Description: Daigo returns home from a long cold day at school to find that he has been visited by his ideological opposite, the council president of Justice High. Though he knows much of what Hyo Imawano has to tell him of the mysterious Atelier corporation, he has resolved to remain neutral until evidence is presented. That is when Hyo is forced to make use of his other skills to force the matter for the Gedo Boss.
Another long day at school has passed : mediating a few after school brawl, hanging out with his friends and gangs, hearing the latest gossips and rumors around down and about the tournament. This whole interschool tournament had definately aroused the passion and rivalry more than anything else, and it seems Gedo's last hopes will rely on Daigo's shoulders.
The tall man seemed to take all of this with retrospect. He did not show any sign of anxiety : calm and unwavering. He was a bit absent-minded during the discussion, listening only with casual interest -- his mind was elsewhere, as usual, but this time, he was trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together, trying to figure out the proper way of action.
His long stroll back home was enough to give him a long time with his thoughts. His heavy footsteps slow and steady in the snow. The cold didn't bother him, his large jacket keeping him warm, with only the addon of a scarf and wollen cap that seemed hand made.
Despite the recent surprise attacks he was getting by random students, Daigo did not seem particulary more weary than usual. He had to deal with those from time to time in Gedo, if students from other schools joined in, they were in it for a surprise.
The Kazama lives in a small appartment in downton Southtown, in the more crowded and shabby part of town, an old ramshackled building. Obvious the rent must be cheap out there. It was just beside what appears to be a repair shop for cars.
It's a simple set of frosty metal stairs that leads to Daigo's appartment. Once he managed to climb atop them without slipping, Daigo takes his keys and opens up the door of his appartment. He heaves a soft sigh once he walks in and sets his school bag down on the ground, taking his wollen cap and scart off.
Despite the rather unwelcoming appearance from outside, the appartment was homely. The minimum sets of worn out furniture, but plenty of little bits of decoration here and there that gave the various rooms a little bit of life.
During the day, the heating of the appartment is always reduced to the minimum, to save on the electricity bills. "I'm home," Daigo calls out loudly to announce himself to his sister, and to know if he came back home first.
Most of the time, it wasn't the case.
It took some effort to make sure this meeting went uninterrupted.
It started with the arrangement of a small car accident on Akira's route home from school. Not with her involved--hardly. He had given the Justice High student particular instructions to provide an ample distraction for the younger Kazama so that it would be many hours before she returned. He gave orders not to harm Akira unless no other alternative presented itself--an attack now could be disastrous for their goals. No, the solution the student came to was to be hit by a car. After all, the student body of Justice High were loyal, and would sacrifice themselves at his will. No, loyal was the wrong word.
They were obedient, because they had no other choice in the matter.
That was the meaning of 'a superior power.'
At any rate, Akira would be tied up at the hospital for some time with the wayward student. A reasonable sum of privacy secured, it took very little for Hyo Imawano to gain covert entry into the apartment, and truthfully, there are no signs of forced entry. Stepping inside, he'll find not a single thing out of place--everything kept in its absolutely barren origin--save for one thing. A great white cloak has been cast over a single worn recliner, giving it the appearance of a great throne.
No, that's not right either. It's not the cloak that gives the recliner its new appearance. It is the person sitting on it. Hyo Imawano, the head of the student council at Justice High, has always appeared to be a prince, if not a king, in more ways than one. His Justice High winter uniform has not the barest hint of frost or waterstain across it, for all of its fittings and acknowledgements, and he seems not to be at all bothered by the cold weather. The fact is made plainer for the notion that the heating has been all but turned off.
They say that the student council head has a heart colder than any snake's.
"Daigo Kazama," Hyo greets, evenly and dispassionately.
"Boss of the Gedo Gang. I would say that it is a pleasure, if it truly were."
One glove opens with a customary lack of patience. "Do not be alarmed. It is not my wish to bring an end to hooliganism today. Your sister is away attending to other affairs which have gained her attention for the moment, and you are as safe as Justice High's patience will allow. It would seem that you are figure of some importance in the coming days..."
An unfamiliar voice greets him a few moments after his arrival. Daigo's calm and serene demanor breaks suddenly though, his single valid eye widening in sudden alertness, his body stiffening and his posture shifting into a more aggressive one, if only slightly.
"Where's Akira!?" His voice calls out, unable to hide the obvious distress into it. The tall man obviously careless for the possession he had in his modest appartment, the safety of his sister was worth more than all the wealth he could have gathered in his life.
The tension in his jaws, the slight exposure of his teeth shows Daigo would be ready to jump at the man's throat for his answers. Thankfully, Hyo's next explanations are related to Daigo's only concern for the moment, which is the only reason why he doesn't lunge at the man.
