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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 A Fresh Start (Fall 2017 Opening Thread)
Nobuyumi
 Posted: Nov 1 2017, 07:19 PM
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(OOC: This thread will be the opening thread to Sengoku Horizon Arc 2. I would like everyone to make a single post talking about your character viewing the event. Describe your character, put what your character is thinking/planning to do over the next few months or long term. let us know about your character's goals.)

(OOC: Characters who have posted in previous opening threads may still post in this one. The staff would in fact prefer it)

~The City of Edo, Fall 2017~

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~Edo Bugei~

The war against the Ikko Ikki, a sect of radical Buddhist monks that had consumed not only the city of Edo but all of Japan. While the Shogunate's forces had been defending various key cities across Japan, the Shogun's city of Edo was devastated. All of summer classes had been cancelled. Many students had been summoned back to their home provinces to be able to relax and give reports on what had happened. The students who stayed in Edo over the summer had been working every day out in the summer heat to try and help re-build the city and maintain peace. Between the Ikko attack in 2017 and the massive earthquake the previous year it was safe to say that Edo had seen it's fair share of trials.

Now everyone had gathered early in the morning on the front quad of Edo Bugei Academy. The school had already been fully repaired. Fortunately the library and Dorms hadn't been damaged, and the kyudo range had been easy enough to repair over the summer months. An air of energy filled the grounds. Many of the students hadn't seen one another in months, and many of the returning students had grown a lot closer than in previous years after fighting side by side and surviving war with the Ikko together. As the students chatted and hugged one another a single man approached a podium to begin speaking with the students. Behind him a group of teachers formed a line and gazed out at the students.

Hosokawa Moritatsu was an imposing man with a kind heart. He was the current head of Edo Bugei Academy and to many students was somewhere between a father figure and general. He was dressed in a beautiful dark blue robe with a two light blue herons in flight over a sea of reeds. It also contained the Hosokawa clan crest in gold on the upper back. As the students bowed in respect the leader of Edo Bugei gazed out upon the crowd. Between the earthquake and the war with the Ikko the crowd looked much thinner than he was use to seeing it. It was a painful realization to say the least, but not one that would stop him from speaking.

"Welcome to Edo Bugei everyone. For most of you, it has been a few months since the last time you came to campus. For some of you, it is your first time ever here. It is no secret that in the spring this school took part in a battle that consumed not only this school, or this city, but all of Japan. It would be easy to focus on that time, on our hardships, and our loss. However, this is not who we are. The Shogunate had declared the war against the Ikko rebels to be over. As we rebuild our country, we must in tern rebuild ourselves and move forward!" As he flicked his wrist a group of cranes took to the sky behind Edo Bugie's main building. It was a symbolic, and expensive, gesture to symbolize the rebirth of the school.

"Now, I know many of you are eager to return to your normal lives and re-start classes at the academy. For those of you that have not heard, Edo Bugei's years will no longer be three years plus elite students. A fourth year has been added due to extensive damage to various institutions through out Japan. Thus, some of you planning to leave Edo Bugei will be able to stay longer if you wish. Also, between the earthquake and war with the Ikko, many of you are unfortunately behind in your studies and will have to stay longer regardless." As the students began talking with each other and trying to be quiet with some of their complaints everyone's favorite teacher, the elderly Sato Mizuha approached the podium.

"I am truly glad to see you are all safe. I know the past months have been a challenge, in fact we as faculty are still learning to cope with the holes in our class rosters, and the empty dorm rooms that have been created. However, as Hosokawa-sensei made clear this is not the time to simply roll over and accept that his is how the country has to be! To help guide you all towards a brighter future our faculty all have some words." at her words four people walked up to the stage.

The first to speak was a skinny, dark haired young man
"My name is Nabeshima Hideki . I am the school's artillery instructor." Hideki's hands still looked burnt in some places, scars left over from the war with the Ikko. He had used highly explosive pistols and his hands had suffered because of it.
"I will not take it easy on any of you. I've only been at this school fora year, but in that time I've learned a lot about the challenges this school faces. I want to make sure you are all ready for them." As Nabeshima-sensei back away a purple haired man holding a book stepped forward. As Nabeshima-sensei walked off the purple haired man nodded to him.

It is a pleasure to meet you all. I am Dr. Shirasu Naganori. I am a graduate of Edo Bugei Academy, and I will be your literature professor. I will also be teaching world affairs." his voice had a slight British accent to it.
"It fills me with great joy to see familiar faces in the crowd. Like Nabeshima-sensei I have only been at this school a year. However, you may all feel free to come to my office with any problems you may have." he said and gave a deep bow to the students. Many of the female students, and even some of the males seemed to have a hard time taking their eyes off of him. By all accounts he was rather handsome and clearly had no ring on either hand. The same reaction had happened when he had first introduced himself to the student body one year ago. However, this time he was trying to to display a sad face over the familiar faces missing in the crowd. Names now carved into a war memorial in Central Edo.

Next to speak was a gruff looking gentleman.
"My name is Oda Nobukatsu. I will be your new smithing teacher. Yes, I am from the Oda. I plan to forge all of the smiths of this school into masters." and with that stepped back.

The final teacher to speak was a very beautiful woman. She moved gracefully with each step and had a beautiful kimono on of blue and gold.
"I am Kono Ayumu. From this day forward I will be your fine arts and crafting teacher. It is a pleasure to see you all. Being from the Kono I will teach you all how to craft incredible pieces." In spite of her lovely appearance the fire and passion in her eyes and voice suggested she was hardly one to be messed with. It also said that she clearly meant every word she spoke. She would be the best crafting teacher the academy has ever had or die trying.

