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Creative Criminals [Kazimir]

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Creative Criminals [Kazimir] Empty 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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Creative Criminals [Kazimir] Empty 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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Creative Criminals [Kazimir] Empty 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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Creative Criminals [Kazimir] Empty 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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Creative Criminals [Kazimir] Empty 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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Creative Criminals [Kazimir] Empty 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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Creative Criminals [Kazimir] Empty 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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Creative Criminals [Kazimir] Empty on Sun Feb 17, 2019 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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Creative Criminals [Kazimir] Empty on Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:38 pm

Hatsuharu
Haru was glad that it wasn’t Kazimir who had lost control. However, that meant his memories were being meddled by someone. They knew the leader behind these kidnappings was a mage who wiped the witnesses’ memories. Haru should have anticipated this.

Kazimir snapped out of it soon after Haru knocked out the guard. Maybe his sudden violence helped to break the spell. However, it was now certain that their cover was blown. Which meant, they had to act quickly without giving the culprit more time to prepare for the inevitable encounter. “It must be that trickster mage again, messing with your memories,” he muttered in response as they walked down the hallway towards the door through which they took the kid the two of them saw a few moment ago.

What Haru saw when they peeked through that door made him lose it. Kids in cages?! He was done with plans. Now, all he wanted to do was hack through all the guards like a wrecking ball until they found the leader and bashed his skull in. Unfortunately, before he could act on his instinct, he was presented with another complication.

Haru had never seen the Pages before. So, he had no idea. He was ready to strike them down swiftly. And all the rage had made him blind to the trance-like state they were in. Thankfully, he had brought along a level-headed comrade who spotted that there were brainwashed Knights among their attackers. This only angered the Lieutenant more, but it also put a big wrench in his ‘destroy anyone in the building who wasn’t a kid’ plan.

While he took a moment to deliberate, the one patrolling the cages heard their presence and was on his way towards the door. “Not much time to think. Let’s just try not to fatally wound. We don’t know who is actually in it and who is being controlled,” he said. Haru figured he was better off dealing with the lone guard behind the door rather than putting himself in the middle of the group that was behind them. Kazimir had large spells that he wouldn’t be able to use effectively if he was in the way.

Haru looked at Kazimir and nodded towards the door, indicating that he would take on the guard while he dealt with the drones behind. With that, he flung the door open wide and dashed towards the beefy guard. The guard was taken by shock and the kids screamed at the sudden action. Even though this one didn’t look like he was brainwashed, Haru decided to give him the benefit of doubt. He held back his attacks and kicked him just hard enough at his knee to make him buckle and fall. Once down, another kick to the gut did the trick.

He then turned towards door to see how Kazimir was doing. If needed, he would dash back to help. Otherwise, it was time to head straight ahead and find the room where this coward memory mage was hiding. Some of the kids cried for help and asked Haru to open the cage. But he had to steel his heart and not oblige. The last thing he wanted was for these kids to get caught in the crossfire. They were safer inside the cage, for now.

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Creative Criminals [Kazimir] Empty on Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:24 pm

Kazimir Seiryu
Kazimir nodded at Haru's further assertion that it was the mage behind it and followed his lead. They arrived safely at the door where the kid was taken. upon seeing the scene inside Haru's anger escalated. The wind mage could tell Haru was ready to pounce and no force was going to get in his way.

Kazimir exhaled heavily from his nose showing his own dissatisfaction with the scene before them. How could a man capture children and keep them in such a way. He shared his fellow knights disdain for the situation but things were beginning to get out of hand with the appearance of the pages. "Right. Let's get to the bottom of this," Kaz replied to Haru about the stakes of the battle. They would have to contend against fellow pages and while that put a sour taste in his mouth, it had to be done. Hopefully it would be an easy task to avoid fatal wounds.

Haru faced the children in the room and the guard as Kaz was left with the drones approaching. A tactical choice as many of Kaz's spells were ill suited for an area with children around. Har's precision with a sword would be far more beneficial in there.

The pages and thugs crowded down the hallway. As they got closer it was easier to tell which ones were mindless and meandering from those that enjoyed he dark deeds of their chosen profession. Kaz's eyes darted around the hall searching for anything that would help him take them out without causing serious damage to them.

FInally his gaze rested on the ceiling above them as they approached. Each step bringing the hoard of blades in their hands closer. The wind mage created a circle with his staff and thrust it forward. A magic circle appeared on the ceiling above where the would be walking toward. It was a risky move but one he was willing to take if it meant a safer encounter.

The magic circle erupted with a torrent of wind. Some of the guards tried to dive forward before the whirlwind embraced them but they were too slow. It wasn't the wind that brought pain upon them though. The whirlwind broke a part the ceiling above them. The debris scoured the hallway. It stacked atop itself creating a large mound of broken cement that blocked the path.

