[Aside] One Last Journey

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Kokuten
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Re: [Aside] One Last Journey

Post by Kokuten »

Percival's face paled for a moment, still processing the despotic warlord part of the sentence. Miyuki had been around while he was gone, the service record was enough to indicate that, but hearing it out loud was almost a little too real for him. His mind flashed back to the Battle of the Maw, reflecting on the draconic battle strategies she had. The front line fighting, ripping a wand out of her stomach, her severe first aid methods, and the constant, unrelenting energy against all of those injuries.

That soft smile of hers disarmed his heart a bit, and he forced himself to process the joke, to laugh.

"You didn't! I'm sure no matter what you said, they probably got the message when you beat down the door. Raw magical power seems to have a multi-cultural understanding."

It was a strange dichotomy. Percival only knew Miyuki, whereas the rest of the world only knew the Ice Queen. He couldn't picture her crashing her way through socio-political and geo-political conflicts, but more easily see her standing in a room of shocked and confused political leaders and flubbing her lines.

Only now, in relative safety, did he realize how dangerous their lives were. The thought seemed not effect the plant all too much as it seemed to look expectantly at Percival.

"Ariel Kalas'mara," he whispered lovingly to the plant, just running with a pronunciation, "Do you know where we can find our target? Ariel Kalas'mara."

The plant shuddered, and leaned towards a direction, the general direction of the address. Then it wavered in a different direction, and then back towards the address. "Argh. It doesn't have a solid idea what its looking for. They usually lock onto the idea in your mind, but if the instructions are vague, or you've never seen the person before, we may need to get closer for better results."

He held the globe up to his cheek, "That, and the reason why Worryworts are so rare, they're mythical. They only appear in forests to lost travelers in the wild, so they are difficult to grab samples to domesticate. Some say that they are the gravemarkers of fae who guided mortals in life. They are also notoriously hard to care for; sealed bubbles like these are a necessity if they aren't under a forest canopy. Moreover, if you uproot one, it bonds to you, and it doesn't like to take instruction from anyone else."

The man grinned, "I've made a lot of fae friends, recently."

His bag shifted in the back of the car.
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Kokuten
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Re: [Aside] One Last Journey

Post by Kokuten »

Miyuki listened as Percy spoke to the plant, although it seemed to not help much, and kept driving toward where here GPS said was the closest to the address that had been provided, hoping it would help them get a better read.

"Perhaps instead of being very specific, we could try being more general? If it's the thought and intent, perhaps rather than asking for a name we aren't sure of, we can ask it to show us to the person that needs our help the most?"

"Now that's a proper avenue of logic, the fae love that sort of thing," praised the Alchemist

"Ah, a woman's intuition is a valuable asset," she joked.

He turned his attention back to the plant, and whispering, "Now, who needs our help the most right now?"

The plant seized up, and now, it seemed to hone in on something, locked just as it was with Miyuki earlier. Blooms on the stems had not opened yet, but were gently spreading the closer they got in the direction it faced.

And then Percy's bag shifted, which wouldn't have been unusual, except for the fact that they were long past the point that everything should have settled.

"Perce.... What's in there?" she asked, quirking an accusing eyebrow at the alchemist

"Nothing that should be moving," answered Percival, defending himself with the plant that still seemed to be wavering. "On it's own, at least."

A little gasp was heard, followed by a, "Shhhh."

The bag shifted a little more, before it came to rest fully.

As they followed the plant's pointing as best they could, Miyuki couldn't help but to start feeling a bit of unease the closer they got to what was likely their destination. Percy could see, too, that she gripped the steering wheel a little tighter, and was forcing herself to sit a bit more upright, pressing forward into the seatbelt a bit.

Percival leaned over, setting the orb in his lap, and pecked his fiance on the cheek. He was leaning over in a way where he was almost in her ear.

"You've done this a hundred and one times," he assured her, whispering as if he felt any louder voice may cause her nerves to rise again. "We're just in for a routine hundred and two, love."

