Do Moon Souls Dream electric dreams?

Reimu
Citizen of the World
Joined: September 19th, 2017, 4:57 pm

September 20th, 2017, 2:59 pm #1

Reimu’s robes drifted like a blue ghost among the green bamboo grove, bottomed in flat, lush grass. His wooden shoes rustled as they trod over fallen leaves. Sunbeams caught on his reed hat, playing upon the conical wear like a shadow puppet show. Tiny creatures, with their jerking bodies, followed after the man, their hollow black eyes gazed upon him, even as their bodies twitched with a constant spasm. He ignored them. His lips were thin as they skittered noisily about him making sounds like little rocks clattering on each other. Invisible, of course, were these creatures to normal human eyes. He lifted his face, peering into the distance.

The bridge was near. He had taken a detour. Did he have a reason for delaying his visit to the shrine? His expression was one of guilt, yet also one of playfulness. A childish smile played briefly on his lips. His steps gained a spring.

The floor opened to a portal of sunbeams peering through the thin trees.

Reimu stooped to look at the water, perched on the balls of his feet. The glassy reflection was a perfect mirror of the forest. The shadowy blob that was his face blotted out the pale light. A young man stared back at him, his mouth in a perfect ‘O’. Hair of copper fell over his face. He considered his reflection briefly.

What was he? A human? An Elf? Both sides have summarily rejected him.

A sob arose in his throat.

This face, one of a mixed heritage, had once been regarded with affront from a place where he and his mother once dwelt. It was a face that had evoked distrust. An strange aura. Upon his passing, parents would hastily pull their children close, not even hiding rankled looks. Open contempt marred the faces of those who were the kindest folks. He was a child without feelings, as far as adults were concerned. As far as the other kids were concerned, he was also one without a sparkle of charisma.

The man on the glassy surface gazed back steadily. The smile was still bright, determinedly so. Though the grey eyes remained sad. So juxtaposed were the eyes and the mouth as to make his expression appear unnatural – so the sadness crept down to touch his lips, flattening it to a thin line. Sighing, he pulled away from the unhappy man and collected himself. He settled into a lotus position before the water. Meditative silence descended upon him. The quietude would be brief, but precious.

People were fickle, friendships transient. One got to know people, and then they disappear forever. It all felt unnatural to him; like he was an alien who entered a world with strange rules, rules he had to learn from scratch, without instructions. Much of the inhabitants’ ways were often cruel, and had come as a shock to him. Oh, he had learned some of their rules by now. He spared a moment to mourn for the little boy he was that had not known better. Mourn for his lost innocence.

Nature has its ways,
Nature heals,
Embrace En,
Do not shun those who approach,
Nor pursue those who leave.


He hardened his heart to protect himself.

Gently, the sorrow was pushed out as his body absorbed the dreamy Forest Spirit. The Spirit embraced his severe introversion, treasuring his broken soul as She had others who would befriend Her. Forgiving, kind, motherly.

A water clock tipped somewhere. Time made itself felt.

Reluctantly, he pushed himself up. Hands brushed his robe of fallen leaves and twigs. He had delighted in meeting Her and tarried to meet Him. The man, then, hastened to the bridge, and beyond that, the shrine; wooden slippers that rustled in fallen leaves shifted to hard clatters over the stone bridge. Eventually, almost out of breath, he was through the angular doorway. His robes were aflutter in his rush. Maidens behind him roamed about the courtyard, wearing elegant robes of red and pure white.

He reached the inner court. Devotees milled about him. Out of his ceremonial garb, he was just another one of them; not a mystic theurge. An ordinary man. Reimu stood before the altar, clapping his hands twice and ending with a bow.
Quote
Like
Share

Chimaed
Citizen of the World
Joined: December 24th, 2013, 2:25 am

September 22nd, 2017, 5:45 am #2

In the four months since she had come to Angkar, Chimaed had not been to any of the temples, had not even dipped her toes in the Angkarians' religion. It was with some reluctance that she did so at all; she only did so because she felt strange today. Perhaps it was the onset of her monthly blood (which, in Green Turtle Key, had come only in the summer, but which now came with great regularity all year, much to her dismay), perhaps it was the man who had propositioned her, the brothel guard, all the while examining the shape of her breasts as they could be seen through her loose huīpīlli. Perhaps it was due to the position of the moon in the sky – this was the theory of Ixquic, the other brothel guard.

