2019-02-17 - TIMELINE 3: Lost and Found

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Title: TIMELINE 3: Lost and Found

Mikoto, overwhelmed by Midori's apparent death, stumbles upon a monster menacing a cat. But it's precisely the sort of monster which might remind her of her own - and she's in trouble. Yumi's the only one nearby, but Yumi's just an apprentice witch. She's not powerful enough on her own to face up to something like an Ogre.

Luckily, Yumi isn't alone. Yumi has a legacy, and it's time she stepped up and took hold of the Staff of Lost Ivy.


Mikoto Minagi, Yumi Ohzora


Tama Outer City - Nishitama Park

OOC - IC Date:

2019-02-17 - 2014-09-12

.****************************** Tama Outer City *******************************.
*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+* Nishitama Park District +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*
 The largest, but least densely populated area of Tokyo, Nishitama is on the
 westernmost border of the great metropolis, where city has become town,
 which becomes forest, which finally becomes towering mountain. Consisting
 mostly of woods and mountains, Nishitama is home to lush greenery, ample
 wildlife, and fresh flowing water that has yet to be tainted by the city
 below. Fishing and hiking are popular here, and in good weather,
 city-dwellers who long to stretch their legs can camp out in the forest
 without ever leaving Tokyo's borders.

 The spiritually inclined can find a wealth of opportunity in Nishitama's
 mountains. The nearby Mount Mitake has been regarded as sacred since time
 beyond memory, and a Shinto shrine at its peak safeguards its considerable
 power. Mount Mito was forbidden ground throughout the Sengoku era, a policy
 which preserved some ancient beech trees on its hills. Finally, the
 2000-meter Mount Kumotori is the tallest in the area, with a clear view of
 distant Mount Fuji and much of the region from its summit.

 All of this natural beauty is a mere hour and a half from Shinjuku Station
 even at the extreme end of the district.
*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+* Players +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Chris Vrenna - Fortress of Doors https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2uf60mBakU

Suddenly the White Queen is secondary, both in that she is gone, and that Gakutenou is gone.


Defeated by Miyu, who is not a girl, was never a girl at all.

"Mi..do..ri." Mikoto's voice is stunned murmur and she says little else.

She goes to the bottom and she searches, but she cannot find a corpse.

Perhaps Midori became light, too.

Just like Gakutenou.


"Midori's gone," Mikoto tells Mai, when she finally picks her way home between patrols. Her voice is hollow-boned like a bird in the maw; it cracks so easily. "Gakutenou's gone."

She buries her face against her side and she does not say much else.


They are getting ready for the festival as if it is the most important thing in the world. As if Midori is not gone, is never coming back, because she promised, they all promised. They move around her and they do not notice the way her brow turns up and her lips curve down; it is a quiet sadness.

Mikoto is not particularly friendly to her classmates, after all, and they have little interest in being seen with her.

But Midori was a good person, and now she's gone.

It's sad.

It's always sad when someone dies.


School ends and Mikoto does not stay because Midori should be there, in all her somewhat-obnoxious togetherness, directing the final touches of the festival. She is not. She is not anywhere because Gakutenou is not anywhere, and HiME and Child are two parts of a whole and one cannot exist without the other. The promise - their life - a debt they swore to keep. It must be so. There was not even a body.

She goes to the city and she walks, and she walks, and there is a train, and there are too many people - always too many people. Sound reflects off of steel, amplifies, and everything is under a magnifying glass in these miserable tubes of metal. It grinds out for a while, a while, and then it stops and it is quite far away, and Mikoto gets out because the people with broad packs behind her get out and it is less annoying to leave than try and slip past them.

Mikoto is in Nishitama now and that's fine. It's quiet here. It's nice. She keeps walking.

She sees a cat.

That's a little strange for the woods.

The cat is hurt.

That's not so unusual for the woods.

The cat is running away.

That's --

-- ah.

In an instant Mikoto's eyes narrow and she draws her blade, because she has seen what is chasing the cat and it - he - is towering and monstrous. She charges forward and brings Miroku up to meet a club crushing down, with a wordless roar of savage challenge.

He is red and black with twisting horns and horrific visage and she clashes against him, again and again, club against claymore. Finally she brings her blade about in revolution, once, twice, three times, before she plants her feet and swings. Miroku bites into a broad gnarled side, and he is red and black and ogre is not oni, but there is

an uncomfortable


in the breadth of those huge arms, the spiked cudgel he wields.

And in her mind she sees Gakutenou, bisected and dissolving into light, and with her eyes she sees Miroku, splitting a red and black side.

