Sat Oct 01, 2022 9:32 pm
It is summer. The air is of mosquito dreams, humid, warm, sticky, and fervently calling to those to bear disease.
Easy to remember this time because the events are impactful. So I write them down first; then they will belong to the fire, the ground as ash, and the winds as smoke. When we were ten, my sister and I were selected to ascend to priestesshood. A noble calling that was better spent on someone other than me. When they divided us, I waited patiently.
Ironically my patience was paid with the promotion of the station. My peers took my indifference toward the religion and its rules as “poise and grace.” I was raised in a highly coveted role early on: to be one of the elders who made decisions. A High Priestess. A fucking shame as I wanted to be anything but in this temple. It came with its advantages, and then the Grand Design worked once more in my favor.
Two young female ninjas were murdered by one of our priests.
The night before, I had a vision of my sister. Who held dominion over a creature that towered over her, of shadow and darkness. There was no such thing in our temple or our religion.
So when the scandal happened, as my peers- the elders and the priests moved around me- they didn’t take note of the fact that I did not move at all. Or how I watched them rush about like headless chickens, trying to find that wily rogue priest and begin arrangements for the funeral. I had acted this way for so many years that it was “natural” to them, and they never batted an eye just as I wanted. Then? It dawned on me.
I could use this.
I could use this exceptionally well. I approached the elders as they fretted about what to do and as they brainstormed ideas in a windowless, shut-off room in the summer evening. I saw among them; Waiting. Thinking: The vision would never come to pass if my sister stayed at the temple. She needed to be cut off and turned away at a notice less pace. I let them go at it for a few hours before I held up my hand and offered a solution- which became THE solution.
“Why don’t we work with the shinobi?” They were outraged, but it helps me feel better if I think about how my god-given monotone voice came out soothing and calmed them. “This is a time of uncertainty, and we already have difficulties maintaining a strong, peaceful relationship with the Shinobi. We must take advantage of this opportunity as a show of strength and goodwill.” I voiced and smiled, “We should offer some of those from the temple to aid in looking for this rouge priest; that is our responsibility after all since we let someone slip through the cracks and fall from Sage’s path.” When they asked who I gave once more, the only answer-
“It would show the greatest degree of cooperation if we send our young Attending Priests and Priestesses; they are studying and learning now, but this situation could be a wonderful opportunity to build a foundation for the future. They are near the end of their training, so putting it on pause for a little while so that they may, will not have too adverse an effect, but this would also give them all the opportunity to bring the fresh-perspective of young, open-minded individuals. They could learn and provide repair to the damaged relationship we currently hold with the Shinobi.” I added, “If we only let them leave with names that are meant to associate with their new titles once they graduate, if anything happens and say the Shinobi want to blame one of us again- they will not have their birth names.”
“The Shinobi may not agree to it… but it is a good start.”
I don’t fucking care what the Shinobi- who blatantly weaponize our faith- care.
But yes. It is, indeed, a good start.
And better yet? They approved it. How do I know?
As a High Priestess, I need to be in unison on decisions with my peer. I signed the paper, agreeing to the terms the Shinobi sent. And I decided on the candidates that would be allowed from our temple. I even began, worked, and ended the paperwork needed for the academy construction in which Kyousuke Snow and Lucian Nazar trained them. Those were temple funds I signed off on allocating.
I was more agreeable on those summer days.
There was a housing development project that the temple started to create affordable housing for those of lower-income brackets and those who could not correctly afford to house. While the temple and faith helped them with several programs to get them onto their own feet. Those houses needed construction which I also signed off on. I also allocated those funds, and it was entirely coincidental that the availability of such homes coincided with us allowing attending priests and priestesses to work with the Shinobi.
Yes. I also shamelessly allocated one of those houses to my twin sister.
Oh, and I also signed off on allocating funds to her and enlisted her in a contract to ‘do charity work in exchange for free housing.
Because that is what I paid for. I spent the price of giving up my family name and my family to have this rank and be a stranger to my own twin sister.
I could very well cry. Someone wiser than me can tell me what a mistake I’ve made, how I don’t know what I’m doing, or how I’m some type of villain for using my own sister as a pawn. Oh, I’m deplorable. Oh, I’m a villain. Oh, by the Sage, I am the worst being alive- how radical it would be if that was all true?
People have been mistaking me for my sister nearly my whole life, despite me rising up in the ranks. Who cares if they did it a bit longer? In fact, let them.
Let them forget about me, let my name fade out, let them see my sister and think of me before correction. By then, it will all be far too late, and when I resurface and remind them who I am?
I will have already gotten all that I needed and all that I wanted.
In finality, they should never have made me a High Priestess with this terrible personality of mine. Indeed, that was a mistake on their part.
In the beginning, I was lonely, sure. I had an excellent relationship with my parents and family; however, this was my choice. I was the one who made it. The transition from having so many people to rely on to just me was… abrupt and harsh. I don’t think I could have acclimated it all so well if it had not been for Georgie and Saraj. My only friends and the only ones who would keep y secrets safe because I could hear them… and it didn’t seem like anyone else could.
Georgie was a very handsome scorpion; that was all. He wasn’t some all-powerful thing; he didn’t glitter when moving through the shadows and wasn’t overly arrogant about his favored traits. Saraj, a gorgeous orchid praying mantis, perhaps the size of my thumb, lived where she quietly vanished: in the cherry blossom tree at the back corner of the wooden walkway-hemmed courtyard outside my room. Georgie and Saraj are both blatantly uninspiring and unremarkable members of their species. The only remarkable or even unique thing about them was perhaps that they had both been romantically interested in each other. Saraj had first spoken towards me about having a better-looking countenance- while my resting bitch face was in full-blown, natural form. Georgie had spoken out because no matter how much he skirted the pond stream, which lay between the tree’s roots and the rest of the courtyard, it also seemed to feed a pond behind the walls.
Of the 40 species of scorpions that COULD climb trees and walls- Georgie wasn’t one of them. Without lungs, he could not transverse in the waters either. His exoskeleton was too heavy that it would essentially be ruining himself by entering the stream shores. So he skirted every day, trying to find a way to reach the tree, and Saraj watched and laughed.
