Description: Momiji comes to the Shrine where Raiden and Nightwolf have made the base of the Full Moon Society to investigate rumors of people who would defend the world against evil. She finds exactly what she's looking for!
SOUTHTOWN ABANDONED SHRINE
The last couple of days have been rough for the lack of a better word. Although Nightwolf is ever the stalwart defender of humanity, who heeds the call to protect the innocent, he's still human with very realistic limits. Let's just say that after fighting Skarlet, Jedah and then than crazed Tiger Spirit in the streets, he's not feeling incredibly eager to get into more random fighting if he doesn't need it. The shaman has such a long way to go still and the thought of his own lack of power isn't helping his mood. All the Sin Eater has managed to do so far is stave evil back when he should be utterly destroying it.
He's starting to realize he can't do this alone.
In the meantime, reparations to the Shrine are gonna have to hold whilst Nightwolf is taking some much needed R&R. It's the statuesque Apache brave that sits curled under a tall tree, but a wolf. He's always found his wolf form more comfortable to sleep in and thus the shaman catches on some much needed Zs whilst gently snoring and curled up in his animal form.
At the very least, if he needs to wake up in a hurry, he can rely on the spirit wards he had placed around the Shrine to warn him of danger.
Nightwolf, however, is not alone. Raiden is also pleased with the opportunity for some quiet time. As much as the Shrine needs repairs, the constant sounds of hammering and sawing is rough on one's concentration. Particularly when trying to meditate. Thus he too is taking advantage of the quiet time.
He sits beneath the same tree, legs folded under him. It's not quite lotus pose, closer to tailor fashion. He stays quiet so that Nightwolf can sleep and rest. Though he has, at least once, reached over to pet the wolf. He wouldn't do it if Nightwolf was in human form. But a sleeping wolf is adorable, and even Raiden is not immune to that!
For the most part, though, he's leaving the Apache alone. He knows very well that Nightwolf needs to rest so he can recover.
The Elders of the Hayabusa Clan have forewarned the inhabitants of the village that dark days were ahead of them. The Dragon Shrine Maidens are already tasked with the protection of the Dragon Shrine, the village, its people, and the many artifacts that are housed there. But it would be foolish on their part to simply wait for the village to be attacked or for a great evil to start forming. Action had to be taken now which would normally fall upon the ninjas of the clan. Momiji, both Shrine Maiden and Ninja, had a vested interest in protecting her village while also doing what she can to stop evil before it ever reaches the boundaries of the village itself. With this present in her mind, the young kunoichi decided to investigate the rumors that there were others out there who also sought to protect this world from evils unseen.
Perched high up in a tree, the white wearing and bow and arrow equipped Momiji surveys her route closer to the shrine carefully. Maybe it was just that she was a shrine maiden, but there was something about this oddly placed 'Shinto' shrine that called out to Momiji. The white wearing ninja crouches slightly and then springs effortlessly into the air where she freefalls into an acrobatic tumble. Brown eyes flash upwards as she looks for her next place to dash to, but it is only now that she catches sight of the man and the sleeping wolf. Despite being armed, Momiji takes no threatening action against this curious duo. It was too late to try to sneak around them and she didn't sense any evil presence resonating from the pair. Momiji finally decides to approach.
Stepping carefully forward, Momiji reaches up and lowers the piece of fabric that had covered her nose and mouth. The ninja then steps together and brings her hands infront of her before bowing politely to the man. "Greetings, I wish to offer my prayers at this shrine. Are you its caretaker? If so, I humbly ask for permission to approach the shrine." She may be armed and dangerous, but that doesn't stop Momiji from being polite while also allowing herself to get a better look at this mysterious individual and his companion wolf.
It was wise that one lone ninja of the Hayabusa Clan would have the insight to go out and investigate. For the evil that was quickly approaching would not settle with just Southtown, but the whole of Earthrealm, ninja villages included.
