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A Badger's Diligence [Training | Akira]

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A Badger's Diligence [Training | Akira] Empty on Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:31 pm

Hatsuharu

When the days are cold
And the cards all fold
And the saints we see
Are all made of gold


His trip to Akira’s had been underwhelming to put it mildly. After agreeing to help, she changed her mind and blew him off when they neared the church. Haru figured she didn’t want him entering the church without really believing in Illumin. Or, maybe she didn’t want to be seen associating with a ‘heretic’. He couldn’t blame her. After all, he refrained from taking her to the Rune Knight barracks out of fear that the two of them would have to deal with unpleasant encounters. It wouldn’t be fair to put her through something that he wasn’t willing to endure.

So, he didn’t argue and just nodded with a sigh when she told him it wasn’t the best place or time. He stood there and watched as she walked into the church, with a yearning look on his face as her figure receded. An old lady walking by mistook it for his love for Illumin and gave him a mini sermon. Out of respect for her age and innocence, he just smiled and nodded. When he noticed she was carrying a heavy bag of groceries, he offered to help, which he regretted soon. The lady wouldn’t stop talking about ‘his holiness’.

When he was finally freed from her, he made his way to the town hall. He was certain there were plenty of things that he could do to help the town get back on its feet. And so, the rest of the morning was spent leading a group of volunteers who had signed up to lay a new road wherever it was required.

---

Later in the afternoon, he headed to his office after lunch to see if there were any pending cases that he could close. As he turned the knob on his office door, he was interrupted by a rather rude teen. His hair and attired looked extremely shabby. Haru was certain this man wasn’t a Knight; at least not a Rune Knight. “Finally! So early to work,” the scrawny intruded muttered sarcastically as he fished something out of his pocket and held it out in front of him. Haru plucked it away from the man and looked at the envelope to see who it was from. He didn’t have to look at the name; he instantly recognized the handwriting. He looked up to thank the deliverer, but he was long gone already. Haru simply shrugged and entered the office to read the letter.

As he expected, it was a very curt letter with barely any details. She had asked him to meet her, and he couldn’t think of any reason why other than that favour he asked. Now that she was officially out—which he still had trouble accepting—they couldn’t even solve cases together without paperwork that took at least a month to go through. Haru was looking forward to the rest of the day and was quite excited. He gets to meek Akira and also work towards getting his magic under control. The young Lieutenant was grinning widely as he walked down the hallway.

Unfortunately, that grin didn’t last long. Walking towards him from the other end was Captain Baldanti. The captain had a nasty smile on his face; one that screamed trouble. “Lieutenant Hatsuharu! Are you not aware that getting private correspondence delivered to your office is against the rules?” he asked, rather loudly to catch everyone’s attention. Haru almost rolled his eyes as he saluted the Captain, but managed to stop himself. Sure, it was against the rules. But no one ever followed it. He was just nitpicking the stupidest rules to sound important. Alas! He couldn’t say it out loud. Instead, he had to respect ranks and apologize.

Haru thought it would end at the apology, but Baldanti wanted a formal complaint filed and made him sign it, accepting that he was at fault. He then personally added it to Haru’s file, in an attempt to provoke him. Haru couldn’t give a flying crap. He was more annoyed that he was late for his appointment with Akira than the fact that he had a ‘oh-so-bad’ black-mark in his file. “Are we done here, sir?” he asked, smiling a little too widely. Baldanti was annoyed that he couldn’t get to him and grunted his dismissal. Haru saluted once more and began walking briskly towards Akira’s apartment. He was going to have a good day and he wasn’t going to allow anyone to change that.

