2018-10-07 - Being Strong Together

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Title: Gestures of Goodwill

Mikoto brings an exhausted la Sirene de Diamant food and relieves her from her vigil. They talk. The unfathomable gulf becomes a little more fathomable.


Mikoto Minagi, Nori Ankou


Yamanote High City - Haneda Airport

OOC - IC Date:

2018-10-07 - 2015-05-20

.***************************** Yamanote High City *****************************.
*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+ Haneda Airport +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*
 Built at the juncture of Tama River and Tokyo Bay, Haneda launches its
 planes over the water. Its control towers command a view of a landing strip
 that seems to have ambitions of becoming a bridge across the sea, jutting as
 it does against the bay, surrounded by a rectangle of bright green grass.

 As each of its three terminals was built about a decade apart, they have
 different styles. Terminal 1, deemed 'Big Bird,' is the oldest, and has
 rounded, boxy construction, with an interior similar to an opulent gold-hued
 shopping mall. Terminal 2 features wavy, cylindrical architecture, and its
 mall is sleek silver. Terminal 3, the newest, has a downward-curving roof
 that swoops weightlessly toward the sky, and a more businesslike, modern
 interior. All three feature numerous restaurants and amenities, including
 some oddly traditional-looking eateries, though Terminal 3 has a tendency to
 turn into a ghost town at night.

 One of the busiest airports in the world, Haneda is also one of the most
 orderly and punctual. It handles domestic flights, while its sister outside
 the city, Narita, handles foreign flights. The recently opened Terminal 3,
 however, has taken some international traffic, mostly from Asia. There is a
 lesser-known fourth terminal, as well, that handles VIP traffic away from
 prying eyes.
*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+* Players  +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Nothing is simple.

Hotaru has a vast evil inside of her, and so, for the good of the world, she has to die. If she is not killed, the world will be nothing but ash.

Eri has something scary inside of her, too, but Mikoto loves Eri far too much to let her die. To keep Eri from dying, Mikoto has to feed the girls who became monsters, so that Eri can eat and her Soul Gem will not blacken.

And, Mikoto has...

A hand curls at her chest, grasping at something underneath her shirt. The other holds a bag, styrofoam inside it. There is another, of course, slung over a shoulder, her quintessential black case. The clouds shield the mid-morning sun, threatening rain but only managing light sprinkles here and there. It is as if the world cannot quite manage to cry for Sayaka Miki, as if there has been too much torment and the tears have run dry.

Well. It's not the only thing which isn't crying for her.

Mikoto's eyes are dry enough to catch the movement of two men, cameras about their necks, as she makes her approach to the airport. They chatter amongst themselves, one disbelieving, the other enthusiastic.

She makes an unsettled noise, in the back of her throat. If the thing which was Sayaka feeds, it will become stronger. Perhaps make more of itself - herself.

For an instant guilt roots her and her face blanches as she thinks of all the ones she didn't stop. She shakes her head, she grits her teeth, she pushes it aside. They are not talking like kissed men do. Their movements are not so wrong.


"Hey..." She calls, uncertainty creasing her brow, the words awkward as she tries to talk to strangers. Tries again, louder: "Hey!"

They pause, looking back to her. "Uh, hey," the younger one says. "What can we do for you?"

Mikoto steps up to meet them - to get in front of them. She makes a frustrated noise as she tries to think of how to say it. "Can't go that way," she says. "It's dangerous."

"Don't worry, don't worry," the older one waves her off. "We explore dangerous places all the time! We're old hands at this!"

"Check the cameras, kiddo," the younger one raises his and grins.

She frowns at the ground for a moment before she looks to them again, puffing a breath out through her teeth. "I'm serious!" She tries, though it's clear she's not quite sure how to talk to them. "Go somewhere else."

"Honey, I'm sure if it were serious, the police would be telling me instead of - what, a fourteen-year-old girl?" The younger man waves her off, and moves to step around her, only for Mikoto to catch his wrist in a tight grasp.

She is untransformed; she is still strong. Her eyes sharpen as she growls at him. "Leave."

"H-hey..." He grimaces, pulling back. "What's with that scary look, girl?"

