[Akihiko and Phantom Zero] Exchanging Bonds

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Phantom Zero, Jul 8, 2014.

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  1. The Japanese countryside rolled by like something out of a movie. The large, grey visage of Mt. Fuji loomed in the distance, dull and obscured by clouds. It made for a nice contrast with the vibrant colors of the landscape set out before it, like green, brown, blue, and more recently, yellow. Yui Ayukawa supposed she should've been impressed with the sight, but there wasn't much coming from her apart from the vacant stare directed into the distance. It seemed that today her family was going to the same farm as usual to procure produce. Evidently their preference for traveling the longer distance was due to better product than that which could've been found in your standard grocery store. From Yui's rational standpoint, it was a fairly understandable reason.

    The family of three's car drove along further for a short stretch of time, before turning into driveway and coming to a halt. Their destination had finally been reached, and now it was time for her mother and father to purchase organic goods and make smalltalk with the nice farming couple living there for a while. Which left Yui to wander about the property all alone. According to her parents, there was allegedly a child somewhere around her age frolicking around the area, but in her time there, Yui had never seen hide nor tail of the alleged child.

    Yui popped open her car door and stepped out on to the driveway. Her short, dark hair and the loose folds of her yukata waved in the breeze. Her family was rather traditionally oriented, so perhaps that was another reason why they opted not to go to the grocery store. It was definitely why they lived in a traditional home and had her wear the clothing. Though she couldn't complain, because the loose wardrobe was definitely more comfortable and free than the shirts and pants her father and mother wore for work. Of course there were... other reasons as to why she couldn't complain, but those were of little importance.

    As per usual, Yui's parents told her to go out and find something to do while they conducted their business. And so it fell to the passive little girl to make use of her free time. She glanced around the area and weighed her options. Or rather, her distinct lack of options. There was barely anything to do around here other than twiddle her thumbs! Although considering her feelings, it's not like twiddling her thumbs would be any less entertaining than, say, playing with some toys. Thus was the life of Yui Ayukawa.

    Opting to humor her mother and father as usual, Yui just sauntered off to wander around the property. Perhaps she may even find something to pique her interest for a few seconds. That would be certainly be a nice experience. After taking the time to patrol the area directly around the household, Yui took note of the sunflower field nearby. She looked back to her family and surmised that they wouldn't be finishing up any time soon, and entered the field. Not long after entering, some kind of bird flew by, flapping its wings in her face before flying a few circles around.

    "Are you taunting me, bird?" Yui asked impassively, eyes narrowing at the animal as it zipped away, "I will not be defeated so easily."

    Despite the odd combination, Yui wore sneakers along with her traditional garb. This meant that running in the yukata would be no trouble. She hiked up the robe and gave chase, all with the same neutral expression.
  2. The day had began in the afternoon where the beautiful azure sky was flowing over the human's head in the wind, sounds were chirped by the small birds and bits of bugs as the winged small creatures sore into the air while the smaller one were hopping place to place. The air that was blowing into the soft breeze to freshen the day of workers who were in the barn to taken care of the animals like cow, horse, chickens and sheep.

    Meanwhile in the fields of green, there were young workers were adults who was in charged of looking after the garden made their way over to the garden of greens, picking up the ripe vegetables like beets, bell peppers, butter lettuces, squashes, corns, cucumbers, and many varieties of kinds.

    During at the time like this, the grown ups were enjoying their lives to the fullest as they work in the farm, ensuring that the people in the towns or cities would probably like their freshly gardens to eat. This made one person happy as others were happy themselves to grow so goods to get nice reputations from other places and in hope of the companies accept business with them.

    Watching from afar was a little girl who was wearing a summer hat that was laced with a white ribbon around the center of the hat, and a overall white summer thin dress with a tanned-color sandals. Kanami Suzuhara, the young girl at the age of six, loved this happiness and wished that it stayed a bit more. Yes, today had came the new beginning of summer is now here, every one of students from school who either worked hard to pass the semester to take their break or those who to push up their grades as make up for failing their classes.

    "It finally came," said the voice that had belonged from the bewildered girl name Kanami, "it's finally here! Summer is back again!" Joy beat into the rhythm of her heart, she stretched her arms into the air for the relaxation until her arms dropped but using the right arm to held onto the summer hat as she began to ran down the hills. She couldn't get any happier than this as she reached to the bottom towards to the flower field: the sunflowers. Kanami was roaming around in the sea of sunflowers, taking the picture of this lovely bright yellow flowers shining against the radiant sun that helped the sunflower to grow big and wide.
  3. "Cease your futile escape, you..."

