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Revealing the Unseen [Quest: Hatsuharu]

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Revealing the Unseen [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:50 pm

Akira Shimada
She'd politely requested Tsuru's aid in helping her pack up her office after all. While it provided the temporary satisfaction of comfort that she could seek in his presence, it was also a bitter reminder that they were going to be forced to part. She revelled in both those contradicting emotions. The more she forged a trusting bond, the more it would hurt when circumstances reached their climax and she was forced to break it.

But ever the pessimist was somehow holding onto her hidden piece of hope and optimism, the more of herself she offered now, hopefully the more doubt she could instil and perhaps the better her chances were at swiftly earning his respect when... and if time would allow for the truth to be revealed again.

Tsuru, ever the seeker of justice, could definitely not hold it against her for doing her duty right? Surely not anymore, not after he'd had more time to witness just how cruel the world could be and that collateral damage is often the unfortunate fallout when the stakes are high. Besides, her whole venture was to minimise said damage...

No matter how much Akira tried to dress it up, the truth was, that she was just not willing to give up on more time with Tsuru in the present. Besides, the two of them were still waiting for Nilan to break the suspect they'd caught and glean the information required to get to the bottom of this nefarious plant-plague business.  

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Revealing the Unseen [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:50 pm

Hatsuharu
There were a lot of emotions flying in the silent but tense room, as the two packed Akira’s belongings. He had mixed feelings about his ex-partner leaving the faction. On one hand, he didn’t want her to stay if the rest of the Knights were going to constantly treat her badly or harass her. While, on the other hand, he didn’t want her to leave because that would mean he wouldn’t get to spend any time with her. Besides, from the looks of things, it was highly likely that the Holy Knights were waiting right outside the building, waiting like hound dogs to pick her up the moment she leaves, and god knows what they had planned for her.

His only reasonable advice would be for her to leave but not go to the church… and somehow remain in touch with him. Everyday, if possible. While he had more than a shred of noble intentions behind that advice, the primary reason obviously stemmed from his selfish desire to be with her. “You know… I could leave with you,” he finally voiced it. “We could join Fairy Tail, like you wanted all those years ago. I’m sure they would welcome you with open hands now,” he added, chuckling. He might be saying it like a joke, but he meant it more than even he realized. Even if working as a Knight was a cake-walk—which it absolutely was not—doing it without her was not going bring him happiness. Especially not after he was sucked right back into it after having learnt to work without her.

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Revealing the Unseen [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:50 pm

Akira Shimada
It was mostly Tsuru doing the packing and her moving the already packed things around, from container to container. It seemed he was taking this more seriously than she was. Rather, that he had accepted it with more grace than she had been able to. This was rather strange, because unlike him, she knew she wasn't really quitting. But somehow, leaving after seeing the true colors of so many around her, left her with an odd sense. She wasn't just losing her friends, she felt like she was simply losing. That she'd been defeated by something despicable and something dishonourable had won.

It felt as though her actions and her corroboration that allowed for such a thing to happen had damaged her reputation beyond salvation. Nilan was living proof. Her pride was pricked and a part of her wanted to abandon her duty just to mend it. To stay just as a screw you to people like Baldanti. But then, she wondered if it was worth it. In the silence that brewed, she pondered on the mettle of the organisation.

If they hated her this much should she be coming back at all? She knew that the real reason she had such an intense hope to return sat right in front of her. She paused in response to his bold words and peered at her partner with her usual penetrating gaze. 'I'd hate to work with those who didn't believe in me when I was weak.' she responded softly.

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Revealing the Unseen [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:51 pm

Hatsuharu
“Well… There are plenty of other guilds,” he said, when she rejected the idea of joining Fairy Tail. “Heck! We don’t even need to join a guild. It could be just the two of us fighting crime,” he added, fantasizing about being super heroes. Knowing the people they were surrounded by, he wouldn’t be surprised if they came after them with a million accusations the moment they lost power. They were probably going to do that to Akira once she leaves. So, it was probably better if he remained within the faction. If not for himself, at least to ensure these pests within don’t harass Akira.

