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 Lift me up, my soul's so Hollow. [private] (Temporarily Locked)

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Calidane

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PostSubject: Lift me up, my soul's so Hollow. [private] (Temporarily Locked)   Sat Apr 16, 2011 3:36 pm

Shen sat on a bench, forehead buried in his linked fingers, elbows resting on his knees. He'd gotten word from his father earlier. A simple phone call, but enough to toss his world into turmoil. It seemed the man believed that a year was more than enough time to meet the young lady, woo both herself and her father, place an "offer", and claim her. The man had even attempted to cut some of that work short by contacting Sun-sama and informing him that Liangchun's oldest son would be visiting Japan for a while. "I need someone to make sure he stays safe." the man had lied. Sun-sama knew full-well that the man's two sons were more than capable of taking care of themselves. Still, in order to keep up appearances, he had arranged for Shen to come meet him. He welcomed the young man into the country of Japan warmly, with a smile he knew all too well. The same smile he and his father wore in business deals.

He couldn't fault the man. After all, they'd never met each other before that moment. All Sun-sama knew of Shen was that he was a fellow aristocrat, son of the Liangchun household. And that in itself warranted the utmost niceties- the bullshit Shen had grown so used to.

A year... A year was barely long enough to establish a strong friendship with someone. He hadn't even met Jia until he'd been there for three months, and even that was simple coincidence. Why had he agreed to do this, again? After the hurt he felt finding out his fighter had been found dead... after the accusations that flew, the people claiming their family was behind the death. He didn't understand why he had so simply agreed to suck another innocent person into this chaos.

Ah yes... He remembered quite well. He'd seen Jia Sun as nothing short of an idol when he found out about her. He couldn't truly explain why, but he knew that some day, he needed to get closer to her. Shen yearned for this stranger's acceptance more than anything. And if it made no sense to anyone else, well, they were in the same boat as himself. His entire life was nonsense. He sighed quietly, rubbing his eyes with the heels of his hands roughly. Perhaps he would call his father back, tell him that he wouldn't be returning, the plan was bust, and disappear to another country.

Ha.

Yes, because his father would let him go so easily. Sure he had another son, but Lei was exactly that. The other son. He was raised as such. He had no training whatsoever when it came to the aristocracy. Yes, he was treated as one, but once their father handed over the reigns, Lei would have no say in Seven Moons unless he convinced Shen to say it.

His life was complete turmoil, and Shen was lost, floating in an abyss that he wished would simply swallow him whole. "Hollow" for quite a good reason.
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Dmitry

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PostSubject: Re: Lift me up, my soul's so Hollow. [private] (Temporarily Locked)   Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:53 am

She’d needed to get out. Out of the house, out of the estate, out of the cage. It was maddening, to stay confined behind those walls all the time. Locked away from the rest of the world in her own tiny prison. One that she had created just for herself. Even insane men grew to hate the mental barriers they erected around themselves, the imaginary worlds they created inside their heads. Jia certainly didn’t think she was crazy, and her barriers were real stone and brick, but she felt no different about them. They still seemed to close in around her, squeezing tighter and tighter till she felt she might suffocate. Yes, it was definitely a good idea to leave from time to time. To go to a place where there were no walls, imaginary or real. Just a brief moment of freedom would be enough to satisfy her till that claustrophobic feeling sank back into her.

This time her chosen reprieve was the park. This one was one of her particular favorites. It was beautifully cultivated and maintained, and most of all it was free. Not a single barrier in sight as far as the eye could see. It was liberating. Simply walking the winding paths, keeping to herself, enjoying the fresh air would be more than enough to tide her over for awhile. And for awhile she did just that till a familiar ring caught her attention, followed by a familiar sight.

Shen Liangchun. A fellow Chinese aristocrat like herself, sitting on a park bench all alone. What were the odds? Her expression saddened slightly when she saw his posture, how upset over something he seemed to be. All other times she’d seen him he’d always held a carefully smile in place. She couldn’t help but wonder what was the matter, yet somehow she felt she already knew.

