[Gladis & кετรยεкí] A Tale of Flames and Ashes

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    Deep within the forests of Airahara, there was once a little shrine. Long ago countless villagers would come to this shrine in order to pray to the fire goddess- be a wish regarding warmth, love or destruction, the goddess was known for heading all followers wishes (as long as they were within reason). However, as time passed and people moved away from the village to live in the city, and the need for a god slowly was extinguished, the shrine and it's goddess slowly weltered away from the memories of human kind. Eventually the goddess ceased to exist, leaving only the run down shrine and her fox familiar behind.

    For several decades Shin remained at the shrine in isolation. The contract between him and the former goddess had never been fulfilled, which meant that he had no choice but to continue taking care of the shrine. Some might say it was for the better, considering what he had been before he became her familiar. However, Shin was unhappy, being trapped an alone like this. As the years passed, all the sulking to himself turned him wicked and bitter. Or well... even more so than he already was. As he blamed humans for the disappearance of his mistress, his already existing hatred for humans grew.

    You can imagine Shin's reaction when suddenly some brat (in his opinion) entered the shrine that had not seen a human face for such a long time. And that, ladies and gentlemen; is where this tale begins.


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    "We'll make sure you burn in hell Hades. No matter where you go, we'll find you!"

    "Keh, it amazes me you're still alive, Kisama. I don't know what my father saw in you."

    "Shut up!"

    A young man leaned against a tree for support. He clutched his side, feeling a fresh patch of blood seep through his fingertips. He gritted his teeth in response. Kohaku shoved that memory out of his mind, focusing on his current position. After running for miles, he finally lost them. A group of his stepfather's followers managed to find him. Two years ago, he realized it was pointless reasoning with those men. None of them believed him when he claimed innocence. Unfortunately, they were armed. He managed to defeat them, but he sustained injuries. Kohaku lifted his head, peering at a Torii, or Shrine Gate. He didn't recognize his surroundings. Kohaku never payed attention when he was running. His shoulders ached from his backpack. "One day. One day, I'll fine that man responsible for my suffering," Kohaku grumbled. A crack of thunder alerted him. Kohaku flinched instinctively. His eyes averted towards the dark sky. It was going to rain. The last thing he needed was getting soaked. His gaze shifted towards the path in front of him. Kohaku noticed an ancient shrine in the distance. A faint smirk plastered on his face. "Not really my style, but it will have to do," he muttered. Kohaku pushed himself off the tree and trudged down a path, heading towards the shrine. He struggled to tune out the booming thunder. He loathed thunderstorms. Five minutes later, Kohaku stood in front of a large entrance. He slid the door open and stepped inside. Suddenly, a wave of dizziness washed over him. Kohaku released a string of curses. At this rate, he would pass out from blood loss. "I'm on my last roll of bandages," he mumbled. A scowl carved into his expression. Kohaku walked in deeper, inspecting his surroundings. A few statues depicted a beautiful woman. Kohaku didn't recognize her. He wasn't very religious to begin with, however. Before he could react, his foot caught on something and forced him to trip. Kohaku landed on the floor, face first. He couldn't control his cry of pain. "That fucking hurt!" he snarled. He rose into a sitting position, rubbing his nose. His left eye only saw blurry colors. On the other hand, his right eye perceived a loose board. Kohaku noticed a large scroll hanging on the wall in front of him. A pedestal contained a fiery red stone. His heart filled with curiosity. He picked up the stone and observed it. Surprisingly, it was warm. Kohaku scanned the scroll on the wall.

    "The Ember Stone belonged to the Goddess of Fire. Legend foretells of an incantation. If the stone glowed, you are worthy of the Goddess's blessing," he read out lout. Kohaku snorted in response. He read the incantation. "Burn all things to ash and set my soul free," he recited. A scoff escaped his lips. "Is that it? Rubbish," Kohaku sneered. Unbeknownst to him, the stone illuminated a brilliant crimson. A searing pain traveled up his arm. Kohaku dropped the stone immediately. "The hell?" A gasp emitted from his lips. He lurched forward, gripping his head. A groan escaped his lips. He collapsed on his side, unconscious.
    #2 Rowlet, Aug 12, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2014
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    Shin had been peacefully napping in one of the shrine's smaller rooms, his ears twitching slightly as he acknowledged the sound of thunder outside. Because of this, and because he hadn't had any visitors in a very long time, the fox yokai had let down his guard, and not until he heard a loud snarl from the entrance did he realize that he was no longer alone. Crimson eyes snapped open, a deep frown crossing his features. How tedious, a visitor... and by the smell of it a human. Today is truly not my day... he complained, yawning and stretching before straightening his clothes which had become slightly ruffled as he slept. Then she shoved the doors leading the the entrance open, his frown deepening at the sight of a human laying collapsed on the ground... with the glowing fire stone beside him.

    The red haired shrine guardian just barely managed to keep his yaw from dropping at the sight. The first feeling that washed over him was shock, which quickly turned into anger. How is that even possible? How could a human ever be worthy of the fire goddess's powers and title?! Those worthless worms are completely useless, weak, disgusting, sickening, ugly... his insulting rant about human beings continued as he hesitantly stepped over to the unconscious human. He appeared to be injured... which just makes it all the more troublesome. I don't like this!

