Description: Tairyu responds to a troublemaker in a gambling parlor, but this mysterious green-haired lady may be more than she seems. What happens when they head back to a VIP room? What kind of game uses Tarot cards?
Though many places can't hold a candle to the great casino that Kira Volkov has staked claim to, the underbelly of Southtown holds a great many places to gamble in. Both legally so and otherwise.
The Dragon Palace is a somewhat lesser known one among the underground gambling dens, but it sees plenty enough activity nonethless. A bit less so a while ago, with all the Darkstalker activity in the town proper, what with many people being afraid to go out into the open. But even in these times, many people come here for to help release pressure thanks to high-stakes, unregulated gambling.
The main floor - as in the first one will get to after taking the stairs down from the koi pond store acting as a front on street level - is a large, open room with walls and floor both draped in lavish red, corner pillars decorated with elaborate golden dragon motifs. Tables upon tables of various gambling games both western and eastern in nature, from card games to roulette to dice, all surrounding a circular bar section serving tax-free alcohol, cigars and... other party favors.
The second floor customers are allowed access to is actually a small spa area, with access to private hot tubs and masseuses at request... but all that's not important, right now.
One (1) Katashi Tairyu has staked claim on the side office overlooking the main gambling floor itself for tonight, after sending the usual caretaker away for the evening. Even after Old Man Aizawa was killed and forcefully replaced by a Syndicate puppet, he is still allowed enough of a managerial pull on the establishment to be able to pull that off, at least -- in fact, he's *expected* to help with looking after the gambling hall. He is the face of Aizawa-Gumi now, and letting the rest of the Family see him working as normal helps keep everyone else from getting any rebellous ideas.
Not that Tairyu doesn't have his own rebellious ideas. After a spark given to him in the form of his hostage-taken sister's location, gears have begun moving, and he's taking advantage of the privacy of the office to various calls and meet with choice members of the family.
"...Alright, good, just be careful about it, I don't think we need an entire army for what's about to happen," the Yakuza in the black suit pants and jacket, and red, high-collared red shirt murmurs thusly into a cell phone, while he stands along the long window within that office, idly watching the gamblers, playing away their chips in exchange for a chance at hopes and dreams. Or just some base satisfaction of the thrill from games of chance. "As long as the Puppet Patriarch doesn't find out. ...Alright, good. Good."
"Come on," the green-haired woman coos, her voice sweet and heavy, like honey-scented incense as she drapes herself over the shoulder of an older salaryman in a suit. "Won't you just give me a few more tokens? Pleaaaase?~ I spent all mine already," the green-haired woman pouts, her lip pressed out melodramatically before she leans back and stands up. She's dressed in sleek, skintight black pants and a white button-up that's really more of a button-down in its current state. A lone button serves as the last man in the impossible battle to keep her cleavage contained.
She puts a finger to her mouth. "Come on, wouldn't you do it for me?"
People are starting to stare now at the troublemaker.
Many a stare is given from the Aizawa-Gumi sentries mixing within the customers, too, but there's not much done on their part -- not yet, anyway. It's not like the woman is causing... too much of a disturbance, yet, and as far as most of the employees here are concerned, if someone is too weak to not give out their own chips to someone flaunting their boobs and sweet voice at them, it's their own fault. Besides, the long, examining looks given to the woman by sentries that are paying attention aren't... strictly done with security-assessments in mind, either.
Meanwhile in the office, Tairyu does notice something amiss through the one-sinded-mirror-slash-window. Not the green-haired woman herself, but the lost gazes of the other employees. A quiet sigh is given, and he murmurs, "...Call me later about how it went," before hanging up the call and slipping the phone into his pocket.
The door leading to the office opens up not long after, to permit the young should-have-been heir of the Aizawa-Gumi into the gambling floor proper, and with one hand lazily stuck into a pocket of his suit pants, he veers briefly over to one of the sentries, whispering something to the slightly shorter man before being pointed to the table the troublemaker is at.
