Ryoka – Separation of the Wave-Child and Sincerity

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Mr. Mittens

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Ryoka -- Separation of the Wave-Child and Sincerity

"Maa...do you think they're coming?"

It wasn't a question without basis; the Ryoka hidden in the shadows were indeed running. Witnessed only by the calm gusts of wind supplied by the ambience of midnight Seireitei, her black hair seemed to fit perfectly within this world of odd contrasts; the white city's luminescent buildings casting all the darker shadows. Within the darkness, Kobayashi Namiko's face portrayed a hint of irritation. Not a moment ago, herself and Shinshi had been sprinting towards their destination, but now a patrol was quickly getting the better of their stealth.

Perhaps it wasn't that they were smart, but instead, that they were picking up the sloppy clues Namiko had left behind. For instance, when she had pushed Shinshi into a trash bucket after a particularly snide remark, or the banana peel she had slipped into his seifuku, or even perhaps the full beer bottle she had smashed over a rail to brandish at the foolish shinigami she adored like family. Of course, such as being family got adoring, it also got verbal threats, so she had fully alerted the shinigami patrol to their presence.

She took full responsibility, hoping that Shinshi wouldn't blame her verbally. Loud when insecure, abusive when on unsure footing, neither of those meant that Namiko was irresponsible in any way. So, as the shinigami patrol came closer and closer, she locked eyes with Shinshi.

"How should we..." her voice trailed off as the voices of the patrol game into their hearing. Tearing her gaze away from the midnight robe of her comrade, Namiko's eyes flashed dangerously. Would these poor souls be the one to bleed for her...?


And yet, the Shinigami in question had no such blame for the girl. No, in all sincerity, the boy knew beyond a doubt that they were bound to be discovered at some point. And, really, he perhaps put more blame on himself than on Namiko. His persona tended to be more volatile, more difficult to get along with than any of the other three companions. To be frank, such loud arguments would've occurred no matter who he had traveled with. Leon was too self-assured and a player, Tenkyuu was too quiet and irritable, Namiko was too violent and an easy target, and he...he was too righteous and mischievous. They had their flaws but it was really he who enjoyed this sort of thing the most.

"I wouldn't doubt it," rumbled the tenor, "We're not terribly inconspicuous, especially with that racket we've been making."

The would-be destroyer could tell that his partner-in-crime was distracted, and he really couldn't blame the little lass for that either. The sad truth was that the men and women who would relentlessly pursue them would be graduates fresh from the academy, or at least, unseated and seated officers who had little say in the way Seireitei was run. Most of them were only men and women who had joined the Gotei to help fulfill their desire to protect their families, friends, and homes. Ideally, he would love to avoid having to hurt the deceived and the manipulated...but life wasn't such a simple thing.

In truth, they would have to fight them for precisely that reason. They were the deceived...and their loyalty would propel them into the heat of combat with such fervor and passion that a warrior with a hesitant mind and unsure heart would surely loose. Which was why he worried about Namiko. Her nature, though deceptively violent, had no desire to cause unnecessary harm. He, on the other hand, knew that their ideals could not be reached so simply.

Any attempts that either had made at pondering the situation were briefly interrupted by the drunken wail of a Gotei Shinigami, "Oiiiiiii~ Ryo-ka~ Come on out~! I, Tatsufusa Enjouji, 10th Seat of the 11th Division, shall deeeeeeestroy you~<3!!!"

"Uh...Tatsu-- "

"Call me Enjouji-sama~!!"

"Riiiiight...Enjouji-sama...You should be quieter. We, the ASSESS of the Gotei, specialize in pickin-- "

Light snickering was heard by the unseated officer. "Picking...ASSESS..."

A sigh. "Yes, it's very funny. We specialize in takin-- "

More snickering, followed by what distinctively sounded like a familiar expletive.

"We specialize in stick-- No, you know what? We specialize in doing it qui-et-ly. So.."

Blocking out the noise, Shinshi took the opportunity to safely speak with his compatriot.

"I think," he whispered cautiously, "I have an idea of how to move around with more freedom. To do it, though, will require us to engage in brief combat with those oafish buffoons."


The brown eyes fell upon Shinshi's cautious movements, earning a calculated nod from the woman. The raucous voices of the 11th Division gave Namiko a bit more ease in movement, her fist unclenching as she formulated the plan in her head. Shinshi needed brief combat, and she wasn't one for combat, even with her seals undone. With the seals, though...all she had was freakish shoujo-esque strength and...

Her eyes were alight as Namiko sprinted across the alleyway to Shinshi's side. Snuggling up real close to the man, attempting to keep into the small shadows, she waited for the 11th Division members to come into sight.

