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✩Vanity Dawn✩ [Beloved] [Private]

When people in other countries speak at length about "Tea Country" it is often a safe assumption that they are speaking in particular about Kurosawa City as it is indisputably the beating heart of the country's bustling industry and strong trade economy. Built at the very southern tip of the country into a natural bay area, Kurosawa City, this city is densely populated surrounded by an idyllic countryside on three sides and the bay along the western aspect. In the distant horizon a mountain-range can be seen. Most of the area beyond Kurosawa's walls is farmland with sparsely populated small towns and winding dirt roads which contrasts with Kurosawa's narrow, cobblestone streets and neatly lined up rows of houses. The city is quite modern, money appears to be a source of power here. The streets are flanked with vendors, even in the residential areas, selling their wares but once night comes these streets are empty.

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✩Vanity Dawn✩ [Beloved] [Private]

Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:08 pm

Slice.
Swish.
Stab.
Slice.

(Too slow.) Azusa critiqued herself, displeased with the sound her blade, Liberator of Darkness, slicing through the air of the training grounds available to her. Though a far comparison from the Toraono Dojo she had called home in Suna, the various participants of the tournament were not left without resources available to them. Food and shelter were provided to the rooms they stayed at of course.

But as fighters, they were given access to private areas to train themselves between matches. Separated by village, and each likely as fully furnished as the personal training ground Azusa currently had claimed for herself. She was intrigued by the various weapons and tools available within the dojo and its storage room; though of course she preferred her own weapon, the unnecessarily long odachi greatweapon.

She swung her blade again, her gold hair tied back in a ponytail swayed behind her with each of her movements as if it were another one of her golden tails.

(Too slow. Too slow!) She repeated within her mind. Her attacks were off. She could feel it. It was not that her swordplay was unrefined; infact her strikes were precise and stuck to her form. Physically, her body knew the motions to go through. The issue was...

Her mind was elsewhere.

She recalled the first round of the tournament; she was unable to end her battle when she performed her (self proclaimed) ultimate technique. It was unsightly; it should have left her opponent with no room to counter her. The fact that he had remained moving afterward was an error on her own part.

"...Hmph." She sheathed her greatsword, deciding to take a momentary break from her attempts at clearing her mind. She moved to an outdoor balcony lining the outside of the sparring area, gazing out to the ever-so-lively city. (I was unfocused. I lost sight of that Kaji far too frequently. Had we been anywhere other than an open area...) She grit her teeth together. During the battle, her mind had been drawn elsewhere frequently. Fortunately she had been able to fight well enough regardless, but...
...But what if she would have lost? Azusa desired the attention and recognition of all, and as if the large crowds from all over the world were not a grand enough stage for her, she also knew past and current Kazekage were present in the Tea Country. With such a crowd, how could she afford for her performance to be anything less than her best?

She needed to clear the doubt in her heart before she returned to the arena for further matches....And for that reason, left her favorite knight very specific instructions to meet her as she trained. Perhaps he might of noticed the disturbance occurring in the streets along the way...But Azusa herself was slightly preoccupied.

But at least the breeze and sweet air was refreshing...
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Re: Vanity Dawn [Beloved] [Private]

Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:47 pm

Slowly Riyota's eyes fluttered open and he immediately felt a dull pain on his forehead and felt something in front of his face. "Alright...not the most normal wake up I've had...but also not the strangest." Reaching up to rub his forehead he felt the end of a pin, and on front of his face a sheet of paper. Slowly pulling the pin out of the flesh of his forehead he attempted to read the letter with blurry, groggy vision. He could just about make out Azusa's name on the bottom however. "Always with the letters...we're living in the same quarters right now could she not've just woken me up?" He asked himself as he got to his feet and out of bed. Preparing to bathe, brush his teeth and generally get ready for the day. Leaving the note on the counter to read later.

One Hour Later


Clean, clothed and awake, the young man finally got around to reading the letter. It seemed peacefully celebrating Azusa's recent victory was not in the cards today. His Lady appeared to have other plans. With a sigh he made sure his prosthetic was secured properly. Just in case. And with that, he made his way to Azusa's private dojo.

It took him a little while to get there, having gotten lost, then proceeding to ask a shady individual for directions, then getting more lost and being offered to purchase something called 'Vigor Agraris' ...whatever that was, the person seemed certain it would make him endlessly popular with the ladies. Given recent events, Riyota wasn't sure that was something he wanted nor needed currently.

Eventually he found himself in what he could only hope was the correct spot. It certainly seemed...dojo-y enough. Entering into it he heard various fighters practicing for their upcoming rounds. Eventually he came across the voice he recognised. His Lady Kitsune herself, sounding like she was practicing with a rather heavy weapon. Not wanting to distract her Riyota quietly opened the door and crept in.

Taking great care not to make any sort of distracting sound and just observe until he was ready, the young man crept behind her, trying to make his way to a chair on the other side of the room. The attempt, was unsuccessful. As he crept Azusa attempted a flashy special move of some kind, leaping backwards and letting the blade swing in a mighty arc. As the blade swung back though, the fox would only hear a mixture of a thud and a squelch. If she turned around to look at what her sword had impacted, she would see a slightly unamused Riyota with a large cleft in his face. Which thankfully was slowly patching up. "I have to say, your greetings are getting less and less friendly." He chuckled as his face finished stitching itself back together. "You left a note for me to come see you? You are aware I am within talking distance...right?" He asked, still a tad confused at why she hadn't just asked him to come with her earlier in the morning.

