File 154621849530.jpg - (685.01KB, 2394x1450, the pull-in king.jpg) [iqdb]
"O-CCIDAS DIRECT, 'RRIVIN' SHORTLY!" a voice shouts from somewhere off to the side, shaking me out of it. "FIRS' CLASS, PLATFORM TWO, COACH AT PLATFORM FIVE, THIR'-CLASS AT SIX; STAN' CLEAR FOR THOSE DEBARKIN'!"
[Oooooh, it's sayonar-o'-clock~ ...Or, it will be? ...Okay, one more round, real quick!]
...Ah, so that's how that works. Makai's still a ways off from LED signboards, obviously, but that's all I've ever known for train announcements beyond the gentle pre-recorded female voices informing you of everything from the next train to delays to helpful travel information.
I get to my feet with way more pops and cracks in my knees and arms than I'd have expected. Nobody seems to notice, but I fight down a blush all the same. I'm not even close to that old just yet, and I was only there for a few minutes, wasn't I? ...Heck with it, let's get a move on.
[ ♫: https://instaud.io/36TS ]
[ ♫: https://clyp.it/bxuwmcvp ]
Following the directions bellowed out a moment ago, I take my things and find Platform Two, a spring in my step. I haven't been on a real train ride in years, and even then, never an overnight.
The train that pulls in to the station is led by another cousin of the ones I saw in the railyard: a very close approximation of what I'd expect from a steam locomotive on Earth. The shape is there, the parts are more or less where you'd expect to find them, but with plenty of consideration given to appearance and design. This one seems almost like a big, green-blue retro-style griffin . Whichever one doesn't have wings. I'd almost swear it's breathing, but maybe that's because this one's running.
Seeing it in motion is an entirely different matter, even as it comes to a halt. No smoke, either, which is really strange—or wait, no, there's a little. It dissipates in the air pretty fast, though, and doesn't have that good old-fashioned coal smell . Definitely. But it matches what Honne told me about an alternative fuel <striahg>. Right, that.
The cars behind it are all painted in the same green and blue color scheme; a nice matching set. The composition of the train is hard to guess at from here, but their general roles are clear. All in all, it's nothing you wouldn't find on any fancy passenger train.
After the engine is what's obviously a tender, though it's shorter than the ones I know and has a roof on top. Two cars with big doors, but only a few windows high up are clearly for cargo. Another car with a bunch of windows; passenger accommodations of some kind. Another pair of cars with just as much window-space, but wider and fewer. Probably a diner car and... something else. Maybe two? There's another many-windowed car after that, which means that one of them is coach and the other is... . Yes, Detective, shrewd deduction that the one pulling up to Platform Two might be first class like the announcement just said. And there are a couple more cars after that I can't get a clear look at. Honne's over by one of them, though.
...Wait, I'm on the same train as Honne ? Oh no. ...Well, wait. I'll be in first class, and she's in third class, by the looks of it. But Asani Rayokom has high standards, and she — Uh. Y, yes. She might be. Crap. Okay, one crisis at a time, though.
Instead of the usual line of people waiting to get on that you'd see in Japan, there's a small blob of maybe six or seven people waiting at Platform Two in no real order or hurry. The cause is probably the pair of well-dressed demons exiting the train just now, followed by a handful of identical, dour-faced servants hustling their luggage out. A murmur runs through the crowd, but I don't catch any names or specifics. Local celebrities, I guess?
[Nope, one means one, sorry~ Grow stronger and prepare for the day when, uh... Yes, that~ But don't stay up too late, all right?]
They and their things are on their way soon enough, and the blob forms itself into a thin wedge, again without complication or rush . Yeah. But that's fine, since everyone's boarding pretty quick, too. Off to the right, I notice that the doors to the next couple of cars have been slid open, and luggage and bags are being loaded and unloaded at an even faster clip, confirming my guess . The porters haven't dropped a thing yet, but the pace of their work still makes me glad I'm glad I'm hanging onto my own things.
My boots clang on the metal footplate outside and then clomp up the wooden steps inside the car and into the first class car and wow this is already amazing. The only place to see a vintage-y passenger car like this in such immaculate condition would be in movies or at a museum where they'd gone to great lengths to restore one. There's something in the air, like the hints of week-ago incense, and that way that really nice carpet makes everything a bit quieter somehow. The low lighting only adds to that .
It's about then that I realize I have no idea what number my room is . Cabin? Or is that for boats . Whatever it's called, I don't know which one's mine. After moving out of the way of the few people behind me, I set down my bag and get out my ticket and oh gods I have no idea what any of this says. I might as well be reading Russian. Actually, no; at least Cyrillic looks like Roman letters. This is like trying to read... I dunno, Atlantean, or something . Yeah, I can see that much, but they're all over this stupid thing.
I'm starting to get some looks and that is not what I need right now.
Okay. ...What would Asani Rayokom do?
She'd probably already know how to read the language. Crap. All right, then... what would a stupid Japanese girl pretending to be a suave, cool Hong Kong elementalist do?