Matt and the group were outside of Orie’s residence, running over their list of plans they had discussed earlier in the morning. Matt seemed to have a small list of specific info to find, Ventus was in between the two groups, acting as a sort of mediator.
Ventus: So we’re all clear of our orders? We know our assigned groups?
Ame: Aiko and I are traveling with?
Tokatsu: I had the idea of you traveling with Ventus’ side. Aiko is going with Matt’s group… If that’s no trouble to you. If it is I’m sure Matt’s willing to switch with you.
Matt only nods, keeping his calm look, crossing his arms.
Flamme: It’s not a big problem either way.
Ame takes a deep breath then walks over to Matt and begins to stare a hole into him.
Ame: If anything happens to Aiko, you will answer to me. Are we understood?
Matt: Crystal clear, sir. *nods*
Ame: Good. Because if anything does happen to her, your life will become a makeshift hell you will never wake up from.
With that, Ame begins to head out the way with Ventus.
Elettrico: Come on, Orie. We gotta get going.
Orie and Elettrico trade a glance of worry as they follow Ame and Ventus. Tokatsu and Flamme were, understandably, surprised.
Matt: ...Honestly, I’m unsure if I should be scared…
Tokatsu: Why—Matt: Or thoroughly convinced.
Tokatsu: ...I’d take the latter.
Flamme: ...I get the feeling he’s using a method of psychology under that tone of his.
Aiko: I think that’s Ame just laying down the law. He’s kinda overprotective. But that’s not to say he won’t deliver on his promises.
Matt: I wouldn’t be surprised if he did or not.
Tokatsu: Well we’ll have to make sure absolutely NOTHING happens to you then, Aiko.
Flamme: ...Tokatsu are you—
Tokatsu and Matt start walking, Flamme stays back with Aiko.
Flamme: I guess Tokatsu has his rough exterior still… Likely to poke fun at him, I’m thinking.
Aiko: I’m sure Matt will be okay. I trust him.
Flamme: Yeah, you told me that, and a bit more last night. I’m hoping no one hears your secret. It’s safe with me.
Flamme smiles as he starts walking, her tail swaying in the wind.
Aiko: Also thanks for helping me this morning...because it can be very difficult getting everything looking great by myself. I think my outfit is okay, but my sister keeps pressing me to dress differently. She thinks I should be like her where I should show off more skin.
Flamme: I guess she wants you to move quicker… Probably. *thinking* I’m just fine with my clothes, but imagine Ame or Matt in that situation…
Flamme shakes her head to try to avoid the thought.
Aiko: My sister has her own way of dressing, but I could see why she would suggest it for speed. My tail does account for some of the weight I have to carry around, but I’m used to it.
Flamme: I see. Well, I’m glad Ame didn’t ask what kept you this morning, I bet he was awake waiting on you. Elettrico was curious about me, Orie was able to keep her quiet, thankfully.
Aiko: Well, Ame is usually wise enough not meddle when it comes to ‘feminine’ things he has no idea how to handle. He’ll get plenty of that training when he raises his own daughter.
Flamme: Ame’s a father? I didn’t know, why didn’t he mention it yesterday?
Aiko: I think its simply because it didn’t come up in conversation. That and its when he shows his softer side. He’s on a mission right now.
Flamme: ...To be honest I’d be laughing when you say he has a soft side, especially after his ‘threat’. But I don’t doubt you, even Tokatsu has a soft side.. He rarely shows it except to me and some friend he had back then.. But that’s a story for later.
Matt: Aiko, Flamme, we found someone…!
Flamme: …! Someone? *to Aiko* Weren’t we looking for evidence rather than people??
Aiko: Well, let’s find out, then.
Flamme quickly hurries to Matt and Tokatsu, with Aiko close behind. Matt was already in a battle stance, as if the person had tried to attack them
Matt: What the hell are you doing here?! And why’d you try to attack us?!?!
???: Attack? I merely appeared!