As the headmaster approached the podium again he began to clap and looked at the students to join in.
"Everyone, these are your teachers. Now, we are missing two. Yagyu Koichi is our head combat instructor and is currently finishing a training session with joint Honda and Shimazu samurai. He will return to Edo Buge in two weeks. For now Nabeshima sensei will be taking care of the combat courses. Our nurse, Kurita Aki is also on a trip. She is currently in Thailand learning new medical techniques and plans to return on the first of November. As our academy is rebuilt it is time for us to indeed rebuild ourselves and grow together. I believe in each and every one of you, and commend you on your hard work thus far!" and with that many of the students began letting out loud cheers.
"Now I know you all are aware of the dorms. Behind me is our main building. The majority of your classes will be held here. our campus also has an underground training facility, as well as a bow and gun range, and a field out behind the school. We also have a large pool for training and a massive school library. I encourage you all, between now and the formal start of classes in a week, to go around the campus with your friends and explore every took and cranny of our beautiful campus. With that being said, you are released!" and with that the students all gave a deep bow as the school faculty gave bows back. Something about the air on campus wasn't like before. An air of sadness did hang over the campus at all of the loss during the war with the Ikko. However, something else hung in the air. It was energy and excitement. Japan as a country was finally settling back into itself after a massive uprising that the students present had helped put down. The new students had no clue what they had just started, but the returning students now fully understood the importance of the academy as a national institution. Students that had previously viewed the Bugei as unneeded or outdated now felt a sense of pride as they looked at their fellow students and even at themselves.

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Azai Nobuyori
The stuck up clan lord who defends the people.

Tagami Yumiko
The adorable poet girl who hates war.

Katayama, Masato
A strategist bent on changing the world.
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Alida
 Posted: Nov 5 2017, 09:31 AM
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The fall morning air felt crisp as Suishoku breathed in and sighed slowly at attention in her fall student uniform. Marks of an Elite year and Maeda lightly decorated on an armband. It's been awhile since returning back to campus in the middle part of the summer. She stayed for recovery and minor rehabilitation where she was returned to the school dorms to stay there for awhile and reconnect with some students she knew in their deployment across Japan. Sadly she wasn't fully able to meet everyone at the time. Some already went back home ahead of her or stayed in Edo for the rebuilding process. Suishoku, as a Maeda Scion, eventually had to report back on her own version of what had become of Edo when the attack took place. Other Scions of the Maeda did the same at one point in time as with any others with some tie to the ruling clan of their home province. It was a welcomed to return back to Kaga and spend time with family there.

Kaga didn't suffer too much damage thanks in part of a joint effort of the Uesugi both outside the main city and within. Some homes were caught ablaze but there it wasn't near as bad as how Edo got wrecked. The people of Kaga helped pitch in what they could to get families back on their feet quickly while tending to the wounded and dead. A lot of family healing went around the communities and it likely was the case all over Japan. There was no full satisfaction of getting away unscathed but in this did she grew a little in considering more of her future again; where it was going now thanks in part of the latest events. She'll have to in some part if ever achieving a proper showing of Kaga for her friends with Yumiko.

Suishoku heaved another slow sigh and watched their principal came up to the stand over the obviously smaller crowd than the spring assembly. Smaller in comparison to their numbers last spring even. His noticeably thinner form made her brow lower in concern of what could have happened during the summer. During the first incident did he don armor that fitted his body and gave him a larger appearance. Out of it in her meeting with him to give Yumiko Matsune's relic fan for safe keeping was he rather serious but joyful. A side effect then..? Her left hand slowly clenched into a fist then released once feeling her nails dig into her palm. Whether it be the case of his relic or something else, it saddened her to see Principal Hosokawa this way. The cranes that were released behind the school took flight elegantly for sure but the concern sat with her. The teachers who introduced themselves to the newest student of Bugei gently fell into the background of noise as her mind mulled over the end of this year.

She hoped there would be no more large battles like that. It was exhausting for everyone effected by it and showed that this nation could not last a drawn out fight. Far too hurt and stubborn to sit quietly like an old veteran. Right now was for some peace and getting things straightened out. Most importantly is finding a direction. In her mind were a few routes that laid before her in the realm of possible futures.

One was the obvious path. It was going into retainer-ship of the Maeda and serve as her lordship requires of her to do. She'll be in Kaga and maintain some relations and keep her parents secured till retired of service for all of them.

The second was being in Edo due to being an Elite. It wasn't the first thing that came to mind and shocking enough to be chosen. The last few missions lately near confirmed her training in the Edo Bugei. She has yet to lead any missions herself but thanks to this did her ties have her drawn around the school and where her senior members would require of her. Still does Suishoku avoid mentioning this status to avoid the high profile stigma that the more combatant member carry proudly. Her role has been supportive thus far but this too may be forced to change.

The last and third path was one proposed by Kaori, the Azai princess and Nobu's sister. If either of the above avenues don't fully claim her then Kaori my figure a way to have her be the girl's home nurse thanks to her medical relic and track training. One could say that it is rather selfish to avoid a general doctor path and do more relief efforts to disaster zones but becoming like that for Kaori felt high on importance to rival Maeda retainership and Elite group activities. It also had her stay close to a dear friend of hers, another plus.

In all three routes, Suishoku continued to lack full control over the situation. Her future continued to be swayed by whatever fate seems to put forth on the road. She continued to live and still be here somehow and in doing so did it help shape her views on what to do. Before she cowered and felt helpless in the wake of all the changes around her. Some days that was still a feeling, the feeling of being helpless to each change that it's enough to make her sigh and close her eyes to the world. One after another a new occurrence that would be impossible to decline out right without upsetting or encouraging another to seize full control of the outcomes.

Now, the feeling of being a coward has slowly ebbed away within her. Her actions in Southern Edo reflected this to the point that she's come to slightly better terms with this ever shifting world. There's no way she could control the minds of those higher up and neither could she just throw all that was given to her away and seek the life of a hermit without these connections finding her again. For whatever may happen in her life now, Suishoku decided to let the future change. The chips shall simply fall where they may lay. She'll just have to act what suits the event and accept it.

Her eyes searched the podium where all the teacher's currently in Edo had gathered only to find that this morning's announcements had come to its conclusion as with her own. Suishoku tried to muster a small smile and bowed respectfully once the meeting was adjourned. With this out of the way, the rest of the day can unfold however it needed to. Right after getting some coffee milk for breakfast.



