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Kiyo had begun her journey from Lifan on foot, having attempted to simply get on her way with starting her Rites on her own terms--despite the fact that it was a familial obligation for her to be recognized as the heiress to the Reijin family, it was something she had simply always wanted to do. Much of her childhood had been spent poring over tomes depicting the lives and actions of the legendary heroes, describing the war they fought and what was at stake. It'd left her with a deep appreciation for the esoteric and powerful, and there was no better way to understand the nature of the world than to walk it as its greatest heroes once had. Before she could get particularly far, however, her parents had sent an armed escort with her--forgetting, conveniently, that she was almost thirty years old and had fought in a war--and she had been escorted to the high speed rail going to Ward. The journey to Ward was fairly uneventful, though she got her fair share of stares from passersby and other such travellers. Perhaps not because they recognised her, because few recognised the less notable members of the Great Families, but because she had an armed entourage--which was extremely rare, even amongst the nobility.

Upon arriving in Ward, Kiyo dismissed her armed entourage with as much fervor as she could muster. She thanked them for their service, but now that she was in the West their presence would only stir up discontent among the populace. Few would know who she was, and fewer still would care, so their presence was wildly unnecessary. She boarded another train down to Toran on her own, sitting peacefully in a cabin with a steaming pot of tea and some of Ward's regional cuisine--an "artisinal" beefburger, stacked with six different kinds of cheese and at least three sauces, none of which Kiyo could accurately identify. She stared at the burger, a little uneasily, before pushing it gently to the side and offering it to the next member of staff that passed by her on the train. She cradled her hands around the porcelain cup, letting its heat infuse into her palms, as she watched the countryside and the vast forests of Toran roll by alongside her.

When she departed the train, Kiyo smiled to herself and immediately begun to wander. It had been a long time since she had simply been free to do as she wished--not since the war, really--and she spend the first free afternoon she'd had in almost a decade wandering the nearby forest. There would be plenty of time for the formality and the due process later--she was from Lifan, through and through, due process was no stranger to her--but for now, she simply wanted to relax into having a good time. She strode through the forest gingerly at first, unused to the wildness of it all, but quickly found a rhythm. It was, in some ways, like riding a bike--it brought back memories of the war. She'd had enough time to come to terms with what had happened, and though the horrors of war were not something one could ever forget, she had not done or seen anything horrific enough that it had really stayed with her. She was thankful for her background in moments like these, lost in thought, that she had been spared from the worst of the conflict simply because of the name that she bore. She offered a silent prayer to Seiryu before walking into a tree, letting out a confused yelp that startled a nearby flock of birds.

It was there that she came across a Mythari, darting playfully through the air, and she reached out to it with her mind.

"Have you ever seen the magic of Shadebinding before, Mythari?"

It did not respond to her mentally, but it flitted slightly closer to her, curious and cautious, and precariously rubbed its nose against her outstretched left hand. With her right, she summoned forth the well of inky blackness deep within her and allowed the magic of the Pernicious Infusion to accumulate in her hand, almost like a tarry-black sea of pitch dancing gently around her fingers.

"It is a powerful magic of endings that few know. There is a lot of magic in this world that we don't know about, Mythari. Would you like to come and experience it with me?" Kiyo asked, withdrawing the magic back into herself as she finished. Though there was no direct verbal assent, the Mythari gave a beat of its wings and then nodded, the runes on its wings flourishing with brilliant energy. Kiyo nodded, taking a relic from a pocket in her robe, and holding it up to the creature. With a ray of brilliant white light the Mythari allowed itself to be bound by the relic and was then immediately summoned, following alongside her.

"Shall we take flight, and see if there anything exciting in the forest?" Kiyo asked the Mythari mentally, beginning to hover off of the air with her Windspeaking, and with a great surge upwards it noted its assent.

"Your magic of shadebinding is interesting. I would like you to show me more, when we have finished." Mythari responded as the two flew steadily over the forest, looking for anything interesting happening.

