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Ayame Masahiro and Saito Ryuuji

Ayame pursed her lips and paled a bit as Saito went on with his speech. She had seen some strange things, sure, but it was hardly comforting to know that they were all real. It was somehow easier to accept that people just thought she was weird than that there was something -- probably evil -- living inside of her that had been scaring people away all these years. Still, this was the closest she had ever gotten to answers. At least she wasn't the only person hesitant to join up, though. One by one, the other club members voiced their concerns. Some were skeptical, some apathetic, and it seemed like only Kaito was fully on-board.

Ayame looked around and finally spoke up. "Let's at least give him a chance. I'll be honest, all of this sounds terrifying. Knowing that there's something in me, something real that's been scaring people away from me... well, I'd have been happier just thinking I was a weirdo. I can't change what I am. None of us can. But we've got nothing to lose at this point seeing what he can do for us, right? If anything, we can just leave once we've had enough, but I'd like it if we could all stay and be friend." She gave the group a smile. She was feeling uneasy too, but she didn't want to back out just yet.

Saito leaned casually back against the desk as the students, one by one, voiced their objections, falling just short of calling him a fraud. "Whew, you guys are a tough crowd. But, I guess we'll start with the easiest part: the proof." He went behind his desk and pulled out a beat-up gym bag. "I debated bringing an imp or something to school in case you guys didn't believe me, but I figured it'd be bad if it got out, so we'll have to settle for this." He took out a perfectly normal basketball from the back and walked back in front of the desk. "For generations, members of my family have been adherents of the dragon Raigeki. As such, the dragon endowed us with certain powers...

He tossed the ball to Akira, since he was the first to demand proof. "Just so you know there's know trickery, I want you to examine the ball and assure everyone that it's a perfectly normal basketball." And indeed, nothing strange could be found about the ball. It had seen a little bit of use, but is was still in good condition. It felt like a basketball, weighed as much, bounced like one. There was absolutely nothing strange about it. Once Akira was done inspecting it, Saito took it back and rolled his sleeves up all the way to his elbows. "Alright, those of you in the middle aisle are gonna want to move to the side." He gave everyone a moment to shift their desks, tossed the ball up, reeled his arm back, and then punched it.

Upon impact, their was a flash of lightening, and a crack of thunder that shook the room. The windows rattled and anyone sitting in the front row would likely have a ringing in their ears. The basketball burst into several pieces. The bulk of it slammed into the back of the classroom, but a few pieces flew about, one landing dangerously close to the brownies. The rubber, once a bright orange, was scorched and blackened. A putrid steam of burnt rubber rose up from the pieces as the slowly cooled. "There ya go. Proof. Now, for the rest..." Saito let out a sigh and continued.

"Get power, go to a fancy school, save people from monsters. If those three things don't matter to you, then I don't think I can make you care." He pursed his lips and looked around. "I really don't want to scare you guys, but for the skeptics, let me give you a few numbers. From the 1900's all the way to the early 2000's, the rate of hostile encounters with the supernatural was at a steady 1/1000. Only one in a thousand people would encounter something bad, and even then it usually wasn't fatal. However, today that number is at 1/100, and fatalities are becoming more common. If the current projection continues, by the end of the year, that number will be 1/50, and by the time you graduate it will be 1/3. So, if you're cool with 1 out of every 3 people you know running into something nasty, by all means, there's the door." He looked around, trying to gauge everyone's reactions. The last thing he wanted to do was scare everyone away. "But," he continued in a brighter tone. "We're being proactive, so it shouldn't come to that."

"Now, as for your other questions..." He looked up, checking them off one by one in his head. "Gods and devils, yeah, they exist. They just don't always care about our affairs so we've gotta look after ourselves. The organization I work for helps see to those affairs, but the spike in supernatural activity has left us a bit understaffed. We were perfectly equipped to handle a rate of 1/1000, letting people with power naturally stumble into us. But, things are moving more quickly now, so we need to bolster our numbers before it spirals out of control. Unfortunately, due to the nature of our work, we can't just put up a help wanted flier, so we made The Hunters Club. As for how we found you, we've got a psychic. Don't ask me how she does it, cause I haven't got a clue. I just know she's good at her job."

"And, as for how I'm gonna bring out your powers..." He smirked and went back to the gym bag. "I thought that would be a fun first-day activity. Just try not to go to crazy once its awakened. I haven't set up the portal to the dojo yet." He pulled out a stack of small papers that looked like some kind of lucky charm, and a case of sewing needles. "I've done all the prep work for you. Each of these talismans is catered specifically to the kind of power you possess. All it needs is a drop of your blood right on the center. Once you do that, hold it up to your chest and let the energy flow through you. Might be tingly, might hurt a bit, might feel totally different. But, don't worry, it's not going to harm you in any way. It'll just give your powers a kick-start. On the back of the card, there's a little explanation on where your powers are coming from. Easier to do it that way than one-on-one meetings. Now, find the talisman with your name on it, and have fun." Saito sat back down in his chair and leaned back, curious who would be brave enough to go first.
Expect my next post to be up on Tuesday. So, if you want a reaction to the speech, get it in before then.
@MissCapnCrunch I can see Reo and Ryuuto being arch rivals.
I'll go orange. I don't mind.
I don't mind switching to orange or something. Do you mind if I leave the sheet as is, though?
@Zardoric Well, it's only been a day since I did my post. I know posting schedules will be tricky in the beginning since everyone is just starting, but once we get going you'll have more freedom.

