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Lunar Souls Gaze at the Sun

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Lunar Souls Gaze at the Sun

Post  Himegami Aisa on Tue Aug 02, 2016 1:17 am

I wrote something! I'd been meaning to for a while, since around the time Kohaku started talking his own thing (almost wrote "her" there...), but true to my procrastinating ways, I never got around to it... But after hearing that Iva was doing something too, I finally got off my ass. And since I've gone and written the prologue, I figured I'd post it here. 'Cause why not. ('Cause Kohaku did it and I'm the type of guy who likes following others' examples.) So enjoy, and celebrate me doing something that definitely won't delay my posts or the finalization of Hijime Aina's profile!!! (Don't kill me, Nats!!!)



Prologue - See below.
Chapter 1 - P1 P2



"What will this earn me? What will this cost me? Is this worth investing in?"

There was once a man who lived his life according to the answers of those three questions. He weighed the world according to pros and cons, giving everything a price tag, ranking things by their worth alone. The ultimate miser, he did not limit himself to money, but even gave prices to human emotions, the future and the past, living beings, and all actions as well. A man without an ounce of kindness.

And that sort of man was chosen to be a King. He was dragged into the great Game, given a rabbit-eared goddess who smelled of alcohol to be his partner, and tasked to prove himself worthy to rule the world by triumphing over all the other players.

He did not rebel at the unreasonableness of the situation. He did not complain about the impossibility of the task. He may have been a true miser, but he was not without ambition. This opportunity he was granted to dye the world in his colors and rid the world of wasteful actions was something he truly welcomed.

The greatest possible cost was his life, the greatest possible earnings the world. The bargain of the century, a sale that couldn't possibly be matched or repeated. So he went all in, invested his past, present and future, and took his first, last, and greatest gamble.



Prologue
A Senseless Clashing of Wars

Bright black shadows shot across the field, drawing the eye with their lack of color. They left no carnage, no wreckage nor corpses nor devastation in their path. They were not such messy eaters as to leave leftovers. They devoured any walls that stood in their path, the air that futilely attempted to resist their motion forward, and even the very space they traveled through. Purely destructive, they held no other qualities. No weight, no dimensions. No before or after.

Rather than being true shadows, they merely destroyed all light that came near.

And opposing them was a great radiant wall of light. It shone like tourmaline, it glowed like diamonds, and it gleamed like gold. In it, you could see the light of prayer, the shine of countless gems and precious metals, and the gentle glow of enlightenment. Individually they all had their own colors and personalities, but all those countless lights now gathered together in one place to produce a glow that far exceeded what any of them could achieve alone. It surpassed both description and comprehension.

The light’s weight was such that the fabric of the space it occupied couldn’t bear the load. Bending, breaking, shattering; it simply collapsed.

It took only an instant for the shadows to meet the light. With their destructive force, they devoured the radiance, not allowing a fragment of resistance. No matter how bright the glow, all things were equal before that void’s bottomless appetite.

But they could not advance. Just as it seemed they’d finished eating, still more light sprung forth. That too fell before the darkness, but without allowing it to advance even an inch further, an even more radiant glow was born.

The darkness devoured the light with abandon. There was no method for resistance; it fell as easily as everything else. But it could not eat fast enough. The light’s generosity perfectly equaled the shadow’s appetite.

A stalemate had been reached. To continue this would be a waste of both their powers.

The shadows faded.

The light dimmed.

And two wicked smiles rife with ill intent faced each other once more.

“Haaaaag. Isn’t enough enough? Just fucking die already.”

The voice of a young girl, Like gravel grinding stone to sand, or nails being raked across a chalkboard, it was far from sonorous. The cadence was off key, the diction was coarse beyond belief, and malice filled every syllable. And yet, one could still find a kind of beauty in its purity.

“Ah, so crude. So wasteful. So destructive. So meaningless. You don’t create anything at all, and accumulate nothing. Such a hideous creature… How is it that one such as you could exist?”

The voice of a beautiful woman. Clean, clear, and perfectly pleasant, you could fall in love without ever seeing her face. But no hint of human emotion could be felt from it, creating a sense of dissonance that evoked fear. What thoughts and feelings belied those words? It was impossible to tell.

Two goddesses faced each other. The field was not a field. This was a city, a place for humans to live. But as if a natural disaster had swept across the area, it was level for miles around. Not a trace of life could be seen. No hint of civilization. No hope for survival.

One fought for her King, and the other only for herself. One commanded shadows that were not shadows, one commanded light that was not light. The worst combination. Here in this battlefield, both within and without the confines of the great Game, those two great powers resumed their war once more.

An unmatched appetite for destruction clashed with an endless supply of wealth.

That day, the city of Beijing was wiped off the map. To this day, the cause remains unknown. But the culprits’ names were clearly displayed on the scoreboard for all to see, if they only knew where to look.


