Tsinghua - Tea & Tanuki

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Description: A Tanuki has come from the spirit world to investigate humanity's corruption, only for his first encounter with a human to be more pleasant then he had anticipated.

"Let's look.. over here."

Tsinghua Tao had been strolling around in a forest, located in Rural Japan. He just recently had an appointment with a potential Client- the meeting went well. It was with one of those japanese houses that values tradition above all: The Ochi clan. Not too unlike the Góng Estate's devoted following of Chinese culture. In any case, he had to strictly follow their proceedings and customs. Tsinghua didn't mind doing that, per say.

But it was rather exhausting on the brain- to constantly remind himself of said customs. At least he did not have to put his life on the line, which had been much more of a common occurence of late.

But now, it's his relaxing time. He had made the hike from a somewhat nearby village deep into this fantastic forest. While a lot of light is blocked out by the trees, sunrays shine through to more clearly illuminate certain patches. The messenger looks very content being here. In his hand, he is holding a guidebook about various sorts of edible herbs- more specifically, he is looking for leaves and flowers to make tea with! He had already collected a few small pouches, each holding a different sort of plant, all hanging around his waist. At the moment, he is harvesting small, red flowers with a satisfied smile on his face- occupied with the plant, and paying little attention to his surroundings.

It's not like he has to worry about people in a place like this!

This is a worse world then Daichi thought!

Ah, there were so many stories told in his long life growing up; about what was really going on in this realm. A mere faint, corrupted echo of nature's intent, ruined by humanity. It would be a lie to say certain events had not set the tanuki severely biased... but it took little time for him to be reviled by the general *feel* of this plane. A lifetime exposed to the rich, spiritually dense forests of his homeland makes him feel almost greasy and dirty, even trying to roost in this forest a good distance from Southtown. Like some kind of exposure therapy... he'll have to work his way up to going into the city...

Presently, the tanuki's in his 'true' form; almost comically identical to many representations of the raccoon-like folk, in many ways. Dressed himself in garb many might pull from the 1700's; straw hat, sake bottle slung about the shoulder, with brown hakama pants and dark green haori. Resting in his paws is a walking stick -- the wood comes from his home realm, after all, and he finds it a comfort.

Whatever thoughts were rolling around in his head shift when he senses the aura of someone coming. ...a human!! Immediately gathering his things, the tanuki makes to stealthily pick his way over to find sufficient line of sight to peek. He's rather stealthy himself, for the most part... and of course a human's just looting the spoils of Mother Nature with no proper ceremony and reverence. Just like he thought!

But something else boils within him. This is technically the /second/ human he's ever seen... and the agitated flicks of his tail and increase in tension are a stronger reaction then he expected. Something must be done...

Invoking one of his own nature techniques, there's a *POOF!* of quickly dispersed grey smoke. A brown weasel replaces him; if far too big. And not of a species native to Japan. And the ears are wrong, with the tail far too puffy, large and dipped in black ink... still, this is merely intended for arboreal saboutage...

As Tsinghua works, the shifted Tanuki picks over to climb the tree quietly. Any errant noises he makes shouldn't be suspicious, although he's trying to be mindful... to get to a large branch looming over the human's head...

*SNAP!* And then, the branch careens down, rustling loudly through branches and leaves! It's pretty big, but nothing that would cause meaningful injury even to the mundane. Of course, he's rather heavily underestimating Tsinghua in many ways... one of which is making no attempt to hide after the little prank. And, if Tsinghua has any ability to assess chi -- especially nature -- he's an absolutely unnatural wellspring of it to excess, now that his aura is no longer being concealed in the wake of breaking the limb!

Indeed, Tsinghua is well-attuned with chi- Especially natural! Even though he is not paying attention, he senses the Tanuki's wellspring of Qi- and he stops to stand up straight, and innocently looks up in the direction of the Tanuki- Although the fairly dense foliage makes him unable to see the Raccoon. "H-Hello? Is anybody there- Wah!"

