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She hadn't noticed Seiji picking her up and taking her towards her room. Sayako was fast asleep and dreaming. Once the girl closed her eyes to sleep, she would be asleep, not much waking her until the sun rose. If anything did, it was only by chance most of the time. She didn't fear falling asleep in the garden, having done it before a few times. Someone always seemed to take her to bed, she never really found out who, but she imagined it wasn't the same person each time.
Though many would be weary, Sayako trusted these men very well. She grew up surrounded by most of them, so she had no reason to think against them. Also, they seemed to not want to go against her father's wishes, so most watched their tongues around her. They did for any of the maids, but more so around her. Of course, they never know the language her father used while around her. He was more free willed when it was just the two of them, even with her mother was still alive. She was used to it, but they didn't know and she wouldn't tell them.
The dream she had was peaceful, remembering her father again. She had many of these dreams since his passing a few years ago. They were mostly of when she was little and he would have time to actually play with her. He was busy, and she knew that very well, so she treasured these moments a lot.
While in Seiji's arms, she sighed softly and started to stir. It was one of those chances where she would randomly wake during the night. As she did, she slowly realized she was being carried. But by who? Glancing up, she saw Seiji and smiled a bit.
[b "Good, you made it back safe."] She said softly. [b "I'm sorry I made you carry me, I should've went to my room for the night. But I really liked the stars and fireflies tonight."]
Seiji looked a bit surprised to see the young woman in the spot he had left her, was she waiting for him or was it just a coincidence? It was almost comic watching her fade in and out of consciousness right there on the deck. [i What a precarious place to sleep] he thought to himself as he made his way to where she was. The garden was rather large but it took him no time to cover the distance, and arrive to the young Miss' side, kneeling down Seiji noticed that she had fallen fast asleep regardless of the noise the men were still making, even with war on the horizon they stayed up drinking and chattering, calling geisha's and rough housing. Though it seemed obscene to be doing a thing here and at such a crucial time in the revolution, it was a necessity, it was safer here than drunk on the streets and it kept tensions low.
[b "It is not safe here, that it is not."] he mumbled to her before adjusting his sword and leaning down to scoop up the girl in his arms, careful to avoid getting any of the blood on her Kimono. [b "Women should be careful around groups of drunk men, that they should."] Seiji smiled briefly before taking back his grim expression.
Seiji walked quietly to Miss Takatsukasa's room, it was located in another area of the temple grounds and it would seem very odd if someone saw him carrying her around, a man carrying a woman, alone in the dark, covered in blood, it would raise questions, that and a good portion of the people here had never seen Seiji, only heard stories of the demon Hitokiri Battousai. Himura decided to stick to the garden paths, moving quickly across the small bridges under the cover of darkness in between the tall grasses and trees.
Sayako had returned to the men after a while, only to deliver more drinks. She believed they had enough, but it wasn't her place to say so, despite the other maids believing it as well. Seiji was right, they were drinking because they were about to head into battle. But it was a good thing they weren't going out tomorrow because their hangovers would take some time, even with the remedies they had.
[b "I don't get the appeal of sake, but it's what they want to forget, so why take that from them."] She chuckled, now back outside again.
It was a warm night, the fireflies flying around, shining brightly. She remembered as a child going out at night to catch them. She would then use them as a sort of night light and then let them free in the morning. Growing up, she was one of the only children in the whole place. But Sayako was loved by her adoptive father and mother. Her mother died about two years after she was adopted, so for the most part it was just her and her father. She was fine with that, he would bring her into the meetings they had and let her play next to him, sometimes falling asleep there. She always woke up in her own room though, but she had no reason to be mad about it.
The night was turning late, and Sayako was getting tired. She sat on the porch, leaning against a beam, as she continued to watch the garden. It was nice here, one of the few places in Kyoto that seemed to be peaceful, despite where it was. Rather ironic really.
As she fell asleep, Seiji was returning. She didn't hear him approach, nor did she really see him. She thought she saw a figure, and she had it in her mind that it was Seiji, but she was too exhausted. Sleep was quickly overtaking her.
[b "Welcome home..."] She muttered softly.