"Of course. When we retire to Toran, I shall show you everything I know. When night falls, there are rituals that I will be happy to show you." Kiyo replied, and the two resumed their search of the forest. After having not found anything for a solid hour, the pair decided to make residence in Toran. The two had chatted mentally about all things magical, Kiyo revealing the secrets of Shadebinding that her family had kept and Mythari speaking about the nature of magic in the wild. The pair sat with one another in the central square, waiting until nightfall proper so they could begin the nighttime excursion that Kiyo had promised.

Meanwhile, Kiyo had booked a room for the two of them in Toran's finest hotel. She, personally, had no desire to spend the night somewhere so opulent--but her family had a reputation to uphold, and had insisted that for Toran, at least, they make a display of giving Kiyo the greatest luxury.
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Alright! We are ready to go. I'll be reviewing bios here in the OOC and answering questions in the Discord server!
Cities have secrets. It was a simple fact that seemed to elude most people, but it was something that was very much abused by those with the necessary knowledge - be it thieves, thrill-seekers, bureaucrats or even the leaders of cities. Cities were almost like people in that regard - once you knew their secrets, they could be manipulated - and this was not a fact that was lost on the second member of the Elite Triumvirate, Yugaku Hayake. Her trips to cities were always very interesting, for she saw the secrets that most people took to their graves effortlessly. Within a few minutes of being within the city of Toran, she could tell all of its hidden nooks and crannies, and the secrets of those within it. Secrets were a beautiful thing, and though she saw them all, it was through a voyeur's eye--not an interrogator's. She looked over the sun-kissed streets with their spicy noodle stands, the Arena with its secrets of yore and glitter of promise, and the colourful flags fluttering gently along an invisible breeze. The festivities were well under way, and the new blood would be gathering any time now in order to start their Rites together. She smiled to herself, just briefly, before walking away from the central plaza.

A place in Toran that few knew about was the Peak of the Gods, an ancient track of gates that extended out over a grassy cline towards the sunset in the evenings. Those who knew of the location knew nothing of its significance, but Yugaku had long-since discovered the area's secrets. It had historically been used as a beacon for power, with each gate imparting a little power into those that walked through it, until the culmination was the infusion of enough power to commune with the "gods", but that was a truth from a time that had long since passed. If the Lord of the South still heard the prayers of those at the Peak of the Gods, he showed no inclination to answer them. That was, if anyone still knew enough to pray there.

Yugaku took a steady stroll through the first of the gates, admiring the architectural integrity as she lightly ran her hand across the old stone foundations that kept it standing. Despite being obviously ancient, it had weathered the test of time, and its features looked no different to how they had hundreds of years ago. The stone bases of the gates were thick cuboids, bridged together at the top with vermillion red tiles, and decorated with kanji that had lovingly been carved into the slates and painted over with red. Prayer beads were strewn across the gates, in some cases underneath them, and in some cases in front of them, or attached to the walls. Despite their age, the aura of reverence had not yet left, and walking through the gates gave Yugaku a feeling of serenity and hope. It was brief, but she managed to enjoy it while it lasted, and after ten minutes of walking, she had reached the end of the string of gates, and was overlooking the sun as it began to dip below the horizon, reflected across the water like a painting upon a canvas.

"If you still hear our prayers, O Suzaku, I ask that you listen well. The darkness that has been foreseen will be upon this new blood soon, and we three cannot protect them all. You know that our duties will keep us elsewhere. There will be casualties before the upcoming storm - give them your blessing, Lord of the South, and watch over them where we mortals cannot. I fear they will need your assistance soon enough." She began, looking out towards the sunset before it dipped below the waves for the day, and the time of prayer was no longer correct. It was cathartic to speak out loud the worries that she had felt for some time - while the other members of the Triumvirate might understand, there was little that any of them could do, and speaking to them about the upcoming darkness was hardly necessary - they had all come to the same conclusion, in some manner or another.

