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The air of Hueco Mundo was as quiet as it usually was. The occasional breeze whipped up small clouds of white sand like clouds appearing to touch the earth in their brief existences. Tiny hollows resembling all manner of desert-dwelling animals scurried about enacting a mockery of the living world's natural cycle. A masked eagle devoured a tiny masked lizard; which was finishing up the carcass left by a much larger predator. All was calm and balanced in this world between worlds. Though with the approach of a slumped, staggering humanoid, the relative peace of this wasteland was going to be ending very soon.
The arrancar calling itself Highwayman Bordeaux was gripping his head and gritting his teeth like a man with an agonizing migraine headache. His arms trembled visibly as he staggered through the desert of white sand, occasionally falling to his knees and gnashing his teeth as creatures that ventured close before getting back up again to wander aimlessly.
Eventually, the evolved hollow arrived at a grouping of ruined structures that maybe once, long ago, could have been considered buildings. At the sight of these solid pieces of stone, Bordeaux let loose an unearthly howl or pain and anger before tossing aside his saber and coat. With the frenzied madness of hollows of a lesser nature, the arrancar started attacking the inanimate ruins with his bare hands and brute power.
Of those who knew the Highwayman Bordeaux, it was mostly obvious of his problems. Despite his attempts of civility among the Kurikku, his mind was plagued with an unlimited supply of bitterness and rage. Even to the man himself, the source was unknown. Some surmised that it probably resulted from his time before he'd even become hollow. Others suggested the source was self-loathing at some disappointment the arrancar kept to himself. What ever the reason, though, these bits or rock were paying the price.
Using all the strength he could muster, Bordeaux started ripping apart bits of the remaining structures, First, loose stones were tossed off of larger standing supports. Then, the enraged hollow began striking at the firmer pieces. With his mind clouded by an inhuman rage, the pain of his flesh striking stone was muffled. His arms were a flurry of action as his punches were followed each other with no breaks. Soon, the aging rock began to crack and crumble in the wake of the unrelenting wave of wrathful blows.
Eventually the large stone would break under the abuse and crumble in half. Bordeaux panted in an attempt to catch his breath. He flicked his wrists off to the side, shaking off the blood beginning to flow from the multitude of scraps that had formed on his hands along with a small amount of sweat. His face was still warped into an angry grimace, snarling at the inanimate 'opponent' he had broken. For a moment, he just stared at it, one side of the stone marred by a small red stain.
In his head, he felt no better. The rage roiled and crashed around his mind like the surges of high tide banging against a pier. It felt like no amount of violence and destruction, against a foe living or not, could ease him from this torment.
Himeko was bored, that was plain to see since such an emotion was clearly displayed upon her expressionless face. But there was more to take note as one drew up their conclusion that the young vizard was bored. For one, she had decided to spend her time not messing around with the other members of Kurriku like she usually did. No, she had spent years running the people mad with her ‘games’, and very few desired to play such games with her nonetheless be in her presence for fear that they would be dragged into one of her many dangerous games she enjoyed playing. And those enjoyed her twisted sense of fun as much as she did were few and currently unavailable.
This thus forced the youngling to find a different way of relieving her boredom, and such a task was proving rather difficult for her. For one, there was not much to be done in Hueco Mundo, or not much that she knew about. The place was a desolated realm, not very lively if you were to compare it to the likes of the Soul Society or even the human realm. But she had not stepped foot outside of Hueco Mundo for almost a century, and with good reasons. Reasons she would not disclose to anyone but those she truly trusted, and there were few trustworthy people in the world that she lived in.
The only form of entertainment she could come up with was to battle some random Hollows that were not part of Kurikku or any of its allies. But that had gotten old quickly, and she had remembered why she had stopped killing the Hollows that roamed the barren lands. And thusly so, Himeko found herself doing absolutely nothing but staring at the moon. It was something she found herself doing a lot lately. She had seen the moon that loomed over Hueco Mundo many times, but she could still lose herself in its beauty. And she knew that she would stand there for hours on end until she grew tired or she was sent on some task that needed to be complete. But today would not be one of those days. No, for as the vizard’s eyes and mind began to become captivated by the moon, she heard something off in the distance.
Her eyes snapped to the left, for that was where her brain told her the sound came from. And such a scream it was, or at least she thought it was a scream. What else could travel so far and still be heard faintly, but clearly? Though such a thing as a scream should not bother Himeko, she having heard plenty during her lifetime. And since she lived in a place where Hollows consumed one another in the hopes of becoming stronger, hearing screams was not unusual. But something drew her to the scream, something strong enough that she had no choice but to investigate. Thus with a sigh, Himeko utilized the speed she possessed in order to reach the source.
