This Little Light of Mine [Open/PM first]

[ \The Meeting House | Kumonohora | The Heart of the Chiroptera/ ]
The reclusive fort housing the survivors of Kumogakure no Sato's destruction, located in the center of Chiroptera Forest whose dangers and local superstitions provide a natural barrier to the rest of the world. Nestled in the roots of one of the ancient trees, the people here are learning to survive alongside the ancient forest, the local Koumori serving to help things along. However, carefully hidden away underneath the fort the shinobi way of life continues on in the shadows in Kumonohora....

This Little Light of Mine [Open/PM first]

PostPosted by kaidan K » Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:01 pm

It was on a dark and cold day in late Autumn that a family of three were passing through the trees on top of a pulled wagon. Sashou, Kairebu's one and only Soratodai clan ox summon was pulling the wagon on its way to the Village Hidden in the Clouds. The sun was actually poking through the clouds by the time the family had finished loading up the wagon. But due to the season and length of time on the trip, the sun was setting fast and by now had already been covered by thick clouds. The clouds were pretty dark and ominous but hadn't produced any rain... yet. Kairebu hoped he was at least close to the village by now. He held the reigns loosely for now as there was no real rush. Even if it started raining, the wagon had a solid roof over the passenger seat so Kairebu and his family were safe from getting wet at least. Sashou, the poor wildebeest was groaning and moping the whole way as it hurt his pride to be bound and yolked like a common ox instead of being free and unhindered as he almost always was.
"I don't know why I agreed to this." the wildebeest finally spoke this time. "Why couldn't you get your brother's or your father's oxes to do this?"
To this, Kairebu just sighed.
"Just a little further, Sashou. I'm sure of it. Besides, you know I don't want to bother anyone else just to move out of my old house." he then said to the wildebeest.
"You'll love being back in the village, Sashou. This should be the last time we use you for family chores." Deidra chimed in. Haru was nodding, half asleep already while sitting on his mother's lap.
"I guess that IS why I agreed to this." the wildebeest said smugly, yet while putting an extra bounce into his step. It was about five miles or so to go, and so far no creature, human or not bothered them so far. Kairebu was missing the summer crickets and frog calls. A deep quiet surrounded him aside from the creak the wood and metal of the wagon made and the sound of Sashou's hooves hitting the ground. He almost wished something would happen. Nothing that would put his wife and son in danger, but just something that would make the time go by faster.
People talk about combining the Way of Learning with the Way of the Samurai,
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but when properly combined, they aren't two-they're one.
Only one Way, Takezo.

~Takuan Sōhō, Musashi
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Re: This Little Light of Mine [Open/PM first]

PostPosted by Fei Long » Fri Nov 11, 2011 4:39 pm

-The going was slow, but that was a matter of choice. It had been a very long time since Penni had had the time to simply go out for a walk. Though she was returning from business, this was a good close to it. The wind nipped at her cheeks and ears, the end of her nose slightly red. The red scarf around her neck, tucked into her stylish black Pea Coat, gave her more a look of a civilian than a Ninja, but after all, that had been the entire point to begin with. Her once long black hair had been cut to her shoulders (which had been a traumatic experience for the girl, as it had been a matter of survival rather than choice ((The traumatic experience being her hair being cut, not the situation)). With the extra weight gone, her hair had a slight bounce to it, and two strands of hair from the center of her forehead had extended upwards, almost like small antenna.

-She had opted to simply wear jeans today, along with a pair of hiking boots, odd for her, but then again, she had been outside for some time the past few days. It had been a good break from missions, but to Penni, business never seemed to end, their was always something else to do or go, and returning home, with a solid day break, was exactly what she needed right now.

-Her satchel was draped over one of her shoulders, swinging slightly as she walked, almost joyfully. Yes, the moment was good, and as Penni looked to the gray sky, she smiled, knowing that a good cup of tea, and certainly a good thick book, were waiting for her back home.

-"Oooo, and some Miso soup to!" she quietly exclaimed to herself, her mouth already watering just thinking about it.

-From behind her however, the steady beat of hoofs and a wagon had claimed her attention. Ah, a Soratodai Ox. More than likely it was a trader, or perhaps another clan member had returned from Yuki. Penni could only wonder, that was until she spied the driver. She stopped, squinting slightly as the cart drew closer. Almost bird like, she tilted her head to the side, transfixed on that little smile.

-"Ah, Soratoidai Kairebu." she muttered, her eyes opening fully, completely attentive.