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Mika rubbed her hands together in a muffler with an overcoat over her uniform. She wasn't very good at keeping warm when the temperature began to gradually drop. She tried to be respectful about the morning assembly toward students around her but it was clear that their numbers weren't very large at all. Of the people that would normally stand around her did the Honda girl find none. It was confirmed during the summer that the two girls she spent time at the home ec club who talked about fashion and the like weren't there. Either returned home or died during the small civil war among students. Students that were Ikko sympathizers just attacked whoever they saw fit and opposed to their logic. Mika looked down at her shoes when remembering the hysterical general that died. Revenge and those ill feelings left her tired while keeping her conflicts more withdrawn.

At her side was the knife Kire made for her. It was positioned in a way where it was shown as decoration and as an item of protection. She spent a lot of the summer trying to think of a name for this one. Literally her summer was this and only appearing at home when summoned before her mother and father to explain her activities as of late. It even went as far as to explaining where not only did they demand a reason for her lack of interactions with them and her brother but almost had the knife taken away from her. They found it sudden and concerning to arm herself without sharing this decision. A word of consent for choosing this so late when Edo was attacked. A borderline mess of concern and possible withdraw from Bugei in claims that the activities were too strenuous for her health. The medications given to treat her lungs since the Ghost Rider mission was what tipped them off more than anything.

She knew her body wasn't the greatest and that she was taking up tasks that are ultimately one mistep away from serious injury to herself. What angered her back home was how their concerns were only raised when her health became an issue. None of it was family and she wanted to scold them for their own neglect of their daughter; their own blood as they turn their favors toward her twin brother and more so the extended tie in family with the Shogun. The well beings of her cousins taking higher president after the suffering they endured and having the most vulnerable of the girls set up as a calling card on that mission. Mika was sure what to think and didn't want to readily belief it was from that act did her honorable parents began to think of her as the same.

Mika looked to the blade at her side and felt the ivy and leaves on its handle as the morning speech carried on. She was detached from her surroundings and just thought of the knife's texture as if stroking the fur of a cat. Hanoen; the name she thought to give it. Really the name meant 'grass blade' based off the style and the green tinting on the edge. It rolled like a sigh when spoken like how grass swayed in a breeze with its body from the tip down to the sturdy roots. Next time she would see Kire, she would share that to him to hear what his thoughts were about it. Thinking on this, this small act felt far more important than her current distrust of her family.

When the meeting ended, Mika bowed quietly and quietly turned to take her leave. For now, she wanted to think less of her family and focus more on improving her methods. Her distaste of traitors remained firmly instilled within her along with her desires of how she wanted the Honda to be internally. It was a matter of how to achieve this and how to properly learn what it means to be a spy. If she were to confront her brother again, it's more of a question on what sort of care for him remained in her; the child who clung and stayed by his side or the deer who lets their siblings face the jaws of a wolf?

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Elite year, Yuubae Suishoku__Honda Mikazuki, 2nd year
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Moby Dick
 Posted: Nov 8 2017, 05:22 AM
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It was a beautiful day, but something was just slightly amiss: Where was our crazy artist?



Ah, that'll be him, then.

You see Roshi, and you don't really think much of him, at first glance. He's a black-haired oddity who sometimes forgets to be in uniform, wearing casual clothes that he doesn't mind getting a bit of a mess on, because that can happen in his chosen path.

He had been born in a house with rigorous attention to business on one side, and merciful medicine with a love of art on the other. As opposed to his older brother, he had been indulged in his happy talent to divert himself by creating things, to love art as his mother did, rather than business as his father did. This tended to cause friction, and the more his father and brother pushed, the more he flung himself into art. Roshi Bento was known for pouring talent and materials into a kiln or putting it under some tools until he made something beautiful, or at least weird and interesting.

Today would be no exception.

He had been through an earthquake, he had been on a high-stakes mission with no experience, and he had even been to war like everyone else. Did he ever ONCE lose his love and talent for the manipulation of materials into something cool? Nay, we say! He'd had to ride slowly, for the weight of the thing, but soon the young artist was putt-putting his Pale Hornet into the courtyard with a wagon dragged behind it via the hooks on ropes attached to his storage compartments. Ever since he'd been able to more-easily transport things, Roshi had been getting ambitious. True, if the thing were heavy - and it was - then he could only move at a few KPH, but it was worth it.

What had he done? Oh, nothing. Just created a large and functional Maneki Neko statue.

And you might be asking why, but on the first part, this was the wrong question. Roshi didn't need a WHY. He just needed a WHAT and a HOW, and then to get to work. The act of it was the point. To create was sometimes its own reward. However, on this occasion, there was another purpose. Today, he actively wanted to impress people. He had three in mind, but it's a sound certainty that the new smith instructor and art instructor were among them, as he'd heard they were really good and wanted to show his raw talent to. The other...would be a bit of a surprise, really. To some, at least.

It was something that'd been in development rather slowly, something that he hadn't even realized was happening, until it sort of overtook him. The loss of friends during the earthquake had taken a toll on Roshi, something that he'd well-hidden...but a few had managed to get a glimpse of. He didn't have many outlets after that, at least not until he started to associate more and more with Suishoku Yubbae, whom he also hoped to impress. She seemed to like what he could do, and had definitely been impressed by the things he had done in the serious war stuff, despite not being a Scion or even much of a fighter! Roshi had grown to like her alot, and he hoped that she would feel the same way about him.

He listened to the teachers and other staff say their peace, the great waving neko in operation behind him. It was clever, but only in that he based its rather simple mechanism on that of a clock's to make it work. The rest was just measurements and forging parts. It wasn't a master's level of work, but he hoped to be. He hoped to be able to create many things. True works of art, weapons for those who need to defend Edo from attack, once more, maybe even a little theater of his very own... If he could become independent, he could move out of the house and his father could never drag him into the family business again!

Hope springs eternal, and Roshi had many hopes to spring upon.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Everything is riding on me. I will not fail.

Unlike the artist, she had been here all along. You see, while her friend - Roshi Bento - lived in the city of Edo, she had a room at the dorms. Lately, she'd been staying in at home alot, but not always. IT was just that she couldn't just leave her little brother alone, all the time. She couldn't bear to...

