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Ryougi Yuuki

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  1. Listening to Izona's explanation, *now* Yuuki was concerned, chasing a few last grains of rice around with her chopsticks to gather her thoughts. "Not that I don't want to help still, but I need to ask: Just how reduced were your abilities after casting this... gate spell or however it functions? Even after we succeed here, we'll probably have other worlds to help if our Patron asks us too. I can't..," she began before stopping and violently shaking her green-haired head and looking up again, old chains of duty put aside for more honest chains of want, "No. I shouldn't increase the burden on my teammates by recklessly injuring my ability to contribute to the fights to come. It wouldn't be right, and possibly even risk the missions failing if the cost is too high to help one person no matter how grateful I am... If I even could..." The shrinemaiden took a deep breath to stop the flow of word vomit and plaster a sickly smile on her face, "...But I'm probably getting ahead of myself, aren't I? Please. Explain.
  2. Well, that wasn't a no to her helping with the cooking... Yuuki slipped the apron on over her bodyglove, presenting the strange juxtaposition of 'domestic superhero' as she considered their teacher's request. "Well, I would have no problem with you following us home, Master Izona, as long as it didn't devolve into something out of my unpleasant stories afterwards," the shrine maiden began, the angel having teased a few of the plots of her manga and religious training out of her, "Unfortunately, the magic that will bring us home doesn't belong to us. It belongs to our Patron and will trigger when we complete whatever objective he's decided is the keystone of our task here. That could be any time really." Or if they failed and took a whole year. But that didn't merit mentioning. She tilted her head to one side, "But if you have a means to keep an eye on us and observe the magic in action, maybe even hitch a ride... Well, you've taught us that magic seen first hand is best learned. That could work?"
  3. "May I help you prepare the meal whatever it is? I'm fine with bathing afterwards," Yuuki offered to their teacher, trailing behind the angel with a smile. Meal preparation was a sort of balm to her, simply following a series of steps with no expectation of presentation or charisma on the part of the food she was preparing. The revelation that so much time had passed for her and Vesper was quietly burbling in the back of her mind, working it's way up, and the shrine maiden wanted something to distract her from the reality of what that meant to be missing so long. For her. For the shrine. For her family. Taking Izona's silence for consent, she claimed one of the aprons hanging from the hook near the door, pausing just a moment. While harsh where it mattered, Izona lacked the hard edges of her great aunts, and that gave her the courage to ask a question that had been nagging at her. "Mistress Izona, I'm curious. What experiences have you had with other worlds? The people, cultures, how they've handled going home again?"
  4. Yuuki tilted her head to one side, golden eyes tinged with confusion and a spark of subsiding horror as she realized that they weren't in a reversed, fairyland-style time chamber, years flashing by as they were lost in a haze of training. And it *was* enthralling training, so much more dynamic than the endless hours of memorization and ritual she had gone through back on the shrine to so much more effect than any of the small miracles that looked just like coincidences or basic psychology if you blinked. Which wasn't bad. Just... So much less colorful than she wished things could be in her life back home. That was a big part of the reason she was in her transformed state now, she liked it, and it didn't hurt her training, and her power seemed happy enough that she was more happy... "I guess time flies when you're having fun, Mistress Izona," the shrine maiden offered with a slight bow and a chuckle, not really worrying at the prospect of more training, more practice. There was a spell in one of her domains that let her borrow someone's boat, for Kami's sake. And another that let her fly. Who wouldn't enjoy flying? She had faith that if something truly bad happened to Tori and Ryan, Izona would know and would tell them so that they could act.
