The Mountain Guardian (ArgentAconit and Tinder)

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Genre You DON'T Like
Furry, Animals, Historical (Especially the Victorian Era), Hardcore Scifi
An alarmed squeak escaped Narihira when the creature put his arm around him. The sudden invasion of his personal space—no, help, that sounded better—caused him to freeze even as the creature proceeded to chastise him. He hadn’t expected the creature to care about his injury much less offer to help…or rather insist as he made no move to ask Narihira for permission or forgiveness after the intrusion.

Instead he floated the both of them over to the engawa. Wait, what?

Narihira’s eyes remained wide even as the creature released him from his grip. He shifted his weighed to his uninjured foot, unable to tear his eyes away from the creature. He proceeded to inform Narihira of the approach of some spirit that caused bad dreams without having an offering. Which meant he needed rice wine. Probably best to make himself a reminder on his phone to avoid forgetting. “Oh, um…thank you.”

Then he remembered his promise. He dropped down onto the edge of engawa and pulled off his shoes, carrying them inside to place on the rack by the door. “Please wait just one moment,” he called back over his shoulder.

He limped into the kitchen and glanced around for some kind of food to offer. His supply of snack food had become quite depleted since he moved in. After some thought, he selected an orange and quickly peeled it, setting the prepared slices on a plate. Not a feast but he doubted the creature wanted to wait for him to cook something. He poured a glass of water to go along with the snack, in case the creature became thirsty. Once he had seen to the spirit he would worry about making his own meal. Narihira wanted to see if the spirit would speak more before he decided to leave again.

With the food in hand, he returned to the engawa and set the refreshments down before the spirit. Then he got down on his knees and gave a proper bow, ignoring the pain in his ankle. “I know this isn’t much, but please enjoy it. And thank you again for helping me. It was very kind of you.” He straightened up, offering an uncertain smile as he moved to sit at a safe distance on the edge of the engawa. His gaze slipped away for a moment as he considered how to proceed. He shifted uncomfortable before challenging himself to meet the creature’s gaze. “If you don’t…mind me asking…what are you?”
 
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ArgentAconit

Silvan Blacksmith
Roleplay Invitations
Group Roleplays, One on One Roleplays
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A Few Posts A Day, One Post a Day, A Few Posts a Week, One Post a Week
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Adept
Genders You Prefer Playing
Male, Female, Primarily Prefer Male
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
Both can be quite fun and I often switch between them to allow my partner chances to play both styles as they please. Even as a passive player I like to insert small bits of lore- nothing that will drastically change the story in any way but will allow me to feel as though I've contributed some kind of content.
Favorite Genres
Fantasy, Scifi, Modern, Magical, Slice of life, Romance when romance is called for, Magic with Technology, Post-Apocalyptic, Yaoi/Yuri/Het/Poly, and Futuristic.
Genre You DON'T Like
Gore, Horror, Forced Love (Not Including Arranged Marriages), Kidnapping, or Abusive Relationships.
Kaito caught himself trying to reach out when the other’s body slumped down onto the wooden slats below them. He realized it was so he could take off his shoes, not that he had fainted from the sudden movement or from being touched by something he likely perceived as a threat.


His lips turned down into a frown once more when the male requested that he stay put as he hobbled into the house, dipping into where Kaito knew the kitchen to be. A long gust of wind left his lungs before he turned around and debated leaving anyway. His message had been delivered, what else did he need to do while he was there? He found himself sitting on the porch anyway, legs crossed and hands resting on his knees. His wings shifted to accommodate themselves and finally settled so that the feathers curved forward and spilled over the edge of the engawa, glinting in the light.


Narihira returned soon after and Kaito was gifted with a peeled orange and a glass of water, a small offering but one that he took easily. He appreciated the effort he went through, but Kaito’s feathers ruffled at the bow. His ankle was injured, didn’t he already tell him that making proper offerings while he was hurt would only suggest he was offering himself? He plucked one of the slivers of fruit up between delicate claws and dissected it into smaller pieces, idly peeling the casing off of them. “You are part of my territory,” He replied, “If I do not help then I am failing my duties.”


The orange was tangy and sweet as he slowly nibbled each bit he broke off. His eyes darted around the tree line occasionally, waiting for some thread of news that he had to leave. Whether that news was brought from the path into the small town below where a human could be wandering toward his mountain, or news from the mountain itself. Kaito had no desire to reveal himself to another human, even if it was one who prayed to the spirits constantly.


The wing nearest Narihira shifted again before slowly tucking back so that the outer edge rested against the wood floor, giving him better access to the plate and glass. Red eyes caught the cautious but curious gaze once his human started to speak again. What was he? “The guardian of the mountain lying behind your hut,” He answered flatly. His fingers trapped the glass between them before he raised the water to his lips, drinking in slow sips.


When it was clear that didn’t seem like the answer Narihira wanted Kaito puffed out a quiet breath and clarified, “Tengu.”
 
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One on One Roleplays, Private Convo Roleplays
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A Few Posts a Week, One Post a Week, Slow As Molasses
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Advanced, Prestige
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Male, Female
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
More Aggressive. May change depending on partner.
Favorite Genres
Fantasy (High, Low, Modern, Any), Romance, Supernatural Creatures, Fairytale Retellings, Mythological, Heroes' Journeys, Fandom (Bioware Games). Open to Trying Different Genres.
Genre You DON'T Like
Furry, Animals, Historical (Especially the Victorian Era), Hardcore Scifi
Narihira blinked, taken aback by the new information. For perhaps the first time he felt no shiver of terror from the creature’s words. “Guardian spirit? I must admit, embarrassing as it might be, I’ve never heard of such a thing. I...I knew a tengu—suspected that is—but...” Perhaps what it claimed was true. The creature had done him so many favors for very little return.

