joinmyreunion: (Mist mutant)
[personal profile] joinmyreunion posting in [community profile] spira_rp
Kadaj had given Hojo a wide berth.

It hadn't been that hard. Hojo had seemed to be extending him the same courtesy, but Kadaj wasn't taking chances. He'd been vigilant so far about following Even's advice and trying to leave as little trace of himself behind as he could. Nel helped, too, making sure he got his things washed and returned to his room quickly, and his crockery and utensils were quickly washed, or at least put in to soak. She'd bought him some bleach, too, and showed him how to soak his toothbrush and hairbrush in it so that, if Hojo did break into his room, he probably wouldn't get anything useful anyway.

It was weird and unpleasant to try and live while being mindful of everything you might leave behind for someone unscrupulous to collect evidence without your consent, but Kadaj felt like he was managing.

He'd also taken to training his bankai against Yylfordt. Not the full of its abilities, of course; he wasn't about to flash those around in the Palace, but improving the techniques he'd learned while he was out in the world was useful. Yylfordt wasn't as difficult as Kyuzo had been, but he had more brute force to put into a fight, and he used different tactics, even if they did mostly consist of relying on brute force.

Kadaj couldn't beat him consistently yet, but he was getting there. He'd be able to beat Yylfordt without taking a scratch if he used Reunion, of course, but he needed to keep training at dual wielding. He could practice Reunion out in the wider world, away from prying eyes, on Fiends that people wanted destroyed and the Gotei squads hadn't got around to yet.

Still, Kadaj was running up against a snag that he knew was going to be a solid wall in the way of his training. Yylfordt used brute force, yes, and Kadaj had to use his speed to circumvent that, but eventually he'd come up against someone that could use magic, or that he couldn't defeat without using magic himself, and that was when Kadaj was going to struggle.

He could ask Gin. Gin he was fairly sure would have taught him before now if he'd asked, but Kadaj would rather not end up owing Gin a lot of favours, and a part of him knew it wasn't smart to let Gin know every single ability he had in his arsenal. Plus, Gin would probably respect him more for finding another way.

Kuja had tried, but Kadaj had got frustrated easily, and tantrums had usually ensued if Kuja continued to push him, and Kuja's patience had worn thin. Kadaj had ended up learning every one of Kuja's favourite plays and poems by heart, because that was easier than learning to read them, and he'd mentioned no more about learning magic since.

He could ask Aizen, but Kadaj was wary of admitting such a weakness to Aizen. Ienzo wasn't to be considered. Nel was nice, but Kadaj wasn't sure of how she'd be as a teacher, and anyway, going to someone else's subordinates with a weakness was as bad as going to them.

Then Even had come along, and Kadaj had been set to hate him because they'd fought each other in the past, but he'd found that, really, he didn't. Even was a bit stuck up, sure, but he'd also been almost nice in the face of Hojo's interest in Kadaj. Kadaj had since afforded him respect, and Even had been respectful in return, which was new territory for Kadaj. If he was honest, he kind of liked Even, in the same way that he liked Nel.

So it was in this atmosphere of growing respect and the sown seeds of affability that Kadaj, after a training session with Yylfordt and subsequent shower, went to track Even down. It wasn't a safe conversation to have in the kitchen, or somewhere else public, so Kadaj want to find Even in his own quarters. He'd made his home, so to speak, in a distant end of the Palace, where no one else really went. They hadn't known it was here before Even came, or at least, they'd known it was here but hadn't known how to get to it, and had little reason to venture down here now. As a result, the whole area felt like Even. The rest of the Palace was a mishmash of other reiatsu signatures, but here was as definitely Even's domain as Orochimaru's labs had been his, and as Kuja's quarters were his.

Kadaj felt like an intruder in someone else's territory, and he knocked politely when he could feel Even on the other side of a door in that unmistakable sense of glaciers and icicles emanating from beyond it as if you could open it onto winter.

