Date: June 21, 2014
A performance to be held at Kirigakure's bioluminescent lake draws a crowd, leading to the meeting and interaction of several of it's citizens.
"Meeting Around the Glowing Lake"
Kirigakure's Bioluminescent Lake
The night has a clear quality to it, here at Kirigakure's bioluminescent lake. High above, the pristine stars and that unblinking eye of the sky are unhindered by even a hint of cloud cover, free to watch the land below with a clarity that almost lends a sharpness to them. A focus, to what rests above…
As well as below.
Beneath the heavens lies a clear lake encircled by a bright, ultramarine glow, it's beaches decorated by the imprints of those who've recently walked them. The cool, almost chilly night knows only the faintest of occassional breezes, so its tides are fairly gentle, their sussurous sound unintrusive to the people around it.
'Of which there are soon to be many', idly noted Meruin.
The Mizukage strode the sands beneath the night sky, long pale robes nearly seeming to be made of the moonlight that bathed him and lit the cerulean symbol of Kirigakure on his chest. He seemed to be alone, walking the opposite side of the lake where most people were gathered. The crowd had come to watch a performance. A highly anticipated dance to take place, open to the public, and he would be one of the spectators. There was time yet, though, before it began. Time enough to walk the night mostly unmolested.
A performance often meant that various performers would be asked to… well… perform! And Airine, the local mute musician, had seemed to be open to the idea when she was asked to use her talents to help the planned performance along. She was seated away from the larger crowd of people, her instrument on her lap as she prepared it for the dance soon to begin. She seemed particularly pleased about the location… she certainly couldn't have asked for a better one, with it's significant supply of water, and natural lighting thanks to the bioluminescent quality of the things in the water. She did seem a bit uncomfortable with the number of people though…
Akane was perched on a rock on the same side of the lake as Meruin. She was avoiding the crowd herself and she had ended upin his path. She saw the motion int he moonlight as he moved but didn't run at him or even wave to him. She could see the look on his face…well she could see the micro-expression on his face and knew he was having a private moment. Thus she let him be. For the moment….
Though autumn quietly transitions into winter, and still her feet are bare as they lightly cross along the fine beach sands, creating distinct, glowing footprints in her wake that are quickly covered by the gentle trail of fabric. Exhaling a small breath, the winter kimono is warm and snug around Yuuka, keeping her warm against the slight chill as follows the curve of the beach to where everyone is intended in gathering.
The pair of children rush past her, through the last outreaching fingers of the waves and spraying glittering water drops all around. Yuriko yells out to Takahiro as she chases after him, or rather, makes it seem that the boy is outrunning her.
Takahiro would be running around, trying to evade Yuriko, however he knew she was toying with him. He had trained tree walking with her, and well, their last game of tag was him being exhausted, and her being like: Is that everything? So the boy went a different way, trying to splash water onto her from the lake to stop her down. His new robelong coat played in the wind, and the charm around his neck was dancing around due to his running. The boy would laugh out loud at his last splash of water which tried to hit Yuriko, while keeping a close eye on Yuuka, making sure not to lose her halfway somewhere in the crowd.
Autumn was starting to arrive and it made Taree feel uneasy. It was signaling a change in her spiders that she did not yet understand. Slowly plotting along at a slow pace she would find herself at the lake, hoping to hear and see the scheduled performace for tonight. Breathing a little heavy she would just walk away from the crowded. Looking toward the water whistfully she would continue to walk around the lake listening to the performers warm up.
Meruin took notice of Akane's presence and her own body language — closed off, and secluded here on the side of the lake where people were the least likely to be around. Time to herself, perhaps. Though, her presence here at all said that she was likely to watch the performance herself.
So, for the moment, he simply continued his lakeside walk, gait long and smooth, a trail of glowing footsteps left in his wake. He looked out over the waters, looking at the glinting gems that sat atop the waves, celestial light refined in the tips of the tides. And as he did so, Akane would find a trio of spiders walking a line over the stone she sat on, making sure to pass over her so that their presence was felt, before moving on. Clearly an Okumo's directive. A greeting and a quiet invitation, though no demand.