The branch falls down, and Tsinghua grazes past it with his hand. It gets infused with his chi, and then- It's stuck in mid-air. It seems to grow green, spectral roots out of it's surface while under this effect. The boy steps aside, and snaps his fingers. The effect losing it's potency as the stick falls to the ground. "I- Is there anything you want?!" There is fear in his voice, as he puts two and two together. Whatever he's sensing attempted to drop that branch on his head.

"I-I mean no harm- I can leave if you want me too."

Shifting around, the muzzle of the faux-weasel pokes out to stare down at Tsinghua. Far too intelligent, to be sure. But he's under the assumption a human would not give a second look to what seems to be a normal forest animal, random branch fall or not; at present, he's not wearing any of his garb nor carrying any of his items, seeming to just be a large mustelid to people more ignorant of Japanese fauna... that they could sense his energy?! Ha!

Yet the shapeshifted Tanuki barks out a noise of surprise when the branch visibly freezes in the air. That technique...! It's one he's personally familiar with, too. "Why does a human know that?!" the tree weasel demands.


Shoot. Humans are dumb, but not 'ignore a talking animal' dumb. Ahem. "I am the Forest God of this area... you dare enter it to take my bounty?!" Scrabbling down, the weasel jumps to land carefully atop the branch spilled earlier. Daichi's current form is almost the size of a dog, if talking along wasn't sufficiently unnatural. A glance would show there's no actual wound on the tree. It may have lost a limb, but it was nothing so crude or savage as severing it.

"If you wish for forgiveness on this transgression, you must make me a offering. ...And stand on one leg, while clapping your hands three times and begging forgiveness from the spirits of the vegetation you stole! ...as you spin around!"

"Ah!" He gasps out, as the creature lands in front of him. A nervous eyebrow is raised, as he stumbles back. "I- It is a signature technique of the honorable Góng Estate.." Tsinghua admits, confused. "It- works with other types of Qi as well.. I just happen to use wood..." The messenger explains in confusion.


In any case, not wanting trouble, he goes through that rather humiliating motion that was demanded of him. Balancing on a leg with little effort, clapping three times and spinning around while muttering some sort of prayer. "I am terribly sorry, mr. Forest God.. I hope that will suffice."

Up close, a slow and steady assessment of Tsinghua is done. His aura's nice. Familiar, even. His affinity is not unlike that of the tanuki; it is no lie that this creature is greatly attuned to the flow of life and the forest. After all, he's a spirit from another realm! Then he shakes his head, almost upset at himself for not being more disgusted in the presence of Tsinghua.

But the grin that flows on that stout muzzle is rather amused. "Eheheh... you actually did it...!" Then the weasel bursts into a genuine laugh, one that certainly sounds malicious. Nothing about that seems very regal or noble. Do all Forest Gods act in such an irreverent manner? "But... but you forgot my offering!!" A ripple of green natural chi goes across, and the weasel-tanuki hybrid grows a bit bigger. From almost-dog to large-dog! "And that technique... how did you freeze that branch?!"

"I.. will see if I can find anything to give you, mr. Forest god. But I do not have much on my person at present." He gives a quick nod in apology. "It's- it's something that everyone practiced in our branch of Tai-Chi practices. I come from the land of China, and I am a part of the Noble House of Gong- A messenger and envoy, more specifically." He transitions out of his introduction and into an actual explanation.

"You see- I infuse the object with a layer of my own chi. It forms a sort of... lock around it. A barrier that firmly holds it in place, and reinforces it's durability." He demonstrates again, throwing a small stone directly upward- The same thing happens, but this time, in addition to the growing roots it actually seems to petrify with a layer of bark. "I can- I can then make that energy more 'fluid' which allows it to move again with all the force and momentum it built up while frozen, you see?" He pokes the pebble with his finger- It doesn't move, but it does seem to vibrate slightly. Tsinghua puts together his palms, and the 'shield' is released: Leaving the pebble to fall in the opposite direction he tapped it from. Away from Daichi, of course!

