Description: With big changes coming for the Full Moon Society, Nightwolf begins to inform their members of what to expect of the future.. and what to be wary of their pasts.
The snow falls lazily from the sky as the moon is hidden behind grey overcast clouds thick enough to pretty much make it indistinguishable from the ground. Despite that, it's still light enough to see by without too much assistance. The shrine is no different and considering the lack of traffic the place had, the snow fell evenly, coating every single inch of the abandoned property. It is these exact traits that make it a compelling training ground.
In the center of it's wide courtyard sits a familiar werewolf, as she'd made several visits to this very spot over the last few weeks. She's been blindfolded by a black belt, and stands with her palms resting against one another and remaining very still. Even the snow around her feet hadn't been disturbed. A faint soon covers both of her hands, her chi not daring to reach past her wrists. With that done she slowly separates them and balls her hands into fists. She slides her feet out into a wide martial arts stance throws a full body punch directly in front of her. A cyclone of wind erupts out of it, blowing a very clean wave of snow out from in front of her. She pivots in place and unleashes a roundhouse kick that has a similar, if not wider range of effect, pushing a great deal of snow into the air and sending it cascading away in a fine mist. Lastly she pivots one more time and unleashes a flurry of punches and swipes that cause short gusts of air that only pushes the snow directly in front of her with little range. She caps the repeated attacks with a final palm push that sends out a massive torrent of air, this one reaching the shrine's main building and disturbing it...very slightly.
Finished with the routine she pulls up her blindfold and looks towards the patterns she'd created in the snow and smiles a little bit. "...Neat. I think I've got this."
Repairs on the shrine would have to wait for the snowstorm to pass. Not to mention that if Nightwolf has read the signs properly, this place would soon get very crowded and more than likely the Society would need to relocate to more spacious lands.
But just because the weather is poor doesn't mean that anyone around here is going to take the day off, Defender of Earthrealm is a job that seldom leaves free days. A top the Shrine's roof a dark figure can be seen pacing about. It is a wolf with very dark pelt to be exact, though one that Azumi had seen before if she remembers properly. Said wolf seems to have been mute audience to the ex-Huntress' kata, silently watching her every move.
When she appears done, the wolf descends from the roof into the courtyard where green energy swirls around him transforming him into a familiar figure. "I could have gotten you a practice dummy if you needed one." Says Nightwolf as he approaches Azumi, clad in deer and wolf pelts due to the cold weather.
Azumi didn't get much time to congratulate herself when an interruption transforms in front of her. She immediately knew who he was the second his wolf form appeared but that didn't stop her from raising her brows towards his statement. She crosses her arms self-consciously. "Well...I didn't think I had an audience or else I might have been a little more...ah...restrained. But a practice dummy would feel pretty good I think. Blowing snow around is one thing but an actual opponent is something else entirely."
She takes a step away from him and rotates her arm in it's socket, loosening the muscles there. "You know where we could get something like that? One that's properly weighted?"
Given previous experiences with the shaman, it should come to no surprise that he's remarkably quite in his demeanor. He prefers to stay quiet and listen, option to act than spend time on what he perhaps would consider needless banter. As Azumi starts explaining of her issues practicing in this secluded area, Nightwolf tucks his thumbs in his belt and watches her closely, white blank eyes not blinking until she's finished.
"Yes, I do." Nightwolf responds quickly and turns to head inside the shrine. A few moments later, he returns carrying a large wooden circular trunk attached to a heavy base for balance, two large limbs stick to the side forming what resembles a very chunky and squat T. The skinwalker sets the dummy down on the snow and gives it a spin, its purpose very obvious. When one hits one of the limbs on the side it spins forcing the attacked to dodge. "This is the one I for my practices. You can use it whenever you want."
Azumi takes a few steps forward when he brings out the new training dummy and raises her brows in familiarity with it. She pushes at one of the top 'arms' before blocking the other side very naturally. "Oh! One of these things. Believe it or not, I had one of these back in my old room. I wore that thing out on a pretty regular basis. A pretty large part of my training was spent on this little guy, at least early on. But it'll be nice to practice with again."