When Chimaed mentioned to Amorizia that she felt strange, the brothel owner did not offer any explanation, but a solution. "Get out of this place and go to the temple. Pray." She accentuated this last word with an elegant gesture of her plump brown arm, as if praying were a sort of dance one did.

"Will your gods help me feel better?" asked Chimaed in a tone torn between hope and disdain.

"My gods?" Amorizia let out one of her famous smoky laughs and shook her head. "By the gods, they're the people's gods!" She laughed some more, so amused with herself that she tossed back her head. The lights shone on her slick black bun and her monumental body jiggled all over with mirth. "Though really, who cares if they do or they don't? It's the ceremony that's good for you. At the very least it'll take your mind off things."

Truthfully, this place made her feel a little worse. There were people everywhere, and she had to fight back the urge to elbow them out of her way. The languid weakness of her body was now supplemented by the discomfort of sweating. She flapped her huīpīlli as she wandered through the crowds, antagonised by the sun that beat down on the temple pavilion.

Where was she to go? Was she to stand in admiration of some of the statues, was she to take this door or that? Just choose one, she thought to herself, It doesn't matter. Don't know who any of these gods are anyways.

An entrance beckoned to her and she went in. The air was thick with the sweetish smoke of copal, which thankfully concealed all the human smells of the people within. She hesitated for a moment at the door, staring around with those strange white eyes. Intricate woodwork formed every part of the inside of the shrine. Gods and creatures and humans engaged in various dramas, feasting off each other's bodies, engaging in wars, in romances, in simple conversation. How long must it have taken to make all this?

She dwelled too long at the doorstep and was practically knocked over by a tall woman who came barrelling through. The woman bounced off her without so much as an apology; in fact, she glared at Chimaed for being so terribly in the way. Chimaed glared back, then slowly advanced.

She had had no room for anything sacred since she was a child. Aputsiaq had taken that from her, if there had ever been any of it in the first place. She could not even remember if her parents had been religious at all. Still, the aura of the place compelled her to a state of solemn reverence. Thinking on sacredness and gods, she found herself remember Palluqtuq, whose hair she had washed of blood after she had died in the battle against Aputsiaq.

I will pray for her; I hope her spirit rests well.

Though, coming to the altar, she realised she had no idea how to pray. Anxiously, she tried to observe other people at it, noticing a man who clapped his hands and swept down into a graceful bow, like a hawk coming in to land. Was she expected to do that?

She hadn't gotten the hang of it before another collision with someone forced her forwards. Thus she wound up before the altar, and tripped over the bowing man's foot. Flame rushing through her cheeks, she muttered, "Sorry." However, being still unused to Angkarian, she managed to say, instead, "Fresh fish," without even realising it.
Quote
Like
Share

Reimu
Citizen of the World
Joined: September 19th, 2017, 4:57 pm

September 23rd, 2017, 1:46 pm #3

The great Deity stared back, flanked by the child gods Ashita and Nuva. A clawed dragon wound, encircled the altar. Reimu was observing the artistry when someone stumbled over his feet.

“Ara!,” he cried, distracted. His hand reached out to grasp the fallen person’s shoulder. When she was on her feet, he swept his sleeves, one against another, a genteel practice. “Apologies, I did not see you.”

Reimu regarded the woman. She emanated an unremarkable Yin energy; given that she was a woman, that was no surprise. His Spirit Eye pulsated; she was unquestionably one of Power, despite her odd, almost shabby, garb, by Daroan standards. He had never seen such clothes before, and found his lips agape, not only at her foreign dressing, but her skin. Ebon as coal, it struck a contrast to the sallow-hued skin of natives. Her eyes; they glimmered white. Was she blind?

Worshippers pooled. The woman’s stumble and snowballed into more attention, attracted the natives. Curious eyes stared, particularly at the parts Reimu had noticed himself. They did not react, not knowing how, but the glances were transfixed, roving up and down the woman. A boy pointed at her openly, saying something to his mother.

The mystic turned to the crowd, “A frog in a well cannot conceive of the ocean.**” chastised Reimu. “Have you not seen foreigners before? It is rude to stare!”

The collective shook. Voices arose, leading to, ironically, more stares. Reimu frowned, and addressed the woman, bowing. He felt compelled to give her better treatment than such shameful ones as she had been shown. Reimu whispered, his low voice reaching only her. “It is best we retreat. A disrupted prayer bids not a tranquil life.”

