Description: Azumi recovers from her injuries from her battle with Nightwolf while Nightwolf and Kiyomi watches over her. Once she comes back to her senses, she's none too pleased about the way Nightwolf treated her and they have a rather vigorous verbal exchange about it.
After the rather brutal fight between Azumi and Nightwolf, the kitsune woman had Nightwolf bring her into the temple while she prepared a small fire. Some snow added into an old fashion kettle was then set above the flames. Despite her traditionnal outfit and looks, it seems she is always well prepared and has a few tricks up her sleeves... Literally.
Using dried herbs, Kiyomi digilently prepares a concoction that turns into a balm with enough work. Azumi would have recovered on her own, though might as well give her a hand. A traditional sort of medicine used to soothe the burns and help the wounds to heal.
And once that is done, since all Azumi needs is rest, Kiyomi prepares some green matcha tea with more snow to melt into hot water. She whisks the tea and prepares it, making it almost look like she's doing alchemy and she offers Nightwolf some. The woman worked silently, as if the silent treatment was Nightwolf's punishment for hurting the girl, or perhaps because she needed all of her concentration to prepare her things.
She sips her tea silently, remaining sit on her heels, but after a moment, she finally looks up at Nightwolf and says, "Teaching the wolf cubs how to fight?" A gentle smirk spreading on her face, "You didn't seem to take my little tricks to help her lightly..."
Continuing his tradition of remaining quite silent in his duties, Nightwolf says nothing at first after they have returned to the shrine. He still looks quite displeased, with a serious, frowny look to his ever stern face. He knows that as annoying as that situation was words will not help in Azumi's recovery at all, it is best if he concentrates on helping her rather than waste his time pointlessly bantering with Kiyomi on something that already happened.
Nightwolf has brought out his best pelts to make a comfortable bed and place the wounded Azumi there so she can be well tended by the Kitsune. Getting the most insulated room too, with several more pelts strapped to the walls and windows to stave off the cold, the shaman takes a seat next to Kiyomi on his usual lotus flower position and makes a face as, even now, Kiyomi continues to tease him.
In his defense, he does take a deep breath looking like he's about ready to lose his temper, only to exhale and respond in a very relaxed manner. "Interrupting a spar unannounced is very dangerous. Please, never do that again without telling me." It looks like he's perfectly willing to bury the hatchet right there and then, and this time, he doesn't mean burying it on someone's skull for a change.
This week got better and better. First she loses her first Neo League Fight and now she ended up severely losing her first training session. Could things get any worse? Since the duel and being rendered unconscious, Azumi hadn't moved much since being laid down and worked upon. Even as her burns and wounds were being tended to, she was healing them up decently enough and the salves would certainly speed up the process. It'd take a few hours of rest, but eventually she started showing subconscious reactions; she shifted her weight in her sleep, her ears began to react to audio stimuli and her fingers moved. The mainframe would be booting up again soon.
She wakes up slowly, her eyelids opening up in drawn out quarters. She could tell she was...inside...the shrine maybe? It smelled like it. There was also a heat source nearby. She was also pretty warm too. The voices were the first thing that immediately caught her attention though, as her gaze shifted towards looking to the side where the kitsune woman and her friend sat. Upon getting a good look at Nightwolf though she reacts almost instantly, flipping over to her front side and flinging herself to the nearest spot away from him, which was likely against the wall. The pelts cascade off of her with little warning. Looking into her eyes, one saw the enlarged pupils of a scared animal as opposed to any kind of sentience. Her body language dictated that as well, she's on all fours with her tail curled underneath her and twitching, with her ears folded down against her head. If it wasn't for the nearby wall she likely might have taken off running. A low whine escapes her as it was becoming increasingly obvious that Azumi OS hadn't quite booted up yet.
The fierce attitude the kitsune had toward Nightwolf when she rushed in after his final attack slowly faded away from Kiyomi's features. The fact Azumi was not as badly injuried as she first thought and that she would promptly recover helped the transition in her behaviour. Despite the years she spent with feral and brutal Darkstalkers, Kiyomi always had trouble getting used to the ruthless laws of the pack, especially toward the bold, younger members of the pack.
