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Scattered Shards #01 - Where Mysteries Gather Two Figured In The Distant Past, Once Beneath The Stars!pR.BaFF/uk 852237[Last 50 Posts]

#Canon - Type Moon#Invite Only#It Begins

Someone came to see me, once upon a hill. He arrived with the turning of the sky as though he were the moon, for though he stood naturally amidst the shining fields of white, I could not help but turn my gaze. An obtrusion of my vision, certainly, but not one that I minded. I was young, then, and my thoughts turned more to curiosity and wonder than I care to admit.

“A quiet night, is it not?” His voice rippled across the silence and, as though to maintain it, I gave no response. Despite my cold manner, a warm smile seemed to bring colour to the monotone scene around us. I could feel the grass become tinted green and the ever-present moon turn gentle shades of yellow as I realised that this stranger understood something fundamental. “You are right – no night is truly quiet after all.”

Responding to his warmth with my own, I finally allowed myself to relax. “That is because the stars sing,” I responded. Even as a child I was reserved, I remember it well – this was the first time I had what I believe I can call a ‘conversation’ with anyone, as simple as it was.

“Oho, do they now?” Though his words spoke doubt, he held none in his tone. Instead, his eyes cast upward, looking at the lights above with a certain fondness, yet also wariness. I joined him, listening for the gentle song of the starlight. He took a moment of silence, our attention now focused above. The bright moon shone brightest, yet had no voice – merely the reflection of a song that had already ended. “You must have quite the pair of ears, listening to what takes old men like me lifetimes to understand.”

I shook my head, confused by his words. “Can’t everyone hear them?”

My innocent question was met by a curious motion. It was neither a nod nor a shake of his head, but as though he were acknowledging my sentiments. “No…but that does not mean they are not listening.” The eyes that looked up above turned their attention to the elderly stranger. I didn't know how to answer, so I merely urged him on with my curious stare. What could he mean? How does one listen without hearing? “The whims of the stars are not something so easily read – they long for a wish to be granted of their own, and yet we, in our irony, turn to them to grant ours.”

I immediately felt enamoured with the thought, so much so that I forgot the question I’d been holding. The idea of the stars longing for something, the reason why they sung in the sky at night, gripped at my heart as though I’d taken that longing for my own. “What is the wish?”

“A Mystery.” His answer came out as though it were the simplest response in the world.

“A mystery…?” My cheeks puffed out as I repeated it. I felt cheated, as though conned whilst I wasn't looking. He’d presented far more questions than he had given answers, and it frustrated me, yet I enjoyed the feeling. None had ever drawn out such passion from my mind, a desire to know something I did not and the disappointment of not knowing: these were all new to me. Even as my young self, sat within the now-colourful fields around me, began to know the disparity of joy and sorrow, I cherished those feelings.

More importantly, however, I cherished the warmth of a dream. “Perhaps the greatest Mystery of them all,” he continued, drawing the delight of my attention once again. “The scattered desires of over a thousand burning lights, brought together in song.”

My gaze returned to the skies. The dancing orbs entered my vision, a gentle shower of starlight that enhanced the image placed in my mind. I smiled brightly, reaching my hands up as if to embrace the voices, singing gently to the earth with their small pieces of hope. The flowers around me, so brightly red, reflected the light being given to them to create a dazzling, wondrous sky of a gradient I had never experienced. Just like the wild lilies beneath me, wonder was blossoming within me. “Can it really come true?”

The man mumbled to himself for a moment, a hand to his chin as though considering it fully, rather than simply passing a general opinion. “Hrm… perhaps. Though the world and the people are listening, they are not compelled to act. We chase our own Mysteries, rather than the ones unknown to us.”

Yet it wasn't unknown to us. He knew of their desires, and now I did as well. The thought that nothing could come of it was too sad, too miserable an idea of existence. I knew what it was like to have no true wish of my own, and I could have lived happily with a grey world; the white light of the sky and the black ground of the earth, all the grey in between would have been all I wanted. Yet now, even if I had only very recently been introduced to the concept of colour, of the ups and downs, the reds, blues, yellows, greens, oranges, purples, browns, I could not imagine having them taken away. If we had the right to pursue our hopes, why didn't they?

“But I want their song to be a happy one.”

It was his turn to gaze at me with a certain amount of curiosity. I did not yet know why, as I had simply said what I desired, and I would not know for many, many years to come… yet as quickly as his strange expression had arrived it was gone, replaced with a simple smile. He regarded me with acceptance as someone living in this world. It was a simple act of placing his hand on my head, rubbing my hair with his wrinkled fingers, yet despite the risk he had just taken there was nothing cold about his gesture.

“I would give it a chance, though it is a very small one. When one man wishes for a miracle, a Mystery may appear. Yet, when many Mysteries gather under the light of the stars...“

Our gazes once again returned to the brightly lit night sky, adorned with the glistening gems belonging to a dream of lifetimes ago, before the world and the people had a voice. The old, mysterious man, who had indulged his own curiosity and taken a chance of his own, imparted to me the words that could ignite my dream to shine just as bright as those who shared it.

“..the laws of the world might just be thrown aside.”

Current Date: 29th October, 2014
>Junction City, the State of Maine, USA.
>10 Years after the events surrounding the 5th Heaven's Feel of Fuyuki

>The tale surrounding these mysteries, the stories that unfold, the trials and conflict that await, are about to begin!

Welcome to the Scattered Shards IC Thread!
For more detailed information or to ask specific questions, or to just hang out and say hello, please check out our current OOC thread, which you can find within /rp/'s board.

This is a modern fantasy roleplay based on the universe surrounding Type-Moon's Tsukihime and Fate/Stay Night storylines.
You can find the Wiki for the roleplay here: http://scattered-shards.wikia.com/wiki/Contents
And the Type-Moon wiki here: http://typemoon.wikia.com/wiki/TYPE-MOON_Wiki

Good luck everyone, and thanks for providing the interest necessary to get us to this point!

Alicia Augustine Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 852578

File: 1415629049414.jpg (122.32 KB, 500x705, Stapler.jpg)

Wednesday 29th October, 3:20pm
Junction City High School Grounds
I'll catch you both tomorrow then - have a good evening!

>A brief curtsy followed her goodbye to Ebony and Rachel. It wasn't something she entirely felt the need to do, but people seemed to enjoy it when she did so; perhaps they considered it a mark of her status? Waving the two girls goodbye, she proceeded west across the school grounds amidst hundreds of others. 6th period had ended, their bags packed, and everyone was going home for the evening. Some would head North, some would head West, but in the end they'd all gather back here the next day at around 8 o'clock. It was a tiresome routine, one that got to her as much as anyone else, but unlike them her education didn't end when the bell rang.

>Alicia Augustine Archard - some called her the 'Triple A Title of Junction High', though whether that was a compliment directed her way varied from person to person. She certainly held herself to her style of living and her own version of prestige, but these days a 'AAA Video Game' simply meant it was overpriced slog that wasn't worth your time. It was pretty clear which thought was directed her way through people's expressions when she would walk down the corridor.

>No matter. They could think whatever they wanted and they'd still have no real impact on the world. She was different.

>She was a magus.

>Part of a world the untold masses could never dream of, she felt safe and secure in the thought that her after-school studies into the realms of Magecraft provided a valiant purpose in life, and though the training, learning, mistakes and successes had all been veritably tough over the years, she had hardened herself as a person and a magus, becoming the heir to the Archard family her Father had always wanted.

>Professional. Responsible. Unyielding. That was what she needed to be, far more than anything else. Whether or not she was looked up to by the rest of the student body or looked down upon with scorn mattered little in comparison. This was the attitude she had managed to uphold for the last few years, and it likely contributed to people's vision of her as a 'cold, stuck-up b**-



>Seven Eleven, close to Junction Elementary School

>Perhaps her earlier mindset had gotten to her a little more than she thought it had, because here she found herself in a convenience store on her way home from School to buy some sugary goodness and ease herself off. Given that she had some bits and pieces to do that night in the cellar, it felt like a good idea to have something now so she felt satisfied later. Being able to humble yourself and wait was an admirable trait, but sometimes the stomach called.

>Maybe she could get a magazine while she was a it, too.

>Thankfully for her the store was relatively quiet - most students stopped at the mini-mall if they wanted to grab something after school or hang out, but because she always went straight home it was, well... 'more convenient' to use the convenience store. Having entered through the automatic doors and headed left, the heels of her shoes tapping lightly against the floor and almost echoing in the quiet, she smiled toward the lady at the counter before passing across a couple of isles, reaching the last one along, containing the snacks on one side and magazines/newspapers etc on the other, by the windows.

>Of course, as soon as she turned the corner, she froze in place. It was supposed to be a simple case of getting the goods and leaving, why did she have to be here of all places? The last thing she needed was a headache. Naturally, she couldn't just back down - she was Alicia Augustine Archard and she wasn't about to run away, scared of unwanted social interaction. She came here for sugar and light gossip, and by the power vested in her she was going to get them!

>So, she ended up flicking through one of the magazines on the shelf, not particularly caring (or trying not to show it) whether the girl, practically next to her, had noticed her presence or not. Either way, she was about to find out.


>The greeting was a very plain, flat one, her eyes never leaving the pages she was going through.

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 852584

File: 1415630871659.jpg (397.18 KB, 750x1084, 1415230776028.jpg)


It was her.

Of course she'd show up to ruin an otherwise alright day.
Summer Reynolds Jiang
Her eyes narrowing as she focuses her attention on the Women's Health magazine before her, ironically surrounded by the most sickeningly unhealthy foods she could imagine, the relatively young magus tries to contain the bile rising in the back of her throat. She hated anything to do with the nasty, cold-hearted girl next to her, and if it weren't for her grandmother's insistence, she'd have moved away because of her, no matter how much her mother pleaded with her to stay.

As much as she despised Alicia, she loved her nan more.


Even saying her name left a bad taste in her mouth. How could she have ever been friends with this insufferable bitch?

"Here for your daily dose of processed food and sugar?"

She had always given her old "friend" a hard time about eating what she saw as garbage, and since the day they'd violently broken apart, she'd taken a special joy in pointing out how the things Alicia enjoyed were actively shortening her life span.

Turning to face her, a slightly curious expression mixed with her best impression of Alicia's haughty, condescending look she always gave, the redhead asks,

"Or are you here for another reason?"
This post was edited by its author on .

Alicia Augustine Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 852669

File: 1415652516484.jpg (157.23 KB, 500x500, Dafuk you say.jpg)

>Not bothering to respond to her initial comment, Alicia kept her eyes on the magazine she held. Having simply grabbed one from the stand, the only thing she knew was that it was pink and at least wasn't from the top shelf, plastered with specific kinds of images. Aside from that, she wasn't reading it - present company prevented her from concentrating properly, but at the same time she couldn't just ignore her. Whether she liked it or not, there was good reason as to why they had to stay in contact, at least for brief periods of time.

I was simply wandering over to grab a few things before heading home. I honestly never expected to see you here.

>Though her words were fine enough, her tone was a tad strained as though it were incredibly inconvenient simply being in the conversation. That, and despite Summer actually turning to face her, Alicia had opted not to even bat an eye in her direction.

I'd hoped to get myself something to read on the off-chance that it might - Oh.

>Having simply been flipping the pages and looking at the pictures to get a general feel of the thing, she'd stopped at a page that featured the woman she was trying to avoid not five feet away from her. It wasn't a particularly skimpy picture and. in fact, the outfit looked good on her from an objective standpoint, but it was precisely because of those little nuances that she immediately closed the pages, placing it back on the shelf with a sigh.

Well, that one's useless.

>Finally, having no reason not to turn her way, with a sway of her loose purple hair the now-Senior of Junction High gave a look in the graduate's direction that showed nothing but the cold vision of detachment.

Here to waste your time as usual, then? Instead of throwing flippant comments at me, you can always go home and actually be productive.

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 852749

File: 1415662062151.jpg (46.36 KB, 441x750, tumblr_ne744gJBUz1qze9qao1_500…)

Hands on hips, the young woman holds back a scowl. She wasn't going to get upset over this. Not after such a nice, relaxing day. Not after such a nice breakfast. Not after almost a month of going without seeing this horrible, horrible person.

"I could say the same to you."

Simply standing there, staring at her for a moment, the bitterness in her fails, if only momentarily.

She missed her friend. Her best friend. The best she'd ever had, and probably ever would have. She missed that so incredibly, heartbreakingly much...

...But she'd changed, and that made it hurt so much more, because no matter what she did, no matter what spells she cast or deals she made, this cold, heartless... Parody of Alicia would never be the person she was friends with all those years ago. Now she was just another jeering face, soon to be the jeering face, that had followed her throughout her entire life, saying she wasn't good enough; that even a random, unaffiliated mage demanded more respect than her. That her and her mother's very existence was a mockery of her ancestors' lives.

She was going to be the one who every mage looked to when asked if it was alright if she came to a gathering.

She was going to be the one to let every little child know not to play with Miss Summer's children because they were "third-rate magi".

She was going to be the one who found every little problem wrong with every single one of her family members and made it public knowledge with a smile on her face.

Yet no matter what, she was doomed to see the smiling, happy girl she'd thought of as a second sister behind that cold, unfeeling face every time they spoke.

And she hated her for it.
This post was edited by its author on .

Alicia Augustine Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 852819

File: 1415667977525.jpg (53.42 KB, 500x281, Unimpressed.jpg)

>Once again, her powered glare was met with a cold, unfeeling one. Yet that mask was holding back a great deal of emotion of her own, as it always did. Proper magi could not bear their weakness on their face in the presence of others, especially those that they presided over when in a position like the one she was going to fill. Such a thing would only invite trouble and turmoil.

>Because she suppressed it so much, she didn't know which was stronger; the fond memories, or the ones that made her teeth clench. Back then, Alicia had admired her so much for trying to revive a family that had nothing - she'd been given everything her whole life, and even though she'd had to work to achieve a lot of it, she had her father behind her every step of the way and the magic crest to help her grasp the basics. Summer never had any of that, yet she still put so much effort in and produced some amazing things.

>But then she started getting more health-conscious, started picking at her for what she ate, how often she exercised, tried to get her to come with her and do all these weird workouts, and it just got worse. Summer had the freedom to do all that, to choose what she wanted to do and when, but for her it was like having two of her Father, telling her what to do and how she should live her life. She got tired of it, she snapped, and before she knew it the situation had become like this.

>She loathed Summer for the way she was so casually using all the freedom she had, and having the gall to criticise her on the way she lived just because she had the right to choose. Despite it all, though, she couldn't afford to let any of it leak out. Alicia was the heir to the role of Junction City's Second Owner, and she had to start acting like it.

>Deciding to be the one to turn away, she let out a dejected sigh, actually paying attention to what magazine she would end up choosing. It didn't really matter to her whether Summer featured in it anymore, what she did with her personal life shouldn't matter anymore. Quickly choosing the one with an article about cats featured on the front cover, she placed it beneath her arm and returned her gaze to Summer, having returned to her cold and professional self.

Father will be visiting you tomorrow at the usual time. I don't suspect there will be much to tell him, as usual, but I thought I should at least give a reminder.

>Given that Summer was intent on restarting her family line of magi relatively on her own, she had somewhat become the 'head' of that new line and thus bore the responsibility for as long as she continued to practice the art of Thaumaturgy.

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 852824

File: 1415668873329.png (332.25 KB, 467x490, Oh.png)

She'd known, and she was not happy about it. He always made at least one snide comment about their family while he was there, and always seemed so overly curious and inquisitive that even her most innocuous of experiments made her feel guilty.

Folding her arms, the young woman looks away, focusing on a rack of candy bars across the room.

It had been years since she'd had one...

"I know. I hope he's able to stay for dinner this time."

Of course he wouldn't, even if he were starving and had all the time in the world.

"...And for your information, I do have something to tell him."

Miyuki Akamine !MrCarnage2 853208

File: 1415684405406.png (838.32 KB, 1920x1080, 26.png)

Wednesday 29th October, 5:30pm
>School had ended and at this time most students had gone home to study or hang around town doing their absolute best to avoid being productive in any way shape or form. But for the few unlucky bastards who needed a job to get through high-school if only because their parents demanded it or through financial needs, the end of school only meant the start of an equally hellish experience in one way or another. For a person like Miyuki, a magus of the Akamine family, said notions of responsibility and experience went double as the end of the 5 to 9 pm work shift only meant the start of her own magical practice and research whilst all the while training for her weekend hunt.

That will be 65.45, will you be paying cash or debit today?

Thank you, do you have the air miles card?

Will you be needing a bag?

Thank you have a nice day.

Hello, did you find everything you were looking for?

>On and on the repetition went, the ceaseless interactions with customers, floor employees and managers providing her with an abundance of experience interacting with people throughout which Miyuki constantly maintained the same faint smile tinted with fatigue she had mimicked off her fellow employees in an attempt to blend in with her environment as much as possible and come to truly embody what it meant to be a high school student working retail after class was over.

>Of course, for one such as her, fatigue could only be a feigned emotion. Her family held to the tradition of training the human body to its highest potential as a crucial part of its doctrine and, as such, had made it a point long ago for Miyuki's endurance to allow her to operate entirely normally with only two or three hours' worth of meditation every night thus freeing her of the burden of sleep and allowing her to spend her nights training and studying instead of lying in a bed with an empty head waiting for the sun to rise.

>Miyuki had no friends at school and the other magus families held to their own for the most part, neither daughters of the Summer or Archard clan bothered her much and that was exactly the way she and her family liked it. Their relationships being summarized as being simple concise exchanges of services from one party to another. During her weekend hunts it wasn’t rare for her and the other members of her clan to come across rare and valuable materials used in advanced magecraft rituals and it was mostly through its commerce to other mages that the Akamine family maintained a rather wealthy situation in spite of otherwise owning little more than a Shinto shrine on the outskirts of Junction City.

>This had been the state of affairs for the longest time, a status quo that went on for as long as Miyuki could remember… but who could tell for how much longer something like that could last.

Kai Forsyth!uvadBiRdiE 853226

File: 1415686727598.gif (558.48 KB, 160x175, tumblr_nd778hiz5J1rlaxc8o4_r1_…)

>As the eldest child of the house, Kai had a lot of responsibilities. While his parents were off doing ~magic stuff~, he had to get the concrete, household duties done. Walk Grace home from school, make sure the cats were fed, pick the old apples up off the lawn, get in his volunteer hours... those kinds of things. Today, it just so happened that his post-school chores had an additional component: buy some groceries.

>If there was one thing in this world Kai hated most, it was grocery shopping.

>It sucked out your soul. Wandering the aisles for hours on end, checking each and every shelf to make sure you didn't miss that one brand-name ingredient Mom needed for dinner or some ritual. If he came home with the wrong groceries, he'd be sent right back to buy those, and then some.

>It was horrifying.

>This time wasn't too bad, at least. He was told the grocery list in explicit detail, and wrote it down as his mother narrated it, so he wouldn't forget a single thing. He just kinda... sorta... maybe lost the list on the way to the store.

>Well, he didn't lose it. He just, well, he tore it up. Maybe chewed it, just a little.

>It was a bad habit that wasn't helped by the waxing of the moon. It got rid of the stress induced by grocery shopping, only to replace it with stress induced by grocery shopping without a list.

>He was absolutely, 100% certain that he got everything that was on the list, though!

>The black-haired young man wearing a light jacket, T-shirt, and jeans, dumps his groceries at the register when it's finally his turn. A basket containing two cartons of eggs and a bag of jerky, balanced precariously atop two huge bags of cat food. All in all, it had to weigh something like forty pounds.

>Kai gives an audible sigh at the effort, and glances over at the cashier. She'd make this quick, right?


>He blinks curiously.

>Why did she look familiar?

Miyuki Akamine !MrCarnage2 853235

File: 1415688138840.png (909.83 KB, 1920x1080, 163.png)

>As the next of the endless line of customers stepped up to her register, Miyuki felt herself frown ever so slightly in spite of herself. Looking at the man that stood before her, her eyes saw being whose entire body permeated with magic inherent to its own self whereas every other costumer only ever glowed with the faint light of their limited willpower.

>Without a word, Miyuki noted down the man's appearance in great detail and even went so far as to feel out the texture of the magic embodied in the man. From that, she felt a strong link to the earth itself, a magic wild and ancient with deep ties to blood and freedom - inhuman without a doubt. To her eyes it seemed as though the man's blood stream were a spell in of itself that continuously self-sustaining itself through the anchor that was his physical body - completely unnatural, all of it.

>Her family would hear of this incident, she would make sure of that. If this man was some creature or other than she would take care of it at her earliest convenience and that would settle matters permanently.

Will you be paying with cash or credit Sir?

>The girl said, her faint tired smile no longer apparent, instead it was replaced with a frowning weary expression and the grave eyes of someone faced with a serious dilemma.

>The nametag emblazoned on her uniform with the word "Miyuki" weighing her down as it exposed her identity to a sure enemy.

Kai Forsyth!uvadBiRdiE 853244

File: 1415688898488.gif (389.1 KB, 160x175, tumblr_nd778hiz5J1rlaxc8o8_r1_…)

>Wow, she got really sour when he stepped up. Kai's curious stare shifts to a worried frown. Did he smell? No, he showered after track practice and didn't roll in anything on the way here, so he had to be fine.

Um... cash.

>He looks away from the judgmental young woman and busies himself with wiggling his wallet out of his pocket.

You go to, uh, Junction High, right?
>He sniffs, as if suffering from a cold, as he opens the old leather wallet.
I swear I've seen you around. I'm in track and run around the place a lot, so I see lots of different faces when I run. Yours just looks familiar. Uhhh...
>He trails off, mouth open as he seemingly searches for something to say.

>Her scent... was overly familiar. He could taste it, the way he could when he went to the attic and the prana tickled the roof of his mouth. She was some kind of magus, but she didn't belong to any of the families he knew.

>Shutting his big fat maw, he stands on the tips of his toes to watch her scan the items, doing anything he can to avoid eye contact at this point.

Miyuki, right?

Miyuki Akamine !MrCarnage2 853251

File: 1415690294059.png (997.74 KB, 1920x1080, 6.png)



>Funny that, she never remembered seeing someone like him around school before. Looking at his body definition the man looked to be nineteen or twenty but if she had never met him at school before... did that make him a first year? Even so, how was it that she never saw him but he recognized her? Had he been watching her, and if so, how was it that he was able to observe her without her knowing about it?

I'm really sorry but I don't recognize you, are you, maybe, a transfer student?

>She asked as she regained her composure and placed the mask of friendly boredom she wore at work. Though that still didn't answer how the creature knew about her or would make it a point to memorize her identity after she did her absolute best to mask the prana coming off her body. Was he perhaps someone who had memorized the entire student registry, had he paid someone in her class to give him information or were his sense simply so sensitive that he could make out even the faintest particles in the air? How far did his knowledge stretch and, more importantly, what would he make of it?

>As these questions raced through the young girl's head, she very professionally took Kai's money and handed him back his change, the motion being both smooth and controlled - the result of countless repetition of the same movement for hours on end every day of the week.

Kai Forsyth!uvadBiRdiE 853255

File: 1415691167592.png (341.42 KB, 883x640, Rogue_won't_let_Frosch_disappe…)

>Yeah, he got her name right! Which was really easy to do, considering it was right there on her name tag. Whoops.

>At her not recognizing him, he just smiles, and rubs the back of his head.

Nah, I'm a sophomore! I just got the chance to take some advanced classes this year, so if you're a senior, you probably didn't see me last year. Coach thinks I'm really good and lets me be his assistant for the senior gym class. It's way better than taking geometry that period or something.

>He takes the change, and carefully slides it back into his wallet. This time, when he looks up, he actually makes eye contact.

You should check out the track and field team sometime! We always need more girl sprinters. And I'm not saying that just because Coach'll give ten bucks to anybody who brings in a new person in time for regionals.

Miyuki Akamine !MrCarnage2 853260

File: 1415692648477.png (380.05 KB, 957x1080, 113.png)


Oh so you like to stare at Senior girls while they work out.

>Well now wasn't he a friendly one. For an unnatural monstrosity masking itself as a human being, he sure knew how to feign human empathy to a degree that was honestly admirable if equally repugnant for its immorality. Still, her "school acquaintance" had come to visit her at work and was honestly making friendly chatter. The expected response from her floor manager and the two other cashiers listening in on the conversation would be for her to smile back and make a friendly yet firm joke of his last offer.

I'm a little too busy holding down a job to be running around school with a bunch of sweaty girls but I'll probably check out that practice you mentioned.

>That answer should satisfy them with a little bit of harmless gossip without negatively impacting any of her work relationships. That being said, the customer standing behind Kai was looking more and more aggravated for having to suffer through what he undoubtedly interpreted as being lazy teenagers flirting around when they aught to be doing homework and their respective job. Wrapping things up here was likely the smartest course of action before he had an outburst.

>And so, as she handed over Kai's bags, Miyuki smiled brighter than she had before and asked.

Oh... what was your name again?

I'm not sure I caught it...

Kai Forsyth!uvadBiRdiE 853263

File: 1415693327402.gif (531.72 KB, 160x175, tumblr_nd778hiz5J1rlaxc8o9_r1_…)

>Welp, that shut him up. Cheeks flushing a bright red, Kai takes a half-step back, a little startled by that assumption. It was kinda nice to watch, but girls were icky!
N-no, I just like playing sports!
>This girl was weird, and he was honestly kinda glad he never ran into her at school. She could go from being annoyed, to scary, to joking, way too fast, like she was a natural at switching emotions like that. Definitely a creep of a magus.
>He manages a friendly, if awkward, smile in return.

G-great! I try to attend all the practices, so you might just see me there!
>More interaction with weird girl, yay.

>He takes the groceries, heaving the bags of catfood onto his shoulder and holding the bag of eggs and jerky in his other hand. He doesn't look bothered by the weight.

Oh, I'm Kai! Kai Forsyth. My family's been around Junction for a while, so you might've heard of us!

>Completely unaware of the increasingly irritated customer behind him, the young man stands there, smiling at the cashier.

I'd shake your hand, but--
>He nods his head towards the bags occupying his arms.
--it was nice meeting you, Miyuki!

Miyuki Akamine !MrCarnage2 853273

File: 1415694880368.png (1.05 MB, 1920x1080, 167.png)


Right back at you Kai!

>Offering a small wave back at the boy whilst he walked out of the store, Miyuki quickly apologized to the next customer and efficiently took care of his purchases. Once that was taken care of, Miyuki took the opportunity offered by a small lull in customers to turn her gaze back towards the entrance and look out the exit the man had used to depart.


>That he would use that name now was something of an anomaly in of itself that warranted asking her elders about. Had the magus couple taken in an unnatural aberration as a child of their own or had the creature known of their inability to conceive a child and was passing itself off as their adopted offspring? Either way the end result would be the same once her family found out of the boy's existence.

>She would find him and kill him.

>The fact was as immutable as the ground they trod upon and her eyes took on the hardness of amethysts showing for a brief moment the woman that lurked behind the many emotional masks she wore in her public life.

>Her motivations were not so much bloodlust as they were closer to religious zeal. Hers and her family's duty was to cleanse the land of any potentially dangerous and supernatural threats that lurked within and without of Junction City that might disrupt the natural order of things. That boy's very existence was a crime she would not overlook and would wipe off the face of this Earth.

>What had happened just then was more of a formal exchange of terms between mortal enemies, a curtesy to introduce one another Miyuki seldom offered her victims before wiping out their very existence. Though, weather or not the boy actually acknowledged the meeting for what it was was an entirely different matter altogether. Either way, she at least knew the name of her next mark.

>Next time they met in the public sphere, blood would be spilt and if things went her way, that boy would die.
This post was edited by its author on .

Alicia Augustine Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 853278

File: 1415705248103.jpg (78.05 KB, 500x500, Jeez.jpg)

>It wasn't entirely easy to tell what she had to say, mostly because unlike herself, Summer wasn't particularly good at hiding her emotions. It was easy to tell when she was frustrated or annoyed simply because of the stance she would take and the way she would speak.Did she plan on providing a snide comment to the one granting permission for them to practice magic on this sacred ground or did she actually have magecraft development to report and talk about? Whatever the case, Alicia was at least surprised to hear she had something to say.

>The only question now was how to deal with her statement... and how to deal with the feelings she couldn't abide; being separated for a month only to bump into each other here certainly caused a stirring of the mind and heart.

Roll 1d1000 = 299
>E - Path of the Magus
>O - Path of Humanity

Alicia Augustine Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 853281

File: 1415706810633.png (165.98 KB, 500x281, Good.png)

>It really was a complicated set of feelings. As tense as the atmosphere was, and as long as their history was, there was definitely a part of her that was glad to see her old friend doing well. It wasn't enough to break through the barriers they had placed between them up until that point, she still disliked Summer a great deal for her flagrant misuse of her time and wanted to leave the store and get on with her day, but even so...

I'll see if I can convince him to take some time. Your mother's cooking is a rare treat nowadays.

>A genuine smile, if only a flicker of one. Her thoughts had shifted slightly when Summer mentioned so forcefully that she had something to say, which pushed the impression onto her mind that Summer was still going down her path as a magus - it made her happy, and cleared a very small portion of doubt inside if only for a moment.

>With that said, she averted her gaze, Summer's presence still something she was uncomfortable with as she flicked through the new magazine she'd picked up. Within a few pages, she came across the dilemna yet again of a full-page spread advert, the same one as before, detailing her friend in that nice dress and all the accessories.

...... maybe I could use one of those bags.

>No vicious comment, no disgusted placement of the magazine back on the shelf. Whilst she had no more words for Summer herself, afraid that if she kept speaking this good feeling would vanish very quickly, she turned to the shelves behind her, picked out a few sugary treats without really knowing what she'd grabbed hold of and stepped straight past the other girl, hopefully before she could make a comment about what she was going to eat.

Ah, hello.
Yes, just these please.

>The cashier seemed a little disturbed, though with it being a quiet store at the moment it wasn't surprising that their little argument had reached the woman. A little embarassed, Alicia could only make an awkward smile as the transaction took place, trying not to reflect on the public display she and her rival had just made.

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 853329

File: 1415727898530.png (249.24 KB, 399x473, Surprise.png)


Had she just been friendly?

It wasn't even as if she had anything to gain from it. Alicia had just decided she was going to be nice.

She had to wonder. If the future Second Owner had this potential, did that mean she still wanted to be friends deep down? Alicia might not be the same smiling girl she was best friends with all that time ago, but that didn't mean that, if she had this kinder side, they couldn't be friends at some point.

She just had to pray that her old friend was willing to show this side more.


She could reach out right now. She could push this kindness as far as it would go, catch her in a moment of weakness. She could undo years of hurt and make them being friends a possibility again.


But she doesn't. She simply watches Alicia walk off, silent, wondering what just happened.

Alicia!pR.BaFF/uk 853362

File: 1415740583575.gif (941.69 KB, 500x269, Pretty symbols.gif)

>She still didn't know what came over her earlier, which meant it was multiple things combining into one outcome. Perhaps the old memories, the thoughts all compiling because of a chance meeting and certain things being said, perhaps it was vain hopes brought into that mix as well. Whatever the case, she couldn't risk it turning worse because of any actions being made between the both of them. With her magazine and chocolates bought, she quickly left the store through the automatic doors and stepped out into the street.

>It was getting close to 4pm, now. The skies really started getting dark at around 4:30 these days, so it was in her best interest to head home. As focused as she was on getting back, she still held a little hope that perhaps next time she and Summer met would be sooner than before.

>After all, even if they weren't friends like they used to be, not getting along with them was better than not knowing them at all... right?

>Maybe she really should start going with her father on those visits, when she didn't have school at least.



>---Archard Family Household---
>---The Basement---
[[ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4xsfkhcw-A ]]

I am the Keeper of the Gate.

>The tumblers turned in the lock, all clicking into place and opening the path. She could feel the rush, the flow, it was as though her senses were awakening. Opening one's magic circuits was a sensation the body could never truly grow numb to; it was much like regaining a lost limb whilst at the same time forcing you to recognise the ones you had.

>Like a pipeline into her hands, the prana flowed with practiced precision. A soft, circuit-like violet glow shone from her arms, spreading from within her all the way to her fingertips. She could feel the boundary around her, the 6 walls that prevented any mana or prana from leaking. These were the walls of her family's Workshop located beneath the surface, a place to practice, hone and craft thaumaturgical techniques.

>This night, like many nights before, she was to observe the boundary field, analyse it to find any weaknesses, and finally reconstruct the barrier to repair it. This was always her first and her last activity - a practice portion before the real lesson began and a constant reminder of basic boundary field composition. It had become so often a task that she had made a small game of it, timing herself in the amount of time it would take to cure the imperfections. It was a nice challenge before studying.

... 5 seconds. I must be a little distracted by what happened earlier today.

>Given that it was a boundary field she was intimately familiar with, one she had known almost since birth, it had long gotten to the point where she could perform all the basic tasks within a couple of seconds, especially with the amount of maintenance it got this way. Such a lapse only proved that she needed to be better, to concentrate harder.

I'll take the time to clear my head, and see how things go at the end.
For now, if I remember right...

>She wanted to present a new kind of phantasmal familiar to her father as a birthday gift. Regular familiars were easy to bind by utilising local wildlife or alchemical sources, but the Phantasmal type were made purely from prana. They were only limited by the amount of control one had over the magecraft and one's own imagination - assuming that the basic techniques had been taught, of course.

>Though she had the capability to create lesser phantasmal familiars of her own, she had yet to truly make something the Archard family considered a staple in maturing as a magus of their blood - the development and successful application of what they had named a 'Noble Phantasmal Familiar'.

>The name itself was a play on the idea of a commonly understood Noble Phantasm, a power the likes of which few magi could ever reach in the modern era, but it was merely that - a play on the idea. In reality, the technique the Archards had developed was simply a Phantasmal Familiar that was unique unto themselves and represented their path as magi - from an objective standpoint it held no more power than an ordinary familiar, but there was an aspect to the ritual itself that caused a certain trick to occur. It was never something that was passed down via the Magic Crest because it was a trial, a test of one's own efforts in magecraft.

>If Alicia intended to succeed at this trial and perform the 'trick' necessary by the time her Father's birthday arrived this year, she would need to bring the culmination of all her magical trials across her entire life, from the time she was first receiving her family's legacy until now, to fruition within the next few months.

And so, once again... into the night.

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 853373

File: 1415743781114.jpg (241.24 KB, 1280x1751, 1415221751835.jpg)

Wednesday, 29th of October 6:43 PM
Around the Clock Fitness Center
She'd needed this.

After that confrontation earlier in the day, she'd needed the mind-clearing burn of exercise. Her hair was even still wet, having just come from the pool.

But now it was time for her favorite part: Yoga, alone.

Making her way to the end of a little-used hall, the woman flicks on the lights of a mostly-empty room with a wall-length mirror, another wall taken up by a wall of interior windows and several rolled up mats in the corner, slipping inside and taking up her space in the farthest corner of the room. She was fairly visible to anyone walking by the rarely-touched set of weights, but no one ever used those, and anyone who did usually recognized her by now, didn't care, or didn't know who she was, so didn't bother her. This was her peaceful, quiet time, away from her mother and sister and grandmother, away from the magus society and away from people as a whole. Where it was just her and her thoughts.

It seemed dumb and pointless and a waste of time to some people, but it made her happy, and she understood why it was so important to her family's history. She couldn't imagine life without this.

Rolling out a mat, the woman sets her towel aside and begins her preparatory stretches. Even after four years of daily yoga with very rare days where she missed it, she still felt the need to stretch first. Otherwise it wouldn't be nearly as comfortable or calming.

Shiro Yamada!MaraKrYP7s 853407

File: 1415750892298.jpg (44.36 KB, 313x287, Puer00135.jpg)

>Just on the other side of the room and the windows, there were several people that were facing off against each other in pairs, yelling, sweating, and throwing punches and kicks at each other. Compared to the nearly empty, tranquil room that was the Yoga room, right next to it was one of the more active and louder parts of the gym: the martial arts class.

>In it, there were many people from around Junction City that come to spar and learn from those that have already mastered what they were also taught before. That day, it was a normal day for the pupils that visit regularly. They stretched, they were taught kicks and punches and stances, and afterwards, they partnered up and began sparring what they were just taught with on opponents.

>Among many of the people that attended this class, there was one that stood out more than just a stick in the mud. Of all the people with naturally colored hair, there was Shiro, whose hair was as white as snow. No one ever seemed to ask why his hair was white. They all assumed that he dyed it himself and was only looking for attention, but it was far from that.

>Today, his opponent was one of the members that has also started the class out with him from way back when. Although he never really got to know him from the time that they began the class, he did respect the person's skill and technique whenever they sparred together. Anytime they did, the results of the sparring may vary. Sometimes Shiro would win, sometimes his colleague would win. They were both evenly matched, and everyone else in the class knew it.

>Once the sparring began, several punches between the two were traded. Unlike his colleague, who would block most of the punches that Shiro would deliver, he dodged most of what he could avoid and try not to leave any openings for his partner to attack. However, one of the punches managed to hit Shiro square in his chest and knocked him backwards, hitting one of the windows that separated the yoga room and the martial arts class.

>He pulled himself off from the wall and focused back onto his opponent, trying to shake off the pain in his back and his chest. If he was going to be that rough, then Shiro may as well do the same. His opponent was already on the offensive, trying to get him closer to the window so he'd have less space to dodge his attacks. With the room between Shiro and the wall getting closer and closer, he had no choice but to end the fight now.

>Once his opponent threw another punch at him, he ducked right under it and had a window of opportunity open to him. With his opponent now open, he delivered a punch straight to his abdomen, forcing him to stagger backwards and slouch over because of the pain in his stomach. Without a moment's hesitation, Shiro had already caught up and delivered a roundhouse kick to the side of his head. Shiro watched as his opponent fall to the floor because of his kick and rub his stomach and temple. It seems like today, Shiro's won this match with him. With the sparring session over, he helped his colleague up and apologized about his forcefulness on him. His partner was still obviously in pain, but he smiled through it in the end and they both bowed towards each other.

>As his partner limped off to get some rest, Shiro looked back at the window that he was punched into and returned to inspect it for any damage or blood on it. From the looks of things, it doesn't seem like anything was broken at all, thankfully. But, while he was there, he decided to take a quick look at what was inside the other room. Anytime he arrived at the gym for class, he would get a glimpse of it from afar and would always see no one inside the room. Most of the time, it'd be empty and untouched by nobody, despite the fact that the lights were on. He figured that someone was just preparing the room for the next session of whatever was going on in there and leave it at that.

>However, now that he got a closer view of inside the room, out of the corner of his eye, he saw a person, a lone person in the one corner of the room by herself. Was she the reason why the lights were on all the time? Was that why he didn't see her before? It was because she was always in the corner of the room?

>Now that he's seen her, she looked almost.. familiar. He's swears that he's seen her somewhere before, but he can't pinpoint where exactly. He continued staring at her with a hand to his chin, trying to figure out where he's seen that redhead before. However, the way he was looking at her probably seemed a lot more creepier than it should.

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 853423

File: 1415754566757.jpg (136.34 KB, 631x446, tumblr_nemkfloeC91t01xvho1_128…)

Luckily for him, she was far too wrapped up in her own routine to notice.

Finishing her stretching, the young woman spreads out the mat, sitting on it and beginning her session by extending one leg as far out as it would go, and then reaching as far as she could for the ball of her foot.

Unsurprisingly for someone who does such a thing daily, she stretches so far as to be able to touch the heel of her foot with the tips of her fingers...


...Did that guy staring at her recognize her as well?

She'd dealt with her fair share of people asking for autographs. At least, in a number reasonable for someone who was essentially a local celebrity amongst the normal human population. And, for the most part anyway, they all seemed like normal people, and didn't act creepy or scary at all.

But this guy...

Well, safe to say he kinda looked the part of someone who wasn't exactly normal.

Though she'd still happily sign anything, if only so she didn't seem like a bitch.

Shiro Yamada!MaraKrYP7s 853611

File: 1415770527312.jpg (115.29 KB, 392x654, Puer00058.jpg)

>He had many opportunities to try and get a good look at her body for some sort of lust towards the girl, but he didn't. He was more focused on trying to figure out where he even saw her before. He knows for absolutely certain that he's never met this person before, since he rarely ever talks to anyone other than Kai.

>But as much as he'd like to sit and retrace his steps back to where he most recently saw her, he had go back to attending to his class before he gets yelled at. So, he leaned off of the unbroken window and turned back around to attend to the class that he was focusing on previously. Shortly after he turned his attention back, however, the instructor decided that the class would end early. It appears that his wife was pregnant and she just recently called him to say that her water broke.

>Everyone in the room was caught off guard for that moment. But once the instructor himself left, everyone got out of their stunned trance and began taking their things to slug off back to their homes. While everyone left, Shiro stayed behind to wipe off the sweat with a towel that he brought earlier and prepared to pack up his stuff. Normally, he'd leave immediately and without a word as he walked out, but this time he stopped himself from walking out and looked back to the window where he saw that girl. He felt that this was fairly out of character for him, but his curiosity was too great for him to just ignore.

>As he walked up to the door that connected the martial arts room to the room that girl was in, he felt a pang of anxiety go through his body. He was afraid that he'd embarrass himself in front of whoever this girl was and be left ashamed. He might as well just leave the girl alone to whatever she was doing. But he had to know. Once he finds out who she was, he apologizes and leaves.

>With one deep breath, he opened the door and poked his head through to the empty room. He scanned around to make sure there was no one else inside but just the both of them, and then spotted the familiar-looking girl earlier. But just as soon as he saw her, he.. had no clue how to actually go about asking her about who she was.

>He smiled rather awkwardly and raised a hand to wave at her, if it was doing anything, he hopes it's making him look less like a huge creep and more like a normal person.

Uh... heeeyy...

>Once he walked in, the first thing that she'd notice from him was the fact that his hair was snow white. The second thing that she'd probably notice was the eye patch that covered his left eye. Her suspicions were correct about him being not normal.

>He rubbed the back of his head and tried not to make eye contact with her by looking around at the rest of the empty room. He just had to ask. Once he gets an answer to his question, whatever it may be, he'll be satisfied and he'll leave.

I, uh.. I was just wondering if I've ever seen you anywhere before.

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 853631

File: 1415772126100.png (180.57 KB, 375x418, Stretchystretch.png)


Meeting his eyes, and not being nearly as nervous keeping them on his face, the young woman stops mid-stretch, holding her position for a few moments before switching to the other leg and repeating the process of reaching and stretching and holding.

"Oh, yes. I've been in quite a few magazines lately."

...That probably sounded fairly pretentious, the way she said it.

"My name is Summer Miles. I'm a model."

Yeah, no real way to say that without sounding at least a little bit like a bitch.

"So yes, it's entirely possible you've seen me in a magazine before, or seen me online."

She'd given this talk so often before that, at this point, she was really tired of it to the point of not even getting the small satisfaction of being recognized. It was like the fame was a bearable side effect of her job, rather than the reason for it.

...Wasn't there a kid that'd been a class below her that had an eyepatch?

Come to think of it, he'd had white hair too, hadn't he?

"...I think I've seen you before. You were in Mister Dubois's homeroom, weren't you?"

Such a nice man. She wished that she'd had him for a teacher at some point, but she just didn't care enough about AP Physics to have him.

Shiro Yamada!MaraKrYP7s 853643

File: 1415773839337.png (17.12 KB, 215x273, Puer00098.png)

>Just as soon as she mentioned her being in several magazines, her name, and her profession even, the invisible light bulb inside his head turned on and he finally remembered where he saw her! Whenever he'd go out to get some snacks or something to drink, he'd see these magazines as he came into the store and some would have her image on it, posing in some sort of dress or outfit for the season. And in some of the magazines that he did purchase, he'd see her face in it as well, but didn't pay it much attention to it, or the fact that the girl even lived in the same city he did.

>He raised a hand to his face and groaned a little bit now that the realization came to him. He felt absolutely stupid now that she revealed who she was. But now that his curiosity was finally satisfied, it was high time for him to hold his own one-sided deal and leave with an apology and a thank you.

>But, he was stopped just before he could do anything with her own question. What really surprised him the most was the fact that she recognized him and his old homeroom teacher of all people. He thought that being a model would mean that she'd have too many personal responsibilities to remember whoever was at her old high school. But then again, he looked much.. different from the other students in the school. It's no big surprise that his appearance alone would make an impression on people.

Uh.. yeah, I used to have him as my homeroom teacher. I'm surprised you even remembered who I am, but I guess that's kinda hard considering.. you know, my white hair and this eye patch and all..

>Though, he'd figured that if she was as popular of a model, he'd see her more around the school and surrounded by.. well, pretty much anyone that looked up to her. Was he perhaps too busy in his own world to even notice? Or did he just not care about social matters with people that time?

So, from that question, I guess you go to my school too? And you're also juggling being a model? That's pretty impressive.

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 853648

File: 1415774675150.jpg (116.97 KB, 850x939, sample-a9cc6b790e13f5d03eb5ac8…)

Smiling and waving it off, the young woman adjusts herself and begins stretching her legs in the opposite way, reaching back to grab her toes and holding the position for several seconds before switching off to the other leg, her movements never betraying any hurry or unease. It was fairly obvious how routine this was for her.

"No, I graduated in May."

Letting go, the woman bends forward, keeping her crossed legs still while she presses her frame as close to the ground as it would go without changing position. Despite this, she still fails to look away for any significant amount of time.

"Though my little sister should be a freshman this year. July Miles? People call her Julie? Pink hair, talks a lot, extremely cute?"

She'd... Hold out on pointing out that she didn't really know his name or who he was, just that she had seen him before.

Shiro Yamada!MaraKrYP7s 853658

File: 1415776141916.png (26.52 KB, 366x234, Puer00089.png)

>Oh, she had graduated already. That explains why there weren't mobs of people surrounding the halls when someone comes in. Though, it was a strange feeling, knowing that a model like her used to go to his school just last year. It was almost surreal, even.

>Though, he was rather impressed by the woman's flexibility with her limbs. She was able to grab her toes while she laid her leg up, bending forward and onto the ground while her legs were crossed.. she had probably done this plenty of times before to be able to reach the amount of flexibility that he has now.

>However, while he was amazed by the fact that she was able to bend her body in such ways, his instinct as a male led his eyes down to the girl's chest, where he could clearly see down her bra. He then immediately realized that she was still paying attention to him despite being in such a position, and immediately shifted his view to the windows that he was looking through earlier.

Wha- huh?! July Miles? I-I don't think I recognize the name...

>It was clear from the look of his slightly red face that he was covering his tracks from being a peeping tom, albeit poorly. Nobody panics and stammers in a room where nothing is going on but just two people talking. Though, he doesn't know whether or not she noticed yet. He might as well continue the conversation like any normal person would.

Oh! I-I forgot my manners! I'm Shiro Yamada. I'm in my last year of high school, but I... don't really pay much attention to any of the new students. I guess that's why I didn't recognize your sister.

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 853715

File: 1415805373831.jpg (125.43 KB, 800x800, 53361981eddf336f2ce7f3c5ed9be0…)


"Really? That's too bad."

...He was embarrassed because of her yoga, wasn't he?

It wasn't the first time this'd happened. Some people couldn't help but see something sexual in it, then got red in the face for thinking such a thing. It's just something that happened when your face being especially pretty and getting plastered on basically every local fashion magazine was your job, she guessed.

"We don't really look all that much alike, anyway."

She'd gotten so mad when Julie had bleached her hair so she could dye it. It'd just been getting red and long and pretty like her own, and then she chopped it off, bleached all the red out and dyed it pink.

It was cute, but she missed her little sister who looked like her sometimes.

"Do you have Doctor Kent for Chemistry? Or AP Chemistry? His class is actually very interesting. He always likes to just take a day off per week to talk about new and interesting chemistry developments, or things he found relevant to our lessons. I remember pretty vividly when he brought so aerogel to class and let everyone who hadn't seen it before try and find its weakness."

It was relatively easy for her. It was the solid part of a gel with the liquid aspect replaced with gas, so while pressure or heat would do nothing, a sharp smack with a hammer shattered it like glass.

That was the one class she never really felt guilty using her magic in.

Shiro Yamada!MaraKrYP7s 853747

File: 1415813068606.png (65.72 KB, 582x438, Puer00060.png)

>He's absolutely worried over whether or not she had even noticed that he tried to get a good look at her assets. From the way she was calm and collected after the fact that he looked away made him think that she hasn't. Hopefully.

>But he had to wonder why he was still standing around awkwardly, talking to her about whatever was going on in school while she does her extreme stretching exercises. Usually by now, he'd already leave and be back at home in his shower, but this girl was more sociable than he had accounted for. He'd think that since she was alone and in the corner of the room, she'd want to be alone. However, here she was, mentioning her sister that apparently didn't look that similar to her.

>But then she went back into the subject of his school life and a certain teacher that she had. He doesn't remember having a teacher like Doctor Kent for his Chemistry teacher, but from the way she talked about him and how he teaches his class, he sounds like a fun teacher to have.

Huh.. Doctor Kent sounds like he really enjoyed teaching his subject. I had the unfortunate luck of being stuck in Mr. Oda's Chemistry class instead. He's pretty grouchy a lot of the time, but he does teach the class.. Well enough, I guess.

I got seated in the back of the class, though, so I get away with falling asleep plenty of times, believe it or not.

>Shiro chuckled a little too himself and his eyes gaze over at the door at the other end of the room. He doesn't want to make any attempt at looking at the girl he was speaking to. He can't run the risk of getting caught for being a pervert. That's not something he wants on his head when he's trying to live his relatively normal life.

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 853756

File: 1415814279660.jpg (1.34 MB, 1006x1795, 1415215982707.jpg)

Yeah, she was making him nervous.

Bringing her knees up to her chest, the woman wraps her arms around them and rests her chin there, continuing to speak to him in a position less likely to make him blush like a schoolboy caught peeping.

"I always listened as best I could in class, but Chemistry was really the only thing I was ever that great at. I actually had to ask Alicia for help quite often during Sophomore year."

She missed that time of her life...


"...So why did you come in here?"

It couldn't be just that he sort of recognized her. He had to want something.

Was it an excuse to ask for an autograph without being awkward?

Shiro Yamada!MaraKrYP7s 853764

File: 1415817594991.jpg (80.12 KB, 615x448, Puer00063.jpg)

>While he was solely concentrated on looking at various other objects that wasn't her chest, he still felt the urge to get another good look at her as a person rather than just a pair of boobs. There wasn't anything wrong with that, was there? All he is is just.. Observing her.

>With the one eye that wasn't covered up by an eyepatch, he cautiously shifted his view over to the stretching model, half expecting her to be in some other extreme position. But, it seems like his expectations ended up being false, for Summer was sitting on her mat like.. Well, like a regular person would. He doesn't know whether or not he was relieved or disappointed over fact that she was in a regular position now but he'll figures that doesn't really matter anymore.

>Though, what he didn't expect from her was her being a generally normal student. With being a model and having already graduated, one would think that she had plenty of good grades in school and lots of friends to be around, but that wasn't the case. His vision towards people like her must have been skewered for quite some time now. Whoever this Alicia person who, she sounded like a good friend to her.

>But, it seemed like be got rather caught up with the conversation that they had, fire once she asked him his reason for engaging her, he immediately reminded himself why he even came here in the first place. There was a look of realization on his face as she mentioned it and he smiled rather sheepishly at her in response.

Oh! I almost forgot what I was doing here. All I really wanted was to remember where I've seen you before, and I guess I've already gotten it.

>He then turned to the side while his attention was still on Summer, already preparing to escort himself out of the room as he made his last goodbye towards her.

Sorry if I interrupted your whole.. Stretching thing you had going on. But, I'll get going now so you can continue it. Thanks for answering my question, Summer!

>Thus, he followed through with his words and began walking back to the door that he came through when they first met. He was just glad to be able to finally come home with a clear mind now that that whole awkward situation was done and over with.

>If there was anything else that she wanted to ask of him, she had every opportunity to stop him in his tracks now. If not, then Shiro returned to the martial arts class that he previously attended and exit the gym through the path that he normally takes to go back home.

Miyuki Akamine !MrCarnage2 853913

File: 1415837856422.png (1.09 MB, 1920x1080, 41.png)

Thursday 30th October, 12:00pm
Junction City High School, class 310
>School was a fundamental part of any growing adult's life, it served as a microcosm for greater society in which the many youngsters who attended the establishment would not only receive a generalist type of knowledge in all the major sciences and sociology branches to help them choose the later education they would receive and even help locate the specific career one would pursue later on in their lives. Overall, it was an incredibly efficient system to mold, strengthen and enable the children of society to become the most of what they could be. As such, the Akamine clan thought very highly of high school education and would demand their daughter complete it in its entirety. A demand which Miyuki did her best to complete to the best her abilities would allow without revealing herself as a magus. Her grades in all disciplines were stellar, she never got in any trouble and the teachers looked very fondly on her as a result. Of course, just because the teachers felt a certain way didn't mean the student body would follow.

>Success breeds jealousy after all and the overall sentiment of the students in regards to Miyuki was that she was a weak, uptight goody-two-shoes with no spine or volition of her own and ridiculously bland tastes. To make matters worse, the girl was very clearly of Asian descent and the bullying she received from all parties was both incessant and extremely varied in all the forms in came under.

>During lunch break at a time were everyone went to eat their respective food either in the cafeteria or the outside grounds, Miyuki made it a point to find an empty, unlocked classroom and eat her small meal in relative peace away from the very many people who hounded after her - a habit she took on so that people would stop bumping into her and accidentally spilling their trays over her head or better yet knock her meal to the ground. And so most days she spent her free time at school in self-isolation waiting for class to start again. Today, however, she had been found out by two of her fellow classmates and she would not be having any of her beloved free time to herself.

Look at her, her hair's so thick it looks like a horse's mane!

Psssht... that's not the only thing that's fucked up about her. Her entire face looks like a horse's ass.

Haha! Do you think all the girls in her backwards country are as ugly as her?

>The likely reason for this latest outburst must have been the math exam in which all but a few students in the entire grade failed the test. Those who passed had been highly praised by the teacher and staff and used as model examples the other students should take example on.

>But even though the bullying she received was relentless in its cruelty and intensity, never once had Miyuki spoken out in objection of it or tried to defend herself from her persecutors' wrath. Instead, she merely smiled and weathered the storm of their emotions with a calm, serene expression.

God are you fucking retarded you Chinese whore?!

All she ever does is smile like a fucking moron... you think she might be autistic or something?

>Through such treatment, Miyuki would know about the uglier aspects of the very human beings she fought to protect. Not to mention that the teasing was, after all, just another form of training. That she might control her mind and emotions ever more perfectly, she would suffer through any indignation her fellow human beings threw at her with flawless composure - anything less, even the smallest of outbursts would be a failure on her part and a sign that she required much stricter and intense training at home to overcome her failures as a magus of the Akamine family.

>And so she waited, maybe they would get bored and leave soon or maybe things would escalate... either way Miyuki would sit there and smile, waiting for the two girls to get their fill and leave.
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Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 854036

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>Model students rarely had it well from those who could be considered beneath them, that much Alicia knew first-hand. High School was, as always, a challenge and a test in and of itself for those who attended - what would you score, who would you fall in with and what would be your reputation? Who would you become to other people, through your actions, words and attitude? There were a great number of the student body who cared deeply about these things, but those who did not weren't necessarily freed from the shackles of society.

>It had been a while since she'd seen a scene like this. Though Alicia didn't have the best reputation herself, the things said about her were done behind closed doors, whispered in the background - most who had a problem with her were too afraid to outwardly display such things. This, on the other hand, was different.

>Preferring peace and quiet in her own way for her own reasons, the magus has managed to catch the loud voices as they complained about a 'Chinese whore' who 'smiled like a moron'. Whilst there were a few asian students or those of asian descent in the school, the one she'd caught in the classroom is someone she'd recognised, and her treatment was something she already knew about. Ordinarily she'd leave the situation alone, it wasn't her responsibility to deal with something like this and though she didn't know the girl personally, Alicia at least knew who she was, and thus knew they required no help or particular amount of care from her part.

>This, on the other hand, was different.

>Secluded. Alone, in a far part of the school. A magus of her style and this level of bullying, something that had been carrying on for a while, occurring right at that moment. Ordinarily, she wouldn't care. Ordinarily she wouldn't have to care, but as much as she knew her purpose, she didn't know the girl. Alicia had been leaning against the outside wall of the classroom for a short duration now, arms folded and keeping an ear out for what was happening.

>She wasn't worried about the bullying.

>She was concerned about the one being bullied.

>All it would take was a momentary lapse in self control. Surely no-one could just hold their composure like that forever. If someone had come up to her and done some of the things she'd seen done to the member of the Akamine family, she had no doubt they would either no longer have functional testicles or a sudden lack of hair. If she recalled correctly, the results of this situation going wrong could end up much, much worse.

>So, for now, she simply stood outside the classroom, leaning against the wall, not yet noticed and not planning to be noticed by those inside. It wasn't her responsibility to handle the problems of other students, but it was her responsibility to prevent the misuse of a magus's skills. It would most likely end without incident, but so long as there was a chance...

!Ren/VL7f/Q 854100

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>School was merely a place that he was informed he should attend.

>His mother had told him that it would be a good idea to attend school, in the hopes that he would have more exposure to people his age, and thus attain some semblance of a social life.

>Alexander Peterson was sceptical. He had his training, he had something that occupied his time when he was not resting, why would he need to learn more? Nonetheless, he attended, and he had to grudgingly admit he found some of the classes fascinating. The things you could do with the right combination of words and rhythm were simply phenomenal.

>Sadly, he had never quite attained the integration with kids his own age that his mother had hoped for him. He was polite, he was courteous, but there was something that was ever so slightly off about him...And most kids would notice that...But hey. He had tried.

>He was returning from the lunch hall when he heard it, loud noises coming from one of the classrooms. It was a perplexing sound, most classrooms were noiseless at lunch time, the students having left for either the lunch hall, or outside to hang around with their friends.

>Alex raised an eyebrow as he moved forward, the sounds becoming clearer as he moved closer to the room. Anger, hurtful words, not even spoken to a person, but at them, in the hopes that they hear it and feel bad. His brow furrowed. He couldn't allow this to continue.

>He strides forward to the classroom, his face set in a hardened stare as he walked. Once he got closer to the door he saw...Someone he vaguely recognised. He had seen long purple hair before, accompanied by a man with exquisite facial hair. The Second Owner, having come to greet him and his mother when they arrived on the land. She was his daughter...Though her name escaped him for the moment.

>Alex's eyes flit to her, then back to the classroom door when the raucous noise came from. Was she not going to do anything about it? It wasn't an uncommon reaction, many humans were unaware of how to deal with situations such as this, and so, they chose not to...But this was not something he could ignore.

>Alex pushed open the door, his eyes automatically scanning the room for it's inhabitants. Three girls, two standing, one sitting, one smiling, the other two angry...No doubt the one sitting would be the unfortunate victim. The young man clears his throat, hoping to attract the attention of the two angry girls.

Excuse me, I'm sorry to intrude, but I couldn't help but hear what was going on in here from the corridor. I don't think she's particularly interested in listening to your hurtful comments, so could you leave her alone? There's no real need for such words.

