Hibiki - Black Knight Blues

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Description: In the wake of his rooftop duel against Valkenhayn, Kagura has had the luxury of avoiding busywork. But the arrival of a certain stern and faithful shadow puts an end to this. Hibiki brings Clio to the Black Knight as ordered -- albeit more promptly than hoped -- so that she is reassigned to the NOL's Southtown division, and Kagura's strategy is discussed, fueled by some very fine coffee.

Oh, the paperwork. Kagura already had a massive mountain of it to do. There are many divisions and moving parts within NOL's offices across Japan. Of all the countries to voluntarily cooperate with the organization, Asia has opened their doors the widest. That means with constant decrees from Japan's military and government, alongside the Mishima Zaibatsu, there are tons of items to acknowledge, sign, read, distribute... it's all a giant pain in the ass. Throw on that the need to finalize his report from encountering the strange werewolf the other night, and he's at his wit's end.

That's why Kagura spent a few hours procrastinating during the time in his schedule he was supposed to be going through confidential reports. This is one of the few times that Hibiki's actively not present, so the majority of the time was utilized to... prepare.

It is easy to forget Kagura is an excellent tactician and manipulator. And this would require the Black Knight to exercise the full extent of his powers. He sent an order to Clio St. Jeanne that she was to be picked up by Captain Kohaku for a debriefing in Southtown. She was instructed to go to one corner of the city and wait for him. He then finalized another order for Hibiki, telling his aide that it's imperative that he meet with Clio St. Jeanne, and telling him she's waiting on the OPPOSITE side of the city. A perfect plan. That should slow him down an awful lot.

During the time Hibiki should be going on a rapid mission, Kagura is supposed to be going through his heap of paperwork. Said paperwork is presently under Kagura's heels as he reclines in his comfortable desk seat. Within his lap is the nurse from the other day, playfully prodding at the white bandage on his cheek. Kagura's holding a fine bottle of wine in the crook of a finger along with two slender wineglasses, as she giggles amidst his flirtations.

"Shouldn't you be working, Colonel Mutsuki...?"

"I've always got time for a beautiful lady. All work and no play, they say. Don't worry. We shouldn't be bothered for... hmm. Thirty or forty minutes..." That's very generous, of course. What should be a ten-minute retrieval could easily take one or two hours with Kagura's misdirection. What could possibly go wrong?

Hibiki Kohaku's encounter with Clio St. Jeanne has been consummately professional. Awaiting her at the meeting point in advance, he informed her with perfect composure that their meeting with Lord Kagura was of the utmost importance and as such, he had (so thoughtfully) procured for them an emergency police vehicle, which would transport them to NOL headquarters with sirens blazing, clearing the way. As it may have occurred to Clio that it is strange for the NOL, officially neutral and noninvolved in the current global conflict, to be assisted by the police, Hibiki promptly noted that this assistance was an act of generosity from the local government and Mishima Zaibatsu. Only the faintly terrified expression of the police officer silently driving the vehicle might suggest otherwise.

Given the choice of transportation, Kagura will thus hear Hibiki approaching before seeing him. BwooooOOOOOOoh. BwwoooooOOOOooohh. BwoooooOOOOOOOOOhhh-- and silence, a profound and unsettling silence. Somewhere close, Hibiki is approaching, slowly, calmly, never rushing his current companion. But approaching.

When Hibiki enters Kagura's office with Clio in tow -- following an ever-so-courteous knock at the door -- he is utterly expressionless. "Lord Kagura," the feminine young man intones softly, "as ordered, I have brought Clio St. Jeanne of the Imperial Guard." He pauses for only a moment, blank gaze upon the Black Knight. "I am prepared to receive your finished report regarding the recent assault upon your person."

There follows another very brief yet significant pause.

"I shall endeavor to peruse in detail the section in which you explain how you came to be upon the roof to engage in battle there, with the confidence that you would never move recklessly to unnecessarily endanger yourself at this crucial stage in our operations."

Hibiki's words have been entirely emotionlessly thus far, as they were while bringing Clio here. But just then, a keen eye may catch the slightest of fractures in the young man's guise, a flicker of his eyes, a little pursing of his lips.

"Should any more assailants arrive, Lord Kagura, now that I have arrived, please allow my humble self to face them in your stead."

Never-- he should never have left Lord Kagura's side--!

