After the Takoyaki...

Runealy returns to the Waldian shelter with imposing news.

Date: 2015-05-20
Pose Count: 16
Runealy Waldia 2015-05-20 07:06:41 281
Earlier today, Rune had told Gaofele she wanted to check out a few things at the festival that evening. She said she'd go alone; it was a /festival/ so what could possibly go wrong?

Now as night falls over Tokyo, she is running down the streets as fast as she can. She must make quite the sight, sprinting in full magical dress and gasping from fatigue. Her body is screaming 'stop, slow down, cannot take this much longer' and her mind is shouting it down with 'no no no no no they are after me I cannot get into a fight with them now of all times!'

And so she runs to the abandoned store. The store that just yesterday, the mere thought of staying in caused her to start sobbing. As she gets close to it, she's engulfed in a flash of red light. When it fades, she's still running - stumbling at a sprinting pace, really - but is now back in normal garb. This might announce her arrival on its own. If not, her frantically pulling the doors open and stumbling in is probably going to trip the bells Gaofele left if they're still up.

She doesn't care if she makes noise. She stumbles to the floor and looks back, hoping she somehow lost Hannah and any other pursuers from the concert.
Gaofele Doiru 2015-05-20 07:18:17 284
The bells currently aren't up, as Gaofele had been waiting for Rune's return. He had spent the day gathering up their cached supplies and tidying up the abandoned store, so while it's not exactly /clean/, it's no longer a dusty mess. It's a small thing, but it does improve the feel of the place.

He jumps to his feet as Rune staggers in, then dashes to the door, staff in hand. "What's wrong? Are you hurt?" he asks in an urgent whisper as he looks out into the night for any approaching hostiles.

When no threats appear, Gao carefully closes the door and strings up the bell-line. If there was something to frighten Rune, it'd be best to keep a warning system up. "What happened?" he asks gently as he walks over to her, kneeling and offering a hand to help her up.
Runealy Waldia 2015-05-20 07:25:55 285
Interestingly, Runealy is unhurt. It would be easy to think she is, given how she's panting for breath and all too willing to just stay on the floor after having tripped onto it, but... she has no visible injuries at all and takes the hand up. "Everything! Everything happened." That's not a helpful answer.

She knows it. "We have competition. People here for the same thing we are. This world or a third one, has demons too. Theirs look different, but they're still monsters! And lots of people here have magic of their own and some of them know why we're here and they were chasing me and...!" She cuts off with a gasp, that sentence having wandered off into rambling several words ago.

While the words might be incoherent, it's hard to mistake the meaning. She's wide-eyed, clearly still terrified even though the immediate danger seems to have passed.
Gaofele Doiru 2015-05-20 07:43:31 286
Gao frowns slightly, worried about the meaning of Rune's words. "I think you were able to lose your pursuers, so that's not currently a worry," he reassures her, giving her a hug. Certainly, the urban jungle has enough hard surfaces that even a panicked princess won't leave enough tracks to be followed.

"Given how much magic you say there is, I'm not surprised that there are others hunting it," he continues. "At least we now know that there /is/ plenty of magic here in this world of Japan." One problem solved, another found.

Gao glances back at the door; he's not expecting trouble, but being extra alert would be a good thing tonight. "I'll just be more cautious when investigating possible magical things, and try to rely on my stealth more," he remarks. "We can still ask about this world in public; no need to make that more complicated than it already is." So much to learn...
Runealy Waldia 2015-05-20 08:02:38 287
"There's a /lot/ of magic," Rune confirms as she holds Gaofele tight, still shaking but at least slowing down on it now. "At least two of them can teleport!" She's wrong and right on that at the same time. "And they don't back down. Even when 'Ail'," she proceeds to describe him, unusual skin and colorful hair and all, "drained everyone at the concert and said he was this world's new ruler, they shouted him down and tore into him /and/ the monster with him! I don't get it, though... I helped them stop him, and..."

