Description: The Society's Secret Village comes to fruition, offering safety to its first few dozen Darkstalker refugees in search for a better life. To some, it is the dream that they thought was unable to be achieved. And to others, a place to fall back when all other doors have been closed.
It had been a while since the Kitsune had left the desolated shrine in Southtown. She came and stayed only a few days before she disappeared as mysteriously as she first appeared. Would she ever return? When? Who knows, Kiyomi seemed to follow her own rules, even if she had agreed to somewhat behave while she was around the shrine and its forest.
More or less a month went by since Kiyomi left the shrine. She wandered through Japan, seeking other Darkstalkers -- the ones she had come across through her wanderlust with the Children of the Night, those who did not have the will and resolve to fight or who did not have the strength to stand for themselves against the humans.
Offering them a place to live in peace and protection, a safe haven, she had been able to gather a few dozen Darkstalkers of various natures. It was a long run, but with the help of the Children of the Night, she was able to mass them unscathed.
A few signs announce their arrival to the shrine : the howling of wolves in the middle of the night. It doesn't take long for the group of Darkstalkers to make their way to the shrine -- werewolves, lizard-folks, winged creatures of various natures, beasts and monsters with various physical deformidad.
Not all of them had the chance, after all, to have a vastly humanoid appearance like Kiyomi. It wasn't hard to spot her, within the group.
Such a thought had passed through Nightwolf's mind before. The thought that any one day could be the last one he'd be seeing Kiyomi. Granted, such a thing is fairly common for one who follows the path of the Sin Eater. When their profession demands that they do battle against Darkstalkers and vicious creatures from Outworld, any given day could be their last. But that was not necessarily the case why Nightwolf doubted seeing the kitsune again. It was because he recognized the true wanderlust in the fox's eyes, for it was one that the Apache brave had seen before. A thrill of adventure that sometimes superseded duty. Nightwolf couldn't say that he knew Kiyomi well enough to be certain of her dedication to the cause of Darkstalkers. Considering the whimsical nature of the fox, it could be just as likely that Kiyomi departed one day, never to be seen again as flight of fancy took her, like it seemingly often did.
However, it seems that Nightwolf's concerns were for naught. He could read the signs in the wind and in the night sky.. Kiyomi had kept her side of the bargain, the duty of the Society was now truly well underway.
When the crowd of Darkstalkers arrive to the Shrine they would surprisingly find it wholly abandoned. Truly no one was there and even Raiden's energies were nowhere to be felt. Some of the group might not be all that surprised, because what else could be expected of a human? Even one who claims to be less so than others. However, upon closer inspection, the reason why it was abandoned becomes clear. There are signs leading out of the Shrine and deeper into the woods, where the true home of these refugees await.
It would still be a day's journey for Kiyomi and her group of Darkstalkers, but it would be well worth it. Following the signs that Nightwolf had left for them, the group would arrive on an apparent dead end of the deep dark woods. Only for the trees to be naught but an illusion as it parts way to an expansive village surrounded by sturdy wooden longhouses that act as walls. Beyond that, a large temple looms in the very center of the village, much like the Shrine they had left back, but far bigger, fitting perhaps for the God of Thunder that watches over them all.
Could it be that they had truly found a home?
It had been a rough and long trip for some of the Darkstalkers -- exhausting as well, in the middle of winter. It was not easy to convince them to leave their homes and what little they had behind. Though Kiyomi's silver tongue had been enough to convince most of them, giving them glimmer of hopes, the promise of a life without fear, with others like them.
Their food had been sparse -- the results of the hunt, moving during the night. Not all of them were fast or able to endure the elements like others, some were even young Darkstalkers, merely infants. "Is this the place, Kiyomi?" Says a towering behemoth with a growl, obviously weary from the long travel. Had it not been for Kiyomi's confused look and how she seemed to search her way, he might not have asked the question.
The Kitsune hesitates -- was she hoping for more than this? It was just shrine when she came, yet now there was no one... Maybe others came and killed them and the Full Moon Society had died in her absence, leaving only an unborn ideal.
Fortunately though, before she has to admit them this is it, that they've done all of their voyage to see this unwelcoming place, Kiyomi notices the signs left behind by Nightwolf. Her lips curl into a faint, smile, "Just a little further, we're almost there.." She says, gesturing with her arm toward the path they had to follow, to the indications that were a sign they drew closer. There are various grunts of complaints but Kiyomi manages to have them keep on, the signs were at least enough to give them a goal and know they were drawing close.
They continue for a day, setting camp and resting once more. They prefered to travel by nightime and hide during the day. They carry on the path the next night, Kiyomi carrying one of the younger Darkstalkers on her back who was too tired to keep on walking and fell sick during their trip. When they reach the dead end though, the most pesimistic of the groups voice their thoughts, on the verge of despair -- not only had the trip been rough and hard, but it all been all for naught.
Their comments do not reach out to the Kitsune though -- her keen senses and her familarity with illusions allowed her to see the subtle hints of the veil that lies in this area. Her lips curl into a smile, "No, this is the place..." She says as she walks further and seems to disappear, only to be followed by the others who finally sees through the shroud of illusions as they walk into their village.
