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RHP - 18 - Elves and Wolves“Hello!” Unexpectedly, an elf with dark skin and green eyes appeared in front of them. Right, have they arrived at the school's main entrance using the teleportation token. Dusk sucked in a breath, and Micah gave a small, startled scream. Between them and the elf, pyrite formed a barrier. On Pyrite's shoulder, Word inflated into a larger-than-usual featherball. The two presented an intimidating image. Although neither of them frightened Dusk, the energy they exuded made the other students give them a wide berth. The elf might have done that. Dusk thought. “Are you Dusk?” The elf's cheery question rang through the air. “And Word, was it?” Word crouched down and hissed. "Salty little thing, is it hard for you to keep that form?" When the elf raised a hand, Pyrite's arm intervened to prevent Word from squeezing the elf's fingers. “Who are ya?” Pyrite growled, but he did so while resting one hand on his hip and leaving the other hanging loose. Pyrite had tense arms and a rigid back, and an odd aura erupted all around him. Though he could not place it, Dusk could sense that the energy emanating from Pyrite was not normal. He pulled out a teleportation token from his storage and held it in his hand, but Pyrite looked like he wanted to fight more than he wanted to run. “Oh, I guess I was wrong.” The elf was almost singing at Pyrite. His reaching hands lingered in midair, as if waiting for the right moment to reach out to Word once more. “Your magic is too untamed and wild to be a blood mage, so you cannot be one.” The elf tried to get around Pyrite, but Pyrite would not even move a step. He was keeping watch over them, but there was more going on. Dusk could feel it. What was happening? Micah's face was expressionless as he caught his glance, but his attention was fixed on the elf. Did anyone have a grudge here? “Elves are incredibly afraid of things they cannot control.” In time to block his path to Dusk, Pyrite said while shaking his head. “Ya should not be afraid now more than ever, elf.” His voice was rougher and deeper than Pyrite's usual voice, and it was full of authority. It demanded attention. Was this something coming from Pyrite's alpha nature? “Compared to what is typical of beast folk, it is a little wilder.” Under his breath, the elf murmured. He ducked his dark head in thought. Spotting a chance to assist Pyrite. In order to prevent this from happening before the surrounding energy erupted, Dusk lifted his foot and took a step forward. When he turned to face Micah with his "why" on his lips, Micah's hand had already grabbed his arm. Dusk bit his lip as he decided to put his trust in him and take his position back. “Elf, what are ya doing here?” Pyrite's words were ignored. The elf's green eyes narrowed, and He looked Pyrite up and down. With his eyes narrowed, the elf gave Pyrite a side-to-side inspection. He moved slowly and steadily, as though he were examining a horse for sale. That look infuriated Dusk to the point where he felt sick. Pyrite was not an animal on sale. Dusk did not realize he had moved forward until Micah's hand squeezed his arm. Although he never lost his cool when such behavior was directed at him, he detested watching Pyrite go through it. He was not deserving of it. Word was hissing away on Pyrite's shoulder. The annoying elf ignored Word’s hisses, like Pyrite's words. Either the elf had no respect or no fear. Dusk had a hunch that it was both. “The blood mage is you.” The elf appeared to be inches away from Dusk's face and behind Pyrite's back in a blur. His skin was so dark that it blocked Dusk's vision. Where the elf's skin and his slender, green eyes were all he could see. Taking a look at him—or, perhaps more appropriately, into him. Dusk shuddered, a wave of disgust rippling through him. “The magic that is whirling around you, I can taste.” He did not want anything of his to be tasted. Not by him, anyway. “Back off!” Pyrite murmured as he cinched the elf's neck in his grasp. He pulled and threw the man, sending him and the black robes he was dressed in flying like a shattered kite. Even though Dusk was certain he would crash to the ground, he instead twisted like a cat and came to rest upright. His positive attitude did not miss a beat. Things were going to get worse. Who gave this man permission to enter a school? “To have such strength, you have to be an alpha.” He stood back up, and the area cleared out fast. In contrast to martial artists, nobody watched from the sidelines in this situation. The lack of commotion on the sidelines seemed stranger to Dusk than a group of onlookers placing wagers. Did they have knowledge that he did not have? Dusk would stake a wager on the likelihood of that happening. “So,” the elf dragged out the word before stepping in front of Pyrite while moving quickly once more. He had the option to do so at any time, but he chose to do so only now. That could have been considered clever or stupid. Dusk was unable to identify either their adversary or their objective. “I cannot say I dislike it, but it is aggressive.” He ran his hand up Pyrite's exposed chest. “I know how I heard about you now.” Pyrite knocked his hand off his chest. “Who do you believe you are touching?” Dusk's mouth twisted as an unpleasant taste crept into his mouth as Micah spoke. Should he restrain Micah, as he did with him? He was not inclined to. The elf needed to back off, and he would not do this on his own. “Take your hand somewhere else; he is a mated man.” Asserting Micah's position, Dusk nodded. The strange elf touching Pyrite bothered him. He did not enjoy being near them in any way. “Oh, I'm not interested in the wolf folk. I'm interested in him,” Dusk got a chill down his spine when those green eyes settled on him and then on his familiar, “And him.” Instead of viewing him as a person, those eyes were viewing him as a thing—an intriguing, fascinating thing. His heart froze, and it gave him the creeps. “From the beast folk, we elves have learned everything we can, particularly from the wolf folk.” His teeth shone white as he grinned. Pyrite's bare rumble of a growl vibrated the atmosphere. Word twirled around his feet. Due to their bond, Dusk could sense Word's unease. Even without the ability to feel their bond, he could feel Pyrite's rage. That Dusk experience was the worst kind of anger one could experience; it was slow, calm, and angry. Pyrite. He bit the inside of his mouth and wished, once more, that he knew how to help him. “Come here!” Word quickly slid into Dusk's arms in response, so it was a good call; at least he could take care of him. He raised his head and observed Pyrite. He was hoping that something in his icy, furious face would indicate what he could do to help him. If anything. “I'll give ya something to learn from, elf.” Pyrite said, again moving in between them. “Before I let ya touch my mates or our little feather friend,” Pyrite growled through extended fangs, “I will send ya back to your damn forest in a wooden box.” “Why do you think I will hurt them, exactly? I would like to watch them.” The elf appeared unfazed and calm, running a hand through his short hair. I will even impart a few lessons to him. Dusk believed his stomach might churn more violently when he grinned. In what sense did he say that? Dusk struggled to control his stomach's twists. His head pounded with a growing rage. Both emotions were too intense to feel at once. Did he even want to know? “Ya think I would let that happen?” Pyrite reached for his side. Dusk winced as Pyrite's teeth clashed and his hands grasped at the air where no sword was present. “I will not allow you to observe even one of his head's hairs. “Ah, what is a hair?” the elf asked with a shrug. Dusk felt his stomach turn again in anger and disgust, and Pyrite growled. Micah stepped closer to Dusk. “A wolf-folk nose is good, but a Howlite nose can smell the fur on a snake. To smell my intentions, you must too. At his waist, he leaned to the side. He looked at Dusk with a smile