    Wearily, Shin extended his foot and poked at the human with it, his red eyes blazing with irritation. "Hey, you... thing, are you dead?" he asked, almost sounding hopeful. However, every fool could see that the human was indeed still alive... much to Shin's dismay. Sadly for Shin, now when the human had become the next fire deity of this shrine, he wouldn't die as easily as a human either. Even if he was most likely still more vulnerable than a divine or supernatural being, his title as deity would grant him at least some durability surpassing that of a normal humans.

    "Seriously, if you're not, at least show some manners and answer me. You're currently littering the floor my mistresses shrine with that blood of yours, and it is not appreciated," Shin sniffed, conjuring a intricately decorated fan from within his kimono sleeve to fan himself with it. Shin was pissed, and the fact that this bleeding mess on the floor was his new master, did little to lighten his mood. On the contrary, he had a very bad feeling about this- almost taking back all his complaints about feeling alone the last few decades. This was not what he had been hoping for. Definitely not...

    Nevertheless, this was his new master, and even if he all but liked the situation... taking care of him when he was in a state like this was his first priority. Breathing a deep sigh, Shin folded the fan and let it slip back into his kimono sleeve. More or less swallowing his pride, the kitsune crouched down beside the imposted and carefully leaned him in a sitting position against the wall. Then he stood up and headed out, only to moments later return with a bowl filled to the brim with water in his hands. Once again crouching down by his new masters side, he put the edge of the bowl to the youth's lips. "Drink," he ordered simply. The water was supposed to have healing qualities, though Shin was unsure if this still was the case after so many years. If he was lucky it would stop most of the bleeding and perhaps take away the worst of the pain.
    #3 Gladis, Aug 12, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2014
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    "Hey, you...thing, are you dead?"

    A force poked him in the side. A groan escaped his lips. His body felt hot. Sweat trickled down his forehead. His muscles screamed in protest. It felt like molten lava surged through his veins. Despite his pain, he felt powerful. Kohaku cracked an eye open. He rolled on his back, peering at a young man. A scowl carved into his expression. "Shut the fuck up pest," Kohaku snarled. He rose into a sitting position, gripping his forehead. A splitting migraine pierced through his skull. His injured side was tingling. He rubbed it subconsciously, not realizing his wound was healing itself. "Where the hell am I?" Kohaku groused. Kohaku didn't notice Shin's inhuman appearance. His mind was occupied to focus on his details. A few minutes later, Shin returned with a bowl of water.


    A scoff escaped his lips. "Well, aren't you just pleasant," Kohaku sneered sarcastically. He grabbed the bowl and downed it. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand before dropping the bowl on the floor. Kohaku rested his aching forehead on his propped up knees. A hiss of pain elicited from his throat. "What's happening to me?" he growled. He averted his gaze towards the mysterious man. "Who the hell are you?" he added.
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    "Shut the fuck up pest."

    Fan's are good for more than one thing. Shin produced it from his sleeve again and then lightly smacked the youth in the head with it, an irritated frown painted on his features. "Honestly, why do I have to deal with such an insolent brat? First you come barging into my home, touch things that do not belong to you, and then you use course language against me. Haven't your parents thought you any manners, child?" Shin asked, glaring down at the boy. Good lord, this is my new master? I might as well go drown myself now...

    "Well, aren't you just pleasant."

    "You," Shin said flatly, "have no room to talk, Shut-the-fuck-up-san. Anyone in my position would be disturbed. I'm not only dealing with human scum, but I'm dealing with the worst kind of human scum," he sniffed.

    "What's happening to me? Who the hell are you?"

    Shin leaned down towards the youth, his face only inches away from the boys face as he pointed at him directly, the fox demons long nail brushing against Kohaku's nose. "You're in the Kahi shrine, and since you were stupid enough to read the incantation, it seems the powers of this shrine have somehow been transferred to you. In other words, you are the new deity of fire... though I'm sure it must be a mistake. You seem all but suited to be in possession of divine powers and responsibilities," he paused briefly, his eyes narrowing as he straightened up again and stared down at the boy, his tails twitching slightly, "As for who the hell I am- I'm the guardian spirit of this shrine. Which means that now I'm...I-I'm...also," a look of dismay flashed through his eyes, "I'm your familiar..." a shudder went down his spine. He'd said it. He'd admitted that he was the familiar of a filthy human... he fanned himself a little again, his eyes narrowed.
    #5 Gladis, Aug 13, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2014
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    "Haven't your parents taught you any manners, child?"

    A bitter laugh escaped his lips. His crimson eyes gleamed with dark amusement. "Guess I missed the memo. Kind of happens when you're orphaned as a child," Kohaku sneered defiantly. He knew his behavior was incredibly disrespectful. However, Kohaku didn't care. He wasn't religious. He didn't care about shrines, ceremonies, or customs. He lost all of his morals after joining the Mafia.

    "In other words, you are the new deity of fire..."

    Kohaku stiffened. "What?" he exclaimed. He turned around, picking up the Ember Stone. "Are you fucking kidding me? This actually worked?" he snapped. He dropped the stone, stumbling back. His expression reflected shock. It was impossible! The supernatural didn't exist. Why was this man referring him as human? He couldn't be inhu-Kohaku snapped out of his thoughts. It was then when he really noticed Shin's appearance. His eyes widened completely.