Miyuki squeezed Percy's leg and took a deep breath and then tapped the brakes on the SUV, making sure it was hard enough that everyone in the vehicle was thrown forward gently, but not hard enough to cause Percy to lose purchase on the important glass orb. The large alchemist bag came tumbling forward, loping over the back seat, a pair of voices wailing at the sudden movement. She reached back for the bag and tugged it up and over the divide, placing it at Percy's feet.

"Could you figure out who our culprits are while I continue driving?" she asked, though she had quite a solid guess as to what might be causing the unwanted noise and movement.

The plant found itself sitting atop the cup-holder for the moment, the base of its globe resting just at the mouth as Percival took his free hand to the bag.

Zip! The bag opened and, among the various trinkets, baubles and wrapped ingredients was a pair of small bodies staring back up at the Alchemist and then Miyuki. A little orange face, and little frosty blue face.

It was Jakku and Zippo, staring up in nervous fear and looking down in shame respectfully.

"Please don't be mad," came Jakku's voice, smaller than normal, as she brought up a fold of the bag to hide herself under.

"Gomenesai," Zippo chimed flatly, bowing his head, still practicing his Japanese.

Miyuki sighed and rolled her eyes, then playfully shot a quick blast of chilled air at the pair of Fae. Zippo would be immune to it and Jakku had lived in worse, but they would both still feel the force of it, and whatever else was in Percy's bag would be chilled for a little bit.

"You two are going to be in big trouble when we get back..." she muttered, unable to do much more as she rounded another corner, heading down a street that the Worrywort seemed interested in, and its condition showed that they were starting to get fairly close as the little SUV started rattling its way up a fairly steep hill.

"Your mother is right," said Percival, half-joking, half-serious, "We told you to stay home with your Uncle Rook and Auntie Lisa, and you didn't mind us."

Jakku's eyes started to fill with tears, threatening to spill over as Percy's face hardened.

"But you've never left me behind before! I can help!" said Jakku defiantly, Zippo nodded his head in agreement, although he had never been along for one of these missions before. "I will help! I promise!"

The Alchemist sighed, looking side-long at Miyuki, saying, "They're starting to take after you."

Miyuki was taken aback at the accusation, and countered "But they spend more time with you! So it's obviously you they're taking after!"

The Jimny topped the hill and came to a flatter section, where there was the equivalent to a cul-de-sac or roundabout, like a little town square surrounded by buildings, all built in roughly the same style and painted with the same family of colors.

The Ice queen took a look at the Worrywort to see how it looked, figuring it must be close to blooming by now. The small, wispy white and blue flowers were almost open to full, it wasn't the colorful display she saw earlier, meaning that they weren't quite in close proximity, but that meant there was still a bit more blooming to help them zero-in on their target. She drove closer to the buildings, before finally stopping in front of a multi-storied building that seemed to house multiple residences, the Worrywort pointed directly toward the tall habitation, with the flowers pointing upward- as if to state that their target was on the upper floors of the building.

"Well, I think this is our stop. What do we do with these two? They aren't really supposed to be out and about around here, so they'll have to hide somewhere."

"Oh!" Jakku piped before Percival could speak, she zipped out of the bag and into Percival's shirt. She popped her head out of the collar, "I go out with Mr. Caxton under his shirt all the time, and no one ever knows I'm here!"

Then, Zippo tried the same thing, mimicking the movement, but the Alchemist yelped as the cold aura of the faerie caused him to eject it from his person. The frost faerie looked a little forlorn as he realized Mr. Caxton wasn't that resistant to the cold. He wouldn't be able to hide under the man's collar like Jakku could.

So, then he looked at Miyuki, his black eyes pleading for a solution.

Miyuki sighed once more, closing her eyes momentarily and shaking her head gently.

"Alright alright, fine. You can come hide with me," she told the little Ice sprite, pulling a shawl that had been around her shoulders up and over her head, covering her hair and creating a nice little pocket for the tiny fae to take refuge in.