Such a sight she would behold upon her arrival. As she landed upon one of the many pieces that use to comprise a building before its fall, she spotted a young man. She assumed he was young for she had only the view of his back to judge by. Her head tilted slightly to one side as her eyes fed information to her brain in order to piece together what had occurred. But without much needed information, she would be forced to ask rather than guess.
She sighed again, the second time of that day and she had a feeling there would be many more to come. Her arms folded across her chest as words formulated within her mind, words that she would speak in a couple of seconds. “Pray do tell what has you screaming, or whatever you desire to call that, at this moment of time?” Himeko questioned. She spoke loud enough for the Arrancar to hear her. She had not bothered to move from her current position, finding no reason to do so. Himeko did not recognize this Arrancar, and for all she cared, he was an enemy until proven otherwise. Thus she would wait for his response before she decided to do anything else.
Subject Post 3Subject: Re: An Off Day [Open] Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:35 am
Bordeaux's mind felt hazy through his anger. Initially, all actions were thought of as provocations regardless of who they were made by. The sound of a feminine voice speaking to him brought about a swift turn a grab for where his sabre usually was. It was as he groped the air where the hilt usually sat did he remember that he had tossed it under his coat while he attempted to burn away his rage. He glared up at the person who spoke out to him.
Was this bout of rage causing him to hallucinate? Before him, Bordeaux saw a small girl. She looked bored with her arms crossed and awaiting an answer. The arrancar could truly remember what she had asked. His face twisted in one of struggled thought as he tried to break through his anger and recall her question. His hands pushed the hair out of his face hoping in futility that maybe that action would clear his mind some. Bordeaux was rather lucky that he remembered after a few seconds of tortured thought. She had asked why he was screaming out here.
A part of his mind, the part that was fully consumed by his rage, wanted not to answer, but to fly toward her and, in his fury, snap her neck. She looked frail enough that with his strength, the feat wouldn't be hard. There were many other graphic and violent thoughts that ran through his mind, but the action of twisting this girl's head a full 360 degrees was the most vivd. The thoughts made him view her with eyes like those of a predatory animal.
Before he could act, the saner portions of himself brought into reason that he was not armed and, therefore, at a disadvantage. She would not have approached if she could not handle herself. This was Hueco Mundo. The weak die and become food for the strong here. If she was so weak as to die from a simple neck snap, then there was no way she could have gotten here to him without becoming food for some other hollow.
Highwayman Bordeaux grimaced and clenched his fists as he attempted to overcome his anger. He managed to win briefly and felt clear-headed enough that he could possibly talk again.
"Forgive me, mademoiselle. I am..." He struggled to keep his rage under control, causing his voice to sound lower and more bestial even through his accent, "disposing of excess anger. S'il vous plaît comprendre; er.. please understand. I do not wish to harm unnecessarily."
The arrancar gritted his teeth as his rage attempted to overpower his will once more. He refused to allow himself to give in to such base emotions in the presence of another.
Himeko watched with faint amusement as the young man groped for a weapon that was not there, or she assumed that was what he was reaching for. She had no reason to believe he would be groping the air for any other reason, but to retrieve his weapon, and the only reason one would reach for their weapon was if they had malicious intent. The glare that the man sent her only proved to further solidify what she already knew, though why she had received such hostility from the man was beyond her. She had only asked a question, one that was both simple and harmless, a question that didn’t warrant hostility. But she had to remember that she was in Hueco Mundo, which meant most within the realm were hostile.
She fully expected for him to attack her, given his nature, but found it interesting that he did not. Instead, his face became twisted, as if he was in deep thought. But what had him thinking so hard was not something she was privy to, and it was not something the vizard was inclined to know, especially since the two had not introduced themselves properly. But such introductions could wait until a later date. At the moment she wanted her question to be answered before she continued on with this conversation.
Himeko held her head up straight as the man gave her an answer, her eyes never leaving him. It was best that she kept a close eye on him during the rest of the meeting, judging from his earlier actions. She was more than prepared to form a weapon at the drop of a hat, but she wished to remain harmless until the situation called for her to drop the façade. She hoped that the two would not need to fight each other; she would rather play with him than kill him at the present moment, and she felt like playing doctor.
She couldn’t remember the exact term of the part she was about to play, but she knew it consisted of a lot of questions for her patient to answer. She smiled as the boredom she had been feeling throughout the day was being driven away. “The name is Himeko, not mademoiselle,” Himeko said, unfolding her arms as she hopped from her current piece of rubble to one a little closer to the man. Instead of standing upon that piece of rubble like she had the last one, she decided to take a seat, placing her elbows upon her knees and resting her chin in the palm of her hands. She stared up at the man once she got herself comfortable, the smile having not yet left her face.