Miyuki Akamine !MrCarnage2 854139

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>As soon as a person entered the corridor Miyuki's acute hearing picked up on it over her antagonist's jeering comments - the cadence and weight of the footsteps themselves being unknown to the girl even as they approached the room. Though once within normal earshot they stopped... why? Where they listening in on the event without reacting to it? Where they considering joining in on the bullying session or rather debating whether or not to tell a teacher what was going on?

>Regardless of their actions, Miyuki's stance on the event would not change however, she would not fight back or dishonor herself with any sort of backlash and would, as always, simply weather through the harshness of it all and let the exercise strengthen her own discipline.

If she's an autist then she has to be one of those freaks who get crazy good at school!

I bet that's why the teachers like you so much... its because you're an ugly fucking retard who can't even think for herself right?!

>On and on the charade went with Miyuki's own expression remaining utterly unperplexed with the goings-on of her classmates. But then a new presence entered the corridor, this own's weight and stride being both heavier and longer than the first... a man then. As he entered normal earshot of the room he too paused and seemed uncertain of what to do. He and the other person were definitely in one another's presence but they exchanged no words... strange that. Were they both silently considering what to do or...

>And that was when the second one with the longer stride came into the room. Turning her bright purple eyes to look at him, Miyuki saw a young man she had never met and whose magical presence was absolutely null. To her, he seemed to be just another student, yet, something about the way he held himself betrayed a deeper understanding on how to use his body... had he received advanced training from some reliable source?

W-Who the hell are you!?

Her boyfriend!?

Why don't you mind your own business you ugly asshole!

>Obviously the two girls weren't going to back down, if anything the newcomer seemed to agitate them even more, perhaps out of fear of getting found out.

>Though through it all, Miyuki still maintained her flawless composure, her smile unwavering whilst she calmly analyzed what was going on and kept close attention to what the one outside would do.
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Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 854234

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>She didn't expect anyone else to arrive until the end of lunch (or close to it) so when she caught the footsteps coming her way it was impossible for her not to look. Casting a glance down the hall, she caught the gaze of the boy with vibrantly white hair, something she only knew a few people to have within the school. This one, in particular, she felt like she could recognise; didn't someone from the newer Church have that kind of hair and face? Whenever she had gone there with her father, they always met with Miss Rosalyn easily enough but her son was often elsewhere. Occasionally she'd caught glimpses out into the church yard and spotted someone of his likeness doing various chores, but, as far as she could recall, they'd never exchanged a word between each other.

>All the more surprising, then, that he would approach the room with a grim look on his face before stepping through the door with purpose.

>Did he simply not know who the girl inside was? Those idiots were putting their own lives at risk by tormenting her, what reason could he have to get involve of his own volition? What did he stand to gain?

>Naturally, the response was not one of compliance. Those who typically had the gall to perform this much abuse to another person wouldn't be the sort to back off after a simple request. Although it was now a two-on-two situation, the Akamine family girl, as far as she was aware, wasn't reacting at all - she'd heard no backtalk, no whimpering, not even the shifting of her place on the chair.

>No matter - the Church boy was simply a mild interference. If he solved the issue, all the better, but her purpose was to keep a leash on the demon slayer, provided it was needed. If things got bad, she would have to take action, though thankfully she was already prepared for what she needed to do if things got out of hand. That said, if the White-haired knight in shining armour had the capacity to perform the supernatural, which most of his affiliation she knew of certainly did, she had more to keep an eye on here than she thought.

>Still opting to stay outside the room, she simply waited for events to come to their conclusion... or to a head.

Alexander Peterson!Ren/VL7f/Q 854302

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>Alex's eyes narrow. That was strike one. He had thought in the back of his mind that such hurtful words could only come from someone truly dedicated to making someone's life difficult, but he would have to at least TRY to reason with them before he resorted to more...draconian methods.

Who I am doesn't matter, I've never spoken to this girl before in my life. However, no matter who it is, treating somebody the same way that you are treating her is inexcusable.

>His fist clenches slightly, only for a moment. He wouldn't resort to violence. He would keep attempting to talk...Humans can be reasoned with, after all.

I don't think the teachers would react well to any accusation of bullying, especially to a degree such as this. There could be serious repercussions. You could stop this now and not have to worry about it. So I ask again, why not leave the girl alone?

Miyuki Akamine !MrCarnage2 854315

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>So the white haired stranger was a hero of justice, someone who would walk into people's lives and defend them from the evils of humanity by using themselves as both a shield against harm and a sword to ward of evil intent. Miyuki had heard of such people in literature and on television but in her three years attending Junction City High it was her first time actually meeting one of these individuals. What fueled his desire to protect people then? Had he developed some sort of White Knight complex after watching too many Power Ranger comics or was he just naturally inclined to fulfill his fantasies of being a hero in the everyday world and was that the reason why he sought out the specialized training his body boasted?

>Upon being threatened of being told on by the white haired student however, the two girl's attitude turned downright viscious as they completely rounded on the boy with snarling faces, confident all the while that Miyuki would do nothing to oppose them as not once had she ever resisted their bullying before.

Who the fuck do you think you are?!

Mind your own business or I'll have my boyfriend kick your ass you ugly faggot!

No but seriously, who the fuck would even dye their hair that color, are you colorblind or something?!

Anyways you better fuck off before we make your life a living hell too you moron!

Yea! We know people who'll fuck you up!

>On and on it went with the intensity of their claims and threats only escalating with each passing breath, whilst Miyuki adamantly sat silently in her chair and smiled peacefully, waiting for the situation to reach its now inevitable conclusion.

Alexander Peterson!Ren/VL7f/Q 854341

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>Strike two. Clearly trying to talk civilly wasn't going to work on such people...So there was always the more...Brutish option.

>Alex takes a deep breath, before his gaze visibly sharpens. He'd almost seem to get bigger, his muscles now tensed and were almost visible underneath the clothes he wore. If talking wouldn't work, he would threaten them. His eyes bore into them, the glare on his face betraying the amount of confidence he had in his abilities.

They are welcome to try. I can't guarantee their safety once they do.

>His glare is suddenly directed at the two, and with it, all the intensity he can muster.

Now then, you two are starting to try my patience. You can do whatever you want to me, but I won't let you continue to attack this girl.

I reiterate. Leave the girl alone, or I will be forced to act, and it's unlikely that you'll appreciate it.

Miyuki Akamine !MrCarnage2 854355

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>With the man now visibly looking like he was going to start brutalizing the two bullies, the girl's response changed quite dramatically, after all, they were essentially cowards who picked on those they saw as being weaker than themselves in order to elevate their own self-esteem. From being incredibly indignant and hostile, their overall response now turned meek and submissive with their backs visibly rounding and the both of them taking a step back.


Fine! Let's go Isabelle!

We've got better things to do than listen to this loser talk!

>With that the girls left as one, going through the door and seeing Alicia standing patiently in the corridor, their expressions growing visibly more strained for the fact that the infamous Junction High Triple-A bitch was there to witness their indignation.


>With a scornful look they walked away from the scene, leaving the corridor behind and their inhabitants.

>Now that the girls had left, Miyuki knew that the man with the White Knight complex likely was expecting some kind of thanks validate his selfless actions. But truth be told she really didn't care all that much for the man or the way he'd acted. From what she'd seen he'd disrupted her training for little more than his own selfish self-validation and found that it really brushed her the wrong way that a man with such visible training could not make out the fact that she herself could fend for herself just find with but a casual glance in her direction.

>There was also the notion of the figure in the corridor who had yet to identify themselves and whose identity only grew more mysterious now that the bully's had visibly recognized the figure. Did that mean that it was someone from her classes or rather that it was some popular school-known individual?

. . .

>Regardless, Miyuki moved for the first time, her beatific smile dropping from her face into a more neutral expression whilst she fished out a small Japanese bento box from the side of her desk along with a thermos full of green tea. If she wasn't going to train then she could at least eat her lunch in relative peace.

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 854375

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>The girl's faces were recognisable, but Alicia had a feeling she'd forget their names soon enough. Those two were but faces in the crowd, trying to make their way in the world by assuming others are beneath them and being around those that would affirm their claims. Merely providing them with a glance, she watched them leave and ensuring they had turned a corner. Letting out a heavy breath akin to a sigh, she pushed herself away from the wall and moved across to the door, standing with her arms loosely folded at the entrance to the classroom and looking inside.

>There was the Akamine girl, easily noticeable thanks to her being the only one left sitting down in the room as well as the easy identifier of her asian appearance, whilst the white-haired boy of whom she'd never had a real chance to study up close before was stood within the middle of the classroom, seemingly collecting himself from the earlier incident.

You sure do like to butt in, don't you.

>There were always whispers going around the school that you couldn't avoid hearing, it was how she knew her own reputation without having to ask anyone, and there had been rumours of the boy who would stand against anyone, even those whom he had protected before, for the last three years. Of course, this was the first time she had ever been in close proximity to an incident, and now that she'd been around one and heard his attitude, it was painfully obvious that all of those rumours were true.

>Her words weren't stated with any contempt, merely a light form of exasperation as though his effort alone was making Alicia feel tired herself. She didn't really care for what he'd done as it wasn't something she would do herself, but to have someone around who was actually of the type to take it upon themselves to uphold that kind of thing was interesting in its own right.

>There was, meanwhile, the other student behind him, quietly eating lunch with a very neutral expression on her face which Alicia could assume had been there the entire time, having been outside for the incident. As disconcerting at it was to watch someone eat lunch with an unreadable expression, there was no reason not to be at least courteous.

I trust you're all right after that, Miss Akamine?

Alexander Peterson!Ren/VL7f/Q 854393

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>They had left. Alexander visibly slackens, his body relaxed and his face back to the same placid expression he'd had when he walked into the room.

>Thankfully, he hadn't needed to punch anybody, when you had to punch somebody, you had failed in your duty to prevent suffering.

>He turned back to the girl, who'd decided to eat her lunch. She was no longer smiling, now looking decidedly neutral. She had most likely been putting on a brave face for the hope of being left alone. It sometimes works, but sometimes doesn't, but here, it had seemingly not worked.

>Alex looks over to the girl, before he speaks up, as calm as he was when he arrived.

If this has been continuing for some time, then you should stand up to them, otherwise it's just going to continue until you leave school.

>As he turned around to leave...

>The girl he saw outside was standing in the doorway with her arms folded. Alex blinked. Did she want something, was she going to try something with the girl?

>No, it turned out she was just going to be there, as she started casually conversing with the two of them. There was a brief period of time where Alex thought over his answer and then he started talking.

I couldn't allow such attacks to continue. It's not a case of enjoying it, it's wrong to treat another person like they were doing. So, I intervened.

Miyuki Akamine !MrCarnage2 854707

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>The would be hero expressed genuine concern for her well being even after the threat was gone. The reasons behind this course of event could be multiple - he could have an asian fetish and was hoping to score with Miyuki after standing up for her or his white knight complex could extend so far as to make sure that the victimized stranger was not psychologically damaged by the events that unfolded. In which case, the man would likely offer his shoulder for her to cry on and his ear if ever she needed to "get some weight off her chest".

>But with the figure moving out of the corridor and into the room turning out to be the future Archard family head, Miyuki inclined her head with respect in a display of courteousness from one magi to another. She didn't answer Alexander's question because in the future, the relationship between her and Alicia would play a vital role in one another's clan's prosperity. As such, that she would show respect and difference was only natural in place of acknowledging the stranger with dubious motivations.

Miss Archard, a pleasure to see you.

>That being said, when Alicia essentially asked the very same question as the man had, Miyuki blinked twice before leaning back and looking at both standing figures with a wondering gaze. Did she look so frail that she might break under such minor psychological stress? Comming from the stranger the mistake that she was just another schoolgirl was understandable but for the quandary to come from miss Archard herself brought up the question of what she might actually think of the Akamine clan. Did she mistrust the clan's honor and reputation so much as to second-guess it in front of the clan's future head in person? If so, it was imperative that Miyuki make a strong and firm response to show just how easily she dealt with this session's training.

How could I not be?

>She responded with somewhat cold eyes. She wasn't so tactless as to speak of magus business in front of an outsider but would instead bring the subject to mind with non-verbal messages. Futhermore, after such a strong answer was given, any further second guessing from Alicia would undoubtedly be seen as an insult to her clan's honor. An act which would be reported to her own family's current head and necessitate reparations in one form or another between the two magus families.

>As for the boy, she thought her answer to be equally relevant to his quandary as well given that she showed none of the classical signs of psychological stress or emotional instability present in all victims of school bullying. Rather, she seemed entirely centered and stable - an act which she hoped would deter the boy from trying to dig deeper into her own situation.

Kai Forsyth!uvadBiRdiE 854762

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Thursday, 30th October, 12:00
Junction City High School Cafeteria
>Kai was great at marking his territory. Not like that, but in the battlefield that was the lunch room. It was always a race to see who could claim what table first. The football team usually got the big on right in the middle of the cafeteria, then the big popular group got a slightly smaller one, so on and so forth down the social ladder until there were no more tables. The lowliest of the low (and the stoners) were left to sit outside, in the hallways, or not eat at all. A truly depressing battle to be fought each day.

>Kai, however, broke the system. His class just before lunch happened to be sophomore English, which was positioned right next to the entrance to the cafeteria. He was able to run in right after the bell, grab a small table, and guard it with his life. On the rare occasion that he couldn't find one, he'd just wedge himself between members of the track team at their table.

>He's tried to stop doing that lately, though. He doesn't want to leave his friend alone for too long for fear he'll stick those tails where they don't belong. Somebody had to keep an eye on the guy!

>So, as students poured into the lunchroom, Kai sat at his little table with a couple chairs crowded around it, his backpack tossed onto one to mark it as saved. He'd even already gotten lunch: today's special, rubbery mac n cheese with stale chicken nuggets, mushy peas, and a cup of chocolate pudding.

>The black-haired young man shovels a spoonful of mediocre macaroni and cheese into his mouth as he scans the lunch room. The rest of the chairs would more than likely be pulled away by other people soon, but, who knew! Maybe today somebody would just sit down and they'd meet someone new.

Shiro Yamada!MaraKrYP7s 854784

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>Ah, lunch, the one time during a day of high school that practically every student looks forward to. Mostly because they're not in classes, though. The cafeteria lunch, he doubts anyone would ever want even if it was the last thing on Earth, but it was free food for him, no matter how unhealthy it is. He's going to burn it off later that day anyways.

>Shiro steps through the doors of the cafeteria and was suddenly blasted by the loudness of the students who were freed from their classes. He takes a good look around at all of the students that occupied many of the tables, while some turn their heads to look at the white-haired, eye-patched boy and began gossiping about him. Each table was uniformly set for a certain clique of students that pretty much marked their territory. If anything, it was as though there was a hierarchy among the teenagers regarding the positioning of said tables. Though, Shiro wasn't one for partaking in larger groups. They only proved to be a lot more of a hassle than they're worth.

>It didn't take long for him to get his share of the gruel that was the Junction City High School lunch. Just as he was getting it, he could already feel the miserableness radiate off from the stale chicken nuggets alone. It wasn't good, but it's better than nothing. He removed himself from the line so the next person could get their food, and surveyed the cafeteria grounds once more. If he guessed correctly, then the person that he was looking for should be right...


>There was the familiar dark, shaggy-haired boy he was looking for, who also appeared to be watching the other students in the room as well. Once again, he manages to outrun everyone and somehow nab a table. Must be the advantage of having a class right next to the cafeteria and being on Track, but he's not complaining. There was a table he could sit at and his best friend he could talk to, and that's enough for him.

>He made his way over to the werewolf who disguised himself amongst the humans and set his tray down in front of the seat that was apparently saved for him.

Got one as fast as usual, I see. I ought to bring you some treats next time to reward you.

>Just as Kai looked over to see who it was, there was a playful smile from the half-demon boy that he had stuck with for quite some time now. He set the boy's backpack down on the floor next to him and took the seat for himself. He looked down at the tray of food he had gotten and spotted the chocolate pudding that was handed out as today's dessert. He turned his head to Kai's tray to see he also had the same thing. He remembered reading somewhere that chocolate was rather poisonous to dogs, and he wondered if that stayed true for werewolves. But, he's not willing to experiment on his best friend just to find out if it was true or not. So, without much hesitation, he reached over and swiped the chocolate pudding from Kai into his hands.

I heard that dogs and chocolate aren't exactly the best combination when it comes to giving them food. The last thing I need is for you to end up getting incredibly sick, so, I'll be taking this for your own safety.

>He set the pudding down on his own tray and scooped the cafeteria food into his own much. As expected, it tasted as bad as it was made out to be, but he endured and gulped down the chewed rubber that was mistaken for pasta. As he focused on the food in front of him, he was reminded of the Full Moon chart that he had in his room. From experience alone, he knows how bad things can get if Kai wasn't supervised during that night, thus he bought a calendar that showed when was each full moon and checked it regularly.

..Hey, you know what's going to happen next week, right?

>He spoke low and stern as he questioned his best friend about it. If things go from bad to worse, he'd have to activate his Demon Blood to try and subdue Kai as best he could. But, that would run the risk of him getting found out by anyone from the school that bear witness to this event, thus he bought a mask to conceal most of his face in case of such event.

July!Jiang0l2K. 854791

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Oh boy.

Stumbling towards the boys, tripping over her own feet as she does so, the young girl turns back to her friends and gives them an upset look before turning to the wolf boy.

"Um... Hi. Your name is Kai, right?"

What was his last name...? She knew he was one of the other Mage family's kids, but she couldn't remember exactly which one it was off the top of her head.

"My friends were wondering, and..."

Oh, they knew perfectly well what his name was. They just wanted to embarrass her by making her go talk to the weird kid. She'd make them pay for that, soon.

She couldn't wait until Art 1 later that day. Sonya was getting so much glitter in her hair for this it wouldn't even be funny.


...But what was the eyepatch guy doing here?

Clutching her bagged lunch closer to her stomach, the girl gives him a wary look. She'd seen him and his weird white hair before, but she'd never heard his name, she was sure, and he was in the Senior class as opposed to Sophomore like Kai. She was a Freshman, but...

...What had they been whispering about? Was he somehow related to Mage stuff?

"I'm not interrupting anything, am I?"
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Kai Forsyth!uvadBiRdiE 854799

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>Kai brightens the moment he spots his friend. It really wasn't hard to find him; he was the only guy with an eyepatch, and one of, like, two people in the entire school with white hair. He was convinced the fashion would catch on, it was just a matter of time.

Shiro! Hey, Shiro!
>He waves his friend over with a dumb smile. The young man pulls his backpack off the seat and drags it under his own chair, leaving room for him. He rolls his eyes at the idea of treats. No matter how good that sounded, he had some kind of dignity. He didn't even need to look up to know his friend was smiling himself.
Come on. You know I gotta watch what I eat for track. If I start eating Snausages every day, it'll mess up my diet!

... even if it's kinda already messed up with this school food.
>He gives the pasta a poke with his fork. It does not react, though the cup of pudding does spontaneously disappear from his tray. Kai blinks once, twice, checks underneath the tray for it, and looks up, to find Shiro with the stolen goods.

>The poor boy pouts.

Yeah, it's bad, but only tons at a time! It's just one cup, come on...

>Shiro only had his best interests in mind, though. Kai leans back in his chair, accepting his puddingless fate, and gives a small sigh.

Yeah, I know.
>he whispers back, once he leans forward and makes another stab at the macaroni. He keeps his head down as he speaks, long bangs hanging over his eyes to obscure his gaze.
I've gotten way more sensitive to it lately, like I can feel when it comes... I've already helped Mom and Dad put a new lock in.
>He picks up a forkful of mac and cheese.
They've been thinking about renovating the barn for it, but--

>Fork stuck in his mouth, Kai sits up to see a nervous, pink-haired girl addressing them. He blinks stupidly. What was she so nervous about?
Yeah, I'm Kai...
>He swallows, sets the fork down, and listens to her, open-mouthed like a fascinated child or plain idiot. Really, he was seeing if he could recognize her scent. With an almost imperceptible flair of his nostrils, he closes his mouth.

>Magic. Even in the cafeteria, with all its distractions, he could sense it.

>He glances from Shiro, to the girl.
Not really? You can sit down, if you want! He doesn't bite too hard or anything.

Shiro Yamada!MaraKrYP7s 854809

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>In this sort of situation, he had to make sure that he was prepared for what's to come in the following week. If all goes well, then Shiro wouldn't have to conjure up his tails and there would be very little casualties to be had on that night. Although he might have to lose a lot of sleep, it's for the good of this Town if he wants no one to get hurt and for Kai to get found out about his being a werewolf.

>Though, as he bit into the stale, tasteless chicken nugget, he raised an eyebrow towards Kai's response to his question. The fact that he's becoming more sensitive to the full moon now compared to previous times it's appeared was worrisome as it is. If this continued, then it won't be long before Kai would lose control of his werewolf form regardless of whether or not there was a full moon at all. Although putting locks and shutting him in may prevent him from bursting out and going on a rampage for the time being, he was afraid that it might not be enough to subdue the beast within him later on.

>But, before the boy could continue on with the rest of his speech, a new voice spoke up and interrupted him. It was a rather feminine one, too, and it seems like this girl was looking for his best friend, which already made Shiro suspicious of her before he even saw her. Though, now that he thought about it, Kai was on track, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that he'd have some admirers.

>As he looked up to see who it was with Kai, he was met with a nervous looking, pink-haired girl who held out her bag in front of her as though it would protect her from the both of them. Just from the pink hair alone, he recognized the girl immediately. She was Summer's little sister, wasn't she? She recalled her name being.. July, or so. The one notable thing about her was the pink hair, and he doubts he'd ever seen any other girl in the school with pink hair of all colors. Purple, sure, but not pink! But was she..?

>Just as Kai glanced over at Shiro, he'd see his eye-patched companion leaning a little to the side to look behind the girl. What he'd see with just his one eye were the July's friends, who all looked like they were watching her from afar. The gears in his head seems to begin turning as his gaze falls over to July, then over at Kai. A small smile spread across his face as he thinks he realizes what was going on.

Ohohoho, now I see what's going on.

>He seems to ignore the little jab that Kai sent in his direction and sat up from his seat. This was Kai's chance to shine and experience what love's all about. He, himself, hasn't been in a relationship, so he doesn't have much advice to give to his best friend, but this was his chance! And with a cute girl who was popular too!

Well, don't mind me! I'll go eat someplace else so you both can talk to each other.

>So, he flashed a quick grin and a thumbs up towards his best friend, as if he was mentally wishing him luck, and left his table to find another empty one within the cafeteria, one that wasn't occupied but was still in view so he could at least see the two conversing and judge what was going on from the body language alone.

July!Jiang0l2K. 854810

File: 1415947789292.jpg (396.87 KB, 750x1000, nbst.jpg)

Sit down?

Like, eat lunch with them?


That was the perfect way to get back at Sonya!


Taking a seat across from the two, the girl shoots her nearly jawless friends a mischievous smile, turning back to the two with a big, happy grin on her face.

...It was Forsyth!

"It's Kai Forsyth, right? I'm Julie. Well, July, if you want to be serious. Julie Jiang. I'm pretty sure our parents know each other."

That was super top secret code for "I know about mages". She hoped cryptology was something he was taught during his studies.

Wait, what?

He knew about mages and stuff?

She suspected as much, sure, but to know there were more people who knew about it here at school?


"H-Hey! Before you go, at least tell me your name!"

Summer said it was her job to go out and talk to every mage she could, anyway. If he was one... Well, then it was her duty to her big sister and her mom and nan to do so!

Kai Forsyth!uvadBiRdiE 854812

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>This was nice! Maybe Shiro'd have an opportunity to make friends outside of his own little group! They could start a weird hair color club! Black, white, pink, maybe they could invite the girl with purple hair next, ooh, or even the boy with black and white hair--!



>Kai whips his head around to watch his friend get up and just start to leave. If he wasn't in public, he'd start whining and pull out the puppy-dog eyes. He didn't want to be left alone! Not with a, a... a girl!

Shiro, it's okay, seriously--

>He was as good as gone, and she sat right down. Kai was left alone with a random girl who somehow knew his name and wanted to talk to him for absolutely no reason whatsoever.
>Wait, no, she had a reason. Their parents knew each other? Kai's brow furrows. His folks knew a lot of people, but nobody with a family that was known for their pink hair. They didn't go out often, and hardly saw their neighbors, so this girl had to be a magus--or at least familiar with that kind of thing.

Y... yeah, Forsyth, way on the edge of town. Old house with grumpy cats hanging around, those Forsyths.

>The ass even took his pudding with...!

>Kai rubs the back of his neck and stares awkwardly at the girl.

Nice to meet you, Julie, I guess? I'm not really into the kinda thing my parents do, though. I like the outdoors more.

Shiro Yamada!MaraKrYP7s 854814

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>It was too late for words already, for Shiro had already up and left the table so he and this girl could both get close to each other. For a while, he knew about Kai's rather immature reaction to girls. He's witnessed it plenty of times to know just how much he believes cooties were actually real, but he never really tried to convince him otherwise. But, if he could talk with this pretty one here, maybe she could change his whole view about girls!

>This was the perfect plan to get his best friend a girlfriend. Who knows, maybe she could help Kai control his werewolf side with the "power of love" like he's seen in plenty of TV shows and movies. He doesn't know how that will even end up happening, but if it does, then he'll be able to sleep without worry on full moons soon enough! They just have to do their part and develop their relationship on their own.

>But before he could go off on his own, July had already called out to him to garner his attention. At first, he was pretty confused. What did she need him for? Wasn't she there to confess to Kai or something? If she's trying to hook him up with one of her friends, he's going to have some bad news to tell to whomever wanted to confess to him.

>But, still, there wasn't much harm with telling her his name, was there? At worst, there would be even more rumors spreading around the school that wasn't already known about him, so he sees no reason not to.

I'm Shiro Yamada! I hope you and Kai get along well!

>He replied to her as he kept walking farther and farther away from the table. Now, he had to find an empty one with a clear view of the two of them conversing. Conveniently, one of the groups had just finished their lunch and were already moving onto the next class. The only problem was, they didn't bother to clean up and their trash was left on the table.

>With a disgusted look on his face, he swiped away some of the leftovers that were on the table to make room for his own tray and sat down. Once settled, he looked back into the room of the cafeteria and scanned around until he saw the pink-haired girl and the black-haired boy continuing their conversation. Although he wasn't able to read lips due to how far he was, and how unskilled he was at reading them as a whole, he could at least attempt to figure out what the gestures and body language the two would make to get a hold of the situation.

>With anticipation in his gut, he observed the two from afar while he scooped up a spoonful of the chocolate pudding into his mouth.

Come on, Kai, I'm rooting for you..!

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 854830

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>There were a series of changes in her body language during that period of thought. Alicia hadn't presumed she was anything less than 'alright', but seeing that kind of utter complacence in one's standing was strange after an incident like that. It was more curiosity than assumption, but whatever the case it had seemed to be taken in a negative light.

Just re-affirming what I should already know.

>Waving a hand dismissively in regards to the subject, she didn't want to bring up her doubts about just how 'alright' she was, but given that she hadn't hurt anyone it didn't really matter. Most of that was thanks to the boy across from them, though his actions were the most curious of them all.

>Moving into the room with a few paces, letting the long purple hair flow behind her, she considered the situation that had just occurred once more. Taking a seat on one of the desks, not bothering to pull out a chair, she settled herself into the position before focusing her attention toward the white-haired manifestation of justice.

What you just prevented wasn't two bullies picking on a poor girl, it was two hyenas yapping away at a lion.

>Her tone was plain and rather flat with him as opposed to the politeness shown when speaking to the other girl in the room. It was unlikely his assumptions on the situation would account for the proper processing of her metaphor, so it was probably best she explained it further.

You weren't required, but you intervened anyway. Not to say that I'm not thankful for a peaceful resolution as Miss Akamine will not have to treat the floor as her table today, but the point still remains.

>At this juncture, her mouth curled into a smile unlike most of which he'd probably seen - a playful yet confident one, as though she were a cat toying with a mouse out of curiosity, and her voice took on a slightly jovial tone rather than simply treating him flatly.

Are you simply driven by compulsion to assist wherever you can, or are you actively choosing to throw yourself into dangerous situations until death do us part, Mr. Peterson?

>Having reached into her pocket, she had drawn out a pencil and was gently spinning it between her fingers out of habit, a smirk on her face as she awaited his response. Feeling it impolite not to address him by name, she had used the information based on the Church owner's surname as well as the fact she talked about her son often. When combined with the fact that he was the only other person that stood out during the visits there and he was around their age, it made for a rather simple assumption.
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July!Jiang0l2K. 854831

File: 1415980238790.png (1.49 MB, 1920x1080, Kofuku.png)

Shiro Yamada...

She was gonna remember that name.

Nearly bursting at the seams, the girl can barely wait until Shiro is relatively far enough away to say,

"Gosh, I thought he'd never leave."

Straightening up almost comically, she reaches a hand across the table to him. Speaking a little bit above a whisper, she continues,

"I'm not a Mage, so you know. Well, my sister is, but I'm not, so I don't usually care that much about it, but it's just so nice to be able to, you know? You've gotta wanna talk about it every once and awhile too, right?"

Like, she remembered everyone, even Summer, saying there was something off about him whenever they'd met, but she didn't see it. He looked pretty normal.

"Like, just last week, Summer did the craziest thing! She came out of the lab smiling and stuff, got me and mom and nan together, then showed us how she was turning a gallon of water into gas! I didn't really see anything to cool about that at first, since, like, she could've just boiled it, but mom nearly broke down crying and was trying to hug her and nan just kept smiling! Apparently that's, like, the first really difficult test for mages maturing in our family, since while it's not that hard to do, there's just, like, a bazillion different things you have to see in your head at once to do it, and mom was never able to do it because there wasn't really anyone to teach her, so..."

Kai Forsyth (Mobile) 854832

>He hoped they could get along? Why was Shiro doing this to him?!

>When Julie moves forward, Kai flinches back, as if afraid she would leap on him. She just about leapt on him verbally, instead, saying everything about anything. The shaggy young man just kinda stares as she goes on, eyes wide.

>It was a lot to take in, to say the least.

>Once she trails off into silence, Kai finds an opportunity to speak.

It's not... really... much to talk about?
>he whispers back, slowly leaning forward again,
I mean, it's just kinda... there. I watch my dad do it sometimes when he's researching, and it's really boring. Lots of practicing and concentration.

>It was hard for him to sit still, let alone concentrate for an hour on writing a simple line.

>He fidgets in place, grabs a napkin from his tray, and starts picking it apart out of habit.

You don't have to whisper about that kinda thing around Shiro, by the way. He knows more about that than you'd think.
>Or at least the stuff that dealt with him being a demon.

July!Jiang0l2K. 854841

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"Yeah, I'd thought as much."

She was curious, though.

"So what does your family do? Mine's something about manipulating the bonds between atoms and stuff. My nan could probably tell you more."

Man. for someone who was supposedly so weird, he sure was boring. She hoped all mages weren't this hard to be around, or she wasn't looking forward to getting married to one like she knew she was supposed to any time in the next lifetime or so.

"I don't really know that much about other families, to be honest. There's only supposed to be one heir, but my mom was terrified of giving me or Summer up, so she kept both of us."

She wasn't gonna mention what she'd overheard nan talking about with mom when she was younger. She kinda assumed Summer knew now, but apparently, while she was kinda crappy at magic, she was full of those magic circuit thingies, even more than Summer, so she might be their family's ticket back into the good graces of the magus society if she met a nice mage boy and proved they were still worthwhile, and not a bunch of dummies holding onto the name of a much cooler, stronger family.

As much as she'd hated the idea of marrying someone out of necessity, mostly because Disney movies taught her that was bad, she wasn't really hating the idea that much anymore. She could sorta see why she needed to do that. If anything happened to Summer, that was the only way their family was gonna be able to continue in any capacity, even if they just ended up in the same situation mom had been in again.

But he had to be nice and kinda cute. Also smart. And not want her to end up like her mother. As much as she loved her mom, she just seemed so tiny and helpless and beaten down now. But that was probably the years of not being good at magic and being laughed at for even trying because she should've just cut her losses and married a mage when her brother died and lost the crest, keeping the circuits alive somewhere else like the Archards or something. She didn't wanna end up like that. She wanted to be a partner, not something to shove in a corner of the house and be forgotten about while her mage husband got all the screentime.

But yeah, if she was gonna marry some mage rather than whoever she wanted, he'd have to be someone she didn't hate. That was probably priority numero uno.

"...Don't you live pretty close to me?"
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Kai Forsyth (Mobile) 854852

>Bonds... between... atoms? Wasn't that science, not magecraft? Kai tilts his head in confusion at that, but before he can ponder too long, he replies, just so his words don't get run over by hers.

My family specializes in runic magic. It's really old, and really powerful. Like, one of the things my dad does is carve them on doors to reinforce them. He's working on a way to make them self-sustaining, like to have them fueled by themselves, so you don't have to maintain them.

>Despite his disinterest, he still knew what his family did. They were just making it by til they struck gold.

>Summer... Why did that name sound familiar? Maybe he saw it somewhere? Whatever it was, he found it interesting that any magus family would have more than one kid. He was just a special case.

I don't know a lot about them either. I know there are a few that live here, though, like the Archards.
>Mr. Archard occasionally visited to check up on them.
... their dad is nice.

>She seemed to space out, and he was very glad for the lapse in conversation, til she started it back up again.

Uhh, maybe?
>He blinks dumbly.
I live way... way out there. We have some apple trees in the front yard and a barn, a silo, and coop in the field, so...

>He tears a bit of the napkin off and contemplates shredding the rest with his teeth. Why'd Shiro leave him...?

July!Jiang0l2K. 854860

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Okay, the napkin thing was a bit weird, but everyone had their quirks.

"Well, do you wanna talk more on the way home? I'm pretty sure I see you walking home most days."

Though that would get her friends talking about them...

"And maybe you could show me those runes sometime?"

She'd already gotten as familiar with the Archard's barriers as she could back when Summer and Alicia were still friends. It'd be cool to learn a little more about magic.

"I mean, I'm supposed to go out and talk to more mages. Summer can't be best friends with everyone, but I can sure try."

Kai Forsyth (Mobile) 854863

>That was a proposition for a date, or at least as close as you could get! He was gonna get cooties everywhere, Shiro was gonna tease him, this was terrible!

I-I kinda have track practice after school most days, sorry.
>It was the truth. Maybe now he'd start attending Wednesday and Thursday practice in addition to Monday and Tuesday.
I guess you can come over, sometime, if you want? Not next week, though, my mom doesn't want people coming over then. Or this week unless it's really important. I have, um, lots of homework to do.
>Not really.

I try to be friends with as many people as possible, too, but it's kinda hard when you've got a reputation for just being weird.
>The whole werewolf thing didn't help, either.

Alexander Peterson!Ren/VL7f/Q 854867

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>How could she not be? Those other girls had been truly terrible in their treatment of her. He couldn't have misinterpreted the situation, he'd both heard and seen it happen. Alex's brow furrows in confusion upon hearing this, there was thick skin, but that...seemed a little too thick.
>Two hyenas yapping away at a lion. Alex turns back to the girl calmly eating lunch. Had he really not been needed? She just sat there and took the abuse but...she could have done something about if she'd wanted?

>That didn't make much sense to him. Why would you just allow such attacks to continue? Did she really not care?

>His thoughts were interrupted by a question being actually aimed at him. He thought about his answer once again. A compulsion was something you did because you felt the all encompassing need to...He wouldn't quite call it that. Neither would he call it having a death wish. His gaze becomes resolute as he looks at Alicia, calmly answering her questions with his usual brand of politeness.

Helping others when they need it is the right thing to do. I couldn't call myself a good Christian unless I attempted to aid wherever I am needed...Though, as evidenced here, sometimes I intervene when I'm not needed.

>There's not really any trace of embarrassment or sheepishness. He's stating a fact, it has happened when perhaps it shouldn't have, though at least he was trying to acknowledge his mistake.

July!Jiang0l2K. 854870

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"Oh, that's okay, I have band afterwards too. I think we get out at the same time, usually, so we can still talk without other people around."

She was not letting him get away that easily.

"And I would think that if you told her who I was, she'd be more than happy to let me come over. It's Mage stuff, after all."

And she didn't find him that weird.

"...I could try and introduce you to my friends sometime, if you want. You could show them how you're really not that weird, and if any of them say otherwise, I'll get them back! Mage families have to stick together, after all, right?"

Kai Forsyth (Mobile) 854926

>They got out at the same time? Shoot! Was this girl a stalker or something? How much did she know?!
Regionals are coming up in the spring and Coach is making us stay later and later to train, though, so I dunno...
>His voice is quiet, barely a whimper, as he realizes there's no way out of this mess other than to accept his fate. At the mention of talking to his mother about her, he shakes his head.

N-no, I'm serious. When she doesn't want people to come over, she really doesn't want people to come over. My mom can be a little, um, scary, sometimes.

>The classic "mom said so" excuse. Worked every time. In all honesty, he just really didn't want to deal with the stress of a new person, in his territory house this close to the full moon. Any additional stress before then would just make that night worse.

>New friends? Kai turns in his seat, to cast a curious look at the girls Julie came from.

... uh...

>He turns back to the pink-haired one.

... maybe later.

July!Jiang0l2K. 854932

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...You know, she was starting to think she was wrong about this kid not being weird.

Like, he was weird even for a Mage.

"...Are you sure? I mean, it's not like I'd be too bothered to wait awhile or anything. It'd be worth it to have some to talk to about Mage stuff that isn't my sister."

And she knew Mages were defensive about their space, but still, that seemed a little excessive, especially against someone who just wanted to bridge gaps between families.

"I'd still like to speak to her."

Miyuki Akamine !MrCarnage2 854997

File: 1416012606431.png (1017.65 KB, 1920x1080, 136.png)

>Taking the praises given by Alicia Archard as no small thing, Miyuki in turn nodded her head in thanks and acknowledgement. She wouldn't return the praise given that the current flow of conversation wouldn't allow for a smooth transition into that particular subject but she would, at the very least, voice her satisfaction that Alicia had both acknowledged the slight and smoothed it over before it could cause friction between their two factions.

You honor me, miss Archard.

>Replied the Japanese girl with a pleasingly yielding tone of voice in which she had been trained to address her betters both in and out of the clan's hierarchy. In particular, the comment addressed towards mister Peterson that went on to associate her skills and poise with a lion patiently suffering the infernal yapping of two hyenas turned the previous reparation into a praise of respect and nuances Miyuki appreciated a great deal.

>But now that the niceties had been spoken, the lady Archard went on the address the man whose advanced physical training was self-evident with both his poise and muscle definition as though he were a part of magus society, Miyuki began to think of why exactly it was that the name Peterson sounded so familiar to her.

>Ah, of course, the man's casual mention of Christianity as a motivator for his actions filled out that particular puzzle quite nicely. This was the boy adopted by that woman who tended to the parish on the hill and served as the Church's official representative in Junction City. That went quite a ways into explaining why and how the boy had received such intensive physical training and how it was that lady Archard would address him as she would a magus without revealing much of herself or Miyuki in the process.

So tell me then, Sir Peterson, is it also in the interest of Christians to meddle with a girl's training routine?

Or is that particular trait reserved to individuals such as yourself?

>She asked in a tone of voice that gave off the qualities of being both courteous and imperative. A question which she leisurely followed up by raising her small cup of tea to her lips and sipping its contents deeply with smooth precise motions that betrayed neither stress or trauma.
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Kai Forsyth (Mobile) 855027

>She was being really insistent. Like, to the point it was crazy. Kai was having a harder and harder time coming up with excuses for why she couldn't come over, too. He couldn't say 'You can't because it's the week before the full moon and you'll stress me out', so what was he supposed to do?

N-no... I wouldn't... I mean, I'm not a magus... circuits and um...

>Kai snaps to attention, as if catching something out the corner of his eye.

Oh shoot, is it that time already?! I promised Mrs Aves I'd come in to retake the homework!
>Kai scrambles to his feet, picking up his bag, slinging it over his shoulder, and grabbing his tray.
I-it was nice meeting you, Julie, but I really gotta go, so, bye!
>He makes a quick move for the exit. If uninterrupted, (and you can choose or even roll to interrupt) he reaches it in record time, and doesn't stop running.
>Fight or flight instincts weren't very conducive to normal life.

July!Jiang0l2K. 855033

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...Wait, wasn't he the heir?

And why was he runni- Wow he was fast.

Shooting her worried friends a reassuring look, the backup kid dashes after him. No way was she letting him just run off, even if she couldn't catch him.

At the least, it wouldn't look like he just randomly sprinted off and left her awkwardly sitting there.

"H-Hey! Stop! I just wanna talk!"

Always just barely turning a corner in time to see which ones he was turning, the girl's chest heaves harder and harder as the gap between them gets wider and wider.

"Wait up! I'm not gonna hurt you!"

He really was a gigantic weirdo.

But like it or not, it was her responsibility to play nice and make connections with members of other families.

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 855072

File: 1416018461655.jpg (85.38 KB, 600x800, 398a7af5b6a3460ed2fdc8b07a68e3…)

>Well that was... disappointing. She'd hoped to get a bit of a rise out of him, but he was as stalwart in a battle of words as he was in a battle of righteousness. That, or he simply refused to acknowledge her potential subliminal meanings. He really filled the 'hero' role rather well in concept, but for some reason it still felt a little unnatural. Maybe it was the way he carried himself, but the atmosphere felt a little off -

>Oh. That was why.

>Here she was, in a room currently filled with two exceedingly emotionless people. Despite the compliment given to her, it was all very official and the two closest things she'd seen to anything other than neutrality were Miyuki's annoyed stare and the moment Mr Peterson was liable to snap. Perhaps that was why she had a problem with the boy's statement and apparent goal - he didn't carry himself with the will, the drive to accomplish what he was stating, but rather his tone made it feel like he was doing it simply because that was the way the world was supposed to be.

>The two of them in the same room together created a terrifically bland yet exquisite atmosphere. There was an inherent pressure from both of them.

Goodness, there's such a lack of care in either of your caring that the world inside this room might as well become the blended mix of our mutual friend's two-toned hair colour.

I could have quite easily headed to the roof of the building and enjoyed my homemade lunch without exposing myself to being in the same environment as a lion and a bull and yet here I am, cultivating what seems to be interaction between two people destined not to get along.

You're honestly more likely to get more training in emotional endurance by watching Clannad : After Story than anything a pair of scavengers attempting to feed on the bottom of the social ladder to place themselves above something can achieve. Meanwhile-

>Her pen stopped spinning incredibly abruptly, pointing itself in the direction of the white-haired boy from an extended arm that had somehow silently snapped into position with a very practiced motion.

- you are an incredibly curious person. I would be interested in seeing how you handle a lunchtime period providing your definition of assistance as a good Christian in the task of sampling the contents of my lunchbox.

Alexander Peterson!Ren/VL7f/Q 855274

File: 1416023933984.png (461.14 KB, 647x490, Brain.exehasshutdown.png)

>...What kind of absurd training routine involved being routinely bullied?

>Alex couldn't understand it. Why on Earth would anybody want to subject themselves to such horrible treatment, training or no.

>He inclines his head to the girl, his face still blank and expressionless.

It is the interest of Christians to provide aid where they believe it is necessary. Sometimes, the aid is not necessary, and they withdraw after that. However, they won't know until they're told. I had no reason to believe that this was a situation you were okay with, and I acted accordingly.

I apologise if I've offended you, but I had no reason to believe that would be the case.

>It was an apology, but it was no less bland than before, though he seemed ever so slightly disconcerted by the idea that somebody would use intense bullying as a training exercise.

>...And now he was being invited to lunch?

>What a confusing day. Still...it'd be rude to refuse, and he had skipped over getting a dessert...

>Alex nods, if nothing else, it'd be good networking between the Church and the Second Owner of the land.

That would be...agreeable. You may lead the way.

>It was at times like this he really wished he'd listened to what his mother had said. As for what it was, he didn't know. He hadn't been listening.
This post was edited by its author on .

Shiro Yamada!MaraKrYP7s 855345

File: 1416027678021.jpg (811.61 KB, 774x992, Puer00003.jpg)

>Shiro, being the caring, supporting friend that he was, witnessed everything that had happened between July and Kai. Although he couldn't hear what they were talking about from where he sat, he could tell that Kai was very uncomfortable while the girl kept the pressure on him as time went on.

>He assumed that, at first, Kai would have been able to get a new friend on his own. He was old enough to be able to act on his own. But mentally? He.. should have factored that in more. He knew from the start that Kai was still a kid at heart, what with him being afraid of girls giving him the mythical "cooties". He also thought that, through the years that he's known Kai, if there's any way for the guy to learn to stop being so afraid of girls, he'd have to try and let him talk to one of them by himself, and the opportunity with Summer's little sister, July, ended up being the perfect event for Shiro. But, as he saw with his own eye, that failed to work.

>He looked over at the door that Kai had just left, with July's friend following him shortly thereafter. He didn't know where the guy was going, he was almost too fast for Shiro to even catch, for within a blink of an eye, he was already out of the cafeteria, possibly within record time if that was a thing in those World Record books. But now he has several things to deal with: the test that he didn't have a chance to study for the other night and now finding Kai. He knows that it's his fault, and he's gotta figure out a way to make it up to him.

>As he ate the last spoonful of his own chocolate pudding, he looked down to see that he's already finished his, but Kai's was still in tact and untouched. What was it that Kai said earlier? That stuff like this is okay in just small doses? He doesn't know if that's true or not, but the guy did look pretty disappointed when he took it from him earlier. Shiro needed something to give to him if he did end up encountering him. It's better than showing up empty-handed and expecting forgiveness right off the bat.

>Thus, he sat up from his seat and threw away all of the cafeteria food that he had on his tray sans the untouched chocolate pudding, which stayed within his hands. If Kai does end up getting sick because of this damned thing, then he'll take full responsibility for it. But now that he thinks about it, if Kai does end up getting sick later on, then maybe.. this could work with subduing his werewolf form next week. Though, this might pose a problem for his family if they clean up after him...

>...Now he's not sure how he should feel if Kai does become sick. Guess he'll have to cross that bridge when it comes.

>As he exit out of the loud, clamoring cafeteria, he followed the path that he saw Kai sprint through earlier and began jogging through the hallways with the chocolate pudding held tightly in his hand. But, just as he turned one of the corners, he'd see the girl still chasing after Kai, who looked like he was already long gone since he is a sprinter. Due to him constantly training in a martial arts class almost every day, it wasn't long before he was able to catch up with her as she continued the futile cat-and-mouse chase. In a sense, it's like she was just stood up by the boy. Should he say something? Or maybe he should just leave her alone? The choices just keep piling up on each other, and he doesn't know which to take.

>Well, there's no harm with just explaining some things to her, right? Perhaps it'd shed some light on Kai so she doesn't make the same mistake twice and end up scaring him off again. So, coming up from just behind her, she'd see a white-haired, eye-patched boy jogging right up to her side, looking like he wasn't short of breath at all. Judging from the fact that she was still going through the hallways, it seems like she knows where Kai is heading.

Hey! July, right? I saw what happened between you and Kai. What in the world happened between you two?

Kai Forsyth!uvadBiRdiE 855422

File: 1416032810414.jpg (45.83 KB, 1024x570, fairy_tail___rogue_cheney_by_k…)

>Kai was GONE.

>As a sprinter, he could start fast, and get even faster throughout the run. By the time Shiro caught up, Kai was already halfway across the school, in a boys' bathroom, leaning against the wall, panting.

>He was an idiot. A complete and total idiot.

Huff, huff, huff...

>Running away from a girl? Who did that?! He probably made a huge scene on the way down here, too. Ugh, this was terrible, now he had to watch out for that pink-haired girl, or actually talk to her--he shudders at the thought.

... huff, huff, huff...

>Kai shuts his eyes, and groans.

July!Jiang0l2K. 855430

File: 1416034199638.jpg (35.37 KB, 309x279, 1393463003950.jpg)

He was gone.

God, why were boys so freaking crazy?

Folding her arms and leaning heavily against the wall, the girl looks away, refusing to communicate.

What a big, stupid...



"...He was a huge, stupid butthead for no reason, that's what happened."

Shiro Yamada!MaraKrYP7s 855435

File: 1416035441101.png (65.72 KB, 582x438, Puer00060.png)

>It looks like the girl has finally given up trying to chase his best friend. However, this means that they'll both have lost track of wherever the hell Kai is now that she's stopped. Although he'd move on ahead and try to look for Kai, the girl seemed to get the wrong impression of Kai. And if he wants his best friend to get a girlfriend, he'd have to clear up some negative ideas about the guy.

>So, once the girl stopped in her tracks to rest, so did Shiro. However, he wasn't as tired out as the girl was, as he was only panting a little while his body rested from the jog from earlier. She must be pretty determined to run this fast to catch up to him, but it was useless to try and catch up with a track runner anyways. Shiro would know this from experience.

Hey, don't give the guy too much flak. He has his reasons for being pretty anti-social.

>He looked over in the direction Kai had supposedly ran through as he shortly regained his breath. Now he's going to either have to find him after school or wonder if he could find him just in time before the class bell rings. He doesn't want to end up carrying chocolate pudding around for two hours. By that time, the pudding would probably be too bad to eat.

I've known the guy for the longest time, and trust me, this isn't the first time he's run away from talking to girls.

>He then shifted his focus onto the girl beside him, who still looked short of breath from the sprinting she's done. He's almost impressed at how dedicated she was to chase him this far. If only Kai had gotten over his fear of girls, he'd have a very loyal person by his side.

If you want some advice when talking to him, I'd say treat him like a puppy. You know, be gentle and kind and all. He really doesn't respond well to pressure, so he runs off like this when things become a little too much for him to handle.

July!Jiang0l2K. 855437

File: 1416036086701.gif (1022.23 KB, 500x255, 1416017593057.gif)


A puppy?


...Puppies were cute, Kai was a weirdo. It was hard to imagine him as a puppy.

But she got the point.

"Alright, alright..."

Indignantly tapping the sole of one foot against the wall, the girl sighs. This was dumb.

"I just wanna talk to him about Mage stuff. Summer's my sister and Alicia's a Butthead Fred ever since they started arguing and there's no way I'm talking to the other crazy Mage kids here. He's like the only person my age even remotely cool or interesting, and even now I'm starting to doubt that with how much of a baby he's being."

Stupid, dumb track making him impossible to catch...

She needed to stop eating so many candy bars during lunch.

...And maybe do yoga with Summer once or twice a week.

"Is he always this weird?"

Miyuki Akamine !MrCarnage2 855438

File: 1416036854421.png (971.94 KB, 1920x1080, 33.png)


. . .

>Watching silently with chopsticks held elegantly in hand, Miyuki saw the two figures prepare to leave after the both of them had spoken in derisive terms of her training routine. When she'd told her family of the burdens she had placed upon herself at school she had received nothing but praise and accolades from the senior heads of the clans for her initiative and broadmindedness when it came to the psychological aspects of her training routine. So then why did the daughter of the second-owner and a church representative look down on her?

>To grow strong and straight, a tree needed not only strong limb and roots to hold it up and bear its many branches that reached up to the heavens, it would need a thick bark to ward off even the toughest of diseases and most ravenous of insects. With that in mind, Miyuki's clan saw psychological strengthening through adversity as being an essential part of creating a pure and controlled magus that would serve society and the clan to its fullest capabilities.

>As a result of her own controlled and well-thought expressions Miyuki was often mistaken as being uncaring or indifferent to the world around her by the commonest of people. She had developed no friendships in all of her time in high-school nor any meaningful lasting social links at work. In essence, Miyuki was alone - an isolation that weighted on her far heavier than any insult or abuse those girls might have thrown at her. Even her own clan members were isolated in their own way - weighted down with their own duties and burdens, they too were in no position to give the future head of the clan any of the social interactions she secretly craved for. A craving that yawned wider still when she watched Alicia Archard walk away with a man she barely knew in what she could only guess at being the formation of a teenage crush or the manipulation of the boy's feelings.

>Within the Akamine structure, Miyuki had been designated as the future family head out of all her brothers, sisters and cousins. From that standpoint, she had been groomed to fit that role for as long as she could remember. While the other children played and studied Miyuki trained alone. Meditating, fighting, killing... Miyuki's duties knew no end and the others of her family acknowledged her role and burden with the utmost of respects and deference. But in constructing this idea of her role and duties they erected barriers between themselves and her preventing them to see who she really was.

>The truth was that Miyuki had always known Alicia was in the same grade as she was and had longed to meet her of her own volition but feared the lack of formality might cause a political problem between her's and the second-owner's family. All because she had hoped another magus might see right through her thick bark and treat her as a friend rather than a weapon of the Akamine clan. But now that they had finally met and for her to simply treat her the same as all the others caused an ache in her breast that would have surely brought her to tears had she not grown as strong as she had.

>As it stood Miyuki was left sitting in her lonesome spot in what she felt like a deserted classroom, her violet eyes watching what felt like the two figures leaving her behind. Proving once and for all that even her fellow magus could not see her either.

>And though it pained her to be so strong, a small voice cried out within her "...I'd like to eat lunch too!"
This post was edited by its author on .

Shiro Yamada!MaraKrYP7s 855442

File: 1416037377900.png (10.72 KB, 160x152, Puer00084.png)

>Once she had confirmed that she knew what he was talking about, there was a small bit of relief within him now that he knows she'll be more gentler next time. With that all cleared up, he prepared himself to go and find Kai within the next few minutes or so before the bell rang.

>But, it appears that the girl had more things on her mind to say about what went on between her and Kai. But what she said next managed to catch him completely off-guard. So off, in fact, that he very nearly dropped the chocolate pudding he wanted to give to Kai. And, of course, it wasn't the fact that she was related to Summer, a growing idol by the day. No, he thought that she was going to confess to him her love! That's why he left, so they could be alone together!

>However, his mind had finally begun connecting the dots about several things with her little story. If July is a Magus, and her older sister is Summer, then by extension.. he was conversing with one and he didn't even notice?! At this point, he'd rather forget the fact that they're a Magus family now!

>But he can't raise suspicion about him not knowing she was a Magus! If that happened, it'd snowball into those people finding out about him! And the one thing that he didn't need in his life is bloodshed by his own hands. But what could he do now?! Does he respond? Does he stay silent? As of now, he's been holding back the urge to yell out she was a Magus. He had to figure out a way of changing the subject! Thankfully, the girl had already segued into an entirely different topic, one that's more about his best friend. Those questions, he could answer with ease, so there would be little suspicion caused on his end.

>Shiro looked away from the girl and back in the direction where Kai had supposedly run off. There was a nervous smile on his face as he desperately tried not to make eye contact with her and inched farther and farther to the side whenever she's not looking.

W-who, Kai? Yeah, he's always been l-like that! Since I first met him, actually! The guy would always follow me home after school and I ignored him, but he ended up being my best friend in the end. A weird way to meet someone, don't you think?

July!Jiang0l2K. 855516

File: 1416072849542.gif (806.67 KB, 500x672, tumblr_n2g2581OmL1r9foe8o1_500…)

He followed him home?

How much weirder could you get?

"Then why's he so freaking scared? I'm not scary! I was trying to be nice!"

IT's like he'd never even spoken to a girl before.

"I'm not even a Mage! I can't do crazy magic. I'm not a threat to him. I just wanna be friends, and he's freaking out like I said I was gonna turn him into a bug!"

Shiro Yamada!MaraKrYP7s 855544

File: 1416075816795.png (12.92 KB, 277x159, Puer00085.png)

>There's not much that Shiro could say in response to that without coming off as offensive to the girl. In fact, she's already exhibiting how scary and angry she could get right now. If he made a wrong move, he'd probably be a pile of goop on the floor by now. He feels like Karma had decided to hit him right then and there, starting with this girl that turned out to be a Magus of all people. He knows that they're practically the one thing that could kill him in this world if he's not too careful about his demon blood.

>However, there was a bit of a relief once she stated she can't do magic. He was glad that at least he's safe around her, so there's a lot less panic going on from his side of the conversation. However, that just leaves her sister and possibly her own mother for being Magi. No matter how he looks at it, he needs to be cautious around this family and try to stray away from their affairs as much as possible in case he doesn't want to get caught.

Uh.. well, he's.. not exactly the best at talking to girls, you see. You could say that he still has the mentality of a kid in elementary school, if that makes any sense.

>He can't hang around much longer with her. He needs to go find Kai and apologize to him soon. But how's he going to get this girl off his case? He can't bribe a freshman to look away, that's just ethnically wrong. But if she wants to be friends with Kai so badly, then maybe he'd have to use him again.

>He began advancing forward, resuming his search for Kai, but before he left, he turned back to July to tell her one last thing

Look, I have to go find him before the bell rings for class. I have an idea where it is, but I'd say it's best you give him some space for now.

I'll.. I'll try my best to convince him you're not all that bad, okay? It might take a while, but I'll set something up so you two can meet and try again. I'll talk to you later.

>Thus, he continued jogging down the hallways down the path that he thinks Kai had went. If he were Kai, then where would he go? Knowing that he doesn't like talking to girls, then he'd go to some place where there won't be any. And the only place that can't allow girls in it would be.. the boy's bathroom!

Kai Forsyth (Mobile) 855622

>Kai was, indeed, in the nearest boys' bathroom. Shiro didn't even have to look to know he was in there; through the door, one would hear a muffled squeaking.
>The boy, obviously distressed, was leaning against the dirty bathroom tile wall, chewing on a worn rubber bone. Every time he bit down, it squeaked. It was one of the stress management techniques he'd learned over the years. Those rubber fidget toys that were specifically for therapeutic chewing were okay, but the tough dog toy really did the trick. Even then, he only pulled it out when he was really anxious.


>His eyes widen upon the sight of his friend.


She's weird.
>he manages, voice muffled by the toy between his teeth.

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 855633

File: 1416101274301.png (810.19 KB, 500x800, f0fad4cc23877db9984aea170de89a…)

>Having paused into the silence whilst awaiting for an answer, the pen stood pointing at him, unwavering in its position. Considering the atmosphere again, it really was an interesting scenario. Even if she considered herself a good portion of the colour in this semi-emotionless portion of the world, it was very evident that the other two weren't completely shut down in that regard. For one thing, she found the poor boy's somewhat surprised expression at her request to be delightful, and she doubted that Miss Akamine would have mentioned having a problem with people interrupting what she considered training if she lacked pride, the kind of pride that when potentially trampled on gained the response of the cold expression Alicia herself had received.

>They were holding them off, however. Whatever reasons as to why were beyond her, and how deep those limitations went were unknown to her, but it wasn't something that went unnoticed.

>To anyone who could watch the conversation from the outside, they might consider this room cold simply by the displays of attitude the three people inside were presenting, but Alicia knew her school self well. She was measured in her actions - she wasn't holding back any emotional expression, it was simply the way she displayed what she felt that was odd. It was through comparing this aspect of herself to the other two in the room that she realised there was more to unearth. Hints of their desires existed but nothing more, whilst she was very clear about what she wanted in her own way.

>This was why his ever so slightly confused expression was a joy to her - the first step toward deeper understanding was poking at insecurities in such a way as to slip past them, rather than ride up to the gates and beat them down with a battering ram. She was going to enjoy letting her curiosity loose around him.

