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Regantor
06-19-2011, 09:18 PM
Shari absorbed her emmotions and just stared back like a placid statue. It was a look of someone who had long since given up trying to analyse the vibrant, human, thoughts of those around her. Polite in the extreme, but never combforting.

"Thank you for your cooperation. I realise this must be disturbing news." She stated the obvious a little too flattly for even her own liking. "We will remain here for now. As this relationship is useful to us, please let me know of anything I can do in return. Basic information on the enemy. Even ground work..."

Was it appropraite to smile back?... No, probally not. She considered, giving Kai a quick disgruntled glance. Hopefully she'll just ask me to pummel somebody for her. If it improves her mood, I can do that...

Kodos
06-19-2011, 09:42 PM
As the group got up and made their way to leave, Akemi pulled Shari aside, fairly roughly and literally, and waited for the others to leave.

She didn't seem very happy (I think Shari has a +5 bonus on rolls to piss off beautiful and otherwise chillax ladies).

"You worked for him." Akemi growled. "For it. The Abomination. Did you know? Did you? Did you have any idea the horror you were working for? No? Did you not know the vile creature and the things it did people? To me? Or did you just know the things Kanagawa - assuming there's a difference between the two - did to people. Did you know? Did you even fucking care?"

"I'm not going to pretend I'm a saint. I'm not, and I know I'm not. I suppose we're alike in that regard. I've killed a lot of people, and I'm not going to lie and pretend that sometimes I didn't enjoy it. I will never forgive Kanagawa for what his thugs did to me, to my country, to my family. But you know what the difference between us is? Besides that I'm not a lying whore and would never betray someone's trust as you say you betrayed mine? I'll tell you. That scares me. I'm terrified of the fact I've enjoyed killing. I worry constantly about letting my anger get the better of me. I keep an eye on myself because it's my responsibility, and not the world around me. You might want to try that sometime."

"The other difference, of course, is that I fight for a reason. I could tell you about how that reason is good, but I'm not going to bother. The fact I have a reason at all is all that matters. You don't. You worked for a monster because he paid you. You killed, lied, and betrayed the trust of others so that you could buy nice things. That is pathetic. I don't remember your name, I don't even remember you at all. For all I know you could be lying, for some reason, about having fucked me and then tried to kill me. You might want to reflect on that, you know. Try and figure out what sort of poor choices brought you to the point where you leave no impression on people and are willing to do horrible things because, what? Because people fucking pay you to do them? You might want to start caring about something, sometime, for fuck's sake, even if it's just yourself."

"I'm not going to kill you, and I'm not going to have you tossed in some dungeon, either. Not yet, anyway. I need reasons for things, because I care. But this is your first and last warning." She leaned in closer, somehow even more upset. "If you do anything, anything, to hurt my country, I will kill you myself. Am I being clear? You step over that line even fucking once and you are dead. Dead. Got it? I can look past what you did to me, but this is my country, my people. I won't let you victimize other people the way you victimized me. One step out of line and you are fucking finished. Am I being clear? I really hope so, for your sake."

She pushed away from Shari, shaking a bit. "Now get out, and I better not see you or hear about you unless I call for you, got it?"

Regantor
06-19-2011, 10:17 PM
Shari allowed herself to be pushed around, but try as Akemi might, the hulking woman's expression still failed to change. Listening to orders thuroughly, she walked towards the exit on command and let out a heavy shrug. It was only standing in the doorway did she realise how much the beautiful preistesses' words struck cords with how Kai had spoken to her on that insane, rage-filled night a week past.

Lumberingly, she went back down onto her knees on the spot, still facing in the oppisate direction. Completely open to attack.

"...The only things I've ever been are a murder, a brutal traitorous ogre, and a scum-sucking whore. Right from the start. I can't cry for what I've done. There is no case, no hope of forgiveness. If I was nice to you now, it would only have become a knife in itself. Another lie." Her voice was sombre and heavy, dropping the pleasentries with something that more correctly resembled her true persona. "If I said I didn't know again, it wouldn't mean anything. So just hit me or abuse me or do whatever you want, if it helps. But there is no redemption for the dead. No redemption for the childish and self-indulgent."

"Just understand... That I am sorry... Even if it's worthless... Even if I wouldn't accept it either. But being here and alive is not my choice."

Kodos
06-19-2011, 10:33 PM
"You're right," Akemi said coldly, "for you there is no hope of forgiveness."

"It's not because you're a fucking monster. I mean, you are, but that's not why. It's because you're exactly what you have chosen to be. You fucking whine and bitch and moan like a godsdamn child because you know you did bad things but you're too much of a fucking coward to actually grow a pair and better yourself. You're right I don't accept your fucking apology, because you're only sorry insofar as it doesn't cost you anything."

Akemi breathed deeply. "Now I suggest you leave before you somehow manage to lower my opinion of you even further, or I lose control of my temper and do something I will later regret having done, although I can promise you that, at the time of the doing, I will very, very, very much enjoy."

Regantor
06-19-2011, 11:05 PM
Shari hunkered her shoulders, and turned her hands inwards upon her knees. A dozen appologies, arguements and denials came to mind, but they all played right into Akemi's accusations. Was it cruel if she's right? It wasn't clear if she was actually sorry at all, not least to herself. But the glorious embodiment of terror that she once wanted to be was long past dead and rotting. There wasn't too much left to work with. Even if her remorse was honest, was there really any way she could correct things? It seemed like an impass.

Slowly, she got to her feet. Her eyes gave a shameful sideways glance towards Akemi, before returning towards the floor whilst she trounced away. Beyond an impass. That simple-minded bitch Yuanjun could do a better job of this than me. It's hopeless.

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Shari didn't say too much to Kai afterwards, only stating the very basics of what Akemi had said in order to try and settle his mood. The last thing the monk wanted was to make him feel like she had lost her taste in him.

Truth was, it all made her loose the taste of redeeming herself more than anything. Dealing with people was a mightly load easier to handle when you could trick yourself into feeling guiltless, yet now she felt terrible and there was exteremely little she could do about her situation regardless. Even sulking over it felt too self indulgent, but as hard as she tried, she couldn't get the preistesses accusations out of her head.

That night, she insisted that she slept on the floor. Come morning, she had done little of it.

Only whilst watching the others make the most of the beaches did she find herself distracted enough to drift off proper.

Superdooperphailmachine
06-30-2011, 11:07 PM
Ryo was taking it easy, with his (fishing)rod in the sea, whistling a little tune and not thinking of work for a change. So far he hadn't caught anything. But that didn't matter the sun and the fresh sea air were more than enough to keep him in a good mood.

Regantor
07-01-2011, 09:34 PM
Too hot to sleep anymore, and thus still looking rather haggard, Shari lumbered towards Ryo's place on the pier and sat beside him. He was honour bound to be polite, so she thought he was the least complicated person to bug. "Catch anything?" was her simple remark. "I remember the brown sturgeon offshore tasted great."

Oh, and she was squeezed into a thin red sarong with a bikini top. Were her muscles bigger than yours? Damn you, Rin! What have you done!?...

Alexander_Hamilton
07-02-2011, 07:37 AM
Haru was easy to spot. A party of seabirds were strolling after him like a line of ducklings. Every few minutes, he would toss bits of fish from back for them to eat (the remains of breakfast). Grain of sand covered his robe, all the way down to its wet hem. When he spotted Ryo and Shari, he dropped the rest of the fish and bid the birds good-bye.

"Good morning." He knelt on the other side of Ryo, gazing into the water for any sign of movement.

Superdooperphailmachine
07-02-2011, 09:30 AM
"Not a thing" he interrupted his cheerful whistling with a nonchalant response.
He was about to make a comment on how everything here was delicious but Haru had come to visit.
"Oh good morning. I don't suppose you know how to catch these fish?"

Alexander_Hamilton
07-02-2011, 12:07 PM
"I could use magic, but that might defeat the purpose of fishing in the first place. Not quite fair to the fish, either." Haru shook his hair and a shower of sand spilled out. "If you would like to go swimming, I have a spell that makes it possible to breath underwater."

Superdooperphailmachine
07-02-2011, 01:29 PM
"Sounds good, I'll just go drop my stuff off at the inn." Ryo reeled in his rod and collected his things before heading back to the inn.
"I'll be back in a few minutes."

Regantor
07-02-2011, 08:40 PM
Shari made a pouty face as she watched the birds waddle after Haru, her gruff eyebrows making a little grimace. Apparently finding things adorable still made her angry.

"That's kinda an un-natural thing for a man of nature to do, isn't it?" Shari mocked with a cocky but slightly whimsical tone, turning her head forwards and sticking her nose up. "Ignoring something like having to breath, I mean..."

Her feet wallowed in the water pretty comfertably considering there were supposed to be big chompy fish down there. Guess she was from around these parts.

Superdooperphailmachine
07-02-2011, 09:41 PM
Ryo strolled over to the pair."Hey Haru, I'm ready. Is Shari coming too?"

Kodos
07-02-2011, 09:52 PM
"Hi you!" Shari was suddenly given a big hug from behind. She'd probably have reacted violently otherwise, but the person was pretty quick, the "Hi you!" was pretty friendly, and whatever large objects was pressed up against Shari's back right now were large and soft and so probably not weapons, unless maybe this was some sort of pillow-smothering murder.

It was Yoko(!) squeezed into a blue bikini of sorts that showed off Yoko's considerable assets. She may have been pretty down to earth and modest, but given what she was wearing now and what she wore at the tournament, Ms. Genji certainly wasn't ashamed of her body or particularly shy about showing it off.

"Hiii! Shari, right? Wow! Small world, huh? What're you guys doing here? I'm taking a break between tournaments and getting my face smashed in by scary princesses." Yoko was bubbly and beaming as usual. She released her hug and waved at Haru. "You're Haru, right? I try not to forget cute people's names." She gave a wink and friendly nudge to Shari.

"So what're you guys doing here?"

Regantor
07-02-2011, 10:15 PM
"Guess I don't see why n-!" Shari reflexively grabbed the hands that were flung over her shoulders, but neglected the over-the-shoulder toss when she heard Yoko's sweet offbeat voice, of all people, begining to emanate from behind her.

"Yoko! What are you doing here!?" The monk turned to face her 'attacker' and made that growly face again, but still started hoisting the smaller woman's little hands up and down again playfully. "We were just on vacation, really... But I really didn't expect to run into you! Mister Kai is lurking around somewhere, even!..."

Using every iota of her mental strength, Shari resisted the urge to begin playing with those squidgy cheeks. ~_~

Alexander_Hamilton
07-04-2011, 04:26 AM
"By that standard, almost all of my magic would be unnatural," said Haru, smiling serenely and getting to his feet to face Yoko. He bowed his head, and a few grains of sand fell to the pier. "A pleasure to see you here, Miss Yoko."

By Haru standards, he looked delighted (which is to say his smile broadened a bit).

zizi
07-04-2011, 02:20 PM
"I'm not lurking," Kai protested weakly, walking over to them. He'd spent most of the time sulking in the shade, grumbling about the heat and the sun. He'd stripped except for some swim trunks and all his exposed skin was slathered in a green foul-smelling, slimy concoction. "I burn easily," he offered by way of an explanation, "this is supposed to stop that happening." A blob slid down the side of his face and he groaned and smeared it back onto his scalp. "It actually manages to feel grosser than it smells."

He avoided Shari's eyes and smiled at Yoko, determined to pretend yesterday hadn't ended so horribly. Shari didn't want to let him in: fine. If she wanted to cut herself off and leave him out that was her decision. It stung, though, the withdrawal of her trust. Oh Kami, when had things gotten so complicated?

Kodos
07-04-2011, 02:28 PM
Yoko looked like a sad puppy when she realized she couldn't give Kai a hug. "I'd give you a great big hug too, Kai, but you are covered in something gross and I'd rather not." She laughed. "So you're all here on a little vacation too? I mean, I got beat up real bad by a crazy lady in front of a great big crowd, but what about you slackers, hm?" She laughed and gave Shari another hug and a playful shove. "I'm teasing. Thanks for cheering for me back there at Yagyu. It really helped, even though I lost. I made it to the semifinals, though! And it was the champion, that I lost to. And she was really good. So I think I did okay."

She shrugged. "So how long are you all planning to stay here? We can have fun together! Hey, Shari! I still have to see you fight!"

Oh, Yoko.

Regantor
07-05-2011, 09:40 AM
Shari didn't really know how to correctly return the hug, but leant into the shove bearing an understated smile. "Well... We certainly have teeth to grind over that certain person... But that's for another time." The monk put the image of those royal sluts out of her mind for now. "Wrestling, now that sounds like a good idea. I was bored anyway."

The woman was totally aware she was twisting words, but fighting was really her only way of showing affection anyway. Despite the current emmotional distance between her and Kai, she still gave him a look as if to ask for permission. "On a beach in good weather is the best place we are going to get, right?..."

Her smile became a little forced after looking at the green slop attached to Kai for several seconds too long, that said. "...Also, Mister Kai, I think I'd just put my clothes back on if I was that worried..."

Superdooperphailmachine
07-10-2011, 08:48 PM
Ryo was thinking of introducing himself, but interrupting Shari didn't seem like a good idea so he just stood there like a lemon.

Kodos
07-15-2011, 07:54 PM
"Mister Kai?" Yoko laughed. "That's adorable!" She gave Shari a playful shove and another giggle. "Here? Now?" Yoko gave a shrug and a wink to Haru. "I'm sure Haru would like to see us two beauties rolling around and grabbing at each other, eh?" More laughter.

"I'm not going to go easy on you, Shari, just because you're in front of your adorable if smelly boyfriend." She gave Kai another wink and another laugh. "Ready Shari?"

Yoko seemed pretty happy as always.

Regantor
07-15-2011, 08:26 PM
Shari turned a bit red over Yoko's lewd hints. "Y-you guys better not think anything dirty!" Her raspy voice taking on a rather amusing high pitch whilst she jabbed a finger at each one of them. If they were anyone else she'd ground them into the dirt for it, after all. Probally a good thing that Kai was around, then.

Walking back to the proper beach front, Shari then calmly turned around and made a fairly good immitation of a sumo stance. "Come on already!" Her face made a little aggrivated grimace, but it was also still so rosy that it couldn't have been any more of an obvious act.

Kodos
07-15-2011, 08:49 PM
Yoko laughed and gave Haru a wink. "You can think anything dirty you want, as long as it's about me and flattering." Another giggle before she lunged at Shari and tried to grapple with her.

She was really strong, and Shari got a bit of an idea why Yuan almost lost to the hefty beauty.

And then Yoko tripped up in the sand, gasped, and Shari totally broke free. "Oops!" She laughed.

Regantor
07-15-2011, 09:10 PM
Shari wasn't exactly in the mood to screw up and get her ass handed to her (like with Yuanjun), so it was pretty clear she was putting effort in. Using her height to her advantage, the monk put one muscular arm went over Yoko's left shoulder, whilst the other attempted to grasp her right thigh.

Grappling Attempt;
Touch attack; 1d20+18=31 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3110503/)
Contested grapple; 1d20+12=22 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3110496/) vs Yoko's 28.
The large hips made more of a differance than Shari was used to, however, and the cute sumo managed to wriggle out from it quite easily.

Kodos
07-15-2011, 09:30 PM
Yoko laughed again, clearly enjoying herself, before grabbing at Shari again, hopping to drop her down and pin her at the next opportunity. All this without her magic items - no wonder Yuan almost lost.

"Enjoying the show, boys?" She laughed back to Haru, giving Shari a wink too. "You're really good, Shari. You should have fought back in Yagyu!"

Regantor
07-15-2011, 09:39 PM
"Don't encourage them!" Shari tried to break Yoko's grip purely by pushing her arms outwards, exertion and embarrasment all over her face. She really had no idea how the squishy little female creature had so much strength contained within her.

Plan Rin; The muscular monk changed tactics and just heaved upwards with her legs, trying to smother Yoko in her cleavage.

No matter what she tried, however, Shari just couldn't seem to break out...

Kodos
07-15-2011, 10:00 PM
Yoko tried to get out of Shari's ample cleavage, laughing as she did. "Trying to one up me?" The hefty sumo girl laughed before using her considerable size and strength to force Shari onto her back on the sand, pinning her down beneath her, laughing and panting. "Give up yet?" She laughed, pinning Shari's arms down at the wrists and holding her down, taking the opportunity to wiggle her butt a little for the benefit of Haru.

Regantor
07-15-2011, 10:09 PM
"Nffwwmmg!" Shari made a garbled protest, still struggling beneath Yoko's aforementioned formidable components. Who needs to breath? I can't loose like this!...

Her feet continued to dig up sand for several more moments until the monk completely expelled the air from her winded lungs. There wasn't really a way for her to escape from it, but her pride kept her trying anyway.

Kodos
07-15-2011, 10:12 PM
"Give up, Shari?" Yoko laughed, clearly enjoying herself, although also clearly having to fight to keep Shari down.

Regantor
07-15-2011, 10:31 PM
Shari just kept squirming, alrough she was rapidly getting weaker. "No... way!...."

Somehow, she managed to writhe one hand free, and succumbed to her feral, animalistic urge to... Squeeze up Yoko's cheeks, forcing her to make a duckface. "....You... give up!... >:(((("

Kodos
07-15-2011, 10:37 PM
Yoko responded by releasing her grip on Shari's arms to tickle her sides, saying something that was rendered incomprehensible thanks to her duckface.

Regantor
07-15-2011, 10:48 PM
Birds flew backwards, satan skated to work, and Shari actually had a really high pitched laugh. It was the first time any of them had heard it. Yoko was released from the mighty duck jutsu whilst the large woman thrashed about more, trying in vain to stop her tickling.

"Ah! STop iT! AgAHAaaa!"

I guess that was sort of a surrender?

Kodos
07-15-2011, 10:52 PM
Yoko got up off Shari, laughing and brushing the sand off herself, before offering Shari her hand and beaming, as always. "You're really strong," Yoko smiled, "that was a blast."
:3

Regantor
07-15-2011, 10:56 PM
"Just gimme a moment, please..." Shari remarked, staying on her back and raising a finger in the air. It was less from spite, and more from just trying to catch her breath. "No offence, but you're a hella stronger than I'd thought you'd be, Yoko-chan..."

Kodos
07-15-2011, 11:01 PM
Yoko smiled and blushed a little. "You flatter me, Shari. And aaah! Just call me Yoko!" She gave the bikini-clad killer another big friendly hug.

"Liked the show?" Yoko laughed, walking back to Haru and fixing her hairbun and smiling at him. "Maybe you and I could go get some lunch together?" She was a little nervous, but still smiling. Oh, Yoko!

