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Learning the Ropes [Akira, Hatsuharu, Kazimir]

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#1Kazimir Seiryu 

Learning the Ropes [Akira, Hatsuharu, Kazimir] Empty on Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:50 pm

Kazimir Seiryu
The day started as typical as the rest. The only difference was the stronger magical connection he felt within. He had been doing low-level questing so far and today he would snag another job on his way up the rune knight ladder.

Stuffing a few pancakes into his mouth he embarked on his journey toward the headquarters. Walking slowly through the town, he took the time to appreciate what the city had to offer. The only place he had really been was the beach.  

The headquarters had a long list of quests still to be taken care of but before Kazimir could reach out to one, he heard someone call his name from the counter.

"Yes?" He replied curiously as this had never happened.
"Today Kazimir you are tasked with assisting two Lieutenants," the receptionist held out a small letter with directions to meet them.

"I'll head there now," taking the letter and examining it for a moment. He had no idea what was in store for him. There was still so little he knew about the workings of the organization. Nonetheless, this was his task and he set out to the designated area.

He waited in the center of the road, easily seen, not knowing if they knew who he was but he did have a brief description of them. A gentle breeze picked up as his eyes bounced from one direction to the next, searching for his superiors.

"I suppose the winds of change are always blowing," He said out loud to himself while thinking of the proper way to handle introductions. He was a bit anxious but hid it well.  

WC 284

#2Hatsuharu 

Learning the Ropes [Akira, Hatsuharu, Kazimir] Empty on Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:07 am

Hatsuharu
It would seem the lovely Rune Knights to whom Haru gave the responsibility of jailing the assassin hired by Jaune, had managed to let him escape from them and vanish without a trail. The healer was extremely pissed that the one solid evidence they had against the sleazebag designer had slipped out right under their noses. With nothing to prove his crimes, Jaune walked away with a snicker and that was not a pleasant sight after what they had gone through. How the Knights managed to let a handcuffed and loopy man escape from them, the swordsman couldn’t fathom. In fact, he was so mad at the local Knights that he was about to pack up and leave to Era immediately after hearing the news. However, Kenji Maki, the charming officer, insisted they stay and assist him with something. Out of respect for the love the people of Hargeon had for Kenji, Haru decided to give him a chance.

When they were handed the case file, Haru took one look at it and his anger only worsened. The list ranged from burglary to kidnapping and progressively got worse. “So many crimes in less than a month? How the hell are they getting away with these?” he asked, frowning at the man and handing the file to Akira. “They are a lot more organized than your usual gang. And I have to admit, our squads aren’t having much luck tracking them,” Kenji said, looking apologetic. Usually, Haru wasn’t one to belittle the work of his subordinates; he had already learned that lesson the last time they were in Oak. But out of anger, he retorted. “Forgive me if I’m not surprised. Especially after what I saw today,” he said, bringing up the Jaune mess again.

Kenji simply sighed, looked at Akira and shook his head. “Alright! Tell you what. You show them how to do the job. I’ll send our most promising new recruit to assist you,” the officer offered. Haru wasn’t too keen, to be frank. He thought they were going to be assigned an immature young teen to babysit. So, he didn’t even bother to look at the profile given to him and just handed it to Akira. His only objective was to put an end to this gang that was growing dangerously fast. Knowing his partner, however, she was probably not going to be as prejudiced as he was and would maybe look at the profile so that they could identify Kazimir at the rendezvous point.

#3Akira Shimada 

Learning the Ropes [Akira, Hatsuharu, Kazimir] Empty on Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:05 pm

Akira Shimada
The problem with being idealistic was when the incompetence, or worse, selfishness of the people around you broke one's confidence in the world, one could be left quite shattered. Tsuru seemed to be staggering towards his breaking point rather steadily. She didn't see the point of wasting her breath on having a conversation. Kenji reminded her a little bit of Nilan, it didn't make sense that they had hardworking and dedicated inspectors and yet such rampant criminal activity. Perhaps, much like Tsuru, the ones who took their job seriously, found themselves a slave to the system and had their noble intentions somewhat minced.

