Description: While training in the forests for his match, Raiden meets a newcomer to the world of Darkstalkers-- Azumi!
Whoosh, kiyai! An open palm swung through the air. Kiyai! A roundhouse kick. Kiyai! Both palms are thrust forward at an imaginary opponent. The movements are faster than a human should be able to manage. So fast they're a blur.
Who is this martial artist? He's dressed like a monk, with one gi sleeve missing, and a large conical hat hanging on his back by the fastening straps. The hat's not on his head, and his silver-white hair is left free to brush his shoulders. There is a large round amulet pinned to the not-missing side of his gi.
Strangely there's a storm brewing overhead, and the storm clouds seem centered right over this particular area. They haven't started to open up yet, and there's no rain falling. But lightning seems to strike in time with his movements.
This man is Raiden, God of Thunder. He has a match soon, and even he feels the need to train. Perhaps it's the human part of his soul that needs to make certain he isn't rusty after all this time fighting. It's really the first time he's fought in a mortal form. Well, that he remembers. He's been told there were other times. Or perhaps the Thunder God is actually... nervous.
The evening's glow is starting to fade as the shift to the true night begins. The highways were starting to slow, as most people who had gotten off had made it to their destrinations the blaring noise of the nearby highway slowed to a pleasant murmur. Out near the treeline is a cloaked figure who...seems to have a little bit of trouble walking. It's footsteps were a little uncoordinated as the occaisional stumble caused her to use a tree a leverage.
After doing this a number of times, she eventually stops, turning to regard the brightening Southtown and seems to spend a decent amount of time watching the cityscape.
Perhaps it's the footsteps. Stumbling must make a great deal of noise comparatively. Or perhaps it's merely the sense of something... different... nearby. But Raiden stops, mid-strike. Pauses. Listens. As he does, the storm clouds over this patch of forest begin to fade. Shifting to stand normally, he lifts the conical hat into place, and goes looking for the source of the disturbance.
There, in the treeline. He doesn't teleport, in case it's a human-- he isn't quite ready to blow his cover. Once he sees the figure, he approaches on foot. If the cloaked figure doesn't hear his steps, his chi may be sensed. Possibly even by those not accustomed to sensing chi.
Azumi's still getting used to the new attunement of just how sensitive her senses were now. There had been a weird cloud she'd seen before but she didn't think much of it. This new disturbance instantly catches her attention, her clawed hand sliding back inside of her cloak as she slowly checks her immediate surroundings. After figuring that it's some kind of human, she relaxes, but only slightly, but she does turn to face Raiden when he visually appears, the cloaked figure running a hand up over her hood to make sure it obscures her features.
Raiden pauses as the figure turns towards him, stopping where he is so as not to seem like a threat. He slowly raises his hands, palms facing up, to show they are empty. He's unarmed. Of course, that might not be a good indicator of his threat level. But nonetheless, he's showing that he's not intending harm.
He too has his hat now covering his face. Though given that he's an inch or two shy of seven feet tall, it might let his blank white eyes be seen anyway. Nightwolf hasn't educated him on the importance of wearing contact lenses in public. Speaking of Nightwolf... now Raiden wishes he was here. This 'small talk' thing is difficult!
Nonetheless, he nods, and offers, "Greetings." His voice is quiet.
Azumi's nose seemingly activates on it's own, sniffing out towards the oddly garbed man as he spoke. She speaks in turn a few moments after he does, still remaining pretty stoic and watchimg him intently. From his angle, he'd likely see her face, as height and lighting would make it difficult to remain completely obscured. "Evening. Is there something wrong? Why have you come to me? If these are your lands, I will gladly leave them. I meant no offense."
Sniffing? That's odd. Much like Nightwolf's animal form. In fact, she does look a little lupine herself. Might this be a 'Darkstalker'? The ones Nightwolf mentioned? Raiden tilts his head, regarding her inquisitively. Her question registers, and he shakes his head. "No. I merely sensed you nearby and was curious." Here he pauses, considers. If she's not exactly normal, maybe he can be a little more open an honest. So, in that vein, he notes, "I have only recently... arrived."
Azumi isn't capable of making out much about this strange man either. She looks around one last time before speaking, the robed woman turning to face Raiden completely. "I'm not quite sure what you were expecting to find, but you must be rather perceptive to come all the way out here to see me, when it could have literally been anyone. If you are new to the area, then why are you not in town like the rest of the inhabitants?"
