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    Lineage : Tanuki Yōkai
    Position : Goddess of Mystery
    Posts : 2950
    Guild : Black Rose [GM]
    Cosmic Coins : 3
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Age : 21
    Experience : 1,524,580
    Brownie Points : 444

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Glacier God Slayer
    Second Magic: Nerium Anomaly
    Third Magic:

    Star HOPELESS MASQUERADE ♦ oneshot

    Post by Izayuki on 24th October 2016, 7:37 pm

    Hopeless Masquerade

    "Fancy seeing you again," she chimed in a musical voice that was just as warm and joyous as it had ever been, even in times that were not so full of hope. The Yuurei began to materialize once more as moonlight illuminated her form to be much more vibrant, almost glistening in the silver light. As she began to manifest as a visible spirit, she quickly turn around to catch her daughter, who was falling as she spoke and left the body and mind of the youthful Youkai. It was customary for the Ubume Bakedanuki spirit to use a bit of her own power to ensure that her daughter was in a deep sleep before materializing. After all, without Rika's direct presence within the young tanuki, her daughter would be unable to control the ability to maintain her present shape, and would fall into her 'true' human appearance. In that form, Izayuki's trauma had been sealed away, blocking the effect the painful memories would have, while not erasing or hiding the memories themselves. If anything, the memories were numbed, and would have little to no present effect on Izayuki, other than the instinctual fear that led her to both avoid, hate, and will revenge on the one who had caused her so much strife.

    But right now, there was another reason the Bakedanuki Yuurei was materializing again. With precognition that was extremely limited, she managed to plan this so the timelines would fall just as she needed. She only had to ensure that Izayuki was in the right place, at the right time. They were near a rather quiet village, but only lingered on the outskirts in the actual forest, with moonlight shining down on the tiny clearing they were in. The silver light of that rock illuminated his pale, light cobalt blue hair and his aquamarine eyes. His clothing was white, as she remembered, and his figure was tall with a rather strong and sturdy build. He was handsome, and Rika remembered the time she had fallen in love with him. How had it all fallen apart? "Inteus..."

    "Long time no see..." the tiger Youkai replied with a wide characteristic grin, revealing his glistening white teeth and fangs in his smile. His ears were a darker blue with a light shading of black over the tips of the fur, and naturally, felid in nature. He had an extremely long obsidian and azura tail poking out from behind, waving back and forth in a bold and confident manner. From what the Ubume could tell, he had not changed one bit. "... Rika. Look at you now, as striking as ever, love~"

    Rika only chuckled slightly, Izayuki still in her arms as she quietly moved the ginger-haired girl's body to the base of a tree with a thick, smooth trunk. The Yuurei gently leaned her daughter up against it, before slowly and gracefully standing back up and facing Inteus. "You really have not changed at all, have you?" she said with a grin of her own, walking over to the tiger Youkai and stopping right in front of him. "Except, as you may have noticed, I'm not the same at all... I died a few months after our daughter was born."

    Inteus's grin faded. Naturally, he did notice that she was no longer a full Youkai, full of breath and life. She was only an empty Yuurei, devoid of what she once had, and only remained in this world thanks to unfinished business. He remembered meeting the young Bakedanuki, Rika, and quickly being able to charm and seduce the Youkai Noble. He was a rogue, however, and she was a Noble, a princess, even, if one wanted to be extremely formal about it. She was the daughter of Arashi, the 'top' Youkai around, and undeniably the most powerful. Her name came from the Eastern term for storm, 'Arashi', the only being to exist that could literally turn her entire essence into a storm of frightening proportions. In that state, Arashi had killed many, and had worked her way up with ease to becoming the most respected and feared Youkai in their entire society. It mattered not what world, all of them had a general idea that she was the one in charge, and they knew to obey her and not get in the way, or else consequences would be delivered, which usually ended up in the theft and the removal of their life. Inteus had full well known this, but he did not care. He dared not affiliate with any party, including the society of all Mononoke, even if he was one.