“I really only knew about your…kind from the book I found the other day. Before I...fell, I found an old tome in the attic. I don’t know where it came from. I don’t know much about…spirits in general.” A slight blush crossed his cheeks as his gaze shifted away from the creature. “Where I come from, few people believe in spirits. Most believe they were made up by our ancestors to explain what we could not before science was developed. Until the other day, I was one of those people.”

He coughed uncomfortably again. “I’m sorry. I’m rambling. I do that when I get nervous—” His eyes grew wide as he spun back to face the creature, reaching out as though he might catch his own words. “N-not that I’m nervous, I...” His hand dropped back to his lap. “Am forgetting all of my manners. I haven’t even introduced myself. Please forgive me. My name is Takenaka Narihira. I…um…hope we can be good neighbors.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “Though it might be a little late for that.”

His posture crumpled some. “Is there something I might call you? A title perhaps? It feels impolite to refer to you as spirit or tengu. Perhaps guardian?” Not that he knew if he would ever need to have a name to refer to the creature. It may never come back after today.
 
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ArgentAconit

Silvan Blacksmith
Roleplay Invitations
Group Roleplays, One on One Roleplays
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A Few Posts A Day, One Post a Day, A Few Posts a Week, One Post a Week
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Adept
Genders You Prefer Playing
Male, Female, Primarily Prefer Male
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
Both can be quite fun and I often switch between them to allow my partner chances to play both styles as they please. Even as a passive player I like to insert small bits of lore- nothing that will drastically change the story in any way but will allow me to feel as though I've contributed some kind of content.
Favorite Genres
Fantasy, Scifi, Modern, Magical, Slice of life, Romance when romance is called for, Magic with Technology, Post-Apocalyptic, Yaoi/Yuri/Het/Poly, and Futuristic.
Genre You DON'T Like
Gore, Horror, Forced Love (Not Including Arranged Marriages), Kidnapping, or Abusive Relationships.
Kaito picked at his fruit a little more slowly, listening to Nari speak as he savored the sweet tang on his tongue. Now he wasn’t so much eating it as he was carefully dissecting the segments, caught up in the words Narihira had decided to share with him. The tome in the attic. He could remember it’s binding and the yellowing pages, the dark ink. His other human had valued that book quite dearly. He wanted to feel irritated that it was being handled by someone else, he should be irritated, but he only felt relief in not having to explain everything about himself. If this male got curious enough he would be able to find bits and pieces of his lore in the pages, maybe even a few things tucked carefully between pages or in the spine- he wasn’t sure.

His eyes cut up to his company as his words seemed to fly out of his mouth, his nerves showing in how he tried to go so far as to pluck the sounds out of the air. Not that a human could do that- not one of these humans at least. “There are spirits in many places, capable of many different things. There are even some who wander in your cities, behaving as humans would behave. I know one who finds great pleasure in deceiving humans and tricking them into making deals with him.” He sipped at the water again and checked the tree line again, listening, watching to make sure nothing was out of place. An upset bird screeched when it bounced between the branches of trees, but it was nothing he needed to handle. Everything was quite still.

“Takenaka Narihira,” He repeated almost monotonously. If he had put any strength into it he likely could have bound the name to some kind of means but he kept it carefully in check as he turned his body a little further so that his knee folded to the side. It must have been true that Nari didn't believe in spirits or he would have known about the taboo of giving his full name, “You should be more careful when giving your name to us. If I were not the protector of this place you could find yourself in unpleasant servitude.” He tucked the name away though, just in case he needed it for later. Kaito took a moment to investigate Nari with a long, appraising gaze. He likely looked like a predator sizing up his ‘meal’ but he kept his posture relaxed, knowing that humans didn’t appreciate threats.

“I was given the name Kaito when I came here. There are few other ways to refer to me… and fewer yet who use my name.” He almost missed it again; the subtle sound of someone breathing his name out in relief or grumbling it in ire. His eyes softened just the slightest bit, “The tree spirits who helped guide you back often call me Tengu, I wouldn’t consider it impolite as they have no desire for names. They call you ‘Human’ when they tell me about you.” They called Nari his but from past experiences, he knew not to say as much if he didn’t want someone to be upset at the idea of belonging to someone without their permission.
 
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Inconceivable
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More Aggressive. May change depending on partner.
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Fantasy (High, Low, Modern, Any), Romance, Supernatural Creatures, Fairytale Retellings, Mythological, Heroes' Journeys, Fandom (Bioware Games). Open to Trying Different Genres.
Genre You DON'T Like
Furry, Animals, Historical (Especially the Victorian Era), Hardcore Scifi
The plot of roughly thirty horror movies came to mind when the tengu spoke of the spirits living in the city. Narihira wished the tengu had never mentioned it or the danger about giving his name out to spirits. To think he had come to the country to quiet his frazzled nerves and now he found himself surrounded by what felt like an entire forest bent on finding some way to trick him into giving up his mind, body and soul.

Yet something kept him from packing his bags.

Perhaps it had to do with his admiration for this Kaito. Not physically—though he was beautiful to be frank. Somewhat inhuman with his red eyes and sharp features, but with a body built like an athlete and those beautiful wings. It helped that he seemed to want to help Narihira rather than make him a slave or eat him. Narihira wanted him to stay, to study the interesting visual. Just a little longer.

