The Hunted

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by Quatre Winner, Jul 20, 2014.

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  1. If you're looking for demons, any large city is a great place to start. Not that small towns and villages and suburbs don't have them, but demon populations tend to be proportional to that of the resident humans. The more people, the more demons like to hang around. If you're a Hunter who wants constant work, cities are the best place to keep busy. It's like searching for flies or cockroaches on a garbage heap. There's no way to miss them. If you're a Hunter. If you're a human, and not sensitive, you're out of luck. But that's not a human's job, anyway. It's up to the Hunters to keep demon populations down.



    They hang around trouble spots, their eyes and ears and senses open. Only through their vigilance are humans not completely overwhelmed every day. Hunters are visible when they choose, and look like their human counterparts. It's easy for them to slip into a shadow and disappear, without being noticed, so they can hunt. Otherwise, they stroll down the streets, sit down in cafes, cruise the beaches and boulevards, and look like the humans they protect. Such a form is useful, since it hides them from demon scouts, though it also makes them more vulnerable to attach, since they have to suppress their powers. Some hate being off-guard and don't mix much with humans because of it. Others don't mind- it's easier to catch demons if they don't know you're coming.



    Kei Umura always preferred to catch his quarry off-guard. Walking down a crowded street in Central City was like playing Spot the Demon for him. His keen blue eyes scanned the humans around him, the buildings, the market kiosks out in the sun on the sidewalk. Even animals could be suspect. But he was also just taking in a nice day. It was late Spring, and still a bit cool, even with the sun out. Nice day for fighting demons. The thing was to get them away from crowds once the fighting started, but Kei always liked a challenge. being what he was, he didn't have a family or friends to spend time with. Hunting, quite literally, was his whole life and focus. It was also something he was extraordinarily good at, so who needed sticky relationships? Demons tended to use them against Hunters, anyway. Better to keep his eyes peeled and his head clear.
     
  2. Eiji Honda looked at the people that walked past him from where he sat on the park bench. So many different shapes and sizes, he couldn't help but stare. He was envious of them to be honest. They didn't have to constantly fight against their demonic side like he did. They were simply human. But Eiji was only half human, and half demon. If someone looked at him, they would know. After all, a human would have bright red eyes. Nor would their pupils be described as 'cat-like'. Demons were a common existence in the world, and unless you had the 'sight' or been attacked by a demon, it was impossible to see a true demon. But a half demon like Eiji was easy to spot. And he was an outcast. But still, he loved the humans. Felt a desire to protect them. He had decided to live his life as a human and not as a demon. But that choice weighed him down each and every day. Yet, he would accept that. He was determined to win the battle. After all, he was soft hearted. He didn't like to harm people, he was not an aggressive person. If anything, he was more of a submissive and passive person. Being a demon just did not suit him.

    Sighing heavily, Eiji stood up and brushed himself off, ridding the dirt from his long black pants. Grabbing the cuffs of his 3/4 sleeved white shirt, he tubbed them down his arms after they had ridden up to his elbows before he straightened his black vest. It was a pretty odd way to dress for everyday wear but that was how Eiji preferred to dress. He didn't own anything was 'casual wear'. Turning, he started down the street, no destination in mind, just wanting to walk. He ran a hand through his pure white hair, messing it up without even realizing before he shoved his hands in his pockets, ducking his head slightly and continuing to walk. He started at the ground beneath him, watching his feet walk one in front of the other. After a few minutes, Eiji turned, deciding he'd go the river that cut through the forest next to the town. It was quiet and gave him a chance to really think. Unlike staying in the middle of the town where humans spoke louder and louder to hear one another. To Eiji's sensitive ears, it was even louder, so he was barely able to hear himself think above it all.

    As he came to a quiet area of the town, more towards the edge near the forest, he stopped paying attention to where he was going. After all, he never encountered people in this area. However, after not even a minute, his shoulder bumped into someone's arm and he blinked in surprise, pausing mid step. He looked up at the man with blue eyes and black hair, Eiji's eyes wide in surprise and apology. The man was a fair taller than himself, almost a whole head taller and he had to curse his own shortness. "Um, I'm sorry, I wasn't paying attention," he apologized, red eyes watching the man as he took a couple steps back, away from him to give him his space.
     
