Persona Winds of Change: IC

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Persona Winds of Change: IC

Postby PandaBrady » Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:52 pm

4/7 Noon - Highway
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[youtube]http://youtu.be/h73LvR8V2LA[/youtube]

Kaze sat on the bus staring out the window, watching the fields and mountains pass him by. His little brother had already fallen asleep next to him, and was quietly enjoying the scenery. He continued staring, knowing he had plenty of time to doze off for a nap. He didn’t understand why he couldn’t go with his parents to America, but he’d finally get to see his Aunt Chizuru again. He hadn’t seen her since he was really tiny, and couldn’t remember exactly what she looked like. He just remembered giant choking hugs. He shook his head as sleep quickly took him.
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[youtube]http://youtu.be/Eh3FgVv24-0[/youtube]

A soft song began to touch Kaze’s ears. The piano keys singing sweetly, yet eerily in his head. He slowly opened his eyes, and was met with a room of blue and black colors. He blinked as he slowly took in the scene before him. A hunchbacked man with a short nose sat before him, and on either side of the man were two blue clad twin children with hats one a boy, the other a girl. Their yellow eyes caught Kaze’s attention, as he shook his head slowly, realizing he must be dreaming.
“Ah, our guest has finally awoken. Welcome to the Velvet Room, one with a strange destiny. I am Quasimodo, current stand in for Igor.” He said.
The girl then interjected. “Sir, you’ve said it wrong.”
“After all that practicing too.” The boy said.
“Details, details.” Quasimodo said waving them off. “First, tell us your name.”
Kaze was confused momentarily as to who these strange people were. Finally, he concluded this had to be a strange dream, so he decided to play along.
“Kaze Shison.”
“Ah, very well Kaze. Now, how would you like to have your fortune told?” Quasimodo said, holding a deck of cards closely to himself. Kaze nodded, as Quasimodo quickly set to work. He then laid out a number of cards and had Kaze pick 3. He then flipped the cards, revealing the Fool, The Wheel of Fortune, and the Inverted Tower. Kaze looked quizzically at the cards, as Quasimodo snapped his fingers towards the boy twin, who then produced a small book from his pocket. Quasimodo then thumbed through it and began talking again.
“Ok, let’s see…Ah, here it is, the Fool. This symbolizes a sense of Newness in your life.”
Kaze nodded, that was reasonable as he was to soon be living in a new town for a year. Quasimodo then continued to thumb through.
“Next is the Wheel…symbolizing changing, that may or may not pass.”
Kaze shrugged. He guessed it would take some time getting used to a new town.
“And the Tower… Inverted. So it means…more change…basically. It may be good, may be bad. Don’t hold onto friendships or something.” He said this one, closing the book. Kaze was skeptical about that last one, especially the way the man said it.
“It seems our time is up. I have a feeling that we will be seeing each other again soon.” He said as he waved, the world slowly fading to black.
Kaze’s eyes snapped open, and he looked around confused, the sudden movement waking the dirty blonde next to him.
4/7 Afternoon - Bus Stop
“Huh? Are we there yet Onii-chan?” Ishidaiku asked him. Kaze looked out towards the Bus Stop, and saw, it was indeed their stop. He nodded in reply. Ishi then stretched and hopped up, his bright blue hoodie flopping over his head, which he then unflopped.
“Good. I’m tired of sitting on this bus.” Ishidaiku said. Kaze shook his head smirking, and then stood as they began to get out. As they, and a few other passengers got out to grab their baggage from the storage area of the bus, a car drove up as a tall busty blonde woman stepped out. She wore brown flats, with a pair of black slacks, a blue denim jacket, and a yellow floral designed shirt.
“Hey boys. Long time no see. Your mother sent me photos so I could recognize you two now that you’re all grown up.” She said as she walked up to them.
“Yeah. Good to see you, Aunt Chizuru.” Kaze said as he was brought into a big hug by her, and began suffocating in her breasts momentarily before she turned towards his younger brother. She finished her bear hug and grabbed both of the boys’ heavy bags easily. “Come on you two. We’ll be late for dinner.” She said as she headed back to the car. Kaze turned and waved towards the bus, a purple haired girl his age waving back as the Bus left.
“Friend of your’s Kaze?” Chizuru said nudging him.
“I guess. We traded emails, and promised to talk online.” Kaze said.
“Long distance relationships never last you know.”
“It’s not like that at all.” Kaze said slightly irritated.
“I see you blushing.”
“You do not.”
“Yes I do.”
“Yes she does Onii-chan!” Ishidaiku chimed in.
“Who asked you?” Kaze said.
They all laughed and got into the car heading back down the road towards town.
“You see that big tower there?” Chizuru said pointing at a large Tee Shaped tower made of Brown Stone.
“I own the tower, thanks to the City Hall, and I am normally running the shop. Luckily, I had a couple of part timers and a manager to watch it tonight. From there, you can see all the sites where weird and mysterious happenings go on.” Kaze looked at her skeptically.
“No worries. Most of them are just silly things that no one thinks to really investigate, but are usually really simple to point out. Like the Train Whistle Tunnel. You can read about it at the tower if you come to visit up there.” Chizuru continued pointing out places until they arrived at the house. Chizuru handed Kaze a map of the town.
“You should read and memorize this map. It’ll really help you out, especially when I’m too busy to meet you at the house.” Kaze nodded. “Don’t forget to Text me if you need anything while you’re out. I may be a bit to get to you on it though. This place is popular for the paranormal believers.” Kaze nodded.
“You believe in spirits right?” Chizuru asked. “Because if you don’t, you might be visited by the Sleepy Lady.” Chizuru said trying her best to make a scary face to Kaze, who stood unphased.
“Aw. You use to be so easy to scare. Guess I’ll have to get Ishi-kun.” She said laughing. As she turned the door knob.
Inside the furnishings of the house were modest, very normal for a Japanese family. A young blonde girl sat at the table coloring something. She looked up from her paper upon hearing the door open.
“Hi mom.” She says to Chizuru as she enters.
“Hi Sakura these are your cousins,” she said “Can you say hello to them.” Sakura shyly hid behind her mother.
“H-hello.” Sakura said.
“Nice to meet you.” Kaze said.
“Hi.” Ishidaiku said waving happily.
“Well, now that we are all acquainted, let’s get your bags up to your rooms upstairs, and then we can eat.” Chizuru said.
“Yay! Curry Chicken is mom’s best.” Sakura said.
4/7 Evening - Chizuru Tsukishima's Residence.
They then got the bags upstairs, and unpacked before dinner around the floor table. They ate dinner and caught up with each other.
“So, 1st Vanguard in your Kendo Club. Not bad.” Chizuru said.
The News then broke on at that moment.
“Welcome to the 9 o’clock news. Our top story tonight, Hunny Tea, break out Pop idol has gone on an unexpected vacation at the town of Hinasho. We’ve received reports that she is staying at the Tenkai Onsen Inn. According to one person’s audio recording captured by their phone, Hunny Tea stated to them that she is needing a break after her 4 week tour. We’ll keep you updated throughout the week, back to you Yuri.”
“Hmm… News spreads like wildfire.” Chizuru says.
“Hmm?”
“Oh, nothing. Just forget I said anything.” Chizuru said. “Sakura, make sure you’re ready to come help me at work tomorrow.” She then turned back to Kaze. “You can use tomorrow to get acquainted with the town. Have fun, go to the mall, maybe the shopping district, or the Park. Just, don’t go to that weird abandoned house.”
“Why not?” Kaze asked.
“Because it’s haunted!” Chizuru says trying to scare Kaze again. “Oh, you’re no fun. It’s fine. People just think it’s haunted, but every time I go up there, nothing has happened. It’s just a waste of time if you aske me.” She says.
They continued talking through dinner, did the dishes, and then headed to their rooms. Kaze marked on his calendar that tomorrow, he would explore town. Then he circled the day after, writing down ‘School Starts’. He then turned in for the night.