"But try not to make a habit of it. I can't guarantee you little ones stay safe!" She paused after saying that, and a little bit of an air of darkness fell over her face once more as she muttered, almost inaudibly, "I can't even guarantee my own safety anymore..."

The glum air seemed to be lost on Zippo as he dove into the shawl. What was a little sprite-shaped ice cube to most, was actually a small ball of warmth for Miyuki. Like a cat, the small fae seemed to relish the contact, slipping down her back under the shirt and wiggling back up into the headwear. Zippo's eyes shined just under the shadow of the shawl as he rubbed his cheek against Miyuki's after coming into place.

"Well, it looks like he feels plenty safe," commented Percival on the sprite's behavior, before leaning over to shadowed Ice Queen again. "Might have never met someone like you, a frost mage with so much power."

She felt the sprite nod its head emphatically. The Alchemist gave Miyuki a small smile, "You aren't alone. Not anymore. Whatever happened to your arm doesn't change the fact that you are Kagami Miyuki, the Ice Queen, the savior of a Godling, a Goddess, and twenty-six various Kami through Japan. My future wife! That last one's a pretty high accolade, and it happened recently!"
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Kokuten
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Re: [Aside] One Last Journey

Post by Kokuten »

Miyuki gave a soft smile to Percival as he helped assuage her nerves, closing her eyes once more to gather herself and taking one more deep breath. Unlike for most people, the chill of the frost fae on her neck was actually rather comforting.

"Okay. I can do this. We can do this." She said, mostly to herself, but also to her fiancé and the two sprites. She shut off the car and then opened the door, stepping out and onto the street. she leaned into the back of the car, pulling a few small pouches and packs from one of her bags and securing them to her belt.

"Okay, you ready to go up?" she asked. The Alchemist nodded his head, having prepared himself in the interim.

The plant globe was in his hand, and Jakku's peering eyes slowly faded behind the collar of his shirt, just as Zippo's hid under the hijab. The frost sprite stayed just under the crook of Miyuki's jaw, his natural hue camouflaging him in the dark.

Percival, for what it was worth, was wearing a thin coat over his usual purple-toned finery. He looked like he was more ready for a night on the town, instead of a mission.

"I'm a bit new to this, so I'll not lean in unless it's necessary," offered Percival, "Once we find him, or we run into others, I'll shush the plant so it doesn't draw attention."

"Sounds good," Miyuki responded, heading to the stairs that seemed to zig-zag their way up the front of the building. It was several stories to the top, which seemed to not be much of an effort for Miyuki, her long legs easily striding up multiple flights, keeping her eye on the flower in the glass orb as they went up. Sure enough, it seemed to be pointing them to the very top, where a single, smaller structure seemed to have been built almost haphazardly on the roof of the building.

Waiting at the top, the black-haired woman watched as Percy climbed up behind her. To his credit, he seemed to be doing a lot better than when she found him a couple of months ago. Still, his brow hung over his eyes as he tried to keep pace with Miyuki.

He looked up at, flashing her a energetic smile.

"I'm okay," assured Percy, his other shoulder shifting as if to give her a thumbs up. The tied of sleeve just wobbled in the movement, but the gesture was there. "These things always seem to be at the top of a mountain of stairs."

"It does seem that way, doesn't it?" Miyuki asked jokingly, holding out a hand to help steady Percy as he crested the summit. Before them stood the smaller structure, a less than sturdy looking, unpainted door was inset to the wall, with two small, high windows, one flanking each side of the door. Aside from that, the small residence was basically unadorned and looked like it wasn't in a very great state of repair.

Miyuki walked up to the door, and held up a hand to knock, but hesitated, unsure of whether or not she should. Percival gave a side-long glance at her hesitation.

"Is there a cultural thing about knocking?" asked Percy, his lip curling up on one side.

"No, nothing like that- it's just." She paused for a moment, looking around the small structure once again, now that she was standing much closer, "I'm a little unsure about knocking on a door when this whole thing has more wards placed on it than Safeholme..." She squinted, trying to see if she could make anything out about the wards, but they were quite well hidden, at least from those who weren't intricately familiar with wards.