“What happens to be your name? And if you don’t mind me asking, what has you so riled up?”
The smile she gave him boiled his blood. His violent urges surged and his muscled tensed as she got closer and began to relax around him. It was as if he wasn't even a threat to her. And that was the most infuriating part. A low growl grew from his throat as he took a step back.
"Very well, mademoi... er... Himeko." He tried to clear his throat to get rid of the threatening sounds emanating from it. "I am Highwayman Bordeaux of Kurikku." His voice reached its normal, lighter pitch and relaxed cadence, but his body was still tense with energy and an aimless rage. "Forgive me, but I am always filled with anger. Today..." He looked down at one of his trembling fists, "Today is not one of my better days."
He paced back and forth, never leaving eye contact with the young girl. He tried to read her. What did she want with him? Why was she so relaxed? Was she so sure he wouldn't just attack? Or was she just that much more powerful than him? Either way, the irritation her calmness brought was not helping him at all. Fighting back his rising choler, he stopped pacing and took a seat in the sand between his coat and the pillar he had destroyed. His eyes looked to her less as prey and more with the wariness of a fellow predator.
Himeko must have been failing terribly at her harmless little girl façade. It was evident by the young man taking a step back before he would introduce himself. She cocked her head slightly to the left, wondering if she truly looked intimidating, or maybe her lack of fear towards the Arrancar had made it painfully obvious that she was not weak by any stretch of the imagination. She had hoped he would had taken it as a form of naivete, but that was not to be the case. Instead of feeling disappointment at her failed façade and mulling on how she could had better maintained it, she felt glee. Why? Simply because the young man had went along with her game, he having given up his name as well as the organization that he worked for. Coincidently, she was part of the same organization and thus this made them ‘allies’.
She grinned madly as she watched him finish his sentence then shortly after begin to pace. It gave her quality time to think up some other questions to ask the newly dubbed Highwayman, most of which would end up turning personal if things went her way. Though there were chances that things would not go her way, especially since she hadn’t much information on Mr. Highwayman. And that anger he had was best to be placed into the unpredictable category. Thus even as Highwayman sat down, Himeko kept her guard up though one would not say her seemingly relaxed position was guarded. But that was not of concerns to her. Her only concern was to entertain herself, and Highwayman was going to provide it for her.
“Mr. Highwayman, does beating upon these ruins alleviate your anger? If so, than by all means carry on. But if not, isn’t that a waste of your time. Would you rather find the root of your unknown anger than to continue living with it?”
Bordeaux thought for a moment at the girl's questions. This wasn't one of his normal activities, but his recent interactions had brought about this surge of rage that he had no use for. And it was with this rage that his power stemmed. He had not cared about finding its source before. Whatever the ulterior motive this Himeko had, none of these questions were of consequence to him.
"It helps a little. I expend a little time and energy here and I don't end up losing my temper where it really matters." He explained, scratching thoughtfully at the remains of his mask along his jaw as if it were really a beard. "I have lived a long time. Probably four times over your life!" He chuckled as he thought about his life up to this point. Honestly, being amongst the strong in this little organization was the highlight of his eight centuries of awareness. "In that time, my anger has been my strength. As it rose, so did my ability to crush and devour my foes. For all I know, my anger is all that is truly left of my soul. I do not know what discovering the source of my rage would accomplish."
His hand reached for a shard of stone from the ruin. The piece was still slightly wet with his own blood. Somehow, the wetness of the cooling body fluid served to ease his rage to a much more manageable state. Maybe it wasn't the violence itself that made his blood settle, but the carnage of the aftermath. Seeing and feeling the work he has brought about was his key to temporary peace.
"Now, miss Himeko," He tossed the rock back and forth between his hands. The arrancar's eyes were softer than they had been before. They were not the eyes belonging to a man who had broken a pillar in half in a bestial hysteria. They were neither hateful nor kind, but peaceful. "I must know something before we continue this game of Twenty Questions. What do you hope to gain from this? I am not nearly so dull as to not gather that you must be of an exceptional power to be comfortable around me." He flashed his own grin as he stopped playing with the rock and effortlessly crushed it in his right hand. "I don't mind this little game, but I am also now curious about you."
“How strange,” Himeko muttered to herself as she watched Highwayman play with a small piece of rubble. He had just finished replying to the question she had presented him in the strangest way. Or at least it was strange to the young vizard. He had immediately answered the first part of her question, though his answer had not been the strange thing. No, the strange thing was he compared his years of living to her own, commenting that he was her elder though she could not fathom what that had to do with anything. Age was never a good factor in anything, which was why she did her utmost best to not estimate the strength of her opponent by their age. She would had made an inquiry on his need to make a irrelevant comment, but he moved on to answering the second part of her question.