"Oi, forget it," his older companion claps him on the shoulder. "Teenagers are a pain. It can't be helped. Let's get out of here."

His friend shakes his head as they turn to leave, muttering to the other man: "How troublesome..."

"We can go home and edit those photos from Aokigahara," his friend points out, and Mikoto does not bother listening to them any more than that. She watches them until she is sure they won't just double back, and then she turns and keeps on her way.

They almost made it to their vigil-spot; yes, it would have been troublesome.

At least the food she's brought is rei shabu, and won't go cold. Being cold is the whole point.

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

La Sirene de Diamant is not immediately visible as Mikoto crosses towards the wreckage of the terminal - nor even as she moves around the concrete lean-to that was erected, if you can call it that, through some minor maneuvering of rebar and wreckage. It is not exactly a glorified location, but it doesn't stand out, and there are cracks you can peek through to see anyone coming through the obvious routes.

And, of course, there's an excellent view of the sinkhole. The place where...

... Well...

"That was well done," la Sirene says.

Oh, look in the shadow. There she is.

La Sirene is not looking that great. The makeup-mask on her face has, eerily enough, slowly repaired itself - it is not that she reapplied it but that it has been crawling back into place, as if most but not all of the smearing is gone. It probably is disguising the rings round her eyes.

At least she's been able to sit.

Batiste is present. "Ah," he says, looking up from the book he was obviously reading. "... Mikoto... Welcome to our watch."

The two of them look towards the brought food, almost as one.

"Nothing much has happened," la Sirene says, mildly. "A blessing, I suppose. I hope you have rested well." She shifts - her back tensing - but fatigue is visible on her. She is merely somewhat tense, not raising her ire.

"... Is that from a place nearby? Perhaps I will frequent it as I depart, if..." If Mikoto is here to relieve her, not just say hi.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Mikoto was not much help in erecting the disguised shelter they have made for themselves. She, at least, looks more useful now; her eyes are not unfocused from fatigue any more, and her muscles do not tremble as she approaches. It's a wonder what sleep can do.

Even troubled sleep.

She approaches and sees no one; her nostrils flare as she sniffs out where la Sirene could be. Could she have abandoned her post? No - there, the scent of the ocean. Golden eyes turn to find her in the shadows, strangely enough, before she speaks.

It means la Sirene might be able to see, on her face, the brief flash of surprise and confusion as she compliments her. "Thanks," she says, uncertain, as if she expected la Sirene to chastise her instead.

Those eyes scan over her, a frown lining her face. The paint on her face conceals her weariness, perhaps, but it cannot hide the knowledge that she has been standing vigil here.

She blinks in some surprise as she glances to Batiste, because she does not often have occasion to see la Sirene's cousin. "... hi," she says, and it is a guarded and awkward sort of word.

She doesn't miss their attention, but la Sirene offers report, and Mikoto first focuses on business. The other girl is tense as she tells her it is quiet. Mikoto is tense, too. Every inch of her screams mortal peril at being untransformed around an enemy who isn't. God help her, she is trying.

Mikoto glances down at the food. "... not really," she says, after a moment.

But there is a reason it is food from a store, and not food from Mai. She would not give such a precious meal to her enemies, but --

-- la Sirene did try to help her.

"Here." She holds the bag out, to la Sirene, not quite able to look at her. "Go eat. I'll take over."

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"............ hi," Batiste says, before disappearing behind a rock. He, at least, is still afraid of Mikoto, and he, at least, has more energy than la Sirene.

Who blinks slowly.

"... Thank you very much," she says, accepting the bag with both hands. Her fingertouch is cool and has a faintly tingling aftereffect, a bit like touching the plasma-ball at a science museum.

"I am not depriving you, am I?" she says further, but she is already unpacking it and looking at the contents with salivation in her eyes if not her mouth.

"Will it offend you if I eat before I go?"

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Batiste disappears, and there is a pang of regret which stings across Mikoto's face, briefly, a softening of her eyes and a fall of her lips. She is a vicious and feral creature, but she has always been gentle to animals, and it shakes her so much more to see one afraid of her.