Alexander_Hamilton
07-16-2011, 05:02 AM
"You're quite skilled." Haru had been watching Yoko and Shari's puppy-like display with serene amusement. He paused, uncertain of how to answer the request. It sounded like more than a strictly friendly invitation.

"Thank you for your kind offer, but I'm afraid I must decline it. But if no one has any objections, perhaps we could all have dinner together this evening?"

Kodos
07-16-2011, 02:13 PM
"Oh... okay..." Yoko looked a bit disappointed, before returning to her bubbly self. "But that sounds fun too!"

Regantor
07-16-2011, 08:38 PM
"...It s-slipped out." Shari stuttered, regarding the '-chan'. "No insult intended, Miss Yoko."

Sitting cross legged on the sand, she just mockingly smirked at Haru's discomfort. A few moments later, she walked over and placed a hand on each of Yoko's shoulders from behind, so that she could make snarky, trollish commentary about him whilst actually looking at the poor druid. "Don't worry, kid. He's always like that. I think he spends all that time with animals because he's afraid of women, personally..."

zizi
07-24-2011, 02:09 AM
Kai had watched the fight with amusement, outright laughing at times. He had been cheering Yoko on, naturally. At Shari's trollishness he frowned, but couldn't be bothered to actually upbraid her for her childish rudeness so just ignored her. Turning pointedly towards Haru, he said "That actually sounds like a really good plan." He tried to remember the last time he'd actually had a sit down meal with friends, and failed. "It'll be so wonderful to be in each others company for an extended period without desperately fearing for our lives," he smiled.

Regantor
07-24-2011, 09:39 PM
Actively noting Kai's support of the idea, Shari just made a contorted face. She tended to prefer eating alone, after all. Most of her communal eating experiences tended to have her fellows act like the catch of the day was still alive and actively trying to run away... But, this group wasn't exactly her normal squad of 'fellows', through, either. Perhaps it could be relaxing or something?

"That sounds like a pretty good idea, I guess." She finally decided. Afterwards, she just gave the group members a quick embarrassed/disgruntled look each in turn, then leant down, and cupped a hand over Yoko's left ear to whisper something in it. "...Hey... Yoko? Can you show me how to braid this hair if we go?... It's kind of a pain, and nobody ever showed me how..."

Kodos
07-24-2011, 09:53 PM
Yoko's eyes lit up and she gave Shari a big toothy grin. "I'd love to!" The beaming sumo girl gave Shari a great big hug. "Oh, and we can wrestle some more! And stuff! It'll be so much fun! How long are you all staying here in Mizunokuni?"

Kodos
08-03-2011, 08:12 PM
Yoko showed up at the inn you were eating at on time, a little after the rest of you had arrived. She was wearing low-cut red outfit not entirely unlike what Yuanjun wore - or what she had worn to the tournament. As always the hefty woman was bubbly and happy and greeted everyone with tight hugs.

"Who's your cute new friend?" She smiled, motioning towards Ryo. She gave Ryo a big hug too. "Hi! I'm Yoko Genji, nice to meet you. :3"

:3

Superdooperphailmachine
08-03-2011, 08:58 PM
Ryo did his best to ignore Yoko's compliment and introduced himself like a true gentleman.
"I am Ryo Yamamoto, pleasure to meet you too miss" Ryo bowed and offered the nice lady a seat.

Kodos
08-04-2011, 02:16 PM
"So polite!" Yoko giggled, taking the offered seat and still beaming as usual. "So, Ryo, you're with your lovely friends here? How come I didn't see you earlier today? Or did Haru just pick up a handsome stranger for me so I wouldn't pester him?" She gave Haru a wink and laughed.

:3

Superdooperphailmachine
08-04-2011, 03:18 PM
"Actually he did. Paid me good money too." Ryo replied with a completely straight face before taking his own seat.

Kodos
08-04-2011, 03:25 PM
Yoko laughed and gave Ryo a playful shove. "Oh, you! Seriously, though. Why weren't you around earlier? You missed a show! Me and Shari were wrestling in our bikinis! You missed out. :3"

Superdooperphailmachine
08-04-2011, 03:43 PM
"I was probably swimming or something. Although now that you mention it I think a saw Shari smothering you with her breasts."

Kodos
08-04-2011, 03:46 PM
Yoko blushed a bit and laughed. "Well Shari played dirty, but I still won." :3

Regantor
08-04-2011, 07:07 PM
"I resent that, miss Genji!... You didn't say there were any rules!" Shari made a scowl (Jokingly?), whilst leaning on the door frame of the entrance. Typically, she was back into her tattered shawl combat getup for the occasion.

Now sauntering slowly over to the two of them, she desperately struggled to find something descriptive to say about Ryo that wasn't 'forgettable'...

"Mister Ryo fought in the sword portion of the tournament where we met." The monk put on a semi-interested smile. Something made her reach around his shoulders from behind and start rubbing the Samurai's bristly cheeks; probably because she was unconsciously thinking of doing it to Yoko. "But you were kinda busy at the time, I guess."

Kodos
08-04-2011, 08:01 PM
"Oh! I'm sorry! I was around for some of those, but I didn't pay too much attention. I've never been a fan."

She was beaming even more now. "Did you see me fighting, Ryo? Enjoyed the show? I'm sorry I lost against that Qing lady, but in my defense she was really scary. I was hoping I'd get to fight that Yuanjun lady again. I bet I could have beaten her, too."

"But she was very good."

Superdooperphailmachine
08-09-2011, 05:01 PM
"I actually thought Yuan would win. She hadn't lost once up until the final." Ryo didn't really want to think about Qing.
"I probably had the scarier opponent, did you ever see Obero fight?"

Regantor
08-10-2011, 08:43 PM
"Oboro. Her name was Oboro." The tough monk butted in. She welcomed the idea of talking about anybody but Qing, yet her voice also carried across a weird little expression of forelorn dissatisfaction. "Moved like a damn tiger, that one..."

"Qing was just a inbred bitch." Shari jolted several steps backward in the conversation, after she realised what she sounded like. Perhaps a little too far back, seeing as Yoko didn't know they had met?... "With alot of money to spend on enchanted skankware and well-hidden enhancing spells... I'm sure you had the better heart, miss Genji. I'm sure of it."

Kodos
08-16-2011, 10:43 AM
Yoko just shrugged. "Qing was scary." She said, her voice a little uneasy. "Was Oboro the pretty redhead? The one who fought unarmed half the time? She was really cool! I'd love to fight her. Well, without the sword. That's not so much fun." She gave a laugh before giving Shari another playful shove. "Stop calling me 'Ms. Genji!'" She laughed.

Regantor
08-16-2011, 02:01 PM
""But I like calling people that, Miss Genji!...." Shari lent into the shove with her shoulder and turned it into a test of balance, a giddy smirk growing on her face all the while. "Look, Oboro was awesome. She never used her own sword once, and always won like it was nothing... You know what her first name was? Of course not! She's Miss Oboro, and she's a badass!"

The look on her face was getting a little lurid now, with a bit of blushing and a toothy grin escaping. Bodyknocking still taking place, Shari angled both of their charms towards Ryo for fun. "You agree, don't you, Mister Yamamoto?..."

"My handsome ninja would do. Where did he go?..."

Superdooperphailmachine
08-16-2011, 04:32 PM
"It's Bushi Yamamoto if you want to be formal. Miss Shari." Ryo looked around for some kind of waiter to flag down.
"Does anyone want drinks?"

Kodos
08-20-2011, 07:34 PM
"Oh! I didn't know you were royalty, Bushi Yamamoto!" Yoko gasped before giving a bit of a half-bow in her seat. "I'm sorry I badmouthed Princess Qing and was really wanton with my come-ons. I didn't know you were a samurai. I apologize for my rudeness."

:3

Superdooperphailmachine
08-24-2011, 10:26 AM
"You weren't being rude Yoko, I'm not sure it's even possible for you to be rude."

Regantor
09-05-2011, 08:33 PM
As much as it tempted her to continue playfully hassling Yoko, Shari decided to change tactics after seeing the connection that her and Ryo were making. Their body language made the oni-ish woman think of Kai for some reason, and the kind of telling off she'd get for trampling on other people's parades... But setting two people up against a common enemy wasn't the same thing as attacking them, was it?

"You aren't bad, Mister Yamamoto... But I ain't apologizing." She gave an antagonizing little grin, and took a seat next to Yoko. Still not changing his title was intentional. "Women respect strong guys more than guys with fancy titles, and I'm no different... Don't think mister Kai would like you wrestling with me, through..."

Placing her elbows on the table and hiding her macabre smile with her balled hands now, she just leaned inwards with mock girlishness.

"I know! Maybe you'd come across as more respectable if you beat... Say, Yoko, in a wrestle."

Kodos
09-05-2011, 08:48 PM
Yoko laughed, blushing a bit. "I wouldn't mind rolling around with Mr. Yamamoto." She laughed. "I don't think I'd mind losing too much, either." Yoko gave a flirty little smile.

Superdooperphailmachine
09-05-2011, 08:56 PM
Ryo laughed, "I'm more of a swordsman but why not, wrestling sounds like fun."
He didn't pick up on the flirty smile.

Kodos
09-05-2011, 08:59 PM
Yoko immediately perked up and smiled, leaning over across the table as much as she could and very obviously trying to give Ryo a good look at her very ample cleavage. "Oh?" She smiled, "what do I get if I win?"

Oh, Yoko.

:3

Superdooperphailmachine
09-05-2011, 09:15 PM
Ryo kept his eyes away from Yoko's Cleavage and tried to think of an appropriate prize.
"The satisfaction winning"

Oh, Ryo.

:|

Kodos
09-05-2011, 09:17 PM
"Oh, come on, you can do better than that." Yoko laughed, giving Shari an elbow. "Why's your handsome friend so boring?"

Regantor
09-05-2011, 09:24 PM
"Yeah. Miss Yoko should get a better prize since she already got so high in that competition." Shari crossed her arms and nodded in agreement briskly. "Kicked my ass, too. I think you should bet against becoming a manservant for a day. Or maybe just keeping up with whatever she drinks?..."

"You drink alchohol, right, Miss Yoko?" A quick question darted sideways, which she didn't bother waiting for the answer to before looking at Ryo again. "You might even learn hidden techniques from this battle remember, so I wouldn't take it lightly."

The female bull looked confident and amused. It was all working to plan...

Superdooperphailmachine
09-05-2011, 09:33 PM
"Why don't you choose the stakes Shari, you seem to have enough ideas."

Regantor
09-05-2011, 09:46 PM
"Gladly, honourable samurai." She sounded clean and professional, but the shark-like grin spoke of devious intentions aplenty. Carefull now, Shari, nothing too blatant... "I think... A straight wrestling match, who ever pins the other to the floor wins. Who ever looses waits hand and foot on the other for the rest of the night, until morning. That's nice and humiliating, isn't it? No weapons allowed, of course. For, erm... Saftey."

Kodos
09-05-2011, 09:48 PM
"Works for me." Yoko beamed, giggling. "Sound fun, Ryo?"

:3

Superdooperphailmachine
09-05-2011, 09:53 PM
"Sure" Ryo got out of his chair and took a swig of wine.
"Let's take this outside."

Kodos
09-05-2011, 09:58 PM
Yoko smiled when they got to the beach. "You know when Shari and I did this earlier we were in our bikinis. You missed out." She laughed, stretching and adjusting her hairbun. "Are you ready mr. Samurai?"

:3

Superdooperphailmachine
09-05-2011, 10:11 PM
Ryo Popped his arms out of his Kimono, leaving the top half of the thing to drop to his waist.
"Ready as I'll ever be."
The now topless Ryo, with his manly muscles rippling in the moonlight, charged into Yoko, and begun grappling her.
He did not get any kind of advantage over her.

Touch attack: 1d20+20=37 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3177453/)
Grapple Check: 1d20+20=31 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3177464/)

Kodos
09-05-2011, 10:26 PM
Yoko was smiling and laughing in between grunts of exertion as she started to force Ryo back and down, but also pulling him tight and close against her, in a bit of a half-bearhug. Squashing her Yokobits against him she leaned in, towards his ear blushing a bit. "I wouldn't get mad if you kissed me, Ryo." She whispered, her voice a mix of flirty sensuality and nervous shyness.

Oh, Yoko.

:3

Superdooperphailmachine
09-05-2011, 10:47 PM
Ryo did not kiss her, instead he tried pushing back with no luck.
Ryo was apparently in super serious Samurai Fight mode.

Kodos
09-05-2011, 10:56 PM
Yoko was clearly disappointed he didn't take - or maybe didn't recognize - the invitation to kiss her. He could tell she was able to pin him now, but she seemed to be enjoying herself. "That was an invitation to kiss me, stupid." She purred softly, both trying to keep Shari from hearing a bit, and also trying to sound as seductive as possible.
Instead of pinning him she just pulled him a bit tighter against her and forced him down a bit more.

Superdooperphailmachine
09-05-2011, 11:08 PM
"I know" Ryo carried on grunting and pushing but to no avail.

Kodos
09-05-2011, 11:11 PM
Yoko seemed a bit hurt by Ryo's response, but didn't seem to take it too personally - although she did immediately pin him beneath her. Smiling and laughing as she looked down from on top of him and counted slowly to ten...

Superdooperphailmachine
09-05-2011, 11:16 PM
Ryo finally managed to push Yoko back, well more like roll over slightly to break the pin.

Kodos
09-05-2011, 11:18 PM
Yoko gasped in genuine surprise as she was rolled over onto her side, still grappling and wrestling and generally rolling about with the samurai. "Oooh, tough one." She smiled, apparently enjoying the fight itself, now, and not just the whole "rolling around with handsome guy" part.

In an instant, though, she had him pinned again, laughing and panting. "Sorry, handsome." She laughed before starting another count.

Superdooperphailmachine
09-05-2011, 11:25 PM
Ryo tried pushing her off again but failed this time.

Kodos
09-05-2011, 11:26 PM
Yoko laughed, panting slightly, as she won, still on top of Ryo, her massive... Yokobits hanging down and making it hard to pay attention to her pretty face. "Had fun? Looks like I won."

Regantor
09-06-2011, 08:52 AM
Shari held her nose in an attempt to stop herself from laughing out loud. A bottle of saki in hand, she just sat on the sidelines and watched it all unfold. Hum, Yoko didn't let him win after all... Was the thought ringing around her head.

"Ryo you doofus! It doesn't go against the samurai code if it's forced, does it?"

Superdooperphailmachine
09-06-2011, 08:43 PM
"looks like it, guess you get a manservant for the rest of the night"

Ryo was unsure as to whether or no he should try getting up, Yoko wasn't exactly letting him go.

Kodos
09-08-2011, 08:07 PM
"Don't need a manservant, and what I want isn't any fun if it's not given freely, handsome." Yoko said with a sigh as she got up off the beaten Samurai.

She seemed a little bummed out, but still pretty Yokotastic. :3

Regantor
09-08-2011, 08:44 PM
Shari shrugged, loosing the taste for her saki and placing it down on the wooden step beside her. Did I get Yoko's hopes up? It was a agitating thought. It wasn't so much given the form of words in her head, but making it seem more like Ryo's fault was a more convient way for her to deal with it mentaly.

"Well... You had your chance..." She made another depressed shrug, giving Ryo a look more resembling apathy than actual anger. Even so, her formidable shadow and sharp, brooding eyes still managed to be agressive. "...I hope you're not just hiding behind your precious code like all the others... You wouldn't be the first to exploit the benifits over the shortfalls..."

She didn't look at Yoko. Her own instincts wouldn't let her.

Superdooperphailmachine
09-09-2011, 06:24 PM
"What are you talking about?" Ryo raised a confused eyebrow at Shari's mumbling.

Regantor
09-10-2011, 10:52 PM
Shari gave a quick glance to Yoko, before her gaze aggitatedly returned to Ryo.

"...S-She... Forget it." Shari gave up trying, and got to her feet. "-Yoko likes you, dumbass!" was what she wanted to say, but refrained. Even this thug knew that trying to force two people into a relationship was a bad idea, regardless if helping the lady sumo along was what she wanted in the first place.

"There are some things you have to teach yourself, Mister Yamamoto." She settled on, remarking over her shoulder whilst making her way back to the resturaunt, saki bottle in hand.

Superdooperphailmachine
09-11-2011, 03:54 AM
Shari left Ryo hella confused, she was making no sense.
Ryo got up and dusted himself off before bowing to Yoko.
"I think I will head back to my room, it was a pleasure meeting you Yoko."

Regantor
09-27-2011, 10:37 PM
Great. I even manage to turn my good karma into bad karma. Shari considered, still brooding bitterly whilst her stride slowed. She had every intention of returning to the restaurant and letting Yoko catch up, but bad taste in her mouth made her gaze through the empty streets and wonder what exactly Kai was thinking...

He had zero obligations to her, she knew that full well. Hell, the short spark of a relationship the monk had tried to pursue with Oboro made her feel even worse about it. Did people perceive her as a wounded animal that needed to be saved, only to later realize that she'd instigated half of her problems by her own hand? For no appreciable gain, none the less?...

Shrugging heavily, she just hung her hands through the looms of her rope belt and continued walking back towards the meeting place. With any luck, maybe Yoko would still want to get drunk with her.

Kodos
10-02-2011, 09:22 PM
Yoko didn't seem too down. She apparently didn't like getting herself drunk, but still drank with Shari, and even braided her hair.

***

Lucky for Shari, alone in her inn room, she was up late that night.

The door opened slowly, the sneaking ninja, a man (or a very flat woman) clad fully in black, apparently expecting Shari to be asleep, dagger already drawn.

Unfortunately for him, she wasn't. Unfortunately for her he was quicker to react, rushing in and slashing at her.

And missing (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3204579/). Qing and Mei he was not.

The area is small enough I'm not bothering with a map.

Regantor
10-02-2011, 09:59 PM
Shari was still awake exercising; Eating and drinking that much always made her feel insecure, never mind the rift that was apparently forming between her and Kai. The latter agitated her rather more, alrough she'd done much more of the avoidance dance because of the monk's own feelings of inadequacy. That image of Kai's ex wife was looming at the back of her mind constantly, as much as she tired to just think about nothing.

A creaking floor board. As she lent down and calmly placed a pair of dumbbells back on the floor, a blade swung out and missed her face by several inches.

Shari just gazed over with a brazen look, sluggishly raising her hands and shaking out the tension. "...If I scare you that much, fucker, you should have waited until I was asleep..." A barbarous growl. You could almost pick up a little satisfaction. "Instead, I'm all warmed up."