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Re: Vanity Dawn [Beloved] [Private]

Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:26 am

From the balcony, Azusa gazed off into the streets. Such a lively place the country was; she was curious just how much of this was due to the tournament, and what the city had been like in is normal state. She loved it. The excitement, the crowds, the culture...why, even the sweet fragrance of the air was delightful! The desert fox inhaled the air...

"Achoo!" Her nose and ear twitched. (Ah..the air here is so distinct. Could this be the scent of the sea even here? The desert air is so dry in comparison...The lands beyond Suna are so odd.) It was not an unpleasant scent; however, she had come to this dojo to refine her skill, and returned inside the training room.

...And her first attack collided with a target, to her surprise. The kitsune smirked; rather than worry about the 'victim', she instead brushed her fingers gentle across the hilt of her blade, mouthing a quick "thank you" as a small prayer of thanks. Her sword was an excellent partner, and always looked out for her afterall.


Turning to Riyota, who's regenerative capabilities had already began kicking in; "Perhaps that was abit rude of me. Allow me to try once more; good morning, Riyota." Azusa spoke, offering her knight a "smile" rather than a swordstrike as a greeting. To say her expression was warm would be an understatement; it was akin the blazing sun on a hot day, with no shade in sight."I see you managed to awaken on your own. Forgive me, but I felt it was not my place to disturb a slumber that was so...unsightly. Were you aware that you drool from the left corner of your mouth every three nights?" She spoke, deflecting the issue of not waking him. It certainly wasn't for any lack of effort on her part; we are speaking about someone who snored through her forceful (and successful) attempt at pinning a letter to his face. And she was not exactly gentle.

Azusa again sheathed her blade, deciding to put her training on halt for the moment. She outstretched her free hand to point to a table in the corner of the room, which she soon moved to sit at, her tails curling to her side. "Tell me, Riyota. My strikes feel off; what did you think of my battle? I know the crowd was large, and full of many little...distractions. I do hope they did not prevent my precious knight from seeing me? That would be most unfortunate..." She spoke. Of course, her smile never left her face since speaking to him.
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Re: Vanity Dawn [Beloved] [Private]

Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:25 pm

For a second Riyota could've sworn the Azusa looked pleased that her blade had struck him in the face, but he shook the thought from his mind. His eye was damaged, it was likely he was mistaken. When his face was full repaired, he received a far more pleasant greeting from the kitsune, which he returned. Bowing he politely responded "And good Morning to you, Lady Azusa. I hope you slept well." It was quite a while ago that she had made it clear that he no longer need refer to her as 'Lady' but it had become a force of habit for the young man, and it wasn't as if Azusa was against the title. It appealed to her sense of self-importance at the very least.

He smirked a little bit when Azusa began to tell him of her wish not to disturb his sleep, expecting her to take it in the direction of not wishing to disturb a peaceful slumber. Instead a blush crept across his face and his eyes dropped to stare at the floor as she explained that his sleeping form was 'unsightly' to her. "I-...I...I, I...n-no...my Lady, I was not aware...I...apologise." He sighed, not bothering to question how or why she knew such precise specifics about his unconscious drooling.

He saw her hand indicate to a table in the corner of the room and obediently he sat down opposite her. Despite her smile he got the uneasy feeling that all was not well at this moment. Azusa rarely insulted him in such a passive-aggressive nature. Normally she was blunt yet playful with her mockery. This situation felt almost like a parent waiting for the opportune time to shout at their child for wrongdoings. Evidenced entirely by Azusa's next statement, eerily similar to the classic "Is there something you want to tell me?"

"I thought you were fierce yet elegant my Lady, I was so proud of the way you fought!" He stated quickly, clutching her hands in his, hoping to butter her up. "Of course, a few other spectators blocked my view of your magnificence, but I dealt with them as quickly as I could." He explained the half-truth.
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Re: ✩Vanity Dawn✩ [Beloved] [Private]

Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:30 am

Seeing Riyota's reaction to her very, very detailed observation of his sleeping traits caused her tails to briefly sway side to side; a sign of her amusement. "Ohoho..." The kitsune laughed to herself.

When he took the seat opposite of her and began to speak, he took hold of her hands, and she returned the gesture. They felt so warm to her; even his prosthetic hand from the wound she inflicted felt comforting, despite the fox normally hating what it had reminded her of. "...Is that so? I am pleased, Riyota." The kitsune listened to Riyota's explanation. Of course, hearing that he had been watching her and was pleased by her performance was a sweet sound to her large ears. But it was not enough to 'clear' the doubts in her mind.

Azusa watched ever-so-closely; his words, the soothing sound of his voice. His facial expression; his gaze making her heart ache for doubting his loyalty. His body gesture, his posture being one of utmost comfort in her presence. His scent; she could not tell as the sweet smell of the outside air still burned at her nose. These were all things the vixen was taking keen observation of for the slightest sign of something she disliked; something that she could use to 'confirm' her doubts that Riyota was anything but 110% dedicated to her. But the more intently she observed...well...

