Verge of Darkness - Striking the Hot Iron


Saki, Shuuren, Tsukino

Date: September 4, 2016


It starts off as a beautiful day. It's all sunshine and butterflies until the Daimyo gets poisoned.

"Verge of Darkness - Striking the Hot Iron"

Land of Tea - Marketplace

Likely a few days after the whole library incident. It's after work and almost the start of the weekend for Saki, which means she's in the marketplace doing some basic shopping for food-stuffs. It's pretty routine, even if sometimes she gets surprised by a certain Daimyo and she doesn't eat everything she buys <.< Today, she was considering two stalls that were set up. One of them sold rather high-quality meats while the other was pretty simple in nature. She couldn't figure out if she wanted to treat herself this time around or not :|a

After the incident, Shuuren spent more of his time alone than normal. He wasn't rude to Saki, Ryuusei, or Reina, but, even after the work was done, he seemed to want to be secluded for a while. There was most certainly something on his mind. While they had won the battle, perhaps the other side had taken a step toward winning the war.
Today, however, he finally comes out, and he seems normal enough. Rather than sneaking up on Saki, though, he walks to a different stand where the owner seems to be waiting on him… a rather huge-chested black-haired woman that Saki might recognize from that whole business before. She presents a scroll to him, which he glances over before glances her stand over and then signing the scroll.

Saki had noticed that Shuuren wasn't really … 'there', if that made any sense. So the back of her mind held a bunch of worry. The girl isn't all that perceptive like Shuuren, though, so it isn't until she makes up her mind to not treat herself that she would even notice the Daimyo. Oops.. Of course, Shuuren looked sort of busy, so she chose to go about her business by first buying her groceries and then edging her way towards Shuuren. She waited a couple yards away for Shuuren to finish signing things, really, which probably indicates her confidence levels right about now… Though if it were any time before now, it's even more possible that she wouldn't have tried approaching at all. Progress! c.c;

After making sure everything was in order, Shuuren would nod to the woman before turning around to see Saki there. A light smile tugs at the corner of his lips, though, as he approaches her, she might notice a certain weariness about him. The Daimyo isn't exactly one to normally let anyone see a chink in his armor, so, for there to be any sign of it at all on him, there must be quite a heavy weight on him after that battle. It's not like removing and replacing an arm is something he would normally do on a whim, so there was likely some sort of poison or other deadly thing on that spike his hand was impaled upon.
"Good evening, Saki," he says with a light bow of his head. "Come to do a little shopping? I apologize for my absentness of late, but I've been a little busy dealing with things."

Daoma had been within the Palace wasll for a while again, just not as openly as in the past. But it had been enough. What she could see from Shuuren brought her to action. The samurai sent a messenger to Tsukino telling her that a certain person needed her and described his withdrawl and weiriness.
So Tsukino had arrived not long ago in the city from the villa on horseback. Her long hair was hanging freely down her back, decorated sparsely with small glittering crystals and a nice white flower. Her blue eyes scanned the marketplace as she rode in, her horse's reigns being taken by the stable boys. It was from the back of her horse she could faintly see a figure in the distance that looked to be Shuuren and she slippedoff the horse gracefully, offering a soft smile and a coin to the stable hand.
She thenbegan walking with her maid, speaking quietly with her as she went over a list ofthings they needed. "Very well, Mari, go gather those and I will be ahead. Yes." She handed the girl some coins and then began to walk, intending on stopping at an herb vendor perhaps to see if ther was a potion or medicine that could ease physical aches and such…..

