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on Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:26 pm

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Shinigami
Shinigami


0314#words
0000#blood

#tier0-2

©2013 caliburn

The jureichi, while an important location spiritually, was an intriguing town located in the outskirts of Tokyo. It might have been an unassuming location to those unaware of what was really going on around them, but to the spiritually-sensitive, it was a haven for all manner of beings. One could see Hollows and Shinigami battling it out every few hours, and there was a large portion of spiritually aware humans just wandering the streets, avoiding the locations where they could sense explosions just waiting to happen. It was here that a man walked nonchalantly, many people avoiding him just for what they perceived as his force of presence and will. Truthfully, he was just looking to pass the time, and had soon spotted somewhere perfect.

Walking into the cozy book store, Graven took in the smell of ink, paper, and wood as only a wolf could. He was wearing a Gigai that he had appropriated from a few Shinigami a few years back, so his natural senses were hindered somewhat, but it was still nice. The only real difference between his normal appearance and the one he had currently was the lack of mask fragments and estigma, forgoing the black markings around his eyes in order to appear more human. He wore a white suit with a black, button-down shirt underneath it, and a stainless steel watch could be seen poking out from the cuff of his sleeve. It wasn't one of his new Smart Watches, as he had yet to snag one from a shipment, but it definitely worked for his purposes. His left ear was pierced as it normally was, a single silver stud in the lobe and a cuff inlaid with the leaves of a rowan tree midway up, the kind easily recognizable as the Tree of Wisdom from Norse mythology. The only other jewelry he wore was in the form of a pendant around his neck, a wolf fang on a silver chain. All in all, he cut the image of a businessman fairly well, other than his white and crimson hair.

Frowning as he walked in the door, he noticed that there were boxes everywhere, and many of the books were missing from the shelves. Was the establishment closing? It was definitely a shame if it was, and his close hold on his reiatsu slipped slightly before he reigned it in. Such a pity.
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on Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:41 pm

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Shinigami
Shinigami
The store's owner was actually behind one of those many piles of boxes, packing up books which would be heading out to her new location. 'Literature for the Soul', the sign for the shop, was down and inside wrapped up tightly in plastic. On the desk burned some Egyptian incense, and laid a sheet of paper stating such: "Store closing, moving to a new location! HAVE A LOVELY DAY!~" Some hearts decorate the border of the paper, as well as the owner's signature. 'Seralin', the first name of the store owner. Her last name is lacking, for what purpose only she knows.

"Gosh darn... these books are really annoying when packing them. Why can't they just fit in properly..." rang a soft voice, probably belonging to the one who owned the store. Well, what used to be a store. It was going to be empty by the end of the day. It was shown to be her when she stepped out, heading over to her counter to get packing tape from one of the drawers. "It's gonna have to be-" She stops at seeing the man who entered, but didn't hear him or feel the slip of his spiritual energy. "Good afternoon sir, I'm sorry to say but my store is closing down and relocating to Columbia! If you'd like, you may grab a book for free for the inconvenience!" She said it all with a smile, ignoring her previous aggrivation in favor of proper customer service. It was her profesionallism after all that let her keep her shop(s) up this long.

The female, also in a gigai, wore an outfit fitting of the winter season. A thick red cotton sweater covers her upper body, concealing all but her head and hands. A long black skirt made of wool cascades down from her waist down to her ankles, where she wears a pair of simple black shoes and white cotton socks. Some of her floral body tattoo sticks out from the little skin that shows around her neck, and on her left ring finger she wears a white gold wedding band. With how glossy it still is, it's probably something she got only recently.

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on Mon Feb 20, 2017 7:30 am

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Shinigami
Shinigami


0398#words
0000#blood

#tier0-2

©2013 caliburn

One of Graven's eyebrows rose as he heard the obviously-frustrated tone of what could only be the store manager, only to see the attractive woman walk to the counter to pull something out of a drawer. She seemed to be in her mid-thirties, and wore winter clothing to stave off the cold air outside. The Arrancar wasn't terribly worried about it himself, as even while he was human he had lived in one of the coldest places in the world. Something like Japan's winter was nothing compared to the Ice-Death that had ultimately killed him. A slight sparkle on her left ring finger drew his attention to the presence of what appeared to be a wedding ring, and her scent was...intriguing. The vanilla notes immediately alerted him to the fact that she was a Shinigami, even if he couldn't sense her reiatsu over his own, but there was something else there, something that sparked his memory. He couldn't place it, though...

