Thirty Terawatt Satellite Cannon 2009/09/21 (Mon) 04:20 No. 31577 ▼
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>[X] Banter some more. Maybe Patchouli can be convinced to stand down.
With a wary grin, Marisa leaned on her broom. "Don't suppose I can persuade you to just let me grab a few?"
"Absolutely not," Patchouli spat. "I will not just roll over and let you take what you please. This is my library. This is my home."
"You can't tell me you're gonna need a few books on the fundamentals any time soon. This place is enormous, you'd never even miss 'em!"
"I would. I like my books where they should be."
"Like a dragon with its hoard, huh? The point of knowledge is sharing, not storage."
That gave the magician pause. "...You have a point," she muttered guardedly. "Still, there is a way to do things. And regardless of my answer, you weren't planning to leave this library without what you came for, correct?"
"Eheheh," Marisa scratched the bridge of her nose, "You've got me there. But if we agree, there's no reason we can't work this out, right?"
"I suppose. If you're willing to leave and perhaps return properly another day..."
Marisa frowned. "That...might be a problem. I'm getting the books to teach a friend of mine..."
Marisa balked. "How'd you know?"
"He asked me yesterday, shortly before making a fool of himself. I won't pretend I'm fond of him, or most fairies. They...grate on me, and if you hadn't noticed, I rather enjoy my quiet."
That didn't sound good, Marisa thought. Guess this was going to come to blows after all...
"But," she continued, "Your more...chaotic style would suit him. He certainly seems a fair measure brighter than most of his kind. And this mansion does owe him a debt of gratitude."
"So...you don't mind?"
"I didn't say that," Patchouli said grimly. "Debt or not, he is childish, and these are my books. And between the attack you gave me before, and the injury you gave my familiar, I'm disinclined to give you free reign of my property."
Marisa tensed up. There was a moment of long uneasy silence. Finally, Patchouli's slightly breathy voice broke the silence.
"Make sure you do a proper job of instructing that fairy. Wasted potential is a terrible thing."
Drawing herself up, from the folds of her gown almost a dozen cards fluttered out and orbited her thin frame. Patchouli's robes billowed around her as a wind whirled through the library.
"Rest assured; as before, there are wards guarding the shelves' contents.
"Now get ready, witch."
Nothing further had to be said. Marisa snapped up her hakkero--palmed and ready during the conversation--and launched the opening Salvo. Patchouli raised a hand and the attack splashed upon a magical barrier harmlessly. One of her cards fluttered out of line and took on a glow.
Water Sign 「Bury in Lake」
Two lances of frigid energy cut the air around Marisa. Behind them came spiraling waves of energy that coalesced into charged orbs of water. Marisa jumped, tucking her dress beneath her as she landed on her broom, and shot airborne.
That was a card she hadn't seen before, she thought. That was a bad sign. On the bright side, the inside of the library was expansive, providing plenty of maneuvering room.
Abruptly, two more beams interrupted her reverie, cracks and snaps filling the air as they condensed into ice. Marisa sailed between them in a roll, pulled back, and, upside down, negotiated the follow-up ring of water. As she pulled past, she at last had an opening to fire a counterattack--
--Just in time to see Patchouli bring a second card to the fore, spinning beside the Water card.
Metal & Water Sign 「Mercury Poison」
Bolts of quicksilver like a monsoon rain erupted. Marisa barely avoided the first radial wave. This wasn't good; the air was already thick with an azure minefield waiting for a careless move. Patchouli's theoretical attacks were an almost perfect answer to Marisa's mobility.
So let's get a little breathing room, she thought as she raised an old piece of paper, worn at the edges, and let fly one of the first spells she learned.
Thunder rolled through the rows as a storm of danmaku broke. Two of the greatest mages to ever grace Gensokyo circled high in the air exchanging arcane fire. Patchouli's studious approach produced grand sweeps of danmaku, eye-catching circles and patterns. Centuries of research and refinement told her that these were the most effective method at her disposal.
In sharp contrast, Marisa's philosophy was all about power. With long rays of energy she carved swaths out of the meticulous designs, weaving left and right among the flak. Once again she cleared the onslaught, and once again Patchouli was waiting. The Metal card fell away, and up came one more.
Sun & Water Sign 「Hydrogenous Prominence」
Not this time. Immediately, Marisa drew and raised a spellcard high.
Magic Sign「Stardust Reverie」
Two miniature suns bloomed within Voile and a galaxy of stars overcame the other spell in an instant. Patchouli raised her hand, comets pelting her barriers as the smoke cleared. All her fire had been nullified. Marisa grinned at her from overhead. To add insult to energy, at long last her Water card had given out, dissolving away.
