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Lost At Sea (ATTN: Bleach)

on Fri Jul 29, 2011 11:07 pm
.:: OOC ::.

This is a story arc that Bleach and myself have been planning for a couple of days now. Beginning is present time, but will probably elapse onwards into the future - Should be fine, as I doubt it'll interfere with any international events and the likes.

Opening thematic cultureporn -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bAUK-aoqt8

.:: IC ::.

Out at sea, alone, a young adult Toškhát male battles against an onslaught of king waves, turbulent tides and treacherous rains, the cries of his small dinghy as it tosses about uncontrollably with each turn of tide drowned out by the sound of howling winds and unforgiving walls of water battering his pelt from head to toe without relent.

A strong and fit example of a Toškhát male standing at nearly 3M, against the solitude of the storm, he clung to his small vessel like an ant at the mercy of a predetermined fate.

He'd stolen the small dinghy from the fleet of his commander - An aggressive, loathsome tyrant whom sought only his own ends, from whom the young Toškhát only sought escape. Reasoning had been that the smallest of vessels would be the least likely to be missed, and the most adequate choice to avoid being seen, and intentions had been to circumnavigate his homeland and seek refuge with another commander to whom he could more comfortably serve under.

Alas, things had not gone according to plan.

He'd head out from the coast and take a turn once the coast could be barely seen from the horizon line, and begin his circumnavigation, but about halfway out, a freak storm set in. Within a matter of minutes, it went from warm, blue skies, to cold, dark and gray. With only a single, small sail, and one oar, the moment the water became turbulent, he had no way to control his small vessel. Once under the mercy of the storm, the tide pulled his dinghy further and further out, until eventually, he knew neither where he was or where he was going.

Panic began to set in. He was well aware of the situation he was in and the risk it involved, but all he could do was hope that his vessel held in tact and that he eventually either came to land or that the storm ceased before the small dinghy broke up in the surf.

The storm moved west, pulling him and his dinghy with it, the waves rapidly becoming higher and higher, stronger and rougher.

A few days passed.

A number of times, the dinghy rolled over entirely, the waters battering both him and it with a fearsome vigilance, and without food or water, without adequate warmth and under the stress of combating the storm, by present time, he felt weak and helpless.

Suddenly, as seemed inevitable, yet another king wave hit - The final and last blow for the vessel so far away from home. With a heavy lurch, and then, a cracking sound, the dinghy simply fell apart, wood instantly dragging under the tide in all directions.

Panicking, the young male unsheathed his claws and latched onto the main structural beam and dug in with all his strength, his body hugging to the wood tightly.

Pulled under the water momentarily, when the wave passed, he found himself afloat, bobbing up and down in the water as the long plank of wood tossed about carelessly.

Of course, in this weather where one couldn't see more than a few inches from their face, he had no way to know, but in his days he'd floated west until reaching within a few kilometers of the east coast of Kyokai - As the storm reached the mountains, it'd eventually dissipate, and once more, leave behind warm, blue skies. From the coast, one would simply see a dark and fearsome storm approaching from the eastern seas, disappearing as it came close, with merely a gentle, light rain reaching land.

The young male felt his strength waning and his eyes growing heavy - His body felt numb. After some several minutes, when he simply could stay awake no longer, one thought, and one thought alone, came to mind.

I don't want to die out here..
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Re: Lost At Sea (ATTN: Bleach)

on Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:31 am
At an eastern coastal bay by the eves of the Kamizawa Mountain range, a small fishing village lay. The citizens of Mibu were proud, hardy folk who made a living off of inter-city trade and of course their fish markets. Mibu was small, however beautiful in scenery with the snow capped mountains to it's western end and the flowing green valleys at the north and south. Being right on the Arashi Sea, fish were plentiful, and in large varieties making Mibu quite famous. They alone procured the Wild Arashi Carp suitable for luxury dining that cities all across the country coveted.

Mibu itself was quaint. The homes were of the traditional Kyokan style of course, and a bit more modernized than some of the smaller villages on the Island of Joushu at least. The residents numbered up to around one hundred and fifty, allowing for a strong communal bond that the cities definitely did not have. At the center of the ovular village was a large green, filled with a Koi Pond and surrounded by wild Sakura trees. At the northern head of the village, surrounded into the woods, was the Ayasugumi Shinto Shrine dedicated to the God of the Storms and Sea, Susanoo. An isle of Torii Gates led the way through the woods to the beautiful shrine building that sat perched only just above the treeline on a hill. Within the city, the Shogun's presence was only known through a few guards that were stationed for the village's protection, and the Torunaga Clan flags that flew all over the place. Being near Eidou however proved to only bolster the small village's display of patriotism.

A lone fisherman had awoken at sunrise, preparing his small boat and his gear to catch his own supply for the market. He was neither well-to-do, nor poor himself, yet he was well respected by the small village as an out-spoken advocate of the Shogunate. Being kind and giving, his cared for his village more than his own life - demonstrating as much with his protests against the current Emperor and the Ishin-shishi.

"Off to get the catch of the century, eh Sagara-san?" A fellow fisherman called out to him as they both stood at the docks protruding from the small village's pier.

Laying his tackle box and pole into his boat, he looked over to the old man and gave a fond grin. "If I'm lucky, maybe so, Yura-san." Ichiro Sagara said.

Climbing into his boat, the Mizukamo (trans. "Water Gull"), he shoved off from the dock as soon as he let loose the moorings. Setting down the two sails to his sailing sloop, he allowed the wind to catch the white sails. Drifting lightly through the waters, he steered the boat at the helm, turning the rudder to leave the bay. He expected to be out on the waters for hours - he prepared his lunch and all the bait he'd need for a day at sea. Mibu would only be around five miles from where his intended catching spot was, he knew it well.

Heading further eastward, he lay anchor and prepared his lines and nets for his catch. As the hours progressed, he indeed caught some rather large Ocean Bass and even a few Monk Fish. Sitting on the calm waters, he scanned the horizon to see if any other ships were around, after all it got lonely all alone there miles out to sea. When he spotted something peculiar, he deemed to fetch a scope.

