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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:49 am 
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The sound of bells resounded in the area. They were not of the melodic, happy chime no that would be inappropriate for the time being. The brassy, hollow tone droned through the crisp night's air. It would have been wonderful to sit and listen to the rhythmic beat, but that was not acceptable. The bells of death tolled in the midst of the night, sending shivers down her spine. They were a sign of her impending doom, her death that would be celebrated if they found her. Her heart pounded in her ears as she moved into the shadows, her lithe form moving at the speed of light. Fear coursed through her veins, determination gave her strength.

She could not allow them to capture her.

Moving through the back alleys and deserted streets of her village, vermilion eyes glanced around for an escape route. How many times had she done this before? This would be the eighteenth year in a row. She had been doing this for far too long, she had memorized every street, corner, nook, and cranny in this forsaken place. It seemed that the villagers had gotten smarter over the years, placing small traps here and there. She had to say she was impressed but that did not deter her from her goal. She would still be alive and well when the Hunt was over. She may be battered and bruised, but she would survive. It was the only thing that kept her going.

The bells tolled again, she could hear the villagers getting riled up, excited to hunt her. She loathed every single one of them; she would get her revenge one day. They believed her to be some blood thirsty monster. Monster she was not. If myth held any truth, then she was the furthest thing from a monster. Oni were to be prideful beasts, merciless killers, and all the other things that people should fear. She was the exact opposite; she was frail, small, timid, and weak. So how was it that on the night of her birth, she was continuously hunted? On the night of her twenty-first birthday, she had reached the pre-adulthood of her Oni life, she was still just a child in the Oni world, but she had reached the peak of her adolescence. It was something to be excited for, but not for her.

It will never be for her.

A strangled cry left her as she tumbled over a trap, she hissed in pain as the wire wrapped around her ankle digging into her alabaster skin. She wanted to cry out and sob but that would give them a lead to finding her. They were already so close. She could see the dim lights of the torches nearing her and hear the shouts of anger and excitement in the air. She would not allow them to have her, she could not. With a shaky breath, she stood up ignoring the throbbing pain in her ankle and pressed on. She moved through the alleys as silently as possible. She made sure to leave nothing disturbed, for she feared that they would see her. Hear her. Crimson hues glanced around at the fork in the path, contemplating which way was the best.

Anger and fear fueled her, giving her endless amounts of stamina or perhaps it was the adrenaline that was pumping through her veins, she wasn't sure at this point. It had been this way since she was three. Her stepfather had burst into her chambers, shouting nonsense in his inebriated state, rousing her from her slumber. Her scalp was still tender as he had dragged her out of the compound by her long raven tresses. She had learned that struggling was futile, so she merely allowed herself to be taken away. Once outside he tossed her at the feet of the villagers, some stepped back in fear while other gripped their weapons of death and torture tighter. Every year she would see the faces of young boys in the crowd, as if the Hunt was a rite of passage for them. It made her feel sick.

At least they had been kind and given her a chance to run and hide from them, instead of immediately chasing her. But she did not need that time; she would have out run them in the beginning. This time merely allowed her to run for the edge of the village. She would hide in the thick woods that enclosed her village off from the mainland. She would hide there until dawn broke, then she would return home. Her father would be disappointed again this year, as he always was. She could see the hatred and anger in those dark eyes already. It gave her a great deal of satisfaction to know that she would not die and he would not be happy. Though she would be punished for not dying, as she always was, but she would not die. No, her father could never bring himself to kill her, not matter how many times he had tried.

He needed her, but for what reasons? Well, it was nothing something that she wished to discuss, though most villagers speculated why she was still alive. Why she was still allowed to live in the Tsukino compound. She was like a porcelain doll, a beautifully sculpted jewel. She was the pride of her late mother and the shame of her father, all at the same time. She had smooth, creamy, white skin, petite frame, large ruby eyes, long ebony locks, and the body that most men, especially the ones nearing her father's age, desired. Yes, she was kept for one reason and one reason only, but it was too shameful to say. She could not fight it, for she was beaten for even resisting the slightest hints of want from her father and his colleagues. She shivered thinking about all the Hell that she went through. It may have been better to be caught and killed. Then she could finally be free.

But her pride would not allow it.

Turning left at the fork, she could see the exit of the village, the ark tree line of the forest. For a few hours she would be free, the villagers feared the forest as much as they feared her, especially at night. She did not care for what lay in the woods, as long as she was never found by them. She would brave the terrors that lurked in the foliage. With a burst of speed she moved to the exit. Perhaps she had been too confident with her abilities, because she missed the trap that had been step up. Her dirty, bare feet stepped on the wire and an onslaught of explosions went off. She let out a shriek dodging what she could base on instinct. Wires wrapped around random parts of her body. She wheezed out for air as a wire constricted around her throat.
Pitching forward, she felt tears burn her eyes, she cursed the villagers. There was a buzzing in her ears as the lack of oxygen was making her feel light headed. She could faintly hear the villagers shouting for joy, she closed her eyes in pain, trying to relieve the blocked windpipe. She could not die here, she just couldn't. It was unfair, she had been isolated in her room all her life and she had only been a few steps away from freedom. She struggled weakly against her restraints, trying to keep herself moving. If she could make it to the forest then she would be fine. She crawled to her knees, slowly standing; she wobbled and moved forward, her vision blurring. She was yanked back, her hands pulling at the wire digging into her skin. She landed with a hard impact; she writhed on the ground as she was slowly pulled back towards the village.

The heat of the torches could be felt; she could hear the shouts of joy filling the air. This was it, the Hunt was over. She hadn't escaped in time. Tears rolled down the corner of her eyes as she continued to be pulled back into the village. This is not of she wanted to die, she wanted to die with some pride. Though she assumed that she was not worthy of such things. Kami-sama had already marked her for death since the day she was born; she had lost faith in him. Her bruised body slid across the ground, ruining the white kimono slip that she had been sleeping in, scratching and bruising her pale skin. She groaned as she felt rocks being thrown at her, spit landing on her, and sometimes a few kicks to her ribs.

"We should burn the Oni whore," one of the villagers roared out.

He was answered with cheers of agreement. She closed her eyes, realizing that tonight was the night that she would be sent to Hell, where she belonged. She felt like sobbing, retching out her heart, though her tears had long run out, she merely gave up. It was obvious that she was meant to die, alone and defiled. It was a shame that she could never know what true happiness was. It was a shame that she had never met a friendly face. She had only ever wanted to experience the joys of life, but she had been hated for just even breathing.

The bells of her death rang once more. She let out a sigh, accepting the fate that was being brought upon her.

_________________
A Taste of Series with Sounds_of_Silence:
Freedom (complete)
Hope (work in progress)
It has been amazing to work with Sounds! She is an amazing writer and I absolutely love working on this series with her <3


Last edited by ElegantJewel on Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:58 am 
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There only have been a few occasions where he was told to travel to Japan, and whenever he did he always enjoyed visiting the older villages that have existed since the Edo era. Most of them still stuck to their old customs and it has always interested him. He has always liked history; something about it was rather appealing, he has found. Living in a country like Israel has brought out his inner historian over the years –Jerusalem, the city he resided, and many of the areas around it were very historical places. At first he thought history was dull like any teenager, when he was still in school ten years ago but he soon learned to appreciate it. And now whenever he is given the chance to visit older towns and cities he never made any hesitation to jump at the opportunity.

Japan especially was such an interesting country. Though it could be incredibly violent because they stuck with old traditions, refusing accept modern society in most cases. He didn’t blame them either; in a way it was a good thing, preserving their ancient cultures, but at the same time it did a lot of harm.

He had gotten the message several weeks ago when he returned home for the weekend, after a long week of doing quite a lot of work tracking down a target. It seemed like a desperate cry for help at first but when he looked closer there was only a simple message: please rescue this girl. Attached to the letter there was a picture of a young girl with dark hair and scarlet eyes. That was all that was there aside from her location and an additional note saying that the person who sent the request would pay him a hell of a lot of money. However there was no name to identify who sent the request, and nothing saying how this person knew him, so it was needless to say that he was extremely reluctant to accept.

At first he thought it might be some trap sent to him by one of his enemies. It was also a sort of rule, not to do any outside work for large amounts of pay. But something in the back of his mind told him that this was no trick. He felt compelled to accept this.

And so the next day he had packed for Japan, seeking out this ancient village. He has been here for a few weeks and, doing a bit of detective work on his part, soon found the whereabouts of the village –it was a place seemingly cut off from the rest of the world like most old villages. And it was there that he would find the Tsukino Compound. The path to the village was pretty straightforward, and yet along the way people eyed him with resentment. It was like they knew where he was going and what he was about to do and were shunning him. He was even told that there was a curse in the village whenever he asked for directions. Several times he was told to turn back and mind his own business.

Rather than deterring him, however, he was further convinced he was headed in the right direction. The closer he got, the more evidence emerged: shouts in the distance, explosions, and the shouts turning into cheers. There was no doubt that if he followed the sounds, he would find who he was to rescue. He had been right about that.

It wasn’t long before he stumbled upon his destination, and what he discovered made him sick to his stomach. He was notorious for remaining calm in any situation –seeing people wanting someone dead wasn’t anything new to him– but there was something about this that greatly disturbed him. The girl, matching the one in the picture, was being strangled by some wire she had been caught on, and the villagers only jeered at her misery. Being a hit man he has often strangled people with wire, watching as it cut into their neck, watched them bleed and then eventually die. It was somewhat satisfying, listening to someone die… yet now he almost resented himself for being the cruel man he could be whenever he was told to kill someone.

That resentment did not last, however; he had a job to do and he had to separate his emotions from it. It was something he’s always told himself. Human he may be, and emotions were what made humans what they are, he had to focus. This was the only way he knew how to focus on the task at hand, by detaching himself and almost seeming like an emotionless robot, awaiting his next orders. He had a mission to complete, and he was going to complete it. Failure was not an option.

For a few moments he remained hidden in the darkness of the forest, just out of torch light’s range. There was a cool wind in the air, but it was the sound of the bells that sent a shiver up his spine. He was frozen in that spot but he knew he couldn’t stay there forever.

When he decided he has witnessed enough, he slowly, quietly, drew his gun from its holster. He treasured his .357 magnum Desert Eagle; it has been by his side for quite some time now. In his mind it was his only true friend in the sense that it has always been reliable, and he took care of it to ensure it remained reliable. Holding his breath, and despite the darkness of night hindering his vision, he aimed for one of the villagers dragging the girl, the one who seemed the most distracted and even spoke out, unable to contain his excitement, and fired.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 12:36 pm 
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Animals.

They were all animals. Monsters. How could they disregard her so much, when they were fouler than any living creature she had ever come across? It made her stomach knot in nausea just thinking about how these creatures were. She could no longer call them Human, no; they were far beyond that point by now. Hell, she was more Human than they would ever be. Disgusting. She could see how their eyes lit up with blood lust and hunger as they cheered with satisfaction. How their voices took a different tone of greed and insanity. No, they were the ones who were Oni now, not her. She let out a strangled gurgle for air as the wire has jerked forward, the wire slicing open her skin. Thick scarlet ooze pooled around the thin metal, a stinging that was impossible to bare throbbed around her neck. Was this really how she was to die, in such a pitiful and degrading way?

