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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 A Quiet Prayer, Open
Shoy
 Posted: Dec 13 2016, 07:31 AM
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Mirai hadn’t been to a temple in ages. She knew it was bad of her to visit them so infrequently, but she’d never been able to find a spare moment back when she lived in Kitakyushu. But she had no excuse not to today, and now seemed as good a time as any to finally visit one to pray.

Frowning at her map, Mirai sighed. She wasn’t yet very familiar with the locations in Edo, and navigating around it to find a temple or shrine wasn’t as easy as she’d thought it might be. Even with the map spread out in front of her she kept taking wrong turns, ending up in places she didn’t know and having to backtrack to figure out where she was. In fact, she currently stood to the side on one of Edo’s busier thoroughfares, having only just found her way back by retracing her steps after a wrong turn.

She had managed to find one temple already, partially due to its size and gradeur that made it stand out against the rest of Edo, even from afar. However - and this was most definitely due to its size and grandeur - it was bustling, and though that wouldn’t stop her from going to pray, Mirai wanted somewhere a little more peaceful, a place where she could better clear her thoughts, a place where she felt like her prayers weren’t lost among a hundred others. There were supposed to be many other shrines she could try, at least according to the map, which was nice except she couldn’t find any of them because she was hopeless at this whole map-reading thing.

Mirai tried not to let it bother her. She’d find her way around sooner or later. It was just a matter of how long it would take...

She shook out the map and traced a finger along a thin scribbled line that represented a road, frowning in concentration as she repeated a direction to herself under her breath: “Two lefts and a right. Two lefts and a right…”

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Alida
 Posted: Dec 15 2016, 08:16 PM
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Suishoku sighed into a muffler and followed where the crowd went as she roamed the streets. The weather started to get cooler theses days no matter how brightly the sun shone. A distant look in her eyes, the kind lost in the present, kept roving from street signs and store fronts for the sake of reading what was there. She couldn't keep hiding in her room back at the student apartments and oddly didn't feel the usual sense of hunger after passing by the fifth noddle bar. So, in a logical thought, some fresh air might help stimulate something.

On her venture for something to occupy her mind or new hobby did her head start to crane toward a voice. A repetitive tone echoed as Suishoku stopped to let the person pass by. Some girl with a map before them and a finger pressed into it. They appeared to be a tourist from the way they kept buried to the folded paper. Suishoku raised a brow and kept walking since they both appeared to be going the same direction. They ok? She wondered and glanced ahead where a small collective waited at an intersection. Her head checked back and forth between the map bearer and the street ahead before decidedly quickening her pace to catch up to them. "Hey, you with the map," she called as she caught up to them to get their attention before they could accidentally walk out into the street. "Hey, sorry, you have a moment? I'm ah, looking for something too." Suishoku spoke in a half white lie so she wouldn't seem too much of an intrusive busybody.

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Shoy
 Posted: Dec 16 2016, 05:03 AM
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Mirai was completely absorbed by the map as she walked. She’d get it right this time for sure if only she concentrated properly. Two lefts and a right… or was it two rights and a left? Mirai double checked the map for perhaps the fourth time.

Then someone called out as they ran to her. Startled, she jumped and let out the beginning of a squeal before she slapped a hand over her mouth to keep it in. She’d been so absorbed by the map that she hadn’t really paid attention to anything other than the directions and she wasn’t expecting someone to come up to her.

Mirai turned to face the stranger who’d approached her and bowed slightly. “Ah! I’m so so sorry!” She rose and smiled sheepishly. “I wasn’t expecting anyone to talk to me. Sorry.” As soon as she’d gotten over the initial surprise at someone approaching her, Mirai’s thoughts turned to the current situation, to the person in front of her who said she was trying to look for something. Mirai briefly wondered what the girl in front of her was looking for but didn’t voice the question; she'd feel like she was probing too much if she did. “Did you say you needed to find something? Would you like to check my map?” Mirai swiftly neatened the map's folding and offered it to the girl. Her heart panged a little; she hoped the girl would take it and not try to ask for directions directly. Mirai wanted to be of help if she could and if the girl refused to take the map - or if what she was after simply wasn't on there - the girl would have had the misfortune of asking the most useless person on the street when it came to navigating Edo.

