User has no status, yet


I'm Tuujaimaa. It's pronounced Too-Jai-Mah. You could also call me Alex.

I am from Britain. I like video games. I am a raging homosexual (I get the raging from my mother's side).

I normally frequent the IRC.

That is all.

Arena Stats

0 Wins / 1 Losses / 0 Draws
1000 points

Most Recent Posts

Day 3 - Ominar - Approximately 09:00

Interacting with @Raijinslayer's Damian and @13org's Corinna

With a weary sigh and a nod, Nabriales took a moment to compose himself before getting ready to return Corinna to the front of the store. It made sense that such a proud creature would not respond well to his offer of contrition, he supposed, in hindsight. Still - it was possible to salvage this meeting yet. His interest in the silk far outweighed his interest in the creature capable of creating it, he would freely admit - but he was more than willing to take a path whose steps did not interest him in order to reach a destination that did.

"We have different definitions of harm, it appears. Were he not my employee, I would have no qualms with your treatment of him - I'd encourage it, in fact... But he is sworn to me, and I am sworn to protect him from all outside harm - and I would consider your game with him harmful." He admitted, though it was clear he was not willing to push the point and was simply saying something for the sake of letting her know his point of view. With a wave of his hand, the fine wine would be teleported downstairs to the shop floor, neatly packed and ready to carry - and a second wave of his hand would add the selection of lingerie that Damian had picked out would be added to the little gift basket.

"Were I in your lair... I would feel as comfortable as I do now, though perhaps more alert. Due to an alchemical incident - the very same that granted me these beautiful horns - I am incapable of feeling fear. As a result, I have mastered the art of risk assessment - and I do not calculate your odds of being a risk to me above the threshold I'm willing to deem acceptable! Close, but not quite there." He offered, giving her a sincere smile to match the sincerity of his words.

"I'd like you to take the wine as a gift - independent of any business transactions we may have. It's good to find someone who appreciates such a vintage." he mused.

"And I understand completely. When you are ready to engage in a transaction, you know where I'll be! As a show of good faith, I'm also willing to make one potion of your choice (within reason) free of charge to prove to you the power that a simple alchemist can hold. Would you like to be returned to the front of the store, or to another destination within the city?" He asked, and would teleport Corinna wherever she wished - if it were anywhere outside the store the gift package would go along with her - added to it now was a business card that would allow her to teleport to the entrance of Victorious Secret once within the bounds of Ominar, and a vial of the same potion he had given Damian. The gifts may have seemed to be shallow and materialistic - but when one's business was catering to shallow and materialistic desires, it never hurt to remind potential customers of what you were capable of, even if they didn't see the gifts in the light they were intended just yet. Nabriales had faith that Corinna's curiosity would eventually overcome her wounded pride - and he had all of the time in the world to wait.

Day 3 - Ominar - Approximately 09:00

Interacting with @Raijinslayer's Damian and @13org's Corinna

"You..." Nabriales begun, taking a sharp inhalation,

"... are right." he spoke, exhaling deeply and moving to sit back down in his seat. He had been terribly rude to a potential customer, that much was true - but in the moment, he could not believe the gall of his guest. Though it had been his plan to test her (and the results had been extremely informative), he did not expect things to escalate to outright hostility between his guest and his employee as they had. It was true, he had essentially hung a slab of meat in front of her - but if she was to criticise his decorum, he expected the same treatment in return and they seemed to have stumbled on the middling steps of their dance.

He knew, in his heart of hearts, that he was not directly to blame for the altercation that had occurred. Damian had reacted unexpectedly, and while it could be argued that his potion had caused that reaction a simple truth of the particular brand of concoction that he had forced upon his assistant was that they did not create feelings that did not exist, or desires that were not there before. They simply lowered inhibitions, and allowed someone to express their truest selves in the moment, lost to the animal parts of their brain - and though he knew he was not to blame entirely, nor was he blameless in the situation. In fact, no party involved could claim to be blameless in the affair. With that in mind, he thought better of himself and of Corinna and attempted to make amends.

"I appreciate that you aren't used to the way I speak, and that it could come off as... Brusque. For that, I apologise - you are a guest and I should have afforded you the civility and decorum that I afford all of my guests. Simultaneously, you outright attacked my assistant - and while it was intended as a gift of sorts, it was not intended to be violent and certainly not in my store! The altercation could have been very costly if it had damaged some of the vials, and I don't need to tell a lady such as yourself the costs - both personal and financial - of having one's goods damaged." He sighed, taking another deep breath and summoning another glass of wine for himself and his guest, as well as several bottles of the same vintage to the table near Corinna.

"As for the silk... Perhaps you misunderstood my intent. You are not an artisan by nature - you are a predator. Your use for the silk is purely practical, whereas I can use it to craft wonders beyond imagining... Things of beauty, you understand? Potions to bind, to entangle... Exactly the sort of thing I'd wager you're after? I didn't mean to imply that you were unable, merely that what I can do is on another level entirely." He smiled, nodding towards the glass of wine as a peace offering. As a precautionary measure, the wine contained a deactivated potion to calm Corinna down if she happened to be further enraged, though it would take a skilled alchemist in their own right to actually detect the presence of the latent potion, as it was tasteless, odourless, and textureless - and devoid of vis until Nabriales directly infused it to activate it. Expecting that the wine was laced with some form of potion was another matter entirely, however.

One thing Corinna would certainly pick up on would be a complete lack of reaction from Nabriales to the menacing signals that she was giving off. As a predator, she would know the scent of fear - it was something chemical that humans gave off, something imperceptible to them but something she would certainly be able to pick up on... And she would not be able to detect even a drop from Nabriales. With his display of humility, Corinna might be lead to wonder if his lack of fear was based out of hubris or simply... a lack of ability to feel fear. Though he was apologetic, it was certainly not due to any worries about his impending demise.

"As for danger... I'm well acquainted with it, hon. That said, if someone wandered into your home where all of your preparations and traps and tools were... Would you think yourself in danger?" He asked quizzically, looking around the room as he did so but still keeping her very much in his field of vision. It was clear from his relatively demure way of speaking that he knew that this was his castle - and even the most basic military strategist could tell you that assaulting someone in a castle was a very difficult thing to do successfully.

