Hot Pork on a Cold Night

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Foxx
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Hot Pork on a Cold Night

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Hot Pork on a Cold Night

Tokyo, Japan

Steam wafted up from the plate. Kenta Okada smiled as he looked down upon it. Taking his chopsticks in his hand, he began to eat. Kakuni was a dish made from pork belly, cooked for such a long time that the meat had broken down and become so deliciously tender. It was one of his favorite dishes and one that he had not savored in quite some time. But now, he was going to enjoy every last morsel of the meal in front of him. At least, that was his plan. He took the first bite, and closed his eyes, his face moving in full concert with the act of chewing. His facial muscles pulled and pushed, and it was evident that he enjoyed his meal.

That is, until the doors opened to the dining room of the restaurant and he looked up. After all, he had specifically reserved the entire floor of the restaurant so that he could eat in privacy. One could do that when they were the leader of one of the most powerful clans in all of Japan, the Kurita Clan. His eyes took in the man walking towards him, and he dropped the chopsticks onto the plate, leaning back and taking his napkin. His displeasure was evident as he dabbed at his mouth.

“What is the meaning of this disturbance?” He asked, in Japanese. “I said I was not to be bothered. By anyone, even you, Toshi.”

Toshi Kurita, the CEO of Roxxon Corporation, nodded as he walked towards the head of his family. He sat down at the table and smiled, pausing for a moment to look at his hands, which were steepled together as if in prayer. Maybe they were in prayer, for supplication was what was to take place this cold evening in Tokyo, Japan.

“My Lord Kenta, we need to speak.” He said.

That was all that he was able to get out, before doors some distance behind Kenta opened up.

An older man stormed through the kitchen doors, dressed in a suit as impeccable as the one that graciously adorned Kenta’s frame, and as smart as the one that covered Toshi’s less muscular one. The man that walked towards them was a bit of both. He had the muscle of a man who was a fighter, but one who had allowed some of his body to get soft with age. But with age came the wisdom of the fighter who had survived, which meant that taking someone such as Tsurugi lightly was a mistake that would one would be hard pressed to overcome.

Two members of the Kurita Clan guard flanked him, and they crossed the bright red carpet quickly and with purpose, moving silently. The carpet itself gave no outcry for the heavy steps. Nor did the matching red tables and chairs that were navigated around. For they were used to people bustling all over and around them, but not people such as these men, no, not men such as these.

“Toshi, what is the meaning of this?” Tsurugi said in quick tongued Japanese. “I told you that this proposition of yours was stupid and you shouldn’t bring it to Lord Kenta.” He added, as he came up behind Kenta.

Kenta raised a hand and waved it slightly, lazily. Tsurugi’s head bowed suddenly. Respectfully.

“My Lord, I wish to discuss a matter with you, of utmost importance.” Toshi said. “I would not interrupt your monthly dining without it being of such importance.” He said, staying in English.

“If Tsurugi said your plan was stupid, generally it means your plan was stupid. That being said, you also don’t generally come up with stupid plans. We did not send you to London, to the West’s School of Economics, or to Wharton for that reason. We sent you because of your talents and your mind.” He said. “Which means that Tsurugi should have given your plan more weight.” Kenta said, eschewing Japanese for English.

Tsurugi nodded and sat down at the table. “My apologies, Lord Kenta.”

“Never apologize for doing your job, Tsurugi.” Kenta said and then a waiter appeared, carrying a tray with a bottle of sake, slightly chilled, along with two additional glasses. The waiter set them down on the table, and Kenta turned to the man. “Bring out more Kakuni. Two more plates.” He said. “When we discuss our work, we eat.” He said as the waiter walked away to comply with the request. “How are things in America?” He asked.

“Our money has been well spent, Lord Kenta” Toshi said. “Since the takeover of Roxxon, our shares have increased in value. The board is still apprehensive about having a non-American in the role of CEO, but they will get over it as the profit margins rise.” He said. “We have no worries there.”

“And do we have worries at home?” Kenta asked, turning to Tsurugi.

The old warrior only shook his head, and that was enough for Kenta. He turned back, picking up the chopsticks once more. “Speak, Toshi. You barged in rather unceremoniously, so clearly you must not want to wait.”

