View Full Version : Babes, Samurai, and Giant Turtles (C)
Kai stared grimly around him. He had spoken less and less the further they got into the country, instead retreating into memories of mass graves and terror.
When Shari mentioned Orochi cultists, he flinched.
"If you can do it so easily Yuan, why don't you?" he asked tiredly. "Can we just get on with it?"
06-12-2012, 04:44 PM
Yuanjun still didn't open her eyes. "Because if I do everything then you lot will never improve. Ryo will still be losing sword fights to unarmed blind women, Shari will still confuse muscles for strength, and you and Haru will never get any better either." She said with a sort of serene and calm arrogance.
"Now we can have me or Shari kick down the door - you can manage that right? - or I suppose you could try sneaking on in ahead and scouting the place out, Kai." She got up with a shrug. "I don't like this place and I would rather be indoors when night falls."
Kai just stared at her, "Right," he said, "because out of all of us, you were the one who faced a Mindflayer. You were there when we were attacked by Hitomi, were you?" He waved a hand, dismissing her reply before she'd even made it. "We get it, Yuanjun. You are oh so fucking powerful, and we are as mere children before your mighty thighs. Now do us all a favour, and shut the fuck up. We don't need to hear your unending masturbation at the simple idea of how perfect you are. It is, frankly, dull."
He drew his kukri's and turned to gaze at the Lord's house. "We're surrounded by death and worse. Just... shut up and do your job." He glanced at the group. "The last time I tried to scout for the group and we encountered a powerful woman named Hitomi, we all nearly died. On the other hand, this place is likely less full of gullible guards. I vote I scout ahead, but that we under no circumstances split up."
06-12-2012, 06:18 PM
"I am sorry that you had to fight the abomination without me. Or at all." Yuanjun sounded sincere. "I should have been there, but circumstances prevented it." She shrugged. "Sounds like a plan though."
06-12-2012, 06:44 PM
"Yes. Tag-team. The way we did with that burnt house in Yagyu." Shari piped up to agree with Kai, not quite intent on antagonizing Yuan any further, but unwilling to let her to simply walk back in and take control of the operation just the same. Personal vendettas aside, she had always acted the least professional out of the group anyway. "Kai can lead the way, and the rest of us can lend immediate support."
"Alright," he said. "I'd rather wait until night, but I don't think any of us want to be outside when darkness falls. "
06-12-2012, 07:07 PM
It was a small town, so the local lord's estate was also relatively small - it was only two, maybe three (it was hard to tell from the distance) floors. It still stood out above the smaller buildings around it.
Unsurprisingly, it was walled with an inner courtyard separating it from the rest of the town. Unfortunately, there seemed to be only one gate leading in. Worse still, it was guarded by a pair of large (well, not by their standards, but by human ones.) red Oni. Thankfully the group saw the Oni before they could see them.
Kai alone could probably easily climb the wall on another part and sneak in. Could the group do the same before the Oni or someone, or something, else saw them? Or maybe they could fight their way in? Two Oni were scary, but Yuan and Shari, possibly even one of them, could handle a pair of Oni. Or maybe there was another way in?
Kai motioned for his companions to stay where they were, and became incorporeal. He moved through the wall and stood behind the Oni, quickly scanning around him and in any windows for people.
06-12-2012, 07:35 PM
All the windows on the mansion proper had been obscured by curtains/blinds and Kai could see nothing inside. Curiously, though, other than the two Oni at the gate there seemed to be no guards at all. Just two Oni, 40 feet of courtyard, and the front doors.
Kai could hear what sounded like faint, feminine, sobbing coming from inside. It sounded... off, somehow. Like the sobbing equivalent of a speech impediment.
Kai gritted his teeth and, though he remembered very clearly what he'd found last time he'd scouted a building following something that was "off", went through the doors.
06-12-2012, 07:54 PM
There was a woman standing by the other side of the doors to the lavishly furnished mansion. She was clad in filthy robes and her long black hair obscured nearly all of her pale face. She reeked of death.
And she was making the strange sobbing sounds, although her arms hung low by her sides. And that's when Kai noticed that her hands terminated in long dagger-like claws. Then he noticed her tongue hanging down, and why her sobbing sounded so strange.
She had no lower jaw. (http://i.imgur.com/KjX3H.png)
Kai sucked in a horrified breath, before moving to the end of the short entranceway, where it joined a long corridor that ran the width of the building before twisting off at right-angles at both ends, presumably running the circumference of the building. He could see three doors on either side of the hallway before the corners obstructed his view.
As he gazed, he wondered what kind of a zombie had claws.
Backing out of the entranceway, he returned to the others where he quickly explained what he'd seen. "Any of you have any idea what kind of undead that thing was, or what it can do?"
06-14-2012, 09:55 PM
Letting out a sign of relief, Shari gave Kai a quick check for injuries, but still remained regimented enough that she managed to make it at least look purely procedural.
"Heard of, but know little about, sorry." She then confessed, crossing her arms. Experience she might have, but booksmarts was another thing entirely. What she -had- heard from random old colleagues could easily have been exaggerated, too. "Alot of the legends I've heard surrounding undead in this region tend to talk about tortured souls unable to die, the usual sort of thing. The most I can gather is that they are a bit smarter than the average walking corpse, and alot more reason to be pissed off along with that."
Scratching her head for a moment, she tried to think of a more hasty method of getting inside the complex, or at least some sort of diversion.
"I've taken on oni before, at least the chump kind. Starting to think we might be better off knocking our way through, and just making sure we leave small tracks... Think you could check directly inside for a way up to the attic or something, Kai?..."
The look on her face wasn't massively hopeful, but it didn't seem right just letting the ninja do all the groundwork. They did have Yuan with them today, too, and that had to count for something...
"Think you could take the other one, ox legs?"
06-14-2012, 10:03 PM
"I can take the two Oni with ease, yes." Yuan said with the same sort of conviction and plainness that one had when they stated the sky was blue.
06-14-2012, 10:56 PM
"Oh, that's great, shall the rest of us just go home then?" Shari took on a sarcastically upbeat tone and threw her hands up, before quickly returning to her normal scowl. "It doesn't matter if you want to thrash your ego around, Yuanjun. My point was that we have to nail both of them before either has time to make noise."
06-14-2012, 11:10 PM
"Yes, I think I can manage." She shrugged. "You generally break limbs. I don't think you are strong enough to break an Oni's neck in one twist. Are you sure *you* can take one out before it calls for help?"
06-14-2012, 11:16 PM
"If I get it in a choke hold, should be enough to keep his pipe shut." She responded... civilly? "We will have to get right up to them before they notice, through. A distraction might be an idea."
06-14-2012, 11:29 PM
"What kind of distraction?" Yuanjun asked. "The last time we had to deal with these things walking right up to them seemed to work pretty well. The Bakeneko are gorgeous in their human forms, right? I could pass off as one." She shrugged. "You might be a problem, but it's not like people tend to notice you when I am around, anyway, and if nothing else we can paint you red and say you're an Oni. Oni have runts, right?"
06-14-2012, 11:40 PM
"Well you have tits, it seems. That's probably enough for an oni." Shari ignored the insult just for the sake of brevity. She wasn't admitting anything but the pure basics, through. "If you walk around from the right and can avoid their vision and arc around the left, easy. I don't think we should be taking any chances over them just stand there, and trying to walk past... I know most of them are dumb fuckers, but it only takes one house-broken one who can remember faces..."
"We still need a route after that, at any rate." She regarded Kai, desperately trying to avoid any more of Yuan's 'pleasant company'.
"Right," said Kai, "back into the funhouse I go." He looked awkward for a second, before lunging forward and kissing Shari. "With my luck, the next twist of that hallway will be full of incorporeal undead, and I will only be able to wound six of them before I die horribly. I promise to scream loudly and like a little girl, and only request that you refrain from doing anything really stupid should that happen. Because I love you."
With an uncomfortable nod, he got on with it.
He ran down the small hallway, ignoring his jawless friend, and turned right. At the corner he slowed, but only slightly, and said a very selfish prayer about not dying quite yet as the next corridor came into view.
06-16-2012, 10:21 AM
There were five doors along the sides of the hall. Oh, and more Undead. Only this time there was one jawless woman standing weeping in the hallway while two other ambulatory corpses, male, made their way towards Kai, slowly and trudgingly, apparently on patrol.
They resembled filthy Zombies in ashigaru armor and carrying spears, their bodies absolutely covered in dirt, weeds, and other detritus. The dirt and weeds seemed to be fused with their very bodies, even.
Naturally, being that he was incorporeal, the slow moving things didn't notice him.
Upstairs, Kai could hear heavy footsteps - either a sumo wrestler in iron boots, or some manner of Oni. Probably the latter.
06-16-2012, 11:31 AM
"W-well don't do anything... too d-dangerous..." Shari said to Kai's back as he moved back into the compound, her face still blushed from the snatched kiss. If anything, her bulky arms seemed lock together tighter, as if to make up for the womanly display. It wasn't like she was telling him to do anything she would not do herself, through the way that he talked did make her realize she probably would run in if she heard anything too awry. So much for professionalism.
"Just... try and get them to look away from the gate, okay?" She sneered to Yuanjun before the woman could say anything snide. "I'll be right in there after you."
Kai stared at the zombies, but didn't slow. He ran around the next corner, to the corridor than ran along the back of the building.
06-16-2012, 11:59 AM
Kai ran into no more monsters and just a few more doors. Apparently it was just the two jawless women and the two dirty zombies on this floor.
And at least one Oni upstairs. Or someone moving furniture and dropping it a lot.
Yuanjun rolled her eyes and sighed before taking a deep breath. Yuanjun really was one of the most beautiful women in the world, but seductiveness came about as naturally to her as subtleness to a drunken Oni. Fortunately for the group, Yuanjun had picked up some Kunoichi-esque moves from Rin and, more to the point, it's not like Oni required much convincing to be distracted by a gorgeous half-naked lady.
The Oni didn't take any aggressive action as Yuan sauntered over to them. "The boss sent me to show you two a good time." She purred in the most seductive tone she could manage. The Oni didn't try and make a show of not undressing Yuan with their eyes (in fairness, neither did most of the humans she dealt with) so they didn't notice Shari sneaking up behind one of them - but Yuan did.
Yuanjun stepped back off the drooling Oni and made a show of going to remove her clothing before suddenly lashing out with two powerful kicks towards the Oni Shari wasn't about to attack, striking it first in the groin, stunning (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3567609/) it, and then a second time dead-on in the face. She ended it, and the Oni's consciousness, with a hard palm-strike to the towering red giant's chin, dropping him.
In the meantime, Shari had managed to get her Oni in a headlock and was slowly choking out the struggling giant.
"Need some help with that?" Yuan asked in the most condenscending monotone possible with a bit of a smirk.
2 Hits, 1 Potential Crit (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3567603/)
Crit Confirmed! (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3567612/)
34 Damages from Kick to Oni's One-Eyed-Monster (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3567613/)
40 Damages From Critical Kick to Face (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3567616/)
Kai came back to the front of the building with a huff, then set off back down the righthand corridor and stuck his head through the first door he came to.
06-16-2012, 12:22 PM
It was a staircase leading up, naturally. There was clumps of dirt on it.
Staircase leading up, presumably patrolled by the two dirt zombie things, and at least one Oni upstairs. Knowing their luck, probably more dirt zombie things. Probably more sobbing, jawless zombie things too.
Painfully aware he was running out of time, he made his way back to the party.
"So," he said, "zombies." He gave them a rundown on what he'd seen and heard. "I don't think the dirty ones are ordinary zombies, looking at them. The dirt seemed to be a part of them, not just what you'd get if you dug up a couple of corpses and roped them into pulling patrol duty. But then, I know as much about undead as I do magic. I'm also confident my zombie slaying skills are about equal to that of my people skills, so I hope you don't mind if I take a back seat on this."
"What do you want to do?"
06-16-2012, 06:45 PM
Even if Shari was taller than most, it still required a small leap to get her arm around the neck of the creature. It reeked. She silently thanked herself for buying the elbow-length gauntlets she was currently bearing, and dressing in her gi instead of Rin's more revealing gear. The thing took an knee to the spine to persuade it down to it's knees, but it still didn't manage to make much noise inside of her grip past a deranged gurgling sound...
1d20+19=37 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3567589/) vs 1d20+10=22 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3567596/). Shari wins.
The oni takes 2d6+6=15 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3567590/) damages.
1d20+19=31 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3567969/) vs 1d20+10=20 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3567972/). Shari wins again.
The oni takes another 2d6+6=16 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3567973/) damages.
Shari strained more, trying to finish it off more quickly, immensely mindful of Yuanjun's amused gaze. The stupid oaf only thrashed more.
"It's not my fault this lout has a neck like a tree trunk!" She just scowled back. "Can you just finish the meathead off so we can get going already?"
Kai came back to them at this point. It was a little awkward having a conversation with a huge, writhing, half-dead beastman in the middle.
"...I'm sorry to say it, but... I guess that means the important stuff is probably upstairs, then?..."
06-16-2012, 10:01 PM
"Let me get that for you, princess." Yuanjun smiled before smashing a hard foot into the Oni's chest, knocking it out.
"There are four undead, four of you, and me. I don't see how this is a problem." Yuanjun shrugged.
Kai glanced at Yuanjun. "The problem is that I'm worried that the zombies will make enough noise as you're fighting them-" he pointed at himself, "because let's face it, I'm hardly the brawn of this group- to bring the whole mission down on our heads. Some of us aren't in love with deities, and thus are slightly more attached to their heads than you may be. I imagine if I lose it, it will stay lost. As rich as she is, she can hardly go rezzing any old ninja who gets slaughtered."
He nodded to Shari. "It looked that way."
06-19-2012, 11:32 AM
"We can't really sneak past them." Ryo shrugged.
"If you don't want to fight you could scout ahead a little more."
06-19-2012, 08:47 PM
Yuanjun gave Kai a Look. "You and I both know that she would revive you if she was able." She shrugged. "But yes. No one should be losing their head, or other bits."
Kai nodded to Yuanjun. "I know, but I don't want to be revived. I want no do-overs. I don't want to come back diminished." He glanced at Ryo and smiled, "I intend to. After all, someone has to know what's coming before we blunder into it."
06-20-2012, 06:43 AM
Shari shrugged, arms crossed, uncomfortable with either sending Kai back inside alone or loitering out the front. Her eyes briefly met with the roof tiles, and then with Yuanjun. Her hands produced a thickly knotted rope.
"Ryo is too noisy, and I would be surprised if my heavy butt doesn't go through that roof." She spoke with a calm agitation, patting him on the shoulder knowingly. It was clear she didn't want him to go, but was trying quite hard not to patronize him or his abilities. "But if I think you could take Yuan if you wanted..."
"...Sorry... The only other option seems to be a frontal attack. That's risky if we don't know who or what we are after."
With a furrowed brow, the look she gave Yuanjun afterwards neatly spelled 'Can I throw you a bone without you biting off my hand here?'
06-20-2012, 07:55 AM
"I think I could make it up there. And I don't think I'm that much lighter than Shari but I definitely know how to carry my weight better." Yuanjun was arrogant, but it was kind of hard to deny that she was a fair deal more graceful and dextrous than Shari. "If that's your plan, I'm up for it." She shrugged. "Can't Haru fly up there too, or does Shari need a babysitter?"
06-20-2012, 12:09 PM
"If he thinks he can stay on the roof, sure." Shari realized how arrogant it probably sounded, but said it anyway. Getting the only one who could perform healing magic killed didn't seem like such a great idea. It didn't help that she was feeling rather useless being stuck outside herself. "I can always make a pile of anyone who comes to check on these guys, until you get back... Just no randomly executing prisoners this time, please. The entire point in us being here is for the information."
Kai glanced from Shari to Yuan and back again. "No. I'll only be slowed down by the lovely Yuanjun's less than stealthy sneaky abilities; if we got into a tight spot she can't just cease to be corporeal and run through the nearest wall- and neither can Haru." He touched Shari's cheek gently, "Look, I'll check the second floor for other in earshot undead nasties, then our best bet is to take out the undead. Together. As a team." He smiled, and kissed her. "That way you'll be right behind me. There is no-one I'd rather have there."
06-21-2012, 11:18 PM
Shari went to argue with him, held the words in the mouth, then simply did her best to not to appear quite so flustered by his comments. She appreciated it, of course; Despite the best of a decade spent murdering people with them, her hands still urged her to hold onto him. But it wouldn't be right, here and now. Not with Yuan looking on. Not with the prospect of beating some answers out of a corrupt official immediately possible.
"...Take care of yourself, then." The monk remarked instead, reluctantly. Her hands gently made contact with the front and side of his chest, and her lowered head brought itself into proximity with his. It was a false start, however, leading to a self-conscious glance towards Yuan, and then her breaking off. She finished with her side to him, arms crossed, eyes concentrating on spotting any approaching patrols. "Please be swift, Mister Kai."
Kai nodded, then moved silently (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3582603/) to the wall. He climbed (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3582615/) up, sticking to the shadows as best he could (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3582614/). When he reached the top, he crouched down, took a breath, and leapt (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3582619/) across the space between the wall and the roof, slipping into incorporeality as he flew.
He moved to and through the wall into the hallway beyond.
06-25-2012, 06:54 PM
Kai had landed in a short hallway. On either side was a doorway. From the other end of one doorway he could hear heavy breathing, like an Oni's, as well as feminine sobbing. The female voice was a bit deep and earthy for a woman's, but not distorted like the jawless... thing's below.
He though he could hear some muffled voices, but between the heavy breathing, the door, and the sobbing, it was a bit hard to tell.
Oh, and there was dirt on the floor leading through the hall. Clearly those zombie-things or something like the had been this way.
Kai shuddered and followed the sobbing through the doorway.
06-26-2012, 10:44 PM
The room was a lavishly decorated bedroom, with numerous hanging beads, paper lanterns, wind chimes, and other decorations.