"I hope you have comfortable underpants on." Without a second warning, Namiko hefted up the boy by his underpants and leggings before, after a small grunt, tossing him over the small building separating them from the 11th Division members. Over the roof of the building Shinshi soared, Namiko waiting a good second before she skipped up the building wall and stood proudly on the building.

"AH HA!" she roared in her fullest voice, pointing, "THAT'S WHAT YOU GET FOR ATTEMPTING TO CAPTURE ME, GOTEI 13 SHINIGAMI!"

Her eyes flickered with delight, not totally at Shinshi's pain, but also, in the fact that he landed in the middle of the squad. So perfect was her (blind) aim, that she had landed Shinshi right on top...of that really drunk squad leader. A grin of self-satisfaction slipped onto her face blossomed into a full-on smile, which then became roaring (but slightly discreet) laughter.

"Wh-what!?" the man demanded, "But we're the Gotei's ASSESS team! We're the elite ASSESS! You can't simply just challenge the ASSESS! You have to...uh..."

"Turn homosexual?" Namiko grinned, "Ah. I see. Well then the Gotei shinigami I just chucked into your midst is your man!"

"I'm not homlosekual!" the drunk man roared from underneath Shinshi, the full of the self-proclaimed ASSESS elites all directing their attention at Namiko. She almost laughed at their falliability, but instead, pulled down the bottom of her eye and stuck out her tongue.

"You clearly aren't literate either!" And, with a twitch in her smile, Namiko could only wait for the violence to ensue.


He really should've come to expect this from her.

It should've been no surprise when the freakishly strong petite schoolgirl had hoisted him far above her head and then chucked him at the squad as one might hurl a bowling ball into a group of pins. He should've come to expect that even in the most serious situations, she would do it. Only a fool wouldn't have been waiting for it.

Oh what a fool he had been.

"YOU STUPID F*CKING B*TCH!!!" he roared, rather irate at being seen as nothing more than a glorified ball. Never mind that he had fully intended to charge recklessly into the squad on his own. "JESUS, MARY, AND JOSEPH, YOU'VE GOT TO STOP DOING THA..Oh..I still have to deal with you lot, don't I?"

The shinigami paused briefly as he watched the group re-orient itself...and slowly become enraged by Namiko's taunting. "Normally, I'd tell you that it's a bit of harmless fun for her to insult you but," he snickered loudly, "ASSESS is a rather homosexual name, you know. Can't imagine what it stands for...but you'd figure whoever came up with the acronym would've had the brains to come up with something that strikes terror in people hearts instead of laughter."

"ISH A GOOOOD NAME, YOOOU!" cried out Enjouji, his massive frame taking on a ridiculous martial arts pose. Both arms crooked upwards at an angle, with the hands held on the same level as the shoulders and parallel to the ground. Finally, he held leg up, with the knee bent at a ninety-degree angle and the thigh running perpendicular to his gargantuan gullet. "TATSUFUSA ENJOUJI HER-P-E'S SQUAAAAD GOOO~!!!"

"...HER-P-E's, sir?"

"HEROIC PATROL OF THE ELEVENTH!!!!!"

"Oh good god..."

"Shay...Wher'd the otherz go, Ryuuuuu~?"

"Uh...You remember Chinpo and Daipo Shagginhiroi, right sir? Remember their, uh, preferences?"

"...Uwaaah~?"

Another sigh; "Apparently not. Sir...they favor younger girls. I believe they call it a Lollicon. And...this boy's accomplice, well..."

"YOU TWOOOO!! SHTOP FRATANIZIN' WIF DA ENEMY!!"

But it was no use. The brothers lolli, for that's what they were commonly referred to as, had already ventured into the land of eternal bliss after catching a mere glimpse of the "cute" female...after which, they had received a one-way ticket to the land of unconscious fools. Shinshi grinned.

"You didn't expect me to wait around, did you?"

"I'LL-- OOMPF!"

Another one fell as the boy shyunpo'ed behind the drunken man and clubbed him with his saya. "And now, for yo...Oh..."

There was no need to knock out the last member of the group; no, he had knocked himself out after dealing with all the stupidity in his four-man ASSESS squad. Shaking his head, Shinshi stared at Namiko as he commented, "Now, care to explain...whatever it is you have planned, Namiko?"


"Why if I didn't know any better, I'd swear you were actually in the Gotei 13, Shinshi!" Namiko teased, stepping down softly from the eight foot jump. Looking at the unconscious ASSESS (members) around her, Namiko gave one wry look at the drunken man before swiftly giving him a kick to the crotch. As for the brothers loli...

"Jeez." A few minutes later, they were both black and blue and even more black, shihakushou uniforms blending in perfectly with the variety of horrific bruises the 'late bloomer' had viciously attacked them with. Sorting through their purses, Namiko had gleaned a good deal of cash and a few interesting artifacts from them, "Both have some odd 8th Division 'LoliClub' sealed card. Official members or something. Sketchy..."

