assuming the alter ego was gone. No matter where he looked it simply wasn't there! After an initial panic he slowed himself, focused on the task at hand and realized that he'd just have to get a new one. Staring himself down in the mirror had proven to him he looked girlish enough without it to not attract too much odd attention. A little sprucing up with some makeup borrowed from an acquaintance who did theater and makeshift Mikoto was ready to go. Feeling a bit underdressed without the wig, he bundled up with a long soft blue colored coat which sported a fluffy collar. Very girlish, he supposed, but it served the purpose well today.

So he'd ventured out, hoping that his hair didn't give him away. Interacting with other Bugei students as Shinsuke would still be hard right now. Thankfully his hair had grown out a little bit and was almost past the nape of his neck in all spots. Still not enough for his imagined 'ideal disguise' but enough to probably not stick out too badly. After stepping off the train in Toshima, 'Miko' began to wander the streets in search of a shop that might sell wigs. Just as a corner was turned, the incognito Todo nearly collided with someone. A graceful side step prevented that collision, also allowing a good view of the other person. On the one hand they looked just feminine enough to be a young woman; on the other they were wearing clothes which still kind of might be men's. Might. Probably a girl, but it was hard to tell.

Bowing quickly and apologetically, without tweaking his voice the slight bit that turned Shin into Mikoto, the Todo said, "I-I'm sorry, I didn't see you there. I hope you're all right.."

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Aideen
 Posted: Oct 16 2016, 01:57 PM
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Out in the country you get used to animals being around. Usually they were in hiding, sometimes in burrows or holes in the wall or in the rafters. Junko had gotten used to seeing them everywhere. What he hadn't been used to was people everywhere. It was a bit of a never ending blur of outlines. He could always have packed away the ribbon but not having his artefact nearby made him shaky after awhile. He preferred it out where he could occasionally reach up and let his hands brush across it.

Some people would probably be disoriented 'seeing' three hundred and sixty degrees around them but after the last few years, Junko had become mostly used to it. It was still a bit awkward when it came to the whole, through walls thing, people did some weird stuff when they thought they were unseen. But at least out in the city, most people behind walls were only behind the shop glass. But seeing everyone nearby came with an extra benefit, rather mundane but still quite useful.

You very rarely ran into anyone. Admittedly, it didn't stop them from running into you. Junko was aware that somebody was coming around the corner and stopped short. Trouble was, with people all around and a rolling luggage bag behind, there wasn't much room for him to maneuver. The other person came around the corner and nearly didn't stop. If the girl hadn't been quick on her feet, there would have certainly been a collision. Junko had to pull backwards and support himself on his luggage to avoid the collision.

"No, no, it isn't your fault." Junko bowed low as he apologized. At the lowest point of the bow he realized what he was doing but it was too late to back out. 'Damn you, mother' he thought. This wasn't his fault, he shouldn't be taking the blame, but years of training and education was not easy to beat. Junko rose and began speaking. "I should have been-oops." he covered his mouth and frowned to one side. He'd use the feminine form of I again. Maybe she hadn't noticed. He plastered on a smile and switched to the masculine. "'I' should have been more careful." Flawless. He had to change the subject quick. "It's my first time in the city. I've just come from home to be a part of Edo Bugei. I arrived on the train earlier."

That was it, people were super lenient on people from the country. It was a perfect plan that could not go wrong. But what else did city folk like? Themselves, they loved talking about their town and what they'd done. He had to switch the conversation. His eyes caught the girl's clothes. "I love your coat. The collar is beautiful." Junko reached out but hesitated to touch it, probably wouldn't be very polite to do that without asking. "Is it real fur on the inside collar? I used to have one like that too but it was fox." Wait, dangerous territory, this was a girl with a girl's jacket. "And it was a men's jacket. For a man. Like me." Flawless.

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Suzu
 Posted: Oct 16 2016, 02:38 PM
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For a few fleeting moments Shin had been pretty confident that he would manage to get off with a simple apology. That was really all that was necessary when you nearly ran into someone but managed to miraculously prevent the actual collision. Avoidance seemed entirely possible when the other person assured him the collision hadn't been his fault. Yet there was something odd about them which prevented Shin from simply wandering off in search of that wig. The low bow paired with a semi-apology, the odd word choices for pronouns. Almost as if this was something new to them, using masculine pronouns and interacting with others.

