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 Another Day in a Troubled Life - YYH Lynx/VC

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PostSubject: Another Day in a Troubled Life - YYH Lynx/VC   Sat Feb 04, 2017 4:17 pm

Three years. It was hard for Kurama to believe, in all reality. Yusuke had made it quite clear when he was younger that he didn't want to be King. Of all people, he should know that people change, however. Yusuke had been running everything beautifully, and while it should be about time for another Makai Tournament, there'd been no word on the wind. He was pretty sure everyone was quite content with the way things were running right now. Yusuke held court to hear what others had to say quite often, was willing to listen and plan and whenever he couldn't fix a problem, he would have a good reason that left the demon frustrated, but not the the point of mutiny.

To no one's surprise, Yusuke's only problem was paperwork. So he had Kurama do it all, unless it was important. When it was, it was almost like Yusuke became a different person. As much as he hated it and bitched, the moment he sat down in his desk chair, he became focused and read every word carefully, asking questions when he had them. If it was a large document, Kurama would make sure to highlight what had to be read.

So, while cleaning through the drawers and the bookcases through the castle, Kurama was surprised to find an envelope in Raizen's old palace room. Yusuke never went in there, the memories were too painful, but dust and dirt from the surrounding terrain zone made it necessary to clean. Hokushin did as well, but he was doing this to find any old documents that needed to be filed. He was glad he did.

What was odd about it, was it was addressed to Yusuke. It wouldn't be appropriate to read it first, so the redhead made his way to the bluffs where Yusuke was doing his daily training. The wind was high, so Kurama put his hair in a quick ponytail to keep it from flying in his face. "Yusuke!" He called out to the young Ruler while he was doing focus training on top of a pillar, balancing completely vertical while on just his index finger, his other arm behind his back. He looked deep in thought, so he called again and winced when Yusuke had to grip the top of the ruins like a spider when he tipped over, startled. "With winds this high, there's likely to be a dust storm!"
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PostSubject: Re: Another Day in a Troubled Life - YYH Lynx/VC   Sat Feb 04, 2017 4:29 pm

"Undoubtedly, but that's not a reason to want to throw me off a cliff." Yusuke said, carefully landing and standing up. The air was thick with the wind and he could feel sand cut at his skin. It wasn't bad enough to call it a storm, but Kurama was right to say that there was going to be one. He approached his friend and slapped his shoulder. "What's up? Something important?"

"I found this in your father's throne room." Kurama handed the letter to Yusuke, holding on to it tightly so it wouldn't blow away in the wind, "I didn't want to read something personal with your name on it."

Yusuke frowned as he took the letter and gestured for Kurama to follow him back inside. He couldn't imagine what kind of letter Raizen would leave for him. He thought that anything that as important, letters and such had already been found. Then again, it was the throne room that he kept off limits. He didn't know what to do with it...but it felt wrong to use it. It felt even worse to think about re-furnishing it and re-purposing it too. The moment the got inside, Yusuke shook his hair out. "Yuck sand." He grumbled, "Okay let's see what this is..." He tore it open and unfolded it.

To Yusuke,

Upon my passing, I’m sure you have either decided you were ready to take up a mantle of being a king or you’ve decided to go back and live your life as is. Whatever you have decided, I hope this letter finds you. Though I doubt you found it and someone else did. I bet they even have manners and didn’t open it till they found you. Or they laid it on your dead body. Regardless, I have a request.

There is a village, called the Lost Village. I’ve written instructions on the back on how to get there. I would like you to go there, and tell them personally your decision to be King or to live as you wish. I wish for you to tell them of my passing. They were my friends, my family. I hope they will be your friends and your family. They’ve watched over my mate. I’m sure that they’ve watched over you too till you were powerful enough to stand on your own two feet.

They’re your allies. They’ve been my followers for so long, they’ll undoubtedly be yours. Reign in your temper and show just a smidgen of respect. It’ll take you farther than just punching people into liking you. I admire your friends for being able to handle that.

Yours Truly,

Raizen.


Kurama watched Yusuke's expressions for a time, but as he was reading the front, he caught a glimpse of the back and the directions written on it. After calculating where the location could be in the world, his eyes widened in surprise and curiosity. "Your father mentions the Assassin Order?"

"What?" Yusuke's head whipped up so fast, he was kind surprised he didn't get a Charlie horse in the muscles. "The Assassin Order? You tangled with them before?"

"I had a friend who was a part of it, actually." Kurama smiled fondly, "I've never been to her village. Never had the chance because it's quite difficult to reach it. There's a reason they're still around after all. It looks like Raizen knows a short-cut, however. It would be good to go there. What did he say about it?"

"He called it the Lost Village, and he said that that's his family and friends." Yusuke turned the letter over to see the map that was drawn. "I never thought he had those. I just thought he was a moping bastard pining away for a woman he left. I didn't think he'd go off and tell his Assassin Order or whatever to go tag along a human...."

"If he was bonded to her, that would be difficult for a human to live the life of a demon. Kuwabara can't even stay longer than three days in this area because of the air being so toxic to them. It makes sense he would ask for protection of her and her descendants." Kurama tapped his chin, "Being bonded is rare in it's own right, so that would be a compelling enough reason for the Assassin Order to agree to."

"Bonded? Is it that mating thing?" Yusuke asked stuffing the letter into his pocket. "Or...what exactly is it? I know there's two types..."

"Think of Soul Mates. There's Soul Bonding and Life Bonding." Kurama started off. "Either way, there's sometimes a spark, sometimes warmth that travels from the place they touch through your whole body. You are aware of their presence, their life is attached to yours from that moment. It's possible to stop it at the early stages, but it's difficult when you interact with them all the time. Those who are bonded, like Yukina and Touya, where Touya travels often, they can build up endurance to distance and length of time. If a bonded pair is together all the time and then suddenly separated, it will take a heavy toll on each other's bodies and mental stability. Every one is different. It's fleeting for Humans, but that's where Life Bonding comes in, where your partner is reborn and finds you again. That's why it is special and rare for demons, with our lifespan and tendency to kill each other."

"Even years later and you're learning new things about me." Kurama's smile was sad, "Memories I don't want to talk about, that's all. It also never came up. Perhaps later I'll talk about it more, but if you would like to go to the Lost Village, I can give Botan a call for a portal. Travel would take a few days normally."

"You said you had a friend in the Village yeah?" Yusuke shrugged, "It's more of a reason to go than not to really. I wonder if I can't badger them into telling me more. You think Hiei would come?"

"It would interest him, I'm sure." Kurama agreed, "As you are Raizen's heir, they don't particularly have a reason to withhold anything from you. So, let me go grab the communicator and I'll have her summon the portal in the back courtyard. As Hiei is with Mukuro, you'll have to contact him and we'll meet him there."

"I can never keep track of where he's at." Yusuke chuckled. "Alright! I'll get a hold of Mukuro, and you go ahead and get Botan ready."

~*~


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PostSubject: Re: Another Day in a Troubled Life - YYH Lynx/VC   Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:45 pm

"Hisako! your cat is being a little piglet! He wants more treats!" a young woman laughed as a giant red lion with twin tails held her down with just one paw on her chest while he sniffed and snorted her body, "Oh my god that tickles! Stop it!"

Hisako snickered as she watched her lion maul her friend, trying to find more of the fish that Haru had brought him. "You're the one that wanted to spoil him." She mocked. "You were the one that brought the fish. Now you pay the price of having him dote on you."

"He didn't even give me a chance to space it out so I could give him those fish throughout the day! He saw them and then they were gone!" Haru swatted at Kei's face because his whiskers kept going up her nose and in her mouth, "Kei! Get off me!" she sputtered. "Hisa help!" she whined, only to pause and stop flailing when she noticed Hisako was suddenly looking off to the distance, all serious-faced. The air in the entire Village seemed to change, and Kei noticed as well, finally letting his paw off of her in favor of getting closer to his master.

Hisako stood up and touched where her weapon was on her back. She had plenty that were hidden, but she liked to have her Kusarigama visible. It made people think before attacking. The other villagers were also standing, still and straight, waiting. The gates were open, someone was clearly coming up here, but who? And what for? Kei suddenly made a noise in the back of his throat and started running over towards the gate, causing Hisako to blink in surprise before running after him. "Kei!"

"Tense atmosphere." Yusuke remarked when they finally got past the gate. He noticed that every single person was standing straight, their faces casually blank and neutral. He couldn't tell if their energy was suppressed, not there, or if they were doing something weird where it was just too high for him to notice. He could see that every one of them was armed. Though one moment Yusuke was looking around, the next, a large animal was heading straight his way. He let out a shout just as it tackled him to the ground. "Hey hey hey! Get off of me! No don't lick me! Are you a cat or a dog I CAN'T FUCKING TELL!"

Kei got off of Yusuke before going over to Kurama and butting him in the stomach with his head, purring happily.

"HE TACKLES ME BUT HE LIKES YOU!" Yusuke yelled. "I CALL FAVORITISM."