Let us start at the beginning. This brown-haired glasses girl in uniform was another member of that specialized group of people at Edo Bugei, that being the Scions. She had not always been so, but it was believed that she might, straight from birth. Makoto Shiyo had been born with a mark on her body that seemed very much like that of the Maeda Clan. Now, this didn't necesarily mean anything, but it was enough for her father to get his foot in the door with a plan. Makoto would be a retainer to the Maeda Clan, raised to be in their service, until such time that she exhibited any signs of becoming a Scion. This worked, and the Shiyos' lives were dramatically improved...until they weren't.

The Great Kanto Earthquake changed all, in a flash. Makoto herself had been nearly crushed and definitely put into a coma. Her parents were killed, their house was destroyed, and only her little brother Kenji survived. Retainership and her still being alive allowed him to be provided for, but it was quite a while she was in the hospital, until a thunderstorm triggered her and she awoke screaming. Bad times...and to learn the truth of things in her life had done even worse. Apart from her brother, all she had left was the Maeda Clan...and the fact that she had awakened to the memories of Toshiie Maeda, and therefore gained one of his Relics, a formidable double-yari.

This was known to plenty of people, by now, the members of the Maeda Clan, especially. The talk of the teachers and the classes may have registered in her mind somewhere, but mostly right now, she was thinking that she had to do everything in her power to become the Scion that everyone hoped she would be, embrace it and achieve something, because otherwise the family Shiyo would be forever lost in obscurity. Her brother might become a scholar or even a teacher, but their family was over unless she acted. At least the classes had variety. Hopefully, nobody pushed her buttons too hard, as she was already pushing herself and, frankly, her patience was in shot supply ever since getting out of the coma.

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DynDyn
 Posted: Nov 12 2017, 05:09 AM
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Allowing himself to be swept in by the beauty of the day, Hisashi had decided to make a point to try to make his first impressions memorable. He was only just arriving at the strange academy where he didn't know anybody really. As much was to be expected though. It didn't take a genius to figure out that this wasn't the type of place most of his types were allowed to attend. As far as Hisashi knew, most people had to work hard or be very lucky to get into a prestigious school like this. As the young man found himself sliding a small blade into his inner coat pocket, he let out a sigh before glancing at himself in the mirror. It wasn't hard for him to admit he felt undeserving of such an honor, yet he wouldn't be able to back down now. Instead, he would hopefully make something of himself capable of carrying his grandfather's will and maybe even making his father proud.

Well, that was the idea at least. With a sigh as he fixed his collar and slid on the arm band which marked him for the infiltration course, he reached over to flick off the light switch and he made his way out of his dorm room. It wasn't long until he found himself among many others in an assembly to hear what they would announce for the new and returning students alike. Some seemed so elastic to be meeting with each other once more on the school grounds. Hisashi smiled slightly as he seemed glad the whole monk business had come to an end. While he himself hadn't taken part in the fighting, the Yakuza seemed to be their part to contribute to the reconstruction of the cities. In no time, he was sure it would be just as great as before.

Suddenly there was a hush as the first to speak would have came on stage. While the young man himself wasn't sure what to think of the headmaster before coming, he could see that the head certainly had some bit of important news. He glanced around during the talk about students being lost, but soon found himself settling his eye back on the man.

For the most part, the speakers after that had been fairly unremarkable to him except for one. With the way he seemed simply serious about his work and more straight to business, Hisashi found himself paying far more attention to Mr. Hideki far more than the others. Something about how he talked was simply familiar with him. It gave him a bit of comfort in this otherwise strange place. Eventually the assembly would be over and Hisashi could get on with his classes. His grandfather had wanted him to come here to improve and he looked forward to seeing what kinds of tests this place would hold for him.

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jinn kuki
 Posted: Nov 13 2017, 01:59 PM
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Everyone was gathering in front of the main school building. Apparently the principle had something to say towards everyone so everyone came to listen to him. One person wasn't in the crowd and that person was jinn Kuki. Jinn was sitting in a tree a bit further away. He could still hear and see everything but he wasn't in the mood to sit in the crowd like everyone. He looked at the people wearing their school uniform already. Jinn was wearing his normal clothes though. He was wearing a simple black shirt with a pair of jeans that were ripped at several places showing some skin of his legs.

Jinn looked at the new teacher walking on and off the stage with a blank expression on his face. Big chance they couldn't see him though since most branches were hiding his appearance from most people. Jinn rolled his eyes everytime the teacher spoke to everyone and what they were going to teach. Jinn wasn't in the mood for any of this he mostly thought it was a waste of his time like he thought with most things he did here. Jinn wanted some good challenges and he never really got anything besides that one time where they had to protect a village.

When it was everyone and he saw everyone bow Jinn sighed "Finally it is over." He said softly to himself. He calmly watched everyone leave and just kept in the tree. Being in high places was always his favorite place. He loved it since it gave him a wide view plus not a lot of people were mostly in does places so it was quiet most of the time.

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Shoy
 Posted: Nov 23 2017, 02:21 AM
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Mirai arrived to the assembly with a yawn, and dark rings ran under her eyes from a lack of sleep. But that was normal nowadays.

It was strange, being back out here like nothing had happened. Though it was nice in a way, too. Out here in the fresh, autumn air that had just enough chill in it to be refreshing to but not so much as to be uncomfortable yet. It was moments like these when Mirai could forget, even just for a short while, about everything that had happened over the past few months. The world was right again. But somehow it still seemed faintly wrong that the world could possibly be right again.

Compare that to the sleepless nights full of nightmares of blood and gore and the smell of burnt human flesh. Sometimes in those dreams Mirai would find herself wandering familiar places, except they would be scattered with corpses. Everything else would be the same except for that, except for the bodies so disfigured as to be unrecognisable and the ones that she could recognise always belonged to people she knew. Sometimes it was people she cared for deeply, like her friends Kyushu or Suishoku.

She’d barely had a single night of unbroken sleep since Kanazawa. And on top of that she’d been called back to Edo, and though she’d barely fought - she’d holed up in a spare, secluded classroom with a few of the noncombatant students who hadn’t been able to evacuate in order to “protect” them - she’d seen some of the damage to the school, heard some of the fighting. After the fights were over stumbled upon the corpse of a girl, who Mirai didn't know but recognised because they shared a class. Once shared a class, rather. They certainly didn’t share a class anymore.