WC: 742
Training Nullification (D-S)
Total WC: 2307/12000


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A Badger's Diligence [Training | Akira] Empty on Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:34 pm

Akira Shimada

When your dreams all fail
And the ones we hail
Are the worst of all
And the blood’s run stale


She sat propped against the post of her bed, waiting... Garbed once again in a dark silk gown. As she fastened the smooth ribbon so it clung to her tenderly. She was reminded of earlier today, which was the last time she donned it. The memory sneaked into her mind and elicited mild amusement as she recalled the reaction it had provoked, when she entertained her favourite fellow Knight. That meeting had been left rather unfinished. She'd found a reason to venture into the church alone this morning. The Shimada denied his company simply because she couldn't bear to destroy the growing comfort and the blossoming warmth, with the bullet of pretence, which would be an escalated necessity once they were within the holy walls.

Besides, escorting him into the Church would hardly serve either of them well. If she was to entertain the idea of these little trysts with her former partner, she'd have to at least make the effort of shrouding the illicit encounters. She did not forget Tsuru's request for help though and used the time to collect the amulet she had in her tight grasp... Her thumb stroked the golden surface, almost carelessly. For once, her wand was not the victim of her idle gestures. She had managed to procure yet another fancy golden tool.

It wasn't just the glowing hues and sharp brilliance that matched, the amulet she was toying with, was of the same calibre as her wand. Her recent blessing had allowed her to curry some favours and she'd earned an audience with a very old and very knowledgeable priest, somehow, he was quite taken by Akira. The holy man had been kind enough to provide her with the amulet to further her training and allowed her to keep it too. Apparently, he did not possess the inclination or the talent to exploit its powers. Additionally, he believed her wand and the amulet to be a part of some ancient set and didn't want to keep the two items apart from one another. Unfortunately, the poor man's fantasies about the fate of the amulet and the wand, was for naught.

The Shimada had no intentions of keeping yet another shiny golden ornament, two was  already bad enough. She did use the very helpful amulet, to study and attempt perfecting her altered magic. She couldn't deny, working with it, inspired a greed that she definitely didn't want to entertain. That offered her more reason to get rid of it. I won't be surprised if the damn things turned out to be hexed. she thought, colouring her attractive collection with her usual tones of pessimism. While the items in themselves, may not bear any extraordinary curses, a single person possessing them would surely be painting a target on themselves. The Shimada was no stranger to such a circumstance, but she didn't want to exacerbate it any further, needlessly. Her precarious missions would no doubt force her into vulnerable situations, the burden of the wand was great enough... Should things slip off track, Akira would definitely not want her enemies to garner so many things just by defeating her alone.

But it wasn't just fear that compelled her to hand the item away. There was a certain someone else who could benefit from its abilities. She'd beckoned that someone to her apartment earlier today. The letter boasted of no precise inclinations that inspired the meeting, it was rather vague in nature... Maybe, I should have been just a little more specific about this little meeting she thought, tapping her foot against the floor lazily and impatiently.  

WC: 600

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A Badger's Diligence [Training | Akira] Empty on Sat Feb 23, 2019 9:53 am

Hatsuharu


I want to hide the truth
I want to shelter you


Thanks to Baldanti, he was a good half hour late. He didn’t want to mention his encounter with the spiteful Captain; so, he was thinking of a different excuse for his tardiness. Interviewing a witness for some case he was on sounded plausible and didn’t sound like something that would elicit further conversation about his delay, and thereby, further lies.

On his way, he walked past a flower shop. Winter was nearing its end, and the fragrance of the early spring flowers were alluring. Haru was already late, but couldn’t resist the temptation. He was almost certain that Akira wasn’t the kind of girl who liked flowers. However, he figured he would rather hear it from her than assume it.

The young florist invited him in with a pleasant smile. “What’s the occasion?” she asked. When Haru scratched his head and stuttered, she swiftly changed the question. “Is it for a girl?” she asked, giggling. He just nodded as he blushed. Haru was afraid he would have to ask the florist to rush the preparation. But there was no need. In less than a minute, she arranged a beautiful bouquet and he was back on his way.