  3. The saving grace for Eiji's appearance would have been that many humans now sought to look the way he did, dyeing their hair and wearing contact lenses. Kei found that very frustrating, since it made his job that much harder. Time was when he could spot a demon on sight, but now he had to be careful around such places as anime conventions (where demons frequently hid, for that reason). Not that Kei couldn't sense them, but he had to use his magic to do so, and demons could feel when a Hunter was nearby if he or she used magic. In human form, it was best for the Hunter to look out for anomalies in appearance or behavior. Demons never could quite fit in with humans for long, and that's when they got caught.



    Half-demons, though, were another thing altogether. It took stronger magic to sense them in human form, and if they were siding more with their human half, they could hide almost indefinitely. However, being a mix meant they were more volatile, and less able to control their powers than full demons. Half demons frequently lost control and outed themselves without any effort on the part of a Hunter. Some Hunters chose to monitor them without seeking to kill them, but most saw halves as a liability. When our of control, they could do massive damage. It was therefore the duty of a Hunter to at least report any half they discovered. A Hunter's lot was to find and destroy anything that could threaten human existence.



    At the moment, Kei was in the process of 'finding' those threats. Weird appearances were no longer an indication of who was or wasn't demonic, so he had to look hard. However, finding nothing on the street, the Hunter meandered along toward the outskirts of the city near the belt of forest. In truth, he liked to visit the quiet trees, and hear the birds sing as the breeze rustled the leaves. Though his duty was protection of humans, even the Hunter needed a break sometimes, and his soul longed for somewhere quiet. As he hadn't found anything in town, he decided to slip through the fences and across the strip of sidewalk that divided city from nature. Under the great spreading boughs overhead, the noise and dirt of the city seemed to grow farther and farther away, dimming to a dull buzz in the background. If Kei was honest with himself, he preferred this to the city.



    Though the Hunter didn't show much of what he felt on the outside, being in such peaceful surroundings made him smile just a little. He'd have to go back into the city soon, so for now he was going to enjoy the peace and quiet. Kei decided to climb the bank of a rise of earth and take a path he'd found awhile ago. He'd never seen anyone on it before, which was why he chose it now. He just needed to quiet the noise in his head before plunging back into it again.



    For a long while, the vague, untrodden path he followed seemed to be empty as usual, so he let his mind wander. However, his guard was never completely down; he couldn't afford to actually relax to the full. Kei heard footsteps coming down the path toward him, but as demons weren't usually found making that much noise where there were no people around, he assumed it was a hiker. In his human form, he didn't detect anything demonic, even when the white-haired man bumped into him.



    "It's no problem." he started to say, having noticed the other was distracted. Only then did he get a good look at the other man's eyes, which made him pause in his tracks, guard suddenly heightened. A deep frown creased his brow, and his blue eyes narrowed slightly, gazing into the newcomer's red ones. He'd seen people wearing contacts that color recently, but the pupils…



    Not wanting to give away his true nature yet, the Hunter decided to stay in human form and get some answers from the white-haired male. Changing forms to use his magic, in full sight of a human, was against the rules. Plus, it would be like a beacon to any demons in the vicinity, as unlikely as that would have seemed in such a quiet place. Part of fighting demons in the first place involved stealth on a Hunter's part. After all, a Hunter could be destroyed, the same as a demon.



    "What's with the eyes?" he asked, pretending to be very human, and more than a little dense. "Are they having Animecon in the woods this year?" His tone, while not outright rude, wasn't exactly nice, either. Kei didn't do 'nice', so he usually opted for aloof.
     
  4. Eiji sighed softly, visibly relaxing when the man said that it was no problem. However, he saw him stop in his tracks just before he was about to turn and walk off, wanting to make a quick getaway. Under the scrutiny of the man's gaze, he couldn't help but shrink ever so slightly. The desire to turn and flee rose in his chest, swift and suffocating. Usually, he wasn't as weak as he was at this very moment, but only recently, he had almost flipped out, almost losing complete control to his demonic side. Unfortunately, that had resulted in a few people injured. Sure, the young man had fled the village quicker than a rabbit running from a fox when he came to, but his nerves were fried at the moment. And he wasn't sure how long it would take until he even started to feel confident in his ability to subdue his demon again. He had just been seriously lucky that no Hunter had been in the vicinity to hunt him down and take him down. Sometimes, though, Eiji wondered if it would be easier if he constantly had a Hunter to watch him, to make sure he didn't lose control. He knew quite a few Hunters would do that, but Eiji had never been brave enough to ask. He had always fled when he sensed a Hunter, or just laid low until they left the area.