She smiled as she straightened her back, standing up to her full (yet diminutive) height, "As for my plan...it's simple. We're bound to be found out eventually, but I don't want both of us to get caught if we do. What we'll do is simple; you'll put on one of the those shihakushous and pretend to be a Gotei 13 Shinigami chasing me. Of all the kids, you're probably the best suited for a three-hour game of tag. Besides myself, of course. But...that way..."

She held up a finger, "If we encounter Gotei forces, then you'll be disguised as one of them enough so we can break off during the pursuit. Even if they stay on me, if you are able to slip away in the confusion and tell Leon or Tenkyuu, we might have a chance of busting myself out. The same goes for myself if I break away but you are captured. Finding them won't be hard; Leon's arrogance is a blinding flare in the midnight to any woman. Tenkyuu...eh...just look for explosions."

She held up another finger, "Additionally, we can use each other's status as Gotei shinigami and Ryoka to play with outward forces. If we encounter more squads, if we can simply play with their heads a little bit to get them chasing me, and then you attack them from behind, they'll be easy pickings. Even Seated officers could be defeated easily, but if there's any more than ten people, we'll probably be hard pressed. Where the first advantage comes in handy."

With a nod, she stretched her legs, "So?"


"You know..." he began deathly quiet, "I've heard a lot of half-ASSed hair-brained schemes in my life before. Mostly from the people that were trying to chase me out of school, but nonetheless. I've heard a lot of them. And this one...this one takes the cake! I mean, c'mon...why do I have to wear that?"

His left hand gestured to the ebony shihakusho worn by the unfortunate soul, Ryu, from the eleventh division. "That thing is utterly disgusting!" ranted the bishounen, "It's monochromic, out-of-date, completely unfashionable, and completely unacceptable. However..."

He paused and shook his head sadly, as if mourning for his defaced body, "It's also the only thing we've got. By putting on the uniform of the Gotei, I'll blend in much easier. Otherwise, I look more out of place than you, having a wakazashi and all. Additionally, chasing you consistently will mean that people will question my identity much less since, after all, we'll all be after those "evil Ryoka" . And...I know this kid's division and his squad as well, meaning that I've got an identity I can assume. Since we're on the west-side of the Gotei, the chances of running into additional members of the eleventh dwindle significantly. All in all, it's a good plan."

He began to slowly remove the clothing from the low-ranked officer while managing to hold his steely gaze to Namiko. "But there's still plenty that can go wrong. There may come a time when I'm forced to catch you while people are around. Or, worse yet, we manage to get cut off from each other. In the worst case scenario, I get delayed by some lunkhead while other squads continue to pursue you. So Namiko, if we are forced to sever contact, you need to attain the attire of a Gotei Shinigami, complete with an asauchi, if you must. That way, you'll minimize your chances of being caught. You cool with that?"


"Eh..." Namiko frowned, "I don't know about me putting on a shihakushou; I don't know enough about shinigami powers to be anything but a fresh recruit. Plus, they'll notice that my reiryoku is rather low, and then...oh well. We'll deal with it if it comes to light."

She paused for a moment before giving him a light punch on the shoulder (and it really was light, mind you), "But really, this whole plan is out of whack. I knew that splitting up was a bad idea...I know we all have our own powers, and that we probably won't mix as well as some of these Gotei comrades do. But seriously, all I wanted to do was..."

See you smile again...

"...see how much you guys have grown." She smiled, nodding, "I suppose I'll get to see how you have grown. But really, all of this war and fighting is not what we wanted, was it? It's just what...we realized was...right."

"And you may never understand what you want, Namiko, but you will understand what is just. And, even if they aren't the same thing, with each hand, reach outwards. Grab each of those distant stars by the threads of light that weave the tapestry of the heavens. Reach, grab...and with all of your soul, pull."

"But let's just get going again." She said, settling into a stealthy jog down their original pathway, "I don't wanna stand here around these bodies."


Another sigh.

It seemed to be such a common thing but...

...this one had come from the lips of Shinshi.

"Namiko, perhaps this isn't what you or Leon or Tenkyuu wanted but..." there was an awkward pause of sorts as he tried to gather his thoughts fully, "In a way, I'm embracing this fighting. Not because I want to be involved in a war, but because I'm me. I never grew up with dreams of glory or a desire to touch heaven. And yet, even as a kid, I knew that my life wasn't going to be easy. Ever since I was young, I wanted to uphold justice and equality...so I always new that I would be fighting. And because of that, I can embrace it and almost, just almost, desire it. It suits my goals. And yet, I know what you mean."

