2021-06-12 - Black Glass Brothers

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Title: Black Glass Brothers

This time, when Nori and Mikoto meet at the aquarium, it's a happier affair. But they get to talking about the Cardiax Worm -- and when Mikoto shares what happened when her Lord Brother took her suffering from her, Nori elects to tell the tale of Melancholy's own six brothers, and the fate of the Mother of Sorrow's seven children. It is a story which leads to the Sirens themselves.


Mikoto Minagi, Nori Ankou


Verone Aquarium

OOC - IC Date:

2021-06-12 - 2015-12-01

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

The catfish exhibit is now open to the public again, but that's not where we'll find our heroes (plural, this time). Oh, Mikoto certainly did invite Nori to the aquarium, but she's got her eye on another type of fish entirely. It just so happens that she's come to rest under a broad display featuring...

The great...

And extremely flat...

MANTA RAY, who is a friend.

This late -- Mikoto didn't plan on visiting the aquarium insomuch as she drifted inside with the last of her pocket change for the day -- there aren't too many youngsters bounding around pointing at the positively massive sea-creatures flapping about, as if the cape she once shed to come here without causing a fuss decided to take on a life of its own.

She slips her phone back into her pocket, having sent out a missive with the requisite amount of exclamation marks, and turns on a sensible Ohtori heel to look up at the very, very big fish. It's not a message she sent with much thought attached - Mikoto just really wants Nori to see a fish this big and this flat. Her jacket is tied around her waist, because it's surprisingly warm, in the aquarium; there's a pink shirt underneath, with a cute little cyan cat on the breast pocket. She's wearing shorts with leggings, because Mikoto, apparently, has never heard of 'pants'.

They say you can see your passengers. There's Mikoto, too gold eyes in the glass; there's the black case on her back. One... two.

That's like it ought to be, isn't it?

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



Nori is wearing a red sweater, cable-knit and with a sort of rustlike general hue in the dying, along with a long black skirt (with a silver curlicue around the hem), purple-and-pink striped leggings (because by God, pink is a form of red) and comfortable walking boots. There was also an overcoat, but this she checked...

"Aren't they wonderful?" Nori says, as she gazes at the enormous ray. "Sometimes I wish I was one. I wonder what it is like for them to live with a body like that... just a big, soft sort of disk... that mouth that goes, shloop!"

There is that faint sound, the strange hum in the background of the sea, that sort of standing-wave open-mic intensity.

"I love this place," Nori sighs. "I wish I could live here!"

"Even if I had not yet become a ray," Nori concludes.

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

"Nori!" Comes the chirped greeting, as Mikoto points up, to the glass. "Look, look!"

And so Nori looks, and Mikoto looks, too. "They're very flat," she agrees, reaching up a hand to the glass. "Sometimes cats get that flat, when there's lots of sun. But," she adds an important detail, "not in the water." This is a very important cat fact. What if Nori put a cat in the water and expected them to be flat? That would be a bad day for the cat and also Nori.

"The lady in charge said they're real gentle, even though they're so big..." Mikoto's neck cranes uuup to watch the manta ray's mouth going shloop, just as Nori says. Without biting anyone! Well, except the tiny fish. "Seems like people think they're scary, but they're actually nice."

There is of course the smell of water, at least, here, to Mikoto; that strange background tickle of sea-creature, even held beyond the glass. Maybe it's the salt from the sea.

"I like this place, now, too," Mikoto agrees, at length, scratching a hand at her ear, with a certain pendulum-swinging weight between the commas. She leaves it unsaid. She wonders whether they ever noticed the fingernail-scratches on the glass.

Mikoto looks up, as the ray passes by, all flappy-flappy wings of the sea. "But, living here would be damp, right..?"

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

"Does the sun do it?" Nori asks. "I don't like being out in the sun, myself. Batiste is often very lazy in the water, but he is not flat, he is..."

Nori tries to find the right word.

"... wiggling."

She takes a deep breath and lets it out, tilting her head back to watch the manta ray. "Do they? I know some of them have poison... so perhaps that is what makes them scary. But on their own, they're so gentle. I think that there are places on the first basement level where we could even touch some of them, if you would like."

Water ripples.

