Reason in the Time of Madness

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Fade, Jun 18, 2014.

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  1. It was raining. It always seemed to be raining in the Kagoshima prefecture these days. The young bhikkhuni's body had long since passed the point of numbness, and even the dull aches and pains were fast becoming a thing of the past. Her brightly colored coarse robes had long soaked through and chilled her to the bone, pooling around her and weighing her down like an anchor. Mariko Kurosawa held her upside-down body perfectly straight and level, resting the entirety of her weight on the broken post her hand was gripping, seemingly oblivious to the booming thunder and downpour of rain that threatened to undo her concentration. Instead Riko's thoughts were on her breathing, the long steady inhale and the slow controlled exhale that calmed her mind and cleared her head.

    Or would have. Above the distant trilling of the early morning's birds, footsteps behind her disturbed what had been her meditation. Although she would normally have ignored them, their distinct lack of subtlety intrigued her--no one who had survived long enough to get to this point would be that obvious. Slowly working a cramp out of her neck, Riko allowed her eyes to open for the first time in hours. It was only then that she realized how tired and miserable she was, as she stifled a yawn and gracefully lowered herself to the ground; a warm bed would soon be calling her name.

    Returning her attention to the presence behind her, she inclined her head to indicate that they should speak. For a few moments more silence remained, as Riko reached down to her belt to correct the position of her three swords: her daisho and a much larger nodachi that seemed to be unfit for a girl of her size.

    "When I'd heard that a former nun had moved into my territory, I had to get a look for myself," drawled a deeply masculine voice from over her shoulder, accompanied by another's chuckling.

    There was the clinking and clanging of charms and talismans as Riko lowered her hands back to her sides, her one wide sleeve concealing a length of prayer beads wound around her wrist. Already, she knew the intentions of these men--they were mercenaries out to collect the substantial bounty that had been placed on her head. About the only thing that was surprising to her was that they had made it this far to the abandoned shrine without killing themselves, as the steep cliffs of the mountain weren't kind to those who took them lightly. Either they had set up came there, or they were considerably lucky.

    The older of the two men was a ravaged, mangled son of a bitch with more scar tissue than skin, one eye covered by a roughly hewn improvised eyepatch. He grunts his frustration when the nun doesn't even bother to turn to regard him, glancing towards his much younger companion. The other man was no more than a boy, really, and a dim-witted one at that. About the only thing that had endeared him to his mentor was his uncanny ability to find even the most stubbornly hidden prey, and for that he'd earned his keep.

    "Hey!" the boy shouts at Riko, reaching forward to roughly grab her bare arm. "The man's talkin' to y--"

    His words end abruptly as the woman turns inside of his hold, one open hand going towards the hollow between his throat and shoulder and forcing him to the ground hard. The mercenary lands on his back with a heavy thud, surprise painting obviously on his features. He's back on his feet almost as quickly as he'd fallen, short sword gripped tightly in hand. As he thrusts it in towards Riko's abdomen her hands are there to grip the dulled blade, pulling back inward with the one nearest to her body to knock the boy off balance and into a hard kick to his gut. As he groans loudly the nun drives his weapon's hilt upward into his armpit as she twists his arm awkwardly, levering him over and onto the ground with his sword now held in her hands.

    The older man swears loudly as his partner lands sprawled and winded at his feet, taking down the matchlock rifle slung across his back. Recognition of the foreign weapon spreads across Riko's face as he levels it in her direction, the initial shot going mercifully wide with a thunderous blast of gunpowder that fills the area with smoke. Turning her head away from the stinging cloud, the woman considers her options, looking around for her method of escape.
  2. (( I do not write as eloquently as you, I am very straight the point and action oriented and often refer to pictures to illustrate what my words may lack, hope you're ok with that ))

    Jubei Ryuken was a Ronin Samurai, his clan was obliterated a couple of years ago by a rival clan, Jubei survived, first he became a Ronin out of honor, he had to avenge them. After manage to vanquish the rival clan into oblivion Jubei had been alive to long since the death of his clan to commit seppuku. First he became a mercenary, but his strong sense of justice and honor often would compel him to fight those who hire him rather the victims they intended him to kill. So he became a wonderer, traveling the world seeking injustice, seeking a reason to fight for and put his skill to the test and become a greater warrior.
    His armour was now faulty, some pieces missing some pieces broken, his hair was long, locked in a ponytail to make it easy for him to fight.
    Show Spoiler

    It was by chance that he was nearby when the rifle was shot, it's thunderous blast called his attention and he saw the young woman in peril and the vicious mercenary about to shoot to kill.
    There was little time to think, a mighty kiai war cry echoed through the area, drawing the mercenary attention and creating the split of second that Jubei needed to strike.
    Before the scarred man could notice Jubei sharp blade was falling over him like if it was raining death and both the mercenary and his rifle cease to be.
  3. The suddenness of the war cry scatters a flock of nearby birds into abrupt flight, feathers and gunpowder smoke concealing the summarily violent end of the enemy mercenary. There's the wet sound of bone and tissue rendering as the dust begins to settle, and Riko blinks as she stares down at the body of the man, nearly shorn in two from shoulder to hip.

