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Ryougi Yuuki

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  1. Yuuki was long gone by the time Ryan and Tori returned from their sortie, having greeted her companion for the week with a determined nod and the ghost of a smile, "Let's get going. We have a lot of work to do if we're going to save your home, Captain, and not a lot of time to do it. We have a wagon, supplies, and horses, too, right? Meet me outside with the other soldiers when you're all ready to go. I need to prepare a demonstration outside the gates." The knight was very good at his job, so it wasn't too many minutes before the green-haired shrine maiden had her audience of attentive soldiers, offering the dazzling smile of someone very practiced at greeting strangers to a celebration. "Thanks to each and every one of you for your help this week. If all goes to plan, we'll all be back at the castle in five days time having made it very, very difficult for the enemy to do anything but walk into Lord Theo's trap. I, by the blessings of the world, have the power to help," she opened, the scent of sakura petals wafting from her towards them, "But I need your help to dig a lot of very deep trenches very quickly." The men kept their professional demeaner, but confusion danced in their eyes. "This is an apple seed. It grows into an apple tree, and with my mag... power, I can make it grow very large very fast," she further explained with one seed held up for them to see, correcting herself after a year of immersive study in the difference, "Out there, in that field, I have planted 3 more like it in a line, ten feet apart. And so... Bounded Field Blooming!" There was a flare of green light as she gestured with a little twirl, a bonfire of life giving energy that pumped out of her and into the ground, focusing on three patches. Eyes flaring with that verdant light and hair whipping up around her, she grunted in focus and shaped the resulting explosion of woody growth. Three trunks exploded from the ground, soaring upward and thickening into ten foot thick, 200 foot tall spears that ground and twisted together despite her best efforts, merging into a leafy crown that shrouded the field around them. Despite the warning she had given in passing to the sentries on the walls, there were cries of alarm as the light faded. "And a tree goes as deep down as it goes up. So when I withdraw my grip..," she continued, not giving her audience a chance to recover, stunned soldiers and a still impressed Knight Captain Daizo silent when she exhaled again. The tension bled out of her expression as the trees shrank as quickly as they grew, much of the field collapsing into a steep pit of freshly disturbed earth that promised hell to any soldier who tried to fight their way down and up it. 'Oh shit.' seemed to be the consensus, eyes locking on the gorgeous young outlander who had done so much harm with three apple seeds. "I need your help. To plant. To cut seeds out of the apples we'll bring. To find more if we need them. To show me where more holes like this would help. To keep watch while we're camping out there. If trouble comes, I have a spell to bring us all home to your castle, but if trouble doesn't," she finished, allowing herself a laugh, gold eyes gleaming, "You eleven will help me drive them into your Lord's ambush sure as water flows downhill." And so they left to do their work, the shrine maiden attentive from her spot on the wagon as a mounted Daizo pointed out key points on the map, the best places to leave 'undisturbed earth' for later destruction, and the best places to rest for the night, ten sets of eyes on guard.
  2. "Chaos is the energy that allows order to be more than frozen death, just as order allows chaos to achieve anything of lasting value. Fire and water, sun and moon, life and death. Every kami, great or small, has it's twin," commented Yuuki softly, lessons as old as she could remember soothing her immediate worries as she pushed her chair away from the table. She stood up and offered a quick bow to Lord Theo, "Unless you have any objections to me departing, my Lord, I'll be in my room preparing to leave as soon as possible. A lot of work to do..." Her gaze turned hard, golden eyes molten under her self-control as she speared her three teammates with a look, voice still as mild, "Oh. If you get yourselves killed out there this week, I'll find and kill you again for being so reckless, okay? We're going home. Together."
  3. She had somehow missed the bit where the person it would be easiest, relatively speaking, to take out and defeat an army that outnumbered them at more than three to one odds was one of the person they absolutely couldn't kill. "Shit," Yuuki cursed uncharacteristically, resting both hands on the table, biting her lip, "Lord Theo, I'm going to need... Okay... Let's say 100 men to help plant seeds, a wagon or two, full of apples and however many supplies those men will need... Oh, horses. Maybe enough of those to get around faster..? And someone who knows who knows the land enough to show me where to dig to actually help. That's important. Kami, okay... What am I missing?" As she looked back up, forcing herself to shut up, her golden eyes flickered with a hundred unspoken thoughts. She didn't want stay behind again while her team ran off into the fray, however smart the plan was. How wonderful the time away learning magic under Master Izona was made the guilt harder. Vesper's role in particular sounded stupidly dangerous, and the concern the shrine maiden felt for her abrasive teammate showed in the way her frown deepened when looking at her.
