Page 1 of 9 1236 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 180

Thread: Fate/Antiquity (IC)

  1. #1
    for me, there is (you) Katie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    the saint's temptation
    Gender
    Female
    Posts
    4,770
    Blog Entries
    1

    Fate/Antiquity (IC)


    Theresa Octavia
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Nishi Ward - Shopping District



    You feel like dying.

    Among other reasons, the primary cause is the girl standing next to you, admiring a rather mundane water fountain. After all, she’s the one who barged into your hotel room yelling “The old man’s given us a day off!” and dragging you away, out of the hotel, onto the bus, into the heart of the city. You have not known Lumine Albright for very long, but you’re considering adding “delinquent” and “overbearing” to the description in your mind. Her easygoing smile just happens to grate on your nerves.

    “S’nicer than London’s,” she finally mumbles in conclusion, before turning to you. The two of you stand in the middle of a packed square crossing, throngs of people walking past you in their mundane routines. Despite how much you two stand out, young foreigners out and about during the school day, they all pass you as if you were ephemeral, unremarkable. They have better things to do, and perhaps, so do you.

    Digging into her coat pocket, Lumine pulls out a tourist trap of a map. She’s terribly excited, practically vibrating in place.

    “Wanna go to the arcade? A theme park? The aquarium?” She rattles them off with surprising fervor, though before you can respond, your mind comes to a critical conclusion. This girl doesn’t have any friends.

    “Or, um, we can do a cafe!”

    Lysander Scriberis Archemiste II
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Nishi Ward - The Midnight Blue


    You’ve done your research in the days you’ve been in Kagamihara—and the conclusion is that news travels around, especially in the Midnight Blue. Especially the kind of news that concerns you and your fellow magi.

    This is why you stand outside the faded red-brown brick building right now, confronted by an aggressive amount of “no smoking” signs written in every language imaginable. Finally, you locate the hours hidden among the anti-smoking crusade, only to realize—

    “It’s not open until five,” says a silk voice behind you, slightly deep for a woman.

    You turn around. The woman addressing you is definitely a few years older, violet eyes boring into you. An instrument case is slung around her back, in one of her hands a grocery bag. She tilts her head and bites her lip in a way you find strangely familiar, but can’t quite place.

    “You know what, come on in. She won’t mind.” With her free hand the woman fishes a key from her purse and unlocks the door, leaving you to follow in her footsteps.


    The Midnight Blue lives up to its name and concept, dimly lit and adorned with blue seats, except for the music, which sure isn’t jazz. To your left is a small stage for a live performance, cases of instruments stacked neatly in the back behind a piano. To your right is a woman somehow gracefully wiping down the counter, who gives an award-winning smile to the both of you. You wonder why she’s tending bars instead of being in the movies.

    “I told you, you can just leave that here, I don’t mind,” the woman at the counter calls out, before sizing you up, like a cat with a new toy.

    “I’m not leaving it here. Some drunkard might have the balls to steal my sax,” your musician/escort says as she puts down her case next to the rest, before walking over and unceremoniously dumping the bag in front of the other woman. “Anyway, I brought some snacks. And a stray.”

    “Nice,” she responds, but to what, you’re not sure. “Anyway, I’m Sarah Tenevere, owner of this fine establishment, and that’s Kanzaki Kasumi. What’s up? Lost? Need a phone?”

    Hashimoto Arata
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Nishi Ward - Kagamihara University


    Is it whimsy that brought you here, or is it fate? That despite acknowledging your freedom, deep down, you have no urge to leave your cage?

    Now that you’d finally gotten yourself situated, you had ample time to truly enjoy Kagamihara. Take in the sights, the city, the food. And yet, man may leave the school, but the thirst of knowledge still remains. All it took was for you to catch a glance at one misplaced flier, detailing a history exhibit at Kagamihara University, and you knew where to spend the rest of your afternoon.

    As you step through sleek, white modern halls, the bustle of students and academics alike gives the foreign environment a sense of much needed familiarity. An entire section of the school’s history wing has been retooled for display, so as you make your way through, relics from all ages, from the paleolithic to the Heian era, cover the landscape, perfectly preserved behind glass cases. And, as you can’t help but notice, watched over by a plethora of security guards.

    “Sensei?”

    You remember that voice. Yonagi Tsukiko was one of your students from a few years back. Bright, eager to dig into the secrets of civilizations past, and more than eager to get her hands dirty. She left the department abruptly, but people in the Clock Tower came and left as they saw fit. Just one of many unusual cases that, over the long run, weren’t unusual at all.

    “It’s been a long time,” she eventually says, sheepishly looking like she’s stumbling for words. Much different than when you last saw her. Her carefree attitude seems to have been tempered by the years. “Enjoying your time in Kagamihara?”

    Asakami Ito
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Nishi Ward - Kagamihara University


    When you made that sole request to Shinonome Hisao, you didn’t expect an answer. At least, not this soon.

    But one thing leads to another, and that’s why you’re playing lookout for Kim Se-hun at Kagamihara University, watching as he struggles to get this door open. Someone had tipped off that the university had received a mysterious donation within the last month, and that coincidentally, there would be a historical exhibit at an auspicious time. When you think about it, it’s quite simple. Kill whoever wanted this relic for their Servant, and claim it for your own.

    “There,” Se-hun says as the door handle finally clicks open. “I’ll stand out here and check in case someone ends up checking in. But everything they want to put on exhibit is already on display, so I don’t think it’ll happen.”

    As he opens the door, though, you hesitate to step in. On the far side, the barrel of a gun is pointed at the doorway, the owner looking none too pleased.

    “Se-hun. Ito. The chairman said I wasn’t getting any help.” Higashide Asahi, lieutenant of the Shinonome-kai, gazes at you with the familiar face of someone willing to kill.

    Se-hun looks to you for guidance, practically frozen in fear. The boy is clueless on how the world truly works.

    “Did he change his mind? If not, know your place and run.”

    Ah. There was never any intention to negotiate.

    Tanabe Shin
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Higashi Ward -



    A man’s gotta do what he’s gotta do, and that’s feed himself. Normally you’d be out and about trying to fish for a sale, showing off your couponing prowess, but not today. Today you gotta go out of routine and shop at places you haven’t been to for a long damn time. Proper prep means being a bit choosier in locales.

    You take slow steps towards the back of the store, towards a lone cash register hidden away from prying eyes. The front may have been awkwardly converted into a convenience store to keep afloat during the housing boom, but the back has always been an otaku’s paradise of model kits and Gunpla.

    Shinoda Kazuo greets you with a sour smile. You smoke his ass at pool every time you meet up, and he always complains he’d do better sober.

    “Been a while since I last saw ya,” he says, trying to break the ice, but one of his hands already is frozen in place, about to give you the goods in the back like the old days. You can tell he hopes otherwise—none of your brothers has held a grudge for you going clean, not after that last hit. Not that you’re aware of, at least.

    “Just the groceries?” he asks to confirm, wary eyes checking over your shoulder, just in case anyone else comes in.

    Sanda Rakuin
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Higashi Ward - Setagaya Park



    Good news—your fame precedes you. People have been gathering to see the “shameless Buddhist monk panhandling in the park.” The bad news is that soon enough people are going to start recording and once that happens the magic may just run out. In the meantime, though, people are willing to give you money. Entertainment is its own commodity, so even if people aren’t so gullible to fall for the scheme straight up, they’re gullible enough to part ways with their coin.

    A lone child, ignorant of danger, approaches you. Seemingly motivated by altruism, he dumps a pack of Chocorooms in your “donation basket.” There, this bag of sugary morsels crinkles against the ever appealing slurry of coins and bills. You think you see the boy’s mother glare at you in disgust. Nevertheless, he is not the first soul who feels swayed by your words, and he will not be the last.

    Still, you have an audience, so what is there to do but show them enlightenment?

    Reinhold Dietrich Presper
    Day 0 - Afternoon (2/3)
    Minami Ward - Tokisaka Shrine


    Tokisaka Shrine sticks out like a sore thumb. Well-maintained, it is at complete odds with the buildings that surround it, a spot of green inbetween gray. It’s the first time you’ve seen it, but it already gives off the feeling of being a magus’s residence. That old, antiquated property permeates many of the home’s you’ve seen in the past.

    The last time you met the Arashiya patriarch, it was a bit over three years ago. The last time you went to their residence… Never, actually. Always met through intermediary locations, better suited for business than this relic of the past. You did remember the tidbit that the residence was behind the shrine, and as you ring the archaic doorbell, you wonder how the hell the Second Owners have let this leyline situation cause trouble in your paradise. The scuffle of footsteps is heard before the door opens with a click.

    “Mr. Presper, right?” the young Arashiya heir says, in sharp contrast to the father you were expecting. The teen looks tired, bags under her eyes apparent, nervously adjusting her gloves as she glances at your secretary. Her eyes narrow in frustration.

    “She stays at the entrance,” she suddenly interjects, a much more commanding tone than her meek greeting. The shrine maiden points towards the torii. “Shrine policy.”

    “If that’s unacceptable, we could go anywhere else,” she says, trying to overcome her anxiety by laying out terms and conditions. “Otherwise, we can discuss any matter you have over tea.”

    Cuan Yugou
    Day 0 - Afternoon (2/3)
    Nishi Ward - Sekigahara Headquarters


    The head of the Sekigahara Group inhales deeply from his pipe. Smoke leaves his lips, like the breath of a dragon. You would think someone Sekigahara Juro’s age would be frail, but the only impression you get is that he is unnervingly resilient. His movement, though stilted at times, is just spry enough.