Date: 2016-01-24 09:29 pm (UTC)
thechillyacademic: Even. (Big breakthroughs.)
From: [personal profile] thechillyacademic
Even spent his days and half of his nights either sitting in the kitchen and drinking tea or sequestered away in his new quarters.

He didn't quite have a laboratory yet, but he was getting there. The rooms were spotlessly clean, the tiles were in place where he needed tiles to be and he had finally acquired some fixtures and furniture. The past week had also seen a power source routed in, if not a water supply. That would come later. Power was a better start since it meant that he could work during the night hours, after the daylight had ceased to stream in through the narrow basement windows at the tops of some of the rooms. Water could be carried, power could not.

The wing where his workspace was located was largely empty. The servants quarters were in around the same area, in that the long corridor that stretched from Even's lab lead to the same hallway that one had to travel down in order to reach the stairs down to them, but other than sharing that intersection he was completely alone and he rather liked it that way.

Even had acquired four rooms in total. The central one was spacious enough, but ultimately useless, for it was positioned to act like little more than a hallway. It was also, quite unfortunately, rather irregularly shaped and lacking in any windows. The corridor to the rest of the palace and the three other rooms all connected to that one. The room at the most extreme end of the hall was the largest and was destined to become his laboratory once he had the equipment for it. The third room, an L-shaped affair, was big enough for him to have considered making it into a sleeping area, but he had ultimately decided against it in favour of keeping his room in the palace proper. Being able to separate himself from his work, he told himself, was a good thing. He would find another use for it, no doubt.

The last and smallest of the four, windowless and unworkable before he was able to get a light installed, had been converted into an office. It was there where he was seated at his desk, a notebook open in front of him and a lamp lit against the gloom, when he heard the door knock. His brow furrowed as he finished off the line he was writing. He didn't get visitors. Not even Ienzo ventured down unless he had asked him to and he wasn't sure that Marluxia knew where to find him at all, not from the inside. He got to his feet, leaving his notebook open and the pen on top, and made his way to the hall.

The door between the corridor and his new lair was locked.

He wasn't sure he liked the idea of only a key standing between him and whoever could lurk outside, not after Marluxia's pet had made such short work of picking the lock at Daguerreo, but he had few alternatives at present. He intended to research making Glyphs, the sort that were found in Cloisters of Trials in numerous Ivalician temples, but that wasn't set to be easy. It was a lost art, but he didn't see why it couldn't be found again. There had to be something written down about them somewhere.

With a soft huff he unlocked the door and blinked at who stood on the other side. Whoever he expected to see there, it was not Kadaj.

They seemed to have reached a polite understanding since their initial tense meeting, but Even wasn't sure that mere politeness was enough to have invited Kadaj down to where nobody else dared to tread. As well as being private, it was uninviting. The long corridor that lead out to his quarters remained unlit, like the rest of the wing had been prior to his obtaining a generator, and Even's reiatsu had seeped into the rooms under his ownership like it had nowhere else in the palace. They were not cold, not really, but something about the atmosphere was enough to make most people shiver as though they had been caught in an icy draft.

"Kadaj," he said, surprise as evident in his voice as it was on his face. "Can I help you?"
Edited Date: 2016-01-24 09:30 pm (UTC)

Date: 2016-01-24 10:24 pm (UTC)
thechillyacademic: Ticked. (Hold in derision.)
From: [personal profile] thechillyacademic
Even's eyebrows shot up a fraction.

He needed help? That, he hadn't anticipated. He wasn't sure what he thought he was going to say, but a question of help was not part of any half-formed scenario he had managed to concoct in the time between his question and Kadaj's answer. He stood for a second, and his eyes narrowed a little, as much in confusion as suspicion.

Then he looked him over, just with a quick glance, and saw that he wasn't armed. That was a relief. He didn't want to have to deal with that possibility at all.

"Certainly," he said, his voice polite, but slightly wary.