She starts batting at the arms fairly hard, causing it to spin in a predictable manner. She blocks with the opposite arm and then strikes it again, sending it back pivoting towards her. She does this several times in rapid succession.
"So outside of sneaking around rooftops, what else have you and Mr. Thunder-god been up to?"
"I don't doubt it." Answers Nightwolf as he sets the dummy firmly on the ground, letting Azumi have at it for a while. He steps back and watches her for a moment before he digs into his pockets to procure a small wooden pipe. Placing it on his lips, he lights it with a small spark he seems to make out of just snapping his fingers and inhales deeply whilst Azumu re-familiarizes herself with the dummy. "I first got the idea from training with a Jeet Kune Do practitioner in Metro City. It complimented well my own style so I thought of getting one for my own."
The shaman exhales smoke and seems to chuckle somewhat at Azumi's question. "It would be easier to ask what don't we do.. it feels as if I've ran across the whole world in the last few days." Says he shaking his head, fatigue evident in his tone of voice.
"We've mostly been fighting Outworlders and spreading the word of the Society. Lately however, we've managed to inform a large band of Darkstalkers of our existence. They seek refuge and will likely be coming here in the next few days. It will be our job to protect them from those who seek to unjustly hunt them."
The werewolf continues knocking the dummy around, the sounds of the wood being forced to move with each strike echoing through the courtyard. It's worth noting that she's also looking the part, wearing a rather plain looking karati gi that likely wasn't very warm but considering the fur, it's understandable. She keeps an ear open to listen to him speak, only interjecting at the end of it.
"That'll be neat I guess. Maybe they can give me a few tips on how they avoided my former clan for so long. I know I've been a bit of a liability as far as being able to defend myself, but I think now that I've gotten a bit more used to this...erm...situation, I can finally be of use. I mean, you saw me earlier. Why don't you let me tag along next time you fight these...what did you call them? Outworlders? Does that make them aliens?"
That... gets a reaction out of Nightwolf, seemingly for the first time since the two have known each other. The shaman's blank white eyes widen in thought and he chews on his pipe momentarily, considering the possibilities.
"You are a Huntress.. this much is true." He begins. "It would be folly of me to try and keep you from harm's way indefinitely, for your nature is that of a warrior. I can see that much."
"If you wish to join us in our hunts, you are more than welcome. However, I must warn you, Outworlders are unlike anything that you have seen. They surpass even the most devious of Darkstalkers."
He shakes his head when Azumi assumes that these creatures could be aliens. "I wouldn't say so, for the Outworlders, much like Darkstalkers, were once human. They were twisted by violence and brutality, turning them into the grotesque fiends that they are now."
"It would be more proper to call them demons."
Azumi strikes the dummy a few more times before catching the arm and stopping it in place. She leans an elbow on top of it while she takes a moment to catch her breath and look over towards Nightwolf. "Huh. Twisted demons huh? I've tango'd with a few demons before but they aren't..common. At least in our information networks. Still though, it'll be interesting to see what these guys are all about. I'm going to take a grand guess and say that if they've got you and Mr. Lightning's attention, they're pretty strong. Is there anything you can tell me about them in terms of a battle? Like, what types of abilities they typically have?"
Nightwolf ambles about and sits on the shrine's patio, clearing it off snow first before taking a seat. He glances at Azumi while she practices her moves, but otherwise seems to maintain his focus on his pipe and his breathing, exhaling thick clouds of smoke into the cold air.
"Indubitably." Agrees Nightwolf on Azumi's assessment of their strength. What few encounters he's had with the creatures have all been quite the harrowing events. He takes in more smoke in thought, considering a proper answer for the werewolf ninja. "There is no such thing as an ordinary Outworlder." He says after much thought. "They come in all shapes and forms, much like humans do. Many of them have aspirations of their own and initially may not even appear hostile."
The shaman exhales and points at Azumi with the tip of his pipe. "But do not let yourself be fooled. Every Outworld that has managed to cross the veils of reality and wandered into a realm is an enforcer of Shao Kahn. The one thing they have in common is their wanton need for destruction and their utter disregard for life."