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Alida
 Posted: Dec 16 2016, 05:36 AM
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"No no, sorry to startle you in the first place," she answered back, waving it off while looking past the other girl's shoulder to see a few carts go by then back to them. This person was so absorbed that Suishoku feared they would have walked themselves into a wall or fall down a sudden incline shift.

“Did you say you needed to find something? Would you like to check my map?”

"Yes, as a matter of fact. Thanks," Suishoku smiled and took the map gingerly to hid behind to think up a follow up on a good destination point for faking it this far. "Soo, where were you headed? You were pretty glued to this." Striking up a conversation wouldn't hurt to stall for time but as Suishoku finally looked at the map was there a visible pause. The map was so folded up and concentrated on a fold that not even she could tell which way was north with this. What am I even looking at? Is that the south district? Were her thoughts as she opened up the map fully to see if it was even right side up for starters.

"Let's see. What street as we at? And this would be," she thought aloud, still buying time while fixing up the map where it would properly show where they were before blind picking what was the closest land mark on the map. With the end of the year coming along and it getting close to those end of the year preparations, her brown eyes skimmed over to virtually anything. A cafe, bakery, clothing outlet, shrine. Yes, a shrine! A bright red marker was just a block away actually tucked in a small park zone. "I was just heading to a park near by for some fresh air and away from the busy streets. You look like you could use a breather too. Wanna join? Thanks for the map by the way." She handed the folded paper back and bowed in thanks.

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Shoy
 Posted: Dec 16 2016, 05:52 PM
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Mirai’s smile broadened as the girl took the map. She watched the girl unfold the map and stare at it. Mirai licked her lips nervously; she hoped she’d find what she was looking for.

"Soo, where were you headed? You were pretty glued to this," the girl said. She seemed to be quite engrossed by the map.

“Um, I wasn’t really headed to a particular place as such, I was looking for a certain kind of place.” It dawned on Mirai as she spoke: maybe this stranger could help her find her own way around, just like the map would help the stranger. Even if the girl didn’t know the way to a shrine, maybe she could interpret the map better than Mirai could to help direct her to one. “Actually, I was looking for some kind of temple or shrine, a nice quiet one. I wasn’t really having a lot of luck. I mean, I wouldn’t want to cause you any hassle, but do you think you would be able to help me with directions to one?”

The girl asked if Mirai would like to accompany her to a park. Mirai thought about this for a moment. Though she really only came out to northern Edo to find a place to pray, she’d been searching for awhile and it was starting to get exhausting walking around in the busy streets. Even if it wasn’t exactly what she’d come here to do, a detour via a park might be nice way to relax a little before resuming the search for a shrine. “If it’s all right I think I might join you, actually. A break would be nice.”

She accepted the map back with a smile and nodded at the girl’s thanks. “No worries. Oh, by the way, I guess I should introduce myself if we’re going to be walking together. I’m Okada Mirai. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

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Alida
 Posted: Dec 17 2016, 02:41 AM
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She smiled in some relief that the map girl didn't notice that she was making up a destination. It would be bad and worrying to have her wander through Edo so glued to the map for the rest of the world to impact them. It was agreed to head over toward the park so Suishoku nodded and walked along side them. "Alrighty. It's just ahead though," she motioned and started to readjust her scarf a little so it wasn't covering her mouth too much.

“No worries. Oh, by the way, I guess I should introduce myself if we’re going to be walking together. I’m Okada Mirai. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

"Yuubae Suishoku," she nodded in greeting. Having someone to focus on now and take her mind off of the previous mission quickly changed her earlier disjointed mind. She would take lead them onward to the park where a low fence set up the perimeter. It was a free public park so they didn't have to pay an entry fee to get in due to the shrine within. There wasn't snow on the ground yet but the trees were a pleasant rich red and orange. Park workers can be seen tending to the trees and getting them ready for the winter. "So, sorry to pry, but why were you so intent on the map? I've never seen anyone so focused before. Are you new to Edo? A tourist?" They would walk down slightly cracked pavement that gently winded and twisted around a large garden pond with rock formations cutting across it like a walk way. Currently unavailable for civilians to trek over though. A station offering five yen food packets to feed the koi fish laid up ahead.

