Description: In her hunt for The Butcher, Miki Murakami meets Father Walter Bardsley distributing food and clothes to the poor. She offers him money, but pulling a ten thousand yen bill out in an environment like that cause a man to attack Miki behind, Father Bardsley warning her to duck just in time. Miki talks the would-be robber down through threats, and he runs off. The schoolgirl and the priest discuss morality and god, and decide to become friends.
Quite some time after his clash with the many-tailed warioress Kiyomi, the good Father Walter is about and on the mend, likely at least in part from his opponent's assistance. It's times like these that the good priest needs to do some soul searching and general good works.
Where better to do so than a place that needs as much good will as can be humanly tossed about than Southtown? The river, in particular, is /bad/. But it's here that the young priest with his strange looks and curious aura has a table, and with the help of a few hastily conscripted locals, is handing out clean clothes and hot food to the poor and homeless. Strikingly, the smiling, pointy-toothed priest is not actually pushing religion. FAith through deeds is his motto.
"Go with God, my child!" Offers the totally-not-a-dragon. Every now and then he'll wince. Even after this long and his regenerative abilities, that swordsfox's duel to the near-death took it out of him. Even so, his weapon case is right beside him. It's not a good neighborhood.
A young woman in a simple dark green who is totally not in any way a tiger walks down along the riverbanks, stalking her prey. Or rather a predator - there was a sighting of that man over here, or so she's heard. She watches the table from a bit of a distance, and it's... really not something she expected to see down here.
She just stares for a little while, seeing what's going on until she deduces who's in charge by everyone's movements, and walks through the small crowd, adeptly moving from one side to the other, up to the priest.
Once she reaches the Father, she bows politely. When she straightens back up, she sets her eyes onto his, staring without looking away, a rather blank expression on her face as if she's actually not feeling emotions right now. She opens her mouth to speak a single word.
An older, bearded man clutches new clean clothes, nearly bumping into the small kimono-clad girl. He mutters an apology as he passes by. It leaves the qeue open for Miki as she approaches.
That smile widens a bit, and he rubs his chin as he ponders the oddly emotionless girl's question.
"That, my dear, is a complicated question." Begins the preacher. Like many, he is long winded.
"Do you mean to ask me why I am giving food and clothing to the poor? Why I chose this section of Southtown? Is it a question as to why a person would choose the path of a priest, or the nature of God? Why we exist at all?" Counters the holy man.
Miki takes a quick step back as he almost bumps into her, her wooden sandals clacking against the cement below her feet, her hands moving up, ready to steady or throw the older man should he barrel into her.
She continues to stare into his eyes at those return question after question to her single question, and tilts her head a bit to one side. After a moment, she smiles, a very genuine-looking smile to most people. It's easy for someone with no shame to fake most emotions.
"...I'm curious about the answers to all those questions, Father."
Thankfully the old man manages to recover without causing further issues for poor Miki!
Walter's eye narrows for but a moment. Though his mind tells him the girl is utterly honest, something about that seemingly blank look lingers in the depths of his instincts. That snarling dragon within screams about the inconsistency. Like most problems, it wants to eat the odd girl.
A glance to the side, and sudden irritation directed at the air. Barely, but the priest manages to once more chain his inner beast.
A single finger is raised.
"To the first, twofold. They are in need, and God wishes that we of means show charity and love to our fellow man. Second, I personally believe that no man should go without food. Starvation is a horrid way to die. As for the second, much as the first. A fitting place to show charity, as this area needs the help if those who live here are to have any chance to rising above their circumstances. It is also the only place that would not tax me for the priviledge of doing so, and I am not exactly flowing with money these days. As for the third, there are many answers. I cannot answer for all priests, and so I give you my own reasons: I was raised an orphan under a strict priest after my parents deaths. As I am a man whom is sinful and has made many mistakes, I follow the path of a priest that I might honor those who raised me as well as repent for my own ways as well as help others find a true path in life. The nature of God is not one that I can comprehend, as not centuries of study has given us that answer. But I would hazard a guess: an endlessly loving creator who wishes we all would bloody start getting along."
"As for the last? I have no clue at all." He smiles right back, head tilting.
"What do you think?"