The woman's lips curl into a gentle smile and lets a soft chuckle escape her throat. Her chuckle was playful, and the expression on her face obviously showed she was not angry against Nightwolf anymore. Kiyomi decides not to argue on the matter, though the look on her face obviously shows that she doesn't wholely agree with Nightwolf's statement.
Kiyomi's ears twitch a bit when she ears the sudden burst of noises from Azumi's form. Her brutal awakening though fills the kitsune's face with worries. A cursorary scan of her expression is enough for her to realize the fright. Kiyomi rises on her knees and approaches Azumi slowly, "Hush... Hush..." She says, moving her hand palm open in Azumi's direction so she can inhale her scent and sniff her, "It's all over," She says in a soothing tone.
If she's able, Kiyomi will approach the frightened girl, to recomfort her with her touch, caressing her head slowly and then moving her arms to embrace her.
Arguing never helps anything, that much Nightwolf knows for certain. The shaman sees that mischief still lingering behind Kiyomi's face and he has to struggle to follow his own advice and not roll his eyes at her. As if she has not just seen what interruptions can cause to someone. Perhaps Nightwolf should try to explain how his nature as a Sin Eater is extremely dangerous, that at any moment he can lose control of the dark energies he has stored within him over the years and go completely berserk, and even then one day he might without any way of coming back. Yet, something tells him that Kiyomi would still do as she wishesm thus just lets the argument go. Kiyomi is a wise fox despite her mischievous antics, you do not get to be that age as a Darkstalker without knowing how to survive. She will learn... eventually.
Nightwolf's serious expression breaks when Azumi stirs from her sleep and awakens, only to give a frightened whimper and violently reel away from the shaman. The skinwalker seems like he wants to stand up and reach for her, assuring her that everything is fine, but one look into those scared eyes is enough to tell him all he needs. He has seen that look before, of people that have seen him succumb to the darkness in his heart. He sits back down and lowers his head, knowing that if he tries to approach her he would just be making things worse. The shaman lets the kitsune handle Azumi and console her, his eyes down to the floor with a look of deep regret on his face.
Azumi starts to hyperventilate as she looks around the room at various imporant peices of information. Fox lady? Looks weird. Smells weird. Does she want to hurt me? Probably not. Pelts. Not mine. Warm. Fire nearby. Also warm. Food? No, that's water. Th-th-that man! He's here. He hurt me. Escape? Where is exit? Way across room. Not here. Don't want to go near. Can I jump? No, lady is too close. Hand? What's in her hand? Nothing? Still smells weird. It takes a moment before Kiyomi's calming actions have any effect, her nose wriggles in the direction of her outstretched hand. She looks up towards her for a moment and then...
Her hyperventilation stops, her pupils shrink back down to a normal size and she instantly loses balance, smashing her chest against the floor in a less than dignified manner. She brings up one of her hands to press against the side of her face where Nightwolf's axe had grazed.
She pushes herself up into a sitting position and starts placing her hands on various sections of her body to check and see that she was in one peice. A little toasty in a few places, but she was still in good condition. The explosive, summer block-buster pain of earlier had retreated to being the early january buzzing. Still present, but nobody will miss it when it's gone. She passes a sympathetic look towards Kiyomi before turning her head to look at Nightwolf. Ire heightens across her facial features as if she was about ready to transform into a werewolf all over again.
"What. The. FUCK! WHY'D YOU ALMOST KILL ME FOR!?"
It was not the first time Kiyomi had to deal with frightened Darkstalkers like Azumi. It's very unsettling, especially when the fear they have seems to bring out their feral and survivor instincts. Whether or not Kioymi's presence manages to help though, she notices the sudden change in Azumi's behaviour and it makes her smile.
The woman leans back, sitting on her heels and resting her hands on her hips. Her smile fades away though when Azumi shouts at Nightwolf, especially when Kiyomi glances in his direction and notices the look of regret on his feature, "Nightwolf did not mean to harm you like this... Things like that can happen in the midst of a fight," Kiyomi attempts to explain. She gives Azumi a smile and says, "What is important now is that you are well... You need to rest and recover,"
Nightwolf is also no newcomer when it comes to frightened Darkstalkers, particularly those that have animalistic characteristics. When everything around you goes completely upside down, the brain stops working and instincts take over as the body does whatever it takes to survive. In a way, that's what happened to Nightwolf too when Kiyomi cast her illusions on him. With his vision obscured and the imminent sensation that there was an enraged werewolf bearing down on him, the shaman's brain shut down and the wolf took over, forcing him to retaliate in a way that would guarantee his survival. It's the same that happens to Azumi now as she succumbs to wolf instincts at first and it takes her several few moments to realize that she's not in danger any more.
