- Joined : 2016-01-20
Posts : 4232
Age : 23
Mon Jan 16, 2023 9:32 pm
It had been fun to spend time at the cafe with someone else, even if for a brief period. But, he was not one to let the lady's hunger go unchecked. As he was about to turn and start moving toward the front, Saiko suddenly took his hand and kissed him on the cheek. Surprised by the sudden action, his cheeks flushed as red as his eyes, raising a hand to covering his reddening face.
"I-I...um...was not expecting that."
Trying to find something else to focus on to keep his mind off the rather sweet, yet unexpected action, he quickly turned his attention to the location they were set to arrive at next, following her out the door as he lightly brushed any remnant hairs from his clothes.
"Oh! Um, right, the restaurant. It's...not really anything too unique or specific. It's has a pretty widespread menu, but one of the main draws is it's wide array of ramen."
Taking her hand and gently guiding her along, he led her down the street, through a short crosswalk, before stopping in front of a building. It was rather unassuming, there was no brightly lights to the sign, but the lights and scents from the lightly ajar windows would certainly entice someone in the later hours of the evening to at the very least stop and look inside.
Opening the door and stepping out of the way to give Saiko ample room to enter, the two were soon seated at a simple two-chair table across from each other, and their orders were swiftly placed, with Henrex ordering a beef ramen with some extra spice and condiments Resting his cheek against his palm and his elbow against the table, he smiled, looking at Saiko.
"I'd like to learn more about you, Saiko. We're half-demons, but we're not mind readers. What are some hobbies you enjoy?"
He thoroughly intended to give her responses of his own, but, for now, he simply wished to know more about her. While much of his own little personal revelations had been considerably more subtle, a simple, normal exchange like this felt relaxing in its own right.
Tue Jan 17, 2023 1:08 pm
"Expect the unexpected."
While speaking those giggly words, Saiko gently bopped the nose of the now cherry-faced Henrex and thought it was cute. So, for now, she let him indulge in her presence and held his arm as she rested her head against his shoulder and hummed happily.
"Don't worry. I trust you, Henrex. You wouldn't lead me to somewhere crappy~."
Still snickering, she was by herself at the moment. Taking in the city streets, the aromas of different food, and the slowed pace, it was nice to have intimate moments like this. So, she savored it, slowed her perception of time in her head, and just lived in the moment until they came to the restaurant.
As they found their seat and placed their orders, Saiko couldn't care less about what they ate. All she knew was that she needed to feast and just chowed down the instant her noodles, meat, and all the warm veggies hit her table. Munching happily, the woman felt her belly getting full, her body getting more energy, and she seemed to have a vibrant aura of life around her as she briefly had a flicker of oceanic aura glow before she calmed herself.
What could you say? The woman loved to eat!
Though, once she was done, Saiko blinked and was prompt to answer the curious questions Henrex asked to get to know her better.
"The outdoors, experiencing new things, playing the guitar, and eating new foods bring me life. Of course, there is more than that, but these peaceful days beat the misery of Shadow Fall Life."
Tapping her chin, Saiko bit her lip and figured she'd air her shit out since she trusted Henrex.
"Compared to my life in Shadow Fall? I want to grow my personal life because I'm around people I want to be around and care about. With Shadow Fall, my life was restricted; I had no time to figure myself out and was in constant conflict and hell."
After resting her hand on her cheek, a soft smile came across the woman's lips before she finished.
"But, with you? And others? That seems like a lifetime ago, and I want to do things that will help me develop who I am."
- Joined : 2016-01-20
Posts : 4232
Age : 23
Thu Jan 19, 2023 9:09 pm
Ah, perhaps he should still be on his guard. Expect the unexpected, hm? He certainly knew how to do that, but he wasn't expecting to have to enact that on a night like this. Nevertheless, the gesture was appreciated deeply, and as they got their drinks and eventually their orders, Henrex smiled as the two made their way through their dishes. Setting his bowl down and wiping his mouth off, he set his arms on the table, resting his head against his interlocked fingers.
It was interesting to see her voicing her interests, especially when so many of them felt so contradictory compared to their first meeting. Before, she was cold, quiet, and lonely. But now, there was a brightness to those icy blue eyes that desired to see the world that she once isolated herself from. He smiled warmly, canting his head to the side lightly as he took a moment to think.
"Is there anywhere in particular you'd want to see? Any landmarks, locations, or even a country's food? What kind of guitar do you like the most?"
However, as he spoke, a shadow fell across his scarlet eyes as she made mention of Shadow Fall. There was one thing that had been on his mind since he had met her -- that there was hope for her. There was a way out for her, unlike there was for him. A hybrid since the day he was born, now bound so tightly to it that he feared he would die if someone were to tear it from him.