Unarmed non-lethal full attack;
1d20+18=19, 1d20+10=29, 2d20+5=26 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3204609/)
Damage rolls;
1d10+4=8, 1d10+4=14, 1d10+4=11 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3204625/)

That's a total of 33 hp non-lethal damage.

A blur. Her knee rocketed into the man's stomach, then used the inertia of his head flinging forward to deliver a thunderous sucker punch. The follow-up strike was little more than a few scrunched fingers into the solar plexus, seeking to sunder the man without quite breaking him into individual pieces.

This feeling, warping a person like putty in your hands... Shari didn't even try and suppress her toothy, macabre grin.

Kodos
10-02-2011, 10:03 PM
The Ninja fell to the floor unconscious with a grunt.

That was certainly easy.

Regantor
10-02-2011, 10:47 PM
The heavy monk brushed off her hands, gave him a nudge with her foot, then was overcame with a disappointed expression.

"Is that all? Your boss really think I'm that cheap?..." Shari grunted to herself, before using her ever-handy rope to tie the man up. Soon, she stuck her head out into the corridor beyond, to see if there were any more aggressors. Nothing was immediately obvious, anyway... "Damn. Was he alone or not?"

Briskly, she made her way to Kai's room first. He was by himself; Shari didn't make much of comment past "There is a guy in my room who had a knife. Mind keeping an eye on him?" The others were all similarly solitary and rather sleepy-eyed.

The only dilemma was what they did with him, then... Torturing him themselves didn't sound too wise with Akemi's soldiers keeping an eye on her. Delivering him to the Daiymo personally was a bad option too, in case there was corruption within that the party hadn't heard of yet...

"Damn. Well, I guess if he was dumb enough to attack us by himself, his bosses probably didn't tell him much anyway..."

And thus, Shari contacted the city enforcers and requested an immediate meeting with Akemi.

Kodos
10-03-2011, 08:36 PM
Despite the lateness of the hour, Akemi granted Shari's request and gave the partytheir audience.

She'd clearly been woken up by it, too, as the daimyo of Mizunokuni's hair was now loose and without adornment, and she was without the heavy make-up and jewelry she wore before. Also she was wearing only a much plainer sarong and strapless bikini. Given the look in her eyes and the status of her hair, she'd fairly literally just woken up. Even without the make-up or the jewelery, though, the woman was stunning.

Shinko was at her side, already in his armor and at the ready. "Whatever happened, it wasn't me." Akemi started, yawning. "My issue with you, Ms. Tsunzaku, is wholly personal and were I to act on it I assure you I would have dealt with you myself rather than sending an assassin. I am not a coward." She streched , and adjusted her top. Shinko seemed to avert his eyes and blush a little. "And I already told you that if you don't fuck up I won't hurt you." Shinko offered to get her some tea, which she refused with a smile. "I'm fine, thank you. Anyway, what happened, Tsunzaku?"

Regantor
10-03-2011, 09:03 PM
"With no intended insult, I don't think lowly of you enough to think you'd send this worthless heap, Miss Hakunetsu." Shari's form and stance were impeccably polite, but her words did carry a certain edge of tired annoyance. The last encounter she had with Akemi didn't go incredibly well, and the monk wasn't in the mood for another confrontation. But this was the best way she could think of handling the situation. "On those terms, we figured we would let your charges do the interrogating... My real concern was that he was part of a greater plan. It's all too convenient for him to be a simple thief, but I somehow doubt he has any real first-hand information, either. It's very fishy..."

Speaking her mind felt a little uncouth of her, so Shari did make an effort to sound a bit more respectful after a second's delay. "I'm glad to see that none of your personnel seem to have been targeted, either, honorable Daimyo."

Kodos
10-05-2011, 06:47 AM
Akemi yawned. "I've left your friend with Konpeki. He'll handle that. As for information, I got a look at his dagger and I recognize the craftsmanship. It's from a blacksmith in Yamaguchi. An assassin came at me with one a month back or so, I forget. I imagine if you want answers, you may want to poke around there." Akemi shrugged, adjusting her top again after doing so, following that up by giving Ryo a flirty smile. Even sleepy and without her make-up, Akemi was still gorgeous.

Knowledge (Local) check if you want info on Yamaguchi. Shari gets a +4 bonus on this check due to her background.

Superdooperphailmachine
10-05-2011, 07:21 AM
Ryo basically ignored Akemi's smile and got thinking what a shithole that place is. Finding a specific crook there would be like finding a hay in a needlestack.
"Maybe we should take him with us and see if anyone knows him."

Regantor
10-05-2011, 11:25 PM
While she had lived and worked in Yamaguchi for several short spats, Shari was having a hard time remembering anything but the very basics. The general size and patten that the place was, the kind of bastards who hung around in which parts... Those years were a little misty due to all the alcohol abuse. She had hung around with a particularly sadistic group at the time. Maybe they could buy some information there, if the dogs were still alive, through?

Akemi wasn't exactly giving them much to go on, either; But it did at least concrete that the assassination attempt was part of a bigger deal. Maybe it was just supposed to be intimidating rather than lethal? A message from someone?...

"This could get very ugly indeed." Shari stated the obvious, partially just to calm her own nerves. It sucked being both the thug and the strategist at the same time. Never mind one that had previously tried to kill the most powerful and influential person in the room. "I don't know what good lugging him across country with us will do... Especially not if we run into his friends."

"Miss Hakunetsu... You're obviously implicated in this aswell. I don't mind reporting our findings back to you. It would be more covert than sending your own men... In return, all I ask is that you keep our future dealings here secret. Some of my comrades have families, and I would prefer this wildfire did not spread."

Her face spelled out that Shari herself understood the irony of her asking for this.

Kodos
10-06-2011, 07:29 AM
"Tsunzaku, just because I am beautiful does not mean I am stupid, and just because I dislike you, and that is you in the singular, not the plural," Akemi gave Ryo and Haru a flirty look, "I know when to be discreet." She adjusted her top and gave a soft little laugh, noticing the irony. "Well, you know what I mean."

Superdooperphailmachine
10-06-2011, 07:48 AM
"I suppose we should be on our way then, if that is all?"

Kodos
10-06-2011, 07:58 AM
"Shinko will see you off," Akemi said, her samurai doing as he was told. "'Cept you. You stay." She smiled at Ryo.

Superdooperphailmachine
10-06-2011, 08:00 AM
"As you wish miss" Ryo said with a bow.
He sure hoped she wasn't just going to proposition him.

Kodos
10-06-2011, 08:15 AM
Akemi smiled, leaning over on her divan, with a lack of subtlety that probably would have made Rin proud. And aroused. But Rin was aroused by things like "oh my god you're so hot standing there eating" so using Rin as a benchmark was probably a bad idea.

"I may be a little older," Akemi started, "and I know I'm not quite as good looking, but I think I'm pretty damn good looking, all the same, and I seemed to be able to keep up with your mistress." She pulled Ryo down onto the divan beside her and smiled. "Plus I'm only Human, so its unfair to compare me to her." She added with a smile, putting Ryo's arms around her waist. "I'm not going to be able to fall back to sleep tonight anyway," she smiled, "and I've nothing important to do tomorrow - I can afford to sleep in. Hell, it's my damn country, I'm allowed to set my sleep schedule."

Superdooperphailmachine
10-06-2011, 09:07 AM
The I'm only human comment could have been a metaphor for Rin's Sex goddess reputation. But it sounded to him like she was being literal.
"What makes you think she isn't human?" He asked, leaving his hands where the were.

Kodos
10-06-2011, 09:14 AM
Akemi laughed pushing Ryo down and laying on top of him somewhat, holding herself up with her arms, his still around her waist. "Because," she laughed, kissing at Ryo's neck. "I've been with lots of guys, and lots of girls. And," another kiss, "I prefer men. But Rin? Gods, she was something else entirely." She gave a shudder of pleasure. "Just thinking about her gets me going. Point is, handsome," she nipped at his ear, "no Human looks quite as amazing as Rin does - and that's not just my own ego talking - and no woman fucks as good as she does - and again that's not my ego."

She paused and laughed. "See, look. I'm here about to rock your world, and you're asking about another woman and I'm not even getting upset. That's how I know she's not Human."

Superdooperphailmachine
10-06-2011, 09:35 AM
"Well I've been turning her down for around four years," Ryo sounded more like he was having a casual conversation than having his world rocked. "And I've never noticed anything inhuman about her."

Kodos
10-06-2011, 09:38 AM
"Because golden eyes are so common, especially in intelligent and well spoken concubines?" Akemi seemed a bit annoyed now. "Are you going to make me do all the work?" She sighed after pulling away from another kiss

Superdooperphailmachine
10-06-2011, 09:54 AM
Ryo didn't want to piss her off, so he pushed her off, whipped his shirt off and gave her what she wanted.

Kodos
10-06-2011, 10:14 AM
The sun wasn't up yet when they finished, so clearly Akemi wasn't wrong and she couldn't quite keep up with Rin (who could?). She was still wonderful enough that Ryo imagined she might be the next best thing to Rin.

***

Akemi finally seemed satisfied, smiling as she lay beneath Ryo, gently running her hands along his back. "...Have you and Rin...?" She didn't need to ask the rest of the question, it was pretty obvious.

Superdooperphailmachine
10-06-2011, 10:23 AM
"Didn't I tell you before? I've never slept with her, it would be improper of me."

Kodos
10-06-2011, 10:25 AM
Akemi gave a sad little laugh. "Yeah, of course. Do you want to, though?" She paused. "Propernes aside, of course."

Superdooperphailmachine
10-06-2011, 10:29 AM
"I try my best not to think about it really. But if I wasn't a Samurai I probably would. Why do you ask?"

Kodos
10-06-2011, 10:35 AM
"Life's unpredictable, Ryo. The Kami have taught me to gowith the flow, and I manage. Still. It's short. Shinko has been my bodyguard for years now, and I know how he feels about me, and I like to give him enough credit to assume he's aware the feeling's mutual. But," she gave an annoyed laugh, "I'm his charge and his master. It wouldn't be proper."

"Life's too short to worry about being proper, Ryo. I think that we'd all be better off if we were just true to ourselves, you know?"

"Happier, anyway." She added glumly with a bit of a shrug, pulling Ryo's head down and giving him another kiss.

Superdooperphailmachine
10-08-2011, 12:20 PM
"A Samurai has to follow the rules unfortunately"

zizi
10-08-2011, 11:03 PM
Kai closed his eyes and listened to his breathing, concentrating on making each intake and exhale quieter than the last. When he was satisfied he was silent enough he sank into the splits, his cotton-clad legs spread ramrod straight on the floor either side of him. He stretched first; twisting his naked torso to touch his forehead first to one leg, then the other. As he stretched he focused only on his breathing and the feelings in his body.
Mio had taught him that.
Damnit, he winced as he moved too quickly, risking pulling one of the muscles that lined the side of his chest. Thoughts weren't supposed to get in here.
Shari had taught him that.
He shifted his weight forward till he lay spread-eagled with his face on the floor, his arms spread out from him perfectly parallel to his legs. He lifted himself up slowly, supporting his weight on his hands and feet, then pushed all his weight onto his arms and rose slowly into a handstand.
He held himself suspended, listening to the absence of his breath, and allowed himself finally to think about what he'd been avoiding ever since they'd left Kusanagi-to.
Mio was right.

Kodos
10-09-2011, 10:53 PM
Akemi laughed without humor. "Of course, Ryo."

***

The next morning the group left for Yamaguchi early. The trip took longer than a straight trip ought to since their boat had to avoid a patch of water who's local Lung Wang had inexplicably declared off limits. On land, too, things were a bit roundabout thanks to Shibayama being what it was and necessary detours to avoid towns in the midst of war and any possible rampaging Oni or other monsters.
Plus people, with good reason, were generally not willing to take people to Yamaguchi.

***

The group eventually arrived and without incident. The city lived up to both its reputation an Shari's memories of it. The city was extremely densely packed, in some areas literally being built upon itself and sort of almost folding in on itself. The walkways were thin and narrow and made more so by the prostitutes and general rabble that lined them.
Most of the buildings were fairly run down, although some were decadent, opulent, and hideously out of place.

Hopefully no one would shank Ryo for being a doof.

zizi
10-10-2011, 01:13 AM
"Finally," Kai remarked drily, "A place where a rag-tag bunch of for-hire goons like us can comfortably fit in. Oh, except for our Samurai." Kai patted Ryo on the arm, "Try to look mean, big guy. Like you betray all that's dear to you every morning before breakfasting on little girls. We'll make a ronin of you yet." He shot a smile at Haru, "Somehow though, you seem to have the 'just washed the blood from my robes' look down."

"So. Shari, this is your old haunt-" the thought came unbidden, a body long rotten drifting to the surface of his thoughts. Master came here, I wonder if she met him. He thrust it away. "Where to?"

Superdooperphailmachine
10-10-2011, 05:19 AM
"If I so much as draw my sword these lowlifes would go running, we'll be fine." Ryo was all armoured up today, apparently not taking any chances with the scum bags around here.

Regantor
10-10-2011, 09:26 AM
Shari didn't bother with any sort of disguise. When she had first come here it had been as a loutish, unruly drunken young thug, utterly apathetic about the world around her; And as such she'd been more overweight, less battle-scared and lacking the certain perverted flair that Rin had given her.

Yet, still, it gave her weird memories of wanting to be that sinister, war hardened stranger strolling into town. Now that she was, it only felt like she was regressing back in time. Yamaguchi was as horrible and decrepit as always, and the macabre emotions in her eyes were visible for all to see.

"Just keep to yourselves and don't take any shit. We are mercenaries, alright?" Shari regarded her companions sternly. "I don't know what the organization of the gangs are right now... Hell, I hardly knew at the time... But for now, we just need to start asking around for weapons dealers. Failing that, assassin contracting groups... On these streets, neither should be as hard as it sounds."

She gave a blank glance toward Ryo, then looked over to Kai, agitated and restless. A hand came up to stroke his face, but diverted and grasped him firmly on the shoulder instead, emotions uncertain.

"The sooner we get going, the sooner we can get back out of this shithole. Keep your eyes open."

Shari searches for three hours, looking for anyone she recognizes, and noting any groups which have similar attire or weapons to the assassin's.

1d20+5=15 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3215250/)

Kodos
10-10-2011, 10:50 AM
The group managed to go about gathering information without incident. Being Yamaguchi, however, without incident meant "they managed to catch some of the thieves who stole from them and were able to get their shit back from them, sometimes without even needing to beat them up first."

They were able to find the blacksmith who made the dagger used by the would-be assassin. His shop was a small one, barely big enough to fit the group, and the Oni the smith employed as a guard wasn't making the cramped space any bigger. The walls were lined with weapons, presumably show, and the ceiling similarly adorned.

"What do you want? Touch anything and my friend here tears off your head and shits down the stump."

What a charming and friendly shopkeeper!

Here's how much gold you all lost to thieves. I had a longer post explaining how I derived these values, but the forums ate my post and I'm not typing it up again, too tired. Suffice it to say there was rolling done, spot checks to be had, and more. Also people didn't try and rob Shari since she's scary and a Monk.
Haru
-160 GP
Kai
-80 GP
Ryo
-290 GP

Regantor
10-14-2011, 09:09 PM
Shari just scowled at him and crossed her arms, trying to look as negative as possible about being inside his little hut of second-rate toothpicks. "Save it. Like this shit is worth stealing. I question what you are even feeding that bulbous thing on with your kind of budget..." She placed the assassin's dagger on the counter as she spoke. "We need to know who bought this. In return, you can have it back... Maybe a bit of cash, too, if you don't take the piss. It's the same amount that my master would pay some heavies with, anyway."

Intimidation and negotiation were basically the same thing, right?

Kodos
10-14-2011, 09:51 PM
"How much we talking?" Came his immediate response.

Regantor
10-15-2011, 12:20 PM
"Just a few broken limbs and a reputation." Shari sarcastically sneered back at the man. "-and maybe about six hundred gold coins if your information is worth two shits... Look, my leader is looking to bust heads. This weapon was nearly used to assassinate somebody pretty damn rich and angry, we just want to know who the little chump was working for. It's probably better for your own sake if the information trail doesn't stop on your doorstep."

zizi
10-15-2011, 11:04 PM
For this expedition Kai had chosen to forgo his usual layers, instead only slipping his waistcoat over his otherwise bare torso; letting it hang open to his waist. In certain circles long-healed scars and a dizzying array of tattoos were more effective camouflage than his usual shapeless shirts.

Not exactly practical for a ninja- flesh shines in a way that soft fabric never does- but thus far it seemed to have the intended effect. Though he'd been protected from the rougher side of mercenary life by Mio as they'd grown up together, Kai was recognisable nontheless as not a soft touch. Well, he thought of his lightened purse irritably, not as soft a touch as some, anyway.

He stood slightly to the right and front of Shari, mostly so if things went asswards he'd be able to move freely even if restricted to invisibility to stab the shit out of anyone he needed to, knowing that behind her he would be vastly less effective than if he could move to flank anyone she was fighting.

As was he listened to her talk to the shopkeeper offhandedly, his eyes running over the small room for anything of possible note, though always returning to the Oni. They'd encountered too many of these brutes lately, and Kai was beginning to get incredibly wary of coincidences.

Spot check (specifically on Oni?? Idk.)= (36) (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3223661/)

Kodos
10-15-2011, 11:35 PM
The smith shrugged. "Sounds worth my time." He picked up the dagger and examined. "Yep, s'mine. Sold a fuckload of daggers like that to Takamatsu about a month ago. So, yeah, good luck with that." He put the dagger back down. "If you're not buying anything, piss off."

Meanwhile, Kai didn't notice anything unusual about the Oni. It was an Oni. It was big, had red skin, two horns, one eye, and seemed happy guarding since standing in one place and looking threatening was a good job for someone with his intellectual acumen and personal disposition.

Knowledge Local or Royalty to know about Takamatsu.

Superdooperphailmachine
10-17-2011, 07:39 PM
Ryo knew the guy was talking about the Shogun of Shadows, and that having a crime-lord on your back is seldom a good thing.
"Do you know who he is planning to have killed with those daggers and why?"

Knowledge Nobility: 1d20+5= 19+5 (24)
I rolled the other day and never got round to posting. The link to the result is on my other computer so I'll edit it tomorrow.

Kodos
10-17-2011, 07:45 PM
"No. Fuck off."

Regantor
10-17-2011, 09:17 PM
Shari was swirling a gleaming gold coin in between her fingers for effect, but snatched it back up again after the shopkeeper refused to be particularly helpful. To say she was half expecting a brawl was an understatement; The hefty monk was always ready for a fight, but being in such a craphole of a town again only served to remind her of how dulled her sense of paranoia had become as of late.

