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Arisugawa Juri [userpic]
by Arisugawa Juri (cagedpanther)
at April 25th, 2006 (11:54 am)

Juri had finally settled into a routine of practices and meetings. After her initial encounter with one of the chairman's letters, the panther hadn't seen any evidence that he'd tried to contact her again. Could it be that he wasn't aware of her blatant snub of whatever it was he'd tried to offer her, or order her to do, or did he simply not care - biding his time until he can draw her back into the game she so loathed, yet was still to this day drawn to?

Among other things, Juri had taken the time to refresh her feet of the paths on campus. Her mind recalled the darker passages, the places the students would go when they wanted privacy, the gateways to flow from one end of campus to the other without being noticed... able to blend into the shadows and unusual architecture of Ohtori Academy. Twice now she'd stopped in the shadows of the red rose bushes to stare up at the dueling arena, the place where Miracles hung suspended by magic and the power of the floating castle hidden to the eye of the casual observer.

Yet, she was not quite ready to walk back up there and search for what she was looking for. To walk that connecting bridge would be to admit to the chairman that she was indeed back because of his petty little game of false princes and wicked princesses. Instead, to prevent herself from giving in to the curiosity that could very well kill the great cat, Juri focused her excess energy and inquisitiveness upon the members of the seitokai.

It was best she learned as much as she could about the three young ladies whose strings were being pulled by End of the World. If she knew where they came from, she might be able to figure out why, exactly, they were wooed to the side of the tainted prince. It was a painstaking process filtering through the records and slipping her way into those less easily accessed. From the initial look, the girl that had assumed the panther's former position, Tsubasa Kikyou, was the least confusing one. She really didn't appear to have anything to hide and that alone bothered Juri.

She would have to observe these three ladies and watch how they interacted. Someone had an edge among them and the odds were it was the most mysterious of the three – the golden haired goddess. Thankfully, for several reasons, Juri had yet to come in contact with the lovely young lady.

Juri was alone in the fencing hall after she'd released the team to go about their afternoon business. Knowing she wasn't going to be bothered for a bit, she brought out her razor-sharp Spanish rapier and began to work on a series of slashes and parry maneuvers. The blade felt good in her hands once again, balanced perfectly, and she closed her eyes as she let her muscles remember the way to cut and slice just as she had years ago. The mind may pretend to forget, but the body never did.

She heard the door to the fencing hall open and a pair of feet rush in, their pace that of a wild animal fleeing from, or toward, something in desperation. Not opening her eyes, nor stopping her blade, Juri continued on to finish the series she was in. As she swept around, she caught an old familiar scent of spice and heady perfume. Her lips curved up a bit and she stepped around, flipping the rapier up behind her, and graced the wild child with a sweeping bow, her long auburn hair flairing out as she did.

“Kozue... what brings you to wander into my realm?” She finally opened her eyes to focus upon Kozue as she straightened up. “It's been quite a while, hasn't it?” And Juri had to admit that the years had matured Kozue into a captivating woman – at least to the eyes.