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Closer to the Heavens: The Journey East 
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Mitsuki opened her eyes as she felt the threatening presence dissipate and she walked over to her sensei's side. She was glad she had remembered the sutra when she did, for what she saw before her was the beginnings of what would have turned into a chaotic disaster.

"Well I for one heard the Lord of the Forest refer to us as interlopers, though it wasn't specific, so it could have been referring to anyone" she paused "or perhaps everyone. Then again, to it we were trespassing in the lands of the lord."

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Sat May 19, 2012 1:05 pm
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Shu was taken by surprise as a whirling metal blade struck Yoichi, causing the man to falter. Shu took advantage of his brief impairment to throw him to the ground, taking care not to make him fall onto the wound. He prepared to restrain his colleague, but he didn't so much as stir. The fog lifted from the surrounding area, and whatever threat had been assailing them seemed to have vanished.

Though he didn't know Yoichi, he prayed that he wasn't too badly injured. Otherwise, it would end up becoming the practitioner's problem. The blade that had struck Yoichi was on the ground nearby. Shu stooped to pick it up, wondering disquietedly whom it might belong to.

He stood again as Akane spoke, asking if anyone them had noticed anything strange. Shu could think of nothing, but he thought it might be wise to bring the presence of an unknown party to the company's attention. He produced the chakram for everyone to see.

"I think we may have a marginally more pressing issue on our hands." he spoke. "That is, unless this blade belongs to one of you."


Sat May 19, 2012 2:13 pm
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The fog lifted as Yoichi and Çetinkaya fell to the ground. Unsure to what just happened, Ryouichi got up and went over next to Shu. He knelt down to check Yoichi's body. To Ryouichi, Yoichi was out cold but unsure if he was dead or not. He looked back up at Shu and then listened attentively


Sat May 19, 2012 7:17 pm
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Sourou held his breath as the chakram flew through the air, hoping that the herbalist didn't decide to, say, suddenly stand in front of his attacker for no reason. He managed to hit the target, who was then thrown to the ground by the practitioner, but oddly enough was left unrestrained. Directly afterwards, the fog dissipated along with the tension in the air.

One of the caravan's leaders spoke up, asking if anyone experienced anything strange.
Quite a few things, actually, he was about to say, until the herbalist changed the subject.

"I think we may have a marginally more pressing issue on our hands. That is, unless this blade belongs to one of you."
Which one do I answer first?! he thought to himself silently. Social dilemmas were really not his specialty, so it was lucky for Sourou that a pair of blooming lilies appeared on his arm in a flash of light which illuminated the area and probably answered both people for him.

"..."

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Sat May 19, 2012 8:41 pm
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Nari was listening to to the herbalist's words, "I think we may have a marginally more pressing issue on our hands. That is, unless this blade belongs to one of you." Nari then perked up, he went his way over there, and said, "Well, if it's no one's blade, I'll take it." Nari was no sword wielder, but he does like having something flashy to show off, or he could always sell it for more coin.

He did like coin.

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Sat May 19, 2012 8:44 pm
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Akane and Suzu turned towards the of light emanating from Sourou. Moving towards him, she noticed the lilies on his arm. He remained silent, surprise most likely.

"It seems you've awakened to a new power bounty hunter," she turned to Shu and Ryouichi who were still standing around the fallen, "You two, drag them to their bed rolls, everyone else should get some sleep. We should be safe for now given that we just fended off the Lord of the Forest itself."

Turning back to the bounty hunter she eyed him carefully.

"Well, how do you feel?"

Suzu tugged on Mitsuki's sleeve.

"I think it may have been us, and him," she pointed at the one Akane was talking to, "Well, not my concern if she's dismissing us already. Good night Mitsuki-senpai."

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Sun May 20, 2012 2:42 pm
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The owner of the chakram revealed himself shortly, though not intentionally. His arm was suddenly illuminated, bathing the general vicinity in light. Shu found this very perplexing, but the caravan master seemed to understand the anomaly. She addressed the bounty hunter.

"It seems you've awakened to a new power bounty hunter," She turned to Shu and Ryouichi. "You two, drag them to their bed rolls, everyone else should get some sleep. We should be safe for now given that we just fended off the Lord of the Forest itself."

After Akane had finished speaking with the hunter, Shu carelessly tossed the circular blade back to him. Without another word, the herbalist picked up an unconscious Yoichi and hauled him to his bedroll, then returned to his own. At this point, though, there was really no hope for rest. Instead, he withdrew the medicine balls from his satchel and once more began to swirl them in his hand.


Sun May 20, 2012 3:00 pm
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Mitsuki nodded in agreement, it made sense really. The lord of the forest would not be stirred to such activity by the presence of mere mortals. She yawned, it was still fairly late in the night and the disturbance had soundly disrupted her sleep schedule. It seems that her hopes of having a full night's sleep were once again thrown aside. However, she was fairly interested in the the man who seemed to have been just revealed as a Weh no Su.

Mitsuki yawned once again. Yes, she was interested, but anything she could find out now could wait for tomorrow. She followed Suzu's train of thought and decided to head back to sleep.

"Good night" she replied, with a quick bowing of her head.

