Author Topic:  [bunkasai] dark matter [ryu]  (Read 456 times)

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  • Offline Ludwig Baumann
  • [bunkasai] dark matter [ryu]
    « on: February 05, 2018, 08:23:48 PM »
    @Jaspar Travars had found himself a penpal last year and was still writing to her, had even met her, talked about her far more often than Ludo would really prefer. He was pretty sure that was the only reason he had searched for a penpal of his own; his (only) friend had one, so he should, too. He had been matched up with a student from Mahoutokoro, @Murakami Ryūnosuke, and to be quite frank, Ludo had found him incredibly dull. They didn’t share many interests at all: his books (he called them manga) needed pictures whereas Ludo preferred words, he was a dog person when Ludo was more of a no-animals-at-all person, and so on.

    Still, he had signed up for the trip to the Japanese school, somewhat because Ryu had invited him, but mostly because Jaspar was going too. Of course, Jaspar had his other friend, so Ludo had found himself spending the day with his -- if a person one spent time with only because he knew no one else and didn’t want to put forth any social effort counted as a friend -- friend.

    He wasn’t wrong. He was dull.

    Until, of course, Ludwig had commented on how incredibly loud a particular group of girls were being while he and Ryu were trying to find some sort of common ground, threatening to remove his translation fabric if only to give him the relief of not being able to understand them anymore. That seemed to be the perfect thing; he and Ryu had found their common ground in their dislike of people, and it was easy to spend the afternoon discussing it in depth.

    Clearing that first major hurdle of the weekend did not prepare him at all for the second: trying to eat his dinner. He was very much out of his comfort zone when looking at all the dish possibilities, never wanting his mother’s Spätzle more than in that moment. But finally, he had settled on (read: Ryu had convinced him to) trying some sort of noodle concoction.

    It didn’t matter than he had decided what to eat if he couldn’t manage to get any noodles into his mouth. “I don’t,” Ludo said once again, getting rather exasperated. “How?” He held up the two chopsticks, casting Ryu a glance that hopefully read as ‘help me’ so he didn’t have to ask.

    a n d   k n o w   s o m e o n e ' s   w a t c h i n g   y o u ,   w a t c h i n g   m e ,   w a t c h i n g   y o u

  • Offline Murakami Ryūnosuke
  • Re: [bunkasai] dark matter [ryu]
    « Reply #1 on: February 06, 2018, 05:41:30 PM »
    Ludwig Baumann was tedious and unsophisticated.

    In all honesty, Ryūnosuke only invited the younger Ombrelune to Bunkasai more out of Japanese pride rather than anything else. He definitely did not expect for the German to actually accept the invitation, and even more, to actually make an apparition there. However, since he had initiated this cordiality, Ryū was going to go through with it, to show the obsessive Sherlock Holmes fan (honestly Ludo, there’s other amazing fictional books out there) that Mahoutokoro was great, and that Japan was obviously the best country it in the entire world.

    He didn’t actually bother dressing up; Ryūnosuke was fully aware that his regular golden kimono was much more elegant than anything Ludwig has probably ever seen, and he wanted to blow his mind with the traditional side of the culture more than anything anyway. However, it would be a lie to say that Ryū didn’t spend an hour that morning deciding between the school uniform and a new kimono sent to him by his grandfather. But it was definitely too elegant and formal to wear during a visit of a foreign friend – if someone who didn’t like dogs could even be called a friend. But he was definitely foreign.

    Ryūnosuke had initially wanted to take Ludwig to the clothing display, because it was particularly filled with elegance and refinement, however, just as they were heading in that direction, a group of girls, probably third or fourth years, yelled in ridiculously high pitched and unsynchronised voices the worst ‘kawaii’ this Tsuchi has ever heard. And he heard a lot of bad ones in his sixteen years. However, it seemed that Ludwig wasn’t completely hopeless – he still had some brains within, meaning enough common sense to dislike them, and people in general. He knew he hadn’t written to Beauxbatons student in vain, there was something good about him.