"That's a demon lion, Yusuke." Hiei answered his question, one hand on his katana, but his posture relaxed a bit as others in the village around them also seemed to lessen their tension. "Apparently, if the bodyguard feline deems someone safe, that is a good sign."

"Kei...oh, I remember you!" Kurama was highly amused, "I was hoping you would be here. So Hisako...?" Kurama looked through the crowd of people.

The crowd suddenly parted and a girl rushed right through, nearly stumbling from exhaustion. Her hair was tightly woven in a braid and she wore some really fucking heavy armor that Yusuke had ever seen. It was her breastplate, skirt, knees, elbows, shoulders. She had a weapon strapped to her back, but Yusuke had enough common sense to know that she probably was packing a lot more than that. "Oh my god I thought he was going to eat you." She said, placing a hand on her heart as she stood straight. "Kurama-kun?" She blinked in shock. "What on earth..."

Kei happily went over to Hiei next and purred as he rubbed his body up and against Hiei's back.

"What have I done to deserve your affection? Kurama I can understand...and Yusuke is Raizen's descendant. I have no connection." Hiei was absolutely baffled, but he patted the lion's head anyway, even scratching behind it's ear where it's extra warm mane might burn another's hand. Was it his element that made the creature like him?

"You're the new cat whisperer since Kuwabara isn't here." Yusuke teased Hiei.

Hiei grumbled at that, but Kurama watched as he ignored him in favor of continuing to pet Kei. Turning to Hisako, he offered his arms for an embrace, "It has been too long."

Hisako walked over and hugged him tightly. "You're a jerk." She told him her voice thick. "Seeing me first and not seeing Shika. God." She hugged him just a little tighter before letting go. "I can't believe I'm saying this, but the human world was so good for you after that."

Kurama had stiffened, and even gone a bit pale. "Shika?"

"Yeah." Hisako's eyebrows furrowed. "Did you think she died or something?"

"I..." Kurama went quiet and his brows were furrowed, "I don't know...what I thought. I don't remember. It's been a long time since her name crossed my mind, even in memory. I had thought about her earlier, but..." he was cut off and he was honestly glad for it as a new voice rang in his ears.

"What is this, some big ol' family reunion?" Haru came over with hands on her hips, "There's people in the village crying! I have no idea what's going on, Hisa."

"Come to think of it, I don't really know what's happening either." Yusuke agreed. "Just that we were supposed to come up here. Raizen told me to."

"Raizen?" Hisako stopped with Kurama and turned to Yusuke. "You finally found that letter then." Yusuke gave her a surprised look. "Oh please, like he wouldn't tell Jiro what he's doing. Come on, he was practically brothers with Raizen. We all were really close to him. But Jiro was much more."

"Whose Jiro?" Yusuke asked with a slow blink.

"You're gonna meet him." Hisako flicked her hair over her shoulders and she turned to Kei who was still with Hiei. She made a kissy sound and he pushed himself away from Hiei recluntantly. "I see you made a new friend Kei. Later." She promised. "He lives in the middle of the town. He has problems walking, being as old as he is. It's amazing he's gotten this far."

"Gonna lead us?" Yusuke asked.

"With pleasure."

~

Jiro was a man that was old like Genkai. He was possibly the first demon Yusuke had ever seen that had wrinkles on his skin and face that /wasn't/ make up. His eyes were sunken in and beady but he held himself steady. His long hair was tied in the same style of braid that everyone else in the village had, but he kept his looser, with more flyaway hairs. His clothes hung off of his body in weird ways. But Yusuke could feel instant respect for the man. There were scars all over him, including one that went over his right eye, blinding him on that side. He lived till old age...and that was a feat all on it's own for a demon. It was a no wonder he was so highly respected.

They were in a large sitting room, that was clear that it was used for meetings for the village. It was spacious so that people could sit or stand, and the table long enough to spread about five different kinds of large maps and several smaller ones. There was a young woman that poured them tea, silent as a mouse, before leaving. "Yusuke Urameshi." Jiro said slowly, like he was tasting a fine liquor or savoring a drink. "The most famous Spirit Detective who was in fact a demon. You don't hear those stories every day." His gaze turned to Kurama. "And I remember you." His eyes turned to Hiei. "But you're new. A mix of fire and ice. I haven't felt that mix for a long time."

"Not many can sense the other half. You must also be aware of the stories of me." Hiei's voice was clipped, but he kept his posture /just/ submissive enough, as if this was a room full of wolves rather than demons, both equally terrifying. Hiei observed Kei as he went to curl up by the old man, Haru standing to the side hidden in a corner. So she must be self-aware enough to know she didn't belong in this conversation, but she was still here in the first place. She was a guest. He could tell that anyway, as she was dressed in Human World clothing, not the looser fit kind of Makai or even the Assassin Uniform.

"We've never met in person, but Hisako would speak about you, and she must have spoken about me to you." Kurama bowed politely.

"Constantly." Jiro said with a smile. "So much so, I'm shocked she didn't abandon her ways and join you." He patted Hisako's shoulder before turning to Hiei. His smile softened. "I heard the stories. Not sure I believe most of them. Not saying you don't deserve your reputation, you earned that and more. But people have the way of twisting things." He turned to Yusuke and he sighed, "As for you, Yusuke. I have to admit, you look so much like your ancestral mother it's hard to believe you're Raizen's child."

"I think I was shocked when I found it out too." Yusuke frowned. "I didn't mean to leave you guys in the dark for three years. I don't go into his throne room, so I never saw the letter."

"I told him to leave it somewhere practical." Jiro snorted. "I didn't mean the throne room. I mean like in a kitchen or something. You know a place where someone /couldn't/ avoid it. He honestly thought you'd just take the room...you're more your mother than him sometimes."

"I was the one who found it." Kurama admitted, "I was going through the palace trying to find what I could in paperwork so I could add it to the files in the study."

"So you haven't gone back to your town yet?" Jiro asked curiously, turning to Kurama. "Your leadership skills are phenomenal. You'd be wasted working the desk all day. Though then again," He turned to Yusuke with a teasing smirk. "He hated paper work too. So it shouldn't surprise me the smartest got stuck with it."

"Oi." Yusuke deadpanned. "I'm a good King so far. The paperwork is just a mess and i don't have time to read all those words."

Haru giggled in the background, "Probably hated homework, too." She muttered quietly.

"Not wrong." Yusuke told her with a bit of a smile before looking at Jiro, missing Haru's blush.

"I don't mind it." Kurama assured Jiro, "I just...was told Shika is still around by Hisako. So that must surely mean so is the...wait, town?" he caught on to what was said. "It was a village like this one?"

"I heard stories about you, but I have heard many more of Shika." Jiro gently reminded him. "I've heard your village has grown by leaps and bounds after you died and went to the human world to recover. You should be proud of your mate."

Hiei watched as Kurama got choked up, his Adam's apple bobbing and his nose flaring. The fox wouldn't cry, however, as much as it looked like he was close to it. "I wasn't even aware of any of this." He and Kurama were indeed the closest, as well.

"I have been so focused on Yusuke's journey that I forgot about my own..." Kurama's voice was thick and quiet.

"Shika didn't." Hisako said softly, "She knew you were on a different path, so she made sure that you had something to lead back to. If you were ever to turn around and want to come home. She was very sure of herself, and of every decision you made. Especially being Yusuke's personal advisor. She bragged about that you know."

"She sounds adorable." Yusuke grinned, looking at Hisako. "I'm almost wanting to just badger you to tell me stories just so I can embarrass him."

"I'm sure you'll find your way to those stories with or without asking her for them. I have quite a lot of things in my closet then just skeletons, after all." Kurama took a deep breath and let it out slowly.

"Speaking of stories," Yusuke turned to Jiro. "There's a few stories I'm not gonna get unless I ask you, old man, so...I was wondering. How did the Assassin Order become Raizen's safe spot?"

Jiro shook his head, "We've been apart of the Royal family for generations. Longer before Raizen took the throne. We were subjects of all of the Kingdoms. We were never used against another King, as it goes against our old code, but we were used by all three of them. Raizen had came up here one day, and I thought that he had wanted us to do something. But he'd always drag one of us to a drink. Or to a party, or something. He's fished with us, traded with us...He didn't treat us as subjects. We never once felt like we were underneath his rule, even when he was on the throne. He called us Family. In return, we vowed our complete loyalty to him, and we refused to be with the other Kingdoms. We still promised not to be used against them. They didn't find much trust in it, but what can they do? Raizen now held our Order. We're more dangerous than an army."

"Just because he treated you like people?" Yusuke stared.

"We are people," Jiro kindly corrected. "But not many people see us like that. We make our living by taking others lives. We live with a strict code that our faces must never be seen. Our names, should be uttered with either fear or relish. Raizen didn't want to see us as Assassins. He merely saw it as a part, never a whole."

Hiei grunted, but stayed quiet even as he ground his teeth. They sounded more like humans and he didn't know if he liked that or not. They were all still feared, but was that really all it took? Booze and parties to gain their favor?

"He didn't do anything...special?" Yusuke blinked.