4/8 Morning
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Re: Persona Winds of Change: IC

Postby Sigment » Tue Oct 21, 2014 1:08 am

4/8 Morning - Toroname Residence

"Zzzz... Zzzz..."

"Akatsuki? Akatsuki, wake up!"

Oooh, why now? Just one more hour is all I ask... I rub my eyes as they adjust to the light coming in through the window.

"Come on, kid. How hard can it be to get up in the morning?"

"Ugh... I'm up, alright? Get off my back..."

It's April 8th, sadly. School's starting up again tomorrow. As a second-year, I'm likely to be Senpai to a lot of newcomers. Sounds like a pain probably, but I guess it could be fun. But for today, I may as well try to enjoy the last day before I go back. Bit by bit, I get dressed, including the little stuff; my bandana wrap and hat, and my... their... necklaces. My staff is in the corner of my room, resting against the wall.

"Let's get you some sun. Got some practicing to do."

I separate and pack it, putting the bag on my back. Downstairs, that rough-n'-tough voice greets me again. My father takes a moment to drink some morning coffee before talking to me.

"There you are. Slept well, I take it?"

"Oh, yeah. Like a log."

"Good to hear. So, school's starting tomorrow. You looking forward to meeting that transfer student you mentioned?"

That's right, I'd forgotten. One of the first-years is a transfer student from the city. I don't really remember their name or anything, so it's anyone's guess how that'll go.

"Eh, I'm sure we'll hit it off just fine. Anyway, I'm going out, so I'll see you later."

"Alright, then. Take care, son."
"Stick around... I'm full of bad ideas." -Isaac Clarke
"You've chosen your Answer. Now see it through." -Serene Haze
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Re: Persona Winds of Change: IC

Postby (CH3)3CLi » Tue Oct 21, 2014 7:53 pm

4/8 Early Morning - Renge Residence

Seiji was awake at 4 AM and he decided to remain awake until he either 1. felt like going to sleep or 2. passed out. He hated school. The thought of his spring break finally transitioning into his first year in high school grated on his nerves and he found people even more unbearable than before, simply because they were either preparing for classes or excited for the start of a new year. Unable to sympathize with either side and unwilling to associate with the delinquents who hated school for entirely different reasons, Seiji wound up alone, again. Go figure.

He fiddled on his phone for a while, catching up on his favorite cellphone novel Something Wicked This Way Comes. The latest chapter ended on a cliffhanger and Seiji furiously debated plot theories on the novel's companion forums, fingers a blur on his flip phone's number pad. His only friends were strangers on the internet--and he never actually found anything wrong with that.

When the quiet beeping of the battery alarm went off, Seiji ignored it, still in the midst of an intense forum debate. When his phone shut off at last, he groaned. Just one sentence away from finishing his latest post. With a slow stretch, he plugged the charging cable into his phone and sat up, ready to continue the discussion on his laptop when a sudden spell of dizziness overcame him. Right. Lying down pretty much all day and suddenly sitting up really screwed around with blood pressure.

"Screw it..." Seiji muttered, rolling over and closing his tired eyes. He didn't feel like sleeping, but his body would probably jump at the chance to get some rest. Before he could continue being annoyed at his phone, he fell fast asleep.


4/8 Morning - Renge Residence

"Hey, Dad! Seiji's not up? Today's the last day of spring break. Was hoping I could get the kid to come hunting with me. He's got promise with a crossbow, but he's lazy as all hell." Seiichiro, Seiji's older brother, stomped his way towards Seiji's room, throwing open the sliding shōji door and roughly nudging his younger brother with his foot.

"Seiji! Oi! Seiji!"

Seiji remained fast asleep.

"Seiji! You pretending to be asleep, again?" his father's gruff voice echoed down the hallway.

"No..." Seiji responded, slowly rousing himself and swatting his brother's foot away. To be honest, he had been woken up by his brother's footsteps, but had hoped his brother would give up after several failed attempts. His father, though, was as stubborn as a mule, and no amount of faking would be enough to dissuade his father from dumping ice-cold water on him...again.

"Oh, good, you were awake, after all. Up and at 'em, kiddo, wash up and get dressed. Don't want to waste the last day of your break in the house, do you?" Seiichiro was easily twice his younger brother's girth in muscle and he easily hoisted the slender teen to his feet, thrusting him roughly out of the bedroom and down the hallway.

Seiji sighed and plodded his way towards the bathroom, already dreading the rest of his day.
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Re: Persona Winds of Change: IC

Postby PandaBrady » Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:53 pm

4/8 Morning - Tsukushima Residence

Kaze awoke and quickly got ready for the day. He was eager to explore the town and see what was around he went down the stairs and was greeted by his cousin.
"Hi. Mom already went to work. She left her number on the table, and Ishi-kun is still asleep." Sakura said to him.
"You here by yourself often?" he asked as he walked over and grabbed the paper on the table, putting it into his pocket.
Sakura nodded. "Yeah. Mom's usually busy. Not as busy as she used to be, but she is busy. People come here all the time to see the spooky stuff around town. But I'm used to it. Are you going to wake Ishi?"
"No. He can sit here with you. I'd rather check everywhere first then let him come with me and have something happen."
"Alright. Have fun." She said. Kaze nodded and left the house.

Kaze made it to the main downtown after awhile, walking around the stores and checking everywhere out. He found a special intrests store that held replica and real weapons, as well as a man black smithing in the back. Other than that he found a Ramen shop, a place where they sell meat on a stick, and a town Shrine. He stood at the shrine, wondering what kind of story could be here. Thats when a voice was heard from behind him.
"Hello? Can I help you?"
He turned around to see a Girl about his maid dressed as a Shrine Maiden.
"Oh, no, I'm fine. I'm new in town and just checking out the area."
"Ah, I see. Well, we're always looking for people to come help here, especially during the holidays. But you should come down sometime. We have fun." She said smiling.
"Alright, I'll try." Kaze said as he began walking off. The girl tapped him on the shoulder. He turned around but she was already moving away to do her own thing, so he continued on. He then checked his phone, leaving the shrine, and saw it was already noon. He decided to head to that ramen restaurant and grab some lunch.
4/8 Noon - Raru Ramen
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Re: Persona Winds of Change: IC

Postby Sigment » Thu Oct 23, 2014 3:35 am

4/8 Late Morning - Toroname Dojo

"Ha... Hyah... Tah!"

With that last strike, I almost tore the damn bag! I need to be more careful, or it's coming out of my wallet. Dad told me these things aren't exactly cheap. Still, I'm glad my staff is holding up to all this. Means that it should be fine if I ever fight an actual opponent. I separate and pack the staff, and head to a bench to cool off. There's plenty of bottled water around, considering the degree of exercise in here.