I'm glad you agree, Mr Peterson, the contents of my lunch are not something to be denied if you wish to experience the perfection of the fried egg in its various forms. Perhaps sharing the meal will allow me to better keep the curves my old acquaintance continues to obsess over in regards to her own body.

>With that stated, she gracefully returned to her feet, shoes clacking gently against the floor of the classroom as her clothing settled into place. It was still early for lunchtime, a mere 5 or 6 minutes had passed since the incident began, so there was no terrible rush to reach the roof. Being this far into the building, they were already most of the way there.

>The question then became of Miss Akamine who, for the most part, had returned to eating her food whilst paying moderate attention to the conversation at hand, if only because it was happening within the same room as herself. Obviously they would be leaving her here, she doubted she could abate her curiosities if she couldn't speak with him alone, but whilst her focus was on the church-member she had also noticed the member of the demon-slaying family a little more closely for the first time.

>It wasn't as if she had never known of her existence. Alicia knew of the daughter set to be the family head and of some of the treatment she received at school. This was simply the first time she had been so close to an incident and actually engaged with her, if only slightly. It was a simple reason as to why.

>The future heads of houses often carried a lot of responsibilities with them. There were tasks to perform, an image to uphold and most importantly long-term plans to consider, rather than short-term events. Because of this understanding of position, she simply felt that if she was handling such things on her own it was likely the Akamine heir felt the same. No need for interruption or disruption, they both accepted their responsibilities and continued to move forward despite whatever treatment they received.

>Alicia admired Miyuki for her resolve in this aspect. She had watched from afar and caught wind of the events that happened to her simply because she was capable of handling them without so much as batting an eye. It was a true expression of what it was to be a Magus, and for that Alicia truly respected her. It was because of this that she was often so annoyed and frustrated with Summer, who so callously ignored such imperative aspects of who they were supposed to be.

>And yet...

>Respect was an interesting thing. One would think that a common ground and interests brings people together, creates friendships and a lasting, deep bond, and for the most part that is true. There does, however, exist a particular emotion that creates distance where becoming close is the typical outcome. Respect for her capabilities, who she displayed herself as, also created a respect for her boundaries and a mutual 'understanding' of one-another's responsibilities. It wasn't that Alicia didn't recognise the girl before her, it was simply that she didn't want to disrupt the image of Miyuki Akamine that the girl had worked so hard to forge for herself simply because of her own thoughts and wants.

>And so, respectfully, she curtsied in her direction.

Farewell, Miss Akamine - I shall see you on Sunday, as arranged.

>She and her father would be visiting their shrine on that day, so it's likely they would be able to speak further on their positions more freely than in a school environment where the callous mentioning of certain subject was prohibited. It was unlikely even then that it would extend beyond professionalism... such was their way.

>Turning away from the soon-to-be solitary girl, or perhaps one who had always been stuck in that kind of solitude, Alicia moved across to the doorway and stepped outside of the room, looking back from the corridor towards the dual-toned hair of the boy with an expectant gaze.

Shall we go?

Shiro Yamada!MaraKrYP7s 855636

File: 1416102430421.png (43.87 KB, 417x377, Puer00185.png)

>Just as he reached one of the bathrooms in the school, it was evident that Kai was in there because of the muffled squeaking coming from inside, unless there was another person that had a stress reliever. But, he's just glad he's found him before they were forced to go to class. Hopefully, he wasn't too angry at him for leaving him like that.

>And as he entered into the room, there was that familiar growling coming from the only wolfboy in the school, as far as he knows. His initial reaction was taking a step back, since he did expect Kai to be angry at him. At best, the guy could use some space after what had happened.

>But his response afterwards was.. different. At the very least, he doesn't seem angry at him about it. He's more worried whether the girl will find him in here, apparently. But, that doesn't really stop the guilt in his chest for doing what he did earlier.

Yeah, I know what you mean. I just talked to her earlier and wow.. I can't believe you managed her for as long as you did.

>He walked closer to Kai and also rested himself on the same dirty wall. He did jog all the way to where he was, after all. Looking down at him, he'd see that he did indeed have a chew toy that he brought with him, conveniently enough. It seemed to be doing its job well enough, at least, for Kai looked less stressed now. He'd hate to see what he was before he arrived.

Speaking of, I'm.. sorry for abandoning you with her like that. I thought you'd be able to take it on your own, but.. well, I guess that wasn't the case.

>As he apologized, he held out the uneaten cup of chocolate pudding that he swiped from his lunch earlier and smiled gently. It was something to symbolize an apology at least.

Here. You said it's fine to eat this in small doses right? I haven't licked it or anything, I swear. But, you better get yourself checked if you're feeling sick after eating it. Are we good?

!Ren/VL7f/Q 855639

File: 1416103545023.png (287.91 KB, 411x490, Mybucketofcareisemptying.png)

>...She was quiet. No further words from the odd girl who trained through bullying.

>To be honest...He still didn't understand it, but if that's what the girl wanted, then it was no trouble for him to let her be. No doubt there would be other people who would require his assistance, and would be welcome for it...Junction High was a big place.

>It was a big place that also held the existence of Miss Archard, no doubt he'd find out her name soon enough. She was...very talkative, but not quite in the manner most students were talkative. She was not an endless stream of thoughts about what was going on in her social circles and the social circles of the people that everybody should know. It was merely a lot of words dedicated to what would normally be quite a simple thing to say.

>Even at his most comfortable, Alex was not talkative...So, somebody being so verbose was a change, one that he wasn't sure was welcome or not...

>He blinks, his expression of confusion becoming far more pronounced as he attempts to decipher what the verbose 'Triple A' had said.

...Yes. Maybe.

>It turns out he couldn't.

>There was another brief pause before she bid her farewells to the young girl, Miss Akamine and turned to him with the invitation to follow. Alex nods at the purple haired student and moves to follow after, before pausing and turning back to the silent girl.

...Enjoy your meal.

>He turns back to Alicia and follows on after her, already uneasy about what would await him within that her lunch on the roof.

Kai Forsyth!uvadBiRdiE 855651

File: 1416108436469.png (341.42 KB, 883x640, Rogue_won't_let_Frosch_disappe…)

I know, right?!
>Kai opens his mouth wide to retort and ends up dropping the bone in the process. He catches it nimbly in his hands, and fidgets with it while he talks to his friend.
>At least Shiro knew what he'd been through! The girl was terrifying! Talking a mile a minute about anything and everything to both of them, including magecraft stuff, which nobody outside of magi society was supposed to know! The number of things that could go wrong was astounding.

>As for Shiro's traitorous act of desertion, Kai frowns. He wasn't sure when he'd forgive his friend for something like that. Leaving him alone to suffer in terror...


>He still had his pudding?

... I'll tell someone if I start feeling bad.

>Kai gingerly takes the offered cup, and smiles gently back at Shiro.

We're good.

>With that, Kai rips off the top, and starts licking it up like the total weirdo he is.

Miyuki Akamine !MrCarnage2 855664

File: 1416115194555.png (613.06 KB, 1920x1080, 101.png)



>Her soft voice floated on after the both of them with a distinctly neutral tonality to it even as a purely emotional side to her yearned to call out for them to wait for her as she rapidly packed up her things and ran to join them in eating lunch together and perhaps lift her ever present isolation for just a moment... just a bit... that would be alright wouldn't it? To just take off her burden for a few hours and enjoy her friend's company? But even as Miyuki entertained these wishful thoughts she recognized them as being an impossibility that would never extend past that. To take off the mantle of responsibility for even a brief respite was the first step to a weak mind and body that would ultimately become the foundation of a magus's unmaking.

>The Akamine family's training went down to the bone, Miyuki would not allow herself to make light of circumstances that could potentially give other magi families insight into Miyuki's weaknesses just as she would never allow her own feelings to get in the way of her duties. A truth that is, and ever would be, so long as Miyuki drew breath and acted as a proud magus of the Akamine clan and a demon hunter who warded off the supernatural to keep humanity safe.

>And so cracking open a box of Pocky sticks and popping one of the biscuits into her mouth, Miyuki thought of the interaction that had just occurred and what it might mean for the future. The clan had been made aware of the supernatural boy's existence and was maintaining a close vigil on him. If ever he turned out to be threat, Miyuki would find out and dispose of him. For now though, life continued as it would with each party content to do as they would in a satisfactory status quo.

Shiro Yamada!MaraKrYP7s 855666

File: 1416115370213.png (39.8 KB, 259x477, Puer00080.png)

>Shiro had witnessed Kai's feat of catching the bone from his mouth. It was rather impressive knowing how well his hand-eye coordination was. But this would only prove that handling him next week would be rather difficult now that he sees it for himself. Worst case scenario, Kai's reflexes get the better of him and he's caught and found out by those of the Magus Society.

>But, he'll cross that bridge when it comes. He knows it'll have to happen some time soon, and he's not afraid to hurt his friend if it meant preventing him from being known about the Magi outside of his home. Now, though, he needs to slow down and just be there for him if that July girl is around to try and "make friends" with him again. He doesn't want his best friend to end up with a nervous breakdown inside the school bathroom.

Thank goodness.

>There was an instance of relief once Kai had forgiven him. Now he doesn't carry the feeling of guilt on his back. For now, at least. But now, there was one other thing that the both of them needed to deal with now: July Jiang. They both don't know if she'll continue to persist Kai into being friends, and seeing how he reacted to that first attempt, he only hopes that his advice would work the next time they accidentally encounter each other.

..Well, now that she knows who you are, what are you going to do? There's no doubt she's going to try and talk to you again. I've already gave her advice when it comes to how she puts on pressure during conversation, but what about you? You know you can't run forever, and I can't be there to bail you out every time.

>What he was about to say next, Kai might vehemently go against for certain. But what option does he have now? Besides, he told July that he'd try to convince Kai she's not as bad as she seemed. It was worth a shot to suggest, right?

..Maybe you can.. you know, try to be friends with her? I'm sure she's not as bad as she seems.

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 855667

File: 1416115710141.jpg (131.9 KB, 600x839, f10ee4273e178fe59463c0cf5a7900…)



>Junction High School Building
>The Roof

>The wind was the kind of gentle cold only found as the autumn headed to winter. In the summer it was refreshing, in the autumn it was a bother and in the winter it was bitter, sometimes hellish. Yet, in the transition towards a time when the cold was harsh, this wind's chill could be considered merciful in comparison.

>Even then, Alicia was thankful she had a jacket. Though a magus from a long-running family, it wasn't as if that state of being made her any less of a human being that shied away from the cold. The person she'd brought up with her seemed significantly less bothered about the temperature than he did the situation as a whole, but that fact alone was something for her to smile about.

You don't seem very familiar with this portion of the school. Perhaps the lack of people makes justice a hard thing to obtain here?

>It was something of a joke at his expense, with a hint of truth to it. No-one would typically come up here during lunch because the main event would always be in the cafeteria - that's where those who considered their social standing to be a determining factor often went, or at least close by. Up here, Alicia could consider herself free of such a thing and avoid such ridiculousness with her purpose intact.

>Pulling the boy, sitting across from her, out of what she assumed to be his norm was an excellent little test to see how he'd react compared to earlier. Of course, so far he'd been relatively silent aside from a few affirmations sent her way, as though he were still confused and unsure of what she was saying. For now, she had posed him a question, and to add to that line of interfering with his personal space she took out a portion of her friend egg sandwich from the already open lunch box, holding it out to him as though it were a peace offering.


>She said, simply, whilst the slice of egg-between-bread sat flat in her palm, expectantly waiting for be given the destiny of dissolving in stomach acid or being denied its purpose in the world.

Alexander Peterson!Ren/VL7f/Q 855731

File: 1416163621507.png (636.37 KB, 652x490, Pokerface.png)

>He regretted not bringing a jacket...

>Alas, it was currently on the washing line in his garden, it'd probably be dry when he got home, but that didn't help him now. Of course, he didn't show it on his face that he was experiencing the chill, mostly because he was still confused that he'd been invited up here.

>Alex's head sharply looks up when he was addressed, the confusion morphing back into his usual neutral expression.

It's a secluded area, though not one unvisited. Those who are relentlessly pursued by bullies often come here to be alone...Though, sometimes they are followed. I will admit that I don't often come here though. I'm usually in the cafeteria...or outside.

>When the portion was offered, Alex took the piece with a muffled 'thank you' before he bites into it. It was...decent. Well cooked, presumably made by a chef, it felt...impersonal. It probably wasn't a good idea to judge it based on his instincts, but that's what his body told him. He swallows the portion of sandwich, making a small sigh of contentment before he responds to who he now knew as Alicia.

Alexander. Alex, if you like.

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 855764

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>Judging by his reaction, he didn't seem all that impressed by the sandwich, though at the very least it was satisfactory. Admittedly it wasn't a particularly astounding set of ingredients, it was more that it was something she liked. If it had been most other days the box would be filled with an incredibly strange set of ingredients brought together by her maid, but today she had insisted on something simple.

>What was more interesting, however, is that he knew of this place not because of what it was, but how it related to his chosen way of life. Taking a bit out of her own sandwich portion, she chewed gently, letting the taste sink in as her thoughts wandered regarding her 'guest'.

>A moment was taken to swallow before she reflected on her own conclusions.

Well, that being the case Alex, it's interesting that you chose to accept my invitation. You could be anywhere else, dispensing justice upon those that deserve it - I'm fairly sure there's a large amount of problems and issues in the cafeteria alone, but the fact you've come all this way, even to the classroom before, makes it seem as though you're not the type to seek this kind of thing out.

>It was quite the intrusive study of his behaviour, but she couldn't help finding it interesting. All of it was being stated as she leisurely picked through her lunch, grabbing small pastries and enjoying the flavours of both cinnamon and mince.

Perhaps you're the type that simply can't refuse a girl's invitation?

>A little tease followed by another smirk, offering him one of the small cinnamon swirls that had been packed away. The entire lunch seemed to consist of the egg sandwich, a few carefully crafted pastries, a small salad and a thermos containing some excellent tea for the temperature outside.

Or is it that you simply focus on what's in front of you? After all, you considered what you saw before you earlier unjust. Does that make it unjust for you to have left me to eat alone, I wonder?

>Whatever she might've called it, analysis or curiosity or whichever, she was most certainly picking on him in a roundabout way. Of course, it wasn't the kind with malicious intent like the two girls displayed earlier, more as though she were having fun considering his lifestyle and attempting to understand it.

Alexander Peterson!Ren/VL7f/Q 855773

File: 1416175201267.png (472.77 KB, 650x490, Whatthefuck.png)

>...Honestly that was a very good question. Why DID he accept to go with Alicia? There were no doubt other people who were being bothered or worse at the moment...And yet he was choosing to have lunch with a girl he had only just met.

>He was inclined to blame it on hormones. That or an inability to deal with people like her.

...It's not a hero complex. I'm not driven by the illusion that I can save everybody, and that I should run around campus like a super hero out of costume. If I see something I disagree with, I'll intervene.

>His face morphs back into the mildly confused expression he wore when she'd asked him earlier about going with her. He still wasn't sure why he'd agreed to accompany her, no matter how hard he thought, he couldn't find a logical solution to it...So, he would improvise.

It...seemed like a good idea at the time?

>His voice lilts ever so slightly at the end, making it very obvious that it was a question that he neither knew the answer to, nor would be learning for quite a while.

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 855785

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>The answers were satisfactory, but what she really enjoyed was the hint of confusion at the end of his second sentence. He certainly seemed on edge and he had every right to be, given that she was probing into his motivations and decisions like a scalpel being used to see what was beneath the skin.

>At least she had learned he was simply the type to take action when he believed he could, and wasn't someone who went out actively looking for trouble. It was something of a relief - the way this world tended to work didn't allow for the existence of such people for long, and then how would she amuse herself?

>The devious smirk relaxed into a gentle smile as she pulled out the thermos. Taking the plastic cup from the top, she flicked up the lid and poured some tea out. It was white tea, but the tinge of brown made it appear full of flavour in comparison to most. At the very least, even if the fried egg was simple her tea would have to be the best.

Sorry for digging at you, it's rare that I find someone awkward yet likable enough to poke fun at.

>Of course, 'sorry' didn't mean she wouldn't do it again at a later point. Alicia was fickle that way, though she did have a sense of mercy strong enough to give the poor boy a break. Reaching across to him, instead of taking the tea for herself she presented it to Alex.

Here. You must be cold without a jacket.

Alexander Peterson!Ren/VL7f/Q 855796

File: 1416179283838.png (427.26 KB, 650x489, Smirk.png)

>Alex visibly slackened. The instant Alicia changed from predatory to...well, mildly normal signified that he would probably be less probed now. Probably.

>He doubted he'd ever truly understand the mind of Alicia Archard, which would probably amuse her greatly if he told her...The best he could hope for was to stick through the dissection process for the point she'd either put him out of his misery or show mercy...Speaking of mercy, he took the offered tea greatfully, another muttered offering of thanks as he gulps down some of the hot drink, already feeling far warmer.

>He looks back up to Alicia, holding the cup in his hands, letting the remaining portion warm up his hands.

Should I feel honoured that the Triple A of Junction High finds me interesting enough to examine closer? I feel that there are many others who would feel elated at being in my position.

>His tone is...dry, and carries the hint of sarcasm. Different to his bland demeanour earlier, and the slight upward quirk at his lip betrayed the fact that it had been intended as a joke of some kind. Testing the waters, was it safe to come a little further out of his shell, or would a retreat be in order.

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 855814

File: 1416180941249.png (156.32 KB, 500x281, I have something to show you.p…)


>There's a visible change in her expression as he mentions her 'nickname' right in front of her, especially after she'd been oh so very courteous toward him. She didn't have another cup for the thermos, so she simply returned to the other pieces of her lunch, but her eyes never left the boy across from her even once.

Oh, I've no doubt there might be a great many people who'd be interested, as well as a large number that wouldn't. You're one of the very few to ever join me up here, and whether this makes you feel honoured is entirely up to you.

>Her voice was spritely, but there was a tinge of something else to it; something that didn't quite fit the understanding words she was saying. As she reached into her lunchbox and picked out another of the small pastries, that mystery became all too clear.


>Lifting the pastry out of the box and holding it before her, she looked over at him with a smile that hid behind it numerous emotions that he would likely rather not see.

-I'm not quite sure being the 'Triple A of Junction High' quite fits my fancy, though if you do intend to have a habit of using the term, perhaps I'll utilise my own habits to ensure you never have another day of peace again, hm?

>Though the words were spoken in an absolutely managed and controlled tone, the fact that she crushed the pastry between her thumb and finger for emphasis at the end suggested that it was probably best to indulge her whilst he could.

Alexander Peterson!Ren/VL7f/Q 855826

File: 1416182632314.png (412.34 KB, 650x489, Whatisit.png)

>...Lesson abruptly learned.

>Lesson one, don't use that nickname around her. Lesson two, never drop your guard around anybody ever.

>Alex blinks, not quite showing fear, but switching back to his uncomfortable expression with scarcely a beat between them. So much for a joke, though everybody had their buttons. He used to be very sensitive about accusations over dyed hair, but after being told on multiple occasions that showing other students your body hair to prove it was, he'd stowed that grudge away.

...My apologies. I'd merely heard it spoken among the other students in regards to you. If it bothers you, then I will refrain from using it.

>He was just on fire today, first the girl earlier, now Alicia. It seemed any attempt to be personable only met with disaster...Maybe the Lord was testing him.

And as for honour...You've given me no indication that you're one of the kinds of people that I...encounter, so, the company is merely a change of pace.

>He takes another sip of the tea, before he looks over to Alicia, a hint of curiosity on his face.

You said earlier that I was a curious person...I would assume I'm merely one in a sea of many that you could poke fun at for your amusement...But what is so curious about me? What do you wish to know?

>He takes another sip of his tea, and adopts a questioning look as he brings his eyes back to Alicia.

Kai Forsyth!uvadBiRdiE 855917

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What'm I gonna do?

>Kai withdraws from the pudding cup and furrows his brow. What was he going to do? He couldn't keep running forever, especially when she went to the same school he did, and apparently somehow had his schedule memorized.

I... guess... I'll not run away again?

>That was the answer he was looking for, right?

You can't say I can't run forever, because I totally can. She'll never catch up to me. It's just that I really shouldn't, because running away from your problems never works, and blah blah...

>Mouth still covered in chocolate, he pouts.

What if I don't want to be her friend? She's weird and asks way too many questions! She's way weirder than she seems! She's in band! Nobody who's normal would ever go in band! And--wait, you gave her advice on how to talk to me?

>He regards his friend with a rather suspicious expression, made all the more comical by the fact that he licks a bit off his lips before speaking.

Are you trying to set me up with her or something?

Shiro Yamada!MaraKrYP7s 855967

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>It looks like his friend has grown up the last time he remembered. It came as bit of a surprise for him, knowing Kai and all, but he made a mature decision. One could say Shiro was a bit proud of him for coming to that conclusion than try to avoid it. But since he did decide that himself, it would mean either that girl was just that bad to make him want to not talk to her, or his reasoning managed to convince him.

>However, he also didn't take into account the fact that Kai wouldn't want to be friends with her. He didn't want July to get hurt because of Kai's words. He knows he's been in Kai's position before when they first met, but he didn't want to hurt his feelings so he tried his best to ignore him until he went away. Of course, that didn't work, but they still ended up friends anyways. With the way Kai was with girls, Shiro should have figured that the same process wouldn't work for him and July.

>Though, Kai's last question put Shiro on the spot now. The first reaction was to turn away from him like he was hiding something and consider what he should to say. He doesn't want there to be any more unneeded confusion with the current day, so he might as well come clean with his intentions for Kai from the beginning. And with the new knowledge he gained about July's Magus family, it would pose a huge problem on both his and Kai's existence. He'd understand, right? They're best friends after all, Kai would understand that Shiro only wanted what was best for him.

...Yes. But- but just hear me out now! When I was looking for you, I did talk to her a little bit and found out she was part of a Magus family. She said she can't cast magic, so that means that the only other person that can is her sister, who I had met the other day without realizing it. I'm afraid that if we upset either of them, then something bad is bound to happen to either of us.

>He sighed and began pinching the area between his eyes. He didn't expect to have so much stress put onto him all within the span of thirty minutes. If his hair wasn't white already, it'd be very noticeable among the students in the school. But with his reasoning out of the way, he finally turned and faced Kai, completely serious about his choice of words.

I.. know that you are not the best when it comes to talking to girls, Kai, but at least.. try to tolerate her. I mean, who knows, she might turn out to be another good friend, just like me and you. But if you don't think you can handle her at all, then.. I'll try to do something about it. I don't know what, but I'll figure it out when the time comes.

>And just like that, almost on cue, the bell that was stationed outside of the boys bathroom rang, along with many of the other stationed bells around the school. Lunch time was now over, much to the students' dismay. He groaned a little as the earsplitting sound rang in his head until it stopped. But soon, it was replaced by the sound of students shuffling through the hallways towards their respective classes.

Well, time to get back to class, then. Good luck making it through your next classes, Kai. Remember to get some help if you're feeling sick from that pudding, alright?

I'll see you later, man.

>He leaned off of the dirty bathroom wall and washed his hands with the sinks that were available in there. Even if he didn't use the bathroom stalls, he still feels pretty dirty just being inside it. That feeling will never escape the area that is public bathrooms. With his hands now clean, he made his way out of the bathroom and onto his next classes.
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Summer!Jiang0l2K. 856000

File: 1416200461803.png (332.25 KB, 467x490, Oh.png)

Thursday, October 30th, 4:31PM
High-End Residential
This was worrying.

First, her sister tells her a story of how she viciously pounced on some other poor Mage family's heir, only to realize he was one-hundred times worse.

It wasn't her place to judge, but the behavior she'd described was almost a boldfaced insult. Running from her because of her heritage, not even trying to forge a reason to be excused, but simply running was just too much.

Yet, that wasn't her problem. The same boy was associating with an unknown.

Well, not really unknown, she'd met him herself.

The same boy was associating with an outsider, knowledgable of Mages, yet apparently struck dumb by the idea he was talking to the sister of one. As if he were guilty or terrified of the idea that he might be found out. That alone was enough to warrant a word with the Archards, but even before that, he'd sought her out, alone and extracted her name and various other bits of information under the guise of being a fan.

And he'd sized her up like a piece of meat.

After a few minutes of exposition to her mother and grandmother over the phone, she'd set off to speak with Mister Archard, despite the pending visit later that night. This couldn't wait.

Kai Forsyth!uvadBiRdiE 856048

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>Kai was capable of a mature decision, once in a while. When his butt was on the line, he knew that he had to do what was right--and when it involved a girl maybe stalking him for the next forever unless he paid attention to her, his butt was definitely on the line.


>His puppydog pout turns into an angry frown the moment Shiro reveals what his true intentions were. He was trying to set him up, just to butter their family up in case something happened to them?!

I'm pretty sure they won't come curse us or something just because I don't wanna be friends with Julie, Shiro. You're worrying too much about nothing.

>He crosses his arms, but allows his friend to go on. Yeah, yeah, he'd try. He glances off to the side, a small frown on his chocolate-covered face. As much as he wanted to say no, he'd never be friends with that girl, and Shiro should figure something out... well, if they really did have a chance of being endangered, he should probably do the right thing.

>The bell rings before Kai can reply with a plan. Tossing the finished pudding cup in a trash can, he shoves the dog toy in his backpack before zipping it up and slinging it over his shoulder.

I'll talk to a vet or something at the shelter if I start feeling really bad, yeesh!
>He sticks his tongue out at Shiro.
I'm a big kid. You don't have to remind me to do things like that. See you later, Shiro.

>While his friend leaves, he snatches a paper towel, and starts wiping his face off. He'd have to try and be friends with this girl so they wouldn't be put in danger... great. He tosses the towel in the trash.

>Kai catches a glance of himself in the bathroom mirror. Shaggy hair covering one eye, slight pout, tan skin... sometimes he wondered if it'd be easier if he looked this way all the time.


>The adopted Forsyth shakes his head, and walks out, to his next class.

Miyuki Akamine !MrCarnage2 856077

File: 1416207850739.jpg (50.59 KB, 286x500, yomi.jpg)

>Making her way home after a long day at school in which she had made many interesting discussions, had her bag knocked out of her grasp and trampled on by the same bullies who had visited during lunch and finally laughed at by a large cordon of otherwise straight laced students right up until she walked off the school's grounds proper.

>Whilst she walked on down the sidewalk that would eventually lead to the Shinto shrine on the edge of town that served as her house, but before then, she passed by a convenience store and as she did, the temptation to buy a box of Pocky was almost overwhelmingly powerful. But no, to buy a box of sweets now would likely only serve to turn her stomach after a few hours of the strenuous training that awaited her when she would arrive home. And so with the closest expression to that of a heartbroken puppy Miyuki would ever produce, she turned away from the store and continued on down the path set before her.

>... only to bump into one of Junction City's most prolific mages. Walking in the opposite direction to her was none other than Summer Jiang, first mage of a once prestigious lineage that had now all but been snuffed out. Though she was alone and without a magical crest, the sheer progress Summer managed on her own was something that had earned the silent awe and respect of the Akamine clan. Progress, distinction and discipline were all traits the clan respected even if the ways Summers demonstrated them were not the same that they themselves ever would.

Good afternoon Miss Jiang.

>Miyuki would announced loudly as she bowed in a traditional greeting to the magus before her. Personally Miyuki had never shown any disdain or cynicism towards the woman before her, rather, she had not shown much in terms of emotions at all. But even in the natural neutrality that pervaded Miyuki's ever controlled motions, she she still radiated something in way of amiability if only for the sheer tenacity Summer demonstrated in the ways of reviving her ancestry to match its bygone glory.

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 856083

File: 1416208657757.png (298.48 KB, 457x489, Huh.png)


Turning to face the feminine voice addressing her, the mage's muscles tense for just a moment before relaxing. As far as she remembered, Shiro wasn't a woman.

"Good evening, Miss Akamine."

And while her own opinions on the strange family that "protected" them were mixed, to say the least, she at least appreciated that, being very isolated from magus society as a whole, they tended to treat her and her mother with less disdain than many other families along the East coast. She never had to feel as if she were defending her family's honor or required to put up an unwavering show of solidarity around them. It wasn't at all similar to how amicable she and Alicia had been at one time, but at the least she didn't have to doubt their motivations for any kind words.

"I was on my way to speak with Alfred, though I suppose the matter may be of concern to you as well."

Alicia's father was a kind man, but she sincerely hoped she wasn't overstepping any bounds by reporting this to anyone but him first.

"My sister called to tell me some less than reassuring news about the Forsyth's son."
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Miyuki Akamine !MrCarnage2 856092

File: 1416210420114.png (1.08 MB, 1300x1100, 45106206.png)



>So it was about the anomaly she had noticed at work then - a creature with magic coursing through its form but no magical circuits to direct its flow. An abomination all in all that might once had human ancestry or physiology but no longer did. Since her observation of the monster, a clan member had always been observing the Forsyth monster. For now, they would not do much else but if ever the creature turned out to be dangerous, then things would progress at a much faster pace.

If it is of a sensitive topic, we could talk much more freely at the Shrine, of course, we would more than gladly accept you within our home.

Perhaps we might even discuss such grim subjects over a cup of tea...?

>True, Summer had no reason to accept the offer of hospitality and would likely see through Miyuki's kindness as nothing more than the customary Akamine courtesy existent in all members of the clan but at least she had made the effort to reach out towards Summer in a kindly gesture.

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 856124

File: 1416234642010.png (161.82 KB, 218x488, Sigh.png)

As much as she had no desire to offend the girl, she also felt it was incredibly important she speak with the head of the Archard family as soon as possible.

"I would love to some time, but I cannot afford to be sidetracked right now."

Though, it was very kind of her to offer.

"I suppose I'll have to explain on the way."

Gesturing for her to follow, the young woman turns to continue walking, though at a slower pace this time. She wanted to be sure they had plenty of time to discuss this before she arrived.

After a few moments of silence, she slowly, almost hesitantly begins speaking.

"I've never felt as if I really understood their son, but whenever we've been gathered, he always seemed at least courteous to our family's faces. But today..."

Pursing her lips, her features contort into an obviously unhappy arrangement.

"Well, he may as well have slapped my little sister across the face for how insulted she was. He sprinted away from her when she told him who she was. He gave her an obviously fake reason to leave, stood up and ran when she attempted to be friendly. He didn't even attempt to hide what they think of us, and frankly, I expected more from the Forsyths considering how obvious it is he isn't theirs."

Stopping at a crosswalk, the woman sighs heavily, as if used to this sort of thing.

"It's... Disheartening, to say the least."
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Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 856157

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>After he relented on his earlier decision, she seemed to calm a great deal, returning to her lunch with a practiced etiquette. The change of pace he mentioned wasn't just as such for himself, it had been quite a while since she'd had the opportunity to share her lunch with someone. In fact, it had been the first time she'd been so brazen as to ask someone to accompany her since she and Summer had that disconnecting argument way back then.

>Yet, now it was his turn to gain the initiative. For all her poking fun at him, she hadn't truly asked him anything so much as picked at him and his answers in order to gather information. In turn, he was asking far more of a direct question. Fitting, given what she knew of his personality so far.

>Finishing one of the pastries and having dabbed her lips with a cloth from inside the box to clean her face, Alicia placed the box down between then before letting out a short sigh. It was quite the question, and she wasn't entirely sure how to answer. Extending her legs and coming to a stand, she let her clothes and hair blow in the breeze whilst she looked out over the school grounds, watching the many people below. Some were eating on the grass, some participating in a bit of recreational sport.

You don't hide.

>It was a blunt statement compared to the myriad of words she tended to use. Whilst she would have to explain what she meant, it was certainly the most accurate way to describe it with so short a phrase.

People have a tendency to put up a shell to protect themselves, you see. Some might call that shell 'abrasion', some 'shyness', others may simply avoid contact with other people to create a far more physical barrier.

Yet, you, -
>She turned her gaze toward him, standing up against the fence and looking questioningly towards his eyes.
- despite the environment around you, don't hide what you want when the situation calls for it.

>Standing there in silence for a moment, she seemed to regard his presence as though thinking on what to say or do next, analysing him for some purpose only her head seemed to know. Regardless, she turned back to look upon all the people below, her tone both honest and very unlike the jovial nitpicking one she had used to tease him with.

It wasn't anything specific. I just wanted to know you, because you are that kind of person.

Alexander Peterson!Ren/VL7f/Q 856168

File: 1416250886857.png (460.6 KB, 648x490, Seriousface.png)

>He didn't hide.

>He saw no need to. There was no benefit he found to lying, save for maybe some momentary relief from the situation that called the need for it. If asked a question, he would reply honestly, as much as was within his power to do so...Though it wasn't precisely through him being a pillar of goodness.

...I have no need for hiding. I have no extensive social circles of friends, no people to have the need of putting on a mask for. I act as I see fit, and not for the reasons of any other person. If there is a goal that I can reach out and grasp with my own hands, then I should do whatever is within my power to grasp it.

>He takes another sip of the tea, before curiosity sneaks back into his tone, looking back to Alicia with a confused expression.

...Is that really so strange to you?

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 856170

File: 1416251895980.jpg (72.66 KB, 470x1000, Senjougahara.Hitagi.full.73169…)


>Another straight answer, lacking any hesitation as to ascertaining his strangeness. Her position had once again shifted to a half-sitting one against the piece of wall before the fence began, her stance very relaxed and unlike the professionalism she held herself to earlier on.

After all, in the world we live in, keeping secrets is natural. More rides on our actions than any one result can express. When one gets caught up in thinking about all the ripples they might create, it's only natural that a person would do their best to ensure the water stays as still as possible.

>That was the path of the magus, to pursue one's goals whilst hiding away from the rest of the world. After all, nothing but 'the goal' mattered in the end. Every generation, every life and action, were all put toward that end. Yet despite all that, her position and her time growing up, there was a part of her that yearned for something beyond that end goal. What was the Origin? What would it mean when they found it, and would she simply bear a child and pass on her knowledge, one more in a chain of people destined to have that fate?

You are interesting because you don't live in the same world as others do. I guess you could say...

>Her voice became quieter as she spoke. Did she really have the right to voice her own wishes when she had so much behind her, such a legacy bearing down on who she was and what actions she should take? If she deviated from the path, what would all the sacrifices those who came before her mean? Was it fair for her to be pushed this far for their ends?

Roll 1d1000 = 136
>Evens: Path of the Magus
... it's nothing. Did you want some more of the pastries?

>Odds: Path of Humanity

... I wanted to know more about that world.

Miyuki Akamine !MrCarnage2 856231

File: 1416261420896.png (610.47 KB, 1920x1080, 35.png)


I see... a shame really, maybe next time then.

>The rejection of the offer wasn't all that surprising all things considered, Summer did set out with a very specific task in mind to seek out the second-owner so it wasn't hard to imagine that Miyuki's offer would only get in her way at this point. Still, what was it that she wanted to speak with the second-owner about? Sure enough, the besmirching of her family name had occurred and it was enough to incur the wrath of Summer herself and the rest of her family in what little capacities it could be expressed but that was hardly an issue the second-owner needed to be involved with directly.

>No, given that the boy involved had been designated as a possible supernatural threat and that Summer had specifically denied the invitation for tea, it wasn't far-fetched to imagine that something had happened that would trouble not only Summer herself but possibly the entirety of the magical community of Junction City. If so, it was in the Akamine clan's interest to find out about such things sooner rather than once the second-owner deemed fit to involve them directly.

>And so looking Summer straight in the eye with an impassive face, Miyuki confronted Summer directly, her violet eyes loocking onto Summer's own.

Tell me Miss Jiang... is that really everything that happened?

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 856316

File: 1416268885847.jpg (46.36 KB, 441x750, tumblr_ne744gJBUz1qze9qao1_500…)

...Did she know more than she was letting on?

"No, Miss Akamine, it isn't."

Looking both ways before crossing, the magus remains silent, thinking of just what to say next.

"...As much as it terrifies me to think, either the young Forsyth has betrayed our existence to a classmate, or, more hopefully but potentially more dangerously, has made friends with someone already aware of our existence, but putting forth every effort to keep his presence unknown to us for one reason or another."

Folding her arms and furrowing her brow, the woman continues.

"So it's very likely he's a wanted criminal or is planning something that revealing his presence would spoil."

Shivering, the woman adds,

"As well as that, he sought me out while I was alone and questioned me. Not about magecraft, of course, but I can't help but find that suspicious considering his questionable intentions."

And he made sure it was during a time when she was vulnerable and not exactly well-dressed, either...

"I think that, considering all of that, it'd be best to bring this stranger up with Alfred as soon as possible."

Miyuki Akamine !MrCarnage2 856375

File: 1416272389378.png (1.08 MB, 1920x1080, 173.png)



>So then there were more of them, these creatures of human appearance and inhuman souls. Or at the very least, the beast the Forsyth family harbored associated with other supernatural elements present in Junction City. The idea that there might be a supernatural underground in the making right here in Junction City was a terribly disturbing concept that needed to be addressed with the most pressing of hastes. That this secondary creature had even sought out Summer indicated that these beasts might view the struggling magus as a potential ally or ressource these beasts might use against the other magi of the city thought to what end they might want to do so... that much was unknown.

You say this boy who knows of our existence approached you... did you manage to catch his name per chance?

>Though matters might be pressing in the extreme, the Akamine were not ones to rush headlong into danger without first weighting their actions and meditating on all possible courses of actions. After all, this boy might not be of supernatural origin and might be some boy the Forsyth beast befriended and conferred onto this unexpected civilian knowledge he was never meant to know. But at least, this outcome would deconstruct the notion of an underground and would keep things contained to a single individual that needed silencing.

Better yet, do you remember what this individual looked like?

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 856386

File: 1416273147533.png (190.74 KB, 379x416, Whatareyoulookingat.png)

Well, it was pretty hard to forget.

"Shiro Yamada. White hair, eyepatch. He apparently goes to school with you."

...It felt weird, but good to talk to someone like she was an adult, now.

"...He approached me during my daily yoga exercises. I usually make a habit of finding a quiet spot, but he found me regardless."


Adjusting the bag at her hip, the woman's brow furrows a bit more.

"He took his time staring at my... Assets, as well."

Alexander Peterson!Ren/VL7f/Q 856421

File: 1416278064303.png (456.86 KB, 651x490, Hmph.png)


>Almost as though mocking her own response, Alex quickly agrees to the idea of having a cinnamon roll. Justice was not dealt on an empty stomach.

>He takes a cinnamon roll and takes a few grateful bites out of it. Delicious, all pastries were created equal under the eyes of God, and all were equally delicious. He takes a few more happy bites, before swallowing, nodding his thanks to Alicia again.

This talk about how interesting I am is enough to swell heads...Though, I'll confess the idea that how I act is strange is...well, a strange one to me. Though it is said that such opposite behaviours are unable to understand each other, perhaps that's why.

>He takes his final sip of the tea, finishing the cup and looking thoughtfully into it.

...Though I hope that they will some day. One day, we will all be capable of understanding each other.

Miyuki Akamine !MrCarnage2 856434

File: 1416279103866.png (785.26 KB, 1920x1080, 145.png)


I see...

>So whoever this person was, they had known of Summer and approached her before doing the same with her sister July. Whatever or whoever this creature was they were incredibly well informed on the Jiang family structure to be able to locate their members so easily. Even if only human in nature, this individual would be highly capable in their purposes.

Well if that is the case I wouldn't want to delay you any further from speaking with Sir Archard.

>Bowing politely before Summer in a classical Japanese style curtsy, Miyuki would straighten herself and smile at the girl before her.

May we meet again soon.

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 856450

File: 1416279815592.png (243.31 KB, 398x461, Content.png)

Nodding, the young woman turns to leave, quietly calling over her shoulder.

"Be careful, Miss Akamine. He may be dangerous."

After a few moments, she adds,

"...Though I would refrain from approaching him until Mister Archard has made his decision on the matter. As your job is to deal with threats, and his status as one has yet to be established, violent apprehension at the tip of a blade may not be the best means by which to question him, especially if his nervous nature is any indication of how he'd react."

Starting off on her journey again, the mage smiles.

"Have a nice evening, Miyuki."

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 856452

File: 1416279874896.jpg (124.18 KB, 850x1110, sample_57dd126f8cbec782b0f6e4e…)

>The way he went for her cinnamon rolls suggested they were his favourites. Unlike the egg sandwich or even the tea, they were admittedly the sweetest things in the box, and she enjoyed them greatly. As sad as she might have been to see them go, however, it felt good to be able to share them with someone else again. This meeting and situation was out of her usual routine, so it at least provided an interesting difference in her life from the norm.

Hrm... I suppose I wouldn't say it's opposite, more... differing in principle. That being said, I don't find it unpleasant.

>Musing that to herself with a smile, she returned to her seated position and tried to get as much out of her own lunch as she could. Sharing meant she had less than usual for herself, but if she found it lacking toward the end of the day she could always ask for a little more dinner.

>The cold breeze continued on, yet hopefully the jesting and conversing, along with the tea, had made the atmosphere a little warmer.

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 856524

File: 1416284475269.png (182.16 KB, 406x431, WhatamIdoingwithmylife.png)

Thursday, October 30th, 4:39PM
Archard Residence
Seated just inside the foyer, the young woman waits patiently to be greeted.

On one hand, the leader of the Jiang family wished to speak with the father of the Archards.

On the other, the girl hoped to see her long-distant friend, if only because, deep down, she'd seen a spark of that old friendship there and hoped she could catch it.

She just hoped it wasn't too late to find it.




Alfred Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 856609

File: 1416325961523.jpg (77.12 KB, 600x400, dining room.jpg)

>The Archard residence was far from the largest in the district meant for those with wealth; the biggest of all belonged to the likes of business tycoons and those of the extreme upper class, likely gained through whatever ventures they had achieved in the ordinary world. Yet what the house lacked in size was definitely made up for by the atmosphere, from the garden outside to the lush interior.

>Summer had been met by the family maid, Miss Felicity Hurry, at the door and was escorted inside after her intentions had been made clear. She was a young girl in her late twenties whose appearance certainly suggested she was fit for the role, and was also far from emotionless in her service. Greeting Summer with a smile, speaking warmly to her generally seeming very happy with the job she held, Felicity was an excellent first point of contact for guests, providing a pleasant atmosphere no matter the occasion. Though times had changed, the maid fondly looked back on the times when both the guest and the young lady of the house played together in the garden, and a hint of that fondness was still present in her address to Summer, even if her words were formal.

I will let Mr. Archard know you have arrived, Miss Jiang - please wait here in the meantime. I'll return shortly with refreshment.

>Bidding her adieu with a curtsy, she went to find the master of the house, leaving Summer alone with the dining table and all the decoration surrounding it. This room could easily be considered a foyer to some given how close it was to the house entrance, but in truth the family dining room was just that. Though spacious, it was far from excessive in size, and the furniture gave it a perfectly full atmosphere that almost made it feel precise in the choices of decoration. Everything in that regard was of quality - the wood wonderfully polished but firm and laced with a golden pattern, a single well-maintained vase in the center and a traditional fireplace situated off to the side.

>Of course, Summer would have recognised all of this to begin with, as few if any changes had been made to the times she'd been there. The only main difference was that, hanging on the wall, the portrait of Alicia had been updated to her current self, as it was every year. She would likely be surprised to find, however, that the family photo had not been changed for around 5 years, giving a vision into the past she would otherwise not have had.


Alfred Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 856613

File: 1416327914423.jpg (124.9 KB, 1245x911, Alfred10.jpg)

>It wasn't long before the other entrance to the room was opened by Felicity, and a burst of sound could be heard by Summer. Though no-one but the maid was yet in view, the voices were easy to hear.

... - I trust you'll be able to perform the meets in my place?

Of course, Father. I already intended to visit the Akamine shrine on Sunday.

>There was no doubt for Summer who those voices belonged to. The first was Alfred Archard, the current Second Owner of Junction City who was widely known for his calm but firm judgement, whilst the second was unmistakably Alicia.

Ah, I'd been meaning to speak to them before I left, they called this morning about the discovery of an interesting individual but we didn't discuss details.

I'll be sure to speak to them about it.

Alright. I'll be a moment, then you can show me what you've been studying of late.

I'll be ready for when you arrive, Father.

>Once the exchange was complete, two pairs of footsteps could be heard, one leaving and one approaching. In but a few moments, a tall man in a white shirt, splendidly held jacket and interesting choice of tie stepped through the doorway, immediately catching Summer with his pointed gaze.

Ah, Miss Jiang. It was a surprise when Felicity told me you'd arrived, I was just preparing to visit. I believe it was something urgent...?

>Alfred hadn't yet sat down at the table, instead preferring to give a proper greeting as he walked in. He was also slightly curious, and tended to think a little better on his feet. Why had she come all the way here to discuss something when it could have been saved until the visit? Though he didn't really suspect as much, could they be hiding something at their abode they didn't want him to see this time? The timing was very curious, but he wasn't so obtuse as to assume everything before anything had been said.

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 856614

File: 1416329743101.png (298.48 KB, 457x489, Huh.png)

Nodding politely back, the young woman smiles. However thin their connection, she'd always been fond of Felicity. She was a wonderful person, and whenever she decided that she'd like to move on, the head of the Jiang family wished her the best. She'd miss her.

Her posture subconsciously straightening around the man, the mage puts on her friendliest and most approachable smile. While she partially regretted not speaking with Alicia again, it was probably for the best with the important news she had brought.

"Yes, and as much as I still look forward to your visit, this is not something I feel could wait until tonight."

Taking a deep breath to calm her mind, the young head continues.

"This afternoon, after school ended, my younger sister, July, called to say she had something very important to tell me. As it seems, the Forsyth's boy may have betrayed our existence to a classmate, or if not, almost certainly betrayed our existence to someone who was previously aware of the existence of mages, yet has done everything in his power to avoid us. I met this boy the day before, through circumstances too unlikely to be chance. It's my opinion that he sought me out, under cover of recognizing me and the face I put on for normal humans, to question me as best he could without raising suspicion."

It was a very large claim to make, she knew, especially from someone so young, but she trusted her sister. She loved her family too much to make this sort of thing up.

"I am in no way confirming it or making a claim, but it seems to me as if there are only a few possibilities: He is a mage, on the run for something he's done, a monster, aware that if we knew of him, he'd be destroyed, or someone or something else, somehow aware of us because of other mages."
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Alfred Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 856648

File: 1416339879282.jpg (130.29 KB, 1031x917, Alfred11.jpg)

>The entire portion of discussion was rather alarming, and the man made sure to take in what was being said silently, in order to think upon the details as she went. She seemed to have a lot to say about the potential threat, and he certainly felt it was right to have brought something like this to his doorstep as soon as possible.

>If there was a threat, or the potential of one, he most certainly wanted to investigate it, but that investigation began here, in this very room. The key factors he'd picked up was that it had something to do with Kenneth's son, and the boy in question had met with both Miss Jiang and her sister. There was something missing though, in all this, and that something was probably the key factor in making a claim such as the one being presented to him.

Indeed, this does sound like a serious matter. If someone is hiding in plain sight within the city boundaries I will be sure to have the matter investigated thoroughly, but I have yet to hear exactly what makes you believe he knows of our existence. I'm not about to stir up trouble in a young man's life and risk further exposure if I can't be absolutely certain there is a problem here.

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 856658

File: 1416340662617.png (161.82 KB, 218x488, Sigh.png)

"My sister was told by the Forsyth's boy that he knew. He did not say that he was the one to tell him, but it's still a very real possibility, and one we should consider. Considering his reaction to my sister and mages in general, however, it's very likely he had previous experience with mages to form such an aversion, to the point of actively avoiding us."

...and she'd completely forgotten to mention his name.

"His name is Shiro Yamada. He has an eyepatch and distinctly white hair, and is roughly Alicia's age."

She really, really didn't want to forget anything. Had he said anything else? Was she missing something...?

"...And, despite his mistrust of mages, or at least my family, he seems relatively close to Mister Forsyth's son. No matter who this stranger is, it doesn't paint a very pretty picture of Kai's character to associate with him, or to have failed to report him to you when he acknowledged our existence."

Think, think...

"If Alicia wouldn't object, there may be a way to prove he knows about us."
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Alfred Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 856683

File: 1416343402315.jpg (98.25 KB, 942x914, Alfred9.jpg)

>Despite not producing any hard evidence, Summer was very insistent that he knew something, and the incident of her sister being told by the boy, whilst not a conclusive thing, certainly pointed in the direction she was taking. The name and appearance was something to take note of, but it wasn't something he felt the immediate need to pursue just yet. Hiding like this without acknowledging him was certainly suspicious, if he was what Summer assumed him to be. A far greater crime would be to assume too much and take action on someone who never deserved it in the first place.

Hrmm... this is all very dependent on circumstance. I won't tarnish your sister's or your own testimony by dismissing it, I appreciate the matter being brought to me directly, however this could be any number of things beyond the malicious. To judge someone completely over their actions taken in brief windows over a two day period would stand against the very peace I have attempted to maintain in this city.

That said, I would most certainly appreciate it if an impartial eye was kept out for him. Given that I will be headed to London for a week this coming Saturday, there might be those who decide to take that as an opportunity, so I will be placing my daughter at the head of any investigations we make into the subject, as well as to hold my duty for that period.

You will have plenty of time to discuss this with her, I'm sure. Before I head to your house this evening, I'll inform her of everything we spoke of.

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 856684

File: 1416344279258.jpg (9.17 KB, 133x320, thumbnail_6b9d498e-45a1-4575-b…)

She very much appreciated it.

As much as she'd like him to take action, it was only because her sister was sure, and to assume he had the same level of trust in her was unreasonable. That said, she was just as dedicated to protecting him if he was innocent as could be, but she couldn't shake the feeling of unease just yet.

She really didn't like him, and wished that Mister Archard would at least consider bringing him in before he did anything they couldn't take back.

"I understand, sir. Miss Akamine has already been informed, and agreed not to take action until you'd been told and made your decision. I'll be sure to contact her again."

...She really wished that she could speak to Alicia without the burden of responsibility, though.

"Thank you for taking the time to hear me."

Alfred Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 856685

File: 1416345682880.jpg (76.77 KB, 839x878, Alfred39.jpg)

>As someone who watched over everything at once, it often caused him to think a lot more about the repercussions a single action had on the whole. If she was right, taking action immediately would bring about the fastest resolution before anything terrible could happen. If she was wrong, however, such a rush of action could likely spell a disaster in its own right. The correct course of action was patience, understanding what was happening before taking action - that was what he believed.

That's alright, I believe Alicia mentioned she intended to see the Akamine family this Sunday. It may well be more productive to keep an eye on this Shiro Yamada. Though I would like to hope there isn't anything truly going on, it does not hurt to have caution.

>There was one man that Alfred thought might be related to this, but if that was the case it was already in hand. Alicia would be able to handle that meeting as well. As helpful as it might've been to mention it, he worried that Summer might take matters into her own hands if he mentioned it.

You're welcome any time, Miss Jiang. If you allow me a moment to speak to Alicia and have dinner, I will be over in a matter of hours.

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 856686

File: 1416347477893.jpg (241.24 KB, 1280x1751, 1415221751835.jpg)

Nodding thankfully, the young head smiles.

"Thank you, sir. It's always a pleasure to have you."

...She did wonder if he wouldn't stay for dinner tonight, though. Mother was going to continue her lessons in Zhejiang cuisine. They were having dongpo pork tonight.

...It was kind of cheating on her diet, but one night couldn't hurt.

Plus, the dinner wasn't the only thing waiting for him.

"And sir, while I don't really wish to spoil the surprise, I've made some very exciting advancements in regards to refining the processes by which my great-grandfather purified the blood of those poisoned by supernatural creatures. I'm confident that, if they could be kept alive long enough, and it wasn't a problem with their circuits, I could remove any venom we know of."

The main problem being that they'd have to survive long enough, and not being half the magus her great-grandfather was, she'd take far longer than he would have to do the same amount of work, which would lower their chances of survival greatly...

...But at least she was trying, right?

Alfred Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 856722

File: 1416353273684.jpg (329.11 KB, 1637x921, Alfred6.jpg)

>Summer had proven herself to be a bit of an oddball when it came to family heads, mostly because she was rather young but also because it was unclear just who was the head of the Jiang household. Summer had taken it upon herself to bring about the resurrection of her family, but she also had a tendency to show her hand perhaps a little too much. The inspection was mostly to ensure there was nothing amiss, not to check on progress, but he supposed Summer saw it as chances to 'prove their worth' so to speak.

>It wasn't necessarily a bad thing, but a magus was typically a more solitary creature than she opted to be. On the one hand she was liable to gain more favour, but she was undoubtedly putting herself and her magecraft at risk because of it. Whether any sort of event would come where she might learn that lesson, only time could tell.

Hrm, very interesting. I'll look forward to seeing it.

>Whilst it was a good thing to have been developing, in the end it wasn't something that would further the Archard family goals. He would keep it in mind in case it was needed, the ability to cure poisons was an appreciated one.

For now I shall attend to homely matters. I suspect you may wish to have a few final hours of preparation at home yourself, so I won't keep you for longer than needed.

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 856724

File: 1416353707220.png (57.38 KB, 225x350, 257297.png)

Nodding, the woman stands and bows her head politely to the Second Owner.

"Goodbye, Mister Archard. And tell your daughter I said hello."

She was... Apprehensive about the week to come.

Alicia at the head of her family? Even temporarily? There wouldn't be a chance of them being friends again.

Slowly walking for the door, the magus quietly adds,

"I do miss her, sometimes."

Miyuki Akamine !MrCarnage2 857299

File: 1416454775983.png (1.32 MB, 1920x1080, 313.png)

Friday, October 31st, 5:00PM
>Halloween, the one night of the year were most people took spirits, ghosts and demons semi-seriously. The one night were her line of work would be expected to be at its most intense when youths and youngsters from the city spread out into the woods and abandoned neighborhoods to hunt down spirits and their monstrous ilk was actually the one night she and the rest of the clan could take easy. To be sure, there was a lot of preparation that had to be accomplished in the weeks leading up to the festivity what with clearing up any actual haunting sites most people normally avoided but on this night actively sought out and the spreading of rumors in tabloids and bars about hauntings happening in actually mundane environments but once the festivity itself occurred, the sheer mass of people walking the streets at night and visiting normally deserted spots scared most spirits into hiding away for the night.

>And so, whilst a few members remained on lookout for any emergencies, the rest of the Akamine clan could actually take the night easy and spend the night as they wished. Miyuki, for example, took the opportunity of the holiday happening on the verge of a weekend to lock in an absurd amount of hours on a day most employees spent their vacation days on. What with the store being mostly empty except for the odd late night shopper and the party-going youth buying a new bag of candy or alcohol to fuel the evening, Miyuki expected her shift to be an easy one in which she could relax and earn herself an fat easy paycheck for once.

>But even as she planned the evening in her head, first she had to make it to work and driving through the now crowded streets of Junction City with her bright yellow scooter at night was far harder than the young magus would have liked. For one thing, the parents seemed utterly content to let their children roam around the street with the faith that the ever-present police officers and parents would be enough to keep the young ones in check. As for the other... some of the costumes she saw were utterly mind-boggling. Who in their right mind would want to dress their child up as a sandwich on a night like this?! In any case, with a few quick honks from her horn, even the waddling sandwich kid went scuttling off to the sidewalk were he and his ilk belonged.

Beep Beep.

>In any case, Miyuki's workplace had an insistence that every employee had to dress-up in a costume of sorts to help them blend-in with the festive atmosphere that permeated the nation on this very special night so, to fit with her manager's expectations, Miyuki had stopped off at the temple to pick up her sword wrapped up in its cloth carrying-case. This item mixed with her school uniform was to make her look like the protagonist of some manga or other. If questioned by the customers on who she was supposed to be, Miyuki's plan was to point to her yellow scooter parked out front and ask with an indignant expression and tone of voice "Isin't it obvious?!" The benefits of such a plan were two-fold: first, it would allow her to get by with a costume with the least amount of effort on her part as possible; secondly, if questioned by one of the infamous weabuu clients she sometimes saw, it would drive away any coments or questions about her on the basis that no true fan of anime could ever ask another whom they were cosplaying without being shamed by the rest of the community for their lack of knowledge on the subject.

>And so with costume in hand and mob of children cleared, Miyuki parked her scooter near the front of the lot reserved for motorcycles, clocked into work, put on her nametag and took her position behind register number 9 were she hoped to spend the rest of her shift uninterrupted.
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Valentina Rabinovich!aLEJudith. 857342

File: 1416458647646.png (206.25 KB, 296x481, Sparklesparkle.png)

>And as she Miyuki deals with the tasks and woes of Retail she gets a new person arrive at her place, her cart full of candy,several Zombie B-moives, and the usually assortment of groceries that were common for any shopper she dealt with.

>As she placed everything onto the convenor belt she gave her cashier a small greeting.

Good evening.

>A Russian accent, not very thick but certainly noticeable without much attention to it. And she was very... blue as well. Blue hair, blue eyes, blue hat, and blue coat. The only divination from that were the long dark brown boots and the belt she wore over her coat...

>Was this a costume as well? It had to be, who dresses like that normally?!

Miyuki Akamine !MrCarnage2 857404

File: 1416466858283.png (1.24 MB, 1920x1080, 68.png)

>As the new customer stepped up to her register, Miyuki smiled a complacent if tired smile expected of a person forced to work during a holiday mirrored in her fellow colleagues working the floor and registers. But even as she set her various items on the conveyor belt, Miyuki's pure eyes drifted across the woman's incredibly blue attire to see the tell-tale signs of magical circuits coursing through her entire beings. However this person was, they were a magus of an unknown family. The accent itself was a little off-setting but it gave a clue as to where they might originate from - eastern Europe perhaps... maybe even Russia? Faint as it was, the foreign intonation was unmistakably there, hidden by what must have b een an expensive education but quite clear to a trained ear such as hers. And through it wasn't so hard to imagine the lady in blue sitting in a far-off Soviet castle, Miyuki couldn't help but wonder what a foreign mage such as her was doing in her city uninvited?! If she was here to wreck havok with the spirits of Junction City then she must have already found out that such an intervention would prove useless given the preparations the Miyuki clan had made in regards to Halloween. But if not that then why else was this woman here?

>But my oh my had Miyuki's job become demanding as of late. What had once been a simple retail job that provided the young demon hunter with social training and problem solving on top of an acceptable salary had turned into an actual information nexus for the girl to track down and learn about the potentially dangerous magical anomalies that came and went from Junction City. First the Forsyth boy whose magical essence was unknowably inhuman and now a rogue mage trying to hide away in the city. Was she a sleeper agent sent to ruin the magical infrastructure for some unknown party or a spy acting on behalf of a high-tier magus family? Whichever the case, the woman's clothes were of a uniformingly blinding hue of blue... had she died her hair to match her eyes and set her clothes to fit as well? If so, why in the world would she do so? Perhaps she was cosplaying just as Miyuki was but in a much more invested way given how convincing she appeared to be... whatever the hell she was.

>Ah well, whatever the woman's motives were Miyuki would find out nothing about them tonight. Rather, she would simply send the woman on her way and inform her clan of what she had found as well as the second-owner of this new development. Rogue mage hunting was more Alicia's domain then her's anyways. And so, having scanned the woman's mountain of cheaply made candy and equally cheap movies, Miyuki turned towards the incredibly blue woman to ask her...

