[Episode One] Bones for Bread

Archives of Occultus Magica's beginnings, ten years prior to the current story.
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Re: [Chapter One] Bones for Bread

Post by Kai »

Emila Venezia would find herself suddenly alone, in a small forest that had once been a road. All the magic in the area had been canceled by that blinding light, and now all that was left was a silence and stillness that the young reaper was probably used to. The trees had ceased their former activities, the bubble that diminished noises and lights had vanished, and all that was left was the physical damage done by the battle.

Though she was slightly miffed that things had taken such a sudden change, Emilia's curiosity was far more powerful than any irritation. What had led to the sudden... whatever this was? More importantly: who? These questions she was determined to have answered.

And that answer arrived soon. A somewhat tall, slender Japanese man appeared, and Emilia could tell it was by a transportation spell if she felt for it. He was wearing a white suit like that an Academy student might wear, and had his long hair in a ponytail held together with three thin bands. He walked nearly noiselessly, and approached nonchalantly, as if none of this were any kind of surprise.

"Well, Hello there, Young one." He opened, as if speaking to someone he knew, though neither present knew who the other was.

She cocked her head slightly, a gesticulation that become habitual for her when she reached out to search for someone's soul. Her inquiries were of a basic nature: name, age, and mood. As she did so, she also replied in a courtly manner, dipping slightly, and holding up her cloak as though it were a dress. "And hello to you, sir. Who might you be?" One way or another, she intended to know who this man was.

"You may call me Akihiko. It is my given name, and sufficient for this engagement, I would assume," he answered, cordially. Her inquiries would tell Emilia that the man was about twenty-five years of age, and that he was in a curious, bemused kind of mood. "Normally that spell sends everybody home, but you, you have no home on this plane, do you, young one?" Akihiko continued, questioning Emilia. "If I may know your name, as well, it would be much appreciated," He finished.

She smiled. "Sir Akihiko, you are most astute! The Underworld is my home, that place where all dead go. As a matter of fact I am Emilia Venezia, daughter of Death herself." This always elicited something of surprise or intrigue, and often both. It was something she was never shy to share, but Emilia wasn't particularly boastful either- just proud of her heritage. "And why would you send everyone home?"

"She had a daughter did she?" Akihiko mused to himself, before returning to Emilia's question, seemingly undisturbed by her information. "I sent everyone home because they have all been too hard on themselves, and needed a rest. Too much mana flowing through the body is dangerous after all, especially to those untrained, though one I think needed to be sent home simply because he is an instigator, and full of much pride," the man answered, not at all hesitant to give answers to the young girl now that he knew who she was.

"I was the one dispatched to deal with this mess, but it seems the others beat me here, so, I decided to see how well they did in a real situation. I was not exactly pleased, even if they were victorious. What brings you here, Young Emilia?" Akihiko continued, turning the conversation to his own benefit for the moment.

Her question had been more a formality, a way to open the door to the hidden reasons behind his presence, and so she cared little for what all his answer entailed. Mana and its potential to kill meant little more than the chance to prove herself- which is exactly why she'd been around. "Why to help my mother! I spend most of my time in the Underworld, but there's little for me there but to watch mother work or speak to the dead. I've had enough of that, so here I am, trying to make myself useful and perhaps learn more about the living." Emilia took a sudden twirl, looking about, and was reminded of another question. "Where did the forest come from?"

Akihiko looked around at the forest, and chuckled. "Interestingly enough, the most accurate answer I can give you is 'Magic'. Whatever caused this, I do not know, aside from it being a combination of a very minuscule summon and a man who uses a power that isn't mana. The result being a forest that replenishes the Mana of those under its leaves." The man explained, almost as much to himself as to Emilia.

"As for trying to help your mother, that is a noble cause, though I am certain most in this plane do not think so. Did you know that your kind are feared?" he asked, curious to see just how much the girl had learned in her apparently short life.

"Hm. The... Welshman, I think he was. Boy, really, not much older than me." Her gaze wandered as he continued to speak and praise her actions. Praise meant little to her on the whole, but anything that was supportive of her mother was greatly appreciated. She faced him yet again before answering. "Yes, of course. I've sat in my mother's lap while she speaks to the dead on innumerable occasions. You should see their faces when she tells them who I am!" She smiled again, once more displaying her pride in heritage. "But not all of them are so silly. Many are well enough along that they recognize the natural thing death is; then again, many of them have been through this enough times that it should seem a regular thing, like seeing a doctor." Both hands were gripping the scythe now, and fiddled absent-mindedly, tracing random patterns or sliding to and fro.

"I've never been down there, though I have met a few whom have, and come back, though I believe they were taken there on purpose for a visit on official business." Akihiko conceded, amused at the girl's fiddling with her scythe- Despite being born of the underworld, she was still a child, with the attention-span to match, even if she hid it well in her words.

"I am sure you and I will meet again, Young Emilia, whether it be in this plane or in yours, that is up to fate. I must ask you, however, to head home for now, as I have to clean up before the world at large sees this mess. The hole can be explained easily, but the trees are another story, and the tabloids have enough to go on without seeing the truth," Akihiko explained, smirking at just how far normal humans would go to explain abnormal happenings- every once in a while they uncovered the truth, and it was his job to make sure that that event was enough of a rarity that it would never be believed by the masses.