Extending the brass barrel of the scope, he still was unsure of what he was looking at. He was a figure, leaning over a piece of drifting wood. They looked shipwrecked to him, adding a bit of caution to the sight. Looking to his bulwark, he found his yari spear shelved onto the wall. Retrieving it, he hoped that whomever it was wasn't dangerous. Pulling up anchor, he purposefully sailed for the figure, and laying to his port side, he waited until the floating body was by his hull.

Whatever it was, it was a bit larger than a normal human, and had fur. A bit repelled by the sight, he poked the body with the haft-end of his spear, hoping to stir whatever it was - whoever it was.

"Oi... bujika? Anata wa, nanpa koto ga arimasu ka?" (trans. "Hey... are you alright? Have you been shipwrecked?")

When he... or she did not answer at once, he was certain that they were unconscious. At that, he used the side of his spear to slightly flip the person over to get a look at their face. It was some kind of anthropomorphic cat-like creature, yet held significantly human characteristics. He was slightly dazed by such an odd being that he forgot the situation he was in. Where had this person come from? Where they dangerous?.

Deciding that those were questions for later, he hastily hoisted the person onto his boat and sailed for Kyokai as fast as the wind would take him. He knew, at the bottom of his heart, that he should, and would care for this person. If they had any sense of honor, they wouldn't prove dangerous to the man who saved them, right?

............

Perhaps an hour later, he set the exhausted creature out of his boat and brought him (by the help of some others) to his small cottage further into the village. He kept the person wrapped well - not to hide them, but to keep them warm of course - therefore none of the villagers paid any heed to what they were doing and went about their daily routines.

As he opened the door, a young woman came forward and surprised backed away as soon as her husband was through the door with the strange bundled person. After he explained his situation to her, she shut the door and nodded, helping him carry his load to the spare bedroom of the cottage to allow their new guest some well earned rest. Immediately, his wife started to prepare a meal for when he woke up.
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Re: Lost At Sea (ATTN: Bleach)

on Sat Jul 30, 2011 2:04 am
Plagued by strange and nightmarish dreams, likely amplified by the shock of his encounter with the seas, though their guest's body slept well, his mind did not.

Some hours passed - That same day, but long after, due to the chores and necessities of village life that either of the cottage's two residents would've had opportune time to wait for their guest to awaken, he began to stir.

In his delirium, eyes still closed, he called out. "Káljá déyá.. Yá nékênár.. Ká dédjáren.." (Trans: "Where am I.. I don't understand.. What is happening..")

[ OOC: Not random. I've actually gone to effort of writing up a dialect for this. Hooray for procrastination and perfectionism, lol. ]

After several seconds, opening his eyes, he looked to his surrounds - Eyes darting, he quickly realised that he had no idea where he was or how he got there. His first instinct, lacking an understanding of the situation, was panic.

He immediately attempted to quickly get up: A mistake. Given his condition, he wouldn't have been capable of doing too much at that time, and naturally, the moment his body lifted from the bed, it fell, rolled off and collapsed onto the floor beside.

He inhaled sharply, the slightest snarl on his face momentarily.

Laying there for a few moments, his mind came to lucidity, and he realised - He knew not where he was, but at least, he had not drowned. Whoever brought him here, likely, saved his life, and had they wanted to bring harm, such had long since been opportune. Likely, in any case, he was, at least, far more safer where he was than on the open seas. He went to check to his side and quickly remembered that he'd long since lost his weapons, torn away by the storm in its early stages before the end of first light. Luckily, he still had his clothes - Those few parts that hadn't been shredded away by the waves, at least.

Opening his eyes once more, he carefully pulled himself up alongside the bed and looked around once more.

He did not recognise the design nor style of the room's interior, but it was quite clearly not that of his homeland's. Humble, warm and welcoming - Simple, likely civilian, yet well designed. Adequate size, but with door width and wall height slightly less than that familiar to his kin, and from his best guess, likely, human, though he knew not of which origin.

He could see a window on the far side of the room - Latched, closed and covered. After a moment, he realised he could detect several different smells, too, most notably, the smell of warm food - Rice, mixed with something else. He knew of rice, for it was available in his homeland, though was restricted to only one of the five islands and not regarded as a common staple, but wasn't entirely sure of what else he was smelling.

Pulling himself up towards the source of the smell, he saw a bowl sitting on a bedside table. It contents weren't entirely familiar to him and he wasn't sure what to think of it, but he wasn't going to be picky - He hadn't eaten in nearly a week, and he was fairly certain that whoever brought him here, wouldn't bother saving his life only to poison him with bad food immediately afterwards. He took a mouthful - Rice, some sort of meat, and a few other things - The meat, likely.. Fish. A moment of irony, he thought - Just like the storm, a gift from the sea that he hadn't noticed until after he'd embraced it. The meal, all in all, somewhat different to what he was used to, but he enjoyed it - Easy, pleasant and warming. Before he knew it, he'd finished the meal - No mess, no scrap, no fuss.

Mind now lucid, and with his meal gone, thoughts wondered back to his situation and circumstances. He'd succeeded at escaping from the clutches of his former commander, but in the process, failed to reach his destination, lost his dinghy, almost drowned and found himself in an unfamiliar place - He needed his bearings.

Before he had a chance to act, he heard footsteps approaching the room. Before they - whoever they were - reached the door, he attempted to pull himself up. He succeeded in bringing himself to a standing position, though he did not feel stable on his feet - His strength had far from fully returned, and as they opened the door, he found himself partially supporting his weight by raising his arm against the bedside table.

As the door opened, he looked towards it, awaiting whoever was to step through. At that stage, he had no idea what he'd say, or even if they'd understand him at all, and to a degree, would likely depend on whoever it was that stepped through. So he just looked.
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Re: Lost At Sea (ATTN: Bleach)

on Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:04 pm
The fisherman had ended his task for the day as soon as he brought the strange guest home with him. So, instead of setting off once again into the Arashi Sea to catch more fish, he sat with his wife in the village's center. They looked up to the slowly drifting clouds and the deep blue sky overhead. Truly, today was a peaceful day - utterly ordinary, aside from their visitor of course. Glancing to one end of the village, he found the small guard station over by the northern end of the village at the main road. He deemed that it was likely not the best idea to tell the guards of their guest - it might stir up unneeded trouble (or so he hoped).