*thump-thump*
*thump-thump*
*thump-thump*

After a moment Azusa rose from her seat; her goals had shifted. Still holding onto Riyota's hands, she moved beside him. At the same time her tails moved behind her, reaching across the room. What, exactly, they were doing wouldn't be seen; but the sound that came from behind Azusa was metallic and light being slid across the floor. Azusa paid no mind to this, her focus entirely on her gorgeous knight; "...I have realized that this city is...dangerous, Riyota." She spoke, the expression of hers softening from her previous sharp smile. "My handsome knight. You would take on any task for me...face any threat. And yet...I am worried. For as strong as your body is, your heart may be vulnerable to lies and tricks." Her grip attempted to follow his arms up to his chin, her gaze noting just how broad his shoulders were now...how defined lines of his jaw. She felt proud to have the loyalty of such a shinobi.

And worried. "You are my favorite treasure, Riyota. During my fight...I was...distracted by the thought of you being taken away. I had originally called you here to spar with me...but I just now had a better idea..." If someone from Suna were to steal Riyota, she would chase them across the desert and scatter their remains to the sandy dunes. But here? The thought of that dark woman in the stands approaching her knight so brazenly made her ears bristle. If someone were to lure him onto a ship and sail to another country...how could she possibly track that? Of course she would try; even if it meant forfeiting her position to fight for her village and the chance to prove herself before the Kage.

...By why take that risk? She was a shrewd vixen, and came up with a ploy to minimize her worries and maximize her comfort; sometimes the best way to protect a treasure was to hide it away from the world. A buried chest, a stash of currency in a wall, a fortune in a hidden tomb...or Riyota in a private dojo.

Her tails, previously reaching for a chain in the corner of the room, brought it near her hand, and, hoping for her knight to be paying the utmost attention to her words, she skillfully switched from stroking his cheek softly to attempting to snap the binding at the end around Riyota's neck.

...Meanwhile, an warning outside the training grounds finally warned about the "sweet air" Azusa had enjoyed from the balcony earlier, now coursing through her bloodstream;
ATTENTION LADIES AND GENTLEMEN... THERE HAS BEEN A TERRIBLE ACCIDENT. AN EXPERIMENTAL PHEROMONE HAS BEEN RELEASED ACCIDENTALLY. PLEASE VACATE THE STREETS AND SEEK A BASIC ANTIDOTE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!

Azusa paid no mind to the announcement; afterall, they were inside, were they not? Besides, she was too preoccupied with giving Riyota her full attention. "It is said that one does not understand the value of something until one loses it...Such a thing I could never allow. We will begin your rehabilitation immediately." Make no mistake; Azusa was all about claiming more treasures for herself, such as her opponent in the tournament. Especially if it meant claiming them from another's hands.
....But she refused to allow the reverse to happen. (link)
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Re: ✩Vanity Dawn✩ [Beloved] [Private]

Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:01 pm

Riyota could tell he had sedated the vixen for the time being. It appeared he had managed to delay his destruction for a bit longer. Azusa no longer gave off a vibe of disguised rage but more of an affectionate, loving feel. She seemed intently interested in looking at Riyota, which caused the shinobi to blush a deep shade of red. He was not used to such interest from anyone, unused to being the object of someone's focus. He enjoyed the feeling but at the same time, was offput by it. It didn't feel right. Azusa directing so much affection and attention towards him when usually she would be playfully teasing him or scratching cuts into his flesh which made them both shiver with joy of a...well a...private nature.

Azusa stood, still keeping her hands in his, warming the metal of his prosthetic with her palm, she made her way behind the young man and for a moment he closed his eyes and breathed in deeply, breathing his first strong whiff of the toxin within the air a mixture of the sweet natural scent mixed with a scent that brought him happiness and comfort. Azusa's natural aroma. A mixture of lavender and spice. When Riyota opened his eyes again he saw the face of the woman he loved, and his gaze focused intently on her eyes. A dopey smile came across his face. The fire of his love reinvigorated with a fresh new fuel, somehow, perhaps it was the lighting. His Lady Azusa managed to possess more beauty than she ever had prior. Riyota was hypnotised by her expression, affectionate yet always determined, and her beautiful, soft blonde hair.

He was lost in her features, and only after a long while did reality begin to seep back in and he could hear her speak once more. Her voice sounded ever-sweeter than it had before. She spoke of how Riyota was her favourite treasure, how she was worried that his affections could potentially be stolen away by others. She feared his emotions would betray his raw strength. The shinobi couldn't believe he had hurt her in such a way to distract her like this. He tried to think back to the tournament, to the woman whom had presumably tried to seduce him, but for whatever reason. He could picture no-one but Azusa.

Finally, Riyota spoke. "My heart remains as loyal to me, as I do to you. None could dream of stealing my affection from you. As none could possess the glorious, beautiful and elegant pride held within your soul." He smiled, running his real hand softly down her cheek. He caught her gaze again and spoke softly once more. "There's something just so amazing about your eyes, those eyes captured my loyalty all those years ago."