"I am," Raiden assures, to the mention of being quite perceptive. There's no note of bragging in his voice; he's merely stating it. It's true, after all. "As I said, I was curious. I sensed you were... not quite like those in the city." As for why he's not in the city? "The same question could be asked of you. I do not belong there. Could the same be said of you?" The tone's not judgemental. It's genuinely inquisitive.
Azumi's ears fold down inside of her hood at the man's statement, instantly wishing she'd gone with her first instinct and just ran from him instead, but these new legs would take some getting used to. Walking was hard. Running would likely get her accustomed with the ground quicker than she cared to admit. Standing was best. And standing is what she did. "I am...unsure how Southtown would react to me. I am accustomed to hunting Darkstalkers. Not being one. I do not know where they are allowed to be."
Ah-ha. So the truth comes out. Raiden had suspected, but hearing her say it brought it all into focus. "Caution is wise." He nods. "I know of a man who may be able to help," Raiden replies. "His form is also that of a wolf. But he walks as a man. He hunts Darkstalkers as well. Not always to destroy them. To assess them. For he knows that some Darkstalkers may yet aid him against others who mean ill. Shall I send him to you?"
Azumi frowns a little bit at that. She weighs her options for more than a brief moment, her arms crossing over one another in her cloak. On the one hand, help would be nice. On the other hand, if that guy knew who she was and who she previously worked for, things would go about as sour as curdled milk. She speaks up eventually, shaking her head. "While aid would be appreciated, I would...prefer to delay that meeting until I can get properly established. I've only recently arrived to the area...pretty much now. I'd heard of Southtown, but this is the first time I've actually been here."
Raiden nods. "I understand," he offers. "I would suggest you seek aid as soon as possible, however. Whether or not him. I have heard that these 'Darkstalkers' have become far more prolific, but only of late. You may find yourself needing aid much more quickly than you expected."
Suddenly he does seems to remember something. "I have forgotten to give my name." He's pointing out his own social faux pas now. Good sign he's not too experienced with social dealings.
Nonetheless, he places a hand on his chest, nodding once. "I am Raiden." He'd chosen to give his real name as opposed to the pseudonym he was entering the fight with, since if she did need his help, she'd need to be able to call him. Of course, calling him by 'Lei Gong' would also get his attention, but still...
Azumi pushes a hand out to rather casually stablize her balance, making her look...oddly relaxed...maybe? She shifts her feet a little bit, her toe-claws scratching at the ground. "My name is...Azumi of the Red..." She pauses for a moment after that, stifling a small sigh and shaking her head a few times.
"No...Azumi the Exile is far more appropriate now. As it stands Raiden, I'd rather not deal with a individual who might have a chance of turning hostile. So if he finds me on his own terms, I will deal with him. For the moment, I will likely find something of use in South town. All cities have their darkened alleys and night is almost upon us."
Raiden nods. "You need only deal with him fairly, as he will with you, and you will find he can be an ally," he replies. The mention of 'the Exile' makes him think that perhaps her new state would get her thrown out of her clan. Then again, she did mention hunting Darkstalkers. Perhaps her clan exiled her after she was changed. A werewolf, then. All the better if Nightwolf can help her.
Still, she has a point. Night is unfriendly to those who have no home. He nods. "Do you know the way through the city? If you wish, I can accompany you."
Azumi ponders that for a moment and tilts her head a little bit at his offer. "What reason do I have to trust you? It's clear that you do not wish me harm, at least not initally, but why would you make such a generous offer? What is your motive?"
That's a very good question, actually! And Raiden has an answer. "I am a protector of Earthrealm. If you mean this realm no harm, then you are amongst those I do my best to protect. And if you also hunt those who mean mortals harm, then we both have the same aims. Your presence may make my task easier-- for each who hunts those who harm this realm, my task is less arduous."
Azumi starts to raise a finger to ask a question...and then lowers it back in her cloak. The finger returns as she opens her mouth to perhaps point out something but a second thought forces her to stow it again. She opens her mouth for the third time and after a little bit of hesitation, speaks rather clearly. "Ah....earth...realm? What? Exactly what kind of answer is that? Are you honestly telling me that you are some kind of...alien? That...would explain why you smell...ah...strange? Strange is a good word for it."
See that's why Raiden doesn't small talk, as he tends to put his foot in his mouth rather often. Still hasn't learned the great art of answering without offering information, it seems. He actually looks as though he's hesitating on what to say. Ultimately, after a couple moments, he decides to be honest. Because well... she's not exactly normal either. So it's not as though he's the weirdest thing she's going to be introduced to.
