I took a shrine to them

Mesu decides to get a few charms for her brother at the local shrine... She leaves a dark impression on the shrine maiden, unfortunately. But it'll be fine. Probably. Maybe.

Date: 2018-08-23
Pose Count: 14
Masu Yogoshi 2018-08-23 21:48:18 95639
Masu Yogoshi looked up at the shrine as she walked. She had her back over her shoulder and... looked relatively relaxed. The place didn't seem very busy. Almost empty, even. Which was good. She had a head ache. She'd been out and about the crowds all day. And now she wanted nothing but smooth thoughts, relaxation. Maybe one or two people. But nothing major.

She walked up to the top of the steps and looked around. "H-hello?" she called out a bit nervously. She didn't go to shrines often but... they were often peaceful. And she felt as if she raised her voice, she may offend... something.
Rei Hino 2018-08-23 22:04:31 95641
If you were looking for peace and quiet, it seems you've come to the right place, as there's an almost eery stillness to the area, despite the presence of a few small, scattered groups going about their business.
    There's a soft fluttering of wings as a crow perches on a tree branch nearby and, uh... stares at you.
    Like, really, *really* stares at you.
    "Caw!" It calls at you suddenly, but doesn't move, doesn't break eye contact.
    "Excuse me." Very suddenly there's a woman standing beside you in Miko garb, her hands folded in front of her. "Welcome to Hikawa Shrine." She says with a soft smile, and a polite bow. Like the rest of this place, she looks like she's an old-fashioned hair-dressing away from having stepped directly out of the past, possessing a striking beauty, and giving the impression of an old soul, in some ways.
    This may not hold up too well to scrutiny, but Rei Hino tends to make a heck of a first impression on people with very little.
    She offers a kind but distant smile, and tilts her head slightly with curiosity. "I don't think I've seen you here before."
    You feel an oddly... guarded quality to this woman, but, strangely, you don't feel much else off the bat. Managing your feelings and behavior isn't generally supposed to translate to disguising them from an EMPATH, but... there's something strange here.
Masu Yogoshi 2018-08-23 22:09:22 95642
Masu Yogoshi turned to the crow and felt a tingle go up her spine. She'd heard so many myths and legends about crows. That they held the souls of humans. That they were evil spirits. That they protected against evil spirits. So many things that once she would have dismissed as mere superstition. But now...

She was shaken from her staring contest by a woman. She turned and flushed slightly. Her eyes traced the woman and... She couldn't help but feel that... Well... This woman... was something else. For a moment she wondered if her name was Usagi. After all, she had the same beauty t hat mamoru had. It'd only make sense this his wife to be would be just as beautiful.

Her eyes widened slightly, a show of surprise penetrating her otherwise blank face. Guarded, yes. But... she couldn't feel much else. Another empath? WAS this the fabled Usagi? Coincidence? No. Never coincidence. There was no such thing.

"Usagi?" she asked. Then shook her head. "M-my apologies. That was... Hello. My name is Masu Yogoshi, a pleasure. I have not been here before. I just... wished to be somewhere peaceful and to offer prayers for my friends and family. I didn't mean to disturb you or anyone else I just... do not come to shrines often so I am a bit... unfamiliar..."

She never came to the big festivals. So many people. So much excitement. It always overwhelmed her and made the world spin. Her parents thought it social anxiety but... for an empath? Such a celebration was incredibly rough.
Rei Hino 2018-08-23 22:25:48 95643
Masu isn't be the first person to make that mistake, nor would she be the first person to make Rei sigh VERY heavily upon being asked.
    The crow... really... isn't... moving...
    "Hmm?" Rei blinks with surprise upon hearing her friend's name mentioned, and peers at Masu more closely, perhaps thinking you might be someone she should recognize. She fails to make any sort of connection, but she knows anxiety when she sees it, and smiles kindly. "You're not disturbing anyone, Masu-san, I promise."
    Rei's eyes dart briefly to the crow in the tree, but seems to pay it no real mind. "Many people come to Hikawa Shrine for peace, or reflection. A moment away from..." She puts just enough of a pause between words to add an understanding emphasis when she finished, "... the noise." She gestures an arm outward to the shrine, "You may offer prayers and tribute to Kami; incense and the like, or small donations." She brightens up a little, "We also offer specially made charms here." There's a slightly tilt of the head, and an almost apologetic tone in her voice when she adds, "For a modest price."
Masu Yogoshi 2018-08-23 22:36:46 95644
Masu Yogoshi glanced back to the crows. "I don't know. I do not think your birds like me very much." She supposed that made them good judges of character. Even if she was a good person, she knew not everything she did would be 'accepted' by others.