The sappy dialogue between the two would be enough to cause an outside observer to vomit, provided they weren't also under the effect of the nefarious toxin. However, with a soft click and the feeling of cold metal against his neck Riyota had been captured. Yet, his influenced brain found it difficult to care. Azusa was happy, and if she was happy, so was he. "You don't need to chain me to keep me with you." He smirked, feeling the chakra flowing through the metal. "But if it pleases you to see me like this, I can play along." Under the table a tendril of flesh snaked out of his ankle and moved towards a similar chain on the opposite side of the room.

"However..." He smiled, with the same adoration as before, another tendril of flesh forming out of his hand, attempting to wrap its way around Azusa's waist. "Two can play at this game, I'm not a complete pushover." He teased, sticking out his tongue as he attempted to gently carry Azusa closer to the chain and snap it around her neck. Ideally leaving them both restrained to the wall. "So here we are, both prisoners to one another,
my Lady. I didn't want you just walking off and leaving me alone. So now it's an interesting situation we find ourselves in."
He grinned, staring at her adoringly.
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Re: ✩Vanity Dawn✩ [Beloved] [Private]

Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:51 am

Riyota, her proud knight. Riyota, her protector. Riyota, her favorite toy. The last thing she had desired was to cause him trauma. When he spoke to her, both her grip along the collar and her conviction loosened. She shut her eyes to better focus entirely on the touch of his hand across her cheek, nuzzling it.

She wanted to believe his words, how he sworn that his heart remained only hers. How her strength and beauty had left him enthralled; she wanted to believe as she felt her body pulled against her knight's. They were exactly what she had desired to hear; she desired nothing more than to reward such fealty to her in a way they both had come to love. Her pulse raced as she felt herself lifted, her free hand scooping the collar of his shirt into her grip while her other held the collar.
She did believe his intentions were honest. The thought of Riyota ever lying to her...well, the thought never occurred to her mind.

She did not doubt his loyalty to her...But he was a male. The Kitsune believed his mind was weak; vulnerable to seduction that could lure his attention away from her. Her soul ached for what she had planned. But...

...She convinced herself it was for the best. Something that -had- to be done to guarantee his eyes would only see herself for all eternity. A treatment. His Rehabilitation.

With a click, she felt a collar fastened around her neck. A chill ran through her spine and now-swaying tails, the unfamiliar event leaving her body feeling light and her golden ears perky. "Oh....Oh? To use such an obscene power on me...to chain me no less...Were it not for my adoration, I would never forgive you♥" She opened her emerald eyes, her gaze having a bittersweet expression.

Riyota...his expectant gaze was like that of a puppy's. She knew her conviction was plummeting with every second she remain in Riyota's presence, that she had softspot for him that made her weak. (If only you knew how badly I desire to melt to your touch, Riyota. Before I become enthralled by you and give in to the part of me pleading to show you mercy...Forgive me, Riri.) She needed to continue. Even if it meant causing Riyota "momentary" distress.

"Vanity Dawn." The fox said. Immediately after, she stomped on the tendril coming from his ankle; the moment he gasped, grunted, or otherwise let out a breath he would find her lips pressed against his before so much as a single breath passed his lips. Naturally, this meant Azusa would alos yank the chain to force the taller shinobi to her level.

Regardless of whether he resisted her advance or not, a meter or so behind and above the kitsune ignited in a sphere of sapphire foxfire, a tame warmth radiating from the power momentarily before the flames faded and revealed a levitating object; a mirror.
Vanity Dawn, the Celestial Mirror. Azusa's Persona, the manifestation of her mind and soul. A sacred treasure of the Aikayume. Its surface reflected the image of Azusa and Riyota. While its mythical properties attempted to dig into Riyota's mind, riyota would be able to hear the fox priestess's thoughts as if she were speaking to him during their kiss;



"I...I want to see you, Riyota. I want to understand you. All of you. Vanity Dawn has the power to manifest your Shadow, Riyota. Your subconscious feelings, laid bare before my eyes...
It may be terrifying. It may be painful...But by taming your Shadow, your mind, I desire to engrave myself, Body and Soul, into your very being, Riyota.
Show yourself to me, my Riyota!"

The vixen demanded; and her mirror beginning to shine a bright light upon Riyota's figure (using Denied Mind: Shadow) Whether or not this decision was influenced by the Beloved poison in her veins, or a natural desire of hers, was a question best left unanswered.

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Denied Mind- Shadow - B-Rank Genjutsu
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While a Grandeur Phantom can easily call out a facet of their personality, one of the many skills acquired by a Grandeur Phantom is their ability to perceive other people's shadows, simply seeing silhouettes of monsters or human-like beings behind them. These shadows takes the shape of one's hidden consciousness, often used by a Grandeur Phantom to take advantage by means of discerning and understanding another's shadow though if needed, a Grandeur Phantom can forcibly pull an individual's shadow into the physical plane, often causing chaos and with relatively dangerous results to both the owner of the shadow and possibly those around them.

