Duncan shrugged at their comments. He did this out of sheer boredom after all, and it was his house, so his rules!
Which honestly included not giving a damn about talking shoes off. As long as someone wasn't tracking mud or something, he didn't care. After all, why should he? The American boy really didn't get the big fuss the Japanese made over that. "We'll start really soon," he replied to the Frenchwoman's eager question. Despite her demure appearance, perhaps she was hoping to blow things up with a spell or two? Pull out a few nasty knives and shivs hidden away? Adults were so two-faced, nothing well and truly surprised him anymore. Duncan strode in quickly, not bothering to ask anyone to close the door behind them - Coco practically squeed at the little details he so carefully worked to get just right.
This was...the fourth? Fifth time he built a whole house? He knew there were still two more to go on the list, but those ones were the largest and most extravagant - Duncan decided long ago to pass on making those until he was staying somewhere for long. Otherwise, the hobby would prove pointless as the house would be incomplete. The boy reached the kitchen first, and grabbing a cup, opened a cabinet to bring out a bottle of syrup. "I guess we begin right now. You guys know what this is right?" He asked, sloshing the contents about - it was the syrup used for making frozen slush drinks at numerous convenience stores. "Usually, I'd focus on teaching you guys to be a whole bunch less wasteful and more controlled and stuff, but I don't think we got the time," he started to explain.
"Oh, boy! This is my favorite part of the intro lesson!" Coco smiled, eagerly bouncing up and down on the balls of her feet, quickly drawing up to her older brother's side in near rabid anticipation as to what was going to come next. Looking at Duncan, he just continued on as usual - the way he filled the cup to the brim and briefly ruffled Coco's hair with a brief, faint smile - it was like he had done this all before.
"See, if I asked any of you here to freeze this stuff, I bet I'll get something like this - " quickly touching the edge of the cup with a fingertip, the entirety of the blueberry blue liquid went solid. At his beckon, Coco eagerly scooped it up like his little assistant and tried licking the frozen goodness.
"Ist shtucc!" she exclaimed, tongue frozen straight to the blue surface, turning to clearly demonstrate to everyone that such was the case. Duncan made a 'give me' gesture with his hand, quickly prompting the little girl to start breathing heavily to try and defrost herself from the frozen goodness. When she finally gave it to him, after a little bit of panting, he continued.
"Of course, that's just useless brute force. Instead - " Melting the contents, he then tapped it again; this time, the blue syrup turned into a tried and true frozen slush drink, fluffy and nice, complete with that little swirl at the top. " - I would more or less teach you all how to be quick, efficient and precise. See how all the ice crystals are perfectly uniform? How the drink is perfectly fluffy? And how much Coco likes it this time around?" he asked them all, pointing to how his little sister rapidly gulped down the frozen goodness with a straw.
"GYAAAA! MY BRAIN! IT'S FROZEN SOLID!" she suddenly cried. Duncan's superior demeanor briefly dropped as he quickly tapped Coco on the top of the head. "Ahh.Thanks Duncan!" she smiled, quickly going back to ravenously gulping down the blueberry goodness.
"Hey, HEY! I just fixed that!" Duncan scolded her, pulling back the drink away from her and eyeballing the significantly reduced contents. "If you're not going to be careful, I'm not going to have you be my assistant in these demos anymore..." The sad, watery eyed expression that his little sister gave was met with a cold, unrelenting stare. And, as it would so happen, the half full cup of non-dairy frozen-treat was slid back to her across the tabletop as he looked away. "Anyways, we don't have the time for you guys to learn how to not be so sloppy and be more precise with your magical power. Instead...I'm going to put you all through some combat training and see if I can also bulk you all up," he answered at last.
At this point, Coco had vanished with her drink - a loud cry of pain could be heard further off in the general direction of the Garage.
Sighing, Duncan moved to put away the rest of the syrup, but found the bottle missing. He paused, simply staring at where it was before shaking his head. "That way," he pointed, taking the lead to the garage. Taking the group through simply decorated hallways and rooms before coming to the doorway in question he knocked. A knock from the other side. "Mmhm." Stepping forward, Duncan opened the door to the garage, and revealed to everyone a frosted forest on the other side, Coco eagerly waiting for them all, swaddled in thick winter clothing.
"Hey everybody! Into the rabbit hole!" she cheered, waving at them all.
Archives of Occultus Magica's beginnings, ten years prior to the current story.