She chuckled. "People like you don't make any sense- trying to hide the truth from everyone." After a sigh, she curtsied for a second time. "But if you say, I shall. Live well, sir Akihiko, and there won't be need for us to meet a second time- at least not for business." She turned, paused, and glanced over her shoulder. "I saw Fate once. A silly woman, by all accounts, but oh so tired. I'm pretty sure she couldn't even tell you the year, let alone the time." The she stepped through a small dark door that hadn't existed just two seconds ago, tugging her hood up. It closed of its own accord with a loud groan and fizzled into darkness which was immediately replaced by the world beyond. Any trace of Emilia's presence vanished with the last wisp of ethereal shadow.

Akihiko chuckled once more as the girl vanished. "This is quite the job, you meet all sorts of interesting beings," he muttered to himself, summoning a long staff from thin air, and beginning work on an incantation to reverse the damage to the street and buildings. Once the incantation was completed and the work was done, the man looked over his handiwork, and then vanished, as well, though his disappearance was more sudden than the girl's had been. One of the street lights flickered, just as it always had before the incident. Nobody would even know that it had happened, except those whom had been there.
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Re: [Chapter One] Bones for Bread

Post by CadetNewb »

Duncan was at his apartment, sitting at his work desk with steepled fingers and a frown. The scene would have been much more ominous had the American boy be in need of glasses. Also, there was the fact that he was In his boxer-briefs. Not very ominous at all. Or perhaps more so due to the near nudity. The mileage varied from person to person. In the corner of his room, his clothing was neatly put onto a coathanger, while his bike was folded up and stowed away in it's space. The clock on the table mindlessly told him the time, accurately and as mindlessly as it always had. There was no mistake. Three hours. Three damned hours, gone. 'We were being watched the whole god damned time. It definitely wasn't the JSDF's local detachment. It was very professional, but not in the military or governmental style. It was either a non-military entity working with the JSDF, or another one completely separate from the Japanese government. Duncan pursed his lips before getting up to go to the kitchen.

Soon enough, hot coffee was being prepped, then poured into a cup before journeying down his maw as small sips. Duncan sat down and collected his thoughts as shorthand onto the laptop he had with him. There was not one, but two magical creature incursions directly inside a normal inhabited sector. Several 'C' level magic users, all new and untried, drawn out of the woodwork by said incursion. The American boy sipped at his coffee again, briefly glancing at his toned body; no marks whatsoever. The healers did their job well, wasteful as it was. His fingers moved again, continuing to jot down the quick notes. The chains that fell across the giant skeleton flashed across his vision. The chains were too precisely timed and placed for magic users of their level. Conclusion? There was one or more outside parties that he didn't perceive due to carelessness. He didn't even need to mention the pacification and transport spell to come to this, but it did narrow down the level of whoever was watching. B+ and up.

If Duncan were a little younger, he would have slammed his fist down in anger at being careless, at being shown up like that. He was older now, so he didn't. The boy recalled the first little girl's words with the usual clarity, speaking them aloud for his own sake. "Second off, who are you to run around insulting foreigners in their own country based on your blind prejudice." He smiled. "Stupid kid. You and everyone else save for Miyuki are the foreigners. Myself included." He wished she were here to hear it. Still, she did point something out; he wasn't used to operating in another country yet. Technically, this was his vacation time. He wasn't 'operating' at all. Duncan sighed, looking over all the notes he was getting down, remembering the girl with the scythe. Could it be? Probably not, but likely related somehow. The boy quickly wrote down as many details of her as he could for the report as well. Soon enough, every single bit in painstaking detail was jotted down. He glanced at the clock again. Another hour and a half had went by.

The American Spell Savant sent the comprehensive after-action report to The Institute of Nature back in America. If he was lucky, they'd be able to contact the Japanese authorities and even point Duncan towards who was responsible for overseeing the incursion. Or not; this possibility was especially disturbing to the old yet young boy. A country which couldn't even keep the magical creatures out of the streets was in dire straights. He growled, "Damnit. This is a grown man's problems, and it's looking like a kid's doing the cleanup work." The conversation with Miyuki and Percival that took place yesterday at Thursday crossed his minds. Those two were a positive now. No doubt at all.

"So much for not missing out on our childhood...fucking idiots." Duncan used the 'f' word.

He then started planning out his story on how he'd be 'cursed' as well as the actual curses he'd use from now on. Duncan was loath to admit it, but he wanted to keep as much of his childhood intact as possible despite what he'd been through. Despite what he'd seen. "Maybe that's why I put on the damned act?" he murmured to himself, halfway through constructing a complex spell and its various support curses.
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Re: [Chapter One] Bones for Bread

Post by Luca »

The last thing Mr. Miller could remember before blacking out completely was hitting the proverbial wall, simply too exhausted to stand and falling on the ground in a heap and passing out. However, he wasn't exactly anticipating a return trip to the land of consciousness.

When he awoke, he found himself in his bedroom, upon his bed, in his night clothes with his glasses beside his bed, just as he always left them. Furthermore, his clothes were folded neatly on the dresser in preparation for tomorrow, just like they always were before bed.
However, there was something that couldn't be ignored, which was the overwhelming fatigue that even hit him now, even though the purpose of his unconsciousness was to recover from this. It was like fatigue being stacked on top of exhaustion in some manner that was beyond impossible, but it was simply just that. After leaning up and breathing deeply for a couple of moments, Mr. Miller collapsed on the bed again, wondering just what happened while exhaustion pricked at his mind.

"It felt too real to be a dream..." He mouthed before collapsing on the pillow and finally slipping away into a deep sleep.
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