She scanned the file of their target and clicked her tongue dismissively. It was quite apparent that the man wasn't working alone. Considering how coloured his rap sheet was, she was in fact convinced that he was merely the face of a syndicate. This man was just the sacrificial lamb, there was a mastermind behind these disruptive operations. For the moment, she kept her thoughts to herself. While Tsuru vented at Kenji, she took the time to pore over the recruit's file. She wondered if Alice had received her file like this someday, when starting out, she wasn't sure if she was as impressive as this young lad.

She reached for the healer's shoulder, hoping that a tender touch would quell his disappointment at least for a bit. Dryly, she chose to point out the fact that the Knights were never famous for being a particularly impressive as a faction. However they were case and point of the fact that there had been significant improvement. Especially under the new regime. The recruit they were meant to be working with today, was another one who strengthened her optimistic case. 'Nothing is perfect, we have to work towards making it so...' she said, in a rare moment of optimism.

Their rendezvous point was a crowded one. Amidst the bustle of the people, she slipped through the crowd towards the piazza that marked the crossroads and spotted Kazimir. Judging by his name and appearance, she wondered if it was safe to assume they shared some heritage. At this point, it'd seem the Knights were keen to put people from certain backgrounds together... She could be wrong. 'You must be Kazimir?' she said quietly as she approached him silently from behind, with all intent to startle him, just to assess his presence of mind. 'He's Tsuru and I'm Akira, I hear we'll be working together today.'

#4Kazimir Seiryu 

Learning the Ropes [Akira, Hatsuharu, Kazimir] Empty on Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:55 pm

Kazimir Seiryu
He felt the cold chill of a whisper behind him, unsure how he had let someone slip into his flank undetected. Reflexively, he rose a hand and gathered wind, creating the faint beginnings of a barrier to shield his back.

The wind rustled the dirt around his feet, as a shiver went through him. One caused by the memories of the time he was assaulted from behind accompanied by the painful ache of the wound.

However, the voice carried no ill intent and he dismissed the wind as quickly as it was conjured, hoping that the faint reaction would go unnoticed. He tried to play off his hand raising as if he was reaching up to adjust his scarf. Upon turning his head, he was met with two people that perfectly fit the description he was given.

She exchanged pleasantries and Kazimir immediately recognized the names from talk around headquarters. Two of the most regarded Lieutenants in the field. Her demeanor and tone were a calming surprise. Kazimir had expected some sort of rigid formality in the greeting and he was visibly more at ease despite the initial scare.

He gave a small bow, and replied, “It is a pleasure to meet you both. I’ve heard a great deal about you from headquarters.” Both their names did indeed sound similar to his own but upon the first meeting with his superiors he held back any intrigue.

“I’m Kazimir,” he gave his name again even though they clearly already knew it. Perhaps he was still a bit nervous.

“Yes, I’m here to assist you in any way I can. All I've been told is that we are after a criminal.” He spoke with confidence despite feeling that most of the tasks he completed were menial at best. Looking over his shoulder around at the crowd he saw a small alleyway, "Shall we discuss the details in a less open area."

#5Hatsuharu 

Learning the Ropes [Akira, Hatsuharu, Kazimir] Empty on Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:00 am

Hatsuharu
As the duo walked out into the streets, Haru was lost deep in thought, trying to come up with a strategy to catch the culprits behind the crimes listed in the file. They were really at square zero with this one, as there weren’t even any suspects. Typically, the duo would attempt to lure them out by setting up a lucrative bait. However, seeing how there was hardly any pattern to their activities, even that was not sure to succeed.

Haru snapped out of his musings when they reached the rendezvous point and he heard Akira’s introductions. He looked up to see who it was that they had to babysit, but was shocked to see someone who seemed a few years older than he was. Having his very first presumption be disproved did notch his annoyance level down a bit. He let out a short laugh when Kazimir said he had heard a lot about them. “All good things, I hope,” he said, smiling.

The healer’s faith in the Rune Knights was further restored when Kazimir asked if they could move to a less crowded area before discussing sensitive information. This was a subtlety that even he was yet to learn. “Of course,” he said, as the trio moved into the alley. “The file… has a lot of nothing,” he said, as he pointed at the folder Akira was holding. “Several burglaries. A few kidnappings, where those kidnapped were released without harm after the ransom was paid. So, the motive is clearly money,” he said, after ensuring there was no one else within earshot. “But… What’s irking me is that there isn’t a single eye witness. Even those kidnapped never saw or heard anyone,” he added.

