Sengoku Horizon

Look towards the Horizon

The Warring States Period: Fierce warlords fought for control of Japan, and many would perish. When a warrior falls, where does the passion they once held go? Possibly into something dear such as a favorite weapon or heirloom. These heirlooms have been labeled as “relics”, and those that carry them are labeled as “Scions." Recently more and more of these special relics have been activating, signaling the start of a great change as ancient power meets the modern world!

Now For The Local News, 11/01/2017 The dust has cleared after a fierce clash against the rebel Ikko Ikki monks. Now, as a tense period of calm spread over the island nation of Japan the students of Edo Bugei must figure out how to proceed in life after experience such intense conflicts and such deep loss.

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 Easedropping (Makoto)
Aideen
 Posted: Jan 11 2018, 01:31 PM
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Bu nodded along, that was a succinct summary of her situation at the moment. She wouldn't even deny that she didn't want to work. After all, she didn't. Couldn't deny that. Her skills were basically very one note. It was all hitting stuff and getting hit. School probably wouldn't approve if she went into the docks for a fight club kind of thing anyway, plus they probably wouldn't like having a scion cheat their money out of them.

"Sure Ah could do school missions, a bit of chump change that." Her voice took on a fake cheery sing song quality to it. "Wouldn't that be lovely, going around doing the school's chores. Only, would you imagine, the last time the school sent my kind and genteel self out into the world for their crap, the guy who hired me also shot me in the ass." She folded her arms and humphed quite angrily. "I have an effect on people." she muttered quite possibly the truest thing she'd said all day.

"The Metsuke my partner called for back up were shit too. Some super high up guy she personally knew shows up, announces executions and shit. And if that wasn't a flagrant reason why they ought to be taken out back and kicked, he orders me to ride the loaned bike back to the station to return it. While I've still got a bullet in me!" She was still quite bitter about that, as she was about most of her interaction with the Metsuke. "Had to fight to get a ride to hospital. Chump change wasn't worth that."

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Moby Dick
 Posted: Jan 11 2018, 02:05 PM
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Well, she seemed to have a hang-up about working for the school because she was shot by a crooked cop. Makoto wasn't ready to debunk that one. Not yet. It's an occupational hazard, but she didn't have the right to make that crack without having had a few to make note of. She quickly inserted...

"Come on, you can't be that bad."

...in response to Bu's questions of effects on people. She was clearly a tough case, but the two of them were getting along here, so how bad could it be? The job had been, at least in the blonde's mind, not worth the price of admission, considering what the Metsuke had put her through...and that included the non-corrupt one.

Yeah, that makes sense, unfortunately. They will hassle and bother you.

She had to shrug, though, sitting back.

"I guess you're stuck, then, for now. Need money, can't or won't get it, so you can't buy what you want. I have a friend who's totally committed to art, who does jobs for people who help him make stuff, all for the one thing. He also saved up - working his ass off apparently - to get a Pale Hornet. I know that you need more than that, but the point remains, Bu. You have to give if you want to get, somehow."

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Aideen
 Posted: Jan 11 2018, 03:35 PM
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"That's what the big guys up top seem to think. Whatever, so what if Ah've got a bit of an anti authority streak. Nothing wrong with having your own mind, doing what you enjoy. It won't kill the shogun to lighten up, throw out a few of those old silly rituals and let loose." She spoke as if letting loose was the answer to everyone else' troubles.

It wasn't as if letting loose had hurt anyone, at least, not really. And it wasn't permanent and they all went and hung out after. Anyone who got worse was asking for it and they got kicked right out of town. Can't have those folks messing up an afternoon's fun. Fun was the point of life, you had to have as much fun as you could before you died, especially with the danger of the rebels coming to stab you while you slept or the metsuke who would shoot you in the back, or the shogun who would send you to fight a war against somebody who deserved to have just as much fun as you. She wanted none of that.

"Ah've never been good at painting stuff." She waved her hand dismissively. She could sew, sort of, mostly a side effect of having patches and other accoutrements on her jackets and clothing. "All Ah've got to give anyone is my body." She said meaning her heavily damage resistant bare knuckled fighting self, not the other meaning. She caught what she'd said a moment too late and turned her head away with pursed lips, a touch of color rising around her collar.

