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10 Encountering the Members of Anteiku

    Being a self-proclaimed chocoholic and dessert connoisseur, Kichimuri was a fan of all things sweet. Suffice to say he hated all things bitter such as coffee or certain alcoholic drinks. He himself felt lucky and grateful he hadn't chosen to be born in a ghoul body when he arrived in this world and thus could consume his beloved sweets. After all the sweet things he'd consumed, he couldn't imagine being born as a ghoul who could only consume human flesh and coffee. Honestly, a small part of Muri almost felt bad for the ghouls who could never experience the ecstasy that sugar brings. Almost, he still had to consume them to get stronger after all and he wasn't one to really feel sorry for others. Rest assured, he would continue to walk the path of sweets for them all. Putting these distracting thoughts to the back of his mind, Muri had snuck closer to the cafe making sure he was in stealth mode. Taking the time to focus his senses on the building, he noticed four other lesser ghoul signatures residing here. While they were lesser they still would serve to increase his strength. Deciding to take things slow as he had yet to deal with such a high level of ghoul before, Muri retreated into the shadows and decided to begin observation.

    If there was one important thing Kichimuri had learned as an investigator of the V organization, it would be patience and effective reconnaissance. Information gathering was key when it came to hunting potentially dangerous prey. One should never jump in without knowing the prey's strengths, habits, schedule and even potential allies. Most importantly allies as they could swoop in and save your prey from your jaws just as you've subdued them. Kichimuri made it a priority to observe his prey before engaging. He observed them then planned accordingly how to take them down quickly and efficiently. He'd learned his lesson not to play around with his prey or go around seeking challenges like a suicidal maniac. After an existence of devouring and absorbing the souls of countless dead people, Muri had learned death wasn't something to be played with. It was the end. With death came finality and a potential collapse of all you've built throughout your life. Some were lucky to die and leave behind loved ones, family and empires to keep alive their memory. However it was just as likely that their families were quick to follow them into death after they were gone and their enemies rose up to take advantage. No, Muri had learned life and death wasn't a game to gain excitement from challenging. It was to be taken seriously so that at the end he'd be the last one standing as he became a god and lived eternal. And thus Muri spent a week observing the cafe and its ghouls. He found an apartment nearby and settled in without eating for a week.He has previously reported in to his superiors at V that he was on the tail of a potentially very powerful ghoul and was going undercover and cutting off all communications to observe him. After a long call with his overprotective older brother Kichimura warning him to be careful and not to die, he'd holed himself up and began his reconnaissance. He took his time to observe their regular movements, how strong each of them were in relation to each other. He observed that one of the ghouls went to high school every day. She was the youngest and weakest of the five ghouls working in the cafe. She was a slender teenage girl with bob-length black hair with a bluish tint that had long bangs that reached her chin covering the right side of her face and blue eyes. She seemed to be younger than him by a few years. She appeared to be a normal girl that one would not suspect to be a ghoul. He observed a well built male ghoul with silver hair go out at night and return with packages of what Muri sensed to be human flesh. The silver haired male ghoul seemed to be the second strongest of the five and was probably the hunter and gatherer for the group. He observed two ghouls as they regularly switched the responsibility of taking out the trash every night after the cafe closed. They were a pair of male and female ghouls. They seemed to have similar strength levels below the silver haired ghoul and above the youngest female ghoul. The male ghoul was a young man who wore his waiter uniform with a bow tie. He had brown hair styled in a pompadour and a bulbous nose. The female ghoul was a young woman who had long dark hair with long, parted locks in the front. She wore a similar waiter's uniform. Finally, Kichimuri observed the ghoul whose signature drew him here. He was a tall sturdy looking elderly man with swept back white hair dressed in a formal waiter uniform. Kichimuri almost thought he'd made a mistake when he observed his target. He had to refer to his radar to confirm this was his target. This was one of the most powerful ghouls he'd ever sensed and he was an old man who ran a cafe. Kichimuri had to hand it to this ghoul for hiding in such plain sight. Most ghouls lived like vagabonds traveling from ward to ward hunting humans whenever an opportunity presented itself while fighting other ghouls for territory. He knew this old man was probably the strongest ghoul in this ward as he'd spent weeks here hunting down any ghoul he'd come across and he'd yet to find one that came close to matching up with him. He'd gone everywhere in the ward hunting and absorbing any powerful ghouls he came across while feeding the weak ones to his quinque. His quinque was growing properly and Kichimuri surmised it was on the path to evolving into something much greater. He'd stopped feeding it his power and divinity as he'd been slowly siphoning it from the tiny breach in his divinity core and storing it up to do something really big in this world.

