Finding Naru

Rune meets Naru, and finds out about the energy-drain rating list.

Date: 2016-08-20
Pose Count: 26
Runealy Waldia 2016-08-20 19:58:37 51725
Rune has made occasional trips to the boardwalk area the last few weeks, always trying to find the same person. A person whose name she does not know, whose only 'identity' to the princess is what she looks like... and that someone /appears/ to have attacked this individual over some supposed connection to Rune. Well, the attack certainly happened... it's understanding the motive that takes some guessing.

Each time, she has failed to find this individual. Today, having made sure to leave messages with nearby friends so they know where she is, Runealy paces along the boardwalk once again. Her head turns every which way, scanning through the daylight crowds in the hopes that 'this certain person' returns to the general scene of the crime. She's out of other ideas, and is hoping to luck into an encounter at this point.
Naru Osaka 2016-08-20 20:03:08 51726
There's a lot of luck in Naru's life. A lot of times, it's not especially /good/ luck. Today, however, so far so good.

Much like the last time Runealy encountered Naru down here on the boardwalk, there's been an ice cream acquision, and some window shopping. Relaxed on a lovely day, milling with all the other people enjoying the boardwalk.

This time, however, Naru has found herself a bench to sit and watch the people go by. Her ice cream didn't get spilled everywhere and wasted, it's waiting patiently in its cup next to her on the bench as she indulges in a bit of sketching. Her pencil skips over her sketchbook, capturing the lines of the fountain, detailing out the curve of the dolphins.
Runealy Waldia 2016-08-20 20:07:56 51727
After a few minutes, Rune picks up on this and spots Naru by the bench. Her first impulse is to hurry over, but this goes unacted on as indecision hits. Does she go over at all? Naru might not have the best opinion of her. Or might not recognize her; it seems /most/ people on Earth do not recognize magical individuals as such, even if knowing who they are is the basis of government back home. What if someone goes after Naru just for being seen with her?

These thoughts lead into a cycle that keeps the princess 'frozen' for quite some time, but she eventually works up the nerve with a single, deep nod and walks over to Naru's bench. Noticing the artwork in progress, Rune avoids any sudden noises and is instead opting to slowly step into her peripheral vision. Something to be gradually noticed, rather than an immediate leap into her attention.
Naru Osaka 2016-08-20 20:13:00 51728
There's clearly awareness when Runealy steps into Naru's peripheral vision, perhaps not immediately utterly aware of the who, but a general level of wary that ensures that it's not long before there's a glance over.

Which comes with a second glance only a moment later, and a pausing of the pencil. By the look on Naru's face, there is absolutely recognition. "Oh! Oh hello!" She smiles warmly. "Oh my goodness, I'm so glad to see you! I never got to thank you."
Runealy Waldia 2016-08-20 20:17:01 51729
This is not what Rune was expecting. She presumed Naru would be among the majority of Tokyoites who seem compelled to adopt truly bizarre explanations that let them cope with the dangers posed by all sorts of monsters without acknowledging the reality. Recognizing the princess means Naru is most likely in the minority who is 'in the know.'

Then what Naru actually says is stunning as well. "What do you mean, 'thank' me? I'm still trying to figure out what happened, but as near as I can tell... it looks like you were attacked because someone thought you were with us?" This isn't quite accurate, but it's the conclusion she has based on what the Serpent has said in encounters thus far. "I came here to make sure you were okay, just haven't been able to find you since then. Tokyo's a huge place..."
Naru Osaka 2016-08-20 20:20:29 51730
Naru reaches over to move her ice cream, such that Runealy can sit if she wishes, there's plenty of space. "I wasn't sure if she thought we were together or not to begin with. When you dragged me out of the alley, I think that was the moment that she figured we were together. Or, when your companion did." Naru smiles a touch and mmms softly. "I think to begin with, I was just convenient. It happens to me a lot."

Which is, perhaps, the understatement of the week.

"I'm fine, though. Thank you so much for wanting to check up on me! Who /was/ she?" Naru asks, full of curiosity.
Runealy Waldia 2016-08-20 20:31:06 51731
"'Convenient'... that sounds like a pretty scary thing to be in this case." Rune does take the cue and sit down beside her, glancing over to Naru rather than the scenery nearby. "Either way, if she thinks that now then we'll... well, I want to say we'll try to get her out of that idea, but she seems to think a /lot/ of people are on our side that really aren't. As for who she is..."