Waiting was something Clio has gotten used to. Waiting has given her a moment to think, a moment to collect her thoughts and compose them into something that made sense in her own head. The damn light of day was a bit of a nuisance, though, and she more or less spent the entire ride in the emergency vehicle, which should've been fun, in a half-lidded daze while yawning. The panicked official barely registers as she clinks the length of chain wound around her bare arm. Clink, clink, clink.

Thankfully, Hibiki is a quiet one, always appreciated during the daytime, since Clio isn't in an apparently very talkative mood while riding over. Her bootheels making small clicks that she times out with hostles of her chains.

She does react, however, at seeing that Kagura is quite occupied when everyone's gotten around to getting into the commander's office. Half-lidded, Clio doesn't really care to interrupt the commander's time, but when she sees the nurse, she gets a little smile on her face. Until now, only an imperial guardsman was her rank thanks to her general demeanor and nocturnal behavior.

But maybe things would be better under a commander like Kagura. At the very least, this should all be very entertaining.

Goddamnit. Leave it to Hibiki not to trust what Kagura wrote down, but to confirm her whereabouts himself through the dubious usage of local authorities. The knock is heard, and his internal instincts and Hibiki Warning Radar are proven right. As the door slips open, Kagura is already standing up and gently placing the *incredibly* blushing nurse down. "Thanks for giving me a check-up." he offers her in the most courteous of manners, straightening up the papers on his desk as she makes to rush out while covering her face with both hands. Indeed, they are exactly as high as when Hibiki left them. From the body language, the pair pretending nothing shocking was taking place is completely normal.

"Don't fret so much, Hibiki. I don't need you to fight my battles for me. And I enjoy a good workout, now and then. Ultimately, that was a diplomatic encounter... but we can talk more about that in private." He begins striding towards his erstwhile servant, black cloak with the golden sigils of his house rippling behind.

And then walks clear past him. In a heartbeat he has one hand on the doorframe beside Clio, looming over her intimately close; he's well past six feet, intent to stare her right in the eyes. By most standard accounts, he's indeed handsome and charming. "Well, well. Another beauty, just like I hoped. Miss St. Jeanne, I presume? I'm Colonel Mutsuki, but /you/ can call me Kagura... at ease. I like to be nice and informal with my people. You thirsty?"

Glasses clink together in his free hand. He's still got the bottle of wine and two glasses, after all...

Hibiki nods slightly at Kagura's words, inwardly cursing himself for betraying the barest hint of emotion. Surely his astute master noticed his distress and spoke accordingly. It may seem that Hibiki is offering assent to Kagura's last words -- that they will discuss the battle in private -- but the nod is also a subtle acknowledgment of what he believes to be Kagura's consideration. Consideration of which he is truly unworthy.

Extraordinarily, he has seemingly not looked at the nurse even once. It is as though she does not exist to him, or more likely, that by ignoring her so intensely he intends to will her out of existence. Then again, it is also possible that Kagura's misbehavior is so relentless that Hibiki just doesn't notice it anymore--

"/Lord/ Kagura."

No, he definitely notices.

"Until our meeting is formally completed, the consumption of alcohol would be inappropriate." His blank face makes it unclear if he is staring or glaring at Kagura, who is now leaning conspicuously over Clio, but one can probably guess, especially given Hibiki's total lack of blinking. "Moreover, any relaxation or ... fraternization must be forestalled until the completion of your report--"

His gaze then sliiiiides back over to the desk.

"--and any other incomplete forms and reports--"

And sliiiides back.

"--to which I presume you will promptly devote yourself following this debriefing."

Neat cape. Tall man. Clio takes attention a bit later than most Guardswomen would as she takes a moment to fully catch up with the situation. Rather than Kagura, Clio watches the nurse make her way out of the room. It takes her a moment to look back to Kagura. Hibiki is, unfortunately perhaps, eclipsed by the presence of his commander. The Lord Kagura.

And very shortly Clio herself is. The woman's not at five and a half feet, though close to it in her heeled boots that the Library has provided her for some reason. She leans back against the doorjamb and looks up from under the band of her issued beret. The eyeliner she wears is not regulation. She just sort of blinks up at Kagura for a moment, then looks over to the drinks in his hand, and back to the empty voice of the nurse. But she was invited to relax, and she does. The stiffness slips away and she settles her shoulders against the doorjamb.

She answers his question in an offhand way, "Not as much as you seem to be, sir," she says. And then once more casts a knowing glance to the door the nurse ran out to and her hand lifts up to give a little thumbs up to the commanding officer along with surreptitious grin.