It takes a few seconds to Daigo to assess Hyo, as if gauging him, to know whether or not his words are honest and if he can have his trust. The tension in his muscles slowly fade away and Daigo straightens up his posture slowly. The enraged expression on his feature slowly disappears, replaced by a stern and cold facade.
"There is no boss in Gedo High," Daigo replies with a snort, "At most, you could say I am someone who earned the respect of many of my fellow students in Gedo High," Daigo lowers his gaze, scanning Hyo from head to toes for a moment.
A gentle smirk spreads on Daigo's lips when he hears Hyo's last comment. After all, Daigo can only imagine how much it must have been hard to admit someone from such a lowly background, someone like him could be of importance. "Is that so" Daigo asks with a hint of surprise, heaving a soft weary sigh.
Daigo takes a step foward, to make his way toward the kitchen. Somehow, if this man had been waiting in his appartment for him, if he wanted to attack him it would have been done already -- or so he believes. "Want some tea?" Daigo asks casually as he reaches for a boiler.
"I assure you, the only thing your sister is in danger of is being the victim of an unconscionably harmless wooing."
It was almost assuredly one of the backup plans for Akira if she tried to sneak away too soon, Hyo was aware. The particular student he sent to go distract her had considered himself a bit of a casanova. Hyo had taken great pains to specify no fraternizing with lower schools to his council, but it was inevitable that one or two students would find their way off campus for some form of romantic interlude or another. Hyo would be sure to punish them, quite severely at times, but the interpersonal relationships of students were far beneath his notice.
Friendship, let alone anything more, was completely useless to the pursuit of strength.
"There are those who lead," Hyo notes, coldly, "and there are those who follow. This is not a game of humilities, Kazama." His tone is not one that seems interested in arguing the point with Kazama, he is fully authoritative when he speaks on it. Truthfully, there is no humble nature that does not grate against him so precisely than the humble nature of one who has climbed to the top of a heap of garbage. Confidence is the only color that Imawano respects.
To the latter's end, Hyo's expression is carved of stone as Daigo smirks. An imperious nature is fit to chafe at the Gedo student's impertinence towards the smallest amount of grace shown. However, it is hardly for Daigo's lowly background that Hyo finds his demeanor wanting. A lack of discipline and measure alone is enough to do that. But even so... who really could tell what it is Hyo feels ... literally at all behind those piercing, overcritical eyes? Does he even have feelings?
"I need nothing from you but your eye and your ear," Hyo specifies, simply.
The Justice High council president leans back, drumming his fingers impatiently against the recliner's arm. "It's my mission today to lead you to a proper conclusion. A conclusion whose outcome that will determine the future of your school."
Hyo frowns in consternation.
"I trust I need no more to have your attention."
While Hyo replies to him, Daigo pours some water into the kettle and prepares two cups of teas. He was fairly calm for someone whose home had been intruded by a stranger : it did not please him, but Daigo was not a man of violence and he prefered to see a peaceful end to all of this. He would not want to risk anything happening to his sister, that much was obvious.
His worries seem concealed by his own mask of stone, the manual task of preparing the tea offering him something to ease his mind from all the things that haunts it. Daigo sets the kettle on the oven and he grunts a bit at Hyo's views on leadership, showing his disapproval. It disgusted him, and he would certainly share his own view about it, but he decides against it.
Daigo turns on his heels and he leans against the counter of his kitchen, giving Hyo all of his attention. He stares at him silently as Hyo goes straight to the heart of the matter, "Your mission? And what is that proper conclusion?" He asks.
They could not be further ideological rivals. Daigo Kazama, though rough around the edges, was a boss whose idealism brought Gedo High out of the derelict slum that it had become, and made something noble of the school through unifying the myriad gangs that ran it prior. Hyo Imawano was of a vastly more dynastic mindset, bringing all of the weight and force of the Imawano clan's strength down on the student body--a flawless practice and a domineering strength was enough for him to gain control of the students, who followed him not because they respected him, but because they feared him.
This was the only true way to build a lasting power--the fear in the name Imawano was very real.
Passing over the chance for a reasonable discussion about the affair, Hyo opens a hand, waving it dismissively. "The conclusion is one that should be crystal when we are done here. The only thing you need to concern yourself with this afternoon is reason--and reason alone."
It is that unrelenting reason that brought Hyo to conclusion before, and it is the same reason that he will bring to bear on Daigo now. "We needn't fight in this alone. Think on the tournament being held at our schools. The proprietors have been very insistent about the physicals being forced on students, don't you think? There is a reason why Justice High has opted out of their program..."
He tilts his chin up, imperious.