Most things were packed. The room was almost clean. And from what he heard that morning, her papers could be processed any minute that day. A sudden surge of desperation and fear struck him. That’s when he realized he needed to muster the courage to ask her. Like he did two years ago. The only way the two wasn’t going to drift apart like they did would be for him to express his feelings honestly this time around and not mess it up by overreacting.

Putting the last box away, he sat on the table, right next to where Akira was. The sitting position made him just a tad shorter than she was. He held her gaze and gave a gentle smile. “I know things didn’t work out last time, but-” of course he was interrupted by a knock. Haru sighed heavily before grudgingly asking the one who knocked to come in. It was Nilan, who wasn’t particularly comfortable with the distance left between Haru and Akira.

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Revealing the Unseen [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:51 pm

Akira Shimada
Akira allowed a half smile to stretch her lips, somewhat amused and somewhat bitter by the illusions of a happy future that Tsuru was so readily weaving in front of her. The fabric made of his possibilities seemed appealing for sure, like a blanket that promised eternal comfort. It was sitting there, all neatly folded just within her reach. But her duty prevented her from reaching out and taking it. Not only her own, but the fact that it would hamper his progress too.

She shook her head slowly, but he made things even more lucrative by a complete lack of alliance with any guild or system... Two vagabonds, seeking justice for the worthy, it sure had a nice ring to it. But she could tell the same thoughts were running through both their heads, they'd made too many enemies already and that was just within the good side of things, they'd never be able to live out such a fantasy for long.

Just as she prepared her denial and her reasons for it, he commenced  to hammer what seemed to be the final nail in the coffin, the coffin that carried her sense of obligation and responsibility. 'Tsuru wai-' her interruption was interrupted. A very flustered looking Nilan paused to take in the scene before running his fingers through his hair. 'I think... I think I killed him.' he said softly. But there was much disbelief in his words, he wanted it to not be true. 'What?' she asked.

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Revealing the Unseen [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:51 pm

Hatsuharu
Annoyed that his moment was ruined, Haru frowned when Nilan said he had killed someone. Haru’s head was still filled with the thought of Akira and finding a way to be with her that he didn’t realize who the inspector was talking about. It did dawn on him eventually and his eyes went wide in shock. Had it been any silly thing, Haru would have retaliated with the ‘who messed up now’ question. But the man was clearly in shock and a life had been lost. This was no time to be petty. So, Haru rushed to Nilan’s side and pulled a chair for him to sit on.

The inspector began explaining; he stammered and his hands trembled as he spoke. “I swear… I didn’t hurt him much. I leave him for a few hours and when I got back…” he couldn’t finish the sentence. Honestly, Haru didn’t care that he died. Someone who was willingly working towards spreading a plague throughout a town wasn’t worth mourning over. What he truly worried was if this meant they had no way to stop the plague. “Did he give up anything?” he asked.

Nilan took a moment to breathe and compose himself before he spoke again. “Nothing much. But I managed to find out where he hid in the forest,” he said, pulling out another map. Haru unrolled it and found that the suspected location was marked on it. The inspector fell back to the topic of the dead suspect. “I don’t know what killed him,” he said, and began to list the things he did to the culprit. None of it seemed extreme enough for the man to die, which puzzled Haru as well.

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Revealing the Unseen [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:52 pm

Akira Shimada
Akira too, found a frown etched between her eyebrows, she had't even realised she'd reflected her ex-partner's expression so readily as he left her side to offer aid to Nilan. She'd never seen the inspector look so flabbergasted. What surprised her more, was that Tsuru had little concern for the loss of the life and was far more focused on whether the interrogation that allegedly lead to the death of the culprit amounted to anything or not. Had the inspector not been so seemingly traumatised, perhaps the young girl would've given into her instinct to gloat. Now who's messed up and killed the target? The words sat at the tip of her tongue regardless of the circumstance, she just found the maturity within her to not allow them to find utterance.

