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Creative Criminals [Kazimir]

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on Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:16 pm

Hatsuharu
Frankly, Haru didn’t expect the kidnapping gang to remain in Orchidia, given that the town went through a terrible attack by the demons. However, he was proven wrong. When an Apprentice handed in a report, he saw a strange symbol scribbled on it. Haru had seen it somewhere before. He sat there wondering for almost ten minutes before it hit him. “The Hargeon kidnapping,” he muttered to himself, his eyes going wide in realization.

The Lieutenant got off the chair immediately and tracked the Apprentice who gave him the report. “Hey, you! Come here,” he said, beckoning the young girl. “Ye-yes sir,” she stammered. It was obvious that she was scared she did something wrong with the report and he was there to yell at her. Seeing the fear in her eyes, Haru decided to first put her at ease before asking the relevant questions. “Great job with the report,” he said, forcing a smile. “Now… Why did you put the symbol here?” he asked, opening the folder and pointing at the scribbled drawing.

“Oh! That was the symbol etched on the building where they are sheltering all the young kids who got separated from their parents during the incursion,” she said. The girl thought the owners of the building were doing a nice thing, but Haru immediately understood what was going on. He slapped his head, confusing the Apprentice. “Did I do something wrong?” she almost cried, but he had no time to respond to that. “Find Kazimir Seiryu and tell him to meet me in my office ASAP. Do not speak about this to anyone else,” he instructed. The Apprentice nodded vigorously and ran out of there.

Haru rushed to his room, put on his cloak and waited for Kazimir. Once he arrived, he would hand the report with the symbol on it to him. The wind mage was smarter than him and Haru was sure he would recognize the symbol far sooner than he did. “I bet you anything they are holding some kids as hostage for money,” he said.

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on Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:34 pm

Kazimir Seiryu
It was another day for the wind mage. Although what that meant now was far different than before the demons arrived. Now he spent his open time helping rebuild and clean up the streets from the debris and chaos that happened. People seemed to be fairing better than he expected after such a traumatic event.

He was on a routine patrol when an apprentice ran up to him. She was a young girl, "Uhm...you're Kazimir right?" It wasn't often that anyone in the knights came looking for him but when it happened it was always about work. "What needs to be done miss?" he asked in nonchalant way, ready to get to work.

She relaxed as she was speaking to an equal and replied, "Lieutenant Hatsuharu requests your presence in his office," she paused seeing the question forming on Kazimir's face, "I don't know why though."

"Not a problem. I'll head there now, thank you," he responded as he walked by her and fixed the hat on his head that still felt a bit uncomfortable. He arrived at headquarters and tracked down the office. It took a bit longer than he would have liked. He never thought about Haru having an office. The Lt. spent so much time on mission it seemed he was never here.

Kazimir walked in the room. the door was already open, expecting him to arrive. Haru was cloaked and stood ready with his gear. "Hey, Haru. What's going on?" he asked knowing that if Haru called him it had to be important.

Immediately Haru handed him the report and mentioned something about kidnapping and ransom. Kazimir's eyes glanced over the report and the symbol caught all of his attention. Like being sucked back into a reality that had slipped away from him. With all the demons and the aftermath he had been too busy to address one of the reasons they came here. Or perhaps he hoped they wouldn't have resurfaced. He exhaled from his nose and closed stared intently at it for a moment.

"I see... I could never  forget what this means," he said looking back at Haru, "My first real job. The only one left incomplete. I had hoped they wouldn't resurface do to the demons. Apparently they are more tenacious and despicable than I figured."

It was no doubt now why Haru summoned him here. It was time to put and end to this once and for all. He shared a determined look with the Lieutenant and said, "Shall we finally lay this one to rest?" He was starting to get a clearer picture as to the path he walked that led him away from being a pacifist.

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on Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:55 pm

Hatsuharu
Haru paced around in his office. He was obviously pissed at these opportunist criminals, feeding on the emotions of the parents who had lost their children. Kazimir arrived in a few minutes, and just as he expected, the smart man recognized the symbol immediately. “So did I. I really didn’t expect any activity from them given the situation,” he said, clenching his fist in anger.

The young Lieutenant was always jumping to conclusions, assuming the worst of the situation. For all he knew, it could just be a huge coincidence. Maybe some good people were just using the building with that symbol to genuinely reunite the kids with their families. But Haru had a terrible feeling that was not the case and he knew he wouldn’t be able to sleep well if he didn’t get to the bottom of this.

