[Open to Chireiden, Others Ask] Glorious Star

Locations of interest: Former Capital, Palace of the Earth Spirits, Nuclear Furnace, Remains of Blazing Hell, Underground Geyser Center
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[Open to Chireiden, Others Ask] Glorious Star

Postby Rin Kaenbyou » 25 Mar 2013 21:35

Part II of the character arc "Hongse Long - Wu Xing" 虹龍 五行 for Hong Meiling.

Full title: "Glorious Morning Star Under Clouds of Ash"

The dull greys and purples of the wastes outside of the snow swept Ancient Capital deepened into dark shadows along the path that led to the Palace of Earth Spirits. There were a few stray spirits in the wastes, casting their light like a path of blue-flamed lanterns that led to the palace. The multitude of onryou sharply rose as one approached the palace, until reaching such a concentration above the imposing structure that their individual lights melded into a rippling aureole of blues and greens. The aurora rotated about the palaces, turning like a tempest with an eye fixed upon the the center of the palace, causing the air to ripple in a visible distortion where the spirits were at their greatest density.

There was little doubt to the grandeur of the palace, even at a distance. It sat like a radiant crown upon the ashen earth, every surface gleaming with alabaster stone and its walls set with broad stained glass windows. But for all of its majesty, in spite of the well maintained facades under the light of windows that shone like multi-coloured gems, there was a sombre silence over the palace, broken only by a lilting melody set to the rhythmic protests of the hellcat’s overworked cart. The cheerful melody drifted on the winds and caught the ear like a whisper traveling from a great distance.

Nominally barring entry were were a pair of a great iron gates, the black iron was wrought in the form of a great bird with three legs superimposed upon a great eye. The metal seemed new and was in decent repair, if a bit pitted from the inhospitable clime. Not that such a feeble barrier would be of any practical use; the stone and iron wall would scarce withstand even a fraction of an oni’s might, and it would be just as easy to vault over it by flight. It wasn’t physical strength that kept the vagrant devils and would be vandals away from the palace, but fear.

Fear of the vile spirits that surrounded the palace, Hellraven, and a fear of the reclusive, fair-haired youkai that commanded the raven’s and spirits’ obedience. While not immediately overwhelming, the nameless terror that surrounded the palace was like a riptide that drew the unwary into an frozen ocean of dread as they approached the palace. The nameless terror would turn even the boiling blood of an oni to floe-choked slush. The walls merely served to mark the exact borders of the satori maiden’s sovereignty.

The kasha’s songs was answered by a refrain of echoing calls from several of the large black birds perched upon the edifice as she passed through the gate without even the slightest hesitation. The eerie silence and oppressive weight of the dead caused her no discomfort. To the kasha’s ears, it was scarcely silent in the presence of so many of the dead, and to her, their curses were as insubstantial as air. She stopped in front of several of the large ravens, looking up at them with a broad smile. “I’m ho~me, sis, would ya be a dear and let Satori-sam’nya know? I wonder if she has any other tasks for me today” she asked in a singsong manner. “I found somethin’ real lovely at the market to~day.”

The hellcat revealed a braided silver chain pendant set with tear shaped ruby of a fair size, dangling it on a raised hand so that the blood red stone would catch more light as she looked at it. The ravens craned their heads left and right, cawing as they looked at the small treasure. One of them took to air, vanishing deeper into the palace. With a quick turn of the wrist, Orin flipped the pendant up into the air, deftly snatching the jewel out of flight as it reached the height of its trajectory. Jewel in hand, she made her way at a leisurely pace towards the palace doors.
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Re: [Open to Chireiden, Others Ask] Glorious Star

Postby Hong Meiling » 26 Mar 2013 18:48

A mountain of knives and a sea of fire. - Chinese Proverb

To say that the Gate Guardian was out of her element would be an understatement of astronomical proportions. The descent to hell itself had been unnerving beyond belief, but after a demon and spirit filled market, the redhead was a veritable wreck. Meiling was jumping at shadows and flinching at each tumbling stone or guttural howl. The rumors she'd gotten from the Bun Bun Maru had been more or less correct, that many strange and unusual artifacts could be found in the markets of Old Hell. But her hopes had been both dashed and elevated farther than she could have dreamed. The croaking old frog of a merchant admitted he'd handled and recently sold an item of obvious dragon lineage. He'd happily even told her to whom he'd sold it to! Her heart plummeted though, when she realized that she was following a Hellcat, and worse, she was leading her into the darkest heart of this terrible place. She yearned for open clear skies above, and to feel wind and rain on her face. Not this interminable darkness.

Meiling let out a frustrated sigh, relaxing a little. Trying to balance her Qi, not wanting to lose her cool down here. She was feeling a little foolish, chasing down such a thin lead, and the old grump could have been lying entirely. But Meiling suspected it was her only real chance to find answers, as it wasn't like dragons were suddenly going to start visiting Gensokyo anytime soon. Not that she knew of anyways. The Strange Cat was still well ahead of her, and might even realize she was being followed, as Meiling had little talent for sneakiness.

Following a cat into hell, and now, this palace...what have I gotten myself into?

