Female Warriors of Feudal Japan

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  1. Night Before
    "Hikaru, you have an early day tomorrow. You must rest and prepare to select your escorts for your journey to Mt. Fuji, this is no game," The Emperor stated, holding his arms out with hopes of encouraging Hikaru to climb down from the tree.

    "No! I don't want to go to Mt. Fuji," she wailed, both feet planted firmly on a thick tree branch with ease. She stood with her hands on her hips, nose held up in the air as she looked down at her father.

    "This is not a part of the agreement, Hikaru! You know what must be done! Come down here, this instant!" The emperor demanded, surrounded by several maids that were also anticipating Hikaru's descent. "I won't repeat myself, young lady! Get down!"

    Hikaru climbed down the tree with her doll of the emperor held in her free hand. She kept the doll close and walked past the emperor without another word.

    Warriors Assembly ~ Day One
    Chieko's day had started before the sun was even up. She swept the porch steps to the village shrine, healed some minor ailments and sold enough salves to catch a ride to the Emperor's without having to dip into her savings.

    By sunrise, Chieko was seated on the back of a carriage and on her way to Kyoto for the warriors assembly. She could only hope that out of everyone in attendance that she would be selected for this mission. She couldn't name anyone better with a bow, and her ability to heal even the most grave of injuries must have overqualified her. Well, that's what Chieko liked to think, but she had to admit that she was sheltered, and there were probably plenty of women with the same abilities, but with more world experience. How would they choose anyway?

    With the palace coming up, Chieko guessed she would find out how they selected the warriors soon enough. "Thank you," she said as the carriage rolled to a bumpy stop in front of the palace gates. She paid for the ride and hopped down. Two noble guardsmen approached Chieko, though Chieko was a little intimidated by their appearance.

    "Hi, I'm Matsunaga Chieko," she greeted, and then took the flier for the Emperor's mission out of a hidden pocket in her herb pouch. They took that, and Chieko's bow and quiver full of arrows before escorting her inside.

    Chieko looked around as they entered the palace, her expression one of awe. Sugoii. Outsiders were rarely given the opportunity to see inside of the emperor's palace, so Chieko made sure to take everything in. She wished she could have taken a few detours just to see the rest of it, but the guards took her straight to the Warriors Assembly, where there were already quite a bit of women in attendance. There, she saw the Emperor and a young girl, who Chieko didn't seem familiar at all. She did see several of his sons, though. It was hard not to recognize them.

    Chieko followed the others and stood in the horizontal line. She guessed that was what they were going to do until the emperor was ready to address them.

    #1 Sailor Moon, Mar 28, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2015
  2. Retsu's Journey
    The journey to the Emperor's city was a far one. While Retsu and her clan of shinobis operated far and wide, the capital city was one of those places that was hotly contested, and her clan didn't want to involve themselves in that mess. Indeed, this would be their first attempt at trying to get close to the Emperor in a long time. Retsu's mission was simple: Find what the Emperor wanted with all these women and report back to to the village. Of course, Retsu wanted to do a bit more than that. This would be her first time actually seeing the world outside of the village. Sure she had heard tails of what was going on around Japan, seen artist rendition of some beautiful places, but she wanted to see it with her own eyes. Sure the mission came first, but surely they would understand that Retsu should make sure to know as much as she can before she simply goes back home, right?

    With those thoughts in mind Retsu traveled from her small village to the Emperor's city. The trip was largely uneventful aside from a few nervous moments were Retsu wasn't quite sure how to deal with, such as the toll gates or where it was safe to store her wagon. The only trouble she had to deal with personally was a drunkard at the inn she was staying at, and some of the locals were kind enough to deal with him before she had to. And despite the fact that she's only been stopping at sleepy little villages, she was amazed by what she saw. Her village, aside from being a secret shinobi hideout, specialized in mining iron. A valuable resource in Japan, but also makes for a fairly boring place filled with smoke and fire. But out here, she saw the vast rice patty fields, farms with all sorts of animals grazing around them, and even saw a massive building that floated in the water. She later discovered that the building was known as a "Boat", something she never heard before then. And then there was the shrines. While Retsu's village worshiped a few deities and held ceremonies for their ancestors, she had never seen shrines bigger than the ones you'd find on the side of the roads. One village she stopped by she called "Shrine City", because the entire village was a shrine dedicated to some god that Retsu never heard of. They were a very beautiful place and quite illuminated: It was as bight at night as it was during the day!

    The most impressive place Retsu had ever seen was her final destination: The Emperor's City. She never knew such a place could exist, or at least if it did, it would have only been possible with magic. To Retsu the moment she saw the Emperor's City she though she had entered a whole new world. The people looked and sound different, dressed in different fashion, moved in different ways. A lot of them were rather large that she thought she had accidentally found a city of oni. But no, these were humans alright. Humans cut from a different cloth than what Retsu was used to. Amongst these people Retsu looked like a vagabond; her clothing were dull and raggedy, her faced covered in a light layer of dirt and smelled slightly of her most recent meal (Boiled chicken). It almost made Retsu want to turn back now in shame, but she pressed on. Regardless of how out of place she felt, she had her mission. She was going to see to it to the end!

    "Good day to you, I am Goroshi Retsu."

