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Messages - OhGodHelpMe

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 64
1
BAM! NEW COVERS!

Tsukiakari Senkumo




The Phantom Soldier



The Phantom Maiden



Izanami



All of the books have been outfitted with these new covers and compiled in a brand new Senkumo War Stories Collection. Now people can get themselves into the whole series with one purchase instead of four, and at a discount too.  :dance:

2
Izanami is the cutest most adorable character in DbEG. So it might’ve been surprising to learn that she has the darkest and most violent backstory of any character in the series. Once known as Izanami the Cruel, The goddess of death was infamous not only for her strength and immortality, but also for her involvement in unleashing the Black Death upon humanity, revenge for the killing of Kagutsuchi, her daughter.

Even during DbEG, her fellow gods scorn her as the greatest mass murderer in the pantheon’s history. Despite her crimes, Izanami has never faced any real legal repercussions from Heaven. Anyone else would’ve been put to death, but Izanami, unlike the other gods, cannot die. Her immortality was such a source of mystery that Amaterasu made multiple, covert attempts to locate Izanami’s family tomb, where the remains left behind by her original death were supposed to lie. All gods leave remains after death, even if they reincarnate.

And yet, Izanami’s remains from her first and only death were nowhere to be found.



3
NO WAIT, DISREGARD MY LAST POST, I'M A GENIUS

I SAVED THE CHAPTER IN A HIDDEN FOLDER AND IT'S IN MY NANOWRIMO THREAD

4
What a colossal blunder.

I've only just realized that Book of Revenge is missing an entire chapter, and a pretty important chapter towards the end, at that. It goes from Inari celebrating Tsukiakari's birthday with Izanami, to Inari just being gone and a fugitive. I specifically remember writing out the entire chapter where Inari narrowly survives the assassination attempt by the newly founded Exorcist Program, and Amaterasu goes to speak with a gravely injured Bishamon about how he lost the game of usurpation.

Somehow, someway, that chapter never actually made it into any draft of the book I have, and it's just gone. So people are reading this jarring change where Inari is hanging out with Tsukiakari towards the end, and just vanishes in the next.

Damn it. God damn it. Now I have to write all of that over again.

5
Well, the first one has already been quite heavily altered from its draft version posted here. Everything got a face lift. Dialogue, narration, added scenes, and especially what Aika's conflict in the first book actually was and why it was affecting her so much. Second book got the same thing with Tsukiakari having one more fight with Bishamon and Amaterasu's deception being added in.

Basically, all of the content I wanted to put into the drafts but didn't are going in, and I'm fleshing out what's already there. I don't see myself going back to the first or any of the books once I'm done with this process. If I do, it'll probably just be the same thing but with some super snazzy covers, like what SWS is getting. Otherwise, I've got nothing else to add to the story of Death by Ex-Girlfriend after this process.

My work with this series will pretty much be done after all of this, but I believe it will stand as some of my best work on here.

6
Thanks, Suuper! As of now, I'm giving the DbEG novels the Senkumo War Stories treatment. Currently in the middle of Dawn and Dusk, so I've got six more books to go  :ohmy:

7
Tsukiakari Senkumo (Warring States period)


The Phantom Maiden


8
Develop Your Story / Re: Death By Ex-Girlfriends: The End of Osamu Ashikaga
« on: December 25, 2019, 04:31:46 AM »
Forgot about this.

And so passes three years since the final chapter of Death by Ex-Girlfriend (I mean, I wrote SWS after this, but this chapter is the chronological end to DbEG and the conclusion of the series.)

Osamu, Yoko, Amatsutsuki, Isabella, Aika, Shinju...Happy Halloween, my loves. May your eternity be forever joyful! Sincerely, and with all the love in the world, Izanami-no-Mikoto.

What a ride. This chapter confronted an inevitability of the relationship between Izanami and Tsukiakari, and the rest of the girls. I do like my bittersweet endings, after all. The End of Osamu Ashikaga was called that on purpose with the intent of spoiling the supposedly big event right out the window, that Osamu would indeed meet his end here. I suppose I wanted to get that out of the way because what really mattered to me was Osamu's last days and his journey into death. As a result, I think Osamu's death chapter is the best thing I've ever written.

 When he's sitting there in the bowling alley with his past self and closes his eyes, he expects nothing but cold judgement on the life he lived. He believes his mistakes are enough to doom his soul, and he believes that because he had made the people he loved suffer.

Instead, he was met with the cheers of those very people. All of them valued his life more than he ever did his own. I guess that was the beauty of it all.

The final chapter just kind of extended that theme to everyone else. Everyone's lives mattered to everyone.

HOLY COW! :ninja: :ninja: :ninja: :bored: :bored: :bored:

I actually finished this thing. Death by Ex-Girlfriend is actually finished! I've only had this story for about 10 months, and I did all of this with it.  :clapping: Excuse my vanity, but I'm quite proud of myself for this. It's been a long and fun tale to write.

Well, this is the end of it. It's a long one, as I said it would be. Thanks for tagging along with this story, everyone. 8.4k views just for this story is amazing, and even more for it over at Medibang. Please do leave your thoughts if you have any.  :hmm: Now I've got to deal with the same kind of "Wow this story was fun to write but now it's finished" void in my heart I had with Anzu.

Also, song at the end of this chapter is amazing. I found it last night when youtube recommended it to me  :sure: It usually gives me crap recs, but it actually got my tastes down just right this one time, for some reason. The stars were aligned for this story, it seems.


Anyway, thanks a million!




