2013-10-11 - It wasn't what I wanted after all...

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It wasn't what I wanted after all...

Puella Magi Eri Shimanouchi defeats a Witch cursing the Ohtori Academy library... and encounters her first Grief Seed poacher, in a tense and emotional standoff.

Warning: Some foul language is used.


Eri Shimanouchi, Sakuyo Izumi


Ohtori Academy, Library (and environs)

OOC - IC Date:

10/11/2013 - 10/02/2013

Eri Shimanouchi had only defeated her first witch the other day, and nearly died for it. This one she was having better luck with. It started the same as before. A student with a witch's mark, a game of hot and cold with her soul gem. A surreal world of nonsense words. Where books where everywhere, but none of it made sense. Wormlike servants and familiars with vaguely human faces traipsing across images of human suffering. And then, in the center of the labyrinth, the witch. She might have had time to even take a picture of it with her camera phone for Kumi because.. it was vaguely moth like. Except upon its torso was an ever-shifting book which showed images of suffering rather than words which made sense. From its insectile legs it wielded objects that looked akin to letter openers, and thrown just as easily and sharply as any knives.

It was a running fight, where it flung some sort of dust all over her, which caused her to light up with a luminescence which drove all the servants of the labyrinth crazy. Unlike the last fight, she dismantled it cautiously. She had her friends clean off the phosphorescent dust, and eventually it ended with her vine-like whip wrapping around the creatures wings, its thorns extending to massive size to impale it from every direction.

It dissolved into a yellow smoke, there were some distortions, where the world turned to water color, and then the barrier collapsed entirely. She was back in the library, just past closing time. A librarian was slumped over some books that she'd been mutilating. She'd almost certainly be horrified when she awakened.

At that point Eri picked up the grief seed, which had an emblem upon it similar to a book with a pin through it. It made her feel... rather good about herself, "Well, that was... a little easier." Considering she'd nearly died during her first fight with a witch the other night, and had to be saved by Kumi.. that was a big boost to her confidence. She pockets the seed at this point, and starts walking towards the window, where she would simply leap out into the night if given the oppurtunity...


Sakuyo Izumi, princess of the Izumi-gumi, emerges from behind one of the library bookshelves, giving a light golf-clap. She's not clad in her normal street fashion, but in what is hard to mistake for anything but a Puella Magi costume, complete with a mint-colored sapphire binding her collar. "Good work. Shimanouchi-san, wan'n it?" She folds her arms, leaning against the side of the shelf. "You musta made the deal recently. I haven't seen you around with the little rat. Well, sorry about that," she says, waving a hand to the side. "I really am. I was gonna take this one, but I felt somebody beat me to it. So I'm just gonna have to take the Seed. It ain't personal or nothin'. But you're gonna hand it over."

Especially when she viewed who it was. While Eri made few to no assumptions, it wasn't much of a stretch to think that at least half of what they said about Sakuyo Izumi was true. What surprised her even more, was the instant recognition, as she paled a few shades, her breath catching in her throat. This was the last thing she needed, a Puella Magi who was also a Yakuza princess knowing /exactly/ whom she was..

The last thing her family needed.

She starts in a suddenly shaken voice, "I don't want any trouble. I don't want to fight any of our kind or hurt anybody. Please.." She states in a very plaintive tone, almost begging, "...I'd prefer we work together. Less danger, less magic used per fight, fewer grief seeds needed to support the group."

She takes a deep breath, calming notably, but there was still a hint of desperation, "It's just.. I need this one, I'm very new, that was only my second witch. I fight a lot of familiars and other creatures and I use a lot of my magic up very quickly."

Could the look in Sakuyo's eyes be sympathy? Maybe... probably pity, if anything, right? Maybe nothing at all.

"Believe it or not, I don't want to hurt anybody neither," Sakuyo says, taking a step forward. "If you're new, I'll give you a hint. I don't know if you've noticed, but Witches don't split when you gang up on 'em. Teaming up means somebody gets the Seed and somebody doesn't. Or you're both sucking on a tap built for one."