    At the gates of the Emperor's Palace Retsu took out the flier for the job. She showed it to the guardsmen after introducing herself, and they asked her to hand over any weapons she might have. "Reasonable enough." Retsu gave them her kama and Wakizashi, but hidden within her clothing was her chained flail. She kept quiet about it, as she knew that everywhere held dangers in the shadows, and she wanted to be ready for it when it comes out.

    Despite the air of danger that Retsu felt, she was still in awe at the palace. From the outside it looked magical, and entering it did not dispel the illusion. If the guardsmen were not escorting her she would have likely gotten lost just sight-seeing. Soon Retsu arrived in a massive hall, with a line of women (Who Retsu deduced to being the warriors who came for the mission) as well as the Emperor and his sons. Retsu hoped that this wasn't just the Emperor's way of finding wives for his sons, as she had no interest in such things. The idea of being married off to some man only to bare children and serve as his emotional crutch... While she knew there were some more honorable than that, Retsu still didn't like the idea of settling down and becoming a wife. Shaking these thoughts out of her head she did a bit of tidying up on herself and stood with the rest of the women. Once there she noticed the little girl by the Emperor, who Retsu assumed was his child.

    "Interesting. I don't think I ever heard about the Emperor having a daughter."
  3. ___________________________________________________________
    ♥Kimiko Nakamura♥
    The young lady dressed in a beautiful black and white flowered kimono, with a beautiful crystal blue silk scarf on walked down the pathed towards the palace. Every step she took, was light and delicate. Nothing ever came out of place as she walked. Her silhouette was of beauty and power. She was..."Ohh! A Squirrel! Come here little buddy."

    The Hanyou, Kimiko Nakamura chased after the little squirrel. All her grace and delicacy erased in a blink of an eye. Luckily, Kimiko wasn't close enough to the palace to blow her cover. If anyone knew what she was, she would shortly be kicked out of the palace...or maybe even worst then that.

    Kimiko finally caught the squirrel. "I'm not going to hurt you...even though people call me a monster, I am not one." Kimiko smiled and patted the squirrel, after feeding it a cheese ball, Kimiko let it go. She watched as it ran away. "If only I could run free, without anyone trying to harm me." Kimiko shrugged her shoulders and started to walk towards the palace.

    She made sure that her scarf was in place, didn't want it to fall off right now. That would be disastrous. She took out the flier. Thank God she still had it. Kimiko had a bad habit of losing things easily. After the guards checked it over, they let her go through. She didn't have any weapons, so they didn't have to search her on anything.

    Kimiko was glad that they were too busy to FULLY check her, any well trained guard would have at least smelt the animal stench on Kimiko. No matter how many baths and washes she took, that smell would never go away. It was faint, but still there. Kimiko walked, almost floating over to the other ladies. She was waiting for this to begin. Still watching the guards.

  4. Unlike the other souls in the palace to audition for a place on the Emperor’s elite task force, Awai had no journey to make. She’d rolled out of bed only half an hour ago. The life of a geisha, especially in the Emperor’s palace, was a luxurious one. She’d packed up her poisons and set her hair up in a practical bun (with a few loose pieces to keep up sex appeal) and donned one the kimonos the Emperor liked to see her in. She had little doubt she would have a place on this team, she would be the only woman auditioning who the Emperor knew personally and the only familiar face to the little princee. One of his spies and occasionally a killer, his poison mistress and his visitor’s favorite whore. With her things packed, she lazily made her way down into the main room, bowing deeply (and showing her ample cleavage) to the Emperor and his precious daughter. Even living in the palace she rarely saw the delicate little girl. Being the only daughter to an Emperor made the little thing a valuable political tool. Her virginity given in marriage would be more powerful than any blade. She was a great tool in her father’s hand.

    Awai stood near the raised area and flicked her eyes over the crowd. Plenty of women had arrived, many of them well armed and showing signs of high level training. Others seemed vagabonds off the streets. Shrine maidens, samurai’s wives, even a few demon women or half breeds. The young geisha saw them all, but paid them little mind. Whoever else was chosen, she would be able to handle them for the sake of the award. They were just a part of the ride.

    Being the daughter of a celestial maiden meant she had a different aura that a human or that of a demon. Anyone who had spiritual senses could tell as much, and from where she stood, she could see some of the shrine maidens near her squirming and blushing slightly as they would be more exposed to her seductive aura. Awai only smiled and yawned, whipping a fan from her cleavage to wave in her face. Hopefully, a decision would be made soon.
    #4 GoodEveningClarice, Mar 28, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2015
  5. The Emperor’s Palace, despite how opulent and lavish it all was, standing high above any other building, was still only a half hour’s walk away from the downtown districts of Kyoto, where men and women of ill-repute gathered to indulge in their carnal desires. Vendors peddled odd wares on the streets, performers played music or recited poems, and the eloquent brothels of Kyoto was filled to the brim with promiscuous individuals. If it was the Haruka of eight years past, she would have walked through those streets stiffly, her nerves on edge and her fists clenched tight. Now, though, she strode onwards with a light, easy gait. Those messy streets were another home for her by now, and her acquaintances, though immoral, gambling alcoholics, were good-hearted to those they knew.