"I suppose it would be," Nori muses. "But, I don't mind that."

"Do you think that creatures of the sea are scary, Mikoto?" Nori then asks, her attention moving - grudgingly - away from the beautiful vision of the great sea-creature and towards the comparably-beautiful but more-grounded-in-the-everyday form of Mikoto Minagi. "I mean to say, in themselves."

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

"Wriggly!" Mikoto agrees, in enthusiastic echo.

She looks up at the manta rays and doesn't much think they're poisonous; most things with stings, in her experience, are eager to advertise, and the manta doesn't seem to be advertising much aside from the deeply impressive cloak which is it. But then Nori suggests touching a manta ray, and Mikoto agrees, with that self-same enthusiasm: "Yup!"

There's a thoughtful noise, at the back of her throat, as Nori cedes she doesn't mind damp; well, she thinks, that is true for Nori, and it's okay if it's not the same.

(Looking directly at that is a little scary, isn't it?)

She blinks, as Nori poses quite that question to her; her hand curls, at the braid by her ear, as she turns to her instead of that big flappy ray. "Scary..?" She repeats, tilting her head. "Mostly, they're dinner... but I was surprised the first time I met a shark."

Mikoto apparently doesn't know the relationship between manta rays and sharks. Sharks are bitey, after all.

"I guess I'm not really scared by animals too much," Mikoto puffs out a breath, a little shrug of her shoulder as her hand comes down. "I've always been scarier, so I never thought I should worry."

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

"Well then, we shall know where to go next," Nori says, smiling again: "But there's no rush, is there?"

In here, there's very little rush.

"Heh," Nori says, about the shark. She smiles again, her hands coming up to fold behind her head, sliding her fingers through her rich, damp-almost black hair as she tilts her head back to gaze upwards. "That's a good attitude to take... other than some of the very big ones, usually they just do not want anything to do with humanity. Or else they only want your snacks, or are curious about what you are doing."

Nori gazes up into the depths, seen in the converse, as another great manta ray crosses between her and the far-off lights of the surface-proper.

"... I want to thank you, for what you did," Nori says, "in Shinjuku. I know you would not have stood by, but... you truly were a pillar of strength... I... mm."

The smile doesn't vanish as such but it does become eclipsed; hidden, from view, still on her eyes, as they turn towards Mikoto again.

"What we fought, you see, was ultimately a sea creature itself."

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

It's hard to rush in the water. Does that mean it's also hard to rush under the water, when they're not in the water? Here is Mikoto's assessment of that: liminal spaces are weird.

"Curious... yeah," Mikoto agrees, head atilt. "When fish is too angry for dinner, it usually gives up after wrestling a little." This is an astounding mental image which she fully fails to further illustrate.

... it really is a strange feeling to be at the bottom of the sea, but the one mercy here is the fact that there are lights.

What Mikoto did in Shinjuku can at least now be something people are thankful for; still, she looks a little surprised, righting her gaze to blink at the other girl. "Me..?" She asks, a shade puzzled, before her smile returns. "I'm happy!" That she could be a pillar of strength, presumably; she wasn't too pleased at the girl's predicament.

"Worm's a... sea worm?" Mikoto guesses, scratching at her head. She tries to put together what Nori has said with what Nori now says, and comes up with: "So, when it stopped her from feeling... it wasn't on purpose?"

Her hand comes to rest at her neck, as Mikoto admits: "I didn't like that."

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

To rush under water takes a different attitude. It's far easier to simply


after all.

"... Does it?" Nori says, pausing for a moment as Mikoto so sweetly derails her entire train of thought completely, causing it to take a side branch line for a few moments as she envisions, a shark? or perhaps, a massive tuna, or a mahimahi? being wrestled by Mikoto, and then giving up...

It must have been a shark, Nori thinks. A tuna would have been fighting for its very flesh.

Nori begins to walk down the path, moving away from the little knot of the circling rays. "Yes," she answers, not quickly. "It is an animal. Well, I would not even quite call it an animal... worms are not the sort of creature that you can have sympathy for easily, are they?" Moving past here crosses a few pieces of living rock, great pieces of stone that were presumably imported or chosen for their qualities for reeflike life, even if they are not quite as particular as corals.