Her throat tightens, the words slow to come as she's about to admit a major problem and mistake, "Some of them got after me right after he left. I don't know how, but it's like they already know what we're doing!?" Runealy is misunderstanding the situation, but a wrong idea can sometimes be even more frightening than the truth. "One of them had white hair and said she was with concert security, and one of the people working for her can teleport too and... that's just two of them. There were a lot more. We found a lot of magic, but... I don't know how we /get/ it when there's that many of them working together!"
Gaofele Doiru 2015-05-20 08:21:22 288
Gao keeps hugging Rune, even as he ponders her words. "Lots of magical defenders," he muses. "In a way, that's a good thing; it means there's enough of them to protect themselves from demons, even allowing for hunting energy."

But fighting that many at once is a bad idea, and he knows it. "I think I know a method, but it might be a challenge. We can't take all of them on at once... but what if we catch them alone, or in small groups?" He gives her an encouraging smile. "If we watch cautiously and strike decisively, we can pick our fights when the numbers are more in our favor."

He does make a note of the descriptions of the others Rune saw, though. This 'Ail' character sounds like bad news, and the white-haired security person could cause trouble later.
Runealy Waldia 2015-05-20 08:27:16 289
"What...?" Runealy blinks several times as she considers what Gaofele just said. He has managed to distract her from her fear well enough that she's no longer trembling, though. Still short on breath, still rattled, but no longer in outright panic. "Yeah, maybe you're right... if there's that many of them, it's not /as/ bad if we... well... hurt them for a while. There would still be others to protect this place, just like you said. ...We'd be helping with that too, though. Even if it's just to give a little something back for what we're taking."

She tries to pull free from Gaofele's embrace, wanting to be able to face him better for this next part. "We'll have to do it like that. One or two or three, instead of everyone. The problem is how to do that. We'd have to figure out some way to get them alone, otherwise... you should have seen it! There were like a dozen of them shouting him down, and working together to stop him from finishing what he was trying to do. It was pretty amazing to see that... they're something special."
Gaofele Doiru 2015-05-20 08:45:46 290
When Rune pulls away, Gao releases his hug; it was intended to give her the emotional support she needed for as long as she needed it, and not to impede her afterwards. "That's what reconnaissance is for," he agrees. "Getting a sense of their travel patterns, figuring out ambush spots... even getting used to how they fight. Anything that can give us some insight on how to set set the hunt in our favor."

He contemplates the scene she described. "If there's that kind of variety of demons in this world, I don't doubt that I'll be able to see these magical defenders in action," he muses. "It should be interesting to see what they're capable of." Including whether they can keep up with his out-of-his-element woodscraft -- if need be, can he give them the slip? Or even better, turn from the pursued to the pursuer, following the others to find more information?
Runealy Waldia 2015-05-20 08:51:15 291
"I don't like thinking of it that way. 'Hunting' people..." Rune shakes her head a few times. "Guess that's what we're doing, though. And even if it's interesting... be careful. Please. I really don't want to lose you! Not to something being curious or interesting, or any reason!"

She begins pacing around, her thoughts drifting as she realizes aloud: "You did something with this place. It's different now."
Gaofele Doiru 2015-05-20 09:05:52 292
"I'm not fond of the phrasing either," admits Gao. "But it does frame the tactics, and could be a source of inspiration." And as loathe he is to admit it, their task is sounding more like wolves trying to hunt herd animals: dangerous, and reliant on getting their targets away from the main group.

"I will be cautious in my forays," he reassures Rune with a smile, which brightens as she comments on the work he did around the abandoned store. "I spent the day gathering our cached supplies and cleaning up this place. It might still be just a shelter of protection, but at least it's not as dirty as it used to be." And indeed, the inside does look less abandoned now.
Runealy Waldia 2015-05-20 09:09:04 293
Rune tries to say 'thanks' as Gaofele agrees to be careful, but it ends up just coming out as a relieved noise rather than any coherent word. After a few more seconds to think it through, she paces around the store shelves and admits: "It... /does/ look better! This is pretty good. I guess the only thing now is to figure out... well... furniture."