“Yeah, we should. I swear… if they had hurt the children, I’m going to bury them alive,” he muttered the last sentence a little too menacingly than a Rune Knight should. It didn’t look like he was ever going to get a hold on that anger of his. “Let’s go,” he added, as he walked out of the office.

Haru was walking so fast that he was practically jogging. They reached the street where the building was, and the very first thing he noticed already put him on edge. It was a large manor in the middle of a huge compound. Every single structure next to that compound had been crushed to its foundations during the demon attack, but this one had somehow survived with minimal damage. Whoever defended the area had definitely prioritized that compound over everything else.

The large iron gates had the same symbol the manor did. It was securely locked and in a small cabin inside, to the right of the gates was a beefy man standing guard. The compound wall was at least ten-foot-high and had barbed wire on top. It looked less like a shelter and more like a prison. Sneaking in was going to be quite difficult. The manor was in the middle and it had a large open garden around it. If they had anyone watching from the upper floors—which they probably did—the two of them would be spotted immediately.

“Maybe our best bet is to act like we are family of some missing child. A nephew, perhaps? What do you think?” he asked.

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on Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:27 pm

Kazimir Seiryu
Haru wasn't concealing the rage bubbling up inside him about the possible situation. His clenched fist and pacing said it all. Kaz couldn't blame him. He felt the same anger that they preyed on those in a moment of weakness. He was angry that they weren't able to stop it before and feared the thought of what they had been doing in secret these past two years.

Kazimir could understand the anger but the way Haru talked was...dangerous. The ease at which he threatened to bury them alive. If this was any other scenario the wind mage may have said something about it. but he wasn't going to let anyone who put innocent children at harm get away with anything. He did worry just how far Haru was willing to go. The only other time they worked together he had a knack for leaning toward a more aggressive style.

They almost raced down the streets. Kazimir was always a step or two behind Haru's rapid gait. It was a struggle to keep pace with him on the battlefield and through a town. The sooner they put an end to this the better.

"They seemed to really take care of this place," Kazimir remarked suspiciously upon their arrival at the fortified compound. Ruble littered the streets and this was only building left standing. Judging by the defenses it seemed impregnable if they were going to try and make sure they got all the children out.  

Haru was right, even with their skills and tricks it would be too risky to cross the garden in an act of force. "Yeah, We'll need to find the kids before we can make any big moves. Can't risk them getting moved before we get it."

The family tactic was probably their best move. Even if they were onto them, they would probably just lead them into a trap and Kaz was confident with their skills together, they could survive it.

"Sounds like a plan. Good thing you got that haircut. It may have difficult to sneak you in otherwise," he would have said it as a joke under different circumstances but this was no time for that. Even standing outside Kaz wanted to just blow the place away but there was a time for that.

"Uncles it is then," he nodded and walked toward the gate if Haru was ready. taking his time as they worked out any last minute details. he knew it would be better if they had a missing child's information to loose but waiting any longer was not an option. They couldn't risk more kids being treated like this.  

"Excuse me. We heard this was the place that some lost children are staying. We are missing our nephew. Can we check if he has ended up here?" he hoped it would just take a simple request and no specifics would be asked.

The gate guard looked them up and down. He stretched his neck and rolled both his shoulders back and forth once. "let me get someone. You wait here." The guard called over another one and whispered something in his eye. The newer guard strolled off back to the manor. This was it, would they be let in or would their bluff get called. They just needed to avoid giving specifics about the child and get the green light.

He was a tad nervous but looked at Haru to butter up the interaction, "I hope he's okay. It was a real tragedy it happened."

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on Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:30 pm

Hatsuharu
Kazimir agreed to the plan and they began their approach to the gates. It took a few deep breaths for Haru to lose his frown and act the part. He wasn’t very good at hiding his emotions and hoped the wind mage would keep the guard’s attention on himself for the most part.

The guard took a few moments to gauge the two of them before calling for someone else. The other man who came running was scrawny, but incredibly fast. He ran to the gates and back to the mansion in no time. While they waited, there was an awkward moment and the guard decided to take a better look at Haru. He squinted his eyes at the Lieutenant, like he recognized him from somewhere.

Just then, Kazimir started a conversation and Haru figured that should distract the guard’s small mind from pondering further. “Yes, it really is,” he said in response to Kazimir’s comment and then turned to the guard to add more layers to their lie. “The boy’s parents are at the hospital, recovering from some serious injuries. They are worried sick about their child,” he said, shaking his head sadly. The guard looked like he bought it, but then squinted once again.