But re-hydration only solves one problem. My grumbling stomach quickly reminds me of the other. I take a quick peek at my wallet. 2000 yen? Should be enough for a quick bite. Maybe a stop over by Raru before I pay them a visit. With a quick change out of the dojo clothes, I'm out the door.

4/8 Noon - Raru Ramen

"Whew, I'm beat! Got anything good today, Itachi?"

"Ah, Akatsuki! Sure, I'll have something right out!"

The place isn't too packed, so I take a seat at the front and wait. Itachi's a great cook, and I always look forward to what he brings out of the kitchen. Within a few minutes, my meal's placed in front of me.

"Nikudon? You know me too well, man!"

"I always take care of my customers."

Itachi shrugs off the comment and returns to the kitchen while I chow down. The meat's tough, but tasty. Itachi always makes a good meal, no doubt about it. My staff rests comfortably at my feet as I continue to enjoy my food. This is shaping up to be a good day.
"Stick around... I'm full of bad ideas." -Isaac Clarke
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Re: Persona Winds of Change: IC

Postby (CH3)3CLi » Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:59 am

4/8 Late Morning - Mountain Forest North of Hinasho

Seiichiro stalked through the trees, his silent footsteps and fluid movements unhindered by his size. Anyone else and the doe would have bolted long ago, but growing up as a hunter's child made sure Seiichiro knew exactly what he was doing. He glanced backwards at a tall oak tree several dozen meters behind him, trying to make out where his younger brother was perched. He trilled a quick high note and felt reassured when a sharp whistle returned from the tree's direction. He grinned, thinking he could sense the annoyance in the whistle--after all, he had been checking up on Seiji way too often these days.

Seiji's lighter build and slimmer frame made him ideal for climbing the tall evergreen trees and spotting for his brother, who usually honed in on the target the moment Seiji signaled the location. Despite their differences in opinion when the topic of hunting came around, the two had developed a very effective method of signaling targets: Seiji would climb a tree once the two found a good location to spot from. If he saw a target, he would imitate a nightingale's sharp whistle, wait exactly three seconds between phrases, then imitate the rapid upslurs and downslurs of the nightingale's notes to indicate general direction--one note for north, two in quick succession for south, three for east, and four for west. Another three seconds and he trilled to indicate a rough distance estimate, measured in meters. If the target was particularly large or dangerous, the song would end with a long, shrill whistle, otherwise it ended on the last trilling phrase.

Seiichiro trilled back a quick phrase to confirm he had heard the song.

With the information, Seiichiro could usually find a target with ease. If they were lucky, the target would be in range of Seiji's crossbow, though the kid had an annoying tendency to try shots in excess of 90 meters under less-than-ideal conditions. Even worse was Seiji's even more annoying tendency to actually hit the target and kill it--something that often inflated the teen's ego past any size considered safe. Seiichiro couldn't even count the number of lectures he had given his younger brother about staying careful and not letting exhaustion (or, in Seiji's case, arrogance) result in careless hunting. A few good shots and this kid was king of the world; that's when he would get careless and things would go wrong--missed shots, bad information relay, excessive noise, sloppy nightingale imitations, the whole shebang. Seiji still had a long way to go.

Seiichiro was under no illusions of grandeur as the 350-grain arrow pierced the doe's chest, and prepared himself for a chase when a 420-grain arrow punched clean through the doe's neck. The creature staggered a few meters before collapsing and Seiji jogged up a few minutes afterwards to check on the kill.

"Looks like this one's all me, Ichi-nii," Seiji grinned at his brother.

Seiichiro had half a mind to chastise his brother again for making so much noise getting to the deer, but Seiji hardly ever looked so proud of himself except after a successful kill. Seiichiro was well-aware his younger brother spent far too much time being alone and unmotivated, so forcing the kid outside to hunt at least gave the teen a sense of self-confidence. Seiji probably didn't even notice his own enjoyment while hunting--kid was always too busy trying to be cynical about things. Seiichiro sighed and refrained from yelling at him for the day.

"Good shot, Seiji. Come on, kiddo, let's head back early for today. Don't want to tire you out too much the day before school starts."

Seiji groaned out loud at the mention of school. He had forgotten about it in the excitement of the hunt, but the sudden reminder instantly ruined his mood. He threw the doe over his shoulders and trudged towards his brother, feeling the last of the creature's life drain from its body.

"Hey, can we get some ramen after we drop off the kills?"
Seiji asked.

"You can, sure. I gotta help Dad skin the kills and butcher them," Seiichiro replied, nodding towards the back of the pick-up truck where a few other kills lay in pools of their own blood.


4/8 Noon - Raru Ramen

Seiji stretched as he entered Raru Ramen, feeling refreshed after his post-hunting trip shower.

"O-one shoyu chashu men, please," he called out, sitting down at the bar and coughing to hide his automatic embarrassment. Luckily, he didn't need to converse with the chefs.
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Re: Persona Winds of Change: IC

Postby PandaBrady » Thu Oct 23, 2014 10:07 pm

4/8 Noon - Raru Ramen

Kaze walked into the shop and noted that is wan't too crowded. He took a seat near the counter and a girl probably his age greeted him. "Hello, welcome to Raru Ramen. I haven't seen you around before, are you a tourist?"
"No, I just moved here for the School Year." he replied.
"Oh! You're the new kid? I'm your Senpai, Lala Uhara. My father runs this place, and I'm his best chef too." She said smiling.
"Oh, that's good to know. What's your specialty?"
"Tonkotsu."
"Then I'll have that." Kaze said, the girl smiling and then walking off quickly.

Shortly later, she was back with the Ramen in Pork Bone Broth. It smelled delicious, the taste, even more so.
"Wow, this is delicious. Better than any Ramen I've ever had." Kaze said after swallowing the mouthful.
"Oh, you're just being kind."
"No, I mean it. You should think about becoming a Gourmand in the city." he said.
"I couldn't leave my dad. He's getting too old to be left alone here in town." She said.
"Well, sorry to hear that." Kaze said.
"Still, I am glad to hear it." she said. "So, have you visited the old abandoned house yet?" She asked.
"No, not yet. I've heard its just a hoax."
"It's not. You should try tonight." she said winking and walking off for now.
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Re: Persona Winds of Change: IC

Postby Sigment » Thu Oct 23, 2014 10:41 pm

4/8 Noon - Raru Ramen

Well, this place sure picked up quick. Couple of guys about my age, maybe younger, stopping in for a bite? Go figure. Was wondering if anything was gonna happen today. I casually enjoy my food as Lala steps up to one of them, takes his order, and comes back with his meal. Turns out he's new to town, so I guess he's the tranfer student I'd heard about. I'm inclined to agree with his compliment. She's the one cook I know that can top Itachi. Not that I'd say that to his face.

After his meal, Lala apparently felt inclined to bring up that old house everyone talks about, saying that he should check it out tonight.

"Heh, no need to go spookin' the new guy, Lala!"

I see her wave off my comment, so I turn my head to the new guy. Already made myself obvious, so I may as well introduce myself.