She still hadn't made up her mind whether to address her politely, issue a challenge or maybe just give up and turn back. The last seemed the wisest, so of course the stubborn redhead did quite the opposite. She passed between the iron gates mere moments after Orin entered the mansion proper, leaving her alone in the vast grounds of the Palace of the Earth Spirits. The overwhelming sense of despair hanging over it was enough to drive even a spirit like her nearly to madness. Meiling was really starting to wish Sakuya was here right about now...or better yet, Flandre. Nothing like having massive overkill on your side when you were trespassing on the territory of the gods only knew what. The ravens cawing all about her was starting to really make the girl's skin itch, a shimmer of green glinting off it. Given a haunting hue by the spirits that danced about her in the yard of the mansion. Scraping her nails across her forearm as she walked forward (in a manner that looked much more bold than she felt), she'd pause momentarily, glancing at her limb.

That wasn't there before...
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Re: [Open to Chireiden, Others Ask] Glorious Star

Postby Satori Komeiji » 02 Apr 2013 04:21

The raven flies through the dark corridors of the palace, becoming the sole sound coming out of the eerily empty hallways. They offer no comfort of signs or any other guidance; for only by familiarity can one become proficient enough to navigate them. As swift as the other thousand times she made her way before, the raven quickly dives to a firm destination, the sole source of light among the dark rooms, the study of the Mistress of the Palace of Earth Spirits. With a loud caw an audience was made, and the girl’s attention was divided for the first time that evening.

”Orin came back did she? …Hmm? With a gem?”

“Yeah~! It was this really shiny red gem in a necklace, maybe she found a buried treasure.”

The one sitting on top of the bookshelf was not a raven anymore, though observers can still identify the avian features present in her body. Her jet-black hair’s tied in a ponytail; along with her youthful features give the impression of immaturity. Her eyes still glimmer with curiosity, obviously still attached to the gem brought about by the hellcat. Satori noticed the predilection but said nothing. Inexperienced as she is, Fuu isn’t stupid. There are far too many individuals in the palace who can quickly and efficiently uncover thievery, to say the least of Rin herself.

”I see the improved warning sign’s working. Well done.”

“Heehee~, isn’t it? It’s loud enough you can even hear it from here~.”

That’s not an exaggeration; even in the deeply reclusive room located in one of the deepest parts of the mansion echoes of the cawing of the ravens outside can be heard. To the untrained ears it will sound like any other sounds ravens make, but for those who have heard it before it will sound like what it really is: a veritable siren signaling an intruder to the palace grounds. While this is no uncommon occurrence – the pets are instructed to observe the would-be intruders first before acting in an ‘attack on sight’ manner lest it’s just a stray soul wandering around aimlessly – it’s still enough to put the entire palace’s eyes on you, including perhaps the kasha with the jewel herself.

Satori still can’t pinpoint who or what the intruder is – the general direction of the palace’s courtyard is a jumble mess of thoughts – but she can recognize a set of thoughts rather recognizably belonging to a certain kasha making her way towards the interior. Making her way towards the main room, Raven-Fuu in tow, she can’t help but draw comparison to the last ‘attack’ her residence suffered. This one comparatively feels a lot more low-key, even more so when she arrives at the main room and there’s no trigger-happy miko staring back at her. She found Rin instead.

”Welcome back. I see you’ve brought a couple interesting things with you.
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Re: [Open to Chireiden, Others Ask] Glorious Star

Postby Rin Kaenbyou » 04 Apr 2013 02:52

In her return to the palace, Orin had made no effort to evade Meiling’s notice. The hellcat had taken the most direct path and had intentionally traveled at a slow pace. She had been always mindful to always keep well ahead of the dragon, gliding along like a black shadow just beyond reach. She had even left some of her darling spirits strewn along the path like a trail of lanterns. Orin had offered the Chinese girl an invitation into the heart of darkness, and to the hellcat’s no small personal pleasure, Meiling had accepted. ‘Well I can’t go an’ make it too easy on her. It isn't everyday ya find a soul that burns as bright as hers..oh this should be quite the treat. Okuu’s sisters will be sure and give her a warm reception before we formally greet her and invite her in.’

The entirety the palace greeted was visible just past the gate. The windows shone like broad beacons that promised safe harbor from the crushing sea of spirits that wreathed the palace like a grim halo. Having been so bold to enter the grounds of the palace, the Chinese gateguard now stood at a wide interior courtyard that was flanked by on either side by two looming structures with raised balconies resting upon high vaulted arcades. The buildings served as rookeries to a host of ebon feathered birds, granting them an uninterrupted view of the palace grounds as they nested. Every pair of eyes served as an extension of the satori maiden’s own.

As the unfortunate gateguard passed by the structures, she was on the end of another unkindness. A great many of the ravens took flight to the air with clamorous noise; their caws pierced the deathly still air like rolling thunder rising from a pitch black cloud. They circled in the air above Meiling before the flocked dispersed and the majority of its members alighting to the roof and higher vantage points. A countless number of beady black stares tunneling into the red-haired youkai. For the most part they fell into silence, though there was an occasional inquisitive caw and response.

”Welcome back. I see you’ve brought a couple interesting things with you.


The kasha pushed the cart to the side with her left hand in one swift motion, deftly tilting the cart up on the edge of one of its wheels as it turned so that the rest of her purchases remained in the place. “Thank you, Sa-tori-sam-nyaa~” The kasha answered her mistress with a lyrical cadence. Made a small sideways bow of her head, her ruby red eyes closed as she smiled. She was certainly in high spirits.