Death by Ex-Girlfriend: The End
Spoiler

*Death by Ex-Girlfriend started as a funny idea about a peculiar take on the harem genre. 'What if one's ex-girlfriends were all still obsessed with their former love and all competed for him in violent and psychotic ways?', I thought. I wanted to have girls who were unashamed to admit their love for the MC, even if the methods by which they did it were psychotic or even perverted. Over time, the relationships between the characters, as one would realistically expect from a group of people living under the same roof for so long, grew into a web of love rather than competition and vitriol.*


*VERT*


*It has been quite an interesting story of returning to lost love and competing for it, as well as bonding through triumphs, heartbreak, gaining new love, and losing things you never wanted to let go. Enemies becoming friends, friends becoming family, and discovering the self through your relationship to others, not just your boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse. I'd like to think these characters all grew tremendously past their initial archetypes, which were very entertaining, but could've never supported a good story on their own.*


*BLEU*


*As such, I'd like to say thank you to everyone who read this, on behalf of myself, and the characters within. Expect Yoko to mail you locks of her hair and "love letters" professing how much YOU love her, instead of the other way around...god have mercy on your soul. Without further ado, let's put an end to this. Enjoy*





One breezy, sunny, Spring afternoon, the gut wrenching sound of crying erupted upstairs in the Kyoto home of Yoko Akiyama. It had been repaired, and all of the furniture replaced as cost efficiently as possible. The crying, of course, was coming from Yoko herself, as she watched Ishima, Yuuto, and Fuyumi pack the rest of their belongings in their nearly empty room. The three of them were all grown up, handsome and beautiful like their parents before them, and ready to fly away from the nest.

Yoko, despite being almost 50 now, had not a single gray hair on her head, and her wrinkles weren't all that pronounced either. One would probably think she's 30 from a glance, but alas, she was officially an old woman, no longer capable of having children. Time sure does fly.

Yoko: Yuuto, dear...you packed your toothbrush, right? You don't want to have to go buy another one!

The resemblance to Osamu really only got stronger as Yuuto got older. The similarities were like Sean Lennon and John Lennon. He still wore his hair in the thick, wavy, lion's mane his father did, as well a silver peace sign medallion that dangled down to his chest.


*NOIR*


Yuuto: Yes, yes, I've got it, Mom. Seriously, we packed everything and did three checks just to make sure we didn't leave anything.

Yoko: Okay...

Tsukiakari and Izanami, being goddesses, didn't age a single bit. They looked the same as they always did, which was a bit jarring since everyone else was getting older. However, not many can brag about their mother being eternally beautiful and young, can they?

Tsukiakari: You got all your books, Fuyumi?

Fuyumi definitely deserved to have the "Beautiful" character in her name. Like Tsukiakari, she had grown her hair out thick and long, using a white hairband to keep it from covering her cute face. The Senkumo clan lives on.

Fuyumi: Yep, that's all of them! Seriously guys, listen to Yuuto. We got everything. We're ready.

Izanami: Well then...shall we walk them out?

Yoko: Ugh! I can't handle this! My babies are leaving me forever!

Yuuto: What? Hey, come on, we'll visit sometime, Mom. Promise! Plus, you've still got our little brothers and sisters to raise, right?

Yoko: Yeah, so I can do this all over again in another five years when they turn 18...

Izanami giggled as she rubbed Yoko's back in consolation. She was still always the cheerful one among them.

(Though I wish Osamu was here to finish his breath-taking story, I suppose I, Izanami, will have to do it. 14 years ago, Osamu Ashikaga sacrificed his own life. Because Osamu's was in his 30's, and had pre-meditated his own demise long before it occurred, I was unable to bring him back to life like before. His soul is in the same place as Isabella, Rousoku, Inari, and the others that died. At least, I know that they're all happy to be together again.)

Fuyumi, Ishima, and Yuuto were walked out of the house by their heavy-hearted parents as Amatsutsuki pulled into the drive way with her car, accompanied by Shinju, Rei, and Kagutsuchi.


*ROUGE*


If Osamu were there, he would've never believed it. The black fingernail rocker look was long gone from Rei. Her hair was beginning to gray, and she actually wore more spring dresses for the season, giving a very gentle, grandma kind of look. Shinju had to wear more clothes as she got older, because a 50 year old woman in a pancho and panties would probably lead to a public indecency charge. So, a simple white t-shirt and bright blue jeans were all she wore. Like Yoko, not a single bit of gray blemished her fiery, orange hair.


*SHE KEPT THE PANDA EAR WARMERS AND PEACE SIGN THOUGH*


Shinju: Well, we've got a full tank of gas, plenty enough to get to the airport.

Amatsutsuki: How lucky are we that it was repaired on time? I guess the location was too convenient to just let it be a pile of rubble.





(The Third Great Holy War was the shortest Holy War in history. Hima crushed the Shinto pantheon in 3 month's time, and placed Tsukiakari as the head of the new pantheon, with Uzume as her assistant, and the few remaining gods that did not participate in the war below her. All others were put to the sword. She said that because Amaterasu was merely imprisoned instead of killed, the possibility of a revolt against Tsukiakari to restore Amaterasu's place on the throne was too much of a threat to ignore. It seemed cruel, but ultimately, Hima gave the Shinto pantheon a chance to rebuild itself.)

Amatsutsuki: Well, go ahead and throw your luggage in the trunk, and let's say our goodbyes.

Rei: I see Yoko is already a wreck...

Yoko: Rei, you are cordially invited to sit in my oven and die in it.

Tsukiakari: Aww, just like what you did to me when I first came here! Sweet memories!


*BLEU*


(It seemed, however, that Yoko's attempt at "baby farming" back then was successful. As a result, we were all able to be mothers again. I gave birth to a girl named Kome. Tsukiakari had another girl named Yamine, written with the characters for "Darkness" and "Sleep". She said, that if her name was a symbol of the union between Amaterasu and Tsukuyomi, than her next child's name would be a symbol of protection, the ability to sleep soundly beneath the moonlight. Shinju birthed a boy named Tamagi. Of course, the Gi in his name is written as "Rectitude." Yoko had another daughter named Ume, a brilliant little red-head just like her mother.)

Amatsutsuki: I guess the 2nd generation is at school, huh?

Izanami: Yes! They're in their last year of junior high! How exciting! Oh, but did you guys say goodbye to them beforehand?

Yuuto: Yeah, we stayed up with them last night. You guys act like we don't think about these things. You raised us to be better than that, didn't you?

Yoko remembered her own desperate words from 14 years ago, her proclamations that she had raised her children better than to be murderers. She smiled warmly and beautifully as Yuuto returned those words to her.

