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#1 [Private] How Can I Help You? {Akane} on Sun May 06, 2018 4:52 am

For the last few weeks since coming to Japan, Raphael’s days had been fairly standard. He’d wake up, brush his teeth and get dressed, head out and grab some coffee, then double check Avon’s servers to make sure they were optimized and then double check the Sweet Puffin Bakery’s website. Usually there was a tiny hacker popping in, try to post something stupid and insignificant and today, thankfully, wasn’t any different, someone changing the puffin to some stupid videogame character. It was changed back within seconds and he was off to the rest of his duties, watching over the bakery, something that he did with gusto.

Halfway through watching over the place to make sure no one stole anything, or there were any supernatural attacks, Freylief shot him a text. She said that she needed to talk with him, so he came out onto the main floor. Someone had placed an order for them to deliver, and so she was about to head off to deliver their order. While doing so, she needed him to take care of the customers, so that everyone got the pastries that they wanted.

He tried explaining that he’d never done customer service before, and that he wasn’t entirely certain what to do, but she explained to him the basics in seconds and handed him a smock, telling him to get out there. It as a few hours, but he could handle that and, grudgingly, he admitted that he could indeed handle it.

So he’d put on the smock and started selling people different pastries, thanking them and hoping that they came back for more. Still there were so many people going in and coming out that, to be honest, Raphael wasn’t certain how she did it all and began to understand why she’d needed someone to do the website and especially to guard against the masks.

It was about a half an hour after Frey had left and he’d bagged up some donuts for a customer and thanked them coming to the Sweet Puffin Bakery. He glanced down at his phone, and realized that there were still a few hours until she’d be back, before sighing. With a smile he looked up again.

“I can help the next customer!” he said with a cheerful smile.

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#2 Re: [Private] How Can I Help You? {Akane} on Sun May 06, 2018 10:54 am

When he looked up, he would find himself face to face with a young red haired woman, kind blue eyes scanning over the menu as she waited to be served. She didn't seem particularly out of the ordinary, though he wouldn't have seen her around before. Of course, this unassuming woman was in fact the Captain Commander, taking something of a short break from her duties to just relax. It was the first time in quite a long time really, but so far it had been doing quite a good job at helping her unwind. So what better way to cap off her little excursion than something sweet. Though there were just so many choices!

Seeing as she was last person in the line of a recent group, Akane decided to take her time. Beginning her request by politely bowing her head, she would lock her gaze with the servers for a moment. "Do you have any suggestions? Everything looks so good, I can't make up my mind" So far, her gigai had done quite a good job at masking her spiritual pressure so no one had noticed anything out the ordinary, but it would always be hard to tell who was sensitive enough to do so.

Regardless, she would wait for the man to offer up a suggestion as she continued to browse through the menu... Akane couldn't help but feel that everything was going smoothly, like there was something that she had missed on her outing so far. It was somewhat dangerous just going out in public like she was, hollows were drawn to spiritually powerful beings after all.

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#3 Re: [Private] How Can I Help You? {Akane} on Mon May 07, 2018 11:46 am

He was approached by a woman with flaming red hair, and crystal blue eyes and smiled at her as she began to scan the menu. She was cute, to be sure, but he had to be honest, she didn’t have the same charm as his Nordic employer. He couldn’t tell what it was about her, but something felt ever so slightly off, not bad, persay but not exactly normal. Still he counted it as himself simply being new to the area and Japan in general, there was no reason for him to be concerned with a woman that had come in to order some pastries. Raphael almost wanted to laugh at how absolutely paranoid he’d been.

At her question he poked at his chin with a forefinger. “Well… It depends, I guess. If you’re wanting some more traditional treats, then we’ve got dorayaki, dango, daifuku and some taiyaki.” He gestured at each one of the pastries in order. “Then, if you’re looking for something new, we’ve also got some toscakaka, an almond cake, an ostkaka, a cheesecake, and kladdkaka, a chocolate cake!” Looking back up at her he smiled again. “Some of my personal favorites are daifuku and taiyaki, though I love the kladdkaka. We do have more, but those seven are some of my personal favorites. I think I also might have an apple pie in the back, if you’re wanting something else.”

He’d made small talk with so many bloody people today that he almost didn’t want to bother, but it would’ve been rude to not do so with this woman as well. Inwardly, he sighed, but watching her he said, “Do you around the area? I’ve only been here two weeks and haven’t had the opportunity to get out all that much yet.”

