The Mountain Guardian (ArgentAconit and Tinder)

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#21
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?”
 

ArgentAconit

Silvan Blacksmith
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Male, Female, Primarily Prefer Male
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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.
#22
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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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
#23
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.
 

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.
#24
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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#25
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.”
 

ArgentAconit

Silvan Blacksmith
Roleplay Invitations
Group Roleplays, One on One Roleplays
Posting Speed
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.
#26
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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Genre You DON'T Like
Furry, Animals, Historical (Especially the Victorian Era), Hardcore Scifi
#27
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.