Will that be Cash or Credit Ma'am?
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Valentina Rabinovich!aLEJudith. 857472

File: 1416507131558.png (134.51 KB, 267x351, Awkward.png)

Oh it'll be cash.

>She reaches into her pockets to pull out a small purse taking out the large wad of cash she needed to pay for the items. Several hundreds and several fifties... more then your average person.

>She hands Miyuki the amount needed to minimize the amount of change she got in return.

Here you go.

Miyuki Akamine !MrCarnage2 857497

File: 1416512072009.png (617.92 KB, 1920x1080, 27.png)

>Blinking at the huge wad of cash that was handed to her, Miyuki sighed with despair at the thought of having to call a floor manager to look at and analyze each and every bill before he or she might take them away to be locked in the backroom safe. Turning her head from side to side, scanning the floor to see if any managers were around and looking in her direction, Miyuki quickly opened up the register to process the amount without anyone being the wiser of her little infraction.

>After stuffing the cash into her register and pulling out the appropriate change in tens and twenty dollar bills, Miyuki stopped to wonder at what type of magic this rogue mage might specialize in or what family they descended from. She'd heard many things of eastern-European magic and the ways it differed from what she had known but couldn't actually tell what a magic circuit's affinity was simply by looking at it. To her, a mage was a person overlapped with bright blue and white veins that flowed up and down their form over their clothes with the number and quality of circuits being represented with the thickness and number of lines running over their form. And though the foreign magus techniques were unknown, simply by gazing at the number and quality of her magic circuits Miyuki could tell that whoever they were would be no pushovers for ordinary magi.

Would you like your purchases bagged ma'am?

>She asked, her tired smile waning ever so slightly under the combined weight of analyzing the person across from her and keeping a careful eye on managers as they came and went across the floor.

Valentina Rabinovich!aLEJudith. 857510

File: 1416516414795.png (222.1 KB, 411x490, Nervous.png)

>The woman seemed to space out for a moment as if she was focused on other matters.

Hmmm? O-oh, um yes please. If you don't mind.

>As Miyuki looks at the mage, she sees the high density of blue and white surrounding the woman. quite thick and numerous, clear sign of her power and the almost obsessive amount of time that her family had put into making her a skilled Magi. But that left the question of why she was here then and not back home furthering her skill even further. Unless her reason was here on the other side of the planet.


>It was in that moment that the girls absent mindedness vanished and she seems to notice the minute change in the woman's smile.

I apologize for giving you more work... It must be chaotic around this time..

>She legitimately sounded guilty about bothering a person who was paid to do these things. Even becoming shy and looking down at the floor almost as if expecting to be lashed out at.

Miyuki Akamine !MrCarnage2 857667

File: 1416538981508.png (1.12 MB, 1920x1080, 43.png)

>What was this now? The foreign magus of untold power was apologizing to a simple retail employee doing her job in a mostly deserted store? Looking around to confirm what she thought, Miyuki saw a mostly empty store with only a few disgruntled geriatrics and hardcore party-goers fueling their evening with more candy and booze to populate the many aisles and floor of the store. So then why did she claim that the night was busy when it obviously was not? Her posture implied submissiveness and the instinct to fear the sort of backlash one might receive in an abusive household. A reality which was, unfortunately, quite common in magus families seeing as the training and rituals related to magecraft were often quite demanding on the mind and body - most families found that a little bit of brutal discipline helped curb the mind into the appropriate frame to want to avoid mistakes at all costs. Either that or she might be Canadian... the immediate apology over the smallest of imagined slights made that a very distinct possibility.

>Still, no matter what tragic past the woman might have experienced in her life, Miyuki could feel no pity for her. She was, after all, a foreign mage sneaking its way through her city for unknown and potentially nefarious reasons. Any sort of empathy towards would be a gain for the enemy - a tool they could twist to their advantage if ever they came to blows with one another. For that reason, Miyuki would absolutely not allow this woman any pity for the ill treatment she might have received in her life.

Its absolutely no problem Ma'am.

>Though the fact that they would likely be enemies in the future did not mean that she should be rude towards her. The basics of courtesy extended to all human beings after all and this extremely blue woman was no monster so far as she could see.

>Wrapping the woman's groceries and movies in cheap plastic bags imprited with the store's logo and slogan, Miyuki held out the bags for her to pick up and carry away back to whatever sanctuary she had made her own.

Have a nice day.

Valentina Rabinovich!aLEJudith. 857672

File: 1416540882248.png (291.34 KB, 496x487, Siiiigh.png)

>She sighed in relieve happy that, even if was something she was expecting an employee to say, she wasn't annoyed with her.
>gathering up her things once more she readies herself to leave and gives Miyuki a farewell.

Yes, you as well and happy Halloween to you miss.

>With that, the rouge mage takes her leave from the store and heads back home to spend her night giving out candy to the sweet children and watch zombie movies.

>Still just be doing that for herself, she has possibly set herself up to have that all come crashing down.

Kai Forsyth!uvadBiRdiE 858944

File: 1416882699808.png (489.19 KB, 880x500, Rogue_silently_realizes_that_S…)

Monday, November 3rd, 12:05pm
Junction City High School Cafeteria
>After the disaster that was last Halloween, Kai was informed that his Halloween haul would be rationed this year. It, along with his little sister's, was stored somewhere in the house, behind a basic lock rune. He was only allowed a piece a day to avoid inducing vomiting due to over-consumption of deadly chocolates and wrappers for the second year in a row.

>Kai hatched the perfect plan, though. He would pretend to be sick, wait til his parents were otherwise occupied, and then locate the stash and break into it with his bare hands!

>His scheme was, predictably, thwarted the moment he tried to scratch off the rune engraved into a wooden cabinet with his bare fingernails. At least he missed most of first period.

>So there the poor boy was, at lunch, poking with a spoon in misery at the chicken noodle soup in a styrafoam bowl. He'd already picked out the chicken chunks, leaving the dehydrated carrots and peas to float in the off-color broth. He knew he should eat more of it, but it just wasn't what his stomach was yearning for.

>It wasn't the sweet, sweet chocolate that he always got sick after eating.

>To top it all off, he couldn't even smell Shiro today, so he was completely alone in the massive lunch room, at a table with two free seats.

>Kai pouts at his soup.

>This week was off to a great start.

>And it'd only get better from here.


File: 1416884454364.jpg (10.87 KB, 198x254, images (4).jpg)

>Halloween went by rather stressful for another student as well. Its not so much that her candy was rationed, so much as that as usual her duties over the holiday boiled down to taking her younger siblings out Trick or Treating, and while she loves her siblings, doing anything with both of the Twins is always frustrating, especially if it involves letting "Rhia" have access to sugar.

>She'd basically hid in her room the whole rest of the weekend, just to not have to deal with them at all outside of dinner time.

>She hadn't even seen Kai in class, so he probably got sick like last year, though he usually seems pretty healthy, so she's not exactly sure why it seems to be this time of year that it happens.

>Still, she's about fed up with basically everyone else in the class, and after how Halloween went, she's at the point where she'd even put up with that weird punk looking senior if it meant sitting with someone she could actually stand talking to right now.

>But if Kai isn't in class, he probably won't be here for lunch, so she'll just have to find anoth...

>Wait....isn't that? He seems pretty gloomy though, so maybe his parents made him come even though he's not feeling well? That other boy isn't there though, so...its her chance.

>She pops her knuckles before heading over.

"Hey, Kai, long time no talk. Have a rough Halloween this year too?"

>Hopefully he hasn't caught whatever the other boys all seem to have, he hadn't seemed to in class, at least, but well, its not like they'd talked much since he started hanging out with Whitey.

Kai Forsyth!uvadBiRdiE 859028

File: 1416887423825.jpg (26.86 KB, 225x349, Rogue-Cheney-sting-eucliffe-an…)

>The irritating pop of bones is all the preamble Kai gets to the arrival of wait oh god was that the one crazy girl no no no pretend you're a statue--!

>--wait, that wasn't her voice.

>Kai blinks in surprise, and looks up from his bowl of subpar reheated soup. It wasn't July. It was Tallie, one of the other magi in the area. She was nice enough to him through school, since they were in the same grade and all, even if she sorta... grew... over the summer. Girls were still confusing, even her.

Huh? Oh, yeah. Kinda.

>She wasn't too bad to talk to, though. He waves his hand towards an empty seat, motioning for her to sit down.

My parents took away all the candy me and Grace got and locked it up 'cause they were afraid I'd eat it all and get sick again.

>He pouts.

I have enough self-control to not eat all of it, but apparently they trust me as far as they can throw me.

>He idly stirs the remains of the unappetizing soup.

What about you? Did you get any huge candy bars this year?


File: 1416888479468.png (90.65 KB, 230x340, Tallie.png)

>The girl lets out a sigh that is some mixture of relief and exasperation. Kai at least was still normal, well, for Kai anyways.

>She doesn't actually know most of the other magi in town, but from the sounds of what she's heard from her parents, well, maybe most magi are just sort of odd.

"Well, I mean, you did get really sick last year, so maybe they're just being careful?"

>Tallie takes a seat before digging her lunch out of her backpack. Today it seems to be sandwiches, though it looks like its made out of a lot higher quality ingredients than anything served at the school.

>And another sigh this one very much a tired one.

"Well, if there were any, Rhia must have gotten them. Either that or I just didn't get the chance with having to keep both of the Twins out of trouble. I mean, Rhia kept running on ahead, and Arawn likes playing pranks on people, so I mainly just spent the night trying to herd them around."

>She pauses for a moment before continuing.

"I brought some of the smaller chocolates for dessert, so I guess I could share, as long as you don't forget to eat your lunch as well."

>Its nice to be able to spend time with him again. Kai was pretty simple to understand, and he's from another old magi family that's on good terms with hers, so they used to spend a lot of time together, well, and it means they don't have to worry about accidentally letting things slip.

>In any case he's a lot easier to deal with than the others, since well, Kai is still Kai.

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 859071

File: 1416890038809.png (559.81 KB, 500x700, tumblr_naq481N8XH1tahrlzo1_500…)

Sunday, November 2nd, 10:00am
Akamine Shinto Shrine Entrance
>You could say that it was weird for a Shinto shrine to have such a place in an American city - you'd be right. For one thing, very few of these existed across the entire country, and even stranger that it was placed here, on the far east coast and futher away from the country of its origin. Yet here, in Junction City, it had become a staple attraction to the location and one that was wholly appreciated by the townsfolk and tourists alike. It certainly provided insight into a very different culture, and even had a fair number of worshippers from among the citizens. Though small in comparison to some of the grander Japanese shrines, it was by no means small, something which Alicia Archard had difficulty dealing with.

>It wasn't that she disliked large buildings. What she didn't like was having absolutely no idea what building led to another or what paths led where, it was such a different style to her own home or general western style that it baffled her every time she came. Thankfully, this was an official visit rather than a casual one, and a guide would be there to take her around shortly.

Calm down Alicia, you've done this thousands of times before... though none of us are 10 anymore and I'm holding this thing on my own.

>Letting out a breath to try and handle her own stress, she straightened herself up a little more whilst she had the time, wondering whether it would be Miyuki or her father, or one of the many other family members here that would get here first.

Kai Forsyth!uvadBiRdiE 859080

File: 1416890472583.png (341.42 KB, 883x640, Rogue_won't_let_Frosch_disappe…)

>The son of magi echoes his acquaintance's sigh.

Yeah, but, still... after that, they should know I'm not gonna eat that much ever again...

>The hours immediately following his mass consumption last year were filled with promises that he'd never eat an entire bag of candies ever again. After snacking on some little ones while taking Grace trick-or-treating, he broke those promises and looked forward to some alone time with his loot.

>Her night still sounded worse than his day after. He could barely handle one kid, let alone two.

Yeesh. Did you at least take a candy tax? That's what I would've done after walking them around all night.

>Or stolen some from their bags, either way.

>But she brought some of the smaller chocolates?! Kai immediately straightens up, eyes brightening, if that was even possible.

I've already eaten the good parts of my lunch, trust me, and that's a compliment to say any of this is even kinda good! If you could give me even, like, one chocolate to clean my mouth after that grossness, I'd owe you forever, Tallie! I'd do anything for you!


File: 1416891919651.jpg (7.5 KB, 300x168, images (21).jpg)

>She seems to perk up a bit after a few bites of one of her sandwiches, at least.

>Unfortunately, she has a tendency to solve a lot of her mood problems with rich foods, but she has her fencing practice and she puts a lot of effort into burning off excess fat in PE, so she keeps herself healthy at least.

"I tried that one year, but it didn't work out very well. I bet your little sister is like an angel compared to those two."

>....She should really make him eat his soup. With how much he's into sports, Kai needs all the food he can get....

>But....its hard to pass up his offer. Especially if it means she can get a free pass on anything.

>Its not like he's really hurting anyone by not eating his soup either.

"Fine, you can have one, but just this once, because we're friends and all. I'll hold you to that favor though, so you better be prepared to help out when I need it."

>With that she reaches into her bag and rustles around before tossing a small candy bar to her black haired friend. It seems to say "Fun Size" on the wrapper, though its hard to tell what exactly is more "Fun" about it than any other size.


>She then pauses and takes out a nice looking handkerchief with the cursive letters TL embroidered in one corner and wraps up a triangle of her club sandwiches and hands that over as well.

"...Here. You know you're going to be hungry later on because you didn't eat all of your lunch, right, so just take it. Just make sure you wash the handkerchief off and bring it back tomorrow so I can pick it back up at lunch time."

Kai Forsyth!uvadBiRdiE 859169

File: 1416894150579.gif (531.72 KB, 160x175, tumblr_nd778hiz5J1rlaxc8o9_r1_…)

>Kai tended to look to food to solve his problems, too, but he had a fortunately fast metabolism to handle all of that. That, and he generally ate food that was good for him in the first place, so he didn't have to worry about excess fats and oils. Anything but his strict athlete's diet, and he'd get sick.

>Which explained how he got sick a lot during Halloween, Thanksgiving, Easter, Valentine's, and Independence Day.

I haven't seen the twins in a while, so I can't really say anything, but Gracie's awesome.
>He beams a little as he talks about his little sister.
For Halloween, she was Little Red Riding Hood, and made me be the grandma. The dress was really itchy, though.

>Aha, yes, food! His eyes light up and he just barely resists the urge to catch it in his mouth. Instead, he grabs it in his hand, shucks the wrapper, and stuffs the chocolate in his mouth with a very satisfied "mmm~". It was almost as good as peanut butter!

Kay, yeah, I owe you and I'll do whatever you want, just once. Totally worth it.

>Even if it was a very little piece of chocolate. Besides, it wasn't like there was any possible way this could backfire.

>At the offer of more palatable food, the Forsyth boy blinks in surprise.

Y-you sure?
>he asks, as he takes the neatly-wrapped sandwich.
I'm not gonna die of starvation between now and when I get home just 'cause I didn't eat all my lunch.
>What a lie. He'd complain and begin to wither by the end of the next period. He lifts up a corner of the handkerchief to inspect the initials.
... that's one fancy napkin, though...


File: 1416895784172.png (113.88 KB, 245x290, tumblr_ms23x0X2pq1qjv6zxo4_250…)

>Sheesh, he sure lucked out with siblings, though from the sounds of it, the Forsyth kids are just a lot more spoiled than her siblings.

>Well, okay, sure maybe she lives better off than a lot of kids at school, but she also has to deal with a lot more expectations, both as the next head of her family on the Magi end, and most likely on the business end as well.

>Where it seems like the Twins just run around and do whatever they want without a shred of nobility or honor sometimes.

"Well, Rhia was something from some new game she's been playing, she's been hooked on it ever since she saw a character who looks a lot like...*The girl pauses and looks around for a bit before coughing and continuing*...that uh, imaginary friend of hers, who I told her had to stay home."

>It was bad enough keeping Rhiannon from using her Mystic Code sometimes as it was, but she just didn't want to risk it with how excitable the girl was on Halloween. Hopefully Kai got what she was getting at, she wasn't sure if he'd remember Rhia's "Bodyguard".

"...Anyways, Arawn was a Wizard again. Though he still refuses to wear a fake beard. I swear, he'd try and cheat people out of the whole candy bowl if he thought he could get away with it though."

>There's obviously a mixed sort of tone to her voice regarding her siblings, neither of them who are anywhere near as well behaved as Gracie.

"Anyways, I got to wear 'that' so at least I didn't have to try and find something even remotely decent in my size this time around. It matched well enough with Arawn's costume anyways."

>She seems to smile about her costume at least, though that smile turns into a stern sort of look when he mentions that last bit.

"If your metabolism is anything like when we were kids, well half the time you ate like you were starving or something. You don't want your track times to start slipping or your parents asking why you're so hungry when you get home, right?"

>A pause.

"...Just make sure you bring it back, okay? Its not like one of those disposable ones you can just throw away, the reason its so nice is so that you can use it multiple times just by washing it in between uses."

Kai Forsyth!uvadBiRdiE 859187

File: 1416898446664.jpg (6 KB, 184x185, 184px-Shadow_Dragonslayer's_Sm…)

>Imaginary friend? Kai raises an eyebrow. Why would she ban an imaginary friend from going trick-or-treating--oh.
>A look of understanding crosses Kai's face, and he nods. Right, right, that friend.
>He still couldn't understand why she was always so "meh" about her siblings, though. They were family, you were supposed to love them, despite all of their faults! That's why Kai loved Grace, even when she threw a fit or called him smelly.

In all fairness, fake beards and wigs can get really itchy. The wig was the worst part of the grandma costume, and not just because it smelled like my cats.
>He wrinkles his nose at the thought, though his expression softens into a small pout as she goes on.

's 'cause I was starving... snack time once a day wasn't enough. That's why I have a box of granola bars in my locker. ... or, used to, til I ate it.
>The box, that is. And the bars.
Everybody babies me about my eating habits, though! Even Shiro stole my pudding last week.
>He puffs his cheeks out.
I'm a big kid. I know how much I can handle.

>That said, he fits as much of the sandwich into his mouth as he can at once, gives a small "mmm~", hides his mouth with his free hand, and speaks as he chews.

I'll bring it back, I promise.
>Munch, munch. Swallow. He smiles.
Thanks, Tallie!


File: 1416899887837.png (235.37 KB, 323x501, Erza_without_armor.png)

>Its not that she doesn't love her siblings, in fact, she's actually the one of the first to get involved if she hears about anyone giving them a hard time. She just tends to tell Kai how much trouble they are because...well...he at least listens.

"I guess, but it'd save him a lot of time explaining his costume every year if he would."

>Then again, he might actually enjoy that part of it the most.

"Well, see, you can't really get away with being so picky, especially now that you ate your backup snacks."

>The bars, not the box.

>Shiro...must be that senior.

"So, what's he li...."

>And then the sandwich disappears.

"Hey, you were supposed to save that for later. Seriously, what am I going to do with you...."

>And another quarter of a sandwich goes his way.

"At least wait a class before eating that one okay? At this rate I should probably just pack twice as much so you can have a whole one next time."

>There is that. Whether its how she was raised, or having to look after the Twins so much, or maybe just her own nature, she tends to dote on people a bit much sometimes.

>Not that she's ever seen it that way. While she might complain a little, she can't help but worry about people around her, especially her friends and family. In any case, she doesn't actually seem that upset, and she actually smiles a bit to herself as she hands over another quarter of her own lunch.

"...Anyways, Shiro is that senior I've seen you sitting with, right? Whats he like anyways?"

Hiraku Akamine !MrCarnage2 859201

File: 1416903037134.png (1.88 MB, 1920x1080, 1.png)

>Walking through the bright red gates of the Akamine Shinto shrine engraved and decorated with seals and prayers of purification, Alicia would walk into a scenery plucked straight from the recesses of some Japanese mountain range. With a carefully cultured entrance of smooth flat stones arranged in a wide pathway for practitioners and tourists alike to walk as they approached the temple and the complex of Japanese houses that housed all of the Akamine family, their dojo as well as the much larger amenities arranged for the tourists who visited the site. All around Alicia were carefully manicured shapes and spheres, the plants themselves combed into a shape representing harmony between mankind the many spirits of this world. In this place of exotic peace and ancient rituals, the outside world felt somehow detached, alien, as if somehow the shrine existed on another plane of existence to the rest of the town and larger world it belonged to. If a person would just sit and listen, they could hear the song of birds much more clearly than anywhere else and some visitors swear they felt something stir within them that never had known existed - though, whether that something is related to extremely latent magic circuits or an awakening of the soul is a subject the Akamine clan never felt the need to investigate.

>And so, standing there surrounded by all these foreign and exotic elements, a young bald man of late twenties to early thirties, who had presumably been calmly resting in the spot, seemed to detach himself from the shadow of a nearby tree as he approached Alicia with a pleasant, smiling expression covering his face.

My my my Alicia-chan it certainly had been quite some time since I've seen your like around this place.

>He exclaimed in a pleasant tone of rubbing the back of his bald head as his smile stretched widely from ear to ear. And Alicia would recognize this man well for he was none other than the current head of the Akamine's younger brother - in other words, Miyuki's uncle. Famed for being an extremely talented Vanquisher whose talents were now reserved as that of a teacher to the younger members of the family and as backup for the larger threats that seldom arose in the Akamine's carefully maintained watch over Junction City.

I swear, you are real sight for sore eyes. This place never gets visited by cute girls of your caliber.

Maybe instead of going to the meeting you and I could slink off and have some tea... just the two of us...?

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 859214

File: 1416914668961.gif (579.56 KB, 500x281, Attention caught.gif)

>The smooth stones, the general nature of the plants and scenery, it all helped to bring out the natural feeling of the converging ley lines here. There were a few places like this within the town, hence its position as a spiritual ground, but it seemed the Akamine clan, along with their Shinto practices, helped to bring out that energy into the environment around them and create a very tranquil place.

>A tranquility that was easily broken by one of the people she would've least wanted to show her around, good old Mr. Hiraku, who caught her eye once he began moving from his place amidst the trees. As skilled and impressive as he could be, over recent years she'd observed him in a slightly different light, having come over with her father particularly often. This newer image of him was mostly due to her realisation that sexual attraction to other people was a prominent thing in society, and his methods were questionable, though nothing that could stoop to the level of dastardly inappropriate. Admittedly, this was the first time she'd ever had to deal with this when it was directed at herself. It was flattering in one way, but all sorts of 'no thank you' in many others. Then again, being single at his age was either a testament to his dedication as a monk or embarassing disappointment as a man.

>She could chew him out for it, but she was here professionally as the Representative Second Owner, so she figured it would be better to handle it a little more, well... professionally. Best to start with a polite half-curtsy, those were always a good idea.

It's good to see you as well, Hikaru-san.

>She couldn't help but smile as she let her inner otaku out with the Japanese suffixes. If anything good could come out of today, it would be that she could say those without seeming really weird to everyone else. Now to progress onto completely overlooking his advances.

Whilst that sounds like a pleasant way to enjoy the atmosphere, I'd really rather not make the first time I took the responsibility myself to be synonymous with the first time I ditched one.

That, and I believe this one will be a little bit more than the standard fare, from what I've heard. I'd rather not delay.

>Deflection successful! Maybe. She hoped. Either way, her last statement was true - judging from what her father had told her two nights ago, there was quite the topic of discussion to be had. Alicia made a reminder for herself to speak to Summer about the further plan once talks had taken place, though she wasn't entirely sure if she was looking forward to it yet.

Hiraku Akamine !MrCarnage2 859304

File: 1416945988103.png (1.76 MB, 1920x1080, 5.png)

>Smiling fondly at Alicia, the old man standing before her seemed entirely content with things as they had turned out. The second-owner's daughter had set aside his request without using insults of dangerous mannerisms that might have hurt an otherwise more fragile relationship than theirs - more to the fact that the exact phrasing she had used was both pleasant for the other party yet unyielding with the promise that any further pressing of the issue would only result in harsher reprimands. With a single nod of his head, the man acknowledged how finely the Second-Owner had raised his heir to follow in his footsteps.

Aaaah a shame... truly a shame but you're right after all.

It wouldn't do for us to go gallivanting off when there's business to be had.

>Elegantly stepping aside and bowing gracefully before the princess of Junction City, Hiraku Akamine showed her deference and respect that a figure of her skill and quality undoubtedly deserved.

If you would follow me...

>The man flawlessly moved in front of Alicia, his every motion somehow seeming to be both deliberate and graceful in a way that could only become apparent from individuals who had spent their entire lives training in the goal of mastering every aspect of themselves both in mind and spirit. As Alicia followed the older man, they would enter through the main entrance into the building's wings proper through a series of rooms until eventually she was led into a room that had apparently no proper use except as a repository for decorations. From there, Hiraku smiled at Alicia to ease her probable unease before approaching the far wall and pressing his hands together in a certain fashion and undoing the minor distortion spell over the wall and making a new door appear out of thin air. The spell itself was a minor one to protect any lost or wayward visitors from accidentally stumbling unto something they should not experience and served only to deflect light away from the door entirely thus making it invisible to the naked eye.

>The new wing Alicia now stepped into was similar to the one she had just walked through except for the fact that this was the Akamine's personal wing where they lived, trained and conducted magical research at their own leisure. Walking through a few more rooms would eventually lead Alicia right where she should be...

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 859407

File: 1416964562917.jpg (163.93 KB, 565x800, 0d5559f5498543dd750663ec29a007…)

Thank you.

>These halls were always strangely nostalgic, as though they both called back to her own past as a child as well as a history of the world itself, or at least a small portion of it. It wasn't the first time she'd seen the Akamine's personal halls, but it certainly had been a while. Over her teens, she'd been old enough to wait and speak to the other members of the family whilst her father handled the meeting, so she'd only ever see the inner sanctum once every half a year.

>She was familiar with the spell utilised on the door as it was a very simple boundary field placed over the wall. Having passed through it, she checked the field over very briefly in her mind - a two part spell that both reflected light away from the door but also returned the light from the walls onto that spot, creating the image of a flat wall in its entirety. Clever, but the simplicity came in the wall itself - it had to have no complicated ornaments on that section or the image would easily become refracted.

>Distortion type boundary aside, the Archards had long since erected a hostility detection field around the shrine itself, attached to small whistle-bells within the rooms. Combined with the Akamine family's ability in combat, the Shrine was a veritable fortress for them, giving them the peace of mind they needed to focus solely on their training. It was always a wonder to her how dedicated they could be to such a thing, each clan member who chose to undergo the rites was impressive.

>That said, as they approached the meeting room, which would likely be a simple one with a few tatami mats and kneeling cushions, she couldn't help but hope a few of the faces wouldn't be here - those two elder brothers for one thing. At least Hikaru had the capacity to be humble despite his tendencies, those two were an entirely different matter.

>At least Miyuki and her Father had the kind of temperament she could cope and converse with in a relaxed fashion.
This post was edited by its author on .

Kai Forsyth!uvadBiRdiE 859603

File: 1416976897453.jpg (77.35 KB, 824x970, untitled_by_sekata-d829a3r.jpg)

>What was who like? Wait, he was supposed to save that? Kai blinks like a deer caught in the headlights.

Then just say so next time!
>he whines,
I can't help myself when people give me food!
>So much for his self-control.
I just eat it when people give it to me, no matter what it is... I guess that explains how I'm always hungry, 'cause I never save any for later...

>Another blink of surprise when she offers up another portion of the sandwich.

Thanks, Tallie. I guess I super owe you now...
>This time, he wraps it in the fancy napkin, and sets it aside with a mental note to shove it into his backpack before the end of lunch.

>What was Shiro like?

Well, he's pretty nice, and really cares about his friends. You just have to get past his grumpiness first. I know he looks like a weirdo, and he kinda is one, but he's really just shy.

>Kai resists the urge to eat the emergency sandwich. Barely. Instead, he smirks.

He's single, too~!

July!Jiang0l2K. 859626

File: 1416978124499.png (1.49 MB, 1920x1080, Kofuku.png)


There he was!


Waving excitedly at him from across the lunchroom, the girl shoots her horrified friends a mischievous grin before turning back to face him and...

...His female companion?

Wait, wasn't she...?

Swooping around the table, she scooches in on the other side of him, right between the boy and a hulking mass of a football player who looked none too pleased at his present company.

Ignoring the senior and leaning around Kai, the girl cocks her head slightly at the familiar face, speaking a bit more softly so that she wouldn't attract more attention.

"Hey, aren't you... You know...? One of us? Your family lives down the street, right?"

She'd never seen the two hanging out before.

Though, to be fair, she'd never really payed much attention to either of them before anyway.

Turning to the boy, she smiles. She really, really hoped Shiro hadn't lied to her about talking to him.

"So how was your Halloween?"


File: 1416979858585.jpg (49.61 KB, 496x1684, Cha_erza.jpg)

>Kai...kind of acts like a little kid sometimes.

>Though it is maybe sort of endearing how excited he gets over stuff, so putting up with his occasional whining isn't too bad.

"Well, I couldn't just let my childhood friend starve, and I've been eating a lot after school anyways. Not enough to hurt my fencing performance, but well, its not like I need to eat my full lunch either."

>Well...at least Shiro isn't some punk or bullying Kai somehow.

"Well, that's good, I mean, usually people don't hang out with other people outside their respective grade so..."

>Her voice drifts off as she hears the last bit, and she crosses her arms uncomfortably.

"Ugh, I get enough of that sort of thing from the other girls in our class. Its bad enough that all the boys are acting really weird around me, without people constantly reminding me about it. Seriously, you're the only normal seeming one in class, so don't mess this up for me."

>Of course some older girl, who she's not too sure about shows up.

>....And says something that could mean any of things. Sure she knows the other magi families by name for the most part, but its not like she's had much dealings with them.

>Can't hurt to be cautious, but there's never a reason to be rude to someone you just met either.

"I'm...afraid we aren't acquainted. Taliesin Llewellyn. Apparently thats hard to say for most people, so I get called 'Tallie' a lot. As for whether I 'live down the street', you'll have to be a bit more specific about which street exactly. I mean my house is one of the more easily distinguishable around town, since its one of the older, larger ones, but its not like there isn't a few of those."

>The Archards' for instance.

"...I wasn't aware Kai was so popular amongst the older students until now though."

>Who is this girl, and why is she hanging around Kai anyways. Especially with how skittish he can be its a surprise he's made friends with an intimidating older boy and a overly energetic girl.

Kai Forsyth!uvadBiRdiE 859663

File: 1416981609606.gif (397.55 KB, 294x233, tumblr_ncwkwmdDYj1sn1yebo4_400…)

You're just gonna make my debt get bigger and bigger til I have to take a test for you or something, huh?
>Kai huffs. Seriously, he'd have to find a way to make it up to her before it was too late. His sly smirk remains as she explains her plight with their classmates, though it fades as she finishes.

... wait, you think I'm normal--?

>Oh no it was her!!
>Kai thought he escaped her by hiding in the stairwell on Friday, but apparently that wasn't enough to dissuade her for good. Kai goes white at the loud voice and does his best to shrink in his seat. She still notices him, and plops right beside him, uncomfortably close. He could smell her shampoo.

Haha, heeey, Julie...
>It was the most awkward laugh to ever have come out of his mouth. He slips the fancy napkin-wrapped sandwich into his backpack as stealthily as possible, all the while doing his best to maintain a friendly smile. He couldn't run away now, he was trapped!

M-my Halloween was alright, though my parents locked up our candy and're trying to ration it... how was yours?

>He catches something Tallie says, and gives another awkward laugh before rubbing the back of his head.

She's younger than us. And I only know a bunch of seniors because I help out with the senior gym class.

July!Jiang0l2K. 859670

File: 1416982246564.jpg (122.46 KB, 301x466, kofuku_ebisu_57837.jpg)


But... She was even younger than Kai, she thought.

Was he like fourteen or something?

A bit cowed and confused, the girl shrinks away from her a bit.

"I'm July. You can call me Julie. Julie Jiang. I'm pretty sure I see you every morning or something on the way here. Like, the fourth house down, right?"

Smiling a bit, she adds,

"It's nice to meet you, Tally."

Rationing candy?

What, was his family a bunch of Summers?

"That's dumb."

Reaching into her purse, the girl pulls out a bag of homemade honey taffy. It wasn't really for handing out, for obvious reasons, but her mom and gran helped her make it every year, and she loved it. Even Summer couldn't really help but have some.

Holding the bag out to him, she smiles. Give and take.

"Here. S'not fair you don't get to have any fun on halloween."


File: 1416983557626.png (297.45 KB, 482x713, erza.png)

"Well, I meant you're still normal for you. I mean its not like my family is exactly normal either, but its not like they've all gone crazy all of the sudden either."

>The way she speaks with Kai is a lot more casual than she has been talking to July. Even if she can still be a bit roundabout at getting to her point.

>...She pauses for a moment and looks between the two.

>....but Kai seems to be talking to her instead of showing off his track skills, so maybe they are actually friends?

"Oh, well, it can be a bit hard to tell sometimes, I just didn't recognise her from any of our classes, and you already hang out with that senior guy..."

>She's sort of embarrassed for just assuming, but she's trying to cover up her tracks.

>Jiang....that sounds sort of familiar...maybe? Or maybe not? And which side of her life does it relate to if she does?

"What does your family do again, if you don't mind me asking? I'm just trying to place where I might have heard your family name before."

Kai Forsyth!uvadBiRdiE 859708

File: 1416984800632.gif (531.72 KB, 160x175, tumblr_nd778hiz5J1rlaxc8o9_r1_…)

>He was still normal for himself?
Am I not normal normally or something? Or has, like, the normal normal changed these last few years?
>He had no clue what she was talking about, if his blank stare was any indication. He was just pretty sure it was a compliment... probably. Maybe?
>He gives a mumbled "yeah, don't worry about it" to her apology, and glances worriedly towards July. Why did she have to keep torturing him like this when he was hanging out with friends...?

Yeah, it is kinda dumb.
>At least there was something they could both agree on. A little sheepishly, Kai frowns.
They have their reasons, though, since I kinda... ate myself really sick last year... apparently me and chocolate don't mix if I eat too much...
>What was she digging in there for? A treat? What kind of trea--oh god that was an entire bag of treats.


>Okay, a sandwich was something, but this was something else! Eyes wide, Kai's trembling hands reach out towards the whole bag of sweets, despite every particle of his being telling him no.

A-are you sure? I still have it at home, it's just locked up, b-but...! Th-thanks!

Shin Akamine !MrCarnage2 859712

File: 1416985435156.png (1.17 MB, 1920x1080, 2.png)

>Stepping into the designated meeting room, Alicia would find herself stepping into a room that embodied the concept of simplicity itself, being made up of simple tatamis and a low table onto which a set of Japanese tea had been assembled and prepared, Alicia would soon find herself in a one on one encounter with the man himself - Shin Akamine, the current head of the Akamine clan whilst Hiraku bowed deeply and stepped out of the room, sliding the door closed.

>The man that now faced Alicia was one much older than Hiraku had been. Where the bald monk had been in his late twenties the older man here was in his late forties and approaching the fifties quite rapidly. His face was a study of the grim reality the Akamine clan faced as Vanquishers - the quality of his eyes being those of a man who had perhaps seen more than one ought to and the scar covering over a quarter of his face paying testament to the danger they faced every time they fought.

Miss Alicia Archard, so young yet already walking in her father’s footsteps.

It has been too long since you last visited us.

How have you been doing?

>He said with the same gruff kindness and compassion an uncle or distant relative might express towards one of their own. Though, much like Miyuki, it was incredibly hard to tell if the emotions portrayed were genuine. For though the both of them were kind in their own rights, the man was a master of control, much like Miyuki, and would regulate each and every motion he made to the point where nothing he did was not calculated to reach a specific goal. Even the tone of his voice and the words he used were thoroughly analyzed and would likely have been used to nurture the same mutually beneficial partnership their families had enjoyed for six generations.

July!Jiang0l2K. 859717

File: 1416988032735.jpg (36.62 KB, 225x350, 236177.jpg)


You'd think their heir, or, at least she assumed she was the heir, would bother to learn about the other families in the area.

Like, she wasn't even the heir, and she knew most of them.

"My big sister, Summer, is the heir. We're kinda like alchemists, I guess? I dunno. I'm just sort of supposed to get to know all the families and help pass along our circuits as best I can."

It was kinda nice to not meet someone who only knew them for how her uncle messed up, though.

"I mean, like, we're not all about magic and potions in stuff, but Summer and my mom can change how things are arranged atomically."

She was actually really enjoying Chemistry. It was cool to learn all about that sorta stuff, and Summer'd taken AP Chemistry and made some of the highest scores in the history of the class, so she always had someone smart to ask for help with her homework.

"Think, like, rusting metal in seconds and using raw ingredients to make complicated stuff with our bare hands, not philosopher's stone and potions alchemy."

Nodding vigorously, the girl smiles.

"Yep! Just don't get sick, okay? I missed you Friday."

She didn't want him puking all over the table...


File: 1416990552348.gif (73.49 KB, 250x250, tumblr_my9irnEk3Q1sms3yco2_250…)

>Tallie sighs, apparently she's not getting through to Kai properly. Maybe if she's more direct about it?

"No, its everyone else whose started acting weird since we came back from the summer break. The boys in our class are all nervous wrecks who can't even look me in the eyes for more than five seconds before their gaze drifts downwards, but for some reason the only thing the girls I hung out with want to talk about is how cool or single or whatever they are. I mean, its not like we should have to worry about that sort of thing for quite a few more years anyways, but I can't imagine why any of them would be interested in anyone as spineless as the boys have gotten."

>She pauses as if to let this settle in.

"Which leaves only two reasonable conclusions, either they've been drugged or manipulated somehow, or everyone in our class except us has just gone completely insane. It's probably nothing in the food, since you aren't acting strangely, so I'm leaning towards the second."

>Or it could be a spell, but she can't really talk about that right there with so many other students around. Especially since she's still not sure sure about Julie.

>....And she basically blurts it out in a public space. How is she supposed to handle this again?

>....Try and make up some cover story? I mean, the girl does have pink hair, people could probably blow it off as her being silly or something?


>Take a few deep breaths and...

"...Oh, you mean the physicists! I thought I remembered hearing the name somewhere. My father always has an eye out for potential investments, you know, for his 'Business', and he said he was looking forwards to hearing more about your family's discoveries in the future. Its such a hard field to get into, after all, and so much more complicated than the Chemistry courses here at school, but in the right hands, capable of such amazing things."

>Tallie talks oddly loud throughout this, and specifically emphasises the line about her father's business, as if she wants to make sure that EVERYONE sitting close by can hear what she's saying.

>Now she just has to hope the girl either plays along, or shuts up about the topic....or at least has the sense to whisper.

>Even though she's smiling, Kai at least would be able to see that its a strained one, just from how long they've known each other.

>After a moment she rubs the ridge of her nose and looks away to quickly swap her contacts for glasses.

"When did you and Kai meet, anyways? I mean, usually he's really shy around new people. You don't have to talk about it if it was a family thing though."

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 859757

File: 1417005433214.jpg (675.62 KB, 990x1402, Senjougahara.Hitagi.full.41418…)

>The meeting room she had only been in a few times over the course of her life was laid out before her. A wonderfully traditional aesthetic with tea laid out to better appreciate the tranquility, and even Mr. Akamine had an incredible aura of calmness. She knew it was due to the intensity of their training, but she never knew any specifics of what they went through to achieve what they did. That was sort of an unwritten rule in magus society, keeping quiet about things that didn't need talking about. It was good to know what your allies could achieve, but in the end the Origin was a goal to be competed for and sharing all your secrets could spell your own doom.

>Even so, they were an impressive kind of people. Though it wasn't particularly often, her father had worked with Shin Akamine on occasion to resolve some of the more serious problems over the years, and whenever he spoke of the man's skills it was always with admiration, tinted with a hint of fear. Though the Archards certainly had their ways of doing things, someone like the head of the Akamine clan was someone not to be underestimated based on their calm nature, that much was certain. In fact, it could be said that the calmness itself was what made them fearsome, for no matter the situation they would face it with that same clarity of mind.

>Moving into the room, she curtsied and smiled in greeting before taking a seat at the table.

It's good to see you too, Mr. Akamine. It's always a pleasure to enjoy the atmosphere of the shrine.

Things have been good, my school and studies are progressing well. I came across Miyuki at lunch the other day, it was nice to see her doing well.

>The last part seemed to tail off into an unsure tone, Alicia not in complete control of the way her body reacted like the man across from her. Though she wasn't lying when she said it was nice speaking to her, she couldn't help but feel a tad awkward about what was happening to her at school. Obviously she could handle herself and she didn't want to trample on that, but being here at the Shrine and feeling immersed by the feeling of dedication here, Alicia couldn't help but think she deserved better.

>But that wasn't why she was here.

In any case, I'd like to again apologise for my father not being here, his meeting in England was rather urgent yet sudden. I can only hope to continue to show the respect and care you and he cultivated between us, and into the future as well.

Shin Akamine !MrCarnage2 859904

File: 1417041238915.png (1.38 MB, 1920x1080, 1.png)

>Slowly moving his hands across the low table that separated them, mister Akamine slowly began preparing the fragrant green tea for the both of them. As he did, a soft smile would appear on his face full of understanding and sympathy for the young girl's situation though he portrayed his emotions in a way calculated not to come off as being condescending towards her sentiments, rather, his were the emotions of a parent showing pride in the progress of a growing child.

Of course, your father's absence is completely understandable given the circumstances and I certainly am glad that you met Miyuki, sometimes I wonder about her progress through society...

>Leaving the comment at that, Shin poured out a cup of tea and placed it before Alicia and a second cup for himself. The soft fragrance of the fresh green tea wafting in to fill the room with the same pleasant smell Alicia would recall from her childhood visits to the temple.

But to see you take up his responsibilities really does put time in perspective. It might not feel it to you but I remember it like yesterday that you would come here clutching your father's coattails when you were just a tiny bundle of joy.

>Chuckling softly to himself at the memory of a four year old Alicia visiting their family over family business. But even as he smiled fondly at the girl before him, a part of Shin Akamine acknowledged that there was more to this playful banter than mere reminiscence. To a master of control like himself, every word and breath was measured and served a purpose, in this case, this nostalgic reminiscence being intended to remind Alicia of the long history of peace and cooperation between their two families as well as inclining Alicia herself with positive emotions for himself - an undeniable advantage beyond the grasp of most individuals.

Still, here you are now ready to take on the family mantle, my how time flies...

Kai Forsyth (Mobile) 859960

>She missed him Friday? His overjoyed smile melts into a nervous one, the corners of his lips twitching.
Haha, yeah, I didn't feel too good that day...
>Oh man, wait, Tallie was talking to him. He turns to his friend about halfway through her winding statement about guys losing their minds. He had a feeling he would've been lost no matter when he came into that conversation. Kai just kinda nods along, popping a candy into his mouth and chewing.

... I don't think they've gone insane, so, maybe it's just something on your end...?
>He speaks quietly, to avoid interrupting either of them. He just sits back and listens to Julie go on about magical things she was not supposed to discuss in public. Kai shrinks back in his seat, eyes wide... only to jolt at Tallie's outburst. He opens his mouth to object, but her words steamroll right over him.


>Instead of remarking on how Julie shoved her way into his life, Kai quiets, and wishes he could grab his squeaky toy.

July!Jiang0l2K. 859978

File: 1417050518187.gif (705.51 KB, 500x400, tumblr_n2kv6yDi3j1r90zaxo1_r1_…)

Why was she talking so weird?

It wasn't like she was being that loud, and besides, nobody really took her all that seriously anyways. She was popular, yeah, but that was more to do with Summer than herself. They'd just chalk it up to cute weirdness or whatever.

Plus, they had a whole cafeteria's worth of people talking at once to drown out what she was saying. Nobody could hear them until she started yelling.

Glancing apologetically at the annoyed senior sitting beside her, the girl smiles in an attempt to make good.

...It still made her feel guilty, though.

"Uh... Thursday? I mean, I kinda recognized him from the last time we all got together, so I just thought..."


...Glancing downwards?



"And hey, uh, Tally? If you wanna talk after school, I can maybe help you with that boy problem."

Well, explain it anyway.

...Maybe she should get Summer to do it.


Why did he seem so nervous? Was he really that scared of getting in trouble? Then why was he blurting out their names and existence to some stranger the second he admitted to knowing about mages?

"...Are you alright, Kai?"


File: 1417064657568.jpg (61.37 KB, 844x474, 432746-ova2_90.jpg)

>Taliesin's head whips his direction as she hears his response, a hurt look of disbelief on her face as she does so.

"Hey, you're not supposed to be taking their side. You could at least try and believe me. I mean, I know I grew a bunch over the break, but its not like I'm that intimidating now.'

>She pauses for a moment.

"If you're so smart all of the sudden, then you come up with a reason for why they're all acting weird."

>Seriously, Kai's supposed to be on her side, they're friends right? Plus, the guys totally are acting soooo weird and there's no way its her fault because she didn't even do anything, she didn't even have a chance to do anything.

>She's too worked up over that to notice Kai's skittishness though.

>July's response to her change of subject draws her attention away from him anyways.

"Ehh? I'm surprised you two became friends so quickly...I mean back when we first met as little kids, he ran and hid pretty much right away. Being able to talk with him just a few days after you met him is pretty impressive, especially with you being a girl, though he's fine around his younger sister, so I'm not sure what's up with that."

"He still has more spine around me than any of the other guys do any more, though."

>After a pause she looks back towards Kai.

"See, Julie agrees that its the boys who are the ones with the problem."

>...Not that she's sure what the solution is, some sort of magical potion to break whatever curse they seem to be under? If its after school its got to be Magus related, right?

"Sure, Julie. We can go out for cake afterwards if you have time."

Kai Forsyth!uvadBiRdiE 860229

File: 1417068772660.png (489.19 KB, 880x500, Rogue_silently_realizes_that_S…)

>Kai looks up and blinks innocently.
Y-yeah, I'm alright! Just, like...
>He glances around nervously, leans in, lowers his voice, and whispers to her,
But maybe you shouldn't talk about that stuff so loudly when, you know, other people can hear...? People who aren't like us?

>No no, he didn't mean to hurt her! Kai melts under her gaze, lip sticking out in a pout. He was pretty sure it wasn't some kind of curse, and he didn't want to lie, but telling the truth wouldn't get him any favors.

... uh... it could be...
>Damn, he hated being put on the spot!
>Roll 1d1000 = 751
... they're too tired to keep their eyes up?
... puberty?
... they're staring at your boobs?

>Either way, he kinda shrinks back in his seat, again. He was gonna get in trouble with one of the two if he said anything either way, so he might as well stay quiet for the time being.

>Even if he wouldn't exactly call Julie a friend.

>Or... anything remotely resembling that. Kinda.


>Kai gives a slight whine, rubs the sides of his head, and sighs. Girls were confusing and not something he needed to deal with right now.

July!Jiang0l2K. 860238

File: 1417069408400.png (554.35 KB, 1280x720, tumblr_n0716qMYRZ1qgg9j8o1_128…)


Mmmaybe they should stay away from Summer, then.

As much as she tried to act all healthy and pure of body and stuff, she was weak around that kinda stuff, so if she broke, it'd be weeks before she forgave her fully.


...And what was wrong with her being a girl?

That was, like, a fourth grade thing. Even middle schoolers didn't act that way, let alone high schoolers.

Then again, every mage she'd ever really met besides Summer just seemed sorta... Off...

"Maybe it's because, like, we've all got the same interests and stuff?"

Glancing over at her friends, the girl's brow creases a bit.

Anna was still sore about how he'd turned her down last Monday.

"Maybe he doesn't have to be afraid of letting anything slip or something?"

Well, yeah, she'd never just turn to some random person sitting next to her and ask if they wanna talk about this magical hidden world around them, but it wasn't like anybody around them'd be listening or care what they were talking about. Like, maybe if Summer had done that, it would've needed some explaining away, but no one even batted an eye when she said something weird.

Still talking at a normal volume, the girl quickly waves off his paranoia.

"...Eh? Don't worry about it. It's fine."

Folding her arms on the table, the girl lays her head on them and watches him interestedly, idly flicking a discarded water bottle cap around the table.

"So, are you excited for Homecoming? Who do you think is gonna win?"

Hitting the cap just a bit to hard, it spirals off the table, landing in some poor kid's backpack. Staying quiet a moment, the girl continues, a bit less animatedly.

"My bet's on Sally Parker. She's really cute, and her big sister and Summer were neck and neck in Senior year."


File: 1417071098069.gif (216.58 KB, 250x250, tumblr_my9irnEk3Q1sms3yco3_250…)

>Puberty?...Well, that could explain it. They're still acting weird even if its normal biology...though...

"So you're just a late bloomer then?...At least try and hold out until the rest of them go back to normal, though it'll feel weird if you start acting like that anyways. Ugh."

>Puberty really is just this big mess isn't it? Why does growing up have to be so rough anyways? At least Kai wasn't being a jerk about it anymore.

>This catches her a bit off guard. The girl really doesn't look like she'd be on the track team, maybe volleyball? Really she seems the cheerleader type more than anything, so maybe its just that she likes sports but doesn't play them?

>Or was there something Kai liked other than sports...and candy?

>That seems a bit rude to ask about no matter how she can put it though...

>Well maybe...

"Oh, what kind of sports do you like? I mean Kai is really into Track, and I have my Fencing, but we like other ones as well."

>As far as Homecoming, it takes her a moment to realize that she's talking about for the Queen and King roles.

"Thats the seniors right? I hear people talking about Miss Archard a lot, but I'm not sure exactly what they're saying or if its good or bad since her nickname is a bit...strange, but she's really pretty and carries herself really well, so I figured she'd probably win by default."

>A pause.

"I...don't really know most of the senior guys though. One of the football players maybe?"

Kai Forsyth!uvadBiRdiE 860301

File: 1417072988485.gif (558.48 KB, 160x175, tumblr_nd778hiz5J1rlaxc8o4_r1_…)

>Now his kinda-friend and definitely-not-friend had a cake date planned out. Great! He was gonna have a league of women banded against him at this point.
>Wait, same interests? He blinks and glances over at July.
You like running and video games, too?
>Why didn't she tell him that earlier!
But I don't really talk about that stuff usually, so I don't have anything to slip, anyway...

>Kai blinks, and, for once, pulls a serious face.
When I pick Gracie up from elementary, people think I'm her dad.
I don't think I'm a late bloomer, Tallie.

>He turns his attention back to the rambling Jiang after acting serious enough for one day.

I dunno...
>He glances to the side.
I can't really go to Homecoming, anyway. Isn't it Thursday night?
>He slumps in his seat.
I promised Mom I'd watch Gracie.
>Offhandedly, to make it a little more believable, he adds,
I don't have a date, anyway.

July!Jiang0l2K. 860310

File: 1417073505209.gif (705.51 KB, 500x400, tumblr_n2kv6yDi3j1r90zaxo1_r1_…)

Sports? Huh?

She was talking about mage stuff, but alright!

"Well, my mom is training me to be our family's next guardian. See, she was going to be the next one, but then my uncle died right before granddad, and nan didn't know anything about that sort of stuff, so she made the decision to stick her nose in a book and learn so she could keep the family tradition going."

It was kinda sad and embarrassing to know her mom in her forties wasn't even as talented as Summer was at fifteen, but it also made her heart swell with pride to know how hard her mom had tried and how much she'd done despite the hardships.

"And I was thinking about joining the... I dunno, Color Guard, maybe? Some of the cheerleaders are nice, but a lot of them don't like Summer too much, for whatever reason."

...Alicia? Homecoming queen?

Yeah, this girl was off her rocker.

"Uh... Alicia's not exactly what I'd call popular. I heard one or two people were considering trying to get everyone to vote for her and a special ed kid to embarrass her, but I made sure to give them a piece of my mind for it."

And boy had she.

Mister Sirchez had to drag her out of his room.

She was lucky she hadn't been sent to the office or something.

...Why was it the second she started talking in codewords, these people stopped understanding her?

Gosh darn it.

"...Sure, I guess? I mean, I've only ever played, like, Pac-Man..."




Quickly shooting her friends an evil look as they all look on her, horrified by her hanging out with these people, she turns back to Kai and, putting on her most innocent face, offers,

"I could go with you, if you want."
This post was edited by its author on .


File: 1417076384052.jpg (36.55 KB, 599x500, Erza_blushing.jpg)

>Ohhh...that. The Magi side of her life sometimes feels so far away that she forgets about it sometimes...well, not forgets, since it is her duty, but its not like her family is really very close with most of the others, so its more of a solitary thing, especially as she's not sure if Kai is really that great at it either, so bringing it up would be awkward around him either way.

>Really? He doesn't look thaat old to her...

"Really? Well, I guess you're kind of tall, and all that running means you're pretty muscular, but...how old do they even think you are? Its not like you've got a beard or anything yet, so thinking you're her father..."

>Seriously, Kai is way way too young for people to think he has a kid, they all are. Its embarrassing to even think about.

>It's probably just that he doesn't want to be in a huge crowd, but his excuse is probably true as well.

"Huh? Your folks going out on the town or something? I could bring some food by if they are. I'm sure mom and dad wouldn't mind, and I'd like to say hi to Gracie again anyways, since its been a while."

>Gracie was a sweetie anyways, so it'd be a nice change from the twins.

>Its not like she'd have much reason to go if all her friends had dates and all the guys were acting weird...plus the only dresses that still fit are a bit...embarrassing when it comes to going out in public in, especially when she's already going to be uncomfortable anyways.

>Guardian?....So some sort of marial art maybe? A guardian of Chinese decent would use martial arts right?

>...It sounds like they've had it rough though...both Magi wise, and just family wise in general. Maybe she's not giving the pink haired girl enough credit.

"...My condolences."

>The rest is news to her. Well, some of the girls she's friends with are on the cheerleading squad, so the fact that some of them are nice not so much, the thing about Alicia especially was.

"....Well, you certainly seem colorful enough, and you said you were training to be a guardian."

>She says in the hopes of lightening the mood a bit.

"Anyways, let me know if any of the girls ever give you any trouble okay? I'm sure my friends would straighten them out if they start causing trouble."

"...I would have thought that with a nickname like it'd mean she'd be pretty popular though, I mean calling someone a game seems sort of weird, but my little sister Rhia is always going on about that sort of thing, and I've heard that she tends to accell at a lot of things....though I suppose the business my father has had with them may give me a fuller perspective on her than a lot of the students may have."

"...Its still sort of odd that she's not popular though, isn't it? I mean, other than the troublemakers, anyways?"

Kai Forsyth!uvadBiRdiE 860326

File: 1417078351406.gif (397.55 KB, 294x233, tumblr_ncwkwmdDYj1sn1yebo4_400…)

>Kai, having stumbled upon a conversation he's actually comfortable talking about, perks up.
Color guard? Screw that, join the track team! We always need more girl runners! Or you can throw spears or iron balls, if that's more your style!

>The young man gives a casual shrug, and lets his gaze drift towards the clock on the far wall.
I dunno. Twenty-something? I am kinda big, so...

>And then he had two girls offering him alternative ways to spend the night of the full moon.

>Kai, somehow, does not sweat under pressure. He raises his hands as innocently as he can and offers a nervous smile.

R-really, thank you both, b-but it's okay. I can't go 'cause I gotta watch Gracie, Julie, and they're not going outta town, they're just doing, you know, stuff, in the attic, and need somebody to keep an eye on her while they're busy.

>He places his hands in his lap, and sighs. He hated lying like this. It was always so much trouble in the end.

She's only six, but she's really a handful to put to bed...
>At least that much was true.

July!Jiang0l2K. 860327

File: 1417078888941.jpg (396.87 KB, 750x1000, nbst.jpg)

Well, she didn't intend to be around those girls, so did it matter?

It wasn't like people sought each other out to be mean.

"Yeah, sure."

She obviously didn't understand Alicia, either.

"She's... Cold. She's not really close to a lot of people. Her and my sister used to be best friends, and I guess them falling out has a lot to do with her not being very well liked..."


He sure seemed enthusiastic!

...She guessed she could. She'd been lying about being a part of the band, after all.

...Cute little sister? She had to come over some time.

"...Alright, I'll join the team, I guess, but you gotta promise to let me come over and see your little sister sometime. She sounds adorable, and it'd be nice to get to know her."


File: 1417082801165.png (90.65 KB, 230x340, Tallie.png)

>Oh, okay then.

>She's not sure why they'd mind, especially if they're working on something, but maybe they'd just feel bad about her visiting so late?

>The sigh sort of bugs her a little though...its not like Kai to complain much about his sister either. Its probably nothing, but...well, she can't help but worry a little.

"Well, I wouldn't want to impose on your parents. At least tell Gracie I said hi, okay?"

>She doesn't really have an excuse to get out of coming to Homecoming now though...and school dances tend to be rather different than the sort of parties she's used to attending.

>...She hadn't known that. It makes sense, with who Alicia is related to though, after all the Archards were the most involved in the other side of things of anyone...

>All the things that have been said about this Summer girl make her a bit wary as well, though. Even beyond the level of her magic, its hard to tell whether the loss of popularity from that falling out was her doing or just a side effect.

"I suppose I can see where acting like that could lead to people feeling jealousy or spite towards her...especially if all people knew was her status. I mean, I've heard they're even wealthier than my family, and I've had to straighten some people out before over that sort of thing a few times, so I can only imagine its a lot worse for her, especially if she acts just like they expect her to."

>She purses her lips in frustration as she remembers back to one of those incidents, following a sound victory over an opponent in her fencing lessons.

Kai Forsyth (Mobile) 860603

>Kai bounces back into a grin that stretches from ear to ear.
Alright, I promise!
>She just couldn't come over this week. And probably not next week, either, depending on how brave he felt.
I'll tell Coach right away! Grace's adorable when she's not grumpy. She keeps copying what Mom and Dad carve, too, and I swear it looks better than what I can do.
>He was proud of his little sis.

I'll tell her you said hi, definitely!
>He was quick to change emotions, as always. His smile stays on his face as he listens to the girls gossip about easily one of the most important students in school.

I don't understand why people would get after each other for that sorta thing, though. Like, nobody's gonna get richer or poorer by making fun of someone else.
>He sticks out his lower lip in a pout.
But it would be nice to have that much money.

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 860606

File: 1417140060091.jpg (36.62 KB, 225x350, 236177.jpg)

Nodding, the girl lays her head down flat against the table. It was nice and cool.

"She's a really nice person once you get to know her, though. At least, she used to be. I haven't really spoken to her in awhile, at least not since she stopped coming over super often..."

She kinda missed Summer and Alicia hanging out together all the time. Mom always made tons of snacks, and she got to help and hang out with them too, as long as she didn't act like an annoying little kid.

"I dunno. She and Summer stopped being friends after they got into a big argument. They both changed a lot near the end, so I guess they were just too different to be friends anymore."

She missed the sleepover snacks.


Giving him a smooshed up smile with her face on the table, the girl tells him,

"And if you wanna, you could always come over some time, too. Nan tells the best stories from when she traveled all over after marrying granddad, and my mom would love to make dinner for more than just the four of us. Dongpo doesn't taste nearly as good after it's reheated."

