22:17 <TDS> Silent Leaf stood on deck of the small merchant ship, watching the strange city come into view. The journey hadn't been very comfortable, but she didn't want anyone to follow her and people remembered well-paying customers staying in the good quarters a lot better, so she had booked the cheapest passage she could and disguised herself as a poor and sickly woman spending her last few savings on the passage. She couldn't wait to take a bath and
22:17 <TDS> change out of the intentionally smelly clothes. As the ship slowly slid through the arch into the haven, she starts looking for her contact that was supposed to wait for her.
22:19 <KevinB> She was told to recognize the man by a few details. Emerald Green eyes, a scruffy beard- a sword on each hip, and fangs in his mouth when he smiles. As she comes into the harbor- she see's many things. A hustle and bustle of activity- countless souls moving and out of the >
22:21 <KevinB> <Harbor area, and the din of countless conversations weighing down at once seems to hit her as a wall, as she nears the harbor- and knowing her contact is a man trained to blend in, some might think it likely that finding those features will be a great ordeal in and of itself- but keen eyes know what to look for, >
22:22 <KevinB> And relatively shortly- the man can be spotted... standing completely still in a crowd- actively choosing not to blend in for once, as he has his hood thrown back. He wears the clothes of a sailor, at this moment- though he seems attached to no ship. He wears his blades openly, not so unusual for a maritime man in the era besieged by Lintha..
22:22 <KevinB> And those green eyes seem to be looking for something.
22:27 <TDS> She smiles to herself as she spots the man and makes eye contact, trying to get his attention without alerting anyone else. Once she's sure he has noticed her, she lets her gaze shift away, keeping an eye on the crowd. After the ship finally reaches the dock, she moves toward sthe man while following the flow of the crowd, trying not to make it obvious who her target is. Once she reaches him, she stands next to him, pretending to watch the
22:27 <TDS> ships while talking to him.
22:28 <TDS> "You're my contact, I assume" She whispers out of the corner of her mouth while seeming to admire a realm warship.
22:28 <KevinB> He moves with the flow himself, as she comes to stand next to him- and he begins to move, gesturing with a hand that doesn't raise above waist level for her to follow- as he smiles warmly, and speaks in a happy, relaxed voice. "Welcome, welcome!" He says aloud- and then a fainter whisper. "I am, yes. Please- follow me, we can speak more at the Inn."
22:30 <TDS> "Fine. Lead the way" As she walks, she keeps an eye out, trying to remember as much useful information as possible, escape routes, guards, the general mood or any wanted posters.
22:31 <@Carreau> The dockside marketplace of Blue Esplanade is starting to quiet down, traders packing their wares, fishes getting put under a layer salt and boxes of vegetables stacked to be stored. The sun starts setting in the distance, bathing the docks in warm hues of orange and red. Five massive stone entrances lead inside the behemoth's husk, the tip of their archs twenty yards tall.
22:34 <KevinB> The man smiles warmly- as he begins to make a path to the Haunches, letting his hand drift to hold hers- to guide her.. as they move to lose themselves in the crowd- his intent clear; to hide within the massive throng of humanity, to submerse themselves where the arrogant rarely look, >
22:35 <KevinB> As he guides her to a place he knows will be safe for a time, at least- a place to pause and explain to her what he needs to- as his keen eyes and practiced gait provide a suprising guide through the city he calls home- towards an Inn named "Little Dreams", run by a freind to those who have a dislike for the Realm..
22:36 <@Carreau> There are two wanted posters that draw attention. One is a sketch of a young man with mohawk, half of his face tattooed, his mouth open in a shout and an eight-pointed star on his forehead. "Forsaken Anathema, last seen Calibration. Two talents of jade for his capture or severed head."
22:38 <TDS> As the walk, Silent Leaf tries to subtly study her guide, trying not just to see what he wants other to see but also what he may try to keep hidden.
22:39 <KevinB> The man seems to visibly scowl as he notices the poster- the cheerfull facade of a Sailor guiding a relative home slipping- as his eyes rarely stray to his companion; instead, they rove the streets. They watch the dark corners, they analyze the guards watching from their perches- and they drink in posters like those, and seem to flash with anger.
22:41 <@Carreau> The second poster - a rather new one based on how it is not weathered - is of a hooded figure, seems like an old man, the only distinctive feature being that his jaw and mouth seem to be covered in bulging veins, perhaps from an extremely bad burn wound. "Wanted for the assassination of Ragara Volto Semtaro, 40 minae."
22:43 <@Carreau> Each of the wanted posters has a section detailing that tips leading to the capture or death of these two should be given to the Immaculate Order's temple in the Heartworks or any members of the satrap's guard.
22:44 <KevinB> The Second poster draws another scowl- a fake one, but passable enough as real as he hides his true feelings on that one... and heads out for the Inn- as they weave through the streets towards the Haunches- and eventually.. find their way.
22:44 <TDS> When she notices the posters, she can't help but scowl. What sort of amateur lets his face be seen like that? And why wear such an attention grabbing hairstyle?
22:45 <TDS> "There are Anathema in the city?" She asks, trying to sound shocked.
22:46 <KevinB> He shrugs- as he whispers softly. "There are Anathema everywhere, these days. We'll speak more in the Inn." he murmurs- before clenching a fist and sighing.
22:47 <TDS> As they enter the Inn, she again scans the scene, looking for threats or escape routes.