    Ryū decided though to avoid the clothing display, as it would probably have even more specimens of those specifically annoying teen girls. Instead, he opted for the food display, along with, of course, a much welcomed meal. He’d recommended Ludwig the item on the menu: an assortment of noodles and deep-fried kamaboko, served with sansho pepper and wasabi. It wasn’t a kitsune udon, as it did not have any dashi broth, but was very similar to it. Ryūnosuke was sure it was quite spicy too, which was always a plus, him getting the same as well.

    While he started to eat without any issues, it seemed that Ludwig was having issues holding the chopsticks. Ryūnosuke wasn’t sure if the staff added forks and spoons so they would aid the foreign visitors with the food, but he hasn’t seen any of them around yet. “It’s alright, just relax your hand.” Ryū commented, in his usual calm, and monotonous voice. “ – then, hold the upper one like you’d hold a quill – “ the sixth year started explaining, holding his upper chopstick about one-third of the way from its top “ – and place the second one against your ring finger, while holding it with the base of the thumb.” The Tsuchi continued, later on showing Ludo how to move the upper chopstick with his thumb, index, and middle fingers.

    As Ludwig proved he was not tedious anymore, Ryū challenged himself with making his friend also drop the ‘unsophisticated’ label as well. Hopefully he understood now how to gracefully use the chopsticks. “The dish is very good by the way, you will like it, I’m sure.” Ryūnosuke remarked, as he peacefully continued his meal.

    f  o  r     y  o  u  r     l  i  f  e     n  e  v  e  r     s  t  o p     f  o  r  g  e  t  t  i  n  g     w  h  o     y o u     a  r  e
    m u r a k a m i   r y ū n o s u k e

  • Offline Ludwig Baumann
  • Re: [bunkasai] dark matter [ryu]
    « Reply #2 on: February 25, 2018, 02:15:41 AM »
    Relax the hand, he told himself, overrelaxing and  dropping his chopsticks in the process instead. He sighed and closed his eyes in a prolonged blink before picking them up again, determined not to let to small pieces of wood get the best of him. The food better be worth this effort. He nodded, repositioning one chopstick as Ryu instructed him, just like he would hold a quill, glancing up to make sure the Ryu’s were situated like his were. He took him a few more tries (and a few more dropped chopsticks) before he got the hang of it, moving them with ease at the invisible food in the air.

    The real test would be eating actual food with them, though, and he pulled his bowl closer to him as he was reassured that it was good. “I’m sure,” he replied, more out of politeness than any actual surety that it was tasty. It wasn’t Spätzle. He successfully trapped a single noodle between his chopsticks and managed to hold onto it long enough to fit it into his mouth.

    His triumphant moment was brief. He swallowed the mouthful, but as soon as he opened his mouth to take a breath, that only seemed to make it worse. It was spicy. Merlin, was it spicy. He had been repeatedly poisoned with spice at Academy Anansi, but he would rather eat another piece of jerk chicken than another mouthful of whatever was in front of him. He grabbed his cup of water and took a large swig, again regretting his decision. Water just made the spice worse.

    He covered his mouth with his hand as he exhaled sharply, thankful that at least he wasn’t tearing up like he had on some of his previous encounters with spicy food. “Is there, um,” he stopped, wondering how best to phrase his request without being an ignorant foreigner like his professors had warned him against. “Less spicy?” He withdrew his hand and nudged the bowl forward, not willing to give it the benefit of the doubt that he had just had an unusually spicy bite and that maybe the rest of the dish wasn’t the bad.

    He didn’t trust it.

    a n d   k n o w   s o m e o n e ' s   w a t c h i n g   y o u ,   w a t c h i n g   m e ,   w a t c h i n g   y o u

  • Offline Murakami Ryūnosuke
  • Re: [bunkasai] dark matter [ryu]
    « Reply #3 on: March 07, 2018, 08:13:56 PM »
    Ryūnosuke supressed a soft chuckle upon noticing how hard it was for the German boy to properly use chopsticks. It was quite funny to him to see someone struggling so much with them – while Ryū never paid too much attention to these things, he was quite accustomed to his fellow mates having no issues with them. He especially recalled that Koreans used mostly metal ones than the type made out of wood, and generally were pleased that the chopsticks at Mahoutokoro were definitely much easier to use than the ones they were accustomed to.

