The day was peaceful as Kaori got up to begin what would be quite a chore. While the rest of the city by the eastern sea was enjoying itself. While children ran through the streets, laughing, screaming, and having fun; ignorant of the toils and trials of their hard working parents... While shop keepers manned their stalls lining the streets, taking up arms against the invading army of customers... While the members of the villages clan, those who took up the name Lamia Scale were in their castle, learning the ways of magic; Kaori was preparing to embark on a mission she knew was most likely a one way trip. Ever since she was taken in by the magic clan, Kaori had hired covert operations specialists to monitor earthland for threats. It wasn't a threat to the clan itself, but rather, the leader of the clan who Kaori owed her life to. As far as Kaori was concerned, the entire castle could burn and so long as Lady Ceostra and all she held dear were safe, Kaori was happy. Lady Ceostra held every member of the clan close to her heart, so when Kaori vowed to protect her and all she loved, Kaori vowed to protect the members of the clan and the citizens of the city they called home.
Kaori had felt this before... Her heart was racing, her veins felt like they were collapsing in on themselves, her muscles were tightening, her stomach was churning, and she couldn't stop shaking. It was the same every time she did this, every time she went on what was most likely her last mission, her swan song, her grande finale. Kaori to her beauty stand and looked in the mirror. Her eyes shifted from being awake and alive, to being somewhat dead inside. She picked up her mask and turned it, placing it in front her face without actually mounting it on her head and looked at it. Kaori remembered her training and the things she'd gone through to get to this point. She remembered the things she saw, and smelled, and did that brought her to her final moments. "They'll never kill me, my mask will be all they see." Kaori said confidently while reminding herself mentally that she was never truly a member of this clan, and no one will miss her. Everyone wore a mask, and everyone was trained to be deceptive. Everyone there had lived their lives learning to fight face to face, as well as assassinate targets. No one had a true personality since they changed personalities so often. Kaori was no different... Over the past decade, Kaori had worn many costumes, many masks, many personalities to accomplish her missions. She had been a high ranking officer for the government, an insane and blood thirsty fiend, a prostitute, a thief, and even a vagrant a few times. Kaori had no concept of who she truly was; as was the life of a Lareci warrior... an assassin. Her mask however, was different from the other clan members. The normal members all wore black clothes with black masks, each with accents that were a slightly lighter shade of black. Hers was white, a color that was extremely high profile and easy to spot in almost any situation. It was like this so Kaori could be spotted in combat, and thus, made an easy target. The reason she wanted that is because it meant she needed to have better skills to compensate for being obvious. She needed to be better at sneaking around, not making noise and drawing attention. She needed to be fast so her opponents couldn't be able to track her movements. She needed to be able to hit harder than anyone in her clan so she wouldn't need to worry about being hit. Because of those high profile clothes, Kaori had to be the best; and she was the best. Kaori put the mask down and grabbed her hair ties, pinning her hair in twin tails to keep it from covering her eyes up or flowing about too much. After that she mounted her mask, tying off the white ribbon to keep it held in place. The ribbon had a pattern that worked like camouflage, helping to make it blend into her hair so as to not stand out too much.
Kaori got up, moving to her wardrobe and taking out one of her sets of clothes. Kaori took a pink top out with a crimson border and floral pattern on it, wearing that as her base layer. This was tucked inside a dark pink, pleated skirt that hung down just a bit under mid-thigh; maybe an inch or two. On top the pink kimono top, Kaori wore a thick black sash that wrapped around her bust and kept her breasts from bouncing around during combat. While it made her look flatter than normal, Kaori didn't care what men though of her chest or anyone else for that matter. She wanted combat efficiency, not sexiness. Over her skirt, Kaori wrapped a pink sash with red flowers loosely. The sash matched her kimono and added a bit of cuteness to her attire. Over all of that, Kaori wore a white shirt with a light blue trim. The shirt was longer than normal ones, hanging down to just below Kaori's rear end and while it did have buttons on it, Kaori left it open so she didn't get too hot with it on. She pulled out a pair of white slippers and put them on, adjusting the heel to be comfortably in place. Once dressed, Kaori left her room and made sure the door was locked behind her.
Kaori made her way down to the armory in the castle where they kept an assortment of useful explosives and tactical items. It was also the place that Kaori kept her sword from time to time, normally after maintaining the blade. She took the sword and looked at it and sighed. The blade was virtually useless against skilled opponents. It was normal, and made of low quality steel. Kaori could snap it if she tried, and would break it if she wasn't careful of where she hit. It was something some guy was selling at a prop shop that Kaori confused for a weapon shop, and didn't feel like replacing since she had the sword skill to make it work. She grabbed the sheathe for it and slid the sword inside before mounting it on her waist, figuring that she'd eventually come across a better one; or even better, she'd find materials to make a better one. She then grabbed her tool belt and went to the different areas and began filling it. Six lacrima explosives were first, and then a set of smoke balls that were followed by a set of flash lacrima. A pair of bombs that released a wave of compressed air upon detonation were stuffed in the belt, which completed the set. Kaori closed the clasps on each compartment before grabbing a holster from a rack and sliding off her shirt. She mounted the holster over her kimono and grabbed a pair of explosive charges, slipping them in the back portion of the holster. There were to clips on the back end that Kaori used to store her fusion cores from her motorcycle, an extra set of bombs she used frequently when she needed to do some massive damage.
