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, 7/10/2017 A blood red summer has come. As the Edo Bugei students finish facing off with the ikko forces all across the nation a massive steel ship floats towards Edo Harbor. The final battle between the Ikko Ikki rebels and the Edo Bugei students is about to begin. The lingering question now, just how much of Edo will be left standing once the battle ends?

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 Rank 3 Mission: Nobunaga's Fan
Nobuyumi
 Posted: Aug 6 2017, 04:05 PM
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During the great Kanto Earthquake of 2016 many of Edo's great warehouses had taken a lot of damage. Thieves who had always wished they could enter the heavily guarded buildings finally received their chance and many famous artifacts had been stolen. One such artifact was the subject of focus today. It was a small folding fan kept in a black silk bag tied with a purple string. The fan itself wasn't that large, but it was the story behind the fan that made it so valuable. Supposedly it was the favorite fan of the infamous warlord Oda Nobunaga. Legend has it that the fan kept in Edo's largest warehouse was the same fan Nobunaga had used to perform the Atsumori dance before rushing out to kill Imagawa Yoshimoto.

No one was sure if the artifact in question was a relic or not, however the value of it alone made the Shogunate extremely upset upon finding out it was stolen, and the Oda clan even more upset to find out the Shogunate had such a rare item that they declared should belong to them. With two different clans infuriated over the theft, it didn't take long about the report for the Bugei to be contacted. Supposedly it was taken by a common thief only a few hours after the earthquake. The thief, a young man around age 35 named Tatsunosuke has apparently ran off into the forests of Aokigahara in order to get away from Edo's metsuke.

The two students who signed up for the mission would be taken to the edge of the infamous "Sea of Trees" around the hour of the dragon. The weather was clear and the sun was out. The temperature itself felt surprisingly mild for how early in the day it was. Cooler than expected but no doubt would get hot quickly as time went on within the dense forest. It was early in the morning and the area looked completely empty aside from them, and three metsuke who had brought them to the forest. All three metsuke looked to be of high rank and all very stressed due to the pressure around this mission. The most senior of them appeared to wear white and blue robes with a gold Tokugawa crest on his back. He was a balding man even with his samura topknot and appeared to be around 50 years of age. His thick black mustache covered his small mouth as he looked at the two.
"Your job is to go into the forest and figure out how to find that wretched criminal. To the best of our knowledge he hasn't left the forest in months and has been occasional sneaking back into Edo to get food. Because of this we imagine his camp can't be that deep in the forest. If you have any plans we would certainly like to hear them." the man said with a massive scowl. The Metsuke on one hand appeared offended that the Bugei had been chosen over them, however the Metsuke had also attempted looking for the thief numerous times over the past two months and had yet to find him.

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

Tagami Yumiko
The adorable poet girl who hates war.
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Aideen
 Posted: Aug 6 2017, 08:56 PM
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He'd been given a proper job. This was like, totally his first chance to prove that he was a good soldier. And it was going to be a mission in a forest, wasn't that just so lucky? Sure it may have been filled with tears and ghosts of unhappy souls and bleak but it was a forest like at home. Junko couldn't be happier about it, certainly if he was going to die and choose a spot to wander for eternity then he'd absolutely choose a forest. Relaxing among the trees, exploring hidden glades, and following the animals.

It was fun to bring out, not just his normal gear, but the full regalia of the hunt the night previous. He hadn't been able to get this stuff out since that last outing with Hachi before he'd been accepted. It brought back some good memories and the bad ones and so Junko had a nice little cry that night but it was a healthy experience. Annoyingly, he didn't have to make too many adjustments to his clothes, this was annoying becuase he had been expecting to shoot up into a strong and strapping man by now but the hunting clothes still fit apart from a bit of lengthening the legs.

That morning, Junko got up very early as if he was going on a true hunt. Normally he would be out in the woods before dawn but obviously he was reporting for a mission which meant it was all pushed back a bit. So he'd had a lot of time to kill, so to speak. Instead of just standing around or going to the prescribed meeting area and just waiting, Junko made a few advanced preparations. He went to the shrines and prayed. He left a small donation and spoke to the priest if he might collect a few blessings and sutra. It had been a bit awkward to explain that he wanted these because he was going to Aokigahara but he was pretty sure that he managed to convey that they weren't for him.