    It was a productive week and Kichimuri had decided to begin to make his move after surmising there wasn't much else to observe. Some weak ghouls dropped in during the week to collect packages of human flesh and Muri had tracked them down afterwards to feed them to his quinque. He fed the bodies to his weapon but saved the souls for himself. Kichimuri decided to wait for a night when the bulbous nose male ghoul as well as the long haired female ghoul ghoul both came out at night to throw out the trash before he made a move. Deciding to take them out silently at the same time, Kichimuri released his koukaku kagune which consisted of demon claw and leg gauntlets before stealthily jumping off the roof of the building bordering the cafe. He jumped down landing behind the male and female ghoul without them sensing his presence as he'd mitigated air flow and noise creation. Bursting forth, Kichimuri thrust his claws and grabbed the heads of the  unaware ghouls. He didn't give them the time to react or release their kagune and crushed their skulls. Not wasting time, he quickly liquefied and absorbed their bodies before disappearing into the night. He'd succeeded in the first part of his attack and didn't want to endanger himself by staying there. The old man would soon notice his subordinates were missing and thus would come looking for them. He'd make sure to visit the cafe the next day to personally observe their reactions in case they tried to flee or invite reinforcements. He was sure he could beat the old man on his own but didn't want to open himself to chance if he was ganged up on by the old man and many other equally strong associates. He'd wait and pick them off one by one before confronting the old man. Muri was strong but he wouldn't be reckless.

    Kichimura stepped in through the door of the quaint little cafe filled the aroma of freshly brewed coffee as a bell chimed signaling his arrival. It had been a day since he'd exterminated and absorbed the male and female ghouls. He was hear to personally observe their reactions and sense any threatening reinforcements. He'd decided to come in while the cafe was open in case they closed tomorrow because two of their members just went missing. Changing out of his clown outfit and storing them in his storage space, he wore a grey bomber jacket, a white t-shirt underneath, a pair of black jeans matched with crisp white running shoes. He wore his black hair in a curly hair as his silver eyes shone out of the facial features he used while staying with Itori. Entering the cafe he spread out his senses to locate the three remaining ghoul members of the cafe. He traced their positions to see two of them serving as waiters to the human customers. Kichimuri took a moment to wonder what was it with ghouls and the service industry. Was it just easier to pick out human prey as you served them drinks? Shifting his gaze to behind the counter he identified the final and most powerful ghoul in the cafe. Behind the counter stood the elderly man with swept back white hair dressed in a formal waiter uniform. His eyes seemed closed as he prepared a batch of coffee with a sense of well practiced grace and discipline. Kichimuri was asking himself why a powerful ghoul like this old man was wasting his time mastering the skill of coffee making. Was it a form of meditation that strengthened the mind and therefore strengthened the body? Muri found himself interested in this act that might hold the key to better reflexes and mind-body coordination. As though feeling his gaze, the old man looked up towards his direction before looking back down as he continued preparing coffee. Muri had a kind charming smile on his face as he moved to sit at the counter before ordering a large piece of their most expensive chocolate cake then proceeded to gorge himself on the delicious dessert. When it came time to pay, he added a huge tip for the service. He'd tipped the young female ghoul as she'd been his waiter. She'd looked shocked when he tipped her and almost wanted to refuse before asking why. Muri took her hand and kissed it before telling her the service was worth it and more to be served by an angel such as her. Blushing a bit, she thanked him before he left. Kichimuri reviewed his observations from today as he left towards his apartment. While it seemed the ghouls were fine and operating as usual, Kichimuri could tell their worry by the unconscious turn towards the door every time someone came in. They were obviously hoping their companions came back and weren't really missing. They'd probably begin to assume the worst soon and become more alert soon so he decided next to make a move on the silver haired man while he was out hunting humans for the group. He was the second strongest in the group and Muri didn't want a distraction while he faced the old man.

    Kichimuri tailed the silver haired ghoul as he left the cafe in a long hooded trench coat and raven mask. They moved far from the cafe towards a tall cliff where Muri assumed people came to commit suicide. The silver haired ghoul jumped down and began collecting the bodies of those who committed suicide here. Kichimuri felt he learned something new here about ghouls who didn't hunt humans. It seemed they chose the coward's way of waiting for the humans to kill themselves before scavenging and feasting on the corpses. Feeling more knowledgeable about the species he'd been hunting, Muri released his koukaku kagune. He'd grown fond of this kagune form that he used for close quarter combat. While it may be the densest and heaviest of all his kagune, he could handle it using his strength to deal heavy and lethal damage to his opponents. Jumping down from the cliff Kichimuri fell towards the silver haired ghoul with his claws open to squash him like a bug. As his claws were about to reach its target, the silver haired ghoul looked up and noticed him before jumping forward to avoid the blow. Feeling pissed at his bad luck, Muri landed creating an explosion of dirt and dust. Muri looked towards his target to find a deep claw mark on his back. Blood flowed out of the wound and drenched the coat the silver haired ghoul was wearing. The silver haired ghoul regarded him with caution while releasing his ukaku kagune. His kagune took the form of two black wings sprouting from his shoulders. The wings seemed to be surrounded by a lightning like aura. Kichimuri took one look and become alert of any harmful attacks. They stood there a moment when Muri sensed a fast moving figure in his radar moving towards their location. He already knew it was the old man and this may have been a trap to lure him out. At this point Muri didn't care if it was or the old man was just checking in on his subordinate due to two recently going missing. Not wanting a two on one situation, Muri pushed towards the silver haired ghoul so as to quickly dispatch before the old man arrived. The silver haired ghoul fired off lighting-like bolts towards him to impede his attack and evade him. Muri wasn't having it and tanked the bolts by blocking them with an enlarged dense claw. Breaking through the bolts and reaching the silver haired ghoul, Muri gouged out his inner organs. Drawing his arm back, he swung his claw and tore off the head of the silver haired ghoul. At this point, the old man was about to arrive. Quickly focusing and liquefying the corpse, Muri just finished absorbing the silver haired ghoul when the old man dropped down from the cliff still dressed in the same waiter uniform.

