[P] What did the moon tell you?
P: Yuki. Helping with Priest II
May or may not have imagined the narrator from Darkest Dungeon reading this [+329]
Though he may have known the reasons, and even had those who understood them, he could not shake the pangs of shame. In the days following the fire, Bellad was hungry for any sort of distraction from considering what he saw as a disgraceful display of weakness. Stirred from slumber his doubts and fears pulsed with renewed vigor.

Sleepless Yuki has been visiting him every now and then, letting him reexamine the young Soul and study his bouts of insomnia. This time, however, the Songthorn himself could relate to them. When the chance to go on a nocturnal hunt presented itself, he only hesitated slightly before agreeing.

They had done their best in the nearby forest. True to the lessons from Woodsmoke, Bellad left a token for the ravens. No bird had forged a bond with him the likes of which Cherub and the roguish Tavar shared, yet the healer took solace in having more allies than rivals when out in the wild. Even though some part of him insisted the carrion birds were growing into parasites and thieves rather than any true comrades of his.

They sat now by a campfire. Flames tamed and controlled did not shake him, but in the wake of the recent disaster still he rested just a bit further from it. Bellad lay in his quadruped Lupus, the Roaming Paw as his pack called it. Traces of orange light from the flame cast strange shadows on his scarred shoulder and hip. They could almost be mistaken for a crude relief marking him. Coal-black muzzle was stained in red – not all they have hunted down was left for the birds after all.

With Yuki and his owl companion close by, tending to their own shares of the kill and the fire keeping the trio warm, Bellad did not seem particularly inclined to converse. And yet, with belly full and mind even fuller, he was at the mercy of the sleepless youth whom he accompanied.
Quote:Priest Tier II: Preach the good word! Share the message of your chosen deity or deities to receptive Caledonians. Share stories of hope and triumph... or vengeance.

I woke up from the same dream - Falling backwards - Falling backwards

stuff here

The flames hadn't traumatised Yuki as much as others. The shock was still there, but the boy was more confused and worried for his friends and family more than anything else. Of course, then when the freaky messages and painting in blood started to happen, Yuki went from determined to fearful. Though not wanting to admit that his nights were starting to get harder to be alone. Yuki had been clinging to Val a bit for a few nights but knowing that his sister liked to keep busy the brother didn't want to weigh her down. Staying in the house was another option but that only lasted so long given how bored Yuki became when just sitting around on his own. Keikai was a nice presence, but even then Yuki didn't want the bird to be harmed by... whatever was going on. 

It wasn't about the fire, but Yuki was just overall worried and knew the best solution was company. He'd been aware of Mr Bellad's own plight with the flames and had hit the nail on the head when he guessed that the man might be up for hunting in the middle of the night. A good distraction for the fragile man, and company for the worried Yuki. It had worked out well, with a successful hunt, leaving the pair sitting around a fire and enjoying the small meals they'd found. Kei had his own which he'd taken up into the canopy, so Yuki's hands were free as he fiddled around with a freshly dropped owl feather and some string. 

Bellad was quiet, unusual for the story-teller, so Yuki spent a few minutes glancing back and forth between his work and his companion before deciding to fill the void. "You know... ever since I made friends with Keikai, I wondered where owls came from." Yuki began. "They're just so... strong and silent, the way they almost own the night with such ease, makes me a bit envious everytime I fall down a ledge in the dark." The boy chuckled a bit, then sighed. "But... well the spirit I worship, Valleuar, is also an owl so I had to wonder if maybe owls are... their children? I got told a couple of stories on owls but I've also made my own from what I think is true... if you'd like to hear them Mr Bellad?" Yuki paused, giving the man a small smile, the kind young man fully aware that offering distractions was what was needed.

Yuki Tanaka

Proposed OST [+248]
Uttering praises for the birds caught Bellad’s attention well enough. He did not actively concur, but nor did he raise his hackles in protest. Reflections from the flames made the healer’s eyes flicker faintly as he watched Yuki and listened to him speak. For a few moments, he almost wondered if it was his cue, his invitation to speak. To unveil yet another story and answer the question of just where owls had come from. Maybe the best one to ask would have been Keikai. He hadn’t considered the birds could have had an answer more elaborate than “from an egg”.