    He has already given you an explanation of the task at hand. A Holy Grail War, where people summon heroes of old to do battle to the death, all for the sake of a wish nobody has yet to grasp. And yet, this is promising enough to make a man like him bet on you as his proxy, to achieve a miracle nobody else can have.

    “My children…” the old man says, looking exhausted at the mere thought of his family. “I built them a pillar of support. But I was negligent, and was blind to the men and women they would become.”

    The crease in his brow merely deepens as he watches you, trying to read your expression.

    “For their sake, I turn to you. To make my wish into a reality.” Juro seems uncomfortable with how genuine his words are, delivering them slowly, carefully. “The preservation and continued prosperity of everything I have built.”

    As for the matter of price…

    “One billion yen.” His bargain does not come with the sense of finality you expect, as if he has already prepared for the idea you will ask for more.

    Zhang Canyuan
    Day 0 - Afternoon (2/3)
    Nishi Ward - Sekigahara Headquarters


    “Let’s take this from the top.”

    You sit here in an office meeting room, accompanied by one of your handlers, the ever aggressive Mitsurugi Ayame. Odd, that they picked this impatient woman to explain the situation to you, but thinking about it, it’s more likely she volunteered. It’s been a while since you’ve been called upon, though. In these relatively peaceful times, not much can’t be settled with a few bribes and implicit threats.

    For a moment, you think Ayame will actually use the whiteboard, but instead she takes a seat and puts her feet on the table. You’re surprised she looks so comfortable doing it in an office chair.

    “This city will be embroiled in what’s called a Holy Grail War. That’s some idiot ritual where a bunch of people, generally magicians, in case you needed to know those were real too, summon figures from the past called Servants. These Masters and their Servants fight to the death for the titular Holy Grail, which grants any wish.” She sounds doubtful that this Grail can grant any wish at all.

    “Well, so I’m told. Apparently there were three in Tokyo that ended in disaster? No success, because people naturally began to look for loopholes in the rules, such as relying on external support. You heard of the bombing incidents in Tokyo fifteen years ago? That’s the cover-up for something like this.”

    “Anyway, Canyuan, we’re under an obligation to keep our hands out of it. Juro’s already picked someone else to be his representative. The other Chinese guy, Yugou.” The name rings a distant bell, of a weary-looking man entrenched in hedonism, but you can’t recall any interaction more meaningful than passing each other throughout the building. “If we put all our assets into securing this Grail, we might piss off the Shinonome, and other various groups, and Kagamihara might just burn. That’s no good, so we, and everyone else, aren’t gonna interfere.”

    Ayame stretches with a yawn. The lack of grace she shows around you is immense.

    “I know it sounds like a load of shit, but that’s really how it is. Don’t want to lose our best guys investigating things they should be avoiding, I guess. Everything crystal clear?”
    Last edited by Katie; January 6th, 2022 at 09:19 PM.

  2. #2
    Imperial Princess Satehi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    5,291
    Theresa Octavia
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Nishi Ward -




    “Haa…”

    Theresa Octavia was in a poor mood.

    That was a pretty common occurrence, to be honest. There were, of course, rare occasions where she felt overall happy, but they would never last- the world was too full of depressing things, constant reminders about her tenuous situation, for her to sincerely enjoy herself and forget about her troubles for any significant amount of time. Such was her life.

    So really, a poor mood was more-or-less her default state.

    If there was anything unusual about this time, it was that the primary cause was more straightforward than usual.

    The source of her woes were linked to this one girl – Lumine Albright.

    The girl had seen fit to drag Theresa out of the comfort of her bed and took her out to the middle of the city without so much as listening to a peep about Theresa’s opinion on the matter. Nor did Lumine appear to have any clear plan of what they were going to do- the idea seemed entirely spontaneous, completely lacking any forethought at all. And to top it off, the girl had a silly smile plastered over her face- one she was fairly sure was genuine as she detected no malicious intent, but that just annoyed her even more. As if Lumine seemed to have assumed even without asking that this trip was enjoyable and that Theresa’s mood wouldn’t say otherwise.

    Theresa couldn’t possibly imagine acting in such a manner. It was clear that Lumine did not have any friends before.

    Of course, one might think there was a simple solution to such a problem. Reject Lumine’s offer, ignore any protests the girl might make, and get on a bus to return to her hotel while leaving Lumine to venture the city on her own.

    But there was one, tiny, inconsequential fact that made that option a little difficult.

    The fact that she, like Lumine, did not have any friends.

    Given what Lumine said about their day off was true, even if she went back to the hotel there wasn’t really anything for her to do- nothing better than tagging along with this irritably excitable girl on her adventure around the city.

    “Wanna go to the arcade? A theme park? The aquarium? Or, um, we can do a cafe!”

    Anywhere was fine, really, thought Theresa.

    She didn’t know if it was in the same sense that Lumine had meant by comparing it to London, but Theresa certainly thought the city was a nice place. Easy to breathe, even if it still made her feel a bit sick.

    That was the most important thing to her and the actual buildings or places to go were of secondary importance.

    But Theresa had the feeling that such a nonanswer might have unintended consequences. For example, reinforcing Lumine’s existing belief that she was not particular at all about what was going on and encouraging Lumine to run off full speed with whatever idea happened to be lucky and come to her mind first.

    And so, with that in mind…



    “How about the aquarium, then…? Or the café…?”

    She went with the most relaxing options. The arcade and the theme park sounded noisy, chaotic places- not the best locations for her condition, though she doubted it’d be a problem.



    useless information

    Theresa Octavia
    Mage

    Stats
    STR - ?
    END - ?
    AGI - ?
    MST - A
    PRA - ?

    Tradition Carrier (7 AP)
    Mystery of at least C Rank

    Details unknown. Helps her with detecting malicious intent?
    Last edited by Satehi; January 6th, 2022 at 09:17 PM.

  3. #3
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Age
    29
    Posts
    16,010
    Blog Entries
    3
    Asakami Ito
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Nishi Ward - Kagamihara University


    Grey eyes like cold steel stared down the barrel of the gun. The owner’s voice echoed in Ito’s ears as his eyes slowly crept along the floor, gauging the distance, until at last they arrived upon the figure of the man holding the gun.

    “The one who has forgotten their place is you.” A metal click rung out, the first glimpse of an unsheathed blade revealing itself with a murderous glint. “You’re already in my sight, Asahi.”

    The words carried across the hall in defiance to the Shinonome-kai lieutenant.

    “If you’re alone, I’ll let you live. Drop the gun and scurry off into the dark where you belong. You stand no chance against me.”

    It wasn’t a threat. It was a promise. To demonstrate the man took a step forward. Unwavering eyes locked onto the hand of Higashide Asahi, stone-like fingers gripped the sword at his side. Asakami Ito took no stance, for these were the prerequisites for him to fight and to kill.

    Already, the string had attached itself. The gun in Asahi’s hand would be ripped from his grip and flung to the side, throwing his aim off should his trigger finger so much as quiver. The distance between them was trite; in the time that Asahi could realize he was disarmed, he would find his head alongside his feet.

    Ito had stared down the barrels of many guns. This situation had played out like clockwork for him, time and time again. This one guarded not monetary treasure, but a relic to involve oneself in a battle to the death engulfed in Mystery. If Higashide Asahi coveted such a thing, he too must have a sliver of Mystery to show for it. The monotonous dance of gun and sword, string and gunpowder, would transition with a new tempo.

    Ito smiled, eager anticipation written all over his face. An invitation for Asahi to shoot etched in his steel-colored eyes.

    “Live or die, it’s your choice.”


  4. #4
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canadia
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    11,665
    JP Friend Code
    http://forums.nrvnqsr.com
    Blog Entries
    5
    Lysander Scriberis Archemiste II
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Nishi Ward - The Midnight Blue

    "Lysander. Archemiste."

    The pack of cigarettes in magus's coat pocket might voice a silent protest, if able, at being sealed so soon after arrival. Japan does not seem to take kindly to tobacco. He himself doesn't much care; they'll last longer this way. Besides, the clean atmosphere of the bar would only be harmed by a haze of smoke. With it this empty, he doesn't even need to provide a false name.

    "If it's easier, call me Archie." The foreigner's Japanese is slow but fluent. "The offer is appreciated, but there's a nine hour time difference between here and home. Too early to ring."

    He's having trouble thinking. Not because of Sarah's movie-star smile, though it's certainly distracting in all the right ways.

    The magus's mind instead replays the moment he saw Kasumi, when they eyed each other. The sight of the musician biting her lip and tilting her head shines brighter than the rest of the recollection. He had chased the familiar image into the soporific fog of memory, only to return to his senses standing in The Midnight Blue.

    Something in the back of his head says this place is dangerous. It compares him to a herbivore caught between two lionesses. He dismisses the thought and slides onto a chair.

    "I was hoping to find good drink, good atmosphere, and good conversation here," he says as he leans back in his chair, offering the girls a ghost of a grin. "A good lunch being optional." His eyes flicker over the instruments, linger on the drums, then settle on Kasumi and her saxaphone. "Could I hope for a good performance as well?"

    Let them play, then.