There were people. Two were on their hands and knees, serving as a living chair for the supernaturally beautiful woman atop them. She wore little, had golden eyes, and was being fed grapes by a third human. No doubt she was a Bakeneko.
By her side was an Oni. Only... not? He was small, by Oni standards and... his face. His face was oddly vacant - even by Oni standards - and... strangely, unsettlingly, human-like. He didn't even have horns!
And in the corner. In the corner was a pale, reeking, woman. She wore what looked like it had at one time been nice clothing, but it was - like she herself - completely covered in dirt and filth. Like the zombie ashigaru, the dirt seemed to be part of her now. Her face was obscured by her filthy black hair, but she seemed to have a lower jaw, and to be the source of the sobbing.
The Bakeneko gave an annoyed sigh and rolled her eyes as the thing continued to sob in the corner.
Kai grimaced and made his way back to the group. He explained what he'd seen, then shrugged. "Full frontal assault?"
07-12-2012, 10:38 AM
"Works for me." Yuanjun shrugged. "I know Shari can't handle an Oni by herself so I can help her with it." She added, cattily.
07-12-2012, 10:58 AM
"Yeah, doesn't seem like we can do anything else. One of you, break the door open."
"Shall I go in and flank the sobbing thing? Bear in mind you'll have to break the door down after me anyway as I can't do anything other than attack corporeal things when incorporeal."
07-16-2012, 11:41 PM
"You know what? You sound like you've been handling Oni a great deal." Shari just growled back with a bitter insult, utterly indignant about not being able to focus on the task at hand. It was bad enough having her draped all over Rin every time they finally dragged themselves home.
"...Okay. Even if you just lead some of them away and split them up, that would be enough, mister Kai." The monk just marked gruffly, doing her best to at least sound professional once again. "This door should come off the hinges pretty easily. You want to give us a sign when you are inside, or shall we just give you a minute?"
"Just give me a minute. I'll attack when I hear you bursting open the door." He nodded, then went incorporeal and got into place
07-26-2012, 02:45 PM
Shari quietly tested the integrity of the door around the corners and by the joint, before finally settling on a plank just below the lower of the two hinges. The proceeding heavy palm strike impacted straight through (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3625453/), allowing her to easily yank the nails free from the frame. All that there was left after that was to simply kick the bottom, and watch the burdened upper hinges twist off uselessly.
The monk had done this rather often before, then. They were inside.
Everything began to move as a frantic blur. She took a quick gander (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3625455/) for targets.
07-26-2012, 02:48 PM
Shari could only see the jawless woman and the empty space behind her where Kai presumably was. But she could already hear movement upstairs, Oni-like stomping. Off in the distance there was the sound of shuffling and heavy footsteps - presumably the dirt-zombies Kai mentioned.
The Jawless Thing, for her part, reacted with a horrible wail at the intrusion.
As soon as the thing began to wail, Kai was spinning, his kukri's connecting with ferocious crackles.
ATTACK (no crit) (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3625463/)
DAMAGE (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3625474/)= 9
FIRE DAMAGE (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3625478/)= 6
SUDDEN STRIKE (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3625482/)= 21
ATTACK (no crit) (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3625483/)
DAMAGE (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3625487/)= 10
FIRE DAMAGE (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3625488/)= 4
Total damage= 50
07-26-2012, 03:27 PM
The Undead thing fell to the ground with a sigh that sounded almost happy, now even more lifeless than it had been before.
Yuan moved towards the intersection of the hallway, before continuing on, out of view but not out of hearing range.
"There's another, and two of those dirty ones." She spat towards the group quickly before driving a powerful kick into one of the Ashigaru Zombies, knocking dirt and chunks off it, but even to her surprise not dropping it.
18 Damages to Hakagoto (dirty zombie) (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3625516/)
There's a Jijo (Jawless Zombie Lady) and two Hakagoto (Dirty Zombies) that are by Yuanjun.
After Haru and Ryo go, it's the first proper round of combat, and everyone goes by initiative. Here's the Initiative.
Haru - 24
Yuanjun - 20 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3625521/)
Kai - 17 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3625532/)
Jijo - 17 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3625525/)
Shari - 12 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3625527/)
Hakagoto - 10 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3625528/)
Ryo - Goes last for not showing up.
EDIT: 18, not 23 damages to the Hakagoto. I forgot its DR.
07-26-2012, 03:48 PM
Haru fell to his knees, form distorted and stretching. In a few seconds, an unusually placid dire lion (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/direLion.htm) stood in his place. He slipped in after Yuanjun, nose twitching at the rot of the zombies.
07-26-2012, 04:14 PM
Ryo pounced at the Zombie Yuan had just attacked and crashed his sword down on it's head, killing it.
Attack: 1d20+28=43 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3625648/)
07-26-2012, 04:40 PM
Yuanjun sent two rapid kicks into the other Hakagoto's chest, quite literally breaking it in half. As its upper body hit the floor it broke up further, revealing the thing truly had the consistency of rocky dirt. Yuanjun didn't seem much phased by this, and simply smashed another kick into the jawless woman's chest.
1d20+22=35, 1d20+17=32, 1d20+12=18 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3625712/)
26 damages to Hakagoto, 15 damages to Jijo (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3625714/)
Hammy said Haru delays until after Kai.
Kai became corporeal and smashed his kukri's into the Jijo
ATTACK (no crit) (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3625727/)
FIRE DAMAGE= (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3625733/)1
ATTACK (no crit) (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3625740/)
DAMAGE= 9 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3625742/)
FIRE DAMAGE= 3 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3625745/)
07-26-2012, 04:56 PM
The other Jijo fell to the ground with another relieved sounding sigh.
Assuming there was nothing else unexpected since Kai's scouting, that was it for the first floor.
Yuanjun nudged one of the Undead with her foot to be sure, before shrugging.
It seemed doubtful the Bakeneko and her Oni upstairs hadn't heard the fighting, or Shari's dynamic entry, but given by the fact the Oni hadn't come bursting through a wall or the ceiling yet, it seemed like they were waiting for the group to come to them.
07-26-2012, 04:59 PM
Shari didn't waste a second, simply patting Kai on the shoulder reassuringly, then bolting up the stairs.
There were better tactics that could be employed, of course, but she didn't want the Bakeneko sneaking off into the night whilst they dealt with this entire house of freaks one room at a time.
07-26-2012, 05:02 PM
Yuanjun was behind Shari in an instant, not wanting to let Shari rush into alone, or not wanting to let her hog all the fighting, or probably a mix of the two. Whatever Yuanjun felt about Shari, she knew Rin would probably be upset if she let Shari die without at least making a token effort to help her.
Besides, Yuanjun was a bit jealous, and generally just didn't like Shari, but she didn't wish her dead.
07-26-2012, 05:05 PM
Ryo followed after the 'ladies'.
Kai shrugged and went after them, turning incorporeal as he went so as to retain some element of surprise.
07-26-2012, 05:14 PM
Shari skidded to a halt suddenly, observing the large extravagant door blocking the entrance into what was presumably the creature's 'throne room'. Seemed like an awfully good place to put a trap.
She regarded Yuan at her back for a moment, before facing it again. The adrenaline pumping through her veins made it harder to feel angry at the woman any longer, alrough, being honest, the chance to prove her worth probably helped a little, too.
"We don't have much time." The husky drawl was fast, urgent, absorbed in the moment, not intent on taking no for an answer. "If this door is magically trapped, or if some abomination knocks me in, you clamber right over me and disable that monstrous sow, okay?"
The second she finished, a leg was brought down and snapped the handle clean off the door, sending it flying open...
07-26-2012, 05:30 PM
"You think I'd stop to help you?" Yuan responded with a slight laugh in her voice and an almost-smile.
The moment the door opened Shari was greeted by a punch from a armored fist nearly the size of her head. It was the strange looking Oni Kai had mentioned. It was dressed like a samurai and its face was strangely, uncomfortably, Human-like.
Towards the other end of the large room was the weeping undead woman, the Hakagoto, the Bakeneko, and the humans. The humans were on their knees, with their backs to the Hakagoto, and the Hakagoto's spears pressed against the back of their necks.
The Bakeneko herself was, of course, stunningly gorgeous, and wearing little more than a tiny sarong and a strapless boob-tube. "Nice try, loves." She purred with a smile. "'Cept you lost. I could kick your asses - even you two, Oni wench and Thunder Thighs - but then I'd get all sweaty and really this is so much easier.
I could kill you, and I think my undead friend here would like that, wouldn't you?" The sobbing undead woman just gave a short incomprehensible moan. "But I'm a bit merciful. So I think I'll just let my dear husband here beat the shit out of you, then I'll dump you all outside of town somewhere." Another shrug. "I'm merciful. Unfortunately for you, though, I don't think the Jijo will be so accommodating."
She took a few steps forward before tilting her head at Yuanjun and Shari. "Ooooh, I like those faces. Such fire in them! Oh, I have an idea. You want to live? Well I want to hear you say it. I want you to say 'We're sorry we thought we could take you, Kana, but you're much smarter, prettier, and stronger than us. We lost! Please don't kill us!'" She laughed, apparently amused with her own cleverness. "Go on, say it."
HOSTAGES. WHAT DO.
I lost the roll but it was 13 damages to Shari.
07-26-2012, 06:39 PM
Haru lagged behind, having some trouble with the staircase designed for more vertical beings. At the sound of snapping wood and new voice, Haru flatted himself on the staircase, listening and sniffing.
o Detect Magic
o Read Magic
o Faerie Fire
o Produce Flame x 2
o Speak with Animals
o Spider Cimb
o Cat’s Grace
o Bull’s Strength
o Restoration lesser
o Remove Disease
o Neutralize Poison
o Magic Fang, Greater
o Wind Wall
o Freedom of Movement
o Summon Nature’ Ally IV
o Dispel Magic
o Wall of Thorns
07-26-2012, 06:55 PM
Shari fought back the urge to retaliate against the slightly human Oni's strike, feeling the nauseous, metallic scent of blood build up inside her nostrils.
This was bad. The monk knew she had little to offer the creature, and nobody in the group was exactly a star negotiator... Haru, maybe, but there was no way of telling if the Bakeneko was just toying with them in the first place...
"Ha!" The robust monk suddenly made a low, grunting laugh. It was not a snap decision, and the plan re-wrote itself in her head as she talked. But pissing off people was the one thing she was good at, Shari figured. "You have any idea what you sound like?... Every rich old hag thinks she is the master of the universe, especially when cooped up in their little fortresses surrounded by paid bodyguards! You think we are scared of a skinny little overpriced prostitute like you? Especially one that's just using magic to avoid letting us know her true decrepit age? Don't make me laugh!"
"Why did you think we just used the front door? I bet I could turn you inside out, one on one, anytime! I bet you those hostages there, even!"
There was no room to subversively suggest her strategy towards the others without giving the game away, but distracting the inhuman woman was her plan in and of itself. She fully relied on the others going haywire and jumping the monsters the minute things started to go her way... or, well, you know, maybe if the Bakeneko was having a really fun time beating her up, too.
There wasn't a great deal she could do to tell if the wench was lying about her strength or not, after all.
07-26-2012, 07:06 PM
Kana frowned as Shari insulted her, before sauntering over to Shari, pressing up against her and trying to be intimidating. While her looks were probably intimidating to most people in a sexual fashion, Kana's body wasn't exactly physically imposing, especially considering that Shari had more muscles on just about any part of her body than Kana had in her entire one, let alone the fact that even Yuanjun's relatively less muscled upper body had more visible tone to it than Kana. Then again, Kana was a magical thing, so her lack of visible muscle mass may not have had any bearing on her actual strength. Still, she tried to look intimidating, despite Shari having nearly a foot in height on her.
"First of all, they're not paid. Second of all, I haven't turned tricks for, oh, 140 years or so now, and I assure you I was worth every copper. Third, ladies who look like Oni probably shouldn't insult other people." She glanced towards Yuanjun and Ryo. "If Thunder Thighs and Compensating-For-Something stay out of it, I'll have my husband and his ex stay out of it."
She looked back to Yuanjun again. "I don't trust her not to interfere." She walked over to Yuan. "You get involved, and the Hakagoto skewer your friends over there. And that goes for you, too, samurai."
Kana stepped away and smiled at Shari before assuming a fighting stance. "I'm not going to try and kill you, on purpose, or anything, but, like, you are still a fragile, weak, ugly little Human, even if you look like a Oni, and I really can't be held responsible for what happens. You Humans break so easily."
07-26-2012, 07:34 PM
Shari tensed up whilst the creature was busy rubbing up against her. Truth is, she was intimidated. The way that it smelt, the way that it caught the light, the way that it moved- All dropping her subconscious hints that reminded her way more of Rin than she would have liked. Her scars itched.
"Like I'm supposed to believe any of that..." Was the best retort she could think of, rubbing some of the ache from her nose before taking up a combat stance of her own. It was difficult to keep her eyes off that unnaturally perfect form, despite the best of her training. "At least I attractive at some point without your damn magic."
Her sudden pounce was a bolt, a sudden uppercut, followed by a straight jab, then a shallow kick to the knee from the opposite side.
Shari failed not to be distracted, and thus takes -4 AC to her attacks. :/
1d20+20=28, 1d20+12=23, 1d20+7=25 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3625954/)
1d6+6=10, 1d6+6=7, 1d6+6=7 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3625967/)
(-24 HP total.)
Despite the allure of the creature sapping her will, Shari's agitated strikes managed to impact soundly with the woman's body none the less.
07-26-2012, 07:40 PM
Yuanjun rolled her eyes and muttered. "Well, we're fucked."
Apparently she wasn't too confident in Shari's abilities.
Kana's smug smile was wiped off her face as she yelped in pain as Shari's blows connected. She apparently wasn't expecting Shari to be able to hit her. "Fucker!" She cried before sending a hard fist into Shari's face followed by two kicks to her upper body. She was strong and, unsurprisingly for something that was arguably more cat than Human, very fast.
Attack Rolls (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3625979/)
49 Damages to Shari from 3 Attacks! (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3625983/)
Kai crouched next to the hostages in his incorporeal form, tensed and ready to throw them out of the way at a moments notice. Even still, his face twisted in agony as Shari suffered under the unnatural woman's blows.
07-26-2012, 09:17 PM
Shari grunted and winced under the incredibly heavy blows, doing her best just to retain footing. A sinking feeling grasped a hold of her stomach as she realized just how much the scenario resembled fighting a kitsune. Could she even hope to slow the abomination down enough to distract it?...
The monk could only hope the others would know what to do if it came to that.
1d20+19=29, 1d20+8=17 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3626055/)
(The first hits, the second misses.)
(vs Kana's super unlucky 22 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3626078/)! Shari wins!)
She is pinned and looses 10 hp.
A blind grab for a wrist somehow found purchase. The thing was so haughty and nonplussed that she didn't react at all... So Shari yanked the woman around on impulse, and used the momentum to kick her left knee so that she fell backwards into the monk's grasp. Wrapping her legs around the thing's torso, the brawny monk then just sat on her back and continued the yank the arm backwards forcefully at the shoulder.
It worked so well that Shari seemed a little shocked herself. The low born oni-girl had actually managed it, and wrangled a bakeneko face down onto the floorboards...
08-16-2012, 10:07 PM
Kana seemed more shocked than hurt as Shari grabbed her, overpowered her, and forced her face and body hard against the ground. Surprise quickly gave way to pain, though, and Kana found herself face down and screaming in pain as Shari threatened to tear her arm from her socket and, if the pain was any indication, from her body.
Yuan seemed almost impressed.
Kana is still pinned. Failed her grapple check.
08-16-2012, 10:43 PM
Time seemed to jerk forwards in leaps and bounds, leaving Shari little time to think and less time to plan their next move. The monster woman's arrogance had placed her in a difficult spot, but it was like trying to hold down a rabid wolf. Completely uncontrolled and unpredictable, stronger than Shari several times over, with intense writhing fury only amplified by the monk's currently advantageous position.
Thoughts of Rin were still running through her mind. The whole thing felt wrong on so many levels. But there was no backing down now.
Pinning the left arm using her knee, the heavy monk then used her shoulder to force the right arm straight upwards and backwards within her grasp. Grunting loudly, as much pressure as she could was then directed towards the vulnerable elbow...
Shi Nami Attack;
Both rolled grapples.
Second attempt (-5 to roll);
Kana failed her fort save!
Kana heaved upwards and thrashed wildly, sensing exactly what was going on. Shari forced down even harder. As hard as she could manage. Harder than that.
A wet snapping sound occurred. The kind a person could never quite get used to. There wasn't so much to push down on anymore.
"Give... up..." Shari growled menacingly, exhausted from the effort. Trying her very best not to think of all the bad karma building up within her gut. "Let the... t-the hostages go... or I'll k-keep... going..."
08-20-2012, 11:56 PM
Kana let out an ear-splitting shriek as Shari broke her arm at the elbow, tears of agony streaming down the Bakeneko's face. She tried to hold out, but didn't last more than a second before she screamed out her submission, half begging and half demanding Shari get off her.
Kana's surrender was met with a low groan from the filthy undead woman. Kana apparently took it as a sign of disapproval. Kana was too busy crying in pain to do anything more than shoot the undead thing a look. Regardless, the Hakagoto did lower their spears.
Yuanjun looked almost impressed.
08-23-2012, 09:57 PM
Still breathing heavily, Shari eased up a little into a position that simply had her sitting cross-legged upon the squirming bakeneko's back. It didn't seem as if Kana really had the personality or willpower to push her off with that crumpled elbow, so she figured it was probably better to just save her strength for any new surprises. It certainly felt more karmic than than busting her up any further...
Didn't mean that she couldn't ask a few questions whilst she was here, through.
Whist the others were still moving to take the hostages into custody, Shari grabbed hold of Kana's attention again by lightly seizing the pinky finger of the remaining working hand. The vindictive monk didn't really have to do much more than lightly squeeze it between her thumb and forefinger to toy with the fact that she was in control.