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Sun May 20, 2012 9:41 pm
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Nari, who still wasn't enjoying hangover was getting sleepy, he was about to go to bed, but he then he remembered about Shu. Hmm... That guys has to have some plant to make me less hungover... And Nari made his was to the herbalist. Seeing as he was using medicine balls, Nari knew it wouldn't be nice to disrupt him, Nari scratched on the tent gently, and as soon as he got Shu's attention, he asked him, "Whew, that was intense, can you do something about my hangover, I'll pay you." He jingled a sac of coins, with a bright look on his face. "If you help me, I can help you. I might even have some flasks you could keep, if you deal with like, liquid plants or something." Nari smiled, hoping he could make a new ally.

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Mon May 21, 2012 2:56 pm
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Irked by Nari's presence, Shu glared at the man with disdain. He immediately decided that he had no intention of helping him.
"Flasks, huh? Should I check my bag to make sure I don't have missing inventory?" He snipped, doing nothing to veil his misgivings. "No thank you. And if I wanted your filthy money, I would have taken the pouches that you-"
The herbalist paused for a moment, thinking about what Nari had said. He wanted an herb... to cure his hangover? The Ginseng root would work sufficiently, but it would leave the man completely restless and unable to sleep. Of course, as long as the fatigue was taken care of, Nari would be getting exactly what he had asked for.
"I apologize." He resumed, feigning sincerity. "I am just a bit on-edge. In exchange for a few coins, I will give you something for your...'hangover'."


Mon May 21, 2012 5:16 pm
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Nari was quite happy as he wouldn't have to deal with his ailments, "Ok. Here is 15 coins." He tossed him the sac of coins and took the root. He pulled out his knife and cut into bite-size peices. He ate them, one after another. "WHOA! That's strong! Thank you, kind herbalist. I shall be going now." And Nari set off to his tent, and tried to go to bed.

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Mon May 21, 2012 5:45 pm
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"Ooooh" Youchi let out a slight moan as he lifted his head. "That was quite a nap" he let out in a sarcastic tone searching his body for his pipe.

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Mon May 21, 2012 6:37 pm
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"If you cannot answer right now, it is no matter. The path of the Weh no Su needs not be tread if one does not desire it. I shall hope you find rest tonight."

With that Akane left the dumbstruck bounty hunter to his bed and retired for the night.

As Yoichi floundered about the same voice spoke to him again.

"Looking for something?" it asked and before Yoichi could reply, his hands felt the cold of an unlit pipe within their grasp, his pipe.

---

So came the next morning with little incident and the caravan made good time to their next destination, the port city of Hanshin. It wasn't a great big city but it was still surrounded by high walls, testament to it's prosperity and importance. The red and green pennants flew high above them still as they approached one of the massive gates, painted red.

The assembled were let in without much fuss, traveling by the authority of the co-regent does that. It was still early yet folk were beginning to stir. Here there were no longer need for the wagons and they were carted away by the officials in assistance. The assembled had made sure to reclaim their belongings beforehand and so the group stood a little ways away from the east gate as Akane addressed them once more.

"I would like to thank you all for you assistance and company. Here, Hohoemi-sama and I shall be taking the ferry to Heaven's Watch this evening. Those who wish to join us are welcome, those who wish to hire themselves as guards are free to do so as well and will be compensated. Otherwise, our contract is over and here is your payment."

Akane doled out a small sac of gold, 100 coins in them, to each but Ryouichi and Mitsuki. They were coming regardless of whether they were paid or not but their rewards were much greater, the co-regent would grant them one wish, though they did not know it yet and Akane didn't want to spoil the surprise.

"Mitsuki, Guardsman, follow me."

With Suzu following behind, she left for the temple situated on the northern hill in the city.

The others for there part had Hanshin to explore with no obligation imposed and coin in their hands. There were vague signs nearby where they stood, the obvious one to the marketplace, the other to the port, and of course, the seedier parts of the city had no signs pointing in their direction. Standing out in the distant skyline was the local palace but it seemed to require passage through the marketplace.

As the sun rose higher, so did the hustle and bustle of the streets. Vendors were out hawking their wares, tourists, and there were quite a few, walked aimlessly about and the occasional soldier or militia patrolled with purpose.

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Thu May 24, 2012 8:59 am
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The rest of their journey remained relatively quiet. While Mitsuki was still relatively curious about the man whose abilities had revealed themselves that night, she didn't inquire into it any further. It was a very intriguing development as she had never witnessed the lotus blossoms' formation. Her own abilities revealed themselves when she was very young, so the event seemed hazy in her mind. Otherwise she kept herself occupied by gazing at the moving landscape while they travelled, occasionally looking backward as if she could somehow glimpse the temple she had called home for all her life.

As they entered the city of Hanshin, she could nearly taste the water as its aroma floated through the city, she could almost call it refreshing. She stood silently beside her sensei as she informed the rest of the group about the next leg of their journey.

"Mitsuki, Guardsman, follow me." With a quick nod she turned and followed Akane as they headed towards the temple.

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Thu May 24, 2012 5:11 pm
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Tripping on something Nari looked down to see a dead rat. "I seem to have bumped into something that is dead..."

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