She remained silent, continuing to neaten up the floor of the office as Nilan offered the map. She peered over Tsuru's shoulder to take a cursory look at it, before resuming her meaningless task, in a rather idle manner. Her attention was fixed onto the things Nilan listed, it was a lot of threats and very little action. She sought something that made his mistake obvious. There truly was nothing. That's when his darkened gaze fell onto her. 'It was almost too perfect, just like Vincenzo... He gave me what I needed and then...' he still couldn't bring himself to say it. It was disconcerting that he had been a higher ranking Rune Knight and still grew squeamish.

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Revealing the Unseen [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:52 pm

Hatsuharu
When Nilan drew the comparison with Vincenzo’s death, Haru rolled his eyes. “For heaven’s sake! She was here packing all day. Stop trying to blame everything on her,” he said, his annoyance finally showing. “The only blame I haven’t heard is someone claiming Akira Shimada created the Abyss,” he exaggerated. The inspector looked a little guilty; maybe he realized he had indeed been a little too harsh on the young Captain-Commander. “How about you get some rest? We’ll go investigate this hideout?” Haru offered, patting Nilan’s shoulder. The inspector nodded and thanked the two before excusing himself.

Haru turned towards Akira. Now that the two of them were alone again, he could have finished what he started before. But he chose not to. He didn’t miss Akira trying to interrupt him even before Nilan walked in. If she got the message and didn’t want to hear it, he wasn’t going to force it. Maybe, he had his chance and he blew it. Maybe he was two years too late. Irrespective, he didn’t want to think about it. So, he did what he always did when he didn’t want to drown in his emotions; to drown himself at the task at hand.

“Will you be coming with me?” he asked, not meeting Akira’s eyes.

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Revealing the Unseen [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:52 pm

Akira Shimada
Nilan's implication caused her eyes to go wide. She wondered if Tsuru would hold her responsible too. She had to admit, if she was in their position, she'd hold herself as a suspect. The healer, or rather, ex-healer, definitely had plausible cause to suspect her. He was aware of the weapon she held and its capability, he'd seen her handiwork and in fact had agreed in favour of its usage last time. Was he going to assume she'd taken that as a liberty to use it whenever she saw fit and didn't deem to inform him this time? That could leave him feeling betrayed and could squander the future Aki didn't even get a chance to choose.

Tsuru advocating for her yet again and so vociferously made her reconsider everything all over again. Why the hell are you making this so goddamn hard? she thought, her brain screaming in protest of the situation she'd landed herself in. She cursed everyone around her. She cursed him for posing such a delectable, almost undeniably attractive alternate reality. She cursed Adragna for offering her another future that she'd so readily accepted for a chance at a retribution she didn't truly want... Finally she cursed Adel for reuniting her two recruits. Maybe if she'd never run into Tsuru, things wouldn't feel so unfair. Perhaps there was a reason the healer had deliberately kept the two Knights at a considerable distance from one another.

'Of course I'll be joining you, why would I not?'

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Revealing the Unseen [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:52 pm

Hatsuharu
He was glad to hear that she will be joining him in the investigation. He thought he had freaked her out and was afraid she was going to start avoiding him. But that didn’t seem to be the case. So, she’s fine being around me, but just doesn’t want to go out with me, he clarified to himself in his head. The realization that he was being friend-zoned made him stare at her blankly. “Alright! Let’s go,” he finally said, as he opened the door for her and waited for her to exit the office before he did.

There were a million questions in his head as they walked towards the forest. He never really finished his question. Did she assume the right thing when she interrupted him? Should he finish the question and force her to say a clear ‘no’ before he assumed it was definitely a ‘no’? And the worst of them all. Was there someone else? It wasn’t an impossibility. She is young, extremely attractive, strong and famous. Which guy wouldn’t want to be with her? And she had spent two years away from him. She could have met so many people. Many who were a lot more interesting than he could ever be, or so he believed.

He didn’t voice any of those questions however. He also ensure he was always a couple of feet away from her. It was a difficult thing to do, but he had to do it if he was to focus on the mission. After having embraced her once, he craved it every time he got anywhere close to her.