"When was the last time Hitomi was here, hun?... She is actually your boss and all, right?..."
It wasn't a thing that she would ever tell the others, but it had to be said that humiliating such a powerful creature did make Shari feel rather good. The fact that she was also a gigantic bitch was just a bonus. This thing was one of Rin's own holy constructions, and here she was, toying with it like a rag doll.
08-25-2012, 05:07 PM
"Yes. It'd be fun, she said." Kana growled bitterly between whimpers and occasional yelps as her squirming further hurt her arm. "Bitch never comes out here. Said, 'Oh, Kana, why don't you lord over this shithole of a town! I'd be fun!" More struggling. "This isn't very fun." She muttered.
08-26-2012, 07:56 PM
Shari had to shake herself out of a little daydream when the beast-girl's grinding tenacity actually started to come across as a little cute. The monk had to wonder if a younger version of herself would have followed her willingly, back when those traits seemed like a well-deserved poke in the eye towards the elitist culture she had come to work for later on. It was strange, how time twisted in on itself.
"The more you move, the more it will hurt, you know..." She spoke as softly as her husky voice could manage, suppressing one of those vicious smiles as she lent forward. "I don't suppose you know where Hitomi is now? Did she have any weird standing orders for you? I'm sure those new chumps of hers are telling you to do all sorts of weird sacrifices."
It was difficult to question someone without giving away how much they knew, but there was no telling how many unknown powers the woman had, or who else was watching in.
Shari gave Yuanjun a quick look after the thought, then darted her eyes around exaggeratedly, as if to suggest looking around for any extra clues or hidden passages within the room.
09-07-2012, 11:21 AM
"She's in the capital!" Kana whined, while Yuanjun looked around and shrugged, not noticing anything unusual. Well, you know, besides the stunted Oni and the undead woman.
"No standing owners. S'my town. Legit like."
09-17-2012, 07:12 PM
Shari simply sat silently for an extended pause, considering any other benefits they could get out of the situation. There was also the problem of what exactly they could do with Kana. She was a bitch and a misguided thug, but Shari did have to shamefully admit that the girl's two-bit demeanour childish demeanour had rather gotten under her skin. A brawny hand reached out and maliciously stroked it's fingers through Kana's hair whilst she was thinking.
No point bashing her skull in. Hitomi can replace her in a week. A justification rang out in the monk's head, as much as that particular alternative did rather seem like an enjoyable feat in itself. But I don't want to leave her here, and risk her boasting to Hitomi about how she 'fought us off'...
Upon pondering her own past, a strange thought rang true. The problem was, she could imagine the others wouldn't like it...
"Okay. Sorry, kitty, but it's getting late... Honestly, you're kinda sweet in a sort of stuck up little brat kind of way, but we might have to say 'goodbye' now..."
Shari sat on Kana's upper right thigh, then simply wrapped an elbow around the woman's neck and heaved backwards, slowly but sternly. It was a sleeper hold that put tremendous pressure on the spine and entrapped leg; But the monk wasn't quite putting her full weight into it...
"...It's too bad you didn't want to come along and help us steal all of Hitomi's junk... But I know that a Bakeneko would never work for Rin again, so..."
Kai rematerialised behind the hostages, patting the air with his hands and apologising in an awkward attempt to abate their alarm at his sudden appearance. "Look, sorry, I'm not going to hurt you..." Gently he motioned toward the door and their waiting companions, "we're the uh, rescue team."
He turned his head to glare at Kana. "Before Shari puts you to sleep, I don't suppose you know what Hitomi is doing in the capital? Or who she's doing it with? Also- this... thing," he gestured to the undead woman, "What is it?"
10-05-2012, 07:25 PM
"This isn't fun anymore." Kana whined to herself with a sniffle. "She's working to revive Otoyo. It will be fun, she said. Otoyo was fun, she said."
The Undead woman made a rumbling groan as Kai gestured towards her, her head turning towards him. Beneath the filthy, mud-caked, hair she was glaring at him. He could tell. He felt it. "She is a Maiso. She was my husband's prior wife. Buried alive during the madness by order the tyrant Hizen." Kana explained. "Death could not hold her, or the others, and their yearning for justice gave new purpose and unlife to their bodies. A yearning that Hitomi has helped us fill.
Hitomi ended the plague and now we help punish the guilty. The dekishi, maiso, nensho, and jijo have agreed to help us in return."
Kana seemed a bit uncomfortable. Well, for reasons besides Shari and her broken arm, that is. She apparently dint like talking about things in front of the Maiso.
"I'm going to need definitions of each of those terms. Forgive me, I am but a simple man; undead, spells, any of that thing goes far beyond my understanding. What is a jijo? A dekishi? A nensho?" He glanced at the Maiso. "You can control it? Her?"
10-06-2012, 03:25 AM
Kana looked extremely uncomfortable talking about such things in front of the Maiso, the Undead thing's gaze now shifted towards the cat woman. "No...no. Not, not exactly. They-they are intelligent. They and their kin were the victims of the tyrant Hizen's cruelty." The Maiso gave a sobbing wail. "The women put to death during the madness by the dogs of the tyrant shogun. They became the maiso, nensho, and dekishi. Those who succumbed to the unfortunate ravages of the plague, they rose as the jijo. Voiceless but not without will. We gave them what they wanted, and they have agreed to help us - to help Hitomi," Kana corrected herself.
"They help us because they choose to. We do not control them. The male undead, the dogs, they are mindless, bonded forever to the will of the others to answer in undeath for their crimes in life." Kana gave a look. "The men of Oguchi, unlike your Sogi, must answer for all that they have done."
"And they choose to terrorise these towns, so people are afraid to leave their homes at night for what? Justice? That is not justice. That is the same cruelty and tyranny that this wretched country has always suffered under." He waved a hand dismissively.
"'Our Sogi'? Ah- you mean Rin. Are you truly trying to paint Rin as the evil one in the picture?" He laughed, "Are you truly so ignorant you don't know that Hitomi didn't end the plague, she created it?" He shrugged, "After all, even I know that to bring back Otoyo you'd need a pretty big sacrifice. Like, say, a plague, a civil war, and a massacre. She didn't liberate this country from the tyrant shogun, she set her rabid dog upon the innocent and then shot him once he had ceased to be useful." He stared at the Maiso. "Do you understand? You have been serving the woman that caused this. She caused the madness." He paused. "Well, I say Hitomi did this, but lets be honest she has all the subtly and finesse of a drunken Oni. It's clear someone or something else is truly behind this."
"But whatever. I imagine you have nothing else interesting to say, since these basic facts eluded you. Friends," he turned to the group, "I suggest we return these hostages back to their homes and then move on to the capital. Ah- one more thing, regarding the hostages- why did you have them? Is that just standard procedure? Also what's the story with the less-than-ugly Oni over there?"
11-03-2012, 10:08 PM
The Maiso did not seem pleased with this plot development.
"OH FUCK." Kana screamed as the Maiso gave a horrific wail lurching forward to attack, the Hakagoto heeding its call.
The Oni-thing was, unlike the Undead, apparently under Kana's control. The fight was relatively quick. Yuanjun and Shari noted how kicking the Maiso and Hakagoto was like kicking rocks.
When it was all over, the Maiso and her servitors were literally piles of packed dirt, bone, and matted hair, and Kana was standing uneasily with the help of her Oni-thing.
"Oh, well this is just fucking great! Great!" She whined.
11-03-2012, 11:40 PM
Shari was far more concerned with protecting the hostages than she was with allowing Kana to escape the undead thing's rage, but the result was the same; The room broke out in a frenzy of combat as the living tried to whittle down the sluggish dead before they could do any damage.
When the fight was over and the dust was settled, Shari was breathing heavily with exertion, yet still retained her combat stance as yet. Her sights were fixed on Kana.
"...What was that all about?... Did you have some kind of psychic link with that thing?" The monk regarded agitatedly, not in the mood for any more suprises. "Did you order it to attack us as a diversion, then? Or was it really just reacting to you giving up that information?..."
A moment passed. Her palms ached to resolve the combat with the Bakeneko quickly, but she wasn't so she that the quasi-Oni would be so accomodating this time. All she could do was keep on trying to make out that they had the upper hand, and try not to let Kana see the stalemate that it seemingly was.
"...Well... What was your answer? Are you comming with us, or are we finishing you off? I do not appreciate being kept waiting."
11-04-2012, 09:18 PM
"We're not taking her with us, you dumbass. Are you insane?" Yuanjun growled as quietly as she could manage at Shari, giving the more muscled Monk a hard elbow to the side as 'subtly' as she could manage.
"What do you thin it was about!" Kana yelled, still apparently on edge. "You ticked it off with that comment about the plague, you shitheads!"
11-04-2012, 10:59 PM
Yaun's unexpected elbow certainly hurt, but Shari restrained her yelp of pain in order to continue look imposing towards Kana.
Slowly, she turned her head to face her fellow monk, rubbing the scar on her nose habitually with agitation.
"I know you are normally into killing our prisoners, babyface..." A half lie, but a pretty convenient one as the circumstances go. "But this one can be useful. Use your damn brain for once... Surely it can't be used for keeping those goofy saddlebags from toppling you over all the time..."
A look back to the Bakeneko again, and an elongated silence. She didn't bother answering Kana's complaints.
"Isn't that arm hurting you enough yet? You want round two?" Shari suddenly sneered. It was like watching a dog refusing to hand over it's favourite toy. Principles where principles, and the lumbering monk was determined to give the cat-thing the same chance that Rin gave her. "Wouldn't you prefer it healed? Or is this just what you like doing? Being a wimpy little pissant to Hitomi's lash?"
"I never stop until my enemies are dead. So hurry up and answer me already. Are you one or not?"
Kai rolled his eyes. "Calm down," he snapped at Kana, "the undead things are back to rest. The only thing you have left to fear is us, and unlike them, we can be satisfied without bloodshed." He crossed his arms, and took a breath, making an effort to control his irritation. "So, answer our questions. You can start by telling us about him," he gestured to the Oni thing.
11-07-2012, 10:52 PM
"My husband." Kana answered, unhelpfully, before elaborating. "Hitomi promised the women revenge. For the samurai this meant death, but for many of the daimyo, their punishment was to be more severe. Hizen and his accomplices were given forms more befitting their natures, and what transmutation did for their bodies, enchantmants did for their minds." She seemed amused. "We took them as husbands for legitimacy purposes, and to help the magics bind them to our wills. Hitomi took Hizen for her husband, and I got saddled with this lout and his shitty crapsack of a town."
11-13-2012, 09:58 PM
Shari narrowed her eyes and gave Kana's apparent husband a prolonged glare. "So... He's effectively a human?"
The monk hadn't really even given it any thought. The more she considered it, the dirt-ridden walking corpse more or less had been, too, along the same lines. Rin generally sent her on missions against things either too abhuman for her to feel pity for, or humans that had become morally repugnant of their own free will.
A creature that was performing evil without willing it... She had no idea where that was supposed to stand on her newly-gained moral compass at all.
"How many Bakeneko are there under Hitomi's command? One for each town or even more than that?... And what kind of proof does she have that she is even trying to resurrect Otoyo? Surely you aren't all that gullible."
11-14-2012, 09:26 AM
"I guess?" Kana shrugged, not particularly caring about the metaphysical nature of her husband and whether or not a horrible person forcibly transformed into a horrible monster via magic and reduced to a mentally retarded but physically monstrous state still qualifies as human. That's a question for nerdy Humans, not beautiful Bakeneko who should be spending their time in better pursuits like fucking or fighting or chasing laser pointers around, if those had been invented and existed in Asul, but they didn't, and so the party's job was a lot harder.
"Fucking deserved it though." She added.
Kana shifted her weight, wincing as her broken arm reminded her that it was, in fact, still broken. "I dunno," she shrugged. "There's at least one of us married off to whatever dumbfuck ape was running the bigger towns. Lots more hangin' 'round Hitomi herself. Priestesses and shit. Buncha nerds." Kana rolled her eyes.
"I 'unno." Kana admitted with disinterest. "Don't really care if she is or she isn't. Never met Otoyo, I'm not that old. But she seemed fun. And Hitomi's kind of really fucking hot and can be pretty persuasive. And 'Hey, Kana, wanna go lord over some of the Humans while I work on reviving Otoyo so we can do whatever we want whenever we want just like old times before Sogi betrayed us?' sounded like a pretty fucking sweet time." Kana gave an exaggerated pout. "But it totally isn't."
11-16-2012, 09:21 PM
Shari looked like she was getting seriously irritated sifthing through the ditzy bakeneko's brains, only come out with the smallest ammount of information. They were getting no closer to putting the woman-monster-thing back out of her combfert zone either... but the monk still was not too keen on outright killing her, either. There had to be a way of making sure she stayed out of town if they let her go...
The hulking oaf of a human-oni-thing got sidetracked and looked away, just for a second. It was all the chance that Shari needed.
Spurting forward and then rebounding off the wooden beam behind the two of them, the monk brought a heavy heel down into the back of the Oni's leg, sending it lurching backwards in pain. Her sizable bicep then wrapped itself around the beasts windpipe on the way down, effortlessly catching it in a reverse headlock. It was so out of angle and paniced at the fact it could not right itself, it didn't stand a chance of breaking out, despite any lumbering might it might have when standing up straight.
Shari said nothing, and only held a long, cold stare towards Kana whilst she waited for Yaun to follow her up...
Kodos said it's so slow that it probally can't escape a grapple from her anyway, so it's automatic.
11-16-2012, 09:40 PM
Kana was in midway yelling at Shari when Yuanjun was upon her, the Monk smashing one foot down hard into Kana's ankle, dropping the Bakeneko to her knees. Yuanjun squatted down in front of Kana so they were eye-to-eye.
"I imagine some of my allies here want to kill you. Tough shit for them. I believe in second chances, and so you're getting one." Yuanjun gave Kai a Look that made it pretty clear she wasn't going to entertain any differing opinions.
Not that Yuanjun ever really did.
"You're going to leave this place and you are never going to come back. You're going to learn how to behave yourself. You can do it." Yuanjun then grabbed her by the cheeks and pulled her in close. "And if you don't, and if I ever hear about you starting trouble again, I will find you, and I will break more than just your arm. Are we clear?" Kana gave a terrified little squeek and nodded her head. Yuanjun roughly let go and stood up. "Oni, let go of the other Oni." Yuanjun said to Shari with her usual friendliness towards the woman.
The party saw to it that Kana left, taking her 'Oni' with her. Strangely enough the Bakeneko did thank Yuanjun on the way out. She seemed honest enough. Of course, who knew. People were strange and complex. And so were cats. And she was kind of both.
Yuanjun seemed satisfied with how everything went.
11-16-2012, 10:04 PM
Shari waited until the very moment that Kana was gone, but not a second longer, before unloading on Yaun. "...Well I didn't see you making the first move, you prepubecent little runt!"
"You do realise that getting the Bakeneko onto our side would have let us just stroll into any one of Hitomi's fortresses, right?" The monk used her formidable stature to brush right up against Yaun, glaring practically straight down at her. "I would like to see how your compassion works out if she decides to just come back the minute we are gone!"
There would have been a whole heap of problems with keeping the cat girl around, Shari knew. But any plan was that Yaun's was wrong in her book.
11-16-2012, 10:12 PM
Yuanjun just placed her hands on her hips and stepped forward slightly, brushing up more against Shari, and smirking slightly, barely noticable, for a brief instant the only two things above the waist Yuanjun had that were bigger than something on Shari's upper body demonstrated that fact.
"First of all," she began in her usual deadpan drawl, "I'm sure Hitomi's friends wouldn't ask why Kana has a bunch of new friends. I suppose I could pass for one of them, and we could hide your breasts pretty easily and try and pass you off as one of their Oni-things, but Haru, Ryo, and Kai are a little too clean, good looking, and not-covered-in-filth to pass for one of the locals, don't you think?"
"Second, we all get second chances, and you should know this better than anyone else." Yuanjun gave a Look. "Are we done or do you want to bitch some more?"
11-16-2012, 10:58 PM
"Is that what you call the way you talk about me? Rin gave me a second chance. I'm sure you'd stab me in the back the second you think you could get away with it." Shari scowled, her rather unfeminine and booming voice all the more apparent. "And trying to change her mind about things was my overall goal in itself. I can't think of any better Karma than that..."
"But of course you wouldn't know a damn thing about teaching somebody anything. You just act like people should either take care of themselves or just go ahead and die." Self control and patience might normally have been some of the monk's virtues, but that was not one of these times. It was strange, but with Yaun around, she didn't seem to be able to keep her cool at all. Rin's ghostly, smiling image might as well have been hanging in the air about them. "Both dressing and acting like a prostitute all of the time doesn't make it much of a disguise, you know!"
11-16-2012, 11:29 PM
"I'm trying to teach people all the time, ugly." Yuanun drawled, a bit more anger showing in her monotone. "It is not my fault that people fail to learn. A teacher can only do so much with uncooperative students." She went on, her voice now a fair deal more catty. "And I give everyone a second chance." Shari could hear the smirk, although Yuanjun's expression remained as bored and grumpy as ever, although she did step forward a bit more squashing more of her... Yuanjunbits between her and Yuanjun, glaring up at the taller woman. "And calling me names and showing off your jealousy won't make you any less ugly so you might as well try and find something else. Maybe Rin can suggest some make-up? Or a mask. Really there's no where to go but up."
http://fi.somethingawful.com/images/smilies/emot-nyd.gif Oh no she didn't!
11-16-2012, 11:44 PM
Shari contorted her brown and made it obvious that she was trying desperately not to slap Yaun across the face. Her fists balled up.
"You teach people things? You care? They just don't know it?..." She gritted her teeth as she spoke. "Oh how very noble of you, princess."
"I... I want a rematch. This town is cleared out anyway." Shari looked at Kai, knowing how irresponsable that suggestion was, but unable to stop herself anyway. "First one on the floor. Not that you don't spend enough time there."