"Thinking us soft?" Jiro teased, but his eyes twinkled. "Oh don't worry about that. He made sure to give us jobs most would turn away. They weren't things you'd scoff at. Though, I suppose what won /us/ over, was that he never once made these things into an order. He gave us a choice to turn it down without any worries. Party, booze, feeling human is one thing. But a choice? That's what really got the ball rolling."

"You....didn't get a choice before?" Yusuke was a little taken aback.

"We wanted to play god." Jiro corrected. "Only way you can do that is with a choice."

"So basically, Raizen gave you the illusion of power. No one else did?" Yusuke frowned.

"He gave us power." Jiro smirked. "Our choices were valid. We tested it. Therefore, we were able to say yes or no. Though if he asked us for a /favor/ that's when we stopped the game and got serious."

"What is the difference between asking for a favor and asking you to do a job?" Hiei arched an unimpressed brow.

"Raizen put it this way. A favor is that he owes us back." Jiro shrugged. "A job we just get money and we'll be on our way. A favor from a King can be worth a lot more than jewels."

"So...then..." Kurama got quite curious, "When he asked you to protect Yusuke's mother, that was a favor? What did you ask in return later, if it was a debt? Or...has that debt not been paid?"

"That...was not an Assassin job." Jiro said softly. "He came to me, and asked me not as an Assassin, but as Jiro. As a person to watch over his woman, over his child. It was a brother asking another brother for help. We loved Raizen. As a King but more so as a Brother. For him to ask me this, took too much pride and a lot of guts. I respected it. I told him for all the times he stuck his neck out for us, and protected us, I  could do the same without shame."

"It was the first time Raizen asked us to do something as a family, rather than as a job or favor or whatever." Hisako explained. "We gave Raizen power to tear us apart. Foolish, crazy, insane, yes. But Raizen didn't abuse the trust given. He trusted us with his family. His children and generations after. We were on equal footing of Raizen. He could destroy us, but now we could destroy him. He gave us that means if we wanted to take it."

"But you didn't." Yusuke concluded.

"It never crossed my mind." Jiro shook his head from side to side. "I only told the one who would inherit the protector role when my time was up what the favor was."

"This has been very enlightening." Kurama smiled at Yusuke, "Mysteries are coming to light, little by little. I'm glad you're finding out about all of this."

"Yeah, I didn't know that Raizen was...well...this influential." Yusuke whistled.

"Only to us. Who knows about the rest of the world?" Jiro shrugged. "But that being said, Yusuke. This home is yours as well. You can do whatever you wish here, just treat us with respect and you'll be fine. Your friends, Kurama and Hiei are welcomed here as well. Considering the stories and that they traveled with you to hear them."

Hiei bowed as he should, "So we have rein to roam now?" He was certainly interested in their way of life and how they operated.

"As you wish." Jiro grinned. "Take Hisako and Haru-chan with you. Hisa-chan knows how to get around and everyone trusts Kei. The rascal."

"I just know where all the hidey-holes are." Haru grinned widely.

"I think I'm spending time with you." Yusuke said and winked at Hisako. "I think you need to lecture Kurama more without me around. Or provide Hiei with entertainment. I really don't know."

Hisako just stared and looked back at the two demons across from her as Yusuke got up and went to Haru's side. "Well that just happened."

"Yusuke's thinking fun, but I'm not sure if it's the children's kind of fun." Kurama was extremely amused as Haru held the curtain door open for him to leave through first. "She knows the hidey-holes per se because she plays with the kids, doesn't she? Hide and seek would be a popular game here in the high mountains."

"Hide and Seek, blind hide and seek, freeze tag." Hisako listed. "She gets them into trouble and now Yusuke's gonna help if she decides to drag him into hell."

"It's a hell he would enjoy. Things have been too serious at the palace." Hiei drawled, "So...where would be the first place on your tour?"

"I know the archives, a training ground that I sometimes frequent. The ones old enough to get in there are sometimes funny and painful to watch. I know where we could get booze. Where there's good food if you're hungry. Basically it all depends on what you guys are up to seeing." Hisako shrugged.

"Archives." Kurama perked immediately.

"Training grounds." Hiei demanded at the same time.

()


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PostSubject: Re: Another Day in a Troubled Life - YYH Lynx/VC   Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:09 pm

The training grounds were huge. A few people could go in there and fight comfortably without using powers, but if there was a fight that dealt with enegry, everyone got the fuck out. The dirt was loose, so that it was easier to loose one's balance, but it wouldn't hurt so much should someone decide that the earth was a mattress that someone needed to land on. Right now there were a couple of teenagers who were getting scolded on proper form before turned lose. They were unsure of their postures, but their grips weren't too awful. But the fight was always over in a moment because /one/ of them was dumb enough to forget how to do a proper kick or punch.

"Gotta love assessment." Hisako grinned. "Can't do anything outside the training grounds till they earn their uniform."

"What are the requirements for doing that?" Hiei asked as he leaned against the fence farther down so he could observe from a decent angle.

"First you have to be able to defeat your opponent using just weapons. Then you have to defeat them using your energy. They're usually older students who are training outside the training ring for a first assassination or are on their second or third kills. After the first kill no matter how messy or clean, you get your uniform. My kill was messy. I got hit in the chest. It was humiliating, but all first kills are. No one gets a perfect. Not often anyway."

"You survived. That's more than most can say." Hiei nodded as he watched another get knocked down, but during his second try he used trickery and feigned the same mistake, only to take down the other. "The lot of you are crafty. You have to be. That's an interesting challenge."

Hisako smiled as she watched the fight, the two of them were tired. Who knew how long they've been at the assessment. It was only over if one of them conceded or if the teacher saw enough. "That's true, not everyone survives the first kill." She agreed. "We don't mourn them for too long." She looked at Hiei curiously. "You're really invested in the way we fight. Are you thinking of picking up tricks of the trade?"

"Until I was five I was raised in a bandit camp." Hiei told her bluntly. "This is nothing. Any new trick is worth noting, especially if it works. I have to ask, what becomes of those who don't wish to fight? Do they become caretakers of the children and healers?"

"Sometimes." Hisako said lightly. "Some of them don't know what they want to do, but we try to show them other paths. Some of them become record keepers, historians. Some of them are bartenders or chefs because cooking is just another way to sharpen skills laid dormant." Her voice turned sad and she looked at the fighting pair. "Sometimes, people leave the village and they don't come back."

"Mercenary work, fighting but not in the shadows. Not everyone likes the darkness. My sister's mate and his sect competed in the Dark Tournament all those years ago for that very reason. Everyone has their own illusions of grandeur. Some don't succeed. Some do. You certainly aren't one of the cocky ones. You lost something? Someone?" Hiei glanced at her sideways.

"My father walked away from the village." Hisako explained as she leaned agianst the fence, folding her arms over it. "My mom died during an assignment and even though he knew that it could happen, he wasn't prepared to actually face it when it did. He said that he would rather live a wanderer and live with a thought of peace, than to live in peace and have it be shattered."

"Did he try to take you? Or were you old enough to decide to stay?" Hiei put his back to the fence, folding his arms over his chest and he watched her carefully, leg propped on the post behind him.

"He did try. I'll give him that." Hisako nodded. "He couldn't convince me though. He felt like the village had lost their direction, somewhere along the way. He felt like we no longer knew what our sense of self /was/. He wasn't happy that I decided to stay behind. His last words to me was "I pray you don't regret anything that you will do or have done. Happiness is something I can only wish for you." I guess that it sounds bad, but I know my father meant well. I hated him for a while. Really, really hated him. Jiro is kinda like my father's replacement. He gets it."

"Your father wasn't a complete fool." Hiei shrugged a bit, "Have you regretted anything?" he threw out for his next question, "Are you happy? Or are you simply living day to day?"

Hisako tilted her head, thoughtfully. "No one's ever asked me that before."

"Well, it's relevant to the conversation. I am sure your father would be disappointed if you weren't living life to the fullest, assassin or not. Or do you not care what he thinks?" Hiei pushed away from the pole to face her more directly, hand on his hip.

Hisako gave him a scowl, "I care somewhat of what he thinks." She softened her face and she looked up. "I just haven't really ever thought of it is all. No one asks you what makes you happy here. No one really ever talks about regret. I don't /think/ I'm living day to day. I jump from different worlds. I am happier when I'm out and about. I love the village, I like it as a home. But I like exploring."

"So you /do/ have some excitement in your life other than killing people for coin." He smirked a bit, "Exploring? I'm certain you've explored this mountain a thousand times, so where do you explore? Why do you jump worlds?"

Hisako shook her head, grinning. "I like the human world. I like the way they think. It's innocent and their history is bloody. I enjoy their musical instruments the most. I learned how to play the flute and the guitar there. Mostly flute is what I use for High School competitions. I play guitar as a hobby. I also like their temples. I found a fox shrine. I adore it. You can pet foxes. It's so cool. Their foxes and our foxes are not the same thing."