22:51 <@Carreau> The inn, Little Dreams, is a while from the docks, but still in a rather busy part of town. It's pincered between a cobbler's workshop and a small alley of street kitchens, a wooden standing sign out front bearing the picture of a dolphin sleeping in a comfortable raised bed, under covers.
22:52 <@Carreau> There's no door, just two heavy curtains that you push aside to come to the main room. A small elevated platform in the corner probably serves as a makeshift serving area for breakfast, five or so tables scattered around the entrance area. On the other end of the room you can see a counter, and the owner of the inn.
22:52 <KevinB> Nyumetsu seems to smile softly as he leads her in- letting go of her hand as they drift into the building through the curtains. He chuckles faintly- smiling warmly as he breathes in the air, and waves to the owner. "Hail!"
22:53 <@Carreau> Foshoro looks surprisingly human, except for the fact his shoulders grow into a thick neck that curls into a shark's face. He's smoking a long whalebone pipe, setting it against a small porcelain ashtray as the two enter.
22:53 <KevinB> His eyes flicker- looking to see if there is anyone already here in the main room /other/ than Foshoro.
22:54 <@Carreau> He turns around and you can see that his vest has a hole in the back for his fin that sprouts from between his shoulderblades. He nods a little bit and flashes the two a grin. The room is empty beyond the two. It's about dinner time, so the patrons of the inn are out for food before withdrawing for the night.
22:55 <@Carreau> "I shee you've got yourshelf a friend." His mouth is not exactly fit for talking, so his s's turn into a sort of a hiss. "Very good. The ushual, yes?"
22:56 <TDS> She smiles faintly as the beatman greets them. Seems her guide is a regular here.
22:58 <KevinB> He nods and grins back at the Fishman- then chuckles. "Aye, the usual. Hey- can you tell my father I need to speak with him, if you see him before I do?" He inquires- speaking of Mor'Dral, of course. He seems to have relaxed greatly upon entering this save haven- as he starts making for the back.
22:59 <TDS> She follows him to the back, relaxing as well.
23:00 <@Carreau> Foshoro makes a small gesture down the hallway that opens behind him, before grinning at the comment. "Mmh, I could shee why. From what I know, he ish in the Respite. But do relaxsh first. Down the hall and to the right. Room three."
23:00 <KevinB> He nods calmly. "Thank you kindly, freind." He says warmly- as he heads for the designated room, gait smooth and steady.
23:01 <TDS> As soon as they are out of earshot, she whispers to her guide "I assume we can trust him?"
23:02 <@Carreau> He picks up his pipe and continues puffing away as the two make their way down to room three. Behind the door opens a flight of stairs down to a basement filled with stacked up barrels and crates. One of the walls has the mon of House Cathak mounted on it, a stone slab. It's Foshoro's little jab at the satrap; to gain entrance one must spit on the mon.
23:02 <KevinB> He nods. "He's no freind to the realm." He reassures her with a whisper- before spitting at the Mon.
23:03 <@Carreau> The stone slab curls, turns around and then the brick wall of the basement seems to rearrange itself by some unseen force. Some bricks shrink and others slide on top of it, light pouring in from the now-formed entrance.
23:04 <TDS> "Good, but that doesn't mean he won't sell you out to a bounty hunter if the bounty is high enough."
23:04 <@Carreau> Past the magic-locked entrance opens a rather large tea house, with multiple stalls and relatively pretty girls in giving shirts attending to the seventeen or so patrons inside.
23:05 <KevinB> He chuckles- and starts heading for a private booth, as per his usual. He looks around with a smile on his face, and shrugs to her words- now waiting to speak until in the room.
23:06 <@Carreau> One of the bigger tables in the back has drawn a small crowd, three men and two women seated around it, watching the actions of a beautiful woman dressed in a black kimono, one shoulder revealed and her chest wrapped with blue cloth. She has blonde hair tied up to a high ponytail, full painted lips and pale skin. She scoops up two whalebone dice from the table into a cup and announces that the next round >
23:06 <@Carreau> > of gambling has begun.
23:07 <TDS> She follows him quietly, eyeing the people suspiciously. They are probably not friends of the realm, but that doesn't mean they would welcome a Solar with open arms.
23:08 <KevinB> Nyumetsu chuckles faintly as he notices the gambling- as they weave through the crowd of sinners and rebels, towards a hallway at the back that leads to his usual private room, just as the fishman said- he opens a door- and gestures for the lady to enter first with a faintly playful smile; into a rather pleaseant, if utterly plain, room.
23:09 <@Carreau> As they move toward a private booth, two men sitting by the entrance speak. "I swear, I have it now. I've mastered the rite, I swear I can summon her." "You're a fool, Chusti. Even if you get the heart of a virgin whose husband died before marriage, she will not appear to one such as you." "She will, I have seen her in my dreams; her deer legs, her lips, that full chest." "Ridiculous..."
23:09 <@Carreau> *died before consummating marriage
23:10 <KevinB> Nyumetsu's ears note the mention of some kind of summoning ritual- and a note of curiosity enters him. He's had a brief look at the occult- though nothing in depth- and the concept of magic has often interested him. Though- that ritual sounds bizzare, to his ears. Interesting, though.
23:10 <TDS> She piques up as she hears the men talk about about what she thinks is Mara, remembering their faces and making a note to approach them later.
23:12 <TDS> As they enter the private room, she visibly relaxes, sits down and starts removing the most annoying parts of her disguise, letting her black hair down and starting to remove the fake wrinkles from her face.