11-17-2012, 12:08 AM
"Ugly and dumb. If I wasn't with Rin I'd assume all the gods were cruel." Yuanjun rolled her eyes. "The Jijo come out at night, remember, dumbass?" Then she smirked. Her monotone was largely gone. Yuanjun was full-on bitchmode now, all cattiness. "If you want to do this somewhere safer, on the road or something, that sounds fun. Kicking your face in might be a bit of fun stress relief. And I might rearrange it into something resembling a woman. But I want it to knockout, because I don't want to hear you whining like a little bitch." Yuanjun smirked up at Shari. "Deal?"
As a bit of OOC explaining - part of the reason why Yuanjun would only want to fight to a knockout is for rollplay rather than roleplay reasons. The way Yuanjun and Shari's styles are done, either one of them could probably drop the other one to the floor in a single round unless they fumbled their rolls. So it would come down to initiative, which Yuanjun has a bit of an edge in. Yuanjun and Shari's rematch, however petty and catfighty it is, really deserves a bit more than just what amounts to a coin toss slightly weighted in Yuan's favor.
Do remember - Haru can heal. So a knock out would have Yuan or Shari out of commission only for the six to 12 seconds it would take Haru to move in and heal them. So Yuanjun's not being that vicious, either. As much as she hates Shari, she doesn't want to kill or permanently injure her.
Plus Rin would be really mad. Although, then again, I imagine when Rin finds out Shari and Yuanjun had a fight and neither of them made any real effort to to tear eachother's clothes off or "at least fight in the mud!" that Rin will be pretty disappointed in them anyway.
"I'm not mad at you two. I'm just disappointed."
11-17-2012, 12:47 AM
"Like you even know what a woman is supposed to look like. All I see is a snivelling skinny little girl." The monk sounded utterly spiteful. Maturity and a robust body where the only two things she figured that she really had against Yaun, so she was prepared to play both cards until the bitter end. "The minute that we have clear skies, an empty road, no enemies about... I want that fight. The only reason I didn't suggest a knockout myself was to save Rin's feeling's but... Hey, if you're the one who asked for it, then..."
Slowly, Shari raised a brawny hand to Yaun's chin, and purposefully nudged her face backwards to force a break in their bodily contact. It was clear that she dearly wanted to monk to strike first in retaliation, but wasn't willing to break her own code of honour so easily.
After that, she simply lumbered off in a huff, scowling to herself under her breath.
11-17-2012, 06:33 AM
Ryo would've called the pair childish, but then they'd probably kick his ass so he just kept quiet.
"If you were half as superior as you claim to be," Kai snapped, "you'd just leave her alone, her contempt below your lofty notice. Clearly your belief in your own worth is compromised. You talk about second chances, to Shari and myself who had to drag ourselves out of depravity simply so that even thinking about offering us a hand up wouldn't have been monstrous. Comparatively you had every chance handed to you. It's a joke, a weak one, and we see it. We grew up in this place, in this filth. We were born in the gutter and we clawed out.
Shari wanted to give that girl a second chance, a hand up out of here. She wanted to take her with us and actually ensure Kana took the chance she'd been offered. Do you know what the filth does down here, Yuanjun? Do you want to know the dirty, nasty little secret that we all hide from?
Ah-" He said softly, dark eyes like flint, "except you already know it, don't you? The secret is that you cannot get out on your own. Everyone needs someone, Shari. Sogi had people. I had someone. Shari, unfortunately for her, seems to be stuck with me- we all know I'm hardly a paragon of virtue, don't we?- and you, you insufferable, silly little woman, you have Rin.
Who does Kana have?" He shook his head in disgust. "You seem to think that by not acing every fight we ever have all by yourself you are somehow "teaching" us. This is ridiculous. Your attitude that people should pull themselves up by the strings on their shoes is obnoxious. Your condescending assurances that it's our fault that we're still feet on the ground, as you refuse to lower the ladder to the goddamn pedestal you believe you're standing on is a self-delusion that's almost impressive.
We are supposed to be a team, Yuanjun. Nobody has to like each other. But for Kami's sake and Rin's, control yourself. Nobody cares how much you hate Shari. Nobody cares how much she hates you. It's boring, annoying, and if you do this idiotic fight later all you're doing is wasting time nobody has. I loathe you, Yuanjuan, to me you are utterly contemptible. But even I know you're better than this."
"Now," he said calmly, "I am going to go and talk to Shari. At Shari. You're both behaving like children. Control yourself."
Grimly, he set off after Shari.
11-17-2012, 10:42 PM
Yuanjun just crossed her arms and stomped off. At least she didn't hit Kai. That was something, I guess?
Although given that she neither said anything nor hit him, maybe she actually listened?
11-17-2012, 11:28 PM
Shari hadn't gone far. Even if there was somewhere to go in the pestilent little hive they had found themselves in, it wouldn't be very dutiful of her to simply walk out on the others. Instead, she just stood at the bottom of the stairs. Sulking to herself, but also keeping her ears keenly open for any upright undead they could have missed.
She heard Kai yelling, and although she couldn't make out the words, she knew that she was next. That was too be expected. Kai really was a moral person at heart, where-as for a person who prided herself on self-control, she seemed to loose it the very instant any time Yuan stepped in the room.
It wasn't the insults that did it. Or the fact that Yuanjun was like a walking work of art. Shari knew that she was dirt, at the end of the day, as much as she had learn to gain confidence by rolling around in her own disgrace...
No, the problem was Rin. It was always Rin. The monk knew that she was immeasurably far away from ever really gaining her master's trust again, but the person she had chosen to give her trust to was that stupid, childish, naive, arrogant, stuck up little snot-nosed bint. A person who didn't know a single thing about loyalty or honour in the first place.
She wasn't sure she could ever repress that kind of hate. Kai was probably going to end up seeing what a petty, ugly soul she really had, but she wasn't sure she could ever repress that...
It was utterly unforgivable.
As Kai descended the stairs, he half hoped Yuan had listened. Although even if she hadn't, he thanked the gods for the small mercy of her not hitting him.
He came up behind Shari and coughed to make his presence known, sliding next to her and sitting on the stair.
"You," he said calmly, "are not going to fight with Yuanjun, because whether you win or lose she is always going to be an obnoxious waste of time. And if you lose, she will lord it over you until the day you drop dead, and long after. This is petty. It's stupid. It's a waste of everyone's time and as much as I would like to see her self assured sneer twist as you break her nose, it won't actually achieve anything."
He paused, and sighed, "Except that Rin will yell at you, the already damaged relationship you have with her will be further trashed, and yet again she won't say a word about the bullying, abusive bullshit her little girlfriend gets up to. It's lose-lose.
"You are better than this, Shari. You've been a disgusting thug but you aren't that person anymore. You would have risked everything to save Kana, wouldn't you? Doesn't that prove how far you've risen? You're not anything she says you are. You're intelligent and brave and beautiful. I'm not saying turn the other cheek and let her keep on pounding until you bleed, but I am saying that you are better than a street brawl with that woman."
11-19-2012, 11:10 PM
Shari kept her back to him, simply gazing at the floor ahead. Perhaps a sign that she was honestly ashamed of her actions, but still too worked up to get herself in the state of mind for an apology.
"...It's pretty pathetic that I even follow Rin, really." Her voice made a grainy and sour attempt to laugh at her own inadequacies. It obviously wasn't talk that she would say to just anyone, considering what calling your master pathetic to serve amounted to, but her voice sounded far more jaded than hurt or apologetic. "Kai, I'm... Yeah, it was something a ten year old would suggest. I'm an imbecile, I know."
"But what can I do? Where can I go from here? I'm duty bound to a woma- No, a goddess of kinds- who curses the ground I walk on."
"...I thank you for saying nice things to me, keeping me sane, but... I still feel empty. I'm sorry."
"...It was vain, but... That Bakeneko was a chance for me to actually do something constructive. Take a break from being... Well, a charity case."
At first hesitating cautiously, then suddenly moving with an abrasive urgency, Shari wrapped both of her arms around Kai's torso and put the side of her face to his chest. It was awkward and ill-practised, but it was a embracing hug. Still, she would not let him see her face.
"I knew I would probably loose. But that is the person I am. You can guide me to the light, but it seems I cannot avoid crawling the path there on my belly."
"If... If it happens... Please do not put yourself in the way. That would hurt me alot more."
Kai said nothing as she spoke, simply wrapping his arms around her and leaning his chin against her head.
"I won't," he said eventually. He smiled humourlessly. "And I'm not so good I won't be cheering you on, wishing you first blood. We're all petty and childish sometimes."
He hesitated, and dropped his voice to a murmur. "Shari, we both know Rin is not perfect. She makes mistakes, says things she doesn't mean and hasn't thought through. As such she's not... she's not a divine being incapable of feeling or change, who stands eternally for a set of ideas and ideals. You don't have to serve her out of a sense of unchanging fealty. You should serve her because you want to serve her, Rin the person, the leader of our country, our... friend. That's not pathetic. Loyalty, devotion... these aren't pathetic."
"Neither is wanting to save Kana." He sighed. "I don't think you're a charity case, Shari. I don't think you ever were. I think you reminded Rin of who she once was, and she saved you and hated you for it."
11-21-2012, 11:56 PM
Shari suddenly found herself thinking about the moment that Rin had actually gained her loyalty. It made the scar across her stomach ache with a recalled pain.
"I guess the ironic thing is, I did enjoy serving her once. She's the strongest being I've ever known, at least physically." She spoke into his chest at a low tone, soothed enough by his bodily warmth that she became reluctant to move. "But... Back then, I don't think I understood enough about liking someone to realise you could still hate them at the same time."
Plying herself from his grip with an almost slumber-like demeanour, Shari took two steps forward, before straightening herself up, and then finally facing him again.
"It won't happen...The fight... Not if you don't want it to. I already knew what you were thinking." Her expression was veiled, through her eyes were still red. The way she spoke was a dull statement of information, far too strict and controlled to have any purpose beyond hiding the feelings she was uncomfortable with allowing to escape. "I could never hate you. I could never live with you hating me."
The air within the poorly maintained mansion felt like it dropped a couple of degrees. Her head snapped back to facing forwards, and she looked blankly towards the large double-doors ahead.
"...We... should leave."
11-23-2012, 11:22 PM
And so the group set off towards Oguchi's capital, and with it Hitomi.
Yuanjun waited until she was able to catch Kai alone, especially from Shari, before confronting him.
Oh Gods please don't hit- oh, she wants to talk.
"Look," she drawled, "you're right. I know I am too hard on all of you sometimes and I'm... I'm sorry." Kai got the idea Yuanjun wasn't very used to apologizing. She sounded sincere though. And very awkward. "I know you wont believe me, but I am so hard because I care about you, and Haru, and Ryo. I.. I'm sorry, I'm not very good at... people?" she shrugged. "I am sorry to hear you hate me so much, because I don't hate you." Yuanjun wasn't used to telling people who were not Rin how she felt, of course. And not used to talking to people of the opposite sex who could remember where her face was. And definitely not used to telling people she was sorry. And it showed.
"But you are also wrong." Oh. "I understand that we all need people. I know that. I have Rin, she has me. We have eachother. But Shari had Rin before I did. She didn't just meet her. Do you remember our first little adventure together? Shari tried to torture that Orochi woman, and Haru had to kill her to save her. Or did you conveniently forget that? When Shari chooses to behave herself like a Human being and not some sort of Oni, she does it because of a sense of obligation, not because of any lessons learned. Shari has Rin. She had Rin. She has you. And she still hasn't learned a godsdamned thing. All her ancestors could rise up and smack her upside the head and she still wouldn't learn anything because Shari is a godadamned idiot." There's the Yuanjun we know and love. "You're alright, Kai, and I don't hate you or hold you responsible for her, but don't lecture me on her or pretend like you don't have blind spots either. And my decision regarding Kana wasn't motivated by my dislike of Shari, either. You wanted, what, us to bring her along? Yeah, great idea. If Kana misbehaves now, I will have to hunt her down and kill her. If Kana was brought along and misbehaved and betrayed us, we would fail in our duty, Otoyo would be brought back, and then Dragons only know what would happen. Taking Kana with us was never an option, only killing her or letting he go and hoping for the best, and I chose the latter. But you decided I did what I did because of my intense dislike for Shari. See? I'm right. And you know it. It was dumb of me to waste time challenging her here and now, we can do that back in Kusanagi if she wants, but don't pretend like I always let my dislike of her blind me like you let your like of her blind you."
She was angry again but seemed to calm down, crossing her arms and kind of kicking at the dirt under her feet. "Um... that's it."
Kai nodded as she spoke, his face blank. When she was finished, he shrugged. "I don't hate you, Yuanjun."
"The thing is, Yuanjun, I want a better world. Of course I remember what Shari did to Ran, what she wanted to do." He leant in to Yuanjun, his mouth close to her ear, and dropped his voice. "Do you forget that I was right there beside her, goading her on? That we failed because of Haru's kindness?"
He paused, and leaned back. "I would have killed Kana. I wouldn't have let Shari bring her along. I would have killed her, and not even blinked. Tonight I would sleep soundly, her blood long wiped from my blades. You assume too much, you are still assuming too much. You assumed she made that decision out of idiocy, because you seem to be incapable of acknowledging that perhaps Shari has motivations you don't see or comprehend. I don't care why you let Kana go. I never said anything about your every move being dictated by spite. But your words? Your goading? That I take issue with. That is your petty, pathetic spite. You assume she's an idiot! Have you even said a word to one another that wasn't loaded with loathing?"
"The difference between us, Yuanjun, is that I have never pretended I am not weak and blind. I have not pretended to be better than you, or her, or anyone. I know I am blind when it comes to many things, to her, to Mio. But if she slips, if she falls into what she once was- I will stop her. With words or blades, I will stop her. Because I am not that blind. Not that blind. I want a world that by definition can't have people like me, people like her, in it. A better world than this. But until then, people like you need people like us and our little cruelties."
"Or did you forget that Rin gave us Shari? Don't forget that everything she was, Rin used. Rin set her loose upon that cult. And I don't think she was wrong for it. The right tool for the right job."
"But now Shari is more than a tool, a nasty knife in a bag of nasty tricks. If you refuse to believe she's changed, grown, then fine. Stay out of our way. Leave us be. Harmony is a simple as not opening your mouth."
11-29-2012, 09:20 PM
"Well, I don't like her." Was Yuanjun's non-answer before stomping back off.
The group stopped some ways away from the capital because, well... come to think of it, they still didn't know exactly how to get in. Naturally the city would be walled, and likely have guards along the walls and all the gates. The group stopped quite a ways away since, after all, who was to say those guards would be Human? Kana did allude to the majority of the Bakeneko being about the city.
Maybe there would be some manner of secret way in? A lot of cities with castles did have secret tunnels and stuff, what in case of sieges. Plus the group did have a Druid. Maybe Haru could, like, turn into a bird and fly in and poke around? Nekomata didn't have truesight, right?
11-30-2012, 06:54 PM
Ryo finally felt it was safe to open his mouth.
"Haru, can you turn into a bird and look for a way in?"
12-27-2012, 07:56 PM
There was a dramatic pause, then Haru nodded anti-climatically.
In a poof of feathers, Haru was replaced with a very large monkey eating eagle just a smidgen smaller and lighter than Tsubasa. After exchanging some incomprehensible squawks with his fellow eagle, they both took to the air.
Haru: 1d20+12=17, Tsubasa:1d20+16=34 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3840426/)
12-27-2012, 08:52 PM
The two 'eagles' made several passes over the city, careful to be both inconspicuous but also doing their best to get as close as possible.
The wall of the city was, unfortunately, intact as far as they could tell, and each of its gates had four large and armored Oni and what appeared to be armored and armed Humans.
The city itself still showed the damage from the madness of the Shogun and the resulting civil war. Many burnt husks of buildings dotted the city, and other standing buildings clearly showed fire damage. Mass graves dotted the city and nearly all of them were conspicuosly empty.
Large lumbering figures patrolled the city, presumably Oni. Smaller and slow moving mobs also were clearly visible. Presumably the Jijo or other Undead. Evidently in the cpaital they didn't wait for sundown.
The Shogun's palace itself was largely intact, although various parts of the three concentric walls which surrounded it had yet to be repaired. Given the stench of death about the place and fact lights were visible within, Haru ventured a guess that Hitomi and a large number of Undead were inside.
Getting into the palace seemed somewhat managable. After all, those walls were damaged, and they did have a Ninja. And Yuanjun, for all the gorgeous yet terrifying woman's faults, did seem to have a way of handeling Oni. But getting into the cityw ithout alerting everyone might be a bigger issue.
12-30-2012, 12:22 PM
Haru and Tsubasa returned to the group as inconspicuously as a pair of eagles can. Haru sprouted up from the smaller form like a rapidly growing tree.
"Getting past the gates may be our greatest challenge," said Haru picking a cream colored feather out from behind his ear.
He then proceeded to describe everything he and Tsubasa had seen, from the burnt city buildings to the empty mass graves.
Tsubasa leaped from a branch on to his shoulder, and he favored her with scritches. "Any ideas?"
01-13-2013, 09:32 PM
Yuanjun squinted to double-check and make sure that, yes, it was too many people for her to just kick her way in.
After a while, the group got a visitor! It was Kana! Who approached with her hands held clear in front of her and an annoyed look on her face. "I'm unarmed, shitheads. Calm the fuck down. I'm not here for revenge or anything. But, I am here to, you know, Pay a debt." She looked in Yuanjun's direction. "I don't like owing people, 'specially Humans. You let me live, thunder thighs, so I may as well do the same for you. There's a secret entrance into the city. An cave that connects to some basement under one of the buildings on the palace. I don't know much more than that." She gave a shrug. "Hitomi knows about it and it's guarded, but it's really your only shot. 'Less Sogi gave you all a miracle or something. There. We even?"