    But it's the sniveling whine of the younger man that draws her attention next, as she looks down to her wrapped feet to see the boy curled up on his side, smattered with blood and thicker things. "Please don't kill me!" he begs of the bhikkhuni, tugging at the worn hem of her robe. "It was his idea, I swear!"

    Riko nods her head once in acknowledgement, stooping down to pat the surviving mercenary on the top of his matted head. He recoils from her touch, having expected pain to follow, but is pleasantly surprised when it doesn't. "Give me your weapon, child," she calmly imparts of him, holding out her hand for his sword. He quickly presses it into her hand hilt first, scrambling back away from her on his hands and knees. With little fanfare or effort, the woman snaps the metal in two as though it were a twig, dropping the pieces to the ground.

    "I'm hoping you've learned from this, my child," she addresses him, earning an enthusiastic nod and another bout of sniffles. "You must turn from this dark path, and light the way through a new one. "Give alms to the poor. Pray for forgiveness. Learn another way." Wiping her palms on her thighs, she stands back upright, the prayer beads falling from her sleeve and into her palm. Riko smoothes her finger and thumb over them a moment before smiling at him. "Do this for me, and for yourself."

    When the nun does nothing more, the young man nods again, wiping at his face with the back of his filthy hand. Riko extends her hand, indicating that he's free to go, and quickly scurries off into the surrounding forest, crashing through the brush in his haste. She wonders for a moment if he will heed her advice, before deciding that it was unlikely. This was a story she'd seen countless times over, and it rarely ended well.

    Heavy footfalls attract her attention back to her savior and she smiles warmly, inclining her head in gratitude as she folds her hands into her sleeve. "Ah, and now the man of my prayers. You have my thanks and my debt, for what you have done for me here."
  4. Jubei quickly rose after the slay and, upon realizing the boy was not threat, he cleansed the blood on his blade on the clothes of the dead assassin.
    He then placed his sword back in the saya and watched the nun sparring the live of the young boy.
    He remained silent as he didn't thought it was his place to decide his fate.
    Jubei had seen to many death to believe in any sort of divinity or after life and he would often would perceive a religious person as foolish, upon listening to the nun thanking him he replied
    "Your thanks are welcome, but you owe me no debt, as I would have saved just about anyone from dying as dishonorably as a death by a gunpowder weapon is. And I'd suggest that you waste your prayers with some one who needs salvation." He said in sorrow tone.
  5. "Everyone could use a bit of salvation some time," she answered him with a small smile. "I'm sure you think me silly, with my prayers, and charms, and vows. You likely think me superstitious at best, and stark raving mad at worst." She held up her hand to ward off his protests, should they have come. "But, just the same." She took a handful of steps towards the warrior, pressing a small token into his palm. "Accept this coin as a measure of my debt to you--while it may not have any obvious value, I can promise it will be worth more to you someday than any riches you could name."

    Riko smiled at him again, taking a step away. She'd only offered her debt twice in the whole of her life, and never lightly; she doubted this man even knew what that meant to her, the ability to ask her for a favor. Perhaps he would never know, or perhaps he would surprise her entirely.

    "Tell me your name, Warrior, and what it is you'd ask of me."
  6. the warrior took the coin and placed it safe in his garments, since it had no money value he was happy to accept it.
    "My name is Jubei Ryuken and I do not perceive you as superstitious, only as naive, but I don't mean to be rude, I am used to religious people trying to impose their beliefs and you've done nothing of that sort yet. I have nothing to ask, travel safe and be careful. Not that I minded helping you, but I hope that you don't need my help again." He said smiling at her on his last sentence.
  7. "Jubei Ryuken," she repeated addressing him with respect and another small bow of her head. "It is a fortunate pleasure to cross your path. Though I must insist, it is my obligation to offer you this favor." Her strangely blue eyes looked up to examine the man, regarding the heavily muscled man with a keen eye. He definitely had the appearance of a skilled and well-traveled warrior, that at least was for certain. Though there was something about his gaze that unsettled her, that she could not quite put words to.

    The sky above the small clearing once more rumbled with thunder, the cold rain matting the woman's long hair against her head. Her robes were thoroughly soaked, and for all appearances she looked like a drowned rat. A fine tremor had even developed in her shoulders, as though she was trying but failing to stave off the chill and fatigue. Despite her earlier fortitude, her reserves of strength are obviously running low.

    "Please, ask anything of me."
  8. He achnowledged her bows and respect with small bows as well trying to be polite.
    He thought for a moment he could not stant to see this frail creature getting all wet in the rain, he was getting quite soaked himself
    "There's nothing I need, but there's something I want... I want you to not get a cold or worse so let's get out of this rain and find shelter for the night!" he said grabbing a large tunic from his small traveler bag so that they both could hide from the rain below it be holding it above their heads
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