23:12 <@Carreau> A slightly older woman pulls back a paper screen to reveal a room with a small table and three seats. As you step inside, the voices of the gamblers and the other patrons seem to fade away. The effect seems to work both ways.
23:14 <TDS> "I'm Silent Leaf, by the way. It's a pleasure meeting you" She says to Nyumetsu while she leans back in her chair, her feet on the table.
23:14 <KevinB> Meanwhile, Nyumetsu sits across from her- and relaxes back into the chair. "So. I suppose I'll start with this- welcome. It's good to see you made it here alive- and I'm here to do my best to make sure you stay that way." He says firmly, his voice more.. serious. He seems to shift his mannerisms from place to place, moment to moment. "I'm Nyumetsu Sashin. It's a pleasure meeting you to, Leaf." He says with a warm smile that
23:14 <KevinB> Since they entered the booth. "Any questions, then?"
23:15 <TDS> "Let's start with the obvious, then. What is happening in the city? What is up with that Anathema?"
23:17 <KevinB> "Never seen the Anathema with the star-face before, but he's not the only one in this city, I dont think. As for whats happening- well. Tell me m'dear. You want that Alphabetically, Chronologically- perhaps by order of severity? Many things happen in this city, and to list them all would take the day and night both away from us."
23:18 <TDS> "I heard the city has a problem with demon cults. Is that true?"
23:18 <KevinB> "Aye- especially in the shithole tail end of the city I grew up in."
23:19 <KevinB> "They kidnap folks.. and... do spirits know what to them."
23:19 <KevinB> "Though- to be frank.. their worst trait is the attention they draw to the poor folk down there. Dynast attention- like that Psychopath Jagamaru."
23:20 <TDS> "Idiots and amateurs, really. Demons can be such a useful tool if you know how to use them instead of /being/ used by them."
23:21 <TDS> "And who is this Jagamaru?"
23:25 <KevinB> He sighs as he leans back. "Demons as tools, eh..? You'll have to show me a thing or to about that, another time.." He murmurs softly- before speaking louder. "JAgamaru, is the Right hand of the Satrap- and a madman who murders his own men casually- and makes drunken fools choke on their own blood for a moments words. In short, he's a typical dynast."
23:27 <TDS> "Oh yes, I know the kind of dynast you talk about. Has anyone ever thought about taking care of him ... permanently?"
23:28 <KevinB> "I do, frequently. I suppose a few others have- but I'd need to stalk him for a good long while, and figure out where he sleeps at that, to stand much chance- and even then, a single thing goes wrong, and..." He winces. "Mortal frames are fragile- and I've a daughter to think of before attempting such a risky endeavour."
23:30 <TDS> "I might be willing to risk taking care of him for you. For the right price, of course."
23:31 <KevinB> He chuckles. "You'd have to find a different buyer than I, m'lady. I lack the riches to pay for such a thing. Ah- also. I believe you where promised a hideout, as well as a guide- no?"
23:32 <TDS> "Yes, but only temporarily. I hope you understand I'd feel safer in a hideout I acquired myself."
23:33 <KevinB> He nods. "I understand fully. There's two options, presently. I could just take you into my home, for a while, til lyou found your own place. It's secure, comfortable, and not many would think to look there. Or.. there's my old residence, in the Lily Pits- basically a shithole in the ground, but a shithole so deep in the ground no one really goes there."
23:35 <TDS> "If you life there, I assume it's safe enough. I spent the last few weeks on the cheapest ship I could find, in the shittiest cabin, I need a few days somewhere clean, if possible."
23:37 <KevinB> He chuckles and nods. "Aye. You'll just have to mind my daughter, yeah..? She's a wee one- around twelve- and I've yet to really tell her much about what I do for a living... Figure it's better that way, with her age and all." He explains with a warm smile.
23:38 <TDS> "I understand, I won't talk about anything suspicious in front of her. But how are you going to explain me to her?"
23:39 <KevinB> He smiles faintly. "A freind of my fathers from out of town, staying with me for a little while till she can figure out her own place."
23:40 <TDS> "You'll have to tell me something about your father, then. Make sure our story is consistent."
23:42 <KevinB> "Well, my /father/, is dead. The man I /call/ my father, is the man who taught me what you know- the one who put you in contact with me, Mor'Dral." He explains with a faint smile. "So it's barely even a lie, at that."
23:44 <TDS> "I see. So, you give me a hideout for now, which is good, but I'll need to stand on my own feet eventually, so I thought I'd try my hands at some easy jobs. If you need help with something or hear of someone wanting someone else dead and don't want to do it yourself, would you mind telling me?"
23:46 <KevinB> He nods. "Sure. I might need help on a job or to, as well." He adds on with a warm smile as he looks to her. "Still- I'm more than willing to lend a hand."
23:48 <TDS> "I'd be very thankful and I'm sure there's something I could do for you as well. You expressed an interest in Demons, didn't you?"
23:49 <KevinB> He nods. "You mentioned using them as tools.. which is a bit of an odd notion to hear of- but the occult's had a moderate fascination for me since my aprenticeship began as a boy to Mor'Dral. Hard to live in a city like this without growing interested in the magic that makes it run."
23:50 <KevinB> "This reminds me, actually. I know someone I might be able to talk into seeing you about contracts, if your willing to come back here from time to time."
23:50 <TDS> "Sure, that would be helpful. And why shouldn't they be tools? A bound demon has no choice but to obey."
23:51 <KevinB> He crooks an eyebrow. "I didn't know that."