"Now, should we talk more civilly, or would you still like to leave? I'd rather make us both happy by completing a deal than let you walk out of here with bad blood."

Day 3 - Ominar - Approximately 09:00

Interacting with @Raijinslayer's Damian and @13org's Corinna

As Corinna began her monologue, Nabriales raised a delicately arched eyebrow and continued to eat his steak and drink the wine he'd procured for them - it would be a terrible waste to let such finery lose its luster in the time it would take her to finish her assessment of the situation. Still, as he savoured the exquisite flavour of the meat, he could not help but notice that Corinna's interpretation of her position in this situation was nothing short of wholly and completely incorrect.

"Do you know what danger is, Corinna? Danger is when you are in a situation that you do not have complete control of; it is where you are as a blind man wandering in the dark, ignorant to your own ignorance." He begun, interrupting her just as she begun to talk about toys not knowing their place. It could be said that Nabriales was in no position to talk about believing Damian to be a plaything without becoming wildly hypocritical, but that was not the whole truth. Though, in truth, he found most things in the world to be playthings there was value in Damian - an innocence, a naivete, that had both personal and alchemical uses. Still, it classed him as an important commodity rather than something to be used and thrown away once that use had been expended as Corinna implied.

"I have never been in danger within these walls for as long as I have lived, and you are no exception. Your arrogance will unravel the web you seek to weave, dear." Nabriales smiled, his eyes not leaving hers. Nabriales often looked more of a nuisance than a true threat - his impulsive nature, his hedonistic desires... They were qualities that did not lend themselves well to being a mastermind. Just as Corinna was inviting him to gaze into her true nature, Nabriales offered her the same potential. She would see much of herself in him at that moment - the hunger, the desire, the spark of intellect that put one above their brethren... But she would also see something significantly more terrifying: Power. Though only a humble alchemist, Nabriales' power was on an entirely different level to most of the self-aware beings in Ominar - he was not as magically gifted as some, such as his sister. He was not as physically imposing as the seedy underbelly of the crime world. Nabriales had something greater than all of them - influence, and the intellect to use it wisely.

"Have you ever heard the expression 'Perception is reality'? We are intrinsically bound to the way we perceive the world and those in it, and even if that is not the objective truth, we are bound primarily to our own subjective truths. Even I am bound by this fundamental law, though my reach is long and my vision keen. You are a lone agent - the single wolf surrounded by what your perception tells you are sheep, and you will die if you come across a wolf in sheep's clothing and make a mistake, my dear. I am not going to kill you - hell, I won't even chastise you for trying to assert your dominance... But were I a less altruistic person, you would be well and truly finished."

With that, he finished his food and stood, the glass of wine refracting rays of light in his hand as he walked across to Corinna.

"I'll forgive your trespass this time, hon... And we'll make a deal! Your silk is, indeed, useful - limited only by the creativity of its wielder. What you have done with it will pale before the marvels that I could create. And yet, short of toys to play with, I don't know exactly what it is that you want! You are not simple enough to read at a glance, so we will play a game, hmm? Ask whatever it is you want to know - but for every question that you ask, you must also provide the answer!" He smiled, waving his hand to cause a small bottle of clear liquid to appear on the table in front of Corinna.

"A simple, if potent, truth serum. Simply drink it when you wish to begin."

Day 3 - Ominar - Approximately 09:00

Interacting with @Raijinslayer's Damian and @13org's Corinna

Nabriales couldn't help but smile internally as he mixed the remaining ingredients for one of his experimental concoctions. For an eternity, mankind had been deathly afraid of the passage of time. He hadn't really understood it before, being a Taeryn and a Precursor Descendant, but his time interacting with the mayfly men of the mortal world had clued him in to the crippling fear of death that seemed to permeate every aspect of mortal society. There were many things that could be considered the ultimate alchemical pursuit - ressurection, immortality, transmutation... But it was only immortality that men truly craved. He gingerly placed a drop of a murky silver liquid into the cauldron before him, and as the tinge of colour spread throughout the liquid so too did his smile bloom from internal to external.

While he had not yet managed to bottle immortality - his one attempt had resulted in a monstrosity that sat innocuously on his gilded shelves - he had managed to bottle something he considered far greater: time. Time was an interesting concept - alchemically speaking - and any attempts to actually alter the flow of time required energy so great that even the merest taste of that forbidden fruit was a concept bordering on the impossible for all but the most powerful of magi. It stood to reason that if even the greatest magi could not accomplish such a feat easily, there was no way it could be distilled into an alchemical potation - or, at least, that was the case for lesser alchemists. Time, as most commonly understood, was a fiction - a trick. It was something that existed only inside the minds of those that could conceive of it, and as a wholly internal concept its innermost workings were adjustable with the correct potion.

This concept was not new - not by a long shot - but none had ever managed to concentrate the effect as much as Nabriales just had, and he was certain none had been able to prevent the body from tearing itself apart under the stress of the potion as he had. A single drop would be able to alter one's perception of time to the extent that it would essentially freeze for those around the imbiber - for up to approximately 10 seconds, he estimated - and that was considering his own vastly superior senses, never mind the dullness that ordinary humans perceived the world with. With Damian already under the effects of a potion - he really ought to have checked on his employee by now, surely? - and Vi still knocked out from an earlier experiment, he had no choice but to consume the potion himself. This was a concoction that he would have tested himself regardless, however, as its effects would be unpredictable on one whose vis had not been included during the creation of the potion - and while he was confident Damian would survive the process should he have elected to have him try it, it would be a waste of a phenominally powerful potation and that was far above his little helper's proverbial pay grade.

And so it was with a heady rush of excitement that Nabriales Taeryn made history. The second the drop of liquid made contact with his tongue, he recoiled from the sharpness. The effect hit him instantly, the world slowing to almost nothingness and losing its colour around him, as if he had stepped into a demiplane of the world stripped of colour and meaning. It was beautiful, he supposed, in its own way - but he would need to interact with another if he was to adequately judge the difference in the perception of time. He walked around the corner of the shelves from his workstation and took a moment to look out of the window - someone was walking by, and he could only very barely detect that the man was moving at all - to an ordinary run of the mill mortal, he must have been completely outside of their range of perception. What, then, of the more acute of mind and sense? With a single movement, he turned the corner to find his lovable but naive assistant pressed against a bookcase of erotic novels by Corinna - a shocking scene.