Blood spattered across the paper screen door as Seiji's blade pierced his targets heart, he felt no joy, no excitement, no dishonor, for he felt that his cause was just, to use the Hiten Mitsurugi style to remove the pain from the hearts of the people, to bring an end to the Shogunate. With a quick flick of the wrist the Assassin flung the remaining blood from his blade and returned it to its scabbard, his intention were now to escape through the shadows and return home in the night, it wouldn't be long before these murders were discovered and to save face he made sure to take their coin purses and a few artifacts from the building and throw them into the mote, if it looked like a robbery gone awry it would be harder for Tokugawa to wage an open attack on the members of the Ishen ShiShi without a just cause.
Seiji had no problems carrying out an order, regardless of the task, he did not live for family or honor, he lived not to kill but to save, using his body as a catalyst to repair Japan and it's people. His eyes cold, soulless, eyes of a man who had tasted deaths kiss on several occasions and was still able to walk away. As a child he experienced his first taste of death when his parents died of Cholera, his second was when his slavers were murdered by bandits and in the process the three girls who designated themselves his care taker were murdered holding him in their arms. No, death was no stranger here, it was a pain that tainted a pure heart, and now it was a tool for revolution.
Hours had passed before Seiji made it back, it was roughly somewhere between midnight and two in the morning, he wasn't sure, on the track back he made sure to double back several time and even cut through some crowded areas just to lose any tails he might have acquired, Kyoto was notorious for spies and ninja and that was the last thing he desired, for blood to be shed in the place he called home, for innocents to be involved in battle because he was careless, no matter how cold he appeared the Red-haired warrior cared deeply for the people otherwise he had no reason to pick up a blade.
Seiji lept down from the wall quietly landing in the garden he had been in prior, he took special care to come in under the cover of night and to not use the main entrance due to the fact that he was usually covered in blood and it wasn't something the servants and regular workers needed to see.
[b "May you have luck."] Sayako muttered as he left, watching him sink into the shadows.
She stood and walked back into the room with the drinks, greeted happily by the men. The girl smiled and started making her rounds again. While she poured the drinks, one of the men called out to her.
[i "Tsuka-chan! Dance for us, please!"]
[b "Oh I couldn't, there aren't any musicians here."]
Sayako wasn't in the mood for a dance, so having no one to play the instruments were a good thing for once. She had much on her mind at the moment, and she didn't wish to give them a sad dance. But they persisted, sending out another servant to go and find musicians willing to play. It didn't take them long, pulling in two that were ready to play. Because of that, Sayako agreed and was given two fans before she walked over to take her position.
The song was light, starting slow as she turned, holding her fans out. All the men turned silent and watched her in awe as she started to turn the fans, her arms flowing like water. As she danced, the music sped up, her arms matching the rhythm perfectly. While she danced, she only thought of the mission Seiji was just sent on. She didn't know who the target was, but she knew it was of high rank. He was a famous Samurai, so he was always on the most dangerous missions. She had to admit, she worried about most of the Samurai, but she hadn't seen most of them lately, so they were out of her mind at the moment.
As the dance ended, she bowed down, the men applauding and complimenting how great it was. She smiled and thanked them, excusing herself saying she needed to get more drinks. They protested but let her go, wanting drinks more. Once out of the room, she was able to breathe. She didn't mind entertaining them, but they were a handful when getting drunk. That was usually when she handed them off to one of the other maids.
Making her way out into the garden, she looked up at the sky again, seeing the stars. The smile she had before came back to her face as she watched the night sky. She could name all the constellations, her adoptive father having taught her them. Sighing, she lost the smile for a bit.
[b "It's times like these that I wish I could still speak with you father..."]
Nodding in concurrence Seiji raised himself from the ground and brushed off any dirt that had collected. [b "Thank you for your time Takatsukasa-sama."] Turning away from the woman Seiji began his descent into the shadows, tonight the Battousai would strike. The target was no simple task, a member of the former daimyo Ii Naosuke's inner circle, one of the last few members that held the secret of Naosuke's assassination from the Shogun. After the incidents regarding the Ansei Purge the Oniwaban increased their presence in Kyoto making it more difficult to carry out mission such as this in the city.
