(D5, EM) Meeting The Shrine Keeper

A three-story, gilded edifice dedicated to the Fortune of Wealth, this shrine has a steady stream of visitors throughout the day. It also offers room and board to monks traveling through the area.
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Miya Akihiro
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(D5, EM) Meeting The Shrine Keeper

Post by Miya Akihiro » Sat Sep 08, 2018 4:57 am

Akihiro made his way to the shrine bright and early that morning, in his usual traveling attire. Upon entering the shrine grounds, he stopped at the entrance to cleanse himself and pray, commencing with a single loud clap to politely get the attention of any nearby spirits. Once spiritually prepared, he made his way into the shrine proper, beelining for the center and lighting some incense as he knelt and lowered his head in prayer - it certainly helped conceal that he was a bit nervous about what this meeting might bring.
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Re: (D5, EM) Meeting The Shrine Keeper

Post by Fugouko » Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:03 pm

The abbess is not long in appearing, smiling a motherly smile as she bows to the Imperial.
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Re: (D5, EM) Meeting The Shrine Keeper

Post by Miya Akihiro » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:14 am

He returns the bow, more low than necessary out of both deference and gratitude. After what he's learned so far, Akihiro has many questions to ask, but tries to keep his composure as he slowly gets to his feet. It was a wild hunch he got the day before, but at this point even hunches were worth following up on.

"Fugouko-san, you honor me by meeting me so early this morning. I hope all the Fortunes are smiling upon you this day. I... apologies for my haste, but I had hoped to learn about... well, how the temples handle matters of adoption. Err... how locals get adopted into different families." That must have sounded terrible, but once the question started coming out, he was stricken by nerves.
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Re: (D5, EM) Meeting The Shrine Keeper

Post by Fugouko » Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:09 am

The abbess's eyes open wide for a moment, shock evident on her face.

She composes herself quickly, though, and says "It is hoped that forgiveness will be offered that details of individual adoptions may not be given. But in general, young man, those children who cannot be supported by their families, or who will not be, are left at such a place as this with some message of their heritage--a wakizashi for a samurai child, for example. When a samurai who has no heir comes to adopt, we do what we can to check into the background of that person. If it is satisfactory, we send a child in our care who is of fitting birth with that samurai.

"For those born lower, we raise them as best we can. Some join the Orders. Others, being not subject to a Clan, go elsewhere, filling out the ranks of workers and servants as they are needed. For there are always more lands and towns in need of people, and some of our itinerant members take them there."
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Re: (D5, EM) Meeting The Shrine Keeper

Post by Miya Akihiro » Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:52 am

He bowed apologetically out of instinct. "I beg your forgiveness, I did not mean to transgress... I simply have a, er, personal interest in such matters." She seemed a kindly sort, and... well, why not just go for it?

"It recently came to my attention that I myself may have kin here in the Painted City... and so here I am. The Little Teacher taught that what we do not understand can kill us... and so I come seeking better understanding, before the Fortune of Prosperity."
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Re: (D5, EM) Meeting The Shrine Keeper

Post by Fugouko » Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:54 am

"There is nothing to forgive in it, young man. But it has been long since a Miya was here for very long."
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Re: (D5, EM) Meeting The Shrine Keeper

Post by Miya Akihiro » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:03 am

"You honor me with your patience, Fugouko-san." He pursed his lips, considering if tact was really the way to move forward, and deciding to bite the bullet. "It is my understanding that I was one of those adopted children, though as a mere infant. I am a Miya, but I was born in these lands, and... I seek my roots."
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Re: (D5, EM) Meeting The Shrine Keeper

Post by Fugouko » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:24 am

Fugouko outright staggers to the nearest wall, leaning heavily against it, clutching her chest.
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Re: (D5, EM) Meeting The Shrine Keeper

Post by Miya Akihiro » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:10 pm

His look turned to one of concern and he moved as if to help support the shrine keeper, heedless of the impropriety in the face of... well, this entire bad situation he'd helped create. "Fuguoko-san, I must beg your forgiveness once more, I did not mean to surprise you so! I... should I seek help?"
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Re: (D5, EM) Meeting The Shrine Keeper

Post by Fugouko » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:18 pm

She sits heavily on the ground and looks up at him.