“I was approached by a woman who has a proposition for the Kurita Clan.” Toshi said. He knew that he had to be careful with his words. Words were powerful things and could shape a man's thoughts and feelings. For Kenta, words were not just a language, but an art form of expression, rivaled only by body language. Kenta was a samurai through and through, though his code of Bushido seemed so different than others. “Her credentials check out, and she speaks on behalf of a powerful organization. They would like our help on a number of endeavors and we would stand to benefit greatly from it.” He said. “Our soldiers would provide great assistance to them.”

Kenta nodded, slowly, as he chewed. Reaching for his glass of water, he took a sip, swishing the liquid around before he swallowed. This was an interesting proposition, and one that Kenta had been preparing for, for some time. Making a power move and taking over one of the strongest companies in the West was something that would make waves, that had they had been assured of. Now it only made sense for the Kurita Clan to be on the radar of organizations that never would have thought of them before.

“Who is this woman?” He asked.

“She is from Europe.” Toshi said. “Her credentials are valid. Will you at least be willing to hear her out, Lord Kenta?” He asked.

“I am always willing to discuss business.” He said.

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Re: Hot Pork on a Cold Night

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Toshi nodded and rose, walking to the entrance of the dining room, and opening the doors. He beckoned for someone unseen and then he turned and started walking back. The woman that followed him walked with a sense of purpose, a sense of ownership. She wore a dark green silk dress, and she had long, dark brown hair that went past her shoulders. Her expression indicated that she was very much in tune with the dynamic of the room and that she was paying very close attention to everything that she saw. Walking up to the table, as she held her clutch purse, she stood there, waiting for Toshi to make the introductions.

“Lord Kenta, may I present Valentina Page.” He said, and gestured towards her.

She smiled and bowed slightly, knowing that she wouldn’t be able to sit down unless Kenta allowed her to. His eyes roved around her, until they locked onto her face. She had to admit, the Lord of the Kurita Clan did strike an imposing figure. It had to be said. Eventually, he looked pointedly at one of the chairs at the table and she smiled, sitting down.

Past the first hurdle. So far so good.

“Lord Kenta, Toshi has told me how valuable your time is, so I’m going to cut right to the point. I’d like to speak with you about having a relationship between your organization and my own.” She said.

“What organization might that be, Ms. Page?” Kenta replied, as he continued to eat and drink.

“It’s an old organization. We’ve been around since World War II.” She said, and he chuckled at her words. She paused, cocking her head to the side. A wry look came across her face, as some of her hair slid over her eyes. “I’m sorry, that wasn’t a joke, unless I’m that bad at Japanese customs.”

“You misunderstand.” Kenta said, leaning back in his head. “You said your organization was ‘old’. You’re less than a century old. My organization, my clan, my…family, it can be traced back to the sixteenth century.”

She nodded slowly, smiling. She understood what he meant. “Respectfully, Lord Kenta, no one has heard of your family until Toshi Kurita’s hostile takeover plan of Roxxon was implemented.” Valentina said and watched him bristle in defense. It was decidedly worth it, all things considered. “Now, we can sit here and trade insults about whether or not my organization fits the definition of a three letter word…or we can actually talk.”

“My dear, you still haven’t told me what organization you represent.” Kenta said, showing that if he took any offense to her words, he wasn’t going to show it.

Her hands were under the table and she reached up, taking the clutch purse and opening it. Reaching into the purse, she pulled out a ring and slid it onto one of her fingers, before letting her hand fall onto the table.

“Does that explain things to you?” She asked.
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Foxx
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Re: Hot Pork on a Cold Night

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Kenta’s eyes drifted down; towards to the ring that Valentina had placed on her finger. “But of course it does.” He said, and reached out a hand. “May I?” He asked, with a mild look of appreciation on his face. When she nodded, he took her hand in his and ran his thumb over the ring. “Most interesting.” He said, and then dropped her hand onto the table, before leaning back. “Toshi did not tell me that your credentials were such as they are.” He said. It appeared as if he had no visible reaction to the ring, and Kenta had always been able to conceal his true feelings on something. This was not going to be any different than the past.