Momiji's appearance may be sudden but it was not entirely unexpected. Nightwolf had foreseen that by taking residence in Japan, the Society would have some manner of contact with many of the local defenders that reside in the far East. It was a land that heavily delved in mysticism, perhaps the strongest area of the world where such arts were still revered, so it felt natural to Nightwolf to congregate in such a place. Unfortunately, thus far the only contact with any native Demon Hunters has been Ayame of the Ichijo Clan and her interactions have been less than promising.
It is why the wolf's eyes open immediately as the spirit wards warn him of someone approaching the shrine. A human with no evil in their heart could mean that finally someone was reaching out to them.
The wolf awakens fully and stands on all four paws, ears pointing in Momiji's direction when she introduces herself. The animal makes no sign of wanting to attack her though it stays close to its supposed master, the man wearing the wide rice hat. In fact, the wolf seems to have strangely human mannerism such as turning to look at Raiden in a sort of 'what do you think of this one?' gesture.
Suddenly NINJA! Whether it's her presence or her landing, Raiden is startled from his meditation, and quickly tilts his head up to regard Momiji as she lands. He doesn't immediately spring into action though. Perhaps he is slow from his meditations. Or perhaps he realizes there is no ill will in her presence here.
When she steps forward, he stands as well. Notably the man with the conical hat is dressed in mostly white as well-- aside from the conical hat, a monk's outfit with a blue garment much like a rakusu. The amulet pinned to that rakusu, though, is a cordierite... a 'water sapphire'.
There is also one thing about him that likely makes it possible for others to tell he's abnormal immediately. His eyes. They're blank, seeming to lack pupil or iris.
There is a question to answer. First, though, Raiden turns to the wolf, raising a brow. It is a 'we shall see' expression. And then he turns to Momiji. "So long as you mean no harm to the Shrine or anyone here, you are permitted to approach." His voice is kind and quiet.
The escape of the one called 'Nyotengu' and some of the other tengus have helped spur the Hayabusa clan into looking outwards instead of just inwards. But Momiji herself has a personal interest in seeing the world at large kept safe versus just following the orders that were given to her. This was a powerful motivating factor into how thoroughly Momiji investigated certain rumors. But in the end, anything she did learn would still be valuable to her clan as well. Ninjas have a lot of background when it comes to the art of gathering information.
The awakening wolf does garner a curious glance from Momiji. Such a well-behaved wolf would be utterly beloved by the children of the Hayabusa clan. And so, Momiji cannot help but smile despite her attempts to maintain her polite and well-mannered demeanor. He was big enough that he could probably give rides to two or three children at once!
The kunoichi's brown eyes do switch over to Raiden when he stands and she can get a better look of him. Her intuition was right, there was something more to this shrine than what it seemed...just as there definitely was something more to this monk and his companion wolf. Upon receiving permission, Momiji heads on over to the shrine proper and leaves her bow and quiver at the base where some sort of water should be available for her to wash her hands (if not, she will pull a small flash of water from her person). Calmly, the young shrine maiden will approach the shrine, place a small 5 yen coin near the base, bow, clap twice, and then bow again. Each movement she makes during this process is made purposefully and with the utmost confidence that comes with years of practice.
Her silent prayers offered. Momiji rejoins Raiden and Nightwolf as she puts the quiver back onto her back alongside her bow. "Forgive me, but this is no ordinary shrine and you are no ordinary monk." Her brown eyes shift over to Nightwolf. "The same can be said about you as I have never seen a wolf act the way that you do. I cannot attribute this all to coincidence." Momiji pauses for a moment before offering an apologetic smile. "So please forgive me deception as well, I did not come here to just pray at this shrine. I came here to see if the rumors were true. I am Momiji of the Hayabusa Clan and I am searching for those whom also have the will to fight against demons and their ilk."
That wolf is indeed strange, not only because its surprisingly well behaved for a wild animal not meant to be kept as a pet, but because it shouldn't exist here. Wolves of this kind have been extinct in Japan for many years and to see one appear all of the sudden should be a good sign that things are not what they appear to be here in this lonely shrine.
One gesture from the monk seems to suffice for the wolf, who returns the arched eyebrow by twitching his ears some more before returning to look at the wayward ninja. It is very strange to note that this is the first worshiper the abandoned shrine has seen ever since the Society had taken residence here. Nightwolf is not going to complain about the donations, but that's not its true purpose anymore.