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Moby Dick
 Posted: Jan 11 2018, 03:49 PM
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Well, it wouldn't kill the Shogun to lighten up, but he might lose face. Makoto never really liked politics, not of any sort. People did let convention stand in the way of practical answers to things, sometimes. It was a pain. And while the glasses girl thought this, she probably didn't realize that this was a similar - yet tamer - parallel to the one whose Relic she wielded. Maeda Toshiie tended to believe in very simple solutions, as well. They were, of course, bloodier...

Anyway, Bu said she wasn't into art, which was kind of missing the point. It wasnt' the art that was the thing... It was the dedication that- Okay, what the hell? Makoto's expression took on that kind of surprised WTF quality as the blonde said what she thought she said. Right, umm... She let out a polite cough, the standard clearing of the throat to get past something awkward.

"I'm...sure you meant your skill in fighting, there."

Yes, umm...she didn't have to go the other route. Wasn't exactly that desperate, after all... Makoto continued, trying to...get back on track.

"It wasn't the art I was focusing on. It's the dedication, the will to hunker down and do the dirty job, persevere until you reach your goal. I know you're not keen on it, but can honest work be so bad, if you're getting the bike and basically going 'Hah! Look what I got!' to the world?"

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Aideen
 Posted: Jan 11 2018, 04:10 PM
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"And while they've got me hunkered down, licking their boots, they've still got their fist clamped down on all us common folk. Then, all the gloating in the world won't matter because, even if I've still got my bike, I've also got their dirt covering my tongue." She shook her head. There had to be a better way to make money that wasn't slaving away for some jerk who would replace you when somebody prettier, cheaper, or younger came along. Maybe pachinko, not playing it obviously, that was a scam, but winning it, owning it. You could get pretty far in life when you had people by the balls.

"Ah want to be my own person, free as a jaybird. Nobody is gonna control me." She'd given up her pride once and she wasn't ready to give it up again, not after she had fought and struggled and clawed to get it back.

But the girl had a point, you couldn't just start at the top, as much as Bu considered herself deserving of it. But there had to be more alternatives too. Somewhere there had to be a happy medium between being crushed by the bourgeoisie and just stealing everything ever. It was not something she had spent much time thinking about.

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Moby Dick
 Posted: Jan 11 2018, 04:32 PM
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Nice visual. Blech... This was a problem. She had her pride like Makoto had responsibilities. She just couldn't see herself living it down. Sad to say, it might've meant she'd also have to live without a decent ride. They let her borrow cycles for missions, much like they'd probably let her borrow a horse if she were doing cavalry work, but to get a 'proper' ride - like her desired Takeda Red - she'd have to spend, and Makoto had an expense account, that...that...

Hold on a second...

Makoto smiled. It was a glorious thing to behold, for it contained elements of 'I've got it!' laced with 'Mwa ha ha ha ha haaa...'. It was a devious thing, with a glint in the eyes and everything. It could work. It could really just work. She looked over at the blonde now, lightly gripping the leg she had over the other one, and decided to get her opinion on the matter.

"Say, Bu. You're a tough Scion and you know alot about even riding and fighting at once. Maybe you should apply yourself in the sparring field. You could handle both helping another Scion's fighting skills AND deal with their powers, since you armor up and all. Now, who would benefit from that...that has a decent expense account...and isn't some overbearing pain in the ass?"

She pretended to make a thoughtful expression for a moment, before...

"Oh, I know! Me! What do you say? I'm behind on things, and I'd just have to send in a writ marked 'personal training' to the Clan office."

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Aideen
 Posted: Jan 11 2018, 05:16 PM
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Bu side eyed Makoto, trying to figure out where she was going with this new line of thought. She wasn't really sure who Makoto was leading up to, most of the rich upper class kids sure could benefit from a good knocking about but they were less eager to accept it. But it was all made clear. "You?" Bu was surprised at this. Very few people offered to spar with her, let alone fight. Last one had been that foreign kid, he'd won but she'd sent him to the nurse with some pretty bad damage.

Bu sat up in her chair and leaned forward. Well, she was never against taking advantage of somebody with money. "So you're a clan kid, eh?" That was interesting, though it'd explain the whole shopping at a boutique. That's where the richer people went all the time. "You don't remind me of those upper class sorts, no offense."

Her lips pulled to one side as she thought about the option. Being paid to train somebody, it wasn't like real training. She wouldn't be teaching, Bu considered herself an awful teacher. But it was good to get experience. That was one complaint about the school's teaching methods, it reflected official fights and stuff but it didn't really prepare you for the kind of back alley nasty brawls you'd get into on any given night in the city, or like when the Ikko attacked.

