DEVIL'S BACKBONE: Original Tokyo Ghoul Role-Play

Full Version: Lost Swallow [INVITE]
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The Drifter of Tokyo, quite the title the boy had earned for just walking absent-minded through the alleys of Tokyo. However, today was not Sora's average saunter through the bustling city. Dressed in his casual outfit of a red sports jacket, black shirt, and beige cargo pants, today the young man came to Nerima, his old home, to remember the tranquility of childhood; and, of course, the ill-fated tragedy of love and hate brought by the CCG.

If only this air of ignorance that surround the humans -- no -- everyone -- could be cleansed. Like a putrid odor, it hangs in Tokyo, stagnant, unable to be moved.

If only it would break away in the refreshing breeze of autumn. If only if it could change with the coming of spring. If only it would change from this afflicted affair. If only...

Sora put those thoughts to rest. He was here to honor the memories of his parents, not to get lost in the 20th Ward by contemplating about the flawed perception of society as he walked the streets.

Stepping tentatively into the small-scale park, the Drifter arrived, albeit a bit late, to his destination. The former blue sky of morning was painted in the parting rays of the dozing sun, coloring the clouds a pastel of grey and gold.

It was identical: children taking turns down the slide, a kid being pushed by the mother on the swing set, a father embarrassed to discuss his daughter's habit of threatening to eat the other kids. And there was that smell, both ghouls and humans interacting peacefully.

No bloodshed. No tears. No death. Just kids playing, parents talking, and people being people.

The park was a wonderful place, and Sora was glad it still stood to his expectations as he strolled towards an empty bench.

A young mother, ghoul judging by the smell, had raised a brow at the boy who sauntered into a family park alone. Sora waved sheepishly, visibly cringing under her judgmental gaze as he passed on by. The smile he gave her was one that silently screamed "please have mercy on me."

The mother sighed, yelling at another child was clearly a waste of her breath. Likewise other parents, mainly the ghouls, stared into the newcomer, face contorting with animosity at a dreary prospect. Without a word, they went back to attending to their children.

It was only natural. They had a good life, but they were walking through a minefield. And it only took one misstep, or one idiot, to set off the chain reaction that would rip them from their place.

After all, he experienced it all already. It's not a good way for a parent to say their final goodbyes.

Sora dropped onto the bench, leaning back into it. His eyes settled upwards to the sky, his ears to laughter of children, and embraced the cool refreshing winds.

It was a nice change of pace compared to the monotonous wandering which has enveloped his identity. If only this, this moment could last forever.

However, the sun fades, street lights flick on, and the children get moody, so its time to take them to bed. Parents converse about the play day as they cradle their sleepy prodigies tightly. Back they all went; every woman, man and child, went back to their home for a night's rest, but here in this vacant park he sat.

A shy boy, lost, without a place to be. Sora sat, completely motionless, in the dim glow of the street lights.

There was no home to return to.


The trail ended here.

The Nightbringer’s spectacles glinted in the moonlight as he fixed his eyes on his next target from the perch of a streetlight.

The boy was a sitting duck, lounging around on a deserted bench, in an empty park…a sight that brought a sigh of pity to Kenjirou’s lips. It was a miracle that this little swallow had managed to soar free in the glassy sky of Tokyo for so long, with falcons, crows and Doves on the wing alongside him…

He pushed his glasses back up the bridge of his nose and smiled.

He wouldn’t be drifting for long, now.

With one great leap, the Nightbringer sprang off the streetlight, his great inky cloak spreading under the light of the crescent moon like a dark cloud and obscuring the light for a few seconds as it fluttered in the sky.

The Abyss burst from his shoulderblades at the apex of his leap, the gigantic pitch-black Kagune seemingly blotting out the moon’s light completely as it spread out like a sheet of the darkest velvet. Now, his shadow covered almost the entirety of the little park that the boy sat in. That was sure to get his attention.

Gravity quickly drew him back down, landing him with a soft flumph upon the grass just a mere two feet in front of Sora. Kagune still pulsating, cloak still billowing in the wind, the Nightbringer raised his head to stare at Sora right in the face, red orbs eyeing brown ones. An incredibly soft voice, bordering on a whisper, came from the Ghoul’s barely moving lips.

“The Drifter…is you.”

He straightened, and extended a gloved hand with a genial smile.

“The moon is very bright tonight.”

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Sora's ears caught on long before his eyes, tuning into the bursting rupture of flesh which cued the heaven's departure.

The pale maiden, no matter how her celestial size compared, disappeared behind the shroud of impenetrable nightfall. An organic evolution which ascended the expectations of the drifting soul that stood on the edge of fear and awe.

He wanted to run, but the wing that staved off the moonlight held him still. To him, it felt like he was being stared back at through the pitch-black curtain, an uncanny mesmerizing glare.