“I went out to the market an’ you wouldn’ believe all the things that I found. There’s been a number of overworlders bravin’ the Ancient City, and rubbing shoulders with the oni. In particular there was a lil’ lost pup who came tumbling down all the way from Mount Youkai. A white wolf tengu. She didn’ seem to be particularly pleased to be there, I can scarcely imagine it was a social call.” Orin looked over her shoulder towards the front doors. “She’s something a bit different. I've seen her before, over at the Lady Vamp's little soiree. She's been followin’ me ever since I left the market. This may have somethin’ or other to do with it.”

The kasha draped the heavy silver chain over the back of her hand setting the teardrop jewel swaying like a pendulum before it stilled. For a split instance before the stone had come to rest, it looked more like a molten drop of fire than a simple ruby set in a silver frame. The hellcat proffered the pendant to her master, allowing Satori to take it if she so wished. The silver was tarnished, but the ruby shone with a brilliant blood red. It was obvious why the hellcat would have been drawn to such a trinket. ‘I would go an’ lay it at your feet, like my last coupla catches... but it would be rude to make ya pick it up. An’ I know, I know.. I won’t leave any more birds on the palace steps... or any more corpses...it was only a couple of times and they were meant as gifts... an’ I know better now. ‘Sides it would ruffle quite a few feathers.’

“I don't thinks she intends to fight, Satori-sam’nya. She’s not like the witch or the miko.” Having greeted her master and answered the unspoken question, Orin acknowledged the raven with a broad smile. “I see you finally found something useful to do, ya clever lil’ feather duster. How are ya, Fuu.” there wasn’t a drop of scorn in the hellcat’s voice as she affectionately teased the smaller raven, tousling her hair. ‘It’s strange, y’know, I used to chased down little runts like her an’ eat ‘em. Corpses too, but those don’t run, and ya don’ have to stalk them as much. I s’pose things really have changed since you came down from the surface.’
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Re: [Open to Chireiden, Others Ask] Glorious Star

Postby Hong Meiling » 06 Apr 2013 05:05

Meiling certainly expected a fight, her uneasy stance somewhat low, hands raised as if to ward off an incoming attack. The ravens in particular were driving her fears, and yet even she realized how absurd she was being. Once the girl had been fearless, had assimilated the wisdom of countless masters, and had climbed the Five Great Mountains. She'd not found the answers she'd sought, but now in the depths of hell itself, she was finding her courage falter. Her stance was loose and fluid, but it betrayed an uneasiness in her soul, the water boiling and pitching rather than staying calm and at peace. Once she'd fueled her courage with anger. Now it was just cold fear, and the vestiges of confidence she'd once possessed.

It was like that day, that day Remilia...no. I can't think of that. I'll lose my way utterly if I do.

The Chinese gate-guard had never felt quite so alone as she did in that dreadful courtyard. Any attempts to speak with the Ravens had just resulted in mocking, sinister cawing. Even alone in her garden, before the coming of the Scarlet Devil, she had never been so alone. Even in Lop Nor, which was just a lonely lake in the middle of the world, she'd at least had her sisters to keep her company. They were gone now, or perhaps rejoined was the right turn of phrase. Meiling reminded herself that they were all with her, and that she was in fact, not alone. Even if she faced the horrors of hell itself, she should not fear. Fear was what had plagued her since that Spring day, and she struggled with it constantly. Turning back to the dark iron doors that kept her from entry to the mansion itself, she stared at their elaborate craftsmanship, wondering who had cast and wrought them in the depths of time. What poor wretched souls were forced to labor upon such an awful thing of dark beauty?

I cannot be as I was. I must shape a new foundation for myself, in the crucible of hell itself.

Meiling considered the doors for a long time, standing there uncertainly. Self-doubt was going to cripple her, or worse, get her killed down here. She resolved finally, and brought a fist up to rap on the mighty portal several times. It bruised her hand a little to do it, but it took her attention off the distracting sensation that she was standing in the mouth of a great beast. The feeling of being swallowed up at any moment was overwhelming.
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Re: [Open to Chireiden, Others Ask] Glorious Star

Postby Utsuho Reiuji » 12 Apr 2013 05:16

Most wouldn't notice it, a subtle rise in temperature by a few degree, less than even the difference between dawn and day in the world above, a minor fluctuation, and in the sweltering heat of the Hell of Blazing Fires, what was a few more degrees? Those more local to the area sensitive enough to catch it, however, knew what it meant.

Utsuho was coming.

The hell raven always topped off the furnace when she was done for the day, giving it a little extra fuel with which to burn through the night. Now she rose from the deepest parts of hell back to the Palace of the Earth Spirits, soaring high and fast on the thermals rising from the bubbling magma below like a shadow in the night, the eye on her chest glowing bright red from the recent power use.

Soon she was joined in her flight by other hell ravens, all flying in the shadow of her great black wings, cawing the news of the day back to her. Satori-sama had once told her a flock of ravens was called "an unkindness", Utsuho didn't really get it. The idle chatter and happy talk of ravens was far from unkind.

"Hmm, Orin's back? With a weird necklace, and youkai from in the town?"

Too many questions to be answered for someone who just got off work, the important thing was that Orin and Satori-sama were waiting for her back at the palace!