    Honestly, Yui had no idea what kind of bird that was. By its appearance alone, it most definitely was no crane. Nor did it look very pheasant-like. Perhaps the bird was a swallow. If that was a case, it was very unfortunate that Yui did not possess a nodachi - nor the skills to utilize a nodachi - which meant that she was unable to use the Tsubame Gaeshi technique developed by Sasaki Kojirou in order to strike down the aforementioned bird species. Such was the life of Yui Ayukawa.

    "...bird of unknown origin. I will inevitably catch up and defeat you. This is a waste of both our energy."

    Yui was still trodding along after the aforementioned bird. Despite the words of determination and/or aggression she was speaking, the 8-year old's face was almost comically deadpan, her vocal tone of choice doubly so. Unfortunately the combination of the sunflowers and the yukata robes was hindering the little girl's speed, and thus preventing her from catching the free flying avian. Not to mention actually keeping up with it. She was sure that the bird was slowing down just to taunt her. Though the taunts may not have had their intended effect, as Yui was hardly increasing her speed with vigor nor making any attempts to adjust her tactic of 'chase after the stupid bird'.

    Eventually after all that running, Yui and the mystery bird species finally broke free from the sunflower field. Taking the opportunity to increase her pace, the dark haired child increased her speed. It was the only rational choice in this situation after all. If she truly wanted to defeat the evolutionarily inferior organism, she should take that choice. Unfortunately for Yui, however, her mentality didn't take into account the human limitations when coming up with her plan.

    "Why am I slowing down?" the young girl asked as her breathing became much more tasked and her strides became substantially weaker. The bird was getting away, and there was nothing she could do about it. "No. I said I would catch you," Yui said matter-of-factly, stopping her little jog and staring at the retreating form of the winged beast. There were no hard feelings involved as Yui acknowledged her 'defeat'.

    "Goodbye bird. Thank you for your time."

    With that said, Yui began walking back to the house, taking the path through the sunflower field. Suddenly...

    "Hello there," Yui greeted, voice monotone as ever. It seemed that she came across the alleged girl from earlier. Fancy that.
  4. She smiled before she notice a voice that belong to another young girl, Kanami turn to look up at the stranger she had never seen around in the farm before. Summer dressed child look at the older one and grinned at her. "Hello," Kanami greeted back before holding on to her hat, "Are you new here? I never seen anyone about my size or age around here before!" The long-haired brunette's eyes sparked with excitement after finally meeting someone who was about her age. Giggling in a mannerly way before she had planning anything else.

    Kanami scanned around for something before looking at Yui. She had spotted the Sunflowers that was taller than the two girls and had skipped over to the flower. Once she had reached to the spot that caught her eyes, she carefully tried to snap the stem with a perfect cut by using her nail. The long tipped nail made its way to make the flower in neat condition and straighten the cut. The little girl had walked back to the taller one and smiled at her, presenting the golden radiant sunflower to Yui.

    "I am Kanami Suzuhara, please to meet you!" Kanami introduced herself, spiral around as small performance but she stop and grinned brightly at her new companion. "As you can see, my family owns the farm here but I don't really come out here often unless it's the summer. Um, may I ask who you are?" The young girl tilted her head in a puzzled look but remained patiently for Yui to introduce herself.
  5. Yui's dead, fish-like blue eyes stared into the sparkling eyes of the younger girl before her. The child was clad in a summer dress and hat. The color white was her favored choice today, evidence being taken from the white ribbon and dress. She seemed to be a rather happy young child, cheerful and enthusiastic. It was almost exactly the opposite of how Yui seemed, cold and unattached. The younger one asked her a question. Yui nodded simply and answered with a curt, "Yes." To her, there wasn't much else to say. The girl had asked the question, and she had answered. No need to overcomplicate things.

    Yui observed the girl scan her surroundings for something and run off behind her. She wondered what that 'something' was that had obtained her attention. Perhaps there was another bird, opting to taunt Kanami instead of herself. That line of thought certainly entertained Yui. It would be useful to see if this girl had any effective bird-chasing tactics in case this situation repeated itself in the future. Yui turned back in time to see Kanami cut down an abnormally-sized sunflower with nothing but her nails. What exactly was her objective in taking the life of a living organism?

