[Prelude] Neko ya Tori no gēmu (A game of Cat and Bird)

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Kai
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[Prelude] Neko ya Tori no gēmu (A game of Cat and Bird)

Post by Kai » Sat Mar 05, 2011 3:05 am

Kagami Miyuki once again found herself in Utsubo park, though this time she was in the rose garden, rather than near the playground, as the place had been occupied. Hisoka was in the nearby science center, being a snob and researching or something, and Hana was with him, likely trying fruitlessly to get his attention. This left Miyuki alone, with Saph (whom Hana thought was extremely cute), but for now she was ignoring the guardian disguised as a cat, rather taking the time to admire the flowers and the nice summer weather. It almost felt odd, coming back here, after what had happened not too far away, but it was tranquil enough despite the people that it was still very relaxing, especially after school.

Finding a bench, Miyuki sat down, giving her feet a break, and Saph hopped up onto the bench next to her, then spread himself out to take in the sun. It seemed surreal that just last night she had been in the center of a raging inferno fighting a giant angry flaming dog-beast.

Ruarc walked slowly through the park that had since become his temporary home as he tried finding more traces of the magic he felt a few days back. He hadn’t found any evidence of what sort of magic it was, but with the appearance of the corrupt dog the same night gave him reason to look into it further.

“Hey, Laoise,” Ruarc called to his Guide who was currently flying around a ways up. “Do you see anything from up there?” Given the distance between the Irishman and the dove it would appear Ruarc was talking to himself, not that talking to a bird would make him look any saner. Despite the distance between the two of them it was more of a thought transfer that allowed them to communicate; Ruarc just spoke out loud for his own comfort.

“Nothing? Damn, it has been days. Trail’s been cold for a while. Let’s search for a few more hours today, and start again tomorrow morning. If there is still nothing by tomorrow night we will move on,” Ruarc called out.

There was a strange white bird, flying around the park, one that hadn't been there before. Miyuki had only just taken notice of it, however, when a tall foreigner seemed to yell at it, in a strange language. It wasn't even english. Now that Miyuki thought about it, that man had appeared around the same time as the bird. Was he talking to it? Miyuki pondered, idly, about to dismiss the idea.
"Yes, he was talking to it, though I don't know the language." Saph's voice filled Miyuki's mind
"Uueh? Nani?" the girl asked, clearly taken aback.
"That's not an ordinary bird, though it's not as magical as I am." Saph observed, getting up and staring at the white dove as it circled overhead "I think I can detect some magic on him too, but its so very unfamiliar." he added, staring intently at Ruarc. He suddenly flashed, turning from the cat to the blue guardian and back to the cat, unveiling his powers for a moment. "Let's see if that got his attention!" Saph announced to Miyuki, chuckling.
"Wh-What? Wait, why are you trying to make him come over???"
"Just trust me. I don't think he can sense our power unless it's in use." Saph answered, flatly, before going silent.

Ruarc stopped dead in his tracks as his right eye began to react to something. “Yeah, I felt that as well, Laoise,” he said as he began looking around for what had caused the reaction.

“Ruarc, just ahead of you on the path there is an animal on a bench next to a girl,” Laoise informed Ruarc from her vantage point in the air. The Irishman looked farther up the path and saw the bench he was told about.

“Do you think it is another Corrupted?” Ruarc asked as he adjusted his sunglasses with one hand and checking to make sure he had an accessible rune in his pocket.

“I do not know, approach with caution, Ruarc. The cut on your face is still healing, you do not need another injury,” the dove told him.

“I’ll be careful,” Ruarc replied. He began walking over towards the bench, but once again remembered that he knew very little English, and not much Japanese.

“Hel’o, tha’s ah veri int’ristin’ ca’ ye got ther,” Ruarc said as he did his best to speak English. Ugh, I butchered that, let’s hope she understood it because my Japanese would be worse, he thought to himself, all the while keeping a hand on the rune in his pocket.

Miyuki shrunk back a little, mostly in surprise, as the man did indeed approach them. She looked at the man, and felt that he was was looking at Saph rather than her, but there was nothing remarkable about Saph at the moment- he appeared, as usual, to be a slightly under fed Russian blue. Miyuki, despite not knowing English, could tell that the man had butchered the language, his accent was so thick. The girl tried to place it, but couldn't

"He's Irish, I think." Saph responded in the girl's head, answering her unspoken query.
"What's he doing here and why is he talking to me?" Miyuki responded to the cat, figuring thinking at it would probably result in communication, which it did.
"I would guess he's looking for magic or something, though I couldn't tell you why." Saph responded.

Still, Miyuki needed to respond to the man. He seemed to be only a few years older than Miyuki, though considerably taller and broader, so Miyuki tried her best to relax, despite the cut on his cheek and the dark sunglasses he wore. The cloak surrounding him was a whole other story, but that could probably wait.