The first thing he noticed was that the colour around Licentia was somewhat restored - the presence of concentrated levels of vis appeared to diminish the effect of the potion. The two were not moving at the crawling pace that the man he had observed earlier had been, but they were not so much faster that they were immune to the effect by any means - especially in their distracted state. Nabriales took a moment to admire the effect of the potion on his assistant, his Sight able to allow him a second or two of quiet study of the exact effects. It seemed that the combination of Incubus and Nightwalker DNA prevented total uptake of the vis responsible for the generation of the hormones necessary for physical arousal, instead resulting in an increased likelihood of transformation and a mental shift towards his highly repressed Incubus nature. He could not even detect physical arousal - at least, not of a size he would be interested in if this was arousal - the effects seemed to have simply relaxed Damian's self-imposed limits. He made a mental note to adjust the formula specifically for Damian to affect the physical level more highly, before turning his attention to Corinna.

It seemed from the angle of movement and the positions that the two found themselves in that she had indeed been unable to resist the tempting treat that he had laid out for her. Forcing prey into a predator's gaze was the most fun way to confirm one's suspicions - and predatorial she had been... Until Damian had appeared to begin to turn the tables. It was an interesting conclusion to his little experiment - but it had to be that - a conclusion. With a wave of his hand, he teleported Corinna and himself to his apartment, and Damian to the counter where a vial conveniently labelled "Neutraliser" sat. He had gotten it out for himself, but at that point he could feel the superhuman focus slipping away from him as colour was beginning to slowly seep back into the world and it would be far better used on Damian.

Taking a seat before Corinna could even process that something had happened, Nabriales waved his hand again as the colour surged back into the world and his head throbbed with the exertion. Though he outwardly did not show it, the return to normal sensory input was extremely jarring, and if he were not an experienced alchemist who had altered his body with many, many potions he would currently be throwing his guts up. Without missing a single beat, he offered his most charismatic smile to Corinna as a wonderfully prepared meal appeared on the table - filet mignon, medium rare, for the both of them. The wine pairing was, of course, a pinot noir - a glass already in his hand and a glass for Corinna just next to her plate. He took a sip, mostly to orient himself, and placed the glass back on the table.

"I see that my potion worked! Not exactly as intended, but you must agree that it was certainly the best tour anyone has ever given you?" He laughed, his voice cracking a little at the beginning but returning to the light musical trill it carried in no time.

"Predators can never resist easy prey, can they? It must be so odd for you, then, that you have stumbled into the web of a beast far greater than yourself. I would very much like to make a deal with you, Corinna... Would you be amenable to discussing business?"

Day 3 - Ominar - Approximately 09:00

Nabriales had been finishing clearing up his equipment after he and Vi had finished bottling the new recipe of lust potions he had brewed while the various conversations had taken place outside of his shop, and he had paid absolutely no mind to them (or to the possibility that they were going on in the first place). It shook him out of his reverie when the bell adorning his door gave off its gentle chime, years of conditioning allowing it to draw his focus regardless of which vista of imagination he was currently preoccupying himself with. He turned to the door with his characteristic smile - toothy, genuine, and ever-so alluring - and greeted both Damian and Corinna with open arms, gesticulating his happiness at the arrival of new customers. It had been about time Damian had showed up, and Nabriales was eager to test precisely how potent his latest batch of lust potions was. He'd planned to test them with Vi, but she was the type to be impressed with action rather than word, and it had been imperative in his mind that he pay for her services as soon as possible. A native of Priscus such as she was a valuable prize to the Alchemist who prized the rarest of ingredients, and he did so enjoy having her in his service.

Still, Damian was an even rarer jewel - inexperience and innocence, practically an antithesis to the experienced and extremely well-travelled Nabriales. He saw a lot of qualities in Damian that he had simply never seen in himself, and found the boy fascinating as a result. He'd not had the heart to tell him that he could have paid his debt off a hundred million times over with the last decade's revenue alone (sans interest), and Accountant - 8 had warned him of being too free with giving money to his employees due to something called 'taxes'. He didn't particularly understand it himself (precisely why he had so many accountants on retainer), but he had nevertheless been advised not to just up and solve his employees problems like he could with the various orphans around town. That said, most of the orphans of Ominar were far more well off than those with parents due to the charitable efforts of two particular Taeryns.

"My, my... Simply stunning, darling! You're picture perfect, a true femme fatale!" were the first words out of Nabriales' mouth. He had taken particular note of Corinna's fashion sense, and due to his experience and various vis-related senses had immediately worked out at least a somewhat cognizant sense of precisely what she was - that was to say - not human in the slightest, though the verisimilitude of her masquerade would be quite convincing to one unfamiliar with the more esoteric elements of the world.

"We can discuss business once you've had a look around, hon. My little helper here looks like he's all riled up and raring to give you the best tour of your life! Be a lamb and come here for a second, Damian?" Nabriales then asked, holding his hand out towards the young man and willing into existence one of the freshly brewed lust potions from earlier. If he had to describe its potency in the form of allegory, it would be more of a shove than a push - but he was not quite certain of its potency on Licentia just yet. He had managed fairly successfully to attain full bioavailability for both humans (and their far superior counterparts) and Prae in the same potion, but the tiniest fractals of vis allowing the solution to achieve almost total uptake were ever so tricky to manipulate to a position in which all three species would feel the full and total effects of the potion as quickly as possible. It would be an experiment in and of itself to see just how Damian would react.