Looking at the person while they slept, he was still unsure whether he could be safe with him. He hoped that their guest wasn't some barbaric monster; then of course they'd have to call on the guards. His wife assured him however that she believed he was quite harmless, as she cooked her guest's soup. Now, outside among his fellow people, he wondered how they would react to such a thing. Would they accept him... or her, in? Or would they shun the guest and them alongside for even allowing it safe haven? Sighing, he looked to the sun's shadow upon a large stone sun-dial by the Koi Pond. It was getting later - he wondered if their guest was awake now.

Walking back to their small cottage, they found that not a thing had been stirred, however at movement from the guest bedroom, they knew their guest was awake. Moving for the sliding shoji door, Ichiro Sagara slid it opened and peered inside - his wife was close behind, a curiosity obvious in her expression.

Their guest was indeed awake, somewhat startled, confused, and perhaps a bit frightened. It was understandable - after all he awoke to find himself in a foreign place like Kyokai. Sagara gave a nervous chuckle as he entered the room and dragged a stool over to the bed. He motioned for the Toshkhat to get back into bed, seeing as how he had been through quite an ordeal. He was using the bedside table as a support - obviously he wasn't completely well.

"Kibun wa do? Anata wa nani ga hitsuyodesu ka?" (trans. - How are you feeling? Do you need anything?).

Seeing the utter confusion upon their guests face, the fisherman scratched his head in thought. How could he communicate with such a person - they didn't know his language at all.

"Anata no namae wa nanidesu ka?" (What is your name?), He thought aloud.

A thought suddenly occurred to him. Going to a desk, he fetched a piece of parchment and a quill with ink. Dipping the quill, he scribed a small figure of a person and a question mark alongside pointing to the figure. He hoped their guest would understand that he was asking for their name. Perhaps soon, their guest would start picking up some of their language... he would have to be a teacher for once.
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Re: Lost At Sea (ATTN: Bleach)

on Sat Jul 30, 2011 1:41 pm
OOC: Is 1:28 AM and I'm delirious, so apologies if this is short. Wanted to get something in tonight though.

As the fisherman entered the room and spoke, the young Toškhát listened attentatively, though he did not understand what he was hearing, and watched carefully. At that time, he wasn't entirely sure of what of what he should be doing - He had numerous questions, as undoubtedly did his hosts, but unless they could understand one another, such would be a difficult endevour. "Anata no namae wa nanidesu ka?"

When the young Toškhát didn't respond, the fisherman took to quill and parchment - Their two languages, though very different from one another and not mutually shared, did share similarities between particular words, and with that, with the picture, it quickly became apparent to the young Toškhát what his host was asking of him. Tentatively, keeping as polite and calm a tone as possible, pointing to himself with his free hand, he attempted to respond as best he could. "Namae Kaie. Yá namé Kaie."

Kaie recognised neither the language of nor the people that he spoke to at that time, but, undoubtedly, if he hoped to communicate effectively with them, he'd have to learn. Gently, wary of anything that could potentially cause alarm, Kaie pointed to the fisherman and returned the question. "I kádé tú namé?" (Trans: "And what's your name?").

Questions raced through his mind, but he could easily tell that this was something to be best taken one step at a time.
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Re: Lost At Sea (ATTN: Bleach)

on Sat Jul 30, 2011 2:13 pm
Overjoyed at the leap that they had made in only a short amount of time, Ichiro Sagara chuckled and nodded to the Toshkhat with a wide, friendly smile. Pointing to himself he replied to Kaie.

"Watashi no namae wa Ichiro Sagara desu. Ichiro Sagara." The fisherman introduced, repeating his words a second time more slowly to make sure his guest would remember how to reply to such a question the next time.

On his parchment, he scrawled down the Kyokan characters, the Kanji that represented his name. Afterward, he pointed to himself again, showing his name visually and how it was written in the elegant characters of the Kyokan system.

イチロー相良

Turning to his wife, who stood just beside him, he pointed to her with his hand. Bowing the woman, perhaps a few years younger than the man, she put on a pleasant smile and introduced herself.

"Watashi wa, Yue Sagara desu. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu (I am Yue Sagara. Pleased to meet you.)"

Yue was a young woman around 30 or so. She was rather beautiful, slender and tall - short against her husband. She had hazel eyes; a kind, full face; and dark brown hair that reached down to her waist in waves. That particular day, she wore a summer yukata (short kimono), baby blue and decorated with white lilies as a design.

Next, he flipped his parchment over and started to draw another figure. He tried to show a strong person, and a characteristically weak or ill person. He wished to know if Kaie was alright.

"Anata wa, Kaie o bujidesu? (trans. Are you alright, Kaie?)" Ichiro asked after showing his figure drawing.
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Re: Lost At Sea (ATTN: Bleach)

on Sun Jul 31, 2011 12:15 am
Kaie paused for several seconds - His host's second question didn't have the convenience of similar words between languages, nor did Kaie quite grasp the meaning of his second diagram, as was apparent by his expression. Not entirely sure how to answer, he thought it best to return greetings. Turning to each of the two in turn as he spoke back their names, in part to acknowledge and in part to confirm, he pointed, prior to, gesturing in a manner, unbeknownst to either party, conveniently natural to both cultures and common amongst colleagues and friends - a short dipping of frame, deeper than a nod and shallower than a bow. His understanding of their names, correct, though slight accent apparent. "Itširó Sagara; Yué Sagara."

Turning his head slightly to a side-on glance, he indicated to the diagram. "Azve, nene yá nékênár.. (Sorry, but I don't understand..)"

