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 Homeward Bound - Saiyuki V/L

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PostSubject: Re: Homeward Bound - Saiyuki V/L   Thu Jul 06, 2017 3:07 pm

"You're tall with longer reach. You can also tie knots. Go help them." Sanzo stood up, flicking the ash of his cig before putting it back to his mouth and he walked off to go wait in the Jeep.
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PostSubject: Re: Homeward Bound - Saiyuki V/L   Thu Jul 06, 2017 3:11 pm

"He has a point there." Riko grinned and Gojyou rolled his eyes as he stood up. He wasn't wrong, he was pretty tall. She watched him walk away and Mai came back looking pleased as peaches. "Happy?"

"I got to show off!" Mai grinned. "I think we should go wait. They're almost done. Just got to string them up. So glad we were able to do that."

Riko stood up, stretching and turning to Kaede. "Coming?"
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PostSubject: Re: Homeward Bound - Saiyuki V/L   Thu Jul 06, 2017 3:48 pm

"Yes, of course!" Kaede hopped over to Riko's side and took her hand, the three of them joining Ran in the trailer.

~*~

Hakkai was just setting up the fire pit to make breakfast when he saw Riko come out carrying a light colored wood Bo. He smiled at her and waved, but then realized her bandanna was over both eyes once she turned, "Good morning, Riko-san. Did you sleep well?" he called instead.
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PostSubject: Re: Homeward Bound - Saiyuki V/L   Thu Jul 06, 2017 3:58 pm

"Morning Hakkai." Riko said, walking over towards the fire pit and sat down. Not too close so that she'd get burned or anything, but close enough. The daylight was...bright. Really bright. She knew the moment she woke up that and ponding headache that today was just good for the bandana. She set her bo underneath her legs. "I slept good, how about yourself?"
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PostSubject: Re: Homeward Bound - Saiyuki V/L   Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:41 pm

"I sleep lightly, usually. Less dreams if I don't sleep deep enough to have them. Also, helps me rise early enough to make breakfast if we have the resources. There are days where we don't and I have to do a little hunting." Hakkai explained as he prodded the pit, trying to get the flames to take.
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PostSubject: Re: Homeward Bound - Saiyuki V/L   Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:49 pm

She listened to him struggle with the fire. "Nightmares are an issue. Especially ones you feel like you can't escape from." She agreed as she rested her elbows on her knees. "Who else sleeps lightly? Kaede can sleep through a thunderstorm if you let her. Mai depends on what happens the day before. Ran's always up. I don't think she ever sleeps."
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PostSubject: Re: Homeward Bound - Saiyuki V/L   Thu Jul 06, 2017 7:29 pm

"Is that why I don't feel her energy? Off somewhere or another?" Hakkai made a satisfied 'ah' sound as the flames started to get higher. "Goku and Gojyou are pretty heavy sleepers, even though they have enough nightmares to spare like Sanzo and I. They're more carefree about it, though. Sanzo also sleeps lightly, but yet at the same time he's such a grump if you wake him before he's ready." He chuckled.
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PostSubject: Re: Homeward Bound - Saiyuki V/L   Thu Jul 06, 2017 7:41 pm

"Probably. She sleeps outside most of the time. She shares a tent with us, but I think once we're knocked out, she goes off and sleeps elsewhere. Probably still can't believe that we're still friends or something of the sort. After Kenren died, she changed drastically. She holds on to us tightly, but the insecurity is still there. How can it not be, he was the only one that was a true anchor. The one that could keep her through a storm." Riko explained gently. "Both of them were military...but while Ten told Mai exactly what was going to happen and made plans accordingly, Ken failed to do so. Probably because he assumed she understood exactly what she was getting herself into, or perhaps there just wasn't time. There really wasn't...despite the fact only night and day exists up there. Time was..whatever you made it to be."
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PostSubject: Re: Homeward Bound - Saiyuki V/L   Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:14 pm

