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Rules: No Eihara
Should your travels take you here, you find yourself encountering a curious scene outside a vibrant casino near a run down neighborhood of Las Vegas. The regularly colorful neon signs outside the establishment lie broken and shattered, the shards of glass still lying fresh on the ground. The bystanders lie in a vegitative state, either being unable to process their surroundings or blatantly ignoring the scene and walking past it. The door was naturally baricaded with a caved in infastructure, standing in the path of a scholarly old man in white jacket known to few as Itachi. He furrows his brow and cocks his head, adjusting his spectacles before he slaps a piece of paper om the wall adjacent to the rubble with large bold letters reading "'HUNTING' JOB INSIDE". He then leans back against the wall and casually sips a bottle of water, glancing at any passerbys.
*Tenkai looks at the building chuckling lightly. The air around him distorts slightly.*
This aught to be interesting. Heh.
*His cane clicking against the ground, the old man walks over and looks at the sign.*
If you want to attract people, perhaps start with putting a bit more information on this crappy scrap of paper, eh?
"Oh yes, this TOTALLY looks like a job for me."
Grimnir can't hide the excitement in his voice as he twirls around cheerfully in the middle of a street where things have clearly gone wrong. The young man seems eager, perhaps too much so, to have a role to play.
He hardly seems to notice Tenkai, forcing his way by the older-looking man as he asks
"Ah yeah, I'm looking for that hunting job? Local War God, Mad Cyclone, The Divine Spear which tears through the heavens to smite evil wherever it may lay, GRIMNIR!!! Descended once more to bring peace to a land embroiled in chaos!"
An unassuming girl entered the building after a quick examination first and foremost, texting on her phone with a worried look as she gives a sigh. A few lightweight steps and the girl in now looking at the other two men that have entered before her, almost letting out an even bigger sigh, but that'd be rude, so she had just peeked from behind the two to speak to the man.
"Um, sir? I came to uh, do an errand, was it?"
She looked at the sign for a quick minute, trying to process anything that her supposed colleagues were doing before continuing on.
"My younger sister said to do this in her steed. So here I am."
Itachi leans in close to Tenkai, whispering to him.
"If I did that, i'd be much more likely to attract hapless fools. Speaking of which..."
The scientist's eyes fall on Valerie
"You're in the wrong place, miss. This casino has been abandoned for over 50 years. We're just reclaiming what valuables remain for the government. Now, run along, before you get yourself into trouble."
His tone remains entirely unconvincing, but it would easily fool anyone of average inteligence.
Hmm? You mean you don't want expendable fools? The more the better in my eyes.
*Tenkai pulls a tea cup and kettle from his cloak and pours himself a drink.*
I call them Canaries. They run head first into danger and trigger all the enemy ambushes for me. Their deaths serve so much uses. Heh heh heh.
Her gaze immediately shifts from neutral to agitated, she caughs something while covering her mouth, uttering "fuck the government" to herself before looking back at the scientist rejecting her from going on the trip.
"Well sir, frankly, I don't want to. Plus, 50 years, that's a really big number, you know. I would want to try and help reclaim whatever is needed or whatever from something like that."
With a smile as unassuming as her personality, her gaze shifted towards Tenkai, completely disregarding any negativity or evil intent he might have had in his words. When she speaks to him, her tone was only false nicety.
"It's like what this gentleman had said, I'm useful for something y'know. Speaking of, what's your name, sir? I can't wait to work with you!"
(edited by Valerie_Flores)
*Matsunaga smirks . "This should be interesting"*
Me? My name is Matsunaga. Matsunaga Tenkai. Tenkai works perfectly well. The pleasure is all mine.
"That's pretty cool. My name is Valerie Flores, but some just say Val. Anything works fine."
Valerie bowed her head in respect, because that's what you're supposed to do to make a good first impression. Be nice. God knows her little sister wouldn't be at this point.
"Your outlook on life is pretty interesting. I've never heard the term canary be used like that before. Are there other terms of such I should be worried about?"
"Very well then, little girl, if you will not leave then I will simply give you the most boring job."