"Nice to meet ya. Name's Akatsuki Toroname, a second-year." I casually take another bite of Nikudon. Normally, they wouldn't serve meat bowls here, but Itachi knows me and my dad well enough to make a bowl now and then. Makes me pay for it, of course. "So what brings a city kid like you out here to the boonies?"
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Re: Persona Winds of Change: IC

Postby PandaBrady » Thu Oct 23, 2014 10:58 pm

Kaze turned towards his Sempai hearing the name Akatsuki. He didn't see any point in not telling him why he was out here.
"My parents had to leave on a year long business trip to America, so my Aunt is letting me stay with her for the year." Kaze said. "I'm Kaze Shison. Nice to meet you." he said waving from his seat. He wondered how well Akatsuki knew Lala, given his friendliness.
"So, why is everyone so hooked on that house anyways?" Kaze asked after taking another bite. "I mean, its not really haunted is it?"
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Re: Persona Winds of Change: IC

Postby Sigment » Thu Oct 23, 2014 11:24 pm

Whew, his folks are working off on the other side of the world? Damn, that must be interesting for them. Kinda sucks that it leaves him having to move just because of his folks. Guess it can't be helped, though.

"Tough to say. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. My dad sure seems to believe it, along with half the town. I dunno, maybe it just helps with tourism for people to act the part."

Everyone I know has talked about that house at least once a day. Used to bug me, 'til I got used to it. I can see where Kaze-kun's getting his skepticism. But with all the talk the town's had about that place, I've never looked for myself. It wasn't nerves or anything. I just always had better things to put my time towards.

"But I gotta admit, it would be interesting to see for ourselves, yeah? Way I see it, there's no better way to prove it either way." I put down my chopsticks as I finish my last bite. Itachi almost immediately notices, putting the bill in front of me. 1100 yen? You're killin' me, man... Ah, well. I look back to Kaze as I pick up my stuff. "So how 'bout it? You and me check that place out tonight. Should make for a fun last day before school, yeah?"
"Stick around... I'm full of bad ideas." -Isaac Clarke
"You've chosen your Answer. Now see it through." -Serene Haze
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Re: Persona Winds of Change: IC

Postby (CH3)3CLi » Fri Oct 24, 2014 9:34 am

4/8 Noon - Raru Ramen

Seiji stuffed his face the moment the bowl of ramen came out, loudly slurping up every last strand of ramen and every drop of the soup. While he enjoyed the free meat his dad always apportioned for the family, the best cuts always went into the shop or the local restaurants. Seiji couldn't remember if Raru Ramen ordered meat from his family's butcher shop, but considering the local farm in Hinasho's countryside delivered livestock for slaughter directly to his father's shop and not anywhere else, he could safely assume Raru was one of the many clients ordering meat in bulk from his father.

As Seiji started drifting off into daydreams again, relaxed from the food and drowsy from lack of sleep, one of the chefs slid him the bill. As he fumbled for his wallet, he overheard one of the waitresses and another customer talking--something about visiting the "haunted house."

He looked away before rolling his eyes. A newcomer in town and--who would have guessed?--he wanted to go see the famous abandoned house. Seiji had never been there. He saw no point in putting in all that effort to walk to the house only to admire how empty its rooms were and how completely disgusting its rotting wooden support beams were.

The house was a famous tourist attraction, sure, but that didn't mean the small town did any serious upkeep on it. In fact, between the ghost rumors and because part of its appeal was the derelict appearance, the town had simply let it go and Seiji recalled his brother making some comment about how the house was a death trap just because floorboards could give way and support structures could collapse on any unwary visitors. When he asked Seiichiro about that, his brother admitted to exploring the house on a few occasions, but never getting very far simply because he didn't "want a creepy house as a funeral casket."

Even worse, one of the locals now chatting up the new arrival was his senpai starting tomorrow and the new arrival, himself, would be attending the same high school. Ugh, people. Ugh, school. Seiji placed two 1000-yen notes on the table and tipped 400 yen, quickly getting up and turning to leave. The sooner he was away from these idiots, the better.

As he exited the restaurant, his conscience nagged at him.

Seiji sighed and turned to glance at his two future schoolmates--one possibly a classmate--as they animatedly talked to each other about doing something incredibly stupid. Usually, he'd ignore people like that and expect them on the local evening news later, having either committed some minor crime and gotten themselves arrested or needing help from local authorities because one of them got stuck/attacked/lost/injured/etc. somewhere somehow.

"Guess I really want to feel good about myself, today..." he muttered, resisting the usual urge to stay well out of someone else's business.

Seiji quietly walked up to the guy with a cap, waiting for a chance to interrupt, but finding none. After waiting another few seconds as they kept talking, he racked his brain for a good insertion. He realized he was on edge and nervous as shit so he had ended up unconsciously walking as carefully as if he was hunting something, so there goes the interrupt by way of obvious presence. He was hoping the newcomer in town would see him and say something, but he probably wasn't standing close enough to indicate he wanted to be a part of the conversation. That meant he had to verbally get their attention.

Ugh, talking to people.

He always acted like he avoided talking to them because he didn't like them, but that was only half the truth. The other half was that he really had no interpersonal communication skills.

"Probably not a good idea to wander around inside that place. It'll probably collapse in on you, or you'll fall through a hole," Seiji interjected as one of them suggested the worst idea for making the most of spring break's final day.

That was appropriate, right? Was that too awkward? Shit, was that too sudden? Maybe he looked like a busybody. Oh, god, he really should've just minded his own business. How did these social cues even work? When is it socially acceptable to turn around and run?

Seiji could feel his cheeks heating up as he mentally panicked. Holy hell, talking to people was insane. His face was probably as red as a tomato, right now. He inadvertently stepped back right as he finished talking, looking at his fellow students the same way he looked at that angry bear that had tried to climb up his tree on a hunting trip some months back. Seiichiro had been there to shoot the bear down after it had scaled almost half the distance to where Seiji had been spotting for his brother. But Seiichiro wasn't here to help him, now.

"I'm just...I'm gonna go, actually, don't mind me,"
he blurted out, turning to flee.
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Re: Persona Winds of Change: IC

Postby Sigment » Fri Oct 24, 2014 5:11 pm

4/8 Noon - Raru Ramen

I kinda had to put effort into not jumping out of my skin when someone suddenly commented on the trip from right behind me. What, is this kid a shinobi or something? Didn't hear his footsteps or anything. It's like he wanted us not to see him. When I turned around he looked seriously nervous, blushing and everything. Hell, he looked like he was staring Death in the face. Was he warning us 'cause he could, or was he concerned? Whatever the reason, he tried to leave, as if he regretted saying anything in the first place.

"Whoa, hold up a sec!" Dunno why I called out to him. Guess I just felt like it. "Look, thanks for the warning, but we'll be fine." God, I probably sounded like an ass saying that... Now I'm doing that neck-scratching then whenever things get awkward. C'mon, damn it, you can do better than this! Go for a compliment or something! "So, uh... You seem like a smart guy. What's your name?"
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Re: Persona Winds of Change: IC

Postby PandaBrady » Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:46 pm

"That would be Seiji Renge. First Tear, Age 16" a girl's voice said from nowhere.
"Umm...Who said that? Is this place haunted too?" Kaze asked confused. Anyone who had lived long enough in the town would know that his was Eri Namase, the resident Kunoichi of Justice and Love. She then appeared from under an unused table in her black kunoichi outfit, a pair of large blue glasses covering her eyes, and her black hair was tied in a ponytail. Not only was she a so called Kunoichi-in-training, she also led the School's Paranormal Activities Club, and hearing a conversation like this would definitely pique her interest.
"So, you're going to be going to that house?" She asked with intensity.
"Umm...Maybe." Kaze said.
"Then allow me, Eri Namase, Kunoichi of Justice, to guide you. My paranormal team and I have visited multiple times, though, we've never managed to stay the whole time." She said striking a pose.
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Re: Persona Winds of Change: IC

Postby (CH3)3CLi » Sat Oct 25, 2014 7:08 pm

4/8 Noon - Raru Ramen

When the gray-haired student called out to him, Seiji turned back around out of panic, worried he had offended in more ways than one and now would pay the price. He was about to respond to his future-schoolmate's question when the second student joined in on the conversation and Seiji's heart rate skyrocketed again.