"We all do a lot of fighting, and we all need 'em. Don't use up any more. You just fought and you're tired. Do the smart thing and hand it over easy."

Eri doesn't see it, or if she does.. she doesn't realize it. Perhaps she's just bad at reading people. Really bad. She still seems very frightened.

"B-But it's simple d-division. Less power used per witch, so fewer seeds are needed for e-everyone to benefit." But upon Sakuyo's statement on doing the smart thing, she just states, "I-I can't. Please.."

But seeing how scared she looks, it isn't any surprise that the first thing she does is attempt to bolt, by jumping out the open window... Isn't that adorable?

"Kid," Sakuyo begins. Eri bolts.

The next thing Eri senses is Sakuyo tackling her from behind. And then, as she pushes against the air, they're spinning, dizzyingly fast, fast enough to hit the ground rapidly tumbling to disperse the force from Sakuyo disrupting the balance of her jump. On the ground, there's a hand in her pocket, and then it's gone, and Sakuyo is standing over her, holding the Seed up in the air. "Kid," she says, a little louder. "Lissen to me."

That was fast. Eri was not very fast. If anything her magical talents made her rather hardy. But she wasn't any faster or more agile than say, an olympic gymnast. Definitely not so fast that she'd be akin to a superhero. She's tackled, she hits the ground hard. Not hard enough to hurt her very much, more her pride than anything.

But then she looks up, and sees the grief seed she'd just fought so hard to attain in the Yakuza Princess' grasp. There are some tears in her eyes, as she stares at her, "I /am/ listening. I've listened to every word you've said." And then she starts to get up, very slowly, not even making the move to dust herself off. "I wanted to be better than this. I wanted to work with all of you. To be friends. I don't want to fight you.. but I can't let you just.. /take/ what I've fought hard for every time you cross my path!"

She doesn't sound very sure of herself at all, as her vine like whip coils around her hand. "Please don't make me do this... /please/!"

"I said fuckin' lissen!" Sakuyo roars, tightening her grip on the seed and trying to keep herself from cracking it.

"You think you're the first one to come into this game thinkin' you're gonna be pals with everyone? You're not! We all fuckin' started that way, every one of us. So lissen up. You team up with somebody, it don't matter how great a team you are, the Seeds ain't gonna keep pace. They don't hold enough before they're about to hatch again and you gotta toss 'em. This game's rigged against us." She raises her head, looking down her nose at Eri. "Face it, girl: Kyubey fucked you over."

COMBAT: Sakuyo Izumi has used Shut Down! on Eri Shimanouchi.

COMBAT: Sakuyo Izumi has finished attacking.

COMBAT: Eri Shimanouchi narrowly dodges Sakuyo Izumi's Shut Down!, taking 0 Fatigue damage! Eri Shimanouchi is Quipped! Eri Shimanouchi is Taunted!

Eri Shimanouchi winces visibly at her statements, each one hitting her like a brick to the face. Her lip quivers notably. She definitely seems on the verge of more tears, but if anything, she looks slightly more resolute, it may just be a show of bluster though in light of the words "I won't be so /stupid/ as to say that there's another way. Only that I think you're wrong. It's a division problem. Fewer grief seeds are required, if you use less magic per person. I.. I'll find a way."

On the second statement though, she states in a quiet tone, "No, he gave me exactly what I wanted. I /know/ that I'm dead eventually. I know that! I /accepted/ that as part of the package deal. But I don't care... one day I'm going to die. So long as my family gets to go on without me. So long as I do as much good as I can before I go..."

She takes a deep breath, "...I'm not backing down though. If I do this is just going to happen again, and again, until I die. And while I know I'm going to sooner or later." She bites off the words in a loud, acidic tone, "I WANT TO LIVE A LITTLE LONGER FOR THEM!"

COMBAT: Eri Shimanouchi has used Resolute on Sakuyo Izumi.

COMBAT: Eri Shimanouchi has finished attacking.

COMBAT: Sakuyo Izumi fails to brace Eri Shimanouchi's Resolute, taking 0 Fatigue damage! Critical Hit! Sakuyo Izumi is Quipped!