And so Momiji's true intentions are revealed when she comes back from praying. The wolf seems to scoff in amusement and if Momiji thought that the wolf was acting in human like ways before, wonder what she'll think when it starts talking.
"The deception was on both sides." The wolf opens its snout, and though it does not move as humans do when talking, words clearly are coming out.
A moment later, the wolf is surrounded by green energy and transforms into a tall dark skinned man with blank eyes, the same eyes as Raiden has. "You've come to the right place, ninja. We are indeed those whom you seek."
"I am Nightwolf of the Apache tribe, Sin Eater and Demon Hunter."
He'll let Raiden do his own introductions.
Raiden remains standing as Momiji goes to pray. He watches her, seeing the practice and confidence of her movements. She is familiar with Shrine traditions, he can tell that. And as she prays, Raiden looks to the wolf beside him and nods. He senses there is more to her than just someone seeking prayer. And sure enough, as she comes back from her prayers, she reveals her purpose-- seeking those who would protect Earthrealm.
Nightwolf speaks up first, and Raiden nods as the wolf confirms that this is indeed where-- and who-- she's looking for. Once Nightwolf has introduced himself, the 'monk' replies, "I am Raiden. God of Thunder." There is no boasting or hubris in the statement of his being a god. He does not puff out his chest or swell with pride, he does not take a cocky posture.
No, in fact... he bows politely to Momiji, both in greeting and in thanks for her prayers at the Shrine.
The deception was on both sides indeed! Momiji attempts to keep her reaction in check, but the wonder that can be seen in her eyes is telling enough. That was some pretty impressive ninpo to be able to disguise yourself so effortlessly and for so long. "You must be powerful indeed, Nightwolf, to be able to disguise your form for so long. Or are you disguising yourself now and that -was- your natural form?" Momiji then shakes her head. "My apologies for the silly question and I should have just said that it is a pleasure to meet you."
Momiji speech, delivery, and body language has all been mostly confident thus far except for the small exchange and question about Nightwolf's true form. But now, the kuniochi performs a double take. She catches herself in this action and first bows her head down apologetically. She had thought that this monk was no ordinary person, but this was far beyond that. Momiji then bows at a sharper angle than Raiden and for longer which was telling of just how deep her apology was. "Raiden-sama, Master Raiden. I believe that you would have no cause to deceive me in sharing with me that truth. And so, I humbly apologize for my behavior and manner. I've made myself a poor representative of the Hayabusa Clan and an even poorer representative of the Dragon Shrine Maidens."
The young woman shifts her attention back to Nightwolf, her long pony-tail swaying as she turns. "That goes for you as well, Nightwolf. I extend my apology to use as well." She once again offers a deep bow but it isn't quite as long or as sharp as the one she gave Raiden.
While Momiji is successful in keeping her composure, the same cannot be said for Nightwolf who rather uncharacteristically arches his eyebrow in slight confusion when the ninja hurriedly apologizes as if she had intruded in some way. Again the shaman glances at Raiden to see what he thinks of Momiji's insistence in following decorum and see if he's in anyway perturbed by it. Nightwolf has always been the designated speaker of the Society since well, let's just say the current members are not exactly the best when it comes to human interaction.
"Please, there is no need for such formalities." The shaman brings a hand up, motioning for the ninja to stop bowing. "Those who stand with us against the forces of darkness become our brothers and our sisters, we are all equal here." And to this he knows that Raiden will agree. Apache braves, Shrine Maidens, Darkstalkers and Deities, there are no differences when all their hearts align with good.
Fortunately Nightwolf understands that Momiji's concern may be attributed by coming to the realization that she's in front of two very foreign entities and he seeks to ease her worries. "There is much that needs to be explained, both of us and of the evils that we fight. However, that is a long and complicated story."
"Suffice to say for now that the rumors are true. There is a great evil that seeks to consume this world and we seek warriors to stand with us against the tide of darkness."
