The Tengu and the Fox

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The Tengu and the Fox
Date of Cutscene: 06 November 2016
Location: "Tokyo-52605 <NXC>" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.[[Tokyo-52605 <NXC>]]
Synopsis: "Tokyo-52605 <NXC>" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.In the wake of Ouma's failed attempt to gather the Killing Stone's fragments and launch their planned attack, Lord Sutoku rages at his underlings ... only to have somebody dash cold water on his rage.
Cast of Characters: "Tokyo-52605 <NXC>" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.Xiaomu
Tinyplot: Restoration of the Killing Stone

"WHY?! WHY AM I SURROUNDED BY FOOLS AND FAILURES?!"

Unlike the repurposed warehouse in which Lord Sutoku and other members of Ouma met with the Confederacy's representatives, the chamber which reverberates with the tengu's furious shouts is deep beneath Tokyo. By all rights, it should at least be prominent on the side of a hill or a mountain, but necessity drove the youkai of Ouma underground. But at the moment, nobody is thinking about the location; except for Sutoku himself, most of the youkai in the room - those who escaped from Shinra during the round-up of the demonic parades, and a few other loyalists - are debating how many of them will survive their leader's tantrum.

Sutoku continues to stalk among his kneeling underlings, kicking one or two of them as he passes - and at least one whose brains were already dashed out with a blow of his sharp-edged staff. "Both of our fragments of the Sessho-Seki, lost! The last one swept away by those damnable agents of Shinra! And even the Confederacy turned on us, stealing that fragment and fleeing! Tell me!!"

The tengu's left hand lashes out, seizing a kappa by the throat and dragging the river-demon to his feet. "TELL ME WHY YOU DID NOTHING TO PREVENT IT!!" Sutoku roars, right arm drawing back in preparation to strike, or at least in threat; the kappa can't even speak for the talon-like hand around his neck.

"You do realize, Lord Sutoku, that if you're going to execute anyone for foolishness or failure, you really should schedule your own suicide as part of that."

The casual voice comes from near the main door to Sutoku's throne room; the tengu opens his hand, letting the kappa fall (and the water spills out of his head as the kappa sprawls on the floor) before turning to face the woman who spoke. "Saya," Sutoku snarls, his underlings forgotten. "You pick a fine time to show your face before me, when you refused to lend power or followers to my plan."

The silver-haired kitsune shrugs fluidly, the languid motion tugging her breasts against her red-and-black leather bustier. "I've never seen a point to investing valuable resources in a scheme that's doomed to fail. I'd much rather plant the seeds for alternate paths to victory ... your scheme with the Sessho-Seki was ambitious, to be sure, but there were too many ways for it to fail."

Sutoku storms towards Saya, hefting his staff of office as if he's planning to brain her with it next. "Is there no end to your presumptive airs, vile fox?!"

"Only occasionally," Saya drawls. "But your plan depended heavily on things going a certain way: you assumed all four pieces would fall into Ouma's hands, you assumed you could bring them together without interference ... Shinra's personnel are very good at interfering with our plans, as I'm sure you'd noticed. Really, you should have given up on your intended masterstroke as soon as they obtained the fragment from Aokigahara. I'm surprised you tried to go through with the full scale of it after what you said to our Confederate guests."

"It is our right as youkai to prey upon humans!! You of all youkai should remember that!"

Saya lets out a breath, adjusting the angle at which her weapons rack hangs in her left hand - and only at seeing the motion does Sutoku realize that the silver-haired kitsune is armed. "Prey, yes," Saya says mildly, her voice as rich and mellifluous as ever, almost seductive ... but with just enough of a predatory tone of her own to be an audible threat. "You're not talking about predation, though ... you were planning not just to try and assassinate the Imperial Household and all its members, but however many other humans of Tokyo would have been caught up in that. Didn't you promise it would be a more limited 'display of power' than that?"

"To be technical," Sutoku replies, grinding his teeth, "I made no such promise. I merely admitted -"

"That we wanted them to suffer, not just get wiped out, right," Saya nods. "All right, I'll give you the technicality. But still ... you've been quite foolish yourself, so my earlier point stands. If you're killing perfectly good members of Ouma for failure -"

Metal rasps against leather, and in the next instant, Saya holds a katana's edge against Sutoku's throat.

"- then your head should roll as well," Saya finishes, her voice as near a purr as ever came from a fox's throat. "You're not the sole head of Ouma, and you've made some of your brothers and sisters quite upset with the way you've thrown away our followers. Killing them out of hand, driving others away because they didn't want to keep supporting your plan ... and, of course, the Confederacy." Saya pulls the katana back, sliding it into its sheath. "I think they can still be of use to us ... if your little farce didn't spoil them on working with us. Maybe I should take your head with me anyway, it could turn out to be a useful bargaining chip - a sign of good faith, that we aren't all as bloodthirsty as you are."

"You dare to threaten -"

"Why, yes ... yes, I do dare to threaten the likes of you." Saya smiles lazily, looking deep into the tengu's eyes. "You claim the name of one of the Three Great Evil Youkai of Japan ... but I'm not so sure you live up to it." She rolls her shoulders again, then picks up her jacket and slings it around her otherwise-bare shoulders. "I'll leave you to pick up the pieces of your faction. Leave the next grand scheme to somebody a little more competent, if you please?"

The door closes behind Saya; only then does Sutoku let out a scream of fury, his staff embedding its sharp-edged head in the wood.