2014-08-25 - Devote More Time To Your Passions

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Title: Devote More Time To Your Passions

Guided by the stars, Nephrite seeks to inflict a Dark Seal on Mai Tokiha. Surprisingly, it's not too difficult. An unqualified success.


Mai Tokiha, Masato Sanjouin


Akihabara Electric Town

OOC - IC Date:

4 March 2014 - 08-25-2014

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Even after a long work shift, Mai's day isn't done. There's supper to make later, certainly, and paperwork to fill out for the next round of medical treatments for Takumi - but now, she has an errand to run in Akihabara. Specifically, the rice cooker and water heater both had parts give out, and she's hoping that repairs will be cheaper than just replacing both appliances. So far, prospects are promising, but she still needs to check a few more shops.

So having changed back into her Ohtori uniform, she's hurrying from one window to the next, hoping to find everything she needs before the shops close for the night. In spite of the time she has left, though, something does catch her eye in one electronics shop.

'Special Sale! 60% off!' The sign, boldly posted below a display of karaoke microphones, offers great temptation. Because aside from that one night out weeks and weeks ago, she hasn't had a chance to sing. Something like that would let her practice on her own, plus there were Takeo's comments... but she's painfully aware of her budget, all the same...

Indecision has her stopped in her tracks, looking at the display, and lost in thought. Just standing as the hour grows inexorably later, wavering over whether to just indulge for once...

<Pose Tracker> Nephrite [Infinity Institute (S)] has posed.

Last night, the sky showed him a familiar face. Not friendly, of course; Nephrite would be hard-pressed to name a single person he is truly friends with. But it is one he has seen before, albeit only once. Before the ill-fated poetry slam.

Mai Tokiha.

Interestingly, he recalled that she was with Mamoru Chiba at the time, another mortal who had been showing up in his life with increasing frequency. Is it pure coincidence that someone so close to him is destined to reach their peak energy so soon? Or were the stars attempting to guide him through a mystery yet unsolved?

Whatever the case, he's here now, with the redhead in his sights. As far as he can tell, she doesn't have a particularly important object on her at the moment, but his celestial advisors rarely led him into an impossible situation. He'll merely have to talk to her a bit, see exactly what her heart craves.

"Quite a bargain, is it not?" the man says after near-silently approaching Mai. "I believe you mentioned being a singer before, if I do not have the wrong girl." And he doesn't, he's sure, but it makes him seem a bit less suspicious if he looks less sure of himself. "Mai Tokiha, correct?"

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Completely lost in thoughts of balancing budgets and French-speaking classmates, Mai is completely surprised when someone speaks up from behind her. She startles easily, and whirls around. In one hand, there's a bag of purchases, half-raised in defense - and then recognition settles in, and she lowers the would-be weapon in embarrassment.

"That's right - Sanjouin-san, wasn't it? I think we met before that poetry slam you organized." Calming down a bit more - because this is actually someone reasonably respectable - Mai lets out a sigh. "And singer might be pushing it a bit - I'm honestly not much more than an enthusiast, but it's one of the few things I get to enjoy."

At least, enjoy sometimes. Work keeps her busy most days, and paying for a karaoke room is affordable but not all the time. Still, for those rare occasions... "It's a good deal, I've just got other things that eat up the budget first. Food and water kind of take priority over music, so as useful as one of these would be..." She sighs.

And then Mai looks over Masato - even without Mamoru here as a buffer, she can't quite resist the urge to comment with a bit of a smirk. "Mind, I suppose it's another story for you - if you're in a mood to sing, you can probably just get access to a concert hall or something, instead of relying on a karaoke microphone."

<Pose Tracker> Nephrite [Infinity Institute (S)] has posed.