"If you wish to aid us, we would be more than glad to welcome you into the Society." He nods to Raiden then wondering if he might have any objections to this invitation.
Raiden doesn't seem at all perturbed by the apology. In fact, he has a gentle smile on his face, and shakes his head to Momiji's apology. "There is nothing to forgive. You were quite right to see which way the wind blew before revealing your hand," he replies. "You were investigating a rumor-- one that could have been planted to deceive you into dropping your guard. There is no offense in taking caution."
He quiets as Nightwolf begins to explain the problems they are facing, folding his hands behind him. When Nightwolf offers the welcome, he notes, "I would like to say something. We do have those you might call 'Darkstalkers' amongst our numbers here. They mean no harm to you. They too have offered their assistance in defeating the threats to Earthrealm as well."
Momiji opens her mouth as if to say something further, but she ends up just nodding her head wordlessly in the way of a response. In light of her recent encounters, she was simply very excited to meet others whom had atleast a little modesty and manners. The young ninja does listen closely when Nightwolf begins to divulge a few details even if he gives her the short version of it. Momiji ends up bobbing her head up and down once more. "Then I offer all the assistance that my skills and training as a kunoichi and a shrine maiden might provide," decides the young woman just as she begins smiling once more.
"One can never be too cautious these days. I've fought men whom in turn fought like demons while ancient tengus begins to break their old seals. But I have decided to do anything and everything I can to protect my village, to protect those whom I care about." Momiji curiously turns to Raiden when he talks about Darkstalkers. That is another thing that she understood only a little about. "I will trouble anyone in your care or whom has pledged to fight alongside you. But I will report what I learn about them to my clan." She admits in straightforward manner and in a calm tone of voice.
Raiden wisely reminds Nightwolf of some of their dilemmas, for it is one that has caused some controversy before with some potential members of their little secret society. Perhaps the Apache was also excited of seeing a potential ally that he forgot that there are only a scant few people in this world who genuinely care for all those who reside in Earthrealm, including the Darkstalkers. Had Nightwolf simply shared that narrow minded view of purging everything in the world that isn't human, he could just as easily joined the Hunter Guild where he'd find all the help he'd need.
Nightwolf nods to Raiden, looking slightly apologetic for jumping the gun. The darker members of their group should be explained before making any decisions as they are an integral part of their organization.
"Your answer gives me hope. I have met many in my travels who do not believe in ambiguity, deciding that is far more simple to categorize everything as simply good or evil. I can sense the sincerity within you, but this clan of yours does give me pause. You would not be the first demon hunter that I've met here who wishes to eliminate all who they perceive as a dark creature."
Nightwolf shifts in his place, suddenly unsure. "Perhaps if we were to explain further of who we stand against you could tell us if your clan would approve of your assistance or not."
"Haokah." He glances at Raiden. "Mayhap you are the best to explain Outworld to her."
Raiden nods to Momiji's statement of doing all she can. "I am pleased to hear this. Too many who protect a small territory forget that protection of their territories is often proactive-- if a threat is present in the world, it will eventually threaten one's own holdings. It is better to deal with such threats when they are small and far away."
As for her clan? Raiden emits a thoughtful sound. And Nightwolf's words of the darker aspects of life draw an affirmative sound. "Would your clan use this information against the others who are not of the masses?" he inquires. "Many of those called Darkstalkers cannot pass as normal men and women. Here these people find sanctuary and peace from a world who does not understand them. If your clan would strike against these people for being what they are, we will have... difficulties."
And then Nightwolf mentions Outworld. Raiden sighs. "Ah. Outworld." A telling tone, very much like a 'ugh, THOSE guys' tone. "Outworld is... a realm where the darkness of the world collects. There are people there as well... most of them as twisted as the darkness they live amongst. Not their bodies. Their minds... their souls. Shao Kahn, the ruler of this realm, seeks to infect Earthrealm with this darkness. Even now he has sent his forces into this realm to begin the invasion. Nightwolf has been attacked, as has another he knows well."