"While she didn't really smile or laugh, her expression was pretty light when she watched and listened to Gojyou tell his story yesterday. There is plenty of hope still. Gojyou is a forward person. Whatever Kenren failed to do, when he's satisfied he's got all the information he needs, Gojyou will make up for it all with twice the amount of effort. They can all be lazy, but if their minds are set on something, you best get out of their way." Hakkai smiled at Riko, "Mai looked happy when I got concerned for her. We've been in that sort of hostage situation countless times, but Mai told me about the Bonding contract. I've survived too much to be taken out now on my way home."
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PostSubject: Re: Homeward Bound - Saiyuki V/L   Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:32 pm

Riko raised an eyebrow and tilted her head in Hakkai's direction as she heard the last part. Gojyou and Ran, she wasn't surprised. Gojyou was a lot different than Kenren. So different in fact, it was a little hard to see that they were reincarnations of each other. Besides their love for women and drinking and fighting, they weren't the same person at all.

Hakkai and Tenpou were very scarily similar to each other besides the small habits she noticed. Hakkai kept things neat and had a strict appearance despite traveling hard. Tenpou would have just been more and more messy. "I'm not surprised she'd tell you," Riko said after a moment, reaching down and picking up her bo staff. She didn't do anything but run her fingers against the wood like she was memorizing a story off of it. "No one's explicitly told us to keep silent. It was just more or less an agreement that we should unless we were asked or if it came up naturally in conversation. Mai probably wanted to tell you everything the moment she saw you, just so you were prepared about what you were getting into...and whether or not you wanted to turn your back. It's an option we're all prepared to face."
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PostSubject: Re: Homeward Bound - Saiyuki V/L   Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:38 am

"I can assure you that we wouldn't turn you away without reason. We don't take well to secrets. They've gotten us hurt more times than we care to admit. Better to face it all head on and decide for ourselves if we can take it or not. Yet, at the same time, we understand the difference between 'secret' and 'bringing it up at your own pace'." Hakkai started moving things about so he could start cooking, the flames higher and hotter now. "The others all at least know there's some sort of Bond, they just don't know the extent and severity."
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PostSubject: Re: Homeward Bound - Saiyuki V/L   Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:20 am

"I suppose that there is a silver lining to all of this." Riko said after a moment of silence. Her mind had been racing, thinking of different scenarios. Her out of everyone in her group, really didn't get close to her chosen. Which was fine in this scenario, she didn't have much to compare. "We weren't trapped in bottles and made to grant wishes. At least in this way, yes we're trapped, but it can easily be ignored. Freedom with chains. If Goku had his memories, he'd tell you all about that."
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PostSubject: Re: Homeward Bound - Saiyuki V/L   Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:14 am

"I don't even know what I'd wish for if that was the case" Hakkai shook his head, "It would probably be situational. Last wish of course would be to set her free, but if I had the chance to use wishes for good, then I would." He shrugged even though she couldn't see it, "Do you have any morning routines? I admit, it has been nice to have someone to converse with."
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PostSubject: Re: Homeward Bound - Saiyuki V/L   Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:59 am

"I was going to practice using my bo." Riko held it up with a smile on her face. "I'm still new to having my sight, so I don't think I'll be able to fight with it using my eyes for a while. It'll take a lot of retraining and a lot of practice for it. But, I am good with it." She stood up and moved away from the fire place. "I like feeling the sunrise on my skin, so I'm up with the sun most days. Sometimes I like to sleep in, but I'm still an early riser. Are you always up early? You seem to be the type that would be an early riser, late sleeper. A schedule like that is either a healer's schedule or a teacher's schedule and well...teacher is a good strong suit to have."
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PostSubject: Re: Homeward Bound - Saiyuki V/L   Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:30 am

"Not so much a teacher anymore, but I did teach Goku when he was younger. I can't teach him much more. Healer mostly now. I wake up within the first moments the sun lights my eyes." Hakkai paused and tilted his head at her, "So you were fully blind before, as a Goddess, and now you are half blind as a human? You must've retained some of your powers from before, then. If you were completely human, you might have both. That is simply a theory, however, from observation and putting things together."