Last edited by Himegami Aisa on Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:12 pm; edited 5 times in total

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Re: Lunar Souls Gaze at the Sun

Post  Himegami Aisa on Thu Sep 15, 2016 5:37 pm

Chapter 1
Liquor and Gold Coins

Part 1


“Vaisravana and Ahriman, eh? I wish they’d just wipe each other out already... I wouldn’t have to spend a single cent if they did.”

“A miser is always a miser, I hic see… Things don’t just come free without you having to, to, to invest anything, you know! Hic.”

Killing time as they waited for their ride, the two of them continued exchanging banter. They acted like everything was perfectly normal, but they were a bizarre sight no matter how you looked at it.

The man was one thing. He wore cheap jeans that had obviously seen better days, looking more like they’d been washed with a stone in a river than a washing machine. Both his shirt and shoes appeared to be in a similar state. Alone, that might have given observers the impression of poverty, but the phone he held in his hand made a curious contrast with his attire. It was a top of the line model, having been released to the market less than a month ago. And despite the wear and tear, if you looked closer you’d find his clothes were void of even the smallest stain or spot of dirt. His hair was in order, and his body seemed clean as well. All in all, it was a strange mix of cheapness and luxury that formed the first hint as to his decidedly odd set of priorities.

And yet, if he were to compare himself to his companion’s strangeness, he could proudly declare himself to be utterly normal in comparison without even a trace of sarcasm. A lightly tanned girl of roughly the same age as he crouched on the ground beside him as he glanced down at her out of the corner of his eye. She wore a sleeveless blouse dyed a faded blue, a short pale green skirt, and a pair of sandals. With no socks, pants, or leggings almost the whole of her thighs were exposed, but he didn’t even glance at them, focusing the bulk of his attention upon his phone instead.

The girl cradled a half-empty bottle of wine in her arms like a baby as she nagged him, obviously drunk, and atop her head stood a pair of twitching rabbit ears.

They grew directly from her scalp, their fur the same dark black color as the rest of her hair. There was no sign that they were connected to any sort of hat or headband. And indeed, they were not animatronic, they were not a fashion statement, and they were not a hallucination. The girl had genuine rabbit ears growing out of the top of her head in addition to the two normal ones situated in the normal places. Somehow, it didn't feel unnatural to see them atop her head. Instead, one got the feeling it would be even stranger to see her without them. But that very fact was what made her such a bizarre sight. Her very presence seemed to exude abnormality.

People who passed by them as they stood by the street could be cleanly divided into two categories: people who pretended not to see them, and people who couldn’t help but stare. But the ones who were actually attracting all that attention showed no sign that they were aware of their own strangeness, or even of the many gazes that pressed upon them.

“...And what exactly could I invest that would give us even the smallest chance of beating those monsters?”

“Isn’t thinking about things like that, hic, your job?”

“Yes, yes, you’re completely right, my apologies. Wasting my breath to ask you of all people to think was a terrible investment. How unlike me.”

“O-Oi! What did you just, hic, say about me?!”

The drunk rabbit stumbled to her feet, ready for a fight. It was unsure how much damage she could do, considering her current state of inebriation, but a drunkard brawling in the middle of the afternoon could hardly be left alone. A few more of the more conscientious bystanders were preparing to intervene, or to at least call a public official to do it for them. But before they could actually do so, the girl’s rabbit ears twitched.

“Hey, Morgan. Our ride’s just about here.”

She spoke slowly, calmly, and fluently. It seemed like any traces of tipsiness had vanished. She seemed to draw her words out a little too much, like she was trying to make sure they didn’t get mixed up in her mouth, but aside from that she seemed perfectly sober.

“So you finally moved on to a new drink… Took you long enough. How long until it gets here?”

“Mm… Two, three minutes.”

“Right, thanks.”

The exchange seemed perfectly baffling to their many curious observers. The girl seemed perfectly certain about her estimation, but how she had arrived at that conclusion? Unlike the man, she held nothing but her liquor, so it couldn't have been a notification from some convenient app. And though two to three minutes was not particularly long, for a car, that would mean it was still well out of sight. But the man, Morgan, had accepted what she said at face value, without complaint. Whatever her method, he at least seemed to trust it implicitly.

And two, three minutes later, the result was exactly as she'd predicted. A chauffeured car that they had arranged to pick them up before they'd left the country drove up to the side of the road, the driver greeting them.


“Are you Morgan Voigt and… How do you read this? Kenti… What?”

“Centzon. Centzon Totochtin.”

In response to their driver's confusion, the rabbit-eared girl, Centzon, corrected him, l affirming their identities as the ones who had rented his services. You could tell that the man was put off by the strange sounding name, whose country of origin he could not place, but he chose to suppress it. It wasn't his job to be picky about such things, after all.