Saki may not be the most perceptive guard in Shuuren's little entourage, but she could at least recognize some changes to him when he usually showed none. A small frown crossed her face when she notices that he seemed a bit tired, and she would fiddle with her bags a bit as she spoke to the Daimyo. "Umm… Evening… Umm… Hai, and … it's fine. I know you've been busy…" Though the Assistant only knew of official business… "Umm… Are you … feeling okay, Shuuren-dono?" she would ask, worry in both eyes and voice. she of course doesn't notice Tsukino :|

While Shuuren would most likely detect one of his friends entering the village, Tsukino is not directly heading his way, so for now he would continue conversing with the one currently here.
"Your patience is appreciated," the Daimyo says with a smile. He tries his best to shrug off the concern with her question, though his weariness is still visible through whatever smile he wears. This probably isn't the state he'd hoped to be in when his birthday came around this year, but perhaps the darkness that trails him isn't something he can elude forever. "I'm alright, Saki. How are you? Any lingering injuries from the mission?"

Tsukino came upon a few stalls and one merchat in particular selling such remedies. She knew a little about herbs from her time with Kenta, but there was plenty she did not know. After a stall or two she was approached by a man, clearly a foreigner by his headress, who led her to his table covered waith various things. She offered him a polite smile and sat when bade to join him. A few moments later the man seemed to completely understand her situation, though he never asked who she was or who it was for. Several moments later she left that stall and moved to a different one where she bought something wrapped in silk. She slid it into her bag and started off again, heading for Shuuren and Saki's location and soon joined by the maid. Once the sun came back out, now it would be hard for anyone to look in Tsukino's general direction and miss her as the sun illuminated behind her almost perfectly. It lit her hair like a flaming halo and set the crystal jewels in her hair into cascading rainbows.

Saki still looks pretty concerned, but she would go along with the change in conversation. "Hmm… I'm alright… I just got a bit burnt from a fire-user, but it's fine now." They weren't too powerful. She was just really unlucky that day.. Also, no sight. "Umm… I… Got you a birthday present, so… But I don't have it on me…" Whoops. She didn't realize she'd get time with the Daimyo probably! It was then that a lot of sparkles caught her attention, and her green eyes would shift slightly towards the (literally) dazzling redhead.

"I'm glad you're okay now. If you'd like to be healed more later on at the office, let me know," Shuuren says with a nod. He then chuckles a little at her next statement. "That's quite alright. You didn't have to get me anything, but I appreciate the sentiment greatly." Then in comes the Uzumaki princess with hair like the sun stealing the attention of basically everyone. This will be the first time Saki and Tsukino have interacted. The entrance should make this interesting to say the least. "Ah, Tsukino-hime," he says with a smile, offering a light bow of his head as she approaches before he would step over to offer her a hug. "I hadn't expected you back so soon, but it is a pleasure to see you."

Tsukino paused as Saki turned to look ather and the Princess offered the girl a nod and a small smile before turning her bright blue eyes to Shuuren. The regal way she held herself softened a bit when she saw him, her smile growing a touch larger.
Shuuren smiled and walked up to her, a bow given and then her hand. She would smile again then accept his hug, returning it glady. She seemed brighter now that Shuuren was here, more relaxed and comfortable. So it was an easy thing to transition into a hug-greeting. Once that was over she seemed to peer at Shuuren fr a long moment… She could see that little tiny tiny chink in his armor…. Daoma had bee right to call her.
"Come, let us get some refreshments and talk, Shuuren-dono, and you as well of course….?" She lifted an elegant brow in question as to Saki's name.
They did not have to go far or a kind of outdoor cafe with small tables set about. Tsukino nodded to Mari who bowed deeply to the prncess then moved toward the barrista.
Taking responsability for getting the three of them tea, Mari moved over to a stall and began ordering the drinks. She added a bit of sugar to sukino's and Saki's, and a touch of lemon to Shuurens, then a bit of herbal solution to Tsukino's cup and Shuuren's before putting things away. Mari carried the tray back then and served the drinks politely before taking a step backwards and bowing her head.
Tsukino smiled and sipped her tea quietly. She was a bit nervous herself. Nervous because of the wrapped box she had set in front of Shuuren by that point. A birthday present for the Tea Daimyo… inside the carefully made wrappings he would find a rather old text. A medical book of some sort but also included was a section on the history of various techniques. It was a valuable book that was insanely hard to find.
Tsukino drank her tea, listening to Shuuren's every word and and noting his expressions.