While trying to untangle his tongue to properly respond instead of stammering, Eri Namase, that damn chuunibyou-afflicted girl, suddenly appeared from underneath a table, announcing his name and striking awkward poses in the middle of a restaurant like it was nobody's business. Seiji was just about done with the entire scene. This was way too much for him to handle when he had spent the entire spring break successfully avoiding the hell out of people. He stumbled backwards and ended up sitting back down on a barstool, his head in his hands as he tried his best not to hyperventilate. He'd prefer hunting than this. At least the animals never tried to converse with him.

"Ichi-nii..." he inadvertantly called for his brother, realizing only afterwards what he had said. He spun around on the barstool, looking away from the students nearby, hoping they'd go away if he just stopped talking. He shouldn't have even said anything.
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Re: Persona Winds of Change: IC

Postby Sigment » Sat Oct 25, 2014 7:45 pm

4/8 Noon - Raru Ramen

Damn it, I hate it when she does that. Can't even think about that damn house without her showing up. I can't say I'm surprised she's here, really. Not sure I'd wanna take her up on her offer, though. Following her around usually is something I avoid, regardless of the destination.

I was about to talk to Kaze about plans when I heard the other kid, Seiji, she called him, say someone's name under his breath. "Ichi-nii"... His brother? He wound up on a seat at the bar, and I could swear the guy was having a panic attack or something. Damn... I shouldn't have tried to talk to him. I move to the bar, seeing Itachi in the back.

"Itachi, can you get some water over here?"

"Huh? Sure, I'll be just a sec."

Within a minute, he had a glass ready and on the bar. I slowly slide it to Seiji-kun, hoping it will help calm him down. "Here, drink this and take some deep breaths." I try not to touch him or say anything else. That could make things worse, for all I know. I look back to Kaze-kun and Eri-chan over my shoulder. "Look, if we're gonna go tonight, we should find somewhere to meet. I'll be at the shrine later, if you wanna meet there."
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Re: Persona Winds of Change: IC

Postby Draken30000 » Sat Oct 25, 2014 10:32 pm

4/8 Morning - Seward Household

Arthur's bright green eyes slowly opened as he lay in his bed. It was not an alarm that had awoken him, but a ray of light sneaking through a gap in his curtains. Bits of dust were made visible floating in the air by this beam, and the boy watched them dance for a moment before sitting up and rubbing his eyes. Any observers would have noticed how peaceful the scene was. There was just something about the blonde high schooler that made him seem almost regal. But there was no one to look at the youngster, and he quickly began going about his day.

Washing and dressing himself, Arthur made his way downstairs. He greeted his mother and father as they prepared for their own daily tasks. He made a simple breakfast of toast and orange juice and let his mind wander while he ate. School would be starting up again tomorrow. Another year of pleasant interactions, casual sporting...was he bored with it? No not bored, but not content either. He just felt like there was something more he should be doing. Something he lacked? Arthur couldn't put his finger on it. He finished up his meal.

"Goodbye mother, goodbye father. I am going out for the day, I will be back this evening." he stated very formally. More often than not the boy was proper with everyone around him, but there were times when he couldn't help but remind the world that he was still a teenager. He grabbed everything he needed and set off, intent on exploring the town for the day.

4/8 Noon - Raru Ramen

Arthur spent the morning simply walking about, pausing to greet and have brief conversations with several locals that knew him. As the hours wore on he noticed that his breakfast had worn off. Pausing to take in his surroundings for a moment, he noticed that he was right close to Raru Ramen. He came here every once in awhile, knew a few names, and they served good food. He had enough cash on him so he entered the building.

Inside he made his way towards the counter when he noticed two of his classmates, one his year and another one younger, and a boy he did not recognize. While he may not have any close friends, he was quite good with names and faces. Akatsuki, Seiji and a new guy...he wanted to meet this new kid. There was something about him and Arthur felt oddly drawn to him. He was, however, perceptive enough to notice that Seiji seemed to be having some kind of situation. It was right as Arthur was nearly upon the group that Eri made her appearance. Slight surprise crossed his face, but it was soon replace with an amused, gentle smile. Arthur had always found the "kounichi's" antics to be entertaining. Then Arthur overheard Akatsuki mentioning the abandoned mansion.

The one place in this town that Arthur had never been to. The whole place gave off enough of a creepy vibe to deter even him. But maybe if he had people to accompany him...This was his chance to step forward.

"Ah, Akatsuki, Seiji, and Eri. What a pleasure to see you all. Please forgive my interruption, but I could not help but overhear your plans to visit the abandoned house. I would like to accompany you, if that is not too much trouble. If it is please tell me, I will not be offended." he calmly expressed with a bow to each person in turn. He then looked right into Kaze's eyes. "Oh, please forgive my rudeness. My name is Arthur Seward, it is wonderful to meet you." he introduced himself with a smile and an extended hand.
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Re: Persona Winds of Change: IC

Postby (CH3)3CLi » Sun Oct 26, 2014 2:51 pm

4/8 Noon - Raru Ramen

Nope. Strategy to stay out of everyone's way wasn't working. Seiji didn't trust himself to pick up the glass without dropping it, so he shook his head and gulped air as slowly as he could. His body's urge to swallow air in a series of rapid, shallow breaths was starting to overwhelm him and he glared at the wooden bar counter, angry with himself and willing his body to calm down. Yeah, people. He feared them more than he hated them.

"You...probably hate yourself," a little voice in the back of his mind whispered.

He gritted his teeth and thought about something else. The cellphone novel he loved so much--he imagined writing a better one, sitting at a classy desk, penning the words to a story that fans clamored for, a hobby so successful he was able to publish the story. He pictured himself standing at a podium, having been invited to give a speech at a graduating ceremony--the only 15-year-old prodigy to have ever become a millionaire off of book sales alone, a master of his craft, able to bring his audience to tears with words alone, an example of the pinnacle of success.

His heart beat finally slowed down, and he took a shaky breath to test the waters. Yeah, he was okay, probably. He took a quick glance at the guy who had offered him a drink, still cautious of him, but grateful he had tried.

"Thank you," he said softly, finally taking a small sip from the glass of water. After a pause, he muttered, "I need to get back home," before dropping 200 yen on the counter. Seiji was about to leave when another person came in and seemingly knew who everyone was, which was initially disconcerting, but at least Seiji knew the gray-haired student's name now. Akatsuki and Arthur Seward? Seiji didn't spend enough time socializing to know who anyone was and, at this point, he just didn't want to socialize at all. What was wrong with these people that they kept insisting on going to that damn house?

Seiji wanted to say something more in protest, but fear kept locking his throat up. What if he said something they thought was stupid and everyone ended up laughing at him? Or worse, angry at him? But he didn't want to let them waltz into that house carelessly. Even if the foundations weren't about to collapse in on themselves, that it had been abandoned so long on the outskirts of town meant animals could have taken up residence in its nooks and crannies--either way, it was dangerous. Seiji turned to Akatsuki, who was already busy addressing the other students. Not wanting to get involved in the conversation, he tugged once on Akatsuki's wristband.

