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[Aside] Praise the Sun

Posted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:23 pm
by Kokuten
A short story, telling the story of a meddling mage, and the storm that encircled that mage.

Ise, Japan
A Week Ago

Yasuo Kurosawa stared up at the thatched roofs of the Ise Grand Shrine, it had been many years since he had the rare opportunity to see the interior of the sacred site. When he was a boy, his father had granted a brief glimpse of the interior, as part of his duties as the Occultus representative. His father was a gifted mage, whose spirit magic bid the lesser Kami to perform great feats of mysticism, and the fact that he had even been granted his position, much less entreat his son, was a rare privilege. Even for the non-mags of Japan, Ise Grand Shrine was a most holy site with restricted access, as it was claimed to be the home of the sun goddess Amaterasu and held deep societal and religious signifigance. Japan's branch of the Occultus Magica were equally barring of any mages wishing to learn of the secrets within, for what they deemed reasons of greater risk. Old power rested here, along with ancient artifacts which promised that old power to those who possessed them. To protect these veins of imminence, the wards that surrounded the Shrine, and the forest itself, were immensely powerful and forbid any entry by uncleared magi or greedy spirits.

That is what made the extensive damage in the Shrine's most recent break-in troubling. Before yesterday, few people could hope to see what lay beyond the walls with their own eyes. Now? The walls were gone. The Shrines were laid bare for the first time, and much of the local police had to work at keep prying eyes away. Not only that, the Occultus were out in force, hidden among curious townspeople, but carefully observing.

However, Kurosawa was not here to guard the secrets of the shrine, as much as he wished to keep his father's legacy alive. The real reason of his visit was to meet another mage, Kagami Miyuki, and assist her in her ongoing investigation into a missing summoner. He had made sure that her entry into the forest and the park surrounding the shrine was permitted, along with any additional investigators she had deemed necessary for her task. The two were supposed to meet at the steps leading up to the shrine's walls, or what remained of them. Unfortunately, waiting there had made him pensive, knowing the damage to the site from the reports, and he had broken away from their spot in order to see more for himself.

Deciding he had taken up a enough time to sate his curiosity, he made his way back to the stairs, whipping out his phone. He thumbed through his contacts, before finding the number he had used to get in touch with the renowned ice mage, and sent her a few texts.
Yasuo-san wrote:kagami-san this is yasuo-san, I'm making my way down to the stairs
Yasuo-san wrote:are u there yet
Yasuo-san wrote:i had to check on something
He tried to hurry, knowing that he was in the wrong already for being late to his own meeting.

Re: [Aside] Praise the Sun

Posted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:23 pm
by Kai
As Yasuo made his way back to the stairs, he would find his temporary charge already there and waiting. She had out her own cell phone, the rectangular device clad in a pale ice blue protective case, with what seemed to be just your standard accessory charms dangling from the bottom right corner. Upon closer inspection, at least, by a mage anyhow, one would note that they were in fact actual magical protective charms, which had been imbued with abilities that made Kagami Miyuki's phone invulnerable to the normal forces of water, heat, and impact, as well as one that caused the device to draw its power as well as reception via the mana pool of its owner.

The pale white hand holding the phone was connected to a tall, thin girl whom held herself in a manner of one with extreme confidence, whether it were in her own powers or just in general, it wasn't easy to tell. Long, raven black hair was tied back into a ponytail that sat high upon the back of her head, the silky smooth hair almost flowing like water out of the spout envisioned by the thick hair tie that held it a few inches aloft of her head. She wore fairly simple clothing, a white blouse over which a red vest was sitting, and a grey pleated skirt that stretched to just above her knees. White stockings sprouted from just below her knees and sank into a pair of simple black mary-jane style shoes.

She looked up from her phone, sensing the presence of Yasuo's approach, and put the device into a small brown leather purse that sat neatly by her side.
"Ah, Yasuo-San," the young woman began, a warm tone in her voice, "It is good to see you in health, despite the damage that has been done here. Perhaps, I may be too late to find what I was searching for?" She ended, however her expression was not one of query, but rather of sympathy.