These became my two friends, and I sat them on my small nightstand in my room that I used as a vanity, propping a mirror against the wall in the corner where I put the table, and tucked away a few pieces of makeup in the false bottom of the only draw it had. It was humbling to see them sitting in my small space and speaking to me as if we had known each other for lifetimes. It grounded me in these nightly interactions; it reminded me why I was here and what I was doing. It felt less like a prison of my own making and more like my own corner of the world. I’m sure it would look strange and unsettling to an onlooker. Forbidden freezing of time for a young girl to sit in a corner, whispering and speaking softly to a black scorpion and a delicately dangerous orchid praying mantis that skittered from one cosmetic to the next, while the girl dabbled in her makeup to try and find the right way. The right way she wanted it to look, the right way she wanted to apply it, the right way she wanted others to see her, the right way she wanted to be remembered in a small mirror, in an unassuming wooden picture frame, leaned against the wall for it had no stand to hold it up.
I lived in this tiny, one-by-one meter corner. My room was quite large, but it never gave me as much joy and happiness as I always got in this small corner that I carried with me. Whether in the room or not, I held it in my mind and heart: my two small friends were always there. As I grew, so did they, and so did my small corner extending larger with new additions as it took up that much more space. Even if my friends learned to grow confident and leave the temple, Georgie by the cracks in the walls where the shadows were darkest, and Saraj by the cherry blossom tree’s ever-lengthening and growing branches, they kept our nightly routine sacred and a devoted ritual. Every night they returned to speak to me about what they learned or saw and how their day was.
I knew in my heart of hearts that the more I spoke with them, the less I learned how to talk to people, but I did not care. My peers did not bring me the same type of happiness my two friends did. So I would keep them. No matter what I did or where I went, I returned to this corner nightly, and if anything were to change, I would bring them with me. Surely no one will mind such small creatures which take up almost no space to another, who take up and mean so much to me?
Even if I did, who’s to say I must place value in them or their opinion?
- [ WC: 1903 ]
[ Claims: All WC towards Water Style: Water Restoration (250/ 2500) (From stat page) -> ( 2153 / 2500 ) ]
Sun Oct 02, 2022 6:32 pm
I have been following the reports, reading them, and taking my time. I have forbidden myself from taking them out of the office. I have banned myself from reading them more than once as well. I read, then I sign off and pass it along. A lesser priest keeps an eye on the situation, then submits them to me so that I can omit any information if needed, approve them to be shared, and pass them along to the other High Priests and Priestesses. Boring. Tedious. But deeply insightful.
See, these reports are done in the broad paintbrush strokes of a copycat, a painter’s unwelcome friend, and the conman who hastily reproduces their work and undercuts the artist by selling it cheaper. That’s what these reports are. They report on everything and nothing, vaguely as a fisherman drudges their fishing spot with a net to catch their dinner. In these nets, I find all that I need.
I find that my twin sister is excelling well in everything I want her to and disastrously failing in everything I hoped she would.
She is an academic student but struggled with implementation. She excels in medical ‘jutsu’- as the Shinobi call it, absolutely wretched, I know- but she often does not have the patients to practice. She is trained for combat, and yet she doesn’t see anything.
Perfect. It’s all too perfect, honestly.
She seemed to get along well with her ‘Chunnin’- some type of rank where the Shinobi could now train his own squad of Shinobi. Whatever. She seemed to get on well with her assigned teammates- a “Hyuuga” and a “Terumi.” I believe they were ‘clans’- lineages of different breeds of Shinobi.
Like cats, perhaps the “Hyuuga” were…a domestic long-hair? And the “Terumi,” a domestic short-hair?
Either way, she got on well enough with them, got her work done, and focused less on the church and more on the shinobi-ism. Excellent. Just what I needed and wanted. The next time the attending assistant priest handed a report to me, I asked,
“Could you acquire me a list of all the temple-founded programs those she loaned to the Shinobi are in?” Though I asked kindly, the person questioned me- gross. “I am worried for the overall mental and physical well-being of our young priest and priestesses.” He wanted a further explanation. My gut said no, but my mouth and mind were quicker, “The roles they are playing are significant, and I’m ashamed to say that it only just dawned on me that they are all young; we cannot overload them and overwork them or else their health will falter. So perhaps reducing some of their duties will lighten their loads? Allow them time to rest and recuperate accordingly. After all, we are not privy to how the Shinobi operate themselves. Better be safe than sorry.”
He stopped questioning me and left, and I found it distasteful; however, I was patient until the list I asked for was given to me.
My twin sister was involved in a minimum of seven different programs. The others ranged between four and seven as well. I struck a line through several programs attached to her name and left her with three- then went through the list and did the same to the others, so the favoritism was less noticeable. I handed the list off with the following signed-off report and a pile of other completed papers, “Please ensure their duties are reduced accordingly.” I said. He gave me no backtalk this time, and I smiled.
I even took a moment to implement the next step of my growth, which was meant to be in tandem, and approached the elders. “I would like to oversee the reconstruction of our altar halls to make them more welcoming… for prayer. I think a redecoration to allow a more tranquil environment will be easier on those who come to pray.”
They even let me take charge of the project. Excellent.
I suppose the temple was already quite nice, but I had quite a different vision. I was grateful and appreciative that there was another person on the reconstruction team- an architect- who also seemed to share my vision and make it a reality through drawing and sketches. Enough to give it a drawn-out form, sufficient that the construction crew could easily emulate. Enough that it didn’t look too grand or too unbecoming. I made sure to provide compliments and vocalize my gratitude. To speak up when he pleased me and stay silent when he didn’t.
Oh yes. I was so very, very grateful. There could never be a proper reward to give these people for making my visions come true: so I gave them no compensation. Allocations of funds to take care of the costs and the bills were all well and done, a little more to make me look like a more benevolent and generous overseer.
As I saw it, if the Great Design did not want me here and now, doing these things and behaving this way, my surroundings would not have enabled and indulged me. Shame on these people for making me such a spoiled brat.
Oh, if only there were a way for me to convey in words and on this piece of paper ( moments away from getting burned ) where my sarcasm lies and doesn’t lie. It would make things so much easier for other people- I suppose, if this ever saw the light of day.
That’s why I’ll burn them.
The reconstruction will probably take somewhere between a few weeks and several months; a shame I can’t speed it up, but I have time. The time I’ll waste and spend on planning the next few moves I need.
I’ve started to doubt that one person who backtalked me and gave me those reports; I’ll ask Georgie and Saraj if they will be willing and able to watch my sister as that would be much more reliable information and help than this priest. Loyalty is important to me and ought to be rewarded.
- Stat Page : Fu's Fat Stats
Village : Hoshigakure
Ryo : 138300
Mon Oct 03, 2022 1:57 am
Mon Oct 03, 2022 4:57 am
Sunny day, not too warm but not too cold, but it was a very eventful day for two reasons. One: my sister. Two: my sister. This required elaboration, I know, so let’s take it from the top at the start of the day.