    "I'm your familiar..."

    Kohaku scrambled to his feet. He teetered heavily towards his left side, but stabilized himself. "This has to be some sick joke. Did you drug my water?" Kohaku snarled. Albeit, he developed an affinity towards fire, this wasn't logical. Kohaku didn't believe in the supernatural. He learned a long time ago fairytales didn't exist. Why would he be worthy of such a position? He was a thief, a liar, and a violent delinquent. He wouldn't hesitate to eradicate his enemies if they threatened his life. He couldn't be trusted. He was a perfect backstabber. What was the previous deity thinking? He wasn't worthy! "I must be dreaming. There is no way this could be happening," Kohaku muttered. He stomped towards the entrance, ripping the sliding door open. A large crack of lightning flashed across the side, followed by booming thunder. Kohaku released a startled screech, stumbling back. Rain was falling on the ground heavily. He swore loudly. He couldn't travel in this condition. Kohaku was stuck here - with that fox.

    "Great," he growled. Anger bubbled inside his chest. "Just great!" He punched a nearby wall, ignoring the stinging sensation of his knuckles hitting hard wood. In his state of fury, he failed to notice his hand was covered in flames. "Of course it's a fucking mistake, dipstick. I don't believe in this shit, so I didn't see a problem of reciting a few fancy words. Call me ignorant. I don't give a damn. Your stupid god must be blind. I'm no hero," Kohaku ranted. A dark chuckle elicited from his throat. "I'm the exact opposite," he jeered. He whirled around, glowering at Shin. He folded his arms across his chest.

    "I'm leaving after this storm ends. I'm sure you'll be ecstatic," he declared.
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    He was orphaned as a child? How tragic... not. I honestly couldn't care less. What is he trying to achieve by saying that? My pity? How could I possibly ever pity a human? They're terrible beings, abominations that should never have exsisted... okay, maybe Shin's opinion of humans wasn't quite as made as he made it out to be, but it was still clear that he disliked them- strongly. Kohaku's reaction, however, brought a smile of amusement to Shin's lips. That shocked and confused face was almost hilarious, if not even a little cute. Then again, what else was there to be expected from a human? Shin didn't know why he found it funny, but he did. He was smirking now holding his hand in front of his mouth as he giggled a little.

    "This has to be some sick joke. Did you drug my water? I must be dreaming. There is no way this could be happening."

    Shin turned serious again. "Yes, human... I drugged the water just to pull a prank on you," he smacked Kohaku in the head with the fan again, "stupid human. Why in the world would I have a reason to drug you, eh? I don't like this any more than you do, so there would be no reason for me to do so. You can believe me or not, this is indeed happening..." the red haired fox familiar watched the human struggle to his feet and head towards the door, only to stumble backwards at the crack of thunder. Again, amusement flashed through his eyes. The thunder goddess seems to be in a particularly bad mood this evening... I wonder how she's doing. It's been ages since I saw her last... no wait, I can't get distracted by more pleasant thoughts than this situation right now. I have a job to do, after all.

    "Great. Just great! Of course it's a fucking mistake, dipstick. I don't believe in this shit, so I didn't see a problem of reciting a few fancy words. Call me ignorant. I don't give a damn. Your stupid god must be blind. I'm no hero. I'm the exact opposite."

    Shin's expression went dead and his eyes jolted with rage. Grasping hold of Kohaku's shirt, he slammed the human boy's back against the wall, holding him firmly as he leaned closer to him again. "Don't you dare insult my former mistress!" he hissed, rage burning in his crimson eyes. Suddenly, the entire room was standing in blue flames, though the fire didn't exactly seem to burn the wooden floor and walls. It was just sort of... there, radiating warmth and illuminating the two men in a dim blue light. Shin's hair had turned snowy white and a pair of horns spouted from his forehead. Then he took a deep breath and stepped back, the horns and flames retracting as quickly as they had came. His hair turned red once more as he turned his back to Kohaku, folding his arms over his chest sulkily. "Whether you like it or not, you're the deity of this shrine and my master. Running away won't change this fact. It'll just make you a coward and a fool."

    "I'm leaving after this storm ends. I'm sure you'll be ecstatic."

    "Like I said, running away won't change the fact that you now are a god. An incredibly weak one at that. I'd honestly prefer if you didn't leave. It'd just create more a hassle for me," he said, tapping his foot impatiently against the floorboards, "I would have to come with you to ensure your safety, and I have better things to do than babysitting a foulmouthed brat."

    "By the way, you might want to do something about that hand of yours.." Shin said pointedly, turning around to face Kohaku again.
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    Before he could react, Shin slammed him against a wall. He gritted his teeth, suppressing his wince. His ruby irises filled with defiance. "Keh, I don't care," he snarled. Kohaku refused to submit. He wasn't weak! Despite his humanity, he wasn't fragile. He was incredibly resilient! Kohaku endured years of pain. He wouldn't shatter. Suddenly, the entire room was filled with breathtaking blue flames. His morbid fascination prevented his unique phobia to trigger. He watched with mild awe as Shin transformed. His form was beautiful. His instinctive response was to touch the flames, but Kohaku stopped himself. The last thing he needed was burning himself. Despite his pyromaniac sickness, Kohaku wasn't completely idiotic. A few seconds later, the flames dissipated. He averted his attention towards Shin.