23:53 <KevinB> "I dont know much about demons t'all, really." He admits with a faint chuckle. "To find out they can be bound without a choice of resisting is.. interesting."
23:54 <TDS> "Why did you think anyone bothered with summoning them, if they could do whatever they wanted?"
23:55 <KevinB> He shrugs. "I figured most cultists where just stupid like that. Or thought they could convince them."
23:56 <TDS> "Well, I can certainly start to teach you if you want and show the attitude."
23:56 <KevinB> He nods slowly. "Attitude?"
23:58 <TDS> "Well, you know. Some people just lack the patience required or are too afraid to do what is necessary. I doubt it will be much of a problem for you."
23:59 <KevinB> He nods slowly, watching her closely. "I see... Very well then. This seems to me a fair bargain- lessons for safety and aid, eh?" He says with a faint twist of his lips into a smile. "Shall we get headed to my home then- or is there anything else you wish to speak of before we leave..?"
00:01 <TDS> "No, I can't think of anything. Let's go, I can really use a bath."
00:02 <@Carreau> As the two leave, it seems like the gambling group is taking a break. The dealer is sitting by the bar counter, idly mixing her tall clay cup's contents with a chopstick.
00:02 <@Carreau> She gives Nyumetsu a glance, before returning to stirring her drink.
00:03 <KevinB> He nods and chuckles. "Fair enough." He says with a grin as he stands up- and gestures for her to follow as he leavesthe small room. He makes a note of the woman at the gambling table-smiling faintly. "...Moment, dear." He says to leaf- before diverting himself to the dealer- and grinning winningly. "How are you this fine day, m'dear?"
00:06 <@Carreau> The woman squares her jaw and rolls her eyes a little at the small talk, before pulling the chopstick out and taking a sip of mango wine. "Been better. One of our couriers got hit delivering the day's earnings. We know who did it, too. Interested? Not going to be easy." Her expression sours and he sticks the chopstick back to stir the drink even more, the edge of the cup slightly caked with white-red >
00:06 <@Carreau> > powder.
00:09 <KevinB> He smiles faintly. "I suppose I am interested- but I've got a freind from out of town who might be a bit more interested." He says smoothly as he sits down besides her- a twist of his lips into a relaxed grin as he does so. "I'm willing to vouch for their trustworthiness."
00:10 <@Carreau> The woman looks past Nyumetsu at Silent Leaf and furrows her brow a little, as if unconvinced. She shifts on the bar stool to face the woman, expecting an introduction.
00:12 <TDS> Leaf smiles faintly at the Dealer and leans on the counter "You can call me Silent Leaf, Nyumetsu's mentor put me in contact with him. I have lots of experience with that kind of job, just tell me where to find him and I'll take care of the rest."
00:13 <@Carreau> She gives the woman an appraising look, as if trying to accertain her sincerity and possible agenda.
00:16 <TDS> Leaf looks the woman in the eye, trying to look as sincere as she really is.
00:20 <@Carreau> She purses her lips, nods a little and then leans against the counter, taking a sip of her drink - now satisfied with the taste. "He goes by Big Red. Has a casino in the Jade Soma. Been trying to get the gambling in the Haunches under his thumb, even if it means attacking our couriers, dealers and whatnot. Heard he's showing up in person to the Cherry Girl in the good part of the Haunches, a brothel he >
00:20 <@Carreau> > wants under his control."
00:21 <TDS> "And how much would his death be worth to you?"
00:24 <@Carreau> She glances up and shrugs her shoulder a little bit. "I can pay you a chunk up front or set aside a cut of his profits every month."
00:25 <TDS> "I'll take the cut of the profits, then. Can you tell me what he looks like?"
00:27 <@Carreau> "Tall, lanky, loves flashy red tunics. Braided black hair, pale skin, big lips, bad teeth. He's the one surrounded by his bodyguards. I can't give you an estimate, but two at least. He's at the Cherry Girl tonight, from what I can tell, unless he changed schedules. Probably heads there... well, pretty much now, dinner time is over."
00:29 <KevinB> Nyumetsu smiles faintly as he sits back. "I'll accompany her for your safety of mind, m'dear. Leaf- do you mind my assistance on this one, then?"
00:29 <TDS> She smiles, that's a very detailed description. She's done jobs with worse descriptions, but it's always a pain. "Thank you, I'll take care of it before you know it."
00:30 <TDS> "You can come along if you want and show me the way. Saves me some time."
00:30 <@Carreau> "You should probably both go. He might have more guards when he comes down to the Haunches. And if you get chased, well, don't come here."
00:31 <KevinB> He smirks. "I'm sure there will be no issue."
00:31 <TDS> She smirks too."As am I"
00:31 <@Carreau> "If you handle it, I'll get in touch with Fangs once we've taken over his establishment and can start giving your cut."
00:32 <TDS> "Common, let's go kill this guy. I haven't done anything but sit around on a ship for weeks."
00:35 <KevinB> He chuckles. "I thought you wanted a Bath more? Ah well. So be it- to work we go." He says with a smile that shows his signature feature- those twin fangs in his mouth, as he rises from the bar- and gives the hiring woman a bow, before turning to offer leaf an arm, in a faint mockery of a gentlemans posture.
00:36 <TDS> "Oh my, always a gentleman" She takes his arm. "The sooner he's dead, the sooner I get my bath, too."