    Soon yanked away from his thoughts, Eiji heard the man ask about his eyes. Instantly, he froze, becoming tense. Forcing himself to relax, he took a deep breath, watching the man before him as he asked if Animecon was in the woods this year, and he couldn't help but notice his tone. and he didn't exactly like it. It wasn't outright rude, but it definitely wasn't nice, either. Lowering his gaze to the ground, head ducking slightly, Eiji tried to think of an excuse. "No.. No, I don't know where Animecon is being held," he said honestly. His hair fell over his eyes slightly and he blinked slowly, his mind racing. He should have come up with an excuse for his eyes by now, but no, Eiji was pretty slow when it came to things like that. And in any case, people had figured the worst - well the truth - and taken him for a demon, or half-demon, so he never needed to come up with an excuse. However, the first time he has been in a big town and he gets asked about them. Go figure.

    Eiji slowly looked back up at the man before he took a step back, "um, well..." he started, still unable to come up with something. He could say contacts, but he had never seen any contacts that looked even remotely similar to his eyes. Really, there was no other excuse he could come up with. "I-i've, um, i've got to go!" Eiji stuttered out, taking another step back before he pivoted on his foot and bolted. Except, the foolish young man, not even thinking, ran even deeper into the forest and not back towards town where he could easily blend in with the crowds. He ran until he could hear the river, where he slowed to a stop. He stretched out his hand, running his palm over the bark of a near by tree before he glanced behind himself. He couldn't see the man behind him. Of course not. Eiji was just being paranoid. His emotions were running haywire, making him unable to think straight. He moved so his back way leaning against the tree and he took in a deep breath, letting it out in a sigh before he leaned his head back and closing his eyes momentarily, waiting for his heart rate to steady before he opened them and watched the running water. But he couldn't help but wondering if that man had followed him and was hiding somewhere.
     
  5. Kei couldn't help noticing how jumpy this one was, how he seemed to be holding on by a thread. The Hunter had seen that skewed look in others, but for a number of reasons. The younger male could be a drug addict, or out where he wasn't supposed to be. In his strangely-colored eyes was a light not unlike a startled deer. Kei stayed where he was, observing in what looked like a casual manner, but starting to be convinced that the newcomer was more than he appeared. Either that hair was the most expensive wig the Hunter had ever seen, or he really had white hair. The likelihood of that hair color being natural on a human so young was in the billions-to-one. Anyway, it didn't look dead the way white or severely-bleached hair always looked. Strange things for Kei to notice, maybe, but he was a Hunter, and he was getting very suspicious.



    Eiji's answer didn't help him at all. He could have lied, but didn't jump on it, so now Kei was even more suspicious. On the plus side, as demons were almost pathologically incapable of telling the truth, that did throw him off a little. Was this one a half-demon? Kei's opinion on half-demons was mixed, as he had seen them go nuke-happy before. Yet, he had also talked to a few of the Hunters who kept an eye on half-demons in their vicinity. They'd managed to make lives for themselves, and were a great help to their communities. Few and far-between, maybe, but Kei never bought into the idea that change is impossible if you have a choice.



    It was looking more and more likely that this one was a half-demon, especially as he started to back off like he'd been caught. Kei advanced, but still kept his casual demeanor, pretending to just be some random human in the woods who had never seen red contact lenses before. Yet, inside himself, the magic at his very core kindled like unseen fire, his Hunter's senses waking up. It was like setting a lame deer in front of a mountain lion. Even Kei's pupils started to dilate, just as the white-haired male turned and bolted.



    The Hunter's first instinct was to dart after him, but the Hunter held himself in check, leaping up into some overhanging branches instead. It was possible, though unlikely, that the newcomer was just being used as bait. That had happened in the past, so the Hunter was wary. He kept his magic in check for the moment, only using a little to muffle any noise he might make. Being stronger, faster and more agile than a human, he was able to leap through the trees unseen, following the white-haired male's rather obvious trail from above. As his quarry stopped by the little trickling stream, Kei slowly circled him in the branches, sounding more like a soft breeze than the lithe predator he was.