    And, if those rumors were correct, about the Emperor’s job being that of an escort mission, then it would be quite some time before she could see them again. It was her choice, of course, to get a broader view of the world that she lived in, but Haruka couldn’t help but feel a little bit melancholy. She had already bid the geisha farewell, and had said her good-byes to her family. She had settled all her debts, and made sure that every misunderstanding was cleared, so that she could leave Kyoto without any unfinished business. Meticulous, perhaps, but it was important to her.

    As the Emperor’s palace came into full view, Haruka paid little heed to the guards present. Unlike others, she was dressed a dark hakama and a white kimono, tied tight around her to make it apparent that she was a martial artist, and that she hid no weapons on her person.

    It also helped that she was acquainted with those two particular guards, and gave them a friendly smile as she passed. After all, it was always good to be courteous to regular customers of the geisha that she had protected.

    The interior of the Palace, while objectively gorgeous, was subjectively tiring. Haruka had already seen enough fanciful architecture to last a lifetime, and at this point, her admittedly uncultured eye simply couldn’t care about the decorations at all. Casting a gaze at the ‘host’ of this gathering, she couldn’t help but sigh, when she saw a much young girl clinging onto the robes of the great Emperor.

    “They’re getting younger every time, huh…” She murmured.

    Thankfully, there were other things to occupy her mind with as she scanned the room, namely the figure of a familiar person.

    “Awai-san,” Haruka called with a small smile, as she walked towards the former geisha, “You’ve gotten sloppier since we’ve last met, haven’t you? The first rule of a geisha is that of subtle elegance, wasn’t it? Here, let me help you!”

    And without further ado, she gently took the ends of buxom woman’s kimono and readjusted them, to hide her chest from the gaze of others. Or, at least, Haruka tried to.

    “Hm, looks like it was improperly tailored or measured…and you forgot a sarashi as well, haven’t you…” she said, a frown on her face. Looked like Awai really let loose since Haruka had seen her last.
    • Love Love x 1
  6. Maki's eyes twitched as light stained the darkness of her vision causing her to shift a little as the evidence of morning poured in through the bamboo trees.
    Tossing a few times she tried to keep her sleep from being disturbed, but knowing it was a losing battle she slowly opened her eyes and raised her body up from the collection of leaves she was asleep on. Rubbing her eyes she reached over and picked up her sword attaching it to her waist as she stood up, and stretched a bit looking around the forest for the exit. Since she had put her full attention on reaching the emperor quickly she didn't bother taking any jobs, and that meant no money which meant sleeping outside. Though she didn't mind when the weather was beautiful like it was today, she didn't like the sun since it messed with her sleep but everything else about this day was comfortable. Maki dug in her kimono pulling out the parchment before staring at it for a moment. She shoved it back in and continued her travels towards the emperor's residence resting her hand on the hilt of her sword.

    After a few hours she found herself in the emperor's city, keeping her attention for the most part forward as she headed towards the palace. Walking with a slow gait, her eyelids lowered halfway and her mouth forming a straight line, along with an occasional yawn escaping her could almost give the illusion of boredom at the sight surrounding her.
    This being her normal expression however it hid the actual surprise she had towards the city itself.
    Seeing no reason in being anywhere near the emperor she made an effort to avoid the city in the rare case she was anywhere in the area which she could count on her hand. Looking around she could see traces of things she'd noticed in her travels, the movement of the people towards their destinations, goods being sold, people of a seedy nature, the list was nearly endless but something about this city made something so mundane seem at least somewhat more alive. Maki however wasn't interested in anything the city had to offer and only wished to see the emperor and get put on this mission, she had traveled a long distance to try and get a spot and all this extra effort better amount to something.

    Wandering up to the gates she stopped noticing the guards in the way, almost out of habit she lifted her hand to forcibly move them but remembered mid reach that wasn't the best course of action right now. If she killed any of the guards then the emperor might not hire her on, that would make this trip meaningless...that and she'd have to deal with the consequences that would follow but that was second to getting turned away.
    Continuing to raise her hand she casually covered her attempted murder by pulling out the flier and holding it up to the men, though finding out she had to relinquish her weapon her hand went to the sheath of her weapon. For the briefest of moments she considered taking the risk of drawing it but instead removed the charm on the hilt and handed her sword to them before heading inside.

    Keeping her attention forward she ignored most of the castle not willing to get distracted this close to her objective, which was a shame considering she would probably never be in here again, aside for getting her reward which she was very adamant about earning. If she succeeded in her mission she'd take the time to sight-see, but now wasn't the time for that, the guards escorting her seemed to think the same.
    Upon entering the warriors assembly she walked into the line of women in silence her attention focused directly ahead, her gaze did move to the child that seemed to be by the emperor but it only returned to him shortly after. She took notice of her son's in the room and the other warriors that had gathered here.
    However as her gaze fell on them she remembered a rather important matter, at least when it came to meeting nobility, and that was her appearance.
    Raising her kimono sleeve she noticed she was still covered in leaves and a bit of dirt from the forest, she blinked a few times and casually started brushing a bit off her causing some of it to fall on the floor. She reached back and grabbed her long ponytail using her fingers to comb out a few more leaves before releasing it. She didn't get anywhere close to removing all of the leaves, nor the twigs on her hakama and in her hair but she figured she was presentable enough. This wasn't a meeting over beauty he was looking for warriors and at the very least she fit that...though there seemed to be a few who followed the former rule of conduct but her attention was focused on the child now and she tuned out anything else around her.
  7. Shirohane Ageha

    She didn't have a particularly difficult journey to the capital, thanks to several factors. She kept her horn filed down to the tiniest lump, leaving them sore on occasion, so she could keep them hidden underneath a headband. Her light-blue hair was explained away as a magical mishap done as a child, a spell-caster was better than a hanyou anytime, and the same with the markings near her eye.

