Unfortunately, Iyo and her friends had long since left to know anything about Butch's intent on learning of their plans. By this point, it would all be rather pointless to worry of Butch, seeing as there wasn't any time to do such a thing. Getting to the clinic and then later to Yggdra was far more important than a potential grudge match between a child made of a rock and a pig yaksha with the power to transform her fists into the flames of vengence. The day within the school had all but calmed to it's usual atmosphere now, although the students still managed to keep the memory of the fight between Ise and Iyo alive in the form of rumors and gossip. By the time dinner was around the corner, there wasn't a single student who didn't know about the fight and how the tough girl Iyo managed to punch the fuck out of the principle with her glowing fists of badassery. Iyo herself was apathetic to her fame that spread across the school like wildfire and focused only on her goal set with herself and the two friends she was carrying with her to paradise. All things considered, the fame Iyo managed to collect from her victory against Ise might help spark support for her journey to Yggdra...provided the word got out about her endeavors. For now, it seemed that no one knew anything about Iyo's intentions to leave the school and the day continued on into dinner time without further incident.
"Come on, let's go!" Iyo called to Kumada and Momoko as she ran to the front entrance of the school building, her bright pink backpack beating against her back with every hurried footfall. Iyo could barely hear the voices of her friends as she drew closer to the doors that led outside, the excitement that was welling up within her doing a fine job of tuning out anything else but the thoughts her mind could produce when drowned in excitement. Yes, she was well aware of what awaited her outside once she and her friends began the journey...in fact, apart of Iyo was scared senseless of what would happen once they went along into the deeper parts of Akihabara. There was only one time she could name where she was able to see the outside for herself and that was through trying to escape it's cruelty. Whether or not she would be able to survive it for a week remained to be seen but, Iyo wasn't going to let a latent fear of the outside spook her from her ultimate dream of finding Yggdra.
"Slow down, geeze..." Momoko complained, being the unlucky one to feel that she had overpacked for the trip and loaded her bag down with clothing she knew she wouldn't even need. Of course, there was always the notion of never having too many clothes but, really...when you're going out into a varidiable wasteland of a city then what could a single person do with so many clothes? "Some of us...are kinda weighed down back here..."
"Well...no one said for you to pack so many clothes." Kumada commented, knowing his words would more or less result in Momoko chewing him out. To which...he wasn't mistaken in thinking so...
"S-Screw you, Kumada!" Momoko shouted, apart of her seeing that Kumada had made a small point that she obviously didn't see while she was packing sometime ago. The lizard yaksha looked up from screaming at Kumada to see Iyo already pushing past the doors to the school, Momoko sighing a bit as she realized that Iyo and Kumada were really the only ones who seemed to be remotely excited about this. Momoko herself wasn't really looking forward to facing death in the face everyday, but...even though she knew she was placing her life on the line for an entire week, Momoko knew that Iyo would do what she could to protect both her and Kumada. It was at least that thought that put her at ease...if only a little.
Eventually, Momoko and Kumada managed to join Iyo outside, the three young yaksha taking a glimpse of the outside for the second time today. The first thing that seemed off with the scenery was the visage of Kuramoto who stood by the school's destroyed gate. Normally, the gate would have been closed by orders of Ise so is to keep Rakshas locked outside (and to some extent, everyone else inside). However, thanks to Iyo punching Ise through the gate and Ise being fat enough to break the gate with little effort, it was easy for Iyo and her friends to pass through. Kuramoto looked up from where she stood and slowly lumbered toward Iyo who, for the most part, wasn't expecting to see the lunch lady again. "Looks like it didn't take long for ya'll to get packed up and ready to go." Kuramoto chuckled, reaching for a large bag slung over her shoulders and holding it toward Iyo and her friends. "In here is a weeks worth of food, I scraped up what I could to pack this, ya'll be sure to make it last now, y'hear?" The lunch lady held the bag toward Iyo before she paused midway, taking a good minute to gauge Iyo's expression; it was a look that told her that she would do the one thing she shouldn't, gorge herself. "Momoko, here." Kuramoto walked past Iyo and held the bag to the lizard who let out a surprised squeak as she attempt to adjust to the weight of the bag she was forced to carry.
"Hey, what the ham sandwhich!" Iyo protested, clearly not happy with the arrangements Kuramoto had in mind. Momoko could have spoke her own mind about already having too many clothes to carry but, she was currently being silenced by falling over on her back from carrying way too much stuff at the moment.