    Nevertheless, Rika had already been having troubles within her family. Her sister, Moka, had left the Ayakashi altogether out of love, and turned herself into a witch to join the Majonuki family. The Bakedanukis had not supported or blessed this at all, but Rika was determined to protect her sister from the wrath of their angry, overpowered mother. She somehow managed to keep Moka hidden from the eyes of their vengeful mother, even while she did not completely agree with the decision her imouto had made. Later on, however, she herself had been struck by love's invincible and unquestioned power when she had met Inteus. His smooth talk had swayed her innocent and naive heart, all while he wrapped her in his full love, true and unbreakable. For once, he too, felt whole and complete with her. However, their marriage would never have been blessed by Arashi or any of the Nobles in their civilization, as he was a rogue. That in mind, their laws and rules were not enough to stop the stubborn tanuki and tiger, who eloped together and ran away.

    Eventually, the two impulsive mamono brought themselves to a small continent that often went unnoticed. It was dotted with cultures of its own, and had a beautiful landscape; snow-capped mountains, meadows full of various sorts of flowers and wildlife, and forests that were home to many marvelous trees, plants, flora, and fauna. For the most part, Inteus and Rika had managed to seal their power and proof of their existence, as if they had vanished from the very universe and heavens. With their shapeshifting abilities, they both took the forms of humble raccoon dogs, already indigenous to the land, and planned to live peaceful lives there. If only they could have...

    That one night when the tiger Youkai was out alone, he was attacked, having been caught in his true feline form. After all, what Youkai was capable of maintaining a transformation for so long? With his magical seal gone, he was quickly located by the other Youkai and charged with having kidnapped Rika, and thus captured. As they had agreed earlier, Rika was not permitted to come to his aid. He had made her promise to hide, and to just allow him to be taken, in order to save their children. If Rika were to return to the Youkai, and their children permitted to have been born, they would have been treated poorly, being illegitimate children in the eyes of Arashi, and that was something that both parents could simply not allow. With a heart full of sorrow, Rika had realized she needed to let her husband go, and focus on the children she knew that she was pregnant with. They would be born out of season for raccoon dogs, which was in the spring. Instead, she expected them to come by fall or winter, which were the moons that tanukis typically hibernated through. Would their family even be successful? It was something that the Bakedanuki feared, but she could not break her seal and allow them to be born as Mononoke... eventually they would prove to her that they had the capabilities and powers of a Youkai, or they would not. Either way, the soon to be mother would love them and care for them no matter what they were... she only hoped that they could survive the cold seasons and make it to spring.

    By the time their children had been born, all alone without their father, Rika could already feel her power growing weaker. She had three beautiful children, but in the next few weeks to come, two had already died off, one after the other. It only left one small child, an interesting little female canine, the smallest of the litter, who Rika dared not to name yet. Why name something, for fear that you might lose them at any time? The small she-pup had lush, brown fur, intriguing pink eyes, but as she grew, the mother raccoon dog could only notice that she did not grow by much. Even at four moons, when a tanuki was about ready to leave their parents, she still appeared to be a two month old cub. Naturally, Rika was growing concerned, but still continued to act normal and realistic around her child, not daring to reveal her identity to the child that she was not a real animal, but a supernatural Mamono. Did this child, too, have the powers of one? Only time could tell, but time was quickly running out. The seal strained the tanuki, as she felt its power grow. If it remained, would she eventually be consumed by it, and reduced to no more than a typical mammal? Not that it would be too cruel of a fate... who knew, it could even be peaceful.

    Then came that fateful day. Her tiny child was lingering close behind as they tread throughout the forests of Shadelle, but the last thing that Rika expected was to miss that snare she ran into. It caught tightly around her neck, and began squeezing at her throat and tearing into it with barbs as she struggled. Its goal? To strangle and suffocate her to death. The baby tanuki quickly scampered a few meters away, watching the mother struggle with her pink eyes wide open in horror. At this moment, Rika knew that she could no longer hide it. In order to escape, she would have to release her seal temporarily, and pray to whatever benevolent deities were out there that they would not find her and her baby. Rika paused for a moment, barely able to breathe, and tried to summon the magic and Youkai energy needed to release her powers once again. She tried again and again, but to no avail. Something was blocking out her energy altogether. Was it true? Was she now really stuck like this? It could not be! This snare was about to kill her, and she had to survive, for her daughter! Coughing as she fought to breathe, Rika focused her green gaze on her child. She tried to speak, but could not find the words to leave her vocal chords. So her speculations were right... she was trapped, and now she would likely never get out of this alive. In anger, Rika attempted to pull at the snare, summoning whatever brute strength she had in her natural form to assist her in potentially breaking or freeing her from the snare.