-The cart drew ever closer, and once the Ox and her had met, she continued walking, picking up her pace only slightly as to keep up.

-"Good day Soratoidai-San." she called, giving a smile and a two fingered salute.

-Penni remembered him. Penni always remembered everything. Call it a gift or a curse, but her memory was sharper than a new sword. She recalled every detail of his Identification a few months ago, how his fingers were white to the bone from the cold rain pelting on his tired body. Her Photographic memory really might get the better of her some day.

-"Finally moving the last of your things?" she inquired, keeping her tone friendly, but very respectful.
"A man who is scared of truth can only trust in lies, a boy who is scared to dream can never touch the sky."

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Re: This Little Light of Mine [Open/PM first]

PostPosted by kaidan K » Fri Nov 11, 2011 5:33 pm

As if an answer to his wishes, Kairebu saw a figure just ahead on the road. It seemed the girl turned around after hearing the wagon and just as she turned around Kairebu recognized her from when he came to the village a few days ago now. Sashou felt no need to be cautious even though he had never seen this girl before, so he kept trotting along.
"Good day Soratoidai-San." was Penni's greeting. Kairebu smiled in return. "Finally moving the last of your things?"
"Good day to you, too... Pennelipi Long, right?" Kairebu responded. His memory of her name was a tad bit shaky, but only because she never introduced her name to Kairebu herself... and this was only the second time they met. "As a matter of fact, you're right. I had to leave my students behind on a mission to meet the deadline I had on the housing agreement."
Kairebu adjusted his fur coat. He wore a black cotton sweatshirt under the coat which couldn't be seen along with a thick pair of jeans and his hiking boots. None of his usual ninja gear was present on him except his own red scarf and short sword. Deidra had seen the girl as well, and didn't think anything of her until her and Kairebu began talking. The woman herself was wearing a lighter colored fur robe that covered her own purple cotton sweatshirt and black sweatpants. Her feet were covered by sued leather boots. Haru, Kairebu's son had noticed Penni last as his tired eyes weren't focusing on anything at the moment. When Penni greeted his father, Haru looked over to her with sleepy, half closed eyes. The boy wore a fur coat that fit over his blue sweatshirt and grey sweatpants while being just a little baggy around the edges. Too tired to say anything the boy just stared at Penni for a while.
"It's good to see you again. I can introduce you to my family now. This here is my wife, Deidra. And on her lap is my son, Haru."
"Say hello, Haru." Deidra urged her son. The boy mumbled a 'hello' and then closed his eyes.
"You forgot Sashou, your ox summon!" the wildebeest bellowed.
"Right! Ha ha!"
People talk about combining the Way of Learning with the Way of the Samurai,
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but when properly combined, they aren't two-they're one.
Only one Way, Takezo.

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Re: This Little Light of Mine [Open/PM first]

PostPosted by Fei Long » Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:27 pm

"Good day to you, too... Pennelipi Long, right?"

-"Indeed Sir." she replied, bowing her head slightly, making sure to keep a few feet away from the Ox, as she had no intention of having her feet stepped on by such a great animal.

-"As a matter of fact, you're right. I had to leave my students behind on a mission to meet the deadline I had on the housing agreement."

-Penni's face showed a mixture of surprise and relief, in knowing that he had been able to get a house with the rebuilding still going on. He must have paid an exorbitant amount or had been put on a waiting list. However it had been done, Penni was happy to find that he had been able to get a roof over his, and his families head. Her brilliant jade green eyes shimmered as the sun peaked through the clouds for just a moment, the sheen seeming to longer for just a moment longer as the brilliant light of day once again hid in secrecy.

-"It's good to see you again. I can introduce you to my family now. This here is my wife, Deidra. And on her lap is my son, Haru."
-"Say hello haru."

-Penni giggled slightly as Haru mumbled his hello, Penni simply returning his less than enthusiastic greeting with a wave. Yet before she could reply herself she was cut off.

-"You forgot Sashou, your ox summon!" the wildebeest bellowed.
-"Right! Ha Ha!" laughed Kairebu.

-"And how rude of him." giggled Penni, patting the Ox lightly on his back.
-"Such a majestic and proud animal. How dare you use him as a beast of burden Soratoidai-San, perhaps you should be the one pulling the cart instead?" she joked, smiling brightly as she turned back to Deidra, bowing her head respectfully, making sure they made eye contact. She had no intention of insulting her by not greeting her.