It takes a great effort to faze someone like Mikoto, who has trained so long to never hesitate. But in that instant she remembers Miroku's mortality and she freezes, and the ogre does not; he brings his greatclub down on her and slams her onto her back in the moment of weakness.

The air knocks from her lungs as she gasps, and she brings Miroku up just in time to put it between herself and that cudgel as it comes down, again. Raw defence has always been her weakest area; it is all she can do to hold her blade firm, flat against her, to keep the crushing force at bay, and with each swing she presses a little further into the earth.

"ME MAKE TENDER!" Crows the ogre, as he leaves no opportunity for her to escape.

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Yumi Ohzora wasn't there, at the refinery. She didn't receive the text; she only heard of the events at Ohtori by rumor, and while she thought if there was a vampire involved maybe a witch should look into it... She can't go searching such a sprawling campus alone, can she? So she wondered, and worried a little...

And went about her life. The magical girls of Tokyo are largely suspicious, and Yumi, through her contacts with the Magic Association, knows to be wary of most of them herself. Really, all that excitement... It's not her world. Maybe one day, but it's too much effort anyway to worry about all of it. So she daydreams... And she draws, and she paints. She got some new supplies today. So...


Nishitama Park District

Out in the woods isn't where Yumi's supposed to be very often, but she left a text to her roommate saying she'd be out there, so worst case someone will expect her. It has such beautiful views, though--views that would be perfect. Thinking of the vampire and the frightening rumors, Yumi sits on a low trunk and continues sketching; already she's gotten far on a few, but this one is all sharp details and mysterious curves, a look into a deep, dark forest that is assuredly full of monsters. The menace in the page is obvious, even unfinished; little instructions as to what colors she will use later are in very tiny font, and she continues to work her implements, looking up towards the darkness and then back down at her pad. She hears none of the strange things happening right now not so far away; her headphones see to that. Except...

She looks up again, and frowns, as she spots something different. Because...




Huffing, the black cat, injured, turns towards Mikoto and the Ogre, her green eyes wide to accommodate for the gloom, her tail lashing slowly. She looks around, "Girl! Run! You can't defeat this enemy with a sword!"



The girl in blue--the Infinity uniform, naturally--spots something away that was not there a moment ago. She tilts her head, and rises, brushing gray hair back out of her face again and setting down her things gently. She stands up, starts to walk forward, and discovers; a cat. A black cat, fluffy, beautiful... And with fur that is slick with something wet, and a glint of something green at her neck. "Oh--"

She starts forward quickly, hastening her steps. "Oh no, are you all right...?"

The music keeps playing. Yumi reaches the cat, and then looks up, up, up... to the great monster, and the girl with a sword straining against it. Her headphones fall back, still sounding out their call. "Oh--Oh, no--"

She breathes sharply, stares. The girl... She's not doing very well, is she? "...Kitty, stay behind me," Yumi murmurs, and--she doesn't have any of her ritual tools. What can she do?

...Can she really do nothing?

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5TGj4uBmso - Splashdown - A Charming Spell

"HEY!" the frail girl calls, "Over here!"

She puts out her hands, breathes. "...Wandering, wavering, wallowing, wild," she chants, "Let strength become weakness in gloom's wayward child!"

From Yumi's hand sparks dark power, hurling towards the Ogre in hopes of giving the girl with a sword an opening...

But how is she to know that this monster is far, far beyond an apprentice's curses?

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Distantly, Mikoto is aware that someone is speaking to her.

It's the cat, and she has paused in her concern, and Mikoto does not like it.

"Go!" She grits out in reply, as her sword swings down. The cat is the one who should be running; a cat does not have a blade to defend herself with.

Perhaps if she were not presently occupied, it would strike her that the cat is talking, and that is not what cats are supposed to do at all.


No. No, Mikoto is not doing very well.

The cudgel slams down, and her teeth set in a line against the reverberation through her bones as she keeps her blade between it and the mortal blood in her mortal veins. She is flat against the ground, sunk into the earth by the force of the blows. Tenderising is certainly a word which could be applied to this situation.

The Ogre lifts his club high above his head, ready to bring down another shattering blow, when --

Well, if anything, the shout commands more attention than the spell. What should have been a curse of weakness is little more than a feather against its thick hide, tickling at the red and black patterning there. Here the Ogre pauses, for a moment, and perhaps Yumi is stronger than she thinks. Or perhaps the Ogre is thinking.

But what thoughts can an ogre have?