"...coming, too.." he managed to whisper part of his intended sentence before his usual spell of embarrassment had him wanting to melt into the floor and seep out the door.

He spun the other way on the bar stool only to come face-to-face with Arthur.

"N-nice to meet you," he stammered, before quickly side-stepping Arthur and heading out the door, footsteps still inaudible as he tried his best to not be present. Today was not the day he would successfully become a charismatic social butterfly. Nope. Definitely not.

Seiji heaved a sigh of relief as he exited the restaurant. He had managed to catch just the end of the conversation, however, and he nervously gripped the hem of his shirt, a childhood habit he still hadn't managed to shake. They were still going to the house, despite everything. He was worried.

A pause as he almost turned around again, but with four people to converse with now, he didn't dare. Meeting up at the shrine? Would it be too awkward if he appeared uninvited? He hadn't even waited to see if Akatsuki agreed. He continued toying with the hem of his shirt, uncertain why he cared so much about a random group of students from his school. Concern for others wasn't exactly something Seiji was known for.

He almost ran home after that, but managed to look calm as he entered his house. Right, he had forgotten--Seiichiro and his father were still at the butcher shop, prepping the meat. With an exhausted sigh he dropped onto the sofa and leaned his head back against the headrest, considering what to do. He probably needed to bring his crossbow for this and if they didn't want him coming, he'd just go home, right, not a problem--definitely not awkward at all.
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Re: Persona Winds of Change: IC

Postby PandaBrady » Sun Oct 26, 2014 5:12 pm

Kaze shook the outstretched hand. This boy, Arthur Seward, he had a very american look to him,...no, not american by his accent. The boy seemed to have no accent. At least Kaze had found someone here that stood out pretty hard. Kaze looked concerned as Seiji left the resturant. "I hope he's alright." Kaze muttered before turning to Akatsuki.
"Yeah, tonight at the temple sounds good. Around 9? I'm gonna finish looking around time, and I'll meet you guys there." Kaze said as he stood up to pay for his meal.
"Great, and I'll bring weapons!" Eri said.
"What? No, why would we need weapons?"
"Just in case?"
"Well, whatever, you can bring your own weapons. I'll see everyone later." Kaze said walking out the door. He noticed Seiji off in the distance. "Wow, lives here and he is that scared of the place." Kaze said before turning towards the park.

"So, you think he'll make it the whole night?" Eri asked no one in particular around her, expecting a reply.

4/8 Afternoon - Mall
Kaze had spent hours in here already, looking at the various stores and perusing through the wares. He mostly was trying to wait out having to head back home, given that he had seen most of the town he wanted too that wouldn't be miles away from where he needs to be. All the places he visited the story was mostly the same, only from sunset to sunrise would the spirits reveal themselves. He was still skeptical about the whole thing, but this haunted house might just make a believer out of him...if it delivers that is.
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Re: Persona Winds of Change: IC

Postby Sigment » Sun Oct 26, 2014 7:11 pm

4/8 Noon - Raru Ramen

Seiji didn't drink the water initially. It made me worried that I had tried something I shouldn't have. I'm kinda worried, but before I could think more on it, I heard another voice jump in, Asa. At least, I think that's how you say it. English names can get weird sometimes. A British family in a small Japanese town tends to stick out pretty bad. Wasn't long before my family knew about them, though I've never really hung out with the guy. What I wasn't expecting was him wanting to join us at the house. This is starting to be a crowded bunch, honestly. I heard Seiji thank me for the water, before stating that he needed to go home. Well, at least I didn't make it worse.

I turned my head to face Asa, who had introduced himself to Kaze. "Hey. Oh, this is Kaze Shison. Just came in from the city." Kaze confirmed that we'd meet at the shrine at 9 P.M. Worked out fine for me. Right as I went to say something, I felt something tug my wristband. I turned to see Seiji looking at me hesitantly, saying he would come along. Before I could reply, he was out the door. The way he looked at me... It reminded me of her. I guess he really did have an older brother.

Kaze was worried about Seiji, and I can't say I wasn't either. "He's probably tougher than he looks. Just needs some confidence." As I grabbed my staff bag off the side of the stool, I heard Eri commenting on how likely Seiji could handle what would be there. "Keep thinkin' like that, and none of us will." It honestly bothered me more than to just say that, but I wasn't going to waste time. "See you tonight." With that, I was out the door.

4/8 Afternoon - Cemetery

"Hey, guys. Sorry I'm late." I sat down in front of the pair of gravestones. The stone was smooth, no cracks, no nothing. Good. I'd hate to go after the groundskeeper for not taking care of them. I passed my hand over the words that marked each stone.

Mika Toroname - 2002-2012, Kazuha Toroname - 1976-2012

"So..." I do my best to keep up a smile. It's been two years, but no matter how many times I visit, it doesn't get any easier. "Dad's workin' hard, as usual, but I catch him sleeping half the day away on the couch now and then. Shocker, right? The dojo's still doing well, too. Been learning what I can there. Oh, yeah! In case you forgot, school's starting back up tomorrow! Wish me luck, alright?" I put my hand down on Sis' grave. I smile, but the tears start anyway. "We miss you, guys... I miss you. Take care up there, okay?"

I wipe my eyes. Enough wishy-washy stuff. Need to pick things up again. "So anyway, let's see what else there is to talk about..."
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Re: Persona Winds of Change: IC

Postby PandaBrady » Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:13 am

4/8 Afternoon - Cemetery

"So... you're here too, Akatsuki-kun?" A familiar voice said from behind Akatsuki. It was Chizuru-san.
It caught me off guard to hear someone out here. I think I may have jumped a little. "Uh, Tsukishima-san!" I quickly bow in respect to my elder. "So, uh... What brings you out here?"
"Just paying my respects. The same as you." She says. "I hope I didn't interrupt anything important." she says.
"N-Not at all! I think they'd like the company!" I gesture to the grass in front of the stones. "Would you, uh... like to sit down?"
She walks over and sits, clasping her hands in prayer momentarily. She then opened her eyes and turned towards Akatsuki. "I'm sorry for what happened."
"I know, and thanks, but..." With that I sit back down next to her. "It was a hit-and-run. You weren't the one that hit 'em, so you got nothing to be sorry about."
"That may be, but I was the one your father hired to track down who it was that did it." She said. "Before I ran the tower full time, I was a private investigator. I had just gotten off of my Dojima case. Similar incident, hit and run." she said almost reciting it. "But I've face my demons a long time ago. If the time comes, when all else may fail. Don't give up on yourself." She paused momentarily. "I probably sound like such a worry wart. Don't mind me, I'm just thinking about something else."
That, I wasn't expecting. I knew that Tsukishima-san had spent more time talking to my dad after the accident, but I imagined it was for different reasons. "I... understand. Uh..." Damn it, why does this question feel weird to ask? "Were you friends with my mom before she died?"
"Your mom and I? Yes, you could say that. You could also say that we were bitter rivals." She laughed slightly at her own comment. "It's good to know that you're doing alright though. Oh, have you met Kaze yet?"
"Huh, Kaze? Yeah, we met earlier at Raru." Kaze had mentioned earlier that he was staying with his aunt. Considering she brought him up, that must mean that she's the one he's staying with. I probably shouldn't tell her I'm taking him to the abandoned house. Could cause some trouble. "Seems like he's finding his way around okay."

