The Shoryudo


asi3_icon.gif eve_icon.gif kimberly_icon.gif luther_icon.gif

Scene Title The Shoryudo
Synopsis Asi leads some of her houseguests on a daytrip to Ise Jingu.
Date June 16, 2019

"God, I love this country."

There's many sights to see in the nation of Japan, and each season brings a new flavor to them. Over time, some locations have become easier to access, cultural sites and tourist spots a happy blend in some cases.

Stone pathways carve a trail clear out of Ise City, taking pilgrims back through forest and along the Isuzu river. The peaks of traditional buildings and shrines are numerous on either side, but there's one in particular that concerns them today in the temple complex.

Ise Jingu rests on the tail of the Shoryudo — the path of the Rising Dragon. It is dedicated to the sun goddess Amaterasu.

June 16, 2019

Ise Grand Shrine, Ise City, Mie, Japan

Asi is normally motivated, very much a point A to point B person, but this trip has unraveled some of that spirit from her. She walks with her hands in her pockets as they walk the shrine pavilions, squinting in the morning sunlight. "So there's not … much public access here," she admits as they walk up, skimming signs posted by the entrance, "But we can still see the complex at least. The forest and river here is a sight."

And might do some of the city-weary in their party some good.

Luther should be appreciating the efforts of their guide, but the man plods along in not-so-valiant effort to disguise the fact that he's nursing something of a hangover. He blinks more than usual, even behind sunglasses, and shows some interest in what's being said by way of occasional voiced grunts and noises. "Why'd we come this way?" he asks, harnessing some of that interest and directing it to Asi. But a glance cast towards the others in the group might answer that question by the very nature of their makeup. "Hnngh."

"Oh Hot Hands come on, check out the sights! It's like you've been here before." Eve is buzzing and swinging her arms and doing a twirl as she turns back to look towards Asi, "Oh a forest you say!" This makes Eve even more excited if its possible. She's also been throwing an enormous front up as of late, ever since Cassandra coming to her and inadvertently revealing just how her parents were connected to Adam. Specifically her mom. Eve's way to cope has been supreme Eveism.

Basically, she's been on one.

Luckily she has only hit her vape pen once today and it happened before they set out. Eve's pale hands grip the dark blue fabric of her dress and she looks at her friends behind her own sunglasses to shield her eyes. She's been mostly non buzzy, mostly.

Striding up to his side, Chess — no, wait, Kimberly — offers a lopsided smile, both her hands gripping the straps of her backpack. "Actually, I think it was when Eve pointed at the travel brochure and shouted dragon and then grabbed Asi by the collar?" She pauses to look back down the trail they'd come through, squinting.

"Maybe I should've stayed with Chess and Alix," Kimberly mutters to herself, her brows furrowed. Chess had passed on this leg of the trip, as had Miles, and Alix saw fit to stay and chaperone the two so as to be some kind of awkwardness buffer. Kimberly is now debating the wisdom in her leaving Alix alone to fend for herself.

Leave it to Eve to be the source of enthusiasm for the entire group. Asi finds it endearing, at least, not knowing the woman well enough to know she's putting on a brave face. Isn't Eve just like this always?

Asi slows up her pace to fall back toward Luther, pointing out to him, "Because some of you looked like you could use some fresh air," she suggests, trying to keep from a grin tugging at the corner of her mouth. Looking around him to Kimberly, she asks, "When you first came in, did you pick up a —"

She clicks her tongue as she tries to find an adequate translation. "A goshuin-cho… a shrine passport? It could be a nice momento."

Kimberly's assessment sounds about right. Luther scrubs a hand over his steadily growing beard, glances down at the slightly crinkled informational pamphlet (in English, thank you Yokoso!Japan tourism bureau) then exhales a longer sigh of that fresh air. "I'm checkin', Ducky, I'm checkin'," he rumbles to the enthused Eve. "Chess and the others are going to be sad they missed this. Right?" Then, to Asi's query, he arches a brow over the rim of his sunglasses. "A what?"

"Well that mythical beast is part of the reason we are here!" For Eve it was pretty up there but Chess and her sisters were high priority, she couldn't let her friend go through the mess of this clone business without lending her aid. Part of that duty Eve feels is connecting with the sisters and having a unique relationship with each. Or as she whispered to Luther often when nobody is around: Operation Catch Em All is an absolute go. Because she would never say such words in front of the sisters. That would be rude!

"I bet you're happy you didn't have to Bunny Hop over though, aren't you?" Entirely too large grin on her face and a tilt of her head that makes it tilted way too overtly. Those pearly whites gleam in Kimbo's direction. "Ooo a shrine passport." Eve is beside herself though she takes another look around their setting.