-Yet in that moment, she took a moment to look over the family. For one split second, as she looked to Haru, she could see herself as a little girl, sleeping in her mothers arms as her father was the one driving the cart. She could almost feel the warm embrace of her mother right now, her fingers running through the girls hair, almost as if petting the girl to sleep. All the wile, her Father chuckled slightly as each time his wife would stop her petting, Penni's nose would wrinkle, showing her dissatisfaction. It was a beautiful family...it was her family.

-She had suddenly become aware in that moment, realizing that she must have been spacing out for a little over ten seconds. Her expression had become dull, her mouth slightly agape, her her eyes showed an intense flow of emotion, ranging from a deep feeling of sadness, jealousy, and love of happier times.

-"I'm sorry..." she said, looking over each of them one last time.

-"You have a beautiful family Soratoidai-San"

-Her tone was quiet, yet it was easy to see that she had been dwelling on something deeply emotional, a type that was better left unsaid through acquaintances. However, Penni once again turned her attention to the Oxen, patting and scratching his back affectionately.
"A man who is scared of truth can only trust in lies, a boy who is scared to dream can never touch the sky."

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Re: This Little Light of Mine [Open/PM first]

PostPosted by kaidan K » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:17 pm

Sashou was blushing from the comments, even though it's rather hard to notice a wildebeest blush at all.
"You shouldn't spoil him like that. He'll go soft!" Kairebu said with a laugh. Sashou gave a grunt to this comment. Then Kairebu noticed the sudden change in Penni's expression after looking at his son. Deidra caught the change as well and was concerned, yet silent. After a moment, she snapped out of it and returned to higher spirits. She then commented on Kairebu's family, making both Kairebu and Deidra smile.
"I'm sure you have a beautiful family, too." Deidra suddenly said, being too moved now to remain silent. Kairebu gave his wife a look and reached for her hand.
"Both her parents are dead." he said to her quietly and she let out a silent gasp. Then Deidra put her other hand on top of Kairebu's, returning her gaze to Penni.
"It doesn't matter if your parents are no longer here in this world. The beauty of a family carries on in the young. Your parents made you, so I can tell you have a beautiful family."
Kairebu smiled at his wife, then looked at Penni himself.
"Yes. You -do- have a beautiful family as well, Pennelopi."
There was a bit of silence, which was broke by Deidra.
"Pennelopi? How would you like to have dinner with the three of us?"
Kairebu gave his wife another look, yet didn't say anything against it.
People talk about combining the Way of Learning with the Way of the Samurai,
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but when properly combined, they aren't two-they're one.
Only one Way, Takezo.

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Re: This Little Light of Mine [Open/PM first]

PostPosted by Fei Long » Sun Nov 13, 2011 5:24 pm

-The gesture was very kind, and Deidra spoke with passion as she explained her feelings towards Penni's loss. However, she had heard them all before, and no amount of love that she received from caring people (Though of course she never resented this) would bring back her beautiful mother, or loving father. She attempted to speak up, but in no time at all, Deidra had invited the girl into thier new home for a meal, to which Penni could not turn down.

-"I would be honored." she said quietly, her tone a little more quiet now.

-She remained silent for a moment, looking ahead to see if they were close to the gates yet. Not much longer, however, her mind was on other things now, thinking about times long gone. She knew she had to make one stop, and though usually it was a very personal time for Penni, perhaps it would be nice to introduce the little family to all that she had left of hers.

-"I would only request that you join me on one stop I have to make. It wont be long, and I assure you that it's along the way." she said, smiling slightly as he gave another pat to the wildebeest.

-"I'm sure Sashou-san could use a break as well." she chuckled, finding it funny how much the Oxen of the Soratoidai always helped her feel at ease. Perhaps it came from a story that her father had once told her, about how he had been saved by the strong, yet silent running hooves of a stampeding herd of these noble bovines. They really were gentle and wise, even if they seemed a bit shy.
"A man who is scared of truth can only trust in lies, a boy who is scared to dream can never touch the sky."

