Private Tales Forastero

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Kishou

Swordless Man
Member
Messages
181
Character Biography
Link
What have I done that is amazing?

She was most definitely correct about one thing. He has faced far more frightening things. The wrath of a certain Priestess, for example.

"It would bring me no small amount of joy to see my brothers and their beautiful families..." The swordsman conceded to Amore and chuckled. "You certainly are impossible to argue against. Why don't you join me, then? When you've recovered, that is."
 
  • Smug
Reactions: Amorea Delarosa

Amorea Delarosa

Solar Choir Priestess
Member
Messages
225
Character Biography
Link
Hm.

The Priestess did nothing to hide the smirk twisting her lips.

"I am quite recovered," as recovered as she would ever be, physically. Her strength was still not what it had been before the island and she suspected it probably never would be - much of it had been manifested by her own magic power. Without it, she was but a normal, mortal woman.

"I fear I have come to an impasse in my ... time with Toji," Amore sighed, "it has been a moon at least since any progress has been made. I am not certain he is able to do for me what you thought he could."
 
  • Cthuloo
Reactions: Kishou

Kishou

Swordless Man
Member
Messages
181
Character Biography
Link
"Toji is a sightless man that still somehow perceives the world around him. If there were ever a chance, I believed it to be with him." Kishou paused. "Does it anger you that I brought you here, and after all this time, there is nothing to show for it?"

The swordsman sunk deeper into the spring until his chin touched the water.

"If I were still an honored warrior of these lands, I would cut open my belly in penance." A half-joke. Kishou had seen many a disgraced samurai cut their stomachs open to atone for their failures, but he never understood what actual good it did to die like that. Without ever having done anything substantial.

"Do you want to go home?"
 

Amorea Delarosa

Solar Choir Priestess
Member
Messages
225
Character Biography
Link
"I would have believed it, too," Amore said with a smile, drifting back from the edge of the spring to reclaim use of her hands. She reached up, parsing her hair in halves to pull forward over either shoulder and began to gently comb her fingers through the saturated lengths. She fell silent for a moment as his question, waxing pensive.

"Anger has no home in my heart for you, Kishou. I abandoned it the day I agreed to follow you and there is much to show for your effort. I am strengthened in my body and my resolve to rise above my challenges. I have learned a new way to live and to be. You have given me a great friend in Toji and many great teachings. I am rich in learning of your people and your culture and while it may not be my strongest suit you have certainly taught me much in patience."

"...and I am glad that you are no longer an honored warrior."
Amore wasn't sure what she would do if he threatened such a thing. If he actually went through with it. Kishou had become a constant in her day, she would be lost without him.

At his last question her smile grew heavy with the yearning for home. She nodded, "I do, very much so, but I believe that I will go home when I am meant to, and that is enough for me."
 
  • Cthuulove
Reactions: Kishou

Kishou

Swordless Man
Member
Messages
181
Character Biography
Link
The swordsman smiled. What she said he had given her, he would have said she gave herself. And he sat up, almost stunned by her answer.

"That is... a very Toji thing to say." A small smirk fluttered over his features.

Kishou's gaze lingered over Amore's back, watching as the muscles in her shoulders subtly tensed and relaxed as she raked her fingers through locks of crimson. The tips of his own hair stuck to his skin, and he pulled loose locks that hung over his face behind his ears.

"It is easy to forget how young you are, with the things you say and the way you act." He quickly added on, "I mean that in the best way."
 
  • Bless
Reactions: Amorea Delarosa

Amorea Delarosa

Solar Choir Priestess
Member
Messages
225
Character Biography
Link
She found a growing smile at that remark. Toji had placed himself on a pedestal of respect that fell quite closely in line with her own mentors of the Church. Some days she wondered if it wasn't religion and faith that he taught here, even if he denied it.

As for her youth...

"Toji says the same about you," the Priestess chuckled.
 

Kishou

Swordless Man
Member
Messages
181
Character Biography
Link
"Toji says many things," Kishou quickly responded, flustered, but chuckled after a small huff and puff. "We met when all I knew how to do was bare my fangs at any that crossed my path. What he had to teach a good-for-nothing like me was humbling."