    Yui continued watching as Kanami returned to her, holding the sunflower corpse in hand. Kanami presented Yui the sunflower like some kind of hunting trophy before introducing herself to her. Yui took the flower from her hands gently, holding the plant with care as Kanami spoke. Apparently her family owned the farm, and she only came out during the summer season. "I am Ayukawa Yui," she said, not doing any small performance or any sort of fancy movements. She did, however, attempt to smile back, which ended up looking rather fake. "It is a pleasure to meet you as well, Suzuhara Kanami."
  6. Kanami stared at the puzzling Yui if she rather going to accept the sunflower or not. But after Yui had taken the small token for welcoming her to the farm, the dark brunette grinned in a cheerful mood. Not only that, now she know the other girl's full name. "Ayukawa... Yui-chan?" she repeated the name that belong to the older girl, leaving her to think if she pronounced it right. "Ayu... Kawa..." Kanami quietly mumble to herself as she practice to say it right so she wouldn't annoy Yui for saying it wrong. It had been a while since Kanami tried too hard for try saying her name correctly before she glance up to Yui. "Ayukawa-chan... Did I do it right?" She asked as she tilted her head, she wasn't sure if she done it right.

    "Um, you can call me Kanami or just Kana!" Kanami said as she hopped back a bit, giving space to Yui for herself momenterally. Already at the first base since Kanami had already said that she didn't have any friends around her. It wouldn't be any wonder why since there didn't seem to be any houses or nearby school where she had to live. As it may be, Kanami look like she wasn't lonely but behind the mask that it did shown it on her sort of after the young girl had met this smaller one with twinkle eyes... She, as in Kanami, hopes that she can have friends in the future to ever talk to, besides the one in the farms since they were only teenagers and adults there were out of her league.

    Kanami's unique color eye that glows like the red-orange sunset was locked into Yui's gentle blue eyes before seeing the entire look of Yui's full profile. The atmosphere and appearances were very different or opposite from one another. She took note that Yui is a taller, or guessing, older child that must be from the nearby town. While Kanami herself is a bit younger than her and lives in the farm because of her parents owns the land, thanks to one of her grandfather from her father's sister.

    Then she had looked down at the girl's outfit, an yukata with the sneaker? What happen with the sandals that they usual wore as tradition? The moment had made her brainstorm of the idea until it came to her. "Um, Ayukawa-chan, is there a festival that's going to start soon? Is that why you're here with your parents?"
  7. Yui nodded. "Your pronunciation of my name is correct, Suzuhara Kanami-san," she answered with a redundant nod of affirmation. This young child before her was much like the other children Yui had encountered in her lifetime. That is to say, very loud - much louder than herself, though it wasn't as if she was all that loud in the first place - and very smiley - how they managed to pull that off so naturally looking was, for Yui at least, one of life's little mysteries. According to her parents, she always looked so 'down in the dumps' as it were. She didn't understand why they said that, as that particular term would imply that she was very sad. On the contrary, she was neither sad nor happy. Neutral would be the best descriptor, she figured.

    The child said something again. Apparently Yui was allowed to refer to the child by the designation of 'Kanami', or alternatively, 'Kana'. However, calling her 'Suzuhara Kanami' seemed to be a much more exact in meaning. For example, what if there was a situation in which there were more than one person by the name of 'Kanami' or 'Kana'? Numerically designating them would be a rather inefficient means of communication, both due to the fact the other parties would not know if their designation was 'Kana 1' and 'Kana 2' without having to utilize more words to get her point across, and the fact that Yui had yet to consider their friendship at that level of intimacy yet. She had been informed by both her parents and her teachers that it was impolite to refer to people without the proper honorifics or call them by their first name without a sufficient level of friendship. She presumed doing both without the prerequisite was doubly offensive.

    Yui looked down at the sunflower, turning it gently between her fingers. Did this qualify as a sign of friendship like the girl had said? Yui didn't know, so it was best not to take the chance. The girl spoke again. This time about a potential festival starting soon. "Tanabata is next month," she answered bluntly, "and I am here because my parents wish to purchase produce."
  8. Kanami had jumped in few times, feeling the proud and joy for trying to call Yui's last name very well. Until she was done celebrating to herself and turn to the quiet girl, she had once again smile at Yui. "Yay! I'm glad that I got it right, Ayukawa-chan!" she said with a proudly tone before she gave a shy aura of hers, summing up with a brighten but nervous smile. Kanami had place her hands behind her as she tried more of the conversation, "Although I was nervous if I had said it wrong to maybe upset you or something... I never really seen much of any children, besides you, around in the farm..."

