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For a Common Cause [Conquest]

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#1Tomoe Tanaka 

For a Common Cause [Conquest] Empty on Tue 31 Mar 2020 - 0:29

Tomoe Tanaka
Tomoe wandered through the streets of Marigold on a late Spring evening. His goal was simple: to unite the people of the city under the banner of Penumbral Guard. While he realized that uniting people was a difficult task, the Joyan was up to it. With a life in Joya as a peasant and cutthroat on the run, he thought that it was up to him to bring the common folk around to his side. He could do that much, at least, to alleviate the burdens of his comrades and to bolster the numbers and spread word of their cause. Gazing upon the ocean of doors spread before him, Tomoe had to do something to bring the guild into unity with the people.

He strolled further, thinking about nothing in particular - it was never really his brain he used to work situations out, but rather his heart. At the end of the day he was a man rife with intensity and passion. Would these emotions hold out long enough to find a solution, or would he simply give up on it entirely? That remained to be seen, but he was getting annoyed as he walked more, a light bulb refusing to pop above him. It was then that a literal light turned on nearby, startling the Joyan for a moment. He saw an elderly man open a locked door and turn on the lights of what appeared to be a cafe. It was only a little after four in the morning, so the wandering warrior had to be certain that there was no trouble afoot. He followed the elder into the cafe, checking before opening the door to ensure that there were no phantoms waiting to surprise him and leave him with a nasty bump on the head.

The things I do for people..., Tomoe thought, sighing and rubbing sleep away from his eyes.

With a cautious look and curiosity plain as day on his face, he entered the establishment.

#2Tomoe Tanaka 

For a Common Cause [Conquest] Empty on Tue 31 Mar 2020 - 1:09

Tomoe Tanaka
Instantly, Tomoe was hit by the warmth and comfort that only the scent of coffee could bring a person. The fragrant aroma covered him like a shroud, sticking to him and refusing to let go. It was a startling first impression, to say the least, and the Joyan almost couldn't believe that a single human could create such a scent with the ingredients a cafe would possess.

After suppressing the urge for coffee in his tired, four in the morning mind, Tomoe quickly scanned the room from left to right and top to bottom with his eyes for any sign of threats. Even in such a situation he wouldn't doubt for a second that there was villainy afoot. His analysis tallied up one person - the old man who opened the shop, standing behind the counter and looking back with a smile. It was the wholesome, welcoming kind of smile that put the Joyan at ease as he approached.

"What can I do for ye today, sonny?", the elder inquired with a very rural accent, clearly someone not born and raised in a large city like Era or Crocus.

"Just wonderin' what an old fella like you is doing opening up so early. Shouldn't you be livin' off retirement, sleepin' easy and the like?", Tomoe responded in kind, a sly grin crossing his features as he leaned against the counter towards the elder.

The old man furrowed his brow and then tilted his head slightly, as if questioning the man's questions.

"We all work around here, boy. We work until we croak, and then work some more. 's the least we can do for each other, who've turned this place into something wonderful over the years.", the elder spoke once more with a shrug, before picking up a mug to clean it with a washcloth.

"The least you can do, huh...?", Tomoe repeated in a low mutter, thinking about those words.

If labor until death was the least that these people could do for one another, putting one's own self on the line for the sake of the community, that was something that the selfish warrior was unsure he could contribute to. The old cafe owner picked up on this pondering, and with a warm smile, spoke once more.

"Why don't ye come by later today, eh? I'll show ye what I mean, and if ye understand, we can continue this conversation in proper. New around here, I take it?"

Tomoe nodded. It hadn't been long since he had arrived in Magnolia, and not entirely of his own volition. His reason for being here was for a friend, not anything to do with actually liking the town. With that in mind, the Joyan still agreed to the old man's proposal.

"I'll be back later then.", was all Tomoe mustered, seeing his exit from the cafe with curiosity and a definite desire to come back at a more appropriate hour.

