Description: Azumi, the once demon hunter afflicted by lycanthropy, meets with Nightwolf after the shaman heeds the word of the Thunder God that she is in need of help. Unfortunately, Azumi's affliction proves to be beyond Nightwolf's capabilities to offer immediate assistance, even if there may yet be hope for her. Additionally, we learn that littering in front of Nightwolf is a sure-fire way to get under his skin.
It's getting to be the middle parts of the afternoon, with the sun beaming down a rather cool heat across the clearing. The rush of traffic seems far removed from the area, the peace of the grassy spot only being interrupted by the occaisional tree. It is here that a cloaked figure sits, resting in the tree's numerous branches. She's got her legs draped down over either edge of a particularly sturdy branch, looking to be enjoying a few apples that she'd picked up from nearby. Her lupine ears are perked up though, constantly keeping on at least a minor alert for incoming strangers.
Just as before, even though preparations continue to defend Earthrealm from the dark forces that are ever encroaching it, that does not mean that the Sin Eater Nightwolf will dismiss the finer details for their grand schemes. After the titanic clash of Lord Raiden against the Tyrannical Rugal, Nightwolf and the God of Thunder met again to discuss their next step. While they were doing so, the protector of Earthrealm informed the shaman that he had recently encountered someone that may be in need of his unique abilities. Nightwolf was very inclined to agree, understanding the reasoning behind Raiden. Less Darkstalkers with evil intent could mean more potential allies of Earthrealm, and something told the skinwalker they were going to need all the help they could get.
Finding the afflicted lycan wasn't too terribly difficult for the shaman, not when Raiden had already told him of her whereabouts. Transformed into his spirit animal, the wolf, the shaman in lupine form stalked the grassy fields close to the Southtown city until the trail lead to an intriguing figure cloaked in red.
Azumi will more than likely /smell/ the skinwalker before he approaches. She'll be able to see an honest to goodness timber wolf heading in her direction once she gains insight of where its coming from.
Azumi's having to get used to having a long muzzle for a mouth, as it made eating certain things somewhat awkward. With a human's mouth, you could bite into something and use your tongue to guide food over to the teeth for proper processing. Humans also have cheeks made for temporarily storing food for that reason. Canines on the other hand, didn't have that particular benefit, so what was once a delicious snack has become a juicy, messy distaster. She tilts her head a little bit as she bites into the apple, emitting a small whine at how careful she had to be while biting it. She loses her patience for the second bite and merely eats the poor thing whole...and that's about the time where the wolf showed up.
She pokes her head out underneath the tree's foilage and passes an inquisitive brow towards the out of place lupine. It's also worth noting that if the wolf's nose was good, he'd likely be able to tell that she'd spent a decent amount of time in this tree, as not only evidenced by smell, but also by a few peices of paper litter. They seemed to be food packages, more often than not, with a few red cloth scraps for good measure. She pushes herself from her branch and lands in front of Nightwolf, crossing her arms over her chest.
"I...don't have the ability to talk to animals now, do I? That'd be interesting I guess but not really useful. What are you doing all the way out here guy?"
"You may yet develop that ability." Perhaps rather surprisingly, the wolf answers Azumi back as she descends from the tree and ponders her inquiry.
It soon becomes evident that this is no average wolf though, as it raises to its hind legs and is promptly covered in a green cloud of energy. An instant later, a muscled dark skinned man clad in buckskin clothing stands where the wolf once was. He stares with blank white eyes to the werewolf woman on the red cloak and then glances to the food trays littered about the tree, frowning in disapproval at the garbage.
After a brief moment of silence, the white eyed man glances back at Azumi and speaks again. "I am Nightwolf. Lord Raiden informed me of one named Azumi that could use my assistance. Are you her?"
Azumi takes a small step back in surprise when the wolf seemingly shapeshifts into that of...a rather strapping man, though a touch creepy. Realizing this is likely the man that Raiden spoke of, she offers him a small nod in response to his question.
"Yes. That's me...though he never mentioned what kind of help you were to give. He just mentioned that if you found me unworthy by some scale of yours, you'd kill me. So is that what you are here for? I'd say I'd be able to tell by your facial expression, but you don't seem to have...eyes? Is that possible? How do you see?"