"The number can be intimidating, but that can be a sign of inexperience, especially with wards. Abjurers are an excitable bunch, as we can attest to," Percy gave a close inspection to the markings, and then ran his hand over the wall, feeling the magic in them. His awakened abilities, however small, allowed him to sense the source of their magic. "I've seen something like this in Narbonne and Salerno. France and Italy respectively. Both cities founded by Rome, the person who placed these wards is likely a student of the Greco-Roman. Not unusual in the mediterranean countries, but... this sort of craftsmanship is seen more in Central Europe."

Percy's fingers trailed on one of the heated wards, it bristled against his presence, "The Roman mages were excellent abjurers, the form of their wards are basic, but powerful, and the more you stack them, the more effective they become." Then Alchemist rose a finger to the series of wards stacked tightly, "A testudo... Perhaps I was wrong. To make a proper testudo and hide it this well..."

He rubbed the space under his lip, "I think they went to great pains to ensure knocking was the only way to enter."

Miyuki looked at the door again, thinking about the type of wards that her fiancée had said were plastered over the structure, and decided it was probably a good idea to switch arms, despite her habitual desire to use her right arm for such a simple task. "Maybe, using my real arm would be a safer bet for knocking then.." she said, attempting a joke, but the slight worried tone in her voice made the jest fall flat on itself.

Regardless, the Japanese woman raised her left hand and, decisively, rapped on the shabby, sturdy-looking door with her knuckle. In response, there was a sound of sudden shuffling as of papers or something from someone suddenly startled out of a task, followed by the sound of a young girl's voice excitedly shouting something in an Arabic language. This enthusiastic shouting was followed itself by a stern sounding rebuttal in what sounded like a mixture of Italian and English. Next, was heard a slight struggle accompanied by some odd noises, something akin to a laser, and then a muffled thump followed by a short silence.

A dulled clunking of stiff-soled shoes made its way closer to the door, and then a portion of the door at roughly eye level slid open, despite the lack of any indication that there was a removable panel at that location. The eyes they noted through the gap were distinctly European looking, and didn't seem like they belonged to the correct person, but, a voice that matched them asked the duo at the door "Can I help you?" in clear English after looking the odd couple over for a moment.

Miyuki held up a finger and moved like she was going to say something, but it seemed like the words caught in her throat. Her normally headstrong and brash demeanor was replaced by a timidness and lack of assuredness that Percival hadn't seen in about a decade. That hesitation caused him to hesitate. He wasn't sure if she was really vacillating or if something had thrown her off about the situation.

"Yes!" Percival picked up the pause, almost literally, in the way his hand moved. It was a sudden statement, as if the man had been put off by the question as much as Miyuki. "Oh yes, yes, yes, ma'am. We are here to pick up a delivery, my associate and I. We were informed that it was at this address, and would like to ah... pick it up. As it were."

His hand, stilling holding the glass orb, gently gestured in Miyuki's direction. "My associate here; she can give you the proper details. I'm here as an interpreter, and ah, to confirm the health of the delivery."

Realizing that she needed to back up Percival's claims, Miyuki fetched the sparse paperwork she had been given, holding it up for the woman to see.
"We've been commissioned through the independent guilds network to locate and safely escort an individual known as 'Ariel Kalasamara' from Jerusalem to Osaka, Japan, and this location is as close as we've been able to discern her whereabouts." Miyuki seemed a little unsure as she explained, stumbling over the name a bit.

As an answer, the voice of a young girl called out to them. Oddly, they could hear the words in Hebrew, but each one understood them in their native tongues. "Ah ha! I told you! It's my friends, they've come to get me!"

The woman seemed annoyed, looking back toward the source of the second voice and rolling her eyes before addressing the pair before her. "Well, the seal on that paper is legitimate so I suppose you are the ones we're waiting for. I'm Sister Angeline Tremos, an exorcist with the vatican.... and this little hellion has been my charge for the last year."