01-19-2013, 11:52 PM
Shari had a scowl on her face, but it was a little differant from the ussual. Perhaps she just disliked Yuan getting the praise for something that was basically her idea in the first place. Hell, the idea that she seriously put her neck on the line for.
Still, she seemed mildly happy to see Kana again, in that the monk was not openly hostile. Extremely defensive and observant of the woman-thing's actions, but not openly hostile.
"Hello again, Bakeneko. Nice to see you are staying out of trouble..."
"...Well... It would be pretty foolish to try and sneak somebody up to the gates and open them." She shrugged. "They are bound to be the most heavily defended points... and at that rate we might aswell just try and run at the damn doors with a ram and let 'em know we are here."
"I don't see what you would gain by lying to us, through, anyway. If you wanted to take credit for our capture or deaths, you could have just sounded the alarm."
The problem with Shari being so cold and professional was that generally it meant she was brooding about something. And, giving a sideways glare to Yuan, and then back to Kana, it was pretty clear that this time was no differant.
"Look, thanks for the info... But if you aren't going to stick around, then please fuck off already...."
"You can stay if you want to help us, but you never owed us a damn thing."
Kai glanced between Shari, Yuanjun and Kana. His head hurt.
"Could you be more specific as to what you mean when you say "guarded"?" He gestured vaguely with a hand, "Like how many and what exactly the guards are? I'm supposing there's more angry undead around here, judging by Haru's vivid description of the state of the place." He nodded gratefully to the druid.
01-24-2013, 04:32 PM
Kana shrugged. "I don't know. I can't imagine any of us wanting to hang out in a dank dark cave, even if Hitomi yelled and threw a fit. Probably just Undead, Oni, and maybe some Bakemono or whatever." Another shrug. "The town itself is crawling with the Undead, yes. The Shogun had all the women killed, and what his servants did not get, the plague did."
01-25-2013, 10:44 PM
Shari grunted and rubbed her chin, remained looking into the ground for a moment, then turned around and made an even louder grunt. She realised she was acting childishly, but didn't like being ignored.
"Damn. This defensive setup has us running blindly ahead, then. As ussual." Her arms crossed. The standard annoyance control pose. "At least the walking dead and oni do not have the presence of mind to raise an alarm... I don't like it, but our best bet may be to simply ambush one group at a time, and finish them off before they make too much noise. It's a question of speed... and being lucky enough to be pointed in the right direction."
"Kana... Did your old comrades generally bother setting up any traps?"
02-27-2013, 02:03 PM
The dungeon was mostly stealthy stuff, so Zizi is why you cannot have nice dungeons.
In case you forgot
Bakeneko = Sexy Cat Ladies
Bakemono = Japanese Goblin Things
Nekmata = Elder Bakeneko with two tails, more magic powers, and a anthropomorphic cat form in addition to their Human and giant cat forms.
Kana shrugged. "I don't think so. At least not anywhere where the Oni are likely to be. They're too fuckin' stupid to remember what places are trapped, half the time. S'probably safe." She turned and started off. "We're even now. I don't owe you shit anymore, thunder thighs.
But... uh... thanks."
Kana had been true to her word. The tunnel network was full of primarily Common Oni and Bakemono, although there were an uncomfortable amount of those undead women and those Hakagoto things. Still, between Kai's stealthiness, Haru's magic, and Yuanjun and Shari's muscles, it hadn't been too difficult. Ryo found himself of limited help against the undead, but fortunately Oni and Bakemono cut easy enough.
The tunnel led, as Kana said, to the basement of some building - presumably, like she said, within the inner walls of the palace. It was guarded by four Common Oni, but Shari and Yuanjun fixed that.
The first thing that hit the group upon exiting, besides how scary Yuanjun and Shari were, was the stench. Even indoors and a bit underground, they could smell the odor of death that presumably permeated the city. The unmistakable unnatural cold that accompanied the Undead was heavy here, too. Haru and Tsubasa felt it most pronounced. Oguchi proper was a large city, and between the plague and the Shogun's madness, all the women had died. So, assume a population of several thousand. Assume 50% were women. Assume they all died, and that at least half of the dead came back as undead. Toss in about 25% of that number to account for the male undead.
"We're in." Yuanun drawled. "Now what?"
11-03-2013, 09:17 PM
So, obviously, with Zizi and Fail both AWOL and the need to move things quickly so the new players can join, I'm having to resolve this myself, mostly. There will be posts needed from Shari and Haru sooner though, although not necessary just yet - although you can post if you want I suppose. I'll be posting more tomorrow or the day after. The forums get pissy when you post too much in a single post, so this has to be broken up, anyway.
The group had scarcely entered the central palace before being confronted by a trio of Bakeneko with hostages - each woman holding a dagger, dripping with poison at that, to the neck of some hapless man. With the cat ladies were twice as many of the Jijo, the horrific things sobbing and drooling.
The group was bound in ropes - with the hostages, there was little chance to argue. In their favor, however, the Bakeneko seemed to be grossly underestimating just how strong Shari and Yuanjun were, while also apparently unaware of the fact that Haru was a Druid. Unfortunately for Kai, however, they were far less ignorant of his capabilities and made sure to fit him with a pair of jade manacles as well.
The party - and the hostages - were led into a large courtyard where, judging by the throngs of Bakeneko gathered and the large summoning circle wrought in blood and ash, the revival of Otoyo was to take place.
Hitomi made her way towards the party, looking much as she had in Yamaguchi - stunningly gorgeous, incredibly trashy, and wearing a barely-there kimono that was half-falling off her, while handling her sword more or less like a sharp club. At her side was her beloved husband, the ground thudding as the lumbering thing walked, and about a dozen undead women of the various types unique to Oguchi.
"Ahahaha, you fuckers again? I'm almost insulted!" She laughed spitting in Ryo's face for good measure before making her way towards Yuanjun. "Oh, hey, you're a new face 'least. You some kinda hooker or sumthin'?" Another laugh - the irony was apparently lost on her though.
"You're just in time, shitheads." Hitomi purred before gesturing towards one of the Nekomata - one currently in her anthropomorphic cat form. "Make sure these fucker's don't interrupt anything." Before Haru could shift forms, or Shari or Yuanjun could try and break free, the group found themselves under the affects of a Hold Person spell. "Maybe I'll let you live as a fucktoy for the Oni, cowtits." Hitomi growled in Yuanjun's face before spitting in it and walking over to the ritual circle, being joined a number of other women - presumably Clerics or Wizards.
They had failed.
The party could only watch, helplessly, as the hostages were killed - along with several dozen others - their souls and blood serving as fuel for the ritual. As the ash and air formed first a skeleton, then the muscle and sinew, then the skin, and finally the completed physical form of Otoyo.
They had failed.
Otoyo stood still for a moment, Hitomi grinning like a child. The reborn woman was quite striking, although more than her lovely nude body, or even to an extent the sense of failure and fear, what most likely caught the group's eyes was, well, the look in hers. She looked like someone who had been to the Lower Planes and back because, well, you know. She had. The minority of people who had been revived from the dead, as well as scholars on such matters, said that the memories of the hereafter faded very quickly after revival. If a fleeting half-hazy memory of the Abyss could give Otoyo a look like that...
The Abyss, man. Real horrorshow.
Although, like, wasn't Otoyo kind of banished there, rather than just being dead? Doesn't that means he remembers, like, all of it? Oh my...
She shook her head clear, slowly putting on the loose-fitting robe one of the Bakeneko reverentially offered her. "H-how long has it been?" She said, her voice soft and shakey, but the hints of her arrogance and cruelty slowly creeping into it. "Over three thousand years, mistress." Otoyo took a deep breath before pointing towards the group. "Who are they? They smell like her."
She made her way towards the group, her steps shakey at first, before she found her balance and footing again. "Do you know what I have been through?" she asked, tilting her head, a far-off look in her eyes. "The tortures and the humiliations? Three thousand years of being raped, murdered, tortured, flayed, eaten, spit on, defecated on, pissed on, torn apart, put back together, and more. They don't let you die - you can't. You die and die and die and die a thousand thousand times, over and over, down there but you never get to actually die.
She sent me there. Your whore mistress. Sogi."
Otoyo smiled and gave a small laugh, both without mirth. "You know, some people might, after something like that, go a little crazy. Maybe devote every ounce of their very being towards getting revenge. Towards making the bitch who betrayed them go through what they went through. Some people might do that. Most people, I think."
Otoyo grabbed Ryo by his face. Her grip was about as strong as one might expect from a woman of her build, which given her being something very much not-Human most likely meant she was still quit weak - it should have been much stronger. " I am going to burn down her life, do you hear me, Human?" she growled. "I am going to take everything, everything that traitorous bitch has ever cared about, and I am going to destroy it. I will track down each and every thing ever to crawl out of her festering cunt and I will send their souls straight to the Abyss. I'll hire Daemons - I'll track down the souls of Genno, and all her other fucktoys, and I'll make sure they are dragged, kicking and screaming, to the Abyss. Anything and everything that whore has ever cared for, I will destroy and desecrate." As she ranted and raved, she wasn't really looking at Ryo - or at anything in particularly. Her eyes and her mind were somewhere else. "Everything."
12-03-2013, 08:42 PM
And then there was an explosion, rocking the side of the castle in a blast of fire and smoke. And in that very instant, something else exploded. Well, more like exploded into being. A very large, very unsettling creature appearing - presumably via some manner of teleportation spell. Well, maybe not a spell...
The creature was an abomination. The obscenity stood at least ten feet tall, slightly hunched on two powerful legs. Its entire body was a vile blend of exposed muscle and sinew, thick, tough looking, flesh, chitinous and/or bone carapace/exoskeleton, and what appered to a slew of teeth and Human faces. Large veins(?) stretched out from its body, pumping gods know what, and the entire abomination's body seemed to pulse and throb like a beating heart. Its two upper limbs ended in massive axe-like blades, apparently comprised of bone, while a lower asymmetrical third limb terminated in a massive boney claw.
The horror's head was akin to an octopus. In fact, to Kai, Shari, and Haru who had seen Uxalu, it was quite clearly the head of what appeared to be a grossly mlformed Illithid. Instead of four tentacles, the mishapen 'face' terminated in at least six or seven, a drooling, toothy maw dripping ichor beneath the writhing tentacles. (http://i.imgur.com/b7Fd6eR.jpg)
For a moment time seemed to stand still, the instant of initial surprise and shock upon the abomination's arrival feeling like a small eternity.
With a sudden gurgling roar, the thing began to tear and slash a bloody path towards Hitomi - and the party. The attacks of the Bakeneko and their Undead allies seemed to largely deflect harmlessly off of some manner of imperceptible barrier surrounding the creature - presumably some manner of psionic defense. Unsurprisingly given its general size and hulking appearance, the few attacks that seemed to penetrate, magical or mundane, seemed to have little or no effect. In reality, most of the Bakeneko had already begun to flee, however, choosing to abandon Hitomi and Otoyo rather than attempt to confront the raging obscenity.
Hitomi, predictably, reacted to all of this with a string of profanities to make a Demon blush, the fear clear under the surface of rage and expletives. Otoyo even seemed afraid. Knowing what they knew from both Rin's words and first-hand experience about Illithids it was pretty discomforting for the still-helpless group. Even more-so that apparently whatever this thing was, it was sufficiently awful as to strike fear into the heart of a ageless monster of a woman who had literally been to the Abyss and back.
Otoyo was more magical than her kin - she needed no materials to wield her considerable magical powers. Like all wielders of the arcane, however, she needed rest, the ability to clear ones mind and recharge and refocus their mind and bodies to the difficult task of channeling and directing the magical energies of the world. Needless to say, her stay in the Abyss had afforded the woman no such opportunities, and she was left with no magic, a panicked and fleeing horde of Bakeneko minions, and a small legion of the Undead which clearly were not quite up to the task of destroying the horror.
Still, Otoyo endeavored to keep her cold, despite her shaking hands and slightly trembling voice. "Run and I will burn down your life as well." She said as flatly and coldly as she could to Hitomi. Naturally Hitomi's 'husband', the former Shogun, remained by her side, although even the massive Oni-like wretch seemed unnerved by the Illithid-esque aberration.
Neither of the couple would be of much help to Otoyo, however, as they were suddenly enclosed by a roiling hemisphere of some strange, bilious, green substance. Otoyo could do nothing but scream in fury and terror, her fists bouncing off the abomination's body like a child's, as it effortlessly lifted her up off her feet with its large clawed hand. The thing's claws scratched and stabbed into Otoyo, drawing blood, but strangely the thing seemed uninterested in causing any deliberate harm to her - simply holding her up while she kicked, struggled and screamed.
The party could hear the voice of a young woman, somewhere off in the background, even above the din. It was hard to hear, over the terror and the general confusion and chaos, but she seemed to be screaming something about Hitomi and about the plague. About how one had caused the other. Judging by the gurgling groans and sobs coming from the jawless Jijo and the wails from the the others, they seemed to be believing it.
The party was then joined by a man. He had drifted down in a wispy form - a green billowy mass apparently of the same substance as Hitomi and Hizen's prison before solidifying and taking the form of a slender man. The man had long black, straight, black hair roughly shoulder length and wore a black hoodless robe, black gloves, and a mask. The mask, curiously, was not only solid white, but literally featureless - no holes for the eyes, although he seemed to have no trouble seeing. He walked over to Yuanjun with a laugh "Ahahaha, wow. So, uh, she's part cat and, what, you part cow or something? Gods, what a pair!" He gave one of Yuanjun's breasts a squeeze and made a honking sound, while the Monk could only stare daggers and fantasize about how good it would feel to kick the smarmy bastard's face in and give him a reason to wear a mask. "We came for the bitch. Well, I mean, bitches are dogs, right? She's a cat, though... The pussy? No, that doesn't sound right..."
"Kamen leave them alone!" It was the woman they had heard before, walking in past several of the Undead, which had now clustered around Hitomi's little dome. She looked about 19 or 20 and had her attractive body squeezed into a skintight black bodysuit, her arms bearing tattoos. (http://i.imgur.com/5pbZLqt.jpg) "We got what we needed. Let's go. Katsuhiko's already left."
"Awww, but Kaori-"
The strange woman (Kaori?) toughed one hand to the masked man (Kamen?), who touched one of his gloved hands to the hulking abomination. The woman then proceeded to touch one of her tattoos which vanished, teleporting her, the masked man, the monster, and their prisoner away.
Several moments later, the Hold Person spell finally wore off, leaving the group free to move once more. Several seconds after that, Hitomi's prison vanished, and the Undead descended upon her...
EDIT: Hammy! Reg! Zizi or Fail if you felt like it! You can post now! Holy shit!
12-06-2013, 12:25 AM
It was getting rather tedious always being ten steps behind.
Shari had been mentally preparing herself for what basically amounted to a suicide attack; Ripping away her bindings and then snapping Otoyo's neck whilst the inhuman wench was still in her weakened state. The monk would have almost definitely caught Hitomi's sword though her chest, but the blithering moron would have given her just enough time to get the job done, she figured. It wasn't very likely they were going to survive the rest of the night if they just accepted defeat anyway.
Then it came.
Turned the entire damn situation upside down. Like the abominations always did. Made it difficult to think about much else. It instantly instilled in her a sense of euphoria, her brain's preference to letting the writhing horror of the thing seep it's way back in again.
She thus watched for a moment, blank and nonchalant, as the undead tide suddenly pooled around Hitomi and began to attack her from all sides. Half of Shari's embittered mind would have liked to have seen the monster make off with Hitomi instead of Otoyo, but she also registered that the ungainly little slut was probably their only chance of figuring out what exactly the monsters had been after in the first place.
If it knew exactly when and where to look, what did that mean about it's involvement? Even if she saved Hitomi, wouldn't that just be causing more problems in the long run? It wasn't like with Kana, who was just an idiot with too much power. Hitomi organised and actualised the subjugation and murder of a great many people, and why?... Well, that was the entire problem.
"Yaun. We need her. This is our last lead." Shari voraciously tore her way out of her bindings, and then rapidly smashed into the crowd of rotten things. "Just think about messing her up in return for all those other times, if you have to."
It wasn't going to be a friendly manoeuvre. If at all possible, Shari intended the grab the bitch by the neck.
12-13-2013, 09:18 PM
"I'll take the big guy, you and Kai get the bitch, Haru and Ryo, keep the Undead off us." Yuanjun half-sighed as she was already rushing towards the hulking form of Hizen.
Hizen beat the everloving crap out of Yuanjun, to put it mildly. What the Shogun lacked in size - compared to true Oni - he more than made up for in experience, madness, malice, and a unnatural resistance to pain.
Unfortunately for the twisted thing, Yuanjun's stubborness, like her ego, somehow managed to be larger than either her thighs or her breasts. The Monk took everything the Shogun threw at her - and every time her threw her and kept on fighting. It took her a while, a lot of teeth, and even more bruises, but eventually she managed to her her thighs around the Shogun's head.
Until Haru got a chance to heal her, Yuanjun very obviously wasn't going to be winning any beauty contests. She did, however, kill the mad Shogun, although the poetic justice of the mad misogynist being killed by a woman was likely lost on the undead women of Oguchi who, overwhelmed by their rage and grief, continued to throw themselves as Hitomi and - by extension - Shari and Kai who attempted to fight to and against the panicked Nekomata.
Yuanjun got to enjoy her victory for a few seconds before promptly taking a few steps and passing out.
Fortunately, Ryo fared better against undead women than he did against blind ones. More fortunately, still, Haru still had Rei's ofuda which made very short work of the bulk of the horde, and allowed Ryo, Kai, and Shari to finish the stragglers. It took considerable effort, but fortunately the undead had softened her up, and Shari was able to pin the screaming, kicking, profanity spewing woman. By which point Haru had healed up Yuanjun more or less back to full, and the other Monk helped, along with Ryo, in keeping the Nekomata from overpowering them.
Kai's blade to her neck didn't hurt, either.