"This place, it's so old? so much history, power. In this very ground. Mind your tippytoes ladies and gent. We are on hallowed ground." Eve proceeds to tip toe as she walks from now on, she's quite serious. "The sun goddess! Though I'm more in love with Tsukuyomi! Her sister the goddess of the moon." In a singsong voice, "Artemis and Tsukuyomi. My girls." Running a hand through her long raven dark mane.

Kimberly flicks a side-eye at Eve, then looks past Luther to Asi. "I— yeah. What Luther said." She grimaces, running a hand through her hair and turning the right way around again. "I dunno, I think Monica's in too deep to really appreciate sight-seeing. I mean, I get it, but… I don't think she has an off switch. I'm pretty sure Chess' is broken too."

Focusing ahead on the trail, Kimberly takes a few long strides up to the front of the group, then turns around and looks back to the others. "What's up ahead?" She wasn't really paying attention earlier.

"It's a booklet, like a journal," Asi explains, looking ahead to Eve. "When you visit a shrine, if you pay a small fee, an attendant will stamp it for you as proof of your visit. Most participate." She starts to trail off as she tries to figure out how to address Eve's comment.

Well, no better way than being direct, she supposes.

"Tsukiyomi was male, Eve. Child of Izanami and Izanagi… he married to Amaterasu, as well." Asi corrects gently. After all, it wasn't worth getting worked up over. She lifts her head to indicate what's ahead as they pass underneath a large, red torii gate. "Ise Jingu is where one of the three Imperial holy artifacts rest — the Sacred Mirror. Yata no Kagami… eight-sided mirror." She carries on calm, lackadaisical as before.

"The shrine is dedicated to Amaterasu, goddess of the sun. It's said the imperial line in Japan is descended from her." And it sounds like she neither doubts nor fully believes that. It's a living legend, and she respects it. "She's the second of the three great gods. The third was Susanoo … god of storms and seas."

Asi pauses abruptly, glancing to see if she's put anyone to sleep. "It's interesting," she feels the need to defend herself. "It's history as much as it is myth, at least here."

"Off switch," Luther snorts in faint humor. Because maybe it's a bit true. He looks off to their surroundings as Asi goes on to explain the mythology of the shrine. Head craned up to stare at the size of the torii gate, the man pauses underneath. Even for a tall guy like him, the huge trunks of the posts and carved wood was something.

And a sun goddess. His own stormy grey eyes slip back down to the earth. Still, his next question comes somewhat awkwardly, "So, we missed it? When we came in. Didn't get any stamps or anything."

"Yes yes, She and He Who Invites!" Eve has done her homework for the most part, wikipedia and a thirst for legends of a time she wished she had gotten to see have prepared her for this since she was a child except for when she was really stoned. Which had to have been around the time that she was refreshing her brain on the moon god.

"Well you must understand Kimbo Slice," Head twisting again back in her direction. "Monimoni has survived this long by always being on the up and up! We all have really!" The Agents of Boom, "And Boomer has a lot on her mind, she's not just fighting for her own freedom." She's fighting for all of her sisters'.

"Make sure you are being nice to each other!" It's what Eve would be like if her sisters were still alive or.. Around? Looking over in the direction Kimbo points at she tries to get even taller than she is on her tiptoes.

Angling a look over at Asi, Kimberly seems impressed. "That's a whole lot of stuff ya'll just said, and I think only a little bit of it that I totally got. But mystical stuff," she waves one hand in the air, "sure, that." Stepping backward, Kimberly nearly trips over a crooked stone and stumbles, windmils her arms, and them comes to a stop and grimaces awkwardly.

"Okay, I'm— gonna pay attention to the trail," Kimberly says as she makes a little picture frame with her fingers, framing the road. "Oh!" Which gives her an idea. "Did— did anybody pack a camera!?" It doesn't dawn on Kimberly that — given their status as illegally being in Japan, documenting their criminality may not be the best idea.

Not to mention, taking photos might contribute another layer to it. Asi winces at that, looking off up the staircase to the main shrine. "If we head up, no photos there. There's a procedure — you have to purify yourself and limit conversation up there. Stopping to pray might not be a bad idea, though." To be honest, she's never been out this way, herself. "But otherwise, isn't that what they make phones for, these days?" She slides her own high-tech device from her pocket, holding it loosely in one hand with an arched eyebrow.

The comment at Kimberly's expense made, Asi grins to show she means no harm. "We can still pick one up, Luther," she says as reassurance. If he was interested in collecting things, she'd not get in his way. She lets out a thoughtful hm at thought that hits her. "On our way back to town, I'm sure we can find a bathhouse to stop by, too." Even if 'on the way back' meant taking a detour. She glances sidelong in Eve's direction to see if the resident excitement meter has a reaction to that.