He stood back from the door enough to allow Kadaj to go through it. Not many people had sought to enter his new domain and Even had not expected to ever see Kadaj in it. The boy had a natural distrust of scientists -- unsurprising considering what he had been through -- so he had never considered any scenario where he would willingly walk into a laboratory, even one unfurnished, especially occupied by him.

Kadaj seemed unsure, Even noticed. He had grown used to him walking around like nothing scared him, like he had nothing to fear from anybody, so seeing him looking so cautious, and sounding so earnest, seemed unusual.

Date: 2016-01-24 11:01 pm (UTC)
thechillyacademic: Neutral. (All that's new.)
From: [personal profile] thechillyacademic
Even closed the door and listened to him speak.

Given the way that their paths had crossed prior to Kadaj's return to the palace, Even knew that coming here, to him, in need of help, must have been a very difficult decision to make. He seemed confident enough, he looked to be enjoying what he had been informed was a new found independence and, due to his age, strength and improved skills, he bordered on arrogant. To admit a need for help was almost like admitting weakness, and to do that in front of a former enemy took nerve.

Even didn't cross his arms as he listened. It wasn't that he didn't want to look defensive, as that gesture often did, it was more that he wanted to avoid coming across as impatient. He didn't want to scare him off.

"I can definitely try," he said. "Why don't you come into my office? We can talk there."

Kadaj reaching out to him, of all people, had made him curious.

Date: 2016-01-24 11:49 pm (UTC)
thechillyacademic: Even. (Big breakthroughs.)
From: [personal profile] thechillyacademic
The room that Even had adopted as an office was smaller than the other two, not that Kadaj could see much of them through their doors on the way there, but not too small.

There was space for a desk, a chair, a selection of bookcases that he had re-purposed from the room's previous, ancient use and a sideboard. There was also an alcove near the rear of it, back in the corridor's direction, that he had filled with bookshelves. They were empty, as were the bookcases, for the most part, but it had not long been renovated and there was plenty of time to make it feel like home.

"Take a seat," Even said, indicating his chair at the desk.

There was only one. He hadn't anticipated holding meetings of any sort in the little room, nor entertaining visitors, so the notion of getting a second had never crossed his mind. Nevertheless, he let Kadaj sit. Should the conversation become lengthy or protracted, it would be easier for the taller of the two to perch on the edge of the desk.

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Date: 2016-01-27 05:23 pm (UTC)
cierva: Grumpy look. (Is there anything...)
From: [personal profile] cierva
Apache was bored.

Until a bit after Yylfordt had returned from his training session with Kadaj, she had been playing cards with Grimmjow and Tayuya. It was always a risky thing to do in their group. All of them were competitive and that meant that little arguments tended to break out if they went too long playing.

Grimmjow had made an executive decision to take a break and Apache had agreed to it, despite having won the last two games.

When Kadaj entered, she was flopped in one of the chairs, feet up on the seat, looking out over the grounds in the dimming light. Evening was upon them, or, at least, evening was upon whichever area of the world the palace got its false sky from. Pink and orange light bled over the sprawling, ruin-dotted plain that the palace considered 'gardens' and made everything up against it look ink black and eerie. If she squinted, she could see malboros wiggling in the distance.

Date: 2016-01-27 05:36 pm (UTC)
jawmask: Neutral. (Now step up.)
From: [personal profile] jawmask
Grimmjow was strongly considering dinner.

It was getting late and, with the card games put on hold, he was getting bored. He wanted to get out of the palace. It was all right for a while, but after enough weeks shut in one building, even one with gardens, the familiar sensation of monotony laced with borderline cabin fever started to creep in again.

He looked up when Kadaj pushed the door open.

It could only be Kadaj. Nobody else dared to come into their little sunhouse, the semicircular glass conservatory they had discovered. Nobody except Nel, anyway, and even then she was likely to knock.

"Hey," he said. "Nice job beatin' up Yylfordt."

