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Old 04-28-2019, 10:03 PM   #11
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As Ren left the blacksmith's place and made his way back toward the temple, there were some priestesses who noticed him along the way. They didn't have much to say about him being out that way, but his presence in their area was still exotic enough for them to whisper among each other.

But when he got back toward the temple itself, that was when he ran into Mei, the buxom lady who had taken so much interest in the visiting shinobi the first time around. She was there near the threshold of the temple, and upon seeing Ren she smiled, and waved.

"Found a place to use the bathroom, I imagine? I sure hope the drinks didn't disagree with you any, Mr. shinobi."

She pouted a little, "if not, I'm sure I can find us a quiet place to drink some more."

It didn't seem like she was looking to cause any trouble. Besides the fact that she wanted him to stay there at the temple. If it seemed like fulfilling his requests were going to get him to stick around, she was more than willing to listen to him. Of course, she wasn't stupid, and she didn't want to let him out of her sight.

Meanwhile, Echizen made his way back toward the little village near the shrine. The village actually seemed mostly empty. Though it wasn't something unheard of to Echizen, there were clear paths from wheelbarrows and the footsteps of many men leading out toward the forests. It seemed, despite it getting later in the evening, the villagers were off working.

The people left were shop keeps, and the families of those who worked. They all kept a weary eye on the boy, but they weren't necessarily unfriendly. In fact, it wouldn't take so much more than a question to get a grunted reply of where to find goods to buy.

Unfortunately, it seemed like the village wasn't big on tourism. Everything for sale or trade was for their everyday lives.

But that didn't mean they didn't have stranger materials around. Actually, it didn't take much digging to realize that some of the villagers were wearing trinkets of this and that material, that they considered 'sacred'.
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Old 08-01-2019, 06:51 PM   #12
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Hey, uh…

Mei.


Ren clicked his teeth at her. She was good at being charming - - a little too good - - and he had been around his fair share of kunoichi to understand a trap when he saw one. Sex was every bit of a weapon as a sword was in the world of espionage...but why would a priestess be that way? Wasn’t that against code or dogma? As she wrapped her arms around his sword arm he jutted his chin at her. “Yanno what that meal was missing? Salt. An’ I’d really like to personally thank the chef, so maybe some of that fancy ink they make these with.

He tugged lightly at a prayer script hanging from an overhanging tree as they slipped through the temple grounds, carefully leading her back to his assigned room where he had left his weapon. He had hoped he wouldn’t have needed it, and leaving behind was supposed to be some sort of…

...well, it felt silly going back for it, but any chance to get these gauntlets off was worth a little detour.

Actually, I never learned how to do calligraphy all that well, maybe one of you girls could teach me a little somethin’ somethin’. I barely know how to sign my own name. I just use one of those stamps, you know - -” He rambled on, gesturing with his free hand, doing his best to not appear any more suspicious, like he was enjoying her company. A liar trying to fool a better liar.

There was the question of that cursed mark, too. He hadn’t really encountered many of those in Kirigakure, or in the field, but he at least knew enough of the basics. It would take a powerful shinobi - - like the Green Ghost - - or a wiseman, like his benefactor, both of which he didn’t want to be owing any favors to anytime soon. Back in Kirigakure - - could anyone besides the Mizukage do something like that?

Listen, listen, Mei-chan: what’s the deal with the Boss Lady here? You’d tell me if she wanted me dead, right?
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¤Nara Shikagerou, Sennin of Leaf.
¤Hyuuga Yuu, Genin of Leaf.
¤Sanada Ema, Chuunin of Leaf.
¤Gushiken Ren, Chuunin of Mist.
¤Hikoboshi no Natsu, Miko of Wind.
¤Sajime Sahori, Jounin of Stone.
¤Kiku-ichimonji Jun'ko, ronin samurai.
¤Hatsuyuki Shiro, renegade shinobi.
¤Keisei Ranko, The Prince of the Keisei.
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Old 08-16-2019, 07:51 PM   #13
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Mei smiled at him as she followed along, letting him ramble to his heart's content. Not that she bothered being that elaborate with her answers to his rather scattered questions and requests.

"If you're still hungry, I'm sure our cook has some leftovers. We didn't know how big of a feast to prepare for your arrival, so I'm sure she has some of whatever you liked, salt included."