The "Sea of Trees" had a reputation after all. But while Junko had a legitimate reason for going, others went for their own personal reasons and some of them would not come back out. With the job being tracking down a person in the forest, Junko expected to be following a fair amount of foot traffic and in the forest of suicides, some of those tracks would lead to some poor soul. Pinning the protection and blessing to them was the least he could do until he was able to alert somebody about their existence.

Even with the side trip, Junko arrived at the designated meeting area at the edge of the forest half an hour. He felt slightly out of place but reminded himself that he was going into the forest, not doing whatever it was these guys would do outside. Still, he felt that he stood out which was not what a hunter ought to do. He was dressed in deerskin, his normal bear skin coat was more decorative after all. His leaf camouflage pack was filled with basic survival supplies, like a signal mirror, energy bars, water purification tablets, and medical supplies. A long knife hung at his hip, primarily for skinning and carving up animals but it was important to have a survival knife in the woods. A compass was pinned to the bag alongside the canteen he'd brought.

His bow was slung over one shoulder and a quiver with fifteen arrows was slung over the other. He didn't expect to need that many arrows but you had to be prepared. He also didn't expect to spend the night in the forest but you never knew. So if it came down to surviving in the woods, he'd have all he needed to make a fair go of it. From the sound of it, the guy they were after was not a true outdoorsman. Not if he had to go into town for food. Junko firmly believed that nature would provide. Still, to survive for so long in the woods was commendable for such a person.

Junko nodded at the information given by the Metsuki and pulled out a topographical map of the forest. He considered it for a time. The trouble with the man being near the edge was that the tracks might be mixed in with the poor unfortunate souls, the sight seers coming to the ice and wind caves, and the school trips. Well that couldn't be helped. If that was where he was, then that was where they would look first. Of course, their looking hadn't been effective but a new set of eyes may be what was needed. Junko went "Hmm. You said he goes into town for food sometimes. Have there been increased reports of theft from houses out on the edge of town, reports of alleged animals getting into ice boxes? Has there been an influx of visitors reporting food going missing from unlocked vehicles or anything?" If the man was scavenging off the visitors and taking money off the dead, that would possibly help narrow down if he was working in a single area or moving along the outskirts of the forest always moving.

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savvagechan
 Posted: Aug 8 2017, 12:13 AM
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She'd barely had time to really check out what this school had to offer- when she'd been called in for a mission. The shogunate worked rather fast- she'd only just arrived and she was already being put to work, Hana paused her early morning meditation- a smile on her face as she stretched extensively at the ungodly hour of four in the morning.



She was rather content, however- normally she awoke much earlier for a hunt. Edo Bugei seemed rather lenient with its students already, perhaps her upbringing was simply too strict. Either way, she was grateful for the sleep in. After getting her, she surely needed it.



Hana sang softly as the sun rose, singing an old chorus she was inescapably fond of as she inspected and polished her relics. Softly- giddy even, she spoke to them, chances are they wouldn't bathe in blood today, but a hunt always got the blood running.

Tying her hair back, she noticed it was growing out once again, though she'd cut it neck length last week. Hana groaned but resisted to pick up the shears-she needed to focus on the hunt.




Before proper thought, however, she had to feed herself. Her stomach was grumbling for a while now and the samurai in her could very well ignore it. But her mind could not. Sitting down to a hot, but light meal, she ate to where it would do for the rest of the day, but wouldn't cause her to feel sluggish. That would be really bad for business!...



Sighing, she checked the clock to realize she had an hour or so before she set out on her mission- even though she'd slept in. That's always good on her part- who the hell said sleep was for the weak!



...Hana frowned-her mother and Megumi beating down on her in her mind's eye.



...Oh.



Hana chuckled to herself as she got dressed for the ocassion, she'd be out of uniform for the first time in a while, so picking and choosing from outfits would be a fun experience right now. Nothing prepared the soul for war like relaxation.


A black, turtle neck cropped top and matching coloured jeans, she wore a black and white bomber jacket- the only splash of colour on her seeming to be the crimson accents on her black high-tops- now what people said about black wasn't all that true- desert dwellers often wore it for a reason after all.


As she stocked the inner pockets with first aids and other meds, she sighed nervously-maybe she'd gone a little over board. Twenty minutes left- she could change now. Ohh boy.



------



Hana hummed as she looked at Junko- quite aware that she was staring but not enough to realize he might feel uncomfortable. Normally when that happened it was just basic sizing up. Are they good on their own? Will they need protection? Little things like that should always be put into perspective when going on a group mission!