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Revealing the Unseen [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:53 pm

Akira Shimada
There it was again, that wall of awkwardness. She wondered how they went from being where they were to here so soon. She craved the comfort they had seemingly built, for just a little longer. Whenever she thought about cutting ties, she'd always assumed it'd be an abrupt sort of thing. While it would certainly hurt more, at least she could seek comfort and solace in all the time leading up to that... Perhaps allowing the awkwardness to blossom again, naturally was a kinder way to do it.

So she held her tongue and decided to not bring up anything sensitive. They walked in silence towards their destination. Mostly, Akira was glad to embrace any opportunity that she could use as an excuse to finish packing up that office. She could also use all the time she could steal away with Tsuru, without the prying eyes watching them. The place indicated on the map was rather quintessentially villainous.

It was secluded and that itself suggested that whoever inhabited it was up to no good. It looked rather abandoned on the outside, but upon closer inspection, it became obvious that it was deliberately made to look like that. She was poring over all the little details as her eyes scoured the decrepit cottage. It was thickly covered with vines, but they looked oddly shuffled when it came to the door, like someone regularly lifted the bunch to enter and exit. 'In we go...' Just to break the silence she stated redundantly.

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Revealing the Unseen [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:53 pm

Hatsuharu
Not a single word was uttered by either of them until they found the hidden cottage of the dead culprit. Despite the lack of any conversation, Haru could feel a strong tension between them. As much as he tried to shake it, he couldn’t help the feeling that she knew what he wanted and was trying to avoid that topic. And honestly, he wasn’t sure which he preferred. Her rejecting him and ending any hope or avoiding the topic and leaving it to speculation. Haru didn’t have the courage he did less than an hour ago.

They reached the overrun cottage and Akira found the door. He simply nodded when she spoke and followed her in. The interior of the place was nothing like its exterior. Sure, it wasn’t the most well-maintained cottage he had seen, but he had expected worse after what he saw outside. Except for a few basic furniture, some vials and papers, there wasn’t anything worthy in the room. Haru skimmed through the pages left scattered on the table and found nothing of interest. While it did prove that the one they caught was guilty, it didn’t give them the information they needed to stop the plague. What good was inculpatory evidence against a dead man? Except… It could be used to help Nilan if there was an inquiry against him.

There was a large bookshelf next to the table, with hardly any books in it. To be accurate, the shelf had only three books. All three were some kind of a handbook for alchemists. What Haru found weird was that the floor to the left of the bookshelf was cleaner than any other area. It was a classic discovery and usually there was only one explanation. He pushed the bookshelf towards the left and it slid easily, revealing a door behind it.

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Revealing the Unseen [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:53 pm

Akira Shimada
She cleared her throat needlessly, just to break the silence as her gaze roved and pinned each article and piece of furniture in the room. She noticed that there was a scratch in front of the large bookshelf, the structure had been repeatedly displaced. She angled her chin towards it to mark it for further investigation, hoping for Tsuru's help. He seemed to have noticed the odd piece too and was already onto shifting it to reveal the hidden door behind. On the other side was a long lonely passage.

As they walked, the security that they wouldn't be interrupted this time, made her want to turn back time to the moment he was about to ask her that question. But being so distracted in the middle of a mission just went to prove that such a relationship would hinder them from achieving their goals and adhering to their duties. To commence something as delicate and beautiful as their relationship could be, now... would be foolish.

Things would probably not last and there would be no salvaging the pieces that would remain after things shattered. Not to mention, should that come to pass, they were likely to hold each other responsible and only harness only regret towards one another. This was especially true given the current climate of the Knights against the Shimada.

Granted she'd created the illusion of discord by allowing and deliberately exaggerating the friction between her and a few others and by overemphasising her disappointment in certain aspects of the faction, but that didn't change the fact that it existed. Aki's pessimism had coloured the whole ordeal rather sharply. 'Here we are.'

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Revealing the Unseen [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:53 pm

Hatsuharu
The hidden door opened up to a long, dank passage that didn’t seem to have an end. Haru activated his lightsabre and stayed close to Akira so that their immediate surrounding was lit. However, the stillness and the dead silence was rather creepy; it felt like something was watching them while they walked down the passage.