"My eyes still function, they simply reflect my nature." Nightwolf explains simply and calmly, perhaps even a touch kindly, though as Azumi wisely deduces it is difficult to discern his true thoughts due to his lack of expression, even if he did have irises. Azumi might also realize that Nightwolf has the same eyes as Raiden, he also didn't seem to have any irises either.
"I am what is known in my land as a Sin Eater." He begins to explain, thumbs in his belt. "It is more commonly known in the rest of the world as a Demon Hunter. I have sacrificed my spirit to dedicate my life to the protection of this realm and its people. While it is true that I do so by destroying those creatures that would prey on human kind, I do not share the believes of the Hunters Guild who destroy Darkstalkers with no discrimination. I know there are many who still follow the path of righteousness."
Nightwolf's blank dead eyes narrow at the werewolf woman and he stares. "Lord Raiden spoke true, if your intentions are evil, we shall be foes. I will allow no one to harm Earthrealm."
Azumi still seems a bit uneasy around Nightwolf as she flatlines her expression towards his mannerisms and pattern of speech. She offers a small sigh and shakes her head a few times. "There's that Earth realm thing again...No wonder you two are friends." She raises a hand to her temples and pinches the bridge between her muzzle and her head in a somewhat stressed out manner. She regains her composure a few seconds later before turning her gaze back up towards the physically imposing man.
"Look. Let me break it down really quickly. I was apart of the Red Cloud Clan. They're a group of Ninja who pretty much do what you do, minus discrimination. I was born and raised there. Sometimes they did take out Darkstalkers and Demons and such who did wish harm. Othertimes...well...I didn't run the place. Then I got bitten by a werewolf and this happened. So now I'm just dealing with it. I kinda wish Raiden had mentioned what you did and not that you'd kill me, because ONE of those things is PRETTY BLOODY WELL IMPORTANT I WOULD THINK. To paraphrase though: No. I'm not an enemy of Earth...realm. I just am trying to survive my injuries, find a place to stay, get some food, and attempt to not be murdered by my clan...or a hunter...or an asshole. Or a realm god-person because apparently those exist. No offense."
"None taken." Nightwolf arches an eyebrow at Azumi's excited explanation, and though he still has his thumbs tucked in his belt, that may be the first facial expression he has done in the time they've been talking.
Nightwolf seems to be a very quiet type for that matter. He says nothing after Azumi has said her peace, preferring instead to silently contemplate all of his options. Whereas other, perhaps more impulsive people, might speak immediately, Nightwolf always pauses for a moment before speaking, weighing his words. It can be somewhat unnerving at first.
But he does speak at last and says; "Such irony is not unheard of. I do not doubt this must be very difficult for you." Another pause once he has given his condolences. "But you need not fear from the likes of me. As I said; I do not share the beliefs of the Hunters Guild nor of this Red Cloud Clan. You may not believe so now, but this affliction of yours can be a blessing in disguise, for I can assure you that continuing the path of endless mindless war against the Darkstalkers can only end in grief and ruin."
"Darkstalkers are a part of Earthrealm as much as humans, and just as they can make their own decisions, so can we. Your path is your own now, Azumi. You need not heed the orders of your clan any longer. If you decide to walk the path of the true light, I can explain all that you need to know to become far more than what you are now."
Azumi offers a very slow shrug towards his overall answer and shakes her head a little bit towards him. She looks over her clawed hand and then over her digitigrade foot, flexing her compacted toes a little bit. "I don't know about blessing in disguise, but I'd like to be able to go into town without being stared at. I'd go and get a job but I don't think anyone's going to hire me with a mug like this. And when I transformed, I lost all my Psi abilities. So if there's a silver lining here, outside of not being forced to kill those guys, I'm really not seeing it here."
She takes a few steps away from him and leans back against her tree, still keeping her eyes locked onto Nightwolf. "Still though, what kind of help do you have to offer? Things couldn't really get much worse."
"That is exactly the kind of help I can provide." This time, Nightwolf answers very quickly, as if he had expected that kind of reaction.
"I know much of lycanthropy and though I am not one myself I still tap into its powers as you saw."
He moves to the side this time, glancing at Azumi from over his broad shoulder. "The reason why you look as you do now is because the wolf is not your totem. It has been forcefully been placed upon you and your body resists it. If your totem is directly opposed to the wolf, that will make it even more difficult."