on his face and a bright light in his eyes. “No matter how talented the trait we bring out is, we elves have vowed never to repeat what happened to the wolf folk.” "Did ya swear not to hurt anybody while seeking the truth?" Pyrite's posture switched from that of a swordsman to that of a fist fighter. Although it was subtle, a big part of his upbringing involved avoiding swords and fists, so he noticed it right away. “You enjoy talented people, huh? Is that it?” He gave the impression that he was anticipating Dusk's response in general. He was paying no attention to Pyrite, which was causing a tick to appear in Pyrite’s left eye. “I know, and you will see that I am talented enough to amuse you.” As he forced himself to swallow his disgust, Dusk could taste the bile trail running up his throat. Like they had any similarities at all. He held his nauseousness in his throat as he spoke, appearing calm and confident despite not feeling that way. “I am losing my temper.” Dusk said it in a cool, courteous manner. “Please move aside, as we have classes to attend.” He did not pick Micah or Pyrite to amuse him. The elf was living in a far more fantastical world than anyone Dusk had ever met. He knew nothing about him or the people he cared for. “Mr. Summerset! What do you believe you are accomplishing?” Mrs. Quartz entered hastily, her pale face flushed from the exertion. To compensate for the height difference, she leaped up. When she landed, she pulled firmly on his long ear and pulled him down to her level. With her arrival, the crackling air stopped, but Pyrite continued to appear tense and prepared to fight. While cuddling Word in his arms, Dusk would not let his guard down either. While he awaited the deputy headmaster's decision, he tried to keep his emotions under control. “Do not think, Mr. Howlite, that I failed to witness you toss a teacher.” Mrs. Quartz gave Pyrite a startling glare before quickly averting it. Mrs. Quartz's criticism of Pyrite required Dusk to disagree with her, but did she say teacher? “Ow! Rose, is this the way to treat a childhood friend?” Mrs. Quartz twisted her hand as the elf whimpered, turning his ear in the process. The earlier sense of threat almost completely disappeared. In front of Mrs. Quartz, he changed into a pubescent child. "Mr. Summerset, that is Mrs. Quartz at school.” Mrs. Quartz looked a little more frazzled than she usually does when she is in a formal setting. The token was reinserted into storage as Dusk sighed. Word soared toward his shoulder. Pyrite fell in between him and Micah. He had unreadable eyes. Dusk had a sneaking suspicion that the elf who brought up his ancestor's trait had blinded him. “Is that a way to treat a student? The entrance door was where I saw everything.” “You called me!” Like a kid at the store demanding treats, he drew out the final phrase. He appeared to be about to throw a tantrum. “Rosey!” His mouth let out a loud scream, and his ear received another sudden twist. When Mrs. Quartz released him, he sobbed and fell to the ground. Straightening her white robe and pink underrobe. She turned, lifted her long white rabbit ears high, and spoke with her usual grace. “I am hesitant to call this elf a fool.” The elf in question was holding his ear as tears streamed down his face, and Mrs. Quartz gave him a look of scorn. “Your class schedule has changed because this is your new magical studies teacher.” She gave Dusk an envelope that she had taken from her robes. “Your personal study has been replaced by Alchemy Studies now. Magical Studies have taken over your former Alchemy Studies slot.” Dusk put his mask on and said, "Understood," but inside he was banging his head against the wall. He did not want to interact with that elf, who was curled up on the ground for two hours each day. “Is Mr. Summerset here?” Dusk paused, trying to think of the right phrase to use. There was no way to make that sound good while simultaneously doubting his credentials. “Please let me know if he is causing too much trouble.” Mrs. Quartz politely smiled. She looked down at him while sighing. “Get off the ground, Mr. Summerset.” He covered his protruding ears while glaring at her. Mr. Summerset was caught on the ground. “He is more brilliant than he appears; he was the best in his school, attributed to numerous developments in familiar bonds and magical understanding.” “I am responsible for the tokens we use today.” Mr. Summerset buried his thumb deep in his heart. “Without me, you will still be crying when it rains and using paper slips!” His chin was raised, and he was giving them an expectant look. “That is truly very impressive.” Dusk said, not meaning the words that he was feeding the man's ego with. The dark elf faced Mrs. Quartz with sparkling eyes. Dusk sensed a headache coming on. He did not do well with people of this kind. Why did he keep experiencing all of these things? He ought to stop trying to lead a typical school life at this point. On the whole, he had no chance of doing it. “Look, my pupil recognizes my brilliance!” Standing tall, he kept his eyes on Mrs. Quartz. “You will see that we get along just fine, Rosey. Now, if you'll excuse me,” He spun around and wrapped himself in his black robes. “Dusk Wooddancer, I will see you this afternoon at East Field.” He vanished without even making a token snap. “Is he alright in the head?” Pyrite asked with his arms crossed across his chest and an expressionless face. Which was typically swaying with carefree happiness and even love, if Dusk dared to think that. “Watch what you say, Mr. Howlite.” Mrs. Quartz glared at Pyrite while scrunching up her nose. “However, he is.” Mrs. Quartz raised a hand and brushed one of her long rabbit ears. “He is young—very young for an elf. By their standards, he is about your age, if not younger.” Mrs. Quartz looked at Dusk, her lips pinned into a hard line. “He is smart; take notes from him and, if necessary, report to me each day. I will take care of his excessive behavior.” “Understood, Mrs. Quartz.” Dusk placed a hand on his chest and gave a short and quick bow. Recognizing that he would have to handle the elf by himself. “It was difficult to find someone on short notice. I appreciate your wiliness in this matter.” Mrs. Quartz gave him a head nod. “Oh, and Mr. Wooddancer, I am glad to hear that you are feeling better.” After remaining relatively quiet up to this point, Micah said, “We all are.” “I see.” Mrs. Quartz gave a small smile. “Well, if I may have a few moments of your time.” Mrs. Quartz's eyes were drained as she gazed at Micah. “I have an answer to yesterday's question. You two should get to Leadership Class before Mr. Wooddancer is late.” “I will meet the two of you there.” Upon Micah's statement, Pyrite nodded. Dusk imagined that he might be a little more disappointed or, at the very least, say goodbye more forcefully. The shift in Pyrite's attitude did not seem to bother Micah. “See you soon,” Dusk said, and they parted. It was their first time traveling alone, and Dusk observed that Pyrite was leading the way. Certainly ever since they first met. Glancing up at Pyrite. There was no toothy, wide grin. His eyes stared off into the distance, unreadable. Though he had never seen it himself, he was familiar with that expression. He had gone through it. Pyrite was getting up in his head, lost in his thoughts. Whether he should break free from them was a question Dusk pondered. Should he cut himself off from them or let Pyrite do it? “I'm okay, Sunshine.” Pyrite turned and gave him a corner-mouth smile. “Which okay type are you?” Dusk asked, knowing very well that there were different types. The one you put on to get by, the mask you present to others, and the lie you told yourself. Dusk hoped against hope that it was not the latter. “Ya are the first one to ask me that,” Pyrite replied with a thin, illusory smile that had no real substance. “Ya would probably be the second person to understand, I suppose.” Pyrite opened the door to the school. It appeared the two exuded an aura even without Micah. That prevented the