Her arrival would be a surprise to few, word traveled fast among the other hell ravens where Okuu was at any given time. She earned from them something between admiration and curiosity, she was, after all, the greatest of all of them, a literal hell raven god. Her thoughts, meanwhile, were like a beacon for Satori, single-minded and very loud. No pesky side-thoughts or distractions for Okuu.

She flew high above the Palace, still rising on the warm air before swooping down low towards the roof. There were ways into the palace the hell ravens knew best, holes here and there where repair was needed made comfortable impromptu aviaries for the resident corvids. A quick tuck of the wings and she was inside.
With her massive wingspan and bulky build, Utsuho was a bit too big to fly through the corridors, so without missing a beat she was back in raven form, flapping down the dark hallways with a few others in her wake. Even in this form she was an abnormally large raven, and instantly recognizable by the glowing red eye still bound to the plumage of her breast, and the small green ribbon tied in a bow on her head. Satori-sama was in her study, as usual, and that meant Orin would be there too.

Before long she found her way there, flying in through the door Orin had left open like a great black shadow, flapping down onto a stone bust situated atop a low book shelf before letting out an affectionate caw of greeting to the pair of them.
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Re: [Open to Chireiden, Others Ask] Glorious Star

Postby Satori Komeiji » 12 Apr 2013 10:23

The ravens have always been restless since Meiling came, but as she goes deeper into the estate the noise level goes louder and louder. It isn’t some unregulated chorus of noises either, the ravens seem to be regulated, united in their cries for a purpose.

Their leader has come home.

The fact of the matter is that Utsuho is the biggest, the oldest, and the most powerful raven among them by far, and those facts alone made her deserving of their respect. Even if some among them still not quite fond of the sunspot the respect remains. Not just Satori and her sister, the other pets like Orin, and perhaps despite her apparent obliviousness Okuu is also aware of the fact. Their continued obedience is also tampered with fear of Okuu’s newfound powers.

-

It doesn’t surprise Satori one bit to see the kasha in high spirits. She also guessed correctly that Rin let the ‘intruder’ followed her here – tailing a hellcat isn’t an easy feat, pun very much intended – out of curiosity perhaps.

“I went out to the market an’ you wouldn’ believe all the things that I found. There’s been a number of overworlders bravin’ the Ancient City, and rubbing shoulders with the oni. In particular there was a lil’ lost pup who came tumbling down all the way from Mount Youkai. A white wolf tengu.”


”There have been quite a lot of tengu visits lately, even discounting the ones we get from newspaper. They’re always a nosy bunch, the tengu.”

She paused for a second to capture the image inside Rin’s mind about the identity of the interloper, and caught a familiar one. ”I’m familiar with that one too. Quite the loyal one, not the type you’d expect to disobey orders to stay in the post. I wonder what drove her here…”

Wading through the numerous thoughts of her ravens, Satori picked up the uneasiness of Meiling’s surface thoughts, currently fixated on a familiar image…

Satori glances at the red gem necklace in Orin’s grasp and let out a soft sigh.

”No thank you, Orin. You’re the one who found it so it should be yours,” though as the jewel sways like a pendulum another set of eyes from a raven is watching its every move. A loud caw later and the raven shrugged the affectionate hair-rustling to dart towards the jewel, purposefully missing by a hair to sway the jewel even more. As she lands on the floor, the raven form’s replaced by her humanoid form, wings ruffling excitedly while her eyes remain fixated on the jewel. “Don’t mind if I’ll take a closer look~.” Her right hand continues to swipe at the necklace playfully as the sounds at the door grow more audible.

”Fuu, be a dear and open the door for our guest would you?”

“Haaaaai,” she immediately ceased her childlike ‘cat and raven’ game to turn towards the door, only to turn back a split second later. “Oh, by the way, Ane-san’s coming from behind.” She gestures towards the dark hallway before continuing on her merry way towards the door.

What Meiling will see as the door opens is the grinning form of a humanoid hell-raven.

“Welcome to the Palace of the Earth Spirits~, how can we help?”
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Re: [Open to Chireiden, Others Ask] Glorious Star

Postby Rin Kaenbyou » 19 Apr 2013 07:04

The crushing weight of thousands of curses, tens of thousands of curses, lessened, as the great tide of vile spirits lessened ebbed from the mansion. Meiling would find some modicum of relief from the life-suppressing maledictions of the dead upon the threshold of the mansion. Comfort was too strong of a word, but at least she had succeeded in drawing herself up from the depths of the abysmal sea on to a rock. There was some solace to be had that. The wraiths still crashed like waves upon her, threatening to drag her back into ruin, but she had was no longer under their sustained assault.

The hellcat had begun to wonder if the mettle of red-haired youkai’s courage had finally failed, shattering at the very start of its tempering in the furnace. "Now that’d be a damn shame, to come so far only to have her soul splinter to pieces.. an’ she hasn’t even been to Hell proper.” Orin would be quite disappointed if Meiling wound up as one more drop in the sea; the brittle, broken spirits of countless dead already wreathed the palace in a great nimbus. Any frail spirit was sure to drown in such a deep well of sorrows. But much to the hellcat’s delight, the raps the echoed deep into the palace and did not disappoint her expectations. The Chinese gateguard persisted.