    He continued eating, quietly and carefully observing Ludwig in his numerous attempts in correctly using the chopsticks. Finally. Ryūnosuke thought eventually, as he was already halfway through his bowl, as Ludwig successfully managed to properly hold the utensils. The slightly younger boy managed to hold them correctly for a bit, enough for him to finally taste the food. Ryū’s right eyebrow arched slowly, curious to see if the Beauxbatons boy would enjoy the meal.

    The reaction wasn’t what the Tsuchi was expecting at all. Instead of complimenting the absolutely delicious dish, Ludo quickly grabbed his cup of water, taking a generous sip. Ryū kept slowly eating, while watching the entire show, for it was quite the spectacle. “Less spicy?” Ryūnosuke repeated after him gently tilting his head to the side. He paused, perplexed at the sudden and unexpected request. The Japanese couldn’t imagine living a life where he wouldn’t be able to handle spicy food. It was no wonder Ludwig was so unsophisticated, poor thing was living a tragedy, missing out on so many delicious dishes.

    Ryūnosuke desired to request him to give the dish one more try, but there was something in the other boy’s gaze that reminded the Tsuchi of Ritsu, his youngest shiba inu. He acted as if he didn’t trust the world anymore, and while it was a childish behaviour, Ryū decided to help Ludo just this once, and not consider it a complete and utter offence to his country’s great cuisine. Still, it was so annoying. Once he sat down to eat, Ryūnosuke did not enjoy being disturbed by unnecessary things or unexpected events: the German not being able to handle spicy food was definitely unforeseen and did not make him comfortable at all. Any disturbance from his routine was an utter disaster.

    Ryū straightened his back and pulled out his wand from his kimono’s sleeve, where he usually kept it pushed back in his undershirt. With a quick motion, Ryūnosuke levitated another bowl to their table, carefully placing it in front of Ludwig. “Miso soup with rice and poached egg.” He explained, placing his wand on the table, next to his bowl.  “The green stuff is wakame, not salad.” Ryūnosuke added, thinking that the German might not be aware of that fact. “Seaweed.”

    Ryū wasn’t quite sure if they had added chili garlic sauce or not to the dish that day, but from what it looked like on the surface, it seemed that they didn’t. He nodded in approval, encouraging Ludwig to try this new one, absolutely positive that it would be a better choice for the Ombrelune.
    « Last Edit: March 07, 2018, 08:14:56 PM by Lena »

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    m u r a k a m i   r y ū n o s u k e

  • Offline Ludwig Baumann
  • Re: [bunkasai] dark matter [ryu]
    « Reply #4 on: March 12, 2018, 08:54:40 PM »
    Ludo nodded, on the cusp of desperation, as he was asked to clarify his request for something less spicy. But he didn’t want to open his mouth to respond, afraid that the oxygen would just react with the spicy residue remaining in his mouth. He nodded again as Ryū finally agreed and brought a new dish to the table for him to try. He was wary still, though the idea of rice and a poached egg seemed innocent enough. He stopped himself for inquiring after what miso was, figuring he didn’t need to give the other boy another reason to try and poison him with spice again.

    “Wakame, right,” he said with a nod, though he hadn’t the slightest clue what he was talking about. He longed after the word ‘salad’, wanting nothing more than some lettuce, potatoes, and a bit of creamy dill sauce. But apparently Ryū could sense his lack of knowledge, which honestly couldn’t have been that difficult, and he clarified that wakame was seaweed. He thanked him silently, not wanting to go on to explain that he would most certainly not be sampling that.

    He carefully arranged the chopsticks in his hand again, successfully bringing a bit of egg up to his mouth after only three tries. It was significantly less spicy, though Ludo didn’t voice his opinion on it. The rice was a bit harder to eat, but he managed it eventually, soon left with only the broth and the seaweed. He was still going to avoid the seaweed with no issue, but he wasn’t about to pick his bowl up and sip the broth directly from it like he saw a couple other students doing.