But he could not stop the reactions of his two companions. Toshi and Tsurugi’s eyes were on the ring. Toshi still had the same reaction, even though he had already seen the ring before and had been explained what it was. The ring had that power on someone. It was a dark red, matching her dress. All one color, it looked as if it had been made out of some precious metal and then completely enameled. The front of the ring, what everyone saw, that was what was important. It was a skull, with two small diamonds in the eye sockets. That meant one thing and only one thing, at least to someone in the know.

A Red Skull.

“Well, gaijin, it would appear that your organization is very powerful. I wonder, what they would need with my clan.” He said, looking down at his plate. “But, before we continue, we eat. We do not discuss business without some food or drink in my family. The meal aids the conversation and the conversation aids the digestion. It is known.” He said and clapped his hands.

The waiter from before came out through the double doors, expectant.

“Oh, no.” Valentina said, holding up a hand and shaking it slightly. The lids of her eyes came down slightly as she also shook her head politely. “I must refuse. I ate before I came, and I’m watching my figure.”

“Your figure is fine, and you already knew that.” Kenta replied. “You must try the kakuni, I insist. It is the perfect dish on a cold evening such as this. The pork is succulent and melts in the mouth. The radishes? They are beautifully cooked. Hot kakuni on a cold night is a remedy for the soul, you will understand.”

“If you insist, how could I refuse such a gracious host?” She asked, and he waved his hand.

“Two plates of the kakuni, for myself, and for our lovely gaijin.” He said.

“I do know what you’re calling me.” Valentina replied, a smirk on her mouth, and Japanese rolling off of her tongue. “Just because I’m a ‘foreigner’ as you put it, doesn’t mean I don’t speak your language.”

His expression had shifted to one of surprise, mirth, and enjoyment. “My dear, you are proving to be more and more exciting by the moment.” He said in Japanese. “Now, as this lazy sack of bones brings us our meal and more sake, what does HYDRA want with my clan?” He asked, a smile on his face.

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Re: Hot Pork on a Cold Night

Post by Ninzi »

Valentina sat back as the waiter placed the plate of food in front of her. It definitely smelled amazing. The waiter stood there for a moment, unsure if he should give her chopsticks or western utensils, but she held her hand out for the chopsticks, making it easier for him. She started eating and she could see that Kenta was waiting for her judgment. Nodding slowly, she pointed at the food on the plate. “You were right, it is exceptional.” She said.

“I am glad that you like it. Now, as to your needs?” He asked. “How can I help with them?”

“HYDRA is involved in a number of different undertakings around the world. We have agents in Brazil, Mexico, the United States, and the list goes on. But we’re highly interested in developing a presence in the Far East.” She said. “That’s where you and yours would come into play. Have you ever heard of a country called Madripoor?” She asked.

He nodded. “Small speck of a thing, really.” He said, drinking some of his sake. “An island nation off the coast of Singapore that acts as a haven for pirates and for the wealthy. I maintain some contacts there.” Kenta said. “Tsurugi has spent time there if I recall correctly.” He said, and indicated the older man sitting next to him who nodded.

“That’s outstanding.” Valentina replied. “Obviously, the Kurita Clan would be well compensated for its assistance in HYDRA’s endeavors.” She said. “There would be a portion of Madripoor available for Kurita Clan’s needs and desires.” Valentina said.

“That is a good deal, I must say.” Kenta replied.

The other two men remained silent.

“I admit though, that there is a lot I don’t know about the Kurita Clan.” Valentina said. “It’s not something that one can do an internet search for, let’s face it. Toshi told me something of your history, but he said that to truly appreciate it, I had to hear it from you, Lord Kenta.” She said, sipping at her sake.

“You wish to hear of the Kurita Clan’s history?” He asked, with a smile.

“If you’d be willing to share some of it with me, of course.” Valentina replied.
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Re: Hot Pork on a Cold Night

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“The story of our clan is an old one, with rich history, Ms. Page.” Kenta said, gesturing grandly. “We date back many centuries. Let me tell you a story, if I may. Many years ago, here in Japan, a Fox spirit became friends with a Buddhist Monk. The two were very close and the Fox spirit would sit with his fried while the monk meditated. This went on for years, until the monk had a spell cast upon him by an Onmyōji, a civil servant with mystical and divine responsibilities. This civil servant had been cursed himself, you see, and was trying to find a way to reverse the curse that had been placed on him.” Kenta said, and stopped when Valentina lifted a hand to stop him.