All the Darkstalkers are awe struck -- not only does this place offer a minimum of protection, but also housing... A place for them to live in community, to protect themselves in a secret village.
Kiyomi's speech were no lies, this had not been in vain.
It was such a relief, not only for herself, but for everyone. Travelling with weaker Darkstalkers had been much rougher than she expected, much more difficult and slower. Fortunately, Lune and the other Children of the Night had helped her through all of this.
It may not look like much at first from the outside, but the expansive longhouses that surround the village can from quite the effective front line. Deceptively efficient as Kiyomi and her wayward group of Darkstalkers might find out when a pair of eyes stare at them from inside one of the buildings.
A wolf with dark pelt emerges from the windows and trots over to meet with the weary travelers, one that Kiyomi will easily recognize.
A swirling of green energy later, the dark wolf has turned into a dark skinned man garbed in wolf and deer pelts. Blank white eyes staring at the dozens of Darkstalkers that had made the long journey to this place.
"Greetings. I am Nightwolf, the speaker of the Society. I bid you all welcome to our Hidden Village. Your safe home under the protection of the warriors of the Society for as long as you wish it."
Nightwolf's eyes scan the crowd until he finds Kiyomi and he nods at her, showing in his own way that he is glad to see her again.
"Doubtlessly you have many questions. Ask now and I will do my best to answer."
Kiyomi's lips curl into a smile when she sees the dark wolf appears from the village. His sudden transformation doesn't surprise anyone it seems -- being Darkstalkrs they had seen their share of unnatural things, after all. His welcomes certainly spread the joy on their faces, the younger kids cheering and the adults seeming quite relieved as well.
Kiyomi approaches Nightwolf and she glances over the others, speaking before they ask their questions, "How about we go somewhere warm, where we could rest our weary feet... Many of us are exhausted from the long travel, as well as hungry..." Kiyomi smiles at Nightwolf and says, "I am sure it will be easier to do the presentation somewhere warm, and with our stomach full, don't you agree?"
One large bear-looking man takes a step foward, casting his shadow over Nightwolf. Despite his bulk and size, he seemed gentle and soft. He bows his head and says, "Thank you for your hospitality.. It would be appreciated, as Renard said, but have no fear, we do not intent to act like parasite, we all came here with the intent to work in some way for each other and contribute to the society, to give ourselves a better life,"
Nightwolf has know Darkstalkers all his life as well. Being almost part Darkstalker himself due to his shamanistic arts and his Sin Eater curse, he knows very well that there are many a trait they all seem to share. That being mistrust of strangers. And who could blame them? Persecuted all their life and forced to stay in the shadows in order to survive, the shaman was certain that this group of refugees would not readily take the invitation.
But again, Nightwolf underestimates Kiyomi's silver tongue. Not only do these Children of the Night seem eager to join in, some of them are already offering their services to help the village grow.
The Apache glances at Kiyomi first and considers her suggestion. Did this group would really jump in to a village that they didn't know anything about without asking questions?
According to the bear-looking man, apparently yes. Just because Nightwolf seems impervious to Kiyomi's charms doesn't mean she's not capable of using them on others.
"Very well." He nods to the Kitsune first and then to the bear Darkstalker. "Worry not of that for now, my friend. Kiyomi is right, you all have had a long journey. Come inside, there is room and food aplenty."
Nightwolf moves back into the village and slides inside one of the windows to open the large gates, welcoming the group inside.
There is a large bonfire going at the very center with enough food to feed this group many times over, it looks like a feast.
During their long trip to the shrine, the Darkstalkers did not have the chance to have a roof or a warm place to stay. Most were reaching their limits and were desperate by the time they reached this place. It's easier to believe into something when it's the only thing you have left. How Kiyomi managed to lure them out here is a mystery, though all of them left what they had behind to come to this place, there was no turning back for now.
Hopefully, Kiyomi's charms on them would last long enough for them to establish themselves here. The bonfire, the warm roof and the food is more than welcome. The younger Darkstalkers rushing to eat plentifully, obvious signs of infants who often had to deal with famine, eating more than they wuold need to normally. After all, one never knows when their next meal might be. The adults seem a bit more reasonable, but they eat as well.
As for Kiyomi, she takes care of the young Darkstalker she had been carrying, giving him a hand to feed but also finding him a place to sleep.
Of course, in the meantime, once they get settled around the bonfire, Nightwolf becomes the center of attention and everyone listens to his words very carefully : what is the society? What do they expect of them? Is it true that they won't fear oppression here? Who are the ones protecting them? What is this illusion when they entered the village? And on, and on, and on.
Right, on to do speaker stuff it seems.
Nightwolf gives everyone a moment to settle in whilst he goes about to check that everything is in order. He closes the barrier that hides the village from the view of the outside world and then closes the actual physical gate leading to the village.
As everyone takes a seat and recover their strength, the Sin Eater takes point in front of the bonfire and stands on a cut tree stump so that everyone cane see him. He passes his eyes over them all as the Children of the Night begin to rain questions on him, causing him to raise his hands to motion silence. Nightwolf is in reality quite new at this whole leader stuff but he seems to be naturally gifted at it.
"Greetings to everyone! As I said before, I am Nightwolf, the speaker of the Full Moon Society."