00:37 <@Carreau> The Cherry Girl lies in the blue lantern district of the Haunches, a large paper cut-out in the shape of two naked girls joint at the hip with a nuga behind it on top of its entrance. The place is three stories high, with two-story buildings on both sides. The third floor has a small balcony that leads into a room that seems to be occupied at the time, curtains open and light pouring out. The sounds of >
00:37 <@Carreau> > laughter and music echo from it. The two approach it from a distance, before hatching the plan. Nyumetsu has not visited this establishment before.
00:38 <KevinB> He frowns, stroking his chin. "You know. This brothel has the distinction of being one I haven't visited before." He says with a frown as he pauses, looking at it from an alleyway. "That's an issue.."
00:38 <TDS> "I'm sure that's quite rare. So, how do you want to do this? Try to get to the balcony and hope he is in the best room, try to go in or wait out here for him?"
00:40 <KevinB> "Blend in, find him- then follow him out when he leaves and murder him in an alleyway."
00:41 <TDS> "Don't want to kill him while he's deep in a whore? Fair enough, let's go."
00:43 <KevinB> He shrugs. "I'd rather the whore not be traumatized." He blithely admits. "Besides, harder to get the body out of the building than out of an alley." He says- before taking her arm once more- and with a faint chuckle- sliding into another persona- the sailor off work, heading to go enjoy a show.
00:43 <TDS> "Why bother with getting the body out?"
00:44 <KevinB> He blinks at the question. "Evidence is bad. Evidence leads to getting caught."
00:45 <TDS> "Does the guard really care about criminals killing each other?"
00:46 <KevinB> He chuckles at the question- then shrugs. "I dont know. I've always chosen to err on the side of caution."
00:46 <KevinB> "Beyond that..? This man in particular.."
00:46 <KevinB> "He's got a Casino in the Jade Soma district. He's rich- thus, he can pay the guards to care."
00:47 <TDS> "You're the local expert. Okay, let's do this"
00:50 <KevinB> He nods.
00:51 <@Carreau> As the two enter, the smell of opium and hookah smoke greets them, along with faintly glowing nuga hanging from glass lanterns in the ceiling. The place is split into many closed sections with curtains, with stairs leading up to the second level.
00:52 <@Carreau> The patrons are intoxicated, cheap topless girls on their laps, drinking mango wine and laughing loudly.
00:52 <TDS> Leaf looks around, searching for her target even though she knows that he very likely isn't here with the regular customers.
00:53 <KevinB> And the emerald eyes of a killer begin to flicker about the room- hidden behind a mask of jovial relaxation, and a nondescript garb.. searching for their target.
00:55 <@Carreau> The first floor seems to be for the customers looking for a quick rub and tug or a drink. Nobody comes to greet you, though a burly man in the corner nods at you as you enter. Feel free to browse, he seems to imply.
00:56 <TDS> Leaf eyes the stairs leading up, trying to see if everyone that wants to can just go up or not.
00:57 <@Carreau> It definitely looks like anyone can just go up, but there's something that feels a little off about this place all the sudden. As if the atmosphere has changed.
00:58 <KevinB> Meanwhile, Nyumetsu seems to have gotten distracted.
00:58 <TDS> Leaf tries to see what Nyumetsu is looking at.
01:00 <KevinB> He seems to have gotten distracted by something momentarily- but then he shrugs and looks back.
01:01 <TDS> She tugs on his arms and starts heading towards the stairs. "Concentrate" she whispers.
01:01 <@Carreau> There is some laughing coming from upstairs, followed by a loud man's voice; "Oh, don't worry about it. I'm just going to go take a leak and I'll be right back." A door opens and closes.
01:05 <KevinB> He nods- rubbing his forehead. "Right, right." He mumbles- before clearing himself out mentally.
01:05 <@Carreau> As the two make their way to the second floor, they come to a long corridor with multiple doors, a second set of stairs at its end.
01:06 <TDS> Leaf listens on one of the doors, trying to determine what's behind the doors.
01:07 <@Carreau> Leaning closer, Leaf notices that there are signs above the door, each portraying different sorts of absurd fetishes. The one she listens to seems to be some sort of a strange farmer fantasy, based on the animal noises.
01:07 <@Carreau> Next to the stairs leading to the third floor sits an obese bald man in a red tunic with golden embroidery, trying to light his pipe. He has a sword strapped to his belt.
01:08 <TDS> "Play along" she whispers to Nyumetsu and starts walking as if she was very heavily drunk or maybe on some other drug. Shakily, she approaches the stair to the third floor, ignoring the guard.
01:09 <@Carreau> The guard looks up, lowers his pipe and grunts; "Hey. Private event. Scram."
01:11 <TDS> "But whyyy? Who can be that important that he has an entire floor just for himself?"
01:11 <@Carreau> The guard looks at the woman intently, getting a little suspicious.
01:12 <KevinB> The man beside her sways forwards- making a hiccuping sound as he sways and leans into her- then giggles a bit, as if drunk. "...Yeah man- no one's like.. /that/ big... rigghtt? Like- no one..."
01:15 <@Carreau> The man stands up and goes for his sword instantly at the slip of 'big' in the sentence. Obviously these two know who is upstairs, so it's time to act. "JORKU!" He shouts for his friend.
01:16 <TDS> As soon as the man starts standing up, she drops her drunk act, jumps to the side to confuse him and reaches for her throwing knives.
01:17 <KevinB> The man seems to flicker out of his drunkenness nigh instantly- and his hand slides to the sword at his hip, as he resumes his mental strength. He enters the void, and feeds his mind into that shining point within it- as his hand rests on the hilt of his sword for but a moment- before blurring out to enter the battle and strike as once.
