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Open Cultures Unite (1x1 with GeneralDirection)


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@GeneralDirection

It's a beautiful day. The sun is shining. The wilderness is quiet. Any mythical or supernatural animals are nowhere in sight and nowhere to be heard. However...

Somewhere in the middle of this specific forest lies a lone cherry blossom tree. Can this be right? It seems out of place surrounded by all this green.

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@Samurai Equine

Could kirin be considered mythical? To some, maybe. They are a rather elusive bunch, tucked away deep in the safety of the forests and cliffs, far away from most of Equestrian society. Their magical powers? Fire. The sight of a nirik can be quite scary; seeing a creature set ablaze isn't an everyday thing for most. But contrary to the rumours, most kirin are quite docile and live a quiet life in small, remote villages. This one kirin, however, feels most at home exploring the surrounding woodland instead of hiding from it.

His name is Silver, and today his regular excursion into the woods was momentarily interrupted by the sight of a lone cherry blossom tree. He stared at the tree for a moment before approaching it slowly, his curiosity clearly reflected in his green eyes. In all his travels, he never recalled seeing anything like this in the area before. However, before he got any closer, his instincts kicked in, as with any other seasoned adventurer, and quickly came to a stop. Silver looked around the area intently, keeping alert for the possibility of anything or anyone who might be attempting a surprise attack on any unsuspecting travellers.   

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@GeneralDirection

Silver's keen instincts kick in. In the distance, there is the faint sound someone approaching. Sounds like two natural hooves followed by two other hoof steps that sound possibly like wood or something metallic? Furthermore, whoever it is, they seem to be singing a melody. Strange sounding, yet oddly elegant. Minor key like a sad song, yet haunting and moving. It's definitely a male singing it. He's getting closer...

"Anata otte Izumosaki. Kanashimi no nihonkai. Ai wo miushinai ganpeki no ue. Ochiru namida ha, Tsumoru koto no nai~! Marude--!" As he approaches, it seems to be a pony. A unicorn in fancy robes, a little bit of armor for his rear hooves, and holstered sword tied to his side. Also, his horn is curved, and not straight like most unicorn have. However, his song is interrupted when he sees the kirin ahead of him.

He approaches carefully. "Oi. Hajimemashite. ...Donata desu ka? Tomodachi? Teki?" He approaches carefully, wide-eyed and full of wonder. Clearly he's doing his best not to startle Silver.

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@Samurai Equine

Silver was initially startled by the sight of the pony with the sword… and amour. But he didn’t appear to be on the hunt, or at least not at this moment, anyway. Rather, the unicorn appeared to be… singing? Out here? Alone? A bit strange to be certain, but no matter, at least this stranger seemed friendly enough.

The kirin blinked in response to the unicorn’s attempt at conversation, or at least that’s what he hoped it was. “Umm… I’m sorry, I don’t understand a word you’re saying. Whatever language you’re speaking, I don’t know it.”

Well, this encounter wouldn’t last very long if they couldn’t understand each other.

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@GeneralDirection

The unicorn sighs with relief. "Of course. The universal language. I should have known..."

He straightens his posture and bows. "You may call me Samurai. Samurai Equine! Pleasure to meet you. And who are you? I haven't seen you around these parts before." The well dressed unicorn introduces himself.

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@Samurai Equine

Silver relaxes a bit when he hears Samurai speaking in a language he can understand. “Oh good, for a minute there I didn’t know if we’d be able to talk to each other. A pleasure to meet you, Samurai. My name is Silver, and I have never seen a pony like you before either. Are you from around here? If you head much deeper into these woods, you’ll soon enter the realm of the kirin. We don’t get many visitors here, and to be honest, there isn’t much here to see. That’s why I’m out here, looking for things to see and places to explore. But the others, they don’t share this desire, they’re content to stay in the village and live a simpler life. That’s fine for them, but it’d drive me crazy. I seek adventure, so here I am.” He smiled.

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@GeneralDirection

Samurai listens intently to his tale. "Ah. Naruhodo~. Likewise, Silver-san. I'm not sure how far your village is, but I think you must have taken wrong turn or something. Because just a good ways behind me is my hometown, the land of the rising sun, Japone." Samurai points in the direction he just came from. This would explain the stray cherry blossom tree growing in the middle of the forest. "As the guardian of Japone, I don't normally travel this far away from home unless it's on a mission, which is exactly why I'm here." Samurai further explains.

But then it fully registers. "...Eh? Matte. Did you say kirin? You're one of the legendary kirin?!" Samurai's eyes light up like a kid in a candy store.

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@Samurai Equine

At first, Silver was confused. It didn’t seem like it was that long ago he had left home. He knew nothing of Japone. Unfortunately, kirin weren’t well-acquainted with the outside world. He was something of an exception to the normal kirin lifestyle. Apparently, Samurai was on a mission? What could that possibly be about?