#3Tomoe Tanaka 

For a Common Cause [Conquest] Empty on Tue 31 Mar 2020 - 1:52

Tomoe Tanaka
Time passed in a flash, and eventually Tomoe awoke in a startle. He had overslept, and it was eleven in the morning. Quickly getting dressed, the sleepy samurai made his way through the streets of Marigold and down to the cafe he was to return to. Even from outside he could already tell the place was packed. It seemed to be a haven for the working class to come rest at, where they could relax and enjoy each other's company without the stress of a job.

Observing it was one thing, but as Tomoe stepped into the building once more, he was blasted with noise on top of the fragrant aroma. It was a bustling cafe, with servers rushing from person to person with sweat on their brows and smiles on their faces. It was clearly a place of high standards for its employees, who were trained to navigate the maze of chairs and customers perfectly without a glance to their left or right. Tomoe moved forward, careful not to bump into any of the diligent workers and cause some stupid scene where he fell into a girl's chest or something.

Successfully making it to the other end without incident, the Joyan breathed a sigh of relief and leaned against the counter, face to face with the old man. He looked at Tomoe and smiled.

"Sleeping in, sonny?", the old man questioned with a smile before handing him an apron.

Tomoe looked on in confusion, and then back up at the elder with the apron still flowing in his hands.

"And this is for...?"

"Yerself, of course! Work for a day, and ye might see what I meant earlier."

Sighing in resignation, Tomoe came around the other side of the counter and rested his blade against a wall. Tying the apron around, the Joyan walked towards his new battlefield - one of pastries and warm drinks. If nothing else, it would be a chance to strengthen his reputation with the community even if the cafe thing wasn't a success.

#4Tomoe Tanaka 

For a Common Cause [Conquest] Empty on Wed 1 Apr 2020 - 3:09

Tomoe Tanaka
The environment within the cafe was a hot-blooded battle of the minds. Tomoe zoomed from table to table with precision, taking care to not move fast enough to knock any customers or furnishings away. Despite his own years on fields of blood and death, Tomoe found himself slower than the other employees, navigating less optimally than any of them could. Despite being faster than anybody else in the room, the warrior still found it hard to keep up with those he knew he could decimate in a true fight. The employees acted as if they were in a hive mind, avoiding each other with precision and grace as they went about the room.

Is it the coffee...? No, couldn't be..., Tomoe pondered to himself as he continued handing in orders and occasionally having them sent back for being incorrect.

This cycle continued for hours and hours, with Tomoe now smelling of coffee from botched drink spills. They wore aprons for a reason, as they were akin to armor for any respectable regular of the battlefield.

Seeing his stained apron and sweat dripping from his brow, Tomoe was occasionally stopped for conversations as he went about his routine in the cafe. People would question where he was from and how he came to work there, if he worked for any guild in particular, and so forth. People gazed curiously once he informed them he was the "guild master" of Penumbral Guard, a local guild that had just opened up in the area. From things they had heard in rumors, a mysterious and intimidating figure was one of their central mages. Tomoe himself didn't appear to be talked about as heavily, and upon seeing that his appearance was of a young boy of crimson hair and fiery eyes, interest had peaked.

Why would a guild master work at a cafe? That was a question that begun circulating among the people, and for those people, a tale would spin over time of a humble warrior who would do anything to help the common citizen. Such views would do much for Penumbral Guard's reputation, and while it wasn't immediately apparent, there was a degree of respect offered to somebody willing to use their time for others.

At the present, however, it would be a lot more subtle. Tomoe wouldn't notice anything particularly different for the moment, simply stating mostly truths while obscuring some other bits of information that would get knights at his door so fast his head would spin.

After a few more hours of conversing, getting the name of Penumbral Guard out there, and serving delicious coffee, Tomoe's shift was over. People began clearing out of the cafe, and the other employees left after another day of hard work. The establishment was quick to open, quick to close, as it seemed. By six in the evening, the cafe was locking its doors, with the old man and Tomoe outside.

"So what did ye think, lad?", the cafe owner spoke after pulling at the front door twice to ensure it was well and truly locked.

"I think that you're crazy to work in that mess daily.", Tomoe responded sharply, digging wax out of his left ear, uncaring of who would see.