"For those of you who are attuned to the spiritual flows of Earthrealm, you will know for quite some time now that changes have drawn ever near. A tide of darkness soon approaches, threatening to consume not only the world of humans, but our world as well. None shall be spared the onslaught that will be the invasion of Outworld, for those demons will not discriminate. Human and Child of Darkness alike will be naught but another sacrifice to the barbaric warlord known as Shao Kahn."
Rather grim way to start things..
"Only through unity will we persevere. Though we may seem small now, we of the Society have many warriors already, willing to do all to protect Earthrealm, and protect you." He looks behind him and points to the tall shrine to the far end of the village, The Sky Temple. "Know that Haokah, Raiden, the very God of Thunder watches over us all and he asks of us in return naught but peace and understanding to our fellows."
"I understand many of you are not warriors. When the tide of darkness comes, you will not be forced to fight. But those who do will receive training from the best warriors the Society can offer, including Raiden himself. Here, you have the chance that few in the history of the world can claim to have. To train under a God!"
"We have built many temporary and more permanent residences for everyone. More than enough to house everyone. The illusion that has been placed around the village can protect us only to a certain extent, for it will ultimately fall onto us to defend our new home. Come and go as you will, the Society is not here to force you to stay. All we ask in return is that you tell one of us when you leave and if you plan of bringing someone here. Should someone come unannounced to the village, the illusion will not open to show the true path within, we do so for the safety of everyone."
"For now, it is only I that is here. We of the Society have many duties to attend to in the world, and even Raiden will not be available all the time. But you will learn to know each and one of us in due time. For now, rest and think of the future. Because our exploits will herald a new world."
"A world where you need not hide nor cower of your nature. A future where you can be free."
Nightwolf's role was definately not an easy one : the harbinger of an hellish future. He bears a warning, a message of hope so that they may rally against this pure evil, though it is not necessarly the way all the Darkstalkers present here accept this warning.
Many murmurs can be heard amongst the Darktalkers -- some nods silently though when Nightwolf speaks of the disturbance in the spiritual flows, though the others seem more worried than anything else.
Kiyomi had, after all, lured them here with honey : promise of a better future, protection and a place where fear would not exist. Yet, the first message they receive is one of semi-inevitable doom. They were all weary, in a way, and more preoccupied by their safety at the hand of humans first and foremost before worrying about some other wordly warlord.
The second part of his speech seems to appease the fears the Darkstalkers have. Some were obviously frail souls who had their share of suffering and torment in life, though others had the posture of hunters and fighters despite themselves, though who probably wished to stop running and fighting.
His last words really reach out to them though : a world where they do not need to hide or cower, or fear because of their monstruous nature. Some mumurs can be heard amongst themselves, but there's a shy silence as if no one dared to be the first to react to Nightwolf's speech.
After a moment, a tall bear looking humanoid rises up to his full height. The best way to describe him was 'massive' : bulk and brawn mixed together. Despite his beastial feature, his facial expression was gentle, more of a lover than a fighter, obviously, despite his sharp and deadly clawed hands. He was as impressive as a bear himself, towering Nightwolf with easily two feet. "I have been hunted down by humans for years -- I am tired of running, and fighting. Despite what they say, I am not a monster," He says. He takes a few steps closer to Nightwolf, to stare down at him, "All I ever want -- we ever want, is to have a normal life, not being treated like beasts or animals,"
The beast man bows his head to Nightwolf and says, "In unity, there is strength -- I will stay, and fight if I must, to defend our right to a normal life,"
Another one stands up -- his skin seemed like bark, no hair atop his head, like the trees in winter. He was barefoot on the ground, and he approaches Nightwolf, "I too, have sensed the changes you speak of in the leylines," The man states, "I am no fighter, but... I know you speak the truth, and will help if I can,"
Not everyone seems to agree in the crowd : some seems hesitant, but the two Darkstalkers who showed their support to this cause was enough to cause a few others to offer their support, which seems to have a small domino effect on some of the Darkstalkers.
Of course Nightwolf's job wasn't easy.
If it were easy to be a Sin Eater, everyone would do it.
Nightwolf is quick to calm everyone having heard the disgruntled murmurs of the crowd by rising his hands. He knows how to lead despite his dislike of the position, and as any great leader knows it is best when your followers do so out of their own volition. He wasn't going to lure them with honey like Kiyomi, these were the hard truths. It may cause some of them to leave, but those who stay would be true believers of what they do is right. However, that does not mean he was not going to protect them as best he could. "Fear not, my friends. We did not bring you here to conscript you into the ranks of our army. No one that does not wish to fight will be forced to. It is after all our duty as warriors of the Society to defend all from those who wish to harm Earthrealm, and you, my fellows, are also part of this realm, despite whatever foolish humans may argue."
"Here you can rest, eat, live your lives as you always wanted to.. in freedom. But know that the ultimate goal of the Society is to bring freedom to all! This is naught but a simple start."
"Whoever wishes to truly join us will have the opportunity to bring the same freedom that you now have to others."
To the bear man and the tree like fellow that approach him, Nightwolf nods his own head in thanks of their support, a closed hand coming up to his chest in a warrior salute. "We welcome you then, brothers. Vanguards of a new era. There will plenty for you two to do."