  5. #5
    nicht mitmachen Dullahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    AUSTRALIAAARGGH
    Posts
    5,160
    Blog Entries
    1
    Cuan Yugou
    Day 0 - Afternoon (2/3)
    Nishi Ward - Sekigahara Headquarters


    Like a drawing room at the bottom of a lake. Despite the afternoon outside, the light, such as there is, has that muddied quality, and even the gleam off metal fittings is subdued. Everywhere an invisible pressure. Where it comes from is not obvious. The Sekigahara dàlǎo wanted to have this discussion in private, actually private, meaning not even a bodyguard. Under other circumstances it'd be a touching gesture of trust. Not here. The old man has that smell about him. Something akin. He "knows" things, non-public things, things that are more secret than secret. Immaterial things. He knows, for instance, that if Mr. Cuan here meant him ill bodyguards would make very little difference to the balance of that equation. The gesture rather is of desperation. The old man has been brought to this point. Overburdened with cares, with the world, with life - overburdened, as only one can be who never truly belonged here to begin with.

    No pretenses.

    "One billion, plus expenses." A slow and measured voice. If that is a voice. Cuan's is a grunt, a protracted throat-clearing that produces words like an industrial byproduct. "Plus expenses," he repeats.

    Sekigahara nods, weighing his pipe in his hand.

    "If your children are the problem, the problem is solvable." Cuan, sitting in the guest's chair, cracks the joint in his right wrist. He then closes three fingers of the hand, as if making a fist, then rests the thumb atop the closed second finger, and begins to tap his index finger softly on the thumb. "Unless," tap, "you have," tap, "already disqualified that option."

    No answer. The dàlǎo's gaze is proving difficult to meet. The difficulty is mutual. A fell light in the eyes of either party.

    Cuan sighs. Through gritted teeth, in the nature of things. He does not want (reflecting yet again) to be in Japan. He has not been in Japan for some time. He disliked it then and dislikes it now. He continues to dislike it. The continuation of Japan, he dislikes. The air disagrees with him. Altogether faintly noxious. He needs a drink. He needs to check the restaurant guide. There must be something worth eating around here.

    "This thing." Tap. "Holy chalice." Tap. "Is it real?"

    "As real as I am."

    "I believe it." Tap. "I believe you. Yes. I do." Tap. "Otherwise I'd still be on the mainland." He inclines his head, all of a sudden, a long slow blink, and his gaze slow-dissolves to the upper part of the wall above the old man. Decorative prints adorn that part. Very dim, dark light. A framed emaki there - some medieval monster-tale. A vicious, red-faced demon framed in scrawling calligraphy. Tap. "I believe your money at least." Tap. "But what I believe, tap, "is immaterial."

    "Do you accept the contract?" A gesture with the pipe.

    "You pay me to win." Cuan brings his gaze down again. He meets the eyes of the Sekigahara dàlǎo dead level. Neither speaks for a while. Some kind of understanding traverses, something neither wants to phrase out loud. At last, to the assassin's face, the rudiments of a knife-cut smile. "Then I will win. Yes."
    Last edited by Dullahan; January 7th, 2022 at 04:53 AM.
    えき
    しゃ
    さん
    ゆう


  6. #6
    for me, there is (you) Katie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    the saint's temptation
    Gender
    Female
    Posts
    4,770
    Blog Entries
    1
    Theresa Octavia
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Nishi Ward - Shopping District


    “The aquarium, then.”

    Glad to see a response from her traveling companion, Lumine grins and begins consulting the map for directions, rather than pulling out the phone you know she has. You can see her eyes skim the map energetically, before she carefully folds it and stuffs it into her coat pocket. There, she just points in the direction she starts to move in, the intent clear. She’ll lead the way, and all you have to do is follow.

    Suddenly, she stumbles for just a moment—legs do not bend that way—but she straightens herself up before turning around to look at you sheepishly. A fake smile is plastered on her face, but you can feel the sense of loathing from her, a black bile of hatred similar to your own.

    “Let’s get going.”

    Nishi Ward - Aquamarine Kagamihara


    The two of you make your way to Aquamarine Kagamihara, the city’s premiere aquarium, not that it had any competition. You walk around for a bit, admiring the variety of flora and fauna on display. The fish in captivity, unable to know any sense of freedom, seem to be at peace. Lumine frequently stops abruptly, as if she’s trying to get a more detailed look at the exhibits. The tour is done in mutual silence, only punctuated by the other girl’s brief questions about where you want to go.

    Finally, after staring at a tropical reef tank, Lumine practically stumbles into a nearby bench. She pulls one of her sleeves over her hands and pulls her hood up, before learning back and gazing at the tranquil, aquatic prison.

    “I need a breather,” she says, tone quiet and breathy. “Go on without me. When you come back we can get shaved ice or something.”

    She tries to send you off with a wave, but in contrast to her earlier enthusiasm, it looks rather pathetic.

    Asakami Ito
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Nishi Ward - Kagamihara University


    There’s no reply. Asahi fires—or rather, tries—and the gun from his hand is swiftly flung away by the tug of an invisible thread. It clatters on the ground a distance away, surprisingly not discharging from the impact. The man’s surprise only lasts for a brief second, as he quickly regains his bearings. It’s that ability to retain his calm that signals to you that he is the real deal. Perhaps not a worthy opponent, but someone who has seen the true nature of this world, lurking underneath concrete and steel.

    He raises his fists, eyes locked on his opponent. You can see how he braces himself—literally boxed in, he expects a frontal assault. His hefty build might belie some freakish mobility, but it’s more likely he is lamenting the lack of space afforded to him.

    Initiative
    Higashide Asahi - AGI D (4) + RNG (0-2-2) = 0
    Asakami Ito - AGI A (9) + RNG (-2+2+2) = 11

    Turn Order: Asakami Ito → Higashide Asahi

    Naturally, the only course of action is to put this wretch out of his misery.

    Lysander Scriberis Archemiste II
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Nishi Ward - The Midnight Blue


    “Nine hours…” Kasumi thinks, lightly biting her lip in that familiar manner. Her eyes light up in realization. “Europe?”

    The bartender sighs, as if she expects something annoying, before directing the conversation herself.

    “Well, Archie, you’re free to dig into this bag,” Sarah says as she pulls the grocery bag over. Inside is some Pocky, a bag of Hi-Chews, and other assorted sweets. Nothing substantial, just something to tide you over while the hours go on. “If you want a real meal, I can fix some yakitori. I’m afraid I’m not as good as any of the cooks in the kitchen, though—mixing drinks is more my style.”

    “Though, are you sure about the drinks? Take it from experience, day drinking is bad for you.” Sarah glances back at the bottles neatly laid out behind her, but instead fishes underneath the counter for a bottle of water, before sliding it on over to you. “I’ll hedge my bets this time around.”

    "Could I hope for a good performance as well?"
    “Do I know something that won’t take forever,” Kasumi grumbles to herself, walking over to the instrument case. It’s pried open with a few clicks, and like clockwork, she has the saxophone slung over her shoulder and ready to go. Sarah pauses the pop music playing from the speakers, and then Kasumi plays.

    Sarah snickers at the song being played—but from a technical standpoint, to your untrained ear, it is nothing but fantastic. Every note has a certain gravitas that keeps you listening, a fervor that reflects the passion behind it. In an instant you are swept away by the mellow mood, and you let it carry you away, adrift.

    Eventually though, all good things come to an end, and Kasumi grumbles about how she only learned this because it’s popular and that she’d rather not do impromptu fifteen minute solos.

    “That satisfactory?” she asks, but the current of confidence in her voice shows she already knows how good she is. She just wants you to stroke her ego.
    Last edited by Katie; January 9th, 2022 at 03:20 AM.

  7. #7
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Age
    29
    Posts
    16,010
    Blog Entries
    3
    Asakami Ito
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Nishi Ward - Kagamihara University


    The twitch of a finger. The tiniest quiver, imperceptible to the eyes at such a distance, but clearly felt through the spider’s silk.

    Having been given his ultimatum, Higashide Asahi chose to fight. But his decision came too slow, too late. The spider had no such delay, it had no choice to make. It was resolved to kill from the start, its web spun and its many legs ready to enclose its victim.

    Not prey. Just a victim, one of many.

    The spider had no use for such nourishment, this was merely another hunter that had stumbled into its web. Ito’s silk ripped the gun out of Asahi’s hand, tossing it aside.

    Before the gun could even touch the floor, the 25-meter gap between Ito and Asahi disappeared. The swordsman crossed the distance from the entrance to the storehouse to Asahi’s perch in a single bound, a single blink, a single heartbeat.

    To the victim’s credit, it does not panic. Experience takes over, ignoring the abnormal force that had disarmed Asahi, and the old yakuza’s fists rise to protect him. The decision to abandon his gun and go on the defense is made as quickly as the decision had been made to pull the trigger.

    Another decision made too slow.


    The blade cuts through the air in a single flash.

    Seven times, Higashide Asahi’s guard is rendered meaningless. Seven times, the sword dyed red with bloodlust passed through his bones and flesh as though they were air. Seven times, the victim dies.

    Asakami Ito turns around, his slim frame standing between Se-hun and Asahi. The swordsman stares down the hall, swinging his blade through empty air, scattering a trail of red along the floor, before returning it to its sheath.

    “Turn around, Se-hun.”

    Ito’s voice calmly calls out to his companion, the smile which had only been witnessed by Asahi having already faded.

    “You’re better off,” a loud, wet thud resounds from behind Ito, as something heavy crashes into the floor, “not seeing things like this.”

    The steel eyes glance down at the expanding pool of blood at his feet. Silence filled the air as Ito peered wordlessly into the lifeblood of the one he might have called an ally a mere ten seconds ago.

    Silence which is shattered as a large crash and an even greater splash echoes across the warehouse, as the headless corpse of Higashide Asahi, ex-member of the Shinonome-kai, falls.