Information
Prerequisites: Grandeur Phantom, B-Rank

Rank 1: The user attempts to manifest an opponent's Shadow at -1 Genjutsu DC. If successful that opponent's Shadow is manifested into real space for two full rounds. A manifested Shadow has HP equal to 40% of it's owner's Maximum CP, an Evasion equal to it's owner's total Evasion, is visible to all participants in the battle, can be targeted by Non-Genjutsu attacks and is no longer immune to Non-Illusionary Damage.
Master Rank: May user the Special Action.

Special Action - Face Yourself: For 1 AP the user may take temporary control of a manifested Shadow which causes it to become hostile to it's owner. A manifested Shadow cannot attack or deal damage but causes the first reflexive action that it's owner attempts to make each round to fail automatically.

Cost: 2.5 AP, 1200 CP

Notes:
- A manifested Shadow takes 50% less damage from any source other than Illusionary damage. A Shadow is unaffected by any form of debuff or effect an attack may have other than damage.
- If an opponent's manifested Shadow dies, the owner suffers Illusionary damage equal to the amount of total HP it had (40% of their Max CP). Additionally, the target permanently receives a -3 Genjutsu Save and they cannot increase their Genjutsu Save higher than 3 for the battle.
- Any damage received by a manifested Shadow is carried over the next time it is manifested. If a manifested Shadow is destroyed no damage is carried over to the next time it is manifested.
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Re: ✩Vanity Dawn✩ [Beloved] [Private]

Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:38 pm

Riyota had never been as happy as he was right at this moment, the object of his affection for many many many years finally seemed to reciprocate the feelings he held towards her. Things however, were about to take quite a dire twist as she spoke two words that held within them a great deal of power. As Vanity Dawn was called forth the vixen brought her foot down on the discoloured tendril of flesh that was gently wrapped around her. Riyota winced and shut his right eye as his right shoulder seemed to spasm. The sensation had sent a shock of pain shooting back into his nerves. Sharply, he inhaled and grunted, trying to recover himself from the strange sensation.

Before he could stop the spasmic twitching he felt a soft sensation touch to his lips. And he felt the same closeness of Azusa he had felt before, her scent, her warmth. All of it right in front of his face. His shoulder ceased twitching and his entire body seemed to relax and the tendril slowly slid back within his body. He gave himself into the kiss, gently stroking the kitsune's hair with his real hand as he slowly re-opened his eye.

His gaze was caught momentarily by the shining blue light just above them, yet he did not break off the kiss and he noticed that Azusa did not either. He could've sworn before refocusing his attention on his present situation that he could see glimmers of the pair within the light. He was confused for a moment when he heard Azusa's voice despite the fact that he was at least 83% sure that her lips were still locked to his, but when he really listened, he noticed that her voice was projecting directly into his mind, rather than out of her mouth.

However, at the mention of the words "subconscious feelings" Riyota broke away from the kiss. "My lady I must beg that you do not, you don't know what you're doing!" He pleaded, but it seemed Azusa was caught in an almost trance-like fixation with her task. He cupped her face gently, one hand on each cheek. "Let us continue as we are now, please don't do this to me..." The last thing he wanted her to see was the face beneath his face and if Azusa truly looked, she would see him project genuine fear with his expression. "Please..." He would beg one last time, before the energy encompassed him.

He felt like his body was being ripped in half. His soul was splitting from his physical form only to be slammed back in again, she was drawing out every essence of what he had spent so many long years trying to suppress. Riyota's cries of pain grew unnatural, his human screams mixing with the cursed howls of his true monstrous self. "PLEASE! PLEASE AZUSA! STOP! I BEG OF YOU!" He screamed to no avail. Eventually, the ritual completed, the energy dispersed and Riyota collapsed to the ground, momentarily comatose. What remained standing was a wretched imitation of him. Hair in his style but a pale bleached white, his eyes, the same colours but reversed. A constant smug grin plastered upon his shadow's face. This being he had come to know as Ayotir extended his arms out and ran his fingers along the walls. "Well isn't this a joy...so many years and finally some fresh air! All that time trapped gave me quite the crick in the neck."

The copy turned to cast his eyes upon Azusa. "Ohohoho, and there's his sweetheart, so caring and affectionate she tortured every vile thing right out of his body. Are you ignorant or just arrogant, I possess none of his inhibitions and all of his dark perversions. Perhaps that's what you wanted, to hear some of his dark sexual fantasies...?" The shadow offered.

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Re: ✩Vanity Dawn✩ [Beloved] [Private]

Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:45 am

Azusa felt as if she were leaving a scared puppy at a vet...

...But she was unwavering in her conviction. Her gaze was attentive as Riyota broke away from her kiss, but unfaltering; her eyes showed no enjoyment, but neither did they show any hint of mercy in response to Riyota's pleas for her to reconsider her assault on his mind. If anything, it only proved to her that Riyota had secrets. Of course the fox would drag them out.

The cries of his pain caused her heart to race; and her gold ears and tails bristled in discomfort. It was no secret between them that the priestess found enjoyment in subjecting her knight to various...struggles and pains.
But not like this.
Never like this; she limited her abuse strictly to pain of the physical nature. Mostly.

Her heart anguished, and she desired to avert her gaze from Riyota's trauma...But would not, -could- not allow herself to do so. She had subjected Riyota to this. It was her duty to see it through, however ugly the sight before her was. As the old adage went;
"This hurts me more than it hurts you..."
...maybe.