    The puppy a few meters away whimpered and released soft cries as she watched her mother fight the snare. Eventually, Rika discovered that she was only hurting herself more by fighting the snare, and that she had more effective ways to spend the last bits of her time while she bled out and suffocated, rather than snapping her own neck so quickly with the evil hunting device. Fixing her mix of jade and emerald colored eyes on the child, Rika let out a soft whine and tried to coax her child to her. Hesitantly, the pup began to move forward, crouching on her belly as she inched her way towards the injured and dying, adult tanuki. Once the child was within comfortable range, Rika reached out her paws and attempted to scoop her daughter up and hold her in a way that she never could have done before, as it was completely unnatural. At this point, she did not care. The child blinked those strange pink eyes in confusion, but did not resist, and merely accepted the odd embrace. Rika nuzzled the cub's soft brown fur, and quietly awaited for it to grip her while her emotions and mind swarmed with regret. First Moka... then her home... then Inteus... then her children... now herself, which only led this little one to be left. Life certainly was cruel, and unfair. Death was like a beast, with vicious fangs now securely pressed against the back of her neck, as sharpened claws gripped her body. She could feel its hot breath and smell the stench of it as the grip of claws tightened and the evil jaws began to close. As she held her child, death finally snapped down, and consumed her life; her spirit left her body, leaving behind an empty body that began to grow ever colder, as the child released miserable cries into the night.

    Moons passed, the child eventually moved on, and found her own powers and abilities as a Youkai, before too long. The spirit of the Bakedanuki mother, however, was not able to pass on quietly to rest. She was stirred by her unfinished business on earth, and as such, was completely unable to move on peacefully. The Ubume Yuurei, or motherly spirit, took it upon herself to get help from the only person she knew would help her: her sister, Moka. The Majonuki witch was not completely willing, but recalling how Rika had assisted her, Moka helped put Rika's spirit inside an old jar of sake. The soul's presence with her would keep her spirit safely attached to the earth, and allow her to materialize when needed. All she had to do was hide the sake bottle someplace safe, where it would not be disturbed. Easier said than done, but the Yuurei eventually found a safe place to hide her soul's new container, and before long, she managed to find her daughter again. In her short time away, it seemed like her child had already discovered some Mononoke abilities of her own, having shapeshifted while in dangerous. The small raccoon dog was doing well, taking to heart her mother's silent lessons of surviving, living, and thriving.

    The child finally discovered numerous transformations all on her own, and appeared to practice them frequently, slowly growing a conscious mind that was self aware. Eventually, the ever so young tanuki moved from the peaceful island continent of Shadelle to the mainland of Fiore. Rika observed as her daughter began experimenting with her powers more, and her newly-taken human shape. After haunting a village, a favorite Ayakashi passtime, she was eventually captured, however. It was at that moment when the Yuurei was about to jump in to defend her daughter, only to find that the village was not ready to drive her out or execute her. Surprisingly, the young tanuki was taken in by the village, to be adopted as one of their own. The Yuurei observed a person who took a particular interest in the child, his name being Naugrem. With ease, she noted how he too was a Youkai- a feline one at that, reminding her instantly of Inteus- hidden within the village, safely disguised as a human. From what she could also see, the young Bakedanuki had already given herself a name, and a rather interesting one at that. The child perceived the moon of the month, or the day, rather, as izayoi, the sixteenth age of the moon of a month. Her first year had already passed, but instead of being inside the den at the time, the young one also began to witness her first snow as the early snowflakes began to fall from the sky. Putting the words together in her newly-aware mind, Izayoi, a sixteen day old moon, and snow, she formed her own name: Izayuki.

