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Sunshine&Daisies

The Silk Road

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The divine wind tugged at Kiyoko’s black hair as she made her way through the gates of Kitashiobara, and she tightened her cloak around her shoulders with deft fingers. She could smell delicious food on the wind, and she could see that the town's inhabitants were clearly celebrating, each of them at various levels of inebriation.

A festival, really, is this what they had been up to? She knew she had been gone for a long time, but she didn’t realize it had been long enough for them to start throwing parties. She could perhaps see Kaede doing this as some sort of publicity stunt, but certainly not Rin - she knew the white-haired kunoichi never dabbled in this sort of thing. This was not at all how she had pictured her return to this place, but if they were celebrating, then her homecoming may as well be part of it. Hordes of drunken people danced and mingled around her as she navigated the town’s inner streets, her black cloak never once touching anyone.

The crossing into this world had left its mark on each of them, but the effects it had on Kiyoko had been...lasting. There had been numerous mutations, some of which were just emerging, and others that she had spent time honing during her time in the village to the east. Most of these mutations had been advantageous to her, augmenting the unique abilities she already possessed, but others had been more difficult to master. With her bloodline, Kiyoko had always been able to communicate with her spider counterparts, but she had previously been unsuccessful at learning their language - the universal language of vibrations. Vibrations exist outside of the scope of one's chakra; they functioned as an indicator of one's very existence. No matter the object, inanimate or not, living or dead, if it exists in this plane, it gives off vibrations. Understanding those vibrations was the first step to understanding a language that no other shinobi had deciphered before. Doing so would solidify her claim as their Queen, and would lead to her ultimate success. Unfortunately, in large cities like this where everything had its own unique vibrations, the power gave her a fucking headache.

She felt a dull pounding begin to build in her temples, and she quickly ducked to the side streets, where there were fewer people. Dusk had fallen and the shadows were lengthening; she felt more at peace here. There were fewer people, and she could begin to tell the difference between the vibrations that resonated through the ground they walked on. In an attempt to more quickly locate Kaede and Rin, she tuned into the grid beneath her feet, listening to the earth below her. She knew they were somewhere near the center of town, but she was not yet close enough to determine exactly what their position was.

Her pace was brisk and focused, much like a predator honing in on its prey. She turned onto a street that would lead her into the depths of the city, and was pleased to find it completely empty. It was only after a minute of walking that she felt something...off. An odd presence, not necessarily threatening, but ominous nonetheless. How long had it been there, and how had she missed it to begin with? Who did it belong to? Somewhat irritated with herself, she stopped, each of her four hands already clasped around a weapon under her cloak. She didn't want trouble, as she had somewhere to be, but her curiosity had already been piqued.

Edited by Sunshine&Daisies

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Excitement found itself pulsating through his body the moment he laid his sight upon her. The shards of primary colors that made up his iris slid in an out of his pupil seemingly randomly, her fluid frame bathed in an array of auras, and oh what an aura it was. Beauty like this was to be experienced, not just looked upon, and doing so ceased any effort for suppression. His mouth parted slightly, while his tongue slid across their surface.

" Oooh, Kiyoko, the one that got away. "

His voice emerging from a shadow cast by a nearby structure 20 yards ahead of her while simultaneously stepping out into the light. Foregoing his usual attire, his body was hidden underneath a large black coat. Thick ebon strands laid about his head in an unruly state, lips stretched out into a familiar smile. His aura could have been construed as ominous, but his physical demeanor revealed no such thing. His approach was calm, yet confident. Unstable, but confined. His presence was a conflict to the senses, yet charming to those that heeded his beckoning. He'd stop 15 yards from her, arms behind his back with his left hand clasped around his right wrist.

" I've been looking for you for quite some time now, yes I have. "

His voice carrying an eccentric eloquence, an apparent trademark of his. She was indeed perfection, like the other one, and this moment washed over him in equally spaced out waves of euphoria. His search was over, and his prize was mere yards away from him. His thoughts darted left and right. His mind cataloging her most specific details, taking her in as much as he could. Vibrations meant different things to different people, and although he held no opinion on the matter,  there he stood excitedly searching for her  frequency. 