A shot resounded throughout the night.

Everything seemed to halt in that brief moment, all the festivities ended. Silence took hold of the crowd. There were murmurs throughout the sea of men; they stared off into the forest, before attention geared back to the male who had been dragging her. He fell limply to the ground; the sound of impact seemed to scream out in the dead of night. She lay there motionless, frozen trying to figure out what had happened. What had been that noise. Soon the voices picked up in the crowd, this time it was that of fear and horror. The villagers slowly moved away from her body, as if she was doused in some sort of rancid stench. Their eyes were wide with horror, some covering their mouths in shock.
"She killed him," one stated in a shaky tone.

"The Oni killed him!"

"How is that possible? She has been restrained!"

"She has powers, you fool! We should no longer tamper; Kami-sama wishes to torment her longer before he sends her to Hell."

"She killed him," a young boy wailed out.

The group of men ushered the younger ones away, before slowly retreating from her. She continued to lay motionlessly on the ground, trying to stay calm. Though it was hard not to. Whatever was out there had either saved her or was going to get the satisfaction of killing her when the villagers were gone. When she was sure that the villagers were away, she struggled briefly with the wire around her neck. Frail fingers dug the wire out, her restricted breathing was no longer an issue. Oxygen rushed into her lungs as if it were a wave crashing into the shoreline. She gasped and wheezed for what nature provided for her. Pulling the wire over her head, she flung it away before pulling herself to a sitting position. For a while, she rubbed her neck tenderly, continuing to take deep, slow breaths.

Once she removed her head, the wound had already sealed, only appearing to be a bright red line around her neck. She struggled for a second time with the wire around her ankle; this one had cut much deeper, though she did not care. It would heal, just all the other wounds and bruises had. It would not leave even a scratch on her milky complexion. She hissed lowly as she brutally yanked out the wire from around her small ankle. The pain would go away soon enough; she just had to wait a while. Letting out a small sigh of relief, she looked back over at the male who had been dragging her up until a few moments prior. He was certainly not going anywhere. Well, except for Hell. She scrunched her nose slightly, realizing that she smelled of blood, which was not uncommon to her, just still the metallic smell made her cringe. How ironic, seeing how she was to be a bloodthirsty mongrel, which reminded her of her unseen savior. That was what she would call him for now.

She snapped her attention back over to the forest line.

"Who sent you," she called out.

Her voice was soft and weak, gentle even. It perfectly matched the doll like look she had been forced to achieve in her childhood, though it was hollow, almost void of all emotion, though it was to be expected. From all that she went through on a daily basis, it would be...rather insane if she were an optimistic person. Vermilion hues peered into the night, holding as soft illumination to them, the moonlight providing little light. Though that was hardly necessary, she could see clearly without light. Blinking a bit, she felt a bit shaken. Unnerved. However this unknown person was put her on edge. It was obvious that he had a weapon that was worthy enough of scaring off the people of her village, then again they were not used to foreigners and what they carried with them.

This village was still stuck in the past.

She moved to her feet quickly, taking a few steps back from where the other hid. It was either face the stranger or go back into the village, both options did not appeal to her. She would have rather just run, but she was in no condition to do so, not with her ankle still healing. She had to wait a few more minutes and she would be free to run. She would hideaway in the forest, in the small cove that she used from time to time. Trembling a bit, she cast her eyes all around making sure the other was alone. She could only smell that acrid smell of something burnt along with the taste of metal in the air, though that could be due to the blood that had been shed. She pressed her lips together, a frown coming to her face. The other was definitely male, she could tell by the scent that came off of him. She recoiled from such a smell.

Men always hurt her, as did women.

Men used and abused her frail body.

Men were just as much as an Oni as she was.

She took another step back. "Did my father send you? Is this some sort of game you are all playing with me? I cannot offer you what he has promised you," she said in an almost defeated tone, she shrank away from the male even more. "What you have done, I am most grateful for, but this is only the first night, your efforts have been wasted. I apologize."

_________________
A Taste of Series with Sounds_of_Silence:
Freedom (complete)
Hope (work in progress)
It has been amazing to work with Sounds! She is an amazing writer and I absolutely love working on this series with her <3


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:52 pm 
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It almost amused him seeing how these men responded to the death of one of their own. This truly was a village frozen in the past, cut off from the rest of the world, just as he had been told. A strange silence had fallen over the people and the village, and it wasn’t long before they began to accuse the girl for the death of their fellow villager. They were afraid, and that amused him, but his amusement soon faded. As if their cruelty was not enough they made it even more evident that they wished for her death and made no hesitation to continue their taunts and jeers. He prepared to kill another one, but it wasn’t long before they retreated, defeated, leaving the girl… for now.

This girl… they had branded her an Oni, a monster, but she certainly did not look like some bloodthirsty beast. As they say, the monster lies on the inside; the way they were ganging up on her and wanting her dead, well, they proved to be the monsters. But what if they were right? He watched from his hiding spot in the forest as she freed herself from the wire around her neck. As much as he wanted to help he was wary of her. He wasn’t someone who jumped on the bandwagon despite being someone who often draws quick conclusions but if she was a monster then he had stepped into some deep ****. On the other hand, from what he saw she indeed was just trying to get away, to get free, not wanting anything to do with the villagers.

The monster was on the inside. They were the monsters, not her.

That being said, however, he could almost fit the bill. Whenever he was hired to kill someone he did it so mercilessly, again he gets a sense of satisfaction when he killed someone. However, just because he was a hitman doesn’t mean he didn’t have a heart. No, he was not like those villagers. He had to laugh at himself when he compared himself and his work to them, to the extent of their cruelty.

She spoke out to him but he remained where he was –her voice in this silence sounded loud, but that was probably because she couldn’t see him. Or so he thought. The girl wondered who had sent him, asking if her father had been the one did so, as he would have expected. He briefly wondered if it could possibly been her father who sent that note; it would make sense that a father would want to rescue his daughter but then again he has seen some cruel and controlling fathers. His own father being one of them, it was the only thing he remembered about the man. She also essentially told him he should turn back, that he was wasting his time, and of course he thought otherwise. Failure was not an option.

“You can either come with me or… continue to allow them to spit on you,” he said in reply, his obvious Middle Eastern accent tainting his words, sounding very different from her native Japanese accent. He also kept in mind that this village was in the middle of nowhere practically and he assumed she was probably not use to outsiders. “The decision is yours.”

He wasn’t expecting this to be easy –the obvious answer would be to go with him, but there was the possibility he could be dealing with a stubborn person. She might not come, or be reluctant to come, but he supposed that was to be expected. When someone knows only one thing all their life, you can’t just storm in and free them. It was a lot like an abusive relationship or if someone has been homeless or lived in prisons a majority of their lives: they adapt and become use to their environment, convinced that this is how the world is. This is where they will be accepted, and you couldn’t just ‘rescue’ them, oh no, because the psychological damage has already been done though rehabilitation was possible.

Perhaps it would be the same way with this girl and he would not doubt it.

He sure hoped not. He was going to get her out of here… whether these villagers liked it or not... Ah, but he could not force her to go with him, of course. If she simply refused he would have no choice but to walk away and face defeat.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:13 am 
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To leave from here...

It was impossible.

She was stunned staring into the direction of the male. Her sharp eyes could pick up the outline of him, though the shadows conflicted with the features that she so wished to see. She needed to see her savior, she was sure that he was not from this area or even perhaps from this country. The inclination of his voice was certainly foreign. This startled her deeply, rocking her to the core. How was it that someone knew of her outside of this village? No one cared for her, not a single soul. She had never met someone who had stood up for her in the hell hole. She frowned slightly, confusion knitting her eyebrows. Surely she was intrigued to know who had sent for her life to be saved. This man should know, should he not? Biting her lip, she tilted her head in thought.

If she left, she would be leaving behind everything she knew, which was nothing but hatred and violence. Then again as ****ing up as it sounded, she would rather stay here than face the unknown. The unknown could be just as cruel as life here, but it could also be more than anything she had ever imagined. She was conflicted. To either stay or taste freedom. Freedom could taste sweeter than the nectar of the spring flowers or it could be bitter like the taste of fruit yet to mature into its wonderful flavor. Her frail fingers fiddled with one another as she was lost in thought. This was an opportunity of a lifetime. She could finally be able to live in a brighter world, face challenges that she would have never imagined until now.

Would she go?

What of her father?

She knew deep down that he would never send for someone to keep her alive. That was impossible. He was crueler than the villagers. He would never see to it that she was unharmed kept in pristine shape, like some sort of priceless jewel. He would come after her. He needed her. The infatuation that he had with her was sick, nauseating. He loved her to the point where keeping her alive to the point that she was barely breathing was enough to satisfy him. It was an unspoken rule. No matter how much the villagers wanted to end her life. Her father would not allow such things to happen, for he was a sick bastard. He needed her like an addict needed their high. There was no possible way this man could keep her safe from the determination and power that her father had, could he?

Being saved and swept away to freedom seemed too good to be true, didn't it?

But...she had to try. It was all she had left.

"Verily, I would like to see the face of the male who saved me. It would put me at much ease before I embark on leaving this place," she said gently, not wanting to sound too demanding, though that would be difficult for a woman like herself. She was never outspoken, rather shy to even utter a word. She had worked up enough courage to trust her savior and speak out to him. If she had been in any better condition, she may have run from him though that would seem foolish. He was only here to help, wasn't he? Doubt shrouded her thoughts wondering if it would be wise to trust this stranger. Although he had saved her, she hadn't a clue what prize he had been promised. If it was anything close to what she had thought of before, she was sure she would not be able to comply. Then again, if he was a brutal man, like all those she had known, then she would comply, in the end. Shattering the small amount of pride she had managed to hold on to all these years.

Letting out a gentle breath, she slowly brought herself a fraction of an inch closer towards the male's hiding spot. She could no longer live in fear, could she? This was now or never. But...she couldn't just leave without seeing his face. That way...if he did end up killing her, she would at least remember his face before she was pulled into the fiery pits of hell. "I am willing to leave with you for you offer me something that I have been dying to get for years. I only request I see your face...if that is not too much. If not then I shall humbly follow you to wherever it is you must take me to..." She wished she was more blunt and straightforward. Then she would have not needed this saving. She would have been free a long time ago.

But that wasn't the case.

She was small, petite even for an Oni. She stood only about the height of an average Human woman, maybe even smaller. She was shaking as she stood there in the empty village. It was obvious that she was frightened by the unknown male and what he offered, but...she had to know if it was true. Curiosity killed the cat and if she were to die then so be it. How morbid of her, but what was one to expect from a woman who had been abused and isolated all her life? She was bitter in a since, though only in her mind. She shivered wrapping her arms around herself as if protecting herself, though surely she knew that it accomplished nothing. She bit her lower lip, looking down at her bare feet, the dirt and blood hiding her pale skin. Her clothes her soiled and tattered, she looked unacceptable to the public eye.

It would put her family's name to shame.