I look at the clock on my phone. It's getting later. I should probably head for the shrine soon. I stand up and offer a farewell bow. "Thank you for your time, Tsukishima-san. I have somewhere I need to be, sorry."
"Alright, take care!" Chizuru says as Akatsuki leaves.

4/8 Evening – Tsukishima Residence
Kaze returned and found Sakura and Ishi watching some recorded super sentai series, Sakura seeming to have seen it enough to memorize the lines of most of the Rangers. The two turned seeing Kaze enter, and Sakura quickly turned the channel. “Sorry, you can use the TV now.” Sakura said. Kaze chuckled slightly, “People of all ages love this show, no worries. I even got to see a Power Rangers thing, that’s the American version. It had some weird Purple guy named Evan Gooze or something. It had nice effects though.” He said. This got Sakura starry eyed as she asked Kaze to tell her all about it. Ishi pulled out a Yoyo and listened to the rough retelling of the story with Sakura. Afterwards, Sakura started to make dinner, and Kaze offered to help.
3 minutes after the meal was finished being made Chizuru walked into the room. She didn’t seem tired, more like her mind was on something else. She put a smile on, but Kaze could tell something was up. As they ate, and Sakura told of her day with Ishi building model kits, and watching super sentai, Chizuru laughed and replied back. They began to finish as the news came on. Kaze went to open his mouth to ask if something was wrong, when the news report caught his ears.
“This strange change in Mrs. Tea’s choice of Career started shortly after her 12 hour disappearance at the Tenkai Onsen. She says that she has had a change of face with what her life will be, and that she needs to let loose. Her manager has stated that her new actions have no effect on her future performances, and will continue as planned.”
Chizuru stared intently, a picture of Hunny Tea now in what appeared to be punk rocker clothing. “Hmm…”
“Br-breaking news, Mrs. Tea has been found in her hotel room, having OD’d on sleeping pills. She is being rushed to the hospital in critical condition. We’ll keep you updated as the story goes on.”
Chizuru turned off the TV. “Alright Sakura, Ishi-chan, time for bed.” She says getting Sakura to bed despite her struggles. Ishi went on to bed anyways, feeling tired. Kaze finished doing the dishes and Chizuru walked out of Sakura’s room and into the Kitchen.
“Go ahead Kaze, I’ll take care of this. Go meet your friends.” She said. Kaze was shocked, how did she know already? He stammered and nearly dropped a plate.
“Oh please, you and your friends are super obvious.” She winks, “I also have psychic powers so there is no need to hide anything from me.” She says winking. He rolled his eyes and thanked his aunt, who told him she already packed him a night bag. He then left for the Shrine.
4/8 Night - Shrine
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Re: Persona Winds of Change: IC

Postby Sigment » Mon Oct 27, 2014 3:56 pm

4/8 Evening - Shrine

C'mon, pick up... I finally hear the click followed by his voice. "Akatsuki? It's getting late. When are you coming home?"

Ooh, what do I say to the guy? I won't be coming home yet, I'm gonna check out a creepy-as-hell abandoned house first? Hell, no. C'mon, damn it, think. "Yeah, sorry for the short notice. I'm gonna be hanging out with friends for a while." Maybe I shouldn't have said "friends."

"Oh? I wasn't aware you were acquainted with many kids."

"Uh, yeah. Me and the new guy met at Raru earlier and hit it off, like I said." Sweet, nice save.

"Heh. Well, you did say that. In that case, take care, and get home safe."

"You got it. See ya later." After hanging up, I approach the shrine for a bit. I reach into my pocket and toss a couple hundred yen into the donation box. After all, it's customary if you want your prayers answered, right? Otherwise, the shrine would go under. "Well, I can only hope that those two are doing well up there. You can keep that going for me, right?" The sky's a nice color tonight. Looking up there is making me feel lighter, actually. "Oh, yeah. I'd like to add something to it today. If you can, keep us safe when we go in that house. Thanks."

Well, at this point, there's nothing to do but wait for the others. My staff's resting easy in the bag, so I figure I should rest a bit as well. I find a nice patch of grass to lay my head off to the side. May as well catch a few Z's for a while.

4/8 Night - Shrine

"Zzzz... Zzzz... Uh... Huh?" Whew, nice nap. The owls in the trees were nice enough to wake me up. I check my phone's clock, and see that it's 8:30. Almost time for everyone to show up. I wonder if Seiji-kun will be here... Well, nothing to do now, but wait and see who all shows up.
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Re: Persona Winds of Change: IC

Postby (CH3)3CLi » Mon Oct 27, 2014 7:02 pm

4/8 Night - Renge Residence

Seiji twitched awake as the alarm on his phone jingled a quick ditty and frantically grabbed the phone, checking the time with wide eyes.

20:17.

"Crap!" he shouted, leaping out of the sofa and upturning some fallen cushions, looking for his recurve crossbow.

"What's up, kid?"

Seiji froze at the sound of Seiichiro's voice, unsure what to say or do with his brother around.

"If you're looking for your crossbow, I put it back in the basement. You know you're not supposed to leave it around the house like that after you're done with maintenance," his brother chastised.

"I..." Seiji couldn't lie to Seiichiro, though he was definitely trying. "I-I'm about to go...outside...?"

"Weirdly, enough, you don't seem to be lying about that," he brother said with a laugh, "but what are you bringing a crossbow for? It's too late to be hunting--well, too late for you to be hunting. I won't allow it, especially not on a school day. ...Though, I guess the real concern here is why you're suddenly hunting of your own free will for once."

"Um..." Seiji was blushing furiously and he didn't want to turn around to reveal the obvious lie to his brother. Well, lying seemed a little late anyway. Seiichiro was sharp as a tack when things concerned his younger brother and Seiji was aware Seiichiro had an overprotective streak a mile wide. But what choice did he have in this situation, especially when he needed to bring his crossbow?

"I--um--I met up with some...frie--students--at Raru Ramen," he stammered, fiddling with the hem of his shirt again.

Seiichiro crossed his arms, fixing the back of his younger brother's head with a stern look. "Uh-huh. And? You need your crossbow because?"

"We were--well, I think I was invited--um, well, I actually invited myself, probably, but--" he was starting to breathe a lot faster again, gripping the hem of his shirt harder as he tried to calm down. How was he going to explain this to his brother?

Seiichiro sighed. "All right, that's enough," he said, walking up behind Seiji and placing a hand on the shivering teen's head. "You clearly don't want to tell me, but I appreciate you not lying to me, at least. You really need your crossbow that badly, it seems. Not gonna ask why, just want you to promise me that you'll call me if something dangerous happens, all right?"

Seiji nodded, pressing his lips together so he wouldn't blurt anything out.

"Whatever it is your classmates got you roped into, you tell me--immediately--if things get serious. Immediately, okay, kid? I don't want you to ever come home hurt in any way."

Seiji nodded again, vigorously, keeping his eyes on the ground.

"Okay, go get your stuff and run along. I'm heading back to the shop. Just came back to grab a few things Dad forgot at home."

"Y-you're working late, today?" Seiji asked, his voice still trembling.

"Yeah. The farm brought a larger-than-usual shipment of cows for slaughter, so Dad and I have been busy prepping them the entire day."