"So this is the little munchkin I got paired with, lovely. Sanada Hana let's have lots of fun oka--"

...

She remarked, smiling as she sauntered over towards him. Oh wow, he was so tiny- tinier than she'd expected, and rather feminine as well. She had the biggest urge to play with his cheeks and smother him to death with affection- she didn't exactly know why, but she'd have to control herself on the mission, even if she was trembling near uncontrollably, lips pursed as she fought the urge.



That was when the appearance of three rather important looking, angry metsuke showed up. Obviously under pressure but still in unison-- WOW! Such good soldiers, such good role models!... Partially. If anything, Daisuke could learn a thing or two from them for once, the little brute. She straightened up as she saw them draw closer, taking deep breaths to appear as calm and ready as possible. It seemed to work.


"I see, that's quite troubling. Remarkable, but not in our best interest."

She didn't tell them, however, of any plan formulating in her head. That's not how the strategy worked. The thief was damn near reminding her of a rat, hiding away for an and only being lured by food. How interesting. "It will be a challenge-but the challenge is accepted regardless!" She seemed rather excited. She was only going to catch a big fuzzy rat after all!



She smiled brightly at the boy, he seemed to be on the same page as her. Such a relief. She knew the woods very well, that would only increase when another knew just as much as her- if not more.

"Now if we're on the same page, we should be deciding on a path that may have a few travelers or towards the nearest town?"

She suggested, balancing casually on one of her Yari, the other secure on her back. She'd be fine with just this, and a few first aid items that could be held easily in the inner pockets of her jacket. "It's a little funny, a rat will either go to the one place he knows he can get food from, or take the risk at the nearest food source."


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Nobuyumi
 Posted: Aug 13 2017, 08:56 PM
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The Metsuke waited until both students arrived. The two that showed up seemed a bit strange for sure, however the metsuke considered most Edo Bugei students strange. Spoiled brats with super powers in their eyes. The first student to arrive had a rather serious look on his face, and seemed to be packing a bow and hunting knife, as well as rations and a compass. The other student appeared to be a young woman from the famous Sanada clan. The Metsuke knew of the Sanada of course but didn't know they had a Bugei student who looked so young among their family.
"Hmm. You said he goes into town for food sometimes. Have there been increased reports of theft from houses out on the edge of town, reports of alleged animals getting into ice boxes? Has there been an influx of visitors reporting food going missing from unlocked vehicles or anything?" kire asked. The metsuke just shook his head a bit.

"A lot of people know he is crooked but the shop owners in Edo enjoy getting paid. Up until recently he has been a small time thief and likely was just looking for extra samurai armor to sell for money at a pawn shop. I don't even think he understands what he stole." the metsuke seemed to show a bit of sympathy for Tatsunosuke. Then as Hana mentioned they needed a plan the Metsuke nodded.

"Be careful. I'm sure you both know, Aokigahara is a forest of the dead. Every year people come here to commit suicide. You may see a lot of dead and decaying bodies inside. With how vast the forest is the criminal investigation and forensic units don't have time to go in and clear out every dead body. We ask you not disturb those that have chosen to make this their final resting place."

As this was the entrance the students would be able to see a clear path in front of them. Though how well they wanted to stick to such an obvious path was up to them. They would also seem long lines of what appeared to be colored yarn.
"The lines of yarn are placed in the forest by some of Edo's more compassionate officials. It is so those wanting to commit suicide deep in the woods can find their way back to the exist if they follow the strings long enough." They would both notice some of the strong looked warn down as though many hands had gone over it. However the string was clearly visible and went deep into the forest. Some blue and red lines even appeared to go off the normal trail and deep into the thicker part of the woods like arteries traveling down one's arm.

In front of the students was a clear trail, as well as a line of red string leading along the edge of the woods, and a path of blue strings leading deep off the trail into a thicket. The question is which the students wanted to follow.


savvagechan
Aideen

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

Tagami Yumiko
The adorable poet girl who hates war.
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Aideen
 Posted: Aug 13 2017, 09:37 PM
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Junko felt at ease, he'd heard of this forest, its reputation, but he also knew that a forest was just a forest. He was as religious as any other guy, but he didn't believe in a forest that called out to people who suffered. It hadn't called out to him, at least, no more than any other forest. But he had steeled himself against what he might see. Plus he'd purchased the charms so he was doubly safe. Certainly he had no reason or desire to show disrespect, quite the opposite. Something that really should be done by professionals, probably like these Metsuei who had supposedly searched the forest prior.

