2019-04-28 - Looking For Mischief


Betty goes looking for Inari - no, not the food, the Japanese god.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Apr 28 08:41:02 2019
Location: Langham Hotel on 5th Avenue

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Theme Song



The address that Fenris had given Betty to meet Inari at is, thankfully, in New York. It is, in fact, the Langham hotel on 5th Avenue. It is a glorious Art Deco high rise where wealthy travellers are prone to stay while in the city. Inari is presently in one of the restaurants. It's a lavish wood paneled affair with lighting just so and sleek furnishings. Everything about it screams wealth and comfort and power. And expense. Lots and lots of expense.

Betty does, at least, have a description. The Old Wolf had told her to look for two people. Two Japanese people in elegant attire who look close enough to possibly be twins and seem oddly… synchronized.

And that has to be them, over in the corner. Taking up a table for four but there's only two of them. With a chateaubriand and two glasses of expensive sake.

Yes. That's definitely them there. Both slender. The male of the pair has neatly groomed shoulder neck length hair and is clean shaven. He's in a black suit and looks…

Well to be perfectly honest he couldn't look more like a Japanese businessman if he tried.

A promise was made and Brant aims to keep it. Her last few days were hellish, but now was the time to put on her best face and do as she swore she would try to do. Dressed in her best, in soft hues of blue with touches of earthy browns on her fingers, shoes, and lips. She knew who she was meeting, who she was looking for, and with box in hand, she moves their way. "Be a fellow fox, not a hound." She murmurs to herself before her face brightens up and her smile is beaming.

Swallowing, she lowers her head upon greeting the pair in a modest bow.

The woman at the table is inscrutable. Her straight, dark hair falls down her back like silk. She's dressed in a suit as well. Dark in colour with a crisp white blouse.

Much like the man beside her, she looks like a business woman. Or his assistant. Take your pick.

When the blonde approaches the table, she looks up and studies her. Those dark eyes seem to see much. Her english is flawless though there's the trace of an accent. "It seems, our guest has arrived." she murmurs to the man as she bows her head in greeting.

"Konichwa, Miss Brant." She greets the woman "Our table is honoured by your presence."

"Konichiwa." The man says, his voice pitched low. He nods politely when Betty bows and gestures for her to make herself comfortable. "We are Inari. But this is often confusing to those who do not have long history with us. You may call her Ina, and me Ari, if you wish. May we offer you refreshment?"

A waiter comes with a menu, the matter of the box left until Betty has either ordered or declined.

"It appears that you have come bearing something. May we ask what it is? A message? A gift? Forgive us, we were only made aware recently that you would be coming and do not yet know the purpose of your visit."

"Good evening, thank you both for having me here." Her bowing done, she slips into her seat and sets herself across the pair. "Ina, Ari." She smiles to both with another nod. "Yes, thank you." Drink during business, that's what you do. Placing an order for herself, she waits for the server to leave the table before she moves and places the box down before them.

"Many things in one but they belong to you. It's a request for aid, and a gift of forgiveness. I'm visiting with you tonight as, well, an emissary of sorts I hope. Open the box and you may understand who sent me. If not, I'll be happy to explain myself fully."

"Inari." The woman corrects with a small. They're liked bookends really … except for their gender. "He is Inari. I am Inari. We, are Inari." No less confusing, probably, but she seems earnest.

"Aid and gift of forgiveness? I am … intrigued." She draws the box closer, glancing at the male, before slowly opening it and looking within.

Her eyes narrow as she turns it for the man to see.

"This has been lost to us for many centuries. Stolen by a servant of the One Eye." She doesn't seem inclined to say anymore. Yet.

"She's like that, sometimes." Ari says. Or at least the one who said to call him Ari said. "Ina, stop trying to twist her head in knots."

It's said in good humor of course. Foxes are tricksters and known to be playful and Inari is their patron. It is believed - a belief discouraged by priests of various stripe - that Inarai IS a fox. Sometimes. Ish.

"Taken and now returned. We accept the gesture of goodwill from you, Miss Brant. It is well taken."

As Ina opened it, Ari closes it. Which is possibly easier of than thinking that Inari both opened and closed it, but with a different set of hands.

"You wish something in exchange." That's not really a question but it does invite follow up.

Betty Brant nods. "Apologies." She offers, the names given, twisted apart and set back in place again. Watching protectively over the box, Brant rests her hands within her lap. The acceptance of it at least allows the woman to release the held breath burning her lungs.

She's thankful when her drink arrives, offering such in a soft voice and a smile to the server. Reaching for a rich, amber liquid, she sips from her glass casually.

"Yes, I do. I don't want to lie to you or mislead you, nor do I want to break down any initial respect we may have for one another. Inari, Inari." She faces both in kind. "It's something you have that my friends wish to have returned to them. It's for a greater good, I believe, for this world as a whole. Since I'm a being of this world, I'm inclinded to help as best I can."

Ina smiles sharply at Ari and bows her head to Betty. "As he says. Call me Ina and your gift is accepted is as the token you claim it to be. Our granddaughters will rejoice for its return."

"We have something the servant of the One Eye wishes or the one she is consort to? But pray tell, Betty-san, what could be so important that it requires such a gift and a personal emissary?"

Ari shakes his head at his other half's mischeviousness and lets the names rest. She's trying, this mortal. He can tell she's being respectful and polite. This is not always a ticket out of being teased by fox-kind or their patron but it DOES get you off with just playful teasing. And not the dark, malicious kind that is ALSO sometimes attributed to Inari…

"So, one has convinced you that talking to us is for a greater caused." That seems to amuse him. "This is not often the case. Or… ever the case that I can remember. Not for some time. But as Ina says, not many things would mandate such a personal touch. Pray tell us what?"