Date: 2016-01-27 11:07 pm (UTC)
soundfivebitch: (pic#5040107)
From: [personal profile] soundfivebitch
Tayuya had played card games until she'd got angry. Then they'd decided card games were better in short doses, and Tayuya had practiced her flute, trying out a version of some pop songs. She didn't have perfect pitch herself, but a little practice had led to her being able to produce a recognisable version of one of the hits by an Al Bhed starlet that was mostly about being a fucking psychopath in relationships.

Tayuya was quite fond of the song, herself.

She'd started to wonder where Kadaj had got to when he finally showed up, and she put her flute down and grinned at him. "Yeah, he's been licking his wounds all evening," she added, to Grimmjow's comment.

Date: 2016-01-27 11:11 pm (UTC)
palehornedprince: (pic#2730381)
From: [personal profile] palehornedprince
"Fuck off," Yylfordt said, testily, at both of them. He'd had to down a potion for a quick heal, but his option had been that, or go to Nel and hope she wouldn't try and spit wash any of his minor cuts away. He didn't have any in interesting enough places to let her do that.

"You ever been hit with a real zanpakuto?" He said, looking at Grimmjow, clearly grumpy, and still a little defensive. Then he shrugged, "He won't get me next time."

Date: 2016-01-27 11:49 pm (UTC)
jawmask: Bright grin. (You're going down.)
From: [personal profile] jawmask
"Why do you think we have a scoring system for his brother?" Grimmjow said, grinning.

He couldn't help but find Yylfordt's unhappiness with getting his butt kicked funny. Yylfordt was a decent swordsman, but he'd picked up the blade relatively late in is life. Before signing up for the Arrancar program, he had spent much of his time fiddling with machina, not weaponry.

Grimmjow had not, in fact, ever been hit with a real Zanpakuto. He wasn't sure whether it would feel differently to being hit with a regular blade when he was released to some level, but he tended to view fights, including sparring matches, as an exercise in avoiding being hit, so he had no sympathy for his friend on that front. Well, he had a tiny bit, but only because Kadaj was a dual wielder.

Date: 2016-01-27 11:56 pm (UTC)
cierva: Unconcerned. (Stand my ground.)
From: [personal profile] cierva
Apache dragged her eyes away from the sight of the landscape beyond the glass and turned her attention to the conversation. Yylfordt had taken his defeat by Kadaj personally, hadn't he? Well, good.

"Maybe it should be more like training for both of you," she said, flatly, and with a pointed look at Yylfordt. "You're supposed to be an Espada. That's supposed to make you Captain level and you got your ass kicked by him..?"

Kadaj was doing well on the fighting front, but there was no way he was a captain-level Zanpakuto wielder, Bankai or not. It took more than attaining Bankai to reach those lofty heights. He might have made a half decent lieutenant, but if that was the case, Yylfordt should have been able to beat him.

Apache scowled about it. They didn't have the Gotei 13 where she was from, but she'd learned all about it, and where the Arrancar stood in relation to them, from others while she'd been left behind. The Espada she answered to being beaten by a kid who'd not long got his Bankai was embarrassing.

Date: 2016-01-28 12:14 am (UTC)
palehornedprince: (pic#2730381)
From: [personal profile] palehornedprince
Yylfordt threw Apache a glower. He wasn't quite sure what pissed him off more, that she was being a bitch about Kadaj beating him, or that he was getting openly backchatted by his Fracción.

"I am a vilgehk Espada," he told her, "but I was fighting with a mask, and he was fighting with bankai, so keep your mouth shut."

The mask gave him a boost, sure, but it wasn't the same as being in full release. "I'm doing the kid a favour." One that he was slightly starting to regret. Kadaj was fast, two swords were a pain in the ass, and Kadaj's newly developed skills with chakra control also meant he had better stamina. Yylfordt didn't like losing. He'd accepted that he was the weakest Espada, weaker even than Szayel which had stung the most, but finding Kadaj now also set for being stronger than him sucked.