This is meaningful because there are a number of strange creatures on the rock. Frondlike worms hanging in the ocean, picking up flecks of fish that the rays did not quite catch. Anemone; clownfish. Nori lingers, gazing at them.

"It just isn't from THESE seas," Nori says. "The Cardiax worm is from my own world, my own home, originally. I don't think it could even really live in the ocean, here."

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

Mikoto once caught a tuna THIIIS big...

Nori begins to move along, and Mikoto follows after. She doesn't mind a slow pace of conversation, really; she's perfectly happy to give Nori the space to compose her thoughts.

(She did tell her, all the way back here, that she didn't always know what to say. Mikoto is beginning to realise that perhaps her vocal mastery is more an impression she leaves than Nori's internal truth.)

Mikoto grunts a wordless 'no', as Nori wonders about the sympathy of worms; certainly Mikoto has never felt much for them, aside from the grim curiosity of a child, perhaps.

To the rocks. Mikoto goes to the edge and looks to them, following Nori's gaze to the anenome. Floaty, floaty... she hums through her lips, as she hears what ocean the Cardiax /did/ come from. "So," she concludes, once she is sure Nori has finished her thought, "it's an outsider..."

That's a particular way to describe them, isn't it?

That's a particular...

Mikoto shakes her head, hand curling at her chest. "Nori... about that worm... can I tell you something? Just..." she trails off, for a moment, gaze drifting to one of those clownfish darting out of the fronds, "it reminded me..."

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

"It's strange to think of it that way," Nori says, "but that's right, isn't it? It's an outsider. It doesn't live well here, except in places that are rich in, in sorrow. I think there must be tanks, or another world which is like the Sea, where they can thrive, but in this world they live in the heart of those who weep..."

Nori trails off then, looking towards Mikoto. "Ah? Yes, please," she says, her eyes looking curiously bright here underneath the filtered sunlight. "Anything at all, Mikoto."

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

"I saw her eyes, Nori. The little girl... she was happy, but she was all hollowed out. I didn't realise, at first, but..." Here Mikoto shakes her head, again, amends her statement: "no, maybe I wasn't used to seeing it on someone else."

On someone else..?

A frown creases her brow, all furrowed, leaving tension to her eyes. "When I felt very bad... my Lord Brother felt bad, too. He took my suffering from me... so, I never felt that bad for too long. I just felt love, for him. I thought it was good, 'cause I didn't have to worry or cry, but... I felt bad for a reason, Nori."

There's a moment's pause, as she closes her eyes, takes a breath.

"... when all my bad feelings were taken away, I never got the chance to figure it out. I felt better," here her hand crosses her chest to grasp her opposite arm, "but, it was my Lord Brother's better. 'Cause I couldn't feel my bad feelings, it was hard for me... I could only depend on my Lord Brother." How can anyone be expected to understand their situation if they have no understanding of themselves..?

"I didn't... understand why what was happening to me was bad for a long time. I thought, Dark Fall made people feel bad things, so if I felt better, it couldn't be bad. But, Nori... if the worms from your world make people ignore their bad feelings, too..." Her teeth worry at her bottom lip, for a moment, before her gaze comes back to the other girl again. "... I'm worried, Nori."

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

Nori is quiet.

The live rock moves; the anemones writhe, subtly. A fragment of something, perhaps shrimp? falls inwards; it lands among the anemone, one of them grasping hold of it. A clownfish nibbles, even as the morsel is drawn inwards on the soft-bodied thing.

Nori listens.

"I'm sorry," Nori says, quietly, and she dips her head for long moments.

"I know who is using them," she says then. "There is a story. But it's a little long. Do you want to hear the entire thing, or only the... the outline, the... the important part?"

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

"It's not your fault," Mikoto shakes her head, and in her earnestness perhaps lands slightly east of the point. "It's... complicated."

Part of that of course is not wanting to blame HIM; part of it is realising just how much blame is on the structure of the family that raised them for this task. Part of it is a niggling unsurety in the back of her mind that she really knows where the blame lies, between all the blanks which still remain in her memory. Part of it, again, is not wanting to blame HIM, which bears repeating on account of Mikoto trying quite hard and not always succeeding.

