At Kaori's Home
The sound of a loud smack echoed through the halls as the moon began rising. "How dare you lay a hand on her!" Kaori shouted angrily, smacking Ikuchi once more. The dragon didn't respond, he only remained on his one knee with two red marks glowing on his cheek. "Explain yourself!" she demanded, not caring to modulate her voice since Mariko's room had been sealed to keep sound out. "My deepest-" another pair of smacks hit Ikuchi, increasing the size of the redness. "Don't give me that bullshit! You're apology is because you're not getting off scott fucking free, not because you're actually sorry for hurting her! Samira is a member of this clan, and you're damn lucky I'm not beheading you right now for treason! Now, as I stated before, explain yourself." the tone was harsh and Kaori's rage would be so strong that even the spirits in Samira's mind would be able to feel it. Some time before they arrived, Query had notified Kukulkan and Sasuno they were near in case they wanted to watch. Of course, this was done through a sharp desire to check on Samira rather than her hunting them down. Ikuchi let out a breath and his eyes hardened, turning to black again to show his level of anger. "You always show her favor... She's the one who makes you happy, she's the one who got rid of that damned mask, she's the one who saved you when you were corrupted by your own power, IT WAS ALWAYS HER!" his head lifted to show tears. "Where am I in your life, master!? To what importance-" Ikuchi had the breath knocked out of him when Kaori's foot hit his stomach and sent him into the air. He was then kicked again and sent flying through the sliding door, into the wall of the connected hallway. Kaori moved forward and lifted him by the shirt before pinning the dragon god to the wall with her ruby eyes glowing. "Your position in my life has been, and always will be at my right side you ignorant fool. Your pride has blinded you to your own importance when another person accomplished your goals, and you react by assaulting her!" Kaori turned and threw Ikuchi back into the room.
She walked in and crossed her arms under her chest with a stern expression on her face. "You never once thought to look outside yourself to note the things you have that she does not! Who is it that co-commands my vessels, my armies, and my household!? Who is it that stands at my right hand during meetings!? Who is it that I call on for support first!? Who is it that I trusted most to safeguard Samira, whose life I value more than my own!?" Ikuchi's eyes had opened wide as he realized that Samira, as important to Kaori as she was, didn't hold authority above Ikuchi's level. She had the ability to issue commands, but Ikuchi was allowed to overrule them at any point... She could have assigned anyone in the crew to guard her love interest, but instead, he was the chosen one. "WHO, IKUCHI!?" Kaori demanded, the room shaking from the force of her magic increasing. "M-me... master..." he said in a truly ashamed tone. "Pick your ass off the ground. You'll restore the honor of this clan by washing the tombstones." Kaori said harshly, to which Ikuchi nodded in silence and stood up to perform his punishment. Naturally, Kaori was referring to the twelve thousand tombstones that surrounded the village, and not some small cemetery.
Kaori then turned her gaze to Samira with equally pissed off eyes. "And you, you are not without fault either!" she shouted. "You knew of his feelings and have done nothing to alleviate them! You never once pointed out his position, his power over yours in regards to my fleet, his combat ability, and my trust for him- but you know of most of those. You knew he was insecure and you let that insecurity fester and become toxic! After my first punishment, you saw it fit to strike him while he was weakest instead of speak with him as an equal! I expected more from both of you." Kaori paused and looked at Samira with watered eyes that quivered, showing the extreme levels of pain. "Both of you are my absolute most best of friends here... and... and..." her voice became scratchy. Kaori turned and left the room with tears streaming down her face, quickly entering the room next door and slamming the door shut, turning the lock and curling up in her bed. "Ahem." the voice of Scarlet would call from the corner of the room as the spirit leaned against the wall inspecting her finger nails. "I advise waiting five minutes so she can calm down before going after her." she would say calmly before vanishing.
If Samira had knocked on Kaori's door, she would see the ninja open it shyly while looking at the ground. Before she could even speak the ninja would open it fully and press herself into Samira, holding onto her. "I- I'm sorry for getting angry at you..." she would say softly. "You... you didn't deserve that." she would add on before pulling Samira into her room and using her telekinesis to close and lock the door behind her. "We never exactly finished earlier." Kaori would say in the same soft tone while moving in to kiss Samira. If she allowed it, Kaori would take things as far as humanly possible.