"It's a pleasure to meet you Sister Tremos, I'm Bredon, an apothecary licensed by the Occultus. I appreciate your caution in all of this," chimed Percival, rolling back on is feet, and then raising himself up a bit to look over the sister's shoulder. After that little, stolen glance, he straightened himself and smiled. "We just need to confirm the health of the delivery, as said, prior to taking responsibility for it."

There was a careful and calculated step forward, before he demurely took a step back.

"Ah, excuse me. The executor of the contract is the Ice Queen here, she'll need to see it first, as is the nature of these guild contracts. Then I'll give the delivery a look."

"One moment..." Sister Tremos responded, the eye slit sliding itself closed before a litany of locks could be heard being undone, followed by a short incantation in Latin, and then the door itself opened up, swinging to reveal the aforementioned exorcist as well as a small girl with long, wavy black hair and a bright grin on her face.

Despite having been given no real information aside from the name, Miyuki could tell that the girl was in fact, the charge they had been sent to collect and bring back to Japan. "Well, I'd say she looks hale and healthy at the least," Miyuki began, before looking about the room and realizing the full extent of mess that it was. Aside from two small bedrolls in the corner, a table, and what looked like a wood fired stove, there wasn't much else of note aside from a bag that looked like it probably belonged to Sister Tremos. except, of course, for the copious amounts of paper and paper scraps strewn about literally everywhere. Some of the papers appeared to be charred, but nearly all of them had some sort of drawings on them, and some of the drawings seemed familiar. If one took the time to organize them, they might recognize it as an illustrated story, one that clearly took place in Japan.

As a last detail, both the nun and the walls showed some signs of charring, with paths and patterns suggesting something or someone was shooting rather hot beams of energy around haphazardly.

"What a pleasant little home."

It was hard to tell if Percival was being serious or not, but his eyes were more on the Worrywort. The plant stared down at the girl as she stared back up at them. It was all the confirmation he needed. With a bit of effort he set down the bag slung over his shoulder, and put away his plant.

As he carefully orchestrated this with only one hand, he looked at the girl. "You must be... Kalasamara? I'm Bredon. You know, like Bredon butter."

Sister Tremos rolled her eyes at Percival's comment, but kept her thoughts silent, figuring the man was just trying to be pleasant. Miyuki made her way in to inspect everything further, keeping her eye on both the exorcist-nun and the little girl, still a bit on edge about the whole situation. The little girl waved as the Ice Queen walked by, but was prevented from shouting something at her by the sudden self-introduction of the one armed alchemist.

"Alright, Perce, if you wanna go by that you can go by that until we're somewhere safer, but really, I don't think Bredon suits you!" Ariel remarked, seemingly amused by the Welshman's antics. "What's Miyuki going by then?" she asked as a continuation, knowing both of their names despite having never met them before.

The tall Japanese girl seemed to be taken aback, and was going to respond but decided against it, instead looking toward sister Tremos, who mere shrugged and lifted her hands up "I don't know any better than you do. she knew who I was when I first met her as well. She seems to know the name of everyone she meets."

POMF. Ariel's head was tapped by the broadside of a book, a heavy copy of Lexikon Alchemie.

"Familiarity. Do not overstep yourself. Only my friends may call me Perce," came a stern, clinical demeanor that Miyuki had seen Percival treat the students of Safeholme. "Associates may refer to me by Percival. Civil company will address me as Mr. Caxton. Strangers will get my middle name, Bredon. Further, Miyuki is Ms. Kagami's first name, Japanese culture does not enjoy polite, free-use of given names."

POMF. She was tapped again by the otherside of the book, a tradition practiced Percival's old school in Bangor. An instructor had to use both sides of the book to reprimand a student, meaning they always needed an even number of infractions to issue punishment, "Candidness. If you are going to show your hand like that, ensure you can do something with it."

Ariel wrapped her hands around her head and cried out a little bit with each bonk from the book, squeaking a bit at the second one as she hadn't really expected it. "H-Heyy!" she shouted, sounding rather incensed, and then pouting at Percival for a moment before quietly adding "But you guys are my friends..." A few sniffles could be heard, with a bit of tears welling up in the little girl's eyes before she ran off with a bit of a huff.