"But tonight is not that time, tonight everyone rests to recover their strength. Pick a lodge or set one up of your own if you prefer. And think not that is the end of your journey, quite the contrary..."
"This is only the beginning."
The Darkstalkers couldn't agree more. They were weary from their long travel through the land to find this place, it had been a rough journey and it was the first time they had a chance to rest and recover, to enjoy a warm place and food. The night would surely give them wise advice and they can give this new life a try... Who knows what might come of it?
The Darkstalkers keeps on eating, sharing their views on the subject with each other, arguing on the matter. Nobody had the energy to fight after their long travel, and so, no conflict would arise for today, and even if they would, as Nightwolf said, no one was held here against their will, though some might feel slightly betrayed by Kiyomi and her silver tongue.
She meant no harm though, nor to deceive them, but she described what she thought the Full Moon Society could be to them.
It is only moment laters that Kiyomi finally joins the circle around the bondfire. She had been business taking care of the child who grew ill during their trip, though now that they are here, she is certain he will promptly recover.
She takes a seat near Nightwolf, taking an elegant posture, somthing that seems almost natural considering the clothes she wears. Like the other Darkstalkers, the features on her face seems tensed up from the fatigue of their travel. A single stray lock of raven hair dangles in front of her eyes. She glances at Nightwolf, a gentle smile spreading on her lips. "Even in my wildest dreams, Nightwolf, I never expected this to be like this," She coos softly. She turns her gaze away and closes her eyes, "Thank you," She says, "From the bottom of my heart," She adds after a pause, "There is no gift greater than hope, for those who have known only despair most of their life..." She lowers her gaze a bit and adds, "I don't know if you realize how much it means..."
Kiyomi might have lead many of these Darkstalkers under slightly false pretences, but what Nightwolf and the Society do offer is very real. Peace, freedom, and if they wish it, even strength. They may seem like very small comforts now, naught but a simple village in the middle of nowhere to hide, what is this but a refugee camp to some of the more downtrodden Darkstalkers? However, the truth of the matter is that its an investment, it won't be until much longer that those who have come here will see the fruits of their labor, but the catch is that they /do/ have to stay.
One way or another it is ultimately their decision, stay here and grow strong, or leave and continue living in fear.
After Nightwolf's speech is given and the Children of the Night disperse into their own groups to talk amongst themselves, Nightwolf also joins the circle around the bonfire and finds himself accompanied by the wayward fox. The shaman is seated on his usual lotus flower position when Kiyomi sits next to him and he glances at her, noticing the tired but content look on her face. Strange indeed, this might be the first time that Nightwolf sees a genuine expression from Kiyomi, and he still can't bring to lower his guard.
"Think nothing of it, Kiyomi." He says politely but somewhat curtly. "It is naught but my duty to ensure that everyone gets the chance of a better life that they deserve, and that does include the Children of the Night." He gazes at the fire briefly in thought. "Besides.. as I said, do not thank me just yet. There is still plenty to be done."
Here is when he turns to look at her, bright, white blank eyes staring at her. "Will you stand by our side I wonder? Or will you now forge your own path?"
Kiyomi's lips curl into a faint smile and she nods to Nightwolf. By his intonation, she knew he did not understand how much it meant to her and to them. It might be better that way, after all, because to understand it meant would mean he had a taste of despair long enough, which is something Kiyomi wishes to no one... Well, almost no one.
Her features showed only serenity though : well earned after her long journey. "Yes, there is plenty to be done..." She repeats softly. The question from Nightwolf causes her to arch a brow. She glances at him, then back at the fire, mesmerized by it, pondering on his question.
Her features seem filled with a bit of grief for a moment, and Kiyomi glances at Nightwolf. She has a feeling none of the answers she would give him would be ones he'd like to hear, "Tell me," She says softly, "What is it that you'd wish for?" She asks in earnest curiousity.
Oh, make no mistake..
Nightwolf knew of despair alright.
To be set on a path as a Sin Eater from childhood, to feel every drop of negative energy, to know nothing but lonely travels and constant fights to the death against Darkstalkers and denizens of Outworld, and to top all that knowing that it will one day turn you into a monster if you aren't brutally killed before that happens. It is a life that leads only to thoughts of despair.
The fact that he's a Native American traditionalist doesn't help things. He's probably seen as much prejudice as these Darkstalkers.
Nightwolf simply knows that dwelling on such thoughts isn't a worthwhile endeavor. The shaman knows that they are all happy right now, and he appreciates their thanks and Kiyomi's, but Nightwolf knows too much to let this brief moment of respite to get to him. Only when Earthrealm is completely safe will he perhaps truly celebrate.. or maybe when he's dead.
"Do you really have to ask that?" Asks the shaman back sounding somewhat amused. He turns his gaze back to the fire thoughtfully, and he debates mentally that if Kiyomi has really dealt with persecution all her life, then she would need to ask that question.
"I wish you'd stay, of course. You are strong and reliable, Kiyomi. You posses a perseverance than most people today can only wish they could have."
"I know that you do not believe in the cause, and you may be right, despite all of our efforts humans and Darkstalkers may never fully live together in peace."