Saying this, he pulls out a metallic cylinder, a cyan beam extending from the end of it. As he slashes the beam downwards, an energy trail forms from the arc at which he swung. This spike of energy travels straight towards the rubble, causing it to erupt in a violent explosion which would clear the way.
"The destruction of this once bustling casino was caused by that of a violent demon. If we want to take that beast down, you guys will have to search inside for anything we may be able to identify it by."
“Ah, yeah, the part where we kill things.”
Grimnir pumps his fist, having waited for this part for a while, the excitable youth begins talking rapidly
“I happen to be an expert in slaying demons, why one time I managed to fight the great wolf Fenrir, scourge of the gods and one of the mightiest beasts in history to a standstill for three whole days. Or that time I faced a mountain of Jotun with nothing but the wind at my back, or even...”
Grimnir would go on bragging about himself for some time if allowed, giving a synopsis of several stories to similar effect
"Oh right, we are supposed to kill things."
Valerie says, immediately adjusting her headphones and putting them on once she sees Grimnir's mouth move more than it needs to.
"Yeah, that's pretty cool...good for you...sounds pretty fun..."
There are other things she says in order for Grimnir to think she's really listening. But really, she's risking looking unprofessional in an environment that's supposed to be professional and where you might need to be hearing things at all times. Which doesn't matter, since the only thing that Valerie will be listening to are the songs that she's playing on her headphones.
Yes. Yes. Track the monster and kill it.
*Tenkai handwaves this like he's done it a few hundred times before.*
You ask for the most basic things.
"Well, i'm simply putting it like it is, Tenkai-San... I'm gonna go ahead and investigate now, alright?"
Itachi walks inside to a once bustling but now rundown lobby, which would instantly regain its former structure as soon as Itachi walked in. Everything appeared at standstill, however. It was like lifelike statues were built of everyone who was in the casino at the time it was attacked. Itachi would turn back at discuss with whoever would follow him in
"First off, let me share what I know about our query. I've come to learn that they were masqeraiding as an ordinary patron here. They most likely lashed out as the result of a massive string of losses. Fortunately, they shouldn't be too hard to find. Keep in mind, once you find them we won't actually get to begin fighting, as we're only looking at what happened in the past right now. That is all, now feel free to do whatever you'd like to get the job done."
Itachi wonders off towards the main floor past the lobby, casually inspecting the events taking place. There's also a set of fancy stairs in the lobby leading to a basement as well as the floor above. However, besides that there was nothing else of interest there.
"Oh wait, so this isn't a slaying job? That's uh..."
Grimnir scratches the back of his head, confused, before quickly regaining his confident, bright composure
"Wonderful really, after all a divine warrior such as myself can perform any task to perfection, they don't call me the Mad Cyclone for nothing after all."
Grimnir jogs to catch up to Itachi with his usual confident smile, looking around, Grimnir immediately volunteers
"I'll check the upstairs, rest assured they won't be able to escape my ever vigilant gaze sir. These eyes of mine can pick out an ant from hilltops away! Heimdall himself can hardly boast a more watchful eye."
with that, Grimnir bounds up the stairs to investigate the upper floor.
"Oh good, not a slaying job! I was worried I would have to get my hands dirty."
She said, reassuring herself as she shook her wrist. Of course, her employer might think this is another way of saying she likes upholding pacifism. Partly true but making people catch fade is much more fun.
"So uhm, is there any other level other than the start? That guy over there looks like he got the upper floor covered."
Valerie nonchalantly remarked Grimnir's confidence and gloating as he goes up. At the same time, she follows the group, turning on a different playlist on her phone in the case that the man might be lying or something. Either way, she walks around just to scout ahead.
"Though I might be fine just investigating here."
*Tenkai started walking away to investigate the lower level*
Do what you wish. Just try not to accidently die.
*It would be unfortunate to lose a pawn so early in the game*
The upper floor would be filled with a series of slot machines, patrons lining to execute particular strategies. They would all seem relatively calm, with only the anticipation of draws illiticing a sense of excitement on the gambler's faces. There seemed to be another side lobby on Grimnir's left, appearing to lead to another building.
