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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default [BiTPR2] Renewed Revolution: Spirit World IV

    Last post of the previous thread. Does this mean it's a new volume?~
    Things are dying down, but posting may become irregular.

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    [Soul Society: The Kobayashi household]

    When Momoka finally got home, she might find that there were a couple of things a bit different than she remembered. Much of the place had been decorated with myriad flowers. There was a very elegant dining table all set with delicate-looking plates, silverware and towels. Smooth jazz played in the background, the very sound soothing to one's ears.

    "Welcome home, Momo." came Setsurou's voice from further within. Hmmm, something smelled good. "I took the liberty of drawing you a bath with some scented salts. Dinner should be ready by the time you're finished, though it's up to you whether or not to take it."
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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

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    Default Re: [BiTPR2] Renewed Revolution: Spirit World IV

    [Soul Society]
    (Kobayashi Household)

    Momoka slips her sandals off, an amused smile playing on her face as she observes her surroundings. She offers Setsurou a chuckle as he pokes out from the kitchen, taking off her glasses and slipping them in a pocket of her coat.

    "I should know you wouldn't merely stop at dinner." Her tone is slightly teasing. "But it is very nice. Thank you, Setsurou." She runs a hand through her hair, the normally immaculate dreadlocks looking to be in slight need of care. They're a bit frazzled and frayed, which is understandable given some of the events of the past few days. "...and I think I will take that bath." She nods, not much more to say on that, padding gracefully to the bath after picking out a clean white kimono.

    As she disrobes and slips into the prickling hot water, her pale skin only "blemished" by the ink of her tattoos, she lets her hair back, idly re-rolling loose strands and treating it with some salt water set aside for just this thing. The gears of her mind turn.

    Koutarou would already have his report. Quite thorough for a few hours, but Momoka displayed a talent for logical and contingent planning. Of course, it was merely a formality, Koutarou had likely already made his decision, or was close to it.

    That is not the only thing she accomplished, however. Koutetsu Azuma would be receiving a letter requesting a meeting with Kishi, to attempt to stop the meaningless and counterproductive bloodshed and destruction. She made no qualms admitting to her acquaintance to Kishi as another child raised under their group home, but that was the extent of it. And that was all that could be proven with so little information on Momoka.

    Her plans were underway. Time and Fate would tell whether they would resonate through the Seireitei.

    (Engineering HQ - THE ARENA)

    Waltz would sigh if he could. But he can't. "Allow me to phrase it another way. I cannot allow you to enter the arena, because Captain Takenaka is fighting very hard, and she cannot have such a distraction."
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    "As if you'd ever known me to be sloppy." Setsurou teased back.

    Whatever he put in that bath clearly had a very relaxing effect. The researcher could feel the pores of her skin opening and cleaning thoroughly. Indeed, in spite of her damaged lungs, she could even take in deeper breaths. She would have to be careful not to fall asleep in there.

    By the time Momoka is out of the bath, Setsurou was carefully setting something down on the table. It's a plate of thinly sliced, marinated roasted potatoes in a green sauce she can't readily identify.

    Small portions. Clearly this was the appetizer.

    The spy-artist reached to pull back her chair.

    "I'm really glad you accepted my invitation for dinner." The implied part being, "even though you know how intrusive I can get".
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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

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    [Soul Society]
    (Kobayashi Household)

    Momoka occupies her mind with the tending of her hair long enough that she keeps from drifting off in the tub, walking out of the bath in the pure white kimono she picked out, drying her locks with a utility kido. So convenient! Nonetheless, she sits down with a contented smile and samples the potatoes.

    "I will admit I had my own reasons." Oho. "Unfortunately, it is business. And so, I will give you the option as to discuss it now, or hold it off." Aw.

    (Engineering HQ - THE ARENA)

    Sakadatsu growls, swiping the smoke away and looking around carefully. "...perhaps you have bridled your ego-" And then there's a crack as Chouko appears above the ape, smashing into one of his right arms with a gauntlet, then a second, pulling up muscle tendons and wires from the interior.

    "You talk too much, man!" The ape roars, whipping its tail quicker than Chouko can react, sending her flying into a rock with a crash, dust clouding the impact zone. But that hardly matters, since he follows up with another savage jump. His fore arms both left and right move with uninhibited power, but his secondary right has lost some muscle tone. So the attack was sound in principle...