He nodded. “I…a name would be prefer if you don’t find that disagreeable.” More of a familiar custom. Odd to think of trees having a name for him. Wait…

“You can talk to trees?” he asked, astonishment taking over his voice as his eyes grew wide. “Trees can think? What is it that trees think about? How is it possible if they have no brain or functioning nervous systems or any of the parts that even an animal has to create higher brain functions? Are they very intelligent? Does that change as they get older? Is there some ancient tree in the middle of the forest able to recall decades of life—?”

Narihira cut himself off when he realised how many questions had escaped him. “Sorry. I’m afraid my curiosity got the better of me,” he laughed sheepishly. He cleared his throat and settled back into a comfortable sitting position. “I shouldn’t bother you with such trivial matters.”
 
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ArgentAconit

Silvan Blacksmith
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A Few Posts A Day, One Post a Day, A Few Posts a Week, One Post a Week
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Male, Female, Primarily Prefer Male
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
Both can be quite fun and I often switch between them to allow my partner chances to play both styles as they please. Even as a passive player I like to insert small bits of lore- nothing that will drastically change the story in any way but will allow me to feel as though I've contributed some kind of content.
Favorite Genres
Fantasy, Scifi, Modern, Magical, Slice of life, Romance when romance is called for, Magic with Technology, Post-Apocalyptic, Yaoi/Yuri/Het/Poly, and Futuristic.
Genre You DON'T Like
Gore, Horror, Forced Love (Not Including Arranged Marriages), Kidnapping, or Abusive Relationships.
Again, Narihira showed Kaito his resolve to stay. It felt almost like he could hear the way his heart raced at the thought of being indentured to another being- one much more dangerous and clearly even more malicious than even the tengu he was talking to right now. A band of admiration tinged the image he had of this small, frightened human man. He was brave in a way that most were not. Even the slightest thought of spirits and demons and gods being tangible and real sent so many people running. He was cautious but he stayed. Perhaps his human could prove to be more entertaining than he previously thought?

“Use whichever feels suitable to you,” He conceded. His hands folded in his lap, laced together with his thumbs crossed over one another. That was considered non-threatening, right? Not that he needed to worry, apparently Narihira latched onto the idea of trees being able to think and communicate and immediately rattled off a half dozen questions about them.

“Trees are alive, even if they do not act the same way animals act,” He looked out to the whispering trees at the edge of Nari’s yard, “They create seeds, they reproduce, grow, and die- just as animals do though often not as quickly. They know when to turn their leaves for the rain, when to shed them for the cold winters, some trees even move and change their shapes if they aren’t in the best place for their health. They don’t behave the same way, how are you able to tell that they do not have a brain or nerves to do what they do?”

He looked back at Narihira and flexed his fingers in his lap, “Humans will call something impossible until they figure out how to understand and describe something. They fear the things they do not know- like trees that can speak and ancient spirits capable of doing things you don’t understand yet.”

“I speak with their spirits,” He said after a few moments of silence, “But I can feel the emotions of the forest. I’m connected to it as it’s protector. Their spirits have a very limited vocabulary,” He reached toward the gleaming feathers on the inside of his wing and lifted one of the darker ones up from the neat rows, “Feathers are still leaves to them. Humans are just humans. Cold, Hot, Hurt, Scared, Lost, Danger, Fire- they know these things, but they do not speak the way we do.”
 
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Fantasy (High, Low, Modern, Any), Romance, Supernatural Creatures, Fairytale Retellings, Mythological, Heroes' Journeys, Fandom (Bioware Games). Open to Trying Different Genres.
Genre You DON'T Like
Furry, Animals, Historical (Especially the Victorian Era), Hardcore Scifi
Narihira starred wide-eyed as Kaito described it all. While he hardly counted himself among the scientific community, nature as a whole fascinated him. How the sunlight filtered through the trees to produce the most intricate patter of greens he had ever seen, or how clouds drifted together into oceans of gray on rainy days with so many shades melting together with soft lines and hard lines and no lines. The sort of complexity that he as an artist strived to capture and create. That those same creatures existed with a spirit all their own made sense if only for the creative side of his brain.

“If I spoke to them, would they understand me?” Narihira asked quietly, the truth about the creature before him sinking in. He sat with a spirit powerful enough to command an entire mountainside forest, one of the few remaining in all of Japan, a position which came with a great deal of responsibility he assumed. Yet Kaito took the time to sit and chat with him and listen to his nonsense questions. Either Kaito had the patience of the forest itself or Narihira had underestimated how entertaining his questions were.

He swallowed, embolden enough to continue. “How long have you lived in this place? Do you spirits age or have you…have you always been…?” Kaito looked young enough, handsome by human standards, but he had also had a huge pair of wings on his back. Narihira doubted everything worked the same for him as it did for normal people.

Perhaps time worked different for spirits. “The old stories made you all sound immortal, long-lived in the very least, unless something else kills you. Do you ever change? Are you even born or do you all just exist?” Every question lead to another and he wondered if he’d ever run out.

Until his cheeks reddened again. Shame twisted his eager expression to gloom. “Sorry, this is all very personal. You don’t have to answer me. I…tend to make others uncomfortable. No matter how often people tell me to keep my nose out of other people’s business...I don’t mean to make your life more difficult. Not after how much you’ve helped me already. Please, enjoy your snack. I…I should consider making something for dinner.”

He got back to his feet with some effort and limped back inside. His social skills had never been all that impressive, but he had already done everything in his power to put off what might be the only sort of friendly company he had for miles. He really ought to take a trip back to town sometime if only for the human contact.
 