This time there is an answer: hunger.

Mikoto's breath is shallow in her chest as she turns her cheek to see who has come, and pain makes the shock slow to come. "Yumi..?" She asks, and her voice is not fierce any more. She has given her an opening, and Mikoto must take it.

And yet - Tama knows more about this monster than she ever could.

She wasn't lying, when she said Mikoto could never lay it low with a blade.

It is Mikoto laid low instead, who struggles and fails to rise, muscles trembling with exhaustion. She hisses out a breath through grit teeth, slumping back against the ground. Hopelessly she warns her, because this time she cannot protect this girl who is still learning: "Yumi... get out of here..."

The Ogre, on the other hand, is exhilarated. "MAGIC TASTY!" He decides, stomping forward, right past the girl he has pulverised. "I EAT!"

His club is ungainly in size and it presents him with excellent reach -- which he uses summarily to bring his weapon down on Yumi, instead.

And Yumi doesn't have a sword to block its trajectory.

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Mikoto growls her reply, and the black cat growls in frustration, a small sound from a small creature--and bolts, scurrying up the trunk of a tree at great speed, up up up into the branches, out of sight, concealed by the cover of leaves. But by now...

By now, Yumi Ohzora is here, watching the clash of Ogre and obsidian. Mikoto is down, and Yumi has to do something--

The wind of her curse blows her hair as if in a breeze, and Yumi hesitates when she sees the Ogre pause. Did it work, she wonders? Did it do something? "M-move--"

That's her name; Yumi. And Mikoto is stuck, unable to rise, and this is worse even than she thought. Because the Ogre...

"Aah! I'm--Trust me I'm really not tasty--"

Yumi tenses, and it's only just in time that she jumps to the side, barely escaping the club's full force... and instead being clipped on the way down, slamming backward into a tree with an ugly cracking noise and a faint groan of pain as she slides to the ground, coughing. ...There's blood in it. "Aah..."

That's it, isn't it? It flashes through Yumi's mind, in the gloom of her vision. A girl, on the ground; a cat, above, who didn't even run... and a monster. It's not what she expected, but what else would it be, in the end? There's something almost familiar in it.

In the space where the Ogre recovers from its swing, Yumi opens her eyes, dark pink wavering as she glances up. "Heh... Sorry... It looks like, I..."

There's a glint of green, above, as Yumi spots something in the trees--it's the glint from the cat's collar again, a beautiful gem, and it is g l o w i n g, radiant.


Yumi lifts one arm, wincing, the other useless, looking up. "What...?"

BGM - Metric - Help I'm Alive - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZoK63Bk7pgw

There is a feeling of warmth, suddenly, of peace. Except her heart is beating; she hears it, loud in her ears. "...Where have you been...?" she murmurs, and suddenly, there is a flash of light.

In an instant there is a gleaming white staff in Yumi's right hand; made of some ancient wood, its length gently spiraled, a green crystal at its tip opposed a golden cap; the crystal glows painfully bright, and the words appear so quickly in Yumi's mind.

Her eyes snap open again. "Staff of Lost Ivy!" the young Witch calls, voice clear despite her injury. "Uncountable price, unknowable cost! I assume the ancient debt!"

The light intensifies, becoming blinding in an instant. Yumi rises to her feet within it as if levitating.

"Let our hearts be bound as one!"

When the light dims enough to be seen, Yumi stands, without her glasses; her injuries are gone completely, and her attire has changed. Her hair is braided back, long down her back, and she wears a flowing black dress, belted, with high-laced green leather gloves and boots booth, holding up the staff in front of her.

"...In my hand," she murmurs, "Remembered be." And in front of the tree, cat looking on in surprise, the Witch of Lost Ivy looks up to the Ogre before her.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"Yumi-!!" Mikoto finds the strength to cry out, as that fragile girl is sent flying, trunk to trunk. She makes some apology and Mikoto cannot think to offer anything which could make this better; all she has is her name, sorrowful and wan. "Yumi..."

And then there is light.

Light and a staff and this is magic, not a cantrip or a trick but a powerful pulse, and Yumi makes a promise, God help her, Yumi makes a promise. Mikoto's breath hitches in her throat and she is awed in all senses of the word. She cannot tell her that debts will be collected, in this moment; she cannot challenge this.

Her hands tighten around Miroku's hilt and she bears witness as Yumi's heart is bound as well. But the light is too bright, and though she shuts her eyes it does little to help. She is not the only one blinded.