"You're far too humble," Nephrite says, beginning the all-too-familiar dance of flattery that led to many a Dark Seal's creation. "Singing, more than any other art, is a universal human experience. The word is not reserved for the lucky few who make it their living. Neither is the talent." Though, he notes bitterly, the latter is not a prerequisite for the former. His brief perusal of popular music had proved that much to him. But, for whatever reason, the targets of his youma typically possessed some level of skill in their chosen field, so he can safely assume Mai has *something* of a pleasant voice.

He shifts his gaze to look more closely at the advertisement they've stopped in front of. Unfortunately, the man doesn't have the best sense of the general population's financial limitations; being able to conjure money on a whim tends to divorce one from that reality. Even he can understand, though, that even with the store giving away the microphone for a fraction of the price, it is still beyond the reach of many a high school student. Especially one that has to buy her own necessities.

He won't let a little thing like that get in the way of his mission, however.

The man returns her smirk, too pleased with his own ingenuity to be irritated by the subtle barb. "I rarely -- if ever -- sing. I find the cello expresses my emotions on a much deeper level, unhindered by words. Besides," here, he aims to catch her eye completely, distracting her from the sale window, "there are limits to what even I can accomplish."

Professional singing is one of such limits. Dark magic is not. While he turns his disarming smile on the redheaded girl, the Shitennou conjures the Dark Crystal in the pocket of his pants. And with the tiniest bending of reality, the store is given a slight change of circumstances. There's now only one microphone left on the rack inside -- and the price is not 60% off now, but 75. Such a bargain would be impossible to overlook, no?

"I would encourage you to devote more time to your passions, Tokiha-san," Nephrite says, looking back towards the store itself now that his changes had taken hold. "The fire of youth does not burn forever. It would be a shame to waste it on the common drudgery of life."

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

There's a flush burning on Mai's face - partly embarrassment, partly frustration. Compliments about her voice are all well and good, but it would be more appreciated if they came from someone who had actually heard her sing. Takeo's French rambling is fresh in her mind, and much more embarrassing. "Thanks - but save that until you've actually heard me sing. Still - the point is to have fun, after all."

The direct gaze is certainly a thing - and she does meet it, if only to make sure he's looking her in the eyes. That subtle admonition is heard, and given a partly apologetic response. "My apologies - I've been around other Ohtori students too much, it seems. The cello does have a nice sound - I've never had the time to pick up any instruments, sadly."

There's an abrupt sense of something awry - impossible to describe. Mai's first thought is 'Orphan', but there's no screams of panic...maybe it's something someone has handled. Maybe not. She makes a mental note to poke around once she's done shopping, if only to make sure, but...for now, it's important to be polite to those with the clout to run an entire major event.

The comment about 'fire of youth', however, gets her to glance to the side. "Maybe not that common, but- oh, hang on." The altered display catches her eye, and she turns to look - another quarter off of the discounted price, and clearly well picked-over from the looks of the display. "...you know what, Sanjouin-san, I think I'll go for it. Sorry to chat and run, but I don't want to miss that kind of a deal." Bowing quickly, she darts into the store to lay claim to the last microphone.

Maybe after supper tonight she can give it a test run. Even without a full karaoke parlor, a chance to unwind and sing is hard to pass up...

<Pose Tracker> Nephrite [Infinity Institute (S)] has posed.

And, just like that, his work here is done.

As Mai bows and hurriedly excuses herself to go buy the microphone, Nephrite can't help the expression that washes over his face -- one that is certainly more Shitennou than Masato. Still, his voice is the same velvety baritone as he says, "It was a pleasure running into you, Tokiha-san." It's dubious whether she can hear it or not. But truly, it doesn't matter. She won't remember meeting him anyway.

With one last glance through the window as he sees her pick up the infected microphone, he turns on his heel and walks leisurely back to his car, parked in a garage not terribly far from the electronics store. That look of menacing smugness stays on his face the whole way, transforming from high-class, verbose Renaissance man into a General of the Dark Kingdom in every aspect other than his clothing.

His future had looked bleak after Sailor Moon's return; but he has a feeling now that things are looking up, after all.