    Ludo pulled out his wand and transfigured a chopstick into a spoon, deciding not to waste his time discussing with Ryū what he was looking for or why. He still didn’t want to ask what, exactly, he was eating, afraid that he wouldn’t find it quite as appetizing if he knew.

    a n d   k n o w   s o m e o n e ' s   w a t c h i n g   y o u ,   w a t c h i n g   m e ,   w a t c h i n g   y o u

  • Offline Murakami Ryūnosuke
  • Re: [bunkasai] dark matter [ryu]
    « Reply #5 on: April 17, 2018, 02:18:29 PM »
    The Tsuchi watched with slight amusement as Ludwig avoided mentioning the fact that he would not eat the seaweed, despite the reaction being quite visible on his face. Ryūnosuke sketched a smile, and then continued eating his meal, finishing it rather quickly, having started long before Ludo. He put his bowl aside, and glanced towards the sweets, being quite tempted to go for some of those freshly-made dorayaki. He could feel their delicious scent from their own table, and just as he slowly turned his gaze around towards Ludo, to see if the Ombrelune would also fancy one or two, his eyes widened in surprise as he noticed the German transfiguring a chopstick into a spoon.

    Ryūnosuke then let out a soft laugh, and as he adjusted his glasses with his left hand, he pointed Ludo with his right thumb towards the edge of the long table, where there were placed several spoons, forks, and knives. Mahoutokoro also had such utensils, and it was beyond the Japanese how Ludwig would even think that the differences between the two countries would be so enormous that they wouldn’t have a basic tool such as a spoon. He continued laughing, nodding his head in disapproval, finding Ludwig’s lack of culture both naïve and slightly endearing. There was only a year difference between the two of them, but this kōhai was indeed in dire need of a proper guidance from Ryūnosuke-senpai.

    He allowed Ludwig to finish his soup, later on picking up two dorayaki in two napkins, so they could eat their deserts on their way to the kyūdō dojo. The dorayaki’s texture was sticky-gooey, particularly because it was still warm, but they were filled with chocolate, which was obviously making the sweets even better than they already were. Thankfully enough, the napkins were enchanted so the dorayaki won’t stick to them. The staff really prepared thoroughly for this event, impressing even the sixth year.

    Ryūnosuke took a longer path towards the dojo, through one of the more exuberant zen gardens, casually mentioning to Ludo that, in fact, the zen garden wasn’t nearly as elegant or extravagant as others around the island. He didn’t want to miss even one change to emphasise Mahoutokoro or Japan’s superiority to Beauxbatons or Europe, and the zen garden was no exception. Reaching the kyūdō dojo, Ryūnosuke ran into two of his senpai, whom he respectfully greeted, bowing at a perfect angle. He took Ludo to the changing room, which was empty, as thankfully enough the other students had already finished changing.

    He opened his own locker, pulling out two kyūdō uniforms. His own, and the one he had grown out of, for Ludo. “Here.” He handed Ludo his old uniform. “It’s my previous one, but I didn’t use it for long.” Ryūnosuke mentioned, realising that he had indeed hadn’t used that one for long. He had gotten it right before summer vacation, and by the end of it, he had already outgrew it. Being a teenager was really awkward, having to change clothes so often due to physical changes. He didn’t like change. “It should fit.” Ryū nodded in approval, analysing Ludo’s figure, realising that he was of vaguely similar height last year.

    He then started changing, taking off his grey haori, revealing his first rank golden yukata. Ryūnosuke quickly changed into the kyūdō wear, and as he was neatly arranging his obi, the Tsuchi narrowed his eyes – he momentarily took off his glasses while changing – as he gazed in Ludo’s direction. “Do you need any… er… help?” He inquired, the fifth year Beauxbatons student seeming kind of lost. He was truly both an endearingly helpless kōhai, along with a strong resemblance of Ritsu. It was a pity that Ludo wasn’t a dog person – still an appalling thought – because he and Ritsu were really like twins.

    f  o  r     y  o  u  r     l  i  f  e     n  e  v  e  r     s  t  o p     f  o  r  g  e  t  t  i  n  g     w  h  o     y o u     a  r  e
    m u r a k a m i   r y ū n o s u k e

  • Offline Ludwig Baumann
  • Re: [bunkasai] dark matter [ryu]
    « Reply #6 on: May 07, 2018, 08:08:05 PM »
    This was exhausting.

