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Poor excuse, but finals and all of my university coursework are done with now. In fact, I should be graduating once grades roll in. So now I really don't have the slightest shred of an excuse not to be updating this regularly. Feel free to complain to me if more than a week goes by with nada. Between knowing I have readers as patient as you guys, and having a friend to work with on this, I'm feeling motivated again.
"So, whatcha say, kid?"
... Well, Yamame always keeps her promises, so even if you stay and learn from Miss Hoshiguma, you can still see Yamame later.
"... Since you feel good, Miss Hoshiguma, I think it would be really neat to see your spell cards!"
"Just what I like to hear from a go-getter like you!" Miss Hoshiguma looks really happy about that, and gives another really big grin that shows off all her teeth. "Upsie-daisy!"
She leans back, and then... Hop! She jumps straight to her feet, and pulls you right up with her using just one arm! Since your feet are dangling in the air, you wave your legs around a little; is this what it's like when people fly? Must be fun... Maybe you'll be big enough to fly soon, since you're making bullets now! Right now you gotta learn spell cards, though.
"We'll go and practice over in the park, howsabout?" Miss Hoshiguma smiles at you, and then she hefts you up, and sets you right on top of her shoulder. She's really tall, so it's really high up, and there's a really nice view! "I'll getcha a nice, front row seat up on one of the 'shrooms."
That sounds good, so you let out a little cheer, and Miss Hoshiguma laughs. She carries you right over to the park, and even lets you ride on her shoulder as she walks around in the grass, so that you can see all the big mushrooms and pick the biggest, brightest, bestest one of them. Once you make your choice, she crouches back just like you do when you're jumping, and...
"Here we go, cutie!"
Boom! There's a big rumble when she jumps, and a whole lot of wind! Even her jumps are super strong! She bounds right up to the tip-top of the mushroom with just one move. It's really amazing; even though you and Mama Orin are really good jumpers, and can probably jump faster, you don't think you could jump this high with just one jump. Once she's way high up enough, she just kind of stops there in the air, like she's hanging there, and... whoopsie-daisy!
"Think fast, kid!"
With just a little pop, she throws you right up into the air and toward the mushroom. It's surprising, but... Flip! You twist to land with your feet on the mushroom cap, like a good ca—boing! The big, bouncy cap pops you back into the air, so you flip again, and—bounce, flip, bounce, flip! The mushroom is so bouncy that you keep having to twist all around in the air, but once you get to bounce five, you land right on your feet just like Mama Orin taught you to!
Once you get steady on your feet, Miss Hoshiguma claps for you while wearing a big, goofy grin.
"Ha! That's pretty good, shortstuff! Orin teach you that?"
You beam proudly, and nod.
"Yeah! I'm a good cat, just like Mama Orin!"
Miss Hoshiguma keeps grinning at you, but her cheeks get a little more red, and she bites her lip while making this really funny noise... it kind of reminds you of Aunt Koishi! She goes back to normal pretty quickly, though, and puts one hand on her hip, holding her big red dish up with the other. She looks super confident!
"Well, you seem to learn fast, kiddo, so are ya ready to take a lesson in spell cards?"
"Yes, Miss Hoshiguma!"
"Then sit back, get comfy, and watch closely!"
You flop back onto your butt to sit down, and the springy mushroom makes you bounce just a little into the air when you do, but it makes a comfy seat anyway. Miss Hoshiguma tosses her sake dish up, and... wow! She catches it right on the tip of her horn, and keeps it sitting there super-balanced! Neat! She starts floating up and away, spinning around all slowly, with her pretty clothes all fluttery, and starts to glow...
Oni Sign 「Mysterious Powers and Disrupting Spirits」
Loops! Everything gets all dark, and each time Miss Hoshiguma twirls, she lets off a bunch of pointy purple bullets that start moving away from her in big loopy spirals, like backwards drills, until they get really wide and far out... then they turn red, and break, and the little bullets go everywhere! It doesn't look super hard, but it does look like a really fun card to play against; you can't fly yet, but you bet you could play against this card anyway, so maybe next time Miss Hoshiguma can help you practice!
"How do you like that, sweetstuff?" She slowly stops spinning around, and turns to face you, still balancing her big red dish on the tip of her horn. It looks kind of silly, but it also shows that she is really skilled, so you clap for her.
"That looks really fun, Miss Hoshiguma!"
"Well, it ain't over yet!" She kind of nudges her head up, and her dish pops up off of her horn so that she can catch it with one hand. She takes a big drink out of it, pulls and arm back, and suddenly takes a big step forward in the air, waving one arm really dramatically!
Feat of Strength 「Storm on Mount Ooe」
All of a sudden, a huge gust of wind blows right at you, and your hair goes flying all around. Big, round bullets start flying out from behind her, bouncing through the air kind of like really big rocks! Every couple of seconds, she waves her arm again, and the bullets start coming from different directions. This one looks a lot more difficult than the first, but it's easy to understand, and still looks like lots of fun to play against!
When Miss Hoshiguma is done with the card, she stays in the same funny pose, and starts glowing a lot more. She looks really excited! She even starts spinning the dish in her hand on one finger and laughing.
"Gettin' to show off this early in th' day is such a gas! Haven't felt so fresh in a while!" She starts grinning again, and flexes her arm. Her sleeve slips, and... wow! Miss Hoshiguma really is strong! You can tell just by looking! "Heck, I think I might jus' pull out all the stops, an' give you a real show!"
She looks super fired up, so you lean in real close to watch what she is going to do, and she starts glowing really bright! Even brighter than before! Just when you think she is about to do something really amazing, though, someone else beats her to it!
Way off on the other side of town, near the big bridge, a huge bunch of bright lights appear all at once. Even Miss Hoshiguma turns to look! A whole bunch of the lights start spreading out in big lines, with smaller light in between them... like one of Yamame's webs! Maybe...
"Well, would you take a look at that? Guess I ain't the only one feelin' spry this mornin'! Looks like we found Yamame for you, kiddo; didn't even have to go searching!"
Aha! It is Yamame! And she's even playing danmaku games!
"You wanna go give 'er a gander?"
"Can we?" That would be super fun! Miss Hoshiguma was really into her demonstration, and it was fun, so you didn't want to interrupt her, but...
"Course!" She looks pretty happy about finding Yamame too. "If she's feelin' this lively, maybe we can go a round after, an' I can show off a bit..."
All of a sudden a bunch of bright green lights appear, and zip right into the middle of the big web, bursting apart when they get there. Miss Hoshiguma wrinkles her nose just like Mama Orin does when she smells something she doesn't like.
"... Or not. On second thought, might be best if we jus' leave 'em to it for now."
"Really? You seemed excited to play with Yamame too, though..."
"Well," Miss Hoshiguma sighs and shakes her head, "it ain't that I don't like a little rough housing with my friends. Problem 's jus' that the person Yamame is... playin'... with right now is kind of a pain to deal with..."
[ ] If the person Yamame is playing with right now is so difficult, then you should go cheer for her!
[ ] Miss Hoshiguma knows the people around town really well, so maybe she's right.