Shin's head tilted to the side in curiosity as the other person explained they'd just come in from the countryside. That didn't really explain their awkwardness, but maybe they were just nervous about being somewhere new? Despite nagging thoughts about needing to excuse himself, Shin somehow felt compelled to try and help them. It seemed like they might actually be a girl.. or not? Things were pretty confusing actually. Their verbal trip-up hadn't helped discern this either - insisting on being a man could mean that they were actually a woman pretending to be a man. Who was Shin to criticize them if this were the case? They could also be a feminine boy, which would also explain the insistence on being manly. Either way Shin could sympathize, even if he was blushing despite himself at being complimented on the jacket. It'd been his sister's and accidentally shipped to Shin instead of her. Thankfully it fit but still.

"Um.. thank you?" he began to respond, trying to figure out what to say. After tugging on one of the jacket's sleeves, Shin added, "I'm sure that men's jacket looked very manly on you."

Then another pause before asking, "So.. you're a Bugei student? Me too.. um.. I mean... I know some.. and.." Calm down Shin, take it one step at a time. He took a deep breath before kind of forcing a smile, "I could show you around if you'd like. It's a little overwhelming coming here, but I'm sure it'll feel more comfortable with some help. After all it's just us guys... um.. I mean kids. Students. You know.." Real smooth, Shin.

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Aideen
 Posted: Oct 16 2016, 06:47 PM
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"You're welcome." Junko said, "Yes. It did. Very." He smiled. The ploy had worked. She had been completely taken in. Junko, you did it again....for the first time. Still, it was very promising and his confidence soared. Plus, she was a Bugei student too, it was like the biggest jackpot. "Really? What a fantastic coincidence. I'd love it if you showed me around. I've only been to a big city once before. That was Kyoto a few years ago." Junko smiled at the thought. "Best week ever." Which ended terribly but it didn't change the fact that it was amazing.

"It's the whole reason why I got invited to come to the Academy in the first place. Artillery path. Though I wonder if I ought to try to be a bushi like my dad was." And Hachi...Junko's left hand slid backwards down the luggage to brush against the two blades strapped to it. "But it's my choice, not mother's. I'm not gonna be some artisanal dancer in translucent ribbons flaunting about for some guy." He paused. "Because I'm a man." He needed to change the subject again. This talking to people was harder than he thought. Then he caught a thread of an idea.

"Oh, but I couldn't ask you to do show me around now." He'd only just realized something he ought to have known from the start. "I've just bumped into you, you were going somewhere. I just couldn't impose. I'm sure you have plans with somebody already." It only stood to reason. She had been going somewhere, people probably didn't just wander the city aimlessly unless they were trying to map it.

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Suzu
 Posted: Oct 22 2016, 04:46 PM
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So far both of the teens were incredibly awkward in their interactions. Pretty much a stalemate of near misses, just avoiding compromising admissions. Shin was quickly forgetting just why he'd ventured forth today in the first place. Running across someone who was a new Bugei student was surprising in its own right. Weirdly ambiguous as their gender was, Shin felt compelled to help them out. Being new to a city was certainly something he could understand overwhelming someone. Whatever help he could provide, it would hopefully be of some value to the new... girl? Boy? He still couldn't say.

"Kyoto, huh? I've only been there a couple of times myself, but it's a wonderful city. So much history, mystique and culture there," Shin responded, instinctively folding his hands in front of him, "There's nothing wrong with artillery, of course. You'll be in support of the bushi, and you can still train in kendo if you want. No matter what your mother thinks, I think you can be excellent at anything you put your mind to. Artillery can be very manly, too, so don't worry."

Then he shook his head, "Oh don't worry about me. I'd love to show you around Edo today. It's kind of my job since I'm on the diplomacy track.. I wasn't meeting anyone today, so it's fine! Just let me know what you're interested in seeing and I'll try to find the best options for you." Mind still partially in Mikoto mode, Shin was also tending to use the feminine 'I' in his speech.