“Where do you think we should begin?” he asked, turning towards Kazimir. His question might have sounded like it was intended to assess, but it was a genuine one. Haru assumed Kazimir was a local and might have a trusty source from whom they could get some information.

#6Akira Shimada 

Learning the Ropes [Akira, Hatsuharu, Kazimir] Empty on Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:35 am

Akira Shimada
She did not miss the stir of the winds around the man she'd sneaked up on. It was a satisfactory response, he was quick to calibrate and prepare when surprised. She had often found herself reacting out of a panicky compulsion in situations like that. In a way, perhaps the difference in age gave him an edge. Kazimir could've had a far more tempered learning curve and experience gain in comparison to the younger lieutenants.

Akira and Hatsuharu had just had the misfortune of being exposed to a lot within their first year and had been rewarded with rank-ups either flippantly for merely surviving, or as bribes for being forced into dangerous situations they weren't really trained for, or equipped to handle. But the new recruit had heard differently and for once, Akira decided that the expression of her deductions could wait.

Tsuru already seemed quite taken with the recruit and she couldn't fault the healer. She'd expected as much, which is why she chose to keep shut about the young man's accolades and just allow Tsuru to reach his own logical conclusions after actually meeting him. As part of her upbringing she was taught to respect anyone older than her, especially if they were of the superior gender. Of course, she'd chosen to slip out of such limitations. She extended basic respect to all humans, any admiration on top of that had to be earned.

Once the slipped into a deserted alley, Kazimir was offered the details he'd requested. As per usual, she let the healer do the talking, poised to interrupt only if he missed an essential detail. In her eyes, the alley too wasn't enough, in situations like these, the walls had ears.. Which is why she refrained from sharing her assumption about this man only being a scapegoat and a front for an organisation.

She had her own ideas about where they could potentially do and it did involve her playing bait again, however she assumed the healer wanted to be inclusive, or wanted to test the new older recruit and so once again she bit her tongue, casually leaning against the wall and reading the moves of the wind mage. This was mere habit and was totally not a reflection of her attempt to assess him as a superior, she was just one of those silent, observant and brooding sort, especially when dealing with someone new.

#7Kazimir Seiryu 

Learning the Ropes [Akira, Hatsuharu, Kazimir] Empty on Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:15 am

Kazimir Seiryu
Kazimir watched as the two seamlessly transitioned between each other as Hatsuharu came to give the information and Akira positioned herself against the wall. A trait he attributed to a long-standing partnership between them.

A bit of laughter eased whatever remaining tension Kazimir felt and he responded lightheartedly, “Yeah…mostly. Although I do think it would be an interesting tale to hear about two of the youngest lieutenants rise to fame. Maybe when we finish here?”He did seem interested after noticing that they appeared to be younger. He was fairly new to how things worked and thought he had a gotten a late start.

Kazimir stood with a hand on his chin listening intently. He let the information roll around in his head as he was asked what he thought. Kazimir didn’t immediately answer as he thought Tsuru was asking Akira. Realizing it was toward him he muttered a reply.

“Oh…well let’s see then,” he replied a bit taken off guard. He began to pace nonchalantly back and forth. He felt Akira’s gaze on him as well. He couldn’t ascertain their complete intention, but of course, to him, the logical conclusion was being tested. Something about it though felt more earnest than that. A sentiment he appreciated.

He nodded in agreement with the observation that it was money-centered and that the lack of witnesses was a great hindrance."It would be nice to know if the people kidnapped remembered anything strange beforehand. To go unnoticed like this I would say it had to be a group or worst-case scenario a mage with the ability to mask his presence.” The mage theory was a big leap and one he only made based on the victims of the kidnappings never detecting anything.

“I’m afraid that I’m pretty new in Hargeon and the big cities in general. But, if he is able to pull off all this," he turned to point towards the docks, "I think there will be a good shot. Lots of warehouses and ships. Plus I've heard some of the locals talking about a restaurant and hotel called the Turning Tide to steer clear of." He gave another pause as he thought of how to actually catch an unseen force and sadly realized that they may have to put themselves in danger first.