She blinks, and her expression tenses again.

Her eyes fall on la Sirene's fingers as the bag passes between them, narrowing slightly. She's cold. Cold, like Eri is these days. How many girls have blood like ice now? It's as if the vicious winter which escalated their conflict has never left. It just moved inside them.

"Don't worry about it," Mikoto says, the words still awkward as she tries not to be so hostile, and it is answer to all three of her statements. She only realises, a moment later, that her enemies may not know her meaning, and she ought to be specific. She grunts, shaking her head. "... won't offend me. Already ate." Besides, she does not say, I brought that for you.

She takes a few steps aside, perches on one of the concrete slabs, hand brushing past a piece of exposed rebar as she swings her case around to lay beside her. Her eyes fall on the sinkhole. That gaze drifts down, for a moment, before she returns it to the horror before them.

It's fine. She's well-trained to witness horror.

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Batiste is, at least, not a wild animal. To the contrary, he's very educated. He's also a Chevalier, and he takes that seriously. And so he also takes Mikoto seriously.

"Then thank you again," la Sirene says, before opening the takeout box and --

Well, it's hidden from view. So it's probably for the best.

"... Don't stare at it for too long," la Sirene suggests. "I started to get dizzy. I don't know what would have happened if Batiste had not been there. Of course, you have to, but I mean... gaze at the sky, or something. Do you have a book?"

Batiste creeps out to offer, "If you'll save my place, you can read mine."

La Sirene eats another third of the meal.

"The others," she says, not looking up. "They got to their homes?"

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Mikoto is hardly one to judge anyone for their eating habits, but she isn't looking at la Sirene in any case.

She watches the sinkhole, a frown creasing her features. There is no one to catch her, of course; her blade cannot offer support in such a fashion. She glances back, as they make their offers.

"Don't read much," she says, after a moment's hesitation, because she is so much more of a wild animal than Batiste is. "I'll be okay."

She shifts her gaze forward again. There is silence for a beat, two, three. "I've been hunting for eight months. I'm used to it." A pause, as breath tickles at parted lips. "... was... used to it."

She quiets, as la Sirene eats, a sorrowful pall draping over her eyes as she keeps her vigil.

Another question. She blinks, with a brief, surprised noise, and glances back again, suspicion in her eyes. Why would la Sirene ask such a thing? But Mikoto frowns, gaze moving aside. "Yeah. Everyone got back."

Tick, tick, tick.

If she is willing to break through and ask questions like that, maybe it's all right for Mikoto to do it, too.

She makes an uncertain noise, humming between closed lips. "... Lera and Utena?" She asks, and she does not meet la Sirene's eyes, uncertainty swimming in hers.

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"As you like," Batiste says. He does not advance, but he does not retreat.

La Sirene purses her lips, and finishes off her food as the silence expands.

"Heh," she says rather than laughs, looking at the inside of the container. "It must seem strange to you. After everything. After all these battles."

She looks up then at the mention of the names. "Yes," she says. "Lera took my car" she has a car? "and took Utena to be patched up. I think she will be well if she can rest for a little while. It is her, in part, that I thought of, when I... said that."

"And Shimanouchi? Kyouko?" la Sirene asks, as she begins to pack the soils together. "... I could see the shock on their faces."

Batiste speaks, a little more firmly now. "Cousin told me everything that... that that woman said. Do you really think that it could be true? It was a... surprise to you as well? It seems so unspeakably cruel. I could not believe to hear it... Until I saw -"

Batiste waves one paw towards the sinkhole and what lays beneath.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Does it seem strange?

Mikoto wants it to be strange. It makes sense if it's strange. It makes sense for there to be an unreachable gulf between them, for there to be untouchable things on both sides.

But la Sirene asks, and Mikoto frowns.

'I, um--I saw what she was doing to you. I tried to step in before she could finish the drain, but... I didn't manage that, y'know?'

'Hello! Are you enjoying the cake?'

'Of course - you're just eating. I'm not looking for a fight either.'

'...Stop you from protecting Eri...? I don't want to hurt Shimanouchi-san. I don't even know her. ...But she's human. Her life matters.'