For now, she would wait by the shore before visiting Toran and returning to Lifan - she would check up on the new trainers before they challenged Anastasia, but beyond that there was little assistance that she could offer.
Name: Kiyo Reijin
Age: 29
Gender: Female

Appearance: Kiyo is a youthful woman who is best described as being "almost beautiful"--if only she weren't so plain. Her features are steep and angular, as is typical of the Reijin family, and her skin is relatively pale – Kiyo looks as if she has been sheltered indoors for most of her life and looks physically weak, and while this is not incorrect she is more resilient than she looks. Kiyo has long, silver-grey hair that reaches down to her sternum in angel curls. Kiyo has a bit of a resting bitch face.



Hometown: Lifan

Personality: Kiyo is a seeker of power of all kinds, and does not adhere to a set of morals in the same sense as most people. While she believes that she is fundamentally good, she will not hesitate to perform unquestionably evil acts to further her own agenda. Kiyo likes to help people, but not at the expense of her own advancement – she comes first and foremost, but is a stalwart ally until such a point where remaining allies becomes detrimental to her own goals.

Thanks to her experiences in the war, Kiyo is particularly fascinated with the ending of life and what comes next, leading her to be fond of Ghost-type Natrelmon. She finds exorcism and the art of Gishiki equally interesting, however, and is not so much fascinated with obtaining eternal life as she is curious about the nature of death, about those who transcend it, and those who restore things to the natural order.

Relic Description: Kiyo manifests her relic as a book of portraiture. The Natrelmon she has captured are depicted in greyscale portraits, with the black being almost oily.

Starting Natrelmon:

Lotulia (M) [Level 15];
Zeruo (F) [Level 10];

Gifts: Telepathy; Advanced Knowledge

Starting Spell Schools: Frostweaving; Windspeaking; Shadebinding [Advanced Knowledge]

History:  Kiyo is the youngest child of the Reijin family, a noble house of the East centered in Lifan. Kiyo’s growing up was relatively normal, and she was trained in the arts of war as most children of the prominent houses were in the time in which she was raised. The Reijin family were traditionalists of a most esoteric sort, keeping alive ancient customs that many found eccentric and anachronistic in the modern era. Kiyo grew up learning how to cultivate herbs and performing tea ceremonies alongside learning martial arts and the art of Frostweaving--something her family had historically practiced thanks to their worship of Seiryu, the Lord of the North. In the war, Kiyo eschewed the use of her family's magic in favour of Windspeaking, which afforded her the ability to weave in and out of combat to better use her Shadebinding magic. Though she still paid deference to Seiryu, and conducted her rituals in his name, she eschewed his magic knowing that it would not be as useful to her as that of Windspeaking.

During the war Kiyo became fascinated with the nature of death, wondering precisely what came afterwards in the wake of the lives she helped take and the lives she helped save. She underwent her rites as custom dictated, hoping to gain more experiences with the nature of death and to grow in power.

Professions: Mage; Herbalism

Herbalism - Rank II - 1,400 EXP

Mage - Rank I - 0 EXP

Gift(s): Innate Shadebinding; Telepathy

Noteworthy Skills: Many connections, notable magical prowess, competent at hand-to-hand combat, extremely knowledgeable in a great deal of esoteric subjects, especially those relating to ghosts/death and ritual magic.

Magic:

Windspeaking - Rank III - 21600

Rank I - Windborn Weapon
Rank II - With the Wind
Rank III - Soaring Gusts

Shadebinding - Rank III - 21600

Rank I - ???
Rank II - ???
Rank III - ???