Edited by Laughter

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Kiyoko stood completely still as a voice sang to her from the shadows, and called to her by name. The shadows parted to reveal a man in black attire similar to her own, and as the dim light fell upon his features, her red eyes scanned every line of his face. She felt an almost imperceptible clench of her fingers around her weapons as she realized that she did not know this man. She did not recognize him in the slightest. But he knew her by name, which was disconcerting.

He walked closer to her, smiling, and she did not move, other than to raise her head ever so slightly in acknowledgement. Her eyes narrowed as he stopped, and she waited for him to either reveal who he was or make another move.

" I've been looking for you for quite some time now, yes I have. "

What an odd man. Had he been following her this whole time? Or even further back, prior to the crossing? And why - to kill her? Certainly not, not when he had plenty of chances to do so while she was on the road to Kitashiobara. And how did he know who she was to begin with? Did he know Satoshi, and that's why he's here? She had so many questions, but Kiyoko didn't have time for idle chatter.

“You have 20 seconds to explain who you are and how you know me”, she said calmly, her voice laced with a thinly veiled threat.

The divine wind tugged at her black pigtails, pulling the long strands of hair in front of her, egging her onward toward her friends, and toward the strange man who stood in her way. Her doll-like face gave away nothing; she was the picture of serene calm, despite the tension she held at bay in her body. Red eyes gleamed in the fading twilight as she stared at him, waiting. Darkness was falling quickly, and she had wanted to surprise Kaede and Rin while she still had the daylight to do so.

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Her voice hung in his ears like music. Such confidence and bravery in the face of the unknown was a high demand quality in his line of work. Oh how he could not wait to have her. The possibilities the near future held thrilled him to no end, and it was all that he could do to contain it. That enthusiastic smile faded into something a bit more welcoming while his head lowered momentarily in a display of respect, one that he hoped would disarm her.

" How rude of me. My name is Yoshimitsu. You may call me Yoshi, and I have quite the opportunity of a lifetime for you!

His tone betrayed him slightly, revealing that excitement he was trying to hide. He took a few more steps forward, cutting the distance between them down to 3 yards. A distance he felt was considered comfortable for conversation to those without his unconventional train of thought. Yet still, he leaned forward. His smile now tight lipped and his eyes barely visible through a thin slip between his eyelids. His hands still behind him in a display of peace, while his voice had become barely higher than a whisper.

" How would you like to become powerful? "

A strange question, but one spoken with conviction. It's delivery was not from a space of doubt, but from a space of experience. Yoshi was not offering the possibility of power, or even a glimpse of power, no. He was offering exactly what he inferred, with the same veritable weight and casualness someone would give when offering a glass of water. The air was still and silent between them, and while he returned to an upright posture, his facial expression did not change. Was he serious? As far as physical deduction was concerned, Yoshi believed everything he said, or at least displayed as much. His frayed hair laid messy on top of his head, his lower jaw rugged from unshaven stubble, and around his eyes dark from apparent lack of sleep. He was a workaholic, and on the constant search for the new limits his intelligence could breakthrough, and since coming to this new land, one far different from his own, his curiosity to break it's reality fueled his already insatiable greed for science. 

" Hmmmmmmmm?¿?¿?¿?¿?¿? "

 

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Kiyoko maintained her position as the man walked toward her. As he got closer, she was able to get a better look at his features, and she realized that he was not unattractive. However, he did not look particularly well, like he hadn't slept properly in a long time. He stopped a few yards from her, and it looked like he was trying to contain his excitement about...something.

"How rude of me. My name is Yoshimitsu. You may call me Yoshi, and I have quite the opportunity of a lifetime for you! "

Kiyoko raised an eyebrow, somewhat surprised at the direction this conversation was going.

" How would you like to become powerful? "

In most respects, Kiyoko could be considered beautiful. She had large blood-red eyes, lips that formed a natural pout, and long, raven’s wing black hair that hung down to her knees. She had a doll-like appearance that often attracted older men, and so she was used to creepy men approaching her for unsavory reasons. However, this question caught her completely off guard.

A frown flashed across her face for a brief second, and then she barked out a laugh.

“And here I was, thinking that you knew me. But if you actually knew who I was, you'd know that I am already powerful,” she scoffed.

The man was a charlatan, or perhaps an addict of some kind, judging from his appearance. There was nothing he could offer her that would make her more powerful than she already was, or at least nothing that Rin augment for her - and she said as much.

