That be a typo due to rush jobs in copying over from documents. Meant to be "somewhat sore about that jumping thing."
Thank you for noticing.
[x] All this sitting around is making your legs fall asleep. Take a quick walk around the grounds.
What is there to do besides taking a good walk, anyway? A nice evening walk around the grounds should settle your mind a little.
Best to keep the papers safe though, so we’ll just keep it nice and safe, folded up into the inner pocket of your blazer... hmm, no blazer. This has never occurred to you before. You need another blazer. A thousand curses upon
why are you still holding those papers? Placing them aside in a neat pile on the shelves, besides one of the old reference books, you grab your pocket watch and make for the door, sliding it open to get some good fresh air.
The silence, though comforting to you, is beginning to look a bit suspicious, especially given that you can clearly see the tree branches swaying without so much as a rustle. Tapping your foot once on the paving stones, you fail to hear the clacking of your heels.
Backing up a little, the sounds of reality reassert themselves temporarily before being once again muted. How unnatural it is. It must be a recent occurrence; something here smells like the work of fairies.
“Ladies?” you venture, aiming your voice towards the canopy.
No response. You tap your foot silently, waiting for a few moments longer. There is a slight rustling from the trees just in front of you. You take out your watch and start walking towards it.
“Miss Sunny, I must have a word with you and your friends about your nonsensical antics. I'd very much like to be able to walk around freely without being bothered every single time,“ you say, pitching forwards as you phase through the ground beneath you.
You are now face-down in a somewhat deep pit, probably dug earlier.
“HA HA, got you now Waist-coat!” proclaims the ginger, peeking inwards to mock your misstep, “Thought you could outsmart us, did you?”
There is a flash of magic above you as the fairies are swatted away by a few charms, sending them scattering with both shrill cries and laughter. Reimu peers into the hole,
“Need a hand out of there, Ambrose?”
By the time you’ve floated up, with Reimu dragging you up by the hand, you can’t see a trace of those fairies around, what with them having been sent scrambling to their forest by the shrine maiden. Still, that was remarkably embarrassing. Inspecting the pit trap reveals nothing much unusual about it, besides being fairly deep for having been dug out by fairies. They must have cast an optical illusion of some kind across the top to look like grass, because it would seem fairly obvious otherwise.
Why does this seem ridiculously pathetic?
“Where did those three fairies go, Reimu?”
She points at one of the big, sturdy looking trees in the back of the compound,
“There, somewhere in one of those trees. They have a house somewhere in the branches or the trunk.”
Which strikes you as somewhat odd. Most fairies you’ve studied find holy places intolerable to tread upon, what with religious premises usually being safe havens for those seeking refuge from the fairy folk. Not that you’d see many fairies in Europe nowadays.
You start on a route behind the shrine, “I’ll be just a moment then.”
“Don’t do anything crazy again, okay Ambrose?” she grumbles, “You exceed today’s idiot quota, you don’t get dinner.”
Whatever happened to all those fairies in Europe anyway? They can’t have simply upped and gone. The Churches got them. Blessed them to death and the great beyond in their zeal to eradicate the supernatural, challenge the control of the world by the magicians of the era, responsible for the general decline in magic in Europe since the late 12th Century. Magic breeds magic. No magical creatures, no magical springs. No springs, no new magicians emerging naturally. No new magicians, the magic dies out.
With a careful leap, you begin climbing the tallest tree very carefully. You stretch out for the one overhanging branch. Magical community is still strong though. Magic breeds magic. New blood needed to keep magical traditions alive, so families were ‘encouraged’ to marry out of the traditional circles. Some say the gift was diluted, reduced in power and capacity due to this policy. Others claim invigoration of the community with new ideas and larger pool of family traits.
Swinging across one branch, you slowly shimmy over to a small door in the tree trunk. The new-blood and old-blood debate. Some of the old-bloods maintain their lines zealously; defend what little purity they have left fiercely, resisting the inclusion of outsiders into their families. Discriminated against, new-bloods eke out an existence on the fringes, struggling for recognition in a society which values strength and ability where they have none as of yet. Thrown into the fires of magical training and socialising without much aid, they struggle to prove their worth, their right to contribute.
You knock three times on that small door. A tiny voice tells you that she’s coming, just wait thank you. The door opens wide, and Star briefly looks confused, before bowing.
“Good evening, Miss Star. By any chance is Miss Sunny in at the moment?” you ask, carefully perched on one of the branches nearby,
Star nods quite quickly, “She’s just inside right now. Why?”
Sunny looks up from her place on the couch, eyes widening as you peer into their house. You can hear her squeaking in absolute surprise as she starts racing around the room to grab her shoes,
“Could you call her over, please?”
“She might be a while. She’s kinda slow at answering the door.”
Behind her, you can see the ginger hastily snatching a half-nibbled sweet roll from the coffee table and munching on it furiously as she stumbles over to the back of the room, kicking her shoes on clumsily,
“Very well. I shall wait for her here.”
Sunny is throwing a window open now. Now she’s just jumped out of it, cackling triumphantly at her escape.
“Did Sunny just jump out of the back window, Star?” you ask in exasperation,
Star turns, observing the window swinging shut.
“She’ll be back in a few minutes, I think.”
“Nevermind,” you mumble, “I’ll have a talk with her later. Give my regards to the other one. Have a good evening Miss Star.”
“You too, Mr Waist-coat.”
Brushing off your knees as you walk back towards the shrine, all lit up for the growing dark of the night. Cloudy skies block the passage of the stars, leaving the reflected light of the rising moon passing through them in dull beams.
How curious. The moon just basks in her dominance of the night sky. How distant she is from the world, yet silently judging, almost certainly aloof in her rule. Briefly, you watch as the moonlight reflects off the face of your timepiece, the markings glowing in the stillness of the light. You turn it over once in your hand.
Clenching your free hand, you start walking back in, stowing the watch as you take your shoes off and head back into the shrine.
You have a vision in your dreams. A vision of battle.
Looping, whirling arcs of danmaku dance in the darkness of your dreams. You can see them, wave upon wave of bullets streaming away from within, challenging all before you to weave and bob through the curtain of fire. You can picture it now: of entrapment within the wanderings of the mind, capturing themselves as they move deeper and deeper within your lanes of fire, circling the gears and the springs of the maze itself, until at last they come to a halt in a final, decisive movement at the core, escape only by the slimmest of margins.
[New card unlocked – [Space Sign]: Moonlit Escapement