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Akihana Akari
Akihana Akari
Missing-Nin (S-rank)
Missing-Nin (S-rank)
Ryo : 223500

Understudy (Vaneda) - Page 2 Empty Re: Understudy (Vaneda)

Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:34 am
When he offered to take her to dinner afterwords, Akihana nodded, smiling politely at his invitation. She probably wouldn't be up to eating much the company would make up for it. Spending more time outside meant less time alone in her suite contemplating the impending nuptials. "That would be great, thank you."

As she changed into the new gown, she heard him speak of his faith in detail for the first time, something that surprised her if she was honest. Most priests she knew were very keen to talk of their religion even when unasked. Seeking more converts and condemning those who didn't hold the same views was a sad side effect of certain levels of priesthoods back home. Vaneda seemed to be different though, and his God a more understanding one.

As she stepped out of the room, fussing with the far too elaborate train of the wide dress, she spoke her mind. "Your God seems kinder than others I'd say, if there's no lifestyle restrictions. I'd like to visit your place of worship - if women are allowed there of course," she added just in case they weren't. There were a few sects back home who frowned on the feminine form darkening their doorsteps.

When he asked what she thought of the dress, a small wrinkle of confusion appeared on the blonde's brow. "I don't know... it's so complicated at the back," she replied honestly, turning around to show him the pleated bows and overly fussy train. "And I don't really care for the off shoulder look. But I feel bad turning it down, someone put a lot of herd work in this." Examining herself critically in the mirror, the kunoichi found herself letting out a soft peal of laughter once more.

"I think if my son saw me like this, he wouldn't stop laughing. I went from clueless teenager to mommy so fast, he's never seen me in anything that can't double as his napkin or something for him to cling on to." Shaking her head at the thought she reached for the next hanger, this one looked a lot smaller than the gown she wore.

"Lets see if this one is any better," she tried, stepping into the changing room once more with the new dress in hand and closing the door behind her.
Vaneda the Cursed One
Vaneda the Cursed One
Citizen
Ryo : 8000

Understudy (Vaneda) - Page 2 Empty Re: Understudy (Vaneda)

Tue Aug 09, 2016 5:15 pm
Akihana's comment on his religion left him puzzled, but nicely so. She seemed to enjoy the bare basics of his faction, and maybe, in another time, they might have been brother and sister under Jashin. Another, better time. Her comment on wanting to visit his place of worship made him laugh a bit on the inside. Jashinists don't have a specific church or other cathedrals to pray. What would be the point? Jashin doesn't want one of his priests on their hands and knees begging for power. He wants his people to take it and use it themselves. No self-respecting priest of the lord of pain would lower themselves to such a level purely for their own gain. No... Vaneda smiled sadly at Akihana, as she judged herself in her outfit.

"Now, this may seem a bit strange, but we don't use 'places of worship' as you'd think of them. My religion doesn't own churches or other buildings in which one would pray. While we do have as sort of temple that we learn the basics within, we pray within special runes prepared by the priest. Our god finds little need to build infrastructure simply to talk to him. As a result, my fellow priests are usually far from each other and contact is few and far between." The whitehaired priest sighed, almost wistfully. "Regrettably, our group is so vastly different from these others, very few ever decide to join, so our numbers are very small." Vaneda remembered his days as an initiate, being born into the temple and learning the ways of Jashin from his very first memory.  He remembered how big it all seemed, how many others surrounded him, but, when he placed his modern self back in his younger self's place, he realized the "temple" was little more than a shack. "If I may ask a favor, though. Please don't ask me to preform a prayer ritual. They are very involved and... private... Its nothing embarrassing, mind you, just... something I don't like to show off to friends..."

It was not long after he made his request that Akihana commented that if her son saw her like this, he'd probably keep on laughing. Apparently, he'd only ever seen her wear hardy clothes that served as cleaning utensils or even tougher clothes that could be climbed over and kept in tact. Yeah... Jashin priests often kept to the bare essentials as well. All these comparisons between them made Vaneda wonder how would Akihana fare as one of his order, if she grew up among him and learned the things he had. He frowned as he wondered how drastically different that Aki would be to this one. The priest blinked and the thought was gone. There was no need to ponder such things. Aki was here and she was his friend. That was all that mattered.

"Yeah... I imagine little-ones are... very messy... too say the least."
Akihana Akari
Akihana Akari
Missing-Nin (S-rank)
Missing-Nin (S-rank)
Ryo : 223500

Understudy (Vaneda) - Page 2 Empty Re: Understudy (Vaneda)

Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:29 pm
Akihana nodded, agreeing to his request. She wouldn't have asked him anyway but she realized he needed the assurance. Just like on most days she needed the assurance that her existence mattered. "I won't," the blonde spoke, nodding to further emphasize the point. "Though if you ever want to show me, I promise to be there for you. But I realize prayer is private, it needn't be understood by everyone to be validated. Faith - true faith - doesn't require everyone understanding or approval, it just is."