"You know, some folks say part of the thrill is lost if you're not playing with your own money," the rumbling baritone of Tairyu comes up from behind the could-be-troublemaking woman while he approaches, drawing recognizing looks from the dealer and a couple of the regular customers. He comes up all the way to the table, stopping just besides her -- just one degree of seperation away from being in her personal space, though he's making a point of keeping himself facing the table too, so as to not convey some unintentional non-veral threat. His bright-green eyes, though, they don't show any hesitation in trying to establish eye contact (albet not without a quick visit down to the valiantly-struggling shirt). "I take it you are out of your own, ma'am?"
The green-haired woman turns her head and tosses her hair from her face to look at Tairyu as he approaches. That same, almost-pitiful pout crosses her face as she does.
"Of course! You know, if these games weren't so much fun, maybe I wouldn't have spent all my money! Are you the proprietor here?" she asks, standing up straight to her full 5'8 of height. "Mmm. You look like you could be. That's a very nice suit, I might add~"
Tairyu's eyes blink slowly at the greenette, as if he actually were surprised and/or confused by the outfit-based compliment. "...Thank you...?" His head tilts slightly over to one side, and his eyes go briefly wandering downwa-damnit, no, focus, Tairyu!
"I guess I am the closest thing to that, right now," he allows after a quick shake given to his head. "But you ended up spending everything without winnings? That's a shame." One foot slides back and to the side, to start retreating himself from the table with a slow turn, though his neck cranes, too, to keep his head facing towards her. "You can have a drink on the house as consolation, in return for the... dedicated patronage. But please do not hassle the other customers for their chips. ... Well. Too much, anyway. If someone actually *wants* to share in theirs with you, that's their business."
The green-haired woman smiles pleasantly and widely. Almost too widely, for a moment, but in the feeling fades almost as quickly as it appears. She reaches up, running slender fingers through her distinct hair.
"Oh!" she says, "A complimentary drink? Well, I suppose that will do..." She tosses back her hair again.
"But you won't join me for it, will you? That is, if you're not too busy managing, of course. I'm sure there are other customers who need your..." Her eyes move up and down along Tairyu's frame. "Attention."
Tairyu actually considers this for a moment. His eyes are still on the woman's face, so he does notice the movement of her gaze, too -- and that may or may not help his decision when he rolls his broad shoulders around and tells her, "I could use a drink too, tell you the truth."
With that, he turns fully away from the poker table and towards the circular bar that dominates the center of the hall, though he does toss a look over his shoulder at her before he takes to walking towards it. "I have to tell one of the bartenders that you don't have to pay for it, either way." He flashes a brief, small smile of his own at her before his head straightens back forward, with his steps. "But just so you know, I'm not in the habit of giving out chips for free. At least not without good reason."
"Excellent~" Morrigan says, "Hardworking men do deserve to have some fun sometimes, you know. The word sometimes is drawn out, like she rolls it around in her mouth for a moment to let it ferment before speaking it.
"And of course," the green-haired woman continues. "I honestly do much better for myself at getting them, but I suppose I went a bit too ..." She trails off. "These games are more fun than I thought they'd be. We'll leave it at that." With this conclusion, she extends her hand toward Tairyu. "Morgan, by the way."
"I make an effort at it," Tairyu murmurs with a low sigh, eyes briefly drifting up towards the ceiling with some errant, gloomier thoughts. "Been a bit harder lately."
Once at the bar, though, he nods to the tender working the side the two of them settle at while he leans his side against the counter proper. "Grab me my usual, and she gets one thing of whatever she asks for," indicating the green-haired woman with a tip of his head."
THe tender is already pouring expensive whiskey into a glass in front of Tairyu with that, and the Yakuza himself takes the offered hand into a firm grip within his own with it's calloused knuckles. "Tairyu," he offers in return. "Tairyu Katashi. Yoroshiku, Morgan-san."
"Such politeness," Morgan says, "this really is a high class establishment. I'll have--" She taps her chin thoughtfully with her fingertip. "Whatever you recommend. Don't go easy on me~" She winks at the bartender before turning her attention back to Tairyu.