Slowly Kagura closes his eyes, looking like nothing so much as a nagged wife. He reaches up to rub his temple for a moment but then turns to obediently shift away from Clio and thrum back towards his desk. As usual, he never gets upset at Hibiki for making him do the right thing. That's the point of good subordinates, after all; the only pride that the Black Knight has in his duties comes from battle, but beyond that, he will openly cede Hibiki is far better suited to poking him along the path of a leader. "I wanted to meet you face to face, Ms. St. Jeanne. I'm always on the lookout for... passionate individuals." He settles back at his desk, placing the wine and glasses down. "Hibiki, if we can't drink this, at least get us some coffee." He doesn't need to say how he'll take it, of course.

"You've been in the Library for a little bit. Enough for me to see you're proactive. Bend the rules. Competent fighter. Not afraid to get in a fight, and not bad at holding your own." A grin cracks across his face at that. "Every one of those qualities is what I want with people directly under me. Because when you get down to it, we're all after the same thing. Results. You joined NOL for a reason, right?" The 'bend the rules' part Hibiki probably has some issues with, but...

He's also not yet start signing those papers... well, technically this meeting is on his agenda.

"Yes, Lord Kagura."

With a polite nod to Clio, Hibiki immediately turns to busy himself in the corner of the office at what appears to be a small kitchenette. Following his spoken assent, the subordinate does not speak to interrupt Kagura's explanation. Should Clio's attention wander, she will see Hibiki up to nothing of interest, preparing a simple cup of coffee.

Some time will pass, and should she look again, she will notice that Hibiki is preparing a second cup of coffee at some length. He appears to be dusting it with dashes of fragrant spice. It seems to be a delicate process. He should be left alone.

More time passes. Should anyone glance his way again, they will see Hibiki now wearing lab goggles and holding a micropipette, very carefully injecting what appears to be some sort of syrup into the second cup of coffee. It fizzes briefly, bubbles up with a threatening fury, and then subsides. Hibiki nods approvingly.

At last, after Kagura is finished speaking, Hibiki will return with a tray daintily balanced, proferring the first simple cup of coffee to Clio and the second cup of-- whatever it is now to Kagura, setting it on the desk before him before Hibiki withdraws like a shadow.

Wait. Kagura's cup just looks like ... black coffee with a hint of cream.

What ... what happened over there?

"I'm afraid you'll have to supply your own step stool if you want me to meet you face to face, sir," Clio says, relaxing in the presence of this commander. He didn't have the same clipped tones, the same forceful demanding of attention and appeasement of his sensitivities. She felt more comfortable here than in a lot of places lately. He also flatters a lot, and that can work on anyone. She clinks the length of her chain together and looks between Kagura and Hibiki and back again, trying to figure out the passions there.

Clio leaves the doorjamb when Kagura gives her room. "Coffee is good, I like coffee. Quad espresso if you can do that, or not that's cool too," she says with a genuine grin of anticipation as she takes the cup. "I don't know how you people stay up all day," she adds, and then she lowers her head. She works at words that don't come out right away. Her chain rattles when she heaves a sigh. "Commander. I did join for a reason. I joined to protect people. I can do more here than I could walking around Metro City. And with my mother pulling, it was easy."

Clio looks into the cup of coffee as if there were answers in the blackness. "But I've not been good enough already. The coffee house, I'm not certain what that Gear did after I left, I haven't had the heart to see the aftermath."

"Don't you worry. I'll happily come down to your level anytime." Kagura says with a wink towards Clio. Despite the opening flirtation, he doesn't excessively focus on it to the extent of being unable to conduct business. If Hibiki weren't here to derail it, he might have flattered her for a much longer stretch of time, but that's one of the things he's best suited. There's a fair bit of time between the coffee being requested and Hibiki finishing, a slow nod of the head following.

"Make the world a better place, huh? And you joined NOL. I imagine that means you didn't want to join the police. Too much red tape, and the legal system's a mess. Don't blame you. But the American branch of NOL... I'm sure you've seen how restrictive that is." A folder is dug out of a nearby filing cabinet and thumbed through. "Your skills were high enough you were sent to the elite military academy class for training. You graduated with some of our best upcoming talent, like Miss Tsubaki. Well. Your assignment at the moment is to reinforce Southtown during the Gear incident temporarily. We need all the manpower we can get. But... what would you say if I offered you a position here permanently?"