All those parts add up to a whole lot of quiet, teeth pressing in against her lip in a quiet gesture of self-reassurance.

Finally Nori breaks that silence, with the preamble to a tale; Mikoto remembers what she said, in Shinjuku, about the Brothers, always Brothers, and tellingly there is a moment more of quiet from her. A certain bracing of the shoulders, before she deliberately, carefully releases the tension her body's still holding, arms dropping down to her sides and eyes looking up.

"Sounds like it's important," Mikoto surmises, in the end. "If you wanna tell me, Nori... I'll listen." A brief pause, and she adds: "It's okay if it's long. It's okay to say a lot. I won't be unhappy."

Maybe she feels the need to explain that because she's such a terse speaker, most of the time..?

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

"Yes," Nori says. She pauses then, for a moment, before turning her head to look to Mikoto. "I don't know if it is the same thing that you have experienced... but I know that sorrow is something beyond us all, and the ways are perhaps similar, even if the roads are different." Not unlike, perhaps, her mirror vs. Miroku.

Then she takes a deep breath...

"Once upon a time, the Mother of Sorrows walked on dark stones beneath a calm gray sky, alone. In time she tired of solitude, and she brought forth her children, seven in number; the only children she would have, in the shape of humans." It does go back a way.

Nori counts off names on her fingers. "She had six sons, who are Gloom, Regret, Desolation, Deject, Dolor, and Misery; and one daughter, who was Melancholy."

"They grew quickly, and not like other children. Melancholy and Desolation learned at the Mother's lap, in tune and serene. Regret undertook many works, but none were finished. Misery was tempestuous, and the storm would seize him. Deject did little; Dolor endured; and Gloom was most expressive of them all."

"It was Desolation who mastered the charm that would let them sail to different shores through the storm. It was Melancholy who brought the first others, though she was not the last, and so the islands and archipelagos were walked by human feet. In time, Melancholy shocked them all when she said that she would take a husband; the Mother of Sorrows approved, and to their great surprise anew, the Mother granted her the queenship of the isles and the stones."

"At first," Nori continues, "their jealousy took the form of competition. There are many ruins there, throughout the Sea of Tears; that are not truly ruins, but rather things-not-finished. There are places and realms and towns that were made by one to another, and great things and constructions wrought to win the Mother's approval. Approval she gave, but she did not move the crown."

"In this time, Melancholy had seven daughters, and they too in time had daughters. Melancholy herself did not grow old as other humans did, none of them did, and five of the brothers were sure among themselves: Once her husband passed on of his age, the crown would surely move along, perhaps until one of them did the same. It was only fair, after all, wasn't it?"

Nori pauses here.

"When that husband died, he had seen his children, his grandchildren, his *great* grandchildren, and even some few *great great* grandchildren, all living in the great city-sculpture of Luxor - a beautiful place, with neighborhoods all carved by sorcery and art, large enough for a hundred times those who lived there as yet, made by the brothers when they paid their visits. But he was mortal, and when he perished, he was laid in his tomb, and Melancholy sat there for seven years, silent and weeping."

"That was when the brothers began to grow impatient," Nori says.

Nori has meandered to the edge of this particular section of tunnels - the exit through which they must pass, to visit those touchable rays - and somehow it seems darker, more of a threshold than it usually does. Is it the clouds gathering? Nori pauses there, and she turns her head, and she extends one pale hand outwards.

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

They are both black glass girls, all in all.

Let's call it outsider art.

There is a deep breath, and Mikoto, who is perhaps more tuned than she seems, takes her cue to listen. All the way to once upon a time, her eyes track those fingers counting off Gloom, Regret, Desolation...

Oh, Mikoto thinks. Of course they would not be happy children. She's Sorrows, after all.

She does smile to hear Melancholy and Desolation's part in their growing, and more or less gleams the meaning of their beings from the illustration Nori paints; she, herself, doesn't use most of the words often enough to have a solid picture.

Her head cants, as Nori reveals that the Mother of Sorrows gave the crown to her daughter; it's strange to her to think that the Mother herself wouldn't be Queen. (But then, she's always organised under a Lord, herself.) As she goes on, it's Mikoto's turn to count on her fingers, seven daughters, their own daughters...