Oh, cool. Count me in on this one. I'll probably make a new character, though.
Ayame Masahiro and Saito Ryuuji

At first there was an awkward silence as Ayame looked around the empty room. For a moment, she had a sinking feeling that no one else would show up. It would just be her and an upper classman in a school she was completely unfamiliar with. She fidgeted nervously as the club president hid his face behind a newspaper, but then, to her relief, the door opened once more. It was an unkempt looking boy with white hair. He seemed odd, but friendly, which was good enough for Ayame. Hopefully he didn't want to sit in dead silence like the other boy. She gave a timid smile and waved as Saito checked the roster.

"Yup, Kaito. Have a seat. Glad you could see the sign. I don't want anyone to waste time looking for the place. I'll explain everything once everybody else is here." With that, he went back to reading his paper, giving the others the same curt greeting as they arrived one by one.

Ayame felt more at ease as the others arrived. A cheerful girl who also seemed to like the sign, and then another who came with an offering of brownies. "Hi, Suzue. I'm Ayame," She said as she picked up a brownie and took a bite. Immediately, her mood did a 180. Home-made brownies were just what she needed to turn her day around. "You made these yourself? They're so delicious! Thank you so much for sharing." She wasn't sure why, but the crowd that was gathering here didn't seem put off by her at all. It was like they were blind to whatever odd sensation everyone else saw in her. Either that, or they were used to it... She didn't even care what the club activities were be. If it gave her a chance to make friends, she was in. With each new member, she introduced herself even more cheerfully, starting to feel like her old self again.

Then she nearly jumped out of her seat when the door flew open with enough force to rattle the room. The boy apologized for using "too much strength" and introduced himself politely enough, but he had the look of someone who had seen his fair share of trouble. Everything about him screamed delinquent. But, Ayame forced herself to smile back and return the greeting. She knew what it was liked to be judged, and she was not about to become a hypocrite.

Saito, however, had no problem judging this boy. "Yeah, it'd be super-cool if you didn't break anything. I fought tooth and nail to get us a nice room, so let's not be a bull in a china shop, okay?" Saito was completely undaunted by Akira's show of strength or menacing grin. He'd seen toothy maws a thousand times worse than anything this kid could produce as he was now. He remembered reading about Akira's violent history and wondered if he'd need to discipline this one. But, for now, he decided not to scare off the other new members with a more overt show of aggression.

Once everyone was seated, chatting, and gorging themselves on brownies, Saito checked his watch and cleared his throat. "Alright everyone, settle down. It's time to begin the first meeting of the Hunters Club." He got up and stood in front of the desk, getting a good look at everyone. God, they looked so meek and carefree. Part of him wondered if this was a mistake, but he quickly pushed aside those doubts. They still had time to learn and grow. That's what this club was for. There would be time to panic later if things didn't go well.

"Alright, where to start..." He paced back and forth a couple of times, thinking of how to address the club. He must have written out a dozen drafts of the speech he wanted to give, but now, standing in front of a group of people all staring at him, looking for answers. All those carefully crafted words just seemed to slip away. Whatever, he'd just have to go for it. "I'm Saito Ryuuji, and the reason you've all been chosen for this club is because you're all like me. You've all seen things, heard things, and felt things that everybody else around you seemed to ignore. Stuff you've been told is just your imagination, or a trick of the light, or some other bullshit excuse. Well, everyone in this room knows that those things are real, and I'm gonna help you make sense out of it. Sound good?"

Saito paused and looked around, gauging everyone's reaction. Hopefully there wouldn't be any freakouts before he showed them the scary stuff. "Most of that stuff is harmless. Aimless spirits passing through. Kappas that wandered a little to far down stream. Or a ghost that too scared or confused to pass on. We bump shoulders, and both continue on our way. However, there's also stuff out there that's not so harmless. I'm sure you've heard stories of..." He paused. Remember, you're trying not to scare them. "...Well, one term people like to use is 'Spirited Away.' When that stuff shows itself, we hunt.

"Now, before you guys panic, there's a reason you have been picked for this. We're a rare breed, one in a million. Everyone in this room is equipped with abilities beyond that of a normal human. Some of you have already scratched the surface..." He glanced at Akira. "And some of you will need that power coaxed out of you. Don't worry, I'm gonna help you learn to discover and control your abilities. When I'm done with you, you'll all be certified badasses, ready to take on any nasty stuff that's creeping around in the dark. I'll make sure you're all prepared." He just hoped they'd have enough time.

"I'm not gonna lie. At times things might be scary or painful... definitely a bit dangerous. If you ever want out, believe me, I get it. You'll be allowed to leave at any time. You can go back to whatever life you had before and you'll never hear from this club again. But the truth is, you're the only kids in Japan whose powers have surfaced and are ready to be trained. If you leave, there will be no replacements. We've got more seats than candidates, so I hope you'll all try to stick this out with me. One thing this club will give you, though, that you won't get anywhere else is true camaraderie. Nobody in this room thinks you're crazy. You don't have to keep the things you see a secret. And, we're probably all a little freaked out by it."

Saito took a breath and leaned back on the desk. "Alright, I know that was a bit of a bombshell so take a sec to take it all in. Chat with each other, bombard me with questions, whatever you gotta do. We're gonna take this nice and slow." But not too slow. They, unfortunately, didn't have that luxury.
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