Well, he would not hold it against them, there were other crimes likely more important than the death of somebody who had given up on life. But really, there ought to be something for these people, if only for their families to have some sort of closure. Perhaps he would come back later on, do something for those he found during his hunt. So without much consideration, he mentally discarded the request to leave the bodies undisturbed. And it wasn't just because the Metsuki had given him so little to work with on his actual mission. Though perhaps in some vindictive corner of his heart, that contributed.

Junko turned toward his newly assigned partner. "Hello there, my name is Matsudaira Junko from the Hokkaido lineage. I wish we could have met in a less oppressive environment." He smiled, his tone was currently very formal as if he was thinking very carefully about his word choice. This was because he was. He didn't want to make a bad showing on this very important mission so he was treating this like a tea ceremony. "As for which path I recommend, the city will do us no good at all so I think we should travel down the path until it turns deeper in and then follow one of the strings, red preferably."

He took a deep breath and reached behind him to pull out an arrow which he used to gesture down the path. "When you are running, you're likely in a panic, you may miss small details. An animal who runs from the hunter will take the easiest path towards escape. A human is just a larger, less capable animal, versatile as we may be. So I predict he took the path and later on decided to veer off the trail. The eye catches bright color and red tends to be the brightest. Blue might get lost in the darkness of the overcast trees."

He pointed at the red and blue strings. "If he's a city lowlife, then I doubt he's really got the skills to survive out here. Likely he's found a shelter and set up a camp rather than setting up a new one every few days. So to avoid getting lost, he's probably got one string that ends nearby that he might have marked near the trail so he can always find his way back to his hide out." Junko felt confident in his assumptions. Ignoring the Metsuke, he turned his gaze back to his partner, and the stern focus went away and was replaced by a big, hopeful smile. Would she agree, did he sound clever? He wanted to be super totally mega impressive on his first outing as an official student.

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savvagechan
 Posted: Aug 14 2017, 12:31 AM
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"Poor thing,"

...


Hana sighed, her burgundy eyes pressed to metsuke as they explained the situation further. It seemed she could balance her comedy with her attentiveness. For though she could easily crack a shitty joke here and there about this guy- about the metsuke themselves if she was drunk enough, she chose the route of light hearted conversation and a dead serious expression. As if she was a jokester at heart but she wasn't having these games.


"I wonder how bad his punishment will be."

The shop owners were a bit of a problem as well, she wouldn't know it- coming from luxury's lap. But Hana had heard it time and time again. Money was the root of all evil. She wondered if pressing said shop owners would be a little side quest later on- she would love to see how her tiny, adorable friend here would handle the situation!

"Yes of course,"


Hana was quite resolute with the officers, she really didn't want to come in contact with a dead body and mess around with their bodies. Like hell, she wanted to be followed back to Edo by a restless spirit! Even worse, a bunch of restless spirits- driven near insane to end their lives in that forest. Even under a smiling face, Hana was preparing herself for the horrors she'd see in the forest, with any luck- it wouldn't change her much once this was over. She didn't think she could handle that kind of heaviness right now.



As Hana put her hands on her hands, her fiery hues flickered to the boy beside her. He looked so deep in thought- she'd like to get inside his head at least once, to see if this sweetheart was brilliant enough to follow her through with this mission. "Don't worry about it Junko, I'm sure if this mission does anything for us, we'll come out closer than when we went in," Hana assured, not minding the circumstance they were in. Maybe it was how prone she was to adapting to situations- but she genuinely felt that harsh situations like this made true friends. Formed true relationships. How would you know how well you work with a person if you can't work with them when put to the test?


"Hmm, I see what you're getting at- with any luck, however, let's not underestimate our prey. If he was complex enough to wait and steal from the warehouse in a time of disaster, wouldn't you think he might be complex to know he is being hunted by now- and might pick the blue trail to throw off his oppressors? Let's try to review first, right Junko?"



She was startled by his analysis at first, and during it, her smile only seemed to widen. This one was fun! Made her feel...giddy. She loved getting down to this kind of work- and if he was willing to strategize with her then their relationship would only get better as far as Hana was concerned.