"WHAT?!" Demands the Ogre, smashing his club into empty earth as he struggles to see again. He gnashes his teeth against the fading light and declares: "TASTES BAD!"

He shakes his broad head, horns like a kabuki mask, and grasps his club in both hands as he manages to find the girl again. "STOP THAT!" He howls, mourning the loss of the tasty dark magic, and his club thunders down again.

He does not vary his tactics in the face of the Staff of Lost Ivy at all.

He's only thinking about how hungry he is, after all.

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Mikoto's sad voice reaches Yumi still; she looks to her in some concern, before she looks back up to her opponent, and she has made her promise. ...She looks stronger, for it; taller, though some of that may be the pointed hat she wears, black and conical with a wide brim, a proper witch's crown. The Ogre makes its demands--

"You heard me!" Yumi calls out to him. "And--no!"

The club slams down, and Yumi still isn't that fast--instead of dodging, she holds out the staff, and then as if by instinct, traces a sigil. A rune of protection burns black into the air until the club sings down, and then there is a blast of green light, a runic circle erupting from the point of impact--and turning into a green beam that rockets straight back at the Ogre's chest. This is darker magic, maybe...

But more effective than a curse.

"Staff wielder!" comes a voice from the tree, as the black cat drops down, and down another branch. "With the staff, you can beat it back--attune with it, and you can banish it!"

Yumi blinks, and glances--"Uh, you can--"

She darts to the side, thinking better of questioning it, "Hey! You okay!?" Yumi calls to Mikoto. ...The cat? Well, now that she's visible, the bauble at her collar is gone--and so are her injuries.

"Attune, attune, attune, okay... So, um, spell I can..." She trails off, closes her eyes. "What are you trying to tell me...?"

Her eyes snap open. "Got it." Yumi sets the staff before her, and it hovers in place as her hands move away from it. Green light shines from her feet, and the Witch traces a sigil of misfortune. "Wanderer unwelcome in this growing place--"

"Be denied the forest's grace! Ivy Binding!"

From the Ogre's feet comes light, suddenly, black and green that rises up, coalesces into great vines coiling about its body.

...Yumi takes her staff back out of the air, runs towards Mikoto.

"That won't hold it long!" the cat shouts. "You have to seal it!"

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Green light slams into the Ogre's chest and he staggers back, titanic step over titanic step; it is the first time he has given ground since he began chasing that cat.

"I'm okay," Mikoto says, but the words halt through a battered chest and they are weaker for it. "Yumi - fight!" It is so much different to all the times she has told her to stand aside, when monsters strike. She does not tell Yumi to stay behind her now; she cannot. Yumi is not standing in anyone's shadow, any more.

With a light that bright, she's casting her own.

And she commits to that light and it weaves up past the Ogre's feet as he steps forward again, and perhaps he would have tripped but the vines are too tight around him; they cage him, bind him, and he grumbles and growls, chewing at the greenery as he tries to twist free. "BLEH!" As much as they're not a good meal, it's difficult to imagine those tusky teeth won't bite through eventually.

Yumi does not press her advantage; Yumi goes to Mikoto, instead. Golden eyes track over her; a hat which does not fall, flowing robes, that staff...

She can't help but be proud.

But the fight isn't over. "Yumi - the enemy," Mikoto reminds her, looking from her to the Ogre she has left behind. "Yumi's one of us now. Gotta finish it. I'm not..." She coughs, and grimaces, reminded of the pressure of the earth around her. "... going anywhere." If anyone else had said it, it might have been a joke; with Mikoto it is a plain statement of fact.

Chomp-CHOMP the Ogre finally gnashes through those vines, and stumbles as he regains his footing. "GIVE GOOD FOOD NOW!" He demands, as he thunders forward towards them, club raised high. He twists as he slams it down, the whole of his towering frame forced into the motion; it threatens to crush Yumi and Mikoto whole. "ME HUNGRY!"

He does not particularly have to spell out what's on the menu.

Yumi's scared off all the animals he could snack on, after all.

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Mikoto's okay; Yumi hasn't known Mikoto to lie enough to suspect she's just putting up bravado, anyway, so as she focuses on Mikoto, with the Ogre trying to free itself, she looks her over to see. "Ah?" she asks, at first, and then...

Oh. Mikoto isn't going anywhere, is she? "R-right. I'll..."

The Ogre moves to free itself, and Yumi--Yumi is one of them.

"Yumi!" the cat calls from afar, picking up her name over the conversation. "Lift up the staff! Let it gather power--you'll know what to do!"