"But what I do know for certainty is that we can achieve great things if you stay with us."
"We'd all be weaker with your absence, that much is undeniable."
The Kitsune's lips curl into a smile and she tilts her head to one side when Nightwolf asks her the question. True to her nature, the woman replies by a question of her own that sums up her thought about this, "Then why did you decide to make it difficult on me, to ask me to choose a side?" Kiyomi retorts.
She closes her eyes and glances back at the fire : she is not impervous to compliments and flattery. No one is, after all and everyone enjoys knowing they are desired and liked.
She shifts on her seat to face Nightwolf : she leans in a bit closer, one hand reaching out for Nightwolf's hand. She caresses the top of his hand before she squeezes it in her delicate fingers. She keeps her eyes fixed on him and murmurs in a sultry tone, "Nightwolf... If you ask me to stay, I will," She bites her lips, before offering him saddened smile as she adds, "... But do not ask me the impossible, Nightwolf," She shakes her head slowly.
Kiyomi closes her eyes and glances away, letting go of Nightwolf's hand, "This place..." She says, her intonation filled with melancholy. She lowers her gaze before adding, "... Is the sort of place my mother would have wanted to live in," She admits. She moves her hands in her laps and squeezes them, fixing them with her eyes. She remains silent afterward, as if lost in her thoughts.
Bah, there's that cheeky kitsune smile again, Nightwolf has started to dread whenever Kiyomi smiles at him knowingly like that. She's probably going to say something that inwardly infuriates him. And whaddaya know? She does say something rather contrived.
Nightwolf is remarkably good at controlling his emotions, but for a moment it looks like he's about to scowl..
Until Kiyomi grasps his gruff hand with her delicate fingers and sooth him back to calmness. What was possibly going to a snarl now comes off as just an annoyed sigh.
"Kiyomi.." He looks away from her, though he does not refuse the hand caressing. "I really wish you'd stop acting as if I own you. The desire to help others means nothing if treated as simple orders. It must be genuine, it must come from your heart."
"Stay with us." He says at last, somewhat contrary to what he just said since it came off as an order. "But do so out of your own volition, not because anyone has told you to."
"No one here is ordered to stay, not even me.. not even Raiden."
He glances at her when she looks sadly into the fire and its now his turn to offer comfort, placing a heavy hand on her shoulder and giving a slight squeeze. "Many would have thought a place like this to be impossible before. I certainly did think of it as such."
"And yet here we are now, doing the impossible."
"More than anything else I wish you'd believe. If not the cause itself then in Raiden.. and myself."
The vixen's lips curl into a smile : Nightwolf's words seemed to make her smile in many different ways, each and every single one reflecting different emotions. Women were often mysterious creatures who were hard to read and understand, and Kiyomi was no exception. She closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. She then nods to Nightwolf, "I will stay," She says. It felt like she had more to say, but the Kitsune decides to keep it to herself for now
She glances away, toward the child she had helped eat and had lulled into slumber, then back away. Her tails sway behind her gently, back and forth, as if dancing instinctively on their own as she stays captivated by the flame, "I have faith in you and Raiden," Kiyomi admits, "It would be hypocrite of me to say otherwise. My dearest wish is to see a place where we enjoy the simpler things of life, and cherish the ones we love, without fear,"
She glances at Nightwolf, a wry smile on her lips. She lifts her hand up and says, "Also..." She says, "Don't think because I've submitted to you during our hunts, that I've bowed before you that it means you own me, if that is what you think,"
She straightens herself and says, playfully, "I'm a wild, untamable and free vixen," It's hard to know whether or not it was said in a daring tone or matter of factly.
Azumi, after recovering from her last duel, had been gone for about a week. She'd been traveling quite a bit and also taking the time out to become more accustomed to her still kinda-sorta-new form. She seemed to be getting the hang of it, judging by how she was moving. In the forest leading up to the village she was leaping with confidence, going in between trees with the skill and percision that Ninjas are typically known for.
She burst out of the tree line and lands on one of the outlying structures, using that to ramp off of and on the roof of another building...and another building. She eventually spots a group sitting and appearing to be enjoying each other's company, including Kiyomi and Nightwolf. Curiosity getting the better of her, she leaps off of the last roof and onto the ground, frontflipping tightly in the process. She lands softly next to the two of them and passes them both a polite bow.
"Hey. How's it going you two?"
Women are difficult to deal with.
To say nothing of kitsune women.
Many times, Nightwolf has pondered that if he had the chance of picking between dealing with Kiyomi or try his luck at fighting the entire armies of Outworld blindfolded and with his arms tied to his back...
He'd probably prefer dealing with Kiyomi.. but only barely!
The kitsune's cheeky smile bring another exasperated look on the shaman's otherwise grim face. But at least it seems that for now she has made up her mind to throw her lot with them, this will suffice to Nightwolf for now and he brings his hand away from the fox's shoulder to rest it back on his knee. "Good." He says at last.
And when Kiyomi reminds him that she's indeed an independent woman that needs no man, Nightwolf just smacks his lips with a 'tsk' sound. "Believe me, you make this fact abundantly clear all the time."