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 860614

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I've got fond memories of those times, being here was always a joy in my younger days and it still continues to be. As an only child, I suppose this place allowed me the kinds of feelings that having brothers or sisters would have given me.

>Though when people grew up, they often changed.

>Shin was far better at his work than Miyuki was. Where Alicia often tended to see a cold, distant figure in the young future head of the clan, her father always seemed serious yet emotionally active, speaking in pleasant tones and bringing something to each sentence, to the point where it didn't really matter if he was pretending or not - he simply made for nice company. Alicia certainly couldn't tell, and so she simply enjoyed the conversation.

Even then, I don't truly expect to be taking on the responsibilities until my mid-twenties. Father still has a lot of energy, after all, though I'm glad he's seen my growth as enough to trust me with them while he's away. I don't wish to let either him or yourself down in any way.

>Although the callbacks to the past had an engaging and pleasant atmosphere to them, it also made her feel as though she might still be considered as a child. Alicia understood that she wasn't quite yet the person that could be respected as an equal to her Father in that role, but she did want to establish that she could handle more serious things and take on that role when needed. She wasn't a small, exciteable girl anymore, after all. Taking the tea with a nod of thanks, she took a few sips to let the calming flavour flow through her, warming her in preparation for the discussion to come. Once she had enough, she took a breath to still herself as she would before concentrating on her magecraft, before looking across at Shin with a much more prepared and concerned expression.

That said, given the situation it seems I'll have to fulfill those responsibilities with everything I have.

I've heard there are some interesting anomalies that have shown up of late. Father didn't get all of the details as he was preparing for his trip to the Clock Tower. Just what exactly do we know about these individuals?

Shin Akamine !MrCarnage2 860683

File: 1417149910991.png (882.22 KB, 1920x1080, 5.png)

>Right to business then, her need to be accepted and recognized as a fulfilled adult would be obvious to one who had perfected the art of reading individuals such as Shin Akamine. That she had developed in such a way was both a pleasant turn of event and a slight disappointment for the old man if only because Alicia's child-like ways had disappeared already. If Alicia had found out what it was to have siblings at the Akamine shrine, Shin had discovered what it was like to have a normal daughter if only for the briefest of times.

Ah yes... to be honest it was Miyuki who noticed both anomalies and informed us of their existence.

The first is the Forsyth child whose magical presence marks him as being a supernatural being of unknown origin. Even if he looks and acts as a teenage boy does, Miyuki is adamant that the child is a supernatural creature beyond the shadow of a doubt.

>Miyuki was a prodigy in many ways, she took to her training and magecraft as a fish took to water but at the same time such inclinations had made her distant and closed off from the very start. Perhaps it was a consequence to having lost her mother at such a young age or maybe it came from her eyes but Miyuki's path had always been that of the magus rather than the human. In a way, it made her the perfect heir to the family name as she would conduct and continue the family creed with flawless devotion and pragmatism but to the father in Shin, he dreaded seeing his daughter close herself off from the very possibility of being happy all because she believed it would make her stronger still.

The second is an undeclared magus that has moved into the city.

She is a woman of Russian descent who dresses all in blue and whose eyes and hair match her color of clothing as well.

>That she had noticed these disruptions upon the first time meeting them and treated them with the same systematic approach bordered on fanaticism, however, in such a line of work, even the slightest of mistakes could cost people's lives.

Lastly, miss Summer Jiang informed my daughter that a boy of unaffiliated magus status had contacted her sister at school though... I suspect your father and yourself might already be aware of this one.

However, given the unknown's contact with the Forsyth child, we believe it might be another supernatural creature given that such beasts tend to congregate towards one another.

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 860692

File: 1417154042653.jpg (36.08 KB, 500x281, Staaaaaare.jpg)

Forsyth? I know Kai somewhat, he's of a similar age to myself, but I never suspected anything of the sort...

>But if Miyuki had seen that, there was no reason to doubt it. It was the most logical conclusion if the prana around him was unnatural, but were there other forces at work here? It was definitely a top priority to investigate because those sorts of symptoms usually led to something very bad. She hadn't spoken to Kai of late, but was it possible the young son of the Forsyth family were recently possessed by a demon or the like? Putting it at the top of her list in this, she then considered the others.

>A newcomer mage who had moved in. That was a far less serious problem, she would only need to introduce herself and see how things went. Perhaps her father could handle it when he came back, depending on the other situations, but either way is was far less a priority than Kai's situation.

>Finally, the unaffiliated magus or such-like that supposedly attended the school. As a senior she didn't tend to hang out with those of the lower years, as she was already a bit of an isolationist. It was unlikely she'd met the fellow if they hung out with Kai, but having been told the name 'Shiro Yamada' by her father it would be relatively easy to find out what was going on.

Investigating what's going on with Kai Forsyth will likely come first. I'd like to hope nothing too bad has come across his path because he's been an otherwise kind and benign person...

Roll 1d1000 = 921
>Path of the Magus[E]
... but if it's revealed that he is likely to be a threat, the safety of the town comes first.
>Path of Humanity[O]
... I'd like to have him captured rather than killed. If nothing else, it can get us more information on what's going on with him or perhaps other hidden aspects in Junction.

>Regardless of the Path

Other than that, our Russian guest sounds easily recogniseable and hasn't yet stirred up any problems. She'll simply have to be approached and investigated, if she is willing to practice her magecraft under the terms laid out to her then that's fine.

I'm more concerned with the one at school - if this Shiro Yamada has been hiding his presence among us for this long it could be a problem. Equally, he could have little to no presence whatsoever and perhaps he isn't even practicing magecraft. Given that possibility, it's far more important to prioritise Kai over the other two, with Shiro's situation being handled with care rather than immediate suspicion.

Shin Akamine !MrCarnage2 860704

File: 1417158734081.png (1.17 MB, 1920x1080, 2.png)


. . .

>Hrmm so this is the kind of woman that Alicia was turning into - one with a soft heart and a need to see to the happiness of those around her rather than the safety of the faceless masses under their protection. To be sure, it was the more humane approach to the situation and would likely end up being the right one if things turned out peacefully but if they didn't... people might die as a consequences of Alicia's choices. Could she bear the burden of her choices?

I see... what you are asking is not easy but... we will do our best to cooperate with your wishes.

>But the complications of Alicia's demands extended beyond the mere philosophical debates of right and wrong and stretched into the practical. When push came to shove, Shin Akamine wondered if he could convey the to his daughter the importance of following the second-owner's wishes over ewhat her code as a Vanquisher would demand of her. Miyuki's heart had always been cold, colder than most human beings and certainly colder than that of her brothers. But even as her father feared for her diminishing humanity, he also acknowledged her flawless approach towards her duties. But now, looking at Alicia whose path seemed to be taking her in the opposite direction of Miyuki's, the older man couldn't help but wonder if she might represent the key to his daughter finding an equilibrium.

But even as our discussion comes to a close, could I trouble you with a favor I would ask of you?

>Looking down at the tea set before him, the old man sighed deeply and, for just a few moments, seemed to grow immeasurably older, showing for a time the face that lay behind the masks that had suffered for all the things he had lost and fought for throughout his life. But as he took the cup of tea set before him and sipped from its warm contents, he seemed to steady himself and his face would grow impassive once again.

Could I ask you to speak with my daughter?

As of right now she is training in our dojo and I believe that a chat with a woman her age would do her an incredible amount of good.

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 860719

File: 1417184396788.jpg (401.91 KB, 657x600, tumblr_msty6pa3o91s68zdqo1_128…)

>There was definitely a part of her that felt conflicted about her request. This was potentially a threat, a danger to Junction City, but at the same time they could also very well become a danger themselves if they didn't take things slow and with consideration for those who might have unknown circumstances. She couldn't outright condemn Kai for the mere possibility he could be a problem, if she started doing that then she'd eventually be no better than a zealot. If she was going to do this, she wanted to do it right, and that meant considering the options, as well as Kai's humanity, even if it could be false.

Thank you, I hope this doesn't end up troubling you too much...

>Still, it said a lot about the relationship between the two families that Shin was willing to do his best to work towards that end. It certainly wasn't easy, but she greatly appreciated his consideration of her thoughts on the matter. It was always difficult to make these decisions because of her own internal conflicts on the matters, but this was something that would grow in preference as time went on, and she was glad to have the assistance of those older and more experienced than herself.

>This did, however, make it all the more surprising to hear him ask her for a favour. From the sound of the question, it was more directed at Alicia herself than the 'Archard family', which made her incredibly curious.

Of course, go ahead.

>What she saw next was a rare sight indeed. A vision of Shin Akamine, not as a tempered magus but rather as a simple man, the humanity that existed within him. She follow his movements, taking a drink of her own tea and attempting to finish it off, but the image continued to linger in her mind. Despite all of the emotions she had seen in that one expression, almost overwhelmingly despite how simple it was, she couldn't help but notice two things most prominently; the satisfaction of what he had accomplished and where he was now, despite everything, but also sadness, something that clung to him even though he could put aside the horrors he may have seen.

>It was that hidden piece that likely gave rise to his strange, yet simple request.

Speak to Miyuki? I'd be glad to...

>Judging by the way he'd worded it, it didn't seem as though he were asking her to discuss the matters mentioned earlier, but rather speak to her simply as herself. Given that Miyuki had always seemed rather business-like in her style of living, especially given the events last week, Alicia hadn't given that much thought to it. Yet to see even her father appear slightly worried about her...

[Humanity Bonus]
>... did he know what was happening with her situation?

To tell you the truth, I had thought to do so before, but it's always more difficult than it seems at school.

>Placing the empty cup back down on the table, she found herself looking down at the mug and table, as though trying to word herself right. It was difficult to look Shin in the eye as she spoke, perhaps because she felt guilty that she had let it go on for so long or perhaps that she didn't understand his daughter correctly.

She often finds herself accosted by other students. Mocked for her heritage, her appearance, her attitude... sometimes just with words, other times with hateful actions. Yet despite all of that, she never seems to be upset about it, she never once pushed back against it.

For a long time, I wondered whether she simply thought herself above it. I wanted to intervene, at times, but she almost seemed like she didn't want anyone to. It was only last week, when that brash Alex burst in and defended her that she finally revealed she considered it training...

>Ah. That was it. This was why she couldn't look him in the eye. After hearing that, and not having understood the Akamine family all that well as she grew older, she had thought 'perhaps it really is training. Perhaps her father really does consider it that way, and simply condones it'. But after seeing the expression he made before speaking about her, Alicia knew that couldn't be the case. In fact, after seeing that, she felt sorry she had ever doubted him in that way. Sorry enough to be unable to make eye contact.

... forgive me for bringing this up, Mr. Akamine. For some reason I felt you should know.

>Standing up, instead of curtsying as she had when she entered, she gave a low Japanese-style bow that she had learned in her youth, though rarely if ever used. It seemed appropriate for the time, and though she technically represented the Second Owner of Junction City, during that instance she was speaking simply as Alicia, who watched a classmate having a hard time. Despite not having taken any action in the past in terms of Miyuki's problems, in the end she did care, she just never knew what to do, what the right call was.

I'll go and speak to her... the dojo was it?

>Fulfilling his most humble of requests was the least she could do after years of what could be considered failing as a fellow school member, yet the conflict between her responsibilities as a magus and those of her own values and wishes would continue to fight within her for a long time to come.


File: 1417222978433.jpg (40.46 KB, 845x477, 141739.jpg)

>Tallie nods in response to Kai's statement.

"Yeah, it generally seems like the people who do it just want to put the blame on others for their problems. They just assume that families like mine, and the Archards have a greater duty to the community that goes with it at times."

"...Especially if she's always cold and aloof. because then they can just write her off as haughty."

>The fight probably didn't help either, for that matter. She's curious about what sparked te incident...but it'd be rude to ask, especially of those not involved.

>Though...a fight between a magi whose family was struggling, and the heir of the Second Owner...sounds a lot like Association business of some sort when she puts it like that.


"...She must be pretty lonely, right? I mean, I couldn't even imagine if me and Kai got in a big fight and stopped talking to each other, and I still have friends other than him. From the sounds of it, she really doesn't have anyone now."

>Isn't she like an only child as well?

"...I mean, its not like its any of our business, but, doesn't that bother you a little too? Two really close friends breaking away from their friendship over something like that?"

Kai Forsyth!uvadBiRdiE 860941

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>Good food and storytime? That sounded awesome! Okay, even if July was a little weird, he'd have to take her up on that offer sometime.

W-wait. Dongpo?

>As in...?

>Kai has to hold a hand over his mouth to hide his stupid smirk. It does nothing to suppress the snickering.

Well, if she's really that lonely, then maybe we could be her friends. I mean, it must suck, being without your best friend just because of a stupid argument... so what if we helped her out?

>Kai lowers his hand and shows off his smile.

We might be younger than her, but we can still be friends, right? Wait, no!

>Kai jumps to his feet, slams his hands on the table, and speaks louder than he should, like he just realized the secrets of the universe.

We can help them be friends again!

July!Jiang0l2K. 860944

File: 1417239651277.gif (239.34 KB, 245x300, tumblr_n019864rgj1r6hwd2o1_250…)

Well yeah it bothered her, but what was she supposed to do about it?

It was never something Summer wanted to talk about, and even if she did, it wasn't her business to try and fix it.

As far as she knew, they stopped being friends for very good reasons.

"It's not like Summer isn't lonely, either."

Her sister might be popular and a sort of local celebrity, but to whom?

Normal people? People she could never, ever be that close to for fear of exposing mages?

No mage family wanted to be friends with her big sister. Not like her, anyway. Either they respected her, or they despised her.

At least she had the benefit of being a potential marriage candidate, so was treated very well by most families. It kinda embarrassed her from time to time.

"I mean, nobody's really her friend. There's nobody she talks to, or is close to, or hangs out with... Even in school she never talked about anybody but Alicia, and the two of us told each other everything."

That report card she'd hidden because of the C she'd gotten in English in middle school was still hidden behind Summer's dresser mirror, as far as she knew...

"...I dunno. I wish they'd make up, yeah, but I can't do anything about it."

Puffing out her cheeks, the girl frowns.

Every time!

"For your information, it's bacon meat, braised with wine, soy sauce, sugar and cinnamon. It's super good, and my mom is really good at making it."

...She couldn't blame him, though.

It was a pretty funny name.


...Was he serious?

"H-Hey! Not so fast!"

Motioning for him to sit back down as she glances over at her gaggle of friends glaring at him, she gives him an unamused look.

"Look, I know you wanna help, but they stopped being friends for good reasons. They've kinda moved on. It'd be wrong to try and shove two people who just can't be friends together like that."


File: 1417242499530.jpg (12.69 KB, 230x200, erza_scarlet_by_neotakuxwendy-…)

>Taliesin doesn't really get what the joke is. Sure its a weird sounding name for a dish, but...

>Anyways, she's much more interested in the plan.

"Exactly. I mean its not as good as figuring out some way to get them to make up, and while it'd be nice if we could do that too...."

>She pauses and gives a chiding glance towards Kai.

"It's not really something we can force on them. I mean, if its just some misunderstanding we might be able to figure out some way to help smooth it over, but if we tackle it head on without a plan, we'd probably just upset both of them."

>This brings up other concerns as well. Just how much should they even try to do something like that?

>Julie's words does temper her overly idealistic view of things however.

"Anyways, I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. I mean, in the end they'll be the ones who have to decide if they want to be friends again. For now we should just focus on being there to support each of them, until we're sure what they each actually want.

>She packs up her empty lunch container again, before standing up.

"In any case, now that I've heard about it, I can't just sit around doing nothing. No one should have to be alone like that, after all."

>Her mind goes back to memories on her end as well. While it is true that she has friends, its not like she could really invite them over much, or really at all in a lot of cases after the twins were old enough to start trying to be magi in their own rights. Even a single slip up would be too risky, which meant that even the idea of having sleepovers quickly gave way to just playing solitaire in her room.

>It's not like Kai ever was allowed to stay over either. Visit maybe, but not stay over.
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Kai Forsyth!uvadBiRdiE 860956

File: 1417243757743.jpg (8.72 KB, 159x185, 159px-Frosch_and_Aera.jpg)

>Bacon meat? Mmm, that sounded good... wait, don't drift off, July's talking to you. Kai blinks innocently and sits down after he's motioned to.

But... that's kinda how I became friends with my best friend.
>With a small pout, he folds his arms.
I followed him home til he talked to me, and we've been friends ever since. I think it can work.

>As his plan is shot down even further, he gives an exaggerated sigh. How come going in headfirst was never a good plan? It worked out just fine for him.

To support them, though, we gotta be their friends first!

>Time to reuse his famous tactic of following people around until they either snapped or gave him the attention he wanted!

>With a stupid smile, Kai stands up as well, stuffing the bag of candy he got earlier into his backpack.

Julie's Summer's friend, so we just gotta be Alicia's friend! I guess the hardest part about that would be actually finding her, though...
>He hums in thought.
Coach would probably get mad at me if I just talked with a senior girl while I'm supposed to be helping him, though...

July!Jiang0l2K. 860957

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She... Guessed that made sense?

She wasn't a fan of the plan's point, though. Her sister was...

Well, she probably didn't ever want to talk to Alicia ever again.

"Yeah, but..."

...Wasn't that what she'd sort of done to him?

And hadn't he just run away?

"...I could probably talk to Alicia, too. I mean, we always sort of got along, and she's been sort of alright to me the few times we've talked since then..."


File: 1417245892753.jpg (10.13 KB, 207x244, images (7).jpg)

>Well, thats one flaw in the plan.

>...She realizes the other a bit too late.

>The other mainly being Kai's odd tendency to run away from girls he doesn't really know if they start pressuring him about things.


"Its not really fair to just leave Summer to Julie though, plus, I'm not sure its the same, since siblings are expected to at least try and get along. She'd probably like some friends outside of her family as well."

>Tallie pauses as if trying to think things over, before finally speaking up.

"I know you said you're busy later this week, but Julie did just invite you over for dinner, so maybe you should try and get to know Summer better that way on a week you don't have to babysit Gracie? I mean, are you really sure you want to talk to a girl with a reputation for being cold towards other people all by yourself anyways?"

"I could be the one who talks to Alicia first, while you're working on getting to know Summer, and then we can slowly introduce each other from there."

>Which just left the third member of their little pact. Though its not like she really needs things planned out from the sounds of it.

"Julie, it'll be a lot easier on your end since you already knows both of them, so you should be able to smooth things along if it looks like we need help, okay? I mean, its easier to make friends with someone who's a friend of a friend, right? Plus it sounds like you got along with both of them, so its a good start to keeping them from being lonely any more."

Shin Akamine !MrCarnage2 860998

File: 1417253032825.png (931.27 KB, 1920x1080, 4.png)

>The way Alicia agreed to an old man's requests so readily set Shin Akamine's mind at ease. The future head of the Archard family had strong ties to the Akamine clan, ties that needed cultivating and nurturing as they would undoubtedly become all the more important as time went on and each family's children respectively grew older.

Thank you.

>But even as he was grateful for the favor, Shin couldn't help but shake the sentiment that Alicia's inclinations might lead her astray if left unchecked. Of course, it was not his place to second guess her or direct her development seeing as he was no father of hers but he could, at least, respond to her assertions about his daughters conduct at school and try to guide her opinions in such a way that they wouldn't directly conflict with his daughters views.

But yes, I was aware that my daughter was letting herself be picked on by her fellow classmates as a way to reenforce her particular approach of study.

I can't say that it is the path I would wish for her to embark upon but...

>Though his expression never opened up to such a degree as it had before, the old man's eyes conveyed his thoughts quite clearly to those who could read such subtle signs. In one part, the man felt immense respect and admiration for his own daughter and fear of what might result of her chosen path. A fear born of the belief that, even if his daughter had the strongest willpower of any single individual he had met, deep down Miyuki ached for human company in a way that would eventually tear the young girl apart.

It would not be appropriate for me to dissuade her.

Rather, the most I can do now is encourage her to follow her own path... no matter what it might be.

>Nodding at Alicia as she stood up, Shin Akamine smiled at the young woman.

That's right... I trust you remember where the dojo is?
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Alicia!pR.BaFF/uk 861280

File: 1417341878179.jpg (59.39 KB, 436x600, Senjougahara.Hitagi.600.439660…)

Yes. It's been a while, but I remember the halls well enough.

>Though she said the words easily in response, her mind wasn't following them. She was too wrapped up in the thoughts of their lifestyles, the way a magus being part of another world prevented them from interacting wholly in the other. Responsibility and goals often came first, and it came with a rather crushing weight more often than not. Summer had relieved her a portion of it for a time, but in the end she had very different principles and couldn't understand.

>Yet for Miyuki to take the complete opposite stance and immerse herself entirely in the magus side of her life felt like an impossible way to live. What were you then, but a machine with magic circuits and a purpose? It was impressive, admirable even, but at the same time...

>All the more reason for her to at least give it a shot. For the sake of her father's request, at the very least.

Thank you for your time, Shin. It was good to see you.

>It was important to leave with a smile, and a genuine one at that. He'd been polite and understanding and his request was a humble one, and he'd also answered her concerns honestly. If nothing else, this had certainly cemented her view of the Akamine family being a reliable and well-liked relation, and certainly a bond to value for far more than their abilities and responsibilities.

>Having waited for his response and acknowledging it, she left the room and entered the long corridors once more. At least she called them that in her mind; they were more like pathways that winded through the household to various rooms and even other buildings within the shrine. Crossing the small bridge over a naturally flowing river, watching the pond for a moment as she did, Alicia made it across the roof-covered garden path, enjoying the scenery in all it's splendour. The imported flowers were mixed in with ones found naturally in Maine, and it created a wonderful vision of combined tradition. All the more fitting that such a gorgeous, tranquil display could be seen before entering the building containing to Dojo - a chance to relax your mind before focusing completely on the methods of training one's body.

>*Maybe I should start working out...*

>It would certainly help get rid of the results of her sweet tooth.

>With a simple grip of the sliding door handle, a small pull easily opened the Dojo itself. It had been so long since she'd set foot in that particular place that Alicia had forgotten most of the details. Thankfully, she only had to take a brief look to find the person she was looking for.

Miyuki Akamine !MrCarnage2 861454

File: 1417428475718.png (2.12 MB, 1920x1080, 600.png)

>As Alicia got to her feet and gave the current head of the Akamine clan her farewells, the older man rested back on his haunches and nodded lightly to the departing young woman, the tea cup in his old callused hands still half-full after their short meeting on the magical affairs surrounding the city. In a way, the brevity of the exchange was also a sign of how deeply the trust and understanding between the Archard family and the Miyuki clan ran. The knowledge that each party would uphold their duties in a way that was both correct and productive made the exchange of potential threats infinitely smoother than anything else might have been. And so, with only the smooth sound of the closing door being slid into place, Alicia's feet would start padding her way across the estate's many pathways.

>Walking through the richly decorated scenery of the temple, some visitors had claimed to actually lose themselves in the decor and truly feel as though they had somehow stepped beyond the veil of the everyday life and entered a world of fantasy beyond human time. The flowers produced a rich aroma that filled the nostrils of those who walked the temple's path, this, combined with the motionless silence that pervaded the area broken only by the merry chirping of the flowing river's waters created a truly unique experience existing nowhere else in Junction City. In a way, this extraordinary break in the environment they lived in compared to that of the outside world empowered members such as Miyuki to immerse themselves further into their duties than any other place in the world could. By fooling the mind into accepting an extraordinarily unique place as their home, these members could then train themselves to act solely in accordance to their duties and tradition in what they would interpret as foreign climes or working environments. Some truly dedicated members even went to far as to expand that particular state of mind within the shrine itself, designating only a single place or room as their actual home or personal space within which they would allow themselves to be themselves. With that in mind, there was the distinct possibility that the tough, detached and business-like attitude of Miyuki might be relaxed within her own home - more particularly, for someone like her who looked at her duties as being the quintessentially most important thing in her life, it was quite likely that she would have made the dojo into her particular space.

>Having reached the dojo itself, Alicia would find herself standing before and open-ended building whose smooth and unobstructed floor was reminiscent of a school gymnasium with large windows on either side to illuminate the space within with enough light to allow for martial training with no handicap. During winter times the open-side of the building would be closed off with a wooden palisade through which a door had been carved out but those great windows would make for proper isolation virtually impossible and the cold humidity would surely be a plague upon the warriors seeking training there. Though if such things as uncomfortable weather could get through the hardened resolved of the Akamine clan's warriors was another thing entirely. At the end of the floor was a shrine at the center of which a sheathed katana was upheld by two smooth wooden implements. At the base of the shrine burned a small bowl of incense along with a few small candles in honor and tribute of the sword itself and the represented ancestors of the Akamine clan who supposedly still watched over and helped the current generation from their position in the spirit world. Looking at the sword more closely, its design would appear to be truly ancient even if its condition had been kept pristine through diligent and venerate maintenance of every part of its being through traditional oiling, powdering and polishing of the blade. And though there were many manners in which one could forge a proper katana, it was said and rumored that this particular blade had been made using the legendary Soshu Kitae whose quality was beyond compare. Finally, above the shrine, overlooking all of the dojo proper were several sheets of traditional rice paper upon which several kanji that served as the key principal of this dojo and had once been explained to Alicia as reading "Purity in Mind, Soul, and Body".

>And there, kneeling by the shrine's side, eyes shut, and hands clasped in prayer was the current wielder of the venerable and holy blade set upon the shrine. Miyuki Akamine wore a traditional dark colored kimono, by her side rest a well-worn shinai that had obviously seen much use in the young girl's constant organized training. Looking at her now, praying to the ancestors of her clan in the confines of her home and training area, Miyuki's expression seemed serene, somehow detached from the everyday world that the young woman experienced everyday. Her relaxed expression showed none of the signs one would expect to find on someone who had no friends to call her own and was relentlessly bullied at school to the point where she could no longer eat lunch in peace unless she hid in an empty classroom. Instead, within what was probably her own "home" and in the space that was probably her safest of sanctums, Miyuki's expression was one of someone who was truly at peace, free of any ill-feelings that would cloud her mind or dull her blade. Her figure kneeling there, before her ancestors and her blade, her expression devoid of anger or anxieties related to her harsh everyday life and duties in a space that was truly her own; in that moment, Miyuki Akamine was stunningly beautiful.

>After a few moments had passed and Alicia's soft approach padded closer to the dojo itself, Miyuki opened her eyes and turned towards Alicia, place her hands on the ground before and bowed as low as her supple body would allow in a greeting of respect to one stationed higher than her and an invitation to come in if she so desired. Her dark-hair cascading before her, she then rose back up again to kneel in her position, waiting to see what the esteemed future head of the Archard family would do - all the while wondering how it was that her meeting with her father had taken her to this place.

*Soshu Kitae is a seven layered forging method used by the legendary sword-smith Masamune.
*Kanji is the traditional Chinese characters used in modern Japanese writing.
*Shinai is a weapon used for practice and competition in kendo representing a Japanese sword.

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 861457

File: 1417432979505.jpg (48.35 KB, 500x324, Smile.jpg)

>It was rather extravagant for such a simple scene. Gentle light shone through the windows in such a way that beams could almost be seen, yet there wasn't enough dust to allow such rays to fully materialise. It was a deceptive thing for, though the room was cold in temperature, the atmosphere felt warm and inviting. Even so, she was glad she still wore the outer part of her dress, lest she began shivering whilst indoors. That kind of feeling would disturb the tranquil nature of the shrine, for it felt like each action, no matter how simple, could easily be emphasised when made in a room with very little else inside.

>If such were the case for actions, it was even moreso for decoration. As Alicia's eyes glanced across the room in their first pass of the search for Miyuki, it was easy for them to catch on to the sword and rest there for a moment. She knew little of it personally, aside from the fact that it was one of the great treasures the Akamine clan had, but it was difficult not to appreciate the beauty of it. Not only was it already interesting to look at, the display itself wasn't only the sword, it was the hours upon hours of effort taken to ensure that it looked its best. Spotting the Kanji beneath, it had been a long time since it had ever been explained to her but the memory jogged. Something to do with 'Purity of oneself', but she couldn't remember it specifically. Letting her mind wander for a moment, she tried to reforge the memory; was it that only someone with a pure heart could wield the blade, or something more? The answers continued to escape her.

>She didn't have the time to think much further on the matter anyway, for the moment she began to refocus Alicia spotted the girl kneeling beneath the blade. At first she wondered just how Miyuki had managed to dodge her gaze when in such an obvious place, but she realised very quickly that the black-haired girl almost merged with the room while sitting in it. Not in the literal sense, of course, that would be weird and would likely stand out even more, but she was so calm and serene it was as though she were naturally a part of it. So much so, in fact, that Alicia wasn't sure if she could fulfill Shin's request any longer - why would she want to disturb someone so at peace with themselves and the world?

>Unfortunately, the moment she realised this Alicia had already taken the fatal step. Her heel clacked against the wooden floor and sent a resounding disturbance through it, immediately reminding her of why the Akamine family continue to insist that there be a distinction between indoor and outdoor shoes, which was apparently something all of Japan did. By the time she could even apologise, Miyuki was already bowing toward her in a show of respect she didn't entirely think she deserved. Unknowingly, she released a sigh as she took off her shoes and placed them gently down on the wooden floor. She was often told off about her sighing when she was here as a child, some sort of Japanese phrasing that she'd forgotten, but it helped to relax her thoughts, regardless of the negative connotations it had. Perhaps she'd done it as a physical show of her own uncomfortable feelings regarding the respect she was being shown, but she wasn't able to say for sure.

Sorry to disturb you like that. I probably should've taken those off at the entrance.

>Her apology was honest, she hadn't wanted to interrupt whatever had Miyuki so calm. The question now was how to start talking to her. As much as she didn't want to just make it round two of the earlier meeting, it was very difficult to figure out what else they might have in common, and it felt incredibly inappropriate to start having a conversation about very girl-specific things in such an almost sacred place. Shaking her head a little to disperse those thoughts, she decided to start simple, and looked across with a smile, not yet moving too far into the dojo itself but at least closing the sliding door behind her to keep the cold out, and establish herself as 'inside'. It felt very odd, being an entirely Western element in an Eastern environment, both her attire and her attitude sticking out like a sore thumb, but she wondered if that was part of what Shin meant by 'talking to a girl her own age'. Would the foreign element of Alicia help detach Miyuki from her daily routines?

I'm surprised it's so cold in here, though. Are those robes warm enough?

>Clearly she lacked the enlightenment a kimono could bring.

Miyuki Akamine !MrCarnage2 861458

File: 1417435812643.png (785.26 KB, 1920x1080, 145.png)


>Watching the Western styled woman walk across the bare floorboards of the dojo in her socks Miyuki's expression changed ever so slightly with every step the woman took closer to her - gradually changing from being utterly impassive to being subtly gladdened for someone else's presence all the while maintaining that serene embodiment that permeated her very being. In a way it was almost comical just how eastern a girl born in the west could appear the be, then again perhaps that was just another facet of being able to displace one's mind and make them believe that their home truly was somewhere in another world altogether.

Its no problem at all, and these clothes suit me just fine, I assure you.

>Miyuki replied with a very faint if genuine seeming smile, her body language suggesting that she was entirely at peace with Alicia's sudden approach of her training area. The kimono she wore was thin but it was made of tightly spun wool that kept the humidity outside herself and left her with the cozy feeling of being warm whilst allowing her to move freely. Extending her hand in an invitation to sit with her, the Miyuki that stood within the dojo somehow felt like an entirely different being to the one that was being bullied in school. No longer closed off or business-like, the grace and ease with which she held herself elevated her to a level on par with what expected of royalty. Yet at the same time, the presence Miyuki exuded was somehow approachable, like the barriers of duty that magus society imposed on them were somehow lowered in this holiest of places and allowed for her true self to shine through.

I trust your meeting with my father went well?

>Miyuki continued in a conversational tone, it would be improper for her to pry about what the two of them had discussed but at the same time, not addressing the meeting at all would leave the both of them with no real jumping off point for them to converse - and so, a masterful middle ground was negotiated. But even if there was an ease at being near Miyuki, there was still a proper procedure to be expected when speaking to the future head of the Archard family line. And given that the both of them were not exactly friends but mere acquaintances, it would be improper for her to adress Alicia would anything but the utmost tact and care, whilst trying to make her feel welcomed and at ease within her home.

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 861465

File: 1417448973355.jpg (60.23 KB, 500x281, Yay!.jpg)

>Taking advantage of the invitation to sit, Alicia moved across the room with slight care. Having just winter socks on made the neatly polished floorboards ever so slightly dangerous, but this was hardly the first time she'd done so on such a surface. There were wild memories of sliding across the floor at speed and crashing into various walls and such when she was a little girl, something her father had been very sure to tell her was not okay for a woman of her stature, but they were fun times nonetheless. Just who she remembered doing that with escaped her, however, though she knew whoever they were had long since grown up.

Really? Well, I suppose they do look comfortable.

>Regarding her clothing as she got closer, Alicia compared them to more elegant pajamas. Certainly, her own clothing wasn't uncomfortable, but there was a difference between what you wore outside to keep yourself both presentable and functional and what you might wear at home when relaxing. The kimono had an element of both, which was interesting to see, though still very strange and somewhat formal seeming. Either way, the outfit itself already provided a slightly different vision of Miyuki. More relaxed, almost, which was reinforced by her light smile.

>Sitting down nearby, Alicia sat in the far less formal cross-legged style as she pondered over exactly how to refer to the meeting. It was difficult not to just continue down the formality path because it that was a comfortable situation for her, but surely she could do better than that amidst a peer. Yes, they were both the next heads of their families, but that wasn't all there was to it. Casting her mind back, she remembered many times when her father and Shin had exchanged laughter, had drinks together at each other's homes and the like - you could never truly keep things completely professional if you wanted to foster a close relationship. Maybe that's what Shin had in mind when he spoke.

>So, what then? Act like herself...? Just what would normal her act like, anyway? Thinking too much on the subject only made it more confusing, so why was she frightened to just go with the flow? Was she worried about keeping up appearances even now, or that her more basic self would cause offense?

>*Stop thinking already, and just talk.*

It was pretty nerve-racking, I've never had to speak to someone with such utter formal confidence before so I guess you could say the shivers I've got are from more than the cold, but he was incredibly nice about it despite my naive little thoughts and requests.

>Aaaah there she went. She'd done it again and blurted out a brutally honest slew of words strung together by quick pacing and the inability to stop before she'd finished. The last time she'd done that she'd partially picked at Miyuki's training technique and the atmosphere of the room that day, but in the end she couldn't get rid of her habit. Alicia could only hope it wouldn't throw Miyuki too far off her expectations.

Miyuki Akamine !MrCarnage2 861495

File: 1417454935077.png (965.63 KB, 1920x1080, 135.png)

>The brutal honesty with which Alicia blurted out her thoughts came as something of a welcome shock to Miyuki who saw the maneuver akin to a small child tripping over their shoe laces - clumsy yet all the same overwhelmingly adorable in its innocence. In a way, the manner Alicia acted now represented everything that Miyuki had given up on when she took on the mantle of the Akamine family's chief Vanquisher and turned her life outside the shrine as a series of duties and obligations she imposed on herself so that the world of every living being in the city might be more peaceful and prosperous.

>And though they lived in the same world and were both magie whose obligations would lead them to take the role of heads of their respective houses, the way Alicia carefully stepped across the smooth wooden floor so as not to slip and fall along with her unique fascination for the simple kimono she wore triggered a feeling inside Miyuki that she could only ascribe as an older sister being astounded by the cuteness of a younger sibling.

If you'd like, I could prepare a kimono and give it to you.

We're about the same size and I have a lot of extras so it really wouldn't be a problem.

>Miyuki said with a small yet sincere smile adorning her face, the small candles and incense burning slowly by the altar with small plumes of fragrant smoke slowly rising towards the ceiling of the dojo creating a unique athmosphere in which the two girls could at least try to relax in one another's presence.

But I am glad your meeting went well, maybe next time you could accompany your father when he visits us if it isn't too much trouble for you?
This post was edited by its author on .

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 861523

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>That was a lot more relaxed than she expected. The initial yet brief silence caused her a small measure of embarassment, but thankfully Miyuki broke that silence with an ease that seemed strange of her. Then again, when you were used to watching someone get picked on without saying a word, you started to wonder whether they would say anything even if given a push. It was a welcome change, if a surprising one. Her memories told her such a scene was familiar to her, but she couldn't see any of it very clearly.

For me? I don't know if it would look very...

>When she thought about trying on different outfits her mind cast across to Summer, who had taken that kind of thing on as a career. It was around that time they had the argument, so the concept of being outfit-centric left a bad taste in her mouth. That said, Miyuki seemed so earnest about the thought Alicia considered it far more than she originally intended. It would certainly be interesting to see how she turned out in such a thing, among the environment here. It wasn't as if she had any major plans for the day beyond this, aside from completing any homework left and her magical studies, but those wouldn't be until the evening.

Accompany him? I usually don't because I have to work on my - ... studies...

>Her magical studies. Right. Those were always being put first because they were necessary, needed. They were who she was and who she was expected to become, alongside her responsibilities as Second Owner. Sooner or later she would also take a trip of her own to the Clock Tower, to establish herself properly as a member of the Association and sign the various documents needed for the eventual handover. That would happen after graduation, so with only this year left until she really began to have proper responsibilities as a magus her studies and research had become increasingly paramount.

>In that regard, Miyuki's efforts had always served as an example or perseverance, if a little too far. Yet, in this place she had an atmosphere very unlike that magus, unlike the 'Future Head of the Akamine Clan' that she had come to know. Contrary to the voices that usually picked on her, she didn't have that same stoic, cold appearance - she was serene and, frankly, matched the beauty of the environment around her.

... despite my earlier claim of the opposite, it might actually be an enjoyable thing if I were to try something a little different than the norm in order to break up the daily routines and the like, even if I'm unsure how exactly I might turn out or whether it'd be appropriate for me to wear something so culturally tied to the serenity here, I might well be so terrible that it would affect the atmosphere, so I'm still not sure whether...

>Thankfully, she caught her own ramblings this time before they got out of hand. Slowing herself down and taking a breath, Alicia gave herself a mental slap as an ever so slight shyness made an appearance from beyond the typical excuses and fancy sentence stringing.

... I'd like to try one.

Miyuki Akamine !MrCarnage2 861547

File: 1417465535135.png (1.17 MB, 1920x1080, 601.png)


Then lets not waste any time.

>Slowly getting up to her feet with slow deliberate movements that contrasted sharply with , Miyuki grabbed the shinai that lay at her side and placed it inside the small wooden rack aranged on the side of the wall upon which a number of other shinai and practice weapons had been arrayed for use. Having completed this, she turned her attention back to the shrine and softly padded her way over before pressing her hands together and offering a small prayer to the spirit that lurked within the sword and blowing out the candles so that they wouldn't be a fire hazard whilst they left the dojo untended.

If you would follow me.

>Miyuki said as she lead Alicia through the door of the dojo before sliding it closed behind her. Each step she took somehow being able to flow seamlessly into the next with a natural elegance that was almost surreal in the environment offered by the open pathways of the temple with foreign flowers and simple majesty framing everything in a way that emphasized the inherent beauty of things whilst making superfluous details seem unneeded. Looking at her now, the way she moved her body was unmistakably the result of a lifetime of training she normally suppressed in public places such a school so as not to attract unwanted attention in one way or another.

>Silently walking down the hallway with Alicia being more than content to simply gape at the surroundings whilst trying to look as though she weren't all that impressed with the results of the decoration, Miyuki lead Alicia through a series of corridors that eventually led her in front of a room she had never been to before. On the door was a simple sign that read as "Miyuki" marking it as her bedroom. But before Alicia could misconstrue Miyuki's intentions in one way or another, the Asian girl turned towards her Western counterpart and declared with a smile.

If you would wait outside for a moment, I will fetch something appropriate.

>Having said that, Miyuki bowed before Alicia and opened the door to her room, entered and closed it behind her. Whatever was in there, it seemed like there were some things that even someone as stoic and steadfast as Miyuki would not share easily with mere acquaintances. After a few moments had passed, Miyuki emerged with a large if flat rectangular wooden box inside of which lay a kimono of much richer and higher quality than the one she was wearing right then - its texture was as supple as silk with its deep purple color fading into black in the proper light. If it were a tribute, there was no question that such fine vestments would have been more than adequate to present to a lord or lady in charge of one's land.

Is this suitable?

If you need to would like to change in privacy then there is an empty storeroom nearby.

Alexander Peterson!Ren/VL7f/Q 861607

File: 1417479844150.png (168.24 KB, 291x309, Blank.png)

Monday 3rd of November
4:00 PM
>It was always important to keep in shape, because if you didn't then you'd probably eat poorly, put on weight and then long come to regret your life's decisions when you hit thirty five.

>It was because of that reason that Alex was walking about casually instead of going straight home. He'd already alerted his mother that he'd be home slightly later than usual, so for now, he was content to roam around.

>At the moment, he was staying close to the school, specifically, he was in the Mini-Mall. It was getting close to December, so he should be dealing with his Christmas shopping...Which really meant getting a present for his mother. At least it was light on his wallet, if heavy on his socialisation skills.

>He continues wandering, his eyes lackadaisically shifting from shop to shop, trying to hunt down something that would be worth the money he'd spend on it.

Valentina Rabinovich!aLEJudith. 861625

File: 1417480879548.png (461.82 KB, 758x490, Whyme.png)

>And while he was wandering about looking for gifts, a very (literally) blue woman seemed to be doing the same. Staring through a show window looking at all the items that were going on sale in time for the Holidays.

I wonder what my brother would like...

>Though pondering what she'd get for him, she can't help but sigh at the thought that anything she did get her brother would be technically bought with his own money. Money he'd given her to life here yes, but she still wanted it to something she got herself...

>Sigh, the misfortune of her situation.

>But what does one give a high successful businessman? Maybe someone crafted from one's own hands? Or perhaps... something else????


>The girl lets out a big sigh as she leans forward to press her face on the window before her and she slides down onto the floor with her face making a squeaking noise on the way down.

Why is this so haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaard...? What do you give to someone who can get anything on there own???

Alexander Peterson!Ren/VL7f/Q 861642

File: 1417483048894.png (457.91 KB, 652x490, Deepcleansingbreathes.png)

>As his eye shifts from shop to shop, it comes across a...very interesting shop. Or rather, what was interesting was the person outside of it.

>That was despair. That was slumping your face onto a cold window, squeaking down it and not even bothering to correct your posture.

>As a man of the church, nay, as a man with a good conscience, he could not allow such an act to continue on.

>He wandered up to the slumped woman in the furry clothes and looked down at her, an odd combination of confusion and blank arranged on his face.

You seem in distress, miss.

>He speaks evenly, as though he were talking about the weather, or something equally as small talky.

Anything I could possibly assist with?

Valentina Rabinovich!aLEJudith. 861654

File: 1417483999462.png (437.08 KB, 574x426, Gloomy.png)

>Like a ray of sunshine in the depths of despair, a man approaches her and asks her if she needs any assistance. Oh boy did she ever.

My brother...

>She removes her face from the window and sits up on the floor looking down and poking at the ground. She responds to him with a clear, but not thick, Russian accent.

I want to get him something, but I can't just buy something for him because he's rich, and I don't know what to geeeeeeeeeeeeeet...

>Poke poke at the ground.

What do you get a rich man?

>poke poke.

When he can have everything already?

>poke poke.

Alexander Peterson!Ren/VL7f/Q 861687

File: 1417485899106.png (451.25 KB, 652x490, Whyme.png)

>Russian. Interesting. Junction City took all kinds, and so a Russian here or there wouldn't be too out of the ordinary, clear though. Either stubborn or new.

Ah, you're Christmas shopping too.

>He looks down at her as she pokes the ground, a nervous type? Or just uncomfortable around new people?

...Well, in my experience, what you get is less important compared to the fact that you got them something at all. They say it's the thought that counts.

>He offers a hand to the young woman, hoping that she would accept it and he'd pull her off of the floor.

However, you won't be getting anything if you remain seated and moping here, perhaps we can help each other in searching for gifts for family members.

Valentina Rabinovich!aLEJudith. 861709

File: 1417487414939.png (506.39 KB, 871x487, Yaaaaaay!.png)

>She was expecting him to say something like "Well it's obvious what you should get him, fool, why can't you figure out something so simple?" Instead, he was offering to help?

You'll help me... and you'll let me help you?

>Her mopiness vanishes and is replaces with excitement as she shoots from the floor and gives the stranger a big hug.

Oooooooh thank you so much mister, I promise I won't let you down!

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 861974

File: 1417529771586.png (213.43 KB, 500x642, tumblr_mxy8sqPxNH1s1ihsbo1_500…)

>Miyuki was definitely very direct with her statements. 'Let's not waste any time' could be considered to be a staple of how she appeared, especially now when it was exceptionally obvious. Each move and motion could be considered flawless, and though Alicia could not comprehend exactly what it was she was noticing she clearly saw the signs of someone who was incredibly physically adept, and judging by her choice of words and brief statements, mentally so as well. Following her felt like chasing something you could never quite reach, which was both humbling yet heartbreaking at the same time.

>Thankfully that feeling would only last so long, as they had reached what seemed to be Miyuki's bedroom. These corridors had been new to her, but given that they seemed to house the individual rooms of the Akamine clan, it was no surprise she'd not seen them before. Patiently waiting as Miyuki stepped inside, Alicia wondered just what might be picked out for her. It was a little nerve-wracking, thinking about attempting to match the kind of style and grace she'd just witnessed, and she perhaps felt a little bit outclassed.

If she was like that at school, I don't doubt she'd be incredibly popular...

>Yet she knew that would never happen. It was simply the way things were, just like how the world within the shrine walls was very different to the world outside of it. However, Miyuki soon re-appeared once more, holding a piece of this strange world hidden in a box, prepared for her to enjoy. The soft yet delicate texture of the Kimono itself, when touched, gave away its quality. As much as she hated to admit it, she knew quality clothing, mostly from back when Summer and herself had been around each other more, and this was beyond fine. How exactly was this 'appropriate'? She greatly enjoyed the colour and feel of it, but Alicia couldn't shake the feeling that she didn't deserve to wear such a vestment.

>But, far more importantly than that...

Oh, wow it's... it's certainly impressive. Are you sure? It looks almost precious in quality, I wouldn't want to ruin it by chance. I'm honoured that you think it'd suit me, but...

>Getting a feel for it with her hands, she gently lifted the lovely clothing from its holdings, only to confirm her greatest fears. No buttons, no zips, no easy to understand method of fastening - it was as though it were a giant piece of finely woven cloth patterned into a gorgeous design, alongside the sash that would naturally keep the finished work together. Giving off a lightly embarassed blush, she turned away slightly so as to poorly attempt to hide her shame from Miyuki before responding somewhat quietly.

... I have no idea how to put one of these on, myself.

>Perhaps she had learned once, a long time ago, but if she had then Alicia had long forgotten such a thing.

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 861979

File: 1417532726960.jpg (412.62 KB, 800x1131, b93008824b9df4d8c3ffda222a4b60…)

Sunday, November 2nd
9:03 PM
Sipping a glass of wine as she skimmed the pages of one of the hundreds of tomes her family had kept, the mage flicks her wrist carelessly to turn the page with the utmost of care. The oldest among them had already been reprinted and rebound at least five times already, but even all completely translated and reprinted by her great grandfather, they were at the least sixty years old by this point, paper yellowed and dogeared to the point where a human touch risked destroying the knowledge within. Her family was never particularly talented when it came to enchantments, and apparently they hadn't bothered asking another family to help them maintain their written knowledge, so, at this point, it seemed like in her lifetime they'd have to be reprinted and rebound once more.

That might be a nice distraction for a few months once she'd settled down, but before she had a child of her own.

Resting her head on her chin, the young woman silently muses to herself as she flicks past a chapter on the various uses of silver. Werewolves were extremely uncommon in China, so the knowledge her family had regarding them only went as far back as her great grandfather, and her mother's and own generation weren't exactly contributing to the family's pool of knowledge in that regard, so there was very little she could actually use here. At least, nothing that warranted a second reading when she was hardly halfway through the stack of books after almost a year of alternating between reading and putting that knowledge into practice. Ever since she and Alicia had stopped being friends, she'd had much more time for this sort of thing.

Sighing and giving the book one big wave of her hand, the mage folds her arms, plants them firmly on the desk and rests her head on the makeshift pillow. Reaching out with her fingertips and grabbing the ballpoint pen sitting there, she begins idly scribbling paraphrased notes on what she'd read over the past few days into a small notebook she kept on her at all times. Half of her power came from coming up with ideas on things she could do, and then doing them efficiently. She never knew when inspiration would hit her.

Nitric Acid plus cotton clothing equals explosions. Nitrocellulose. Electrophilic substitutions at C-OH centers. Extremely vulnerable to impact. Sweater bombs?

Create acid and water in closed environment from available air. Exothermic. Portable heat source? Handwarmer?

CCK. Hunger suppressant. Long trips? Survival scenario? Diet?

Sighing and resting her forehead on the notebook, the head of the Jiang family restlessly searches for... Something. She didn't know what, it just seemed like she wasn't making much progress. Almost all of her ideas were impractical for one reason or another, usually being forced to carry around anything more complex or rarer than an acid or trace metal. If she had to fight someone like Alicia or Miyuki at any point in her life for any reason, she'd be butchered.

She could sort of understand why her uncle did what he did, she guessed.

Raising her head just a bit to sip some more of the wine, Summer smiles. She could guarantee they didn't have amazing parents who let them drink alcohol at eighteen, though. Her mom had told her the day she graduated, she was free to drink as much or as little as she wanted. If she was capable of heading the family, she was entitled to all the rights of an adult, after all.

She needed to get her an amazing Christmas present this year. Nan and July too.


Flicking back through the notebook, the mage grins. She had an idea.

Miyuki Akamine !MrCarnage2 861988

File: 1417548433476.gif (4.5 MB, 338x190, Dressing Up.gif)

>Looking at the slightly taller woman before her, Miyuki had to repress the smile she felt from growing too obvious for the adorably childish traits that the next second-owner was showing her so openly that it completely overthrew the image of Junction City High's notorious Triple-A. No, instead of an uptight and hard-nosed girl who looked down on everyone and everything, Alicia was acting like an amazed little girl at the mere mention of wearing a ceremonial Yukata. Then again, she herself did not act like her regular self when inside the confines of the temple and she very well knew it. Here, she let herself act out a little bit more freely in accordance to her whims and wishes when she would never allow for such things to happen anywhere else. How then did she look like to Alicia if she had such a disparate attitude?

Then I will show you.

>It was a simple answer to a simple problem - Alicia wanted to put on a kimono and to do so she needed to be thought how to put it on in a way that wouldn't leave her needing other people's help in the future if ever she wore one again. Taking Alicia's hand in her own, Miyuki all but dragged the girl into a nearby room that was entirely empty except for a few unpacked carton boxes and a few disparate gardening tools. In this storeroom, in the presence of the head of the Archard family, Miyuki undid the sash around her waist, putting the cord aside before taking off the heavy outer vestment. Then, with only a thin, nearly transparent, white inner clothing that draped down herself to her knees, she took that off as well leaving the Japanese girl entirely in her underwear before Alicia. What light that came in through the room's high windows illuminate her fair skin and dark hair in a way that made them both shimmer in the near darkness of the room as she carefully folded and placed each vestment neatly on the ground one beside the other.

Fist, you put on the inner lining like so...

>Said the girl in an amused tone as she slipped her arms through the thin fabric once more. Wearing only this, the girl's white panties and bra were extremely visible through the fabric as she bent down to pick up the heavier outer vestment she had been wearing.

Next you put on the outer layer...

>She said as she carefully wrapped the thick dark fabric around her body in a way that would not wrinkle the vestment, placing each fold inside one another, she pressed one hand against the vestment whilst she bent low and picked up the dark sash that had been wrapped around her and carefully knotted it in a way that would leave a wide bow in front before twisting it and placing the attachment behind her.

And after you put on the sash that's all there is to it.

If it were a ceremony we could do up your hair with a pin as well but I'm not sure if your curiosity stretches quite that far.

>She finished with a smile, her demeanor leaving absolutely no doubt that she thought nothing of the fact that she'd stripped down in front of Alicia. Rather, she handled the act with the same amount of pride and grace as she displayed when she did anything else around the temple.

Alexander Peterson!Ren/VL7f/Q 861996

File: 1417552969184.png (465.71 KB, 650x489, DidIleavetheovenon.png)

>Instead of her taking the hand, she instead flew right past him and gripped him in a hug. Alex noticeably tenses when she grabs him, his intense pokerface morphing into an expression of confusion and alarm. Sure, he'd been hugged before, but never by somebody he'd just met and it was...weird.

>After a few seconds of shock still alarm, Alexander breaks the hug gently, his pokerface back into position on his face.

I think 'letting me down' isn't really something you can accomplish when it comes to buying Christmas presents...Anyway, we should get going, there's plenty to explore.

>Alexander sets off looking around the Mini-Mall, they'd probably have a better time at the big shopping district, but he'd rather stay here for now, much less effort to scour. He turns back to Valentina while walking, deciding to give this 'casual conversation' thing a try.

So, what's your brother like? That would generally be a good start for gift hunting.

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 862039

File: 1417555745458.jpg (55.59 KB, 500x375, The most unlikely face ever fo…)

>Wait, she was going to help? It wasn't as if Alicia had much of a choice, she was already being pulled towards another room without even knowing what was going on. Unable to resist the strength of the one pulling her, or the thought of knowing how a yukata worked, Alicia simply let out a surprised noise of some kind or another before following on obediently, quickly finding herself in the designated room.

>And then Miyuki stripped.

>Right down to the underwear.

>Now, it wasn't as if she wasn't used to similar things happening in preparation for gym class, but this was a fairly private place far away from anyone else. Yet, even then, the novelty of the act faded quickly when compared to the astounding beauty of it all. Who in their right mind would wear a semi-transparent silk robe in that kind of lighting? It made it sparkle and eye-catching no matter whether you wanted to get caught up in it or not.

>If nothing else, the instructions were actually a lot simpler than she thought. The only difficult part was ensuring the folds were done right and the sash was tied correctly. Maybe she'd need help with those, but at least she could give it a try.

>So why did she feel embarrassed about it?

If... well... a pin wouldn't be bad, I suppose...

>She honestly wasn't sure whether or not she wanted to go that far, but the general direction of thought seemed to be along the lines of 'if you're going to do something, you might as well go the whole way'. All three pieces of her own yukata were laid out before her - the underlayer, the overlayer and the sash. Now all that was left was...


>Well, if Miyuki had shown the pride and grace to do all that, she couldn't insult her by just up and vanishing, right? Her own clothes were a little less easy to slip off, but they were a dress in essence. All it took was the undoing of a few buttons and the bow on the front. Top first, then the skirt and the undershirt. Being the sort to wear tights, she was left a little more covered than Miyuki had been, though not by a great deal. The black tights on her legs helped her feel a little more secure, but the it wasn't as though her own transformation sequence into this state had been done with any of the practiced elegance of the other girl in the room. Rather, it had been a very straightforward and mechanical process.

Inner lining...

>It didn't do anything to make her feel more covered up, but it was so, so very soft. For some reason, even though it was somewhat transparent, it made her feel warm. She couldn't see it, or rather she wouldn't allow herself to, but the increased quality of all the fabric and design of this yukata gave the inner lining a flowered pattern that brought out her shape in the light, glistening gently with the blue and matching to her eyes and hair in hue.

>Inelegantly, however, she continued to ever so slightly rush the process in order to help cure her own nervous embarrassment and the feeling of the cold around her, despite the inner layer. On went the much thicker purple outer layer, again pattered very delicately and containing perhaps an even softer, velvety feel to it that made her feel like she was a piece of melted butter in a soft yet firm cocoon. She hadn't done it quite perfectly, however, with a bit of the folds being slightly off and revealing too much of her shoulders compared to how it should look.

And then the sash...

>She was clearly going to struggle with this one, because the material here was also of ridiculous quality, and the mere thought of tying it into a terrible knot made her flush with incompetence - so much so that she could only really look across at Miyuki with a very insecure, fish-out-of-water type of expression, yet a hopeful one.

... I might, maybe, need a bit of help with the bow-tying. It's sort of, um, really wide and...

Valentina Rabinovich!aLEJudith. 862063

File: 1417559903882.png (42.25 KB, 166x166, tumblr_n1vs02NV9K1sn8sb3o8_250…)

>As he turned and began to walk, Valentina followed after him.

Um yes...

>When asked about what her brother's like she pauses to think...

Well.. his nice, a good businessman, likes golf...

>That's really all she knew about him nowadays... being as isolated as she was in her past, she never did get as close to him as she wanted too. Well this was really an attempt to do just that...

Miyuki Akamine !MrCarnage2 862102

File: 1417566461564.png (1.16 MB, 1920x1080, 201.png)

>Putting on a proper Yukata, like most things inherent from Japanese culture, was an act that was both incredibly simple yet could be elevated to the status of an art form. Much like flower arrangement or calligraphy, certain people dedicated all of their time to perfecting some key aspects of their lives and refining it into something they could truly be proud of. Seeing that Alicia, someone who had never so much as seen a yukata before in her life, had difficulty putting one on was more than natural even if her clumsy if diligent efforts made her seem all the more approachable. Even the small things like her expression in reaction to the embarrassment to seeing a fellow colleague undress was something that appealed to Miyuki in some way since she hadn't mistaken the act as being something it was not intended to be.

No need to worry, the bow is quite a tricky thing to do at first.

>Approaching the softly struggling Alicia in the dark, Miyuki's hands drifted down to undo Alicia's clothes, completely taking off the sash, she straightened the outer layer of the yukata so that her shoulder would be properly dressed and no fold would get in the way of the kimono's intended smoothness.

First its important that the outer layer be smoothed out nicely so that it won't ripple when you try to tie it correctly.

>Having arranged the other girl's dress, Miyuki took the wide sash and passed it around the back of Alicia's waist, wrapping the thick fabric around her twice before tucking it around the front and upturning the sash. Then, using the end of the sash she had left dangling towards the top, she pulled on the fabric so that it would reform itself into a neatly made bow. With each of her motions being so smooth and precise, it was no question that Miyuki had long ago mastered the art of dressing herself in the traditional vestments of her people. Though she had done each step in such a way that Alicia could have followed quite easily even if she was having trouble with the actual practice of it.

Then its really all about tension and using the fabric to your advantage. Since its so thick it wont undo itself easily and you can bend it here and there to better suit you.

>Producing an elegant hair-pin from somewhere about her person, Miyuki stuck the implement in her mouth as she made her way around the back of Alicia and started fiddling with the woman's hair. With adept and quick fingers, Miyuki folded the long purple strands on after the other, wrapping here and pulling there, the process ended up being extremely rapid until finally she stuck the hair-pin in the middle of it all to produce an elegant bun that would not pull or pain Alicia but could easily come undone with the mere pull of the pin.

>In a way, Miyuki was amazed with herself. A few days ago her heart had been aching for the loneliness and inaccessibility in which she lived her life. Her father and uncle were kind in their own way but their were both much older than her and could not give her the sense of friendship she sometimes craved amidst her self-imposed isolation. That her father had sensed such things and acted to ease her sorrow in a way that would benefit the family showed a skill at manipulating others and reading the reality around him that far supassed her own. In a way, it made her envious but also showed her just how much further she needed to go before she could call herself a master of control like the man himself was.

