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Full Version: the debts of ukiyo
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westwind pulses across the valley. the grass shivers and dances beneath her feet.
the earth rises and becomes a mountain. it is not her true home, but a measure more comfortable than the road. she waits upon the lower hills and tries to conceal her own inner spirit.
—her sakki
and she listens intensely to the forest, hoping her instincts are not wrong. she does not want to be alone.
Kynareth's paws carry him past his pack borders — not an unusual occurrence for the brindled brute — to scout just beyond their pack lands. He’s always vigilant and always like to be aware of who might surround them. Especially with all of the territory the Saints unofficially claim, everyone works overtime ensuring no strangers pass through, or even close, to them. 

Yet today, even though he’s been agitated lately — a lack of death and mayhem — he walks calmly out of his borders and aimlessly wanders up, up, up a shy mountain. Until he sees another. A woman, he knows this by the breeze wafting her scent his way, of agouti patterns and not so hidden strength.

Twin suns for eyes brighten with interest and the Grandmaster slows as he allows himself to guess what she’s doing. Such a calm aura about her, he wonders if she’s meditating or some other thing normal wolves do when they don’t have crazy shit to worry about like him. 

He approaches further, surely she’d be able to hear him now, hesitant to interrupt her he offers a low chuff to announce his presence. “You seem new. Haven't seen you around here before.” The man points out uselessly but conversationally. A smile tilts his lips upwards, contorting his face handsomely, he allows his golden orbs to take in her appearance fully before he settles his gaze on her own eyes.
at first she thinks it is a bear searching for its breakfast. the steps are too fluid; weighted but much too quick.
she opens her eyes.
the man is more than a head taller than her. thick around the middle. at first glance he is hard to make out among the trees and as she watches him, she can see why.

i have not been here before. she answers, watching.

the man is marbled like an ancient forest; red and browns, blacks and grays. striped and mottled enough for concealment. she senses no danger from him.
she has been wrong before.
Coingold eyes watch her with hardly concealed interest as she speaks. He decides he likes the sound of her voice, but he is an easy man when it comes to women — much too easily swayed by beauty. 

She mentions never having been there before. It confirms his suspicions that, yes, he hasn’t met her before. He’s not new to strangers, rather he likes tangling himself with them. Though usually just as a cheap form of entertainment depending on how they take him. She isn’t scared, or at least she doesn’t appear to be. Which makes this less like cheap entertainment and more like a show worth watching. 

He hums in acknowledgment at her statement. He decides to step closer, moving a comfortable distance away from her and planting his own haunches into the grass. 

“There’s not many packs around here besides my own — none that I know of at least.” He begins easily. “Hardly any loners that I’ve seen too.” So that leads him into being unnaturally curious. The Grandmaster tilts his head and that same smirk rolls back onto his face. “So, what brings you down here, darling?” The question isn’t seeking or meant to be invasive, only curious as to why shes found herself in such a secluded land.
she watches him settle in place.
bold to ask questions without an introduction. it shows his confidence. of all things to find familiar in this place, it should not surprise her that the forward nature of a man remains a constant.
does he mean to elicit a response with the casual manner of his speech? she is no-one's darling. the way he drawls the word makes her wish her brothers were alive to cut his tongue.
then again, she is fully capable of it also.
this is not her father's han; it would be unwise to expect the same level of civility here. she considers his request but says nothing to reveal her truths.
such things must be earned.
As per usual, the Grandmaster is too quick to get comfortable with the female stranger. Always too eager to get to know a woman he’s never met before. Though he asks questions, he only gets an expectant demand veiled in an almost casual statement. She’s put him in his place, something he often deserves. Yet, her fire only drawls him in more, makes him much more eager for attention, but of course, he’s forgotten his manners. Something that tends to happen often with the brindled male.

He chuckles softly at her words and bows his head in what could be considered a casual apology. “Of course. Where are my manners?” He hums humorously. “Kynareth Deagon, alpha of the Saints.” He introduces, looking back to her with a soft, but expectant expression that shows he’s waiting for her to do the same.
so, he was a daimyo. to whom did he bow? he did not look like someone that would bow readily to anyone.
her eyes finally pull away from his. though she does not turn her back to him.
ushiyo satsu— daimyo's daughter she should have said, kutsuwa too, but froze instead.
once of ushiyo han, before its fall.
it would be meaningless to his ears; the world had stopped making sense years ago to satsu, so why should this.
the faraway look in her eyes ices over as she looks to him again. her losses, like everything else, were her's alone.
Her eyes meet is own as he introduces himself, yet she’s quick to pull them away. He continues to watch her though, he can’t help but take in her features. Another not so hidden feature, a feminine beauty that Donovan has always been weak to. He doesn’t act upon the urge to smother her with questions and attention, she doesn’t seem to be the type to be too flattered by that. 

Then she utters a few words that he doesn’t realize is her name until he thinks about it a bit longer. As his single brain cell fires, he figures out that the words aren’t her speaking in her mother tongue, but they’re her name. He rather likes it.

