Wolves of Pikarigaoka Grocery Center

Kukai ends up out doing some shopping for his brothers, and runs into Ikiko, who is doing something similar for her family.

Date: 2017-11-08
Pose Count: 22
Kukai Souma 2017-11-08 06:55:32 86310
It's later on in a cool evening in Tokyo, with a few clouds in the sky and moisture in the air. It's the sort of day when not too many people want to go out and run around if they can avoid it. So, for Kukai Souma, it's the day when his brothers all unanimously decide they want him to be the one to run to the grocery store. This was decided by Unkei and Kaido sitting on his back till he agreed to go.

So a slightly grumbly but not entirely annoyed Kukai enters one of the local stores in the area, list noted on his phone, looking around for things to buy and a possible treat for himself. Daichi takes the opportunity to hop up and explore the store, flitting over top of the aisle and exploring...
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-11-08 07:07:53 86311
Due to a late change in the planned meal, Ikiko Hisakata was sent to the store to pick up a few ingredients that weren't already in the house. There was even a little budgeted for a small treat for doing this shopping run on an evening with such weather, so it's not an overly burdensome chore.

"Let's see... a box of this..." Ikiko mumbles to herself, looking from her list to the shelves and frowning slightly. "Wait, there's two sizes? I think the recipe only calls for this much, but I think we're doubling it tonight; better get the larger box, then."

As she reaches up to take the box, she spots Daichi floating into view across the shelves. Quickly glancing around to make sure there's nobody else nearby, Ikiko looks up at Daichi and whispers, "You look somewhat familiar, but I'm not sure we've met outside of the rooftops."
Kukai Souma 2017-11-08 07:24:57 86312
Daichi blinks down at the girl whispering to him, landing on top of a can of peach slices, and stares down at her. "Uh. I think I know you, but I don't remember your name either! But.." He stares at her, thinking. "But I remember you being a good person! Hang on a moment?" He hops up and zips back through the store.

Kukai has a shopping buggy, piling in items here and there - magazines, protein powders, eggs, chips, snacks, several things here and there. He looks up at Daichi as he lands and grins. "Hey bud. What's up?" Daichi bounces and points. "There's a girl around the corner! She said hi to me." Kukai blinks, then looks. "A girl?"

Kukai walks around the corner, pushing the buggy, and comes up just short of tapping Ikiko with it. "Oh, hi! Uh." He stares at her for a moment, trying to put who she is together with what Daichi said. "... Hi!" Great, way to be, Kukai. "So..." He looks around, and the two of them are alone, so he leans in. "So you said hi to Daichi, but I can't remember who you are. I'm Kukai." He leans back, sort of expecting her to say something.
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-11-08 07:36:19 86313
"I'm Ikiko Hisakata," Ikiko smiles somewhat absentmindedly, glancing from Kukai to Daichi and back, trying to put two and two together but coming up with 'fish'. "And... I can't say that I'm surprised that you don't remember me given that I currently look like this; I suspect that the last time you saw me my hair was shorter, lighter, and more wolf-like."

Glancing at Daichi and Kukai, Ikiko lets her eyes go slightly out of focus, then blinks and nods. She has a partial hunch, and if she's wrong about the specifics, well, at least it's a fellow magical person anyway. "You might have met me as Cute Wolf Tsukiko," she notes. "And... if I'm not mistaken, are you Sky Jack?"
Kukai Souma 2017-11-08 07:52:05 86314
Kukai nods to Ikiko and smiles, watching her glance back and forth. She's obviously magical. Oh, wait. Shorter hair, lighter, wolf-life? There's one girl he can think of that fits that description...

Kukai cocks his head as her eyes seem to look away, then ohs. "...That's who I thought you were! And.. yeah, that's who I am. Who we are." He nods at Daichi who waves. "So.. hello!" He grins, reaching over to offer his hand to her. "It's nice to finally meet you!" He eyes her full hands for a moment. "I've got some room in my buggy if you want to set your stuff down?"
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-11-08 07:58:04 86315
Ikiko Hisakata gives Kukai a grin. "Well, since you're offering," she nods, putting her groceries in one corner of the buggy and then shaking Kukai's offered hand. "Family decided to switch up the menu late in the planning cycle, so I'm here getting the ingredients needed for the changes. How about you?"
Kukai Souma 2017-11-08 08:28:54 86316
Kukai grins back and nods, squeezing Ikiko's hand and walking along with her. "My brothers decided that someone should go get some snacks. I was the one they sat on to encourage me to go and get them their stuff." He nods towards the buggy. "That being said they did give me a few bucks to get whatever I want too, so."

Kukai looks over the items Ikiko has and nods. "What are you making? It looks good." He make sure their items are kept separate and then grins. "Lot different from the last time we met, huh?"
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-11-08 08:44:03 86317
"I can't remember the name of the recipe, but it was something one of my uncles learned when he visited America a few years ago," Ikiko remarks. "One of those things where it sounds really weird, but is actually pretty tasty."