"You will recognize them when you see them. Something about them will tell you that they do not belong in this world."
Azumi tilts an ear in his general direction as he rattles off a little bit of information, she offers him a small shrug. "Well that's...not much of a description to go off of to be honest. I'm sure they smell different than humans here and that should be enough to distinguish them to me, unless we're throwing sorcery into this. I really don't understand that crap."
She looks down at the dummy for a moment and then look sback up to the native american, shaking her head a little bit. "Well..this little guy is fun, but I don't want to break him or anything. You think if I went into town and signed up for one of those fights, they'd serve as good practice? Considering that this place apparently has more weirdos than just me, you think they'll give me a shot in there?"
"Sorcery will most definitely be involved." Responds Nightwolf without missing a beat. Azumi may be having great trouble understanding the notion of what Outworld is and how it differentiates from Darkstalkers, but all this seems to be perfectly natural for Nightwolf who keeps a remarkably composed face. Nor does he seem to be frustrated that Azumi is not understanding, fact is, he would be concerned if she did. Because chances are if she had met an Outwolder before, she would not have the somewhat friendly attitude she has now.
"Blood magic, soul stealing, shape shifting, ritual sacrificing... what have you. All are to be expected when facing the minions of Outworld." The shaman continues, ever so calmly smoking his pipe. "Just a few moons ago I faced a few of them. One, a monstrous looking woman that cannibalized people, ate their entire faces off with just one bite. The other was some kind of blood golem, she drained the blood of their victims and left them dry, not unlike a vampire." That's just a few that he has encountered.
When Azumi questions her chances of trying out for fighting sports, Nightwolf is quick to nod. He doesn't seem worried at all. "I've done a few myself and no one questioned my powers. Not to mention that I know for a fact many Darkstalkers in disguise openly participate in such events as a form to earn money. No one questions their nature, since most simply assume that is some kind of exotic fighting style they've never heard about. I am certain they would do the same where you to partake in such things."
"People will believe whatever they want to believe after all."
Azumi's ears lower to the sides of her head when sorcery is mentioned, and they only get lower as he talks about...blood magics...and soul stealing...shape shifting wasn't too bad actually, but then we get to ritual sacrificing and things take an immediate turn for the worst in her imagination. She'd heard of almost all of those before, as the world was litered with tons of unusual and unique powers, but some of them were a bit more common than others and these were all very dark and very powerful stuff.
Her tail even droops when he mentions the eating off of someone's face, something that just seemed so outlandishly stupid that it had to be true. She shakes her head for a moment, letting him continue on with the description of the fighting arena. That...seemed alot more cheerful.
"Then it's something I'm really going to get into doing. It'll be a good way to meet some people, make some money and maybe get people used to me so I can just walk into Southtown one day and...I don't know, go grocery shopping or something. Speaking of mundane activities, I met a woman here the other day. She said her name was...Miki. Have you heard of her?"
"Tiger Mask." Says Nightwolf when Miki's name is mentioned. So that's her name. Nightwolf knew that she had been here having caught her distinct tiger like scent. He's also been wondering who's footprints where those.
"That is the name she usually goes by and she's a member of the Society." Continues Nightwolf. "I'm surprised that she didn't tell you."
Then he stands and dumps the contents of his pipe, tucking it back in his pocket again. "But I really shouldn't. It may not appear like it, but Miki is a Darkstalker. If I were to guess purely in speculation, I would say that some part of her has been tainted by the animal spirit that is her namesake."
He then glances at Azumi, blank eyes growing harsh and serious. "Do not listen to what she has to say. I accepted her into the Society as a means to help her, but I did not tell her of this place because I knew she would try some kind of treachery. There is a part of her that is tainted with darkness, and many times she seems unable to control her own actions. She will claim that it was her 'sister' who did any evil actions, but I know very well it is her, controlled by her other personality."
He shakes his head and looks back into the snowy forest. "She will lead you down a dark path if you let her. Should she talk to you again, let me know of what you two spoke. It is imperative I know if she's scheming anything, for I fear she might try to break us from the inside. Unfortunately, a risk that had to be taken if she is to be helped."