    "The workers that help mommy and daddy had promised me that they were going to bring their own kids here one day whenever it's possible. But it seems either other parents aren't home because they have to deal with their own work sometimes that it couldn't be help. They weren't brought here because they were afraid by the time the kids aren't looked after, they'll cause trouble like hurting the animals or damage the poor greens in the fields. So that's why I'm always alone and don't have that many friends."

    The younger child had frown at this as she starts to remember a bit of pieces during her whole time in the farm, no friends or school to enroll to because of her grandfather's debt. The time had became awkwardly quiet until the dark brunette had notice that Yui was already distracted by something that made the older girl confuse. The summer dressed girl smile at Yui, probably thinking about what to address her since they've only met today. Kanami came over to Yui and reached her hands with her own to break the other's thoughts. "It's okay to call me 'Kana-chan' or 'Namika', Ayukawa-chan." As if Kanami could read her mind, she gently poked the doll-like but with sneakers girl, on the forehead with a smile. "I don't want you to call me by my last name because... Well, I don't like being addressed 'formally' like the adults do... But I hope I do get to know you more one day so we can use our own first names!"

    She slightly gripped on Yui's hand a bit to know that this meeting was special to her. But she had guessed that her parents were worried about Kanami that they had to tell the customers or the parents' workers to get their children to meet with her. Kanami was kinda unhappy that they had to do something this unmeasurable to push a child like Yui along the ride to force her to make friends with this isolated child... But nevertheless, the summer spirited girl was happy that she had met Yui. But wonder if she could ever meet this girl again, one day in the future...

    "Tanabata... Won't you tell me more about it, Ayukawa-chan?"
  9. Yui watched on as Suzuhara Kanami celebrated to herself by jumping in place. Why was the girl celebrating so fervently anyway? All she had done was receive verification that she had correctly pronounced Yui's last name. It wasn't as if it were her birthday or she had received some sort of gift, and yet she seemed so pleased with herself. Her explanation regarding her insecurity regarding being wrong was a much more understandable sentiment. Offending others was not a very good result to one's actions, as both theoretical lessons and practical application had taught the stoic young Japanese child.

    Without any input from Yui, Kanami continued on with an explanation of the motives behind her behavior. According to the child before Yui, there were supposed to be other children romping about. Not necessarily at this moment in time, but during different periods throughout the year. Unfortunately it seemed that either concern regarding the farm's goods production, or lack of transportation always prevented the arrivals from occurring, leaving Kanami all alone. Yui supposed that it would be sad, but couldn't find it in her to share the sentiment. Perhaps it was because she just didn't care as much for the interaction with other children as Kanami did.

    The feeling of Kanami taking her hands into her own caused the elder child to look down, focusing on the younger child before her. Why had she taken a hold of her hands? What purpose did it serve? Soon enough, Kanami began speaking again. This time to address Yui's mental questions. How Kanami had managed to read her so easily was another mystery to group with the other two aforementioned questions. According to the girl herself, she preferred not to be referred to by her surname, and apparently wished to learn more about Yui so they could speak casually, without need for formalities. Kanami had also tapped Yui's forehead for some strange reason, and smiled as she did so. Although, Yui did not perceive this action as a threat to her being, and so reacted neutrally to it. She broke Kanami's grip and rubbed at the part of her forehead that had been poked, eyes aimed up to her head, even though the area wasn't in her line of sight. After a moment or two of that, her gaze fell back on Kanami and Yui took Kanami's hands into her own.

    "I would prefer to refer to you as Suzuhara Kanami, Suzuhara Kanami-san," Yui replied simply.

    Yui felt her hands get squeezed by Kanami once more. Like the hand holding, Yui just couldn't understand her motive behind doing so, but went along with the flow, giving a squeeze of her own. Then Yui was asked about Tanabata, which was strange as she was sure Kanami's school would've explained the festival to her. But Yui decided to humor the young girl.

    "Tanabata is a star festival held on the seventh of July, but the date varies depending on location. According to folklore, it celebrates the meeting of Orihime and Hikoboshi, two lovers separated by the Milky Way. According to the same legend, they are allowed to meet once a year. We celebrate this day by writing wishes on tanzaku and hanging those wishes on a tree. Depending on area, the tree is either burned, or put on a boat and floated down a river. Other festival celebrations vary," she recited, taking reference from a report she had written on the subject in class.
  10. Kanami became flustered as Yui had withdrawn her hands away from the girl, frowning at the whole addressed name that Yui had called her. This slightly had made the child disappointed that the other child didn't like the idea of calling her by the nickname or just the first name base. But it's something that Kanami can't control her about and plan not to do anything about it. "Please don't call me by my full name, Ayukawa-chan..." Kanami said in sad tone, resting her hands on her dress and shook her head. "I don't really feel comfortable about the whole name being called out like that... So at least you can do is call me by my last name then?" She gave a small smile as the girl had turned her back towards to Yui, looking at the sky when the wind started to kick in gently.