Erasing the sadness from her face she replaced it with her own perfectly practiced polite smile before heading over to him, stopping a few feet away to give him his space. “Liangchun-san?” She spoke softly, voice barely above a whisper.


Last edited by Dmitry on Sun May 01, 2011 9:30 am; edited 1 time in total
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Calidane

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PostSubject: Re: Lift me up, my soul's so Hollow. [private] (Temporarily Locked)   Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:19 pm

Shen's face shot up as the soft voice reached his ears, all thoughts of his dilemma scurrying away like a rat caught in a kitchen. Had he been so oblivious that he hadn't noticed this woman's ring? Quickly, he cut his own off completely - before it could affect her as it did everyone else. Jia Sun, the very person his thoughts were centered around, watched him with an expression of careful curiosity; unsure if she was interrupting something? He wasn't sure of her thoughts, though he didn't dwell very long on them. The songbird was out of her cage, it seemed. If only temporarily.

"Hello there, Sun-hime." he smiled slyly, leaning backward in the bench and resting an ankle on the opposite knee. The nickname he'd taken to calling her, no matter how uncomfortable she was with it. That one, and "songbird", which went back to the cage euphemism. "Out for a walk, I see? No escort?" His bright green-yellow eyes flicked around. Sure enough, he didn't see anyone escorting the lady. Shame on her, coming out alone. They settled back on her emeralds with one expectant brow raised. Yes, he should have stood to greet her. Bowed formally, as always. Especially whilst in public. But in all honesty, Shen was tired, and irritable, and extremely worried about what he was going to do about this certain young woman. Oh, how he wished he and Lei could switch places sometimes. Then, he would be completely free to chase women as often as he'd like, and most likely, his fighter wouldn't be-

He had to cut the thought off short. There was no connection to this. That was... a terrible misfortune. A mistake, and a coincidental opportunity. Nothing more, nothing less. His cat eyes blinked twice and re-focused on the young lady before him. "Shame on you, songbird." he teased lightly, patting the bench beside him. "Coming out without protection of some sort." Pfft. As if she weren't more than capable of taking care of herself.
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Dmitry

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PostSubject: Re: Lift me up, my soul's so Hollow. [private] (Temporarily Locked)   Sun May 01, 2011 9:31 am

Her hands came from her sides to clasp lightly in front of her, a habit she’d had since childhood whenever she was speaking to someone. Her emerald green eyes studied his face carefully; he seemed tired; stressed maybe? But over what? There were a million possibilities as to why. The life of an aristocrat (and especially one who was the heir) was never easy. Countless formalities and traditions among other useless things, wore down on them all.

“No. No escort this time,” or ever, she added in her mind. When she did venture outside her home she did so to get away, not to be hovered over. She hadn’t had a babysitter since she was a child, still in training. Those days had long since passed. Taking a carefully measured step forward she allowed her frown to peek through her practiced smile for a brief moment, just long enough to ask, “Are you all right Shen-san?” Jia didn’t expect an answer, or at least and honest one. His worries and troubles were his own. Certainly none of her business; still she couldn’t help but ask.

After a moment’s pause she moved forward again, closing the distance before settling daintily on the bench beside Shen. Her legs crossed at the ankle and tucked under slightly, hands resting in her lap.
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PostSubject: Re: Lift me up, my soul's so Hollow. [private] (Temporarily Locked)   Sun May 01, 2011 11:59 am

"Not at all, hime."

His answer was bluntly honest. Shen didn't know why he had agreed to this a year ago. He couldn't come up with a reason that wouldn't make him despise himself. For allowing his father to manipulate him as he was, for pulling Jia into it as well. For sparking whatever motive it was to have his fighter killed. Oh, Shen put forth an ignorant mask, and he even took it so far as to try convincing himself; but deep inside, he knew those rumors, those accusations were correct. His family- namely his father- had something to do with the homicide of his true fighter. The emptiness in his chest echoed painfully. No bond, where there should have been one.