12-14-2013, 12:41 AM
It was more thankful that the undead had kept Hitomi distracted more than anything else. Hitomi, like Kana, was incredibly, unhumanly strong, but had never been forced to actually develop the combat skills required to get out of one of Shari's pinning attacks. Still, even forcing her into a crouch by standing on her calf and yanking her arm the wrong way didn't quite avoid a black eye and a couple of missing teeth on the monk's end. It was only when she also grabbed the woman's hair that things seemed to finally settle down, if only because Shari had now clearly ran out of limbs to finish her off with, if that's what she had intending on doing. Even Hitomi couldn't have missed that.
"Settle down you dumb bitch! You think we would have bothered fighting those walking corpses for fun?" She scowled, gutterly, feeling rather tempted to go for the non-non-leathal option now more than ever. "Tell us who the hell that was! The smarmy psion shitheads and the monster! You seen them before? I won't ask twice!"
12-14-2013, 03:14 AM
It took about half a minute before Hitomi had stopped just screaming and screaming profanities before she was willing to cooperate. "W-wh-what?!" She stammered. "Those fucks weren't with you shitheads?" She seemed confused, but didn't seem to mind much - there was enough blame to go around. "This is all your fault! All of this! You know how fucking hard I worked! Modifying Sogi's stupid magic shit! Developing a cure for the stragglers!? Twisting Hizen and the others?!" She spat. "So much effort and you stupid fucks ruined it! Again! What, that's how it is?! Only Sogi's allowed to have her fun!?" She noticed the look on everyone's faces. "Oh, what, you don't think this is fun?! Fuck you, stinking Humans! Your whore-queen Sogi's killed fuckloads more of you mortals than I or Otoyo - or Therion - ever have! The diff'rence is Otoyo and I don't pretend we're something we're not!" She gave a cruel smirk.
"We are as she made us."
12-20-2013, 11:57 PM
"Boo fucking whoo." Shari just scowled, yanking Hitomi's hair back again for good measure. "You can talk about who's to blame all day, but it doesn't change what you are doing here and now. I've given plenty of undeserving folks a bad end, and I'll probably end up causing a few more, but it doesn't mean giving up and going home is the right thing to do. It's called growing some balls and taking a little responsibility, bitch!"
Funnily enough, the monk was in no mood to mess around. As always, they were ten steps behind. But, for once, the situation did at least have one silver lining...
She brought herself half to a stand, grasped the she-monster in a brawny choke hold, then heaved upwards.
"I don't need any special reason to hurt you after the shit you've put my comrades, and this entire stinking region, through." Another scowl. "So give me a reason not to. Because by the Kami, I'm running low..."
"How did you learn how to do any of this? Who helped you? Who the hell were those people?"
12-23-2013, 09:15 AM
"Responsibility?! You stupid Oni-fucker!" Hitomi spat back, yelping as her hair was pulled. "Look who's talking, while Sogi has you runnin' errands for her, trying to erase her past! She made us! It's her fault! All of this!"
She gagged, kicked, and struggled while she was hauled up to her feet, still thrashing wildly.
"I already told you, pigfucker! I don't know those fuckers. I thought they were with you!" She glared at Yuanjun. "More of Sogi's fuckdolls sent to do the coward-bitch's work!" More screaming and strugling.
"It came to me! In a dream!" She explained, of her plan. "'Cause I'm a fucking genius who accepts what she is, unlike your Sogi! She can't keep running forever, you know! She's going to have to accept what shes is, and what she's done! Fucking coward bitch whore!"
Hitomi was a very charming lady.
12-26-2013, 08:42 PM
"What's the point in having a brain if you just decide you're a monster, and then do what monsters do?" Shari remarked in a low, bitter tone. "Rin can be a real bitch. Yeah, that's right, I sometimes feel a little fucked around for following her, too."
"But, you know, if people like you an me ran the world, what would even be left? Nah. You can shove this moral high ground, mommy made me do it, bullshit right up your ass. You can take responsibility or you can act like a child, there is no inbetween. We all probably deserve what's coming to us, Rin included, but gankin' yourself the minute you realize that is about as cowardly and pathetic as I can imagine."
A long shrug. Shari closed her eyes, and tighteded her grip around Hitomi's neck immensley, then remained in silence for several seconds.
In her heart, she knew a real change in a person's identity required honest willpower, and that was never going to happen with a sour bitch like Hitomi. Not here and now. Maybe not ever.
But killing her?... What was the right answer?...
Her eyes opened slowly. They were dark and sombre, glinting of a unwell realization.
"You ever see anything like that strange not-magic before?..."
"...and.... and, what did you mean, when you said..."
"...What did you mean when you said she's killed more than Therion?... What... What did she do?..."
It was like a smouldering lump of lead descending through her chest. After all this time, had they still been taking the easy road, themselves? You can sleep well at night and call your blind loyalty it's own form of goodness, but how much did they really know about their master? How deep did this all really go?
01-03-2014, 07:41 PM
Hitomi continued struggling and squirming and showed no signs of tiring, much to Yuanjun and Shari's annoyance and difficulty.
"What? I fucking look like a wizard to you or summin?!" She spat, fairly literally. "Hells if I know. Wasn't magic, prob'ly psionics or some shit." She gave a bit of a laugh. "You Humans tried pretty fuckin' hard, but you didn't get all the psions in Shibayama. And you act all outraged at what I've done. At least I do what I do because I choose to, not as a knee-jerk 'cause I'm a scared little pussy. You don't scare me, bitch.
Consider how old 'ol Sogi is, shithead, and consider when it was she became a boring uptight cunt. Do the math. All those silly wars up north are her fault for trashin' the Huangdi Empire. She made Otoyo and me, and the others. So she bears the blame for that too. I don't give a fuck in Hades what the fox-cunt is calling herself these days - she's still Sogi, and Pao Su, and Da Ji, and all the others. Only difference 'tween me and her - or her and Otoyo - is that Otoyo and I know what we are and aren't running from ourselves or lying to ourselves." She smiled. "Although I suppose it's not just herself Sogi's lyin' to these days, is it? What's the bitch giving you shits? Sex? Money? Both? What, she tell you she loves you? You know she's a hooker, right? That's what they all say." She gave Yuanjun in particular a wink. "I bet she said you're the best she's ever had, even, right?"
Yuanjun, for her part, seemed angrier than the group had ever seen the terrifying woman, but rather than hitting the Nekomata - not that she had a limb to spare for it - she just replied as calmly as she could, through gritted teeth, while tightening her hold on the squirming, struggling, classy lady.
Hitomi just laughd. "Did I touch a nerve there, thunder-thighs?"
Hitomi wasn't a very nice lady.
01-05-2014, 12:35 AM
"And what do you supose Rin does? Just roll over and die because you say so?" Shari scowled again. Despite her ponderings, she suspected that the bitch was never really going to tell them much past the obvious. "By the Kami, how can such an old being still talk like a child... Senile maybe? You are a pretty damn old hag."
"...Yaun..." She redirected her gaze, then redirected her arm to prevent Hitomi from spouting anymore retaliatory insults. "This is pointless. Either let me start snapping bits off, or just let me finish her off already. I can't think of any reason why we should trust even the bullshit she is spouting."
Yaun didn't say a thing. She just stared on vindictively, as if to say, 'What the hell are you waiting for? Isn't this supposed to be the one thing you're good at?'
Shari just looked ahead again, and Hitomi started to suddenly thrash more violently, as if realising what was up.
Then, her body just fell limp, head dangling at the neck like a badly made rag-doll.
Her voice was unempathetic, and she regarded the body with disgust, but the feeling of denying somebody any form of redemption made her feel deeply sick... Even if it was someone like Hitomi... Particularly if it was somebody who reminded far too much of Rin.
Too late now.
01-22-2014, 10:21 PM
The trip back to Kusanagi was fortunately without incident. Yuanjun was even more quiet than usual, apparently still uncomfortable about everything that had happened. The first day of the trip back, in fact, she didn't even get petty or catty with Shari, and actually behaved like a reasonable adult towards the other Monk.
Unsurprisingly, Rin more or less threw herself at, and upon, Yuanjun, the Monk's considerable strength being the only thing keeping her from being tackled to the ground by the foxy lady. Rin hugged her tightly, then kissed her, then kissed her and then seemed to remember the others existed. "I missed you, thunder thighs." She purred before greeting everyone else with her usual overly friendly, over long, Rin-tastic hugs and kisses.
"You did it? You killed the bitch?" Rin sounded deadly serious, her mood shifting rather quickly.
She listened to the story, and seemed even more shaken and uneasy when the mention of the... abomination came up. And the fact that the group had not only failed to prevent Otoyo's return to Asul, but had further been unable to prevent the abomination's apparent masters from claiming her for their own.
Rin opted to spend the night alone with Yuanjun, telling the group to come back the next evening when she'd had some time to handle things.
Rin was many things, and Human was one of them, I guess?
That night, Rei kept her word, and took Shari and Kai out for drinks. The Kitsune was an idiot, constantly struggled to remember Kai and Shari's names, and her lips moved when she read, but she was also as sweet as Rin, funny in her own way, and generally fun to be around. It was a nice evening, she was nice, and after so long around monsters, it was nice to have some friendly human contact, even if strictly speaking Rei wasn't entirely Human.
"Thanks, Kinnosuke, though, I mean, seriously. I know what Rin told you to do. I know what she asked of you and the others. I, like, really don't know if Rin will come out and say, she's kinda funny and hard t'read sometimes, y'know? But, like, I do, like, know she appreciates that you all cared enough about her to know better than her. She's a goddess, you know, but she's not... uh... um... uh... yes! Infallible! Thanks, Sana, you're the best! She's not infallible. Hitomi needed to be put down, but torture doesn't do anything besides demean us all. You did the right things. :3"
Rei saw them both off with hugs, and even managed to not make Kai uncomfortable.
And, so, the next evening the group met with Rin once more.
"The abomination. It was an Illithid Hulk. They're horrors wrought by Illithids from their own kind using the most perverse psionic arts and fleshcraft." Rin explained, her voice as serious as it had ever sounded - although there was always an allure and sexuality to it she clearly simply could not excise. It was a part of what she was, after all, not merely who she was. I have Chiyo and her underlings looking into finding out what they can about the masked man and the young woman you described. They're not the ones behind this. They can't be." She gave a heavy sigh, squeezing Yuanjun's hand tightly.
"Only an Illithid could possibly create one of these obscenities, and only the same horror could control or direct one. This is their work. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry I got you all involved in this. In these horrors. Some of you have families, and you have the right to be with them. I'm not... I don't want to lie to you. I believe that there are dark times ahead. Dark as they've ever been. And you have the right to be with your loved ones now. I can't ask you to confront these horrors, and there's no shame in failing to confront them right now... but help would always be welcome." She gave a sad little smile. "You mortals are all so beautiful, you know. You can't see yourselves like I see you, but I think that, you know, if you could... well, I mean... you're all so much more than you know."
Kai decided to spend some time with his family. He'd been through a lot. He kind of earned it. He implied he would probably be back to the group, but could make no promises. Naturally he spent some time alone with Shari...
Ryo, too, had other matters to deal with.
In both cases, Yuanjun was oddly friendly as she saw them off. She really did seem to care about those two, even if she generally lacked the ability to express her feelings in a non-patronizing and paternalistic way.
On the flip side, it was still pretty clear that while Yuanjun's harshness towards Haru, Kai, and Ryo may have been born of misguided concern and care, her feelings towards Shari were still quite, however, different...
"Oni," Yuanjun drawled, "there's a small arena I know where I fought in some tournaments while you and the others were in Mizunokuni and Yamaguchi. I'm pretty popular there since, you know, I easily won all my appearances. Unless you've decided you really still don't want me to kick your face in..." Yuanjun gave a catty shrug, her voice still as monotone as ever. "It's not like anything I do to your face wouldn't be an improvement."
01-22-2014, 11:31 PM
Shari just glanced over, not moving at all from her perch on the small stone wall.
She looked differant (http://www.freewebs.com/handcannon/yivfgifvlijhvf%20b%20350.jpg). Hair cut super short and new earnings afixed, both little presents for Kai's sake before his departure. He seemed to appreciate it at the time, but now her lightened head just felt awkward, and, moreover, foolish.
The monk didn't need an insult to want to crush the smaller woman's bones. Every time she saw her sitting there in her masters lap, disturbing every bit of sanctity that her oath demanded, it made her want to get up and fight her then and there.
She couldn't feel angry at Kai. It would have been selfish of her to ask him to stay, just to fulfil her own strange sense of honour. But she couldn't follow him, for the exact same reason. The entire situation felt like purgatory.
"You can tell Yoko and Rei that this was your idea." A subdued tone, mechanical in the mental practice that had gone into saying it. Clearly, the woman had been thinking of the situation for a long time, playing it over in her head. "I don't think I can spare their feelings, if it means holding something back."
What else could she have said? What insults were there really left to hurl?
01-27-2014, 12:06 AM
It was late in the week, late in the day. The warm wind made small eddies in the brownish dust, and the sky was attempting to turn a deep shade of scarlet. Well maintained white stone walls and red wooden beams, the arena looked far too fancy for it's purpose. A bit like a toybox, beyond the odd cracked slab and dried brown bloodstain. The lantern placement looked nice but was not particularly well thought out, letting barely any light into the middle of the ring and forcing both fighters to confront silhouettes.
Shari Tsunzaku could see that the handful of drink-fueled patrons in the arena's wings had attended on Yuanjun's namesake only. That was okay. Her preference would have been to fight in the streets with nobody in attendance, but if the doll-faced monk had been doing nothing but attempting to bloat her ego from the start, so Shari wouldn't have minded beating her in her own comfort zone.
If she could beat her.
It wasn't a fact to be trifled with. Fate had dealt the woman a tremendous hand in terms of looks and ability, and she suspected it was the former which made the latter so much more effective. Yuan herself almost definitely knew it... But, it was also all the more reason that Shari, just once, wanted to spoil her day. It wasn't like it would make Kai come back, or Rin change her mind about either of them, but they were way past the point where putting a crack in Yuan's perfect little self image was worth more than any penalty it could bring about. The stern-faced, lumbering career thug simply had nothing else left to loose.
The smaller woman stuck first.
Predictable, really. She always kicked straight for the groin, perhaps to kill the enemies' willpower right off the bat. But what she had forgotten was, Shari had seen her do it a thousand times. It rattled the both of her arms, but she rebounded it.
Another kick, this time aimed at the face, came immediately afterwards. The babyface doll was just so damn fast. Striking Shari in the nose, she observed herself stumble backwards, as if the impact was enough to dislodge the soul from her body.
She attempted to retaliate with a punch, but it was several inches too slow.
A third kick, apparently trying to hammer home the humiliation of the groin kick manoeuvre. The larger monk angled an elbow towards her face, and the smaller's attack turned into a feint; Then, an unexpected continuing roundhouse kick which caught Shari in the side of the head instead.
They were close now, and it would have been perfect for a grapple, if the hefty monk was not already kick-drunk and bleeding from the nose. Instead, it just turned into a blind shove that skidded the lighter thing harmlessly backwards several feet.
“...Does it insult you?” Shari growled. All the blood made her angular face, and the hurtful glare that it was making, particularly horrible. “That anyone would even try and fight your highness? Is that why you always try this humiliating bullshit?”
Yuan answered with her hands, colliding with both sides of the muscular woman's face and completely baffling her senses for several moments. She couldn't even see the following kick, but she knew it was coming.
Her grasping hand immediately launched downward, seeking it; It connected, but not accurately. For the cost of merely blunting the attack, several fingers seized up in agony and her stomach was tainted with the cold sickness that came a long with broken bones.
“Oh please, you humiliate yourself!” Yuan finally answered back, now that she had a position to gloat from. “Weren’t you supposed to be good at grappling, you Oni-lookin' bitch? How you gonna do that with one hand?”
Shari just glared back. She'd drop dead before she gave up.
Instead, she answered back with her own fist. Yuan was still too fast. A knee to the ribs, then a reverse slap across the face.
Self-righteous little shit was toying with her, and the lumbering soul knew it.
“Come on!” She teased, leaning in close, swerving in and out in time with Shari's haggard shuffling. “I'm barely even using my hands anyway! What the hell is all that muscle even for?”
It had to be now or never. The heavy monk felt her toned physique turning into dead mass. Anybody else and she could have toughed it out, but Yuan's impacts just impacted with such force that even blocking them made the back of her shins ache.
“What's the matter? I know I call you a knuckle-dragging gorilla wench and all but-”
The lumbering thing made a long, poorly executed and overextended punch. The smaller woman just curved around her trunk-like limb, relishing in how her insult had tormented the ugly brute into such a worthless action. Now just a couple more light slaps and-
A sharp pain, a sudden added weight in her footsteps.
Shari smiled viciously, her teeth digging into Yuan knuckles with something resembling genuine blood-lust.
'Yes, grappling is what I do.'
A downward stomp onto Yuan's right leg. She still managed to slink her flexible body out of the way, but her trapped hand left her ribs wide open. Shari's undamaged hand could have been moving at a snails pace and still made an impact. It wasn't. The blow lifted the smaller woman clean off her feet, and knocked all the air out of her chest.
She tried to punch in retaliation, but the large monk only had to walk forwards to throw it off balance. An attempted kick was worse, leaving her open to a solid blow to the stomach.
Finally, Shari's teeth let go and freed the hand. Yuan formed another punch, but her brain wasn't what it was. The large monk gave her a head butt in the teeth, then backhanded an attempted retaliatory kick.
Yuan didn't have enough left in her to right herself, and fell flat. It wasn't for lack of enthusiasm, or an immediate will to get revenge, or an utter refusal of the idea that Shari could actually beat her. The no longer quite as beautiful woman just seemed to break down in the irrationality of the situation, and struggle to get the willpower back together in order to get back up again.
Shari leant down slowly, grasped her twisted left hand within her right, and made a low, disapproving snarl.
“Have you never felt this way before?...”
“Well, now you know what a real fight feels like.”