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ArgentAconit

Silvan Blacksmith
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A Few Posts A Day, One Post a Day, A Few Posts a Week, One Post a Week
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Adept
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Male, Female, Primarily Prefer Male
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
Both can be quite fun and I often switch between them to allow my partner chances to play both styles as they please. Even as a passive player I like to insert small bits of lore- nothing that will drastically change the story in any way but will allow me to feel as though I've contributed some kind of content.
Favorite Genres
Fantasy, Scifi, Modern, Magical, Slice of life, Romance when romance is called for, Magic with Technology, Post-Apocalyptic, Yaoi/Yuri/Het/Poly, and Futuristic.
Genre You DON'T Like
Gore, Horror, Forced Love (Not Including Arranged Marriages), Kidnapping, or Abusive Relationships.
“They likely would not speak back.” Kaito hadn’t seen very many successful attempts tree spirit and human conversation. Usually, it only worked if there was some higher connection between them, but with Nari, he doubted that would be achieved. Leave it to him to prove his theory wrong, however. His human had been done well to alter Kaito’s vision of him so far- who is to say he won’t continue? “They might understand if you keep your message short and clear.”

Narihira’s next bout of questions came with a personal tone- they weren’t questions he hadn’t heard before but even still he found it difficult to answer them. He released a slow, quiet breath through his nose and considered his human again, how he sat carefully for his ankle and how his eyes shimmered with a desire to learn more despite the edge of caution that always seemed to halo around him. It was good that he was still a little fearful; he just hoped that it meant Narihira won’t go looking further into the mountain for more spirits. “Some spirits will take on an appearance of aging. I’ve witnessed one who will change their body to match the life cycle of humans, though I don’t know why he is so interested in it.”

His memory was quietly haunted by the image of a burial mound and he frowned to himself. He should go there again soon and make sure nothing has disturbed it. “I’ve lost track of the years. I’ve been here long before humans even considered making their villages in the valleys. They used to fear and respect this place.” They used to protect it and keep their livestock away from it as well. The kappas would constantly lure away someone’s horse or cow for a feast, and send their bodies back down the river, which probably didn’t help their fears. Kaito did his best to keep this information to himself as well. The last thing he wanted to do was run off his entertainment. How strange it was to go from wanting the human gone to wanting him to stay.

Narihira excused himself again and slunk into the house, not leaving the tengu much of a chance to excuse himself. He turned back to his plate and arranged the petals of the orange skin for a while, making flowers and hills and turning them left and right without thought as he waited. The trees shimmied. Red eyes cut up to see what might be causing them to move in such a way. Uncertain whispers carried on the wind and he stood as he listened to them. He wouldn’t be able to stay.

He thought about shouting after his human and remembered he was easy to spook. That meant he couldn’t just enter the house either- that was impolite, a memory told him- so he stood on the stone step in front of the engawa hesitantly. He couldn’t stay. He shouldn’t scare Narihira. He frowned and looked back to the cracked open doorway. He’d come back later. So he slipped into his sandals and straightened out his sleeves before pausing. Nari wouldn’t know he would be back either, would he?

Dealing with humans really was a hassle. He dug into his sleeve, his arm disappearing into the opposite side and showing no sign of appearing near his elbow or up at his shoulder. He stretched a little further and finally found something safe enough to leave behind. He wrapped it around the empty drinking glass just to make sure Narihira would find it. Satisfied, he left with a faint, cool beat of wind and hoped Narihira would understand what the beaded bracelet was for. He was fond of the object and hoped he wouldn’t have to chase it down in the human village.
 
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Inconceivable
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Roleplay Invitations
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A Few Posts a Week, One Post a Week, Slow As Molasses
Writing Levels
Advanced, Prestige
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More Aggressive. May change depending on partner.
Favorite Genres
Fantasy (High, Low, Modern, Any), Romance, Supernatural Creatures, Fairytale Retellings, Mythological, Heroes' Journeys, Fandom (Bioware Games). Open to Trying Different Genres.
Genre You DON'T Like
Furry, Animals, Historical (Especially the Victorian Era), Hardcore Scifi
Days passed by and Narihira began to wonder if he would ever see the sprit again. He was gone by the time he worked up enough courage to venture back outside, leaving nothing more than the orange peels on his plate.

Disappointment had filled him as he collected the dishes only for wonder to take its place when he discovered a bracelet wrapped around the glass. He stopped his work and sat back studying the babble in the dying light. It looked ordinary though old. How long has the sprit had it? Far too long for him to have dropped it carelessly. Its placement around the glass seemed equally as odd, though Narihira had no idea the spirit might have meant by leaving it behind. Was it a message or some kind of payment for the meal?

To be safe, he kept the bracelet on his person at all times. Gift or no, he hated the idea of losing it or the sprit—Kaito—appearing to reclaim it when Narihira wasn’t present. Though common sense, and his overactive imagination, told him that might be for the best, his curiosity demanded he see him again. Kaito’d had every chance to harm him during their last two encounters, so he had to be a kind spirit. Kind and beautiful and fascinating. It embarrassed him to think so, but those dazzling feathers and maddening eyes often stole into his mind’s eye. It made his fingers itch to paint despite his previous failing. Their next meeting, he decided, had to last longer so that he might ask more questions.

Those thoughts followed him into the afternoon three days later when he found himself out in his yard resting beneath the old Japanese apricot tree nearest his home. He had taken the spirit’s warnings to heart and remained close to home while he waited for his ankle to heal. It felt much better today, though he had already decided to wait an extra day before returning to the shrines. He would be strong by then and bring some of oranges for all the spirits.