    Something else that improved people's opinion of her was the fact that she was willing to play music even for free. That was how she had gotten a lift with a merchant into town, keeping him entertained by playing the koto. All of her actions had been the result of learning through hardships, sometimes she considered going home to see her mother, but just the thought of being scolded heavily and having to linger in the sheltered town to complete the final part of her training made her insane. She liked her freedom of travel very much, thank you.

    Still, the mission posed by the Emperor... If she completed that and returned home with the bounty the scolding could be replaced by praise. Plus people would know her more as an excellent person instead of judging her as half... Oni... Sighing softly she reached the gates, handing over the flyer she got told to hand over her weapons. Relinquishing the staff she was surprised when they recognized the mirror as a magic tool. Maybe because of the esoteric markings? Mournfully it took her a long stretch of time to finally let go of the mirror and be led inside through the maze of hallways to where the Emperor awaited.

    Glancing around she saw all sorts of people from all walks of life, even a... Prostitute? Still, she kept herself from becoming too restless and maintained an air of calm. She had gotten pretty good at that.
  8. Since her time with Karachi, Shiego spent most of her days by trying to prove herself. Her master wouldn´t like it, but she craved for fame. She was a no one for the most of her life, and now, she wanted to change that. She had the skills and the training and she wanted to make the best out of it. Duels, competitions, small skirmishes... Shiego tried to attend to everything that could win her a name, but she had no success so far. It changed when a news about Emperor get to her. He was looking for a female warrior and there was no one who fit that description better than she did. Almost immediately, she was on her way to Kyoto.

    Shiego´s journey to the capital was rather uneventful. Most of the troublemakers that tended to swarm the roads thought twice before attacking a well-armed and obviously trained warrior and she had no trouble with finding a place to rest. Most of barkeepers welcomed her in their taverns, honoured to serve a samurai, especially when that samurai paid a decent coin for their services. She was almost broke at the end of her journey, but it paid off. Her left leg had time to relax every night and caused her minimal troubles along the way. That made Shiego quite happy, as she feared that the emperor would notice her limping and threw her out. But in the end of her journey, she was still at the peak of her condition and sure that she will impress her liege.

    Kyoto was a wonderful place, she had to admit that. She visited a lot of interesting places with Karachi, but they were mostly out-of-hand monasteries, mountains and other hardly inhabited places. She was used to partial solitude and Kyoto´s high population completely threw her off gurad. So far, the most populated place she visited was her hometown, but even that was a backwater compared to the great capital. Streets were almost crowded by people and wagons and the air was filled by smell of whole mass of unwashed people. Beggars and prostitutes were almost on every step and she couldn´t walk too far without stepping inside something gross.

    Despite this, she had fallen in love with this place. Yes, there was the poverty and a lot of things that samurai despised, but the place had a strange energy. Also, nobody paid an attention to her. She was female samurai of exotic features, but nobody gave a two damms about it. She couldn´t say if the people were used to seeing all kinds of people or if they just didn´t care, but she didn´t mind it. In Kyoto, she could disappear in a crowd, even in with her armour on.

    Shiego accommodated herself in a small, not exactly luxurious tavern near the palace. She rented a small room and spent the whole day by getting herself prepared for the meeting with empero. She wanted to be in her best and spent no small effort in getting herself ready. She thoroughly cleaned her segmented armour so it almost shone and lovingly caressed her sword. She had no better companion than that blade.

    Next day, she travelled to the palace. At first, she just stood before gates for a while, admiring the greatness of the place. If she was ever to become famous, it will be here. This was her chance to shine and she was not going to throw it away. Shiego would stand there wondering for some time, but the guards noticed her and she returned back to her indifferent look. She clearly looked like someone of noble origin, as the guards saluted to her. Although they had no way of knowing who she was, they immediately recognised her as one of the applicants. She didn´t even have to show her flier, and they already pointed her to the right direction. One of them looked worried about all that gear she carried and wanted to take away her sword, but she didn´t allowed him to even touch it. "Trust me, I am not going to dishonour the blade by honourless murder,” she said to him and he reluctantly let her in, she had a right to wear a weapon, after all.

    She entered a large chamber already full of other applicants. There were all sorts of people, but no real warrior, except some kind of martial artist. Not much of a completion, Shiego thought. In her opinion, she looked like the only one capable of partaking the mission.
  9. The special invitation had reached Asura several weeks before she had actually arrived. Although a tough choice to leave her ward... and unguard her prisoner she had to make the decision... she could not turn the emperors invitation down no matter what... It seemed her identity was figured out and no longer would she be happy serving as an guardian for the rest of her life... as cursed as she was now from that accursed beast. Never the less within a day she gathered what little she had and even far less than she needed and began to long journey to the Capital.