He knows the modern definition of 'alien' thankfully. Nope, no spaceships or abductions here. He opens his mouth to speak, but hesitates a moment more. Then? "...Not as you would know the word." He pauses again, and then notes, "I am the god of thunder." He said 'the' god of thunder. And he also protects Earth?
Azumi blinks inredulously at him, her muzzle pulling itself into rather flatline expression. "...God of...God of thunder? With that get up and speaking like...wait. Are you one of those cosplayer guys? Is this some like, computer game thing I'm not aware of?"
And in turn Raiden blinks. Cosplay? Computer? Well, he knows what a computer is. He shakes his head. "No. I am wary of such devices as these 'computers'. They fall quickly to lightning." He's not familiar with the word 'cosplay', but he recognizes the 'play' part of it. "This is no game I play, I assure you. The defense of this realm is of utmost importance to me. That is why I am here, in this form. The furies have shifted, and those you hunt have begun to stir in greater numbers."
It's also pretty apparent that he's not wearing makeup, given his scent. Nothing like plastics or modern makeup products can be scented anywhere around him. The outfit he's wearing is not woven of modern fibers, and doesn't smell like synthetic material or dyes. Cosplaying or not, this man actually looks like this. And speaking of his scent, to the acute nose, he doesn't have a human scent. He smells of ozone... the way the air before a rainstorm feels. Charged. Electric.
Azumi's nose has a mind of it's own, almost like a search engine set to auto-detect EVERYTHING. As much as she'd like to tell the man that he was quite obviously a liar of the highest degree, the smell don't lie...or at least they don't seem to be. She sighs and shrugs her shoulders. "Uh...huh. Earth realm and all of that. Alright. Got it. I suppose I've hunted stranger." She pulls the hood off of her face and nods a few times towards him, her ears standing at attention for the time being.
"Alright then Thunder God. Do you know of a place where I can steal some food? I'd rather pay for it if I had the money, but I don't have a dime and I'm going to place a pretty good wager that you don't either."
"Could you hunt?" Raiden inquires. "There is game in the forests here." He's serious. And she IS a wolf, right? So maybe she can eat game. Though something does occur to him. If she's transitioning from being human, this might be a big step for her. Perhaps she has not learned how to hunt, or come to grips with the possibility of hunting live game as a reality.
So he thinks a moment, raising a hand to his chin. Maybe there's something else. "Hmm... I have heard that these... restaurants that serve rapidly prepared food are required to discard what they do not sell rather than give it to those who need it. It remains wrapped in paper. They lock this refuse away behind a locked gate. Perhaps, if you were to find your way into that refuse, these unsold foodstuffs would still be unspoiled?"
Azumi's ears lower to the sides of her head. "Ah...maybe if they let me keep any of my gear I could fashion like...a...trap or something, but they didn't. They took my sword and I don't have access to any of my previous stuff. So yeah. That's a definite no. Also, what youa re describing is literally like...trash. They don't clean out that stuff, so they throw it in the garbage and let it rot. By it being there...it probably won't be any good. I'm sure there's like, a fast food place where I could fish up something from a drive through."
With both options defeated, Raiden thinks. "This is also why I mentioned the... associate of mine," he comments. "He is also skilled in deriving what he needs from both nature and the world of mortals. He could easily teach you those things." He doesn't know what a 'drive-through' is, but he does have another suggestion. "There are shelters for those who have no home. If you worry that they will be put off by your appearance, I could go in your stead, and bring it to you."
Azumi snickers at that and smiles towards him. "Well, if you can manage to find something for me to eat, i'd be flattered, but you should probably....ah..nevermind. Go with that if you want. I could use to get off of my feet for a little while as it is. I'm not too used to walking just yet and things still feel...light." She carefully slides down to sit on her rear, it becoming increasingly obvious that she was having some trouble..adjusting, but she hits the ground soon enough, her digitigrade legs tapping the ground rather pleasantly.
"I'll wait here."
Raiden nods. Though he watches the difficulties she seems to be having. Yes, he'll definitely have to let Nightwolf know about her. He understands wanting to go it alone, but with such a drastic change of situation, that's going to be hard for her. Hopefully she'll realize that before something bad happens to her...
Nonetheless, Raiden's got his task. "I will be back as quickly as I can." That said he tilts his head up as if looking to the skies. There is a soft, gentle crackling sound as blue-white lightning begins to leap over his body. And then his form seems to morph into a glowing white, vaguely human shape. A moment later, the shape is gone, zooming skyward like a small bolt of lightning.