She shook her head, the look of disbelief clear and obvious. Everyone at the table knew what her objection would be, so early into the story. “Wait. Wait a minute. You expect me to believe that there is a Fox spirit in this story about your clan’s history?” Valentina asked. “As if Fox spirits are real?" She asked, waving a hand in the air in utter disbelief of his words.

Kenta’s brow furrowed. “My dear, we live in a world full of mutants and men in armored suits. Surely as a member of HYDRA you have been told of the Red Skull’s various fascination with the occult? Was not a man named Stephen Strange the Sorcerer Supreme of earth? With all of that considered true and fact, is it really so hard to believe that there could be something of a Fox spirit?” He asked.

He shook his head as if he was disappointed in her, the look on his face exaggerated for effect. “We must broaden your horizons, Ms. Page. As I was saying, this civil servant was cursed, haunted by a fear that he could not fight against. Simple meditation, simple recitation of his prayers would not aid him. He went to various temples to see what could be done, but none of the Buddha’s followers could help him. He did not know how he had been cursed, or who had cursed him. While he could not find out, he had to try to fight it.”

“What did he do?” She asked.

Kenta smiled, for now she was starting to get into the story. “He consulted some cravens, who followed the Shinto religions, besides dabbling in the mystic arts of others, and they gave him the most wicked of advice. From their advice, he went to curse the Buddhist monk. Some would say that his choice was wrong and that he had sinned by using this solution. Others would say that desperation will make a man do whatever it takes to save himself. Now, this was a monk of irrefutable esteem in the community. Most religious figures usually are.” He said and Toshi nodded with a smile.

“Until they do something they aren’t supposed to.” Toshi said.

“Quiet.” Kenta said, the look on his face telling everyone what he thought of Toshi’s words.

Clearly the man had a healthy dose of respect for those who had dedicated their lives to their religion and their beliefs. Kenta would not tolerate those would speak ill of the religious, no matter what religion they ascribed to. They had shown a level of dedication that was unrivaled by many others. “The monk’s friend was the Fox spirit, the Kitsune. This Kitsune knew that she could not let her friend be such imperiled and had to find a solution. Upon consulting someone far more powerful than the cravens, the Kitsune was given a choice. Take the Monk’s place and be the victim of the curse herself, an wakeless sleep until death, or watch as her friend suffered and ultimately died.”

“There was only one choice for the Kitsune to make.” Valentina said, leaning forward, her chin in her palm, enthralled by the tale. Her eyes were alight with interest and Kenta knew that he had a captive audience in Valentina Page.

“A smart woman indeed.” Kenta replied with a smile. “The Kitsune took the monk’s place, but the monk refused to allow this, meditating until he reached the astral plane and could commune with his friend. Though the Fox spirit tried to fight him and argue with him, he took the Fox spirit’s place, treasuring his friend’s gift of her life and in exchange giving her a gift of his own.” He said. “The Fox spirit had a choice, upon returning to the realm of reality."

“She could let it go, or she could seek revenge. The monk had asked her not to do anything, to choose peace over revenge.” Tsurugi said, holding up two fingers. He shared a look with Kenta. Both men knew the story well, and both men loved the story, the historical start of the Kurita Clan.

“She chose revenge, didn’t she?” Valentina asked.

“The Fox spirit journeyed to the freed Onmyōji's home and transformed into a beautiful woman. She seduced him, and persuaded him to destroy his earthly possessions, kill his wife, his concubines, his servant, everything and everyone that he held dear. Then she reverted to her true form and took out one of his eyes.” He said.

“How does this explain the Kurita Clan’s history?” She asked.

"Because the man in the story remarried and had many sons. One of his sons became the head of the clan by forging his will by becoming a Samurai. He changed his surname to Kurita and started the Kurita Clan. Our mon is a fox. We will always remember that the spirits and destiny will conspire against us.” Kenta said and then raised his hand with one finger extended, as this was his most important point to make.

For this was the reason that the Kurita Clan believed what they believed.