She listened to the woman, and found herself a little taken aback. The woman didn't even offer her name. "Yes. It is quite noisy out there," she said, motioning towards the outside world. "For now, I'd prefer to offer prayers," she said softly. "I may buy a charm, however. Do you have any to promote healing?" Not for her, of course. But... IT couldn't hurt. "And of course they have a price. You have a shrine to maintain and materials to buy to make the charms, do you not?" she asked, cocking her head to the side. "It'd be selfish of me to assume that everything you make holds no value just because it's a shrine. Could you show me around, please? Miss....?"
Rei Hino 2018-08-23 22:53:19 95645
You may feel a little something a slight... give in whatever strange fog seems to obscure the woman from your sense, but if Rei feels embarrassed at having failed to introduce herself, she gives little outward sign to show it. "Ah, my name is Hino Rei. A pleasure to meet you." She says with another short bow. She smiles as she straightens up, and nods. "Of course! Please, follow me."
    Rei leads you through the timeless structure; pointing out passing descriptions of the various spots for prayer, meditation, for offerings and reflection; where rituals may be held and blessing may be offered, with the easy familiarity of someone who has been here her entire life. She does not, however, waste your time with distractions as she leads you to your destination.
    "And here..." she says, as she leads you to the small booth, set low to the ground where tall, narrow paper charms are stacked in seperate wooden slots all in a row, "... is where we keep our charms." She says with a gentle smile, and steps behind the booth, and kneels on a simple cushion behind it where she can reach the charms. "We have all kinds, from good fortune, to good health; to focus... to luck in matters of safety..." she smiles, "... and of love." She regards a less-frequented stack of charms, "... as well as charms to help ward off any..." how does one put this? "... negativity that may cling to your home. ... Or your belongings."
    She averts her eyes slightly, and speaks quickly, "... we also offer specialized services for severe cases-" then she returns to normal, "You said you were looking for healing?"
Masu Yogoshi 2018-08-23 23:03:04 95646
Masu Yogoshi cocked her head a bit, eying the woman. She couldn't help but smile a little. It was... cute. She was actually embarrassed at her slight. She wondered how many times a day she made this little speech. How many 'customers' she had to tend to. She wondered if it bored her. Annoyed her. How many names did she remember? How many did she forget? How many became the dreaded 'hey you'?

She followed along, looking around as they went. "It's beautiful architecture," she mumbled softly. When they arrived, she stared at them for a while. "... My forgune is already quite good and my health is fine," she said, before taking one of the health ones. "However, my... friend is still recovering. He may find this to be calming."

Then her eyes fell on the love ones. She shuddered at the prospect. She felt them. All day. Surrounded in class by teenagers. Spouting and yearning and loving and just... ugh. "And romance is the very last thing I need now. I have a lot of studying to take care of."

She picked up one of the negative repeling ones with her pinky. ".... What do you mean negativity? Bad feelings?" she asked, giving the other girl a distant look.

"And do you mean exorcisms?"
Rei Hino 2018-08-23 23:15:45 95647
Each charm has different characters written on it in beautiful hand-painted calligraphy. The backs of them seem to have been treated slightly so that they will stick to a surface with enough pressure and - one will find - will be surprisingly resistant to letting go.
    You actually feel a strange spike of something, a sense of sympathy, or relating when you speak about love, though outwardly she just has the same patient, mysterious smile. She doesn't seem bothered when the take a charm. "That's right." She answers. "In both cases. Memories and feelings can... color a space, on occasion. More than just our associations with them. In some cases, it can even make something vulnerable to possession. Among other things." She says this with no irony whatsoever; though the smile she gives would seem aware of the... skepticism that many would have. "... Think of the charms as another kind of good luck, if you like."
    That said, she regards the charm in your hand. Above you, the same danged crow finds another perch to watch you from. "I *do* need to finish the seal, before you can buy them, however. If you please." She says, extending her hand to take the charm, should you decide to buy it.
Masu Yogoshi 2018-08-23 23:23:43 95649
Masu Yogoshi nodded, listening intently. She knew it was stupid. She knew there was absolutely no way a silly little... toy could protect anyone. Stupid paper. And yet... She held both out to her. "I'll take both, please. How much are they?" she asked.

Then she whipped up. That crow again. Her empty hand clenched slightly. Her teeth grit. She'd never been... good with animals. Even less so since she became enshrouded in dark energy. She suspected they could feel something off about her even then.