"I need you to test this particular potion for me. You can take it before giving Corinna her tour - it will certainly enhance the experience!" He smiled, half-genuinely, with a sultry wink at Corinna for emphasis. Though his mood was jovial, there was an underlying tone of authority and seriousness within his voice - he would not accept no for an answer, and Damian would know that feeling fairly intimately by now.
Hyakune su Jikangai, Kyoko

As the actions of her colleagues and subordinates went on around her, Kyoko was once again deep within the recesses of her mind. She controlled an unfathomably vast network of spies and informants - unwilling or otherwise - and could tap into the various nexuses of these networks to determine the state of the island and obtain real-time updates as to what was happening. Despite the Sankage's disappearance, Kyoko elected not to activate any of her sleeper agents - though they would be useful, the present was a time for willing co-operation and fostering trust. It was not a time to display her hand early in the unfolding game they all found themselves a part of. Between Riku's sensory abilities, assurances from Kinjiro, her own spy network, and the general consensus of the Kyokujitsugakure shinobi there was only one clear outcome: Sankage Ayameko was missing, but not dead.

No matter how many times Kyoko replayed the instant of the attack in her mind, even with her own exceptional sensory techniques (albeit in short range) she could not explain what had happened to the Sankage.

Relaying her thoughts to Yuhi via the mental network shared by high-ranking members of the Kyuuseishu, Kyoko made clear the plan for action. Yuhi relayed the order further, and in a matter of moments the entire island would be abuzz with members of the Kyuuseishu co-ordinating rescue efforts in three teams: Midare, Setsu, and Gekka. With that, the namesakes of the teams would show up - three fairly average looking shinobi, each co-ordinating various rescue efforts mentally.

"Riku, aid Midare with your sensory abilities. Relay the locations of those wounded, but take no further independent action without direction from a Kyuuseishu operative. Kyūryū, assist Midare with the excavation of any debris and the relief effort in general."

"Setsu, aid Shiō with the wounded - fetch Kinjiro and ask her to activate the medical facility. Shiō, you will find all medical tools necessary within the medical facility, as well as beds for those injured. You have my express permission to make use of any and all resources, as well as to give orders to others via Setsu. Please save as many as can be saved."

"Gekka, please enact the remainder of the crisis protocols. Any who wish to assist with the logistical efforts should join him."

Immediately after she gave the orders, Kyoko walked past Norio and waved her hand at him as she strode past. He would immediately collapse in a heap into the guards Ayameko had assigned to him, knocked unconscious by a powerful genjutsu that would keep him completely comatose until such a time as he could be thoroughly investigated.

"Kikue, I know that the matter of the bijuu are something you hold very closely to your heart - assist whomever you choose in whatever fashion you deem most appropriate. I will continue to co-ordinate efforts while interrogating Norio, but I would ask that you offer leadership and guidance in my physical absence. Please work with Shien, her entourage, and Yuhi to aid your own as best as you can." she spoke, before snapping her fingers and continuing to walk out of the room. The two bodyguards picked Norio up and carried him slightly behind Kyoko. Kyoko had nothing further to add in the rescue effort - her delegation would certainly see to that - but none other than she could unlock the secrets of Norio's mind.

After a few moments of walking, Kyoko placed her palm onto an otherwise ordinary section of wall, dispelling a potent Genjutsu placed upon it, and instructed Norio's guardians to bring him through to a plain room. The only real defining feature of the room was a chair, which had various shackles and restraints placed upon it. She instructed the guards to strap Norio into the chair, and begun the real work of delving into his mind.

Jikangai, Yuhi

As soon as Riku offered what Yuhi was sure he thought was a witty retort, he was prepared to open his mouth and correct the fool, but Kyoko spoke to him using their mental relay and he immediately set upon doing as she commanded. He was full well prepared to verbally spar with anyone, but when Kyoko used their mental network it meant that things were more serious than they seemed - and the current crisis already seemed similar.

Moving alongside Gekko, Yuhi took a stack of papers from him and animated them, creating paper aeroplanes sturdy enough to carry the wounded and fly with an imbuement of potent Fuuton chakra. For convenience's sake, he sealed them into another sheet of paper that their bulk might not fill up the entire room, and handed them to anyone who volunteered to assist Midare (or was ordered to) to help them with their task. After that, he left the room in order to co-ordinate efforts on Kyoko's behalf. He also wanted a chance to look at the shrine himself, as despite the nature of the crisis he was still extremely curious about Kinjiro and Chiyoko's analysis.

Jikangai, Kinjiro

"Hm. Pray inform me at once when you have determined precisely what the cause of the malfunction is. I am required elsewhere." Kinjiro noted, before going over to a seemingly unused building. Impressing into it a fiendishly complex primer seal, Kinjiro willed the building to life and it responded in kind, raising itself out of the ground to reveal what was essentially a fully stocked hospital. Using the same microphone as before, Kinjiro asked the entire island to bring all medical personnel, as well as the wounded, to the new building for treatment.

♪♫ Lily Quarin ♫♪

Day 3 ~ Morning around (9 am)
Victorious Secret

Following the incident with Vi, Nabriales had poofed back to his shop and was carefully and quietly contemplating the results of the experiment. The surge in power was noticeable, as were the negative effects thereof - and she had showed no signs of internal or external injury owing to vis overload. He was thankful that the entire operation had been a success, and that he hadn't had to bottle anything himself. His love for alchemy was not greater solely because the process of bottling and categorising potions was so fundamentally boring to him that no matter the exhilaration or sense of numb consternation his potion-making might bring, the high was always brought low by the thought of doing anything after the exciting part had finished. He was, in truth, not much of a businessman himself - though he had the aptitude and the knowledge, he simply did not possess the focus or patience necessary to excel in something that enervated him so: it was far better to leave the logistics to those who found their muse doing busywork.

As he returned, his mind returned to the task at hand and he set about clearing his counter - it only took a wave of his hand and twelve individual yet simultaneous poofing sounds for the flasks to vanish and reappear elsewhere in the labyrinthine reaches of his shelves. Owing to an art he termed Dimensional Folding, the space that comprised his shelves was altered in such a fashion that whenever a potion was taken from its spot, another would immediately take its place provided that it had been made, marked, and stored in the correct place - a marvel of magical engineering, he thought, though in truth it was likely commonplace elsewhere and thought up by someone far less artistically inclined than he. As he moved to finish clearing the counter, he took the bagel wrapper in hand and (wisely) elected to check for any messages that his dear sister might have left - true to form, there was a gaudy scribble explaining how she had paid for an orphan's education! Not to be outdone, Nabriales scrunched the wrapper up in a huff and pulled out his cellphone, making a quick call to a number stored aptly as "Accountant - 8".