    For the moment, Kei just observed him carefully, as he tried to decide what to do. His sharp eyes watched every movement the shorter male made; so far, no demons or half-demons seemed to be anywhere nearby. Kei hadn't released his magic, so he couldn't tell for sure, but the white-haired man below him looked genuinely afraid. Kei decided to find out more about him, rather than attack without need. Even being a Hunter, he didn't appreciate bloodshed without a purpose.



    Settling down on a branch above Eiji, Kei took a deceptively casual posture, though one he could leap out of easily. Then, he spoke, his voice almost sounding bored.



    "Word of advice- don't just run away from a conversation. It'll look like you're guilty of something." Eiji might not be able to see his face, as it was in shadow, but he would see the glitter of the man's blue eyes, not yet lit by their magical flame. Kei was watching him very, very carefully.
     
  6. Eiji looked at the water, watching as it flowed over the rocks at the bottom and he couldn't help but wish he could be like that water. To flow freely, nothing to stop him, no cares or worries for him to feel. That would be the life. Sighing, he glanced back where he had came once again before he concluded that he really hadn't been followed and he looked down at the down, raising both hands that threaded through his white hair, messing it once more before linking his fingers together and groaned. Why did he run? Because he was a coward, that's why. He had panicked. His mind had gone blank. He was a fool. He should have tried to pass it off as a new sort of contact lens. Squeezing his eyes shut in frustration, he started to berate himself in his head. A few moments later, though, his mind wandered back to the man from earlier. Sure, he had seemed like a normal human, but Hunters could disguise themselves.. He had seemed like he was interested in his eyes - as rude as he had sounded - but it was easy for people to act - if they weren't Eiji, anyway. And the way he seemed to scrutinize him under his gaze made the young man shudder at the memory. They were too knowledgeable. He had to have been a Hunter. so why hadn't he followed him? Had he decided that he was that little of a threat? That kind of grated on his pride, but he couldn't help but agree - as a human, he was weak. And he was too terrified to go Demon in fear he'd lose complete control.

    However, a voice, sounding rather bored, startled Eiji and he stumbled forward, literally yelping in surprise. He tried to turn around, but the klutz tripped over his own feet and fell on the ground on his rear end. "Oww..." he muttered to himself before he tilted his head back and stared up into the tree, and though he could not see his face he could see the slight glimmer of blue and his eyes widened even more, if at all possible. "You are a Hunter.." Eiji whispered, a tremble to his voice before he slowly pushed himself off the ground, slowly brushing the dirt off of himself, though not daring to take his eyes off the man now he knew for sure. He had been such a fool. He shouldn't have run. He should have lied. Come up with some excuse. Now this.. Hunter.. knew he was a half-demon. Or, worse, he thought he was a full demon. He'd be dead for sure if that was the case. "But i'm not guilty of anything!" Eiji protested I just panicked, he thought to himself.

    "Are you going to kill me?" Eiji asked the man. He didn't even bother trying to add 'try' in that sentence like many demons would. If this man wanted to kill him, he surely would and Eiji could do nothing about it without reverting to his Demon side which he would not do if he could help it. He wanted to be a human. And that was it. Not a demon. A human.
     
  7. Kei couldn't help noting that this white-haired male had a certain grace about him; probably a mixture of the demon and human. Even his stumbling about wasn't like the way humans moved, in fear of bruising themselves. Kei understood that they weren't as hardy as his kind, but so few of them had any real grace. This one, clumsy as he was, still had something of the demon in him. Anyway, that was what Kei concluded. Eiji couldn't exactly hide what he was now, not after that little running thing. The Hunter did wonder how this one could be so jumpy- he hoped it wasn't because the white-haired male was about to snap. That could be dangerous.



    "What if I am?" the Hunter said casually, watching Eiji with his keen eyes. Hearing that little tremble in the other's voice , he tilted his head to one side, regarding Eiji's red eyes and white hair with muted interest. Though not absolutely sure that this wasn't a trick, and Eiji wasn't a full demon, he certainly wasn't acting like one. That doubt was the only thing that kept Kei from offing him right there.



    At Eiji's protests, he had to let out a humorless chuckle. "If I wanted to kill you, you'd be dead already. That's no guarantee, of course, that I won't kill you anyway." With the grace of a hunting cat, Kei suddenly leaped from his branch, flipping in mid-air, and landing softly on the leaf cover in front of the white-haired male. His blue eyes were fixed on Eiji's face, but their expression was veiled. He did not show if he was eager, or bored, or angry… He took a step toward Eiji, his eyes now lit from within.