    "Where is he? Where is Renji? Who are you? What have you done with him?" demanded the old man, who for the first time Muri found had his eyes fully open filled with fury The man's presence had changed into that of an angered beast whose offspring had been slain. The old man continued to glare at Muri with fury and confusion while Muri wondered how to answer the question. "You can consider me someone here to kill and consume you. All that's left are you and the young girl that I'm assuming is back at the cafe worried sick. Don't worry when I'm done with you here I'll make sure to send her to join you all." Muri stated coldly. The old man's eyes seemed to boil with fury before he suddenly calmed down. His eyes changed to form red irises and black sclera with red veins across the eyes into the skin around the eyes. Taking a deep breath, the old man focused himself and his presence changed to that of a cold predator. One with no emotions and obsessed with killing the prey before it. Muri felt the change and immediately went on alert moving into a fighting stance. The old man released his kagune. His ukaku kagune consisted of four spikes on his back. Kichimuri widened and elongated his arm and leg gauntlets. He made the legs a bit thicker and longer while increasing the density to double his agility. He also made his claws longer and a bit denser to increase his reach and striking power. His limbs felt heavier but it wasn't to a point where his body strength couldn't handle it. It didn't bother him at all.

    "Would you mind telling me your name before I kill you for what you've done? You can call me Yoshimura. I want to put a name to the person who almost wiped out my entire staff. Rest assured after you're dead, I'll bury you in an unmarked grave rather than devour you like you did to my subordinates." The old man coldly said as he began to walk in a circle around Kichimuri. "Hahaha, say that old man when my body lies defeated beneath your feet." Muri coldly replied while a vicious grin crept up his face. He began to circle Yoshimura too as they circled each other like deadly beasts about to engage in a battle to the death. Suddenly Yoshimura fired numerous fast projectiles out of his kagune towards Kichimuri in a blanket form to reduce his ability to dodge. Kichimuri dug his feet into the ground and leaped forward, dashing towards Yoshimura to shift this battle to close quarters and gain the advantage. Yoshimura seemed troubled that he dodged the attack and seemed to want to back away as Kichimuri advanced towards him. Kichimuri sped up and as he was about to swing his claw to take his enemy's head clean off, Yoshimura suddenly released a vast amount of fast RC projectiles out of his entire body. Taken by surprise, Kichimuri dug his demon feet into the ground and flipped over Yoshimura. Upon landing behind him and turning around to claw out his back, a different set of concentrated RC fanned out and shot out heavy shotgun pellets towards Kichimuri. Immediately, Kichimuri blocked his torso and head with his claws but some pellets tore into his thighs as he retreated away from Yoshimura. Yoshimura continued to pile on the projectiles as Kichimuri retreated in s scattered zig zag pattern for maximum evasion. Upon reaching a far enough distance, Kichimuri left the projectile range and Yoshimura stopped firing. They stood there and two pairs of Kakugan stared at each other coldly. Kichimuri pushed the projectiles out of his thighs and healed them. "Interesting trick Old man. You won't get me again." Kichimuri stated and dug into the ground on his hands and feet before dashing towards Yoshimura in a scattered zig zag pattern. Yoshimura fired his projectiles constantly peppering the ground and raising dust everywhere. Kichimuri ran in a circle around Yoshimura and soon there was a dust cloud surrounding him. Yoshimura soon realized an ambush was coming and as he moved to leave the dust cloud, Kichimuri appeared in front of him running on his hands and feet before using a claw to tear through the right side of his chest and stomach. After the attack, Kichimuri vanished into the dust cloud and appeared from another direction to take off Yoshimura's head. Yoshimura dodged and released projectiles from his body in all directions. The projectiles tore through and dispersed the dust cloud as Kichimuri retreated on all fours to stand far from Yoshimura with a vicious grin and Yoshimura's blood on his mouth. Yoshimura felt pain and a threatening cold as he coldly observed his opponent. Rapidly healing his wounds, he soon looked like he was never hurt if not for the bloodied remains of his shirt. Taking a deep breath he turned to his opponent and started walking towards him, "It seems I have underestimated you young ghoul. I apologize as I will begin to take this fight seriously and give it my all to end your life." Yoshimura said as his body began to transform into something new and much more powerful.
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