After a moment or two, Kaie, pointing upwards in a circular motion in an attempt to better convey his meaning, looking to Ichiro, spoke. "Nn.. Káljá dé dáljá? (Uh.. Where is this place?)"
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Re: Lost At Sea (ATTN: Bleach)

on Sun Jul 31, 2011 12:50 am
Ichiro thought that Kaie wouldn't understand his second question, however his disappointment soon turned to joy as their guest spoke their names (albeit with quite the accent). And afterward, he even did something of a bow, though not quite - Ichiro deemed it was likely a custom of his own people. Returning in manner, he bowed instead, showing Kaie just how the people of Kyokai acted.

After some time, Kaie made a circular motion upwards, an attempt to convey some message to Ichiro. Bewildered, Ichiro looked to Yue who merely shook her head - she didn't understand either. However, something occurred to him then. Perhaps he was asking where they were, the gesture was pointing for the sky - where in the world was this man. Ichiro smiled and bowed shortly again. Sitting on the stool before the bed, he looked to Kaie.

"Kaie-san, anata wa Kyokai ni ari... Kyokai no Bakufu. (Kaie, you are in Kyokai. The Shogunate of Kyokai)." Ichiro answered, hoping that he was easy to understand this time around.

On his parchment, he started to draw; this time it was not a figure. Slowly but surely, the gradual shape of a land quite foreign to the Toshkhat came to be on that parchment. The fisherman had always been quite proficient at cartography, so drawing a map of Kyokai with the basic shapes of the Three Islands was quite simple. He labeled only a few things - the Arashi Sea to their east, the Great Ocean to the west coast of Kyokai; the Three Islands of Watari, Hekkaido, and Joushu; the Capital just to their west, Eidou; and finally a small dot at the eastern coast of Kyokai where they were located - Mibu. Pointing to each, he vocalized them as he went along, looking to Kaie for any reaction to the names.
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Re: Lost At Sea (ATTN: Bleach)

on Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:38 am
Kaie couldn't understand the particulars of the fisherman's words, but did recognise one word in particular - Kyokai.

Kaie had never before left the Holy Empire, and knew very little of what lay beyond it - Unsurprising, given the previous Dominante's isolationist views, the civil war prior to his reign and Kaie's own personal background. Nonetheless, like many of his peers, though he knew few details of the world beyond the Empire, he was raised to at least know the names of some several countries and territories that lay beyond. Therefore, at hearing the word, he instantly knew where he was so far as country was concerned. But for what it was worth, the fisherman could've been saying Atlantis - Though the name was well known, the implications of the name were not - As any formal relations between the Holy Empire and Kyokai would've been both far and few between and conducted over a century earlier and anyone from either country that knew anything about the other long since dead, collective memory only existent in shady historical record, beyond the name, he knew nothing, except that he had awoken in a mysterious land across the ocean. "Kyokai..?"

Kaie kept exceptionally close attention as the fisherman drew his map, repeating the fisherman's vocalisations as he indicated the names of each part. As both a quick learner and understanding the dire importance of knowing exactly where he was, he had every intention of remembering these names as best he could.

After the fisherman had finished, Kaie pointed to small dot, and looking to the fisherman, with his best attempt to pronounce what he'd heard correctly, spoke. "Dáljá dé.. Kyokai no Bakufu, Mibu..? (This place is.. Mibu, Shogunate of Kyokai?)"

Just as with the fisherman to Kaie, Kaie watched carefully for the fisherman's reaction to his question.

Waiting a moment, Kaie motioned to the parchment and quill, a gestured request for its use.

Taking the pen and quill in hand, as far to the east of Kyokai as the width of the parchment would allow, Kaie drew the broken edge of an additional island - the far border of that part of the Holy Empire from where he'd fled. Kaie's experience with cartography was not in the least comparable to that experience of his host, but though not absolutely accurate, the information conveyed by his own small addition to the sketch was adequate. Once done, he drew a small dot, indicating from where he'd set sail, accompanied by a broken arrow, pointing from that dot, over the sea and towards Mibu. Pointing with his finger, tracing along the arrow, and then pointing to himself, he spoke. "Yá wáren aú aést, aú há Toškhát Kait Guótšué (I came from the east, from the Holy Empire)."
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Re: Lost At Sea (ATTN: Bleach)

on Sun Jul 31, 2011 11:08 am
Ichiro had nodded happily at his guests understanding. Yes indeed, they were in the small eastern coast village of Mibu, in the land of the Shogunate of Kyokai. When the quill and parchment were taken, he watched interestedly as Kaie started a rudimentary sketch of where he thought he had come from. As he drew a landmass to Kyokai far far west over the seas, Ichiro's eyes widened. Kaie had started to trace over his path - it appeared as though he had set sail from the Land to the West, was mutinied... or shipwrecked (he could only guess), and then was sent adrift across the ocean all the way to Mibu. Yue had covered her mouth with both hands in surprise at the ordeal their guest must have gone through. Ichiro knew now that Yue would start begging him to stop fishing out so far from Kyokai for paranoia and fear of losing him.

"Yá wáren aú aést, aú há Toškhát Kait Guótšué." Said Kaie, pointing to himself.

Ichiro couldn't help but suppress a laugh. It was like the 'blind leading the blind' at the moment. Who would have thought a situation so grave could also be so ridiculous at the same time? He couldn't understand any of his words, however he did catch one. It sounded quite familiar, but he couldn't pin where he had heard it. Finally, it dawned on him -

While unloading his ship on the pier, some days ago, he found a Capuan ship docked close by. The dwarves were speaking their usual chatter, and he couldn't help but listen. Even though he was not learned in the Capuan language, he understood a bit through prior negotiations in business with their kind. He caught the word Toskhat that day, as well as Holy Empire. So that was where their new friend came from...

"Toskhat...?" Ichiro pointed to Kaie, affirming his own beliefs and waiting for a reaction. This time at least he didn't speak any Kyokan to confuse their guest. Sooner or later, he would have to learn to speak it though.
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Re: Lost At Sea (ATTN: Bleach)

on Sun Jul 31, 2011 12:47 pm
With a simple word, common to both languages, Kaie nodded. "Hai (Yes)."