    Before Sakadatsu lands, however, he gets a face full of lead. The preceding explosion sounds an awful lot like a shotgun, and it's all enough to send his jump off course with a crash, a crater forming underneath his might. But that's not all; as the form of Chouko dashes away and Sakadatsu recovers, two fiery explosions follow, likely the result of grenades.

    Chouko rolls behind a rock to evade the shrapnel, the results of her attack still to be seen...
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    You really can't fault Setsurou for looking surprised.

    Mostly because he doesn't.

    Also, an angel appears to playing patty-cake with Momoka's taste buds right now. That's how good it is.

    "My cuisine is sour-proof." He states simply. "And you've always been a woman of utilitarian tastes. I say we speak of it now where the food can diminish the impact of any potential unpleasantness. And then we can move on to more delightful things. I imagine you do not plan to get back to work immediately after dinner."

    _______________

    "A Captain, huh? And who's she fightin'? I didn't hear any alarms. The way this is set up it sounds more like a party."
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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

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    Default Re: [BiTPR2] Renewed Revolution: Spirit World IV

    [Soul Society]
    (Kobayashi Household)

    Momoka raises her eyebrows at the quality of the potatoes. She isn't driven to tears or anything, but Setsurou can tell she is legitimately surprised. She gives a simple nod and smile after her first bite, but gets to the matter at hand. Because she's too good at being all business. That said, most people couldn't even get a reaction out of her, so it's something!

    "...I am not sure if you are aware, but I may be approaching Erscheinung Von Geister soon. I believe if anyone is capable of speaking to him without provoking a violent response, and perhaps actually coaxing some information out of him, it is me. Partly because we are somewhat similar. I am fairly certain neither of us would want a fight out of such a meeting."

    "I am telling you this because I am sure you would find out in any case, if you have not already. And I would like to ask you to consider staying back. I have no doubts you would follow me, but this is not an ill-conceived idea I came up with at the last moment. I have been considering how to approach the Commander with it for some time. So I have gone over the possible scenarios in my head, and while there are no certainties, I am sure of my ability to escape if needed." She closes her eyes. "...I trust in you to take care of yourself, and I have no doubts you trust in the same of me. But... it is possible I may say some things to the Ghost King to convince him I could be an ally. And it is possible some of those things would not be mistruths, but things I truly believe in. And in that... I would not want you to be caught in the middle if Central 46 learned of some of them. I have no plans to defect. Much less to the Cult of the Trifold Eye. But I consider myself an enemy of them no more than any other ills of this existence." Momoka sighs, taking a few moments to chew over another bite of her potatoes.

    "...but I cannot stop you from following me, any more than you could stop me from going." She leaves it at that, letting Setsurou respond as she takes the last few nibbles of her portion.

    (Engineering HQ - The Arena)

    Waltz shakes his head. "...Captain Takenaka has a flair for the dramatic. But she is fighting an aspect of herself to gain greater control over her power." Simplistic, but true.

    ____________

    ((Last post's music still applicable!))

    Taking a moment to reload, Chouko grabs some kind of small bead-type object and tosses it behind another stone. Then another few. As she calls out to Sakadatsu, it sounds like her voice is coming from several locations at once, the beads functioning as receivers to her still-active communicator. "C'mon, man, I know that's not it. Don't disappoint me, now!"

    Then the rock she's hiding behind is ripped apart as Sakadatsu suddenly barrels through it. But there's something different about him; that being that most of his face is now covered in a faceplate of matching brass to his arms. Many such plates have cropped up over his body, serving as some manner of armor. Chouko has all of less than a second to look shocked before the baboon-ape picks her up and slams her on the ground a few times with a few painful-sounding cracks before throwing her through a rock. He wastes no time in gloating or mocking, leaping after her with all of his ferocity.

    But just as he's jumping, the engineer slides underneath him on rocket-propelled legs, arms pointed upward and firing two rockets into his gut for the trouble. The projectiles hit him square on, and while they don't rip him apart, they do send his trajectory off balance, and he rolls near the end of the arena with a bloodied and burnt chest, taking a moment to recover before charging again.