  5. So not just the daughter of an imperial mage, but the daughter of *the head imperial mage* then? That was a lot to live up to, and with all this talk of magic going away if they fully repaired the seal, that couldn't have helped. Siluca got a gentle smile of understanding from the small girl, silent support before they were whisked away to a breath-taking starscape worthy of any story's epic battle. What followed enthralled her, not the scale of the blasts so much in and of themselves, but the context that this was something that could be learned or taught to potentially anyone. Earth. Water. Order. Okay those were hers, and she'd have to fight really hard to keep her preconceptions about the first two from tainting what was to come. Order? She had no real idea no real idea what to expect unless it borrowed *a lot* from the Shinto traditions she was raised in. "So many, Master Izona, which I'm sure you'll bring up and answer when we need to know them," she answered with a shimmer of breathless excitement and a quick bow of her head, "But most urgently perhaps... The reason your student directed us your way is because our patron listed learning magic is listed as one of the objectives needed to get us home to our world and, presumably, help us help this one while we're here. The same patron gave both of us... gifts which Lady Siluca compared to this world's Mystic Arts. I don't know if that will help or harm our training here, but in my case, I have a... Ha, transformation that lets me use more of that energy in ways that I know without having been actually taught. Is that a problem?" She breathed in through her nose, calming herself, allowing herself one further indulgence, "Also, foci materials and design choice. What's the difference between them?"
  6. It had taken a moment to overcome the sense of burning resentment as her energies demanded she add the Words to her release, some flare, something anything to shout 'Here I am! Look at me!' to the upwelling, a sullen wrath that kicked up nausea in her gut before she could rein the coiling energy back down into it's root. Ugh. She had to suck in a little half breath, recover her balance before looking up and at Siluca, eyes curious. The other woman had shown none of this passion regarding Chaos magic before, their previous discussion more academic than anything. Still. Vesper had asked the big question. And 3 affinities? Was that good or not? She had no idea, and that was exciting, unruly powers or no. The short, brown-haired girl nodded agreement with Vesper's statement, waiting for the next part, the next test.
  7. Yuuki wordlessly poured the tea into the cups provided while their hosts bantered back and forth, brown eyes waiting for the exchange to wind down before replying. "If I may, Lady Izona..? I am a Shinto shrine maiden, raised and trained to be a priestess of a world where magic is an article of faith not flashy fireballs, so I'm the last one to underestimate the value of your kind of knowledge," she offered with an apologetic smile as she produced the smartphone from her bag and slid it across to Izona, tone respectful and soft, "I don't know if you've seen one of these before, but it contains a large amount of information from our world, our history, our math, our science, the men and women who shaped it." She picked up her cup of tea, sipping to gather her thoughts, "I don't know what value you'd place on this information, but Lady Siluca seems to think well enough of you to give fair return on it. Enough of it at least to give us a fair chance to learn whatever magic we turn out to have an affinity for outside of the powers granted us by our patron."
  8. After the last few days in her transformed state, Yuuki felt acutely tiny and vulnerable in her own skin, underdressed in her street clothes. Still, if Izona was as powerful as Siluca , better safe than sorry, even if she didn't feel particularly safe. At least Vesper was semi cooperating long enough for her to get her mental feet under her. "Ryougi Yuuki. Of Earth since you apparently know about more than one world," she offered with a slight bow, that same voiceless voice pinging 'mage' off of Izona as it had Siluca on their first meeting, "Do you have somewhere we can sit and talk, Lady Izona? Lady Siluca tells me she needs to be back at the castle, and I don't want to take any more of her time than we need to." She smiled, the expression shallow, fragile, and uncertain but real, "And we *are* here to learn magic if you'll have us."
  9. "Hmmm," replied the shrine maiden, noting the perhaps significant absence of the word 'control' from that answer. Still... The prospect of dropping an expendable monster on an opponent instead of risking a human or plant ally, especially with her ability to shape a battlefield sounded good. In theory. If it didn't carry the risk of taint or some long term cost like it so often did in her stories. If Chaos was the simply the yin to the other school's yang though... Maybe... "Well, If you have any questions you'd like to ask us to pass the time, I'd be glad to share what I can. Kept the old Lord entertained enough to repay him somewhat for his hospitality," she chuckled before the smile turned rueful, "And once we're close enough to Izona's that it'll be safe, please tell me and I'll... transform back. If she knows the same trick of seeing through it that you do, don't want to spoil a first impression."