"Oh?" the green-haired woman raises a brow. "So gloomy. That's no way to be at a casino. "Is this something to do with that awful Dragon woman," Morgan says, "or other business? Pardon me if I'm nosy. Perhaps it's just my nature to meddle."
"I don't know about high class," Tairyu notes with a non-commitant shrug. "I just try to hold myself to some standards. Just because we are not strictly sanctioned here doesn't mean we shouldn't have principles."
Her decision to leave the choice of drink up to the bartender makes him briefly roll his eyes, while he picks up his own glass. "Give her what I'm having." Oooh, the expensive stuff!
He worries briefly at his lower lip at Morgan's questioning, and he shakes his head after a moment. "No... Though the mess up on the streets hasn't helped much either. But it's..." A small sip taken of the whiskey. "Hm. Personal matters."
His eyes go roaming over the green-haired woman again -- with a bit less shame to go with it this time around. "YOu should be careful about letting yourself go like that with the games, by the way. They can eat you up if you let them."
Morgan seems pleased with this offering. A high-shelf drink seems to more than make up for the loss of her chips earlier. She leans back, placing an elbow on the bar and letting her hair hang behind her.
"Oh, of course," Morgan says, "everyone has something going on, and this whole mess in the city just compounds the problems already there." She rests her elbow, putting her chin on her palm.
That is, until Tairyu suggests she not let the games own her. "Oh, but where's the fun in that? Isn't part of the thrill supposed to be the risk?"
Since Morgan doesn't make any complaint on the choice of drink, he sets down a glass in front of her and pours brown, peaty liquid with a strong, smoky odor from a twelve-year old bottle, before moving on to attending to customers who, you know, actually pay.
"Perhaps," Tairyu allows with a low chuckle. "But as much as it might seem like it'd be good for business when people get eaten up by it? Someone who doesn't have anything left can't come back for another go, see. You can have risk without letting yourself lose everything. That's the difference between enjoying it and letting yourself get eaten up. I mean..."
A finger taps idly against the countertop. "It'd certainly be no good to end up with debts to places like these."
Morgan takes the drink, lifting it up to where she can look at it more clearly. Turning the glass gingerly but firmly with her fingers, she inspects it from several angles before she takes a drink. The sip is pensive, thoughtful, savoring the flavor.
"This is a good vintage," Morgan says, "I can never wait this long on one. I get some ... impatient. It feels like it forever." She tilts her head to look back at Tairyu.
"But in any case...you seem terribly worried about me getting eaten up. It's cute, even if it might not be ideal for someone trying to run a gambling establishment~"
"Unless you mean by one of the pests that've been roaming about. ... or perhaps something else?~"
Tairyu coughs quietly in the middle of a sip of whiskey when Morgan more or less calls his behaviour cute, needing to perss his palm against his chest for a few seconds while he makes the effort to not choke. "... I wouldn't know about *cute*..." He grumbles.
"Besides, like I said... Better for long-term business that the patrons are actually able to come back for more later." Nevermind that getting corrupted officials into a gambling loop is also a good way of getting exortion materials, for the Yakuza.
One of his brows arches upwards slightly at her latter words, and he shakes the glass in his hand lightly to send the whiskey within to swirling about. "Now whatever could that something else be?"
"Oh, right. Would handsome be better? I don't want to embarrass someone who was so kind to get me such a good vintage, of course." Morgan lifts the glass in a toast before taking another drink.
"Alas," Morrigan smiles coyly. "It seems my wordplay is lost in translation. Oh well~" She gestures with a sweep of her hand. "I guess my luck with that is about as good as my luck with the gambling this evening..."
She trails off for a moment, looking away toward the ceiling with a wistful sigh. "But do say, are you from this place originally? Southtown seems to attract so many characters from so many places."
"...I'll take handsome, sure..." Tairyu murmurs with a faint hint of sheepishness in his tone, briefly glancing away from the woman. Yes, that wall over there is very interesting all of a sudden.
When he does look back to her, though, his eyelids droop down to half mast for a few seconds and he rumbles out, "I'm sure there's plenty people here who would try eating you up, if that's what you mean," before taking a long sip from his glass, eyes kept on her over the rim of it.