He was finally at Akira's doorstep and he knocked. When he saw her, he was once again stunned by how beautiful she looked in that gown. This time, however, he didn't scan her from head to toe, but looked right into her eyes as he offered her the bouquet. “For you!” he said with a gentle smile. He let out a soft sigh involuntarily and his smile turned a little sad.

He realized, despite their differences, he really liked her. And not just liked her. He had never really wanted anyone or anything else as badly. The urge to pull her into a tight embrace and steal her away from the day-to-day turmoil was quite high; one that demanded a great amount of self-control. Besides, he wasn’t sure if she wanted that. Every time he was about to tell her how he felt about her, she had stopped him. Which could only mean she was fully aware of it, and didn’t want to vocally deny him.

He must have stood there for at least ten seconds, staring at her longingly before realizing what he was doing. He looked away swiftly and apologized for his delay, distracting himself from the overwhelming feelings he had for her. “Sorry I’m late. I was held up with a witness,” he lied, gulping at the end of that sentence, hoping that she didn’t ask what case he was working on. He hadn’t thought of that.

“Thanks for helping me with this,” he added. He was genuinely grateful for her agreeing to training him. He was afraid that their friendship would turn awkward because of the tensions between them; particularly, her new religious belief and his unrequited fondness for her. “Is there any open ground nearby where we can train?” he asked. Both of them knew that the church grounds and the Rune Knight barracks were out of the question. He didn’t want to voice it.

WC: 523
Training Nullification (D-S)
Total WC: 2830/12000

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A Badger's Diligence [Training | Akira] Empty on Sat Feb 23, 2019 2:53 pm

Akira Shimada

But with the beast inside
There’s nowhere we can hide


The excitement that coursed through her when she finally heard the knock, was a testament to how very attached she was to her ex-partner. In a strange way, their absence from one another's life, had truly made her heart grow fonder of him. Plus, she recognised that his demeanour had changed in a manner that aided him in being more accepting of the choices she made. While she, overtime, she'd understood the importance of due process.

Now that she had the wand, she did believe they both would be more at ease if they were faced with a circumstance that forced them to make radical decisions. They would have the resources to be able to justify it, to themselves and it seemed for him and her both, that is all that mattered. Maybe neither of them would be safe from the heat of the potential fallout, but at least there was a distant future where they could both brave that together and stand by each other...

Distant future. That really put a wrench in things.

She composed herself when she opened the door, wearing her usual impassive, bland poker face, as she stared him down intently. 'You're late...' she muttered softly. As if it was necessary to remain slightly and practically abrasive, to prevent herself from sinking into the comfort of his warmth, a luxury that she couldn't afford. They stood staring at each other, no doubt savouring the fantasies that couldn't be. She gathered the lovely bouquet he'd picked up for her, and turned away from him.

A gentle smile stretched her lips as she bowed her head slightly to bury her nose into the gentle petals and drew a long breath. The myriad of sweet and fresh scents permeated the air... The exhale was a soft sigh. She heard his excuse, there wasn't much conviction in his lie, but it wasn't implausible enough for her to doubt it. Neither did she have any reason too. He was clearly happy to see her, so whatever his reasons for being late, were certainly not ill in intent and that is all that mattered.

'You know... They'll die right?' Her response certainly seemed too dry to be appropriate for such a gentle and sweet gesture. But if he dimissed her words and refuse to take them to heart, it would attest just how well he knew her. One hand clenched the stems of the early spring blooms, and the other still toying with the amulet. She set the latter down on the table, with a soft jingle as its sharp appendages fell onto the wood. She turned leaning against the table and slowly undid the wrapping of the bouquet, avoiding eye contact as though she was performing a very important and precise task.

'I suppose there's some use for the vase after all.' She picked the vase and sashayed to her kitchen to fill it water. He asked if there was a ground where they could spar and practice and she answered his question while she was still in the kitchen. The Shimada explained that there was a clearing nearby. She didn't stop herself from sardonically adding that it was rather helpful to have something of that sort so close, but that it was a little gift that the demons left behind. It was definitely a bitter, but an essential reminder. With the changes to their magic, their work could suffer which made it something urgent that they needed to deal with.