A splash of water at the lake prompted something to rush from the its waters, jumping onto the beach and shaking itself out. A deformed dog of some — no. A spider. Just the size of the average dog, colored black and green. It turned to look at Yuriko before it was barreled over by another splashing spider, this one colored blue and purple. The pair rolled for a second before abruptly breaking off and running towards the Kaguya girl.
From the crowd of people, a young girl — perhaps 9 or 10 — approached the musician's area, small hands clasped together in the lap of her blue dress. She looked out beyond her blond curls with avid green eyes, her gaze stuck on Airine as she stepped up towards her in particular. The young one had been sending her almost covert glances for a time now as she milled about with some other children and had finally stepped up to her to say…
"Um…" She smiled, hesitant but sweet. "Hello."
Akane watched the spiders as they crawled over her legs, neither scared of them or bothered. She smiled faintly and held her hand down for them to gather on if they so chose. Then carefully so as not to squish any accidently that she hadn't seen she would walk toward Meruin and look out over the lake, moving to walk beside the Mizukage. "Greetings Meruin." She spoke softly so as not to interrupt the quiet calm on this side of the lake, her eyes flicking to the crowd on the other side. "It seems we have similar trains of thought, though our reasoning is probably different." She smiled a little.
Airine plucked random strings in random places to test her instrument, paying little or no mind to the young girl as she wandered up to the musician's area… though when she finally spoke, the dark-haired musician blinked, and turned her attention to the girl. She was silent for a moment, looking between the girl, then behind her as if to make sure that it was actually HER that the girl was talking to, then back to the girl again… and then she gave the girl a little wave in greeting, not having the heart to glare the cute little girl away like she would with anyone closer to her age.
After another second, she played a few notes of music on her instrument, drawing up a trio of glowing yellow balls of water, which flew quickly over to her and then sat resting in front of the little girl. She continued to play notes as the little liquid spheres spoke for her…
~Hello there… What can I do for you?~
~Are you here with your parents?~
And then Airine stopped, only plucking the strings often enough to keep the water spheres suspended as she watched the little girl, as if waiting for her answer.
Yuriko's keen eyes catch sight of the fluffy, dog-like spiders as they dash through the shallow waters straight for her. And despite the fun she was having chasing after Takahiro, her expression instantly brightens when she sees the spiders. Abruptly changing direction towards the first, the one of black and green, she crouches in her rush to try to scoop of the large, doggy spider in her arms and roll with it across the sand. Creating glowing streaks in the soft beach sand with a fitful of giggle.
Her mother couldn't help but chuckle softly to herself as she watches this, patting her on her snowy head as she passes. Yuuka just smiles softly and lifts her gaze to the gathering people, vivid dark aquamarine eyes subtly shadowed in the dim light of the night.
Turning her head Taree would watch the balls of dancing water glow and spin in the air. She would not stop moving, but did smile at how pretty it was. The sound dancing with the water, or the water dancing with the sound depending how you looked at it. Stumbling a little Taree had to catch herself from falling. Shaking her head trying to stop the world from spinning a moment. Walking further away from the group letting the sound soothe her as it went distant.
Meruin inclines his head to Akane as she makes her way towards him, returning her greeting as they begin walking together. "Night's blessings, Fujikujo Akane." He reached out of hand as she drew beside him, the spiders coming to the end of her fingers in preparation to cross over. "I'd have to say that you're correct. It is not the rarest event, that we end up in the same place."
His head turns as the sound of a delighted giggle travels over the water, eyes looking towards its source. "Why come to the festivities if you planned to avoid them…?" he queried the flame-haired woman.