But, if there was one thing he wanted to do -- it was to let her be able to put Shadow Fall behind her, for good. To let her be herself again, not some manufactured monster at the hands of the Demon Queen. He only knew of one option, but, even if it may fail, he knew that he had to try.
"Saiko...would you take the chance to go back to normal, to purge the demon blood from you, if I said that I may be able to do it?"
Even if there was no hope to return for him, he was not going to let another continue to fester in this curse.
Fri Jan 20, 2023 3:37 pm
"Hmmmmmmmn, America is pretty nostalgic for me, and I think I'd like to visit the countryside there. It's where my human life began, and I think it would be fun to learn how to play my guitar on the road better or something like that."
Nodding along, she seemed content with that answer. There were a lot of rich memories for her throughout the states, so it was her natural home from her former life. Though, with those sentimental thoughts cast to the side, Saiko's eyes seemed to blink for a few moments as Henrex said something rather profound.
Henrex wanted to remove the demonic blood from Saiko's veins. That caused the woman to freeze as thoughts of uncertainty, happiness and fear rang in her mind. What if it went wrong? What if she was powerless? Could she die? How on earth could Henrex even do this?
So many different things were buzzing through the hybrid's mind, but soon a familiar voice cut through the crap and hit her consciousness.
"Lassy, you better relax and get a grip. The two of us didn't come this far to let a bunch of demonic cunts fuck us over, aye?"
When that male's voice hit Saiko's mind, the woman seemed to relax as she placed her hand on Henrex's to get a grip and bound herself to something. Then, when at ease, she mentally spoke back.
"T-thank you, Kanashimi. I think I got it from here."
Sometimes zanpukto spirits came in a clutch, huh?
Regardless, Saiko seemed more focused on Henrex's eyes as she pushed past her nerves to speak.
"I think it would be best to let go of this curse. It's scary to confront, but if you have a way to do so, I'd be more than willing to hear you out."
- Joined : 2016-01-20
Posts : 4232
Age : 23
Fri Jan 20, 2023 7:09 pm
Visiting the countryside? Well, he could certainly help her with that. He was born in Japan's countryside, after all. He smiled, nodding softly and making a mental note of it. But, as he saw her freeze up, a hand quietly reached across the table, touching the back of hers. He understood that it wasn't easy to confront. It wasn't going to be an easy process to go through, and the idea of powerlessness was an understandable fear. So, he simply rested his hand on hers to try and comfort and reassure her.
"It won't be an easy process, and I understand that it's not simple to confront it. But, I want you to be able to leave Shadow Fall behind, for good. I want you to live a normal, happy life."
His gaze turned to the table, looking at his own hand.
"I don't want anyone else to suffer from this fate as we have. There isn't a way back for me, but there is for you. I don't care how slim the chances might be, I'm going to do it, and I'll make sure that it works."
Those hints of doubt that clouded his scarlet eyes had cleared, swiftly replaced by unwavering, unmatched resolve. Slowly turning his hand over, he revealed the cerulean crest that had been emblazoned to his palm all those years ago by Erna, as proof of his resolve. To be the man that stopped the monsters, to help others.
"To put it simply, I can use this to purge it from you. I'll get the Second Division to help us in the event that something goes wrong, but, I have faith in you and I, that we will be able to make it work."
He honestly didn't know how the process would go exactly. He knew that he could do it, or at the very least he knew he could try. He would sacrifice his arm, leg, heart, whatever it would take. If it meant that she would be free of this, there was no price he wasn't willing to pay. Bringing his hand back to the other side of the table, Henrex quickly finished off his food and drink, taking in a deep breath as he looked at his palm, then back at her.
"Will you trust me?"
Sun Jan 22, 2023 3:26 pm
Listening to Henrex's words reassured Saiko because she knew it would be a hard road. However, when recalling the progression of her life until this point, has any period of her life been easy? There has always been strife, conflict, challenge, loss, and grief. To fear it now seemed silly, even if the concerns were valid to Saiko. So, with a gentle exhale of breath and a soft smile, she pulled Henrex's gaze back to her as he looked at his hand.
"I'm still very much scared, Henrex. I don't want to be powerless as I don't feel I'll be able to be worth anything to the Gotei without it, but at the same time, I'd be mentally powerless if I didn't have the courage to go through with absolving myself of that sin. It's a terrifying process, but I trust you to be there for me, as the alternative is living my new life in the shadow of my old one."
It was a lot for her to process, and she struggled with it as her voice indicated some fear. Yet, beyond the fear was a willingness to sit with the discomfort, face it and come out the other side like she had until this point. The past few years have been a relief after being absolved from Shadow Fall. So why not just go all the way and be done with it?
"But most importantly, I trust you to find your own way too. Don't feel trapped, as I will help you with your battle when mine is finished. I promise, Henrex."