Yoko: Yes, you're right. We're sorry for being worry worts. It just sort of happens when you're a parent. You'll understand one day, when you have kids of your own. Yuuto, be cautious and careful, alright? Don't do anything stupid or irresponsible. If you need help, advice, or money, you can call home anytime. Okay, dear?

Yuuto: I know, Mom.

Yoko: Fuyumi, keep tabs on your siblings, alright? It's important you guys don't lose contact with each other just because life takes up all your time. A family should stay connected no matter where they are, over the sea, over the mountains, or over in heaven.

Fuyumi: Yes, captain!

Yoko: Ishima, be responsible with your magic, okay? You're no longer an exorcist, but that doesn't mean there aren't rules to how you should use your powers. Use them as Shinju would use them, to help people when they're in need.

Ishima bowed.

Ishima: I understand. Thank you for everything, all of you. You're the best mothers anyone could ever ask for!

Yuuto: If you need anything from US, be sure to call. Support isn't a one way street.

Izanami: Eee! So mature! I think we did a good job, Yoko!

Yoko: Yeah...we did, didn't we?





And so, they all waved their children goodbye as Amatsutsuki and Shinju drove them to the airport, so they could go out into the big, bad world and live their adult lives independently. As they drove off, Yoko wondered if Osamu thought she had done a good job along with the others to raise their children without their father. A saudade that was more sweet than bitter washed over her heart as the car disappeared in the distance, and another chapter of her life came to a close.


*NOIR*


Later that day, as the others prepared dinner, Yoko and Izanami spent some time upstairs, checking out how empty the kids' room was now that they were gone. Soon though, it would become another room for their younger ones. So, at least it wasn't all bad. The moon had risen, and the smell of fried fish and rice danced around their noses even from downstairs. Tsukiakari never stopped being a good chef.

(In the weeks after Osamu died, Tsukiakari never stopped cooking. She would know if Yoko or anyone else didn't eat the whole day, and she'd pour all her love into the many recipes that Isabella taught her. It was so important to her that she'd cry and beg for Yoko to eat, to keep up her health and strength. Eventually, Yoko was unable to refuse. In that sense, Tsukiakari's cooking kept us all together, and kept us happy during our time of anguish.)

Yoko traced her fingers on the nightstands that were left in the room and her eyes around the walls. She seemed overwhelmed, in disbelief.

Yoko: Wow...I really raised them. We really raised them.

Izanami: We sure did. Now we get to do it all over again, but they're already in middle school. It won't be long before they leave us too.

Yoko: Ah...and so, life goes on, huh?

Izanami: Yeah. Life goes on.





Yoko: What a crazy life. I never thought I would get involved in so much trouble just by tracking down my ex-boyfriend. And you know what, I don't regret a single bit of it. Every memory we've made in this place since you all first started living here has been carved into my heart so beautifully, I could cry just looking back at it all. Izanami.

Izanami: Huh!? Yes?

Yoko suddenly hugged Izanami, kissing her lips, and then her cheeks.

Yoko: I love you.


*AWW*


Izanami: I love you too, Yoko.





(Yoko would often worry if Tsukiakari wouldn't love her anymore, since she was getting older, and Tsukiakari was staying young. But of course, Gekko still looks at her like she's just fallen in love with her. They were a beautiful pair, right until the very end.)


*NOIR*


The next day, Tsukiakari paid a visit to the Welsh castle that Hima and Annabel lived in, as she did almost every week. Vampires, like gods, were stubbornly youthful as well. Neither of them had changed a bit. Since they were both queens now, the two bowed to each other instead of one simply bowing to the other. Hima walked her through the castle halls, down to the dungeons.

Tsukiakari: How is she?

Hima: She's been calm, sort of talkative. We gave her a more comfortable cell so she could have room to exercise. Though, it looks like her sentence is over. Personally, I think she should be locked up until she's nothing but bones, no offense to you, but the Vampirical Court only gave 14 years. I think they were trying not to make you mad. After all, she's still your mother.

For all that time, Amaterasu was held prisoner in Hima's dungeon. Her cell was basically solitary confinement, with not a ray of sunshine slipping through the cracks of the walls, even if it was for her own good. Though her clothes consisted of what amounted to a straight jacket, shackles, and a blindfold at first, Hima was merciful and gave her proper robes to wear, removed the shackles, and got rid of the blindfold. 

The lock of her cell twisted as Hima opened the door, letting Tsukiakari inside. The cell was the size of a bedroom in a 2-person apartment, plenty of space to live comfortably. Amaterasu aged, but not all that much. Her hair was frizzy mess, her skin had gotten pale from the lack of sunlight, and she had clearly lost weight, the telltale sign being her terribly thin arms and slender fingers.





She sat on her bed cross-legged, eating a bowl of berries drizzled with honey.

Hima: Here she is. You have a visitor, Amaterasu.

Amaterasu: Ah, it's Gekko again.

Hima: She's here to pick you up, I presume?

Tsukiakari: Yes. Your sentence is served, mother. I'm here to take you.

Amaterasu:...I'd like to finish my fruit first. Is that alright?

For a few moments, Tsukiakari said nothing.

Tsukiakari: That's fine.

Hima: Always a heartwarming family reunion....


*NOIR*


Amaterasu was officially freed. Annabel saw them both off at the castle gates with the moon high in the starry night sky, and the light of the exterior torches glimmering in her blue eyes. A white, hooded cloak kept her warm as she stepped outside, contrasted by her black Schutzstaffel necklace.

Annabel: You're free now, Amaterasu. Anything you do now is none of our business. If you want to live, remember to stay out of the sun. Vampires born from bites instead of bloodline are the ones that will immolate if they come in contact with sunlight.

Amaterasu: Right. Thank you for your merciful captivity.

That really didn't sound like a compliment.

Tsukiakari: Ahh, the night sky is beautiful. Let's take a walk for a bit, Mom.

Amaterasu: Sure, Gekko. I'd love to.

And so they walked beneath the big, blue moon in the sky, passing by the sounds of crickets and small animals moving about in the bushes of the dirt path they walked. Amaterasu had nearly forgotten the smell of fresh, Spring air.