On the main casino floor Valerie would notice a series of Roulette board and card tables, the anguish and disbelief on one young man's face as the ball lands would be apparent to anyone looking in his direction. Itachi also seemed to briefly wave his hand against an old man's chest who had just slammed his fist on a card table.
On the bottom floor, Tenkai would notice a large counter with a series of stools in front of it. Many customers lay passed out on the floor or on the stools, while others where either in the middle of a conversation or drinking. The bartender appeared to be out of the room at the moment.
This should be far enough.
*Tenkai looks around the room before placing his tea kettle on the counter. He pulls an odd looking pipe from his coat, inhales from it and blows an evil looking smoke into the centre of the room where it remained, creating an oppresive atmosphere in the room.*
*At Tenkai's call, a creature emerges from the smoke, it's body a twisted mess of tree branches and leaves. It stands before the old man.*
I'm here looking for signs of a strange creature. Sense for any strange signatures on this floor. Exclude those three imbeciles from your search.
*Kijimuna would make a nodding motion. It's would raise it's branches. The leaves would rustle together, emiting a high pitched scream noise which would echo throughout the halls, being used by the Yokai to search for anything strange around the first floor of the casino.*
As she looked around her, it had become apparent that there was in fact, no one around her left to accompany her. She sucked her teeth, and took out her headphone jack out of her phone.
"Oh yay, I'm finally alone. Hmmmm..."
Valerie glared at Itachi, then noticing the young man with his mortified expression. Without anything better to do, she sighs and lightly treads her way towards where he is in hopes of finding something.
"Wait, there are still civilians here?"
Grimnir shouts carelessly, seemingly confused. Having innocents would complicate things, since he can't very well unleash a tornado in an occupied building. Plus with so many moving bodies it'd be difficult to find out anything useful using the air itself.
So he has no choice but to just casually walk by the patrons, spear still in hand, as he searches for something that sticks out among the others. Anyone who exudes any sort of pressure that those in power tend to have.
The echolocation used by the yokai would cause it to detect something that wasn't there, or rather no longer there. The search would give the creature the impression that a gnarly beast fell through the ceiling, leaving a massive hole. The beast stood upright on its massive clawed feet and swung at a bystanding man who was nearby, gashing into his chest and leaving him to run away out of the back exit in fear. The beast lunged at the nearby wall and began scaling it, punching through the ceiling and climbing to the upper level. While Kijimuna would detect many humans running in fear, the echos of the still humans who appeared frozen in time would be ever present.
Tenkai would not be able to see anything Kijimuna detected save the frozen humans. Valerie would notice nothing of note, but after a serious of analysis, Itachi would approach the fire exit and gently push the door open, appearing displeased to see a man lie dead on the floor. Itachi dials someone on his phone and speaks laconically.
"Special Task Force? I need an autopsy performed. I'm sending you my location now."
He would hang up and press a few buttons, then putting away his phone and looking towards Tenkai.
"This man could've died anytime after the time simulated inside. Most likely rather recently, as otherwise his body would've been discovered by now. But this is Vegas, so you never know. After the autopsy is finished, we'll roughly know the time the attack took place. More importantly, we may learn some characteristics about what we're up against. For now, let's look for more evidence."
The civilians remain still as statues, being organic yet seemingly not living. He would notice a Yakuza boss in flamboyent clothing flashing a menacing grin at a younger man as he eerily grips a black handle in one of the pockets of his pants. The younger man appeared to be nervously pleading to the Yakuza, as he was showing him a picture of his family in his wallet.
Grimnir is simply glad to see some people still moving, it not occurring to him that they may be part of the cause, so Grimnir casually walks towards the Yakuza members, a confidant grin across his face
“Greetings mortals, you’re in luck for I, Grimnir, the Mad Cyclone and prime God of War have deigned to grace you with my presence. I have but one request, that you find young gentleman tell me anything you know about what happened to the people here.”
"Oh nice, time is frozen. Who did this again?"
The girl says, arriving to the scene whilst taking her sweet sweet time. Due to the cease of an actual atmosphere, her music blares from her phone, because of the headphone jack being pulled out and only serving as something to twirl around her finger.