    Ludo had had enough trouble adjusting to France when he had first started attending Beauxbatons, but at least he had learned to deal with the constant interactions with non-Germans. Even growing up with his parents running a tourist-oriented business, that was still his biggest culture shock.

    And that was with him being only one country away.

    He sighed, pushing his bowl away once he had cleared it of everything obviously edible, missing Ryū’s pointing in the spoons’ direction and the laughs in his. He followed his penpal out of the dining hall, straightening the collar of his robe a bit before taking the offered sweet in his hand. He knew better, at this point, than to ask what he was being given; instead, he watched Ryū take a bite first before taking one of his own, trusting that he hadn’t tried to trick him into something terrible yet again.

    He was only half right: it was sickly sweet and the chocolate was neither expected nor welcomed. Yet he ate it; they were surrounded by too many other students now that vanishing the thing would be much too obvious. The walk to the dojo was a long one, and Ludo was thrilled it wasn’t spring or he would probably not be able to stop sneezing. “Interesting,” he replied whenever Ryū mentioned something new about the gardens, finding everything quite the contrary. He didn’t like staying outdoors for too long, and he was overly thrilled when they reached their destination.

    Ludo had been bowing like Madame Maxime had implored them to, but he certainly didn’t put as much effort into it as Ryū did. He didn’t want to risk losing his glasses, after all. Ryū still hadn’t told him what they were doing, and by now Ludo was too afraid to ask what he was getting himself into.

    “Okay,” was his simple reply as he was handed what amounted to a lot of fabric. “Your previous what?” Ludo looked at it with interest, trying to discern what he was getting on about. “Ah.” Kyūdō uniform. Of course. How could he not know? He waited to roll his eyes until they had turned away from each other to change. He held back his question of the uniform’s cleanliness, more concerned at the moment with how, exactly, he was supposed to wear the thing.

    He stood there for a couple minutes, examining the pieces, almost thankful when Ryū broke the silence again. “Yes,” he said quickly, not thinking through what ‘help’ might entail. “It should come with instructions, you know.” He held out the uniform, hoping Ryū would tell him where to start.

    a n d   k n o w   s o m e o n e ' s   w a t c h i n g   y o u ,   w a t c h i n g   m e ,   w a t c h i n g   y o u

  • Offline Murakami Ryūnosuke
  • Re: [bunkasai] dark matter [ryu]
    « Reply #7 on: May 12, 2018, 12:27:48 PM »
    “Hah.” Ryūnosuke laughed at Ludwig’s mention of instructions. He grabbed his wand from the shelf in his locker on which he initially placed it, and with a twirl, the kyūdō uniform started arranging itself on the Ombrelune. “We generally have such an instruction course at the beginning of each term.” The Tsuchi commented, placing his wand in his own uniform’s pocket. “When we get new members, there’s a few weeks, up to a month, of teaching on how to put on the uniform. Generally, people learn how to put it on within the week, however, there’s some special cases who can’t seem to get it right even after daily teaching.” Ryūnosuke rolled his eyes, letting out a deep sigh.

    At the beginning of this year's term, he had been assigned to help the senpai who’d been in charge with making younger students familiar with the kyūdō uniform, and even his own renowned patience got tested. There was a specific first year Kitsunebi who simply didn’t understand basic instructions, and, in the end, Ryūnosuke had to calm down their senpai and stop them from jinxing the little trickster. Still, that hadn’t meant he didn’t relate to their senpai at all, for Ryūnosuke himself had been tempted several times to pull out his wand and jinx the little one. It was incomprehensible how such foolish people were even accepted into his club.

    As the uniform finished arranging itself on Ludwig, tightening up pretty nicely, Ryūnosuke grabbed his glasses before closing his locker’s door, and taking the Beauxbatons guest to the other chamber of the dojo, where they could actually practice the sport. “Kyūdō is the Japanese martial art of archery.” The Tsuchi commented, figuring out that his acquaintance was probably quite confused, being exposed to the obvious superiority of his own culture. “Technically, the supreme goal of kyūdō is the state of shin-zen-bi – when your shooting is naturally beautiful. Fluid, I suppose would be a better term.”  Ryūnosuke picked up two bows, and handed Ludwig one, later taking an arrow and placing himself in front of a target. He straightened his back, taking a perfect and elegant stance.

