[Private] Horizon

Locations: Moriya Shrine, Tengu Village, Kappa Village, Giant Toad's Pond, The Waterfall
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Youkai Mountain is easily the most massive mountain that can be found in Gensokyo. The mountain is so large that the beings inhabiting it seem to be largely segregated. At the base of the mountain live the peaceful Kappa, an semi-aquatic race with a fondness of engineering and architecture. Further up the mountain, one can find the airborne Tengu, who live in a village near the incredible waterfall. However, the most notable structure that can be found on the youkai mountain lies at the very top. Relatively new to Gensokyo, the Moriya Shrine simply appeared one day along with a sizeable lake. This shrine is home to the Goddesses of snake and frog, Kanako Yasaka and Suwako Moriya. Suwako, the original goddess of the shrine, has recently been lying dormant while Kanako roams free, a result of Kanako subverting her in battle. The keeper of the shrine is a girl named Sanae Kotiya. Sanae serves a similar role to Reimu Hakurei, and in fact attempted to establish the Moriya Shrine as the dominant place of worship in Gensokyo before being stopped by Reimu and Marisa. Both the Kappa and Tengu, however, to seem to be starting to recognize the sovergnity of the Moriya Shrine.

[Private] Horizon

Postby Suwako Moriya » 17 Aug 2013 20:27

Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow. It was always, always about tomorrow, and maybe taking a quick parting shot at yesterday, to give it that well-deserved sense of inadequacy.

Very briefly, Suwako almost felt sorry for the yesterdays of the world, but not for long.

Today, however, she was in no sort of waiting mood. She didn't get where she was by being patient- well, no, that wasn't quite right. Patience was almost all of what brought her to where she was, but that wasn't the point. The point was that she was feeling impatient, and needed a justification. Quickly, if at all possible.

The important thing was this: Come what may, today would be special. She refused to have it any other way.

Doffing her hat as she walked along the shrine grounds like any other visitor, she rapidly twirls the frog-eyed piece of headwear around one extended finger out of boredom, humming a tune as she skips along the path. It was not a tune anyone else could possibly recognise; a song for children, from a kingdom long gone. Anyone who might have known it was long dead, save for her.

The ground rumbles ever so slightly as she walks along the ground. Water bubbles up in a tiny circle around her feet, leaving little green blades of grass in her wake. There was nothing necessary or uncontrollable about her powers, but then, watching this was so much more fun than just walking along dull stone. She would have to talk to Kanako about spicing up the shrine grounds one of these days... or better yet, not talk to Kanako. It would make for a good surprise.

She taps a small fist against the door of the shrine with all the strength of a thousand old breaths of mist, which is to say, very little at all. Mist was not, by and large, known for its extraordinary percussive force, but no one could fault a frog for trying.

"O lady Yasaka, mighty queen of war, indomitable mistress of storms, I beg of you, heed the call of your faithful supplicant, and answer my desperate prayer in this hour of her need!" Suwako took a moment to allow herself a proud little nod of approval, satisfied to see that the years had left what she had always thought of as her 'drama voice' in exceedingly good shape.

"I beseech you, lay down your sword, your schemes and your miracles on this momentous day, and join your amphibious brethren in our beautiful sunlit world!" She waits a second, then a whole two seconds, growing increasingly apprehensive. Maybe that was a little too much for Kanako; she might have not figured it out just yet. She could be a little slow, maybe this wasn't quite the right approach. Simplicity, that was the ticket. Needed to get through to her.

"Kanako? Paging Kanako Yasaka! Come on out, you're too young to be cooped up in the shrine all day scheming away, not like old granny poison dart over here. So we're going out now! And I mean now now. If you don't hurry up, I might have to flood the room with frogs again, and I know how much you hate that."

With a gleeful grin plastered across her face, Suwako slides the door open, clapping her hands together - someone had to be enthusiastic enough for both of them, after all, and it certainly wasn't going to be this other fun-hating goddess - as she waits for her impossibly tardy companion.