"Is that supposed to be recent? Do you even call that recent? We're supposed to be regressed back in time, but time is technically frozen."
*Kijimuna makes a low crying noise, relaying the knowledge it learned directly to Tenkai's mind before disipating in the same type of distorted smoke it arrived in. Tenkai takes an absent mind sip of tea, sitting at the counter and leaning against it.*
Interesting. Very interesting.
*The man chuckles lightly, drumming his hands on the counter.*
Time in this place has become distorted. How very interesting.
None of the members would respond, or even move. Assumedly, it seemed like time itself had stopped for all but a few. However, it would be of note that the man flashing a photo had needle like protrusions all throughout his attire, distanced out like hair folicles.
The TC, having misinterpreted and not realizing that Tenkai was on a different floor last post, had mistakenly interacted as if they were on the same floor. To rectify this issue, the events play out as normal only Itachi redirects his actions to Valerie instead. Afterwards, Itachi admonishes Valerie for not having paid attention, in an irritated tone.
"Do you have no sense in that child brain of yours? It's been like this ever since we walked in. And, for your information this is outside the scope of the 'snapshot' as it were. So, it's only as recent as it takes for someone to discover a body in the back of a popular casino on an average night in Las Vegas. Alternatively, if no one were to ever discover the body, we can tell that enough time hasn't passed to allow it to decay. Make a note of this, i'm going to check on the others."
Just to clarify, the events that took place in Kijimuna's search happened on the floor in which the group entered. Behind Tenkai, three pieces of wood manifest from thin air, transforming into spiky haired organisms with puffy gray clothing and cloth wrapped around their mouths to obscure their faces. They armed themselves with shurikens, tightening their muscles in preparation to attack. One of them spoke up, the gruntlike aura eminating in his tone.
Ninja grunt 1: "Hold it right there! Your investigation will go no further, nin!"
Ninja grunt 2: "Yeah, like, just totally give it up, nin!"
Ninja grunt 3: "We swear on our honor to defeat you. Prepare to die, nin."
Ninja grunt 2: "Huh? Do we really have to fight? Wouldn't it be much easier to let them, like, walk away, nin?"
They appeared easy to defeat, but they outnumbered the lone Tenkai. At the least, the element of surprise was forfeit.
*Tenkai barely gives them a glance before rolling his eyes. "That Iga ninja would be so disapointed if he saw the shoddy lot here." Tenkai simply took another sip of his tea before snapping his fingers.*
A simple Yoki will be more than enough to deal with you three.
*From the smoke cloud, still frothing in the centre of the room, a roar sounds. A large demon, clothed in black and holding a kusirigama, leaps from the cloud. In midair, it spins the axe head around it's head befpre slamming it down on the ninja behind Tenkai.*
With little regard for what she is being told, she takes out her phone and puts the speakers closer to her ear to try and figure out what song is being played. The only word that she seems to pay attention to is "snapshot", which makes her take a picture around her.
"This is a regular picture. What are you talking about again?"
Valerie whistles as she twirls her headphone jack around her finger, her eyes following Itachi's figure with a gaze of hidden disdain. Her phone still blares the music out loud because she doesn't feel the need to pause it when nobody that she cares about could hear it.
"If you're going to leave, what am I supposed to do then?"
"Oh... Uh... Huh... Are you ignoring me?"
Grimnir doesn't seem to get the message at first, walking towards the Yakuza members until he would be impossible to miss, before letting out a sigh
"Aw man, I worked hard on that introduction too. Very well. Lets see what we have here."
since none of the people were able to notice him, Grimnir casually moves to take the picture from the Yakuza member's hand, or at least get to where he can look at it well enough
Ninja grunt 1: "Wait, what are you doing? Everyone knows the ambushed aren't supposed to attack first!"
Shouting and flinching as the sharp metal approaches him, the first of the grunts is easy injured and knocked unconscious. Grunt 2's jaw dropped, anxiously shivering behind his fallen comrade.
Ninja grunt 2: "N-nin? Man, no one told me we'd be risking our lives for this mission! Let's just run off with the half of the reward money we were paid ahead of time!"
Ninja grunt 3: "Do you think that a displeased employer is any less likely to kill you? At the very least, we should die with honor, nin!"