A few hurried words and a proper authorisation for the transfer of funds later, Nabriales decided to fund the entire orphanage's educations, with ample gratuities for living and any education beyond a degree they could wish to pursue, and asked only that a receipt be mailed to him as confirmation of the creation of the accounts. When asked for the address for this to be sent to, he calmly stated that it should go to Sophia's place of residence before hanging up the phone and erupting in a fit of gleeful giggles. Oh, he'd outdone himself - and more importantly Sophia - this time!

Part way through his unashamed indulgence, Nabriales heard the telltale chime of the bell on his shop's door ring and he turned his attention to the customer-to-be walking through. He didn't bother to stop giggling, however, as the euphoric rush of both helping the least fortunate among society and trouncing his beloved sister was too much to simply stop enjoying.

Lily naturally heard the giggling causing her right eyebrow to arch in question, her figure edged closer while she located the source: the store keeper. It seemed someone had slipped a giggle potion into his tea when he wasn’t looking, but she pushed the obvious explanation away as she looked to the nearest shelving unit. Her hand raised up to grasp a single potion to examine it briefly. Her eyes turned to the label and then frowned, uncertain if it would do well for her intentions, and casually placed it back upon the shelf.

She realized this was going to be much harder than she originally believed.

Not fully sure what else to do, the Siren made her way to the counter. Upon arriving, her arms folded underneath her and she leaned on it before she spoke, “Hello, I’m assuming you’re the shop keeper, or the unfortunate victim of a prank potion.”

There was a slight amusement in her tone, light hearted and cheerful to ease the conversation to come. She licked her lips a bit before she continued, “I’m currently looking for a potion that could easily subdue a Licenti without harming them. What would you suggest?”

After watching Lily peruse the shelves with what he could only describe as a semblance of a purpose, Nabriales stifled his giggling for long enough that she could ask her first question. In contrast to what he perceived to be a mirthful play at dominance, Nabriales' right eyebrow arched and he looked quizzically at the woman. Her attempt at humour was... Almost entirely unconvincing, as he was the only other person in the store and was sat behind the counter. Still, he figured that jokes were perhaps not her specialty and that she had genuinely attempted to be funny, so he forgave the potion-making faux pas and listened to her request proper.

"You realise that you just essentially asked me to make a potion capable of stunning an animal, right, hon? You're going to need to be far more specific about the effect you want to achieve and the type of Licentia you want it to affect specifically." he replied with a wink, hopping up from his stool and sidling around the counter. With a motion of his hand he beckoned for her to follow, and walked towards a specific set of shelves. He motioned from the top to the bottom of the shelves, highlighting a veritable bevy of potions to be administered in a large variety of ways - there were thrown flasks to send a Nightwalker to sleep, orally administered potions to revert a Kitsune's shapeshifting and prevent it, and self-administered potions to immobilise shades upon being subjected to their powerful fear-inducing abilities. It would be clear from even the most cursory glance that the potion that Lily required could certainly be made or perhaps was even sitting amongst those in the shelves, but more detail was required for her requests to be made manifest.

Even more onerous, perhaps, was that there were no price tags anywhere - only labels depicting the effects of the tincture contained within. If she does not notice and enquire immediately, it would very quickly become apparent that the price asked was far from traditional.

"So, hon... What do you need doing and to whom does it need to be done?"

Lily had already noticed the lack of price tags when she had examined the potion she took off the shelf. It was the very reason why she had took the time to look it over and ensure her eyes hadn’t merely missed the price in her first glance over. Being an individual that had traded in Vis and other things in exchange for information, she knew what sort of risk to expect. Some times the gain of an item wasn’t worth the cost so she kept that in mind.

She followed the man at an acceptable distance as he asked his question, inquiring about details over her intentions. The Siren’s gentle expression tightened slightly as she considered how much to reveal and if she was willing to take this risk. She pressed a curved finger to her lips in thought until she decided to play it safe and keep her cards as close as possible to her chest.

“It’s a complicated situation, and I’m not sure I can confidently give you everything you need. Part of the reason I came in was to window shop and learn if some of the rumors I heard were true,” Lily’s eyed the shelves where the shopkeeper indicated she looked. Her arms crossed over her chest, still phrasing her words carefully as she continued, “Right now, my main worry is what you trade in exactly for your products.”

“Well, you see… What I trade in,” he gesticulated, waving his arms around to encompass the various shelves full of potions,

“Is far from mundane. As such, I require payment that is also far from mundane. What that means depends on the product… And the person.” He offered toothily, smiling from ear to ear. Though the smile was genuine, the more interpersonally astute would notice a subtle undercurrent of indignation at the entire affair.

“I cannot quote you a price without knowing what you want, and I don’t know what you want because you can’t ‘give me everything I need’! I’m a very busy individual, hon, and I don’t suffer fools gladly - and only a fool would walk into my shop and refuse to tell me what it is that they’re asking for. I’d thank you to either lay the information on the table so we can discuss terms, or… Maybe there’s another alchemist in town who can offer you the potion of your dreams without any of these pesky questions. I’d advise seeing him if possible.” Nabriales winked, before turning on his heel and beginning a strut back to the counter. Were a serious offer to be made he’d be more than amenable to the request - he wasn’t known for rejecting, well, anything based on moral compunction. He was, however, known for his intense dislike of having his time wasted.

Lily inhaled, then tested the waters while Nabriales made his way back to the counter, “That’s what I thought and as I said, it’s complicated. The race I want to immobilize and fix in place is an extinct one. A Nogitsune. At least, I suspect he might be one but my information over them is very limited and that’s why I’m not sure I can give you everything you might need.”

She let the information linger in the air for the shopkeeper and partly expected him to laugh out loud at her, finding her interest in something considered gone to become a threat again amusing. Most mentions of the Nogitsune were in stories, myths and even legends since none seemed to exist anymore.