"The only way to fully control it is if you accept it as part as your nature now. The process will take quite some time, but once have aligned your origin totem with that of the wolf, you may yet be able to control the transformation and revert from human and back just as I do."
"The first step." He moves to her now. "Is to no longer feel shame of how you look." Nightwolf raises a hand and slowly begins to move it towards Azumi's hood, intending to pull it down and reveal her face. "May I?" He at least has the decency of asking.
Azumi watches him quite plainly as he speaks, turning her head when he walks to the side of her, and then looking up at him when his hand rests upon her hood. She sighs and reaches up to push his hand back, choosing to pull it down herself. Contrary to popular belief, her were-self didn't look too monsterous. Okay yeah, the teeth were large and very, very sharp, but they only just coast down by her lips, and are only really visible when she opens her mouth up wide. The rest of her head is pretty similar to that of a wolf, albeit appropriately sized for a humanoid shape. Her ears, similarly to a lupine's is still expressive.
"Well, this is the first I've ever heard of a totem or anything, so I'm not really sure what I'm looking for in terms of like...how to undo this. I know that this form is permanent, so I'll just have to get used to being a fuzz-face. But really quick though..."
She gestures towards the rest of her body underneath the cloak, pointing towards it.
"The rest of this stays on. I haven't really found something appropriate to wear since claws don't really get along with clothes...or explosions. So if we want to get rid of the clothes, I'm going to need to find a tailor somewhere."
Nightwolf retracts his hand as he is gestured and if there is any apprehension to the way that Azumi looks in her wolf form, his impassive face does not show it. The shaman merely keeps his relaxed stance of quietly observing and listening, understanding what is exactly the plight of the ex-hunter.
"It will be very difficult to understand at first, I will not lie to you." He states simply. "But your previous training as a hunter may give you just the edge that you need to overcome the obstacles that lay ahead. Above all, the best suggestion I can give you, is to do away with any past beliefs that your clan may have given you. The path of the Sin Eater is an objective one, we do not dismiss potential tools simply because they are foreign." This is not the first time Nightwolf has interacted with fighters of the orient, and as an Apache warrior, he knows that the cultural barriers can sometimes be enormous, even without the issue of lycantrophy involved.
He nods when Azumi objects at taking any more of her robes off. "Do not worry, it is not yet time for us to delve on anything further than simple acceptance of your new nature."
"Truthfully, I am pressed for time. Dark forces encroach Earthrealm even as we speak and my attention is needed elsewhere, which unfortunately means I cannot teach you much until this disturbance has passed. For now, you will have to continue fending for yourself." Well, some help he is.
"I can, however, offer you this." He takes a feather from his blue headband and offers it to Azumi. "Should you ever be in grave danger, whisper my name to this feather and I will come to your aid, no matter where you might be."
Azumi's ears fold down when her nature is discussed and seems to be listening to him intently, but when it is revealed that he needs to depart, she grabs said feather and eyes it for a moment before storing it in her cloak.
"Ah...thank you? It's not the enlightenment I was hoping for, but it's a start I guess. I'll keep this feather safe. But before you go, I do have one question for you. Do you know why all of My Psi energy exploded on me when I transformed? My energy was purple...and when I was bitten and started to change, I lost control of it and it made me level an area. But the last thing I remember before I passed out was this blue stuff coming back in. Do you know what that was?"
Nightwolf nods in understanding and he seems slightly concerned too. "I apologize, if I could I would teach you all I know immediately. But I simply do not have the means nor the time to give you the help you require. Soon, though, great changes are upon us and I imagine I will need to acquire some power myself to properly stand against it. The path of the skinwalker is not one that can be taken with ample amounts of distractions."
The shaman's eyebrows frown lightly at this new information, facial features hardening. "You can control psi energy?" He seems surprised and his blank eyes widen just a tad. "Troublesome news indeed, psi is not evil by nature, but it is far more difficult to control than chi. The clash of your original totem with the wolf energies must have created great imbalance within your body causing the release of energy you describe. Even a chi user would be hard pressed to control their power when forcefully given foreign energy, I cannot imagine how difficult it must be for someone with psi energy."
As for the blue stuff, Nightwolf pauses and thinks before speaking again. "It is difficult to say without being there when the incident happen. If you killed the werewolf that bit you, it may have been its soul."