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Re: This Little Light of Mine [Open/PM first]

PostPosted by kaidan K » Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:25 pm

"I'm sure Sashou-san could use a break as well."
The ears on Sashou's head perked at this statement, and Kairebu laughed.
"You laugh, yet you have no idea how my loyalties are changing." the wildebeest joked making Kairebu laugh even more. Deidra was the only one who seemed to mind the reverse invitation, only because of their most precious cargo. She looked first to Haru, then to the side as she mulled it over. Kairebu's laughter died down and he looked to his wife as she had the final say in this matter.
"I would really like to get Haru fed and in bed as soon as possible... So I suppose I'll accept your invitation on the condition that we have a picnic at this spot you want to show us." Deidra said at length. Kairebu smiled and nodded in agreement, turning his gaze back to Penni.
"I think it's venison dumplings tonight; Haru's favorite." he said, immediately catching the attention of Haru's ears and stomach.
"Dumblings!" cried the little boy feeling a little more awake.
"I'll just graze on the grass if there's any around." Sashou chimed in after a loud grunt. His pace then slowed to a forlorn trot.
"For you tonight, Sashou we have... oats!"
At this, Sashou almost stopped and then he brought back his normal pace with that added bounce.
People talk about combining the Way of Learning with the Way of the Samurai,
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but when properly combined, they aren't two-they're one.
Only one Way, Takezo.

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Re: This Little Light of Mine [Open/PM first]

PostPosted by Fei Long » Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:12 pm

-Penni thought it over for a few moments, her eyes in deep thought as she contemplated the situation.

-"A picnic...I suppose..." she thought, her fingers running through her hair.

-"I know he wouldn't mind...In fact I think he would welcome it." she whispered to herself, nodding as he turned to look at the family once again.

-"That's fine. I hope you don't mind that we will have some company." she said, bowing her head slightly with a little grin.

-They were creeping up to the gates now, she could see the great arch of rocks rising slowly over the horizon. Penni sighed in relief, taking a moment to look herself over, making sure she looked presentable. For whom she was fixing herself for, the family could only guess, but for Penni, it was a ritual that she had gladly accepted to do every time she returned to the village, or just so happened to be walking from the gates back home.

-"Not much longer now Sashou-san. And then we can get that horrid contraption off your back." she giggled, patting his head.
"A man who is scared of truth can only trust in lies, a boy who is scared to dream can never touch the sky."

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Re: This Little Light of Mine [Open/PM first]

PostPosted by kaidan K » Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:20 pm

"For you, kid I'd haul this thing through Chiroptera forest, blindfolded!" the wildebeest replied, after momentarily turning his head to face the girl. "There had better be a nice full bag of oats waiting for me."
"Company is fine. Today I'd welcome it." Kairebu then said after adjusting his scarf.
"I'm sure any friend of yours Pennelopi should have no trouble becoming friends with us." Deidra added.
"DUMBLINGS! I'm HUN. GREE!" shouted Haru while his arms and legs flailed around. Deidra wrapped her arms around him and shushed him gently.
"We're almost there, Haru. Calm down."
Both Kairebu and Deidra wondered who else would be joining them. Kairebu thought of the possibilities; an uncle, aunt, or cousin. She had clan ties with Saint Ahiru... but could she really get the Raikage steward to attend a picnic at a moment's notice? It would come to him perhaps as they finally made their way to the gate. Kairebu reached into a pouch tied to his side taking out his shinobi ID and two gate passes. A young genin began to approach the cart when someone older inside the guardhouse called out.
"Hold it, there! I'm the one who's going to check these ones!" said the shinobi. It was too dark to see from outside who the man was, but there was an air of familiarity about the man's voice in Kairebu's mind.
"I'm Kairebu Soratodai! This is my wife and child who are moving to this village. They've been registered and are now official citizens of Hidden Cloud." Kairebu said to the man in the guardhouse.
"I can see, shinobi! I'm not blind!" replied the man sounding annoyed. The man inched closer to the door of the guardhouse, speaking to Kairebu again. "And I know who you are. 'Known you all my shinobi life, just about."
Kairebu tilted his head at this remark.
"I'm just wondering how long I can keep you here before you freak out!" the man said coming out into the open. He was in full ninja gear typical of a jounin. Under his Hidden Cloud style flack-jacket was a light grey shirt and his pants were loose and black colored. His feet were partially covered by boot like shinobi sandals. The man stopped two feet outside the guardhouse and crossed his arms. A smile ran across his face which was shadowed by long, dark brown hair that was straight yet frayed a little due to the wind. Kairebu instantly recognized him.
"Koshi Senko!"
"Who else?"
The other guards on duty looked at each other and then to Koshi wondering what they should be doing.
"You can go along ahead, Kairebu! I'm sure you've got things to do!" said Koshi, who seemed to not notice the confusion of the other guards. "No one bother them! I know they all check out. Besides, they're accompanied by a BOLT member."
Koshi could recognize Pennelopi from seeing her from time to time in village doings. He also knew that she was a member of BOLT as he himself was a ranking member of the Police force and worked hand in hand with BOLT at times.
"Thank you, Koshi. I'd invite you along with us but I suppose I should ask you when you're not on duty."
"Sharp as a tack. I'm booked solid today, but don't forget to find me at some time so we can enjoy some rice wine or something even stronger!"
One of the younger female guards said something under their breath to Koshi who startled a bit.
"I mean, as long as it's okay with your lady and all!"
The female guard put her face into her palm and shook her head. Kairebu gave a tug at the reigns and then Sashou was back to his trotting.
"I'll take you up on that sometime when Haru has someone to look after him for a day. I'll be off then. It's been nice seeing you, Koshi!" Kairebu said as he passed the guardhouse and continued on into the village.
"Just get Yuri to watch the kid! That Koumori has nothing better to do with his free time anyway, and I should know being his superior!" were Koshi's last words to his old friend as the cart with Kairebu and family continued to follow Penni's lead into the village.
People talk about combining the Way of Learning with the Way of the Samurai,
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but when properly combined, they aren't two-they're one.
Only one Way, Takezo.