Re: [Aside] Praise the Sun

Posted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:18 pm
by Kokuten
"Not entirely, Kagami-san," said Kurosawa, tucking his own phone away as he approached. It was then he took a good look at Kagami, and found himself quite taken by her beauty. He furrowed his brow as he took mind of himself, dusting himself off and straightening his collared shirt. He felt a little over-dressed for the exchange, as he found the woman more ready for a walk in the forest than an official meeting. Nonetheless, he wanted be professional. "It is a pleasure to meet you in person, I have heard many great things about you from the Kyoto Branch."

Out of respect, he bowed, making sure he gave her a proper greeting. After all, he was essentially representing Kyoto's branch of the Occultus Magica, as Miyuki was representing the recently founded Osaka branch. They both needed to make their best face.

"I called you here to discuss how our work might intersect at this point," began Yasuo, "I've been investigating a recent threat that's manifested itself in what you see here. I've seen you've been following the Caxton case for the last three months, and I was hoping to hear what you might have to say. As, well... Right now, your Caxton is our lead suspect in the damages here, and the case of another missing mage as a result of this attack."

The Kyoto mage squared himself up a bit, "That missing mage being my father, Yasuo Nagayoshi, the OM's rep here at Ise Grand Shrine."

Re: [Aside] Praise the Sun

Posted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:08 pm
by Kai
As Yasuo-san greeted her in such a respectable, formal way, the woman in front of him returned the same courtesies, giving a polite bow in response to his own. "Don't mind what they may have said, I doubt i'm nearly as great as the reputation that precedes me" she replied, modestly. "However, you and your father have been heard of, though I imagine the shrine itself has overshadowed your own achievements as a mage." With the greetings dispensed, her new colleague did not miss a beat in getting down to business, laying out the true reason for her being summoned to this place. He gets right to the point, doesn't he? Miyuki thought to herself, but, seeing as it was the young man's own father whom was missing, she understood his concern and eagerness. Still, it was a great opportunity to find out what exactly was going on, and to see if the disappearance of Percival Caxton was, once again, related to something much bigger than they had initially suspected.

"While I don't doubt that Mr. Caxton's disappearance might be connected, I find it hard to believe he may be the one responsible for this destruction. It's, well-" She paused for a moment, trying to think of the right word or phrase, "It's not exactly his style, you know?" The young Ms. Kagami chuckled a little, trying her best to put forward a face that was much less concerned than she truly felt for the young man she sought after. "Still, I too hope our cooperation will help us succeed in finding both of our targets, no?"

Re: [Aside] Praise the Sun

Posted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:01 pm
by Kokuten
"I believe it will, Kagami-san, but you must understand our reasoning, not for the sake of the truth, but your own as well," answered Yasuo, showing a more dead seriousness in response to her carefully guarded sentiments. Albeit they both seemed to speak very evenly, without making too grand of overtures for any passing people. Their words were a bit distorted in this place to non-mags, but the way they went back and forth would have even thrown off a regular mage. "Are you aware of the inquiries Mr. Caxton made regarding the artifacts in this place? He has built a reputation among the Kyoto branch as being a bit too insistent on gathering knowledge on Japan's regalia. Worse yet, he would provide only the most minimum of justifications for his inquiries."

Kurosawa, shifted himself to stand next to Miyuki, so they could both look at the damage done to one of the country's most sacred zones. "Before his reported disappearance, he was here, at the Shrine. According to the report filed then, he tried to gain entry into the restricted area behind the walls, and had a skirmish with my father, before he was driven out by the priestess' here."

A small moment of silence hung in the air as Yasuo prepared himself for his next words. "We believe Mr. Caxton has gone rogue, and gone aground much akin to a hedgemage. The attack here at Ise Grand Shrine is what we suspect to be his first overt act, in light of our earlier suspicions and... this."

With a small flourish, a cap was produced, as if it had just been found off the ground. It was a beret, a deep sage color, with a small badge that read out a Bangor designated profession: Alchemist.