And then it comes, the barrage of complaints and well deserved scolding. Nightwolf doesn't raise his face at first, though he seems genuinely surprised that Kiyomi is taking his side. He breathes in and out, swallowing his pride. "I am truly sorry." He says, "I reacted very poorly." He's not even petty to try and pin the blame on Kiyomi this time, fully accepting the consequences of his actions.
Azumi looks about ready to start up round two of the fight all over again. Her fur bristles as she pushes herself to stand uneasily, using a hand to keep her balance. She pants a bit as the anger starts to burn through reason, raising her voice at him.
"I get that, and I'm following you, but do I look like a demon to you!? DO I LEGITIMATELY LOOK LIKE A DEMON TO YOU? I told you to not hold back, sure, I-get-that-injuries-happen but I didn't expect you to fucking exorcise me like some kind of possesed asshole!? Considering how bad I was fucking doing, did you REALLY think I was going to hurt you!?"
She eventually loses her balance, sitting back on her rump and moving her sore legs out from underneath her to sprawl outwards.
"I don't know about your upbringing or anything, but when I was learning my ninjitsu, I had to sit there and let it get POUNDED into my head, over and over again, to maintain control of your willpower. My Psi-powers were really high and one wrong slip of that and I could have easily killed myself. Or others. Or everyone. Who knows. And you know what? I lost all of that when I transformed into this fucking thing. This weird little furry wolf thing." She starts to pant as her voice starts to grow weaker in both intensity and volume. "...I don't even like wolves. But I lost all of my psi abilities I'd spent my entire life keeping a cap on. And it got me exiled and, surprise surprise, almost killed. Two times in one day. I don't understand your powers. I don't get how they work and I don't understand why you lost control, but I swear to god if you ever do that again and I manage to survive, you will never see me again. Do you understand me?"
Kiyomi remains silent as Azumi shouts at Nightwolf and gives him a piece of her mind. She keeps her arms folded in her lap and averts her gaze away. There's obvious regret on her features now, knowing she had a part in all of this after all. There was no way she could have predicted Nightwolf's overreaction and the harsh words he had used on Azumi though.
Kiyomi lifts one hand up and rests it on Azumi's shoulder, "Part of this was my fault though, I apologize," The woman says, for as much as it can do to at least alleviate some of her anger on Nightwolf.
Nightwolf is willing to let himself get chastised... but only to a certain extent. Though he remains looking down for a moment, he exhales rather loudly whilst Azumi is in barrage of insults mode showing a fair amount of exasperation about her reactions. The shaman did not want to assume anything, namely because assuming stuff in his profession gets you killed, and because Azumi does say she have plenty of training to back up her claims of an expert demon hunter. However, skill aside, given her reactions, the stuff she said, and her penchant to make somewhat haughty remarks tells Nightwolf that Azumi may be a lot younger than he realizes. He wouldn't go as far as calling her immature, particularly to her face, but perhaps not as worldly as he once thought.
Because lashing out on someone without knowing the full details is not what a trained Demon Hunter would do. "You do not understand me." He starts speaking. "You do not understand yourself. You do not understand the world around you. How do you expect to grow and to overcome your affliction if you have so little understanding of anything?"
"Unless knee jerk reactions is something taught to the ninja of the Red Cloud clan, I see no way of assisting you. You are under no obligation of staying here with us and letting us help you. If you would prefer to strike out on your own, I or even Raiden cannot stop you, Azumi." Nightwolf understands that Azumi is a warrior and he is not going to coddle her. He did react poorly and apologized for it, if Azumi wants to jump to conclusions and assume that was entirely Nightwolf's intentions to react the way he did, then that is her decision. The shaman glances at Kiyomi when she admits partial fault, but he's making no effort to explain what really happened. A trained Demon Hunter knows the folly of thinking they know for certain instead of simply assuming, Nightwolf is honestly surprised Azumi is reacting this way given her claims of experience.