    Chouko, for her part, lets the rocket boost go, and spins back into a standing position and charges at him with machine-gun fire. The spirit doesn't mind it one bit except for the fact that a good few hit his faceplate, blinding him for precious few seconds as they near each other.

    Sakadatsu aims a brutal punch at Chouko's torso as she vaults up. The blow wings her, but a rocket burst keeps her from going off course as she jumps back on Sakadatsu's back and tears another bit of muscle and metal from his right fore arm... and deflecting the telltale tail jab with her other hand before vaulting off. "You're all force, pal! And I'm onto you!" She lands with a slight grin... before a sudden ape-sized gauntlet comes at her head from nowhere, sending her sprawling to the ground.
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    Setsurou listens, mostly impassively.

    Momoka is one of the few people who can get a rise out of him. It's hard to tell if he held this last one back particularly well, if he already knew, or if he is genuinely surprised to hear of this.

    All that Momoka can tell for certain is that this last bit of news has actually gotten him to let the fašade he normally puts on slip.

    He is silent for an awkward amount of time before responding.

    "I'll spare you the details of whether I knew or not. I think it's crazy, but I also know that if anyone can pull this off, it's you.

    I also suspect that you are very much aware this could be the last time we speak, and that this plan could cause your untimely death. There are a number of reasons you could REALLY ask me to stay - and you know full well that I wouldn't breathe a word of anything to Central if it killed me, so that can't be it.

    You do know, however, that I love you. If it came to that, you know I would try to rescue you. And should I fail and somehow survive, I would blame myself for the outcome. Which is something you don't need on your conscience as you are trying to outsmart the oldest fox in existence.

    Your claims that I could not stop you from leaving tell me you intend to go even if the Commander denies you. Which, again, you know I wouldn't breathe a word about to anyone."


    Throughout his deconstruction of the events, Setsurou is slowly eating his share.

    "I can't promise you I won't follow. But I can promise you that, if I do, you won't know I did unless you fail. And I can also promise you that I won't interfere unless I am 100% positive you'll die, or worse, if I don't.

    I believe in you. I trust you.

    But I also love you.

    I can't ask you not to go. Even if this feels like the mess with Izanami all over again, and I nearly gave up at that time, you came back from it. But you can't ask me not to do anything and everything in my power to support you. You know that's not who I am."


    His tone took a turn for the chipper as he went for the next dish.

    "Now let's eat some more before it gets cold!"

    Oh, this looked like a vegetable stew of some sort. And as a side dish, ricotta-stuffed mushrooms! The first clearly contained carrots, broccoli, onions and a number of delicately-balanced herbs and spices. Should she taste them together, the flavors would dance on Momoka's tongue as though celebrating the return of spring. He somehow made a stew into a seasonal dish, and balanced different spices to titillating perfection. Momoka might recognize nutmeg, black pepper, a hint of rosemary and... cinnamon? Oh, and the mushrooms complement the dish so well, too!

    "Wine?"


    __________________________

    "So, she's gonna come out of this stronger, huh.

    Can I fight her then?"
    Last edited by Kuroimaken; 2015-03-17 at 11:12 PM.
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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

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    [Soul Society]
    (Kobayashi Household)

    Momoka nods solemnly as Setsurou mentions the possibility of her death, but allows him to finish. Her expression is level as she listens... but every mention of his love causes her to flinch very slightly. Not out of rejection, of course. But as ever, Setsurou gets the sense she is not telling him something. And that perhaps, she is doing so because the feeling is reciprocated.

    But before she can regain her composure to respond, Setsurou brings out the stew and mushrooms, eliciting a tired smile from her as she sips experimentally on the stew. Once again, she is impressed enough that it is visible, and her smile grows into something approaching a normal person's expression of happiness. With a bite of mushroom, it seems like Momoka is quite taken by it after all. "Where ever did you learn to cook like this?" She gives a slight chuckle.

    "...and yes, I believe I will partake." Sipping the wine and enjoying the stew, she sits back to eagerly (for her) await the harrowing tale of his culinary adventures.