With the first of the grunts defeated, the honorable one was forced to take a more direct approach in the vain of using evasive maneuvers to get in close to the yokai and attempt to pierce their chest with a quickly drawn katana. The more cowardly one, however, ran as far back as he could and pelted Tenkai with a barrage of 6 shurikens thrown with a shaky hand.
Itachi glares back at Valerie
"If you don't know what you're supposed to do, why did you come here in the first place?"
He then merely takes to looking the other way, heading back to the lobby to observe it briefly before taking a delayed step on the staircase leading to the upper floor.
"But why would he leave such damning evidence behind? He would not have lasted this long if he lets something as obvious as this get past him. Either he's powerful enough to the point where he barely needs to be attentive, or we're walking straight into a trap. Alas, if they were only more clever at least we'd know what we're up against."
The man would give no resistance as Grimnir steals the photo from his hands. It depicted the same man standing in front of a white background holding up a newborn baby, a shorter women standing next to him caressing it. To his left was a young smiling girl in a cute, traditional kindergarten outfit. The girl had a long, pink tail behind her which had an arrow-like tip. The man's hands also seemed to bigger and his nails sharper than an average human.
*The Ninja Yoki would get stabbed in the chest. However, being the unfeeling, undead demon that it was, it appears to not even feel it. Instead, now that the ninja was close range, the demon would simply bring hold the axe head and swing upwards, hoping to stab the honourable yet foolish ninja under the chin with it.*
*Tenkai meanwhile just sighs. He moves his body, allowing him to dodge most of the shurikens , with one slightly cutting his cheek, however his teacup gets broken. He fumbles around with the inside of his coat for a few seconds before lazily lobbing a small clay orb over his shoulder. It would hit the ground, roll to the cowards feet before exploding. Tenkai would then take another tea cup from his pocket, shuffling the clay remains of his old tea cup into a small black bag, and pours himself another cup.*
"Oooo, wHy dId yOu cOmE hErE iN tHe fIrSt pLaCe? God I wish this was more fun."
The girl mocked his words behind his back when she sees his departure, not even laughing to herself in satisfaction. After looking to her left and her right, she sighed out in boredom.
"Well, it seems like when the world's a picture, there's not much to do. Time to walk around I guess."
Valerie treads lightly, the only thing really being quiet is her footsteps since music coming from a mile away isn't exactly a way to be sneaky. Then again, what's really the point anymore?
Grimnir looks at the picture intently, taking a nice long look at the photo before speaking with a grin
"Man, what a cute kid. He's a lucky guy."
not wanting to be a thief, Grimnir calmly returns the photo, putting the man's fingers back around it like nothing happened
"And to think, in the end I didn't even find anything. Man, where's the demons to stab anyways?"
Grimnir sighs, scratching the back of his neck before taking one last look around
"Oh well, guess I'd best report back.
and heading back towards the stairs with a sigh of disappointment
The ninjas are easily dispatched, taking severe injuries from the blows being knocked unconscious. As they lay, a light blue aura eminated from within them, manifesting into a sphere which then shrunk down into miniscule components. For all intents and purposes they would be dead, and the room once more became silent.
While the scientist was pondering over the situation, he faintly heard the explosion coming from the basement floor.
"Damn it, someone must've sprung a trap."
He cautiously takes a step back, looking around. Seeing no immediate threat, Itachi draws his lightsaber in anticipation of an ambush. Noticing the sounds of footsteps, Itachi turns to see Grimnir heading down the stairs.
"Grimnir! You've explored the upper level to the best of your ability, I take it. If you've done all you needed to, then I suggest we reconvene by the entrance."
Itachi curiously tilts his head towards the stairs leading down.
Ho? Now that was interesting. I wonder what that was all about. Well regardless.
*Tenkai decides to get up, taking his tea kettle with him, and returns to the main lobby. His Yokai vanishes into the usual grey fog though the main pool remains where it was placed. Seeing Grimir and Itachi talking, he simply leans against a near by wall and watches.*
"Wow this lobby is boring. The only dumb thing was why I expected there to be magazines laying around. Seriously it's kind of boring."