"True, that does sound like something a city thief would do- I'm surprised he has the balls to stay in this forest actually. I like your observation! Just let me know when you're ready to start."


Hana seemed pretty enamored with him- even though he was supposed to be her partner. If anything, he was almost like her baby sister with a strong resolve to impress her. She felt like she had to protect him on this mission to some extent- so she wanted to make sure he took his time.

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Nobuyumi
 Posted: Aug 18 2017, 10:33 PM
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NPC POST

From what the two would know of the forest it certainly wasn't the type of place people usually hid out in. Even the most violent of Edo's criminals would never willingly choose to hide within Aokigahara if they felt they had other options. The forest itself was dense, and easy to escape from people in, however it was also full of corpses. The worst part is never knowing when you may run across one or what state it would be in. That kind of thing could easily drive a sane person mad, or even an insane person to quickly place themselves among Aokigahara's dead.

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As the two began down the main trail the woods at the entrance seemed almost peaceful. Nothing about the woods really called out violence or evil. The air was still, but small animals could be seen, as well as many types of bugs. Birds could be heard all around, chirping in the new day and claiming their respective trees as their own.

Going down the main path more signs could be seen begging people to reconsider and trying to tell them to think of their parent's hopes and aspirations for them. The signs also listed various hotlines in multiple languages that people could call.

Choosing the blue string the students had officially lost sight of the metsuke at the entrance. The moment they got into the deeper part of the woods, after about ten minutes of walking from the entrance, Hana would nearly lose her balance. She had stumbled over a corpse of a young man likely Junko's age. He wouldn't have died earlier than a year ago. Given that the inspection of the forest for bodies happened once a year it was likely just after last year's inspection. They could stop and look at the body, or continue to follow the blue string deeper.

savvagechan
Aideen

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

Tagami Yumiko
The adorable poet girl who hates war.
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Aideen
 Posted: Aug 19 2017, 06:20 AM
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"We don't know if the act was as premeditated as that but I suppose it cannot be discounted. Those Mezuke seem to think he was just a scavenger who saw an opportunity and took it. Hardly the actions of a man who plans and thinks ahead." Junko stared at the forest. "Or we could all be wrong. Too much guesswork right now. While a psychological profile might be nice, we're just hunting. Nature will show us the way." He said with utter confidence. He believed it, too, all they needed was the right place to look and from there finding the thief would be simple.

The forest was a dark and oppressive as he'd been told and yet it slid off of Junko like water on a duck's back. It was just another forest to Junko and one teeming with wildlife. Though he wouldn't eat anything that wasn't a strict herbivore in a place where the easiest meat for scavengers and predators alike was an unfortunate soul. Not that he was planning to hunt but if he had to, he had made considerations. In the end, it was probably the rumors and stories that gave the place a foreboding atmosphere. All of it was in your own mind, except the bodies but that probably just fed the loop like a snake eating itself.

Speaking of, Hana suddenly tripped and fell across and over one of those unfortunate souls. Junko quickly stepped over tried to help her back up to her feet. "Are you ok?" He gave her a quick once over. "You didn't twist your ankle or anything?" Once his partner was dealt with, he looked at the corpse.

"You poor man." He bowed and whispered a quick prayer while he reached behind him and unzipped the side pocket of his backpack. From it, he pulled out one of the temple charms. With delicate care, he placed it on the body. "It's pretty depressing." He said solemnly as he drew the arrow again. "This close to the string, the very first string we chose, and he's been here for at least six months, probably more."

At some point, bodies in the wild all ended up looking the same and you needed actual skill to tell when they died. "Somebody needs to do something for these poor people, and more often than once each year." With the butt of the arrow, he poked at the man's pant pockets for a wallet. "That we have so many lost souls left uncared for, it brings shame on our country." The missing wallet would be a solid though not perfect indicator that the thief had come this way,. But it could have been any thief, including an animal. Not to mention its presence didn't disprove anything.

Junko stood, "I apologize for disturbing you, may your spirit find rest." He bowed to the corpse then he turned toward Hana and said "I need a minute." He moved a few trees over, set the arrow apart and dropped his pack. Then he gagged but kept it all down while he frantically dug through his bag. Finally he found it, a bottle of hand sanitizer. "Please, please, please clean yourself off." He proffered the bottle and a cloth wipe. Mostly he kept these to get blood off his hands but this was one of those important exceptions. While she dealt with that, he pulled out a plastic sealable bag to put the dirty wipe in.

