ardent

bump in the night

tori



Kiriko

Loner

Master Healer (250)

Advanced Intellectual (85)

An icon representing the specialty Fertile Fertile

age
6 Years
gender
Female
gems
5
size
Medium
build
Balanced
posts
77
player
wicked

1K
10-13-2023, 02:14 PM



High above her, the moon hung in the sky. It was somewhere between a half and a quarter, casting an eerie light on just about everything. Kiriko can take comfort in that, at least. Long, eerie shadows seemed to be settling in everywhere these days. Shadows that seemed to have a mind of their own, shifting and flickering. Kiriko has been unsettled lately. She could only be so anxious for so long, after all. Her mind had to be playing tricks on her, and still… still. Something felt off.

It’s like she’s being watched. A rustle of bamboo, the snapping of a twig… suddenly, her own hollowed out compartment within the bamboo felt terribly exposed. The red koi is certain she heard something. Murmured voices? Rustling in the underbrush? It’s far too late, far too dark for Kiriko to investigate. Though she wouldn’t admit it, she was afraid of what she’s find if she did.

More rustling. A stick breaking. Kiriko loses her nerve, and moves as silently as she can. Rolling up a spare few skins from her bed, along with a bamboo mat, she would not be sleeping here tonight. Maybe her mind was playing tricks on her, but she’s scared.

Making as little noise as possible, the red koi padded deeper into the maze. Scarcely making a sound. Kiriko knows she’s being silly. She knows there really isn’t anyone out there, around the bamboo. Right? Maybe she’s trying to convince herself of that, too, as she makes her way deep within the maze. There was an abandoned den around one of these corners, she’d walked past it so many times. Still, between the moonlight and her own anxiety, Kiriko wasn’t the most confident navigator in the dark. Why did it have to be so eerie out here anyway?

"Speech"




Hanzō

Tojo-kai
Kaicho

Master Fighter (240)

Master Hunter (240)

An icon representing the specialty Marauder Marauder

An icon representing the specialty Bloodletter Bloodletter

age
7 Years
gender
Male
gems
1594
size
Dire wolf
build
Balanced
posts
1,241
player
Ali

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10-16-2023, 09:33 AM
Most, if not all, of Tojo knew something was amiss. How could they not? A thick tension lingered in the air, heavier than the summer humidity, more present than the unending sea of bamboo that swayed in darkness. Things were not so dire that he felt as though there were enemies at the gates, but he knew there was something going on out there, an issue that kept skittering out of his reach every time he attempted to have it dealt with. It didn't feel overly personal, so he found himself wondering if the other wolves of Auster were experiencing this? Poking and prodding of their defences, delicate tests that never outright went too far. Calm and calculated, leaving only faint prints and a strange mixed scent in their wake.

The issue confounded him, kept him up late at night, brows furrowed and in a permanent state of what his cousin would consider: grump.

Movement within the bamboo was nothing out of the ordinary, he did not expect his clan mates to hold still and not move a muscle, and yet he found himself following the source. Pushing through the bamboo reeds as he came across Kiriko, not as well put together as he came to expect from her.

"What are you doing?"
[Image: de83uxb-0342be6c-7454-4392-a336-72e10a43...s88RF1Wrtg]




Kiriko

Loner

Master Healer (250)

Advanced Intellectual (85)

An icon representing the specialty Fertile Fertile

age
6 Years
gender
Female
gems
5
size
Medium
build
Balanced
posts
77
player
wicked

1K
11-02-2023, 07:42 PM



There was someone... awake in the Maze. Kiriko's pulse picked up in her chest, freezing for a moment. Near holding her breath as she tried to trace the source of the sound. It was wildly unlikely someone had been able to get inside the Maze itself... right? Right? Still on edge, clutching her bedroll tightly, she moved deeper into the maze. Just one of the vacant dens closer to the heart of things, that would make her feel better for the night. They were empty anyway, it wasn't like anyone would notice or care as long as she cleaned up after herself. Though Kiriko tried her best to settle her fried nerves, that much was easier said than done.