"It would make sense." Riko said as she twirled her bo a few times, just feeling it in her hand listening to it. She did this a few times in one direction, before going backwards. "He has the same eyes that he used to back then. So that means he retained some of his own as well. I can't very well be much use to a priest without some ability."

"Just...how long have you all been like this? I mean..if you're not very used to it yet..." Hakkai frowned in concern, "Were you all stripped of the bulk of your powers just before meeting us?"

"Pretty much." Riko said, flipping the staff into her other hand and doing the same wrist exercises with it. "Mai and Ran were easy to change. Just move their powers into a darker way and you have demons. They just...don't have a good fraction of it. They can do a good amount of damage with the powers they do have."

"We've crossed some /very/ powerful demons. They might be able to gain what they lost back with training. Maybe not to the full extent, but it's a peaceful time now. The threats we face will be a lot less, especially with a more direct way home than the three year journey that we made before. I figure maybe a year until we reach Chang-ai? It's on the farther side of Shangri-la." Hakkai stared into the fire for a moment, "I wonder...if we're all meant to be Bonded, then if...things happen, say, someone gets pregnant, would Nataku maybe be able to use his powers to teleport us back ahead of time?"

Riko dropped her staff and she lifted her bandanna to look at him.

Hakkai met her stare with his own, "I'm not going to beat around the bush, Riko-san. I don't know what you expected, but I know how our group rolls. I've come to grips with a lot of things over the journey. If I'm meant to be with Mai, then I will do what I can to make her comfortable. Wooing and courting, dates when we're in a town, going out by ourselves to eat away from the group. Long, late night talks perhaps. Pregnancy might be something I'd worry about with Ran and Gojyou, once he's got her figured out enough to try and start courting her himself."

Riko looked away, one of her hands gripping the other arm's bicep as she thought about her words. She looked back at him. "I'm not that old to use -san. -Chan is fine." She shifted and let out a sigh. "No. You're right. It wasn't a conversation I thought we'd be having. Not now. But I suppose that you're not wrong. You four have a history of moving quick. Mai married Tenpou within a month after one date and months of knowing him. She took his title and every burden that came with it. Ran didn't get a chance to do that. A failure, a mistake, but probably one that Kenren cannot regret. For if he really did get that far with her, she wouldn't be alive right now I know that. If you four decide that a family is for you, then Nataku and I will do what we can, or they will do what they can, to get you guys home faster." She assured.

"Good. That's a relief, really. It was had enough keeping four grown adult men alive over three years. A woman with child, or a child alone, would quite frankly be a burden. Another trap for the enemies to use. I don't want anyone to be put in that situation." Hakkai nodded, "Anyway...I should get to cooking. You could get to your morning practice. I didn't mean to get so serious. Really, though. Being so new to the world down here in weaker forms? Mai was in a lot more danger last night than I originally thought. You should have said something."

Riko picked up her bo and she pulled down her bandanna and started flipping the bo from hand to hand a few times. "Perhaps." She said after a moment before getting into a position and started working on her strokes. "But maybe you should work on having a little more faith. Mai's strong enough not to wind up dead or worse. I promise you that."

"We will see." Hakkai hummed softly and he let the conversation drop as he focused on breakfast. Everyone would be up soon, after all.
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PostSubject: Re: Homeward Bound - Saiyuki V/L   Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:35 pm

~
They had stopped for a miniature break and to stretch their legs out after a good few hours of driving. They decided that it was also probably a good time to do lunch as well. Gojyou and Ran were doing their own thing. Mai and Hakkai were talking about something deeply serious of the wrinkle on their brows and quick smiles had anything to do with it. Riko went off by herself and it made him curious.