Momiji closes her eyes and brings her hands together in front of her, palms facing each other. Curiously her right hand is held back slightly instead of her hands simply matching up with each other. A moment later, she reopens her eys and focuses them on Nightwolf. "My Clan wishes to know more about Darkstalkers, this larger threat, and those who oppose this threat. They cannot offer their assistance openly, but my personal assistance can be seen as their way of offering help without doing so formally. Just know that should my village be threatened in anyway, I am obligated to return. But more than that, I owe it those whom I cherish there to go back and protect them." Momiji was often viewed as the 'big sister' of the clan's children for her role and caring attitude towards them.
"Aside from what my clan does or does not want, I came here willingly to personally offer my assistance instead of merely watching from afar." Raiden's elaboration on this matter causes Momiji to frown in thought. Could she truly speak for the village elders? She may be a senior shrine maiden, but she was only a novice ninja which meants her voice did not carry the weight of someone lke Ryu. "I cannot say whether the Elders will ever change their mind. But as to the way the wind currently blows, they only seek knowledge and information about Darkstalkers. Even tengus are not to be approached directly, but to be observed." Not that one ninja, except for Ryu, would have much of a chance against a tengu anyways.
The talk of Outworld causes Momiji to pale a little bit. This was precisely what her Elders had feared was happening. Something far beyond the scope of even what they had to defend themselves in the past. "This Outworld seeks to invade our realm?" Momiji asks rhetorically as she considers this information carefully. She draws a small breath before finally saying, "Then I cannot sit idle while they work in the shadows. Please, let me be of assistance to you!"
The Apache brave keeps his muscled arms crossed whilst he listens to Raiden's explanation of their purpose and in turn to Momiji's response. Truly, who better than Raiden himself to explain to Momiji what is it that they face since he has fought against for literal generations. Despite the fact that the Apache have a long tradition of fighting against Outworld, Nightwolf is only the most recent Sin Eater of many that precede him. He could have only told Momiji what he has heard whereas Raiden can explain all that he has seen with his own eyes.
This truly is a delicate procedure, since Momiji's clan presents a variable that Nightwolf would really prefer having more information before making any deals with them. He's never heard of the Hayabusa Clan, but if they are anything like the Ichijo, Nightwolf hates to admit that his expectations aren't great.
However, Momiji's enthusiasm is a breath of fresh air in a long series of people that seem either too focused in destroying all or too obsessed with themselves to provide any true assistance. It makes the shaman nod in thought as it seems that this wayward ninja may be actually the first who truly wants to save the world above all else and may even care about saving good aligned Darkstalkers.
Only time will tell if their clan is something worry about.
"If it is knowledge that your clan seeks, we can provide all they desire." Answers the shaman, genuinely impressed by the ninja's honest attitude to help people. As stated before it's so very refreshing, Nightwolf had thought such people were extinct in Earthrealm.
"Very well." Nods he. "Your Elders are free to come to any decision with the information we give them, but I can see that you have already made your mind. We can use both your bravery against Outworld and your understanding to save the Darkstalkers who mean well."
"The journey will be dangerous, Outworld is home to monstrously powerful creatures, and it will be no doubt difficult to discern which Darkstalker means well and which one does not. However, you will not have to take this path alone, in return for your assistance, we will also offer our strength should your Hayabusa clan ever be in need of help."
A pause as he looks to the God of Thunder and then back to Momiji.
"If Lord Raiden has no objections, I see no reason why we should not welcome you into the Full Moon Society."
Raiden nods to Momiji's mention of needing to return. "I understand," he agrees. "It is my hope that we will be able to keep your village safe by facing this threat more directly." He quiets for Nightwolf's statement, and then agrees, "We too require more information to know all of what it is that threatens us. We will share what information we can."
And then Nightwolf asks about objections. "I have none. But I will say this. We both appreciate your willingness to assist. And also your understanding that these threats are not only our problem, but all of Earthrealm's problem. However. If your clan attacks our allies because they are Darkstalkers, we will have no choice but to protect them."
It is worthy to note, however, that his voice is kept carefully neutral. There's not the slightest bit of malice or anger in his voice as he says that last part. It's kept to the same quiet, patient tone that he has kept since Momiji arrived. That's not at all a threat. But the Thunder God stands by his allies. He would do the same if someone attacked Momiji.