"Does that satisfy you, mr. Forest God?"

"I... don't know much about what any of that is..." Daichi remarks. It's not much more then coincidence; the Spirit Realm where he lives, coincidentally, overlaps with Japan. Other areas tend to cover other spots of this planet, and some amount of culture -- and mystical beasts -- assuredly flow both way over time. Even if things are a couple centuries behind, on Daichi's side...

Watching the ball be thrown up, there's some definite curiosity, there. "I know a similar technique!! ...as a mighty god. But I cannot do it now..." Not in a weasel-form, nope! All his aura control is being spent on maintaining the shape, after all. The curiosity remains, but he begins to sniff-sniff the air, whiskers trembling, towards Tsinghua.

"Tch...!! Do you have nothing?! Even an offering of rice satisfies most shrines...! I'll simply have to CURSE you, if that's the case." Shifting into a stance that looks vaguely aggressive, the tanuki-weasel seems like he might be about to do SOMETHING... that thing is a pretty solid bluff!

"I- I see! I have never met anyone outside of the estate with any similair technique- That is fantast-"

"Ah- Curse?!" The boy yelps. "Uuhm, uhm-" He frantically begins to dig into his handbag. "Oh! I can- I can offer you my tea set.." He very carefully takes out a red velvet pouch that clinks with earthwear. He looks a bit sad about offering this, but nothing else enters his mind as a suitable gift- And he doesn't want to anger a mighty forest god! He puts the pouch in front of the weasel. "And- And, China lays a little west of these lands- Japan. It is a lovely country.. maybe you'd enjoy it."

"Ehhh..." Daichi says, not seeming particularly interested in the offering, at least at face value. "I'll try some tea... but... you can compensate with some information. I've, uh. Been slumbering in the forest, you see! Recent corruption has awakened me, and I'm not very familiar with what humans are up to, now..." A lot of this is, abstractly, the truth. "Let me, uh... go get my servant... I must rest, once more..."

The weasel-tanuki then heads off, once more. Back out of sight, to where he left behind his clothing and items; another *POOF!* as he returns to his standard tanuki-body. A brief rustling, slinging sake bottle and holding his stick, before he marches back over to Tsinghua.

This might be rather more readily identifiable! And Daichi would be lying if he said he wasn't smug to actually be TALLER then a human, if only just. ...of course, uh. His aura is... literally identical to the 'Forest God' in every way. "Yes, yes. I am Daichi! The, uh! Forest God's aide!!"

While Tsinghua is Naive, the fact that this thing just adopted a different shape is wildly obvious. Nontheless, he waits on it's return. all the while gathering twigs and branches to start a small fire. Of course, he safely contains it with some rocks! With a bit of effort, he gets a fire going, perching a metal pot filled with water above it. He was carrying some fresh water, which he used. He aims to get the water boiling before he adds the herbs, and that will be a little while."

"Ah- Welcome bac- I mean, Welcome, mr. Daichi." He corrects himself at the last moment, playing along with his game. "Do not worry about the fire, it is safely contained. I took the liberty to start making us some tea." It is rather interesting how casual the boy is about meeting this figure- Though he does take a few seconds to take in that unusual appearence, but he yet seems to feel at relative ease. Maybe it is because of the connection to nature both of them have?

He sits down on the grassy ground, cross-legged. "What would you like to talk about, mr. Daichi?"

There's a bit of judgmental staring going by the tanuki when Tsinghua starts burning things; of course, presumably nothing gathered isn't actually yanked or broken from things that are alive, so he can't find much ground for it to bug him. For the moment, he heads to the flowers that Tsinghua was harvesting at the onset; checking to see the method. Is it one the plant would recover from, or is it one that will end up killing it? It'd be nice to find some concrete reason to build negative marks on the human...

"Yes, yes, the tea!" he agrees, in his own personal lapse of continuity. At least the pair both seem temporally displaced; the tanuki's also not even slightly keen on modern outfits! "Hmm... watch!" he decides. He then plucks up a stone, and extends his arm to fling it towards himself. With intense effort, he claps his paws together, and it stops before him, glowing subtly green. It's indeed very close to what Tsinghua had showed!