“You two don’t look like brothers,” he said, pointing at their hair. “Which one is the uncle?” he asked, looking a little proud like he just solved a murder case. Well spotted… Haru thought to himself sarcastically, but obviously didn’t say it out loud. “Him!” Haru immediately replied, pointing at Kazimir. “I’m a healer from the hospital,” he added. The goon looked like he recognized Haru. He was once a healer. This should probably make him assume he saw him at one of the hospitals and stop marvelling over who he really was. If he recognized him as a Knight, this wasn’t going to work.

The guard nodded and the awkward silence resumed. Thankfully, not for long. The scrawny one came back running and this time it was his turn to whisper at the beefy one’s ears. Both looked at the two of them a little warily as they conversed in hushed whispers. Haru grew a little tense and got ready to pull out his hilt if the need arose. But, the guard finally just nodded and came to open the gates. “Alright! Follow him,” the large one said, jerking his head towards the smaller one.

Once both of them were inside, the gates would be closed shut again. The one they were supposed to follow gave them a curt smile before pointing the way. “This way please. May I know your names?” he asked, as he led them towards the manor. “I’m Tsuru,” Haru replied. He didn’t want to give his real name and instead gave the nickname that only Akira ever used to call him. They may not have recognized his face, but the name ‘Hatsuharu’ was well known by most people and would be a dead giveaway. Besides, he answered first to cue in Kazimir to give a false name as well; not that he needed that hint.

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on Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:21 am

Kazimir Seiryu
The guard examined Haru's face and Kaz would have dropped bead of sweat if it wasn't for the cold. Thinking that they had been found out already. Luckily Haru knew exactly what to do and they wove a convincing enough story to put the man at ease.

Without even realizing it Kaz made a mistake in calling the kid both their nephew. A move that showed his inexperience. He was so used to growing up in the clan with a mix of people that were orphans it didn't even occur to him to think about something like that. Lesson learned for the future and once again Haru's quick thinking pulled them out of the fire. "Yes, and I'm worried deeply for him. I'd like to reunite him with his parents."  

Kaz began to fidget a little like a concerned family member impatiently waiting. Although the motions were a bit odd for him to make but if he didn't show something he worried every little detail would matter. The rail thin guard was hunting for any loose ends and oddities to latch onto.

He could almost sense Haru getting ready to act as the two whispered. It would be an uphill battle if it erupted now. Kaz flipped through a dozen different scenarios in his mind if their hand was forced here. All for not as the large guard let them in, although Kaz was still Leary about the circumstances. This is what he would do if he was going to trap a couple of knights.

Finally they were inside the compound. As they expected there were guards around the grounds and in the windows of the second floor. The small hedge garden was perfect for concealment and they used them well. The man asked for their names and Haru gave a fake one. It was a helpful clue as Kaz was used to brazenly introducing himself as a Seiryu and a rune knight. His answer also gave him time to think of a false one of his own. "Kaito," he replied matter of factly. He was hesitant to use it but it was the only one he thought of. It was the name of the water clan leader.

The man begrudgingly accepted their answer, still fishing for anything out of the norm. They returned to silence as they entered the building. The entrance was a round room with two spiraled stair cases on either side leading to the second floor. Nothing separated the first from the second and they could see up to it. A few guards patrolled around the area. Far more heavily guarded than was needed for a rescue shelter housing youth. They could also see a prominent double door in the center of the second floor with gold handles. Two guards stood on either side.    

The began to turn a corner and in the distance they could see a larger thug escorting a frail looking child down another hallway. If they looked hard enough they could see the desperation on the child's face.

The man that escorted them stopped. He cocked one leg out to the side and placed one hand on his chin. The other hand rose up with his pointer finger extending like he was about to make a proclamation. "Oh, yes. I almost forgot," He turned to face them, "The boss is in and he keeps a record of all the kids here. If you have a name we can find him quicker," his eyes narrowed hoping to catch them again.

Suddenly Kaz felt a strange sensation take over him, and things began to go blank in his mind. "Wait...no my nephew died in the attack. Sorry for wasting your time," it was almost a programmed response, and Haru would know something was wrong given that Kaz had no family here. With a keen eye Haru would have seen the faint magical circle that formed at the base of Kaz's skull.