Yumi flinches as she watches the Ogre regain his footing, thunder forward, but if she doesn't stop it here... Mikoto is the one who'll suffer for it. So biting her lip, the young witch looks them over, and then--

Then, she lifts up the staff in both hands, presenting it between herself and the Ogre as it approaches. "Come on," she murmurs, "You--"

Warmth. Light; peace. ...And a deep, distant sadness. They radiate, briefly; Yumi can feel them... and maybe Mikoto, too, this close. An ancient sadness, paired with resolution.

But the crystal atop the staff glows brightly; light seems to draw into it, but rather than taking the light around it and leaving the area dim, everything only seems to brighten and brighten, brilliant as a spiral of light courses around Witch and Staff both. The words, again, come unbidden; when Yumi speaks, she speaks almost in two voices, one her own and one older.

"Holy light, rain down in verdant might!"

She shifts her staff, traces a rune in the air that gleams gold--and it becomes a circle of runes. Abrubtly, Yumi swings her staff down through it, crystal at its center, and calls, "BLESSED SHINE!"

...Then, she has to hang on: the circle bursts, and suddenly a beam of brilliant, pure sunlight crashes forward, easily more than twice Yumi's height, a column forward that shines like a summer's day.

Where it passes, the wounds of the creature's passes are mended; the ground is unbroken, and a carpet of colorful flowers rises, each coming into bloom as it rushes for the Ogre.

But when it touches the Ogre, it will burst into emerald flames, purifying fire that does not harm a single leaf on any tree's branches, seeking to banish the wayward spirit from this place completely.

...And behind, Yumi's robes whip with the force of the magic; she hangs on.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Tori Amos - Seven Sisters https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgOYL8wDx1w

To be fair, 'okay' has wide variety of meanings.

Mikoto isn't broken; she's not dying. She's beaten, but she's holding on. Well - rather she's being held, in a cleft of the earth where the Ogre has slammed her down. But she's okay.

Sometimes being okay just means not distracting the people who can still fight.

Like now, as the Ogre charges. She hisses in a breath through her teeth, her grip white-knuckled against her blade; she tries again to move but she has no energy to spare on the motion.

As Yumi resolves to fight, there is a strange sense of another feeling entirely. The Ogre is too far away to feel it; or perhaps too far gone. Given to hunger he barrels forward, and too late he realises that this light does not only taste bad. Emerald fire catches at a foot, snakes up gnarled hide until even the tips of his horns and the end of his club are aflame. In his ineffable consumption he could never guess that he would be consumed, scoured by flame until there is no trace of him at all.

And sunlight disinfects. A tree he had split in two winds back together again, as if it had never split - cracked pebbles form again into a boulder, and the moss which has grown there for so long returns, pristine. The ground under Mikoto knits together again, from bottom to top, gently buoying her upwards until she is on flat ground, soon made softer in a bed of chrysanthemums; her bruises fade, and she does not tremble in exhaustion any more.

"Yumi," Mikoto breathes her name, pushing herself sitting as her blade rests beside her in the yellow flowers. She finds her volume again, calling out to her, relief and joy and a reminder: "Yumi!"

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Okay isn't great but it's stable. Right?

The brilliant light itself is strangely gentle on everything else; the flowers are barely disturbed once they bloom, saved even from being stomped on by the Ogre. Soon, though--soon, he's gone, and Yumi slumps, leaning heavily on the Staff as she tries to catch her breath. She isn't hurt anymore, but that's a lot of work, and even her hat slips forward, floats gently down. "Wow, that..."


Mikoto calls, and Yumi smiles at her, something warm and happy even though she looks all the paler in black. "Mikoto," she answers, and steps forward, and hits a knee, hugging her friend with a strength unusual for the awkward, tall girl. "You're okay! And--"

"Oh, where is miss cat...?"

She doesn't let go, naturally. But the cat leaps down from a low branch, and approaches the two. "...Good work," she comments, with the air of someone studying, and Yumi blink blinks and peeers back over without letting go. "Um..."

"...Mikoto-chan, is that cat really not running away from me?"

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

It's the sort of thing Mikoto notices; there's strength in Yumi, now, different to the strength she had before. "I'm okay 'cause of Yumi!" She says, smiling broadly, wrapping her arms around Yumi's sides and clutching fiercely to her. Excitedly, she notes: "Yumi's got a staff!"

Mikoto couldn't imagine using that sort of weapon, but it's Yumi's.

The mention of Miss Cat has Mikoto blinking, though, as she recalls the cat. She turns her face to look at her as she addresses them, staring in surprise for a moment before she breaks her gaze. "Talking cat," Mikoto says, baffled, to Yumi. And then her confusion gives way to liveliness as she realises: "Talking cat!"