Many times since these events, Mirai had thought about these things after waking, crying, from another nightmare. In such moments she almost found herself wishing that she had never had to come to Edo Bugei. She could have stayed at home in Kitakyushu instead and spent her time practising kendo all day or hanging out with Yuki and Akane and Fukumi when her parents would let her, instead of dreaming about death. That was worse than anything her parents had ever done; the way they tried so hard to control her life seemed nothing compared to what Mirai had witnessed that day. These moments of thought never lasted long - Mirai didn’t let them, even if it was the middle of the night she would get up and run through a few kendo moves to try to calm her queasy mind - but the end result was that Mirai wasn’t quite so sure about Edo Bugei anymore. She’d been so certain about it when she’d first come here, certain that it was an opportunity for independence and change, but now she barely knew what to think of it. It wasn’t that place of opportunity anymore, it was the place that had caused her suffering.

She’d stay with it, of course - what else could she do? Even if she had doubts about the school now, there wasn’t a way she could escape it, and either way, the very nature of small doubts meant that she wasn’t entirely sure if she wanted to leave anyway. Even if she was certain she didn't want to be there anymore there was no way she could leave, not when her parents had her on puppetstrings and got to decide where she would go for her schooling.

In the time following the Ikko Ikki's defeat, Mirai had stayed in Edo to help where she could here. It wasn’t like Buzen or even any of Kyushu had been badly affected by the Ikko’s onslaught; they didn’t need her help back home. The aftermath was perhaps the only part of the whole affair that didn’t trouble her too deeply: she’d managed to do some things that were somewhat helpful once the Ikko Ikki were gone for good. She didn’t have the expertise to contribute to the construction itself but she had volunteered to help with some of the related odd jobs like repainting the newly-fixed buildings. Doing this had felt like she was achieving something; it felt like she had caused some positive change, like she had actually helped someone this time.

Which all brought Mirai to here, standing out on the lawn on this bright autumn morning to hear the head of Edo Bugei give whatever speech he had planned this time. She bowed along with the other students before the headmaster began.

Mirai listened to Principal Hosokawa’s speech, at first with disinterest as he rambled about when people had last come to the campus. The moment he started to talk about their reaction to what had taken place she tuned in properly, however. He talked about rebuilding themselves and moving forward. Thinking about this point more, Mirai largely ignored the headmaster’s comments on the new year level structures and only vaguely noted the procession of teachers who came before the podium. Rebirth, huh? It would be nice if she could just flick a switch and wa-lah, rebirth, easy as pie. Because for all the headmaster talked about rebuilding yourself, he didn’t give them many clues on how exactly that was supposed to be achieved. How could she forget about and move beyond the dreadful things she’d seen that day in Kanazawa? She’d tried, oh god, had she tried, but the memories wouldn’t go away and ignoring them only got her so far when they invaded her dreams. And what kind of person was she supposed to “rebuild” into, anyway?

She did note when the headmaster returned to the podium and started talking about the two teachers who were missing from the lineup. They both seemed like they were doing incredible things that would help others in the long run. He talked about rebuilding and growing again. Yes, those teachers who were off doing good things must have been good at that. Maybe she needed to learn to be more like them: someone who could be there for other people when they needed it. Kind of like what she’d already done by helping out with the rebuilding, actually...

After all, that was what she wanted to do wasn't it? Help others. Just like those two teachers, Yagyu Koichi and Kurita Aki, were doing.

Is that what she’d do from now on? Rebuild herself to help others? How was she supposed to do that, anyway?

She’d wanted to try new things the first time she’d come to an assembly like this nearly a whole year ago. That was part of her hopes for Edo Bugei which had been so thoroughly dashed. But maybe she could put that part - the new things - of her original hopes properly into action, even if the rest of those hopes no longer were part of her vision. She could broaden her horizons. Find something new to do, something that could help people, really help people practically, not “help” them through violence and killing. Yes, that was a splendid plan. That was who she could rebuild into. That was what she could do with herself now. Though she wouldn’t do anything that went against anything that the school or her parents told her to do. Maybe that way she could restore her faith in the school she was stuck with. Maybe then she could put everything that had happened over the spring and the summer behind her at last. But—

If only the nightmares would stop...

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Suzu
 Posted: Nov 28 2017, 08:01 AM
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Though it had been a bit against his wishes, Todo Shinsuke had indeed been recalled to Agata with his sister. They had both stayed behind in Edo during the events of the preceding months, yet only seen a fraction of the events which had consumed the city. He'd spent more time helping look after wounded classmates and organize help through his list of contacts than fighting. Even his sister Inori who was more of a warrior hadn't seen much in the way of battle. In fact she'd been involved in defensive efforts in a place untouched by the Ikko Ikki. Shinsuke had wanted to stay in Edo to further assist recovery efforts but fear for their children's safety had convinced the Todo family to recall them.

Now that they were back at school and about to begin a new term of classes, he was a bit relieved. Being home had been a nice break but it didn't let him have much chance of making a difference in Japan. His father, the lord of the Todo, had given him some tutoring in domestic politics with regard to the new situation after the war with the Ikko. Long hours of discussions and hypothetical situations had been both fascinating and exhausting. Inori seemed to have had it easier with some martial training alongside their aunt Suzume. She'd even been allowed to go shopping in town provided she brought a bodyguard. It seemed that even still the loss of one daughter had made their parents overly protective of the children they had left.

Most of the presentations by the staff were about what he'd expected, and he'd certainly heard about the addition of a fourth year to official school curriculum. Inori was pretty excited about the chance to spend more time at the school she'd only just come to just a few months before. She'd made a few friends already and was eager to throw herself at whatever challenges came her way. Sitting there in her school uniform she was grinning at the thoughts of getting back into class and out to the kyudo range. Her brother meanwhile was just glad to be getting back into the swing of school.

Things weren't going to get easier for him as the heir to his clan's leadership. Even if he was still young his parents were already beginning to groom him for things to come in the next few years. More responsibility was coming his way by the time he was 18, of that much he was certain. His father had impressed upon him the idea that Japan would need more diplomats with how the world was changing. Being less encumbered with school would allow Shinsuke to have some real experiences in the field, he'd said. All of the things to come meant that he'd probably also be bothered about the future of providing an heir to the clan. At least he assumed it'd go there eventually.

