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Who: Asano Rin (revengeisalie)
Status: Closed; completed
Style: Third person, past tense.
Where: Hisato.
When: Week 12, Day 1, sometime during the second hour between 9:30 and 10:00 A.M.
Rating: G
Warnings: None.
Summary: Rin starts her journey through Kannagara and its shrines. Too bad she didn't make her plans with a unicorn in mind.

It was already well into the morning when Rin left Hisato. She'd wanted to get going as soon as possible, but it was just as well; she'd taken her time enjoying a hearty breakfast and doing her morning wash-up, and making sure she had everything she needed. The clothes she was wearing, her geta traded for straw sandals -- the traveling kind with long straps to secure around her ankles, clad in leg-warmers and tabi. Her weapons, which was a bit impractical, considering the length of her sword, and not exactly spiritual; but she was used to carrying it around and would most certainly not do without it. Even if the objective of this journey was to stop being afraid, that was no reason to let down her guard either. A bit of money, because you could never know what came up, and because she needed it.

On the way through Hisato's main street, she went into a shop and bought a thick bundle of incense sticks. Then she looked at it front- and sideways, considering to buy another, but decided against it. That would have to make do. Judging from the tiny map the Hitomi provided, she'd be going through three or four shrines before reaching Amesato. It would be okay. Mostly, she didn't want to pack too heavy. She also bought a map; a good, old paper map, because she felt like it. This trip meant going back to the roots, so she wanted to use the Hitomi as little as possible. Going into another shop, she bought a packet of dried rice with pickles, and a rice cake she ate on the spot. After all, an active girl could never have too much sugar in her system. No, she really couldn't, no disputing that.

Then, finally, there was nothing left standing between her and the wide plains of Kannagara. Standing between the last houses fringing the village, she looked back at the street, already bustling with people and their businesses and conversation and small grievances at this hour. A strange feeling overcame her very suddenly, making her almost want to cry. Almost. She felt lonely. So very cut off from all this. It was an old feeling, one that had been her companion for years. And now she was going to dstance herself from it on purpose?

She was. Sometimes, there were things you had to do, and in order to do them, you had to part with the security of the crowd, with the comfort of human company. And she most definitely needed to do this. The compass in her heart pointed towards it clearly; this was the right road for her, and she'd long felt it.

Maybe I'm just destined to be lonely, she thought a bit sourly as she turned her back on Hisato and set out on the earthen path, still broad at this point, and for a long while.

Then she noticed a sound behind her. The sound of hoofs, to be precise. A steady clack-clack of hoofs coming into contact with the packed earth, maybe some three or four paces behind her. Rin stood still, and promptly the sound stopped. Testing, she started walking again, and so did the apparent horse behind her. Well, not quite a horse -- she had an idea of what it might be. So she whirled around, determination clear in her face, and came face to face with, indeed, a horse. A horse with a single, entirely straight horn protuding from its forehead.

A unicorn. Rin blinked. Then she said: "So," and smirked at it, feeling awkward but bold, "you and me, huh?"

That was okay. She could take it in stride. Truth was, they went way back, the two of them. To be quite exact, to precisely the moment when she'd first looked outside the kitchen window this morning, not long after sunrise. It had been a bit of a shock. Kannagara was filled to the brim with weird creatures, but they didn't have a habit of showing up on her doorstep. Not wanting to deal with it that early in the morning, she'd covered the window and shut the kitchen door and left the kitchen as soon as possible. She'd also refrained from opening the shōji, which miffed her just a bit, because she would've liked to start her day with breakfast while looking out onto the garden. But it had just been way too early for unicorns.

She'd vaguely noticed the beast following her, but pointedly ignored it, and then lost track as she went to buy her things. Well, at least now she knew for certain that it was indeed following her. It was slightly unnerving; these creatures were said to punish the wicked and protect the pure, were they not? Rin wasn't too sure where she fell on that spectrum. And anyway, the gods of this place would surely find ways to twist things to the most unpleasant outcome.

Now the creature was looking at her with a very soulful stare indeed. It certainly looked nice. And it tilted its head to one side, as if asking a question. Almost cute.

Rin blinked and cocked her eyebrow at it. "Well," she said, folding her arms, "can you talk?" In reply, the unicorn snorted quietly and walked up to her quickly, lowering its head just so, and Rin felt panic come on rapidly. But the unicorn was too fast for her, and before she knew it, it was nudging her arm with its snout. Belatedly, she swayed a few steps back and held up her hands in a gesture both meant to be pacifying and defensive. "Hey, hey! Take it easy!"

The unicorn gave her the soulful look again and nudged her more carefully. That caused her to heave an exasperated sigh and, timidly, she extended a hand and put it to its snout, stroking back and forth in teeny-tiny movements. "So you wanna follow me around? Fine, fine. Far be it from me to argue with a unicorn. Or the gods. I'm not even trying to argue with the gods." A weak smile spread on her face. "Quite the opposite, in fact."

She stemmed her hands onto her hips, or tried to anyway as the unicorn veritably snuggled up to her, its horn coming dangerously close to her face. It made sure to look very soulful, as well. "Guess it can't hurt. At least you don't look like you're going to hurt me. And as long as you leave me alone while I'm praying, we're good."

Not so alone, after all. Rin didn't know how to feel about this. Did she want to bow to the whims of this place so quickly, so completely without resistance? On the other hand, the best way to start off a spiritual journey was most certainly not trying to resist whatever the gods you were trying to reach had decided to put you through. Maybe it was a test. Most certainly a test of her patience, at least.

She faced the road and started walking, unicorn in tow.

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Kannagara - The Way of the Gods

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