By the time the mass of shadows touched the lowly soil, Sora stood glaring at him. His normal wistful gaze turned to a vile sneer, but not one of contempt, however, but one of fear. Fear of the unknown for which lies behind those blood-red eyes. Eye contact itself struck his body with an assault of chilling needles which caused his muscles to writhe for release of its pinning stare, but their protest was muted by the motionless form of Sora's body.

Upon this humble land, a demon appeared to offer a few words. Words softly uttered, tied without consequence, could not budge the boy's suspicion which gripped his mind and heart.

He might have been The Drifter, but who were they to know? Falling from sky, he relinquished the ever-pressing thought of masks, unashamed of his true identity. Not because, like the drifter, he maintained a low profile, but -- rather -- everyone has seen his face before; why hide what all have bared witness to.

Sora tried to speak, but words failed to squeeze through his lips which were tightly sealed in anticipation. A measly "indeed" was all the boy could muster as the stranger held out his hand.

Hesitantly, the Swallow gripped it and shook it tensely; the ever-growing abyss was a danger, for the swallow was wary of its endless appetite.


Kenjirou’s smile lingered as the boy made his choice. A pacifist through and through, just as his Patellas had reported. There would be no need for intimidation or muscling when words would do the trick just as well.

“Such cold hands, Drifter…you must be freezing, no?”

With a quiet hiss, the Abyss broke apart into a thousand tiny wisps of RC cells, little threads of shadow twirling and fluttering in the air before dissipating. The moon’s light, revealed again, seemed to split his grinning visage in half, one portion bathed in light and the other steeped in darkness.

His tongue darted out from between his teeth to moisten his lips while he firmly shook the Drifter’s hand, grinning a toothy grin.

“I understand how you must feel right now. It isn’t every day that an cloaked stranger falls out of the sky to shake your hand.”

His grip tightened subtly, only just tight enough to be noticeable yet not appearing openly forceful or intimidating. However, if Sora tried to pull away right about now, he would find himself hard put to it. Being a Ghoul, Kenjirou’s grip could easily fracture a human finger or five, but surely Sora could take it…right?

“From what I gather, you seem to have some small issues in finding a place in the world. Of course, I can fully empathise, being somewhat of a nomad myself.”

The crow’s talons closed around the little sparrow.

Suddenly, his left hand flew to Sora’s right shoulder, once again with speed that would have bruised any human’s shoulder, and he drew himself closer. Kenjirou’s glasses were suddenly uncomfortably close to Sora’s face.

“That is why I’m going to make you a deal. And you’re going to listen. Aren’t you, Drifter?”

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The boy stifled a cringe, fear stashed behind brown curtains of facade. There was an intrinsic sense of distrust for the man, and his cordial expression of kindness returned no reciprocation.

Besides, he had adapted to Tokyo's frigid nights; a side-effect of living in the streets.

Briefly, Sora's attention turn to the man's kagune. The unholy shroud that subjugated the moonlight dissipated, its tremendous winged-form splitting into shadowy traces of "feathers." Now, under the moon's beam the stranger stood, his features broken in two by shadows and lights. A flash of a fleshy crimson swiped across his lips, the act of which caused an internal twitch in Sora's brain.

Just who the hell was he?

A crow.

Yes, that was the most apt characterization of the man before him. Clad in black, he swooped down from the sky, and cawed in coaxing cacophony. A clever monster that floats on the midnight winds, working with a restraint self-control to expand a cause that stragglers like the Drifter would never know.

He's offering though. To him, a lost swallow, the Crow is offering him purpose, direction in which to guide his life. It sounded , and maybe Sora would take him up on the matter, but...

The crow lurched forward, wrapping his talons around the swallow's spry body and pulling them in close. Now, there faces were nearly inches a part, and the crow spoke to him of dealings in uncomfortable proximity.

Placing his free hand upon the stranger's chest, Sora gave him a slight shove. It wasn't sharp or pointed, in fact it barely moved him, but it pressed firmly against the man.

"Please let go of me," his voice was soft, but at the same time demanding. He wanted some space.

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The little swallow beat his wings.

The boy had the nerve to push him back. Very well. So that approach would not work on the wilful Drifter. Seems like wandering the streets has given the boy a rather resilient spirit. Kenjirou yielded two paces, breaking their contact and easing out of their handshake to bow apologetically. If he needed space, he would get some.

“No…? Ah, pardon me. That was most uncouth of me to press myself upon you like that. It’s just that I have been waiting so long to meet you, I got a little overly eager…”

He had to patch it up. Even though his reports had stated that the boy was gentle and trusting, Patellas were often unreliable. The distrust and fear in the boy’s eyes was visible, something that made his job harder. No matter. There was always another way.