whispering words and the curious eyes from getting too close. Which was what they needed right then. “The Howlite family were bred to be hunting dogs in the past.” Pyrite spoke in a soft voice that only Dusk could hear. It was almost impossible for him to do so because Pyrite's voice was so low. “This was before the best folk got equal rights; it was when we were treated like animals.” The silent understanding that some still did hang in the air. Dusk thought back to Redneval, where beast folk were seldom seen and those who were not treated like animals were not considered equals. At least from what he heard. “Elves were at the forefront of that, the dark elves, anyway. The ones like him.” “Our sense of smell is so good. That we can find a living monster hidden among the dead. Smell an emotion before the person feeling it can even express it.” Pyrite rumbled it out, his voice thick with emotion. Dusk walked a step closer to Pyrite until their arms brushed together. Offering his support in the only vague way he knew how. Wait, what did Pyrite just say? Dusk looked up so fast that he pinched his own neck. Word noticed and started rubbing his neck with his head. “Yes, worry, shock, comfort, even love.” Pyrite gave Dusk a full, toothy smile. “We Howlite's can smell it all.” “That must be a burden,” Dusk said. Pyrite thought he would be the second to understand him. He was unable to comprehend the strain that characteristic must have put on Pyrite's body and mind. Pyrite was wrong; he couldn’t understand him. “Howlite’s have a 60% chance of living to adulthood. I am among the fortunate.” Pyrite grabbed Dusk's hand and brought it to his mouth. He gave his knuckles a tender kiss that the subject lacked. “Many go insane under the weight and need to be put down or placed in solitude.” “Is there nothing in magic that could aid you?” Dusk inquired, trying to think of a way to assist Pyrite. To help his family. “Most magic is ineffective on or difficult to use on beast folk.” When Dusk approached, Pyrite cocked his head and smiled brightly before closing his eyes. “Because of this, Micah primarily snaps tokens.” “Something has to exist.” Dusk frowned. He had no knowledge of a beast folk's skills or of what was typical. Experiencing sensory overload in childhood and not surviving it? In this day and age, it should not be a problem. “I did not share this with ya in order to burden ya or let it off my chest. That elf brought up bad memories. Although I try to rise above it, I believe there is a deep-seated mistrust there.” Pyrite pushed Dusk into Leadership Class after opening the door. Dusk did not want to let that slide. His magic now served a purpose. Dusk strode into the room, ignoring all the eyes on him, as they were one of the last into the class. Sitting down, he chewed over what Pyrite had told him. He needed to handle that elf. After taking a seat, Dusk pulled his books from storage. He had to finish his classes first. He had two before lunch and two after lunch. With his teacher or tutor—whatever he chose to call himself—he would draw the line. He also had to do it. Not wanting to skip the lessons he had paid so much money for, Dusk kept his eyes on the approaching teacher. For Pyrite, not for himself, he would confront that elf. Who was worthy of more than he could ever provide....
A Familiar Face Lies Behind That Medical Mask, P11Dr. Urawa was administering some endodontic therapy (better known as a root canal) to a patient. As he drilled the tooth, the dentist hummed a happy tune, something that was noticeable to his dental assistant. “You seem even more bright and cheery than usual, Dr. Urawa. Did something happen over the weekend?” Fuyumi asked. “Huh? As a matter of fact, it did,” Dr. Urawa replied, “Was I being that obvious?” “Just a little. I don’t often hear you humming while you work,” Fuyumi stated. Dr. Urawa felt slightly embarrassed. “Oh, was I doing that out loud? Well, I suppose I might as well say why. I had a lovely lunch date with someone who I had admired ever since I was a teenager and who I must admit I still have feelings for. We plan on getting together again sometime, probably this weekend,” he said, momentarily pausing his drilling. “Sounds like fun. I hope you have a good time,” Fuyumi said. “Well, thank you. I am very much looking forward to it,” Dr. Urawa replied. “Hnnfn hnng hrrn hnrng hnnf nng” spoke the patient whose mouth was covered with a dental dam. Dr. Urawa chucked. “Oh, you really think so?” he asked to the patient. “Mmhmm. Hnng hrrnn fnnrr hnnrff hnnng hrr” the patient said. “Oh, well I certainly appreciate the compliment,” Dr. Urawa replied with a beaming smile under his medical mask. He then resumed the treatment. The next day, Ryo called up Ami to make their weekend plans. He was still feeling rather nervous with making the phone call, though nowhere near the level he was the first time. He gulped when the other end picked up. “Hello, Mizuno residence. This is Ami speaking,” said the voice. “Ah, he-hello Mizuno. It’s Urawa. I was calling to, ah, see if you were s-still interested in, uh, getting together this weekend,” Ryo said, stumbling over his words slightly. “Hello, Urawa. It’s nice to hear from you again. Of course, I would be delighted to spend time with you this weekend. I was thinking this time we could meet up a little earlier. That way we’d have all day and it won’t be quite so late by the end,” Ami stated. “Ah, yeah. Sounds good to me. So, is there anywhere you would like to go this time?” Ryo asked. “Hmm, well I was actually thinking of letting you pick where we should go since I suggested the restaurant for our last outing,” Ami said. Suddenly, Ryo started feeling more nervous. He wasn’t sure where he should take Ami. Another restaurant just seemed like a repetition of what they did last time. Plus, if they were meeting earlier, then it wouldn’t be the right time for a meal anyway. “Er…ah…well, I, ah…I hear the weather is going to be very nice this weekend. Perhaps we, ah, could meet up at the park and, uh, take a nice little walk,” Ryo said while nervously tugging on his shirt collar. Hopefully Ami didn’t think that idea was dumb. “Uh, ah, then we could maybe sort of make up our plans as we go along,” the dentist added. “A bit of fresh air sounds nice and I like the spontaneity. We could take a look around and see what’s going on,” Ami said, “Sounds like a plan to me.” Ryo quietly let out a sigh of relief. He was glad Ami decided to go with his suggestion. The two of them decided on a time when they would meet up at the park. It was the same park they had taken a stroll around during their last outing and where Ami had grabbed Ryo by the arm to catch her fall. After hanging up, Ryo walked to the sink in his bathroom and splashed a bit of cold water on his face to cool himself down. He looked at himself in the mirror and smiled as he adjusted his shirt collar. That went rather well, Ryo thought. He was looking forward to another outing with Ami. It was the weekend morning and Ryo was getting ready for his outing with Ami. Once again, after getting all cleaned up, the dentist stood in front of his closet while deciding what to wear. He eventually settled on an outfit similar to what he wore on his last outing, except this time his necktie was crimson and his sweater vest was beige. Ryo made his way to the park and found Ami sitting on a bench by the entrance. Just like last time, she seemed to be engrossed in the book she was reading. “Uh, g-good morning, Mizuno,” Ryo said with a slightly nervous wave after approaching the Mercury guardian. Ami placed a bookmark on the page she was reading and then closed up the book. She then looked up at the dentist. “Good morning, Urawa. It’s a nice day out, isn’t it?” she asked. “Uh, ah, yeah, it is,” Ryo replied. Ami put her book in her purse and then stood up. “Then it’s the perfect weather for our little stroll,” she said. Ryo simply nodded and the two of them began their casual trek through the park. Ryo took in the sights of the park as the two of them made their way