At some point, his unusually bright eyes had fallen to his hand, resting on the ankle that in turn rested upon his knee. But he looked up at the young lady now seated beside him. "But everything works out in the end, so I'm sure I'll be fine." he smiled politely. "Though your father would have my head if he found out that I saw you unescorted and didn't offer to accompany you. So, may I?" He didn't know exactly where Jia was heading, but honestly, it had to have been better than what he was doing now. Wallowing in misery, self pity; attempting to figure out what exactly he was going to do with his life.

Not that he had any sort of choice, that is.
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Dmitry

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PostSubject: Re: Lift me up, my soul's so Hollow. [private] (Temporarily Locked)   Sun May 08, 2011 11:53 am

Jia’s fell slightly when he answered her. His reply had been so simple. When compared to how troubled he’d appeared when she’d first saw him, the answer seemed odd. But she didn’t question him, and gave no indication that she doubted what he’d said. She wouldn’t pry into something he didn’t wish to share with her, they weren’t near close enough for that kind of thing anyway. She reached up and brushed a stray lock of her hair back behind her ear, eyes flitting back up to meet Shen’s once again. Her brows rose slightly when he offered to accompany her. She had planned to spend the afternoon alone, and yet the idea of spending time with Shen didn’t seem as bad an idea as it would have had anyone else offered.

“If you wish,” a soft smile graced her lips for a tiny moment. “But I can’t promise that it won’t be boring.” Which is exactly what a quite stroll in the park would be to many. To Jia it was simply relaxing, the peace was one she welcomed eagerly. It seemed she was always searching for it. The quiet moments when the rest of the world just fell away and nothing mattered. When there were no rules, no expectations, nothing but her own breathing and the steady beating of her own heart. Those few precious moments were ones she treasured above all else.
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PostSubject: Re: Lift me up, my soul's so Hollow. [private] (Temporarily Locked)   Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:46 pm

"Nothing is boring with you, song bird." he shrugged, teasing smile lighting his lips. Shen enjoyed being around Jia. She was someone who knew what it was like to be caged. To have your entire life revolving around what others wanted. Originally, he'd just wanted to meet her. Ask what it was like to be a blank. To not have anyone to answer to in the unit world, but still hold enough power to be able to fight alone without handicap. But those questions were prying and rude, and he'd been brought up much better than that.

Glancing down at his nails as though he were bored, Shen stated "Being so proper is a terrible drag at times, hm? What if I just want to lie in the grass? Enjoy the day before me? Can't. It isn't proper. Or video games. No time to play those. Practice swords, learn about the duties of what we get to do when our fathers die off-" he rolled very catlike eyes over to Jia's face. "-keep the company of beautiful young ladies. Hm. Alright, so perhaps it isn't all that terrible, then." his lips quirked upward. He broke the aristocrats rules sometimes simply by being so horribly unprofessional. Would Sun-chan blush? Could he flatter her to the point that she told him to stop? It was like a game to him, only it meant everything now.
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PostSubject: Re: Lift me up, my soul's so Hollow. [private] (Temporarily Locked)   Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:31 pm

Jia laughed softly at his answer, the sound akin to tiny wind chimes tickling together in a gentle breeze. Everything about her seemed soft and gentle. A façade. Another layer hiding the truth below. Truth hidden so deep she wasn’t sure it even existed anymore. All she could do was pretend. She was a actress on a stage performing for the world to see, no mess ups, no mistakes. “Some would beg to differ,” she answered offhandedly, letting her eyes wander over the park around them. It was thankfully still mostly unpopulated. No loud boisterous people to disturb their peace.

Turning back to him she couldn’t help but smile. Despite how bold his words were they were true, well perhaps except for the last one. Their lives were all laid out for them. Not a single choice was made on their own. They were to just simply do as they were told and live proper lives according to ancient customs. It was what was expected of them. “Practicing swords doesn’t sound as terrible as learning to sew,” she commented, unable to keep the faint hint of longing from her voice. Aside from her training as a Fighter, there were no violent things in her life. Women weren’t supposed to do such things. Women sewed and drank tea all while looking beautiful and dainty. Such frail little things they were expected to be. But she had her words, words that could create great and terrible things. It was her only source of power and perhaps her greatest downfall. Even with it, her life wasn’t her own. She would belong to whomever her father chose.
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PostSubject: Re: Lift me up, my soul's so Hollow. [private] (Temporarily Locked)   Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:09 pm

He snorted and rolled his eyes. "Touche. Sewing sounds.... Mm." Pursing his lips, Shen shook his head once. Sewing sounded like more of a chore than swordplay by far. Besides, he was good at swordplay, and he got to practice with Lei occasionally. Kick his tail around the dojo a bit.