- Joined : 2016-01-20
Posts : 4232
Age : 23
Sun Jan 22, 2023 4:09 pm
It was never wrong to fear great change in one's life. Especially if that change could possible be painful -- something he only could hope that wouldn't be too severe. He understood why she would be afraid -- it was something that she had known for how many years, and to suddenly lose that was never easy. But, if she were to move forward, Henrex knew that it was something that would have to be done.
But, it showed how strong she was to be able to sit in that discomfort and face that fear, to be able to overcome that and face tomorrow. So, with a warm smile, he reached across the table, gently placing his hand over hers for a moment before letting his drift back to his side.
"I understand that you're scared, but I hope you realize how strong it makes you to be able to face that fear. Even if you lose some of the power you had before, you'll still be alive, you can always regain it, and I'll be there to help you."
And yet, in spite of this, he felt doubt in his heart. She didn't want him to feel trapped, yet there was no denying it -- he was trapped as this. There was a way back for her, an out that he would gladly help her take, but for him, if someone were to rip this curse from him, it would likely take him with it. There was no way to remove it without consequences. Maybe he'd be able to find another way -- but it was a path he would likely venture on his own.
Nevertheless, he smiled, quickly, yet quietly finished off the last remnants of his food and drink, before exhaling softly.
"Whenever you're ready, we'll make the arrangements."
He took one last look at the symbol emblazoned in his palm. Whatever it would take to let her live a normal life, he would give it freely. Standing and stepping to the side, sliding his chair in, he lightly gestured to the front, before walking up to pay, likely with Saiko behind him. As they exited the restaurant, Henrex took in a deep breath, feeling the scathing cold of the seasonal weather. The evening sky had dimmed to a colorless, star-filled night, the lights of Tokyo keeping a sense of life to Japan.
"Is there anything else you'd like to see tonight, Saiko? We could go back to the cat cafe for a bit, see some more of the sights for Momijigari, or return home, if that's what you'd like. It's gotten a little late, after all."
Mon Jan 23, 2023 3:05 pm
There was a sense of comfort found in the smile of Henrex. To be assured that things would be okay is all Saiko really wanted to hear at the moment. Yeah, there was no promise that things would be ok, but having someone there to pick you up when you fell was essential to her. It made her feel safe. So, she let more of her guard down, and the reserves in her own heart about expressing such emotions were lowered.
"Thank you for saying that, Henrex. I needed to hear that. I feel so fucked up that I allowed things to get to this point, but...it's ok. If you are with me and are willing to support me, I think I can do this..."
Droplets of confidence, turbulence, and emotionality flowed through the woman's words. Trying to piece together this feeling, Saiko seemed in a daze for a moment before she took another look at him and hugged him tightly. It was a strange embrace as he felt warm, and it felt ok to embrace that feeling for her own. That feeling of security, affection, and hope for a better tomorrow was what she craved. At end of it all, she just wanted to be better and keep moving from the sins of her past to make this life worthwhile.
"I'm so tired of running from this. Why don't....we do this as soon as we can? Not tonight, obviously. But whenever you are ready, I'll face this monster head-on with you."
Saiko leaned away from him so that he could think this through, take care of the bill and lead her away from things. When he was finished, she promptly took his hand, held it in her own, and leaned on him once more as she looked back up at him and smiled warmly.
"Thank you for being there for me tonight, Henrex. I really needed someone to guide me through removing the demonic half within me."
After a pause, she continued.
"But, I think we should go home tonight and prepare for whatever the hell comes tomorrow. It will be a big day, and I need to be at my best emotionally, mentally, and spiritually."
- Joined : 2016-01-20
Posts : 4232
Age : 23
Mon Jan 23, 2023 3:42 pm
He could sense the comfort she felt, and it warmed his heart. Even in her fear, he knew that she was stronger than she believed, simply by being able to face that fear. When someone was afraid, it was hard to see how strong they truly were simply by having continued onward and facing the day. As she hugged him, he returned the embrace, gentle and warm as he let her hold him for as long as she needed.
"Of course. Say the word, and I'll be there. I'll never be far away."
He was more than happy to guide her through the process, to help her remove that curse that plagued them both for so many years. She took his hand, held it tight, and Henrex tightened his grip ever so slightly. To have someone with you when going through hardship was one of the greatest things you could have. He would be there, supporting her as best he could as she faced her demons and conquer them.
Thus, as she desired to return to the Soul Society, to home, to ensure that she was prepared for it, he didn't say another word. He simply reached behind him, pulling the short sword of his Zanpakuto's daisho set from nowhere.
Inserting it in the air like a key as the Senkaimon opened before them, Henrex guided her in. It was going to be a big day, and they both needed to be sure that they were ready. To purge the essence of Mana was not something that would be simple, even for him.
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