"Well, now you've upset her," Miyuki chided Percival, not sure herself on how to react to all that had just happened, and giving a quick glance over at Sister Tremos who despite her vows of abstinence of any sort of vices, really looked like she could use a cigarette right now. Before too long, however, Ariel came back, a handful of papers in tow, and shoved them into Percy's face.

The pages, once viewed showed renditions of a faraway location, though they seemed to exemplify the lack of dexterity shown by most children, which Percival could actually make out as Safeholme, as well as the small cottage on the grounds, and even Nishi-Ku academy, with renditions of Percival, Miyuki, Ruarc, Riley, Jane, even Emilia and Mr. Miller.

"Divination..." muttered Percival thoughtlessly as he took one to inspect more closely. There were many theories that seemed to trade spots across the Alchemist's mind. Yet he was more taken by the drawings and what they represented. "... Mr. Miller. Miyu, do your remember Mr. Miller? That old warhorse, I wonder what he's up to these days."

After he finished his inspection of the work, he looked at Ariel with a careful glance. "Is this your hand, or someone else's?"

Before Ariel could say anything, the Exorcist spoke up "Those are all hers. She insisted I buy her crayons and shot me with her weird laser beams until I went and got her art supplies, saying something about her friends being on their way and that she needed them for 'demonstration purposes' or something like that."

Miyuki for her part merely nodded along with Percy, awed at the rather accurate peek into their memories drawn by the hands of this young girl they had never met before. To be honest, she wasn't sure how this girl would have known this but before she could say anything, she felt a sort of anxiety tugging at her, stopping her from speaking.

The drawings occupied his attention for a while, letting him gather his thoughts. He thought to ask questions, but he didn't want to overstep himself, not at this point.

"You're very talented, it's not hard to see who you're trying to portray here," he concluded, before shaking open his pack. "That said, put your things in here, and we'll sort them out when we get home. And come here, let me have a look at you."

Ariel beamed with a bit of pride at the praise from Percival, despite the recent scolding. "Of course! I was there, after all!" She seemed quite confident in this fact despite both Percival and Miyuki knowing that she had not, in fact, been there.

"What do you mean you were there? Miyuki asked, breaking out of her momentary stupor from sheer incredulity, as she looked over the drawings, there did seem to be one very important person missing from all of them.

Ariel, could see where Miyuki's eyes were going, and watched as she slowly connected the dots. "It's a little weird for the artist to include themselves in their artwork, unless it's a self-portrait..." she commented, trying her best to make it sound off-hand.

Percival scratched his chin.

"Then perhaps could we get a self-portrait, about..."

The man tugged up the drawing that showed the old Nishi-ku gang. "... Around this time."

"If you insist," Ariel said, grabbing up a scrap of paper that didn't have much on it and running about the place to find various scattered drawing implements. A colored pencil here, a crayon there, and finally she found a nice spot on the floor to lay down and begin her masterpiece. "This might take a little bit, so feel free to make yourself comfy or maybe bug Sister Tremos a bit!" The young lady giggled a bit at the last comment, to which the Exorcist simply rolled her eyes and sat down in one of the two chairs in the room, pointing at the other one for either of the two guests to sit in. Miyuki refused it, trying instead to meander over and spy on what this curious little girl was drawing, before getting shooed away by her and sulking back to the other side of the room, looking for a window to gaze out of for the time being.

Percival kept an eye on Miyuki, smiling a bit to himself to get to see genuine takes of her. They both were impatient to learn what was going on. That sort of impatience and hot-headedness was that common ground that made their bond special.

This was fun, he realized.

It came to him as he turned back over his bag, rifling through the contents while he watched Ariel. It was a strange place, in a strange land, but being here with Miyuki made it familiar.

He was brought out of his reflection as his finger brushed over the worrywort's globe. The flower gave him an idea and he picked it up and asked it a question.

