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Subject Post 1Subject: Bonds (Shihoin Ceremony Thread) Sun Mar 29, 2020 5:59 pm
The day has finally come.
Chidori had to admit, she was a little nervous, she has been anticipating this day her entire life. In fact, everything prior has led up to this point, but it felt so surreal now that it was actually happening. Actually, it was supposed to happen a month ago but it was constantly postponed due to the preparations taking a while to get together, Chidori's long grieving process, and Kintori's arrangement and her scheduling. But finally, there was a date set and then it came.
The Shihoin estate was decorated to fit the occasion, with white candles placed around the estate along with black dahlia flower decorations scattered around as well. The ceremony was planned to be held inside, the tables and seats being removed from one of the larger rooms and a staged being placed inside. This being a traditional ceremony, the guests were expected to kneel on the floor and mats were placed to make it more comfortable. On the stage were a few pillows meant for sitting and a blade on it's stand. Guests started pouring into the room and taking their spots, most of them being family with a few extended family and extremely close friends invited as well.
Meanwhile, in the other room, Chidori was freaking out while the servants were getting her ready.
"Oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck. I am so not ready for this..." She complained out loud to both nobody in particular but everyone in the room at the same time. Of course, someone was going to answer but Chidori wasn't really expecting one. That information just needed to be said and out there, and letting it out made her feel somewhat better.
The servant that was dressing her in the ceremonial Kimono had stopped for a moment, deciding to respond to Chidori's outburst. "Now, now, that's not something the next leader of one of the four noble families should be saying." Little did they know, this would have the exact opposite effect. "That makes it so much worse when you say it like that!" Chidori griped once again. She was joking, somewhat. There was a hint of preparedness in her sea of anxiety, she just needed help getting it.
"Look, I've known you and your family for years now. Ever since I've been in the Soul Society, your family has been there for me. I trust your father and your father believed in you. Even if you feel like you yourself are not worthy, have confidence that the rest of do." And with the, the servant resumed their task and left Chidori to ponder the information given. It made her think back to Yushiro's letter, how he spoke about her flaws but also her strengths, how while even if she wasn't perfect, she had a family behind her to support her. This reassurance calmed her down enough that she felt comfortable going through with this.
It wasn't long before the doors opened to the room and music begun playing, Chidori stepping into view of all the guests. She was dressed fairly traditionally but modern in a sense. She wore a black and gold kimono, the Shihoin family crest on the back, and had her hair tied up as well. She wore some makeup but barely enough that she looked pretty normal all things considered. There was a calm expression on her face as she took short strides to the center of the stage, sitting in front of the blade displayed in front of everyone. For a moment, her eyes scanned over the group of people. She saw her sisters, Rio's... friend, the Shiba guy, Kokoro, Yahiko, and Keiko. Chidori invited Yoruichi and Yugiri, but it didn't seem like they arrived yet. They may not come at all.
The speaking for this event was left up to Chidori, so she started. "Friends, family, thank you for coming. Truly, to see everyone here makes me happy. As many of you know, all things have to come to an end, and sadly with the passing of my father, his watching over the Shihoin has left with him. With me as his announced heir, I'm planned to take his position. To tell you all the truth, I'm nervous. I believe in my abilities to lead this family, but I don't think I will be able to be what Papa was to you. I want to make this clear: I will try my best to not be only a leader but a relative. At the end of the day, we are still family, and that will always come first. But I'm not Papa, and no matter how much I try, there's no way I'll ever truly be him, but I will be me." Chidori picked up the blade off of it's stand and handed it to one of the servants.
"With this blade, I will show that I am willing to give everything that it takes to lead this family, even if it means sacrificing my flesh in the process. If there are any objections, make it known now."