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Aideen
 Posted: Oct 25 2016, 09:08 PM
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"Thank you very much." He gave a polite bow. "I must be very lucky today to meet a Bugei Academy Diplomat." It was very lucky, either the school was a larger population of this town than he'd thought, or fate was being kind. Considering how amazing he'd done at being a manly man so far, it was probably the latter. The world was giving him a big old V sign and he would be grateful for all the victories in his new life. "It is super manly. That's why I'm in it. Also because I'm good at it."

He briefly considered and dismissed bringing up his relic. He didn't know what the policy was at school, but it might be seen as bragging and that wasn't proper, not when she'd been so kind to him. Junko absentmindedly brushed his hand along the ribbon around his neck.

"I'm not really looking for anything in particular. I mean, I've just come to the city so I suppose I just wanted to see the sights. It's like starting a whole new life and I've finally opened my eyes. Nothing like up north or in the woods. I guess where are the good places to get food?" Some food might be just the thing. Maybe there was some specialty cuisine here that they didn't have in Hokkaido, or maybe some back alley eatery with fantastic and magical meals. Oh, the places the city could offer seemed endless.

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Suzu
 Posted: Oct 27 2016, 08:27 PM
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Their interactions were becoming a bit of a verbal dance for Shin. He was trying his best to gracefully balance a desire to discern the other student's true nature with the need to be polite. Every time curiosity was piqued about their full identity, politeness kicked in and told him otherwise. It was certainly best to not assume things about others. That could lead to insults or underestimation, neither of which would be intended. The truth would reveal itself soon enough, he told himself. What he did know was that the other student seemed to be overcompensating on the 'manly man' thing. Noticing that ribbon around the self proclaimed manly student's neck raised Shin's curiosity, but it wouldn't be polite to bring it up. Why did he think it was actually cute on this person? If they were a guy, that would be incredibly awkward to have just thought.

"The pleasure is all mine," Shin bowed back, smiling a little awkwardly, "Luck may have something to do with it, or perhaps it's fate that brings such a cu..."

He caught himself about to flirt for some reason, stopped, blushed and then changed course, "So if you're hungry, there are plenty of places to choose from a couple of blocks away. It all depends on what you're hungry for. I'm pretty simple myself - if it's a slightly chilly day, something hearty and warm is the best treat."

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Aideen
 Posted: Oct 29 2016, 02:46 PM
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"Luck and fate are probably the same thing." Junko said cheerfully. "Like, if you're fated to win at dice, then luck has to be on your side, or vice versa. No matter how unlucky you are, if fate says you throw sixes, then those dice are going to land on six even if they're weighted." He leaned a bit on his luggage. "So luck or fate brings students together or both. That just means we're blessed to be together." His didn't bother to reduce a giant smile that appeared plastered across his face. "It's been hard these last few months for all of us, it's nice to have a little blessings and luck come back and treat us better."

It was nice, a flicker of sadness passed as he thought of Hachi but now was a time of luck and joy and he would make the most of it. He owed it to Hachi for making this experience possible. "I agree, soup would be nice. Maybe they have sika deer in broth with noodles. I haven't had proper sika in ages. I mean, it's hard to appreciate it unless you kill it yourself and prep it fresh over the fire and then you can smell it while you are skinning the hide and prepping the brains and it's just the most wonderful time." Junko sighed happily. "But I doubt they do that here in the city. Still I bet they can manage to get the taste of it right, the city is amazing." He smiled wide again.

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Suzu
 Posted: Oct 29 2016, 07:35 PM
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For a little while the androgynous new Bugei student waxed philosophical about luck and fate. This somewhat caught Shin off guard - they hadn't quite seemed the type for such introspection. In the way that they described it, fate and luck did sound as if they were fairly closely tied together. On the other hand Shin wondered if they were in fact quite so similar. Such a debate hadn't been the sort of thing Shin had concerned himself with in quite a while. It was stimulating. Of course the idea that fate brought them together was also a little odd combined with the thoughts Shin had moments before. The ones about the other student being kind of cute.