    As she traveled she found many places she had been to as a kid but rather quickly she left the realm she was accustomed to. No longer was she among others of her area but now she was thrust into the unknown. With a strong head on her shoulders and ability to shrug off those who looked at her as if she was a man pleaser due to her outfit. Even with all of the looks she was getting she pressed ever onwards. In less than two weeks time she arrived at the captial city. She bore only a very odd dual pair of weapons.. if they would be called such a thing.

    It was then that she began to get all of the looks.. she was in a city now.. she knew of those that pleased men.. they dressed different than her but she was still dressed in a fashion akin to them. She wore this style for maximum movement and if need be... to get her point across in other manners... one thing she hoped would never be needed. With the gates of the main palace approaching the passed through the main checkpoint with no issue. The men looking at her and stopping her only untill they saw the paper. Within minutes she was at the main gate and walked inside.

    Everything around her was far more decadent that she ever imagined. She was not a girl who needed the best things in life. Infact she survived without it all for nearly four years. Depsite that fact.. it was awe inspiriting to a girl who had come from such humble beginnings. With everything passing she reached the final point and was stopped by the last set of guards that took her two fist type weapons from her then looked her up and down seeing no place on the outfit to hide anything.

    With that she passed onward to see many other women standing in place and obviously waiting. Without questioning or even asking what they were to be doing at that moment she took her spot next to the others. There she stood silently and slowly looked up and down at the others feeling alittle out of place. Never the less she stood her ground and crossed her arms as she waited patiently for whatever was going on.
  10. The emperor studied every single female warrior that entered his palace. He could tell a lot about a character just by the way they walked in, and had already made a decision in his mind about who he wanted to accompany his daughter to Mt. Fuji. Sadly, the decision was not his to make and his spoiled daughter would be choosing her companions. Probably not the wisest choice, but there was too much at stake, and angering his daughter at such an important stage in her growth could prove dangerous to all of Japan.

    Once the large double doors had been shut by the guardsmen, the Emperor stood up from his throne, his arms folded and eyebrows arched as he prepared to speak. Hikaru saw this and detached herself from the hem of his robes, cutting in instead.

    "Hello, everyone!" Hikaru greeted, mocking her father's stance. She looked up at her father who had reddened in embarrassment for his daughter's outburst. "I'm Hikaru! We're going on a journey today, but I can't have all of you on the trip. Too bad, ne?" Hikaru grinned and skipped along the row of women, bursting with youthful energy.

    "Hikaru, calm yourself." The emperor sighed and walked up to his daughter, hands on her shoulders to hold his daughter in place. "Everyone, you must excuse my daughter. She is very excited to make your acquaintance."

    "Can I choose now? Can I?" Hikaru begged, hands clasped together as she pleaded with the emperor.

    "Yes. Now, choose wisely," He said softly. He released his hold on Hikaru and took a step back. Though the two of them had made an agreement to allow Hikaru to select her warriors, the emperor would step in if he felt it necessary.

    "Haii," Hikaru cheered. She walked up to each of the warriors and pointed out about thirty of them, causing a groan from her father. He resisted the urge to butt in for now. When the eager thirty warriors had stepped forward on Hikaru's request, she suddenly frowned. "Guards, would you escort these women out? Please make sure their things are returned to them and that they make it home safely." Sighs and gasps of all that had been disqualified from the choosing filled the air, but Hikaru paid it no mind. All that were left standing were nine women - nine very different women.

    Chieko stood patiently in line, nerves increasing when the emperor himself and his young daughter addressed the audience of female warriors. Had the priestess not been so nervous, she probably would have realized that there were demons standing only a few feet down from her. They were only halves though, which explained their weak demonic aura and why Chieko didn't pick them up immediately. She was more stunned by the fact that she hadn't been selected in the band of thirty or so warriors to go home. Her eyes were wide with surprise as she peeked out of the corner of her eye at the other eight women that stood in place. Finally, the tiniest smile worked it's way onto her lips and she could breathe again.
    #10 Sailor Moon, Mar 31, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2015
  11. To say that Retsu was "Confused" was putting things lightly. She understood initially thanks to the secretive nature of this mission that perhaps there were things involved that Retsu simply didn't know about. She was more than willing to differ to a higher authority for an explanation for those matters. When the emperor arose Retsu did her best not to visibly stiffen, but she was thrown for a loop when the little girl near the emperor spoke out. Retsu was never one to follow the gender-roles of her society, but surely even the daughter of the Emperor couldn't simply speak out of turn like that! But Retsu made no movements that even suggested that she was surprised, despite the fact she was.

    At least once the girl, Hikaru, introduced herself she took the time to explain that not everyone would be chosen. Makes sense; if they were to protect her it wouldn't do her any good if she was traveling with a veritable army of warrior women. But now that she thought of it Retsu looked around and noticed just how formidable some of these people were. Even the ones who did not carry themselves as warriors at least looked clean and attractive. Retsu suddenly became very self-conscience, noticing that she was still covered in the dirt and grim from her travels, having not even washed her hands since the last time she had stayed at an inn. It was a silly thing to worry about for a job that would require more practical abilities than appearance, but Retsu feared that she played the part of a mere peasant too well.