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#4 Re: [Private] How Can I Help You? {Akane} on Mon May 07, 2018 8:27 pm

Akane would ponder quietly for a moment, holding her hands behind her back as she did so. They all sounded like wonderful options really, though she was feeling like something nice and simple for today. "How about some of that chocolate cake, it looks delicious" The girl would smile sweetly, offering up the payment for her goods after the man had collected them for her. "I might have to come back for seconds, it all looks so good. Do you make this stuff?" she made her own small talk as everything was prepared for her. So far it seemed her gigai had been serving her well, she noticed a spiritual power around this man, but he hadn't managed to pick her out just yet.

Though she was a little worried when he questioned if she was from around her "Oh, no I'm just visiting. I came out from the inner city for a day trip" It wasn't a lie, in fact she was actually from the more urban parts of Tokyo, but she hadn't been back as a spirit yet... she wasn't sure she could handle that just yet, Karakura town was close enough for her now. "I've just heard Karakura Town is lovely, so I had to see it for myself" That and it was a rather important spiritual site for the shinigami, with an abnormal amount of spiritual beings living in it. Throughout their small talk however, the girl turned her head curiously, glancing behind her... Something wasn't right. It was hard to tell because of where they were, but she felt like something was watching her. For now, she would just try enjoy her food for now. Keeping an eye out for anything going wrong.

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#5 Re: [Private] How Can I Help You? {Akane} on Wed May 09, 2018 10:50 pm

There were reasons why Raphael didn’t like to make small talk with people, the queer feeling that he was getting was from the woman wasn’t specifically from this woman. There was something…almost charged in the air, an energy and taste in his mouth that Raphael did not like. He looked around, a bit agitated; there were too many people for him to just close the place and put up the out to lunch sign. Still he couldn’t deny that, for the moment, he was happy to be having a bit of normalcy, a moment where he didn’t have to worry about everything and everyone exploding into hellfire or getting eaten.

He smiled at her enjoying it, but chuckled a bit embarrassed when she asked if he’d made the food.

“I wish that I were the artisan that had made these. Unfortunately, I am not. I work for the person that made these wonderful delicacies, mostly as an IT guy, my biggest specialty, after all. But, when she needs it, I help out in the bakery. She’s out for a few hours so I’m watching the shop for her.”

She was just visiting, apparently, most likely was from Tokyo itself. He needed, appreciatively, as she said that the “town” was a lovely place. Despite the fact that Raphael had seen cities in America as large as this town, he couldn’t deny that it was a nice place.

Curiously though, he couldn’t help but notice that she glancing behind her and all around as she spoke and he couldn’t but wonder if there something special about her, like himself, or something else. Regardless of people being here… He’d have to come up with something soon. He felt the horrid sensation that he always did whenever he felt the masks approaching, regardless even as he watched the woman look around. If she could feel them, then odds were that she had some kind of power and could probably fight. If not? He could probably protect her if need be.

“Hey,” he said, “Does something feel off to you?”

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#6 Re: [Private] How Can I Help You? {Akane} on Thu May 10, 2018 8:46 pm

"Well, I'll need to make sure I come back when she's around" She would offer another bow as she turned to walk back to her table, seeing as the conversation had essentially ended at this stage. However, it seemed like her initial feeling might have been right. "Hrm? Well... I'm not quite sure" The girl would shrug, feeling a little bad having to hide the truth like this.. But it would probably be better to keep herself incognito for now. After all, it couldn't be that common to be able to see spiritual beings. She idly sat on one of the tables out near the front of the bakery to enjoy her treat.

It was really quite good, possibly one of the best cakes she had eaten in a very long time. However, the feeling that something was around here just continued to grow until the peaceful facade all came crashing down. A humanoid creature would be seen standing atop a building on the other side of the street. It's outstreched finger aiming directly for Akane. Though she didn't seem to notice it, rather distracted with the cake. At least until a thin red beam would flash across the street. Raph wouldn't need to warn the girl however, as she shifted out of the way with an uncanny precision. Though her bright blue eyes would widen when she realized the beam was headed directly towards the counter.