  10. Siluca had the shrine maiden's full attention as she explained, golden eyes locked on the native mage. So foci types *did* matter? Interesting. Scores of examples from her childhood flickered across her mind's eye, shining and flashing and contrasting with the handcrafted charms she carved and drew and gave away by the dozen every festival. Well, she guessed dreams did come true. "I assume our teacher will help us decide what form those take? And the same for the 'Orders' we're best suited for?" she further probed, raising an eyebrow as a final though occurred, "...What kind of sacrifice are you talking about to use Chaos magic? And can that effect chaos monsters?"
  11. Yuuki choked down a pat 'It's my pleasure' response, partially because it would be too pat considering how much trouble she'd be in when she got back, and insidiously, because it was partially so true. It was a pleasure to get away from everything and immerse herself in an adventure like this. Long as this Seraphim didn't turn out to be completely yokai-like and end up making their bones into a harp, she'd dealt with a pair of harsh tutors most of her life. This was a 100% improvement over that. "So, while we're on our way, Lady Siluca, think you could share some more of the basics of how magic works here? The schools, costs, and practical techniques? No two of the stories I read at home had the exact same system if they explained it at all. The old Lord mentioned that when the great seal started breaking up, magic returned with the chaos. Have the two always been linked? Or is chaos something that came from... outside to become part of the system?"
  12. Seraphim, seraphim... That was the title for a Christian angel, one of the most powerful ones in fact, the kind that didn't interact with humans directly often if at all. It'd be like if Yuuki ran into Amaterasu at the supermarket picking out leek. Her lips quirked in thought, piecing together what she'd read and how it compared to what she was being told. The bargaining in exact terms, the teaching of mortals, dwelling in a set location... Izona *sounded* like a yokai, maybe a tengu. And she knew enough folklore about those to be on her toes if that was even half true. "I assure you, I'll be careful," she responded in a deadly serious tone, golden eyes slitting half-shut and all social glibness evaporating away, "Will you be staying around while we train, or will you be heading back to Lord Theo as Ryan puts him through his paces?"
  13. "Could you tell us about your friend Izona, the one who'll be teaching us? I'd like to have an idea what to expect, even a hint," Yuuki added into the silence, partially as a distraction, but mostly out of genuine curiousity, brushing a lock of green hair out of her face, "Only get one chance to make a good first impression after all."
  14. "As long as it makes you happy," Yuuki replied to Siluca after Vesper's little hand gesture successfully derailed any inclination towards grim introspection, "And, yes. Sort of. I wanted the change of pace, the choice of just being able to slip on a mask and be free to be someone else, just for a little bit. My Duty to the shrine, the people it serves, is important, and I wouldn't want to shirk it forever, but... Sometimes I wish it wasn't just *my* Duty. Guess I'm got my wish." She pointedly refused to think about the nightmares that weren't quite nightmares where the shrine burned and she and her brother just watched from the bottom of the hill letting it happen.
  15. Vesper earned herself a look of quiet interest from her teammate for that admission, the wheels of thought visibly turning behind her golden eyes. She nodded to herself, steeling her thoughts. "I couldn't do any of this until a few weeks ago when I was given my powers as well, but before my... well, when I was growing up I'd read and watch about girls who could transform and fight and create miracles to defeat evil while still being allowed to be normal and happy, too. Spent most of my allowance and meager free time soaking it in and sharing with my... with my Mom," Yuuki forced out after a heartbeat of hesitation, plunging forward, "What our patron gave me was an energy that feels like magic and made me stronger and faster, and if I use the words that make that energy 'happy' for want of a better word, *I* can transform and fight and create miracles, too." She looked away, "When I'm transformed, I can use all of it, not just a fraction. Wait... You can see the real me?"
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