Momiji listens to Nightwolf intently as he makes his judgement about her offer of assistance. She even knew that it wasn't the best offer in that she was only one shrine maiden/ ninja apprentice in an entire village of them, but she was still an apprentice ninja under the clan's most powerful ninja, Ryu Hayabusa. "My Elders would be most thankful for any information you provide. And I can only hope and pray that they take a more firm position once they know about the Outworld and this invasion. I believe that waiting for the Outworld to directly threaten my village would mean that it was already too late."
The talk about it being dangerous causes Momiji to nod her head excitedly. "I will prepare myself for the hardships to come then. I can fight and I will make sure that I am ready to do so." What Nightwolf has to say last causes Momiji's eyes to widen slightly as she shifts her attention over to Raiden to hear his response.
Momiji listens to the first part in silence, so far so good. And when the warning comes Momiji's expression doesn't change much. It does harden a little bit to where she is no longer smiling, but she does wear the expression of earnest determination on her face. "The same can be said if any of these Darkstalkers attack Hayabusa village." The young girl's expression does lighten up and she does smile soon after. "But hopefully it will never come to that. There are greater evils to vanquish and seal away. You will not have any trouble from me." Her clan was one of the more....nice ninja clans out there. But it was still a ninja clan that took its mission very seriously and was not afraid to kill those whom attack it without mercy. But would anyone expect anything less from the clan of the Dragon Ninja?
"Honestly, that is the best I can possibly ask of anyone." Nightwolf admires those that have loyalty, it is such a very rare trait that modern people seem to have. Perhaps why a traditional ninja is the very first to steps out of the shadows to stand against the tide of Outworld invasion. Those who honor their ways for countless generations can be counted upon to have the strength of will to both believe and fight for their ideals.
Strict discipline can have its follies too, since Nightwolf foresees the possibility of either a ninja of the Hayabusa clan attacking one of the Society's protected Darkstalkers or vice-versa, which would put them all at odds with each other, but hopefully, just as Momiji says, it will never happen.
"You stand for those you care for, and like us, you seem to know that the path to protect those closest to us begins protecting complete strangers."
"We are all connected, though my tribe lays across the oceans and Raiden's home is within the heavenly leylines, we are both here to do what we can."
"Our battlefield is the entirety of Earthrealm, and maybe, we will someday be forced to take the battle to Outworld itself."
"But if that day comes we shall do so together."
"Momiji of the Hayabusa Clan, from now on you are our Sister in Arms, and whenever you shall be in need of our strength to defend those you care for, we shall be there for you."
"Welcome to the Society, sister."
Raiden nods. "If any of our Darkstalker allies attacked your village needlessly, they would no longer be our allies," he assures Momiji. He doesn't take kindly to that kind of stuff, either. Kindness is returned in kind! He remains quiet after this, though, until Nightwolf welcomes the ninja girl to the order.
Once Nightwolf does this, he offers a hand to Momiji, in a handshake. As Nightwolf said, they're all equals here, even gods. "Welcome. I look forward to greater understanding between those who would protect this world, while we stop those who would cause it harm."
Momiji listens in as Nightwolf further explains all that she was getting herself into. If this truly was an invasion, things could get very ugly on this. But she was atleast doing all that she could to help out and keep the children of Hayabusa village sage. She waits until Nightwolf before inclining her head as to not interrupt what could be a sacred part of someone's joining. When Nightwolf does finish, Momiji smiles politely. "I am glad that we both ended up being more than what we seemed." Nightwolf wasn't just a wolf. Raiden not just a monk. And Momiji not just a meaning-well shrine visitor.
The young woman does look at Raiden's hand rather strangely when it is offered. This part would take some time to get used to. "Thank you, Master Raiden. I will do what I can do help." It took a lot to fight her instinct to bow, but she does end up shaking Raiden's hand.
Log created on 16:30:59 01/07/2015 by Raiden, and last modified on 22:05:24 01/07/2015.