Which is why Hattori's voice startles her. Kiriko recovered quickly, recognizing the shape, voice, scent of the alpha. Feeling a bit silly, a bit sheepish, under the man's steady gaze... what did she even say? "I have been having nightmares, lately," she began, voice soft. "Every natural noise sounded like danger after one woke me tonight, which is ridiculous but... I think I would feel better closer to the heart of the bamboo for now." The admission is in a near-confidential tone. To be afraid like this, afraid of a construct of her own mind, was against every rational part of her brain. Kiriko was embarrassed to admit that she hadn't been able to swallow down that fear quite well enough, frankly.

"Speech"




Hanzō

Tojo-kai
Kaicho

Master Fighter (240)

Master Hunter (240)

An icon representing the specialty Marauder Marauder

An icon representing the specialty Bloodletter Bloodletter

age
7 Years
gender
Male
gems
1594
size
Dire wolf
build
Balanced
posts
1,241
player
Ali

Samhain 2022Underachiever1KAll Oozed OutThe Ooze ParticipantThe Ooze - Variation 3
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11-05-2023, 10:45 AM

"Hmm."

There was nothing to fear within the bamboo, the few predators that were allowed to remain were too small to pose any danger to a wolf and were more a means of pest control. They ensured vermin and thieves did not raid their stores of food and in exchange Hattori looked the other way. He didn't think she was scared of foxes or ferrets though, she had always given him the sense that she was leaving a lot unsaid. Not outright lying simply...relying on the fact he hadn't asked the right questions.

He knew she was a delicate woman, so maybe she was just sensitive to such things. It would be easy to read too deeply into this, connect the dots when they didn't even have a passing correlation. Hattori had been taught to be suspicious of the world at large, to question everyone's intentions and expect daggers hidden behind backs and smiles. Kiriko may have her secrets but he didn't think she posed a danger to him, or Tojo at large.

"Come patrol with me." He said, thinking maybe she needed to see it for herself, that there was nothing to be afraid of. "Speak your mind, I will listen."

[Image: de83uxb-0342be6c-7454-4392-a336-72e10a43...s88RF1Wrtg]




Kiriko

Loner

Master Healer (250)

Advanced Intellectual (85)

An icon representing the specialty Fertile Fertile

age
6 Years
gender
Female
gems
5
size
Medium
build
Balanced
posts
77
player
wicked

1K
11-17-2023, 09:03 AM



She has to tell him. He has every right to know. Even if it's just... so she isn't alone with the knowledge anymore. Letting a piece of herself slip and fall right into his hands was scary, but Hattori hadn't done her wrong yet. He'd been kind to her. She is thoughtful, still, as she walks beside him through the Maze. Walking with him on patrol, it would do well to ease her paranoid mind. There was nothing out here, there was no reason for her to be on edge.

She walks by his side in silence for a while, taking in the quiet of the evening. He said he'd speak his mind but... why was she so nervous? Why was she so anxious? Kiriko did eventually find her words, finding them rolling off her tongue carefully. "I'm afraid that they're after me," she speaks finally, voice soft. Quiet. Her tone is confidential, and it's only once they're far enough from any dens and prying ears that she finally lets the words slip.

"Hattori... the fallen king is my father. All legitimate relations were wiped out during the siege. From what we could tell, my brother and I were the only bastards to make it out alive." The words are a quiet confession, and they weigh heavily as Kiriko speaks. Though there was no love lost on her father, her mother... she'd done everything she could. Grief colored her words, no matter how hard she tried to conceal it. It's a quiet confession, one that she hasn't known how to make until now. Well, here she went, laying her cards on the table for him.

"Speech"




Hanzō

Tojo-kai
Kaicho

Master Fighter (240)

Master Hunter (240)

An icon representing the specialty Marauder Marauder

An icon representing the specialty Bloodletter Bloodletter

age
7 Years
gender
Male
gems
1594
size
Dire wolf
build
Balanced
posts
1,241
player
Ali

Samhain 2022Underachiever1KAll Oozed OutThe Ooze ParticipantThe Ooze - Variation 3
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11-19-2023, 10:03 AM (This post was last modified: 11-19-2023, 10:03 AM by Hanzō. Edited 1 time in total.)
They? He glanced at her as they walked, but his steps did not falter. He did not probe with questions or insist that she explain herself, as he suspected she would continue once she'd had a moment to gather her thoughts. It was a quiet night, even the air was still, as though waiting on bated breath to see what she would say next.