Tears stream from her eyes.

"Can it be you?"
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Re: (D5, EM) Meeting The Shrine Keeper

Post by Miya Akihiro » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:44 pm

A feeling of guilt had been gnawing at him since he'd set out on this road, and he found it wrestling with his curiosity as he saw the shrine keeper's emotional reaction. He carefully sat himself down cross-legged on the floor so as not to be physically talking down to the kindly old woman.

"Fugouko-san, I do not mean to cause such distress, and for that I must ask forgiveness again." He paused, wondering whether it was safe to press her after this... episode. "If it is a matter best left for when Fugouko-san has had an opportunity to clear her head, I would, of course, understand."
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Re: (D5, EM) Meeting The Shrine Keeper

Post by Fugouko » Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:02 pm

She smiles.

"Distress? No--just surprise. I thought I'd never..."

She bites her knuckle, stifles the words that she knows she must not say.

Must.

Not.

Say.
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Re: (D5, EM) Meeting The Shrine Keeper

Post by Miya Akihiro » Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:27 am

He looked at the matronly shrine keeper with a mixture of compassion and confusion. Slowly, recognition dawns.

"Ah, Fugouko-san mentioned details of adoptions were not information freely given out... but would not an exception be possible for the adopted?" He paused awkwardly, head filling with emotion now that he realized just how close he was to the answer... but he'd put the shrine keeper through enough, and was worried about pressing her too hard. This was straining his on in a way he wasn't sure he'd ever experienced before, only adding to the torrent of emotion in his mind.
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Re: (D5, EM) Meeting The Shrine Keeper

Post by Fugouko » Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:29 am

She hangs her head and shakes it, and the shudder of her shoulder speaks of sobs suppressed.

"No, Miya-sama. No. It cannot be. For any involved.

"Miya-sama is a Miya. This is law, and it is good."

Another shudder.

"And if he has had a good life, then whoever bore him will be happy if ever she learns of it."
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Re: (D5, EM) Meeting The Shrine Keeper

Post by Miya Akihiro » Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:12 pm

"Of course, it is law..." He closed his eyes and took several deep breaths, trying to hold back the torrent of emotion. "Fugouko-san... I cannot ask you to betray any oaths or laws, but I... since learning of this possibility, I've felt I may not be able to put my mind at ease unless I learned the truth. I-"

Finally, he deflated. "I came seeking knowledge of whence I came, and in a way I have found it... I had hoped to learn more, but in my heart I had expected this outcome. If you would share this with them, Fugouko-san," he said, pulling out a letter sealed with wax bearing no chop, "I would most appreciate it. I left no knowledge of who I may be, but I hope they can find peace knowing my life is a good one. And... if Fugouko-san could indulge this one request, I-" another pause. "Are they good people? Are they living well?"
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Re: (D5, EM) Meeting The Shrine Keeper

Post by Fugouko » Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:22 pm

"I...cannot say..."

But she bows and accepts the letter. She will not break the seal in Akihiro's presence.

"But it may be that the last day of festivities, in the early morning, you might learn of such on the streets near here."

She looks at him, tears still in her eyes.
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Re: (D5, EM) Meeting The Shrine Keeper

Post by Miya Akihiro » Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:29 am

He smiled a tired smile and returned the bow, deeply and respectfully. "Then it seems Daikoku yet smiles upon me, Fugouko-san. I beg your forgiveness once more for the distress I have caused, but you honor me with your patience - a lesson in forbearance I ought to learn from," he said with a self-deprecating chuckle.
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Re: (D5, EM) Meeting The Shrine Keeper

Post by Fugouko » Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:32 am

She returns the bow.

"I am honored to have had a so--a student like you, however short the time.

"Carry Their blessings."
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