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on Fri Feb 15, 2019 12:45 pm

Hatsuharu
After giving his name, it was Kazimir’s turn. Haru held his breath for a short moment but let it out in relief when he gave a false name as well. The guard escorting them seemed convinced. However, Haru could see that he was still very much on edge; ready to spring into action any time. There really was no need for someone to be so cautious in a rescue shelter. The eerily quiet walk into the building after the introductions only heightened his suspicions further.

The guard opened the doors and they were led into the entrance hall. Initially, there were no children in the vicinity. Just a lot of guards patrolling. Both in the lower hall and the upper floor. Haru began counting as he casually scanned the area. There were at least six of them in their vicinity including the one they were following. Outnumbered, but not something the two of them couldn’t handle. However, given his way, he first wished to find out where all the kids were and ensure they were safe before they confronted the gang. If they gave up their identities before, it was highly likely that they would turn it into a hostage situation at the drop of a hat.

They turned a corner and Haru saw a child being escorted by another beefy guard. The Lieutenant squinted his eyes to get a better look and he could see that the poor kid was terrified. Just then, the one they were following stopped and asked for the name of the nephew. Now, this was a tricky one. Haru figured they could just give another random name. He was sure the gang would attempt to fleece some money out of the ‘worried uncle’ even if they didn’t have his nephew—which obviously they didn’t.

However, Kazimir’s response was rather shocking. At first, Haru thought the wind mage was dropping the act because he had a plan or noticed something that Haru had not. However, when he saw the magic circle at the base of his skull, he knew there was something wrong. The lanky guard looked confused for a second, but his eyes soon widened in shock. He was about to make a run for it and alert the other guards. Haru swiftly pinned the guy against the wall, with his forearm against his throat. He gave enough pressure to choke lightly and hold the jaw in place so that he couldn’t scream.

He quickly turned to both sides to check if there was anyone watching them. For the moment, they were fine, but he knew that wouldn’t be the case. Even the beefy guard and the child he was escorting had vanished behind a door at the end of that hallway. Haru figured that was where the kids must be held, but wanted confirmation from the guard he had been choking. Unfortunately, he wasn’t given that opportunity. The lanky one tried to knee him and get out from under him, and Haru was forced to knock him out with a strong punch to the gut. He covered the man’s mouth at the right time to muffle his groan, and let him slide down the wall, falling limp on the ground.

Turning towards Kazimir, he looked into the man’s eyes to see what was going on. He had a feeling he would find those emotionless eyes that he saw when they were training. It was a terrible time to for that occur. “Kazimir?” he whispered cautiously.

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Yesterday at 2:18 pm

Kazimir Seiryu
Kazimir watched Haru pin and the knock their escort unconscious before trying to get the wind mage's attention. His voice snapped him out of the brief haze as the mental intrusion subsided. He rubbed his forehead while blinking a few times. "Sorry about that. it felt like someone was in my mind. I really thought I had a nephew for a second there." He realized This momentary lapse had cost them a valuable step in the mission.

"I should have been ready for something like that. You knew we may be dealing with someone with magic," Kazimir added as he hoisted the unconscious man up and drug him backwards toward a door. The mang quickly checked it seeing that it was a small storage room for cleaning supplies. He dumped the body inside and promptly closed it.

"Well looks like we had to improvise now, and fast." Their options were limited and they needed to find those kids. Their only clue was the man that ushered the small child down the hall. As good a place to start as any. Kaz gestured seeing if Haru wanted to go that way.

If Haru agreed, he would move slowly down the hall trying not to cause any more trouble. He kept thinking of ways to prevent his mind from being tampered with but was drawing a blank. They took the hallway and saw a singular open door. No guards had arrived yet so they at least had that going in their favor.

They inched down the hallway until the arrived at the doorway. Peeking inside revealed cages housing many of the children but some of them were empty despite the appearance of food inside them. The room only had the one brawny man towering over the small children. They grasped the bars mortified if he would come closer.

Kaz was about to see if Haru wanted them to dive in and take the guy out when he noticed movement down the hallway path. Two guards appeared and were looking dead at them. They walked forward but had a sluggishness in their step. One of them was familiar to the wind mage. He squinted his eyes trying to see the insignia on the man, "Haru...some fo these guys are pages?" Kaz recognized them from the head quarters. The same magic  that was used on Kaz now controlled the men in the hallway.

The guards sluggishly meandered down the hall leaning forward at an increasing angle. The lean forward looked clumsy but they sprinted forward at then with ferocious speed. The guard on the inside her the commotion and started to turn around, Kaz exchanged a glance with Haru and brought his hands back ready to let loose a set of wind blades. "What's your thought?"

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