Doku let out a puff of air from between his fangs as Yuriko swept him up, his green and black legs curling around the giggling girl as they started a haphazard tumble across the stands. Chihara put up immediate pursuit, leaving a staccato trail of blue dots across the sands beside the streaks made by the rolling pair, soon getting near enough to pounce on the playing couple.
This just in time for Doku to escape, rolling to his feet and dashing away with the expectation of being chase. Chihara hopped off of Yuriko, pushing at her back to usher her after the other spider.
Akane lifted her hand as well, allowing the spiders to return to thier Okumo. She chuckled softly. It was not — as he said — odd that they ended up in the samearea at the same time though many times she'd designed things that way. His question made her look toward the crowd of people and the sparkling waters there. "I enjoy the lights here especially with so many people, but I have been surrounded by people as Ishino tries to plan the wedding. I let him do most of it and I'm still surrounded. I'm .. not used to it. I thought perhaps I woould join them later but the quiet on this side of the lake with the lights they create was too beautiful to abandon." She looked up at him, curious and teasing a little. "And you, Greaat Leader? Why are you away from your people this night?" Though she had a pretty good idea anyway.
Once Airine waved to the little girl, her smile grew a little more comfortable on her face and it simply glowed once she started playing the instrument, bringing up those balls of lit water. Her tiny hands clasped eachother against her chest as she looked in wide-eyed pleasure, joy on her face. It took her a moment to answer the words that came from the orbs.
"Uh— yes! Yes, I'm here with my parents. Well," he smile faltered slightly. "One." It grew again, "And some friends. My name is Eri. I just…" She hesitates a moment, green eyes falling… and rising again. "You're… You're Airine-sama, aren't you? The one who…" A glance at the glowing balls of water.
"Talks like that," she finished with a slight flush at such an obvious question.
Airine blinks… she hadn't realized that she was particularly well known. Though it made sense… talking through water wasn't exactly common, even among shinobi who could control sound.
~Yes, that's me It's nice to meet you.~
~I didn't know I was so famous~
The glowing balls of water shifted in color and spun around Eri for a moment before crashing into eachother and then stretching out to make a ring around the girl that was constantly shifting from green to blue to red to purple and back to green again even as Airine spoke through it.
Rolling with and dog-piling with Doku, followed by Chibara, Yuriko giggles as she feels Doku starting to make it's escape from her tiny arms. He manages to slip away, Chibara on her snowy head hopping off just after to chase after the first. "Ah!" the girl quickly shambles to her bare feet, trying to give the fluffy spiders chase after so deftly escaping her grasp. She can't have her quarry escape that easily!
Yuuka smiles gently still as the children chase after the spiders, right past her. Coming to the edge of the group, the Swordsman's eyes drift up to the lake itself, spying Akane with the Mizukage. Her soft lips part faintly as she watches them, if only briefly. She lightly shakes her snowy head to herself once and glances to the gathered spectators. Some of them she doesn't recognize or unfamiliar with.
Meruin nodded at that, eyes still on the distance over the waters. He caught sight of Yuriko playing with the two spiders and Yuuka, looking over his way. Though, only briefly. "I can understand such a thing," he said before turning to look to where he walked.
"As for myself, it is more for quiet than anything else. Soon, I will be among the people and they will have their demands and expectations, and I shall meet them without complaint or any true issue. But for now, I will take the time to see just what it is that I have had created without need for the distraction." The lake has not been here so long, but already, it seems to have become a firm part of the Land of Water.
He glanced at her. "Are you prepared, Fujikujo? For marriage?"
Doku and Chihara, those brightly colored spiders of 'fluff' beat their feet across the sands with a swiftness, running away from the fiersome Kaguya warrior who gave chase to assault them with deadly giggles and marauding hugs. Once she started getting close, the pair split off from eachother, heading in opposite directions for a few moments before stopping and looking at Yuriko.
'Which one, which one?' their sixteen eyes quietly asked.