Then suddenly.. NINJA! That seems to happen a lot around here, must be because they are in Japan. This ninja however is of the werewolf kind and the shaman glances up to see Azumi approaching them.
"I am glad to see you up and about again, Azumi." Nightwolf says with a nod. "I knew it would take you no time at all to recover."
The Kitsune spots something out the corner of her eye. The tumbling done by the ninja brings a wide smile to Kiyomi's lips. "Hello, Azumi,"
She tilts her head to one side and says, "Long time no see," She moistens her lips and slowly rises to her full height, glancing down at Nightwolf, and then back at Azumi, "If you'll excuse me, I want to make sure the sickened child is sleeping well,"
She glances at Azumi and moves one hand up to ruffle the girl's hair, a soft chuckle escaping her throat as she walks away.
Azumi turns to look at Kiyomi as she leaves, taking a moment to scratch the previously ruffled spot on her head. She eventually shrugs and turns back to look at Nightwolf, looking about as good as new, at least compared to the last time he'd seen her.
"Yeah, this speedy healing thing is pretty nice. I was only down for about a day and needed to get some rest the next day, and I was about as good as new. I've been traveling a little bit while I was out and getting used to moving around a bit better. I almost feel like me again, which is nice. It feels great to be able to jump like I used to, even further if I watch the landing spot."
Nightwolf peers at Kiyomi leaving until she's out of sight and starts poking at the bonfire with a bit, grumbling a bit. He seems annoyed about something.
Though not enough to not pay attention to Azumi. The shaman gives a snort like laugh realizing that Azumi really is back to her old energetic self. "Very good indeed." He approves.. and it's usually a bad thing when Nightwolf approves of something. "Because we will be needing all the help we can get."
"I hope the Red Cloud taught you a thing or two about building houses."
Azumi runs a hand over one of her ears, itching the spot where it connected to her head sheepishly. "Ah...no?"
She turns down to look at him poke the fire and starts to suspect that maybe he was upset about something, but considering who just left, that could quite literally be anything under the sun.
"I was a member of the elites...if it's not about fighting at least somewhat, It's probably a pretty safe bet that I don't know how to do it. I mean,I could tell you the best way to split a house in half, but building one? That's...ah...that's a definite negative. Besides, this place should be plenty big. How many more buildings do we need? Just how many others need refuge?"
"Could be a few dozens." Says Nightwolf calmly still poking at the fire with a stick.. "Could be hundreds. Thousands even. This is only the first batch that Kiyomi could find, and I suspect many more will follow as our Society grows."
Honestly, Nightwolf suspected that Azumi wouldn't know jack about building things. That's not usually a skill taught to the average ninja or even demon hunter. How on earth does Nightwolf knows all these things about manual labor, specifically carpentry, is still a mystery.
"We'll start small of course. Right now small lodges and tents will suffice. However, we'll soon have to build more longhouses, and expand the wall.. to say nothing of the sky temple." That thing was a bitch to build by himself, Nightwolf must have worked on that thing for weeks without telling anyone. "Then repairs on the wall in case we're attacked, which is a very likely possibility." Looks like there's a lot of work to be done.
"Don't worry, you'll learn all these things in time. All I need is your willingness to help."
Azumi crosses her arms as he mentions just how many people might be coming, let alone repairs and expansion. She sighs at all this infrastructure that'd need to be built and while she had a massive obligation to help...this was one of the unfun parts of building a city, even if it's just a village right now.
"I'll help the best way I could, but I warn you in advance...totally not a thing I usually do. You seem to be pretty good at that stuff, especially if you built that temple. Very, very nice in there. I kind of like the fact that we're out here and trying to build it, but aren't too far from Southtown, if we need to pick up supplies. When this place was mentioned in that mail thing, I thought it was going to be like, an area for us that was like, a suburb of Southtown. By the way, here's a thought; how come this place doesn't have a name? Calling it 'the village' is kind of neat I guess, this place could really use like, a proper name to it. I was out looking for other Darkstalkers and i actually found a vampire lady myself. When she started asking me questions about this place, it was a little weird not having like...something to call it."
"Thank you, I'm glad you like it." Hey, Nightwolf has been called a 'supernatural wolf spirit warrior' before, but that doesn't mean he can't appreciate people liking his work. Just because those may be the skills of an old life now gone, he still is going to put them into practice, and it feels good to have people complement him for it. Looks like he's got that touch.
Nightwolf smiles switches quickly to an incredulous look he gives Azumi. Really? A suburb in Southtown? He shakes his head and /almost/ laughs at the thought. "You are hilarious sometimes, Azumi." Of course, nearly laughing for Nightwolf is his lips twitching a little. Then again, Azumi was probably serious.. Nightwolf just decides to take it as a joke.
"You do bring a good point though." Says the Apache after pondering for a moment and tossing the stick into the fire. "We do need a name for the village."
Azumi keeps her arms crossed, but one of her hands does find it's way to her chin, stroking it for a moment. The laughing certainly quirked a brow, but when he doesn't comment on it too much further, she also shrugs, unsure really what the joke was. The last question though...took some pondering. She glances over towards a few of the sturdy but unfurnished buildings...and a few of the first wave of refugees that had been walking or talking with a few others. She also spends a moment looking over towards the temple and it's majesty, eventually sweeping back around to the forest they were currently residing in. She nods and turns back towards Nightwolf.
