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TujoThePanda's Gallery (75)

In Living Splendor

Along a Wayward Ledge

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Ayame had set out into the world to live life on her own accord, as opposed to those that had been dictated by her parentage in Teisujo. She sought to live her life as a free spirit, her ideals and convictions set in bushido as a wayward ronin, as opposed to serving under any one lord. She, in her mind, would fight for the people, rather than the war-driven and corrupt Daimyo back home. And so, her life would be lived in the world as a whole rather than in any one place for any length of time, with nothing but her wits, buoyant optimism, and fighting spirit to guide her every step. As beautiful and sacred as Teisujo was, her eyes began to focus west-ward after hearing tales of another world beyond the great waters. An endless stretch of land inhabited by strange and different peoples than those that she had grown up with over the length of her life.

Born to a prominent Samurai and an affluent noble-woman, Ayame's childhood was enjoyed in living splendor. Her father had since hung up his blade to live out his days as a mid-level bureaucrat in Oedo, while her mother was devoted to her daughters well-being and maintaining of the household. As a young girl, Ayames sparkling personality came to show in an everlasting happiness and buoyant optimism about her person. She carried herself well as a kind-hearted and compassionate child, if a bit overly curious and inquisitive. Such qualities drew mild irritation from her stern father, who was quick to dismiss her manner of speech and activities as the frivolous pursuits of an over-imaginative and misguided young girl, lost in her own fantasies. At her behest growing up, her stern and austere father begrudgingly trained her in the fighting arts, predominantly in the sword and bow. It became clear over time, with his disparaging remarks and overly strict mode of teaching, that he had desired raising a boy rather than a girl. Such a fact became something of a sore point with Ayame; nothing she did ever seemed to satisfy or impress him, who did little more than criticize and chastise her throughout life. Ayames mother, thankfully, was far more approving of her pursuits, encouraging her ambitions to better herself as she grew up.

In growing to young adulthood, Ayame had become an accomplished young swordswoman, a living rarity in Teisujan society. Wielding of a katana had become second nature to her, a good many years spent in rustic practice under her fathers tutelage. As she had learned a great deal in literature and history in scholarly pursuit, she felt a desire for more in life. She wanted not to be married off early to spend the remainder of her days as a dutiful housewife. She wanted to venture out into the world, to travel about native Teisujo by her lonesome. Her father expressed nothing but heated disapproval from the beginning, but eventually, both her and he came to a sort of understanding in the coming days. The one gift that Ayame took to heart was the heavy blade that she was offered from her father upon adulthood; the Nashito. It was a relatively old sword with a bright orange lacquered sheathe and a fine cutting edge, left razor sharp from careful grinding. With sword in hand, Ayame had packed her worldly possessions in a small package, and disappeared one night.

Since leaving home, Ayame grew her hair long and full, bound only by a thin green cloth wrapped taught and firm to form a pony tail behind her head. No longer did she bind her hair tight and close to her head as was the accustomed fashion that most women had taken; she would express herself in appearance as she saw fit. Her eyes, a brilliant golden yellow, shining full in life and energy, best conveying her open spirit. The fur coat adorning her form was much as every Osujens fur pattern; black and white. Black at her ears, eyes, arms, neck, and legs, and white everywhere else. Her build, rather than being ostensibly large or wide, was surprisingly petite and thin, in contrast to most osujen. It owed well to her smooth and graceful movements, especially in the realm of combat, in which she moved with the fluidity of water. The attire she had taken to wearing comprised of deep green and black articles of clothing that clung to her form, save for the baggy haori that she had modified for her person. It was not quite a kamashimo, nor was it a hitarie, but served its purpose in clothing her well. What was of note was the flower painted in black ink on either shoulder, joined with one larger on her back. An obi of white cloth would keep her sword in place on those long walks along the trails, with wooden geta at her feet.

This day, this morning, she relished the opportunity to relax in the cleansing waters of the falls. Kato Forest was a sizable wilderness with only a few villages dotting a sea of trees, one she had left just hours ago. It was by chance she found the scenic vista to herself, and decided to shed her clothing to take a rest from the trails. With the canopy of trees rising high overhead, graying stones rested upon lengthy blades of grass, the cascade of waters crashing down into a small pool of water below. Having hastily hung her clothes upon her sword, propped up to stand against rocks with her packaged possessions as a support, she reclined against a grassy bank and sat in the flowing waters of the streams. Overhead, the sun shone bright against the waters below, the shallows glistening all around her, with the monotonous sound of rushing water relaxing to the ears. Every now and again, a chilled wind would blow through, the swaying trees shaken in a cacophony of sound, the rustling of leaves audibly heard in those passing moments. It was a rare pleasure, to be able to feel at ease with a bath and swim, deep in the wilds. Somehow, as cold as the water was, she preferred it over the costly baths in the townships. Time spent to her lonesome, whether to reflect or day-dream as the minutes came to pass, rather than be distracted by those around her. While she generally enjoyed the company of another, time to herself was seldom spent. She just as soon let her mind clear and stared off, looking to what the day might bring.

Commentary: When drawing her, the song "Surfer Girl" by the Beachboys readily came to mind. Except, I think I'd be singing something like.. "Little panda, little one.. Makes my heart come all undone. Do you love me, do you panda girl...?" I dunno. I decided I needed more panda-girls in my gallery. Her backstory could use a little more work, but I'd love to see how it would play out in a comic appearance some day.

female 557,673, panda 11,431, none 1,725, ayame 15, chizuko 1
Type: Picture/Pinup
Published: 5 years, 9 months ago
Rating: General

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