Rune thinks on this. She has no true name to offer, possibly no useful identity at all. There's an obvious pause as she ponders this through. "...The best I can say is she's someone who's dangerous. If you see her ever again, run. She kills people, and she likes doing it from what I can tell." Rune's voice lowers on this point, startled to have to describe someone in this way. "She... she was one of the people who helped kill my mother," This isn't true, but circumstantial remarks and context make it a reasonable conclusion, one that was spoken with an obvious tightening of the throat, "and now she's here for me. She uses hostages and poison, and seems to want to take out anyone she thinks supports me. So far, 'supporting me' seems to be just about anything. So stay away from her!"
Naru Osaka 2016-08-20 20:41:22 51732
"She's a lot more actively violent than most of the people who are out to drain me." Naru comments thoughtfully, with the sort of tone that implies that she really can make these sorts of comparisons. "First time, and only time so far, that I've been used as a projectile weapon."

Naru frowns a little. "I'm sorry to hear that she killed your mother. She's after your whole family?" There's a little nod of understanding at the notion of someone who delights in the killing, and the soft sigh that accompanies it is almost disappointed. "I'm getting better at running, although she didn't give me a lot of options when she grabbed me. She's quick." She pauses and then glances over to Runealy. "Would it be helpful or not to know more of exactly how her attacks feel from this side? Some people find it useful, some are just utterly weirded out by getting to hear it."
Runealy Waldia 2016-08-20 20:51:54 51733
"'A lot more violent'... that's about the best way I've heard anyone put it. Yes, she's after all of us and I have no idea why. Everything she says about it makes no sense." Rune makes a tiny nod at this summary. "But getting thrown around is... well, you've got it right. 'Hopefully the last time.' She /is/ fast, though. Every time I think I have a chance to chase her, the best I can do is keep pace until she finds some way to make me guess which way she went. I lose her, then. How it feels, though..."

Does she want to know? She has some idea of how it would have felt. Yet saying 'no' to this offer seems like it would be trivializing what happened to Naru. So after a moment's hesitation, Rune relents. "Alright. On one condition, though. You tell me what flavor that is," she points at the ice cream, "and let me buy you a second one of it once you've said your piece."
Naru Osaka 2016-08-20 20:59:39 51735
"If I encounter her again, and have no fear, I've no plans to call her up to invite her for tea, I'll be running. Probably while texting a friend, because usually I can't outrun them, and if she's determined to get me, she will." Naru mmms softly and nods to Runealy. "Hopefully she'll make a mistake and let you catch up with her, I hope you can call your compaions quickly. I could only hear the fight, and I wasn't really in much shape to pay close attention, but it sounded like the group of you make a good team."

Naru smiles gently. "No obligation, it really bothers some people. I find the comparisons interesting, and probably irrelevant in the big picture, but I keep finding parallels, and then learning more and discovering that it's nothing like what I'd assumed." She smiles gently. "Plain old boring vanilla today, keeping up the stereotypes."
Runealy Waldia 2016-08-20 21:08:22 51736
"If there's a stereotype, I don't know much about it. I'm new around here, couldn't tell you what vanilla ice cream says about you or 'should' say." Rune is lost on that point, it seems. "They're a way better team than I deserve, at least. Really smart, and they give a hundred and ten percent out there, and then some more."

She makes a one-shoulder shrug. "As for it being disturbing, I just shared something far worse, so... it's not like I have any room to say no. Maybe it's important information anyway. ...Which I guess means I really should be offering an extra helping of vanilla now," she digs around for some coins, leaving what should reasonably be enough to cover the cost of ice cream on the bench. "And another when you want it." A little more digging leaves a different set of coins by the first.

Funny thing, the first batch isn't the same as the second. That set was clearly local Yen. What Rune added to the pile after that appears to be a silver coin whose design is not at all Japanese. "There you go," she adds while pulling her hand away from the money.
Naru Osaka 2016-08-20 21:17:14 51738
"A highly obscure and self depricating little snark on the fact that I'm a mundane." Naru explains as she reaches for the coins and then offers the yen back. "It's information, freely offered. We can share ice cream after if you want, though." She smiles easily, looking at the silver coin that's unusual. "Is this from where you're from?" She asks, distracted from the other conversation just for a moment.