That's why he is here!

She returned with the flowers arranged into the ceramic container. With her chin she made a gesture indicating the necklace. 'I have something for you too, it helped me... Maybe it'll help you too...' she explained. There was a lot more for her to share. But as her eyes flitted to him again, she couldn't help but wish to decrease the distance between them. She chewed on her lower lip as she considered her options. The Shimada had been characteristically cold, except for the embrace they'd shared... But it wasn't easy.

She plucked the golden chain of the glamorous item, one in each hand and held it out towards Tsuru. 'May I?' she cleared her throat and asked. It felt like a organic excuse to step closer to him, at least physically. It seemed she really had the propensity to give in to her greed and forget that her effort was to be directed towards stretching the space between them and not closing it.

WC: 750
Total WC: 1350

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A Badger's Diligence [Training | Akira] Empty on Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:52 pm

Hatsuharu


No matter what we breed


He had to bite his lower lip to stop himself from grinning when she stated that he was late. She never complained. Her stating the obvious in that matter-of-fact tone was the closest she ever got to complaining, and he found that amusing. He did go on to apologize for being late, but not before he gave her the flowers.

She didn’t deny the flowers or discard them without a second glance. So, the worst that he feared did not occur. In fact, as she turned away, he noticed her smelling the flowers. For a second, he thought this was one thing where she was like the other typical girls. He was proven wrong rather swiftly as she went on to mention how the flowers were going to die. “And I’ll bring new ones every time they die,” he replied immediately, and genuinely meant it. It was an excuse to come see her every other day. Why would he give up on that?

Haru remained in the living room, fiddling with the books on her shelf when she went to the kitchen to fill water in her vase—the same vase that she almost destroyed that morning. She mentioned some clearing nearby where they could train. He had been in Orchidia for quite a while, but had no idea what clearing she was talking about. He didn’t ask for the exact location and decided to just follow her.

When she returned to the living room, he finally noticed the peculiar amulet that she had left on the table. It was bright golden and had an allure—one that was both charming and ominous at the same time. He was about to ask what it was, but she spoke of it before he could. He was rather surprised when she mentioned that it was for him. He wanted to ask how the amulet was going to help. Just then, she picked it up and took a step towards him. And he froze in place.

The two had been in close proximity for a long time and he hadn’t felt anything this overwhelming. However, this time, the setting was too private. It was just the two of them, in her home. And ever since that day they hugged, he had wanted it again badly. Haru wasn’t sure if he would be able to refrain from pulling her into an embrace if she got that close. But, of course, he didn’t stop her either because he wanted it. So, he simply froze and only managed to nod slightly when she asked if she may.

As she stepped closer and worked the clasp behind his neck, her face was mere inches away from his. He looked right into her eyes and it did things to him that he couldn’t explain. His breathing became shallow and he could hear his own heartbeat. She had grown a bit taller than before—which she still hadn’t explained how—but he didn’t care for that explanation right then. In that moment, all he could do was not pull her closer and kiss her.

He gulped and just for a fraction of a second, he stopped caring about everything else. In that tiny window of weakness, he sprung into an action that he knew he wouldn’t be able to reverse. He wrapped his hands around her, pulled her close swiftly but gently, and his lips met hers. It was bliss. He felt like time froze everywhere except for the two of them. He had no idea how long the two stood there kissing, but he knew even eternity wouldn’t be long enough.

WC: 603
Training Nullification (D-S)
Total WC: 3433/12000

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A Badger's Diligence [Training | Akira] Empty on Sun Feb 24, 2019 2:53 pm

Akira Shimada


We still are made of greed


Her wide eyes settled on his face as she stepped closer, letting her tongue make a quick nervous swipe over her lower lip, to bolster her confidence. Despite the gesture not necessarily meaning anything, she knew her own intent. She swallowed as he nodded. Maybe it would've been easier if he just snatched it from her and struggled to fasten the ends behind his neck himself. Was he so stiff and still because this was awkward and he didn't want to hurt her feelings? Or was there a struggle to restrain himself from wanting more?

