barrierwatching: (better haircut)
barrierwatching ([personal profile] barrierwatching) wrote in [community profile] ghostsugar2016-01-06 07:49 pm
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Rules and Regulations [Closed to Arin]

If you possessed a map of Kikuryou's former castle grounds, you would notice ancient paths laid out in various geometric diagrams, leading from the school grounds around the old Kasuga shrine and ruins of unknown buildings from centuries past. A large and exact triangle was made by the school grounds, the Kasuga Shrine, and the forest that lay adjacent to both. Heavily forested wilderness beyond the school grounds stretched as far as one could see, a sea of green. It led straight out to the high mountains in the North and West.

When one stepped over the holy barrier tied between the school grounds and the forest, it seemed as if the forest itself was watching with many pairs of eyes. Leaves moving in the wind beckoned like ghostly hands, inviting students to wander deeper in, down ancient trails and deeper into darkness. The deep greens and blues of the forest, the sounds of birds that didn't sound of this world, the sparkle of dust notes in the sunbeams... All of it made the forest of Kikuryou feel mystical enough to give a person goosebumps.

The forest was peppered with lanterns, altars, cairns, graves, and idols that spanned the long history of human habitation here. Moss-covered statues, broken stone altars, lonely looking graves with writing so worn by the rain that it could not be read anymore... those were all to be found here.

Another thing that could be found here was more grisly. Many years ago the forest had been a popular place for infanticide and the abandonment of the infirm or elderly. It was said to be haunted by those troubled spirits, that the ghosts called the living in to die and join them in suffering. Whether or not that was the cause, Kikuryou Forest was a famous spot for suicide.

None of that seemed to be occurring to Nao as she sat at the edge of a spring about a half-hour hike uphill from the school grounds. She was presently chatting away with a tiny kappa that was in the water. The creature was small, round, and green, about the size of two large apples. It looked something like what would happen if Hello Kitty had mated with a turtle and stuck on a duck bill. Nao was having an enthusiastic conversation about the best kind of cicadas. Her voice was habitually quiet, but it carried in the silence of the hills.

"I think the best kind is the tsuku-tsuku-booooosh, tsuku-tsuku-booooooosh," she was saying to the kappa as she held out a cucumber for it to eat off of. "But I can see why you like the shuwa shuwa shuwa kind. Especially if as you say, they're the tastiest."

"Warrrk, quark," came the kappa's reply, in a sound similar like a frog's croak.

"No, that's all right, I'll just take your word for it. What about the sad ones at the end of summer? Pipipipipipi, pi.... pii. Those always sound so lonely."
ghostfacin: ([sparkles])

[personal profile] ghostfacin 2016-01-07 05:06 pm (UTC)(link)
Arin had done a bit of homework. Not actual homework -- something he might regret later -- but further research about the school. A bit was accurate because the more he looked at the more anxious he became until he couldn't stand it any longer and decided to simply go out on his own and explore. He'd packed clothing for when that idea finally struck, knowing that the school was surrounded by quite a bit of nature. In addition to more comfortable attire and sensible shoes for hiking in the forest he'd brought a pack with him with some supplies for the day and some other things that seemed like a good idea to take along.

He was certain Kylar would not approve of his wandering alone. Not even as a matter of supernatural dangers but simply because hiking in strange woods by one's self was inherently dangerous. He might have gotten Kylar to come along with him but he was feeling more confident of late and wanted to see what he might be able to see on his own. The forest definitely had something powerful and mysterious about it -- even he was able to sense it. Not in detail, but the chill that would run up and down his spine now and again was a constant reminder that he was probably not alone at any time.

After a few hours wandering here and there and making sketches and notes in a little book whenever he came upon something he'd gotten hungry. The book and pencil went away in exchange for a bag of candy. There was a quiet rustle of plastic as he pulled the sweet, gummy candy out one piece at a time but he paused in his tracks (and in chewing) when he heard the sound of a voice. He moved closer until the girl and the kappa came into view at which point he was quick to duck behind a tree. This was both weird and exciting. He'd never seen a creature like the kappa before and it was everything he could have hoped for. The fact that the girl seemed to be talking with it was particularly interesting. And a little unfair. What did she have that he didn't?

Very quietly he continued to eat his candy until his hand reached the bottom of the bag and came up empty. He looked down at it to confirm that there was nothing left and frowned, discarding it where he stood. Maybe he would remember to take it with him on his way back but for the moment he was too concerned with what was happening. A few more minutes passed before he decided he might be able to sneak a little closer. Unfortunately he'd forgotten that he'd dropped the bag and his foot fell squarely on the plastic and let out a sound that made him wince and hiss at his own carelessness. Damn it!