    Rika marveled at the early intelligence at her child, and continued to watch her growth in the village happily. It was not too long until tragedy struck again, however, and finally that dreadful blizzard came, an unnatural, divine, magical one that eternally froze and thus killed everyone in the village. Young Izayuki had been told to run and escape, and find some warm burrow, den, or shelter to hide in. Unable to take the cold, however, she collapsed on the side of a barren hill in the snow, slowly feeling the life draining from her as the cold overtook her. Horrified, the Yuurei spirit directed all of her power into warming the pup and curling her ethereal body around the young one, determined to give her any kind of warmth to help her survive. The very one named after snow could not be killed by it! That would be wrong, and too dark to be ironic. The blizzard continued on, and though it had magical and holy aspects about it, Rika refused to notice anything supernatural or grand as she tried to keep the small tanuki in the snow alive.

    That was when it all completely changed. A figure moved in the snow, but left no footprints. She had pure white hair and wore a light lavender kimono, matching cruel violet eyes, fine pursed lips, and a cold expression. Curiosity struck the strange figure as she gazed down at the unconscious and sleeping tanuki. It was breathing, obviously still alive, despite her power having taken out all of the wildlife, trees, animals, and humans. What a resilient young creature... the icy woman reached down towards the young tanuki. As soon as Rika recognized the figure, however, she instantly used her power to conceal her own presence and continue to watch in horror. She recognized the deity instantly as it gracefully crouched down near her daughter. Who could not recognize that frozen aura and remember the stories? Known by many names, Skadi, Marzanna, and more, but to the Youkai, she was called Yukionna. The Snow Woman. What was she doing here? What did she have against the poor village that had taken in the Bakedanuki's daughter?

    As Yukionna's hand reached down to touch Izayuki, Rika attempted to look away. Yes, she knew what was coming. Starting from the area on the shoulder where the ice goddess touched, the young raccoon dog's lovely brown fur began to rapidly change to a color of bright silver, the divine power permanently staining the tanuki's appearance. The Yuurei watched in horror as then the ice goddess gently picked up the unconscious tanuki and began walking off once again, leaving no footprints in her tracks. Rika could only wait and watch in terror throughout the coming years at what events would be unfolded. Unravelling, Rika watched the growing Mononoke tormented in dangerous training sessions, barely making it out alive in the process. When the small tanuki would not obey or failed a task or training, Yukionna was quick to punish her with either torture or severe neglect and seclusion for long periods at a time. Confined to the darkness of the present, Izayuki's mind and spirit began to deteriorate as soon Yukionna took advantage of the youthful Youkai's will and freedom, even luring the adolescent into acts that Rika dare not try to recall or dwell upon. She watched the goddess force Izayuki into a powerful magic state, where she completely lost control, and was truly a mindless slave to the deity, only to remove the mysterious spell of force from her at the tail end of the events to expose her to the horror of her uncontrolled actions.

    Rika's malevolent hate of Yukionna grew, as she was powerless to stop the omnipotent Glacier Goddess and save the enslaved Glacier God Slayer, her daughter. Eventually a time came where Izayuki truly did want to break away from the secluded and lonely realm of ice and cold. Snagging onto those yearning emotions, Rika summoned her weakened power to try to hide her daughter's existence, at least temporarily, from her cruel mistress. With success, Izayuki ran away, departing completely from the realm of Yukionna after many years of agonizing 'training'. Eventually, the Youkai found humans again, but her personality never mirrored what she once had. After all, the child had been a shining light within the village that had taken her in, but now, she had grown, and only could carry hate, anger, bitterness, and regret as she continued on through life, even after finding another family who allowed her to stay with them. The sorrow built for the Yuurei, seeing her daughter to have grown into a pathetic and despairing being, with barely any will to move on and live with the threat of her former master finding her again. Eventually her fears were confirmed as Yukionna found her again, killing the water magic user, Felicia, who had cared for Izayuki and one other child, an apprentice, Azalea. Azalea and Izayuki were separated, leaving the Yuurei and her daughter to conclude that Azalea too, had died.