The waiting had been a blessing in disguise, forcing him to explore closer to his own home. Natural beauty had reclaimed the yard during the years of disuse with only the marks left behind by the construction equipment to mar the landscape. Thankfully his parents had yet to enlist a gardener to cultivate the area. He had discovered the tree he sat beneath created the perfect place to rest with a cup of tea in the afternoon. His back rested against the old bark as he sipped the last of drink.

Rather than get up, he set his cup aside and basked in the warm sunshine. It was perfect and in mere minutes, his eyes grew heavy. Before long, his head dropped onto his chest and he drifted off.

He woke as the last rays of the sun dipped below the horizon. It took him a moment to understand what had disturbed him before he noticed something running across his yard. It looked small, like a child wearing a kimono. Where had they come from? He straightened up only to notices something else. The bracelet had gone from his wrist. He gasped, looking between his hand and the fleeing figure. “I—Wait, stop!”

In seconds, he was on his feet and sprinting after the child. Panic dulled the pain from his previous injury as he raced into the underbrush. He had to catch them or he might upset Kaito if he ever came back!
 
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ArgentAconit

Silvan Blacksmith
Roleplay Invitations
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A Few Posts A Day, One Post a Day, A Few Posts a Week, One Post a Week
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Genders You Prefer Playing
Male, Female, Primarily Prefer Male
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
Both can be quite fun and I often switch between them to allow my partner chances to play both styles as they please. Even as a passive player I like to insert small bits of lore- nothing that will drastically change the story in any way but will allow me to feel as though I've contributed some kind of content.
Favorite Genres
Fantasy, Scifi, Modern, Magical, Slice of life, Romance when romance is called for, Magic with Technology, Post-Apocalyptic, Yaoi/Yuri/Het/Poly, and Futuristic.
Genre You DON'T Like
Gore, Horror, Forced Love (Not Including Arranged Marriages), Kidnapping, or Abusive Relationships.
Kaito checked in on Narihira indirectly for a while after his last run in. It was dangerous for both parties if they met too often, and the tengu found himself questioning whether he should have revealed himself a second time or not. In the past he disguised himself. An old man going to the shrines at the base of the mountains, a young teen that knew the area from playing in it all of the time. Always careful, always keeping contact short and simple. Get the humans out, steer them away from traps and pockets of spiritual activity. He once led a couple back to the shrine path and was pleased to see them leave offerings, meager as they were, they were still thanks.

There weren’t many visitors now. Not too many people walked these mountains or went past the tree lines in recent years. The Festival was coming near. Within two seasons the mountain would be overwhelmed with spirits and creatures human thought only existed in folklore now. Even with just a few spirits lingering about the alders and maples humans could feel the sense of being watched, the pressure that they needed to stay away. Well, most humans. Old couples would still brave the path to leave offerings. Narihira still lived inside the old cabin and from what the trees could tell him, his human was fond of resting outside in the warm sunlight during the days.

Kaito kept his mind on the spirits coming to his mountain as best he could. Often he found himself connecting to the tiger’s eye beads strung around Narihira’s wrist, feeling the warm soft beat of his wrist and occasionally the stroke of curious fingers over their surfaces.

An ancient visited him for a while as the Sun set the other night and kept him company as he walked his usual spiraling path through the foliage. They parted ways at a barren rock field on the back side of the mountain, once believed to be an old outpost left to the ages and so far gone that not even humans thought it was worthy to rope off and revive for tourists. That might have to do with him. It might not.

Today was different, however. He woke up early- again- with a tension pulled tight between his shoulders. His wings shuffled as it built, and Kaito found himself stumbling half asleep out of his stone burrow. Something was wrong- what was it though? He skimmed the back of his wrist over his eyes and looked around, opened his ears to the sounds nearby. A faint alarmed tone crept in from the distance. Soft and yet bright, demanding his attention. He remembered the sound well and knew it was a tree he used to frequent often. It left a bittersweet taste in his mouth.

He left for the tree, making short work of the mountainside as he glided across angled clearings and wove between thick swaths of trunks, feeling the tickle of ferns and bushes against his legs. He didn’t have to go further than halfway down the mountain before the fog cleared in his head completely and the alarm rang crisply in his head. Narihira. Just on the night that Kaito had planned to check in on his clearing, the human seemed to have found himself in trouble. Again.

He centered himself on the bracelet he had left with the human and realized it felt… wet. Murky. A frown pulled at his face as he followed it like a beacon, weaving back and forth as the bracelet dipped between and dodged through trees, no doubt trying to get away from something. Something, being Nari. He could hear his shouts now, echoing as he tried to beg the other being to stop and return the bracelet to him. It was getting too dark for Narihira to be out in the forest. Kaito widened his stride and followed Nari’s voice instead of the bracelet, knowing that the human would be more important than an old gift given to him.
 
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Another burst of childish laughter came from the forest ahead as Narihira skidded into another tree. Despite their small legs, this child always seemed to keep the same distance between them. He pushed himself off the tree and continued running, clenching his scrapped up hands as he fought to gulp down enough air to keep his aching legs going. His sprained ankle had forced him to take it easy for a few days, but he ought to be able to outlast a small a child. He had always thought himself to be in good shape. Another tree root sprang up out of the darkness and sent him tumbling through the leafy underbrush. It had gotten so dark since he started running.

“Hurry up, big man. Catch me! Catch me!”

He scrambled back to his feet and saw the child waiting just ahead by a pair of thin tree trunks. “Please, just give me back the bracelet. It doesn’t belong to me. I need to return it,” he pleaded.