It wasn't that Shari was in much of a better shape that was disturbing. Covered in blood, she really wasn't. It was that her train of thought didn't waver at all.
She was at home.
01-27-2014, 10:48 PM
The next day, Shari received a summons to the palace; Rin wanted to see her. WELP.
Rin was, as always, spilling out of a far too small and simultaniously too tight and too loose semi-kimono of sorts when Shari walked in on her. Shari had no sooner sat down than Rin lay down beside her, resting her head in the muscular Monk's lap and smiling up at her as she spoke.
"I heard about you and my Yua- no, calm the fuck down," Rin laughed, "it's okay; I'm not mad. A bit surprised, but not mad. I love Yuanjun and I know her in ways you do not, but I'm not going to pretend like she hasn't deserved a good kick in the cunt for a while now. I'm sad my beloved lost, and she's taking it pretty rough, but she'll get over it. She's strong. And you deserve nice things, too, sexy." Rin sat up, turning Shari's face towards hers and sighing before and after kissing her on the forehead.
"I know my love for Yuanjun has blinded me, sometimes, to how she treated you, and that was wrong, and I am sorry." She gave a sad little smile before sharing some of that musical laughter. Even Shari probably found it hard to remain stoic when Rin laughed. "Ahahaha, could you imagine if someone told you you'd one day have a Goddess apologizing to you?" She gave a wink and hugged Shari before continuing. "But it's not just Thunder Thighs, and I know this, too. I haven't always treated you, Shari, as I ought to have. And, no, it's not about the whole trying to kill me thing. Hells, I don't even remember how many times I plotted to kill Genno, rest his soul." Her face lit up at the mention of Genno just like it did whenever she spoke about Yuanjun. Didn't Otoyo mention him, too? Probably one of her past lovers.
"The parts of you that you have worked so very hard, and come so very far, to overcome remind me of, well, me. I see them when they are there, in you, and sometimes I have projected them on to you, sexy. I have lashed out at you not because I am upset with you, but because I am upset with me - or with who I was.
But I believe people can change. I am not who I once was. Sogi was a different person. I tell myself that, and I believe that, although sometimes it is so very easy to forget. If someone like me could honestly and truly change, I cannot imagine how much simpler it would be for you. And you have. You're not the same Shari I first met. I guess that's another way we're alike, love. We forget how far we have come." Rin smiled.
"I love you, Shari Tsunzaku, and I am so very sorry that my actions have not always reflected this. I will see you again, of this I am sure, but I want you to remember that - oh, Hells this sounds corny - I'm with you always." Rin cracked up laughing. "But seriously, gorgeous. I am a Goddess, and I tend to my little foxes." She felt up Shari's muscular arms, leaning in close, her already exaggeratedly seductive voice becoming even more so. "Even when they aren't so little." More giggling.
"But more importantly - the sun rises. Tomorrow is a new day. I am not who I once was, and neither are you. Live your life, Shari Tsunzaku, and stop punishing yourself."
01-29-2014, 10:57 PM
Shari didn't know what to say. A large part of her was convinced that slugging it out with Yuan would be the last straw in Rin's eyes. Choosing still to do it was consigning herself to the life of a servant, ridding herself of this clawing jealousy, but also giving up hope of ever gaining a place in her master's heart. Quite how that scenario failed to occur was beyond her. She didn't understand what Rin was even trying to say. Did the holy woman really question the monk's loyalties so much, that she felt the need to baby her back into submission?
Her body remained rigid and cross-legged despite Rin leaning on top of her, reactively remaining in a polite, stoic state. It was exactly like the old days, cold and respectful. Only Kai probally knew, it was the woman who wasn't afraid of anything’s version of being anxious. Confused. Distressed.
"I'm sorry, my master. It was not my intent to harm your blessed servant." She wanted to bow, but with Rin in her lap, she ended up putting her hands in a praying position, placing them to the goddesses' head, and then putting her own head ontop of that. The monk didn't dare open her eyes. "No... That's a lie, forgive me. I did want to hurt her. I have for a long time. Dearly."
"It's just that, well... She's better than me. Effortlessly. She has everything I want, and I can't help but despise the ground she walks on." Her voice became a heartfelt whisper. "Did she not constantly take that for granted, there is no way I would have won... Really just wanted to hurt her. I'm sorry, master."
"It was all I could do. The only thing I'm good at." One suspected that the barbaric woman's voice could not turn soft, but it's grating raspy tone did become quieter as she spoke. She was caught inbetween trying to suppress emotions, and not actually knowing how to express them in the first place. "Shari Tsunzaku will continue to be your loyal servant no matter what. She let low animalistic resentfulness get the better of her, and it will not happen again. It was never my place."
No good. Her master hated all of that 'proper talk', she knew that. But that sort of embellishment was really the closest thing Shari had to actual heartfelt affection. The show wasn't for anyone who just asked for it.
Hiding her face in her hands and rubbing a finger down the scar that transversed it, she began to think about how different Rin was from the monster she first encountered, too. The unknowable, terrifying power that she worshipped had slowly turned into the happy-go-lucky woman that was seated upon her today.
"...Please, try to understand... You are truly My Master, and I have given this to you and no one else, because I choose to. It was not the threat of execution, or the money, it was your radiance. Your brilliance. I was childish to think I could grasp it, stupid to feel others might trample it, but it was an earnest feeling."
"There... There is nothing else."
The last part sounded like a formal end to her list of confessions, but it was tinged with a sombre overtone. It seemed, her 'nothing' was in the place that Kai once sat in beside her.
02-04-2014, 09:34 PM
Rin smiled and a placed a hand on Shari's cheek. "You are very good at fighting, but it's not the only thing you're good at. You humans; you're like bags of holding - you're bigger on the inside." Rin stifled a laugh before cracking up. "Okay, that was a terrible analogy, but the point stands, gorgeous. Trust me, I'm a Goddess. I know this shit." the Kitsune smiled.
"I am pretty great, aren't I?" Rin laughed again, her laughter, as ever, sweeter than the most beautiful music. "You're so much more than you think you are, Shari, but fuck if you're not a total godsamned dumbass sometimes!" More laughter. "Of course you grasp it. I mean, my tits are right here!" More laughing. "Okay, okay, but seriously; first of all, we're friends, aren't we? I love you, and I like to think you love me, right?" She gave Shari a big doe-eyed smile and held back a giggle. "And, you know, grasping the divine? Honey, it's called religion. I've not been properly worshipped in a while, and it's kind of funny but if you wanna spend some time on your knees...
Wait! I know something better we can do on our knees together!"
02-04-2014, 11:14 PM
Slowly and carefully, but with her typical unyielding strength, Shari ushered Rin into sitting upright, so that the large monk could put her arms around the back of her waist, and lay her brow upon the unworldly woman's right shoulder. She was as doting as possible, but it was clear from her unexpected sternness that Shari just couldn't stand to have her master see the emotional reaction currently taking place on her face.
The fact that she struggled to comprehend what love was sounded like such a dumb cliché she couldn't really bring herself to say it.
"I... I'm remorseful... But I can't even promise that if I didn't know you, hurting you wouldn't be a thing I would do again..." Her voice was hurt. "Such things have been in my life so long that they feel utterly natural... And it's not like I even started questioning doing it to your enemies for a long time."
"...and then, when I did... To be honest... I... I... resented you..."
Uneasy silence. Her grip tightened. Was she crying?
"...Despite all your grace, you are still so human in the soul... And so, I resented you."
06-06-2014, 07:54 PM
Rin pushed Shari off her, gently, and looked her in the eyes before laughing, musical as ever. "Shari Tsunzaku; every day is a new day. We are to be judged by the people we are, not the people we ahve been." She shrugged before laughing once more. "I certainly hope so anyway. I'm in some serious fucking trouble if I'm wrong." The goddess embraced Shari again and kissed her on the forehead. "You need to stop second guessing yourself. I am not the monsters I have been, and you are not the miserable cunt you were. Live your life, gorgeous."
Shari hadn't made it far from the palace when Rei came bouncing and jiggling after her, a small gaggle of foxes trailing behind the ditzy priestess.
"Setsuna! Wait up!" She laughed, greeting the muscular monk with a great big, and overly squishy, hug. "You don't get to leave without saying goodbye to me!" Rei smiled and let go of Shari. "Like, uh, seriously, like, though. You're going to keep in, uh, touch, um, right?" She gave a big smile. "I really had fun the other day with you and... uh... um... Kenji!" Oh, Rei. "You better keep in touch with me, Setsuna. I mean it." The scatterbrained Kitsune smiled at at Shari and was quiet for a while before hugging her tightly again. "I mean it, love. You are, you know, a better person and, like, stronger than you know. You deserve to be happy. Everyone does. You will keep in touch with me, right? You and Kenji? I worry about you, Setsuna." Rei was adorable.
"Oh, and, uh, congratulations on beating... um... thunder thighs!"
Reg is going to reply to this and give Shari her sendoff. Then I will post the C Revival. GET HYPE.
06-06-2014, 09:21 PM
The towering monk stood silent for a long while, simply being hugged whilst remaining expressionless. The weather was exactly the same as day she arrived, sweltering and humid to the point where it hung in the breath. Shari couldn't remember what she had said to Kai when she first pulled him aside, but it was something to do with being a kindred spirit. Perhaps she could simply tell how much his past had hurt him. It was so rare to find somebody that she related to like that. It enthralled her... But it also fooled her into believing his life was as simple as hers was, without even knowing him.
She wondered, knowing this, if she would have taken exactly the same path willingly.
"It's funny how you can go from hating something to missing it so quickly." The silence broke, and the muscular woman reverberated with an overwhelming melancholy. "Kai may not even be able to accept me as a friend when I find him. His wife might hate me. There are so many things that I can't control here, and to be honest, I'm terrified."
"If it's over... If he can't stand me being around, then..." She looked down to Rei, finally, giving a small, awkward but genuine smile. Probably the first time anyone had actually seen her avoid looking ferocious. "Well... I can't be a slave to violence anymore anyway. You can only piece a weapon back together so many times."
A prolonged shrug. It made the paintings of her chest and arms twist and contort slightly.
"I will write. But I can't say when. Or if Kai will reply at all."
The breeze picked up a little.
"Remember that Shari gave you these." She cupped Rei's hands together. When she opened then again, the red-orb earrings she normally sported were in the Kitsune's palm. "I don't care if Yaunjun forgets that she lost. Just... remind her that I existed..."
Throwing the red jacket of her gi over her shoulder, the mountain of a woman walked off into the stone streets, wind pulling the baked dirt into the air behind her.
06-28-2014, 10:10 PM
Not my best post, but eh. Sorry. My allergies are on the warpath here in Florida, and I just really want this shit rolling, again.
Also, I like how the party has wound up all women again. We need one guy, what kind of harem anime is this?
I'm also leaving the general descriptions of your characters up to you, hence why I also kept it generally vague. If possible, please post the art you have of them. Thanks! But yeah. None of these characters, besides Yuanjun and Hei, know eachother - although you all know Rin, of course, and it's possible you've seen Yuanjun - prior to hulking out at least, maybe after - fighting in various martial arts arenas in the city or beyond, but yeah.
This takes place some intdeterminate time after the last post. Probably a month or so. Yeah, Yuanjun bulked up hella fast, to which I say...
1. This is a world full of magic and potions. I'm sure Ye Olde Roids are a thing.
2. Her girlfriend is literally closer to a god than a mortal.
3. Uh... hyperbolic time chamber.
4. Reg and I felt it was a good direction for her character, so deal with it.
The group was gathered in, as was her style, one of the many rooms of the harems. A small but 'big enough' room heavy with the smell of incense and perfumes, and with many luxurious pillows and cushions haphazardly strewn about. Seated atop some cushions, a fox nuzzled happily in her lap (perhaps it liked the shade, hey-oh!) was Rin Shiranui, favored concubine to the Emperor of Kusanagi, most beautiful woman in the world, and, you know, secret power behind the throne of Kusanagi, 9,000 year old Kitsune demigoddess and, on some level, the literal concept of sex and sexuality given perfect physical form. (http://i.imgur.com/6zZ8PIK.jpg)
Seated besides Rin was her current lover, Yuanjun. Yuanjun was a bit of a local celebrity in Kusanagi-to, thanks to her having a win record in martial arts tournies that dwarfed her thighs. The fact she was also drop-dead gorgeous and fought in outfits that accentuated her aforementioned thunder thighs and ample - she nearly could fit into some of Rin's clothing - chest certainly didn't hurt her popularity, either. (http://i.imgur.com/xL1quX3.jpg)
Of course, then she lost to some huge muscle chick, Shari or somesuch. Then she was kind of, like, just not in it, her fans noticed, and lost more fights. She's been back, lately, and winning again, though, thanks to having put on a *lot* of muscle. (http://imgur.com/a/VqZRc)
Fortunately for her fans, and no doubt to Rin, she managed to keep the tits.
Also in the room was a cute kunoichi, a gorgeous bald woman, another petite ninja-type girl with a fox-mask about her neck, and a woman wearing what appeared to be thirty layers of clothing and a basket on her head.
"I'm so glad you all could make it." Rin smiled. "This is Yuanjun. She's my girlfriend. She's, like, the best thing ever <3." Rin laughed. "Oh, oh, oh! Make a muscle! Come on!" Yuanjun sighed and did as she was asked, flexing a massive bicep, while Rin fawned over it before pulling her face in close and kissing her deeply. "That's Hei." Rin added, next, waving to the woman with the fox mask. "Yuanjun and Hei already know eachother," Rin decided to omit the time Yuanjun kicked Hei with those powerful legs because 'she was being annoying.' "And you all know me, but I don't think any of the rest of you know eachother. So before I start boring you all with what I need you to do, why don't we go around the room and introduce ourselves. Oh, oh, it'll be fun! Why don't we start with you, Hei, babe?" Rin gave the girl a flirty wink.
06-29-2014, 04:34 AM
Hei's head bobbed in acknowledgment, her flowery hair bouncing a little. Then she closed her eyes and stood up, hands folded on her lap as she did.
Then she held up her face and opened her eyes. A pretty thing. Far from sexy, or even beautiful doesn't quite describe her. Her eyes were a tad too big for her lineage, her cheeks a little to plump, her a face a little too round. Her clothing revealed her well-toned muscles, lean but with just enough fat under the skin to look smooth. The fabric was black, giving contrast to her moon-pale skin. Just a pretty flower, of no alluring scent or vivid colors. Her mannerism didn't add much to that impression.
"It is a privilege to serve lady Rin with all of you. She calls me Hei, I cherish the name, and I hope we all will, in time. I leave myself in your care" with brimming smile and a courteous bow to all within the room, she returned to her sitting position.
06-29-2014, 06:22 PM
"Huh? Is it my turn now?" The ninja (http://i.imgur.com/bDyFGCQ.jpg) stood up and kinda bowed her head a little. She wore a dark gray cloak that covered her whole body, except for her feet. "I'm Matsumoto Amami." Her hand shot out from under the cloak and pointed a she pointed a thumb at herself. The clothes underneath the cloak were all skintight and pure black, except for a few articles of clothing. She wore some sort of skirt that was short in front, but long and shaped like a bird's tail in the back. Her forearms and shins were clad in some sort of leather bracers and leg guards, with metal semispheres sticking out of them. Across her chest, and probably to Rin's displeasure, she wore some orange padded armor. All the best ninja wear orange.
Amami still stood there, pointing to herself. "Oh. And I guess thats all." She plopped down into a pile of cushions, finished with her introduction. However, as soon as she landed, her face exploded in pain. She did her best to hide tears of agony, and carefully pulled a shuriken out from under her skirt, while rubbing her butt with the other hand.
06-29-2014, 07:55 PM
Atoli sat perfectly still awaiting her turn to introduce herself. She was of average height, about five-foot-eight. She had a tight, toned figure with very little pudge. She had sizable breasts, and shining golden eyes. Atoli was thin and light and completely shaved, head to toe. Yes, completely. She was dressed in light green and white garb. On her torso she wore a small tube top sort of thing, and on her legs a light colored pair of baggy pants held up by a silver cord. In her ear she wore a single, beautiful white and gold feather. It was so magnificent she often had difficulty convincing others that yes, it was really real and not altered or painted on in any way. She had no socks, no shoes, no gloves, no bracelets or anything else. She was a real minimalist sort of gal.
When it was her turn, she stood up, gracefully and with precision and control. No one had ever stood up quite so beautifully before. She bowed her head and upper body in respect. She then straightened herself out, and introduced herself in a wise, deep tone of voice. "My name is Atoli. I am a Wu-Jen. I am honored to serve alongside you." Very short and very sweet. She sat back down with the same grace and finesse as when she stood, quite pleased with herself. First impressions were everything, truly.
06-29-2014, 09:59 PM
Soft sounds had been emanating from the fourth person in attendance for a while now, a deeply contented snoring that was reverberated by the large mushroom-shaped thatched basket on their head. Each breath sent a heavy waft of something akin to curry powder, mint leaves and sugar cane into the air around them, not so much a pungent odor as an overpoweringly strong mix of flavors.
The rest of the outfit disguised the occupant entirely, to the point where it would be difficult to even tell their gender if it were not for the sweet vocal tone, and the lithe well-manicured feet sticking bare from the bottom of the heavily padded form. The whole thing was gaudy, green-beige and massively improvised, but mostly seemed to be a combination of heavy quilted items strung and sown together. It had the appearance of something in between a bomb proof overcoat, and a body sized oven glove. Half samurai, half komuso, and... Erm, half chef? (http://i.imgur.com/8WjESxX.jpg)
Bulk or no bulk, the outfit was starting to loose it's battle in keeping them seated upright, and they bolted awake with a jolt.
"...Whatttt~... Ohhh....... Oh-oh!....."
"How terribly rude of me... I had a little sleep again..." Her voice was soft, docile and airy, to the point that she might well have been talking to herself. The gaps in her helmet were far too darkened to see her lips move, but the ofuda hanging from the front of it slowly wafted back and forth as she spoke. "My name... is Tama... I'm going to... I'm gonna cook things for you..."