Kishou had always been quick to anger, though he thought Amore would consider that to be nonsense.

"Anyways," he dismissively waved his hand, "I only ever act how a man of my age should. Toji must still think of me as some wet-nosed brat."

The swordsman snorted. "All of that aside, wasn't coming here a good decision? Wasn't I right- you haven't experienced anything quite like this before, have you?"
 
  • shock
Reactions: Amorea Delarosa

Amorea Delarosa

Solar Choir Priestess
Member
Messages
225
Character Biography
Link
She paused, briefly, just long enough to smirk, "Well that's hardly fair, putting words in Toji's mouth."

Amore would be shocked to hear the old man say such things but she hardly knew him. Maybe there was some truth in Kishou's brat-status; for some reason that wouldn't surprise Amore. His stubborn and mischievous streak had been well-groomed in society but in private it peeked through at the most unsuspecting moments.

"Are you more concerned with being right," the Priestess replied, fingers gently gliding through the lengths of her hair, "or my pleasure from the experience?"
 

Kishou

Swordless Man
Member
Messages
181
Character Biography
Link
"Being right is nice, of course," the swordsman mused, "but seeing you happy is nicer."

Kishou smiled at the Priestess' back. It was the nicest thing.

"You didn't say I was wrong, anyway." He softly chuckled and again sunk deeper into the spring.

Above them, the bright sun fell, signaling that their moment of relaxation was nearing its end. The swordsman disturbed the pond's stillness as he rose and waded towards the edge of the spring. Steam rose from Kishou's skin as he stepped out of the water, his feet touching down on the unpleasantly cold ground.

"Take your time getting out," Kishou said as he scooped up the towel he left for himself, "I'll just be inside."
 
  • Bless
Reactions: Amorea Delarosa

Amorea Delarosa

Solar Choir Priestess
Member
Messages
225
Character Biography
Link
Whether he was right or wrong would remain a mystery. Amore's head canted and turned, her ear following the sounds of him leaving the spring and making his way back into the bathhouse. The chill of the air seemed to have taken on a hollowing that came with the dwindling hours of daylight. Amore couldn't see this change, but she'd begun to learn how to sense it on her skin. Knew the change of sounds as the hours lingered into night. Even the air smelled different.

It was all so subtle, but these were the little things Toji had taught her. In spite of her handicap, Amore felt as though she were more aware of her surroundings than ever.

She was out of the water, quiet as a cat, and dressed in short order. Each piece left folded and placed in order of redress allowed her to fix her wardrobe without aid. Her wooden staff leaned nearby and she took it up with a small shiver of lingering chill.

"Kishou," Amore called to him, "I am ready."

Just in case he wasn't.
 
  • Bless
Reactions: Kishou

Kishou

Swordless Man
Member
Messages
181
Character Biography
Link
The door separating them slid open.

"Good," Kishou said, "let's go, then."

The swordsman took care as they walked back down the short trail to the temple. With the sun setting, it became harder for him to make out what was at his feet. However, they made it back without a problem. The rest of the evening went by quickly, with everyone retreating to their rooms after dinner.

The peace and quiet that the pair became used to screeched to an abrupt halt not even two weeks later. Toji had collapsed one afternoon, and he only seemed to feel worse as time passed. Kishou, for the next several days, found himself by the old monk's side in between his chores. There wasn't anything the swordsman nor Priestess could do except to keep the old man company.

"Amore," Toji called out. It was early in the evening, right after they'd ate. The three sat together and talked. "Did you know that Kishou was a soldier once? In an army? That was when we met. When he was young."
 

Amorea Delarosa

Solar Choir Priestess
Member
Messages
225
Character Biography
Link
Amore had grown to quite enjoy the quiet of the winter months here, the forest deafened by fresh snow and the scent of burning coals constantly filling the air. The meals were hotter, the tea a bit stronger, company warmer and more frequent ... but she had not accounted for illness of their host and how much more frequent it would be.