In that way he envied Inori, who was freer to pursue her own interests. Certainly their parents had thoughts on what she ought to study and do, but they were more hands-off with her than him. Maybe that was their aunt's influence, maybe it was just her tendency to do things a little more spontaneously. He'd promised he'd look after her though, insomuch as she needed someone to look after her. All in all, the more he thought about it, the more he wondered how this year was going to go. Perhaps looking into extracurricular opportunities to experience other cultures would help prepare him for future diplomacy. At some point he'd have to confront his own complicated feelings about a particular girl whom he hadn't spoken to for several months.. and her brother. This was going to be a year of change, that much he was sure of.

---

For someone who'd grown up in a rural region known for its fruits and friendly folk, the past few months had been a wild change of pace. Eriko had only gone home for a week to participate in a local produce festival, then come back to Edo. A long trip between the cities and even more wildly different in the volume of people. Yet because of who she was - the girl who'd gotten close to the Shogun's son - the Yamana clan heiress was involved in all kinds of rebuilding efforts. She'd volunteered for a number, of course, so she wasn't entirely without blame for her own busy schedule.

Weirdly she hadn't seem all that much of Kenji of late due, likely, to how busy he must be with similar issues. More responsibility was on him now and that made the future shogun incredibly busy. While she missed his company she realized he was doing everything he could for his family and for his people. Should a disaster befall Inaba, she would do entirely the same things for her home province's people. As things were Eriko made appearances to foster confidence in the people of Edo when she wasn't training, studying or attending meetings.

In a way she was a princess even if it wasn't official yet at all. None of the many historical novels she'd amassed in her private collection had prepared her for the reality of that. Not even official and yet already incredibly well known compared to the obscurity she'd been blessed with before. Being an Elite student certainly didn't hurt that fact either. It also meant that she was specially seated for the opening ceremony, which itself made her ponder things to come.

Now that they'd have an extra year for students to undertake she wasn't sure how they would fit in the overall duties of an Elite. Likely she'd be expected to look after and help train the fourth years just like any other students. Elites were still Elites even with a new organization to Edo Bugei's academics. How all that fit in with her growing responsibilities to her significant other's family and the nation boggled her mind. While still a little leery of engaging in battle personally she had begun to really get int advising strategy instead. Though her training had been mostly kenjutsu and personal combat, she had begun to voraciously read about planning and leadership in her spare time. It was one little way she could prepare herself for helping lift some of the responsibility off of Kenji's shoulders. Once she saw him for more than a few minutes anyway.


-------

Ceremony had its place, but during this one Kumori found herself a little distracted by a desire to be somewhere else. Sitting to listen to teachers go through formalities wasn't going to make her a better warrior. It wouldn't sharpen her blade or more finely attune her to her relic. About the biggest thing that she got out of it all was that there was a smithing teacher from her sponsoring clan. Though she didn't know this Oda personally she was certain that he knew of her. He'd have to. She was the Oda Scion at this school, even though she was in no way related by blood or marriage. Simple coincidence had seen the relic activate for her in the presence of the Oda. Now she was a continuing student at this prestigious school as their representative.

For her the battle with the Ikko had been personal and vicious. Many other students had fallen to their attacks before she could do anything to help them. Too many. Too much innocent blood spilled by criminals who had no remorse in killing children. Her injuries had healed but her mind still recalled the faces of the dead who'd called out to her during a delusion caused by an enemy. Sleep could sometimes be rare when she had more vivid recollections. Yet she'd oddly embraced what they told her - she was a weapon, with no other purpose than to cut down the wicked.

None of her music had helped anyone. No amount of attempting to aide those in need outside of battle had done it either. As an adult - she was 20, about to turn 21 - Kumori couldn't let herself weakly fall into such frivolous things. Ise hadn't taught her wrongly of course - she would still help any Japanese person in need regardless of clan. It was just that she felt the only thing she could do to be of use was to fight. Those voices in her dreams were a constant reminder that her weakness had failed them.

So she had refused to leave Edo after the battle; it was easy enough to remain when you had to recover from injuries again. Moreover she had little desire to return to Kiyosu either. She was not an Oda even though they had taken her in, and despite their kindness she didn't want the distraction of their expectations for her. They wanted a proud warrior anyway. Better for her to remain in Edo and train relentlessly so that she was ready for battle.

Focusing on martial training so much had left little time to socialize with others, and she'd not really made any friends as it was. Allies in times of battle perhaps, but not friends. Azai Nobuyori had been a potential friend but she hadn't seen him in months. That was for the best. Less distraction from forging herself into a proper deadly weapon that would mercilessly destroy any who stood in the way of order and peace. At least.. that's what she told herself. It helped her cope with the horrid feeling of having failed so many innocents despite the gift of a relic.

Maybe this year would see her get the chance to save some people - it would be through her martial prowess alone, that she was somewhat convinced of. Something was nagging in her mind as the ceremony ended and she began to shuffle off to change into training clothes, though. How much more could she do here? It might be an honor to be at Edo Bugei, but she was 20 already. Everyone she'd met pretty much had been younger than her, and she was only a third year. Now they were adding a fourth year and thus another obstacle to overcome before graduation. Would she even need to graduate? Would she be able to? Or was staying here just going to hold her back or keep her away from things that really needed doing? For a moment she started pondering if she could ask to return to the tranquility of Ise. But no.. she'd stay here for now. And make prepare herself for the next battle. That's all she was good for, anyway, wasn't it?

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Nobuyumi
 Posted: Dec 22 2017, 07:39 PM
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On one hand it felt good to return to Edo. On the other hand it felt completely foreign. He had changed a lot. The city had changed even more. With his dyed blond hair, fair blue eyes, nicely defined jaw, and long blue and gold Azai clan jacket, the future lord of Omi Azai Nobuyori stood with the other students. As they waited for the Headmaster of the academy to begin speaking Nobuyori took the time to reflect back on everything that had happened this year.