“Now isn’t that interestin’....she’s still alive, An’ from the sounds of it, she’s trying to knock the damn door down. Such manners. Now isn’t this better gift to lay at your feet than any corpse or necklace. Seein’ the bright light of a soul burnin’ like a star in the haze of emptiness. Is there a more beautiful sight, master?” The kasha’s barely restrained malice filtering through her broadening fanged smile. As she watched the smaller raven disappear in the direction of the door. She wasn’t the only one fond of her little games. “Oh this is gonna be a real lark. She really did come all this way to the mouth of Hell... though it’s not like I can blame her, it’s is quite the pretty trinket. An' thank you Satori-sam’nya, for your kindness.”

The hellcat’s ruby red eyes still with a fell light as she fondly looked upon the great black Raven now perched upon bust above their mistress’s chamber door. The shadows in the room made the Utsuho seem even larger than she was, as she loomed over the the kasha and her mistress. The kasha’s bloodthirsty grimace softened into one of cordial greeting. Both she and the raven had been caught by the same master; despite Satori’s seemingly perpetually dour demeanor, it would be a grave mistake to confuse her stolid disposition for unhappiness. The kasha knew her master better. On the edge of this dark plutonian shore, neither she nor Okuu would leave their master’s loneliness unbroken. Not now and Nevermore.

“Nyaa, Sis, if I had known you were comin’ I would have brought ya somethin’ nice from the market too. Judging from all the clamor between you an’ your sisters, ya’ve heard we have a visitor.” The kasha paused for a beat, clapping her hands together in front of her. “Ah, it’s been so long since we’ve had a proper guest. Shall I see to her, Satori-sam’nya? Perhaps I should put on a kettle, an’ bring out a tray of those little cakes you are fond of." The kasha's model of the perfect hostess obviously needed some polish. Yet what she lacked in knowledge she compensated with a heartfelt devotion to her beloved Satori. "She’s come a far way from home, y’know, it wouldn’t hurt to give her a proper reception... An’ I remember, I won’t go and steep the tea with any of the blood from the corpses. It’s damn near impossible to bleed an ol’ corpse anyways. It’s better when it’s fresh. That is unless ya would want me to... I think I have one or two on hand I could use.”
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Re: [Open to Chireiden, Others Ask] Glorious Star

Postby Hong Meiling » 23 Apr 2013 23:53

It was like shrugging off a cold shroud that threatened to stifle her bright spirit, dragging her into an ocean of despair. Meiling shook her head repeatedly as she leaned against the door briefly, collecting her thoughts. This was definitely a bad idea. Even if she'd not been attacked immediately, the environment was entirely against her. Every whisper in her ear and every aspect was designed to quash any sense of hope. That said, it was still not enough to have her turn back. Every taunt by the ravens, every whisper by the damned, she simply firmed her resolve. Meiling had to be water, she had to let the negativity flow over and through her. Breathing finally returned to some semblance of normal, as the door opened silently and without warning. What stood before her was not quite what she had anticipated.

If Meiling had ever met her, she would have thought her a shorter, younger version of Utsuho. As it was, she mostly just looked strange to the Chinese girl's eyes.

"Ah...Hello. My name is Hong Meiling! I know the pronunciation is a little strange, I apologize!"

She bowed in apology, feeling foolish for apologizing to what was likely a mere servant. Well, wasn't this just perfectly awkward?

"I suppose I should explain. I heard tell in the markets of a remarkable jewel that was purchased recently by a member of this household. I was hoping I might speak with the master of the house about it?"

Meiling had managed to keep her stomach from doing somersaults at least. But the yawning pit that was the entryway to the palace was not terribly inviting. She was no master of guile or diplomacy. She'd always been straightforward and honest to a fault, and somehow she suspected that honesty was only going to make her situation worse. But she couldn't possibly think of a convincing lie in time, so she would just have to act decisively!
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Re: [Open to Chireiden, Others Ask] Glorious Star

Postby Utsuho Reiuji » 27 Apr 2013 03:26

So there really was a visitor? That was interesting news. They really hadn't had any visitors in a long time. Not many people, particularly from the surface, liked coming down this far. It meant that they, whoever they are, must really want to be there for some reason. Probably to see Satori, everyone came to see Satori except for that one time.

Satori may have been the intended audience, but that didn't mean that Utsuho wouldn't steal a little of the spotlight. It wasn't often surface dwellers even got to see her, and she wanted to make sure they'd go back telling stories about her. With a flap of her wings she hopped off of the bust and stood up again in human form. Well, mostly human, there were still her massive black wings which she kept close against her back, having been admonished in the past for occasionally knocking things off of shelves and tables when she wasn't paying attention. Her cape, now focused on a violent orange supernova, still billowed out behind her before settling down. She rested her free hand on her hip as she took her place at her master's side, the control rod humming quietly on her other arm. The great eye upon her chest still keeping its unblinking gaze upon the door.

Utsuho's eyes were caught by the glint of the jewel Orin carried. It was definitely a really nice jewel, certainly very shiny. She wasn't entirely certain how to judge jewels apart from size, color, and shine, but this one certainly seemed nice.

“Nyaa, Sis, if I had known you were comin’ I would have brought ya somethin’ nice from the market too. Judging from all the clamor between you an’ your sisters, ya’ve heard we have a visitor.”