So far, everything had gone extraordinarily well, he'd thought - He hadn't been certain of what to expect of those he knew he'd inevitably meet upon waking up, but he'd managed to communicate, to a degree, with this Kyokan couple, despite the language barrier, and they'd proven to be both friendly, hospitable and patient.

Not entirely sure of what to do next, looking unsure of himself, and knowing full well that any complicated dialogue would likely be entirely lost having neither party know the other's native tongue, with another of his nod-bows, he simply gave his thanks. "Térima sú.. (Thank you both..)"
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Re: Lost At Sea (ATTN: Bleach)

on Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:40 am
Ichiro didn't know exactly what Kaie said, however the context in which is was said was in greatfullness. He was happy that they had at least started to understand one another. As long as their guest was well behaved and kind to them and the people of Mibu, Ichiro would allow Kaie to stay under their roof - this he had decided.

"Kamawanai (it's not a problem)." Ichiro said in a kindly dismissive tone.

Looking at Kaie before leaving him to his privacy, he could tell it would take some days of rest before he was fully recovered. Though he had to fish, he was confident that Yue could take care of him while he was gone, after all it isn't like their guest was a small child. He and she wanted to know so much about Kaie, everything about the Holy Empire and his life before the shipwrecking. And yet, he also was excited to introduce this Toskhat into a new world. With a smile, he lightly closed the spare room's door and followed his wife into a small common area of their traditional styled home. Sitting at a small, low table, the two knelt upon soft cushions and quietly discussed their days and their thoughts on their guest. They both wondered how he would fare there in Kyokai.


. . . . . Many days later . . . . .


The date was June 20th, 1571. It had been nearly an entire month since the Toskhat was swept into the embrace of Kyokai's waters. In that time, progression was quite noticeable for the fisherman's guest. Kaie had learned some bits and pieces of the Kyokan language - phrases and words that were indeed important to know should one wish to at least make it by in the village. Still, so much was left to teach; it was quite an undertaking on the part of Ichiro and Yue Sagara.

The village of Mibu was introduced to their new found citizen after around five days of his recovery. The guards were notified beforehand by the fisherman himself, and though they were wary of allowing a strange foreigner place to stay there, through out of respect for Ichiro they allowed it to pass. Ichiro knew that if Mibu's province's Daimyo were to learn of this Toskhat's existence, it would mean trouble. He chose not to tell Kaie of this for his guest's own safety.
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Re: Lost At Sea (ATTN: Bleach)

on Tue Aug 02, 2011 11:19 am
Relatively quiet, in part, due to the language barrier, and in part, due to the fear of potentially branding a negative impression, Kaie vigilantly did his best to remain attentative to every last detail of his experience and vigilantly held true to a particular way of being – As polite as possible at all times, a calm, slow and respectable tone of voice, speaking with clarity and bearing appropriate, non-aggressive body language at all times. During his recovery, he did little and rarely left the room, but made effort to communicate as best he could with Ichiro and Yue, at times when they weren't preoccupied, as did they with him.

Communication was slow, but he had gradually, through talking to his hosts, learned some of the basics of the language of Kyokai, but there were many things that were still difficult to communicate. Several times, Kaie thought that Ichiro and Yue had asked him more about where he had come from, about the Holy Empire and its islands, but simply, the appropriate language to convey the appropriate answers were lacking, and some things were too difficult to describe with mere body language and gesture. In some ways, this was disappointing, but in other ways, Kaie thought it perhaps for the best – He knew, the moment he'd arrived, confirmed more so as his short time in Kyokai grew, that there were some things about his homeland that were simply best left unsaid. Kaie had no doubt that any possible long term chances of his survival in Kyokai were heavily affluent on his hosts' trust.

Once Kaie had adequately recovered, Ichiro and Yue introduced him to some of the other local villagers. Though everyone was polite and friendly, he could easily sense the apprehension, caution and fear that others felt towards him – Biologically wired to detect minute changes in body language as a necesssitated course of evolution, despite the effort by these villagers to hide any such cues, such a feat would pass without surprise. However, out of respect to Ichiro and Yue, the villagers welcomed and accepted him openly, and he held no doubts that such reactions were likely the best and most desirable outcome of those outcomes possible.

Kaie's way of being extended wholly to the entirety of those he met and interacted with, without exception, but perhaps to extention – It was Ichiro and Yue that had first taken him in after he'd almost been claimed by the sea, naturally, Kaie feeling closer to those two than anyone else, as a result to which Kaie spoke only to others if spoken to first or if necessary. That being said, once he'd recovered, he was keen to help out wherever necessary and wherever he could, attempts, in part, to contribute to the village, to stay active, but additionally, to gain the trust of those around him. He'd arrived in Kyokai entirely by accident, his original intentions being merely to sail to a different island of his homeland, but since arriving, and having many a number of days to carefully think his situation over while he recovered, he'd strongly considered that this may be permanent, for he knew of no way to return home. Furthermore, he wasn't entirely sure if he'd want to even if he did know of such a way – Ichiro had plucked him from the grasp of the sea, saving Kaie's life, to which Kaie felt a debt, and though, at that time, he did not know how, he intended to somehow repay that debt; Additionally, he never felt particular safe or comfortable in his homeland regardless of who he was or how well accepted he may or may not have been, and though Kyokai, to him, was a strange and new experience, there was a certain feeling – a sensation – associated with this small coastal village, Mibu, which, though he'd felt in his homeland before and was not entirely unfamiliar with, he'd never felt so strongely before – A gentle, transcient feeling: Tranquility.

His first attempt to help out was to Yue, who appreciated the thought, but quickly made clear that particular tasks in their village – cleaning, cooking, gathering and etcetera – traditionally belonged to the woman of the house, undoubtedly, a male assisting in such tasks, yet alone a strange furred male and foreigner, a seemingly awkward concept. Though offering, Kaie would make no attempt to push further. Assisting Ichiro with his fishing would be an appropriate task and generally appreciated, but apprehension born of Kaie's prior experience with the sea made such a concept somewhat uncomfortable and somewhat fearsome for both Kaie and Ichiro alike, as became quickly apparent to both – Besides, Ichiro was traditionally a lone fisherman and wasn't accustomed to frequently taking partners with him on the open seas. Kaie had been somewhat modest and fearful of approaching anyone other than Yue or Ichiro on his own accord, but a few short days after being first introduced to some of the other villagers, whilst Ichiro attended to his nets and his routine, Yue had suggested, in response to Kaie's asking what he could do, a small handful of her and Ichiro's friends that may appreciate the help. On his behalf, Yue approached a neighbour – a local farmer, offering Kaie's assistance, whom, after some thought, and rejection of Kaie's help from two others, accepted.