  8. #8
    屍鬼 Ghoul Steak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Somewhere
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    16
    Tanabe Shin
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Higashi Ward -



    There's a weird sense of nostalgia, seeing the toys lining the walls. Memories of lighting up a cigarette before coming in, to cool the angst building up in him whenever they did this. With a sigh, he shrugs off those lingering sensations. Shin doesn't feel the nerves now like he did back then. If anything, he feels more comfortable now than any other time. Although, he still doesn't really see the appeal of the model kits, looking over a few lazily.

    His stolid expression breaks when he spots a friend, and his gaze softens a bit. He gives Shinoda a ghost of a smile, wondering just how long it's been. Shin hadn't jumped on any of Shinoda's invitations to go drinking, and the calls from him just stopped coming... It'd be a lie to say he didn't have the time, he just didn't have it in him to make the time. It must have been a shocker when Shin finally reached back out to him, especially when there wasn't any mention of booze.

    There is some hesitance in his surly voice as he begins to talk.

    "Been too long....Sorry. For that, and for the trouble."

    Shinoda looks more tense now than when he first started making these drops. Maybe he's worried that Tanabe's back in the business. Or, maybe it's because this drop is for a civilian. Without the boss' approval, you can only pray they don't do something ugly to you after they catch wind of it.

    Shin was hoping to catch up a little bit, have a small chat, but now it'd just feel cruel to keep holding him up. After they finish their business, maybe.

    "Yeah. You better not've skimped on the smokes again." Again. It's been at least two years since they last did this, but it all feels too familiar. It's a bitter feeling, really, this familiarity. "I'm sure you remembered the ones I like."

    Shin nods towards the back room, and starts to shuffle around the counter to join his old friend, but stops when he sees Shinoda give him a look. "Ah, guess I should've asked if ya needed help grabbin' them."
    Last edited by Steak; January 9th, 2022 at 10:23 PM.
    The Perma-Lurker

  9. #9
    So Many Ideas, So Little Time SleepMode's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    ...I forgot.
    Age
    22
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    1,334
    Blog Entries
    1
    Zhang Canyuan
    Day 0 - Afternoon (2/3)
    Nishi Ward - Sekigahara Headquarters


    = = = =

    Echh.

    Zhang Canyuan grimaced at the news, his expression obscured as he leaned back on his chair. Here he was expecting another job, not some supernatural nonsense at their doorstep. Why can't these magician-folk keep their enchantments in their studies?

    However, the more he learned about this 'Grail War,' the less he could downplay it. A battle royale between magicians and their summoned legends, rushing towards a wish? Calling it a disastrous spectacle would be an understatement, if the staggering collateral and cover-up were any indication. Can't blame the bosses on high for limiting involvement, really; blatant support in something like this would inevitably tip the pot past its boiling point, erupting into calamity.

    …Such needless, unsightly bloodshed. Better to maintain this brittle peace for as long as possible.

    At the very least, Canyuan was grateful for Mitsurugi's concise, if coarse, explanation. One of his rougher handlers, certainly, but good at cutting past nonsense and pretense. Hells, it's likely why neither were fazed by one another's sordid behavior. Instead, neither can really judge the other lest one brings their habit to light.

    Canyuan may be many things, but he'd rather not be a hypocrite.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitsurugi Ayame
    "I know it sounds like a load of shit, but that's really how it is. Don't want to lose our best guys investigating things they should be avoiding, I guess. Everything crystal clear?"

    Canyuan hummed.

    "Hm hm-hmm, clear as morning dew. Much thanks for the debrief, Mitsurugi-saan~."

    Leaning forward from his own chair, the operative scratched his scraggly chin.

    To be frank, the affairs of magicians are hardly his concern; those types are notoriously secretive of their craft, with catching a glimpse of their mystic practices inviting trouble or worse. Thankfully those people tend to keep to themselves, maintaining distances rendered a relatively simple business. The less weird crap Canyuan gets himself involved with, the better.

    Yet, doesn't change the fact their weird crap is brewing right now beneath Kagamihara, the place he calls — -
    Calls what, exactly? Sanctuary? Hard to call it safe when there are enemies on all sides. Territory? As if some meager peon can really claim their master's turf. Home? …A silly, silly notion.

    "Place" it is, then. A place to toil, rest, and live another day.
    Pfeh. A most inelegant term, but a close fit for this growing jungle of steel, glass, and concrete.

    "— -Though, I'd be lying if I said I don't have a few questions in mind."

    While any excellent employee must show engagement and initiative, Canyuan primarily wishes to clear up any uncertainties; as reasonable as the bosses' decision was, it was by no means foolproof.

    "First, if we're sending one of our own as rep, what's stopping the Shinonome from doing the same? Suppose this Grail is truly that almighty, they could wipe us off the earth with but a single wish."

    He doubts it would be so simple, but that is still a risk too apparent to ignore. All it takes is the enemy representative surviving to the end for it all to come crashing down. Frowning at the thought, the handyman continued.

    "Then there's the bit about this war. There must be something keeping it from becoming a bloodbath again. If not us or the Shinonome, then who's keeping an eye on all this?"

    All is fair amidst the field of war, that is true — but these are the battle of mystics and legends, not waged in broad daylight. To prevent unnecessary complications and exposure, there must be some means of arbitration.

    The operative suppressed the urge to drink from his canteen.
    For the sake of Kagamihara and himself, Canyuan hoped there was.

    And the final question, one that nagged at him since the very start…

    "Why the one-on-one?" Canyuan gestures to the office's empty chairs. "Pretty sure there's more Sekigahara fixers than me alone, so why skip a group debrief?"

    "Unless…"

    Within moments, the pensive expression on Canyuan's face was replaced with The Expression. Consisting of a lazy smirk and clumsy wink, culminating in a lopsided countenance. A surefire way to diffuse any tension, especially with the present crisis.

    "The others would rather stay away from poor old me?"
    The Act of dozing off in the afternoon is a luxury indeed.
    Coffee would be nice, though.

    [Collection of my Servant Sheets]
    Now Revamped!

  10. #10
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canadia
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    11,665
    JP Friend Code
    http://forums.nrvnqsr.com
    Blog Entries
    5
    Lysander Scriberis Archemiste II
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Nishi Ward - The Midnight Blue

    A clap - one with a bit too much strength to it to be polite - answers Kasumi Kanzaki's question. The man's fingers, which had been tapping against the counter to match her rhythm, are brought together. The silver medal hanging from his heavy coat clasp jingles from the force.

    "Better than Steve Gregory," Archie says, eyes twinkling though his expression has hardly budged. "He had to cheat for the high note. You prefer jazz?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah Tenevere
    “Though, are you sure about the drinks? Take it from experience, day drinking is bad for you. I’ll hedge my bets this time around.”
    His fingers drum a set of jazzy beats across the counter, before pausing as he accepts the proffered water with a nod, then fishes through his coat pockets and slides a white card across the counter in return: it has his name, an email address, and a phone number. The number has been hastily crossed out in pen, and below it written the temporary number he got upon arriving in Japan. And a yen note for the trouble.

    "Fair enough; no sense dulling the mind while the sun is up. I'll have to trouble you again some evening."

    If Lysander's name and appearance hadn't already clued in Sarah Tenevere, the confirmation that he is from the United Kingdom has clearly clinched it, judging by the look on her face. He'd meant to signal it clearly, but perhaps it would've been better to leave the matter more ambiguous for her sake.

    She must get many insufferable magi, huh?

    So Lysander carefully extracts a stick of strawberry Pocky from the bag and pops it into his mouth like a cigarette. Then he extracts it, exhaling as if anything would come out, and holds it between two fingers like only a seasoned smoker can. The classic young boy's make-believe, all with a straight face.

    "You're most hospitable, Tevenere-san. I'm in your debt. And yours, Kanzaki-san. Not many would pick up a stray."

    Altogether, it's a very silly look.

  11. #11
    Gläubig müssen die nicht sein, daran glauben müssen sie I3uster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Age
    28
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    35,859
    Blog Entries
    12
    Reinhold Dietrich Presper
    Day 0 - Afternoon (2/3)
    Minami Ward - Tokisaka Shrine

    The most important part of proper conduct in any kind of professional setting is the ability to suppress primal urges. Stoicism is the father of all politeness, in itself a concept that expressed itself in many different ways around many different cultures, but fundamentally meant one thing: do not behave like an animal. A human waits until everyone sits at the table. A dog gorges itself the moment you dump meat in front of it.

    So I have to remain stoic. Calm. It doesn't matter that I'm two layovers in (once in Moscow, then in Vladivostock) operating on 4 hours of sleep. It doesn't matter that my last meal was vacuum sealed slop prepared in a microwave, frozen onboard for at least a month now. It doesn't matter that the only communique I have so far received was that the old Second Owner apparently is now watching his beloved ley line rich country from six feet below, and that my own passive monitoring was the only thing that alerted me to this disturbance. It doesn't matter that I feel like I am standing here, coatless because I didn't have the time to unpack just yet, freezing my fucking ass off.

    "Nice to meet you Miss Arashiya. My deepest condelences about your father. He was always a pleasure to deal with."

    There wasn't any need to lie there. The old Arashiya limited correspondence to bare necessities. Interacting with him was transactional, the only personal touch in our meetings was a customary gift exchange. A bottle of scotch for a bottle of sake. Then his payment. That's it and thats all it ever had to be. My favorite form of interpersonal interaction.

    What am I going to get a teenager? Sure, my job usually came rather close to babysitting but the subjects involved were at least adults.