"Found at the scene after our agents arrived. Before I give you what leads we've gathered, I... No, the Kyoto Branch asks that you apprehend him and return him to us." Yasuo cut his gaze, to look Miyuki in the eye, "If you refuse, I will understand, but if not you, it will be the Inquisitors who will be sent for him."

Re: [Aside] Praise the Sun

Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:07 pm
by Kai
Miyuki's visage became more serious as the conversation went more and more into accusations and thinly veiled threats toward her missing partner. She tried to keep herself from looking annoyed with Yasuo, especially when he produced the 'evidence' that supposedly condemned Percival Caxton. She reached her hand out to take the hat away from the young man before her, though the gesture was carefully measured to be one of acceptance more than simple taking.
"Well, I can keep that safe for the time being. This is not something he would have left without good reason to, and perhaps it can give us some clues as to what happened to the poor young man," she said, making sure to sound professional as she spoke.

Re: [Aside] Praise the Sun

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:42 am
by Kokuten
Yasuo resisted at first, as Miyuki took ownership of the beret. The moment her fingers pressed to the felt fabric, she could sense something off about the hat. Necrotic energies emanated from what seemed to be residual exposure. Much like the owner, there was nothing inherently magic about it, but the mark of the death arts degraded as quickly as the corpses they manipulated.

It smelled a bit like a corpse, and looked as though it had suffered from exposure to the elements.

After a small, awkward resistance, the man gave up the hat to her. He seemed to be content to the fact that she had loosely agreed, but not just that. Miyuki had a reputation among the Kyoto Mages for being headstrong and cavalier to obstacles on her way. Further, she was powerful, some considered absurdly so. The quaint and lovely Kagami in front of him looked nothing like the terrible Ice Witch of rumor, but he saw something in her eyes that intimidated him.

"Kagami-san, Caxton-san is so far our only suspect with the motive to carry out what was done here," explained Yasuo, inching away, just so, "My father would have been the only one to stand in his way. We have neither."

The man sighed, "There are a lot of eyes on us to find the truth behind this. The Grand Shrine is Japan's most sacred site, and home of the great Amaterasu. Whatever," Yasuo eyed the beret, "whoever caused this needs to be brought forth."

As he said that, he pulled out his phone and he sent Miyuki the files he had on Caxton through a magitech signal. "A day before the attack, a man matching Caxton-san's description was seen gathering supplies in Nuuk, Greenland. The agent that saw him, tracked him to a remote location, before she was scared off by an undead construct. That was the last time he was seen. The details are all in the files."

Re: [Aside] Praise the Sun

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:35 pm
by Kai
With the Beret in her Grasp, Miyuki knew something was off about it. And while Percy did certainly carry one similar to this, his was not the only one in existence. furthermore, Percival was not one to use Death magic so lightly, nor would he find it wise to do something as brash as destroying the walls of the Amaterasu shrine.

"Certainly, you must be aware that many are they whom would find it beneficial to mar the name of another. Whatever the outcome, I will make sure to get to the bottom of this. Besides, there were many berets like this made in Caxton-san's homeland." The young Kagami woman seemed rather confident, and when her cell phone received the message from Yasuo, she made sure to thumb through the files for a moment to see if anything stuck out.

Re: [Aside] Praise the Sun

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:59 pm
by Kokuten
Miyuki's smartphone lit up with the journal entries and the documents from the Kyoto branch's investigation on the matter. It was a little more than he admitted to sending, but glancing through what was present gave her an idea that Percival was largely implicated. As she suspected, and great deal of the evidence was circumstantial, but there was no other mage with as much pinning them. Other suspects had either alibis, or lacked enough evidence to be convincing. Kyoto was grasping at straws, that much was evident, but the level of detail and the sheer amount of files she scanned through meant that they weren't just lazily flinging accusations. They meant to find someone, and unfortunately, Percival had done enough to be implicated just upon his beret alone.