Another laugh jingled through the air as the child took off running, chanting as they went. “Catch me! Catch me!”

He sighed heavily as he took off running again. Not even in his high school days when he had to run laps day in and day out had he ever struggled so much. He swore even the trees had started to look funny, twisting and turning like some deranged passage from an old fairytale. But he had to keep going. The child had the spirit’s bracelet and he had to get that back. What would Kaito think of him if he lost after only a few days? He ought to get the child to go home as well. It was far too late for them to be out alone like this.

More laughter sprang up, seemingly echoing from all around him. “Come away, O human child! With a faery, hand in hand, for the world’s all full of weeping! Come away, come away!*

It sounded like a line from an English poem he remembered reading during his schooling. Odd that someone so young knew anything about foreign literature, but he had no breath left to question it. It took enough effort to keep himself from tripping on the invisible roots at his feet.

Suddenly he saw the silhouette of the child stopped just ahead, standing there again between two thin trunks. Had they gone in a circle? “Come this way, big man,” the child giggled. “Come this way. We are almost to the secret groove where the real fun can begin. Just through the circle. Step into the circle.”

“The…what…?” Narihira panted, hardly able to see even the vague shapes around him. Sunset came so fast. But he had to finish what he started. He started forward again. “As soon…as I…find your parents…I’m going…to have a serious…word with them. You shouldn’t…be out…causing…your elders…trouble...”

* Take from/inspired by The Stolen Child by W.B. Yeats
 
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ArgentAconit

Silvan Blacksmith
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Both can be quite fun and I often switch between them to allow my partner chances to play both styles as they please. Even as a passive player I like to insert small bits of lore- nothing that will drastically change the story in any way but will allow me to feel as though I've contributed some kind of content.
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Fantasy, Scifi, Modern, Magical, Slice of life, Romance when romance is called for, Magic with Technology, Post-Apocalyptic, Yaoi/Yuri/Het/Poly, and Futuristic.
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Gore, Horror, Forced Love (Not Including Arranged Marriages), Kidnapping, or Abusive Relationships.
Kaito found their path; footprints chasing after one another, one with the faintest of pimps and the other with steps far too wide for its small feet. His eyes narrowed as he realized this wasn’t going to end well if he arrived late. Kappas had horrible tendencies of dragging unsuspecting humans through fairy rings, or down into the waters of their home rivers. He had no desire to go fishing Narihira out of spirit pockets any time soon.

He could hear them talking to one another now. The Kappa taunted and chortled in its overly sweet, childish tones, and Narihira yelled out in indignation as he tried to catch up. The tingling pull of a spiritual entrance made the feathers between his wings stand on end. They had run off too far into the forest now. He could feet small eyes watching from hidden places and knew he needed to be careful with how he handled this.

Narihira’s sweat-drenched shirt entered his line of sight and Kaito reached out to cuff his fingers around the back of his neck, his touch cool and sure against the warm, wet slide of sweaty skin. The surroundings echoed loudly with the screech of frogs and hiss of insects before dampening quickly as his presence was revealed. Red eyes turned toward the Kappa who stood still before them, eyes bugged as they exchanged stares.

“Didn’t I warn you to stay close to your home?” He asked; it wasn’t quite clear which one of them he was speaking to. The Kappa gulped in front of them and squeezed his webbed fingers around the beaded bracelet he had taken from Nari. Kaito’s lips tilted down slightly as he spied them glimmering from the edge of the other’s sleeve.

Kaito stepped forward and put himself partially in front of Nari, “Do you intend to break our contract?” His tone dropped to a low irritated hum and the Kappa fidgeted before him. It brought the bracelet in front of its short body and thumbed around the string of beads anxiously.

“We do not wish to break the contract,” They answered in a wavering voice.

“Return what you have stolen.”
 
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Furry, Animals, Historical (Especially the Victorian Era), Hardcore Scifi
Narihira’s heart leapt into his throat when something cold touched the back of his neck only to be replaced by a blossom of relief and dread when he saw it was Kaito. He opened his mouth to ask what the spirit was doing there only to wilt beneath the reprimand, feeling like a child caught playing where they had been told not to. His lips parted again to make note of the actual child when Kaito stepped away from him, his gaze fixated on the poor thing.

Then it got weird. Kaito made some comment about a contract and the child…seemed to know what he spoke of. Narihira squinted into the darkness to get a better look at the child, noting the odd shape of their round body and their face ending in a point. Like a beck.

A quiet gasp escaped him. That wasn’t a child.

The creature shuffled its feet before meekly padding over. Its eyes darted between Narihira and Kaito before offering up the bracelet. “Here be.”

Narihira took an involuntary step backward, suddenly very aware of the inhuman characteristics that he somehow missed in the daylight. How could he have been so stupid? He glanced at Kaito before reaching out and plucking the bracelet from the creature’s grasp. “Um…thank you,” he muttered before bowing his head, too jittery care if that was appropriate.

The creature immediately returned the bow, water sloshing out of the hole in the top of its head. It rushed back up, voice bright again as it said, “Clever human. Knows the clever trick and is very fast. Would have been fun to play with you more.” However it stepped away a moment after and bowed to Kaito, careful to keep its water from spilling again. “Did not mean to trespass against the guardian. Please do not punish my family for the fault. It was my own doing and not theirs.”
 