"Eh.. Etto... Saphu-des?" she muttered, not knowing if it would help. Knowing the cat's name wouldn't give anything away, anyways.

Ruarc stood looking at the cat unsure of how to proceed. “Eh’to, d’ko ni k’nah niko oh te na ehritay?” the Irishman asked in Japanese as he tried to say “Where did you get this cat?”

“Ruarc, you should be a diplomat,” Laoise told Ruarc as she landed on a branch above the bench.
“Shut up, Laoise,” Ruarc replied, this time implementing thought transfer to speak with the bird.
“Love you too, Ruarc. Do you see anything with your eye?”
“No, no red haze.”

While waiting for a reply, although it probably would be much given his speaking abilities. Once again he couldn’t feel any magic energy in the area, and this spot was his best lead.
“Think we should move on?” he asked Laoise.
“Try for a bit longer, I could swear that this is the spot and something here sent out the energy.

Miyuki found herself at an even greater loss. Apparently, the man had attempted to speak Japanese, but it was so butchered that the girl found herself unable to make heads or tails of anything beyond the word for 'cat'.

In response, she pointed at the cat, puzzled. The 'cat', for his part, began staring at the dove on the nearby branch, doing his best to look hungry.

Miyuki's mind raced, and she thought to what resources she had on her person... oh yeah, my cell phone, duh. she chided herself, bringing out the technological device, opening up a translator program, and typing in the phrase "What do you need?" which she then had the program translate into Irish, before she pointed the screen at the man.

Ruarc scratched his head in minor frustration. I should really sit down with a Learn Japanese book sometimes, he thought to himself. However now he was even more unsure of what to do next, and the girl’s message only proved what he already figured out; that he was unable to overcome the language barrier.

“Any suggestions, Laoise?” Ruarc asked as he looked up at the dove sitting in the tree. She didn’t seem to be paying attention to Ruarc anymore and was now staring at the cat on the bench. “Laoise?”
“Not now, this cat wants to pick a fight,” Laoise replied to Ruarc as she began bobbing her head at the cat and flapping her wings vigorously. “I trust your abilities.”
“Once again, thanks for the help, pigeon.”

As he returned his attention to trying to converse with the girl, Ruarc thought what else he could try. The answer that came to mind: charades. The Irish once again asked in English, “Where did you get this cat?” but this time he did his best to make motions that helped get the point across, as well as speaking slowly and focusing on pronunciation.

As the man spoke, thankfully slowly, Miyuki tapped the syllables into her phone, which thankfully auto-corrected into a sentence that was close enough to allow her translator to turn it into legible Japanese. Thinking quickly, Miyuki typed in the first thing the could come up with, then translated it into Irish.
"Siopa peataí" her screen displayed, the Irish translation of 'Pet Shop', as she pointed it towards the Irishman once again. Miyuki was trying her best to keep a straight face. It was apparent that this strange man was here for a reason, and thankfully she had a feeling it was not to rape middle schoolers.

Saph, on the other hand, seemed to be highly amused by Laoise's attempts at scaring him off, and therefore sat on his haunches, raising a front paw to reach lazily up at the tree branch, his tail flicking in amusement. The 'Russian blue' cat's eyes followed the flapping and bobbing, seeing if they could spot anything overtly magical about the bird.

Pet store, huh, Ruarc thought to himself as he stared at the translated Irsh phrase. He scratched his head again as he tried to figure out just what he should do next. The girl was either lying, or she was telling the truth, and with the fact that Ruarc's eye confirmed that the cat was not Corrupt he could not really accuse a little girls of misusing runes.

"I would still like to know what the magical energy came from, but there isn't much else I can do about it. Laoise, you still playing with your new friend or would you care to give some input?" Ruarc asked the dove.
"Well, I know that it was in this area that I felt magic. It wasn't like runes or from a Corrupted animal, but I am guessing that you are as curious about what it could have been as I am," Laoise told Ruarc in response. She then snapped her beak at the cat down on the bench before turning around and lifting her tail which is a bird's way of giving the cold shoulder. "I suppose it is up to you if you want to question the girl further, pedo."

Before he could say anything, however, the cell phone was presented to him again. It had a question, once again in Irish: "Is that a trained bird, or is it just crazy?" the phone demanded of Ruarc.

Ruarc's attention snapped away from his silent conversation with Laoise and back to the girl's phone. After looking the question over a couple of times the Irishman couldn't help but chuckle a little. "Tha' bird is pro'lly jus' crazy. Must'a eaten som' bad feed er som'thin'," he said in his best English.
"I heard that, Ruarc," Laoise said from her perch in the tree.
"I know," Ruarc replied with a smile.