If they won’t bend, they will break.

Evidently, this Drifter would not consent to listen to his words before they had mutual trust between each other, speaker and listener. It would be necessary to offer some personal details in the pursuit of trust. Kenjirou put his hand over his heart and bowed his head as he made his gamble.

“Please excuse my unbecoming introduction, and allow me to properly introduce myself. I am Kenjirou Umiji, a drifter of sorts just like you. You may not know me, but your name has garnered quite some fame with nomads like us. What may your true name be, young one? You are safe in revealing this to me, I assure you. Ah, but If you do not wish to tell me, that is also fine, although…”

Kenjirou let his sentence hang in the air, waiting for a response. His grin slimmed down into a smile as he waited to see the outcome of this.

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Uncouth was correct. The crow had already garnered the young swallow's attention with his flight. There was need for such unnerving interactions if the now identifiable Kenjirou wanted to keep the Drifter from scurrying away.

In the meantime, Sora was hesitant upon this man's request to give his name.

Drifting from location A to D to C and back to B, he moved with the breeze and followed its lead. His fame was in that, and only that. Just a stupid kid lost to the wind, fighting a losing battle against heretical norms. He had forestalled the pressure, kept true to the beliefs instilled, but for how long can he press on like this.

"What does he want?"

The deviant flicker in his eyes when he appeared before him. The grandeur display of horrific anatomy which proceeded to cast shadows all across this park filled with the love of his childhood memories.

"Why me?"

The boy mumbled his name, "Sora," cutting into the man's drawn out silence. It was a trap, of sorts, meant to lure the Swallow into trusting the crow. It had worked.

But only slightly.

The Drifter did not further reveal his identity, for a culmination of reason. Somewhere within this marshland bordering logic and emotions, his own timid nature had mixed with the anxiety bubbling beneath the surface. Meanwhile, his kind nature pressed upon the racket to force out a small indication of settling by the smallest degree.

Of course, his family name was personal. Mentioning it now made him feel oddly guilty as if he spread slander upon their memory. Leaving family out, Sora felt, was for the best.

Sora made no attempt to fake niceties, to act cheerful for their mutual understanding, because, frankly, he wasn't. Besides, he had learned from previous encounters that honesty was his only policy.

"This deal you discussed," he just wanted to get this over with. "What are the details?"

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“Sssssora…a common name, but a beautiful one. It suits your character, no doubt.”

Kenjirou rolled the name off his tongue with an audible hiss, grey eyes unblinking from behind his lenses. The fleshy rope darted out from between his teeth again, licking his lips, as if savouring the flavour of his name. ‘Sky’; how fitting for the little bird, yet how ironic. With nothing but broken wings, the innocent boy would only be able to crawl along the ground aimlessly. But Kenjirou was here to help him. He was here to give this sparrow back his clipped wings.

“Sora? Just Sora? Very well. I understand.”

Kenjirou stepped further backwards from Sora, leaving the latter in a circle of lamplight, while he slipped into the darkness outside the ring of the streetlamp. When he entered the shadows, it seemed like his entire body became fluid and melded into one with the night, only his glasses and pearly white teeth spread in an ominous grin visible as he began to pace in a wide circle.

“You seem eager...or is that impatience I hear? No matter...I am sorry to have delayed this for such a time. You see, young swallow…I know of a place in this world where people like us can truly...belong.”

The glimmer of moonlight on his glasses disappeared, yet his grin only grew wider and ever more visible as the sound of cloth ripping and RC cells solidifying made itself known to Sora’s ears. The darkness around Kenjirou seemed to take on a vastly different texture, as if the depth of the shadows around him had been removed, leaving only an endless devouring maw, a hypnotically sucking void extending almost a full ten feet as the Abyss was thrust out again as a reminder of what he was, what they were.

“People like us, Sora. Wanderers like us…Ghouls like us, Sora. Somewhere to belong. Wouldn’t you like that, Sora?”

A gloved hand extended from the abyssal darkness, posing only one question.

“”If you should choose to accept, I will tell you the cost.”

“So, do you want to belong?”

Do you want your wings back, little swallow?




The devil returned to its shadowy adornment, his body melding to be one with the shadows. Are an unnerving scene, its foreboding aura only growing with the viscous tearing of cloth as the all-consuming void sprung forth from him.

Despite its prior release the kagune showed no sign of decay; rather, the voluminous shade maintained its grandeur state.

However, the boy's intimidated stance, his agitation, his faulty composure were gone. In the face of unnatural adversity which challenged the mind and soul before rending the body, we change and adapt to accommodate for the dangers of the world.

Strength. Weakness. The quirks in our mannerism, in our actions. They are forced to undergo these strenuous changes, for survival was never marked by an ultimatum. The strong can be reduced to shred, and the weakling pacifist can survive for years.