She makes an unsettled noise, as her hands curl to loose fists in her lap.

It should be strange. It should be strange for her enemies to express concern like that. It should be.

Surprise registers in her eyes as la Sirene casually mentions her car, but she doesn't question it. She grunts, instead. "Lera was bleeding," she says, with all the flat issue of a factual statement. "I could smell it." There was... something which kept the blood in after her wounding. She didn't have time to focus on what Lera did. "Make sure Lera's okay too."

Because while she's sure Lera will see Utena to safety, she's not quite so sure Lera won't kill herself getting there. She does not speak on Utena, because Utena is taken care of, and Mikoto is terribly efficient with her words.

Shimanouchi, she says, and Mikoto's hands tighten, her jaw setting in a line. She knows enough about how people in the city use names by now to know the disregard the last name shows.

"Made sure Eri and Kyouko got back," she answers, shortly. "They're -"

She can't say they're okay. She's not a liar.

"- in safer place." Safer than this, at least.

She does not speak on their shock, because she will not betray their torment to the enemy.

Batiste speaks again, and Mikoto turns her eyes forward, back towards the sinkhole. Her shoulders tremble in knotted tension, for a moment, before she takes a breath. She blinks, and her lashes are damp.

Breathe in, breathe out. "I didn't know." Bitter venom lances through her words as her expression grows intent, staring at a distant point of the wreckage the thing which was Sayaka has wrought. "Didn't know anything."

Her eyes widen as she says it, as if she had not expected the words from her mouth, and she lowers her gaze with an unsettled noise.

"... it's..." There's no volume to her voice, for a moment. She swallows, and finds an even tone again. "... not so strange. Scary things inside girls." There is a beat of silence, another. "I believe it."

She blinks, again, rapidly, once-twice-thrice. "I don't like it."

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

'Make sure Lera's OK too.'

Batiste squeaks, "I will. Be certain of it."

La Sirene watches and listens as Mikoto speaks further. She swallows dryly afterwards. She feels thirsty in a way she doesn't entirely trust. "That is good," she says. "I cannot say I forgive them." She says it mildly, tiredly. "But we will need their help, I suppose."

La Sirene spits on the ground. "Homura Akemi will not help."

La Sirene shifts tone. It is a slightly creaky thing, querulous, obscurely indignant. "The infernal cheek of that miserable little explosion witch. She saved this line for the worst, the cruelest possible time. Why would you ever hide something like that? Already I wished I could follow the Witches nearly as well as - as they did; and this would have made it all the more urgent."

La Sirene raises her hands. "We could have DONE something. The Devices could learn a spell, we could contact a witch. We could play the Luxor game and track them that way. Instead - instead -"

La Sirene deflates slightly.

"You think she is telling the truth?" la Sirene says then, turning her head to look at Mikoto at a slightly oblique angle. "I wonder. I wonder if she is missing something. Like... like if the Witch can enchant a soul gem when it is nearly spent, or something. See, now this is where she has screwed up: Now we have no reason to trust any words that come out of her tea hole. Pfeh!"

"I thought she was going to take her skin off and be Dolor or something," la Sirene trails off, muttering.

Her eyes shut for a moment.

"... I must seem arrogant," she then says, opening her eyes and looking towards Mikoto. La Sirene then pauses, as if awaiting a reply.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

'Mikoto... people are going to be really upset about Mami's death... and it's okay for them to be upset at me. It's okay for them to be angry. So long as they don't want to fight anymore...'

And so Mikoto bows her head, as la Sirene says her piece, and breathes out through grit teeth.

She does not reply, at first.

It might seem as if she isn't listening, perhaps, but her chin tilts back towards la Sirene as she goes on, and if she glances her way, she might notice an ear twitching behind its braid.


She asks a question, and answers it herself, and Mikoto says nothing, because she did not have time to find the words.

She makes a statement, and this time it is followed by enough silence for her to gather her thoughts. "Yeah," she answers, monosyllabic and painfully honest.

And Mikoto is still not looking at la Sirene. She does not want to give her the satisfaction of knowing her eyes are not so dry any more. It may not be as easy to hide, as she moves from one mora to many and the constriction of her throat reveals itself. "Homura's my friend. Did something really important for us."