"Go on, twenty seconds now! We can leave Sanae to watch the place, can't we?"
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Suwako Moriya
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Re: [Private] Horizon

Postby Kanako Yasaka » 27 Aug 2013 22:35

Over the mountain take me across the sky
Something in my vision, something deep inside
Where did I wander, where d'ya think I wandered to
I've seen life's magic astral plane I travel through
I heard them tell me that this land of dreams was now
I told them I had ridden shooting stars
And said I'd show them how...
- Ozzy Osbourne - Over The Mountain

Kanako was not quite herself today. The snake princess, as so many indelicately referred to her as, was seated in the holiest part of the shrine. It was quite difficult to do so in the form she currently inhabited. She was making a spirited go of it however, and seemed pleased with the results. There, clockwork shears were taking off Kanako's hair. A kappa had brought her loom and was making of the hair an incomplete map of adulthood and death. There was a pause in the snipping and clacking of shears, as the divine voice radiated from outside the confines of the shrine, which Kanako could taste on the wind before it ever passed within. She adopted a more conventional linear thinking as she departed the shrine, alighting on the steps before Suwako, arms characteristically crossed beneath chest and mirror alike.

"The sun is indeed bright today. I wonder if it will stay that way all day."

More uncharacteristically, Kanako was indulging in small talk. The kind others seemed to favor. A compromise to be more socially acceptable. She tried so hard, really. Even before though, she'd always struggled to do anything halfway, and conversation was no less a subject of these miseries. She'd consider her diminutive colleague, no, her partner, before responding. Her words were carefully chosen as always, but there was a warmth to them.

"I already told you, the frogs have to stay outside. It's very hard to concentrate when one leaps onto your lap, let alone one your size. Or double your size. Or treble. What is this all about anyways?

Kanako knew perfectly well what Suwako wanted. But there was that small, barely concealed smile again. They did this so very often it almost seemed normal to the goddess. Walking in human flesh, and using mortal words, and letting each other finish sentences. Rather than just flowing. It was easier and harder all at the same time. She ran fingers through violet locks, black slitted eyes pondering Suwako's words.

"Enough, enough with threatening my sanity and the shrine's lack of amphibian citizenry. We'll walk, like we used to. I know that look well enough that I'm not going to get out of this easily. Or at all. But I insist on discretion, I don't want to get interrupted as I surely know we will if we try and saunter about as usual."

A rice-picking girl's outfit later, and a longer braiding of hair covered by a sugegasa. Perfect. As much as Kanako enjoyed the sun, she didn't want to roast in it either. The limitations of human form reminded her too much of before. But she also knew in her heart that was what today was about. Before.
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Kanako Yasaka
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Re: [Private] Horizon

Postby Suwako Moriya » 29 Aug 2013 10:14

"So what you're saying is..." Suwako tries her best to make sense of the other goddess's complaints, strange and so dreadfully boring. It wasn't a matter of what she was saying, oh no, the question was why anyone would say that. She had, in her long and eventful life, only known one person more incredibly, fun-defyingly serious than this particular stuffy bundle of scales.

That person being, of course, Kanako on her less whimsical days.

"I should warn you before I decide to jump around or be three times the size, right? I can do that!" The goddess declares excitedly. If only everything was as simple as this, why, her constant accomplice would have nothing to worry about at all. Which was a lie, of course; there had to be just enough ways to annoy her to keep things interesting.

It was a welcome change of pace, this wasteful and entirely ordinary mode of conversation, when they had no need to talk properly for any reason, divine beings that they were. To Kanako, once human, it might have felt unnecessary. To Suwako, however, who had never been anything but a goddess, the whole activity carried a sort of refreshing pointlessness about it.

"'I wonder?' I remember the last flood you started, your slithery highness; you'll need to pick your small talk a bit better than that!" She gives the taller goddess a playful poke to the side, only needing to jump up a little way for it. Pestering took a serious investment of effort, after all; bothering Kanako half-heartedly just wouldn't do.

When her companion's disguise is finished, Suwako inspects it carefully, peering up at Kanako, circling her and staring at the conical hat, before finishing with a slight frown of disapproval. "No, no, that's not right at all! You need to have some style. Here, let me help you." She quickly removes her staring, wide-eyed hat, placing it on Kanako's own sugegasa, tilted at an awkward angle off the tip of the base hat.

"There! Much better," she exclaims with a gleeful clap of the hands, scattering previously nonexistent specks of mud and dust to the wind from her palms. This, however, quickly turns to a somewhat irritated expression, as she looks back and forth between the younger goddess and the borrowed piece of exceptionally vigilant headwear.