At her following question, he gets a briefly far-off look again. "I've lived here my whole life. For... better or worse, this city is my home."
"Ah, there it is!" Morgan beams, crossing her legs and rocking back on her seat slightly. "I was worried what kind of establishment this might be without a little innuendo, you know." She raises her drink again, taking a sip and looking over the glass at Tairyu. She lowers it back down. "Though I find that most find the tables turned on them soon enough, so to speak."
"But in any case," Morgan sets the glass down again. "This must be hard on you then, I'd imagine, seeing all this," she gestures vaguely. "Excitement, lately."
"I admit I am somewhat slow sometimes when it comes to those things," Tairyu murmurs with a wry smile. "And I'm not the type to eat someone up who doesn't want to be eaten up, either." Though, having said that, the young Yakuza still gives Morgan a deliberately slow up-and-down look-over, before focusing on establishing eye contact again.
"Yes, well..." A low, frustrated grunt deep inside of his throat, lips pursing briefly. "It's coincided... pretty badly with a lot of other woes, on my part." A sigh follows his words, and his eyes drift down... no, even further down this time, all the way to his glass of whiskey -- or what remains of it by now, anyway. "Got some family troubles."
Morgan smiles widely, almost wickedly at that one. "Chivalrous too, I see," she says, resting her chin on her palm and gazing at Tairyu intently once again. Her fingers thread through her hair, winding a strand idly as she continues to listen.
"It sounds as if you're the one who needs a drink. One moment." Morgan sits up, dipping her hand into her blouse. She feels around in her cleavage for a moment, then pulls out something, rolling it in her fingers.
"I don't know if you take these," she says, "the man up front said I couldn't trade it for chips." She sets it down, the gold coin spinning around on the counter before settling.
"Do go on," Morgan tilts her head. "Something about family troubles?"
"I imagine that just depends on your definition of 'chivalrous'," Tairyu notes, with a brief hint of wickedness of his own measure in his green eye -- though painted over by the stoicness that's within his overall presence. "I don't really see myself like those knights in the western fairy tales."
It's probably only inevitable that his eyes follow the path of Morgan's hand, thus, down to her cleavage-- though he at least makes an *effort* on not staring for more than a few seconds.
His attention is quickly overtaken by the coin she presents, anyway. The Yakuza's eyes narrow suspiciously, and he reaches over to try take the coin for a closer inspection. "...Is this real gold? This ought to keep you covered for at least the rest of the bottle if so."
Her urging makes his gaze drift off briefly again, and his lips purse in thought. "I don't... know if it's appropriate to get into specifics with someone I only just met, Morgan-san. But... my little sister, she..." How should he put this? "...She's been... harrassed... by some unsavory people. Possibly related to... business rivals." A click of his tongue against the roof of his mouth. "I worry."
His eyes shift back over to meeting Morgan's again, after that, and his dark brows shoot up slightly. "Now how'd this happen? I just came along chastising you for harrassing a customer, and I'm already opening up as if though I'd had much more than just this to drink already."
The coin appears to be real gold, but quite old and of an unusual print. It doesn't look quite like anything immediately familiar. Is that a demon face on the back?
"Ah," Morgan says, "business rivals. I think I might know the type." She runs her tongue across her lip idly. "And it's strange, isn't it? I tend to have that way with people. I suppose I just have a trustworthy face or something." Morgan taps her lip idly, as if deep in thought about the matter.
"... Or something," Tairyu repeats after Morgan, without offering any input of his own in regards to what it could be. His eyes may have already spoken for themselves already, though.
"I'm sure some antique expert will pay a hefty prize for this one," the Yakuza eventually decides, before slipping the coin into his pocket. "You can have the rest of the bottle and a hundred chips. If the coin turns out to be worth more than that, I'll... consider that future credit."
"Of course," Morrigan says, "I have a bunch of the things laying around back home." She stretches a little, but somehow that button continues its noble battle undeterred. She reaches up, running a hand through her hair again.
"So tell me," she says suddenly. When she speaks, it's almost as if he eyes flash. "If I told you I might be able to help you with your ... troubles, what might you offer me in return?"