I'm not OCD, by the way." He said, feeling the need to justify himself. "Your hands can just get really dirty when you're cleaning an animal so you have to clean them off and then traces of blood can attract predators or scavengers so I keep them in a plastic bag. It's normal." His very proper and polite way of speaking had been slowly disappearing as they got further into the forest and he became more comfortable. He felt like he was with Hachi again, in some ways. Which, in some ways, went to explain why he had switched back to the feminine pronoun when speaking.

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 Posted: Aug 21 2017, 10:02 PM
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"You have a point there,"

She observed- it was inherently easy for to get carried away with little things like this. But for the sake of actually completing this mission in a reasonable time span, she'd have to toss that profiling to the side and make room for the actual hunt. The total opposite of what she'd do if she was left to her own devices. Whether she liked Junko or not, he was quite a blessing to have around.

Hands now in the pockets of her jacket, she stalked alongside Junko, very calm in her surroundings but also tense and protective of the small boy. The forest was just the same as it was told in the stories, but the gloomy, unnerving atmosphere wasn't what irked her. It was the multitude of dead bodies just sprawled about that made her skin crawl. Born to Samurai, she'd seen so many deaths that she couldn't even bat an eyelash at it, but to see them discarded in such a manner- where no form of honor was involved, was something that shook her.

From the look of confusion and bubbling anger on her porcelain features, she clearly couldn't understand why people could just get up and decide they have no reason to be alive like that. It was horrible- what's worse was that she couldn't tell how Junko was holding up. He seemed so cute- innocent, but he also gave the impression that he'd do something unspeakable.

Maybe even more horrifying than tripping and nearly landing face first over one of the rotting corpses. Rolling to her feet, she hissed as the sudden trip took her by surprise and caused a sharp pain to cut through the joint of her ankle.

"Ugh,"

She groaned, hissing as she covered her mouth, eyes wide and brows furrowed as cold sweat took her by surprise. She was mere inches away from her, and he'd died in such a manner that his fish-like eyes, swarmed with flies gazed straight into her own.

"I'm fine,"

She quickly breathed out as she stood up,

"Junko, we need to continue the mission."


Hana's voice was slowly becoming callous and stern as she brushed herself off, the strong stench now becoming unbearable to stay so close to.

She was going to call his name again, but what she saw him do nearly made her scream. Yet, she was so shocked that no words came out. Instead, she refused to answer him, just turned her head away from the scene. A dead body was nothing to her, but a dead body thrown to the side in such a manner was near unheard of and completely taboo. She didn't want to have to look at it any longer.

Still, he was right, she really wished, something could be done for these people, something more than just a bunch of strings and signs they might think of as encouraging. Even to simply leave them here to rot out of sight like they never existed was more dishonor to Japan.

She sighed, finally finding the words that left her moments before.

"Junko,"

She muttered, voice no deeper than a growl.

"We have a mission, don't we? We shouldn't be playing around with the souls of the deceased shouldn't we?"

She whispered, though her tone was far from gentle. Hana was normally a delicate person, physically robust, but lighthearted with her emotions and fragile in her mindset.

"I apologize, we've only just met. But don't you ever let me catch you do that again. Not while I'm there to see it."

Hana snapped at him, her hands moving from her pockets and cornering him between herself and the tree.

"I'm not going to hurt you, but you understand what I'm saying right?"


"Fuck up like that one more time, I dare you."

She didn't want to be harsh, but she didn't feel like she was being harsh either. She paused, sighing as she continued on the path.

"Just, don't- don't do that again, come on we have a hunt to continue."

For the rest of the journey, she was relatively calmer than she had been moments before. She'd keep a close on him ever so often, wondering if he had taken her words negatively. She didn't mean to threaten him- she'd feel sorry if that was how he felt. Hana didn't know how to scold someone on a serious matter such as suicide and mean it. Thankfully, he relieved her slight anxiety as he slowly began to talk to her more comfortably. Hana sighed, grinning before she gushed out an apology- only to raise a brow at the sudden usage of female pronouns.

"...Huh. S-so you're a girl?"

She mumbled after a second. She wasn't shocked- it certainly explained his appearance, his behaviour- to an extent. However, she was rather confused now.