“The Onmyōji was cursed by the cravens, for they wanted to destroy the Fox spirit for an earlier slight upon their perceived honor. He was but a victim in a game played by those more powerful than him, a sad thing indeed.” Kenta said. “No one in this world is innocent, but no one in this world is guilty. We live in a swirling mass of gray. Your code is your own, and Kurita Clan has chosen it’s own code. We will fight for our family and we will defend it. No one, be it spirit or man, will ever oppress us again.” Kenta said. “Now, let us discuss Madripoor."

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Re: Hot Pork on a Cold Night

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“Madripoor, yes.” She said. Valentina smiled. “Madripoor is a beautiful place for people such as us. It’s a haven for those who believe that their agenda should be pursued with ruthless aggression. Am I right in believing that it would be a place that the Kurita Clan would find a home in?” She asked. When he said nothing but smiled, she continued. “There are a number of obstacles that hinder the progress of taking over Madripoor. Chief amongst those is the people currently ruling it.”

“They are…not inclined to see things your way?” Toshi asked, as this was starting to get more and more into his field of expertise.

“That is a simple way of putting it.” She replied, with a sigh. “Yes, it’s become quite difficult to get into the country, and we’re trying to find ways to get around the people in charge. It’s proving rather difficult. Hydra has resources, but those resources are finite.” She said, with a quick wave of the hand, as if she didn’t want to dwell on the admission that she’d just made. Valentina smiled. “Now, the Kurita Clan on the other hand, you’re rather flush with all the profits that you’re turning from Roxxon.”

Kenta smiled and laughed. “Well now, gaijin, there are some things that we cannot discuss. Suffice to say, the Clan is doing better than we have ever done before. What would you have us do?”

“Roxxon has an entertainment division.” Valentina said, turning slightly so that Toshi was in her full field of vision. “I would ask that Roxxon put forward an interest in building a casino and hotel in Madripoor. The ruling family, the Siangs, would be hard pressed to turn down such an influx of money and jobs to their country.”

“From there, we can spread out through the rest of the island nation.” Toshi said, nodding slowly. “This is a good plan. In exchange for this, we get the money and profits of the casino.” He said.

“What kind of military do these Siangs possess?” Tsurugi asked, the second thing that he had spoken since Valentina had walked into the room.

The woman in the dark green silk dress smiled. “Well, that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to come and speak to the Kurita Clan as opposed to anyone else. The military isn’t large, but it is well trained. Their government has dealt with Vanguard in the past.” She said.

Tsurugi scoffed. “The American government?” He asked, and then looked at Toshi. “I told you that this idea of yours was-“

He fell silent when Kenta raised his hand.

“What has Vanguard done?” Kenta asked.

“They’ve sent advisors and trainers. Rumors are that an agent or two are in Madripoor.” Valentina said.

“We lost one of our own once, fighting Vanguard.” Kenta said, his voice changing. It had become melancholy and sad, as if he was remembering something that brought him great personal pain. “I would do much to avenge that loss. Perhaps we can definitely work something out.” He said.
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Re: Hot Pork on a Cold Night

Post by Foxx »

Nearby

“I’ve got eyes on them.” The blond haired woman turned pulled away from the binoculars and looked at the woman next to her. They were perched on top of a rooftop in Tokyo, looking down at the Roxxon Corporation Tokyo location. The building was huge, stretching up into the sky. But their focus was on one floor, the dining and hosting floor. “Remember, our orders are only to watch them.” She said.

“We have known members of the Hand, the Kurita Clan, meeting with a suspicious woman, and we can not intercept?” The Japanese woman next to her said, shaking her head. “You Americans do not seem to understand how to get results.” She said, the mask covering her eyes giving no indication to just how much sarcasm her words were laced with. But the voice and the tone of the voice gave away everything.

The blonde smiled, propping up her elbows on the concrete. “Oh, we know how to get results, Rin. We don’t know who the woman is or why she’s meeting with the Kuritas. How do we know whether she’s a target?” She asked.

“Anyone who would meet with the Kuritas is a target.” Rin said, scoffing at the blonde’s words. “Their web of lies spreads far and wide.” She added, rising from where they were, leaning over the edge of concrete and looking out over the city. “How long before we have positive identification on the woman?” She asked.

“It’s taking the Vanguard satellites some time to get through the data.” She said. “You never told me why you hate the Kuritas so much.”