"So her grabbing was very quick." Naru explains as she returns to the disconcerting part of the topic. "Just like how she flees. Often, I have a sense of who is stalking me, or that someone is about to make a move for me, but her? Out of nowhere. Eating ice cream and window shopping and then ka SLAM, like a ton of bricks, effectively ripping energy out of me." She takes a scoop of her rapidly melting ice cream, before she's got ice cream soup. "Which actually says to me that I really was just convenient. If they're making it personal, they want you to /know/. Fiore kept waking me up to ensure that I /knew/ it was personal and that he was targeting me and why."

"I wasn't something to talk with, to consider, or to acknowledge. Some who drain know if their drain is painful or not, she clearly didn't care." Naru considers and then mmms. "So for those she's just using basically as a battery pack, it's far less personal than the why of targeting you and your team."
Runealy Waldia 2016-08-20 21:23:36 51740
The coin doesn't appear to be from any Earth nation, at least. Rune confirms the question: "That's right. I keep forgetting some places won't accept them here, though." Upon closer inspection, one side depicts a woman's face. The other bears a medieval shield with a heart symbol upon it, and a motto printed beneath both of these emblems, 'Always Safe'.

Listening to the details of the attack makes Rune tense, bits and pieces drawing immediate winces as certain details are laid bare. She's clearly paying attention though, and sags slightly at Naru's conclusion. "That helps, at least. That tells me she /probably/ won't be going for you again. That wouldn't be 'convenient' for it to randomly happen twice to the same person in all of Tokyo, that would be... well, ridiculous."
Naru Osaka 2016-08-20 21:30:50 51742
"May I keep it?" Naru asks of the ununusual coin, tipping it over in her hand. "It's pretty. Is that your mother?" She asks, turning it to the woman's face again.

"By any sane measure, no. I am unlikely to get targeted by her again." Naru nods in agreement and then erms softly and looks downright sheepish. "I.. well.. I get targeted more than is reasonable by anyone's measure, however, and it seems to be just getting worse. So no. I shouldn't meet her again, but out of millions of people in Tokyo, I probably also shouldnt get attacked weekly, or more."
Runealy Waldia 2016-08-20 21:33:37 51743
"Sure, and..." Is it her? "...Yeah." That acknowledgement took a moment, but Rune is fairly calm about it now. "Sounds like it's less 'convenient' in your case, more 'insane.' To the point where you're actually keeping track of how attacks feel, how fast they are, all of that. Can't even begin to think of what to say to that, except..."

After another brief pause, Rune has it. "Is anyone keeping an eye out for you, making sure you're okay? Able to be there when these sort of things happen?"
Naru Osaka 2016-08-20 21:41:20 51745
"She looks very regal." Naru comments as she considers the coin and then looks over to Runealy and there's a simliar level of calm. "I have a list. Rankings too, much like yelp ratings for drain. She didn't rank highly." Naru smirks just a touch. "One star, do not recommend, really. She's about on par with Wraiths, but I'd rather meet her again than ever meet a wraith again."

Naru laughs and nods with a brighter smile. "I've what feels like an army of beloved friends who almost babysit me 24/7, but not quite. I periodically manage to come and sit and have an ice cream without needing to have someone ruin their day but sitting around doing nothing. If I called, though, someone would be here pretty damn quick." She sighs, a vaguely weary sound at that reality.
Runealy Waldia 2016-08-20 21:44:12 51746
"She wa-- is." Rune corrects herself mid-sentence. "The idea of 'yelp ratings' though, that's pretty scary. Sounds like you've got plenty of people on your side, but if you need one more... I can give you my number. I'm on the other side of Tokyo though, around Mitakihara. And if you don't want that, or even if you do, 'going out for vanilla' is fine by me too."
Naru Osaka 2016-08-20 21:48:53 51747
"It started as a bit of a joke." Naru looks wry about the yelp ratings. "And well, now its sort of stuck."

