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."

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