    "It'll just make you a coward and a fool."

    A bitter laugh escaped his lips. "I've been called worse. Why should I believe you-"

    "By the way, you might want to do something about that hand of yours..."

    What was he implyi-holy f---ng christ! His hand was on fire! Kohaku lifted his hand. His eyes widened with amazement. "This is real," he muttered. A maniacal grin plastered on his face. "Burn, burn, burn," he chanted, slipping into his compulsive mantra. His hand illuminated a brighter fiery orange, increasing his flames. Kohaku flexed his fingertips, crafting the flames into a medium sized fireball. He waved his hand across the ball. Surprisingly, he didn't feel a familiar stinging sensation garnered from grazing the flames. His grin widened. He was immune! Kohaku faintly recalled Shin referring him as a fire deity. The title fit him completely. On the other hand, he didn't understand. Why was he chosen? He wasn't pure. He wasn't trustworthy. He wasn't good. If it benefited him, he wouldn't hesitate to kill that pompous fox. Not that he had the power, but if he did...

    "Your precious mistress has some nerve picking me. No one wants to honor a street rat. I'm one of the best thiefs out there," Kohaku muttered. He plopped on the floor, staring at his hand. He didn't bother extinguishing the flames. This was way better than his zippo. He could stare at it for hours. His obsession ran deep. "I'm not the type that follows rules either. I'd rather be dead than submit to something I don't believe in," he added. An unusual wave of calmness washed over him. Fire had that effect on him. If it didn't involve a burning building, fire was one of his calming techniques.

    "For an old fart, you're sure prejudice against humans," Kohaku jeered. A mischievous smirk painted his lips. He directed his attention towards Shin. "Judging humans by one example is surely foolish and narrow-minded," he pointed out. His keen eyes detected Shin's obvious distaste. Despite his uncouth nature, he was more intelligent than he appeared.
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    Shin giggled again as he observed Kohaku's reaction. How simplistic human beings are. He's like a child who just received a very expensive toy... though I suppose that's what you could call it. It's sort of cute... for being a human reaction, that is. If nothing else it'll be interesting to see how long the brat lasts... the fox demon thought to himself, smirking slightly. Heeheeheee... he mentally cackled, his tail swishing back and forth slightly.

    "I'm not the type that follows rules either. I'd rather be dead than submit to something I don't believe in."

    "If you want to die then please shut your trap and do. I honestly couldn't care less," he gestured towards the door, "the quickest way would be to leave right now, wouldn't it? If you're lucky you'll get hit by lightning... or some high level phantom turns you into his dinner. Then there is the possibility of the yokai in the forest catching an interest in you. Some of them really do love the taste of human flesh, and seasoned with a bit of divine power isn't exactly unappealing," he paused and yawned and stretched, "I don't know about you but I think I should at least head back to sleep soon." Of course, what Shin had said about him not caring if Kohaku died or not was half a lie. Even if he didn't personally care, the contract that bound him to this shrine forced him to protect the new deity's life, whether he wanted it or not.

    "Your precious mistress has some nerve picking me. No one wants to honor a street rat. I'm one of the best thiefs out there."

    "And I was cruel demonic beast, responsible for thousand's of people's deaths, shedding blood wherever I went. I don't think the past matters, sweetheart. Although..." he frowned, looking thoughtful as he tapped his chin, "I suppose the fire goddess always did have a soft spot for trouble makers. Maybe that's why she chose you. Your childish behavior does remind a little of me," Shin paused and grinned, "though I'm certainly way better looking than you.," he winked at the human male

    "For an old fart, you're sure prejudice against humans. Judging humans by one example is surely foolish and narrow-minded."

    "Hmm?" Shin tilted his head to the side, "having lived as long as I have I'm pretty sure I have seen enough of what lies within the nature of the human race. They're pathetic, weak and powerless: yet they have the audacity to play god. They are hypocritical, spineless little cowards with no sense of duty and honor. Their foolishness will be the end of them," the fox demon replied calmly, though his eyes were narrowed. "Now if you'll excuse me, I wish to go back to sleep. Please be respect my wishes and be quiet like the good little child you aren't," he paused before adding, "though I'd suggest you get some sleep too. Your wounds will heal faster if you do, and we have a long day awaiting us tomorrow. Especially since you'll probably try something foolish like running away, or simply completely disregard everything I tell you," and with that said, the fox spirit vanished in a puff of smoke.
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    "They are hypocritical, spineless little cowards with no sense of duty and honor."

    Kohaku threw his head back and laughed. He lurched forward, clutching his stomach. He howled with amusement. "You think your race is any better? I'm perfectly aware of how destructive my race is, kitten. You just admitted to killing thousands because you wanted to. There's no honor in that. Don't lecture me like a child about honor, kisama. Not every little demon is perfect and self righteous. I'm pretty sure your lot is more violent than mine. They have power, unlike humans," he sneered. Kohaku may of been a non believer, but he knew about the supernatural. He chose to ignore it. Kohaku rose into a standing position. "Clearly, your head is stuck way too much up your ass to realize that humans are enduring. We managed to survive so long because we're resilient. I've seen how dark this world can be, bastard. I know first hand how terrible my race is. However, we're capable of compassion, mercy, and redemption. Like I said, you're prejudice and narrow-minded. Experience doesn't matter. You could live over thousands of years and still be blind as a bat," Kohaku pointed out. He folded his arms across his chest. He cancelled his fireball. He averted his attention towards the pouring rain. Despite his deceitful nature, Kohaku loathed being judged based on something that applied to everyone. He was a terrible person. Kohaku knew that. However, he shouldn't be judged because he was human. He wasn't a fool! Kohaku knew there was good in humans. His godmother was a great example. She was the kindest soul he knew. Regardless of his nature, she accepted him. Not many people could handle his attitude. An overwhelming urge to defend her memory compelled him to react.