As Ruarc and his bird had their conversation, Miyuki quickly typed the syllables of the man's statement into her cell phone, nodding at the results, and then beginning to type something else. She seemed to stop to think a number of times, and at least once looked at the cat. she brushed aside her hair at one point, and they could see a blue choker around her neck, a small golden brooch forming its front, with a single small, diamond-shaped sapphire embedded in it. Compared to the rest of the girl's outfit, it was downright abnormal.

When Miyuki brushed her hair back Laoise turned back around and hopped along the branch she was perched upon. The dove's eyes focused now on the girl whom she had originally ignored to focus on the cat. The bird cocked her head back and forth as she looked the young Japanese girl over.
Displeased with her vantage point above the bench, Laoise flapped her wings and took off from the branch and made her way over to land on Ruarc's right shoulder. With her better line of sight, her eyes now focused on the girl's choker.
"Yeah, now she is totally gonna think you are just a random, crazy bird," Ruarc said to Laoise without looking over to her.
"You are the crazy one, Ruarc. Not me," she replied without looking at him. "We can discuss that later however. Look at the girl's choker."
"What about it?"
"It is shiney."
Ruarc resisted the urge to facepalm. "You are a dove, not a crow." That remark earned the Irishman a sharp peck at his ear.
"Very funny. Anyway, I can feel trace amounts of magic coming from the jewel. There is a chance it is the source of disturbance from earlier."
"Tha' is ah veri nice necklace ye go' thar. Whar di' ya ge' it? I woul' like ta bi on' fur a frien' back home," Ruarc asked the girl as he pointed to her choker.

Miyuki cocked an eyebrow at the Irishman, and typed the syllables she heard into her phone. Unfortunately, the best that came out was garbled, and she couldn't understand a word, even after the phone attempted translation. She typed something quickly into the phone, and displayed it once more: "??????????" She seemed affronted by the man pointing at her, and reactively she brought her hand up to her neck, where it hit the choker. Oh yeah, this... shoot. she thought. It obviously did not match her uniform, and probably wasn't a very common looking item, in any case.

"You aren't very good at this," Laoise said to Ruarc in a very deadpan tone. The Irishman didn't grace her with a response and only turned his head and blew a jet of air at her to ruffle her feathers. The dove gave him another sharp peck at his ear before flying off to land on the ground in front of Miyuki where she proceeded to stare intently once again at the choker.
Ruarc ground his teeth at his failed attempt at communication. And I put so much thought into saying that last phrase, he thought to himself. He muttered an odd Irish phrase under his breathe as he cursed the language barrier.
Ruarc then lifted his hand to his own neck and started gesturing about the choker again. "Yur neck lace. Whair did you ge' it?" he said as he tried valiantly to speak english without an accent.

Miyuki figured out the first part of Ruarc's statement, but not the second. Shy typed the syllables into her Cell phone, knowing he was saying something about the choker containing the Babylon Sapphire. Ah, a question, where did I get it.... umm.. shoot. You know what, I've had enough for today. she decided, quickly typing something into her phone, shoving it in Ruarc's face. it remained there only long enough for him to read "I'm sorry, I must go now" in Irish. She accompanied the text with a "Sumimasen!" Standing up, and bowing quickly before scooping up Saph (who was miming the actions leading up to pouncing on the bird) and then walked away briskly, her school shoes tapping on the brick-paved pathway that meandered through the rose garden. It was apparent that she was heading for a large building at one end of the park- The science center.

"You really do suck at this, Ruarc," Laoise chided.
"Well I didn't see you contributing any," Ruarc said as he returned to speaking out loud in Irish. "Damn it, and now I would look like a stalker if I tried following her. Ugh, why couldn't I
just stay in the village. I hate traveling."
"So, are you just going to stand there in a puddle of self-pity or are we going to move on?" Laoise asked as she hopped across the ground towards the man.
"Hell if I know. It would be nice not to be arrested for harassing a young girl," he said as he walked over to the bench the girl had been sitting on and sat down himself. He leaned back and looked up into the tree above him. Taking off his sunglasses for a few moments the wary man rubbed the bridge of his nose before slipping the glasses back on.
"Hey Laoise," he said suddenly.
"What? she asked as she flew up to land on his knee.
"I'll keep looking around the park some more, but do you think you could follow the girl for a while to see if anything strange happens?"
"I suppose I could since you asked nicely."
"I'll have some fresh food waiting for you when you get back," he said as he reached over and stroked the dove's back feathers.
"I'll be holding you to that," she replied before taking off and flying in the direction Miyuki had gone.

"Well, that could have seriously gone better," Ruarc mumbled as he got up off the bench, shoved his hands back into his pocket and walked off down the path.

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