She could not help her worry or her rekindled regrets of her lost magic. As a healer she might've been quite capable of helping Toji ... but she would not be here were that the case. Life had strange ways of reminding her about the grand course of things. Even more lately she had begun to think of them more as strings of fate and spiritual predilections than simply the will of the Bright One.

Infact, her Sunfather had so rarely entered her thoughts anymore that she no longer practiced her daily prayer. Too busy was she in caring for Toji and continuing his lessons. Being present.

"He mentioned," her smile curled gently behind the rim of her tea, "how did you put it ... back when all you knew was to bare your fangs at any who crossed your path."

Her silvered gaze settled on the direction of the corner from which Toji's voice echoed.

"I cannot even image ... he has been nothing but a gentleman ... except for ... well, perhaps that's not important." Instead of enlightening Toji to the nature of how it was she came to be in these lands, she opted for a sip of her tea.

"Will you speak more of those days to me, Toji?"
 
  • Cthuloo
Reactions: Kishou

Kishou

Swordless Man
Member
Messages
181
Character Biography
Link
Toji chuckled again, coughed, and sighed. “Yes, it was a time when our country was at war with itself. I found myself wandering the country, cleansing it of the harmful spirits that rose from all the death and bloodshed.”

Kishou remained silent, his downcast gaze stuck on his cup of tea.

“It surprised me when such a young man spoke with such a foul mouth. I thought... what does it take for a young man to house such anger? His attitude betrayed his soft appearance and gentle features. Our first meeting was short, and when we parted ways I believed it to be for good.”

Toji told them about the people he met, spirits he fought, the lives he saved and lives he couldn’t. Some stories Kishou had heard before, but also some he hadn’t.

“My journey took me to the capital, where I once again ran into Kishou. Of course, I cannot see, but I immediately recognized him. Imagine my surprise to see that foul-mouthed boy at the newly seated Emperor’s side.” Toji’s head turned to find Kishou. Those milky, colorless eyes pierced through the swordsman. “Before he left the country, all he ever sought was strength. My old friend, did you find what you were looking for?”

“I still have much to learn.”

“You are kind,” Toji nodded, “all kind people are truly strong.”

Toji found and clutched Amore’s hand. “the Gods in these lands have become silent. I wish I could have done more to help you.”
 
  • Bless
Reactions: Amorea Delarosa

Amorea Delarosa

Solar Choir Priestess
Member
Messages
225
Character Biography
Link
Amore delighted in the stories more than she could have ever believed. It was warming to hear the old man's voice and imagine in her mind the pictures of his memories as he narrated only a few instances of what was an otherwise long and full life. Stories of Kishou, young and brash and glib-tongued, was something she hadn't realized she'd been wanting to hear for a long time. He didn't talk too much of himself, even when asked. Mostly, Kishou's stories were about the lands and people around him.

He certainly never mentioned sitting at the Emperor's side. It made her wonder once again about the swords he'd sold to find their way here. Made her lament that need, especially since what supplies he'd purchased with the money were long gone and not from their intended use.

The Priestess smiled after the hand that took her own and squeezed it gently at his own grievances, "But you have done so much. More than what was deserved, for certain. My own God has been silent for a long time as well ... I think because I expected too much from his presence. It is no job of a God to fix the ailments of mortals."
 
  • Bless
Reactions: Kishou

Kishou

Swordless Man
Member
Messages
181
Character Biography
Link
"Yes," Toji quietly agreed, "the Gods are to be respected, not harvested like wheat for their powers."

The monk's hand fell from Amore's grasp, light as a feather, and took hold of the swordsman's hand.

"Never be preoccupied with a single spot. See everything around you. Preoccupied with a single leaf, you will miss the tree. Preoccupied with a single tree, you will miss the entire forest."

They sat for what only felt like moments, though hours passed. Toji sprinkled small words of wisdom between the stories he told that evening.

"I took no wife," Toji mused as he stared up at the ceiling, "and fathered no children. You two keeping this old man company... made me happy."

The monk's eyes shut and never again opened. The old man passed on with a smile. Kishou leaned forward and grabbed Toji's wrist, his deep sigh breaking the somber quietness that fell on the pair.
 