"Yet sometimes fate conspires to do one thing, but people are able to overcome it with determination and luck. Isn't luck directly opposed to fate in a situation like that? Maybe it's just legends, though," Shin shrugged, trying not to get too far ahead of himself.

"I'm pretty sure that there aren't any restaurants that are so thorough in preparing their meals," Shin responded awkwardly to the other student's thoughts about what would be good to eat. He then paused and suggested, "But there might be a place with some more far-flung tastes just beyond the regular restaurants. There's a Hokkaido cuisine place that opened up a couple of months ago, I think."

Then he dared ask, "What's your name? It'd be nice if I had something to call you." Again, the 'I' was in the feminine sense. Smooth talking, Shinsuke.

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Aideen
 Posted: Oct 30 2016, 12:50 AM
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"Ehh." Junko shrugged. "Fate is something you can fight I guess. Luck is something you can't. Like rolling with the punches. You need luck to succeed in anything. Like you're fated to die to a raging bear." He thought back to his encounter. "Maybe you have a gun and you fire point blank, you can't miss, the bear is going to die, but the powder was wet or doesn't spark. Luck wasn't on your side. Fate wins. But let's say you don't need luck. Bear comes at you and you block it's jaws with the gun metal. Bear has broken teeth. It might claw you apart, maybe not. Fate has been altered because no luck was involved. So maybe luck is like, an ambassador or maybe a samurai. Luck serves fate like a samurai serves the shogun but the shogun makes the decision. If the samurai betrays it, they're a ronin and the shogun must demand things are set right." He shrugged again.

"Assuming you can fight fate and it's not just fated that you fight fate." He laughed a little. "Either it's real and there's nothing you can do about it or it's not and nothing you do affects it. Better to just make your own decisions, eh?"

Junko put both hands behind his back and grabbed the handle of the luggage. "And I have decided to try something new." He smiled at Shin. "I had enough traditional Hokkaido food back home. If it's not on an open fire, I'll do without. I wanna try something foreign. Like something from Kyushu." When the girl asked him his name, he blanched. How could he have been so rude? "I'm so super sorry, like really sorry. I am Matsudaira Junko." He bowed deeply and apologetically.

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Suzu
 Posted: Nov 6 2016, 02:34 PM
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"I'll admit you're very creative in your reasoning. I don't think that I've ever heard anyone explain the connections of fate and luck in the way that you have. If luck is the ambassador of fate, then that would mean luck is serving the will of an overriding fate. But luck can run against that fate.. so in those cases luck is sort of like a rogue politician or rebel?" Shin thought aloud, then shrugged, "And our decisions can determine how much luck will play into a situation regardless of the quantity of that luck."

Shin smiled a little back at Junko, "Kyushu is foreign for you? I imagine it would be, if you've lived so long on Hokkaido. Whatever you want, though, I'm sure that there's a place where you can find it in Edo. We should at least start heading toward the restaurants.. once we're over there we can make a decision based on what looks or smells good!"

Then he bowed lightly in return, "It's nice to meet you, Jun...ko... Matsudaira-san. I hope that I'm of some small help to you today. I'm Todo Shinsuke.." Wait, should he be saying his full name right now? Dressed like this? Oh well. This appeared to actually be a girl, so it was fine maybe. A girl who dressed like a boy and a boy who dressed like a girl? Kind of oddly amusing, really.

So without thinking too much about it, he added, "I.. kind of need to pick up a wig today. There's a shop on the way toward the restaurants over there. Maybe you can even help me pick one out."

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Aideen
 Posted: Nov 7 2016, 09:11 PM
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Junko shrugged. "I don't know, I don't really bother thinking about it much." He smiled. "Why worry? If you can see the future then you know what will happen and that it can't be changed. If you can see the future and can change it, then it can be changed. It all comes down to if you can see the future. I can't. Fate is what happens, luck is how likely we perceive it." Junko tapped his chin as he spoke.

"But, like everywhere is foreign for me. It's all so different from the little town where I grew up." More of a village really. It was a way behind the curve out in the wilderness. Or, at least, the edge of the wilderness. "Lead the way to wherever you want to go, Todo-chan." A wig, well maybe if she needed long hair then that made sense. "I like your hair. It's cute, but it could use some professional styling."