This train of thought was interrupted by Samurai’s interest being piqued. “Legendary?” Silver asked curiously. “I am a kirin, that much is true. But legendary? I’ve never heard anypony describe me quite like that before…” There must be more to this than Silver was aware of.

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Posted (edited)

@GeneralDirection

"Oh. Hold on. I have a tome about it!" Samurai hurriedly explains as he searches himself. Reaching into his robe, he looks around before finally pulling out the tome in question. It's rather small and thin. He searches through the pages and soon finds it. "Yatta! See? Kirins!"

He turns the book around and shows Silver the picture and the page on Kirins.

Spoiler

001_0053.jpg

However, after showing it to him, he notices the obvious. Samurai looks back at the book, then back at Silver. "...We've never seen a real kirin before, only heard tales and rumors. Pictures like this might not be completely accurate... But I've always wanted to meet a kirin!"

Edited by Samurai Equine
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@Samurai Equine

Silver can’t help but notice the difference between the kirin in the tome and himself. “Heh, the one in your book here is a lot more elaborate than I am. I’m not sure where your stories came from, but we’re nowhere near as sophisticated as this.” He points to the picture in his book. “But with that being said, even thought I might not look like that, I can still do kirin things. I’m kinda curious, just what does your society think about us?” He asked.  

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@Samurai Equine

“Banana.” Silver blinks and shakes his head. “That was weird. Anyway, yes, this is true, kirin are fire elementals. We transform into what’s called a ‘nirik’ and we essentially set ourselves on fire. It’s triggered by our emotional state… mainly anger. It’s, umm, caused some problems in the past. But we’re much better with that sort of thing now. Some of us can even switch between states at will.” He explained.

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@GeneralDirection

Samurai is instantly delighted when he hears the news. "So it's true?! Suge! I'm a fire elemental too! Well, in a different way, of course. I mastered fire magic, so it's not completely based on my emotional state. It's based more on my concentration and endurance. It wasn't easy mastering such magic either. Makes me wonder just how similar our fire powers are." Samurai says, thinking out loud for that last part. Now might be a good time to ask questions, if Silver has any.

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@Samurai Equine

“Oh really?” Silver responded with interest. “Well, what sort of things can you do with your fire magic? I’m going to make a bit of a guess here but I’m thinking you’re more of a warrior type.  I assume you know a bunch of combative-type spells to keep yourself out of trouble, or perhaps to protect others. Us kirin are definitely a more peaceful race, we’re quite isolated from the rest of society so we don’t often face confrontation. But we will fight if we must, most kirin villages are a tight-knit group who are fiercely loyal to each other.”

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Posted (edited)

@GeneralDirection

Silver seem to be really good at reading others. Samurai smirks as he puts the tome away. "Would you like to find out? I'd hate to ruin this beautiful scenery. I have training grounds back home. I could show you there, if you're willing to come with me." Samurai extends his hoof for either a hoof shake or a hoof bump, whatever Silver is comfortable with.

Edited by Samurai Equine
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@Samurai Equine

Silver smiles and returns the hoof bump. “Sure, sounds exciting! Since I’ve somehow managed to find myself here, the adventurer in me could never give up an opportunity to explore new places.”

Silver hoped that the ponies here would be accepting of him, he has experienced some… less than welcoming receptions in the past. But on the other hoof, if everypony else was as fascinated by kirin as Samurai was, he didn’t think that he’d have much to worry about.

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@Samurai Equine

The kirin gave Samurai a puzzled look in response to his question. “Magical gem stones? I haven’t the slightest clue what you’re talking about, sorry. Care to elaborate, or is this a secret mission you’ve been sent on?” He asked as they walked along.

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@GeneralDirection

"No. Nothing secret. We got a tip that there might be some dangerous, magical gem stones out here in the wilderness. My mission was to collect them, but I couldn't find any." Samurai explains.

It wouldn't be long before they soon came to his homeland, Japone. After passing the gate, it's clear that this is a very beautiful land. Just as many cherry blossoms and plum blossoms as there are normal trees. Beautiful flowers of many kinds that fill luxurious gardens. Traditional Japonies architecture. And ponies who are dressed in kimonos and other such traditional Japonies clothing. Not to mention, the citizens seem really calm and inviting. Lots of smiles, lots of polite bowing, same friendly waving here and there. Yes there are earth and pegasi ponies, but all the unicorns have a curved horn, just like Samurai. Don't unicorn ponies usually have straight horns?

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@Samurai Equine

“We? Who’s ‘we’?” Silver questioned as they made their way into town.

The kirin noticed right away how much care and pride these ponies had for their homeland. Everything from the architecture to the way they dressed to the scenery was extravagantly detailed and looked nothing short of amazing. It was very nice to see, and moreover, the ponies here seemed very kind. While Silver did notice the unicorns here had a curved horn, kirin also have rather strange-looking horns themselves, so he wasn’t about to bring up the subject as it could be viewed as being disrespectful. He simply chose to silently take everything in as they made their way to wherever Samurai was going.