Azumi ears fold as she's retaliated against, the girl pulling her legs inward a little bit as the conversation continues. "What do you mean I don't understand myself? I know me fine. I could be considered an expert at it. What I don't get is this curse. And considering we're both the same thing and have HUGELY DIFFERENT versions of it, I think a little confusion on how to deal with it is kind of normal...maybe? Expected? It's not like my world hasn't been completely table flipped or anything."
Her voice calms down into regular speaking tones, though she still had an exasperated edge to it. "First off, let's not kid ourselves here. If you didn't want me to leave, I wouldn't be. Not right now. You almost killed me on *ACCIDENT*. Imagine what you would have done if you were being intentional. Secondly, where else am I going to go? Expect me to get a job at the local G-mart? Ringing up some fast food at Southtown Burger? Maybe a job as a pizza delivery chick? In case it's not obvious, let me spell this out for you. I was raised in a village, away from everything, and while we had some modern conveinences, this is kind of the first time I've been dropped out here with nothing else but me for guidance. Combine that with having to relearn how to fight, dealing with this curse thing, not starve to death, finding a place to live and also dealing with the fact my former clan may try to kill me one day, I apologize if my stress levels get the better of me.
She takes a deep breath before continuing again. "Look. I can tell you are sorry. It was an accident. I don't know what she did but considering she's here now, she didn't mean for it to happen either. If I was going to actually die, neither one of you would have been here right now. And I appreciate that. I'm sorry I yelled but it's just all so..."
She brings her hands up to the sides of her face and applies a bit of pressure by squeezing it, her claws extending a little bit and threatening to bite into her skin. They don't though, and she eventually lowers her hands.
"...Frustrating. I can't fight like how I used to, I had to make up everything I've been using, wind is kind of a crappy element to be honest because people are heavy and I haven't figured out too many tricks I can do with it besides blowing really hard. I didn't even manage to land a single hit on you. Not one clean hit. Everything I'd tried had failed." She starts to pull her legs up, using her knees as a headrest. "If anyone from my clan found me like this, I would be dead in an instant. If old-me found new-me like this, I would have been exterminated and tossed aside like trash. I used to take out true freaks of nature with a style that everyone in my village would die to have. Now I can't even manage to win a simple spar. This is really pathetic. I'm...worthless right now."
"You do not know yourself." Nightwolf responds rather quickly, as he often does sometimes. "To achieve that level of expertise takes several decades. The great majority of people never achieve it."
"Simply put, if you knew yourself as well as you think you do, this affliction would not hinder you in any way. If anything it would only increase your power."
"And ours is not the same. Lyncanthropy is far different from shamanistic arts and it is only coincidence that my animal totem happens to be that of the wolf." Again Azumi assumes far too many things.
"It is true that I could force you to stay here if I truly wanted to. But I won't, should your decision really would be to try and strike out on your own and integrate into human society again, I would not stop you."
"It would still be an extremely foolish decision, as you said. But ultimately it would be your own and I respect free will far too much to enforce my own beliefs on anyone."
Nightwolf truly can be a brutal teacher when he really wants to, or needs to be. Even if he can be quite the bleeding heart martyr most of the times, he knows how futile it is to harbor feelings of self pity.
"What is frustrating is how you still do not realize how lucky you really are." He says suddenly with a sever tone. "You would have preferred to continue as you were before? Cutting down hapless Darkstalkers simply because you were told? Withouth ever questioning your orders or the consequences of your actions? Many of the Darkstalkers that your clan hunted down were just like you, confused people who had no control over their afflictions and simply sought ways to survive before they were mercilessly cut down by people who did not understand them."
"And here you are now, given an opportunity to not only change yourself, but the whole world and you feel nothing but sorrow for yourself."
"The road will be hard, it is true. You will have to learn everything from the ground up and you will fall many times. But you will blossom into a fighter far more powerful than you could have become on your own and bring good to Earthrealm."
"You said it yourself, the old you would have killed you without a second thought."
"You should be glad you are not person anymore."