"They really aren't. I think I know what shrine you're talking about. Same name as Kurama's. There's that other mountain not too far from it with mine." Hiei nodded. He watched her carefully, noting how excited and passionate she became when talking about Nigenkai. "Do you wish you could live there instead?"

At that, Hisako frowned, biting her lip. "Even if I could, I couldn't. I have Kei here. I wouldn't abandon him for the world. No matter what. Maybe. It's a thought..but...I think I'd get really, really bored after a while. Human world is...very predictable. Their politics don't make any sense what so ever and there's a /bunch/ of counties. Which, if I could visit those places, I probably would. Be the master of all the langauges, but I just don't have time for that type of dedication. I mean, even if I did have of time there would be a high likelyhood for me to fall for a human. And that will just end in horrible, horrible ways. And if I fell for a demon, they're not going to let me jump from world to world as my leisure. Especially if we have pups."

"Pups? Why do you use that specific terminology? Because of Kei?" There multiple ways to refer to children in the demon realm; kits, pups, spawn, sometimes guppies if they were fish or water demons. He was just curious as to hers. "If you continue to live through your assassination targets, you could easily live long enough to master all languages and visit all the countries. I know there are humans who do so with their own short life span at that. There's no reason why you cannot. Even if you fell for a human, you would have to either deny or tell them your true heritage. No guarantee they would believe you or even like you afterwards. Humans are finicky creatures."

"That's true." Hisako nodded and she shrugged. "I don't know. I always thoughts pups was a sign of endearment. Spawn just sounds like...you birthed a human alien or something. No, if Kei had kids, they'd be kits. They'd be so adorable. I would have a hard time letting Kei go...or keeping the babies with me. The mother would probably see me as a threat or something. I don't know. I haven't asked Kei if he wanted to go off searching for a mate. He seems pretty happy hanging around me all day. You're right about the short amount of time though...humans are amazing with what they do with it."

"They're aggressive. It's got it's own charm to it, I guess. They set their sights on something and they don't let go of it. We demons can be flighty in our own right because we live so long, yet so short. It really depends on how strong you are. You either live life on the edge or take it for granted." Hiei glanced around the village, "We should move on somewhere else. We might get asked to spar with the young ones if we hang out too much longer in one place."

"Don't want that," Hisako agreed and quickly got off the fence and started walking side by side with Hiei. "You'd just embarrass them."

"You say you wouldn't?" He arched a brow at her.

Hisako grinned, "Sorry. I suppose I should say, I'd embarrass them. You'd humiliate them."

"More than likely." He agreed, and followed her to wherever it was she wanted to take him next.

~*~
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PostSubject: Re: Another Day in a Troubled Life - YYH Lynx/VC   Sun Feb 12, 2017 12:40 am

Creeping along between houses, she was trying to be as quiet as she could. Getting to the edge of the building, she peeked around the corner only to have something tackle her from behind and knock her out from her hiding spot, "Ack!" she cried out and it was all she could do to put her hands out and keep from face-planting the dirt.

"I GOT YOU!" shrieked the purple scaled demon child on her back.

"Oh no!" Haru laughed, spitting dust that had flown up into her mouth when she fell, "Yusuke, I've been compromised! Save yourself!"

"I'm leaving." Yusuke laughed, leaving Haru to fend for herself. Meanwhile there was a couple of other demon children who took that a as a challenge. One of them was taller, with a lizard head and missing a few fangs and the other was on the chubby side and couldn't run too quickly, but damn did that kid know short cuts. Yusuke was cut off a few times before he was tackled and rolled in the dirt. "Ack!"

"We captured the KING!" The chubby one said, throwing his hands in the air as he sat on Yusuke's back. "Now I'm King!"

"No way! We're supposed to share the kingdom." The lizard boy pouted, putting his hands on his hips.

Yusuke tried to take the distraction and wiggle himself free, but he could hear a feminine laugh from behind him. "Oh come on, HARU!"

"I gotchu!" Haru continued laughing as she threw herself at the chubby boy and half-tackled him so she wouldn't squish him, rolling and tucking him under her arm. When she landed she hooked her legs around his and started tickling his sides, "Aha! No one captures the King before you can take down his guards!"

"No! You were supposed to be down!" The lizard gasped. "What did you do to Hina-chan?!"
Yusuke laughed, "Yeah Haru! What did you do to the poor purple one?"

"I tied her up with her sash!" Haru grinned, "If she's so tricksy then she can get out of it."

"Yeah that's true." The lizard agreed solemnly, like Haru just pointed out the obvious. She probably did, Yusuke really didn't know how the assassin group worked. But they took care of their orphans, that's for damn sure. "Yusuke-sama is it true that you have a plant master as an advisory?"

"I wouldn't call him a plant master, but yeah." Yusuke scratched his cheek. "What? You're thinking about sticking Hina-chan on him?"

Haru loosened up on the chubby boy as he breathed heavily in her arms, "Tiki-kun and Hina-chan could probably both learn something from Kurama. Tiki-kun here likes tracking. He may not be able to hunt with the main group, but he's already made a name for himself finding the tiny ones when they wander off after some butterfly and get lost."

Tiki beamed like Haru just showered him with the best praise he'd ever heard. Yusuke raised an eyebrow. "Really? You know what? Let's go bother Kurama. OI, HINA! DID YOU GET OUT YET?!" He paused. "You know, I don't know how well demon hearing is when they're little tykes. Cuz I could never hear well when I was a kid...teenager until I was dead."

"You died?!" The children gasped aloud.

"Yep. Twice."

"Amazing....an immortal...." The demon chidlren looked at each other with stars in their eyes.

A pebble suddenly hit the lizard boy in the head and Hina finally sauntered back into the fray, twirling her sash, her tunic hanging open and she didn't have a care in the world, "Arata, Tiki, did we lose?"

"We lost." Tiki said with a proud smile. "But we're gonna go meet Kurama-san! Did you know Yusuke-sama is actually an immortal?! Isn't that cool?!"

"I'm going to have that rumor spread, aren't I?" Yusuke asked, looking at Haru with both regret and amusement.

"More than likely." Haru snickered, "Alright, boy, get up." She helped Tiki to his feet first then got up after him. Arata had gone mute and was avoiding Hina until she finished tying her sash back on.

"Kurama would know what better poisons to make I'm sure. I should probably see what'd be safe for me to test in small doses so I can build up immunity before I start coating my blades..." Hina hummed, tapping her chin.

"I get you start early on killing people, but my god." Yusuke stared at her. "You don't do things by halfs do you?"

"No. We can't. Though we were thinking when we're older leaving the village and becoming our own group." Hina tilted her head at him, "Hisako-sama will more than likely take over as Village Head once Jiro-sama dies. We might become her personal protectors too and just travel for a few years before coming back. Get it out of our system and then settle down. We don't really know yet, but we gotta be prepared either way."

"Hisa-chan is a good teacher." Tiki explained. "But she doesn't just teach how to fight and take down people. She teaches us about different cultures around the Demon World, and how to blend in. She's so smart, and she fights really awesomely. She kills /without/ using her shadow powers. Isn't that so awesome?!"

"Tiki's obsessed with random things," Arata sighed. "Honestly we do want to travel, and we do hope that we'll catch Hisako-sama's eye when she becomes leader. Being a personal guard of a village elder is the highest privilege we can get. Hisako-sama is our best teacher and our best way of getting a head start."

"I....never knew that Hisako was even on that path." Yusuke blinked slowly. "I just knew that she knew Kurama and stole my friends to do "fun things". Like library reading and going around the training grounds."

"It's kinda why Jiro-sama is letting her do what she wants." Hina added, "Everyone in the village knows it. Hisako-sama goes off on her own thing to Human World but no one gets mad because it's her own way to get knowledge that could possibly advance us. We know about Shika-san. It's possible she might even make an alliance between Assassins and Thieves once she's in charge."

"We have an odd relationship right now with that." Haru piped up finally.

Yusuke wondered if he'd should be talking to Hisako about the future of the kingdom then. Jiro was one thing, but Hisako was a complete other animal. He looked at Haru, "But you're not a thief?"

"I'm neither a thief nor an assassin." Haru smiled cheekily.

"She does things we don't like." Tiki pouted.

"She does things you don't like....god that could be anything." Yusuke winced.

"Should I help you out and explain in detail?" Haru laughed, "Or do you want to guess first?"

"I'll guess after I get a better hint than you do something they don't like." Yusuke nodded.

"She's fought Hisako-sama and lived." Hina supplied.

"I'm guessing that doesn't happen if at all." Yusuke said thoughtfully.

"I lived only by the hair's breath on my head, but yeah, not really." Haru folded her arms, waiting.

"Haru-chan can tell Hisako-sama where to meet a target if Haru-chan is with that target." Arata offered helpfully.

"Information broker!" Yusuke said excitedly, pointing at Haru.

"He tried." Hina rubbed her nose.

"Noooo." Tiki laughed. "Information broker demons are really low levels! Haru-chan's a high level."

"Goddamn....I have no idea. What are you then?" Yusuke asked looking at Haru. "A protector of some sort?"