"Ah well. You can always get me somethin' tomorrow, Orin~"Utsuho smiled her usual ditzy grin. "But ya, a visitor huh? Not often we get one of those. "

As she spoke she surreptitiously drew herself up to her full and rather impressive height, almost towering over Satori. She stood slightly behind her master, not wanting to try and impose herself upon her beloved Satori-sama, but that doesn't mean she didn't want to look as impressive as possible. Not that she needed to try very hard, with long hair, dark wings, and parts of her body that literally glowed in the dark.

Talk of where the pretty jewel came from or what she might be able to cajole Orin into getting her could wait. She had a new visitor to impress.
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Re: [Open to Chireiden, Others Ask] Glorious Star

Postby Satori Komeiji » 05 May 2013 14:21

”Ah there you are. Welcome home.”

With only the slightest of glances, Satori acknowledges the raven’s arrival, even as Utsuho displayed the grand transformation act. The fact of the matter is that she’s seen that particular transformation a thousand times before, and even if her outward displays of power can still be impressive among her fellow hell ravens (it certainly had more immediate effect in the past), Satori knows the nature of her power better than most and thus is better than most at ‘handling’ it, quotation mark very well deserved.

As the great raven descended Satori once again find herself under the shade of her impressive wingspan. Impressive, and very well troublesome by the satori girl’s reckoning, she can’t exactly tell her keep them tucked 24/7, and however many times she told her to be careful Okuu’s still find herself reflexively spreading those wings on a cramped space. Nowadays Satori has settled into a kind of truce with her pet, hiding her more ‘knock-prone’ things where Okuu’s not usually present. That might not always be applicable and certainly not right now, but Okuu still has to remind herself once in a while that she can hit someone with those wings of her too.

”Okuu, what have I told you about your wings?”

“Ah, it’s been so long since we’ve had a proper guest. Shall I see to her, Satori-sam’nya? Perhaps I should put on a kettle, an’ bring out a tray of those little cakes you are fond of." The kasha's model of the perfect hostess obviously needed some polish. Yet what she lacked in knowledge she compensated with a heartfelt devotion to her beloved Satori. "She’s come a far way from home, y’know, it wouldn’t hurt to give her a proper reception... An’ I remember, I won’t go and steep the tea with any of the blood from the corpses. It’s damn near impossible to bleed an ol’ corpse anyways. It’s better when it’s fresh. That is unless ya would want me to... I think I have one or two on hand I could use.”


"Go ahead and give her a warm welcome as soon as Fuu's finished, we've been treated well in that vampire's mansion haven't we? Perhaps it's time to repay the hospitality." A lot of Satori's manners are artificial constructs, mimicked from countless other minds she has glanced before, but at least she can play the well-mannered host adequately. Isn't that what all manners are essentially? A simulation of the previous acceptable norm. "And no, I don't think this one's a vampire, so the blood won't be necessary." From casual glance of memory Chinese vampires, chiang-shih, doesn't always prefer blood too, but she doubts that the gateguard is one.

-

“Ho-ng Mei-ring. Hong Mirin?”

With an inquisitive glance, the little raven reviews the newly-acquainted redhead name’s pronunciation. It was after 5 seconds or so that she seemed to be settling down on the sound of this particular foreign sounding name. Years of living in an isolated part of the underground doesn’t seem to increase her knowledge about foreigners.

“Then what does Hon Mei-rin wants in the territory of our master?”

As she listens to her explanation, the raven’s eyes glint with a knowing look. Her mind wanders to the most likely object of the visitor’s desire, that of the kasha’s newly acquired jewel. As soon as the connection’s made, the gears inside her heads begin turning to cook up a plan on separating the object from both the kasha and this visitor.

“What makes you think that you can just walk in and demand the jewel, hmm? It belongs to one of us now, if you want to make it yours then you have to-“

”Fuu, enough with the prank. Please let her in.”

“Awww-but alright.”

As the firm voice of the household’s mistress echoed in the hallways leading to the inside of the house, the demeanor of the raven changes in just an instant, though never quite dropping her playful tendencies. With a mock-curtsy she opens the front door, and with a gesture invites the gatekeeper to go deeper. Skipping ahead of her guest, without bothering to close the door properly as it slowly but surely makes it quarter-rotation back to the closing position, Fuu motions for Meling to follow her.

“Careful not to get lost~, this place’s pretty big.”

After a bit of walking, the interior noticeably gets more spacious as a room is visible in the distance. The main room, filled with furniture and – of all things – a fireplace is their destination. The room is large, large enough to rival a similar room back in the Scarlet Devil Mansion, if less…regal and luxurious by the look of things. The first thing that Meiling might notice is that the decoration is strangely more westernized instead of the more eastern look of houses such as Eientei or the houses in the Human Village. The somber feeling of the environment is further enhanced by the combined illumination of the fireplace and another raven. As she makes the guest known to the others already in the room, Fuu takes her place on the other side of Satori, flanking her and giving the impression of two bodyguards ready to protect their master from danger…albeit ones with two contrasting outlooks.