Who 'us' is, she leaves entirely undefined. The Shepherds, perhaps. (A reasonable assumption, and a wrong one.)

"And Eri's..." Her voice wobbles on the name. There are things she can say, things she cannot say, and things forbidden to her. "... one of three most important people in the world."

She takes a breath, another.

"I get it," she says, and it is hoarse whisper. "It's not fair. I get it. But asking Eri to take care of this, after, what happened..." Her shoulders hunch in, as her hands tighten in her lap. "I know la Sirene doesn't care about Eri, but I do. I love Eri. It's too much, okay? It's too much. Ask - ask Kyouko, or Kimiko..."

I do not want Eri to become something which was once Eri, she does not say.

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o12mh9x4TFU

La Sirene is tired enough that it is no trouble for her to listen to Mikoto. She will probably wonder at herself later but then perhaps this is how social progress is won. She watches Mikoto.

Her lips purse, but she does not speak further beyond dipping her head on the matter of Homura.

She feels words rise in her mind and then her throat - but her throat only faintly expands. Do I need to say this? she thinks, with the gray cotton wool of fatigue. No. I do not need to yell at her. She is barely better off than me. What paths she must walk, I cannot know, la Sirene thinks as she looks at Mikoto.

The feelings come back. The frustration, the helpless anger, when Mami died. They feel faint, like a distant memory.

La Sirene's eyes close.

All of it feels futile now. She had been starting to heal after Mami. Then it was taken away from her, the wound cut open again. She can only remember what Madoka said, the voice weak and echoing.

I wish she hadn't done that, la Sirene thinks, meaning Sayaka and the mantle of leadership. But she did; and now they are where they are.

"I understand," she says. "I will not ask her. Alright?"

La Sirene tips her head forwards again, eyes opening. "But I know this," she says. "We cannot find the Witches... but we have strength. You are a powerful warrior, Mikoto; I am sure you have fought them before. If you can understand their shapes, your weapons can succeed."

"This is... This is some of why I was..." furious, to cover the pain "angry at Homura, even now. She spoke with such certainty."

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

It would make more sense if la Sirene yelled at Mikoto.

She understands, instead, and Mikoto's body shudders with her breath. It hitches, catches in her throat. "Thanks," she says, quietly, and the word is jagged as her heart, pain she is struggling to swallow down where la Sirene can't see.

Mikoto has never been able to hide anything.

Breathe in, breathe out, and Mikoto listens to la Sirene without facing her as she feels moisture drip down her cheeks. There is light sprinkle outside. There are no gaps above her for rain to come through.

"Witches taste like batteries," she says, after long pause. "Body reacts. Hair on end. Knows a predator's nearby." She looks down at her hands, sniffs. "Hard to notice. I've gotten better. Used to being prey now. Can sorta... tell if one's threatening me. But only if it's really close. Don't think I could find it on my own. Always had help, seeking out." Witches are Puella Magi business, after all, and Mikoto would not interfere on her own.

She swallows, and shakes her head. "But I can fight Witches. I'm... different. I don't hesitate." Mikoto raises her eyes to the sinkhole again. "... I'll fight it."

Maybe this time, she thinks, she'll manage to correct her mistake.

If she had just killed Sayaka, this would never have happened.

But even Mikoto, socially ignorant as she is, knows it would be a cruel thing to say, and she holds her peace.

It might seem like she's not going to address the matter of Homura at all, as if she would rather not acknowledge her own feelings and try to reconcile them. And that much is true, certainly, but Mikoto does speak. "Homura's Puella Magi too," she points out, quietly. "Just like Eri and Kyouko and Kimiko. Right?" She thinks she is. She's never seen anything to disprove the notion.

Mikoto thinks of a patch of red spider-lilies, and a plate of cookies, and a pair of worn shoes.

"... Puella Magi aren't happy people, la Sirene. Good things don't happen to them." And there is a weariness to the words, grief and helplessness. "Don't know why Homura didn't tell us. Not gonna guess. But, Homura didn't tell anyone. Didn't ask for help."