The Next Morning
Samira would wake up fully clothed with Ikuchi in her room, leaning against the wall with his arms crossed over his chest. He shot a glare in Samira's direction and said "Kaori wants to talk with us. She said to turn off your connection with your spirits, she's sending someone to let them know why." in a cold tone. If Samira asked what it was about, Ikuchi would say "No idea. I was told to keep my eyes hidden." before leaving and waiting outside the room for her to show up. Once Samira was out, Ikuchi would lead her down the hall to a room where Kaori was leaning against a door with a more focused expression. "Is your link turned off?" Kaori would ask while looking at Samira. Once she confirmed it was, Kaori would explain the reason for her demands. "When I was a lot younger my parents had another daughter. Due to the mindset back then, they had to have her live with a different family to keep both of us alive. Recently those guardians were killed by wizards, leaving her with no parents. She's terrified of magic so I wanted to make sure there's no chance of one of your more eccentric spirits showing up. I've asked Ira to stay put, even my other variant was ordered to stay in my head... Also, she seems to have power equal to my current state, but none of the ability to control it. Please excuse any misfires." Kaori then grabbed the sliding door and gentle pulled it aside to reveal a very small, young girl with white hair and ruby eyes, just like Kaori. The main difference between the two was that where Kaori had a very stern, fierce look in her eyes... Mariko looked as though she were barely able to force herself to stay in the room, due to being afraid. She could sense the magic from the two new faces and it made her want to run away with every fiber of her being. The only reason she remained was that Kaori was present and she could sense no fear from her elder sister. She sensed the level of trust she had for them, which made Mariko want to trust them as well.
Mariko was holding a clarinet in her hands with the instrument noticeably shaking. "It's okay, Mariko." Kaori said in Midi's tongue before entering the room. She moved slower and more cautiously than she normally would since her younger sister was still shaky around others and she didn't want to do anything to alarm her. She walked around the music stand and stood next to the smaller girl, placing one hand across her shoulders and pulling her into her stomach while placing her other hand on the side of her head. The entire time Samira would feel immense levels of fear in the air accompanied by a degree of trust, though, not aimed at her or Ikuchi in the slightest. Kaori began rubbing Mariko's head gently while saying "Have no worries, they're good people." in Midi's native tongue. Ikuchi moved forward, stopping a few feet from the girl and bowing respectfully. "Orewa Ikuchi desu, yoroshiku onegaishimasu." he said with a humbled tone that was soft and gentle. Something no one could take from him was that he always treated children with kindness. Mariko held onto Kaori instead of replying to him since she could sense his disdain for Samira and didn't feel safe. Kaori then moved away from Mariko and towards Samira, gently taking her by the hand and pulling her towards the girl to guide her and hold Mariko the same way she was. Samira would feel the girl's fear spike before slowly reducing. "This is Samira, she's not dangerous at all." Kaori said calmly, once again, in Midi's language. Mariko was unable to understand other languages since she didn't grow up learning them but could understand basic hand gestures and body language. The act of being held implied a level of caring and desire to comfort, and was just as good as any other introduction. "Y-y-yor-ro-oh-shi-k-ku..." she would say in a shaken voice. Normally such levels of fear and weakness would cause Kaori to treat people coldly, but this girl had grown up sheltered and knew nothing of magic compared to Kaori- which was worthy of an award. She was also beginning to develop magic equal to Kaori's level of power, and had control over it that was on par with a newborn's bowels. She was afraid of anyone with magic because it was magic users that killed her family, and the few she wasn't afraid of, she was afraid that she'd hurt them with her uncontrolled power. "Sammy, I'm going to get the training grounds ready. Would you mind staying with Mariko? She's a fairly passive person so long as you keep her away from magic." Kaori would request. After around thirty minutes of silence, Mariko would begin relaxing a bit more and after an hour had passed, she would begin playing her clarinet. The song would be the same lullaby that Kaori sung for Samira, providing a unique bond between the two sisters that neither were aware of. Breakfast would arrive after another fifteen minutes consisting of rolled egg, also known as tamagoyaki, and orange juice.