"There is another option I can think of," gesturing out of the alleyway to a colorful poster on a wall with artistic images advertising a gala. "I have a weakness for music and heard its supposed to be an art exhibit with some important guests."

He gave what information he could and waited to see which one the more experienced Knights thought would be the best.

#8Hatsuharu 

Learning the Ropes [Akira, Hatsuharu, Kazimir] Empty on Wed Dec 19, 2018 2:02 pm

Hatsuharu
As usual, it was Haru who did the talking, while Akira observed. He left her to her observations and musings. Unlike the healer—who was great at finding the difficulties ahead of them—she gave solutions whenever she spoke. Besides, Haru was most interested in Kazimir’s thoughts at that moment. His theory about a mage capable of masking his presence did not sound too unrealistic. Over the year, the duo had met several mages who could do that. While it wasn’t a test, Haru was impressed that Kazimir didn’t stick to the one possibility of it being a group and thought of another scenario. That, and the fact that he had some knowledge of the local happenings despite being new to the town, made the healer conclude that this man wasn’t anything like the other riff-raff Pages he had met that morning.

Both the locations Kazimir tagged for investigation seemed a viable spot for someone to go missing without causing immediate alarm. One was extremely secluded, and the other, very crowded. Realizing there was no way they could pick one or the other without having any clue as to how the criminal or the organization operated, Haru figured it was best to gather information from the victims like Kazimir mentioned. “I think we can set up a bait once we know the ideal situation that they would pounce on. Let’s go ask the victims where they were last before they were kidnapped?” he suggested, this time turning towards his partner to see if she agreed.

If Akira approved, then it was time to find the very first victim and inquire. From the file, it was a woman in her thirties, called Eliana, and her home wasn’t too far from where they were. Haru was surprised that these important questions weren’t already asked by the one who inquired her before them. However, he was no longer in the mood to complain, but was looking forward to solving this with his partner and Kazimir. “I hope she is home,” he said, as they turned into the street in which Eliana's house was located.

#9Akira Shimada 

Learning the Ropes [Akira, Hatsuharu, Kazimir] Empty on Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:51 pm

Akira Shimada
'I'm leaning more towards it being multiple people.' she said quietly. She was definitely someone of fewer words than both the men she was working with. But that did make her an attentive listener. She'd not been south for almost a year, but she too knew a little bit about the town from her visits before she joined the Knights. Kazimir's assessment of the Turning Tide was fairly accurate. She'd always been morbidly curious about the happenings there, of course, while she was still under the watchful of her mother, even the thought was swiftly chastised.

The page had swiftly listed their options and the healer gave his two cents about the starting point. So all Akira did was string them into a plausible action plan. 'Interview the victims, scout the possible locations that boast of shady activity, set up a bait and use the exhibition as the platform, since the suspect is partial to crowded events and such.' she finished with a determined nod and peered over her partner, into the file, skimming to the location of the victim Tsuru spoke of.  

Since the team agreed on interviewing the victims who had been targeted and kidnapped, they made their way to Eliana's home. As they walked, Akira couldn't help but reflect on the lack of preparation. 'This should already have been done... comprehensively.' she muttered ever so softly. She didn't want to give the impression of an ungrateful, sour complainer, but then, that demeanour did match other high ranking Rune Knights. The faction seemed to elicit frustration and exasperation the higher you climbed. Recruits like Kazimir were a breath of fresh air, she wondered if Tsuru and she had been similarly regarded as they rose through the ranks... In all likelihood, they were, perhaps a little more reluctantly given her magic and her temperament.

While she usually stayed back and allowed Tsuru to be the one interacting, she had recently decided to explore other facets of her personality. Plus it wouldn't be nice to have Kazimir shoulder all the responsibility and hopefully her youth would inspire more trust and comfort. A rather harrowed looking woman peered through her porch gate. 'Yes, what do you want?' she asked rather brusquely. Her eyes flitted nervously over the three of them. 'We're Rune Knights hoping to get some more details about yo-' She cut Akira across sharply. 'I already told them I don't remember anything! Now leave me alone!' she made the effort of slamming shut the door too. 'Who is next on the list?' she asked, unfazed. If they could connect the victims in any manner, it'd definitely aid them in figuring out how their suspect picks targets.