He held as still as possible, trying even not to breathe too loudly. Maybe they hadn't heard him..
ghostfacin: ([???])

[personal profile] ghostfacin 2016-01-10 08:04 pm (UTC)(link)
Arin winced and cursed under his breath when Nao called down to him. It was his fault for being careless but that didn't make it any better. Best to own it, at least!

He turned around and moved closer, stepping out of the way of the trees until he was in full view. The hissing, angry kappa gave him a moment's pause, however. He raised a brow, looking a bit sceptical of the girl's alarm considering the size of the creature. He knew it was obviously no animal but something much more special -- and therefore fell squarely into his realm of what he'd come to see -- but he was still doubtful the tiny thing could do much against him (even if he wasn't the largest of humans; after all he spent all his time being dwarfed by Kylar).

"... An offering? Of what?"
ghostfacin: ([nyeh])

[personal profile] ghostfacin 2016-01-11 02:02 am (UTC)(link)
"Okay, okay! Geez!"

Somewhere internally a voice of reason seemed to suggest that he not laugh at the little kappa's angry flailing. That seemed like a bad idea instinctively somehow. For some reason he could only envision a Pokemon-esque Water Gun situation and if anything it was worth it.

His non-uniform clothes were expensive and getting all wet would be gross.

He dropped to his knees and pulled his pack off his back at the same time, unzipping it and rummaging around for something. He definitely didn't have salt or sake and the snacks he'd brought were supposed to be for the walk back but what else could he do? He was not about to get up and perform Single Ladies. He was not about to explain how and why he knew that song and dance by heart. Never. Never even a thought that crossed his mind.

"Uh.. sorry? And.. here? I offer you.." He held a candy bar out with both hands. "It's a Coffee Crisp. It's imported! And international shipping isn't cheap! And it's rare as hell because I only brought a few with me when I came to school! So.. it's a really, really nice offering, okay?"

Arin's words came out in a rush and he glanced up at Nao carefully when he was finished.
ghostfacin: ([omg])

[personal profile] ghostfacin 2016-01-11 04:51 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, Arin should have known better. Truly. He'd watched plenty of movies. Never, ever assume something is the only thing. There's always a bigger fish, as they say. Or a bigger Kappa.

"Holy shi-- agh!" He dropped the bar as he flailed when she shoved his head down. He hadn't been expecting that and so she successfully forced him face-first into the mud.

When she told him to start chanting his mind was still racing between a combination of confusion and what was very justified terror at the bear-sized creature that probably would enjoy eating him. Or.. whatever it was Kappas did to people. Thanks to Kylar he assumed it would eat him and then be picky about how savoury his organs were.

The sound of her chanting struck him then and jarred his memory. Bless, popular culture. Thank God or Buddha or whoever for the Internet and whichever possibly irreverent musician that thought it was a cool idea to sample Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō for a backing track. He had no idea what it meant, only that it was some sort of mantra, but he sincerely hoped it didn't mean something offensive as he chanted it. That was better than repeating 'Om' and 'Namaste', right? Thanks, Mom, for dragging your son to yoga classes.

Could Kappas read minds? Or sense energy? He had no idea but at the very least he was feeling very apologetic then. Everything about him radiated "PLEASE DON'T EAT ME, YOU CAN HAVE ALL MY CANDY."
ghostfacin: ([omg])

[personal profile] ghostfacin 2016-01-11 06:39 pm (UTC)(link)
Arin could tell they'd gone when things quieted down and the smell coming from the larger one started to clear up. Still, he stayed frozen in place, reciting the words that sounded right even if he didn't know what they meant, especially when the smaller one took his offered candy. Maybe his parents could mail him another. He should not be thinking that right now!

When the sound of the water stilled when they'd dived under he ventured a slow look aside at the girl. His face was muddy where he'd hit the ground and it was even clinging to his hair. "Is it.. over..?" he asked, his words a breathy whisper.
ghostfacin: ([hrmph])

[personal profile] ghostfacin 2016-01-12 01:02 am (UTC)(link)
"... No? I didn't even realise there were two. Do they drown people or something? If they're so dangerous why are you here?"