He had fought hard in the north to protect Suishoku and Yumiko's home. Then he had to rush back to Edo to defeat the Ikko's main force and a foreign born illusionist. With the entire country in shambles he had gotten permission to return home to Omi and help his father with keeping the people of his province calm and making sure no Ikko forces had been hiding out around their home.

Now being back at Bugei it felt nice but in a strong sense also awkward. As he looked around he noticed how many students seemed to be missing. How many would always be missing now. Apparently a memorial had been made to all of the students and citizens that had passed away, but that still didn't feel like enough. As Nobuyori thought of the lost the Headmaster began to speak.

It was a nice feeling to be welcome back to Edo Bugei and see that the staff had all made it through the Ikko revolution unscathed. While two of the staff seemed to be missing from the ceremony the teachers that did speak did their best to talk of the coming school year and of moving forward.

In Nobuyori's mind that was all they could do right now. That was what he needed to do. Through the battles of this year he had found a lot of pain, but also strength. He found strength he din't know had until it had been tested. He now knew he was strong, and that he had the power to not only save the people of Edo, but of Japan as a whole. He wanted to use his position both as a prince and a scion to defend the people of Omi from anything and show the entire country that the Azai clan was a clan of purity, of strength, and most of all a clan that would refuse be looked down upon simply because they bore the stigma of being a resurrected clan!

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Tagami Yumiko didn't carry the same weight upon her soul as others did. She had carried enough weight earlier in the year that she didn't need to anymore. In the previous fall she had lost her first crush after he pushed himself too hard to defend the Shogun. With her short black hair, large eyes, and tiny frame she couldn't do much for him then but she was able to do more for herself now.

She had spent much of the previous winter in a terrible depression. However thanks to the efforts of students like Suishoku she was fairing far better now. When the assault by the Ikko happened she had gone to Kyoto to help keep the city peaceful, and then returned to try and get revenge for Masumi's death at Edo Castle. While she herself hadn't been the one to slay Shin, she had seen him get slayn and that was enough.

Having spent the summer traveling between home and Edo she had been in two cities trying to repair themselves, and she repaired herself along with them. Her parents gave her all the love and support she needed, and staying in touch with school friends helped. Listening to the Bugei staff talk of moving forward she knew she had to as well. She couldn't be the quiet poet that mourned Kajiwara Masumi forever.

She needed to become her own person. A stronger Yumiko that helped others, and helped herself. Her goals for the year lay twofold. The first was to improve her poetry. She would never give up on being a poetry master. The second was to learn how to help others. Recently she had considered the medical track in order to help others like Masumi. After all, no one said she couldn't study medicine and still write poetry in her free time.

In the back of her mind she also wanted to spend more time with Nobuyori, Suishoku, and Kai. All three had treated her well when she was depressed over Masumi and felt alone. Now she wanted to pay them back, and this year she would show them just how strong she had become. That was her new resolve!

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Katayama Masato, with his curly hair and twin swords at his side stood in the crowd with the other Bugei students as the staff began welcome everyone back to Edo Bugei Academy for the new year. For Masato it truly was a welcome back, but not the home he had hoped to come back to. During the entire Ikko attack on Edo he had been out of the country on a prolonged mission to China guarding a diplomat. In Masato's mind it was an important mission, but he still felt extremely spiteful of not being at the academy during the attack on the country.

An entire civil war had happened and he hadn't even been around for it. It was disgusting in his mind. Though it was a shame he now chose to carry in order to remember never to let his guard down. If he had been more efficient and was better at planning perhaps he could have been back to Japan by the time the attack had happened. Either way as the headmaster talked Masato adjusted his tie and uniform.

He was glad that his family back in Gifu was safe. All of the money and extra things he had gotten from the mainland had gone back to his family in Gifu to support his little siblings. Shio and Ranta didn't feel like siblings to him. In many ways they felt like his own kids and he would make sure they got the best education they possibly could. This also meant being in the safest country possible.

As the teachers introduced themselves and spoke of moving forward Masato nodded along. The Shogunate, the country, the Bugei, all could easily be called weak right now. However, he didn't see the current Japan. In Masato's mind he saw a brighter, stronger Japan. It would just take a lot of work to achieve.

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Azai Nobuyori
The stuck up clan lord who defends the people.

Tagami Yumiko
The adorable poet girl who hates war.

Katayama, Masato
A strategist bent on changing the world.
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Shoy
 Posted: Dec 28 2017, 02:52 AM
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So: a new fancy school. Ripley couldn’t wait, and they weren’t even being sarcastic this time.

The teachers that came up to the podium droned on and on. Ripley mostly didn’t bother listening. All they were talking about was battles and valour and rebuilding and yada yada yada. That sort of talk was nice and dramatic in movies but yawn-inducing in real life.

Still, it would be good, even if these speeches were boring. With any luck this school would be able to provide them with a much more thorough education than their old school back in Osaka. Another thing Ripley hoped it could provide was connection - if they had the chance to meet the right people and make the right friends, doors could open for them to break into the movie business over here or - oh, that shining holy grail - break into the business over in Hollywood. Ripley almost didn’t dare to dream something so incredible and so unlikely, but if there was a chance it could happen they were going to try.

They did wonder what it would be like to study at a place like this, though. Would everyone be uptight and seclusive? Would even a small breech of the rules get you sent home? Ripley didn’t give a shit about rules, or more accurately they didn’t give a shit about rules that they thought were stupid, and so the extent to which they could get away with breaking those rules was something Ripley was concerned about, especially when it came to things such wearing the correctly gendered uniform.

The final point of concern, in Ripley’s mind, was what the other students would think of them. It wasn’t a concern they would ever share - it was a petty, weak concern - but it was foremost in their mind. There was a very real possibility that the students at this school would not accept them for who they were. As Ripley knew no-one here yet, it was hard to make a judgement on just how everyone would react but oh, was Ripley going to find out. Ideally the year would end with Akagi Ripley the most well-known name around the school, liked or hated, or both. It seemed fitting: it was the best way to search out for those sought-after connections, and what better way was there to have fun around the place than if everyone knows your name?

