A Rescue In The Dark.
Kibou, King En’s Sanki Youma, (a creature that can change shapes) arrived at the smoldering ruin that was once a house. Instantly it changed its’ shape again, this time into a wolf youma, and started tracking the Queen of Kei. It hadn’t been very long ago that she and that rat hanju were there. Together they had gone into the forest after the ones who had set the fire and taken the woman with them.
Racing into the darkening forest Kibou raced to locate her. King En had commanded she be lead to him and given extra protection. Kibou was just the shirei to do it. It wasn’t long before he located them. Stopping at a respectful distance from her shirei he made himself known.
A loud and piercing cry of a wolf shattered the silence of the forest making Rakushun jump.
“Kibou, announces his arrival.” The youma at her side stated.
“He is early...but then so am I. I had better go talk to him and explain the situation.” Youko whispered to Hankyo. Then to Rakushun she stated, “That is a shirei from King En I was to meet it for some other business later. I should go talk to him. Hankyo will stay and protect you. Hyouki and I will be right back.”
When she neared the clearing Hyouki came forth and stood between her and the other shirei. He was clearly mistrustful of the other creature. Kibou did not seem offended however and even seemed to smile at the possessive and protective way her shirei were acting.
“My master sends his greetings and welcome to you. I have been sent to guide you to a meeting place and to guard you.”
“We protect her majesty.” Hyouki stated from where be stood before her. “Do not try to approach her any closer than you are, unless you are with your king.”
“Then I shall assist you in that protection from a distance.”
“Thank-you, however I am not ready to go just yet. We are tracking some men who took my friends mother. We have to retrieve her safely before I can go with you. It shouldn’t take too long. I should be able to meet you on the before agreed upon date and time.” * I hope.* She thought.
“I will assist and protect you while you are doing this. I believe the men who are ahead of you are going back to the other men King En is with.”
“I thought that might be the case. This could cause problems. I don’t want to blow his cover but we have to get Rakushuns’ mother to safety.”
“I will go ahead and see what her condition is and return to you.”
“Are you sure? Shouldn’t you be getting back to Shouryu?”
“His majesty said I should assist and protect you in any way I can.”
Allen was so sick of this place he couldn’t even begin to describe it. He was starving alone and had run from a fight because he didn’t want to kill a bunch of crazed villagers. Now he sat by his fire wondering if any of the odd creatures he had seen in this forest were eatable. He was hesitant to try it because creatures that strange looking could certainly prove to be poisonous.
Slinking into the shadows Allen gripped his sword. Surely anybody who was approaching in friendship would have called out to announce their approach? These men seemed to be trying to approach silently. They weren’t doing a very good job of it. There were some odd noises coming from their direction.
A small group of men entered the clearing with swords drawn and arrows notched. Allen’s eyes narrowed when he noticed that they had a woman with them. Her hands were bound and she had a gag in her mouth. They threw her on the ground and Allen was hard pressed not to rush blindly to her aid. He ground his teeth in frustration as he waited and watched. It was possible that these men were lawmen and she was a criminal...but looking at them he knew that the possibility was not very great. The men looked more like thugs and the woman looked like a mother or grandmother. There was something homey about her and he could see from her eyes that she was frightened.
Allen climbed the tree he was next to. From there he watched and waited. His mind was made up when they untied the woman and put her to work fixing them food. Several of the more desperate men seemed to be eyeing her lewdly. Allen knew he would need to act soon. But he also knew that the men were concerned about who had started the fire. A number of them spread out and started looking around the area for him.
I could take them but I want to be sure she won’t be harmed in the process. I also do not want to be shot with one of those arrows some of them are packing around. Better to cut down their numbers before I make my move.
This decided Allen sprang to action. Instantly he had taken out several of them before he turned and rushed into the camp. He moved silently and swiftly like a lethal wind. One of them managed a loud shout for help before Allen took him down. Turning to the lady he took her hand and lead her out back the way the group of men had come from.
She said something to him in that same language that he didn’t understand, but her tone of voice spoke volumes. She was thanking him and yet was worried about him as well. Allen smiled at her and bowed. “It was my pleasure to assist you.” He stated. She obviously didn’t understand his words but she smiled and taking his hand started leading him through the forest. *I hope she is leading me to someplace with food and people who won’t attack me with pitchforks.* He thought to himself.
Yuka had not gotten very far in her explanation, She was telling them about how she and Asano were on the roof of the school when Keiki and Youko came running out on the roof. Kaname became excited and interrupted.
“Keiki, I remember a tall man with long blond hair.” His brother blinked for a moment it was like Kaname was old self again. Kaname blinked and blushed slightly. “I am sorry, it’s just the memory was so warm. I only remember flashes but I get the feeling that he was very important to me. Please continue.”
“So you know prim and proper Keiki?”
“Please tell me more about him.”
Yuka blinked she could see the adoration for Keiki in Kanames’ eyes. She took a few moments to decide what to say. Declining to mention the stick up his butt she decided to start with the most obvious thing to describe about Keiki.
“Well, for starters he isn’t human. He is what is called a Kirin a holy creature who chooses the king or queen of their kingdom. At the time we didn’t know this the only thing we did know was that something strange was happening.” At this point Yuka had continued to tell her story to the Takasado brothers, one seemed to hang on her every word like it was the most important thing in the world and the other seemed to listen in shock.
King En walked feeling the eyes of the rest of the syndicate group he was with watch him closely. They still did not completely trust him despite the show he had put on making it look like he had killed some kaikyaku. And his assistance when some Youma attacked their group. But he had gotten the boss drunk and had gotten some information out of him. Enough to know that a lot more was going on besides just a group of people out to kill hanjyuu, taika and kaikyaku. He still hadn’t found out what king or queen was financing their operation but he had found out something far more dark and sinister. Something he had no idea how to go about fixing the problem to. His original questions were answered and he and Youko could continue on their self appointed mission but with his answers he had even more questions and some of them left him wondering what he should do next. Did that stuffed turkey have any more info to dish out to him or not? At this point he thought he would stick around at least until Youko came and then they could decide what to do next together.
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