“I don't need whatever magical solution you are offering, stranger. Now, I have somewhere to be,” she said with a fake sweetness to her tone, and she moved to walk around the man.

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In all honesty, this was an unexpected rebuff. Faulty calculations caused by the surging flow of adrenaline was the obvious culprit. However, this brick wall of rejection brought him back down to reality. That unbridled excitement had died down, leaving him sober and disappointed. Her dismissal of his intentions was actually bit humorous once the shock faded away. It was your typical 'well of course' moment as he reminded himself that the typical person didn't share his level of ambition or curiosity, and he wasn't in the game of convincing people to accept his generosity. Her intention and execution to move around him registered in his mind, and it was followed by an audible chuckle.
 
" I see.  "
 
His head tilted downwards slightly while his right hand rose to his face. The forefront phalanx of his middle finger pressed against the plastic bridge of his glasses, adjusting them to sit correctly on his nose. At his behest, chakra began to swell within and throughout his body, and immediately he could feel his body begin to feel lighter and stronger. His muscles tensed up and for the briefest of moments, whatever that was contained within that eccentric facade revealed itself. A monstrous aura of malefic intent erupted from him, and at that exact moment, his body flickered out of existence seemingly instantly and with it so, too, did the aura vanish. Almost as fast as he vanished did he reappear, however, he was now on the opposite side of her than he originally was with his left shoulder inches away from her left shoulder. His left arm was somewhat spread in her path with his hand holding up a blank white card the size of a post-it note.
 
" At least take my card, in case you change your mind. "
 
His voice floated like a strand of silk, soft, smooth, and unbreakable. With all this motion came with it a faint but strange and bitter scent, and now that she was, as least momentarily, near him, she too would be able to smell and taste it. it was a fragrance he was sure that she'd recognize, or at least be able to surmise it's origin. But that was a conversation for another time, another day. Assuming she took the card, or even if she walked passed it, Yoshi would continue casually walking down the street in the opposite direction that she was going. His hands would be found hidden within pockets, while his head hung loosely using the angle to hide a devilish grin.
Edited by Laughter

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Kiyoko began to walk around the man, who seemed genuinely startled that she wasn’t interested in him or what he had to offer. She had seen this reaction before, and it usually culminated in anger on the part of the man who felt he had been scorned. And, typically, if they decided to get just a little too close, she’d slit their throat and be done with it.

Kiyoko was not surprised by the man’s movement, or that, in the blink of an eye, he was on the other side of her. What caught her off guard was that in a single instant, the man’s aura swelled into something far more immense and sinister than it had been when they were simply conversing; it was significantly more malevolent than when she felt his initial approach. A tingling sensation flooded through Kiyoko as time slowed and darkness crept in.

Is this fear? How could someone’s mere aura be so formidable and menacing that it's affecting me this way?

The feeling was overwhelming, but it only lasted for a brief moment before it receded.

His voice washed over her like water in a gentle-moving river, and she was brought back into reality, away from the darkness of her thoughts. She noticed a faint, acrid scent, one that struck her as being familiar but she couldn’t quite put her finger on what it was.

The force of his aura alone had been enough to rekindle her initial curiosity. Glancing down at the card in front of her, she plucked it out of his hand in a swift movement. It was blank on the side that she could see, so she flipped it over - only to find that the reverse side was blank too.

Still recovering from the effect his aura had on her, she asked slowly, “Hey, wait...this is blank”. Her confusion was evident; obviously there was a trick to this, but at the moment, she had no idea what that was. She turned her head to the side to look at him directly, but he was already walking away from her.

In the moments that she waited for his answer, she realized what the scent had been. Poison. One that she knew could cause irreversible damage to the body if it was breathed in large amounts...and she could tell it had been coming from his breath. That interested her more than anything else; at least, she was curious as to how he was doing it. She tucked that nugget of information away for later thought.

It dawned on her that from the moment his aura shifted, and from that point on, the vibrations he emitted had changed too. It wasn’t anything she had experienced before, and to her knowledge, it wasn’t something anyone should be able to do. It was as if he was an entirely different person.

"There are those who weave the web of destiny, and there are those who get trapped in it."

Edited by Sunshine&Daisies

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