voidbearer: (The Void)
[personal profile] voidbearer
 It was days like this that made Saori regret moving to Yamagata.  From November till March the entire prefecture was one gigantic snowdrift.  The white stuff just kept piling up and piling up, meter after meter until it was pretty much impossible to get anywhere quickly.  To make matters worse, half the roads were blocked up with snow, so she couldn't even take her car into the shrine.  So, here she was, walking from her little home all the way up to Mount Haguro, just so she could sit up in the honden and freeze for a few hours while nobody even bothered to make the pilgrimage up to see her.  In the spring, she knew she'd have many visitors, pilgrims come to visit the Daughter of Wind and Rain. Even a testament to the existence of the divine couldn't drag a human out of the comfort of their home out here if it could be avoided.

As she trudged on through the snow, her blue and white robe shifting in the chilly winter air, Saori silently wished that she'd been granted dominion over more than just rain and thunderstorms.  She absolutely hated how she could pass through a torrential downpour completely dry, but even a hint of snow and she'd be soaked through.  Perhaps it was all a nasty prank from the winter gods that ruled this sleepy stretch of backcountry, but in the modern age even they didn't have as much power as they had once held.  Could they even command the elements as they had in times long past, or had science and reason encroached so far that there was no mystery left to winter in the mountains?  

With several kilometers still ahead, Saori pulled her hood even more tightly over her head, small hands clutching at the sky-blue fabric.  Covered in snow as she was, it was nearly impossible to note the herons lovingly embroidered all over the kimono, but the black crows that spotted it were even more plain.  High above, feet clutching a telephone wire sat Samjeok, the enormous corvid that followed her wherever she went.  The creature watched, cawwing merrily at its mistresses discomfort but never leaving its lofty hideaway.  Had it been another time of year, he wouldn't have dared, but she was nearly powerless in this dreary winter, a fact the wicked bird was unlikely to forget.

"You know, there are times when I REALLY don't like you," she mumbled, only to receive a peculiarly loud squawk from Samjeok.

Up ahead, a truck loomed in the distance, its massive tires festooned with chains to allow it to move through the snow.  The enormous metal monster roared past, spraying up muck and grime and coating the hem of Saori's robe.  Snarling, she twirled and shook a fist at the driver, sparks crackling along her fingertips.  The energy couldn't go far in this weather though, so she dismissed it with a grumble.  Times were tough, and winter was the worst time of all.

"Asshole" was all she could think to say as she continued tromping down the road.

 It twisted and turned, weaving its way through the sleepy village where she resided.  The streets in front of the main shops were clear enough, the owners salting the sidewalks so that they could maybe get some business.  Everybody suffered in winter, and as time went on, these little rural hamlets were the hardest hit.  Tourism ground to a halt, and the locals barely left their homes, so most of the shops closed in the winter, with the majority of shopping being done at convenience stores and small, family markets.  And high above it all loomed Mount Haguro, with its thousand year old shrine and massive temple complex.  "Black Feather Mountain" as Westerners knew it had long remained an isolated locus of spiritual power, with few outsiders coming near until Saori had adopted it as a home.  Her status as a divine champion had revitalized the area, bringing in pilgrims, New Agers, and even the odd occultist or hedge mage.  

Quietly, she trudged onward until at last she stood before the massive torii gate that marked the entrance to the main complex.  Resting atop the arch was Samjeok, his black, beady eyes narrowed down at her.  Quorking merrily, he fluttered his wings and gave her as smug a look as a crow possibly could give.

"Quiet you," was all Saori could think to say as she slid open the wooden gate, opening the temple for another sleepy winter day.
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voidbearer: (Default)

August 2015


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