Deciding to just speak with her instead of dawdling, Graven started in his deep, near-monotone that hid a spark of interest. "Ahh, I apologize for the inconvenience. I should have noticed that the sign wasn't hanging above the door, and that there was a note in the window. Just...Judging from the neighborhood around us, the furnishings in your store, and the quality of the incense you happen to be burning, I think you might be able to help me. I've developed a rather interesting hobby over the years. I collect ancient religious texts. The Norse Sagas, the Goetia, Mesopotamian reliefs...I've found them all, with relics that tie into their existence. I even found an old spellbook that was supposedly written in Atlantis. The age of the tome and the script used suggests that it might even be legitimate. What I need, though, is an original copy of the Egyptian Book of the Dead. Written on papyrus, mind you. I don't need to take home an entire wall out of a tomb. Do you happen to know where I could get my hands on one? The afterlife holds many secrets, after all, and I doubt anyone could decipher them all without knowing the full picture."

It was definitely true that he collected religious and historical artifacts, and the private library in his palace was one of the most relaxing places in Las Noches, aside from the amorphous blob of pillows and blankets he called a bed. He wanted to test the odd Shinigami, though. She smelled of both the ocean and a breed of roses that he hadn't encountered in far too long, not since...Well, they'd get there eventually. Now, all Graven had to do was wait, his reiatsu as well-hidden as he could manage with his abysmal control and his mind guarded against any attempts to discern who he truly was. He couldn't have her figure out that he was a Hollow quite yet. He didn't have his book, after all!
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on Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:47 am

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Shinigami
Shinigami
She was too shocked by what this man claimed to have to even try determining if this man had any spiritual energy. A book from Atlantis? That could possibly help in regaining her lost memories, if not point her in the right direction. "I must say, I appreciate the compliments about my shop." What she needed to do here was negotiate, not make a sale. "Well sir, it all depends." She begins, leaning forward on the store counter. "Would you be willing to give me a copy of that Atlantean text if I gave you my hand written copy of that Egyptian book?" Her voice is calm, perfectly masking her mixed emotions of excitement and nervousness. Maybe such an offer would benefit this man? The copy she had of the Egyptian Book of the Dead she written by hand herself when the Ancient Egyptian priests allowed her to read over the wall it was originally inscribed on. While she could read the hyroglyphs, they held no meaning for her. Besides, she had plenty of other copies for herself.

"Surely that is an offer you'd accept. Of course, I'd like to look over this Atlantean text first to see if it is truly authentic." Surely he'd understand, the claims he's making wasn't something that was quite common. She could probably handle the loss of this book, but she was not partial to being fooled. This man didn't seem the type to lie, but she doesn't like to make judgements based on first appearance. The only other copy of that particular Egyptian book she knew of in existance, that was on authentic papyrus, was sealed air tight in a museum over in England. "And if it's okay with you, maybe we can discuss me possibly reading these other texts of yours over coffee later? I know a great bakery here in Karakura that serves amazing danishes and herbal teas."

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on Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:08 pm

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Shinigami
Shinigami


0356#words
0000#blood

#tier0-2

©2013 caliburn

Graven began giving a small smile as Seralin spoke, only widening it when he heard she merely wished for a copy of his own find over coffee and danishes. He was definitely willing to pay through the teeth if he had to, but to find a like-minded individual who cared more for a text in return was always a very exciting prospect, even if she was a Shinigami. In fact, that made it even more intriguing for him. He had never really thought ill of Shinigami, but he certainly detested their bad work ethic and habits when it came to killing Hollows. In answer, he nodded his head twice, his monotone slipping a little as he accepted her offer. "Of course! I'll have to retrieve it from my private library, but it shouldn't be too long. An hour, at most? I believe I know the place you're speaking of. I'll go do that now, and see you shortly."

Bowing and stepping out of the shop, he moved a short distance away and ducked into an alleyway before opening a Garganta, slipping inside and closing it before more than a drifting hint of Hollow reiatsu made it's way back into the World of the Living. He wasn't lying, finding the book wouldn't really take that much time.