END POST | THE NEXT BEST THING
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Subject Post 2Subject: Re: Bonds (Shihoin Ceremony Thread) Sun Mar 29, 2020 8:11 pm
The Shihoin Shadow
This had been a horrible weak in more ways than one. Yahiko didn't take the news well as he drank for the first time in ages. Smoked and sat in his room brooding over the fact. Letting it sink in that the last person was gone. He had no connections anymore in a big way. He never got to meet a lot of the other children. His mother saw to that isolation and style. He sat in his room with a lit cigarette held in his hand. Feeling waves of crashing doubt on him. His free hand held a sake bottle. He'd drank from it and sat there most of the night. He'd left home a couple of times to fight people. He lost most of them and had a small session with Rio. But what did he do now, whatever he wanted? A shattered bottle lay broken with shards on the ground. Small cuts on his palm as he stood up. It was today, the ceremony was today.
Walking over he tossed his clothes away and slipped into the traditional dress for this. He'd taken care to not let the smoke or smell get in the way. Keeping these free of his cigarettes and other crutches at this moment. As he slipped into his clothing a voice echoed. |Just fall into despair, you are all alone now. Nobody cares and you don't matter." He stopped at the door letting his head thud against it. He knew where he had to be today. His eyes looked tiredly at it with something else in them. "I know.." He muttered as he opened the door walking through. Acknowledging the voice to be right before moving on. Nothing was left for him anymore, it was a dark empty like his Zanpakuto. It would swallow him someday, but not on this day. Chidori needed them as a collective to support her.
Even if inside he knew that fact was true, he'd be leaving as he came in. An echo in the dark lost and forgotten to time. A bitter thing to accept for him as he moved forward. Coming to the grounds after sorting himself out. He found his seat and took his place among family. He didn't speak or say anything as he merely as an observer.
This was Chidori's day so no matter the darkness inside him. It was best to just accept and move on. "You shouldn't even be here, what have you done to earn it? Some hick from the living world who did nothing? Why not march up and die on that stage?" The voice said in his head as he looked on. Keeping his facial expression warm and hiding it all away. The pain didn't need to be here it was meant to be there. His hands closed causing small trickles of red liquid to pour along with his bandages. Yahiko had hurt himself with the bottle previously. Cutting his palm in several locations. Thus wrapping it comfortably around his hand.
Upon this blood he could make an oath he would protect Chidori. Do what she asked of him without question. If she asked him to fall upon a blade he would do so. That would be the best he could do for his uncle. The darker voices he kept hearing inside him. Would be the punishment for being away from this long. For failing his uncle.
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Subject Post 3Subject: Re: Bonds (Shihoin Ceremony Thread) Fri Apr 24, 2020 9:44 am
Rio Shihoin | Defender of the Family
Another momentous day in the life of the Shihoin had arrived - that is, Chidori's ceremony - her official succession to head of the Shihoin family.
Rio, standing before the stage - awaiting her sister's arrival - could not help but snicker at the reminiscent thoughts of how she once dreaded this day, how if given the opportunity she would challenge her for this position and truly represent the Shihoin clan with honor.
Admittedly, such ambitions were borne of childish envy and the pain of constantly seeing someone you love to run off without explaining anything. Theirs was hardly a sisterly bond but Rio had made peace with it, believing that her father's death had truly hardened Chidori and she would not dare tarnish his memory by doing anything foolish.
To honor his memory, she had to see this path through tot he end. Rio would support her as a younger sister and together, a new age would be ushered in. In silence, she analyzed the presence of everyone else who had arrived to witness this ceremony.
Well, she wasn't paying attention to anyone quite yet. She caught a glimpse of her beloved Yugiri and Kokoro, cousins she viewed as if they were sisters of her own. When Chidori entered the stage, Rio firmly placed her gaze on her older sister as she began to speak.
Her speech was as genuine as Chidori could be. She wasn't trying to speak with lofty words or exude a nature of superiority. Her appearance was beautiful and she could sense a newfound maturity but the carefree nature was still there. In a word, Rio was proud and that was evident in the smile on her face as she watched her sister speak. No one was aking her to be like her father but she commended her for being honest with herself on the type of leader and family member she could be. As such, she couldn't help but resist a joke as she interjected.