Frostweaving - Rank I - 0

Rank I - Frozen Sphere

ITEMS:

20,000N

- 5 Rank E Relics
- 10 Noxshroom
- 10 Ember Leaf
- 11 Toranese Thistle

Natrelmon:

Lotulia (M) - Medium - 3375 - 15
Zeruo (F) - Medium - 1000 - 10
Mythin (M) - Slow - 3430 - 14
Tibearius (F) - Slow - 911 - 9



LOCATION: Reates' Lab / Victorious Secret / Darius' Mansion | INTERACTION: @FallenReaper


Nabriales had spent the better part of the day in the lab with Reates, both fairly rapt in their work and their findings. Nabriales had done what he could regarding the preservation of the vis at the scene in crystalline form for Reates to analyse further (as his Sight was far more up to the task than Nabri's) and beyond that had assisted whenever Reates had asked. He'd spent the best part of their time together ensuring that the research progressed smoothly--contrary to Reates' and his own chaotic nature--and probing his vast web of contacts to see if any of them could offer any insights immediately that the pair might have missed. Naturally, there were no leads there, and as the day crawled towards its end Nabriales received a call from Darius. That, in and of itself, was fairly odd--Nabri usually contacted Darius first and ensured that their business meetings were scheduled well in advance to free up Darius' far more constrictive schedule, and they weren't due to meet again regarding any of his earlier propositions for another month or two.

He answered promptly, but it seemed that the call had not fully connected. Perhaps it was simply the interference of the wards surrounding the lab, or perhaps the fox had butt-dialed him, but neither of those options particularly convinced Nabriales, and with a quick shout over to Reates that he'd be back in a jiffy (even though Reates didn't hear him and Nabri knew he'd not be getting back into the Lab without Reates' direct interference) and attempted to teleport out before remembering where he was and exiting through the door.obviously

Then, with a second of conscious effort, poofed himself through the proverbial aether into Darius' mansion to see what the mysterious call was about. He'd moved himself into one of Darius' many studies, expecting a call from there, but to his surprise found their usual meeting spot quite empty. Given that a modicum of effort had been spent getting here, and that Reates really didn't need him for the research at this point of the process, Nabri decided to give the mansion a quick look-over, his Sight allowing him to largely see through the physical structure and look for the familiar sign of Darius' vis. He furrowed his brow in confusion as he found what he was looking for, and immediately relocated himself to where Darius was--something terrible had transpired here, but Nabri was very confused as to what exactly had happened. Darius was clearly injured, and clinging to the edge of consciousness as he had attempted to ameliorate his wounds as best as he could. He figured it couldn't have been more than a few minutes before whatever had happened had happened, and his nose picked up the distinct scent of gunpowder but he couldn't sense anyone else within the mansion. He looked up to see the recently-fired weapon in a cabinet, presumably where Darius had opened it, and leaned a little further down to inspect it.

From what he could see, the weapon was entirely mundane. There was no spike of vis in or around it to suggest that any magic had been used whatsoever, but it looked like Darius had been hit with some kind of acid attack--though even that was unusual, as Nabriales would recognise any non-magical acid available within the entire country immediately and there was no vis to suggest that it was magical in any capacity. Focusing more intently, he did not even recognise its chemical structure and it looked more similar to blood than anything else. At this point, he realised that he had spent too much time considering the how of the situation and not actually having bothered ensuring Darius was alright. He subconsciously teleported the two with an extra-quiet poof (having seen the sleeping form of Masha earlier) to Victorious Secret. He placed Darius on the counter, and took a deeply crimson vial from the shelf below him. He elected to avoid the hassle of getting Darius to actually drink it by teleporting its contents directly into his stomach, and teleported a number of bandages to the counter, along with a vial of clear, viscous liquid. He applied the liquid to the bandages, and then began wrapping them tightly along Darius' broken arm. The liquid was an antacid, of sorts, that would ensure that the skin and fur would grow back properly as the healing potion did its work and prevent any further degradation of his tissues by the acid.

It would be a few moments before he awoke, so after he'd tended to the ministrations Nabri teleported them both back to the study in which they normally met and waited for Darius to wake up.

It only took a few more moments, and as Darius awoke Nabri smiled at him from across the desk and reached out a hand to offer support.

"Are you feeling alright?" he asked simply, waiting for Darius to become coherent enough to tell him what had actually happened before he said anything further.