For those who didn't have the ability to sense spiritual beings, Akane's gigai would suddenly slump forwards with a rather loud crash, as if she had fallen unconscious on the table. However, it would only now be revealed of her true form. He may or may not recognize the shinigami uniform she wore. Or the haori that marked her as the captain commander. But just in time, before the arrancar's attack could connect with anything it would simply fade from existence. Along with a rather potent spiritual pressure washing over the room for a moment, causing glass to shake. More than enough to scare the attacker off for the time being.

The girl would blink, glancing down to her fallen gigai then back to Raph, the hilt of her zanpakuto held firmly in one hand, oddly missing a blade. "I'm not sure if you can see me... but are you alright?" She had mostly reacted on instinct, but it seemed the danger was gone for now. Such a brazen attack could not be ignored however, and with a potential target for these attacks standing in front of her, it would be a bad idea to simply leave him to his own devices. Until she knew the threat was gone, she wasn't going to leave his side. At this stage, she wasn't even sure who had been the target of this attack.

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#7 Re: [Private] How Can I Help You? {Akane} on Wed May 16, 2018 8:45 am

He smiled, watching her enjoy the cake even as she talked about coming back when the owner was around. It was humorous watching her enjoy the cake and he waved as she began to walk away, after having said that she didn’t feel whatever it was that was going on. Raph watched after her, and couldn’t help but feel like she was lying, but at the same time didn’t exactly feel like starting any kind of altercation. Telling the truth or not it didn’t matter. They all had their own ways of dealing with the world around them.

That was when he felt the distinguishable energy of one of the masked ones, or…at least it felt like them, but it strangely felt like something else. The pulsing red energy that he’d only felt from a few of the masks was burning straight at them, a thin lance-like beam and was heading straight at them. He watched as the girl suddenly fell forward, cake and plate falling to the ground. Lightly tapping his foot on the linoleum of the bakery and a construct snaked out like a shadow rising up and catching the small plate and cake before they could suffer any major damage. He sighed in relief, cake shouldn’t be wasted.

He held his head a bit mild bits of pain striking him as a pressure of power was released and the beam faded from oblivion, and the bow in his hand faded as well. The construct holding her cake up, however, rose up like a hand and placed it on the table she’d slumped over.

As she spoke he looked up at her, frowning ever so slightly as he noticed the uniform of the black robes as well as a white vest overtop of it. Now that was new.

“I can indeed see you,” he replied, and “and I am alright, thank you for asking.” He dusted himself off a bit. “Oh, and by the way I saved your cake.” He gestured at the morsel still sitting on the table. “I must say, that you turning out to be one of the black robes was a bit of a surprise, though I do thank you for saving the shop.” He stood there for a moment, not even paying attention to the people that stared at him. “But, may I ask for your name, ma’m?” Then he looked around. Or perhaps find a better place to talk for a few seconds?” Then he looked out the door and said, “Or would you prefer to go after that thing?”

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#8 Re: [Private] How Can I Help You? {Akane} on Mon May 21, 2018 8:27 pm

Akane's last concern was the fact her cake had survived, though it was a nice little surprise. She figured that 'black robes' meant shinigami, so he was well aware of their existence if not their true name. "It can't have gone far, lets get this somewhere safe" She nods to the 'unconscious' form of her Gigai "Could you carry her to the back room? Maybe make an excuse. We can talk there" The shinigami would just nod and leave Raph to getting the gigai out of the main room as she figured out how best to handle this situation. She would move with him wherever it was they were storing the clone, carefully sneaking the rest of her cake in there too.

"I'm sorry for lying out there... I was hoping that my being a shinigami would be irrelevant" Akane would offer a short bow. "My name is Akane Makishima, I'm Captain Commander of the Gotei 13. What you just saw out there was an arrancar, which is a little more dangerous than the average hollow" Coming completely clean it would seem, she would give a quick run-down of their situation. "Now, I'm not sure who it was after, but it's my duty to purify this creature." She felt that was a good enough explanation of what was going on. "Would you mind coming with me? It's possible you're a target, so I think leaving you behind would be a bad idea. If you need someone to watch the shop, I do have a little something that might help" she had a specialty Gikongan that was designed for just such a situation.

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#9 Re: [Private] How Can I Help You? {Akane} on Tue May 22, 2018 2:07 am

Couldn’t have gone far? Did she mean the mask that had attacked them? Mind flashing back to that for a moment, he realized that despite the fact that it had felt like a mask it hadn’t felt entirely like one. A new bit of oddness to note as some of the people started to gather round the body that the black robe had come out of.