Family... that word stings before any of the rest. Sakuyo clenches her free hand into a fist, just for a moment. Her teeth clench tight; her fist trembles. "Stupid kid," she says, as quiet as a whisper. "Just like me."

She takes a step forward, and though she applies none of her magical speed to it, in an instant she drives a slap across Eri's face with her free hand. "THERE IS NO WAY!" she roars again, her eyes misting up. "I tried! /We/ tried! It's not a fuckin' math problem, it's what /happened/! Don't spit in my face with your sunshine and tell me it's raining, it doesn't /work/!"

COMBAT: Sakuyo Izumi has used What the Five Fingers Said to the Face on Eri Shimanouchi.

COMBAT: Sakuyo Izumi has finished attacking.

COMBAT: Eri Shimanouchi narrowly dodges Sakuyo Izumi's What the Five Fingers Said to the Face, taking 4 Fatigue damage! Eri Shimanouchi is Quipped!

Eri doesn't hear the whispering. Nor the comparison to her. If she did, she might have been shocked senseless.

She definitely notices the incoming slap though. She tries to roll with it, and it stings like the dickens. Her speed wasn't just for show. Her arm reeled back, as if she were about to strike back, but then it goes lax. And she states quietly, "No. I'm not going to fight you. It /can/ work! I have to believe it can! Akemi-senpai says it can says it has! It's just people being people, who break it up over misunderstandings! I just have to find the right people!"

And then she stares right into her eyes and asks just as quietly, "Are you one of them? One of the people who can help me make it work? So we can all live a little longer by helping each other?"

COMBAT: Eri Shimanouchi has used Idealism on Sakuyo Izumi.

COMBAT: Eri Shimanouchi has finished attacking.

COMBAT: Sakuyo Izumi accepts Eri Shimanouchi's Idealism, taking 0 Fatigue damage! Eri Shimanouchi is Psyched!

Eri's endless belief isn't what does it. That just seems to make Sakuyo angrier. It's those eyes, that quiet voice. Maybe it wouldn't work if she had said it louder. Maybe it's the look directly in the eyes.

Just like me.

"I must be getting soft," Sakuyo mutters to herself, holding the Grief Seed forward. She says nothing about it; she just keeps her hand out, and waits for Eri to take it. "Don't get the wrong idea from this," she says. "I'm not lettin' my guard down around anybody. And you /owe/ me for this one."

Eri Shimanouchi just looks at her squarely in the eyes, as Sakuyo hands it forward to her. She reaches out with a single hand, and then with her hand closes Sakuyo's fingers over the grief seed gently, it is obviously not a hostile gesture.

She then states in a quiet voice, with eyes closed, "If you're doing this, then you probably need it more than I do... just..." Her voice sounds like she's begging again, "...promise me you'll never drag my family into this and... we're square."

She is silent for a while, before stating, "I.. just please think on it. I.. can't keep doing this, and I really don't want to fight you. I really would rather work together."

Her shoulder slump as if defeated, she starts to mumble, turning away, "...but I'm gonna have to if you do again. I just can't keep giving it up. I work hard for what I earn, just like how my daddy taught me."

She turns away, and even though she's not showing it, it's obvious she's crying, mumbling even more softly as she wipes a hand across her eyes. "..Just, you have a good night." And then she starts to run, full speed. It isn't a slow walk as some sort of ploy for sympathy, no she's running full tilt.

Sakuyo is stunned. She opens her mouth, but no sound comes out. Being given back the Seed, as if she needed it more, with her acquisitions... being asked to leave her family out of it, as if she would ever...

"Piece of shit kid," she whispers, and a tear falls to the ground below. She turns, raising the Grief Seed to hold before herself, observing the bookish ornament atop it, and begins walking to return to the dormitories.

Once again, she has fought for something, won it, and realized it was not what she wanted after all.

The next morning, a plain brown package has arrived at the Shimanouchi home, addressed to Eri with no return address. Inside, cushioned by packing peanuts, is the Grief Seed, along with a simple note in chickenscratch writing: "I would never hurt your family."