The boy shook his head and cleared the rambling from his mind; it was a difficult thing for him to explain. Unlike Namiko, who clearly detested this, he walked a line much closer to desiring the fight. It was no use thinking about it now, reflected the ebony haired half-breed as he finished slipping into the shihakushou.

"All we ever really wanted was to spend time together, just the four of us, and now we're on the threshold of a war that will shake the Gotei to it's very core. What a fate, huh?"

Normally, he would've asked the lady how she thought he looked, but that was quickly interrupted by the sounds of dozens of feet stampeding around them. That, accompanied with the pin-pricking sensation of many small Reiatsu, and Shinshi understood that they were surrounded. "Looks like we'll have to put that plan into motion sooner than expected! Get ready to run!"


Normally she would've thought the usual 'Namiko you f*cking genius! A plan! Just in time! Once more women are superior in all parts of existence when compared to those of men! So, we go into the foray not unprepared and naked, but instead clothed in the garbs of our enemies! I spell 'genius' with N-A-M-I-K-O oh YES.'

But as she saw Shinshi wear the garbs of their enemies, she felt a small pang. That they, children, had to fight this war...her innate maternal side loathed the idea of what she knew she could do. So, with a soft sigh - from which it came from lost into the ambiguity of time itself - Namiko turned on her heel. With a small bound, she was already onto the top of a six-foot shed, then on top of the building's roof. With a nod to Shinshi, the track star's legs contracted for a moment as she lowered herself...

...as she lowered herself to the ground. Almost falling, it seemed, her center of gravity plummeting. Hunching forward, arching her back, feet to the ground, and all of a sudden, she heard not a flare gun, but instead, the unsheathing of a sword.

"There she is!"

And then she was off.


That meant the rest was up to him. With so many enemies in pursuit of the petite girl, it would only be a matter of time before they caught her unless he were to sabotage their efforts. Come to think of it, the Gotei was probably completely unaware that two of the Ryoka were Shinigami. Chalk down another advantage for him.

First things first, he thought, as he quickly moved the body of the man had stripped into a giant trash container. Now that the body was out of the way, all he had to do was act the part. Namiko had taken off directly north so...


"OI YOU!!!"

A voice roared across the alleyway from fifty feet behind Shinshi. Taking the part of the thespian, the Shinigami doubled-over and held his gut as if he was in pain. Mustering up the best "I'm-pathetic-and-got-easily-injured" voice he could create, he wheezed out, "Yessir?"

The officer who was leading the charge seemed to take pity on him as he skid to a halt and took in the scene. "You alright there, boy?"

Nodding dazedly, the fake one replied, "Yes, of course. Just got the breath beaten out of me by a Ryoka...lucky you all came around or else I would've ended up like my comrades on the ground."

"The Ryoka is strong?"

"Yes, she's quite fast and rather powerful."

"What's your name and division?"

A smile. "I'm Ryu of the Eleventh Division. I was on patrol with Tatsufusa Enjouji-dono, and we ran into her."

"You see which way she headed?"

A grin. "Yes, she went North-northwest, sir. Just that way."

"I see. Follow us as we continue to hunt her down, Ryu-kun!"

And he was off.


"So that's it...eh?" She said after a moment, watching Shinshi deal with it from afar. She frowned at the boy's reckless self endangerment, not bothering to say 'run fast or you won't catch her!', or anything slightly heroic of the sort. So I am to be....ultimate alone, hmm?

She tossed the glass bottle to the North-northwest; it was quite an epic chuck, if she could say so herself. With that, the shinigami pace seemed to explode outwards towards the noise. Waves of them came from all over, various midnight patrols swarming in on the smallest stimuli.

"They can't already know, can they?" Namiko shook her head, "...so I guess that from here on out it will be simply harder. It's good thing Seireitei's so stupidly confusingly simple; we might just make it."

Optimism never was Namiko's forte. She knew that it was blatantly obvious; she wouldn't see Shinshi again. He had been forced to retreat in a completely different direction, whereas she was heading straight East-North-East, he was off in another direction. The waves of shinigami compounding upon her noise would only explode outwards, making the regularly-dressed Ryoka and her shihakushou-dressed friend that much more vulnerable of being spotted. It was with a heavy sight that she nodded to Shinshi's shadow.

"...I just hope that..." she whispered to herself, "I get to see all of you..."

"Don't cry, Namiko. Because even if it hurts your body, even if these powers are far too much for your human body to handle, even if you can't command your reiatsu like you want to...the fact that you're doing it, at all, is enough. And just remember that, no matter what you are, you can only challenge the gods if you are yourself. And right now...to be yourself...you have to fight for yourself.

So fight, Namiko. Fight."


WC: 3,600 Words

Essentially, Namiko and I have split up for the time being. I will be available for individual fights as soon as the Gotei's movements have been posted.
 

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