01:23 <TDS> As the man is distracted by Nyumetsu she quickly jumps up the wall over him, making him lose track of her for just one moment. That is all she needs as she pulls a hidden knife out of her sleeve and sends it flying with a flicker of her wrist, aiming for the guard's neck.
01:27 <@Carreau> The man takes the throwing knife in his throat, but the layers of fat seem to keep it from slicing his carotid artery outright. He still is holding onto his sword, letting out a grunt.
01:29 <KevinB> Meanwhile- in very nearly the same instant, the swordsman who just entered that perfect state of thought- views the world in slow motion. The fat man is not the only guard- just the closest- so his eyes flicker to the other. He puts a hand on the hilt of his mainhand blade- and the blade leaves it's sheathe in a blur; intent not on the mans throat... but on his chest. He intends to finish the man in a single stroke, aimed fo
01:30 <KevinB> even as his other hand touches his other blade, and he prepares for the second guard.
01:34 <@Carreau> The man manages to move his hand to the way, but the sword pierces clean through his heart. As Nyumetsu pulls his sword out, the toilet door is kicked open and a second man, buff, with a crew cut and a split lip, appears. He has his sword drawn, and noticing his blood-gushing companion he charges at the swordsman, swinging wildly.
01:37 <@Carreau> He is also wearing the red-and-gold tunic of his companion, trying to exact vengeance.
01:38 <KevinB> The man breathes. In- out. And in that breath- his first foe is dead. He smiles at the man coming towards him- eyes flashing dangerously, as the blade being freed from one mans heart- slides it's way back- even as he frees his offhand blade with the intention of drawing it in that blinding arc towards >
01:38 <KevinB> The sword coming towards his own body- even as he sheathes his mainhand blade to ready it for another blow- always moving forwards- a manic grin on his face as he moves in complete silence; intoxicated by the adrenaline of battle.
01:39 <@Carreau> The man staggers a little back to avoid the attack, tears starting to stream down his face as his friend dies in front of him.
01:42 <TDS> Leaf notices the second man and reaches into her clothing, drawing a second knife and hurling it at the guard.
01:47 <@Carreau> The man dodges the incoming knife barely, losing his footing and falling down to one knee, holding onto the wall.
01:49 <KevinB> He smiles faintly- as he moves onwards with the motion already performed. He's pushed the mans blade aside- and then her ally has forced him to a knee- as his other blade rattles free of it's sheathe- aimed for the mans neck as it blurs out once more in a breath.
01:49 <@Carreau> He pushes up and launches himself at his friend's killer with a two-handed grip as the assassin unsheathes his sword.
01:58 <@Carreau> His sword is cast aside by the blow, and he is left completely open for the follow-up attack. Meanwhile, upstairs, you can hear that a table gets pushed over, probably to serve as makeshift cover.
01:58 <KevinB> Nyumetsu grins- as he calmly dismisses the two handed blow with a strike to the blades base- sending it out of the way, far, far out of the way- as his other blade comes forth in a blurring strike. The advantages of being ambidexterous are made clear, as the second blade arcs towards his foes neck calmly. A gleam in his eyes- a hunger for blood.. and a breath.
02:00 <KevinB> And as the breath ends- he stands behind the man, sheathing both blades as a head falls to the ground.
02:00 <KevinB> "This just got messy. Targets up there. Let's move, get him- then get the hell out."
02:04 <@Carreau> Leaf opens one of the doors that'd lead to the windows, and finds a room that seems to be unpopular at the moment. In the center, sitting on a pillow, is a muscular man with a thick moustache. He is covered from head to toe in glistening oil and wears a loincloth. At the sight of Leaf, his posture straightens and he beckons in a deep, honeyd voice; "Welcome, to the Chamber of Oils. Lavender, astragalus, >
02:04 <@Carreau> > we have it all. What sort of aromatic pleasures do you seek?" There is a window behind him, covered by a curtain, but you can see the blue lanterns of the street through it.
02:07 <TDS> "Just passing through, don't mind me. Here, forget I was ever here" She throws him some coins while moving to the window, quickly climbing out, finding purchase in the rough stone of the building.
02:08 <KevinB> She is followed by a silent Shadow- who doesnt respond to the man at all, really. He never much cared about pretty smells, nor is he attracted to men- as he moves to scamper out like a monkey behind her.
02:14 <@Carreau> Silent Leaf hops out of the window, runs along a wire that holds up some lanterns, making them swing but not break. A few hops up and she's on the balcony. The room is large and quite fancy, with a young girl cowering in a corner, clutching a flute to her chest. She is being hugged by an another, naked girl. In front of her stands a lanky, tall man in an elaborate red tunic, hiding behind a flipped over >
02:14 <@Carreau> > table and pointing a flame piece at the only door.
02:14 <@Carreau> Well, he is kneeling, really, back turned toward her.
02:16 <@Carreau> Meanwhile, Nuymetsu has made it to the window, but doesn't quite have the chance to climb up yet. Instead, he sees the street below, and a quite terrifying sight. There is a girl. A girl with tattoos on her wrists, and two of the satrap's guards. She is pointing at him. "There! I told you it was him! I didn't kill anyone, it was him!" She is the girl from the Birdcage. He saw her in the first floor, but >
02:16 <@Carreau> > didn't recognize her then.
02:19 <KevinB> Nyumetsu scowls. He told the girl- he told her! It didn't happen. He went out of his way for her to not see his face, hiding his body behind the corpse of his slain victim- and he snarls as he shifts. He moves as fast as he can- trying to blur his body so that he cannot be accurately recognized in time, as he holds his cloak close over his garb.