Kaede and Nataku and himself had been exploring the forest a little, before Goku heard something close by. He didn't tell his friends where he was going, be he went off a little ways. Riko was standing in a small clearing, her bandana covering her eyes as it had been for most of the trip. She was twirling her staff from side to side, listening.

"I know you're there."

"Ah!" Goku stumbled back a little and peeked out of the bushes again. "Sorry. I was just-"

"It's alright." Riko said, her staff flipped to her other hand and she twirled it faster. "I'd been so busy talking to Hakkai this morning that I didn't get a full warm-up in."

Goku looked over his shoulder. He had a feeling Nataku and Kaede knew where Riko was, and would probably guess that he was there too. He slipped out of the bushes and sat down, watching her. She moved slowly, like she was just learning how to use the bo. She'd take a step, slide it forward, swing and then slowly bring her other foot behind her. "Why so slow?"

"Precision and accuracy is more important than speed." Riko replied. "I can move as fast I can, but without any idea of what I'm doing, I can wind up in more trouble than I would've been if I had put more thought into my movements."

Goku remembered learning that when he was self-teaching himself how to fight with his bo. Gojyou was the one that told him that he should take a little more care in his actions. Granted they didn't know a lick about what they were doing, but Gojyou was in more fights than Goku had been at the time. He knew how to fight dirty and knew how to do it.

Riko on the other hand, used the bo like it was apart of herself. Goku's bo was literally a part of himself, so he was never without it. But her movements were beautiful, like watching a slow dance. "Did you ever teach me how to use it?"

"No." Riko said, still working at her movements before she started speeding up. "I didn't. You used to watch me sometimes with Kaede."

That's probably why the bo picked him then instead of Gojyou's weapon. Goku was more familiar with it, and the weapon knew. "What was Heaven like?"

"Your district?" Riko asked as she did a spin. She continued with the kata, moving as fluid as she could. Sometimes she caught herself making a beginner's mistake and she corrected herself instantly before working her way back to where she was at again. If she felt something was off, she would stop and do the movement a few times before figuring out exactly what felt off and why it felt off. "I would say that it was beautiful. The sakuras were always in bloom, the weather was always nice. The sun was never too hot, nor was too bright. Mai would tell me that Heaven didn't have clouds so the sky was always an endless expanse of blue."

"There's...districts up in Heaven? What the hell for?" Goku frowned, "That just doesn't seem to be like a good idea."

Riko laughed, nearly dropping her stance that she was in.
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PostSubject: Re: Homeward Bound - Saiyuki V/L   Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:49 pm

"The world is more than just us, Goku." Sanzo appeared from the trees, cigarette dangling from his lips. He looked comfortable and relaxed, the top half of his robe wrapped around his waist. "China has a district, India, the western world. Different people with different beliefs."
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PostSubject: Re: Homeward Bound - Saiyuki V/L   Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:01 pm

Riko grinned as she started to work her way around the katas again. "What Sanzo said is accurate. Come different beliefs are different gods. Though I do understand why you'd consider that to be a terrible idea. If there's different versions of Heaven, then you got a huge fight on your hands with people who aren't very open-minded to the idea that a Heaven can be different. For some, it's a static, constant thing. For others, it's just like earth only without the suffering. There's a heaven that's a desert, a heaven that's nothing but an ocean, there's an heaven of skies..." She shook her head. "Different people want different things out of the after life. But everyone, no matter what belief system they have, have the same idea of what a heaven is. Peace. Serenity. Things they fight for here."

Goku frowned as he listened to what she said and looked over at Sanzo, who was looking pretty content. He had a feeling that the priest had come by to tell them that they were about to leave, but the conversation got too interesting. He turned back to Riko, who had stopped working through her moves, but was leaning against the bo. "What would your Heaven be then?"