Miki notes those narrowed eyes, and reacts by widening hers slightly, as if she's surprised. She bites her lip a little, and looks away, furrows her brow, considering these statements as she scratches the back of her neck. "If there's an endlessly loving creator... it seems like a sadistic sort of love?" She glances back to him. She sounded like she was trying to be honest, but was worried she'd offend him. It's notable that when she speaks, she hardly moves her lips, for whatever reason. "If someone really powerful wanted us to be getting along, we probably would be."
"I think... ultimately, the powerful will tread on the weak. Which is why I want to be a strong person. I mean, better to be the person doing the stepping then the person being stepped on, right? And maybe I can trod a little less hard." She smiles, sounds almost shy about it.
She's silent for a moment. "I thought that with that getup, you'd be someone who was hunting The Butcher. But I guess I'll have to continue in my search for him elsewhere."
She reaches into her sleeve for a long moment, and pulls out a ten thousand yen bill, then reaches for his wrist, trying to open up his hand so she can place the bill in it. She's quite strong, but she's not trying to force him or anything. "Good luck in your work, father." She smiles up at him, but her eyes are slightly unfocused, as she's mostly focused on if this attempt at an act of helping charity feels good or not. Of course, flashing that sort of cash in this area might not be the best move....
For all of his pious faith, this priest is not one to so easily condemn. After all, how can a mere tainted wyrmkin so easily insult humans?
Wlater chuckles. "In that, my dear, I like to believe you are completely incorrect. He, to my mind, is an existence filled with utter sadness. Such a pure being...and we borne in his own image. But therein lies the choice. Where He to force us to love one another, even through inborn nature, that would be to deny us our greatest gift. Choice. Free will. To decide to love, to hate, to sin, to act as Jesus bids us. And from choice, and temptation, arises sin. This sin, all of our sin, leads us to the sadistic world we have created for ourselves."
His eyes close sadly. "Pride and greed, my Child. The desire for power to gain such things, and desperation, ideal gone wrong...all create men and women of power who will crush anyone." A pause.
"However, I believe there is some wisdom to your words. If one cannot avoid their sinful nature, best to contain and mayhaps turn even one's sins towards a path taht may lead to virtue at its end."
The wyrmkin pauses. "...Butcher?" He asks, mystified.
A pause. "And why would someone so young as yourself be hunting such an ominously titled person?"
His tail sways a bit, curiousity and a little worry for the odd girl manifesting on his features. MIki might catch a glimpse of something golden beneath his cloak.
His mouth, then, drops. There's no resistance.
"A...are you certain?"
"Father Walter Bardsley. It is a pleasure to know charity from one so young." Those previous doubts are utterly dashed in the show of pure good-hearted charity. Or so the hunter assumes, ignorant and faithful at once.
There's a show of envy from many of the waiting poor. One of the locals is not willing to resist the chance. He draws a switchblade, and aims a particularly clumsy strike at the girl's back. Walter reacts instantly.
"Down! Behind you!" He yells, even as he reaches for his case. That bill falls from his hand as his unhealed wounds reopen, forcing him to his knees with a cry of agony. Perhaps he shouldn't be hunting local murderers right now if he can't stop a simple mugging.
Miki drops onto all fours instantly as the father cries out a warning, and rolls backwards, staring up at the local on all fours, a wild look in her eyes like a beast. Seeing how he handles his switchblade, she smiles without showing her teeth, a smile of utter confidence, as if she believes she could kill everyone here no problem. She picks up the ten thousand yen bill from where the father dropped it, and rises.
And walks up to the young man, completely unafraid, rolling up her kimono sleeves to show off her muscular arms, staring into his eyes as she remains tangentially aware of those around her.
"Your knife technique is terrible. You think you're going to survive in a place like this with that much cash on you?"
"To answer your question, Father, I want to understand both other people and myself. I'm someone who is not quite sure what to do with her Free Will yet. And The Butcher seems like quite an interesting person. As do you, Father."
She holds the bill out to the local. "Throw your knife into the river, and I'll give this to you as a gift. We'll see how long you survive." She walks closer to him, well into knife range, continuing to stare and smile with gentle enthusiasm. "Otherwise, put your knife away, and you can go in peace." She tilts her head a bit to one side. "Or attack me - and I'll break you in ways that ten thousand yen wouldn't be even close to covering the medical expenses for."