Saki would nod quietly, then she blushes a bit. "Umm… But… I thought … I mean, I just wanted to, so…" She shrugs a bit, unable to figure out what she was even thinking. She just figured that maybe she could get Shuuren something … Even though she was sure he could easily get something better himself. The girl would shift her gaze once more towards the Uzumaki, blinking a bit when she was acknowledged. It was a bit surprising when Tsukino looked like the kind of person that normally wouldn't give the time of day unless she approached herself. In a way … Like Shuuren, even.
Saki would watch when Shuuren and Tsukino hugged, the girl politely turning her gaze just a bit so that they'd have one less pair of eyes on them. Then she would look back, just in time to be addressed. "O-Oh, umm… H-Himawari Saki…" she would say by way of introduction, the girl offering a bow. She had heard Shuuren call Tsukino a princess… That explained some things. The girl would sort of trail along after the two, keeping a few steps behind almost by instinct unless invited to do otherwise. She would sit down with them both, though, thanking Mari in a quiet voice for the tea.
Then Tsukino had set a box before Shuuren. Ah… So perhaps the princess was here to celebrate? She didn't know that Daoma herself had called the Uzumaki here personally. She didn't know the reason for Tsukino's rather sudden appearance. All she knew/assumed and felt was that she was just that much less important to the Daimyo's life. She couldn't exactly compete with a princess. And she hadn't even been in the service of Shuuren as long as others. Shuuren would likely be able to read the self doubt in her expression as she takes a small sip of tea.

Despite whatever is going on with him, Shuuren seems relaxed enough in the interaction as he hugs him Tsukino. Really, though, he's good at keeping up masks, so pretending to be okay isn't a far stretch.
"Getting some refreshments sounds lovely," the Daimyo says with a smile and would look briefly toward Saki to see if she agrees to come along as well before moving to the place Tsukino chose. He relaxes into his seat as they settle in, closing his eyes briefly as he takes in a deep breath. Since he feels he is in trustworthy company, he doesn't bother to look as Mari fixes their drinks. He would open his eyes as the drinks are brought and the box is set before them. "Thank you, Tsukino," he says as he first takes his tea, drinking his a lot faster than Tsukino drinks hers. Not rudely, but he does basically drink the first glass almost completely at once.
Setting the drink down, he then starts to reach toward the box when suddenly his body freezes up. "Mari…" His eyes widen as he looks over to the maid then swats the glass out of Tsukino's hands. "What have you done?" He then places his hands over Tsukino as they glow with chakra, which flows into her to purge her body of whatever had detected that is likely to be affecting them both. "Saki… Do not let Mari leave."
Just as soon as that Poison Purge is done, Shuuren falls down on the table unconscious and sort of bounces of it to hit the ground beside it.

COMBAT: Tsukino attacks target 1 with NORTHERN-HEAVENS-SEAL with a roll of: 43

Tsukino smiled as she sipped her drink, not as fast as Shuuren drank his of course, but itwas enough. When he reached for the box and suddenly froze Mari looked honestly takenaback, scared. Tsuino blinked a few times at the maid then let out a sharp gasp. A moment after Shuuren began trying t purge /her/ body of whatever this poison was, she cried out, leaping to her feet t catch him as much as she could.
His weight drug them both to the ground. She looked at Mari with wide eyes, unsure if she should be defending herself or killing the girl.. No.. no she couldn't.. not again..
She shrieked, and lifted her arms, seals forming as she sent Seals flyng at Mari, binding her and holding her in place. She looked up at Saki and screamed "Get help! NOW! GUARDS!!!" And then her full attention went to Shuuren himself, cradling his head on her lap, clearly scared beyond measure….