"Oh, don't give me that look. You've been complaining all day! Come on, I know it's not your style, but a little change isn't that bad, is it? It won't hurt you any, I promi- oh, fiiiine. You win." With a sigh of irritation, she removes the hat and jams it back on her own head, muttering something under her breath.

"I swear this thing gets pickier every day. Sorry, Kanako, maybe one of these days." The diminutive goddess looks as close to sheepish as she can ever manage, but rallies soon enough. "Never mind that, I need something for myself! Just a second!"

She darts off into the shrine, grabbing a pen and a sheet torn from a notepad to scribble a note for Sanae in her typical hurried, uneven scrawl.

Gone fishing/bothering/whatever else I think of. Taking Kanako with me. Help yourself to the leftovers and ice cream if you like, but skip the jar of crickets, that one's mine. We'll be back by evening, see you then!

P.S. Yes, I took them. You'll have them back in a few hours.

...Not that she kept the jar around for any reason except seeing the look on Sanae's face, of course, but no one needed to know that. Putting the note down in plain view, she scoops up two pairs of sunglasses from the top of a shelf, wearing one herself and leaving the other to shield her hat's poor eyes from the sun. Surely no one would miss it for the few hours that she was gone?

She steps out a minute or two later, triumphant in her new disguise, waving excitedly to Kanako. "Alright, let's go! We're stopping at the lake first; bit of a long walk, but it'll be worth the trip. And... oh, you asked what this is about, didn't you?" She offers a smile that does not, for once, seem particularly mischievous, one which suggests that the other goddess may in fact not be lined up for another prank at all.

"Getting you out of the shrine," she explains plainly. "Simple as that! Don't you think you need a bre- no, obviously you don't, or you would be resting. Well, I do, and you're getting one, so you might as well enjoy it, right?"
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Suwako Moriya
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Re: [Private] Horizon

Postby Kanako Yasaka » 31 Aug 2013 00:20

Kanako couldn't kill the smile that crept onto her features. Her counterpart was irreverent and irrepressibly cheerful, while Kanako was strictly business (with just enough pleasure to smooth over the rough edges of social encounters). No wonder Sanae must have seemed a study in contrasts: The influence of her ancestor filled her with boundless energy and enthusiasm, while Kanako's intensity filled her with a sense of duty and propriety. And loyalty. Always loyalty. The goddess just sighs as the hat is removed from her head, shooting a sidelong glance at Suwako that was not entirely disapproving. Suwako, filled with whimsy. Kanako, riven by ambition. Such was life on Youkai Mountain.

"Get out of my way, I can do anything! I can do it all."

She sang, hummed really. Some noisy tune she didn't even recall for certain. It seemed only partly directed at her diminutive companion.

"Its not my fault that my hat is not so amazing as your own. You always were the stylish one. You understand the humans better than I do."

And I was one of them.

The goddess took the longer path down the mountain. There was no real hurry, she wanted to enjoy the waterfall as they passed by. Humans might grow numb to the natural wonders surrounding them, but to be connected to nature as she was meant that it held infinite delights. To her way of thinking, man and earth were separate yet connected, and that tenuous connection meant at least a few humans seemed to understand. Sanae certainly did. Perhaps the Hakurei maiden did as well, in her own strange sort of way. Well, she couldn't change everyone's mind. That wa- They were supposed to be talking, and already she'd fallen back into black thoughts. Typical of her. She'd slap her hands against her legs and bow slightly, causing their wandering to become postponed for a moment.

"I am sorry, Suwako. You must be patient with me today, as I am having a difficult time walking this road. It has not been trodden in a very long time, and you know I'm getting old."

Coy expression, an dancing amusement in those snake-slitted eyes she purposefully chose not to hide.

"Yes, you got me out. Now whatever are you to do with such a fussy old goddess? I'm intensely curious about what it is you want to discuss, but I'm sure it'll come out on its own, in good time. You always insist on doing things at your own pace, no matter my impatience."