”Nogitsune… Kith and kin to the Kitsune, though I can’t say I’ve ever actually seen one…?” Nabriales half-asked, half-stated as he stopped dead in his tracks. With a wave of his hand, he poofed both Lily and himself to a room upstairs (one that had no discernable point of entry, as there were no windows or doors) and clapped his hands, causing the magical lights in the room to activate.

The privacy that the room afforded them would be useful, as would its contents - moving swiftly over to a shelf the effeminate alchemist gingerly picked up a dust-laden tome and pressed it towards his potential customer. Through the grey veneer she would notice its title - ‘Of Kitsune: A Study’ that she would perhaps be familiar with. The tome was popular around the time that the Kitsune were actively hunted, and the fifteen hundred-or-so years it had been around clearly showed with its archaic style.

“As far as I’m aware - the literature gives no estimations otherwise - the Nogitsune were biologically identical to the Kitsune… So anything that works on one should, in theory, work on the other. But what is it precisely you want doing to your foxy adversary? I should probably be a little cautious of what I give you, after all - I’m sure Darius doesn’t want anything that is potentially fatal and/or incapacitating to him specifically being given freely!” Nabriales remarked, surprisingly open and flippant now that the topic had gotten markedly more interesting.

Lily didn’t expect to be teleported and the moment she noticed her surroundings were no longer in the main shop, she had to stop herself from jumping at the abrupt change. Her nerves stood on alert at the change in scenery causing her to inhale to increase her inner strength. She casually turned to face the shopkeeper who now held a book out to her.

Her eyes tightened to observe for any tricks then gingerly took it from his grip and opened the cover, her attention examined the pages briefly. His state of Darius caused her serious expression to crack into a slightly defeated smile, “I suppose it was pretty obvious, wasn’t it? Namely with Darius being the only known Kitsune and no, I don’t want to hurt him. I also don’t want him to have any knowledge of this or my meeting with him later will get rather complicated.”

She brushed over the information in the book a bit more before she closed it, her conversation resumed with the man, “I merely want to be able to paralyze him from moving and casting any magic for as long as possible. This means I’ll likely need something to counter it as well so I can remove it if needed. I also want it to be able to be administer it on fur or skin contact and go into effect fairly quickly because getting him to digest it will be a bitch.”

”Well, there are certainly many things I can do for you on this front… But the question now is why? What purpose will my alchemical concoction serve… and how will it benefit me? You see, hon, a lot of business revolves around our favourite foxy friend and trust is a biiiig component of that - if I were to provide you with what you want, I’d need something that outweighs the potential infractions I might incur upon my humble little shop.” Nabriales smiled, sidling up to Lily from behind and placing his head gently upon her left shoulder.

“Though there is always a deal to be struck, a bargain to be made… for the right price.”

“Those myths had to have some base in truth or a whole race wouldn’t have been wiped out over bad behavior. I much rather not discover first hand what happens when a Kitsune becomes a Nogitsune and is allowed to run loose in the city,” Lily commented. Interesting enough her mind drifted to the sullicitus, the worst sort of Nightwalker kin, and the fact they had done terrible things daily which hadn’t yet brought their race to extinction. At least to her knowledge. She continued to hold the book in her right hand as it rested at her side, her eyes still fixed on the individual with the horns decorating his head.

“Would that help some in your decision? I also don’t think I need to tell you how important Darius is to keeping the streets in Ominar from running red. Imagine if that influence was completely lost or worse, twisted?”

Lily then chuckled when she finally noted the mention of the price.

“Interesting enough, the price was what worried me the most. Especially if the gain isn’t worth the price paid in return. One thing you should know, I’m not asking you to make it until I’m completely sure he’s becoming one. I just wanted to be sure you could if I needed it.”

The almighty ‘tsk’ that came from Nabriales’ mouth would almost certainly be enough to shock Lily, especially given its proximity to her ear; accompanying it was a sigh of both contentment and disappointment in equal measure.

”You seem not to understand, darling. There is no decision to be made - at least, not by me. I do not decline any requests based on any sort of moral compunction - I frequently deal with elements that are neither savoury nor sweet and I refuse none of them any of their requests. The transaction is simple - anything you want, for an equivalent price. What I want in return for your potion is quite simple: An ancient Vis crystal, the like found deep beneath the crust of the earth in Torqueo… So deep, in fact, that it has not been plumbed by hands living nor dead.” came the decidedly softer reply, serpentine in its seductiveness and solemnity. It was not so steep a request, in truth, for any backlash would far outweigh any sort of gain obtained by the procurement of a single alchemical reagent - but the potion he longed to create was so close to completion that he could almost taste the new experience.

”Understand this, though: This agreement is for the assurance of the creation and successful effect of a potion, not for the potion itself. You agree to the price now, and upon receipt of payment the agreement will be made valid… Or you turn away, and any opportunity for the concoction that you covet and clamour for will be gone. Do we have an understanding?”

‘We reap what we sow.’ The phrase seemed to be innocent enough except when applied to this situation. She suspected the request wasn’t as harmless or easy as it seemed since it only covered the potion’s making and success. The man came off as arrogant and boastful, two traits she never enjoyed dealing with when it came to business transactions because he was too smug in his abilities. He also failed to see how Darius’ absence might affect or hid it very well.

“So bluntly, I have to give you an answer now before I can even be sure I can give you this Ancient Vis crystal? Is that correct? You realize there’s very few places to get what you require and most of them are very dangerous considering how Vis barren Torqueo is,” Lily pointed out as to make clear it would’ve been a waste of time and energy for both of them if she couldn’t deliver the goods at all. She never traveled much in the region herself so locating one, even with her connections, might become rather difficult. The siren hoped he would see the reasoning in that or she was going to have to walk away completely and figure something else out that didn’t require she make a dead end deal with a devil.

”Indeed, a bargain must be struck now or not at all… But you seem to misunderstand the terms, hon. I will give you an assurance for the provision of goods in return for the assurance of the provision of goods. Just as you may not need the potion for quite some time, I am also not in need of the reagent for quite some time. I am patient; I can wait.” he quipped back, though a single eyebrow was arched for the duration of his speech.