down the path. There were children playing, couples sitting together in the grass, and families enjoying themselves. Ryo remarked on the beautiful foliage and sereness of the location. It almost made you forget that you were right in the biggest city in Japan, and even one of the largest in the entire world. The dentist then looked up to see grey clouds quickly rolling in. “Huh, that’s weird. I don’t remember those being announced by the weatherman,” Ryo stated, “Last time I checked it was supposed to be nice out all day.” “Well, you know the weather. Even with today’s meteorological technology, it can still be hard to predict correctly,” Ami stated. The dentist just nodded in agreement. Ryo began feeling droplets of rain falling from the sky. “Oh, dear. I don’t have an umbrella,” he said. He didn’t want to wind up going home all wet. “Neither do I. I guess we best find a shop that sells them,” Ami stated and the two quickly made their way out of the park before the rain really started coming down. Ryo spotted a shop that had umbrellas on display and the two dashed in to avoid getting completely soaked. They both then began looking at the display of umbrellas to see if any specific pattern caught their eye. “Is there any of them that you like in particular?” Ryo asked. He would pay for the umbrellas just like he did with their lunches on their last outing. Ami took an umbrella off the rack and gave it a good look. “I think I’m going to pick this one,” she said. “I like the design,” Ryo said, then noted the size of the umbrella. “It looks like a pretty big one,” he added. “I know. I was thinking maybe we could share it,” Ami said with a wink, “I mean, it’s cheaper than getting two of them.” Ryo blushed slightly at hearing Ami suggest they share the umbrella. He couldn’t tell if she was being a tease or if she was just being rational about saving money. Perhaps it was even a bit of both. “Er, ah, yeah. We can certainly do that,” Ryo said, trying not to stumble over his words once again. Ryo purchased the item and then the two of them left the shop walking together under their new umbrella. As the two walked along the sidewalk while sharing their cover against the rain, Ryo noticed a place that he had never seen before. It must have just opened up. There were all sorts of colourful critters on the front of the building. The sign was advertising for people to come play some mini golf. “That place must be new,” Ryo commented. “Did you want to check it out?” Ami asked. “Huh?” Ryo asked, turning to look at the Mercury guardian. “Oh, well if you want to, we certainly can. It’s definitely no longer the perfect weather for walking, so I guess we need to find something else to do anyway,” the dentist said as he looked up at the rain coming down. The two of them then entered the building, Ryo collapsing the umbrella as they did not need it indoors. The sound of electronic music echoed through the air as the two walked into the main area. Ryo looked around to check out the style of the interior. The walls were black and there were various fake trees and bushes set up to give the area a tropical aesthetic. “Good morning. Welcome to our little miniature golf centre,” the receptionist at the front desk said as she gave Ryo and Ami a bow, “Are you two looking to play a round?” Ami looked at Ryo. “I think it might be fun to try, don’t you?” she asked. “Uh, y-yeah. I think so too,” Ryo replied with a slight stammer. The dentist paid for both of them, despite Ami offering to pay for herself. The two were each handed a couple golf balls, a putter, a pencil, as well as a scorecard to share, The two then headed out to play the first hole. “I do appreciate you paying for everything, but don’t feel you have to. I do have some money,” Ami stated as they walked to their destination. “Oh, I know. I just thought it would be a nice gesture and, well…,” the dentist said before trailing off. He was worried Ami might think he was being condescending. “Hmm, well what?” Ami asked, now curious of where Ryo had been going with his explanation. “Well, I hope you don’t think I’m being condescending, but I figured that since I was working while you’re still in university, then I could pay for things because I have an income I can use. I certainly know that medical school isn’t cheap, even with scholarships,” Ryo explained. Ami sighed and let out a small chuckle. “I suppose you’re right. I do have to make sure I maintain a budget,” she stated. “There we are. Plus, I really don’t mind paying for everything while spending time together with you,” Ryo said, starting to blush slightly. “Aww, that’s very sweet of you,” Ami replied with a smile before the two of the arrived at the first hole. “So, who’s going first? Should we flip a coin to decide?” Ryo asked as he looked at their little course. “Sounds like a plan,” Ami said and took out a 100-yen coin. “Call it,” she said as she gave the coin a flip. “Heads,” Ryo stated. Ami caught the coin and placed it on the back of her hand. “Heads it is. Looks like you go first,” she said. Ryo walked over to the tee where he placed his golf ball and then lined up his putter. The dentist took a good look at the layout of the first hole and decided what would be the best way to tee off. The first hole was pretty simple. One just needed to hit the ball up a small embankment and let it roll down the other side. Ryo hit his ball and watched as physics and gravity did their jobs. The ball bounced off the wooden border and landed right in the hole. “Good shot,” Ami said as she marked the scoresheet before handing it to Ryo. She looked at the layout of the hole for a moment before placing her golf ball on the tee. The Mercury guardian then hit the ball and watched it roll up the embankment and right down into the hole. It didn’t even bounce off the side like Ryo’s did. “I’d say you did even better,” Ryo stated as he marked the scorecard. The two then collected their golf balls from the hole and moved on to the second area. This one had a sharp 90-degree angle. Ryo would have to think a little bit for this one. The easiest way would simply be to hit the ball in a straight line down one section and then hit it again at the end. However, Ryo wondered if he got it on an angle, he might be able to get another hole-in-one. He hit the ball and let it bounce off the side panel at an angle. The ball bounced between the sides and stopped a couple feet away from the hole. Well, it didn’t work out totally, but at least Ryo gave it a try. He then walked over to his golf ball and gave it another hit, knocking it into the hole. Ami then took her turn. Before placing her ball on the tee, the Mercury guardian took a good look at the layout of the hole. Ryo noticed Ami seemed to be carefully studying the area as she directed a finger across her line of vision. Ryo figured that Ami was calculating how to best hit the ball to get the most perfect shot. That’s something he found admirable about her. While others may have found that doing math for a leisure activity took the fun out of things, Ryo thought it was a great approach. Perhaps he should try to calculate the full area of the hole and application of force needed on the ball as well. Ami took her swing on and angle and let the ball bounce against the border until it stopped near the hole. “Oh, darn. I thought I had calculated that perfectly,” Ami said before giving her ball another hit and knocking it in the hole. Ryo marked the scoresheet. So far, they were tied, but it was only the first two holes they had completed. There was still sixteen more to go. The two of them collected their golf balls and headed for the third hole. “Have you played golf before?” Ami asked as the two of them walked to the next section. “Yeah, my dad would take me on occasion while I was growing up. He would have taken me more frequently, but he often got too caught up in work,” Ryo stated. He then looked at the layout of the third hole. This one had plastic blockers that created a zig-zag pattern between the tee and the hole. “Oh, very nice,” Ami said in reply