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Shoy
 Posted: Dec 17 2016, 06:50 PM
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So this girl’s name was Yuubae Suishoku. Mirai acknowledged her introduction with a nod and a smile; she’d would make sure to remember the name. Even if she was still technically just a random stranger, she’d have to keep it in mind for if they ever ran into each other again someday.

Mirai followed Yuubae-san’s lead, making sure to note the directions they were going. Mirai had found that once she’d actually been to a particular area of Edo, she found it easier to navigate around because she’d seen it in person and not just on the map. She’d make sure to remember the way back so that she wouldn’t have to trouble Yuubae for directions home as well.

"So, sorry to pry, but why were you so intent on the map? I've never seen anyone so focused before. Are you new to Edo? A tourist?" Yuubae-san said as they walked.

Mirai felt a small flush of indignation at herself, annoyed that she’d looked like a tourist - had she really seemed that clueless? - but she kept it to herself and instead shook her head at the question. “I’m not a tourist. I mean, I am still pretty new to Edo, but I was sent here to study, not to sightsee. I don’t really know my way around yet, that’s why I was so focused on the map.”

They came to the low fence surrounding the park; though they weren’t the only ones there - there were a couple of workmen tending to the trees, a couple strolling, a family having a picnic despite the chill in the air - the atmosphere was quite peaceful, and no-one was being noisy or disruptive. Ahead of them lay a large pond and and a little stall that sold fish-food packets and a couple of other odds and ends; to the side, off the path, was a small field of grass with trees, some flowers and decorative shrubs, and a few seats scattered here and there throughout. Mirai thought it would be nice to buy some fish food and get to see the fish in the pond, but maybe Yuubae-san would like to go and rest over the seats instead? She didn’t want to force her to do something she didn’t want to…

Mirai stopped walking. “Do you wanna go over to the pond or would you rather rest at the seats over there?”

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Alida
 Posted: Dec 18 2016, 07:19 AM
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The moment Mirai described her reason of being here in Edo was to study did Suishoku began to look more mellow and less impromptu cheer cover. "What are you studying? Must have been a long trip to come to Edo during this time," she mentioned lightly due to the Earthquake that took place and the ensuing recovery efforts since then. Hingan-E was another issue all together which had her wondering if Mirai was even in the city during that time. "Although, I will admit that I sometimes need a map as well when going to the more unfamiliar parts of Edo. Especially when making the rounds to visit all the shrines during the new year or finding a new bake shop that opened up."

Trying to piece together Mirari was they chatted had Suishoku remind herself that she needed to be careful on what she says about certain things. Mainly about Higan-E and the latest news of that. To her did Mirai made it out that the girl just arrived some time ago. Pretty late in the year really for schooling purposes but just in time for the fall semester. Already her bets that she too was another Edo Bugei student thanks to its networking of acquiring students across Japan to come here for specialized training and education.

Mirai suddenly halted, causing her to do the same, as she came up with an idea to take a break. Seems like they booth had a long enough day of walking so Suishoku nodded and pointed to a seat near the pond mostly arranged for elderly visitors. "Sure. Let's take that spot," she said then left briefly to get a bag to feed the koi fish. May as well since they'll be near the water and, for no other reason why, feeding the fish tend to be a relaxing thing to do. She would return to side by Mirai with the bag held up before tearing a corner over to toss a few pellets in the surface. The cylindrical bits bobbed upon the water surface for a few minutes as bait till a black hole came up and sucked the food away with a tri colored tail splashing back under.