About ten minutes later, he reappears the same way, holding a partitioned styrofoam container that somehow manages to survive the transit in lightning without being melted or scorched. Provided Azumi has not left in that time, he will look to her and note, "Those who work there will be confused." And then turn the container over to her. There's a meal in there, and it's still hot.
Azumi had remained true to her word; the werewolf had not moved. In the time since he'd left though, she'd removed her cloak, allowing her underclothes to be seen. She had the cloak nicely folded up near her as she seemed to be working on patching herself up. With the sleeveless shirt and the shorts, one could see maybe why she had so much problem walking. Numerous burn marks were evident in the fur, as were various cuts and the like. Every so often she'd reach over and tear apart of the cloak out to start fastening into a bandage over afflicted areas, but the way that the injuries were shaping up, it was almost like there was a deliberate pattern towards it. Anyone familiar with chi systems might recognize them as her pressure points that had taken the brunt of the burn and slash wounds. Luckily, she didn't seem to be actively bleeding but there was no doubt that this looked pretty painful.
When Raiden returns she slowly leans up to take the food offered, sitting it down next to her. "Ah...thank you. I appreciate it. This is the first time I've eaten in like...what day's today?"
That was also a good question. But it did make him realize one thing. "It has been too long since you had proper food." A pause, and he notes the injuries. He frowns. Raiden can sense the chi in a human body. In fact, much of what he knows about humans is academic in this way. "Your injuries. Do they cause you pain you very much?" He moves to sit before her, but not close enough that he would make her uncomfortable with his proximity. At least he understands the concept of personal space!
Azumi's tail slowly thaps against the ground rather absent mindedly when she gets company, but as far as she's concerned, she's invested in keeping the pain down. Next to her are a pile of leaves that might be recognized as herb known for deadening the senses. She's actively crushing them between a few fingers and applying the crushed juice onto her wounds. It's worth noting that his Chi-sense would pick up on quite a strong trace of it, far more than the average person. She gently dabs the crushed leaves to each spot as they were spread out across her whole body, starting with her arms.
"Of -course- they hurt. It's why I can't walk very well right now. It...happened when I became this. I used to be able to use Psi. Now I can't just anything."
Raiden watches her apply the crushed leaf-juice to her wounds silently. Part of him wants to ask if she would like him to help her-- he might be able to heal her, after all. But Nightwolf had mentioned something in a conversation, cautioning Raiden against helping humans too much. He didn't want humans to become too dependent on him. He was only one person now, and couldn't be everywhere. And even though Azumi was a Darkstalker now, she HAD been human at one time.
A compromise, then. After a long moment of silence, he speaks up again. "Will your wounds leave you vulnerable for very long?" Hopefully along with her new state came an increased capacity for healing. He will use the answer to that to determine whether he should offer further assistance or not.
Azumi goes up and down her arm, squeezing out what she can from a leaf before heading down to the next wound. She passes a glance up towards Raiden and...shrugs. "I haven't any idea really. I imagine I will probably heal faster than I did normally but I don't know for certain. We'll see how I'm doing in a week and we'll get back to you on it. It's been a few...days...since all this happened. I'm still getting used to it."
Fair enough. Raiden nods. "I do hope your injuries heal faster. There are often benefits to such... altered states." Though it's often a steep price to pay in return. This, however, Raiden does not say. He's pretty sure Azumi understands. He merely leans forward, propping his elbows on his knees and resting his chin on his folded hands. His presence is calm, at least, and he exudes and aura of peace here.
Azumi crushes up a few more of the leaves and continues applying the natural ointment, but before long she runs out of leaves. She managed to get just about all of them, but there were a few sore spots she'd need to get. She reaches over towards the food and almost punctures the container in her haste to eat it. Realizing that her claws a pretty sharp, she gingerly opens it, revealing what Raiden had gotten for her.
Thankfully the container's pretty strong, even for styrofoam, so it stands up nonetheless. Inside the container is the usual fare-- a sliced apple, a large spoonful of red beans, some pulled pork, and a scoop of the eponymous white rice. It's a filling meal, if not exactly five-star cuisine. It's well-cooked and hearty, and it does smell quite nice.
"I hope that will suffice?" Raiden inquires. It's likely he doesn't eat, if he really is a god, so he may not know what she can have or might want. And his form doesn't show any signs of malnutrition. So either he's telling the truth, or whatever delusions of grandeur he's suffering from have only just recently started.
Log created on 18:04:35 12/12/2014 by Raiden, and last modified on 23:38:37 12/12/2014.