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Mayu Nakano | The Stern Veteran

on Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:07 pm
Character Name: Mayu Nakano (Hamakawa)

Age: 38

Gender: Female

Race: Human - Kyokan

Nationality: Kyokan - Shogunate of Kyokai

Place of Residence: Kumano, Island of Joushu, Kyokai

Appearance: Mayu stands a full head taller than her husband, matching height with many of the male soldiers she served with in the past. While her husband is often beaming with joy, a bright light for a saddened heart, she maintains a neutral, almost cold expression on her face. Due to the care she has taken of her body over the years, Mayu has retained her youthful physique, with only a few lines of stress and some lines of grey in her black hair as evidence of her age. She often wears a low, messy ponytail and a faded blue headband. Wearing simple, worn robes, Mayu has no issues blending in with the local workforce. She has the appearance of a hardened laborer. During times where sales are low and money is tight, she has been known to take odd-jobs as a hired hand. From working as a farm hand to helping man a fishing boat, Mayu has a fair amount of experience in the various trades, which has garnered her a bit of respect from the many people she interacts with in Kumano. Though she doesn’t carry anything more than a dagger, Mayu is skilled with a bow. She has taken it on hunts in the forest, never returning until she has brought back a kill. While her marksmanship is rusty, the experience she had in the Kyokan army has never faded.

Background: Mayu’s mother died in childbirth. Her father despised her when she was an infant. Though it was childish to do so, he wanted to blame Mayu for her mother’s death. Once she said her first word, everything change. “Papa,” she said. “Papa.” He had been blinded by grief for so long. Mayu’s first word pulled him from the pit of darkness in his heart and made him aware of what he was missing. Though her mother’s life had been cruelly taken away, her sacrifice had allowed another to grow.

Mayu’s father was a record keeper for the Kyokan military. Promotions, ceremonies, medical procedures, everything that was written down was handed off to him. Storage was vast, immense, easy to get lost in. Long halls were filled parchments, some stacked to the ceiling. Using a wheeled ladder to navigate the enormous shelves, Mayu’s father got more of a workout than most would expect with his kind of work.

Every day, when she was young, he’d bring her along, often encouraging her to read various historical accounts. She found the accounts interesting, but they were remarkably dry. It didn’t take long for her focus to shift on fiction. Her father was dismayed by this, but was happy that she was, at the very least, spending her time reading. The stories brought her to places she could have never dreamed of. Floating isles, massive beasts, master swordsmen with magical powers. Her father thought these stories were ridiculous, but she became incredibly immersed in their worlds.

While attending school she managed to get herself in trouble on numerous occasions. She hardly paid attention to classes, got in fights, and often disappeared during breaks to go wander off in the woods on her own. Mayu was a problem child. Her teachers despised working with her, even if she occasionally showed interest in certain subjects. Her father gave up on sending her to school, instead choosing to teach her himself.
As years of difficult schooling passed, her father became more and more aware of her desire to enlist as a soldier of the Kyokan military. He was upset with the revelation, but knew that there was nothing to be done to stop her. During their lessons, she was always at the edge of her seat when time was almost up. As soon as they were finished, she’d bolt for the door. She trained everyday, waking early to run and spending her afternoons swinging a stick until the sun went down. Her father was impressed with her work ethic, as she’d never shown such a desire to anything previously. The thought of losing a child to war, however, was something he would never get over.

Before she left, her father gave her an ultimatum. If she joined the military, he would no longer welcome her under his roof. He was shocked when she turned and walked. The girl didn’t look back. The girl who once called him “papa” knew what she wanted to do, and she wouldn’t let him stop her. He called back to her, realizing he made a terrible mistake. The fear of losing her on the battlefield overtook his senses. He screamed, wailed, cried. She didn’t look back.

Mayu dropped her family name. When she registered for her service, she made up her own name. Training was easy for her. The conditioning she’d gone through worked wonders. While other recruits lagged behind, she stayed strong, always finishing ahead of the pack during their daily exercises.

When she was chosen as a marksman, Mayu was initially disappointed. She had desperately wanted to be a swordsman, just like the ones in the stories, but the military did not want to put her there. Most in the front line were, to be honest, the most expendable. A good archer was difficult to come by, and she happened to have a keen eye. Despite her dismay, she continued her individual training with the same drive as before.

Training was completed when she was twenty years old. Mayu commissioned as a lieutenant, giving her control of a small number of soldiers. The decision to pursue this position was pure instinct. Little did she know, her station would pull her further and further away from the battlefield. An officer was a valuable asset, one the Kyokan military was not readily willing to spend. During her service, Mayu did not participate in a single fight. Other units deployed in combat, but hers was always a reserve force, waiting to reinforce in case the battle went south. She would always eagerly await the call, but none came. Mayu left the military after four years, feeling as if her time had been wasted.
On the road to nowhere, she met with a traveling merchant, Kaz. He was kind to her, understood her plight, and offered work and shelter. With nowhere else to go and a home she was not welcome to return to, Mayu accepted his offer. She learned much from him, became proficient in the business himself, and they quickly entered a relationship. In many ways they were polar opposites, but they each offered something exciting to each other’s lives. When she was thirty years old, the couple finally decided to marry.

Settling down was something that was difficult for Kaz. They chose to set up shop in Kumano, sending apprentices far and wide to deliver their goods. Money was good for a time, giving them an opportunity to attempt to raise a child. After a few years of numerous failures, both of them gave up. Mayu was convinced her womb was barren. The idea of it hurt her, made her feel like less of a woman. She felt she had failed Kaz, though he never treated her any different. It was likely he felt that he was at fault. They both suffered together for a time, but quickly moved on to return to their work.

Money became tight after a while. The military was no longer working with Kaz as easily, and their interest created a large percentage of their profit. Mayu participated in several jobs, temporary contracts, and sometimes, without her husband’s knowledge, worked as a bodyguard for high profile individuals. It became clear after a while that they could no longer do business in their city. They had to move on, find another line of work, or just give up on trading altogether. With no particular goal in mind, the couple has packed the wagon up for travel once more. What they would find was a mystery, but Mayu was satisfied with that.
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