Amidst any chaos caused by Samira's turning off of the link between her mind and the spirit world, though, that may be quite small since she was with Kaori and not alone with Ikuchi entirely, the spirits would notice a dark mist rising from the ground in a specific area. The mist would rise further, forming the shape of a woman before taking on the gold and red colors that were practically trademarked by Angra Mainyu. Red eyes would scan the room with nary a hint of fear before the spirit walked over to a nearby table and took a seat. "Relax, I'm not here to piss off my favorite little nightlight." she would say and give a sly wink to Amaterasu if she were present. It seemed as though all the dark or evil spirits had some sort of attachment to the light spirit, even if she didn't fancy them too terribly much. "Since I'm Kaori's aunt, it was put to me to explain why Sammy just turned off her link with you all. More specifically why Kaori requested it." she said calmly. "Yesterday while Sammy was busy getting my Stone of Humility, Kaori was called away to handle some unexpected business. My sister was never very close with us after she got involved with a human, so Kaori's birth went unnoticed for quite some time. The only reason I knew of her was the darkness in her heart. What I didn't know was that she had a younger sister. The poor girl's so innocent she flew right under my radar, so to speak. She's morbidly terrified of magic, spirits, or anything that can't be explained with practical logic so Kaori asked that you all be locked out. However, I felt a need to let you all know since your summoner and my niece are slowly but surely growing much closer. Little Mariko's only fourteen, but she has every bit as much power as Kaori currently does. Where Kaori's blood leans more on her human father, Mariko's is closer to my goddess sister. The only issue is that Mariko was raised ignorant of magic, with no training... So while she's as powerful as Kaori, she has none of the ability to control that power. This is something you may want to remain wary of since your pet worm seems to be looking for any means of breaking Samira, and an attachment to Mariko could be quite volatile." Angra slid off the table and began walking towards the door, giving a gentle wave as she did so to bid the spirits farewell. "If you decide to go for a walk Bastet, be sure to stay in your animal form and remain silent. Mariko is... jumpy." she said as a fair warning. As soon as she reached the door the goddess erupted into a shower of black and gold particles that slowly faded out of reality.
A few moments later everyone's favorite delivery ninja would appear standing on the ceiling. He would walk along the walls like some sort of demon or vampire until he was standing upright and begin looking around. If Sasuno were present, he would approach the swordsman calmly and stop in front him and reach into his sleeve to withdraw a sealed bottle of rice wine that had a photograph with the image side secured to face the bottle, leaving it hidden from others. The side that was visible had an address on it, as well as a target symbol next to that address. The image was that of his sister, Amaterasu in a highly revealing, almost nonexistent garment that she'd never logically wear unless she was bored. The image was magically altered from an original to contain such a thing and sold for quite the small fortune on the black market. His giving it to Sasuno as well as the location of the one making them was Ninja's way of being a friend. The bottle of rice wine was to apologize for hurting him the day before. If Sasuno wasn't present, he would look for specific spirits who were mature enough to handle a task... Nu Wa, Bastet, or Amaterasu- in that exact order of maturity. He would write on a page 'Sorry - Ninja' and attach it to the bottle if this was the case. Afterwards, he would loog for Agni and approach him with the first and second edition of Celestial Ninja, hardback, and signed by Kaori and Samira. It was something he had ordered some time ago that took quite a bit of time to arrive and the one who shipped it requested Ninja bring him the items. Ninja would then bow to him before vanishing and reappearing next to Aphrodite, if she was present, long enough to touch the top of her head while saying "Tag." once more. If she wasn't present, he'd simply vanish from the mind space.
3 Hours of Clarinet Later...
Once the training grounds had been readied, Ashley was sent up to Mariko's room. Upon seeing the girl, Ashley ran straight up to her and took her hand, flashing a bright, white, loving smile at her. "You're auntie Kaori's sister? You look a lot like her!" she exclaimed gleefully. "Come!" she said while pulling on Mariko who found herself feeling less afraid of the small child who blatantly had no magic than anyone else thus far. The white haired girl got up and Ashley told Samira to come along as well, stating Kaori and Ikky were finished getting the training room ready. Samira would be lead down a special tunnel to the same small cave that served as Kaori's training room back when her grandfather was alive to teach her. Ashley released Mariko's hand and took her position at the center of the fighting stage with the same warm smile as always. "Your first training partner will be Ashley." Kaori would say calmly with a serious expression. If Samira had tried to argue it, or mentioned that Ashley was a child, she'd feel something grab her finger before flipping her to the ground and realize that 'thing' was Ashley. Ikuchi would speak up and say "I've trained Ashley since she got under my care. The rifle she uses weighs over fifty six kilograms but doesn't slow her down at all. She's more than adequate of a challenge for you." Ashley would speak up and say "Your enemies will never wait for you to be ready." in the cutest, most concerned sounding voice possible. "Ashley will show you basic hand to hand. I advise warming up, you're in for a long day." Kaori would say before tossing Samira a pair of golden fans.