Now that Arin had straightened up himself, scowling at the mud on his hands and smeared on his face, he was feeling more confident again now that impending doom had passed them by.
ghostfacin: ([judging you])

[personal profile] ghostfacin 2016-01-12 07:02 am (UTC)(link)
It probably didn't help that he was somewhat immature and found her little bit of hesitation amusing. Worse that he didn't try very hard to hide it. "Well that's.. creative. Nothing that's rumoured to eat you back home does it quite like that.."

Or did they? Good thing he had someone he could ask later.

Arin, on the other hand, didn't forget the mud so easily and kept making an effort to clean off as best he could. So much for worrying about getting his clothes wet. Mud was worse. "Dunno. I was just eating and watching you talk to him.. her.. it? The little one. Maybe they smelled it? Would they get mad for not sharing?"
ghostfacin: ([sparkles])

[personal profile] ghostfacin 2016-01-12 09:34 pm (UTC)(link)
"Got it. Him. And offerings." He tapped his temple with a finger. "Won't want to make mama angry if I go wandering around again. I don't like anyone messing with my- you know.. 'business'."

For all the years prior to coming to the Academy he'd lived in the country one would have assumed he'd have picked up just a few clues about politeness from the locals. Especially around girls. But no. No, that would've been too many points in his favour.

"Well I did step on-... oh, damn. Uh.. I was noisy, you know? I interrupted your.. conversation..? You were talking to him?" He looked around him. "Is that how it works around here? Can you tell me how to talk to them?" Arin was getting more excited at the prospect by the second. This also seemed the perfect time to take the attention away from him and what he'd done. He didn't litter; he was definitely gonna bring that back with him..
ghostfacin: ([grr])

[personal profile] ghostfacin 2016-01-14 01:57 am (UTC)(link)
"Huh. Well that's interesting. I guess if I can find a cucumber somewhere I'll see if we can get off on better terms next time.."

He blinked as she asked her question, snorting a little as he held in a laugh. Held it in rather poorly, as a matter of fact, but at least he'd tried. That hadn't exactly been what he'd meant by 'business' but he'd let her believe that anyway.

At least, until he heard the rest of what she said.

"Wait. Wait. Middle-schooler? I am not!"
ghostfacin: ([snrk])

[personal profile] ghostfacin 2016-01-16 08:48 pm (UTC)(link)
Arin stared at her long enough for the silence to be awkward. Part of it was sheer disbelief and the rest was waiting for what he felt like was an inevitable 'just kidding'.

So he was small and looked young for his age. Okay. She didn't have to rub it in!

"I'm a first year at Kikuryou!" he snapped. "And why are you concerned about how mature my body is? You interested? Because it's plenty mature, thank you very much!"

Officially, the word 'mature' no longer sounded like a word by the end of his little rant. He crossed his arms and didn't exactly have to try to look offended at her.
ghostfacin: ([grin])

[personal profile] ghostfacin 2016-01-17 05:28 am (UTC)(link)
Okay. Arin was certain what he was experiencing was emotional whiplash. He couldn't keep up. Who was this girl? Was she rude or was she just innocently confused?

Did she really think he was that small and youthful-looking? Did she assume most foreigners would be taller? Maybe Kylar had been around and really, really setting the bar impossibly high for normal people.

"... You really didn't know? Honestly?" He peered at her carefully. "Because I totally thought you were being sarcastic. And of course it's possible to be interested even if you don't know a person. That's the way of the world, you know? You could see someone across a busy room and just be like 'wow. I have got to have a piece of that'.."

He raised his arms and gestured to the forest around him with a grin. "That's just nature!"
ghostfacin: ([wat])

[personal profile] ghostfacin 2016-01-18 01:16 am (UTC)(link)
Yep. Whiplash. She was like the rollercoaster from hell.

"Yeah, but.. it's like a compliment? Like before you flip out and think it's an insult consider this, okay?" He held a finger up as a gesture for her to give him a second of consideration.

"You're focusing all on the weird stuff. Consumption? That's-.. eh. But not what I'm talking about here! It can totally be about all of that but it's no different than saying someone's very pretty and you'd really like to.. uh.. get to know them. See?"
ghostfacin: ([hrmph])

[personal profile] ghostfacin 2016-01-19 04:47 pm (UTC)(link)
Arin shrugged. "It's quicker the other way? I dunno. I didn't think it mattered. Besides, it's it weirder if someone gets all fluffy and.. like that.. right away?"

Truly, he'd only gotten on the topic because she'd mentioned his body. He was really concerned about other things. Like his vanity. He had mud on his everything. His displeasure with this was written all over his face as he continued to try and get it out of his hair somehow.

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