Amaterasu: It really is nice outside. I can't believe I haven't heard crickets sing in over 14 years. I can't complain since Hima did show me some leniency, can I? For all I did, I deserved much worse.

Tsukiakari: I'm glad you've finally come to terms with your wrongs.

Amaterasu: What about you? I never asked you this, Gekko, but...do you forgive me? Do you forgive your mother for taking away your husband, your children, and your fellow god?

Tsukiakari stopped walking, continuing to gaze upon the moon the glow of blue light around it.

Tsukiakari: Yes, as long as its taken me, I forgive you.

Amaterasu blinking was rapid. She would rub her eyes often, most likely due to her lack of exposure to light in so long. Out there in the moonlight, her vision was not on her side.

Amaterasu: I'm glad, even though I don't deserve it. Thank you, Gekko, for forgiving me. I have not been a good mother to you, have I? I'm always making mistakes that get your hurt. I've caused you more pain and joy, I'm sure.

Tsukiakari: Don't worry about it, mother...

The sudden sound of Tsukiakari's sword being drawn out of her sheath startled Amaterasu. She quickly spun around, only to be pierced right through her stomach by the blade. Tsukiakari pushed her sword deeper and deeper through her mother until the hand guard hit her skin, getting her warm blood all over her hand in the process. In this fatal position, Amaterasu hugged Tsukiakari as she coughed up blood, and the two fell to their knees together.


*ROUGE*


Amaterasu: I knew this would happen...I knew simple imprisonment was far too easy...

Tsukiakari: I forgive you. I truly meant that. But I cannot allow you to live a day beyond those bars, even if you've been stripped of your powers.

Amaterasu smiled.

Amaterasu: Gekko, doesn't this make you just like me? Aren't we making the same mistake? Gods should never call for the blood of mere humans.

Tsukiakari: That's where you're wrong. You're not a god, but you are not a human either. Technicality be damned, you became a vampire the moment Hima sank her fangs into you. Not only that, but you are a prisoner of war. Your life has no protection behind it as a POW. Once an ally transfers a prisoner to another ally, it's our decision what happens to them, and I've chosen to kill you, Mother. This is for the best. For you, for me, and for my family. I don't want them to ever see you again after what you took from them.

Amaterasu: I see...haha...everything really does come swinging back around...I raised...a good daughter...and a good goddess...

Amaterasu fell to the ground, bleeding out as Tsukiakari's blade slid out from her stomach. Her last sight of this world was the very thing she named her daughter after, the moon and the light around it. Amaterasu was dead. Tsukiakari stood there, stunned by her own actions, but nonetheless glad that she had did it. If anything, she considered it a mercy, as many vampires and other supernatural beings harbored hate for the Shinto pantheon for years.

('Who knows what could've happened to her had things been different.' That's what Gekko said after she killed her. I didn't necessarily agree with her decision, but...I suppose I couldn't keep acting like I'm Gekko's mother, even if I have always seen her as a daughter. She made her own decision that night, and she's been at peace with it ever since. As a subordinate, I had to respect that.)





(Time kept moving on. We had released our 2nd batch of kids into the world after 8 years. They took after their siblings, going after supernatural oddjobs around the world for good pay. They were using their powers for good. However, with all of our kids out of the home, it did start to feel a little lonely. This loneliness grew tenfold when at the age of 60, Shinju Miyakawa passed away. She died in the very early hours of the morning, while we were all still sleeping.)


*NOIR*


(Her death hit us hard, but it didn't surprise us. Our kids will be lucky, but the exorcists of "The Old Age" as its now called, all died young. Even if they managed to live peaceful lives after their career, most were lucky to live past 50. It's just what happens when you your entire life is spent stressing your body and fighting)

Izanami stood before Shinju's headstone, which was placed right next to Cyanide's. It was a cloudy day, and it had been some time since she had died peacefully. Amatsutsuki joined her, wearing a jet black winter coat as the winds picked up, blowing the orange and red leaves into the sky like confetti.

Amatsutsuki: Are you alright, Izanami?

Izanami: Oh, yes! I was just saying a little prayer to Shinju.

Amatsutsuki: To think we used to hate each other...I never thought back then that I'd be crying over her death one day, or visiting he grave so often.

Izanami: This family has an odd and sometimes frustrating habit of making you love even your enemies. Yoko and Tsukiakari once fought each other to the death, you know. Twice, actually. I wasn't very surprised that Shinju died like this, but...it did get me a little scared.

Amatsutsuki: Scared?


*ROUGE*


Izanami: It made me remember something that I pushed away to the very back of my mind when everyone was much younger. In the end, Tsukiakari and I are goddesses, and everyone else is a mortal. You'll all leave us and pass away, but we'll still be here. I start feeling lonely when I think about that.

Amatsutsuki smiled, placing her hand on Izanami's shoulder to brighten up her mood.

Amatsutsuki: Just as all of Osamu's loved ones were with him until the end of his life, your loved ones will be with you forever. If you want to talk to us when we pass, just pray. I'm sure we'll hear it, Izanami. Death is a reality that we all just have to prepare for. Don't feel sad for too long when we leave this world, Izanami. We all lived good lives until now.

Izanami: I...I guess you're right. Geez, Amatsu, you're really good with words when you want to be!

Amatsutsuki: Hmph...I guess Shinju did that to me...the little brat. I'll miss her...sorely.




(Amatsutsuki's words were wise...)

Two years after Shinju's passing, the family kept going about their lives, always remembering and paying respects to its members that were gone from this world. On one particular morning in the fall, Yoko overslept in bed and awoke alone, disturbed by the sounds of clanging pots and pans downstairs in the kitchen. Once she rubbed the exhaustion out of her light-sensitive eyes, she simply stared into space for several minutes, looking aimlessly outside of the window by the bed. A gentle drizzle was brought on by the clouds that morning.

As she sat there, staring into nothing...she smiled.

Yoko: I see. I understand.

Tsukiakari: Yoko, babe! Breakfast is ready! Are you up!?