06-30-2014, 10:59 PM
Yuanjun gave Rin a look that pleaded 'do I have to?' while Rin just smiled, laughing, pushing on the hulking Monk's shoulder. "Gogogogo! Your turn, babe! <3" Yuanjun sighed.
"I'm Yuanjun. Some of you probably know me from the local arenas. Or abroad. I used to be a bit slimmer. Still won. All the time. Had a bit of a losing streak, put on muscle, I'm back in shape now." She shrugged. "That's it, I guess. I'm sure you all aren't as helpless and inept as the last group I worked with for Rin." She rolled her eyes. Yuanjun was more of a niche beauty since putting on the muscle, one might suppose, but she still had plenty of fans who went wild for her body. And before hulking up, she was inarguably someone most would probably consider one of, if not the, sexiest women alive, so long as we discounted Rin. That said, Yuanjun was also a woman with all the charm and charisma of a particularly boring rock. Her monotone drawl didn't help much, either. It was, though, kind of impressive how it was haughty, bored, and monotone all at the same time.
Rin hugged Yuanjun and kissed her on the cheek. "Yaay. Now you all know eachother. I'm sure you'll be the best of friends, and we'll all have really mind blowing orgies." Rin laughed while Yuanjun rolled her eyes. "Anyway, you all know the basic premise behind why I've called you here - Yuanjun and her last group encountered some Psions and an Illithid Hulk." Rin's voice got serious. "Listen; Yuanjun already knows this, but it bears repeating for her, and you all need to hear it - the only thing capable of creating, let alone controlling, an Illithid Hulk is an Illithid. The tasks I am asking for your help with will, in all likelyhood, bring you into contact with such an obscenity. If you want to back out now - or at any time, there is no shame in that, and you all know I would love you all just the same." Rin gave a little smile.
"Anyway, with that out of the way, that's really about all we know. I've had Chiyo looking into things, but she hasn't much to report so far. All we know is that there were several Humans working in league with an Illithid Hulk, that captured Otoyo," Rin practically spat the name, visibly tensing up, "for reasons I cannot begin to guess at. I cannot think of any reason the Illithids would want her - at least not to the extent that they would have orchestrated the whole shitfest in Oguchi." She shrugged. "Chiyo and I are working under the assumption that Hitomi," more venom, "the miserable fucking cunt, was unknowingly working for the Illithids." She turned to Yuanjun. "I told you the dumb bitch couldn't figure this shit out on her own." Rin sighed and took Yuanjun's hand, holding it.
"Look. I don't really have any leads for you all yet. I'm sorry. I thought we would by now, but I don't. But, I've been thinking and, well, Akemi Hakunetsu deserves to know what we know. I don't know if she can help, but she deserves to be warned. I want you all to go with Yuanjun to Mizunokuni and let Yuanjun fill her in on what happened." She crawled over to Hei and embraced her from behind, kissing the smaller, in more ways than two, woman along the neck. "And you, gorgeous, I think it would be good for you to talk to her. She's a survivor too, you know." Rin smiled. "And, like, seriously, she's also fucking incredible in the sack. She does this thing with her hips, right? It's great <3" Oh, Rin.
Rin was still mostly feelng up Hei's bare stomach as she spoke. "Once you've spoken to Akemi, get back in touch with me, and we'll figure something out." She held Hei tightly, protectively, and about as non-sexually as things got with Rin. "I'm not going to let the obscenities hurt anyone else, if I can fucking help it."
Rin then laughed. "Fuck, sorry. I'm being depressing. Shit's depressing, though, right? But, look, Mizunokuni's beautiful, and Akemi's, equally hot. You'll enjoy yourselves there, I'm sure. Sorry, though, Tama, you're going to go by boat." I guess Tama didn't like boats? "Anyway, any questions? I figure you leave tomorrow evening. I'd say tomorrow morning, but I imagine Yuanjun might want ot get *some* sleep." She gave Yuanjun a big flirty wink and laughed. "You're all welcome to join us, right Thunder Thighs?" Rin teased.
07-02-2014, 08:42 AM
Hei blushed lightly as Rin felt her up, though she remained still. "I'd love to meet Akemi" she said, smiling faintly. "They have no right to do that to anyone, ever"
"Again, as Lady Rin puts it, anyone can leave, and I will understand -- more than you would right now. You don't want them to know you. Not in the ways that they do... For those who are in, I'm grateful. It means a lot, truly" she bows and smiles. "And we will have so much fun, I already like all of you already!"
07-04-2014, 10:27 PM
"...Oh, no, don't be silly! I came to help you fellows out for a reason! I won't go making a promise and th-"
A pained shriek. Actually, it sounded a little bit like a crow, weirdly. Tama bolted upright upon the floor, yanked the waist cord on her garment, and then seemingly dissolved into a pile of visibly smoking laundry...
After a few more moments, a pair of hands stuck out from underneath the helmet-basket, holding both a tea kettle and a smoking hot metal stand... You know, the kind with charcoal that you can boil things on... Inside clothes that you are currently wearing...
"Sorry! I really shouldn't do that!" Her dosey voice seemed apologetic. "The heat makes me so sleepy through..."
"Does anyone want tea?"
07-07-2014, 04:02 AM
No one else is posting. I want to keep things moving. So I am assuming no one else has anything to add to the conversation and that no one has any reactions to Tama being some kind of incredible fusion of Inspector Gadget and Siegmeyer.
The next evening, as instructed, having made whatever preparations were necessary (if you buy anything - mention it) the group met up back at the palace.
Rin had, in fact lied. To Tama's relief, no doubt, and anyone else in the party who didn't much fancy a long boat trip, she wound up providing the group with a teleport. That was nice.
Although, obviously, they'd be boating back. Unless they shelled out the gold themselves for a teleport.
Yuan was pretty big. Did she count as two people? One might have been tempted to ask, but then one might have also remembers Yuanjun's reputation for kicking people that annoyed her. Or for any number of other reasons.
And Hei might have remembered how much getting kicked by Yuanjun hurt BEFORE she got Oni-sized.
The weather on Mizunokuni was quite lovely, if hot, although fortunately for the group, other than Tama, no one was wearing particularly much in the way of clothing.
Still, they had a job to do. The beaches could wait. And the sushi. And the fish markets in general. And all the other wonderful things on the little island paradise.
The little island paradise that, until six years ago, was under the grip of a cosmic horror beyond mortal ken.
The group was instructed, at the palace, that Akemi was currently tending to the Mizukami but if their news was urgent enough, they could escort them to her. Yuanjun seemed to feel that it was, so they did.
The group was escorted to the beachfront, where they found Akemi and Shinko - not that the group would recognize either by sight, as none of them had met her before - as well as one of the many giant turtles that were common throughout the isles of Mizunokuni.
Shinko was, as ever, clad in his pearl armor and standing watch over his mistress. His mistress who he was totally not obviously in love with, and who, in turn, was totally not obviously in love with him. No sir. It certainly wasn't obvious by the looks they gave eachother, the way their hands lingered with each touch, the way they spoke to eachother, the little in-jokes and everything. No sir.
Akemi, for her part, was clad in what she usually wore, which was to say not very much. This time she was barefoot, as usual, in just a low-hanging sarong and a too-small boobtube. (http://i.imgur.com/jIdxVl2.jpg) She was sitting down in front of the enormous turtle, laughing, apparently chatting with it, and feeding it entire watermelons which its powerful turtle-y maw had little trouble breaking apart.
The turtle, for its part, was evidently quite ancient and had quite the interesting life. It was missing one eye, its body had numerous scars here and there, and its great shell had a enormous gash in it.
Akemi rose as the group approached, her eyes mostly focused on the lovely ladies' more interesting bits. The group's escort from the palace introduced the group and made his exit.
"Rin sent you, hm?" She laughed, making her way over to the group, before stopping to turn and face the turtle. "Listen, you. Don't eat those melons. They're not *all* for you. Okay? What? No. Don't you give me that look you old bastard. I don't care how many Dragons you killed." She smiled and turned back to the group. "That's Old Isamu. He *totally* killed a Dragon." She explained. "That's totally how he got his scars. He's a badass." The great big turtle started lumbering towards the pile of melons Akemi was feeding him, before she turned to glare at him and he simply stopped, and gave her a Look that was kind of the turtle equivalent of 'fuck you' and just stared at the melons while Akemi handled the group. Shinko, meanwile, kept his attention mostly focused on Yuanjun and Tama, given that they were the most obvious threats. Tama as she could well have concealed an entire armory in her clothes - and probably did - and Yuanjun because, well, look at her.
"Akemi Hakunetsu, at your service. That's Shinko. He watches my body." She smiled, he blushed a bit. "I mean, he's my bodyguard. Really more of a babysitter. The Elders are always worried I'm going to get really drunk and vomit on someone important."
"One time! Only once!" Akemi laughed before turning back to the group. "So, Rin sent you? Tch. Doesn't she remember I prefer men?" She made her way towards Yuanjun, taking in her muscles. And her breasts. And her face. And those legs. "wow. You're something. I like it. A lot. Are y-"
"I'm not into women."
Akemi sighed and deflated a bit. "Is Rin just teasing me now? Kami - no, not you Isamu - what a bummer." She laughed it off and then seemed to notice Tama. "I'm not even going to ask." She then set about mostly undressing Hei, Amami, and Atoli with her eyes - not that there was much undressing needed - while addressing the group. "So. What brings you lot here? What's she want now? And why didn't she send the group from last time? It was only the muscle bitch - no, not you gorgeous - I didn't like. Oh, fuck, did any of you all try and murder me and I forgot about it? Is that why that one," she gestured towards Tama, "is in the komuso getup?" She shrugged and gave Atoli a wink. "I love the shaved head, by the way, babe."
Before Yuanjun could respond, Hei had something to say. Fortunately, Yuanjun just gave her a dirty look, and not, you know, a kick to the head.
07-07-2014, 04:40 AM
"It's a terrible time for this, you of all people derserve nothing more to do with them. Lady Rin wanted us to give you a heads up" she said, skipping up a teeny bit closer to the old turtle-badass. When the turtle crushed his watermelon, though, she hopped back a few steps, frowned like a child denied her toy, and snapped back to business. "The...Mindflayer. It's back, active, and have already orchestrated some pretty big mess in Oguchi. There's not much left of the place, and they've basically captured the most terrible of the Bakeneko, Otoyo, assuming the Mindflayer Hulk was in league with it. There are obviously humans working for the illithids, as well. As to why, we've no clue"
07-07-2014, 05:30 AM
Akemi just gave Hei a dead look. The observant kunoichi noticed her hands shaking, ever so slightly. "Really? That's all? 'Oh, hey, Akemi, the Bakeneko are actually real, behind the shitstorm in Oguchi - wherever that is - and also there's another Flayer on the loose. Oh, and they kidnapped some cat bitch you've never even heard of.'" Shinko leaned over and whispered somethign in her ear, apparently the young Samurai knew his history a bit better than Akemi, not surprising given her general lack of education, and gave her at least a rundown of Otoyo.
She sighed. "I know Rin enough to know she's not Human, but she seemed a decent enough... whatever she is. Not a Dragon. They aren't such good lays." She gave a happy little shudder, before being all gloomy again. "Succubus? Never had one. She a Succubus? Oh, you're not going to tell me? Well, whatever. I think Rin is a good enough whatever to not lie, at least to me, about something like this." Akemi shifted her weight uncomfortably, her voice taking on a more threatening tone. "I think she also knows that if she was lying about this, that her status as Hideki's favorite wouldn't help her any and that I'd be sending you all back to her in pieces." Akemi sighed and allowed herself to fall back onto her butt, sitting in the sand, Old Isamu leaving the melons behind to go stomp over to her, apparently protective of her. It seemed to understand enough to know that Hei said something to upset her, given by the look it gave the kunoichi.
"How do you know, though? Did... did you see one?" She crossed her arms, Shinko coming to her side, still carefully, overprotectively, eyeing the group. "You sure the Humans were doing it willingly? Not, you know. Puppets?" Akemi seemed to, more or less on auto-pilot, reach up to put Shinko's hand on her shoulder. "You said you killed it. Back in Yagyu..."
07-07-2014, 09:15 AM
"Quite a while before, I..." her face twisting in disgust for a brief moment, then relaxed. Her skin crawled just from the thought of speaking about it "We fought an actual Minflayer. Or, well... my group tried to kill the Mindflayer. I tried to kill them."
"I..." she turned away, her arms unconciously tightening around herself, but she quickly straightened them as soon as she realized it. "I mean. The Mindflayer tried to kill them with my body. I would never, of course."
Forgetting to finish what she was saying, she was startled by the sound of melos being cruched.
"Oh, yes. That one is dead, and we disposed of its brain"
07-07-2014, 09:40 AM
Akemi, of course, knew from her meeting with Shari and friends that one of their associates had been mindraped by one of the obscenities. Obviously Hei was her.
Akemi didn't need to say anything, her face said it all as she got up walked over to Hei, and embraced her tightly.
"I am so very sorry." She was shaking a little. "You're not alone. You don't have to deal with this by yourself, like I did. I'm here for you. Now. Always. We're in this together. "
Akemi didn't even know Hei's name, but she knew that she was, like her, a survivor. And that was enough for her.
07-07-2014, 11:22 AM
There was obviously so much emotional baggage being handled here, that Tama dared not interfere with Hei and Akemi's conversation...
So she tried it with Isamu instead. Somebody had to eat all of that shrimp gyoza she had made as a surprise. Getting on her hands and knees, she fetched the two palettes out of her coat and arranged them in front of him, in the sand. "Erm, there is kindsa turtule that is eats shrimp, ain't there not?..." Now far too comfortable, lying on her stomach and waving her feet back and forth lazily, she grabbed one with some chopsticks and put it under her helmet just to prove it was, infact, food. "...Please take humble offering before it's all cold, mister your majesty..."
07-11-2014, 12:52 PM
Hei surrendered herself to the embrace. She had tried not to give such a first impression, but Akemi's words simply melted her. "It's been hard, but I can't let it trouble anyone. Not you, especially" she shyly slipped out. "Not Lady Rin"
Tears roll down her eyes. "I.."
She hiccuped, her knees gave and she just went into a full bear hug on Akemi, sobbing like a little girl.
07-12-2014, 09:43 AM
Old Isamu just regarded Tama carefully with his one eye, watching as she produced two palettes of shrimp.
The thing had scarcely waited until she had set them down before snapping at the first on and devouring it, palette and all, and nearly taking her hand in the process.
Maybe it was because he was ancient and more than half-blind. Or maybe Old Isamu was just a grumpy old bastard of a turtle.
Akemi did say the ancient thing had won a fight with a Dragon, so I guess he was entitled to being a jerk. He'd kind of earned it.
Akemi held Hei tightly, tearing up herself, but otherwise mostly keeping it together. "Shh. None of that. You're not a trouble. No one deserves to go through this alone. Trust me." Akemi sniffled and mostly composed herself, pushing Hei away slightly, and gently, nad lifting her face up to face her. "You're stronger than you know, gorgeous, and we're going to get through this shit together, okay? I didn't have anyone, but you have me. Kami help you, you're stuck with me." Akemi gave a little smile. "I'm pretty awful -" Shinko began to come to her defense before being quickly shushed, Akemi apparently still shaken enough to do an even poorer job than usual of hiding the affection in her voice and mannerisms, "- but I it beats nothing. Trust me. Anything beats that. Even getting stuck with some dumb slut like me." She then gave a little laugh. "So... you gonna give me a name or...?"
07-22-2014, 03:23 AM
"Hei. I don't think you're awful...I think you're amazing" she gave Akemi a huge smile, her tears still drying up on her cheeks. "Thank you for, well, being here. I....We'll pull through, but...whats most important is we can't let anyone go through this, too, right?"
"That's what I'd like to think. I can't even imagine it...facing one, ever again. But I couldn't just sit there. It's too terrible. No one deserves that"
07-22-2014, 12:14 PM
Akemi sniffled before smiling at Hei. "Oh, Hei. You say that now because you don't, like, fucking know me." She laughed. "Trust me. Shinko here deserves some kind of monument for puttng up with me."
"Really, though it's-" the Samurai started before being cut off. "Shut up, Shinko, don't disagree with me." More laughter. "Seriously, though, I don't know how he puts up with my bullshit because I totally wouldn't." A shrug. "But you're right, Hei. We're in this together, you and I, and we're gonna get through this shit together. We did it before, right?"
The daimyo made her way back over to Old Isamu, smiling and gently moving Tama out of the way. "He'll take your hand off, buckethead. He's like me, you know. A survivor. Also a childish fucker who's generally unpleasant to be around." The turtle gave her a look. "Yeah, that's right Isamu. What? Yeah. Thought so." She laughed and smiled at Tama. "So... do I get to see your face? You're a chick, right? You sounded like one. Could be a girly guy, I guess. That's pretty hot too, though." Akemi laughed and sat down on the sands, facing the party.
"Soooo..." Akemi wasn't making any real effort to hide her atraction to Atoli or Matsumoto. "Rin just sent you all here to warn me? I appreciate it. Really." She sounded sincere. "I don't know what she is, but that's very kind of her. She's a good whatever she is." Akemi smiled. "I'll have Konpeki look into shit. He's our spymaster. We can trust him. He was there, you know. Back when. The revolution." She sighed. "No, not there at the palace. I'm the only one left. Just me. But, I mean, he fought. He's okay. We can trust him. Even if he is a bit of a boring jerkoff sometimes." Akemi made a lewd and dismissive handgesture while rolling her eyes before laughing. "You. Hei. You should come by tonight. I think we should talk. I think it might be good for you. I know it'd be good for me." She gave a sad little smile. "I mean it. Like, seriously. Thas not an invitation to sex." Akemi smiled and turned her attention to the rest of the party. "Although, speaking about invitations for sex." She winked. Shinko seemed a little uncomfortable. Dare one say jealous?
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