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Shoy
 Posted: Dec 18 2016, 07:39 PM
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Mirai had to think about Yuubae’s questions for a moment. She wasn’t sure exactly how to word her response, or how much she should say about her parent’s involvement in sending her to Edo. She frowned slightly as she thought of her parents, and elected not to say anything about them - she shouldn’t thrust her entire life story on Yuubae, and besides, she’d already decided it wouldn’t do her good to dwell on the past or the future. She got herself back into thinking about the present: it was going to be hard to try to explain exactly what she was studying seeing as she hadn’t decided on a track yet, especially considering that the chances were Yuubae-san would have no idea about how Edo Bugei tracks even worked. “Well, um, I guess you could say I came here for highschool, though it’s not quite as simple as that. It’s kind of a special school. We have weapons training as well as the usual classes.” Mirai wasn’t sure if she should actually bring up the name “Edo Bugei”; from a conversation she’d overheard earlier when she was busy getting lost, people in Edo seemed to think fairly positively of Edo Bugei, and Mirai didn’t want Yuubae-san to start thinking she was somehow special. She liked how the girl wasn’t talking down - or up - to her, she was speaking on the same level, and Mirai didn’t want Yuubae to feel obliged to have to be extra polite or kind. "What about you? Do you work or study or something?

As Mirai watched Yuubae go to get a bag of the fish food, she realised with a bit of a start that she’d never actually seen live fish in person before. She’d seen pictures and videos, yes, and she’d eaten plenty of it, but she’d never seen with her own eyes fish alive and happy, still swimming about. When Yuubae-san tossed some food out, Mirai couldn’t hold back the goofy, ridiculously large grin that broke out on her face as a koi rose to the surface to eat and disappeared with a splash.

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Alida
 Posted: Dec 19 2016, 04:41 AM
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It's totally Bugei. Suishoku thought with a wry smile while shaking the bag and closing her eyes for a moment. No doubt about it. What other school around Japan even supplies courses like that or allow weapons. Bugei is a highly unique sort of school that's very much like a high school but closer to a private one or smaller university. Coming out right to say that she too is a student would be a bit too much of a serendipity moment so she played along with the pronoun game to see if Mirai would catch on eventually. She figured having Mirari figure it out would dispel a few things as the girl also noticed that she didn't seem like the eager warrior type or lordling to proudly boast about Bugei.

"I always thought about a part time job. Maybe a cute cafe place, ya know? Buuuut, things kinda came up even after the earthquake. Been helping with the rebuilding for awhile before getting sent back home prior to classes starting again," she commented, eyes reopened. "I was sent here for basic studies but ended up slotted for medical most of the time. Don't exactly see myself as a nurse though." The look on Mirai's face after seeing the koi had her chuckling gently. A few more pellets were poured into Suishoku's hand and tossed into the water. A few more splashes came to the surface with gaping white mouths gasping eager for more the moment there was food somewhere in the pond.

Suishoku opened her eyes then and shook the bag at Mirai. "Go ahead and toss some at them," she encouraged without saying just how many koi lived in the pond. The feed bag was placed into Mirai's hands as Suishoku leaned back and cleaned her hands on her pants legs. Ponds never settle for just one or two like a typical back yard garden variety so it'll be a treat to see how many would come swarming to them pretty soon. "Feels like coming here is almost studying abroad what with the diversity of classmates, doesn't it."

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Shoy
 Posted: Dec 20 2016, 05:22 AM
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Mirai nodded as Yuubae talked about a job and the earthquake, but she still kept her eyes trained on the pond and the koi that came splashing to the surface every so often. “I suppose things can get in the way like that, and it’s more important to make sure everyone is all right than to be looking for a job,” she said with a shrug. “It’s good that you helped out to rebuild. I can’t imagine what it must have been like here when the earthquake struck. Even back in Buzen I heard about it in the news; it all seemed so unreal then, and I wasn’t even there. Anyway,” Mirai gave her a quizzical look. “So you ended up studying medicine, then, Yuubae-san? That sounds hard.” She had a new respect for the girl beside her, and some of that showed in her eyes as she looked at Yuubae. Every time she'd heard people talk about studying in the medical field, they'd always been saying how difficult it was.

Her eyes drifted to the bag of feed in Yuubae’s hand. She was just about to ask if she could take it for a little while when it was dropped in her hand.