Yoko: Yeah! I'm coming down in a second!

After all this time, gray hairs finally began to show in Yoko's head. You can't be youthful forever, but even so, she still looked incredibly young for her age. To sort of fill the gap for their missing children, Akatsuki and Omagatoki often visited the house and slept over for weeks at a time. This was one such morning when the two cute little twins, who hadn't changed one bit, visited in preparation for a long stay.

Finally downstairs, Yoko greeted everyone as she usually did, sitting down next to the Shoku Twins and watching them as she would watch any of her family members.

Tsukiakari: Today's menu is DANISH PANCAKES! These babies here are amazing!

Amatsutsuki: Sounds lovely, Gekko!

Izanami: Your meals are always so exciting!

Omagatoki: How are they different from regular pancakes?

Yoko: They're treated more as a dessert than regular pancakes! Wanna try some? She made them into little bite-sized balls!

You best believe Omagatoki's eyes dazzled with curiosity.

Omagatoki: YES, PLEASE!


*DESSERT IS SERVED*


She took one, curious bite and was lifted into heaven. They were perfectly warm, soft, and filled on the inside with chocolate spread.

Omagatoki: Gekko! This is so amazing! I love you, I love you, I love you!

Akatsuki: I too like these very much.

Yeah, Akatsuki was still the stone face she always was.

Tsukiakari: There's plenty more to go around! Eat up, everyone!

Izanami: Mmm! So good! Where did you learn to make this?!

Tsukiakari: I just expanded on one of Isabella's old recipes, is all! She did most of the legwork, I just added some cinnamon, nutmeg, and tried different spread to fill them with.

Yoko: That's my babe, always taking something good and making it better, just as you did with me.

You best believe Tsukiakari had heart pupils in her eyes in that moment.

Tsukiakari: AWWW! Yoko, I'm gonna cry! That was so incredibly cheesy but well executed!

Yoko: No matter how old I get, I'll never get tired of even the cheesiest ways I can tell you I love you.

Akatsuki: I find this interaction between you two to be quite romantic, even though same-sex romance isn't something very relatable to me.

Omagatoki: You two should kiss! It would make everything sweeter!

Tsukiakari: She has a point, Yoko. We should kiss! Right here, right now!

Yoko: Wait, I'm still eating!

Too late. Tsukiakari ate the half of danish donut between their lips and went in for the incredibly romantic kiss, to the applause of the crowd. Tsukiakari kissed her darling as if she were a princess in a movie who needed a prince...or princess to save her.Their passion was going nowhere, no matter how many years passed by.





Later that same day, just as it had gotten dark, Tsukiakari caught Yoko in the bathroom dolling herself up with make up and the finest dress she had. It was pure white, flowing beautiful like the winter snow.

Tsukiakari: Whoa, the sun's not even down all the way and you're looking fantastic! Who's it for? Going out with Kagu or something?

Yoko smiled as she put down her lip gloss, looking at Gekko through her reflection in the bathroom mirror.

Yoko: No. I'm not going anywhere.

Tsukiakari: Hmm? Then why...

She stood up, stepping towards Gekko with unlimited love in her eyes as she kissed her deeply, and kissed her cheeks as they hugged. Though romantic, sure, Gekko was perplexed.

Tsukiakari: What's up, Yoko?

Yoko: Nothing, my love. I'm going to go take a nap.

She walked away without looking back, stopping before closing the bedroom door to say one final thing.

Yoko: I love you, Gekko.

Tsukiakari: I...love you too...have a good nap I guess...

(Yoko shut the blinds and cloaked the room in darkness. She laid down with the Shoku Twins in bed after her odd behavior...and she too passed away.)


*NOIR*


(It was only after her passing did we realize why she had dressed herself up. Have you ever heard one of those stories? The ones where people wake up on the day the die, and somehow, someway...they just know that day is their last? That very same thing happened to Yoko. When she awoke that day, her 6th sense told her it was the last day she'd be alive on this earth. Knowing she'd see Osamu and the others again, Yoko wanted to see them looking her best. She dressed up because she knew she was going to see the people she loved once more, in a better place than the one she was leaving.)


*ROUGE*


(After Yoko's death, we really began to think about how taxing on her it was to work so hard to keep the family together through everything we had been through. We wondered if all the grief over the years took its toll on her body, shortening her lifespan. Ultimately, whatever we came up with in our heads, the words of Amatsutsuki still rang true. Yoko lived a good life up until the day she died.)





(It pains me to say this, but after Yoko passed away...well...being in that house was a little too much to bear. Yoko really was the heart of the family. It felt like we had all lost our way when she was gone. It was like a car that was once filled with singing friends that grew quiet after dropping them off at the airport or train station, never to see them again. And so, the remaining members of the family, Amatsutsuki, Tsukiakari and I, packed our things and prepared to leave the house. We would go our separate ways, but of course, we'd stay in constant contact with each other.)

The year following Yoko's death, the three remaining members of the proud family that lived in that house in the quiet neighborhood stood in front of their home for their final time, having emptied it out entirely. The sun was out, and the skies were blue, adding a sense of great beauty to the bittersweet ending of the long story of Yoko's home, and the family that dwelled within. Hima, Carmilla, Annabel, and the heiress fathered by Osamu joined them.


*VERT*


The heiress that Osamu gave Hima most closely resembled her. She was beautifully pale, and the eyes of a nebula just like here. She definitely had the thick, fierce hair of her father, and even wore it a similar fashion, just a tab it longer. She even had that same heroic glare in her eyes. She wore a black, frilly dress that day, girly but somber. At 23 years old, she was a fine, beautiful young woman with a very long life ahead of her.

(Ketsumei Dracula Chinagaregawa. Ketsumei is written as "Blood Oath", symbolizing the sacrifice Osamu made for her to be born. She grew up admiring her father, despite having never met him. There was no resentment between our families when she was born. In fact, Yoko and Tsukiakari really took a liking to her. To Yoko, the children of Osamu were all her children.)

Izanami: You're here!

Hima: Hey there, everyone.