  • Cry
Reactions: Amorea Delarosa

Amorea Delarosa

Solar Choir Priestess
Member
Messages
225
Character Biography
Link
At some point in time, though Amore could not say when - between the words of wisdom and stories, or perhaps far earlier in the winter - she'd come to understand their purpose here. Toji did not let on to his failing health, as strong as he was wise, but the way in which he spoke had given her insight. So, as he left them with the last of his illuminations, the Priestess remained silent.

By the time his last breath left him her cheeks were already streaked with tears. She realized in these final hours that it had not been her magic that lent her this sense of life, but her years spent sending those she could not help into the afterlife. Amore knew the aura of approaching death as well as she knew the feel of a sword in her hands. Curious how it had always been she speaking words of comfort to those surrounding the dead, drying their tears, and now she had none to speak.

They had shared such a small amount of time together in the grand space of Toji's life, and yet she felt as though she had known him for most of her own.

The room felt a breath colder without the warmth of Toji radiating through.

She broke the silence with gentle utterances of prayer in Cortosi, bidding the old man the restful peace that he deserved.
 
  • Cry
Reactions: Kishou

Kishou

Swordless Man
Member
Messages
181
Character Biography
Link
Kishou's breathing became heavy, and the swordsman let out a second deep sigh as his posture straightened. He glanced to Amore as she finished her prayer. She, like Toji, was kind. He tightly held her hand as his gaze fell back to Toji's motionless form.

The monk hadn't feared the coming of his death. Every life comes to an end, Toji would say. We should do our best to live without regrets.

Kishou pulled the blanket by Toji's waist up over his face.

"I'll bury him in the morning," the swordsman finally spoke. His voice was quiet as if he feared that speaking too loudly would disturb Toji's rest.
 
  • Cthuulove
Reactions: Amorea Delarosa

Amorea Delarosa

Solar Choir Priestess
Member
Messages
225
Character Biography
Link
"The ground is frozen, Kishou..." Amore said after him, delicate fingers closing around his hand. She pulled it to her, letting them come to rest in her lap and enclosed his own with her other. The winter had indeed been cold thus far and the ground had been frozen for half a moon yet with no signs of a thaw soon. Though she could not be sure of this land's funerary traditions, it left little other choice than to either wait till spring thaw, or find an alternative.

"We could build a funeral pyre," she squeezed his hand, "it would be an honorable send off ... where I am from."
 
  • Bless
Reactions: Kishou

Kishou

Swordless Man
Member
Messages
181
Character Biography
Link
"Right," he murmured. The warmth of her touch was a reminder of how cold he felt at that moment. "It is, isn't it."

After a moment, Kishou nodded and leaned against Amore. "A funeral pyre. We'll do that, then."

The swordsman was no stranger to death. He'd seen enough death to last him several lifetimes during the war. At times, he even thought of the many that died on the island over a year ago. Of the young Allirian sailor that went up in green flames. Yet this was the first time that he'd watched a dear friend peacefully die in front of him.

It was bitter. He wished that Toji could be here at least one day longer.

Finally, the swordsman quietly wept.
 
  • Cry
Reactions: Amorea Delarosa

Amorea Delarosa

Solar Choir Priestess
Member
Messages
225
Character Biography
Link
All too experienced in the art of being silent, Amore bore the weight of the man as he grieved and leaned into her. It was the end of an age for him, it seemed, with the death of the man who had shaped his life in many ways. She wished she knew Toji better, longer. Wished she had as many fond memories to recount of the old monk as he did. But those were the cherished keepsakes he could hold on to, and their time here at the temple was a keepsake they could share.

After a time when Kishou had gone still, Amore gave his hand a squeeze, "We should leave him to his peace," she whispered, and gently pulled away to stand and gather her staff. She waited in the short hall of the temple that connected their rooms and looked up as Kishou slid the door to Toji's room shut.

"May I ... rest with you tonight?" It was a most uncharacteristic thing for a Priestess to ask, and even in Kishou's lands it was considered terribly improper. "Not ... ahm, in an improper manner, I simply just ... find this evening deeply unsettling and your company would be most welcome."