Did she want more? Of course.

They stood cheek to cheek, she too noticed that she was considerably taller, but she still had to stand on her toes to draw herself to his height. She did so mostly so that her nimble fingers would have more access behind him, without her essentially having to hang onto him. At least her transformation came with this one small boon. To be fair there was more about her new found powers that she'd have to discover, but she hadn't had the chance yet, nor did she feel the compelling urge to accept and surrender to that change.

She'd worked with bated breath, upon securing the ends, she dropped the chains and the weight of the amulet allowed it to hang against Tsuru's chest. She let out a soft sigh and unbeknown to her, it morphed into a redundant whisper, that dictated her thoughts. It formed two words  'All done...'  She was talking mostly to herself, because surely he already knew. It was as though she had to remind herself that her task had been competed, that she had no real reason to linger so close to him anymore. That she should pull away despite the draw of the warmth...

She drew in a long breath again, and rested her hands on his shoulder, applying a gentle pressure as she pulled her head away from his side and faced him again. Her eyes still uncharacteristically wide, peered into the windows to his soul, orbs that were inching closer to her rapidly. Before she realised what that meant, their lips met, tenderly. Suddenly, she was acutely aware of all the points of contact between their bodies, the way his arms snaked around her waist and without realising, hers had locked behind his neck, much like the chain of the golden amulet.

Akira closed her eyes, surrendering to the moment, sinking into the blissful peace that enveloped the two entwined bodies. First, she merely accepted, and then, ignored that incessant, gnarly voice of reason... she leaned into his embrace and returned the kiss. Even when she did pull away, it wasn't to give way to her doubts and to her practicality, but only to pause so that the moment may be graced with contrast and accentuate the beauty of what they'd just shared.

She pulled away enough to allow her palms to rest on his shoulders again. She was staring again, but it was like she was seeing him for the first time. Her eyes scanned his features, in an attempt to memorise them. Like she already feared losing him... losing this. 'Tsuru...' she whispered, calling out to him with a mysterious urgency, with no recognisable intent behind it.

The Shimada was a stranger to these feelings, having never experienced them before. But it didn't take a genius to label this attachment with a sentiment. Their newfound friendship and comfort had escalated to something... more. She also knew that instead of nipping it in the bud, she just allowed it to bloom.

WC: 600
Total WC: 1950

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A Badger's Diligence [Training | Akira] Empty on Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:10 pm

Hatsuharu


This is my kingdom come


Eventually, he would come to realize that it was her whispering that had triggered him into kissing her. It was a gentle and soft tone that she took with no one else but him, and it had quite the effect. She kissed him back at first, but pulled away soon. He was reluctant to stop kissing and his head followed hers as she retreated.

He was afraid she was going to push him away. She didn’t, and he was glad. His hands were still wrapped around her and he held her in place, afraid to let go. He looked into her wavering eyes that told him she was unsure. Of what? He had no clue. Those dark eyes were so full of contrasting emotions; the kinds he had never seen her express. In that moment, he couldn’t understand her. And then came another mystery. She whispered once again; this time it was his name. But her tone didn’t convey her feelings plainly. It was as mysterious and complex as the girl in front of him, even if it was just one word.

Despite all that, he just wanted to pull her into a tighter hug and kiss her more. But his desire to know what she was unsure about was stronger. He wanted to know if she felt about him the same way that he did about her. He didn’t know how to phrase it, however.

Just then, he realized something. He had been a coward. He had always wanted her to understand him without him uttering the words, and respond accordingly. It was not fair. Not once had he said how he felt about her out loud. Sure… He just showed her how much he adored her through his action. But hoping she would speak when he was afraid to, was hypocritical. So, he swallowed the fear and spoke. She was still in his arms and his eyes still locked onto hers.