"Am I suitable enough to travel with? Verily, I wish not to disgrace you with my appearance. I apologize in advance for how I look," she murmured gently. She was self-conscious, which was laughable at a time like this. But old habits die hard, and she could not be fully happy if she would disappoint another. It would break her, in more ways than more. She needed to be approved of, for once in her life; she just needed to hear it.

_________________
A Taste of Series with Sounds_of_Silence:
Freedom (complete)
Hope (work in progress)
It has been amazing to work with Sounds! She is an amazing writer and I absolutely love working on this series with her <3


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:21 am 
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For awhile he was silent, listening to her speak, amused when she said she wanted to see his face. He watched as she took a step forward, trying to peer at him from where she was. It was a small thing, but he couldn’t help but wonder why she wanted to see his face. She was bound to see his face after they got the hell out of here and he wondered if she was stalling; maybe she wanted the villagers to capture him and take him back to the village as well. Maybe he was thinking too much into this, like he does with a lot of things, but he really didn’t understand why she cared to see his face. Did she just want to see the face of her possible savior as a bit of reassurance, to maybe convince herself that he truly was here to take her from this place? Yes, that seemed to make a little more sense now that he thought of it whether it was correct or not.

He ran his fingers through his hair and holstered his gun. The safety remained off, just in case he had to use it again, and because he was still rather wary.

Somehow he wasn’t convinced that she wanted to be saved, after all what was stopping her from running back to the village? He was a stranger to her… he wasn’t convinced that she trusted him and didn’t blame her if she didn’t. Having trust issues himself he never blamed anyone who didn’t trust him. She had every reason not to want to go back, but perhaps the thought of freedom was more frightening than sticking around to her. And he wasn’t expecting to change her mind, it was difficult to get people to change their way of life. He would know. The life he was living now was the only life he knew; if someone were to tell him to change the wayhe currently was living for whatever reason he wasn’t sure what the hell he would do.

That was the only reason he, a normally impatient person, was patient with her wariness. He watched on for a bit, and when she didn’t turn back and run away, that was when he decided to grant her wish and dared to come out of his little hiding spot. “You do not have to worry about appearance,” he said, speaking in that soft tone he always used. It was a tone with a double edged sword in the sense that he could use it to be rather intimidating if he wanted to. In the past he has been a very intimidating person, still was today, too, whenever he truly wanted to strike fear into someone. “We shall… get you cleaned up once we head back to the city.”

People might question, but he wasn’t too worried. He did have a few connections, people he trusted, that he could contact should anything happen. He wasn’t expecting much trouble –this had been almost too easy so far and he was on edge. Usually when he was sent on some rescue mission there were a few people trying to kill him. A few times he has actually been captured and almost killed himself, and he as even set up once. Being set up was never fun… Whenever he was sent on a mission he kept his guard up just in case he had been set up again.

However, this time he was on edge more due to the fact that this had been easy so far.

“I hate to seem like I am rushing you,” he spoke again, “but I would like to get the hell out of here as soon as possible.” His mood changed a bit, having that ‘if you’re coming with me, let’s get going already’ sort of edge to it, even if he didn’t say it. He didn’t want to spend any more time here and risk being seen by anyone else. Surely the villagers would come back any moment… He could almost feel their eyes peering out from the safety of their village, wondering what was going on.

He wondered if they would praise him for taking the ‘demon’ away from their village, or if they would retaliate and call him a monster as well for helping her. Would the retreat from this place be peaceful or violent? He was expecting the latter, but pondered the former.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:16 am 
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She waited until he stepped out of his hiding spot, but even then she still had a difficult time looking at him. Though she was still in a weakened state, it was a shame that her eyes were not up to par to fight the darkness that surrounded them. She was satisfied that he complied with her request, strengthening her resolve to leave with him. She noted that he was still a bit wary about this situation and of her, though she could say the same. He was still a stranger to her and vice versa. It was obvious that they were still both tense about the whole ordeal. He coming in and swooping in for the rescue and she still hesitant to leave. The villagers could come back, they would come back. She could smell them gathering like a flock of crows.

Waiting.

And for what? It was obvious that they were waiting for the male to kill her. Then they would rejoice and hang her corpse for the world to see. The bloodthirsty Oni that had been terrorizing the village was finally dead. She felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand up, trouble would come if they stayed any longer. She bowed quickly, a form of an apology. "Forgive me, I meant not for us to prolong our departure," she said gently as she gathered the courage to move towards him. Taking a deep breath she moved forward, one step at a time. This was probably one of the biggest moments in her life. Damn! She wished her body would move faster for she wished not the stay in this place for a moment longer. Though fear coursed through her body, she was going to face the unknown and that was holding her back in the unconscious part of her mind. Swallowing hard, she moved a bit faster towards the tree line.

This was it.

She would be free.

"Shizu-chan," a low voice called out.

Immediately she halted her progress, her body tensing. She wished not to turn around but her body had their own motives which were out of her hands. She turned to look upon a face that did not match her own. Her eyes fell to the ground and she bowed her head in a submissive stance. Her father stared at her with cold, onyx eyes, a dim light of amusement playing within those dark hues. He was tall and rather muscular for his age. Not a wrinkle was upon his face, his pale skin a shade or two darker than she. Raven locks were slicked back, his arms crossed over his chest, his hands hidden in the sleeves of his grey yukata. He tilted his head to the side as his eyes shifted to the tree line, looking for the intruder coming to take his prized possession away.

"Just where are you going, Shizu-chan," he asked in an emotionless tone. "You should come home, it is late and I am very tired."

Crimson hues saddened as he spoke to her, her hands folding together in front of her. Her head lowered even more as his tone bit into her. She knew that tone all too well, punishment would happen soon. It would be far worse than anything that he had done before. She whimpered as he lifted up his hand, wanting her to take hold of it. She glanced at the hand, before she took a step back. She couldn't allow herself to be pulled back into this life. She had this opportunity to go free. She would be able to be free from the chains that he had put on her before she had been born. Scarlet hues glanced up at the man that she had called father all these years. She could not find her voice, but she knew that she would not be returning to him.

Pivoting on the ball on her foot, she quickly began walking towards the male in the woods. Her fists were clenched her resolve was shaking. She knew that if she didn't leave now, she would never escape this hellhole of a life that she had.

"Shizu-chan, are you...defying me?"

She did not respond to him as she continued to move. Stepping into the tree line, she didn't even look at the other male. "Please let us depart before things get out of hand," she whispered harshly. She moved on not wanting to turn back. She had such a hard time trying not to run back and accept the punishment that was waiting for her. Her father began to laugh as they left. The villagers had gathered around as father and daughter had their precious little moment. He stood in the same spot that he had been, not even trying to chase after her. "You will come back, Shizu. Whether you want to or not. You cannot survive out there, you belong here. Do you understand? I will see to it that you come home," he called out to her, a cruel smile upon his lips. He turned his back and walked away to the compound, gears turning in his head to bring back his possession.

The Oni woman was shaking as she continued to move through the woods. She stopped to hold the base of a tree. She gasped for air as she trembled. She could barely breathe let alone stand. Vermillion hues stared around at the foliage, maybe he was right. Maybe she couldn't survive out here. They were barely away from the village and she was already losing her mind. She brushed her hair from her forehead as sweat began to form. "F-Forgive me, I have never traveled so far away from the village. I-It is very difficult to leave it all behind. I-It is all I have ever known," she said gently, trying to regain her composure. The violent convulsing and gasping were finally calming down, though she was still trying to get back into a state of utter stoicism.

It was probably the only thing that could keep her sane. She would hate to be a burden upon the shoulders of her savior.

She bowed her head submissively to the other. "Forgive me," she said gently. "I am proving to be a handful, am I not?"

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A Taste of Series with Sounds_of_Silence:
Freedom (complete)
Hope (work in progress)
It has been amazing to work with Sounds! She is an amazing writer and I absolutely love working on this series with her <3


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:24 pm 
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So, she did have the courage to leave after all. He was a bit worried that he was wasting his time when she tensed at the sounds of that man’s voice, half expecting her to take his hand and head back into the village. A grin formed on his lips when she actually came deeper into the forest and said that they would be leaving before things got out of hand. Not only was he happy for her, strangely, for leaving this hell she had been living in all her life, but he was glad there was no violence. He was as ready as ever to use his gun but he knew there was a time and place for everything. Killing that man would have been a simple solution but he couldn’t do that to the girl –Shizu the man called her.

He had a feeling he was putting her through enough already… He didn’t want to add to it, even if she did seem to despise that man. The way she looked at him –it must have taken a hell of a lot of courage to run away, more than he would ever know.

They hadn’t been running through the forest, but rather moving at a fairly quick pace. Forests were strange places in his mind. It was essentially an endless sea of trees, almost like a maze in some places, where it was easy to get lost and can become frustrating. He always laughed at the stories where people got lost in the woods, and now he was almost in the same situation. Thank God there was a path through the forest; it was an old path, one that truly felt as if he was stepping back into the future once he reached a certain point. The path seemed newer, well maintained, while the path closer to the old village seemed aged and worn away.

Hearing Shizu’s voice caught his attention and he halted his stride. Once again he was silent as he listened to her speak, his expression calm as he was thinking about getting her to the city safely. He would deal with the flight back to Israel later –assuming this was where the person who sent him that note wanted to be met– later. He had connections and could slip though a lot of things, but this was certainly going to be a bit of a task. Nevertheless in the end he would figure something out. She was worried about being a handful, but honestly he thought differently.

Being in a military man, he was use to working with different kinds of people. Despite having a bit of a temper it took a lot for him to get fed up with someone.

“I understand your hesitation,” he told her calmly, “so feel free to collect yourself; however… do not take too long.” As much as he wanted to leave the forest he would once again force himself to be patient. This girl had been isolated in some primitive village all her life that the modern world was sure to be a shock to her. He would have to keep an eye on her, it seems. He had gotten this far with her, he didn’t to fail her or whoever sent him on this mission.

He didn’t say anything, but he couldn’t help but wonder if they were being followed. That man had a certain smile on his face that told him he was up to no good, not to mention he had allowed Shizu to leave so easily. Being a military man among other things, he knew well to be constantly vigilant, cautious of these sorts of things. After all he was a professional at what he did and as mentioned before he refused to fail. He had to get her far away from here but he couldn’t rush her; if he did so he might lose what little trust he had gained. The best thing to do was take it slow, that way both of them would be comfortable with each other’s company.

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So, this was how things were going to be.

She looked ahead into the night, knowing that this would be her last time in a place like this. She had noticed the subtle differences in the paths, seeing how it from worn to clearly visible. It was strange how one side of a forest could be different than another, but that was the funny thing about forests. Then again a forest could be a person’s worst nightmare, luckily for her, she had always enjoyed the wonders and surprises that forests had. Nothing was more terrifying than the village she had lived in all her life or maybe she was wrong. Perhaps what was outside of the village would be far worse, she had no idea. She would simply just have to see for herself. She gulped a bit, trying to somehow make her throat not so dry. Not like that was helping, but it had been worth a shot.