In such matters, Kanako clearly held Suwako her greater. The mightier; the serpent who once was of the flesh of man had quicksilver in her veins. The Highest Native God was more of a meandering river, slow but sure and overwhelming in the end.
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Kanako Yasaka
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Re: [Private] Horizon

Postby Suwako Moriya » 10 Sep 2013 14:01

Ah, so Kanako could smile. And mean it. Fascinating. Of course, she knew that, having been in the goddess's company longer than anyone, but it never hurt to check now and then. People could change, after all, and every once in a while, the fledgling snake made her wonder. It wouldn't be right to have her partner in crime become even more dour than ever, oh no.

...And there she was going right back to her usual melancholy self. Just no helping some people.

"Don't you think that's a bit too much?" Suwako comments, hopping alongside the taller goddess. "It's hard for me to keep up too, you know. But I think I understand one of them well enough." She looks up at Kanako with a bright, innocent smile that practically radiates cluelessness. Really, she could have been talking about anyone at all. Certainly not anyone who was right there, that was entirely out of the question.

"It's not my job any more, anyway. One is good enough for me. Not Sanae, though, she's right out. I just can't figure out kids these days. Maybe if I could trade some of my maturity for youthful energy, that would help things along, but noooo, I have to be the responsible one. Too bad, really."

It wasn't Kanako's fault, really. She was the sky, she couldn't help being distant, disconnected from the world, looking over it from above. She didn't have it as easy as her predecessor; the earth, after all, couldn't help but be connected to and in touch with everything around it. It was in their nature, and the earth? The earth didn't change. The sky, on the other hand, was a little more malleable, but all too prone to getting clouded over. Tend to the clouds quickly, or you risked rain and thunderstorms. Some days, though, you could coax the sun into showing itself. Why, Kanako was spending half her days working on that herself, lately, though not quite in the same way.

Heaven and earth. They might seem worlds apart, but one couldn't really exist as it was without the other to define it. Though they might look distant from each other at a glance, there were days, every now and then, when the two came together to meet, ever so briefly. Days when the sky and earth were brought together for just a few moments. Horizons.

The way Kanako's mood darkened all too easily only reminded her that the goddess took on a hard lot for herself. Suwako herself remembered just what it was like, having it all, as the other goddess did. Even that was when not burdened by the same attitude her old companion held, not that she was a great deal better at the time. There was an old part of her, half-remembered, that still envied the conquering serpent, but some days, pity came to eclipse that.

At Kanako's stumble and abrupt stop, her eyes widen in alarm, starting with the hat, in an expression of startled concern. She hurries over to the other goddess's side, lending a hand for support, nodding quickly at the explanation given to her. "Oh, no, no, don't you worry about that. I know how it is. I won't make you walk all the way, if it's too much for you. I can always carry you the rest of the way!

Really, it was the perfect deception. No one could have possibly caught on to the extended act on Suwako's part. Well, mostly. The enormous grin might have given it away to an observant few, but surely it was close enough.

Kanako's assessment of the native goddess would soon prove correct. But not, of course, too soon. In fact, Suwako's pace was so extraordinarily relaxed that a proper answer - as much of one as could ever be expected from her, which was not a great deal - would only finally be forthcoming when the shores of Misty Lake came into view.

"I'm not like you, Kanako, you should know that by now. Can't it be just that? Don't tell me I can't worry and fuss over you once in a while." There was a little more to it than that, though what she had told Kanako was true as well. Certainly, they both knew that, just as they both knew that the time for an answer in full would come later. This wasn't quite the time. Besides, what was the point of a break if they jumped to business right away, really?

"Though if you're going to keep bringing it up... I do have one question," she remarks after a short wait. Before continuing, she rifles through her pockets, turning them inside out with a look of mild disappointment as she finds them to be empty. "You didn't pack a boat by any chance, did you? I think I forgot mine at home. Silly of me, really."
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Suwako Moriya
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Re: [Private] Horizon

Postby Kanako Yasaka » 14 Sep 2013 14:01

Kanako had stopped, seemingly not hearing her companion speaking. Their walking had taken them down a winding path, past the endlessly tumbling waterfalls of Youkai Mountain. The hot spring was far below the cliff side, and there was a momentary thought regarding that. The goddess really almost wanted to see Suwako's expression if she just dove over the edge and landed straight in it. Too tempting. That sort of effect just wasn't the same when even a mere child of Hakurei could fly. But that wasn't really what had stolen her attention. She was looking westward out over the rolling forest and mountains, at a glazed blue sky that seemed too pure and bright to be real. But Suwako was not forgotten, not even for a moment did she stray from the serpent's thoughts:

"No need to carry me, when I can slither! And its not too exertion, even for an old hag like myself. Not much use staying on that mountain all the time either, you're quite right. I'm glad you egged me on to get out, Suwako. The sky just seems so very inviting today..."