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Posted (edited)

@GeneralDirection

"Hey Samurai~!", "Hello Samurai~!", the playful sounds of a group of young foals echoes as they run up to Samurai. They giggle and play, but make sure to bow before him respectfully. Samurai bows before them. "Hello, children." Samurai says. "Who's your friend?" One of the kids asks. "This is Silver, my new friend. He's a kirin." Samurai explains. "Ooh~! Just like in the story books?" One of them asks. "Heh. Yes, just like in the story books." Samurai tells them.

They all seem fascinated as they gather round him. Some tug on his leg, some reach up to him, some run circles around him, etc. They are all just little kids in wonderland right now. "Is it true you can do fire?!", "I wanna see!!", "Are you gonna live here?", "Do you have other kirin friends?", "Can you speak Japonies?" They assault him with curious, childhood questions. It's actually rather cute how much they seem to like the visitor to Japone.

Edited by Samurai Equine
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@Samurai Equine

Seems his questions for Samurai would have to wait for later, as Silver appears to have attracted the attention of some young foals. He smiled in response and waited for their persistent questions to die down a bit before responding.

“Ok, ok! One thing at a time!” He chuckled. “Yes, it’s true, I can do fire magic, but it’s largely emotion-based magic so I can’t do it all the time. I just arrived here a few minutes ago, not sure how long I’ll be staying for, honestly. And yes, I do have kirin friends and my parents back in my home village. I also have a younger sister and a special somepony back at home as well. I don’t speak Japonies though, I had no idea this place existed until today.” He explained, not minding their rambunctious nature or continuing questions in the slightest.

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@GeneralDirection

All of the little foals seem to like his answers. "So it's true you and Samurai are friends? Or did you all ready bow before him?" One of the kids asks. "Eheheheh. That's enough, children. Come on, give Silver-san his space. I still need to show him around." Samurai says, shooing them. "Ehhh?! Okaaaay..." The disappointed children bow and take their leave. Samurai bows too, but its different. The kids did a full on bow, but Samurai mostly tilts his head and shoulders forward.

As he continues the tour, Samurai turns to Silver. "Sorry about that. We do have a heirarchy. As a soldier, my official standing in society is higher than commoners. Those below me are suppose to bow and approach with respect. However, I don't really consider anypony... Or anyone my lesser. I see all life as interesting and fascinating. My kind-hearted nature has made me pretty popular with the civilians. However, I am not the only samurai, and there are others with official positions higher than mine. You'll be asked to bow before them, to approach when told to do so, and to mind your manners. But I'll speak on your behalf, and I'll guide you through the system personally." Samurai says. That should answer the 'we' comment.

Also, this place does have more than just ponies. There are some hippogriffs in rather interesting outfits. If you look close, you might spot at least one tanuki. Also, there are a few foxes in cone-like hats and formal uniforms.

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@Samurai Equine

Silver waved goodbye to the foals as they made their leave, then returned his attention to Samurai, nodding silently as the unicorn explained how the system worked around here. “I see, well that’s understandable. Way more complex than the life I’m used to, though. We have a kirin who is the leader of the village but that’s about it. Everyone else just kinda pitches in wherever they’re needed based on their skills. We don’t really have soldiers, per se. Since we all can use fire magic, we’re quite capable of defending ourselves, attacks are pretty rare though. The isolated nature of our home is the best defense we have. Anyway, things sound interesting here, I look forward to meeting the others!” He smiled.

He also did notice that the scenery wasn’t the only diverse thing here. It seemed that, however it came about, several different species co-existed here in harmony. Silver couldn’t help but think about how it made his home seem a bit closed-minded, but he hoped nopony else around here would think of it that way.  

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@GeneralDirection

"Unfortunately, not all the citizens here have magic that strong. That's where soldiers like me come into play. However, if I could, I'd like to be more than a soldier or a royal guard. I believe the western ponies call it... a hero." Samurai says with hope in his eyes. "Heh. As for meeting the others... Well, just wait 'til you've actually met them." Samurai says.

After much training, they come to something of a mansion on a hill. They go through the winding brick roads, passing through different gates with fox guards (ones that probably would not have opened the gate in the first place if it weren't for Samurai Equine's authority). Once in the courtyard, they are directed into the main building. There is an entry room where Samurai must take off his shoes, or rather the armor on his hind hooves. If Silver has any shoes or hoof wear, they should be removed here.

With Samurai as his guide, they go through different hallways and pass through different sliding doors with paper partitions. He sometimes talks to other horses in the building in Japonies. It almost feels like Samurai is leading him through a maze of sorts. Finally, they arrive in a rather empty room. There are benches, but mostly there are small mats on the floor. Samurai sits on one of these mats. "I have requested an audience with the shogun, my commanding general. Please have a seat with me. It might be a wait, but it won't be too long."

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