    "My race has the audacity of playing god? I may of been a non believer, but I heard countless of stories of demons killing for power. My kind is easily corrupted by greed, but yours is far more potent. You actually have the means of achieving that power since you're not limited," Kohaku snapped. Before he could react, Shin vanished in a puff of smoke. A bitter chortle escaped his lips. "I should run away. I'm not worthy. Yet, I should stay just to spite you kitten. You're the true coward," Kohaku sneered. He plopped on the floor, leaning against the wall. He removed his backpack and placed it next to him. He racked a hand through his dark auburn locks. A wave of exhaustion washed over him. Today was draining. Not only he fought against his stepfather's gang, he ended up meeting the most pompous, arrogant prick on the planet. Not to mention turning into a fire deity! A part of him couldn't believe his rotten luck. He didn't want to bear the responsibility. He wasn't destined for greatness. Even if he became powerful, it would only end in pain and destruction! Everyone he loved was ripped away from him mercilessly. Over the years, Kohaku believed he deserved it. He was the epitome of a human; perfectly flawed. He wondered if was against the rules to kill his familiar. Kohaku wouldn't mind increasing his power high enough to shove that bastard off his pedestal. A few minutes later, he fell asleep.
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    It was early in the morning and Shin was seated on the terrace, smoking his usual morning pipe. The forest at this time of day was a beautiful sight, with golden light streaming through the roof of wet leaves, illuminating the world beneath them in an almost fantastical glow. The singing of the birds in the trees could be hear loud and clear, and soon more sounds of different kinds joined them as the forest slowly stirred from its nocturnal slumber. Shin's white tail brushed back and forth against the wooden terrace floor, his gaze distant as he considered what the human child had said last night.

    "You think your race is any better? I'm perfectly aware of how destructive my race is, kitten. You just admitted to killing thousands because you wanted to. There's no honor in that. Don't lecture me like a child about honor, kisama. Not every little demon is perfect and self righteous. I'm pretty sure your lot is more violent than mine. They have power, unlike humans."

    Maybe, in a way, the human child was right. He was perhaps judging them a bit too harshly, and pulling everyone over one string was far from right. Nevertheless the lack of human contact Shin had suffered the last few decades had made him forget the other side of the humans. What he could recall foremost was the painful memories, not the good ones. If we have power, why are we the ones who hide? Shin questioned, tilting his head at a bird who was sitting on a branch nearby. It was small, and covered in beautiful blue feathers, If we are so violent, why are not we in charge of the world? Of course Shin already knew the answers to these questions, and he was also aware of that he was silly even thinking that way.

    "My race has the audacity of playing god? I may of been a non believer, but I heard countless of stories of demons killing for power. My kind is easily corrupted by greed, but yours is far more potent. You actually have the means of achieving that power since you're not limited."

    A wry smile crossed Shin's lips. "Heh, he's pretty judgmental for telling other people not to be so," the demon sniffed, breathing in the calming smoke emitting from the traditional Chinese pipe. Stories are just stories. You can't judge all yokai just because a few of them misbehaved (many with good reason). Then again, I suppose it's similiar with the human kind... "Not limited, eh?" the fox spirit chuckled to himself, shaking his head as he turned his attention back to the book he was reading. It was some sort of old western fairytale. He had read all books present in the shrine numerous times, and some he knew completely by heart. This particular fairy tale wasn't exactly his favorite, but he did have the feeling that he could relate to it a little. Especially since the protagonist was alone for a hundred years... then again, she was asleep, so she didn't even notice. Sometimes Shin had wished that he could have slept too, that he wouldn't have been aware of all the time that passed. All that time alone.

    "Pity party over," he yawned as he finished smoking his pipe, putting down the book before standing up and stretching. He slipped it back into his sleeve (Shin carried around a lot of things in those wide sleeves of his) and then headed back inside to see what his new master was doing. Perhaps he was awake by then...
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    Early in the morning, Kohaku awakened from his slumber. He rose into a sitting position, stretching widely. A small yawn escaped his lips. He crawled towards the entrance, sliding the door open. Fortunately, it stopped raining. A faint smile plastered on his face. He slipped off his jacket and shirt, leaving his chest bare. His previous shirt was covered in blood. He discarded both articles of clothing aside before grabbing his backpack. He opened it, shuffling through his possessions. Series of tattoos were displayed publicly, including his massive back tattoo. He was currently looking for a new shirt. Unbeknownst to him, his wounds healed completely, leaving no trace of his fight. Kohaku contemplated on his next move. What did a fire deity do? What were his responsibilities? Kohaku wasn't looking forward to following rules. Could he transfer his power to someone else? He wasn't afraid of death. When he became depressed, he was notorious for suicidal tendencies. Kohaku instinctively rubbed the scar on his neck.