She has taken up knitting. It was one of the first things that Georgie had told me when I woke up. When I asked who he was talking about, he advised me he was speaking about my sister. My twin had settled into her new home well enough from what my two friends had told me. Looks could be deceiving, of course, but I did not mind entirely; as long as everything looked well enough, things would be fine for the both of us.
What am I supposed to say to that anyways?
I’ve been to her house. “I’m sorry, Georgie, you’ve what?” I’ve been to her home.
One of my first questions was, “Does she have a lot of stuff?” I asked the question, but indeed she did. I had to live a more minimalistic lifestyle as all in the temple did, but she was well-liked and loved. Undoubtedly the order furnished her home in equal amounts to how much she was received in the temple.
Not really. There’s a couch and some stuff in the garden; She has a bed. Georgie advised The bare necessities. Yawn for scarves. The closet is mostly empty.
Am I a horrid sibling because I laughed? I laughed so hard from the calm way he was describing it that I almost tossed the poor thing off my shoulder from where both of my friends were sitting.
Was she knitting? She barely had anything in her house. Or her closet? Marvelous. She was preoccupied then. Enough to be making scarves. Georgie even confirmed she was making them and giving them to homeless shelters. How selfless and charitable of her. Perfect. It was an excellent way to wake up, but regardless, I went to my full-time duties, which were pencil-pushing. Paperwork keeps coming across my desk as always, and it’s tedious but time-consuming and occupies me, so it serves its purpose. Today is different; as aforementioned, my sister woke up and chose bureaucratic violence within our organization. Namely, with me, since I’m the one whose signature carries most of the weight.
However, my twin has taken it upon herself to be stubborn and demanding with the lower ranking members of the temple between herself and me. Fortunately, they still look to me for instruction as they should. I would find it troublesome if I weren’t so amused and in need of a distraction. However, I needed to keep re-enforcing my facade and act like I wasn’t helping her, which began with vocalizing and playing dumb, “Oh? What has she done then?” I asked from my fluffy floor-height chair.
“She’s demanding for refurnishing of a few smaller buildings, for a start.” An attending priest advised me as he handed me paperwork backing it up: reports of her demands in written and formally submitted form. She had beautiful penmanship, and it was irritating how the more she existed, the more obnoxious her good traits became. Is this jealousy, or am I just some bitter bitch? “To paraphrase, Lady Genesis is asking for these additional programs to be looked into and ‘immediately implemented. In addition, she wants additional civilian re-introduction classes and a heavier curriculum for the children in the housing development we recently made.” I rubbed my temples as I looked at the paperwork. We were twins, but how alike were we?
Was she also inclined to force her demands to be met? Did she have it in her to be this bossy, or was this bravado only bought because she was under some assumption that she was selected as a candidate because of her talents and abilities and not because I put her name on the list because of favoritism? I sighed, “Bring me the ledger for the allocated program funds, the allocated school funds, and the allocated housing funds. Bring me whatever copy of the current curriculum we have.” I said and looked everything over, “If we have it available, please bring me a list of what books the children are currently assigned to read through their courses.”
It took three hours of that assistant running around to find everything. Three. Hours. That meant I had to stay equally as long. Perhaps this plan of mine was not the right course that the Sage had planned for me, which is why he was making it so difficult. Maybe it was purely my sister being ignorant, I don’t know, but either way, I spent all night looking over everything. She wasn’t entirely right but looking over the ledgers and the curriculum with the book list- she wasn’t altogether wrong either. They did need a lot of work and technically speaking, if the temple hadn’t caught it and the temple didn’t update things, it would look bad on everyone, including me, so I was bound by self-interest and self-preservation to remedy it all. I worked too late into the night that the others had left, and my friends had to come and find me here rather than on the corner.
Do you know how long I spent staring at paperwork? Because you wanted to pretend to be high and mighty? Would you sit here for me and do the same? Twelve, by the way. I sat there for twelve hours, re-writing, scratching out, ripping up, and writing again in an unwelcome and unnecessary cycle. To make the reforms you demanded, to rework the curriculum you wanted. You’re being a little bitch, and I have to deal with it, but where would you be without me? Would you even take responsibility and accountability for your behavior? How troublesome.
I stayed writing things until the following day. My friends stayed with me and hid behind my chair to keep out of sight and not cause further trouble or frustration. “Did you- stay here all night?”
“Yes.” I advised, “As frustrating as it must be for you all, she was correct to a fault. Many of these programs needed reworking anyways, so I just stayed and did it all to save us the trouble.” I handed off the ledgers and things he had brought me, let him return them, then I handed off the reforms and stuff I had finished, “Please bring these to the next priest in line.” Did she want a miracle? I suppose she could have one or two on me. “Tell him I expect everyone to sign off on this within the hour, then implement it at the top of the next hour.”
“This is… a lot of work to quiet down a noisy priestess.”
“High priestess, I believe,” I corrected so that my hard work wasn’t diminished as well, “Please take the time to review everything at your leisure before you bring it to the next person. Educating yourself on the updates would be wise to quell your suspicion.” Once again, this back-talking assistant they gave me only proved to be a test from the Sage in flesh and blood. An examination of my fucking patience and a test of how well I could hold up my facade.
Testing temperaments is a righteous path of enlightenment, too, I suppose.
- Crom TokageGenin
- Stat Page : Stats
Clan Specialty : Ninjutsu
Village : Hoshigakure
Ryo : 54805
Mon Oct 03, 2022 3:55 pm
Tue Oct 04, 2022 3:34 am
Overcast. I wake up with the urge to put my hair up after my bath, and I can smell the rain coming in.
For some reason, I feel uneasy looking at this sky. I don’t know why because I have always loved the rain. Bundling up on a rainy day with something cold to drink and warm to eat has always been one of my favorite things, but today it feels different.
Today is supposed to be my day off, but it’s been so long that I have no idea what to do with this newfound free time. I spend time going to the part of the temple that is under reconstruction. The one who saw my vision says that he should be done by the turn of the year. I look over the designs and reports, listen to them tell me about their progress, and watch some of them work. The remodeling will do it soon and to my specifications within the parameters of the temple, and that’s all I can hope for, honestly.
I couldn’t find Georgie or Saraj that morning. I figured perhaps they snuck off for alone time, but even then, I could feel them in the courtyard, generally speaking, but I knew they were not there when I looked. The eyes can never truly be trusted, but the senses can, and they weren’t in the courtyard, yet somehow I knew before I even walked over there.