She runs out of fingers pretty quickly, but she thinks maybe that's the point.

She follows along, all wide-eyed to hear the tales of Luxor, and those big gold saucers blink when Nori mentions seven again. Seven, seven...

A brief hum through her lips, as Mikoto tries to remember what's so special about seven. She puts it out of her mind as unimportant a moment later, because Nori's mentioned Melancholy's brothers again.

(Imagine having six of them. That would be very difficult, Mikoto thinks.)

At the liminal threshold, Mikoto steps out, into the darkness, and reaches out to gesture to Nori. "What'd they do?" She asks, a touch of nervousness to the question, and an entire epic written in the direct way she assumes they are about to do something.

Mikoto once told Nori, here, that brothers don't ruin lives; that girls were the ones to cause problems.

Mikoto wasn't only lying to Nori, back then.

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

"Well," Nori says, "Desolation visited. He hoped, perhaps, to become king in turn, but he knew that that was a perhaps, and that his sister was a certainty. The others..."

"Misery drew Regret and Dolor with him," Nori says, "and Desolation faced them at the entrance to the tomb. They argued for days. Some of the arguments were heard - we do not know which of them struck, Regret or Misery, but one of them struck Desolation down with thunder and cast his body down."

"The three of them went into the tomb," Nori says, "and nobody knows, quite, what happened in there, but Melancholy did not pass peacefully. The sorrow burst from her, a storm, a torrent, a cataclysm, a cataract." (These are, perhaps, not cats one wishes to keep in the home.) "The tomb rent asunder. Soon after, Luxor. Those who could make it to ships or boats would flee to other worlds. The storm burst, across the world."

"The Mother punished all five of the brothers for what they did," Nori says. "All of them were separated from the flow of sorrow, the power they had held plucked away. In time they would live hollowly. Regret was cursed to never die. Misery as well, but the Mother told Misery something, in her grief. That one of the other brothers would in time be forgiven, unless he should stop them all from fulfilling their designs."

"All of that happened in the course of an hour or so," Nori says. "The first Siren, Thalatte, was found soon after. The Mother blessed her, with the first Black Mirror, and she gathered others... in time, the Mother told her, more or less, what I have just told you. And Thalatte became the queen, and ever after, a Siren has become queen."

Nori taps her cheek with a finger. "That is why they use the worms," Nori says. "The worms gather sorrow. The brothers, they can't gather it into themselves the way that every heart does. But they can draw it from the worms."

"That is it," Nori says. "It is a means to their end. They do other things, of course, but these are... it is like vampires, or like wolves stalking in the woods. I have tried to stop whatever ones I find. I know there are likely ones that I do not; they do not only walk upon this Earth."

"I do not know much of your brother beyond what he has done," Nori says. "Perhaps he started with kind intentions. I don't know. But character is what you show in the storm."

At this point they reach the stairs down. Down to something different. Perhaps happier? It's hard to say.

Nori smiles wanly. "I am sorry to ramble so much."

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


... killed their brother?

At this Mikoto's brow knits in consternation, hand clasping over her mouth, as if she can't quite fathom the idea of fratricide. She feels a little numb, at the edges of herself. Maybe that's just how thunder feels.

Nori doesn't lay blame at one or the other in her tale, but Mikoto thinks of the storm following Misery, and perhaps she does, despite herself. At least she knows better than to follow her first assumption, these days, doesn't she?

And then, there is Melancholy's storm... well, she can hardly blame her, Mikoto thinks. Oh, there seems an awful lot of grief in the ocean of sorrow. Mikoto thinks of Westar, here, as Nori implicates the miseries Misery may well spread. There's power there, too.

All that, in an hour.

Black Mirrors, and the queenship: perhaps Mikoto understands a little more of the expectations of a Siren, in that moment. She hums though her lips, dips her head in a nod.

So, she thinks, the Cardiax takes the sadness, then the Brothers take the Cardiax. Is it because they were separated from that flow..? Mikoto wonders if they miss it. It must be normal, to them, even if it sounds frightfully alien to her.

What you show in a storm, huh..?