"The scandal surrounding Gorin High's principal, nor the fire at our own school are not isolated incidents. The current events surrounding our schools are the work of a third illegal actor. A weapons cartel of some dark renown is at the heart of these scandals and even this very tournament. The investiture of new faculty to a majority of the schools in Southtown at about the same time proved suspicious to us... we felt compelled to investigate."
Just in case Daigo cannot follow Hyo's train of thought, he spells it out in no uncertain terms.
"Your school's principal is merely a plant for a cartel."
The Justice High student that came to him represented everything Daigo hated and fought against : a member of the elite who ruled like a tyran, using the fear of his name to rule those he felt were unworthy to be in his position. They were diametrically opposed in every single way, like black and white.
His leadership was a lot more chaotic, based on the freedom of every individual. Daigo has been risen to this position of leadership by his brethren because of the respect he inspires in them, and the motivation he can give them to work toward a common goal. Always with them and never above them, with no belief in hierarchy of any sort.
Their nature would make them disagree on just about every subjet and probably scorn each other in some way, but not today. Hyo's presence here meant that he must have swallowed his pride in some way, or that greater trouble was brewing. And Daigo had an idea what it might be all about.
Daigo folds hims arms against his chest and he hums softly, listening intently at Hyo's revelations. "This whole tournament is their doing," Daigo says with a slow nod, "All I know about this cartel is their name, but I bet you know that much." Daigo tilts his head to one side and says, "Principal Smith and principal Brown from Taiyo High are both linked to this cartel, that much I know, and they're responsible for other things aside from the tournament... Some explosions in Gedo High, but they've also commissioned the panties raid on Seijyun High, but their intentions are beyond me,"
Hearing the kettle's screech behind him, Daigo arches a brow and he turns on his heels to return to the kitchen. "I am afraid I am totally in the dark for their motivations and reasons to be here..." Daigo says as he pours the hot water into two cups. "If you've come to me today, it's because you expect me to do something about it?"
"I see that your intelligence is almost as effective as ours," Hyo observes placidly.
"The NESTS Cartel, those behind the Atelier corporation's sponsorship of this tournament," he notes, confirming for Daigo the name. The massive countenance of the young man before him, despite their ideological disagreements, fails to rouse any anxiety in the elite student. Opting to remain seated, he passively watches the man pour tea. It's a vague interest of his, watching people go on about their daily lives. "If you know that much, then you'll know that they are the root of the majority of the current troubles plaguing the Southtown school system as we know it." The rest, obviously, have much to do with the other schools--but that is a debate Hyo doesn't wish to break into today.
Hyo gathers his blade, a sheathed weapon set off to one side of the chair. This he rests a hand upon as if the fittings of the hilt were the fittings of a cane. Does he expect him to do something about it? "Only what any self-respecting member of their mother school would," Hyo retorts. "Your tone suggests that you intended on doing nothing before I came to you. I find that laughable. Is it your intention to tell me that you truly thought to stand and remain impotent as the jackals of some ominous and horrific enterprise did as it willed with those who you assert respect you so? Tell me that that is the means of a man empowered to make a difference..."
"After all. Do you understand what it is that they're doing? Further, did you really think that their motives were benign, if they required such covert means?"
"No," Daigo replies sharply to Hyo, "We both know that inaction in itself is generally more detrimental than action itself," Daigo takes two small tea bags and puts them into the two cups of teas. He turns around, carrying the two saucers in his large hands with care. He strides toward Hyo and sets the cup of tea within arm's reach, should he chose to have some : a camomile infusion.
Daigo turns on his heels and pulls a chair to have a seat and set down his own saucer on the table. He waits for the tea to infuse before doing anything with his cup though, his eyes lost in the hot water in the cup. "Reckless actions would not solve anything. I know, for one, that someone confronted our Principal, which resulted in massive explosions in our school... Fortunately no one was injured,"
Daigo reaches out for the tea bag, idly nudging it, "Without any proof of their wrong doing, nothing I could do could lead to any good. Alas, this leaves me stranded for now..." Daigo says. The cartel's presence bothered Daigo, though probably not as much as Hyo. To Hyo, they were probably a threat to his supremacy while they hardly posed one to the integrity of Gedo High's students, which was Daigo's primary concern.
Daigo leans back against his chair and closes his eyes, heaving a soft sigh, "It bothers me as much as it does to you, but for different reasons," Daigo says. "And those different concerns of ours explain why I am assessing the situation before I make my move. I do not want to make another mistake,"
Daigo reaches out for his cup of tea and blows a bit on it, before he brings it to his lips to sip some of it.
Hyo considers the tea, as it's placed before him. However, one might have just as simply placed incense before the altar of one's ancestors--he has no more interest in the tea than he did a few moments ago. Daigo was quite canny in not waiting for him to accept it--it is highly likely that the council president would have simply refused, once it was assured that Daigo wasn't expecting someone else. Hyo is not one to rush to a conclusion when merely waiting will offer the right information.