"Go ahead and toss some at them."

“Oh. Thank you,” Mirai said, reaching into the bag to grab a small handful of the pellets and toss them out to bob on the surface of the water before they were snatched up by koi. It made her feel connected to the koi in an odd way, to be the one feeding them directly. It’s so peaceful to do this, she thought, I’m glad you brought me here, Yuubae-san. Though she kept the thought to herself, savouring the quiet moment instead.

Yuubae spoke again, and though Mirai was only half-listening, she said, “Mmm, I agree. There are a lot of different types of people around. That’s a good thing though, I mean, I think it is. If all kinds of people come together you can learn from each other.”

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Alida
 Posted: Dec 20 2016, 11:18 AM
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"You weren't? Oh." Suishoku nodded and refrained from speaking more of the earthquake. Be easier to avoid sympathy or trying to drag someone into that topic. For them, it's just another event and thankful they didn't sound so disrespectful about it. Rather than not stressing that, and this just about confirming a rough time frame of what they arrived, Suishoku concluded it would be roughly during early weeks of everyone moving into the new dorms apartments.

"Maybe when I'm not busy, some work place would hire me although I kinda worry that with the way things are now, it would be more of an inconvenience to suddenly get pulled away." The thought of having a part time job became a more fleeting one now and days. As Mirai mentioned about the medicine, Suishoku laughed a bit and rubbing her legs as though to wipe away the fishy smell of the pellets. "It is a lot to take in since I don't originally come from a medical background. The training is kinda like learning more advanced first aid. I'm not too keen into medicine but act more like a first response and nurse...kinda." Her palms rested flat on her pants as she leaned back to watch Mirai feed the fish. The girl looked so engrossed and amazed with each fish that broke the surface to glee when there was a finny frenzy of koi coming over.

"True. Once they get past their egos but those people can get bearable too." Suishoku sighed and leaned into the back of the bench. In truth had there not been many egotistical characters she's run into lately or much of others she had met before. The earthquake may have played a part in that somehow but there was a small hope that none of them out right died back then from it either. "Funny how it's pretty peaceful here, somehow."

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Shoy
 Posted: Dec 20 2016, 10:34 PM
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“Huh…” Mirai spoke with a thoughtful tone and her brows knitted together as a frown. From what she’d said, it sounded like Yuubae was doing medicine even though she didn’t particularly like it. Mirai heaved a sigh. “Did you have to do medicine? Was there something else you would have rather been doing?” A lump bobbed in her throat; she swallowed it back down. “I… I think can relate to that. Having to do something you don’t want to, I mean.”

Suddenly quiet, she tossed another handful of the pellets out onto the pond and placed the bag down between them on the seat so they could both reach it. She closed her eyes and leaned back, letting the breeze run through her fringe and make the wisps of hair flap about a little.

Mirai had surprised herself by referencing how her parents were determined to control what she did for her future, however vague that reference might have been. She hadn’t even really considered what she was saying before she’d said it; it just slipped out, perhaps because she’d thought Suishoku’s story had a small unexpected similarity to her own. She also hadn’t meant to probe Yuubae so much about her life either; it was just supposed to be some small talk to pass the time. Yuubae was still barely more than a stranger; what were the chances they’d ever even meet again? It seemed wrong to try to ask for so many details from someone unfamiliar, or to share anything deep with them, when likely her and Yuubae would be exactly like that weird connect she'd felt with the koi when she fed them; charming, calming, beautiful but fleeting.

Mirai didn’t really understand what Yuubae was talking about when she mentioned people with egos - she hadn’t thought the people she seen around at Edo were particularly any prouder than the people at Kitakyushu, at least not from what she'd seen - so she focused on the next point Yuubae made in a half-baked effort to switch the subject off talking about exactly how Mirai found what Yuubae had said relatable. “Yeah, it is pretty peaceful, isn’t it? I think nature has a way of making you feel like that,” she said, smiling again, the change from frown to beaming quite abrupt.