(One Hour Later)

Graven adjusted his white tie slightly, an old tome and a stack of papers sitting on the table in front of him as he waited. The book itself was remarkably well-kept, and it was bound in was looked to be soft, smooth leather, engraved with runes in a circular pattern on the front. The leather was an odd iridescent blue, and the wear showed that it wasn't dyed that way. The Arrancar knew for a fact that it was genuine, as he had "collected" it during the chaos of Atlantis' fall, but he couldn't exactly reveal that little detail at the moment, given that for all the woman he was meeting knew he was a rich twenty-something with an intellectual side. The papers to the side were hand-translated with painstaking detail, including side notes to explain unfamiliar terms and to assist where a word had multiple meanings or possible translations. He had done multiple of these secondary copies, so it was truly no big loss or more work on his part to merely hand it over. All in all, it was a dissertation on Atlantean technology and artificing, with a chapter or two on high alchemy. It was very enlightening, and any Kido expert that got their hands on this would have a heart attack when they considered that humans had discovered this treasure trove at one point, then lost it horrifically. Admittedly, Graven thought, he may have had something to do with that...
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on Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:34 pm

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Shinigami
Shinigami
That would be something Graven would probably want to keep to himself, for that event is what sealed the death of her husband and herself. Not that she could even remember her death, her amnesia was to thank for that. She was Atlantean though, even if only a soul. Such news would upset her. Given time to understand the type of person he is though, and she might come to terms with the news.

"In one hour, then." She had time, good. She watches the male leave before hurrying for her basement. It was down here that she kept her personal projects and important documents. Everything was organized by month and year, the size of the stacks showing where change around the world was most notable. They didn't matter at the moment, instead she walks to a large steel door, upon it are seventeen locks. Two are door knob keys, five are dead locks each with a different key, and the remaining ten are combination locks, consisting of 8 number codes. She's messed with these locks so many times that unlocking it is second nature to her. However, there was a small note pad containing the combinations for each lock should she somehow forget. Locked up in her desk, the key to which she keeps hidden in an entirely seperate room.

She opens the massive metal door, to reveal three grand oak chests. The first holds inside of it her notes and records on ancient civilizations that she has lived through. The second, a small collection of ancient Greek and Asian weaponry she was fond of. The third contained notes to experiments she has done, currently working on, and ideas for the future. She goes for chest number one, and immediately pulls out the book she needs. "I think he will be happy to get this. A flawless handwritten copy to the first. Shame the original was lost... that priest was very careless with his candle." She locks the room back up and heads back up to her store. She look around, and sighs in dispointment. It upset her that she had to move. "Oh well, no need to dwell on it too long."

She had a book to look at. Maybe it will help in discovering her lost memories? The man said it was a spellbook, after all. Maybe it holds something in the way of mental sciences that could help her. An herbal mix, perhaps? Atlanteans were great herbalists, after all. She walks out of her store, making sure to lock up before taking a walk around town. They weren't going to be meeting for a while, so she could take this time to walk a bit.

-One hour and five minutes later.-

"... can't believe I got that distracted." She mutters, just loud enough that the Arrancar could probably hear her if he was paying attention. The book was still with her, and in pristine contition. She looks up from the road before her, and to the cafe they were to meet at. "Ah, hello!" She hurries over and gives a polite bow. "I was worried you might not have come, but am pleased to see differently. Have you been waiting long?" She sits at the table opposite him. One if the servers hurries inside, already knowing what the female would want. She's been at that cafe enough times, that's for sure. She sets the Egyptian Book of the Dead down, not far from the Atlantean spellbook the Arrancar had brought.

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on Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:49 am

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Shinigami
Shinigami


0223#words
0000#blood

#tier0-2

©2013 caliburn

Graven chuckled as the woman across from him apologized for getting distracted. Thinking of an answer while nursing a black cup of coffee and taking bites out of his cheese danish, the Arrancar finally settled on what he would say after about fifteen seconds. "Not at all! I only got here five minutes ago. In fact, they had just brought my order when you walked in. It's been a while since I've been here, but the manager knew my order before I could even say anything. So, I have to ask. How did you manage to get your hands on your copy? The only other one I've heard of publicly was in a stuffy museum in England, kept in an airtight case. It's very curious..."

Graven's blood red eyes would narrow playfully while his right eyebrow rose. It was a serious question, but it was also a way to dig for information as to why a Shinigami would be outside of the Seireitei, running a book store of all things. He could certainly understand chasing your passions, but there was plenty of wealthy clientele in the Seireitei that would pay for literature. Far more than in Hueco Mundo, anyway. His careful hold on his reiatsu slipped just enough to give a tinge of Hollow before he reigned it back in. This was also part of the game he was playing. In fact, said game was a staple of the Noble Clans in the Seireitei, and the Atlanteans were masters of it as well. Making completely sure of what he suspected was imperative at the moment. If his hunch was true...Well, there would be some explaining to do at the very least. He might not have started anything, but he had definitely ended it.
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on Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:52 am