RP: Saki transforms into CHAKRA-ENHANCED-MOVEMENT.
COMBAT: Saki attacks target 1 with BLADEBACK-STRIKE with a roll of: 38

Saki blinks a bit when Shuuren seems to freeze up, and then there was the order. In almost a flash, Saki was up. She was probably not as fast as Tsukino since she had to physically move, but the girl would use the hilt of her sword to strike the maid in the small of her back to force her to crumple to the ground. If anything, she could (sometimes) put up a good fight. The girl would then blink, as the seals would wrap themselves around Mari (presumably). That was … a surprise. Saki would turn to look at the red-headed princess, hesitant. "I…" She would take a moment to close her eyes, opening the first Gate and then disappearing in a burst of speed to find someone to help. Someone with more expertise … That probably means Daoma, admittedly, if she happened to run into the head guard. But if she couldn't find Daoma by accident, she would return shortly after with a scroll that she knew contained a stretcher so they could move the unconscious Shuuren.
Shuuren seems to be basically out, unable to really do much about landing on Tsukino at this point. Whatever this poison is, it's apparently quite potent despite its lack of taste or smell. The Daimyo only detected it when he felt its effects, after all, so that would explain why neither of them detected it before. He seems to jerk around a bit, his body twitching and spasming and even beginning to seem feverish. Hopefully the princess doesn't mind him sweating on her a bit since he saved her from experiencing these effects, as he does seem to be beginning to sweat profusely as well.

Tsukino held to Shuuren tightly, cradling him in her arms and on her lap. She lifted her face and demanded ice which was brought quickly. A crowd was forming and Tsukino and the Daimyo were at it's epicenter. She started eltn some of the ice in a mapkin and pressing it to Shuuren's face, trying to help soothe him. Another person began trying to fan the Daimyo thinking he had a fever. But the motion set Tsukino into a bit of a panic and suddenly she and Shuuren were surrounded by a shining golden dome of thickened chakra energy thrumming with seals and power.
But even like that Tsukino felt in danger and though Mari couldn't move she kept an eye ont he made. All the while wiping at Shuuren's brow and cheeks, tears welling up in her eyes. she held tighter to him and bent double over him, cradling his head closer to her… and she turned her head enough to place a kiss on her brow whispering, "Please don't die… please don't… please…."

RPCOMBAT: Tsukino defends against with a UZUMAKI-SEAL-WALL…42

Saki would be back next to Tsukino … Or rather, closeby. She couldn't enter the barrier that was put up. "Umm… Ts-… Tsukino-hime… I have a scroll. It has a stretcher… But I can't access it." She sounds worried, especially upon seeing Shuuren's condition. She wasn't really sure what to do…

Tsukino looked up as Saki arrived with the scroll. She allowed her barrier to drop and then with a bit of help from Saki, Tsukino released the scroll and some guards helped load Shuuren onto the stretcher. Daoma wasn't far behind and she helped move Shuuren into his own roomi the papace, though they laid sme extra blankets out for him. Daoma would check in now and then on how Shuuren was doing and all kinds of questions, But Tsukino (and Saki if she wished) would remain sitting vigil for the Daimyo. The maids would deliver meals to them there and bring fresh clothsfor Shuuren…. But Tsukino looked so dejected, in such pain, that not even her guards would consider she could possibly have done this on purpose……

Saki would help put Shuuren onto the stretcher, then she would trail after the Daimyo to the point where she was not allowed to follow. She looked about as nervous as Tsukino, truth be told. But she would keep herself busy, since she was also supposed to be Shuuren's assistant. Most of his meetings ended up getting cancelled, or at least moved to another date. She kept the reasoning vague, mostly stating that he 'didn't feel well and just needed some rest', though she couldn't keep the rumor mill from spreading what truly happened. And naturally, there would be repercussions… She did her best to assist Daoma in keeping things organized where Shuuren could not and normally would have. Assumedly, she had help. But she was definitely keeping herself busy to the point where she might need a vacation once Shuuren could get back on his feet. c.c;

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