Naru nods. "I am never opposed to having someone else who might be willing to give me a hand. Makes me feel ever so slightly less guilty about how often I need to lean on everyone I know." She flips to the back of her sketchbook to write her number down and tear out the page. "I'm Naru Osaka, by the by. We didn't exactly have a lot of opportuity to introduce ourselves last time we met."
Runealy Waldia 2016-08-20 21:51:16 51748
"Ah!" A startled noise from Rune as she realizes there has indeed been a lack of introductions, followed by a hurried attempt to borrow something to write with and reciprocate with contact information on Naru's sketchbook. Somewhere that won't mess up any art in progress. "Runealy Waldia, but 'Rune' is fine. Nice to meet you, and... really glad you're doing alright. You know, we used to visit artists a lot... what sort of things do you draw?"
Naru Osaka 2016-08-20 21:59:28 51749
Sketchbook offered, and pencil too, Naru smiles as Rune adds her info to a blank page. "Pleasure to meet you, Rune. Hopefully sometime I'll get to meet the rest of your companions, and be able to thank them too. I'm not sure I'd recognize them as well as I did you, though."

"I do mostly pencil or pen and ink, some coloured pencil as well." Naru explains as she flips back through her sketchbook to many of her current drawings. Doodles, scenes from around Tokyo, items from an unfamiliar museum that doesn't look Japanese. "I dabble in paintings as well, but those aren't nearly so portable, I tend to only paint at home. I hate hauling around wet paint."
Runealy Waldia 2016-08-20 22:01:45 51751
"I wouldn't know. I'm still figuring out why it is that sometimes I'll recognize someone right away, and other times they have to outright show me who they are before it sinks in..." It's something Rune just can't quite grasp. "So maybe it's the same way for you?"

Then she leans in to check out the sketchbook, albeit mindful to give Naru room to actually flip pages. "Pen and ink, so you don't pai--" Yes she does. Naru is getting to that. "Ohh... neat! Do you have a gallery somewhere here in Tokyo, or are the paintings just at your home?"
Naru Osaka 2016-08-20 22:05:10 51752
"I haven't gotten that far yet." Naru laughs softly. "I almost had a nervous breakdown showing my paintings to a really good friend, I think I might need to be mostly unconscious or half drunk to survive a gallery opening. I'd like to someday, however." She adds, looking down at her drawings. "Not so many galleries are terribly interested in having a teenager's work either. Still, something to aspire to."

Naru grins. "I'm usually not /so/ bad with people when I'm conscious, but I have to admit, I was barely conscious when most of your group arrived. That was one of the first times I got to test some of the strategies for recovery post-drain."
Runealy Waldia 2016-08-20 22:07:45 51753
"...That would do it." Rune hadn't quite realized just how dazed Naru might have been then, which would make 'who's who' a rather muddled thing. "Sorry about that. Well... 'not interested', huh," She jumps topics, back to the matter of art galleries.

"There is such a thing as 'patronage.' Where I'm from, sometimes we would require that an artist take on a student and agree to share some of the funding with them before we would offer support. In your case, if the artist /is/ still a student in their own right... well. If you think you could stomach it, maybe I could stop by and...?" Her voice trails off, leaving implications.
Naru Osaka 2016-08-20 22:13:57 51754
"I've read about patronage, in art history." Naru hunhs softly and then ums softly. "I'm absolutely still a student, I think at least, but .. well." She hesitates a moment or two and then erms. "Sure. Yes. It would probably be good for me to get more comfortable with showing my work, or at least curating what is going to be displayed." She pauses a moment. "I do have a commission, but it's for a private mural, so it's not exactly somewhere that I can show off. They just need to finish the renovations before I can get to painting." She quirks a half smile. "A little nerve rattling at doing something so central to the apartment, but I expect to get to redo it a few times."
Runealy Waldia 2016-08-20 22:20:06 51755
"Just whatever you're comfortable with," Rune remarks while standing up to give Naru room, no longer crowding the sketchbook. "Doesn't have to be right now, either. I should probably get back with my friends soon anyway... but it was good to meet you."
Naru Osaka 2016-08-20 22:21:51 51756
"If you don't hear from me, give me a poke." Naru gestures at the number given. "Just in case I've chickened out and need a little prod." She smiles a touch. "I am glad to have met you properly Rune. Thank you again for rescusing me. Thank your friends for me too. Take care."