"Sorry, but I don't think I can trust you or Kumada with food. After seeing first hand how much ya'll two can eat, I'm sure Momoko would be a better choice to help conserve what food you have." Kuramoto replied as she glanced to her side and effortlessly picking Momoko up from the ground. The lizard yaksha taking the time to look up at Kuramoto and voice her opinion on just how bad this setup was for her.
"K-Kuramoto-san!" Momoko began, her reptilian tail standing up on end. "I-I can't carry all of this AND keep up with them at the same time, get Kumada to do it, he's pretty strong! Heck, he's a bear for crying out loud!" Kumada looked back to Momoko,
"Wow, thanks Momoko-chan...I didn't know you cared~" went Kumada, his cheeks lighting up in a bright pink blush.
"I-I don't! I-I just said that because you're stronger than me!" Of course, Momoko wasn't going to let the words she spoke be mistaken for a compliment...even though she herself was blushing quite a bit as well.
"Haha, you three..." Kuramoto laughed, placing her hand onto Momoko's head, giving the lizard girl a playful pat. It was a shame she would be seeing them go, although it's been a while since she's known the three yakshas but, that only made it harder for her to let them go. Especially since she was essentially letting them loose into a world that had only grown much worse in it's acts of ruthlessness towards those who lived in it. Still...Iyo was determined on her goal regardless of the circumstances stacked against her, so who was she to stand in their way? "Trust me, I wouldn't give ya this job if I knew I couldn't count on ya for it. You're a reasonabl gal, Momoko, so I know you can keep things in order." Momoko looked away for a moment, unsure on what she wanted to do but, eventually, caved to what responsibility she was given. After all, the bear and pig would more than likely eat up the rations if she wasn't in charge of them. "Good girl, I know you'll keep things straight." Kuramoto said to Momoko with a smile.
Iyo looked out to the road up ahead, the stillness of the urban scenery and the faint roar of the distant Rakshas bringing up the thoughts on where the yaksha had to go first; the clinic. However, Iyo herself hasn't been to the clinic herself and thus, didn't know how to get there on foot...but, she knew who did. "So what do you think is the quickest route to the clinic?" Iyo asked to Kuramoto who walked to herside and peered down the ruined street that led further into the rotting city of Akihabara. "I mean...we only got a week to look for it, right? So, I reckon we need to find the quickest way there."
"You'll need to need to head down interstate 68 then take a left..." Kuramoto paused taking the time to look down to Iyo who...looked as though she was speaking spanish. Iyo wasn't exactly one to pay much attention to , so perhaps she would understand directions that were geared towards appearances. "Uhm...okay, look at it this way; you keep straight until you reach the bus stop, after that you take a right and keep goin' til you hit a place that used to be Gyuuniku Palace. After you get there you take a right and keep on straight, you should get to a fork in the road, take a left and you should be right there at the clinic."
"Oooh, I know where that'll take us." Momoko spoke up, the directions managing to spark a distant memory from the past. "It'll take us to where you would go to get to the mall."
Kuramoto nodded, "Yep, the clinic ain't too far from the mall which, if I remember right, got turned into a huge spot where folks buy supplies and food."
"...Which is the perfect spot to stock up on supplies when we leave for Yggdra!" It took Iyo a while to see this, the fact she didn't really know the roads near the clinic might have been a reason why. "Still though, the directions you gave me doesn't sound like it'll take all week though..." Iyo pointed out to Kuramoto, her finger placed on her chin as she turned her gaze forward and walked past the gate. "If anything it'll only take a couple of hours, if not a day."
"Ah ah, you're already underestimating the outside," Kuramoto said. "Trust me, when you get out there...it will seem like time itself has slowed down..." Iyo looked to Kuramoto, her voice having taken a sharp turn into seriousness that she rarely heard from the usually jovial lunch lady. However, as odd as it was, there was no reason to ignore the change in tone. Iyo turned to Kumada and Momoko, the both of them joining her side as the three of them looked on into what they were going to challenge; the city they once grew up in...was now going to put them to the ultimate test of survival. Many dangers now lurked within the home that was so peaceful before Izanami's Trigger and if they weren't careful...it would be these very dangers that would not hesitate to kill them where they tread. Now was the best time to turn back and head back into the school, now was the time to surrender their courage to cowardice...
They didn't make this decision to give in to cowardice...
"Alright, you guys ready?" Iyo asked, bringing her hands to the straps of her backpack and clenched them as tightly as she could. She looked back to Kumada and Momoko who gave her a strong nod, a signal for her to lead the way into the hazardous urban jungle that was waiting to devour their youthful bodies whole and alive. "Alright, later Kuramoto-san!" Iyo waved to the lunch lady as she sprinted off down the cracked street, her running start taking Momoko by surprise, but not her bear like friend who merely mimicked Iyo's movements and ran off behind her.