>Stepping away from her, Miyuki came around the front of Alicia to inspect her handiwork and smiled quite happily.

It really does suit you very well.
This post was edited by its author on .

Alexander Peterson!Ren/VL7f/Q 862127

File: 1417569544971.png (470.13 KB, 650x490, Ohhellothere.png)

>...Relatively small amount of information, but it was to be expected. He'd only just started talking to this woman, after all. Couldn't expect to be told everything on the first day.

Ah, a business type...That would be why you said that he could have anything he wanted...

>Alex tapped his chin, thinking it over. It was a good question, what do you get for the man who has everything they could want? But that was such a ridiculous thing to say, no human being could possess everything they wanted, it just wasn't in humanity to be content for very long.

Well...Most golf related paraphernalia can be fairly expensive...And is better left to those who understand golf, otherwise you may get him something he doesn't need...Any other hobbies you know of? One less likely to be draining on your funds?

>He aims another question towards the Russian woman, hoping to glean slightly more from her.

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 862361

File: 1417633359514.jpg (406.36 KB, 650x919, Senjougahara.Hitagi.full.10212…)

>Given how simple the bow tying technique was, it was wonder how she hadn't picked it up the first time she'd seen it, given that most magecraft was far more troublesome at first than a simple knot. Perhaps, given that this was supposedly an important part of japanese culture, not to mention that the yukata she was wearing carried what was likely a very high price tag or was perhaps even a bespoke work, Alicia simply didn't want to get it wrong. It was enough of a problem to make her nervously incapable, yet once all was said and done the whole outfit felt surprisingly organic. A few simple pieces of cloth felt decently warm and comfortable, whilst the hairpin added a touch of quality and preparation she could appreciate.

>There wasn't a mirror in the room so she couldn't see for herself, but she definitely felt a little bit impressive in it. Maybe now she too could feel like a natural part of the scenery here. Since everything was now in place, she could feel her confidence begin to return to her, straightening herself up and stretching a little within the yukata to give it a bit of a test.

I have to say, it gives this really freeing feeling.

>She felt like she should be doing something with this, yet she couldn't figure out what. After having spun around slowly a few times to get a feel for it, smiling broadly the whole time and enjoying herself despite not being too into the whole 'outfit' scene, Alicia stopped and turned to look at Miyuki. The girl was smiling rather happily, yet Alicia somewhat felt as though her weakness had been taken advantage of, and even if Miyuki had the best of intentions, she wanted to have a little bit of revenge as far as comfort zones went. Of course, she had no idea what those were for Miyuki, but she knew what she wanted to do anyway. Rummaging through her clothes to grab her mobile phone, she put her plan into motion.

>With briefest of devious grins, she reached across and took the oriental girl's hand in her own and began to pull her out of the room.

Let's go ask someone to take a picture! Oh, did you want to get a different one? If you wanted to give me something do delicate to try, surely you've got a special one saved for yourself back there.

Valentina Rabinovich!aLEJudith. 862365

File: 1417635907300.png (243.92 KB, 431x690, tumblr_inline_n6m4afp6861qbq3y…)

>That was a good point, she didn't know a thing about Golf at all other then that her brother liked it as a passtime. She tried to think of something else that would be better, maybe something she remembered from their childhood together?

>Not that she had much of one really...

>Though trying to remember her past with her brother, something started to crawl up through the mire of beatings and loneliness.

Snow globes. He use to collect Snow globes when we were young.

!Ren/VL7f/Q 862725

File: 1417686522821.png (228.6 KB, 390x370, Bow.png)

>Alex's blank expression morphs into a small smile, barely noticeable.

And there you have it, I'm sure you'll be able to find a snow globe of some sort through a few tours of charity shops and the like. Forgive me for assuming, but you're Russian, correct? I believe you'll be able to find something different to what is sold over there, if only because of cultural differences.

>He offers the woman his hand in a gesture to shake, feeling like he was getting the hang of this 'socialisation' business.

Alexander. My friends call me Alex.

!MrCarnage2 862822

File: 1417694355645.png (1.08 MB, 1920x1080, 65.png)

>Watching Alicia wear the yukata she was given with an ease and beauty Miyuki had seldom ever seen outside of movies or fashion shows, the Akamine girl couldn't help but feel a certain sense of jealousy come over her as she came to understand why Japanese culture was so fascinated with Western men and women whose bodily proportions their inherently smaller statures could never match without major cosmetic surgery.

I am glad you like it so much.

>Watching her colleague smile and look down at herself in foreign clothes that really where quite becoming of her, Miyuki felt a feeling of true happiness form in her heart. After having been alone for so long with no-one to call her friend or acquaintances beyond what her position as a magus demanded of her, to have even one person interact with her in a way only friends of even standing could was a blessing Miyuki felt relieved an ache she had all but forgotten about. Her own self-imposed isolation was a burden she knew and understood for being the temper that would harden her blade into a weapon that could not shatter and would defend this city from all forces that would befoul its premises. To be constantly surrounded by loved ones and a network that supports and loved you would leave her weak and dependent on others be it emotionally if not necessarily physically and as Vanquisher must often act as the black sheep of magus society, the Akamine clan had long ago deemed it necessary that their members learn to strengthen themselves against the pains of loneliness. But even as she understood her action as being necessary, that did not make them any easier to perform, after all, nobody wants to be lonely even if you are alone. But having felt the warmth that fleeting friendships could bring to a cold heart, Miyuki knew that she would cherish this memory for a long time to come and that, no matter what became of their relationship in the future, be they become enemies or even rivals, always she knew she could call this memory to mind whenever the pains of her burden became too much to bear as a means to bolster her will and grant her the second wind that would make all the difference in the end.

>But whilst she was busy immortalizing this moment in time by capturing each and every detail of her environment, Alicia had deviously come forth to turn the tables on Miyuki who had been quite forward in her approach to the future heir of the Archard family by grabbing her hand and pulling her towards the exit. Thinking back on it, the Akamine girl wondered what had driven her to act in such improper ways towards a fellow magus in the first place. In a way, Miyuki had felt that Alicia had been aching to try partaking in the Japanese tradition she had found herself surrounded by but that she could only be made to try if someone willingly forced it on her. But now that she felt comfortable in the role, there was no doubt that she would make good on her proactive nature and see through any ideas that came to mind... whether Miyuki liked it or not.

A-Ah... I do have a few sets of finer clothes but I don't think it would be proper if I were to just wear them now...

>Stumbling ever so slightly over her words as she was dragged out of her comfort zone, Alicia held a firm grasp on Miyuki's had as she firmly guided back towards her room and the promise of other, finer clothes for her to wear and perhaps even take a picture in. To be quite truthful Miyuki could have easily broken away from Alicia if she so wanted to - the training she had received since childhood had seen to it that her speed, reflexes and senses were the pinnacle of human capacity but to do so now might break the spell of friendship she felt had been cast between herself and the Western girl. And so, unsure what to do and consciously knowing that they were acting in quite improper ways, Miyuki let Alicia drag her back to her room with only her vague complaints serving as token resistance to Alicia's will.

But even if you say so... I really am not very photogenic...

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 862861

File: 1417696971262.png (180.29 KB, 500x281, Genuine Smile.png)

It's not about 'just wearing' something, you know.

>As vague as her own statement was, it had a fair amount of meaning behind it, such that she would have to explain in a short moment but was, for the time being, focusing on bringing her back to the familiar door with Miyuki's name on it. Her grip felt strong, enough that Miyuki could probably break out whenever she chose thanks to her much greater physical prowess, but the fact that she hadn't gave Alicia just that bit more confidence she could get this little event to pull through.

>Having made it, and hearing Miyuki's minor complaints on the matter, Alicia felt that she ought to explain her point, from one somewhat socially inept girl to another. Turning to face her whilst in the Yukata, the portion of her hair dangling from the bun swaying gently against the soft fabric, the magus gave her fellow companion a smile not between equals or associates, but from one girl to another.

I would just like to have a picture to commemorate today, that's all. It's not been very often I've had this kind of fun, lately.

Valentina Rabinovich!aLEJudith. 862888

File: 1417715556259.png (30.2 KB, 166x166, tumblr_n1vs02NV9K1sn8sb3o2_250…)

>snow globes, why didn't she think about it until now?! There's plenty of places that sold them! Oh joy joy joy she found something to get him, sure it'd still have to be bought, but it'd have meaning behind it!
>Brimming with happiness she nods as he asks her if she was Russian.

Ah yes I am! I only move here two months ago, all thanks to my brother!

>She owed a lot to him and this was a step in the right direction.

>When Alex introduced himself and offered a hand shake, she takes his hand in both of her and shakes it with joyful vigour.

Thank you so much Alexander! I'm called Valentina Rabinovich! I really don't have a short form for my name so I'm just Valentina!

Alexander Peterson!Ren/VL7f/Q 863025

File: 1417805526083.png (479.06 KB, 652x489, SomuchpussyIneedgogglestoswimt…)

>She was very...touchy. Both the hug and now the vigourous double handed shake. Maybe she was just an affectionate type. He also noted that she forwent 'Alex' in favour of Alexander. Maybe she put it on? Or just didn't like shortening names.

>Either way, she wasn't unpleasant company, so Alex smiled once again as she shook his hand.

Valentina. You have a nice name. It's a pleasure to meet you. Now, if we're to find a snowglobe of some kind, we should probably find a charity shop, I believe there's one around this area, but the rest are in the main shopping district. Shall we?

>He offers to continue onward, somewhere in the vague vicinity of the Charity shop.

Miyuki Akamine !MrCarnage2 863289

File: 1417889329962.png (1.03 MB, 1920x1080, 202.png)



>With eyes widening ever so slightly, Miyuki felt herself taken aback by Alicia's simple words whose meaning surpassed the boundaries erected by their respective positions as magies of their respective families. Instead, Alicia was addressing her in a way that harkened back to days before the both of them were trained in the ways of magecraft and made aware of the burdens they both shared respectively. In a way those simple and honest words lightened a burden Miyuki felt deep inside herself to which she had grown so accustomed she had all but forgotten what it felt like to find it eased.

>Smiling faintly but quite genuinely, Miyuki nodded her head and gently pulled her hand free from Alicia's before heading into her room and closing the door before much of anything could be seen. A dozen minutes later, the door would open and Miyuki would step out of her room wearing what could only be described as a truly sumptuous dress whose fabric shimmered in the outdoor light and whose richly embroidered fabric flowed over Miyuki's curves as though it were fluid in nature. With her hair done up in an elegant bun using a similar pin used to hold up Alicia's hair and a light touch of makeup on her face, Miyuki coyly curtsied before the elegantly dressed Alicia.

So... how does it look?

Valentina Rabinovich!aLEJudith. 863348

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>with a nod, the Russian follows Alex to their new destination. Though now that she had an idea what to get her brother, she just had to return the favour to her new friend.

So Alex, you said you were looking for a gift too? Who's it for?

>She was eager to help him if needed be as well.

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 863440

File: 1417901276807.jpg (52.35 KB, 500x281, Now my hair is brown.jpg)

>Though it was brief, Alicia did catch the glimpse into what Miyuki looked like when surprised. It gave her a chance to have a slight chuckle to herself, glad for the fact that the girl seemed to agree and had headed in their of her own accord - not that she could make her do so otherwise. Still, 12 minutes was a long time to stand in one spot, so Alicia wandered over to a spot that allowed her to look over the gardens. They were all very wonderful, no matter which you looked at or from what side, as though they were meticulously maintained by all who came across them. Shades of all kinds of colours, frmo the bright greens that represented flourishing nature, even at this time of the approaching winter, to the kinds of reds, yellows, blues and other hues between you could only expect to see in the spring. It was a miracle how, each season aside from the dead of winter, the monks and others who resided here would manage to swap out plants that could flourish with those that couldn't. It was always a beautiful sight, well prepared and fitted for the occasion. She doubted she knew of a sight that could match it, which was why she always managed to enjoy her time here.

>Yet, 10 minutes after that thought crossed her mind, she was finally met with what she had previously denied. Having heard the doorway to her room open up, Alicia turned only to let a brief and quiet gasp leave her lips, caught out by just how astounding the effect was of a mere bit of time taken to prepare oneself.

>Well-prepared, just like the flower gardens, and if she were to pick an occasion to match the preparations, Alicia would simply pick Miyuki herself as that which the outfit celebrated. She could not deny the beauty of cultural heritage - if those girls who had mocked her for her asian heritage had seen her like this, she doubted they would even have any sounds to leave their mouths. It was a truly beautiful sight, and her initial expression of both shock and wonder gave that away more than anything else.

>Even if Alicia was pleased with her own appearance and the compliments she'd received from Miyuki herself, she had to admit outright defeat. Internally, at least. On the outside, her lips curled into a coy smile in response to Miyuki's actions and words, feeling the air of a friendly challenge settle on her mind. Falling into a playful tone with her words, she brought a finger to her chin, as though in thought.

Oh dear. I might have underestimated you here, the way in which such a wondrous thing matches you is beyond heavenly - I may well have caused my own defeat by pushing this request on you!

How to resolve this matter, I wonder? You believe me to be stunning in this, and I cannot help but compliment you either, so alas this is a tie.

>Yet, the air of competition was merely a facade upon a facade. If it were the careful manipulation of oneself that was the Akamine's greatest trait, one so great that Alicia herself could not recognise such actions in a master of the art, then for Alicia it would be her ability to cause gentle yet irrefutable conflict in the lives of others, when she was at her most devious. In this next statement, the young future Second Owner would not only play on the light rivalry between two future family heads for the sake of friendship, but would also have the chance to get the perfect kind of revenge on someone else.

What say we ask Hiraku-san what he thinks?

Miyuki Akamine !MrCarnage2 863783

File: 1417929869916.png (1.04 MB, 1920x1080, 204.png)

>Looking at Junction High's infamous triple-A student offering praise to the lowest of the low in social circles for her beauty and grace was something that Miyuki could not help but find incredibly amusing if only for the incredulity the other students would feel if ever they saw the scene unfolding before their very eyes. In a way that was part of the temple's magic to seperate itself from the rest of the world. Here, in this place that felt like it was somehow outside the bounds of time, the lowest of the low shone with beauty and grace enough to make even the highest levels of the social spheres bow their heads in humble recognition to her beauty.

Well I would not discount your own looks so quickly, after all, you've yet to get a proper look at yourself.

>That being said, that Alicia would seek out Hiraku's opinion to judge the beauty of the two deeply amused the young Akamine girl who smiled knowingly at Alicia being able to see her intentions quite clearly for what they were and the dilemma she wanted to create for the promiscuous uncle who had undoubtedly trouble Alicia at some point or other. Still, if this was what she wanted then Miyuki would not in her way even if the consequences of her actions would not head in the direction she was expecting.

>Taking Alicia's hand in hers once more in a manner that had somehow become comfortable for her, Miyuki gently guided her along the temple's path for the direction in which Miyuki somehow knew Hiraku lay.

Alexander Peterson!Ren/VL7f/Q 863988

File: 1417978463276.png (168.24 KB, 291x309, Blank.png)

>Alex keeps walking alongside his russian friend, finding the charity shop relatively quickly. The mini-mall was only a small place, so a short walk in roughly any direction would find you something.

>He also noted that she now used Alex, maybe it was a slip up earlier? Or maybe it was just something not worth his attention, he needn't over analyse everything...Spend too long measuring the marigolds and you can't see the beauty of the field of flowers.

Ah, it's my mother. I'm not often sure of what to get her, so I tend to wander around shops until I spot something I think she might like...It's slightly embarrassing when I think that despite how close we are, I don't know what to get her for a present.

>Alex rubs the back of his head, a frown on his face, he'd look upset if it wasn't for the air of mild awkwardness surrounding him.

...I'll probably take a look around in the charity shop too, you never know the kind of stuff they have in there.

Hiraku Akamine !MrCarnage2 864009

File: 1417980421442.png (1.69 MB, 1920x1080, 13.png)

>Walking along the flowered paths that so mystified Alicia with their beauty and arrangement, the girls walked to a section of the temple where they came across quite a few monks who were busily tending to the flowerbeds in preparation for winter. The one overlooking their progress was none other than the man who had greeted Alicia when she had first come to the temple, Hiraku Akamine, who turned, along with the monks, to watch the girls approach with something of an ecstatic expression on their faces.


>Said the grown men in unison whose only regular female contact in the temple was to see lady Miyuki go about her business in her regular conservative garb, their dutiful and hard labor for the welfare of Junction City's many spirits now paying off by granting them a vision of heaven on Earth slowly approaching them with the beatific expressions of salvation itself on their faces.

My my my what brought this change on girls?

The end of the world isn't schedule for today I hope.

>Hiraku said with a growing smile as he approached the girl, the three monks kneeling in the flowers all but awestruck by the awesome sight the spirits had granted them on this day. Their own marvel at the sight only intensified by Hiraku's apparent immunity to what equaled to a godsend from the heavens above.

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 864387

File: 1418048352355.jpg (208.56 KB, 600x600, 2010-09-13-323682.jpeg)

>All these compliments heading her way weren't going to be healthy for her ego. Summer had often told her she was pretty enough to warrant trying on various dresses, but she'd always taken that more as a friend-to-friend thing. Here it was perhaps less so, but at least Alicia could rationalise it as being mostly the very expensive clothing and Miyuki's expert help in putting it on. If anything was surprising, however, it would be that Miyuki had begun to lead her by the hand, an act that only a while earlier had seemed to shock the girl somewhat.

>If there was anything she wasn't entirely prepared for, however, it was the reactions from the monks as the two rounded the corner to a certain section of the garden. It was such a distinctive reaction that Alicia couldn't help but give off a slight blush of embarassment - she wasn't used to being in the public eye in such a way, but in her mind she could at least rationalise the effect as being mostly Miyuki's doing.

>And there was the man himself, Hiraku Akamine. Compared to the other three he was far more brash and up front, but that was to be expected. As much as she was unused to the situation at hand, Alicia took a breath with a practiced motion and immediately cast aside all doubt and nervousness. It was an act, not to the extent of the Akamine's defining trait but one that would allow her to keep her cool regardless of what kind of situation she might find herself in, though doing so for long periods of time felt taxing.

I just wanted to experience a little more tradition while I was here and Miyuki kindly showed me her kimono selection. I couldn't resist.

>It was a little bit of a truth-stretch given that Miyuki had picked out the kimono herself, but it would help lead her up to the predicament she intended to place Hiraku into.

Though, now that you mention it, there was one other Kimono we both thought was even better than either of these, but we decided not to use it. You do seem very interested though, Hiraku-san.

>The stage was set, and now all she had to do was place her actor upon it. Through words and a simple situational atmosphere she would trap him within the confines of an impossible choice. She even had to hold back her usual devious smirk in order to truly capture the effect.

Which of us would you have rather seen that Kimono on?

>Whilst the situation was something of a lie, it wasn't entirely false. Alicia suspected that there did actually exist a 'better' kimono for two reasons. The first being that she highly doubted Miyuki would give her most treasured option to her regardless of circumstance, as it would be something considered special, yet she would have likely picked her second best for Alicia to wear as an initial show of respect, hence the bow and presentation Miyuki had made of it. Furthermore, so as not to 'show-up' her guest, when she had insisted Miyuki put on one of her good robes for a picture she would not select her 'best', but rather one that would fulfill the demand while continuing to appreciate and respect her perception of Alicia being 'above' her, so it would theoretically be the third best.

>This left a single, incredible kimono locked away in her drawers, or so she assumed. It could easily have been the most convoluted tale she had ever told herself so as to justify her lying, but if she suspected it to be the truth then it was more than enough to suit her purposes. All that was left was to watch Hiraku squirm for a little bit. Not too much, of course, she didn't want to be cruel to him, but just enough to give her a good giggle later.

>Or so she hoped.
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Valentina Rabinovich!aLEJudith. 864441

File: 1418052796637.jpg (314.7 KB, 800x743, tumblr_n96mb6Qp1x1r8m99bo1_128…)



>"You little failure of a child, why can't you do anything right?!"

>Valentina's enthusiasm vanishes just as quickly at had appeared.

Uh.. yes. Gifts for mothers...

>She tries to put on a façade to not make her new friend worry about her already, especially not when this is supposed to be a joyous time. Not for her own history to rear it's ugly head again.

>Roll 1d1000 = 945
>Odds successful façade
>Evens poor one.

Well... maybe... cooking equipment?

Hiraku Akamine !MrCarnage2 864449

File: 1418053190455.png (1.32 MB, 1920x1080, 8.png)

>Looking at the Archard beauty profess a duel of sorts between herself and lady Miyuki, Hiraku seemed to seriously consider the question as he surveyed both women before him with a critical eye. The implications of the choice Alicia had thrust before him was one that was both complex and delicate, indeed, it would be a veritable minefield of family politics and possible repercussions that would need to be handled with the utmost care to avoid the massive fallout that would result from the decision being handled improperly.

Which one...?

>Walking closer to the girls, the older monk's smile would grow in magnitudes as he contemplated the choices and circumstance laid out before him. The impossible situation that might have broken lesser men only serving to bolster this stalwart and commendable member of the human race's actions. And whilst he approached the elegantly dressed beauties in his presence, his fingers would come up and wiggle as if with a mind of their own, the thoughts of the monk bringing forth unbridled movement from his appendages in reaction to what only his mind perceived.

Why would any man choose when the gods themselves saw fit to bestow upon us two incredible beauties that eclipse the perfections of Buddhas themselves.

Gandhi said that for mankind to be happy it needed to thread the path of the just middle and oh was he ever right~

Seeing two beauties lined up before me you ask me to choose? How could any man choose between one perfection and another? How is one infinite to be measured to another?

You ask me which one of you should wear the Kimono but I say that the both of you should wear it... possibly at the same time too~

>By now the man's breath was coming in fast and harsh, his heart beating louder and faster with every passing moment as his mind ramped up one scenario after another, using the sight before him to fuel a daydream of such epic proportions and startling clarity that he could scarcely differentiate between fact and fiction. No, more than a daydream what he was experiencing was true enlightenment - a vision of nirvana granted to his mind's eye in which perfection was found in the disappearance of all flaws. A place were the world was made into one and where the emptiness of empty was made apparent so that the nature of the world could shine forth for all to see.

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Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 864550

File: 1418063470615.jpg (89.92 KB, 1280x720, uh oh.jpg)

>What was this?
>What was THIS?
>The intense wiggling of his fingers like worms crawling through the gravel, the shifting and semi-delirious tone of his voice, the change to his very presence as a human being had altered from that of an Akamine Clan member and more towards that of a lecherous beast!

>He had somehow taken her usually infallible confidence and upturned it, utilising her very weapon against her by corrupting such pure trickery into a mockery of the human condition! Ordinarily she would not allow such a thing to stand, she could bind him in a cage and leave him to his own delusions, but he was already so very close, and in this most delicate of outfits she felt much more vulnerable than she would otherwise be if she had her heels and skirt that didn't prevent a good kick.

>Faced with the only other option available, she immediately shuffled backwards, hiding behind Miyuki with a slight tremble to her knees. This wasn't a frightening or scary incident, she had no reason to suspect that something bad was liable to happen to her, but his response was so absolutely unreasonable that she had momentarily lost all mental capability to process just what he was thinking about in terms of her!

I-I seem to have underestimated you, sir...

>That was twice in one day. Oh, she'd be kicking herself later for that.

Shiro Yamada!MaraKrYP7s 864886

File: 1418163198153.png (51.19 KB, 265x385, Puer00096.png)

November 5th, Wednesday
12:00 PM
>As soon as the clock had strick twelve, all the bells within the school loudly rang, signaling both the end of class and the start of the half-hour lunch break. Students from every class felt a heavy weight lift off their shoulders as they exit their classes to retrieve their nutrition and social interaction for the day. However, today was a day that Shiro was blessed, for he had prepared his own lunch the night before so he wouldn't have to go and get the gruel that the cafeteria passed off as lunch. The food he made was rather plain, though, for it was just a bottle of water and two sandwiches stuffed eith the usual ham, lettuce, tomatoes, etc. Not the most extravagant of foods, but it was something.

>He bit into one of them as the sounds of footsteps and conversation erupted in the hallway. Kai had mentioned that he was going to be busy this day so he won't be in the cafeteria. It could possibly have something to do with his track club, but he hoped it was about the full moon that will happen tomorrow. While he does have his demonic power and his training in martial arts, he knows that those alone won't be enough to subdue him until morning. He'll have to depend on the Forsyths' magic to keep him locked up and hoped no one would interfere that evening.

>But with the event of that July girl earlier, Shiro practically made himself a target amongst the Mages for not realizing who she or Summer were. There's no doubt that they're already on his case as he sat in the class room, waiting for the the next class to start. Worst case scenario would be that not only do they find him using his demon blood, they find Kai in his transformed state and exterminate them on the spot. Or Kai kills all of them and the other Magi in the city target both of their families.

>Shiro let out a deep sigh as he tried to clear his mind from the overwhelming stress placed upon his head. There were many things he had to worry about now and all of them would end up in death if he made the wrong move. Perhaps he should just focus on what needs to be done first and foremost before all the others, and that was keeping Kai from going berserk into the city tomorrow evening. He'll have to deal with any other witnesses some way or another. He'll also have to get his camoflauge ready so no one can at least try to recognize him. Though, that was hard enough for him what with the white hair and eyepatch and all. He did hear there was another white-haired boy in the school, one whose life was practically the opposite of his. Perhaps he could use that boy as a scapegoat if it ever came to that.

-! Ow!

> It wasn't until he bit his finger when he realized he got a little too lost in his thoughts and while he ate the rest of the sandwich sub-consciously. He looked around the class room to see if anyone saw that. However, all he saw were students in small groups chatting amongst one another while the teacher spoke to a student. It doesn't look like anyone paid much attention to him, so he's in the clear.

> With that load of worry off his mind, he drank from the water bottle prepared with his lunch and began mentally scheduling the rest of his day and the day after until the full moon. He had to be in top condition, so he'll go to the gym later this evening and skip classes tomorrow to prepare. He trusts that Kai is also preparing for tomorrow as well. The last thing the both of them need are casualties on their hands.

Motor Markardo!pR.BaFF/uk 865213

File: 1418209651970.png (204.69 KB, 500x610, tumblr_luvgpmswQa1r0ctnno1_500…)

>Unfortunately for Shiro, his distracted mind would likely cause the end of his peaceful lunchtime. All was relatively normal, the rest of the students who had decided to stay in the classroom chattering away amongst themselves and creating enough white noise for the white-haired boy to drown in his own internal discussions. A brief moment of clarity caused him to suddenly pay attention to his surroundings, but by then it was too late. It was far too late to save the target of this little piece of espionage.

>With his hands on the water bottle and his mind once again distracted, the predator made his move.

Still a distracted as ever, I see!

>Were Shiro to look, he would find the second sandwich among his carefully prepared lunch had vanished. The assault had come from behind, taking advantage of the very small window of opportunity given. The one currently behind him was munching away at the very average meal between two slices of bread with great fervour, as though enjoying the taste of his obtained prize, the expression of joy clearly visible on his face despite his eyes being hidden by the easily recogniseable sunglasses.

Yo, Shiro!

>Motor Harry Sewchey Markardo - anyone else with that name would probably have made their name into the record books with how bullied they were. Not this guy. Instead, he drew the gazes of the class with a measure of both wonder and disgust, now having announced his presence to the world. He'd snuck around the back of the classroom as soon as he saw Shiro with his own lunch. Like hell was he going to miss out on a free sandwich.

>Now, you might think stealing food from a friend, particularly when their lunch was made up of three items, was a morally bad idea. You'd be right. You would also be overestimating the Markardo's capacity to care whether it was wrong or not when compared to the reward of a slightly full stomach. Showing no shame on his face whatsoever, he finished the snack in its entirety before returning to his trademark grin, giving Shiro a half-wave salute.

Not bad, I'd give it a 3/5.
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Hiraku Akamine !MrCarnage2 865214

File: 1418216458987.png (753.61 KB, 1920x1080, 218.png)


That's enough Uncle, you're giving Alicia a poor impression of our family.

>Miyuki rebuked the creeping creature known as her uncle with a stern voice. Looking at the smaller girl's back, Alicia would find a veritable bulwark standing steadfast between herself and the approaching monster. Miyuki's small form giving off an impression of unyielding strength much larger than that of her body, reminding one and all that despite her appearance and current dressing, Miyuki was a seasoned Vanquisher whose body and mind had been trained since childbirth into that of a righteous weapon of unparalleled might to fight humanity's sake against unknowable forces.

>Looking over Miyuki's shoulder, the frightened Archard girl would see the expression of the perverted Hiraku turn from being predatory to terrified as he took on the full force of Miyuki's reproachful glare. Taking a half-step back, the full grown man of equal training to Miyuki stuttered and bumbled in the face of the silent woman's wrath - an unrelenting force that sent the surrounding monks cowering in each others arms out of some primal drive to seek shelter away from a terrible event before it had a chance to unfold completely.

Ah... Miyuki-chan there's no need to get so upset.

I was just... uhm... I... I THINK I HEAR YOUR DAD CALLING ME!

>With those words being ushered with unprecedented speed and volume Hiraku all but vanished instantly as he used all the training he'd received to make his escape. Seeing their leader run for the hills, the surrounding monks all hastened after him in the general direction he had all but vanished. The frightful sight of an angered Miyuki being such a tremendous sight to behold that it would send half a dozen fully grown men scuttling away like frightened chickens.

>But as Miyuki turned around to face Alicia with an apologetic expression there was no sign of the terrifying aura that might have caused such terror in the normally ultra-disciplined members of the Akamine clan. Instead, all Alicia would see would be a delightfully cultured looking young Japanese girl elegantly dressed whose downcast eyes indicated controlled regret for what she had just shown the future head of the Archard family.

I apologize for subjecting you to something like that...

If you want we can still have our photo taken together.

>She said as she wasn't all that sure if Alicia didn't want to just go home and put this entire incident behind her at this point.
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Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 865216

File: 1418218882563.jpg (39.94 KB, 500x500, Oh.jpg)

>It was surprising to see such a sudden shift in personality. Even when one knew the Akamine clan were adaptable and reliable no matter when and where a situation arose, seeing it in action, especially when it was such an abrupt change, was slightly scary. That said, the sense of protection she received from the fact that she had terrified the others was great enough to snap her out of her stupor, bringing her back into the reality of the situation and allowing Alicia to catch her breath, recomposing herself just in time to see Miyuki turn back around without a single sign of that former rage ever having been there, aside from the sudden lack of anyone else around.

Thank you, Miyuki, but...

>Drawing out the sentence there had a chance of being misconstrued as a negative response to Miyuki's inquiry, but she was a little too lost in her own thoughts to think about that for a moment. Now she was free of the fear that had gripped her previously, her mind was wracked with the shame of such a display. Before her was a magus of calm mind and tough demeanour, and Alicia had always considered herself capable in her own way. Had her recent indulgence in her more emotional and cautious side give rise to this?

... don't apologise, it's fine. If anything, I should be the one apologising for such a poor display.

>Though her voice did not raise in tone and her expression stayed neutral, she could not hide the fact that she was clenching her fists tightly as an output for her frustration. She didn't know whether anger would be unbecoming of her, unlike it was for Miyuki who had turned the beauty of her robe into a way to exercise an aura of authority.

>She, on the other hand, had been reduced to a babbling mess, in front of both those monks and Miyuki herself.

To have something so minor and trivial turned against me in such a way, truly I must have appeared as a child in that moment. Such a thing cannot be tolerated of myself.

>It seemed to be getting a little worse with each passing moment. Unlike the Akamine family, she wasn't capable of controlling herself to such a high degree, and seeing Miyuki deal with such a thing so easily compared to herself, even if she wasn't sure how, it gave her an immediate sense of inferiority in comparison, as though she were lacking. Whilst she wasn't subject to the intense training the Akamine clan were given, she had always been clearly told what her family name represented and what she, by extension, was supposed to present to others. The weight of carrying such a legacy wasn't often seen when she was presenting her normal attitude, but in this moment it was all too visible.

>Facing Miyuki properly, she gave a bow whilst in the Kimono. If there was one thing that stood out here, it was that she had effectively run and hid behind Miyuki when faced with a problem. She'd shown an inordinate amount of weakness in front of her, something she couldn't rightly accept whilst knowing that she was supposed to be capable of handling herself.

I'm sorry, Miyuki. I won't put you in such a position again.

>It was almost ironic that the one who had been the victim was apologising instead, but Alicia mostly saw it as her own undoing, given that Hiraku was to be the victim of her prank in the first place.

Miyuki Akamine !MrCarnage2 865217

File: 1418221553952.png (1.16 MB, 1920x1080, 205.png)


. . .

>Watching the future head of the Archard family, second owners of Junction City, bow down to her, Miyuki felt both amusement and sympathy well in her breast for her fellow compatriot and the shame clearly written all over her face. True enough, as a magus Alicia's reaction had not been all that appropriate but at the same time it was one that had been very human in nature. As such she Miyuki thought that Alicia aught not to be ashamed of her reaction, she should remember and treasure the feelings she had experienced even as she consciously moved away from them to better fulfill her obligations towards her family as both heir to their noble legacy and a magus of great promise.

As I recall, it is the Akamine family's sworn duty to protect the inhabitants of Junction City from threats that threatened the natural order of the world or posed a threat to its population.

In that case, I think we can both safely attest to my uncle's unnatural desires for young beauties as fulfilling both those conditions and I was merely doing my job.

>She said with a pleasant tone of voice in the hopes that it would soothe Alicia's troubles even as it would foster feelings of mutual trust between the two of them. In a sense, their friendship or, at the very least, cooperation was something of a necessity for Miyuki. Seeing as their respective positions as magie would see them continuously interacting with one another in the future, the fact that Alicia might feel at ease with her or might even come to view her as a friend would be a huge boon on herself and serve to forge bonds of friendship and assistance between both families, not to mention that it would also go a long way towards alleviating the oppressive loneliness that plagued Miyuki whenever she let her guard down.

>After having spoken her mind on the matter in a way that assured Alicia that she saw no shame in the way she had acted or harbored any ill feelings towards the girl, Miyuki took out her cell phone from the small silk pouch she had been carrying with her as she moved to press herself by Alicia's shoulder, her arm extended outwards with her small cellphone turned towards the both of them so that the camera would be facing them. If anything, Alicia had been right, this moment was worth celebrating and immortalizing if not by memory alone than also by photography.

Say cheese!

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 865218

File: 1418223542231.jpg (172.96 KB, 500x500, WHOA.jpg)

>What was this?
>What was this?

>Why was it, today of all days, that she seemed incapable of showing the proper preparation for anything? Perhaps she was too tense, too caught up in her responsibilities this week while her father was away, especially given her recent doubts and decisions that contradicted some of the things she'd been taught. She had thought, perhaps, that she knew herself better than anyone else, but Alicia found herself surprised by her own actions just as much as she did others. Just who was she, really?

>Miyuki certainly seemed determined and settled on her purpose and her role and what she was trying to become. It was something to be admired, really, and Alicia once again found herself feeling that way about it. There was a friendly feeling there, a happy bond, but she couldn't shake the sense that Miyuki had more to herself than she did.

>There wasn't any real argument to be made against her words. In truth, the Archard family also watched over the city, but that could be considered more for the Association than the protection of the people who lived here. The Akamine clan, however, were most certainly assigned to the latter beneath Archard authority, and that made them a lot more... admirable.

>Hiraku aside, of course. Though even he had his qualities.

Wait, huh?

>So lost was she in her own mental state of insecurity and surprise that she didn't even fully comprehend the fact that a picture was being taken, leading to the slightly shocked expression visible in the picture along with a very light blush. It wasn't an unpleasant picture at all, and Miyuki's soft smile in it made it all the better.

Well... this certainly makes things feel a lot better. I might not have got the chuckle I wanted out of Hiraku, but I did get a new picture to cherish...

>Smiling softly at it, she pulled out her own phone which she had originally wanted to take the photo with.

Would you mind sending that across? Oh, you'd need my number wouldn't you.

>Immediately she began to rummage through her phone details, unhesitatingly willing to share her personal phone number with the other girl in a way that suggested a much greater comfort than mere co-operation.

Alexander Peterson!Ren/VL7f/Q 865221

File: 1418225947650.png (457.91 KB, 652x490, Deepcleansingbreathes.png)

>Alex remains blissfully ignorant of his companion's unease, continuing to ponder what he should acquire.

Hmm...Possibly. She's not much of a cook, but neither am I, so we tend to share cooking duties...It would be a helpful addition to the household...But it's not quite a...gift. Gifts are meant to be enjoyable diversions from life, are they not? Something that's just for utility may not gave the same impression.

>He taps the side of his head as he walks up to the door of the shop, pulling it ajar and standing aside, prompting Valentina to go in.

I may just be overthinking it, however...Like I said, I'm not particularly good at buying gifts...

Shiro Yamada!MaraKrYP7s 865234

File: 1418232096648.png (12.92 KB, 277x159, Puer00085.png)

>And just like that, he snapped out of his deep thinking from the sounds of someone yelling inside the classroom. Normally, he would have shrugged it off and ignore it since it didn't have anything to do with him, but this time, it was from someone who he exactly knew who they were, just from their voice alone.

>Rather than turn back to the source of the yelling, he looked down to see that his second sandwich had disappeared right under his nose. Admittedly, it wasn't a great one since he Peru much threw in whatever he could find to make it considered a normal sandwich, but it was still his food!

Wha- Hey!

> He turned and saw who he had expected to see: the blonde-haired, sunglasses-wearing student who's either hated or admired in the school, Motor Harry Sewchey Markado, eating away at his average sandwich with a triumphant grin. He returned his grin with an unamused look, but he had already accepted that what's done is done, and his second sandwich was no more. It didn't help either that his sandwich was rated rather averagely as well, but at least he felt full enough for the rest of the day.

Well, I'll consider that sandwich a debt repaid then. I was just about done anyways.

> He took another sip from his water bottle and took a look around that classroom once more. The people in the classroom were each doing one of three things: Minding their own business, staring in disgust, or staring in wonder over the fact that the Markado Boy was casually hanging out with the white-haired "attention seeker". A pretty normal reaction towards this turn of events at this point.

So, sandwich stealing aside, what's brought you to me now?

Motor Markardo!pR.BaFF/uk 865241

File: 1418233783415.jpg (201.69 KB, 529x765, acd534050c0d3c36795336fcd51882…)

I bring the gifts of the gods, my friend!

>It was a fairly ominous statement which could've technically meant anything, yet only now did he reveal a small plastic bag that couldn't carry much other than a few items. Dumping it straight onto the table Shiro was sat at, he folded his arms with that same grin on his face. If he wasn't wanted in the classroom, or was bothering Shiro with his presence, the blonde-haired man showed absolutely no signs of noticing nor acknowledging this fact.

If you're plannin' on hittin' the gym like usual, you're gonna need more than a few slices of 5/10 food, buddy.

>Were Shiro to feel the contents of the bag, he'd quickly find the bag was warm, which was already an interesting start. Carefully opening the plastic bag would reveal a packaged sirloin steak.

>That's right. Sirloin Steak.

>Complete with a fork and steak knife to eat it with and fries on the side.
>Just how he'd managed to get ahold of this was a question that would likely be met with no clear answer aside from 'I have my ways', and Shiro would probably know by now that questioning this kind of thing wasn't worth the effort it took to actually get an answer. Usually when an answer was actually given, it wasn't something people wanted to know anyway.

Pretty great right? But that's just my way of sayin' hello, here.

>Pulling up a chair close to Shiro's table, he turned the volume of his voice down enough to make him seem less obnoxious, as fairly impossible as that was. What was even more impossible was the idea that a lunchtime steak was merely an appetiser for what was yet to come in this discussion.

Shiro Yamada!MaraKrYP7s 865279

File: 1418236818811.png (25.43 KB, 218x270, Puer00194.png)

> Well, that was a response that Shiro didn't expect to come from him. However, knowing it was Motor that it's coming from, the statement is pretty worrying, especially for him. However, the plastic bag that the guy had suddenly dropped onto his desk dispelled that illusion somewhat. Even though if looked small, he had to be cautious about what's inside of it.

> But what Motor had said afterwards did make him raise am eyebrow. Was that why he ate his sandwich? To give him whatever is in this bag? For taking something from him, it had better not be some kind of protein powder or milk. But as soon as he touched it, the bag felt.. Warm, like it was just freshly prepared for this occasion. It wasn't any of those that he thought of earlier, as far as he knew, but still, he had to be cautious.

> Once he pulled out the warm Styrofoam container and opened it, the smell I'd a cooked steak erupted and filled the classroom, letting those inside the room realize what the Markado had brought with him to give to Shiro.

> He didn't have much to say at first. If anything, he was staring in awe at the food before him, much like everyone else in the classroom, looking back up at Motor, then down at the food presented before him. He knew him long enough to know that his questions would be simply brushed aside, and frankly, he felt the less he knew about Motor's methods, the better.

I... Well, that's some way to say, "Hello".. Thanks for the food, Motor.

> He's not sure if he could even finish this on time before the bell rung. A steak like this is usually meant to be eaten slowly and savored once it's served, but it appears that that won't be the case now. He'll have to make the most of it until he goes home.

> With the fork and knife already set inside the box, he sliced off a piece of the steak and began eating away. He's doing his best to ignore how Motor managed to get something this sophisticated and enjoy it for what it is.

>It appears that giving him the steak wasn't all that he had come for, for Motor had already set up a seat to sit at his table. Was it companionship he wanted? Or was he looking for more information? The guy is very observant when it comes to any event that happens, but something like that usually leads into trouble. He hopes he hasn't caught wind of the Magi society or Kai being a werewolf, otherwise there would be some trouble.

>He finally swallowed the piece of meat he cut off and looked back up to see him still sitting at his table.

So.. What's up? Find anything interesting today?

Motor Markardo!pR.BaFF/uk 865337

File: 1418243658613.jpg (45.09 KB, 501x538, Tsuchimikado2.jpg)

>They were always so surprised when he actually managed to pull through, and it always gave him that strange sense of satisfaction. Then again, he got the same sense of satisfaction when he successfully obtained people's sandwiches. Maybe this was the origin of his policy of 'give and take', even if he mostly ended up taking.

>Retrieving a bottle of steak sauce from his pocket without any kind of care, placing it on the table for Shiro to use, he continued to keep that same daunting grin on his face. Whatever this was, it was probably nothing good, and the white-haired boy was incredibly likely to regret settling down to eat that delicious steak. If there was one thing to know about The Markardo, it's that he was always up to something.

It's all good, it's all good... but now that you mention it, I did catch an interesting little detail or two here and there that pertains to you.

>Now here was dangerous territory. Was he being intentionally discreet or just making the tension rise? There was a curious and ever so slight mocking tone to his voice, which suggested he had something up his sleeve or knew something that he really shouldn't. Whatever it was, he was already beginning to use it as leverage.

Funnily enough, I hear you've got a pretty major problem when it comes to tomorrow...

Professor Layton!0Q.SEES3so 865350

File: 1418247248217.png (26.52 KB, 366x234, Puer00089.png)

>One would think that if one is going to give someone steak sauce, they ought to give it out in the first place rather than wait until after someone's taken the bite of their steak. But it was better late than never, really.

>He took said bottle, but not before he caught a glimpse of his grin that's been on his face since he sat down. That was the look of someone who was planning something. It didn't help either that whatever it was that he found "interesting" now involved him of all people. There's no way he was talking about Kai or July and stuff, right? There can't be, he's certain he hasn't given any signals that would tell him that.

>Whatever Motor was planning, he had already caused the tension to rise between him and Shiro. If he was observant, he'd see that the steak sauce bottle that Shiro held was being grasped rather tightly, like Motor had stumbled upon something he shouldn't have.

>The nail was hit in the coffin when Motor had pretty much confirmed he knew something about his plans for tomorrow. It caused him to panic and drop the bottle into the container, drenching the steak in far more sauce than it should be. He wasn't worried about the steak, right now he's more worried about what Motor knows. Just exactly how observant was he to know about Kai and the Full moon?!

How.. how did you know?!

Motor Markardo!pR.BaFF/uk 865351

File: 1418248704497.jpg (103 KB, 500x500, tumblr_mp4kpjXUGJ1r25hh2o5_r1_…)

I always know, man.

>It was a statement that no-one could either confirm nor deny, said with such confidence that even if it was a lie, it was certainly a believable one. Kicking back a bit on the chair he was sat on, he felt rather thankful that the eyes formerly upon the pair were no longer particularly interested in what they were saying, as opposed to salivating over the steak that none of them could have. Maybe would assume that Steak had been requested by Shiro, but little did they know it was something of a freebie. The poor kid had such a pathetic high school life that the ever-benevolent Markardo decided to bestow upon him a few simple gifts every now and then.

>Now was one of those times, and the grin never left him. He could see just how tense Shiro was, and Mark totally understood. This wasn't the kind of subject you'd talk about other than to those exceptionally close to yourself, and he had half a feeling no-one knew, maybe not even that Kai freshman.

>Strange kid, that Kai. As of yet he never seemed to have anything he needed aside from food, and he always managed to end up with it anyway. Maybe he and that kid ought to talk sometime, it might give him a little more info.

>Either way, this particular topic was of exceptional importance. After all, The Markardo couldn't just let this guy throw away his entire high school life! What kind of guardian angel would he be if he didn't look out for someone like Shiro? Better to warn him of his mistake now than have him tear himself to shreds later about it.

You, my good sir, for the purposes of tomorrow night...

>Picking out a paper crane from his pocket, he folded the crumpled mess very neatly back into a simple paper aeroplane, before pointing the tip of it over at Shiro.

... don't have a date for the Homecoming Dance, do you?

>With that simple statement revealing his true intent, he flicked the piece of paper forward so that the paper plane would bonk him square on the nose.

Shiro Yamada!MaraKrYP7s 865355

File: 1418252120473.png (65.72 KB, 582x438, Puer00060.png)

> It was that grin on this guy's face that made Shiro aggravated, especially when coupled with an answer that brushes off what he had asked. But what can Shiro do? He can't punch him! Not after receiving the steak and especially not after he said he knew something!

>He wonders why this guy is even bothering with Shiro in the first place. What was it about him that drew Motor to become his acquaintance? There's not much about him that really stands out other than his white hair and eyepatch, but even then, it's nothing to write home about.

> The best that Shiro could do was deny everything about him or Kai that involves their supernatural existence. The more that he dispels any rumors about him, the less problems he'll have later down the line.

> He was nervous, but ready for what Motor had to say to him. A small bead if sweat slid down the side of his head as he stared tensely at Motor and the paper crane he pulled out. But things... took a turn for the better? Apparently, both he and Motor were not on the same page, for he merely mentioned the Homecoming Dance that Shiro had competed forgotten about since it was announced, despite all the posters and events surrounding it.

..Eh? Homecoming...?

> It was also apparent that Motor had pinpoint accuracy as well, for the paper crane from earlier hit it's mark onto his nose. The Homecoming Dance wasn't on Shiro's list of important things when it comes to his high school life. There were plenty of other things that needed his attention more than a silly dance after a game of football. But this meant that Motor has no clue about him, so he's in the clear! The built up tension that Shiro had was now gone and his nervousness havhad subsided for now. But he'll have to pay along with the homecoming thing if he doesn't want to raise any more suspicion.

Oh, Homecoming! I was just about to forget about that, and the fact that I... Don't have a date...

>That was a rather depressing thing to admit now that he thought about it, actually. He scratched the spot where the crane bonked him and picked up the bottle of steak sauce from the container. He was trying his best to not make eye contact with Motor so his act would be more convincing.

Well, it's kind of hard getting a date when almost everyone thinks you're a weirdo for being stuck in some permanent anime phase.

> As he mentioned that, he pointed to the white hair atop his scalp and tapped the eyepatch that covered his left eye. He didn't ask to end up like this, but circumstances have forced him to try and deal with this for the rest of his life.

Really, I have my doubts that you can set me up with anyone that will be at least half-interested in me.

Motor Markardo!pR.BaFF/uk 865377

File: 1418254794920.jpg (324.9 KB, 500x667, tumblr_lyqcjsJad71qg9agso1_500…)

>There was a brief moment when the tension seemed to break around the guy. Yet, it didn't seem to be about Homecoming. Was he just that surprised, or was something else going on? Maybe he just didn't want to think about it, and being someone who was often picked out for the very physical aspects he was pointing to, Mark understood just how hard of a time the guy would have if he went out of his way to try and find a date.

>That is, of course, not knowing what he knew about people. Moving across to him, Motor placed an unwelcome, most probably uncomfortable but at the very least unwavering hand on the boy's shoulder.

Shiro, buddy, listen. The fact that you've got an awareness of what's around you is a good thing, it means you don't have any unrealistic expectations. That means you're not gonna throw yourself into the middle of somethin' stupid, and that means I can trust you with this very hyper top secret crucial piece of information about High School Girls.

>At this point, his voice was at whisper level so as not to let anyone else become privy to what he was about to say, lest the admission of such a thing cause the adverse effect of vehement denial from the parties involved.

You've got the general thing right. You're kinda weird, a little goofy and you stand out like oil tanker in a swimmin' pool. From an outside standpoint, you're someone people don't tend to wanna associate with on principle, save for true men like me, of course.

Now, what's beneath that surface is where things get reeeaaal interestin'. I know for an absolute fact there are girls out there interested in ya because you stand out. You're kinda like a wild card, the one nobody knows, and in some respects that anime look you've got makes you seem like a real badass, especially since you work out, and trust me, that kind of figure can go a long way.

'Course, you're way off my level of ripped, but you don't go unnoticed, and not just for bad reasons.

Now, I can hook one of these girls up with you if you want. Trust me, they're not bad, even if there's maybe about three that'd have the confidence to actually be seen with you at the Dance. Trouble is, unlike the meal, this one's going to cost you.

Shiro Yamada!MaraKrYP7s 865630

File: 1418281323735.png (17.12 KB, 215x273, Puer00098.png)

>Shiro was pretty sure he could do without the sudden hand on his shoulder, but it was too late to protest anyways, he was already talking, and to interrupt would be pretty rude, so he merely sat and let him go on his lecture about his behavior and apparently top secret information regarding the girls that attend the school.

>The information being relayed to him now was in just a whisper for only Shiro to hear. If that was the case, then he shouldn't speak up so loudly about anything that he'll say afterwards. Though, he doesn't seem to appreciate Motor's agreement on him being a stick in the mud and the small bit of narcissism on Motor's end, signified by the flat stare that he gave to Motor while he continued on with his offer.

>Unfortunately for Motor, his attempts to compliment his friend doesn't seem to be working. He went on about how Shiro was so different, so quiet, and so.. anime-like, only made him feel more like some kind of character a preteen would make as an alias online. And once again, the Markado Boy compliments himself. Though, Shiro can only admire just how much self-esteem he has. Must come from all the people he has under his foot.

>But while he's certain that Motor could somehow set him up on some sort of date with a girl he doesn't know, he can't go to the Homecoming Dance on account of the Full Moon tomorrow. Especially now since apparently this will all come at a cost just for a single date that will probably forget him after one night. Definitely not worth whatever was the cost Motor had intended.

Okay, I'm glad that you're doing all this for me, but I actually already had plans for tomorrow night since I forgot about Homecoming. I can't afford to miss this thing for a dance that I'm not 100% interested in, so I'm sorry if all your effort was put to naught.

>He spoke in a low whisper as well, since he was certain Motor wouldn't want people to listen in on what they were saying. It'll at least keep others from getting involved in what Shiro was going to do the night during Homecoming, but hopefully Motor will have some sort of date to keep busy the same night.


>Though, his curiosity still was piqued. Who were these girls that were apparently interested in him? Kind of a rare thing for him to realize altogether, but perhaps he could talk to them and get to know them later on. There's no harm with wanting to be friends.

Hypothetically speaking, Motor.. if I did accept your offer, then who would you set me up with? Hypothetically speaking.

Valentina Rabinovich!aLEJudith. 865771

File: 1418318848462.png (330.77 KB, 589x488, Whuh.png)

>That was a good point, maybe cooking tools weren't the best idea..


>Starting to get over the initial shock, after all not ever mother was like her mother, she continues to think about other good options as she walks through the open door giving Alex a small "thank you" for being so polite.

I don't think anyone in particular is, gift giving is always a challenge.

>Or she thought so, back home she never gave or got gifts...

Ummm... well what does she like?

>Maybe she can use the same method as Alex used?

Motor Markardo!pR.BaFF/uk 865812

File: 1418326825606.jpg (128.17 KB, 500x490, tumblr_mjb8h1Z9xH1s6t807o1_500…)


>Well this was suspicious. Saying he had plans without going into detail, while proclaming he couldn't miss them? Normally, such a thing could be construed as a date. But then, if he had a date, why would he not take them to Homecoming? Maybe it was to avoid the embarrassment of having to cope with it, or maybe he didn't want to be around those who knew him as a social outcast whilst with someone actually interested in him. That made sense, though it was still a little disappointing he wouldn't take up the offer.

>Just after that, however, Shiro managed to dissuade that notion entirely. He asked who exactly it was that he'd end up getting with, and he wouldn't ask that kind of question if he was going out on a date, which made it either an excuse so as to get out of the situation or something else was going on. That said, he wasn't going to get into it if it Shiro didn't want him to, that sort of thing wasn't his style, but maybe he could lever something out of him with a bit of a bargain.

O-ho, so you want to know what the prize is behind the curtain, huh? Sorry buddy, but unless you're going to play the game, I can't rightly spin the wheel, y'know? Client confidentiality and all that. But, I can jig it a little. Give you a teaser, a silhouette if you will.

>Raising three fingers between the two of them, Mark continued to give his trademark grin, curling one of them up to signal the beginning of the list, and continuing as he gave out the small details.

One freshman, a second year and a senior. Talk about diversity, right? That's all you're getting from me without committing, though. Unless...

>Here was the hook. Now to see whether Shiro would take the bait or whether things would come to a standstill here. Either way, the fact that he had this information would likely come in useful some time in the future, even if it wasn't effective here.

... if you tell me why you're dodging what could be one of the greatest nights of your high school life, I can give you another hint about one of those girls. Of your choosing, of course.

!MrCarnage2 865813

File: 1418326908792.png (609.48 KB, 1920x1080, 304.png)


Of course, I don't mind at all.

>Smiling peacefully all the while, Miyuki accepted Alicia contact information and stored it in her phone, thus elevating the total amount of contacts stored in her phone all the way up to two with the first one being the general phone of the temple used as an emergency contact line. But still, it really was something for Miyuki see Alicia react so positively to her efforts to make her feel comfortable at the temple. The way she was acting suggested that her actions had born fruit and that she had successfully fostered positive ties between both families. As to whether or not such ties could be considered anything more than a deeper familiarity between two co-workers or actual friendship was something Miyuki could not properly tell at all given that she had absolutely no experience in that field. All her life Miyuki had voluntarily pushed away everyone who came to close to her for being distractions to her training but now that politics had become a part of her duties as the future head of the Akamine clan it was impossible for her to continue her self-imposed isolation even if it meant exposing herself to social interactions she knew nothing about beyond their literal definition.

>Having added Alicia as a contact, Miyuki then fiddled around with her phone and sent the picture she had just taken to Alicia via instant message. In it, Miyuki's beatific smile shone as she leaned into Alicia whose unprepared expressed left her looking startled and blushing but all the more radiant for the honesty of her expression. In the end the question of who looked better in a yukata was a moot one as it was opinion based; both of these girls were creatures who spent only as much time on their appearances as duty demanded of them and Miyuki only saw herself as a woman only inasmuch as she would be birthing the future members of her family line. Compared to that, compared to a nicely dressed blade, Alicia looked all the more resplendent for being an actual human being with flaws and emotions that she could freely express on a whim. To her, Alicia's uncontrolled expression in the photograph was a thing of beauty she knew would forever be out of her reach.

So, what do you think then?

Even with makeup on and a prepared smile for the camera you still outclass me.

I'm sure Hiraku would have said the same if he'd taken your question even a little seriously.

Alexander Peterson!Ren/VL7f/Q 865817

File: 1418329436310.png (433.6 KB, 650x490, Ugh.png)

>Alex lets out a mildly amused huff, not quite a snort and yet not quite a laugh either.

That may be true...There's always a rush for Christmas shopping, no matter what happens. I suppose it's a common thing for people to struggle to buy gifts for their loved ones...

>His eyes flit around the shop, trying to eye something to help him on the noble quest of gift shopping.

...She's fond of films, which I've bought for her in the past...Though she tends to appreciate more...alternate ones than most. She also has a liking for puzzles, I got her a Rubik's cube for her birthday one time, and she has thoroughly enjoyed devices like them since.

>Alex lets out what could be almost perceived as a disappointed sigh as he places his hands in his pockets.

Yet most puzzle like contraptions are somewhat...expensive. Well out of my budget, at least.

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 865818

File: 1418329654489.jpg (34.75 KB, 500x316, Eat it.jpg)

>The exchange of contact details was nice. Not only did it allow for an easier time when communicating about various dutiful things, but it also gave a sense of camaraderie and a slight amount of intimacy that was previously not there. Though she'd known Miyuki in the past, it wasn't as if they had spent much time together since mutually accepting the burdens of their families. Now, with a bit of though and consideration on the subject, maybe this could be the first step toward a proper friendship with the girl, something Alicia thought she sorely needed. It fulfilled her father's request, but it also made the Archard heir happy as well.

>Having received the picture, she took a look at it and almost burst out laughing at her own expression, chuckling and giggling to herself over just how silly she looked with that look of shock and surprise. Miyuki, on the other hand, was very relaxed, calm and had a smile on her face that Alicia had rarely seen. It was really quite becoming of her. Perhaps this was a case of the grass being greener on the other side, but Alicia had to disagree with Miyuki's sentiments.

On the contrary, seeing you so naturally fit into such a thing with a smile like that is incredibly endearing. I doubt someone with such an awkward way of handling the photograph could be seen to outclass such a fine display of tradition.

I honestly don't think I could ever compare in a setting like this.

>At school, she tended to have a cold demeanour that definitely limited how she appeared to others. Yet here, when she was in what seemed to be her natural state, it provided an unparalleled difference. Perhaps she could appear preferable to a distant Miyuki, but not one so open and kind as this.

I think you consider yourself far lower than you should do, Miyuki.

Miyuki Akamine !MrCarnage2 865836

File: 1418337123353.png (833.53 KB, 1920x1080, 54.png)

>Starting a bit at Alicia's rebuff, Miyuki took a moment to stare at the girl opposite her for a moment. Miyuki's surprise at Alicia's reaction to her comments left the girl wondering what it was that Alicia was trying to achieve in compliment her in such a way. Could it be that she was currying a favor? Spinning wordplay and intrigue around the Akamine girl such that when the time came Alicia would find that she could get what she wanted in a pinch from the girl she had built from the ground up? No, looking intently at Alicia's honest expression left no doubt in Miyuki's mind that the girl was being entirely honest and forthcoming with her feelings which was, in of itself, an entirely new experience for Miyuki.

Haha... I suppose you're right.