I would find some semblance of solace in the reports on my sister if they actually had anything of substance. It was all primarily boring, which in the long run was perfectly fine, but in the short term? Bland. She did everything I would- or maybe everybody would- expect someone pretending to be an excellent person to do.
She knit, had a little garden she watered devotedly, fed birds that came to her window, and went for morning jogs. She did charity work and went to prayer on the weekends. What else was there for her to do, honestly? Maddening, but all was going according to plan either way, so she could conduct herself as she liked because that was the point. I was expecting there to be something in this report that would explain why I felt so uneasy.
That’s how I spent the rest of my day: picking at almost every interaction I had the day before. Then the day before that. And the day before that. Mentally shifting through the backlog of my memories as I tried to look for something that stood out in the zen garden of my mind. The longer I spent there, the more annoying the search became, and I grew desperate for a solution, for an answer. I wanted something concrete and definitive. I didn’t want “what ifs” or gut feelings or hunches. I sat on the walkway’s edge, zoning out seemingly as I stared at the waters, which rippled with koi, floating bubbles, and minor bugs pausing only to be gobbled up by the inhabitants—searching for some rational reason for why I felt so disturbed. Come the afternoon, and I still did not have an answer other than it only grew stronger when I thought of my sister.
I hadn’t realized I had been sitting all day until I stood up and looked around to see it was night. Since it was my day off, it didn’t make much difference in my workload, so it was technically OK. Even Saraj had returned, and I went to pick her up, “Hello, friend.”
Hello! Saraj replied, Oh my goodness, I am so distressed; the plum blossoms were out, so I went to visit them, and wouldn’t you know it, there was no nectar! When I reminded her that she did not eat nectar and voiced, Not for me, but to draw in my prey. I spent all that time waiting, and no one even came by. It is such a waste- oh, but they were quite pretty. Perhaps Georgie will get me a blossom for the house.
“I can find one or two and put them on the nightstand,” I advised, and she seemed pretty pleased with that offer as I carried her back to the room and set her down on the said nightstand. Georgie wasn’t there yet, but I felt him getting near. “I’m sorry you didn’t catch anything.”
Oh, I never said that. I ate pretty well before I came. Saraj assured me as I set her down, Today you were off, right? I often notice you working. It must have been fantastic! So how did you relax?
“I am feeling uneasy, so I disassociated all day trying to find the reason why, mentally,” I answered, and unfortunately, it was not a well-received answer by my friend.
I hope you are joking since this was your first day off all week. Saraj answered, and I just sighed. I needed to find a hobby- I hope you will find a hobby. You are very depressing.
“Thank you, as always, for the wise words.” Although I answered sarcastically, my friend stayed sincere,
Your sister does a lot of stuff. Maybe trying one of those hobbies will help? If she’s so talented, do you both have a talent for such things? Saraj offered, and it was an excellent suggestion, but with all things, I was very anxious to try something new myself. Failure was just another way to learn, but if I distracted myself too much, it would not be suitable for anyone involved, and it would interfere with the schematic I had in mind for everything. Why couldn’t things come to me quickly? Had it always been a lack of excelling or a lack of trying on my part? I had such a hard time recalling and remembering which was which since I deep-dived into my mind. Perhaps this was a side-effect of getting lost in things I should not be dabbling in the first place or, more precisely, with an uncalm mind. For those types of practices, I needed to be more level-headed moving forward when I pursued them.
“Yeah, maybe… I don’t know. I am not very confident in my abilities to create things.” I answered, and it was an honest answer. “I’ll try to take some time tomorrow and buy a magazine or two from the newspaper stand near us; maybe there will be activities I can do in one or two of them. What do they call it? Inspiration?” It was a good idea, and I would most definitely pursue it. There weren’t a lot of opportunities for me to be entirely creative, given how much paperwork I had to oversee and do, especially on the auspicious days my sister wanted to be demanding. That’s sarcasm. They were not optimistic at all, but you know what was? Georgie. A very welcome sight when I saw him come in from the walkway, “Hey there.” I reached over, and he came to an abrupt halt so I could pick him up and put him on the nightstand to be with his girlfriend.
She got a dragon. This time Georgie was the one to report it. I saw the thing, and she fell down a hole in the park.
My first gut reaction was to laugh, but I held back this time and replied, “No, she fucking did not. No one falls down a hole and finds a goddamn dragon. That’s ridiculous.”
Apparently, no one but my sister could do something like that because that is literally how she found her dragon. Sometimes I wondered if I was born in reality or just in some type of fairy tale story where I played a side character to my main-character-energy younger sister. She brought it on herself. Another scorpion and a grasshopper told me the whole thing before I saw it myself.
“How does one bring a dragon on themselves?” I asked, and Georgie clarified,
No, the falling, she brought the falling on herself. So the grasshopper said that she came down a path, OK? She came down this path no one was using anymore, and she brushed some leaves off a park bench and sat down. A scorpion came by my cousin, Xiao- to see if the grasshopper knew any good spots for the winter. So they saw your sister stepping on something a few times and went, “What is she doing?” Then she leaned forward and, I guess, put her weight on it? It was a rusted-out railing, and she fell. I cackled just from the storytelling because he carried on. Then they went over to see what was going on and saw her grab a boulder, but she must have had the worst luck because the damn boulder gave away from the cliff, and she fell again? They said she fell through some type of stone slab or something. Then they were trying to decide what to do because, you know- its a grasshopper and a scorpion, it’s not like they can go down there and pull her up, so they were wondering if they should get someone or what, but then it started raining, so they went to find shelter-
“The dragon, Georgie.” I insisted, “Where does the dragon come in?”
It comes in next! Right now! The dragon shot out from wherever she fell, set her down, and vanished, which was so big. So damn big it blocked out the sun. Then she just kinda ran off as if nothing happened. I figured it was because of the rain, but I got here as fast as I could… I had to ask a bird for a ride, and I was kind of dizzy, but I got here as fast as possible. Well. Sage bless Georgie for his lively recounting and paraphrasing of events, but I couldn’t help but wonder if this was going to get in the way of things-
Will her having a dragon get in the way of your plans? Saraj asked. I don’t think Georgie can kill a dragon in its sleep… a shinobi or maybe a villager or two but not a dragon…
I would need so much venom. Georgie confirmed as I sat there and thought about it. I don’t even think I have enough cousins to help…AND THERE’S A LOT OF US. Just not a ‘dragon-amount of venom’ lot of us… I only got like 400 cousins in this village.