"Ready for the second round?"
Patchouli scowled and invoked her Moon card.
Sun & Moon Sign 「Royal Diamond Ring」
Rows and rows of glittering shards spiraled out from the magician. Growing crystal fractals caused the air to sing as golden blasts rained down. Each time the mage moved, she poured another pulse of energy through her cards and once again snaking diamonds chased Marisa hither and yon.
For her part, Marisa barely had time to wrap her head around just how many spellcards Patchouli had, let alone this newest, dazzling pattern. She couldn't sit still lest the growth trap her, and leave her to be bombarded by the projectiles. A few fleeting, ineffectual shots on the run either failed to hit their mark, dissolved against the attack, or glanced harmlessly off Patchouli's manyfold barriers. Soon, the sprawling attack had cut her off on all sides. Floating near the chandelier atop the arched ceiling, Marisa realized she was trapped.
And then the hakkero came up.
The miniature spell reactor took on a blue light and shook wildly. It took both hands to keep steady as Patchouli drew in for the kill. Dust from centuries ago drifted loose from the chandelier, and then flew aloft, tossed on the pressure building nearby.
Her most powerful card, her last stop, was not a card at all.
Stolen from one of the most powerful youkai.
Practiced by the fledgeling magician for years.
Refined and perfected by both the youngest and most adept human spellcaster in Gensokyo's long history.
With the crash of a thunderbolt and an earsplitting whine, a torrent of raw energy shattered the Royal Diamond Ring's eclipse, drowning everything in glaring white. One, two, seven, seventeen, the blankets of seals and guards that Patchouli had erected were instantly broken through like a blade through paper. She only just had time to pour her boundless reserves in front of her to stem the flow. Too much, as it turned out. In an instant she was overtaxed, heart throbbing painfully as her lungs cried out for air.
When Marisa could hear again, the first thing she heard was faint coughing in the smoke below.
"So I guess that's my win, eh?"
Patchouli tried to make an invective, but her 'f' came out as an 'm.'
Marisa left the library after ensuring her new rival wouldn't asphyxiate--even as she was led to bed by Koakuma, Patchouli watched her like a hawk. Either way, there was a tacit agreement and an ironic friendship (of some sort) now, and even more, a great many tomes. Not only a few for Kazuki, but even a couple that caught Marisa's eye. She just had one last thing to do before heading home.
The lower door yawned open.
The room looked much the same as it had before the fight, Marisa noted. The incinerated furniture had all been replaced, and what was left of the stuffed animal collection stitched together and mended. On the bed cradling a large bear, Flandre's eyes brightened.
"Marisa! You came back!" With alarming speed the vampire nearly knocked the rare visitor over as she wrapped her arms around her waist.
"I told you I would, didn't I?" Marisa smiled (a little nervously) and gently pat Flandre's head. "It was a promise. So," she asked scooped the little girl up and set her on her bed, "What've you been up to?"
Remilia stirred her tea. "Sakuya," she called quietly.
"Here, my lady." With her trademark punctuality, the maid was at her side.
"Marisa broke in to the manse some time ago." The unspoken question was heard by both.
"I know, lady. I was tending to Meiling's wounds."
"Indeed? Usually you are much faster with your first aid."
Sakuya didn't flinch. "I did not hasten the procedure, lady."
"No matter," the vampire replied briskly. "I had resolved to allow her in anyway. I spoke with Patchouli some on the matter. I think, perhaps, it is time for this mansion to open itself to the world a little more."
"I'm back!" Marisa calls, shortly before kicking up dust with her landing and nearly bowling me over.
"I see you got some books," I point out the bundle tucked under her arm.
"Yep, bunch of 'em." She slings her broom back over a shoulder and hefts them.
"Wow, no kidding. 'Transmutation,' 'Alchemy Fundamentals,' 'Arcane Theory...'"
"Let's not just stand out here, c'mon!"
Spread out on the table, I can't wait to dive in. I don't know which to start with.
"Well, I know it's a lot," Marisa plucks it from my mind, "so why don't you just ask what interests you and I'll give you a quick rundown. Oh, and how'd you do practicing?"
[ ] Did pretty well.
[ ] Could have been worse.
[ ] Messed up, bad.
[ ] Was great!
[ ] Gave up.
[ ] Other, and specifically, I...
As for what I want to hear about...
[ ] Transmutation?
[ ] Alchemy?
[ ] Abjuration?
[ ] Enchantment?
[ ] Elementalism?
[ ] Summoning?
[ ] Evocation?
[ ] Other:
Check all that apply.