The scent of another hit her senses and she stilled briefly, before relaxing. Of course her father would send someone after her. There was no doubt about it. The villagers simply could not understand why he decided to keep her around. Though was it really necessary from them to know? As the Daimyo of the province, the villagers never hesitated to answer his requests. They never once questioned a man with a higher status than them; they were such obedient servants to him. It was sad that she would have to agree that she was like that too. But that was simply how things worked in the quaint, little village she had lived in. Whatever was asked of her, she would do out of fear of punishment. She wondered if she could ever become something better than that, but that was a wish for another day. They had to continue to move.

Taking another deep breath, she composed herself, realizing that it was foolish of her to have this moment. It was making them waste time, something she had learned never to do. But…this man was a patient one. Although there was a sense of great urgency to continue on, he allowed her a break to compose herself. Something that would have gotten her in trouble before, but that was the past…wasn’t it? She had no need to fear of being harmed by another right? Oh, it would have been wonderful if she could truly feel that way, but it was hard to not think such thoughts. Especially since those thoughts shrouded her mind frequently for the past twenty-one years. She was still a bit reluctant to give him all of her trust, but he had brought her this far without harming her. Perhaps she should be further inclined to appreciate all the effort he took to come and save her. It was the least she could do. As well as offer a little more trust to him, but she was still reluctant, out of habit.

“We shall proceed now,” she stated gently as she tucked her hair behind her ear.

It was easy to guess that they would be leaving the forest soon; therefore she had to keep herself calm at all possible times. She did not know what to expect when she reached the new village. She obediently followed behind the male, wondering what his plans were. Would she even be permitted to know of these things? Women were not allowed to know what men were thinking and it wasn’t proper to ask for such thoughts. Let alone she was an Oni woman, therefore she had no right for any knowledge of any kind. Though the male before her was different from the ones she had encountered before, she could say that she felt safe with him, but she didn’t.

She had never known what safe was.

“What is it like…outside of my village,” she called out to him. She knew not of the changing world outside of the forest, nor would she probably understand how everything could be so…different. She could hear things in the distance. Sounds that she had no idea how they came to be. She was frightened yet so very intrigued. She highly doubted that her father’s men would understand it either, then again he probably knew more about the world than she did. She was sure of it. It was unsettling to think about, but she had wanted this. She had dreamt of it, it was now that she actually followed through with it. She would obtain freedom through the other and she would find a way to repay him, in some form or another.

“I am burdening you with many questions, but I feel it necessary to ask. Where are you taking me?” She was a bit hesitant to speak more, feeling as if she was being too bold with her words. “Will you permit me to know of the name I shall call you? I fear that if I call you something else, you will be most unsatisfied.”

She stepped over a root sticking out from the ground, she was sure she would have more questions to ask him, she only hoped he would reply. Then again, he would probably abandon her as soon as they got far enough from the village. She would be left to her own devices, trying to figure out how to survive in the New World, as she had so named it. A frown touched her lips as she thought about it, doubt filling her mind. This was a mistake…wasn’t it? She should have listened. She should have stayed. She would have never felt so conflicted if she had stayed in the village. What were a few more years of abuse and torture? Surely, it would be better than to be stuck in a foreign place.

Maybe she should turn back? Her father’s men were waiting and planning on ways to take her back anyway. Would it not be easier than to just give up and surrender herself to them? The male was wasting his time with all of this chivalry. If he were to disappear…she would simply head back to that forsaken place and eventually dying by the hands of her beloved father. Such a morbid and depressing mind she had but it simply could not be helped. If she could only allow herself to be brave, rather than conflicted with so many emotions, then this would not have been so bad. And yet it was.

“When we arrive to our destination…” she paused trying to find the correct words to place. “You will be leaving, is that not correct?” She did not want to be left in the hands of a person she did not know. She had already decided to risk her life and follow her savior. She could not even begin to think of what kind of person had wanted to rescue her though the results were not pleasant. If she put all her trust into the other then it would be rather difficult to depart from him. Not saying that she would be romantically attached, she would merely not want to have the only feeling of safety she had so brutally taking away from her.

She was unable to socialize like a normal person; it was not in her blood. It was quite the feat that she had conquered in order to talk to the male. Then again she owed him as much as companionship on this journey that they were embarking upon. Then again, she was sure that he could do all of this in silence. Perhaps she was the one would needed a friend of some sort, after all she never had the opportunity to make one and it may as well be her last. She feared things would still not be easy for her once she began her new life.

_________________
A Taste of Series with Sounds_of_Silence:
Freedom (complete)
Hope (work in progress)
It has been amazing to work with Sounds! She is an amazing writer and I absolutely love working on this series with her <3


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:42 pm 
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This really had been too easy, almost too easy, he kept thinking to himself as the two of them continued on through the forest. She had agreed to go with him but even after she collected herself she was still unsure, wary, but as mentioned before he did not blame her. He still wasn’t sure why he was doing this himself though he knew part of that was the wariness he felt. Naturally, he was tense around people, untrusting, yet strangely calm, but for some reason he was on edge and couldn’t help but be somewhat restless. This was highly unusually for someone as calm and seemingly emotionless as he was whenever he was doing work. Over the years he has gotten so much better with being so tense but old habits do die hard indeed he supposed.

The girl had been throwing out random questions and concerns during the rest of the trip. He had been too focused, lost in his own thoughts, mostly thinking about how to explain everything to her, that he blocked her out. Of course she would not know about the outside world, he thought to himself, she was stuck in that village all her life it seems. He knew escaping was hard for her no matter how much she tried to hide it and act nonchalant. She was going to be in for such a shock that he decided it would be best for her to take it all in once they were out. They would have to walk back to the hotel after a two hour bus ride, so he would show her around and explain the modern world to her then. However, Japan was so much different than Israel, so once he got her back to Jerusalem it would be like starting over again in a sense.

Again he does not want to have her take too much in at once so f or now he put those thoughts aside, like always, and refocused. They were almost out of the forest now; the sounds of cars among other things told him as much. He looked back at her for a moment, wondering how she was doing, and mentally noted the curiosity on her face. Whether she was still wondering why he helped her escape or was bracing herself for this seemingly alien world he couldn’t say for sure but he would not deny that, again, he did not blame her. There was no telling what could be going through her mind right now so he decided to leave her to her thoughts and move onward. Sometimes he really could have a one track mind.

When they came closer to reaching the edge of the forest, he turned to face her again, this time speaking, “You had asked for my name, correct?” There was a bit of a pause before he spoke again “My name is Azrai.” He doesn’t like to give out his name, he never really has, but he supposed it would help build some more trust between them. He was putting her through a lot in such a short time… the least he could do was give her his name… It was only fair, right? “That man had called you Shizu, so should I assume that you wish to be referred to as that?”

A fancy way of saying ‘is this your name?’ that was.

He looked like he wanted to continue, but soon fell silent again as he could have sworn he heard something in the distance. It seems his suspicions were correct and perhaps he had sent someone to follow them after all. Ever since he was little, he has always had a bit of a sixth sense for such things. He narrowed his eyes and looked past the girl, back into the forest. “Son of a ****ing€¦â€ he muttered, reaching for his Desert Eagle. “I apologize, but I shall… explain everything to you later, once we reach the city.” He told her, speaking quietly, “It seems we may have company… I suggest we make haste. The road is not far from here.”

Turning on his heels, once again he started walking along the path. He walked a little quicker, keeping a firm grip on his beloved gun. Every now and then he would look over his shoulder to ensure she was still following behind. Again, what was stopping her from going back? Did she want to go back? If she did she would have done so, right? He couldn’t help but keep thinking such things; he was afraid of failure. He hated failure.

It was not long before they reached the edge of the forest, stepping into the modern world. He slowed his stride a bit, walking more alongside her now, but continued keeping his guard up. Along this new path, he remembered from his way here, there was another village –even this far away from the city, it was still a more modern village. It would prove helpful as he slowly introduced Shizu to modern times- along the way. He couldn’t recall the name of said village but the people there were kind and he knew she and Shizu could rest there and then move on, taking whatever bus was available to the city.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:24 pm 
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She had supposed that all of this running away and escaping was rather easy; then again she had no idea if it could have been any harder. She was not in the same occupation as he; actually she didn’t have an occupation at all. Of course, she still felt a bit wary as they continued on. The noises of what she had heard earlier were getting louder and she was put at a bit of unease. She monitored him with a curious and steady gaze; she noticed how he remained rather tense throughout their escapade in the forest though she was sure she knew what had been bothering him. Perhaps he did not enjoy the company that she provided him. A slight frown touched her lips as she thought of being unsuitable in the presence of another. She wondered if she would be suitable company for anyone else rather than the greedy men who lived in her village. She was sure that she would have a hard time integrating into the society around here once they got to their destination.

Fear struck her heart but she resisted the urge to stop. What if they found out? What if they knew that she was an Oni? Would they disregard her or would they attack her? She was sure that it was the latter of the two options. She glanced back over at the male, wondering if he knew. Then again, he seemed to be wrapped up in his own thoughts seeing how he disregarded the questions she asked him. This only made her think that she was unworthy of knowing anything. She certainly was beginning to have second thoughts about leaving the village, she wasn’t sure if she would be able to handle the idea of more humans afraid of her. She couldn’t bear to escape from one nightmare only to be brought into another. The optimistic side of her mind, which was very tiny, decided to speak out. Perhaps…they would not even recognize that she was an Oni. The male before her seemed unaffected by her appearance; then again he was a foreigner. He would not know anything about the appearance of her kind.
Verily, she would be safe for now.

Through the trees, she could faintly see and hear things but it wasn’t like she could understand what they were. Vermillion hues looked around with mild curiosity though when he had stopped she followed in suit. She looked over at him as he began to speak, taking in all the information that she was allowing her. She nodded her head slowly when he proposed a question her and much to her delight he gave her his name. Azrai was what he is called. She smiled a bit to herself, cherishing this moment. She had never had someone tell her their name upon request; it was something that held great meaning to her. She felt…normal for the first time in her life. She had finally received some kind of trust from another person, even if he had no idea of her bloodline; she had formed some kind of trust with his stranger. She blinked a bit as he spoke once more and nodded again. “Yes, Shizu is my given name,” she said gently will bowing her head in a formal manner.

He fell silent and then her sensitive ears picked up on the faintest of noises. They were being trailed naturally and it seemed as if Azrai had picked up on that as well. He let out a curse that would have normally made her feel embarrassed, but she understood the circumstances. Her eyes widened as he pulled out this metal contraption. She could smell gunpowder from it, realizing that the man who had died in her village had been killed by that…object. She was puzzled a bit about all these new things that were about to happen, but he said he would explain everything later, she was counting on it.

She immediately followed at him, keeping pace with his quick strides. She noticed that every so often he would look back at her. Why would he do such a thing? Verily, she would not run off, not after all of the trouble that they had both been through. No, she wished to continue on with this journey. She had no desire to be thrown back into that life of torture, though she was still nervous about this New World. She had to be brave now or else she would never be able to obtain freedom.

That was all she had ever wanted.

As they neared the forest line she felt her heart quicken its pace. This was it. She was about to enter the New World. She noticed how the other seemed to slow down, as if trying to ease her into the transition. She stepped out of the tree line and glanced around, this village was certainly different for her own. The buildings did not look quite as old, and they had these lights that illuminated the walkways. She tilted her head a bit wondering how such things could exist. Questions popped up in her mind but she could not voice them. The scent of dogs hit her nose and the color drained from her face. The hounds had been sent for her.