"But while you can cause it to return to the original course...!" Daichi reaches out and pokes it. When the aura shimmers, it goes in the /opposite/ direction; although the rough power and speed is identical, it's like he applied a 180 to it! "Obviously, MY version is much more refined and advanced... still! I didn't expect to see something like it in these parts... hmph! Humans have come farther along in their lifeforce manipulation then I was lead to believe, maybe?"

"Wow." Tsinghua admits. "I can actually manage something similair, freezing and absorbing energy or projectiles before launching them back. I can also add and substract kinetic energy by hitting the object while it is frozen.. Change the trajectory." But he realizes he doesn't want to stomp on the creatures proud display. "B-But yes, I am /sure/ it is a lot more potent then my techniques!"

Stroke his ego, Tsinghua- As you've been thought.

The water slowly comes to a boil, and Tsinghua opens one of the pouches- sprinkling a doze of large, yellow flowers in. "It is very impressive indeed."

And of course, all of the things he had foraged would have been with respect- no breaking off branches, no picking all the flowers in a single patch. At least, he seems to be careful about not disturbing the woods too much.

"You may be correct- there are many people that can manipulate Chi. There is a whole community of martial artists and fighters with such techniques."

"As can I!" Daichi proudly says. It doesn't seem to be an empty boast, really. Inwardly, he ponders. The coincidence is too much... his Master never said where the arts came from. And although China might not be far from Japan, in the Spirit Realm, the spirits that 'live' over China are much, MUCH farther away... there's some curious puzzle here. That probably ends in Tsinghua's house stealing them! They are SECRET techniques, that much he's sure he was told!

"Hrmph..." Finally, he finds a strike to do against Tsinghua. Technique thief! Thus far, he's being mindful of harmony with the forest, and that's... well, what he always claims humans SHOULD be. They already exist? It must just be incredibly rare, then. He can feel the dead voids of the distant cities, after all... where most of these creatures nest.

"Oh...? Fighting humans? How adorable!" Daichi laughs, and it's not too good natured, really. "But they do seem to enjoy their conflict. How quaint. But tell me of that large city nearby... I hope to visit it -- soon. It seems much different then the tales and stories of which I'm familiar..."

"Indeed, humans fighting. Sometimes, very powerful humans. My masters had me fight before, but it hurt. I do not like fighting." He says this with a downright sad expression, before lightening up again as he focuses on the tea- opening the lid.

"You must speak of Southtown, correct? I am not too fond of the place." He starts, all the while stirring the tea with a wooden spoon. "It is too busy for my tastes, too many people, too many large buildings. It is... chaotic and grey." Nodding, he seems pleased at his choice of words. The lid goes back on the pot, the tea needing a few minutes more. "I am not so sure if a creature of nature like yourself has much to gain there. Trees and plants are scant, though there are a few nice parks around, admittedly. I much prefer a proper forest, however." Back in a crosslegged sit.

"I have met awful people in Southtown, but I have also met great people- Including Darkstalkers, on.. both ends of that spectrum. A city as big as that is bound to attract all sort of types, you see."

"Very powerful... uh huh..." Daichi does not say this with as much arrogant skepticism as might be expected. His gaze seems different, almost dark, at some kind of memory he has. "I don't like fighting... I'd prefer to fish, nap, and drink. Life is a gift... there shouldn't be any conflict beyond pranks..." He intones this very seriously, drawing his sake bottle around to pop off the cap and take a swig.

"Southtown...?" He can't make fun of the name, sadly. In his realm, they are equally literal. "You do not speak like I expect a human to... but I also did not think I'd find one so deep in nature... that must be why." The sake is set to the side, before Daichi draws up his own walking staff. It's a strange-seeming wood, to be sure. "You seem to appreciate nature... what do you think of this?" He waggles the end, intending for Tsinghua to take it.