  4. "Could work. As long as our Mistress of the Steel Sky can keep the flying monsters from hopping over the trenches and we can... well, buff our troops and they can't..," thought Yuuki aloud, golden eyes introspective, "But more importantly, Lord Theo, *how* do we fight to draw our main target forward as soon as possible? He dies, we win, right? Every dead man can unleash seven generations of curses, so the sooner we kill him, that's less problems you face wh... after we four are long gone and it's just you and the survivors facing one another in a brave new world." The shrine maiden frowned, suddenly translating hundreds of hours spend blasting illusionary targets into scenes of blood and bone and guts on a mud-splattered battlefield. It was a little dizzying to be honest.
  5. "Okay. That sounds... challenging," Yuuki answered after a pause to digest the scale of the task ahead of them, furrowing her brow in thought, "Um, how long until they get here?" "Seven days, give or take," Ryan answered. Oh. That wasn't a lot of time. Still, the green-haired shrine maiden had one idea to help prepare. "Give me some helping hands and a few crates of apples, and I'll carve you as many trenches as I can before they arrive. Make the easiest road the one you want them to take. And if they do bring an earth mage to roll right over them, that's one less spell they can cast during the battle. Don't have a clue where'd you want them put though since I wasn't here to help set up for this earlier," she wrapped, up, guilt blooming in her eyes and reducing her output of floral scent. People were going to die. A lot. And her one spell to bring them back would suck her dry in just five goes.
  6. "Very," answered the green-haired shrine maiden, grinning widely at her teammates before offering a deep bow in the direction of their native allies, "Lord Theo, Lady Siluca, Master Izona has elected to accompany us for the time being. I hope that is acceptable to you." She straightened back up and adjusted the strap of her backpack where it had shifted during her bow, laughing softly, less tense on some fundamental level then the quartet would have ever seen her, "I'll tell you all about it tonight at dinner, the parts that are mine to tell at least."
  7. Yuuki blinked and decided to leave that very dramatic statement where it lay, instead focusing on the last, long, guilt-free soak she'd probably have here unless they came upon a hotspring… The shrine maiden doubted that they'd stumble upon something that good in the struggle to come, but if one didn't hope, one might as well dig themselves a grave and lie in it. Her clothing and whips vanished into mist after she removed them and stepped away, returning somewhere else ready for her call as she settled into the steaming water. She almost purred at the deep, deep heat as it penetrated into her bones, green hair floating around her. Oh, Kami. She was going to miss this. Reluctantly pulling her neck and shoulders out of the water, she reached for the bottle of soap marked for her, spotting her moonsilver ring where it gleamed from the bathroom counter, getting an idea. Oh. That was delicious. And just enough of a show-offy pizzazz-class entrance it appealed to a small, maybe wicked, maybe not, part of herself that whispered in her ears at night and growled at her from the root of her powers midcasting. "Why not? All she can say is no," Yuuki voiced aloud, laughing as she got to work cleaning herself, humming an old shrine festival song under her breath. One bath, change in a magically-clean bodyglove, and final pack check later, the shrine maiden approached her teacher for this past year and bowed deeply, "Master Izona? May I have the honor of getting all three of us back to the castle? It should count as a valid target for Towngate, and I certainly consider both of you my allies."
  8. "Of course, Master Izona," Yuuki offered with a mixture of acceptance and sadness on her face. Last time they had come out of what she had come to think of as 'the time chamber', she had made a point of repacking her sparse things and putting together some rations for the journey back, cleaning an already impeccably neat room for whoever was here next, and glancing over her collected notes. There were a *lot* of spells out there, even just within her three affinities and just the first three tiers. Amazing and kind of sad that whatever Chaos was and how it had intermingled with this world's magic, that sealing it would seal the magic, too. "You can have first crack at the bath, Vesper. I take longer anyway," she offered to her teammate, confessing a small vice she had let herself enjoy this past 'year' now that she didn't have to be mindful of the aging water heater back home, luxuriating in the warmth and comfort of one of the small perks of this situation.
  9. 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.
  10. 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?"
  11. "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?"
  12. 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.
  13. 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?"
  14. 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.
  15. 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."
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