Ketsumei was a bold and outgoing speaker, never timid like her father when he was young. She had no reason to be timid, after all. The Ashikaga blood within her gave her a sense of belonging in Japan, and her Boyar, Dracula bloodline made her vampirical royalty in Europe, especially Hungary.

Ketsumei: Good day, everyone. I wasn't there when she passed away last year, but I would like to express how sorry I am for your loss. I expected Yoko and the rest of you to hate me, but you all showed me nothing but kindness.

Izanami: Of course, Ketsu. Family is family, after all. That's how Yoko always saw it.

Carmilla: So, you're all going your separate ways, huh? I guess I can't blame you. Going from such a huge family to just the three of you...I'm sure it's lonely and quiet in that big house.

Amatsutsuki: Yeah, pretty much. As much as we tried, we just can't fill their shoes. We can't shoulder the legacy of this home with just the three of us. So, all we can do is say our goodbyes to it, and remember it fondly.

Annabel: Yeah...I guess that's all we can do now.

Tsukiakari: Do you guys have business here?

Ketsumei: No, we just came to bid our farewells to this home too, and see you off. We were shocked to hear you guys were moving out.

Hima: The entire vampirical kingdom wouldn't exist without any of you, after all. We have to give thanks where thanks is due, and pay our respects to Yoko. You all endured a lot for our sake, especially Yoko.

(Osamu found good allies in them. He softened their vampire hearts, and before we knew it, we had found friends in people that had traditionally been our enemies.)

Tsukiakari puffed her chest and commanded everyone like a drill sergeant.

Tsukiakari: Everyone! Line up! On the count of three, we'll bow and say our goodbyes!

They all did as Tsukiakari wished.

Tsukiakari: One, two, three!

All of them bowed their heads in thanks, sadness, happiness, and gratitude for all of the years spent inside of those walls, laughing, crying, fighting, grieving, healing, and changing.

Tsukiakari: This home, and this family right here is where the heart goes to mend itself! So many of us lived lives that seemed hopeless and without meaning, but when fate guided our weary feet beyond those doors, we found that meaning! For all of the years we spent together, for all of the miracles that occurred beneath this roof and beyond it, and for all of the people who remain in our hearts...THANK YOU, AND GOODBYE!

Everyone: THANK YOU, AND GOODBYE!





After their final hurrah, Tsukiakari and Amatsutsuki were in tears, hugging one another as everyone prepared to leave, each of them going their separate ways, but never losing each other.

Amatsutsuki: Ah! I'll miss you, Gekko, Izanami! Visit as much as you can, okay?

Tsukiakari: Of course! I promise!

Izanami: Same here, Amatsu! We won't be under the same roof, but we'll all still be family!

Amatsutsuki: I'm gonna cry even harder now!

Izanami: AH! I'm sorry! I'm just trying to make you feel better!

Hima: Hahaha! See, Ketsumei? This is the kind of bond your father was able to create. You're still young, but some day, you will be the queen of the vampirical monarchy. You'll have to be able to bring people together in the same exact way. Understand?

Ketsumei saw with her own eyes the fruits of her father's work, long after he was gone. It was a moment that would leave a lasting impression on her.

Ketsumei: Yes. I understand. When the time comes, I'll give it my all, just as he so clearly did.

Hima smiled and kissed Ketsumei's cheek.

Hima: Good. Don't let me down.


*NOIR*


(And so, we waved goodbye to Amatsutsuki. The vampires offered to walk her home and give her some company for the first few days that she would start living by herself. That bittersweet tingle in my heart welled up as I looked besides me and realized that it was just Tsukiakari and I left.)

The two stood before the house, taking one last look at it and savoring the image, and all the memories that came with it.

Tsukiakari: Well, buddy...I guess we should be on our way too.

Izanami: Yeah...





The two walked those quiet streets together, leaving behind the greatest chapter of their divine lives. Tsukiakari had a carriage waiting for her not far from the house that would take her to Heaven, so Izanami just had to walk her best friend there. The two of them took the long way there.

Tsukiakari: It's surreal, isn't it? We outlived everyone. It's an obvious conclusion since we're gods, but I guess it doesn't really hit you until you bond with people like we did with Yoko and everyone else. They get old and die, and suddenly, we're the only ones left. Some day, Amatsutsuki will pass too.

Izanami: Yeah. I wonder what we're going to do now. I really don't know where else to go but here. Being at the shrine is so lonely...

Tsukiakari: The come by in Heaven, silly! You're allowed to come up anytime you please!

Izanami blushed from the sheer flattery.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YixAD9GIAuY


*ENJOY THE SONG*


Izanami: Really?

Tsukiakari: Of course, Izanami! You're my best friend.

Tsukiakari threw her arm around Izanami and held her close as they continued to walk, passing by the old bowling alley as they went.

Tsukiakari: I'll never forget how you showed me sympathy and mercy all those years ago, when I killed your sons. You kept helping me reincarnate no matter how many times I kept throwing away my life after the war. No matter how many times I disappointed you, you never stopped believing in me. And now look, Izanami! The foolish war goddess you saved is now the ruler of Heaven and the new Shinto pantheon. It's all thanks to you.

Izanami: Gekko...

One arm turned into a tight and loving hug on the sidewalk, and a gentle whisper in Izanami's ear.

Tsukiakari: Thank you for everything, Izanami.

Izanami: Of course, silly. But you better run things efficiently! Don't go making repeats of the Exorcist system or anything!

Tsukiakari: Of course not! That's where the vampires have been coming in handy! They're good at neutralizing the powers of other supernatural beings. If we keep good relations with them, they shouldn't be a problem. Uzume worries about them getting too powerful, but I think it's alright. If nothing else, Osamu is still what unites us all.

Izanami: Yeah, you're right about that. Since both sides view each other as family, I don't think we're gonna see any fighting between the two sides. Well, if you ever need me for anything, you need only ask.

Tsukiakari: Of course! Same to you. Oh, my ride is just behind the bowling alley. This is the part where I leave for now, Izanami.

Tsukiakari extended her hand, smiling as the wind flowed through her beautiful, black hair.

Tsukiakari: Until next time, pal! Take care of yourself!

