Haru stared at the steaming baths, and wondered at the love civilized people had for submerging themselves in hot water so regularly, especially when the weather was warm. He loosened his robe and idly fanned at his face, as much from Rin's presence as the heat.
Rin... His opinion of her had dropped drastically since their previous meeting. Whatever sins his companions committed, they were mortal ones, and incomparable to those committed on the scale a god could. Even if her intentions were good, putting anything close to genuine trust in her would be unwise. Not that he had much chance of hiding anything from a goddess.
"Greetings, Rin," Haru said, in his usual neutral tone. The tips of his hair were beginning to frizz.
Not too happy with this, but I want to keep things moving. POST WINDY.
"So... about that Hitomi thing."
Rin sighed heavily and pulled Yuanjun's arms around her waist from behind. "I'm sorry. This, this still isn't easy for me."
"It's my fault. All of it. Hitomi. The plague in Oguchi. Everything." Rin was clearly trying not to cry. "Back when I was wretched, when I went by a different name, before the Great Blight, I made for myself servants. The myths and legends about the Bakeneko are kind of true, and my fault. I made them, and I bear the blame."
"Hitomi was - is - one of them. The arcane writing on that scroll she gave you was a spell, well part of one. I recognize it, because it's my own work. It's part of the formula for the magical plague that Sogi" Rin paused and took a deep breath, crying quietly now "- that I unleashed. She modified it, though. The fucking bitch changed it. Made it into something even more grotesque. The plague in Oguchi." Rin looked away.
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." She turned around, now, and embraced Yuan, crying openly.
Knowledge: Local for Bakeneko knowledge.
Ryo didn't get in the bath, because he is awful.
"Can't you fix the plauge?"
Until Windy gets back I guess I'm stuck roleplaying Thunder-Thighs. ASSUMING DIRECT CONTROL
Not my best post, but I want this moving.
Yuan straightened Rin up, gently, and hugged her back, planting a gentle kiss on her lips before shooting Ryo a Look over Rin's shoulder. Rin gave a sad little laugh, kissed Yuan back (naturally with much more intensity) and took a deep breath before turning back to face the group. Yuan kept her arms about Rin's waist, and occasionally gave her reassuring kisses about the neck, or nips on the ear. It was kind of off-putting seeing Yuan's softer side. Although somehow it seemed unsurprising that the only person apparently able to make Yuanjun not behave like an arrogant bitch was a literal sex-goddess.
"Of course I can cure the plague, but it won't bring them back." Rin said heavily.
"Anyway... Hitomi. She's powerful, and ancient, and beautiful but this... this isn't like her. This is too, well too clever. She was always a stupid, brutal, thuggish little gutterwhore, and I... I don't know." Rin shook her head. "This seems too clever for her. Hitomi's solution to problems is to punch things until they stop being problems, not to concoct elaborate schemes involving plague... and more..."
"I think she's planning to resurrect Otoyo. The first Bakeneko I - Sogi - made. More of a Demon in both the literal and metaphorical sense than her progeny. I don't know who else she could mean when she talks about a reunion... but still.. I don't get it..."
She started kissing at Yuan's fingers, crying again and looking away. "This is all my fault. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."
"It is all right," said Haru softly. "We mustn't dwell in the past when the present demands our attention."
"Do you know who else might wish to resurrect Otoyo? By what process would she be resurrected? The usual means?"
Rin shook her head. "No. A few elder Dragons, my family, the Bakeneko, and a handful of others are all who would even know of her. Doesn't make sense." She took a few deep breaths, collecting herself, before sighing. She wasn't crying anymore at least. "I think you need to go to Oguchi for me. Get to the bottom of this. And deal with Hitomi." Rin practically growled the last sentence. "Shari. Make her hurt."
She sighed again, shaking a bit. "If there's nothing else. Talk to Rei. She'll fill you in more. Chiyo can maybe help too." Rin went back to kissing and sucking on Yuanjun's fingers, trying not to cry any more.
Shari simply remained silent and blank faced, keeping a reasonable distance from her master. The vindictiveness of the comment aimed at the monk in specific did suprise her a little, but that might have only been because forgiving and forgetting was the entire reason why Shari was still around today. Kai had certainly taught her the value of a fresh start.
"Please don't use lanuage like that, my lady." She spoke with a calm, stern tone, quite nearly in a meditative pose beneath the spring's surface. Apparently her old habit of trying to tutor her master hadn't quite deserted her yet, but at least this time it was apparently well meaning. "This... person... is still choosing to be foul of heart, and if I can, I'll put them in their place... proportionately."
Shari advocating restraint to Rin. How things had changed. Druidic calmness and restraint or not, it was hard for him to imagine how a woman like Rin could ever allow herself to pass judgement on anyone. Anything besides the utmost mercy and sympathy from a being with her history was hard to justify. But life didn't run according to principles of fairness or justice.
"We will use the amount of force necessary to complete our mission, if it is necessary," he said in a diplomatic tone.
Kai smiled to himself, scratching a fox behind the ears. Shari advocating temperance. He was indescribably proud of her. "From your description, Rin" Kai said carefully, moving the conversation on, "Hitomi is not the real force behind all this. No idea who that could be? Who the "girls" are?"
Rin shrugged. "The other Bakeneko, probably. Hitomi was good at hitting people until they listened."