"Respect. Discretion. In a world, a universe, of countless eyes and higher-beings, one can never be too careful. Sometimes, peace is obtained behind closed doors instead of in front of a crowd." Another sip, she looks between the pair again, only now starting to relax. Well, forcing herself to do so.

"The who shouldn't matter more so than the why. As it was explained to me, I'm a thread in this loom. I'm already threaded through and perhaps this is my part to play. When the tapestry is over, it's ripped apart again and restarts. I'm not sure if you understand how that feels to someone like me. You continue, my kin and I do not." Thinning her lips, she breathes. "Perhaps it's time to change the pattern in the mind of the weaver. Perhaps to something more beautiful for everyone involved."

Ina smiles at Ari's shake of his head and bows hers. The mortal is trying and she's not made it easy. "You speak of the tapestry and wheel of life. The pattern of renewal that has endured for years. We all play our part but our way is not theirs." She's curious though.

"What you speak of is difficult and dangerous. What is it you would have of us?" She didn't say impossible.

"There are few in the cosmos who speak as such." Ari notes to Ina. "And one I can think of who would send to us so… very thoughtful a gift." An indication that perhaps he guesses on whose behalf Betty is operating but he doesn't say the words.

"The weave repeats in patters. The mortals liken it to a tapestry but it is less that than it is a river. The same currents, the same eddies and rapids and falls. But different water. Can the water hope to turn the river's course? And when it bursts forth in flood and strays from its accepted place, do all those around not tremble and flee?"

Fenris had warned that Inari spoke in circles and riddles and that does seem to be the case here. But the dual being seems well disposed toward her at least.

"You would dig a new river entirely. Change its course. To what end, I wonder?"

"I understand. Life for those like me is dangerous already. We thrive or we die. We continue and grow stronger as we go. Without danger, none of us would advance." Sip, she nods again. "Water doesn't stay in one place, however. It moves and flows, it cuts through stone and earth and creates its own path in time. The comes the rain." At the question, she nods again, her blonde-bronze sweeps giving a bounce with the motion. "If I have to, I will dig as far and deep as I can." A pause, she sighs. "I trembled in the face of what I thought was the end. A predator in the dark without any fire to guide me. I wish to help a beast instead of damn it for all time." Beat. "You have something the beast and his keeper need to help them change their stars."

"As you say." Ina says to Ari, looking at the box. Whatever the necklace is, it means something to the dual being. "It is curious, is it not?"

"Changing the course of a river is not just a matter of digging deep or digging far, there is planning and sometimes the change is affected in small increments." She frowns though, regarding Betty "You would ally yourself with Destroyer-Wolf and the Disgraced-Valkyrie to save yourself? What information could we have that they don't already possess?"

"Well… there is…" Ari says looking at Ina for a long moment. "There is something we know of that would aid the Old Wolf and his Raven. But it is not a simple tale, not a story. It is more a journey with a reward. And I do not think the Old Wolf's hoary head and massive paws are well suited to the task. It is reserved for those of great faith and mortal blood."

He looks at Ina again. "The Narrow Gate. She could walk it. What is on the other side would benefit him. If she is strong enough."

Strong enough? Oh dear.

"Please, don't misunderstand. I'm not doing this for me. I'm doing it for humanity." Betty clarifies gently, leaving her drink along for now and sitting up with finer posture. "It takes planning, I agree. Perhaps I'm just the first part of that plan."

Listening, attentively, she looks between the twins and nods. Without consideration or hesitation, she agrees. "I'll walk it." She decides. "I'll do it."

"The Narrow Bridge, yes." Ina watches Betty, considering. "The path that bridges worlds, it might not look long but none have completed the journey. Years ago, when the Universe was young, we placed something on the other side of that bridge. Something we didn't want to fall into the wrong hands. The key we gifted to one of our followers, who gifted that to her offspring and so on down through the ages."

The woman draws in a breath and looks to Ari for a moment. "Perhaps this is meant to be. Return the box to her."

Her attention moves back to Betty "That key fell to the Raven some years ago when the last of that line passed alone. Take the gift that you bought to us, you will need it should you manage to breach the void." beat "You will find the Bridge in the Temple of Guan Kwong, here in New York, just south of the place you call The Bowery."

"If you make it through what we left will be on the other side. You can bring the key back to us at that time and take your prize to the Old Wolf." Ari says. "If you do not make it through, there is no shame. Bring the key back and you will at least know that you were bolder than many heroes who would not face such a test of their self. However I think, perhaps, for the first time that I can remember I see one who may pass the Narrow Bridge."

Ari pushes the box back in Betty's direction. "Just remember this. The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong."

Betty Brant twitches and eyes the box. At first, she doesn't seem to understand why it was returning to her person. Then, as they continue to explain how it all works, she nods and reaches out for the offering. "Temple of Guan Kwong." She nods, repeating the words and filing them away for another day. Accepting the box, she sets it in her lap, her head lowering in a thankful bow before she sits up once more.

"I'll remember that. Thank you both." A pause, "I should ask, is there anything I can do for you?"

"The bridge is narrow and only those who intent is true will pass …" Ina adds watching the box as it moves across the table.

Is there anything Betty can do for them? Her? Him? Whatever. The woman considers the blonde before nodding slowly. "When you return with the key, we will have a request of you. For now, go, Betty-San and prepare yourself for your journey."

"Be kind to foxes." Ari adds. "For you never know when a fox may return the favor nine-fold." Foxes returning favors for good or ill tends to come up a lot around Inari. "We shall see you soon. I would wish you good fortune but I think it would be best if you made your own. Those who would defy fate find doing so makes their lives easier."

And with a polite nod Ari turns back to his meal.

"Tell the Old Wolf he still hasn't caught us fairly." That's said with a smile. It may be an in joke. Or a challenge.

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