Azumi frowns as she's told again what she disagrees with, perking up a brow towards his explaination of the concept. She shakes her head a little bit at that, but remains quiet and lets him finish up everything he had to say. When he finishes she taps her fingers across her knee. After giving it a bit of thought, the claws in her fingers extend again, and this time she makes note of it, willingly extending and retracting them at will.
"Well that's new I guess."
She completely retracts them now, making them look like sharpened fingernails as she goes about carrying on the conversation.
"Eh...kind of maybe? I mean I get it that yeah, I could have just simply died and that would have been the end of it. But if I hadn't gotten bitten like that, I would have went back to town and that would have been that. Problem solved. None of this would have happened and I'd be none the wiser. I still would have had friends...a family..a home...a job. And as much as I would like to say I would have questioned my superior, you really couldn't. You did what they told you. If I tried to get introspective, I would have been fired and probably made into a sandal maker or something. So...yeah."
She sighs and catches her breath before speaking again.
"But on the other hand, I would have still been killing Darkstalkers and just about everything else, been ignorant to what was really going on and probably would have eventually been betrayed by them at some more serious mission or something. I don't know. I guess this is preferable, even if it sucks right now. And of course I feel some sorrow, I'm not some ice queen who can just chop off all ties with everyone and just be okay with it. I liked my parents. I liked my friends. I had their respect. I don't have any of that anymore. I don't even have me anymore. Well...old me. That's...hard. You know? I mean, I guess yeah, time heals all wounds, so on and so forth, but you can't really get mad at missing all that stuff."
She reaches down to grab at one of the teas left out by Kiyomi for her to drink, uptilting the cup into her mouth to soothe that thirsty itch.
"And I thought you were some kind of werewolf. I've heard of shamanism in name, but I don't know anything about it. I could have sworn I heard someone refer to you as a werewolf. Raiden maybe? I don't know. If you aren't one then I stand corrected. Sorry."
"Shamanism is the art of willingly tapping into your own totem. I have commuted with my animal spirit and can thus draw power from it." Nightwolf explains. "Lycanthropy, on the other hand, is not unlike a disease. It forces the chi of a wolf into a victim and attempts to take over. Either your will power or high degree of energy allowed you to maintain control of yourself. Once afflicted with Lycanthropy however there are only two options; accept it as part of your own and draw from its benefits, or overcome it and expel it from your body. Both are equally difficult." All in all it seems that Nightwolf's 'thing' is fairly different than to what Azumi has.
This is all still fairly minor in comparison to Azumi's ever present dilemma. That of which she cannot go back to her former life. Some people can handle that separation better than others and Nightwolf nods in agreement. He didn't seem to care all that much when he had to break ties from his tie completely to follow the path of the Sin Eater, but then again, that was a choice he willingly made and not one that had been forced on him through a werewolf bite. It will definitely take time to get used to.. well, everything.
"The path that once had was taken away from you."
"But fate has given you a new one. Although I know nothing can replace your family, now you have us."
"Many don't ever get a chance to start over."
The Kitsune listens to all of this solemnly. She keeps her eyes closed and her gaze low while Azumi and Nightwolf are debating and argumenting some existantial questions. If the Kitsune had something on her mind, she says nothing of it and remains silent through their exchanges, her expression stern and of ice.
She lifts the tea to her lips and takes a sip. It was a lot of information thrown between the two and it will take some time to decant in her mind. Kiyomi slowly rises to her feet and she spares a side glance at Azumi, "The balm I've used on your wounds should ease the burns and help your injuries heal, though I suggest you refrain from straineous activities for at least a day,"
She gives a glance then back to Nightwolf and gives him a respectful nod of her head, folding her arms in front of her chest, hands into her sleeves as she walks out of the shrine's room to get some fresh air.
Alas, seems like Kiyomi is not going to give Nightwolf any help on this one.
Azumi blinks when the silent fox woman speaks up, having almost forgotten about her after such a long period without talking. She When she does speak up, she focuses in on her and reaches a hand out as she turns to leave. "H-h-hey! Hang on a moment. Who are you? Why did you help me? Where are you going? I mean...thanks alot for doing that, because you totally didn't have to..."