02:19 <TDS> Leaf suppresses a sigh. Assassinating mortals just gets so boring for someone like her. With a motion practised thousands of times, she slips a throwing star from her sleeve and throws it at the helpless man.
02:20 <@Carreau> "Halt!" Screams the guard and reaches for the bow in his back. "You're surrounded! Don't move!" In the distance, some half a mile away, there is an opening in the ceiling leading to the Jade Soma District. The place where Nyumetsu dropped his victim down. This time, it is not a dead corpse, but rather a fiery comet that crashes down a hundred yards onto a rooftop and sends rooftiles flying everywhere. >
02:20 <@Carreau> > Wreathed in flame, the Tiger of Lathe then starts jumping from rooftop to rooftop in massive leaps.
02:24 <@Carreau> The throwing star hits the jugular. The man screams, holds his throat and starts spraying blood all over. The two women start screaming. Someone is ringing alarm bells down in the district.
02:26 <@Carreau> Big Red tries to stop the bleeding by stuffing his tunic against his throat, gurgling.
02:26 <KevinB> The Mortal Assassin caught in the motion of attempting to flee snarls- as his eyes flicker about. He looks to the Tiger, and clenches his blades as tight as he can without drawing them- as he begins to scamper to the roof to try and head a different way- out of this place. He speaks stiffly. "FUCK!
02:27 <@Carreau> It's no avail, he just pushes the projectile further, collapsing on the floor.
02:29 <KevinB> Dynast! FUCKKK!" He exclaims- as he begins to scamper from the window to the Balcony- and moves to the nearest shadow he can find- moving to shift his form to the darkness- to find a hiding place, to slip away. He can't die- he isn't willing to leave Cassandra alone.
02:31 <@Carreau> The Tiger of Lathe moves with preternatural speed, caring little for the damage he does as chimneys and sloped rooftop bricks and explode from out of his way, leaving behind a trail of fire that roars several feet high wherever he goes. The serpentine trail of fiery destruction behind him makes him very easy to spot, at least.
02:32 <@Carreau> The two guards have pulled out their bows and start taking shots at the window and the rooftop where Nyumetsu runs.
02:34 <@Carreau> Several arrows hit the wall, but none of them hit the assassin inside. He is now free to make his move.
02:36 <@Carreau> The guards start shouting as the man moves onto the rooftops, losing him for the time being. They start regrouping and shouting orders about surrounding the area and looking up to the rooftops.
02:39 <@Carreau> Silent Leaf has disappeared and is on the rooftops where Nyumetsu is scampering away.
02:39 <KevinB> Nyumetsu melds into the shadows- and grimaces, as he starts to look for another place to leap, another place to hide- somewhere not so high, not a rooftop- he looks for a good place to scamper down to an alleyway.
02:43 <TDS> Leaf sees the Dragonblooded approach and decides that she isn't in the mood for a fair fight at all at the moment. She never really is, but now she especially isn't. She jumps from roof to roof with the grace of a crane to break line of sight and looks for a hiding place.
02:47 <@Carreau> Jagamaru crosses a plaza with one giant leap, cinders sparking from his body in a display of his anima, landing on top of a building and grabbing onto its wall with his red jade talons, riding twenty yards diagonally down with sparks flying off the shattering stone that he uses to soften the fall of his leap.
02:47 <KevinB> Nyumetsu begins to whisper prayers under his breath- and ceases after a few moments, thinking them instead. He steels himself- and his eyes close for a moment- as he finds that void. He finds his Zen place- and he begins to move as fast as he can- as silent as he can. He gives his everything to this- with one thought pushing him. "..Cassandra needs me."
02:49 <@Carreau> The guards spread out, holding up nuga lanterns and shouting to each other, expanding in a ring to try and block off those who try to flee.
02:50 <TDS> Leaf searches a place where he won't notice her, she needs a dark, quit place. If only there weren't these stupid centipedes everywhere. Finally she settles for finding a rooftop with only a single one of them and silencing the poor creature with a quick throwing dart.
02:53 <@Carreau> The Tiger of Lathe dashes to the scene, and the guards start shouting as he gets closer; "Two people, moving on rooftops, one identified as the killer of the Ragara by the witness to the murder and the waitress who served him!"
02:54 <@Carreau> "DO NOT LET THEM GET TO THE LILY PITS!" Thunders Jagamaru, fiery potency surging through his thighs as he leaps into the air, casting a baleful glow of flame across the section of the district from above, his eyes looking for anyone trying to hide.
02:55 <TDS> After finding a good hiding place, leaf starts trying to blend in. She covers herself with her cloak and starts rubbing dirt into it to better blend in. Then, she lies down and forcibly slows her heartbeat and breathing, trying to minimize noise as well.
02:55 <KevinB> Nyumetsu snarls- that thought burning in his mind. He can't abandon his daughter to die for his sins- as he tries to fade, forcing himself into his oldest freind; the darkness.
02:59 <@Carreau> The dragon-blooded floats in the air for a painfully long while, until the living torch descends down with a crash on the pavement. "They must've gotten past the ring. Move Tengi and Raba's teams to the entrances to the Lily Pits, I'll go ahead."
03:00 <@Carreau> There is a roar of fire, and the blue lantern district's main street is left burning by the departure of the Tiger of Lathe and his men, pursuing people who managed to elude him.