Indeed, it might feel unique! It's from an especially dense tree in the Spirit Realm, after all. It's far harder, and lighter, then anything that grows naturally on earth. Densely laced with pure, absolutely untainted natural chi!

"Dark... stalker? That sounds like a monster! Why would you want to meet something like that? Do you mean vampires or werewolves?!" Daichi would definitely be labeled as such, but he appears to not understand the term in the slightest... "Hmph... I'm new to Earthrealm. I'm from the world of spirits, you see! That walking stick of my own should be proof!"

"You are most correct, mr. Daichi." Pacifism is something both of them can get behind, it seems. The boy eagerly takes that stick, inspecting and feeling it.

"W-Wow... It feels incredible.." He really seems to be star-struck by the item. He wish he'd be able to keep it! "The Messenger's branch of our martial art actually employs walking sticks, I had one.. up until recently. I went through a... horrible experience, and it burned up." He looks depressed, and even fearful at the mention of this- clutching his chest, and his breathing speeds up- his eyes getting wet. Nontheless, he hands back the stick.

Wiping away some tears, he changes the subject."A-Apologizies. Darkstalkers is a term that's widly used in the human world. It's a little mean, but it essentially refers to most any creature of supernatural origin.. In fact, you would be considered one, mr. Daichi." He explains this to him with as soft and friendly of a tone he could manage.

"The world of the Spirits sounds like a wonderful place, mr. Daichi. I wish I could visit."

"Mmm. But I was taught although you can dislike fighting, you cannot always avoid it... sometimes you must. I wish I had took that seriously..." He scratches his claws idly into the fluff of his cheek, staring at the steam of the tea pot. "I should measure myself against humans, when I can. Of course, I'm an elite captain charged with defending my realm, so I expect to find few who are any match..."

Puffing out his chest, clearly Daichi is happy that someone can properly appreciate his own item. Then he has another thought... does that mean this human also uses some variant of bojutsu alongside that strange energy technique? More and more curious... but watching the response to Tsinghua's own memories makes him stir. Eyes dart to the side, and he tries very hard to present an impassive face despite the sympathy softening the edges. "Mmm..."

Taking the stick, he rests it back on the ground. It might be unique to Tsinghua, but to the tanuki, it's... just a walking stick. Certainly a quality one, but it would be no great adventure to replace it, and it's no sentimental value of any import. That hardly means he's going to GIVE it to anyone, though!

"Ah...? I'm a... Darkstalker, to humans? How fearfully ignorant... pfft!" His pelt bristles out a little bit. "Which I knew... mmm? I'm afraid it's difficult for humans to get there. The method I use to go back and forth couldn't bring one, it's a lone technique! It only works for natives, and only on certain days of the month, and only in certain places..." Erm. He probably shouldn't reveal stuff like that so casually...

"Is your tea done, then? It better be fitting for a Forest God!!"

"That is the unfortunate thruth. I have found myself in many a situation where I was forced to protect myself against a stronger force. It's a dangerous world." The envoy agrees. "An Elite captain, you say? How impressive~" More flattery, it is kind of part of his conversational routine. "I am certain you'll be able to find at least some challenge in these lands. I do not mean to demean your obvious strength, but I would advice to not underestimate."

"That is correct. If you remain to dwell here you will find yourself to be called as such- A lot of humans fear them due to their inherit power- Yet, they are so few in number that such fear is relatively unfounded. And they have just as much capacity to be kind, as well as malicious, that humans have. I was afraid of them ones, but I have grew past that." He smiles politely, yet warmly toward the Tanuki.

"Ah- Yes, certainly."

The boy responds, standing up and taking one of the cups out of the velvet pouch. The cups are white, sturdy pottery with green decorations of flowers and leafs- they look to be hand-decorated. filling it with the now light-yellow tea. He does the same for himself. It would have a gentle, herbal taste. Yet not an unpleasant one. It was mildly sweet, actually. If anything, the boy seems to know his Tea. "I hope you enjoy, mr. Daichi."