The hand, out-stretched from the shadows, offered him sense, purpose.


"I'm sorry," his voice was smooth, composed. The corners of his mouth lifted gently to form a small smile. "You seem to misunderstand me."

Blackened wings portray a sight unclean, a future of miserable endeavors.

Perched upon that barren tree rooted upon a wretched mound of muck and blood, the crows and vultures gather to feast upon their carrion trophies -- exotic, eccentric, and all too deranged. In flocks they would fly to bring reckoning on some poor, half-dead prey, but many times they would go on short yet bloody conquests. From one fellow crows and vultures to doves, and even swallows like himself, they will come, and those of likened interest shall be invited to join them among the desolate branches of their tree. All others shall succumb to extermination by their hands.

For a swallow like him who flies to and from wherever he pleased, skirts away from battle, and gives mercy to even the worse of foes a warped tree was no place for him to build a new nest. Even if the carcasses provided an easy climb to the higher levels.

"Of everything about myself I dislike, what I hate the most..."

Many nights, the frail bird would sit in contemptuous pondering, the cold air nipping at his feathers. The moon, as bright as she, would hold conference with the little creature; and, while she never once condoled his bleeding heart, nor answered when called upon by his hanged mind, her silence brought consultation. And with consultation brought revelation. Revelation of what the swallow wished the most:

"Is being a ghoul." A tree festering stench and rot was no place for him.

What the swallow needed was a hulking tree with bulky branches like heavy train cars. A tree that grows overlooking a sparkling lake, planted upon the firm grassy soil of a nearby hill, and glowed in fall with a spectrum of reds and oranges. Where all the birds, no matter their kind, could nest upon without fear. How he wished for such a place.

"I appreciate the offer, but I have no intention on joining you. I doubt I will find what I'm searching for with you."

"Mom... Dad... I won't forgot."

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The boy seemed to relax as Kenjirou displayed his Abyss in all its grandeur, the tenseness in his limbs lessening as he seemed to reach a conclusion. Surely, any moment now, the sparrow would fall into his grasp, more fresh meat for the Tree to gorge upon or rework into a fearsome vulture. He flexed his fingers slightly, expectantly waiting for Sora to take his hand.


Kenjirou whipped his hand back into the darkness at his words as if it had been burnt, and as the boy smiled, his brow creased, the toothy grin upon his face grin growing embittered and wry. This was a setback, to be sure.

”What is there to understand, Sora…? There is a place waiting for you and I to be, that place...the place where all Ghouls - ”

“What I hate the being a Ghoul.”


An awkward silence, the crow and the sparrow looking at each other, the darkness at the light. As the young sparrow firmly denied his offer, the Watcher bowed his head as if in resignation, as if accepting defeat. Perhaps that sight would comfort the sparrow.

But he was far from defeated. Kenjirou Umiji, Scapula of the mighty Tree, wasn’t to be refuted so easily. A ripple ran through the Abyss, a pulsating throb of the predatory tissue that seemed to distort the night around Sora.

The Watcher raised his head again.

Two red kakugans like burning globes of hellfire shone, blazing from behind mottled lenses that were mounted upon the bridge of a knife-like nose that jutted from the Nightbringer’s deathly pale visage. His grin was wider and more sardonic than ever, and in the faint reddish light his teeth seemed to have been filed to savage, dagger-sharp points, like that of a shark or of a snake.


The joints in his neck popped and crackled as Kenjirou twisted his neck sharply from one side to another, clacking his teeth together to make an audible clicking sound. When he spoke again, it was no longer the coaxing, meek whisper of before. Now, as the Nightbringer, Kenjirou’s voice became dissonant and venomous, every word trickling from his mouth like drops of deadly poison.

”Foolish boy. You say hate yourself for being a Ghoul. Then do you not think the world you live in would think the same? WE ARE MONSTERS, YOU AND I.

Another pulse, more violent this time, rippled through the Abyss, the darkness wavering and bending like a choppy surf. Kenjirou began once more to pace around Sora, this time in the opposite direction and much faster.

They will hunt us down, these humans you love so much. They will kill us for what we are. They do not want peace, if that is what you crave so much. If you search for peace, Sora, you will not find it in this world.

Faster and faster he paced, two red lights swirling around and around the solitary circle of yellow lamplight. His voice seemed to come from many directions at once, piercing, condescending and cruel.

This is no longer a request. This is an ultimatum. Come with us, discover your inner self and live as what you are, or continue to foolishly deny your nature and perish.

Suddenly, the Abyss was coiling upwards towards the streetlamp, the red glow of Kenjirou’s eyes growing brighter as worms of shadow crawled across the lamplight, threatening to snuff it out.

You will join us. You will join us. You will join us.



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