    I hand her my business card with two hands.
    Reinhold Dietrich Presper, MBA
    CFO, Presper Asset Management
    +491236234512

    Apparently the Japanese dispostion towads minimalism does not automatically endear them to minimalist-designed business cards, as her attention seemed to be caught by something else entirely.

    “She stays at the entrance. Shrine policy.”
    "Hm?"

    Oh. Of course. They say the best assistants you do not even notice, and in my annoyance I forgot to properly introduce the two of them. Not that she seemed too interested in her name.

    "How impolite of me. This is my sister, Magdalena Presper. Say hello, Lena."

    The woman behind me steps forward, an amused but tired grin on her own face.

    "Greetings. Few notice so quickly. I suppose that is part of being clergy..." She curtsies in the style of a European courtier. "I appreciate your policy. These places can be quite discomforting to me. I will make arrangements for our quarters then, if I may?"

    "Well, if Miss Arashiya is even partially as competent and courteous as her father was, this should not take too long. You do that." I shoo her away with a movement of my hand.

    To be honest that girl's tone was quite disconcerting. Second Owner or not, this is not how you talk to a business partner of yours. A bit of respect went a long way in interactions like these. Maybe she isn't quite sure how to deal with these situations yet. Not like the old Arashiya let her sit in on their meetings. Regardless, she should know such a snappy order isn't to be leveled at what was essentially a guest.

    But I should not let that affect me. I am calm. I am in control. A human understands the many stressors at play here for a young girl like her. Only a dog would get aggressive being split from its pack.

    "So Miss Arashiya, a big reason why this particular place had caught my eye in the past was its tranquility. Mind filling me in what could possibly cause that to be disturbed?"
    Last edited by I3uster; January 9th, 2022 at 02:39 PM.
    [04:55] Lianru: i3uster is actuallly quite cute

  12. #12
    Greatness, at any cost mAc Chaos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Phyrexylvania
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    19,085
    JP Friend Code
    Throw xN
    Blog Entries
    5
    Hashimoto Arata
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Nishi Ward - Kagamihara University
    [BGM]



    It was a nostalgic place.

    Kagamihara University. Even though he'd never set foot here before, there was a certain timeless sensation to it. One that he'd felt in the Clock Tower, and in every university he'd been to before or after.

    The sturdy stone buildings, polished white, impressing upon the visitor the grandeur and history of the institution. That before he ever came here, and long after he'd left, the university would continue its ways, almost like a part of the earth itself. That dusty, earthy air, with its libraries and books and desks. And amid all that age, the lively energy of the students, the hustle and bustle. Trafficking about the halls, lost in this pocket of time secured from the world outside, where they would prepare to set out into its twisting currents.

    Under Kagamihara's watchful eye, a thousand tales would bloom. All of these would become just another chapter in the long and storied history of the school. Yes, just walking through a place like this put upon a person the impression that they'd entered and become part of something greater.

    Arata couldn't suppress a feeling of awe and humility that overcame him whenever he was in a place like this, and indeed this place was no different. Even though it was across the world, on an island of Englishmen, it was like a piece of the Clock Tower had found him here.

    There was a comfort to it, a coming in from the cold winter to enjoy the warmth of the hearth. An electrifying feeling of being one amongst hundreds, a diminishing of the self, subsumed into the whole. One generation linking chain by chain to the next.

    He loved it.

    That's why he hated it.

    Arata felt conflicted. It is said that the chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken. Those shackles were rattling quite loudly indeed right now.

    It was strange, wasn't it? He'd crossed the world only to end right back up at the same place. A bird freed from its cage will return if left to its own devices to the only place it knows.

    Even so, he couldn't suppress the excitement and curiosity he'd felt when he got wind of the University. A guilty pleasure. No, the fondness for what was stored here was untainted by any of his concerns. For someone like Arata, the suite of historical relics on display was like a smorgasbord, an all-you-can-eat buffet.

    Normally he wouldn't be able to resist the urge to simply spend all his time here, so in a way it was fortunate that the security guards' watchful glares on him reminded him to keep his greater goals in mind. Had it been some other time, he might have paid these guards a visit for a different reason. Indeed, to his seasoned gaze, the presence of such a heavy detail in a simple university was a sign in of itself. That was something he'd expected in quite a few different places -- but not here. He couldn't hide his smirk. They weren't being very subtle about this, were they? For now, he was satisfied with simply marveling at the displays proffered, taking them in the way a man might sip from a glass of expensive champagne.

    In the end, it was only fitting, all things considered, to kick off the first day of the War after visiting here. He could give his respects, one last tribute to what once was, before steadying his gaze ahead. No place could better capture the character of the city he'd spent the last few weeks surveying (and to be honest, sampling). A city with one foot set striding towards a new dawn, and the other in traditions and history of yesteryears. What better place could embody that spirit than Kagamihara University, an institution instructing its youth on the knowledge of the ages so that they can embark on their own journeys? It was poetic.

    It wasn't all a joyride though; there were certain... measures this kind of exploration afforded him. Measures that would become useful later, no doubt.

    "Sensei?"

    The girl's voice pierces his reverie.

    Emerging from his thoughts, Arata levels his gaze at the source. It takes a moment for him to recognize her. It had been quite a while, after all. Something like, four or five years.

    Yonagi Tsukiko. He always enjoyed her carefree and pleasant attitude. It was infectious, and he'd looked fondly back on the days when he instructed her. Her disappearance from the Clock Tower was a disappointment, but the intrigues behind the attending students there often made that an all too common affair. Still, he's glad to see she was all right.

    More surprisingly, she'd found him here, of all places. Taking off his tinted glasses to greet her properly, he suppresses a familiar urge and flashes her a smile.

    She seemed different after all this time, but to him, things hadn't changed. Despite it being several years, he can't help but think of her as that same student he had back then. Memory was funny that way. Sometimes you see what's in your mind more clearly than what's in front of you.

    "It's quite the amazing city. I only wish I had more time for explore," he chuckles.

    "It's been quite a while. What brings you to Kagamihara University?" He glances to the relics decorating the hall, then back to her.

    "Are you going to school here now?"

    Perhaps she'd found a new calling. Had she found something that satisfied her? Judging by her presence here, it looks like the student he remembered hadn't completely changed. But then, sometimes even those who want to, can't.
    He never sleeps. He never dies.

    Battle doesn't need a purpose; the battle is its own purpose. You don't ask why a plague spreads or a field burns. Don't ask why I fight.

  13. #13
    for me, there is (you) Katie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    the saint's temptation
    Gender
    Female
    Posts
    4,770
    Blog Entries
    1
    Cuan Yugou
    Day 0 - Afternoon (2/3)
    Nishi Ward - Sekigahara Headquarters


    “Very good.”

    The old man smiles, and in this motion he betrays his heritage, reminiscent of an oni mask. You spot the way his shoulders slink in relief, the man’s frame shrinking as tenseness leaves his muscles. Sekigahara Juro’s face may be difficult to read, but time has made the body a different story. The result is much like prey trying to make itself look larger, imposing only if one does not know the truth.

    “The preparations for your summoning have been made. The details are in this envelope. The catalyst you will be using, the methods on how to perform this ritual,” he says, passing the pristine paper to you, delicately sealed. “It would be prudent of you to arrive in the designated location tonight. I merely expect a call of confirmation then.”

    The old man pauses, taking another huff from his pipe.

    “Should my children interfere with your business, use them as you see fit. But remember, you embody my wish, and my wish alone.” He looks disgruntled even as he says this, eyes narrowed in expected disappointment. The flicker of doubt appears in his eyes as he looks at you, but it is nothing more than fleeting regret. Sekigahara Juro has already made his choice.

    “If you have nothing left to ask, you are free. Brief respite for the battles ahead. The money will be wired shortly.”

    Tanabe Shin
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Higashi Ward - YaYa


    “Nah, I got ‘em,” Shinoda says as his wary eyes stop looking over your shoulder, pulling out a bag from underneath the counter. Too opaque for anyone to see what’s in it, still bearing that generic grocery store logo. But how carefully he moves with it tells another story. “Hope your tastes haven’t changed.”

    Just the sheer weight of the drop feels familiar in your hands. You’d been a bit on the cautious side when you called him, so the bag is heftier than normal. Following in Uncle Tanabe’s footsteps certainly wasn’t going to be easy, not when he was willing to enter a complete bloodbath.

    “Tanabe,” he says, trying to catch you before you vanish. “You willing to tell me why you got back into smoking? I thought you quit. Went clean.”

    Shinoda gazes at you with a bittersweet curiosity. He already expects the worst, yet he can’t help but ask. You were family, once, brothers-in-arms. It seems he can’t get rid of that lingering sentimentality, even as you’ve ghosted him.

    Zhang Canyuan
    Day 0 - Afternoon (2/3)
    Nishi Ward - Sekigahara Headquarters


    “All good questions,” the silver-haired woman says with a laugh. If nothing else, your caution seems to have made her more excited.

    “For the first, I suppose there isn’t. We can’t keep track of all the people participating. And I suppose if the Shinonome did win, we could be put into ruin. But ol’ Shinonome Hisao is a cautious man, and rumor has it he wants nothing to do with it. I bet that’s not exactly comforting, but it’s simply a risk that we might have to expect.”

    “As for the second, we, the Sekigahara, and the Shinonome, are on a regional scale, you know? National at best. But most spellcasters I’ve heard about have a vested interest in keeping things underground, and the Church, as in the Catholic church, are supposed to be the mediators for this. I think you can talk to their representative at the local church? They’d be able to explain the situation better. But to put it simply, there are bigger fish in the sea involved, and we’re the mackerel biting at the chance to get more than scraps.”