As she ventures around the main lobby, she sees Tenkai out of the corner of her eye. Valerie doesn't really try and go up to him, moreso just give him a blank stare as she puts her headphone jack back into her phone in case he wants to go up to her instead.
"Yeah, there were a bunch of weird frozen people, but I didn't find much."
Grimnir lets out a sigh and scratches the back of his head, before heading back down towards the entrance as directed
"Man, and I came all this way too. Oh well, I didn't have much else to do with these few hours."
Itachi sighs, shaking his head at Grimnir.
"They're not frozen, they're recreated. At any rate, I suppose if that's all you've seen then I suppose we should start with what i've learned. I was only able to confirm that a demon was, in fact, in this building. The flow of magnetite can attest to that. However, I also discovered a body by the back exit, assumedly a victim of some violent crime most likely perpetrated by our querry. The victim was a young man, probably in their 20s. My guess is they were just a bystander during a demonic episode. Tenkai-san, anything to add?"
Itachi's gaze falls expectantly to Tenkai
*Tenkai shrugs, smirking slightly.*
I didn't find anything worth mentioning.
"Is that so?"
Itachi frowns at Tenkai for a moment before snorting and shooting a dishonest grimace, his hands held behind his back as he bends forwards slightly, pressing Tenkai.
"Then what was it you've found that you've deemed not worth mentioning?"
*Tenkai shrugs again.*
Just a few upstarts who didn't like the idea we were here. I made them leave. Nothing more too it really.
"In that case, I don't think we'll be able to identify any suspects until that autopsy finishes. If that's all everyone's found out, then i'm ending this stasis."
He rolls up his sleeve, revealing a futuristic gauntlet on his arm which he presses a button on. All of a sudden, every other person in the casino breaks down into floating machine code which then demateralizes.
"And that's where your role ends. Goodbye, my acqauintances."
Itachi leans against a nearby wall and stares out the front door.
"Recreated? Like, with magic?"
Grimnir looks around nervously before letting out a hearty laugh
"Not that I have a problem with big, fancy spells like that of course. Sorcery and deception mean nothing to a fine warrior such as myself."
No, I don't think I will leave, but thanks for the invite.
*Tenkai pulls out his pipe and looks at it with a neutral face.*
I'd like my payment first.
"Oh, one of those types."
The girl texts on her phone nonchalantly as the world around them gets reverted back. Valerie starts to revert back to her fake peppy tone when she speaks once more.
"Sorry, I don't feel like it! It looks to be too much work."
Itachi laughs at Grimnir's boast. He then frowns at Tenkai.
"I don't recall promising you any payment. And, even if I did, you didn't even find anything anyways. Why would I pay you?"
Itachi sighs at Valerie's comment.
"I suppose if you wanted to involve yourselves further, you could come back in a few days once i've successfully identified the target. Would the treasures of a powerful and influential demon be suitable payment for you, Tenkai-San?"
He then raises his eyebrow, curiously.
“Oh, you mean there’ll be something to purify in a few days? Awesome! Just what I was looking for!”
Grimnir jumps for joy, pumping his fist in the air before he heads out
“Don’t you worry sir I’ll be right back. Or my name isn’t GRIMNIR, Champion of Justice!
Valerie simply rolls her eyes when he sighs, deciding to depart instead of waiting to see if he'd get even more annoyed.
"Ok, sure. I might be there."
She walks away, texting on her phone as a few light rings circle around her.
"It's only a possibility though! Bye!~"
And with that, the rings floating around her vanish, and so does she.
Hmm. Very well.
And if you run away with my payment, I can simply hunt you down and feed you to my many pets. Win-win situation for me, really.
"Heh, I look forward to our next meeting. Until next time..."
Itachi bows and then waits for everyone to leave the building.
"Perhaps they are worthy after all. At worst, they could prove a threat. I suppose sufficient precautions have been warranted. The last thing I would want is to choke on my hubris, like so many before me."
He then looks to the sky through the broken roof of the casino.
"Perhaps it would be prudent of me to hire additional mercenaries."
He then dramatically disappears into thin air in the same vein as the previously holographically projected humans.