Fully geared, Kaori had one last matter to tend to. She vanished and reappeared at the door to Lady Ceostra's window. If anyone had the right to know what happened to her, it was the person she owed the most to. Kaori sealed a letter within an envelope and enchanted it so that only Lady Ceostra could see, smell, open, and read the letter. Kaori took out one of her spare bows and the flower associated with it and tied the letter off, attaching it to the knob to Gisen's door. The letter would read as follows... 'Lady Ceostra, I thank you for everything you've done for me. Twice I was healed by your mercy. I was given shelter at no cost. Food and water without a single demand, and taught more about magic in the past few months, than I've learned in the past few years. If I return, know that it's because I got lucky once more and managed to just barely escape with my head. Just in case... I wanted to thank you, and let you know why I fought; why I fight. When I was a child, I was rejected by my clan. My father refused to address me as a daughter, and my brother reminded by as many times as possible how much of an outsider I was. I was an illegitimate child, and the only person in the entire clan who used magic. It was only after I began training did I receive the slightest bit of acknowledgement for my existence from the others. After I killed my first enemy, I was told that I fought well; my first compliment. Thirty or so battles later I was finally accepted by my father, and he accepted my power. He told me that I would be the head of the clan when he died, and that I would lead us down a path of peace to end the battles. One day, I woke up to meet the end of my clan. Everyone had died that day, and I was the only one alive... I made a promise to my clan that I'd make sure it didn't happen to anyone else and I set out to kill the people who killed mine. Not for revenge, but to make Midi a safer place to live. I found that the same clan is amassing an army in the mountains, and they plan to march them on this town. I'm going to stop them even if I die in the process. If I don't return, know that I'm safe, that I'm with my clan. Thank you... for everything.~Kaori'
Kaori vanished again, leaving nothing but the letter and her ribbon behind and appeared at the top of the tallest point on the castle where her life long friend had been waiting. It was Kaori's lava hawk, a ten foot tall bird of pray made entirely of magma. She rested her hand on its beak and gently rubbed it. "Ready for another round?" she asked in a soft tone. The bird spread its massive wings and let out a confident, brave screech. He was always ready to fight, it was part of being a predator; something Kaori could identify with. Even knowing this very well could be the end for her, Kaori didn't feel anything. She wasn't sad that she very well may never come back to this place, or learn how to control her magic, or have more fun with Lady Ceostra's clan. She wasn't afraid of dying, it was her clan's belief that they would all meet up in the afterlife. She wasn't even afraid to mess up. Kaori was a predator, she was an assassin... She was excited and looked forward to the fight ahead. "Alright, let's go. Our prey won't stay in their trap forever." Kaori said with a stern voice. The bird stooped down, letting Kaori mount it before flying off towards the mountains.
It was night before Kaori arrived within range of the encampment and she had the hawk drop her off on the back end of a mountain. From there, Kaori would move around front under the cover of night using the brush as her cloak. A field mouse nearby served as Kaori's eyes and ears, running into the camp and scurrying about while Kaori was viewing its past to learn what it was seeing. She learned the layout of the area after twenty minutes, and how many enemies there were, what weapons they used, who was on shift and where they were stationed. Kaori couldn't have done any of that were it not for her psychic abilities, and she was grateful for the little mouse being willing to help her in spite of the obvious danger. When it returned, Kaori thanked it and let the little creature go off to live its life.
She waited for everyone to tuck in for the night and trust their lives to the guards who were sworn to keep them safe. When that happened, the first guard began choking on a solid dark steel arrow that suddenly got lodged in his throat. The woman next to him turned in shock while grabbing a hammer, getting ready to start smacking a gong to wake everyone up. Before she could fully react, before she could even think to scream she was choking on a sword in her throat. Kaori dragged their bodies and pinned them to a post to make them look like they were standing up. She vanished again, reappearing behind one of the tents. She figured it best to start at the low ranking members and work her way across the encampment. It would mean she didn't get ambushed, and she wouldn't need to fight a hundred people at once. Kaori waited for the guard in the area to pass by before sending an arrow through his skull, ending him instantly. There were ten tents, one of which contained the officers for the camp. The rest were empty, either belonging to the night guard or being reserved for incoming reinforcements. Kaori had counted eight guards; two at the towers on each corner and two patrolling the tents. She vanished and made her way to the other side of the camp where the second patrolling guard was. Just like the other, he hit the ground without knowing how he died. Kaori turned quickly and fired two more arrows, pinning the heads of the tower guards in the south-west corner to the posts and preventing them from becoming an issue.