She sighs, and her shoulders slump. "That's why... I'm not angry, la Sirene. I... I can't be mad, at someone, for being alone."

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Like batteries.

Huh, la Sirene thinks. She looks at Batiste, who has been quiet otherwise. It makes no sense to her, but she settles back as she puts the garbage into the bag and listens further. Her lips purse and she nods once.

Homura is like the others, la Sirene thinks. "Is she?" la Sirene murmurs, but it is a rhetorical question. Looking at the ground she wonders at the mystery that is Homura Akemi.

Am I just too tired to be angry? she thinks.

Am I forgetting them? Did I give up on Sayaka already...?

Her eyes close.

'Puella Magi aren't happy people, la Sirene. Good things don't happen to them.'

Somewhere deep inside of her she can feel something turning, in tune with her heartbeat...

"Heh," she says then. "Is that so? I do not think that is the case, though I could certainly, given everything, believe ill fortune." Rocking forwards, la Sirene reaches over towards Mikoto. She reaches out - to put a hand, briefly, on her arm.

"You are there, aren't you? For Shimanouchi, and for Kyouko Sakura, too. That is a good thing."

Her touch, peculiarly, isn't cold this time. It isn't warm either - but there isn't the cold there.

"It's funny too," la Sirene says as she draws back her hand and starts with effort to get to her feet. "... Maybe I'll feel better in the evening. But it is hard for me to be angry as well. I just..."

The tone of mystery is rent for a moment. "... I miss Sayaka..."

She turns her head away, away from the Labyrinth's entrance beneath that water.

Sayaka is there, after all. Isn't she? Something of Sayaka, anyway. Something of Sayaka's.

"...I should go," she says, "before I collapse entirely. Thank you for coming here, Mikoto. I..."

La Sirene makes a small noise in her throat and lapses into silence as she did oh-so-recently. Batiste finishes the thought for her, a little apologetically - or at least makes a guess. "We appreciate your support. Hopefully, we won't have to stand against each other any longer... given..."

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

There are fingers against Mikoto's arm, and they are not so wintry-cold, now.

Her breath catches in her throat again as she finally turns tearstained face to see la Sirene, and her eyes are not sharp or cold or hostile any more. The surprise there at her approach cannot mask the sorrow.

She is there for them, la Sirene supposes, and Mikoto grunts affirmation, and nods.

'... I miss Sayaka...'

And though Mikoto does not have any scrap of sadness in her heart for Sayaka Miki, she can hear so plainly the sadness in la Sirene's trailing words. She should not be affected by an enemy's sadness, but she has ever been an empathic beast. She knows she is sad.

"I..." But she cannot say she is sorry Sayaka is dead, because she would kill her herself if she were not. She cannot say she wishes it were different, because if it were different, Eri would be dead or worse. This is why she has been taught never to sympathise with her enemies; because her goals and theirs will always run counter to each other. To care for them only complicates matters, when she must bring them ruin.

She cannot say so many things, and then she runs out of time to say anything at all.

Batiste takes over, and Mikoto looks away. She takes a breath to deny it, and a dark room and a little green firefly-light flood her mind.

She swallows. "Maybe."

Takes a breath. She has figured out what she can say, perhaps. "La Sirene's wounded too. Shouldn't have stayed out so long. But I get why." She is trying to shine down hope like a guiding star, though there is so little left to them. "... let me do this, since la Sirene got in Kozue's way."

Of course, la Sirene also got in Mikoto's way.

She may never know just how difficult it was to arrest her arc.

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOOi9y-1c0g

La Sirene smiles to her.

"As you like," she says, one hand going to her hip.

"But don't stay too long. Call others, in their turn. We will have to be strong together."

"... and you get why? I am glad to hear that, Mikoto," la Sirene says, looking off towards the horizon. "This does not come to me naturally," not quite anyway: "but I have to do it, do I not? Or else... It would be as if she never were."

"Be safe. And thank you very much for the meal," she concludes, with a flourish of a bow. She turns then, and walks around the little blind. Batiste comes with her.

The book is left behind.

It is a Japanese translation of the Count of Monte Cristo.