"Okay. I'm sorry for not helping, today," Seiji responded quietly, still staring at the ground. He was feeling bad for a variety of reasons, now, and he didn't even know what time Akatsuki had set for the meeting. "Evening" wasn't a time, and if the group had met up and left at 19:00, then he had long missed them by now.

"Don't worry about it, kiddo," Seiichiro said as he closed the front door on his way out.

Seiji sighed and glanced at the door, feeling terrible for not letting his brother know what he was up to, but Seiichiro's reaction if he had found out was too obvious. He checked the phone again to make sure his alarm had been set for 19:00. Yeah, it had been. He just overslept by a long shot. Hopefully, "evening" didn't mean 19:00, or he'd have missed them ages ago.

In the basement, he fitted his Excalibur Exomax into the crossbow's harness-style, over-the-shoulder sling, making sure the crossbow quiver was full of 425-grain arrows and that he had spare arrows in his back-strapped quiver in case they found more widlife in the house than he expected. He had finished performing maintenance on his crossbow before he fell asleep earlier in the day, but he checked the weapon, anyway. Better safe than sorry.

As he thought, he had been pretty sloppy with maintenance earlier, and the scope was still a little dirty. He wiped off the specks of dirt and stuffed the cleaning cloth into a pouch strapped around his hips. He double-checked to make sure the laser rangefinder was in the pouch before putting his shooting gloves on and heading out the door, dressed in a shirt with a right-handed shooter's patch on the shoulder and a pair of six-pocket pants, half of the pockets stuffed with various crossbow maintenance items such as a tube of wax in one pocket, a tube of rail lubricant in the other, and a pack of hex keys in another.

His house wasn't too far from the shrine, luckily, though it was on the border of the downtown area, so he still had to make a bit of a trek. Seiji wasn't worried about police officers, since the Renge family's hunting had become something of a tradition over the last generation and they had already registered their weapons and obtained a hunting permit long ago. If anything, the police would ask him why he was heading further into town with a crossbow and not further away from it, so he took the long way around to the shrine, using the back alleys and cutting across streets only when the coast was clear. He had expected more people out and about at prime time evening, but there weren't nearly as many as he had expected and avoiding them was child's play.


4/8 Night - Shrine

By the time he arrived at the shrine, the time was 20:45 and he figured he had already missed the get-together. His heart sank and he figured he would wait in vain for another hour to make sure no one came, but a searing sense of self-disappointment was starting to overcome him. He heard soft rustling nearby, accustomed to listening for quiet noises, and spun in that direction, worried someone was about to question him about bringing a crossbow to a shrine. Instead, he saw Akatsuki and sighed with relief.

"Akatsuki-sa--" he stopped himself mid-sentence. He didn't know his classmate's last name and considering how badly the "conversation" had gone earlier today, he didn't think he could address the gray-haired student with his first name. "Um...g-good evening," he corrected himself, fumbling with the hem of his shirt as his mind fired blanks on possible conversation topics. "Um...thank you! I mean--for the drink, earlier. The water was helpful--I mean, it was good." Oh, yeah. That was as elegant as a brick. How the hell did other people make small talk so easily? Seiji spun back around and fiddled with the stock on his crossbow, pretending to check the bolts for proper tightness as his cheeks and ears flushed a brilliant red again. He hoped the evening dimness would hide that. "What's your...um...last name?" he asked tentatively, too embarrassed to turn around.
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Re: Persona Winds of Change: IC

Postby Sigment » Mon Oct 27, 2014 8:09 pm

4/8 Night - Shrine

It was getting closer to 9:00 when I heard someone call my name. Turned out to be Seiji-kun. Honestly, I was hoping he would show up. Just didn't think he'd show up first. Almost immediately, he started fumbling for a way to greet me, and wound up thanking me for the water at Raru. I swear, this keeps up, I'm gonna die by OD'ing on cuteness. He then turned around, facing away from me as he asked for my last name. I couldn't help but chuckle a little before replying.

"Haha, it's Toroname." I sit up to approach him as I keep going. "You know, there's no need to be so formal. You can just call me Akatsuki. Look, I know this probably makes you nervous, but you don't need to worry. If things go bad, I got your back." As I get closer, I can't help but notice something slung over his shoulder. I focus for a moment to get a better view. Turns out it's a damn crossbow! "Whoa, that's a sweet-looking crossbow. Is that yours? Do you, uh... hunt or something?"
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Re: Persona Winds of Change: IC

Postby (CH3)3CLi » Mon Oct 27, 2014 9:45 pm

4/8 Night - Shrine

"Huh--yeah! I have a crossbow!" Seiji hastily replied, responding a little too loudly and turning around a little too quickly. He hadn't expected Akatsuki to actually approach him and his anxiety had been increasing inversely proportional to the distance between him and Akatsuki. When Akatsuki finally stopped behind him, Seiji's heart was back in his throat and he hastily tried to respond to his schoolmate's question before enough time elapsed that his delayed answer would be rude. Except that the question wasn't even that hard and he had just ended up stating the freaking obvious. The mental facepalm after his outburst was enough to blank him out for a brief pause.

"--amily h-hunts..." he muttered, nearly biting his tongue initially and screwing up on the word "family" as he busied himself with alternating glances between Akatsuki's face and the floor. How much do you stare at a person's face before social cues considered it rude? Seiji certainly didn't want to test it and he was having trouble talking, as usual.

But Akatsuki was making an effort to talk and he'd be damned if he didn't try to make a friend outside of his online circle of strangers, especially when this particular potential friend had tried to help him earlier. Despite all his inconsideration and general inability to interact with people, Seiji knew when gratitude was due.

"Do you...maybe...um, wanttolookatitA-Akatsuki-san?" he asked, slurring together the last few words in his hurry to spit his question out before he lost his nerve. At the same time, muscle memory allowed him to deftly slide the crossbow out of its sling, but his arm shook when he presented the weapon to Akatsuki like it was some kind of sacrificial offering. What if Akatsuki wasn't even interested? Oh, god, now he just looked awkward.
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Re: Persona Winds of Change: IC

Postby Sigment » Mon Oct 27, 2014 10:58 pm

4/8 Night - Shrine

Family hunts, huh? His family must be pretty fond of it for Seiji to be joining in. Though, I can't say that's really uncommon. As I'm thinking about it, he offers for me to take a look at it, hastily slurring the question. I almost wanna laugh at the way he phrased it, but I wouldn't do that. The kid's clearly got trouble talking to people, and that'd just make it worse. So I mentally shake off the thought, and look at him with a smile. "Sure, thanks. Don't worry, I'll be careful."

With all the shaking, I wanna grab his hand, but no. Add that to the list of "Do not do to Seiji" ideas. I put my hands on the crossbow, calmly grabbing it and bringing the stock up to my shoulder. "It's lighter than I thought it'd be." I take a moment to peek through the scope. The level of magnification is pretty high. To be expected when you're hunting. I see the bolts on the side as well, a fair few. Glad the guy's come prepared, but I don't think we'll be needing something like this. Hell, I don't think we'll even need my staff, but better safe than sorry, right? Oh, there's an idea...

"Thanks for letting me have a look. In exchange, you wanna see something of mine?" As I hand back the crossbow, I pull the two halves from my bag. I bring them together, rotating until I hear the click. And there, a good old fashioned Bo staff. "It's not as fancy as a crossbow, but I'm pretty fond of it." I hold it in front of me, towards Seiji. "Wanna take a look?"
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