>Miyuki replied with a comfortable smile, her own demeanor settling down into something a bit less rigid than it had been before. Truth be told Miyuki had been a bit on edge ever since Alicia had come forth and introduced herself with surprising forwardness and, though she had obviously done her best to make her guest comfortable and let them feel welcome in her home, Miyuki now supposed that she must have seen like a self-defeatist boob to condemn herself so openly in front of others.

Well, now that our photograph was taken and that you've experienced what a proper yukata feels like, would you like me to just show you around the temple?

>Obviously Alicia would already know where most of the things are and what they did but perhaps she would appreciate a new tour with someone else to act as a commentator.

Shiro Yamada!MaraKrYP7s 865837

File: 1418337218612.jpg (106.71 KB, 582x267, Puer00199.jpg)

>Shiro let out a small sigh once Motor claimed he won't get anything else out of it unless he agreed to the offer. Of course he wouldn't do that, this is the guy that pretty much gets people to do whatever through blackmail, he just won't give information like that right off the bat. However, he did give him a hint towards who these girls could be, for he was able to bait him in enough to garner his attention.

>So as far as he knew, there were three girls that were actually interested in him, a freshman, a second year, and a senior. Pretty unexpected for three girls to be attracted to him for some reason or another, but Motor knows who they are. Though, that seems like that would be the end of it. With his curiosity satisfied for the time being, he prepared to pack up the steak lunch that he was given since the class bell was going to ring soon, but at the last second, Motor had already reeled him back in with a possible other hint for one of the girls, but at the expense of why he couldn't go to homecoming.

...You're really not going to let me go that easily, aren't you, Motor?

>Shiro could have easily backed away from this. He could have said, "No thanks, I can't let you know," but that will only make Motor more suspicious about his actions tomorrow night. And if it wasn't that, it was that he was rather annoyed at how god damn curious he was over these girls. Was this the result of all his loneliness? If so, then he was really that desperate to find out if anyone is even remotely interested in him.

Fine, I'll tell you why I'm skipping Homecoming tomorrow night. It's because..

>There was a brief pause as it took him a short while to think up of something normal he'd do. It shouldn't have anything to do with Kai for certain, otherwise he'll come scouting around his house and find out what's going on. He'll have to settle on something plain, simple, and rather boring so that it wouldn't be anything Motor could swing by and check on. Not only that, he'd have to also hold his end of the deal as well, so it's pretty much a win-win for Shiro.

..It's because I got a Physics project to turn in. I didn't finish mine by the due date, so my teacher's giving me until Monday to finish it up and turn it in for points. Not really anything interesting.

>Absolutely perfect.

So, now you know. I already held my end of the deal, now it's your turn. I think I'd like to know more about the Senior of the three. A Freshman can be pretty troublesome and I'd rather not deal with a growing second year.

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 865901

File: 1418346019451.png (285.61 KB, 500x281, Welcome to my pencil palace.pn…)

>Giving a now-relaxed and rather bright smile in return, Alicia felt a lot more settled. Truth be told, she had been a little tense since she'd arrived, having had to carry the full weight of her father's position given that he was out of town. In truth, the request Shin had made of her allowed for a time of respite from that notion, seemingly both for herself and for Miyuki. Was that a part of it? Had he noticed her own tension and made the meeting shorter because of it? Her father and Shin would often talk for hours at a time, but perhaps that was because they were of a similar age and knew each other much better.

>Maybe, given time, she and Miyuki could end up similarly. If that was the goal, today's meeting was certainly a good start. Admittedly it was a little awkward here and there, but it was overall a good bonding experience, and spending the day looking around the temple with the girl after have spent so long away from the place sounded like a very relaxing time, and it would also give her more time with the nicely comfortable yukata.

Sure! It'd be a waste to have to take this off after only just having gotten to wear it. It's been a while since I got a good look at the place.

>And what better way to experience that than to spend some time with a friend.

Motor Markardo!pR.BaFF/uk 865975

File: 1418384657121.jpg (108.55 KB, 1215x922, Tsuchimikado75.jpg)

>A physics project, huh? Was he trying to hide how much of a lazy guy he could be by hiding that earlier, or did he not want to share his fairly poor excuse? Motor knew what people were like in a general sense, and they wouldn't be so roundabout unless they had something to hide. Alas, he wasn't the kind of guy to force that knowledge out into the open. Life was a matter of give and take - in order to get that info, he would have to give, and given how defensive Shiro was being it was doubtful the cost would be worth whatever he might gain from it. There was always the chance that the project thing actually was the truth, but pushing the issue could ruin this precious little business relationship they had going and, as Shiro's benevolent benefactor, The Markardo couldn't risk troubling the guy too much.

Alright, alright, I gotcha. If there's one thing you've probably got, it's a decent grade point average. No harm keepin' it that way. 'Course, that makes prom the last chance you'll have to take advantage of this, so do yourself a favour and don't miss the deadlines, yeah?

>For someone who always seemed a little shady, knowing things he shouldn't know and having access to things he really shouldn't by ordinary means, he still seemed to have an aura that suggested a moral compass existed within. Not only that, but by his own personally implemented rule of always providing a fair exchange, he'd always hold up his end of the bargain - at least to the extent that the other person did.

>Shiro was being a little evasive but still provided a reason. Whether that was the truth or a lie wasn't really his business, but it still only had a certain amount of worth. Motor would just have to respond with something worth roughly the same.

So the senior, huh? Guess you like 'em more mature than less. Shame, that freshman's real earnest about it, but I guess that could be one of those things where a girl just likes an older guy. The girl you're after's pretty hard to read a lot of the time, likes to tease but also fit in. Difficult sort, some call her cold, some call her hot. She hasn't got the kind of damning presence good ol' triple A has, but you can probably compare the two a little.

Bonus points: she's a blonde.

>That was all the information he was going to give. There were a few senior girls that could fit into that sort of vague description, but it was precisely because of that it would be fun. Shiro probably wouldn't be able to handle himself around any senior blonde girl now, and it'd at least be amusing to watch. A little payment of entertainment for Shiro's delay of the inevitable date night.

Though that said, if you like 'em mature, I happen to know someone who already graduated who owes me a favour...

>That offer was a bit of a tease, given that there was no guarantee said graduate would enjoy the company, but he could guarantee her presence at whatever event Shiro would want. Of course, this little test was to see how much the white-haired guy preferred maturity to genuine interest. The bell was going to ring soon, which would signal the end of the conversation, so Mark wanted to get as many little fiddly details as he could out of the guy before he could escape to class. Maybe an added detail would cause the sweat to start dripping.

... plus, that bonus girl's a model.

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 865976

File: 1418386230833.png (298.66 KB, 644x994, 9cf614fc9e4740af7bd47449da2fa8…)

Wednesday, November 5th, 16:07
Central Junction, North side of the Mall
>Her foot was tapping impatiently against the concrete pathway. It was getting close to 10 minutes after their scheduled meeting time, and it was already an awkward meeting to begin with. Alicia had been avoiding it as much as she could which caused her to delay it til the middle of the week, but it wasn't as if she could deny it forever. After all, Summer was the one who'd brought a lot of this to the attention of her father, it was only natural that the two meet to discuss those issues further. Having called her just after school was out, apparently Summer finished her work around the same time and mentioned that the best place to meet would be the center of town, and so Alicia had been waiting there since she arrived.

>It was already getting a little dark, the beginning of the last couple of months really brought the night forward. Street lamps were lit up and a chilly wind blew about the bustling streets, giving her cause to shiver ever so slightly. Waiting in the cold wasn't a particularly great experience, but it at least gave her time to mentally prepare for her old friend's arrival, likely in one of the pretty outfits she ended up using for work. At least, she thought that was how it worked - she puts them on and gets to keep them or something. Alicia knew very little of the modelling industry, and typically assumed Summer was living very comfortably in her own little world like that.

>Sighing to herself and letting out a vapoured breath in the cold air, she folded her arms and leant against a nearby lamp-post, letting her school handbag hang loosely from her shoulder.

Well, on the bright side, being here means I can kill two birds with one stone.

>She had another meeting scheduled with someone her father knew in this same area. Bringing Summer along to something like that wasn't her idea of a good time, but it proved to be an incredibly efficient method of getting two things out of the way. There wasn't any reason not to stop by, Alicia and her would be walking home in the same direction anyway so the diversion wasn't too out of the way.

>The real question was just how being with Summer for more than 5 minutes would actually turn out. Last time had been a little insight into them being slightly better toward each other, but Alicia had left before it could potentially be ruined. Would they manage to hold themselves up without arguing?

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 865977

File: 1418387800089.png (181.71 KB, 368x404, Happyface.png)

Contrary to her belief, no, she didn't get to keep the dresses. Just like the pictures of food used in advertising, they oftentimes didn't reflect the customer's product and cost several times more, and when those dresses were already marketed towards well-established housewives and heiresses with fortunes to burn...

Stepping around the corner in a think jacket and scarf, she shivers nonetheless. She could have worn something warmer, but she'd wanted to make a good impression, while not seeming as if she were trying too hard.


Putting on a small smile, the mage approaches her cautiously, not entirely sure what her reaction would be, or how much was too much.

"It's nice to see you again."

She felt so bad about how she'd acted at the convenience store. She felt so so bad. She'd started something, and Alicia had been mature enough to say something nice after having not spoken to each other in nearly a year, after being subjected to that.

As much as she wanted to keep being mad at her for that, she couldn't.

"I... Well..."

Reaching into her bag, the woman pulls out a small box, wrapped and tagged perfectly.

"...I didn't get you a Christmas gift last year, and I'm sorry, but I did remember your birthday."

To be honest, she had remembered, but had still been so angry at the time that she just chose not to acknowledge it and continue to ignore Alicia's existence entirely. This present had been bought less than an hour ago, and was the reason she was late. She just didn't have the heart to ask the old lady wrapping it if she could hurry.

But she wasn't about to say any of that and seem too apologetic.

"I suppose it just... Slipped my mind."
This post was edited by its author on .

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 865978

File: 1418389953831.jpg (124.18 KB, 850x1110, sample_57dd126f8cbec782b0f6e4e…)

>Just what was with people being incredibly strange this week? Perhaps she'd become used to it or was too surprised to show it, but Alicia didn't jump or appear startled by the gesture, rather she simply cast her gaze onto the gift for a little too long. Her birthday? That was months ago and her 18th wouldn't be for many months to come. In fact, the ironic thing about this gift was that it was right in the middle of both of them. It was neither early, nor was it late, it could almost be considered an anti-birthday present.

... I'm sure you recall that my birthday is in March, right?

>Her tone wasn't at all harsh, rather the upturned curls of her lips suggested she was amused by the whole thing. It was almost as if the whole thing was a bit of a joke, but at the end of the day it was still a neatly wrapped gift, and the whole thing was something to be strangely appreciated. Of all the things she could have been greeted with, she never expected this.

>Reaching out and gently taking the gift, giving it a bit of a feel, she simply sighed and relented to the gesture, placing the nicely wrapped box in her handbag.

It's not exactly why I called you out here, but thank you, Summer. It's almost like a strange Homecoming gift.

>Ah, homecoming. The student body had been chattering away about it all week so far, asking each other for accompaniment to the dance tomorrow night and making a big fuss out of it. Alicia had long since dismissed the notion of attending, she had other things to do. It's not like anyone would bother to ask her in the first place, or at the very least someone she would truly consider going with.

I suppose the only gift I have to give in return is that of company, for the moment, something that's already turning out to be much less unpleasant than I expected.

>A little bit of brutal honesty left her lips once more, but it had a warped sense of kindness hidden behind the statement. Certainly, she hadn't expected Summer to end up being so polite and forthcoming - it was a strange but nice change that caused her to wonder whether her small period of relenting in the convenience store that day had caused something of a knock-on effect.

Still, as nice as the gift is, I hope you remembered what the proper purpose of this little chat is, given that it's quite the important matter...

>Standing and chatting for a while might have felt like a nice option, but in the end she had to ensure she didn't go without talking about things properly with Summer. At the end of the day, the safety of the people mattered more than hanging out with a former, or perhaps now potential friend. Not to say that they wouldn't be able to talk on the way home, but she wouldn't be able to sustain clear peace of mind unless she mentally organised things in her head.

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 865979

File: 1418390887470.png (334.04 KB, 550x864, 54827325ad112a9bfad0171f380c71…)

Cringing inwardly at the remark, the head nevertheless accepts it as necessary. She could face this discomfort if it meant getting back the closest friend she'd ever had.

"Of course."

Taking a more serious stance, the young mage almost looks as if she could be the head of a family and not just a girl playing pretend.

"I assume your father filled you in on everything I spoke with him about?"

Of course, she'd have appreciated being told what exactly else the Forsyth boy had been up to. As of now, all she knew was what July had told her, and he certainly hadn't been the main focus.

"As eager as I am to hear what you have to say, I want to be sure there are no misunderstandings."

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 865982

File: 1418392389597.png (810.19 KB, 500x800, f0fad4cc23877db9984aea170de89a…)

>Well, this seemed a lot more like what was needed for the moment. A bit of a cold attitude towards the problem at hand more likely meant for an appropriate discussion. Still, it seemed Summer had been a little out of the loop as a whole compared to what Alicia had thought. Was she leaving the matter to her, or did she just choose not to investigate on her own time?

Beyond everything you spoke to him about, there are presently three main concerns as far as investigation is required, of which I have already discussed with Shin Akamine. The first is the one you brought up, Shiro Yamada, who appears to know of magus existence without us knowing of him, as as far as you were concerned, appeared to be acting suspiciously.

As far as priorities go, I've decided to put this on the back-burner for the moment. Though Shiro is indeed someone worth looking into, my father and I would rather not jump the gun too quickly, in case we potentially ruin the life of an innocent by riding to what could be false assumption. That's not to say we're pushing aside yours and July's testimonies, but it's better to keep watch and investigate without taking action at this point, lest we cause more problems for ourselves by acting too quickly.

>As Alicia listed off the first issue and the factors surrounding it, her own demeanour sharpened to a point. It was clear the action plan for these problems was solidly placed in her own mind and she'd had several days to consider them beyond her meeting with Shin. If the motto of the Archard family revolved around professionalism, she was certainly bringing that aspect of herself forward here, in both her stance and attitude.

The second is a minor issue brought to our attention by the Akamine clan. A new magus has seemingly arrived in town, a Russian girl who appears to be alone, and had thus far been benign. As it's assumed she has only arrived in town recently, I've decided to let her be until the first two issues are resolved, unless an opportunity arises beforehand that allows me or my father to speak with her.

Finally, however, there is an issue we have placed above your concerns about Shiro, and I have discussed the matter appropriately with the Akamine clan as well. Kai Forsyth has been found to possess a magical presence that does not match what should be the case for a human being.

>That last part was emphasised by a clearly cautious and serious tone. As much as she hated to take it that way, having known Kai and spoke with him on occasion only to find him relatively pleasant, if a little strange, the idea that he could be a dangerous entity grated on her psyche. She wanted things to turn out for the best, and that was why she was going to take action of her own tomorrow.

Naturally this concerns the Akamine family a great deal, but as someone who knows Kai, I have asked them to detain him rather than act on their own in regards to this. I've yet to talk to Mr. Llewellyn on the matter, but I'd rather get a handle on the situation before spreading this out further.

Tomorrow night, I plan to visit Mr. Forsyth and get some answers. Hopefully this can all be figured out, though there's no doubt that the current situation has escalated into a large amount of tension. Better to clear the air before the Akamine clan render the judgement that he is too dangerous an existence, though I sincerely hope that can be avoided...

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 865983

File: 1418393725916.png (227.38 KB, 435x480, Areyouserious.png)

Wait, what?

She'd been under the impression that Alicia was more willing to see Shiro Yamada as a threat than her father had been. That she agreed.

Why would...?



"Are you insinuating he isn't human?"


"Are you sure? Is Miyuki sure?"

This was bad. There was nothing she could imagine that would give her cause to believe this was anything but malevolent.

What if the poor boy had been replaced? How could they have not known until now? She'd heard tales of changelings, but the possibility that they existed...?

Her plan seemed solid, however. Kai would likely be busy at Homecoming, as athletic as Julie had led her to believe he was, and so she'd certainly have his parents to herself, without distractions. She just hoped they hadn't been affected, too.

Her brow furrowing, the mage takes a moment to think of just what she could say to this.

"...I still do not agree that this situation comes first, even though both are difficult to judge the seriousness of. It's entirely possible that, as you and your father seem to assume in Shiro Yamada's case, he will cause no trouble until we start it."

Sighing, she gives her friend a reaching smile, hoping she understood she disagreed not out of malice, but genuine concern.

"However, you have my full support regardless of your decision."

She couldn't say anything to Julie until they knew what was really happening here. She might try to get involved and be hurt by what they discovered. More than being a responsible leader and treating her like an adult, she wanted to protect her little sister from being hurt.

"...My sister may not take it well. Despite telling me what she did, she still genuinely likes the boy. I'd hoped that they would be friends, and that it would turn out that he was innocent in Shiro Yamada's knowledge of us."

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 865985

File: 1418395822403.jpg (83.53 KB, 570x600, Senjougahara.Hitagi.600.84705.…)

>Summer seemed as shocked as Alicia expected as far as the matter was concerned. However, there was a lot more to all of this than one action taken or another, or who to prioritise first. The first and most absolute benefit of being the Second Owner, or heir to that position, in the town so riddled with different magus families, was being introduced to the understanding and perspectives of each one. Balance was the key when establishing oneself as someone who had to make decisions, and it was this aspect that Alicia had tried to hone over the years. That said, the balance was often tipped from one side to another depending on who she was with at the time, or her own experiences.

Summer, it's good to take precautions, but try not to worry to the point of too much stress. The Jiang and Akamine families have often viewed the supernatural as threats for your own reasons, whilst the Forsyths and Llewellyns often state that such creatures, aside from the obvious ones, can often be benign or even benefit us, assuming they mean no harm.

It's certainly likely that Kai could end up a threat, but it's also possible that this situation has been the case the entire time he's been here. It's far more important to know what's really going on before jumping to conclusions. It's the same with Shiro Yamada.

I appreciate your concern Summer, and I don't intend to ignore what you're thinking, but as acting Second Owner I have to make sure no-one does anything rash. If someone takes a step in the wrong direction, we could all be in danger of being revealed for what we are, and as a family that represents the Clock Tower presence here, I cannot, and nor my father, let that happen.

>That was the utmost priority, the absolute number 1 issue. Civilian lives were important, the safety and sanctity of the livelihoods of the magus families here were also important, but above all else they could not allow themselves to be revealed under any circumstances. This had to be handled cleanly, efficiently and produce the best outcome.

I think the best course of action is to try and limit exposure as much as possible until it's clear what's happening. Do try to keep July safe, though. I'd hate to think something might happen...

>That was the bottom line decision right there. No rushed actions should be taken until the situation was clear. However, all of that side of things would begin tomorrow night, once school was over. It was important to have that time to prepare, just in case things did turn out to be the worst case scenario. Letting out a breath, Alicia calmed herself a little, feeling that the most important chunk of the conversation was now out of the way. There was one other thing worth mentioning, though.

... in the meantime, I think I can sate your worries a little as far as this Shiro boy goes. I have to go and meet someone before we head home, so if you'd like to come with me, we can investigate at least one possibility surrounding him that my father made me privy to.

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 865990

File: 1418396857335.png (332.25 KB, 467x490, Oh.png)

But that was her point.

A non-human who'd shown no signs of aggression, while alarming, wasn't nearly as threatening to the masquerade they put on for humans as a complete wild card who'd actively sought out mages, knew of them and intentionally hidden himself from them for some obviously hidden reason.

They could allow whatever had taken a hold of Kai Forsyth to believe itself safe a while longer, but Shiro Yamada could easily be on the verge of making a move.

Taking a deep breath, the girl clears her mind, as if about to practice her magic. Wipe the slate clean. Clear away the unnecessary thoughts. Allow positive ones to fill up the empty space.


She still didn't agree. She most certainly didn't agree. Alicia could easily be endangering the lives of her family by making these decisions, but the mage supposed that regardless of what she chose, that would always be the case, and she'd simply have to trust her as a leader.

If Julie was hurt because she prioritized Kai over Shiro, though...

Smiling, she answers neutrally,

"I'd appreciate it."

Valentina Rabinovich!aLEJudith. 865997

File: 1418397960988.png (128.29 KB, 500x535, tumblr_mu8m6qJ7C11soyfmao1_500…)

>Puzzles hmm? That got her thinking, it'd certainly be within her own budget to get something like that...

Well... I can pay for it.

>She takes out her wallet and opens it up to flash a surprising amount of cash within. Easily a Grand from what Alex can just see at a glance, why was she walking around with so munch money?

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 866001

File: 1418398794362.png (1.95 MB, 1062x1600, 81bd4cd1a0714e9ff96718425bee94…)

>Nodding in response, Alicia stepped away from the lamp-post she had made her rest stop, her heels clacking on the ground beneath. This next stop didn't really have anything to do with any of the three main incidents surrounding her at the moment, but it was a necessary visit she had to do in place of her father. It just so happened that there was a chance more information could be revealed about this Shiro fellow, if only a small chance. Hopefully it would calm Summer down about the whole thing if it proved to be a correct assumption, but on the other hand, if it wasn't true then perhaps she, herself, would have to escalate the issue in her priority list.

Right then, it's just over here.

>Leading Summer up the path, Alicia couldn't help wondering just what the other girl's present thoughts and feelings were. She had so far been accepting of what she'd been saying, though she had made her preferences somewhat clear. As far as she could recall her father telling her, the Shiro boy had approached her directly some time last week, which was likely why he featured so prominently as a threat in her eyes. From the opinion of a third party in the matter, Alicia couldn't truly comprehend the thought, but it was an ever increasing prospect to think about.

>It only took a couple of minutes to reach their destination. The ever-towering Miyama building, standing tall in the middle of the city as the highest building for miles around, head and shoulders above any of the large apartment complexes toward the edge of the city. Without so much as a hesitant step, Alicia stepped inside the bustling office block. All around, business workers from different companies who had rented out lots were dashing forth, to and fro, some delivering coffee to their superiors whilst others were on phones, and this was merely the first floor. A large waiting area contained quite a few people sitting in rows of chairs, patiently waiting for chance to be called up for their scheduled appointments with whomever they might want to see.

>Alicia, however, led Summer through the building without so much as a care for any of that. Walking right up to the reception desk, she peered through the glass panel at the middle-aged man hidden behind it, sat in his chair seemingly bored out of his mind, yet holding a straight face regardless. A flat name tag reading 'George' was pinned to his chest in monotone colours, the same sort of tone as his voice seemed to carry.

Can I help you?
Yes, I'm here to see Mr. Miyama.
Do you have an appointment?
I do.
Please sit in the waiting area, someone will call you short-

>It seemed he'd rehearsed this line time and time again to deal with most people who had come to the building, hence the crowd of people sitting together just behind them. However, Alicia didn't seem best pleased with his response, and politely tapped the glass with a finger a few times before giving her most benevolent, pleasant smile.

Please inform Mr. Miyama that Miss Archard is here to speak with him. I'd be most grateful if you could let him know as soon as possible.

>Not used to such a demanding attitude, George appeared slightly startled. It wasn't often the man was shaken out of his comfort zone in a simple job like this, but the name Archard certainly struck a chord.

Oh, right then, excuse me for a moment!

>A short amount of time and a brief internal phone call later-

Mr. Miyama is waiting for you in his office, Miss Archard...

Thank you George.

>Despite her pleasant attitude, Alicia then left the desk with a confident smirk on her face and a slight skip in her step. After having been caught off guard too many times in the past week, it certainly felt good to cause the same effect in someone else. Turning to Summer, she did what she could to straighten herself up.

I suppose we're headed up to the top floor.

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 866005

File: 1418399338522.png (249.24 KB, 399x473, Surprise.png)


She... Wasn't sure, but she swore her mother had said that name at least once or twice in passing when she was younger.

And Alicia really had changed since they'd last been friends. She wasn't trying to be an adult, which is why they'd begun to butt heads, she was one, and an accomplished one at that.

Just what had she missed in their year apart...?

"I suppose so."

Glancing around the immaculate room, the young woman's eyes can't help but catch on how... Out of place this building seemed. Everything in town was proper, but old-fashioned, yet not ancient, as if everyone were in love with the 40's and had never let go. But this? It couldn't be older than she was, despite her never quite noticing it being built.

Stepping towards the elevator, bag clutched tightly to her side, the girl can't help but ask,

"Who is Mister Miyami?"

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 866010

File: 1418402059954.jpg (287.18 KB, 830x900, 3b93ee1817ed8cdcefaaab81aad454…)

That's Miyam-a. You know, with an a.

>Alicia wasn't derogatory about the mistake, it was kind of hard to get Japanese names right sometimes, the only reason she ended up following them fairly easily was both her acquaintance with the Akamine clan and her habitual consumption of anime and manga during her free time. As far as who this particular man was, however...

>Having lead Summer over to the elevator that would take them up to the top of the building, she pushed the button to call it down and begun the short wait.

Are you sure you don't know who he is? He's the current CEO of Miyama Contracting Incorporated, i.e. the owners of the building we're standing in.

>Though this was certainly a fairly recent addition to the town, so were a lot of things of late. The Mall was mostly new, the school had been worked on for a long time, the power plant was being refurbished to be better than it was. All of that work was down to Miyama Corp's involvement in securing and deploying construction contracts within the area.

>With a rather classic ding, the elevator arrived, opening up to reveal a spacious area with a few men in suits already within. They immediately left into the ground floor, nodding towards the two girls yet looking with curiosity as it wasn't often that a school student and a young girl would arrive here. Ignoring them, Alicia stepped inside, waiting for Summer to follow before hitting the button for the top floor.

Father and Mr. Miyama have spoken a lot over the years. I suppose you'd have never really been interested or had to know what was going on with it all.

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 866011

File: 1418402546352.jpg (65.69 KB, 462x675, 265387_54586.jpg)

"No, I haven't."

She had to assume he was a mage if Alicia spoke of him so casually. She hadn't bothered to warn her otherwise, so...

"I know that my mother must have said his name before, but I can't recall when or why."

Mysteries upon mysteries, today. And here she was thinking it'd be simple...

Watching the LED display number the floors as they ascended, she casually remarks,

"...Remind me to get you two Christmas gifts this year."

She already had an idea for one, anyway.

"It wouldn't be fair not to make it up to you."

Shiro Yamada!MaraKrYP7s 866017

File: 1418412197917.png (12.92 KB, 277x159, Puer00085.png)

>Prom, huh? That's still a long way's away from now. He's never really gone to Prom before, as much as he'd like to, but in this day and age, going to prom without friends or without a date is pretty damn depressing, so he just stayed at home and watched TV. Perhaps this year might be different for him. He's already past that awkward age of teenage growing and is already in his last year of school, he's surely mature enough to manage to ask someone out on a date. Perhaps one of those girls that he mentioned will make their move by that time, or he goes after the one Senior he mentioned.

>He waves his hand in the air and brushes away the suggestion Motor had given him like he's already heard this before. It didn't help that the morning announcements will drill this into their heads, so he's not really missing out on those kind of suggestions.

Yeah, yeah, I gotcha. I'll see what I can do until then.

>And now his curiosity has been fed once again. So this Senior was one of those cold, blonde ones that he'd see on his shows from time to time. Though, he's not sure why being blonde is a bonus, but he supposes it's varied among people. However, now he's curious about the freshman with the way Motor had put her, but he can't afford to give Motor any more information that regards whatever he plans to do tomorrow, so much to his chagrin, he'll have to just stick with the senior.

>But it seems Motor's not done yet, for he's now suggesting another woman that he thinks would fit his interests. He's just an endless supply of information that he can't seem to shake off, apparently. However, the woman in particular that he's talking about seems pretty general. There were lots of girls that graduated, so it could mean pretty much anybody. It wasn't until he mentioned that this girl was a model that he then began figuring out who he was talking about. There were surely a lot of girls last year that became aspiring models, were there? He really has no clue, but there has to be at least two or three aside from the one that came to his head.

A model? You wouldn't happen to be talking about what's-her-face... Summer Jiang, was it? If it is, then.. well, I actually did meet her once before. She was pretty nice, but trust me when I say that it most likely won't work out between us. I don't know why, but I have a pretty big feeling it won't.

>As he spoke, he turned away and led his eyes to the floor of the classroom rather than at Motor himself. It was pretty obvious he was hiding something from him. That or he was just depressed about coming to that realization himself. Either way, he's certain that he's saved Motor a visit at least.

Motor Markardo!pR.BaFF/uk 866032

File: 1418420430128.jpg (127.67 KB, 500x517, tumblr_lxc18uZ22z1r0ctnno1_500…)

Oooh, so you're already acquainted, huh? Look at you, puttin' yourself forward like that! In all honesty, she just owes me, so it's not really a matter of it 'working out' so much as it is about appearances.

But, I can tell that's not your style. To be honest, I'd have been disappointed in ya if you jumped on it like a horny pre-teen. Guess that just leaves little Miss - whoops, nearly dropped her name, there! Though if I'm to be completely honest, you're just one of a few potential interests for that girl, so if you're still wondering about her, you'd better shape up and go find her before one of her other suitors does.

'Course, I have a funny feeling she's going to end up going to this dance without a date. Not that she can't handle it of course.

>Well, that was that. Shiro had made his stance pretty clear and had put up with him long enough for Mark to get his point across. Something was obviously up with the poor guy with that sorry look of his and all these excuses for not going, but it wasn't a case of putting pressure on a person to make them do something. If they didn't make that choice on their own, they wouldn't get what they should out of it.

>The bell rang with that typical digital ding-dong they installed some years back. It was certainly better than that obnoxiously loud brrrring! that it used to have, but whatever noise took its place always drew the same sighs from the student body. Class was back in session within the next 5 minutes, and that meant it was time to pack up and head out to go a-learnin'.

>Still, there was just one thing he wanted to say to Shiro before he left. Standing up from his seat, he gave a bit of a stretch, getting the feeling back into his limbs. Before he set off, he gave Shiro a solid bump on the back with a fist.

Oi, buddy.

>There was a distinctly different tone in his voice compared to everything he'd said before. This one was more plain, flatter, like there wasn't anything mildly amusing about what he was saying. That cheeky grin had left him only to be replaced by a seemingly earnest smile - the kind that would actually improve people's opinions of him if he stopped being an obnoxious bastard 99% of the time. Bringing that fist into a mild thumbs up, he provided his courteous 'see ya later' statement.

You know who to go to if you need a favour.

>A very vague statement, but one that had a bit of meaning. Usually when he mentioned the term 'favour' in his vocabulary, it was something of a binding contact that he was definitely going to take advantage of at some point. This instance, however, at least seemed genuine. Motor wasn't going to pry if he wasn't wanted, but he at least wanted to reassure someone he considered, at the very least, a psuedo-friend, to know that he could provide the kind of assistance that needed very little explanation from the person who requested it. Client confidentiality and all that.

>So, walking away with a half-wave from the thumbs up, placing that hand deftly into his pocket, his tone returned to the half-amused, half-mocking typicality that made The Markardo the scourge he was.

Catch ya later, Shiro!

Shiro Yamada!MaraKrYP7s 866058

File: 1418428472414.jpg (80.12 KB, 615x448, Puer00063.jpg)

> If this were any other kind of situation, Shiro would have taken that compliment with pride since he wasn't that sexually frustrated. Unfortunately, it was not. It was more a matter of life and death since his mere existence can very well be enough reason for people like Summer to kill him once he was out of public view.

> And whoever this girl was that Motor's talking about... Shiro wondered if this girl was either out of her mind or in good taste of what kind of guys she less. Granted, she doesn't know about his demon thing, but why him of all people? Either way, looks life he's stuck with just the bare descriptions of her. All he knows is that she's blonde, can be pretty cold, and also a senior. Perhaps it's better this way, actually. He wouldn't be bothered by seeking out one specific girl today and tomorrow to ask out on a date, so he can focus fully on preventing Kai from leaving his home.

Well, if you can, Motor, can you-

>Suddenly, he was cut off by the school's bell, signifying the end of the lunch period. Shiro sighed asking with the many disappointed students as they all prepare to head to their classes, and that includes Motor as well. He doubts that the guy wasn't able to hear the request he made, so he decided to not bring it up again until next time.

> He turned back to the steak and fries that he barely ate and the simple lunch that he brought with him and began packing it up to reheat once he returned home. What he didn't expect was Motor's one last message to him before he left. Oddly enough, the message itself felt rather.. genuine. Even though it sounded like his usual slogan, to Shiro, it sounded low he meant what he said. Which was a surprise to him, but he's not complaining.

> With a smile and a wave of his own, he offered his own farewell to the Markado Boy, infamous for being very conniving among the many students of Junction City High.

See you later, Motor!

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 866060

File: 1418428670032.jpg (43.22 KB, 600x432, Senjougahara.Hitagi.600.84659.…)

>It wasn't particularly unexpected for Summer not to know him all that well. Those who paid attention to the news a lot might pick up on his presence here and there, but the man himself was often out of the spotlight, especially in recent years as the products of his endeavors began to become everyday knowledge.

>Her casual remark about two christmas presents caused her to give out a sigh, however, almost losing her trail of thought.

You don't have to make anything up to me, you know. Figuring this stuff out benefits me just as much as it does you. Besides, you'll force me to procure something extra if you do.

>There was a present stashed away over the years that had never been given. Of course, Alicia wasn't about to be terribly blunt about the matter. As she was heading up the large building, she didn't want her head to be filled with thoughts and concerns about the complicated relationship between her and Summer, she needed a clear mind in order to focus around the man she was about to visit. That said, she doubted she'd forget the remark.

Oh. Looks like we're here.

>Though she stated that a bit early, there were only a few floors to go. The number quickly ticked over to 65, the elevator came to a slow halt with a very light 'ding', before the doors opened with a smooth sliding motion. Laid out before them was a long, white corridor with a strangely tiled floor seemingly topped with high quality plastic to give a much more modern feel. Along the sides were various doors adorned with complicated handles and name plates belonging to higher-up members of Miyama Corp, and at the far end was a large set of double-doors with blue-tinted windows.

>Without pause, Alicia stepped out of the elevator and made her way towards the goal at the end of the hall, leading Summer along. She had been here all but twice, and the architecture of the place always gave her a weird sense of the future whilst introducing an element of fashion to the idea of modernisation.

They really put quite a bit of effort into making this place...

>Her verbal astonishment aside, she was also surprised to find the doorway's lock to be lit green, as though to invite them inside. Then again, she had made her presence known, it only made sense for the door to be made open in advance. Taking a brief moment to properly collect herself in the strange environment, she stepped through the doors and into...

The Top Office!pR.BaFF/uk 866061

File: 1418429143027.jpg (115.42 KB, 1191x670, tron_room_by_kevoniori-d3bml63…)

>... a place unlike most others in the world.

>It was hard to believe this was the sanctuary of but one man. If the building itself was modern, this was something akin to postmodern. Circular shaped chairs adorned the room itself, sitting atop small raised sections of the same plastic surface that the corridor had been made from, though there was clearly a lot of design work put into this one floorspace. Whether the other rooms on this floor were of a similar atmosphere was yet to be seen, but this at least was a marvel more than it was an office. A bookshelf stood on the far right hand side, a smaller seating area could be found towards the back of the room, a single table with a state of the art laptop close to the front, illumination coming from all kinds of sources to create a grandiose feeling of contrast within the room itself, where the bright was clear and visible yet the dark fell into complete shadow.

>It was truly an impressive sight. As Alicia and Summer stood on the lit-up panels of the entryway, a lone figure stepped from the shadow and into the light, his presence now clearly visible.

Mr. Miyama!pR.BaFF/uk 866067

File: 1418431192656.jpg (172.97 KB, 1210x913, Kariya10.jpg)

>Shining silver hair seemed to lightly reflect the bright light in the room, drawing immediate attention to the man who dressed in a slightly more relaxed manner than a man of his station perhaps should, but combined with the modern look of the office itself, he seemed to naturally fit within it, as though the unusual man fit well with the unusual surroundings. Though his pointed eyebrows and sharp eyes made him appear slightly intimidating, the way he carried himself and his natural expression gave an air of both professionalism and an atmosphere of comfort despite how he might appear.

>Such a calm and composed figure truly did provide an impression of someone of importance. Only those who truly stood at the top of something vast could carry themselves in such a way that could both bring about a commanding presence when needed, yet inspire at the same time. What was more surprising, however, was the gentle nod he gave in Alicia's direction, followed by one toward Summer, in a simple yet respectful greeting.

Alicia Archard, it is a pleasure to see you again. I believe it's been just over a year, now.

>A deep, smooth voice reverberated throughout the room with surprising clarity, creating no echo despite the size and empty space surrounding him. There was the ever slight hint of an Asian accent, but his command over the english language could be considered near-flawless, a charisma perhaps better than most native speakers could hope to achieve. He spoke both politely and pleasantly to the two arrivals; if there were any inconvenience he was experiencing due to their presence, there were no signs of such a thing whatsoever.

I had heard Alfred would be away over the course of this week, but it was a pleasant surprise when I heard you would be visiting in his stead - and with a friend, no less.

>Gesturing across to the small area with what seemed to be egg-shaped comfort seats, he continued his greeting.

Please, sit. Whether a first impression or a third, it would be better to introduce ourselves once we're settled in, would it not?

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 866233

File: 1418442273039.jpg (397.18 KB, 750x1084, 1415230776028.jpg)

It was amazing how, to this day, her friend could still be so capable of such coldness.

But, she supposed, asking for her old friend back was just too much to ask. They'd both changed so much, been forced to grow up by circumstances...

Well, they may as well not even be the same people they were.

And then this man.

Quite honestly, she'd had little intention to speak at all, seeing herself as a quiet stowaway whilst Alicia carried out an errand. Now she wasn't sure if she should want to speak up, or convince him she was an opinionless mute.

She wasn't often intimidated, mind you, but for some reason, whether it be the room or his presence or something else...

She was really glad not to be in Alicia's position, however benevolent he might be.

Respectfully giving him a quick nod back, she sits, hoping he didn't expect much from her when addressed.

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 866578

File: 1418500212627.gif (9.46 KB, 280x280, tumblr_mwrop3ms5q1sx7fz8o1_400…)

>It wasn't that she wanted to be cold to Summer. In truth, the fact that she had wanted to give that old gift showed a little bit of the old fondness she had for the other girl, but now wasn't really the time to talk about that. She felt the need to steel herself for a meeting with someone high up the chain, and though her father often talked on equal terms with this man for the reasons that would soon be known to Summer, it didn't make it any easier for the stand-in Second Owner.

>Sitting down in the group of comfortable chairs in the room, Alicia made a point of not leaning back into hers and sitting upright, so as to give off a bit of a better impression. It was a little difficult to relax in a place like this, but she wasn't going to show that tension in her voice. Thankfully, through her father's own teachings, she knew what the purpose of conversing with Mr. Miyama was, though it was certainly a different kind of topic to what she would usually discuss with other people.

>First things were first, however.

I suppose it would be best if I provided some introductions first, then, so that we're on the same page.

>Despite being with the CEO of a company, she understood that she technically had some authority over the matters here, so taking the conversation into her own hands, she decided to get the potentially awkward out of the way - she could tell that Summer was feeling more than a little out of place.

Summer, this is Mr. Jin Miyama, CEO of the Miyama Corporation who've been working on a lot of improvements to the city through construction and development contracts. He's been working closely with my father on ensuring that this work doesn't disturb the potent ley lines present on this piece of land, which as you know are very important to the magus society that resides here.

>By performing the introductions herself, she would also prove her own knowledge of the operations here and give off the proper appearance as future head of the Archard household.

Mr. Miyama, this is Summer Miles, one of the many magi who reside here and a personal friend. She's quite the expert on chemistry and related subjects, and I thought her knowledge would help benefit the discussion on the Power Plant today since, quite frankly, I lack a lot of the practical information as far as the design decisions go.

>Admittedly, that wasn't really why she'd brought Summer here, but she was very quick to come up with a reason what wouldn't leave Summer feeling incredibly out of place. Though it had been a while, assuming Summer had improved on her knowledge since they last spoke regularly, Alicia was confident that she may actually be able to really give some positive feedback with this, whilst Alicia was simply here to provide her knowledge on the ley lines and how such changes would affect things.

Jin Miyama!pR.BaFF/uk 866586

File: 1418501627219.jpg (127.09 KB, 1224x915, Kariya4.jpg)

>Now that they were all seated, and Alicia had been kind enough to give out the introductions, the meeting would settle in.

A pleasure to meet you as well, Miss Miles. It is always good to know those whose livelihoods Alfred and I have been working to help protect.

>Again, with a nod and a smile he courteously acknowledged Summer's presence, looking forward to what she might have to contribute to the issue at hand with this particular meeting. Though he doubted it would be resolved from a single discussion, it would at least help pave the way forward for a brighter tomorrow in Junction City.

I'm thankful for the opportunity, Alicia. In truth, I had wanted to spur the project forward, but with your father having been called away I was forced to postpone. I couldn't rightly begin work on something that could be potentially dangerous to the spiritual presence here.

With the both of you here, I hope we can come to some arrangement regarding the status of supplied power to Junction City, especially after the success of the School Refubishment and reconstruction of the mall.

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 866594

File: 1418502793776.jpg (412.62 KB, 800x1131, b93008824b9df4d8c3ffda222a4b60…)

What did her magic have to do with a power plant?

Coal power was antiquated, yes, but there was nothing innately magical about it. Nor was the chemistry even that complicated. It was just carbon bonds being broken, no different from the reactions going on inside human beings every day.

...And Miles?

They hadn't used that name since Baltimore. What was Alicia's meaning...?

Her thoughts interrupted, the young woman smiles softly at the man, hoping that, despite his appearance, he didn't happen to browse any fashion magazines regularly.

"And it's a pleasure to meet a man so devoted to the restoration and modernization of my family's home town."

She'd been right about him. No need to hide the fact she was a mage.

And despite her family's volumes upon volumes of magical knowledge, leylines were supposedly something to be taught orally, as they came up not once in any of them, and considering her mother had never received a proper mage's education...

"Pardon my ignorance, sir, but what does the power plant have to do with the area's latent magic?"

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 867143

File: 1418574741606.png (96.68 KB, 500x284, Average day.png)

>Instead of Mr. Miyama, however, it was Alicia who spoke up first, given that she knew about the ley lines more than the other two here, both as a student of boundary magic and as their technical guardian.

Actually, Summer, each new piece of construction work has everything to do with the ley lines around Junction. Large structures with a great deal of importance, such as the power plant or the school, form landmarks that draw the latent mana of the area to them. The connections between these two points, as well as things of significance in the past, form what we know as ley lines.

Therefore, any major alterations to these structures and to the town itself have the potential to affect the flow. Ordinarily this wouldn't be too worrisome in most cases, but as Junction City is a spiritual ground, causing problems with the major points of the ley line network can cause some... side effects.

>The number of different problems that could arise if they weren't handled correctly were rather a long list, and some of the more serious ones were definitely something to avoid. Whilst it wasn't particularly easy to cause these problems, it was better to take precautions than accidentally do something that shouldn't be done.

Jin Miyama!pR.BaFF/uk 867155

File: 1418575851425.jpg (133.24 KB, 1221x919, Kariya30.jpg)

>Calmly allowing Alicia to explain the intricate details of his work over the past decade or so, he was impressed by her level of knowledge at such a young age. Perhaps had he met Alfred in his younger years, he would've been impressed all the same. Such knowledge was to be expected of the protectors of this spiritual ground, but it was interesting seeing the next generation becoming so much more capable than they were just a few years ago.

Indeed, that would be the summary of it. This very Miyama building was constructed as a method to better centralise the natural ley line flow, according to the research and suggestions of Alfred Archard - by creating a central 'spire' and adjusting the Mall to better allow a path to flow between the southern points to here, there has been a marked increase in effectiveness of mana flow within the city. I'm sure the magi of the current decade find their crafts slightly easier than those of ten years past.

>In short, the reconstruction works were a joint effort between himself and Alfred Archard to both bring Junction City into a modern age, and also work to improve the lives of the magi who lived here. It was a project that looked to improve the quality of Junction as a spiritual ground, something that could be considered a very large-scale project.

Which brings us to the power plant, situated to the north-east of the city. Whilst on its own the plant serves sufficiently as a landmark, I find myself at odds with the building itself. For the modern age, a Coal plant is horrendously inefficient, and whilst my company has worked to improve it by applying recent hydroelectric and wind technologies, I believe the only true solution at this point is to retrofit the entire design.

This of course would involve a bit of deconstruction, which is where looking into how the ley lines are affected is important.

>Nodding towards Alicia in order to regard her as the current expert on this subject, Jin then turned his gaze to Summer, raising a curious brow in her direction.

However, the one thing yet to be decided is the new source of fuel for the rebuilt plant. I've heavily considered introducing Nuclear power to Junction, but we lack a nearby safe designated area to leave the waste product.

Would you have a recommendation on the subject, Miss Miles?

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 867172

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It made sense, she supposed.

Still, the mage was confused as to how she was at all relevant. This sounded like they needed another, more experienced mage. What went on inside the building didn't matter, did it?

"I suppose that makes sense."


She was't an expert on the subject, but...

"Well, sir, I don't believe that would be too large of a downside. The problem with that, however, would be that the government requires all nuclear power plants to submit to the Department of Energy, and what they might like to do may be at odds with our interests, since they control all sources of both the personnel and materials to build such a plant. If somehow we could settle that, though, they would be more than willing to transport away used up fuel rods to a storage facility. I believe there are several in Maryland alone."

It wasn't ideal, however. Nuclear power was, as far as she knew, far safer and more efficient than other sources of power, according to the wisdom of the normal scientific community, but its interactions with mana? As well as that, she doubted something so heavily steeped in the needs of mages would be appropriate to hand over to the government.

"...If I may, I'd recommend contacting a few influential Japanese mages and asking if a similar situation has occurred there. I believe a large amount of Japan's power is nuclear in the current day and age, so it may well be worth asking about. Alternatively, it may simply be easier and more efficient to run power lines to an electrical substation from another power plant in the area. It would cost a premium, of course, but it would also remove the need for a large plant that could potentially affect the leylines of the area, as well as prevent any unwanted side effects from the creation of so much energy."
This post was edited by its author on .

Alexander Peterson!Ren/VL7f/Q 867176

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>Alex's eyes widen slightly. That was...a fair amount of money. Well, given how she was dressed and the fact that she came all the way from Russia...It was unlikely she'd be anything but.

>However, as wealthy as she was...

>Alex shakes his head, holding his palm up to the wallet.

Your offer is generous, and for you to aid somebody you had just met shows that you have a good heart...However, I cannot accept it. Were I to take money from yourself only to aid myself and my family, I couldn't call myself a decent Christian. So, thank you, but I must decline...

>He smiles back at her, before he sets about the charity shop, looking for any kind of thing that might be conceivably enjoyed by the woman he called his mother.

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 867192

File: 1418586252505.jpg (132.27 KB, 500x640, Excellent story, compadre..jpg)

Whilst I'm not certain about which method might be the better, I can say that removing the need for the power plant entirely would likely cause an imbalance. Given that it's currently the most prominent feature in the local northeast, alongside the bridge leading to it, it would be best to keep it there. Power fluctuations shouldn't really mess with mana flow that much, but even if they did, the level would not be as great as the removal of the landmark.

>It was a bit of a complicated problem, and admittedly Alicia didn't know a great deal about how much any of these options would cost. Thankfully that was what Mr. Miyama was best at figuring out, being the one leading the contracting firm that would actually be able to perform these sorts of tasks.

Jin Miyama!pR.BaFF/uk 867209

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>There was a fair amount to think of here. Judging from purely monetary costs, initially the premium for bringing in power from a nearby station would be cheaper than the fitting, but long-term being able to generate their own power could cause them to gain such premiums, and also reduce costs to bring power to the city. Of course, this was all provided that the method of producing it would be efficient enough to make the gains worthwhile.

Being from a Japanese family myself, I do have a few contacts across the seas that I can utilise. I'd have to agree that replacing the power plant buildings with something else would take a lot of monetary resources compared to re-using them for another source. What we can do in the meantime, however, is remove a lot of the features required to process the coal. Currently that particular generator provides roughly 70% of the power the city needs, but if we temporarily switch across to an outside substation during the transfer process, the landmark will remain whilst providing more time for me to work out the costs and gains of working with the Department of Energy, most likely with help from those more experienced in that particular field.

I can organise the discussions with the city council to take place in two days. At the very least, this will keep the natural state of the mana flow in the city stable whilst progress is made. I'd expect, once the suggestion is cleared, removal can be completed within a month, which gives an ample amount of time to consider the new source to be used, and I can also discuss such things with Alfred as well.

>Not that speaking to Alicia was particularly worse in any way, but there was naturally a difference in the amount of time spent sharing the same vision. Alfred had been on board with the project since the beginning, it was only natural to want to see it head towards completion with the same man with whom it had started.

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 867220

File: 1418590071422.jpg (65.69 KB, 462x675, 265387_54586.jpg)

Well, to be fair, the dismantling of the plant would require the creation of a substation, and while likely not nearly as large, it would still be enough to maintain the leylines.

Or not. She wasn't one-hundred percent on the details.

Nodding softly, the young woman smiles.

"You seem to understand far better than I do."

It also didn't help that it felt... Weird speaking to an adult like this, despite being one herself, now.

"If there is anything I can do to help, though, I'd be more than happy to."

He did seem to have everything figured out, after all. He probably understood all the options, and just wanted her blind opinion of what to do.


"I personally believe that any solution would work for us, if done properly and with our knowledge. It's only a matter of what you stand to lose in terms of costs, and so is up to you ultimately, sir."

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 867260

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If that's the way it is, then I suppose there can't really be any more decisions made until we see the results of the discussions made with both the council and your contacts in Japan. I'll be sure to pass on word to my Father about what's going on, I'm sure he'll be glad to hear the news on the subject.

>It was a simpler discussion than she had expected. Though, that said, it wasn't as if she knew very much about the specifics of the projects going on, this was mostly her father's work alongside Mr. Miyama's. Two days meant Friday, and given that her father would be returning home on the Saturday, it would be a perfect time for him to get involved again. Hopefully whatever it was that brought him back to England hadn't been too stressful a time, though she would likely be informed of what was going on when he returned.

Either way, I can see nothing wrong with the plan to remove the existing coal facilities at the plant. No matter the direction we take with the proceedings, that will have to be a step eventually.

>With that, Alicia came to her feet, providing a slight curtsy whilst in her typical school outfit. Whether or not she had a lot of knowledge about power facilities or the goings on regarding them, this had been an experience for her as far as how meetings with those who weren't necessarily resident mages would go as the future Second Owner, and it was experience she appreciated.

>There was one more thing that she had to ask, however.

Though before we part ways and you return to other matters, does the name 'Shiro Yamada' mean anything to you? Perhaps a relation or known through a friend? I only ask because I understand you are also Japanese...

Jin Miyama!pR.BaFF/uk 867278

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I appreciate the offer, Miss Miles. I wouldn't want to impose anything, but if young Miss Alicia or Alfred recommend your skills for a task, I would be glad to have you on board.

>She was right, of course. Not it was just a matter of confirming the plans and figuring out the costs, how to keep those down and selecting the most effective option.

>And now that the start of the operation had been given approval from the magical standpoint, there really was very little to discuss until various approvals had been given and documents signed, as well as the proper contracts with a group who could actually perform the task.

Very good. I'll see to it that Alfred has the proper materials to look over when he returns.

>The last question, however, caused mild surprise as he stood up alongside Alicia. For a name to be brought up like this meant it had meaning, but ultimately he didn't have any information to give her. It wasn't as though it stuck out particularly as a Japanese name. Unfortunately, he could only tell her what he knew.

Sorry, the name is unfamiliar to me. Though I can't provide any help on the subject, have you asked the Akamine clan? It's possible one of their branches may have connections to the Yamada name.

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 867286

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Taking the cue from her friend, the mage's brow furrows slightly at the mention of their little problem.

It certainly was a long shot...

...For no payoff.

Inwardly sighing, the model keeps her posture nonetheless unaffected and simply waits until their business was concluded. There really wasn't much else for her to say.

She had quite a few questions for Alicia once they were alone again, though.

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 867715

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That's alright, I'll just have to check in with them.

>Alas, her one lead amounted to nothing. She had hoped that it might answer some questions about the boy, but it seemed the mystery would only continue. Giving a very brief but concerned look across to Summer, it would seem that the problem of Shiro had just escalated a little in her mind. Not to such a level that would shift her priorities of course, but taking into account that neither the Akamine clan nor Mr. Miyama knew about him, it made the boy's presence a lot more concerning, especially given that he'd been here for such a long time. Either someone had leaked information or he'd known from the beginning, but in each case it was something to look into.

>For the moment, however, she had to consider and commit to memory the discussion that had just taken place. It seemed that the natural state of the spiritual ground wouldn't be particularly altered for now, and until other things had been put in place there wouldn't need to be a talk on the matter. Even then, her father would have returned by that point. Overall, it was shorter than she anticipated but it did put her mind at ease, particularly since she wouldn't have to be too involved for the moment.

Thank you for your time, Mr. Miyama. I look forward to seeing how this project heads towards its completion, and I'll be sure to fill my father in as soon as possible.

>With another curtsy, after waiting for his response, Alicia turned and began to lead Summer back towards the elevator corridor.

Jin Miyama!pR.BaFF/uk 867716

File: 1418652908230.jpg (97.62 KB, 1209x895, Kariya6.jpg)

>It was a most curious question, indeed, but ultimately irrelevant. Whoever this 'Shiro Yamada' was, it was no concern of his and the name would most likely be forgotten. Having fulfilled with minor request with his own answer, there were now much more important things to be organising. Thankfully, Alicia seemed to recognise this and had politely ended the conversation, prompting his own light acknowledging bow in farewell.

I shall have a report prepared by my staff for him to view when he returns. It was a pleasure to meet you, Miss Miles, and I look forward to seeing you again soon, Miss Archard.

Rest assured, Junction City's future is safe within my care.

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 867722

File: 1418668054268.jpg (1.34 MB, 1006x1795, 1415215982707.jpg)

Following after, her questions mostly answered, the mage can't help but consider the biggest one still unanswered.

She still didn't know who this man was.

Was he a mage? Had he known of mages? Had Alicia's father betrayed their existence out of need for someone in his position...?

She and Alicia were going to have a nice, long talk until she didn't have any more questions to ask. This concerned all of them, and as the head of her family, she had a right to know.

Stopping and smiling back at him, she can't help but feel uncertainty over that last reminder. If things kept going wrong, here, there may well not be a future left to look out for.

"As it was a pleasure to meet you too, sir."

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 867725

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>And thus, the plastic paradise room of the future began to gain distance, as Jin Miyama turned back to wander to the outer windows of his building, looking down upon the bright city below as it grew accustomed to the growing cold. Alicia walked with concern in each step, exiting through the automatic doors that felt almost like they had been pulled straight out of science fiction, before entering the long, brightly lit corridor with many entrances scattered along its walls.

>That meeting was over, but there was still so very much to do. Three things still eluded her, and tomorrow she would begin tracking them down. Tonight, it was best to prepare herself mentally and recite proper spell use - she didn't know what she was going to face when inquiring about things outside of the norm. Each footstep echoed in silence, even the near-silent sliding closure of the door behind them was easily audible within the empty space. Only the green light that shone above the elevator doors guided them, as Alicia continued to drown herself in thought. In her typical habits, she had all but forgotten anyone else was there, utilising the lack of external stimuli to better focus on her internal thoughts and feelings.

Valentina Rabinovich!aLEJudith. 867791

File: 1418688007739.png (42.25 KB, 166x166, tumblr_n1vs02NV9K1sn8sb3o8_250…)

>Hmmm? He didn't want her money? how strange, most people jump right on the opportunity for others.

Are... you sure?

>She follows him in, keeping an eye out for any snow globes she could get her hands on as well. While still surprised be him turning down her offer, she wasn't displeased by it on, the contrary, she was quite happy with it. Alex was a good friend.

>...Even if they only meet a few minutes ago.

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 867879

File: 1418695476740.gif (1.74 MB, 500x281, 1415216096122.gif)

She'd zoned out again.

It was just something she always did. Something she always would do.

It annoyed her to no end, but there really was no changing how her friend was...

"You're doing it again, Alicia."

She really hadn't changed at all.

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 867981

File: 1418737032127.png (103.16 KB, 480x640, SCOSSORS.png)

Hm? Oh...

>The voice was so distinct within the hall that it easily snapped her out of her line of thought. Alicia doubted she'd be able to pick it up from the same place again, but it was probably for the best. Taking things slowly and calmly rather than rushing them thought your head as quickly as possible seemed like the better option in solving problems, though she couldn't help but worry given her responsibilities.

There's just a lot to think about right now. It's been a bit of a stressful week.

>She hardly looked stressed, but perhaps she'd had to train her composure over the years. A lot of good that training did when she'd been surprised so much lately, losing that very composure she seemed to hold to well, but thankfully everything was still within the norm this week. There had just been too many things to do and consider. Maybe she would eventually grow to fill the role required of her, but for the moment this week had been a reminder of what was to come, and that she would have to step up to the plate sooner rather than later.

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 868110

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She didn't take offense at it. It wasn't something she ever had, really.

Maybe not having her around to stop this sort of behavior is why Julie told her people didn't like her nearly as much as they had.

That, or they took the ending of their friendship as an invite from the most popular girl in school to hate her forever. She knew that was at least somewhat the case, and had never felt comfortable with her own popularity making all of her old classmate's actions seem justified in their eyes.

...Every time she thought about this sort of thing, she just felt worse and worse.

"I understand."

She really wanted to just break down and apologize.

But she just couldn't, no matter how much she missed her friend. It had just been too long, things were fine how they were, and if Alicia didn't forgive her, or just didn't care anymore...

Pressing the elevator's call button, the magus nervously fiddles with a small vial of quartz crystals in her bag, turning it over in her hands while she pictures the familiar structures in the back of her mind.

"...How has school been?"

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 868363

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>She 'understood', did she? Gallivanting around with her fancy modelling job and jumping at a chance to push against anything that remotely threatened her oh-so luxurious and popular life? That always infuriated her so much, the notion that someone like that could understand. Alicia clenched her fists for a brief moment, standing almost rigid in place as she watched the elevator numbers climb ever higher.

>Yet it wasn't fair. Taking a long, slow sigh, she released the tension she'd managed to build up through her own frustrations and tried to think more calmly on the subject. It wasn't fair to Summer to just assume everything, it's what caused the rift between them in the first place. Words were spoken that couldn't be taken back, and in the public eye no less. Naturally, they'd been smart enough to leave magic out of the conversation, but when you end a friendship by arguing in the school corridor with a more popular girl, the consequences would always be pretty dire.

>Thankfully she'd managed to put up with it since then. Alicia didn't have anything she could call a 'social life' left, aside from brief meetings with a few people and perhaps, most recently, she had begun to claw her way back into having people she could call friends, but it was still a work in progress and would take some time to head the inevitable wounds she had gathered in her confidence over that long period.

>So as far as how school had been...