Seiji wasted no time moving across the rooftops, keeping his presence concealed in shadow. His target, according to the note would be hiding in the abandoned Tenshu of Nijō Castle. No small task to get over the mote and past the guards. though with the Hiten Mitsurugi style no man would stand a chance against the Hitokiri Battousai. Light as air his feet hit the ground, as the two men guarding the front gate dropped dead, their blood misting into the air around him. This was god-like speed, a blade drawn so fast it was as if men would fall just from his gaze. Without hesitation the red-haired samurai pushed forward, his only route a long bridge across the first mote. If luck remained on his side the guard would not be alert to his presence until the deed was done.
She listened to what Seiji had to say. It seemed he still thought his work put him on the lowest of the low. Yes, some people thought that, but no one would say it out loud. Sayako didn't see it that way though. She followed status structure that was in place and didn't go against it. And because of that, she wasn't going to argue with this man about the structure, it would be out of place for her.
[b "No, do not worry about it Seiji-sama."] Sayako replied. [b "You know I'm perfectly capable of handling conversation over any matter."]
Sayako noticed a man approach them. She quickly turned towards him and bowed down, showing the respect she was to give to him. He paid no mind to her, not needing to, and went on with his business of telling Seiji his next target. She watched silently as he whispered and handed the Samurai the paper before walking back in. Raising herself again, she looked towards Seiji.
[b "Guess you will go off on your next target then."] She gave her soft smile to him, wishing him luck in hopes of returning. [b "I should probably return to the men as well, I'm sure they're ready for another round of drinks."]
Calmly the Samurai, adjusted himself to a crossed legged position, picking up his blade and resting the hilt on his shoulder. [b "I am a Man-Slayer, nothing more, even one such as you who distances herself from the darkness can not hide from the stories, the sin I commit place me at the bottom.] His expression remaining cold and still. [b "As for the drinking, they say Sake helps them feel at ease before the go out to what could be there last night on this earth."] Seiji did not intend to give off such a grim vibe, but he also saw no point in sugar coating life, not when he himself has faced of against the abyss.
[b "My apologies Takatsukasa-sama, there is no reason to pollute your mind with such darkness."] Seiji opened his eyes once more, this time to look upon the face of the woman beside him as she stared at the sky.
The summer air was cool and the sweet smell of the Sara trees filled the air around them, the garden illuminated solely by the moon and the fireflies that made it their home. It was as she said, beautiful, if only every night Seiji experienced were like this forever, but like most things it would soon end. That was when a man approached from inside the room, a handler if you will for the Battousai. Leaning over the Samurai the man whispered a name quietly into his ear before slipping him a small note and quickly shuffling away.
The men were a bit rowdy tonight, which meant something good was happening. She never bothered asking, knowing she wouldn't understand anyways. She wasn't one for politics or military talk, so she stayed out of it. The men knew this and freely talked about it sometimes with her around. They would sometimes joke that she better not say anything to anyone, and of course, she would always promise she wouldn't.
Sayako did recall that Seiji didn't drink, which made it a bit strange for her to ask if he wanted some of the sake. Still, she was more being polite than anything. But since he did not want it, she wouldn't push it. Instead, she smiled softly and gave a soft chuckle.
[b "I still have no idea why you use -sama for my name when I am obviously of lower rank than you, Seiji-sama."] She said softly, looking up a the sky as well for a bit. [b "It's rather beautiful tonight. A shame the men don't wish to see this as well. Instead they'd rather drink at the moment. But at least that leaves some peace."]
From the commotion in the room Seiji could tell that the decisions on the night so called activities were almost complete, it would be several minutes still before he would receive his brief on the target. Until that time the Samurai would remain as a statue, resting on his knees, blade laid out horizontally before him, eyes locked into the distant twilight sky. It wasn't long before a voice, gentle in tone announced her entrance, giving the men time to cover the sensitive material from her eyes.
Like a stone to feathers the mood changed drastically. "Tsuka-Chan" the men belted, an endearing face that eased the hearts of the warriors of Ishin ShiShi like no other. Takatsukasa Sayako, a girl from nowhere, with nothing, not much different then Seiji himself in that respect. Raised herself by the current General she was raised with manners and proper grammar, adding even more to her allure to the regular grunts that took the battlefield.
Seiji felt her presence as she crossed the room to kneel beside him, much like before she had a cheerful look to her face, catching only a glimpse as his cold eyes reverted their attention back to the night sky.