The inside of the temple was quieter now, it seemed many of the girls were out and about doing this or that task. Occasionally some would pass carrying linens or could be spotted through a window sweeping outside. Still, occasionally a girl would pass the group and they would move themselves aside to let the shinobi get where he was going.

"As for sending your thanks, I'm sure I can let them know for you. No reason to busy yourself. But if you just want an excuse to spend some time alone practicing your strokes... that I can help with."

When he went in to get his weapon, she stayed in the doorway as if unwilling to intrude without direct invitation. But when he asked his question, she giggled, and dismissed his statements with a wave of her hand.

"If Keiko wanted you dead, you wouldn't have even made it here, silly," Mei said as she sauntered into the room, "She is the most powerful person in this whole region, this whole forest and the surrounding hills are hers. I don't think she liked you very much when you arrived but, she must have warmed up to you all if she has trusted you with finding her lost pet."

She poked at his chest with a playful pointed finger, "As long as that trust isn't broken, you've nothing to worry about."
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Old 08-18-2019, 11:42 AM   #14
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Right.” He said through his jagged teeth.

He slipped the belt of his scabbard over his shoulder like a traveler might haul a luggage bag, sliding his hand down the strap to tighten it against his back, dancing on the heels of his feet to slide past Mei and back out into the hallway.

She can trust me with finding her dog,” He said. “I take care of my ship’s cat, yanno. I tried to train him to fight, but it’s more interested in rat-hunting and patroling.

It wasn’t plainly clear if that was a joke or not, as she shuffled through the temple to find the chef’s kitchen. He spent some time there, small talk, sneaking morsels directly from the preparation surface. He hadn’t ate during the banquet, fearing faerie magic or poison, but directly from the kitchen felt like it would be safe enough - - and he was starving. The excitement about getting back to his old life was intoxicating. He pocketed a fine bag of salt into his pants pocket and congratulated the chef on his skills.

Mei seemed to know something was up, avoiding the question of the onmyodo ink, so he didn’t press it. He was good at playing the fool as he was playing the shinobi - - since he embodied both traits as easily as anything else. He’d have to slip away again, maybe find an other conspirator to assist him. He didn’t fancy the idea of pissing off any amount of witches, especially not in an area so remote or so well protected from backup. He had his village to think of - - Kirigakure needed people like him. He couldn’t die on something as silly as a ghost hunt.

Al’right,” He said, still unable to shake Mei’s trail as he made his way back through the temple. “One missing Hachi-kun, coming up.

His voice lingered, the bye-now implied. He didn’t feel the courage to put his back to her.
__________________
¤Nara Shikagerou, Sennin of Leaf.
¤Hyuuga Yuu, Genin of Leaf.
¤Sanada Ema, Chuunin of Leaf.
¤Gushiken Ren, Chuunin of Mist.
¤Hikoboshi no Natsu, Miko of Wind.
¤Sajime Sahori, Jounin of Stone.
¤Kiku-ichimonji Jun'ko, ronin samurai.
¤Hatsuyuki Shiro, renegade shinobi.
¤Keisei Ranko, The Prince of the Keisei.
Available for Registry Checks
Engi Tech || Leaf & Stone Secondary GM
Important NPCs: Higashi

Maybe it's the patterns that make me that made me crazy
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Old 08-19-2019, 03:54 PM   #15
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Mei followed him around, staying aggressively close. It wasn't too different from her attitude the whole time they were there, but considering Ren's new attitudes toward the temple, it was starting to take on a new tone. From following him to his room, to following him as he went to the kitchen, Mei made all the cute faces and suggestions, but she still wouldn't leave him be.

When he finally decided to head away from the temple, she almost seemed like she wanted to keep following. He said his goodbyes, and Mei had a slow smile build up.

"Of course, good luck out there. Of course at this rate you'll want to catch up with your two friends. They seemed like they were hot on the trail."

She held her hands behind her back, and then gave Ren a wink, "Stay safe. Make sure you come back all in one piece, okay? We've only just started having fun."

Then she turned and went back inside.

There were a few other priestesses outside the temple, and they turned away after Mei was done, going back to their duties. All at once, the temple and occupants seemed to ignore him.

The village below was still operating just fine, the slow movement of a village with most of its workforce off doing their labor. Besides some shopkeepers and some housewives, there weren't many others around.
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