He parted the crowd like the Red Sea. His wooden slipper clattered past the angular doorway.

“Come,” bid the man. “A pavilion stands over there, in the backyard.”

Crepe myrtle trees were scattered throughout the garden. The flattened path way led to a gazebo with up-curved roof, which stood in the middle of pebbles. Grooved with a rake, the stone pattern radiated off the plants in ripples. He brushed his robes, arranging the voluminous garment, before taking a seat. He placed his sword reverently on the stone table, rounded, as to attenuate killing energy. The flat surface engraved checkered marks for chess games.

“This one’s name is Reimu Tsukihiko,” introduced the man. “Soul Dream is the Common translation. What is your name, mistress? Do you speak Angkarian?”

He recalled her speaking words earlier, likely an apology. But he knew too little of the tongue to be sure.

He paused, regarding his next words. “Pardon me, I happen to be a theurge in these parts. And I could not help but notice a strange aura, like that of a demon wolf, linger about your esteemed self. I sense you are a one of Power, as am I. Perhaps, you would care to answer my questions.”

She was a shaman, he decided. One of similar vocation to him yet of a different region. Travellers had gifted a totem to the Daroan God Emperor a decade ago, to the marvel of the people. Altogether, he did not fear her. His hand was near his sheathed hand-and-a-half sword.



**i no naka no kawazu taikai o shirazu: metaphor of a narrow world view based on limited experience (literally, "a frog in a well does not know the great ocean")
Quote
Like
Share

Chimaed
Citizen of the World
Joined: December 24th, 2013, 2:25 am

October 9th, 2017, 4:48 pm #4

Chimaed looked up to see that people were staring at her. Her expression quickly went bland, her eyelids hanging over her eyes like irresolute shutters and the line of her mouth going flat, with just the slightest quirk of anger and disgust hanging the skin about her nose. Her mind became smooth and inactive, like baking soda in water, waiting to be plunged into.

She had learned all these tricks in response to Aputsiaq; this was the same as whenever he raged at her.

"Stop," she hissed in her native tongue, being too disoriented to revert to Angkarian. Didn't he realise he would draw more attention to her? Didn't he realise that she was used to the staring? Whether people did it because her skin was so dark or because her eyes were the mark of a necromancer she didn't know. Again she hissed, "Stop," this time remembering to use Angkarian, but she didn't think he heard her.

It hardly mattered anyways because they were out of the temple in a moment. It happened so quickly that she hardly remembered how they got outside. He sat down but she remained standing, her hands unconsciously gripping the edge of the chessboard. Calm as could be, he introduced himself as Reimu, and then asked her name.

"Chimaed," she replied tersely, through the buzzing sensation that now swelled in her cranium. When asked if she spoke Ashokan, she replied in that tongue, "Yes," and thankfully managed to not fuck it up this time.

He went on, asking her about the "strange aura, like that of a demon wolf" that lingered about her. As soon as she heard those words, Chimaed laughed convulsively. It was an unpleasant sound, as involuntary as the cough of one who is sick. With the palm of her hand she slashed at the slick of sweat that was forming at her brow.

"Oh, so he's still there is he? Even though he's gone? Should've figured – his taint will be on me forever!" She was back to gripping the chess table with both her hands, though her elbows trembled slightly. She had the feeling of one who had been tossed into the air and, having reached the peak of her trajectory when the people were staring at her in the temple, was now falling. "No surprise, after all he did!"

And all that he did came back to her more clearly than usual now. Any other time she could gloss over it with no specificity, the same way a person would refer to a massacre they had heard of but never seen. Now she was dumped into the pool of it all, immersed in another time, in another land, where Aputsiaq's body laid atop hers, where Aputsiaq entered her, his soul like iron claws and pulled.

Chimaed fixed Reimu with her eerie stare, her mouth a twisted line. "That presence you feel is Aputsiaq, Witch King of Green Turtle Key. I was his queen once, and you feel a power from me because I am necromancer. Understand?"
Quote
Like
Share

Reimu
Citizen of the World
Joined: September 19th, 2017, 4:57 pm

October 18th, 2017, 6:46 am #5

Reimu paused, contemplating. His soul rested in the quietude of the pavilion like a leaf on a gentle stream, contrasting Chimaed’s raspy proclamations. The pointed Elvish ears caught the words like wind through a windchime. Disturbed, roughed, yet producing clean tinkling notes out of the turbulence. A fuller picture of the lupine creature materialized in his mind, fed to him by his Eye.