When Riyota's physical body fell unconscious after his inner demons were stolen away from the safety of his inner mind, the fox pulled Riyota's body toward her, cradling him as she lowered him to the floor gently. "...Rest well, Riyota."[/color] She whispered, before turning her attention to the shadow. "....I am pleased that you enjoy this...on at least some level." Her tone unamused. Guilty, even.

"...Do not mistake my endearment for ignorance. The good and the bad, the beautiful and the unsightly, the strong and the weak...Every bit of you belongs to me, Riyota. So why would there be issue in me examining my trophies more intimately? I desire nothing less than to understand everything that goes on within you, Riyota...And to tame the aspects I find unappealing. "
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Re: ✩Vanity Dawn✩ [Beloved] [Private]

Fri Apr 20, 2018 4:59 am

The dark visage of her knight grinned with unholy satisfaction. "So let's go with arrogant then...you think because he was so easy to tame, to bend around your little finger that all of him is the exact same? You think yourself that powerful?" He spat onto the ground in front of her. "That idiot needs a purpose to exist, he's latched onto you like a leech because you tell him what to do. He's a spineless worm that will do anything for a sense of purpose." He rattled on, malice evident his voice as he looked upon Riyota's unconscious body with disgust. "Frankly I don't understand what you want him for, he couldn't even stand up to this. You think he'll be able to accomplish anything more to Akkuma. You're sending him out to die and you know it..." He smirked again stepping closer to Azusa.

He gently stroked her cheek, running the tips of his fingers across her face. "Of course, I am not pathetic, like him. I don't hold back anything, as a fighter or a lover." He said with a wink. "It would be so easy for you to trap him within this body and allow me to be the dominant being. The one who can do more for you than he ever could." He stepped to the side of her and gently kicked Riyota with his foot. "Look, he's a broken toy anyway, what do you even want him for."

He moved behind her and leant over her shoulder, his mouth close to her ear. "There would be no more Knight and Lady, but King and Queen. Equals together the world would be ours, don't you want that?" He asked, his voice soft and alluring. He gently moved away again. "It's what he wants as well if you were to ask him, I can promise you, but he won't give you what I can give you!" He said, looking to her for a response.
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Re: ✩Vanity Dawn✩ [Beloved] [Private]

Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:06 pm

The shadow repulsively spat on the ground before her; a taunt or an insult? "I was unaware that my Riyota had such...vulgar mannerisms buried within him." The kitsune was unsure, and her eyes merely glared. good or bad, the Shadow was providing insight on just what lurked within Riyota. And more insight was obtained, as the Shadow spoke and dismissed the capabilities of her knight. However, among this, one thing stood out and made her glare falter;

"You're sending him out to die and you know it."

"Thats..." She began to speak, to correct the Shadow in its mistake...but she realized she had nothing to say. The fox priestess detested lies; and found herself unable to respond. Such was the weight her revenge against Akkuma had on her mind.

Yet, the very demon she hated terrified her. She knew and understood that pulling Riyota into her vendetta was selfish. She understood that her knight would never refuse her request.

Her eyes were drawn to the unconscious body on the floor; could she willing choose to sacrifice Riyota for her desire?
Riyota, who had offered her only devotion and support?
Riyota, who had believed in her when she had lost faith in herself?
Riyota....

"Something like that is..." Her tails sunk low as she considered weighed her desires in her mind. She felt the shadow's touch against her cheek...And her hand lashed out to grasp its wrist, her claws intending to clasp into its flesh. "...And what if I am? Riyota belongs to me to use as I please." The answer? Yes.

She could. And she would.

"...I am Toraono-Aikayume Azusa. As head of the Toraono, protecting the Mother's desert is my sacred duty. Akkuma's filth is a cancer growing beneath the surface of Suna...Even if he is mine, I will discard him and the rest of the Miroku clan with him if he so much as slows me down from my duty." The cold words were difficult to speak; she felt guilt encroach upon her heart with each word. *creeek* A crack formed along the previously-unblemished surface of her mirror. Her Persona, the manifestation of her mentality, unable to withstand the weight the word stressed on her mind.

"You are correct; Riyota is clumsy. Obscene. Fragile. Weak. Granting him purpose by serving me is the greatest mercy anyone has ever shown him." The vixen spoke coldly. "...But despite that, I would never sacrifice him for anything less than Akkuma. He was never so presumptuous as to assume he would stand as my equal. He understands his place; a trait that is not shared between you." As this point Azusa would let go of the Shadow, and at this point place her left foot before her, lifting it just off the ground; "Kneel before me, Shadow, and kiss my foot. Show me you can outperform your outer self in more than just vulgar words, and I shall grant you a name. And with it, the chance to face Akkuma in place of Riyota." A broken tool had no value; if this shadow could serve as a power that would increase Riyota's effectiveness against Akkuma, was it not in her best interest?

"Should you give me Akkuma, you will have your Queen."