Mention of cameras leads to Luther snapping back over to Kimberly, both brows raising in alarm. But the motion stays whatever he might have said, and he lifts his hand up in a way that looks like he's shading his eyes… and rubbing at his forehead in the same gesture. "No cloud sharing," he warns nevertheless when Asi draws out her phone. For a supposed tourist, Luther did not bring a camera. Yet.

Sentimentality prickles up his posture and he shuffles over to some spot nearer Kimberly, apparently waiting for a direction to stand and maybe smile at. Or that is, until Asi mentions… "Bathhouse?" He stares at Asi, then looks over at Eve and Kimberly. Um.

"Is my name Fannie Deux?"

Eve asks the question before answering right away, "NO! Unless you get me wrecked out of my mind. Lemme tell you about Humboldt- But of course I do!" Digging into her backpack to fish out a polaroid camera because of course Eve has brought a disposable camera to document their highly illegal mission. "Say cheese!" Snapping three unexpected and surely horrible shots of the people with her.

"There!" Grinning widely she shoves her camera in her backpack again and shivers at the thought of their pilgrimage. "I would like to pray to the gods above, to bless our journey forward." If anything the former seer sounds especially reverent there and she bats at the stray lick of crimson lightning that crackles off of shoulder. "Shh! Did you not just hear Miss Asi?" Whispering hotly down into her shoulder as if it has a mind of its own. Maybe Eve does allow it to have a mind of its own. Right now her shoulders are bobbing merrily because?

"Bathhouse! Oh boy! You ready to steam that skin? Mmmm?"

Slowly, certainly, Kimberly raises one hand up to cover her face. The noise she makes in the back of her throat is a pained one, and between splayed fingers she looks at Luther and mouths the words, why me? Then, looking at Eve, she has no words at all. Because who does?

But Kimberly has a hope. Angling a look at Asi as she walks, Kimberly seems to adopt a pleading expression. "You have some kind of like, off switch for Expressives here, right? Like a pill, or a shot, or a gun," her brows twitch, "or something to just— turn them off?" It isn't clear whether Kimberly is talking about Eve's ability or her mouth.

Asi keeps her expression level through sheer willpower. It's her work face. She weighs whether or not she thinks Eve will be able to keep it together.

She decides they should at least try.

"Negation drugs come in several forms. Negators … rarer." she states, pausing at the base of the stairs up to the shrine. Lifting her head, she gestures with her chin up the stairs. "Eve and I will head up, and it looks like…" As politely as she can, gesturing with her open hand, she motions in the direction of a building with a teller window. "You could pick up a passport there." The kanji certainly indicate it, at least! "We'll meet back here in 15 or so, and then we can find that onsen."

A beat later, she looks back to Luther. "If you hear an explosion, though, just … head on without us."

Because who knew what the situation would be if Eve had a slip at Japan's holiest public site. Asi finds herself growing more nervous as she thinks about the possibility of that happening.

"Kimberly," groans Luther as he shakes his head. Just. "Eve can handle herself." The statement comes with far more faith than anybody has any right to feel, but Luther has subscribed to Eve's channel long ago. At the note about the explosion possibility, Asi gets a look like she ought to know better than that. Luther would absolutely not run from an explosion… short of a nuclear level incident.

He looks off in the direction indicated by the technopath, and reaches over to nudge Kimberly along with him. “C’mon,” the man says with a knowing, almost parental tone, “Let’s go collect some stamps.” It’s not an off switch, but a temporary separation for a spot of peace.

"Oh you mean like Baby Trask!" Eve leans in close to Asi as she speaks. Grabbing the other woman's hand and dragging her off. "Okie see you guys later!!" The former seer is clearly too excited to do much else but move full steam ahead.

Pressing one hand to her forehead, Kimberly slides a look side-long at Luther, then at Eve’s back as the former seer goes trundling off ahead of them. “Stamps,” she reiterates with a flat tone, slowly nodding along and falling in-line beside Luther, “right.

Asi barely has time to acknowledge Luther's judging stare before she's yanked away by the wrist, all without complaint. Just for a moment does she consider trying to curb Eve's enthusiasm, but there's ultimately no reason she can find for it. Instead, she grabs Eve's hand in return, arm swinging as they head up the steps. "If there's time, we should take a weekend trip further west." she suggests. "Hiroshima, Kobe… Kyoto." There's a weight to the last one, something that sets it aside from the rest. "I think you'd enjoy it, Eve."

A smile pulls at the corner of her mouth, and she looks up ahead of them, to the next step on their small adventure.

Under just the right lens, it all looked like an average tourist trip shared amongst friends.

Never mind the part about chasing the tail of the Dragon.

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