“Verily, I believe that more haste is required,” she said wincing at the sound of the canines howling into the night. “A complication has been raised and I suggest with great urgency that we find a place to hide ourselves.” She became a bit anxious, fidgeting around before moving towards the center of the village with a bit of haste. She did not feel like dealing with those bloodthirsty hounds nor did she want Azrai to deal with them. Those canines were not of the domestic kind, they smelled of disease. She glanced back over at the male, ushering him towards her. She did not care if he could handle himself or if she was of an inferior gender. She would hide away until things were clear.

“Quickly,” she whispered out before slipping into an abandoned shrine, the wood hardly creaked under the light weight of her feet. The dust that covered the place seemed to have been building for years, which meant that these villagers did not wish to continue with the tradition that she had in her own village. She moved around silently making sure all the windows were boarded up securely. In the modern day, it would be as if she were a spy or something else looking for a place to make a hideout. She was very thorough with her search. Once she felt satisfied, she moved to secure the door, the sounds of the canines entering the village made her blood rush with adrenaline.

“I believe this should be a rather excellent place to hide from them,” she said aloud though it was more of her just saying what was on her mind. “These grounds are sacred; there is not a chance that they could cross.” She nodded to herself as if agreeing before looking over at the male. “I apologize; these...creatures are not what one would expect from that of the canine family. It is best that we steer clear of them for now.” They will do a hell of a lot of damage to us, was left unsaid. There was no need to put either of them even more on edge. She placed herself down on the floor, deciding that it would be best to rest.

She sat in a proper manner, feet tucked underneath her bottom and hands folding in her lap. She kept her eyes to the ground though her ears were listening to even the tiniest of noises. “You should rest. I presume we have a far way to travel.”

_________________
A Taste of Series with Sounds_of_Silence:
Freedom (complete)
Hope (work in progress)
It has been amazing to work with Sounds! She is an amazing writer and I absolutely love working on this series with her <3


Last edited by ElegantJewel on Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:05 am 
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They had just reached the center square, appearing to be an area for a small gathering, when he heard the howls. He quickly turned around to face the direction they were coming from, narrowing his eyes, groaning softly under his breath in frustration. Dogs? No wonder they were able to keep up with them… he absolutely hated being pursued by dogs. Shizu didn’t have to tell him twice that they were in grave danger and needed to find a safe place and gave a nod when she mentioned they needed to find a safe place for now. He wouldn’t disagree that those howls sounded unnatural, almost demonic, and he sure as hell did not wasn’t to find out just what could utter such a howl. Certainly not any dog or wolf could sound just as fierce… could it? He was not in the mood to find out, and made no hesitation following Shizu into the old shrine.

It was a musty place full of dust and cobweb, appearing to have been neglected for some kind yet it still remained intact. There was an inscription on the altar, but he couldn’t read Japanese well enough to make out what it said. In fact he couldn’t read or speak that much Japanese at all. That aside, he didn’t know much about old Japanese traditions but he had to assume this was not a ritual shrine, but something a little more clam; perhaps protection? Shizu did say this was not someplace where those canines would find them. Of course this also could be wishful thinking, and due to ignorance he disregarded the shrine’s purpose and focused more on what was currently going on. The more he thought about those canines the more it sent shivers down his spine; he found it odd since he was someone who hardly showed falter or fear of any kind.

“I suppose we… do have a fairly long trip ahead of us,” he replied softly, keeping his voice down. Though Shizu had said the hounds may not tread here, she was still extremely wary, showed a bit of distrust even though he hid it fairly well.

He didn’t want to admit it, but he did need some rest. He hasn’t slept in about a day or so, two counting tonight, and knew he needed to be well rested for the trip back to the city. However, sleep was not an option right now; he was too on edge to even attempt. If he had something to drink -namely alcohol- he would easily be able to relax and get some sleep. So for now he would simply think of this as a moment to clear his mind. He paced the small area inside the shrine a bit in a restless manner before taking sitting down near Shizu. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes for a moment, but still felt restless. Being someone who suffered from insomnia and just being overall nervous sometimes this did nothing to help his situation.

They would have to get going as soon as those hounds left. He had wanted to rest at this village, but not like this. It wasn’t the first time he felt like a fugitive though… but he was not going to think about himself –Shizu was more important now.

Let’s just say that he know very well what it’s like to stick to old customs. He didn’t like change very much, it was just how he was brought up; he hardly uses technology save for electricity and of course his cell phone among other things. Those were essential to this modern world and unless you live in the mountains, or an old village in the forest like Shizu had, they had to be accepted. She seemed to be handling herself well, but could tell by the look on her face that she had so many questions. And in that case he would keep his word and explain everything a little at a time… And then another idea hit him.

He looked over to her once again, “What do these writing say, if I may ask?” He questioned, nodding towards the old inscriptions that were engraved around the old altar. It was just something to change the subject, and, well, maybe he’ll learn something. They certainly had him curious being someone who likes those kinds of things.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:18 pm 
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Having the other follow her had turned out to be easier than she thought it would have been. Then again, the howls of those canines were fear inducing. Azrai may have seemed like a male who didn't allow things to disturb him or bother him for that point but he knew when it was time to retreat. She was most pleased that he had listened to her, which was the first time that someone had done that for her. A small smile came to her face, even in such a dire situation. She was sure that this place would keep them safe for the moment. Her intuition led her to be sure that this shrine would protect them, it had to protect them. She made note that it was sacred ground; it gave off this vibration that resounded deep within her chest. She wondered if Azrai could feel it too.

The shrine could have been a better hiding spot. The wood smelled like it had yet to dry out from the monsoon season. Dust lined the floor; she could see the outline of her feet on the floor, as well as the prints of Azrai’s shoes. It definitely could have been better, but at least it would serve its purpose for now. At least the other wasn't really complaining about it. That would have made her feel terrible. She always wanted to please people. The fact that he found these surroundings suitable made her feel content.

“Indeed,” she replied out of politeness. She was sure that he had no intention in carrying on a conversation though she had been raised to always reply in moments where conversation was not necessary. It was true that she was still unsure about the hounds, but she had to trust her instincts. It was the only thing that had been keeping her alive thus far.

She watched him with a curious eye as he paced throughout the small building. There was not a lot of space here but it was enough to allow them to have some personal space. She tensed when he chose to sit down near her, after having his fill of walking around the place. She was not used to interactions with other people; it was not like she had any really experience. She was rather embarrassed to even voice such a thing. How could she learn to be better with people, even being in such a small place made her feel uncomfortable but the past kept a large place within her mind. She was rather wary of the male, not knowing what his intentions were. She frowned knowing that it was unlikely that he would try to harm her, but doubt was an ugly thing.

She listened to him trying to relax; it was obvious that he would not find peace here. He probably wouldn't find peace until he was in the comforts of the village that he came from or whatever they called the place of origin nowadays. She let out a small breath feeling restless herself, but who wouldn't in this situation? They had demonic hounds coming after them and still safety was probably miles and miles away from here. She would be unable to find sleep tonight though sleep hardly came to her at all. It wasn't like she truly needed it anyway. The fear of falling asleep and being harmed or killed had made her sleep cycle very limited. Ten to thirty minutes was all that she had allowed herself these days; the Compound was full of people who would love to kill her. It was hard to break out of that mindset.

Extremely hard.

She stopped her thoughts as he proposed a question, opening up a conversation. Vermilion hues glanced over at the old altar, the words formulating in her mind. She smiled a bit as she read over the faded text. It was hard to come by such old text, the characters that she had previously seen outside the new village lacked the characters used in this shrine. “It is a warding prayer,” she said gently as she continued to reread the text. “I shall read it for you if you would like to listen.” She turned her body towards the shrine, bowing low to the altar silently thanking it for the protection it offered. She moved over to the lion dog statue that stood at the right of the altar, she knelt down beside it. “This here is Shiisa; he wards the evil spirits that roam the lands. He is accompanied with another.” She pointed to the one on the left. “One has an open mouth to welcome positive spirits while the other one has his mouth closed to scare away the evil ones.”
Her hands traced over the faded text. “This is in an older text; therefore I shall translate it to a more modern version.” She cleared her throat slightly. “In the High Heavens, I call to thee. O Heavenly Spirit, we ask you to protect the ones who are humble with the Divine Light that you shine upon us. Ward off the evil spirits that have preyed upon us and seek to wish us harm. Guide us through these dark times, we offer devotion, prayer, offerings, and love for you, whom protects us.”

She finished the warding prayer, feeling a bit at peace after saying the prayer; she bowed her head once more. She thanked the spirits that protected the shrine. She removed herself away from the altar before placing herself back in her original spot. The hounds had entered the village, rummaging through the streets. She could hear their growls and snarls echoing through the empty streets. Her heart beat accelerated as they neared the area of their hiding spot. She knew they could smell them, but they didn't move any closer. Had it worked? She heard a whimper and cry as one hound tried to cross the perimeter that was protected.

“It seems as if it has worked,” she said with great relief. The sounds of the hounds sniffing around soon faded as they realized they could not cross. She was sure they would be back, but for now, they were safe. “I believe we shall be fine for the rest of the evening.” A small smile touching her soft lips. “Shall we continue moving or wait for a while,” she asked, tilting her head slightly.

_________________
A Taste of Series with Sounds_of_Silence:
Freedom (complete)
Hope (work in progress)
It has been amazing to work with Sounds! She is an amazing writer and I absolutely love working on this series with her <3


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:32 am 
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So this was a shrine built for protection? It seems his thoughts about this old had been correct and it brought a faint grin to his lips. And yet despite this reassuring information there was still doubt in his mind, he continued to wonder if this would really work. Those hounds were already sniffing around the village in search of them; it was only a matter of time before they were discovered and then drug out of their hiding spot. Their footsteps, though quiet, were getting closer. He could feel it, and almost feel the disgusting, hit breath on the back of his neck. They did not seem like they were leaving any time soon… and quite frankly he was not sure how long he could stand being cooped up in such a small area. It was stuffy, small, and just made him uncomfortable; he hates being cooped up in small spaces. No, he was more of an outdoors person, and with his one track him he really wanted to get the hell out of here as soon as the coast was clear.

Also, liked his personal space as well, which was another reason he felt uncomfortable. The shrine was big enough to fit the two of them it wasn’t like they were crammed into some outhouse, but even just the two of them made the area feel crowded. He has gotten use to being in smaller places because of military training, but other than that he would much rather not be cooped up. Nevertheless, he was quiet about it rather than making a fuss. When Shizu agreed to read him the writings,

He would not deny that there were hints of skepticism in his expression but he gave her a nod, giving her his undivided attention, and listened to her recite the warding prayer. Despite the skepticism, however, there was also curiosity. Now he has never really thought of himself as a particularly curious person but a part of human nature and he couldn’t help himself sometimes. The prayer was interesting and made him think of some of the things he does back home. He himself has been neglecting prayer to his own God and he has been told numerous times to get back into the habit. It seems as time passes people were less and less devout, and he wondered it in time even the modern religions, not just in Japan or the Middle East, but the world as well.