She giggles a bit at Kukai's description of his shopping run. "Yeah, some of my cousins do that kind of thing to each other," she nods. "Keeps things lively, although they can't get too rambunctious or everyone starts getting after them. Definitely not as bad as a magical showdown, but certainly still feisty!"
Kukai Souma 2017-11-08 08:56:27 86318
Kukai nods and then oohs. "I bet it's awesome. I'd like to try it sometime if you can find out the name. Did he really go to America? That's pretty cool. I wanna go at some point, but mostly because that's where you go to be really good at baseball. Or I might end up playing soccer for a local team or basketball or something." He grins. "Or anything else. There's no telling."

Kukai sighs and rolls his shoulders. "I'm gonna sit on them one day. Eventually. Do you have a lot of cousins? And there's a whole lot of people all being rambunctious at one another?" He picks up a carton of orange juice as they walk along and sets it into the buggy.
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-11-08 09:09:46 86319
Ikiko Hisakata gives a slight shrug. "I'm thinking about going for some sort of career in animal care," she notes. "Not as likely to go international, but it plays to my strengths. But it's pretty cool that you're thinking of pursuing a sports career overseas!"

There's a bit of a giggle at Kukai's questions. "I have plenty of cousins, although it's more than just first cousins," she explains as she snags a block of cheese. "My extended family lives in an old Japanese-style mansion that we've converted to apartments, and the rambunctious cousins are from one particular household. It's not too bad when they can roughhouse in the yard in the middle of the day, but in lousy weather?" She shakes her head. "When they get stir-crazy, the ruckus can easily be heard by the other households."
Kukai Souma 2017-11-08 09:15:53 86320
Kukai laughs. "Not just international, world wide! I'm gonna be the best sports player ever anywhere!" He grins at her and nods. "Hey, everybody wants someone to help take care of their animals. So that's a good thing."

Something twigs to Kukai as she talks about her cousins. "...I got it. Wait. Hisakata. Is Sora one of your cousins? I remember she took me to a big house like that at one point." He scratches his head. "I remember going past something like that at one other point too, but I don't think I saw you."

Kukai nods. "There must be a lot of families in there, huh? She said something like that at one point too. Something kinda like me and my brothers, only on a much smaller scale."
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-11-08 09:30:56 86321
"Yup, Sora's a cousin of mine," Ikiko confirms with a nod. "And it's not really surprising if you didn't see me; I'm often out visiting the stray dogs of Tokyo, so it's easy to miss me if you come by at the wrong time of day."

A small bag of nuts gets added to the cart. "Great-grandpa Yuuki is the main reason we have the mansion in the first place," she comments. "It was given to him as a reward, but he felt it was too big for his immediate family, so he opened it up for some of his other close relatives, and over time it's been filled up with their descendants."
Kukai Souma 2017-11-08 09:39:33 86322
"How is she doing these days?" Kukai frowns and nods to Ikiko. "I kinda think I was the reason she went over the deep end some time back. I haven't seen her since she got her new book cleansed or whatever. I imagine she's ok, though." He grins weakly. "And honestly, I really didn't know who you were except in side comments until I met you in Pikarigaoka, patrolling, and then tonight."

Kukai picks up a bag of shredded cheese and adds it to his pile. "Oooh. Wow, that must be cool, having a great big house of your family all right there in one place. So... what did he do to get such a big house for you all?"
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-11-08 09:49:28 86323
"We haven't been able to talk much except in passing, but it sounds like she's doing okay," Ikiko nods. "She seems to be focusing on her tutoring gigs and schoolwork, and I haven't heard anything odd in those regards, so that's a good sign."

The question about her great-grandfather Yuuki brings a huge grin to her face. "He defeated a werewolf with almost nothing but his bare hands, back when he was a young man," she beams.
Kukai Souma 2017-11-08 09:55:14 86324
Kukai nods. "Good, good. I heard she found somebody else to date, too, so that was a load off my mind. I'm glad she's doing ok." He keeps walking along, thinking. "There was another girl there, who filmed the two of us the one day I was there, and who was threatening to blackmail her with the information. I assume she's another one of your cousins? One of the rotten ones?"

He ooohs and grins, looking over to pick up a few canned fruits and vegetables, setting them in as well. "Really? Wow, that's pretty awesome! I don't know anybody who could've done something like that, even today. Maybe one of the mages, but..."
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-11-08 10:10:04 86325
Ikiko Hisakata is quiet for a few moments as she mentally runs through a list of probable suspects, coming up with a handful of cousins and one particular kitsune. "Depending on when that incident was, I might know who you're talking about," she finally says with a frown, not wanting to mention the possibilities. "I can try looking into it, although being discreet about it will slow things down."

Her expression brightens back up when Kukai voices his admiration for the fight. "From what he said, it wasn't that much different than a knife fight, except against two coordinated opponents in the same body," she elaborates. "The silver knife was easy enough to get, but the protection against lycanthropy was trickier -- especially since the normal means weren't available, so he kinda had to improvise an alternate solution."
Kukai Souma 2017-11-08 10:22:38 86326
Kukai thinks for a minute. "Well it was some girl filming us and she convinced Sora to give me a kiss. It's... complicated, but it was more for Sora than it was for me at the time, and that upset her a lot." He scratches the back of his head, then shrugs. "I haven't run into her ever since, so... it's not really a big thing. It's all said and done now. Don't be too upset about it all."