That is what it meant to be Toraono-Aikayume Azusa; no cost was too grand a price for her ambition.
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Re: ✩Vanity Dawn✩ [Beloved] [Private]

Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:51 pm

"I must wonder where you acquired such a twisted view of the world?" The shadow pondered outloud as her claws dug into the flesh of his hand, causing black blood to ooze over her fingertips. He showed no signs that he was in pain, in fact, a smirk was ever-present on his face. "This creature showed you mercy and kindness when you were worth less than the dirt you stood on, and now you have the gall to degrade him and acknowledge him as trash. I must say you have balls Azusa." His eyes flicked from Riyota and back to her. "And even further you promise to eradicate him and all of his family, for mere association. What perversion of justice." He tutted.

"I suppose you are not incorrect... He replied in response to her next statement. "The world has chewed him up and found him so disgusting it could not swallow many a time, almost enough to make you feel sorry for the runt. Well, not you I suppose, but most people. You give the word and he would follow you anywhere, like a loyal three-legged dog."

The shadow's eyes glinted with life as she informed him of Riyota's lack of presumptuousness he chuckled darkly and shook his head, noting the cracking of her vanity mirror silently. "I see now why you dragged me out here, truly you don't know what lies beneath the surface of your champion. Let me allow you insight into his dreams shall I?"

Without waiting for permission the shadow forcefully put his palm against Azusa's forehead. A bright flash would emanate and then darkness would surround them both. Before being replaced by blurred images as it felt like they were quickly moving through some kind of tunnel. Eventually, they would stop and the world would reform around them, the shadow would remove his hand and Azusa would find themselves both in a gathering, seemingly a ball, given the fancy wear of everyone around them. She would see notable figures around her dressed in fine wear. People like Kyuji, Sousuke, Roku and her cousins and other family from the Aikayume clan. Most odd of all would be a genuinely calm, cleaned up and warm seeming Akkuma, sitting at a table, conversing happily with the other patrons. None of which seemed to pay the pair any mind. Her attention would eventually be drawn in the same direction as the crowd. Towards the end of the hall she would see herself, adorned in an astonishingly beautiful dress, holding hands with a well groomed and dressed, yet somehow still scruffy looking Riyota. Both grinning ear to ear.

"A wedding ceremony, quite a beautiful one as well. But marriage requires at least some idea of equality. So...shame really..." The shadow sighed sarcastically as the image of Riyota was swiftly decapitated by some unseen force and the image transitioned again. This time to a slightly older looking Azusa and Riyota, both doing their best to entertain a small child. "Guess he can say goodbye to this one as well." The shadow shrugged and everything but the fake Azusa swiftly combusted. The image transitioned again, this time to a much older pair sitting on a grassy hill staring at the sunset. "I'm sure you get the picture by now, see your toy had aspirations for bigger things in your relationship. Sad really...oh well." The shadow tutted and the bright flash came again, bring Azusa back into reality.

"I will not become your king by serving you, I don't do things the way he does. You will have me as I am, or you will have nothing. It's more loyalty than you've shown him." The shadow gestured with a sneer towards the unconscious Riyota. Allowing Azusa to process everything.
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Re: ✩Vanity Dawn✩ [Beloved] [Private]

Mon May 28, 2018 1:26 pm

"....." She had no words to say to the shadow. Even Azusa, for all her delusions of grandeur, understood that Riyota had been nothing but selfless in his devotion to her. Surely, surely, surely that deserved affection??

Sh was honest with him, when she put on a false facade for all others...She trusted him, when she often doubted herself...She shared her bedchamber with him.

...No....She was....Just.

And there was no room for emotion when it came to Justice.

The words she spoke were harsh. and certainly burned her lips to speak. It hurt her. And yet...She knew it was the truth; kitsune detested lies. Were the choices anything, anything, anything other than her vengeance against Akkuma, and she would have surely chosen Riyota; she wanted nothing more than a world where she could spoil her dear knight for all eternity.

...But such a world could never never exist so long as the Demon Akkuma existed. So long as he still drew breath, Azusa;s vengeance against Akkuma would always, always, always[b/] triumph over all else...
Even over Riyota.
Even over herself.
Nothing was too great of a price to her.

"...What would you know of justice?" The vixen spoke. This Shadow represented the depths of Riyota's heart. It showed everything to her that he was unable to show her himself....And a feeling of nausea encompassed her when Riyota's Shadow pulled them into an illusory realm within Riyota's heart.

The Kitsune was curious at what existed within her knight's heart afterall. "This is..." An elegant room, full of bright lights, laughter and merriment. The atmosphere was jovial; the scene she was viewing was a most joyous occasion. A ceremony binding herself to her proud knight. Aikayume do not normally marry...But for Riyota...well, she could feel that this version of herself was able to make that exception. The vixen felt envious tward this dream version of herself; to be so carefree...

"Sensei...Akuma..." The fox's eyes darted throughout the scene, the luxurious displays, the beverages and refreshments, the banners, the music. A dream. A most beautiful dream. A dream that, unfortunately, was not reality.

She reached her hand out to stroke Riyota's -at least, the dream Riyota's- cheek. her hand passed through, unable to interrupt the vision. Even her own dress, a most elegant dress suitable for the lady of the Toraono and once-Aikayume, was nothing more than an illusion. And yet...this was Riyota's dream. If nothing else, that had substance to it.

Riyota's dream.....