    "You could always run," a voice hissed inside his mind.

    A bitter chuckle rumbled through his chest. "I want to, but I think I would enjoy making that kitten's life a living hell," Kohaku mumbled. If he was lucky, maybe the fox would kill him. He wasn't foolish enough to assume he had enough strength to take down that pompous fur ball. On the other hand, he could try. Kohaku was determined to shove Shin off his high pedestal. Since he was lost in deep thought, Kohaku didn't notice Shin approaching him. His five foot seven frame dwarfed compared Shin's six foot. His body was surprisingly lithe, but Kohaku wasn't a damsel. He used his size to his advantage.
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    "I want to, but I think I would enjoy making that kitten's life a living hell."

    "Make who's life hell?" Shin arched an eyebrow at the human boys words, who obviously hadn't noticed noticed his presence yet before waving his hand lightly. He wasn't truly expecting an answer, "Now, if you're finished acting like an immature child I would suggest we get moving. There is a lot of explaining to do and I wouldn't like for this to become more of a hassle than it already is..." he paused, a slight frown crossing his features as he regarded Kohaku silently for a moment, "though as I assume human bodies need nutrition, I would suggest you dig in on that breakfast waiting for you over there," Shin gestured towards the table a few meters away, which had been set for one person. Shin hadn't had much to offer, since he himself rarely ate, but at least he'd managed to scrap together enough ingredients for a few rice balls and cooked river goose to go with it.

    Despite how he acted, Shin wasn't a bad familiar. He may not like the kid, and he especially disliked his guts... and the fact that he dared call him kitten. Nevertheless he knew that he had to take care of him, and keeping him alive was one of his first priorities. No matter how unpleasant the thought of cooking for someone who probably wouldn't even appreciate it, Shin had no choice but to once again swallow his pride and do his best to live up to his job of being a shrine familiar. If only there were a way to get rid of the brat, sighing, he shook his head a little, yet my hands are tied so I suppose there's really nothing I can do... WHY WOULD YOU DO SOMETHING LIKE THIS TO ME, Oujo-sama?!
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    "Make who's life hell?"

    A shiver surged down his spine. Kohaku whirled back, landing on his bum. A scowl carved into his expression. "If you're done acting like a arrogant stiff with a pole jabbed up his ass, I'll listen," he sneered defiantly. His eyes averted towards a nearby stable, filled with a simple breakfast. A scoff escaped his lips. "Charming," he drawled sarcastically. A few minutes later, Kohaku retrieved a loose dark gray tank from his backpack. After he slipped it on, Kohaku rose into a standing position. He padded towards the table, plopped down, and picked up a riceball. He bit into it, ignoring the bland taste. His initial response was checking the food for poison, but Kohaku didn't care. If the fox wanted to murder him, he wouldn't use poison as his weapon. "I'm guessing your lot doesn't have to eat," Kohaku mused. He picked up a cup of tea and sipped it. His directed his attention towards the ceramic cup. A small frown marred his lips. The last time he tasted green tea was when his godmother was still alive. A wave of nostalgia washed over him. A bitter chuckle rumbled through his chest. His godmother brewed it way better. Kohaku would love to point that out, but it revealed a sliver of his past. He refused to share his life story with anyone, especially a pompous demon.

    "Explain away, kitten," Kohaku announced. A smirk plastered on his face. He grew fond of the nickname. Kohaku was keeping it. He set down his cup and resumed eating. Kohaku scanned his surroundings, observing the ancient decor. "Am I required to wear traditional garments?" he inquired. Despite his ethnicity, Kohaku didn't embrace his heritage. He was born in Manhattan, New York. Albeit, his godmother raised him in Japan, he didn't forget his roots.
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    "I'm guessing your lot doesn't have to eat."

    "Not in the sense you do, no," Shin replied simply, a slight frown marring his forehead. He would need to improve his cooking skills, since he had the feeling this boy wasn't too fond of what he'd done. It wasn't exactly that he wanted to please Kohaku, but he disliked the thought of being bad at something. So, from now on, whenever he had time he would try perfecting his cooking skills. He swore that he was going to bring a smile to this troublesome humans lips, no matter how long it took. To Shin, this was an exciting challenge. He didn't know if it was even possible to see this guy smile genuinely, but it was worth an attempt. He could imagine that Kohaku would look a lot friendlier if he attempted to actually smile. Maybe even cute.

    "Explain away, kitten."

    "Now, let me see..." the fox demon said thoughtfully, leaning against the wall as he folded his arms over his chest, "well, a god's first duty is to listen to people's
    prayers and answer them to the best of their abilities. As this shrine has been abandoned for several decades, however... I doubt we will have visitors any time soon," he tapped his chin in thought, pouting slightly as he considered their possibilities, "I suppose the best way to get people to visit this shrine would be by advertising it somehow. Well, that and we'd need to fix this run down place. It doesn't exactly look presentable..." Shin pointed out with a sigh before shrugging his shoulders, "the second duty of a deity is to rid their territories from phantoms. The more phantoms you defeat, the more powerful you get. Especially if they are high level ones. However, the process is slow and tedious, but must be done nevertheless. Very troublesome creatures, they are... may I ask if you have any experience in combat by sword? Because if not teaching you how to handle a katana might be our first priority."