"Like I said, it's a wonder you can stay in business at all." The woman just remarked bluntly, then briskly walking out of the shop and back into the reeking streets beyond. Only three hundred coins were left on the counter, since she figured the scrawny bastard probably couldn't count them all before the group left anyway.

"Takamatsu..." She repeated the word to herself, then just looked back to her companions wordlessly. That name certainly rang a bell, but as for his exact history, that was buried a little deeper...

Knowledge local test;

1d20+4=10 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3226527/)

Regantor
10-30-2011, 10:09 PM
After Ryo had reminded her a little about the Shogun, Shari continued to direct the group around the foul city. She knew that it wouldn't be a great idea just barging in and trying to see the man, after all, so she instead tried to ask around and find anyone that had at least seen him personally. With any luck, there could even be someone who remembered her.

The tagline was generally closer to "There is some money I want to invest in him.", rather than "I'm here to fuck him up, and find out why he tried to have me killed.", mind.

Gather Information for two or three-ish hours;
1d20+1=13 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3245304/)

Kodos
10-31-2011, 10:50 AM
Shari didn't have much trouble. Unsurprisingly, Takamatsu's place was one of the larger, gaudier, pagodas in the city.

***

On their way over to Takamatsu's place, the group ran into a friend!
Well, Shari did.

"Tsunkazu." It was Oboro. The throngs of people seemed to part for her and even the thugs in Yamaguchi seemed to know to keep their distance from the chain smoking redhead. "I was not expecting to find you here." She took a long drag from her cigarette. "You have brought your friends too. Either you are more kinky than I expected, or you did not come all the way to this wretched place to visit me."

zizi
11-05-2011, 10:33 AM
Kai glanced sidelong at Shari. When had she met Obero? What did Obero mean 'more kinky than I expected'? Visit her? In spite of himself, he awkwardly moved closer to the hulking monk.

Regantor
11-06-2011, 01:17 AM
"Oboro..." Shari regarded her simply, before taking a moment to decide what to say. How did you even know it was me?... Was the accompanying expression.

Being a lying little worm didn't suit the monk at the best of times, and she knew the fiery soul wouldn't put up with any old crap story. The fact that Kai happened to be here really didn't help. She'd honestly omitted mentioning Oboro before simply because nothing happened, and it made things way too complicated. Outright saying that the woman 'didn't mean anything', through, right in front of her, seemed... Well, hazardous to one's health.

"Somebody tried to kill me. Possibly other allies too. It looks organized..." She used a business-like tone, alrough giving it that cocky edge as if it was really more of a chore. "Anyway. It's great to see you again... I won't hold it against you that you never invited me around in the end, I'm sure you had much more important business to attend to."

Shari gave a small sombre glance over to Kai after this, thinking about the repercussions on both sides about what she was saying. The layers upon layers. Would Kai think she was just using him? What would her honorable nature look like, if Oboro turned out to be an enemy, or a spy? What would she do if one of her own group members said something disrespectful towards the fearsome woman?

The squid on the stick... A memory flashed through the monk's mind. Perhaps Oboro had been after information from her all along?

"What brings you to this scratty little neck of the woods?"

Kodos
11-06-2011, 01:34 AM
"I live here." Oboro took a long drag from her cigarette. "Obviously you survived, so it could not have been too organized." Oboro gave a nod in Ryo's general direction, more or less. "I was not aware you were friends with one of my opponents from the tournament. You are a woman of many surprises, Tsunkazu." Another drag. "As is your right to be."

"Anything I could do to help?"

Superdooperphailmachine
11-07-2011, 06:47 AM
How did she recognise me? how does she know Shari? She better not be working for the Shogun, shit.
Ryo looked pretty uncomfortable seeing Oboro, the fact she could tell who he was after only having one brief, forgettable fight with him weeks ago probably had something to do with that. She is scary.

Regantor
11-07-2011, 09:58 PM
"Our presence at the tournament was a little heavier than I lead you to believe, sure. But I did say it was rather secret due to foreign connections." Shari found herself smiling and was forced to overt her gaze from the redhead. Part of her still wanted to follow the fierce woman and learn from her company. She was the perfect master, presented at completely the wrong time. The idea of an idol was always hard to kill.

"...However, this venture is rather more personal. There are no such restrictions. I'd certainly love your company for a while, if you could spare it." Shari let a small amount of adoration escape in her voice, alrough a rather drastic plan was forming inside her mind. "Perhaps you would honor me and my comrades by joining us for a meal?"

The plan was simple; Find out who the hell Oboro really was. If the coincidences were founded and she was an enemy, this was the most decisive way of finding out. If she was a possible ally, their efforts could benefit greatly, and indeed it would mean Shari could (rather selfishly) enjoy a bit more time around the stunning woman without needing to hide it.

It made her feel guilty about dividing her attentions more from Kai, sure... but they would have to deal with this at some point anyway. Simply giving him a soft grasp on the shoulder, she gave him a questioning look that asked his approval.

Kodos
11-09-2011, 10:09 AM
Oboro gave Shari a Look. Well, she gave Shari's general direction a Look. A Look that said 'Bitch, WTF u smoking?"

"Tsunkazu, someone is trying to kill you, and you are planning to eat a meal here, in Yamaguchi? What you are suggesting is a generally ill-advised course of action even when one does not know for certain that someone is trying to have them killed. Either you are more exciting than I imagined, or you are a very stupid woman."

Regantor
11-09-2011, 12:09 PM
In an action that probably made her sentiments a little too obvious to the others, Shari just shrugged and looked embarrassed rather than, say, punching the woman in the face for her ill manners. There went that plan.

"I apologize. Figured you might have known somewhere trustworthy. The last time I was in Yamaguchi, I certainly wasn't important enough to assassinate, I'll tell you that." She actually bowed her head a little even through Oboro probably couldn't detect it. Leaning in closer, the monk departed a little more information that she didn't want the abounding crowds to hear. "...And at any rate, snooping in on Takamatsu seems an ill-advised method of getting information. Would a crime lord of that caliber really hire such a sloppy assassin and risk making an enemy of our employers? It's extremely fishy. That's what I wanted to talk to you about."

Was it wrong to trust Oboro? Probably. But Shari found the sharp, frank woman a far more honest source of opinions than Chiyo or even Akemi. Gaining a powerful ally that didn't want to use them as sword fodder was worth it, right?

Kodos
11-11-2011, 08:50 PM
"If the assassin was sloppy, then Takamatsu probably didn't intend to kill you." Oboro said flatly. "He probably intended to insult you. Or to lure you here." She shrugged. "What have you done to offend him?"

Regantor
11-15-2011, 09:27 PM
"Nothing. Haven't even talked about him in years." Shari responded with a rather disenchanted tone. "But I guess it's perfectly possible that we have gotten caught up in his business without knowing it, through... and even if it's true that we were being lured, surely that would mean that somebody we don't know about has personal dealings with us, right?... We can't just let it sit, just like it would also be a pretty dumb idea marching in there and demanding answers..."

Her arms crossed themselves as if defending against a cold breeze only the monk sensed. The idea of her holy master Rin looming over her shoulder sparked into existence, but was quashed away with a new sensation of distrust. A sensual being of temptation and warped truths, tormenting attractiveness and abusive kindness. There had to be more going on, there just had to be...

It took her a long time to come to terms with it, but Shari now realized the master would probably never return her loyalty past simply letting her live... And after that abomination that they had nearly been killed by... After her feelings for Kai had come boiling forth, only to be confronted by the basic concrete fact she didn't deserve him... It simply wasn't enough anymore. The heart couldn't help but yearn for an existence more suitable.

"Oboro... Can we talk, just us?..." Walking forwards slightly, Shari placed herself apart from the group by considerable distance, at least enough to stop them from hearing her whispers. A stern hand raised to the others requested they wait where they were.

"Miss... Oboro, look..." A whisper direct to the ear, heavy in pained thoughts. "I've been little than a thug all my life, it's true. But these last few weeks... I've seen things that I wouldn't ask of anyone. Things my comrades... and Kai... could not possibly deserve... I'm not so sure my 'good hearted masters' as so morally righteous anymore, and... Your sharp heart and your divine skill... It pains me that you are not my leader... and yet, I have to ask..."

She gulped deeply, leaned upwards slightly, and then proceeded to speak at her normal level. "That night we didn't meet up... Did you know? Did you know of our opponent?"

Kodos
11-15-2011, 09:30 PM
Oboro listened with her usual bored, mildly annoyed, expression, puffing away at her cigarette while Shari spoke.

"Yes."

Oboro sure is helpful!

Regantor
11-15-2011, 09:37 PM
The totally whimsical attitude that Oboro had that day... Shari scorned herself for not picking it up sooner.

"I expect nothing for free, not from a warrior of your mettle." She shrugged, not particularly able to look at the expressions on her allies' faces. "What could I do in return for requesting your help against these... abominations?"

Kodos
11-15-2011, 09:43 PM
Oboro raised an eyebrow. "Abominations? What makes you so sure there was more than just the one?"

Regantor
11-15-2011, 09:47 PM
"It was too... easy... to kill it. No way does a creature with that much power, personal influence and insight get itself killed in a simple fist fight." Her voice sounded unnerved by her own train of logic, but still hardy enough to keep talking. "If it was human once, I just can't believe it had come that far to die with so little flair or backlash. There are too many loose ends."

Kodos
11-15-2011, 09:50 PM
"Did you dispose of the body? The brain, anyway?"

Regantor
11-16-2011, 12:36 PM
"As far as I can tell, our master's servants destroyed it, yes." Shari just shrugged, tossing her looped braid back over her shoulder to relieve an itch. "Is there any particular importance in the brain? Do you know what that thing was?..."

Kodos
11-16-2011, 01:56 PM
"If the brain is destroyed it won't be coming back. It's dead. The abomination was a Mind Flayer." Oboro still seemed disinterested, and didn't feel like elaborating, apparently.

Regantor
11-20-2011, 10:25 PM
So, it was the cold shoulder from Oboro afterall... Shari felt dejected, but wasn't so confident in her own abilities that she'd press exactly where she fell short with the imposing master swordswoman. What annoyed her more than anything was that, yet again, she had only managed to dig herself into a hole for the effort.

"You did know after all, then... Should have been obvious that I'm not even equipped to serve you..." Lowering her head slightly with a tint of shame, Shari just shrugged and averted her eyes now. "I understand. You have other dealings and you don't trust me now. That's... fine. Hope I see you at a tournament again someday."

The last sentence was completed by a heartfelt bow, of which the rough monk remained in until either Oboro replied or left.

Kodos
11-20-2011, 10:27 PM
Oboro shrugged before disappearing into the crowds. "Whatever. See you around."

DAT OBORO.

Superdooperphailmachine
11-27-2011, 05:39 PM
"AWIGHT GUUISE LETS GO VISIT THE BOSS"

Regantor
11-27-2011, 09:40 PM
Shari just shrugged, gave each of her group members a glance, then figured it would probably just be best to act like none of that ever happened. Most of them likely didn't expect better of her anyway, through she could imagine Kai's feelings being a little bruised.

"So... How do you figure we should go about getting in?" She just make a emotionless grunt to no one in particular. "Try and make a bargain with the fat old bastard, or wait until nightfall? I certainly know I don't have enough cash to bribe the guards."

Superdooperphailmachine
11-28-2011, 04:15 AM
"We could just walk up to the front door and ask to see their boss. Worst they could do is say no and attack us."

Regantor
11-29-2011, 10:11 PM
"If they really sent those killers, the worse they could do is send us away, tell their bosses that we are still alive, then kill us in our sleep, Ryo." Shari just scowled, now utterly in a bad mood. "Do I need to spell out for you how much of this town he probably owns? If we are going to talk to the guy head-on, we need a bargaining chip of some kind... I don't think the mind flayer information will cut it like it did with Akemi, either."

Walking into polite sit-downs with people who wanted to kill her was getting a bit old.

Superdooperphailmachine
11-30-2011, 04:44 AM
"Last time he tried that it didn't exactly work did it."

Kodos
11-30-2011, 03:52 PM
If any in the group was looking behind Ryo, they'd have noticed the crowds clearing and parting, and the sight of what appeared to be a 10 foot tall Oni fully encased in armor rushing towards the group.
They could certainly hear - and feel - the Oni's footsteps.
They could also certainly hear the sensual, if frenzied, voice of a woman shouting various obscenities and demanding people get out of her way.

The next thing Ryo knew, he was being slashed into (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3282982/) by an extremely ornate and masterfully made katana.
Oh, and it was on fire. And arcing with electricity. And had a chilling wind about it.
Ouch.

The woman wielding the weapon was stunning. She had a figure to rival Chiyo or Rei's, and left most of it bare seeing as how she was sort of half-wearing a revealing kimono that was falling off her, practically, and not much else. The heavily made up girl seemed to move with the effortless grace and exaggerated hyper-sexuality common to the Shiranui clan (and Succubi, and Kunoichi) and also had the everpresent golden eyes of the Shiranui clan. Plus the huge tits and junk-in-the-trunk that was so common to the family. Given her outfit and make-up, Ryo would probably have assumed she was a Shiranui clan streetwalker were it not for the whole "stabbing him" thing.
The woman also had the tattoo of a skeletal tiger on her shoulder. Significant?

"GRAB THE PRIEST-SHIT!" She screamed towards the Oni which proceeded to respond in a low, stilted, tone. It sounded stupid even for an Oni. "Yes." It also proceeded to do as it was told, grabbing Haru with both of its enormous hands and grappling with him.

Well. This was a thing.

I did roll for attacks, but I don't want you all seeing just yet. Also there's no way the Oni could have missed Haru since Haru is flatfooted. Same goes for grapple check.

Also, combat, obviously. You're all close enough that a map is unnecessary. Also initiative is unimportant so just post when you are able, but no more than once per round. So the order is Hitomi -> Oni -> You guys in any order.

Knowledge Local to see if her tattoo is common to any crime groups or Ninja clans.

Superdooperphailmachine
11-30-2011, 04:15 PM
Ryo had no idea what the fuck, was that one of Rins Relatives? Why is she attacking us?
He whipped his Katana out and started swinging fast as he possibly could, only making contact on his last attack. She didn't seem to happy about it.


Bladestorm Attack:1d20+22=31, 1d20+12=21, 1d20+17=23, 1d20+22=34, 1d20+22=36 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3283012/)
Damage:1d10+3d6+12=26 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3283036/)

Regantor
11-30-2011, 10:39 PM
"It wasn't you he was trying to ki-!" Shari was cut off in the middle of her sentence, cursing herself for not keeping her eyes open for enemies. She had no idea who the broad was, but going by standard sorcerer logic, she was probably commanding the towering oni directly. Haru would just have to hold on for a minute.

She certainly didn't seem that graceful. Maybe all the power was inside that fancy sword?

Growling audibly, Shari thundered across and attempted to bring a meaty elbow up into the bitch's chin...

Hand full attack;

1d20+18=33, 1d20+10=23, 1d20+5=10 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3283313/)
Which was blocked. A kick to the knee. Blocked aswell. A sucker punch using the opposite hand. Somehow, nothing was connecting at all.

zizi
12-01-2011, 02:51 AM
Kai had remained silent after Shari's cozy little chat with Obero, occasionally shooting her confused, hurt glances and then berating himself for doing so. They hadn't made any promises after all; any hurt he felt was entirely ridiculous. Even still.

When the woman and her Oni attacked, he slipped onto the ethereal plane immediately, noting her sinuous grace, her breathtaking speed, and her wild, unskilled slashing with the sword.

He didn't recognise her tattoo at all; not local ninja- or rather, not any clan he'd heard of. The way she'd effected him when corporeal; akin to but much weaker than that of Rin, or Chiyo, when added to her appearance; her eyes… she looked so like the most beautiful woman in the world. But why would Rin's family attack them?

His throat tightened as not a single one of Shari's blows landed. It's at times like these he thought, kukris roaring into flame, I'd truly be glad to see Yuanjun and her ridiculous thighs.

His first attack hit home, cutting deep into the woman's back. His next three slashes missed in quick succession, but he managed to connect with her arm before missing again.



First attack

ATTACK POSS CRIT (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3283479/)

CRIT CONFIRMED (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3283531/)

DAMAGE = 16 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3283485/)

FIRE DAMAGE = 1 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3283533/)

SUDDEN STRIKE= 22 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3283535/)

Off hand
FAIL (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3283536/)

DAMAGE = 39

Second attack

FAIL (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3283537/)

Off hand
FAIL (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3283547/)

DAMAGE = 0

Third attack

ATTACK POSS CRIT (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3283542/)

CRIT FAIL (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3283543/)

DAMAGE = 10 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3283544/)

FIRE DAMAGE= 3 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3283546/)

Off hand
FAIL (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3283548/)

DAMAGE= 13

TOTAL DAMAGE = 52

Kodos
12-02-2011, 01:12 PM
Hitomi laughed as Shari tried and failed to hit her. "Wait your turn." She purred, fairly literally, before powering a kick up between Shari's legs. Needless to say, it hurt (22 non-lethal damages (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3285396/)) and Shari found herself momentarily stunned (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3285371/). Moving with amazing speed, she now turned her attention back to Ryo, where she immediately proceeded to knock the sword right out of Ryo's hands, whereupon she proceeded to toss her sword aside and throw herself at him, although he managed to throw her off before she could get a good grip. Undaunted, but angered, she proceeded to just scream and kick Ryo in the Yamamoto family jewels.
18 non-lethal damages to Ryo. Also he stunned (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3285394/)
Hammy has had 24 hours to post and has not done so. And given her posting habits, I do not think it wise to give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she's simply posting late. So we can assume Haru spends his turn struggling in vain against the Oni.

As for Hitomi - still don't want you seeing her attack rolls :3

Regantor
12-02-2011, 08:30 PM
Swearing loudly, Shari swung vindictively at the air, but was still hobbled too badly to actually go after the bitch.

It was strange. Something of the woman's origins smelt similar to her master, but the movements were absolutely nothing alike. Totally without honor or precision of any kind.

Surely, this couldn't be Takamatsu's doing, could it? What would be the point in attacking their group now if it was?

zizi
12-03-2011, 03:28 AM
Kai swore, kukri's trailing ethereal fire as he swung around to attack again, his first swing catching her across the chest. Triumphant, he swung again. And missed. Again. Again he missed.

The way she moves, he thought dumbfounded, more fluid than possible, faster than anyone has any right to be.

He was very, very glad she couldn't touch him.