"I propose we name it: Bastion. It's a place we're trying to keep safe from everyone else, and it's kind of simple enough and to the point I think. Plus it's kind of a fun name to say. Bastion."
Giving it another moment of thought she decides to bring back up the first laughable point a second time, tossing her previous conviction aside.
"And I don't get what's so funny about that. If we had done that, we would have had people been able to do all the unfun stuff...like hooking up plumbing, setting up electric wires, communication cables and a bunch of stuff that might make some people feel a bit more comfortable. And all things considered, Southtown is pretty tolerant of Darkstalkers. I can compete in the Neo league without any hassle and even go and purchase food if I need to from them."
"No they are not." Answers the shaman immediately, all possible amusement gone from his face immediately, back to his usual stone visage serious self. "Southtown is one of the more tolerant cities for Darkstalkers, it is true. However, an entire community of Darkstalkers appearing suddenly in one of their suburbs would be unthinkable. It would be all over the news and the Hunter Guild would attack us immediately. We'd have open warfare in our hands almost as soon as we moved in there."
"Just think about it for a moment, Azumi. What would the Red Cloud do if they learned a place like this exists? Now think what they would do if it was as easy to access as driving to Southtown."
"We would have to hide in the red light districts, hidden under piles of filth, like trash. I am tired of seeing Darkstalkers living like vermin. Here in the woods, we can all live with dignity as we were meant to do."
Then he scratches his chin after delivering his solemn manifesto. "Bastion does sound like a good name though, I don't think anyone would be opposed to it. See if your new vampire acquaintance is interested in joining us and we shall see from there."
Azumi's ears lower as Nightwolf continues his rebuttal, her foot tapping as he continued to speak. She patiently waits her turn to give him a retort, and holds up three fingers.
"Three things. First off, people from other countries do this all the time. It'd be all over the news sure, but I'd like to think that if I called the police to report a crime, they'd show up to help. At least in theory." One finger down.
"Second, I don't know much about a Hunter's guild, but if they are willing to do open battle in a civilized, well connected city against a bunch of us at once, I don't think a threat like that is much of a worry. Most cases I've heard of usually happen in isolated insidents. Like them verses one or two of us at a time, at best. Not to mention having the city protect it's interests." A second finger down.
"And lastly, the Red Cloud wouldn't do anything. I can't speak for every single mission ever handed out, but all of the ones I've heard about and done, were usually jumping into a place, finding the threat, removing the threat and then leaving. Sometimes it's others, but when it comes to hunting Darkstalkers, that's pretty much it. We never really had encountered a band of Darkstalkers together, or a city or town of them. Sometimes they'd have a house somewhere, but that's all. The Red Cloud would more than likely try to send in someone to assassinate or pick off people every now and again, but we also avoided city areas, as they have more people than we can account for safely. They may be assholes, but they are effecient at their job. Open Warfare is just not something they do. I'm also assuming that's why they haven't come for me yet, but that's just a guess."
The last finger goes down and she offers him a small shrug. "If we had a place to stay in the city, we'd have like...buidings to live in, places to work, eat, sleep, play and all that other stuff. Even my hometown had like, shops and stores to spend money. And I don't know about you, but you just said you want to expand this place if need be...but I don't know the first thing about building stuff and the little bit of stuff I do know, tells me that building a house is wicked hard. Unless we find like, carpenters other than just you, this will take a really long time and be really taxing for you."
Nightwolf holds three fingers up too, his thumb, index and middle. Though he's quite clearly listening to Azumi very intently, he's not even looking at her, preferring to gaze at the fire.
"Firstly; the police will not help us. Not when they and most governments do not recognize Darkstalkers as people. Do not mistake us for migrant workers or refugees, we are legitimate monsters for most people in the world."
"Secondly; if you dismiss the Hunters Guild so casually you will be dead before you know it. The Guild is powerful not only because of its hunters, but because of its influence and monetary resources. They can easily bribe governments to let them conduct raids to their hearts content, and the media will just swallow up whatever story they are given. Gang warfare, domestic abuse, suicide, accidents... the ways in they can cover up their horrendous needs are countless. It happens all around us constantly and nobody knows because they are that adept at what they do."
"Thirdly; is that what you would want to subject us to? To be picked off one by one? To lay on our beds awake and with eyes fully alert? Wondering when that blade in the night will show up in our rooms to take our lives or those of our loved ones who are asleep on the next room? To wake up and wonder would be found dead on their bed this time?"
Nightwolf closes his fist and lowers it, still looking into the fire. "The people accept you for what you are in the Neo League because they think its a costume, or special effects. So many fights are staged now that who knows what they see in TV is real or not? They only want a good show and to be entertained, not to have political statements of diversity throw on their faces. Didn't you ever watch Lightning Spangles."
Saying that name causes him to spit into the fire.
He brushes his lips. "Humanity is not ready to embrace the Children of the Night so openly just yet. I am willing to build this entire village hundreds of times over if that is what it takes to keep these people from harm. But I am not letting any of these people have to cower in a city ever again if only because it offers electricity."