Do you think your venom sting could buy some time for your cousins to jump in, dear? Saraj asked her scorpion as I tried to think,
Babe, it was BIG. Like, the size of this temple courtyard big. I love to think my sting would do something, but it would probably only piss it off and get me splattered on a wall. Georgie countered, and I sighed,
“To be far, I mean, I can understand why I had an uneasy feeling this whole day but man.” I voiced, “On my list of reasonings for being unsettled, “My Saint Sister Gets a Dragon” was NOT on it… what a hassle.” I voiced, and after a while, I sighed and said,
“You’re right, Saraj; I need a hobby to keep me entertained. Perhaps bingo. I could make a bingo card of all the ridiculous things that are bound to happen with this new… development.” By the sage, I could do it with everything that has happened so far, but then it would take more than how many spaced-or boxes- there were on a damn bingo card, to begin with. “Wait. Georgie, you said it vanished?”
Yeah. Georgie confirmed as I tried to process all this new information. It was um, black and green. Four legs and two wings like… you know… a dragon.
“Yes, thank you,” I said absently as I tried to think about this. I opened the drawer for the nightstand and pulled out a piece of paper and a pen, then scratched out an eight-by-eight box for a makeshift bingo card. Though there weren’t enough boxes, so I drew another column and made sure to write ‘free’ on the centermost space. “Fucking ridiculous.” On the bottom middle box, I wrote:
“Geni gets Dragon (?)”
- [ WC: 2036 ]
1) All WC towards Peacock Spirit Blessing (2,428 / 5000 )( 392 from the prior post + 2036 from this post) ]
Tue Oct 04, 2022 1:57 pm
Wed Oct 05, 2022 3:03 am
A new year, a unique chance, and another year’s worth of things to do.
The remodeling of the tranquility room would be finished tomorrow, and I loved how it had come out. Exactly how I depicted it. Now, if only they could give me the reigns to remodel the rest of the temple or at least let me arrange another coat of paint on everything. A place of worship should be worshipable and presentable. My vision for it would be best in all candid and biased honesty because I knew what was best for this outdated place. My new year’s resolution was to better temper the flames of my nature and turned them into patience, but that would take a considerable effort. No time like the present, however, since I had the time to devote to it.
Thankfully my diligence in my duties had bought me more leeway than before, and my peers continued to hold me in high regard, but it only made my reality more precarious.
The geta with which I stepped was only getting taller, making me anxious as I tried to continue moving forward and not cause suspicion.
To de-stress, I had taken up the habit of pipe-smoking. I did not care for smoking. I can not stand the smell. The way it stings the air and my eyes when the smoke hands in the air. I cannot tolerate how it burrows itself into my clothes with its stench or that it takes life to give life. You must light its leaves on fire to get what you desire, and you exhale the ashes. It is an expensive habit for those who like to enjoy things dying and benefiting from death. Sometimes I savor the dark satisfaction of exhaling the smoke, knowing the price. Knowing that no matter how much I pay for better quality tobacco, the process never changes. No matter if I custom order tobacco with a hint or a taste of something else to flavor my tastebuds’ burning and scorching death for some momentary relief. The end is the same. The consistency and the routine of the process are dependable.
No matter what I say. No matter how I act. No matter where I buy the ingredients or whose pocket my coin will go? The process and the redundancy remain. Good, reliable routine. That was what I craved, and I allowed myself to meet this need with this long-handled, courtesan-envying tobacco pipe. I have this pipe a more critical role in my life than I gave my fellow humans, and it would exist on my person and in the corner I carried with me. When I grappled with the internal anxiety and severity of my station, my situation, my position, and watching the consequences and reactions of my choices unfold before me? My pipe stood firm to ease me.
Even now, as I saw the priest who often back-talking me approach me to report a ‘situation’ with me in private, the pipe’s length gleaming light upon its lacquered, wooden being brought comfort that all was in control and all was well. “A fight has broken out between the priests and some shinobi.” I managed not to sigh or groan internally this time. Perhaps I was getting better? “Lady Genesis seems to have intervened with her team to assess the situation.” I felt myself groan. Ok. Maybe I was not excelling as much as I thought. When we got to my office, and he handed off the report, as I sat down and put the file on my desk to open it up in a moment while I got myself situated, he asked- “Would you mind putting out your pipe?” Me? Put down my safety blanket for this underling, of all people?
“No.” The answer was simple, and I ensured to give it enough weight in my tone so that he knew not to ask again. I opened the file and read the report. My gut reaction was to suggest they be killed, but that’s not how the temple did things in the temple. Looking at the information, it was nothing but disappointing. It was all of perhaps two lines. He used an entire piece of paper for two lines. The rest of the page that was lonely in the folder was blank. Fucking blank. I have only rung in a year of being here and perhaps reached my limit. My threshold for stupidity was nearly entirely consumed and tapped out by my own assigned assistant- oh, the irony, to be done in by the help, no less. He only wrote, “A fight has broken out between a group of priests and ninjas in the Water Gardens. Team Winter, lead by Kyosuke Snow, has gone to handle the situation.” “...Is there a particular reason your report is so…sparse?”
“Well, it’s happening right now, so it’s an active situation.” My assistant said, “Reports are meant to be done after a situation.”
“You could never be more wrong in your life than you are in this moment after saying such an unwise sentence,” I told him and pushed my anger down as I brought the pipe up to my lips and inhaled from the quietly burning tobacco bowl, pulling the tube away to close my mouth and inhale the smoke. Letting it sit there while I tried to think of the best wording for this situation and push away so many barbed words, then I exhaled the smoke past painted lips and clenched bared teeth- “Do you at least know the cause of this scuffle?”
“No, ma’am.” He answered, and I took another drag from the pipe as I mulled over this ‘new information, then with another cloud of smoke, I exhaled,
“Get out.” He was more enthusiastic about exiting than usual, but it impressed my expectations. “Return if the situation ends,” I called, and he verbally confirmed from down the hallway outside my office door.