And once she spoke the pale of Hattori's brows furrowed, understanding settling in as he paused to take a look at her. A real sharp look at her. He had always wondered about the nature of her markings, how and why they were so sharp, almost jagged. More like brush strokes than dappled edges like his own. He had only ever seen markings like this before, not that he'd been to court or met royalty himself, but he'd seen a distant cousin once and though they were undeniably koi. Kiriko herself had relatively few markings and plenty of white, and yet... Well, it felt obvious then and though her claims were bold and tempting to push aside he knew she was speaking the truth. Who would lie about this?

Much had changed in their homeland in his absence, but he couldn't say he was overly surprised to hear such a fate had befallen the royal family. Much of their power and prestige had been slowly taken away by the Shogun, in the end they were figureheads more than anything else, it seemed. And all that was left was to sweep up the mess left behind, tie up the loose ends.

And Kiriko was a very loose end.

"Well," He made a thoughtful sound in his throat, paws crushing dried bamboo leaves as he went. She was safe here, but was there anything else he could do to cement that fact? He would think on it. "What would you have me do?" He asked instead.


[Image: de83uxb-0342be6c-7454-4392-a336-72e10a43...s88RF1Wrtg]




Kiriko

Loner

Master Healer (250)

Advanced Intellectual (85)

An icon representing the specialty Fertile Fertile

age
6 Years
gender
Female
gems
5
size
Medium
build
Balanced
posts
77
player
wicked

1K
11-20-2023, 09:33 AM



She can't lie. Not to Hattori. She wouldn't dare lie to him, not after telling him half truths for so long. Telling him just enough to get by... but now there was danger on the horizon. Now Kiriko needed him in ways that she didn't know how to explain. Ways she didn't know how to describe. Her heart pounding in her chest as she watches him turn the information over, though he doesn't stop. Beneath their paws, the comforting crunch of dried leaves. If someone else was out there, they'd hear it. They'd know. Hattori was keen, he was strong. She feels safer by his side.

When he asks what she'd like done... well, Kiriko knows as much. She allows herself a little closer to his side, not quite clinging... just hovering. Her steps intentional, though they may not quite look it. Only a breath away now as they move together. Soft, tender gaze on Hattori's face-- she needs him. Kiriko needed him. "I would feel safer sleeping closer... closer to where you sleep. Just in case I ne-- in case anything happens." Kiriko nearly forgets herself, but... not quite. No, it's a smooth enough catch, and she would allow herself to move on with confidence. Not quite ready to look at Hattori, and instead scanning the bamboo on dutiful patrol.

"Speech"




Hanzō

Tojo-kai
Kaicho

Master Fighter (240)

Master Hunter (240)

An icon representing the specialty Marauder Marauder

An icon representing the specialty Bloodletter Bloodletter

age
7 Years
gender
Male
gems
1594
size
Dire wolf
build
Balanced
posts
1,241
player
Ali

Samhain 2022Underachiever1KAll Oozed OutThe Ooze ParticipantThe Ooze - Variation 3
WealthyVengeanceHow many times do I have to teach you a lesson?! GlobetrotterOverachieverLegendary
Ooh La LaHomebodyCritical Block!ExplorerPride - DemisexualWinner
Mammoth HunterIce Bridge ExplorerWordyDouble MasterCritical Hit!
11-20-2023, 11:50 AM
Hattori was silent in his consideration. For the most part his den was separate from everyone else, the man valued his privacy and space above most other things. He had slept with Venom in their shared den during his time as her husband, and it had been nice enough, he supposed. But this wasn't the exact scenario really, she just wanted to be closer and his den did have extra room available, a side nook he usually used for storage. His brows furrowed as he thought about it, all things considered, she wasn't asking for too much. And he supposed, in a way she deserved some respect giving her heritage and her service thus far for Tojo. He'd never been the sort for preferential treatment, or so he told himself, but given the situation...  

"Hm fine." Was his begrudging response, ears flicking slightly as he spoke. "I'll have someone clear up some space in my den. I will also arrange for one of my companions to watch over you." He shot her a look then as he continued to walk slow and steady, as if to ask is that sufficient?
[Image: de83uxb-0342be6c-7454-4392-a336-72e10a43...s88RF1Wrtg]





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1. bump in the night Bamboo Maze 02:14 PM, 10-13-2023 06:42 PM, 02-28-2024