    The despair built within Izayuki, leading her to darker and even more negative thoughts. Any light of happiness and hope was slipping away; all of the memories had far too great a trauma on the still young Bakedanuki. Finally, the Ubume Yuurei could not stand for it anymore, watching her daughter continue down her dark and despairing trail, hopeless. What else was there to do? To intervene, which was something that Rika had not wanted to directly do. It was too late to reconsider, however, as she fused her spirit into Izayuki's mind, using her own energy as a means to seal off the effects of the past from the memories themselves. The last thing she would do was erase the memories completely, as that would change everything far too much, and would change or even harm Izayuki as an individual. Besides, one could never completely erase memories- only shatter and scatter them, and eventually they would be sought out again. Rika had watched this process plenty of times in the past, and would not allow her daughter to repeat it. Thus, directing the effects and trauma elsewhere was the best bet. The Yuurei was able to project the simple idea into the youthful girl, as a price would be needed. That price was simple; her default human form. Rika would lock away the memories in that body, never to be accessed again, while Izayuki would unconsciously dare not fall into that transformation. Instead, the tanuki girl took a new form, with ginger hair and an ever so slightly taller and lankier build, as opposed to her former one. Nevertheless, it was slightly more fitting of her age, anyway, and she had not once lost any of the beauty and charm Rika admired in her.

    And from there, Izayuki had discovered the Black Rose guild as she continued to venture into human society, hiding her Youkai identity for the present. That was fine; it would all come in time. For now, she only had to grow stronger, to fulfill her goal: she would kill Yukionna, and take revenge for the past.

    "I know," Inteus replied, breaking the long stream of reminiscing flowing in circles in Rika's tired mind. His former mate was close, and though she was a spirit, she was materialized enough for him to touch. Thus, the large feline Youkai took the Bakedanuki woman into his arms, holding her close in a hug. "You have not been granted one second of rest. But I have a hint of what you are wanting to do. You realized the human in my blood, and thus, the human in hers..."

    The hug took the Yuurei by surprise as she felt his warm embrace once again. How had things gotten so muddled so quickly? If only it could have been like this forever...
    "Izayuki. That's her name. And I knew since the beginning that you had human blood, but I didn't care," Rika said, reaching her hand up slightly to wipe a small tear from her emerald eyes, a small smile on her face. "But right now, she can't move on or get stronger unless she is purely human, or purely Youkai. Her nature is far closer to that of an Ayakashi and not man. I could do what I need to do myself, but that would completely sever my connection with Iza..."

    "Such a pretty name, and I take it she named herself? Not bad," Inteus responded proudly, before addressing the rest of what his former lover had to say with a bit of a graver look in his blue eyes. "So... you're going to see her then, are you?"

    Rika only nodded. "That Enenra Youkai owes me a favor. She can pay it off this way. But the reason I brought Izayuki here is because it may take me some time to locate and to get Kemuira to help me. If Izayuki wakes up without me, she might fall back into her old form and find the trauma that I sealed away from her. So I need you to use your powers to block those memory effects from her until I return. You can keep her asleep, or allow her to wake up... I don't care. Just... protect Izayuki from herself."

    The feline Youkai listened intently before he cracked another small, characteristic grin in order to reply. "Just some daddy-daughter time, is that right? I would not mind that at all, Rika. Just be careful... we both know how unpredictable that Enenra is. I wouldn't want to mess with her a second time."

    Nodding, the Bakedanuki Yuurei mirrored his grin, a bit of her own air of mischief and character coming to her expression. "That's right. And it's a pretty darn good thing that that shifty Smoke Youkai is indebted to me, right? It's not like this is a huge favor. I hope to be back long before two days have passed. Enough time for you to get acquainted with your girl."

    Rika paused for a minute as Inteus nodded, before she continued on with her other point. "Another thing- avoid mentioning me. Izayuki can hear my voice and guideance sometimes, and feel my presence, but she knows not of my existence. For now, I want to keep it that way. I shall reveal myself to her in my own time."
    Another satisfying grin from the handsome male before her, who crossed his arms and allowed his tail to majestically flick back and forth in the way she remembered. He silently agreed, and the Bakedanuki Ubume could read that from him with ease. Chuckling slightly, she gently and tenderly broke from his embrace and took a few steps backward. With the two of them meeting eyes, the farewell was made, and their pact and agreement solidified. Rika began to slowly fade from visible sight, but would lightly and quickly travel as fast as she could through the spirit realm, determined to find the ever so elusive Smoke of Lightweight Fabric.

    Location;; Spooky Forest
    Muse;; 10/10
    Word Count;; 4,504


    [ Black Rose Guildmaster ] ♦ [ Bakedanuki ] ♦ [ Glacier God Slayer ]

      Current date/time is 17th January 2019, 4:26 am