"You sure you want to go toe to toe with me? Most kids in my class won't fight me any more. Not because I'm any good but because I'm not very gentle." After all, if it didn't hurt, where was the point?

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Moby Dick
 Posted: Jan 11 2018, 06:12 PM
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At the other girl's surprise, Makoto beamed. Oh yes, that was a good feeling. She didn't even see it coming. This was going to be good. She could already tell that the two of them were gonna get along fine. Bu's surprise further continued in not realizing that she was talking to a clan member.

"It's kind of a long story, but you'll get to hear it, if you want. Long story short, though? Maeda Clan."

She didn't wear any of the official paraphernalia. That was the problem. Other people wouldn't know, just by looking at her. It was her need to play a kind of catch-up that led to this fact. Now, there was just one issue - at least, thus far - that Bu had with this whole thing. It was true, as she said. Bu was a tough case. Just by talking to her, it'd been easy for Makoto to believe that she'd been in a gang, been in a bunch of brawls, and leaned heavily on all threats in sight. However, she gave the girl a serious look now.

"I don't want a gentle touch. I don't need a gentle touch. I get stronger as I get more hurt, so I need to manage pain in the process. Besides, you know what's under here."

She gestured to one of her arms, bringing the scars firmly back into memory.

"How much worse can it get?"

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Aideen
 Posted: Jan 11 2018, 06:46 PM
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"Most people's lives tend to be long stories. The short ones are pretty depressing." Bu didn't put much stock in the clans, seeing them like the Metsuke, generally normal people with far more power than was good for them. Only more upper class about it all, which kind of made it worse. At least the Metsuke had to work and earn their way into power and corruption. Oh well, Makoto wasn't a bad sort and it never hurt to make friends in high places.

"Well those are nice words, but we'll have to see you in action." Bu cracked her knuckles. "Talking about pain is a whole different kettle of tea than actually experiencing it." But of course Makoto would know that. The scars were a good sign that she knew pain pretty intimately. "And there's a pretty big difference between pain inflicted," she quoted back, "and pain that you take on willingly. For one, the second kind you can quit."

There was one other detail as well. Bu was willing to do stuff for money, tit for tat, but she didn't want just money. There was one part that made the fighting, the training, the brawling worthwhile. The part that made it fun for her. "So if we're gonna do this, you're gonna have to make me a promise as well. I want you to hurt me back. Hard."

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Moby Dick
 Posted: Jan 12 2018, 07:21 AM
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Ouch. Yeah, she had a point about those short stories. Makoto immediately saw where Bu was coming from with that. Still, it looked as though she might go for it. Because, somewhere between pride and familiarity, it wouldn't be acceptable to make her case a charity. Not only would it seem weird and inappropriate to offer someone she just met an expensive bike, but Bu would defiinitely not want a handout. It wouldn't look right.

With that in mind, Bu seemed to be alright with the idea, as her next words were sort of a caution about the act of experiencing pain. And as she thought, Makoto had indeed experienced it - mental, emotional, and physical. On that end of things, she was pretty sure that they were covered. There was also a proviso, however.

"You want me to hurt you?"

Her expression on the matter was not shock or concern, disgust or refusal. It was that of confusion. After all, had they not gone into some detail over how Bu could tank up and such? So really, the question wasn't about the intent, more of...

"Is that even possible, with that rock-hard shell?"

...feasibility.

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Aideen
 Posted: Jan 12 2018, 08:34 PM
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"That is what Ah said." Bu replied. People always seemed so confused about it, which, to be fair, it was an odd request. When you said it before a fight they just didn't understand, sure, hurting the other person was one aspect of the fight but it was a shared pain. This training was training for a fight and Bu wanted a bit of the action too.

"Ah never said it would be easy." She held out her hands and let the rock form over them. "Ah've got this layer sometimes, sometimes even thicker." It faded away. "Then Ah've got some kind of extra layer that doesn't advertise underneath." She hit her forearm hard against the arm of the chair, making a rather sickly sounding thud, almost like clay hitting something solid. She held up her hand which wasn't even bruised.