Taking his coffee, Kagura then takes a slow sip. Immediately he can tell every bit of care that was put into it. "I keep telling you; normal coffee is fine. Don't go out of your way for me." That said, it's damnably good. He takes another sip, and his mutedly pleased expression is impossible to suppress fully. "Anyway, Ms. St. Jeanne. A lot of things are going to happen soon. I could use your help... if you're willing to work closely with me."

"Yes, Lord Kagura," Hibiki responds quietly at his master's order, giving no indication that he of course intends to ignore it. He stands silently at Kagura's side, gaze shifting briefly to Clio as Kagura addresses her before politely, almost demurely, looking away.

Clio St. Jeanne: a plainspoken and vulgar woman. Hibiki's unspoken judgment is dispassionate and not in any way contemptuous. He believes that she will be loyal to Kagura as long as she offers her the opportunities she desires, which Kagura, being a keen judge of character, surely will. There will be no problems here. She will serve her purpose well. On the off chance that she does not, Hibiki will promptly destroy her.

Such dirty work is the domain of the subordinate, after all. It is no direct than the stern guidance which Hibiki always offers, all for the sake of Lord Kagura.

Clio actually smirks at the flirtation. It's endearing in a way given how quickly he backs off and gets to work. She blows on her coffee and watches Hibiki for a moment. She makes a note of his hairstyle and considers the potential it has for herself. A quiet, slurping sip of the refreshing, bitter, hot brew that brings some sense of real wakefulness back to her. "You, you are good," she tells Hibiki with a warm smile. "I like you already." The coffee could've been brown and water and she'd have enjoyed it. She just desperately needed some form of caffeine in her bloodstream.

"Thank you for the compliments, sir, but as you can probably see in that file I didn't have a lot that would've set me on the right path with the police. And, well, I actually don't know what's in that file. But let's be honest," She shakes her chain arm and with a tensing of her arm and shoulder, the armagus sparks with a dark violet light creeping through the sigils and markings visible on the chain's length, "This is not something the police could really supply me with."

The light fades when Clio relaxes her arm and she returns to sipping her coffee. "To be honest, sir, I would appreciate the hell out of that. I want to see this country when it's not under fire. And when I'm not under fire for being inside of it. And the things here seem a bit stronger than some of the things creeping about the shadows back in Metro. I'm going to need to be better if I'm going to call myself a knight, right?" she laughs and then gets a little red. "That's just a thing I say sometimes. Sounds better than Imperial Guardswoman."

"Don't be comparing me to Hibiki. When you get right down to it, I'm only better than him in two things. Fighting, and women." Kagura has only the utmost confidence in this statement, finishing going through Clio's file and setting it on the outbound pile for Hibiki to take care of later now that he's done with it. Kagura's elbows rest on the table once more, nodding his head thoughtfully in Clio's direction. "That's right. You've got freedom here in a lot of ways. Dress code is pretty malleable. And you can use whichever weapon you like. Plus under me in particular, I've been known to look the other way if you don't push things too far..."

Kagura drains the rest of his coffee slowly. "Things...? That's right. I remember you were under consideration for the 0th Division, but they rarely take outsiders. You'd probably have ended up in Sacred Order if your... record wasn't so spotty. Sure, there's more Darkstalker incursions and dangerous magic threats in Japan than any other group of countries combined. You're free to pursue that, day to day. Just make some time for my orders, if I need you."

Kagura digs around in his desk before coming up with one of NOL's aggravatingly complicated forms. He signs it, fills out the minimum of pertinent information, and extends it towards Hibiki. "Finish this up and make sure she gets put here permanently. Hopefully, the city's still standing. If so, we're glad to have you. I need a word with Hibiki alone, though; but..."

He winks at Clio with his grin widening. "It was quite a pleasure. For now... why don't you ask Captain Hazama if he needs any help? He's got a lot of irons in the fire, as acting Colonel. I'm sure he can point you at something useful..." Something in Kagura's expression implies that there might be more to this than meets the eye, however.

Hibiki's placid mask does not crack at Kagura's confident and swaggering declaration. This is because said declaration is absolutely true. He also does not react to Clio's warm compliment besides a slight nod. To brew an imperfect cup of coffee for her would embarrass Lord Kagura and so cannot be permitted. It is only when Kagura trails off before finishing his coffee that Hibiki's eyebrow can be seen twitching ever so slightly beneath his charming hairdo.

"Yes," he murmurs just the littlest bit darkly, "this is known."