[b " I have no tolerance."] speaking in reference to the Sake in the urn that was place upon the maidens tray. Not one for drinking, or partaking in any other such luxury he believed he did not deserve or need. The Samurai closed his eyes and let the wind blow across his face, ruffling his bangs slightly. [b "But thank you for your kindness Takatsukasa-Sama"]
She was beautiful, many swooned over her whenever she walked by. Many stated that if she wanted, she could even have the emperor himself and be his main wife. However, if told this, she would quickly say that wasn't true, and that she was beaten out by many women in beauty. Many couldn't even believe what she did. She was a dancer, but also a maid within the Imperialist Ishin ShiShi, serving the men their meals and retrieving messages for them. Little things, but she was still seen as important.
No one really knew who she was or where she came from. She didn't even know. From what she was told, she had hit her head as a child when her family was trying to run from their village and she was left behind. She was then found by the general Takatsukasa, and taken in as their adopted daughter. Hence why she had his last name. He and his wife named her, saying she would learn to be a maid within the group.
Sayako was her name, though many called her Tsuka, a pet name made to make fun of the general in a friendly way. She didn't mind at all and responded to both. She was just happy where she was, a simple life, but with excitement mixed in.
Announcing her arrival to the room, she slid the door open and bowed. Kneeling down to close the door, she then took her trey and went around the room, serving the men their drinks. Making her way around, she soon finished and noticed a man sitting outside, watching the night sky. She smiled, knowing who this was, and walked over to him, kneeling down beside him.
[b "Would you like a drink Seiji?"]
The year was 1864, the Tokugawa Shogunate drawing to a fierce close. War ravaged the land as the Imperialists battle the Shogunates forces, staining the land with blood. In the center of this "Hell on Earth" as the population of Japan referred to it was the city of Kyoto, Capital of Japan. Two forces met at heads the Ishin ShiShi and the Shinsengumi two groups of Japans fiercest warriors, neither side seeming to give an inch to the other, resorting to petty tactic such as starting fires under the cover of night and, using assassins to target high ranking politicians
One such assassin, hidden from light, Hitokiri Battousai.. A man-slayer feared by all who would encounter his blade, walking the line between life and death. Trained in the Hiten Mitsurugi style, he was known as the man with god-like speed, unmatched in battle, unable to be slain, even referred to as the Devil with Crimson Hair.
[center - [b [size12 KYOTO]] -]
Smoke billowed from the outskirts of town, another farm house engulfed in flames, the smell of burning flesh stained the air surrounding, a fate known to many Imperial supporters, with tensions drawing to the climax the death count grew, but this was normal, Kyoto being as large as it was, acts such as these would only be but stories in a paper or words passed by way of mouth of some drunken samurai. The city itself would move on as normal, people would move day to day, women would cook, men would gamble. Families would go home and eat, the populace had become desensitized to the bloodshed around them, fear remained, but what could they do?
Seiji, a member of the Imperialist Ishin ShiShi, sat silently outside yet another war council, the politics meant nothing to him, just his next order, the next life he must take to bring Japan one step closer to peace, a peace outside of the grasp of Tokugawa. The breeze was gentle to him this day, the sun glowing as it turned itself in for the long night, it was as if nature did not know of war, of the fires that burned her, it was almost serene. A small glimpse of the world he had hoped to be building. Hitokiri Battousai..a blade to carve the old world to ribbons, bone and all.
[b [#104BC2 "Exactly, which makes me wonder why the woman would be there. Unless she wanted a place with hardly anything noteworthy."]] Her gears were turning as she tried to think of why Hoshiko would go that way. Sadly, she couldn't think of a reason. But it wasn't surprising since they knew nothing about this woman. Just that Hoshiko thought she was a bitch.
[b [#104BC2 "Alright, meet you there then."]]
With their meeting spot picked, she made her way back out into the street. Her hood was over her head again, hiding her face from anyone just passing through. It was a habit of hers, something she was told to do at the Labs. She was never experimented on, instead she brought them their new test subjects and took out any that had attempted to escape. She regretted it now, but what was done was done.
Walking there would take too long, especially since she figured her brother would be taking the Red Night. He would be waiting around for her and precious time would escape from them. Sighing, she knew what she had to do and quickly turned into an alleyway.