Her tone, at least, is that of a curious innocent girl, even if her actions are definitely not what a normal curious innocent girl would do.
The blade-wielding man pauses, his strike evaded so deftly that the idea of trying another becomes completely unimaginable. He visibly shakes, eyeing Miki's muscles.
"I..." the man trembles before the fighter, and after a moment, that threat lingering, and he simply flees in animalistic terror.
By then, the good Father seems to have mostly recovered, one eye still shut in pain. There's the tint of red upon his clothes now.
Even the odd existence known as Walter is a little bit frightened by this strange girl. But as with so many things, he retreats into a smile.
Bravery, and in his case, a bit of stupidity do well to stop fear. "While I cannot praise threats, you've managed to diffuse the situation. You are no ordinary girl. Might I have your name? Quite strong, flexible as well. Swift reactions. Have you a particular fighting talent, then?"
That smile widens. "I have something of that myself. When I am fully recovered from my...recent injuries...perchance shall we test our skills? I would be delighted to know more about you myself, Miss. Consider it an offer of friendship."
His gaze softens further. "So you simply wish to know, be they this no-doubt dangerous 'Butcher', and myself, without regard to danger or morality? Curious. You are interesting, most interesting. Here." He holds out a card. His name and number on it.
"My services are your own."
Miki turns, blinks, raises an eyebrow as she rolls up her sleeves. Until he offers friendship. It's like a magic word. She smiles up at him, a genuinely excited smile. "My name is Miki Murakami. Let's be friends!"
"I just informed him of the consequences of his actions after he attacked me without provocation. I made him consider what stealing would do if he wasn't prepared to defend his theft with his terrible skills. Would it have been better to have shattered his wrist? Maybe he'll learn something out of all of this." She carefully places the card in her sleeve - and the ten thousand yen.
"I can see you aren't strong enough to defend that sort of money right now, Father Bardsley. I'll send it to your church. I meant to test you with the money, but I got to learn about someone else too, for free."
She's silent for a moment.
"I'm extremely strong. I've been doing... a few sins, I guess you'd call them, in search of what to do with my strength? But I've been doing some good deeds too! I haven't decided what path to take, but every path is nicer with friends on it!"
"I haven't met him, but from what I understand, you probably shouldn't meet with the Butcher right now. You'd get killed. If you're gonna hunt him down or something, wait till you're stronger, and maybe I can help you out, my friend." She shrugs. "Right now I just want to know what he's into, though."
Walter laughs as the girl finally shows some honest-to-God reactions. "It shall be my honor, my most interesting and...violent friend." Says the hunter priest wyrmkin. There's a brief flush of shame in his visage.
HIs brows rise. While he does frown slightly at first, he can't help but contemplate the tactical options. He's too used to violence to not /think/ about it.
"Pain passes, and wounds mend. Either a permanent scarr, or the fear you have offered him. This day shall reside in his memories. No, even that shall fade. The nightmares of a green-clad demon shall remain for his life."
Then the priest bows. "Correct. I like to think myself capable, but I am weak right now. I must trust that the Lord shall keep me. On my honor, it shall be used for good works."
The man considers the girl's search. "Then you are a wanderer who knows nothing of sin or purity, simply seeking all paths for her life. I shall spare you the sermons, then. Choice is our greatest gift, and your path is between you and God. That said..."
HIs smile doesn't waver, but there's something fierce and hungry in his gaze to Miki.
"Turn to unrighteous death and depravity, and I shall ward your strength with my own. Turn to works great and benevolent, and I shall die for you as a knight of God. Either way..."
The man nods to his compatriots, the line of homeless ended. It's getting late.
"I am going to attempt to find some accomodation that will not get my weakened self murdered or accosted by women of less than proper virtue. Good day to you, Miss Miki. Let us hunt our prey together." Those words are oddly emphasized, something powerful and desirious in his gaze for a moment. It passes quickly, and with a bow, he'll move to leave.
Log created on 00:31:00 02/08/2015 by Miki, and last modified on 21:18:18 02/08/2015.