After almost a minute long walk, they finally arrived at what seemed to be a circular chamber. The moment they stepped in, the candles on the wall automatically lit up, startling Haru. He thought there was someone there and turned his head from one direction to another to see where they were hiding. But there was no one there. The candles were just enchanted to light up whenever they sense something move within the chambers.

The dimly lit environment made it very hard for him to search the area thoroughly. His sabre’s glow helped, but he had to be careful not to touch any of the furniture or the papers strewn over the table, else he might rip them to shreds accidentally. Inside a wardrobe were at least a dozen ragged black robes. There was a symbol embroidered on the backs of all of them; a symbol that induced some very ominous thoughts. “Look at this,” he said, handing one to Akira.

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Revealing the Unseen [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:54 pm

Akira Shimada
She hadn't particularly missed the light within her up until now. It was almost as though the candles were there to throw large shadows and douse the room in more contrasting darkness and mystery, than to aid in vision. Tsuru's light saber did seek to help matters, but its glow wasn't strong enough to illuminate the entire room all at once. So she had to stick by him, in close proximity yet again as they scanned the chamber section by section.

This room looked far more inhabited than the room out front, which only served for temporary measures and probably as a ruse to hide the real den of the villains. This room was much larger than the one they'd left when they made their way into the passage way. A part of her wondered if they were going to find another secret passageway to an even grander room and after several such iterations finally discover the organisation behind this attempt.

She had to admit that it'd be a smart move, most people would give up midway if the process took long enough. However, all they really discovered was a set of black cloaks. Which did go to show that there was more than just one person in on this whole mess. The reason she could confirm that was because the cloaks all boasted different sizes, but were of the same color and sporting the same symbol. 'Oh yeah, I'm seeing it and I don't want to.' she admitted softly.

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Revealing the Unseen [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:54 pm

Hatsuharu
Thanks to the multiple candles all around the circular chamber and his own lightsabre, their shadows constantly flickered and morphed into strange shapes. Haru was starting to get really uncomfortable there and wanted to get the search over with so that they can get out. From the slight downward slope he felt when walking through the passage and the gradual drop in temperature, he could tell that this secret base was built underground. The lack of any windows was another clue. Pocketing one of the many cloaks he found within the wardrobe, he moved on to the table to see if there was anything useful among the loose sheets.

There were several papers lying there. Most of them similar to what he found on the table outside; alchemical notes scribbled in illegible handwriting. But one particular envelope looked very important and was kept far from the litter. Haru picked it up and found that the seal was already open. He pulled the parchment out and squinted his eyes as he began reading under the dim glow of his lightsabre, while also struggling to keep it far enough so that he doesn’t singe the parchment. It seemed to be an invitation for some ritual. “They are cultists,” he muttered, frowning and handing the letter to Akira.

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Revealing the Unseen [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:54 pm

Akira Shimada
There was a musty scent that permeated her lungs. Despite the spacious nature of the room, there was something rather oppressive and dark about it. Anyone who stayed in here for an extended period of time was bound to be met with a certain insanity. A closed space with no light and that spark of madness, was enough to make any human take steps they wouldn't take if they just integrated with the normal world a little more.

A morbid curiosity kept her gaze fixed onto the symbol despite the eerie feeling that had blossomed in her heart upon it being brought to her notice. Finally, she tore her gaze away as Tsuru tucked one of them away as evidence and went onto seek more evidence against this group. She swallowed softly, their steps echoed awkwardly and the unease had forced them closer together, probably on instinct. While he dismissed most of the alleged research that littered the table, she picked up a few parchments and tucked them away, so she could scour them later.

They too surely would provide more information about the plans, though probably nothing too concrete. Finally, her ex-partner stumbled upon the missing key that would aid them in the most concrete manner. She peered over his shoulder and squinted to read the contents of the letter as well. When he drew his conclusions she drew a sharp breath. 'You think the sort that Adel encountered?' her urgent whisper betraying a fear borne out of self-preservation.