Such shrines, churches, places of prayer may soon cease to exist. Maybe not in his lifetime, but future generations, all of this would be forgotten.

The sudden whine of the hound, trying to cross the barrier that had been set up, let out caused him to jump a bit and he reached for his gun. He was ready to for a fight, but relaxed when he heard the hounds retreating. His own heart was racing and he had almost been trembling with anticipation while he expected the hound to come burst in –it was almost a letdown when they ran away but at the same time he felt relieved. A sigh escaped him as he relaxed and holstered his gun, feeling sorry that he had doubted this ancient place. They were at least safe for now, but there was no doubt that they would be back and they had to get going.

“I think it is best that we continue on,” he told her, continuing to speak calmly despite being so on edge and wary. He stood from where he was sitting, and looked through a crack in one of the boarded windows, confirming that the hounds were indeed gone for now. The moonlight shone over the village faintly; dim lights illuminated most of the village, cancelling out the natural beauty of the moon. Even if he was use to it, sometimes the natural beauty of the moon was nice to look at. “I have a feeling those hounds will eventually return. I do not think that either of us has the desire to… end up as a chew toy.”

He was known for being facetious in the sense that he throws in some light humor now and then. He doesn’t have much of a sense of humor so he wasn’t like an improv genius, but it sometimes lightened the mood nonetheless. This was a time where he was being serious and was in no mood for even light comedy oddly enough. They did not have the time to rest for awhile and had to keep going, lest the canines return. Then again they might be lurking nearby so maybe it was best that they stayed the rest of the night in the shrine. They would be… protected by the spirits of this land, as the hounds could not reach them in here. But on the other hand he knew they could not stay here forever even if the two of them were still somewhat fatigued from sprinting trying to find a place to hide.

It was best to continue on.

“We should make haste,” he continued, “There is no telling how long we are safe, and I do not want to take chances.” He dared to move from the window and leave the shrine. There was a subconscious part of him that felt as if the spirits continued watching over him even if he was still a little skeptical, knew that their protection would diminish once he and Shizu reached the city.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:15 am 
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When he suggested that they moved on, she wasn’t sure how to feel. A part of her wanted to stay within the protection of this shrine, but then she was sure that this place wouldn’t keep them safe for long. There was this feeling resounding deep within her that told her it was alright to continue on. She felt as she should trust this feeling, without further indecision. She let out a small breath and rose from the spot that she had been sitting in. She allowed a faint quirk of the lips, his words had amused her whether he knew it or not. The slight joke that was probably not intended made her feel a little more at ease. She had begun to worry that the companionship that she had been thinking of forming was one sided, but this small hint towards a joke made her feel comfortable. Something that was hard to come by.

“I agree with you,” she said gently at the last of his words, feeling as if it were necessary to reassure him. Perhaps she was just saying things to say them. She hadn’t been able to speak with anyone for all her life, now felt like a damn good time to start, whether the other would listen or not. She followed his departure from the shrine, feeling a bit more confident with their escape. For some reason, this experience thrilled her. It was certainly different than the Hunt, which she had to go through every year. This aroused her in the sense that she was escaping from that life. She would reach freedom and not once look back. She had been trying to tell herself that this was actually happening and it was not a dream. Adrenaline pumped through her veins with excitement, yet she kept herself calm and poise. It would be very unflattering for a lady to act so unbecoming. So she kept her inner emotions within her being.

Although being back in the open caused her to be even more aware of their surroundings which seemed induced paranoia on her behalf and that was not good. She was just waiting for something to come out and capture them. It was something that she had been imagining since they left the village. Who knew how many ties her father had? He could have millions just waiting for his message of aide. This didn’t help the abundance of energy within her. She was ready to run at any moment, the tips of her fingers were twitching like she was ready to use some sort of weapon to protect her, which she didn’t have one on her person. Her eyes kept dancing around the tree line and the shadowed alleyways of the village that they were passing through, simply searching for anything. She was probably going overboard, though who knew what could happen in a situation like this.

There was a rattle from the house to the left of them; involuntarily she jumped as a rat knocked over a bucket. She placed a hand on her chest as if she had almost had a heart attack, which was close to the truth. Her chest was aching from the fright that she had given herself; she let out a faint sigh before a small chuckle left her. How pathetic had she looked? She had jumped at the sound of a rat knocking something over, how sad. Surely Azrai would not think her as easily scared, because she wasn’t. It took a lot to instill fear within her, seeing that she had faced many horrific situations before. Of course, when they had first met, she had been afraid. He was an unknown person that just came waltzing into the village, killed one of the men, and then offered her freedom. Who would have not been scared at that point? Especially when he offered something that she could have never imagined being an option in her life. Then the thought of being free in an unknown world was terrifying, walking away from familiarity was a risk. It was risk that she was willing to take that also put her life on the line.

She supposed that being afraid of small things, like rats, was meaningless. However, she was extremely paranoid at this point so her jumpiness could her explained. Calming down she continued on, moving to the direction where it seemed that more noises were coming from. It was certainly louder than the village that they were in now. The path seemed to grow wider, as if it were to fit something larger than a wagon. This seemed to peak her interest in the road. She watched the ground as they walked, there were wagon markings as well as animal prints, but there was something else. Her bare feet could feel these strange ridges in the dirt, she frowned a bit. The journey down this path was rather peaceful, as the warding prayer had wrapped them in protection, but for how long? She assumed that it would leave once they were too far, in a place that did not accept prayers in the society any more. What a pity.

The moonlight guided them along and as peaceful as this walk was, she still was on guard. Her senses branching out to feel for anything, something but alas she felt nothing. It seemed that her father had decided to quell his wrath for now and keep planning something devious for her and her new companion. This only made worry settle in the pits of her belly, she didn’t want Azrai to be harmed in the process, but it seemed like she couldn’t do anything about it. He had decided to put himself in harm’s way when he came to rescue her. She was truly grateful for people like him in the world. She wondered why he chose this occupation. Was it for the satisfaction of killing or the relief to recover a victim? She wanted to ask him such a question though she feared it would be rude, too bold.

She remained silent.

How long had they been travelling at such a brisk pace? It surely had to be more than an hour, right? Her legs were aching from not only the running she had done prior but from the long trek to their next destination. She would not voice a complaint however because she knew how badly Azrai wished to be far away from the village. As they rounded the bend, something caught her eye. She slowed down, staring with wide eyes through the opening in the trees. The moon reflected a brilliant shine with lights zooming by the a few feet ahead. Oh Kami-sama what was that? She crept closer getting no more than a few inches away from the road, before jumping back as another one of those shining…things went by. She stared off after the red lights of the creature, those eyes glowing so bright. When she stepped out to look to where it went, her feet landed on something warm. Glancing down, she tilted her head at the smooth black surface. Crouching down, her hand ran over it, her face in awe at how it felt nothing like the paths she was used to. She knocked her knuckles over it, letting out a surprised noise.

“Azrai, may I be permitted to ask you a question,” she said in a voice that seemed out of breath. She turned to look at him, standing up in a blink of an eye. “What was that creature with the shiny body and glowing eyes? It went by us so fast, I have never seen anything like it,” she exclaimed. “Also, what is it that I am standing upon? This dirt is as black as the night sky, is it harmful to people?” She kept looking around, curiosity gleaming in those ruby hues of hers. She caught sight of glowing light in the distance, which must have been a city. “Is something afire over there? The sky is lit up, yet I have yet to smell smoke…Should we make sure the villagers are well?”

She turned to look back at the male. There was so much that he would have to teach her in order to make her able to fit in with the modern world. There had been no electricity in her village, just fire. She had no idea what cars were, only wagons. Her mind buzzed with all sorts of ideas as to what that shiny creature was and if there really was a fire. Perhaps learning about the New World was not as dreadful as she thought of it to be. Instead, she was sure that she would gain great knowledge from it, but she still worried that she would be out of place. She glanced over at Azrai, awaiting an answer. Just one answer. She would be satisfied with one answer until they reached a place that he was comfortable with. “If you wish it, you can explain it to me as we continue on, yes?”

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A Taste of Series with Sounds_of_Silence:
Freedom (complete)
Hope (work in progress)
It has been amazing to work with Sounds! She is an amazing writer and I absolutely love working on this series with her <3


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:48 am 
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During their entire walk, he couldn’t help but wonder if he really could get Shizu adjusted to the modern world. So far she seemed to be doing alright in handling herself well but still… Could he do it? A part of him wanted her to remain here in Japan; this was her home, where she belonged. You cannot just drag someone away from their home, against their will, but still. He knew if she stayed here she would end up back in that village if he left her here. He would never be able to live with himself if he failed, but then again maybe he didn’t care about it all that much. Not wanting to fail was more of a pride-driven thing after all. Maybe it was not his place to just come in and take her away even if that was essentially what he was doing. Then again maybe she would like Israel, sure it was rather hot there and was very different from Japan, but at the same time it was a mixture of the old and the new, similar to Japan. Only time would tell, however.

It could just be wishful thinking on his part, but it was worth a shot. He would not force her to stay… whoever she was going to be staying with. That would be arranged when they got out of their current situation, however. He was someone who could only focus on one thing at a time especially when he was tired, did it very well mind you, as again he has a one track mind.

Stepping out onto the street, the old world seemed to vanish instantly, reminding him that this was how the world was: city lights, roads, cars, trucks and other methods of transportation. There was a small part of him that almost wanted to stay in the forest away from the modern world but knew he had to continue on. Having not slept in about two days and not having much rest today he was completely exhausted and he knew he shouldn’t push himself. When he rested at the village prior to Shizu’s rescue, he had only stopped in for a drink and left. If he wanted to he could probably close his eyes and fall asleep right here, but he remained strong. Strangely as much as he wanted to sleep he was still way too on edge to even think of relaxing at the moment, knowing that they had to keep moving. He supposed that was the only thing giving him energy at the moment. The city was in view, they were close, and it would not be much longer now until they reached that old hotel.

When the first car zoomed by, he looked behind him, noticing that Shizu had jumped a bit, curious. She then looked at the road with the same curiousness, and then watched as yet another car drove by them. Her reactions were not surprising; this must have been the first time he has seen such things but she continued to handle herself well. Her concern about the ‘fire’ did amuse him however, but he was too tired to even grin to show such amusement. He also respected her, and showed understanding that she would have these concerns.

“Those ‘creatures’ –if you wish to call them this… know that they are manmade and are not living breathing things however- are modern methods of transportation,” he said in reply, “they are much faster than horses.” He didn’t realize just how exhausted he was until he spoke. His voice sounded dull, despite him being naturally soft spoken. He pointed towards the city’s skyline and explained, “The city is not on fire; what you see are the… lights illuminating the skyline.” Figuring this would be the best way to put things. He would explain it a little better one he got some rest. When it came to explaining things he was never one to give excessive detail and always to straight to the point. He didn’t mess around with little things, he said what he had to and that was that –being someone who always got straight to the point. He had also said he would explain the modern world to her as they went on, and he was a man of his word after all.