as she watched Ryo set up his ball. The dentist carefully scanned the area and decided to do what Ami did at the previous hole. He carefully calculated where and how hard he needed to hit the ball for the best results. Ryo then took his swing and watched the ball bounce between the zig-zags. Perhaps he had hit it a little too hard as the ball wound up hitting a corner and rolling back. It took a few more shots before Ryo finally landed it in the hole. It was now Ami’s turn. She placed her ball on the tee and then lined up her putter. “You know, since you’re familiar with the sport, perhaps you could help me with my stance. I’m not sure if I’m doing it right,” Ami said as she smiled at Ryo. “Well, it’s mini-golf. I don’t think you need to worry too-” Ryo started before he realized what Ami was doing. He had to chuckle. What a sly girl. The dentist walked over to his companion and stood behind her. “It’s been a little while since I’ve played before this, but I’ll see what I can remember,” Ryo said with a smile as he rested his chin on Ami’s shoulder and placed his hands over hers on the putter. “Make sure you keep your posture like this,” Ryo explained as he leaned against Ami to get her in the correct stance. “There we go. Now, give the ball a bit of force,” Ryo said as he guided Ami in hitting the golf ball and watched it bounce in between the zig-zags. “That’s how you do it,” the dentist said. “Thank you, Urawa. I think I got it, though I may need you to show me again just to make sure,” Ami said with a wink. Ryo chuckled. “Well, I’ll be happy to oblige,” he replied along with his own wink. The two of them made their way around several more holes. Ami had asked a couple more times for Ryo to show her the proper stance and way to hit the ball. Their scores were pretty close, though Ryo was beating Ami by a few less points (as with golf, the less points you have, the better). “I have a proposal. Whoever loses has to buy ice cream for the winner,” Ami stated as they made their way to their next hole. “Oh, wanting to add a layer of challenge? Well, I suppose I can agree to that,” Ryo replied with a smile. He did find it interesting that Ami was proposing that idea despite the fact that she was in second place between the two of them. The dentist wondered if it was Ami’s way of trying to contribute to their outing since so far, Ryo had paid for everything. He honestly didn’t mind doing so. He knew Ami was still on a student budget. Perhaps he would secretly lose so that he could pay for the ice creams as well. The two of them walked up some stairs to get to their next hole which was on a curved slope. Ryo hit his ball to try and throw it a bit off course, but it wound up rolling down the curve and right into the hole on the flat part. “Nice one,” Ami commented. “Oh, ah, thanks,” Ryo replied. Well, that didn’t quite go to plan. Ami wound up needing a couple extra shots to get her ball into the hole. By the time the two were playing their last few holes, Ryo decided to purposefully not do as well so that he could lose. However, the dentist noticed that Ami seemed to be doing the same thing. It was apparent that she was bound and determined to be the one buying the ice creams. Ryo eventually relented and, in the end, he wound up getting the lowest score between the two of them. “Congratulations, Urawa,” Ami said with a big smile, “Looks like I owe you some ice cream.” Ryo returned the smile. “Well, I guess that was the agreement,” he said with a small laugh. The two of them returned their golf balls and clubs and then headed back outdoors. Ami decided to keep the scorecard as a souvenir of their day together. The rain had let up a little but was still coming down. Ryo opened up the large umbrella and the two of them began walking together to find a place selling ice cream. Eventually, they found a stand that offered soft-serve ice cream and Ami wound up buying a cone of vanilla for both of them. The two found a spot to stand away from the road so that they wouldn’t get splashed by any vehicles passing by. Ryo held the umbrella as the two of them enjoyed their ice cream cones. While sunny days were the best days for ice cream, there was no reason why a person couldn’t enjoy it in the rain as well. “It’s too bad about the weather, but I had quite a fun time today,” Ami said after finishing her ice cream and wiping her mouth with a napkin. “I’m glad to hear that,” Ryo replied, having finished his ice cream as well. The two then proceeded with a little stroll in the rain. It had become a nice, light rain, so it felt oddly peaceful. “Thank you for another fun time, Urawa,” Ami said as they walked to where Ami was picking up the bus. “Oh, it was certainly my pleasure,” Ryo replied with a slight blush. “I look forward to seeing you again,” Ami said with a smile. “Oh, y-yeah? Me too,” Ryo replied, his blush getting slightly deeper. He held the umbrella for Ami until her bus came along and she boarded. After paying her fare, Ami waved goodbye to Ryo and found a spot to hang on while the bus pulled away and drove off. Ryo just stood there at the stop for a moment as the rain fell against the umbrella. He was in a state of bliss. Ami really did seem to enjoy her time with him. The dentist hummed a happy tune as he made his way home. Once back at his apartment, Ryo removed his shoes and hung the wet umbrella over the bathtub to let it drip dry. The dentist then looked at himself in the mirror as he adjusted his necktie. A big grin spread across his face. Ryo could barely contain his excitement. He was really looking forward to his next outing with Ami. He needed to figure out where they should go on their next date just in case Ami asked him to pick a location again. The ‘spur of the moment’ style of date wasn’t going to work every time....
The Knight and the Faerie PrincessI sing to you a tale of old,Of a knight that was so brave and bold.He fought valiantly for his kingAnd much glory he did bring.Through many wars he did battleAnd his enemies he did rattleAs many a foe was put to sword.Our knight always had the final word.One day, while resting by a lake,A sip of water he did take.While drinking, he swore that he did hearA voice whispering in his ear.The knight looked all aroundFor the source of that odd sound.Not one person did he see,Only his horse grazing by the tree.Up did stand our good knight,In case some fool wanted a fight.Our knight’s sword was at the ready,But what came next made him unsteady.Before him came an apparitionOf a man of high positionDressed in robes of silk so fineIn colours of gold and red wine.The man possessed a youthful faceThat was not of the human race.Taken aback was our good knightUpon seeing such an incredible sight.The man, he spoke “Do not fear.The reason for which I am hereIs to present you with a requestAnd welcome you as our new guest.For your valor as a knight,You have come under our princess’ sight.Only a man so devoted to dutyCan capture the heart of such a beauty.She has seen the honour you have madeAnd your unmatched skill with the blade.Of your person, she would like to bear witness.Will you fulfil the wish of our dear princess?"Our knight stood tall with puffed-out chestAnd placed his fist upon his breast.He took hold of the messenger’s handAnd was whisked off into Faerieland.The knight presented himself to the courtThat belonged to those of the Fae sort.He knelt before the king and queen,The most beautiful people he’d ever seen.The king knew of his daughter’s passionAnd so, he had decided to fashionA test for our dear knight to face.Then among the Fae, he might earn his place.First the knight had to slay a beastThat tried to make him into its feast.Then he had to collect a flowerFrom the top of rocks shaped like a tower.After that, our knight was temptedBy dancing women who attemptedTo seduce him and lead him astray,But the knight’s pure heart would not sway.The king of the Fae had declaredThat, of the test, our knight had faredVery well, but there was one morePart of the test that was in store.Back to his kingdom, the knight must goAnd protect it from falling to the foe.Should the knight survive and win,To Faerieland, he will be brought back in.And so, our knight, he went and fought.To the kingdom, victory was brought.Our knight was lauded by his king.About him, troubadours would sing.Then our dear knight was whisked away.In Faerieland, he would stay.He was wed to the princessAnd all the court did bear witness.Thus ends the tale of our good knightWho always bravely took up the fight.Here is where I shall end my song.I hope you did not feel it was too long.