    "Am I required to wear traditional garments?"

    A amused smile flickered across Shin's lips. "Hmm? No, wear whatever you like. It's not like people will really see you for what you are. Besides, if you wore traditional clothes and entered the city like that, chances are you'd stick out like a sore thumb... I'm assuming what you currently wear is what people these days usually adorn themselves in, no?"
  16. [​IMG]

    A few minutes later, Kohaku finished his meal. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. He wasn't a complete slob. On the other hand, his table manners weren't completely polite. He laid on his back, resting his right ankle on his propped up left knee. He laced his fingers together and rest his head on his hands. He listened to Shin silently. Despite his uncouth nature, he wasn't foolish enough to ignore Shin. However, if he started ranting about his behavior, Kohaku wouldn't hesitate to tune him out. He heard every insult in the book. He didn't care about other opinions. He wasn't going to waste his time pleasing people. If an idiot had a problem with him, he preferred using his fists instead of words. He rolled onto his side, resting his head on his propped up fist. A playful smirk plastered on his face. "Some people, yes. Humans have different tastes. You need to educate yourself on fashion. Not everyone dresses like me. My style is more punk rock," he answered.

    "...may I ask if you have any experience in combat by sword?"

    A bittersweet smile painted his lips. "I prefer daggers, but I'm well equipped with a katana. I learned a few different types over the years," he replied. Unbeknownst to Kohaku, his hair lengthened a couple inches and transformed into a deep maroon over night, a minor effect from his current status. "I might as well warn you, kitten. Your mistress picked one hell of a deity. I'm a wanted man," he deadpanned. Kohaku was reluctant to admit pieces of his past, but it would be foolish if Shin was uninformed. Even if he loathed the fox demon, he deserved to know simple facts. Kohaku rose into a sitting position. He crossed his legs together, resting his hands on top of his knees. He leaned forward, peering at Shin. "If I'm spotted, those idiots won't hesitate. This could bring danger to this-" he motioned around him, "-place. I'm pretty sure they pale in comparison to those phantoms, but I can't really clear my name with my track record," he added. He fished out his cellphone from his pocket. Before he turned it on, he noticed his reflection. His eyes widened slightly. "The hell!" He inspected a lock of hair. A deeper scowl adorned his face. "At least it's my favorite color," he grumbled. He pressed a button, activating his device. He flipped it open, navigating to his email. "Do you even know basic technology, kitten?" Kohaku inquired.
  17. [​IMG]
    "Some people, yes. Humans have different tastes. You need to educate yourself on fashion. Not everyone dresses like me. My style is more punk rock."

    Shin frowned slightly, considering this newly received information. A slight frown marred his forehead. "I see... it sounds like quite the hassle. Things used to be easier in the past," he pouted slightly, running a hand through his long red hair as he watched the human rolled to the side. Well, he seems to be comfortable enough already... then again, it's not my place to comment on manners. Perhaps all people behave like this brat nowadays... "Besides, the clothes you are wearing look rather uncomfortable. So tight... don't they feel suffocating?" the fox asked, a hint of curiosity present in his voice as his tail whipped slightly. The modern style he had been presented with... seemed rather interesting, though he couldn't truly imagine himself walking around like that. Shin much preferred his traditional clothing. Which makes me look beautiful~

    "I prefer daggers, but I'm well equipped with a katana. I learned a few different types over the years."

    Something edging towards a pleased smile flitted across Shin's lips. "Well, isn't that a surprise. Either way I'm glad. Now we needn't go through the hassle of teaching you swordsmanship... " yawning, he leaned against the wall and slipped out his fan again, slowly fanning himself as he watched two squirrels play outside. They looked adorable... and yummy.

    I might as well warn you, kitten. Your mistress picked one hell of a deity. I'm a wanted man. If I'm spotted, those idiots won't hesitate. This could bring danger to this... place. I'm pretty sure they pale in comparison to those phantoms, but I can't really clear my name with my track record."

    Shin smirked, lightly stepping over to Kohaku before crouching down, leaning close to him as he gazed directly into his eyes. "You don't get it, do you, child?" he chuckled softly, "whomever you were in the past doesn't matter. You are no longer the human you used to be, but the deity of this shrine. Consider yourself dead to the human world, if you so like. The people of your past won't recognize you as Kohaku, they won't know you are the puny human they're seeking. Even if you are standing right in front of them, to them you won't be you. Only if you directly told them, they might recognize you... but that would be an utterly stupid thing to do," Shin paused, tilting his head to the side as he moved back slightly, sitting down with his legs crossed. "That is the blessing and the curse of a deity. People might remember your name as Kohaku the fire deity, but they won't remember your face as a human individual. See it like this: your human existence has been erased. Even if you tried to go back, you wouldn't be able to, because you no longer belong with the humans." the fox spirit yawned.

    "The hell!"

    He chuckled again. "Don't look so shocked. You should be happy- you're a lot prettier now. That red hair suits you," and I just like the color red.

    "Do you even know basic technology, kitten?"

    "Tch," the fox averted his gaze, clicking his tongue, "I'll figure it out along the way. It's not like it's my job to know, or that it's important. My job is to guard this shrine," he sniffed.