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Re: This Little Light of Mine [Open/PM first]

PostPosted by Fei Long » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:45 pm

-"Ah, Senko-San." said Penni to herself, waving to him as well as a few of the other guards

-It had been fun to see them all, yet her mind was still lingering on other things. As they wrapped up their conversation, Penni made sure to wave goodbye to them all, and they made their way up main street. Between the row houses and the tight quarters of the commercial district, it was just beginning to get busy with the dinner rush. The sweet smells of dumplings and freshly made rice were starting to cause Penni's stomach to curl in objection, craving something to fill it. She ignored it for the moment however, spotting the familiar dome arching over the square in the center of Kumo. It was only a few blocks from them now, and she lightly patted Sashou, then pointing out the monument to him, informing him soundlessly that he should head that way.

-Great columns surrounded where a statue stood, the floor below its feet now replaced from cobblestone, to a fine mirror polished obsidian. The dark floor contrasting with the white pillars seemed to symbolize how the good seemed to shoot strait out from the ground, even from the most black and terrible fate that may lay before the Raikage. It was as if his final act was to raise this pillars of justice from the ground, from the bleak and terrible crime that had been committed upon the people of Kumo. The ceiling however, was a glass dome supported by these pillars, perhaps to symbolize the unseen future that the Raikage gave to them all, the future that he smiled at, the future that he looked to with tired, yet proud eyes.

-"It's here." she said quietly, urging the family onward towards the well kept grounds.

-As they neared it, she slowed her pace, walking softly, soundlessly towards her father, so close now that you could see his smile. Still dressed in his tattered clothing, frozen in stone, flapping softly in a past wind long gone. His eyes, once a brilliant shade of Jade green, were now emeralds, shining still, with little to no light reflecting from them.

-Penni stopped just before the arches, looking inward to her father with longing eyes for a moment, before putting her hands together, and bowing low, saying an unheard prayer to herself as she always did. She then turned to the family and the cart, a small, yet sad smile on her face.

-"You may leave the cart here, and all of you are welcome to come inside." said Penni, looking to Sashou and patting his head, letting him know that he was more than welcome to tread inside of this hallowed ground.
"A man who is scared of truth can only trust in lies, a boy who is scared to dream can never touch the sky."

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Re: This Little Light of Mine [Open/PM first]

PostPosted by kaidan K » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:46 pm

Then Kairebu remembered this same place and statue. He even remembered how Penni made a prayer while bowing in the direction of the statue. This wasn't what he or Deidra expected as company at all. But Kairebu didn't want to be rude and object now that they already were there. Deidra herself was a little concerned about it because she didn't know who the statue was, nor did she even realize that the statue used to be a living person. Kairebu caught the look on his wife's face and he explained.
"This isn't just a memorial statue, Deidra. The statue here used to be Pennelopi's father, Fei Long."
After learning this, Deidra thought back to when her own father was alive. She shook it off for now as she lowered Haru off her lap. Kairebu pulled a brake lever to hold the cart in place before he lightly stepped off it. After undoing a strap holding the yolk over Sahou's neck, he then undid the strap holding the yolk to the wildebeest. As soon as Sashou was free of the yolk, he took three steps forward, being careful not to trample over Penni.
"There should be a table cloth we can use to sit on. It's on the back of the cart, could you get it, honey?" Deidra said referring to Kairebu as 'honey'. Kairebu acknowledged her and made his way to the back of the cart. "The food is right under this seat here. I can get the bigger basket. Pennelopi, dear. Could you get this smaller basket holding the bowls and chopsticks please?" Her tone was cordial and not demanding. The food and plates were covered with cloth, with the food being covered heavily to keep it warm. The food basket carried rice and venison dumplings. Haru couldn't smell the food yet but his mouth watered for it still. Kairebu pulled off the tarp covering the back of the cart and began to lightly rummage through the contents in search for the table cloth.
People talk about combining the Way of Learning with the Way of the Samurai,
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but when properly combined, they aren't two-they're one.
Only one Way, Takezo.