Izanami: Yeah! You too!

The two shook glad hands, knowing they'd be friends forever. With that, Tsukiakari ran off to her golden carriage, manned by a masked servant of Heaven, and took her away beyond the sky, into the world of gods. Izanami watched her fly away, catching a glimpse of her waving goodbye as she disappeared into the deep blue sky. Now there was only one. Izanami sighed and continued on her way, heading in the direction of her shrine.


(Indeed, saying goodbye to it all was difficult, but...I couldn't help but get a little giddy for some reason...)


*NOIR*


(As I walked, all of these memories flashed behind my eyelids. The way they'd all walk, the faces they would make, how Yoko would often stick out her tongue when she was playfully joking around. The food we ate, our battles, everything. It all just began to flow...happily.)

Her downtrodden walk turned into a bit of a happy skip as the thoughts of the past filled her with joy. She crossed the streets in a little joyful dance as she thought of it all fondly with a smile on her face...until she ran right into Kagutsuchi. The two nearly fell over on the street until Izanami maintained her balance, grabbing the exercising Kagutsuchi by her hand and bringing her along.

Kagutsuchi: Huh?! Mom?! What's up?! You look happy!

Izanami: Kagu! Let's hang out at my shrine today!

Kagutsuchi: Really?! Are you sure?! Alright! I'm in!

With a boatload of memories locked in her heart, Izanami went off with her daughter into the sun-kissed distance, towards the hill where here verboten love for Osamu first began, towards Izanami's shrine.

(We're going to continue making good memories, no matter how many years or people pass. Though our story is just as bitter as it is sweet, I can promise to you in Osamu's stead, that the future, no matter what it has in store, will be a sweet tale, as sweet as the love we all share.)




The neighborhood didn't remain quiet in the future. Residents eventually returned, slowly but surely, without ruining the peace and tranquility of the suburbs. On one particular Halloween night though, that peace was wonderfully disturbed by the many ghost, goblins and ghouls that came out to play. Among them, two children ran down the street dressed vampires, a boy and a girl.

With their capes flapping behind them, they raced towards a particular house that had been abandoned for nearly 20 years. The girl, born with bright, blonde hair and gorgeous blue eyes, ran backwards as she checked on her friend. However, the fangs she bore in her mouth were not fake, and neither was the Schutzstaffel necklace she wore.

Claudia: Hurry, Saido! It's right up this way!

Saido, a younger, much more lazy boy, hated being ran around like some sort of dog. Like his father and grandfather before him, his hair was thick, wavy, and worn in a lion's mane. A peace sign dangled around his neck as he ran, on the verge of just throwing in the proverbial towel and giving up on Halloween for the rest of his life.

Saido: Come on, do you really expect me to believe that a goddess of death haunts this house?

Claudia: Of course I do! I mean, I'm a-

Saido: A what?


*NERVOUS LAUGHTER*


Claudia: HAHA! Nothing...anyway, let's keep going!

He'll come to grips with the supernatural eventually. But for that moment, the two of them finally approached the front of the hold house they were looking for, looking especially haunted as the giant moon in the sky shined behind it like God's all-seeing eye. Claudia was the only one with an ear-to-ear grin.

Claudia: It's here! Mom told me about this! She said that if we shout "Izanami, accept our gift!", and throw our two favorite candies in the air, she'll sweep by and give us good luck!

Saido: Or nothing will happen and we would have wasted our candy for no good reason.

Claudia: Wow, you're a bigger downer than a flight of stairs, aren't you? Just have some fun for once and throw up your favorite candy!

Saido: Fine, fine...if you'll shut up.

Somewhere in him, he was hoping it would work. Nobody likes dropping candy for no reason. And so, on the count of three, the both of them threw their favorite candies in the air and were almost blinded by the moonlight. Suddenly, the fast sound of someone or something swooping by rushed passed their ears, and their candy disappeared, never landing on the ground.

Saido: Wha...what just happened!?!

Claudia: Izanami! Accept our gift!

By the light of the gorgeous moon, Izanami, a gorgeous goddess by herself, stood atop the slanted roof of the abandoned house holding her scythe in one hand, and the snatched candies in the other. Her beautiful black hair was swayed to the side by the autumn winds as her gentle red eyes zeroed in on the kids. Her kimono and haori were both jet black like the night sky, or the emptiness of deep space.

Izanami: Your gift has been accepted! As thanks, you shall be blessed with good luck for the rest of this season! Good things will happen to you before the year closes!

Saido couldn't believe his eyes. The apathetic boy suddenly turned fearful, more than one usually would during Halloween.

Saido: Those eyes...that scythe...is she really...no! I'm out of here! Forget this, Claudia, I'm going home!





Saido bolted out of there entirely too fast for Claudia to even catch him. In just a few seconds, he was already gone.

Claudia: Ah! Saido, you wimp! I'm so sorry, Izanami! Please forgive him! He doesn't believe in the supernatural despite his own heritage. Someday, I'm sure he'll notice I don't have a shadow if he ever catches me out in the sun and out of the shade.

Izanami: In time, he'll learn, Claudia. All he needs is time.

Claudia: Okay! You're right! I better go catch him then! It was good seeing you again, Izanami!

Izanami smiled and waved as she ran off.

Izanami: Tell your mother I said hello and that I love her!

Claudia: I will!

As Claudia too disappeared, another black haired, divine beauty stood besides Izanami, in front of the glowing supermoon. Adorned in the golden and white robes her mother once wore, and with her legendary Senkumo sword sheathed at her side, Tsukiakari took hold of Izanami's hand, interlocking their fingers.

Tsukiakari: Claudia looks so much like Annabel, doesn't she?

Izanami: Hmm! It's so adorable! Saido too...Yuuto did such a great job with him. I'm proud to be able to call Saido my grandson.

Tsukiakari: Are you sure you don't want to live among humans more overtly like before? Saido would have no problem believing in our existence if just saw him.

Izanami closed her eyes, holding her other hand to her fluttering heart.

Izanami: That's alright. I'll continue to love them all from afar.