"Now that I think of it, that explains a lot-"

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Aideen
 Posted: Aug 22 2017, 10:56 AM
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Junko hadn't been prepared for such an intense reaction from Hana. Finding himself trapped between her and the tree through off what confidence he had and, worse still, she was being really scary. He started to tear up but forced those away with ease of many years of practice and stared at the ground. He couldn't speak, all he could do was nod. As she turned away, he took a few breaths. It was like being back at home again. The body was still there in the edge of his consciousness, illuminated by the new life living and growing inside and on it.

He clenched his fists. No, this wasn't right. None of this was right. He took several steps forward and stood in front of her with hands outstretched. He looked her, this time right in the eye. "No, I'm a man now, damn it. I'm a student just like you. My clan may not be as famed as yours but we're just as important to protecting this country." He took a deep breath. "We have a mission and that mission means dealing with these poor lost souls if only to glean what information we can from them."

He could almost feel the presence of something inside him. The thought of that man, his age, dead for a year, that so easily could have been him. Exactly like him had not the letter to the academy arrived. "I will be as respectful as I can, I brought blessings that I came and I beg their forgiveness for what I must do. But I have questions that have to be answered." He tried to shore up his courage and stand tall. It would be practice for when he had to confront his mother someday.

"I have to know if they've been robbed, Sanada. These people felt abandoned and alone. Now that they're dead, they have been abandoned. Once a year, some people who don't care make a half assed attempt at clearing up the forest." He pointed at the corpse. "They deserve better than that." He lowered his hand. "The metsuke couldn't find this guy in months, they've only brought us in to say they had. I saw they way they looked at me. I may not be able to find this thief, but I can do at least one small thing for the dead of the forest."

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savvagechan
 Posted: Aug 22 2017, 08:24 PM
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Hana sighed, shaky as she looked at the ground. It was deeply upsetting. Yes, of course she knew these people deserved to be treated better than they had been. Yes she knew that everyone seemed to be doing a piss poor job of that too. But it was so conflicting to deal with, she just couldn't understand- or better yet even bring herself to know why they brought themselves to do this.

Samurai died in battle, their wives died protecting their family, or even participating in the war long ago. Things might have changed, but the people around her always died protecting something- fighting for something. Honor was the greatest case for their death. Just learning to accept that these people outed themselves without such a cause wasn't something a person could do overnight.

She didn't say much while he explained himself however, just acknowledged him with a fire in her deep red eyes, hot enough to feel cold against the flesh, dark and smoldering if your not careful. She seemed to be humming at his words once he finished, low and thoughtful before she couldn't help but smile. A weak, faint thing- but not a faint one either. Honestly, Junko's little idea made her want to gag. But at the same time she couldn't help but agree.

"Alright alright, I understand,"


She sighed, disappointed but wistful. Reaching out she ruffled his hair gently, not one for formalities when the situation barely called for it. Quite frankly, being stuck in a forest filled with rotting corpses was one of them.

"You can inspect the corpses- but we'll never speak of this again. Is that alright?"

Hana bargained with the smaller student, though her question was contorted more into a command than it was supposed to be.

"Don't tell anyone what you did either, what you did isn't something people would be happy about."


"Come on, let's not spend the night in the forest."


"By the way, my name is Hana."





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 Posted: Aug 26 2017, 11:48 PM
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As Junko poked the pocked of the corpse with an arrow the pocket went right in. All of the pockets on the corpse did. In fact as Junko looked around he would see an open wallet that appeared to have been tossed next to the corpse with no cards of money left. However, the corpse did have an Edo Bugei I.D. card. The body belonged to an Edo Bugei student who people had believed died in the Great Kanto Earthquake. Shimazaki Konosuke. as Junko looked around the body he would also find an extremely old, dirty bottle of heart medication pills that likely didn't belong to Konosuke to begin with. The tale of the missing student was now solved, but not the tale of what had happened to the boy's money.

The wallet looked like it had recently been thrown to the ground. If it had been with the boy for a year it would have been buried under leaves and mulch. Instead it was at the top of the soil. When the wallet was noticed a pair of legs would suddenly fall a few feet away from them from a corpse hanging up high. One almost had to wonder how it got so high up in the tress to begin with. Though the rest of the body certainly wasn't able to be reached by either Junko nor Hana at the moment.