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Re: This Little Light of Mine [Open/PM first]

PostPosted by Fei Long » Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:41 am

-Penni bowed her head to Deidra respectfully, confirming that she would. As she lightly took the bowl from the cart, she made sure to swiftly make her way in front of the pack, but not before patting Sashou once again perhaps urging him onward. The site was not overpoweringly large, yet it felt so with its towering columns and high ceiling. The feeling was as empty as it was filling, the lonely figure surrounded by so much symbolism and history. The village itself surrounded him here, yet the building would have meant nothing compared to the presence of loved ones, perhaps something he was feeling right now.

-"I hope this isn't to uncomfortable of a setting for you." said Penni quietly, not sure of what else to say at the moment.

-It was perhaps unhealthy as some would say. Looking at the deceased remains of your loved ones could possibly have negative psychological effects on the human mind after all. Yet Penni would sometimes linger in this place for hours. Sometimes praying. Sometimes reading. Mostly, she would simply reflect on what had passed. It was never easy, and the fact that she had lost her Mother, then Aunt and Grandfather and then her Father, as well as another Aunt, was simply much more burden that should have been passed on the shoulders of a 15 year old girl. Things were starting to come together again slowly however, at a snails pace each day.

-They arrived (very shortly) near the center of the monument, near where the 8th Raikage stood. Yet he stood on no pedastle, no higher than any other man (Even if he was an even six foot, a figurative term you see). Penni stopped a good 5 feet away from him, not wanting to get to close, after all, setting up a picnic near a dead man had strategic placement value.

-"Soratoidai-San's, this..." she began, looking from Fei to the others.

-"Is Lord Hachidame Raikage Fei Long..." she continued, her voice becoming much softer, much more respectful.

-"My Father." she nearly whispered, a small smile on her face.

-Her on her last comment was far from bragging. It was the emotional attachment of pride that one felt to any loved one, no matter how great or legendary they were. It was a deep rooted emotion that large words tend to confuse.

-Love.

-"Your welcome to set the blanket down wherever you like." she said, bowing her head, implying that if they felt uncomfortable, they were more than welcome to sit further away.

OOC: Sorry that took me so long. Took me a bit to get home. :P
"A man who is scared of truth can only trust in lies, a boy who is scared to dream can never touch the sky."

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Fei Long
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Re: This Little Light of Mine [Open/PM first]

PostPosted by kaidan K » Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:58 pm

Kairebu hopped off the cart holding what he was told to look for. He put the table cloth under his arm and walked towards Deidra. As they made their way to the center of the monument, Penni introduced them to the company she mentioned. Deidra looked back to Kairebu with a sad look in her eye. He returned the gaze with a troubled look as if wondering what to say. Haru took no notice of the looks and simply walked beside Kairebu, taking his fathers hand in his own. The youngster only had food in mind, so he was innocently ignorant to Penni's father.
Deidra stopped within five yards of the statue while Kairebu kept walking forward. He told Haru to let his hand go free so he could unfurl the table cloth on the ground. Then in a couple of motions, he fanned out the table cloth in the air letting it fall to the ground spread out. After kneeling down to smooth out the wrinkles, he looked behind him to Deidra who refused to take any more steps toward the statue. She met eyes with Kairebu and after seeing his soft smile, she conceded to him and slowly walked to the table cloth. Kairebu sat at the edge of the cloth, taking Haru by the armpits and setting the boy in his lap. Deidra sat next to them, placing the covered basket in the middle of the table cloth. After she took the two blankets covering the basket off from it, the scent of dumplings filled the air around them. Haru clapped his hands together after catching the smell.
"I can take that basket now and serve everyone, Pennelopi." Deidra said to the girl while trying to smile. Her discomfort with the setting was fading away.
People talk about combining the Way of Learning with the Way of the Samurai,
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but when properly combined, they aren't two-they're one.
Only one Way, Takezo.

~Takuan Sōhō, Musashi
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kaidan K
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