    Which only added to the veritable box of surprises that was this room when Retsu was one of the few women standing. She glanced from the corner of her eyes as she saw many warriors left the great hall. Retsu began to question it. "Why me? Does she know who I am? Those this little girl even care about the people she picked, or did she just chose on a whim? Who and why are we going to protect her anyways?" Retsu though in her mind. She never said a thing however, simply standing there respectfully as the other women began to file out. Their footsteps echoed through the halls until finally there was silence. In an act of foolishness, Retsu spoke out.

    "I am thankful that you have chosen me, Princess."

    All too aware that she too had spoken out of turn, Retsu simply bowed to hide her face. She hoped that she had not offended for speaking before spoken to. But this was all too exciting for Retsu; she was really being chosen for this task! She had confidence that her ability would be able to protect Hikaru as well as the others, and was already itching to prove it. She at least was able to control these urges long enough for her to go back to standing quietly and waiting for further orders.
  12. Awai was intently focused on, well, her own thoughts when a sudden intrusion appeared in front of her. Honestly I thought I escaped this little pest. She smiled sweetly all the same, but that look quickly soured at Haruka’s greeting. “Sloppy?” She grunted when her clothes were suddenly squeezing her chest, glaring down at the smaller woman over the top of her breasts. She swatted at the girl, shoving her head away at that last comment. “I have not “let myself go”. I don’t need to tease and tempt and lead with allure any longer, thank you. My skills are well known and paid for with a beautiful suite in the Imperial Palace and I am lavished with gifts on a regular basis. You judgment of my outfit is hardly necessary. And on top of that, this is a traveling garment!”

    Luckily for Haruka, the Emperor began addressing the group before Awai could go on further. Awai was a bit surprised to see little Hikaru take the reigns on the whole thing. The poor Emperor, he was a soft man for his position. Much softer than his father who had exiled her own for bringing she herself into the world. She watched with interest as Hikaru began flitting around the room, the long sleeves of her royal kimono flapping like butterfly wings. Suddenly the room was nearly empty, containing only a few women, two of which were herself and Haruka. She tried not to be too disappointed in that. She glanced at the array of women. Two women in kimonos with no visible indications of what they were or could do but both of which had pale hair, a shrine maiden, three warriors, herself, Haruka, and what seemed to be a less than sanitary peasant woman. She wondered what traits attracted the princess to each of them, but she seemed to have a good balance at least. The former geisha turned concubine bowed as well. So here they were, on a mission that these other women were woefully ignorant about.
    #12 GoodEveningClarice, Apr 1, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2015
  13. Travelling garment? Haruka tilted her head just as Awai tried swatting her away, confused at this. From what she understood, travelling garments generally covered the body, to keep the wearer warm in whatever temperatures were provided, so why would something so lacking be used? It’s not like it was very warm outside as well.

    Mm, it would be impolite to remark on how castle life probably ruined the older woman’s lack of common sense though, so Haruka smiled warmly, like a mother to a child, and said, “If you think so, Awai-san.” She kept it in her mind to grab an extra set of clothes later on, so she’d be prepared when the brunette began experiencing wind chills.

    Before a response could be had from her friend though, the Emperor stood up from his lavish throne, opening his mouth as if he were about to start some sort of speech. Before the man could say anything though, his young concubine cut in front of him and introduced herself, much to the chagrin of the most influential figure in Japan. At this, Haruka internally cringed, hoping that she wouldn’t be executed on the spot for such disrespect in the face of the emperor. Hikaru, was it? Something about a trip? What a kind Emperor, hiring so many people just to take care of one of his concubine as she went on a vac-

    Oh, it was the daughter. This time, Haruka couldn’t help but blush from her own inadequacies, her cheeks turning a rosy pink as she realized just how badly she failed at telling a concubine from a princess. Nevertheless, it looked like no one else noticed, their attention focused solely on the audacious little girl that had selected, and then disqualified, 30 women from the group. It was rather cruel of her, giving those 30 false expectations, but that too should be expected out of a child who clearly wasn’t educated properly by her father. Or maybe, in this case, it would be her…tutors?

    With only nine left in the Palace, and their recruitment all but ensured, Haruka couldn’t help but wonder if this was another bait-and-switch by Princess Hikaru, who intended on cutting the group down even further.

    Still, it was a rather…wide variety of people who were present. Two wore headdresses and scarves, even though they were in the presence of royalty. As a former guard herself, Haruka had to wonder why they were even allowed to keep them on. After all, one could hide many things in there…but if the imperial guards were fine with it, then she had no room to complain. Then, there were two who would have looked like proper samurai, which was equally strange, because Hikaru seemed to have made an effort to remove all those warriors from the group of people present. Shockingly enough, even a peasant had answered the call of the Emperor, without even the etiquette to at least wash the dirt off her face.

    Haruka made a small, disapproving shake with her head. Wasn't respect towards divine royalty something that all humans were taught?

    The shrine maiden, at least, looked rather normal, and was a sensible choice as well. Though she hadn’t left Kyoto for a year or two by now, word was that the demons were getting rowdier, and it would definitely be of help for a shrine maiden to partake in whatever this mission was.