Once again in the confines of her changing room, Akihana slid into her next dress, once again the material resting on her frame perfectly. She had been right in her assumption, this was a rather slimmer cut than the last one, the horizontal silver braids running parallel to each other and in opposite directions the only decoration upon the pristine white cloth. Held up with a single shoulder clasp, the dress hugged her figure close, only flaring outwards towards the end to form the small, elegant train that followed. It looked decidedly better than the first.

Spoiler:

Coming out into the viewing area once more, Akihana had another question for the priest, and not one regarding her latest dress change. "So if your faith doesn't bind you to a temple or a lifestyle, have you ever wanted to marry someone?" she asked, curious for the first time at how her friend had led his life up to meeting her. "And if you're already in a committed relationship, I apologize. I meant no offense," she added, her apology laced with a look of contrition in her eyes.
Vaneda the Cursed One
Vaneda the Cursed One
Citizen
Ryo : 8000

Understudy (Vaneda) - Page 2 Empty Re: Understudy (Vaneda)

Wed Aug 10, 2016 5:57 pm
"Marriage?" Vaneda repeated, shocked by her question and almost as shocked at how good Akihana looked in that new dress she was in. "Uh... Aki... I'm only 16." He shook his head, unsure, if he should laugh or not. "Don't worry. I'm in no such relationship so there's no risk of offense. Marriage was never something that I never really felt was for me. The circumstances in which I grew up, the devotion I have to my god, the devotion I have to friends like you, Aki... Marriage... was never something I considered as an actual option." The scarred priest ran a hand down his face, fingers rising and falling among the many scars. "Its a horrifying thought... What If I make the wrong choice, what if I end up abandoning my god to save my spouse? What if's... could be's... all of these things compiled with my daily dose of worries... Its not something I like to consider. Plus, Who would kiss a face like mine, all torn up and stitched back together?" At his last comment, Vaneda opened his mouth to laugh, but he found that his own joke wasn't funny and he closed it again. The humorous, energetic front he was putting on was beginning to crumble, leaving only a face of worry or concern whenever he looked at his friend there in the dressing room. He wasn't lying to her. He honestly believed he could remain this way until their dress shopping trip was over. Apparently, he over estimated his own abilities. Because of his inability to stay strong, he was unable to back away from this topic any farther.

"Aki?" Vaneda asked, looking up at her from his seat on the couch. "I'm worried about you." His voice was heavy with emotion, but not with tears or anger or none of those volitile ones. If one would listen closely, they'd hear how much fear he had under control just beneath his breath. "I noticed how you were when we walked in... these topics we were talking about... I'm scared that when this is all over, something's going to happen to you. That expression on your face... The way you walk... It doesn't look like a lady going off to be married... It looks like someone going to die..." He spoke the last word with a blunt heaviness that raised massive amounts of emphasis. "I want to help you... I really do... I just don't know how..."
Akihana Akari
Akihana Akari
Missing-Nin (S-rank)
Missing-Nin (S-rank)
Ryo : 223500

Understudy (Vaneda) - Page 2 Empty Re: Understudy (Vaneda)

Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:02 pm
Ignoring the mirrors and the gown she wore, the blonde moved quietly to Vaneda's side, taking a seat beside him as he spoke his thoughts on the idea of marriage. At first she didn't understand why it wasn't an option for her friend when his faith had no problems with it. Never a fan of the either or concept, Akihana certainly didn't think he would be any less devoted to his God should he grow up to have a wife and children. But then it came out, he was plagued with the same insecurities that everyone in this world secretly harbored. She herself had no shortage of those.

When he asked who would look upon a face like his, the medic let out a truly genuine smile his way. "A very lucky someone I imagine," she said, reaching out to squeeze his arm in reassurance. "I don't know much about your God, but I don't think He in His infinite wisdom would ever force you to choose between him and your spouse. I believe in the Gods having a plan for us all, and you must believe it too. In that grand plan, why would someone you've devoted your entire life to test you in such a way? Especially when he doesn't make any other demands of you?"

She wasn't sure if her words were helping but she did know that she had to keep trying. The act of trying to reassure someone was always more important than the words and actions used to achieve it. Essentially she was doing for him what he had done for her earlier - just being there as continued reassurance that he wasn't alone.

When he expressed his fears about her, all the blonde could really do was nod her head. She couldn't lie and tell him she wasn't terrified. She could no more say a part of her wasn't going to forever be broken because of what had happened in Kumo. But she supposed the best thing that could come out of this was that a broken women was still enough to hep others. Maybe even just broken enough to help others. the idea wasn't healthy but it was the best she could do.