Attack poss crit (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3286437/)
Crit fail (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3286439/)
Damage = 8 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3286441/)
Fire damage= 4

Damage = 12
Sudden strike= 21 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3286442/)

TOTAL DAMAGE= 33

Kodos
12-03-2011, 10:06 PM
"Fucking coward! Fight me!" The woman screamed before giving a shriek of rage and annoyance and venting her frustration at Shari. Her swings with the sword were strong and superhumanly fast, but also lacking in style, or technique. It wasn't the effortless effort of Oboro, or the more conventional styles like what Ryo or Satomi used. She clearly had little or no idea what she was actually doing with a sword, and just getting by on virtue of her clearly inhuman natural faculties.
Four swings, each of them connecting - the last two, perhaps surprisingly, consiting of the back of the blade, knocking Shari unconscious rather than outright killing her. Apparently mystery lady didn't want to kill you.

"Oops. I'll try and make yours slower, little samurai. You look nice in the armor, though, did Hoji pick it for you?"

Superdooperphailmachine
12-04-2011, 06:10 AM
Recovering from the assault on his manhood, Ryo launched a barrage of punches, with only one of them hitting against her arm.

attack:1d20+20=40 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3287691/),1d20+15=28 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3287693/),1d20+10=29 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3287694/)

Crit Confirm:1d20+20=34 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3287692/) NAWT
Damage:1d4+8=Pathetic (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3287695/)

zizi
12-04-2011, 07:42 AM
Kai slipped from ethereal to invisible, already certain he would regret it.

"Who are you?" He demanded, "Why are you beating the shit out of us?"

He unleashed another flurry of blows, again only one connecting with her.


Attack (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3287754/)
Damage= 8 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3287756/)
Sudden strike= 19 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3287757/)


DAMAGE= 27

Kodos
12-04-2011, 07:28 PM
"Hitomi." She said proudly. "Wife of Hizen, Shogun of Oguchi." She may have been nobility, but she seemed to have at least as little class as Qing and Mei. "SO SHOW SOME FUCKING RESPECT!" Somehow she seemed to know where Kai was the moment he materialized, throwing her sword to the floor and grabbing him, pulling him in close. "I'm giving you all a message, that's why!" She screamed. "Fuck me, her standards have dropped. You guys are fucking amateur."

She turned to Ryo. "Are you going to behave and give up, or will I have to break your little friend here? I only need one of you alive to deliver a message, shitlick. Think carefully. I know you're probably not very good at it."

zizi
12-04-2011, 08:12 PM
"Wonderful," Kai snapped, materialising. "Your idea of 'respect' is a little broken to be frank- attacking people and then screaming at them? No wonder she never mentioned you're family; she must be ashamed."

He really wasn't having a good day.

"Actually funny thing," he continued, voice heavy with sarcasm, "I don't recall any of your kind being wed to the wonderful and not at all batshit insane Hizen. But then, it would make sense to marry a woman... like yourself, when all the... lesser ones keep dropping dead from disease." He shrugged inside her grip, "Last I heard Hizen himself is dead so I suppose that in itself explains the marriage. I can't see anyone alive wanting to be shackled to you."

"Give us the message and fuck off. You aren't here to kill us because you clearly could have done so as easy as breathe."

Kodos
12-04-2011, 08:57 PM
Hitomi smiled and turned quickly to her Oni. "Hizen, are you dead?" "No." The 'oni' rumbled. Funny, Kai didn't remember Hizen being an Oni.

"I guess that answers that." Hitomi smiled before spitting in Kai's face and pushing off him. Reaching into her barely-on kimono (and picking her sword back up from the floor), she produced a scroll and shoved it in Kai's face. "You will give this to Hoji or Sogi or whatever the fuck the filthy cunt is calling herself these days. If you don't, I will fucking tear your eyes out and piss in the sockets. Are we clear, pissant?"

Party C: Gets along with nobility.

zizi
12-04-2011, 09:05 PM
"Ah, so you're not close family. Frankly after what I've faced and beaten the idea of your lovely form pissing on any part of my body sounds just delicious," he said, wiping her spit from his face and grabbing the scroll.

Funny how threats lose their edge when you've had your mind seared in ways indescribable.

"If your husband would let go of our Druid we'll be on our way. We will give your regards to the Lady Shiranui. Lovely to meet you and your..." he glanced at the Oni, "spouse."

Kodos
12-04-2011, 09:10 PM
She smiled and shoved Kai before snapping her fingers. "Hizen, drop the Human." Hizen did as told.
"I wouldn't bother trying to read the scroll, assuming you shitheads are even literate. It's coded. But you could try, I suppose. It would probably be really cute watching the chimps try and figure it out." Hitomi laughed and adjusted her bra before heading off towards the crowds, Hizen in tow.

What the crap just happened.

zizi
12-04-2011, 09:23 PM
"Oh, Shibayama, how I have missed you and the obnoxious posturing you breed so well." Kai remarked, before moving to Shari and cradling her head in his arms. "Ryo, if you're hurt I've got potions; all three flavours. Light green is for serious wounds, blue moderate, clear light. Ignore the red, purple, black and dark green bottles. Those are neither safe nor legal." As he spoke he pulled out one of the four light green glass bottles- waving it at Ryo to demonstrate what he meant by light green- and slowly trickled the mixture into Shari's mouth.

Superdooperphailmachine
12-05-2011, 07:33 AM
"I'm fine," Ryo went and grabbed his sword before one of the poors could take it and pawn it off for a fraction of it's worth.
"What are we going to do about that message? We can't deliver it and visit the Shogun at the same time."

Regantor
12-05-2011, 08:53 PM
Shari suddenly began to cough roughly and repeatedly, twisting her head to the ground so that she could clear the fizzing potion out of her throat. Gasping at air in earnest, she then just took a quick look around before settling back into Kai's lap with an ashamed expression.

"...Sorry... I lost..." Her voice was rasping and tired, not helped much by the intense ache remaining around her left eye and the thumping in her brain. It was not really a surprise at this point that Kai had helped her, but a part of her wished that it was... She couldn't really justify that she deserved it, not after how she tried to so cheaply sell all of their honors at once. She couldn't even stay standing in a fist fight as of late. It was damn humiliating, perhaps even worse with his sympathy adding to her pathetic show of feebleness.

"...Kai... Thanks... but I kept them off you, that's good enough for karma."

Forcing herself to sit upright despite the lingering sensation of dizziness, she just shrugged again before trying to jaunt herself back into the professional mindset. "We came all this way... I don't want to fuck up again and return empty handed. Let's at least check out the basics and see if the Shogun is actually stockpiling weapons or training an army or anything..."

"...Right after we check out that scroll. Last time I delivered one of those from around here, it turned out to be a magical bomb."

zizi
12-07-2011, 03:23 PM
Kai shifted where he was sitting so he was leaning against Shari's bulk. Having her muscles at his back was comforting, and the best way he could think of to express that she never had to apologise for losing against psychotic royals.

"We were pretty obviously lured here," he said, shrugging. "I think it's slightly suspicious that her royal highness needs us as messengers just as we happen to be out in her neck of the woods, so I say we see if there's any connection between her and Shogun as well as doing what we're supposed to." He reached over and pulled the scroll from inside his bag where he'd hastily shoved it before tending to Shari. "She didn't give us a deadline or a time limit after all; the message can wait a while." He handed Shari the scroll. "Here. If you can read it, read it aloud. There's no way you mention that a message is encrypted unless you want it to be read; what's the point?"

Regantor
12-07-2011, 08:28 PM
Taking the scroll in hand, Shari darted a suspicious eye through the abounding crowds that had split apart in the brawl's wake. Probably would be a good idea not to unravel it in the open... For all they knew it was some kind of trap or contraband designed to get them in trouble with the Shogun. Paranoia was an ugly thing, but the inhuman minds they'd been facing were uglier. Nothing seemed out of the question anymore.

Righting herself with a slightly queasy stance, Shari just appreciatedly gave Kai and hand back up to his feet, and ended up just staring at him for an added pace. Why was he being so nice to her? At this point he certainly couldn't have much respect left for her fighting skill, stamina or code of honor. He made her feel so warm on the surface, but underneath that, bitter and filled with regret. The man certainly wasn't perfect, not a saint of any description; but his brief flashes of virtue seemed to just cement how much better of a creature he was at the core, despite what he had been through in the past. She almost couldn't take it. Even if it was a truly self-obsessed day dream, the implied scrutiny he carried around with him was unbearable.

Wholesale, that idea was crammed to the back of her mind for now. They had business to attend to.

Shari went into the closest convenient doorway, grunted slightly, then opened the scroll at arm's length. It did not explode... but she couldn't read it either.

"We need to pay someone to decode this." She remarked simply, showing them the unbounded strange scribbles and sighing heavily. "Shouldn't be too hard in a place like Yamaguchi, through."

zizi
12-14-2011, 07:44 PM
Kai tugged on his hair thoughtfully. "That's true. I'm just a bit concerned it could contain ah, sensitive information. I mean, it is coded... could be um. Family business or something." He shrugged. "But I do think we should at least try to read it- I'm assuming you know of someone?" He asked, uncomfortably aware of how little practical knowledge he had of the area he'd spent most of his life in. He'd grown up here and yet he was still a stranger. Even his voice was off; the rounded out accent of a well-travelled man learned from his Master instead of the lilting tones of the rural areas of the sort of where he'd been born.

Regantor
12-17-2011, 06:05 PM
"I might know someone we can intimidate, at least..." Shari responded with a sly smirk. "And I guess we can always make out that we are working for the Shogun himself if it is indeed sensitive. I don't think a lowly scribe would spread around his sensitive information in a place like this... What do you think?"

For an added pace, the cumbersome monk just regarded the group and shrugged. In a way, it was rather helpful that none of them suspected highly of her. With her slim connection to Oboro finally out in the open, some form of honesty towards them was finally within reach... It wasn't exactly a feature many of her previous allies enjoyed.

Kodos
12-18-2011, 01:26 AM
Warping things ahead a bit because I don't want this lagging any more. If you assume anything important happened that night, just include post-facto mention of it in your post. Tired, so apologies if post is a bit shit.

It wasn't that hard to find a codebreaker in Yamaguchi, and the one the group found seemed trustworthy enough - she'd been in business a long time, presumably long enough to realise it's best for business if she actually doesn't read more than she has to do crack the cipher.

Settling down at what seemed like the safest inn and sleeping in shifts, the group managed to make it through the night without getting raped, murdered, or other molested any more than they already had been between the petty thieves and Hitomi's little... whatever that whole debacle was.

The next day the group made their way back to the codebreaker and got their results. She explained that the code was extremely simple and amatuerish and that honestly she wasn't sure why they were wasting her time with such simple fare. She'd claimed not to have read the actual letter, and simply handed the group a paper containing the cipher Hitomi had used.



It's been a while, hasn't it, Sogi? Or should I say Hoji? Or Kushi? Or Clever Fox? You've always had so many names, and I've honestly not been interested enough to keep up. I'm still just Hitomi, but you can call me whatever you'd like, sexy <3 Me and the girls have been fine, thanks for writing and keeping in touch these past few centuries. Oh, wait, you didn't! You went boring and then you stole our fun too!
But all of that's in the past, right Sogi? I'm not bitter or angry anymore. See, I got an idea! A great idea! It came to me one night, almost as if in a dream. I got some of the girls together, see (despite your efforts, we're still around, love), and I decided we'd have a little family reunion. That's right! You were always so fucking smart - as you always liked to point out - so I'm sure I don't need to spell things out for you. I was never very good at spelling, either, as you liked to point out.
Oh! Not only is there a family reunion in Oguchi coming, but guess what?! They made me empress! Well, I married the shogun, but it's the same fucking shit. I had to put some work into getting the marriage, but it was worth it. Besides, Sogi, I used one of your own techniques, only with a bit of my own, ah modifications.
I've lured some of your little lovers to Yamaguchi so I could deliver them this letter for me. They were very sloppy, and it wasn't that hard to find them or track them. Your underlings these days are pretty crappy, Sogi. I suggest you get new ones. Maybe make some? That worked out pretty fucking great last time, right? Fucking slut!
Hugs and kisses you boring, miserable, cunt <3
~Hitomi

PS: I really hope you make it to the reunion. I'm sure she's just dying to see you. Ahaha, maybe that's a poor choice of words? <3
The rest of the multi-page note consisted of complex writings which the codebreaker said were not within her ability to decode because they were, rather than simple code, complex arcane formula. She said you'd need to find yourselves an arcanist to handle that, and judging by the length of it, a damn good one.

WHAT DO.

Knowledge History check for Clever Fox and Kushi.

Regantor
12-19-2011, 09:05 PM
Shari went through the letter first, was took on a vast expression of disappointment and apathy, then handed it along the line.

"For such a thick broad, that was a hell of a complex plan. Leading us here just for something so stupid..." The monk just shrugged, then went over the new information again in her mind. Not having to piss off the shogun was a good thing, but the implication that they'd be seeing Hitomi again was a terrible new concept altogether. "...How did we even end up with so many demented sluts for enemies?..."

Dammit, Master, just how many messed-up relationships have you been involved in over the years?... Shari brooded, instantly knowing exactly who the bitch was talking about, but keeping it to herself. There really was so much in Rin's past that the monk had never dared to question, but the more they began to peel at the edges of it as of late, the more that their leader's good ideals began to smell like hypocrisy.

zizi
12-19-2011, 10:28 PM
Kai read the letter, getting increasingly more pale as he did so. "This... isn't good." He grimaced at the gross understatement and pulled at his hair. "I don't know that we should bother with an arcarnist; I'd assume our lady is more than capable of understanding it, and even if she isn't she certainly knows those that are. Besides, she needs to read this as soon as we can get it to her."

He looked at Shari and tried to smile, "It's our talent; at last count we've managed to get in the way of three countries, one evil cult, one or two groups of abominations, along with a vast string of royalty and other stray individuals. We just lose friends and alienate people everywhere we go. Sort of ironic, considering who we work for."

His half smile faded as he considered the letter again. "This isn't stupid, though." Kai thought of the 'fun' Rin had stolen, how she'd become 'boring'. "It's a threat."

Regantor
12-20-2011, 08:34 PM
"The fact that the code was so amatuerish suggests that she wanted us to break it, too. Damn, am I tired of getting run around..." Shari just nodded in agreement with Kai, crossing her arms and closing her eyes broodingly, like she often did. "Yeah, we should probally just return to our master at this rate. Even if this wasn't a complete waste of time, something tells me that we are getting close to overstaying our welcome here."

There wasn't any sence of nostalgia or 'leaving home again', Shari had no love of this place. Even when she lived here, she was constantly getting drunk just to deal with the prediciment. This time it was even worse, in a way; She'd managed to feel emmotionally let down by two idols in one day.

"Let's just get out of here, before I finally loose control and put some of these shitheads out..." It was a vicious, spitefull bark, filled with all kinds of resentment brooding to the surface at once. "Whole damn place is a bad omen."

Kodos
12-27-2011, 06:02 PM
For better or for worse, the trip back to Kusanagi from the groups cut-short vacation was far more uneventful than the 'vacation' itself.

***

As always, the motley crew's arrival at the palace was not a source of alarm or surprise, it seemed the guards were expecting them, somehow. In fairness, though, given Rin's habits, one imagined that strange groups of people showing up the palace was probably not that uncommon, all things considered.

As was often the case, as well, Rin met with the group in one of the rooms of the palace's harem, a lavishly furnished room heavy with the smell of incense and with Rin, half-naked in her 'clothes' as usual, greeting the group with entirely too intimate hugs, kisses, and copped feels.

"My but you're back early, lovelies. What's up? Couldn't resist me, that's it, right?" Rin laughed as she sat down and pulled Kai down besides her, resting her head on his shoulder and biting gently as his ear for a moment before continuing. "All at once, or are you planning to take turns?" Rin laughed as she draped her arms about Kai and did her best to rub as much of her ample Rinness against him, smiling at the rest of the group.

"Did you meet Akemi?" Rin asked. "Did you fuck her? Because she's wonderful. Like, seriously. But you're all wonderful too! You could be wonderful together!" Rin giggled to herself and pushed off of Kai and sat up semi-straight on her cushion. "I've been drinking, because one of my Hideki's alchemists just made this thing with dwarven ale and other stuff and I dunno what it is but it's fantastic and I think it burned a hole in one of the carpets but whatever."

Oh, Rin.

zizi
12-27-2011, 06:07 PM
"Rin, you look as foxy as ever." Kai smiled, then added, "One of your relatives- Hitomi- sends her regards. She lured us to Yamaguchi to get us to deliver this to you," he handed over the scroll.

"I think it's time we were all a sight more open with one another, don't you?"

Kodos
12-27-2011, 06:15 PM
Rin looked confused for a moment. "Hitomi?" Then she read the letter. "Oh, Hitomi. Oh." Rin looked like she might cry. Or throw up.
She didn't respond to Kai, either. She just sat there, dropped the scroll, and continued to look unwell, although somehow incredibly gorgeous at the same time.
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."

zizi
12-27-2011, 06:55 PM
"Rin," Kai said softly, and put his arm around her. "I think the others deserve to know what's going on. You're... you're not that person anymore, but your past doesn't cease to exist just because you change. And right now it... it's threatening us all."

Kodos
12-27-2011, 08:00 PM
"This would be so much easier if I had my Yuanjun here with me."

Rin sniffled and sighed. "Well, lovelies. I've hidden some things from you all. Partly for my own concerns, primarily for your wellbeing." She gave Kai a sad little smile and took his hand in hers and squeezed it. "I'm a bit older than 24. More like... nine-thousand or so."

"There was... a war. A long time ago. Unlike anything before, or since. Unlike anything you can ever imagine. I was not there, but I remember it. Sometimes, when I sleep, I still can hear it. See it. Smell it. A war between the Illithids and, well, everyone else, for the sake of all existence. The multiverse burned. Gods died. Everything fell apart. But we won. Civilization needed to be rebuilt from scratch in most places, like here, but we won. We won."

"Here, in Asul, a god died, murdered by the obscenities. Gods are, well, we're not supposed to die, lovelies. Divinity, it's, it's well, it's a Thing, alright? And while most things around the murdered god died, some things, by luck or whatever - I don't know - survived. And a little fox, scared, confused, and so very hungry, ate the only thing that seemed to still have flesh nearby." Rin gave a nervous little smile.

"I'm not the dead god, but I have its memories, some of them. It's fuzzy, indistinct, dreamlike. It's hard to explain. But, you know, the stories? They're true. I'm the most beautiful woman in the world." Rin laughed, it was like music. "I mean, like, literally. Honestly. It's not an opinion thing. If you disagree you're just wrong. I am what I am, in that regard. Divinity, it's a hell of a thing."