”Realistically, the demands of the potion and its implications far outweigh the difficulty of the task I’ve given you, darling. Torqueo surely isn’t so daunting for one such as you? I’m sure you can find a way to not only get what I want, but to expend minimum effort in getting it… You’re obliged only to provide what I want should you need what I can offer you. An assurance for an assurance, you see?”

“I understood it, but the time allowed for acquiring it wasn’t mentioned. Some people aren’t patient and something like this could take months or longer to gain even with vast connections,” Lily pointed out logically, ignoring the arched eyebrow and debating on a moment longer. It seemed harmless enough and the final price allowed her to back completely out should she not need it.

“I’ll have to call in some favors, but it shouldn’t be much of an issue. So you have a deal,” She said handing back the book on Kitsune.

”Stellar, hon. You get in touch with me when and if you need that potion… And even if you don’t, if you can procure that crystal I’ll pay you handsomely for it! Now… Where are you going? I’ll take you there for free.” Nabriales smiled in return, readying his hand to poof her wherever she wished.

“I’ve yet to actually decide that as I’m waiting for a call. I figured I would kill some time and get some information over a rumor or two while I was in the neighborhood,” Lily eyes looked around to notice the lack of doors or windows. Being aware of it now was making her rather eager to leave this particular place because it reminded her of things best forgotten.

“Just drop me off in front of the shop as I’m not really a fan of this room.”

“Noted!” Nabriales said, and with a flick of his wrist he was back behind the counter and his companion was precisely where she wished to be.

Jikangai, Kinjiro

Ordinarily, the task of managing the Kyuuseishu Island during the festivities was extremely boring. Kinjiro was never really especially suited to do it, and both she and Kyoko knew this, but it was important for Kyoko to be seen to be neutral and effectively taking her out of the action helped a great deal in that regard. Many did not have the vision required to see Kinjiro for what she was, and though the ignorance of the masses was not something she had ever been able to care about on a personal level it somewhat irked her to be placed in a role year after year in which she had to talk to people and refrain from duly chastising them for their stupidity.

And so when the first attack came, it was a combination of both awe and terrible despair that filled the pit of Kinjiro's stomach. She could see in the distance the incorporeal form of the tailed beast struggling against its restraints. In an instant, Kinjiro vanished from her previous location and reappeared directly at the Shrine - she had insisted on some small security measures when she had helped design them - before activating one of her signature techniques.

"Fukutsu no Ishi!"

Immediately as the technique was activated, Kinjiro begun to weave her chakra around the beast in such a fashion as to restrain it. Incorporeal though it was, and breaking free from the shrine, Kinjiro was barely able to suppress the monstrosity for long enough that the remainder of the island might get to work in helping those injured. The beast's manifestation in its current form was impossible, Kinjiro thought, as she wove her chakra more thoroughly into the seal and the beast. The bindings were perfect, and try as she might she could not ascertain any possible reason that the event had occurred - it was by all rights impossible on a fundamental level. The blood seals were intact, and though she was no master of the spiritual she could not detect any anomalies within the spiritual aspect of the shrine... Though she was well aware of her limits in that regard. And just as quickly as she had begun to restrain it, it was yanked back into the prison.

She would need to ask Kyoko to call for Chiyoko - if she could not fix the problem, nobody in the Kyuuseishu could. If nobody in the Kyuuseishu could fix the problem, then all possible emergency measures needed to be activated - and quickly. Calling out to the fragment of herself bonded to Yuhi, Kinjiro relayed all of the information possible in as short a span as possible - she knew that her prodigal librarian would be able to make sense of things as quickly as possible and relay all relevant information to the Kage.

Jikangai, Yuuhi

As the first attack ripped through the walls of the room, Yuhi's first instinct was that of self-preservation. Flooding his body with chakra, he activated the Shikigami no Mai and prepared himself for the worst - it was not in his skillset to attempt to save another, and before he could really register what had happened another attack was on its way. Thanks to Kei's barrier and his own resilience in his paper form, he was left almost completely untouched by the blast, though many sheets of paper were strewn around the room thanks to the sheer force of the blast.

As the chaos begun to die down, Yuhi noticed from the corner of his eye that Riku, the Rankage's advisor, had notched an arrow at their new guest. His mind stuttered for a fraction of a second, unbelieving that someone would knowingly breach the rules of the Kyuuseishu (especially in a crisis, where the proper crisis protocols were to be followed). Commanding an extant sheet of paper in the vicinity of Norio, Yuhi imprinted it with the Kanji for "Stop" and his cube overlaid a seal to counteract the sealing component of the arrow, stopping it dead in its tracks before it had gotten close to Norio. Though Yuhi was also suspicious of his arrival and the almost immediate attack it was just that - a suspicion. If Kyoko had allowed him audience (she always found a way to know about these things) then he was almost certainly not the cause.

"Stow your weapon, Archer of the Mist, or you will be shackled and punished duly under article 6.6b of the Three Nation Accords. We do not attack any parties in a time of crisis unless there is a clear motive that does not equate to unjustified suspicion - please be mindful of the rules of the Kyuuseishu during your stay here." Yuhi called out, internally seething at the audacity Riku had to breach the clearly outlined protocols. It did not even occur to him that due to his blindness he had certainly not read the pamphlets containing the rules.

When he heard Kinjiro's voice in his mind, Yuhi immediately spoke up once more:

"Mistress Kyoko, Kinjiro calls for aid. She requests an immediate audience with Chiyoko of the Moon Tribe to investigate the nature of the breach."

Hyakune su Jikangai, Kyoko

As the events begun to unfold, Kyoko retreated into her mind. Using a genjutsu to slow her perception of time, she thought over every possibility given the information that she had acquired thus far: The only conclusion was that the seals on the nearby shrine had somehow failed - though from what she understood that was all-but impossible. Kinjiro and Chiyoko had constructed the shrines, two absolute prodigies in every sense of the word, and she knew from experience that the work was nothing but impeccable. What, then, could have caused the emergence of the bijuu?