    "The others would rather stay away from poor old me?"
    “That? You’re just my favorite.” A completely shameless, whimsical answer. Yet, Ayame’s delivery makes it impossible to read what she truly means by that, other than the obvious. Nothing but disgusting confidence. “But I thought it would pique your interest. Wanderers like you have a reason to wander, don’t they?”

    “It simply occurred to me that maybe people like you are in the most need of a wish.”

    Reinhold Dietrich Presper
    Day 0 - Afternoon (2/3)
    Minami Ward - Tokisaka Shrine


    “Forgive me about your sister,” she hastily says, taking the business card. “but the land is a bit sensitive here.”

    Hiori opens the door and leads you inside, the faint smell of incense entering your nose. The house is as archaic as it looks on the inside—sliding doors, tatami mats, the works. As you step into an extremely tidy living room, you spot the source of the offending smell. A small family altar is set up on a shelf in the corner, the fading embers of an incense stick in the holder. On the corner of the coffee table in front of you is a faded version of your business card and various notes, painstakingly organized in manila folders, right next to a laptop with cutesy stickers all over the case.

    She motions for you to sit on the couch, before leaving briefly, returning with a tea set and piping hot tea. Carefully, she pours you a cup, a clearly practiced motion. The tea is black.

    “Mind filling me in what could possibly cause that to be disturbed?”
    “First, let me explain something,” she says, a brief hesitance flickering in her eyes, “When my parents passed away, though I naturally became head, my aunt stepped in to serve in a regent-like manner as I consulted various tuners across the country to salvage what remained of my father’s portion of the crest.”

    “When you came I assumed you’d been appraised over the situation, but it seems she’s been rather negligent in that regard. For that, I apologize on behalf of her and myself.” She fishes out a blank piece of paper and a pen from one of the folders and hastily writes something on it, before handing it off to you. Even in such a rush, the resulting text is surprisingly neat. “Here’s her apartment number and address. Her name is Arashiya Kanade. Please give her an earful when you see her.”

    She smiles lightly at her own joke (and sincere opinion), before resuming the stoic upper lip she has been using for the rest of the conversation.

    “My aunt, I believe, brokered the case of the troubles plaguing Kohijirigashima. Have you heard of a Holy Grail War? A ritual where magi summon kami, er, spirits, of ancient legends to battle for a miracle made manifest.” The girl looks more and more displeased as she explains. “This ritual is taking place in Kagamihara, and I assume it’s the volume of mana the Grail needs for both its ultimate goal and the summonings that is affecting the leylines.”

    “I wish I could provide more assistance, but I’m under the impression that the leyline fluctuations will remain until the ritual finishes. But, if you need any other help in resolving this matter, do not hesitate to ask. It has been my inadequacy that has led the situation to move this far.” She gives you a hesitant, reassuring smile, but you can tell she hates being the bearer of bad news. Instead, she gets up and bows at an almost impossibly steep angle.

    “I’m greatly sorry for this inconvenience.”
    Last edited by Katie; January 10th, 2022 at 08:05 AM.

  14. #14
    Imperial Princess Satehi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    5,291
    Theresa Octavia
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Nishi Ward - Shopping District





    Aquariums, Theresa decided, were rather nice.

    This was the first time she’d been to one- not because she never had any interest, but simply because her free time was too limited. She’d never gotten the chance until today.

    There was something very relaxing about the experience. Life that was normally spread out over miles condensed into a small space of only a couple steps, to be viewed with complete leisure and no concern. The exhibits, a thin glance into a world that lay mostly beyond human reach. It’s inhabitants, floating freely in an exotic realm without a single care or worry to tie them down to the earth.

    It was the perfect combination of traits to make one forget about their troubles in this chaotic and messy world that they walked on.

    Of course, she knew that was overly poetic- in the end, there was nothing natural about the exhibits they were seeing. They were all the products of human engineering; made for the purpose of entertaining guests rather than capturing their original habitat.

    And aquatic life was by no means free of worries. All living things had concerns- some were simply more fundamental than others, like eating and shelter, as opposed to higher level concerns like prestige or fame.

    Still, knowing that it was false didn’t change the sentiment she felt as she walked through the aquarium- relaxed.

    She wondered if the aquarium residents felt a similar feeling- after all, they did not want for food or shelter in here. Compared to their counterparts in the outside world, their concerns must surely be at least a little lighter.

    Assuming, of course, that they were unaware that a thin sheet of glass was all that separated them from certain death. That their lives were at risk of being snuffed out any moment because of powers completely beyond their understanding. Such knowledge would be quite hard to bear, in her opinion.

    At the very least, thinking as she turned to watch Lumine stumble onto a bench, she had yet to meet anyone who was comforted and not anguished by the knowledge.

    “I need a breather,” she says, tone quiet and breathy. “Go on without me. When you come back we can get shaved ice or something.”

    Lumine’s condition did not surprise Theresa- she knew a little bit about the girl’s situation. She probably didn’t want to be seen as a burden on their rare time off. A noble idea, truly.

    Theresa sighed.

    “I know your physical condition takes a hit sometimes, but I didn’t think your mental condition did too.”

    Perhaps it was a sweet gesture, but it was wasted on Theresa Octavia.

    “Listen. I appreciate the thought, really, but if you think I could just simply nod my head and go off to enjoy myself knowing that I left you here to go recuperate by yourself, then either I overestimated your intelligence, or your opinion of me is a lot lower than I’d like to believe.”

    Even though she had (surprisingly) enjoyed herself on this aquarium visit so far, that was because the scenery made it easier to forget her current troubles. She doubted it would feel the same with this weighing over her head, so even though it was nice of Lumine to bring it up, it was a meaningless offer. Pointless.

    She disliked pointless things.

    “Anyways, rather than sending me off to look at some more fish for another hour, I’d rather you tell me if there’s anything I can do to help.”

    Making it absolutely clear that she had no intent of budging an inch just because Lumine wanted her to enjoy the trip without her, she stared at her less than well travelling companion with her arms crossed.

    “You and I both know there’s nothing I can do about the fundamental cause right now, but maybe there’s something little to alleviate the symptoms. Want a glass of water? Maybe you’d fancy that shaved ice now instead of later?”

    Her tone of voice was anything but pleased or soft- if anything, she was obviously somewhat annoyed at this turn of events- but her intent was clear.

    “We’re in this together, after all. If you want to be a little selfish and ask for some help, I’ll listen.”

  15. #15
    nicht mitmachen Dullahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    AUSTRALIAAARGGH
    Posts
    5,160
    Blog Entries
    1
    Cuan Yugou
    Sekigahara Headquarters - Nishi Ward
    Afternoon (Phase 2/3)


    It's bullshit, of course. Of course it's bullshit. Never was the stench more rancid.

    “If you have nothing left to ask, you are free. Brief respite for the battles ahead. The money will be wired shortly.”
    No, no questions. Not for the dàlǎo at any rate. Nothing need be known. No further knowledge need complicate the matter at hand. Make a gracious, wordless exit. Leave the old man to ruminate. Leave him to smoke his pipe and ponder the ink-black of the door as it closes, and in the tracery of its fine lacquerwork let him figure the ruin of his prospects.

    There is a certain level (reflecting on the way to the elevator) on which Cuan Yugou and the old Sekigahara are similar. Understanding of this fact is mutual, though naturally each understands it differently and to a different end. Probably this fact alone is why the dàlǎo sniffed him out on the mainland. He knew a name, or several probably, and with it a reputation, a history, a web of complications which an investigator could unravel. (Cuan met the investigator in Busan a month ago. An old hand, someone trusted. One of many anonymous Sekigahara affiliates, paid to run background before approaching with the cautious, vague, yet pointedly monetarily-denominated offer of a job.) And more than that, he knew certain other things, immaterial things, which allowed him to put two and two together.

    Cuan in the elevator. Gleaming silver walls enclose. A mirrored image to one side. Whose ugly mug is that? The usual question. He snorts. He cracks the joint in one wrist, then the other. A sound like sintering metal.

    So the dàlǎo has a problem. What does he do? He does what a dàlǎo naturally does: keeps it in the family. But the family, in this case, is part of the problem. This is familiar. The father builds an empire. A word which here means: nice shit, when you get down to it. Lacquer bowls, fine tobacco. Shares, diamonds, cash. Fast cars and slow food. Old masters and young mistresses. A dozen buildings, a hundred ships, a thousand subsidiaries, ten thousand salaried employees commuting daily. Everything down to the sheen on these elevator buttons, applied twice daily by well-paid cleaning staff, is an atom of the old Sekigahara's immense accumulation of nice shit. And it's a ruin, all of it, a ruin already - if not in fact then in principle, in potential. It is a ruin and the kids are picking through it for whatever they can get. The nice shit. As one does. It's very familiar. It's tune you can pick out from the first few notes. These kids - there was a dossier about them at one point, which he read, and somewhat remembers - are a vicious pack of jokers but unoriginal in that regard. Their greed and their envy is altogether - of this world. So to speak.

    <"There but for. Et cetera.">

    The elevator doors open. Straighten coat jacket, step out onto the mezzanine. One descends to the lobby proper by stairs. So the family is the problem. Then what does the dàlǎo do? He finds a different kind of kin. A kinship of nature more so than blood. Immaterial nature.