Unlocking the doors to the vehicle's rear passenger seats, he allowed his employers of the day to enter his vehicle, creasing his brow as he watched the girl's rabbit ears bend down on their own as she ducked into the car. But this, too, he let pass without comment, opting instead to do his job and disengage the parking brake. They had already confirmed their destination over the phone before their arrival. The Red Leaf Hotel, which he assumed would be providing them their accommodations during their stay here. There was no need to inquire further on that topic.

“So, what brings you to Hong Kong?”

“We're here to reap a profit, of course.”

“That's all this man ever thinks of.”

Idle talk without meaning, whose only purpose is to pass the time. Driving the conversation forward as he did the vehicle, he ensured that his passengers were not left unentertained. That was yet another duty of the driver. They continued in that manner until they arrived at the hotel, and he bid farewell to the strange pair.

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Re: Lunar Souls Gaze at the Sun

Post  Himegami Aisa on Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:56 am

Chapter 1
Liquor and Gold Coins

Part 2


“Room 506, yes? Here is your key. Thank you for staying at the Red Leaf Hotel.”

With that simple exchange, Morgan and Centzon easily obtained the key to their room after just stating their names at the front desk. The two of them had been afforded a certain special service, so they were able to skip all the formalities that would usually be required to stay in this kind of place.

Their room was a sight to see. Opening the door, they were greeted with extravagant foyer. A literal red carpet led further in, and a chandelier hung from the ceiling. Following it, they discovered a kitchen, a bedroom, a bathroom, and even a sitting room, all larger than life and luxuriously decorated. It was obvious that this was an absurdly expensive place to say. Their reactions, however, were less than enthusiastic.

“This must have cost at least… Ugh, I think I’m going to be sick.”

“Hm… Yeah, this is so tacky. They’re trying too hard here. Really.”

The opulence that would send most of these who were not used to such displays into a state of minor shock had left the two of them mostly unfazed, save for the color of Morgan’s face which indicated that he might not have actually been joking. They wandered about their ‘room’, getting acquainted with it without being overwhelmed by it, until they came to a stop at the single king-sized bed that was afforded to them.

They were not looking at the bed itself, nor were they thinking of how to decide who slept where. Neither of them had enough shame to worry about such things. What they were staring at was the thick manila envelope that was situated upon the covers.

“So this is it, huh.”

Morgan, picking up the envelope, opened it and placed its contents on the bed as Centzon watched silently from the side. There were a thick set of papers written in Chinese and a single check with a truly absurd number of zeros. Morgan looked at the check approvingly before balling it up in his hand, and then clenching his fist. When he opened it again, there was nothing there.

“The advance payment go through, Morgan?”

“Yeah, no issues there. Cheating us like that wouldn’t fit the confederation’s methods, anyway.”

As they chatted, they took the thick stack of papers and divided it between the two of them. The sheer amount of material was intimidating, but they had done this many times before. Complaints, once plentiful, were something that had long since given way to the routine.

“The King of… Squalor? Sounds dirty. Like something you’d find in the alleys behind a bar…”

“Quit it with the weird similes. I don’t want to associate anything with that kind of mess. You’ve put me through hell back there one two many times…”

“How many times do I have to apologize before you’ll forgive me already?! Geez. But seriously, this guy seems dirty. I know we’ve seen similar before, but really, why are there Kings like this?”

“I’ll forgive you when you stop doing it. And there are as many ideals as there are thoughts in this world, so they aren’t all necessarily what you’d call positive. And to that Sorceress, even the worst of the lot qualify for participation. Though…”

Frowning at his own paper, Morgan’s speech paused. It was less a reluctance to speak, and more a lack of the right words. But after a few seconds’ struggle under the pressure of Centzon’s curious glare, he settled for a phrase that didn’t quite match, but came close enough.

“He’s certainly obscene.”

A phrase that Centzon could hardly remember hearing from him. But her ears perked straight up as if in realization. She was perplexed, but now that he’d said it, she saw what he meant.

“I see… Definitely obscene, yeah.”

“Morgan, isn’t this enough? I think we have the gist of it. Even if we read through the rest of this mountain, we probably won’t learn anything too important. And if we head out now, we could probably meet with the contact early.”

“Yeah. We’ve just about hit the top of the bell curve.”

Receive the advance payment and further details for the job at the specified location, then meet with the informant on site. Next, fulfill the request with whatever means necessary. Upon completion, the informant would report back to the confederation and they would send the remainder of the payment. That was the normal flow of things.

So the change of topic was something entirely normal. They were simply returning to the correct path after straying. Centzon had sent the conversation off-topic with a strange comment like usual, Morgan had retorted but ended up agreeing in the end anyway, and then the two moved on. There had been no point in continuing that topic.

So why did it feel as if they were looking away from something?

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