"Besides, I have already acquired a generator and we have a limitless source of energy. What do you think the temple is for? To worship Raiden? He cares not for such nonsense." In fact, Nightwolf thinks Raiden would probably be fairly annoyed if someone tried to openly worship him.
Azumi sighs as as each one of her points are pushed back in her face, which she rather immediately dislikes, her tail lashing and her fingers tapping against the inner crook of her elbow. She shakes her head a little bit and sighs, unable to think up of a solid way to work around what was presented. She speaks up after him and seems genuinely annoyed at this point.
"So let me get this straight. We're dealing with a world that won't help us, doesn't see us, won't let us have a place to live, allows an organization so balatantly corrupt to just do whatever the hell they want and our best defense is to hide in a village with no resources other than wood? Let's think about this for a moment."
She gestures around behind her with an open hand. "
"Okay, so we start a city, we're going to need infrastructure and all of that. Where is our food going to come from? What about like...medical care and taking care of some of us who get sick? The real reason why I only suggested going there is that all of that would be taken care of for us. That's pretty much all I was meaning by it. And for the record, I have no idea who Lightning Spangles is or was and...why would I know the reason why you built a temple? To have I guess? I mean if Raiden's nice enough to do that, that's awesome, but if we have alot of people here, we're going to need more than just one generator. I'm...I'm guessing. I don't know squat about electronics other than how to use a few of them."
She sits on her haunches for now, not quite letting her backside hit the ground, but choosing to look at the fire for a few tense moments before continuing to talk. Her voice dramatically lowers in intensity, seeming to realize the gravity of the situation now, more than she had before.
"I guess it'd help if we had some more money, but the way you make it sound, maybe I should try being a treasure hunter instead of fighting in the Neo League. If that's what people really think of me, I should quit right now."
A world that doesn't help us? "Check." Answers Nightwolf.
Doesn't see us. "Check."
Won't let us have a place to live. "Check."
Allows an organization so blatantly corrupt like the Hunters Guild to do whatever the hell they want. "Check."
Our best defense is to hide in a village with no resources other than wood. "And check."
It would be funny if it weren't so true. What Azumi doesn't realize is that all the annoyance she's feeling right now is an annoyance that all these Darkstalkers and Nightwolf included have dealt with almost their entire lives.
Where will the food come from. "Hunting, farming, trading." Medical care? "There are some of us that can tend to injuries and Raiden can heal, but sickness and diseases will have to be toughed out. We will all need to be careful. I have yet to find a hospital or doctor that is completely accepting of Darkstalkers, I do not think most medical providers will react well to perform surgery on a werewolf or the like. At best, we would need to head there in disguise. I don't know much of electronics either.. hopefully one of us does, it is why we will need to stay together and help each other."
And when Azumi's voice lowers as she realizes in the mess she's stuck in and debates renouncing going to the Neo Leauge, Nightwolf responds all too quickly. Showing he's been in that position before. "Quit, and accomplish nothing. Continue fighting, and maybe you can use the earnings to buy the things we need. Most of the things you see here I bought with the money I got from winning the Western Champion Belt."
"Welcome to the world of the Darkstalkers, Azumi. I hope you enjoy your stay."
Azumi's ears fold down against her head as he continues to talk to her, particularly about the last part, huffing out a pretty sizable sigh in the process. She slowly pushes herself back up into a standing position and reaches both hands behind her back, pushing on it a little bit.
"All this mess from one lousy bite. Ugh. Disguises are pretty much going to be impossible for me. Which is kind of hilarious because it basically means that I won't really be able to sneak around very well in urban places. Not without being completely invisible or something."
She stifles a pretty large yawn, showing off a mouth full of very capable teeth and her tail arcing upwards as far as it could go. She relaxes a moment later, letting her posture slump tiredly.
"Well...I guess I can stay in the League for a little while, but that really pisses me off that people think that way. If I could go out and get a normal job, I'd probably do that instead at this point. But as it stands, I guess I should get some rest. It's been a long day and considering that we don't even have like...plumbing yet...it's going going to change anytime soon."
The shaman nods and looks considerably tired himself, it has been a long day, and Azumi puts it, it's not going to be changing anytime soon.
"In this we agree." He says cracking his neck and glancing about to the rest of the Darkstalker. "Whoever goes to sleep last put the fire out!" No more taking guard duty at least for now, the spell he put around the village along with Raiden's help should keep everyone safe for now.
"Good night." And just with that Nightwolf slumps backwards, turns into a wolf, and curls to sleep, quite used to sleeping out in the open in that form. Not even gonna help Azumi pick out a lodge for the night, guess he hasn't changed much of his jerk ways.
Azumi had started to return goodnight gesture, but he...turned into a wolf and just...curled up there. She stands there and watches the lupine rest for a few moments before sighing. She crouches down close to the ground for a moment before her visage disappears from the ground, as if she had never been there to begin with. Naturally she had leapt up into the air at an incredible speed, likely intending on finding an empty place to lay her head for the time being.
"Why is he so hard to get along with?"
Log created on 14:25:34 02/06/2015 by Nightwolf, and last modified on 01:37:26 02/11/2015.