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Shinigami
Shinigami
While he was finishing the bite he had taken of that danish Seralin took the time to look the man over. 'He certainly keeps himself well dressed, can't place where I've seen that look though...' When he finishes, a playful smirk tugs at the ends of her lips. "Oh I'm sure you've guessed it by now. I'm not exactly human, and from what I've felt neither are you." A waiter comes by and drops off a steaming cup of hot herbal tea and a small plate of chocolate chip cookies, still soft from when they were removed from the oven for reheating. "I am a Shinigami, something you've probably figured out from the many times I couldn't control my... excitement. I used to be a part of the Gotei 13, but walked out because I was put behind a desk and had to fill out paper work more often than going out in the field. So I left, and the first place I ended up outside of the Senkaimon is Egypt. Seeing such a grand civilization as that I made it a project of mine to catalogue and record the changes of various civilizations and worldly events. While in Egypt, some of the priests I had gained the trust of allowed me to read and record the Book of the Dead. This copy is hand-written from the source, sadly the original was burned by a careless priest that was studying it." It was truly a loss, in her opinion. If those pages had any hidden secrets beyond the visable words on their pages, they were lost now. "And may I ask how you got what looks to be a copy of an Atlantean book on how to store energy into various crystals?" That is what the book was, of that she was certain. She remembers reading that very book as a child, awe struck that her people could store energy in rubies, diamonds and emeralds. Each stone had its own storage capacity, much like modern batteries but on a much larger scale. If done correctly and filled completely, a diamond the size of a baseball could power all of New York for four and a half months. Of course, there was another book on weaponizing the stored energy but that wasn't something she felt needed to be shared. "I've seen that book before, the knowledge in it is beyond what the modern world is ready to handle."

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on Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:31 am

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Shinigami
Shinigami


1010#words
0000#blood

#tier0-2
#regrets

©2013 caliburn

Graven's eyes widened at her complete honesty. Well, that certainly made things easier on him, especially since he'd have to respond in kind. He really disliked lying. He had far more experience with it than most, but he absolutely hated doing it. "Well, to be honest, I hadn't sensed that you were a Shinigami at all, given that my ability to feel the reiatsu signatures of others is somewhat lacking. In fact, I smelled it on you, more than anything. Hints of vanilla in the soul, and all that. I suppose I should just come out with the truth, since you've been kind enough to do so first. I'm...an Arrancar. A Hollow. I'm the oldest still alive, actually. A bit over three thousand years ago, I decided to visit the World of the Living, and found a stunning continent and country by the name of Atlantis. I was curious, as the era in which I lived was nowhere near as advanced, or warm for that matter. Meeting with the king of the land in a Gigai, as I am now, I explained who I was and asked if I could assist in any way. The man was delighted. Atlantis had a far better grasp on the spiritual world than modern people, as their science and magic were intertwined with it irrevocably. If you've read this book, I'm sure you know that for a fact."

Sighing, Graven wondered how to put this as gently as possible. The other scent, the one speaking of ocean breeze that came off of the younger Shinigami before him, made sense the moment she had said she recognized the book. Her entire culture, her home, was destroyed by his folly. How does one explain that? "I became one of his closest advisers and confidants. I knew more about the spiritual side of things than anyone else, after all, and he had me working to improve the city along with their artificers and arcanists. Eventually, they found a way that would immortalize Atlantis forever, allowing for everyone to have access to power without discrimination. Equality for all, and peace across the known world. It was a dream come true, for me. After all, I had tried the same in Hueco Mundo over two millennia before and it had worked until the nature of Hollows overcame our camaraderie. I had hoped humans could handle it better than I could. What a fool..."