He didn't need some pedlro ycc underling getting snippy with him, too.

Date: 2016-01-28 12:25 am (UTC)
soundfivebitch: (pic#2753934)
From: [personal profile] soundfivebitch
Tayuya rolled her eyes and muttered, "Boys."

They were being boys. Kadaj was being a little shit, although she understood why, and Yylfordt was being a sensitive little shit about the fact he'd been beaten.

Kadaj had killed Orochimaru. He'd planned to kill Orochimaru, and because he hadn't been able to do it on his own, he'd recruited help. If Yylfordt thought Kadaj was going to go down easily in these sparring sessions he was an idiot. Being a dumb shit that took on people too big for him was half of what Kadaj was.

Date: 2016-01-28 12:31 am (UTC)
cierva: Disgusted. (I brush my fear away.)
From: [personal profile] cierva
Apache glared back at Yylfordt, but kept her mouth shut.

It was when he acted like a dick this way that she wished that she'd been foisted on somebody else as their Fracción. Grimmjow, or Nel, or somebody higher up than the lowest rung of the Espada ladder.

A favour, hah. By providing him with a punching bag, maybe.

Date: 2016-01-28 12:37 am (UTC)
jawmask: Smile. (Should have stood up.)
From: [personal profile] jawmask
Grimmjow wondered if a released Yylfordt would be harder or easier for Kadaj to beat than otherwise. Yylfordt was strong, but he was all about brute strength. He could cero something into ash, sure, but he was slow when he was fully released and Kadaj was not. He would present a bigger target and most of his abilities weren't for sparring, they were for killing.

"Yeah, well don't get ahead of yourself," he said to Kadaj, smirking. "I don't want to have to kick your ass too soon."

Date: 2016-01-28 01:13 am (UTC)
palehornedprince: (pic#2730390)
From: [personal profile] palehornedprince
Yylfordt threw Kadaj a challenging look. "You're on," he told him, "and let me know when you intend to take on Luppi. I wanna see that."

Luppi had a nasty release that would, admittedly, be really good for training Kadaj's brand of dual wielding against, but still, it was a nasty release.

"You should add her to your list, too," he said, jabbing his thumb in Apache's direction with a sneer. If she was such a fucking expert she could get her ass handed to her by Kadaj, too.

Date: 2016-01-28 01:18 am (UTC)
cierva: Growl. (Now get ready for war.)
From: [personal profile] cierva
"Yeah," Apache said. "'cos there's nothing like having your subordinate beaten up to show what a hardass you are, right?"

She flipped Yylfordt off, glaring at him with what looked suspiciously like loathing for a moment.

It irritated her that Yylfordt was being a pussy about being beaten up by somebody, but suggesting that that same somebody take his turn with her, just to make him feel better? She thought that was pretty low.

"You wanna see me get my ass kicked, you can do it yourself." She snapped. "I'd sooner take my chances with you than Kadaj."

Date: 2016-01-28 01:24 am (UTC)
jawmask: Blah blah whatever. (Plan on burnin' through another 9 lives)
From: [personal profile] jawmask
"Chill out," Grimmjow said, looking at Yylfordt more than Apache when he said it. "So you got beaten, and what? It still makes you one of the ... what? Top hundred or so fighters in Spira?."

If not, it was a pretty close run thing. The Gotei Captains, the Kages, the absurdly powerful individuals, like Kuja, the Mist Swordsmen, Ryoka, combat-ready members of Khamja and Akatsuki... regardless of whether Kadaj beat Yylfordt or not, he was still pretty up there in the grand scheme of things.

Somebody having a Bankai was rare. It was a requirement of Captaincy in the Gotei 13, with one notable exception, and there weren't many lieutenants that could boast having their own. That Yylfordt stood against somebody with one made him absurdly powerful by normal people standards, even if Kadaj was new to it and not yet at Captain level himself.

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