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ArgentAconit

Silvan Blacksmith
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Both can be quite fun and I often switch between them to allow my partner chances to play both styles as they please. Even as a passive player I like to insert small bits of lore- nothing that will drastically change the story in any way but will allow me to feel as though I've contributed some kind of content.
Favorite Genres
Fantasy, Scifi, Modern, Magical, Slice of life, Romance when romance is called for, Magic with Technology, Post-Apocalyptic, Yaoi/Yuri/Het/Poly, and Futuristic.
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Gore, Horror, Forced Love (Not Including Arranged Marriages), Kidnapping, or Abusive Relationships.
He watched the Kappa carefully, keeping his face carefully blank. He didn’t like to see lines crossed, but he knew the nature of humans. Punishment would be frowned upon if the human thought it was their fault, or it would be encouraged if they wanted to shift blame. Despite what he knew of Narihira, he didn’t step in to do either until his human took back the trinket and the Kappa turned to him.



The shorter creature was quick to bow, but not to spare any more water from his dish. It took responsibility for its actions and requested that punishment not be brought down on its family. Kaito considered him with a bright red gaze for a long while. He was meant to be the guardian of this mountain, and that often included the rivers that parted around it. “Return home. Tell your clan that this human is living in my territory. He is not a toy for your entertainment. If the Kappas decide to go against me there will be a negative response.”



It shrunk in on itself at his words and gave another bow, placing its webbed hand over its dish with downcast eyes as the weight of the warning pressed down on it. “We will make sure your human does not get hurt in our river,” It stated.



Kaito pursed his lips before he nodded and accepted that it would be a good idea. From what he had seen already, Narihira was clumsy or at least easily distracted. Knowing that the nearby river at least wouldn’t be where he would die brought him a little comfort despite the buzz of bitter irritation he felt inside of himself. “You can leave.”
 
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Furry, Animals, Historical (Especially the Victorian Era), Hardcore Scifi
The scene shifted from alarming to bizarre as the two creatures talked about Narihira as though he weren’t standing there beside them. He supposed their world worked differently given that humans rarely interacted with it directly. Cultural differences aside, being labeled as Kaito’s human, like some sort of pet, left him feeling off. Not trouble, only odd. He only hoped that, whatever the implication, it prevented future occurrences such as this one.

With the business of apologizing concluded, the kappa backed away into the bushes before running off for home as fast as its short legs could carry it.

Silence engulfed the clearing as Narihira felt the weight of his own failure return. He had been a bother to Kaito again. Worse, he had lost the bracelet Katio entrusted to him and he knew of transgression. Narihira’s shoulders slumped at that thought. He ought to have put it away somewhere safe in his home and taken the chance of missing Kaito if he returned for it. Then none of this trouble would have happened.

He cleared his throat quietly and stepped out from behind Kaito. His eyes studied the ground as he played the smooth beads of the bracelet in his hands. “I’m sorry for causing more trouble.” He bowed his head, careful to show his respect without creating another awkward situation as he had with the fruit, and then offered him the bracelet. “I should have taken better care of this. I’m sorry for my negligence. You left this at my home the other day. I thought keeping it on my person would keep it from being lost, but…” He bit his lip. “I’m sorry.”
 
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ArgentAconit

Silvan Blacksmith
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A Few Posts A Day, One Post a Day, A Few Posts a Week, One Post a Week
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Genders You Prefer Playing
Male, Female, Primarily Prefer Male
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
Both can be quite fun and I often switch between them to allow my partner chances to play both styles as they please. Even as a passive player I like to insert small bits of lore- nothing that will drastically change the story in any way but will allow me to feel as though I've contributed some kind of content.
Favorite Genres
Fantasy, Scifi, Modern, Magical, Slice of life, Romance when romance is called for, Magic with Technology, Post-Apocalyptic, Yaoi/Yuri/Het/Poly, and Futuristic.
Genre You DON'T Like
Gore, Horror, Forced Love (Not Including Arranged Marriages), Kidnapping, or Abusive Relationships.
Kaito waited until the Kappa was well out of sight before he relaxed his shoulders, wings unfurling just slightly as the tension eased from his body. Any other spirit or yokai would have insisted on repayment or an argument- even a fight if he confronted them tonight. Tensions were high as more and more spirits came to stay as festival preparations took place for the next few months. It was the perfect time for everyone to challenge each other for rights, territories, even titles. He was glad it was just a Kappa clan that was already allied with him.



The gentle click, clack of the beads tapping against one another along the strand held between Narihira’s fingers had him turning back toward him. His human looked ashamed and small as he apologized for bothering him. He wanted to snap at him and ask if his warning had meant nothing, but the adrenaline was wearing thin and he somehow couldn’t bring himself to punish the brunette any further. His ankle likely ached, his energy was probably gone, and the lack of proper light meant that Narihira would need some help getting home.



The bracelet was presented to him, held carefully around cautious fingers, pooling slightly into Nari’s palm and catching what sliver of moonlight wove its way through the canopy above them. He took a slow, quiet breath and reached out, catching Narihira’s wrist softly between his fingers, and using the other hand to collect the bracelet. He strung it around the human’s hand, careful not to catch it on his thumb as he slid it back into place, “I intended for you to keep it on yourself,” He murmured. The beads settled and he slid his fingers away, dropping his hand from Narihira’s arm back down to his side, “I had to leave before you came outside. I’ve been told humans don’t like sudden departures, but would accept a gift as an apology.”



He checked Narihira over with a quick glance to make sure the Kappa hadn’t actually hurt him in any way. They were sneaky creatures if tonight were any indication. “I can lead you back. Will you be able to walk to your hut?” He gestured with a pale hand toward the leg he knew had caused him trouble the other day. “Or will you need assistance again?” He remembered the awed expression on the male’s face the first time he had helped and wondered if he could get that look to reappear.
 
