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Dec 11, 2019 9:18 AM
Slayer Naruto is going to befriend ALL the demons!
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They'll start very quietly with the rooms nearest the secret door - Nausicaa to the right, Gaara to the left.

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Both doors creak open, ominously - and very loudly actually -

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Hey, she'd wanted to batter the door down and shout a challenge. Gaara's the one who insisted on stealth.

Looks like it's bombastic Nausicaa time!

Door can get thrown open dramatically.

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Just as Nausicaa throws open her door to reveal an empty room, the third door, the one neither of them checked, gets thrown open by Galbraith -

 - his face contorts into a vampire snarl, he glances between them for a split second and goes for Nausicaa -

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Nausicaa ducks out of the way and kicks him.

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He staggers, but keeps his footing - draws a sharp, wave-bladed knife and goes in for a stab -

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She dodges, and jabs him in the ribs.

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He hunches and growls and strikes with another lunging arcing stab.

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And Gaara's sand comes down on him from above like a ton of squishy bricks.

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He curses and thrashes and collapses to the ground.  He loses his grip on the knife and it spins away across the stone floor.

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She summons more, aiming to trap him.

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Nausicaa picks up the knife, says, "We're not going to kill you. We have questions."

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"With respect to the people who have me buried in magic sand," he says, "I've never heard of a trustworthy Slayer."

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"Then we match, since I got told vampires always lie. Why don't we both buck the trend, be more than they say?"

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"Does appealing to vampires' strong moral centers usually go well for you?" he asks.

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Voice amused: "You'd be surprised!" Which means it's worked exactly kind of sort of once ish, for a sufficiently vague definition of 'worked.' "Figured trying doesn't hurt, though."

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“Look, you wanna make a deal or whatever, let me up and give me my knife back and we’ll talk.  I’m pretty sure your sand demon lackey could kick my ass with or without it anyway.”

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"Hm. Eh, sure. Run and you get buried again." A nod to Gaara, and he's free.

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He climbs to his feet, takes his knife, sheathes it on his belt.

He looks her up and down, hands in his pockets.  "You had questions?"

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"Right! So we have a problem with this Vanessa, right - or, well, she has a problem with me, she's very rude - and so I'd like to chat with her. Maybe get her to stop it with the terrorizing my family and sending assassins after me? Plus, like, see if I can't get her to move her group to ethical sources of blood - anyways. Vanessa! We'd like to know where she's hiding, preferably without having to question every single vampire in the city, which sounds like a fun time for no one."

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"I don't think Vanessa's ever going to be content sharing her territory with a Slayer," Galbraith says, a bit dryly.  "And we don't go in for the blood brothel scene."

He hesitates.

"But," he says, slowly and sort of appraisingly, "if you want her dead, I'd be happy to point you at her and get out of the way."

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That stops Nausicaa. What does she want?

"...I want her stopped. Hopefully with everyone not dead or dusted. But if it's her or all the people she'd kill..."

Honestly Nausicaa doesn't know if she has it in her to kill even a monster, but she does have it in her to bluff.

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"And what happens to us once she's out of the picture?  I don't like her, but she is helping protect us from you."

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"I try not to be the sort of person one needs protection from. I won't go after anyone not killing people or non-consensually feeding - blood brothels, butcher shops, however you feel like it. And I prefer giving warnings and second chances, all told. Long term? I'm going to overhaul the system. It sucks for everyone. Humans, vampires, demons - everyone's got the short end of the stick, except for a few kings of the hill who're up there only as long as they can balance."

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"You're ambitious," he says.  "But I don't think you really understand vampires.  We don't do this because we don't have better options.  This is what we are.  We're higher on the food chain than you.  We're the bad guys.  Human-vampire alliances don't look like human-human alliances or even vampire-vampire alliances.  They look like, our short-term interests are aligned for now, and afterwards we'll give each other a head start.  Telling vampires that they're not allowed to eat unless it comes from humans who are into that isn't a pitch, it's what you force on us if you've already won."  He spreads his hands and smiles sardonically.  "Which, admittedly, in this case, you have.  Clearly you can make me do whatever you want.  But if you're really trying to negotiate in good faith - nobody's really gonna see that as a compromise position."

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