"D-Damn it, you guys ran off on purpose! You know I'm encumbered here!" Momoko shouted in a frustration to Kumada and Iyo as she struggled to run off only to be stopped by Kuramoto.
"Take care of'em now, y'hear?" Kuramoto said to the lizard girl as she looked up to the fleeting figures of Iyo and Kumada running off in the distance. Everything depended on the resolve of the three of them, Iyo and Kumada were strong willed kids...Kuramoto knew that as far as rationality and tact goes, Momoko has them both beat by a long shot. Even so, it will take team work for them to survive in this wasteland. "You guys'll need each other out there."
"Don't worry, I'll look after them." Momoko smiled finally managing to get both bags she had with her into a position she was comfortable with. "After all, they're my friends...it's my duty to take care of them." And with that Momoko ran off in an attempt to catch up to Kumada and Iyo who still didn't realize they had left her behind. Momoko didn't look back, she knew that if she even laid one glimpse on the school she was running from, she would no doubt feel a need to go back. With her friends already set on going to Yggdra, Momoko herself couldn't afford to get cold feet and let them leave on their own. As scared as she was about the outside, Momoko couldn't change the fact that both Iyo and Kumada needed her guidance just as much as she needed their protection.
Eventually Momoko managed to catch up to Iyo and Kumada, which was only due to the fact that the both of them had stopped at a four way intersection, the fallen debris of the buildings that crumbled blocking off the path to the left. While the two others were, for the most part, clear and easy to access on foot. "Why...are we stopping...?" Momoko panted,
"Uhm...if I told you, you'd just get mad..." Iyo hesitated scratching the side of her face with her index finger and trying not to give Momoko eye contact.
"Just tell her, Iyo-chan..." Kumada said nonchalantly to Iyo, seeing no reason why Iyo should keep it to herself. Well, there was one reason, "Momoko maybe moody but, I think she'll take it pretty well."
"What are you two going on about...?" Momoko questioned, quickly growing impatient with what the two seemed to be keeping from her. "If you have something to say, just say it. I promise I won't get mad." That was a promise that Momoko wasn't always able to keep, although that usually depended on what Iyo would say. If it was enough to miff her into being angry then there goes that promise out the window...
"Well...I sorta...forgot the directions..." Iyo began, "Well, not so much as forgot as I forgot if I should go left or keep straight."
Momoko blinked for a few moments, before she let out a sigh and walked ahead of Iyo. She was expecting Iyo to forget at least some of the directions, it wouldn't be a road trip if Iyo didn't forget the directions at least once. "We keep straight," Momoko answered bluntly walking ahead of Iyo before she stepped into the center of the intersection and gazing forward then to the left; she wasn't sure what was down that road...it's been a long time since she's been down that way. Although she was sure that it would lead to the mall, Momoko didn't want to chance taking a shortcut she didn't know very well. Especially not with the sun getting ready to set on them. "We're not even at the bus stop yet, we still have a little ways to go from here. Going left will take us somewhere else, somewhere we don't need to be." The lizard girl continued, gesturing the two to follow her, seeing as Iyo would have already forgotten where to go by now if she forgot which direction to go.
For what it was worth, Momoko was fairly fortunate that she could still recognize most of her surroundings with ease...or at least, make out what they used to be despite them being subjected to the after effects of a natural disaster. Alot of the buildings that would normally be bustling with people at this hour were all but abandoned husks of their former glory, the insides now either dark and vacant or destroyed from what can only be described as something else, more than likely Rakshas. Most of the taller buildings that rose higher into the air were leaning, or had fallen in on themselves. One large building Momoko and her friends passed had it's face torn off which proved to be ideal nesting conditions for some large bird like creatures. On the path below was no different, the black road leading into the city was in an upheaveal, and basically nowhere near being recommended to drive along with any sort of motor vehicle. Speaking of motor vehicles, the cars that were near, at least the ones that were still in one piece, were littered across the street like trash. Some were destroyed beyond recognition while others appeared to have sustained some damage but otherwise would be of some use.
"You guys think we could hotwire one of these cars and ride them?" Kumada asked, his gaze locking onto a perfectly decent looking volkswagon to the side of a building. Many of the cars that did look to be in working order usually had something missing from them such as engines or generally, any part that would help make the car well, run properly or at all, for that matter. There was really nothing saying that the car Kumada had his eye on was any different from being picked clean of it's parts, but the bear yaksha liked to be at least somewhat optimistic in this situation. Especially considering that there probably won't be very many freebies out here. "There's a perfectly good volkswagon over there we can score, why not see if it works?"