Akane looked up at Meruin as he spoke and nodded. She hoped her presence wasn't a negative thing and she took confidence in the fact that he had approached her witht he spiders before contact was made. Hios question, however, made her pause. She was not afraid, but she wished to make the answer true and honest. 'At times I myself don't know but when I sit and think on it I come to feel… There are two that I will stick with and Ishino is one of them. I belong to him and not just because of his mark." Her hand idly brished the brand on her hip. "I chose and he chose and though I would never betray the other, Perhaps my…promises… to him need not be so literal as they sounded. We can stand by a man without that kind of intimacy. So I suppose yes I am ready for marriage. But I cannot imagine any besides those two men could have convinced me to do so…"
Eri dips into a little bobbing bow, hands in her lap, after Airine gives a formal greeting, "It's nice to meet you too." The light of the shining spheres brightens her face in a myriad of hues as they swirl around her — a pleasured startlement colors her face as well as they crash into one another before making a beautiful ring around her.
Careful of it, she takes a step forward and nods, looking more hopeful now. "Yes. Me and my friends sometimes talk about you. It's only good stuff, of course! Like a pretty song we hear about or like that time we saw that glowing water in the woods.
"I was…" She draws herself up. "I was hoping you could help me." She unbuttons the collar of her dress, drawing up a string that has a blue heart attached. A heart seemed to be made entirely of… water, yet cohesive, unchanging in its shape. "Mommy… She gave me this before she-she passed. She told me that any time I need my mommy, I should just listen to the heart." She looked deep into it…
And held it out towards Airine. "I know you can make water talk. So I just…" The liquid heart thrummed in her hand, quiet vibrations stemming from the object.
"I just need my mommy right now."
Shaking her head and yawning Taree would turn toward the lake and splash water in her face. Glowing footsteps and splashing water bathing her vision in a cloud of light for a few moments. Holding out her hand into the water her spides would come pouring out of her hair into the water before her. The water starting to glow as the spiders swirl and swim in the water. Standing up slowly the Glowing swarm of spiders would slowly sink into the lake. Sending shivers and bright ripples of light outward from Taree. In moments the light would fade from sight as her group of spider descended and dissapeared to the bottom of the lake.
Looking a little better, walking as she felt allot lighter all of a sudden, Taree would walk toward the two lone people walking along the lake. Taking a deep breath she would nod her head at Akane and the Mizukage. Pausing for a breifest of moments before starting to continue walking. Her eyes staring into each of their eyes not wanting to disturb the conversation. Walking past them she would smile and say to Akane, "You will look beautiful in your wedding dress. Just let the little things take care of themselves. And not worry yourself about everything."
Airine blinks and looks at the water heart for a moment, a frown on her lips… she couldn't call the dead, and she knew that… but she didn't want to just turn the girl down outright. She struck a few chords, her voice echoing from the glowing ring around Eri.
~ …I would like to help you Eri… ~
~ … However, right now I need to prepare for the dance ~
~ Meet me here in a week and I'll see what I can do ~
And with that she nodded and pulled the water away, then looked around and pointed toward Eri's friends, nodding Eri toward them as if suggesting that she head back and enjoy the dance.
Yuriko growls playfully as she chases after Doku and Chihara, though the growls quickly become giggles again the longer she chases after the agile pair of fluffy spiders. She's barely a hand's width away from catching them before they suddenly split away from one another, causing the young girl to suddenly come to an abrupt stop, straight between them. Narrowing her eyes, Yuriko glances back and forth between them, suspicious. "Crafty…" she mumbles. No doubt as soon as she chooses one, the other will pounce! Her cute little nose wrinkles just before she takes off again, straight at Chihara. Her logic being that Chihara has had less play time with her today, if but barely.
Yuuka chuckles softly every now and then as she watches, slowly lowering herself to take a seat on a clean, flat boulder. Her careful gaze watches with amusement sparkling in her eyes, her attention drifting between her daughter and the pair across the lake, Akane and Meruin.