  18. [​IMG]


    "So tight...don't they feel suffocating?"

    Kohaku glanced at his current attire. A fleeting chuckle rumbled through his chest. "Unless you're seen by humans, I suggest you finding modern clothes kitten. You'll stand out like a sore thumb with your traditional crap," he remarked bluntly. He tucked a few locks of hair behind his ear. "I like my style, so it's comfortable to me," he added. He pressed a hand against his chin, analyzing Shin. "You, on the other hand, would be more suited for a flamboyant approach. It would certainly compliment your obnoxiously long hair," he mused. A feral grin plastered on his face. "Flamy suits you," he added cheekily.

    "You don't get it, do you, child?"

    Kohaku bristled at the comment. His crimson irises gleamed with defiance. A snarl tore through his throat. He lunged forward, grabbing Shin by the front of his robes. He glowered at the older demon. "I'm not a kid you fucking pansy. I don't give a damn how old you truly are. I'm not weak, so don't categorize me as a puny child," he snapped. He shoved Shin away from him. Kohaku rose into a standing position. He jammed his hands inside his pockets. "I'm new to this deity business, kitten. How in the hell am I suppose to know everything?" he added. He racked a hand through his scarlet hair. He padded towards his backpack. "I don't care if my human existence is erased. That just saved me from the trouble of dealing with a bunch of assholes. However, there are going to be a few I won't spare. I'm not a f-cking saint. I want revenge," he deadpanned. He bent forward, picking up his bag. He opened it, ruffling through his belongings. "They made my life a living hell. They deserve to feel the wrath of a god," he sneered. Kohaku retrieved a few photo clippings. He dropped his bag and inspected the images. Anger bubbled inside his chest. The photos consisted of the people responsible for his godmother and stepfather's death. After thorough investigation, he collected photos as a reminder. He could care less about the men in his stepfather's gang. They were a waste of his time.

    "Am I allowed ... to even kill a human?" Kohaku mumbled. The edges around the photos singed, courtesy of his flames fluctuating.

    "My job is to guard this shrine."

    A bitter laugh escaped his lips. "You need to adapt to the modern world, bub. If you want this shrine to be restored, you need to know how the world changed. If I'm going to be deity over this shrine, I need technology. I refuse to be depraved of modern society for the sake of tradition," Kohaku retorted.
  19. [​IMG]
    Shin gazed at his master blankly, breathing a heavy sigh. He certainly didn't feel like changing clothes just because his new master said he'd stick out way too much if he didn't... even if Shin knew Kohaku probably was right. Still, he disliked the few things he'd seen of modern fashion, and certainly preferred the clothes he was currently wearing.

    "Unless you're seen by humans, I suggest you finding modern clothes kitten. You'll stand out like a sore thumb with your traditional crap."

    "Traditional crap, how unpleasant you are," Shin sniffed, his brows furrowed as he leaned against the wall. He listened to Kohaku's ramble about what he'd look good in, the slightest of smiles sneaking across his lips. Even if he was unsure if Kohaku had meant it as a compliment or insult (the probability of the latter being higher) it was true that Shin enjoyed flamboyancy... and not a force in this world would ever be able to convince him to cut his hair. He loved his hair, and he'd smack everyone with his pipe who tried to convince him otherwise. His smile faltered as his robes, looking completely unimpressed. This was all just becoming more and more unpleasant. After ranting at Shin about how much he wasn't a child (his behavior certainly not doing much to change Shin's opinion), he pushed the fox demon away. Before Shin could make impact with the wall, he caught himself and shook his head.

    "You know what?" Shin finally said, yawning as he produced his pipe from his sleeve again and lit it once more, sliding down against the wall into a sitting position, "I seriously don't feel like dealing with you, new master or not. Idiots unwilling to listen to reason will undoubtedly have to play the fool and learn from experience. I honestly don't care even in the least how we do this. It's all up to you. I honestly don't care what you do. If you want technology, then go get your technology. If you want to leave, then leave... it's not like I'm keeping you from doing so. On the contrary, if you did leave, I-" suddenly he stopped. Part of him would love for the brat to leave, so that he could finally get some time for himself again. He hated the boys guts, and he detested being treated like... he didn't even know what. Some lowly idiot. At the same time, if the boy left, that meant he'd be alone... and who knew when the next person actually capable of conversation would come along? He knew it was silly of him to fear this, but he couldn't help but do so anyway. Then again, his master would without doubt get himself into danger, so Shin decided he should rather worry about Kohaku messing up than Kohaku vanishing. The former was sadly so much more likely than the latter... and if Kohaku messed up, it meant Shin would need to fix it.

    How unpleasant.

    "How about you just go do whatever you like, and I do whatever I want, and we simply don't bother each other anymore," a slight smirk flitted across his lips and he tilted his head to the side, taking a drag with the pipe... "though, don't come running crying back to me when you need help, boy," he put emphasis on the last word, indicating that he still viewed Kohaku as nothing more but a mare child. "As for the matter of killing humans... theoretically you could, but if it is done based off nothing more but a personal grudge, it will certainly have it's consequences. Why not give it a try and see what happens?" he challenged, indicating that it... most likely wasn't a good idea. Then again, it was the best way for him to learn, after all. Or... at least so Shin decided.
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