Ashley would already have a pair of the fans out while she moved to her end of the training grounds. "Ikky showed you how we dance but said you probably stopped doing it, so I'll go slow, okay?" she said with a friendly smile before expanding the fans and going through the motions. Each step transitioning smoothly into the next, and every pose appearing elegant and fierce at the same time. Kaori would speak while they went through the motions, acting as a tutor. Many in the clan would consider it an honor to have their leader as their trainer since it required her to take time away from other duties. "In battle your mind and your body must act as one and the same. There is no room for discord, only harmony between the two. Your mind must learn to trust your body to know how to react, and your body must learn to trust the mind to know when to react. By dancing, your body will learn rhythm and your mind will be able to meld with it easily. At the same time, you'll become more flexible and physically stronger. Your muscles will get used to doing more than waving a key, and soon, your spirits will never feel the need to hold back to keep you safe. Even though it's been some time since you've done this, your body remembers the feeling. Just as it remembered how to use a bow and arrow, it will remember how to move when you want it to."
After an hours of dancing, Ashley would gracefully return to a neutral position and not have a single drop of sweat on her. While cute and very loving, she was trained by one of the dragon gods, and her endurance and strength would display it. "Dancing is more than getting your body used to moving. It teaches you the basics of fighting." Kaori would say calmly just before Ashley shot towards Samira in an attempt to land a punch on her. The look in Ashley's eyes was focused and showed a disconnect between her love of Samira and her desire to fight. "I asked you before why it was that you fight. In the case of Ashley, she fights for me." Ikuchi said. "When she enters battle, she imagines herself in the situation that brought us together. She imagines that she has the option to fight, and chooses to do it." he continued, giving no detail as to what that situation was. "Find your conviction, your reason to fight, your drive or Ashley will kill you. Don't look at something so arbitrary as a desire to help your spirits in battle. Why is it that you bothered to summon them at all? What makes you continue putting yourself in harm's way, constantly push your limits, and dare leave the safety of your home? What is the single thing that you find at the core of your being?" he asked while Ashley continued to try and hit Samira with enough force to undoubtedly break something. After each hit, Samira would feel the injury begin healing over just as it did when her sister was striking her. "Remember the things that make you fight even harder than normal. Things that make you act out of character, things that make you act without thinking."
Ashley wouldn't let up on her attacks. Each attack was followed up by a second and a third. Samira would feel fear in the air as Mariko was being exposed to her sister using magic and it scared her. The only thing that made Mariko stay nearby was the fact that it was Kaori using magic and not someone else. As the fight continued, Kaori would begin using her magic to keep Samira's stamina up. "Keep going. Never stop fighting until your opponent submits." Ikuchi would comment. "All members of this clan are a weapon, and all weapons have a limited number of uses before they need to return to a resting state. The stronger the attack, the fewer strikes it can make. Kudaku Hikari, in her battle axe form, can only make single strikes before I must reel back for another swing. In her katana form I may swing three or four times depending on how much force I put into it. In her bow form I can fire up to five arrows in rapid succession with minimal accuracy and power, but all forms have their maximum. Your enemy is using her entire body as a weapon, look for the pattern." It was easier said than done. Ashley was fast and had trained with someone whose entire life had been being stronger than those around him. As he said before, his reason for fighting was finding stronger and stronger enemies to crush under his blade. That level of power would be expected of the person training under his wing. By the time she made a punch Ashley was already beginning the motions for her next attack. The only option Samira would have against an opponent with superior speed would be to make her own openings. Blocking attacks, slowing her movements, and making false attacks to confuse her- she'd need to get creative. After five hours of constant fighting, Kaori would call the battle to a pause to let them know it was time to eat, and sukiyaki was on the menu.
- Job Details:
- Job Title: Kaori's Story: Episode 10
Player Requirements: S Rank Minimum
Job Requirements: 35,000 Words
Job Location: Unknown Lands
In the Lareci Lands, Kaori must train her teammate to fight in hand to hand as well as use a bladed weapon.
A little girl who's trained with a dragon god and possesses skill to prove it.
One of Kaori's most elite guards and a trusted friend to the family.
A dragon god, no explanation is needed further.
An individual with more power than the dragon god.
• 150,000 Jewel