"Could I ask a question in return, Sir?"

"Oh, yes!" Okay, the 'elite' part is a bit of a lie, maybe. And the role, at least through word of mouth, was largely ceremonial in theory. Still, he is DEFINITELY a captain! Of some extra-dimensional band, at least... "Pfeh! They are right to fear my might, yes! Hopefully they will be smart enough to stay away, then..." He tries to suppress his desire to drink more sake, when the promise of tea is near... he's not a huge fan of it, but neither is the tanuki against it! His Master always loved the bitter stuff, so it might be nostalgic...

Once looking over the ornamentation of the whole set, Daichi somewhat regrets not accepting it for his tribute. But, well, he's no need for it... and thus far Tsinghua has been properly reverent and inoffensive. A wary sip, then he brightens. "Mmm! ...I mean, yes. This is okay." Slurp, slurp, noisy slurp. "It could use honey..." He rummages around a bit, coming up with a small bit of honeycomb carefully wrapped in a cloth. He crumbles a bit into what remains of his own, and puts it back away.

"Ah...? I suppose! I'm an ancient spirit some rever as kami from another world, after all! If it's wisdom you seek, you've earned a bit of counsel!" He then messily drains the rest of his tea and immediately begins trying to clean whispers and furry lips, as if knowing immediately it was going to cause issues but just accepting it as fact... instead of pacing himself, anyway.

"Some extra sweetness in tea is always nice, isn't it? I will pass on it this time, however." Another warm smile towards the creature. "I am glad you enjoy it, mr. Daichi."

"And I look forward to hearing about your accomplishments." He affirms, with a nod. "And, thank you for offering me your wisdom, mr. Daichi. It is not exactly council I seek, at this moment- Although I am most certain you would be excellent for such." He breathes in, before thinking for a moment- tapping his chin with one hand.

"I would like to meet with you again, mr. Daichi- and If we do, do you think it is perhaps possible for me to recieve a staff such as the one you own? I realize it is a selfish, greedy request- but it is something I dearly want. I felt rather.. connected with it." He looks down, a bit shyly- afraid he's asking too much. "Of course, In return I would offer you anything I could reasonably manage. Be that something material of our world and, or my personal assistance with something. Whatever you wish for, really."

"I'm sure we could reach a conclusion where both of us would be satisfied."

"Mhm..." Daichi says in response. He definitely did not offer any honey, which makes the polite denial all the more convenient! Then again, the tanuki's had poor manners ever since he was a pup... decades of languishing with poor, lazy behavior have not exactly polished every aspect of his personality to a positive diamond... "Uh huh, uh huh..." the Tanuki continues, seeming to be less sure but properly flattered by the request.

"Ah...? Ah! Like my walking staff." He looks it over in his paws again, as if to confirm that no, he doesn't really care about it. But it's not as if he can just hop back to the Spirit Realm whenever he pleases, and it's high quality even there. The fact he felt momentarily tempted is shocking enough, by any account. "Bringing you a new one from the Spirit World is a matter of time and cost, yes... hmm. Everything there is done in trades! Favors or items, even a good story... one like this," He raps a knuckle on his staff. "Is worthy of a tanuki captain on a mission, after all..."

"But, fine... if you help me get used to the strangeness of this world a bit, and bring me something to try and trade for one... the payment for *me* can be figured out later." He tap-taps the base of the staff on the ground a few times. "The owner is a great, ancient ent. Defender of his grove for millenia, most like. He likes new experiences, especially ones to tide him over in his eternal vigil, or fascinating knowledge and stories. I spun him a yarn--I mean, a tale of exploit--for three whole days to get this!! Beyond talking with people, he has little to do, and spends most of it going dormant... ah, it's pleasant for him. He's not exactly awake, not exactly asleep, but the human world is probably rife with something... but, aye. The quality of the wood he'll give depends on the quality of your present. That's up to you!!"

The boy stands up, and bows deeply. "Thank you very much, mr. Daichi."