"I can make arrangements to let you pay your way through with those once I've gotten an estimate on their value, then," Tairyu offers to her. And while she stretches? His eyes do start drifting downwards, but he quickly distracts himself with knocking up the glass in his hand to pour the remnants of the contents down his throat.
"Mrh," he grunts out upon slamming the emptied glass on the counter, right on time with the green-haired woman's question. "... I would say that would depend on how you could help, exactly," he responds to her then, with a single brow cocking itself up. "And to keep in mind that there's... already measures being taken for it."
"Oh, of course," Morgan says, "I'd expect nothing less from someone of your standing. You demand authority around here, no? That's the impression I get." The green-haired woman smiles in a way best described as devious. "But I may many talents, some of which might be considered..." She pauses, as if for dramatic effect. "...unnatural."
"Perhaps I can show you what I mean." Morgan puts a hand on her hip, shifting her weight there. "But it might best done someplace ... private."
"Oh, please," Tairyu breathes out, waving his hand in a dismissive gesture at Morgan. "I don't deny all of that, but you are putting me on much bigger of a pedestal there than I deserve to be. I just happen to be a man in a very specific profession."
The suspicious squint of his eyes persists, still, at the woman's offer. "...You know, allowing someone alone into a room with me after they have just admitted to 'unnatural talents' would be considered... unwise," he points out. But, he ultimately decides to push himself off the counter and gesture for her to follow. "But you never get anywhere in life without some risks, too. Come on." If she follows, he leads her on towards the office he just stepped out of earlier. "As long as you don't mind the other employees assuming we're doing something much dirtier, we should have some privacy."
Morgan meets the suspicious gaze with a growing smile, like the cat that ate the canary. "Good answer. Let's see what we can find out~" Her walk is punctuated with a a distinct sashay of her hips as she follows behind Tairyu to the backroom.
"Something indecent? It wouldn't be the first time I've been accused of such, you know.~" Morgan moves up closer, pressing close to Tairyu's back. "Whatever I would do about that?"
Once through the door, Tairyu sends a peek back over his shoulder to the woman pressing against his back. "...I'm pretty sure it's not the first time this office has been used for that, either," His teeth flash briefly in an amused smile before he steps to the side to allow Morgan the rest of the way through, while he closes - and locks up - the door. "But... I'm guessing that's not what you have in the plans right now."
"I wouldn't be surprised," Morgan chimes in, still pushed up close. When Tairyu moves for her to pass through, she slides by into the room. "Oh, not yet at least. I have...other plans~"
"Mmhm?" Tairyu rumbles out, and turns to facing Morgan, with a few steps taken back to bring his back leaning against the wall, and unless she maintains her own proximity to him, he'll cross up his arms there too while watching her. "Those plans wouldn't happen to involve seducing the day's manager to assassinate them or robbing them blind, would they?"
"Who? Me? Do I look like I could be an assassin?" Morgan asks. "...don't answer that. If I did, I wouldn't be very good at it, now would I? In any case..." Morgan moves toward a table in the center of the room, seating herself at it. "Now let's see..."
Morgan digs in her top again, taking several long moments to pull something out. In her hand she holds a deck of tarot cards, which she starts setting out on the table. She does not comment on them. Tairyu can take that as he will.
Tairyu doesn't comment any further on the potential of Morgan's assassin...ness, but he does note, "Wouldn't pockets be more convenient...?" With a tilt of his head.
Once the tarot cards are brought out and spread over the desk, he steps up over closer to her, eyes scanning over them. "... I'm... not sure how telling the future will help me."
"Maybe," Morrigan says, "but that'd require less tight pants," she keeps shuffling the cards matter of factly. "And that wouldn't do."
"But come now," Morgan says, "I wouldn't have called you here for any mere fortune telling. Trust me! If nothing else, it'll be enjoyed to peer into what the future has in store for you..." Morgan sweepins her hair back, setting the last of the cards forward to begin the reading.
"...I can't argue with that," Tairyu allows. It's not like he's done a terribly good job of hiding the looks he's been sending the green-haired woman either.