She continues, speaking of a time long lost it seems. Before it’s fall. He knows those words well. He wonders if he should ask, or if it would be too sore a topic still. He can tell it affects her by the cold glaze that shifts over her eyes. It’s at this point he decides to ask.

“An old pack?” He hums back evenly in question. His tone isn’t teasing, though it is fairly neutral.
images flood her mind—
the orchards in full bloom and snowing with petals; a mountain well guarded by her brothers, as they laugh and joke with one another, racing up the shrine path. father is away on business and they feel a rare freedom.

it is not forbidden for satsu to reminisce, but she resists the memory as it comes. a tension coils through her, snake-like, constrictive.
my father's land.
a half truth; the land was only his so long as his honor remained virtuous. like all men, he was fallible when the circumstances suited him.

i am all that is left of his line. as a woman without any sons, the han fell, to be given to another. she explained. this was not something she had expected to speak of again, let alone to someone so different from her.
satsu breathed evenly a low breath, banishing her brother's faces from her mind before they could become bloody, twisted and grotesque.
He can tell it’s still a sore topic for her. Especially as she speaks so tersely, but the sad thing is, is that he can relate to that. So he nods in understanding, staying quiet through the information she somehow decides he’s worthy to know. 

At that point he thinks about the might of his old pack. The old Saints. Not that the new Saints is bad, but they’re so much more diverse, quite a bit smaller, and a lot less violent. 

“My old pack, before I’d come here, got destroyed. Almost all of them got killed by two legs — humans.” He knows many wolves don’t know what two legs are, but he always says it in the off chance they do. 

He looks to her then. “I came here and started by scratch. Remade what I lost. Why don’t you do the same?” He hums back softly. Even though he knows it’s not that easy, but if one truly sets their mind to it they could.
she gives no indication that she understands, as he speaks. she listens and is silent. it takes effort to purge her own thoughts.
i... cannot.
it was not a matter of will but of propriety. it was not her place to be a builder of things. the look on her face is empty now - success, finally, in blocking the past from her mind where it matters.
my father's disgrace is mine now to carry. the only way to end it... she does not like to entertain this idea even if it is mere supposition;
i would have to seek a path of revenge, kill the man that took his life, and so on until only i remained. her stoicism weakens, she frowns.
i cannot let that be my path.
I cannot...

A single upwards twitch of his brows show he’s listening to learn why. For it was his first priority when his pack had fallen. Of course, circumstances can differ from person to person; pack to pack. 

The foreign woman speaks of revenge. She must avenge the death of her father. To hunt down and search for the one that killed one’s father sounds like a life Kynareth almost led. Except there’s no way to get revenge on humans. They’re too strong, too plentiful. What with their odd weapons and powers, he knows it’s be a losing battle and only more would come.

“Why not?” He asks simply, but in any type of patronizing way. “If I had to avenge my father and it was possible, then it sounds like an honor to do so.” He doesn’t mean to interrogate her as to why, but he wonders if perhaps she is to soft in heart to do so, or just doesn’t know where to start.
he did not understand. she did not need him to, and so she would not answer. by now satsu was too far removed from her father's han to avenge him.
he rested as any disgraced warrior would—splintered apart and scattered among many unmarked pits.
what good could come from unearthing his tortured spirit?
it is my burden to carry, kyn-dono. enough talk of death and loss; he would not change her mind. she was not ready to face that side of herself.
He tilts his head at her answer, but respects her acceptance. It is the best course of action to accept. Why fight it? If one cannot avoid it, then one must live with it. Acceptance is key to most things. 

“I understand.” He says back evenly. Though he might not understand her exact situation, he understands the fact that she must accept the burden onto herself. 

He stands finally, “Perhaps a hunt would occupy your mind.” He hums back. “Like to come with. We have many herds of deer around these parts.” 
the conversation had left her dry-mouthed and with a withering appetite; but, the shift in focus was welcome.
he had listened to her lamentations and now she felt she owed him.
yes, if I may be of help. it was only fair that he benefit from her company.

as she moves she has a renewed purpose, eager to begin. her lithe figure moving out of his way.
was this what it would feel like to be hanshi? she wondered.
Gonna try and get three posts in on the hunting part before they officially take the deer down for Kyn’s deerstalker trade if that’s okay! <3

Kyn’s smile is renewed as she stands and agrees to his offer to hunt. “Perfect.” He chirps easily before moving further down the mountain.

Instantly, he puts his snoot to the ground to see if he can get any trails. They go on like that for some time before he’s finally able to pick up on what he knows if a deer’s trail. 

Offering a simple look in her direction and an alert perk of thick auds, he silently tells her that he’s caught onto something. He keeps his head low as he tracks it through scent and footprints alike. Stopping only when he sees a small doe off in the distance, young enough to still have the faded spots of her childhood. He doesn’t lament on how short he will cut her life, he has no mercy for prey animals. Hell, he hardly has mercy for his own kind. 