And then she glances back to the cat, looking at her legs and her tail and her ears, and looks back to Yumi. "Nope," she says, and now Yumi mentions it Mikoto is just as surprised. "Not scared at all." It's strange, because animals always run away from Yumi. It's why Mikoto first noticed her in the first place, even though she wasn't a warrior.

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Because of her--that's a nice feeling. Yumi smiles, and she doesn't even wince about how hard the hug is this time. She doesn't quite notice! But she notices that she doesn't notice. "Um--yeah! Yeah, I guess I do..."

It's a very nice staff; there's a peace to it still, this close. It belongs here, among green things. Now, the sadness that was showing is not present at all.

Yumi blinks blinks with Mikoto, and then--Talking cat, Mikoto says. Talking cat!

"...Yes," the cat answers, tilting her head as she looks over Mikoto and Yumi both, tail waving slowly, lazily this time back and forth as she thinks. She steps forward. "And of course I'm not afraid. She's holding my staff, after all."

Yumi, of course, is delighted, biting her lip but looking with obvious interest. "Oh, um--your... Ah, hi! I'm... Yumi...?"

The cat finishes approaching, sits, and inclines her head. "Yes, I see. ...Smaller girl--I appreciate what you tried to do, at least. And Yumi..."

The cat sits up straight, imperious. "I am Tama, Keeper of the Staff of Lost Ivy since ages past, and its power to oppose the Hungry Queen and her forces. ...And you, it seems, have been chosen as its wielder."

Yumi slowly blinks.

Tama continues, "...Which means that now my task is to watch over you. I hope that we will work well together."

The cat is imperious, formal... Clearly an adult cat. Her nose twitches, as she looks over Mikoto too. "It seems you have a friend, at least. But no, there is no reason for me to fear you--or others, for that matter. Lost Ivy's power is of growth, life, renewal; if anything, most animals are likely to be soothed by its presence if they react at all."

Pause. "...Now come. There's too much shade here."

Tama turns, and starts walking away, casual as anything, as Yumi blinks after her. "Ah... um..."

Pause. "Oh! My stuff! Um--Hold on--"

...Yumi will have to run and collect her sketchbook before they can go anywhere.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Mikoto wonders how a cat can have a staff, and then realises this cat must be a magic cat, even though she seems to all senses to be a perfectly normal feline. Well, obviously. Most cats don't talk! Only magic cats talk.

"Yumi!" Mikoto chirps, excitedly, shaking at her shoulder and pointing. "You got cat friend now too!"


Well, that and the fact that cat is appreciative of her. Coupled with the healing wave which has done much to rekindle her enthusiasm, Mikoto absolutely beams. "Tama! Hi!" She chirps, much more youthful, after the talking magic cat introduces herself. "I'm Mikoto!" She gestures back to the black blade beside her: "This is Miroku!"

It's definitely not a staff, that's for sure.

Mikoto gasps as Tama reveals that the staff will fix Yumi's problem. "Yumi," she says, a hand on her shoulder, very intent, "Yumi. Yumi! Yumi can meet my friends now!" They never wanted to know her before!

And then Tama is telling them to leave, so Mikoto had better scramble up and collect her case so she can sheathe her blade. The public gets kind of nervous if she walks around with a claymore out, for some reason.

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

A very magic cat indeed--it's easy to overlook the little band in her thick fur, especially now that the gem is no longer on it. But she is here, she is talking... and she has introduced herself.

"Aaah!" Yumi makes a noise that is half surprise and half wonder. "I-I do!" she says. Then pauses. "Um, not that--I mean, you're... very serious, yes--"

Tama looks at Yumi and sighs softly--but there's something faintly affectionate in it. Not that she'll admit it at the moment. "Hello, then, Mikoto," the cat answers, and looks over the black blade thoughtfully. It is of course rather menacing. And yet, "...And Miroku, too."

Hmm. A familiar name, and yet...

"It--" Yumi blinks. "Wait, I--Oh! Oh wow, really!?"

Tama by this point has already started walking off. Yumi puts on a smile, and scrambles up as Mikoto gets up. "Okay! I'll be right back--"

By the time she returns, the staff is a staff, and she is in uniform again... with a big sketchbook under her arm. Tama can handle the staff--indeed, she's going to have a lot to say to Yumi, as they walk back with Mikoto.

...Yumi will at least remember it by the third or fourth time it's explained.