Aiko: Um, Matt, you don’t recognize him?
Flamme/Tokatsu: You know him?
Aiko: How are you doing Xavier?
Xavier: I am well, Ms. Aiko.
Matt: Oh, Bang’s ninja trainee, right? Sorry I couldn’t recognize you.
Xavier: You are forgiven. I was called by your father to assist in your journey.
Matt: That’s a relief. I guess he managed to not get sent flying by the catapult this time?
Xavier: It was Mrs. Hitomi who delivered the message to me.
Matt: Ah, Michio’s mother… That’s nice of her.
Tokatsu: I’m Tokatsu, it’s uh… very nice to meet you, Xavier.
Tokatsu holds out a hand, he rolls his neck.
Flamme: I’m Flamme. It’s always nice to meet more of Matt’s friends from the 7th city, if I am correct.
Xavier quietly shakes Tokatsu’s hand.
Xavier: Though Matt may not remember me, we have common friends. There are others who I’m sure either your new comrades will meet or will see ourselves.
Matt: Agreed. Ame’s here too, with some of the others in our group. If we’re done getting introductions through. I say we continue our investigation. I’m sure Ame will contact us any minute with what he and Ventus shall find.
Aiko: Ame is usually pretty good with tracking people down.
Matt: Heh, I’ll take your word for it..
As Matt’s group, with the addition of Xavier, continued their investigation. Ame’s group was still on the trail. Ventus walking right beside him.
Ventus: So what kind of weapon are you an expert with, Ame? I’m rather curious.
Ame brings his fist up.
Ame: I simply prefer my fists.
Ventus: Heh, then you and Elettrico have a similar common idea. She uses her fists.
Elettrico: Yeah, though it’s more to use my electric tonfas really.
Ventus: As for me, I have my feet. *pointing to his greaves*
Ame: It is why I must train my body every day.
Ventus: To keep the power you’ve gained? I like the idea… But, to be honest I hate to ask this but… What do you fight for?
Ame: My strength is my greatest asset. I do not use weapons, or skills, I am simply power. I fight for protection for my family. So that one day, we may live in peace.
Ventus: ...I admire your drive. You’re like Tokatsu in a way or two. He really cares about our group, he’s taken a lot of punishment for Flamme too. I can see why he was willing to go with her… She’ll do the same for him, and I’m probably sure of it.
Elettrico: I know that Ventus would do that for me…
Ame: It is why I train to keep myself in shape, its not difficult with the pupils I have to keep track of.
Ventus: Heh… You’re dedicated. But I think we should continue this later. We may have a lead.
Orie: Anything out of place?
Ventus: I see some spare materials in a path. Looks like swordsmithing tools.
Ame: Are the surrounding fair enough? No traps in place?
Ventus: probably, keep your guard though we could get caught by surprise… Orie, Elettrico, you two watch our backs.
Elettrico: Okay, Ventus.
The two quickly ready themselves, Ventus quickly hurries to some of the stray materials, carefully grabbing them. Ame keeps his distance but keeps his stance ready.
Ventus: No traps so far…
Elettrico: Well I see someone coming though, she doesn’t seem to be with the government though..
Orie: Who do you mean, Eletricco?
Ame: Describe her.
Elettrico: Tall, hat like a witch...has a dog that looks like a huge good luck charm…
Ame relaxes his stance.
Ame: We have nothing to fear.
Orie: Is she a friend of yours?
Ame: Been some time, but she is.
The girl comes into the clearing, dressed a lot like Nine, her idol. Even her dog had a little witch hat. She doesn’t seem to have anything else on her.
???: Hm? I thought I was meeting Matt…
???: Don’t worry, Ame is here.
Ventus: Heh, welcome to Mizuha, name’s Ventus.
Elettrico: I’m Elettrico.
Orie: And I’m Orie.. It’s nice to meet you ma’am.
the three beastkin bow respectfully to the human and the dog.
???: Wow, they’re so nice. They didn’t even freak out that a dog was talking, Cassandra!