He would continue taking it slowly, despite it being obvious that she had questions about many things.
Somewhat lethargically taking a step forward, walking along the road, he looked over his shoulder, and gestured for her to follow “The road is… safe to walk on, yes.” May as well tell her now that it was fine since these modern roads were nothing like the dirt roads in the village, he said to himself. It was a two hour walk back to the city. Being a military man he was use to stuff like this, walking long distances, but Shizu may not and he took that into consideration. Since they were out in the open now he slowed his pace a bit but even then he still moved quickly.

He had connections of his own that were waiting to hear of his progress. They, well, they were the reason he was use to some old customs and such, old prayers, old ways that have been greatly modified in order to fit in with modern society. They clung dearly to what they had and refused to give it up. You could say they were the main reason he was like this, doing what he did, pushing himself the way he did. In a sense they were the people who catered to the violent side of him and greatly admired his skills both as one of the top military snipers in the Middle East and as someone who was loyal to his faith and would die to protect what he valued. Now, the question of was Shizu something he valued comes up, and the answer was not an easy one: this was his job after all, and he doesn’t like to get attached to people. He did value all life, yet there was a side of him that… Well, part of him really was not sure.

He had not known her very long to say if he truly valued her, but he would not deny that he was not letting her go back to that village. It was not out of selfishness or pride, nor was it fear of failure; he just did not want her to go back… Maybe he did care for her in that sense at least though the feeling was rather faint, he found. But maybe it truly was fear of failure and he just cared because this was indeed his job, and he was told to keep her alive.

Since they were out in the open now he had to holster his weapon, but his trusty Desert Eagle was still there by his side. He kept his guard up, refusing to show falter even in his fatigued state, remaining vigilant. It was needless to say that he was someone who would not hesitate to plant a bullet in one’s skill, evident by how quickly he had killed that man. Even his expression, as tired as he was, said as much: he would not allow anything else to stand in his way. They had gotten this far and he refused to go back empty handed. It was just not allowed at this point. He has just gotten too far now, even if she did not trust him completely. Hell he may never gain her full trust, and he knew he was going to have a hard time trusting her. Subconsciously, something told him she was different from most people and not really in a quirky sort of way.

No, there was something more to Shizu…

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:22 pm 
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This was all so peculiar.

How could it that man was able to create such creatures? No, she shouldn’t call them creatures, for they were not breathing. This is what she had learned from Azrai. She knew it to be true because he had promised to tell her everything and she would hold him to his word. Although, she was not that persistent, but she could not help but spout out so many questions. It was all so queer to her. She glanced back over at male, hearing the sounds of exhaustion in the inclination of his voice. She felt terrible asking so much of him already, when he had been through enough for one night. She could tell he was tired and she was selfish to be so insistent on asking questions. She allowed a small frown to come to her face as she had to remind herself of the manners that she had learned as a young girl. It was improper to impose her on another; she would have to keep her curiosity at bay for now.

It was rather difficult to do such a thing as he continued to explain all that was around her. She glanced over at the illuminated skyline, in awe. So there were lights that made it look like that. It surely had to be a lot of torches and lanterns that could cause such illumination. This New World was simply far more advanced than the village she had grown up in. How could she not know about such wonders? Surely she would have heard or seen something from that small window of her room. She stopped her thoughts. She had to stop saying ‘her’ when it came to that wretched village. It was no longer her home. She would have to find a new home, which would truly be hers. Yes, that truly sounded wonderful. It was thrilling her to the bone as she thought about it, enough for a faint smile to curve her lips, but that was all. She was not one to express so many emotions; it simply was an ability that she had not learned.

She appreciated how easy it was to understand what he was saying; he didn’t delve into too many details which may cause misunderstanding on her part. After all, she preferred to be told things as blunt as possible, that may she would be able to get the message clearly. Excessive details were unnecessary when it came to explanations, unless it went along with some sort of story, then and only then did she find such things acceptable. She watched in anticipation as he took the first steps onto the black dirt, she soon followed after him deeming it safe for now. She nodded her head slowly as he spoke, trying to understand things of this New World. Things were still a bit confusing, but she was a rational woman and could put things together. This would be beneficial for Azrai, she didn’t need to be told twice as to how things worked, unless she had a hard time grasping the concept of it. That was why she had survived for so long, the first time the Hunt began, she understood completely that she had to run or else she would die. Just like tonight, she understood that if she left with Azrai, she would find freedom or at least that is what she had conceptualized.

They kept things at a steady pace, though she could sense that they were going to get closer to inner village that was aflame. She kept her eyes bouncing around; trailing after each car that drove passed them every fifteen to thirty minutes. She was so intrigued by these contraptions; they made these strange noises that made her ears vibrate with a humming sound. The black dirt smelled as if something had been burned, though she did not feel heat from a fire. It was somewhat cool on the bottom of her feet, but summer was approaching in Japan, so it felt rather relaxing on her aching feet. She would not allow a voice of complaint to leave her for that would be rude, but in truth she was feeling rather exhausted herself. It was difficult to continue at this pace, but she did not want to show that she couldn’t handle all this physical exertion, because she had the stamina. Azrai just happened to show up at the most inopportune moment to rescue her. The Hunt always took its toll on her and she used whatever time she had left to heal. Thanks to the Oni blood coursing through her veins, she was able to recover at an accelerated rate, faster than any Human. Tonight, however, she had come out with more injuries than the previous years. Her ankle and neck had healed just fine, though that had taken a lot of energy to do in such a short amount of time. There were still miscellaneous cute and bruises that were trying to heal at this very moment, but she was growing too tired to heal them all. Not to mention all the other injuries that settled beneath her skin from beatings that she had taken earlier that day. It simply was too much for her to heal at this time.

It also probably didn’t help that she had yet to feed for this month, but it had been nearly impossible to escape before the Hunt. Her stomach grumbled and there was a slight aching in her canines, she let out a faint sigh, knowing that she would not be able to avoid it for much longer. It had been nearly four months since the last time her hunger had rolled around. Generally speaking, Oni were to feed a few time every month, but she had tried to make herself as Human as possible, though some things she could not escape. She would think of something once she had a few minutes of rest, right she was sure she would come up with a delusional idea. Besides, she wanted Azrai to think of her as normal, ordinary, though she knew the time would come around when he figured everything out.

Fear filled her mind as she pondered upon it more. How would he react? Would he try to kill her? Would he abandon her? Would he send her back to the village to face proper punishment for being an abomination to society? She felt brief panic not liking any of the millions of outcomes she had come up with. She wasn’t sure why she always allowed fear to pool into her mind like a tsunami, but it would do nothing for her but make her paranoid. Should she tell him now? Would that be the better option than waiting until later? But it seemed as if he didn’t notice that she was different, well maybe he had but if he didn’t say anything neither would she. That would just have to work for now, though she was still afraid. She had met so many who despised her for something that she could not help; she couldn’t allow herself to lose someone who was accepting her, even if she was pretending to be normal. She had to cherish this period of time for as long as she could. It may be her first and last time at experiencing this.

A rather large yawn left her, and she made sure to cover the fangs that threatened to expose her secret. Blinking a bit to clear her mind, she looked ahead, watching as it seemed more of these modern methods of transportation seemed to be even more frequent. Her interest picked up and she steadily picked up her pace, curiosity and fascination giving her some more energy. Crimson hues watched as these objects moved, though her eyes caught the silhouette of a person inside of them. How strange! People actually controlled these things! She made sure to look more into these metallic objects later, but her eyes caught onto large buildings looming in the sky. The windows were illuminated with lights.

“Azrai, what are those,” she asked pointing at the large building. “How is it that these houses can be so tall and lit with that many lights? Do the villagers not care about how much oil they use to light their lanterns?” Her eyebrows furrowed a bit. “Verily your world is very strange,” she commented as she continued to look at all of the new surroundings as they neared the city. “Are we going to be resting in such a house,” she said warily, unsure how to feel about such a tall building. It would take millions of her body to be as tall as that. She quickly moved away from a vehicle that zoomed past her, not even flinching, though she had not looked to see if it was coming, she merely continued to look around as if she was overwhelmed, which she was. “What do you call this place? Verily it is not a village, is it? You have…different ways of saying things in this New World, do you not?”

Although she was trying not to ask questions, they simply kept coming out. She realized and blushed a bit rather embarrassed at how rude she was being. "Forgive me, I am asking so many questions and here you are, rather exhausted. I shall cease asking anything else for the rest of the evening."

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A Taste of Series with Sounds_of_Silence:
Freedom (complete)
Hope (work in progress)
It has been amazing to work with Sounds! She is an amazing writer and I absolutely love working on this series with her <3


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:03 pm 
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Oh he definitely sensed Shizu was different but who was he to jump to conclusions. He wasn’t about to just come out and show his curiosity, he knew better, and after all he could think these things because she was not use to this modern world. How that connected however, he was not sure. He was too tired to piece things together and quite frankly just wanted to get some sleep. He decided to just place such thoughts aside and continue focusing on other things. Staying awake for example; he was completely exhausted and it took most of his remaining energy to keep himself from falling asleep and he was in a slight state where he felt like he was sleepwalking. As time passed his adrenaline, the only thing keeping him awake at this point, faded. Everything in his peripheral vision seemed out of focus, dark, and the lights of the nearing city gave him a faint headache. In a sense it almost felt like he had been drinking but he knew it was just fatigue. At one point he closed his eyes and nearly walked out in the middle of the road, coming to his senses when the driver of a car honked their horn.

When Shizu yawned, a yawn escaped him as well. It didn’t do anything to make him feel better; in fact it made him feel even more tired. How late was it? When he looked at his watch the time was incorrect. He always forgets to adjust it to the current time zone whenever he travels.

“This modern world is… strange you say,” He murmured quietly, trying to focus enough to hold a conversation for a bit longer. Was this world really that strange? He narrowed his eyes a bit in thought as the word repeated in his mind. “I suppose this world is a bit… strange in many ways.” He said again finally, thinking of how he could explain this to her. At this moment, this was the best thing he came up with: “You could say these ‘skyscrapers’, as some people call them, with the lighted windows are what make up the city. These days electricity has almost replaced oil completely so there is little worry about oil, as it is not used as much as it was in the past. However, I do wish people were more conservative with certain things…” The latter was spoken was a slight bitter aftertaste, more or less caused by his own absent musings of things unrelated to the current situation. He noticed this and disregarded whatever was going through his mind at that time.

She was worried about bothering him too much, but he really was not bothered at all though he made no note of it. He was no teacher but there was a small part of him that enjoyed teaching her about the modern world. It was like talking to a curious child though he could tell she was definitely not a child. He guessed her age to be about twenty, but she acted very grown up and mature; he supposed she had to, given where she had been living all her life. But now she was going to start a new life and he was to help her get situated wherever she felt comfortable.

The city was getting closer. Cars were becoming more frequent and the lights became brighter, the tall buildings that Shizu had questioned seemed even larger as they dominated the skylines. The noises were louder, and even at this hour people were out and about though he assumed most of them were drunk. He would know… Cities never slept, they were always full of life, full of excitement, and that was why he loved the city so much. He’s never been a country person though he does not mind visiting. Never has he been to a city that lacked any life no matter where he went, and why he always felt at ease. Deep down he really does not like crowded areas, especially if he’s somewhere he’s not familiar with, as they made him feel extremely uncomfortable, but despite this he always felt at ease in the city. When he was orphaned, he lived on the streets for a year, so he supposed that was when he truly learned to appreciate the city.