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Aideen
 Posted: Jan 17 2018, 09:16 PM
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Kire didn't listen to the speech, he almost didn't listen to the introductions. The only exception was, predictably, Kono-sensei. She was as brilliant and noble as ever. He could still remember seeing her show up during the fight against the Ikko rebels. It pretty much made the whole thing worth it. She was gorgeous in battle and in peace. Annoyingly, the Oda was still here, teaching smithing. At least his sales pitch had improved. Maybe Kire would actually grace one of his classes with the presence of another master. Probably not though. It would just be revision and Kire was far more interested in breaking new ground, even if it was only new in Japan.

He had just about finished his latest weapon and mastered the obsidian. What a beautiful but terrible stone that was, dangerous to crafter and enemy alike. He was pleased with it, almost as much as he was terrified of the thing. Frankly, he'd never had a weapon so eager to kill and maim, it had done a number on his hands already. Soon it would pay off though. But that left him lost and confused. After all, what would he work on next? He had to find something, some inspiration. Maybe he'd find a map and throw a dart at it. The world had a great deal of blades in it, and once he'd found the common core, he could create something new.

________________________________________

Bu wanted to leave. She had done her job, right? She'd hunted the rebel Ikko and done her part to expose the elements that were assisting them on the gang side of things. But she'd been ordered to stay. Her, ordered, stay. It made her want to punch something. Well, someone. But she couldn't do that, so she was here at the school even longer. Fan-freaking-tastic. Well, what could you do, when you had an artifact, you were pretty much owned by the country. Slave and chattel, but at least she could do her part for the Emperor. It was the rest of the high class idiots she couldn't stand.

So she would just wait it out, best she could. Maybe she could make some friends, or form a posse. With some real luck, she might be able to get her hands on a custom bike that would suit her power set. Most of them weren't built to get up to speed with a super sexy badass stone woman riding them. A very apt description in her own mind. Well, she would just keep the mechanic club going and hope for the best, or mostly hope for a lucky break. Hell, with enough luck, she might be able to avoid getting a job.

________________________________________

If he had been sitting down, Junko would be on the edge of his seat. He was wearing the Hokkaido Matsudaira clan symbol on his fur coat today. A testament to his new dedication to learn about where he fit in. He wanted to change the world, make it better, at least in some small way and he would rely on the power of his family name to get it done if he had to. His clan may not have been as prevalent as the southern Matsudaira and they may have been quite often ignored and forgotten about up in the frozen forests, but Junko was ready to make some waves.

He wanted to solve the heartache, both of the tremors on the soul that still shook the people of the land from the earthquake and the attack. He knew he couldn't cure it, but if he could alleviate it somehow, he'd try. And, in his mind, that started with the forest. It was a pit of hopelessness and suffering, it drew people in and they were never seen again. Junko wanted to make that stop. That was the manly thing to do because it was the right thing to do. He was willing to pursue that goal as high as he needed.

Then, the actual work would begin and maybe, just maybe, once he had made the dent in the suicide forest and really helped the people and Japan, his mother might admit that he was a true man, a noble man, his own man. He could stand on his own with pride and no longer cower beneath her cascading shadow. She couldn't deny him that, not after what he was going to do, right? She couldn't keep him from being who he was.

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Mikachi
 Posted: Jan 17 2018, 09:38 PM
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“Huh. So this is the famous Edo Bugei Academy.”

And what a beautiful sight it was, yet it had been rather early for such a crowd to be gathered. It seems as if the academy had been similar to any school that had come before it. Waking early and prepping for the school day. Though a crowd in the morning? This was a rare sight indeed. So many students, and yet so many smiles resting upon their faces. Chatting along as if any normal school had been. Was he at the right academy? The enrollment letter made it seem as if the academy had only accepted the best of the best while the weak are kicked out. But it seems he thought wrong!

Setting his gaze to watch as he stepped along the surrounding area, a man who seemed to be of importance came along to the nearby podium, alongside the group amassed with very interesting-looking individuals. In which, Mikachi chose to find a suitable spot amongst the crowd, listening in on the man’s introduction. Setting an arm just around his own torso, Mikachi looked to the man’s features with a curious expression resting on his own features. Such a dark robe yet accompanied by the design of two blue herons. The man must be of a higher rank to have such a detailed design on his clothing, along with such an expression.

Upon turning his gaze to notice the rest of the students who had bowed before the man and his group, Mikachi couldn’t help but emit the same gesture. It was his first day and he wished to make a good impression; So why not follow along? Listening in, there was no sign of wavering in his voice, and a warm welcome? He had to be the head of the academy. Allowing his fingers to just to the back of his neck, Mikachi had been quite surprised that a battle, no, a war could have damaged the school, as well as the rest of the country.

He chuckled as the cranes revealed themselves within the background of the school. There were many people here that had quite a specific set of qualities. Although, Nabeshima-sensei did seem a bit off at first until he added the last bit to his introduction. Then came… the doctor. It was surprising to see how many students had been swayed by infatuation when it came to the more diverse faculty. Mikachi however only saw them as that, and a good source of communication, but nothing more. The smithing instructor had been quite blunt and to the point, something Mikachi commended normally with folks to do.

There was nothing hiding the fact of the arts and crafts instructor, Kono-sensei had an impeccable introduction. Any passionate individual had been a fine individual in Mikachi’s eyes. Upon hearing of the combat instructor’s absence, Mikachi took it upon himself to remember exactly why he had been there. Though if the head instructor is out, that means there’d be much more of an easier time settling in the academy. And finally, Kurita-sensei. It was unfortunate to hear that the nurse had been off, though Mikachi had been sure that there must’ve been someone in the academy that would be interested in guiding an aspiring healer in the right direction.

Mikachi began taking note of exactly where the locations of the dorms and main building had been. He crossed his arms, gazing up at the building before shifting in place to keep his legs from falling asleep. There were so many possibilities in this academy that just continued to pile on top of each other soon after that. Upon the final words of the man speaking, Mikachi followed along with the students, giving a deep bow and chuckling to the sense of pride that lingered within the air beside the current students attending the academy. It was a bit of a stretch, but surely this place had a spot for everyone welcomed into it.

“Neat.” He stated simply through his lips quietly, moving along into the main building.

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