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Revealing the Unseen [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:54 pm

Hatsuharu
Akira’s question didn’t induce fear in him, but hope. He hoped it was the same cult that messed with his mentor so that he could find them and beat the shit out of them. “I hope it’s the same cult. They are due some pain,” he said, his face contorting in anger. Upon reading further, he noticed that the gathering and the ritual was going to occur in Era on the new moon day next month. “When’s the new moon next month?” he asked, turning towards Akira. He wasn’t one to keep track of the moon phases, but considering his ex-partner was once a Lunar mage and loved late-night walks, he figured she’d know off the top of her head.

Once she confirms, he would realize they need to plan a trap on Era. “We need to warn Era HQ immediately,” he said. He held her hand gently as he began walking towards the path that would lead them back to the cottage. The passage was too dark and it was an upward slope this time around. He didn’t want her tripping over in the dark. Had she still had her two elements, he knew she wouldn’t need his help in such a situation. Usually, it was he who had to rely on her for directions in such dark areas. Now that her magic had gone wonky—once again—they had to stick together and depend on the inferior glow of his lightsabre.

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Revealing the Unseen [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:54 pm

Akira Shimada
The flare of his temper and laced with this air of vengeance was worrying. She chewed on the inside of her cheek, and bit her tongue to prevent herself from chastising the older man. The Shimada ran her fingers through the strands of her hair rather exasperatedly. This kind of a reckless attitude was going to get him killed, especially if he had no one around him to help him see reason. She hoped that he was getting close to at least a few other Rune Knights who had it in them to reign him in when situation demanded so.

The Shimada had noticed his comfort around Kazimir, but he didn't seem to be the most apt candidate. Especially given the situation that caused her to run into the Sinese man. In fact, the two together were likely to feed off of each other's need to act. They'd both find it incumbent to jump into every dangerous scenario in the line of duty. She was guilty of similar decisions, but she was always just a tad more calculative and did somewhat retain her sense of self-preservation. 'Tsuru, the last time someone we knew went to deal with the cult, one of them was turned into a weapon.' she hissed softly, but her voice echoed. Her tone was sharp only out of concern. She was referring to Adelaide and Konstantin. It also went to show that if their mentor had not been prepared, who was to say that they would be?

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Revealing the Unseen [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:55 pm

Hatsuharu
“So? Am I supposed to stand idly by when I see an opportunity to deliver justice for what they did?” he asked, his voice a little louder than he intended. Training under Zade, he had learnt to control his anger when it came to smaller crimes. But it was still as intense as ever if he saw something as serious as what the cultists did to his mentor’s husband. Akira had a point, obviously. If Adel and Kon couldn’t handle the cult—both being so powerful—what made him think he could do it? Anger, of course. It has been blinding him ever since the day he gave in to it.

They were soon back at the cottage and Haru didn’t bother putting the bookshelf back in its place to hide the secret door. Nor did he care to hide the entrance to the cottage. He was focused on getting back to Nilan and delivering the information so that they could start planning the infiltration of the cult. They knew exactly where and when this ritual was going to be performed and the cult had no idea that the Knights were aware. From the looks of it, the crazy man who had been infected Orchidia with the plague seemed to be working alone. So, there was no one else to warn those in Era. They just had to come up with a fool proof plan and execute it well.

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Revealing the Unseen [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:55 pm

Akira Shimada
His words cut like a knife. They made her feel like a coward. Certainly, she wasn't one of those. If only he knew of the risks she was about to take. The only different was, she was still measured, her act wasn't fuelled by vengeance, but solely by duty. She sensed the situation getting dangerous only because she noticed that he was in fact blinded by hatred, blinded by the need to make a certain group pay. There were enough criminals, too many too count, he couldn't take them all down, no matter how hard he tried. The reasons to be frustrated were rampant, what set them apart was how they chose to deal with it.