Yet it seemed he was not being called upon as a storyteller – instead he was to be a listener. An unblinking gaze was the only response at first. But even with old wounds disturbed, Bellad was not so spiteful as to dispute a story before even hearing it. The origin of owls. They were not, according to Bellad’s tribe at least, children of Valleuar, if only because the name of Valleuar was not known around Slave Lake. Briefly he thought back to the story of Asmin Who Leapt for the Stars. The story that taught the right to harbor belief even into what may not have been possible.

'Let him.' His own voice said somewhere inside, quiet but firm.

“Very well. Yes, I would.” He gave his reply, head raised and turned fully to face the young Tanaka. Then he was silent again, now with greater focus.
Quote:Priest Tier II: Preach the good word! Share the message of your chosen deity or deities to receptive Caledonians. Share stories of hope and triumph... or vengeance.

I woke up from the same dream - Falling backwards - Falling backwards

OOC: Good stuff, I'm listening to the whole soundtrack now xD

Yuki was anxious to see if he pushed too far. His love of Valleuar was a personal thing; Yuki didn't expect others to truly care about the god like he did, nor listen to stories of them and feel blessed. It was a hard path for the boy, who in time wanted to be a proper Moonweaver, but Yuki also knew that Valleuar would value whatever stories Yuki decided to weave. But Bellad gave his blessing for the boy to start his story, and Yuki let out a sigh and smiled back. Now the pressure was on to tell the story right... 

"Alright well, one night I was watching the moon and thinking about what it... represented? For me, thinking of it as Valleuar, I think of the moon as a guide and a beacon of wisdom. But then I had to think... what even is wisdom?" Yuki paused, watching sparks of flame rise from the dying fire and imagining them as stars of their own. "Wisdom isn't just book smarts, nor is it just knowing lots of things... Wisdom is just... life. Experiencing things, learning from what happens around you, from what you hear or see. So if the moon represents wisdom in that way, then what is the purpose of owls... I like to think that maybe once owls were the souls of the wise sent out to test those who aren't yet so experienced with life."

"When you think about it, owls are silent and hard to spot... yet we hear their cries in the night and know they are nearby. It's like they're telling us to always be looking around, always keep our eyes and ears open... I think of myself and Keikai when I think of that." Yuki explained, glancing up to the trees to find his avian friend. "Before I met Keikai, I would wander the night aimless, sometimes even lost... but now that I have Keikai to fly nearby it's like... I can see properly, as if I wasn't actually looking around before." And it wasn't just a literal sense either, Yuki was fully aware that his life and his desire to do things had been fuelled dramatically by Kei coming into his life. 

"Owls are guides I think... rare blessings to those who might need to find a bit of wisdom in their lives."

Yuki was looking through the smoke, passed the canopy of trees and into the sky at that point, trying to spot the moon. He chuckled after a moment and looked back to Bellad. "Of course I could also say stuff like how I think the stars are just really distant owls roosting, waiting for a need to come back down here. I've seen a few stars fly across the sky so... that gave me the idea. But um... I know it's probably more easy to just think of them as just birds that come from eggs like any other. I just feel like there's something special about them is all."

Yuki Tanaka

ooc [+336]
As Yuki spoke, Bellad lay very still, but the persistent gleam of open eyes made it clear the wolf was listening. Though of course, the heavy veil of thoughts could pass unseen and prevent him from actually seeing the young storyteller before him. That said, he wasn’t sure it was a story. An observation perhaps, delivered with contemplation.

This Valleuar, it seemed, to Yuki was a search ongoing. And for all his disappointment in the Myriad, Bellad was still beyond disputing its existence. Same for any named spirits and their offspring. There was respect to be allotted to such faith and such seeking. If anything, a mind leisurely and still would gather more criticism.

“Maybe the stars are too far for us to know what they are…” He mused, perhaps somewhat grimly. “I heard from Ierian you joined him at a campfire once… He’d told you constellations, yes?” The words tethered Bellad closer to reality. To something nearer. Although whether or not Yuki retained anything from the encounter with his brother was at most a small addition to conversation.