Cassandra: Yes I suppose they are. My name is Cassandra.
Ame: How are you doing Cassandra?
Cassandra: I’m alright, spent some time with Madam Rachel and returned to Ishana.
Ame: How is your training?
Cassandra: Pretty successful I think.
Ventus: So you’re training at the 0th Rune City? That’s pretty far out…
Cassandra: Well its common place for what I’m training in. I mean, I’m training to become the next Nine.
Ventus: Heh, I wish you luck Cassandra. I think you’ll do great.
Elettrico: Matt’s with the other three in our group of 8, which is possibly 9 now if you want to join us Cass.
Ame: She is commonly referred to as Seven, because of her luckiness.
???: And she has me.
Ame: And Lucky, her familiar.
Cassandra: I was asked to help. So if I can be of any use I’d be happy to.
Ventus: Well for starters, I’ll make a long story short, we’re stopping a project to mass-produce the 13 nox nyctores. What we’re doing here is looking for possible evidence. Such as the swordsmith tools here. Turns out they might be creating Yukianesa first, or perhaps for a future project. I don’t know their first weapon they’ll be making.
Cassandra moves her hat to make sure she could see better.
Cassandra: Its why I’m also an envoy for the magic guild. They don’t want to see this happen again either.
Ventus: Heh, well I’m sure they made a good choice. Anywho, I’m sure you’ve studied the technique Nine had used to create them, so maybe if they are possibly in the means to possibly create it, with a widespread effect on the common folk here, we’d like learning a counter-spell to it if there has been any created.
Cassandra: I’m going to do what I can. I have trained in everything I can, and have studied all sorts of things Nine has done.
Orie: I guess you followed her quite well. It’s funny because, Matt’s father, the precinct chief in the Ikaruga region, has actually helped Nine stop the day of destruction.
Cassandra: I have tried to do what I can to follow everything in regards to Nine. I have kept track of what my former comrades have done as well. I took the two years off to get away from it all and refocus on myself.
Elettrico: So like Matt, you took two years to focus on your own strengths and improve…
Orie: I admire that, Cassandra.
Ame: And are you ready to do what you can? You are past the past?
Cassandra: (Nodding) Yes, I have put the past where it belongs.
Ventus: I got what I could, I’m sure Matt’s group has found materials as well. Shall we contact them, Ame?
Ventus soon pulls out his tablet. As quick as he made the contact it was answered
Tokatsu: We found what we could on materials, a bunch of hollowed out magnum bullets and among other things broken apart firearms. What did your group find Ventus?
Ventus: broken swords and swordsmith tools. Are they making two at once or just getting materials prepared is what I wanna know.
Ame: Could be anything…
Matt: (offscreen) Also as a note, Aiko is fine, Ame! We also found Xavier!
Ventus: ...He a friend of yours, Ame?
Ame: Yes, we were expecting him.
Tokatsu: You planned this?
Orie: I think it’s more part of HJ’s plans, like how he got Aiko and Ame involved.
Ame: (Nodding) It is as Orie says.
Tokatsu: Heh, even on the sidelines he never ceases to amaze. It’s like he’s evening the field for us.
Flamme: (offscreen) We’ll meet back at Orie’s residence. We’ll stay out of trouble til then. You guys promise to do the same.
Ame: We will.
Tokatsu: We can explain our findings in more detail and share theories later. As well as get acquainted with our new allies. Until then, watch your backs. And welcome to the team.
Elettrico: Yeah, we’ll see you then Tokatsu…
Ventus nods as he closes the call, putting away his tablet.
Ventus: Elettrico, Ame, you scout ahead for any foot soldiers making a march in the sector. Cass, Orie, help me carry the rest of the materials. And Lucky, see if you can use a magic spell to make the materials lighter so we can carry more than normal.
Lucky: Can do!
Lucky barks, and suddenly the materials become a lot lighter.
Ventus: All right you two, let’s get going.