With the raiding of the wallet now clear it would be up to the students what they planned to do next and if they wanted to go report to the Metsuke or proceed deeper into the woods. Either way it was clear that the person they are after, or at least some kind of vandal, wasn't leaving the dead body alone.

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Tagami Yumiko
The adorable poet girl who hates war.
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 Posted: Aug 27 2017, 12:41 PM
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Junko had been in better spirits, He was certainly thrilled when Hana patted him on the head. It felt like he had some vindication that he was doing the right thing. Doubly so now that they knew the money had been taken. If the whole wallet had disappeared, that could have been an animal but only people took money. Then came the less than pleasant surprise. When the legs hit the ground, Junko shrieked and staggered back against a different tree.

He gasped for air and leaned forward clutching his chest as his heart pounded like a jackhammer. That was horrible. Living things were easy, he could see those for a pretty good distance, it was hard to sneak up on the little hunter. But legs, long dead, that was not the kind of thing you could be prepared for. At least, not when they dropped nearly on top of you. He struggled to calm his nerves and looked toward Hana. "Please don't tell anybody I screamed." He said wheezily.

Junko looked up into the trees. Why would somebody bother to do it so high? He briefly considered climbing up there but no, he was not in any kind of state to do that. Plus it would just be wasting time. With shaky legs, he walked over to the legs, reached into his pocket and pulled another blessing out. With far less circumstance than previously, he dropped it next to the legs. "We should keep going." He said, carefully walking away from the legs and keeping his eyes focused more upwards now. "We'll have to tell the school when we get back but we have to find this jerk thief."

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 Posted: Aug 30 2017, 12:08 AM
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She supposed it was rewarding, watching his entire face light up as she ruffled his hair gently. He sort of reminded her of Hinata even more, even if the child was more willing to be obedient to her demands. She hummed, her expression everything skepticism could be. Of course, an empty wallet wasn’t the cause of an animal- if it ever was, well they should put such an intelligent creature in the circus.


To think they were already on the trail of their target. What an amateur they’d been sent to take care off. She’d begun to doubt whether or not those metsuke had actually searched for any clues in this forest that would lead them to the thief.


That was when Junko’s screech replaced the critical expression with one of horror and an urge to protect the smaller student. Instinctively, she grabbed a hold of him, one hand firmly on his shoulder as she looked in the direction where the nice came from. Then, slowly, her gaze shifted upwards, she felt her skin break out in a cold sweat. If she hadn’t seen that, maybe she would’ve laughed- yet with the way things turned out, she might’ve screamed and panicked herself. Suicide was taboo to deal with, but that…that sent chills up and down her spine.

“No…no problem..”

Hana was certain that this forest was haunted, haunted with the spirits of dishonored souls bent on some twisted intent that she didn’t want to understand. She nearly gagged, feeling bile nearly rise in her chest. She swallowed thickly, held it down and her growing fears as well. The faster they god to this thief, the sooner they’d be able to leave this place. Only the Gods knew what they’d go through up until that very moment.


Her hand felt like dead weight as she pulled it away from the small boy. Her legs seemed quicker to respond as thankful as she was…though, this was probably for more cowardly reasons than she’d like to admit.

“Ugh, I just want this all to be over quickly.”

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 Posted: Sep 3 2017, 10:15 AM
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NPC POST

Junko would sense it before they actually heard it. A flock of crows came swiftly flying through the forest and out again. It was a bad omen by any account as the two proceeded forward. For now they didn't seem to sense any living things except a few bugs and animals, but plenty of dead bodies would line the path. It was amazing just how quickly the forest packed with dead bodies even though the metsuke had yearly patrols of the outer areas.

The first body would be that of a girl even younger than Hana, missing her wallet. The next would be a pair of bodies, two boys, both with their wallet and i.d. cards, and even stamp cards for Edo cafes, strewn about. Some of the cards half eaten by animals but all money and cash cards taken. Any Japanese would realize that what the thief was doing was a mortal sin. Not only had they touched multiple dead bodies but stolen from every one they could find. However it also meant that Junko and Hana currently walked the right path towards the thief. As they reached a small clearing they would see a stone circle around a put out camp fire, as well as a blue sleeping tent and a few containers of food and water strewn about.

Being a skilled hunter Junko would be able to tell that the fire had been used recently. Even as recent as the night before the two of them had started this mission.

savvagechan
Aideen

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

Tagami Yumiko
The adorable poet girl who hates war.
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