"Your world sounds truly fascinating. I have heard of ents, but only in myth and fairytail. I will do my best to provide him with something he could truly enjoy. Maybe I could tell him one of our stories..." Looking up at the sky, and back to Daichi, he clarifies.

"Well, not in person, as that would not be possible, unfortunately. Even though that would be a fantastic experience. But we have devices- technology that, when they hear sounds and voices they.... memorize them, and later create those sounds again. It essentially.. repeats the sound, you see? I can let him hear my voice through that artifact." He struggles to explain this in terms that would make sense for the Tanuki, and might not have been very successful. "I might not be able to manage a story that's three days long, but perhaps I could manage one. A full twenty-four hours of story that he could listen to many times.."

Another smile, as he breaks free from his little fantasy. "Maybe he would like such a gift."

"Ehhh, I heard long ago the pathways between our realms was not so difficult... and humans were not so terrible... and some of our kind even ended up staying in Earthrealm. I don't know the precise truth! It was before my time..." He does listen, if distractedly, playing with the wood of his staff. As if to enjoy the fact he has it, perhaps.

"Not in person? I'm not gonna read him one for you, and he went blind centuries ago--huh?" The idea seems to struggle to parse initially. "Like a... a magical echo, or something?" He imagines some great conch shell you can speak into, and it speaks back, but he can't figure out how it might take 24 hours of a story... "You can try... but it's hard to please him with stories. I took three DAYS like I said, and I had to embellish it JUST a little. He doesn't get them often, you see, and he's thus really insatiable... and likes to ask lots of questions or interrupt... hmm. It'd need to be something special indeed to work. Feel free to try, though. It might work to manage SOMETHING from him...! If not just the novelty of whatever artifact you'd use..."

"...Something like that, yes. There would be a lot of technolog- Uhm, artifacts that would have novel value, but would lack practicality or much to enjoy outside of said novelty. There are even tools that allow people to talk across long distances in real-time."

"But I rather doubt that would work across different realms, tragically." He stretches out, setting that direct topic aside for the time being. "I will give good thought about it, mr. Daichi. Thank you for providing me with this opportunity. But who knows, there might be potential in travelling there- I know.. multiple induviduals that have knowledge of magic and the supernatural. Maybe they could assist!" He seems to really like this idea, unrealistic as it might be. It is something fantastical to him, like a fairy tail. "I might inquire about that. I am sure being there in person would lead to a more pleasant experience for all of us.."

"I am quite sorry for daydreaming, mr. Daichi. It is all just rather wondrous, you see?"

"Well, they also like me... I am good friends with the Protector of the Grove. Yet for a human I barely know...? I will not go out of my way to do any favors! Prove yourself with your gift and aide for me, and it can be done!" He sounds a little more gruff there, although there is hint that such is forced, as opposed to some innate trait of his personality. When the prospect of traveling there is brought up, there's a more genuine darkness. "It is still possible for humans to go there." he says. "And I will not help in any way." An air of finality, for the time. Something is there, some trauma and rage, as he tosses the empty tea cup back towards Tsinghua. "Do not get me wrong... I am here on a mission. Something on this planet is poisoning the seithr to such an extent it is affecting the spirit world nearby!! Humans must be to blame. I will find out the cause, and what must be done to fix it must be done. That is--" A brief flash of something else, a betrayal to the steel. A dark one. "--the only reason I am here. I am not an utter fool... I know there are good humans. But I truly believe, as a whole, your species is destructive and dangerous, and no longer may that be only limited to your own realm!"

Tsinghua sensed the darkness, and knows he had hit a nerve. "Apologies, mr. Daichi. I understand." And leaves it at that, to continue the conversation to a different route. The cup gets thrown his way, and he struggles to catch it! Barely managing as he breathes a sigh of relief. "P-Please be a little careful, mr. Daichi. These cups took a lot of time to decorate.."