"I'm not Sogi Shiranui, regardless of what that rancid cunt told you. I was, though. A long time ago. Da Ji, too. And Pao Su. And Kicho Shogoro, and Yu-Lian, and Hoji, and all the rest. But, you know, I was also Kushi, and Ying-Hu, and Clever Fox, and others, too."

"I was Sogi, but I changed. The Wizards are right, you know. The Gods? They need you. Your belief sustains and drives them. I'm, I'm different. I don't need it, not to live, but I do need it. Crave it. And you know, Orochi, and the Demon Lords? They were on to something. Fear is a form of worship, a powerful, intoxicating, and easy to get form of worship. Despair, too. It's, well, it's hard to explain to you. You are not what I am, my sexy little beloveds. It's like trying to describe color to a blind man using pictographs."

"I did things. Horrible things. For a long time." Rin looked like she might cry. "A very long time." She squeezed Kai's hand. "I've probably racked up a bigger body-count than Therion. But, that was the past. That was then. That was Sogi. That's not me. Not anymore. That's not who I am anymore. Each day is a new day, and we are, lovelies, who we choose to be. I've learned. I've grown. I've fallen in love a few times, and oh, Gods, what a wonderful thing that is." Her face seemed to light up on that note.

"I've my own agendas, I won't lie. But I'm trying to help. And not just, you know, to make up. The past is the past. I help because I want to, I care because I choose to. I am who I choose to be. I was Sogi Shiranui, and Da Ji, but now I'm Rin Shiranui, and I choose to give a fuck for a change."

"I know it's a lot to take in, and I know I'm asking for your trust. And I know how hard it is. Honestly, I know. I'm not just, well, whatever I am. Divine, and mortal. I still remember, you know, what it was like. Tiny, scared, confused, and shivering. Even when I was young, and vile, I took care of foxes, because even then I understood - if I didn't look out for the little ones, then who would? I knew how horrible it was to be alone and hungry."

Rin gave a lovely smile and laughed softly. "I could go on about dualities and more stuff, about divine/mortal, and fox/human, and animal/person, but that' silly, and totally beyond the point. I am who I choose to be, same as anyone else. I've hidden things from you, maybe lied a few times, but never about the important things, the things that matter. I love you all, and I mean that, and if you can't find it in your hearts to forgive me, then that's fine, you don't have to worry, I won't have Chiyo kill your all or anything, but I imagine you'll feel really dumb when you wake up tomorrow and realized you missed the chance to be friends with a sex goddess who's absolutely willing to fuck your brains out."

Oh, Rin.

zizi
12-27-2011, 08:22 PM
Kai looked awkwardly at the others, unable to look at Shari at all. "Yeah, I knew about this before. Rin told me. I... it wasn't my secret to tell. But I'm glad we're all on the same page now." He squeezed Rin's hand, "well, almost. You never mentioned homicidal relatives, Rin."

Regantor
12-27-2011, 08:31 PM
Shari just stood over the scene, silent, foreboding. Brooding with the kind of sickened daydreams that a war veteran could not shake, just as much as a commoner could not concieve. She wondered how short-sighted and simple they must all seem to such a creature as their master...

Of course, she already knew it all herself. Rin's inhumanity was both what made her follow the woman in the first place, through her traditional upbringing and rigid code of honour didn't allow her to question the exact hows and whys. Power... that was enough. Or at least it was.

Maybe it was the ultimate irony that Kai's attempts at humanising Shari was what had most alerted her to Rin's failings. Those nerosis. That passive hand which refused to become directly involved. At least Oboro was presumably mortal...

An ache under her skin. Shari closed her eyes and brought her hand up to the scar transversing her face, then let out a deep shrug and turned to face the courtyard. She had been feeling like that alot lately. An advanced form of apathy.

"...As always, master, you can kill me, cut me in half, destroy this servant utterly with your slightest movement. I remember it well." She slowly turned her head to face Rin again, alrough voice now utterly lacking the eagerness to please that it usually had. "...But... I never questioned why before. Why you would posses this power and yet never use it... Could it be that's really all we are to you?... Gross little simple-minded chimps?... Objects of which to collect worship from?... Or, maybe just toys?"

Kodos
01-02-2012, 10:54 PM
Rin glared at Shari. "You're a gross simple-minded chimp, yes. I keep you around because I believe in forgiveness, that if I could turn my act around, someone like you could too. You seem devoted to trying to prove me wrong, though, Shari, and I don't know if I should admire you for that, or hate you for the selfish, obstinate, stupid little cretin you are."

"I just said I care, you miserable cunt." She growled. "Were you even fucking paying attention?"

Regantor
01-02-2012, 11:41 PM
Shari just glanced back at Rin, without structure, without respect. The cold hearted thug that the woman once was had clearly melted away, now regarded her master with a new notion that needed to be constructed from the ground up... the abbility to be honest. The idea of blantantly telling Rin about her recent betrayal attempt crossed her mind, even, but knowing what the godesses' true capabilities are, it could have come across a little like patronisation.

"It wouldn't have been so bad to die at the time. I might have begged for my life, but we both knew what would have been for the best." The crude thing went ahead and smirked, bathing in her own despicable nature. The creature sitting oppisate was much less honest than she could ever be, so allowing herself this leeway didn't seem so bad. "...and now... and now, you care but I'm being beaten half to death protecting them. This ugly little mortal? That's hilarious... better even, when you think of the fact I've actually started trying to protect their interests myself..."

Her mind became clouded. Her stomach was generally a refinery of hate, but still all she felt was blank apathy. That noxious attraction was unforgiveable. That time Rin had pushed her attentions away in favour of Yaunjun's, that was irredeemable too.

She gave a quick glance to the others, and their expressions brought forward a sad realisation indeed. As intertwined as her feelings of respect and affection were, as broken as she was as a person, Shari probally was the only one that really did love Rin at one point.

Kodos
01-03-2012, 12:13 AM
"I was Kushi you ungrateful cunt." Rin said coldly. "I fucking killed a goddamn Aspect of Orochi, I -" Rin cut herself off and just glared at Shari. "Get out."

Regantor
01-03-2012, 08:13 PM
Shari didn't say anything in response, she just slowly clambered out of the room and began to walk aimlessly out of the palace.

Getting one up on Rin did not feel as good as she had expected. Not even a repressed emotion, just nothing. More apathy.

Was this what it felt like to hate your own god? The monk's viewpoint had certainly been different from the others, they had not seen her raw power from the very start. Love-come-worship had bloomed instantly, and for a killer like Shari, it was like travelling to another dimension. Could she even have felt such affection for Kai, if Rin had not passively taught her the emotion first?... Was the reason why Rin both despised her so much, but also refused to kill her, a feature of their similarly savage, self-indulgent pasts? Did the monk herself start hating her master for the exact same reason?

"Now, if I had been such a pretty little fox..."

It was a cruel daydream.

zizi
01-12-2012, 02:48 AM
Kai stood, pulling his hand free from Rin's. "I don't believe that who were were says anything about who we are, Rin, I never have. We are all fucked up and messed up and darkness stains even the brightest of us.

You called me a good man, a clever man; I am neither. I'm a man who has done very bad things and who will spend a lifetime trying to make up for them. There aren't good people and bad people. There are just those of us who try to not do too much bad, and even a few who try to do good. I didn't wake up one morning and feel remorse for the lives I'd cut short, realise I was steeped in evil, see the error of my ways and suddenly… suddenly change.

I was weak. I slaughtered… and I marvelled at the power I had…I- luxuriated in it. I would have drowned in my own twisted pride if I hadn't… if Mio hadn't brought me back. Shielded me from the absolute worst. She… she was always stronger than me, in all the ways there is to be stronger than a person.

Did you have anyone to help you become a better person, Rin? Anyone to be better for? How long did it take Sogi, Da Ji, all of them… to become Rin?

Shari is not the monster she was. She feels guilt, Rin. Guilt, and remorse, and... and... even love. And I understand hating her… mere mortal that I am, I fear I understand hating her better than anyone else in this room. I understand wanting to- gods, I understand wanting her stain to leave the earth. But I don't... since meeting you I don't… I don't think that any person's past makes them irredeemable.

She wants to change, Rin.

I need you to understand Rin, that I trust you. I care for you- in some twisted way sometimes the word love comes to mind- not… in the way it is usually understood, but stronger than platonic implies. And I am standing up and leaving not because I don't love you. But because I do love her."

He shrugged. "I'm her karma."

Kodos
01-15-2012, 12:03 AM
Rin gave a sad smile, tears in her eyes. "I had people. I remember them, and I miss them, and I carry them with me. I still have people to help me. People like you, and my beloved Yuanjun."

Rin sighed. "I know. I'm sorry." She pulled her legs in close and wrapped her arms about them, resting her chin on her knees. "I... I really don't think I can do this right now. I'm... I'm sorry, Kai, Haru, Ryo. I think I need to be alone with my Yuanjun. Can we continue this tomorrow, please?"

"Tell Shari I'm sorry."

zizi
01-16-2012, 10:36 AM
Kai nodded, then knelt. "Hey," he said soothingly, wrapping an arm around her shoulders and squeezing her gently. "You're just a god, Rin. You're not perfect." He kissed her temple. "A person who never makes mistakes is a person who never learns anything. I'll see you tomorrow." He stood and moved to the door. "As will Shari."

He left the palace almost at a jog, his own words echoing in his ears and causing his heart to race. Because I do love her. Until they'd left his mouth he hadn't been certain. Seeing her up ahead, he allowed himself to slow. "Shari," he called, "wait." As he reached her he touched her shoulder, trying to get her to turn and face him.

Regantor
01-17-2012, 02:46 PM
Despite it being noon, the day had come to a false start, with the sun just barely eeking out a ray through the thick overbearing mists. It would have been cold if not for the penetrating humidity, so it instead just settled on the barren dirty warmth typical of the rainy season.

Shari couldn't bring herself to think about anything in particular. All the promises she'd ever made had been more or less broken. Rin would never know this kind of hopelessness, but love had fooled the stoic monk into thinking she might have shared a portion of it... Kami, it was pathetic in hindsight. Like the love between a dog and it's owner.

She probably hurt Kai too, acting so self serving. This distance she had placed between them was more than a little intentional, her standard cold demeanour attempting to hide the facts. To re-bury the pain she had caused him before the two had even met.

"...Shari... wait..." A hand on her shoulder. She reacted quickly, grasping the wrist with force, but it soon melted away when she added up who it belonged to. Kai had followed her?

For a moment, she just stood and stared down at him blankly, stone-faced barriers completely in effect. Her torso didn't even change direction. The phrase "You probably think I'm a bitch." Came to mind, but she stopped herself. Clearly he didn't, if he came after her...

"...I can't apologise for everything forever." She spoke after a pause, through an implied guilt made her break eye contact and gaze down at the dirt instead. "...It's... It's not in human nature. I can't be a dog anymore. All I can say is that I have done horrible things to Rin, the others... you, Mister Kai..."

She was still holding his hand to her shoulder, but her face continued to turn until she was looking in completely the opposite direction, at the buildings adjacent.

"...Even... Even if you hate me, I can't take it back. What the fuck is the point in being nice about it all? Nobody really forgives. Nobody really forgets."

zizi
01-17-2012, 06:31 PM
"Shari... Rin was wrong. She owes you an apology." He stepped closer, his free hand hesitantly coming up to cradle her waist. "You don't have to be nice about it, or apologetic for being angry. You we're right... and your anger is understandable; hatred, even. Her hypocrisy is staggering."

"Forgiveness... that's something I don't know if you'll ever attain. If any of us will. But we can atone, and be better people for it. Move on from the blood that stains our pasts. Stop apologising."

Regantor
01-17-2012, 07:59 PM
As much as she wanted to continue being angry, Kai's hands seem to absorb the woman's fury, putting her at relative ease. Revolving her body within his grasp, Shari silently just clung to his form and allowed herself to indulge in the warmth of another for once.

"...For all my own stupidity and weakness I can hardly call her a hypocrite..." When she spoke again, her voice was hushed, jaded. "Please don't get me wrong, that was never my intention. It's just... just..."

Her head buried itself in Kai's shoulder, and her hands rediscovered the roadmap of the rippling muscles and scars upon his back. "I'm scared, Kai. I don't know how to live my life anymore. I tried to break you off and live pragmatically, so I could utterly make up for my shitty, childish way of doing things, but... It wasn't any good. You have every reason to despise me in the first place, aswell... so..."

Both arms seized up and became solid now, holding back the urge to squeeze out her withheld feelings. "...I'm crushed by the idea that I can only make your wounds worse while you clean mine... What could I be to you that's so important?"

zizi
01-25-2012, 08:01 PM
"I..." He paused, then laughed softly, all the tension draining out of his body. "You make me feel good, Shari. Being around you, being with you. It... feels good. I can be honestly myself. I don't have to pretend- well, anything. You understand that, me, more than anyone else." he shrugged and pulled her closer. "Even if it doesn't really mean anything, I want to feel good. It's scary as hell. But I... well, somewhere along the line I fell in love with you, Shari Tsunzaku." He stroked her hair, and half smiled. "I suspect it started when you punched me for being a self pitying wanker."

Regantor
01-25-2012, 10:32 PM
"... fell in wi-.... me?..." Shari's hands coiled and raw emmotion flooded into her voice.

Betraying your master was a feeling that could never be shaken. That weight remained. But now there were embers in the furnace again, a feeling to follow, and a reason not to die in quite such a hurry. She could have cried, but far be it for the hardbitten monk to actually understand why.

Her hands sought the sides of his face, then she brought her lips to his for a prolonged kiss.

"...I... I think when we first met... I recognised the look of a man who had learnt to ask for nothing." She spoke softly into his ear again, tone bearing just a hint of wild, haphazardly controlled sweetness. "...and then... you went and made me human. It's inexplicable. I have no idea how it happened.... If you really want me... then I can't do anything but stay here and ease your wounds, really. You've become... well, my bearing."

"I knew we said no more appologies, but..." She laughed. It was just a short outburst, but it wasn't maniacal. It did not have a cruel edge. The towering woman just laughed like she hadn't a care left in the world. "...I'm sorry in advance, if that bearing makes me sock you one again sometime."

zizi
02-05-2012, 12:34 AM
Kai smiled. "Trust me, I aim to do everything I can to ensure that's one experience I never have to share with you again."

Bringing her closer, he murmured, "there are others I think could bear repeating though," and kissed her.

Kodos
02-10-2012, 02:45 AM
The next day the group once again made their way to the palace. Hopefully Rin would be feeling better

***

This time Rin hadn't decided to meet the group in the harems. I mean, well, in fairness, what kind of weirdo carries out important conversations in a harem?! That's just silly.

Instead she met the group in one of the palace's hotspring baths. Literally. Rin. Naked. In a hotspring. Oh gods, focus, focus.

Yuan was with her, too, in the hotspring. She was also naked, although in fairness, that wasn't much less clothing then the gorgeous Monk usually wore. Also, in fairness, the odds of anyone noticing Yuanjun, however sexy she was, when she was standing beside, (well, more like against, as Rin and Yuan were busy sucking face up until a few seconds after the group arrived) a literal sex goddess were pretty slim.

Guess Rin was feeling better.

"Hello lovelies!" she beamed, walking over to the edge of the spring and smiling up at the group and waving. She could have blinded them with her beauty, if she so chose, and all things considered, it probably would have been easier to focus. "You should come in, the water's nice and warm, and Yuanjun and me are in it, so it's hot too." Cue the musical laughter. Rin then smiled softly up at Shari. "I'm sorry, babe. I was emotional yesterday, and I let it cloud my judgment. Forgive me?"

Oh, Rin.

Regantor
02-10-2012, 10:28 AM
"Please, no apology necessary. You're still my master." Shari replied dismissively, through the events of yesterday did play on her nerves. Wearing little more than a towel infront of a sex goddess tends to make one come across as meek, also. "Everything that needed to be said has been said, and I'm still alive. That's alot better than I could have asked for from some of my older commanders."

Making a sort of sheepish grin, it seemed almost as if that last bit was supposed to be a rather grim compliment. Her arms sought Kai's company, like they had enjoyed for the most part of last night, but clinging onto him for confidence probably would have looked a little childish here and now. Instead, Shari removed her towel and entered the hot baths herself, but sat on the opposite side from Rin, with her head lowered humbly. "Rest assured, my faith in you was never so blind."

zizi
02-11-2012, 03:46 AM
Kai was uncomfortable. He was surrounded by hot, wet, naked women and a great deal more exposed than he was used to. Pulling his robe tighter around him and unsure where to look, he instead gazed at his feet.

It became quickly evident he was utterly unable to form a coherent sentence when suddenly confronted with naked anybody, let alone a naked sex goddess and her beloved. There simply was no etiquette guide as to what to do here. Realising this, Kai simply turned his back on them and played with the foxes who gambolled around the private courtyard.

"It's good to uh, s-see you looking so... well," Kai risked a glance over his shoulder, "after yesterday. It seemed you had a very uhm, nasty shock."

Alexander_Hamilton
02-26-2012, 08:01 PM
Haru stared at the steaming baths, and wondered at the love civilized people had for submerging themselves in hot water so regularly, especially when the weather was warm. He loosened his robe and idly fanned at his face, as much from Rin's presence as the heat.

Rin... His opinion of her had dropped drastically since their previous meeting. Whatever sins his companions committed, they were mortal ones, and incomparable to those committed on the scale a god could. Even if her intentions were good, putting anything close to genuine trust in her would be unwise. Not that he had much chance of hiding anything from a goddess.

"Greetings, Rin," Haru said, in his usual neutral tone. The tips of his hair were beginning to frizz.

Kodos
02-28-2012, 09:30 PM
Not too happy with this, but I want to keep things moving. POST WINDY.

"So... about that Hitomi thing."

Rin sighed heavily and pulled Yuanjun's arms around her waist from behind. "I'm sorry. This, this still isn't easy for me."

"It's my fault. All of it. Hitomi. The plague in Oguchi. Everything." Rin was clearly trying not to cry. "Back when I was wretched, when I went by a different name, before the Great Blight, I made for myself servants. The myths and legends about the Bakeneko are kind of true, and my fault. I made them, and I bear the blame."

"Hitomi was - is - one of them. The arcane writing on that scroll she gave you was a spell, well part of one. I recognize it, because it's my own work. It's part of the formula for the magical plague that Sogi" Rin paused and took a deep breath, crying quietly now "- that I unleashed. She modified it, though. The fucking bitch changed it. Made it into something even more grotesque. The plague in Oguchi." Rin looked away.

"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." She turned around, now, and embraced Yuan, crying openly.

Knowledge: Local for Bakeneko knowledge.

Superdooperphailmachine
03-14-2012, 02:00 PM
Ryo didn't get in the bath, because he is awful.
"Can't you fix the plauge?"