Down and down farther they walked, o'er hill and dale. An observer might feel as though they were watching two statues, immobile and unmoving. And yet all the world beneath their feet passed away, racing on towards an unknowable future. They might as well have been made of stone. But a closer examination might reveal subtle glances, hidden smiles. What the two goddesses knew, and how they spoke did not require words most of the time. They fell into the human speech again as they found the shadowy shores of the Misty Lake. Kanako looked positively wistful at the expression Suwako made as she looked for the "boat" in her pocket.

"Really now, you know both of us can swim perfectly well. Or are you worried I'm the faster, and will reach the other side before you?"

It was more of a tease than a challenge, and the lilting tone in her voice showed that readily enough. She had no intention of interrupting their walk with a race. And at any rate, walking on water was easy enough when you're a god.

"Suwako. Thank you."

Not a thank you for helping her gain power, not a thank you for backing her schemes to mold a future for Gensokyo. Not even a thank you for helping her take care of and raise Sanae. Just thank you.
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Kanako Yasaka
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Re: [Private] Horizon

Postby Suwako Moriya » 19 Sep 2013 16:07

"Speak for yourself," Suwako answers with a grin, pointing at the ground. "That's your job, isn't it? Of course the sky looks inviting, it's practically you! See, I could never fly well," she demonstrates with a few spirited flaps of her arms, sending her sleeves fluttering in the wind, "and I could say the ground looks nice enough for a dive today..."

By the time Kanako has a second to look her way, the older goddess's voice is piping up from under a hat on the ground, echoing slightly. "It just doesn't suit you, does it?" The frog crone of the mountain, as she sometimes insisted on calling herself - usually in front of Sanae - was on her feet again, without a speck of dirt or dust, as if nothing had ever happened.

Still hopping, of course. No sense in walking when you could hop.

She continues hopping, in fact, when she reaches the water. The earth extends under her, leaving a wide bridge of stone and quickly drying mud. She gestures for Kanako to follow, then happily continues on. Miracles could be so convenient sometimes, it was a wonder no one else thought to use them.

But then, what was magic if not the very same thing, performed by someone without their own shrine or temple? What were magicians, youkai, celestials, spirits and ghosts alike, if not miracle workers without their own following? Some of them were a good bit less limited, at that.

Sometimes, she looked forward to the day when people finally noticed that gods weren't much more than youkai who ate a little differently. Just as long as it wasn't bad for business, of course... but on the other hand, that wasn't her problem these days.

In fact, maybe she should learn a thing or two from the magician in that mansion across the lake, get past just earth and water. She had the hat and hair already, it would just take a broomstick for, from what she had heard, a license to borrow anything she heard. Not that she had met either of them more than a few times, of course, but she had heard a thing or two. One ear to the ground and one in the air, that was how they operated. So far, it paid off.

Her eyes widen a little - all four of them, in fact, and she would argue vehemently that the two above counted - at Kanako's next words, sudden and unexpected. Just two words, but so strangely out of place all the same, completely unfamiliar even after all these years. Enough to make her drop the act for a moment, standing up and walking alongside the taller goddess, reaching out to her hand.

"Any time, Kanako," she answers simply. Anything for a nemesis, a conqueror and usurper, the greatest enemy she had ever had. The snake that swallowed the frog and spat out an empire. The snake that took a nation and a life, crushed both with a glance, and gave back only steel, poison and lies. Anything for an old friend.

She stumbled into the funniest accidents, sometimes.

"We always help each other out, don't we? What are friends for?" A moment after the question, she realises, just a little too late, that the question might have been better left for someone with a little more experience in the area than either of them. Still, it didn't need to be an expert opinion.

"...You're not usually like this, Kanako. Got something on your mind?
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Suwako Moriya
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