Some moans could be heard from beneath the rubble as some of the guard's lower torsos were covered enough to make the immobile and prevented anyone new from arriving. it also conveniently opened a path way to the higher levels and Kaz clapped his hands to activate his vibration sense before they moved onward.

Looking back he saw that Haru already dealt with the guard but left the kids in the cage. Again showing a bit of his inexperience, Kazimir asked, "Are we going to free them now and come for them later?"

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Creative Criminals [Kazimir] Empty on Tue Apr 02, 2019 3:32 pm

Hatsuharu
As always, Kazimir never ceased to impress. He used the environment to not just stop the pursuers, but also open up another access to the upper floors of the building. The gang—both the willing goons and the brainwashed pages—were half buried under the rubble. Incapacitated, but still very much alive.

“Nicely done,” he said, nodding his head towards the group that groaned and struggled under the rubble. Haru wanted to get to their boss as quickly as possible. He had a feeling the crafty mage must be planning his escape already. Looking around, he spotted the large staircase at the end of the large hall with the mini cages.

“Mage first. Kids later,” he said bluntly as he made his way towards the staircase. Unfortunately, his plan was foiled rather quickly by their cunning adversary. Before the two of them could reach the stairway, a large rune appeared under them on the floor. Soon after, the children in the cages began to scream with their palms pressed against their heads. Eerily, all their screams came to a sudden stop, after which, the gates to the cages opened automatically. The children walked out of the cage, looking exactly like the Pages who were brainwashed to fight against them.

“He is controlling the kids. That bastard,” Haru muttered through gritted teeth.

The clever criminal had really put them in a spot. He noticed that some of the kids were struggling against the control, trying not to obey the commands. It was obvious that the mind-controlling mage was exhausting the last of his resources.

“He is stalling so that he can escape,” he announced to his partner. “We need to get to him quickly,” he added as he looked towards the staircase. Half a dozen goons were on their way down. “Go up through that hole you made on the ceiling and stop him from escaping. I’ll catch up with you after I ensure these goons don’t hurt the kids,” he said as he ran towards the gang.

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Creative Criminals [Kazimir] Empty on Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:47 pm

Kazimir Seiryu
"Thanks," he replied to the compliment but the heat of the moment was over yet. Haru's experienced came into play and he knew the situation well. it seemed almost natural for him to step into the leader position and execute a strategy. The goal was the boss even if the kids needed saving it would all be for not if they couldn't stop him her and now.

"Right, let's go," he added in support of the plan, leaving the debris covered guards behind. The two were stopped in an incredibly difficult situation. The kids had been brainjacked and now released from their cages with all intent to cause them harm. "He'll do anything to survive this," he said with disgust.

More guards poured down the stairs and Hatsu suggested splitting themselves up to strike as quickly as possible. Kaz had a moment of hesitation worried that he would fall under mind control like before but his resolve so see this through was stronger.

"Alright, just don't let the kids end up stabbing you in the back," he said with a very real fear of what could happen, before leaping through the hole to the next level.

It was far more somber and quiet on this level. Most of the guards had rushed to meet them down stairs. The ones that had not stood idly by staring at the courtyard. Kaz eased by them, but they seemed to be in trance. It was like nothing he could do would alert them now. Could this be some effect from being under mind control for so long. or perhaps they are all on stand by.

Regardless, he knew he had to hit the man hard and fast to avoid anything slipping into his mind or compromising Haru. He lurked around the edges of the hallways listening to the battle below that Haru fought in. Hastily his magic reached out around him to take in the vibrations in the air, hopefully finding the main culprit soon.

Luckily the guards at the main double doors had run down to face off against Haru. Beyond the doorway he felt the subtle vibrations of a single man inside.

He had one chance to make this really count and was gonna go all in. gathering up as much mana as he could he ripped a whirlwind through the wall, during the explosion he leapt through it almost taking the damage from his own attack. As soon as he was on the other side he lashed out with two blades of wind. The leader stood in the room moving his hands like controlling marionettes. His motion halted by the first wind blade cutting into his shoulder. He narrowly evaded the second.

The leader froze up, his eyes wide and hands frantically thrown up to guard. His magical concentration wavered if only for a moment. Kaz lunged forward shoulder tackling the man into a wall. The young knight was physically weak but momentum carried him through.

The leader was surprisingly fit and well dressed down to the gold cuff-links. The only thing disheveled about him was the spit just knocked from his mouth upon hitting the wall. The leader made a hasty gesture. There was a fog that waved over Kaz's mind disorienting him for a moment and the leader slipped by him.

With the pressure on, it at least seemed he couldn't use a more powerful spell and ran out in the only direction he could. Towards the stairwell. Towards Haru, where hopefully the disrupted ring leader had lost his control just enough.

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