“I’ll sneak around and blindside her if you’ll take chase.” He whispers. A smirk appears on his maw then. “You look a lot faster than me.” He compliments.
they flow down the mountain paths. his heavy steps matched by her heavy heart; and as they go she refocuses her mind to the task at hand.
satsu follows at his heel. the power in his stride gave him an edge she struggles to match, until he slows and she can scamper alongside.
kynareth's instructions are met with silent acceptance. her resting frown the only sign of her intent;
father always told her to lighten up—
thus they separate. satsu waits and watches, feeling the rise of her own sakki as anticipation grows.

fine with me!
Kyn can tell she takes things too seriously, or maybe it’s the sour mood speaking of her fallen father that made her this way. Either way, he doesn’t patronize her for it, only accepts. Just as she accepts his plan. 

He nods once and lowers his giant form closer to the ground as he makes his, usually heavy, steps light. He snakes around to the right of the herbivores beast, looks to her once and nods for her to initiate the chase. This poor deer doesn’t suspect a thing, she doesn’t know what’s about to hit her.
satsu awaited the cue and when it came, slipped easily in to a run. she glided with a dancer's precision from point to point, with only the slightest disturbance in her wake.
as the deer took notice of the sound it looked for her - too late; around the eaves of birch and hawthorn, striking for the creature.
satsu was no deerstalker; too long feasting on beasts which scurried in the dark. she snapped at air and the click of her teeth spiked her target's heart with terror.
it bolted, with the woman pursuing hotly behind.
A nod and shes off. She’s terribly graceful as she runs, hardly a disturbance in her step. He’s almost jealous. He gallops like a fucking horse when he runs — noisy, graceless, clunky. 

Still, the deer notices and that’s his cue. He bolts through a thick layer of bushes, not minding the way it’s blooming branches poke and scratch him. He carries on, urging his limbs to take him into a sprint as he descends upon the two of them. 

Now he’s on them. With a quick “Watch out.” He’s barreling towards the poor deer. He’s easily got a hundred pounds on her and despite the deers long legs, he dwarfs her. 

The brindled male shoves his shoulder into the deer harshly and down she goes. Gangly legs failing her as his weight makes her crash to the ground with a surprised wail. Kynareth skids to a halt, kicking up dirt and debris and doesn’t give her a moment to recover. He’s been irritable lately and hunting helps him take out his frustrations — well hunting and sex, but somehow he feels like the dexterous shewolf isn’t into him like that. 

He gives her a look to join as he snatches onto the throat of the deer. His teeth puncture and he shakes his head in a way that shows his frustration. He’s not only trying to effectively kill her, he wants to rip her apart.
the rise of kyn-dono surprises the deer and the strength of his sakki does the same for satsu;
such power, unabated! he thrusts himself to the deer's path and then drives his teeth against the creature's bare throat! a tangle of twig-legs against his barreled sides. tiger stripes; a death rattle.
satsu could run quickly but the daimyo kills with precision that she lacks.
pacing, watching, awed by the technique; none of her han could have ever matched this.
yet even as the beast dies, kyn is not finished. a victim of his own sakki!
It seems she doesn’t want to join him. Oh well, more for him. So he has his gun for a few seconds. Whipping the poor deers body back and forth until a sickening crack of her neck sounds between them. Only then does he drop her lifeless body, still twitching from the aftershocks of death. 

He pulls back, black tongue painted with blood, teeth stained too. It drips from his panting maw onto the light cream of his chest and cheeks. A curled tail wags atop his hips and glops of drool mixed with blood fall from the drooping sides of his muzzle. He shakes himself out, a bit of drool and tufts of fur being taken with the wind or dropping to the floor. It’s summertime and his usually thick coat is falling out, can’t do much to stop it. 

So he runs his purple tongue over his lips to clean himself up some and he schools his breathing as he looks to her, excitement swirling in his eyes, but otherwise completely calm again. 

“Should’ve joined.” He hums with hardly concealed humor. After he makes another offer. “Come eat with me, dear.” He suggests evenly with a jerk of his head in the deers direction. “A good catch. You did well distracting her.” The Grandmaster compliments finally before moving to dig in.
the image of the deer flung one way then another, limp necked, glassy eyed; it will stay with her for days.
she moves in close when invited. a sign of respect for his strength. a piece of her wants to run from him; the weakness she despises within her spirit.
silent, careful. satsu cuts in to the flesh of the belly and peels away some muscle. it tastes sour, likely spoiled by the pain felt in the beasts final moments.
she chews thoughtfully.
When he bites into it, he can’t tell the difference. Meat taste like meat to him, he’s never been too picky though. He swears when he takes a glance to the shewolf at his left, he can tell she’s a bit uneasy. He wonders why? He also notices how delicately she picks at her food. Is she not hungry? Maybe she just has manners and he doesn’t. 

So he bravely decides to ask. “Something wrong, darling?” He wonders aloud. Lowering his head to rip another chunk of the deer’s shoulder meat off. “Lookin’ a bit queasy.” He jests softly.
there again, he prods at her with terms of endearment. does he not know how strange it sounds? how improper? they have known one-another for mere hours. the sound of it turns her stomach further.
it does not matter. she knows it will not impact her life to hear it, or to be here helping him; a blip of time in the grand scheme.
it is the meat, she says, which is not a lie.
it is too rich for me.
satsu, the rat-catcher; true enough.
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