Date: February 3, 2015
Soren is summoned before the council of Fox Elders, as they prepare to judge his worth as their potential Sage.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"The Path to Sagehood - Soren's Judgement"
The Fox Village, deep in the forests of the south Land of Snow
The sun had finally set, and the Full Moon rose over the village of the Foxes. The several trees the fox holes were embedded in, or under still glowed from the warmth of small fires inside, and the massive tree in the center of the village stood, still green as the pines in the winter air. A crisp layer of snow, freshly powdered the ground. It was fairly common, even for this late in the season… but today it was particularly cool, and beautiful, as the light of the full moon danced down acrossed the snow.
Just outside the councils tree, Ayame finally pulled Soren to the village, the man appearing with a sudden poof of smoke. The pup in her full 6' splendor, she lead Soren down under the tree.
Below the tree, the councils private chamber was not isolated. The small cave had roots from the massive tree above running through it, holding together stone, and crystal that seemed to glow faintly even now, as moonlight refracted through the stones, illuminating the space, with exits to all sides between the most massive of the tree roots.
Yukianesa sits up primly in the council chamber, facing the direction she expects Ayame to bring Soren in from. Her snowy white fur is well groomed and flows back from her face toward her tail, save for a slight darkened spot around the ears. For the moment, at least until Ayame and Soren announce themselves, she's actively talking to another fox off to the side.
Emi watched as Ayame led Soren into the council chamber, the younget fox actually tailing them through the maze of crystal. She slipped between the two of them, brushing Ayame's shoulder with hers and Soren's legs with her tail before she jumped up onto her place, head tilted quizzically. Her hind leg suddenly reached up and swiped at her ear which twitched a moment then went still.
For some time Daichi sat beside Yukianesa with all the dignity and wisdom an older fox could show as they waited for Soren. But after awhile his tail gave a flick of impatience and he stood up to pace back and forth, muttering about humans. Did they not believe in punctuality? He recovers his poise when Soren arrives, and even says, Welcome here, boy. The fennec gives another flick of the tail, and shifts to get a better look at him.
Soren walked in, smiling a bit, obviously just a tad nervous. He's met the council before… but it's been a while. And the last time they called was to yell at him about Michiko. Atleast Genkoro wasn't here. He was the really loud one. When Emi brushes passed, he has to stop himself from reflexively reaching down to pet, not entirely sure of what the response would be. But when finally asked in, Soren strode in, right up to where he stood before, just outside the councils little makeshift 'table'. More like a communal sitting slab, but still. He bowed from the hips. "You requested my presence? Ayame seemed a bit fidgety on the way here…"
Indeed Ayame had been fidgety! She didn't have a great poker face when it came to Soren, but she had managed to keep her trap shut! Once Soren was in the chamber, she just sat in the back, and layed down, her tail flipping back and forth as she listened in, ready to interject, but not going to. Even IF Genkoro wasn't around… he'd still yell at her later if she spoke out of turn.
Yukianesa continues to talk with the fox on her side for about half a minute longer after Soren speaks, then nods to the younger fox so he can depart. "Ah… Ayame… Ayame's partner…" she begins with a slight trace of humor in her voice for the introduction. "So good of you to join us at last. I'm sure you have a reason for keeping us waiting all this time, don't you? I wonder if you gotten here faster if it had been Genkoro to send for you," she says as she looks sideways toward Daichi. "He did, after all, leave quite an impression, didn't he? Still, you're here now, so I suppose it's okay." Her lips bare the merest hint of teeth, as if producing a small smirk while she lets one of the others explain /why/ they summoned Soren in the first place.
Emi watched with bright green eyes as Soren and Ayame entered, the fox laying in the back and letting the human face the council. Emi was thed youngest so she looked to the others for a lead in this discussion, but she had sharp eyes and was watching Soren's movements and actions, his facial expressions… Emi's tail twitched back and forth impatiently as Yukianesa started talking, giving Soren a hard time. It was clear she was a bit irritated by the long speech. "Don't listen to her, you're not in trouble… Yet." Twitch twitch… She scratched at her ear again and spun a bit, pawing at the stone below her.
"You'd best not be late every time, kid," Daichi cautions. Though (privately) he's not one to speak. When the foxes gather, Daichi is either late, or just roams in and out as if he's shown up by accident. Still he's giving Soren a squinty eyed look, as if daring him to object. He pauses to let anyone speak. When no one is forthcoming, the elder fox clears his throat. "But Yuki is right, you're here, ent'cha? We'll get down to the matter at hand, and the first is important. You should go over the dealings you've had with my kind. In your own words. What you think is important, what you remember. Can you do that?" he asks keenly.