[b [#104BC2 "I hate flying."]] She muttered, her wings sprouting again. It still hurt her to let them out, but at least it was starting to hurt less. She guessed Hoshiko had done it so many times that it no longer bothered her, or it was part of her never dying thing. Once she was in the air, Lost Angel was fine, it was just letting her wings out or putting them back.
Once in the air, she quickly flew towards the south side of town. On her way, she noticed quite a few birds almost keeping up with her. Normally, she would've thought nothing of it, but something was odd. All of the birds that were flying with her were white. She would have to think more about this later, she spotted the fast-food place and needed to land.
She gave a sort of shiver and hiss as her wings retracted. recovering from that, she walked out of her hiding spot and into the place, taking a seat near the back. Seemed she got here before he did, but she doubted by much.
"Don't get sassy with me." Was Sai'Len's response to Lost's sarcasm. Seriously, what was with this family? Everyone was cheeky, sassy and sarcastic at all times! Him included!
As Lost hung up so did he. With the conversation over, for now, he could change suits. Thankfully, that was easily done. The air in front of him shimmered and as he walked through the curtain he emerged on the other side, dressed in his suit. Coupled with the briefcase, he looked like a young office worker... That was walking on the top of an eight-story building. Correction, walking off the edge. His wings snapped out, startling a crow that flew too close for its safety, allowing Sai'Len to glide in the side alley and emerge in the ever-present crowd of people.
He navigated the stream of bodies, making his way towards his apartment. He could have used the Red Night, but he needed to be available for the next call from Lost... Or from Hoshiko, if he was lucky. Though he didn't put much faith on the last one. He wasn't worried about her, there was nothing he knew of that could kill his dark-winged sister. And if she was contained, well, he and Lost were going to find and break her out sooner or later.
Lost's next call came when he was already at his apartment, enough time having passed for him to even open a can of coke and down most of it.
"South edge? But there's nothing of note there." He frowned as he heard where was Hoshiko last seen. "Okay, we have a location. Meet me... Hmm..." He tried to remember any landmarks at that side of the city. "Ah. There's a fast food joint where many truckers stop." And other people as well... People from his job. "You'll find it easily." With that he hung up. It was time for him to use the Red Night for transportation...
[b [#104BC2 "Well, I would hope she had washed her clothes since then."]] Lost replied sarcastically. She always seemed to have that tone, even in this sort of situation. Hearing Sai'Len's suggestion, she had to admit, she should've thought of that before. But she wouldn't beat herself up that much about it. [b [#104BC2 "Got it, I'll call back when I get answers. I'll still be in the town until I hear from her again and I get a location."]]
Hanging up, she then called Hoshiko's boss. Of course, he wasn't the one that picked up, but once she got through who she was, the phone was handed off. The man had a deep voice that sounded friendly but had a hint of coldness too it. That was his nice tone, it meant you were in his graces. His other tones, not so much.
[b [#104BC2 "Hoshiko's gone, and I need to know if any of the other men have seen her."]] She quickly said, not bothering to waist time. Of course, he thought nothing was wrong, knowing full well that she would disappear every now and then. Lost quickly explained the situation to him. Not everything, but enough for him to know she was in trouble and Lost really needed to know some answers. He understood, thankfully, and said he would call back as soon as he had something.
It was a great thing the boss cared about his employees enough to be concerned. Then again, perhaps it was just Hoshiko because of how valuable she was to him. After all, she couldn't die, and she was practically a master with her sword. She was the perfect hitwoman. It would be horrible for him to lose her. Hoshiko probably knew this and played at it a lot.
Lost stayed in the apartment, waiting for a call. She didn't panic, keeping herself calm. She knew panic would only make things worse, and wouldn't help at all. The girl knew Hoshiko had been in some pretty bad situations before, hearing about a few, so she knew her twin would figure something out.
Her phone rang again and she quickly answered, hearing the boss on the other end. [b [#104BC2 "You sure that's what they saw? Okay, thank you. Yes, we'll find her."]] She hung up and called Sai'Len again with her answer. [b [#104BC2 "Sai, he said some of the boys spotted her on the south edge of town. She handed off the target she caught to them and then flew off out of town. They said she was a bit on edge. That must have been when she spotted the woman."]]
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