Kukai nods. "Yeah. I'm into sports, but not into combat sports at all, so I don't know much about fighting, really. The idea of using a knife to beat something like that is amazing to me. And he didn't turn into a werewolf himself? It's really crazy. I'm glad he was able to solve everything."
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-11-08 10:42:15 86327
Ikiko Hisakata gives Kukai a shrug. "Well, if it's no longer an issue, then I won't push about it," she states as she takes a few small jars of less-common spices.

"Werewolves are what happen when you cram a full-sized wolf soul in with a full-sized human soul," she explains. "This causes the wolf soul to leak like venom, creating another full wolf soul via spiritual 'infection' from the bite. If you have a soul as strong as a diamond, then you don't have anything to worry about, but that kind of soul is pretty rare; only powerful priests and shrine maidens have that kind of spiritual strength."

Ikiko muses for a moment. "And maybe magical girls," she finally remarks. "And magical boys. At least magical folk would be more likely to be able to physically fight than some of the spiritually strong priests, anyway."

She shakes her head. "The important thing is, it takes a strong soul to resist, and great-grandpa Yuuki figured that he didn't have that kind of soul," Ikiko continues. "So instead, he decided to go for the strength of a bundle of sticks. Amplify his soul to the strength of ten to twenty men, and use that to resist the bite of the werewolf. Not exactly an ordinary way to take on lycanthropy, so he didn't know how well it would work, but he made a little magical item to allow him to do that. And it worked!... sort of."
Kukai Souma 2017-11-08 11:08:00 86328
Kukai nods and then pats her shoulder. "Thanks." He listens to the story about werewolf souls, then rubs his chin. "That's what you were saying last time about diamond souls. You're trying to find more people who have those, right? So you can get their help fighting other werewolves?"

Kukai walks along, through the store, collecting a few extra items and heading towards the exit. "Ooooooh. That's really cool. But, wait. It doesn't work right, does it?" Kukai doesn't have a lot of intelligence or anything, but if he knows one thing, it's supernatural, spiritual, and ghostly things. "He had all that soul, but the werewolf venom would have still have infected all of it, just much less for each one."

Kukai stops for a moment, looking at Ikiko, a lifetime of being lucky, surrounding himself with charms, learning about magic, and soaking up things just by being around them. ".... Is that what your things are? I mean, I remember seeing them on the rooftop, but that's the only thing that makes sense. That's why you're who you are, isn't it?" The whole 'I went shopping but I'm heading for the exit, are you done?' question he was going to ask has been forgotten in the moment.
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-11-08 11:25:17 86329
Ikiko Hisakata nods. "One part wolf soul, ten to twenty parts human soul," she agrees. "Which, when the magical locket was deactivated, scaled back down to one human soul plus a fragment of a wolf soul... but it scales right back up when the locket is reactivated. That's why great-grandpa Yuuki put the locket away in the family storeroom, and warned the rest of the family, and the warning was passed down through the family..."

She absentmindedly fidgets with the necklace around her neck. "But over the years and generations, people forgot to mention what the locket was packed in, so it kinda accidentally got found and worn about two years ago. Haven't seen any other werewolves, diluted or not, during my time as a magical girl, and to be honest I've mostly been trying to have a portfolio of proof that this trace lycanthropy can be used for the purpose of good."

There's a pause as she contemplates the conclusion that Kukai came to. "The wolfmotes are a bit more indirect than that, but yes, I am a diluted werewolf," Ikiko admits. "The indeterminate number of wolfmotes do stem from the Lycan Locket's history, but their exact origin involves the Nightmare Prince, Tuxedo Kamen, and Kunzite."
Kukai Souma 2017-11-08 11:36:57 86330
Kukai nods, listening to her describe the wolf soul and human soul issue with the locket, seeing her fidget with the locket around her neck. "...Oh, boy. So you just randomly put it on and now you've got a bit of the venom in you, more or less? And that's why you're who you are?"

Kukai nods after a moment, then blinks as she mentions Tuxedo Kamen and Kunzite. "...... I so want to know what they had to do with this, but.. maybe later?" He thinks, then reaches over, patting her shoulder. "Well, from everything I've seen you've been nothing but a good person, so I'm not worried about it. You're fine." He looks over at the now mostly filled buggy, and grins. "I think I have everything I need, so I should probably think about heading home. Do you need to get anything more?"
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-11-08 11:46:50 86331
"Venom isn't quite the right word for the ongoing effect; it just best describes how the initial bite is contagious," Ikiko shrugs. "And given how tame -- or possibly even domesticated -- the wolf soul fragment is, as well as how lycanthropy is sometimes described as hereditary, I think I was born with the potential, and the locket mostly makes the 'curse' more visible. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if my parents and grandparents also have that fragment of a wolf soul in them as well."

She looks over the items in her corner of the buggy, then shakes her head. "Just need to snag a goodie for myself, and that'll be it for me. Thanks for lending me a corner!"