"You have helped though," she said quietly once he was finished. "As we sit here speaking of Gods and their plans, i suppose I have to renew my faith in my own. She watches over me, she sees what's going on and She has a plan. If that plan involves me dying, then there is nothing i can do about it..." She finished, her golden eyes brimming with sadness. Though her grief wasn't for her death but the fact that she would never see her sons again, that she would never see the city she loved and had called home for the past year.

"But I believe She intends for me to live. I believe that, hopeless as it seems, there is goodness and kindness and happiness out there. I had a glimpse of it yesterday but my resolve weakened with the wedding so close, with no one by my side, but talking to you makes me see that I have nothing to worry about. As long as I have good friends like you and unflinching faith in the morning star, I think we'll be alright."
Vaneda the Cursed One
Vaneda the Cursed One
Citizen
Ryo : 8000

Understudy (Vaneda) - Page 2 Empty Re: Understudy (Vaneda)

Thu Aug 11, 2016 8:09 pm
As Vaneda spilled his guts (metaphorically), Akihana came at sat down beside him, listening to him ramble on about his own problems when she's the one truly in trouble here. She listened quietly at times, simply nodding, and offering compliments and constructive comments at others. When she asked why his god would simply give him such a monumental choice to make when he hasn't asked anything more of him, Vaneda simply shrugged quietly. Gods were beings far beyond human comprehension. One couldn't even BEGIN to know what a lord of all was planning for his subjects. Sure, Jashin would allow Vaneda these moments of peace, but what if his mood changed? What if Vaneda were to be married and his god required her death to him as a show of loyalty? Vaneda was not insane. He didn't enjoy the act of murder and slaying itself. He loved and cared about everyone he met. He WAS a person and not just another insane fanatic. As he sat there with his blonde friend, spilling his guts to her, He wasn't lying at all about ANYTHING he had said. In his mind right now, there was no covert mission or information gathering. He wasn't plotting his next move or using this moment of sensitivity for the goals of the Raikage or for his god. He was there not AS a person, but being a person in mind, body and soul. Akihana wasn't just talking to a face. She was talking to to he rest of him.

This is why when Vaneda heard Aki mention that she might, in fact, die, Vaneda's eyes immediately shot up to meet hers, more afraid for her than anyone in the village he had worked for or the other priest he had grown up with. He could see the sorrow brimming around her pure, yellow eyes as he stared with his ocean blues. He wanted to say that would never happen. He wouldn't let her die ever. He'd rip his own heart out and present it to the Raikage along with his own TALKING HEAD before he let that ever happen. If he knew it would work, Vaneda would take the sharpest object he could get his hands on, create a jashin seal, then proceed to disembowel himself right there just so she would be able to live another day. But gods... gods were unpredictable and could only count on a favorable response if they asked you to do something. His, at least. The fear on his face softened, however, as Akihana assured him that everything would be alright. So long as she had friends like him by her side and so long as she kept her faith, she was confident that she would make it. The priest, Felt his face burn around his eyes and although they grew moist, tears did not fall. His gaze fell again before taking Akihana's hands in his and looking up to face her.

"I'll be here with you." He said firmly. "Everything will be alright because I won't let it be anything else. I will pray every day, make offerings if necessary, do whatever I have to do... You're my friend and I'll always be at you're side." Vaneda's eyes were not one of someone about to shed tears, but they were as firm and solid as stone. There was absolutely no room for any doubt if one would look at him. Every word was an perfect representation of his faith to his friend. In that moment, his dedication to her rivaled both Jashin himself and The Raikage. Even though this split his allegiance three separate ways, he didn't care in the slightest. He didn't care that he allowed himself to grow this close. He was a spy and an assassin, but he was NOT the stereotype people have placed upon his profession and his religion. He was a human being with thoughts, emotions and desires beyond death. He wanted to be Akihana's friend... He wanted her to be happy.
Akihana Akari
Akihana Akari
Missing-Nin (S-rank)
Missing-Nin (S-rank)
Ryo : 223500

Understudy (Vaneda) - Page 2 Empty Re: Understudy (Vaneda)

Fri Aug 12, 2016 4:58 pm
Akihana truly appreciated the words, so much so that she wanted to help him too. He didn't deserve to feel as bad about himself as he did, nor did he deserve to feel that he was somehow responsible for her happiness. It was not Vaneda's fault that she was unhappy, it was no one's fault but her own. Slowly she raised her hands, motioning for him to be still as she conjured the signs the raikage had taught her. He had thought the jutsu couldn't be done without negativity but Akihana had found a way, of course she had found a way.