Sometimes I wondered if it would be better if I snuck out and watched her myself. Then I would remember that my assistant was almost entirely incompetent, but he knew how to keep a secret, so I begrudgingly admitted it was with me he would stay. I remained in my office and kept smoking as I waited for that idiot to return to me with another file and another report: this time, he gave me four total pages. Including a very long-winded speech- “Lady Genesis said that in front of a group of people and not the priests and ninja.” I was more interested that the first page mentioned the domestic long-hair cat, Ayato Hyuuga, and the domestic short hair cat, Miyamoto Terumi; were they pets? No, they were the ones on that Chunnin team with her, weren’t they? The speech on the first page of this new report- was given by one of our order. It was ridiculous as I read it out loud, as mockingly as I could,
“Trust in me, City of Haven! For I am the chosen of the gods. I have been anointed by their grace to speak their holy words. The faith is the will of the gods and we are its entire instrument. The very idea is inconvincible to our Royal overlords. Sharing the royal court with us to hear our demands? With the poor? Ha! They can barely tolerate our presence here in the city. Today they take away our faith. But what of tomorrow? What then? Do the shinobi take away your homes? Your stores? Your children? Your very lives? And what does the royal family do? Nothing! Nay, worse than nothing! They enforce the will of the shinobi and their witchcraft. Against its own people. How can the flock be safe from the wolves when the shepherd sleeps in their den?”
My assistant said something positively subserviently, and I ignored him completely, “What of the monks involved?”
“They seem to have just dispersed after Lady Genesis and her team held ‘court’ with them.” He said oh, this positively would not do. The monks had a point, and at a certain angle, in a particular light, they were correct; however, their interaction and living were not proper, “Will you reprimand them?”
“Oh, absolutely.” I replied, “Do you think they are above it?”
“I-No, but they were just vocalizing their displeasure and what some common trains of thought are within the temple…so I do not think the temple should punish them too harshly.” As he spoke, I skimmed the rest of the paperwork. These monks seemingly had been using a broken statue for their sermon foundation and podium. There was an implication they had broken it, but the report seemed to quite conveniently not go into detail. So he was biased. What a pity he decided to use this time to indulge his self-interests when he could have used it later.
“I see here there is mention of a broken statue. The timeline of events in this report seems to point at the team who approached the monks as the ones who broke it-” I paused to take another de-stressing to inhale and exhale moment with my loyal tobacco pipe. For the dramatic and theatrics of it all, “However, from this report, it seems that the timeline and writing of it would indicate that the monks were standing on the destroyed property before the team approached them.” I looked him dead in the eye. “Now…this slip up would not happen to be intentional, would it?”
“Perhaps you are misreading it.” Just own up to it. Just say it out loud, I hate wasting time. ‘I’m trying to de-rail everything you have in motion, just cop to it. “Perhaps a more in-depth read-” That’s enough of that.
“I do not need to read your flimsy report more in-depth because I already see principles we do not uphold displayed in these few pages. There are tensions in ‘The Separation of Church and State, yes, but you are undermining the efforts we- as a community- are taking to rectify it, and you are inserting your own, biased opinion into this situation.” I took another puff and exhaled, but I sighed with the latter, “I will give you credit where credit is due: I did notice you have an appreciation for verbatim speech.” He spent a few minutes trying to defend himself as I watched, bored, and kept smoking, amidst his defense was a mixture of throwing his peers under the bus and then throwing the Shinobi under it promptly after that. When he paused to breathe, I continued, “You forget yourself and the purpose; We all live in this village, we must all work to co-exist, and the program at the forefront of this co-existing effort was created and put into motion, on our end, by me. You are standing before me and blatantly undermining me to my face.”
“You don’t seem to like them either!” That was his protest? That was his argument?
“I am a neutral party-” One of the biggest lies I had ever said into existence, “-my wants and needs do not and will not ever come before what is best for this temple.” I took another moment to enjoy the biting taste of my pipe before I exhaled and advised, “Here’s what’s going to happen: Tomorrow, you will be dismissed, and I will be getting a list of all those monks. I will be adding your name to the list as a conspirator. I will tell the other elders that you acted with self-interest and you sided with those who are no longer spiritually aligned with this temple, its meaning, its practices, and its beliefs. I will nominate you all for ex-communication when I should have you all quartered.”
“Qu-Quartered?! That is not the way of the Sage!”
“The Sage’s teachings are open to interpretation, and I am gleaning them to emphasize purifying one’s self of corruption and negativity.” I took another moment to inhale and exhale my tobacco before sighing, “Quartering is practically necessary. Suppose you and your cohorts want to make a scene and bring disgrace onto the religion while disrespecting what the elders and I are doing regarding the Shinobi and Temple relationship. In that case, you are open to a punishment showing goodwill and faith. Your deaths will do nicely, I’m sure.” As I said this, I pulled out a piece of paper and set my pipe down, propping it up on a penholder and between two pens so that it would not fall over. On the paper, I started writing a decree of ‘voluntary ex-communication.’ “However- I’ll offer you an ‘out.’” When I was done writing it, I scribbled sections for our signatures. I signed with my signature and printed my name. I dated it. “In the form of voluntary ex-communication.”
“What!?” That was the only reaction he could make, and I put the pen down on the paper, but I turned it so that the signature and the document faced him so he could read it.
“You die, or you leave.” I said bluntly, “But you cannot stay.” I tapped the paper with a nail, “But I will not have you in this temple with your misguided deeds.”
Gaslighting. Manipulation. Fear-tactics. Hypocrisy. I used them here and was still spiritually sound with myself and my reasoning. I watched as he signed with a trembling hand. He seemed to be devoted to the teachings-
But I was here to take care of situations like this and people like him who tried to intervene in my designs. Indeed, I can’t have that, and indeed, one day, the Sage will forgive me for strong-arming a monk into excommunicating himself under the falsehood that he conspired with others; let’s call them ‘radical’ monks. When he was done, I voiced coolly, “You are dismissed,” and he left while I pulled the paper back to my side of the table and to face me,
That left me with the report and the details I wanted of her committing more to her role as the bridge between the two worlds, maybe even more confident in herself. It brought a smile to my face, and I decided to allow myself to slip this report out of my office and to my room so I could read it back to my friends quietly during our nightly conversation.
It was so lovely to see such details written down about how my sister helped defuse tedious situations and her little cat-friends helped too. As irritated as I was by that meddling priest, this also pleased me because it meant things were going as I wanted. She was acclimating. She was making little friends. What the hell? It’s almost like she genuinely and sincerely cared for the shinobi. Honestly, I couldn’t help but smile, and even as I tucked away the ex-communication paper, I smiled into the pipe’s mouthpiece when I picked it up to resume smoking. I smiled as I left my office, shut the door behind me, and talked down the hall and to my sacred corner with my friends: folder in hand. All my efforts so far were beginning to show the blossoms of progress, and I couldn’t be more pleased.
Soon. I was sure of it. I could feel it. Soon, she would work up through the ranks and leave. Then we would both be free.
I would also need to temper my excitement at such marvelous prospects this year.