"To each their own, I suppose. Heh. Will ye be coming back some time? The customers seemed to enjoy the company of a guild master.", the old man responded jovially, finishing with a wink.

Tomoe recoiled visually for a moment as they walked further down the streets, somewhat taken aback.

"How do you-"

"It's in yer tone. Confidence in your role is something ye still don't possess, and from that it could be said that there ain't a bit 'o truth to yer role as guild master. It's obvious to me that there's a great deal hidden in that noggin, but it ain't my place to pry."

They walked in silence for a while after that, before coming to an intersection. It was the sort of thing that brought an uncomfortable atmosphere, with Tomoe unsure how to respond. The man knew his secret, at least in part. How would he deal with this possibility of the man telling someone?

As Tomoe looked to the left to meet the man eye to eye once more, he found himself gazing at another sight closing in fast. All at once sound filled the void and a horse-drawn carriage was speeding out of control towards the pair. The horses seemed riled, and the one behind the reins was faring no better.

Within a few seconds, the carriage would be upon them, trampling them both. Or would it? As the elder's eyes widened in shock and braced for the inevitable, Tomoe reacted with the nerves of steel afforded to him by his vocation, and shoved the elder away with a wrist-flicked palm. Afterwards, there would be no time for anything more than to brace for impact. Drawing his arms closer to his body, Tomoe took the full brunt of the galloping steeds, sending him tumbling away. One man's body would not be enough to stop such a dangerous moving object or even to slow it down. However, the Joyan was a durable man, and as his rolling tumble slowed, he was left with dents in his armor and bruises across his body alongside a number of cuts from sliding across the concrete. He would not break from such an impact, and thus even as he saw the carriage speed away into the distance, Tomoe grinned knowing he was able to save the old man's life at the very least.

Tomoe would rise once more and dust himself off, with the old man looking on in shock.

"So that's the kind of durability yer work can get ye these days. Something else.", the cafe owner would finally speak up, his shock turning into a warm smile of recognition.

"Well, it wasn't anythin' special. I'm the type to risk my body for a lot more than that. Shit, that wasn't even the worst hit I've taken this week. Pretty mild.", Tomoe replied, ignoring the stinging pains throughout his body in an effort to look tough.

The elder moved forward and put his hand on Tomoe's shoulder, looking at him with respect.

"Ye would be a fine guild master, Red. Just gotta break outta that shell a little more. Ye can't pretend forever, sonny.", he finished, removing his hand and taking a step back, nodding.

"I... don't know what you're talking about. I just do things, and it's not like those things have any impact or reason. I ain't someone like that. I'm way better when I'm out of the spotlight."

After Tomoe's reply he would brush a hand through his scruffy crimson mane and take a step back, not making eye contact as he spoke. It was a topic that the Joyan was clearly not interested in diving into, and as such, the old man nodded with an understanding smile.

"That'll suit ye just fine, if that's how life will go for ye. I'm sure ye understand that ye would be welcome back into the cafe any time? They all liked the new presence of a mysterious and intriguing guild master.", the old man finished with a wink once more.

Tomoe began to move past the elder and towards Penumbral Guard's guild hall for a sleep well earned. Before he could leave, however, the cafe owner spoke one last piece.

"I'll spread word of yer good nature and act of saving my life, guild master Tomoe. They'll come to accept Penumbral Guard with my approval, don't worry. A Murakumo family swordsman is a rare thing to see in the modern day, indeed. But not unwelcome.", the elder said his final words that Tomoe would hear for the day.

Chills ran up Tomoe's spine instantly, and he turned around with his hands already on the grip of his sword. However, there would be nothing except for the setting sun to greet him. The man had vanished, and with him, Tomoe's hope of further questions. He had revealed the Murakumo name to no one, having abandoned it long ago. He didn't even know it carried any significance, living life on a farm, and yet somehow the old man had known. The Joyan would certainly take him up on his offer to visit the cafe again, as there was much more to discuss now. However, that would be enough for one day. Tomoe had accomplished his goal of securing Penumbral Guard's position among the locals, and decided that he deserved some rest.

"Another day, another time..."

And that would be enough for him.




Total WC: 2597

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