She starts to pull herself back underneath the pelts that Nightwolf had laid out for her, starting to feel a little bit of the chill that came with winter aroun d these parts.
The vixen's long steps come to an halt with Azumi's lot of questions. Kiyomi turns on her heels so she can glance at the werewolf girl. She stares at her for a moment, her soft expression filled with a sort of silent melancholy, "My name's Kiyomi Miyamato and I am one of the Children of the Night," The woman replies.
The fluffy tails slowly seem to fade away from existence, leaving a blurry trail, an illusion of heat-wave behind them as they vanish, much like her ears, her own monstruous features disappearing, "I helped you because I thought you were one of us..." She lets her words trail off a bit and Kiyomi lowers her gaze a bit. She turns on her heels, glancing back at the exit, "It's time for me to leave... There are many who can't defend themselves against hunters who seeks a safe haven like this place. I will rally them and bring them here," Kiyomi explains.
Azumi's ears lower when she gets a few of her questions answered. She had a feeling that she maybe resented some part of her past, since she basically just recanted it to her through a third party source. She sighs as she remains upright, bowing her head a little bit.
"Look...I am one of you. Maybe not exactly like you, but I am apart of this now. I'm sorry for how much damage my clan has done do you and your people. I know I can't really undo what they've done but I can at least help out in the ways that I can to protect them. I had no idea that it was...you know. Like...like this. I was always told that they were beasts and madmen, with nothing else to them but that. But...it was wrong. And stupid. And cruel. Alot of them are dead, some of them by my hand. I know I might never really get the chance to actually earn your trust legitimately because of all that, but I promise I will help in anyway I can."
A faint smirk spreads on Azumi's words. She turns on her heels completly to face her and she walks up to her side. A side glance is given to Nightwolf, before she kneels in front of Azumi. The woman moves her hands to gently cup Azumi's cheek, forcing her to look into Kiyomi's eyes. "Do you really mean those words?" She asks her, "What will you do, if they come here, to kill other Children of the Night? Will you fight against those who were once your friends and family?"
Her grave expression fades away into a gentle smile, "I'm sorry..." Kiyomi says. She lifts her hand to ruffle Azumi's hair and she slowly rises up, "You have a lot of things to deal already, there's no need to make things harder on you now..." She shakes her head and says, "There are many who can't defend themselves out there, your help will be welcome, I am certain..."
Azumi spends a small moment thinking about it when she's forced to look at Kiyomi before hardening her resolve and nodding in response to her question. "The moment they exiled me...I saw the look of disgust on their faces. They took joy in stripping me of my gear. I'd done everything they'd ever asked and more and all that did for me after that was get me exiled. If they come after us, I will kill them. If I cannot force them to see reason, then there is no other choice. After all, it's what they taught me."
She exhales a heavy sigh, knowing precisely what that meant and what she'd likely have to do. The head ruffle does help ease that projected mental pain though."...Don't worry about it. It's the...least I can do for all the lives I'd ruined. It's what I owe them. It'll give me a purpose and a reason to work towards."
The woman's expression is one of empathy as Azumi describes the treatment she received. She nods her head slowly, her lips curling into a soothing smile, "True strength isn't about the number of opponent you can defeat, but about being able to take the right decisions, no matter how painful they might be,"
Kiyomi closes her eyes and she turns on her heels, "Do not see this as a curse : see this as an awakening. It has opened your eyes, and this is your new life -- with new friends, a new family. If you try to cling to the past, you'll only torment yourself needlessly,"
She gives at Azumi and says, "You're a Children of the Night now, forget about your past live, and you'll become happier," Kiyomi turns on her heels and she says, "I'll let you meditate on that... I have a long journey ahead of me, but when I'll return, I'll be looking foward to see the progress you'll have made on yourself,"
Azumi sits on her legs to the best as she's able, paying attention to Kiyomi's every word. When she finally insists for the third time that she needs to go, the questions finally cease and she offers her a small wave in return.
"I appreciate your words...I...I have alot to think about. And I'll get right to work on getting strong enough to where that little...accident doesn't happen again. Thank you."
Log created on 10:03:19 02/04/2015 by Kiyomi, and last modified on 20:10:19 02/04/2015.