... well enough, I suppose.
Everyone's fussing over Homecoming again, as usual. Nothing really of note.

>It wasn't the easiest subject, but she tried.

How's work?

>Even if she didn't particularly like that subject, it was still polite to respond in kind.

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 868374

File: 1418833195890.jpg (323 KB, 1280x720, 1415219534084.jpg)

Blissfully ignorant of her friend's anger, the mage smiles.Maybe things were looking up after all.

"Oh, it's alright."

...That seemed overly dismissive, even to her. She owed Alicia more than that, if she really did care.

"I'll probably have to stop within the next year or so, regardless of whether I choose to go to college or not. What it pays isn't enough to justify being called away for most of the day when I have a family to run."

She would miss it, though. Being adored and recognized.

But clothing ads and background appearances behind more important models wouldn't cut it unless she wanted to bleed her family's small fortune dry. It was either cross the bottomless chasm into television, stoop to more exploitative means of showing off her body or drop it entirely and focus on her family, maintaining them through magical research. Neither of the first two options were particularly attractive.

Squeezing and twirling the small vial as the elevator doors ding open in front of them, she steps inside nervously. Thinking about such things had her visibly upset. Whereas Alicia was often cold, it took true effort for the redhead to hide her emotions, even if their line of work required that more often than not.

Directing yet another question at her friend, loathe to ask and already knowing the answer, the magus hopes to provoke... Something from her. Break that cold, calm facade in exchange for another face, one that would be willing to talk about what had happened between them in a voice besides that cold, businesslike one she always used.

"...Have you made any new friends?"

She hated that coldness. She hated that stupid, unchanging look on her face. She hated how her best friend had become a forty-five year old businessperson with a mage's mind, and because of their argument, she hadn't been there to moderate that change.

She didn't regret a thing that had been said, but the model regretted every day with her friend she'd missed since then.

Putting on a somewhat playful tone, her voice noticeably quavering, she adds,

"Anyone special?"

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 868399

File: 1418841233642.jpg (163.41 KB, 488x750, That pencil tore a hole in my …)

>Of all the subjects she could have prodded at, it had to be the one that irritated her the most.

If I did have someone like that, I probably wouldn't be skipping out on the dance like I have almost every other year.

>Her tone was rather venomous in her statement, but her words were true enough. Throughout her years at the school, she had only gone to one dance - the first. After that, various circumstances had prevented her from doing so - whether it was of her own volition, which was more common in the later years, or that she had responsibilities to perform. Even if she was a magus and had a lot to live up to, she still had that little wish in her heart that maybe she could dance with someone special... but the had already resolved that it simply wasn't going to happen at Junction High.

>In the end, however, after flicking through what she'd just done in her head, she realised that it wasn't Summer's fault she felt that way about it, it was her own. It was fairly easy to see that she hadn't meant anything by it, whilst she'd once again let a part of her out that she didn't like to show.

... I'm sorry, that was uncalled for.

>A brief 'ding' sounded through the corridor as the elevator doors open, prompting Alicia to step through quickly and stand towards the back of it. The mirrored surfaces didn't offer much privacy, but despite the visibility the girl didn't turn back around to face her companion.

In the end, 'well enough' only means I haven't surprassed what I can put up with yet... the I suppose the friend thing has been looking up a little, recently.

Still, it's only another year. After that, I can simply put it all behind me. It must be rather freeing, to unbound from the chains that a society of mediocrity and judgementalistic views forces you to wear.

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 868405

File: 1418853207918.jpg (65.69 KB, 462x675, 265387_54586.jpg)

Stung by her words, the mage is... Disappointed.

She hadn't gone far enough to open old wounds, yet her words and the tone she'd taken had still hurt.

Though at least she'd opened up a bit.

"Not even a year. What is it, six more months until May?"

The same amount of time she'd been free of school, actually.

"And it really isn't too different. You just sort of lose contact with a lot of people you talked to every day, and have a lot more free time to fill with whatever you like."

It was a nerve-wracking experience, losing all of her friends and peers like that. She still saw and spoke to a few of the closer ones, but for the most part, her circle of friends just vanished. If it weren't for her family, she'd be unbearably lonely.

As the elevator descends, the mage removes the stopper from the vial of quartz, spilling the smoky black crystals into her palm. Gently squeezing the cold, opaque stone, she resists the urge to send a jolt of mana running through her circuits. If they were better covered, perhaps, but given that she couldn't very well hide them without raising suspicion...

It would just have to wait.

"You should go to the dance. The Forsyths and Kai can wait one night."

Breaking the silence spanning several seconds, she eyes the floor counter. Only a few more until they were in public once more.

"You deserve to be happy, Alicia."

...That surprised even her. She agreed with it, sure, but it seemed too... Familiar? Kind? Too much like an attempt to sound profound? That wasn't the sort of thing you told someone who might still hate you. Probably did still hate you.

But she may as well try and salvage this.

"I mean... I know me telling you to be happy is... Ironic, considering, but I still don't want to see you regret missing this several years from now."

I don't want you or I to feel like I stole this from you.

Leaning against the mirrored walls, the mage grips the handrails tightly, nails digging into her own skin.

"...So just enjoy yourself, alright? Please?"

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 868649

File: 1418912314003.jpg (347.72 KB, 756x1064, f8ee5081b31d0b92a67635604ccdb0…)

>Losing contact with people she talked to every day? It sounded more like a blessing than a curse, given that the people she most often talked to at school were sort of half-friends and acquaintances. Ebony and Rachel seemed to be her regular 'hang-out' people, but whilst she was thankful for the company of people who didn't outright hate her, in the end she was more of a strange third wheel, riding off the back of the times she had spent with Summer before becoming vehemently disliked. Maybe she was taking them for granted, maybe she wasn't, but in the end the first thing that came to mind with them wasn't the idea of 'friends' in the way she knew it could be.

>Wait, what? Go to the dance? Deserve to be happy? Hearing these statements, Alicia finally turned towards Summer, a little astounded at the notion. On the one hand, she was actively trying to seem a little nicer than usual, yet on the other Summer was prioritising her happiness over that of the potential safety of the town which, whilst it was touching, felt particularly wrong. But what was she supposed to say, here? A part of her was confused, unsure as to what direction to take, but she soon found she had already made that choice. The only difficult part, in her mind, was how to take what Summer had just said.

... there's still one more.

>It was a plain comment, but her voice was quieter than it had been. Less confident, slightly more delicate. Leaning against the rail, she seemed to lack a lot of the tension she had shown before, but still retained some measure of distance. Even so, it was distinctly different to her typical attitude when speaking to Summer, closer to the time in the convenience store.

Even if I went, I wouldn't enjoy it. I don't really know anyone to go with and even the simplest person knows that going to a social event to be alone is folly. I might be able to wear a pretty dress, but there's no-one who I'm looking to have appreciate it.

I don't think I would be happy if I went, so although I appreciate the concern, I won't be going. Instead...

>A sharpness returned to her words as she finished that sentence, seemingly having steeled herself in a new resolve, perhaps through confirming what path she wanted to take. Yet it didn't come with the usual harshness she would display with it. Instead, this was raw confidence of the pure kind.

It's far more important to make sure everyone's safe. The thought that I could be out there, enjoying myself so selfishly yet not enjoying myself at all, whilst there are potential dangers that could be putting people at risk, things that I could be doing something about?

If you, your sister, or anyone under my care came to harm because of my negligence, I wouldn't be able to forgive myself.

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 868654

File: 1418919324580.gif (1.93 MB, 500x700, 1415218595362.gif)

Always. She always did this.

"Then let me go instead. Or if it's so important, have your father call them. Telephones exist, you know."

Folding her arms and glancing over at her friend with a concerned look on her face, the mage can't help but seem sad.

"I know that this is important, but it can wait one night in order for you to be happy. That you aren't going tonight proves as much."

She was saying this was far more important, and then not doing it until she oh so unfortunately had to choose between it and Homecoming. There was no way for her to justify not doing this as soon as possible.

"Or talk to them before it begins and still go. School ends at three, and the dance doesn't begin until seven. You can have your talk with them in the space of four hours, surely."

She didn't want her friend to end up an unhappy, humorless prude. But she was very well on her way to becoming one, it seemed.

The girl gives her a sad look. One far more personal than any she'd shown in a long time. More than malice, her voice is soft and sad. More than an attempt to hurt, it's true concern in her eyes.

"...I said those things because I hated who you were becoming. Because I thought you were becoming just another heartless, empty person. All business and no play. The perfect mage and a terrible friend. The kind of person who smiled at how far my family had fallen because it was one less thing to worry about."

It was something she'd obviously thought a lot about, but had never imagined herself saying.

"But I don't want the perfect mage. I want my friend back. I want the friend who teased me when I hit puberty. I want the friend who helped me beg Felicity to not tell how late we were staying up. I want the friend who told me everything, and who I told everything back."

The corners of her eyes tearing up. she hastily wipes them away, unable to do anything about the change in her voice.

"I just want my friend back."

Alicia Archard!pR.BaFF/uk 868730

File: 1418934469200.png (121.12 KB, 500x281, I'm going to kill you.png)

>Was this girl even listening to anything she said? Anything at all? As honest as she had been about her feelings, Summer was still trampling over them like usual, all to fit her perfect vision of what she should be. Alicia was done with it. For a moment, she thought that Summer might actually be being considerate or thoughtful, but no, it was the same old garbage she brought to the table all the other times. 'You should do this, because I think you should, despite what you might want otherwise'. She had enough of that from her father, she didn't need it from someone who was supposedly trying to be a friend.

>Dropping all composure, she stood furiously in the elevator, ready to say exactly what she wanted to say-


>The elevator doors opened to the same flood of people, many of them leaving for home whilst others arriving for night-shift related duties. It would be ridiculous of her to blow her top then and there in front of all those people, so she immediately buried it all inside, clenching her fists rather tightly as she stormed out of the elevator before settling into a rather machine-like brisk pace towards the exit. Thankfully, that's what pretty much every office worker was doing, so she blended right in.

>As soon as she got outside, she'd start walking towards a place where she could tell Summer exactly what she thought about what was said, and what she was going to do.

Summer!Jiang0l2K. 868739

File: 1418937444300.jpg (46.36 KB, 441x750, 1415213525005.jpg)

Petrified by the look she was given, the mage stops, the pained and sad look on her face only becoming worse.

She did still hate her. After all this time, Alicia still hated her.

As much as she wanted Alicia back, Alicia didn't want her.

Even after she'd turned away and stormed off, the alchemist couldn't bring herself to move, utterly frozen by the realization that the little hope she'd held onto of ever having her friend back was gone now. That, yet again, she was alone.

Crowded towards the back of the elevator as more businesspeople file in, the doors slowly begin to close.

And she didn't really mind.

The thought of ever speaking to Alicia, of ever seeing that look on her face again, it terrified her. More than the silence that'd been the norm between them for so long, more than the days she'd longed to make up and sit together at lunch when she'd still been in school, the thought, the knowledge, that Alicia hated her, that she never wanted to be friends again, was something she couldn't live with. That the person who she'd considered closer than any member of her own family wanted nothing to do with her was unbearable.

As the elevator began to rise, the young head chokes back more hot tears pooling in the corners of her eyes.

She could tell. Alicia hadn't forgiven her. It was in her nature to want to forgive Alicia, to want her friend back more than she wanted an apology, but Alicia didn't care. Alicia didn't care, and nothing she did would ever change her mind.

And she hated her for that.

She hated that her emotions and her heart were in the hands of someone who hated her. Who wanted to hurt her, it seemed. Who wanted nothing more than to make her pay for what she'd had to go through because of their argument. She couldn't very well do anything in public, for risk of ruining her image, but this? This was justice to her. Sweet revenge, and she was probably enjoying every tear shed over it.

And maybe she deserved it.

Maybe she deserved it for making Alicia "Triple-A". Maybe she deserved it for abandoning her like that.

But she couldn't help but hate her for it. She couldn't help but hate her for being this evil, vindictive bitch who couldn't forgive her, and would never, ever give her back the person she'd loved and treated like a sister. Who decided that, as punishment for her crimes, she would kill that girl and replace her with just another bureaucrat with the same face.

As much as it hurt, as much as she wanted to believe otherwise, her friend Alicia was gone and Alicia Archard the Second Owner had taken her place.

Long live the queen bitch.

Wiping away her eyes once more, the girl finally glances around the now-empty elevator, sitting near the top floor. She had no desire to speak to Alicia now or any time soon, so, hitting every single button for every single floor below the one she was on, the girl reaches into her bag for a scarf. She needed to use her magic, lose herself in the shapes of the universe, regardless of risks or consequences.

The Forsyths!uvadBiRdiE 868784

File: 1418952499857.jpg (166.55 KB, 400x313, zz_home.jpg)

Thursday, November 6th, 5:20pm
Northwest edge of middle class housing, Forsyth Property
>With the nights falling earlier and earlier, the Forsyths found themselves rushing through daily chores before it got too dark. They tended the gardens, started dinner, rounded up the cats... at least once a month, everything was completed well before twilight, along with a few extra chores. Checking the locks. Maintenance of the runes. Locking up their son before the moon rose.

>Kenneth and Suzuki were used to it. Ever since Kai went through his growth spurt and broke through a door, they had been forced to take extra precautions. They replaced the old wood door with one made of fiberglass, installed deadbolt locks, fixed the hinges, and made it so the locks and door could only be unlocked and opened by pouring in prana. It was, in effect, werewolf proof.

>They invited Kai's closest friend over for an early dinner every full moon, too. He was practically family, ever since Kai leaked the secret to him, and it didn't help to have an extra body around... just in case. Grace had recently begun calling him their guardian, much to Kai's embarrassment.

>With the perfect moon slowly rising over the horizon, Kenneth and Suzuki in the attic trying to perfect the efficient creation of runes, and the only sound from The Room the muffled scratching of claws, it was looking like another peaceful full moon. Grace was laying in the living room, idly coloring in her brand-new coloring book. The TV was tuned to brightly-colored cartoons that taught kids simple moral lessons.

Hey, Shiro!

>The six-year-old redhead sits up, and holds up her surrealist work. The dog in the picture was bright pink, with strokes going far outside the lines, and there was a crude yellow circle in the background, surrounded by what could vaguely be called stars.

Look what I drew!

Shiro Yamada!MaraKrYP7s 868843

File: 1418957622643.jpg (63.46 KB, 382x330, Puer00139.jpg)

>It's been a relatively normal evening so far, especially for a night that's the Full Moon. The Forsyths were all as nice as usual, welcoming him with open arms and sharing the food they bought and cooked. It was like he had another family away from home, not that he didn't like his original family. But he was thankful that they were generally nice and didn't tell the Magus society about his being a half-demon and all.

>There he sat on their couch while both parents were upstairs working on their own magic while Shiro babysat their children. One was already in his room, scratching away at his unbreakable door while everything else in the house was as peaceful as ever. His attention was on the TV that was airing a colorful children's show that usually had some corny good moral at the end. He at least had something to do while he waited for Kai's transformation to pass through for the night.

>Just for tonight, he wore some dark colors that would mask him in the shadows in case Kai managed to break out into public. Dark pants, dark shoes, dark shirt and coat, he might as well be part of a goth group. He didn't need anyone catching him and recognizing him from the get-go. It's pretty simple to find out who he is, as well, since he's one of the few people in this city that has white hair. What he didn't wear, surprisingly, was the eye patch that he would be normally seen with. What was under it wasn't a hole or a scar or anything, but it was a regular looking eyeball, the same as the one on his right. And what he had tucked away in his pocket was a mask to cover up his face in case the aforementioned event did occur, and also because he didn't need to give Grace nightmares. It covered up his right eye, which did put him at a disadvantage when it comes to depth perception, but he's gotten used to it already since he's covered his left eye up the majority of the time.

>But then he caught something out of the corner of his eye. He glanced down at Grace, who was humming something to herself and coloring outlines in a coloring book, and then looked over to the side to see the box of dog treats that he had brought along as a half-joke for Kai. He remembered he had left it in their living room while they all had dinner and talking amongst themselves. What he didn't remember, however, was ever opening the box itself. Now he wonders if those treats even worked on Kai in his werewolf form. Probably not the best of times to try and check, actually.

>The sudden exclamation of attention did work on him, however. He looked back over at the six-year-old that he was also babysitting and saw the rather...colorful page, one that looked like it belonged straight in the program that was being shown on the TV as they spoke. If anything, her imagination was still pretty wide, what with the pink dog and the sun and stars in the background. Judging from the look on her face, she was very proud of it as well, and what he didn't want was for her to cry her eyes out.

Whoa, that looks really great, Grace! You're practicing how to become a great artist already. Why don't you try coloring inside the lines next time? I think it'll look much better.

>He spoke with a gentle voice and smile on his face to keep the atmosphere calm and collected. He knows that eventually, she'll have to deal with the hardships that life gives, but for now, she should enjoy the current untainted childhood that she has. She'll only get one, anyways, and God knows he'd hate to see it lost.

>Shiro took another good look at the picture, the pink dog in particular. It reminded him of Kai and his werewolf form, which, in turn, raised a silly question that he could ask Grace, one that she would love for sure.

Hm.. Grace? If we dyed Kai's hair pink, do you think he'd look pink as a dog, too?

July!Jiang0l2K. 868845

File: 1418959364983.jpg (292.42 KB, 500x680, Noragami-image-noragami-367783…)

Okay. One more time to be sure.

She was going to go in, find Kai and his parents, and act like he'd promised to go with her. If he denied it, she could just keep pleading and they'd tell him to go with her regardless. If he said yes, he couldn't exactly bail on her at the last second like she knew he would if she'd asked.

She'd drag him there, and then drop him off with... Cindy? Or was it Christina? Whichever one thought he was cute.

They were gonna owe her so much for that one dance she'd promised them with him. At least five weeks of homework, minimum.

Straightening her dress and freshly curled pink hair, the girl knocks, hoping that, at the least, Kai wasn't the one to answer. There might be a fistfight over her trying to get inside in that case.

...I wonder if he's got a glass jaw.

Grace Forsyth!uvadBiRdiE 868847

File: 1418960420658.jpg (330.95 KB, 567x1004, League-of-legends-image-league…)

>The redhead smiles appreciatively at Shiro's praise. She was a good artist, wasn't she? She was very thankful that somebody in this household recognized her artistic genius. If only he could look outside the standard societal concept of what was stereotypically good-looking. She purses her lips, and sets the coloring book back down on the carpet.

Nah, I like coloring outside the lines. Miss Adams says it looks better like this. She says making kids color inside the lines stunts their creativity.

>Not that she could explain how it stunted their creativity. Her first grade teacher was a bit of a free spirit and encouraged kids to do whatever they wanted. Grace came home with glitter in her hair one day and announced she wanted to be a vegan dog treat baker.

>At the thought of dyeing Kai's hair pink, Grace giggles, and turns to a new page in her coloring book, a baby elephant holding a flower with its trunk.

His, his hair and fur are the same colors, right? So if we make his hair pink, his fur will be pink, too! Or we could make his hair green with polka-dots! Or maybe white, like yours! No no! His hair needs to, it needs to be gray so he can be Balto and pull around a sled!

>Grace is instantly pulled out of her fantasies of forcing her brother to be a sled dog by a knock on the door.
I'll get it!
>Instantly, she pushes herself up to her feet, puts a hand to her cat ear headband to prevent it from falling, and runs to the front door before Shiro can catch her. They didn't normally have guests, let alone this late, so somebody coming over was a unique event that definitely deserved her attention.

>She yanks the door open,

>and looks up to see a girl in a very pretty dress.

>Roll 1d1000 = 705

Are you a princess?
Is that your real hair?
Are you Kai's girlfriend?!

July!Jiang0l2K. 868849

File: 1418962367084.gif (1.38 MB, 500x281, 1417145844100.gif)

So cute!

It was a crime for Kai not to invite her over and see his little sister!

Smiling and leaning forward to be at eye level with the little girl, the teenager smiles. She seemed so happy, it'd be a shame to tell her it was dyed.


Hands on her knees, the visitor continues smiling, giving the girl a questioning look.

"Is your big brother home, sweetie? He's supposed to take me to Homecoming. A dance."
This post was edited by its author on .

Grace Forsyth!uvadBiRdiE 868851

File: 1418963226509.png (593.31 KB, 838x1234, 093b617c60c816432ec3d1b8267af6…)

>Grace's jaw drops open.


>That was really her real hair? Did her parents have pink hair, too? Grace wished she could have hair like that. Oh, maybe someday...

>At her second question, Grace purses her lips. Her parents told her all the time to never, ever tell anybody about Kai's secret, ever... but why did he tell somebody to come over tonight, of all nights, so he could take them to a dance?

>If he was taking her to a dance, this must be his girlfriend, too. And if she was his girlfriend, she had the power to break his curse, just like all the princess movies she watched! She'd show her parents, they'd be so proud when they came downstairs to see Kai back to normal, hugging his girlfriend!

Kai's home!
>she finally declares, after a good minute of thought. Grace reaches out to take July's hand, and starts pulling her inside.
But you gotta be really quiet, so Mom and Dad don't hear you! I'm not supposed to let people in.
>She pulls her past the living room, with the TV blaring and crayons scattered all over, past the staircase, and down the hall, towards the rooms at the back of the house.

Shiro Yamada!MaraKrYP7s 868854

File: 1418963997428.jpg (Spoiler Image,210.46 KB, 532x740, Puer00229.jpg)

>Well, the girl's response was pretty strange. The teachers nowadays are getting more concerned over children's imaginations it seems, but he's not complaining. Though, he questions how something simple as a coloring style stunts one's creativity. Perhaps he was a little too conditioned to drawing things "in the lines" than outside of it. But, better someone with creativity than some schmuck that follows things by the book. It makes life more interesting for him, at least.

>It seems like her creativity hasn't gone to waste either, for she started suggesting colors that she could dye Kai's hair. Some of the suggestions made him laugh some, like having polka-dot hair or making it gray so he'll be like a dog she's seen in some movies. Now he's curious to see if it'll even work. Maybe the day after tomorrow, he can ask him. If he refuses, he can always try the excuse that Grace won't talk to him if he doesn't.

Oh, oh, what about-

>But then he was cut off by a sudden knock on the door. For one, who the hell is out at this time of night? It can't be anyone from school, everyone's either at home or enjoying that dumb dance. No one could have found out where Kai lives. He just about sat up to go shoo the person away, but before he could do anything...

>The kid had already shouted her dibs and sprinted up from where she laid like a dog that heard its owner coming home. His eyes widened and he reached out towards Grace just as she rounded the corner in some attempt to reach over and grab her.

Grace, wait! Don't op-

>But fate had other plans for him, for at that very moment, there was a sharp pain in his stomach which caused him to slouch over and grab his abdomen in pain. Why a stomachache now?! What the hell did he eat today?! As he retraced his memory back to the food he had, he then remembered the steak and fries that Motor had bought for him the previous day. He then remembered the overabundance of steak sauce that he accidentally put on it due to Motor's accusation. It looks like he completely forgot about it when he reheated it earlier that day, and it came back to bite him now.

God.. damn it, Motor!

>He struggled to get to where Grace was, but she had already opened the door to see who it was. The voice itself sounded very familiar. Too familiar, in fact. It was feminine, yet at the same time, bubbly and cheery..? ...It can't be. There was no way that she's here, of all people. Why July?! How did she even find out where he lives?!

>His stomach stung in pain again, causing sweat to stream down his face. Now he was stuck in between two scenarios: One was to head straight to the bathroom and deal with purging the delivery from Hell. The other was to take Grace, attempt to convince July to leave, and maybe possibly ruin his reputation even further in front of two girls, one of which is still a young child, the other being a big blabber mouth.

Shit.. shit!!

>That's something that he ought to be muttering in the bathroom. But right now, he only hopes that Grace will remember the words from her parents and somehow get July to leave. Meanwhile, he has to go deal with his disagreeing bowels, otherwise he'll be the second Kai in the Forsyth house.


Grace! Remember, don't let strangers inside the house, no matter who they are! I'm going to the bathroom!

>He had to shout that out to reinforce the fact that her parents won't let anyone in the house. Now he had to hope and pray that July understands and leaves before she causes some big trouble that neither the Forsyths or he needs.

>So, with a clutched stomach, he hurried and sprinted over to the nearest bathroom in the house and locked the door behind him.
This post was edited by its author on .

July!Jiang0l2K. 868856

File: 1418964334433.jpg (396.87 KB, 750x1000, nbst.jpg)

Allowing herself to be led through the house, she can't help but look around.

So this is where he lived.

It seemed way more... Alive than her own home. If only because of the crayons everywhere.

...And she wasn't supposed to be let in? Hadn't Kai said something like that...?

That'd make her plan a lot harder, for sure. And she didn't want Grace to get in trouble for this, either, so she may just have to end up adapting and drag Kai out without his parents knowing.

She'd already come this far, after all, no reason to stop no-

...Was that Shiro?


They'd better act fast, then. He sounded upset.

Whispering to Grace, the girl asks,

"Well why's he get to be here, then?"

Grace Forsyth!uvadBiRdiE 868862

File: 1418965348669.jpg (356.03 KB, 712x712, a91425dc13a10e5e259be6edc55454…)

>Grace winces at the shouted reminder. She could only wonder why Shiro was using such dirty words and running off like that. This was Kai's girlfriend! She wasn't a stranger!
>With an exaggerated sigh, she drops July's hand, and glares off toward whatever direction Shiro had sprinted off in.

Hmph. Kai's friends aren't strangers...

>Grace looks up at the beautiful girl and whispers loudly back,
Shiro's here 'cause he's our guardian! He watches me and helps me color sometimes when Kai's busy. He's like another brother, except a lot weirder.
>And that was saying something, considering how weird her own brother was.

>The house was definitely more alive, though. With no maids and parents who were far from perfectionists, there was a mud-stained pair of shoes just inside the front doorway, a potted plant that needed to be watered, couches that needed to be vacuumed of cat hair... warm paintings on the walls, old-fashioned lighting fixtures, huge windows that let in plenty of sunlight when the blinds weren't drawn... it was a very inviting environment.

>Grace walks further down the hallway, motioning for July to follow before turning a corner.

What's your name? I'm Grace. Kai likes to call me Gracie.

>The further back they went, though, the darker it seemed to get. There weren't as many lights back here. The doors were locked tight, some knobs covered in a thin layer of dust. A hesitant scratching could even be heard.


>Grace runs forward, around another corner, and sweeps the full-grown cat into her arms. A soft grey with darker spots, the cat seems to frown at July's mere presence.

I told you not to scratch at Kai's door!

>The door at the end of the hall looked much newer than the previous ones. The locks on the outside, and the arcane runes inscribed beneath, made it stand out even more. Nothing can be heard from within.

July!Jiang0l2K. 868879

File: 1418968184447.png (166.64 KB, 278x308, Kofuku.png)

Transfixed by the door, the girl takes several seconds to answer.

"Julie. Julie Jiang."

Was this, like, how he decorated? She knew his family dealt with runes, but...

On his door?

Seemed kinda silly.

Smiling at the little girl, she adds,

"That's a very cute cat."

Grace Forsyth!uvadBiRdiE 869123

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It's nice to meet you, July!
>Still somehow managing to hold the cat without it freaking out and scratching her, the little girl smiles up at who she's pretty sure is gonna be her sister-in-law. Her plan was working perfectly!
We got Petunia 'cause she wouldn't stop sneaking around our yard. I think it's 'cause she likes Gramps, but Dad says Gramps is too old for kittens.
>Gently, she sets the cat down. It throws the door a dirty glare before bolting off, tags on her collar jingling.

>As serious as a six-year-old can be, Grace turns to look up at the princess.

You absolutely, positively can't tell anyone about this, 'cause it's gonna be a surprise for everyone, okay?

>She waits for some sort of confirmation before turning to the door. She has to stand on the very tips of her toes to reach the highest rune. She presses her little palm against it and murmurs a phrase under her breath. The runes written all the way down the door glow a dim green light. One by one, the locks slide open, until the door swings inward on its own.


???!uvadBiRdiE 869130

File: 1419054388442.jpg (Spoiler Image,111.77 KB, 828x576, Werewolf_by_JPMoore.jpg)

>The room was dark; way too poorly lit and small to be a bedroom. Through one window, moonlight barely filtered through, and, after a moment for one's eyes to adjust, it was possible to see the furnishings.

>Concrete flooring with jagged tears that caught the light. A wooden dresser, drawers on the floor and contents scattered. A mirror with only shards remaining. A framed photo, face-down, atop a massive dog bed leaking stuffing.

>What could only be described as a hulking mass of rippling muscle and fur, right in the middle of the tiny room, beady red eyes staring out the doorway. It doesn't twitch, move, or even breath.

>It stays there, watching.


July!Jiang0l2K. 869139

File: 1419055808027.gif (761.81 KB, 500x281, large.gif)

...A surprise?

She really hoped she wasn't interrupting anything... Private.

...But it seemed like those fears were far, far from what she expected.

Paralyzed by fear, the girl simply stares into the beast's eyes, utter terror the only emotion she could feel for the first few moments.

But then it struck her. There was someone who needed protecting far more than her.

Glancing over at the little girl, and with no time to consider an alternative, the teenager scoops her up and over her shoulder and bolts down the hallway, covering the child with her body in such a way as to shield her from danger and the creature's sight.

If nothing else, she was trained from the day she was able to stand how to protect others. She wasn't about to fail the first time her abilities were ever needed.

Just got to get to the living room...

Shiro Yamada!MaraKrYP7s 869183

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>There was the sound of a toilet flushing and a faucet turning off soon after. Shiro's own personal business was finally done and over with. God knows how long he was inside there, but he gets the feeling he wasn't rid of it yet. He just hopes it doesn't crop up later on in the night. But for now, he has to worry about July and whether or not Grace had let her in already.

>He opened the door from the Forsyth's bathroom and came out only to be met with an eerie silence and the view of a lifeless living room, save for the TV still playing cartoons. He hoped that from the look of things, Grace was already tired out and in bed while July left the household and returned to the dance. He really really hoped that that was the case.

>He bit his lip in nervousness and looked at the hallway that led down to where Kai was kept captive. He has to go check and make sure he was still inside. It'd be bad if he managed to somehow get into this house, much less outside. His heart began beating rapidly and he forced himself to walk towards said hallway.


-! Whoa!

>However, just as he turned the corner, he nearly crashed into the well-dressed girl carrying the youngest of the Forsyth family on her shoulder. He doesn't topple over or but he instinctively reached out to hold the wall as July stumbled back with Grace on hand. Once he caught his balance, he looked down to see the familiar pink-haired girl who was apparently more persistent than she led on to be.

July?! What's going on?! What-

>Wait. There were some things strange about this picture. One: Why was July still here? Two: Why is she carrying Grace? Three: What were they doing in the hall?! From the fearful and out-of-breath look on her face, he quickly concluded what they both ended up doing, to which, he stared back in awe at the irresponsibility that the two managed to carry out in one night.

>But right now wasn't the time for him to lecture. He had to hold out and keep Kai contained in his room until Grace and Kai's parents came down to reapply the runes to his door. His face hardened and he glared down at the two girls before him, both of whom seemed to be confused as well.

Attic! Now! Tell her parents to come down here as quick as possible and find some place safe with Grace!

>He barked out orders to the two of them like a drill sergeant. July either had the choice to run away or leave Shiro and company with whatever the hell was in that room. He hurriedly walked past the two of them as he began pulling something out of his pocket.

Don't look back, just go! I'll be fine!

>With the situation now changed, he had no choice but to yell at the both of them to get them into gear. Now he just hopes that they would both actually listen to him before things get even more out of hand. If he predicted correctly, then the both of them had made the grave mistake of removing the runes off of Kai's door and leaving it open for him to roam freely. If that were the case, then he'd have to be prepared.

>He pushed the mask onto his face and strapped it around his head as comfortably as he could make it, blocking his right eye from viewing and making his left the sole information processor. Most would be correct in the fact that this kind of thing is a huge disadvantage in a battle due to one gaining a blind spot, but only idiots don't realize that they have an obvious one before them. Besides that, the mask made him calmer, a mentality that's crucial when in a fight. He doesn't know why, but he feels this mask is necessary when he engages a fight that utilizes his demon blood.

>With said mask securely on, he took a deep breath and slowed his hurried walking down the hall, keeping quiet as possible while he listened to the surroundings for any instance of claws tapping against the walls, floor, or ceiling. He blinked once, and the sclera of his left eye turned completely black, save for his now red pupil. Soon, four long tails protruded from his lower back, tearing right through the fabric and leaving a large hole in it. Because of the enclosed space, he can't use them to their full extent, so he has to be careful if he wants to subdue Kai.

>With his demon blood ready, he stopped just several feet away from the room Kai was held in and waited. He waited for the werewolf whose entire entity should not be made known by the public to attack the bastard child whose mere existence would have those capable of killing him attempt to take his head.

Grace Forsyth!uvadBiRdiE 869364

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>A high squeal sounds out as Grace is swept into Julie's arms and carted off. This wasn't what was supposed to happen! This wasn't good!
No, no, don't run away--!
>She kicks and flails in the teen's grasp. She wasn't anywhere near strong enough to squirm out of her grip, but she could still be troublesome.
You're gonna scare him! Put me down, put me down!

>Why wasn't he out here earlier?!
>she shouts, trying to get him to come rescue her, but it's all she can manage before she screams in terror.


The Werewolf!uvadBiRdiE 869398

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>At first, he was surprised to see the door open. He thought it was a test; if he stayed there, would they give him something? Would they let him run around the house?
>Then he saw her. Through the haze of pain, he could not recall her name, but he remembered what she was like. Irritating. Pushing him. He ran when they first met.

>Her first mistake was breaking eye contact. In that moment, the beast's fur bristled.

>Her second was grabbing Grace.

>She catches the beast by surprise, gaining a head start as she dashes through the hallway. The hulking mass of rippling muscle barks once, baring its maw of yellow teeth, and charges after her. Its claws, cracked and filed from the concrete floor, provide enough of a grip on the carpet that it doesn't fall right over. It still has trouble making it around one of the turns, crashing into the wall hard enough to make a hole before it regains its footing and resumes the chase.

>It lost sight of her when turning the corner and was instead greeted by a grotesque, masked figure. The beast, running on all fours, pounces on the figure. Hundreds of pounds of magically-infused muscle pin Shiro to the ground. It parts its jaws to growl at the half-demon, spittle and foam dripping onto his face as it tries to comprehend exactly who this was.

The hell's going on down here--!

>A voice from upstairs knocks the werewolf out of its thoughts. Adrenaline rushed through its system. The voice was bad. He was in trouble. He did bad. He was not supposed to be out of the room.

>With another snarl, the monster rears back, and swipes with a paw as big as a dinner plate at Shiro's face. His claws stay out of the way. He leaps off, covering a massive distance, and lands just behind the fleeing girl.

>There, there she was, holding his kin. He rises from all fours onto two unsteady feet. Seven and a half feet tall, eight counting the ears that were currently folded back. A long, bristly tail, held high. Muscles that showcased their mass despite the ragged fur carpeting them. Beady red eyes, focused on his target.

>He moves with supernatural speed, stepping around the girl to stop her. The beast stares, a low growl rising from the depths of his throat.
This post was edited by its author on .

July!Jiang0l2K. 869448

File: 1419132973503.gif (409.57 KB, 500x267, Noragami-image-noragami-367099…)

She wasn't going to listen. Screw that. If he wanted to die, well, she couldn't carry him and Grace, and she had way more reasons to protect someone else's future heir than somebody who was gonna be a problem in the future no matter how much they tried to redeem themselves.

Too busy to listen to the girl's complaints, her eyes locked on the closest door, the teenager is only three... two...


Shooting him a look full of terror and indignation at just how unfair magic was, the girl considers her options, and only finds one.

As much as she hated the idea, as much as she really didn't want to do it, she was going to have to fight this thing.

Twisting around, she tosses Grace onto the couch as far away from the monster as possible before planting herself between him and the heir to the Forsyth crest, and in the same motion, snatches up and smashes a small end table across his head, one of the legs breaking off in her hand. She couldn't possibly hope to run from this thing, so taking up a loose defensive stance just out of his reach, waits for the inevitable enraged reaction.

"Come on you big, dumb... Dumb!"

This was going to end poorly for her, but at least Grace would be alright.

Shiro Yamada!MaraKrYP7s 869487

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>It seems that Shiro wasn't ready enough. He saw the black mass of fur round the corner to see him with his mask on. His eye had a split second to register exactly what was going on, but even then, it still couldn't keep up what was happening. Before he knew it, he was tackled and forced onto the ground by the dark werewolf. Shiro let out a cry of pain as he struggled under its grasp and tried to pull his arms from the thing, but all he got instead was spit and saliva on his face.

Kai! Calm down, Kai!

>Unfortunately for him, the mask made his voice more muffled and incoherent, he doubts that Kai could even hear him calling his name. Though, he thought for sure that the white hair would have given some sort of hint towards who he was, but apparently it didn't. But, he did hear the sound of his parents yelling from the attic. They're going down to check now! He needs to hold out until they get here!

Mr. Forsyth! Hurry up and-

>And it seems like Kai wasn't done with him, for Shiro had suddenly got five across the face. Miraculously, he was barely scratched by the damn thing's claws, but he was still left in quite a daze. His vision was blurred and all that he could hear was a ringing sound in his ears as the beast walked over him and down the hall to where Grace and July were.


>He laid on the floor of the Forsyth family's home as his left eye's vision slowly returned to him. Eventually, the ringing in his ear also stopped, but what followed was the initial pain that he was supposed to feel earlier. The side of his head stung and he grimaced in pain as he lifted a hand to the spot where Kai slapped. He felt a warm fluid as he touched his head, and lifted his hand up to see that it was a gross combination of the wolf's spit and his own blood. Shiro thought for sure that a slap like that would break his neck, but Kai isn't as strong as he seems to be.

>He lifted himself from the floor and unzipped the opening that would let his mouth breathe in the cold air of the house. Even if this thing was useful to him, shit gets unnaturally stuffy. He spotted a dog biscuit that had supposedly come from Kai's room, and turned around to see that July, against his own words, decided to not run to the attic and try to fight off the damn thing. Either this girl has balls or she's that stupid to rely purely on instinct to survive something like this. Kai doesn't look like he has Grace with her, so it's safe to assume that she's somewhere else and not in the range of Kai's arms. Looks like he has to divert his attention from July if he wants her to be safe. And from the size of that beast, he doubts a running start would be enough to take him down.

>Shiro stood up as one of his tails wrapped around the dog biscuit he saw on the floor and lifted it. Two of his other tails embedded themselves into both of the walls on his side and secured themselves as tightly as possible. Once he was certain they wouldn't break loose, he took a step forward and flung it right towards Kai's back, just after Shiro yelled out to him in the all-too-familiar voice,

Hey, Kai!

>Immediately afterwards, he ran backwards as fast and as far as he could, stretching the tails from his lower back and effectively turning himself into a human slingshot. Just as soon as the treat bounced upwards from the back of Kai's head and forced him to draw his attention to Shiro, he lifted his feet from the floor and slung himself across the hall while his tails disconnected from the walls and trailed behind him.

>He didn't plan on the dog treat somehow flying just in between the two of them before impact, but he had to make the best of this situation. Once he got close enough to Kai, both of his legs snapped forward and planted two solid kicks reinforced with momentum onto Kai's head, crushing said biscuit in between the two of them.

Eat this!

>Once he made impact, his body fell to the floor, but his tails stretched outwards and prevent Shiro from landing onto the ground and causing more minor damage on his body. He was now standing back upright and prepared to take on Kai again, but not before turning a glare over to July, who was watching the entire thing.

>His black eye widened and looked behind her to see that Grace was still within the vicinity as well, who also saw the entire thing. Why were they still here?! Why did it have to be July who was here?! He hoped that the Forsyths knew of some memory wiping spells, or this could be trouble for all of them!

What are you doing?! Take Grace and run before he recovers!

The Werewolf!uvadBiRdiE 869488

File: 1419142589044.jpg (143.84 KB, 593x720, werewolf_by_preilly-d5lp70a.jp…)

No, stop! You're hurting him!
>Even from where she was flung on the couch, the youngest Forsyth was screaming, tears streaming down her face as she watched what was going on. The werewolf could hear two sets of feet storming down the staircase, coming right towards them.
>The table splinters into pieces, and through the fur, it's hard to tell if it cut or even bruised him, but he seems unaffected. If anything, that, and the act of tossing his kin aside like some sort of doll, made him even angrier.
>He rears back, preparing to claw across her face--
>--only to cry out in surprise as he's struck by a flying kick. The werething actually stumbles, stars in his vision.

>He was being hurt by friends. Were they friends? No, they were attackers. Grace was still in danger. He was in danger. Fog clouds his vision and the haze of pain settles fully over his mind. It hurt, he had to get away, he had to.

>He regains his footing, shakes his head, and looks up.

Let it fly true--Nauthiz!

>From the bottom stair, the head of the Forsyth family, a lithe redhead with rumpled clothing, flings a silver letter opener across the living room with deadly accuracy.

>The werewolf panics. In an attempt to shield himself, he swipes at the girl in front of him, trying to drag her closer, but all he does is open a long, jagged gash across her dress and through her flesh, and throw her aside. The letter opener buries itself into his shoulder.

>He can hear his mom screaming. His dad--no, the man who attacked him, his attacker, his enemy, rushing towards him. Grace a sobbing mess. The quickening thump-thump-thump of a panicking heart. His friend. All in the span of a few seconds.

>Silver still stuck in the thick muscle, the wild animal turns tail, and flees through the front door on all fours. He runs across the dirt driveway, through the apple trees, further into the city, leaving behind a trail of blood.


File: 1419148157683.png (223.24 KB, 358x490, Classy.png)

Thursday, November 6th, Just after 5:20ish PM
Behind a tree on the Forsyth Property
>Taliesin had actually been in the area as well, arriving just a bit before July, but purposefully keeping her distance, especially so when she saw the other girl standing on the doorstep.

>Shes not sure why July is there, or why she seems to be let in so easily either, but as much as she wants to say hi to Grace as well, she knows she's not supposed to be here.

>Mainly because she's actually supposed to be at the dance, not that she cares much for it. Or this particular dress, which...shows off a lot more skin than she'd be comfortable with around most of her fellow students. Sure it still fits, unlike a lot of her old dresses that she actually liked, but if anything its more of a fancy dinner party sort of dress than anything.

>Not that its suited for sneaking around someone's farmhouse either, but the fact that Kai was acting so strangely about things was still bugging her. The fact that it felt like he was lying to her just made it worse.

>And so she made up a bit of a lie...well, maybe just a sort of lie of her own, to her parents...and well, maybe she'll swing by the dance for a moment or two if she has time, just to make it not actually a lie...but something was definitely going on with Kai, or his family at least, and she can't just ignore the fact that one of her friends might be wrapped up in some sort of trouble...at least without even trying to do something about it.

>...Whic means, that while July (Does she have something to do with it? Kai was being friendly with her, well for Kai anyways, and she's pretty sure the other girl was sort of interested in him...even if meeting up secretly like that was well, quite scandalous. Was her asking Kai if he was going to the dance just a cover? ...They're both way too young for stuff like that though...even if most of her friends were already talking about that sort of stuff, and she swears a lot of the characters in some of the games Rhiannon plays can't be much older than Kai and Julie....

>...Still, this is Kai. It's...got to be something else right? Maybe July is here for some other reason? Trying one last shot at getting him to go to the dance with her, or something?

>...Anyways, thats why she's crouched down, slowly creeping her way towards one of the windows on the side of the house, while hoping she doesn't get the stupid thing too dirty. She'd rather wear something like she wears for exercising, but there's no way that'd fly with her parents as far as dances go.

"I swear Kai, you better not just be staying home to sneak into wherever your parents stashed all the candy...."



File: 1419150902771.jpg (Spoiler Image,687.78 KB, 1366x768, Erza_changes_to_Black_Wing_Arm…)

>It is sooo boring, that and its not like its really comfortable at all trying to not draw attention in this dress.

>What is taking Julie so long anyways? Kai or his parents should have sent her on her way already right? Or Kai and her should be out by now if they were actually going to the dance.

>She's considering just knocking on the door herself, when she hears what sounds like things crashing around and shouting. Its a bit hard to tell anything for sure, but she ducks down reflexively in the hopes that if anyone is heading out that they won't spot her.

>And then a vaguely humanoid figure bursts out of the house and rushes off, too quickly to really get a good look at its features.

>...She feels a bit torn on whether to follow the wounded seeming figure or to check and see if everyone is okay.

>...There's something really familiar about the way they bolted though, and sure they seemed to be running really oddly, but she swears she saw the glint of metal sticking out of the figure's shoulder area, so perhaps they were just curling up a bit in pain?

>...She can't imagine anyone being able to just break into the Forsyth's home...and whoever that was, they were bigger than July, and fleeing instead of staying to fight.

>...She wants to believe its just a burglar, or something, but well, with Kai acting weird and the Forsyth's being practitioners of a particularly old branch of magic...that honestly she's not exactly sure what its capable of...

>Well, she can't risk that her bad feeling isn't right, especially as its headed towards town. Fast.

>...The girl pauses and grimaces as she realizes something. THere's really only two ways she even has a chance of catching up, and she hates both of those options so much. Neither of them are really built for taking hits as well, and well, she's pretty sure they covered her a lot better before her growth spurt.

>...Still...as much as it draws the eyes, she'd like to at least be out of the reach of the wounded figure until she can get a better look at him and figure out if it is really Kai or not. Though with that sort of speed, it's not like it could be anyone 'normal'.

>...Best to get this over with before he can get too far though. Letting him get to the city is just asking for pretty much every sort of trouble possible. And so with a sigh she pulls a card out of a pouch in her purse before holding it out in front of her and channeling prana through it.

"...Rider Card...In-stall!"

>And so, with a glowing light as the card begins to float and then fly towards her chest, and seeming to almost meld with her as it makes contact, her clothes change into a completely different looking outfit, like something out of one of those weird Japanese shows that's on TV sometimes.

>...Really, the only upsides of the Rider Card as far as she's concerned is that its darkly colored...and the fact that it has usable wings.

>...Oh, well, also the speed of them. Which is what she's counting on as she launches herself upwards into the air and then dives forwards as she tries to catch up with the fleeing creature.

>...Not that she's close enough yet to even really call out to him properly, but maybe soon, if he doesn't start running even quicker if he notices her and her giant batlike wings before she can catch up.

July!Jiang0l2K. 870179


She wasn't a coward! She was going to stand and fight, not get torn to pieces while she ran away cr-

Flying across the room from the incredible force of the seemingly unplanned swipe, the girl smashes into the wall with an audible CRACK, shattered drywall and dust showering down, and an alarmingly large puddle of blood rapidly growing under her.

She wasn't going anywhere.

Shiro Yamada!MaraKrYP7s 870644

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>His attention quickly turned back to Kai, preparing for the next attack that would come his way once the werewolf recovers from the kick that he delivered to his head. He didn't ever remember him being this weak before. But that only means bad things once Kai runs out and under the full moon. He needed to take advantage of the wolf's weakened state and try to knock it out cold before it could do any more damage.

>But just as it was about to attack, the voice of the Head of the Forsyth house reached his ears, and suddenly, a silver item was slung and embedded into the wolf's flesh. He was injured now! That would definitely reduce his strength. He turned his masked face to the man that could possibly save them all before things go haywire. He felt somewhat relieved to see that someone capable of doing something about this was now in the room, as shown by his sclera turning white. All Shiro had to do now was distract the wolf long enough for Mr. Forsyth to-


>His vision quickly flashed back towards the source of the sound, only to see that the one innocent girl who was not supposed to be here ended up being the victim of this attack instead of everyone else. His eyes widened in shock as he saw the puddle of blood form from under her all the while the two women of the Forsyth manor were both screaming and crying as humanely as possible.

>Due to his shocked state, he it took him a while to realize that the dark werewolf that was supposed to not be outside was, unfortunately, outside.


>He looked back at July, then at the two parents who barely had any time to help keep Kai from leaving the house. He turned back to the spot where Kai was, then spotted the trail of blood on the floor, leading outside and through the apple trees leading right towards Junction City.

Damn it! I'll go get Kai! Take care of Grace and July, hurry!

>And in his panicked state, he sprinted outside as fast as his legs could carry him, following the trail of blood that was left from the werewolf and pulling his hood up over his head to conceal his identity. He can't let a beast like that get into the city! God knows what the people will think, or worse, what the Mages will do!

>As though he were a magician himself, he heard the sound of the leaves of the trees rustling and looked up to see a figure silhouetted by the moonlight in the sky, flying, and then diving in the same direction Kai was fleeing.

My big.. god damned.. mouth!

>He shouted at the top of his lungs in between panting. As though he didn't need any more stress in his life, now there was something that was going right to Kai! He's afraid of whatever that person would do before he got to him. He could feel his lungs burning and his legs becoming extremely sore from all the sprinting he's doing just to try and catch up with a monster who's much faster than he and a Mage that's literally flying.

>With no other option left, his eye turned black and red once again while the same long tails from before sprouted from his back. His sprinting on the ground then became long strides as Shiro had begun leaping forward, covering a greater distance than sprinting and catching up with the silhouetted mage and the fleeing werewolf. He's not going to let them get Kai first! Only over his dead body will they be able to take his life!

The Forsyths!uvadBiRdiE 870666

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>The head of the family himself is shaken up by the events. Kenneth looked even paler than usual, as though he'd pass out at any moment. His son breaking out of his house, a Jiang child bleeding out in their wall, his daughter traumatized, a half-demon racing through a town full of mages...!
>A sudden elbow to his side jolts him out of his panic. A sharp glare from his wife before she rushes off reminds him that this isn't the time to freak out. Shaking his head, he puts all the confidence he has in Kai's strange friend, rushes over to his daughter, and hugs her tight.

Shhhh, Gracie, it's alright...
Th-they hurt him, you hurt him! Why'd you do that, Daddy? Why did he hurt Julie?! Why!

>Grace bangs her little fists against her father's chest. Her protests peter out into hiccuping cries and her hands clutch the fabric of her father's shirt.

Everybody will be okay, hun, I promise. I just need you to do something very important for me, and you're the only one who can do it, because you're the bravest of all of us.

>Grace whimpers an unintelligible response. At least she was listening.

I need you to go up in your room. Molly's hiding in there right now. She's not listening to me, so you're the only one that can make her feel better. Do you think you can stay upstairs and help Molly be brave?

>She nods, and chokes out a "yeah". Kenneth gives her a tight squeeze and kisses her forehead before she runs off, drying her eyes.

>Suzuki, meanwhile, returns from a hallway closet, carrying a thick first-aid kit, and sits down beside the Jiang child.

... I got called out the other day because a horse missed a jump and sliced its belly open on a broken metal rail... this is even worse...

>Kenneth, fishing in his pockets for his cell phone, does his best not to look at the mess.

St-stop reminiscing about work and make sure she doesn't die!

I'm a vet, not a magus!

I'm not asking you to be one! J-just...
>Something smooth, metallic. Kenneth pulls it out of his pocket to find it's not his phone--it's a lighter.
>He pulls out a cigarette, then, finally, his phone.
... keep her alive til I can get someone over here...

The Werewolf!uvadBiRdiE 870683

File: 1419404637523.jpg (140.66 KB, 633x800, http___kevinbeacon_wordpress_c…)

>The injured beast doesn't stop. He makes it down the dirt path to the empty main road. Claws scratching against the asphalt, he legs it across and into a yard abandoned long ago by its owners, overgrown with ivy and weeds. The neighborhood dogs go wild at the werewolf's mere scent, baying and howling.

>Not safe.

>He leaps over a fence and lands without difficulty, even with the letter opener buried in the muscle of his shoulder. Back on the main road. Where now? Where could he go? They were chasing him. He needed to hide and recover.


>The werewolf, still on all fours, changes direction mid-step and rushes down the street. The trail of blood follows right behind. He doesn't slow til he reaches the huge park. Swingset, playground, basketball court, wide muddy fields, open on two sides, fenced and adjacent to neighborhoods on the other two sides.

>He skids to a stop in the woodchips of the main playground, kicking up dirt and dust in his wake. The barking chorus mostly faded by now, he has a moment to relax before they catch up--and he's far enough from the houses that nobody can see him.

>Kai reaches back to grab the silver letter opener. An audible hiss sounds as it makes contact with his pawpads. With a snarl, he endures the pain, and yanks it out, tossing it across the playground. His hand and shoulder burn from the cursed metal, but the cool night air soothes them.

>He looks up to the sky out of habit. Stars, no clouds, airplanes, and--

>He freezes.

>The full moon.

>Ever since he started growing, he'd been kept inside The Room on full moons. He hadn't had pure exposure like this in years. The air ruffling his fur, the starlight shining on his wounds, and, most of all, the rays of the moon empowering the very magic essence he was made of.

>The beast's pupils shrink til they're pinpricks in pools of red. Bones crack in the previously-silent night, and an inhuman growl comes from the thing. He snarls; he grows. Every muscle bulges, his legs stretch, his teeth lengthen, his wounds heal over instantly.

>He couldn't remember being chased. He couldn't remember being in the room. He couldn't remember his own name. All he knew was the present moment, and right now, he was hungry.


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>The batwinged figure is going too fast to even pay much attention to what was happening behind her, actually going at a speed that seems like it is gaining on Kai.

>In fact, the winged figure actually seems to overshoot the werewolf as he skids to a stop in the middle of the park.

>She's just glad that they haven't been spotted yet, it probably helps that its getting a bit late, and well, Homecoming is drawing a lot of attention with people their age as well.

>Her eyes widen as she sees the creature more clearly, as well as the effects the moon seems to have on it....him.

>Some sort of curse? Some sort of runic magic gone awry, not that she sees any signs of runes on the figure below...

>...She just prays she's not too late, or that someone doesn't spot them. She's pretty sure her Berserker card is one of the few that might even be much of a match for something like this, not that she's really had much chance to actually test them out against live opponents...especially not against something like that...

>Still, she can't risk using that one, not with the fact that at least someone has to keep their head on straight here. Its not like he should be able to reach her from here, right?

>Still, she can't really imagine anyone but Kai running out like that, even though its just about as hard to face the fact that the blood that's trailing off of him isn't just from his own wound.

"Kai? Please tell me that's you. It's Tallie, remember? I just need you to try and calm down a little, okay? I'm not going to try to hurt you, so just talk to me, okay? Or...well, bark once for yes, and twice for no at least?"

>The girl pauses for a moment, and then continues as if more to convince herself than anything else.

"It'll be okay, Kai, I'm sure we can figure out some way to undo whatever....this...is. But you've got to help me figure out whats happened to you, and that means you have to calm down and tell me what happened."

>If thats even him, or he still has any hold over his own self...since the Kai she knows is the type to run from trouble, instead of lashing out at it.

Shiro Yamada!MaraKrYP7s 870703

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Trees upon trees upon trees. That was all Shiro could see as he followed the trail of blood. But he feels that he's made a lot of progress, despite his muscles still screaming in pain for being used in such a way that's not human He looked up to see that the flying figure was now gone, leaving just the night sky that shone the bright full moon onto the Earth. Wherever they are, he just hopes that they're not anywhere near Kai.

>The blood trail that he was following closely stopped just in front of the fence that separated the forest from the main road that led to Junction City. Without much difficulty, he jumped over the fence as well. However, with the sudden stop from how fast he was going, he rolled along the ground and landed just several feet ahead of where Kai stopped.

>By the time he was done, his muscles felt like they were going to tear at any given moment. His lungs were on fire and his throat was parched dry from all that heavy breathing. He wouldn't be surprised now if he suddenly produced cotton from his mouth. He had to take a break from all that running and assess the current situation now.

>Judging from the fact that there wasn't any blood he was laying on now, Kai must have shifted directions and headed to some place else. Sure enough, the blood trail that he jumped over did lead away from the original path he was taking. But now that leaves that figure he saw earlier. Who was that even? There's no way it could be just some passerby, that's way too coincidental. They must have been waiting for something to happen, or it was some sort of Mage out on patrol from the sky. Either way, whoever they are, both them and Kai are in for heaps of trouble if this continues.

>It doesn't help now that Kai is now fully exposed under the full moon after so long. Shiro's almost afraid to even go confront the guy now that that's in mind. But he has a best friend to save, along with any innocent bystanders that are, for whatever reason, still outside at this time. The first person that comes to mind is Motor due to the fact that the stomachache from earlier had returned to cast unnecessary pain onto his stomach yet again.

>But even though it was a stomachache, it couldn't compare to the pain that Kai left on his head when he smacked in back at his house. He swears the guy caused a fracture or two somewhere on his skull, but he's not about to check yet.

>Shiro finally stood up from his break and clutched his stomach as he headed over to the spot where Kai's blood trail took a different direction. His muscles still ache and he was just short of regaining his breath, but it was enough for him to regain the energy he needs to at least make the rest of the path to Kai. Conveniently, the pain from his abdomen finally subsided and he took several deep breaths to get the oxygen his lung needs into them.

>Almost reluctantly, he resumed his cat-and-mouse chase with Kai and followed the blood trail once again.

>By the time he had caught up to the two, the figure was waiting in the sky like they were trying to talk to him. Meanwhile, it looks like Kai was just.. standing in place. But as Shiro ran closer and closer, he got a better look at Kai and realized that he looked frighteningly large. Compared to the size he was back at his own home, he was much bigger than when he last saw him. This does not bode well for him or that person flying in the sky at all.

>Shiro doubts that he can even take on Kai now that he looks about as ripped as those body builders he's seen on TV. And he doubts that anyone can even attempt to subdue him at this point, not even that person that was high in the sky. But what can he do now that he knows this? Until he thinks up of some sort of plan, he has no choice but to try and draw the werewolf's attention away from everything else and hold out until the moon sets or Mr. Forsyth can take him back. Perhaps he could try and lead him to a place where the moon's light wouldn't shine onto them.


>He yelled out to the figure in the sky as he ran closer and closer to them. However, due to his dark clothes, the only barely noticeable thing that Tallie could possibly see from her viewpoint were four red tails glowing dimly and twitching in the darkness. Hopefully, unlike the last person that he yelled at, this one would actually listen to him for once in his life.

>Due to not having anything prepared on him before he decided to reuse the same trick from earlier. As he sprinted towards Kai, one of his tails picked up a rock about the size of an eraser and clenched it tightly in its grasp. Soon, Shiro stomped his foot on the ground and slid forward while his body arced downwards, making his tail throw the eraser-sized rock like it were a baseball, heading straight towards Kai.

>He was several meters away from where Tallie and Kai were, but the rock still manages to hit its mark and hit the wolf just in between the eyes. Lucky shot on Shiro's end, actually. Once he was certain he garnered the dog's attention, he turned tail and sprinted in the opposite direction, heading back to where the Forsyth's home was and attempting to lead him away from the City.

The Werewolf!uvadBiRdiE 870712

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>He heard a voice. They were saying words, some familiar--Kai, Tallie, please--others foreign and without meaning. He sniffs the air, jaws parted to catch the scent just right. They were... above him? He looks up. Some sort of figure in the air that absolutely reeked with magic, like it covered their entire form.

>He bares his teeth and takes one, two steps back, claws digging into the wood chips, tail held high to show that he's still the dominant one h