“That is between myself and Director Grace, Kayla.” Rin replied. “We’re working together but that does not mean that I’m going to start sharing everything about myself.” She said.

Kayla Evans, the Black Canary, gave the other woman a smirk. “I thought it was supposed to be one team, one fight.” She said, and Rin shook her head.

“Unfortunately, you thought wrong.” She said, walking back up to the edge. The sword strapped to her back was calling to her, itching for her to take it out and use it to strike against the Kurita Clan.

Kayla’s tablet lit up for a moment, as an incoming message arrived. Accepting the message, she looked at the contents. “We have an ID. No name, but the woman is linked to a few terrorist networks around the world. I can’t believe it…but we have the go ahead to intercept.” She said. “Looks like you finally get to use that katana of yours, Rin, and finally stop bugging me about us going in.” Kayla added as she put away the tablet. Black Canary looked up as Rin reached down into a case and pulled out a grappling hook system, without making any sound.

But her movements were crisp and fluid and belied the satisfaction that the woman had in finally being able to strike against the Kurita Clan. The two women set up the grappling hook system and fired it, embedding the claw into the Roxxon building. Kayla ran her hands up Rin’s body, connecting the zipline attachment to the Japanese woman’s dark red and gold suit, and then she stood still as Rin did the same for her.

“Alright, let’s go kick some ass.” Kayla said as Rin jumped off the building, sword in hand.

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Re: Hot Pork on a Cold Night

Post by Ninzi »

The ambiguous terminology was not lost on Valentina. “What would stop you from working with us?” She asked.

Kenta gave an exaggerated shrug. “This family does not act rashly. We think before we agree on anything. While getting my vengeance on the organization that brought my family great loss is something that I would not be averse to, rushing into a relationship with an organization such as yours in order to gain that vengeance, it would be foolhardy to say the least.” He said with a smile. He continued to eat, letting the words hang in the air.

Valentina opened her mouth to speak, but she also chose that moment to look to the side, out of some of the windows. Her eyes widened slightly and she moved, faster than one would have assumed a woman could, let alone a woman in a silk dress such as the one that adorned her figure. The men followed her gaze, and Tsurugi’s reaction was the next fastest, followed by that of Toshi. Kenta remained where he was, continuing to eat.

Glass shattered, as Kayla Evans, the Black Canary, and Rin Kurosawa, the Katana, burst into the room. Black Canary reached up, and blue circles on the palm of her gloves lit up, outlined by a thin yellow light. Two batons sprang off of her back, connecting with the circles on her palms. Bringing her arms back around, she fixed the two batons together, forming a bo-staff. By the time she had finished this, her compatriot, Katana, had drawn her sword.

“So…if everyone would be nice and quiet, this is going to go very easily. Lady in the green dress, you’re under arrest.” Black Canary said.

Valentina merely smiled. “Why is that, little duckling?” She asked.

“Because I said so.” Black Canary replied. “Now, are you going to come quietly and nicely, or is this not going to be very easy?” She asked. Everyone was silent for a moment, before Black Canary spoke again, looking at Kenta. “Not sure if you should still be eating.” She said.

“I’m merely finishing my meal, to pay respect to the excellent chef who crafted it, specifically for me, something that I do not think a disrespectful interloper such as yourself would understand.”

“Right.” Black Canary said, nodding her head slowly. “I apologize for the whole glass thing.” She said, looking over her shoulder at the broken window.

“He’s stalling.” Katana said. “Let’s get this over with. The blade wants me to spill Kurita blood.” She said, and this caused Kenta’s eyes to finally shift from his plate to that of the woman who had just spoken.

His eyes alighted on the blade she bore and everything in his demeanor changed. From slight annoyance, to complete disgust. Rising, he overturned the table slightly, as he turned to face her.

“How did you come by the Soultaker sword, one of the holy items of this Clan?!” He asked, pointing dead at Katana. “The man who carried it abandoned this Clan. Answer me now!” He said, showing the first true display of anger that Valentina had ever seen.