"Warmer." Haru winked, "Bodyguard. Both humans /and/ demons. That's kind of what I meant by the weird relationship with the Thief's Town. I can come and go here freely because I've actually clashed with Hisako more than once. About seven times, three of those times I let her take her target, but I always fought good and hard anyway. Hisako can come and go to Shika's Town anytime /she/ wants, because of her old friendship. I can't. Shika also can't come here."

"I guess that makes sense..." Yusuke said slowly. "Shika's never fought Hisako has she? I mean, it sounded like to me Kurama wouldn't dare try to fight Hisako, unless she was some sort of threat. He hugged her."

"I've never actually met Shika because of this little rule. I've only heard of her." Haru nodded, "They met at a pub, actually. Hisako saved Youko's friend Kuronue from a poisoned drink."

"Oh. Yeah. Kurama would definitely find friendship in that." Yusuke smiled fondly. "I guess it's the best way to keep your guys villages safe and away from harm. Until Hisako is leader, the thief town or village or whatever it is now, probably can't come up here unless Hisako decides it's okay. Even then, she might decide only she can go to the village and town, and not Shika. We need to get Kurama to meet Shika again."

Tiki nodded his head like he understood the conversation, "But first we gotta meet him."

"He's gonna kill me for dumping you guys on him, but hell why not." Yusuke shrugged. "Come on Haru. A new adventure awaits! We're going to annoy a fox. You know you want to."

~*~
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PostSubject: Re: Another Day in a Troubled Life - YYH Lynx/VC   Sun Feb 12, 2017 1:43 am

"I wonder, who was more eager to see me?" Kurama asked the group of three as he set the book he had been focused on down. Yusuke had come in with Haru, done a quick introduction, and then headed off again. He bent down to be more level with Tiki who was the youngest at ten and also the shortest, "I hope Yusuke wasn't too rude with you guys. He likes to bounce around and I suppose a library is too boring for him."

"No he played with us." Tiki beamed. "I sat on his back, but he got out from underneath me. Is it true that Hisako-sama saved one of your friends from drinking something bad?"

"He's going to ask you a bunch of questions if you let him, Kurama-san." Arata gently shook his head from side to side.

"I'm alright with that. I can say no if something's too personal or complicated." Kurama assured, though when he answered Tiki his smile was sad. "Hisako was about your age, or even Arata's and Hina's age. I don't quite remember that detail. Kuronue, my friend, and I were partying with Shika and a few other people at a pub after a successful raid. I didn't notice one of the other patrons slip pure nightshade extract into his drink, and by the time I smelled it he was raising the glass back to his lips. In that split second I also noticed...a dagger lodged in the side. Kuronue didn't drink anything because there was nothing to drink. It had all drained out through the hole the dagger made and was all over the table. Looking over we spotted Hisako all bandaged up. She'd had her first assassination and the pub was also an Inn on the second floor. The pub and Innkeeper had bandaged her up and she was staying there until she healed."

"Really?!" Tiki's eyes lit up excitedly. "You met Hisako-sama when she was a child?! Like us?! Oh wow. That's so cool. Not many people are around that know Hisako-sama as a child anymore. Is that how you became friends? And why she's allowed to go into your village town thing? I know she's close to Shika-san. She talks about her often to Jiro-sama."

"Tiki-kun admires Hisako-sama, a lot. We all do, but he's..." Arata gestured upwards to kind of portray the fanboy side. "All three of us want to be her protectors when we manage our first kill and when she takes over the village after Jiro-sama dies, or gives the position up."

"I see. So what are all of your skills you're hoping to offer her?" Kurama asked curiously.

"I'm hoping to be the poison master. I'd use most of my assassin skills I learn here, but poison my blades. I was hoping to learn from you about what I could do to give myself immunity." Hina told him.

"Ah, just in case something goes wrong. I could make a list of poisons and their effects, safe doses or if they aren't safe at all even for demon healing factors. there's also poisons that work better when introduced to the blood, and others better when ingested." Kurama ticked off.

Hina's eyes lit up, "All of that sounds fantastic."

"Just don't die." Arata teased her.

"I want to be the best hunter!" Tiki exclaimed. "I want to catch the best food and I kind of also want to learn how to cook it too, but I want her to be pleased with what I catch! Anything works. Right now I'm working on small creatures and tracking since I'm apprenticing for it."

"Tracking is a very useful skill. Can you use your nose as well as your eyes and your awareness?" Kurama smiled at Tiki, "That's how I know where Shika is since you can't feel her, or usually see her."

"Shika-san can't be felt?" Tiki blinked, "Her energy is that low?"

"I thought demons with low energy were sickly." Arata's eyebrows furrowed. "Or even low level since their energy is so low. But I heard Shika-san was on the same if not higher than Hisako-sama and next to you, Kurama-san."

"She's a rare and special kind of demon, yes." Kurama's smile was fond, admiration clear, "Her fighting style with her sword was superb even before she got the one I gave her. If you catch her without her sword, she still has fantastic strategy. With her sword, she's damn near unbeatable. Her flash step is also on par with Hiei's speed, though she can't do it very often." He looked at Arata, "You haven't told me the skills you'd bring to the table for Hisako's personal guard."

"I will be happy being a bodyguard, but my ultimate goal is to be an assassin. Much like my parents before me and others." Arata grinned. "I would like to show that I could defend our home and her if needed."

"Once we catch her eye, and we serve her to the best our abiltiy we want to stretch our wings and make our own branch." Tiki beamed happily. "Hisako-sama does so much traveling, it'd be a waste if we didn't try ourselves."

"Yes, we're looking forward to that for sure. Arata's pretty great with his sword," Hina patted Arata's shoulder, "Tiki's getting better with the bow, and I got my twins daggers and poisons. I'm sure we're going to make a formidable team ourselves."

Kurama arched a brow as Arata straightened up at her touch, "Then I'll be sure to have that list complete next time I come by. I certainly won't be able to leave this library alone."

"Hisako-sama collects books." Tiki beamed. "She adds to this library every times she travels. She has a personal library too. I bet she'll be happy to share it with you. Especially since you work with Yusuke-sama too."

"Yusuke-sama wants you to meet Shika-san." Arata frowned. "For some reason. I think he wants to see the town."

"He just wants to see me with a mate. He can be his own mother hen sometimes. Makes him a good King, too." Kurama rubbed the back of his neck.

"Then I think we've taken enough of your time for one day." Hina winked and gripped Arata's wrist, dragging him towards the door, "I hope things go well for you!" she cooed.

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PostSubject: Re: Another Day in a Troubled Life - YYH Lynx/VC   Sun Feb 12, 2017 1:58 am

It was...strange, to say the least.

Not once as they traveled the half a day towards /Youko/ Kurama's village did Kurama question himself about where to go, leading the way. He walked like he'd been there just yesterday, even as he commented a few times some of the plants and greenery had changed mostly to himself.

The group was small, but that was how Kurama preferred it. After a day of rest, Hisako decided to join him with Kei joining her. Kurama had extended the invitation to Haru, who was completely shocked by it, but she was happy. The other two were of course Hiei and Yusuke. There wasn't much talking over the course of the two hours after Kurama had Botan teleport them to the closest destination he remembered.

Things got a little more tense the closer they got, though. A series of traps were evaded, disabled, or otherwise dismantled. Finally, they reached the Wall. Vines strung between solid tough trees and only one way in. Kurama was suspicious when the plants stopped talking to him, but he knew. He turned right. It was something between Youko and Shika. Every time she would go right to his left.

Pushing the vines away, he nearly stopped the train of people behind him in a dog pile when he froze. Slowly he stepped forward, and the further he walked into the vast expanse of the village square, the more he realized this was less of a measly poor excuse for a village anymore and what everyone had been saying was true. It was a town, expanding backwards and up into the canopy, just as many huts and houses on the ground as there were tree forts that had winding wooden staircases and roped vine bridges leading in an intricate system every which way. He couldn't even see where it possibly ended, though he could definitely tell where the Wall continued on the sides.

"Whoa," Yusuke whistled as he managed to get a good look at the town. The traps that they had went through was crazy, and he was kinda thankful that Kurama, to this day still remembered where he put them all, because otherwise they could've gotten beheaded. But this? This was beyond what he thought he was going to see. They started walking towards the town, and Yusuke noticed how wide-eyed Kurama was looking. This used to be a village of bandits and thieves, but now it was an actual town with people.

"Hey! Hey!" One of the men shouted, making them look towards him. He was wearing a white sash around his waist and an open vest. His claws were black and his face had soot all over it. "You're home!" He walked over and slung his arm around Kurama's shoulders like they were comrades or even brothers. "Welcome back, Kurama! We all missed you!" He grinned at Kurama and looked at Yusuke. "Now this is a sight. We got a King to greet and his Royal Council! Either this is our lucky day or a bad rainy one! Oi!" He shouted across the street. "Tell people we got a celebration to kick up! Best beer and sake! Hey! Someone get Shi-chan around in this! Go on!" He let Kurama's shoulder go. "This calls for an all night get drunk as hell party guys! The best foods! Let's get crack-a-lackin here!"