Kaori ran for the wall and reappeared on the other side. With ghost like silence she moved along the edge of the wall behind a set of sharpened spikes that were meant to keep out invaders; well, they weren't keeping this one out. Kaori pulled out a pair of kunai, throwing knives used for distracting enemies and creating an opening. She kicked one of the posts on purpose to force one of the guards to talk and reveal his position. "What's that?" he said softly, trying not to alert their intruder that they were found. Kaori appeared behind him and his partner and rammed the kunai in the back of their necks, right between the c1 and c2 vertebrae; instant death awaited them. She then jumped back over the wall and ran to the other side. This time, she didn't need to do anything since the two guards had seen the dead bodies Kaori just made and one of them began getting ready to shout. "In-" was all he said before a small throwing knife hugged the inside of his partner's spine. He looked at Kaori with terror and knew the mask of the person who killed him a moment later.
Next on the list was the tents themselves. With the guards all taken care of, the only thing Kaori had to worry about was one of the sleeping trainees waking up and freaking out. For that, Kaori had her own tools for the trade. Rather than walking in and slitting everyone's throat and risking being caught in the process, Kaori slipped in and set a single explosive lacrima on the ground with the variable switch set to incindiary. She did this for the first six of each of the tents. She then went to the next to and set the explosive charges. At the last two tents, she took the time to slit the throats of the officers and the recruits as they slept; none of them suspecting a thing. Kaori stood at the desk of the officer and began reading through the letters that were stacked on her desk. "Saia..." she whispered in a hateful tone. It was the second time he'd targetted the magic clan, and the second time Kaori had to thwart his efforts.
She left the premisis and used her telekinesis to pull the pin on the explosion lacrima. She also pulled out her iLac and timed it just right so the explosive charges went off alongisde the lacrima in near perfect sync. The flames spread quickly and the entire camp was set ablaze, but Kaori noticed that things had gone far too smoothly. She vanished quickly, her instincts telling her too and when she did, she had just barely dodged an incoming attack. Kaori saw that she was facing an massive enemy force, most likely the ones missing from the tent. Kaori was a smart girl, she knew her limits and didn't push them. The lava hawk was already gone, it knew it was in danger and took off to await Kaori's command. Kaori began running, vanishing and reappearing frequently to dodge arrows and javalins. She didn't want to call the hawk in yet, she didn't want him to get hurt. Kaori pulled out her three smoke balls and slammed them on the ground to create a thick smoke screen. The feeling of four arrows slamming through her right arm let her know that Saia had planned for that trick. The easiest thing was night vision, so Kaori took a gamble and tossed a flash grenade in the air before vanishing again. The bright light seemed to make the arrows stop, and she saw the enemies all reeling back. "Damnit." Kaori said, seeing few options here. She pulled out one of her fusion cores and began making her way to a place that was essentially a natural funnel. She set the first one down and primed it and set the second one on the other side. An arrow slamming into Kaori's back, emerging through the other side let her know time was up. She used her heavenly wall to cover her back while running away, going deeping into the crevice and luring her attackers in. Just when she was sure they were all there, Kaori used her telekinesis to detonate the fusion reactors. The blast was so powerful it instantly destroyed Kaori's barrier and shot her from the land formation as a smouldering blur.
The Lava Hawk had shown its intelligence by grabbing her mid-air. It knew what she was doing, and where she would be when she emerged and used that to go in for the save. There was only one place it knew Kaori could be helped, and it was the one place that it would take her. When Kaori arrived to that place she called home, the magic user's castle; her body had cooled off but her face was unrecognizable. Her mask was half melted to her skin, and the other half of her face was burnt to a crisp. She had no hair at all, and there were three arrows in her right arm that were bent from the force of the explosion to wrap around it. The arrows in her chest were melted in place, and her clothing was almost entirely gone aside from some charred scraps of her skirt and kimono. Needless to say, Kaori wasn't conscious, but she wasn't dead yet. When the bird brought Kaori in, the members were in uproar and they had worked for over a week to get her stabilized. When Kaori woke up, she was in her bedroom with a new mask next to her that was exactly like her old one. She looked at her hands wondering if she were dead, or caught somewhere between hell and heaven. It had been several weeks since she'd left, and next to her was a familiar face, Aquarius, who had kept her guard the whole time. He was asleep for now, but Kaori knew that he'd chew her out when he woke up. "G- Gate close." she said nervously, expecting pain and nothing more but feeling none. Her wounds were healed completely... not a single scar was present, and not a single hair was missing. Aquarius vanished to the Celestial Spirit world where he'd get a better rest and have more energy to kick Kaori's ass later with.