She looks down the stairs, down and down and down, and all a sudden feels a strange hint of vertigo which has her straightening back up, turning back to Nori. "You didn't," she says, and not to spare her feelings. "It was just complicated... that's all. I'm glad Nori could tell me something like that." Here Mikoto smiles, too, perhaps a shade more encouragingly.

"I don't really understand how Nori's world works... it's weird, to me." Terribly alien, more like, but Mikoto doesn't speak with that sort of decoration. "But," she adds, "I think I get it a little more, now. Those worms, they're normal where everywhere is sad, right? So... it's here they're trouble. And the Brothers, they're not normal any more, so they're using those worms... right? For their plans..."

Mikoto's lips scrunch up, before she puffs out a sigh, and shakes her head. "... I don't remember if I heard from them back then," when she was in Dark Fall, presumably, "a lot's all blurry. If I remembered, I'd help," this offered with a shade of hapless frustration, all shaped like an apology, without the words to back it up.

"But," she insists, reaching out a hand to Nori, "I'll still help! If Nori thinks I'm strong, I can really do something! I don't want anyone to be all hollowed out... that's not really happy. We can make it better, Nori! She was really happy, after that." The girl, perhaps. She did seem better, to Mikoto's eyes.

And it's easier to go down together, isn't it?

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

Nori smiles back. Smiling is small, then, but it is authentic, it is real. No false face here. Here in the slightly dim hallways of the aquarium, Mikoto is seeing the true Nori, or as true a Nori as there is.

"It's alright," Nori says. She takes the offered hand, squeezes once, turns it round for a proper handclasping. Her hand is cool as it always is.

"And it is not that I do not think that you are strong," Nori says: "I know it."

Down the stairs. "... Does it sound so weird? One day we can go and visit. It's wet, but I think you'll like it... especially if you enjoy fish, Mikoto. There is so, so much fish to eat."


The rays in the touching tank are soft, and smooth, and cool; wet, and oh so friendly. They're used to being stroked. Why, they like it.

"To answer you, though. In the seas, the worms are... mm... I don't know exactly; but they just feed on what's in the water, like humpback whales, or like those anemones we saw, with their little clownfish friends. They like to make little knots. There's a sort of snail with two feet that likes to eat them..."

"It's not safe to eat them yourself, of course. That is no doubt how the child was given it... in a food, in a meal of some kind. A child will put almost anything in their mouth, after all."

"If they are with those people, in Dark Fall... it might only be Misery; they do not look so different from ordinary people, though I suppose 'ordinary' is a difficult thing to say. Dressed in ordinary clothes and walking down the street here in Tokyo, you might think, oh, a foreigner -- but foreigners aren't that rare, are they?"

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

Mikoto smiles quite a bit more, to what Nori knows, and she wonders: "Visit..?" It's strange to think they could just go to a place like that, but Nori must know the way, and her braids bob with the motion of her head as she says: "Okay!"

Mikoto does like fish an awful lot.

And maybe not just for dinner!


Leaning over the edge of the touching tank, Mikoto's hand dangles in the water, carefully petting one of those big flappy wings as they pass. She looks positively delighted at this interaction, and one might get the impression that Mikoto is the sort of person who thinks petting zoos are timeless and suitable for any age group at all.

(This is because that is true.)

She looks up to Nori, as she explains the nature of the Cardiax, in the nature of Sorrow; Mikoto can't quite remember the words, filter feeders, but she knows what Nori is talking about. She hums recognition, with a nod.

When Nori comes to suggest they're not for eating, and goes into the trick, Mikoto pulls the most impressively dismayed face imaginable. "That's not food!"

Mikoto has strong opinions about what food should be. Not spicy, and apparently, not sad, either.

She looks surprised to hear Nori say 'if,' and realises she has assumed that these Brothers are there, too; but really, could anyone blame Mikoto, with the associations she has? "They look the same..." Well, a lot of people from Dark Fall do. Mikoto is right here, isn't she? No wonder, then, that people from another world can blend in just the same.

"Back then, I thought that anyone could be my Lord Brother," Mikoto shares, reaching a little further to stroke the manta ray now passing by. "I'd just know him when I found him... that's what I thought. So... it's not so weird, anyone could be those Brothers, too."

Pet pet pet, "Nori'll know it when you see it, I think."