Azumi rolls her eyes at him when he mentions the rap sheet the young lady seemed to be developing. "You know...that absolutely figures. I knew she was too nice to be true. We'll see if she holds up her end of the deal anyway though." She turns to face him a little more fully, reaching down to pick up the wooden training dummy by the 'waist' and bringing it up the stairs.
"Well, she walked in on me as I was working out how to do the wind stuff and we got to talking. She seemed to insist on having me as an ally, her words not mine, and she was pretty much going to help me out with alot of stuff. Getting a decent place to st-" She stops for a moment as her brain puts two and two together and her expression turns from casual to heavily annoyed. She facepalms rather hard, her claws clutching the front of her face as she starts sliding her hand down, resting it on the bridge of her nose. "Now it makes sense as to why she's rich. I never bothered asking her, but if she's got some sort of evil angle to her, I'm willing to bet that money isn't clean either. Ugh...and I was looking forward to getting my own place and everything. Maybe I still can if I get lucky during those fights. But if she's such a massive risk, why not just help her without letting her in? That just seems like it's going to bite you in the butt."
"Simple." Nightwolf says with one shrug of his shoulder. "The best way to help someone is to do so when they are not aware you are helping them."
"I met Miki in two different occasions, first when she was attacking some hapless students in Southtown. I tried to reason with her then, before she decided that she would only listen to violence. I forced her to retreat and took the students she was attacking to a nearby hospital."
"When I met her again she was under the guise of a warrior of justice, boldly claiming that her heart was set in helping all around her. To try and capture her then would have been foolish, it would have fueled her darker side more."
Nightwolf turns to look at Azumi with pursed lips. "By letting her join the Society, I now have the luxury of letting her come to us instead of having to take pains to track her down. Keep your enemies closer and so forth.."
"I do not know if her claims of being rich are even true, but I can tell you that there will be plenty of room for you to live once the wave of refugee Darkstalkers arrive. Raiden and I plan to build many houses, and we will need strong warriors like you to help us defend them."
Azumi listens for a moment and rubs a finger underneath her chin, visually thinking. Once the moment passes she shrugs towards him. "Well, that's all fine and good, but I'm presuming that if this evil-side pops up and starts being destructive, you can take it out. That trick is a pretty neat one to be sure, but that's a double edged sword if I ever saw one."
She looks down at the wooden dummy before gesturing back towards the shrine they were both standing on. "Where does this go back in there? There's not many places where you can put stuff here where the elements won't get to it."
Nightwolf nods with eyes closed. "Miki is a capable warrior, but she is very young still, a neophyte at best. In her current state she is nothing in comparison to the horrors of Outworld that I have already faced. I can deal with her."
"Even if she were to somehow elude me, there is nothing she can bring that will stand against Raiden. He is the reason why I even dared to take this crazed undertaking of forming a village of Darkstalkers. Without him.. we would frankly not survive." The Society has way too many enemies for Nightwolf to handle on his own, it is only through the will of the Thunder God that this is all coming together.
The shaman walks towards Azumi and helps her drag the dummy back in, putting it right underneath a recently patched portion of the ceiling. "I fixed the roof." Says he as a matter of fact, perhaps a little annoyed that no one has noticed his efforts to patch the Shrine up.
Azumi watches him put away the dummy as she stretches herself out, standing on the tips of her does and arcing both arms above her head while she inspects the roof of the place. "Well look at that. You must have done that recently too. It looks nice from in here. When did you learn to pick up carpentry? That's not exactly a common skill to have."
She makes her way over towards the door's entrance, waiting for him to finish so that they could head back outside.
"I wasn't always a Demon Hunter." It's all Nightwolf says in response to her question. He doesn't necessarily say that speaking of his past is a sore topic, but he doesn't seem very inclined to explain himself either. Guess she can always ask him later though, if she really must know.
Log created on 20:17:09 01/30/2015 by Nightwolf, and last modified on 00:14:31 01/31/2015.