She looks back to him. "Any ideas on what we could do for that? Sleeping on backpacks isn't going to do us much good if we keep doing it, right?"
Gaofele Doiru 2015-05-20 09:23:30 294
Gao looks around the store, sizing it up and trying to picture furniture in it. "I'm not sure how useful my carving would be for this," he sighs. "I'd almost say that we should hire a carpenter, but that might raise more questions than we'd want to answer, especially about this place."

He looks to their backpacks and the improvised bedding with them. "At the very least we should think about more padding and blankets," he shrugged. "It might not be as good as an actual bed, but more cushioning would be an improvement over what we have."

An idea suddenly springs to mind. "Perhaps we could ask others about it?" he suggests. "Say that we're not familiar with how they furnish their homes around here, and ask them for examples."
Runealy Waldia 2015-05-20 09:29:02 295
"Yeah, no way we could hire anyone." Rune is very quick to agree on that. "Wouldn't asking just make them wonder why our place doesn't have any to begin with, though?" Then she holds up a hand, stalling for a moment to keep speaking. "Wait. I just... I can't believe I'm about to say this."

She sighs, head lowered in shame and humiliation. "Back home, at the castle... if something just got too worn out to be much good, we'd eventually throw it away and get a new one. I'm sorry to even suggest this, you deserve way better, but... if we can't hire anyone and we can't go around asking a bunch of questions about /furniture/... well..."

A foot scuffs against the floor as she finally forces herself to say: "...Couldn't we go see if anyone threw out something we can use?" The idea of effectively sleeping atop someone's discarded trash stings. That she's suggesting it would also be a good idea for a friend... makes it even worse. But even with her eyes now fixed on the floor, she has just brought the possibility up.
Gaofele Doiru 2015-05-20 09:43:47 296
Gao pauses for a moment. Foraging for furniture? A rather unusual thing to do... but then, this entire expedition has been rather unusual, hasn't it? "Still better than what we'd normally find in the wilderness," he smiles, giving her a brief, reassuring hug. "And I doubt that people would be paying attention to what they had already gotten rid of, so that helps with maintaining secrecy as well."

And if foraging is going to be an option... "We might even be able to find useful tidbits of information among the rubbish," he comments. "Discarded correspondence, say, or some other insightful clues."
Runealy Waldia 2015-05-20 10:15:05 297
"That... I don't know if I'm ready to go digging through their letters yet?" Rune hesitates. It's an odd line to draw in this situation, but she does so. "Well, maybe you're on to something. I don't want to spend a lot of time doing that though, not when just... going around the city has shown us so much?"

After taking a breath, she then nods to Gaofele. "Listen. Whatever we do from here? Thanks. I just... that was the first time I've ever fought a monster. No amount of lessons or training or thinking on what it might be like really gets you ready for that... you said you'd be careful, but please... I mean it." She walks over to join him, ready to help out with cleaning or looking for discarded furniture or anything else he might have in mind. This time, she's the one trying to embrace him. "Be /really/ careful out there!"
Gaofele Doiru 2015-05-20 10:30:23 298
Gao smiles and hugs back. "Hopefully we can find out enough through other sources that it doesn't come to digging through their letters," he agrees. "But I'll definitely keep an eye out for anything useful that we can forage, and I will be extra careful!"

He loosens the bell-line, re-tying it so that it's not attached to the doors. "Go ahead and rest, or unpack the supplies," he gently suggests. "You've had a busy and stressful day, while mine's been uneventful -- you should rest up; I can do the searching tonight."

Picking up his staff and cloak, Gao prepares to depart. He gives Rune another hug and an encouraging smile. "Take care, Rune -- I'll be back soon enough, and safely, too." And with that, he opens the door, slips out, then closes the door and vanishes into the urban jungle night.