Kodos
03-31-2012, 11:51 PM
Until Windy gets back I guess I'm stuck roleplaying Thunder-Thighs. ASSUMING DIRECT CONTROL
Not my best post, but I want this moving.

Yuan straightened Rin up, gently, and hugged her back, planting a gentle kiss on her lips before shooting Ryo a Look over Rin's shoulder. Rin gave a sad little laugh, kissed Yuan back (naturally with much more intensity) and took a deep breath before turning back to face the group. Yuan kept her arms about Rin's waist, and occasionally gave her reassuring kisses about the neck, or nips on the ear. It was kind of off-putting seeing Yuan's softer side. Although somehow it seemed unsurprising that the only person apparently able to make Yuanjun not behave like an arrogant bitch was a literal sex-goddess.

"Of course I can cure the plague, but it won't bring them back." Rin said heavily.

"Anyway... Hitomi. She's powerful, and ancient, and beautiful but this... this isn't like her. This is too, well too clever. She was always a stupid, brutal, thuggish little gutterwhore, and I... I don't know." Rin shook her head. "This seems too clever for her. Hitomi's solution to problems is to punch things until they stop being problems, not to concoct elaborate schemes involving plague... and more..."

"I think she's planning to resurrect Otoyo. The first Bakeneko I - Sogi - made. More of a Demon in both the literal and metaphorical sense than her progeny. I don't know who else she could mean when she talks about a reunion... but still.. I don't get it..."

She started kissing at Yuan's fingers, crying again and looking away. "This is all my fault. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."

Alexander_Hamilton
04-01-2012, 06:31 PM
"It is all right," said Haru softly. "We mustn't dwell in the past when the present demands our attention."

"Do you know who else might wish to resurrect Otoyo? By what process would she be resurrected? The usual means?"

Kodos
04-01-2012, 06:54 PM
Rin shook her head. "No. A few elder Dragons, my family, the Bakeneko, and a handful of others are all who would even know of her. Doesn't make sense." She took a few deep breaths, collecting herself, before sighing. She wasn't crying anymore at least. "I think you need to go to Oguchi for me. Get to the bottom of this. And deal with Hitomi." Rin practically growled the last sentence. "Shari. Make her hurt."

She sighed again, shaking a bit. "If there's nothing else. Talk to Rei. She'll fill you in more. Chiyo can maybe help too." Rin went back to kissing and sucking on Yuanjun's fingers, trying not to cry any more.

Regantor
04-01-2012, 07:49 PM
Shari simply remained silent and blank faced, keeping a reasonable distance from her master. The vindictiveness of the comment aimed at the monk in specific did suprise her a little, but that might have only been because forgiving and forgetting was the entire reason why Shari was still around today. Kai had certainly taught her the value of a fresh start.

"Please don't use lanuage like that, my lady." She spoke with a calm, stern tone, quite nearly in a meditative pose beneath the spring's surface. Apparently her old habit of trying to tutor her master hadn't quite deserted her yet, but at least this time it was apparently well meaning. "This... person... is still choosing to be foul of heart, and if I can, I'll put them in their place... proportionately."

Alexander_Hamilton
04-01-2012, 08:18 PM
Shari advocating restraint to Rin. How things had changed. Druidic calmness and restraint or not, it was hard for him to imagine how a woman like Rin could ever allow herself to pass judgement on anyone. Anything besides the utmost mercy and sympathy from a being with her history was hard to justify. But life didn't run according to principles of fairness or justice.

"We will use the amount of force necessary to complete our mission, if it is necessary," he said in a diplomatic tone.

zizi
04-07-2012, 07:28 PM
Kai smiled to himself, scratching a fox behind the ears. Shari advocating temperance. He was indescribably proud of her. "From your description, Rin" Kai said carefully, moving the conversation on, "Hitomi is not the real force behind all this. No idea who that could be? Who the "girls" are?"

Kodos
04-07-2012, 07:34 PM
Rin shrugged. "The other Bakeneko, probably. Hitomi was good at hitting people until they listened."

zizi
04-08-2012, 10:18 AM
Kai sighed. "Well, we're doing so well with international conspiracies and unimaginable horrors so far, what's one more. We'll talk to Rei, and Chiyo if she can get past her disdain for us mere mortals long enough to impart anything that may be of use in keeping us alive."

Kodos
04-11-2012, 04:27 PM
Rei (http://i.imgur.com/U4Vha.jpg) was every bit as superhumanly gorgeous as the group had come to expect and understand as the norm for a Kitsune.

As one of the Emperor's onmyoji, she met with the group in one of the palace's shrines to the Kami. It was a smallish shrine with a large statue depicting some manner of forest kami and numerous incense burners. The cramped space was made even more cramped by the fact that Rei was apparently no more organized than her ancestor and goddess, and scrolls, ofuda, cushions, and pillows littered the room. Foxes, too, were abundant in the shrine, and they immediately took a liking to Haru as the group entered.

"Rikuto!" Rei beamed, giving Ryo a big hug and doing her best to smother him between her breasts. She proceeded to similarly greet the rest of the group similarly, although unlike Rin, she at least didn't feel the need to kiss them or cop a feel. Also, unlike Rin, she wasn't very good at remembering names. But all those mortals looked alike! All cute and sexy even if they only live, like, not even a century.

Shoving aside a large pile of scrolls, books, and ofuda, and shooing away some of the foxes, Rei offered the group seats on some cushions before sitting down herself. "So, like, I guess you're here about the whole Hitomi thing, huh?" She asked. "Bad business, that. Oh well, I guess it can't be helped." She gave a shrug and a smile.

"What can I do to help you?" She smiled and give Kai a flirty wink. "You must be... umm... Kenji, right? Rin said you were cute." Rei giggled before doing her best attempt at being serious (it wasn't very good) and straightening up. "Okay, so seriously, like, how can I help?"

On the plus side, she wasn't cranky and mean like Chiyo. On the downside, she didn't quite seem like the sharpest sword in the armory.

zizi
04-11-2012, 05:56 PM
"Kai. Um, Rin said you might have some information about Hitomi?" Kai was tired of having his personal space constantly invaded and constantly being touched without so much as a thought given to whether or not he wanted to be. Eyeing Rei cautiously he moved closer to Shari. If she felt anything about being a human shield, she hadn't said anything yet. "Or Otoyo, or the Bakeneko or uhm. Something?"

Kodos
04-11-2012, 09:07 PM
Rei gave Kai an understanding smile before going on. "Well, uh... can you be, like, more specific?" Another giggle.

"Uhhh... um, well, I'm not sure what there is to tell that Rin didn't already mention." She began to twirl some of her long black hair around one finger. "Like, it was a very long time ago. She was a different person then, and so was I. For one thing, I was a lot younger back then, Chiyo too. Like, we weren't quite Rin's oldest yet, but those who were weren't, like, that much older. Sogi wanted her minions, so she made some more. Otoyo was the first, but she wasn't like the last." She picked up a fox and handed it over to Kai with a smile.

"Like, so, Otoyo was first, right? She was a bit closer to Outsider than mortal. It's hard to explain, loves. But bringing her back from the Abyss wouldn't be easy. Like, uh, you'd probably need some pretty damn good priests, and a pretty big sacrifice. I mean, like, real damn big sacrifice."

She shrugged. "Like, a war. Or, like a famine. Or maybe a plague?"

"Oh."

zizi
04-15-2012, 07:53 PM
"Fantastic." Kai pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed, "Ok. What can you tell us about what Otoyo will be like if she has been successfully brought back?"

Kodos
04-19-2012, 09:44 PM
"Like, I think if Otoyo was back there would, like, be more things about the city on fire." Rei shrugged. "Don't let things, like, get that far is my advice." Another shrug.

"She was a real piece of work, like, back then. I, uh, doubt that her stay in the Abyss has, like, mellowed her any."

zizi
04-25-2012, 05:34 PM
Kai stared at her for a second, unsure if she was mocking him. "Um. Yes, I. That seems a fair, uh, assessment." He glanced around at the others, hoping they had something to say. Not for the first time, Kai regretted only bothering to crack open "Demons and Other Things That Want To Kill You and/or Fuck Your Corpse" to check on things certain targets had guarding them. "Can you think of anything that could help us when up against Hitomi? I'd specify, but well, then I'd have to know what I'm talking about."

Regantor
04-26-2012, 09:00 PM
Shari consciously enjoyed abusing her height and girth so that Rei couldn't quite wrap herself around her like she did with the others, alrough this did cause her to let out an amused smile. It retracted immediately. Geeze, don't want to give her the wrong idea... Kai was strafing her, too, so she put a hand on his shoulder just to make any more hugging attempts rather more awkward. Zoning and blocking could be applied to avoiding affection pretty well, it turns out.

Most of what Rei had to say was just met with a shrug, particularly the things about Otoyo. All the weighty monk could really think about was that spark of recognition she had when they had encountered Hitomi. Only now did she realise it was probably the inhuman slut's resemblance to Rin.

"...The assassins... Hitomi... Even the fact that Oboro avoided me like the plague after we first met..." Shari's hoarse voice suddenly sounded up, with a grim tone. "We need to face the fact that there is something we are not seeing here. Too many enemies seem to turn up on our doorstep... or, we get 'lucky', like Chiyo leading us right into to that mind flayer's den..."

"Rei, with all due respect, we need to know about Rin's enemies... Her old enemies... If not Hitomi, then the kind that could actually organise something like this."

Kodos
04-26-2012, 10:17 PM
"Well, like, I mean, I can't imagine there are very many people alive in Izumo who, like, haven't had an ancestor who was fucked over by, uh, one of us." She gave a sad look and a shrug. "I'm, uh, pretty sure that, like, Chiyo had no idea that Illithid was there. Um... because... uh... well... the thing is... uh... like, well, Chiyo kind of thinks you're all, like, um... really stupid?" She gave a nervous little laugh and shrugged again.

"That's, like, why Rin's sending you to Oguchi, loves. She, like, wants to know what's going, and stuff." She smiled sympathetically. "And, uh, about the Obscenities. They can, like, read your mind in plenty of ways that, uh, don't involve eating them. So, like, ignorance is kind of your best defense here, you know? But I'm, like, pretty sure this isn't them. There's, like, nothing they could gain from it. And, like, I think Chiyo was looking into the, uh, assassins thing with Qin and Ming."

She gave another shrug and gave Ryo a flirty wink.

Regantor
04-27-2012, 09:19 PM
Shari shrugged deeply. She would have liked to ask what Rei knew about Qing and Mei, but the monk knew it was probally better to just deal with one enemy at once at this point. -And yet, it still felt like they were about to walk into to Oguchi completely blind, again. Couldn't anyone tell them a single damn usefull thing?

"...Ignorance is our best defence?..." The repeated words were cold and spiteful. "Look, I don't mean to be rude, but all we have learned here is what someone is apparently using Hitomi as a pawn for... I knew she was a demon-thing after a short, unskilled, skinny woman kicked my ass. Is there anything you can tell us which might, I don't know, result in slightly less of us being mauled to death in the future? What kind of powers the Bakeneko have? What kind of tactics they might use? How many of them are there? If they are organised or not? If it's not too much to ask..."

zizi
04-27-2012, 11:35 PM
Kai glanced at Shari, unable to hide his irritation. Rei seemed sweet, but he was long past exasperated with cryptic and non- answers.

"Rei, about the Obscenities?" he said, not unkindly, "one nearly scooped out our brains and made us kill each other because we were ignorant." He shrugged, "Ignorance in that case protected no-one except, well, you and your family. We would have been..." he trailed off, unable to even imagine what would have happened to them had they not killed the creature, "but your secrets would have been safe. Sadly of course, now we all know plenty of secrets but not anything much of actual practical use. Ignorance does not protect the ignorant." He paused, and sighed. "Ignorance just means you fall down holes you had no way of knowing were there."

"About Hitomi, what tactics is she fond of; any particular personal favourite pets? Or something? Undead? Demons? Cultists?" He looked imploringly at Rei. "Don't you know anything about what we might possibly be up against? So we can prepare?"

Kodos
04-28-2012, 02:07 AM
Rei gave Kai a sympathetic smile. "Love, like, think about the Abominations. Think about, like, what they, like, can do. What they do. What they did. If you were, like, captured, and if the Illithids, like, were up to something, like right now, don't you think it would, uh, be for the best if, like, uh, well, they didn't know what Rin knew about them?
I am being, like, completely honest with you. I don't, like, know to what extent Rin was aware of the situation in, like, Yagyu. And, like, I don't know exactly how much she knows, like, right now. But I do know that, like, she would never put you in danger without good reason, and that she would never, like, knowingly send you into a risk that was, like, beyond your means." She gave a smile. "And obviously the Horrors are up to something, and I don't know very much more than you, like, I think, but right now it is in the best interest of Rin, myself, yourselves, and the world at large if, like, we remain ignorant of what exactly Rin knows. Because if you get captured, and if they find out all she knows, then, like, shit just got a whole lot worse, right?"

Rei took Kai's hand in hers and gave him a knowing look. "I know that, like, you're scared. Those things scare me too. I'm not asking you to have faith in Rin or myself because, like, of what we like, are. I'm asking you to have faith because she loves you, and because I love you. Have faith in us not because of like, what we are, but because of who we are. I mean, faith in gods is stupid. Faith in people who care is like all we have."

She let go of Kai's hand doing her best to not be flirty. "Hitomi wasn't, like, very big on tactics. She really was just a thug. I don't know what you might be up against, like, but I imagine undead are certainly likely. Plagues can, like, do that. Tragedy lets the hungry void seep in, you know. A lot of innocent people died in Oguchi because of the Shogun's madness and Hitomi's plague. Lots of, like, restless and angry dead. I'd bet on undead. And, sorry Setsuka," she seemed to mean Shari, "I don't know how many Bakeneko still live, or how many Hitomi has managed to, like, get under her sway. They're like us. Two forms, and the elder two tailed variety, the Nekomata, have a third, like, half-way, form. The older ones are, like, pretty magical, the younger ones not so much. Come to think of it, I think they had, like, some necromantic powers. So yeah, like, definitely undead. I wouldn't be surprised if they, like, bullied some Oni into helping, too."

She gave a sad look. "I'm really sorry. But, like, this just kind of happened. I really don't know much more than, like, you. If there's anything I can do to help, like, at all, I will. I mean, I am a priestess, you know." She gave a giggle and winked at Ryo. "I'm still not sworn to celibacy, Riki."

zizi
05-23-2012, 07:51 PM
Kai stared at her for a moment, opened his mouth to speak, then snapped it shut. The conversation was as far as he could see fairly pointless; they both had different ideas of what "good reason" was.

"Undead. I hate undead. I'd better procure something heavy and blunt," he said, touching the hilts of his kukris with each hand.

Kodos
05-23-2012, 08:33 PM
"That would probably be best." Rei said with a smile and a nod. "I'll see if I can't find some ofuda to give you before you leave too. This place is... uh... kind of a mess. Sorry!
Um... about Rin... I uh... I imagine she asked you to probably do... things?
She's angry at herself. And Hitomi. Mostly herself though. And I love her like a mother, and I uh don't want her to carry any more guilt than she does. Whatever she asked you - do what you need, not what she uh, said." Rei sounded somber.

"I do think Hitomi is a monster, and I don't think that, uh, given twice as long as she's had that she'd reform. She's not that type of person. But, uh, while I think you probably should kill her, I don't think torture is... you know. A thing we should do. Or you. You should do. Shouldn't do. That is. Torture. Don't do it. Rin says things, but yeah."

She shrugged before giggling. "If there's nothing else, maybe you should go ask Chiyo? I'm sure grumpytits would love to speak to you. If she, like, hits you or, uh, anything. Let me know and I'll have Rin yell at her.
Oh, and Kenichi" I guess she meant Kai, "could you stay for a second?"

Regantor
05-23-2012, 08:52 PM
Shari simply hovered over the conversation and glared, perhaps more balefully than she was actually intending to. Rei's blunt whit was certainly preferable to Grumpytits' usual demeanor, and she probably would have snickered at the name calling where they not about to walk into another situation blind. Yet again.

In the middle of thinking how she'd probably need to buy some gloves, the thought was interrupted by the woman requesting Kai to stay behind. Half suspicious about Rei's lewd demeanor, and half suspicious about what was so apparently important that it had to be said in privacy, Shari just crossed her arms and made it blatantly clear she wasn't about to leave him behind.

Kodos
05-23-2012, 09:35 PM
I'm assuming no one has anything to ask Rei since everyone is bad.

Rei rolled her eyes with a smile as Shari stayed behind. "I just wanted to apologize. I'm sorry, uh, Kenichi. I didn't mean to make you feel , um, uncomfortable. I hope you're not, like, angry with me." She smiled. "You're very cute though." She added with a giggle. "But seriously, I'm, like, really sorry about that. Still friends?" The fox woman gave Kai a big adorable smile.

zizi
05-23-2012, 10:59 PM
Kai smiled to himself as Shari refused to leave, but touched her shoulder to let her know he was fine all the same.

When Rei apologised, he blushed. "Uh," he said intelligently, "that's... uh. I mean, that's fine I'm not, um. Angry at you or uh. Anything." He returned her smile, still slightly shellshocked. "We've known Rin for a while, so excessive friendliness is something I'm kind of uh. Used to." He shrugged. "Thanks, though."

Kodos
05-24-2012, 04:36 AM
Rei smiled. "That's good. You two are cute together." She laughed softly. "You best be, like, going though. Don't want to show up when grumpy is explaining to the rest of the group and then have her, like, get all, uh, cranky. er. Crankier." Another smile. "You should come visit when you get back. We could have tea. Or, like, feed the Little Ones" she probably meant the foxes, "or something."

Regantor
05-25-2012, 12:20 AM
"I'd love to!" Shari bared her teeth in what could scarcely be called an overly-enthusiastic smile. It was probably supposed to be humorous, but still managed to come across as invariably sinister... Well, as most things Shari did.

The basic fact was that Rin was the monk's master, and Rei was most certainly not. She was not about to let the priestess use her position to smooch up to the only decent man in her life without at least getting annoyed about it. It didn't really matter to her wither Rei was being a sweetheart about it or not.

Kodos
05-27-2012, 10:08 PM
"Like, I totally meant both of you, you don't have to get all, uh, defensive." Rei laughed. "But it does sound nice. I'm looking forward to it." She flashed a smile. "Off you go then. Before grumpy gets grumpier."

***

Chiyo met with the group in an old armory within the castle, far away from anyone who might overhear their conversation. She was wearing a skintight leotard that clung to her body like a second skin and left only her arms and legs bare. There was a mask attached to it, but she had it pulled down.