Riddler with Joker by kllngjk
Kupocon Le Pom: selfie by kllngjk
Kupocon Le Pom: John Eric Bentley and us by kllngjk
Me as Freddy Krueger 2 by kllngjk
Icon Contest
Canadianartists by Pumpkin-Queen-Ildi
Mountain Goat British Columbia by Schnellart
Symbolism by French-Chocolaite
Maple Leaf Forever by anonymous-dreams
Sculptures Jewlery Crafts
Mandrake Crochet Amigurumi by PiixXxiiE
Earth Day April 22 by orpheus14
Hedwig Hogwarts Cross-Stitch by PiixXxiiE
Riddler (L.A. Comic con exclusive) Funko pop by kllngjk
Canadian Christmas Contest
Have a Boogey Christmas by boogster11
My Backyard Forest by boogster11
The Brightest Christmas by rabbitica
FilthydirtybuttonArt by orpheus14
Digital Art II
It's already autumn (2) by dashakern
Canadian Summer Contest
Case Large Square Baler by boogster11
Traditional Art II
Superman Cover by Hal-2012
Digital Art 3
Rabbid Luigi and his 2 Big Rabbid Mommies by Azurllinate
Canada Day Contest 2016
Tai Kamiya by Lmayuku
Photography 2
December sunsets by Shearkin
Photography 3
Justice League of America wall plate by kllngjk
Traditional Art 3
Aqua by Afrothumbs
Digital Art 4
*SUPER-DELUXE* Alternate Flags of the Netherlands by WolfMoon25
Digital 5
*SUPER-DELUXE* Alternate Flags of Hungary by WolfMoon25
Traditional 5
Touch by Afrothumbs
Photograpy 5
Latourell Falls by Kitteh-Pawz
Sculptures crafts ect
Monarch Butterfly - Volunteer Patch by Qiu-Ling
Traditional 2018
Daniel El Barbero - fan-art Ever After by Lmayuku
Digital Art 2018
A Tale Of Two Pities by 2BORN02B
2020 Traditional
July 21, 2019 Polaroid by AmberSchwarz
2020 Digital
Satina: Mom Questions for Mom or Dad by Azurllinate
2020 Photos
The Tea Party by Lmayuku
2020 random
Ruby Ballerina by Lmayuku
2020 Canada
Little Siren-like Selkie by Lmayuku
2022 - 147 by iSubmit
Writing 2022
Power vs InosukeThe following Chainsaw Man/Demon Slayer crossover isn’t canon.It’s a parody and it’s loosely inspired by funny YouTube videos.Inosuke Hashibira is alone in a forest, meditating. After a hard day chasing and fighting Muzan’s minions with his 3 trusted friends, he decided that he wants to spend some time by himself. However, his trance is interrupted by an unknown but dangerous presence; he senses something foul and decides to investigate.A few minutes later, the teenager runs towards the presence and as he sees some blonde woman with 2 long, red horns on her head, he stops. She turns her head and her eyes are crimson; they form a cross pattern. “Hi there Pighead, do you wanna see a magic trick ?” asks the amused character. “Who are you ? You don’t look like one of Michael Jackson’s Demons.” says Inosuke, very annoyed. “I don’t know or care who is Michael Jackson and my name’s Power. Puny human, I’m a Blood Fiend and not a mere Demoness: in fact, I hunt and kill Devils with my pal Denji. But Peppa Pig, you didn’t answer my question: do you wanna see a magic trick or not ?” queries the smiling woman as she produces a pencil from one of her pockets.“What’s magic ?” asks the young man with his boar mask. “Watch and learn: you see that pencil ? Now it’s… gone !” giggles Power after the object slid between her left index and middle finger. It went inside her blue jacket’s sleeve and Inosuke stands motionless. “Hey Bacon-strips ! Do you know where it went ?” asks the Blood Fiend, getting impatient. “Uhh… no ?” replies the confused Demon Slayer. “It went inside my sleeve, dum-dum ! Even a baby would’ve done it. You don’t seem very bright; at least, you could praise and cheer me while clapping your hands. By the way, were you born in a barn ?” declares Power, very upset.“You’re calling me a dum-dum ? Prepare to die, foul abomination ! For your information, I was raised by boars, not in a farm like some hog.” growls Hashibira as he draws his twin katanas from his back. “Whoa, hold your horses ! You don’t even know me and let me tell you why I’m here. I’m from another universe and from Habu, the Multiverse’s central hub, I came here to your plane. My goal is to become Prime Minister of the Multiverse and to impose 100% taxes and suffering on all humans. But my true objective is to build a lot of cat houses and to make cat food free for everyone. I want to precise that I truly love cats and unlike foolish and trivial humans, they deserve true love.” explains the blonde lady with red eyes and fanged teeth. “That’s a very evil plan: for that, you must die !” shouts Inosuke as he charges towards Power.The Blood Fiend dodges the attack and from her blood, she produces a huge hammer. After, the Demon Slayer is surprised and whispers: “Not even Akaza or Rui can make that kind of attack.” Then, Inosuke avoids the strike but Power quickly swings her weapon in a horizontal manner. It hits her foe’s mask and it falls on the grass: as the teenager’s face is revealed, the woman begins to mockingly giggle. “Hehehehehe !!! I didn’t know you looked like a femboy and maybe that’s why you wear that silly pig head.” guffaws the red-eyed lady. “Shut up Shower, you’re really antagonizing with your stupid remarks and childish behavior. I’m going to erase you from existence.” hisses the teenager.“My name’s Power, silly boy. Speaking of shower, you just gave me a nice idea !” grins the blonde lady with crimson eyes. From her own blood, she summons a swarm of hemoglobin-made spiders: they all jump at their prey and Inosuke falls on the ground, scratching himself like crazy. “The bugs, the bugs !” yells the panicked Demon Slayer. “HAHAHAHA !!! Watching you fighting these harmless critters is so priceless. You just don’t know how your suffering makes me happy and content, human.” cackles the attacker as she summons back her creations. Hashibira jumps on his feet, yells and with his blades, he manages to stab Power in the chest.The Blood Fiend falls on the grass while moaning: as she’s lying still Inosuke takes back his weapons. “I must be sure that she’s really dead.” thinks the hunter. So, he crouches near the inert body and puts his right ear over Power’s heart. However, the inevitable happens: the lady forcibly grabs Inosuke’s bluish hair and approaches her lips towards her adversary’s own. Next, a deep kiss is exchanged but the disgusted young man repels her. “Got you sucker ! I’m such a good actress and when it comes to feign death, I’m always at my prime. So human, you don’t seem to like women: are you a homophone or what ?” asks the joyful woman. “A homo-what ?” queries Inosuke. “Someone who likes men. Oh forget it: you wouldn’t understand anyway. Earlier, for fun I lied to you: I don’t want to become Prime Minister, but I’d be truly happy if cats would obtain more love from your pathetic kind. So, I just came here to have mindless fun while messing with you: I never was so amused !” cheerfully explains Power before walking away from her bewildered foe. “Wait, you just can’t leave like that.” tells Inosuke, not understanding the whole situation. “Sorry Porky Pig, but Denji, Makima and the others are waiting for me; we have more Devils to kill and I can’t wait to use my abilities. You never saw my full Devil form and believe me: you just don’t wanna do that.” snickers the horned woman. The teenage Demon Slayer stands still and decides to let Power go away. “Brr… what a lunatic: I’m just happy that she doesn’t serve Michael, uh I mean Wuzan’s cause.” speaks Hashibira before putting back his mask.The end
Photo 2022
No To AI Generated Images by Sukala-AP
Traditional 2022
The Spot by seanpt
Digital 2022
2023 - 405 by iSubmit
Arts Crafts 2022
Link Click Pins and Merch [Pre-Orders OPEN] by AyumiNazu