She kept it in the back of her mind, as she depressed a button on the emerald jeweled silver bracelet that she wore.
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Re: Hot Pork on a Cold Night

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Having the sword of the Samurai in the Roxxon Corporation owned Hotel Claremont in Tokyo, Japan was not an unusual sight. It was one that wasn't that common, of course, but that didn't mean that it was all that rare. Even if the person carrying the sword was not Japanese, nor a man. The woman had been waiting, anticipating something happening, and when her silver bracelet vibrated, alerting her to a message from her employer, she sprang into action. Her movements were sharp and crisp, as if highly practiced and well rehearsed. She drew the katana and headed towards the stairs, climbing the short flight to get to her destination. When she reached the doors of the restaurant area, she saw two bodyguards, who were standing there, seemingly waiting for instruction.

They held up a hand as she approached, and she shook her head, giving them a sweet smile. As the grips on their submachine guns tightened, so to did her grip on her katana. It flashed, at a speed faster than the eye could see. A short spray of blood painted the walls, as Joanna Church kicked open the locked doors of the restaurant level and strode in, spinning her blade in her hand. She took in the scene before her, and quickly saw who the transgressors were, even if Valentina hadn't immediately pointed them out. Joanna continued to smile, as she walked towards Black Canary and Katana, purpose in her steps.

"She's not friendly." Kayla said.

"Clearly you got your job because of the depth of your analysis." Rin replied, rolling her eyes. "She is not Kurita. She is not one of the ones that I want." Katana said, turning towards the three ranking members of the Clan in the room with them.

"I guess I've got leather pants." Kayla said, turning to Joanna, who swung her katana blade. She brought her escrima sticks up, forming an X shape that caught the downward stroke of Church's attack, forcing a spark or two to fly as metal grated against metal. Canary brought her arms up, dislodging the sword from the other woman's grasp.

It flipped in the air, and both watched it. Church grabbed for it, taking hold of it once more. Now the attack turned into a downward angled stab, and Canary had to move quickly in order to bat the stab away. The blade sliced through her cheek, a hair or two away from piercing through the skin fully, but close enough to draw blood. Kayla backpedaled, spinning the escrima sticks before she moved in for an attack. But her opponent was able to counter, as if the move had been telegraphed, or she had already figured out the perfect counter. Kayla winced as she tried another angle, and found less success.

This wasn't going well, at all.

On the other hand, Katana found herself engaging Tsurugi. The man had seemingly conjured up a tanto blade from his clothes, and he was using it to defend Kenta Okada from the fury of Katana's onslaught. The Soultaker Sword called to her, the different voices of the souls trapped within the blade begging for new souls to call brethren. Tsurugi was forced backwards, as she continued to hack and slash, working through his defenses.

It was the footwork that was keeping him in the fight, against the younger and more talented fighter. This was a test of eagerness and motivation against experience and patience. So far, Katana's press strategy was working. Until Tsurugi chose the opportune moment to go on the offense, striking her with a kick to her midsection. It forced Rin to double over slightly, and Tsurugi used that motion to place a kick to her shoulder. This turned her slightly and he kicked her in the back of the knee.

Using the sword's tip as a balancing point, Katana forced herself back up and turned towards the man. "That was a good shot, Kurita." She said, the clan name a biting remark. "What else can you do?" She asked.

Tsurugi smiled, as he saw Okada draw his own katana blade.

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Ninzi
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Re: Hot Pork on a Cold Night

Post by Ninzi »

“More than you think, little cherry blossom.” Tsurugi retorted.

Rin’s eyes widened as her sword screamed at her through the mental link that she shared with it. She threw herself backwards, bending at the waist to become parallel to the ground. Okada’s blade sliced through the air above her, missing her. It swiveled and she could see that he was going to stab downwards. Dropping to the gorund, Rin rolled, as the blade pierced the ground, driving through it. Twisting her body, she kicked out, forcing the blade from Okada’s grip. She was on her back, and she saw the look of annoyance that flitted over the Kurita leader’s face.

The blade wavered in the air as she pivoted, using her head as a fulcrum, and came up on one knee.

“Your leader appears to be a worse warrior than you, old man.” She said, looking at Kenta but speaking to Tsurugi.

“Respect must always be shown to one’s betters, little cherry blossom.” Tsurugi replied, diving forward.

The small tanto blade whistled through the air, and Rin batted it away.