Inspired, he reached into his sleeve, plunging a hand into the voluminous fabric; out came a flimsy blank sheet of paper. Calmly, he set the inkwell over the chess markings with a thump. Grating the black stone over, he prepared the ink. And so, beneath the willowy trees, Reimu worked. Swift strokes of the brush flew over the blank slate, spreading black ink.

"Oh, so he's still there is he? Even though he's gone? Should've figured – his taint will be on me forever!"

Reimu’s grey eyes scanned what he had just made. The ink was still wet on the paper, glistening white in the black river. The wolf demon prowled the page. Tribal symbols were drawn over it, tattooing the fur with arcane markings. At the edge of the paper was scrawled vertical flowing script. Peasants hated wolves. They ate their flock. Shamans like himself had no play, for unlike murrain, the methods to repel wolves were not far mundane. Ploughshares, loud noises, and canine herders.

Suddenly, his Eye perceived what this demon did. But there was no word for sympathy in his native tongue. He feared Chimaed would misunderstand all the same, and think him an unfeeling cold-blooded monster; he decided some words were in order. What could one tell a ... victim? He was a clumsy man.

“I am sorry you have been through that,” said Reimu, parroting a phrase said by a Soarean. He had overheard that phrase in a teahouse, a phrase he had no deeper understanding of, at least, not yet, and so sounded hollow. Where he came from, one typically offered suitable parables, words handed down to comfort the needful for millennials and would continue to guide the needful for millennials more. “The net of heaven is wide; no one escapes. He would get his comeuppance, when it happens.”

He suspected his reaction would have been anger if Chimaed was blood sister, but she was an Other, a non-family and was not his concern.

Aputsaiq, a name was dropped. Neither the name nor the words ‘Green Turtle Key’ jolted any memory in him. Of course, Soare was a very big place. It should be no surprise if he did not know one thing. She had named herself a necromancer. At this, his hand flew back to the brush, dipping the brush in ink and scrawling the character “Death”, which he let go in a macabre trail.

He sighed deeply, rising from his seat. “I am not one for comforting words.” His hand went to his sword, lifting it from the table with a metallic click. “If you wish, lady, this worm shall avenge you with the scant power that this unworthy one has in him, scant as it now is.”

Grey eyes strayed to the bright sun peeking through green glowing leaves and purple flowers. For the moment, his copper hair caught the sunbeam from the side of his face, the captured light coming aflame in strands of translucent red. That side of his face shone bright white, while his other half was shadowed, a single grey iris glinting in the eclipsed shadow. His features were stark, bulbous yet tapered to an unusually angular chin, inhumanly Elvish. He cast his voice in a loud laugh. It has been so long since he had last caught a demon. Mostly, it had been another noble requesting his talents to ward demons, or a king needing an East Wing auspiciously arranged. He was long due for a bit of excitement.

He flipped his sword scabbard under his arm, crossing his arms, and awaited the other shaman’s answer. The faint scent of ceder wood and incense floated to his nostrils, carried by the same wind that now swept at his bangs.

"You have come to pray and your session was, sadly, interrupted. Small minds of the simple folk ... If this worm may be so bold as to inquire, what do you seek from the gods, or perhaps you planned to inquire matters with your ancestors?"

He regarded her. She did not seem the latter sort. "There is another shrine, a lesser frequented one, in the forest, should you desire to continue your prayers. Or should you wish, Yuu-kun's studies stand open and he would welcome your esteemed presence." And shamanic knowledge. At any rate, solitude eludes them in the main altar. Used as she might be to the pesky attention, it was no decent place to put a guest in by decent folks.

The crepe myrtle swayed in the breeze. It felt nice. "Or," he said, glancing at the white pupils. "Perhaps later."
Quote
Like
Share

Chimaed
Citizen of the World
Joined: December 24th, 2013, 2:25 am

November 6th, 2017, 9:24 pm #6

Reimu stayed so calm during all of this; for such a sin she wanted to tear him apart. Of course, if he had shown any outright sympathy, she would have hated him more. Should he not be fighting her, telling her she was worthless and throwing her to the stone floor? She wished he would ridicule her so she would have a reason to try to rip his head from his shoulders, at which he would strike her and bloody her, make her head ring with deserved pain. Her magic rose up without her bidding, coursing through her body.