"So, with you succeding our father as the head of the clan... will you carry on the tradition of having a family name that everyone refers to you by? Mama Chidori does certainly have a nice touch to it..."
Even though such banter was clearly not befitting of ceremonial etiquette, Rio could not help but resist easing the tension and bringing some humor to the event, much like her sister would in the past.
Her older sister was destined for great things...
END POST | Unfaltering Shielder
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Subject Post 4Subject: Re: Bonds (Shihoin Ceremony Thread) Tue May 05, 2020 2:19 pm
Kokoro hated this.
She hated all of it, no matter how much she'd done her best to get over herself. She knew by now that it was her problem, that maybe she was the only one who felt this way. If that was how it was, then even she wasn't stupid enough to think she was the only one who knew how things should be. Maybe this was all just a way of reminding her that she didn't know much at all.
Well, that was her fault, her problem. Not the rest of the Shihoin's to deal with.
Sitting seiza never was one of her favorite things. It was uncomfortable, and it didn't tend to go well with her choice of clothes most of the time. But this wasn't really her moment, now was it? But she was busy thinking about herself again, how she felt. Kokoro wasn't asking anyone questions, just putting her thoughts first. She really was so stupid.
Did she have interjections? Anything to say? Of course she did. She had lots to say. But nothing she imagined anyone would want to hear. Certainly nothing she thought she should voice. So instead she said nothing, the faintest scowl crossing her features at Rio's own comment. It was in poor taste, she thought.
END POST | NOTHING TO SAY
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Subject Post 5Subject: Re: Bonds (Shihoin Ceremony Thread) Wed May 06, 2020 6:57 pm
Kitty Cat Yugirin
Why was she still here? She had intended to come for one thing, stay a few days and then leave. Already she had sent Erchanhardt off to catch up with him. It was hardly her place to burden him with her family any longer after he had already gone so far out of the way for her.
Instead of appearing in any formal way she opted for a more subtle one, taking a leaf out of her aunt's book and showing up as a cat. Hoping that the fact she was like this said all she wanted to say with it and be nothing but a fly on the wall for the ceremony given it could go many ways.
END POST | THE CAT GOES NYA~
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Subject Post 6Subject: Re: Bonds (Shihoin Ceremony Thread) Sat May 09, 2020 9:50 pm
Keiko came by early for the ceremony with a formal lilac kimono and mixed feelings on her presence here. She was family now, and that was a position to be worked on, but the meeting with Yushiro before his passing and the attendance to his funeral--it didn't immediately make her at home with the Shihouin. There was still discomfort and, perhaps entirely self-conceived, a tension with everyone. Being at such an important gathering sure didn't serve to lessen her conscientiousness on this.
In response, Keiko did what she could to minimise her presence. In particular, she had Kintori's help in leaving the wheelchair outside at the door. There was no feeling in her legs to begin with, so as long as she could keep balance there wasn't going to be a problem with her holding a seiza either. The less she stood out, the less she felt sorely out of place.
When Chidori asked if there was any objections, intrusive thoughts came to mind. Of course they would. Outside of conversations with Kintori and the one meeting with Yushiro, the only thing Keiko had to go off of concerning Chidori was her past scandals and the previous prejudices. Going off only what she knew, Chidori didn't seem the most suitable. But, it wasn't her place to say anything. Not only was it not her place to say anything, it was by Yushiro's will, and it was hard for Keiko to find argument with that.
That said, Keiko was not comfortable with calling her "Mama Chidori". That would be weird. In fact, even if not quite appropriate, she was inclined to stick to Shihouin-dono.