"I don't know why Rin is sending you idiots to handle Hitomi, but it is not my place to second guess her. I can only hope that when you all fail spectacularly she will allow me the honor of separating Hitomi into many, many, small pieces." She glared at Shari. "Ask what you want and get going. The sooner you fail, the sooner I can actually resolve this situation."

Chiyo is the nicest.

zizi
05-28-2012, 09:46 AM
"You do realise that the fact we have to deal with her at all is a problem caused by you and yours?" Kai asked lightly. "You can keep your disdain to yourself, thank you.
"So far we know we will be dealing with undead," he ticked off each on his fingers, "Oni, and of course the Bakeneko and Hitomi herself. Oh, and possibly Otoyo, because knowing our luck she will have already been brought back by the time we get there.
"I know you think we're the intellectual equals of slugs, but hopefully you realise that even slugs have jobs to do and if you just help us as best you can then we can go off and do it. The more information we have the easier it will be to succeed and let you get on with whatever it is you immortals do.
"So. What can you tell us about the Bakeneko? Rei said the older ones have powers- among them necromancy. What else do you have?"

Kodos
05-28-2012, 02:48 PM
"Well, like most things, they are faster, stronger, cleverer, and generally better than Humans. Of course, you lot are a bit better than the average Human, but still." Chiyo gave a look. "And I had suggested to the Goddess that we continue hunting them down. Blame Rei, not me."

She shrugged. "They're immune to poison - they eat the stuff like candy in fact. They're supernaturally beautiful, and they have all the grace, agility, and reflexes you'd expect of cats. So there's that.
And I don't resent Humans. I am not a monster. I simply resent Rin allowing her emotion to cloud her judgment, and sending children to do the work of adults. I do not believe you can do what she is asking of you, and I believe that we shall all suffer for your failure. But enough of that.
They're innately magical. So many of them may be Sorceresses or display additional powers, assuming they chose to hone their powers.
And Hitomi has help. She has to. She's a thug. A real fucking idiot. There's no way in Baator she came up with this plan on her own, and no way in another nine thousand fucking years she could have figured out how to replicate, let alone modify, Sogi's plague. Someone is helping her, and whoever that is is probably a lot more competent than she is. She's all strength and speed and natural ability, but she hasn't a ounce of talent or skill in her body."

Chiyo turned around. "If you have no other questions, I should start making preparations for after your inevitable failure." She paused for a moment. "If it's any consolation... I genuinely hope you don't die." She at least sounded earnest. "I mean that. Well, not for Shari, but for the rest of you. You're good people, and it would be unfitting for you to die."

EDIT: Forgot some sutff and accidentally locked thread.

Regantor
05-29-2012, 12:01 AM
Shari was honestly impressed that Chiyo managed to speak to them half-decently, no doubt in thanks to Kai standing directly up to her. The vendetta against her personally was still alive and well, but that part wasn't exactly surprising. Neither were the outright insults leveled at her race.

"That's actually worse, having a thug like that in apparent command..." She spoke up in accordance to the woman's description of Hitomi, her voice the epitome of solemn, professional calm. "The last time I fought her, she was clearly way out of my league... But even a masterful sorcerer I could deal with. Have dealt with..."

Hand to her chin, she tried not to let the obvious implications of that statement rest on her mind for too long, whilst she tried to conceive of a reasonable plan of attack.

"The problem is that I don't think simply offing Hitomi will halt this, if there really is somebody else pulling the strings... There are plenty more Bakeneko out there..." It was a sour realization, but she did her best to remain objective. If they were a bunch of frenzied killers who were just looking for revenge, there were more than a few superior targets she could think of. But no. They had a task to perform, gifted from their master, simple as. "If she doesn't know the person in charge by their face... or if she's possessed by something... Then I have to ask if there is a more viable way of rattling Hitomi's leash, so much that she leads us to the real puppeteer herself?..."

"It's okay if you have no idea, Miss Chiyo." Looking up, she allowed herself a momentary, sly little smile. "We've been getting that alot from superior beings lately."

Kodos
05-29-2012, 09:23 PM
Chiyo stomped over to Shari and slapped her. "Talk back to me again, I fucking dare you." She glared at Shari. "Besides. Between Orochi and Kanegawa, you have plenty of experience serving gods, don't you? Rin tolerates you because she pities you. I don't pity you, and you test the limits of my tolerance." She took a deep breath and calmed down a bit.

"If I knew who was yanking Hitomi's leash, I would have told you. I don't. Neither does the Goddess. The entities that come to mind with the means to be manipulating her all lack the motive to do so. Perhaps it is simply Orochi's cult attempting to fuck with us. I do not know. I intend to find out."

Regantor
05-29-2012, 11:54 PM
Chiyo's hand impacted like the full-on punch of an ordinary human, causing Shari to stumble slightly sideways as she resisted the reflexive urge to counterattack.

She clenched her teeth, a fervent new anger brewing in her gut. Rin had been a monster of the worst sort herself, in the past. Shari had long since decided that was why she was forgiven. So fuck pity. She wouldn't accept that.

"What's the difference? If we run into another mind flayer you could be doing me a favor." The monk growled back bitterly, fully expecting an even harsher strike to be on it's way. If not worse. "I owe my holy master every second I remain alive. Not you. So if you are going to randomly just lash out and kill me because you want to, go ahead. I may be a poor ignorant little sap but at least I'm saving my damn anger for the enemy. At least I'm putting my pitiful little life on the line, trying to stop the rest of my comrades ending up like Jian did. In Rin's name."

Kodos
05-29-2012, 11:59 PM
"And I haven't you stupid idiot?! Oh, fuck this, I don't have to explain myself to you lot."

She shoved Shari and then just stormed off.

"Good luck, you'll fucking need it."

Regantor
05-30-2012, 12:22 AM
Shari was still gritting her teeth, not really able to appreciate the novelty of having talked down a fully armed kitsune.

"I'll suggest if you want to buy anything for the trip, you'd best do it now. Rei wanted to meet us later." She looked back to the others briefly, before moving to thunder off herself. "A few new potions of health are probably not a bad idea."

All the monk really wanted was some decent elbow-length gloves. Hand-to-hand fighting with the undead was several degrees worse than just 'messy'.

zizi
05-31-2012, 08:32 PM
"Immortals," Kai said sadly.

He turned to Shari, "I'm going to buy enough holy water to cleanse both our souls," he said wryly, "although somehow I think it'll be of more use thrown hard at the walking corpses we're sure to face later."

Kodos
06-03-2012, 05:21 PM
The group did their shopping and/or praying and reconvened at the palace's harems the next day, gear in tow and ready to go fight a literal crazy cat lady.

Rin was there, as was Rei and Yuan, but Rin was apparently not in a very talkative mood and mostly just stayed by Yuan, holding her hand tightly.

Rei explained that she, Chiyo and Rin had arranged for a carriage to take the group as close to Oguchi as they felt was safe, and that they would have to go the rest of the way by foot and/or horseback. Common sense suggests Hitomi would be staying in the capital city, Oguchi proper, but it may be wise to investigate the outlying towns and villages of Oguchi anyway - just in case. If nothing else, might at least give the group a taste of what they were in store for, so they could prepare accordingly.
Rei also gave Haru a stack of about 30 ofuda, and a ring of prayer beads. "For, like, good luck, handsome."

As the group headed off to leave, Rin opened her mouth to say something to Yuan, but Yuan just shushed her. "I love you." the grumpy Monk said with surprising emotion and a kiss, before joining the group as they headed off.

***

However tender Yuanjun was with Rin, she didn't have any of that tenderness left for her allies. "Alright, I don't care what Rin told you, we're not torturing Hitomi. Unless we have to. We go in, we stop her by any means necessary, and we leave. Simple. I think even you four can handle this." She said in her usual arrogant semi-grumpy drawl the moment the group was outside the palace.

Then she kicked Ryo in the chest. Not hard enough to really fuck him over, but hard enough that it was a good reminder that Yuan's thighs were more than just for show. "That's for getting beat up by the blind woman."

Yeah. Yuanjun was back.

Ofuda are functionally identical to scrolls. The prayer beads Rei gave Haru are the standard prayer beads from the Wondrous Items list. Below are the ofuda, and number of each, that Rei gave Haru.
8 Cure Moderate Wounds
6 Cure Serious Wounds
5 Cure Critical Wounds
5 Death Ward
3 Hallow
6 Remove Disease

zizi
06-03-2012, 05:46 PM
Kai just rolled his eyes. "Yes, thank you Yuanjun" he said dryly, "Chiyo had already clarified that, and we have known Rin as long as you; somehow we know her well enough to know that despite her loathing of Hitomi she still doesn't truly want us to peel the bitch's skin off and rub salt into the mass that had previously been her face."

He hadn't missed her. With distaste, he wondered what on Asul Rin saw in her- not for a second considering that Rin would have similar thoughts regarding Shari.

"Shall we get on with it," he asked acidly, "or have you more tiresome put downs and irrelevant asides designed to gloss over the fact that you've been safe and cozy whilst we've been facing horrors you can't imagine?"

Regantor
06-03-2012, 09:01 PM
Shari would have loved to see Yuan fight Oboro herself. Or maybe have another go at kicking the woman's ass personally; Since they had been back, the husky monk had been training and pumping iron every day in order to try and get her as close to peak performance as possible, and looked every minute of it. Too bad Rin would probably be disapproving of a show of strength here and now. She could always go to plan B, through...

"Did you enjoy getting waited on every day and stuffing your face, honey buns?" Shari's voice was as humorous as it was barbed with well-aged spite. "It's a good thing Rin sent you out here to beef back up, really. I'd hate to find out you'd lost your touch."

The comment was double-edged, of course. If Yuan wasn't doing anything whilst they were away, making her paranoid was enough. If she actually was doing things secretly for Rin whilst they were away... Well then, Shari was hoping that 'babyface's arrogant streak would force her to spill the beans.

Never the less, the hefty woman didn't act the slightest bit interested in the response, instead putting her hands on Kai's shoulders to try and sooth his agitation over the matter a little. It seemed to reassure him, 'Don't worry. She will see.'

Kodos
06-07-2012, 12:08 AM
"You sound jealous." Yuanjun drawled in a voice that despite, or perhaps because of, its monotone was still the aural equivalent of a smirk and had a very clear unspoken ", bitch" at the end.

***

The party was dropped off in the Yayoi region of Shibayama, at the edge of the ostensible border of Oguchi - ostensible because between the Oni which were not uncommon to the Yayoi region, the plague, and everything else that had happened, who knew how many of the border villages and towns still stood.

So, map in hand, the group headed towards the nearest settlement; Togo.
Yuan walked most of the way, preferring to walk alongside her horse rather than actually riding it. She gave Shari a catty look now and then that said something to the tune of "aww are the widdle baby's feet tired?"

Along the way they crossed several large mounds that suggested mass burials. Even more ominous were the holes in some of them and the footprints leading *away* from them...

***

Togo was a small farming village of about 163 people. Well, it looked like the sort of village that would support and house ~163 people but given how many of the fields and rice paddies were fallow, and other signs of disrepair, it seemed like the plague had hit the village hard.

There were very few villagers milling about, and none of them even made eye contact and seemed to do their best to pretend the group was not in fact there.

Regantor
06-07-2012, 12:09 PM
To most of Yuan's taunting, Shari only retorted by suggesting that the woman was afraid of "that little pony", mostly because the black, imposing, robust draft horse that the hefty monk was riding herself. She had been an actual ranked soldier several times in the past, after all.

At any rate, Shari seemed rather disinterested in the terrain, only taking a prolonged gander when they passed a mass burial site, or small hard-bitten scenes were armed quarrels had apparently once taken place.

The sombre and ill-trusting villagers didn't seem like much of a problem to her, since it was infinitely preferable to being swamped in hostiles. It had been some time since Shari had really been welcomed into a place anyway. The tallest building became her focal point, as she suggested to herself that it was probably the town hall or a lesser royal household, before she turned back and regarded Kai and Haru with a bored glance.

"Shouldn't be too much of a problem if we split up." Her voice was gruff and weary. "But you guys can probably appreciate that they are more likely to talk to you than me." The words were followed up by a sharp look towards Yuan. "They might try asking babyface, too, sure, but that hasn't stopped her from randomly breaking people's skulls in the past."

Not really wanting to hear an answer from Rin's favorite monk, Shari then just walked off and began asking around for information.

Shari searched for information regarding who was in charge of the village, when the last time any troops from the capital were here, and if there had been any strange occurrences or sightings as of late;
1d20+5=17 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3555219/)
Intimidate;
1d20+12=18 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3555221/)

Kodos
06-07-2012, 12:54 PM
There is no more Intimidate skill, remember? Intimidate checks are now just Charisma checks plus a secret modifier I apply after based on a number of things like class, level, and realism. Shari's obviously a lot scarier than Haru under normal situations, but if Haru turns into a bear...

Yuan shrugged. "I don't know. I'm from further north, you know, but aren't these people used to dealing with Oni?" She asked, giving Shari a look before heading off on her own.

***

It wasn't that hard to reconvene. An hour later Shari had managed to intimidate her way into some information, Yuan had likewise managed to find some people who were willing to talk to her chest, and others who were willing to talk after she made some threats. The rest of the group likewise met with similar fortunes - the villagers were evasive and stand-offish, but generally complied when sufficiently badgered, threatened, or faced with a beautiful woman who, however unpleasant, was apparently neither undead nor a literal crazy cat lady.

***

Evidently the plague ended around the time strange beautiful women showed up in many of the larger towns and Oguchi proper. No doubt the Bakeneko. They struck an accord with the Jijo and punished the Shogun and his wicked followers.

The village used to be run by a elected mayor, but the last one was killed during the Shogun's madness, and due to the plague and the madness there hasn't been enough stability or of a population to really require a leader.

No matter how much Shari or Yuan threatened, or Kai or Haru played good cop, the villagers utterly refused to speak about the Jijo beyond naming them, and seemed afraid and ashamed to even name them, whatever they were.

***

"I think we should try one of the larger towns." Yuanjun monotoned after everyone finished comparing notes. "If these people know anything more, and I don't think they do, they obviously aren't going to tell us."

Superdooperphailmachine
06-10-2012, 10:52 AM
"Sure, I don't think we'll learn anything more in a larger town but maybe a Bakeneko will pounce us or something."

Regantor
06-10-2012, 10:39 PM
"Well, hopefully they aren't normally as tough as that Hitomi slut." Shari just shrugged, easing the back of her neck with a irritated hand. "I almost want one of them to jump us, through, just to get this over with... None of these damn farm boys have any reason to tell us anything. Even if they knew what was really going on, these monsters are basically their masters... and it's not like we know half of what Rin really is either."

Such a truth was probably a little close to home, but Shari felt like saying it anyway. She sounded spiteful, yet within that, determined to accept reality in one deep gulp and take it in her stride. It would be a rather pathetic reason to abandon your master, after all, if you simply found out that they were some sort of untouchable, otherworldly being -literally-.

"A bigger town is probably a good idea." The large monk intentionally made it sound as little like she was agreeing with Yuanjun as possible. "If we can even find some management types just gabbing about the Jijo generally, that would be a start. Talk says there is one about a day or north-east, so... Let's get moving already..."

"This place smells like a oni's chamber pot."

Kodos
06-11-2012, 12:36 PM
The nearest town was a place called Tsuneie.

The ride was relatively short and thankfully it was free from any monsters. Less thankfully was the ominous presence of more and more mass graves, and worse still the fact that many of them seemed to not only be largely empty, but also had tracks leading out from the pits and towards the town.

***

The town's gates were heavily burned, as was much of the wall and some of the buildings by it. They were still standing, but clearly there had been a fire, and recently.

There were no guards, and as with Togo there were much less people out and about than one would expect. The group got lots of looks, too, and while some of them were clearly people checking out Yuanjun, most of them seemed to be wary looks. The town was small by Kusanagi's standards, but even for Shibayama it was large enough that travelers from out of town should not be getting that kind of cold shoulder.

The town smelled like death, dirt, and fire.

***

Yuan pointed towards a large building in the distance. "I am guessing that is either the estate of the local lord, or a temple. Either way, I imagine we can get information there, on way or another. I also imagine that if Hitomi has any of her agents in the town, they will be there as well. I could handle it easily, of course, but Rin would be upset with me if I let any of you children die on my watch, so if you would rather spend some time asking the locals for information first, that's fine too." Yuanjun drawled.

"I think I heard one of them mention an Oni. Maybe there's an Oni in town. I imagine you get along well with them, Shari, would you like to go talk to it first?" She added with a shrug that she still somehow made seem catty.

Regantor
06-11-2012, 09:00 PM
"Are you done?" Shari gazed at Yuanjun balefully. Any humor she had on the outset of the journey had long since been dried up by the inhospitable landscape about them, and alrough this was clearly what was making Rin's princess act up also, it didn't stop her from wanting to put a fist through that sly grin of hers. The fact that they shared masters was the only reason she had not done so already. The bratty woman had been humiliating her in practically every way for months. "Rin would be upset with me if a child got spanked, too..."

Not bothering to say where she was going, Shari simply stormed off after that. She ended up gathering up a little more information from some of the more destitute citizens, who she figured had little to loose. Any information they got from the middle ranks seemed to be two steps away from propaganda, in comparison.

Shari searched for information regarding the Jijo, any information on the central buildings, and if there had been any strange occurrences or sightings as of late;
1d20+5=15 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3561233/)

Kodos
06-11-2012, 09:17 PM
Yuanjun shrugged, sat down, and decided to meditate while waiting for Shari to finish stomping about and the rest of the group to do whatever it was they were doing.

***

When Shari returned she hadn't gained much information beyond the large building Yuan pointed out being the residence of the local samurai lord, and regarding the Jijo everyone was still quiet, even under threat of violence. The most information she got was that it wasn't safe outside at night because of them.

"Learn anything?" Yuanjun asked as Shari returned, not bothering to get up or even open her eyes.

Regantor
06-11-2012, 10:31 PM
"Well they certainly seemed afraid of talking about the Jijo in general." Shari used her best civil, neutral voice and masked her continued annoyance. "But it was weird. No spite or vengefulness at all, like you would with normal people who've had their families roughed up... Only other time I've seen a look like that was this farmer who picked a fight with some Orochi cultists..."

"So I guess we are breaking in to that overblown dollhouse after all."

The last part just slipped out, and had her glaring down at the monumental building from afar again. It was indeed just a bit too macabre for it's own good, jutting out of those comparatively ramshackle little huts around it. The kind of thing that Shari would have found amusing on any other day... The trouble was, today, she was fairly certain that the unnatural, ill-fitting features were entirely too apt for the denizens within.