Tsukiakari: Alright then, pal. In darkness we roam, in darkness we love.

Though all of the others who once lived and loved along with them in that house were gone from this world, the fact that they were the only two left never diminished their smiles.

(Osamu, Yoko, Amatsutsuki, Isabella, Aika, Shinju...Happy Halloween, my loves. May your eternity be forever joyful! Sincerely, and with all the love in the world, Izanami-no-Mikoto.)




*A STORY OF LOVE*

*A STORY OF PAIN*


*THROUGH EACH OTHER, WE FOUND OURSELVES AGAIN*

*I LOVE YOU*




*THE END*

















9
Music / Re: OGHM's Wacky Slappy Guitar Riffs
« on: December 18, 2019, 11:23:06 PM »
Gimme That Wine!
http://chirb.it/1Kp3LH

10
Alright, folks. This is it, the end of the Senkumo War Stories series.  :clapping:

Book of Revenge is up for pre-order and will come out on December 11th!

Between today and the 8th, however, the rest of the series is completely free!

You can snag yourself the digital copies of Book of Blossoming, Betrayal Part 1, and Betrayal Part 2 :clapping:


Now I can focus squarely on DbEG  :sadbye:



11
Bomb chika wah wah, chika wah wah  :clapping:

12
Just realized something  :hmm:

The Man in Black
-Everyone he ever loved murdered by soldiers
-Awakens from his grave realizing everything was taken from him
-Vows to take revenge on Tsukiakari and Bishamon
-His lungs are stained by the fumes of his burning neighbors that he breathed in as died alongside them

Tsukiakari
-Everyone she ever loved murdered by soldiers
-Awakens from reincarnation realizing everything she ever built was destroyed
-Vows to take revenge on Bishamon and his co-conspirators
-Fragments of Chiharu's bones and teeth forever stuck inside of her body


The Man in Black's goal was to create the circumstances that would lead to Japanese society rejecting the old ways of daimyo and soldiers. He wanted to prove that a near ghost of a man such as himself was on the same moral level as the revered goddess of war herself, Tsukiakari Senkumo. He wanted to prove that she, the Senkumo, and all soldiers everywhere were capable of becoming the monster that he was, and he succeeded. Tsukiakari followed his exact same path despite Yachi's belief that her lord would never stoop to his level.

The shogunate would expand its influence over the daimyo come the Edo period, and samurai would be made to either serve the shogunate as retainers or give up their swords and live as peasants. Tsukiakari's dream of a nation comprised of soldiers was crushed, as the military and those who served in it became arms of the state, and in many cases, were used to suppress those who still believed that the state and the soldier ought to be separate entities.

Hip hip hooray?

13
Music / Re: OGHM's Wacky Slappy Guitar Riffs
« on: November 24, 2019, 03:04:28 AM »
More Japanese jams
Slow Rider
https://soundcloud.com/tonbogiri/slow-rider

14
I stick with Japanese settings and names specifically because the potential for wordplay and symbolism in the language is off the charts. Learning Japanese helped me realize that. Almost every single name for every character I've written was chosen for some purpose or another.

Yoko Akiyama - Written as Ocean Child/Autumn Mountain. Because she has blue eyes and reddish hair. Ocean. Autumn.

Tsukiakari Senkumo - Written as Moonlight/War Cloud. Tsukiakari's parents are the shinto gods Amaterasu and Tsukuyomi, deities of the sun and moon respectively. Moonlight is what occurs when the sun's light bounces off of the moon and we see it from earth. Represents the union of Amaterasu and Tsukuyomi. War Cloud was an adopted name for the clan she was a part of during the Warring States

Shinju Miyakawa - Divine Tree/Shrine River. She's an exorcist with a divine lineage. There's also some inter-character wordplay going on here because the kanji used for Shinju name also refers to the Alianthus tree genus, which is often used by the alianthus silkmoth (and other moths) as homes. Shinju had a close friend named Himushi (deceased, unfortunately), which is written is Moth.

Omagatoki Gesshoku - This one is a little more convoluted. Omagatoki refers to the time of twilight in a supernatural connotation, but it has two different ways of writing it in kanji. Can either mean Hour of Great Calamity or Hour of the Congregation of Spirits. Omagatoki and her sister are responsible for maintaining the flow of time and managing meteorological/astronomical phenomena. In Japanese folklore, twilight was when spirits and ghosts would emerge into the mortal realm. Gesshoku means lunar eclipse, one of the events she helps regulate.

I could go on and on. The logographic nature of the Japanese language allows for so much information to be transferred to the reader without having to explain any of it, hence why shows like Monogatari constantly make puns with names and phrases.

I try not to borrow names from history or literature too much. One, it's just because I find the Japanese language to be the best way to make narrative use of a character's name. Two, because it tends to be a little too on the nose. I recently dropped a video game for this very reason. The game was building up to this big shocking twist, and one of the puzzles had you trying to figure out the password for a lockbox. The password itself was a reference to Jekyll and Hyde, and I could instantly tell what the twist was despite all of the mysterious buildup thus far. That was a case of it being way too obvious and ruining the plot, for me. I don't even remember what game it was. Some horror game.

15
Well gang, I did it. Senkumo War Stories is finished. Of course, Book of Revenge still has to be proofread and there'll be some small additions here and there, but the series is pretty much completed.

While DbEG could be quite dark and gruesome at times, SWS allowed me to go as dark and deep as I wanted. With the mixing of Shinto/Buddhist mysticism and real Japanese history, there was pretty much no limit to what I could write about. I feel like I did a good job with it. It gave a much more detailed account of everything Tsukiakari went through than the light summary given in DbEG. It depicted the brutality I wanted, it tackled the themes I wanted, and it gave a foundation to many of the conflicts in DbEG.

The best part was definitely writing the last few chapters of Book of Revenge, after Tsukiakari had managed to escape from the long, long, LONG ride of death and violence in the previous books. She outlived the Warring States era, and the story wraps right into the beginning of the War Cloud arc in DbEG. A perfect circle.

Feel free to let me know what you thought of the series  :clapping: If it was good or if it sucked.


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