"Rei, wait, I..." but the demon who'd greeted them just dragged him off. Besides the size, it was like Kurama never left. Even though he wasn't transformed as the silver haired fox, either, they all knew exactly who he was. Twenty-five years later, some of the people talking to him were a bit fuzzy on the memory, others completely new, and several, just like Rei, were a sight for sore eyes. He barely got a word in edgewise besides questions about the foods they should cook up and if there were any drinks they should crack for the ladies of the group.

"This place is so simplistic, but so gorgeous," Haru commented as she looked far up into canopy and there were people running along the bridges, shouting words she couldn't quite make out, but it was obvious that they all knew what was going on.

It was a lot more than just adults here. Children, who had grew up with stories of Kuronue and Youko, were watching in /awe/ at the redhead and group. A few of them, actually got up courage to go over to him, telling him "welcome back" before losing their nerve and running away from the sight, jeering at each other for not lasting longer. All of them, for some reason, had somewhere on them that was white. One little girl in particular, who was probably the bravest so far, gave Kurama a flower crown before running off, not saying anything.

Yusuke couldn't help but to tease at that, even though it was adorable as all fuck. It was worth the glares that he got.

Hiei even got greeted randomly, though everyone knew better than to touch him.

But the moment they got near the middle of the town, Rei dropped Kurama's wrist the moment they heard a woman say; "You're really here."

Just like that, the town fell into a hush that was almost too quiet. Those who knew, backed away, included Rei who was beaming like the bastard that he was. The rest stayed close without really thinking about it.

She was dressed like a knight from a video game. A corset bodice, a short skirt with high length boots. A long white sword sheathe and handle strapped to her hip. Her cloak also white and short down her back. She had short blonde hair, bright blue eyes that reminded Yusuke of a summer sky in the Human World. What was out place, was that she was carrying a bunch of flowers in her hands, and her fingers were bandaged heavily.

Kurama's breath hitched as he observed the array of flowers. To the rest of the group except maybe Hisako, it was just a bundle of random things picked from a meadow. But no...daisies, forget-me-nots, daffodils, hollyhocks, yellow, pink, and white lilies, red poppies and red and orange roses were arranged in a way he knew the meaning at first glance.

She was hopeful that he remembered her, remembered them. The pride and happiness she had for the bandit town was blindingly obvious only second to the last combination of meanings. Love. She still loved him dearly after everything and wanted, hoped she could be with him. Even tough she didn't know everything about him as Shuuichi besides what she probably heard from the tournaments.

Her hands, though. He took a step forward which had everyone holding their breath, and he peeled one hand from the bouquet. He felt dizzy and had to brace himself as shocks and tingles and warmth raced up his arm and through his body. He tried his best not to let it show, smiling at her even as her eyes widened like china saucers, "You never were very good at handling roses."

Shika choked as she felt the familiar warmth and spark spread from her fingers, down her arm and to her heart. Her eyes watered and she pulled her hand away to hug him tightly. "I missed you so much. I'm so sorry I chased you out, that I threatened you. I'm glad you're doing alright. I'm glad you came home."

Kurama's throat was tight, and he wrapped his arms around her, careful not to crush any of the flowers in his hand. "I was...surprised to hear you were still around. Hisako told me. I didn't think you were dead, of course not, I was just...shocked to hear your name." He was slightly hesitant, but he brushed the hair on the top of her head with his nose. Her scent...he hadn't been able to indulge in it for so long. "I never hated you, if tat was something you worried about."

Shika laughed a little and tucked her head against the side of his neck, breathing in his own. His bond mark was gone, but that was okay. They were still compatible with one another and that was all she needed, "I'm so glad. Wel-"

"WELCOME HOME!" Someone tackled them into a group hug. "Jesus, I can cover both of you with my body, you're both so short! It's been forever! Rei told me that we're drinking the night away and for good reason. We're all alive and it's a miracle!"

"I'm not getting squished in a hug." Hisako said dryly as Shika burst into laughter.

"You're not any fun but that's okay. I don't want to hug you anyway." Kuronue stuck his tongue out at Hisako before he let Shika and Kurama go. "Yo."

Kuama just stared at Kuronue blankly. "You're...alive?"

"I think Kurama's brain short-circuited." Haru mused.

"It happens. Yeah. I'm alive. Naia fixed me right up." Kuronue beamed. "She was the Mistress of the mansion we raided. Funny how life works, right?"

Kurama blinked a few times as his eyes stung, and he reached out to draw Kuronue into a hug again, "Kami...you're real this time...Shika I get, but you...I never thought..."

"We're just too hard to kill." Kuronue assured, hugging him back. "I heard that a Netherworld demon tried to impersonate me once. That was a weird experience I never want to hear of ever again."

Kurama nodded as he pulled away, "They twisted my memories, but I was able to defeat them. It was pretty weird, you're right." He laughed softly, and looked Shika, then back at Kuronue. He really didn't know what to do, or say. This wasn't something he expected to happen ever again, being with his /family/ like this. Glancing behind him he caught Yusuke's eye, "Are you happy now?"

"Real happy," Yusuke grinned. "I knew coming back would be good for you. You look better now."

Kurama just shook his head, "So, Kuro, Rei was trying to get me to answer all sorts of questions for the party, but Hiei doesn't drink, Yusuke will drink and eat anything, so our guest, Haru, is the only odd one out." He glanced back at her.

Haru waved her hand, smiling, "Hey...um...If there's a variety I'm sure I can pick my poison. Whatever Hisa drinks I like usually."

"You'll love the sake then." Kuronue beamed as he looked over at Hisako, his smile curved wider. "You can ask her about her embarassing moments in the human world if her tongue's loose enough."

Hisako groaned, "Is that something I'm going to have to prepared for?"

"The best of stories are always the way to go." Shika grinned, clapping her hands excitedly. "There's a few favorites I can request. Yusuke and the rest of them probably never heard your misadventures."

"I just met them, they heard none." Hisako nodded.

"Soo...drink!" Shika and Kuronue said together at the same time.

"I hate you both," Hisako rolled her eyes fondly. "Maybe."

Kurama reached his hand out to Shika, "Care to show me my old home? I need a place for these flowers." He smiled softly.

Shika grinned, "Yes! Kuro I leave it to you and Rei." She waved at Kuro as she attached her arm to Kurama's and guided him away from the group.

~
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PostSubject: Re: Another Day in a Troubled Life - YYH Lynx/VC   Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:51 pm

When they reached the edge of town, Kurama was pleasantly surprised to see a lot of the flowers he had planted were lively and the vines hugging the walls of the house protectively. Shika wasn't the biggest green thumb, but she could do basic care and he was sure one of the other villagers might have helped here and there. He stepped ahead a bit so he could open the door, and after discarding his shoes in the entrance hall, he walked with her to the kitchen. "Everything still looks the same..." he mused.

"I didn't want to get rid of anything, especially when I found out you were alive. I kept what I could. Though, I did get rid of some things. I knew your taste would change somewhat and would probably want space to add or subtract whatever you liked and disliked." Shika explained.The sitting room had a vase that Shika had stolen a while back, a nice beautiful white with a red scenery painted on it. There were also some indoor plants that were blooming inside the kitchen window, a nice little effect to home. The sitting room had more books and bookshelves however. "Hisako knows you like to read, so whatever she finds in the human world that she thinks you would be interested in, she brought back. Or me for that matter."

"We liked some of the same things." Kurama nodded, and also saw she had also claimed an armoire. It was tall, made from a dark oak tree, and beautifully carved with an intricate design. First he placed the flowers in the vase she supplied and added water to it. Stepping over, he ran his fingers over the armoire, admiring the craftsmanship. It surprisingly fit well with the rest of the furniture, too. "This must have been an interesting haul."

"It took me, Rei, and Jen to carry that damn thing." Shika laughed, "Jen did nothing but swear at me in his native tongue. I don't know what he said, but Rei was dying by the time we managed to get it /into/ the village. Once it was in the village, everyone who knew how to lift helped me carry it back here. They were impressed that I wanted to steal it, but....the money wasn't worth what the vendor was selling it for. We nearly got caught, but...it could've been worse. It could've gone so, so much worse."

"You just wanted it because it was pretty." Kurama teased her, "How is Jen? Did he find himself anyone? I saw Rei doesn't have a mark yet either."

"Rei doesn't want a mate. Yet. Still." Shika rolled her eyes. "He says that a mate couldn't keep up with his stamina. Though Jen did find a nice partner. A bit on the shy side, his name is Yuki. Jen's been teaching him how to talk in his native tongue."

"I hope I get to see them at the party and wish them luck." Kurama smiled softly, "Rei's one of those that would need a Bondmate before he even thinks about slowing down."

"I had hoped Hisako and Rei would be the ones to get together." Shika admitted, "But Rei's too energetic for her and Hisako wouldn't like to be bonded with someone who can't jump or won't jump worlds."