"Because, first of all, there's no place to drive the thing." Momoko answered, not even giving Kumada a chance to dream of what they could do with a car. At this age, that was one of the things a kid would love to do. "And second, there's Rakshas out here...I dunno about you but if I were a hungry bloodthirsty monster I think I'd follow close to the one thing making alot of noise." Kumada raised an eyebrow and looked to Iyo who merely shrugged. While it wasn't uncommon for many back at the school to lump Rakshas as voracious demon beasts who would do nothing more than slaughter any unsuspecting individual who crossed them funny, but one had to wonder...
"Do you really think all Rakshas are bad?" Iyo inquired to Momoko walking to her side. "I mean, sure we were taught that Rakshas were dangerous monsters but...they all can't be that bad."
"We can't take chances with them, Iyo-san..." Momoko remarked, her opinions on the rakshas remaining where it was and showing no signs of removing itself from it's stance. Knowing Momoko won't really take to being pestered about this sort of thing very kindly, Iyo decided to simply drop the matter and focus on the travel across the landscape looking up at the sky and seeing the once blue hue of the atmosphere already painted in a mix of purple and orange, a sign that the sun was setting on the horizon and that they had to find somewhere to make camp lest they wished to deal with nocturnal creatures. Alongside this was the nagging sensation of the pig girl's hunger that was bitting at the back of her stomach.
"How long have we been goin' for?" Kumada asked, looking back at the setting sun.
"Not that long, probably at least twenty minutes." Momoko answered, she herself having no real clue on how much time has passed since they began the journey away from the school.
"What, seriously?" Kumada stammered a bit, "Feels like we've been at this for an hour now...maybe even two."
"Well, none of us really packed anyway watches so...I guess it's easy to lose track of time out here." The lizard shrugged before the silence between the three them regained dominance over the atmosphere. Momoko took a moment to look back on her words before she compared them to those Kuramoto a while ago. "Hey, do you think that's what Kuramoto-san meant when she said time goes by slower out here?"
"Just because we don't have watches?" Iyo shrugged, "That seems kinda silly."
"Yeah, I know it kinda is, but still...how else can you explain it?" Momoko said back to Iyo who seemed to take a few moments to think on the matter and come up with a decent answer. Of course, this answer would have came to her had her thought processes not been interrupted by the soft rumble of "You're hungry, aren't you?"
"Ahaha...how could you have guessed?" Iyo chuckled nervously, Momoko sighing as she looked behind her to see how far they've gotten from the school; she could barely see the school building itself, but what with the fallen buildings laying in her field of vision there was really no telling how far they were from it. Momoko just assumed that there were far enough to take a break and maybe set up a place to spend the night.
"I figured the both of you would want to eat sometime after we left the school but, I wanted to get a little farther into the city first before we stopped." Momoko said as she looked ahead seeing the road suddenly end, the path that was supposed to connect to it having collapsed onto a lower level which meant they would have to scale the cliff in order to continue forward, if they stopped here. Momoko then looked to her left and saw an abandoned building ahead, it looked fairly sturdy but was nothing short of battered and beaten. Still...it looked that it would at least hold up to it's original purpose. "I think we can stop and eat here but, we're going to be spending the night here." Momoko told the two yakshas behind her who, for the most part, were more concearned about eating at this point than where they would stay.
"Why stop, we can keep goin once we eat." Iyo said, completely missing whatever point Momoko was trying to make in the process. Something Momoko herself knew was going to happen and set to explain the reasoning behind her suggestion.
"Because, once we eat it will not only be night time but, we'll be tired from the meal. We'll be better of sleeping it off til morning and get a fresh start at travelling when we wake up." Momoko explained walking inside the building and taking a look around the darkness and seeing that this would have been a jewelry store had there been any precious gems and trinkets within the store itself. There didn't seem to be a door to prevent intruders from coming in from the front entrance, however there appeared to be another area of the store that had it's door intact. Provided there they would probably sleep there for the night. "Kumada, Iyo, do you both mind checking out that back room while I set up dinner." Momoko asked of the two, more physically adept, yaksha as she hoisted the large bag up and waddled to the center of the room where she would set things up.