    Once upon a time - a lot of his recollections begin this way - there was someone, name irrelevant, who said something to him. As follows: <"You are unfit to command and unfit to be commanded."> At the time he wasn't sure what was meant by that. Only later did it make sense. Now he thinks about it every day. It clarifies things. There is for him no possibility of an empire. He is not a father. He is not a leader, a builder. His talents, such as they are, lie elsewhere. He will be spared the dàlǎo's problems, brought about as they are by the unaccountable accumulation of offspring and of nice shit - in a word, of complications. Complications upon complications. Nauseating entanglements. He grimaces as he wonders (step by step, descending) how many people he will have to kill this week. Six, seven? That figure was indicated somewhere, but of course it means nothing. Nothing is ever that simple. Killing even a single person is not simple. The world of things and persons is so tightly meshed together these days - so much more so than it was when he was starting out - that every act, every move, generates a thousand thousand signals and issues and complications. The thought of it is enough to flatten you. The world is very heavy. Like living on the ocean floor; the only way to survive is to be made of water, or made of iron. Everything else is crushed.

    Bottom step. The lobby floor. Indescribable decor. Some kind of water feature.

    In summary. He will be spared the dàlǎo's problems, but has his own to deal with. This bullshit. This "war." Makes you want to spit. This is not war. War does not do this. War does not implicate these forms. This is a game. That doesn't make it simpler, easier, or more humane. Every game is someone's game. The rules are always rules "for" someone, "by" someone else. That is the fact. Not even for a moment has Cuan Yugou considered this something other than a game. The priority lies with establishing who is the house, and who is the sucker.

    Stopping by the front desk on a November afternoon - he looks out. Beyond the glass doors of the Sekigahara building lies the city. Steel and 'crete. Dim light of a paling autumn. Beyond those doors is - what else? That persistent smell, shall we say. That noxious air. Japan. He grimaces. He pinches the bridge of his nose.

    <"I'm dying here.">

    Turn on the heel. He approaches the front desk. An intermittently vulpine concierge. Has to crane her neck upward to meet his gaze, and shows signs of immediately regretting the effort. She emits a sequence of polite verb forms which take a moment to parse. She's asking if she can help.

    <"No,"> he says. And in addition: "Any decent restaurants around here?"

    ---------------
    n.b. - Dialogue presented in <angle brackets> is in Mandarin as opposed to Japanese. Can only be understood by characters who understand it.
    えき
    しゃ
    さん
    ゆう


  16. #16
    for me, there is (you) Katie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    the saint's temptation
    Gender
    Female
    Posts
    4,770
    Blog Entries
    1
    Hashimoto Arata
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Nishi Ward - Kagamihara University


    “Yes, I’m a student here now. Unfortunately, I can’t get paid to be Indiana Jones, like you.” Somehow, Tsukiko settles into the old routine as if it were nothing. You were used to getting a little sass from her now and then, but somehow she manages to continue the same old song and dance as if it were second nature. “I’m an anthropology major, but I got roped into helping around a bit. You take a few archeology classes to pad your grades, and they think you’re talented…”

    “In any case, I haven’t been up to anything interesting since I left your class. But I’m certainly eager to hear about your exploits since, or why you’re in Kagamihara.” You get the feeling it isn’t quite the truth. Tsukiko was the adventurous sort back then, so unless time had tempered her nature, something did happen. But perhaps it’s not your place to pry.

    “...Did you finally get burnt out and took a break? Other than the city’s leyline composition, I can’t see any reason why you’d visit here for work, but that’s not really in your area of expertise.” Tsukiko airs her guesses without much restraint. It’s an unspoken challenge, to take the bait and answer her in the guise of proving her wrong. She probably doesn’t expect it to work, and is more or less throwing things out to fill dead air.

    “Though, if you need a Kagamihara tour guide, I’m here to help. You did quite a bit for me when I was still studying at the Eleventh, so consider it a late repayment.” She cheerfully offers her services to you with a smile. Then she turns to look back at the exhibits, and scowls. “Still, looking at relics? Do you ever get your fill?”

    Lysander Scriberis Archemiste II
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Nishi Ward - The Midnight Blue


    Kasumi practically preens at your praise. It’s a little immature, but it isn’t really bothersome or annoying. Just indulgent enough.

    “You prefer jazz?”
    “Someone has to give her actual songs to play,” Kasumi says with a glare. Sarah simply shrugs back, looking more amused at your attempt to act tough than anything else. “I’ve been listening to Toys / Die Dreaming but that’s definitely an acquired taste.”

    As Kasumi struggles not to prattle on about modern jazz albums, Sarah looks at the business card with a sigh. The kind of annoyed huff when your Lecturer assigns extra homework right before class ends. Still, it doesn’t seem to bother her too much, as a moment later, she’s grabbing a stick of Pocky from your box and plopping it into her mouth.

    "You're most hospitable, Tevenere-san. I'm in your debt. And yours, Kanzaki-san. Not many would pick up a stray."
    “Well, we’re strays ourselves,” Sarah says, a bit wistfully. “So don’t worry about it. And just Sarah is fine. Hearing you refer to me with honorifics is just weird.”

    Tapping the business card against the countertop, Sarah snaps to get both of your attentions with her left. It’s then you notice the ten rings on her hands, one for each finger, each inlaid with a shining gemstone.

    “Anyway, since this is apparently a business trip, might as well spit it out now. Don’t worry about Kasumi—her sister’s a Lecturer. Gotta get a few employees you can talk about these kinds of things, you know?”

    “Oh, you’re part of the Clock Tower,” Kasumi says, carrying a weird sort of excitement now that this fact has come to light. “Have you met Erika, by any chance?”

    And all of a sudden, that sense of familiarity clicks into place.

    Theresa Octavia
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Nishi Ward - Shopping District


    “Ngh,” Lumine groans, looking offended and surprised at your refusal to abandon her. “Sorry.”

    You can clearly see her struggle to say something by the way her mouth opens and closes like the fish you’ve been watching. Eventually, she just grits her teeth and frowns. Her brain is probably racing a mile a second, trying to put into words feelings neither of you particularly cared about expressing before.

    “You’re right. We’re comrades, so we should rely on each other.” The thought puts a smile on her face, but it’s more one of disbelief than anything else. She digs into her pockets for a plain looking wallet. The simple leather aesthetic doesn’t strike you as her taste. More likely, it was a gift from the old man. Lumine flips through with her good hand for the bills. She’s surprisingly dexterous in this regard.

    But since that’s the case, how often does this happen?

    “Since you volunteered, here you go,” she says. “I’ll be up and running in a bit. Last night… took a bit more out of me than I expected.”

    You can’t tell if the girl looks awfully stiff or like she’s about to fall over. Still, it seems you’ve managed to cheer her up, at least a little bit.

    Asakami Ito
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Nishi Ward - Kagamihara University


    Se-hun can only stare blankly at the scene, before he comes to his senses. Still shocked, he forcibly turns around. He is not a killer, and that is fine. The world you live in has no need for killers as vicious as you. Faced with such abnormality, any normal person would be pale with fright.

    Se-hun fares a little better, if only because he knew this was a possibility he’d have to face someday. Perhaps not as brutal or graphic, but inevitable nonetheless.

    “I-I’ll call for a cleaner,” he forces out in a ragged breath. He almost covers his mouth, before realizing the action is pointless. If he throws up, his hands won’t block anything. “Be quick, we can’t really… be caught like this.”

    Steadily, he shifts from witness to accomplice, against his better nature. But this is what the chairman intended for you to do, so he has no voice to oppose. Nothing but grim, horrified acceptance remains. He shuts the door, leaving you alone with the spoils of victory.

    You glance at the bloodspattered label on the crate next to the corpse. It’s the right one. There, inside, is your prize. The first step into making your dreams into reality.

  17. #17
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canadia
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    11,665
    JP Friend Code
    http://forums.nrvnqsr.com
    Blog Entries
    5
    Lysander Scriberis Archemiste II
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Nishi Ward - The Midnight Blue

    Ah, so that's where Kasumi's expression had come from.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kasumi Kanzaki
    “I’ve been listening to Toys / Die Dreaming but that’s definitely an acquired taste.”
    "Never heard of it," he admits. "More of a slow pop guy myself."

    Lysander crunches the Pocky in his mouth, half-relieved and half-disappointed at the revelation. Kanzaki. Of course. Then that would be...

    "I sat in on Erika's lectures last semester," he drawls, calling up foggy memories. It hadn't been the most relevant of topics, but he'd at least picked up on a few tricks to make his spells flow better. "Your-" How old had she been? Definitely not that old. The lines on her face would've been more from stress than age. And Kasumi herself looked fairly young too. "-sister works too hard. She's due for either a promotion or a vacation. Probably won't get either." Not with the heads of most departments being racist caricatures of out-of-touch aristocrats.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah Tenevere
    “Well, we’re strays ourselves. So don’t worry about it. And just Sarah is fine. Hearing you refer to me with honorifics is just weird.”
    "If you say so," Lysander Scriberis Archemiste II says, before suddenly making a face. "Sarah sounds too close though." Especially since she has a few years on him. "This is Japan, isn't it? I should follow the rules of the land. But Ms. Tenevere is too old..." A hint of boyish concern shines through his sullen features as he mulls over the problem, before deciding to give up on it with a shrug. He never had much patience for social niceties in the first place. "Ah, whatever. Sarah it is. And Kasumi." He has not forgotten about the woman and her sonorous sax, offering her the Pocky box as he turns his attention back to the topic at hand.

    The rings - more specifically the gemstones - on Sarah's fingers catch Lysander's eye next. Good purity on the material. Too tacky for fashion. Must be Mystic Codes. For all he knows, they're ten guns pointed his way. Fitting for a bartender who doesn't hire a bouncer. And for a stray with no tower shelter her.