"Tell me, Hime. How can you possibly stand sitting around being idle in your home all day? Sewing. Being... very proper. Being the perfect lady. Don't you wish to do something dangerous at times? Wield a sword or hit a man who angers you hard enough to make him bleed. Spell battle." Shen himself wanted to battle so very badly. The trials were never enough. Carefully controlled situations. He never got hurt. The restraints were false. What Shen ached for was the pure, unadulterated violence and danger that accompanied a true battle.

The only problem was that his fighter was dead.

The young man had no one to fight with. It was completely up to how strong his will was, compared to how strong the unit he was up against would be. And what his ring would take away from them. Grimly, he wondered what it would take away from Jia. He honestly didn't want to find out. That was another reason why he kept his ring completely cut off every time he was near her.
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PostSubject: Re: Lift me up, my soul's so Hollow. [private] (Temporarily Locked)   Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:35 pm

Jia's smile widened, almost reaching her eyes. "Boring?" She teased, supplying the word for him. "Aside from pricking one's fingers it's simply tedious." Her eyes fell to examine her fingertips as if searching for the scars that didn't exist. Anytime she'd cut herself the wound had been treated with careful care. Her father wanted no scars to mar her skin. He was afraid it would make her less desirable in the eyes of her suitors. The only mark she would bear would be the one her future Sacrifice would carve into her skin. It would be the only one that mattered. A name etched into her skin that would bind her to someone for the rest of her life.

Lifting her gaze back up to meet Shen's she held back a sigh; old feelings of not being able to choose her future trying to surface. "Reading helps, it takes me to faraway places." Idly she wondered why she was allowing herself to reveal this to Shen, but Jia didn't dwell on it. She was enjoying their time together, regardless of what they talked about. "Sometimes I do. But doesn't everyone? It's human nature to want to be violent. But being human also means that we have the ability to control those feelings, restrain them. I do wish to spell battle though. A real battle, with a Sacrifice of my own. It's what we were meant to do, or so they say. Our power is simply a tool that we wield, how we do so is our own choice." She paused for a moment, then asked, "What do you think we are meant to do, Shen-san?"
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PostSubject: Re: Lift me up, my soul's so Hollow. [private] (Temporarily Locked)   Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:27 pm

Any smile wiped itself from Shen's face immediately. His yellow-green eyes left Jia's jade and settled on his hands as he leaned forward, losing the carefully constructed proper way he had been sitting before. "I think that varies for each person, hime." he answered truthfully, gaze leaving his hands as well and landing on a little boy playing in the grass with his dog.

"Some people are meant to have prosperous lives." he looked over to a man sleeping on a bench, a withered backpack on the ground at his side. "Some are not. Some people are destined for fame, fortune, love, while others are to be cast aside, doing to dirty jobs and getting no recognition. Then there are the lucky, the unlucky, foolish and wise, all with their own fates. The ones who mess up but redeem themselves, and the ones who redemption always evades..."

He looked back at Jia with serious eyes. "They're all meant to do something completely different from the others. Then there's us, the pitiful wretches who are here to do nothing more than serve as puppets for our families. That is what you and I are here for, Jia-chan. To play the grand game of aristocracy." a bitter tone had enveloped his words, but he swallowed it back quickly, sitting up again and glancing away.

"My apologies. A lady shouldn't have to hear my complaints."
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PostSubject: Re: Lift me up, my soul's so Hollow. [private] (Temporarily Locked)   Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:23 am

Due to inactivity, this thread has been closed temporarily.
If you wish to post in this thread, please PM myself and I shall unlock it for you.

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