#10Kazimir Seiryu 

Learning the Ropes [Akira, Hatsuharu, Kazimir] Empty on Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:56 am

Kazimir Seiryu
Kazimir listened to both their assessments, even catching the soft-spoken Akira's comment on it being multiple people. He wondered what it would have taken for these two to be so young but have a tight grasp on what needs to be done. Tsuru's ease at throwing out the bait plan led him to believe that was a tried and true method between them.

"You two must have been on quite a few missions together," He remarked with a note of intrigue and respect. Akira gave out a detailed list of objectives with a determination that was pleasant to see in the ranking officers. This was one of his few encounters with the higher-ups.

He walked behind them as they headed toward Eliana's residence. Akira made a statement that caught Kaz's attention and he inquired, "Is that something that happens often? The lack of information." So far most of Kazimir's tasks had been helping kooky people with errands and never routine things like this.

Akira stepped forward from her quiet demeanor and questioned the women at the door. She was met with swift agitation and a slamming door. Kazimir was a little annoyed at the women impeding their investigation but understood the difficulty of reliving the trauma."Pain often leads to bitterness."

Akira didn't miss a beat and was ready for the next person. Perhaps this was par for the course in a rune knights experience. They certainly seemed used to it. Looking toward Tsuru with Akira, he waited to hear the location of the next victim. He hoped for better luck on this one and perhaps the next one had information on the woman who shut them out.

#11Hatsuharu 

Learning the Ropes [Akira, Hatsuharu, Kazimir] Empty on Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:57 am

Hatsuharu
“Yeah! We’ve been partners for almost a year now. Seen our fair share of things together,” he replied when Kazimir commented on their partnership. The two really have been through a lot the past year, and while he truly cherished the relationship he had with Akira, he would never wish for any other Rune Knight to go through some of the missions that the two had to endure. But then again, it was those horrible moments that brought the two closer.

When Kazimir asked if the lack of information was as rampant as they were witnessing, Haru found himself in a pickle. He didn’t want to talk ill of his faction to a new recruit and discourage him, nor did he wish to lie and deceive him into thinking it was mostly an efficient organization. So, he had to settle for a very diplomatic answer. “Not as often as you fear, but definitely a lot more often than you wish,” he said, laughing at his own sentence. If anything, he wanted to make light of the situation and let Kazimir have his own experience and not taint it with the duo’s.

When they reached Eliana’s home, Haru could understand her reaction, but couldn’t excuse her lack of cooperation. Of course, that didn’t mean he was going to impose and make her uncomfortable. She had already gone through enough. However, he wasn’t going to give up that easily. Besides, if they left just as easily as the Knights before them, then how were they any better. “Wait… Let’s try again,” he muttered to his partner. He knocked on the door again. There was no response, but he could hear some shuffling behind. So, he spoke softly knowing that the woman was still there. “Ma’am… I’m sorry about what happened. Including you, there were a total of seven victims. Two of them were kids. If we don’t find the people behind this, there will be more…” he said in a sombre tone. When that didn’t seem to convince her, he went ahead and appealed to her sense of duty as a fellow citizen. “You can help us stop this,” he added, and that seemed to hit the nail.

Eliana unlocked the door and looked at three of them carefully, one after another. It seemed as though she was going to let them in, but all of a sudden, her gaze shifted to beyond the three Knights and she screamed, slamming the door once again. Haru swiftly turned to see what scared the woman, but there was no one there. Assuming the woman was mentally unstable because of her traumatic experience, he decided to leave her be for the time being and move on to the next victim.

However, every single victim had a very similar reaction just before they were about to give up some information. While they were unable to get any solid clue out of any of them, there was definitely a pattern among them. Now that they returned empty handed too, Haru felt a little bad assuming that the previous investigators did not do their job right. Nevertheless, he wasn’t going to give up and resume the investigation the next day. “We meet again tomorrow? Let’s think over the little information we have over the night,” he suggested, before waving goodbye to Kazimir and heading towards his quarters.