"Couldn't even feel that." She shook her head. "Ah've also been a real tough sort since Ah was little. Came in handy sometimes but it's just another obstacle now." Bu looked at her arm. "Nothing wrong with a bit of pain. Especially when you share it with somebody, means you've been putting effort in, getting something out, doncha know."

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Moby Dick
 Posted: Jan 12 2018, 09:56 PM
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Not that Makoto had any trouble believing that she meant what she said, of course. Bu was quite adamant on the subject of this mutually-beneficial training being for keeps, both ways. True, it was going to be hard for Makoto to actually bring the pain, when Bu's powers could enable her not to feel a thing. However, it was to the blonde's insistance that she try, stating that the whole ordeal was more honest and genuine, if shared.

Hmmm... Well, look at it this way: The mmore you put your back into it, the more you'll practice. The more you hurt, the greater the fight, and the greater the effort from the opponent. So, both parties get something out of it.

If she did get hurt out of it, she'd learn something. And if she hurt Bu, iit would make her feel like the fight was worthwhile, and put some effort into it. Alright, then... If she was game for that kind of practice... The more she thought about it, the more Makoto wanted to do it, pushing their limits. She held out her hand towards Bu now, with a smile.

"You have a deal, then. We'll meet up and train when uhh...we're both actually free to do that."

The Headmaster may insist upon tying them both up with some kind of action. You could never be sure, really. Some days, it was a lecture. Others, moreso.

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Aideen
 Posted: Jan 13 2018, 10:09 AM
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Well the little details hadn't been sorted but this was good enough. Bu generally didn't bother sweating the small details unless it was on her bike. She opened her mouth to accept when the far door opened. "Rakuyama Buru, the headmaster is ready for you." came the voice of the assistant from the next room.

Bu frowned and heaved herself out of the chair with a sigh. She turned to Makoto and actually shook her hand this time. The deal was struck. "Alright, let me know when you've got your stuff set up and I'll see you later." She smiled briefly before she cast a side glance towards the headmaster's office. "Good luck in there and wish me luck. Don't let that Kitsu drop all the blame on you."

Bu smiled as she turned away, a proud and very self congratulatory smile. You could almost have forgotten what she was going to have to deal with considering the rather positive turn the visit had become. Oh well, at least she would get something out of this apart from an annoying lecture. Just thinking of the potential fights were enough to start the small flame of excitement in her chest.


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Moby Dick
 Posted: Jan 13 2018, 11:20 AM
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The little nuances and details could be handled later, when their surroundings weren't so...ugh...faculty. They'd work it out, because they weren't siimply going to be business partners. It seemed like they were going to be friends. Not alot of those got out of the earthquake. That was another reason to hate the earthquake. It'd stolen people around her, including her parents. It was the kind of thing that made you want to get revenge on an earthquake, if such a thing were possible. It wasn't, of course, and so Makoto was almost starting over in her high school life.

This would be a good beginning, though. Bu had been called in as she was about to speak, but she turned and accepted her offer. All she had to do was figure out how and when to get started, and then get in contact with her. The two of them were gonna need a little luck with this next bit. Makoto had decided to take her lecture in silence, but somewhere between her new stance on life and meeting Bu, she didn't feel like just submitting to it. Kitsu had been wrong. He didn't have to talk the way he did, act the way he did, or put a hole in a storefront the way he did. It would've been more embarrassing to Makoto if he'd surrendered and explained who he was than actually fighting. So, with that in mind...

"Good luck in there, and don't give an inch. I won't be either."


And with that, she was out in the office along, also feeling good about herself. Maybe the girl's vigor and attitude were contagious? Could be. Makoto wasn't going to be a tough-as-nails biker, doncha know, but she had gone the path of intimidating and crushing the enemy with a howling weapon and a badass warhorse. Contacting Bu shouldn't be hard, now that she'd gotten her full name. She probably had an email through the campus system, or even a phone number listed... Makoto took out her phone, got onto the campus site, and...saw a campus news bite from the newsletter.

Local Artist Buys Dragon Mortar!


...what?!

She looked into the article, immediately thinking that it couldn't be, but it had to be...but it was! There wasn't a picture of him, but the article featured one of the Ikko Ikki Dragon Mortar that'd been featured in the campus store, and then the report that it'd been bought be a local artist, who'd driven it away and around the campus on a Pale Hornet while pulling it on a wagon. Makoto just stared... Her friend, Roshi Bento, had an artillery device. What was happening to the world?

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