”What a pleasant surprise miss gatekeeper. If you had informed myself about your arrival I might have arranged a more proper welcome. But as it is, please make yourself more comfortable.” Satori makes a sweeping gesture at the presently vacant furniture, “Why don’t you make your troubles known then?
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Satori Komeiji
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Re: [Open to Chireiden, Others Ask] Glorious Star

Postby Rin Kaenbyou » 27 Jul 2013 09:54

In her posturing, Okuu’s wing had nudged a stack of books just enough so that top volumes toppled and fell on an end table, nudging against a partially filled crystal pitcher of water. With one deft movement, Orin caught the pitcher in one hand and the books in the other, the pendant jangling as she did so. She set the books down where they went, and was going to return the pitcher to its place, but thought better of it and set it down on the nearest free surface that was furthest from Utsuho

Utsuho:
"Ah well. You can always get me somethin' tomorrow, Orin~"Utsuho smiled her usual ditzy grin. "But ya, a visitor huh? Not often we get one of those. "


“Oh Sis, we have visitors all the time. Just few are livin' and even fewer live long enough to make it past the front gates. An’ I’ll be sure to surprise ya Sis.” The hellraven stood head and shoulders above Orin and Okuu’s massive wingspan dwarfed the smaller kasha. Just the sight of Utsuho’s grin was comforting. She felt safe under the black-feathered wings of the raven, though the familiar knot of emotions surfaced at the thought of always being caught in Okuu’s shadow. The hellcat quickly covered over the stab of resentment she felt before it could sour her smile with it’s bitterness and silently chastised herself ‘You’re bein’ a fool, Sis. A blatherin’ fool worrying ‘bout something so petty. She trusts ya just as much as Okuu, if not more.’

Satori-Sam'nya:
"Go ahead and give her a warm welcome as soon as Fuu's finished, we've been treated well in that vampire's mansion haven't we? Perhaps it's time to repay the hospitality”...“And no, I don't think this one's a vampire, so the blood won't be necessary."


The kasha stared intently down the long hallway, her large feline ears catching every word of the exchange between the fledgling raven and their esteemed guest. Her tails curled and flicked in anticipation, the small flames at the their tips dancing about the air. Beyond them was the lingering echoes of the unkindness in their rook. Beyond that still were the raspy whispers of the dead. The rest of the world falls away as the kasha focuses her attentions solely upon the song of the dead, attuning herself to the fell chorus of cursed souls. Even the voice of her mistress is lost amongst the cries as the kasha’s eyes begin to drift shut and her head drifts backwards. The crushing weight of the dead spikes and threaten to swiftly overtake Meiling’s precarious balance.

As if roused from a daydream, the kasha’s carmine eyes flit open and she stands straight up. The overwhelming tide of despair vanishes like a morning mist and the intrepid gatekeeper would find it much easier to breathe. “There~! It is done, my master.” the kasha clapped her hands together and sent the pendant swaying on the length of chain that was loose around her hand. “An’ I can give her a warm welcome... my cart’s never too far behind.” Orin was proud that Satori gave her a considerable latitude, but she had no intention of testing the limits of her master’s patience. At least not today. The hellcat’s voice range with a silvery peal of laughter. ‘I know what you meant... I’ll see to to her comfort an’ make sure she’s warmly received. We shouldn’t leave such an outstanding debt, it would besmirch our sterling reputation for hospitality!’

Orin switched from her silent response to Satori to a spoken one. “...And you’re right. I have the scarcest idea what exactly she is.” A vast number of different youkai flashed through the kasha’s thoughts as she tried to find just where exactly the Chinese gate guard belonged. Course the most obvious answer was ‘she belongs in front of a gate,’ but that was maddeningly unhelpful. She stopped, the tips of her tails curling as her curiosity stopped her in her tracks. “Well, she’s not a mongrel, she doesn’t have the ears or the tail for it. ‘Sides, I can’t imagine one of those holier-than-thou mountain pups scraping so low as to be the Lady Vamp’s guard dog...” Orin turned her hand over, tumbling the jewel across her fingers so that the facets flashed like a rolling flame.

“I shall return briefly.”


Orin left through one of the adjoining halls, trailing a lilting song behind her as she made a quick pace to the kitchen to prepare a proper greeting for Chireiden’s guest and returned a short while later with rolling tray of small cakes and scones, a freshly steaming kettle, and the ruby pendant hanging from her neck.
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Rin Kaenbyou
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Re: [Open to Chireiden, Others Ask] Glorious Star

Postby Hong Meiling » 27 Jul 2013 20:13

“What makes you think that you can just walk in and demand the jewel, hmm? It belongs to one of us now, if you want to make it yours then you have to-”


Meiling tried to think of a good answer for that question. The responses sifted through her mind quickly as she stalled in front of the raven. The whispers did not make it easier for her to think. "I can claim it because it might be the key to understanding..." "Because it is a dragon's necklace." "Because it belongs to me!" "Well, th-that's..." Before she could finish the sentence, before she could even find the answer she wanted to give herself, a voice echoed down the hall, cutting off her thoughts as well as her speech.

”Fuu, enough with the prank. Please let her in.”


The little raven seemed disappointed that her game was interrupted. Meiling wondered if she was a child bird. She didn't know what you called baby ravens, but she knew children and they always liked to play. Well, if she's just a child then there's no sense getting mad at her. The gate guard followed after the bird, through the now open door and down even deeper into whatever awaited her. The bird was skipping. Meiling didn't skip after her. How could anyone skip down here with this feeling of weight pushing down on them? She was here for a purpose. This wasn't a game!

They walked into a large room. The air seemed easier to breath now. That was a good sign, it meant that they were going to be hospitable to her after all. And if that wasn't enough, Meiling recognized the set up as the room where the Mistress of the Mansion entertained her guests. Which meant that she was finally there...and still without any real plan of what she was going to say. There was another bird. This one was bigger. Meiling wondered if she was a child too. I guess I really don't know much about hellravens...