It wasn't much, but it was something – The local dogs and cats certainly didn't appreciate his presence, none daring to get too close, but the farmer did, for its worth. Though weakened during his recovery from his experience with the sea, Kaie was heavily built and strong for a Toškhát, and with even most weaker Toškhát being stronger than an average human, once recovered, Kaie was more than capable of a few hours of physical labour on open field without complaint or fatigue, and with that, though it wasn't much, he had a routine, a place – at least in the short term, and a way, albeit slowly, to gain the trust of others.

A week or two passed, and very little changed – Kaie remained in the Sagara household, sleeping at night in their guest room and eating with them at their table, the three exchanging awkward but pleasant conversation most mornings and nights, during the day, Kaie helping out on the field.

In that time, he learnt what he needed to learn – The ways of the village, what he needed to know to do his job, the basic customs and formalities of Kyokan culture and people so far as those that concerned village life and those living it, more about Ichiro and Yue, and their backgrounds – At least, those parts of it he understood from their language broken conversations. But he still knew very little of Kyokai beyond the village, knew nothing of the Shogunate, the Daimyo, Kyokai's civil war, or even what lay beyond the far treeline dotted to the far edge of Mibu, exception to the names of several places as indicated by Ichiro's map, drawn during their first conscious encounter. Nor did he ask, for the time of knowing had not yet come.

It had been a short time in Mibu, but already, he felt more at home there than he had in the home he'd sought to escape, and though he were still a foreigner and perhaps wouldn't realise it fully at that time, had he been placed alongside one of his kin from the Holy Empire at that time, it would quickly become apparent that the culture and ways of Kyokai had already had a strong influence on him, if not in what had already become an instinctual preference for use of chop sticks over more rudementary Imperial culinary custom, then certainly, at least, simply, in his more relaxed and happy demeanour contrast to that during his time prior to taking to the sea, resultant of a distinct lack of regimentation and militant culture, prevalent to the Holy Empire.

Luckily for him, the Daimyo and Shogunate had yet to find out about his presense and the village had remained a safe, peaceful and happy place. However, no one, Kaie, Ichiro or Yue, even the Shogun, would've known what was to come next - Though Kyokai was in a state of civil war, the people of Mibu went about their regular routine, the war, to them, having little to no effect beyond a voice in the wind, but the desparate actions of a small few would soon see to breaking that tranquility.
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Re: Lost At Sea (ATTN: Bleach)

on Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:05 pm
Soon, the daily routine of things and merely having Kaie with them every day served to bring a new state of normality back to the fisherman family. Though many in the village did not truly trust the Toskhat, they accepted him on behalf of Ichiro and Yue - perhaps a bit grudgingly. However, as time continued and Kaie tried to contribute to the village as a whole, and even more so to Ichiro and his wife, slowly but surely the villagers had started to see Kaie as one of them. Though he came from a distant land, looked nothing like any of them, and hardly spoke their language fluently, he had made an impact. Even the guards of the village, as few of them as there were, grew fond of the village's newest member. Most now, no longer whispered the word gaijin under their breath with Kaie's passing by.

Kaie had been working diligently on Farmer Matsudaira's rice paddy along side him for weeks. The Toskhat had started to finally recover it seemed, or perhaps it was just natural strength. As far as Yue and Ichiro could tell, they saw a new vitality in their guest's eyes. Days went by, and whilst eating a supper of rice, stewed vegetables, and a side of filleted meat, Ichiro looked to Kaie with a determined look in his expression.

"Kaie-san. I would like you to remain here with us as long as you wish to stay in Kyokai. We never use the guest bedroom anyway, so... it would be our honor if you would take it."

Though Ichiro knew that Kaie would not understand every word, he used enough of the ones he had taught him so that he would at least put two and two together. He saw the expression on Kaie's face change then, he wondered if he would except their offer. He hoped he would, leastways.

"Ichiro.. you had something else to say, yes?" Yue asked, grasping one of her husband's hands with a kind smile.

Ichiro shifted in his seat for a moment. Clearing his throat he looked to their guest again. A soft wind blew through their open window close to where they sat; the summer breeze was starting to cool a bit. It was a sign of the coming months of Autumn.

"And also, Kaie-san... I want to take you to Eidou. I don't think it is proper to have you living in our village and yet under danger of being...." Ichiro couldn't continue his sentence. Everyone knew the consequences of having harbored a foreigner without the knowing of the Bakufu. It was only right that Kaie be allowed to stay in Kyokai - or even better, to become a legal citizen of Kyokai if he so wished. "If I bring you before the Regent of Domestic Affairs, then perhaps you can live in Mibu, unchained from fear of being sent away.. or...."

At a cautious look from Yue, Ichiro pushed himself to finish with the last, most frightening word. Taking a sigh, he finished.

"... or... killed."
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Re: Lost At Sea (ATTN: Bleach)

on Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:46 pm
Kaie understood Ichiro's words as he made his offer, an offer that, undoubtedly, would be taken meaningfully regardless of recipient, but especially so in Kaie's case. Nonetheless, having grown accustomed to allowing one to finish speaking before answering, never rushing his words and thinking carefully before giving an answer, he remained attentively listening as Ichiro continued. Of course, Kaie would've definitely liked to have accepted Ichiro's offer to stay with them right then at that moment, but at Ichiro's last words, suspected that things were likely more complicated than they seemed on the surface.

"Setsugai desu..? (Killed..?)"

Kaie had learnt the meaning of that particular word one day when discussing with Matsudaira how to protect his rice fields from vermin such as rats and mice, but had long since known from a young age exactly what its meaning implied.