She didn't have an answer to his question apart from allow her hand to tentatively rest on his shoulders briefly, as they headed back to the quarters with the pieces of the evidence they'd managed to gather. 'We have a month, we're well aware and well in time, surely we can set something up to prevent whatever disaster is looming.' she reassured. Confidently, she referred to them both, in the moment, choosing to forget that they were not going to have that luxury probably even next week. A month was a long time for a lot to change. For all she knew one evil would take out another, after all the threat of the incursions still loomed as strongly as any other. She didn't offer that reasoning, it'd only serve to rankle her ex-partner.

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Revealing the Unseen [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:55 pm

Hatsuharu
A lot of things compounded to trigger his unreasonable anger. Demons had found their way into Earthland. Cultists were rampant throughout the continent. The church had too much shade despite all the light they claim to be spreading. And to top it all off, he had to part ways with Akira. Nothing in his life seemed to be going right. He had even let a psychopathic murderer take the life of an innocent fellow Knight, right under his nose. Day in and day out, he had been striving to make things better, and from where he stood, the world had only gotten worse. He was making no difference and he had begun to fear he never will.

As his anger bubbled up, a gentle touch from Akira simmered it down almost immediately. He halted from his quick pace, closed his eyes and sighed deeply. She spoke sense and it hit home. He was just lashing out at the first thing he saw, while what was truly bothering him was that he knew he would miss doing this with Akira. So, when she said ‘we’, it calmed him a great deal.

Having stopped, he turned towards Akira and opened his eyes to stare into hers. As he held her gaze, he was mesmerized by those deep dark eyes and lost all his inhibitions. This time, it was his turn. He wrapped his arms around her and squeezed her gently into a hug. “Please don’t leave…” he whispered. He wanted to end that sentence with ‘me’, but found the restraint just in time.

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Revealing the Unseen [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:55 pm

Akira Shimada
The way she helped him calm down and reassess things was precisely why she trusted herself around him more than she could ever trust anyone else. She felt that stab of guilt, as though she had already betrayed him. She'd painted a picture that was probably not going to be the reality and just that possibility had helped him see reason. Was what she was hopefully going to accomplish even worth it if it came at such a hefty price? Would he too just abandon her in the line of duty should he have been in her place? What if he truly landed himself in something and Aki wasn't here to help him get out of it. What if they were forced to face each other, even if it was a momentary occurrence? Questions plagued her mind, while she used her training to paint a smile that exuded false bravado.

But as the touch escalated into another shared embrace, almost at the same spot where they'd shared their first hug, on their way back this time, her ice melted. All that cool composure that she used to protect herself and to protect her ideals, became a puddle. She didn't trust her words. In all honesty, she didn't even trust her body. She allowed him to hold her there, so that they could both anchor one another. She let his request be met with a silence, because it was one she couldn't bear to fill, not with lies or with honesty.

3025
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Revealing the Unseen [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:55 pm

Hatsuharu
Her silence stung worse than worst winter breeze, but her embrace was blissful spring. Once again, he had asked her of something she couldn’t give him, and she had let him down gently. He knew that meant he won’t be getting another moment like this, so he prolonged it as long as he could. It took a lot of effort to let go, but he finally did. If nothing, he was proud that, despite being young, she knew what she wanted and was strong enough to stand her ground. He wasn’t sure if he would be able to say no to her if she asked him the way he did. But then again, it might be because he had feelings for her that extended beyond mere friendship. He wasn’t sure if that was mutual.

Haru smiled and nodded, as if to tell her he understood. And for the rest of the walk back to Nilan, their eyes never met. She had shown how strong she was; now it was time he did the same and showed some maturity.

Upon reaching the inspector’s office, Haru noticed that the man was a lot less stressed than when he was the last time they saw him. “He had killed himself. The coroner confirmed the cause of death. He committed suicide,” Nilan said. There was a little bit of sadness in his voice for the loss of a life, but it was mostly relief. And Haru didn’t blame him for it. He gave him the cloak and the letter before divulging all the information they had gleaned from investigating the hideout. Nilan was shocked to hear that it was cult activity, but was very happy to hear that they had an opportunity to shut them down. “I’ll warn HQ. You guys should head there if you want to catch these guys personally,” he said, before excusing himself.

3099/3000
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