With their task given to them, Iyo motioned Kumada to follow her as they left Momoko to see what they had to eat for dinner. Side stepping the loose debris that was littered around the door, the two yakshas pushed aside the door to find that the room in the back was something of an office of sorts. The desk and everything else was, for the most part, intact. However, the room itself was nowhere near organized and there were papers scattered about everywhere. All n all, it seemed like a decent area to set up shop and crash for the night, provided there may need to be something heavy in front of the door to prevent Rakshas from raiding the room. "Well, this place looks good to lay around in for the time being." Kumada commented, turning to Iyo for a moment. "You think we'll be okay from Rakshas in here?"
Iyo merely shrugged, her inability to predict the future. "Probably. We'll have to barricade the door so nothin' will get in though." The pig girl took a moment to look around the room, finding several candidates for barricades popping up around her; the desk, several file cabinents, and a safe located at the back of the room. "And all this stuff will do fine for that." Iyo thumbed over to the desk to use as an example of what she was talking of. The room itself was fairly small in size and moving things around wouldn't be very easy given the cramped accomidations, in fact, Iyo believed that she would have to break the desk in half just to move it to the door. But, if that meant sleeping safely out here then that seemed to be the only outcome. However, whatever the outcome would be for them, one thing seemed to have already been decided for them and that was the fact that dinner was ready. At least, that was something Iyo could smell from where she stood, the pig yaksha pausing for a moment and sniffing the air. Her nostrils flared as the appetizing aroma passed her by allowing her to take in it's essense and decipher just what was being brought out to eat.
She recognized this smell...it was onigiri and the various smells of meat and bread gave the hint that there were also some sandwhiches present for the feast.
"Dinner's ready, come on." Iyo said to Kumada as she rushed out of the room, the bear turning on his heel and following behind her. Momoko was still laying down a cloth for them to eat on when she noticed the two of them walking toward her, Iyo looking especially ravenous.
"Oh...erm, you're a little early." Momoko commented scooting the huge bag of food off to the side alongside her backpack. "But, yeah...dinner's ready, so dig in." Iyo looked down to the cloth that held their food and saw that the lizard had divded up an equal share of food between them, each section getting no more than 3 onigiri and 4 slices of sandwhiches which were evenly cut in a triangular manner. Apart of Iyo was ready to eat, but another wasn't exactly satisfied with what she was getting. Really...3 rice balls and 4 sandwhich slices? Was that really to be considered a hearty meal for them to enjoy? After all, they're going to need alot of strength for the coming trip continuing through the wastes, why not eat big for such an occasion?
"Thanks for fixing up dinner, Momo-chan." Kumada didn't seem to mind either way and he ate just as much as Iyo did...
"Come on, Iyo-san, eat up." Momoko said to Iyo who remained still for a moment but, eventually came to lower herself down onto the cloth and began on her share of food. Normally, Momoko wouldn't be all that surprised by Iyo's enthusiasm to eat but, seeing her tear into her meal with the fevor of someone who hasn't eaten in days, the lizard took a moment to find something else to keep her mind off staring Iyo and decided to ask about the back area of the store. After all, she and her friends would be sleeping here tonight. "So...how was the back room?" Momoko asked to any of the two who would answer her. "We'll probably only be staying here up til we have breakfast so, it doesn't matter how it looks so long as it's protected from Rakshas." Kumada was the one to speak up and answer her question, seeing as to how Iyo was too busy stuffing her face to answer in any proper language at the moment.
"Yeah, it's a pretty solid room." Kumada replied, opening his mouth to continued only to have his next words crawl right back down his throat as he lay witness to something enigmatic manifest within his field of vision. Naturally confused on Kumada's sudden change in expression and lack of words, Momoko leaned forward and snapped her fingers in front of the bears face to pull out any sort of reaction only to get nothing of the sort. Iyo was far too busy filling her gut to notice that the both of them were even talking so Momoko simply turned to see what Kumada had his eyes on; a figure slowly came lumbering into the very store she and her friends were having their meal within, the low appearance of the mysterious being showing that it was quadrapedal...at least that's what Momoko thought until the beast came into view and revealed that it walked on, not four, but six legs...each set looking as though it were torn from the body of 3 different animals and pasted onto this creature's body. For the most part, the creature was no bigger than an average sized dog and was outfitted in charcoal grey fur and small wings that seemed to have feathers of the same color. There was also the jarring fact that the creature had a human like head and face of a small child of sorts, it's innocent face framed in medium cut green hair with a pair of small, yellow horns protruding from the sides of the chimera's head.
"What...what in the name of..." Needless to say, this was something that greatly unnerved Momoko. Of course, her reaction to the creature's sudden appearance was to be expected, especially since there was no way of telling if it was hostile or not...