Instead she'd follow the woman and... "tell me. Do you believe them? Do you see them as just gimmicks... Or do you believe in their functionality?"
Rei Hino 2018-08-23 23:36:36 95650
The crow seems to share your enthusiasm. Alarmingly, a moment later, a SECOND one arrives, to glare at you with the same intensity, though this one seems to fidget in place; a few errant black feathers falling gently to the ground.
    Rei, for her part, takes the charms and sets them on the flat surface above the charms - the closest thing to a 'desk' she has, and produces a long, well-used calligraphy brush. In a way, this is as much a part of the 'product' as the charms themselves, as Rei perfectly paints over the character with practiced ease, making a symbol character stand out boldly in graceful brush strokes, before adding on the missing piece of the character that finishes the seal.
    There's a long moment where she doesn't answer you, merely lifting the charms and blowing on the wet paint very, very softly.
    When she looks up at you, the certainty in her eyes is almost startling in its intensity. "There are terrible things in the world, Masu-san." Her expression becomes gentler, but her eyes do not - though they're not unkind, "And wonderful things. There's so much more to the world and everything in it than most people will ever see, or experience, or understand when they do. Spirits... The Kami..." she gestures her hand over the paper in front of her. "These charms. They're just a part of it. As real as any dream or fear you hold to your heart... and as powerful as you let them be."
    She smiles kindly, that look gone - or simply pushed away - from her gaze. "That's what I believe."
    And then... back to business! "One thousand yen pl-"
    "... Please." Rei says, though despite the interruption, she doesn't seem sheepish, she just... watches the crows, now, with a hint of concern betrayed in her expression.
Masu Yogoshi 2018-08-23 23:43:49 95651
Masu Yogoshi nodded, watching her. She had soft, gentle hands. A lot of control. A lot of refinement. She'd done this... who knows how many times. It was beautiful in its own way. Possibly worth the price of admission alone.

She smiled when she took them. "I like that answer. I mean, it's very vague, but mythical sounding. I believe I'll use it when I give these to them," she said before glancing to the crows. "There is a lot of terrible things. I am hopeful I won't see much more of it. But you are right. There is... a lot of beauty in this world. Things... Things others will never ever experience, no matter how desperately they want to."

She closed her eyes and held the charms up. As if feeling them through her hand. She then nodded and pulled out the yen coins, holding them out with her left hand. "Thank you, Hino-san. I do hope we can meet again, under similiar, pleasant circumstances. I'll make my prayer and--" And then the caw. Again. For some reason, the two of them being together seemed to get to her. "sHUT UP!" she yelled at them. "WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?!" she yelled. Then urked and cringed. "Err..." Right. This was why she was that 'weird girl' so often. "... I'll just leave. Thank you."
Rei Hino 2018-08-23 23:51:47 95652
Rei smiles pleasantly at your response - honestly feeling like she may have gone a little overboard but... this shrine and the world it represents has been her entire life. It's not that she doesn't take kindly to skepticism, but... well. She's passionate about it.
    "Please do." She says when you mention you may come again... but your outburst seems to shock her, and Rei recoils for a moment as the new visitor lashes out at the animals, who seem to flail agitatedly for a moment before taking off into the air. One might notice they're still flying abov the area in a lazy circle above Rei.
    Alarmed, she stands up quickly, and watches Masu recover with... distinct unease. Concern. You can finally feel concern out of her. But strangely there's also... suspicion? What could she *suspect*?
    "Of course. Please take care, Yogoshi-san." She says with a sort of distance in her voice. As she watches you leave, tension building inside of her, as your first interaction suddenly grows in importance, she calls out. "You-!" She hesitates and tries again. "You said the name Usagi. Are you..." her eyes narrow slightly, "... is she a friend of yours?"
Masu Yogoshi 2018-08-23 23:57:47 95654
Masu Yogoshi started to walk away. Suspicious. Of course she was. She was probably seen as some kind of freak. This was always the way it went. They always suspected her. Well maybe if they had to walk a mile in her feet, maybe if they could feel the world through HER lens. Maybe if they could SEE the way they--

"Huh?" she asked, glancing back.

"Err... That was... Silly..." she mumbled. "It's nothing. I met a... her fiance, Mamoru. He was tall and... beautiful like you. My mind, for some reason, thought for a second you could be her. And there were... some similarities between you and him." She couldn't read either of them. It was... almost... No. But the other girl's shields weren't as strong as Mamoru's had been.

"It's likely no one you know. It would be too much of a coincidence for you to know them as well. It was merely a silly notion that popped into my mind before I could calm it. My apologies." She turned to start walking again.

Stupid. Stupid. STUPID. Why had she lost her cool. She needed to be controlled at ALL TIMES! She couldn't let herself be over whelmed. Stupid!
Rei Hino 2018-08-24 00:01:21 95656
Rei simply nods her head slowly. "There's no need to apologise." She says, but there's a caution to her voice that wasn't there before. She very, very carefully does not correct Nasu.
    As Nasu walks away, Rei casts her eyes up towards Phobos and Deimos, circling in the sky.
    The tension doesn't leave her for some time.