Soren winces just a bit, and looks taken aback. "Yeah… Genkoro would have gotten me to show up earlier… but I'm not sure you would have wanted me to stay. I was at the forge when Ayame showed up. Would have come in smelling of ash and fire." he scratches his cheek a bit. Wait… a… minute… He looks at Daichi and raises a brow. And then just looks like he accepts it. "Well, hey, I thought you'd be happy. Mimicry -is- the sincerest form of flattery." he grins, before walking up, and taking a seat, and he's suddenly a bit more serious.
"Well… there's so much to go over. Well… The first time I encountered a Kitsune… a little one, one of Ayame's cousins… ah… what was it… something-hime? Something snow related. Anyways, she was terrorizing a small village, and we had to rescue them from a rival fox clan. The Nogi. One of the couple times where Kugai nearly killed me." he says, very flatly. "That's also where I rescued Ayame." he says, sparing a small smile back towards the pup. "And where Sakuryu, Fuuta, and I were allowed to make contracts. Then there came effectively raising the lawyer." he says, jabbing his thumb towards Ayame. "Do you realized just how -big- of a pain she was at times?" he says, sparing another big grin back towards her. "Hey there pup." :D
"Hey there jackass." she retorts, grinning equally big.
Yukianesa looks somewhat bored by Soren's monologuing, though she tends to snicker slightly at the jabs Ayame and Soren take at each other. "What do you expect? We foxes are born trixters. If you wanted relatively painless, you should have taken up with those toads… man are they disgustingly formal. I would guess it would come from eating bugs all the time. I'd be constipated too if I had a steady diet of flies, beetles, and worms." She then shakes her head and motions with a paw for Sorent o continue on.
Emi snickered both at the playful banter and at Yukianesa's comments. Only sparing the fennec a glance, the youngest kitsune sat up, tail flipping. She knew some of Soren's exploits but she was not interested in a bit history lessen. She was starting to twitch from waiting. "A fox is more fun than a mutt or a toad anyway." She huffed and finally stood up. Shaking off she began to pace around Soren and gave Ayame a grin as she passed, just needing to move while Soren sat there talking.
Daichi doesn't seem won over by Soren's antics and amused reminscence about foxes. He doesn't seem angry though, and when toads are mentioned Daichi wrinkles his nose. "I wouldn't call a toad's smell a painless experience," he comments. He lays down on his forepaws, as if relaxing. But his eyes follow Soren and he says, "No two foxes are alike. No two toads. No two humans. But you've caught our eye. What is it you think of my kind?"
Soren opens his mouth to speak, and before he starts, Ayame speaks up. "Keep it short. Your feelings in as few words as possible."
Soren blinks, and nods. "Sorry. I ramble. In as few words as possible… I have loved every interaction I've ever had with the Kitsune… Even when Genkoro was yelling, I still enjoyed listening to all of you. You're a giant family… and I respect that. I want to have just a little part of that connection, and do everything I can to protect it, and everyone here. I have a bit of that… with Ayame, and she's kept me sane, and cared for me, and done so much for me, and there's no way I can repay that… but I'm going to be trying to do so for as long as I live."
He winces… "I was rambling again. Sorry." he grins apologetically.
"A family huh?" Yukianesa says after a moment's thought. Soren's words, when combined with his actions, tend to have actually caused her to become rather thoughtful, and for once, rather brief when she looks at Daichi. "He's good in my book."
Emi brushed up beside Soren and nudged his hand with her nose. She'd caught his almost pet earlier. and this was her way of accepting him. "We want you to be a part of our family too." She glanced at the others and pawed at the ground then sat down beside Ayame primly. "I want a human too…"
"Arr, he seems a nice enough kid," Daichi says, "but he looks like a softie to me. And he only has fur on his head. We can't have a weakling dragging our clan down." His tongue lolls out. "But enough of you vouch for him. And we'll see what he's made of in time." He bobs his head to Soren and says, "The reason we called you is to offer you help with sage training. If you accept, you'll stay here and begin training under our guidance, kid." He glances around to meet the eyes of each fox, as if looking for an objection, before turning his attention back to Soren.
Soren blinked, and just smiled a bit wider with each foxes recognition. He pet Emi just a little bit more, before nodding. "I would be absolutely honored to be your sage." he says, bowing heavily. "And thank you. I will not dissapoint you, Ojiisan." he says, grinning towards Daichi.