Azusa shut her eyes. "He is...a fool. I asked for his devotion. Not...any of this." She dismissed the scene. Her chest ached with anguish; a bolt of pain rushed through her. Her head ached, pounding momentarily in sync with another crack appearing on her mirror.

Once she saw the vision of herself and Riyota attending to their children, she hadn't even noticed when tears began streaming down her face.

"I cannot forsake all the time I have invested into defeating Akkuma. No matter...how fond....of Riyota I may be. My sweet Riri....." Azusa trailed off. Her melancholic words were an oath; she was unable to prioritize anyone over her self-serving vengeance. "No matter how sweet or adorable that man may be. I have a sacred mission. Until Akkuma is dead, I...do not have the power to fulfill his deams."

At this point, she, herself, was the one to decapitate the illusory dreams before her. And as she did so with her claws, the weight of this stress finally began to reach the point where her sacred mirror, Vanity Dawn could no longer endure. As her Persona, it was a manifestation of her mind. And it shattered.

And with it...Azusa's heart, and the last of her compassion.

"Oho....Ohohohoh....It is all his fault, you know. All his fault! All his fault. All his fault, all his fault, allhisfultallhistfaultallhisfault! Akkuma...If -HE- did not exist, all this would need not be a dream at all! I have lost so, so much time pursuing him, training, upon training, upon training!!....." The vixen vented. Riyota's dream could have been a reality, but it was a future Akkuma had stolen away.

"You, Shadow! My Riri...I have no need for a toy to spoil and pamper. What I desire is someone who will grant me Akkuma's head. If what you ask for is what will help me make this reality....then so be it. Accept my blessing." Azusa claimed; her fractured, unstable mirror releasing the last of its power in a ray of light (Alter: Ego). The power for Riyota's shadow to assert control over him. Perhaps it would unveil itself when Riyota lacked the willpower to follow through with Azusa's demands. "Know that If you fail me, I shall destroy your mind thrice over. I will care for Riyota just the same even if he is an incoherent wreck."
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Re: ✩Vanity Dawn✩ [Beloved] [Private]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:50 pm

The shadow merely leaned back and smirked as he watched her take it all in, as he watched her composure fragment and fracture, as he watched her doubt. He knew she would not be swayed, or convinced, or dissuaded, but she would feel guilty. And the shadow, being the dark, twisted perversion of Riyota's person, revelled in her indecisive misery.

Then she broke, her shadow shattered, her reality crumbled and then reformed, a reality where compassion had no future. She was to become a monster, to kill a monster. The shadow merely burst out laughing as she madly and haphazardly granted him control of Riyota's unconscious form. Unaware of the mistake she was making in the midst of her wild fervour. "I am certain, dear, sweet Riyota would be glad he isn't awake to hear how your thoughts are more occupied than Akkuma than of him, shame on you vixen." He taunted. "I thank you for your gift, I am content to observe for now, but it is nice to know that I can take the reigns when I wish." He grinned wickedly as he bowed down. "I will bring you the head of the demon, more than that I cannot promise. I especially cannot promise your knight's safety."

Before he departed he turned to address her one last time. "I'm sure when they both lie dead you won't have a single regret about focusing your life on revenge, after all, what has Riyota sacrificed?" He left her with that question as he faded away and returned to Riyota's unconscious form, his cackling echoing within Azusa's mind before also fading away.

With a grunt and a groan Riyota's eyes slowly opened and he blinked groggily a few times. His vision was blurred and there were blanks in his memory, it took him a moment to remember where exactly he was. His gaze fell upon his Lady looking distressed and he immediately tried to rush to her aid. "My La-GAK!... He whipped back as the chained collar around his neck was pulled against his throat. Frustrated, he gripped the metal band and snapped it, releasing himself and rushing towards the Kitsune, gently cupping her hand. Brushing a lock of her hair aside he looked for any sigh of injury. "My lady, are you alright?" He asked softly.
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Re: ✩Vanity Dawn✩ [Beloved] [Private]

Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:49 am

"..."

The fox glared. Her emerald eyes were a narrow gaze of spite. Her seven tails were motionless behind her.

The shadow's entire existence seemed to be solely to mock her; and oh, how she wanted to break the Shadow into submission! However, it had its use in its offer to confront Akkuma...And that was the only thing holding her spite back from being unleashed on this lesser shadow of Riyota's mind.

The lady of foxes had long since gone too far down the rabbit hole to have second thoughts about her ambition. Riyota's dreams were exactly that; dreams of a what-if scenario that could not come to pass. Dreams that were lost...Dreams that could very well be within grasp, if only she were able to cast aside her anger...But forgiveness was difficult.

Riyota -the real Riyota- had awakened. And immediately rushed to her side, much to her dismay. "Worrying about me even in your state...You are a fool. A foolish fool. The most foolish of all fools. To think you would have such fruitless dreams." His touch, his concern...It highlighted her own ugliness. It made her feel exhausted. "My goal...no, our goal is only in seeing Akkuma dead. Anything else is meaningless; do you understand this Riyota? Is this not something I can trust you with?" She reached to undo the binding around her own neck before leaving.

"Enough. There are still things I must attend to...Go and rest, Riyota." She spoke. If she sounded dsgusted, it was because she was; but none of it was at Riyota.

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