    (Engineering HQ - THE ARENA)

    "...well, that would be up to her, of course. I find it unlikely immediately after the fact." He doesn't entirely shoot him down. "...nonetheless, Sir, you do not seem to be in our personnel database. Would you care to explain what you are doing here?"
    Last edited by strawberryman; 2015-03-17 at 11:43 PM.
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    "As with all my skills, Momo, it came from my endless pursuit of every artform available to man." Setsurou explained as he poured the wine. "To be more precise, I started it when I was ten. By that age, chemistry and poisonmaking were both abilities we were instigated to learn at the Hishikawa household. I had, of course, long since studied on the subject, and their creation bored me to tears by then. I wanted to learn cooking, but as a scion of the household I wasn't permitted to learn a servant's art. And, of course, I couldn't try to learn it on my own without access to the proper tools and ingredients.

    So I came to my father with the idea that I was enthused with the notion of learning more subtle forms of poisoning. But for that, I would have to learn cooking itself. He didn't particularly like the idea, but since that was the first time I'd shown any interest in a proper spy art since I'd learned to read (or since he thinks I learned, anyway), he gave me the go-ahead.

    The whole ordeal fell flat on its face once my dad 'realized' I could not work more than a mildly embarrassing concoction into the food without giving it away. That was intentional, of course. By then I had already learned everything the servants could teach me, so when I grew older, I would occasionally sneak out of the household to work the Rukongai cookhouses and restaurants in disguise... and I saved the family's honor on its hospitality receiving guests more than once. To this day, neither of my parents know.

    Are you familiar with the Rukongai Heavenly Flower Blossom Festival?"


    __________________________________

    "Huh, I guess it's been a number a' years since I last came out in public. The name's Ryouma. And I'm here because my whole goddamn forest is gone and I don't have a home anymore." Well, untrue... it's not ALL gone. But his home certainly is.
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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

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    [Soul Society]
    (Kobayashi Household)

    Momoka listens to the story in amusement, wearing down her stew and mushrooms. She offers a light chuckle near the end, the sincerity of it perhaps lifting Setsurou's mood even further. It wasn't often Momoka gave a laugh that wasn't forced.

    "I am passingly familiar with it, yes. Should I be right in guessing you had some hand in that, as well?"
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    And it wasn't often that Setsurou smiled as widely in response.

    In more than one way, making Momoka laugh and smile was as great an accomplishment as it got for him. And considering his ambitions, that's not to be taken lightly either.

    "Every year I win the cook-off contest under a different identity." He teases. "Or I judge it. Either way, it can be very fun. And I'm especially amused about how they never learned the difference."

    For his own part, he'd been just a bit ahead of Momoka herself as far as eating quickly went.

    "Of course, I limit myself to that particular contest. Anyone who eats well at a cook-off gets rewarded. And cooks can be surprisingly generous in defeat, as it turns out."
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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

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    [Soul Society]
    (Kobayashi Household)

    Momoka takes the last bite of her mushrooms as she listens, chewing thoughtfully. "...well, unfortunately, I have not been quite free enough to partake in recent years. But perhaps one day." She offers her usual small smile, but there's a prickle of warmth in it. It disappears behind a napkin before too long as she wipes her lips, and nods in a show of gratitude.

    "It was very good, Setsurou. Thank you." Of course, he'd probably planned desert too with how thorough he's been.

    (Engineering HQ - THE ARENA)

    "I see. Perhaps you would like to move this conversation to a more horizontal setting?" Waltz's rockets don't last forever, after all.

    ________________

    Chouko spits blood as she picks herself up, her vision blurry and the entire side of her face lacerated and bruised. Sakadatsu looms over her, right fore arm hanging limply, but keeping his balance with the secondary arm. Around him, a dozen remote gauntlets the size of his fists float, designed somewhat after Chouko's own gauntlet. The beast growls, but has halted his attack for now.

    "...do you see now? You cannot win this fight. You still are not ready. You are on the right path, but you still need to mature. The fact that you are attempting this out of anger only clarifies that fact. Yield."

    Chouko holds her ground for now, taking out a small capsule and breaking it with her teeth, the stored Keikatsu energy recovering some of the damage. Inefficient, perhaps. But it was a stored capsule of her own energy, it held none of the feedback issues of normal keikatsu. "You know I can't do that, pal. Like the last time..." While it might seem like she's gearing to go into speech mode, a sudden shoulder-mounted rocket catches Sakadatsu straight in the faceplate, and she's gone.