He still seems a bit dubious about the whole tarot card ordeal, scratching at the side of his neck curiously before he draws a chair out for himself. "Alright," he lets out in a breath. "It'll be a distraction, at least."
Morgan slides the deck across the table to Tairyu. "Now," she says, "you need to put your energy into the deck for it to work. Shuffle and cut, please. I'll lay them out once you're done."
She crosses her hands in front of her, threading her fingers and leaning on them to rest her chin there as she watches intently.
"Be sure to shuffle thoroughly. I need plenty of energy to work with~"
Tairyu's expression is, for a moment still, more on the dubious side even when the deck is slid over to him. "... Energy, huh."
His hand eventually moves over to take hold of the deck, and lift it up to allow his other hand to start shuffling through. Of course someone who spends time at a gambling den would be experienced with card shuffling and...
Though Tairyu's default presence is more on the stoic side, let it not be said he doesn't have passion to put into things. Just the simple process of shuffling the deck of tarot cards is done with an intensity, hand and cards both moving in a blur for a good ten seconds before the deck is brought down back onto the table, within Morgan's reach in a quick, sweeping motion. The deck might only hit the surface of the table with enough force that it would only cause a light *thud*, but with the sheer intensity in Tairyu's focus and intent, it almost seems to come in a thunderous echo in spite of it.
"Is thorough enough?"
Morgan ssits back in her seat as Tairyu shuffles, blinking at the efficiency and speed with which she handles the cards. When he's done, she manages a little excited clap for the showmanship.
"Oh, yes! Very good. I'd expect nothing less from someone working at a gambling hall. Now let's see..."
Taking the cards, she sets them out to make a staff--four cards vertically aligned on the side--then the Celtic Cross, four cards in a cross shape with a fifth in the center, then another laid horizontally atop it.
"Have you ever had one of these done before? It's been a while since I've read anyone's future this way, you know."
Once Morgan gets to work, Tairyu leans back in his own seat, with arms loosely crossed over his chest while he watches her spreading the cards out, curiously.
"This is my first time," he confesses in answer to her, one hand briefly lifting up to give a scratch to his cheek. "Do I have to pick one out?"
"Oh, no," Morgan answers. "There's a specific order to it all. Don't worry. I'll walk you through it. Now." The green-haired woman flips over one of the center cards, setting it face up on the table. On it is a jester--it seems. A purple-skinned devil wears a belled cap and gazes up at the sky from within a dark cavern. The whole thing seems to have an eerie glow as if the flickering candles and open caverns on the card were actually emitting light. The deck seems unusual, somehow. Since Tairyu has not had one of these done before, he may notice but...are they always so...devilish?
Underneath the picture are two words in big, archaic English lettering.
Tairyu may not know the difference in the print compared to the usual tarot cards, but he does get the sense of the glow, somehow. Enough for him to knit his brows together in thought, and give a good, long stare at the card. But he elects not to ask on it.
"... Okay, so what does that mean?" He asks, soon enough, and his eyes turn up to the green-haired woman herself expectantly. "I'm at least hoping that's not meant to be some implication on my intelligence."
"Oooh," Morgan says, "an interesting start. Oh, no, no," her laugh is sort of a chuckle, an almost smoky bit of merriment that's not too ...mature, for a giggle.
"The Fool means beginnings. Being spontaneous. Faith." She picks up the card, holding it near her face but letting it face Tairyu. "And folly."
"Alright, alright..." Tairyu mutters, seeming a bit more sheepish from his assumption getting such a reaction from Morgan, gaze averting itself briefly.
"... That's strangely ominous in a way, though," he is quick to point out otherwise, considering the card from afar with a frown. "But that doesn't mean much on it's own, I take it?"
For a moment, Morgan looks ready to needle, but when Tairyu gets sheepish, she backs off...for now.
"Isn't it?" Morgan asks. "But yes, let's see what's next." She reaches, overturning another card. This one is a great wheel, like a clock--but it looks like it's melting as if it were a part of a Dali painting. At the bottom, it reads "WHEEL OF FORTUNE."
"Oh, hm. How strange."