Kaie looked thoughtfully for several seconds to Ichiro before carefully articulating his response. "By living here... I am breaking... How do you say..."

Kaie struggled slightly trying to remember the word he was looking for, but managed to remember it in time to finish his sentence and avoid being corrected. "...the law?"
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Re: Lost At Sea (ATTN: Bleach)

on Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:44 pm
Ichiro nodded solemnly at Kaie's last word. Indeed, it was martial law, the highest tier of governmental law that governed the people - a foreigner could not be harbored in any Kyokan household without the express knowledge of the Bakufu. Logically, it made sense - especially during a state of war, it was quite the matter of national security. The Bakufu had to "keep tabs" on all foreign peoples within Kyokai. It was all well and good, however, if the foreigner managed to procure a travel document to be there, or more significantly, acquired legal citizenship from the Regent of Domestic Affairs and his department.

Ichiro was quite aware however that this would not be easy. Kyokai had no relations with the Holy Empire. Not to mention, any word of the Holy Empire has come through contact with traders from Capua or Erynnen - it was usually a bit mistrustful, or generally negative. Most Kyokan citizens knew next to nothing of their people, let alone where the Empire was located. The only "Empire" was their own, and the only Emperor, was that of Kyokai.

Yue stepped forward a held Kaie's hand warmly, trying to reassure him in the midst of an overwhelming realization. She and Ichiro knew how he must feel, but then they were likely the ones most in danger at the moment - at least until Kaie procured citizenship or something similar. As long as their advocated his innocence and legibility in being a future asset to the Shogunate as a citizen, then all would go well. All depended on the lenience of the Regent of Domestic Affairs.

"We must leave for Eidou as soon as possible, Kaie. Perhaps this will be a valuable excursion for you as well... you get to see more of Kyokai outside Mibu." Ichiro said, using words taught prior, to Kaie.
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Re: Lost At Sea (ATTN: Bleach)

on Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:34 pm
Kaie wasn't particularly familiar with the laws of Kyokai, nor did he know anything about the Regent of Domestic Affairs, but he easily understood the urgency of his situation - If he were breaking one of Kyokai's laws and the normal legal mechanisms in place for such situations began to turn, legally speaking, he was isolated - He was quite likely the only one of his kin in the entire country, with neither this country nor that of his homeland sharing embassy or even communication with one another at all.

Strategically apt, on the Regent's part, but to the potential detriment of Kaie and others like him, Kaie thought to himself - The Regent's office was located in what Kaie had known to be Kyokai's capital city, and likely, the most secure and well protected city in the entire country, thus, should any meeting with the Regent go awry, it would difficult for the counterpart of that meeting to leave, should the Regent wish to make it so. Or so he assumed. Of course, he had never seen Eidou, or anywhere else in Kyokai other than Mibu, for that matter.

After a moment of thought, Kaie nodded. He didn't like placing himself at the mercy of others - No Toškhát ever did - But he saw little other choice. "Okay. Though, if we're leaving for Eidou, we should let Matsudaira known that I'll be away for a while before we leave."
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Re: Lost At Sea (ATTN: Bleach)

on Thu Aug 04, 2011 2:38 pm
Without further ado, Ichiro had started to pack for the days it would take to reach Eidou. They would take horses, obviously, therefore he packed not a suitcase but a saddle-bag. Kaie had run from the house and to Ino Matsudaira's Farm to inform him of his intention to make a trip with Ichiro. He knew that the farmer would allow him leave - they had become close as employer and employee since Kaie started working there. The old farmer didn't have many relatives left, so Ichiro figured that Kaie was seen as a close friend by now, albeit he had only been in Kyokai for a short while.

Ichiro, despite the fact that their business was rather important, was quite excited to be leaving Mibu and traveling to the Capital. He had only been there one, and as a small boy. His father took him as a small trip, a vacation perhaps. It was the most beautiful city he had ever seen, and he never forgot his memories from that time. Ichiro only hoped it wouldn't be his last time seeing it. He knew full well that he could be marked for treason if the Regent took his intentions the wrong way...

After he finished packing, and Kaie had returned to the cottage, Ichiro smiled and handed him his own saddle that he prepared for him. As Kaie took it, he clapped him on the shoulder in a reassuring way.

"Do not fear, Kaie-san. Everything will go well." Ichiro said.

As they made their way outside, Yue embraced Ichiro and gave him a kiss goodbye. They left then, Ichiro looking back only once to see Yue still standing by the front of their cottage, watching him as he left. He tried to push the lump inside his throat away, but struggled to do so.

As they made it to the barricaded end of their village, the two guards had been talking on the road to one another. As they saw Ichiro and Kaie approach, they bowed to the two of them.

"Sosuke-san, Yuusuke-san, we need two horses right away from the stables." Ichiro said in the most cheerful, nonchalant voice he could muster.

"Alright, hold on a moment." Sosuke said as he walked off to the stable to fetch them two beasts.

Yuusuke looked at them curiously, obviously wanting to know where they were going. It wasn't often for Ichiro to leave Mibu, being a local fisherman. Shifting on his feet, the soldier looked to them both.

"We're you off to Ichiro-san? Is it a vacation to the south? Hinamizawa maybe?" The soldier asked, in a voice of semi-hidden envy. "Hopefully not north."

"No, actually, we're off to Eidou." Ichiro answered, watching Sosuke as he approached with two brown horses bridled and ready to go, clopping along at his sides.

"Eidou? With Kaie-san!? Doesn't that seem a bit..." Yuusuke started, a cautious expression upon his face.

"We have to, I'm afraid. And why not north? What's happening?" Ichiro said, his voice suddenly taking on a worried tone.

"You haven't heard the news? Battle has begun at Tenken. Thirty thousand strong, I think." Yuusuke answered.

"I heard it was fifty thousand." Sosuke chimed in.

"Tenken!?... I didn't think... so soon!" Ichiro exclaimed, shocked by the news.