Meanwhile, Valentina had shed her heels, knowing that mobility was what was going to keep her alive. She had her faith in Joanna though. That woman hadn’t killed her way through a slew of people to be her bodyguard for nthing. The green gem on the bracelet activated a short range communicator that alerted Joanna that Valentina was in danger. While she didn’t think that the Kuritas would let anything happened to a guest under their roof, she was not in the business of taking chances with that sort of thing.

Backing up, she flattened herself against a wall. How had they found her? She had come to Japan under the radar, using well developed HYDRA assets and contacts. The fact that Black Canary and the one that she was with were here was a shake to the core. Luckily for Valentina, it was only a shake to the core for thse with constitutions weaker than Valentina’s. She was already make a list of whose heads were going to roll for these transgressions. No one put the HYDRA Viper in danger and lived to continue onwards.

She watched as Joanna fought Black Canary and Valentina knew that she had made the right choice in bodyguard, even if the tryouts hadn’t left her with much choice. Joanna’s uncanny ability to mimic people’s fighting styles paid off for her every time some fool tried to attack her. Joanna had yet to be beaten, at least as far as Valentina knew and she had done extensive research on the woman when they had first met.

Turning her attention back to Rin, she smiled, seeing Tsurugi’s fist connect with Rin’s jaw, stunning the woman and turning her body with the power of the move.

Her eyes widened when she saw Okada move in for the kill.
Ninzified lol.

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Foxx
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Re: Hot Pork on a Cold Night

Post by Foxx »

Kayla punched the leather clad woman in the face, finding a nice sense of satisfaction in the result. She reached out with a kick, finding the woman’s midsection. It drove her back, into a pillar. They were some of the first successful hits that she had been able to get on the woman, and Kayla was often times considered one of the better fighters in the world. That was putting it mildly. The Black Canary was a fairly famed fighter. Unfortunately, her opponent here was constantly able to counter the attacks, as if the Canary was telegraphing them. The issue with that was that Kayla knew she wasn’t.

She was almost resorting to a form of drunken kung fu to throw her opponent off, but Joanna’s uncanny ability to second guess her strikes was getting very annoying.

Kayla had to respect the woman’s gracefulness. She wore leather thigh high boots, with what looked and felt like steel reinforced toes. But her movements were like a dancer’s own. The skill with which she was able to contort her body was almost poetic. If she hadn’t been trying to kill Kayla, as it seemed she rather was, Kayla would have rather just watched the woman fight and study her ability.

It was time to make up for the loss of finesse with power. That was something that Kayla had an abundance of. She barreled inwards, taking her shoulder and planting it straight into the woman’s stomach. The motion caused the pillar to break, and the two went crashing down towards the ground. Kayla rolled off of the other, who winced in pain and smile down at her. “Gotcha now. How does it feel to be the one hurting?” She asked, reaching down and grabbing a hold of one of the woman’s feet.

But she stopped, when she heard the scream.

Turning, Kayla saw Okada’s blade sticking through Rin’s back. He had stabbed the woman in the chest and already stark red blood was starting to pour out of the wound.

“Rin!” Kayla cried.

“Was that her name?” Okada asked with a bemused smile. “I don’t think she’ll have need of it for much longer, will she?” He asked, and with a grunt tossed her off of the blade.

Kayla let go of the woman’s foot running over to her fallen comrade. She slid to the ground near Rin. “C’mon, I need you to hold on. I’m going to get you out of here.” She said, but followed the fingers that Rin was pointing. “The sword?” She asked, and watched as the blade of the sword began to glow a bright red.

“Ah yes, now the Soultaker Sword prepares to take yet another soul. That is how the blade works, after all.” Okada said. “That is an artifact of the Kurita Clan. I demand its return, whelp.” He said.

Rin grasped the sword by the handle and gave it to Kayla. “Bring me back home.” She said, before she closed her eyes.

Kayla turned to face the three oncoming foes from her crouched position, Soultaker sword in her hand.

Unleash the power.

She wasn’t sure where the voice was coming from, but it sounded like it was in her head. Unfortunately, with the three people advancing upon her, Kayla could not afford the luxury of trying to figure out what was going on. Rin was losing a lot of blood and she had to get the two of them out of there. She looked at them, and her eyes narrowed, her mouth thinning into a straight line. “You want the sword?” She asked. “Come and get it, bitch.”

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