”What a pleasant surprise miss gatekeeper. If you had informed myself about your arrival I might have arranged a more proper welcome. But as it is, please make yourself more comfortable.” Satori makes a sweeping gesture at the presently vacant furniture, “Why don’t you make your troubles known then?


"That's probably because I didn't expect to arrive here when I set out this morning..." She admitted sheepishly, sitting down on a couch across from Satori. "Which guest were you again? There were so many...I remember your name is Lady Komeiji but..." "I see you remember me from the mansion! I'm glad I made an impression~" So far it wasn't too bad, so Meiling took a deep breath and relaxed herself. She would do this. It was only a matter of confidence and will.

"My troubles are that I set out this morning to acquire a pendant that was of great importance to me and when I got there, I had been informed it had already been purchased. The merchant had told me where I could find her...So I followed her. Into Hell itself it seems..."

Meiling adjusted herself in her seat, looking at Satori but paying attention to everything around her, especially the Lady Komeiji's bodyguards. She wondered how long it took to get used to the crushing despair and whispers of ghosts to be able to withstand this place. Maybe ravens were just immune to that sort of thing. She was getting unsettled again. She had to calm her mind and think about something else. I bet they're sisters.
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Hong Meiling
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Re: [Open to Chireiden, Others Ask] Glorious Star

Postby Utsuho Reiuji » 31 Jul 2013 03:23

Utsuho admitted to herself that she probably should have been paying more attention to what the guest (Meiling was it?) and Satori-sama were saying, but she kept trying to catch her mind from wandering off, and eventually gave up. She liked staying at Satori's side, at the very least to cut an intimidating frame behind her, but proximity to her was practically its own reward. According to Orin, a lot of people didn't like having their minds read, Utsuho didn't mind in the least. It was comforting, knowing her thoughts were heard and cared for.

The hell raven continued to space out, red eyes wandering across the room, until Orin returned a short while later from the kitchen, bearing fresh food on a rolling tray. It took a great deal of effort to force her eyes away from it and stop her mouth from watering. It really did look delicious, and a long day of powering all the fires of hell could really work up a bird's appetite. Of course, as she'd been told before, taking food before a guest got some was impolite, and she wanted Satori-sama to have some first as well, so she'd wait it out...of course, that doesn't mean she wouldn't be poised to strike once they'd had some, couldn't let any other ravens beat her there.

Utsuho tried her best to surreptitiously shuffle over to the proximity of the tray without being intrusive until she was only a few feet away. Of course, subtle motions were less than easy for a six-foot winged hell raven with a metal cannon on an arm and a foot made of concrete and corium. However, as she moved closer to Orin, her eyes kept being drawn away from the food on the tray to the shiny jewel now around her neck. An impish desire to steal it away welled up in her, as it would in any raven. But she pushed it down, even as she took more greedy glances at it. It wasn't hers, after all. And the matter of whose it was seemed to be up for debate at the moment. So for now she'd settle for stealing food, rather than stealing jewels.

[]Utsuho has Left the Thread[]
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Re: [Open to Chireiden, Others Ask] Glorious Star

Postby Satori Komeiji » 03 Aug 2013 23:03

For the ones who cannot – or would not – communicate with the dead the atmosphere of the former hell would certainly become unbearable quickly, even if it’s not at the level of its ‘glory days’. The gate-guard has done well on just surviving here with her mind intact without actively trying to exterminate those evil spirits themselves. Certainly because she’d been doing this covertly, but funnily enough in the end it doesn’t really matter that much.

”Thank you,” After getting used to the voices of the dead it’s a bit disconcerting to find it taken away in a hurry, but she’ll manage. ”And please refrain on testing the fires. After all we don’t know how she’ll react…yet.” She has a feeling that they’ll going to find out exactly the answer to that in due notice.

Satori turns her attention towards Meiling, as if shuffling through the information within her immediate and surface thoughts. The words are coming to her in a jumble, but at least she can guess what exactly is going on.

“The name’s Komeiji Satori, the one who asked permission to venture to the Library recently.” Satori noticed how Meiling started to compose herself as the atmosphere of dread is lessened; and how the two hell ravens’ attention are…all over the place. It’s hard to keep their attention fixed to the matter at hand if there’s something else they’ve set their eyes on, she noticed, and that something might very well be the center of attention shortly.

While Meiling explains why she’s here, Satori took that time to find a convenient seat for her…and leaving her two ‘bodyguards’ a bit stranded. As Orin returns with the tray of food, she notices that the attention of both hell ravens are fixated on anything but the current discussion. ”Okuu, Fuu, you two can help yourself with the food…but leave some for our guest would you?” At the confirmation of the word, the smaller and lither of the two ravens zipped across the room to snag a piece of cake from the tray and started munching at it.

“Schank yewsch Sachtori-schama.”

Leaving the two to their own priorities, Satori once again turns her attention back to Meiling, and more importantly at what she just said. ”I see. Unfortunately the same pendant now belongs to another. I trust that you have some kind of counter offer for the item?” She finishes the sentence as she nudges slightly at the direction of Rin. Satori knows that the gate-guard doesn’t have an offer, at least presently. She also wants to know what Meiling will part with in order to obtain this pendant…
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Satori Komeiji
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