“Stand back, everyone,” he shouted as the spectral woman asked him to bring the body to the back. “Our newest part-time worker needs air. Please get back!” He knelt down and picked her up from the chair and started walking her to the back, and after sitting her down on the couch he went back downstairs quickly. Passing by the black robe he said to her, “Make yourself at home. I’ll be back up in a moment.”

Downstairs there was something of a commotion, to which Raph would dispel. “I do apologize everyone, but we are going to be closing for lunch in a few more minutes. Please finish your pastries, and then exit the building amicably. I’m going to take our part-time worker to the hospital soon. Soon as I’m sure she’s being taken care of we’ll be back.” There were a few boos and some people begging him to stay open, but when they realized that he was not willing to relent, there were sighs and the people began to file out one at a time. To be honest that was a calculated risk… If any of them were being hunted, if all of them were being hunted, it would be difficult to protect them all at one time. But at the same time, if they were all here and it came back to attack? Covering them all would also be difficult.

The moment that they were all gone, he went back upstairs ready to hear the black robe out. The moment that he was upstairs she began, and it was a fair bit more information than what he was used to, but not so much that he couldn’t process it. Her name was Akane and she was, apparently, the commander of the Gotei thirteen, something that assumed was what the black robes organized themselves into. The thing that had attacked them was some subspecies of mask, or hollow as Raph now suspected was their true name.

“No, I don’t need anyone to watch the shop. Dispersing the people amongst the rest of the populace seemed to be the best idea so that they wouldn’t be around in case it came back, so I’ve sent them all away. If it attacks people in general I’d say that it’d be a danger to the majority of the city and, of those that were in the shop, I’d say that you and I had the most amount of power.” He leaned against the back wall. “I’m more than willing to come with you.” Despite what he said, the back of his hair was standing on end. He didn’t like Shinigami much, were he to be honest, but at the same time, this was bigger than his distrust. If this arrancar was in the city and was ANYTHING like the masks then it had to be dealt with as quickly as they could.

“Since you’re the one that can purify these things,” he said, thinking, “perhaps I’d be better suited to providing you support. After all, god knows what would happen if I were to kill the thing, but my abilities are suited for as suited for support as they are for one on one battles.” He waited to hear her response. He was planning on going with her anyways, just to make sure that no humans would get hurt.

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#10 Re: [Private] How Can I Help You? {Akane} on Tue May 22, 2018 7:23 pm

The Captain Commander would simply nod, there wasn't much point in arguing that now that he had shut the shop down for now. "Of course, I suppose that makes sense" Though in this case it may have been somewhat misguided, but for their safety it was probably going to work out just fine. After all, they weren't going to lose any customers considering the quality of the goods here. "If you killed it, it would cause an imbalance in the soul cycle. I believe though that there are ways the living can safely purify souls if they have the correct equipment" Though she couldn't be sure if one soul would really matter, of course a hollow could be made of many... now was not the time to consider it.

"But yes, you should come along. I didn't get a proper gauge on that things power, but it was certainly strong" Another white lie really, it seemed that this man wasn't too knowledgable about the shinigami and what being 'Captain Commander' really meant. A lone arrancar was hardly going to pose a challenge to Akane at this stage. However, she didn't want to leave a spiritually powerful human alone when there was a known enemy on the loose. "Follow me" Akane drew her zanpakuto, which strangely lacked a blade, and moved off out into the street, focusing on sensing where the creature had run off to. It seemed it was smart enough not to leave a trail of destruction in it's wake for now. She would follow the closest trail, carefully keeping watch as they traveled.

"So have you met other shinigami before? You didn't seem particularly surprised to see me" Having had no experience at all when she was still alive, it was still a bit odd to think that there were people like her in the world. But for Raph, it seemed like it was a mostly normal thing. "As for our target, this is not a normal hollow as I said. Unlike the larger ones, it is no longer driven solely by the instinct to feed. Whatever that arrancar was doing here, it had a plan. You have to be careful" It seemed she wasn't too concerned for her own safety in the matter, mostly about the people living in the town. She didn't see a number anywhere, so it may not be affiliated with the Espada... it was all very odd.

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