If there was one thing the blonde did, it was to never give in to the darkness that resided in the souls of most men. A creature of light, Akihana shied away from the darkness as moonlight did from day, as spring did from autumn, as most people did from love. "Just, hold on a moment, this might help," she explained as orbs of pure golden light manifested around them, all circling Vaneda gently. Should the priest observe however, each round they completed of his head, the orbs grew slightly darker, more burnt orange than bright gold, absorbing all the discord and chaos inside him, leaving only peace and calm behind. The orbs took a full five minutes to cleanse the soul before disappearing once more.

"There, I hope that feels better. This is the first time I've been able to successfully create the orbs because before now, I wasn't sure how they could be used to help. Now I do thanks to you." The blonde smiled, thankful to her friend for making her realize that she as still Akihana. And when had Akihana ever not had faith in everything turning out alright?

"So... what do you say we drop the dress fitting and skip ahead straight to dinner? I won't look any different no matter what I wear so I might as well let the designers choose?"
Vaneda the Cursed One
Vaneda the Cursed One
Citizen
Ryo : 8000

Understudy (Vaneda) - Page 2 Empty Re: Understudy (Vaneda)

Fri Aug 12, 2016 5:38 pm
Akihana held up her hands, signalling for Vaneda to keep still. He was confused by this action, but nonetheless, he did as he was asked. Without making a sign or moving at all, several balls of light blinked into existence, circling Vaneda's body slowly, but not hostile. They kept a respectable distance around him, just floating a glowing a warm golden light almost reflecting that which came from Aki's own eyes. She claimed that whatever this was, it was going to help him and that was enough for him. He trusted her. It wasn't long after that his insecurities and fears all began to bleed from his mind, disappearing into the chasm of nonexistence. It was a slow, but not alarming process, with each of his darker emotions fading like little candle flames before going out like a light. Dark lights that instead of making one's view more clear, it obscured. Instead of these dark-lights floating about his mind, all that was left in their stead was a calming grey... true peace... there was no happy or sad, no anger nor joy. As each of the dark-lights faded, Vaneda was left with something he only achieved through hours of meditation: calm. The orbs of light faded into something of a seared orange color, appearing more sickly and tainted than Vaneda first witnessed. With the calm veil over his mind, he stared at the lights curiously before they too blinked out of existence. His gaze eventually went back to Aki as she explained that this was something she had never tried before and that she didn't even know if it would all work. Now she did, thanks to him. Vaneda's calm, neutral expression rose into a smile, his mind warming under the glow of light once again. When she suggested they should just skip all this dress-choosing and skip straight to dinner, Vaneda nodded his head, his smile becoming more profound.

"I couldn't agree more, but let me just say, I liked that first dress. Say what you want, but that one would knock everyone's socks off. And their shoes." the priest said with a playful grin, gesturing back towards the way they'd come. He prayed to jashin that the store owners wouldn't Aki and himself on the way out the door. He didn't need that kind of pain and Jashin knew Aki didn't either. Once they were out of the store, Vaneda would lead his friend to the restaurant he had mentioned

"Just to be clear. Its my treat." He spoke seriously with the slightest hint of humor. With all that being said, he would go inside.

(EXIT)
(CLAIMING NOTHING)
Akihana Akari
Akihana Akari
Missing-Nin (S-rank)
Missing-Nin (S-rank)
Ryo : 223500

Understudy (Vaneda) - Page 2 Empty Re: Understudy (Vaneda)

Fri Aug 12, 2016 6:03 pm
Watching her friend smile finally at ease was the best feeling in the world. A smile soon appeared on her own face to match his. He was wrong to worry about his face, his outward appearance. Because inside, they were all the same. He, her, even the Raikage. Everyone in kumo was exactly the same deep down, connected by smiles and fears, sorrows and tears, by hope and - she would ensure her best to see it through - love.

"Give me a minute," she spoke, rising gracefully to her feet and making for the changing room once more. There were plenty of dresses left to try but that was no longer the point. She was sure the designer would pick a good one. Unzipping herself from the stylish gown, Akihana donned her own clothes once more. The soft used cotton felt better against her skin than the fine silk she had on previously. The white cardigan though she left off, choosing to carry in her hands instead of wrapped around her like a shield to protect her from the outside world.

There was no reason to remain closed off now, Vaneda had helped her see that.

They only briefly stopped to speak to the seamstress, the blonde informing her that she had free reign to pick the dress for the wedding before the two were heading out again. As the priest reminded her it was his treat, she grinned.

"Well of course, I already told you i didn't bring my wallet," she said, entering the restaurant behind him.

(Exit Akihana)

TWC: 4, 311

Claiming 4, 000 words towards 4 orbs created
Claiming 311 words towards charity
Youka
Youka
Missing-Nin (A-rank)
Missing-Nin (A-rank)
Ryo : 134237

Understudy (Vaneda) - Page 2 Empty Re: Understudy (Vaneda)

Sun Aug 14, 2016 10:57 am
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