Wed Oct 05, 2022 11:49 am
Fri Oct 07, 2022 10:20 pm
My new aide reported that my twin would participate in a "Chunnin Tournament." Some type of free-for-all duel between Shinobi to prove their mettle. It sounded like a typical dude thing- fighting each other to show whose boss. However, it was a massive deal in the Shinobi world, and they were doing it in the village arena. I had a day's notice.
Are you going to go? Georgie asked as I brushed my hair, and they sat on my makeshift vanity,
She's not supposed to interact with her family, dear. Saraj advised, and I set my comb down and glanced at my smoking pipe that sat slumbering not too far away.
Just sneak out. Georgie said, and I stared at him. You're about the age kids sneak out anyway; just go for it. As I hesitated to reply, he asked, What will they do? Yell at you and tell you not to do it again?
Georgie always made many valid points for a scorpion, and I looked from him to my reflection in the mirror. I had a few pieces of makeup, but my ability to apply them myself was at its best and my proudest moment. Comparable to a toddler smearing it over her face. My hair was too unique and loud, and the monks would spot me immediately.
This would be a time that I should be able to call upon my family for assistance.
This position kept me from seeing them not because of the workload but because they were all deeply intertwined with an off-shoot sect branch of Sage's religion, and the hypocrisy ran deeply that it was coveted and admired to be in the faith, any interaction of any kind with Shinobi was not. My sister was the family's baby, so she got much more leeway than I did in how she was allowed to operate, but I didn't have that.
What was I supposed to do now? Who would I turn to to help me? I needed to get into that arena.
If my sister was going to be there, I had to see it through. I had to make sure that she survived so that she could continue. She needed to fulfill the vision I had seen. I needed to see that fight and drummed my nails on the tiny nightstand. This would not do well at all, "If I could maybe hide my hair… I might stand a chance at getting in. I can't be gone for long, but if I time it just right, I might be able to make it back here in time before anyone realizes I'm gone." A knock at the door, I jumped into my cross-legged sitting position. My two friends hid as I uncrossed my legs, rose to my feet, and opened the door to my new aide- Priestess Hena- "Good evening."
"Good evening…I brought the report you wanted." she offered, but when I grasped the folder to take it from her- she didn't let go. This could go one of two ways.
She was going to threaten me, or she was going to accuse me. "Are you…going somewhere?" I wonder how much she heard, so I was blunt,
"What did you hear?" she didn't answer the question I asked properly because she asked her own. To come into my room and speak with me. I allowed it and shut the door, wondering if he was like me.
Was she going to pull out a knife and stab me? To take my place and rank? I turned to her quickly to prevent this because things had only just begun, and I could not die yet. She just stood there, holding the folder and looking at me with this strange look I had never seen before. It seemed as if… I could only describe the feeling when I looked at my mother as a child. For a moment, I was that child again, living that moment of looking up at my mother, who could tell me anything, and it was law. She could tell me the sky was blue because she wished it, and it would be so in my world. Those words would be foundation and reason even when they held neither in reality. This aide looked at me as if whatever word I spoke would be law.
It perturbed me. I could not tell if it was genuine or not. Why are people so fucking unsettling?
"Are you… leaving the temple?" Hena asked, and I answered 'no' as quickly as possible from anxiety and nervousness, "You just talked about not being gone for long." Ah. Busted. "Are you going to stop being an elder?"
"No, I'm not. It's just that…." How could I explain this? How could I make this situation successful for me and my goals? "I… have been trying to figure out a way to go and see the shinobi witchcraft battle royale."
"...You mean the Chunnin Exam?" Hena asked, and I nodded, to which she let out a sigh of relief, "Oh, praise the Sage; I thought you were leaving the order!" I nodded again, and she said, "I…Elder Baliquis, I really like working for you… I'd like to stay working for you. So… I'll help you go to the exam tomorrow if you let me keep working for you."
I wanted to say yes, but the facade and the mask needed to stay up and on, "Your position's stability depends on your work ethic. As long as you are productive, there should not be an issue." She seemed so happy to hear that from me, and she excitedly handed me the folder with the report,
"Yes! Ok, so the schedule for the exams is-"
The arena was a bit of a strange place to be, but mainly I believe I was more disturbed by the fact that I was out and among these people, civilian and Shinobi or not. It was weird. This was weird. So the Chunnin Exam had a handful of 'shinobi' entered into it, all wanting to move up in ranks, and I had brought a pen and a small amount of paper I had folded in half, then in half again, and in half again and snuck in through a pocket in my borrowed coat. We found seats and sat down, and I looked around anxiously. I focused on writing notes to ease the anxiety.
On the roster for people meant to be competing and fighting each other was a 'Hikari Namikaze'- perhaps another domestic short-hair? Then there was the 'Ayato Hyuuga' from my sister's team. Then there was my sister.
First to step onto the battle field was the 'Ayato Hyuuga'- "Wait. He's not a cat?" Imagine my fucking surprise when a black-haired and pale-skinned man walked onto the field when I was expecting some type of alley cat. The other person, Hikari Namikaze, was a blonde-haired, fair-skinned woman. Then there was my sister in her ceremonial robes. It had been so long since I saw her; she looked healthy enough and happier, but why did it feel…like she was nervous too? I covered my mouth when I smiled before dropping both the smile and the hand covering it. Someone called the duel to commence, but then it dawned on me.
If these were the only other people in this fight, it was essentially two-on-one against my sister. Had she even learned how to fight? She had been living in the temple; where was the opportunity for her to do such a thing? I wanted to help, and somewhere inside myself, I felt tiny pricks- drops of water on a surface through which I could feel vibrations. I didn't care what the strange feeling was; I worried she would die. What was going to happen? What if she died here before that vision came true? Someone called the fight to commence, and I reached up to tighten the hair scarf around my head that Hena loaned me to cover my hair. I don't know what I expected when I came to this arena, but I wasn't expecting them to be so fast.
The male vanished as soon as the Queen Regent said something and thankfully attacked the blonde, to which I let out a sigh of relief and watched them clash. Were all of the Shinobi this fast? I looked over at my sister, who DID react by expelling some time of gas from her mouth- "Witchcraft."- I felt myself mutter and watched as the fumes turned into a cloud that only grew in size and space. Then it happened. I felt another strange, more pronounced feeling of rippling, and it seemed to emulate from somewhere in that cloud my sister had vanished in. How terrifying this whole experience was- and it only grew worse.