LOCATION: Amegakure - Shinobi Academy | INTERACTION: @MesuOkami @Anders @Terminal


Today was the day.

As Takashi left the world of dreams behind, that was her most immediate and frantic thought. Today is the day.

Her heart raced and her pulse quickened and her breathing intensified and then she couldn't contain her excitement any longer and she was wide awake and some unholy cross between a giggle and a scream had left her throat and her lips before she had even realised that she'd spoken. Today was the day that she graduated, and became something more than she was now. She walked further along the path that she'd set for herself, following gradually behind Kinuko and catching up to her and being one day closer to seeing her again.

Then, she took a deep breath in. She gathered up all of that excitement that was roiling around inside of her and balled it up and with a slow, purposeful motion exhaled and let it all out of her body. Each breath in to gather that energy, and each breath out to remove that which could not be focused and disciplined. It took her a good five minutes of breathing exercises before she was ready to even consider what she actually had to do in order to prepare for the day ahead of her. She went through her usual morning routine with a vim and vigour so rare among the Yuganori clan's household that many of her female relatives made a point of asking if she was really that excited to become a Genin--to which she responded with an exuberant "Yes!" each time--and continued about her business of getting ready. For most of her classmates, she imagined that presentability was at the forefront of their minds. It was a special occasion, so they had to look special--full formal ninja garb for the first time in any meaningful capacity without so much as an errant hair on their head. They dressed this way not so much to convince the academy or their sensei or their parents or even the Amekage that they were fit to take this step on their journey, but to convince themselves. To will their perceptions of their shinobihood into reality by finding the right garb, the right actions, the right words--and taking that rightness for themselves. The graduation ceremony was as much an assignment as any other day in the academy, but it was one that took place entirely in the mind.

When Takashi had gotten herself ready, she held her scarf Omoiyari in her hands and pressed it close to her chest. She had debated before today whether or not she should wear it to the ceremony, flitting back and forth between yes and no, and in truth she still wasn't certain whether or not it would be appropriate to wear it. Not in an official sense, but for her to claim her own sense of purpose--for her to draw her perception into reality. Kinuko had been the one that had set her heart and mind on being a shinobi in the first place, and this scarf was the physical manifestation of that commitment. It was her path forward, in a metaphorical and literal sense, but the doubt that weighed most heavily on her mind was whether or not it was holding her back from achieving her potential. Kinuko had always told her to live in the present without regretting the past or anticipating the future if she wanted to be happy, and she felt like she was still too stupid to understand exactly what that meant. She had never really felt like she could apply it to herself at a moment's notice like her sister had always been able to.

If she was to become a shinobi today, she would simply have to make the choice and live with its consequences. She wrapped the silk around her neck, adjusted it so that the large overflow on either side draped itself around her body in a helix for convenience's sake, and waited patiently in her bedroom for two hours and forty-six minutes until it was time for breakfast. Breakfast was, as usual, a dull affair. Rice with furikake, a bowl of miso soup, and as a little bit of a luxury a grilled fillet of salmon--she enjoyed the meal with as much focus as she could manage between the fussing and grooming of her mother and the other various women of the clan, and the silent resentment of the clan's elders - each reminded of a person they would rather have forgotten, and each not bothering to even thinly veil their contempt of the eerily similar situation. Takashi paid them no mind as they all ate, but took some time to discuss the upcoming events with her mother. Kaori had only ever offered Takashi the utmost support and love, so it came as no surprise that she offered her most sincere well-wishes and beamed with joy as the prospect of attending the graduation. Her father, Yuuto, gave her a firm handshake and told her to represent the Yuganori well and return to them as a more fully realised asset.