"Is that so? That situation sounds most dire." He nods in agreement, even though he doesn't understand all of it. "And I will not be able to argue against that- How could I? Even If I would disagree, I couldn't. It is not my place." The messenger explains. "Although I would not know where to start with your investigation, I will gladly assist to get you accustomed to.. Earthrealm, was the word you used? Yes. I will do what I can, in that regard. In fact, after we are done here, would you like to hike to the village over close? Humans in Rural parts such as this will be more like to see you in the light of folklore and fascination, rather then in fear. If I recall, Tanuki hold a lot of meaning in Japanese culture."

The newly grumpy Tanuki doesn't seem to care much about the less then careful handling of the cup. Arms are crossed before his dark green coat, staring off to the side in a newly huffy manner as that brown black-tipped pufftail of his begins angry flicking back and forth.

"Visiting humans out here in nature is a waste of time...! I need to find the culprits, and they must be in those disgusting cesspools like 'Southtown'. I'm not here to make friends or awe mortals! And yes, some time ago, there was probably a few of us here who crossed in ancient time, much like things such as nekomata and kitsune. But I certainly sense none of my kind right now, and we do not die of age. That can only mean the humans did something to them, yes?!" Definitely a sense of bias, there!

He hops up to his feet then, doing a sort of long stretch. "Gah... I must go and do my training exercises!! I will come find you again before I have an opportunity to return home... I hope by then you will have figured a proper offering for the Guardian of the Grove!"

"If you're certain- I only mean to say it will get you accustomed. Barging in to Southtown when you know little about Humans is a risky endeavor."

Then, he gulps nervously. "H-How long would that be? Since I will not be around these parts for that much longer, I'm afraid. I have to return home by.. the end of the day." He takes his final sip of tea, gently setting the fragile cup on the forest ground. "And uhm, I don't think that would be enough time for a suitable offering. If it's a few days, I might find the opportunity to return here, but my duties might call me elsewhere, I'm afraid. I am not entirely free to do as I please." Humans and their work, social constructs, and duties. It's a complicated affair.

"In any case, I wish you the best of success with your training, and hope to meet you again soon." He stands up, into another deep bow. "I eagerly await it. Have an excellent evening, mr. Daichi. I will clean up here and make sure the fire won't harm anything."

"Ehhhhhh." Daichi explains, both since he can understand some bit of logic to what Tsinghua's saying, and that he is utterly too stubborn to go back on his rejection. Already, his first exposure to a human has not gone at all the way he expected. And that strange, gnawing link between him and the youth is even more troublesome. "Then... nine days. I will find you in nine days! It will be trivial for me to find a human!! ... but tell me where you are returning, either way!"

"Nine days. Understood, mr. Daichi." Tsinghua affirms the fact, then tilting his head at the second part of the sentence. "W-Well, I live in China, mr. Daichi. The province known as 'Hubei' to be more exact, near the village of Zhumuqiao. It is a decent ways from here, even for one such as yourself- I am tempted to think."

"But If you would take that effort, I would be most honored. Otherwise, I might be able to convince my Masters to allow me to return here for the day.."

"Eh! I can find China. How far away can it be?" Daichi states with absolutely blind confidence. Hopefully he'll remember all those details, when the time comes... although the task of figuring out something to please a blind, ancient ent rooted in one place? That might be quite the task indeed. "Well... ...I am off, then! Bye!!" Taking up his staff, the tanuki then uses it to vault away; flitting through some bushes and between trunks without much of a whisper of sound. Seeming intent on vanishing off into the forest as randomly as he first came...!

"Y-Yes, Bye!" He waves the Tanuki goodbye, smile on his face. "It truly was a pleasure."

And with that, the two seperate. Tsinghua, the boy, cleaning up and putting out the fire while stowing the pottery back in his bag safely. And yawns, it's been a long day, and he's tired. But there's still the hike back to the village- where's he staying in a traditional inn. At least that will give the Envoy time to reflect on the ludicrous events that just transpired.

"How surreal, that was.."

Log created on 13:32:12 06/10/2021 by Tsinghua, and last modified on 20:39:41 06/10/2021.