    Of course, she didn't notice that Yui had enlighten her with something that she never knew about. To be honest, Kanami never went to school because although that her parents do have enough money to send the little child to school, they wouldn't time to pick her up or nearly be home around the time they work since they were assigned to a contract to meet with the company's local brand to promote their shop with the daily products and vegetables.

    "So the Tanabata is a star night festival for the celebration for the Orihime and Hikoboshi, huh..." Kanami mumbled to herself as she still see the bright light sunshine, wondering what it'd be like to do in the festival for each year's event. "It must be sad for the lovers to be broken apart because of the Milky Way... And only get to see each other once a year..." Her eyes looked teary but she still maintain a brighten grin on her lips as she looked at Yui. "It's just like the story of Romeo and Juliet, except they'll always be together forever!" Kanami comment with a giggle as she looked at Yui again, "It sounds sad but I'm glad that even after they passed away, they'll be together forever. At least, that's what my tutor Minaki-sensei said."

    The young girl given her attention to the land that was flourished with the greens of wonder, imagining the place was replaced with town's festival that the girl never went to before. The street lit with the small paper lanterns that her tutor had shown her before, to visualize of what it looked like. The people in the stands were setting up their own mini-games or food courses, while the guests were enjoying their nights away with different things and maybe at the end, they'll go watch the fireworks. Very romantic... "I wish I could go to the festival..." Kanami mumbled to herself, envying that Yui was able to go to the festival event. She herself wasn't able to go because she was always helping with her family to pack, send, and maybe adversities her family's goods that's on sale. The girl didn't look back to the older child, but still asked away.

    "Ne, Ayukawa-chan. If you ever come back from the Tanabata festival, do you think you can show me some pictures of yourself for me? I'd like to see it." Kanami asked as she still looked at the field.
  11. (Gah. Sorry for not replying earlier. The thread didn't show up in my alerts >>)


    Yui was silent, which to be honest, wasn't much of a change from her usual demeanor. Apparently Kanami seemed very morose for some reason. Had she done something to offend her? Taking inventory of all of her actions, and all of Kanami's reactions, up until now, Yui could confidently say that she had not made any misplays during this metaphorical chess game. Or at least, none that she could see. Then again, she had been criticized for being unable to read a mood prior to this encounter by her teachers, so perhaps she should be taking her observations with a grain of salt. Fortunately, Yui's internal indecision was confirmed by Kanami's sad declaration regarding being uncomfortable with the designation that Yui had chosen for her. Yui figured that that particular tidbit of information was to be expected, considering her previous request regarding a fitting name.

    Yui closed her eyes and exhaled as Kanami turned away, wind kicking up with her. If Yui were to be watching the situation as an outside observer watching a TV show, she'd assume that something dramatic was to about to be said.

    "If that is what you wish, I shall refer to you by your surname, Suzuhara-san."

    However, little did Suzuhara Kanami-san know, however, was that Yui was using her full name when discussing her mentally! 'MWAHAHAHA.' ...is what Yui would be saying, had she not had that stone-cold self-control or a distinct lack of wanting to break out into mad laughter. She did have to admit that her sneaky, underhanded tactic was a rather clever one, if she did say so herself.

    Suzuhara Kanami spoke, back still facing Yui. The former looked into the sun, and that action, combined with her back being turned away, made the whole situation look much more dramatic than it was. Suzuhara Kanami began summarizing the essay that Yui had recited for her, but with her own personal commentary on the subject. According to her, it was a sad tale, and she compared it to Romeo and Juliet. Though didn't Romeo and Juliet die horribly and tragically at the end? Speaking of which, why did so many people even compare their relationships to that trainwreck? Additionally, Romeo and Juliet hardly seemed like immortal Japanese dieties. Truly, the only similarity was the fact that they were parted forcefully.

    ...Why would anybody allow children to make a comparison to such a gruesome tale in the first place?

    Yui's odd train of thought was derailed by Suzuhara Kanami's request. She was requesting pictures of Yui at the festival. Yui considered this request of hers and found nothing wrong with it. So she answered simply.

    "I will attempt to do that for you, Suzuhara-san."
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