"Ever changing," Riko said as her fingers started to move up and down the staff. Goku wondered what that habit was about. "We had seasons, storms of all sorts, heat waves, so on and so forth. Mai was good at making rainstorms along side the thunder and lightening twins. I would help them form the clouds and be done with it. Though if I was feeling particularly cranky, I'd make a breeze or something during a heat wave the Sun God would create. Sometimes I think he forgets that even though we're Gods, we're not exactly looking forward to melt."
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PostSubject: Re: Homeward Bound - Saiyuki V/L   Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:19 pm

"No, I wouldn't think so." Sanzo blew out a cloud, "It's time for us to go, but I think you knew I'd say that. If you want to talk to her some more, Goku, we might convince the kappa to switch."
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PostSubject: Re: Homeward Bound - Saiyuki V/L   Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:22 pm

"More time with Ran? He'd go for it." Riko said as she walked over to them. "Though I think that depends on what he wants from me."

"He cheats at cards so if he makes you a bet with them, don't do it." Goku warned and Riko laughed.

"Well, I suck at cards, so I don't think cheating would be a good way to go." Riko shook her head from side to side and Goku's cheeks flushed in realization. "I'm surprised you figured out about the district thing. Was that taught or did you always know?"
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PostSubject: Re: Homeward Bound - Saiyuki V/L   Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:33 pm

Sanzo began leading them back toward the jeep and trailer, "There's these three heads from Heaven I talked to quite often. They've mentioned districts a time or two, and I just figured it out from there. It makes sense, honestly." He spotted Gojyou draped over the side of the Jeep, leaning in to talk to Ran as she also leaned her hip on it, arms folded. "Move it, Gojyou. Riko's going to ride with us for the rest of the day. You can keep talking to you woman in the trailer." At that Ran's face flushed scarlet and she ducked her head, her hair hiding it and she scurried off to jump into the trailer.
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PostSubject: Re: Homeward Bound - Saiyuki V/L   Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:37 pm

Riko had her face covered as well and Gojyou could see that she was trying so hard to hide back that she was laughing. He looked over at Sanzo and raised an eyebrow up. "So you /are/ trying to get laid. I always knew you were going to find someone that'd find your asshole ways charming."

"Well it is a type." Mai said thoughtfully. She had just been getting ready to get back into the trailer when she overheard it. "Or maybe it's a blonde ty-Ran!" Ran had grabbed her by the wrist and forced her inside, probably before she made things worse.

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PostSubject: Re: Homeward Bound - Saiyuki V/L   Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:04 am

Sanzo rolled his eyes and moved to sit in his usual seat beside Hakkai who was always the driver, being gentle when closing the door. He heard Gojyou humph when he didn't fall into the goading and the Jeep shook a bit as he jumped out and then again as Goku jumped in.

Hakkai smiled at Riko and he opened the door for her, "This will be interesting. It's only been us for so long. A chance of pace will do us good, I think."
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PostSubject: Re: Homeward Bound - Saiyuki V/L   Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:15 am

"You're kind." Riko said as she took the offer and slid into her seat. She slid the bandana up so that she could see. "Maybe we should start trading off? I wouldn't make you or Sanzo do it since you're comfortable, but if it's a change of pace you need, it's a good idea."

"I'm in for it." Goku said cheerfully. "The Kappa's probably running Mai up the wall already."

"Mai can handle Gojyou. It's Nataku and Kaede I'm worried about. Adults that they are, he'd might give them ideas anyway." Riko sighed, pinching her nose and shaking her head. "That's the trouble."
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PostSubject: Re: Homeward Bound - Saiyuki V/L   Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:33 am

Sanzo made a disgusted sound, "Heaven would be happy if anything were to happen, but we don't need that to happen for us right now. Gojyou better keep his mouth shut."

"Being around women is sure to get him a little riled up. Mai will keep him in check, I'm sure. Kaede at least knows about that sort of thing, though, right?" Hakkai asked, getting the Jeep into gear.
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