-Exit-

#12Akira Shimada 

Learning the Ropes [Akira, Hatsuharu, Kazimir] Empty on Sun Dec 30, 2018 2:47 pm

Akira Shimada
She eavesdropped on the boys, whenever she had the chance too. They didn't really have the luxury to get into long winded conversations, but the healer did adequately relay that he and Akira had experienced or rather... endured a fair bit together. She smirked, musing once again about how vastly different their relationship was today as opposed to when they started working together. She wondered if the three would find the time to foray into those lost memories, perhaps Kazimir was meant to be assigned with someone too.

She scoffed softly at Tsuru's diplomacy, but after her recent stint with the designer, she could appreciate the reason and logic behind the choice of his words. Upon their interaction with the lady, she watched the other two carefully, to discern their reactions towards her, glad that neither of them were the sort to take her demeanour personally. There were those who would and then try to be authoritative owing to their bruised ego. There were just tiny natural situations that were presenting themselves and helping her get a gauge on the new recruit. It wasn't even that she was trying to intentionally get a read on the man, that too was merely a subconscious effort. Maybe it was just a hopeful draw to the seeming competency. A candle in the darkness.

Rarely did she find herself contradicting statements like the one Kazimir made, but for once she did take a moment to do so. 'I'm glad you said often instead of always, because sometimes pain does heal... and call if a fool's intuition, I think there is more to this than meets the eye.' she addressed the older boy softly. Although she was ready to move on, simply because there was a theory forming in her mind and she wanted to test it more than simply glean information by interacting with the victims. Perhaps, Tsuru took her words to be indicative of her intent to linger.

She didn't intervene when he coaxed the woman though. He always did have a way with people. She didn't and so she avoided such situations. She noticed the woman's clamoured state as Tsuru painted the rosy picture of her helping them get one step closer to finding this criminal. They were allowed to take a seat, although the lady didn't quite wear the make-yourself-comfortable look. He then offered the reign to Kazimir. But before the boy could even start, the lady suddenly clamoured up. Her hands went jittery and she stared at them almost maliciously, but it was more out of fear than rage. 'WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN MY HOUSE! I TOLD YOU, I DON'T REMEMBER ANYTHING!' she yelled.

Akira nodded, apologised again and simply left the home, hoping the other two will follow. 'I think there is something messing with the victim's head, for once, I think the other Knights were not wrong... the leads may just be cold. We'll report back and maybe try another angle later.'

~Exit~

#13Kazimir Seiryu 

Learning the Ropes [Akira, Hatsuharu, Kazimir] Empty on Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:32 am

Kazimir Seiryu
Tsuru's answer was certainly a safe one, "I suppose with such a large organization you get a bit of both worlds mixed in there." It wasn't as clear an answer as he wanted but it was helpful in deciphering what the Knights' situation was and how the leaders in the organization felt.

Tsuru was not content with the reaction of the woman and managed to talk his way into getting an open door again. Kazimir took note of the smooth-talking persistence. Kazimir wondered if he would have been that bold at his age. Things were much different for him back then.

As quickly as they had begun the mission, so had it come to a grinding halt. The first woman was frightened out of her mind. Her actions were of someone who felt a dangerous gaze upon them that wrestled whatever well-being was left, away from her.

Akira had commented on the page's fleeting statement. It was a response that fit well and showed a bit more of her personality through the more reserved posture she had taken. "Well said, pain can also heal and be a source of the most growth in a person." He almost continued further as the two of them seemed like they had been met with more than a fair share of it but followed her next train of thought instead.

"It does seem a bit peculiar," he said interested in what she was thinking but instead they pressed forward for the time being.

It was the same with all the houses they went to. Each victim's panicked reaction painting a picture of some ominous presence lingering about the area and grasping their minds.  The two knights converged on similar thoughts as the day had run dry with leads.

"Something is indeed amiss here," he thought about Akira's proposition that their heads were being tampered with. "I see. That would make sense if people didn't remember what had happened to them." Tsuru had spoken up suggesting an end for today and to reconvene in the morning.

"Alright then. It was a pleasure working with you today, I shall see you both soon," He gave a slight bow and headed off. He walked away from them still contemplating what would be their next steps. Would they have to just go to one of the places and hope they were lucky?

                              -Exit-

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