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Subject Post 7Subject: Re: Bonds (Shihoin Ceremony Thread) Mon May 18, 2020 3:08 am
If there’s one thing that Chidori was good at, it was reading a room. And when she tried to read the room currently, there were mixed feelings. She could tell that some people were weary on her taking up this important role in all of their lives, but then there were a few people who believed in her. Her sister’s wholly inappropriate joke caused her to let out a laugh, the kind where you try to hold it in but inevitably end up failing. Quickly, she attempted to compose herself and bring herself back to the present. Sure it was a bit unprofessional, but they were sisters. The two have been playing around with each other since they were young, and while they’ve had their differences they were still family. Almost everyone in the room was. It didn’t matter to Chidori if she or anyone was stuck up or professional here, to her it was just a formality and a glorified get together to celebrate something new.
Anyways, Chidori addressed her sister’s joke. “God, I hope not. Mama Chidori sounds way worse than Papa Yushiro, plus he earned that nickname. I’m going to earn my own as well, that is unless anyone here has any suggestions?” She was jesting, though she knew what was coming up next. The ceremony still had to go on before life would return back to normal. “Though, since nobody has spoken besides Rio, I think it’s safe to say that there are no objections. However, I don’t want to make this a one-and-done thing, so if you have any complaints, concerns, or suggestions feel free to talk to me. Like I said, we’re family. Just because we don’t exactly see eye to eye doesn’t mean that fact is going to change, no matter what you say.” She handed the blade to her half-sister Kintori, the volunteer for this occasion.
“I would like to warn those with a weak stomach to look away.” Chidori moved towards the back of the stage, away from the audience, kneeled, and began undoing the top of her kimono. It was made loose prior since she was going to take it off anyways. As she was finished, it fell around her waist and her bare back was exposed to those watching. “For those of you that were around for Papa’s induction may notice that this is a bit different. Normally, this would require a single slash across the front of the person in question, leaving a scar on them that would always remind them of their promise, but due to my pregnancy I cannot fulfill that requirement. However, to make up for this, I will take two on my back.” Chidori explained the process to those who were curious as to what was happening. To be honest, it felt odd being in the position she was in, but she felt that it was the best course of action. Tradition isn’t always going to be comfortable and she can’t change that, however she can try to accommodate and compromise with it where and when she can.
There was an echo in the room as Kintori unsheathed the blade. Those watching closely would notice the kanji engravings along the flat side of the blade, each one of them being the names of previous leaders. Kintori assumed a kendo-like stance as she stood behind Chidori. While Kintori wasn’t specialized in swords, she’s had basic training as a part of her regime growing up. There’s no way she was going to use one in combat but she can still swing one around with hurting herself. Anyways, there was a moment of silence in the room that was broken by the sound of the sword slicing through the air and then eventually Chidori’s flesh. It wasn’t a deep cut, only a ¼ inch, but it was still painful. A small scream could be heard from Chidori as she attempted to muffle her reaction. Then, Kintori did the same motion but flipped horizontally, making an X-shaped wound on her sister’s back. As this happened, the sword began to glow, and slowly Chidori’s name was engraved into the blade as if by magic or some other supernatural force, and then Kintori placed it back into its sheath.
A servant rushed over and began to wrap a bandage around Chidori’s torso, the woman lifting her arms up to make it easier for them. Normally, they would just use Kido to heal the wound, but to ensure a scar was formed it was best to leave it to heal normally. Once the servant was finished, Chidori would throw the kimono back on, though she didn’t bother to tighten it. There wasn’t really a point, she though, since she was now wrapped in bandages. She spun herself around and sat in a more comfortable position, one knee up and another on the ground, with her legs apart as well.
“Today marks the end of an era and the start of a new one, for all of us. I don’t know about all of you, but I hope that the person you are tomorrow will be different than the one you were yesterday. There will be some changes in the future, but they will be for the benefit of us all, family or not. I just ask that you trust in me even just a fraction as much as I love you.” Her eyes scanned the room, taking notice of everyone that was there. “Even you Yugiri, and hopefully you as well Keiko. I don’t know about you Chishiki, you seem to have been the same person for years now. You know the saying about old dogs and new tricks.” She let out a weak laugh as she was still recovering from the pain.
It was no longer Chidori Shihoin the Princess, it was now Chidori Shihoin the Head.