He accepts the form from Kagura with dignity, staring at its mostly blank pages a moment too long to be entirely polite before looking up again and nodding. "Yes, Lord Kagura." He turns to Clio and nods again, unsmiling but seemingly sincere in his courtesy. "Welcome, Ms. St. Jeanne. If you have need of assistance in your adjustment to your new deployment, please do not hesitate to speak to me." And do not bother Lord Kagura, Hibiki doesn't say. For Kagura is very easily 'bothered,' and always very happy about it.

Kagura's subordinate promptly busies himself with Clio's form, working rapidly, silently awaiting the conversation to come.

Clio nods. She's well aware her more lax style and penchant for doing more what she felt right wasn't the best fit for the organization, but it's done a lot for Clio compared to stalking Metro City streets at night. She sees potential here. Choices made that will reflect in the future. Perhaps another talk with Relius Clover now that Clio will be more close at hand. She gives a nod toward Kagura. "Thank you, sir. I won't keep you any longer," she says, turning around to head for the door.

"I will certainly do that, Commander," she says of Hazama. "Though, if you do see the Captain could you tell him a one eyed man was taking keen interest in his bird watching hobby." She leaves the room and with her is the parting clicks of her heels and the clinks of her chains. And from a ways down the hall. "Damn, this coffee is good!"

With the last of his drink finished, Kagura places the cup to the side. He makes sure the door is fully sealed, and Clio has had sufficient time to walk away before continuing. "Obviously my report is going to be a little threadbare. We had some unknown Darkstalker teleport inside the facility, looking for Captain Hazama. He looked like he was ready to kill everyone in the headquarters. I can only imagine the reason why. I convinced him to head to the roof, and after he let off some steam went on his way. Strong bastard... took everything I had to not turn into prey, but it went pretty well. Still, it gave me a lot of questions without any answers."

Kagura hands over a pile of forms, the only ones he's bothered doing any work on. It's an account of an invader who arrived on the roof, before being intercepted by Kagura after a warning from Engineering. Then after a brief fight, the invader fled. "Make sure all the men present at the scene corroborate my side of events. And that all the evidence backs it up. Engineering said he arrived on the second floor. I'll trust your skills in getting that detail changed. We don't need anyone being suspicious of us this early in the game. Got to seem like good little lapdogs."

"Which brings me to the real problem. Captain Hazama. He's on the move. I've no idea what he did, but I'd like to know who that werewolf was, and why it somehow involves shredding NOL footsoldiers. I also heard he was injured rescuing Noel Vermillion from Ragna the Bloodedge. But from what I understand, somehow Ragna ended up barely alive at the end of it. Doesn't add up. Captain Hazama has zero combat experience or training on his file, so /who/ exactly managed to deal with the Grim Reaper? Clio will do to keep an eye on his day to day options, but I want you to take a look in the shadows. And find out what really happened to the Intelligence Colonel. ...None of this doesn't need to be by the official rulebook."

He then slicks his fingers through his hair, grinning slightly. "I'll visit Noel myself in medical. See how she's doing..." Well, shouldn't take many guesses on why he wants that job.

"A clerical error, no doubt," Hibiki says mildly in response to Kagura noting the discrepancy between the falsified reports. "I shall ensure this oversight is soon rectified." Kagura's assistant does not bat an eye at the order to obscure the truth. Hibiki threw in his lot with Kagura and embraced the Black Knight's vision long ago. There is no question where his loyalties lie now.

The otherwise unflappable soldier narrows his eyes at the mention of Hazama's opponent, however. "Captain Hazama is notorious for disdaining combat," he agrees. "But it would not be beyond him to deliberately cast doubt upon his own abilities. Nevertheless..." Yes, Kagura is right: whatever Hazama is capable of, defeating Ragna the Bloodedge is no mean feat. Such power is not easily concealed for so long. "Understood, Lord Kagura. I will determine the facts of the matter."

He pauses.

"Ragna ... he still roams freely? If so, perhaps I should find and ask the man himself. Should he prove reluctant, the shadows are my ally." It's not clear if Hibiki means that he'll run away or attempt to assassinate the man. Probably it means that Hibiki's willing to do either one, depending on what best serves his master.

But Hibiki ceases his contemplations immediately upon Kagura's last words. "You will not." Now that Clio is gone, his words are openly curt and stern, even though no emotions betray themselves upon his flat expression. "You will complete the remaining paperwork upon your desk, motivated by the thought that once you are finished, you may visit Noel in medical. Consider it a generous incentive. Of course, if you do not finish to my satisfaction before visiting hours end, she may wait patiently for your visit another time."