The actual affair of graduating proceeded exactly as Takashi and her classmates had been taught that it would, and Takashi listened to Yogensha's speech intently. Their cohort was the first to have its individual groups selected by the Amekage rather than by the jōnin who traditionally chose their own teams. As she listened, it made Takashi think of how this was more of a beginning than an end, as Yogensha had stated, and she had to fight the urge to get lost in her thoughts in order to maintain focus. Takashi was surprised at the Amekage--even in their own village, little had actually gotten around about her, and being addressed by her personally felt like stealing a secret glimpse into an enigma that had been hidden from everyone. The more Takashi listened and observed, the more she thought it was a good thing that Yogensha had hidden her presence from the world. There was something so compelling about her--the quiet confidence with which she spoke, the grace and authority with which she moved. Even to one as uninitiated in the wider aspects of combat and the potential scale of ninjutsu, Takashi was utterly awed by what she imagined the Amekage capable of. She was reminded, in some ways, of her departed sister - and that mental connection served to plant the seeds for further admiration and respect in Takashi's mind.

When the rain began to fall, and the graduates instructed to don their headbands for the first time, Takashi wrapped hers around her scarf--causing the symbol to show just above her solarplexus--and looked back up at Yogensha.

“the Rain weeps for you and the suffering you are to receive and cause.”

Takashi heard the words echoing in the back of her mind as they were granted a momentary reprieve from the ceremony. Others around her chatted to one another, basking in the glory of their accomplishment, but Takashi's mind was sobered by the words. Suffering was integral to a shinobi--for every sacrifice required suffering by virtue of its nature--but there was no reason that the sacrifice could not be made sweet. Takashi resolved in that moment to use her burden as a way to focus herself, to focus not on the hardship ahead of her but on what that hardship preserved and protected. She lifted her head up to the rain and let the droplets of water run down her face, her smile broadening as she exulted in the feeling of her dedication. Was this how Kinuko had felt, when she had graduated? Was this how the others were feeling? Did they look past the fleeting moment of the now and into the uncertain future, as she was? Did they consider the gravity of what had just happened, of what they were now?

'No,'

'and neither should I.'

As the male shinobi's voice abruptly ended her reverie, Yogensha assigned to them their teams. Takashi did not even try to hide her giddy excitement at the fact that her name was spoken first--despite knowing that it was simply coincidence--and listened intently for the names of her new teammates. Furaribi Akane and Shiru Metsumi were spoken just after hers, and she impressed those names into her memory. There would be time to become acquainted with them later, however, as Takashi's next focus was on the gleaming smile of her mother from beneath the shelter. Takashi bounded over to her and wrapped her arms tightly around her midsection in a quickly returned embrace. It was an intimate moment of bonding, free from the judgements of the other Yuganori, and it was rare. The pure, unconditional affection that she received from her mother gave her her first tangible reason to bear the Rain's hardships, her first real consideration as a shinobi of the Rain, and she only hoped that that resolve would be just as warm and strong within her in the years to come as it was now.




Takashi had spent the better part of the week of free time she'd had weaving with her father, helping to fulfil commissions and practicing her technique for the upcoming meeting she'd be having with her sensei and her team. Yuuto had congratulated her sparingly upon her return, choosing to acknowledge her graduation as a sign that she was ready for more responsibility whenever she was at home and not on a mission. Takashi happily accepted all of the work that he gave her, both wanting to please him and wanting to improve her technique, and was taught new and interesting weaving techniques for her troubles. On the sixth day, in the evening just before she retired to bed, Takashi received the message from her sensei asking her to be present at the "Kazami Clan Entrance" in the morning. Takashi recognised the name--vaguely, at least--and spent the better part of an hour wracking her brains trying to work out where she'd heard the name before. Now that she was a shinobi proper she didn't want to just ask someone else, wanted to work out this enigma for herself, but as she paced the halls of the Yuganori clan compound muttering the name "Kazami, Kazami..." beneath her breath, one of the Elders shot her a disparaging glance and asked: "Kazami? Are you working on the order for the theatre?".