2015-10-05  004 by eriop2 2015-10-05 004 :iconeriop2:eriop2 3 0 Legend of Zelda by ArtofMilee Legend of Zelda :iconartofmilee:ArtofMilee 279 37 A Link to the Past Young Link by PhantomMasterRamos89 A Link to the Past Young Link :iconphantommasterramos89:PhantomMasterRamos89 23 70 David Bowie by Kentcharm David Bowie :iconkentcharm:Kentcharm 29 7 19-365-12 Insanity- Soul Eater by T-Thomas 19-365-12 Insanity- Soul Eater :icont-thomas:T-Thomas 537 88 Autumn Maple wall plaque (3 of 3) by Oblivionleather76 Autumn Maple wall plaque (3 of 3) :iconoblivionleather76:Oblivionleather76 24 11 Rosalina Cosmic Poster by PhantomMasterRamos89 Rosalina Cosmic Poster :iconphantommasterramos89:PhantomMasterRamos89 18 40 Batman #666 fan art by PapaNinja Batman #666 fan art :iconpapaninja:PapaNinja 1,331 38 Join the Party [Speedpaint Link Available Now!] by theStupidButterfly Join the Party [Speedpaint Link Available Now!] :iconthestupidbutterfly:theStupidButterfly 25 21 Lets Rock and Roll!!!!! by PhantomMasterRamos89 Lets Rock and Roll!!!!! :iconphantommasterramos89:PhantomMasterRamos89 15 82 Calavera Marie by TempestErika Calavera Marie :icontempesterika:TempestErika 75 4 The Dew Drop Inn by ChristopherPollari The Dew Drop Inn :iconchristopherpollari:ChristopherPollari 169 52 Super Sonico! by Zoahra Super Sonico! :iconzoahra:Zoahra 308 52