    Even so, Kei did not attack. So far, no other demons had come to fight, no trap had been sprung. Full demons almost never backed away from a fight, unless they thought they could get away unscathed. This one wasn't even trying to run, nor was he shifting. To know that Kei was a Hunter meant this white-haired man was something…



    As if to coax Eiji into shifting, Kei did so himself, the flaming blue symbols of his Hunter's magic scrolling from his right hand, up along his arm to his face. Both eyes blazed forth like beacons the color of the sky, and fixed themselves on the white-haired male, able to see him clearly now. Half-demon. Kei catalogued his face and general appearance silently, keeping them in the back of his mind for his later report, but he did not strike yet. Eiji's fear, his unwillingness to even defend himself, were unusual enough to be intriguing.



    "You're not going to fight back?" he asked calmly, as though prompting the half-demon on what he should do. Kei was not himself certain yet what he would do,
     
  8. Eiji listened to the Hunter's words and couldn't help but agree with him. Certainly, if he wanted him dead, he really would be already. When he said there was no guarantee that he wouldn't kill him, however, Eiji couldn't help but take a step back. It was an involuntary action that he didn't realize he had done until he had already done it. He glanced down at the ground for barely even a second before he looked back up at the Hunter. He watched as the Hunter suddenly leaped from the branch he had been sitting on with the grace of a cat, landing right in front of him, the leaves below him barely even moving. He looked up, seeing the man seemed to be studying him, yet Eiji couldn't tell what he was thinking, his expression was completely neutral. When he took a step closer to him, however, he leaned back, away from him and took another step back, feeling the desire to turn and run once again.

    But then he noticed his eyes change and Eiji's own eyes widened once again and he froze on the spot. A moment later, he saw the glowing symbols wrap around the man's arm and up on to his face. So he really was a Hunter.. Taking yet another step back, Eiji watched the man, expecting him to cut him down right then and there. However, he didn't. One problem there was though, was he could feel his demonic side trying to force him to shift, coax him into attacking the man in front of him. But instead, Eiji ran a hand through his hair, his fingers gripping it tightly as he shook his head.

    When the Hunter asked if he was going to fight back, Eiji dropped his hand and glared at the man weakly. "Stop it.." he muttered, referring to him being in his Hunter form. "I don't want to fight you! I don't want to be a Demon! I hate it!" he ground out with a groan. He obviously meant, he hated having Demon in him as he wasn't a pure demon, but he should understand that. He gripped his own arm, just above his left elbow as he stared at the Hunter before him, with his glowing blue eyes and symbols over every exposed part of his skin and he felt his Demon fight to escape. In reaction to that, Eiji squeezed his arm where he gripped it. Hard enough, that even through his shirt, he pierced his skin and he could feel his own blood seeping through the fabric. "I won't fight you," Eiji repeated weakly.
     
  9. 'I don't want to fight you! I don't want to be a demon, I hate it!'



    Oddly enough, this did cause the Hunter to pause, shifting his weight and looking steadily at the half-demon. He seemed to be trying to work Eiji out, and a slow frown formed over his face. Just a slight downward tug at the corners of his mouth to show he was mulling these words over. If this was just a demon's trick, it wasn't one he'd come across before. But he wasn't put off-guard, either. Briefly, his shining blue eyes flickered to the other's hand clutching his arm, then back to his face. Kei knew what Eiji was trying to do with that gesture; he could feel the demonic magic bubbling inside of the other man's body, even from here. His own magic seemed to be drawing it out, yet Eiji was holding back. Quite hard, if the slight trembling of his pale hand was any indication. The smell of blood, while obvious to the Hunter, was not something that excited him. It simply meant the half-demon was feeling desperate to control that part of himself. The question was why?


    Perhaps it was a foolish thing, but he suddenly wanted to know Eiji's reasons. He'd only ever heard of half-demons choosing to live as humans, but this was the first he'd ever encountered. The Hunter wasn't about to go soft on him, as this could all very well be an elaborate trap, but he decided to spare the half-demon for the moment. Kei had no real reason to kill him beyond taking precautions for the future, and that reasoning had never sat well in his mind. In spite of the ball of blue flames that gathered inside his palm, he wasn't going to attack without need.



    "Why won't you fight me?" he asked, voice soft but clear. Kei's head tilted slightly to one side, as though this would help him see through Eiji's skull and into his mind.
     
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