Kai sighed. "Well, we're doing so well with international conspiracies and unimaginable horrors so far, what's one more. We'll talk to Rei, and Chiyo if she can get past her disdain for us mere mortals long enough to impart anything that may be of use in keeping us alive."
Rei was every bit as superhumanly gorgeous as the group had come to expect and understand as the norm for a Kitsune.
As one of the Emperor's onmyoji, she met with the group in one of the palace's shrines to the Kami. It was a smallish shrine with a large statue depicting some manner of forest kami and numerous incense burners. The cramped space was made even more cramped by the fact that Rei was apparently no more organized than her ancestor and goddess, and scrolls, ofuda, cushions, and pillows littered the room. Foxes, too, were abundant in the shrine, and they immediately took a liking to Haru as the group entered.
"Rikuto!" Rei beamed, giving Ryo a big hug and doing her best to smother him between her breasts. She proceeded to similarly greet the rest of the group similarly, although unlike Rin, she at least didn't feel the need to kiss them or cop a feel. Also, unlike Rin, she wasn't very good at remembering names. But all those mortals looked alike! All cute and sexy even if they only live, like, not even a century.
Shoving aside a large pile of scrolls, books, and ofuda, and shooing away some of the foxes, Rei offered the group seats on some cushions before sitting down herself. "So, like, I guess you're here about the whole Hitomi thing, huh?" She asked. "Bad business, that. Oh well, I guess it can't be helped." She gave a shrug and a smile.
"What can I do to help you?" She smiled and give Kai a flirty wink. "You must be... umm... Kenji, right? Rin said you were cute." Rei giggled before doing her best attempt at being serious (it wasn't very good) and straightening up. "Okay, so seriously, like, how can I help?"
On the plus side, she wasn't cranky and mean like Chiyo. On the downside, she didn't quite seem like the sharpest sword in the armory.
"Kai. Um, Rin said you might have some information about Hitomi?" Kai was tired of having his personal space constantly invaded and constantly being touched without so much as a thought given to whether or not he wanted to be. Eyeing Rei cautiously he moved closer to Shari. If she felt anything about being a human shield, she hadn't said anything yet. "Or Otoyo, or the Bakeneko or uhm. Something?"
Rei gave Kai an understanding smile before going on. "Well, uh... can you be, like, more specific?" Another giggle.
"Uhhh... um, well, I'm not sure what there is to tell that Rin didn't already mention." She began to twirl some of her long black hair around one finger. "Like, it was a very long time ago. She was a different person then, and so was I. For one thing, I was a lot younger back then, Chiyo too. Like, we weren't quite Rin's oldest yet, but those who were weren't, like, that much older. Sogi wanted her minions, so she made some more. Otoyo was the first, but she wasn't like the last." She picked up a fox and handed it over to Kai with a smile.
"Like, so, Otoyo was first, right? She was a bit closer to Outsider than mortal. It's hard to explain, loves. But bringing her back from the Abyss wouldn't be easy. Like, uh, you'd probably need some pretty damn good priests, and a pretty big sacrifice. I mean, like, real damn big sacrifice."
She shrugged. "Like, a war. Or, like a famine. Or maybe a plague?"
"Fantastic." Kai pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed, "Ok. What can you tell us about what Otoyo will be like if she has been successfully brought back?"
"Like, I think if Otoyo was back there would, like, be more things about the city on fire." Rei shrugged. "Don't let things, like, get that far is my advice." Another shrug.
"She was a real piece of work, like, back then. I, uh, doubt that her stay in the Abyss has, like, mellowed her any."
Kai stared at her for a second, unsure if she was mocking him. "Um. Yes, I. That seems a fair, uh, assessment." He glanced around at the others, hoping they had something to say. Not for the first time, Kai regretted only bothering to crack open "Demons and Other Things That Want To Kill You and/or Fuck Your Corpse" to check on things certain targets had guarding them. "Can you think of anything that could help us when up against Hitomi? I'd specify, but well, then I'd have to know what I'm talking about."
Shari consciously enjoyed abusing her height and girth so that Rei couldn't quite wrap herself around her like she did with the others, alrough this did cause her to let out an amused smile. It retracted immediately. Geeze, don't want to give her the wrong idea... Kai was strafing her, too, so she put a hand on his shoulder just to make any more hugging attempts rather more awkward. Zoning and blocking could be applied to avoiding affection pretty well, it turns out.
Most of what Rei had to say was just met with a shrug, particularly the things about Otoyo. All the weighty monk could really think about was that spark of recognition she had when they had encountered Hitomi. Only now did she realise it was probably the inhuman slut's resemblance to Rin.
"...The assassins... Hitomi... Even the fact that Oboro avoided me like the plague after we first met..." Shari's hoarse voice suddenly sounded up, with a grim tone. "We need to face the fact that there is something we are not seeing here. Too many enemies seem to turn up on our doorstep... or, we get 'lucky', like Chiyo leading us right into to that mind flayer's den..."
"Rei, with all due respect, we need to know about Rin's enemies... Her old enemies... If not Hitomi, then the kind that could actually organise something like this."
"Well, like, I mean, I can't imagine there are very many people alive in Izumo who, like, haven't had an ancestor who was fucked over by, uh, one of us." She gave a sad look and a shrug. "I'm, uh, pretty sure that, like, Chiyo had no idea that Illithid was there. Um... because... uh... well... the thing is... uh... like, well, Chiyo kind of thinks you're all, like, um... really stupid?" She gave a nervous little laugh and shrugged again.
"That's, like, why Rin's sending you to Oguchi, loves. She, like, wants to know what's going, and stuff." She smiled sympathetically. "And, uh, about the Obscenities. They can, like, read your mind in plenty of ways that, uh, don't involve eating them. So, like, ignorance is kind of your best defense here, you know? But I'm, like, pretty sure this isn't them. There's, like, nothing they could gain from it. And, like, I think Chiyo was looking into the, uh, assassins thing with Qin and Ming."
She gave another shrug and gave Ryo a flirty wink.
Shari shrugged deeply. She would have liked to ask what Rei knew about Qing and Mei, but the monk knew it was probally better to just deal with one enemy at once at this point. -And yet, it still felt like they were about to walk into to Oguchi completely blind, again. Couldn't anyone tell them a single damn usefull thing?
"...Ignorance is our best defence?..." The repeated words were cold and spiteful. "Look, I don't mean to be rude, but all we have learned here is what someone is apparently using Hitomi as a pawn for... I knew she was a demon-thing after a short, unskilled, skinny woman kicked my ass. Is there anything you can tell us which might, I don't know, result in slightly less of us being mauled to death in the future? What kind of powers the Bakeneko have? What kind of tactics they might use? How many of them are there? If they are organised or not? If it's not too much to ask..."