Junko brushed his hand against his hair. "I just had mine cut. Proper manly style. My mom would freak out." He froze and his happy facade crumbled into horror. Oh god, mother would freak out. She could go insane. What was he thinking? This was a mistake. He was going to get into so much trouble.

"Yes. Let's go look at wigs." He said, face turning to stone and his voice slow and deliberate. He could fix this, sort of. At the very least he could find a way to hide it.

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Suzu
 Posted: Nov 10 2016, 03:36 PM
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Shinsuke was worried for a few moments about having to explain his attire to the very manly girl. Or at least this girl who seemed to think herself very manly, so he would defer to that self-image. After all, who was he to impose such things on others? What was odd was how Junko completely missed the significance of a masculine name in Shin's introduction. She still seemed to be referring to Shin in the feminine sense and even complemented his hair. Though a surprise at first, the statement made Shin smile. Given Junko's delayed reaction, Shin figured she must have a very overbearing mother.

"Your mother seems like she's too demanding, Matsudaira-kun," Shin told Junko, giving them a pat on the arm for support. Still smiling, he added, "That haircut suits you very well; I think a manly air is more flattering for you than anything feminine would be. With all due respect to your mother, she should take a step back and allow you to be as manly as you wish."

With their initial destination decided, Shin lead the way up toward the shops and restaurants ahead. This would be fine, he told himself. They were both shopping for the same thing and therefore he could support Junko throughout the process. Shopping for a wig didn't seem something Junko would be enthusiastic about, so having someone there in support would be helpful. At least that was his hope as they neared a shop that had the sort of things they were looking for. And then nearby, Shin noticed a hair salon as well.

"Now this is an interesting thought," he posed, seeing the potential for an alternative option, "You suggested some professional styling for my hair earlier, and you don't seem keen on getting a wig to cover up yours. What if you help me pick out a style for mine, and I get it done there. If you're concerned about how you look, you can always try on a wig afterward.. I'll take a picture for you to send home, and then you can avoid having to look so girlish afterward. I assume she won't be visiting you anytime soon?"

Then he attempted to link arms with Junko, "That buys us time to think of strategies to explain things to her. If you'll allow me to assist you, I'm sure we can compromise between her demands and your wishes. I don't want to see you unhappy, Matsudaira-kun."

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Aideen
 Posted: Nov 17 2016, 09:32 PM
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Junko laughed a bit awkwardly. "I guess you have a point there." He scratched the back of his head a bit bashfully. "It's just, she's my mom, you know? She knows best maybe." Though probably not best for him. It was just hard, the whole teenage rebellion thing. He wasn't used to this level of freedom. He thought about his hair. that might have been way too far, but it was something he could make up for. "But thank you for your support." He bowed politely.

He followed Todo-chan through the streets, his eyes drinking in all the sights of the new place. "Oh, that does sound fun. I bet we can find you just the prettiest style. On the train here I was reading a fashion mag and it was talking all about how short hair is all the rage with a lot of girls in Tokyo." He said without a shred of introspection. "There were some really pretty idols in it but I bet you'll be just the cutest."

He grinned and cooed in excitement as he saw another window display of fancy cakes. The big city was so amazing, you could find anything. "I don't think my mom will care or visit at all, but I should probably be ready for a surprise." He skipped backwards and deftly avoided running into anyone while he kept his eyes on his new friend while he pulled the suitcase along between them.

Junko's heart filled with joy, what a fantastic friend. "Oh Todo-chan, luck or fate, you're the best friend a boy like me could have made today." Todo-chan seemed so clever, a real lady about town. If anyone could help him be a manly man, it was a girl like her. She probably could teach him all about what it took to be a manly and attractive man that could attract ladies and be a credit to the Matsudaira name.

"Do you think they can make wigs? I still have it." He rethought his words as he realized he wasn't being very clear. "My hair, I mean. I kind of cut it all off on the train. I didn't want to just throw it all away on the train and it seemed kind of weird to ask the salon ladies to get rid of it for me. I've kind of got it wrapped up in my luggage. Mother might not be bothered by the loss of four or five inches."

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