The moment of epiphany hit Takashi like a metaphorical truck--of course! She'd seen the name and the symbol when she'd gone over the clan's ledgers with Yuuto. She couldn't believe that she hadn't recognized the name earlier - though a modest clan by even Amagakure's standards, the Kazami had long been customers of the Yuganori for the various outfits they required for theatrical performances. Many of the articles they provided were only loaned, as the Kazami would not be able to afford the Yuganori's frankly extortionate prices for the entire outfits they produced, and as it was so easy for the Yuganori to repurpose any garment they created into any other garment, the outfits usually ended up being comprised of the various scraps and cutoffs of their more elegant and refined pieces. Of course, even with this practice in place the quality of their goods was so high compared to any other potential vendors (none of which had even remotely been competition in the past decade) and their ability to manipulate fabric was so proficient that fashioning the remnants of better materials into bolts of high quality cloth was something they did regularly. She immediately went to the clan's ledgers and looked up the relevant information for the Kazami clan's compound, taking a moment to recognise her sensei's name and her measurements.

Somewhat on a whim, Takashi decided that she would make a kimono for Miyako. She knew that the performers at the theatre typically performed elaborate dances, and that the weight of a kimono--especially the type that the Kazami could afford--was significant. It would be a labour in and of itself to get used to the weight of such a garment--Takashi knew from experience that it was a great strain over time--and that was the reason that she preferred to wear a men's kimono. She took the cloth she needed, infused it with the requisite Wind-natured chakra necessary to render it virtually weightless, and stayed up for a few extra hours putting the finishing touches to the garment. While she was by no means a master weaver by the Yuganori clan's standards, Takashi was more accomplished than any mundane weaver could ever hope to be and the creation of what was, by all means, an exquisite kimono was fairly standard fare for her. She slept knowing that she would have a gift that her new sensei would appreciate, and knowing precisely where to find her.

Over the course of the week, her family had bothered her less and less at breakfast time. Now that she was a shinobi proper she was afforded a degree of respect she simply hadn't as a student, and she ate her breakfast in relative peace for the first time she could remember. The usual breakfast of rice with furikake, miso soup, and a salmon fillet was on the menu - but her sensei had sent her an umeboshi (which she generally did not eat with her breakfast due to having miso soup) and requested that it be eaten, and so Takashi partook. It was a different kind of saltiness that tasted good, in small bites, with her rice and salmon. She ended up drinking very little of the miso soup, but found herself more satisfied with the change than she thought she would be. After the meal she made sure to box up the kimono she'd made, slip it into a backpack, and leave the clan compound bright and early for her meeting with Miyako.

Takashi wandered to the entrance, vaguely recognising one of the other two ninja as a distant relation (a second cousin, perhaps?) and not recognising the one he was walking with at all. They didn't get a chance to be properly (or even improperly) acquainted before they were ushered in to witness a performance. The theatre wasn't exactly somewhere Takashi had ever been, personally, but as the show started she felt a certain sense of homeliness from the outfits the performers wore alone. She recognised them individually, having assisted in some regard with all of them, and found herself focusing less on the symbolism of the play and more on it as an aesthetic device regarding the outfits. If nothing else, it was certainly a beautiful display--and Miyako herself was particularly resplendent. She was possessed of a fluidity and a grace that even a lot of shinobi could not boast, and she gave off an easy confidence that Takashi took a shine to. Even if the nuances of the performance were lost on her, she watched with rapt attention and fascination in her eyes.

Then it was over, and she was escorted alongside Akane and Metsumi to a small lounge where they proceeded to have a few moments to actually introduce themselves to one another. Metsumi gave her a formal and cheerful (if a little disingenuous, in Takashi's mind--she knew precisely her clan's reputation and relationship with the Shiru clan) greeting, to which she responded in earnest:

"I hope so too, Metsumi-chan!" Takashi started, opting for a less formal honorific than Metsumi. They didn't know each other at all at that point, but given the earnest desire they both seemed to have to get along, it seemed appropriate to remove any unnecessary formality.