It almost sounds like Hibiki is the commanding officer for a moment. But even with a blank expression, his intention is clear: to ensure that Kagura does his job fully, that his subordinates are protected, and that his vision is realized. Were it not in service of Kagura's own vision, Hibiki would never speak thus.


"They all agreed to tell my side of the story, of course." Kagura says matter of factly. "It's your job to make sure it all comes together properly." That's not surprising. Hibiki would be shocked to find out otherwise. The people directly beneath Kagura can all be trusted with broad things, if not sensitive individual details. Each one personally interviewed and further scrutinized by Hibiki, in much the same way Clio was just prior.

Kagura then nibbles at his thumb, seeming concerned to some degree. "Forensics seem to indicate whoever fought Ragna used some kind of chain. I'm not sure how much that will help. Don't get me wrong; I think the Grim Reaper's overrated, but not to such an extent that a non-combatant in Intelligence should be able to take him out. ...try and ask him who he fought, if you can."

There's a mild jump from Kagura when Hibiki's voice becomes cold and resolved. "W-what? Come on... Is this because I messed up my paperwork to retrieve Ms. St. Jeanne? I swear Clio was supposed to be... ah, who am I kidding." Giving up, the Black Knight sighs and pulls over the first of countless sheets, beginning to go over it with the obviously overplayed agony of a child being made to do homework as a parent watches.

"A chain. I see."

Hibiki's eyes briefly drift toward the door from which Clio not long ago left. He doubts that she had anything to do with the matter, but it would behoove him to keep more of eye on her than he intended. It is improbable that she secretly engaged in battle with Ragna so recently, only for there to not be a scratch upon her. But it is not impossible that Clio and Hazama fighting as one might repel the Bloodedge, and there are many means of healing in this world. Hibiki dutifully makes a mental note, unwilling to rule anything out.

After all, how many people fight with chains?

"Ah. You know that you messed up your paperwork." Hibiki's gaze is cool as it returns to his master. "And here I assumed it was an unfortunate oversight." Clearly. "Undermining your own subordinates to buy yourself time to dilly-dally is unseemly, Lord Kagura. Please reflect upon your errors in the brief moments you have between handling the matters that require your attention."

He watches calmly as Kagura petulantly does as asked. Hibiki's expression does not change, but when he eventually speaks again, the curtness of his tone has subtly faded.

"Would you like another cup of coffee, Lord Kagura?"

The reports would be accessible for Hibiki himself to confirm. Some manner of chain sheathed with energy. It does fit up with Clio's combat style, and she was in the area at the time. Perhaps that has something to do with Kagura's invitation. For all the excessive optimism and belief that things will work out, Kagura is competent in managing the essential stuff. It's keeping the gears turning between large strokes where he tends to fall apart.

"I just need a break once and awhile. I didn't climb this high to do paperwork..." Kagura complains, although in a muttering tone. He eventually drops the act and begins working in earnest. Once such begins, he is thorough and attentive, quickly getting through his needed duties. It might be less frustrating were Kagura bad at this sort of stuff, as opposed to sheerly disliking them.

"I think I'm good. I'll finish this up tonight, I promise." Kagura exhales, twirling a pen deftly around in his fingers. Such can be relied on. He's a man of his word, and although he may procrastinate and misdirect day to day, the only time Hibiki can have any peace of mind to leave him be is after hassling him until he finally agrees. His duty is complete now, in that regard. "You've got a lot to look into yourself. You've done your babysitting for the evening..." And ruined his date with the nurse...

At last, Hibiki smiles. Kagura's subordinate is obsessively neurotic about betraying emotion, but in this instance, Hibiki does not immediately stop to reprimand himself. It is alright. Here, alone, just for a moment, Hibiki can show a flash of the care he feels for his master, a visible hint of his boundless devotion. Being called a babysitter is funny. But it is also moving, to have such an important role for such an extraordinary man.

"Very well, Lord Kagura."

Lowering his head, he withdraws without turning away for several paces, and only once at a respectful distance from the Black Knight now hard at work, Hibiki turns and walks silently to the door, slipping out like a ghost, that elusive smile gone.

Captain Hazama is a thorn in the side of Hibiki's master, a dangerous unknown factor. The loyal subordinate cannot oppose Hazama directly; he had been careful to inform Kagura of that himself. But his highest priority must be to determine who assailed Ragna and under what circumstances. Even so--

Who is this Darkstalker who dared attack Lord Kagura?

Log created on 20:35:05 12/02/2017 by Hibiki, and last modified on 01:17:50 12/03/2017.