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The Warrior ( Musa ) by mvlaniel  :thumb485649832:   The Tiger's Anger by mvlaniel


Commission by lollypop3000   Unruffled Waters by lollypop3000   Untitled by lollypop3000


Tesla Motors by DecoEchoes   Art Deco Illuminating Clock by DecoEchoes   Toronto 1930 by DecoEchoes


Where The Wild Things Squirm by camilladerrico   Ajna by camilladerrico   Rainbow Roll by camilladerrico


Canola Granary by Akifan   Autumn Wheel by Akifan   An Exit? by Akifan


Waves of Music by Gaaraterra   Happy Rainbow Soul by Gaaraterra   +Wings of childhood+ by Gaaraterra


Mature Content

TheCell by NghtWtch
  Red heart by NghtWtch cat's owner by NghtWtch


Curseofthe_geisha by Bennett-Klein   Hypnoskull by Bennett-Klein   Doodle08 by Bennett-Klein


Interview with a zombie by Stelf-Creations   Seeking truth, seeing through 02 by Stelf-Creations   Barthelemy, still working at 69. by Stelf-Creations


Purple Martin Mezzo by TempestErika   American Goldfinch Impromptu by TempestErika   Cardinal Choral by TempestErika


Gord Downie by CanadianMaple09   Jonas 'The Monster' Gustavsson by CanadianMaple09   Steve Yzerman by CanadianMaple09


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Whispered Approval by mikesblender   Living off the Land by mikesblender   Breaking Point by mikesblender


Commission landscape by Travis-Anderson   Obligatory Pet T-rex commission by Travis-Anderson   Commission: Emergance by Travis-Anderson


Osoyoos Vineyards by Laurazee   Kitsilano Neighborhood II by Laurazee