“Aki… I know I should have said this before I kissed you. But better late than never. I really like you and I want to be with you. You have no idea how much I missed you the past two years. I can see you are not entirely sure,” he paused and took a step back as he withdrew his hands. “I don’t know why. But I’m willing to wait. As long as it takes,” he added with a smile. He truly meant those words. He had no regrets this time. He had kissed her and she had kissed him back. No matter how things turned out, it was a moment that he would cherish all his life. But he very badly hoped he gets to kiss her like that every day.

He would give her time to respond, if she wished to. If not, he figured it was better to change the subject and allow her to think about it without much pressure. “Thank you for the amulet. Let’s go see it in action?” he asked, nodding towards the door.

WC: 504
Training Nullification (D-S)
Total WC: 3937/12000
-Exit-

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A Badger's Diligence [Training | Akira] Empty on Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:02 pm

Akira Shimada


This is my Kingdom come


The silence that hung between them, was as tense as it was peaceful. The moment was suspended, entertaining these unexpectedly contrasting shades of emotions. She sensed reluctance just  as she sensed a reckless abandon, in herself and in the one whose arms she was nestled in. Fear and courage battled in the field of love. She chewed on her lower lip, gauging his expressions as he tried to pry open the closed book in front of him. Finally, he offered words instead of expecting them. Words that caused her heart to flutter and drum against her ribs hard enough for her to feel.

She blinked, looking up at him, hoping that he meant each word he uttered. 'I missed you too, more than I'd like to admit.' her tone was still soft, still almost a whisper, but this time gifted with the gentle trill of her voice. She chimed in involuntarily, surprising herself with an uncharacteristically sequacious part. There was another pause, after he highlighted that he'd noticed her trepidation. Had he not, she would have found herself lost in the moment and returned the sentiment. His reminder made her realise that this couldn't be... not yet.  

What he said next, caused her to light up, banishing the dark thoughts of pessimism that were so keen to make themselves at home in her mind. If she could find the strength, she'd cling to each syllable, wish for it to be true and when the time was right, perhaps they'd still be able to make it. But time was cruel, circumstances more so, would he be able to keep this promise. Should she expect him to? If their paths diverged was it fair to condemn him to loneliness while the two were duty bound?

The thought of him being with another did make her skin crawl though. She shuddered, a gentle shiver dancing down her spine. She couldn't allow him to commit anymore, considering that she wasn't in the position to return the sentiment and each cell in her body was dying to. Her finger rose and parked itself on his lips, hushing him. 'Wait then.' Her voice was surer, bolder now. She drew strength from what they shared and her impending duties. Her tone didn't beg for more reassurance or affection, it simply stated what was required for the moment.

A small playful smirk stretched one corner of her lips. 'Now that you have that, don't expect me to go easy on you.' she teased and escorted him to the grounds she'd spoken about early. Her demeanour through the training, was measured, almost cold. As she had promised, she gave it her all. His retaliation, or rather his defensive capabilities were strong enough to be scary, combined with his growing physical prowess, Akira was sure there was a chance she'd end up quite overwhelmed, even with her equipment. Her competitive spirit was taunted, but her pride in her partner fought it fervently...

Just as the two Knights did, dancing around one another. The splendour of their magical powers was fortunately unavailable for any to witness. They probably looked just a tad silly, but she'd rather have it this way. As she unfurled her fist slowly, to unleash her strongest attack, she hoped it'd at least prove to be a challenge. Later, she'd make it a point to ask him about all her attacks, to ensure that the traversed and appeared the way she intended. Wielding powers that were invisible, often left her wary of using them around allies, she had to ensure she was not a burden on the battlefield.

WC: 600
Total WC: 2550/2500
S-Rank - Decimating Diamond trained
[50% WC reduction from equipment and base Int]
~Exit~

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