Azumi shakes her head as she takes an imploring step forward. She shakes her head profusely.
"No-no-no-no! That's not quite what I meant. I used to be able to control Psi...quite alot of it in fact. It's the clan trademark. But when I got bitten and I transformed, I lost control of it and it detonated around me in an explosion that...that...killed my team."
She stops for a moment and holds a hand over her heart, shaking her head slowly. Her tone cools down after that, speaking a bit more clearly.
"Just after the explosion ended and just before I passed out, I saw a blue energy...it was everywhere. And...I don't think the werewolf died. I didn't find his body anywhere and I didn't think he got anymore hurt than he already was. But now I can't use any of my Psi abilities. Like...nothing works. I tried to."
The shaman holds his impassive ground even as Azumi takes a step towards him. Still staring, all he does is look at the way retelling these events is affecting her. It must have taken quite some bravery to speak about that to a complete stranger, and some part of Nightwolf appreciates that trust.
However, given the blank expression in his face, it doesn't like he can offer much new insight to this dilemma. In fact, he may have bad news; "Then the imbalance within your body is worst than I thought. If the conflict within you is of such magnitude that it prevents your natural energies to flow freely, then you have no choice but to embrace your new nature as a skinwalker, lest it continues to do you harm. Although I do not mean to scare you, I have seen men succumbing to the affliction and turning into mindless beasts that could be cured only through destruction. You are lucky, not everyone manages to retain their will after being transformed so forcefully."
Then he crosses his muscled arms across his chest, exhales through his nose, purses his lips, and shakes his head softly. "I am sorry, I cannot be certain of what this energy is without having seen it. The only solution I can offer is that you take me to the place where you were struck. There may still be some residual energy there that I can examine, only then will we know for sure."
Azumi ears roll back to the sides of her head, her tail drooping in her cloak. She shakes her head a few more times before crossing her arms tightly over her chest. "God...damnit. This is all wrong. Why in the hell did that guy have to bite me of all people...could have done it to anyone, but no...it had to be me." She turns away from him for a few angsty steps, slamming her hand into the tree she was resting in out of anger.
"I...could take you there, but it's quite a distance away from here. It's in japan at least, but no where near here. I know my...former clan has already cleaned up the dead and did an equipment sweep...otherwise I'd go back there and grab one of their swords...as wrong as that is."
She turns back to look at him, leaning her back on the tree once again. "...but don't you have some world saving stuff to go do? You should do that while I figure out this...totem...skinwalker...thing. It's not like I have anything else to do these days."
The shaman's blank eyes close and he nods, a look of calmness to balance Azumi's mortified expression of being what she is now. Nightwolf can tell that she has yet not come to terms with it, and it likely is what's causing many of these problems she's having. This is not the time to explain that to her though, it may come as if he's berating her and that is something that neither of them needs right now.
"We will go there in due time, but it is as you say, there are others that I must see." He takes a step back although he still faces her. "Stay calm for now, and remember, should a hunter or a darkstalker attack you, call upon my aid. I will do everything in my power to help you."
The shaman turns to move away and stops suddenly, looking as if he just remembered something. He spins on his heel and motions for Azumi. "Oh, one more thing."
"Please clean up after yourself, I really dislike people that litter." Says he motioning to the garbage around the tree where Azumi has been presumedly living all this time.
Well, dressed like that, he had to at least say one hippie comment.
Azumi looks towards him...and then looks back down towards the asformentioned litter...and then back towards him and rolls her eyes. "Find me a trash can that won't get me stared at. The only thing I could do with it is hide it somewhere else."
Nightwolf holds his stance for just a moment while Azumi rolls her eyes at him and then he finally blinks. Saying nothing, he marches towards the tree and starts picking up the trash himself, crumbling it up on a more easy to carry ball.
After cleaning up, he starts to leave just as wordlessly
Not polluting seems to be.. a big deal for him.
Azumi tilts her head at him as he seemingly picks up after her and offers a small shrug towards him. "I....meant find me a trash can, not man-compact it but whatever floats your boat I suppose. Uhm...good luck saving..the world...or something?"
Log created on 15:26:56 12/15/2014 by Nightwolf, and last modified on 19:42:46 12/15/2014.