A massive appendage came from the mist and pulled whatever it attached forward. I shuddered as the reptilian and horned head-bearing fearsome teeth arose above the fog and looked at the other Shinobi. It was a dragon. Holy fucking shit, Georgie was right; she had a goddamn dragon. This was- clearly- not reality. "I think I'm going to be sick." It was too much. There was another ripple I felt as something else seemed to form in the mist where my sister was. Then some type of massive sand monster arose and moved from the fog to attack the other Shinobi. Were they on my twin's side? Either way, I knew one thing from all of this:
It had come true. My vision has been a suspicion. The figure must have been the dragon with how it towered over where she had been. I almost cried from the sheer validation of it. That meant my pan was working, and she had held up her part and achieved what I saw.
They were all moving so much faster as the sand creature attacked and tossed the blonde aside, then the black-haired male made a massive attack on the blonde. She seemed to respond in some way, but this was all overwhelming. It was hard to keep track of everything going on, and where was her sister in all of this? They kept moving and moving and clashing with one another, and I struggled to follow, but something drastic happened. Once more, I didn't know what I was meant to be expecting, but I wasn't expecting the 'Hikari Namikaze' fucking flying to the queen regent in her privacy box and strong-arming her to allow the blonde to leave the battle? Bingo card. This was going on the bingo card. So I wrote it down.
Hopefully, there would not be more bingo spaces to fill as I put the pen and paper back in my lap and clenched my right fist. She made a bold speech about how she and Ayato would kill each other if they continued- wait- wait, no, this was a death match, wasn't it? "My lady…I thought this was a fight to the death?" Hena said quietly, and I nodded,
"Yeah, I did too." I looked over as the blonde was allowed to leave, leaving my sister, her dragon, whatever sand thing she summoned, and Ayato. That was three to one, and the sand-thing was putting in quite a lot of attacks.
What was this? What the fuck WAS this? This s what these Shinobi did? Fight a bit, then dip out? I didn't understand, but I watched the sand-thing turn into an actual man, and then the blonde leave with him-that, left Ayato and my sister. Teammate against a teammate. Then the dragon raised blackened winds and appeared- sweeping out the mist and sand as it floated for a minute before using its wings to rise in the air almost as if flying away.
It was gaining altitude for a dive bomb as I clenched my nails into the palm of my hand. I just watched the creature as it prepared and then dove in. Once more, whatever I was expecting was corrected when the diving blow from the beast didn't connect with the other Shinobi. I didn't see her. I didn't see my sister- then there she was- appearing from behind him with what seemed to be some sort of attack ready- but he was faster and landed a heavy blow. She collapsed onto the sand and didn't seem to be moving. I was terrified before the dragon slammed its tail between her and Ayato and scooped up her sister in scaled coils. It put her on its back and turned to face off against the black-haired male alone. This, indeed, was my vision. And I sat tensely watching. I felt thrilled and excited. If she could find control over such a creature, she had only begun to explore her abilities; surely, these could not be the depths. "Do you think they both win?" Hena asked me,
"They are both breathing; is that not victory within itself?" I asked and added, "This was an exam, so that gives the implementation that they must pass…I am not sure how they are graded, but they are the last two standing on the battlefield. Surely they both pass, then?" How wrong I was.
I saw paramedics come in from the sides of the arena to the dragon…what the Witchcraft has indeed been that devastating of a blow? They were not there for the dragon- applause started up, and I instinctually began clapping along with Hena,
"Lady Hikari and Ser Ayato have proven themselves worthy of a pass by virtue of both battle expertise and the use of misinformation. These are all qualities that Shinobi must possess. Lady Genesis has proven herself to be quite capable at summoning defenses; however she has displayed little independence and self-sustainability in battle. She will not progress." The Queen Regent said,
"Wh-What?" Hena said as I sat there, dumbfounded. Even as the princess left and Hena tugged on my arm to urge me that we must return to the temple and sneak back in to avoid suspicion. I was numb. How could that be? When we returned to my office within the temple and Hena was alone with me, she voiced, "I…I thought she was great." when I questioned who, Hena replied, "Lady Genesis! I think she handled herself well for being from the temple…she was one of the candidates selected for the shinobi introduction program, right?" I confirmed it vocally, "...Her witchcraft must be something else to summon a dragon…right?"
"I don't understand them." I mumbled, "She had more allies on the field, and yet she did not pass this exam…How? Was their test not to see what she was capable of?" To this day, I will never understand. How could I even help? I had to think of something- anything. "You are dismissed, Hena; I'm going for a walk." That's precisely what I did. I walked through the halls and to the remodeled room, between the tall, red pillars in the night-darkened room. Then I felt it. That strange ripple again. It was coming from the hallway behind me, and I ducked behind the closest pillow, thick enough to hide me from view.
"Nozomi." An all too familiar voice whispered, and I stiffened behind the pillar, "Nozomi!"
It was Izayumi. She wasn't supposed to be here. At all. It seemed like she knew that, too, as she started whispering into the incense room,
"I don't know if you're here." Lady Genosis's voice came in from the darkness around me, soft, "I…I know I'm not supposed to talk to you, but I wanted to tell you that I participated in the Chunnin Exams today." I know. I saw. "I didn't pass… there's always next year. I know I did my best, and I was… I was excited to tell you as soon as I could." There was a shuffling sound, "Ok, bye!" My sister said the last phrase quietly and quickly before I heard footsteps receding, and I looked past the edge of the pillar I hid behind. I saw her formal garments trailing behind her before they all vanished around a corner at the end of the hall she left through.
I turned around, pressed my back to the pillar as best as possible, and looked up at the ceiling. There had never been a moment where I left lonely before, but now the loneliness was suffocating, and there seemed to be gravity on me. Maybe all of these pushed-back wants and needs are finally hitting me. I needed to stay strong and stay the course, but I…felt weak. I wanted to hug her and tell her that I saw the whole thing no matter what the Shinobi thought or said, even if our temple called her things because she used their Witchcraft. That I tried to follow along, and I was lacking. That I thought she made a great effort.
That if that Ayato hadn't been so quick to whip around, they would have given her the passing marks, grade, score, or whatever she needed to pass. Fucking wizards are always getting in the way… but his victory truly did get in the way. I needed to find some type of workaround or solution from where I was to help her. She wasn't going to achieve what I wanted, as she was now, but I, too, needed to put in more work and be more diligent. That battle wasn't what I expected, but it worked out in the end. After all, we must learn from failure, and we both had quite a lot to learn.
- [ WC: 2938 ]
1) all WC towards Ninshu - Black Bird ( 7 / 4000) -> ( 2945 / 4000 ) ( 7 WC from prior post + 2938 WC from this post)
2) 0 ]
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