"You know...so far I've noticed something interesting." Kurama smirked a bit, a hand on his chin. "Hiei, the one who Yusuke jokes would always be a bachelor, has taken an interest in Hisako. He accompanied her all day yesterday when we went to her village. I had found a note by Raizen to Yusuke that'd been hidden for about seven years."

"The one with the red eyes?" Shika blinked and she looked thoughtful. "I've heard from a lot of demons that he has a reputation of being cutthroat and ruthless. Which would appeal to the assassin side of her. But can he appeal to the adventurer? Now /that/ is something I'd be interested in seeing. I know he's jumped through worlds, so he'll understand when she talks about it. I wonder if there's a side of him that she can appeal to that isn't the blood-thirst."

"Hiei is very intellectual. He enjoys deep conversations with someone who can engage him in that regard just as much as he likes slicing people into pieces." Kurama nodded, "He also likes human art. It's one of the few things he does enjoy from them. The precision, dedication and detail. No one besides me really knows that, though. He likes his reputation the way it is."

"I'll keep the secret till Hisako tells me." Shika promised. "An artist and an explorer. Well. Fates never lie do they? An artist travels to find inspiration. A traveler explores to find themselves and reason. Makes sense that they'd go on together. Especially if the adventurer becomes the muse to his inspiration. But that's just me waxing poetic. I need to stop hanging around Kuronue. He did the same damn thing when he told me about mating Naia. Water mermaid this, fish lady that, it was incredible that Kuro never called his kid a guppie. Though I'm sure he did it. I'm sure he did it and I'm sure Naia smacked him for it."

"He'll be my next victim for questions." Kurama laughed a bit, "We should get back before they think we are doing something we are not..." He paused, watching her carefully, and then said slowly, "I hope you understand...I remember these things...but I am a different person. I hope...you can come to accept this new person you've bonded with."

Shika was a little surprised and then she smiled softly as she got into his space and gently cupped his cheek. "I always knew you were on a different path. Kuronue's supposed death hit you enough to shatter your soul. You needed the escape and you needed to find yourself. I loved you way back when, but I love you now too. It'd be my honor to get to know you as you are, and for you to get to know me. Twenty five years changes a person. No matter what."

"Then we have a deal as well as an understanding." Kurama joined her side and caressed her cheek, "Let's hurry back now. We have a long night ahead of us."

~
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PostSubject: Re: Another Day in a Troubled Life - YYH Lynx/VC   Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:39 pm

Long night indeed. The bonfire was piled in the middle of the town, people had brought in long tables and were also dragging out small piles of fire wood so that they could cook the food fresh. Drinks were passed around freely. Sake, beer, wine, some demonic juice which was more alcoholic than Vodka. There was also music, a couple of people had brought out their lutes, drums, and flutes. Hisako had played a few songs before she grew bored and kept to the edges, only for a while.

Yusuke was already in the middle of the livihood. The demons /really/ wanted to see how their leader was like when drunk. Haru was with him, either encouraging the trouble or trying to anchor so that it wouldn't go too far, no one really had a clue. At the moment, neither of them were drinking, but Yusuke certainly had a good amount of food on his plate.

Hiei was close by Hisako. Shika was a little surprised when she saw it. Kurama said that Hiei was interested, but there was no way that it was just interest that kept him close to Hisako. It made her wonder if they started the courting ritual already or not.

Kurama on the other hand, was doing what he did best when he was leader. He was talking to his friends, offering drinks and conversation.
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PostSubject: Re: Another Day in a Troubled Life - YYH Lynx/VC   Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:55 pm

"Are you sure you can eat all that?!" Haru gaped at Yusuke's three different plates full of different kinds of foods. Appetizers, main dishes, and deserts. "You're going to explode! Then you're gunna be drinking, too! I'm not cleaning up after you if you puke everywhere. I swear to god if these demons had cellphones and internet they'd post this mayhem anywhere they could."
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PostSubject: Re: Another Day in a Troubled Life - YYH Lynx/VC   Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:50 pm

"I don't think demons would even think about using them really." Yusuke said, stuffing a piece of meat into his mouth. He chewed and swallowed, "I can eat a lot more than just this. Kuwabara and I used to have food contests all the time. Don't worry. Besides, if I don't finish it off, someone's bound to steal it off my plate. I almost can guarantee that."
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PostSubject: Re: Another Day in a Troubled Life - YYH Lynx/VC   Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:07 pm

Haru giggled and grinned widely at him, snatching the demon equivalent of a fried chicken leg off of his main pile, earning a 'hey!', "You mean like this?" she asked taking a good chomp out of it, "Gunna fight me for it? Or get me back later?" she asked coyly at his glower that was more playful and had no heat behind it.
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PostSubject: Re: Another Day in a Troubled Life - YYH Lynx/VC   Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:12 pm

"Get you back," Yusuke said after a moment, "Though if you steal something else from my-OKAY THAT'S IT!" Yusuke and Haru started a game of keep-away, with Haru trying to keep Yusuke away from the food that was in her hands.

"They're lively." Jen commented as he watched the scene play out before him. He had all sorts of pericings on his left ear and his black bangs covered one of his eyes. He was skinny, the white vest that he was wearing practically hung off of his shoulders. His eyes were like slits and his tongue forked. His pants had plenty of pockets for knives and other weaponry that he needed.

"Who do you think will win?" Yuki asked as he passed the sake bottle to Jen as he watched Haru eat the food as qucikly as she could and gasped when Yusuke went after her plate. "My money is on King Yusuke."

"Suck up." Jen said as he took a gulp of the drink and passed it to Yuki.

"I could suck down." Yuki offered coyly, flinging his sky blue shoulder length hair over to one side and batting his green eyes flirtatiously at him.
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PostSubject: Re: Another Day in a Troubled Life - YYH Lynx/VC   Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:20 pm

"Oh. And here I thought your partner was the shy one?" Kurama sounded pleasantly surprised as he came over with a plate full of more drinks. People kept telling him to sit down, but he would drink later with Kuronue. It was a tradition to end a party with a drinking game, which he reminded those who'd lived this long and they were getting excited for it. He was also eating the food people shoved in his direction because it was 'made by my mate try it' or something as well, so he didn't need to sit down to eat a meal anyway.

Kurama glanced over when duel shrieking erupted from the table and Yusuke had landed stomach-first on the wooden table while Haru had apparently leaned back too far and fallen off the bench, ending up on her back, and they were cracking up. Others around them were also laughing at the ridiculousness of it. The redhead smiled tenderly, and returned his attention to Jen for his response while also keeping an eye on his friend. Would a suspicious be confirmed if he leaned down to help her, or would another demon help Haru up instead?
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PostSubject: Re: Another Day in a Troubled Life - YYH Lynx/VC   Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:34 pm

Yuki's cheeks turned a bright red and Jen snickered, "He is the shy one." He grinned, his fangs glinting in the firelight. "You caught us at a very interesting time." His smile faded. "It's good to have you home. The things your mate gets up to when you're not around." He gestured. "This is Yuki. It's been five years since he joined the gang."

"Pleased to meet you, Kurama-san." Yuki smiled a little timidly. "So sorry you had to hear that."

"Please he said worse when he was all over Shi-chan." Jen laughed, "You didn't say anything as bad as he does. Did." He amended.

Yusuke helped Haru up, and rubbed the back of his neck as Haru said something that was teasing. Whether or not he felt the sparks were up in the air, Yusuke was looking at her with some curiosity, but Haru certainly wasn't noticing it. At least, not yet.
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PostSubject: Re: Another Day in a Troubled Life - YYH Lynx/VC   Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:52 pm

"It's true...not only are we basically doing this all over again, I am a lot more conservative with my words. If I want to tease her in the future, it'll be with private whispers in her ear." Kurama smirked just a bit, "I can tell you're quite relaxed around Jen, if you're throwing things like that around. I'm glad he can do that for you. It takes a lot to trust, I know that. I hope you do the same for him."

Haru was still breathing heavy from laughing so hard, but because of that it was probably easy for everyone to overlook that she was a bit stunned. She had teased him, but the words had just flown freely and she didn't even know what she said. After helping her up they'd dropped contact instead of lingering, but she wanted it back. Her hand was still tingling as if she'd slept on her arm all night long. What would Hisa have to say about this? She'd probably just tease her. "After that, I wanna find out what kind of drunk you are." She finally added since he hadn't responded to her besides a chuckle.
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PostSubject: Re: Another Day in a Troubled Life - YYH Lynx/VC   Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:05 pm

"An awesome one," Yusuke replied with a smirk. "You'll see. I guess there's a tradition of drinking games after the party right? It'll be fun to see what you are drunk too."

Yuki nodded his agreement, "I can only hope I do."

"Suck up." Jen rolled his eyes, leaning back, pushing the sake bottle to Yuki after he took another drink from it. "You have changed, though Kurama. Your words, your actions. You're not Youko. Not the man we used to run with. Shi-chan has also changed. She's a strong woman. I'm glad the fates decided to keep her as your mate, instead of forcing you to split. She's in love with you. I think you're the only one that can turn her head."

Yuki groaned, "Oh god remember? The flirting with the new members?"