Meruin made a deep sound of agreement, of acceptance in the small of his throat, the single noise conveying all that needed to be said. That her words were enough, the man understanding what lay behind them. And so, he said nothing more as they walked and Taree approached.
He watched her grow closer and inclined his head to her once she'd drawn closer. An interesting idea, that she would begin past them before speaking. "Good evening, Okumo Taree," were his only words to her, though whether they were greeting or farewell was left ambiguous. She would decide herself.
He turned, then, looking back over the waters towards where the Kaguya and his two spiders were, saying, "Commitment. It is not something to be shied from, should the convictions be true."
As soon as Yuriko dashed towards Chihara, the spider ran. But he didn't run away. Instead, he ran right towards the young Kaguya girl, leaping up to pounce upon her. Doku had done the same, eight legs carrying him to the girl with celerity, his pounce coming only a moment after Chihara's. The two spiders ran along her body, crawling all about her, somehow managing to find the space despite their size and her lack of it, the two of them hiding most of her form from view.
She might notice herself getting sticky throughout the play.
Akane heard the noise and nodded. She understood the unspoken and accepted it. Taree got a small smile from Akane. "I chose the dress today but you'll have to wait to see it." The woman flushed faintly but gave no indication as to why. She turned her attention to the place Meruin was watching, her eyes taking in the activity and beauty. She looked to Taree again then to Meruin. "I hear your words and thank you for them, Meruin. Know that my commitments are not broken. I am merely adding more."
Eri nodded to Airine at her words, head bowing as she slipped the heart laden necklace back on, hiding the heirloom back within her dress. "I'll… I'll definitely be here." After buttoning it, she looked up at the water musician, green gaze glistening. The tears that were in her eyes were also in her voice as she smiled weakly and said the word, "Arigatou."
And then she turned around, hands pressed to her chest, jogging back towards her friends and father to finish out the night, know she'd have to wait another week to hear her lost mother's voice.
She only looked back once.
As swift as the pair of spiders are, Yuriko is just as fast, if not faster. Both Chihara and Doku land on her, lapping around her once with a thin string of web before her arms catch both spiders with lightning speed. Her momentum sends her to land on her backside, giggling as she huggles the furry creatures. "Not fast enough." she giggles. "Almost though!" Okay, so she's a little proud of herself. But she doesn't rub it in. After a long moment of snuggling both Doku and Chihara, she lets them go with a smile. "You guys seem to be doing good. Lots of energy! Don't tell me Meurin-sensei isn't giving you enough exercise…" The little girl talks to them as if they could talk back.
Turning to look at the backs of both Akane and Meruin, Taree tried draw on her communication with her spiders. Finding it a little strange, so many of her spiders in the lake, having to think a moment. Finally finding what spiders were left. A few new spiders dancing around her head slowly circling around her neck. A sweet honey suckle smell filling the air, like perfume being poured into the air. A tired smile on Taree face as the scent would drift across the water. All the spiders in the area sensing it almost drawing forth a response. Breathing deeply Taree would turn and continue to walk as the performance continued into the night.
Meruin turns to look at Akane, examining her for a spare few moments before his path took him towards the waters of the lake themselves. He paused, canting his head slightly, before looking in Taree's direction as she walks over… And then he steps onto the shifting carpet of ultramarine light, starting across liquid as easily as he had land. "The performance if soon to begin. Let us make sure we do not miss it."
At the side of the lake, Doku and Chihara hop down in front of Yuriko, having been firmly caught by the young Kaguya, her speed outmatching theirs. They look to her, looking to be fully listening. They even respond to her words, Doku hunkering down and letting out a shiver at her final comment, Chihara making a strange crooning sound. And then they were moving again, tugging and nudging Yuriko, pushing her towards waters of the lake. They dashed to Yuuka, then, running a circle around her before taking off over the surface of the lake, starting towards where Meruin was and clearly wanting to be followed.
Yes. Let's make sure to watch it. To share the night.