"Where is a person we haven't seen in a while?"
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Re: [Aside] One Last Journey

Post by Kai »

Percival was interrupted in his musings by an enthusiastic shuffle from the young girl on the floor, followed by her darting over to him and shoving the scrap of paper in his face. "Here Here!" she called excitedly, letting go of the paper and dashing away, stopping a few paces off and giving a sly grin. Owing to the paper's odd shape, however, it fluttered erratically down toward the ground rather than falling in the normal manner that a square sheet of paper would.

Drawn by the sudden commotion, Miyuki turned away from the small slit-like window she had found and made her way back over to Percy, just in time to swipe out and catch the scrap of paper that Ariel had rather childishly thrown at them, though, to be fair, she was in fact a child. Miyuki held the piece up, straightening it and angling it so that both herself and Percival could get a better look at it. as she did, her eyes went wide and what little color she had drained from her face.

While messy in some spots and far from perfect, this rendering was much clearer than the others the Israeli girl had drawn- It was that of a slender, fair-skinned girl with straight, raven hair and red eyes, drawn as a bust, clearly drawn was the top part of a Japanese shrine maiden's dress, from Kokoro shrine.
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Kokuten
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Re: [Aside] One Last Journey

Post by Kokuten »

The flowers in Percival's hand were quickly forgotten as Miyuki zipped over to grab the drawing before the Alchemist could snatch it up. She had always had better reflexes, and managed to snatch up everything before he could think of preparing himself. It had far-reaching implications, especially when it came to communal plates filled with grilled meats and meals that required quick appetites and hand movements.

"Augh! You could at least let me get a look at it first."

He didn't know how much he would regret that statement, that thought. Percival had not seen Miyuki's reaction. When she angled it his way, it struck him the same way it had struck her. He had smiled, at first, but then it began to fade as he took in the small features, the face, the hair, the clothes.

The eyes.

It had been ten years since he had seen something like that. For ten years the eyes that drawing represented had haunted his brother. Ten years they had stared up at him in his dreams as the light faded from them. Ten years that Miyuki had held that last look in her mind and heart.

Percival grabbed Miyuki's shoulder, holding her.

"Raiko?"
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Re: [Aside] One Last Journey

Post by Kai »

"Yes, That was my name," Came a small voice, much less blustering and boisterous than before. Now that they looked at her, sitting still and with a serious face for once, they would notice, Ariel bore a striking resemblance, not to Raiko, but to..

"The archangel, the one that came when she died..." Miyuki uttered, her own voice dropping into almost nothing. The air in the room suddenly became tense, and a little cold, as Miyuki withdrew into herself once more, as she had done just before knocking on the door. "but how?" she whispered, barely audible above the silence that gripped them.

Sister Tremos sat still, at once glad of the silence for once, but also gripped by the tension of the room, unsure what had happened. Normally one to throw a witty comment at nearly anything, the battle-hardened exorcist-nun remained silent.
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Re: [Aside] One Last Journey

Post by Kokuten »

Percival thought about the normal life Miyuki might have had if she had never learned about her powers. If she had never met the members of the Menagerie, Raiko would still be alive and all of their lives would have so much different. Their worlds would have never collided into the confluence of pain that seemed to rain upon them at every chance. A small depressive air hung over Percival, as he leaned into Miyuki.

And then he was taken by a fever of emotion, his breath unsettling into laughter. Happiness bled into the sad crevices of his heart.

"Raiko."

He said her name again, and began to laugh more. The Alchemist, now with the shock worn off, scooped up Ariel into his one arm deftly and hugged her. Ever the emotional one, he spun the girl around and brought her up to Miyuki. Theories of what happened, or what could have happened swam in his mind, but something about this made him joyous.

"Miyuki! She's alive! Ha ha ha! She's alive!"
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Kai
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Re: [Aside] One Last Journey

Post by Kai »

Miyuki was frozen in shock still, despite her Fiancé's jubilations, but before the Ice Queen could respond, Percy was cut off by another voice.