"It was awful," Jen bowed his head. "There were demons that'd hit on her and she'd say no. She kick their ass and tell them that she was mated. Show them the bond mark. A lot of them would run off after that."

"There were still those few though that were like "I can break that bond." Yuki shuddered. "She sliced them. Without any remorse."

"You just don't say things like that," Jen agreed. "Dear god I though Rei was going to slice the bastard's head. I know I was close to it."

"I was going to poison him, but that's because I hate blood," Yuki shook his head from side to side. "He deserved worse."

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PostSubject: Re: Another Day in a Troubled Life - YYH Lynx/VC   Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:18 pm

"Oh, I dunno if you wanna see me drunk. I'm very touchy-feely. Just ask Hisako. I kissed her one time." Haru's cheeks turned bright red, but she went back to the feast table, "She can tell you /all/ about me when I'm drunk. If drinking gets her tongue loose for stories, then I'm a very terrible person."

"Apparently there's a story here and I would very much like to hear it." Kurama said slowly, his tone a bit calculated. It was very pleasing to hear his past and future mate had handled herself well in that sort of situation, but he would still like to know what happened. Shika would gloss over it if he asked her. Asking Jen, or even Rei, would get him better details.
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PostSubject: Re: Another Day in a Troubled Life - YYH Lynx/VC   Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:28 pm

"I wonder what kind of stories Hisako would say. Don't worry, Kuwabara is a touchy drunk too." Yusuke shuddered. "Thank god he has a wife now. Otherwise, I'd worry about the next person to see him drunk. He's clinging and he holds onto you and then he makes you drink as much as you can. Sometimes he's free with his kisses. But, he only goes after me. I think Hiei telepathically warns him off and he can sense Kurama's feelings about way better than I can."

Jen shook his head from side to side. "It was about...ten...fifteen years after you died. Our town was up and running. Yuki was our back and forth person for a while, so he wasn't really "a part" of us till five years ago give or take." He patted his partner on his shoulder. "Anyway to get the story out of the way, Shika started up a new tradition without knowing about being there for every birth our women have. She stays out of the way, mostly giving what the healer needs and running off after the mom's okay. Of course, that's Shika. She wants to adopt kids. She likes kids. It's a fact like roses are red." He hissed a little and Yuki passed him the bottle. He took a drink and passed it back to Yuki a little forcefully. The sloshing of the sake was violent enough to sound like a wave. "Anyway, so...a new guy had this thought. If she likes kids so much, why isn't her mate giving that to her? We explained you left town and Shika was waiting for you and he took it as a challenge. Basically what he heard was that you gave up the claim to /both/ the village /and/ a mate. Which...what the hell one, and two Shika was our leader by then. If a new person came into our midst, they only know your stories. But they were completely utterly loyal to Shi-chan."
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PostSubject: Re: Another Day in a Troubled Life - YYH Lynx/VC   Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:44 pm

"I've heard of the human who runs with you from time to time." Haru nodded, "He just does it to get a rise out of you. Probably still hilarious to see, at the same time once you deny him he jumps that wife of his and makes things more awkward." She chuckled softly and started picking at one of the pieces of food she hadn't managed to completely devour because of the bones, digging for the pieces in the crevices, "If you really don't mind, I'll start slow and work my way to a good buzz," she winked a bit, "Don't want to get drunk before you."

"I did leave her behind...but it was ultimately always up to her." It made his heart swell to hear of her loyalty, but also made it break that her want for children and other things they had only fantasized about had come to a crashing halt. He didn't think he'd ever stop wondering why she waited for someone like himself, treating her like that. "Go on? He did something utterly repulsive in front of all of you. Your eyes are glowing a bit, Jen."
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PostSubject: Re: Another Day in a Troubled Life - YYH Lynx/VC   Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:53 pm

"Yeah, he does." Yusuke nodded, "That's why I do things to get a rise out of him. Fine, if you're going to take your time, I'll take mine. Let's see who gets drunk first." He smirked, "I bet it's you."

"Oh it wasn't anything bad...at first." Jen growled and Yuki had to place a hand on his shoulder to keep him from jumping on Kurama. He gave his partner a look before turning to Kurama. "He started trying to court her, which wasn't awful. But she turned him down. She turned him down a thousand of times. We were starting to pity the guy..and get annoyed...but then..."

"He crowded her." Yuki picked up the story. "He started yelling at her. He demanded to know what was so special about you that she'd wait for you. She said he wouldn't understand how it worked, considering he didn't understand what the word "no" meant. He shoved her to the ground."

"Got right on top of her too." Jen hissed. "It wasn't just me, a bunch of us started going towards them, to get him off of her and she shoved him off, kneed him hard and she told him point blank that if he could fight her and survive, she'd mate him."

"It made us furious. We knew she loved you." Yuki shook his head from side to side.

"It made me angry. At her mostly until I remembered, Shi-chan said "survive". She never said win. No one who stood against Shi-chan ever lived to tell the tale. That's why her and Hisako make such good sisters." Jen laughed bitterly. "She played dirty. Used every trick Hisako taught her, and she didn't try to even the playing ground like she normally would if it was a normal fight. She went all out, showed no cards, no tricks. He was dead within five seconds after he said "you're on"."

"Sliced him clean in half." Yuki made the cutting motion with his hand. "Blood and guts everywhere and she looked around at the crowd and she said, "I am mated. I am bonded. I'm not single and the next time a person tries to force my hand, I'm not even going to bother /making/ the wager I did." We were stunned, but news spread quickly. Shi-chan wasn't for the taking and she'll kill anyone who tries. No mercy."
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PostSubject: Re: Another Day in a Troubled Life - YYH Lynx/VC   Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:09 am

Haru didn't doubt him at all, but she didn't give him the satisfaction of victory before defeat. "Oh really? Just what do you bet?" She nibbled on the chunk of meat she had in her mouth, smirking slowly around it, "/I/ wager we do what the winner wants then and there. You want me to shove my face in a pie, I'll do it. If I win and I want you to do an Irish Jig, you do it even if you're horrible at it." Demons who were listening in to their conversation cooed at her in excitement. Everyone liked steaks to challenges.

Kurama didn't say anything about their story this time. He felt emotions he didn't know what to do with stewing low in his belly, and he turned to glance through the crowd. Too many people to follow her scent, but he remembered where she usually liked to hide during parties until she found a conversation to interject herself. She was talking to Rei right now who was one of the many not wasting any time in drinking. "Excuse me, I have somewhere I should be. It was a pleasure meeting you, Yuki. Good luck with Jen. I wish you both happiness." With that, he slid the plate he'd been holding on the feast table going by, snatching two drinks as he went to join Shika, offering her the one, and then leaning down to kiss the top of her head as she perked and reached to take it.
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PostSubject: Re: Another Day in a Troubled Life - YYH Lynx/VC   Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:15 am

"You're on!" Yusuke crowed and the demons cheered.

"Oh hey Kurama." Shika beamed as she took the drink from him and leaned into his touch. "Did Jen and Yuki say something to you?"

Rei grinned brightly, "Kuronue is already off doing god knows what right now. I think he's trying to find the strong liquor stash. Or fruit. Don't worry though, I did my best to hide the worst of it." He already knew why Kurama had that jealous gleam in his eye. "So how do ya like the town?"
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PostSubject: Re: Another Day in a Troubled Life - YYH Lynx/VC   Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:23 am

"That's good. Wouldn't want Kuronue's voice screaming over everyone because he was hyper drunk off of fruit." Kurama slid his arm around Shika in a gliding teasing manner, barely there before he rested his hand on her hip and hardly had to tug to get her to curl closer into his side. He sipped his drink calmly, though that story was already melting away as he held her to him. "It's beautiful, and so lively. So full of pride. I'm only peckish after all the things men were ordering me to eat because their mates cooked it. Part of me wants to tour the upper levels, watch from above, but that could wait until morning. Is there a place up there to watch the sunrise or sunset?" he asked Rei, hinting. The sun had long since gone down now, of course, but the morning was another story. "Jen and Yuki said a lot of things. I actually caught Yuki flirting with Jen when I first walked up to them."
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PostSubject: Re: Another Day in a Troubled Life - YYH Lynx/VC   Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:28 am

Rei cracked up, "Did he say something about wanting to eat Jen's meat or something like that? He's not overly crazy in front of us, but sometimes we catch them trying to up the other in sexual innudenos. We don't have the heart to tell them that you, Kuronue, and Shika have them all beat." He snorted and shook his head. "A place to watch the sunset? The upper bridges have a pathway that guides you towards where your home is and past it. You can see the river's waterfall /and/ the mountain ranges. It's a bit of a walk, but...it's real nice."

Shika blushed warmly and she leaned into Kurama's hold, placing her head against his shoulder. Rei watched the sight and he sighed happily, "The men are too proud of their mates. I think it's cuz they saw how well you picked yours. Though now I feel like I'm about to be third wheel on this conversation. I think I'll go bother our assassin girl."

Shika watched him leave and she frowned, "Do you think I should've told him about Hiei?"
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