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Alida
 Posted: Dec 21 2016, 09:02 AM
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The girl curled her hand to press her cheek into her knuckles to avoid smearing fish food on her face by accident. It was rare that someone would ask her for personal thoughts and opinions outside of a counseling teacher yet there seemed to be a kind of kinship between them. Oddly enough that this other girl would ask why she took medicine. Frankly, there was far too much studying to maintain just to be slightly proficient in practice. Still, Suishoku sighed and replied frankly and honestly.

"Kinda. It just seemed like the most 'good' I can do granted that I lack several things compared to most other people. I'm here in Edo due to my sponsorship so, it would be pretty bad if the people sponsoring me kinda sent a 'loser' into one of their schools," Suishoku chuckled at her own self deprecation. "If I had my way, well, I would have gone to the same school as my classmates in middle school were headed but things got complicated from then on so that's about why I'm here. Nearly missed out all the fun things from the last festival even. What about you though? From the way you sound, you make it like you had to give up a dream or something."

Sharing this with Mirai felt just to be 'safe' and 'ok' to be answering the questions given. It was also the truth that Suishoku never had a point of hiding. Her background information was open to the Shogunate and in the school records and it'll be appalling on her part to do around pretending something that she wasn't or born to be. Mirari sounded like she understood those feelings somehow and that alone made the atmosphere as relaxing as the pond before them. The nature of it all making this bench to be a small safe haven.

"Nature does kinda has its way but, I don't know,"
She stretched her arms and took some of the feed to throw into the water to ensure the fish kept around. "Just feels a bit weird to find peace in a place like Edo. I'm glad there is peace but at the same time it makes me uneasy." Her face shifted to an apologetic one due to how unfair it would be for the new girl to bring forth too much negative insight. "Sorry if I'm not making any sense and being a downer. It's been pretty stressful around here for awhile." Hoping she hadn't ruined the conversation for slipping into a minor depression rut, Suishoku pointed back at the girl's map to bring up a neglected question. "Since we're resting here and all, how about we see how far away from...um...where were you headed again?"

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Shoy
 Posted: Dec 22 2016, 03:49 AM
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Mirai listened to Yuubae intently, mouth set into a hard line. Why was she being so negative about herself? Mirai had thought she seemed like a really nice person. She frowned when Yuubae mentioned sponsorship - Yuubae wasn’t originally from Edo, either? And what was she being sponsored for? Mirai knew that people were often sponsored for Edo Bugei (as she herself was being sponsored), and Yuubae had referenced going to a school, but that would be too much of a coincidence, surely…

After Yuubae had finished talking, Mirai smiled a little. “I didn’t think you seemed like a loser. I thought you were really nice, showing me the way here and everything.” Mirai paused. She hadn’t really wanted to talk about her parents and their plans for her, but seeing as Yuubae had directly asked she didn’t really feel like she had a choice. Besides, what Yuubae had said resonated with Mirai to an almost unnerving degree and part of her really did want to tell. She sighed. “It wasn’t giving up a dream as such. I guess it was more that I never really got to have one. My parents own a steel company and ever since I was a child they’ve been telling me that I’m going to inherit it. Even though I don’t want to they wouldn’t take no for an answer. There’s no way I can get out of it so I kind of just... gave up, I suppose, on dreaming of anything else.” That last clause was a small falsehood: it was impossible for her to stop herself from thinking every now and then in a quiet moment about the possibilities of what could happen if it weren't for her parents choosing for her. But it made it all easier to stomach if she pushed those desires to the back of her mind and didn't mull over them for long. "I wanted to go to my local highschool too. But my parents found a way to get me sent here simply for a prestigious education." Mirai was very still, her head lowered. It did make her chest feel a little lighter to have talked about it, especially as she and Yuubae seemed to have a fair deal in common, but that didn’t make the subject any more pleasant. “I’m sorry. I think I’d like to talk about something else now.”

Yuubae asked where Mirai had been headed; in truth she'd almost forgotten about about her original mission herself. “Oh, right. I was going to the shrine.” She shook her map open. “You’ll have to tell me where it is because I have absolutely no clue.”

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