"Yes. Well, after what occurred at Tsukishima, this peace couldn't last long, I suppose." Sosuke stated, a glum look upon his face. "That's why I'm happy to be stationed here at Mibu, not shifted to the front lines. I feel bad for them all, but I'm thankful that the enemy won't reach down here. Who'd attack a small village like Mibu anyway?"

"Right, right! I feel the same." Yuusuke agreed with a nervous laugh. "Listen, if I were you, don't circle around the Kamizawa Mountains north to Eidou, cut through them by the Taka no Kenso, the Falcon's Pass. It should bring you out right into the outskirts of Eidou, safer than going north, I'd warrant."

"Thank you both." Ichiro said as he mounted his horse.

At that, the two took off at a trot down the dirt road and out of Mibu. They were soon surrounded by high evergreen woodlands, the sounds of birds and cicadas, and the babble of a brook near by. Following the road, after perhaps an hour of steady riding, they found a small path ascending into the forest to their left. A wooden sign, held up by a post, pointed up to the path. The kanji for "Falcon's Pass" was burned into the wood, showing the way.

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Re: Lost At Sea (ATTN: Bleach)

on Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:45 am
On the road, along the way, Kaie had asked Ichiro about Tsukishima and what was happening in the north - Ichiro explained the situation to Kaie as best he knew, and they discussed it to the length relative to themselves, Mibu and their journey overall.

Kaie understood conflict all too well, and though the road was peaceful, unconsciously kept an eye out for any unseen dangers that may present themselves along the way as a result.

The horses didn't seem to mind all that much. Kaie, on seeing his steed for the first time, had some doubts as to its capacity to hold his weight - He was, afterall, somewhat larger than a human. Nonetheless, the horse held his weight without complaint and their journey progressed soundly.

His primary concerned, however, was what may happen if a soldier of Kyokai, or particularly xenophobic civilian, were to spot the pair on their way there, before they'd reached their destination - He couldn't be sure of how they'd react to his kind with them undoubtedly having never seen one of his kind before. He had no doubts he could hold his own, but was hopeful to avoid any such confrontations. Luckily, such uncertainties were never tested - They followed the main road, but in part, possibly due to the ongoing conflict, met with few others along the way, with no one looking carefully enough to realise quite how different he was.

Of course, along the way, Kaie would ask Ichiro what he knew of the area - Extremely curious but equally modest, he'd ask just enough to satiate his curiousity without being a bother to Ichiro - Usually just a question or two.

They progressed steadily into Falcon's Pass. After about half an hour in, the mountains began to make their presence known with the land below their horses' feet gradually growing more rigid, the hills on either side of the road growing from the tree line. As they progressed, Kaie's attention lay not only to the road ahead but also to the high points of the hills on either side, along cliff-face and within tree-tops - He had no reason in the slightest to suspect danger, but his military upbringing had him instinctively thinking on how ideal such points would be as a means to ambush any unsuspecting travelers moving through the pass.

After some time, in one of the trees, Kaie noticed a falcon, with a slight rusting of branches, take flight towards the horizon. Indicating the bird to Ichiro, Kaie spoke as they continued onwards. "I suppose that's why they call it Falcon's Pass?"
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Re: Lost At Sea (ATTN: Bleach)

on Sat Aug 06, 2011 1:21 pm
Ichiro chuckled as they walked increasingly up the mountain path. Indeed, Falcon's Pass had a reason for its name - obviously due to the prevalence of the Falcon and Mountain Hawk-Eagle. The woods bordering each side of the rocky path told of their existence through their cries, and their young's chirps for food. The cries of the cicadas, although decreasing because of the summers wane, also continued on in a constant cry around them.

"Hai hai. The Falcon is the dominant species of bird in these areas. Especially the Pass." Ichiro responded.

He fell quiet in thought after these words. What the guards had warned him about hit him to the core. Their words unnerved him - the enemy, though many many miles away, still felt so close. Too close for comfort. He wondered, even hoped that the Shogunate would spare some troops to guard over Mibu. As he meditated on this, he realized it was likely that the Shogun could spare no more troops. His Lord had to guard all the cities of course, their flanks, and most significantly send troops to the attack. If he spread out any more, defenses would grow thin - weakened...

They made their way along the Pass as quickly as they could, however soon the relatively smooth dirt road became more and more treacherous as they went. The hills and bordering treeline on either side of the path disappeared onto rocky cliff-face. It soon became narrow enough that only one man could pass through at a time, just as the ground itself became rocky and steep enough that they had to dismount their horses and lead them by stirrup carefully so their leg didn't break by tripping.

An amazing sight greeted them as they made it up to the summit, a scene that not even Ichiro had ever seen. The cliff-face bordering the path broke away and they stood in a full, 360 degree view of the land before them. They could see at either side of them the snow-capped Kamizawa Mountain Range that climbed even higher than they stood, the peaks piercing even the clouds. To their back, they could see the rolling hills, the forests, and an infinity of water at the eastern coastline. And, to their front lay the entire northern piece of Kyokai, reaching so far to the distance so the eye could see no more as haze marred the rest of the land.

The Capital City, a monolithic city of grand beauty and proportions lay beneath them. It crawled down the greatest of the mountain peaks and unto the Bay of Kyokai. It was a high walled city, yet not so crowded and congested that it didn't have pockets of beautiful gardens, rice paddies, and even greenery that went along with a Shinto temple. Castles, in the Kyokan pagoda style were spread throughout the titanic city, giving the obvious promise of a well defended city, and barely seen from where they were, they could spot the adorned path snaking up the high peak to Eidou Castle - the seat of power in Kyokai.

Ichiro couldn't help but gawk at the city's majesty. He hadn't been to Eidou in the longest time - he figured that he only thought the city was large because he was a young boy the first time - but even now Eidou seemed like a giant. Mibu, in comparison, was an ant - the smallest of ants. Looking to Kaie, he wondered what impression he was getting from this place.

With another gaze, Ichiro started down the path of the mountain. Directly below was more forest that would later give way to open field and hence to the great walls of Eidou. He checked his rucksack to make sure he had all necessary documentation, should the City Guards ask for any.
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Re: Lost At Sea (ATTN: Bleach)

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