“Do owls know Valleuar? Does Keikai?” One could pass the healer’s question for teasing, but the utter seriousness with which the question was asked suggested Bellad was not speaking in jest. That said, the question was of a new sort. Respect for non-canine and non-Luperci only went so far. To consider the sharing of spirits and fables with birds was eccentric to say the least.

But then, Bellad had begun his commune, however tentative, with crows. Perhaps Yuki, who had known, in some way or another, the friendship of an owl would know something of their fables.

“Hm… Regardless it is well. You found yourself something special. And I am more at ease when there is a night bird to watch over you.” Better that than to count on the Tanaka to remember to check in and report on his sporadic sleeping.

“I would hear more stories if you have any to tell. Or… your findings perhaps.”
Quote:Priest Tier II: Preach the good word! Share the message of your chosen deity or deities to receptive Caledonians. Share stories of hope and triumph... or vengeance.

I woke up from the same dream - Falling backwards - Falling backwards

OOC: stuff here

Yuki was an interesting kind of priest. His title would imply that he was a young man of deep religion, the kind to preach the name of his chosen deity and push others to join him, tell stories of the great history of the gods. But Yuki didn't really feel pressed to do that, he could understand how important it was for individual decision, how worship should be a personal matter, occasionally shared by a group but usually just something to hold close to the heart. Yuki once pressured himself with feeling like he had to do or say certain things to be certified as a Moonweaver, follower of Valleuar, but in reality he need not worry about any of that. Instead, the boy just needed to believe in himself as much as his faith in the dual-spirit, believe that he was worthy as their follower, rather than set out to prove it. So perhaps the boy's stories and beliefs were wildly different from others of the same faith, but to Yuki they felt perfectly fitting for his idea of how things should be. 

"Ierian did yes, I loved everything he told me... it just... filled me with wonder." Yuki expressed with a small smile. "You know I probably see the night sky more than most... given how long I spend wandering around at night. Learning about Valleuar and how they bless or look after those who wander in the dark felt... special. Made me feel special, not so weird anymore like I felt when I was young. But... between learning about the dual-spirit and the stories your brother told me about the stars, it's made me love being out here. Whether what I know about the moon and the stars is true or not, it makes me feel like I have purpose, makes me feel safer."

The security and ease at night was perhaps the only thing Yuki wished to share to others about Valleuar, in order to make them feel better about the darkness. Night was often associated with darker things; things that brought on fear or morbid trails of thought, things Yuki wanted to avoid. The night was dangerous yes, but it was also full of so much wonder and provoked so many thoughts that it simply couldn't be all bad. 

"Keikai is young still, I've watched his soft feathers fall from his wings myself... but there are some things he does that I just can't explain without linking them to something spiritual." Yuki replied. "He follows me everywhere, even to places I know he wouldn't like, just to make sure I'm alright. Whenever my thoughts are... less than ideal, he is there to remind me to look around, take things in slowly and realise there's a lot more to do than be stuck in my head." It proved to Yuki that the bird was more than some simple animal, that the owl was more than just a wise master of the night, but a being with compassion and a desire to help. Much like Yuki himself. 

"Hmm... well, stories and findings... Oh! I'm learning to hunt now, which I guess is obvious because we just did some hunting... but I guess I mean more the moment when I decided to start doing it." Yuki began. "A bit of guidance from Keikai and Valleuar there, but one night whilst I was just sitting under the moonlight I had a think about what I wanted to... do, you know? I have some jobs now but nothing I do feels all that meaningful to the Realm as a whole. So I wondered if I could find a way to hunt, bring food to the pack. I thought mostly about how Keikai hunts and if we could work together somehow. So I started making things like this..." Yuki reached into his coat to show off the rope that had various loops tied into it, along with some beads that rattled as it moved. "Didn't use this tonight because we didn't need them, but when I hunt with Keikai I use these like traps... Keikai actually uses his hearing a lot so I made something that would make a distinct sound. I tend to make things a lot when sitting under the moonlight, it's as if ideas just pop into my head, brought there by something."

Yuki Tanaka

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