All the while, his drawing began to adopt a recognisable shape. Chimaed's arms trembled with the effort of self-restraint – oh, how badly she wanted to swipe the paper away from him crumple up his nasty inkwork! Still, she kept telling herself, That time is past, he means no harm, even as she felt the scrape of his parroted Soarean apology.

Slowly, he rose. He lifted his sword. Chimaed twitched, her arms instinctively raising a little, ready to shield herself. Instead, he offered to help.

The hot waters of anger poured out of her all at once. Her shoulders relaxed and she shook her head, a sigh seeping from her nostrils. "It is kind of you to offer, but I don't know where he is. He left me when I was sick. Besides, he is a spirit now. When I do find him it will take much more than a sword to get rid of him."

Her body felt floppy as a newborn deer's. All at once she collapsed into the nearest seat, just in time for Reimu to ask her about her purposes here. She shook head once more. "Someone told me it might be a good idea. I don't know what I'm doing here."

Reimu offered her several more options, but for a moment she could only stare at the gaudy branches of the crepe myrtle, her eyes unfocused with exhaustion. "I don't know. What is the point of prayer, do you think?"
Quote
Like
Share

Reimu
Citizen of the World
Joined: September 19th, 2017, 4:57 pm

December 16th, 2017, 9:54 am #7

When I do find him it will take much more than a sword to get rid of him."

“Trapping ghosts, happens to be a specialty of mine,” replied Reimu without missing a beat.

Someone told me it might be a good idea. I don't know what I'm doing here.

Reimu crossed his arms, tucking his sword in and taking steps out of the pavilion, toward the tree. “Perhaps, you were called here. Who did, I know not. It is said like energies attract.” He surveyed her with a neutral expression. “You have caused a stir, lady.”

What is the point of prayer, do you think?"

“I have heard it said that all dreams are a communication with the gods, a means to release negative energies in a place, a dream place, where the actions cannot hurt anybody.”

He stopped mid stride. Something had caught his attention, drawing his squinted eyes to a certain spot to the area of the courtyard before the temple doors. “A spirit beast has escaped. I must stop it.” Forgetting to look at Chimaed as he addressed her, he was fast afoot, sprinting toward the commotion.

He stowed his sword, just in time to jump out of a heavy tentacle’s smashing weight. Quick feet put distance between him and the ebon black beast. The theurge signed with his fingers, chanting. “Celestial soldiers, descend and arrange yourselves in front of me.”

At his last word, ranks of spirit soldiers materialized, each bearing the look of a fierce warrior, and a zodiac animal, twelve in all. They were armed with spears and swords, which they held as they closed in on the lycan-octopus. Alone, Rei gazed determinedly at the beast, dancing from the blows of a tentacle, and hurling fireballs from his sword between dodges.

To the sidelines, an ashen-faced acolyte fumbled with his scrolls, knowing he had erred.
Quote
Like
Share

Chimaed
Citizen of the World
Joined: December 24th, 2013, 2:25 am

January 5th, 2018, 9:18 pm #8

Chimaed couldn't help but scoff at his claim of trapping ghosts, but felt too exhausted to elaborate on what sort of beast Aputsiaq really was. When she had caught him, he had gone done like liquid thorns and, in any case, once he was trapped, it was inevitable that he would get back out.

No, he needed to die, to truly die, or else there would be no end.

She followed him out in a sort of haze, eyes trained on her feet. She was half-listening to Reimu, half-contemplating how to find and end her former lover, when Reimu swiftly switched subjects and said something about a spirit beast.

Before she could comprehend what he had said, he was off, robes flapping behind him. She tilted her head, repeating the sounds that had reached her ears in her head until they coalesced into words: “A spirit beast has escaped. I must stop it.”

She squinted through the rain of sunlight and saw the wide arc of a black tentacle and then the sudden appearance of a circle of soldiers.

"Damn," she said, half in awe, half in irritation. Amorizia had sent her here for some peace of mind, and what had she found? Feeling the electric tide of magic surge through her body, Chimaed thought that she would have to rub this one in Amorizia's face when she got back to the brothel.

Light coiled from her hand and became a whip, long tail swinging to the ground. Wrapping it into her fist, Chimaed rushed forward. She slipped her small body between the ranks of soldiers and caught the beast across the back with a streak of white light.
Quote
Like
Share