"Uh..." Tairyu's head cants to the side in a canine-like show of confusion while he looks that presented card over. Eyes squinting, as if though he's not entirely sure he's seeing right, or rather just getting something wrong wtih his vision itself.
"That doesn't really look like anything to do with fortune to me," he mutters. "But you tell me... Why is it strange?"
"The Fool and Wheel of Fortune represent a new beginning but with a surprising turn of fate. Perhaps..." Morgan trails off for a moment. "You never expected to enter the family business in this way. Perhaps you never expected it at all, hmm?"
Morgan holds the two cards with her fingers, splaying Wheel of Fortune and the fool out to the sides.
Tairyu's brow twitches. While the woman's words might not be precisely on the mark, they are not exactly far off, either.
"...That sounds like something more in the past," he points out in a low murmur-- apparently not denying the implications of 'family business', either (not that there's many options for the story behind an underground gambling den anyhow). "I thought this was supposed to be future reading?"
"The past, the present, the future," Morgan says with whimsical enthusiasm, her voice almost singsong. "What really divides them anyway, hmm? The years get so blurry to me at this point." She sets the cards to the side. "But let me look a little deeper--"
"Perhaps this is a shift. A plan to change how things are. To reverse one's situation, hmmm?" Morgan smiles deviously. "To remove someone's ... leverage, and seize one's own destiny?"
Tairyu's narrowed eyes leave the cards entirely in favor of staring at Morgan herself, instead. Lips purse slightly while suspicion plays in his green gaze, brow twitching further with her words. Somehow, the smile on her seems much less alluring and more ominous to him now.
"... I don't really believe in destiny, anyway," he rumbles out, apparently deciding to leave accusations and everything else out for now. "I prefer to think we forge our own paths."
"That's a good answer," Morgan smiles, her teeth peeking out from her mouth. "A very good answer. I like that. A man who doesn't believe he can shape his own destiny is fated to be little more than a puppet, pulled to and fro by the swings of fate."
"But you," Morgan says, "won't settle for that. Good! I don't think we need these, then." Morrigan snaps her fingers, the cards splayed across the table shuffling themselves into a neat stack before...abruptly, bursting into a dark, unnatural flame that consumes them before snuffing itself out.
Morgan pays it no mind, instead continuing her conversation. "So what is it that you really want. To rescue your sister, yes, but is there something more? What would you really do, if given the choice, hmmm?"
"Gh-!" While Tairyu is taken enough by surprise from the show of magical prowess in the form of demonic flames consuming the cards to briefly lean back and shield his face with a lifted up arm, he doesn't seem... too shocked? But perhaps that's only natural, too. There's plenty enough in the way of weird things and people showing supernatural power in Southtown.
"... It wasn't really my future that was being read, was it?" He asks, though he only seems to hold a bare token measure of offense from this realization.
Her question is what catches him off-guard more than the visible display of magic. He's silent for a few seconds, with teeth worrying at his lower lip. "... Beyond just that, I have a legacy to live up to and a honor to uphold." But even beyond that. What does he want to do? The reason he wanted to take up the Yakuza lifestyle was driven by the old romantic ideals of being strong enough to live on outside of normal society, to forge your own path and fight for what you believe in and to protect those close to you. To be in charge of your own destiny.
But what was he going to make of that destiny?
"...What do most people like me say, when asked that question?" He murmurs eventually. "That they want power? They want to be above others? To be strong? To get filthy rich?"
"Well..." Tone turning a bit sheepish again, he reaches up to rub at the back of his neck. "I would be lying if the 'being strong' part didn't resonate for me, too, at least a little bit. Most men like me have an urge to test ourselves in battle, and overcome. But... that's not really all of it.And the rest of that stuff? I don't really care for any of that. The value of a man's life shouldn't be dictated by how much they own or how many bow down to them."
A finger taps against the tabletop once, twice, three times. "What I want to do, then...? I have been content with living life to the fullest day by day, by my own rules, and giving others a place to belong. I can't... say that I can do that, now. Not the way things are. And I want things to return back to being like that."