"I'm not-" Ariel began, wriggling herself free of the Alchemist's single-armed grasp and alighting fairly gracefully on the floor. "I'm not Raiko. I was Raiko, and Raiko was me, but, Raiko is dead. She's gone and won't come back. I hold her memories and will treasure them but I am no longer her." The young girl's tone had shifted slightly, not the boisterous child from earlier, or the small meek voice that had confirmed who she had been. this voice was different. it was serious, and melancholy, tinged with regret and yet there was some relief to it.

"Who I am now, Ariel, I am serving a different role than before. Raiko had to hide who she was, and could not directly intervene, but when she went into the Elelmentalia Magicus... There was a separation. A new soul. I could no longer be Raiko, and Raiko could no longer be me. And so, instead of losing both of us, she sacrificed herself for me, and for all of you."

Miyuki remained frozen, as ironic as it was for she who held dominion over ice, but once again, despite the heat of the day and lack of air conditioning in the shack atop a pile of shacks, the temperature dropped just a bit more.
"What do you mean?" she asked in spite of herself, not wanting to know the answer.

Before Ariel could answer, a series of loud bangs could be heard on the door, and Sister Tremos swiftly rose from her seat, making her way to the door. she was clearly concerned, not least of which by the tale that the three others in the room seemed to be a part of but she felt so oddly left out of, but also because nobody should have been able to find their location without the correct 'key', that is, the enchantment woven into the paper that Miyuki had borne with her as a contract.

"Who is it?" she asked in fluent Arabic, a bit of a contrast from her traditionally European appearance. There was no answer yet, but the banging seemed to have stopped for the moment.
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Kokuten
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Re: [Aside] One Last Journey

Post by Kokuten »

From the jaws of happiness there came a ruined despondence that took Percival. Once again, he had been a bit more zealous than he needed to be, rushing to the conclusion he wanted instead of the conclusion that was truthful. In his mind, defensively to his own actions, the child had been a bit misleading in her sequence of information, and for that they'd need to do a little correction on that later. Still, he had probably gotten hopes up in Miyuki that didn't need to be stirred.

Before he could respond to anything, the knock at the door changed the tone of the room further.

"No more revelations," whispered Percival sharply, regretting any sort of happiness he had felt, and scooped up his things, "this was the wrong spot to ask questions."

The knocking began again and then stopped.

Then it began again.

Then it stopped

Then it began again.

Then it stopped.

Percival realized it was beating out a pattern, and his mind began to piece together it was morse.

Then it began again.

And then stopped with a slamming of a what sounded like a fist.

"N... A... R..." spelled Percival aloud, "Nar."

Arabic was not Percival's strength, but Tremos could put together that it spelled out the word for Fire.

The edges of the threshold began to glow, and strings of flames pressed in before the door shot off of its hinges and right into Sister Tremos. The force of the blast threw it and her across the room to the opposite wall.

In the doorway stood a menacing, hunched figure with jagged, brimstone skin and thin limbs. It looked like a stretched burn-victim that was still cooking from the inside. The head was a blackened cow’s skull, with eyes that burned like gold. The creature’s lower jaw was shaped flames, and it moved with the words.

“ARIEL – KALISMARA.”

The jaw melted away into a growing bulb of flames as it built itself for an attack.
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Kai
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Re: [Aside] One Last Journey

Post by Kai »

"Everyone Get ba-" Sister Tremos shouted before being drowned out by the conflagration, her arms crossed in a defensive stance as she was launched to the back of the room. Despite her best efforts, the Exorcist was knocked against the back wall, sandwiched by the broken and burning door. as far as the other three could see, the Nun was knocked out of the fight for now.

Miyuki reacted swifter than the others, a wall of Ice being formed near instantaneously between them and the burning being at the door, growing outward toward it "Ariel! Check on the Sister!" she snapped, a bit frantic, looking over at Percy to see if he needed any help or if he was doing fine on his own. For the young girl's part, she squeaked an obedient "Yes!" before running to the back of the room to try and see if she could pull Sister Tremos from the wreckage or at least rouse her enough to do it herself.
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