03:03 <KevinB> Nyumetsu closes his eyes, hugging his body as he prays internally for the safety of his daughter- thanking the gods all above for the safety of his daughter; they go to the Lily Pits, while he lives in the Haunches. He praises any spirit or god that might be listening- a smile on his face in the inky blackness.
03:08 <TDS> After several hours of lying low and a slow (and paranoid) walk back to Nyumetsu's home, they finally reach it.
03:09 <TDS> Once they are inside, Leaf turns to Nyumetsu with a scowl "You nearly got us killed!"
03:11 <KevinB> He shakes his head. "Wasn't I who got us into that shit- nor was it you." He says with a sigh. It's dark- and he's aware his daughter is asleep in her room, usually, at this hour- as they walk into a humble home. The interior is spartan; nothing approaching luxury, as the Nuga in his home gleam faintly. "That girl whose life I saved, nearly got us killed."
03:14 <TDS> "Hmm, whatever. We got away, but that was way to close for my liking" She looks around "Anyway, do you have something to eat? Fighting always makes me hungry"
03:16 <KevinB> He chuckles at her swift topic change- clearly amused by her.. flightiness. "Yeah, I've got food." He says with a chuckle- as he heads to the pantry. "I'll have to cook for a few though." He admits- sighing as he moves to go and start the cooking fire as he would for dinner usually. "How are you on Stew?"
03:19 <TDS> "Stew sounds good, as long as it's hot. Sooo" She starts looking around "This is your hideout? Where's the secret door to the actual hideout? It's really well-hidden, I can't find it at all"
03:20 <KevinB> He chuckles faintly as the house seems quite nice. "It's a house. A house from which I conduct no business, because until today no one was bothering to look for me- so no one would have looked here. Although, there is a secret door to the Nyu-Cave."
03:21 <TDS> "Nyu-Cave? Really?"
03:21 <KevinB> "That is- there is in fact a secret door in the basement to a little something Mord' helped me out with.. which reminds me, I need to get in contact with him. People are on his trail for the fucking /mess/ that girl I saved was from." he explains with a grimace as he starts on the Stew.
03:22 <TDS> "People you save seem to cause a lot of problems. Have you considered dialling back your saving somewhat?"
03:23 <KevinB> "Somewhat. But... pretty sure I'd have trouble living with myself if I did that." He admits- as he starts to work on the ingredients for the stew and the water.
03:25 <TDS> "As long as it's only your live you endanger, it's your decision. But have you thought about your daughter?"
03:26 <KevinB> "..Every day." He says wearily, sighing sadly as he starts stirring, looking.. more tired than he has all night, at the mention of that.
03:28 <TDS> "I always say 'only care about people you know', it makes the job a lot easier when you stop caring about every random bystander."
03:29 <KevinB> "...I realized something after the woman I loved died. Every time I take a life...? I'm hurting someone the same way that hurt me. I'll still keep doing it- but it's gotten a lot harder to do the smart thing, sometimes." He admits with a pained voice.
03:30 <TDS> "Are you sure you have what it takes to do this, boy?" She leans forwards, a mix of pity and concern on her face.
03:31 <KevinB> "Been doing it since I was seven. Don't really have a say in the matter." He responds as he moves back to let the stew boil- and heads for the sink to splash water in his face, sighing.
03:32 <TDS> "What do you mean you don't have a say in it?"
03:34 <KevinB> "Only craft I know. Propably only one I'm any good at." He responds tersely, as the water drips from his face, and he shakes it off, before turning to face the woman with a faint smile and a chuckle. "Besides. I've killed enough people to forfeit my right to a happy, normal life."
03:36 <TDS> "Listen to me" She leans forward " Nobody has a right to anything, you hear me. The only thing you get is what you take for yourself. If you want a happy life, then go and live a happy life. There is no karma or cosmic balance that will foil your attempt at a normal life because you're a murderer!"
03:37 <KevinB> He shakes his head, leaning back. "I wouldn't know what to do with myself, and that's the truth. I've gotten worse at it since I grew a conscience a year back, but it's still the only thing I'm good for." He responds with that faint smile on his lips- and then he goes on. "Besides. It seems hasty to say there's no Karma that'll stop me, in a world where the supernatural is so.. everywhere."
03:39 <TDS> "If there was a Karma, do you think the world would be as it is right now? Does it look to you as if the guilty are being punished and the innocent rewarded?"
03:41 <KevinB> He shrugs. "...Heh. Suppose you've got a point on that one.." He admits softly, as he looks to the stew cooking, and then back to the woman in his home. "Moment. Let me go get out of costume." He says softly, as he turns to head back to his room. "..and check on Cassandra."
03:52 <KevinB> He heads to his daughters room, to check on the girl- who is sleeping peacefully... before moving from there towards his room- to get changed into a rather plain robe, fitting in with the local fashions without being garish as many of the colorfull outfits would. He heads out and yawns as he looks to her. "..So. Do we really need to continue that depressing conversation? Stew smells nearly done.."
03:53 <TDS> "Yes, let's stop talking about that." She is content to eat in silent, if he doesn't start a new topic.
03:55 <KevinB> He nods- as he grabs a pair of Earthenware bowls to spoon the food into, working quietly as she reaches for spoons- then places the bowls on the tables, sitting down and begining to eat in grumpy silence.
3:57 <TDS> After a meal spent mostly in silence, Leaf stands up and asks "So, where can I take a bath around here?"
03:57 <KevinB> He stands up- and gestures. "Bathroom is the second door on the left down the hall."