The most recent file was the journal entry of Itta Okalit, a pyromancer from Greenland. She seemed to be based out of Nuuk, and was one of the adult mages present in the small Mage House there.
Itta wrote:REPORT: I saw a mage today, a man who seemed to match the description on the missing mages list. I didn't have the courage to approach him, but he seemed to have all the outstanding qualities: thinly, one armed, and wearing a Bangor alchemist's beret. He was coming out of the Brugseni with a cart full of groceries and supplies. I thought it was a little mad that a man shopping at a local store could've slipped out below our noses, but he got in a car and drove off to the south.
Itta had included a photo snapped from an older looking phone. The picture was small, but the man in it was undoubtedly Percival Caxton. He was a bit pale, his beard had grown out thick and long, his hair was a uncut but not unkempt. He wore a thick coat, the left arm tied into a knot. On his head was that familiar beret. The report continued for that same day.
Itta wrote:I dropped my groceries, and began to follow the car. I took on an illusion and followed behind the vehicle until it stopped at at Lake Qallussuaq. You could imagine my horror when the car whipped into the water and sank in, but when the shock wore off, I realized the vehicle had sank too quickly, and so I entered into the point it went as well. I came out somewhere seventy miles inland. The location I was at was so remote that it didn't seem named or marked, but the mage's car was parked at a snowy flatland. From there I followed the mage as he made an admirable effort to carry all his groceries with one arm. He seemed to be approaching a rocky outcropping, and as soon as I worked up the gumption to call out to him, an undead construct rose out of the snow to attack me. I was, and am still no fighter, so I fled before it could do any damage to me.
That ended her report, and summed up the most of what had been found on the situation thus far. Itta hadn't submitted any more than that, but that wasn't surprising considering the report came from a day or so ago. Miyuki had what she needed to pick up the trail.

Nuuk, Greenland
Present Day

Greenland was chillier this time of year, but that wouldn't bother the Frozen Magister much. That didn't stop the Nuuk Circle of Mages from offering her a warm jacket when she arrived through the portal. None of them spoke Japanese, but thankfully they had enough English to be polite and help her on her way, the path to finding Percival Caxton was getting colder by the minute. Time had been unfortunately wasted in traveling to arrive in Nuuk, with her portal-travel dates being pushed back by fussy Portaleers who forced her to take the official routes instead of direct travel.

She stood where Itta stood a week ago, a car was parked at the end of a snowed in path, piled over with a powdery, white blanket. The terrain around the area was severe to say the least, sheer cliffs surrounded rocky landscape, and it all funneled into a deeply dug chasm, leading to the ocean below. Where they stood was probably one of the most forgiving parts of the geography, a frame of flattened land that looked more like a courtyard. The makings of a building, long blown away by erosion and wind lined the edges. A rocky outcropping extended over it, shadowing what looked like an entryway.

Between the car where Miyuki stood, and the weathered doorway, stood a sword pitched into the snow, almost at the center of the courtyard.

"Bbbbvvvbbvvvbbbh," chattered Miyuki's guide, a glowing fire-spirit provided by Itta to show the way, "It's always so bi-bi-bitter out h-ahere..."

The small ethereal was barely a fore-arm's length and in the shape of pixie, a burning fire rolling on her head and off her wings. She held a small fireball to warm herself, "Yoo-ou kn-kn-know, M-M-Ms. Kagami, pe-poe-people wh-who g-g-g-o this f-f-far out of th-their way to hide..." She sneezed, "p-pr-probably do-d-don't wa-want to be f-f-f-found."

Re: [Aside] Praise the Sun

Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:36 pm
by Kai
Miyuki gave the little fire spirit a warm smile, nodding in agreement. "Usually, yes, but Percival is far from usual." Miyuki adjusted her light jacket, making herself more comfortable. She surveyed the area, taking in every detail, but still thinking to herself Even ten years after getting my powers, it still amazes me how little the cold actually affects me. And to that sentiment, her choice of clothing was one that certainly seemed odd. Unlike many other mages whom chose more traditional attire, and even dressed appropriately for whatever location they went to, Miyuki instead wore a lightweight blue zip-up hoodie, and a blue pleated skirt with a pair of black leggings sprouting from beneath them, and some hiking boots that may or may not have been designed for winter use.

"Has anyone been farther than this since miss Itta followed that man here?" she asked of the little spirit, waving her hand and creating a thin, nearly invisible shield of ice to protect the spirit from the winds.