"I'm so glad you enjoy the products we make! I know that we're certainly... urbane," she repeated in her closest approximation of Metsumi's tone, "but I'm confident in their quality! If I can help you with anything at all, please, let me know."

Akane didn't greet her, so Takashi didn't greet him either. From what she remembered of him (or more accurately his clan) they tended to be firebrands in the most literal sense possible, so she was certain that he'd do something to initiate a conversation around sooner or later. Until then, she was happy to take a seat and reminisce about the earlier performance. When Miyako arrived, Takashi immediately stood and gave her a quick but respectful bow before resuming her seat. As Miyako surveyed her three students and spoke to them, Takashi listened to what she had to say with a look of intense focus. She nodded along gently with every word, eyes bright with understanding, until Miyako had finished. She blushed a little at the compliment paid to her clan (and indirectly to her, she supposed), though the same look of understanding darkened her otherwise bright features as her clan was mentioned. It was exactly the same look she had given Metsumi with her earlier compliment, and though it was largely hidden behind a bashful smile this time it would not take a great deal of acumen and insight to recognise Takashi's simultaneous pride and resentment towards her clan--particularly when complimenting them was concerned.

She took a breath in as if to begin speaking, but was interrupted by the door opening and a few of the other Kazami bringing in plates of food. As each dish was set down Takashi offered a gleaming smile, a nod, and a quiet murmur of thanks. Takashi waited until everyone else had taken a portion of the available food for themselves before taking a steaming pile of rice and a few ladlefuls of thick broth and mixing them together in a bowl. While everything looked and smelled wonderful, Takashi had eaten salmon earlier in the day and did not feel like doing so again, and decided that leaving the meat for Akane seemed to be the wisest option given his apparent voracity. As Metsumi began offering insights about herself, Takashi took a cup and the steaming pot of tea, and nodded to Miyako first to see if she wanted any, then did the same with Akane and Metsumi respectively. After pouring tea where appropriate, she picked up her own cup and took a tentative sip before lifting the bowl of food in front of her to her mouth and spooning the gloopy mixture of broth and rice into her mouth with her chopsticks, barely taking the time to chew the homogenous mixture before shovelling more in with her chopsticks.

When it came to her turn to divulge information about herself, Takashi put the bowl down and took a sip of tea to cleanse her palate and throat before speaking up.

"Well, Miyako-sensei, I'm Takashi of the Yuganori clan! I'm sure I don't need to touch on my clan and their reputation with you. I enjoy learning about anything and everything, really, and of course I'm interested in weaving... I'm not sure how much I can really tell you about myself, sensei, when it's going to be easier to just show you as we get to know each other! I don't think you can really simplify a person down to a collection of hobbies and desires and expect to know them, you know? I want to improve my mastery of my clan's kekkei genkai and learn the secrets of the silken scrolls that have been lost to us for hundreds of years, and just... Generally improve as a shinobi? I'm not sure I've experienced enough to really tell you what I want to focus on specifically right now! I guess I just want to follow in my sister's footsteps." Takashi beamed as her turn came around, her thoughts flowing out in a steady rise until she realised she'd talked too much and tapering down.

"Oh, and I made something for you, Miyako-sensei!" Takashi exclaimed as the memory of her gift camr crashing to the forefront of her mind. She took the package out of her backpack and handed it to Miyako, taking the lid off as she did so to reveal a sheer black kimono not unlike the one she was currently wearing. The tailoring was, compared to an ordinary garment, stunning--but it fell short of the majesty of traditional Yuganori clan garb. Still, it was perfectly proportioned and clearly made with a great deal of care - which, in this situation, counted for more than quality on its own.

"I know how heavy the full kimono are, so I infused this one with fūton for you! It weighs basically nothing, so you should find it easier to dance in it when you next get the opportunity!" Takashi smiled bashfully, hoping that she'd appreciate it for its practicality if not its craftsmanship.

Regarding the mission, Takashi read the scroll and shrugged. It didn't seem like there were really any questions that she needed to ask--it seemed simple enough.
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