Though he was use to the modern world growing up he didn’t have television or internet so he could somewhat relate to her in a sense. The man he lived with growing up after he was orphaned was strict and very old fashioned in that sense and soon it grew on him so he didn’t use much technology. Even today he doesn’t use it much aside from a few things. The television he had at home was given to him by a neighbor that had moved out of their apartment, and he did eventually break down and buy a computer after he graduated high school and joined the military. He does use the computer a lot in the military, though at first he doubted he would ever learn how it worked, and soon it just became a part of everyday life. It was sad in a way but this was how society was these days, ruled by technology, people just had to accept it.

As they came closer to the heart of the city, he was glad their walk was finally over once he spotted the hotel. It was a building that was not quite as tall as some of the office buildings or apartments. Before they entered the hotel, he stopped suddenly and looked at her over his shoulder. In the light it was more evident just how exhausted he was, but it was his turn to ask a question. “I know you said you… do not wish to bother me since I am exhausted, I am sure you are exhausted as well, but I have a question,” he said. “What do you think about leaving Japan? I do not wish to… force you should you decide you do not want to leave, I assure you.” He was usually someone who was very reserved and didn’t talk much at all, but this question has been on his mind for awhile now.

He may as well get it off of his chest. He felt he was rest easier knowing some kind of answer.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:11 pm 
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She could feel the energy leaving the other and she worried that he may collapse where he stood. Especially as that creature had screeched its cry at him, making him realize that he would have been trampled by it and she was almost ready to go in to rescue him from injury or worse death. However, Azrai moved out of the way in time and she felt more at ease. Exhaustion was a very dangerous thing to feel it could end a life in a matter of minutes, she had seen it herself. There was tale in her village that a man had been so tired by the riverbank that he fell into the water and drowned. That tale had chilled her as a child, she had always been afraid to become too fatigued, least she get herself killed. Though over the years she had learned that getting an hour of sleep a night would make her feel better. She may always be on the verge of exhaustion, but that simply made her feel more alert. She had to have been alert in that forsaken village. It seemed that the other had gone past the point of needing rest; she felt that if he collapsed now, he would not wake up for quite some time.

She perked up when he began to speak; his speech was languid in speed and low in tone. The signs of exhaustion were prominent in his voice and she felt terrible that she had been keeping him from sleep. Then again she was sure that his travels had prevented him from sleeping but his goal of rescuing her had brought him to the brink of his current state of exhaustion. Though she continued to listen to him, as he explained how this village was supplied with so much energy. So it wasn’t oil that provided the light, it was this strange thing called electricity. Her brows furrowed a bit not really understanding how it worked but she was sure that she would understand it in due time. She could hear the bitterness in his voice as he spoke about the people of this village. She could not understand his bitterness but she supposed it was something that was more on a personal level; she would not impose on his personal thoughts.

As they moved closer into the brightly lit village she was struck by fascination, her eyes dancing around to this and that. Her lips parted as a breathless gasp of awe left her; it was overwhelming to take in so much at once. She felt that this would be a constant feeling if she continued on with Azrai. Still she felt so strange actually experiencing such a feeling and being away from that village. It seemed so boring now that she was within the city. Shizu continued to move alongside Azrai not by choice really, no, if this gray pathway was not crowded with people going here and there. She noted that they were wearing clothing that was greatly different than what the people of her village were wearing. Was this the normal apparel to wear in this day and age? She noticed that some of the clothing was rather…too revealing for her tastes but she assumed it was by choice that they wear these items of clothing. She had been so used to wearing the traditional garb of the Edo period that she wasn’t sure if she could wear what the modern people were wearing. The integration into the New World would push some of her boundaries.

They came to a stop in front of a tall building, but not as tall as these skyscrapers that Azrai had called them earlier. She glanced up at the building marveling at the architecture. She jumped when he abruptly turned to her; crimson hues stared at the ground suddenly feeling nervous at the attention being put upon her. Besides, it was a custom not to look at the opposite sex, it was considered rude or that was what she had been taught. When he stated that he had a question, she was surprised in all honesty she hadn’t expected to have him speak to her. She was used to not being spoken to but Azrai seemed to have the desire to ask of her opinion on something. This seemed to mean a lot more than it should have. The breath left her as he told her what he was thinking of.

“Leave…Japan,” she repeated gently.

In all honesty, she had never thought about leaving the country. The only thing she had wanted was to leave the village and experience the world. She sucked in part of her lower lip, biting on it unconsciously. If she left here, she would be even further away from her father and the villagers. If she left here, she would be able to experience the world better. Azrai was offering her so many things and he probably didn’t even realize it. She tucked a piece of hair behind her ear, trying to reach a conclusion. Though the answer was obvious, if she wanted to escape this was the chance. It was the risk that she was more than willing to take.

“I must say I have never truly thought of leaving Japan or anything along that kind of thought. Please do not worry about forcing me to do anything, it would be very…nice to leave Japan,” she said slowly trying to piece her words together. “My only concern is that I will be a burden, I have no idea of what to do in this world and I wish not to keep you from your duties by teaching me necessary information.” She made move to glance up at him, though she simply could not bring herself to do such a thing. “If you are willing to have to deal with my ignorance to your world then I am willing to follow wherever you wish to take me. You have proven to be trustworthy and I am confident that leaving Japan is better for my…survival.”

Shizu felt that explained herself without overwhelming him with the pure devotion that she held towards him. She was sure that it would probably make him feel uncomfortable of having the blind trust and devotion from someone who he was saving on behalf of a mission. Though was this not how she was supposed to react? He knew so much than she did and she was intrigued by all the knowledge that he had. Perhaps this feeling would fade away and she would find that she didn’t need to be so dependent on him. For now, she would blindly follow his guiding hand and she knew that he would help her. In return she would try to help him, if he ever needed it, which was highly doubtful and she would try not to cause him any problems.

“I believe now that we have this resolved, we are in need of some well needed rest,” she said with a gentle smile directed towards Azrai.

Perhaps things would start looking up from this moment on.

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A Taste of Series with Sounds_of_Silence:
Freedom (complete)
Hope (work in progress)
It has been amazing to work with Sounds! She is an amazing writer and I absolutely love working on this series with her <3


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:58 pm 
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So that was it then. She really didn’t mind leaving her home after all, which meant his mission was indeed a success. It made him feel a lot more at ease knowing that she had no problems with leaving and understood completely. If he were in her shoes he would never want to stay in a place where he was constantly hated and always had to sleep with one eye open so to speak. He would want to get the hell out of there as quickly as possible, he knew, though until now he had a feeling that Shizu had been unable to get this far out of that village. Especially with those dogs from earlier… he wondered if she had been chased by them before in an escape attempt. If so then they have obviously caught her. It only made sense since she seemed to be wary about them when they searched for the two while the hid away in the shrine. But they didn’t catch her tonight, now did they? Still in the back of his mind he briefly wondered if they would come back. He looked around for a moment half expecting to see hear hideous snarls, heading into the hotel when he concluded he was just tired. For now he would just be glad that Shizu did not mind leaving; after all it would be a new experience for her and he would do his best to teach her more about this modern world.

He didn’t say anything more, he just grinned faintly with satisfaction, giving a nod of agreement that they were indeed in need of rest. In a way he almost felt stupid for asking if she wanted to leave, but again this country was her home. Leaving a village or a town or city was one thing, leaving a country was another, and even though she had told him he did not need to worry about forcing her to leave he had a feeling it still might be hard. When he first started travelling around when he joined the military, he would not deny that he was rather uncomfortable with the thought of leaving home for however long he was told. Sometimes travelling could be a pain as it really could be sleep depriving and had a tendency to screw up his sleeping when he travelled far across different time zones.

Japan was known greatly for its culture from what he understood and took notice to, not all customs have faded away, and though the modern world has indeed fallen away from old customs some traces of the past remained. The hotel was decorated with old Edo era paintings –more than likely, the paintings have been copied from their original pieces, but they still looked like they were from the time. There were also a few of those cat statues with the raised paw and cheerful expression sitting around here and there. Hotels, shops, wherever for the most part. He didn’t remember what they were called or why people kept them around. They were actually somewhat creepy now that he thought of it, though, and whenever there was one in the area he looked away from it subconsciously. He was sure they were something positive, however, and he was certainly not someone who as easily freaked out, but there was just something… unsettling about those cats; perhaps cats just had that unsettling atmosphere about them sometimes.

Then again, these strange musings about cats could just be another side effect of exhaustion.

His room was on the fourth floor of this hotel building. It was a good thing this hotel had elevators. He wasn’t sure he would be able to go up three flights of stairs in his current state. He has already pushed himself today, maybe a little more than he normally did, so he really could not afford to waste any more energy. He was regretting moving as the pace the two of them had, but he didn’t want their pursuers to catch up. Now that they were in the hotel, probably safe and sound, their pace had been slower, even more so than when they first entered the city.

Usually hotels used keycards to open the room doors, this hotel, however, used regular keys. They were simple keys with a tag with the room number attached to it. Nothing too fancy, and somehow he appreciated it. He took a moment to search his pockets for the key, hitting the light switch as soon as he entered the room.

The room was a typical hotel room design, decorated with various items that suited Japanese culture to fit the country’s atmosphere like the rest of the hotel. Just like any hotel room there was a television, a desk, and several lamps. Even a lounge char; the chair didn’t quite seem to match the room that much. In the corner of the room, next to the largest lamp, there was a fake plant in the room that he assumed was a replica of a plant native to the country. He wasn’t a nature person, as much as he loved the outdoors, so he really didn’t know what it was. He probably should since he has been told to identify certain plants, but surely if it was an important plant he would have memorized it if not recognized it.

As far as sleeping arrangements went, there was only one bed in the room. Though he had come here by himself he probably should have thought things through a little better before he booked the room and considered the fact that he would be taking her with him. Briefly, he took two of the pillows on the bed and placed them in the center. He did this more out of respect for her than not wanting to share a bed with someone, though in all honestly he actually would rather sleep alone. Since it was only for one night, maybe two, he was not going to voice a word of complaint. Compromise was just another one of those things that the military has taught him, he doesn’t mind sharing every now and then. “I apologize that there is only one bed in the room,” he said to her. He had a habit of thinking of others before himself sometimes. “I hope that this is… alright just for a night or two.”

He hoped she would be alright with this set up… More importantly he was hoping he could get a decent night’s sleep for himself. He had so much to get done before he could take Shizu back with him. He had to get her a passport, identification, all that sort of stuff. Luckily his connections had helped him as much as they could, but he needed to provide more for them. If he could get a picture of Shizu to them they could easily forge some documents for her and leaving would be easy. However, should they get caught things would not end well. Neither of them would get out, and surely Shizu would be placed in worse trouble than he would. These days security was tight as hell and he has only managed to sneak his way onto a flight once… No, for the sake of clearing his mind, he would put those thoughts aside for now and just get some sleep.

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