She went over the possibilities in her mind. Everything had happened like clockwork, and the shrine had never failed before. The only new element was the arrival of Norio, and so she would have to question him once things had sufficiently calmed down. Kyoko was confident in the crisis protocols that the Kyuuseishu had drafted up, and though there would be damage and the Chuunin exams were almost certainly cancelled, she was confident that no major loss of life would occur. Injury, perhaps, but that was easy enough to remedy.

Returning to reality, Kyoko witnessed the aftermath of the first blast and avoided the second thanks to both Kikue's crystalline barrier and Kei's barrier. Then, Riku drew his weapon and attacked their new guest. As much as she agreed with the sentiment of suspicion, it was a flagrant breach of the rules that they had laid out, and as she moved to stop him Yuhi had already done so. She was thankful, in truth, as she doubted she would have been quick enough to stop him from firing the arrow and she had no capacity to stop it once it had been loosed. When Yuhi asked her to summon Chiyoko, she nodded gravely. They had worked out a system in which a scroll that had been linked via complex seals to another scroll would allow writing on one to be shared with the other in real time - it had been a complex endeavour that the Yuki clan and the Kyuuseishu had worked on extensively, and it had resulted in a long-distance method of communication that did not rely on the caprice of technology.

She impressed her chakra into the proper seals and sent the message to Chiyoko:

"A Bijuu has escaped from a shrine, briefly, and devastated the Chuunin exams. Sankage Ayameko is missing and Tsuchikage Yoseki is severely wounded. Come to Kyuuseishu Isle anon." along with a seal at the bottom to instantly relocate her if she wished.

Then, she turned her attention to the matters at hand:

"Norio, you are required for questioning. By the authority given to me by the Three Nations Accord as leader of the Kyuuseishu, I, Hyakune Kyoko, hereby place you under arrest until further notice." Kyoko spoke, though her tone was one of necessity, not one of judgement. She gave a meaningful glance to the newcomer to impress the urgency of taking action, though she did not wish to alarm or unfairly implicate him in the slightest. It was a temporary measure in the event of a crisis - and she imparted that through her look as much as she could.

Jikangai, Yuhi

The yearly meetings called by the Kyuseishu were predictably dull - this much Yuhi knew, as he had once had a hand in organising them. Indeed, his was the work that had paved the foundation for the exceptional bureaucratic system which now governed the various multinational events that the organization put together, and though he found the events to largely be a waste of time that could be better spent reading a book or writing a book or categorising various books, he attended regardless. In his time with Yoseki and Kanashi, he had somewhat softened to the idea of more interpersonal interactions - and to his chagrin that had resulted in Yoseki asking him to take the lead for Iwagakure in the upcoming meeting. It was almost certain that the meeting was going to be the same thing repeated a hundred different ways as it was every year, and having a stand-in would free Yoseki up to actually interact more with her people.

It wasn't the worst fate that Yuhi could think of.

And yet, as he took his place at the Kage meeting, he still could not help but feel terribly out of place.

The meeting largely went on as he imagined it would to begin with - pleasantries and such being exchanged freely - and then Ayameko began a proposal which was rather unexpected. She wished for greater international cooperation and the institution of teams from each of the countries, and the creation of a secondary project to facilitate the first? That sounded like it would be a lot of work - bureaucratically speaking, of course - and Yuhi was personally excited at the prospect if only for the longing to perform some work that he deemed worthy of his time. Once he had cracked the metaphorical code for Iwagakure's systems it had ceased to be entertaining, and he was stuck with all of the workload and none of the fun. It would almost certainly happen exactly the same way this time around, but it was at least something to do.

So, when the time came for Iwagakure to say its piece after a rather rousing speech by Kyoko, Yuhi simply nodded in assent and said:

"We will be happy to do our part in seeing this vision become reality."

It was simple, but in speaking for an entire nation Yuhi was wary that anything beyond assent or dissent could be tied directly to him - and culpability was not a good look on him.
Hyakune su Jikangai, Kyoko

As Sankage Ayameko noted her proposal, Kyoko nodded in agreement. It was a move half born of instinct, and half born of the desire to influence the other Kage positively in its favour - she was well aware that the place that her organisation had carved out for itself in the world was becoming less and less necessary with peace having reigned fairly securely for the past thirty years, but as an Immortal Scion herself she could not help but believe that the Kyūseishu's work must be allowed to continue for as long as the three nations existed. It helped enormously to reduce friction between the nations, as well as safeguard against an eventuality that Kyoko knew could well happen at any time: The Bijuu.

Kikue then spoke up, the slightest hint of trepidation obvious in her voice to the Architect of Thought - she knew full well that the denizens of Kirigakure were distrustful by nature of anything that was not the natural cycle of predation. The land had always been a battleground - a self-contained war - and the only victors were the strong. It made sense that Kikue would seek primarily to ensure her strength, and by proxy the strength of her nation, was preserved. Simultaneously - there was a strength that could only be achieved with unity, a state of perfect balance, that was all but impossible in the finely-tuned ways of the now Land of Storms. Without a guarantee - one independent of heartfelt wishes and based solely upon method and result - Kikue would never commit to Ayameko's vision as she had little to gain comparatively to the losses she invited should failure occur.

"I believe that I can answer that question, Kikue. Historically, any efforts that have required a multinational approach have been spearheaded and maintained by the Kyūseishu. We have failed in this regard only once, with the Kazekage's betrayal, and though that was a tragedy that does not bear repeating it is only in adversity that we are able to come together and emerge stronger. We will begin a procedure to select from a pool of experienced Ninja proffered by the three nations, and I will personally oversee their training as neutral agents insofar as their training duties are concerned - it is my belief, one that I hope is shared amongst all in this room, that we must needs work together to achieve a lasting peace that we can not only enjoy, but bequeath unto the next generation. If we do not work with a vision of peace, prosperity, and unity we will be stuck forever as the feudal societies we have been stuck as since time immemorial.

Nobody should lose their family, their life, or their home to war - and yet we have all suffered these losses. We must view the world as we wish it to be, not as it is, and commit to a future together. If not, we will perish alone."
Kyoko spoke, offering her own thoughts on the matter to the table. Hopefully she would inspire Kikue and Yoseki, as she knew full well that Ayameko already shared her vision for the future.

© 2007-2017
BBCode Cheatsheet