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Furry, Animals, Historical (Especially the Victorian Era), Hardcore Scifi
Narihira watched almost transfixed as Kaito took hold of his wrist. A fleeting thought passed through his mind that had angered the spirit enough to provoke physical retaliation, but he quickly noted that the touch was too gentle. Almost too intimate. Kaito slipped the bracelet on Narihira’s wrist with the kind of care Narihira typically associated with people who he had known for much longer. The world around them dropped away as Narihira tried to process the sudden change in behavior. Had Kaito done that intentionally, or he spent too much time away from civilization?

When Kaito told him the intent behind the bracelet, a soft smile crept onto his face. “Thank you, but that isn’t necessary. I would have understood regardless.” Still he examined the jewelry with almost shy interest, happier about this present than he had been about any sort of gift since he was a child.

Until Kaito distracted him with his next offer. Narihira turned a deep shade of red and immediately shook his head. “That…that won’t be necessary. I’ve already caused you so much trouble, I’m sure I can find my own way back with my” —he reached into his back pocket only to discover it was empty– “phone...which is in my bedroom.” He tried not to visibly wince. “But I can walk. My ankle was almost completely better today.” His ankle ached some from running into tree roots, but not enough to keep him from walking alone.

Exhaustion, however, had begun to catch up with him. A yawn escaped him as he glanced up at the dark sky. How long ago had he started running? He would need a bath before he went to bed and possibly a snack. A nice long soak before he got into his warm bed sounded perfect just about now. “Is it far to my…um…hut from here? Maybe I could find my way there if you just point me in the right direction.”
 
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ArgentAconit

Silvan Blacksmith
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Both can be quite fun and I often switch between them to allow my partner chances to play both styles as they please. Even as a passive player I like to insert small bits of lore- nothing that will drastically change the story in any way but will allow me to feel as though I've contributed some kind of content.
Favorite Genres
Fantasy, Scifi, Modern, Magical, Slice of life, Romance when romance is called for, Magic with Technology, Post-Apocalyptic, Yaoi/Yuri/Het/Poly, and Futuristic.
Genre You DON'T Like
Gore, Horror, Forced Love (Not Including Arranged Marriages), Kidnapping, or Abusive Relationships.
Whether it was necessary or not, Kaito had already done it. There was no point in arguing about it, though considering Narihira’s new-found interest in the bracelet, he didn’t think he would have to create a situation where he kept it. It felt like someone ran their fingers through him as Narihira touched it, and he repressed a shudder at the sensation. He took his focus off of the trinket and instead watched as his human tried to reassure him that with the help of his phone he could get back. Only it seemed he still didn’t have it, much like last time.

“Almost still means that it is injured,” He said. Granted, it wasn’t a broken bone or a ripped tendon, it could still cause trouble. “I told you not to go to the forest alone while you’re injured. If I left you to walk alone there is a chance you would be lured by something else or lose your way.” Not to mention the lack of strong moonlight meant Narihira could stumble into a fairy ring trap and not know what he triggered.

The red shade of his embarrassment was… endearing, and again Kaito found himself having to repress a reaction, something as small as a smile still fought against him. He turned them toward the apricot tree that still rattled anxiously in the back of his mind, waiting for its charge to return. “Further than you think, but less than the last time I guided you home.” Narihira had traveled a fair distance while chasing the Kappa, though he seemed to have been stuck in a loop near the end.

“It seems you’ve become friends with the apricot tree in front of your home. It isn’t very happy that you haven’t come back yet.”
 
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Inconceivable
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A Few Posts a Week, One Post a Week, Slow As Molasses
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More Aggressive. May change depending on partner.
Favorite Genres
Fantasy (High, Low, Modern, Any), Romance, Supernatural Creatures, Fairytale Retellings, Mythological, Heroes' Journeys, Fandom (Bioware Games). Open to Trying Different Genres.
Genre You DON'T Like
Furry, Animals, Historical (Especially the Victorian Era), Hardcore Scifi
“But I thought it was a child…” Narihira attempted to defend himself before he trailed off. Kaito had warned him. If he hadn’t shown up, Narihira would have followed the kappa wherever it wanted him to go just to get that bracelet back. Tricked or no, he should have thought more about his actions before he ran off into the wood. He just panicked. Emergency situations had never been his strong suit, even if the energy had only been a child running off with something of his.

He perked up again when Kaito mentioned the old tree outside his home. “Really?”

It surprised him that he had managed to befriend the tree after so little time. He had spoken aloud to it a time or two, always wondering if one of the times it might find a way to answer him back. Those little talks, as one sided as they were, helped ease some of his loneliness. The mountain air and quiet were helping him with his…issues some, but he missed having all of his friend nearby. Out here, his only neighbors were far away and his recent injuries had kept him from seeing them. The only other person he had discovered since coming was Kaito, and the spirit had only visited him once.

“I’ll have to look for some organic fertilizer next time I go to town. That should be a suitable apology gift, I think.” He could think of no better way to apologize to a plant. While gardening had never been his favorite pastime, he knew enough to keep a houseplant alive. He started after Kaito, somewhat favoring his injured foot, but far less than he had the other day. So long as he had enough energy to get home and have his bath, tonight might not be a complete disaster. “So…how have you been? It’s been a few days since I saw you last. I was…was a little afraid I wouldn’t be seeing you again.” He laughed at his own confession, strangely at ease now that Kaito was there again.
 
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