    Sakadatsu roars, his faceplate mangled and blackened before it retracts back into his furry flesh. He vaults about in a restrained fury, the gauntlets swinging around with each movement of his fists, ripping apart the covering rocks provided by the arena. "TECHNOLOGICAL TRICKS AND DECEIT, IS THIS ALL YOU AMOUNT TO, TAKENAKA CHOUKO!?"

    In the dust and debris, Chouko frantically dodges the storm of blows, letting loose occasional burst fire at the gauntlets to test their defense. Her voice rings out from the still active surrounding speakers. "Man, you should know better than that. You've got strength and size over me, I'd be murdered."

    Sakadatsu comes startlingly close to Chouko with an overhead two-gauntlet slam, creating a crater she escapes with a burst of shunpo. "And that is why you are not ready! You are relying on everything but your own power! Your cleverness is a boon, but in times of war you cannot escape every situation with wits!"

    Chouko responds in kind with a rapid-fire chain of shotgun blasts, littering Sakadatsu's side with bullets. "Bull****! That's just the arguments the haters and-" She's cut off as a gauntlet catches her from behind, and a second slams brutally into her. She sees stars and blackness at the edge of her vision for a moment before being thrown bodily across the arena again, catching on the ledge with an opportune grab and hanging there for a few moments before climbing up and rolling over, staring up with a few ragged breaths.

    "...in some instances, you cannot rely on wits alone." Sakadatsu pads forward slowly, letting forth an irritable growl. "You need courage as well. You are not fighting with courage. And so you are not worthy."

    Chouko's ears are ringing enough that she's tuning it out. She idly thinks about an old man and a clock.
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    Of COURSE he prepared dessert. A healthy helping of a strawberry and chocolate pudding. It looks nice and smooth, and of course it smells delicious.

    "The festival starts in five days. Just so you know. Of course, you don't have to enjoy it THIS year."

    A small bowl of the sweet treat is offered to Momoka. The texture is so playfully transient, melting slowly just from being in contact with her mouth, and it matches perfectly with the aftertaste of the stew and the mushrooms.
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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  15. - Top - End - #15
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    [Soul Society]
    (Kobayashi Household)

    Momoka enjoys the dessert as much as anything. Of course, when it comes to the mention of the festival, she sighs, good mood expelled somewhat. "...I'm afraid given the circumstances we find ourselves in, that is unlikely. But... I do hope to see it with you one day." She offers another fragile smile before savoring the last few bits of her pudding.

    "What was your plan from here this night, Setsurou? I do hope you mean to continue your gentlemanly behavior." She winks teasingly. After all, this seems like quite the setup, and with any other girl Setsurou would certainly succeed in turning them into putty in his hands with all this pampering. But of course, Momoka is not just any other girl.

    (Engineering HQ - THE ARENA)

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    The tinkerer stands in shock. His beloved clock was stripped from the inside. In its place, along with several other bits and bobs, is some manner of contraption that Chouko is feeding stalks of bamboo into.

    "Hey, papa! Look what I made! It'll help you with the bamboo cutting, so you can have more time to make fun stuff!"

    But his eyes are on the clock, he drops his bag and caresses the empty container like some kind of lover. He couldn't even fathom this situation, as good as Chouko's intentions might have been. He tells her to go to her room. She can't understand. It comes to yelling. She heads to the loft, crying.


    Chouko winces as she picks herself up again, wavering on her feet. "My old man was a crazy old goat. But he was right. Time shouldn't be wasted. So I can't stand down, Sakadatsu. Not until I win." With that, she breathes in and out, taking up a hakuda stance.

    The ape growls again, baring its teeth. "You are trying to move too fast. You always have been. You drive yourself to your limits of body and mind, but you do not truly respect them because they have always come to you-"

    "Can it. I'm sick of the philosophical crap. This isn't about making some kind of moral realization. This is about Takenaka Chouko making her own path, regardless of what anyone says. Even you. And I need to take that path, because we're in the ****iest place we've ever been. Just punch me, man." A flash of rage erupts in Sakadatsu's eyes as he obliges, swinging with one of the remote gauntlets as Chouko holds her ground.

    As she breathes, calming her mind and nerves, things slow down. Sakadatsu had size over her. Mass. Strength. Defense. She could exhaust herself with her skirmishing attacks, and would still end up losing. But there was one basic law of Hakuda that she could exploit. Even easier than normal, given the circumstances of the fight. And so, turning in one smooth step, she puts a palm on the gauntlet as it flies by her. Then, grasps it for leverage. Then uses the momentum and force to turn, guiding it instead of forcing it... then throwing it back.

    Sakadatsu is mid-swing as this happens, and the metal gauntlet hits him clean in the skull, sending him sprawling back. He's hardly down for the count, but the disorienting blow and the shock of the action leave him reeling for a moment. Chouko is tempted to take advantage, but holds her defensive stance for now...

    And in renewed rage, the spirit gives a primal roar and launches a renewed assault against Chouko, attacking with all of his gauntlets at once. She continues smoothly dodging and deflecting the blows, but even in this she is battered and exhausted. Once again she is sent to the ground as an open-palmed gauntlet strikes in a window of overextension, the captain gasping on the ground.

    But as winded as Chouko is, so is Sakadatsu as he calls the gauntlets back. "...you have fought well. I was wrong. But still you are not ready. Not for lack of trying."
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    "I'll hold you to that." He notes about her wishes to see it. "We'll always have the chance as long as we're alive, right?"

    Her teasing question is hardly missed. But she left herself wide open there.

    "That would be telling now, wouldn't it? But no, if I intended to be less than a gentleman, there was ample opportunity for it. I cooked your food, after all." He teases back. As she's finished with her portion, the man stands up and goes to kneel behind her.

    His hands reach for her shoulders. They're warm. Gentle.

    They're massaging her shoulderblades and the nape of her neck, if she lets him.

    "Tonight, I seek only to see you happy. And I have perhaps one small request of you."

    ________________

    Well, Ryouma's arms WERE getting tired.

    "I guess. You know anywhere I could get good booze to watch this fight?"
    Last edited by Kuroimaken; 2015-03-19 at 12:20 AM.
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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  17. - Top - End - #17
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    [Soul Society]
    (Kobayashi Household)

    Momoka flinches a bit at the contact, but doesn't attempt to escape, at least. Her muscles do relax a bit after a few moments, but she's still holding onto her composure. "...and what would that be?" Simple, and forward!

    (Engineering HQ - The Arena)

    Waltz points over to one of the empty labs. "Fukui has a stash hidden in his desk. Do try not to make a mess."

    _____________________________________

    Chouko's arms bend to push herself up again, eliciting an irritable growl from Sakadatsu. Before he can speak, however, Chouko spits and calls out. "...seriously man, cut the ****. You know I won't quit. If anything you're acting like an idiot if you really want me to stop, because you could be beating my ass while I'm down. At least part of you wants to face me and see what I'm made of." She cracks her neck as she rises, taking up another ready stance.

    "So let's do this." Sakadatsu bears his teeth again... but something about this time seems more like some kind of grin. Rearing up onto his hind legs, he swings his gauntlets forward, Chouko dodging with rolls, jumps and vaults over the gauntlets. One of her hands glows, while the other is used to deflect the trajectory of the gauntlets.

    With every round, Chouko does her best to dodge the assault, and with her mind focused entirely on that she manages quite well.

    "...charging up some final weapon?" Sakadatsu continues the attack relentlessly from a distance. "You should know by now, it's... USELESS!" With a smash, Chouko is once again caught under a gauntlet, and hits the ground. The gauntlets float back to the ape...

    "Hado #55: Chain Lightning!" It appears the hit was a bluff, as a thick bolt of lightning launches from Chouko's outstretched hand, hitting one gauntlet... then splitting to hit two more. Then arcing back to the original gauntlet even as the bolts multiply and feed back into each other, their composition proving an effective conductor for the kido... before they hit Sakadatsu with a vengeance, the ape's muscles spasming as the loop continues, his own metallic arms helping the process along, even as his fur burns away and his muscles are fried.

    One after one, the gauntlets melt, explode, and fall apart as the hado runs its course, all the while Chouko recovering, keeping her distance and keeping grounded to avoid being a target. After the energy finally dissipates, Sakadatsu collapses, breathing raggedly. Chouko finally stands again, grinning. "...I told you. You really talk too much, man. Now get up and lets finish this. I think I owe you one free pass for you getting up off your ass."
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    [Kobayashi Household]

    The man's delicate ministrations transition smoothly into a chaste yet intimate embrace from behind. His arms close above her shoulders, his hands seeking to grasp hers. Being quite a bit taller, Setsurou has all the reach he needs.

    He whispers into her ear, careful not to tighten the embrace too much.

    "For all that is, was, and could be.

    Won't you let me hold you in my arms tonight?"


    ________________________

    [The stage - climbing up, or down, as the case may be]

    "I can't promise you anything, but I'll try not to drink the whole stash."

    With that, he simply relinquishes his grip on the wall and freefalls to the ground, making a loud, crashing noise as he does, but looking no worse for the wear for it.

    Someone wasn't taught how to airwalk.
    Last edited by Kuroimaken; 2015-03-19 at 02:47 PM.
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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  19. - Top - End - #19
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    [Soul Society]
    (Kobayashi Household)

    Momoka closes her eyes, breathing slowly to gain control of her unmistakably rapid heartbeat. For several minutes she is silent. "...I have no doubt you would not allow me to assist you in cleaning up. So I will retire. And if you should join me, then I won't object." Her hand brushes over Setsurou's arm with care before she moves to stand up and head to the bedroom.

    Inside, she unfolds her futon and slips under the covers, holding a fist over her chest.

    (Engineering HQ - The Arena)

    Sakadatsu takes a few stuttering, spastic attempts to stand before finally succeeding, his fur and flesh gone in thick patches, revealing a brass skeleton underneath, where it is not charred beyond recognition. His right forward arm and left rear arm hang uselessly by his side... before he forcefully tears them out, using his left to tear off his secondary right and then fit it back in to the forward socket. Instead of blood, a thick, oily substance drips from the wounds. With this procedure finished, he takes a few steps forward, empty eye sockets facing towards Chouko. "...perhaps I was wrong. But your victory won't be on your shoulders alone, you cannot fool me."

    Chouko gives a laugh. "...so you recognized that, yeah? Koutetsu won't let me live it down. But I guess I was wrong too, I can't just walk my own path. I've gotta forge a path for my allies to follow. I'm not alone, but it's on me to lead my crew to greatness."

    "...then let's finish this act, and move onto the next, Captain." Sakadatsu clenches his fists and tenses his legs as Chouko prepares for the leap, her right metallic hand glowing again, humming with energy.

    With a final savage roar, Sakadatsu leaps, bringing his fists up to slam down on Chouko. But he doesn't get that far as a burst of pure thunderous sound erupts outward, sending cracks through glass objects for hundreds of feet around the arena, perhaps even shattering them. Maybe even the bottle of whiskey Ryouma finds in Fukui's office.

    The sound is condensed into a concussive force directed from Chouko's hand, hitting Sakadatsu square in the head like a massive fist, traveling for miles before dissipating, a crack not unlike thunder resonating even further. As the sound dies down, there's a powerful thump as Sakadatsu's body falls to the ground, falling apart piece by mechanical piece.

    Chouko herself... well, the arm she used for that wondrous final attack has been blasted off in pieces, and the ringing in her ears is deafening. "$$#@ &##@." She can't even hear her own words. Nor the final words of Sakadatsu as his jaws move before disconnecting and rapidly rusting into nothing, along with the rest of him. The only signs that he was even ever there being his impact on the arena around him.

    Chouko... laughs. She can't hear herself doing so, but falling backward from exhaustion, she breaks into a full-blown hysterical laughing fit.

    She won.
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    [The Kobayashi household]

    It doesn't take long for the door to her bedroom to slide open. When it does, Setsurou is clad in a much more comfortable-looking kimono than he was as he served dinner. He even prepared for her positive response.

    To be perfectly honest, that was the only response he prepared for.

    He slid under the covers in such a way that she'd think a cat snuck in. Looking towards her smaller, fragile and definitely very scared and vulnerable form, he reached out for her face.

    The sound from his lips was barely above a whisper. But with how fast her heart was beating, it probably felt loud.

    "Shhh..."

    And then his lips locked with hers in blissful, patient silence.

    ___________________________________

    Ryouma hadn't made it that far yet, but there was a chance he would be pissed to find liquor wasted.

    In which case he'd make Waltz locate another source of booze for him.
    Last edited by Kuroimaken; 2015-03-19 at 10:20 PM.
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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  21. - Top - End - #21
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    [Engineering]

    With Chouko's battle over, a hatch opens next to Chouko and a platform lifts in Hideki in on a chair, a tablet in hand.

    Tablet lifted and words in it.

    "Congratulations on your victory."
    Last edited by Draken; 2015-03-21 at 11:44 AM.
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    [Soul Society]
    (Engineering HQ - The Arena!)

    Chouko breaks in her laughing a few moments after Hideki arrives, shouting out something incomprehensible. Well, to her anyway. To Hideki, it sounds roughly like 'YO, HIDEKI, GET ME A MED TEAM'. Waltz walks up with a nod to Hideki, picking Chouko up in his arms.

    "I have already informed MedLog, lieutenant."

    Meanwhile... yep. Whiskey was shot. The contents soaked into the drawer, ruining the papers underneath. Welp. Fukui was going to be pissed, too.
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    Ryouma follows sometime afterward.

    After all, Waltz never got him that booze he asked for, he didn't get to fight anyone, and now even the show was over!

    From the looks of it, he JUMPED his way up, Megaman-style.

    "Huh. Wasn't expecting a little girl."
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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

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    Hideki does not type, typing is for the technologically lacking.

    Words just appear in the tablet for Chouko.

    "You are shouting. I can hear normally, so try to talk as usual."

    "But yes, I've informed Med&Log, they've got your usual room prepared."


    And then the intruder pops in.

    With this one, Hideki can simply speak.

    "Who are you and what are you doing here?"
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    "Name's Ryouma. I used to live in the forest outside Rukongai before it, uh... well, I'm not sure WHAT happened, all I know is my home is gone, the forest was leveled and next thing I knew it was the coldest winter I'd ever seen.

    I was helping you Shinigami fight off those creepy ass Hollows. You seriously hadn't noticed?"
    Last edited by Kuroimaken; 2015-03-21 at 05:57 PM.
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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

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    [Soul Society]
    (Engineering HQ - The Arena!)

    As MedLog arrives, Chouko looks over to Ryouma, an utter look of 'wth' crossing her face. She yells something about wondering who brought the bear and put it in clothes. Wow that's really not polite.

    But the exasperated medic sedates her before they carry her off, because, uh, she really didn't need to be louder. Waltz lets her go, standing ground with Hideki, quietly observing Ryouma.
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    [Engineering]

    Hideki appears to give Ryouma a long stare. Hard to tell, man's face can't be seen.

    He is cross-referencing data, really.

    "Right, you are the stray spirit that leaped onto the Ghost King and was trapped in his gaze until he released a cero."

    "What are you doing here? This is a military facility and a private property, so you shouldn't be here twice over."
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    "So it's not by coincidence so many people consider Shinigami to be ungrateful pricks.

    I killed Hollows for you guys. Hell, who in the blessed, moist barrel of ****s do you think pointed at those creepy *******s? I'll give you a hint, it wasn't the wolves!

    The least you bastards should do is buy me some booze for my trouble! Hell, my house is gone, I should be getting all up in your business about that, too!"
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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    [Kobayashi Household. The next morning.]

    Momoka would wake up to Setsurou looking at her face with a very, very content smile on his.

    "Morning, Momo. Pleasant dreams?"

    Oh, and his face is fairly close too.
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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

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    [Soul Society]
    (Kobayashi Household)

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    A soft, lovely feminine voice sings a quiet lullaby.

    Momoka is young, looking no older than 6 or 7. She's suffering from a fever, after all she was always quite sickly. A warm towel over her head, the barely recognizable woman cares for her, sharing her snowy pale complexion and black hair. She almost seems like a guardian angel.

    No words are spoken. Just that soothing song.

    The surroundings are... ill-lit, almost making the woman seem brighter. But it is a large bedroom, with cold, if high-quality wooden floors. And her robe and bedding are of the finest silk.

    One of the windows slide open...


    Momoka's eyes open suddenly, as opposed to gradually. And almost immediately, she pushes away from Setsurou, sitting up and breathing quickly before applying her inhaler. Even as her breathing comes under control, though, she doesn't look back to Setsurou.

    "...I suppose the answer to that query is obvious. But please do not press me." She runs a hand through her hair as she calms down.
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