    “Others believe in seisha seichū, that correct shooting is correct hitting, which is a logic that helps during competitions. Lastly, there’s the goal of becoming one with the arrow. To give oneself completely to the shooting is the spiritual aim, attained by the perfecting of both the spirit and shooting technique. This would lead to munen musō; no thoughts, no illusions. If you combine the three goals, I think it makes more sense. You become one with the arrow, to shoot and hit correctly, and then of course that your shooting is nothing but naturally beautiful.” Ryūnosuke paused, and took a deep breath, before releasing his grip and the arrow hitting the target right in the middle.

    The Tsuchi didn’t react to his success with the shot, for it was the usual for him. Ryūnosuke was generally calm, and munen musō came very naturally for him. He turned around and picked up another arrow, and handed it to Ludwig. “It is also said that the arrow reflects your own state of mind. If you’re not worried, or stressed, the release and hitting the target comes off naturally.” Ryūnosuke then took a few steps backwards, allowing the Ombrelune some space. “Just try and copy what I did before, and let’s see how it goes. I can give you more instructions once I’ve seen your stance and aim.” He pushed his glasses slightly, gaze focusing on Ludwig.

    Hopefully, his ‘friend’ there wouldn’t disappoint yet again.

    f  o  r     y  o  u  r     l  i  f  e     n  e  v  e  r     s  t  o p     f  o  r  g  e  t  t  i  n  g     w  h  o     y o u     a  r  e
    m u r a k a m i   r y ū n o s u k e

  • Offline Ludwig Baumann
  • Re: [bunkasai] dark matter [ryu]
    « Reply #8 on: June 22, 2018, 02:03:33 AM »
    “Right. Of course.” Ludo rolled his eyes too, though it wasn’t in commiseration. Instead he was rolling his eyes at the fact that the class -- the class specifically about donning the uniform -- lasted up to a month. And they expected Ludo to be able to know how to do it without any training at all. It made total sense. He tugged at the fabric on his neck, loosening it a bit, trying not to get upset that he had needed to ask for help in the first place.

    He followed Ryūnosuke out of the room, pushing his glasses back up the bridge of his nose as they slipped. Martial art of archery. Ludo didn’t think those words belonged in a sentence together; sports weren’t arts, arts weren’t sports, and ‘martial arts’ was a misnomer. He came close to snorting at beautiful shooting, but he managed to turn it into a cough at the last second. That may have been the supreme goal, but what was the point? Still, he nodded, showing that he had followed what had been said.

    Ludo was at least very fond of learning, and very fond of putting effort into learning new things. This certainly seemed to be less ‘sport’ than other sports, so he had a slight chance at succeeding. He took the bow from Ryūnosuke and took the same stance, sans arrow, glancing sideways to ensure he was mimicking correctly.

    Fluid shooting, correct shooting, becoming one with the arrow. Was this a sport or a modern art installation? He was glad Ryūnosukewas focused on his arrow, so Ludo could roll his eyes in peace. He was going to take a hard pass on any spiritual connection to the sport, but he continued nodding as he listened. He lowered his bow to watch the arrow sail through the air, and he reacted just as much as Ryūnosuke did: not at all. Ludo still wasn’t sure what the point was, what this all really accomplished.

    “Right.” Ludo took the arrow and repeated the stance, coming close to mimicking what he had seen, keeping his elbow up. He let the arrow go, surprisingly flinching only the slightest bit as it flew across the room, landing just short of the target. “Ahh…” He at least knew that he should hit the target, and he was already taking another arrow before Ryūnosuke had a chance to ‘correct’ him. He aimed again, pulling his elbow back just a bit more than before. He let the arrow go again, and this time it hit the board of the target, at least, if not in the center. Good enough.

    He had yet to learn why they had to dress like this, just to use a bow and arrow, but considering he’d probably need help getting the uniform back off, he didn’t press the subject.

    a n d   k n o w   s o m e o n e ' s   w a t c h i n g   y o u ,   w a t c h i n g   m e ,   w a t c h i n g   y o u


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