    Good. He's come here precisely for that reason.

    "Anyway, it's not a business trip," Lysander says as he reaches for a second stick of Pocky. "The old bastards back home wouldn't send a student here. They're daft but not that daft."

    The Pocky and the previously polite atmosphere both go 'crunch'.



    "My presence here is just truancy. I'm curious to see how much Kamigahara has changed."
    Last edited by Bloble; January 10th, 2022 at 10:40 PM.

  18. #18
    アカシャの蛇 The Serpent of Akasha RacingeR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Age
    30
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    11,669
    Blog Entries
    1
    Sanda Rakuin
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Higashi Ward - Setagaya Park


    “I thank ye, young one. May the Buddha guide you into the path to Enlightenment.” The monk sitting cross-legged at the side of the plaza said, with a booming voice. And he meant it, too.

    He’d never liked to scam kids. Perhaps it was because he had no intentions of having kids of his own, but he had a certain tendency to take care of the little tykes. Well, not the extent that he’d return the donation they’d so generously given, but it was the intention that counted.

    That and he felt some hunger, and that sugary goodness would make for a good afternoon snack after this.

    His attention briefly shifted to the donation basket. Quite the coinage there. It had been a good harvest today. He guessed the amount he had received, and compared with the amount he’d been saving since he decided to participate in this city’s ‘event’.

    It should be enough for war funds. At least, he hoped it was enough to find a nice little isolated place for a while and feed himself and his Servant for… maybe a month? It’d take everything he had saved through his life, but he had no real interest in returning from this war, so that fact didn’t matter much to him.

    Hopefully, whoever he ended up summoning wouldn’t turn out to be a glutton.

    He then eyed the waiting audience, and considered. Generally speaking, more attention and more rumors of him was good for his earnings, but city people were, as a rule of thumb, a bit more learned, and tended to recognize his game faster. For a bunch as skeptical as these, normally it’d have been better to put on a performance using his martial arts, but given the reason he was here, that’d have been a little too much, given potential enemies around.

    It probably wouldn’t work for much longer. So much for his racket, but he had collected enough. Today would have to be the last day for park appearances. Well, time to collect as much as he could from the credulous ones and then go.

    “Amitabha.” His voice boomed across the park as he rose, a mountain of muscles that towered over everyone in the audience by something like half a meter. A beautiful beard flowed by as he moved, and the cliched yet colorful monk robes he was wearing, along with the intricately carved walking staff on his back, managed to give his frame even more presence, concentrating all the nearby stares into him.

    Showmanship. That was one of the main tenets of his craft. Be showy, be attention-calling, cause an impression just by being there. Most people would be hooked just by mere appearances, as long as he spoke solemnly enough. The content of the words hardly mattered, but he’d do his best there, for the more discerning ones of the bunch.

    “To search for Enlightenment is to go against Desire.” He started, his sonorous voice trumpeting over the hubbub of the park. “Only once one is free of Desire may one take the first step, to comprehend the truths of Samsara and see through the dust of the mundane world.”

    “What is Desire? Desire is gluttony, lust and greed. Desire is the wish for the material, and the ignorance of the spiritual.” He spoke solemnly and gravely, as if chanting a mantra, pretentious words rolling one after the other from his mouth with practiced ease. “To Desire is to suffer, for sufferance comes to us by search of material wealth and succor. Only he who frees themselves from the chains of the material may escape suffering, and may transcend mundanity.”

    He spoke as if he hadn’t spent last evening in a cheap Geisha bar on the other side of the city.

    “Do not be deceived by the search of material wealth. Combat the greed that inhabits your hearts, the earthly desires that whisper madness into your ears.” He said shamelessly. “Break the chains of material possessions and the yoke imposed by wealth and its search!”

    Yeah, this one’s pretty inspired, he thought. Just gotta keep harping on the point, maybe change his tack in a bit to something else, and keep encouraging them to separate from their hard-earned lucre. The sensation of spiritual peace they bought was well worth it. For him.


    quotes
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1984 View Post
    Besides, I don't see what's so terrible about looting anyway. It's only property, they're not actually harming anyone.
    Quote Originally Posted by lantzblades View Post
    when I say hero I don't mean hero in the spirit sense. I mean a morally grounded, good natured person who doesn't slaughter innocent people. No such person exists in the Nasuverse.
    [00:12] <~Katie> i can't defy my origin
    [00:12] <~Katie> of gay memes

    [16:15] <~Katie> lesbians has always been my gimmick and i will exploit it to the fullest

    [22:56] <@Sei> airen is pegging hero this time
    [22:56] <@Sei> for once airen isn't the uke
    [22:56] <@Kuroyuki> I thought Air was the Woman in the Relationship?
    [22:56] <@Airen> Yeah I kinda thought I was the girl too!

  19. #19
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Age
    29
    Posts
    16,010
    Blog Entries
    3
    Asakami Ito
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Nishi Ward - Kagamihara University


    Though he had sheathed his sword, Ito kept his hand at the ready atop the tsuka. Asahi was dead, but the possibility of a collaborator had yet to be ruled out. Even as Se-hun tried to hold back the urge to vomit, the swordsman stood patiently, at the ready, for any potential surprises.

    “I-I’ll call for a cleaner. Be quick, we can’t really… be caught like this.”

    With more steel in his spine than Ito had given him credit for, Se-hun regains his bearings.

    “I won’t take long.” Ito replies, his new accomplice disappearing as the door shuts behind him. As soon as the young man, in Ito’s eyes a boy, is out of earshot, the killer lets out a small sigh. “Breaking the kid in…? Pointless. He hasn’t the stomach for this kind of work.”

    If the chairman had really intended on such a thing, it could be passed as needlessly cruel. There were other jobs to ease the kid into it. Start him somewhere easier, like roughing up evasive borrowers who owe more than they can get away with or joining some seniors to intimidate the families of those borrowers.

    The transition from lockpicking to cleaning up decapitated bodies of traitors was extreme even by the standards of a merciless killer such as Ito. There was no chance that the chairman was unaware of exactly who the two would run into trying to collect this artifact, and if not, at least a vague idea. He was keenly aware of the happenings in his city. The grim business that he had sent Se-hun and Ito to handle was well known to him.

    Likely, this was to send a message.

    ‘This is what happens to traitors.’

    Who was the message for?

    Ito stared at the closed door, imagining Se-hun past it nervously calling for help, shooing away any unsuspecting innocent souls that might have cause to walk into the bloodstained storage room. Then, he turned to the crate. Blood had marred the label, but he could still read it. Its contents, its origin, and its destination. The purported date of the historical artifact held within, along with the name of the legendary figure that had owned it.

    The corners of Ito’s lips crept up slightly.

    His hand twitched, a gust of red steel blew through the crate in a flash.

    Ito stared at the prize, his for the taking. How it suited him, this old armament. A relic from a time when the world had need for his kind, an era where he had purpose. A better time.

    Ito saw the recipient of the chairman’s message reflected on the old metal.


  20. #20
    屍鬼 Ghoul Steak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Somewhere
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    16
    Tanabe Shin
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Higashi Ward - YaYa


    He grabs the bag by the handles, wrapping them around his wrist before holding onto it tight, without even thinking of checking it's contents. There's no doubts that Shinoda did his part exactly to the letter.

    "Heh, you know they'll never change." Shin's arm lazily drops down to his side, feeling the full weight of the contents. You could even hear what's inside a bit, hiding underneath the crinkling of the plastic bag. He looks over his shoulder to the door. No one still. Still have a chance to talk, but what is there to ask even? The more they talk here, the more involved the two will be. It just takes the wrong person to walk in at the wrong time...

    He opens his mouth, wanting to ask something, but instead all that comes out is, "Thanks, again....Take care."

    Quote Originally Posted by Katie View Post
    “Tanabe. You willing to tell me why you got back into smoking? I thought you quit. Went clean.”
    That stops him as he's turning away to leave, and he stares at Shinoda for a moment, before letting out a sigh. Yeah, I owe you something, at least, he thinks, and gets comfortable, leaning forward to rest his elbows on the counter and crossing his arms, the drop dangling in front of him against the counter. He stares down at his grip on the plastic bag for another moment, I don't wanna involve him more than I already did...Ain't like he'll believe me if I really spilled it all.

    Looking back up at Shinoda, he finally starts talking. "There's been something haunting me for a while now. Something just crawling on my back, and I ain't able to shake it off. And I can't just ignore it...Guess I don't want to. Damn thing's been chasing me...Nah, more like it's leading me around by the nose."

    That trail of info Uncle Tanabe made really has been getting to him a bit. Some of the more recent ones, anyway. A shadow war, wizards fighting wizards for some holy grail. Dancing around with people who're only alive in history books anymore. There's still a lot of unfilled gaps in what he knows, but he knows enough to not take this thing lightly.

    "The stress is getting to me, is all." Shin shrugs with his right arm, holding onto the bag, "I figured it's time to stock up on smokes. They'll help ease the nerves a bit. Better to be prepared than caught naked in the cold, especially with a storm coming to town."

    Shin's scowling with a frown now as he looks at Shinoda, but there's the fire of confidence in his eyes. Whether his brother is satisfied or not, he's gotten an answer. He glances over his shoulder again.

    Still alone. His ferocious stare softens again back to one of being content, with a small smile. They're alone, there should be a little time to chat.

    "You look like your holding up good. How's the family been treating you?"
    Last edited by Steak; January 12th, 2022 at 03:05 AM.
    The Perma-Lurker

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •