Description: Edge may have downplayed the significance of the Empress' beatdown, but Daigo knew enough to consider the young woman a true threat. Accordingly, when she came back to town, he was quick to answer her summon. Could this be the start of a beautiful relationship?
It's mid-afternoon here on Gedo Street. Some local residents are hurrying to and fro, never wanting to linger in any one place for too long. No, here along Gedo Street, the students are in control... for now.
The state of affairs seems to be under some contention, however, with three notable threats to that authority present. One is a young woman, about age 20, with a pair of purple sunglasses, currently milling about on a cellphone as she leans with her back propped against the wall. From her formal, black-and-white dress, it seems fairly obvious that this is the important one amongst the three.
The other two -- one male, one female -- are largely nondescript -- about the same age, maybe a little older, with jet-black sunglasses to conceal the eyes and double-breasted suits. Even with the chill autumn breeze, they seem like they might be a little too hot. While the central figure is inattentive, the two guards flanking her are hawkishly keeping their eyes on the others milling about.
As they -do- stand out, of course there will be some slackjaw kids trying to scope out the potential threats. The guards don't seem to hassle them though... they're here for a reason.
Why are they here? Well... a few days ago, Edge had been attacked -- savaged, really -- by someone claiming to be the Empress -- the description matching the person typing on her cellphone. The so-called Empress had simply wanted to meet Daigo. And now, several days later... she's here for that meeting. One of the many students had been asked to summon the fearsome Gedo boss just a few minutes ago.
The Empress seems to be in no particular rush: from the sound of it, she's about to get a high score in Candy Crush Soda.
After what happened to Edge, those close to Daigo and who were most loyal to him were on high alerts. Edge had proved to be an horrible messager, after all, and with the lack of further information, Daigo had a feeling this mysterious woman would eventually come after him.
Though considering what she had done to Edge, Daigo did not want to risk any of his boys to get unnecessary harm. Any of the thugs, punks and other students she met looked at her warily. Obviously, she was standing out in the poor streets of Gedo. Her mere presence here would be enough for Daigo to eventually show up, as one of the many student must have recognized the woman from Edge's description.
The guys did not know much about her, if only that she was probably powerful and that Daigo didn't want others to attack her. At least, by the big boss' intonation, that had a feeling she could mean trouble.
After a moment, Daigo finally strides in the street. Arms folded in his back and with a stern expression on his face. His eyes glance to Honoka and shift between her and the two other guards she had brought with her.
"So, you're the one..." Daigo finally speaks up, "What do you want from me?" He asks Honoka, straightening himself up. Much like her, Daigo had a few of his boys around, lurking in the dark corner of the streets, though they were much less apparent than Honoka's guards.
The Empress almost certainly notices Daigo's approach -- the fearsome aura surrounding the Gedo boss is almost impossible to ignore, after all. Birds take off into the sky, people divert from their walking paths, and... yeah. It's obvious.
But yet, the Empress does not waver. She's laser-focused onto her game, even as the two guards eye Daigo warily. Well, one can assume they're watching him, as their heads swivel, but it's impossible to see where their eyes are pointed, of course.
Even after Daigo speaks, it's another few seconds before the Empress looks up from her game... with deliberate sloth.
"I wanted... to talk with you on a number of things." The Empress tries to hands her cellphone to the female on her right, but the guard seems petulant -- even irritable -- before finally accepting the phone, and shoving it into her suit pocket.
The Empress looks back up, purple-tinted eyes meeting Daigo's intensely. The face is young, the eyes slightly narrowed, as if amused... the expression seemingly naive otherwise. "For one thing, if that... was your lieutenant I beat up, you're... you're not going to survive the coming storm."
The guards shift uncomfortably from one foot to the other.
The massive bulk and imposing frame of this young japanese man was quite unsettling. He had this undeniable presence that followed him, almost something tangible that inspired respect and fear.
His intimidating stare stays on Honoka as she seems unphased by this aura. Much like Daigo, she must have had quite a reputation of her own, or at least, from what Edge had told her, she possessed quite a few talents. The towering hulk stands silently before her a dozens of feet away, waiting for her to finally pay attention to him. Most might be insulted by her casual behaviour but not Daigo... Or at least he did not show it.
"You beat up a good friend of mine," Daigo corrects, "I have to admit my patience is growing rather thin, Empress," Daigo says as he bows his head and torso gently in a mockful deference. "Whatever storm you are referring to, let me assure you : I have been through worse,"
"Your good friend had a hearing problem. I made one very simple request and he was extremely disrespectful." The Empress' voice is calm and level, almost haughty. Almost.
Until she offers a pleasant smile. As if she's ready to actually engage in proper formalities now. "You... on the other hand, have been a perfect gentleman, Mr Kazama. It's a pleasure to finally meet you." She offers a formal curtsy, lowering her eyes in proper deference to this district's de facto leader.
"Now then. I want to clarify that, when I say 'worse', I mean that the men of the Syndicate will be attempting to rally each... and -every-... one of your fine, strapping young men to their cause." The Empress delicately cradles one elbow with her palm, placing a finger on her cheek for emphasis of her next point. "And this may pose a quite significant threat to you... and your interests here. Have you dealt with the Syndicate before? I can't imagine you were even out of diapers the last time anything serious went down in this town."
The male guard seems to be wishing he could bore a hole through Daigo's skull, while the female guard seems to be spaced out, possibly bored. No doubt they're still ready to jump at a moment's notice, though.
"Mr Kazama... I don't ask for much. I'm simply here to propose an alliance. An alliance of peers -- we protect your interests, you protect ours."
The Empress looks up at Daigo, her gaze sharp and intent, her aura cool and confident... eager to gauge Daigo's interest in the proposition.
The tall man stares back at Honoka : he gauges her slowly, weighting the implication of her words. He did not know about all the parties involved.
Daigo seems to consider her seriously. There were many questions and so little he knew about all of this. Daigo arches a brow, "An alliance?" The man asks, clearing his throat. This last request obviously seems to startle him.
He glances to the Empress' goons and then back at Honoka, "What do you expect out of me, 'Empress'?" Daigo asks, saying those words with obvious disdain. After all he's been through in Gedo High, Daigo has always had trouble with self-proclamed leaders like this.
The man shifts his posture and lifts one of his large hand up, palm up, "I am only a student in one of the respected highschool of Southtown... One who happens to have the respect of many of his peers. They listen to me, but they are free to do as they please..."
Daigo folds his arms against his chest, buffing his torso a bit and straighteing himself up, "I do not know what you have thought of me, but I fear I won't be able to offer you much in the end,"
As the tall young man considers her words, the guards eye him warily. The female guard seems to be looking at him more intently for a moment -- even staring -- before eventually returning to her placid indifference. The male... well, he just always looks like he's maintaining an aura of slight agitation.
"You may not realize it, Mr Kazama, but the students look up to you. I'm not saying this to blow smoke up your..." The Empress breaks her gaze with Daigo to glare at her right-hand guard -- who continues her indifferent half-stare -- before turning back to Daigo.
Continuing after taking a breath, she continues, "I'm not saying this to make you feel better. I'm saying this to stress that you may not be a leader now, but the students here -want- you to be. And you can put this into practice. You... -you- can keep your students safe. Your classmates and friends. You've been helping them train... that's great."
She spares a glance to her male guard for a moment, continuing, "... Edge is... good. But the rest listen to you. Respect you." And she looks back to Daigo. "They look up to you. And I respect you as well, which is why we are here. As equals."
The Empress takes a long breath, looking up at the sky for a moment. "I mean to say that you need to be vigilant. Give the students tasks if they need to stay busy, sure." She meets his gaze once more, eyes peering over her sunglass frames. "But the streets will soon be awash with blood, Mr Kazama. And if one lone, scrawny whelp like myself is able to down your snarky little friend... and he's the -best- at your side... then I can't imagine the respect you have lasting very far. These are dangerous men, Mr Kazama."
The Empress breaks her gaze with Daigo, leans back against the wall, and drapes her arms over the shoulders of her companions. Calm, cool... confident. "I can protect you. Help you, even. If you can agree to take a few... helpful suggestions from an older lady like myself, from time to time." She punctuates her words with a half-smile.
Daigo Kazama was a man of a few words : he certainly did not possess the same ease with words as Honoka did. On the other hand, Daigo was a good listener : a silent observer who likes to have a good overview of everything.
Honoka's revelations were dire news. Ones that Daigo takes seriously. The words she had chosen to bring this problem to him catch his interest though. His main goal has always been to assure the safety of his fellow student, watching over Gedo High like a father would try to protect his children... A big family he had taken the responsability to watch over and try to educate toward the right path.
A difficult challenge that Daigo Kazama had accepted, knowing no one else would.
"With all due respect, if you managed to defeat him, it means that you are more than meets the eyes," Daigo says. He tilts his head to one side and says, "If you want this mutual respect, for us both to be as equals, than tell me your name,"
He bows his head gently and adds, "I wish to avoid unnecessary bloodshed if possible, and if your help and suggestions can lead us toward that goal, than so be it. We will remain vigilant and alert, for now..."
Throughout the conversation, the Empress has had a fairly good grasp of the finer points of negotiation. She's certainly had an unorthodox approach -- a bit too casual at times, a bit too naive in outlook, perhaps, but she's certainly given the impression that she's on top of her game.
When challenged for her name, though... there's doubt. Confusion. Her forehead knits up, a clear sign that the seemingly simple question has somehow perplexed her...
For just one fleeting second. At which point her face goes absolutely rigid, and she peers over her sunglass frames at Daigo, once again. "The name I wish to be called is 'The Empress.' There are a -lot- of people who know me by that name, and though I trust you, Mr Kazama... you are a prized exception among many in my network. But even still..."
Her expression softens somewhat, as she lets her hands fall from her guards' shoulders, as she steps closer to Daigo. Her voice drops to a dull whisper as she folds her arms behind her back, "... You can call me Miko, if you like. But that name is just... between us."
It's worth noting that through all this, the Empress' heart rate jumped up considerably. Despite the control she's exerting over her demeanor, it's quite obvious that blood is flowing to her cheeks.
The female guard is still holding a vacant look, but raises an arm to her forehead. Male guard is still Angry McBitterface.
The Empress steps back, cooly lacing her fingers before her, letting her hands drop below waist level. "I hope you can forgive my impertinence, as avoiding bloodshed is, after all... the main purpose of my coming here today. As I come across more information, I do intend to share it with you as quickly as possible... can I count on you to do the same for me?"
There's a distinct frown on Daigo's face as this simple question seems to cause such confusion about her. Handing out a name shouldn't be that complicated, and Honoka's reaction leaves the tall main a bit perplex.
The towering man remains unwavering as Honoka approach her, his eyes following her as he leans in a bit closer and whispers to her name to him.
Before The Empress can step back, Daigo lifts his hand up to her to rest it on her shoulder, a slow motion, but one that might put her guards on the edge. Daigo leans in a bit closer, to whisper back to her, "Miko, if you want this to work, we'll need to work on some trust issues," He says, lifting his eyes up toward the two guards that came with her.
He lets go of her and Daigo offers a slow nod of his head, "Very well... But next time we meet, it'll be at Genhanten... Just you and me,"
He did not know what sort of information he wanted out of him, or what sort of trouble might be brewing, but he intents to let all this information decant in his mind, "Meet me there tomorrow, we'll continue this discussion further there,"
Trust issues? "... Yes," admits the Empress. It could easily be said that trust is a two-way street... but not when a man nearly twice her size is resting a hand on her shoulder -- a dancer's shoulder that could easily be snapped in two. Suffice to say, simple acknowledgement is enough.
The Empress seems... relieved that she's been released, but seems to be a bit confused by the suggestion that the two meet alone in a Chinese restaurant. However... taking a deep breath, she nods her head slowly. "Very well."
And then she seems to have been struck by a knowledge bomb, as understanding pervades her features. "I see. Yes. Alone it shall be, then." She bows once, briefly, towards Daigo... idly noting the few rubberneckers who had stopped to watch the conversation. "We... =I= will see you there. Take care, Mr Kazama."
The guards return to 'normal' selves at this point, relaxing considerably... and as they were against the wall, they allow the master of this domain to leave before they move to do the same.
Log created on 19:29:35 11/14/2014 by Honoka, and last modified on 22:50:29 11/14/2014.