However, it is that exact trait that he chides in Daigo.
"The NESTS Cartel is a scientific group that has turned to radical and illegal means over the years," Hyo explains pointedly. "Means through which they will have the utmost of expertise in. Was it your intention to wait for them to make a mistake? Because, I assure you, you will be assessing for quite some time if you hinge it upon that much. You know, and is that not enough? Is it not the way of adults to wait until they can prove what everyone already knows? I will assure you that the cartel will, as things currently stand, never leave you enough evidence to act. And that will be the story of you. Standing idly by as they tear your school down, brick by brick. I wonder if your fellow students will respect your resolve when they are broken on the ground like china dolls."
"Do you think that your sister will still be able to look at you in the same way?"
There is a peculiar lilt in his tone. Hyo Imawano is familiar with the weakness gained by entertaining social bonds, and it is exactly that weaknes he plies upon now, seeking to prove that which he has known all of his life. "For as long as the Atelier group and NESTS are in charge of things at Gedo, your sister is in danger," he clarifies, calmly. "And you know above all exactly what it is that you should do." He looks towards Daigo absently.
A powerful argument made by even a reasoned man's stripes.
But Hyo has no patience for debate with a lesser school.
Daigo Kazama is too strong for his brainwashing technique to work on point-blank, he knows. That willpower may even be too much for Raizo to overcome. Hyo would have to break Daigo's will, first. But weakening him now would make him of little use against the cartel which Hyo seeks to unseat. The time for something real would come. But for the time being, Hyo has many methods at his disposal. And even if Raizo forbade it...
...well, even this technique is sure to go unnoticed for the time being.
It takes just one casual glance with Hyo Imawano's eyes for his spell to take hold. He is not like his father's brother, and there is a huge gulf between his technique and Raizo's. His subtlety is enough that Daigo doesn't even need to feel his mental penetration. He only need make a suggestion, towards a course of action amongst others which Daigo is already ready for. An idea. He only need suggest a rationale for the inception to take hold. An idea, and a rationale.
"Your sister is in danger," Hyo repeats, icily.
"You know what you have to do. The only answer is... 'uprising.'"
Hyo's words do not fall on deaf ears. It resonates in Daigo's mind as he stares at his tea, silently, in contemplation. The gears are churning in his mind as he tries to evaluate the right course of action, the right thing to do.
There was no urgency to act, there was still time to assess the situation and take the better course of action but... There was truth behind Hyo's words, something that made Daigo's resolve wavers a little. His only weakness, his sister Akira.
It was there though, subtle cringe in his facila expression, the way his teeth gritted some. His worries were growing, fed by Hyo's speech. He lowers the cup of tea when Hyo suggests a course of action, and Daigo turns his face to stare at him with his single valid eye.
The suggestion spreads its roots in Daigo's mind. The seeds of the uprising had already been sown before and Hyo's suggestion only straightens Daigo's belief that this is the right course of action. Enough to finally tip the balance in Daigo's mind and make it clear to him : an uprising against the false principal was the best way to free themselves from the threat he represented.
"You are right," He finally answers, his voice a bit distant. He shakes his head a bit, as if snapping out of it, this fog in his mind slowly dissipating. His features harden a bit, the previous shadows of doubts on his features fading away. There was only resolve and determination, "We have to mobilize and uprise ourselves against them. It is the only way to ensure our safety... Everyone's safety,"
It was all it needed -- a little bit of help to convince him. To Daigo, it feels like this decision is the result of careful meditations and seemed the only answer to their problem.
"It is the only logical conclusion to make," Hyo reinforces, staring at Daigo eye-to-eye. The tea set before him chills slowly in the cup as the council head lifts his hands, steepling his fingers together slowly as he watches the direction of Daigo's resolve slowly turn away from 'waiting' and towards 'acting.'
"You wish to keep your felllow students safe. It is unquestionable that NESTS means them ill. For the time being, it is only my wish to advance your thinking to its logical end. After all... it is the conclusion you asked for. Do as you will. Do as you and yours are best at..."
When Hyo stands from the recliner, he folds the white cloak over the sheath of his sword ceremonially, breathing outward with the slight exertion required. "And... you know as well as anyone. It's the only way to prevent disaster. It is in the best interest for every school in Southtown if you act."
Imawano takes his leave quietly, excusing himself from the apartment and leaving Daigo to his own thoughts, the cooling cup of chamomile the only evidence he was ever there. Perhaps even soon that memory will fade. "It will be satisfying, seeing the sort of damage ruffians can wreak on the pillars of evil in our community..."
Log created on 20:05:19 01/08/2015 by Hyo, and last modified on 02:09:46 01/09/2015.