    And finally...Haruka simply couldn’t. She couldn’t even look at that absolutely shameless woman who stood before the Emperor, practically naked. What WERE those? None of that even…was modesty dead in this day and age? It took all of Haruka’s discipline to stay still, slowly turning her face away from that eccentrically dressed woman, who looked like she came right out of some seedy pornographic work featuring ninjas and octopus. Face ablaze with embarrassment, she did her best to calm herself down, taking long deep breaths as she awaited the judgment of Hikaru.

    She couldn’t possibly be selecting based off the criteria of ‘what would displease her father the most’, right?

    Wait, what would that make Haruka then?
  14. Shirohane Ageha

    As the thirty women were chosen she felt a pang of envy. They had been chosen, they would get the job, the honor and the money- Huh? As the women were sent away she was brought out of her own thoughts. So they weren't chosen? Why did the girl pick them out to send them away? Wouldn't it had made more sense to pick out the ones she wanted and then send out the others?

    As one spoke out of the turn she glanced around quickly. A shrine maiden was among them... Oh damn, of course. She wasn't even able to disguise her own youki! Mother had said it wasn't necessary since it was weak, but wouldn't the priestess catch on once Ageha used her own spells? There was another girl with light hair present. A foreigner? Or youkai? There was one martial artist too, along with the brazenly dressed woman. Was she a prostitute? Maybe, except it was unlikely when thinking about it. They were in the imperial palace. Surely the Emperor could afford the services of an oiran or a geisha. Well, it wasn't that important anyways. Hey, she had been chosen!
  15. Asura

    Asura stood silently at the Emperors daughters rather excited nature. It was very cute for her to see but she was in the presence of her lord and in that fact she must not show any signs of disrespect. Although when she began to pick the warriors she realized she was not among those chosen. It was infact Semi-Relieveing due to the fact that she could soon return back to watching over the demon's imprisoned area. But, it was not all that she had expected. For when those that were chosen stepped out they were sent away making her look around ever so slightly with with just eyes while keeping her head forward.

    Only a few were left standing in the Emperor and his daughters presence. So, this was the way they had chosen. It made sense, eliminate those in number before coming to a absolute conclusion. Never the less... she remained one of those to help the throne. The sense of pride swelled up inside of her and she had forgotten her current guard back at home. It was important but at this moment this was far more important. If they needed people like herself for somthing such as this... it had to be more than they would ever let on.
  16. Maki watched the emperor wondering how long it would take to make a decision and how many people were going to enter, when the double doors closed she glanced in their direction before looking back at the emperor seeing him stand. However what followed caused her to tilt her head as she tried to comprehend why the little girl was picking them out. After a brief introduction from the bundle of energy she realized who the child was, and that she was the one apparently choosing. Watching her seemingly endless energy actually made Aki feel a bit more tired, she moved her hand over her mouth to stifle a yawn as the the child started picking out people to take on her journey. Wiping a bit more sleep from her eyes she noticed some women had stepped forward, only to watch them be escorted out of the room.
    Maki didn't follow what happened but apparently they were dismissed, lowering her hand Maki's attention focused on the emperor and his daughter, it took her a second to register this meant she was chosen for the task and it only clicked because the girl with dirt on her had said something.
    Her eyebrows moved up about half an inch but that was the only sign of joy she showed in being chosen, she crossed her arms over her chest at least understanding what the mission was about now, though what Hikaru meant by journey she wasn't sure of.

    Her gaze moved over to the remaining women in the hall curious who had been left behind, her eyes moving between each person in the room. She noticed someone else covered in dirt, the one who had confirmed verbally they had been chosen. She wondered if she had slept in the forest too, also she could swore she smelled chicken but put it aside moving to another. She noticed a woman wearing a blue scarf around her, she blinked a few times getting a strange vibe from her but ignored it and moved to the next person repeating the process. A women with light-blue hair was here too, what she assumed was a samurai and seeing she still had her sword Maki shut her eyes a tad disappointed in that, she wanted hers back. Opening her eyes again she looked at the martial artist or at least that's what she figured from first glance, she had been helping the woman dressed in a provocative way earlier. The latter had a strange way about her and Maki didn't look too long turning her attention the priestess who seemed rather relieved, probably from being selected. Finally her gaze landed on the last person, after a mild wondering on how her armor was effective she turned her eyes away deciding the geisha's outfit was normal.
    "...hurry," Maki mumbled wanting to get moving.
    She shut her eyes and her body leaned to the side a bit as she waited for the full details of their mission.
  17. ___________________________________________________________
    ♥Kimiko Nakamura♥
    When Kimiko didn't think she was picked, she was very disappointed. This would be the only way to show people that not all hanyous were evil creatures. To Kimiko's shock and happiness, the 30 unfortunate women, who thought they were picked, were highly mistaken. Kimiko smiled and started to feel better.

    She looked at the other women, who were also chosen. This was going to be an interesting time. Kimiko could see one woman. This woman stood out to Kimiko. Another Hanyou! Thanks to Kimiko wolf heritage, she could sniff out another hanyou fairly easy.