"People say all sorts of things," Morgan answers. "Only a quarter of them are what they really want." A beat. "If that. But I've heard those answers before, among others. Being strong seems all so common in this world. Strength leads to so many things. Wealth. Power. Fame." A pause. "And even the more mundane things. The ... boring things, if you will. Security. Freedom from fear." Morgan narrows her eyes, then sweeps her hand dismissively.
"Ah, a free spirit, though. I can appreciate that. You might say I know quite a bit about ... obligations. Family and status can be a prison, can't they?"
"That's not the same thing!" Tairyu's open palm suddenly smacks against the tabletop with a resounding THUD! while he says that. "Just because a man has responsibilities doesn't mean he doesn't have his freedom. Looking after what's important to you is not the same as being stuck in some never-ending wage-slave job, and much less the same as being in chains. Being able to protect what's important to you, to care for people you hold dear without being hindered by the rules of a normal society..."
The outstertched arm relaxes, and the hand is pulled back, and... for once, after a good while, Tairyu does smile faintly. It's not the same mishievous sort as he displayed by the bar, however. It's something more sincere. "That's part of forging your own path too, isn't it?"
"Is it not?" Morgan asks, somehow blending sarcasm with a sincere sort of surprise. "But yes, yes, I suppose some are at their most fulfilled when there's someone to depend on them and something to do." Morgan sighs, leaning back in her chair and draping her arm of the back. That lone button begins its battle anew.
"One can forge one's own path and still hold onto such things, I suppose. -- but in any case." Morgan digs in her top again, producing another card. This one seems to be a business card, purple and black with green etching that seems to glow faintly at times. She extends it toward Tairyu.
"You've been wonderful entertainment," Morgan says, "but I need some fresh air." She pauses, smiling at something. "But I find you interesting. Call me if you have something interesting. I have ... many talents that I might be persuaded to employ." Another beat.
"If you make it interesting."
Tairyu can't help but look a bit suspicious at this. Not just because of the nature of the business card that he takes into his hand, but that certainly doesn't help matters much.
"...And what kind of things would you find interesting, exactly?" He asks of her when his eyyes sweep back up over to her. "Just... what kind of talents are there? I'm getting the feeling that 'reading' trick is just the smallest one of the lot."
When she eventually takes to tanding up, he starts pushing himself up to his feet, too, to show her out of the office. "...You still have that unused credit, for the record. Though... you should probably come use it while I am around, just to make sure it comes through. Though..." As his hand goes to the handle of the door leading out into the main floor, he throws her a meaningful look. "I wouldn't mind just sharing a drink, too."
"Oh, where's the fun in it I just tell you up front?" Morgan says, tapping her cheek lightly with one of her long, pristine, almost claw-like nails. "As for interesting ... we'll see. I like to experience new things. Just plan on how you'll make it worth my time."
"Ooh, well then," Morgan tilts her head as she starts to look away. "Oh my, I seem to have made a good impression, then. Well--" Morgan walks, but not toward the door. "Well, be sure to bring something top shelf for my next visit. I suppose I could bring some more gold, or something. But anyway." She keeps walking toward the wall rather than the door, her shadow twisting a bit. A trick of the light, perhaps?
"I'll see you later~"
And then, the green-haired woman steps into her own shadow, disappearing through the wall.
"Hooo, is that right?" Tairyu's voice rumbles with intrigue, his eyes lidding slightly while he studies Morgan. "...Then, maybe I should call to see how you fight, sometime. You have that kind of feel about you..." Something else lights up in the Yakuza's own eye when he muses that. It's not the same kind of ogling that him and the other Yakuza were giving her. It's something more pure in it's ferocity.
A desire for a fight.
"...Mmmh, I'll even save it in the office here so the tenders won't accidentally pour it to oth-...eh? Hey, the door's here...?"
His form perks up into a much firmer stance from pure surprise when the mysterious green-haired woman just straight up vanishes through the wall, a subtle tingle running up his own spine.
"... Was that really necessary...?"
Log created on 18:52:59 07/01/2020 by Morrigan, and last modified on 20:03:12 07/04/2020.