Shaking his head violently, Graven broke himself out of his self-depreciating thoughts in order to keep explaining. It wasn't his fault, and he should have understood that by now. "The idea was simple. A single crystal, one far purer and larger than anything we had attempted before, would be filled with a massive amount of reiatsu, the energy so loosely described in this book. It would have been able to sustain Atlantis for ages to come. Hell, they could have still been running strong in the modern day. The stone picked was a sunstone, a rare crystal that refined the output of whatever energy was placed in it, often thought to enhance power due to the lesser draw needed to perform the same tasks. It would even regenerate the power by siphoning off it's host if it was emptied. The one we had found was spectacular. It was the size of a human skull, and was naturally flawless. It was the kind of crystal you can only find once. They asked me to fill it, given that even now I can be considered one of the strongest beings to have ever lived. Idealistic as I still was at the time, I filled it with the entirety of my reiryoku. I was horribly weak for about two weeks afterwards, and even the king was amazed at how much power I was able to put into it. Of course, he and the rest of the research team, save a married couple that protested and I, had a different idea of how to bring about peace and prosperity for Atlantis. The Hathenways always did listen to my stories with rapt attention and awe. They left for a small country town, and I stayed in the capital in an attempt to dissuade what was going to happen. I spoke to them occasionally over the next twenty years, always meeting in the town where they had made their home. I...I couldn't save them. It had already started, with the king declaring that worship of the Divines was illegal. I did my best to keep it secret that their town was still devout, but my word in the Royal Court had already been diminished. After all, a Spiritual and Magical Adviser is just a commodity once religion is banned, right? I was invited to their daughter's wedding, and the couple had just been locked in the tunnels underneath the chapel in a practical joke when the capital about a hundred miles away exploded in a massive burst of red energy...MY energy."

Stopping for a moment to take a bite of his danish and drain his coffee completely almost as if it were a shot, Graven wished he were drinking something much, much stronger. What he wouldn't give for a mug of his Tribe's mead right then. Shit could make a horse black out. Breathing outward heavily, he attempted to continue, emotion clogging his voice briefly before it made an attempt at returning to it's monotone. "Those...Those bastards had wrote a thesis on how to weaponize crystals in opposition to the one before me, used to harness their power in a more safe, stable way. That's what they did with the sunstone I had so willingly provided them with. They assured me for almost two decades that they wouldn't go through with their plans, but human nature won out over common decency. I guess Hollows had to get it from somewhere...The researchers and the king had the idea to crack open the Heavens and become Divines themselves, even after my insistence that it wouldn't work that way. They managed to use my strength to crack open a hole in the fabric of the Living World. Breaking a realm isn't as hard as it sounds. The Shinigami open it smoothly with their Senkaimon, and Hollows, Arrancar and the like are able to use Garganta, which rips a hole. The Atlanteans...did the latter, except on a grand scale. The entire continent was crushed under the weight of my reiatsu being used in such a manner, and imploded into the Garganta fast enough that I doubted anyone survived. You'd have to have been underground, and would have been trapped for years before you finally died. The sunstone itself resurfaced years and years later in the palm of the Colossus of Rhodes, where every summer solstice a sunbeam would hit it just right, revealing the path to the scar in reality that leads to Atlantis. Needless to say, I knocked the damn thing down once I found out. No mortal should ever have access to that thing. Ever. It'll surface again sometime, and I'll have to reclaim it, and the power I put into it. Hell, after I do that I'd even be willing to give the damned rock to you, if you wanted it. If my hair wasn't already white, the stress from it's constant reminder in the back of my head would have done it for me."

Sighing once more, Graven slumped into the table deflated. That was one of the few things in his life that he truly regretted, and to admit it so readily to someone that was affected by his mistake was both relieving and heartbreaking. "At least you made it to Soul Society eventually. Right, Seralin?"
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on Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:12 am

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Shinigami
Shinigami
She listened to what the man had to say, not interrupting once. She had wanted to, but kept all thoughts to herself. 'So, he is the reason I died? Without him though, maybe my parents wouldn't have settled...' 'I was... married? Why would we have been underground?' 'Hathenway... is that my last name?' She kept all these to herself, and as the male gulped down his coffee, she did the same with her tea, downing it all in one smooth gulp. "I... think I need something much stiffer than tea after hearing that." She stands up, setting the Egyptian Book she had brought under her arm. "I know a bar two blocks down, let's continue there." Of course, she would continue to talk with him along the way. "If you end up finding it, I think I would like to have that sunstone. After you've taken back whatever power of yours remains in it of course. Maybe I could do something with it that would do good." Her pace was slow, Seralin was in no rush to get anywhere currently. That, and the revelation that hit her like a truck was taking its toll emotionally. "I was married? I have a last name? Hathenway... it doesn't sound familiar to me. But you say I was married... would I not have taken my husband's last name? You wouldn't happen to know who he would have been, would you?" She would wait long enough for him to answer that. That was a question she needed to know. Maybe he was the one that had previously filled all the blank spaces in her memories? If he was, she needed to know. He was her husband, she deserved to know.

One block left. "I am told my parents moved into the town already having their full body tattoos, like mine. Were they that important to the king's court? What were they like before having me?" Surely they were different, most couples are before settling down. If they were so important, they must have done great work in their respective fields.

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