    Kimiko was glad that she would hopefully have another ally of sorts in the group. Kimiko just nodded her head towards the other hanyou. This was going to be more interesting then Kimiko first thought.
  18. Feeling the weight of emperor’s look on her shoulders, almost made Shiego shiver. At the same moment, she was very excited and very terrified; she met the emperor after all. She was a skilled warrior, true to the ways of bushido, she was better than half of the people in this room, yet she still feared that the emperor wouldn’t choose her. Maybe, he didn’t want simple samurais, maybe he was looking for more versatile warriors. That and many other thoughts crossed Shiego’s mind. Her heartbeat was faster than it should be and she was holding her breath, trying to do her best to hide the nervousness she felt. This might be her best chance to prove herself, and she couldn’t bear the shame of not being picked.

    It looked like the emperor wanted to say something, but a small girl came out of the folds of his robe and completely took everyone by surprise. She was the emperor’s daughter, Hikaru and from what Shiego understood, it was her, who was supposed to pick the warriors. It was ridiculous, what could a small girl know about fighting? How could someone like her pick the right person? Shiego’s mind was full of questions, but she didn’t give a voice to any of them. The only thing that mattered was the choice, not who was made it.

    Hikaru picked almost three dozens of warriors and they stepped out of the line. Shiego wasn’t between them and she could feel anguish washing over her. At least she tried... She almost wanted to leave the room, when the princess, to Shiego’s complete surprise, dismissed the women. Now it was only Shiego and handful of other females in the chamber and it looked like they were the one to accompany the princess. She couldn’t help herself but to smile victoriously. She did it.

    "Thank you, princess. I won’t disappoint you."
    #18 Admiral Merry, Apr 5, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 5, 2015
  19. Journey Begins​

    Hikaru grinned at the two that had spoken out of turn, too happy to even let the blonde who mumbled for her to 'hurry' get her down. "I'm very excited to have you all here. Something tells me I have made the best decision for us all," Hikaru said, bowing slightly to them all, and then popping up with the same grin. Suddenly, a low rumbling filled the room and Hikaru crossed her arms across her tummy. "Papaaa, I'm hungry!!" Hikaru wailed, prompting the emperor to redden again, but this time in annoyance.

    "Hikaru, you have just eaten!" The emperor yelled out. He couldn't be angry that his daughter was hungry, she had a large appetite and he wasn't sure how she would survive on the journey to Mt. Fuji without food. "Food will become a luxury when you leave the palace, and the journey to Mt. Fuji is a long one, Princess." As if on cue, the servants left the emperor's side to retrieve something for the group.

    "Mt. Fuji?" Chieko repeated in a barely audible voice. She didn't want to be like the others who had spoken out of turn, but Mt. Fuji was so far away. Their journey would be long and dangerous, and Chieko had greatly underestimated it all.

    The emperor hadn't even gotten around to explaining to the warrior women where they would be going or the goal, and now it had slipped when he was scolding Hikaru. There was no use in putting it off now, so he turned to the group, ready to explain. "Yes. Mt. Fuji. There is... a place there that you must go. When you reach the top of the mountain, you will know. I can say no more, but if you succeed, you will all be rewarded handsomely." The emperor dug into his robes and pulled out a hand drawn map of Japan before passing it along to Chieko.

    Chieko accepted the map and unfolded it, scanning it lightly. The point where they were supposed to go was starred, and had enough direction to lead the group to Mt. Fuji from the larger cities. "Thank you," Chieko said, refolding it and storing it in her herb pouch. The servants returned with a tray of onigiri and Hikaru jumped up to grab it. Another servant had a bag of the same foods, but it was obviously for travel. Hikaru stuffed an onigiri into her mouth, and took the bag from the servants and slung it over her shoulder.

    "I'm ready to go now!" Hikaru chirped, bits of rice smeared around her lips and cheeks. "Bye, Papa!" The younger girl went over and embraced the emperor tightly, a rare sight for someone like Hikaru. She broke away shortly after and began to walk backwards, waving at the palace staff.

    "B-but, what about our things?" Chieko asked, instinctively going to follow Hikaru, though her question was directed at the emperor.

    "They're already waiting for you outside. Do not worry, Miko-san," The emperor assured, smiling.

    Hikaru skipped along and headed for a different set of doors so that they could exit through the side of the palace. Outside, the guards were waiting for them with the nine warriors belongings. Chieko was more than happy to see her bow and arrows in the same condition she had left them in, and went to set it on her back.
    • Love Love x 1
  20. Awai stretched her arms above her head while the Emperor spoke, having already been aware of the mission. She snatched one of the oniguri off the tray and ate it politely. She gave a bow to the Emperor, she knew him well enough, and smiled down at little Hikaru. "We'll keep her safem your highness." She smirked a bit at the end. Being the emperor's poisonmaster gave her a bit of...prestige some of these other women may now have.

    Once that was done, she slipped her poison case over her shoulders and followed Chieko out of the room, keeping a polite distance. She didn't know any of these women, with the notable exception Haruka, and she wasn't especially interested in any of them. Eventually they'd all have to get to know each other at least to the point of knowing how to fight alongside each other, but while still in the Capital she saw little need for chit chat. Though she acknowledged that one of the other women was likely to start such a conversation whether she liked it or not.

    She already had her weapons carefully stashed for easy access so she had nothing to accept from guards. Instead, she watched closely what each woman did take. She wanted to know the general skill set of everyone.

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