That was the other strange thing about his reply. Never had she met someone whose existence was reliant upon their anger. Nor had she the honor to meet someone who attributed their strength and power to an emotion. She had felt the emotion on several occasions, but she never liked it. Yes, rage could temporarily give one a boost in power, but it tended to cloud ones judgment. It was the reason Himeko rarely got angry when it came to fights, since she relied on her mind to help her win, not just her power. But though she had a different perspective on the emotion, did not mean she would judge Highwayman for his own.
It was quiet between the two for a moment. Himeko watched the man play with a small piece of rubble as another question formulated itself in her mind. But her mulling was cut short as Highwayman began to speak again. She decided to give him her full attention, wanting to hear what he had to say. What he desired was answers to his own questions, questions that pertained to her, questions that she would more than happy to supply the answer to.
“What do I hope to gain, you ask?” Himeko mumbled, giggling slightly as she shook her head. “I shall disclose this to you Mr. Highwayman. I am not the kind of person to do anything for no reason. And the reasons for why I do something tend to be quite simple,” she continued. “I have three reasons for what I do,” the vizard held up three fingers to emphasize the point, “for entertainment, to further Kurriku, or to further myself. In this case, I hope that you will provide me with entertainment, and you are doing quite the job. So I applaud you in keeping my attention.” She promptly put her hand down, resting it on her lap.
Himeko giggled once again, having become quite bubbly so suddenly. “As for me approaching you. Well, I had hoped you would take me as a naïve child, one who could not recognize danger even if it was directly in front of them. But I realized such a tactic had not worked when you had stepped back.” She stretched a bit, “any other question you would like to ask? Or shall I be permitted to continue on with my own inquiries? I could careless, for I have no problem answering questions nor asking them.”
Bordeaux crossed his arms as the girl answered his questions. One part of it that he found interesting was that she let slip who she worked for. So she is also Kurikku? I wonder how we have not known of each other before? He pondered while listening to her questions about his questions. Her laughter made his choler rise briefly, but he was able to force it back down. This girl was an ally as she indirectly claimed.
"Non. I think that is all I wish to know right now. You may continue on with your questions miss Himeko." He shrugged and cracked his neck and shoulders to prevent them from getting stiff. "Though, it wasn't hard to figure out you were more than a mere child. This is Hueco Mundo. It is not kind to the unaware, weak, or stupid. If you were any of those, you would not have been able to even get close to me. The desert would have claimed you first."
He stayed quiet to allow her time to gather her questions for him to answer. In his mind, he found irony in this situation. He knew this girl was trying to use her appearance as a hapless child to leave his guard down for her own amusement, but here he was playing a question game with her as if she was indeed that kind of child. Maybe he was just confident he could hold her at bay if she were to suddenly change the game she wanted to play? Or maybe he found this more calming somehow. Now that he really thought about it, no one had ever tried to talk him out of a raging state. Then again, he never actually gave anyone the chance. For their safety, of course.
Himeko straightened her head so that it was no longer tilted to one side. She pondered over the words spoken by Highwayman, words that others would had taken as words of wisdom, especially since the man was much older. But Himeko was not the kind of child to embrace the words spoken to her by an elder. No, she was the kind to find faults with the words spoken by her elders, but that did not mean she didn’t heed them. If she could agree with the logic behind the words, there was little reason for her to discard it as idle words. In this case Himeko was undecided on how she would perceive his words, and thus she decided to leave it for later.
She had no time to pick, especially since she did not know how long Highwayman would remain still. And she wished to get as many questions in as possible before he decided he would no longer provide answers to her questions. But before that, she wished to get closer to the man. Himeko wanted to know how uncomfortable she could make him, though to be exact, the distance she could be from him before he drew the line.
She offered him a slight smile before it was suddenly dropped. She rose slowly from her sitting position, and decided that she would stretch her muscles out. “Your previous words have brought up some questions,” Himeko finally said as she continued to stretch. Her eyes, as always, never left the Arrancar. “How long have you been alive? From the words you speak, you must be fairy old. But I want to know the exact age,” she paused briefly, grinning “as well as your experiences.”
She stopped stretching, her arms dropping to her sides as she gracefully glided off her piece of rubble. “Of course you don’t have to answer the question,” Himeko added as she inched closer to Highwayman, though she soon decided that ten feet was close enough. She sat down with the same grace she had used to move closer, her eyes staring intensely at Highwayman. She was waiting to see how he would react to her advancements, and also for him to answer her question.